What if you woke up one day only to find out that everything has changed forever?
Elena knows what she wants from life, she has her whole world charted out and is engaged to be married to Alex, but when she takes a trip across the Atlantic Ocean to the beautiful southern charm of Saint Simons Island, Georgia, her whole world is rocked and rolled when she meets handsome Chris. No one told her she may have to make a choice, but now, faced with the inevitable reality, she realizes that her final destination is not nearly as important as her endless Journey to the Ocean.
Praise for Lena Mikado
WRITER’S PERSONAL STORY STRANGER THAN FICTION
“ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — As a girl growing up in Voronezh, Russia, Lena Mikado loved the Southern classic novel, “Gone with the Wind.” Of course, she was reading it in her native language – Russian…”
“Amidst the humor, very poignant and philosophical moments.” – My Sweet Delirium
“You will laugh like you did with Bridget Jones, you will cry like you did with Eat, Pray, Love. It will stay in your heart forever.” – Bookworm and Coffee
Targeted Age Group:: 18-100
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My novels tell a real story. It’s my story… my own unique story. It is funny how it often seems to us that our story does not matter. In the modern world of selfies and the fervent societal cry for attention, it is so easy to feel like you don’t matter. But we do. Every single one of us matters. I learned that a life that seems uninteresting and not very exciting on the surface, comes out magical and full of meaning when typed out, then put on paper, glistening with all the colors of the rainbow.
My first novel, titled My Journey to the Ocean, takes the reader on my trip across the ocean, from a Russian town where I grew up and where I was engaged to be married, to a quaint island in Southeast Georgia, USA (St. Simons Island). When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of truly romantic Big Love, and my favorite book of all was Gone with the Wind. Needless to say, I was very surprised when I found myself in my beloved Georgia that I had read so much about during my youthful days in Russia, and I was even more surprised to find out what my life had in store for me with a British-born Rhett Butler who grew up on the local island beaches and worked at the resort where I spent that eventful summer in America.
When I was writing this book, I imagined talking to my first son, whose name is Liam Ocean, as if he was already grown. I wanted him to know how his mother and father met. I wanted him to know that we were not just mom and dad – we were Chris and Elena—wild, daring and madly in love. Hence the name, My Journey to the Ocean.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
All the characters came from real life :). All the names were changed – except the ones of the protagonists – but the characters are still real.
The wide-open beach was a wet carpet of white sand under our feet, and the ocean was rolling infinitely with dark and playful waves. The water was almost invisible, the great unknown, but it was definitely and unavoidably there. We could taste the crystals of sea salt on our lips, we could feel the light breeze brushing co-quettishly on our cheeks, and we could hear the serenade of the tide resonate somewhere deep in our rib cages. Sometimes you can’t see love – perhaps, because sometimes you refuse to see it – but it doesn’t make its presence less there. All your senses are in-volved and no matter how hard you may try to shake the feeling off, it perseveres, it survives, and, most importantly, it stubbornly stays with you forever.
“Look, a lounge chair. Let’s have a seat.” Chris stretched his lean body out on the chair, his head kicked back on the reclined seat, the night breeze playing with his hair.
“Wow, you are a real gentleman,” I raised my eyebrows sar-castically and propped my fists against my hips.
“Easy, mama,” Chris smiled. “There’s plenty of space for both of us.”
I stood there for a few seconds with apprehension. If I sat down in that lounge chair, with my back against his chest, his arms wrapped around my waist, and stared at the ocean in front of us, it would quite possibly be the most romantic fucking moment in my entire life. I read about it in books, I cried over the scenes like that in my favorite movies, I dreamed about it in my glittery, fluffy, pink, girly dreams. I could die for it. I could get one of my hands chopped off for it. But the guy wasn’t my fiancé. A tiny little prob-lem.
“Elena. It’s just a lounge chair,” Chris laughed and looked at me with those dirty, dirty eyes. God. Or whoever is out there. Help.
I decided that I could have a seat – after all, my legs were kill-ing me after a long day in the park and if I sat down on the sand it would be just outright bizarre. So I laid down, my head propped against his chest, closed my eyes, and let the moon rays perform their crazy dance at the tips of my eyelashes. And we just stayed there. Lulled by the tranquil song of the rolling waves, we stayed there infinitely. The time will go by, the seconds and minutes of our lives will speed past us, people around us will change, the world that we have known will transform into something else, but we will always stay there – on that beach in Daytona, that warm and breezy night in July 2004. Because moments like that don’t fade, don’t disappear. They linger in our bones, they dance on the top of the pink clouds at sunset, they melt into books and movies and shape the beautiful stories of love that are passed on from genera-tion to generation. We didn’t know what the future held for us, but then again – we didn’t need to know that. We had that moment and it made all our worries about the future irrelevant. Who needs the future, when you have eternity? I understood that eternal love wasn’t an overly exaggerated, silly metaphor. It simply stood for something that will make the heart of a great-grandmother flutter as if she were still twenty-one. For something that will make an elderly widower taking a stroll with a cane smile boyishly. For something that will make that second when you draw your last breath joyful, meaningful, and not even a tiny little bit sad.
I looked up and he kissed me. There was a bouquet of exotic tastes in that kiss. Passion, impossibility of the future, guilt, happi-ness, desire, first timid seedlings of love, sadness, jealousy – all these heavy feelings covered us at once like a humongous wave that we just had to ride without any extra questions. I just rode the wave.
The surreal beauty of the moment was suddenly scratched by a strangely familiar sound that made both of us perk our ears and withdraw from each other. We looked in each other’s eyes, no blinking, for a few excruciatingly long seconds.
“That sounds like… What is it?” I whispered.
“I don’t know, but it sounds very familiar,” Chris whispered back. “Oh shit!” he screamed as the sprinklers finally came on and sprayed us from head to toes with stinky and shockingly cold wa-ter. “Let’s run!”
He took my hand in his and we ran. We ran across that wet cool sand, bathing in the salty Atlantic breeze, laughing our emo-tions out. Everything that we felt – all that jambalaya of confused feelings – escaped us through that silly laugh. Did it help us tackle our problems? Did it help us with Alex, Farrah, the ocean, and the border control that divided us? No. Not in the very least. But if anything – if anything – boy, we had fun!
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