Monday, October 21, 2013

Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky ends October 28th


 Please welcome my friend, Carrie Turansky to my blog this week. Carrie is giving away a copy of her new release, Governess of Highland Hall. If you like  Downton Abbey you are going to love Carrie's book! Leave a comment and tell us if you've ever watched Downton Abby and why you do or don't watch it or what you like about it to be entered in the drawing. Don't forget to leave your email addy and let me know if you are a feedburner follower.



What is your favorite Bible verse?
“I will go before you and will level the mountains. I will break down gates of bronze and cut though bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” Isaiah 45:23
I love this verse because it highlights the power of God to do the impossible and His promise to bless us and show us who He is through it all.


What intrigued you about writing in this time period?
When I watched the British TV series Downton Abbey I became interested in life in England during the Edwardian period, especially life on a country estate where there were not only aristocratic family members, but also many loyal and hardworking servants. I have a good friend and fellow author, Cathy Gohlke, who wrote a beautiful book set in England during this same time period, Promise Me This, and that also piqued my interest in the period.

How did you come up with the concept?
When I attended the American Library Association Convention in Philadelphia in 2012, I had a discussion with an editor about the success of Downton Abbey, and she encouraged me to create a story with a heroine who was a governess and set it in England on an estate like Downton. That got my mental wheels turning. I was hesitant to follow up on the idea at first because I knew it would take a lot of research to create a story that rang true for that period. But Cathy encouraged me and loaded me up with research books.

What is the one thing about you that most people don’t know?
Many may not know our family spent a year in Kenya, Africa, where my husband taught at a Bible college and all the kids attended Rift Valley Academy, a mission boarding school, although we all lived on the station. This was a wonderful, life-changing experience for all of us, and I feel like I left part of my heart in Africa.

Is any part of Governess of Highland Hall true?
I try very hard to get the historical details correct, and that’s especially a challenge for an American who is writing a book set in England in 1911 - 1912. I’m very thankful for two British “first readers” who helped me catch some historical and cultural items that needed to be tweaked to sound less American.  I hope the story will ring true for the time and place, but the plot itself is fictional.

What were the most interesting things that you learned while writing and researching Governess of Highland Hall?
I enjoyed learning about Amy Carmichael, missionary to India, who was the inspiration for my heroine and her family’s mission work there. I also enjoyed learning about the London Social Season. Young women had to prepare for months and sometimes years with the hope of meeting the right man and receiving a marriage proposal.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
I think one of the best perks of being a writer is hearing from readers who have been touched by one of my stories. Those letters and emails are a precious confirmation that God is working in and through me to share his love and truth with a reader.  That always amazes and encourages me and makes me want to keep writing.
What do you find to be the most challenging part of being a writer?
I am a consistent writer, but I am not a fast writer. So I need to set word count goals and stick to them. It’s hard to be creative when the pressure is on and a deadline is approaching. But God is faithful, and with his help I have been able to turn each book in on time.



Fans of “Downton Abbey” and the English Edwardian-era will love the romance of The Governess of Highland Hall, where governess Julia Foster must find her place when she is neither upstairs family nor downstairs help.
 Returning to England from the mission field in India, Julia Foster accepts the position of governess at Highland Hall to help support her parents. But she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected.
 Sir William Ramsey, widowed and left to care for his two young children along with the two teenage daughters of his deceased cousin, is consumed with saving the estate from financial ruin. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith. Can William and Julia find a way to cross the great class divide that separates them?



More information about Carrie:
Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of nearly a dozen novels and novellas, including Snowflake Sweethearts, Along Came Love, and Surrendered Hearts. She has won the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award. She lives in central New Jersey with her husband, Scott, who is a pastor counselor, and the author of several parenting books.  Carrie loves to connect with readers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and her website: http://carrieturansky.com

 DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice.

Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday, October 28th at 8:00 A.M. EST. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

62 comments:

  1. I have watched and enjoyed Downton Abbey! Looking forward to the next season.
    I've seen Carrie's book around the book blogosphere and am really looking forward to reading it.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for coming by Patty. I have yet to see Downton Abbey but I AM going to watch it when life slows down!

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  2. I love the story behind your inspiration, Carrie! Great interview. :)
    No need to enter me - I have this wonderful book headed to my doorstep!!

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    1. Thanks for coming by Susan. I know you are going to enjoy Carrie's book!

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  3. Would love to win a copy of Carrie's book!
    Stimmer@familylife.com

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  4. I've finished the first two seasons of Downton Abbey and I need to finish the third season before the fourth one starts airing in the US next year. I love seeing all the beautiful rooms.

    I would love to read Carrie's book!

    kosterbind at gmail dot come

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    1. Oh Kelly, you are making me want to MAKE time to watch Downton Abbey! I love decor in times past. Good luck!

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  5. I also follow your blog through Feedburner. :-)

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  6. I've watched each season as it airs on PBS, so I've been a fan for quite awhile. I love the costumes and the social manners the most, I think, along with the characters themselves.
    jmsfarmgirl(at)hotmail(dot)com.

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    1. All this talk is making me want to watch Downton Abbey right now! Good luck in the drawing!

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  7. I have enjoyed meeting you at the Tea in Crosswicks and I purchased your book.. love it.. Getting to know the characters and love how they turn to the Lord for help..

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    1. So glad you met Carrie. She's a sweetheart. I see her about once a year at conference. Love her! Sounds like a fun tea, visiting Carrie and getting her book!

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  8. I watched the first season but haven't taken time yet to watch the rest. I love history so it has been enjoyable seeing the costumes, the cars, etc., and the mansion itself is beautiful. It's hard to imagine what it would be like to live in a place like that, and since I obviously did not live in that era, I enjoy seeing what life would have been like then.

    I signed up for the updates on Feedburner. mallori.norris@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks for following my blog Mallori! Wow you were able to stop watching Downton Abbey? That's part of the reason I won't start is because I'm afraid I'll watch it even though I should be doing something else. LOL!

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  9. HI Friends, It's great to see so many of you dropping by today! I really admire Julian Fellows the writer of Downton Abbey. He has created very real characters that we feel very connected to. I hope to learn from him and do the same for readers. I am looking forward to January and watching the next season of Downton Abbey. Until then, I hope you all will enjoy reading The Governess of Highland Hall!

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  10. Hallo, Hallo Ms. Debbie Lynne & Ms. Turansky! :)

    Autumn is FINALLY arriving down here, but the past week or so, its still reaching into the upper 90s with a few measures of relief where I feel the balm of humidity abating, but only just slightly! :( I am a wreck in sub-tropical weather, and long for the rust coloured leaves, the windy crisp breezes, as much as apples, pumpkins, and the comforts of Autumn!

    I've been in love with Downton before I even *saw!* Downton! The costumes, the writing, the direction of the plots, and the characters endeared me to them long before I ever brought the First Series home via borrowing it through my local library by which I requested it as a purchase request a full year and a half before its popularity jumped the stratosphere! :) I'm awaiting Series 4 to come in next, but Series 3 gutted me completely! :( IF I hadn't learnt the truth behind Matthew Crawley, I daresay, I would have left the series on the shelf at this point! :( :(

    I've been a keen follower of Mr. Fellowes for quite a bit now, except I hadn't realised I was! You see, until I watched the full-on 7 Series of "Monarch of the Glen" in 2012, I hadn't the foresight to realise he was behind "Gosford Park" by which I fell for due to the complexities of life below stairs!! I love period dramas in this vein, and I watched "Howard's End" and "The Remains of the Day" around the same time! I was meant then to discover: "The Duchess of Duke Street" and "Downton Abbey" however, the true timeline is really:

    "Upstairs, Downstairs" (original series)
    "The Duchess of Duke Street (spin-off of UP/DWN)
    "Upstairs, Downstairs" (original 'next' series)
    "Downton Abbey" (spin-off of UP/DWN)

    In this way, I have come into UP/DWN through their spin-offs! I am part way through Duke Street's Second Series, but I had to leave it there, as emotionally it evoked me into oblivion! Downton is pushing it as far as what I am willing to accept as far as which main (AND PRINCIPAL) character I am willing to see die! Series 4 will either make or break me as a fan who continues! :( On the flipside, Series 3 made me appreciate one character in a way I was not expecting too because they humanised his personality and explained his manners in a way that you nearly felt pity rather than discontempt! (Thomas) Likewise, I could do without the narcissism of O' Brien! She's horrid! :(

    I digress -- I could converse about this for ages! :)

    *blogger is cutting off my words, this is 1 of 2

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    1. Would you believe that no one in our modern age understands the role of a Governess!? I have had this conversation broached many times, and I'm the only one who can infuse a sense of what a Governess performed and gave to her charges! I am aghast in many ways, as clearly, this role has been excised in literature for well over 100+ years, and yet, its a term of vernacular that is plumb lost in today's world! Humph! I adore stories in this vein, as I am currently reading through "Jane Eyre" and there have been such a bevy of books that I have loved and been engaged with that encompass the life and trials of those brave women who dared to forge an independent life by carrying their means on the ability to teach and govern children in their charge!

      Ooh, prior to this you hadn't known about the London Season!? Ooh, my! You must have been buckled down in your research then! I've been addicted to Victorian and Regency romances for absolute ages, and my pure delight in seeing how each girl turning into a woman handles that blighted period of her coming of age years is pure suspense, because you never know if you will encounter a character who turns her back on propriety and tradition OR if they will embrace it but only on their terms! You must seek out Tasha Alexander's "Lady Emily" series, as its a keen eye on that entire world! There are others, of course, but I love her charming grace and the brilliance of how she wrote Lady Emily's story! There is an African connection as well, which you might appreciate!?

      Ooh boy -- you took Downton, re-spun it, and created a wholly new story!! Love it!

      *Other Fellowes films I want to watch are: Vanity Fair (after I read the book!), The Young Victoria, Titanic, Romeo & Juliet, Crooked House, Gypsy.

      Thank you for offering this wicked sweet bookaway!
      I'm an email subscriber!
      [inkand-bookaways(at)usa(dot)]

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    2. Hi Jorie, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I enjoyed researching the role of governesses. Here's a link to an article I wrote about that. http://writespassage.blogspot.com/2013/09/governesses-in-edwardian-era.html Thanks for stopping by!
      Carrie

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    3. Ms. Turansky,

      Thanks for giving me the link! I discovered *Writes of Passage* over the past 10 months, but I have not gone back nearly as much as I should have! Therefore, I hadn't seen this post until now! I look forward to reading it! Have a lovely day!

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    4. Hey Jorie! Good to see you here. I was smiling the whole time I was reading your post. I can tell you LOVE Downton Abbey! Hope all is well in your world. :o) Life is busier than ever right now but I'm in hopes that the new year will bring a slower pace.

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  11. I do watch Downton Abby and I love it. I am also very much wanting to read Carrie's book

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    1. Hey Wilani be sure to leave me your email address so I can contact you should you win! Thanks for coming by and good luck!

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  12. Although I have heard great things about Downton Abbey, I have never watched it. I am not much for watching TV, so don't want to commit to a series. I would rather spend my time reading.
    Martha
    josieringer(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Martha I'm afraid I'm with you in that I've not watched Downton Abbey. but it isn't for lack of want to! I rarely watch TV and am so busy even into the night that it is a commitment to take the time to watch. Good luck in the drawing.

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  13. I'm a Downton Abbey fan, too. And I admire authors like Carrie who put so much research into their writing! Congrats, Carrie!
    pam(dot)halter(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Pam. Good research can make a book that much richer. Carrie is good at it which makes her books even better. Good luck in the drawing.

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  14. Carrie, thank you for sharing! I really enjoyed reading your interview. Sadly, I have never watched Downtown Abbey as we don't really have TV (and can't get anything else here, just two Ohio stations..:( ), but I have heard so much good about it(and like to watch it, someday) I love that Amy Carmichael's story was an inspiration for The Governess of Highland Hall. She's one of favorite people. I would be thrilled to win your book!!! I also follow your blog through Feedburner. Blessings, Juli
    emeraldelena@hotmail.com

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    1. Hey Julianna, There was a time when we didn't get anything but 2 channels too! Thank goodness for books, huh? Thank you for following through Feedburner. Good luck!

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  15. I would love to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway. :)

    I follow via GFC and FEEDBURNER.

    frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com

    Melanie
    My Blog ~ Christian Bookshelf Reviews

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    1. Thanks for following and stopping by, Melanie. Good luck!

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  16. Debbie, no I didn't watch this show only because I already had a lot that I watched and some conflicted with that time and now I can't record on my VHS tapes like I used to do. :( I don't have a DVR either. Have to see if the kids can get me a duel recorder for Christmas. I'm not sure but thunk they have one that records both. With the DVR my understanding is that you still can't record to a DVD Disc. I like to save good movies. I would sure love to win this book of Carrie's. I love the cover and the time period. Thanks for the give away. MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

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  17. Oh Debbie, I forgot to say I am a follower by Feedburner too. Need all of the chances I can. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. LOL! You have 2 chances, Maxie! Thanks for coming by and I hope you get that DVD burner!!! Good luck.

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  18. I have not been watching Downtown Abbey, since I could not get the channel. I will, however, be borrowing my daughter's DVD's so that I can start from the beginning!
    Thanks for the giveaway. I am also a Feedburner follower..
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. Hello Betti. Thanks for coming by and for following my blog. I'm looking forward to watching all 3 seasons myself.

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  19. I do not watch Downtown Abbey. I watch very little TV. I'm an avid reader. I've recently become disabled because of a medical error and it's to my cervical spine, so I have a lot of pain. I have to take quite a lot of medications, so usually I'm not watching TV, I'm reading a great book. This book sounds great. Would love to win and read it. Thank you for the chance of this giveaway.
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  20. I am a FeedBurner follower of your blog and GFC follower!!

    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Barbara, I'm so sorry about your spine problems. Back pain is terrible. I hope there is something the doctors can do to help alleviate your pain. Thanks for being a follower and thanks for coming by!

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  21. I have not watched Downtown Abbey yet. I just have too many other shows going on right now. I plan watching them someday. Thanks goodness for DVD's. I follow through Feedburner.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for following, and good luck in the drawing!

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  22. Love the interview ladies and I love Downtown Abbey and I will love this book!! Thanks for the giveaway!!
    Blessings.....Joy
    ibjoy1953[at]yahoo.com

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    1. Hey Joy. So glad you enjoyed the interview. Thanks for coming by.

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  23. Debbie Lynne and Carrie, I enjoyed the interview. I'm anxious to read Governess of Highland Hall, because I love the setting and that your main character is a governess. I appreciate your research and that you used Amy Carmichael as inspiration for your heroine. Thank you for offering a chance to win your book.
    may_dayzee(at)yahoo(dot)com
    I am a follower.

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    1. Hey Kay! Thanks for coming by. And for being a follower! Good luck in the drawing!

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  24. I do not have TV, so cannot watch Downton Abbey at home, but I wait until it is released on netflix, and then watch the whole season at once. I have watched the first two seasons, and I really like this time period. I often wonder what it would be like to live during that time period, but not as one of the upper class. I would be one of the worker bees! I follow through email, but think I also follow through feedburner. lisajcowell(at)cs(dot)com or leij856(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. I'm not real techie but you might be able to watch Downton Abbey via your computer. I think there are some shows that you can. But you know as popular as it is it will be out on Netflix before long! Good luck! and thanks for following!

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  25. I love watching Downton Abbey! It's just such a beautifully done show. The set, the costumes, the script, and the cast are wonderful! Season 3 was so heartbreaking, but I still love it! :)

    aeputney [at] liberty [dot] edu

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    1. OH NO!!! It's sad. :o( I guess I better prepare myself for season three then! Thanks for coming by Amy and thanks for the heads up!!

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  26. Thanks friends! It's fun to hear your thoughts about Downton Abbey. Several of you said you didn't have a TV so you weren't able to watch. We don't have TV either. I watched it on PBS and then bought the DVDs to watch on my computer whenever I like. : ) Happy viewing and reading!

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  27. Carrie, this sounds really wonderful. The time period is a very interesting one to me as a genealogist. I would really love to read this! Sonja.nishimoto (at) gmail (dot)

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    1. How very cool being a genealogist! That sounds like a fun job. Good luck in the drawing!

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  28. Hi, Carrie!

    Loved your interview! The Governess of Highland Hall sounds more wonderful with every interview, & I would love to read it!

    I have never watched Downton Abby - no reason, except that I seem to spend a lot more time on the computer now, & very little time watching TV.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of your book!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

    I am a feedburner follower.

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    1. Thanks for following my blog. And good luck in the drawing. I have the same problem as you, I don't seem to have enough time to watch DA but I'm going to make it!

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  29. So looking forward to reading this one! Ewe_r_merritt (at)yahoo(dot)com. Feed burner follower.

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    1. Good luck in the drawing! And thanks for being a FB follower!

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  30. I really enjoy Downtown Abbey and look forward to the upcoming season in a few months.

    I love to watch how each member has an important role in helping run the estate and I would love to know what is its like to "dress up" for dinner.

    -Janella- blog follower through email

    arieljo12(at) Hotmail(dot) com

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    1. Hey Janella. I've often thought about that. I'm not sure if I'd like that or not. But then if I had to dress up for dinner I wouldn't be fixing it so I'd probably like that. LOL. Good luck and thanks for following my blog.

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  31. thanks for the chance to read this wonderful novel.

    I'm a follower, too.

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  32. Hi Carrie,
    I watched Downton Abbey in the beginning, and while wonderful eye candy, it seemed to me to be a period soap opera, so I no longer watch. I just became a FEEDBURNER follower on my yahoo :) Thanks!
    Heather G.
    celebration_kids at yahoo dot com

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