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

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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

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

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

Photography:

Kauai Adventure Photo

Birthday Week Kindle Book Giveaway

It’s that time again – the annual Wandering on Kindle book giveaway. Get it absolutely free between now and March 28th!

Check it out on Amazon.

Wandering tallies her hilarious as well as poignant experiences as she travels from Mexico through Central America, sneaks into Cuba, and journeys from Australia to Cambodia and Thailand. Read about her misadventures with crocodiles and the times she encounters erupting volcanoes…and two hurricanes…and a wildfire.

Burovac’s stories will make you laugh while reminding you that life is an adventure—and sometimes you just need to pack a bag and get lost.

My first lionfish sting – Bocas del Toro, Panama – Wandering

My first lionfish sting (while searching for seahorses) – an excerpt from Wandering

 

Bocas del Toro, Panama

I was given a spear on the first dive, as I was in almost every dive since Mexico. I loved that I could show up to a dive shop, talk to them for five minutes and be given a spear. The three- prong spear is known the world over as a “Hawaiian sling,” so when I told them I lived in Hawaii, they automatically assumed I knew what I was doing. Plus, carrying a spear made me feel like a badass compared to the other tourists, so I never passed up the opportunity.

Lionfish are out of control throughout the Caribbean, so there is no limit to the amount you can kill, or any restrictions on the way you do it.

I always have a bit of trouble killing with my first shot; I always hit them in the gut and they just hobble away, and I have to chase them down and shoot again. In Belize and Honduras, giant groupers smelled the meat and waited for me to release my lionfish, and dead or not, they would suck them down in a single gulp. But there was nothing to eat them in Bocas; they were the biggest fish I saw. I killed four on my first dive, and with nothing to eat them half-alive, I had to scrape them from my spear with a rock or my fin and try again for the kill. I was a bit careless on my last kill and stabbed myself with one of its venomous spikes while I was scraping it off the spear.

I’d heard a lot of stories about lionfish stings, and none were pleasant. The effects range from those of a bad bee sting to hospital time for a full-on allergic reaction. When I felt the spike enter my thumb I thought, “Oh, great, maybe I’ll have cardiac arrest at 50 feet; that’ll be a new experience.” It was instant, throbbing pain. I swam up to my dive master and used hand signals to try to tell him that I stabbed myself with a poisonous fish but I wasn’t dying yet, so no worries. I think he understood.

By the time I finished the first dive, my thumb was almost twice its normal size, bright red, and massively painful. But since we hadn’t yet found any seahorses, I refused to be taken back and we went on to our next dive site.

By the end of the second dive, my thumb was almost back to normal, but I still planned on drinking plenty of rum afterward to bully any remaining toxins out of my liver. It helped that a fairly unattractive man was diving in a Speedo in front of me; I was so grossed out every time I looked up that I forgot about the pain.

 

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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My RTW – as told by alcohol

I spent some time on my adventure in bars, as you know if you read the book.  Or know me.  Bars are a great place to meet fellow travelers, most people on the road will go at some point to see who is in town.  And while in there, a drink or two really helped with the anxiety of meeting new people day after day, and explaining who I was and where I was from…over and over and over.

Sometimes I had a drink or two in my room before going out when I was nervous; again, anxiety of getting lost or running into unfriendly people, and wanting badly to have the courage to talk to everyone I saw.  I always found it easier to wander into unknown territory after a beer.

Early on I was mostly excited about the tequila and took pictures of all the different types and the amazing Mexican prices to send home to a friend.  Later, though, I made an effort to try every local beer I found, and took a picture of each.  I’m sure I missed many, but I think I did a pretty thorough job for an amateur.

The video link below is the photographic, alcoholic journey.

The YouTube Video of my RTW, as seen through beer goggles.