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Esperanza’s Way

Cindy Burkart Maynard's immersive new novel is set in the medieval Pyrenees

Cindy Burkart Maynard’s new novel, Esperanza’s Way, features a spirited girl growing up in the medieval-era Basque Pyrenees, longing to receive training as an herbalist at Salerno’s famed Scola Medica. Any readers familiar with my own novels set in the Pyrenees will understand why I jumped at the chance to feature Esperanza’s Way on my blog. The author’s choice of setting and her protagonist’s ambitions truly strike a chord with me, while her writing style is lovely and immersive. Read on for an excerpt of the book.


Motivated by the memory of her mother dying in her arms, Esperanza resolves that she will one day walk the halls of the Scola Medica at Salerno and train to become a healer. Fate brought Amika, a talented herbalist, into her life and helped Esperanza take her first steps toward gaining the knowledge that would fulfill her dream. Unfortunately, a tragic accident forced Esperanza to flee Amika’s home. Her journey toward finding the path to success is littered with stumbling blocks, some more difficult to avoid than she expected.


Amika pulled her mind away from her memories of the Camino. She was delighted by Mateo’s news, but his words swirled around her head like a swarm of bees, buzzing but not landing.

The whirlwind of emotions that stirred her had nothing to do with Mateo’s school. Her feelings were visceral. Her heart swelled to overflowing, not with pride for his accomplishments, but with an aching need. He had risen so high in the world, she worried he would slip away from her altogether. Her accomplishments were ripples in a stream compared to the waterfall of his success. She knew he would never marry her; their differences were too great.

Nevertheless, from the moment she met him on the Camino, she understood he would always be her first and only love. He had ambitious plans that did not include an uneducated peasant girl. Though he loved her in his way, he would never tether himself to her side. She put her disappointment aside as Mateo threw his arm around her shoulder enveloping her in his cloak and led him inside. Tonight, at least, he will belong only to me.

Buy the Book:

Universal Link – Esperanza’s Way (Book 2):

Universal Buy Link – Finding the Way (Book 1):

About the Author:

Cindy Burkart Maynard is passionate about history, and the natural world, a passion that adds rich detail and context to her historical fiction novels. Her characters come to life on the page as they portray what it was like to live in another time and place. She weaves compelling, dramatic stories based on strong characters facing daunting challenges. She has co-authored two nonfiction works about the Colorado Plateau and the Desert Southwest and contributed articles to Images and Colorado Life Magazines. She has been a Volunteer Naturalist for Boulder County for more than twenty years, and served as a Docent at the Sonora Arizona Desert Museum in Tucson, AZ.

Colorado Authors League Award Winner for Western Literature

Women Writing the West Award Finalist
WILLA Literary Award finalist for soft cover fiction.

Readers’ Favorite Five Star Author
Winner of the Marie M. Irvine award for Literary Excellence

Professional Affiliations:

Historical Novel Society of North America

Lighthouse Writers

Women’s Fiction Writers Association

Colorado Authors League

Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers

Authors Guild

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