Welcome to a Celebration of Women!
Today is the start of a week long celebration of women and what better way to celebrate than to host a huge giveaway! I want to share some thoughts on the Woman I Raised and after that please find the details for our giveaway!
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At age six, a full year and two months before we met, my daughter was abandoned in the Philippine jungle. She survived, a remarkable feat for any child. What makes the story miraculous is that she kept her three younger siblings alive as well.
Mothers are allowed to fall in love with their children, and my story is no exception. I first went head over heels for my daughter while seated in my office sifting through case studies of children from the developing world. It was a heart-wrenching portfolio of sibling groups waiting for a forever home. I stopped dead at a photo of four malnourished children.
The oldest child looked angry and proud as her younger sisters and brother leaned against her legs. And I wondered: how could any child survive abuse and neglect, yet come out of it with a heart blessedly filled with fire?
A novelist thrives on symbols, and it has never been lost on me that my daughter arrived in the world named Christian. She is the biological child of a woman named Mary and the adopted child of Christine. This heavy dose of Biblical symbolism was never far from mind as I steered my daughter through what was left of her childhood and into womanhood. We laughed, cried and fought. We engaged in all the classic mother-daughter rituals but with a powerful twist: I was raising a child God had saved for reasons as mysterious as the female heart.
A few facts about Christian: she weighed 42 pounds upon arrival in the U.S. One month later, she entered first grade—and excelled—even though she didn’t yet speak English. Most days, she lorded over her younger siblings then would find a quiet corner where she’d stroke her first pair of shoes like cherished pets. She wept when she couldn’t color inside the lines with her brand new Crayolas. She adored stories of princesses, her Brownie troop, penguins and peanut butter. She hid food inside her pillowcase in case the good times ended. At Christmas, she worried that Santa Claus wasn’t such a great guy because he didn’t bring presents to every child on earth.
Throughout those childhood years, she was a brown-skinned beauty in a lily-white Ohio town, a girl more comfortable leading others than blindly following.
My late father had a saying, a moral guidepost that still guides my days: Do you want to be a follower or a leader?
Christian’s birthday is Dad’s death date. She’s always been a leader.
Some days, I’m not sure I ever did raise Christian. Perhaps she was always the teacher and I, the student.
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Share a story from your own childhood or one about raising kids. I’m giving away a Charleston goodie basket–candy, cookies and Low Country treats–for U.S. or Canada delivery. Post your comment today! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org after you’ve left your story. I’ll announce the name of the winning entrant on May 6th.
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On to the Giveaway!
We are giving away 67 different prizes! An iPad Mini or one of 60 eBooks by our group of authors are just the start of the prizes. Enter the Rafflecopter below:
You aren’t finished yet!
In addition to the iPad Mini and the eBooks, all the other authors are giving away prizes today. To enter their giveaways, follow the links below to enter to win:
Steena Holmes bestselling author of Finding Emma is giving away a chocolate gift basket to someone who leaves a comment about their fairy godmother
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Rachel Thompson, bestselling author of Broken Pieces is giving away an Amazon Gift Card to a lucky commenter about “sisters”
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Patricia Sands, bestselling author of the hot new release, The Promise of Provence is giving away a beautiful book on the Most Beautiful Country Towns of Provence from Amazon to a lucky commenter about Women’s Friendships.
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Karla Darcy, bestselling author of 7 Regency Romances including The Divided Hearts is giving away an Amazon Gift Card to a lucky person
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Bette Lee Crosby, ten-time award-winning author of Spare Change is giving away an Amazon Gift Card for answering a question.
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Make sure you keep your eyes on our website, Her Best Books, and subscribe to our newsletter for more deals and giveaways coming your way this summer!