About the Book

Footfalls to the Alamo

A novel based on an incredible true story

“Remember the Alamo!”

Most have heard this infamous battle cry, but many do not know how the saying came to be. Even fewer are aware of the unsung heroes and angels who assisted those cornered in the horrific assault on this now historic San Antonio landmark.

María Andrea Castañon, later to be known as Señora Candelaria, is one such angel. Based on hours of research and the author’s personal conversations with Señora Candelaria’s relatives, Footfalls to the Alamo is a historical novel comprising real-life characters and events and Señora Candelaria’s imagined narrative, resulting in an engaging story for readers of all ages.

“A rising vote of thanks for all of the research you have done on María Andrea Castañon Villanueva. Be assured of my endless gratitude—your work is admirable and your story a riveting one.”

María “Vee” Olga Gomez | Great-granddaughter of Señora Candelaria

Product details

  • ISBN-13: ‎ 979-8988122401
  • Publisher: ‎ Millie Tales Press
  • Language: ‎ English
  • Paperback: ‎ 320 pages
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches

María Vee

While researching the Alamo, Shawn picked up a book at the Texas Book Festival in Austin and found in the index the name "Señora Candelaria." Shawn had not seen that name associated with the Alamo in anything else she'd read. She wrote to a San Antonio newspaper and requested their help in finding any descendants of Señora Candelaria still in the San Antonio area. In response, a great-granddaughter, María Vee, sent a handwritten letter with her contact information, starting an unlikely friendship between the two women.

María Vee was ninety-eight years old when Footfalls to the Alamo was published and still lives in San Antonio. She told Shawn her great-grandmother preferred to be called Señora Candelaria, even though other sources refer to her as Madam Candelaria. Vee co-wrote a short, non-fiction book about Señora Candelaria, providing dates and information from interviews conducted after the Battle of the Alamo.

Vee wants people to understand what a benevolent citizen her great-grandmother was. Señora Candelaria was a strong, resilient woman who took in many orphans of soldiers killed in skirmishes and battles during Texas's fight for independence. Never complaining, records indicate she received very little compensation for doing so. Only in the last eight years of her life did she receive a small pension for her work.

Shawn contacted the descendant of one of the orphans taken in by Señora Candelaria, and he supported her putting together this historical fiction account. He, Vee, and Robert Thornhoff collaborated on a book,  a shorter version recounting the later life of Señora Candelaria.

María Vee gave Shawn her blessing to retell her great-grandmother's story and shared a photo taken of Señora Candelaria after the Battle of the Alamo. Shawn is still in contact with María Vee and is very grateful for her input and friendship.