Comment Wall

I love to hear your comments about the books or recipes or anything else. We moved them all to one page because I was losing track of what I’d read and not read. This way I know where you are!

Feel free to scribble a note, post a picture of a book club, whatever you like, and I’ll reply as often as possible.

300 Responses

  1. Khristina says:

    I am drawn to your books for the strong heroines (are shall I say, heroines who discover their strength thru trials). I go back to your books for the wonderful, descriptive and delicious recipes. Making your Potato Leek Soup on this Halloween afternoon.

    Write More!

  2. Tara D. says:

    Hi B.
    Just read Garden of Happy Endings and LOVED it! The characters so rich and detailed. Wished the story would have kept going as I wanted to see how Elsa and Deacon’s relationship would continue to develop. Thank you for the inclusion of such lovely animals as well. I wanted to pet and love each and every one. Look forward to more of your books!

  3. Jackie says:

    On a whim, I ordered The Secret of Everything along with several other books by other authors. I passed over the book a few times before finally reading it. I’m so glad that I finally read it! You’re so descriptive that I found myself holding my breath when the main character remembered going under water! My own legs felt tired from the hike to the river! I felt hungry, sleepy, happy, excited, angry…all of these emotions I could feel along with the main character because of your great writing style. I’m looking forward to reading your other works and have just ordered two more of your books. Thank you!

  4. DIane says:

    I am an avid reader and found your novels by accident. The Lost Recipe for Happiness had me hooked and I immediately found the other 3. Your last four books were so enjoyable. When are you writing a new one? Please keep writing! Such a great escape.

  5. I have savored each and every one of your books. I love the characters, the writing, the storylines, the emotion…but I get the added perk of being transported back to my beloved Colorado (esp. the Springs, where I very happily lived during my all-too-short 2 years at Fort Carson.) I’m heading back there shortly for the first time since 2010–reading Scent of Hours has just heightened my anticipation.

    Thank you, Barbara, for sharing these vivid, interesting, realistic stories with the rest of us. I only wish you were holding a book reading while I was there so I could thank you in person. I haven’t found an author I was this devoted to since reading Jan Karon 20 years ago!

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Alison, I’m so honored by your post! Thank YOU for sharing in my world and going with me into my imagination–and my beloved Colorado. Depending on when you arrive, it is possible there will be a signing or event. Let me know.

  6. Mona says:

    I fell in love with your book, How to Bake a Perfect Life, and read the entire thing while staying at a perfect little B&B in Carson, WA for my 40th birthday. I ran straight to the library when I got home and reserved all of the books they had of yours and I just finished the 4th one. My mission is to now try most, if not all, the recipes in those books as well as read all of your other books. I just finished making the Hearty Berry Streusal Muffins and they are fantastic! Thank you so much for the wonderful stories you weave together with such wonderful characters and food! I am inspired to get back to the blog I began years ago and actually make something out of it! :-)

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Mona, that’s such a great story. Thanks for telling me. And when you get that blog up and running, come back and let us know. :)

  7. Enola says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I’ve always wanted to know why you never wrote a book for the sister Phoebe from the (St. Ives series) I really enjoyed the first book of the series.

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Phoebe is absolutely on the list of projects to be completed, Enola. There are lots of reasons a series won’t continue, largely because the market changes, and that is what happened to this series–the market shifted and I felt it would be better for me to take a time out from writing historicals and focus on some other things for awhile. I’m mapping out a continuation now, though, so look for that sometime early next year.

      Thanks so much for asking!

  8. Mary Donley says:

    I just finished the All You Can Dream Buffet. I noticed that Ruby took out loans to buy the farm. Why? I thought Lavender changed her will and left the farm to Ruby?!!

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Not exactly. Remember that the farm was encumbered by previous owners and would have to pass to the nephews. Ruby had to raise the money to buy it from them.

  9. Sherry says:

    I started with The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue and LOVED it, so went on to another of your books, Scent of Hours. Now I need to go to that perfume shop!!!! I will start another book this evening…just trying to decide from among the treasures!

    If you do another edition of Scent of Hours, you might want to correct whether Giselle and her dad live in Malibu or Marin… They are about 600 miles apart and northern Californians (Marin) will feel miffed at being thought of as a place for folks from Malibu! I’d go for Marin myself, as it’s so gorgeous and the schools there are probably better than in Malibu.

    Can’t wait to read the rest of your books – haven’t felt this way since I discovered Liane Moriarty’s books. I’m having such fun with modern women writers – my heroines!!

    You’re inspiring and refreshing, and I thank you for the hours of pleasure!

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Thanks so much, Sherry! I will promptly look for the mistake on Malibu/Marin. I can’t believe no one ever caught this before, and I’m grateful to you for pointing it out.

      I’ve always wanted to live in that imaginary perfume shop. Weirdly, after I wrote the book, a perfume shop opened in Manitou. Isn’t that wild?

  10. Heather says:


    I happened upon your book, How to Bake a Perfect Life, by chance at the library. I chose it for my book club this month and as luck would have it, we are in Denver! Needless to say, this was a wonderful read and the local setting was just a bonus.

    Aside from the moving story, there are many things I can’t wait to discuss. I really enjoyed the examination of each life stage from an honest (and funny) perspective and think our members will too, as our club is comprised of 30-65 year olds.

    October’s meeting (10/15) will mark our book club’s 3 year anniversary. I cannot think of a better way to honor our commitment to reading and thoughtful conversation than to invite you to be our guest of honor. How exciting it would be to meet you and thank you in person for your contributions.

    Thanks for the consideration,


    • Heather says:

      Hi there,

      Just checking in. Maybe a quick dial-in tonight for a quick Q&A if you can’t make it to Denver?


    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Thank you so much for inviting me, and sometimes I do love to go to book clubs when I can. (My car needs service, too, which can only be done in Denver….curses.) Maybe another time, okay?

      I’d love to have a picture to post to my Facebook page! If you take one, send it to barbara @

  11. Audrey Massingill says:

    I only discovered your books a few months ago, when I read “The All You can Dream Buffet,” followed by “The Secret of Everything,” and “How to Bake a Perfect Life,” which I have just finished.

    I love your descriptive, lyrical way of putting me into the scene. But I must take exception with a description from “How to Bake a Perfect Life.” On page 209 of my Bantam Books Trade Paperback, you are describing clouds in Colorado. . . “make me think of elephants or rhinos plodding” I have seen rhinos and they do not plod. Elephants, yes. Rhinos, no. Rhinos trot or regally walk or, look out, charge. They are actually rather graceful.

    It’s a very minor thing, I know, but I like rhinos and wish them to be portrayed correctly.

    Thanks and keep Laughing

  12. Chris says:

    Thanks so much for your thoughts, language, imagery and awesome, inspiring, comforting writing. I look forward to going to bed so I can read a few more pages in your latest novel. Then I’m sad/disappointed when the journey is over and I’ve finished each book. Then again, I am forever enriched by having read your words. I’ve read them all (just finished All You Can Dream Buffet) and can’t wait for the next one :) Thank you, Cheers and keep up the great work, Chris in California :)

  13. Jan says:

    Thank you so much for your wonderful books. I love them, each and every one.

  14. Lisbet Hansen says:

    Dear Ms Barbara O’Neil,

    I’m so happy to have come across your books. They make me feel glad during reading and when I later think back on them it’s with a smile on my face.

    I have read “The Lost Recipe for Happiness” and “The Secrets of Everything” and look forward to dive into the next ones.

    I’m especially fond of your dogs. I have one myself (a nearly 15 year old Toy Poodle) and I completely agree with Natalie in “The Secrets of Everything” about the dog perfume. For me there is no scent more comforting than that of a warm dog!

    And sitting in the couch with a sleeping dog in my lap while reading is really on of the best things in the world!

    I really hope I as a Danish Citizen can get my fingers on your novels written as Barbara Samuel.

    Yours sincerely
    Ms Lisbet Hansen

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Thank you so much, Lisbet. Dog perfume really is something special for those of us who love dogs.

      Some of my Barbara Samuel books have been published in Denmark, I think. I hope you can find some of them. :)

  15. Marcia says:

    Hello, Barbara,

    I haven’t read any of your books…yet. What I did read was your letter to your writer self. You described every writer’s dream, fear, passion, goals all in a few paragraphs. I’m a non-published writer willing to spend the time so I can say one day that I’m going to NY to have lunch with MY editor! Thanks so much for the inspiration, and I will be reading you books! : )

  16. Natalie says:

    I just loved The Lost Recipe for Happiness which I read quite a few years ago. Apart from the characters and story, I loved the recipes scattered throughout. Some of them were a bit daunting to try to cook, but I have done Tansy’s Churros and the Mayan hot chocolate … and I’m about to share both those recipes with friends, and suggest they whip up a batch for an early morning breakfast during the World Cup.
    Thank you!
    (from South Australia)

  17. Donna says:

    I’ve read all of your books…over the last month or so actually. Not only am I drawn to them because of the culinary connections…but also for the mystical touch that flows through your writings. Thank you…for spreading joy with your pen. Looking forward to your next!

  18. Stacey says:

    I just finished How to Bake a Perfect Life. It was wonderful. This is the first of your books that I have read, although I was a faithful follower on the Goddess Blogs. I loved the way you developed the characters, it was as if these people were my family. I loved all the sour dough baking. I have just begun to dabble with making my own starter. I was not a lucky baker to have some passed down in my family.
    I will definitely be looking forward to reading more of your books.

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      LOVE it that you’ve started experimenting with sourdough starter, Stacey. I wasn’t lucky enough to have some passed down, either, but I love working with it. Enjoy!

  19. Marie Davis says:

    I have just discovered your books (with a little help from Amazon), and I’ve just finished The Lost Recipe for Happiness and The Secret of Everything. You’re a really good writer and a great storyteller. I love your characters, plus the fact that there are cooking, dogs, and beautiful settings as well. Thanks!

  20. Rebecca says:

    All You Can Dream Buffet.
    Wonderful! As always,when I finish one of your stories I am inspired to be more than I feel that I am – More creative, more observant, more of a friend, more in the moment. Today I’m looking for Lanvender Festivals in Michigan. Not until July!
    What a gift you have of painting pictures with words,invoking a sense of place, and stiring emotions.
    Thank you.

  21. Jennifer says:

    Well, I just finished dream buffet, and for the first time ever had the courage to comment publicly on my feelings, much less write a comment about anything……but I felt compelled (by Lavender:) to thank you for so eloquently writing about truth and dreams in all of your books. I suppose I wanted to share my story a bit also.. I just turned forty and two weeks ago ended a draining two year divorce and am finalizing the details for closing a wonderful little bistro I have owned with my mother for 8 years. My amazing 7 year old daughter and I are living in a one room cabin on a beautiful lake as we both transition, and I just started teaching art again at a wonderful school. I haven’t always felt, lately, that I had made the right/best decisions. All of your books have given me such insight to the possibilities of dreams turning into realities. I just wanted to say thanks for being such a positive light in my journey. It is funny how you read some books and feel connected to the person writing them. Your words have truly brightened my path, and as you say from the last paragraph in buffet that I read over and over…….”yellow lamplight into the darknes,” your books help keep that light on for me. Best wishes in writing your next book. Looking forward to it!

  22. Ginny Nickles says:

    This evening I read The All You Can Dream Buffet and loved it. It is now 1:30 AM and I didn’t really mean to read it all in one sitting, but I had to keep reading to see what happened to everyone! Lavender is my favorite smell, and when I saw this in the library today and saw what it was about, I knew I had to read it. I especially love Ginny, as we share the name and I can very much identify with her life. All the ladies are wonderful, and Jack & Noah are, too. I knew what was coming with Lavender, but I cried anyway. Thank you for a wonderful story. I will now be looking for your other books on my library visits and I’m sure I will love them also.

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      I can’t think of a better compliment than you didn’t intend to read the whole thing, but you did. So happy to hear you found it at your local library, too.

      Thanks for posting!

      • Ginny Nickles says:

        Here I am again! After reading & loving the Dream Buffet, I got the other four books and had my own marathon buffet, reading one after the other. And I did read each of them in less than a day & a half! The characters were wonderful and I love that there are always pets. Now I will go to the library tomorrow and start reading your Barbara Samuels books. I hope there will be more books like the ones I have just read. I enjoyed the food aspect of them. Thank you for writing such enjoyable, engrossing books!

        • Barbara O'Neal says:

          Definitely writing more, Ginny. I love the food part, too. Try No Place Like Home next–that’s a very food-centered book, too.

  23. Alice Scheibelhofer says:

    After reading The Garden of Happy Endings I printed the recipe for Split Pea & Barley Soup. My husband loves making soup and has been making it for my sister who has brain and lung cancer and is undergoing radiation treatment.
    This morning he made a HUGE pot of it and it is delicious!
    In a couple of days he’s going to try the Caldo Gallego and hope it is as good.
    Thank you for a wonderful read as well as the recipes.
    Alice & Rudy Scheibelhofer
    Chilliwack, BC Canada

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      The split pea & barley is a wonderful choice for a cancer patient! Such high nutrition in an easy to digest for. The Caldo Gallego is a big favorite of mine. I hope he enjoys it as much as I do.

      Thanks for the post. I love the feedback.

    • Sheryl says:

      Just finished DREAM BUFFET..and adored it..I took a long time to devour each and every word and recipe and the fabulous info on blogging..What a great communicator you are Barbara O’neal..Your recipe for pursuing your passion both professional and personal have birthed a new me like the birth of the new Lavender. You warm my heart and calm my spirit. What is your next book? I am already a follower…Sheryl

  24. Diane Weir says:

    I am currently reading the All You Can Dream Buffet and I love it!! I have read all of your books and have truly loved them all…..please don’t ever stop writting!

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Thank you, Diane! I hope I keep writing always–it’s one of my favorite things. What a joy to be able to share that with others!

  25. Missy says:

    I just finished reading How to bake a perfect Life and The lost recipe for happiness. Your books are amazing! I just started reading The secret of everything and can’t wait to get home from work every night and read. Thank you and I can’t wait to read all of your books! It’s been along time since I enjoyed reading this much.

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      I’m so happy to hear that you’re enjoying reading more, and VERY happy to be a part of that. Thank you!

  26. Cathy Cammer says:

    Ever since I read No Place Like Home, I have eagerly waited for every book you’ve written. I just finished All You Can Eat Buffet. It was wonderful. I fall into your books so easily and am sad when I finish. Now, I’m eagerly awaiting the next one, but in the meantime I’ll reread the ones I have. Thank you for writing wonderful stories.

  27. Carol Klapste says:

    I just finished reading The Secret of Everything, which I stumbled upon in my local library. Maybe it is because I am grieving the death of my father and missing my mother who died first, but this book touched me so deeply. There was a lot of darkness in my childhood but a lot of love, most of which I have only realized after my parents were dead. Anyway, thanks for giving me an outlet for my own grief. It was a wonderful story and I am sorry it is over.


    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      You found me in the library! That makes me happy. Sorry to hear of your losses, but warmed to be giving you some outlet. xox

  28. Jackie says:

    Thanks for introducing me to the “foodies.” I felt like part of the group, especially Ginny and her travels. I’ve made a similiar trek (Chicago area to Colorado Springs; then some years later, Colorado Springs to Bellingham, Washington; and then Issaquah, Washington to Sun City, AZ. I recognized some of the points mentioned; identified with some of the feelings and freedoms. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  29. Susan Kelchner says:

    I read about your most recent book in BookPages. I just finished “The Garden of Happy Endings”……I loved it. Many thanks for sharing your talent. Now, to read the rest.

  30. Jill Hatmaker says:

    I absolutely loved All You Can Dream Buffet.
    Was disappointed though that I do not know what happened to Willow-I’m such a dog lover. Did Ginny keep her or did Hannah take her?

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      So sorry you worried about Willow, Jill! It never occurred to me that anyone but Ginny would have her in the end. I should have shown her in the final scenes, though, you’re right. Willow is fine and living with Ginny. :)

  31. betty says:

    wow,I just read The All You Can Dream Buffet. It was fantastic, touching, inspiring……your best yet. It affected me deeply and I thank you. I cant wait for your next one,

  32. Chelsey says:

    I love your books. So far i’ve read, The Lost Recipe for Happiness and The Secret of Everything.
    Starting The All You Can Dream Buffet today at Lunch! :)
    I didn’t know you wrote as Barbara Samuels, can’t wait to check those out too.
    Do you know yet if you will have any book signings closer to Pennsylvania?

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Thank you so much, Chelsey! At the moment i don’t have anything in Pennsylvania,but you never know!

  33. Andrea Stein says:

    You’ve done it again – just finished “How to Bake a Perfect Life.” Cried so much, I went through eight-tissues. So reminded me of all the generations of women in my family. Thanks you for a beautiful experience.

  34. Antoinette says:

    Hello Barbara, I have just started reading your wonderful books….two so far. I have read “How to Make a Perfect Life” and “Bake a Perfect Life”. I enjoyed both so very much. I listened to them while cleaning, gardening and cooking and every other thing I do. I enjoyed them so much, that I ended up ordering the books so I could have your recipes in print. Now, I am wondering if you are going too publish a recipe book with all your wonderful recipes. I am probably not the first person to ask this question. Thank you again for giving me many hours of joy while doing my chores. Antoinette

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Antoinette, you’re right! Many readers have asked me to collect the recipes from various books into a single volume. It’s a great idea, and I do have it on my long list of things that would be great to try. Time is always the problem!

      Thanks for taking time to let me know you read the books, and that you are enjoying them. I’ll keep thinking about the cookbook, promise.

    • Dear Barbara, I have just finished the All You Can Dream Buffet! It is Wonderful! I have read all York Barbara O’Neal books and4 of your Barbara Samuel ones. They always leave me feeling so happy and full of love and hope :o) Of course it helps that I am in the second year of my marriage to the most wonderful man for me! At the age of 53!
      I just recently moved back to LasVegas from the Pacific Northwest (for my new husband and my father) I’m thrilled to be here with them, but miss the beauty of that area. I was there for 24 years after being born and raised in LasVegas, it was such a wonderful place to be while raising my children and teaching elementary school. I miss the flowers and trees something fierce, but I admit I’m loving the sunshine here too! Funny I just realized I have another thing to be grateful to my ex -husband for as I’m pretty sure I would never have moved to the PNW if I hadn’t been married to him at the time.
      But back to your stories :) as I read them I wish I could step into them and be a new character. I really wanted to accompany Ginny on her trip! I love traveling through the USA and hope that my husband and I can do more of it:) Thank you Thank you for sharing these amazing stories with the world! They are so full of love, hope, faith, beauty, and wisdom! I’m now going to have to go back and reread all the books of yours that I have as I just finished your newest ;o} You are one of my top two favorite writers and I’m pretty picky! Thank you again for sharing your stories and please keep writing! Sincerely, Wendy

  35. Julie Brady says:

    Hi Barbara–I really loved your book Baking the Perfect Life and we choose it for our book club as you are a local author from Colorado Springs. We will be meeting next month ( a neighborhood club from Skyway) and were wondering if you could join us for a lively discussion. There is always good wine and dessert as well.

  36. Kimberly says:

    In Dog Heart there is a grammar error. In the first chapter the male character says “We both where.” It should read, “We both were.”

  37. Nai says:

    Hello! My name is Nai, and I am an 8th grader who goes to school in the Aurora District. I am writing this because my class and I would like to know more about writing novels. At at our school we just started out annual NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) During this month of November we are writing our novel of our choice. We wanted to contact you to ask if you would like to skype with us!? We have many questions to ask you about writing novels. You would be a great help to me and my class. Thank you for your time! Please email me back!

  38. Hi, I just wanted to say I loved your book, “How to Bake a Perfect Life.” As I took it out from the library, I realized I had read it years ago, and I brought it home anyway. It brought me hours of joy. I especially love your metaphors (the one of the dahlias like beautiful women cheering was great). I’m starting my first novel (I write for a living but never fiction), and you are inspiring me. Thanks so much,

  39. Shadi says:

    Dear Barbara,

    Thank you for many many happy hours of reading. I have read all your e-books. You are an inspiring and heart-moving writer who also gets me thinking about a number of ideas.

    I just re-read Night of Fire – so gorgeous! Please write more of the St. Ives. Walking to work I find myself wondering who Julian’s great love was and did they meet again. Perhaps he married some else and found his heart healed. And how about Gabriel and Ophelia – did they find love and some level of fulfilment and relationship happiness in 1700’s. If anyone can tell their story I feel sure it is you! Did Phoebe heal fully? Okay that’s a lot of books. If you only feel one more St. Ives in you can I humbly request a double love story involving the two brothers. Thank you so much for the beauty you share with us, your lucky readers

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Oh, Shadi, what a beautiful note! Thanks so much for taking the time to write it. I read it just before I went to sleep last night and made me feel wonderful.

      I’d really love to continue this series and have plans to do so (I even have outlines and plotlines, mixing it with another Georgian series I’ve had brewing for a long time). The trouble is, as ever, finding the time. Don’t lose hope! I have the schemes and notes on a whiteboard in my office, and that always means a book is on the schedule in some way.

      I am a very lucky writer to have readers like you!

      • Shadi says:

        Okay Barbara. Thanks for responding. I’ll keep the hope alive! I’m sure I also speak for other readers and look forward to the book(s).

        I read your Act of Faith article/speech before going to sleep last night. It confirmed a recent commitment to pursue a life-long dream that inner demons were saying there is no point to doing. I’m feeling more sparkingly alive today than I have in a very long time.

        Thank you for the inspiration to make my own act of faith.

  40. t cocola says:

    I read The Garden of Happy Endings; it is excellent. However, you have an error. You state the feast day of San Roque as being August l5. Actually the feast day is August l6. August l5 is the feast of the Assumption.

  41. Susy says:

    Just finished Garden of Happy Endings. So appreciate your writing. Down to earth, cooking, dogs…great stories. Puts me in a state of contentment!
    Thank you,
    Susy O’Donnell

  42. Ann says:

    New email promoting the book has this date I’m thrilled to share the cover of my upcoming book, The All You Can Dream Buffet! It’s scheduled for release March 4, 2013

    Amazon has it 2014.
    Just in case everyone thinks someone else informed you,

  43. Leslie Florea says:

    Hi Barbara,

    So excited to hear that your new book will be out May 2014! I have been anxiously awaiting a new one from you. Enjoy the these last days of summer

  44. Susan Phillips says:

    Raspberry Mountain Readers is a book club in Palmer Lake, Colorado. We’ve read How to Bake a Perfect Life and would love to have you come to our book club. We meet the second Thursday of each month from 1-3 p.m. Is there a month in the fall that would work for you?

  45. Linda Sittig says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I just finished reading your article on book clubs in the Sept. 2013 issue of Writer’s Digest. I have a source for lavender honey, if you have not already found one. Thanks for the great ideas in your article.
    linda sittig:)

  46. Alina says:

    Hi Barbara! I just finished my fourth book by you, “The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue” and once again, was blown away by your fantastic writing! I saw a blurb about your books by Jennifer Crusie where she calls your writing lyrical, and I have to agree with her. That is the perfect word to describe your writing and the wonderful characters that you bring to life. I’m so happy that I found you and will keep reading your books. My friend will be attending RWA next week and has promised to get me ANYTHING autographed by you. Her name is Kathy, so don’t be surprised when she mentions her friend that LOVES your books.

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Oh, dear, Alina. I heard from Kathy that she had forgotten, but if you will email me privately, we can fix that problem.

  47. Nicole says:

    I have just finished reading A Bed Of Spices from Amazon’s kindle ebook listing. While I enjoyed it overall, I was frustrated by an error throughout the book and was hoping for clarification. There is a river(?) referred to many times but the name of it is a glitch printed as 111 repeatedly. Please let me know the name I should have been reading in place of the glitch?
    Thanks and keep writing books with such original story lines.

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Thanks for the comment, Nicole. It is actually the River Ill, so you can see it is not far off. It will be corrected in future editions.

  48. Jan Fore says:

    I read how to bake a perfect life and was completely hooked. I am starting some sour dough starter. I have always loved to bake bread and many of your descriptions tell the tale of how one feels when hand get into the dough. I am working my way through your collection. You have me hooked. I too look forward to a new one, but in the interim I savor all those you have written. Thank you!

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      So happy to hear this, Jan. Be sure and check out the women’s fiction titles I’ve written as Barbara Samuel, too. No Place Like Home, A Piece of Heaven, The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue, Lady Luck’s Map of Vegas, and Madame Mirabou’s School of Love (best cover).

  49. ellen B. Lukasik says:


    I cannot find any mention of a new book by you. I thought you sent an e-mail regarding same. (Of course I cannot find it!) Did you send out an e-maial regarding a new book soon to be published or was that just a happy dream?



    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      I need to get it up on the website now that we have an official title: The All You Can Dream Buffet. It is about four food bloggers and their meeting at a lavender farm, and will be out in May, 2014. Love this book and hope you all will, too.

  50. Linda Wehmueller says:

    I am reading ” The Recipe for Lost Happiness” and the pomegranate baklava has a different amount of juice then the one on the site. Which is the most accurate? There is quite a bit of difference in the amount listed. A cup more o the site than the book. I have made baklava before with orange peel and a bit of juice and like the idea of something different. So which works best 2 T or 1 c. + 2 T.

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      That really is a big difference, and I would go look them up but am very short on time this morning. 2T seems much more realistic. Else the juice would make the pastry soggy.

  51. Greetings Barbara, We share an admiration for Anya Seton’s GREEN DARKNESS. Our depth of feeling for the book led us to leap into the deep end of the green pool — we have optioned the rights and adapted Green Darkness into a feature film screenplay.
    We’re at the marketing phase and trying to secure a producer. To that end, we’ve been blogging our progress.
    Curious to know more about it and us? Check out our blog site:
    Hoping to hear from you —
    Angela & Marla

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      I have actual shivers over the idea of Green Darkness becoming a movie!! I am such a fan and I’m so happy to meet other fans with the talent and drive to make a movie. I’m going over to your blog right away.

      Sending massive success vibes your way.

  52. Regina says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I love your books. So when I saw that some have been made into audiobooks I was thrilled. However, the last 2 chapters that are in the book Jezebel’s Blues are missing. Do you know if all your books that have been release as audiobooks are also missing any chapters?
    This will not stop me from reading your books. I love everything about them.

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Regina, we have been informed of the error and immediately corrected it. So sorry–I hope everyone will feel free to help our watchdogs and let us know when you discover errors. This was a script error and it will take a little time for the revised book to make its way through the ACX system. If anyone else got a copy, let me know, and we’ll make sure you get a new one when it is released.

  53. Bonnie says:

    Barbara, I found this site when I was looking for your recipe for “Abe’s Ass Kickin’ Apple Pie” that appeared in “No Place Like Home”. I noticed that your web page mentions corrections for that recipe and was hoping you could direct me to the recipe and corrections. I use audio-books exclusively due to problems with my eyes that making reading difficult.

    I hoped to find the recipe in print so that I could make sure I copied it down correctly — there seemed to be a step missing in the part of the recipe for the gingersnap crust and I hoped to see the corrections before I try my hand at making it. The idea of cooking the apples *first* really appeals to me in terms of the texture and uniformity of the pie.

    Can you direct me to the corrected recipe.

    BTW, “No Place Like Home” was the first of your books that I’ve read (or more accurately listened to) and it really touched me. I’ll definitely be checking out other books you’ve written. Thanks so much

  54. Sarah says:

    Barbara, I have never written to an author before and I just wanted to tell you that I love all your books. Your writing really speaks to the soul and touches all the elements that I would want in a perfect story. Your writing is so beautiful and evocative. There’s been many times that I will re-read a passage, close the book and my eyes and sigh in pure enjoyment. Thank you for sharing your gift with the world and making it a more beautiful, hopeful place. I eagerly await your next book!

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      And thank you, Sarah, for taking the time to come here and post that beautiful note! Made my day!

      The new book, friends, is scheduled for May 2014. Big gap between, I know, but I’m hoping to get some e-novellas up for you this summer, a pair I think you’ll really enjoy.

  55. Wendy says:

    Oh please tell me that you are working on something new! PLEASE!

    Desperately seeking a new secret, recipe, garden or perfect life to get lost in. Oh please please please please please!!!!!


    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Dearest Wendy, I have just turned in a new book, set on a lavender farm. Will that do? I’ll post as soon as I know the publication date.

  56. nostarvingartist says:

    I just love your imagery, your use of words, and characters that stick with me long after the book is closed. When I reach the end of your book, I’m sad that they will be gone from my life. You are one very amazing writer, keep on writing! & The magical realism!!!! (Fan girling as my daughter would say.)

    P.S. The dogs! My best companion was a part pitbull part lab dog I picked up from a rescue. He was 8 years old when I got him and he took me through some tough times. Sadly had to say goodbye to him just this September. I haven’t gotten a dog since but will most likely in the summer time. Reading about doggy companions is the next best thing, so thank you for that.

    Keep on writing Barbara!!! You’re my companion on that long bus ride to and from work.


    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      I’m so glad to keep you company on the way to and from work! Since I had to spend a lot of time on buses, I know how welcome a companion can be.

      And speaking of companions–I’m so sorry for the loss of your rescue dog. It takes time to grieve, but I do hope you’ll find a new buddy in the future.

  57. Diane says:

    I love your books!! When will we see the next one?

  58. jill says:

    I just read “The Garden of Happy Endings” and want a sequel. I want to know what happens to Elsa & Deacon, as well as Tamsin,Paris and Calvin. Thank-you for a beautiful story.

  59. Cati says:

    Hello, Barbara!

    My book club is currently reading How to Bake a Perfect Life. This is my first book of yours and I finished it in a few days. I loved it and am venturing into making my own starter!

    We are a local book club. Any chance you’d be available January 10th or 17th to talk with us about it?

    I will be reading your other books for sure. I really enjoyed this one.


  60. Heather K says:

    Dear Barbara,

    I have just found your books via Goodreads and am so enjoying The Lost Recipe of Happiness. You writing is like eating a truly lovely meal. I do have a question about your Pom Baklava. Do I really not need to crush the cloves? It seems like it would be a bit much to bit into a whole one in a piece.

    Anyway, I am really looking forward to reading more of our work and thanks so much for including the recipes!

  61. Paulene Stewart (PJ) says:

    Dear Barbara,
    I just finished In the Midnight Rain, my first book by you. I have never written an author before yet I wanted you to know that I will read many more.
    My cheeks are still wet with tears and my heart still aches with emotion so I could do nothing less than let you know how this story touched me. I have a wonderful loving daughter-in-law who is mixed and grandchildren who have been blessed with all four races so can relate to Elie’s grandmother Geraldine. I am so looking forward to the next book.

  62. Sarita says:

    Page 291, the garden of happy endings: “it gave him joy to be the face of God for those who needed him”. What a wonderful sentence. In our lives WE can also be the face of God for those who need US. Thank you for his book,

  63. I love the way you knit your characters. Right from Elsa in the The Garden of Happy Endings to Tessa in The Secret Of Everything, the characters actually grow upon the reader’s mindset. You are a great author indeed.

  64. Terilyn says:

    Barbara – I remain a devoted fan and regular re-reader of your books. I was wondering if there are plans to publish your Barbara O’Neal stories in audiobook format. I have many of your titles in print, ebook and audio – a bit extravagant I know!!

  65. Shawne says:


    I found a few of your books recently and have started ploughing through them I have to say they are absolutely brilliant and I particularly like Beautiful Stranger (did you ever write a sequel to it?) I am about to look at your booklist and see what other ones I can get my hands on

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Glad you enjoy them! There are a lot of them available in electronic form these days.

      I never wrote the sequel to Beautiful Stranger, I’m sorry to say. In the end, I felt I couldn’t do justice to an anorexic storyline.

  66. Barbara, please see my garden book blog (in German). The entry October, 18 is about your book “Garden of Happy Endings”.

    Greetings from Switzerland
    Daniela aka Die Sofagaertnerin

  67. I love the way you knit your characters. Right from Elsa in the The Garden of Happy Endings to Tessa in The Secret Of Everything, the characters actually grow upon the reader’s mindset. You are a great author indeed.

  68. jan says:

    Hi, I’m a huge fan & have read all your books! We can’t wait for a new one!

    I just tried to sign up for your newsletter but the form was kicked back five times so we gave up! :(

    • WebAdmin says:

      Jan, We just switched email marketing companies this morning. Check your email for a confirmation and if you do not see it, try the new form we just put up. Hope it works out better for you!

  69. Deborah says:

    I just finished reading a third book that you’ve written.
    I think they were all great. The Lost Recipe For Happiness is the next one on my list. Can’t wait to start it.
    Thank you for such wonderful and heartfelt stories. Your name has been added to my must read list of authors. I’ve enjoyed spending time with each and everyone of the characters.

  70. Michelle Manning says:

    Dearest Barbara, I have recently discovered your writing and have fallen in love with your books! I am 55 years old and resonate so deeply with your themes of love, loss and beginning the next phase of life. I have read most all of your books, back to back, over the past few months, even some written as Ruth Wind. I would have known it was you after the first page. You have a very distinctive voice. thank you so much for your books and I look forward to many more to come!

  71. Jennifer says:

    I have read some of your previous books and was looking forward to reading The Garden of Happy Endings. This book touched me in many ways…I am in a new relationship and have always struggled with feeling fully ready to trust again…profound healing has occurred in my life (with much effort including God’s ongoing love)….I found it not coincidental to be reading this book this week. After a date, I spoke to God and said I am now ready. Thank you for writing such a wonderful book that reminds all of us of the goodness in life and that we are all capable of achieving and receiving love.

    Blessings to you….

  72. Danielle says:

    I just finished reading “The Garden of Happy Endings” today. I wept through most of it. Barbara, you write the most vivid characters. Elsa just broke my heart; the crisis of faith but just not quite being able to turn away from the Divine situation…I totally get that. I don’t think I have been so moved by a book since I read “No Place Like Home.” Thank you, as always, for sharing your stories with us. Keep ’em coming. 😉

  73. Dafna Yee says:

    I just finished reading In the Midnight Rain and I wanted to tell you that it is one of the finest books that I’ve ever read. That is saying a lot because I have read over 500 books in the last year with 378 of them reviewed on Amazon.

    I graduated high school in 1971, so I still remember that time and I knew boys that went to war and ones who went to Canada. Your story vividly captured that bygone time.

    Thank you for letting this book be a free download for Kindle. I am very anxious to read more of your books.

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      I’m honored that you enjoyed the book so much, Dafna. Even more so considering the staggering number of books you’ve read the past year!

      I hope you’ll enjoy more of my books.

  74. Heather says:

    I found your book “The Garden of Happy Endings” at the library. I was interested to see how you were going to handle people’s crisis of faith. I think your characters struggled well, but the ending left me feeling hollow. How could Elsa, as a minister no less, not keep sex as something just to be treasured in marriage? How does Jesus fit into Elsa’s beliefs? By leaving him out, she misses much of the Christian faith.

  75. Deborah says:

    I just finished reading The Garden Of Happy Endings. I loved it. I have never read any of your books before. But I have added your name to the list of authors I always liik for. I will be going to the library to get your older books. Can’t wait to get started.

  76. Alina says:

    I literally just finished reading “How to Bake a Perfect Life”. I LOVED this book!! It was one of those books that makes you appreciate reading books. It makes you take a deep breath and want to breath it in. Thank you so very much for writing it. This is the first book of yours that I have read, but definitely not the last.
    Thank you again.

  77. Gloria Moody says:

    Just finished taking a short drive to the “neighborhood”. Sat in awe, prayer and peace in the “courtyard” where Elsa sat. Imagined the garden’s location, saw the rectory. Drove a little further and saw the “turret” house made of sandstone and beautiful garden. Your books always take me away and bring me home in my heart, but this time I took the physical tour and was thrilled some more in another dimension. ( from greatfull Pueblo fan).

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Gloria, how lovely that you did that! I was so taken by the bells ringing from that church that I knew instantly it was the right setting. It’s a beautiful spot, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing that with me. I so love when Puebloans find my books. :)

  78. Katelyn says:


    I just finished “How to Bake A Perfect Life”. Can I just say A-MAZING!!! I am a young single mom who cooks! Needless to say I couldn’t put the book down. I am looking for more of your books and can’t wait to read them. Hope all is well, please don’t stop writing!!



  79. Ellen says:


    I just finished “The Garden of Happy Endings”. Loved, loved, loved it! Thank you so much for a thoroughly un-put-downable book. I’m struggling through a similar situation to Elsa’s. The suggestion to her to just ask for help in getting back to “Something” (diety) opened my eyes and heart. So simple. Thank you so very much.

    I will be reading more of your books!


    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      I am so honored that you found something helpful in Gardens, Ellen. Hugs.

      • Ellen says:


        I just finished reading all postings on this “Wall” and have to say that I agree wholeheartedly with everything everyone had to say about your writing. Your characters and plot line were so real. I, too, did not want the book to end. I felt as if I were part of Elsa’s world in Pueblo (one of my favorite places in CO). While I know that writing a series is taxing and sometimes unrewarding for the author, I sure would like to experience more of Elsa, Tamsin and Alexa’s lives!

        Have a good weekend and enjoy being in our wonderful semi- mountain town of Co. Spgs.

        Hugs back at ya,


  80. Vangi says:

    Really enjoy your books and have tried several of your recipes. Just finished The Secret of Everything”. Would love to see some of these characters reappear. They are wonderful. Thank you

  81. Amanda Cornelissen says:

    I picked up your book (How to Bake a Perfect Life) at Target of course, in Washington State while visiting my family for the last time before we moved to Colorado Springs, from Victoria, B.C. Canada. I had no idea the book was set in Colorado Springs. Upon moving here last month, I was terribly homesick, doing all kinds of exercise, baking, etc. to keep my mind off of all my family and friends on the West Coast. I finished a book and was finally able to read yours. I must say, it inspired me in many ways. I started making bread, and realized I am quite good at it! I have been baking up a storm. Your book helped me in many ways and I am so thankful for that. I can now make the best of my time in Colorado before we move again in four years (Military family)and I look forward to reading more of your books!

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      That was fortuitous, wasn’t it? It’s wonderful that you found you have a talent for bread, and I bet you DID find the Victorian house that I used to base the imaginary bakery on. Colorado is very different from Victoria, but I hope you’ll find lots to love here, too.

      • Jill says:

        I just finished “How to Bake a Perfect Life”, so sad when it ended, I had thoroughly escaped into the book. I live in neighboring Nebraska and visit Colorado (which I love!) often, it made the book that much more entertaining knowing the setting for the book. I can’t wait to go out and get your other books! Although I’m not gifted in the bread baking department, (but going to try!) I felt after reading your book that it doesn’t matter what you’re good at just find something you like, dive in and enjoy! You inspire me, thank you!

        • Barbara O'Neal says:

          Oh, yes, please do try to bake some bread. It can be so satifying! That’s exactly the right attitude: if you enjoy it, dive in! (In all ways!)

  82. Carol says:

    I just finished How to Bake a Perfect Life. I’ve found a new favourite author. Cheers on the Ritas.

  83. Yvonne Erwin says:

    Congratulations, Barb!!! I’m so happy for you! How to Bake a Perfect Life is a great book, and I’m looking forward to the next one.

  84. Sharon says:

    Congratulations on the RITA for How to Bake a Perfect Life. That was a fine book.

  85. Rita Welch says:

    Well, once again you’ve made me cry…but happy tears. I just finished The Secret of Everything. I just love your style of story-telling and want to thank you for sharing these stories with us! Next it’s The Lost Recipe for Happiness. Thank you again. Rita Welch

  86. katerush says:

    Thank you for the warmth, hope & insight yor books convey to me. Hope your home is safe from the fires. I will patiently awake your next read. Thank you, Kate

  87. CindyD says:

    I just finished THE GARDEN OF HAPPY ENDINGS. I didn’t want it to end! I am hoping for a sequel to this one!

  88. Kathy Chambers says:

    I just finished this book and I loved it. I was touched by what you had to say about the role of women (non-existent) in the Catholic church. It is such a Patriarchy and I don’t see it ever changing on this issue. I too am a recovering Catholic who still feels most comfortable in Catholic rituals, but basic issues turn me off. I commend your protagonist for finding her place in the world. Please don’t ever stop writing; I love your voice and choice of topics! They really resonate with me.

  89. Lynn says:

    Loved your latest! I gave it 5 stars and recommended it for a Recommended Read at! Here’s a copy of the review:

    THE GARDEN OF HAPPY ENDINGS is one of those rare books that combines mystery, suspense, romance and religion into a remarkable story of faith, family and friendship.

    Elsa Montgomery has lost her faith. After years of seeking God and trying to find her place in a church, she thinks she is settled as the minister of her own congregation in Seattle. But when one of her flock is senselessly murdered, Elsa pulls away from her church and God, and escapes to the one place she thinks she can find solace; her childhood home of Pueblo, Colorado.

    Once in Pueblo, Elsa turns to her best friend, who was once her fiancé and now a priest, Father Jack. Although their romantic relationship ended when Jack took his vows, their friendship has remained solid, and soon they are working together to create a community garden behind Jack’s parish.

    At nearly the same instant, Elsa’s sister, Tamsin, finds out her financier husband is a criminal and has disappeared with millions of dollars. When the FBI freezes their assets, Tamsin is confused, broke and at a complete loss. The sisters lean on each other and the garden to heal their broken hearts.

    Through the course of the novel, Elsa struggles to define who she is, what she wants and how to get it. She meets Deacon McCoy – a man with secrets and a troubled past – who shows such generosity and love to those around him that Elsa can’t help but fall in love with him. Their love story is real, hopeful and full of possibilities, but it is not the best part of the story.

    The best part of THE GARDEN OF HAPPY ENDINGS is the interwoven characters’ struggles with their faith. Elsa and Jack’s history is expertly woven with their present day trials. Deacon’s faith has been tested in the past, and he credits Jack with saving his life. Tamsin must figure out what to do next and how to shelter her adult daughter from her father’s shame. This is a story of compassion, love, friendship, forgiveness and faith that will leave readers breathless. I can’t wait to share this book with my friends so that we can talk about these people I have come to care about so much!

  90. Marsha says:

    I picked up The Scret of Everything on a whim and was immediately hooked. Having come through some hard times, and being in the process of rebuilding my self, the story really resonated with me. I immediately bought the rest of them and am sadly on the last, The Garden of Happy Endings. Best of all? The cooking aspects and recipes align with my determination to slow down, nourish myself and my son more naturally and make cooking and eating a joy rather than a chore. I’ve been playing with a (bought) sourdough since Christmas and now you’ve got me all inspired to start my own started and find heritage grains for bread.
    Seriosuly, I feel pretty geeky-fangirl to say it, but I could be one of your characters before the love part!

    Thank you and keep writing!

  91. I just finished reading The Garden of Happy Endings, and LOVED it on so many levels. Thank you for another lovely, insightful story, Barbara!

  92. Lisa says:

    Having just finished How to Bake a Perfect Life (my third of your novels), and being more than a little in love with Jonah myself, I will use his quiet ways and just say thank you.
    Your books are a pain au chocolat for me. I space them out so I can savor each and every one (for the about 32 hours it takes me to finish them–once begun, they are gobbled.) I’m excited to see from the post above that you have 30 under different author names!
    Your characters are just so rich in, well, character, and I always (x3) find myself woven into the web. I love that each has it’s own ghost(s) and always a dog, and more heart than I can sometimes take w/o having to pause just to let it move through me.
    I was particularly moved by Ramona. I wish to be as good a mother as her and, honestly, she will stand as an example. Fictitious or no, she embodies some truly beautiful qualities that are worth emulating. Thank you, also, for providing Katie as such a good insight into teenage years as well as troubled youth. I grasped more understanding from that than from a teen psychology book (and it makes me see my own teen years in another light as well).
    Then, of course, are the recipes, and the way you explain them in context for each of the books. I have been watering at the mouth for pomegranate baklava since I read the recipe (but have not yet tried it; it’s built up to quite an exciting prospect b/c I am so looking forward to it!). And though I have never much cared for bread–now I know why! McDonald’s vs Julia Childs. It is my quest to bake a sourdough loaf simply to experience it as you have written it. And then my next quest is to find a bakery that can do it for me! I am near to Colorado Springs; if you have a recommendation, send it my way.
    Long to short, I appreciate your gift and wanted to send some love back your way.
    Thank you.

  93. Linda says:

    Books I really like, I keep. I have all your current books as Barbara O’Neal and Barbara Samuel. I especially love the Barbara O’Neal books. They are what I call ‘life stories’ and I make all my reading friends read them! I avidly awaited the release of The Garden of Happy Endings was totally not disappointed. I appreciate the fact that your books are a great read and that you aren’t cranking out a book a month, which lessens the stories and writing depth. Anyway, looking forward to the next one in the next year or so!
    Thanks for the entertainment, affirmation and thought provoking books~~

  94. Mandy says:

    Hi Barbara, I have never written to an author before and I am a huge avid reader. I just wanted you to know I have nearly read all your books available on Amazon for Kindle. I just think you are one of the best writers I have ever read. I got Breaking The Rules free and I really enjoyed it so I bought some of your other books and then I bought nearlly all of them. I just became obsessed. I have to tell your writing makes me glad that I am woman and all the things I love as a woman are just as much to be celebrated, enjoyed and worthwhile as anything else in life. I am going through a really tough time and reading your books as help me tremendously. Like I said I am an avid reader and I have read thousands of books including most of the classics but your writing is so compelling and truthful that it really touches my soul. Thank you so much for your gift of writing!

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Oh, Mandy, this note brought tears to my eyes. I am so glad to know my books can be a friend to you during a tough time. Hang in there.

      • Mandy says:

        Hi Barbara, Thank you for the kind encouragement. I looked in my kindle and determined I have read 30 of your books, all under Barbara Samuel, Ruth Wind and Barbara O’neal, LOL! Any other names you write under? I would definitely read them! I just finished The Garden of Happy Endings, your greatest and latest, which I truly thought was one of your best. As C.S. Lewis said, we couldn’t say we truly had faith if we didn’t have a one or two crisis of faith, it would be a immature faith withouth the questioning. My top favorites of your books are Beautiful Stranger, In the Midnight Rain, and Night of Fire. I have really loved all of your books, though, and it is because each of your characters are truly unique and individual, even though there can be some similarities. I have read some prolific authors where after a few books, I know I am reading the same story with different names. I look forward to reading more of your books. Thanks again for response back and your books.

      • Mandy says:

        Hi Barbara, I can honestly say I have now read all your books (40 so far)! Including your latest The Sleeping Night, which I loved! Some more of my favorite books by you are Meant to be Married, Heart of A Knight, Walk in Beauty, Lady Luck’s Map of Vegas, The Goddess’s of Kitchen Avenue, Strangers on a Train. The one book that touched me the most is No Place Like Home, it actually made me cry. It is about a best friend dying and I recently lost my best friend of 14 years suddenly and unexpectly of a heart attack. It was devasting and then to be having to go through some tough times and your best friend is not there to talk to, well, it’s unreal. I can say we did appreciate our friendship and never took it for granted. I just can not tell you enough how much I love your books and writing. Fare thee well till your next book.

        • Barbara O'Neal says:

          Oh, my goodness, Mandy, that’s pretty astonishing, that you’ve read all of my books. And I am so sorry about your best friend’s death. I hope you took some love and a tiny bit of healing away from No Place Like Home. (I cried my eyes out writing those last scenes!)

      • Mandy says:

        Hi Barbara, Just wanted to let you know that as of today I have now read all of your published writing including your 38 books and then all the anthologies with your short stories. It took awhile to find the anthologies and get to read them, but I am happy that I did. I am glad you list them all on your website under Barbara’s Books. Your books have really brought me comfort on taking my mind off of things and getting me through some periods of insomnia. I really love your characters, I just relate to them so much. I love that they are all independent women who work or have careers. They have some interest that they are passionate about. I love that your male characters are decent men and very diverse. You know I got Breaking the Rules for free and then I enjoyed it so much I decided to see what other books you had. I had just taken a vacation up to the Four Corners, AZ it was on my bucket list to go there, so I took some friends and family and we went and had a great time. It was very beautiful and we also went to Window Rock, AZ, too. I saw that Walk in Beauty was located in that area. When I was reading it was so weird that I knew all the places you were describing because I had just been up there. Especially Shiprock, you can see that rock from miles around. Then I looked and saw you had written some historical romances which I had not read in years, so I starting reading those and then I just had to read them all. And now I have! Also my family is from Colorado and I have been to New Mexico as well, so I know the places you are describing in your books. I love the Southwest. I also love the way you use weather and nature and animals and pets in your stories, with storms, tornados, hailstorms, rivers, forest, horse, wolves, dogs and cats, etc. One of my favorite lines by you is when you say a person smells like sunshine. I don’t why but it just jumped out at me and I had to think what does sunshine smell like? What pops in to my mind is when my sons were young and my sons coming in from playing out in the sunshine and throwing themselves into my arms for a hug, so that is what sunshine smells like to me. I hope all is well with you, I am doing pretty well now and I look forward to your next book.

  95. Joanna Branson says:

    I just finished “The Secret of Everything” last night and was so disappointed… that it ended! It was a wonderful read and I can’t wait to dive into some more of your stories. I “discovered” you at Writer Unboxed and am so grateful to you and all of the writers there for the encouragement and instruction for those of us coming behind. Thank you for all the ways you contribute to my writing life!

  96. Kaye says:

    Recently I decided I needed to watch expenses and went to the library to feed my reading passion. I checked out “The Secret of Everything” and fell in love with you and your writing. Of course when I saw that you had a new book I couldn’t wait for that to hit the library and bought it. I just finished it! “The Garden of Happy Endings” is how a part of my permanent collection. What a great book! I love word, every sentence. And it came at a very spiritual, prayer filled time in my life. Thank you.

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Thanks, Kaye, for trusting me enough to buy Garden! Thank goodness for libraries, right? Where would we be without them?

  97. Lindsey says:

    Barbara, I am new to your writing and just finished “The Garden of Happy Endings.” I tore through it, loved the plot and the characters very much. I look forward to reading more of your work.
    I do have one question: Am I crazy or was the name of Deacon’s Shih Tzu early in the book “Mikey,” but in the last scene it was “Toby?”
    I may have misread something there.
    Thanks for the engaging read!

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Ah, Lindsey, I think you caught something important. I named the dog Mikey to begin with, which was my father’s dog. He had bad luck and had another
      shit-zu named Toby, so I changed the name. Good catch!

  98. Robin Sorrentino says:

    I loved The Garden of Happy Endings. It is a wonderful, wonderful book. So glad I bought it at the VRW book signing. Can’t wait to buy some more of your books.

  99. Lindsey says:

    I loved reading about the St. Ives family. Will there be more books in this series? thanks.

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      I do have other books planned. Scheduling the time to write them is the problem! Stay tuned.

  100. Melissa says:

    The Garden of Happy Endings helped me deepen my faith, and for that, I am so grateful. Thank you.

    I finished the book at the hairdressers and tears flowed down my face. Such a beautiful and peaceful ending.

    I just ordered two more of your books and can’t wait to get started

  101. Candy says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I loved your new book GOHE. It really touched on so many important topics. You write so well, the images and scenes stay in my head. I want to go to New Mexico and Colorado and the locations of all your books. Thanks for sharing your stories with us.

    Another happy reader!

  102. Karen says:

    I just finished reading Garden of Happy Endings. I tried to make it last, but I just couldn’t stop reading! I was so sad that it was over. I think this is my new favorite of yours. Thank you so much for writing these books!

    I’m looking forward to the next installment of the Mirror Girl online. I’m hoping that since I signed up for your email list I will receive an email when you start the next book.

    Looking forward to all your future writings!!

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      I will definitely put the start of the next Otherlands Chronicles in my newsletter, Karen. And any other news of that sort. Thanks for your enthusiasm for both kinds of books!

  103. Lisa says:

    Don’t know how to message you privately but wanted to let you know your “about” page lists the GOHE release as next year. I’m so glad it was this year, I’ve just started it and as always am drawn into the wonderful complexity of your story worlds.

  104. Barbara says:

    Hi Barbara! Just discovered your book How To Bake A Perfect Life, and I am enjoying it immensely! I’m disappointed to not find the streusel muffin recipe posted, though…drat! Now I have to hand write it out 😉 Spoiled author, I am.

    Looking forward to reading more of your books, and became a Goodreads fan.

    Barbara (in Denver)

  105. Juanita Davis says:

    Just finished Breaking the Rules. So many details spoke to me and I cried at the end! Thank you so much for the beautiful story.

  106. Dorie says:

    I read the latest excerpt. I especially loved the line about the elderly man who loved things beyond himself. That is so meaningful!

  107. ChrisD says:

    waiting patiently for your book in April….. please write more so i dont have to read anything else in between. you are the best

  108. Diane says:

    I am patiently (okay, not patiently maybe) waiting for the next book in April!!!

  109. Louise says:

    Dear Barbara,
    I just finished reading my first book in English and for that I choose “How to bake a perfect life”. I found you with your french novel called “Les olives de ma grand-mère.” I swear, I must be reading that book at least once a year! I wish Jewel could be my friend! I even had a tatoo after I first read it! This week, I cooked your “hearty berry streusel muffins” that made a big hit with my friends at work as I brought them still hot. Can’t wait to read your next book! Merci! Ü

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      How lovely, Louise! It’s a big treat to be the first book you’ve read in English. I loved the French title for No Place Like Home. You must tell me what tattoo you had done.

      • Louise says:

        Hello Dear!
        I got a blue stylish flower with a yellow center on the back of my right shoulder. I love it!
        I had “The lost recipe of Happiness” as my second book I’ve read in English. Can’t wait to read “The garden of happy endings”!
        Bye! Ü

  110. Devon says:

    I just finished The Lost Recipe for Happiness and let me just say that I am in love with your writing and your stories. I look forward to reading more of your books. Thank you for including the same sex relationships and the sex – both make the stories real and I LOVE this story and the characters. Ivan, Patric, Elena, Julian….I am a pastry chef and even though I work in kitchens I also love to read fiction about them. Thank you!

  111. Eileen says:

    deep into The Lost Recipe for Happiness. Stopped on page 142 “My mother died violoently. I think I know a little about prurient interest”. Stopped to find out what a prurient interest is..”Prurient interest is a morbid, degrading and unhealthy interest in sex, as distinguished from a mere.’
    Is that what you had intended to say? Odd…..

  112. Debbie Coburn says:

    So glad to have found this blog.Have enjoyed reading you in all your pen names:Wind, Samuel, O’Neal. Have I missed any?
    The chicken and lemon slices recipe sounds yummy. Have you tried mangoes and salmon grilled on the BBQ. The mango takes on a wonderful taste when slightly charred. So happy to have found you again. Can’t wait to read your next book.

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      That sounds fantastic, Debbie! I absolutely adore mango in any form. (And you have not missed any names. Good job tracking them all down!)

  113. Catherine Willner says:

    Hello! I have lost my treasured recipe for Abe’s Kick Ass Apple Pie! Please direct me to another copy! Thanks

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Let me try to get that up for you in a little while, Catherine. (Making note to self). I’ll post it as a recipe here on the site.

  114. Claire Bacon says:

    Just HAD to drop you a line to say, “AWESOME”. I’m in the process of reading The Secret of Everything and it is truly a wonderful story.
    Can’t for Aril!
    Thanks for all your wonderful books.

  115. Jan K says:

    Just as soon as I’ve finished reading one of your amazing books, I gobble up another one, as a fan with an insatiable appetite for your stories! OMG, I am so glad to have discovered your writing through Your characters have found a wonderful place in my mind where they rest so comfortably.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!


  116. Val says:

    Just finished Book #2 of your St. Ives historical fiction series and tried locating the rest. Loved Adriana & Cassandra’s stories, but am desperate to see Julian, Gabriel, Phoebe, Ophelia & Cleo’s stories unfold. Are they in process or have I missed them somewhere?

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      You have NOT missed them, Val. I discontinued the series when I changed publishers, but they are now back on the schedule. I hope to spend some time writing in the autumn this year. Check back!

  117. Rachel says:

    I have read all your books and have loved them all. I can’t wait for the launch of your next book. I live in the UK and love dogs. I also am an artist and paint them as a living. I also love to cook. Your books are so captivating and I lose hours when reading them.

  118. Tracy says:

    I love how you incorporate the recipes into your stories (my favorite so far being “The Lost Recipe For Happiness”) and wondered if you had considered a cook book with all the recipes. I’d buy it…or maybe a few…for gifts for my other reader friends.

  119. I was told that you have a book based in Manitou Springs. Is this true?

  120. Rhonda Berg says:

    Would love to read a sequel to The Lost Recipe for Happiness!

  121. Jill W. says:

    I found your books when I followed Joshilyn Jackson to TLC. Just wanted to say that I love the books. So far, my favorite is How to Bake Perfect Life, which made me miss a whole afternoon of work yesterday, because I could not put it down after I picked it up at lunch. Loved it!

    Can’t wait to read more from you. :)

  122. Susan says:

    I’ve read How to Bake a Perfect Life and The Secret of Everything. I’m trying to finish “The Lost Recipe for Happiness. Of all I enjoyed the Perfect Life since it was much less graphic in the sexual nature! Not sure in what order I read them, as far as when you wrote them. But will say without the graphic detail they are great books. Don’t particularly like the same sex relationship references either!

    • Diana says:

      No one is asking you to have a same sex relationship, so get over it. I would really hope people could just allow people to love those they love, because in the grand scheme of things who someone sleeps with doesn’t effect you. And really that is the only difference between a same sex relationship and an opposite sex relationship – who we sleep with. I appreciate that the author covers a wide range of relationships.

  123. betty says:

    hi there. just wondering when your next book comes out! i cannot wait. hope your holidays were great. take care,

  124. Karen says:

    I love all of your books, and all the recipes! Can’t wait for your next book, and the next book… I enjoyed your blog about TEA. Did you know they grow tea here in the USA? If you haven’t been – it’s a fun place to visit: The Charleston Tea Plantation – outside of Charleston, SC.

  125. Sharon Dykes-Modlens says:

    Thanks for the update Barbara. I have read all your books to date and since I was born and raised in Pueblo and now live in Colorado Springs, they are extra meaningful! Keep up the good work.

  126. Kathi says:

    Well, if Susan Mallery recommends your books, then they must be GREAT…..I will put one on my Christmas list asap.

    Merry Christmas

  127. Pat V says:

    I tried to join your email list but when I put in my info and hit submit I got the message “All comments are closed”. Did my request fail?

    • Web Admin says:

      I see you on our email list, Pat. No worries. We’ve gotten such a great response our signup form got the hiccups!

      Good luck!

  128. Jackie says:

    I saw Susan Anderson’s message on my Facebook page and signed up just a few minutes ago….I picked up your book but am saving it for next week. From
    all I’ve read here I know will be a good book to read during my chemo. this coming week….Yes, it’s my first book of yours but I figure if Susan recommends you (since I love & read all of her books)your books MUST be a great read! 😉

  129. Mazneen says:

    I just finished “heart of a knight” , I laughed, cried and sighed a happy sigh. Thank you for such language and rich history I absolutely enjoyed every sentence. I hope you go the next step and make this a movie. I know for sure this would be a big hit. Thank you once again and I will be looking forward to reading more of your books.

  130. Janice Belmonte says:

    Hi Barbara: I just joined your mailing list at the suggestion of Susan Anderson. I read Lost Secret for Happiness last year and really loved it. I just downloaded the new one on my Kindle and I’m looking forward to curling up with it in front of the fireplace after I coem home from the gym tonight. I’m also a writer, but as yet unpublished. I’m looking forward to reading your blog for writers.
    Happy Holifays!

  131. Kimberly Lainson says:

    My son was having surgery and we stopped to get a book to read and I picked up your How to Bake A Perfect Life… I fell in love with it. I love to bake bread and became more inspired to experiment with sourdough and starters.

    I have 4 different starters now and made loaves today from 2 different starters. I have tried one loaf and it worked. Thank you for inspiring me to go further into my love of bread making and for helping me to understand the complications of the mother/daughter relationship… it has truly helped me in both parts of my life.

    I just got two more of your books and can’t wait to read them!

  132. sharon says:

    I just finished reading “Heart of a Knight”. Happy to say this was my first book of yours but it will not be my last. I could not stop reading it! I felt like I was watching this on a movie screen. Everything was so vivid in my mind. I have read a lot of historical romance books and thought they were all good but there was something about this book that had me gasping! I fell in love with Thomas and all the characters too. Cried several times and felt very silly because I knew there would be a happy outcome but I was so involved in the story I just forgot myself. I plan to post this in the reviews also for this book on the Barnes and Noble website that I published the nook book from. And the book was free! Thank you very much for helping me forget myself for a little while.

  133. Eleni says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I loved your book How to Bake a Perfect Life but I have a question about the recipe for Hearty Berry Streusel bread on page 165. When do you add the steusel? i am assuming it goes on top of the berries and gets cooked but the recipe didn’t specify. You can respond here or email me at

  134. Chris Glass says:

    I’ve so enjoyed all three of your books, which I’ve put on my Kobo..and it’s great to have recipes to try out too! I savour, indeed, each page, and will go back and re-read these often. They make me just feel like..the things I love and believe in are also things other women love and believe in..and that’s a good thing! Thanks so much,I’m looking forward already to whatever you write next!

  135. Deb says:

    I read your book “How to bake a perfect life” and really enjoyed it. Especially since I just spent 7.5 months in colorado springs this year (for biz). I made your berry muffins this past weekend and really like them. I plan on getting ahold of your other two books to read in the near future. Thanks!

  136. sarita says:

    i am reading the recipe for lost happiness – i can tell i love this book because i am reading it a chapter at a time! i don’t want it to end – so i read a chapter – go do some life stuff – then read another chapter – etc. i am looking forward to reading your other books. I appreciate the rich words you have put into this book. i can’t wait to read what happens, but i don’t want it to end! thank you!

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Oh, I’ve done that–deliberately made myself slow down to make a book last longer! Thanks for posting. I love being a part of that experience for you.

      • sarita says:

        i completed the book. I really LIKE the way it ended – i won’t give it away, but i like the REASON for the ending. thank you for writing this book.

  137. gail says:

    Wow…I was “loaned” (she does not give your books away) 2 of your books to read. The secret of everything and The Lost Recipe for Happiness…and I don’t usually write on blogs but I was searching for more books by you and saw the website. I loved your books….I loved how you introduced your characters and made them so real and inner connected that I felt like I was watching a master weaver building a beautiful tapestry, color by color, layer by layer, thought by thought…I found myself savoring each page, intrigued by where you were taking each character. Usually by page 10 of a book I can figure out the end and how everyone got there….your characters and story lines are so intricate that you kept me guessing until the last page and I was not once tempted to skip to the end because I knew that if I did I would miss something to tie the story together. Thank you for stories and I hope you continue to write them…I am buying my own copies so I can give back the loaners to my friend…

  138. Cindy says:

    Hello, just wondering if you have a seaprate list or copy of all the recipe’s in your book. I want to try some and I have the kindle version of the book and its a bit of a pain to have to use my kindle to view the recipes. Thanks and Loving the book!!

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Cindy, I don’t have a separate list of the recipes at the moment. Will have to think about this–there must be a solution for people who are reading digital books.

  139. Rebecca says:


    I read your book today – “How to Bake a Perfect Life”. Wonderful characters, deep emotions, relationships, life’s challenges and changes. Couldn’t put it down. Going through some challenges of my own just now and a bit of baking – something I’ve loved in the past, has been reawakened today. Can’t wait to try your sourdough starter and the recipes you were generous enough to share.

    Looking forward to the arrival of your other two books in the mail and another sweet journey to savor.

    Thank you!

  140. Aileen says:

    Ive just discovered your newest book, How to Bake a Perfect Life,
    right after a surgery and being sentenced to rest.
    Then, I just had to get another and another
    (the lost recipe and secret of everything).
    You have become my new Tom Robbins (aka favorite author).

    I love the way you create settings and how you juxtapose the inner character (thoughts and feelings) with the outer character (dialogue and action)this really brings the characters to life! I also love the way you use poetic devices (EX. in lost recipe — “crisp as a Cossack, ” couple of conditions,”
    “splash of surprise,” and “five favorite foods”

    As a poet and an aspiring children’s book writer this use of alliteration tickles my fancy. I haven’t been with my writers group in about a year but when I return,
    I will suggest your GITB book!
    Ill also do a review at Amazon for you.
    Cant wait until your next book comes out!

    Aileen in CNY

  141. Chris says:

    Barbara, just discovered your books and am devouring them (no pun intended :). I LOVE how you introduce your characters! I read for pleasure and I don’t want to have to “think” too much when I do. In many books, characters are introduced “cold” in a chapter just as I am getting into what is going on with the current character. It’s hard for me to switch gears and start learning about/caring about these new characters. In LRFH….you did an umbrella thing where you described all of Elena’s interactions with people…THEN you went in and gave us the back story. LOVED also how you did that in HTBAPL………I’m so far in and really caring about Ramona, THEN you go back and explain what happened when she was 15…… Am just starting TSOE…..and again, you get me emotionally interested so I’m already curious about characters and back story before getting the rundown. Its brilliant crafting and just at my pace of reading/curiosity. I also LOVED that Elena was not a “perfect” female lead. You actually made me believe she really wasn’t “beautiful” physically….not just an ugly ducking needing a makeover, but she shone from the inside. And I loved having a lead who had some physical issues that were a big problem for her and others noticed but accepted her anyway…..and seeing how she lived with those….refreshing for me on many levels in our “perfect-driven” society. Thank you for writing… looking forward to all your work!

  142. Paula says:

    Thank you, thank you. I absolutely adore your novels and pass them around to all of my friends. I stumbled on The Lost Recipe for Happiness and read it while my husband was interviewing at a job in Colorado Springs. I didn’t realize you live in the Springs until I finished the book. I took it as a sign and sure enough, he was hired and we moved to the Springs over a year ago. I especially loved this last book, How to Bake a Perfect Life because I am a mother of two daughters and because of all the references to Colorado Springs. I am one of those crazies who races up the Ascent. Have you ever completed the Ascent? You are a phenomenal author and I can’t wait for your next novel. Oh, and I made the Hearty Berry Streusel Muffinss. Yum! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Paula, what a great story. Glad your husband landed the job—and I’m impressed that you run the Ascent! Alas, I only have hiked up. My beloved has run it, and made a great showing.

      You may not know that I wrote 5 novels of women’s fiction as Barbara Samuel.

  143. Sharon says:

    I just read “The Lost Recipe for Happiness” and really enjoyed it. I did discover an editing error. On page 58, the newspaper article describing the car accident says that Isobel was driving. On page 438, it says Edwin was driving. Did I miss something?

  144. Linda says:

    I’ve loved all of your books and have already purchased your
    new book. Can’t wait to dive in.
    Keep up your great style….

  145. Tina Canon says:

    Hi Barbara–

    I LOVE your new website and can’t wait to buy How to Bake a Perfect Life!!! I’ve been waiting months. I was so happy to find The Lost Recipe of Happiness and The Secret of Everything as I had read several of your books written under Barbara Samuel name. The Secret of Everything is my favorite book. It’s amazing. I’m currently pulling it apart and studying it scene by scene as a writer. I’d love to read about your writing process.

    Thanks for the great reads!


    • Barbara O'Neal says:

      Tina, thanks!

      There are more craft articles at A Writer Afoot, and I write quite a lot about craft and my process at Writer Unboxed. Hoping to pull together a group of columns I wrote for Novelist’s Ink on the process, but time….time…time!

      • Tina Canon says:

        Thanks, Barbara. I’ve been reading through some of your old blog posts which are helpful! :) I’m currently in Lori Wilde’s workshop/mentorship six month track program, writing my book and almost finished with WIP. Reading about your multiple drafts in the blogs reinforces that — hey, it’s alright to write a ton of drafts in order to layer in everything that’s needed to make a story GREAT.


  146. Renee says:

    Will your latest two books be coming out in a recorded version? If so, when?

  147. Linda says:

    I am so happy that you are writing another book…can’t wait…loved both books…

    What other name did you use for writing.

  148. Anne says:

    Hallo Barbara,
    Thank you for your reply to my previous comment. I have bought ‘The Secret of Everything’ and am totally engrossed in Tessa’s story. I want to visit the High Country of New Mexico and eat at somewhere like ‘The 100 Breakfasts Cafe’. I love Natalie too, an eight year old enjoying such wonderful food as she does.
    I am looking forward to the next book and hopefully more after that.

  149. Edward Dyckman says:

    I’m reading this book and can’t put it down. I don’t
    know why, but when I’m finished I will certainly look
    for another Barbara O’Neal book. I am an ex-pat
    and this book has found its way to an Australian

  150. Marilynn Layden says:

    Hi Barbara!
    Remember me? From Pueblo West, CO. I am still here and still reading and re-reading all of your books. I was also surprised that you are writing under a different name but I persisted and found you. Thank goodness.
    Thank you also for all the enjoyment you have given me over the years. Best of luck always. And please keep writing.

  151. Jolia says:

    Hi Barbara O’Neal,
    I have heared about you so much through the publishing of your new book “The Lost Recipie for Happiness”, I wanted to read it so much but I haven’t found it anywhere where I live.
    I hope one day I can read it :)
    Once I find it and read it, I’ll give you my review, but of course I know it will be fantastic, becaue the one who wrote it is Barbara O’Neal !!

  152. Julie says:

    Just finished reading ‘The secret of everything.’ Loved it – dogs, people, food and the landscape. Beautifully descriptive and such memorable characters. Thankyou. Can’t wait to read more.

  153. Stef says:

    While wandering through the new books section in my local library, I happened upon “The Secret of Everything.” I devoured it in less than a day then returned to the library for “The Lost Recipe of Happiness.” The storylines and characters were so compelling. Also, I now want to visit the Southwest and eat all that yummy food!

    Both are such a good read. Thank you for writing them. I look forward read more of your work in the future!

  154. Pat Koss says:

    OMG, I am such an avid reader…but I have just discovered you!!!!Bought “The Lost Recipe for Happiness” at a rummage sale yesterday and finished it this evening…now I will go and hunt for “The Secret of Everything”. I am an avid reader, usually 2 books per week, since childhood….I am SO GLAD I found you. Keep up the good work and thank you…..

  155. Kathy Chambers says:

    I just finished your book tomight and loved every minute of it. It’s awesome the way your locales and characters jump off the page right into my heart. I, too, was sad to get to the final page and am definitely looking forward to your next book. I get my “reading fixes” from the local library, but this is one book I want to own. I especially love the way you give equal attention to people, places, animals, classic rock and food…everything I value! I’ve read other books that mention La Lorona and the Native American lore…so kudos on doing your homework!

  156. Shannon says:

    I have a question, that I have found an answer to, but would like a second opinion. When writing your novels what software program do you use? Thanks

  157. lisa Herman says:

    Would love to copy the recipes… and try them, while staying “green!” Can you put them on line for all to see, use, and taste!?

  158. Anne says:

    Dear Barbara,
    I have just finished reading “The Lost Recipe for Happiness” and enjoyed every word of it. I found Elena a fascinating character and so enjoyed reading about the creation of the ‘Orange Bear’ and all who worked there. I love stories about food, especially when they include recipes. We don’t have wonderful New Mexico food like that in Australia.
    I am looking forward to reading more of your books.
    Thank you.

  159. lisa Herman says:

    any way to down load the recipes from “secret..” without having to xerox each one from the book, and then mucho loose sheets of paper floating around??

  160. […] is a finalist in the RITA’s Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category for her novel The Lost Recipe for Happiness. […]

  161. Donna says:

    Your website is beautiful.

  162. Sally says:

    I have just discovered your books and am thrilled to find a new author to love! And I am also excited to find your books under your other name….I am ordering them today! I will be telling all my reading friends about you and looking forward to your next book.

  163. Bobbie Louise says:

    I am such a big fan your writting. I absolutely feel in love with the Lost recipe for Happiness! I Just could not wait to get my hands on the new book. I ran acroos it at Barnes & Noble and decided to forgo my previous book choice for the week and get the Secret of Everything. And just as I expected the look didnt dissapoint; it exceeded my expectations and them some; I read it in 2 days. I am an advid foodie myself and have traveled the world for the love of all thing edible! Your writitng is a great blend of many story lines combined in one with the added bonus of featured recipes. I cant wait to get into my kitchen and try out the new stuff!! Keep up the good work. I look forward to your next piece.

  164. Brenda says:

    Recently read “The Secret of Everything”, you’ve done it again! I just love every book! Please, Please keep them coming! My favorite thing is to get them on cd so I can have the story read to me while I work on my crafts. You are a brilliant writer. Your books always take me away and make me long for the places you write about out west, and I feel that your characters would make great friends.

    Thank you again. You’re the best!

  165. April says:

    I just read “The Lost Recipie for Happiness” and I am completely captured! I love all the characters and you can’t help but get completely wrapped up in Elena’s world. I found myself wanting to live in this book and be friends with Elena; maybe work in her restaurant! I never wanted the book to end and when I did it was easy to imagine what else could lie ahead for Elena. I am 25 and reading about strong & sucessfull women is inspiring. Thankyou for this incredible ride and I am looking forward to reading “The Secret to Everything”

  166. Cindy says:

    So excited to read your new book! I read your first book and just loved it!

  167. Gail, did you receive the recipe?

    K, how utterly perfect that you found the book in an airplane seat! Love it. Los Ladrones is based (very loosely) on a combination of Taos and Santa Fe, moved north to Questa. 100 Breakfasts is only in my imagination, but I love breakfast at the historic Plaza cafe in Santa Fe. If you’ve never been, give it a try next time you’re through there.

  168. Nancy, yes, I am the same person. I know it’s crazy, but that’s publishing for you!

    So glad you found my new books!

  169. K Waldron says:

    It was quite by accident (was it an accident?) that I read “The Secret of Everything.” Although I’m hardly a “Tessa,” I’m a traveling professional and found a copy of your book in the back of an airplane seat last week. I’m accumstomed to finding snotty kleenex, half-eaten snacks and half-finished crossword puzzles in seat pockets so imagine my surprise to find your novel (with no “goo” on the cover, BTW!)
    I had to write to thank you, thank you for the story. It’s been years since a story and its characters responated with me like yours did and truth be known, I’ve been planning some time off to “go get lost.” On what city did you base Los Ladrones? Being a Southwesterner, I’d surely love to swing by 100 Breakfasts for a meal…

  170. Margaret says:

    Loved, book 1- Lost Recipe,,,,

    Started book 2 this week, while down with the flu,,,,
    just seems to be great also,,,

    My son had a Santa Fe wedding 2 years ago,,,love that area.

  171. nancy saxon says:

    i just discovered The Secret of Everything last week and since starting it, do not want to put it down!!! i’m totally wrapped up in the characters and the place. i have to shake myself to return to the real world. i may be sad when the book ends and i have to let the people move on! i’m planning to get The Lost Recipe for Happiness this week and can’t wait to start on it too.

    please clarify for me……..are you the same person as Barbara Samuel??? I saw the link on your website but couldn’t tell if the authors are one and the same. i read No Place Like Home years ago and loved it too. would be way cool they were the same author!!!

  172. Linda says:

    Loved both of your books. I couldn’t wait to find time to run down to
    read them. Have told all of my reading friends. Love reading about
    strong women.
    Keep ’em coming……….

  173. Margaret says:

    I am really into your book,,,hope to linger with it more this weekend.
    I do love to cook,,,when the time is available,,,and cook anyway, when there isn’t any time….fortunately my dh loves to cook too.
    He has been making soups from the local newspaper.
    Last week was Manhanttan Clam Chowder.
    Next will be Chicken Pot Pie soup from a restaurant here in town that is located inside an antique mall.

  174. Lovely review, Mari. Thanks very, very much.

  175. Magical Musings » Blog Archive » Week Ahead with Barbara Samuel, Cynthia Eden & Beverley Kendall says:

    […] We’re already giddy at Magical Musings by great news for Michelle Diener and Liz Kreger, and now we’re even more gleeful with our fabulous three guests for the week. First up on Monday is Barbara Samuel, aka Ruth Wind and Barbara O’Neal. She’s a multiple RITA award-winning author with more than 25 books to her credit, in women’s fiction and historical and contemporary romances. She now writes women’s fiction for Ballantine, romances for Silhouette, and columns for her website and Novelist’s Ink. Her newest book under her Barbara O’Neal pen name is out now, The Secret of Everything. It has family, food, love and great writing. I love her books under all her names, but her Barbara O’Neal books are my favorites. You can read more about The Secret of Everything here and the excerpt here. […]

  176. Magical Musings » Blog Archive » Week Ahead with Barbara Samuel, Cynthia Eden & Beverley Kendall says:

    […] and Novelist’s Ink. Her newest book under her Barbara O’Neal pen name is out now, The Secret of Everything. It has family, food, love and great writing. I love her books under all her names, but her Barbara […]

  177. G Brady says:

    My favorite new author!

  178. G Brady says:

    A week ago, I stumbled upon The Secret of Everything and after reading the book cover, I knew it was a wonderful new discovery by an author I had not read before. I could not put it down and when I read the last page, I was sad that it had ended. It had so many layers that I savored, along with each and every character, bur especially Tessa, Sam and Natalie. I loved the surprise of Tessa not being Sam’s real daughter, but his daughter nonetheless. Thank you for the pleasure of reading this wonderful book.
    I then had to go on a hunt for The Lost Recipe for Happiness and just finished it. Another wonderful book that I enjoyed so much, from the first to the last page. Now I need another Barbara O’Neal book to read because I am totally hooked. I can’t wait! Again, thank you.

  179. Mari' says:

    Where have I been that I’ve not come across your books before? I picked up your book ‘The Secret of Everything’ this past weekend and plan to start reading this evening. The jacket caught my attention since it appears to take place in New Mexico and I so miss my NM. You’ve also captured my favorite elements, strong women, food and love. I’ve scheduled an entry to my blog for tomorrow about this new read and I’m looking forward to what you have to offer. I always get excited about a new author that I didn’t kniow about.

  180. Ivy says:

    Keep me on your email list.

  181. SUZANNE LABERGE says:

    I just read the Lost Recipe for Happiness and really enjoyed it. Now I’ll have to get The Secret of Everything. Loved Jack’s picture! Alvin made me want to get another dog.

  182. Barb,
    Love the new look of your website. Enjoy reading your blogs, newsletters, er, well everything you write. Happy New Year,


  183. […] is the official release date of my new book, THE SECRET OF EVERYTHING. That’s the only thing I’m thinking about today, so that’s what I’m writing […]

  184. […] 30th, 2009 by Barbara Samuel My new novel, The Secret of Everything, hits the shelves this week. At the heart of the book is a restaurant called The 100 Breakfasts […]

  185. elena geesey says:

    Can’t wait to read the new one!

  186. NAC 2009 – Barbara O’Neal says:

    […] I’ve got a Barbara Samuel book on my shelf to read, but I picked up O’Neal’s The Lost Recipe For Happiness this summer and wanted to read it right away. It’s the story of a professional chef […]

  187. Yvonne Erwin says:

    Hey Barb, just leaving my name and email for the contest! Thanks!

  188. Tony Putman says:

    Registering for ARC drawing …

  189. […] my next book, The Secret of Everything (out December 29 from Bantam), the main character, Tessa Harlow, leads hiking tours all over the […]

  190. Glenda Leader says:

    I wondered how you got my e-add then loved the sound of the apple butter pudding (I’ve saved it) & bread-kneading (wanted to rush off & do the same) then read the first chapter with Elena & Julian & loved your writing. Exciting, sensual, beautifully written. Thank you.

    Thanks for the mention of our great NZ lamb! Were you @ this yr’s Romance Writers’ conference? It was wonderful, as usual.

  191. […] adds that library patrons can request books from librarians. I’ve done that with The Lost Recipe of Happiness by Barbara O’Neal (aka Barbara Samuel) and The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh. In […]

  192. Jason Brian Assan says:

    Dear Mrs O’Neal,

    Are your publisher selling your books in our country, Malaysia? Get it reviewed and it is sure going to be a big hit. Have Mrs O’Neal ever thought of writing children books that resemble the older children’s classics – where politeness ruled the entire book; so that it can be included as an excerpt in school comprehension or examination exercises for SPM or PMR English. I have read the ” The Secret of Everything” ‘s excerpt and it is quite alike with the English comprehension exercises and examinations that is being used between 1998-2000/2001/2002-2004/06. Students and perhaps my friends (including myself) will like it a lot, as a welcome break from traditionalist texts being frequently used, which will bore a reader to whims and fancies (plus the complains… and much more later on). Please consider it because there is going to be a reforn in the education syllabus in 2010/2011. Just trying to help the juniors in my school, state (Sarawak), and country (Malaysia). Thank you for reading.

    Yours sincerely,

    Jason Brian Assan
    Sekolah Menengah Kerajaan Sacred Heart (Catholic), Sibu, Sarawak.

  193. yvonne erwin says:

    Sounds wonderful! I can’t wait!

  194. Gail Klug says:

    I don’t know if I am sending this to you twice or not, but I just finished reading The Lost Recipe For Happiness and I would love to have the recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate. Are you willing to give it out? Is it in one of your other books?


    I really enjoyed your book, especially since you too are a Colorado Springs gal.

  195. Shari says:

    Can’t wait for your next book to be released!

  196. agk’s beautiful life » Bullet Points & Questions says:

    […] (still reading) – The Lost Recipe For Happiness — Enjoying […]

  197. […] once in a while, I find a book I want to tell everyone to read. The Lost Recipe for Happiness, about food, love and healing, is one of those […]

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