Friday, May 4, 2012

a reason to celebrate!

so there i was the other day, sitting by the picturesque river, when lo and behold i burst into tears. seriously. not excactly audible, sobbing kind of tears, but there they were just flowing down my cheeks and i couldn't stop. you might call them happy tears. (luckily, i was wearing sunglasses)!


let’s just say, on my book’s one year birthday, i got the best, most meaningful review~


Screen shot 2012-05-04 at 7.13.31 PM
click or read BIGGER here

those are the words that took me by surprise and caused the happy tears.  so thank you, natalie, i don’t know you, but i truly, truly appreciate what you said.  thank you thank you thank you.   

you see, i was told by my editor early on, well, i’ll quote her- 
"DON”T read the amazon reviews, you will drive yourself crazy!”  

she was right.  but guess what? i have been reading them here and there. the good and bad and all. but the other day i had an email from someone letting me know that she had left a review.  jumpy on coffee, i just clicked over in a moment of procrastination, and without thinking there i was.  reading reviews. uh oh.  i braced myself for what i was about to read as i had no idea if it’d be good or bad.  

i had a knot in my stomach for good reason-  i've probably started six different blog posts on the subject of how i felt when the book came out, and then how it felt to have a crappy review early on, but i never finished them or hit publish.  i just didn’t have the words and i was taking it all too personally. (side note: my mom taught me that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.  i’ll teach ada this too, even though i know that the real world doesn’t always play be these rules... sometimes it’d be nice if it did. just sayin’... ) 

but, after reading that ever-so-sweet review, something shifted and i finally felt good about it ALL. all the book “stuff”- the good the bad, the stuggles and the doubt. the sweat and tears. yes, it’s all been there in the past year or so, but now i know it all was worth it. becasue i i know now that there are those of you out there like natalie, who really get it. who, in fact, really need my book and use it to help you along your own creative paths. and really, 20,000 words and many months later, i still don't really don't know how to say thank you for that. for getting it. for needing it and for using it in your own lives.


AND for letting me know. i thank you from the bottom of my coffee loving, sleep-deprived little heart.
i really do.  

with that being said, a celebration is in order!  i’d like to finally do a little book giveaway as a way to say thank you to you all...  
 GIVEAWAY 
would you like a personalized and signed copy of my book?  how about i throw in an inspiration kit too?  i’m giving away this great package to say thank you to all of you AND to say a little happy birthday to my book.  


so here’s the deal! just leave a comment on this post by friday, may 11 (by noon est) telling me why you’d like to win!  perhaps you have the book, but would love to give it as a gift to another creative soul in your life AND you’d keep the inspiration kit for yourself. :) OR you’ve had it on your wish list and hope to dive into it over the summer... i’d love to hear from you!  tell me a little something and i’ll choose a name a week from today!  wahoo!  xo *s


HELLO & THANKS SO MUCH!  THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED, I WILL ANNOUNCE THE WINNER ON MONDAY 5.14!  HAPPY WEEKEND AND THANKS FOR ENTERING!

60 comments:

  1. This was a really beautifully written post... I'm glad you were able to get through the initial hurt of a negative review and focus on the more important parts of the whole book process!! That nice review was great too; I totally agree that many art how-to books teach more instructions than encouraging intuitive creating. Thanks for your blog and musings on life and work as an artist - I really enjoy reading though I don't comment often. Happy Bookiversary! :)

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  2. I'm so happy for you! I'm glad you are feeling good about it all, as you should! I adore your artwork and your book looks amazing! I peeked at it in the store and was very tempted to buy it. I would love to win a signed copy and an inspiration kit!
    And I agree with you, why can't people just be nice and keep quiet if they haven't got anything nice to say? I understand polite critical reviews, but some people just seem to enjoy being mean!
    Michelle

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  3. I'd love a copy and kit! I've been drawing so much with my little toddler, and sometimes now at odd times I find myself, well, wanting to draw a ROOSTER or something in a way I never used to. And to get out cut paper and pastels and watercolor. And I'm thinking I need a sketchbook and some inspiration. :) This book has been on my wishlist for quite a while. Your work is LOVELY. Thanks for making it.

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  4. Miss Sarah, having little children in the South that is how I address all "adults"--besides you are a lady, I too appreciate your whimsy, generosity, and general sweetness! I loved your book, am saving your packet of goodies for a rare "alone day to create," and have already ordered an inspiration kit. That being said, I don't need a thing, but wanted to say a simple, "Thank you!". Enjoy your success, cherish your mommy time, and stay special!

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  5. I would LOVE to win your book! I adore your work and was just on Amazon getting my wish list together.....your book is on it. So even if I don't win, I still win because I will get to purchase and have your book. Thank you so much for the inspiration and sharing your creativity!!

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  6. Well, I have just been "introduced" to you via the Squam site. I would like to get more comfortable with art journaling, and that was my goal for myself last month, and I was only middling at it, and I said as much in the DDD post comments, and then a day or two later, your online workshop was announced. (Oh universe, don't you work in lovely ways?) So wouldn't it be cool to get to know you better through your book while I'm waiting for July? But truly, given that I'm planning on taking the workshop, it seems kind of greedy to want the book and kit, too. Except I think it would be fun to have so I'm leaving a comment anyway. :)

    I think it is very, very brave to put a book out in the world. I don't think I'd be brave enough to do it.

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  7. Hi! I already have your book and it is one of my favorite art books. :) Don't worry about a negative review, you can't please everybody. I think your book is amazing and flip through it often. Are you going to write a second one?

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  8. well, I am always up for a 'good give' and your book and kit sound like a really good one. I already have the book, in fact I had just pulled it out of the pile of inspiration I keep at the foot of my chair last night, and then took it down to my art room. I just want to say I waited on pins and needles for your book to hit stores and I was thrilled when it did, I remember how much I loved the surprise on each page...your book is one of my favorites, just the colors on the cover make me want to create...if I'd win the book would indeed be a gift and I'd so keep the inspiration kit!!!!! Keeping my fingers crossed.

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  9. There are some mean people in this world. It is sad when they have nothing better to do then criticize others. Anyway you have an amazing talent. I've been drawn to your work for a long time and would LOVE one of your books! It would give me the push I need to try something new. You are such an inspiration! ♥

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  10. I'd love to win because I remember so fondly sitting in that dining room at Squam '09 when you pulled out all your sketchbooks and paged through them with us. A peek into who you are as a writer was invaluable. Three of your prints that I bought at that artist fair hang in my living room. xo

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  11. I've had your book on my wishlist since before it came out. As a new Mummy, I've been feeling like I just don't have time to do anything and your blog has been really inspiring to read.

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  12. Hi Sarah - I would love to win your beautiful book & yes it is on my wish list! As some have already said, you really put yourself out there when you write a book so I think you should just focus on your bravery and the wonderful inspiration you are to us! Obviously a lot of people have loved your book and I am very keen to join them :-)

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  13. What a lovely and well deserved review, you're book has been sitting in my wishlist for a while waiting for a time when funds allow, your work is so exciting and inspiring, I love the way you mix layered paint with the drawn line :) I keep meaning to do more work in a sketchbook/ journal and your inspiration pack would be a fabulous thing to get me going I think!

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  14. Well I actually have the book and have ordered the kit so I would gift this to my daughter if I win. She loves creating so much and I can see her pouring over her own copy. I bought her some small canvas boards for easter and I think that would be a great place to start.

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  15. I'd love to win because your fabulous book and kit would get me the 'kick in the pants' I so desperately need to get reacquainted with my creative side. It's been missing from my life for waaaaaay too long!
    Carrell

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  16. I have the book and it is indeed, so unique and lovely. I would give the book to my daughter who is going through tough time right now and keep the inspiration kit myself (i might share a little of that with her too :) )

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  17. Hi Sarah, I was in one of your classes in Squam. I already have seen the book and ordered it in for my local library - but I would love to have a signed copy! and an inspiration kit to boot - yay!
    I don't think I could stay away from the reviews either! :)
    Cheryl

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  18. I love your book, but I'd love to have a personal note from you in my copy. So if I won, I'd pass my book along and keep the new one with your note. And I'd LOVE an inspiration kit. I need more inspiration--just like all of us do. xoxo

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  19. I love, love, love your book. It is a favorite I pull off the shelf again and again to enjoy with a cup of coffee and a quiet moment. Discovering myself as an artist is scary work sometimes...finding my style, my rhythm...and your book just inspires me to keep going. It exudes your quiet, yet powerful nature and I always feel like we are having a cup of coffee or tea together. So this is why I would love to have a signed copy of your book and I can send my copy on to a dear friend. As you know I ordered your inspiration pack and love the fun stuff inside. I used some of it on a recent piece you can check out at lilyrosefarm.com - a piece that was inspired by Jenny Doh's book Art Saves and I am hoping to get her other one soon...the one you are in, Creative Pilgrimage. I think one of the pictures is from the Squam By the Sea class I was in. Keep spreading your joy out into the world...it really does matter.

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  20. I already have and love your book too. I would also love to give one to a friend and keep the inspiration kit.
    I love your free watercolouring style and use of glassine envelopes, it is such a lovely combination.

    A friend of mine, Carmen, wrote a great review of your book on her blog too: http://whoopidooings.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/painted-pages-by-sarah-ahearn-bellemare.html

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  21. Oh, how I want your book! It's on my long list of art-related goodies I've been drooling over. I'd love to win!

    <3 Lisa Gonzalez

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  22. i really love your book. it has inspired me to paint and create in ways i haven't done since i was a kid. it gave me the feeling i used to have when i was little. pure inspiration, pure joy. no worries about "how it will all turn out" i would love to gift your book to a fellow creative soul. i would keep the inspiration kit and share it with my lovely daughters (ages 3 to 17) and spend time with them in the studio making art.

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  23. I have your book and I LOVE IT!! It inspired me to not be so afraid of paint and just to let go and play. I feel like my work is my own and I am proud of it. Thank You
    Since I already have it I know the perfect person I would love to send a copy to. I would selfishly keep the inspiration kit for myself though :)

    Hurray for your breakthrough and feeling good and proud . You deserve it!

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  24. Please let me begin by saying your book stays on my night side table. I soak in a few pages every night before sleep. You are such an inspiration to me. I received the book the week it came out, and would love to pass along another copy to my Daughter. God Bless you Sarah., and thank you for an opportunity to win.
    Janey
    P.S. also love my calendar!

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  25. Lovely post! I would love the book because it was my birthday last week...no, I'm kiddin'...I would love to win it just because I discovered not long time ago I can paint, and nobody taught me or help me in any way(my friends are not interested in art), so I had to take it slowly, step by step to be able to understand how to improve what I'm doing, and because I like to do this learning from the experience of another artist, a modern one with an open mind, instead of graduating a class ( I don't want to learn to draw better, I'm drawing with my soul).

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  26. sweet sarah, i already have your book, but would love you to give it to someone who doesn't already have it... but just wanted to pipe in to say your book is still one of my fave go to books.. love you girl.. xox

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  27. Sarah, I would love your book. I am in desperate need of some creative renewal. Years of working in the mental health field as a therapist has really impacted me in being witness to unspeakable trauma. Thank you for the opportunity to have the gift of your wonderous book.

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  28. I checked your book out at the library, but do not have a copy of my own. I love how you use meaningful quotes, definitions, words, and colors to tell your stories in your pictures. That is the way I like to create. Every part of my canvas has something to bring to the meaning of the overall piece. I love the colors you use and the borders and patterns. I would love a copy of your book for the techniques and inspiration found in its pages. Thank you for the chance to win!

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  29. i'd love to win your book because i find it beautiful and inspiring. i've checked it out from the libary before and didn't want to return it. it has beautiful photos of your work and studio space. and it has such a nice feel to it.

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  30. You are very brave!

    I have been wanting your book for a very long time but am on a low budget at the moment. And I'm a little low on inspiration, too. Some of the other posters said their library had your book--I only wish ours did!

    Wishing you peace,
    Sandra

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  31. Hi Sarah! I have your book on my Amazon.com wish list. Money's tight right now, so to win a copy would be such a blessing.

    Thank you for the opportunity!

    Cristi
    2ifbysea1067@bellsouth.net

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  32. Sarah....I've never written a book review before but I can tell you that is would be ALL POSITIVE. You are an amazing talented artist and I love...love...love your art. Thank you for putting it in a book for all of us to enjoy!!

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  33. i selfishly want your beautiful book all for myself! I've resolved this year to follow my painting dreams in real life, rather than just browsing and sighing... I would love to have your book on my worktable for instruction and inspiration!

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  34. I just discovered you and your blog through the Squam website, and just love the idea of your inspiration kits. I am trying to expand the forms of creative release that I use and your book looks like a real treat for doing just that!

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  35. Your book looks beautiful and inspiring! I would love to win a copy along with an inspiration kit... I am new to this whole mixed media art thing and find myself getting stuck as I learn by watching other artists online... I want to develop my own style and be able to take what lives inside of me and create! thanks for a chance to win... happy book birthday :)

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  36. I have your book and absolutely love it! The inspiration kits looks so fun and very inspiring. I'd love to share the book and the inspiration kit with my daughter that is graduating high school next month. She is planning on attending college to study art, and I'll admit to a fear of her losing HER voice by pursuing a formal education. This would be my attempt at reminding her to listen to her inner voice.
    Thanks so much for being so real and authentic, you are the real inspiration here!

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  37. Hi Sarah, I do already have your book and have found it very inspirational but know someone who would really love a copy too. The inspiration pack sounds exciting and would really inspire me. I am still finding journalling and mixed media a little scary! Thanks, Sam

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  39. What a lovely opportunity. This book has definitely been on my wishlist for a couple of months (after I saw it at BN with my kids). I am a self taught mixed media artist - more of an experimenter really - and my goal is to create a nice big painting for my living room. I have a loft and my husband keeps telling me that we need something over the sofa. I have a couple of paintings in progress ... but I'm stuck and I keep thinking maybe your book could help? :)
    PS. I can't wait for you online workshop. I'll definitely be there!

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  40. Oh I just love your book Sarah. If I could I'd give a copy to all of my friends. If I won this copy, that's exactly what I'd do. Give it to a friend who would appreciate a bit of loveliness such as this but has stayed home for the early years with her child and so doesn't purchase books for herself. While I might be tempted to keep the inspiration kit I would pass that on as well. I'm sure it is filled with such sweetness.

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  41. Sarah, I have had this on my wish list for some time, I too have started to search for my true voice in my art. Its been a long time coming with fits and starts. Thank you for sharing, Kris

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  42. I absolutely LOVE your approach! I sat looking at your book yesterday at a university book store and am hoping to order it as a birthday gift for myself (was May 6) - I teach self-expression and would love to recommend this to my students. Thank you!
    Shena Meadowcroft - shenam@shaw.ca

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  43. What a wonderful post! :-) Your book is already on my wishlist, so thanks so much for the opportunity to win it :-) I'd love to win the book as I could do with some inspiration right away. I'm just out of hospital after a back surgery and definitely need something to look forward to...

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  44. sarah, i've admired your work for ages & would love to own your gorgeous book! i'm excited about your upcoming e-course as well--your
    work is so inspiring!

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  45. I'd love to win a copy of your book. I scrapbook, rather than just 'pure' mixed-media but I'm commonly including lots of wet mediums into my pages. I'd love to learn some real techniques from one of the masters of this craft.

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  46. would love love love to win a signed copy of your book - your work is such an inspiration in a time of most needed inspiration on my part... Thank you for such lovely work, I really enjoy the things you produce.

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  47. I've heard great things about Squam & your book is on my wish list - lovely clean, inspiring, happy work!

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  48. Hi Sarah,
    I have been following your blog off & on now for about a year. I absolutely adore your sense of color & your free-spirited, energetic style. I would LOVE to earn a book & especially an inspiration kit...my father passed away suddenly & unexpectedly nearly 3 weeks ago. He was an artist - he shared his creativity with me...and now, without him, I am really struggling to get back to my studio. I think I'm afraid of what will come out of me...I am already so drained of energy & emotion. I keep doing the hard work of grieving while also forcing myself to view inspiration - your happy color palette & your book's advice could help me move forward.

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  49. I am in need of your book to help me thru a dark time.(My son was diagnosed as bipolar at the age of 25.)I really need to learn how to get my feelings out on paper-by journaling and painting. The sunshine of my life is often in the middle of a tornado. Thankyou for the inspiration!

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  50. I have your book and i love it, i would gift mine and keep this one!!!!
    :)

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  51. I LOVE your book....and I can't wait to meet you at Squam in September. If I won your book I would keep it for myself and gift the copy I have to someone else. I'm also looking forward to taking your online class....can't wait!!! You have given me the courage to try putting my ideas in a sketchbook....and hopefully one day on a canvas. Thank you!!

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  52. I also have your book (love it)!! I would send it to a dear friend who is struggling with family issues. I keep encouraging her to pick up her paint brush.

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  53. it's always so hard to listen to the positive voices in the world when the negative ones seem to be so much louder. i'm happy to hear this review was able to allow you to hear all the positiveness of your book! i already own your book but i'd love to share it with a friend and help her along on her creative journey. i'm addicted to found papers, so of course i'd have to keep the inspiration kit to myself!

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  54. it's always so hard to listen to the positive voices in the world when the negative ones seem to be so much louder. i'm happy to hear this review was able to allow you to hear all the positiveness of your book! i already own your book but i'd love to share it with a friend and help her along on her creative journey. i'm addicted to found papers, so of course i'd have to keep the inspiration kit to myself!

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  55. i would love to win your book because i checked it out of my local library and didn't want to give it back! it's a beautiful and inspiring book and i would love to have it on my bookshelf.

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  56. F%$# the noise, Sarah! I'd be doing the same as you, irresistably reading the reviews anyway. Well, I'd LOVE to win this prize because I have admired your work since I saw it during our time in the NYFA MARK program and marvel at all the amazing things you do. (So, if I don't win I will buy the book anyway.) The inspiration kit sounds so great... that is all. Le sigh.

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  57. Sarah, I would love to win! I have been wanting to get started in art journaling and after a few attempts... I am just too inhibited. I think your amazing book would be the creative permission I need to jump in. Thanks for the chance to win and Happy Mother's Day to you! -Alis (alisalogue@charter.net)

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  58. This is a beautiful happy post and I think you express very well how awesome it is to have written a book that makes others happy too. :-) If I win I will give the book away to a reader that hasn't yet had the chance to read your beautiful book, and keep the kit. Loooove kits!

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  59. ohhh, I need this so desperately! First of all I love your blog, your paintings, I find you and your work mamma balance so inspiring.
    I was an art therapy major in college. However, my current career (genetics research) is less "artsy" than I had imagined for myself. I've found or should I say made, little time for my work and find myself gazing longingly at my supplies. This book could be just the spark I need to get back to the "work" i love. To help me share this love with my children and bring me back to creating for the sake of creating.
    Much thanks for all of your work and the good energy you put into the world.
    Happy Mother's Day!

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  60. Dear Sarah,

    I adore your book. Truly! It's the one I always look to for inspiration. I have a background in writing, but a year ago had a chance to enter an amazing graduate program in transformative art. Not knowing anything about visual art, I was a little overwhelmed. Once I found your book, however, everything changed. You have and continue to inspire me with your images and words.

    I'd love to pass on your book to a fellow student in my program...and I might just have to keep the inspiration kit for myself!

    I hope that you will consider writing another book at some point. I'm guessing there are a lot of grateful readers who would cheer to find another book by you on their shelves.

    You ROCK.
    All the best,
    Robin

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thanks so much for saying hello! i do my best to reply to comments, please know i read and appreciate each and every one! xo *s