(Originally published as Barbara Samuel)
RITA AWARD winner
A successful Web designer, forty-year-old India has a fabulously hip life in Denver and a sexy Irish lover in New York who jets out to see her on bi-weekly visits. The long-distance romance suits India just fine: Though Jack is the only man who has ever made India feel truly alive, she doesn't want things to get too serious. But then her father passes away, and India must honor the promise she made to him: to look after her mother when he's gone.
Suddenly India finds herself back in Colorado Springs with the woman who both intrigues and infuriates her. Eldora is sixty something and exquisitely gorgeous, but her larger-than-life personality can suck the air out of a room. True to form, Eldora throws India a curveball, insisting that they hit the road to look for India's twin, Gypsy, a brilliant artist who lives a vagabond's existence in the remote mountain towns of New Mexico. It looks like India can't avoid her mother's intensity any longer, especially after she discovers stunning secrets from Eldora's past.
Thirty years ago, Eldora regaled her twin girls with glamorous stories about her days as a Las Vegas showgirl_ stories of martinis and music at the Sahara, back when Frank and Sammy ruled the town. But the story of how she really ended up in Sin City, and the unsavory life she'd run from with her daughters in tow, is full of details she's never seen fit to share_until now.
As mother and daughter sail down Route 66, the very road Eldora drove those many years ago, looking for Gypsy, while passing motels, diners, and souvenir shops, Eldora must relive a lifetime of memories that have tormented her before she can put them to rest once and for all. . . .
Award-winning author Barbara Samuel brings us a heartfelt story of second chances and unexpected detours. As two women come to terms with themselves and each other, the past unravels and the future spreads out before them like the open road.
Barbara O'Neal is the author of eleven novels of womenês fiction, which have been published in more than 15 countries around the world. She sold her first novel in her twenties, and has since won many awards, including two Colorado Book Awards and seven prestigious RITAs, including one for THE LOST RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS in 2010 and HOW TO BAKE A PERFECT LIFE in 2012, which was also a Target Book Club pick. Barbara loves peaches, good olive oil, a perfect white wine, and all big dogs. She travels internationally, presenting workshops, hiking hundreds of miles, and of course, eating. She lives with her partner, a British endurance athlete, and their collection of cats and dogs, in Colorado Springs.
See all her books and more at BarbaraOneal.com
(Originally published by Barbara Samuel)
Trudy Marino never expected her life to turn out perfectly. But at forty-six, she was content with what she did have: her caring husband Rick . . . twenty-plus happy years raising three accomplished kids . . . and a lovely house in the artistic, vibrantly diverse town of Pueblo, New Mexico. But a heartbreaking discovery and a suddenly shattered marriage now has Trudy looking back on the choices she didn't make --and where she might go from here.
Struggling to pick up the pieces, Trudy finds support from a quirky, eclectic group of friends and neighbors --her goddesses of Kitchen Avenue --all of whom are trying in their own unique ways to navigate life's little surprises. There's Jade, a fiery social worker who's finding unexpected strength to deal with her "player" ex-husband, thanks to a most unorthodox passion; Jade's grandmother, Roberta, who has just lost her husband of sixty-two years --and through memory and piercing grief wonders what to do with the rest of her life; Shannelle, Trudy's young neighbor and an aspiring writer, determined to realize her talent despite formidable obstacles . . . including the husband who's afraid her success will be his loss; and Angel, a young, quietly-knowing photographer who makes Trudy uncover a sensuality she never knew --even as he tries to get over the one love he can never really forget.
As Trudy faces her future, she discovers that figuring out what to let go and what to keep is just as difficult as moving on. As she weighs what she and Rick still share against new possibilities, she'll surprise everyone -- including herself --as she tries to reconcile the best of both.
From an acclaimed voice in fiction, this is a wry, beguiling, heartfelt, and warmly wise novel about second chances, unexpected choices, and the dreams that we all hunger to fulfill.
As a single mother, Maddy Walkers life has been anything but easy, yet despite her pain and loss, she has committed her life to loving and serving others. Throughout the story, Maddys faith is stretched as God teaches her how to love, enabling her to touch the lives of many people in her community. When Maddy discovers that she is facing some serious health issues, she is tempted to withdraw, uncertain she has anything left to give. Her only prayer is to live long enough to see her daughter married and to know that Dani will be taken care of. But God is not finished with Maddy.
When Isobelle Davis moves to town, God prompts Maddy to befriend her. Thrown into the midst of unwelcome change, Isobelle is struggling with feelings of anger and discontentment. Yet God uses what Isobelle views as a negative circumstance to provide an answer to Maddys prayer. In the process, Isobelles attitude is transformed and she gains new perspective as she is able to see how Gods hand was orchestrating it all.
(Originally published as Madame Mirabou's School of Love, by Barbara Samuel)
Sometimes real passion means living the life you've always wanted.
Nicole Bridges still can't believe she's taken up residence in a Colorado apartment complex nicknamed "Splitsville." She's still reeling from her husband's affair, a divorce she never saw coming, and having to leave the upscale, comfortable world she helped make for her ex and their teenage daughter. With little money, even less work experience, and no idea what to do next, she takes tentative steps_if only to keep her head above water.
Along the way, Nikki unexpectedly finds herself falling in with eccentric new neighbors_and being seduced out of her funk by a charming, elusive ex-Londoner. And through her delight in the sensual elements of perfume, she will discover the courage to form bonds she never imagined. When a discarded flyer printed with the name "Madame Mirabou" provides the spark of inspiration, Nikki dares to blend the fragments of her life into a fragrance that's uniquely and passionately her own.
I'll do whatever I have to do. Drop to my knees and offer her the only thing I have left. The one thing that’s only ever been hers—the heart of the devil.
Heart of the Devil is the third book in the Forge Trilogy and should be read after Deal with the Devil (book 1) and Luck of the Devil (book 2). All three books in the Forge Trilogy are available to devour now!
(Originally published as Barbara Samuel)
RITA AWARD winner
Sometimes a wrong turn is the only way home. . . .
No Place Like Home tells the unforgettable story of a family bound together by tradition_and the emotional journey of an estranged daughter risking everything for a second chance at life and love.
Twenty-one years ago Jewel Sabatino left her childhood behind and never looked back. After a magical taste of fame, she found herself alone with a son to raise and not much else. She survived with the help of Michael, her one true friend. But now Michael is too sick to care for himself, and Jewel has run out of options. She leaves New York for the hills of Colorado, unsure if the family she ran from will welcome her back.
For Jewel, coming home is falling back into a world that smells of Italian restaurants and home-baked pies. It is the laughter of sisters preparing for a summer wedding, and the peaceful haven for a treasured soul mate's last days. It also means facing the unforgiving eyes of a father betrayed by his favorite child_and letting go of a son who is ready to become a man. But most of all, it is the love she discovers in her own wary heart when Michael's brother Malachi unexpectedly arrives on her doorstep.
Told with breathtaking insight and deep emotion, No Place Like Home is a joyful feast for all the senses, a vibrant bounty of love, and a tender life lesson to be savored long after the last page is turned.