Blog Archives

New book!

Posted on: June 11th, 2013 by Barbara O'Neal No Comments

We’ve been tussling over the title of my next book for Bantam, but I’m happy to say I now have both a title and a date!  Look for THE ALL YOU CAN DREAM BUFFET in May 2014.

It’s the story of four food bloggers who meet at a lavender farm and discover …well, you’ll just have to wait and see.  I will say that I did some of my favorite research ever for this book.

Win a Nook or a Kindle before Christmas!

Posted on: December 7th, 2011 by Barbara O'Neal 24 Comments

A chance to win a Nook or Kindle before Christmas
I’m giving away one Nook and one Kindle this Christmas season. All you have to do to be eligible is join my mailing list. Go here:

The simple pleasure of tea

Posted on: August 30th, 2011 by Barbara O'Neal 9 Comments

A reader wrote to me recently with these comments:

I just finished another of your books and I really enjoy them……In your stories the women drink a variety of teas…..I’d like to find a good breakfast tea to replace coffee in the morning, is there one that you would recommend? So many choices on the shelves its confusing……
Although I didn’t realize the characters in my novels drink a lot of tea, it really is not surprising, since I am a serious tea drinker. Always have been. When the Englishman entered my life, that particular habit found a cozy spot and settled in for good.  We always drink tea first thing in the …

Posting at The Lipstick Chronicles

Posted on: July 21st, 2011 by Barbara O'Neal No Comments


If you only read my blog here, you would think I had disappeared into the far reaches of Tasmania, but in fact, dear readers, I have been blogging twice a month at The Lipstick Chronicles, with a group of very entertaining and interesting women writers.  I am posting there the first and third Friday of every month, and here are the opening paragraphs of  the most recent three.   Stop by!

Ian and the Blue Gill

Three women, ranging in age from senior to ancient, are settled in a half circle at the end of the dock.  The chairs have been dragged down to the pond from the main house, metal lawn chairs with green and white woven seats.  My young son and …

Ramona’s Sunshine Fruit and Honey Bread

Posted on: February 9th, 2011 by Barbara O'Neal 3 Comments

(A recipe from How to Bake a Perfect Life. )

These are actual texts from my sister a few days ago:

Feb 5, 2011 7:13 pm
Making sunshine fruit and honey bread :)

Feb 6, 2011 12:36 pm
OMG OMG OMG. That bread is soooooo good I could prolly eat the whole thing!!!

Feb. 7, 2011 12:26 pm
I can’t stop eating this bread ! I feel like the guy in the window in Chocolat. LOL


I can’t promise you will like it as much as she does, but it’s one of my favorites, too.  It would be an excellent offering at a book club.

Sunshine Fruit and Honey Bread

Sometimes a recipe is born …

The delights of British food

Posted on: January 26th, 2011 by Barbara O'Neal No Comments

The Brits get a bad name over food, but I’m here to say there is a lot that’s lovely about British cooking. Saveur Magazine has a feature
today on their website about British Pub Food.  I receive their emails and clicked right through to find this lovely menu:

Welsh Rabbit, which I thought for years was Rarebit, no idea why, and is only cheese and toast.  How simple and lovely is that?

Roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, served bloody rare, which I loathe.  Not a fan of roast beef, though I love the gravy, and that gravy is a wonder with Yorkshire puddings.

Beef and Guinness pie . I once …

A custom-made apron prize

Posted on: January 19th, 2011 by Barbara O'Neal 27 Comments

My publisher had a few of these aprons made for How to Bake a Perfect Life. You can win one of them (autographed if you like) by simply posting a response here on this page (or on Facebook).

Giveaway #1: sourdough crock and starter from King Arthur Flour

Posted on: December 17th, 2010 by Barbara O'Neal 15 Comments

How to Bake a Perfect Life will be in stores in 4 short days (Tuesday!), and in honor of that date, I’m going to start giving things away. This is the first one, a sourdough crock and either fresh or dried (you choose) starter from King Arthur flour.  To win, just post to the comments and I’ll draw a name tomorrow morning.

Good luck!

Starred review from Library Journal

Posted on: December 10th, 2010 by Barbara O'Neal 2 Comments

This made me very happy indeed!
Library Journal
(Starred review) O’Neal, Barbara. How To Bake a Perfect Life. Bantam. Dec. 2010. 398p. ISBN 9780553386776. pap. $15.

“Forty-year-old bread maker Ramona Gallagher owns a boulangerie in Colorado Springs, though independence from her restaurateur family members has put a crimp in her financial well-being and in their relationships. Pregnant with her first child, Ramona’s 24-year-old daughter, Sofia, flies to Germany when her soldier husband, Oscar, is burned in an explosion in Afghanistan. Katie, Oscar’s 13-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, comes to live with Ramona after her mother is arrested and forced into rehab for drug use. A surly teen with a dog, Katie adds to the unresolved family issues lying heavily on Ramona’s shoulders. She thinks back on that …


Posted on: March 25th, 2010 by Barbara O'Neal No Comments

The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O'NealSorry to be absent so much lately.  I’m working hard on the 2011 book.  It’s the most ambitious I’ve undertaken so far, and requires all my writing huevos to get it on the page.  I did write a post on setting for Writer Unboxed yesterday, and it has generated some excellent discussion.  Please join in.

IN OTHER NEWS:   I am delighted to let you know that THE LOST RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS is a RITA finalist.  Quite a powerful panel of books, and I’m honored to be in such company.   Happy, happy, happy. 

I’ll write a post about my deep and visceral …