Message From The Author

Author's Message

Barbara Samuel serves up the Southwestern-flavored A PIECE OF HEAVEN

For her newest novel, Barbara Samuel found inspiration quite close to home. A native of Southern Colorado (with its desert landscape a la New Mexico), Samuel drew on the native mysticism and spirituality of her home, family and friends to enhance the book's Taos, New Mexico, setting.

"One night I attended a graduation party for the son of some friends, and late in the evening, after everyone had been partaking happily of the refreshments for quite some time, the talk turned to 'brujas,' or witches, and then to other magical elements of our little part of the world. One of the men pulled a charm out of his wallet, one his mother had made him for protection against a particular bruja in the neighborhood. It was a tiny linen packet, containing 'holy dirt' and a medal to the Virgin of Guadalupe."

In that instant, Barbara wondered what might happen if a charm went wrong—and A Piece of Heaven was born. The story of Thomas Coyote and Luna McGraw who are both trying to be reborn, regrouping from failed marriages, personal tragedies and regrets and hoping to forge a new life.

"I've written a lot of Native American heroes, but Thomas is a little bit more real, more like a man you might really meet. He has some baggage and he's not the most gorgeous man in the world, but he's good and kind and an excellent reward for Luna, who has walked a very hard road and wants to do the right thing, but is never quite sure what that is."

The book's unique genesis made it extra-special for Barbara. "This same family [hosting the party] ended up enthusiastically helping me create the mood and tone of the book with stories and legends and little words in Spanish—we had a ball with this book!"

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