American Tango

(Melograno Press, 2016)


A novel about men and women, love and loss, regaining passion and, of course, the tango.  


Perceptive, bittersweet, and sometimes darkly funny.   Publishers Weekly


Rosalind Plumley needs something. 

She's a thirtysomething artist in Portland, Oregon whose output has dwindled to decorative paintings of hummingbirds for the upscale children's boutique where she works.  She’s married to a depressed, blocked writer more interested in smoking pot than writing his screenplay while her eccentric family (the daughters are all named after Shakespearean heroines) threaten what little sanity she has left.  


A tango class leads her on unexpected journey as she discovers the surprising path of her own desires and a new understanding of her family's complicated history.

Signed copies available from Broadway Books (Portland, OR).

Cover design by Allison Halstead Reid.

Print and ebook editions available from

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks

The Brontë Project
Tenth Anniversary Edition

(Melograno Press, 2015)

An irreverent and comic look at love, literature, and pop culture, and a guide to reconciling the mythology of romance with the reality of modern love.


Clever .... A zippy romp in which Vandever skillfully parodies academia and Hollywood .... Witty and artful.

New York Times Book Review


Young scholar Sara Frost's unsuccessful search for the lost love letters of Charlotte Brontë hasn't won her any favor at her university, particularly now that the glamorous and self-promoting Princess Diana expert, Claire Vigee, has introduced her media-savvy exploits to the staid halls of academia.  But it's not until Sara's fiancé suddenly leaves that she begins to question her life’s vocation and is forced to reconcile the mythology of romance with the reality of modern love. 


Sara's jolt brings her to an unusual new world, one populated by a cheerfully amoral Frenchman Denis, a pair of New York eccentrics who pretend to live in the 19th century, a lapsed methadone-addict and screenwriter, and a Hollywood producer who mistakenly assumes that the short, sad life of Charlotte Brontë has the makings of the next "feel good" movie blockbuster. 


Along the way, Sara discovers that the life and writings of Charlotte Brontë may have taught her more than she ever guessed about the virtues of being a romantic with the heart of a pragmatist.


Originally published in 2005 by Random House (US) and Simon & Schuster (UK) the book is now available in a new edition from Melograno Press.


Published in Spanish, Italian, Polish and UK editions.





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