Storms of Malhado by Maria Elena Sandovici SCRAPBOOK+ GIVEAWAY



Genre: Historical Fiction / Ghosts

Publisher: Independently Published

Date of Publication: March 26, 2020

Number of Pages: 252

Galveston Island, Texas, September 2008 Katie doesn’t believe in ghosts. And she certainly doesn’t believe the rumors that her family’s home is haunted, despite its tragic history: two young women who lived there in different eras died in hurricanesone during Hurricane Carla in 1961, one during the Great Storm of 1900, the greatest natural disaster to befall the United States. But that was the past, a fact Katie reminds herself of when she returns to Galveston to await Hurricane Ike with her parents and boyfriend in her family’s Broadway mansion, hoping to rekindle her flailing relationship. While Katie is not afraid of the ghost stories she’s heard, she is afraid of the monster storm approaching. As even die-hard Islanders evacuate, her fears grow—fear of the looming hurricane, fear that she’s talentless as a painter, fear that her relationship with her boyfriend is already over. As Katie struggles against her fears, the past whispers to her of the women who died there and the haunting similarities they share with Katie’s own life.

Through three different timelines, Storms of Malhado weaves a story of Galveston’s past, underscoring its danger and isolation, as well as its remarkable resilience, and its capacity for both nostalgia and reinvention. Full of contradictions, at once insular and open to the world, Galveston Island is as much a character of the novel as Katie, Suzanne, Betty, their lovers, and their confidantes.


“Taking place entirely on a beautifully moody Galveston Island, Ms. Sandovici weaves three simultaneous stories with ease. With a timeless tale, ethereal language, and complicated characters, readers will be entranced by this modern ghost story. How many times can the past repeat itself? How do we recognize people through generations? The author tackles this topic amid a backdrop of violent nature and intangible dreamscapes."

—Courtney Brandt, author of The Queen of England:

Coronation, Grand Tour, Ascension

“Three women, three great storms, and one house, haunted by forbidden love and frustrated ambition. Get ready to be swept away by Sandovici’s foray into Galveston Island’s tempestuous history in this tale of lives intertwined across time.”

—Donna Dechen Birdwell, author of Not Knowing

Click to Purchase: Amazon


1. Inspired by the 1961 parts of the story, this drawing shows Betty and some of her favorite things—flowers and cigarettes!—as well as her thoughts about Edna and Cornelius.

2. In the 1900 portion of the story, this is the type of bathing dress Suzanne would wear to the beach.

3. Titled “Storm of 1900,” this painting illustrates Suzanne’s recurring nightmare about her lover turning into a fish and showcases a few other elements central to the story, such as Josephine’s rosary.

4. Inspired by the 1900 part of the story, this painting shows Suzanne’s recurring nightmare of her lover turning into a fish.

5. This drawing shows the three women protagonists, who are actually just one, as well as the two horses that survive the 1900 storm.

6. Inspired by the 1961 portion of the story, this drawing shows a hummingbird feasting on Betty’s beloved jasmine, as well as a slice of one of the cakes Edna bakes her, and one of the mysterious rosaries that turn up in the yard.


Maria Elena Sandovici is a full-time writer, artist, and gallery owner living in Houston, Texas. After obtaining a Ph.D. in political science from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 2005, her curiosity led her to Texas, where she taught at Lamar University for fourteen years. She felt attracted to Galveston Island from her first visit and lived there part-time for three years before her artistic career took her to Houston.

Sandovici is a 2008 graduate of John Ross Palmer's Escapist Mentorship Program, a program that teaches artists business skills. She resigned from her tenured academic position in December 2018 and opened her own private gallery space. Her previous works of fiction are Dogs with Bagels, Stray Dogs and Lonely Beaches, Lost Path to Solitude, The Adventures of Miss Vulpe, and Lone Wolf. She is also the author of Stop and Smell the Garbage, a volume of poetry in the voice of her dog, Holly Golightly. You can follow her daily adventures on her blog

Author Links: WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramYoutubePinterestAmazon Author Page GoodReadsBookBub


ONE WINNER receives a signed copy of Storms of Malhado

MAY 21-31, 2020


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