Mama Diaries

Monday, September 17, 2012

Genre Favorites Blogfest, Author Virginia Wright, Giveaway





It's a busy place at my pad, today! First, we have the Genre Favorites Blogfest, hosted by none other than Ninja Captain, Alex Cavanaugh. Then we'll have an interview with children's author, Virginia Wright, and then if you'd like, you can be part of Virginia's book giveaway.

So let's get started! For this blog hop, I'm supposed to tell you my favorite genre of music, movies, and books, and then add a little guilty pleasure to the mix.

Favorite Music: Classical! I am a professional musician, so this kind of music is my life. I prefer music from the romantic period (Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky), but on piano, I love playing the music of Debussy, which is from the impressionistic period.

Favorite Movies: Chick flicks. Wat can I say? I'm a female and I love sappy love stories that make me cry.

Favorite Books: Middle grade fantasy. I'm a big kid who never grew up. I love reading this stuff, and I love writing it. Books like Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series, or Harry Potter, or some of Kate DiCamillo's books are right down my alley.

Guilty Pleasure: I'd have to say sitting down with a box of dark chocolates, watching a romantic chick flick would be it. Good thing I don't have much time to do it, or I'd weigh like two tons.

What about you? What are your favorites?

On to the interview with Virginia Wright. (This is a repost from yesterday, so if you've already read it, you can skip to the end. The giveaway goes until September 19th.)





I am very excited to introduce you to Virginia Wright, children's author, and one super-nice lady!

About Virginia:

Born and raised in Belfast, ME, children's author Virginia Wright began her writing career at an early age in a diary with lock and key given as a gift by her mother.After graduation from high school in 1976, she took coursework in journalism and writing. Later, as a mother and homemaker, her writings were published in local publications and newspapers, as well as online. A military family, the Wrights have lived in countries all over the world and in seven different states. Her five grandchildren and being a preschool teacher in Mississippi gave her inspiration to write children’s book.


Books to check out:



CryingBear (2011)






I asked Virginia some questions about her writing career. Here's what she had to say:

1.Tell us a little bit about your background and how you became a children’s book author.

Ever since I was a young girl― I put words to paper. I can remember sitting on the veranda of my parent’s house writing, first it was a little diary with a lock and key, later, as I started growing up it was a pen and pad in hand—back then, I wrote mostly Poetry and Haiku’s. My excitement for writing was realized in 1981, when I sold my first writing to a regional publication Washington County Magazine, but the excitement for writing didn’t stop there, it continued to grow!

That is so cool that you started writing when you were a kid, and that you're still doing it and love it!

2. What do you like most about writing for children?

While I consider myself a mixed genre writer, children’s writing has definitely taken front and center the last couple of years. What I like most about children’s writing the reactions from children when they listen to my stories and turn the pages of my books. If I see their smiling faces, it was all worthwhile to me.

Aren't kids the best? I love that, too!


3. Tell us about Crying Bear Yes Bears Cry Sometimes Too. What inspired you to write it?


Crying Bear was the name of a stuffed bear that I had when I was a little girl, and she became the inspiration for the title of my latest children’s book. Crying Bear was a furry red, chubby bellied, stuffed bear. It had tears that were manufactured on the face that ran down onto the cheek. A very special little toy of mine for certain.

Description: Join this very adventurous little bear cub, as she wanders too far from the den in the snow covered mountains of Maine.

I've read Crying Bear. It's a sweet book! It's nice to know about the inspiration for it.

4. The world of children's book publishing is extremely competitive with many authors hesitating between trying their luck with a traditional publisher or self-publishing. What advice would you offer writers who are oscillating between these two publishing venues?


My personal best advice to authors trying to decide between traditional publishers or self-publishing is to― just write! Then for inspiration, Google John Locke, Amanda Hocking, and Colleen Hoover. John Locke is the eighth author in the world, and the first self-published author in history―to have sold 1 million eBooks on Kindle! All three of Amanda Hockings books in her Trylle Trilogy-Switched, Torn, and Ascend-were originally self-published, but were later re-released with St.

Martin’s and Pan Macmillan Internationally. Her trilogy also made the USA Today Bestseller list, the New York Times Bestseller list and was recently optioned for a film. Colleen Hoover self-published her book, Slammed and in just a few short months signed a contract with Simon & Schuster.


Self-publishing was taboo just a few years ago and self-published authors were shunned by traditionally published authors. Now, many self-published authors are widely accepted in the writing community and publishing world.


With that said, self-publishing is definitely worth a try, especially putting words into digital format (e-Book), because who knows…one day a traditional publisher may come along and offer you a seven-digit book deal that is too good to pass up. I’m still waiting on mine, and I never give up hope. **Smiles**

I'm still waiting for that seven-digit book deal!

5. Do you have any other works in progress?Can you share a little about them?


I’m looking forward to the release of my next children’s book, The Christmas Secret, in late fall 2012.It feels like it is working into a Christmas classic to me—it is about two little boys, Mikey and Charlie, who learn the real meaning of giving through one boy’s selfless act.


I’m not sure where my writing will take me after that, I have given some thought to write a Young-Adult (YA) fiction; perhaps, a cookbook, or maybe a romance novel is in the works too. Stay tuned…

I can't wait to see your new book. Good luck with your other writing endeavors!

To one commenter I will be giving away an autographed paperback copy of Crying Bear! To another, I will give away a copy of my non-fiction, Buzzzzzzzz What Honeybees Do, in eBook version.


Thank you for having me as guest author this week.

-Virginia Wright

You're welcome. It was fun having you here!


There you have it.  If you are interested in receiving one of Virginia's books, please say so in the comments.  Thanks for stopping by!

109 comments:

  1. that was a great list, except the chick flicks... i am a total man... ha, that sounds funny ask my wife. she might tell a better truth.

    also thanks for the two-fer Virginia sounds like a great person...

    do you have any recorded pieces of your violin?

    Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
    Howlin' Wolf Records: On-Line Magazine

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    1. Thank you, Jeremy! That was nice of you to say so.
      ;D -Virginia

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    2. Hi Jeremy,

      If you stop by my website, www.sherryellis.org, you can listen to a few home recordings of me playing the viola (and a piece I composed for a movie). One of these days I will make a CD. I just need more time!

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  2. Genre you say, I can watch the odd chick flick my way, but like way too many different genres to pick.

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    1. LOL. I like a lot of different genres of movies, too, but since I had to pick one, I went with chick flicks.

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  3. Visiting from the Genre's blogfest, so I'll have to come back for the rest of your post. I'm trying to visit everyone....
    If you like YA, then you gotta check out the Alex Rider series by Anthony Harowitz. My son, who hates to read, read the first three books in the series in three weeks. That's like a flippin' miracle of speed and determination. (Btw, nothing wrong with his reading ability, just his motivation...)
    Anyway, nice to meet you Sherry. My post for today is:
    Tina @ Life is Good

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    1. I'll stop by and visit you. Thanks for letting me know about the Alex Rider series!

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  4. That guilty pleasure could be dangerous for me. It's bad enough with a bucket of buttery popcorn. :)

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    1. Hahaha! Yeah, chocolate and buttery popcorn could get you in a lot of trouble!

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  5. My father was a professional bass trombonist, so I grew up listening to a lot of classical. I still like to turn off all the lights and listen to Holst. :)

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    1. Holst is cool. I've never listened to his music in the dark, though. I'll have to give it a try!

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  6. I love middle-grade fiction, too. My graduate thesis was a YA novel (for ages 9-12). Keep meaning to revise/edit it . . .

    http://pepperwords.com

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    1. Maybe you will someday, and it'll be a published book.

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  7. I'm a big fan of chick flicks too! Who doesn't need the occasional guaranteed happy ending?

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  8. Kudos to Virginia.
    I like classical too, I played flute for many years. My fave in that category are the Russian Romantics. Jazz-rock fusion is another genre I like in music.

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    1. Jazz-rock fusion is pretty cool, too. Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Thank you, Cahterine! Truly appreciate it. ;D -Virginia

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  9. I can't resist chick flicks either. Cool music choice. Nice to meet you on this blogfest.

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  10. Looks like I'm not the only one with a super busy Monday post! Chick flicks are always great for turning your brain off and letting the movie flow through you.

    I enjoyed reading about your favorite genres,
    Jocelyn

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    1. LOL! That's why I like them - it's a chance to relax my overworked brain!

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  11. Dark chocolate, yep I'm a big fan. In fact, chocolate should be its own genre. (:

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  12. your faves match your classy look!
    and i love the image of the stuffed bear with tears. precious!

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    1. I guess I do look classic, don't I?

      I love Virginia's stuffed bear with tears, too!

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    2. Hi Tara, Thank you!Crying bear was a very special teddy bear for me-- so it came natural to write a story about a bear. -Virginia

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  13. Love your entire list -from classical music, YA fiction to Dark chocolate and chick flicks. Bach always uplifts me.

    It's always interesting to know the inspiration behind an author's creation. Congrats to Virginia. I particularly liked that part where she expressed how rewarding it is to be able to make children smile with her stories. I think that's truly special.

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    1. Bach is great. I love his unaccompanied sonatas and partitas for solo violin.

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    2. Awww! Arni, Thank you. Let's see...I'm a mother of two, a grandmother of five, a great auntie of many. When I read a story and see a smile, or hear a laugh, or field a question, then I know I have done my job as a writer. ;D -Virginia

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  14. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm always impressed by musicians, (I don't have a musical bone in my body) and YAY for Harry Potter!!

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  15. Hi, Sherry,

    Over from the blogfest. Nice to meet you.

    LOVE M/G fantasy. My first novel was in this genre.

    Ah, ClASSICAL ... how cool. I always wanted to study piano, but my parents had other ideas... Some day though.

    My guilty pleasure is, yes, rom/com but without the chocolate. I like your idea better! BUT like you I'd be two tons too.

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    1. Haha! Yeah. And I'd feel really guilty if I weighed two tons!

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  16. You've already seen my list so you know my guilty pleasure...
    Thanks for participating in my blogfest!

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    1. Thanks for hosting it. I think it was a huge success!

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  17. Ah, love to hear classical piano. I'm jealous you can play.
    And a good cry now and then is, well, good.
    Congrats to Virginia on her release!

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    1. Yeah, now and then a good cry is good, but I wouldn't want to do it all the time. I'd hate having permanently bloodshot eyeballs!

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  18. Wonderful list! There are some awesome MG books out there. This year I've discovered the Flora Segunda series by Ysabeau Wilce and the Dragon Slippers series by Jessica Day George. They sucked me in just like the Harry Potter series.

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    1. I haven't read those, but I'll be sure to check them out!

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  19. I too am a piano player but I'm not a professional musician. I enjoy piano instrumentals- sometimes I even listen to them while I write.

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    1. That's pretty cool. I can't listen to music while I write. If I try, I totally end up focusing on the music, and not my writing!

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  20. Great list..I'll have to stop by your site and listen to some of your music.

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  21. I'm awed by anyone who can make music. I agree with Virginia to write first and think about publication after.

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    1. It's definitely more fun that way!

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    2. Yes, just write! My Mantra, and I sure have been doing a lot of it lately. I agree, J.L. with you, Sherry is an inspiration all the way around.

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  22. Hahahaha! Love your guilty pleasure. You might weigh tons, but you'd be really healthy since it is dark chocolate, right?

    I like M.G. fantasy too. Funny, without too many hard words to sound out :P

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  23. Dark chocolate and chick ficks. My place or yours? ;)

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    1. Haha! You can come to my place, if you don't mind the animals!

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  24. Ooo. I play a little piano myself (if my fingers haven't forgotten - I haven't touched any keyboard except my laptop's for some time), and I enjoy classical music, too. There are actually few types of music I don't like.

    Great two-fer post. I enjoyed reading about Virginia.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. :)
    Participant #125

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! (I'm impressed you remember your participant number. I have no clue what mine was :))

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  25. I totally agree with your movie choice! I don't like chocolate but some chips and salsa goes well with those movies too :)
    I'm a French horn player to I listen to classical sometimes but usually only those with featured brass.

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    1. Salsa works, too! Brass instruments are neat. I just don't have enough hot air to blow out the sound in them!

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  26. Great post. I enjoyed the combination of your blogfest responses and the interview. Her Crying Bear inspiration is sweet.

    xoRobyn

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I agree - Virginia's inspiration for her book is sweet!

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    2. Robyn, I heart you for saying so! -Virginia

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  27. Ah YES, I love chick flicks too. Thanks for following my blog! :)

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  28. Rick Riordan is such a talented MG author. I read his books with my older son.

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    1. I agree. He's completely in touch with how kids think and act!

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  29. Lovely interview. I guess the important question is, does it really matter if a good story is published by a traditional publisher, or small independent publisher, or an author?

    In my eyes, No. Good books are good books regardless of how they come to the reading audience. :-)

    Sherry, my music choices are eclectic, as I mentioned. Playing classical guitar usually involves quite a few classical pieces. I've heard some phenomenal guitarist play some of the more complicated classics in such a way you're mouth drops. Wow.

    Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

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    1. I agree, as long as you have a great, well-written story, it doesn't matter. I've heard some amazing classical guitar playing. I love listening to it!

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    2. Sia, I agree with you! A good book is a good book regardless of how it gets to readers.

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  30. Classically trained? Wow. I am a HUGE Debussy fan too. Reverie is my meditation music. For some reason, that song just takes me away.

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    1. Reverie is beautiful!
      And it's actually one of the easier Debussy pieces to play.

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  31. I love chick flicks too :) and dark chocolate, combined with white wine, and a chick flick going? Heaven.

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  32. Dark chocolate and chick flicks. YES! lol I like classical music, too. I used to go to sleep to a classical Winter album. So relaxing.

    Thanks for visiting my blog! <3

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    1. Sounds like a perfect evening! Thanks for stopping by!

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  33. Gotta love chocolate, especially without the weight gain:) Great post, and I like that you included so much in it too.

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    1. Chocolate without weight gain would be perfect! Glad you enjoyed the post.

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  34. I love middle grade fantasy! Can't get enough of it, really. :) Have you read Breadcrumbs? That's one of my favorites recently. Oh! And The Remarkable and Very True Story of Lucy and Snowcap. (Although that's part fantasy, part historical fiction.)

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    1. I haven't read either of those. I'll add it to my list of books to read!

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  35. Yum. Dark chocolate. Got a bar in the freezer, and I'm deciding how much I should eat, or whatever to hide it from Dad.

    By the way, thanks for following my blog! I presume that you found it via the blogfest?

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    1. Hide it from dad ;). Yes, I did find your blog through the blogfest. Aren't these things great for getting bloggers together? Thanks for stopping by!

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  36. Hi, Sherry. Great to meet you! On my blog, I listed classic rock music, but I do love classical music as well. For pleasure, I gravitate toward power. While writing, however, I have to play the slow and sweet stuff.
    Thanks for sharing.

    -Jimmy
    http://jamesgarciajr.blogspot.com/

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    1. Those two genres are great. Classic rock is cool - much better than today's pop music (I think).

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  37. Oh, I LOVE Debussy. His pieces are so hard to play on the piano, but they're just gorgeous.

    And thanks for the interview with Virginia!

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    1. Debussy is challenging, but I absolutely love playing his music! Glad you liked the interview.

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    2. Shallee, You are welcome, my pleasure! -Virginia

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  38. Sherry, I'm with you with classical music and the romantic period at that! Thanks for the interview too.

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    1. Can't beat classical music! Glad you enjoyed the interview.

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  39. I love classical romantic music (I play the piano) because you can be a lot more dramatic than with some other classical pieces. :)

    Rick Riordan is a great author. His books were hilarious.

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    1. I'm reading through all of the series right now. Rick Riordan is a talented writer!

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  40. wow love this list! Have you read Tamora Pierce's books? Great YA fantasy too :D

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    1. I have not, but I'll have to check them out.

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  41. Although jazz is my first love, I so agree with your Romantic period classical music! I'm also a classically trained pianist (not a professional though) and sat for my piano/theory exams through the Royal Schools of Music...

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    1. Oh yes, I remember the exams and juries!

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  42. Classical music has a life all its own. Mozart, Beethoven, etc might be appalled at how their music is used to sell popcorn and cars now, lol.

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  43. Great music choices. I love to unwind to the sound of classical music. ^_^

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  44. Chick flic with chocolate sounds like heaven. Great choices!

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  45. I have learned something about you each day :-) Dark chocolate. In response to your Very Inspiring Award --I have 7 facts about me. Curious?

    Oh .. I really enjoyed your interview --giving me another perspective of writing children book and publishing them.

    http://journeyofmylifendestiny.blogspot.com/2012/09/tidbits-about-me.html

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    1. I have to get over to your spot and read your stuff!

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    2. Glad you enjoyed the interview Sherry did with me. Thank you Sherry for having me on Mama Diaries!

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  46. Replies
    1. Thanks! I'll stop by your pad and pick it up!

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  47. I enjoyed reading about you Sherry,it gives you an idea of the woman behind the blog. I must say, I found Belfast ME where Virgina is from on a vacation on a great "accident". My late hubby and I would travel to ME to camp and we would take our time driving around the lovely state. We came across Belfast when they had their Bears out all dressed up one year. In NYC we did "cows" on parade,so some of my favorite memories were posing with those Bears. I sent a friend in Ireland a postcard saying "greetings from Belfast" and she thought I went overseas and didn't stop in.
    I would love to be put down for a chance to win this lovely book. Thanks Ladies.

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    1. Hi Winnie, Thank you. Congratulations! You are the winner of my book, Crying Bear. Sherry will be contacting you for your mailing address and sending it along to me. You should be receiving your book in 7-10 days.

      Thanks for commenting on my interview, and also sharing your wonderful memories of visiting Belfast. I have fond memories of Belfast, Maine too! *Smiles*

      All my best,
      -Virginia

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  48. I love chick flicks! Now I feel bad for not listing it as well. Thank you so much for stopping by and following my blog.

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    1. Sure! And thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  49. thanks for the interview. I knew those would be the answers you would give about yourself!

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