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I couldn’t put this book down! The story of a Filipino immigrant’s journey to the
The US was compelling and a perspective not often found in the literature. I loved this
book and hope to read more about Ricardo’s life.

This novel surprised me with its well-researched depiction of the time, a century
ago, and its congruence with our current moment. The author doesn't explain the
parallels; she simply describes them through the characters in their beautifully
crafted letters, telegrams, and journaling. The main characters' struggles and
successes are a true hero's journey: timeless, universal, and deeply personal. And so
moving because the author's deft eloquence brings the journey alive as your
own. I suggest you pace yourself because you won't want to put this book down,
but neither will you want it to end.

Thank you, Ms. Alvarez-Stroud, for this brilliantly researched and intimate
account of your father's incredible immigration story!  Just one more journal
entry, ok? as we read the book aloud, anxious to know Ricardo's next challenge
as a young, naive Filipino man seeking a better life in America navigates his
place between two different cultures. Every American will find a deeper
understanding of what our ancestors felt and endured to make a new life in this
country. Emotional, historically enlightening details that left us yearning for more
and hoping for a sequel!.


"And She Too Was Brave” (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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Are you a historical fiction enthusiast?

I’m looking to gather enthusiasts; people who are interested in staying in the loop about the novel, about future novels, about historical fiction you might want to read - especially stories about a vanished past that bears on our immediate present. Novels that help us understand who we are, how we look at the world; they’re my favorite.  


Or maybe you have a question or solely want to chat. I’d love to hear from you. Simply click below to send me a message.  I’ll let you know I received it and I promise I won’t become a nuisance; updates will only be periodic unless you tell me you want more.  You can also sign up to receive a monthly newsletter!


02 Interested in Workshop or Book Event?

I would love to do either and enjoy combining the two. The workshop helps attendees explore their roots by looking at historical events in terms of their impact on a particular ancestor, and then examining how that may influence who they are. I use my novel, "Brave Crossing - A Journey In-Between" as a
springboard for exploration and then use historical novelists’ tools to dive into their chosen relatives' characters and motivations.


Currently Reading


Described as “Terrifying, hopeful, and all too relevant”, I’m only a few pages in, and already get a sense of those words. Only 231 pages long, I’m going to savor it.

All Time Favorites

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Tel: 608-770-3179

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