Jennifer S Alderson

Introducing author Jennifer S. Alderson

Aloha readers!

Today I’m especially happy to introduce author Jennifer S Alderson – a fellow traveler, writer, and all-around neat-o woman. We connected several months ago, and besides writing interesting books that combine fiction with the specific geographical settings of her travels, she has taught me a lot about supporting other indie authors. Her latest venture, aside from her newest book coming out, is Travel by Book, a Facebook page Jennifer administers to recognize the work of travel writers; whether you’re a reader or a writer, if you enjoy writing with a sense of place – fiction or memoir – join this page and find great new books to read.

Jennifer S. Alderson worked as a journalist and website developer in Seattle, Washington before trading her financial security for a backpack. After traveling extensively around Asia and Central America, she moved to Darwin, Australia, before finally settling in the Netherlands.

Jennifer’s travels and experiences color and inform her internationally-oriented fiction. Her first novel, Down and Out in Kathmandu: A Backpacker Mystery, is a travel fiction adventure through Nepal and Thailand. The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery, her second book, is a suspenseful ‘whodunit?’ which transports readers to wartime and present day Amsterdam.

Both are part of an on-going stand-alone series following the adventures of traveler and culture lover, Zelda Richardson. The third installment, another art-related travel thriller (working title: Smuggler’s Deceit) will be released in the fall of 2017.

Her travelogue, Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand, is a must-read for those interested in learning more about, or wishing to travel to Nepal and Thailand.

Notes of a Naive Traveler

 

About Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand:

“The ride back to Kathmandu was comfortable and relaxing. There were more overturned trucks (the gas-powered ones seem to tip the most, I’m surprised there weren’t more explosions), goats being herded across the highway by ancient women, children playing games in traffic, private cars and buses alike pulling over in the most inconvenient places for a picnic or public bath, and best of all the suicidal overtaking maneuvers (or what we would call ‘passing’) by our bus and others while going downhill at incredible speeds or around hairpin turns uphill with absolutely no power left to actually get around the other vehicle.”

I was twenty-six years old, had a well-paid job, fantastic apartment and large circle of friends. I had everything, except I didn’t. I couldn’t shake the feeling I was missing out on the experience of living.

Part cultural and travel guide, part journey of self-discovery, this travelogue takes you on a backpacking adventure through Nepal and Thailand and provides a first-hand account of one volunteer’s experience teaching in a Nepali school and living with a devout Brahmin family. 

Trek with me through the bamboo forests and terraced mountaintops of Eastern Nepal, take a wild river rafting ride in class IV waters, go on an elephant ride and encounter charging rhinoceros on jungle walks in Chitwan National Park, sea kayak the surreal waters of Krabi and snorkel in the Gulf of Thailand. Join me on some of the scariest bus rides you could imagine, explore beautiful and intriguing temples, experience religious rituals unknown to most Westerners, and visit mind-blowing places not mentioned in your typical travel guides.

Notes of a Naive Traveler is a must-read for those interested in learning more about – or wishing to travel to – Nepal and Thailand. I hope it inspires you to see these amazing countries for yourself.

Thailand

 

Reviews for Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand:

For anyone who has never traveled to a country whose culture is different from your own, you don’t know what you are missing. It’s an incredible experience, as this journey through Nepal and Thailand portrays. The author’s story is whimsical and at times flirting with danger. For those who have traveled, it’s the trip home that actually is more of a culture-shock, than the places visited. Travelers expect and anticipate differences, but once experienced, we look at our own culture with entirely new eyes. This book gives you that look at Nepal and Thailand, and I recommend it for anyone thinking about taking a trip … anywhere.” 5 stars – Amazon review (Author Rebecca Carter)

“In this phase of my life when time is scarce travel becomes the casualty, but thanks to the eloquent and detailed ticket that authors like Jennifer Alderson buy on our behalf, along we can go for the ride into the most exciting, uncomfortable, frustrating and exhilarating backwaters of our planet — without the need to risk our digestive system on the questionable water and dubious plumbing.

I had the advantage of having traveled to Thailand some years ago, so that with more than half the book in the Himalayas and the balance in my familiarity, I was able to identify strongly with that part-2 of the travelogue and so set a gauge for me to sense how accurately she captures the spirit of a place.
I am happy to say that my experience aligns precisely with how she characterized Thailand; I have confidence then that I can fully trust her opinions from the Himalaya.

“Notes…” is a wonderfully engaging companion that took me to the Himalaya a place I’d love to someday see but am unlikely to ever reach. It did more than send me down the well worn path of Jane or Joe tourist, instead, it gave me an in depth view into the lives or ordinary folk I’d pass on the street of a backwater but likely learn nothing about.
To Jennifer then I say “thank you!” This is a rare gift indeed. Keep traveling for me and us.” 5 stars – Amazon review (Author Michael Smorenburg)

Read more 5-star reviews!

 

Thailand hat tham phra nang

 

Find Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand on Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Amazon UK.

Connect with Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads. Learn more about Jennifer on her blog or JenniferSAlderson.com.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s author introduction, and are intrigued enough to buy one (or all!) of Jennifer’s books. From my own reading experience, her writing is colorful with cultural descriptions, fast-paced, exciting, and worth your time.

 

Have a great week!

M

 

About Melissa:

Sylvie Writes a Romance

Wandering

Leave a review on Amazon and I’ll love you forever!

Sylvie Writes a Romance on Smashwords – for Nook, Kobo, etc

Recent articles:

From Travel to Romcon and Beyond

BookDaily.com

Travel Writing on JenniferSAlderson.com

Recent reviews:

Indie Reader Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

Kirkus Indie Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

Follow me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Introducing author Dora Ilieva

Aloha readers!

I’m so pleased to introduce another author you may not have read! Please take a moment to read about her work.

 

Dora Ilieva is my pen name. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria which is why this part of the world plays an important role in my books. However, Toronto is the place my family and I call home now. Cicero once said: “if you have a garden and a library, you have everything.” I have both and I also have my family and my job, so I consider myself very lucky. Writing for me began almost as a joke, a dare to myself, but it has become an essential part of my life. I’ve written two novels (both are historical thrillers) and a collection of short stories. All three are available on Amazon. My third novel is almost finished (I still have to think of a title, though). It should appear on Amazon before the end of the year.”

My two thrillers The Devil’s Gorge, published in 2014, and The Master, published in 2016, feature some of the same characters and can be read as a series or as stand-alones.

The Master: Three years after her father’s tragic death, Kossara, a young Bulgarian scholar who lives in Toronto and works at a coffee shop, receives a mysterious phone call and a lucrative job offer involving the search for a long-lost book. Desperate to relaunch her academic career, she silences the voice of caution and accepts the proposal which requires that she return to her native Bulgaria. There she discovers that what seemed like an innocent research opportunity is a race against death and destruction.  Aided by her friends, she struggles to locate the valuable document only to realize that it must remain hidden forever.

“I loved this book. It caught me completely off-guard with simply how high quality the story was. Kossara is living a dull life and doesn’t really know what do with herself, but then suddenly everything is turned on its head when she decides to try something new. I love stories about characters who start out ordinary and become extraordinary, and this book was certainly no exception.” – Amazon Review

Read more reviews of The Master.

Follow Dora on Facebook and Goodreads.

 

I hope you’ve found some new books to read today!

Melissa

 

 

Find Melissa’s books on Amazon:

Sylvie Writes a Romance

Wandering

Leave a review on Amazon and I’ll love you forever!

Sylvie Writes a Romance on Smashwords – for Nook, Kobo, etc

Recent articles:

From Travel to Romcon and Beyond

BookDaily.com

Travel Writing on JenniferSAlderson.com

Recent reviews:

Indie Reader Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

Kirkus Indie Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

Follow me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

An Enlightening Quiche

Introducing author Eva Pasco

Aloha!

I’m happy to share my new friend Eva Pasco‘s work with you. I hope you enjoy finding new authors and books as much as I do.

Eva Pasco is the author of acclaimed Contemporary Fiction novel, An Enlightening Quiche, which has merited a Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Seal, ranks 1st out of 78 books set in Rhode Island (Goodreads Listopia), and is a 2017 ATAI Fiction Finalist.

Eva became a proficient typist at the age of nine, courtesy of her mother.  Thrills from the spill of words on a blank page occurred during adolescence, sparked by a malfunction in the electrical wiring which caused a doorbell to ring automatically. The bizarre incident prompted a budding author to compose, on her girlie pink Tom Thumb typewriter, “The Mystery of the Midnight Doorbell”—a short story involving secret codes and a smuggling ring!

Having composed several short stories and a Romance novella, the rigors of college and a teaching career shelved further creative writing ambitions until retirement.  Then, midlife restlessness reactivated Eva’s dormant flair for writing. As a result of that revival, she has published two books—her most recent, An Enlightening Quiche.

Eva credits Anne Lamott for the heartbeat of her writing which incorporates secrets, quirkiness, and spiritual transformations.  Eva’s novels are character-driven by flawed female protagonists who grapple with, confront, and overcome their personal dilemmas by empowering themselves to make profound life changes for the better. Written primarily for women over forty, her plots and themes are infused with realism befitting this age bracket.

A native Rhode Islander, Eva interweaves elements of historic landmarks, geographic entities, and regional culture as they pertain to the novel.  Besides pounding the keys writing memoirs or blogs in-between novels—Eva enjoys reading, solving challenging crossword puzzles, and walking along the shore.

Eva Pasco, author

An Excerpt from An Enlightening Quiche  where an heirloom quiche recipe and baking rivalry turn up the heat in northern Rhode Island’s French-Canadian mill town of Beauchemins during the aftermath of a tragedy precipitated by reckless behavior:

Augusta: I sprawled provocatively on the sofa and leaned back against overstuffed fringed pillows, a temptress in waiting. For a factory Gal Friday, my surroundings were none too shabby thanks to the largesse of a lothario. Replicated Baroque grandeur prevailed: hand-carved mahogany, gilded trinkets, ball-and-claw foot, winged griffins, and velvet opulence in shades of burgundy trickled from the parlor to the boudoir like spilled wine.

Yet, I was partial only to the elongated, leather keepsake box I’d scored at Lorraine’s yard sale last October, a false lull of normalcy before an Iraqi bullet struck her son dead two months later. Its bed lining simulated a much more suitable coffin to lay my mother’s effects to rest than Tante’s nondescript shoebox.

No doubt about it, the somberness of Louis XIV’s Versailles Revival suited my dark side, heretofore devoid of taking the high road along beau chemins.

The doorknob turned, prefacing his stride across the room. Boyish good looks and mannerisms belied the dysfunctional poseur hiding beneath a charming exterior. The tinge of his breath suggested he may have had a belt or two to blunt the edge of an illicit rendezvous precipitated and sustained by desperation. I sat up, ready for him to kneel at my feet and bury his face in my lap while he shed tears coursing from feelings of inadequacy. And, as of late, consumed with anxiety and gripped in its paralysis. I stroked his waves, knowing full well the gesture groomed a merge between two people fraught with human frailties.

 

Consumer Reviews:

“I really loved the characters. Flawed and believable, the characters were wonderful. The women were strong, independent, and, at times, snarky. The friendships and relationships in An Enlightening Quiche were both beautiful and refreshingly realistic.” (Amazon Customer)

“Wickedly sharp, bitingly sarcastic, Eva Pasco creates an unforgettable novel about life in a small town.” (Amazon Customer)

“Eva Pasco’s writing is descriptive and quirky, reflecting the French-Canadian idiom of the fictional town of Beauchemins, Rhode Island. The reader is drawn into the story through the parallel narrations of the lead characters, making them them feel as though they are a one of the townsfolk and leading them to decide for themselves who is honest or justified in their actions as the story progresses.” (Amazon Customer)

See more reviews:

Midwest Book Review

Readers’ Favorite

Authors Talk About It

AN ENLIGHTENING QUICHE is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

*Get Discounted Autographed copies @Authors Den Signed Bookstore

You can follow Eva on Goodreads, Facebook, and Author’s Den.

 

Enjoy!

Melissa

 

 

Find Melissa’s books on Amazon:

Sylvie Writes a Romance

Wandering

Leave a review on Amazon and I’ll love you forever!

Sylvie Writes a Romance on Smashwords – for Nook, Kobo, etc

Recent articles:

From Travel to Romcon and Beyond

BookDaily.com

Travel Writing on JenniferSAlderson.com

Recent reviews:

Indie Reader Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

Kirkus Indie Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

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Introducing author Nikki Landis

Aloha readers!

I’ve recently had the pleasure of meeting author Nikki Landis, and if you aren’t familiar with her work I’d like to share it with you.

Nikki Landis is the award winning author of over a dozen novels, mostly in the romance genre. Her recent novel Refugee Road is the Gold Medal winner of the 2017 IPPY award for Best Romance/Erotica. Nikki grew up sneaking her mother’s romance novels – intrigued with the characters, the stories, and the historical settings from authors that have greatly influenced her writing, like Johanna Lindsey, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, and Bertrice Small. 

She is also a fan of the classics and adores Jane Austen. Books like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit have shaped and molded her vision of fantasy and inspired it, contributing to her popular series The Fight for Light novels.

Nikki holds two degrees, in Dietetics and Nutrition, and her Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Wellness. She’s a wife and mother, spending her free time reading, writing, and enjoying the outdoors. The mother of a new Marine, she’s also a patriot.


Here is a peak at her novel The Guardian A Fight for Light Book 1

“Fate has a way of stepping in when you least expect it.”

*** New Cover, Expanded & Revised Edition May 2017 ***

Rhiannon has been hidden most of her life and protected from the terrible tragedy that stole her parent’s lives when she was only a child. Raised in a normal human society, she thinks her life will never change. And then strange things start happening, and someone or something seems to be watching her every move…

Fate has a way of intervening when she is confronted by true evil, her existence threatened by an entirely new and foreign entity, one that is as mysterious as the man who suddenly enters her life. A stranger that makes her question her reality and an unimaginable fate she is destined to follow, Kellen’s motives are as strange as his appearance.

Now Rhiannon must seek the truth as a dark and deadly enemy pursues hunting her, but the only protection she has is….The Guardian. Can she trust in Kellen when her life is on the line?

Is the Light strong enough to defeat the Darkness, even if it seeks your soul?

 

Reviews:
What an amazing book! Following Rhiannon throughout the story was fun, exhilarating, and there was a twist at every chapter. The writing was detailed, vivid, and well-written.” – H. Reuter, Amazon

 

The Guardian draws you in very quickly, it almost gives you that laser focus as you drone in to each character. For me Nikki is a really intense author who is full of “The WOW Factor.” She leaves you on the edge of your seat drooling for more.” – Willcape, Amazon

 

Plenty of twists and turns to keep you engaged throughout the entire book. Get to the end and she leaves you STARVING for more!!! Extremely well written, I highly recommend this read!” – Amazon Customer

 

You can follow Nikki on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, and sign up for her newsletter (and get a free copy of her book!).

Enjoy!

Melissa

 

Find my books on Amazon:

Sylvie Writes a Romance

Wandering

Leave a review on Amazon and I’ll love you forever!

Sylvie Writes a Romance on Smashwords – for Nook, Kobo, etc

Recent articles:

From Travel to Romcon and Beyond

BookDaily.com

Travel Writing on JenniferSAlderson.com

Recent reviews:

Indie Reader Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

Kirkus Indie Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

Follow me on Facebook

Sylvie Writes a Romance is on Smashwords – get your 50% off coupon!

Aloha readers!

If you’re unfamiliar with Smashwords, it is a wonderful online book store for both readers and writers. Thousands of books are available in every electronic format available – iPad, iPhone, iPod, Nook, Kindle, Kindle Fire, Kobo, or even simple PDF downloads for reading on your computer.

As an author, Smashwords is an uncomplicated site to sell your books – download a Word document formatted properly, and voila, your book is now for sale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and many more retailers, plus added to library catalogs. The only catch is getting the format down correctly; but if you’re not computer savvy they even provide a list of people who will format your book for a reasonable price.

To celebrate my new foray into “the world beyond Amazon,” I am offering a 50% off coupon for purchase of Sylvie at the Smashwords site. You are free to email this coupon to anyone you think might enjoy Sylvie Writes a Romance! Spread the Love!

Coupon Code VT59Y – expires on 6/12/17 – use it for a Sylvie ebook.

Enjoy!

Melissa

 

Find my books on Amazon:

Sylvie Writes a Romance

Wandering

Leave a review on Amazon and I’ll love you forever!

Sylvie Writes a Romance on Smashwords – for Nook, Kobo, etc

Recent articles:

From Travel to Romcon and Beyond

BookDaily.com

Travel Writing on JenniferSAlderson.com

Recent reviews:

Indie Reader Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

Kirkus Indie Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

Follow me on Facebook

Introducing author Lynn Donovan

Aloha readers!

Today’s post is by special guest Lynn Donovan. Although I called it “Introducing Lynn Donovan,” she has written several books (way more than me!) and has many more on the way…

 

Lynn Donovan spends her days chasing after her muses, trying to get them to settle down and behave long enough to write down their words and actions. The results are numerous novels, anthologies, and short stories.

Lynn enjoys reading and writing all kinds of fiction, paranormal, speculative, contemporary romance, and time travel. But you never know what her muses will come up with for a story, so you could see a novel under any given genre. All that can be said is keep your eyes open, cause these muses are not sitting still for long!

Oops, there they go again…

You can learn more about Lynn on her blog, follow her on Twitter @MLynnDonovan, her Face Book Author page at LynnDonovanFGG and her website http://lynndonovanauthor.com.

 

Lynn’s new series is called the Java Cupid Romance Series. She has written 3 books already, with the first, Java Break, set to release on May 17, 2017; you can preorder it on Amazon.

Here’s the series synopsis:

At the Java Cupid Coffee Shop love is on the menu and the cup. Customers come to get great coffee and some find a mysterious heat-sensitive message written on their cup. These messages lead them to their True Love and their Happy Ever After. No one knows who the Java Cupid is, but when his arrows fly two things are certain: The Java Cupid always hits the target and Java Cupid is never wrong.
Sounds great, right?? I need to visit that coffee shop!
Book 1 synopsis:

 

Wendy Ashton and Dillon Cayne were both inspired by broken bones of their own. She to become an orthopedic nurse, he an engineer, designing more efficient and effective equipment for those recovering from orthopedic incidents. Their two paths so closely aligned, yet never intersecting.

Until a mysterious message appears in heat sensitive ink on Wendy’s coffee cup. A message of love that makes her take notice of the handsome barista who must have written it. Brought together by the message, their lives begin to merge. Could this be true love?

Together they learn that his dad is dating her mom and Dillon worries about the stigma of dating his possible step-sister. Add a crazy ex-girlfriend who won’t take no for an answer and a misunderstood phone call, the trust issues become almost too much to bear.

What will it take to bring these two together? Can the Java Cupid show them their Happy Ever After? Or was it all a mistake? Will broken bones turn into broken hearts? Answers can only be found with a Java Break.

 

Other Publications by Lynn Donovan:

The Wishing Well Curse (Spirit of Destiny, Book 1)

Thorns of Betrayal (Spirit of Destiny, Book 2)

Secret Voices (Spirit of Destiny, Book 3)

Rocking Horse Shadows

Christmas Grace, Signing Seeds

Merry’s Christmas Eve

Fertility Pirates (The Abraham Project, Book 1)

Cloned Chaos (The Abraham Project, Book 2)

Java Cupid Series

Phantom Horse Series (Coming September 2017)

For more information about Lynn and her books, please visit her author page!

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this guest blog, and perhaps found a new book to read! I look forward to sharing more of my new author friends with you in future posts.

Melissa

Find my books on Amazon:

Sylvie Writes a Romance

Wandering

Leave a review on Amazon and I’ll love you forever!

Sylvie Writes a Romance on Smashwords – for Nook, Kobo, etc

Recent articles:

From Travel to Romcon and Beyond

BookDaily.com

Travel Writing on JenniferSAlderson.com

Recent reviews:

Indie Reader Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

Kirkus Indie Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

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Melissa Burovac

From travel to romcom and beyond – an evolution of my writing

In 2012, I embarked on a solo RTW trip that lasted nine months. I had never traveled solo before, and have a healthy dose of social anxiety plus a great fear of getting lost with my poor sense of direction, so this was an enormous undertaking for me. I had help getting prepared from traveler friends, creating lists of places to visit and gear I might need along the way. I put my furniture in storage, not knowing what to expect for how long I would be gone, sold my beloved Jeep Cherokee, and bought a one-way ticket to Mexico. I got a ride to the airport in Lihue, Kauai, carrying only a backpack containing clothes, a point and shoot camera, a 13” Mac laptop, and a water filter. A couple months after my 40th birthday, I was as ready as I would ever be.

During my travels I visited nine countries: Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Cuba, Australia, Cambodia, and Thailand. I encountered natural disasters in most of the countries — two hurricanes, a volcano eruption, an earthquake and a wildfire. As I blogged, my friends joked they knew where I was by where the natural disasters were occurring. “Something exploded? Let’s see where Melissa is!”

Blogging as I traveled was mainly to let my mother know I was still alive. I had childhood dreams of being a writer, but those got lost in the flurry of making a living after college and were completely forgotten. When I returned to Kauai after my trip I didn’t expect such a reaction to my blog; people were amazed I traveled for nine months, mostly solo, and that I didn’t die in the drug wars of Mexico, or some other place they only knew from news reports. Or even that as a woman, I was able to make my way through the world without trouble — some trouble, but not much. The women who followed me online were especially impressed and wanted to know how I did it all by myself. As I heard, more and more, “You should write a book,” I recalled those forgotten dreams of becoming an author and decided to give it a try.

Wandering was born from my blog posts, mostly written in bars and cafes around the world— a little bit drunk, a little bit lost, and toward the end, a whole lot homesick from being alone. This first book of mine was self-published in June 2014.

It wasn’t as easy as it sounds, though. I was working full-time as a bookkeeper, writing full-time after work — mostly from the back of my truck at the beach with a $200 laptop — and I was exhausted. I lost touch with most of my friends, and was a little depressed with the sudden lack of freedom.

Finally, though, Wandering was finished, published, and it was the most exciting thing in my life to see a book I had written in print. I immediately had dreams of writing more books, but didn’t see enough income to allow me to quit my regular job. I sent copies to every major outlet and publisher I could find online but no one picked up the book. While visiting my sister in Portland I took copies to Powell’s and sold them as used just so I could go back a week later and see my book on the shelf at a bookstore.

So what comes next? I wanted to be a full-time writer but it wasn’t working out exactly as it had in my daydreams. I didn’t have another book planned, and couldn’t begin to imagine what to do with myself.

One afternoon I was flipping through articles about writing on the internet and came across one about romance writers. The three women depicted in the article were raking in huge monthly incomes from churning out romance e-books, and I thought to myself, How hard could it be to write a romance novel?

I was sitting at a bar in Portland, drinking Bloody Marys and turning my imagination to writing a quick, sexy romance novel to generate some income — and I failed miserably. This is actually the only non-fiction scene in my second book Sylvie Writes a Romance.

I love to read classic fiction, sci-fi, horror, biographies — really, anything but romance novels. In my snobby view of the writing world I didn’t consider romance novels as literature, but just a means to pass the time, and not even as “real writing.” I was completely confused when I couldn’t write anything in that genre that was remotely good. It opened my eyes to how much work any type of writing entails.

I came back home to Kauai and bought a couple used romance novels at a thrift store, and sat down to read them. The books weren’t grammatically complicated, and didn’t contain any lofty ideas, and I sat down to write again, never actually finishing either of them. I just wanted to write something for a mass market so I could concentrate on writing something more profound.

I failed again and again, never writing anything I was happy with. But these failures evolved into a new project about a writer trying to write a romance novel and failing, turning to online dating to meet men and hoping to learn the meaning of romance. It’s more comedy than romance, which suits my style much better.

Sylvie Writes a Romance was born, and published in 2016.

Since Sylvie was written, I have been working on a sequel, plus trying my hand at writing a biography. I hope to have both published this year, and still have my sights set on a full-time career in writing.

 

 

Find my books on Amazon:

Sylvie Writes a Romance

Wandering

Leave a review on Amazon and I’ll love you forever!

Sylvie Writes a Romance on Smashwords – for Nook, Kobo, etc

Recent articles:

BookDaily.com

Travel Writing on JenniferSAlderson.com

Recent reviews:

Indie Reader Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

Kirkus Indie Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

 

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Suzanne Kelman’s “The Rejected Writers’ Book Club”

Aloha all!

I’d like to introduce you to fellow author Suzanne Kelman! Here she is, in her own words:

If you are visiting me for the first time, (cough, cough, of course you are), let me introduce myself, my name is Suzanne Kelman and I write, what I loving refer to as, “a lot of old nonsense” that people buy.  I have been writing humor (or ‘trying to’ if you believe my one-star reviews) for about 7 years now, and I have had my ups and downs, as writing humor can be a very serious business!

 

Her book The Rejected Writers’ Book Club has almost 400 reviews on Amazon – 5.0 out of 5 stars A laugh out loud, crazy comedy of errors with unbelievably hysterical characters you just can’t put down!”

The Rejected Writers’ Book Club is about a quirky group of gals that get together once a month to celebrate their rejection from publishers in style. With tea and cake and collecting them in a large book. Things are going dandy until an expected event puts the group in peril and they have to go off on a crazy, madcap cross-country adventure to save the club.

 

 

I hope you are inspired to check out this great book!

See Suzanne’s full blog post for more information about her, her books, and her podcast!

 

 

Melissa’s Links:

Sylvie Writes a Romance

Wandering

Leave a review on Amazon and I’ll love you forever!

Sylvie Writes a Romance on Smashwords – for Nook, Kobo, etc

Recent articles:

BookDaily.com

Travel Writing on JenniferSAlderson.com

Recent reviews:

Indie Reader Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

Kirkus Indie Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

Photography:

Kauai Adventure Photo

Wandering

Wandering Kindle sale – April 8 – 15, 2017

Aloha!

Because of Jennifer S Alderson‘s new group Travel by Book, I’ve arranged for a special sale of Wandering. Beginning on April 8, 2017 you can buy the Kindle version for only 99 cents! During the week, the price will slowly creep back up to the regular Kindle price of $4.99, so get it in the first couple of days for the best deal. Please share this post with anyone who might enjoy a fun travel/adventure book, and sign up for my blog for sales, short stories, and a first look at my new adventure book coming out later this year.

Wandering is the true story of my first RTW trip…

 

Traveling solo as a woman certainly has its ups and downs, but Melissa Burovac will be the first to tell you to embrace the adventure as you encounter it.

Facing her 40th birthday as a single woman in a job she was tired of, Burovac decided to do something. Always keen for adventure, she chose to buy a one-way ticket to Mexico—and quit her job, sell her beloved Jeep, and store all her belongings.

Though she’d gone on trips abroad before, Burovac didn’t feel like she’d ever earned the title of “traveler.” But that was about to change.

Wandering relates the adventures, and misadventures (she encounters so many major weather events that her friends start predicting where the next disaster will strike based on her next destination), of her nine months traveling through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Cuba, Australia, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Her stories will crack you up—and they will inspire you. As someone with no sense of direction, no ability to plan, and plenty of social anxiety, her experiences prove that anyone who wants to travel can!

 

Happy reading!

Melissa

 

Check out my books on Amazon:

Sylvie Writes a Romance

Wandering

Leave a review on Amazon and I’ll love you forever!

Recent articles:

BookDaily.com

Travel Writing on JenniferSAlderson.com

Recent reviews:

Indie Reader Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

Kirkus Indie Review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

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Indie Reader review for Sylvie Writes a Romance

Aloha!

I entered Sylvie into a contest, and got a review as well. Click to see the Indie Reader online version.

 

Relax into a breezy beach read with SYLVIE WRITES A ROMANCE

 

Verdict: It’s hard to feel anything but happy after finishing SYLVIE WRITES A ROMANCE. It is a humorous story that is ultimately hopeful about our ability to connect to others and rescue ourselves from ruts along the way.

Sylvie Jacobsen is a 43-year-old accountant looking to fund her travel-writing passion by penning a cheesy romance novel. Her money-making scheme proves more difficult than she thought as she dives into the strange waters of online dating to conduct research. But is it only fictional love she’s looking to explore?

SYLVIE WRITES A ROMANCE has the quality of sunlight on the tropical blue water that surrounds its island setting. It’s pleasing to look at, but you can’t help but wonder what lies beneath the waves. The novel has a fun premise and Sylvie is a charmingly self-deprecating narrator. It’s fun to join her as she stumbles through the absurd rituals of female grooming and online-dating: applying face-masks, practicing walking in high heels, writing a how-to-flirt cheat sheet on her wrist for a date.

Author Melissa Burovac’s sense of humor sustains the narrative. The back-and-forth between Sylvie and her friend and dating-guide, Colleen, is believably witty and friendly.  (“No one’s gonna smell you through a picture,” Colleen says when Sylvie asks if she should shower before her dating-profile photo shoot.) Burovac also mines the contrast between Sylvie’s romance-novel fantasies and awkward real-life dates to great comedic effect.

The only thing missing is a greater sense of the inner lives behind the banter. Having a deeper sense of why Sylvie has waited until 43 to learn how to apply eye-liner and why her sub-conscious has picked this particular moment to send her on a quest for love would have made me more invested in her story. Burvoac does mention some past failed relationships, but it seems like a generic explanation rather than a character study that matches the detail afforded to Sylvie’s newly learned grooming routines.

Similarly, it would have been helpful to have know more about Sylvie’s potential suitors. Her dates keep going wrong because of almost slapstick mishaps, which are funny to read about. But romance is ultimately about the building relationship between two unique people. Without much sense of the men in Sylvie’s life as complex individuals, it’s hard to really care which one she ends up with.

SYLVIE WRITES A ROMANCE is set on a Hawaiian island, and one of the pleasures of reading it is to learn how the mundane details of daily life interact with the romance of the setting. “I’ve had sex during a hike at the top of a waterfall, and it was the most unsexy thing I’ve probably ever done in my life,” Sylvie thinks at one point. As with the characters, I only wanted more about both the beauty and realities of the setting.

It’s hard to feel anything but happy after finishing SYLVIE WRITES A ROMANCE. It is a humorous story that is ultimately hopeful about our ability to connect to others and rescue ourselves from ruts along the way. Think back to that tropical water: even if you don’t have a chance to plunge in, you won’t regret watching from the shore.

~Olivia Rosane for IndieReader

 

 

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Sylvie Writes a Romance

Wandering

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A (very) short Valentine’s Day story for you

He is staring into my eyes and running his ragged nails down my stockinged leg, right at the back of my calf; the fabric catches and tears, and I think I feel my skin break. He doesn’t even care. I’m a little bummed, though – I bought these specially for Valentine’s Day, and they were the expensive ones, too. I read somewhere if you look good you’ll feel good, so when I was in Kmart the other day I put down those nylons in the plastic egg that I usually buy and walked one aisle over to the fancy section where they sell the ones in the flat cardboard with the beautiful long-legged woman on the front. The oval hole in the package showed the color and texture and I pulled one of every kind of the black stockings out of the rack before I decided. I finally picked the ones with the line that runs up the back – I’ve never worn those before but I’ve seen ‘em in the celebrity magazines at my doctor’s office – and that’s where his nail got stuck and snagged. I can’t wear them out now. I wanted to look good tonight but I’ll have to go out with bare legs, even though it’s snowing. Maybe I’ll have time to stop at the drugstore – they sell some, but just the cheap ones.

I thought for Valentine’s Day I’d do something special and fix him his favorite dinner, draw him a bubble bath, and pamper him – things I never do – but I guess I should have thought it through a little better. He already had other plans for the night and wanted nothing to do with me. I’m trying real hard not to take it personally, but I put my foot down when he wanted to go out by himself – I just wouldn’t let him out the door. He yelled, but I’m used to that; he yells at me all the time, even when I’m trying my best to do what I think he wants. We don’t communicate very well, and the book I read hasn’t helped at all. As long as he gets his way, he has no interest in changing his behavior; and when he gets angry I always give in. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. I’m afraid of him when he’s angry.

Tonight I stood strong, though, and didn’t let him leave. It’s Valentine’s Day, and dammit, I want to have a romantic dinner. I deserve a romantic dinner. With the fancy-smelling candles I bought at Kmart when I got the stockings. He can see his buddies tomorrow, like every other night of the week. He’s ruined my good stockings and my leg is probably bleeding, but it’ll still be worth it to have a nice night.

I had set out the clothes I wanted him to wear for dinner, but he refused to put them on – he wouldn’t even entertain the idea. I begged and pleaded, then went further than I normally would and resorted to physical confrontation to get my point across. I didn’t want to get hurt again, but thought maybe if I got physical first he’d understand how serious I am, and how much it means to me. It didn’t work, though, and my attempt only gained me a slap across the face; I think my cheek is bleeding now, too, but I haven’t had a chance to look in the mirror.

I reach down and pull his nail out of my stocking, where he just lazily left it snagged when it broke, scowling at me like it’s my fault. The scratch hurts, and along with the humiliation of him not wanting to spend the evening with me in the first place, even though it’s Valentine’s Day, and refusing to get dressed, then sniffing the dinner I prepared and nearly shoving it off the table because he’d rather be somewhere else – maybe with someone else – I can’t help the tears that fall from my eyes. I’ve been thinking about this day for weeks, and the special surprises I planned, but nothing is ever good enough for him.

Right now, at this moment, I really think I hate him. I’ve been angry with him so many times, but I never thought I hated him before. He starts yelling at me again, and I wrench open the front door and push him out; I almost don’t care if I hurt him, but deep down I really do love him so I’m gentle. Even when he’s not gentle with me.

I’m at the end of my rope – I don’t know what to do anymore, and I can’t keep crying every night when he hurts me; people at work are beginning to notice. I’ll have to call the humane society tomorrow – maybe they’ll let me trade him in for a nicer cat. I just can’t live like this.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

If you enjoyed this story, check out my books on Amazon:

Sylvie Writes a Romance

Wandering

Melissa Burovac

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