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In a novel as warm and embracing as a family kitchen, Barbara O’Neal explores the poignant, sometimes complex relationships between mothers and daughters—and the healing magic of homemade bread. Professional baker Ramona Gallagher is a master of an art that has sustained her through the most turbulent times, including a baby at fifteen and an endless family feud. But now Ramona’s bakery threatens to crumble around her. Literally. She’s one water-heater disaster away from losing her grandmother’s rambling Victorian and everything she’s worked so hard to build. When Ramona’s soldier son-in-law is wounded in Afghanistan, her daughter, Sophia, races overseas to be at his side, leaving Ramona as the only suitable guardian for Sophia’s thirteen-year-old stepdaughter, Katie. Heartbroken, Katie feels that she’s being dumped again—this time on the doorstep of a woman out of practice with mothering. Ramona relies upon a special set of tools—patience, persistence, and the reliability of a good recipe—when rebellious Katie arrives. And as she relives her own history of difficult choices, Ramona shares her love of baking with the troubled girl. Slowly, Katie begins to find self-acceptance and a place to call home. And when a man from her past returns to offer a second chance at love, Ramona discovers that even the best recipe tastes better when you add time, care, and a few secret ingredients of your own. BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Barbara O'Neal's The All You Can Dream Buffet.
Description in a novel can be as dry as bone dust or read like a laundry list. But done right, description can draw the reader deeper into a character’s point of view and deeper into the story. Using description to achieve deep point of view is one of the most powerful tools in an author’s toolbox. Learn how to use description to achieve deep point of view and to create stories and characters readers will remember long after the last page is turned.
Offering a fresh perspective on women's fiction for a broad reading audience—fans as well as librarians—this book defines and maps the genre, and describes hundreds of relevant titles.
As a pregnant teenager, Avery Pritchett found refuge in Colorado, but now, ten years later, her brother's wedding-and some burning questions-bring her back home to her small Southern town. But will introducing her mixed- race daughter to her independent-minded grandmother bring solace or sorrow? Will confronting her class-conscious mother allow for new beginnings or confirm old resentments? And how can she ask forgiveness of her youthful lover who has been denied his child all these years? As the summer progresses, Avery's return provokes shocking discoveries-of choices made, and secrets kept-and of deceptions that lie closer than she suspects.
Lady Lucks Map of Vegas (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.
The Goddesses of Kitchen Ave (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.
The Scent of Hours (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.

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