Judith McConnell Steele lived in northeast Brazil for a number of years as a Peace Corps volunteer, translator and journalist for Project Hope and volunteer with Amigos de las Americas. Several years after her last stay in Brazil, she began writing The Angel of Esperanҫa. The book opens with a woman shut in a tower and then explores the growing catastrophe that put her there. The Angel of Esperanҫa, published by Mill Park Publishing, was given three first-place awards –for best fiction, best cover design and best interior design –in the 2013 Idaho Book Awards. The novel recently received a second place award for fiction in the international North American Book Awards. Steele’s fiction and poetry have been published in magazines, literary journals and anthologies. Two collections of her Idaho Statesman columns are in print – Stories from Home (Sassafras Books, 1989) and More Stories from Home (Tamarack Books, 1993).