What readers and authors are saying:

Brave Crossing is a personal story beautifully told. Maria Alvarez Stroud gives us a true and heartfelt picture of a young man of privilege coming to terms with the reality of being an immigrant and person of color in 20th-century America. Ms. Stroud writes with passion, and you may get angry with Ricardo. You'll definitely want to write him a letter. You’ll want to tell him to get serious, straighten up, be honest, work harder, but you’ll also want to hug him, help him, console him, and cheer him on.

Eileen Schein

New York City


While most migrant stories are of men running from a life of poverty and a hopeless future, the hero in Brave Crossing, Ricardo Alvarez was none of these.  He was a young Filipino belonging to an upper-class family in the province of Laguna, Philippines. That he decides to leave the comforts of a privileged life and go to America, albeit as a first-class passenger on the ship Tanyu Maru, is an unusual story. The book covers several decades from 1912-1972. Maria Alvarez Stroud writes with a passion for details and an authenticity to historical events that cannot be questioned. Read the book and learn a bit of Philippine history and culture through the letters of Ricardo to his family. Discover the mixed bag of kindnesses, great opportunities, as well as ugly racism Ricardo encountered in his early days in America. Brave Crossing is a story of victory over mindless discrimination, great pride in a dream fulfilled, and the triumph of enculturation. If we have the story of Everyman, then this graced narrative is the story of Every Migrant.

Merle O. Basco

Author, Philippines

Through letters, notes, journaling, and telegrams, Brave Crossing is a deeply personal look into the desire, the doubt, and the decision of one man to leave everyone and everything dear behind and embrace the unknown in search of the promise of America—a promise both earned and kept. 

Rodney Nelsestuen,

MFA, Author, Book Critic



HAZEL’S NOVEL (working title). —A sequel to BRAVE CROSSING.

Hazel knew she needed more than staying at the farm she grew up at, with her disapproving mother and half-present father, especially after the loss of her first love.  She turned 18 and moved to the City to become a nurse and met Ricardo, a foreigner, a young doctor who opened up her to a world of excitement and great confusion. Even though he was dark and she was fair, he was Catholic and she was Lutheran, they saw in each other something they both needed, regardless of the consequences. 

Meet Maria

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Throughout her varied career, Maria has made a name for herself in three sectors: public, private and non-profit. In each position she held she wrote, often using story telling to help bring about change and share new perspectives. Now as a writer she hopes to do the same. When she’s not writing or reading, you’ll find her traveling or spending time outdoors, taking a hike, biking or riding a horse.

Maria’s passion for historical fiction began in college, and has stuck ever since. Having devoured historical novel after novel, she felt the pull to write and decided her father’s unknown journey was the place to start. As she now embraces her passion she hopes to to not only tell stories that help us understand and feel the obstacles of different times, but to truly share unique 

voices that are often 



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A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, a Pulitzer Prize winner braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history.

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Tel: 608-770-3179   Maria.alvarez.stroud@gmail.com

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