A Sweet Romance Novel About How the Performing Arts Can Heal

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, November 12, 2021—Lori Wolf-Heffner, an original member of the Canadian tap team, struggled with mental health throughout much of her life. Dance and writing were her forms of emotional release. On November 25th, she releases her ninth novel, Tea Shop for Two, and places the healing powers of the performing arts at the centre of the first novel in her new sweet romance series.

Lori Wolf-Heffner, top left, with the Canadian tap team in 1996. She jokes she must have packed her team jacket before this photo was taken. She remembers the weather rivalling a Canadian winter that year in Dresden.

“I want readers to know that the performing arts is more than an audition process that so often ends in failure,” says Wolf-Heffner. “Although this novel is about performing arts professionals and a dance student, it’s about how these characters use their skills to help others and themselves.”

Through the romance genre, Wolf-Heffner offers a familiar story that appeals to readers while getting her message across. But her main characters are not characters typically found in the genre.

Forty-seven-year-old Pauline is grappling with injuries that could end her thirty-year career as a sports mascot. The fear of the impending career transition is all too real. By contrast, 43-year-old Todd was ousted from his international ballet career by agism and therefore already thrust into his transition. They meet at the tea shop owned by Pauline’s mom.

“I wanted to tackle a few stereotypes, too,” says Wolf-Heffner. “Women are scarce in the professional mascot world, and we’re all familiar with the stereotypes male ballet dancers face.”

Part of any romance is old friendships, and Pauline reconnects with her best friend from high school, herself now struggling with her teenaged, gay son. He has a promising ballet career, but a recent diagnosis of epilepsy—similar to Wolf-Heffner’s own—forces him into his own transition.

Lori has danced since she was 2.5 despite having a mild form of epilepsy. Here she improvises in her office to “Eclipse” by To the Trees. Music used with permission.

“Pauline, Todd, and Austin connect through their mutual love of the performing arts,” she says. “It’s a balanced story, with each in the trio helping to heal the others through movement and performance.”

Tea Shop for Two is available November 25th wherever books are sold. Wolf-Heffner will be holding virtual readings on November 27th and December 5th. For more information, please visit LoveOnBelmont.com.