Barbara O'Neal's picture

Barbara O'Neal

A pseudonym used by Barbara Samuel

Barbara O'Neal fell in love with restaurants and the secret language of spoons when she was sixteen. She spent more than a decade in various restaurants, dives to cafes to high cuisine, before selling her first novel. O'Neal teaches workshops nationally and internationally, and lives with her partner, a British endurance athlete, in Colorado Springs.

Genres: General Fiction, Mystery, Romance
Barbara O'Neal recommends
He's Gone (2013)
Deb Caletti
"One of the best books I've read all year."
If I Didn't Know Better (2015)
(Callaway Cousins, book 1)
Barbara Freethy
"I adore the Callaways, a family we'd all love to have. Each new book is a deft combination of emotion, suspense and family dynamics. A remarkable, compelling series!"
Everything You Are (2019)
Kerry Anne King
"Everything You Are is a fresh, imaginative story about the power of dreams and our hunger to be who we really are. Kerry Anne King orchestrates a fluid, emotional, and wholly original tale of families, secrets, and the power of our gifts to free us. I loved every magical word."
Room to Breathe (2019)
Liz Talley
"Liz Talley has written a love story between a mother and daughter that captured me completely. By turns tender and astringent, sexy and funny, heart-wrenching and uplifting, Room to Breathe is an escapist and winning story that will carry you away with an imperfect pair of protagonists who just might remind you of someone you know. A delight."
A Happy Catastrophe (2020)
Maddie Dawson
"I am a big, big fan of Maddie Dawson, and A Happy Catastrophe is one of those rare books—a sequel that is even more enjoyable than its stellar predecessor. In the follow-up to Matchmaking for Beginners, Maddie Dawson has taken her airy, madcap character on a walk through the hard work of not just falling in love, but staying the course with a man who has a few things to work out. And what results is a tale of great heart and insight—sprinkled with stardust and hope."
Recipe for Persuasion (2020)
(Rajes, book 2)
Sonali Dev
"No one writes like Sonali Dev. Recipe for Persuasion is a complex, thoughtful exploration of family dynamics, mothers and daughters, and the sorrows we often endure before we find our true place in life. A rich, delicious tale."
Side Trip (2020)
Kerry Lonsdale
"A highly romantic and heart-wrenching story by a writer who rarely takes the expected route."
An Unfinished Story (2020)
Boo Walker
"An Unfinished Story is an immersive tale about a quest to find something real and true after life turns upside down. Boo Walker has written a book with a tender heart, cast against the soft background of coastal Florida, a setting rendered with a hand for delicate detail. A great story of redemption that carted me away."
Truth of the Matter (2020)
(Potomac Point, book 2)
Jamie Beck
"This is [a] sharp and graceful tale of mothers and daughters, secrets and tangled family histories. Jamie Beck brings her clear-eyed prose style and smart characterizations to the story of a mother and daughter doing their best—and often failing—to make their way to a new life after a divorce. A thoughtful, moving book from a writer stepping into the fullness of her talents."
What's Worth Keeping (2021)
Kaya McLaren
"A book as wise and unflinching as an old growth forest, filled with the capricious beauty and brutality of life. Kaya Maclaren gives us a powerful, deeply moving story of a family in desperate need of healing and the paths each of them must walk to find it, and shows us how we might all find hope if we can pause long enough to listen to the whispers of nature."
Hadley and Grace (2021)
Suzanne Redfearn
"What a ride! Better get comfortable, because you will not be able to put this book down once you pick it up. The action hurtles forward at the speed of a bullet train, capturing the reader with not only plot but also characters who take us captive as we follow along on their wild journey. I adored both Hadley and Grace and the crazy crew of children, and I was rooting for them every second. One of the best books I’ve read in ages!"
The Shadow Box (2021)
Luanne Rice
"A clever protagonist in extreme danger pitted against a cruel and powerful circle made the stakes in The Shadow Box so high I could barely stop reading for a drink of water. Luanne Rice creates a thrillingly compelling tale of common cruelty, high ambition, and the courage it takes to oppose them. Well done!"
The Light Through the Leaves (2021)
Glendy Vanderah
"A unique page-turner of remarkable richness, a tale of unthinkable trauma and the powerful, steady healing to be found in the natural world. I love the women in Vanderah’s novels, women who are allowed to be as flawed and raw and brave and fierce as men. And I loved the unfolding layers in this book, layers of love and disaster, secrets and longings, mothers and children, and always, nature as the steady backdrop to all life, offering the hope of renewal at all turns. Exquisite."
Summertime Guests (2021)
Wendy Francis
"At first glance, Summertime Guests is a riveting mystery set in a newly restored Boston hotel where a guest falls to a gruesome death. But in the chorus of voices exploring who died and what lead to the plunge, Francis explores the myriad facets of marriage--the little joys and banal failures, the kindnesses and physical attraction, the ways we neglect and support each other. A smart read with plenty of meat for book clubs."
The Venice Sketchbook (2021)
Rhys Bowen
"The Venice Sketchbook is that rare book, both epic and personal, and utterly compelling. Two women, decades apart, escape to Venice, each forced to grapple with the influence of world events on her own life. This is a tale brimming with secrets, romance, and possibilities, cast against the colorful setting of irresistible Venice. I was utterly captured."
Paper Doll Lina (2021)
Robyn Lucas
"Robyn Lucas has written a compelling exploration of a woman trying to shake off the prison of her disintegrating marriage and return to herself. It is also a wildly romantic tale of soul mates and the promise of a new day. Engrossing and satisfying."
A Day Like This (2021)
Kelley McNeil
"Kelley McNeil has woven a fascinating tale that kept me guessing all the way through, surprising me at every turn. A wonderful, fast-paced read."
The Taste of Ginger (2022)
Mansi Shah
"A powerful, thoughtful, and also very accessible book that explores culture and class in both India and America, through the eyes of a winning narrator on a quest to understand both places and where she fits in each. Written with a great sense of curiosity and open-heartedness, it is never judgmental, always thoughtful, and while it gave me a lot to ponder, it also swept me away on an adventure and gave me relief from my everyday life. A beautiful book that deserves a big audience. Well done!"
Everything Must Go (2022)
Camille Pagán
"Everything Must Go is a clear-sighted, generous look at a woman grappling with her awakening voice. I love everything Pagan writes, and this one is a moving and thoughtful addition to her growing list of wonderful books."
Darling Girl (2022)
Liz Michalski
"A dark and elegant look at a story we all know well. Liz Michalski takes Peter Pan where all the old stories go, where magic is never without a cost, and pixie dust might be more powerful than you imagine. Fantastic!"
West Side Love Story (2022)
Priscilla Oliveras
"Nothing is more romantic than forbidden love and this book pulls it off gorgeously. Priscilla Oliveras writes in musical prose about longing and passion and our duties and love for our families with great understanding. Bravo!"
Paradise Girls (2022)
Sandy Gingras
"How I loved this book! Both breezy and deep, it swept me away to a land of beaches and mangrove islands, broken-hearted tour leaders and eccentrics, and a woman trying desperately to find her new life. I wish I could run away to the Low Key Motel right now. You will, too."
Other Birds (2022)
Sarah Addison Allen
"Oh, joy of joys! A new book by Sarah Addison Allen, and Other Birds is her best yet! Dark and sweet, brutal and wise, full of delectable food and plenty of meddling ghosts, and soaked with an abiding tenderness and hope. One of my favorite books this year."

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