Saturday, April 8, 2017

BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY

Hello my friends and newcomers!! Welcome to Rave Review Book Club's BOOK & BLOG PARTY at A Writer's Journey, Staten Island, New York. Enter by leaving a comment to win daily prizes and one Grand prize. Today I am giving away one (1) ebook called: . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang and one (1) ebook of The Cat Who Wanted a Dog. If you already have these books, I will subsititute another ebook that I think you will like.
Happy times, a sunny day, a driving drunk, eight lives forever 
changed.

The elusive whippoorwill swoops down the mountains.
Through night into dawn it's song mourns summer's loss--
as I cry mine.   
    AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG, a 300 page memoir, opens with eloping teenagers, Micki and Butch, in a bizarre double wedding ceremony with Micki’s mother.  The couple share comical escapades, spanning decades. A terrible accident occurs in a placid valley nestled in the Susquehanna Mountains. Micki narrates happier days while confronting an uncertain future. One of her six children is fighting for life in the hospital. The family embarks upon its unbearable journey to the other side of sorrow . . . 


    And so  in the throes of grief, a writing career was born.
A Whippoorwill looking in the window






                     LEGACY OF LOVE by Micki Peluso


 I stood in the small church, supported by the prayers of loved ones, mantled with the soulful whine of the church organ playing its dirge of death. I felt a separation of mind and body.  Someone was standing here, but it couldn’t be me. The smell of incense permeated my senses, overwhelming with its cloying scent. Next to me, covered with a shroud, stood the casket of my child. I would not look at it, could not.

The words of the priest droned on and on, completing the Mass, and the ceremony finally drew to a close, but I was lost in a sea of unrelated thought. I heard nothing; I felt nothing, except a desire to be done with this, to be free to face my grief alone. We walked, my family and I, down the endless aisle of concerned, tear streaked faces, united in a melange of emotion, following the one who would never again walk among us. Then out into the overcast day, whose sun had the dignity not to shine, we entered the limousines and headed for the cemetery to say our final goodbye. The ride to the cemetery was tortuously slow. We climbed the long winding mountain road to the top, surrounded by grotesquely  beautiful tombstones, the only proof of former lives. 

Surely this was just a dream. I would awaken soon and rebuke the nightmare that enveloped my senses, sighing with relief. Oh God, please let this be a dream. But no, the grass was too lushly green. Tear shaped droplets of rain hung precariously from misted, succulent leaves. The dark gray clouds swirling in anger as the sun tried vainly to push them aside in a futile effort to dominate the day, were too real. Yes, this was actually happening.

There were over a hundred people standing behind me; their silence bearing down upon me like the crush of ocean waves. I fought the compulsion to slide into oblivion and let this travesty proceed without me.

There was a small crucifix on top of the darkly ominous box which was now my daughter’s residence. I tried to focus on that one object in an effort to retain my sanity. The voice of the priest, overflowing with empathy, broke the silence with, I was told later, a moving and beautiful eulogy. His words rained down over me, covering me with compassionate warmth, but I comprehended no meaning. Closing my mind to everything around me, the box and I stood alone together in the macabre stillness of a lonely mountain top, whose residents, except for birds and trees, were all stone cold and unfeeling.

There was no life here, not even serenity, just the vacuous emptiness of space and time, devoid of animation. What a cruel, unlikely place to leave one who was so vivacious, so seething with spirit, so very much alive. I had to leave this place. My daughter was not here.

After the funeral, our family unit was forever altered. Yet life went on and swept us along; children had to be fed and cared for, careers had to be maintained.

The ten-day wait in the Intensive Care Unit was over. Family, neighbors and friends moved on with their own lives and we were forced to continue ours, in spite of the gaping hole left by the absence of Noelle. There would be no more hovering by her bedside, praying for the miracle that would heal her severed spinal cord; broken by the thoughtless drunk driver who struck her down in broad daylight miracle that was not meant to be. Noelle’s fourteen years of life were over and her two brothers, three sisters, her father and I had to somehow face the future without the child who had lit up our lives and had given us constant pleasure.

The other children reacted in different ways. One became bulimic and suicidal, another, anxious and panic stricken. Yet another raced his car at high speeds, defying death to take him too, while his brother became withdrawn, depressed and barely spoke. Our oldest child, at twenty one, left home to deal with her grief away from us; we caused her too much pain.

Two years later, our oldest daughter had married and was bearing her firstborn child. She had a long and life threatening labor and did not, nor did the rest of us, notice that when she finally brought her son into the world–it was on the day that Noelle died. Upon realizing this, she was horrified and sobbed as she lay in recovery. The rest of us were equally appalled and awestruck by what by what we perceived to be one of life’s cruel ironies.

And then the miracle happened. During the next few years the tragic day that claimed the life of Noelle became, instead, the birthday of a beautiful little boy. Noelle had somehow sent us the gift of healing. Today, as we continue to celebrate that day, our grief is temporarily put aside, and the memories of Noelle have become sweet, bittersweet, yet softened by the little boy born on the date she died. Ian was two years old when he told his mother, Kim, that “when I grow up and become Noelle, the truck will miss me.

At 14 years old, Ian traveled with his grandmother to Rome and in a narrow alley, a car whizzed by and the rear-view mirror (like the one that severed Noelle’s spinal cord) missed him by inches. Other grandchildren seemed obsessed with Noelle as well, even though we did not speak of her often. Nicole’s two year old son, Nicholas told his mother that Noelle was in the room with them. His mother thought he meant her picture but he insisted he could see her. It was her birthday. Kelly’s son, Brandon pointed at the ceiling and babbled until he could talk and then reported seeing Noelle everywhere, once in the front seat of the car next to his mother. He claimed that Noelle had told him not to play in the street with the big boys. He also claimed that he could not see Noelle as often around Christmas because the sky was filled with angels. There were many instances like this. As I lay dying from back to back heart attacks, Noelle came to her father, smiled and gave him the thumbs up—I lived. These visits we believe were Noelle’s way of assuring us that her soul was alive and well, her way of easing our grief–her legacy of love.

https://www.amazon.com/Micki-Peluso/e/B002BLZ7JK/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1483149986&sr=1-2-ent
https://www.facebook.com/AndTheWhippoorwillSang/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

                                                             The Cat Who Wanted a Dog


Based on a true story, this tale is narrated by Toby, a cat who lives with Grandma and Grampa and has never met a dog. His life changes when  a huge golden retriever, comes to visit. Rocky is a lovable dog and tries to make friends with Toby, who is both afraid of him and disgusted with his doggy drool. They finally become friends and then Rocky's visit is over. Toby is so sad that Grandma and Grampa take him to the doctor who suggests that the poor cat seems lonely. Toby gets an amazing present for Christmas with a big red bow and drooling nose sticking through the wrapped box. His life after that is never the same as his heart swells with happiness. But Toby is in for a big surprise!

https://www.amazon.com/Micki-Peluso/e/B002BLZ7JK/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1483149986&sr=1-2-ent

Thanks for visiting my blog and remember to leave a comment to be eligible for some great prizes. Good luck!!

Micki Peluso

74 comments:

  1. "The Cat who wanted to be a Dog" became a favorite after I read it to my grand kids. We could all relate to that tale. I have "And the Whippoorwill Sang" on my kindle to read. That sad and amazing passage made me want to read it more.

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    1. Thanks D.L., I'm glad to hear that she liked it. I have your book tempting me from my kindle, trying to jump ahead of the other books waiting.If you win today I'll send you another book I think you will like.

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  2. One of the most arresting and heart-wrenching passages I've ever read xxx

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    1. Thanks, Wendy, because the book is mostly on the light and funny side, I don't often post the sad parts.I hope you get to read those too. Good luck today.

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  3. Whippoorwill Sang was a powerful read for me...as a mom and as a former educator. Tragedies that could have been avoided carry an added sorrow. You're a wonderful inspirational writer, Micki. I hope your tour is very successful!

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    1. Ahh, Gwen, I could say the same about your wonderful book. It touched me so much I was unable to review it at first. So glad you came today.

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  4. So sorry I missed the tour yesterday, your post is great.

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    1. apparently, I have no idea what day it is.

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    2. Ha ha Charles, I have quite a few of those days myself. Glad you made it here and wish you luck in winning a prize.

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  5. Micki, this passage is moving and powerful. Thank you for sharing it. I shall have to add And the Whippoorwill Sang to my reading list. It's lovely to find out more about you and your books. Best wishes with everything. :)

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    1. Thank you, Harmony, it was lovely having you stop by and I wish you good luck winning a prize. Maybe the whippoorwill is calling out to you.:)

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  6. Whippoorwill was such a life-affirming read - I highly recommend it. (((((Micki))))) - I hope you have a ton of visitors and find lots of new fans for your wonderful books! :-D

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    1. Jan, thanks my friend, I appreciate your kind words.So happy that you dropped by.

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  7. Micki, your blog turned out very well. Good job. Just to let everyone know, Whippoorwill is not only well worth the read, but I read it three times. It didn't hurt that it takes place on Long Island, and I walked in the some of the same spots as Micki and her family did. Hope your tour is a success, Micki.

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    1. Hi Pat, so glad you came by and thanks for the help with the cranky blog site last night. I think you take the prize for reading it the most!!!

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  8. Hi Micki, I remembered reading your book, "And the Whippoorwill Sang" a while ago, and found it a very interesting read. I hope you saw that review and took care of some of the issues I raised. It was a good book. Do enjoy your party today. :)

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    1. Nice to see you, Joy. I had my publisher reformat my book and all the books she published due to bad formatting and errors. The problem was and is that some books, thanks to Amazon, are still out there due to their return policy and I can't get rid of them.And they are in other book stores and even pirated.Sorry you were unfortunate enough to get one. I would have replaced it.

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  9. I loved reading and reviewing your memoir Micki! We are alike in many ways. Angels are around us, indeed! God Bless!

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    1. Yes, Mary. I agree we are alike in so many ways. I loved your review and your book is patiently waiting on my kindle.Thanks for coming today.

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  10. This is a very moving post, Micki. As a parent, I cannot imagine the grief you've suffered. I wish you a great day on the Block Party!

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    1. Thank you, John, so happy to have you on my blog. Don't be a stranger!!

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  11. Yep, I'm crying. Your words touched my soul. Believe your grandchildren. She is still with you.

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    1. So nice to see you again, Yvette. I hope you laughed as well as cried. As the grandchildren grew up they lost their ability to hear and see her. I often wonder if she will visit my great grand children.

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  12. Wonderful post - what an excerpt from that book, very powerful and certainly touches the heart.

    And then in total contrast The Cat Who wanted a Dog brings back a smile :)

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    1. Welcome, D.E., if you ever get to read the book it is more funny than sad, because Noelle was a funny girl. Sadly, Toby helped write his story and died at 21 right as it was published.

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  13. This is a great post. Thanks for sharing Micki! :-)

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    1. Hi Aurora, so happy to see you here. Thanks for coming by.

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  14. Micki, what a heart-wrenching story. I was captivated by every word. You seemed to have finally come to terms with this tragedy. It seems to have turned into a blessing. "And the Whipoorwill Sang" is back on my radar. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

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  15. Great post, Micki. And the book excerpt is powerful. Thanks for sharing...

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    1. Thanks for coming, Ron. I appreciate your thoughts. Good luck on the whole tour.

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  16. A very moving post Micki. Thanks for sharing it with us. Wishing you lots of success with your writing journey.

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    1. Thanks Lizzie, nice to see you. Your latest book looks great too! Good luck on the tour.

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  17. Wow - what a beautiful and moving piece - this brought tears to my eyes. Beautifully written, I felt like I was living it all along with you. Thank you. Your books look amazing - I will be getting them! Great blog! :)

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    1. Lynn, thanks so much.Sorry for the tears but if you do get the book I promise you more laughter because Noelle would have wanted that.Thanks for stopping by today.

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  18. What a beautiful tribute to your daughter, Noelle! I have both books and will be taking the time to read them soon.

    Thank you for posting today on the #RRBC Springtime Book & Blog Block Party!

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    1. Thanks Patricia for stopping by and for getting my books. Should you win on this site I'll replace with ebooks that you don't already have. Let me know how you like the two you have--love to know your opinion.

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  19. Dearest Micki,

    Tears are welling once again as I reread this excerpt from "And The Whippoorwill Sang," reminding me of the overwhelming grief and immense courage it took to share your story. The story of losing Noelle--yet finding her again--and sharing the peace that comes with her legacy of love as she continues to touch your lives, reassuring all of us that the soul lives on. Your memoir is one that has touched my life and many other as Noelle's story lives on through its readers.

    Hugs, love and prayers,
    Bette

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    1. Bette, now my tears are rolling. Thank you so much for your friendship, help when I screw up and appreciation of my works as much as I appreciate yours. You're the best!!!

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  20. Micki, I've had Noelle's story...your story on my TBR for sometime and I really need to focus on it. I had goosebumps reading the excerpt. i can't begin to imagine the pain you endured but I'm so thankful you've found healing. Although I know you initially weren't sure of how to embrace Ian's birth on the same day as Noelle's passing, the moment I read the passage, I saw it as a blessing. What an amazing story. This was a beautiful post!

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    1. Hi Mae and thanks. I have your book nearly finished and ready for review. A batch of illness slowed me down or you would have had it by now--Loved it BTW.Thanks for your kind words and you really got what I was trying to express. I'm so glad you liked it.

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  21. Micki, such a heart-wrenching and inspirational glimpse into your soul's journey. I didn't even realize I was holding my breath, until I needed air. Many blessings to you. XO

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    1. Thanks so much Nancy. I felt much the same way reading your poems, except that they gave me so much comfort. Your review is coming soon, God willing.

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  22. Mickie, I read your story before and know of your hardship. Thank you for your courage and for sharing it again. As I've said before, there are many strong men and women in #RRBC. You are one of my favorites. Thanks for joining in on the Blog Party. Stories like yours need to be told.

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  23. I appreciate your words, Larry. I keep an eye on you on twitter and hope to add your book to my tbr list very soon. Thanks for the supportive words since 'strong' is the last thing I feel. This book is a death bed promise to Noelle and that keeps me going.

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  24. I cannot imagine the grief of losing a child, but I did lose my only sibling, and we saw what my parents went through My husband also lost a sibling and we saw what his mother went through. In a strange way these experiences made our bond stronger as we went through them together.

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Kim. Yes, the impact on loss between siblings is fierce. There were times I didn't think they would ever recover. They pass her memories on to their own kids.

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  25. That was a touching post, Micki. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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    1. Thanks so much, Rhani. I hope you get to read funnier upbeat posts because that is most of the book.I don't often post ones like this

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  26. Your courage is so very admirable. I don't think I could ever be the woman you are.

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    1. Oh Fran, that is so nice to say but of course you could. We all do what we have to and find strength through the worse times. Thanks for your kind words.I am happy to meet you.

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  27. That excerpt from Whippoorwill is the most beautiful thing I've read in a long while! You are one heck of a writer! Also, I can't wait to see what Toby's big surprise is. I'm excited to read both of these. Thank you sharing, Micki! I wish you lots of sales.

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    1. Hi Linda, I take that as a high compliment from a writer as good as you are. Toby the cat is for kids but adults seem to like it. He helped write it and passed away at age 21 just as it was being published. Thanks so much for commenting.

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  28. Hi Micki,
    Love the title of you book I don't know what a Whippoorwill is but is sounds so romantic. The story sounds wonderful and I love the fact it is based on a story about you and your mother. Also, I have a dog you wants to be dog, she keep following my cat around then when the cat jumps "catlike" up onto a high place, the dog tries to follow and ends up sprawled out on the floor. I think my cat does it on purpose to tease the dog, who she know is not as smart as she is :-)

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  29. Hi Suzanne, nice to meet you. My mother jumped into this story, wreaking havoc just as she did in my life. Toby used to do what your cat does and yes, the little devils know they are craftier than dogs. I hope you get a chance to read one of the books. A Whippoorwill is a nocturnal bird that legends claim helps carry souls to heaven. Odd that Noelle was always obsessed with that elusive bird.

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  30. You write with a pen dipped in your soul, Micki. I'm typing through tears here. I am a day away from reading "And The Whippoorwill Sang". Thank you for sharing your inspirational journey.

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    1. So happy to see you here!! I promise that most of the book is funny, like 'Cheaper by the Dozen.' Noelle would never have wanted a downer since she was so upbeat and funny.Most of my stories have a mixture of humor and pathos. Toby the cat is that way too if you have any young ones.

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  31. You have such a heart wrenching story, Micki. I wish you only the very best!

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    1. Beem, thanks for coming. Only a few small parts are like this or the book would be unbearable to read.

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  32. I loved And the Whippoorwill Sang. It was a very powerful read!

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    1. Hi Michelle, just realized I missed your reply. I have two of your books and read one, Just Stay, which I am trying to get to review. Thanks for coming.

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  33. Hi, Micki. Sorry I didn't make it yesterday to comment. I had a book signing then a friend came from out of town and the day was over. :) And the Whippoorwill Sang is a moving story that any parent who ever suffered the loss of a child would benefit from. Looks like you had a great party day!

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    1. Thanks Jan for coming today since you read the book and gave me a wonderful review.I hope your book signing was a blast!! I love your books. And owe you a review as soon as possible.

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  34. Wonderful post, Micki!! I hope you enjoyed your special day during the Block Party!! ~Mar

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    1. Thanks Mar, I did enjoy it. How could I not with so many wonderful friends and colleagues stopping by with lovely comments.

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  35. Missed your blog day! I was up to my elbows in my sons garage working on a motor bike - so sorry! Hope you had a good blog day - MikeL

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  36. Wow, humbling and real as it gets. Thanks Micki.
    Robert Kimbrell

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  37. Hi Rob, this was tough to take but the bulk of the story is funny and upbeat. I think you might enjoy it. And kids seem to love Toby the cat, who died at age 21, just s his book, The Cat Who Wanted a Dog was published.

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  38. Wonderful post, outstanding memoir excerpt--"And the Whippoorwill Sang"--a story that everyone needs to hear, MIcki. xo

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  39. Powerful themes! Thank you so much for participating in the spring block party.

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    1. Thank you, Flossie, so happy to finally meet you. Hope to see more of you.

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  40. Hi Micki. I'm not sure if I got this comment in the right place, but hopefully I did. It's so great that you were able to turn a personal tragedy into a book that has been able to touch the hearts of so many people. *Hugs*

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  41. Hi Rhani, so glad you think so. Your opinions matter to me. Thanks for coming by.

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