25 October 2012

Diana Reviews A Promise To Love by Serena Miller

A Promise to Love by Serena B. Miller
A Promise To Love by Serena B. Miller
Revell, 2012

Reviewed by Diana Flowers
~5 stars *****

Truly A Heartwarming Story!


In A Promise To Love, Serena Miller sweeps us away to the wilds of Michigan in the late 1800s; a savage land both bold and beautiful--filled with majestic, white pine forests, the scent of cherry blossoms permeating the air, vast lumber camps, and the threat of horrific forest fires.

The Swedish born, Ingrid Larsen, arrives in Michigan to search for her brother, Hans, who has disappeared into the dangerous lumber camps, with nothing save the clothes on her back. In her desperation she proposes to Joshua Hunter, a newly widowed cherry farmer with five rambunctious children.

Joshua is determined to establish a lucrative cherry orchard, and after losing his wife under strange circumstances, agrees to marry Ingrid to help out with the farm and his motherless children. Ingrid finds herself in for the biggest battle of her life as she struggles to be a good mother to five needy children, and must also fight the ghost of her husband's dead wife as well.

Soon terrible secrets are unearthed concerning the death of Joshua's wife, and Ingrid is faced with some challenging decisions. Can she continue to be Joshua's wife in name only?...and how can she endure the many hardships that face her without his love? Where is Hans and is he dead or alive? And it's only as she seeks the face of the Lord for guidance and help that the answers to her angst-filled questions are ultimately revealed to her.

Serena Miller has fast become one of my favorite authors! This compelling, heartwarming fiction based on fact story, grabbed me from the first chapter and did not let go until the last! I loved her realistic main characters (Ingrid never lost her Swedish accent throughout the whole book):), and her irresistable secondary characters just as much. Never boring with a fast-paced, exciting conclusion, this is an absolute must read! Nicely done, Serena Miller!

You can get Serena's books through AmazonCBD, Barnes and Noble, Lifeway,  and other bookstores.


GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week's contest. Drawing will be late Saterday, your choice of author's books and choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format, not as a paperback.

Question:  Do you have a family member who served in the lumber industry?

97 comments:

  1. No, I don't have a family member that served in the lumber industry.

    Great review Diana. I love Serena's books. They never disappoint me. I can't wait to read this book. Your review makes me want to read it even more!

    I love the beautiful cover!

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

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  2. Sounds like a wonderful story and I am hoping that she wins his love, love the cover on this book-so pretty.
    thanks for sharing your comments.
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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  3. JUDY, isn't her writing wonderful!? It's so great to wake up and see you here, my friend, and here's hoping the early bird gets the worm! lol Well--a great book, how's that? ;)

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  4. PAULA, the story is just as lovely as the cover! Serena's books are so unique! Love 'em!

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  5. CARRIE, as far as I know I didn't have family members in the lumber business, but I have three brothers and a nephew who have lucrative stump grinding businesses. Does that count? lol Who would think that enough people would want their stumps ground everyday to have a successful business in that? Show's what I know...

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  6. I think this book is on sale through CBD and they have free shipping right now if I can find the code. I want to read this book!

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  7. Really a great book, Carrie! It takes place less in the lumber camps than The Measure of Katie Calloway did, but the main character goes into one for awhile...

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  8. I love Serena's books. I would love to win this contest.
    Thanks for the opportunity!!!

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  9. HI, JANE! Please come back and leave your email addy so we can contact you if you are our lucky winner. AND I hope you are!!

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  10. I love Serena....I had the pleasure of meeting her when she came to Berlin,OH for her book signing. Thanks for the chance to win!
    michelle@destinationamish.com

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  11. MICHELLE, lucky you! SERENA is one of the sweetest authors we have had on the blog, and I'm sure you found her to be so, too. And she recommended the best pancakes I have ever eaten last time she visited with us! Maybe she will tell y'all about them again. :)

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  12. no, I don't have any family that worked in Lumber but I'm a MI native and love the museums about it, and drove down lumber roads

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  13. I forgot to leave my email - lighthouse(dot)lover(at)gmail(dot)com

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  14. LOLLIPOPS, thank you for coming by! CARRIE lived in MI as well and I believe her grandfather and grandmother worked in a lumber camp. Correct me if I'm wrong, CARRIE, but wasn't your grandmother a cook in one? That seems like such a tough life for a lady.

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  15. DIANA wonderful review! I love this cover, it's amazingly beautiful. :)

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  16. Thank you, TERESA! It's an amazingly beautiful story, too! SERENA has some great cover designers, that's for sure.

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  17. DIANA, this is such a wonderful review! Also love the cover of this book. I have one of Serena's books on my bookshelf, but didn't have the time to read it yet. I hope to read it as soon as I have the opportunity.

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  18. Thank you, MAID MARIAN! Put that book at the top of your stack, although I know how that is! So many books so little time! Cover is so pretty, I agree!

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  19. No lumber jacks in my family. I did read her last book and it was wonderful so I can't wait to read this one too.

    Diane
    www.dianeestrella.com

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  20. HI, DIANE! This one was every bit as good as the first! I loved it and am sure you all will, too. The luck of the Irish to you in the drawing!

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  21. This is a fabulous story! After reading the review in Romantic Times magazine, I preordered the book and read it as soon as it arrived. I fell in love with the character of Ingrid. She has stubborn strength and unshakable resiliency--with a soft, childlike side. I found myself wanting to be her best friend. Great review and awesome book!

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  22. Another wonderful review of another book based in Michigan! It must be Michigan week here! Thank you for a lovely review. I'd love to win a copy of Serena's new book!
    Nancee
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  23. NANCEE, it's always such a pleasure seeing you here! The last few books I have read have taken place in MI, which is fine with me. I love the setting, but rather read about it instead of living there. Too cold for me!

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  24. Sounds like this would be a AWESOME read would love to win a copy !! Thank you for the offer .Blessings ,Dana "Girl"

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  25. Thank you, MARCIA! I just loved Ingrid's tenacity as well--I wish I had more of it. When she overheard Joshua saying mean things about her I could feel her hurt all the way down to my toes! SERENA has a way of making the reader fall in love with her characters all right...like another author I know with the initials M.G. ;)

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  26. DANA, I'm so hoping for a win for you! This IS an awesome read and I wish I had a copy for everyone!

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  27. That is so cool that MARCIA bought this book and loves it, too! The cover is awesome. I plan to read this within the next few months!

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  28. I don't have any family members that worked in the lumber industry. This book sounds wonderful! :)
    ~Joanna

    ZachandZoesMom(at)att(dot)net

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  29. A lot of my Dad's family is from MI, but as far as I know they didn't work in the lumber industry. I think they were more in the railroad area of industry.

    Would love to win Serena's new book!

    Patty
    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  30. JOANNA, thank you for coming by OTT! I hope you are able to get a copy of this marvelous book ASAP!

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  31. Y'all have to excuse me while I take an "awwww" break. My hubby just came in and tucked a rose behind my ear. awwww... He did cut it off of MY rosebush, but it's the thought that counts. LOL He knows I'm not feeling real good today and was trying to cheer me up. It worked!

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  32. PATTY, we have you entered to win this wonderful book!

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  33. DIANA, what a beautiful review for what sounds like a fabulous must-read story!! I haven't read anything by SERENA yet, but I sure want to now!!

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  34. Thank you, NOELA! She is not only a wonderful author, but a sweet lady as well. We featured her first book, The Measure of Katie Calloway, here on OTT. That is a must read as well!

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  35. I would love to win this book! My husband was a logger! Thanks! makeighleekyleigh at yahoo.com

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  36. We would love to have this book in our church library which is where it will go if we win.

    Margaret Ann and Bill
    msmlsu@bellsouth.net

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  37. Really, MEGAN? In MI? You should love either of SERENA's lumber camp books then! Thank you for coming by to visit with us!

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  38. Diana, I absolutely loved this review, and I really want to win this book by Serena Miller. It sounds fasinating. Please enter my name in the contest. I'm not sure about all of my earlier family, but I know all the time when I was little my dad and granddad had to chop lots of wood, and later in life, he ran a lumber yard. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

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  39. No family member BUT when in Africa...a lady from a local church in Malawi owned a lumber yard which was very uncharacteristic. She accompanied our mission team and taught us how to stand & urinate over a hole in 10 seconds. Not that you needed to know that!

    melodydurant@hotmail.com

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  40. MARGARET ANN and BILL, this would make a wonderful addition to your church library--hoping you are going to get to read it first, though! lol

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  41. MELODY, TMI! lol You are such a hoot and I imagine you have alot of funny and fascinating stories you could share with us. Perhaps you should write a book!

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  42. MAXIE, thank you so much for your kind words. Interesting about your dad running a lumber yard. What part of the country was it in?

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  43. I have had family members that work in lumber yards.We have several in our county.Please enter me to win this book...Thanks

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  44. Hi, JACKIE! It's always a pleasure to have you drop by. Love your wonderfully uplifting posts on FB! Lots of luck in the drawing!

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  45. This book looks great! I don't think I've had any relatives involved in the lumber industry.
    shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  46. Can't wait to read this book!! Love the cover.

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

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  47. DUH!!...hubby just reminded me that my own brother works at a modern day lumber yard. He is a higher up at Grant Road Lumber in AZ. He has worked there for about 30 yrs. Blonde moment that lasted all day, CARRIE! :)

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  48. VERONICA, I think this cover would make it very difficult to pass this novel up in a bookstore, don't you! Great to see you here at OTT!

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  49. MARISSA, I hope you are able to get a copy asap! It's a wonderful read!

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  50. I am SO sorry! I've been fighting internet/computer problems all day!
    Thanks to all who have commented, and to Diane for such a wonderful review!

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  51. SERENA, I had a funny feeling that was the case when your comment didn't show this morning. You're so welcome--we've been having a blast today talking about you and your awesome new book!

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  52. Diana, You are on a reading frenzy, it seems :) I haven't read any of Serena's books. Love the soft colors on the cover. Of course, you've written a wonderful review!

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  53. Actually, ANNE, I'm pathetically behind. :( We got a new granddaughter, and then I had company from TX for two weeks, and had company over to visit that company (lol) so no reading or reviewing that whole time. yikes! Thank you, ANNE, for your kind words. You really HAVE to treat yourself to one of SERENA'S books...she is one of my favorite authors now!

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  54. Never had anyone work in the lumber industry, but have read about the jobs. Way too dangerous! I would love to win this book!

    Karen Schulz
    aregeetee5162 at yahoo dot com

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  55. It is a very dangerous, arduous occupation to be sure, KAREN, but makes for an exciting story! Thank you for commenting on OTT and lots of luck in the giveaway!

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  56. a wonderful posting...thanks for sharing serena's novel, too. no, i don't know of any relative working in the lumber industry.

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  57. This book sounds amazing!!! I really hope I can win. I will for sure be adding this to my want to read list!!! Thank you so much for the review and giveaway. Terri Clark Terrilea@yahoo.com

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  58. love this cover thanks for chance to win

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  59. Love the idea for the book, and the setting. I've lived in Michigan all my life, and my last name is Larsen also!

    mom2acat@yahoo.com

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  60. KARENK, thank you for stopping by! Good luck!

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  61. MOM2ACAT. what a fascinating coincidence! Maybe you are destined to win this book then! lol Thank you for commenting!

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  62. APPLEBLOSSOM, cherry blossoms (and apple blossoms-lol) look so pretty on a book cover...especially with a lovely model in front of them. ;) Hoping for a win for you!

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  63. TERRI, this is a wonderful book and I hope you get the opportunity to read it! It's just as good as it looks!

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  64. Beautiful cover! No, I do not have a family member who was in the lumber industry.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  65. I just ordered this one.. I could NOT resist this cover and premise any longer! I am looking forward to the Swedish accent ;)

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  66. Diana, my dad ran the Lumber Yard in the Texas panhandle at Texas. It is 119 miles from Amarillo. The town has a Tx. side and Ok. side. The lumber yard and our home was on the Tx. side, but in later years after the Tx. one closed, he worked at the one on the OK. side. He was a meticulose .carpenter. Maxie

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  67. This sounds like it would be a book that once you start it you won't want to put it now until you have read the last page .Would love to WIN a copy please .Thank- you for the offer ,Dana "Girl" Spille

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  68. RUBYNREBA, they say not to judge a book by it's cover. But in this case, do so by all means. lol

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  69. DANA, you said it better than I could! It is just that!

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  70. How interesting, MAXIE! I didn't know lumber was a big thing in TX since there aren't many trees...or so I thought! Shows just what I know. :) Thank you for sharing!

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  71. MARIE, I am so delighted and feel as though I have done my "job!" :)

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  72. Can't go wrong with Serena Miller! Thank for the wonderful opportunity!

    Susan Ferrell
    susan828(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  73. So very true, SUSAN! SERENA is having internet issues and is not able to respond to all of your wonderful comments, but I know she appreciates them!

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  74. Diana,
    Thanks for the review. I would love to read this book. It sounds like a very good story.
    may_dayzee (at) yahoo (DOT)com

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  75. KAYM, welcome to OTT! This is a wonderful story and you may just find yourself burning the midnight oil reading it! It's a hard to "put downer!" lol

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  76. You've been so kind. I hope the story comes up to everyone's expectations:-). All I know is I put my heart and soul into it and tons of prayer and work. It was a labor of love because quite a lot of my grandmother's life is in it and I've wanted to write about her forever. Grandma took over raising a young family of five with a man she was in love with, but who was not in love with her. He simply needed someone to help him raise his kids. She had three more children with him, and my father was the youngest. My father said she loved the whole family so much, that he was ten years old before he had any idea that his five oldest siblings had a different biological mother. I find that remarkable. Even after the children grew up they wrote long letters to her and came for summer-long visits.She continued to be a hub in their lives, dispensing love and advice and good food until she died at 93.

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  77. I forgot to answer the question--no family members that I know of were lumbermen. In the late 1940's, my father cleared enough trees from his property to built a log cabin in Northern Minnesota. They used an ice box until it was wired and an outhouse until a bathroom was plumbed in. It only had one bedroom.

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  78. KAY, thank you for sharing that with us! Isn't it amazing what our parents and grandparents went through and the fortitude they had? I'm afraid people today (including myself) are quite spoiled.

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  79. That is such an amazing story of your grandma, SERENA. She had to have been filled with the love of God to take on such a monumental task. And your prayers and hours of work paid off, b/c this is a wonderful tribute to your grandma!

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  80. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  81. I don't think I have any family members that worked in the logging industry. I've live in the Pacific Northwest for a few years, though, and I've become interested in the history of the logging industry. I didn't even know Michigan had a logging industry. That's why I love historical fiction, I'm always learning new things. :)

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  82. Sorry, forgot my email address--

    followsjc[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  83. LISA, I have learned so much by reading historical fiction as well! The authors' extensive research is intricately woven throughout so that the reader doesn't even notice that they are getting a history lesson as well. ;)

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  84. I love this cover and the book sounds great too. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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  85. Hi, WENDY! You're welcome and here's hoping for a win for you!

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  86. For sure and for certain I want to read this!!!!

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  87. I would love to win one of Serena's books. Thanks for the opportunity!!!

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  88. LORETTA and JANE, I need an email for you two sweeties...otherwise we have no way to contact you should you win. And that makes me very unhappy so pleeeasse come back with your email! Thanks so much!

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  89. It sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for having the giveaway.

    harnessrose(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  90. I'd love to win this book!!! I love reading Amish books!!!
    gcsb3031@gmail.com

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  91. Sounds like a great book! I'd love to win!
    Marie Ferland
    mariefluffy@yahoo.ca

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  92. MARIE, am so hoping you get a chance to read one of SERENA'S books. I know you will enjoy them so much!

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  93. HI, GAIL! You and me both! Good luck in the draw!

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  94. HARNESSROSE, it was a delightful book, with a little something in it for everyone! Hope you get a chance to read this one!

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  95. Please add me for drawing! Hope I'm not too late! Kathleen
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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  96. KATHLEEN, you are just in time! Bless you for coming by!

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  97. Congrats to CAROLYN who won her choice of any one of Serena's wonderful books! Thanks to all for coming by and showing me AND Serena your support! I appreciate every one of you!

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