Like her ancestors, Samantha yearns to find a place she can call home. Raised on the enticing glimpses of a dark and magical land conjured up by her Mexican mother's bedtime stories - a land oozing Latin rhythms, full of passion and fire, from bullfights to family feuds and bloody revolutions, roasted iguana and beans, to sugar skeletons - what begins as a visit to her enigmatic grandmother becomes a quest to find out what it means to be Mexican.
But as she learns to embrace Mexico verdadero - the real Mexico - she discovers a people who give a new meaning to larger than life, the fabulous strong women who rule the roost, the colourful macho men who think they do, and the invincible bonds between family, food, and the spirit world.
Always an outside, this nomad at last feels she has come home.
Samantha Wood is the author of the memoir, Culua: My Other Life in Mexico, which was published in 2003. The Bay of Shadows, her first novel, was published in December 2016 and was inspired by the beach town where she grew up. Her follow-up novel, Under Ten Thousand Stars, a love story set in wine country, was released in May 2019.
Initially trained as a journalist, she began her writing career with a travel piece for the Qantas In-Flight magazine. From then on, she travelled extensively between Mexico and Australia before writing the memoir, Culua: My Other Life in Mexico, a love letter to her mother's country. She went on to write The Bay of Shadows, a novel about the unconventional bonds of love, and Under Ten Thousand Stars, another tale of love against the odds. She is currently writing her third novel, The Song of Clouds, set on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. She lives in a coastal town outside of Melbourne, Australia.
In a rambling house in a small Australian beach town, Elena Jameson is recovering from her recent divorce. To her delight, she is given the opportunity to foster a little boy, Daniel, whose mother is dead and whose violent father is in rehab. As Elena and Daniel explore the beautiful bay and wild bushland, they form a profound bond that will change their lives forever.
Then Daniel’s father discovers his whereabouts and begins a campaign of terror – not to get his son back, but to prevent Elena giving Daniel a new life.
As the violence escalates, Elena finds that she’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect Daniel from the brutality of his past and an uncertain future. Sometimes the only way to get what you want is to pay the price in blood.
A gothic tale of love and loss, bravery and hope.