Last Wish is the story of June, a woman who loves animals and has developed a bakery for dogs and their humans. She and Michael were in love throughout high school and college, but a choice June made drove them apart. The story opens after Attorney Michael has given up a prime position in Washington, DC and returned to Kansas City to care for his grandmother. He reads his grandfather’s will. 

Last Wish and the Plaza

When J. C. Nichols planned the Country Club Plaza in 1922 and designed it after the style of Seville, Spain, he did not know he was developing the setting for my story, Last Wish. The Plaza, with its glorious buildings, beautiful fountains, and high-end stores, is one of the great places to shop or dine. If you are ever in Kansas City, be sure to visit this beautiful area and experience it for yourself.

Nichols didn’t stop at the Plaza. He developed the surrounding communities with purpose. Brookside is an artsy community next to the Plaza where you’ll find a variety of specialty stores. This is the setting I chose for Last Wish. Ward Parkway, which winds through the area, has enormous homes belonging to some of the wealthiest people in Kansas City. This is where Michael’s grandmother lives. 

Last Wish and Hallmark

I chose the Plaza area because I wanted to write a story to submit to Hallmark, which originated in Kansas City. My in-laws went to church with Donald and Adele Hall, the founders of Hallmark. Over the years, we’ve known several Hallmark card artists. And we loved going to the huge Hallmark department store in the Kansas City Plaza. 

Where My Husband Grew Up 

Like Michael, my husband grew up in his grandmother’s large home just off Ward Parkway. He and his friends frequented Brookside. He comes from a family of attorneys.

If the setting in Brookside, and the background of a family of lawyers wasn’t enough, both my daughters had been baristas in their twenties. One daughter dreamed of having a food truck. And they both helped me with an internet horse treats business that sold horse treats worldwide, so when June had a food truck that frequented horse shows, we had a perfect fit.

And we had Bailey.

Writing Last Wish was enjoyable because of our personal connections to the story. Hallmark closed their publishing division before I finished my manuscript, but it doesn’t matter. We’ve had great fun exploring Brookside and watching June and Michael’s story unfold. 

More about Last Wish:

What if you need more than 1 second chance?

June had a choice—tell Michael the truth and ruin his life or take his grandfather’s offer to start her own business.Now she has her hands full with Hoof ‘n Woof Cafe, a food truck, her horse, two Golden Retrievers, and a secret. Then Michael Bainbridge returns, and her world turns upside down.  


Lifetime horsewoman, Barbara weaves her extensive background with horses and their people into exciting stories about happily ever after for men, women, and horses. Barbara also enjoys helping others with horses and writing.

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