Coming Soon! The Power of a Dream

SNEAK PEEK of pages from the publisher’s rough draft for my new picture book, The Power of a Dream: Maria Feliciana Arballo, Latina Pioneer, which will be published by MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing late 2018. Deborah Bolton is the illustrator.

Feliciana was a young widow who traveled on the 1775 colonization expedition from Mexico to California led by Captain Juan Bautista de Anza.

Feliciana loved to sing and dance, and one night on the journey she organized a fandango, a lively Spanish dance party. Photo: Tiles outside Pacific House in Monterey, CA. Courtesy of Greg Smestad and

The Power of a Dream is a non-fiction picture book, which tells the story of the arduous journey from Feliciana’s perspective. Her husband died just before the expedition started, but Feliciana still chose to go with her two daughters–an infant and a four year old–to find a better life in California.

My author’s notes will further discuss details about the expedition and Feliciana’s legacy, in which several of her descendants had an impact on California and U.S. history.

Feliciana is a fictionalized character in my book Yakimali’s Gift, which is a novel about the 1775 expedition and 15-year-old Fernanda, who joins the expedition and finds not only romance, but truths that change the way she sees her family, her ancestry, and herself.