Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Christmas at Harmony Hill Celebration Giveaway

I sent out a newsletter Sunday. If you're on my newsletter list you already know about my new celebration giveaway, but if you're not, you can find out about it here. 

I'm celebrating my birthday and the September release of Christmas at Harmony Hill by giving away some prizes. The book is in stores and available online. I do hope you will enjoy the story when you get a chance to read it. Back to the giveaway. For the prizes, I picked Shaker Christmas decorations - what else? 1st prize is the "Hands to Work; Heart to God" ornament and one of my books (winner's choice). 2nd prize is the mini-quilt hanging with embroidered Christmas trees (13.5" by 16") & a copy of one of my books. (Again winner's choice.) 
Then my "never win" prize for those of you who say you never win is a lovely book about tea, a Melody Carlson Christmas book and a copy of one of my books. To enter you can e-mail me from my website or leave a comment here with a way to contact you if you happen to be one of the lucky winners. Remember to tell me if you're one of those "never win" people. I know the feeling. Deadline for entering is midnight EST September 30, 2013. Contest open to residents of the United States and Canada and those 18 or over.
For fun, you can share a favorite birthday memory and in the weeks ahead, I'll share a few of them forward if you give permission. I've got some good birthday memories to share too. While I may not enjoy counting up my birthdays, I still love having them. The last few years I've had to celebrate my birthday at the National Quartet Convention. At least my husband has plenty of booths to look for a last minute present for me. One birthday, a few years ago, he bought me presents at a truck stop on the way home from one of the Patriots' concerts. Actually, I really liked the t-shirt with Labrador dogs on it. And the truck stop sack made good wrapping paper too. LOL. 
I've already gotten a lot of neat birthday memories from those of you who get my newsletter. Some of the stories have made me smile. Some have made tears pop up in my eyes. Here's one of the smiling memories from Sandi. 
My best birthday memory is when I was soon to be 17.  My birthday is in July and I was working as a waitress the summer before my senior year.  I'd had a horrendous day at work and wanted to go home and go to bed--or hide under the bed or just die (teenagers are sooo dramatic). My two best friends showed up just as I got home and they insisted that I go "out" with them. I refused to clean up or put on new make-up--I had cried on the walk home and I looked rather dreadful, but after much coaxing (and threatening from my mom who had joined the discussion for some reason), I decided to join them. My friend Ruth said she had to stop at her boyfriend's house to pick up something and I assured her I'd be the one in the car..."Jim" came to the door and insisted I come inside. I was pretty worn down by then so I went in...surprise--all of my best friends and some I didn't even like were inside and they all screamed "happy birthday" in unison. Fortunately, my mom had packed a bag with make-up and fresh clothes in it and had secretly given it to one of the girls. 
And now we hear from Donna about how we can't know what tomorrow holds, but we can cherish the good times we have with family. 
My best birthday had to be two years ago. My family (daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandkids) were away on a camping trip on my birthday. My sister ... invited me and my boyfriend over to celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday. Unknown to me, it was not only my brother-in-law's party but one for me too. Out came a separate cake for me with candles, and they all sang Happy Birthday, and even had presents. My sister had invited her kids and grandkids to this party and it was a wonderful, birthday surprise for me. Little did we know that a year later my sister would be fighting for her life battling cancer. She's had surgery, radiation and is doing better.  So, thank you Big Sister, for everything.  I love you. 

Donna's sister's name is Diane, so if you have a minute, whisper a prayer her way. I do so appreciate all the prayers you've whispered my way and my mother's way as her dementia steadily worsens. Prayers are powerful. 

Thanks for reading and I hope you'll join in with my giveaway fun and come back for more stories in the weeks ahead. And if you don't get my newsletter and would like to, just let me know.

56 comments:

  1. Christmas at Harmony Hill..I love the title and the cover is beautiful. Happy birthday this month! My grandson's birthday is the 7th so September is a special month for me.

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    1. It is an attractive cover. Thanks, Melanie. And tell you grandson happy birthday for me. I hope he lives close enough that you'll be able to give him a hug and watch him blow out his candles. I'm celebrating a grandson's birthday this weekend too, but his birthday was actually on Aug. 31. Sometimes parties get delayed for various reasons. He's 14 and growing up.

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  2. My favorite birthday memory was the one I just had in may when I turned 50.One of my brothers was here and celebrated my b-day by taking a mini vacation to the mts. It was wonderful. I am NOT a person who never wins. angelachesnut246@gmail.com Angela in KY

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    1. It's good that you are a person who does win, Angela. That's fun. And your birthday sounds fun too. Sometimes it's not so bad to hit those zero birthdays if you get to do fun things with family. Thanks for sharing your birthday memory.

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  3. I know someone will probably think I am off my rocker when I share my favorite birthday memory. It was the year I turned the big 50. I had just recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and was recovering from surgery. How is this so great you might ask? My daughter who lived in Germany at the time came for my surgery and was my biggest support system. She helped change the seeping bandages and emptied my drain bag for me when needed. She gave me showers that made me feel human again. So, what did she do for me on my big day? She said, Mom we are going to the mall. I looked at her like she was crazy. I couldn't walk across the room without feeling exhausted and breathless. She said, yep, we are going to the mall and I am pushing you in a wheel chair. I protested loudly but in the end she won out. I must say, it was one of the best birthdays ever! She wheeled me around and we had so much fun. Of course, ice cream and cake came later! Love my daughter to pieces!!

    Blessings!
    Judy B
    judyjohn2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Daughters are the best, aren't they, Judy? Your story just goes to show that even in the darkest or hardest times, good things can brighten our lives. Hope you are completely recovered and the cancer treatments are just a bad memory now.

      Thanks so much for your comment. I'd love to re-share it later on my blog if you give permission. Not everybody reads through the comments and I think they will be moved by your mom and daughter story. If you'd rather I didn't share, that's fine. It's always fun to hear from you.

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    2. Ann, I don't mind you sharing my birthday memory on your blog. Perhaps, it will brighten someone else's day that may be experiencing cancer and treatments. By the way, I have been officially declared 14 years cancer free as of last month!

      Blessings!

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    3. Glad to hear that 14 years cancer free news!!

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  4. My birthday memory is when my mom ,who is 87 gave me a birthday party .I t was so special she kept telling my daughters I'm doing this for my baby girl funny part was I was turning 60 !! Just want to tell you that I enjoy all your books so special.
    donna_mutlick@yahoo.com

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    1. In some ways, you'll always be your mama's baby, Donna, just as your daughters will be yours. That's just the way Mamas think. Actually, I think it's pretty neat that your mom could do a birthday party for you when she was in her eighties.

      Thank you so much for reading my books. I'm so glad you enjoy my stories. I've been enjoying everybody's birthday stories too.

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  5. My favorite birthday memory is when my mom gave me a surprise party and she's 87 and told my daughter's she was giving her baby the party . I was turning 60 . She is such a gem. Would like to tell you how much I enjoy your books.
    donna_mutlick@yahoo.com

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    1. You'll always be your mama's baby, Donna, the same as your girls will always be your babies in some ways. I'm pretty impressed that your mom gave you a surprise party when she was in her eighties. Way to go for her.

      Thank you for reading my books. I'm glad you've enjoyed my stories.

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  6. My favorite birthday memory is when my girlfriends decided to have a surprise party for me, with the guests being solely all males. I can imagine the look on my face, when no girls appeared. It was payback time, for something I had pulled on them in the past. Am having a full shoulder replacement, and sure would enjoy your book while recuperating. Bgauthier49@live.com

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    1. You must have had some fun girlfriends. Hope the guys were all good looking. :) I guess that was a party you never forgot.

      Hope the shoulder surgery goes well and you have an easy recuperation. Good luck in the drawing.

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  7. My favorite birthday memory is my 16th Birthday. What should appear was my very first car. A beautiful, shiny, red little American Rambler, courtesy of my wonderful parents. Would love to win you book, as I am having a full shoulder replacement, and could use the reading, while recuperating. Bgauthier49@live.com.

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    1. No wonder that's a great birthday memory. Your own car! And it sounds like it was a cute one too.

      Thanks for sharing your birthday memories.

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  8. Happy Birthday Ann! I have to say that my most favorite birthday was October 1987 when I found out two days before my birthday that I was pregnant with my first child. It became even more special after I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Do to complications I was unable to have any more children without the chance of further complications. So I am thankful for the son God has blessed me with. Thank you for a chance to win this great giveaway!

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    1. The promise of a baby sounds like a good thing to know about on your birthday. Glad you delivered that beautiful baby boy to bless your life. Thanks for sharing your birthday memory. So glad you dropped by to leave a comment.

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  9. Happy Birthday, Ann!

    One year, for my birthday, my parents did a bedroom redo for me--by today's standards, it wasn't much--repainted, dad built me shelves, they put a desk in my room (Grandpa had salvaged it from a house being demolished), and Grandma made me a quilt. She called it the "Dutch Girl" pattern, but most call it Sunbonnet Sue. I spent my childhood wrapped in her love stitched together with fabric scraps to make a lot of the dresses on the quilt . Like Dolly's song, "Coat of Many Colors", it was a "Quilt of many colors". I still have it.

    **And, yes, I do know the Biblical reference in her song.

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    1. What a fun birthday, Denise. That desk would have made my birthday happy. I always wanted a desk! And shelves for books on top of that. So good to have that quilt to show the love of your grandmother too.

      Thanks for sharing your memory and joining in my birthday fun.

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  10. While turning 60 on Aug 31st was a great day, my favorite memory is from way back when I celebrated my 28th birthday. One of my dear friends heard that I had never had a surprise birthday party and invited all my friends to change that. It was so much fun. Haven't had one since, but will always remember that special day.
    grandmabkr at yahoo dot com

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    1. Surprise parties have been the most popular memory I'm hearing from people sharing their birthday fun. It's so nice to have friends who will go to the trouble to try to make your birthday special and fun. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your birthday memory, Brenda.

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  11. For my 60th birthday my three sisters and I vacationed in Jamaica together. It was wonderful to spend alone time with my sisters. We had a wonderful time!

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    1. No wonder you're remembering that birthday, Betty. What fun - to be in Jamaica with your sisters. Thanks for sharing and making the rest of us envious. LOL.

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  12. I loved reading those birthday memories! I do recall my 18th was like the surprise one. My boyfriend came over to pick me up for a hang out night. I didn't do anything special with myself thinking we were having a relaxed evening with a friend. We headed off to my friend's house to pick up her and her boyfriend. She told me I could run downstairs to use her curling iron if I needed it (apparently my hair looked bad??!?!!) so I ran down stairs and into a huge group of people shouting "surprise" at me! It was a fun night.
    lattebooks at hotmail dot com

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    1. Sounds like a fun birthday, Susan, but I'm having to wonder if you went on and fixed your hair after you got worried it didn't look right. lol.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking part in my birthday fun.

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  13. my best birthday ever was my 70th my daughter and son in law surprized me by taking me to Sarasota Fl to eat lunch at yoders and see how some Amish people live . it was great, i do pray and hope the best for you and your mother as i went threw the samne with my dad, I would love to win this give away too.

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    1. Thanks so much for your prayers for me and Mom, Shirley. It's a hard illness pathway, but prayers have really helped.

      Thanks for sharing about your best birthday ever. Sounds as if your daughter knew how to surprise you and make you happy.

      Always fun to hear from you.

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  14. i think on my entry i forgot to add my name so here it is
    Shirley B jcisforme@aol.com, sure do want to win this give away, love the books i have read

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  15. My favorite birthday memory was the birth of my younger sister Julie on my birthday. I asked for a doll and got her instead -- LOL. I never did convince my parents to take her back and get me the doll I asked for. We still call her my birthday present. I have enjoyed reading the birthday memories and welcome the chance to enter your giveaway. Thank you. meashy@verizon.net

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    1. That living doll probably was a bit more demanding that the doll you asked for, Mary Ellen. :) But a sister is a great birthday present that can last a lifetime.

      Glad you enjoyed the birthday stories. More to come. Thanks for stopping by and joining in with my birthday giveaway fun.

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  16. Happy Birthday this month. I love all birthdays because it means I get to live another year. I don't have a favorite memory. I sure hope that I win. Sharma Darby

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    1. Sharma, our preacher always says his favorite birthday is the next one. Guess I'm there with him, but I have stopped counting. Not enough fingers and toes. LOL

      Good luck in the drawing. You've been lucky before. :)

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  17. My birthday was this past Sunday, September 1st. This is the first birthday that I have not spent by myself or just me and my Mom. I had my precious niece and her husband and also s sweet cousin at my house to celebrate my birthday. We had good food, lots of laughter and love. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thank you!
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Happy birthday week, Barbara. So glad you had a great one with family coming to make it better. Love and laughter are the best birthday gifts ever.

      Thanks for stopping by and joining in with my birthday fun.

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  18. Happy Birthday and congratulations on the new book too! It looks good, as usual. :) One of my most memorable birthdays was when I turned 18 in the hospital. I'd had a major surgery a few days before, and they'd put me on the pediatrics unit, which was a little embarrassing. My family brought in a cake and sang to me in the little kid playroom while sitting on tiny chairs. It hurt to laugh (abdominal surgery), but it was really sweet they did that for me. I was really discouraged 'cause I'd just started college and had to take incompletes in all of my classes 6 wks into the quarter to have this surgery (kind of an emergency). God is good and shows up in unexpected ways just when we need Him. Karen R. kjrochon40@msn.com

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    1. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Karen. That sounds like some birthday. It would have been fun to have had a video of it to watch these years later. I'm sure you'd have gotten a kick out of watching that 18th birthday party in the playroom after you recovered and it didn't hurt so much to laugh. Family can find ways to lift us up even at the most discouraging times. God is good and can make things work out for good too.

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  19. Happy Birthday and congratulations on the new book from me as well. I am one of the "I never win anything" group so I figured I might as well try not winning this one too. LOL Please let me know if this is my lucky time at the following email address; estamaelaughner@yahoo.com Thank you so much for your shoulder to cry on. Boo Hoo, I never win anything!! :)

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    1. Here, here's a hankie, Estamae. Seems there are always several of you no win people and I'm right there in the crying club with you when it comes to winning drawings. But who knows? Maybe you'll be the lucky one this time.

      Thanks so much for your birthday wishes and congrats on the book. It's a lovely package and I'm hoping people will enjoy the story.

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  20. My favorite birthday memory was a few years ago for my 50th birthday. To begin the day, my sister in law took me to Amish Country in Adams County, Ohio for a girl's day! When we got back, we met my husband at our son's home -- as was other family members and friends -- including a great friend that came to Kentucky from New York! It was such a big surprise! What a wonderful day! Turning 50 was truly worth it! Thanks for the chance to win!
    rcourts@twc.com

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    1. Hi, Tammy. I'm amazed at how many people have told me their 50th birthday was the one they especially remember. Maybe our family and friends try harder when we reach the half century mark. That had to be a fun day for you. Such a good surprise!

      Thanks for coming by and sharing your birthday memory. Loved reading it.

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  21. wow, favorite birthday.....???? I must say that while growing up, we were poor but my mom always made a cake and decorated it for us and we had a family party with one special gift. My birthday is right before Christmas, my daddy's was Christmas Eve, and brother is day after Christmas. My mom made sure our special days were always remembered and separate from Christmas. I am so thankful for those memories. I do remember the year that our cat got up on table and raked her paw thru the icing on my homemade carrot cake w/cream cheese frosting. I was so upset and cried, but my oldest brother said "Mama's homemade carrot cake is too good to waste. Cut around the paw marks, Mama." so we all ate it and it was GOOD! Rhonda
    nashhall@aol.com

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    1. Thanks for coming by and sharing your birthday memories, Rhonda. What a week your mother must have had making all those birthdays special and having Christmas too. You had a happy December, didn't you?

      I'm with your brother on that cake. Too good to waste. Glad you got to enjoy the untouched part. And did the cat enjoy licking its paw? :)

      You know, money isn't everything. You had love and that makes memories precious.

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  22. Hi Ann,love your books.The cover of this is beautiful.I can't wait to read it.I just celebrated a birthday in August,so maybe I will win this as a late birthday present.I hope you have a very special and blessed birthday!I am not one of the people that never wins...jackie_tessnair@yahoo.com

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    1. It's fun to be one of the sometimes wins people, but you can't moan and cry about never winning like us never win people. :)

      Thank you so much for the nice birthday wishes and for reading my books. So happy you've liked the stories. The cover of Christmas at Harmony Hill is very attractive. Revell did a great job, as usual, on packaging my story. Hope you will enjoy the words inside the package.

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  23. my best birthday memory. as a second child i spent a lot of time in hand me downs. clothes, shoes, bicycles. my older sister had a very different style than i did, so her old blue bicycle with a banana seat was not my favorite. every trip to town for groceries would see me at the Western Auto adjacent to the grocery store, riding around and around a little yellow BMX bike. every year, i participated in (and rocked!) the st judes bike-a-thon in our tiny, tiny town and i wanted nothing more than to NEVER have to ride that hand me down blue bike again to do so. i have NO idea how many miles i logged on that little yellow bike just riding up and down the aisles until mom was done at the grocery store. i will never forget mom telling me to take out the trash or some equally unpleasant chore, on my birthday, no less, only to discover it was a ploy to get me to go around back where that little yellow bmx was waiting for me. i continued to ride it in those bike-a-thons for years to come. one year, i earned enough pledge money to provide every participant with the t-shirt prize after it was all divvied up.

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    1. I love your story, Tara. And I love that you helped out the St. Jude bike-a-thon. I had a great niece who had cancer at the age of 5 and St. Jude's great doctors and nurses have gotten her cancer free now for several years. I share some of the stories I get on my blog and while everybody can read your story here, not everybody reads the comments. Would it be okay if I included your story in a future blog post? Let me know and so glad you had happy bike riding. Maybe the store owner gave your mom a special price because you'd already worn out the bike tire tread. :)

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    2. yes please, feel free to use my story. my best friend had cancer when i was young, she passed away when i was 11. she and her family spent a lot of time at St Jude and all these years later it is still the charity that gets most of my charity dollars

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  24. My best birthday memory was when I turned 6 years old. I had the measles and had to stay in bed but my parents went on with my party and I could hear everyone having a good time. Then it got very quiet and everyone marched into my room singing Happy Birthday and our neighbor was carrying the cake. Don't remember if I was able to eat any of the cake, but it was so nice having everyone around my bed.

    Thanks for this wonderful contest and I am definitely one of the 'never wins' people. Rachel (rlepree@musfiber.com)

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    1. A birthday party without the birthday girl wouldn't be much of a party. So glad you got to be included in spite of being sick. And hope nobody else caught the measles. I remembered being sick once when all my cousins were outside playing. It was the pits. :)

      Thanks for taking part in my birthday fun. I've got you entered in the drawings. Maybe this will be your lucky time.

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  25. What a beautiful quilt hanging! :) It's lovely! Belated Happy birthday and Congratulations on the new book release!

    Blessings,
    Amada

    amada_chavez{AT}yahoo{DOT}com

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    1. Thanks, Amada. I've got you entered in the giveaway. And thanks for the birthday wishes. It's always exciting to have a new book out for readers.






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  26. Wow! What a beautiful book cover! I love it!! Let's see, um, favorite birthday memory? I don't know! My Mom used to make us special cakes for our birthdays. Mine were usually cat-themed. She made me a huge white cat cake(with candles for whiskers) for my sixth birthday. It thought that it looked a bit like a kangaroo, but she didn't appreciate me saying so..My favorite birthday memory is from a few years ago when we bought a cake (*gasp*) & dreamsicle ice cream, and had a few of my friends over. Nowadays, I celebrate my birthday with one of my brothers whos special day is close to mine. We all go out to a Chinese restaurant and I LOVE it. Thank you for the opportunity to share. I really like your books..Surprisingly, I've actually won some lately.I'd never won anything before, except my local talent contest..:)
    Blessings,
    Juli
    emeraldelena@hotmail.com

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    1. Thanks, Julianna. Glad you liked the book cover. Hope if you get a chance to read it, you'll like what's inside the cover too. That cat cake sounds like fun. My sister would like it. She's a cake lover. But I can't say as I blame her for not liking you calling her cat a kangaroo!! Glad you always find a fun way to celebrate. And winning a talent contest seems to be a pretty nice thing to win.

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Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.