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Lost In Oaxaca

Once a promising young concert pianist, Camille Childs retreated to her mother’s Santa Barbara estate after an injury to her hand destroyed her hopes for a musical career. She now leads a solitary life teaching piano, and she has a star student: Graciela, the daughter of her mother’s Mexican housekeeper. Camille has been grooming the young Graciela for the career that she herself lost out on, and now Graciela, newly turned eighteen, has just won the grand prize in a piano competition, which means she gets to perform with the LA Philharmonic. Camille is ecstatic; if she can’t play herself, at least as Graciela’s teacher, she will finally get the recognition she deserves. But there are only two weeks left before the concert, and Graciela has disappeared―gone back to her family’s village in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico.


Desperate to bring Graciela back in time for the concert, Camille goes after her, but on the way there, a bus accident leaves her without any of her possessions. Alone and unable to speak the language, Camille is befriended by Alejandro, a Zapotec man who lives in LA but is from the same village as Graciela. Despite a contentious first meeting, Alejandro helps Camille navigate the rugged terrain and unfamiliar culture of Oaxaca, allowing her the opportunity to view the world in a different light―and perhaps find love in the process.

What People Say

Jessica Winters Mireles’ Lost in Oaxaca is a beautiful, moving, and timely love story that will tug at your heartstrings along with your sense of right and wrong. Through the charming Camille and captivating Alejandro, you will leave this book believing that both love and music can rise above the inequities, injustices, and bullies of the world.  

Jessica Anya Blau

author of The Trouble with Lexie


A Pianist Turned Author

Born and raised in Santa Barbara, California, Jessica Winters Mireles holds a degree in piano performance from the University of Southern California. After graduating in 1986, she began her career as a piano teacher and performer. Four children and a studio of over forty piano students later, Jessica’s life changed drastically when her youngest daughter was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of two; she soon decided that life was too short to give up on her dreams of becoming a writer.


After five years of carving out some time each day from her busy life as a pianist, teacher, mother, and wife, Jessica finished her first novel, Lost in Oaxaca. She drew inspiration for Lost in Oaxaca in part from elements of her own life: her passion for teaching, her love of piano, and her immersion and appreciation of Oaxacan culture after marrying her husband Rene, an indigenous Zapotec man from the highlands of Oaxaca.


Jessica’s work has been published in GreenPrints and Mothering magazines. She lives with her husband and family in Santa Barbara, California.

Jessica Winters Mireles

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