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A Canadian-American writer, Way grew up in the Canadian prairies before attending boarding school in Massachusetts and college in California.


With her first career as a stay-at-home mom, she also always wanted to be a writer and, after finding her grandparents’ letters and diaries, returned to university to develop her writing in hopes of one day doing justice for their epic story.


In the process came another story: Finding Fortune. Completed as her thesis for her MFA in Creative Writing, Finding Fortune is Way’s debut novel, by L.A. Belmontéz.

Related to Joseph Campbell and descended from writers such as Anne Bradstreet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Richard Henry Dana, Way is fascinated by the beauty of language, the power of story, and the Hero’s Journey.


She also has a BA in English, an MA in Film Studies, writes screenplays, and is in love with a Hero of a Thousand Faces. But that’s another story…


The Novel

By L.A. Belmontéz

First QueenPin Books Paperback Edition

ISBN: 978-1-9995676-0-6 (paperback)

ISBN: 978-1-9995676-1-3 (e-book)

Sometimes your life can change—in one moment, one glance, one breath…


L.A. Belmontéz’s long-awaited debut novel is a love story plagued by the underworld of Colombian kidnappings.

Inspired by real events, Finding Fortune delves into the consciousness of its characters, story within story, as they attempt to piece together the past in a soul-searching quest for true fortune.


Set between the height of Colombian kidnappings in the late nineteen nineties and the present nearly a decade later, Finding Fortune takes readers from the glitz and glam of Hollywood to Colombian jungles, Las Vegas desert to Cartagena rooftops, and Malibu beaches to Miami soirees on a journey that will become an experience to remember.

For anyone who’s ever dreamed of having it all.

Meet Valerie Verlane, the heroine who’s got it all—the man, the kids, the money, the life better than she ever could have dreamed. But it wasn’t always this way.

She was an ivy-league boarding school graduate managing a luxury furniture boutique in Santa Monica. He was a wealthy Colombian apprenticing at his uncle’s law firm in Los Angeles for the summer. It was love at first sight and almost the perfect romance—until Dmitri mysteriously disappears. 

His uncle had been kidnapped. He’d flown to Bogotá to deal with the ransom. And he’d been flying across the country to visit Valerie. There were the things they never spoke of. The day that car was following them… 

Not knowing if Dmitri is dead or alive, believing he’s never coming back and pregnant with his child, Valerie gives up her dream of spending her life with the man she loves and marries Pedro. But things only go from bad to worse.

Nearly a decade later, after losing everything but her daughter, Valerie lands on her feet to discover Dmitri isn’t dead after all. Determined to get some answers, she sets off for Colombia. But nothing goes as planned and the truth is one thing she never expected. 

How could she have been so wrong? And can she make things right? They can’t change the past but they just might be able to change the future. It’s a risk they are going to have to take—together.  

“This is beautifully written.

I enjoyed every moment of it.”

~ Michael Edminster

Meet Lori


A lifelong lover of story, Lori fell in love with books, movies, and story in all its forms at a young age, before she can remember. Her earliest memories of stories are of stepping into the pages of books to find herself in a magical meadow with boys in suspenders and girls in pinafores, and crossing the bridge to climb winding stairs up the mountain to the castle in the clouds. 


Sometimes outside, beneath a tree, with clover crowns wound round her head, her mother would read to her. But mostly they would sit together on the sofa in the evenings after supper. The ritual would begin with her mother taking a sip of Earl Grey from a handcrafted mug, the steaming eddies rising and mingling upon the lamplight casting their spell.


Entranced, Lori would wander to the edge of reason, dive into the abyss and fly upon suspension of disbelief. It is here, in this abyss, that she fell in love with story. But never has she ceased to question the why of everything, to search for truth with her own pen, always looking for beauty, forever following the sun in a constant quest for illumination.

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