Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Defiance Sneak Peek and Necklace Giveaway


Winners emailed!
~ Defiance ~
A sneak peek


                I looked the dressing table over. Yes, the dressing table. The room the council had stuck me in was extravagant beyond belief and reason. As were the dozens of necklaces that lay before me. To choose, to choose… It wasn't easy. I had no idea who gave what necklace and the necklace of my choice held my fate for the night's escort. I was going to be stuck with some other guy for the whole night because of one of those beautiful necklaces. And of course, Jacobsons weren't allowed to offer necklaces to me. I had to 'spread the courtesy' they'd said. Though I belonged to the Jacobsons, I shouldn't show favor to that clan. And as for the necklaces, it seemed wrong that the council was using something so beautiful and elegant to so blatantly piss Caleb off.
            Caleb's blowup hadn't helped things. I couldn't blame him one bit though. As a matter of fact, I was bursting with pride as he let the council have it about all the hypocrisy they were spewing our way. Them carting him off to the 'dungeon' wasn't exactly how we planned things either. Oh boy… This whole trip so far was becoming a soap opera.
            And my subsequent jailbreak and threatening of the guard was just the cherry on top of this crazy sundae.
            I had no idea what I was doing. The way everyone looked at me and spoke to me; everyone was afraid to look me in the eye or touch me for fear that I'd read or reach something about their past. Or future. Power is an odd thing. It's destructive, it's addictive, it's idiotic at times, but it's also strangely beautiful how the chaos just flows around it. The beat of the human heart thrives for it, but not this heart.
            I was ready to be done with this week. I wanted to marry my Caleb. And despite the fact that the council tried to call our bluff and marry us the first day, luckily Peter was a quick thinker. I wanted to marry him, but not because someone told me I had to. I know I was so against marriage before, but I can’t even remember why. And the age thing? Blah. It meant nothing now. I was so ready to be everything for the man I love and it wasn't just to escape the Visionary stuff. I just genuinely looked forward to learning how to be a couple, on our own, with no distractions, with Caleb.
            Gosh, the look of pride on Peter's face…watching Caleb turn red and defend my honor…Caleb's powerful arms twitching and moving to protect me… Even now I could feel the ache in my chest, of both pride and want. The council's stupid rules and traditions had me away from Caleb too much and I was beginning to withdraw again.
            I steeled myself, raised my chin, swiped the tear that escaped and chastised myself for letting it. I was the Visionary, I was everything they said I was and more, I could feel it, and I was about to use their words against them. They were about to see that things were going to change. I was not to be put on display and worshipped and passed around like some trinket or commodity. I was me and I had my family behind me.
            Defiance of the way things are is sometimes the only way to embrace what's coming. The council had been worshipped and revered too long for a bunch of coots with nothing to do but get manicures and live underground. And the Aces needed to learn that complacency was acceptance, even if you wanted to believe otherwise.
            And we were not going to accept it anymore.
            So, I chose my necklace. It was beautiful and matched my dress so perfectly with its cream leaves, intricate gold filigree and moonstone. I wondered who it belonged to and who I would be stuck with for the night. I slipped it on, placing the gold shawl around my neck to cover it as instructed. I checked my mascara for smears and then opened my door to reveal my guard, Rodney.
            Caleb's cousin, who saved me in the woods, was so very sweet and protective of me, even now more so that it was revealed my Visionary status. He smiled and bowed but didn’t kiss my fingers and I was thankful. I'd begged him not to on several occasions.
            "Are you ready to go, milady?" he jested.
            "No," I said as I took his arm and let him guide me. "No, absolutely not."
            "Don’t worry. I'll keep one hand on Caleb at all times. He won't like it tonight but he'll be ok. He just has to learn to share," he said and winked.
            "Ha ha. This is a stupid tradition- I'm sorry, I'm not trying to offend, it just is. What is the purpose of this? The council doesn't even know me. How do they know how I would react to other clans? I planned to be sociable," I sulked. "They didn't have to go to extremes and make out like this was the only way to spread me around."
            "I don't know, Maggie. We haven't had a Visionary in any of our times before. We're all going on what the council says is customary."
            "I know," I said pointedly. "That's what scares me most."
            "We're here," he stated the obvious and stopped at the doors. "You'll be great. Just be the sweet, chatty girl I know you are and dazzle them with a smile. I guarantee you'll have them eating out of your little Visionary palm."
            "Thanks," I said sincerely.  "Really. Doing all this without Caleb feels wrong, but with you here, it makes it bearable at least."
            "It is my honor and pleasure." I grimaced at the Visionary worship and he caught it. "Maggie. It is my honor and pleasure, Maggie. You're family and Caleb is like a brother to me. I'd do anything for him, including," he opened the big double doors to a room full of anxious people, "escorting his girl to another guy," he said wryly and smiled. 
            I looked out over the sea of faces. Even the married Aces wanted a night with the Visionary. It was status and bragging rights and a glance at the coots table told me they were enjoying the show. Though, I tried not to, I glanced at Caleb. I almost lost it as my heart jumped violently but Rodney pulled his arm around me and though I knew it would break 'protocol', I hugged him. I heard a few gasps but didn't even look their way as my eyes stayed locked on my significant.
            "Thank you. Would you please go to him now?"
            He nodded and smiled as he made his way to the Jacobson huddle. They were all pretty ticked from the looks of things. Then I heard the most beautiful sound in my mind.
            You look so…agonizingly…beautiful.
            You look pretty good yourself, slick.
            I am so sorry I brought you here.
            It's not forever. They're just trying to push your buttons. They all envy the Jacobsons whether they'll admit it or not.
            But it's not fair to you. You're withdrawing, I can feel it. They are only keeping you so busy and away to spite me, but it's hurting you too. This only-letting-me-see-you-for-a-few-minutes-to-touch-at-night crap isn't cutting it.
            I could see his color rising. His father put a hand on his shoulder and Rodney put a hand on the other. Even Kyle stepped up to flank him. They were showing us once again they were behind us. We just had to ride out the council's rules and so called 'traditions' until we could change them for everyone, not just for ourselves. We had to save the race, not just our family. And the race was so consumed by tradition that it would be a hard case to sell. They'd all turn against us if we didn’t do this right. So…we'd play by their rules. For now.
            I'm ok and ready to do this.
            I'm not.
            I smiled. I love you, Caleb Jacobson.
            I love you, Maggie Jacobson. And don't you dare forget it.
            I smiled again as his use of his family name for me, and held in my chuckle at the protective vibe I was getting from him. I was surprised every person in this room couldn't see it floating around him. It was really was stupid for them to make some ritual like this. They know the significant's nature; to be possessive and protective. So why go to so much trouble to push me on other's knowing that our bodies would rebel against it?
            I turned to the eager crowd. All the men were lined up front, their woman behind them. I assumed they were waiting for me to reveal my necklace so they could claim their prize. So I undid the shawl and let it slide off the side. The groans of disappointment were evident but one other voice rang out clear and true.
            A Watson.
            He came forward all smiles and evil grins. He looked extremely pleased by my discomfort. I decided right then and there that if I was going to be stuck in this, that I would be a player in it as well. So I smiled too and curtseyed to him. He faltered and almost tripped over himself, making me press my lips to stop the laugh. When he reached me I held my hand out with an even sweeter smile.
            "Shall we?" I said, dripping with sugar.
            "Of course, Visionary," he said smoothly but was clearly taken off guard by my actions, or intentions, but he smiled back and took me to the dance floor. When we stopped on the granite circle in the middle he glanced to Marla, who nodded. He looked back at me with a renewed vigor to his task.
            Good, I thought. Two can play this game.


 Maggie's necklace she wears from the Watson escort (gag!) But it's SO gorgeous!

Here are the necklaces you have a chance to win!



         I am thrilled to offer you a chance to win one of five of these beautiful necklaces that Maggie had to choose from. The artist who hand crafted these necklaces, Hayley Welliver, has other gorgeous jewelry options and has even offered to make replica necklaces if you contact her. Her Facebook page is 
From now until Dec 31st at midnight EST, I will take comments on this post for entries for a chance to win. All I want from you is for you to tell me the one gift you got from someone that you'll never forget or that touched you in an unexpected way. That's all. If you are anonymous in the comments make sure to leave your email so I can contact you if you win. I can not wait to read your entries! Good luck and remember that it's Christmas. It's a time for remembering the good things and letting go of things that would bring us down. Be safe, be happy and be merry!

Best wishes, happy endings and Merry Christmas,
Shelly Crane
         
         
         
          

113 comments:

  1. wow love the necklaces!! especially the bottom right one. but as for a gift I got that meant something to me? probably my engagement ring from my husband, he is my best friend. it is the past,present, future ring and it means everything to me.and his parents bought us the bands. so that means something special to me as well. now if I had to pick something else that I was absolutely floored to get besides my rings...that would be my nook. my inlaws bought it for me and at the time it cost a lot of money and they did it cause they just wanted to, to show how much they love me being apart of their family. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful inlaws.

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  2. Hubby and I met in high school. On prom night, neither one of us had a lot of money, but we made do. My dress was made by a costume designer who lived next door and there was no limo or anything fancy, which was fine by me. The night was special enough because I was with him. When we arrived, he handed me a box with the most delicate bracelet made of little tri-colored gold hearts. I never took this bracelet off, ever. It broke when I was pregnant with my son, and we tried to get it repaired several times, but it kept on breaking. It's in a special box now, and it will always be my favorite.

    Jennifer Nunez

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  3. My most favorite gift is the necklace my husband had customized for me as a wedding present. It has his birthstone, my birthstone, and 2 diamonds in a white gold heart. I wore it on our wedding day and it matched my dress perfectly.

    Saph
    saphsbookblog at gmail dot com

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  4. Wow this is hard one!!! Im going to try to think recently because throughout my life I have had Amazing Family and Friends that give me great gifts! My favorites are the thoughtful ones and especially ones with inside jokes, but probably the most special gift(s) of this year is when I went to Savannah, GA with the Paranormal Plumes a few of them surprised me with signed copies of their books! I totally wasn't expecting it AT ALL! I got The Childe by C.A. Kunz, WINNEMUCCA and 13 on Halloween by Laura Elliott, Saving Angels Series by Tiffany King, and SWAG from Fisher Amelie! I love surprises and all this was, and it just opened up my eyes to how awesome authors were! <3 them
    The necklaces are gorgeous!!!
    @TessMWatson
    My Pathway to Books: tessmw.blogspot.com
    tess.m.watson@gmail.com

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  5. I would have to say the best gift I ever got was the years my children were in kindergarten. At their school they take Christmas bulbs and put paint on the kids hands. They then put their hands on the bulbs and then make a reindeer out of the hand shape. They are very cute and I just put up my tree on monday and found them. I love them. I daughter, who is now 9 thinks its funny how small her hand used to be. Best Christmas gift ever.
    I would love to win this necklace. I think I would love to win the book more. I loved, loved, loved the excerpt. This is a book I will be looking forward to coming out. Will have to add to my must read list for sure. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.
    christinebails@yahoo.com

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  6. I am SO happy to read this glimpse into Defiance!! I just love this series and cannot wait to read the whole book!! Thanks for sharing!! It is hard for me to pick just one gift that I will never forget, but one that stands out is the first ring my boyfriend, who is no my husband, ever bought me. It was a blue topaz and he told me he just had to get it as the blue reminded him of my eyes!

    Thanks again for sharing the sneak peak and opportunity to win!

    joellaelbert@gmail.com

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  7. I was very close to my Grandmother and when I was getting married she couldn't attend as she had Alzheimer's. My favorite Aunt called me over one day and gave me a pouch. In it were my Grandmother's pearls. She said that would be Grandma's way of being there for my wedding. I promised to return them immediately after and she said "No, those are for you, she wanted you to have them for your wedding." My Aunt and Grandma are wonderful women!

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  8. I think my most special christmas was when my husband was deployed and he called me christmas morning. The reason it was so special was he told me that he would be working and i wouldn't be able to talk to him for a few weeks. Even though he wasn't there for christmas the call made me feel like he was there. I never thought I would get to hear from him. just to add on I wanted to let you to know that I love your books, and I think you are an amazing author. I can't wait til Defiance comes out. thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.

    bowden09@gmail.com

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  9. omg love all the necklaces, thanks for the teaser from Defiance cant wait for the whole thing! Ick a Watson, should have seen that comming! The one gift I got that I will never forget came from my husband *boyfriend at the time* lets just say I dated lots of frogs before I met my prince and it was my birthday and i had to work, I work 3rd shift. I came home from work to find my door unlocked, and when I walked in there were roses on the coffee table and a trail of pens *yes ink pens, im obsessed with pens of any kind* leading upstairs to my bathroom where there was a bubble bath waiting, and a "bouquet" of pens in a glass jar. when i finished my bath he had breakfast in bed waiting for me since he knew i would be to tired after working all night to go out or do anything since i had to go back in that night. It was the sweetest thing anyone had / has ever done for me! and I will never forget it. I may not have been expensive jewelry, but it showed just how much he knew about me, and that he really cared :)
    jaterry1031@hotmail.com

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  10. It's really hard choose one gift, but I would same my best one is my son, he was born 3 days before Christmas almost 15 years ago.
    And my best second gift is my "kindle". :)
    romerrill@gmail.com or ro_merrill@mac.com

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  11. Loved the sneak peek! So can not wait until it's release! :)

    For my unforgettable gift, ...

    My unforgettable gift was my children,a new start, and my husband. We were separated during hurricane Ike. We lived on the Island and we lost everything due to the storm. I had to temporarily send my children to live with their dad who's home was more inland and didn't sustain damage. It was a very difficult time in my life. I was stranded in another state due to Fema giving my aid to someone else who falsified documents in order to take advantage of the system. Our home and belongings were ruined. Completely covered in mold. I had to make a new start for us with no money and no way back home. I started temp work building up enough to even make it back home. During this time while I was separated from my children, ... I ran into a old high school friend of mine. It turned out he is an attorney. He was able to take care of the Fema situation and get my check sent. He also surprised me with a flight home to my children. With my check I got an apartment and a new vehicle. I had a job two weeks later, and my children came home! My local church pulled together and furnished our new apartment and we were back up and running. The icing on the cake? My high school friend was a lifetime God send. He is now my husband. He proposed a year after we got back into contact with each other. We married two years from that day. I got the greatest happily ever after with my beautiful children, a new life, and my amazing husband. I'm forever grateful!

    inthespirit07hs@aol.com

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  12. Great necklaces! Love the excerpt from Defiance. Can't wait!!

    My favorite gift happens to be a necklace, ironically enough. My mom gave me a sterling silver starfish necklace when I was 13 for either my middle school graduation or confirmation (can't remember which). It was my first piece of real jewelry and I loved how it wasn't formal and stuffy - totally casual, funky and unique. I was just beginning to understand my mom better and we had been working on our relationship so it meant a lot to me that she knew my style and I've worn it several times a week ever since (I'm 36 now). It may not cost much but it means the world to me. :)

    mjcorriss@msn.com

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  13. I have been very blessed and have received so many wonderful thoughtful things in my life. One thing that is still very near and dear to my heart is the year I received a book of all of my grandmothers recipes. She also spent the day with me cooking out of the book. It was wonderful and such a good memory!

    angeladpeterson@comcast.net

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  14. That's a tough question...anything my hubby gets me is always special. Last year he got me a Vampire Diaries bag with Damon on it and a ton of other great stuff. I really, really hope he can get me a Kindle this year

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  15. does anyone know where i can buy a necklace like that ?

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  16. The most memorable gift someone gave me was a gift certificate (and the scheduled appointment!) to get a tattoo. I come from a very strait-laced, slightly religious family, and no one had ever gotten a tattoo before. So, when my FATHER of all people gave me this gift, everyone was a bit shocked. He mentioned he remembered me talking about wanting one when I was eighteen (a decade earlier) and really wanted to get me something I wouldn't expect, and would always have to remind me of him. He took me to the appointment, sat with me through the whole thing, and in the end, I walked out with a beautiful scrollwork shamrock made from celtic trinity knots on my ankle. I loved my tattoo instantly, but could never have known in that moment how much it would come to mean to me. You see, less than a year and a half later, my father passed away quite suddenly (only three months ago...) His unique, totally unexpected gift has come to represent a lasting connection that I will always treasure.

    Thanks for writing such a fantastic series. I have read all of your books to date, but Maggie and Caleb stole my heart firts!
    Melanie melarsen81@gmail.com

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  17. Love the sneak peek!

    My favorite gift I've ever gotten was a quilt my grandma gave me last christmas. She had been working on it for several years when she had the time. It's something that will always remind me of her and I'll be able to pass down to my son.

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  18. Can't wait for the book!

    The one gift I will always treasure is the gift of Kiva. I got a certain amount of money to lend out to people all over the world. Generally they are small loans but that's all some of these people need to get their business started. It's great to hear the stories of how the loans helped. A great way to share the holiday spirit!

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  19. I'd have to say that the most precious gift I've ever gotten was from my husband and that it simply was to love me. I had a few rough years where I completely lost myself. It's been a long journey finding myself again and he's been a constant piece of the puzzle. He's forever loving and patient. He's amazing. <3 mireille.chester(at)gmail.com

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  20. Great contest Shelly you never disappoint your fans. The most precious gift that I ever received was from my then 8 year old nephew Ryan. He gave me a keychain one year that had to halves one for him and one for myself along with a box of oreo cookies. ( see his nickname for me is oreo). He told me that I was a best 2nd mom to him and that he could come to me for anything and I would always be there for him and that someday I would make a baby the best mom in the world at that time I was told that I wouldn't have children but now I have a 5 year old. To this day he is like a son to me and a friend.

    azstyln602@aol.com

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  21. My great grandmother passed away a month before my son was born and it made me sad that she never got to see him . When my son was 2 weeks old my family gave me a box without a tag on it and when I opened it there was a sweater that great gram made for my baby that she never had the chance to see!!! It touched my heart that she was no longer with us but somehow managed to give us a gift!!

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  22. Wow! I didn't want the sneak peak to end. Your book Defiance is fantastic. Can't wait for it to come out. When my children were in grade school in the school back home, each Christmas the school would have a special day for the students to make ornaments. Sometimes it would be paper, and etc, but once year they had the students make something for their parents out of clay and then the school had them baked or what ever you call it. My third son made a mouse. It really looked like a mouse. My son is now thirty six and I still have the mouse he made me. I have other ornaments made by all my children and I hang them on my tree each Christmas season. But the mouse is my favorit. It is heavy and has to sit out on a shelf, not the Christmas tree. I love the necklace on the bottom left. It would look wonderful on my daughter.

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  23. The gift I received that meant the most to me was a Mother's Day gift from my husband. He had a necklace made for me with our son's thumb print on it. My 1 year old son had to press his thumb onto the mold for 20 minutes. If you have young children, you can imagine how difficult this was for him. I was so touched by the thoughtfulness of the necklace from my husband, and even more touched that my 1 year old had the patience to create it for me.

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  24. One I absolutely loved! The excerpt and can't wait for more! Also the necklaces are absolutely beautiful! The Watson line and I really like the bottom right one(:

    But for a gift. I have two but ones not so much a gift. But it was Easter and I get together with all my family on holidays. All the grand kids get little baskets or treats from the grandparents like candy and such. This year my grandma Judy gave me a small purple stuffed peep bunny. This was a special gift I'll never forget and will always treasure because it was the last gift I received from her before she passed of cancer. So it's something that always is there to remind me of her and her love.

    And the other wasn't so much a gift as more of a trinket I have now. It's a gold ring that has two hearts that touch. In the middle of each heart is the birth stone of my grandmother and grandfather and grandmother and one the brand it has there names engraved into it. It is a reminder of my grandmother and all the good times we had together and it always makes my grandfather really happy when he sees me wearing it so it makes me happy. And I guess my grandmother had made the ring herself, she was a jeweler.

    I wasn't sure if the last one would count so much as a gift or not. But that's is the gift I most treasure.

    My email is vanessa71793@hotmail.com

    Again love significance <3 lol

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  25. Hmm. I know this might be kind of corny, but I would have to say my kids. My ex husband and I went through three years of infertility and we never conceived. The doctor told me I'd NEVER conceive, which broke my heart. After we divorced and I met my husband, I got pregnant and now we have two beautiful little boys. When that pregnancy test showed positive I was so ecstatic I was crying and screaming. I got exactly what I thought I would never have.

    hayconn at yahoo

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  26. one of my fave gifts i ever got was last christmas and it was a phone call. my husband left in november for the military on our anniversary to be exact and if that wasnt bad enough i wrecked and totaled my car a week later. well anyone who knows stuff bout basic training also knows you only get to talk to them while they are in training for about 15 mins or so one day a week if that and send snail mail to each other. well we were getting ready for christmas it was kinda sad especially for our kids because he wouldnt be there and we hadnt talked to him in about three weeks. Christmas came and it snowed and was very pretty but we went to one of his families gatherings and i had no signal what so ever on my phone and it rang and it was him. i couldnt hear too well so i went outside and spent two hours out in the snow just to talk to him, it was about 20 degrees outside and i completely missed getting to eat dinner with everyone because i was on the phone but i didnt care because that call made the entire thing worth it and it was the best gift i ever recieved :)

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  27. Omg I can't wait for defiance to come out!! Okay so besides having my kids the best gift i've gotten is my kindle for mothers day. I wanted it so I could read the twilight series (paperbacks dont have a long life expectancy in my house) and from there i've gain the love of reading and have met some wonderful authors. Nittni@yahoo.com

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  28. My most memorable gift would be a photo album. My best friend in high school made it for me our senior year. We were both off to different colleges and she wanted to make sure I had a way to remember all the fun we had that year. I still have it and when I see it it always makes me smile.
    Amber
    since51@hotmail.com

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  29. Okay, so my most significant gift would be Last Christmas, I got a Kindle that i haven't put down since and a pair of earrings that were my grandmothers and my mom gave me a necklace that i never take off. I use all these things everyday.(:

    CarmenWereWolfNaomi@gmail.com

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  30. The most memorable gift I've received was a trip to visit my aunts and uncle in Washington and Oregon. I live on the east coast and I've only really seen them twice when I was younger. So I boarded the plane by myself and was off. I had an amazing time. I learned so much about them and my heritage. They opened my eyes to so many new things that have helped shape me into a better person. It was an amazing gift and I could not have asked for anything better.
    Jess.hotter@gmail.com

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  31. Hmmm... the best one I can think of is going to sound so stupid and weird, but it meant a lot to me and still does.
    The one gift that's touched me the most is the one I got for my 15th birthday this year. I participate in Young Champions, which is a cheerleading program. It was my first season and I was on Level Four.
    That fall I'd been on my high school's JV cheerleading team. I had fun sometimes, but I never really felt like I was on the team. No one ever talked to me and if I tried to make conversation they would just give me weird looks. I started referring to it as their team, not my team, because it was obvious everyone found me annoying. I'm not sure why they didn't like me. I did what I was supposed to and wasn't loud or hyper or bossy. But I always felt like an intruder at practice, and the two times I went to team bonding nights, I was an outcast.
    Anyway, my first competition (the spring Regional competition) was on May 14, which also happens to be my birthday. I was so happy that I could spend my birthday doing something I was beginning to love.
    The first practice after the competition (which, sadly, we didn't place at), my two coaches called me up in front of my team. They gave me a red birthday ribbon that they'd wrote little messages on and had the whole team (which was really only nine girls, including me) sing Happy Birthday to me.
    So I guess I could say that's the one gift that's touched me the most. That small cliche 'Happy Birthday' ribbon was obviously cheap, but all that mattered was that everyone cared, and for the rest of practice, we all joked about how I was so old (all the other girls were 6th grade or younger).
    -Bree
    (If you need to email me for any reason:
    boxcargirl96@sbcglobal.net)

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  32. i personally love the watson (ick) one!! i must say for such evil people they have great taste!! The memorable gift i ever got was a homemade blanket i got from my grandmother. She has a lot of health problems and is in the hospital off and on. She cant do many things by herself anymore but she decided she was going to make these fleece blankets for us with our favorite colors she got from out parents (secretly). So she made all 7 us these beautiful blankets! I sleep with mine every night and every time she goes back to the hospital and we visit i take the blanket and cover her with it to show that im really thankful that she did something that was really hard for her for her grandchildren.

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  33. My language arts teacher this year gave me the gift of will. I have lived in a cult my whole life and she was the first person to notice something was wrong. She showed me that even though life was hard I could fight back and hold on, that I didn't have to believe what they said. I am so grateful because she helped me carry on when I felt I couldn't.

    sour_spicy@yahoo.com

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  34. Loved the sneak peek!

    My most unforgettable gift would have to be my bracelet I got as a wedding gift from my grandmother who had past away a year before I married. It actually came from a cousin but also had a very touching story to go along with it. She had had a dream one night to where my grandmother had came to her saying, "Show her. Tell her". My cousin said my grandmother only said that. The next day she received a package that was bracelets she had ordered from QVC with the verse 1 Corinthians 13:4. Love is patient, love is kind. She had originally only ordered 2 but the package contained 3. My grandmother knew I LOVE that verse and had always repeated it with me all the time. My cousin gave it to me as a wedding gift and said it was from my grandmother. She never got to meet my husband or her great-grandkids. I miss her dearly and wear the bracelet as often as I can. It was my "something new" in wedding.

    brokenfairy04@yahoo.com

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  35. I love this series, and I really cannot wait until it comes out. (Hopefully it is coming out sooner than May ;)!)

    The best gift I could ever have is the chance to do what I love, or be with who I love. There are so many material things I could live without, and in the end- I'm happy I get to sit and eat cinnamon buns with my family while watching the Macy's day parade! (I will take Cinnamon buns as a gift any day, though!)

    Contact me at mybookfriend@gmail.com anytime!

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  36. Oh I cannot wait until this book comes out!
    2 christmases ago, it was my sons first real christmas and our first christmas after my grandma passed away... we didn't have a whole lot of money because my husband had been laid off, so I wasn't really expecting much and was grateful for all the little things he did get me. He tried to be funny and wrap things in extra boxes so that I couldn't guess what they were, so he hands me a box that is wrapped inside another box, wrapped in another box, so on and so forth until I finally made it to a smaller jewelry box.. and when I opened it I was completely stunned to tears... My husband had gone to the mall and found a jewelry store that will take photos and then etch them onto the jewelry.. so before me in this little box was a beautiful silver heart necklace with my one year old son's smiling face staring back at me. I will never ever forget that day and how much it meant to me for him to know how sentimental I am and how much it would mean to me,even though we were struggling financially.

    Brittneymlady@yahoo.com

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  37. I want to first start off by saying that you are an amazing writer and I'm completely addicted to all your series. Each day is a gift, because we all get to live. IF I had to pin point a specific one however, this would be it;

    I'm 24 years old and most people my age or older wouldn't understand the situation I am in. The best gift I have ever received came to me on May 2, 2011. This is the day that changed my life forever. I had 3 little boys placed in my care and this Christmas they will legally be my children. The love and devotion these boys show me on a daily basis is the most amazing feeling in the world. So what is the best gift I received you ask? It's everyday these boys call me mom. There is no item that can compare to the love the show me every day. That is the gift I will always remember, that is the one thing that could never be out done.

    Danielle Morales
    Dmorales_413@yahoo.com

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  38. One of the best gifts I ever got was actually just a card. My grandparents had given all of the granbdchildren their birthday gifts at christmas to make it easier for them. My grandma and grandfather signed all the birthday cards ahead of time and then gave the crad to my mom to give to me because they lived far away. Between that time and my birthday my grandfather passed away. When I opened my card with my grandfather's signature he had written that he loved me and was proud of me and I think that was what I needed to hear at that time. manda691@gmail.com

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  39. Thank you so much for the sneak peek to Defiance! Makes me want to read even more!

    The best Christmas presents I have ever gotten is finding out the sex of my babies. They were both born in May and we found out the week of Christmas both times what their sex was. My children mean everything to me and being able to find out right before Christmas was awesome since I consider them to be a gift from God.
    April
    adpopham@gmail.com

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  40. Oh, great sneak peek! I can't wait for the whole book, this is by far my favorite series.

    I have to concur with several posts above, the best gifts I've ever receieved were my two sons after fertility issues.

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  41. The sneek peek is greak and so are the necklaces. When you said something on your facebook about necklaces I was confused at first but I would love one. There are six necklaces. So is one the Jacobsons if so I wnat that one and if I do not win will you tell me which one is theres so I can ask Hayley Welliver to make me that one. Thanks again so much and please hurry and finish the book I can hardly stand waiting.

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  42. The necklaces are gorgeous! I wish I had one right now. I can't wait to read the whole series.

    The person that I would always remember is my best friend Nikki. We know each other from our parents and me and her sister and my sister have loved each other for who knows how long. My sister and I think of her family our second family because they treat us with as much love as our own.
    Nikki has always been there for me through anything and has helped me with situations that no one ever could solve and I respect her in as much a way as my own sister. Though, only recently she has been diagnosed with cancer and it tears me apart knowing this. She just had her first chemotherapy and I wish I was there for her like she was for me. I love her with all of my heart and I wish for her to get better. But I know I won’t be the only one who will look after her. Her family will and her sister will truly help her and so will I.

    Thank you for the giveaway!
    caymanian_girl(at)earthlink(dot)net

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  43. Sorry the writer cut me off after a paragraph. The most touching gift I ever recieved was from my grandmother. I was seven and she had passed a few months earlier so of course I did not expect any thing from her under the Tree. So when my mom handed me a present and it said it was from my grandma I was confused and first thought she was alive but then I opened up the box and saw the blanket that my grandma and me had been working on. I was told that she finished it before she died. I wonder what happened to it but never asked. I still sleep with the blanket ever night and remember her fondly because of it. Thank you.

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  44. Hi Shelley, I absolutely love your books, significance is my favourite series I love that your female characters are so strong even though they have the love of fabulous men they are powerful in their own right. The best gift I ever received (after the blessing that is both my girls) was from my husband for my birthday he bought me a flight to London (from Australia) to visit my best friend before her wedding so we could do all our bridesmaid and accessories shopping and then had a trip to Greece together as well. This was amazing and as a new mother of two children who are were born less than two years apart it was the first time I had been away from them, while hard to not see them for 2 weeks it was very special to be able to be with my friend at this special time. Keep up the good work, I can't wait for defiance.

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  45. Mine would have to be from a patient of mine many years ago. I took care of her in the hospital until she passed away. Her caregiver came back one day some time after she passed and gave me some cheap old costume jewelry and she told me that the patient wanted me to have it. It wasn't pretty or anything nice, but the gesture made me cry. I still have it to this day!
    I love this series. I wish we could all have that happen with our spouses, life would be heavenly always!!

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  46. oops forgot my email. Got wrapped up in my comment
    delivery.RN at gmail dot com

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  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  48. ncc88@sbcglobal.net
    Defiance Can't come out soon enough!!! Gah! Anywho I would have to say my favorite gift would be a unicorn necklace my brother gave me for Christmas when I was 7. I remember seeing the glass charm necklace with the unicorn etched into it at one of those cheesy mall kiosks with my mom and brother one day. I basically drooled over it. Then my brother (9yrs old at the time) made my mom take him back to the mall to get the necklace for me for Christmas that year. To this day I still wear that necklace, and am so proud to say that it's a gift from my big bro when people ask me where I got it. Thanks for asking ;) Which reminds me that I need to call my brother....

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  49. Great teaser! Can't wait for it to release. The best gift I ever received was beautiful diamond earrings from my amazing hubby. I had mentioned in passing months earlier that I wished I had earrings that were timeless and did not hurt my ears. (very sensitive) I put them on 5 years ago and have had no problems. It is amazing what love can do!

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  50. The best gift I ever received was a homemade birthday card. It was so totally unexpected because the person who made it for me was a classmate who constantly teased me. We rarely talked because he always avoided me or teased me like i mentioned before. I guess it he has a crush but was to shy to show it and making the card was his way of letting me know. I thought it was sweet. I still have the card to this day.

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  51. Thanks for the awesome contest Shelly!! At a very pivotal time in my life, the summer before my first year of college, all I wanted to do with my life was be a dolphin and sea lion trainer. While my dad wanted me to be "realistic" and go to college for pharmacy, my mom totally supported me going to college for biology. That summer I wanted nothing more than to spend a week in Marathon, FL in the Keys at Dolphin Research Center for their intensive dolphin training class. Needless to say, the cost was quite high, and I knew it would never happen. For my birthday I received from my parents plane tickets and the registration form for my class!!! It was truly the most amazing week of my life, working and swimming with dolphins and sea lions, I even loved sorting frozen fish! Though my life has taken me away from being able to work in my dream field, I will never forget the sacrifices my parents made to send me on the most amazing week of my life. Their love and support meant even more than the trip!!!!!!

    Jennifer
    botkajen@yahoo.com

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  52. The best gift I ever received came from my mom about three weeks after she died.

    My mom and I had gone shopping one day in the city and we stopped at Taco Bell for lunch. She was reading the hot sauce packets and I don't understand why she found them so funny, but she was laughing so hard, she had tears running down her cheeks. I remember laughing along with her and thinking that she was crazy. She was my best friend.

    Two weeks later she had a massive brain aneurysm and died. It was very sudden and unexpected. My whole world came crashing down in a matter of hours. I didn't know how I was going to move on. I was completely devastated.

    I was cleaning out her closet because my dad couldn't handle it. I needed a break. I went outside and sat on the curb. As I was sitting there crying, thinking that this had to be a terrible dream, I looked down and in the gutter at my feet was a Taco Bell hot sauce packet that read, "I'm in good hands now." The town I lived in didn't even have a Taco Bell at that time! I know in my heart that my mom was letting me know that she was okay. That was six years ago and to this day, I have that Taco Bell packet on my wall.

    I miss her terribly, but have faith that i will see her again.

    Nikki
    wonsikkin@yahoo.com

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  53. My Favorite gift I've ever gotten was from my Grandmother. On august 23, 2010 (my grandmother's birthday) she gave me a gold ring. She had worn it for as long as i could remember, until her arthritis got bad enough she couldn't. She told me she wanted "to see me, someone she loved wear it". She died this past February. Needless to say I haven't taken it off my finger since and i never will.

    Harriet <3

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  54. The most precious gift I have ever received was from my soul mate.This person gave me a simple silver ring. Just a band. He said the never ending circle was to show we had each other's hearts for an eternity. I am not with my person today as it is not our time yet. But I wear that ring every day and always feel a longing in my heart to be close to my love.

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  55. The best gift I ever got was my husband. He is the best person I've ever met. Because of him, we made two beautiful boys and a loving home. The bonus is; I am loved for being myself.

    aawarner@frontiernet.net

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  56. What a great idea for a contest! Well, my favorite gift that I ever recieved was when I was 14. My grandmother gave my siblings and I a photo album of our father. The album was completley made up of pictures that started when he was a baby and ended in his teens years. That was such a special gift to me because during that time my father was not apart of our life. So to be able to see him in that light was really incredible. Happy December!
    cepruyne@gmail.com

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  57. One of my best gifts was a picture frame my husband designed and built for me. It included 11 frames attached in a contemporary fashion but the true gift was the pictures. I love taking pictures of my boys and my husband took the time to make collage prints to put in every frame. This took him multiple nights of no sleep to go through the thousands of pictures I have taken over several years. It has been hanging in my living room for almost 5 years now and I never get tired of looking at it. Merry Christmas!

    Dawn
    dllkeagle@gmail.com

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  58. The best gift I ever got was from my mother in law. She had been married for 45 years when her husband died. When my husband and I were to be married, she gave me her wedding ring so that I could have a part of my father in law with me to welcome me into the family. Every time I look at my ring, I am reminded of the strength and love of this family.

    Lisa Marts
    LisMarts@aol.com

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  59. The best gift I ever received was my life. I get frustrated every day and wonder what the point is and I remind myself that God made a miracle in all of us, every breath you take, all your senses and your ability to love and be loved. Life is the best gift of all!
    Caroline Bushnell
    gbushnell@classicnet.net

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  60. I think one of the gifts I will forever remember is a simple mug. My mother has fallen on some very hard times, and money is extremely tight, but last year, she still managed to get me something. I'm a fan of the broadway musical "Wicked" and she got me a mug that is bright green and says "WICKED" on one side and "Don't make me call the flying monkeys" on the other with a picture of the wicked witch on a broom. It sounds silly, but it just touched me that not only would she spend what little money she had on me, but it was something I actually enjoy instead of just some knick knack. I use that mug every morning.

    Hillary Curran
    hillacurr@gmail.com

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  61. Wow!!! Now I am even more impatient to get my hands on this book!!! <3 And the necklaces are all so gorgeous!!

    My favorite Christmas gifts will always be the homemade things from my daughters. Their teachers have helped them make hand-print plaques & decorate ornaments in the years past. I love those special gifts!

    twilighter.jm@gmail.com

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  62. The Best gift I ever received was my parents Wedding Band Set. My father passed away when I was sixteen and before i got married my mother gave me there wedding rings which my husband and I exchanged Every time i look at my hand i am thankful and I love knowing they belonged to my parents who had a wonderful marriage and i hope our marriage is as amazing as theirs.


    Jduffeycpn@hotmail.com

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  63. The best gift i will never forget (as i wear it all the time) was a snowflake necklace my grandmother gave me. My favourite season is winter and i love the snow and that is why she gave it to me for Christmas.

    i_love_pups8@hotmail.com
    from Angelia

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  64. Thank you for these amazing stories! And as for the most memorable gift I have ever received.... It was Christmas almost 15 years ago, and my husband surprised me, not with the most expensive or most extravagant gift, but with a new mountain bike. It was not that I was overly excited to receive a new bike, I don't actually ride that often. What I truly loved about that bike, was the kickstand. Why is that so special? Because, it was a few years earlier that I happened to mention in passing, how I was irritated by the fact that adult bikes never had a kickstand. So for this one special Christmas, my sweet husband added a kickstand to my bike.
    I still have that bike, and remember how thoughtful my husband is, and thinks about what I want, every time I go for a ride :)
    Toryoud@Yahoo. Com

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  65. Well, both of my favorite gifts came from my first love. One was a heart shaped locket with a single diamond in the center, "Forever" engraved on the back. The other was a puppy dachshund. He is my very best friend and partner in crime, he has also seen me through some exceedingly hard times.I would most assuredly be lost without my fury, slinky companion. Email: etoile_brillant0527@yahoo.com

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  66. When I was younger, there were times my parents didn't have much money and plus my father was very anti-Christmas and still is. So one day our whole class was set up for a field trip to a local high school and each of us kid were set up to visit a class and the high schoolers were
    Given our names age and a picture and we were showered with gifts. I was 8 years old and I cried because every high schooler in that room was so kind and loving and made me feel like I was there little kid sister, but even though I got a morbid toys the present that stood out the most was a long pajama top, this girl has made it from scratch, she sewed every stitched and made drew a bunny in a garden and then put my first name in big block pink letters. It was so beautiful and that made me realize how special these high schoolers really cared about each kid in there classroom. It was one of the best 4 hours of my life that will always stay with me. litonyasg@aol.com

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  67. I have to say that the gift that has meant the most to me is my engagement ring. My husband designed it and it took him and the jeweler weeks to find 2 pink sapphires that matched perfectly to flank my diamond. Pink is my favorite color and my husband has always bought me pink sapphires for my jewelry. I actually woke up the other morning and my ring was missing. This has never happened to me and was so relieved to find it in the bed a few minutes later.
    stacibustle@peoplepc.com

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  68. I accidentally came across the Significance series and immediately fell in love. A long, long time ago I met my muirn beatha dan (soul mate). Unfortunately we were star crossed. Too many things pulled us apart. Perhaps in the next lifetime... We never forgot each other. He left me with a with a moonstone necklace and a lot of wonderful memories. Unfortunately he left this world a year ago. Something and someone I will never forget.
    gekkosworkshop@gmail.com

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  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  70. That was a great sneak peek. It has me even more excited for Defiance! When I have to decide on the best gift I have received, I cannot choose between two because they go hand-in-hand together; They are a picture and the gift of time. When I graduated I moved back to my hometown. My grandma had been very sick and we weren't sure how much longer we would have her. As my grandma's Alzheimer's got progressively worse, she began calling every female relative she saw "Andrea." I was the only one who she would allow to sit with her for long periods of time. We had been close when I was younger, but she and I really bonded as she recounted stories from her past and I told her what was happening in my life. When she passed, I was given a picture frame full of pictures of just her and me from throughout our years together. I have it hanging above my bed so I can look at it every day and remember her.
    andapanda18@yahoo.com

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  71. Unforgettable gift...

    When my grandfather passed away, it was devastating. Not just for me, but for everyone. He was a complex man, who lived a difficult and at times heartbreaking life. But he was also the most loving and caring person I ever knew, despite everything.

    Family and friends gathered at his home to celebrate his life and mourn his loss. And at a point during the day, I was pulled into a room, away from the crowd, by my father and his siblings.

    My grandfather, in his earlier years, had run the phone company in a small town before moving his family west. After he retired, my grandfather had spent time rebuilding old fashion crack phones, from all the parts he still had in his possession.

    They explained to me, that he had been rebuilding them, with the hope that each one of his grandchildren would have one of his phones. But he never was able to build the last one. There was one less phone than grandchildren.

    They all looked at me with concern, like they were going to hurt my feelings. But then asked me, if it would be okay, if I didn't get one of the phones, but instead this box.

    I had seen the box before. It was a home made "shadow" box. Deep, with different shelves and compartments containing items, and a frame with class protecting them all. The box had always sit on the top shelf of a bookcase in my grandfather's home. Too high for me to really get to as a child, and when I was a little older and I little taller, I never thought to take the time to examine it.

    It was perfect. It was my grandfathers life in a box. It seemed slightly unorganized, and even a little random. But everything in it made sense, and it just WAS him. A window in to his life.

    I was a teenager when he passed away, and only knew him as a grandfather. It wasn't until after he died, that I really started to get to know him as a man, and a person. Starting with that box, and learning more ever since. Understanding more of the significance of each item, and my grandfathers personal history.

    I'm not sure who made the box. My father believes it was a friend of my grandfathers, made after my grandmother passed, but never knew who exactly.

    I'm so grateful for it. I couldn't have asked for anything more.

    Superajd@aol.com

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  72. I love her necklace from the Watson's, gorgeous. I love the uniqueness of them all especially the one in the middle because of it's simplicity.

    My most memorable gift was when I was 3-4 years old. I am an only child and my parents weren't very creative when it came to Santa Clause so I figured it out pretty early, but my earliest memories of Christmas Santa was very real to me. There used to be this toy store in my neighborhood that I would always go into while we waited for a table at the restaurant next door. I always went to the same doll house and played with it until I was practically dragged out. Even at such a young age I knew there was no way we could afford this detailed 3-story Victorian style doll house and would play with it for as long as I could. Christmas Eve comes around and I wake up at midnight and find, what I had come to believe as, My doll house. I will always remember that feeling of wonder that Santa had figured out what I had wanted so badly and had brought it to me. After that Christmas, I spent the next 5 years writing to Santa for a puppy. It never happened, but that doll house kept me pretty happy. I hope every kid get to experience that feeling for as long as possible.

    Sofia

    livelife316@hotmail.com

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  73. Hmmm...the best gift I've ever received? It's defiantly the gold bracelet currently on my right wrist. It is so special to me in many ways and was given to me by my aunt when I was a very young child. I have always had it on my wrist ever since the day it's been given to me and have only taken it off to add more links from my growing older. From another person's perspective it looks like a regular gold chain bracelet with not much worth but to me it is a custom piece of art hand crafted specifically for me by my aunt(who is a jeweler). I love knowing that it is truly a one of a kind item and will continue to wear it throughout my life.

    raquelpatrus@hotmail.com

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  74. It wasn't necessarily the best present, but def the one I will always remember and my husband and I still laugh about is the red vacuum he gave me for our first Christmas together. Red is his favorite color, not mine and we had hard wood floors throughout our apartment. :0)
    hegryphus@gmail.com

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  75. My mom gave me a trip a to Europe. It's not the cost of the gift, it's how it changed me. Going abroad and spending time in cultures that are so different from my own, made me realize how little I knew but I eager I was to learn. I realized then I wanted to travel all over the world, to experience different things. The only thing better than imagine something, is discovering something real, something that someone once imagined and made it come to life.
    Alysha Phanord

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  76. I loved the sneak peak! I can't wait for the whole book! I happened upon your books on Amazon and have been completely obsessed ever since!
    The gift that I will always remember is a necklace that my mom bought for me. It wasn't a special occasion but we were shopping one day and I was looking at a simple necklace that had my initial on it. My mom must have noticed me looking at it because once we were in the car she pulled it out of one of the bags. She was always very spontaneous and lived in the moment! My mom passed away this last December and while this Christmas will be a difficult one, the necklace that she bought always reminds me of that day and so many others where she was so happy just to see me smile.
    nenna14@hotmail.com

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  77. Hi Shelly! I love your books!! I read the first two in two days and can't wait for Defiance!!! I love the middle necklace. The best gift I recieved was my horse, Ginger, 15 years ago from my grandfather. We were both young and learned together and we've been partners ever since! I know she won't last forever so we treasure each ride.
    Keep up the good work and I will wait as patiently as possible for this book!

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  78. I've given great thought to this...the greatest gift I've even been given is not something to be held in the hand. My gift was to my heart...indeed, my very soul.
    My father was ill most of his life and it compromised what he could accomplish. However, he was blessed with the gift of Music. My Dad was a crooner...in the style of Frank, Deano, Tony, Sammy, etc. He was tall, handsome and had the most amazing voice that seemed to eminate from his soul. As a child I grew up around music. Not only the music he loved, but everything he could possibly expose me to. I was in piano lessons by age five, singing in church and school choruses, playing in the band, performing musical theatre...anything that would let me create music. I majored in music and became the first female high school band director in my home state...something my father did not live to see. I performed in regional theatre. Later I received a prestigious graduate assistantship at a major university. I enjoyed a wonderful public school career that encompassed every facet of music and theatre I could get my hands on. I strived to give my students the "dose of the magic" only received when it eminates from the heart. I was blessed beyond measure by my students and my joy for my craft was papable.
    Dad taught me to feel music from the inside. He taught me that the true beauty of it comes from the soul and how it effects us as individuals. After my mother's passing, I walked away from music for a few years and it was like losing a part of myself.
    Two years ago that joy returned to my life and now I feel the Universe is pushing me to a place where I will teach and perform again. I'm overcome with tears at the beauty of countless moments now...whether listening in my car or experiencing the score of a movie. I'm certainly the only person you know who cries like a baby during a poignant moment of a Rascal Flatts concert!
    My father gave me this gift...a gift that saw him through his own difficult life and one that has shaped the person I've become. I feel him near me when I'm enwrapped in a musical moment and know it is this bond that still connects us. I am blessed beyond measure. The future may be shakey and uncertain, but I know in my heart this gift of music from Dad...the one that compells me to return to teaching/performing...is the one that will shape and sustain the second half of my life.

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  79. Okay so I know I cant win but I should put mine in here anyways. I have an older brother who has down syndrome and we always let him go shopping on his own for gifts for the family because he always gets the most outrageous gifts. One year we gave him a hundred dollars and told him what didnt spend he could keep, well I ended up with a tube a generic toothpaste, my mom got a Jesus candle ,my grandma got 2 birthday cards,and my little brother got a bottle of suave shampoo/ conditioner ( I guess he thought it would be cheaper to get the 2 in 1). Honestly I dont think he even left the hygiene aisle. I always look forward to opening his gifts

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  80. Hi Shelley,

    My family has always had Westie and Scottie dogs so when I bought my first house I could finally get a dog of my own and brought home a Westie followed by two Scotties. We had a super close family with Mom & Dad and three kids and two grand kids and had great Xmas traditions. Sadly in 2009 we suddenly lost my mom on Nov 22, one day after their 50th anniversary. We had been drawing names for the adults in the family for years and mom had my name which I didn't even know. Christmas was hard and I remember going over to my Dad's house to pick him up to go over to my sister's for dinner. He came out of the bedroom and gave me a gift that my mom had seen and purchased for me before she died. It wasn't something expensive or extravagant, it was a dog cookie jar with Scotties painted on it and a Scottie finial... as I'm sure you can imagine I sat there and cried for some time. Dad told me that they were walking downtown and she had spotted it in a window and she just had to get it for me... the last gift I'd ever get from my mom. Sadly, shortly after xmas we found out that Dad was sick and we lost him April 24, 2010. That cookie jar sits on my counter and I use it every day and think of my folks when the puppies get their treats.

    jagxy@shaw.ca

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  81. angelsfan1974@gmail.comDecember 8, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    well i can't recall getting a christmas gift that changed my life but the greatest gift i've ever received was the news that my husband was cancer free after a hard year of chemo and all the other things he had to go through. I've never seen such a strong person in my life. He didn't complain. He just kept doing what he had to do. He is one of the best things in my life and i am so lucky that God has blessed me with him.

    angelsfan1974@gmail.com

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  82. I would have to say one of the best gift I ever received would be my daughter who arrived after Christmas on Jan 5. She is turning thirteen this Jan 5 and I have shared both of the books with her. We are both big fans and cant wait for Defiance. Happy Holidays! Lezlie

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  83. I would have to say a very antique golden medallion my aunt gave to me. It had been passed down for many generations. I always had it on, and i still do.
    andrearo13@hotmail.com

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  84. I suffer from infertility and when I found out I was pregnant, I was thrilled. We went and had an ultrasound and saw the heartbeat. I went out and bought a neutral onsie and we told our families. Four weeks later we went to our 2nd ultrasound to find no heartbeat and the baby had stopped growing 3 weeks prior to that. I had a D&C, during the procedure the surgeon scrapped to hard and my uterus scarred together. I was devastated and depressed for a few months. At
    Christmas, my mother in law gave me an ornament. It was a clam with a small pearl and it said "every life leaves something beautiful behind." It was perfect. The pearl is about the size that the baby was when I miscarried and it helps me to remember my angel baby. This year at Christmas we put
    the ornament at the top of the tree right by the angel.
    There is a happy ending, I had corrective surgery and my uterus is open again fully and were given the green light to try again :)
    Karilizbeth@gmail.com

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  85. The best gift I have ever received was this year. It was my niece. She was on deaths door after a bout of e coli. She actually almost didn't make it. So, this year, my family and I are just really happy to have her back in our lives. We all decided not to even do any gifts for Christmas. It makes you realize the important things in life. That is why it was a gift, the most precious gift you can ever get. Life, love, happiness, and family.
    bhreid@gmail.com

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  86. I got my great grandmothers sewing box/basket and yarn basket with her sewing machine one year. She passed quite awhile back and my Great Aunt and Mom gave these to me! I was so happy and I will always remember that!

    supagurlheather @ gmail . com

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  87. I've already posted, but I have to share... My cousin and I were both raised by single moms, so we're very close, like brother and sister. We played a lot of mariokart when we were kids, and we were always the same characters. This christmas, he gave me a yoshi. He learned to crochet (driving his girlfriend who was teaching him nuts!) just to do it, and he made me a yoshi. I about cried! It was the sweetest thing he could've done, and my heart just melted into a puddle on the floor. Best christmas present ever!

    Hillary
    Hillacurr@gmail.com

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  88. First of all, thank you very much for doing this giveaway!

    The thing that is really important to me is something very unexpected.In fact, i'm actually really surprised that it touched me in some sort of way. This 'thing' is the sweet wrapper (soothers blackcurrant flavour). It was given to me from my long-time crush in school. Most of his friends asked for it and he only gave one to me because i said i liked it! Of course i already ate the sweet inside of it but, i still remember the exact date he gave it to me (1st oct 2011) and the lesson (geography). I am really surprised that this is so special to me! I still have the wrapper safely tucked in my dairy! Whenever i eat this cough sweet, i always think of him, even though i know that i can never be with him.

    Chantel Law-
    cheeky_chantel123@hotmail.co.uk
    http://chantel-law.blogspot.com/

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  89. First i'd like to say I love all of your books and I want to thank you for sharing your imagination with me. My favorite gift I ever received was from my 8 year old granddaughter, she had her mom buy her a set of best friend necklaces and she gave me one of them for christmas. To me it doesn't get any better then that.

    Sande10081@yahoo.com

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  90. The most touching Christmas present I got was a present from my mom. My great uncle passed away before I had a chance to meet him, he made jewelry. My mom had a ring that he made and she gave it to me one christmas, she told me I was finally ready for it. Knowing that my mom trusts me enough to take care of this ring, that she loves, means the world to me!

    -kaleymcgee@aol.com

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  91. My favorite Christmas gift would have to be my Kindle this year! ;) This is how I ran across the one and only, Shelly Crane and fell in love with her (your) writings!!!! MY husband scored a ZERO on gifts on the 5 Love Languages test, therefore the fact that he thought of this...I didn't even ask for it, he researched it and everything meant the world to me!!! I usually just buy my own gifts, wrap them and tell him what he got me! ;)

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  92. HI Im laura!!!
    I just saw this and was like yes yes yes Defiance YES!!! Im writing my post because a chance at winning something to tie myself to your books is AWESOME, but mainly I am just so excited to read Defiance (even more so with that tidbit)!! I really fell hard for these books your just an amazing writer. Ok so best Christmas present ever actually just happened. It may not be the most expensive gift I have ever received or the biggest but it is by far my most cherished. This year my very special significant broke our no gift rule and gave me a tiny box, that contained a very special ring. It was his great grandmothers who passed it down to his grandma, who I never got too met in person but Steven says, loved me just the same. When she passed last year his mother gave it to Steven to give to me when he felt it was right (Im the only almost daughter she has). So when we said it isn’t about money and gifts we wanted Christmas to be about love and family it felt it was just the right time. It is not an engagement ring or promise ring he said “it just feels right you having it”. I naturally was in love anything this old, it clearly looks antique, and well cherished is truly a precious gift and to know that his whole family wants me to have it is juts priceless!!. The ring is gold with a single sapphire oval stone and has small metal circles around in not too flashy not to big it is just right! I cant wait till I get to read more of Maggie and Caleb the love they share it just beautiful, its gift all on its own!!! You can email me at laura_grano@rocketmail.com!!! Even if I don’t win the necklace, thanks for the Christmas present, even a small tidbit of Defiance is great I do love this story!

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  93. Eeeeep.okay.i loved when i got my kindle because my kindl is now my baby.heheh.BUT the gift that i received that I will never forget is one that I got in 6th grade.It was Christmas so my class was doing a secret santa.Isomehow found out that the person that got me had moved...so that meant I would receive no gift on the dayof the echange.I was really bummed out but the day we did the exchange I found a present on my desk.Turns out my friend felt bad that I wouldn't be getting a gift so she went to the store and got me a little something.I was so glad that I wasn't left out in the exchange and I was really grateful for my friend.I will never forget that day:)
    natalie.grace1993@hotmail.com
    p.s.Merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone!:)

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  94. I am so excited about Defiance. I believe you are one of my top favorite authors. Hope to read more of your books when they come out.
    I have two of the best Christmas present I could ever need or want at the age I was. One gift was a name poem from my grandmother. The reason why it was so special was because, I knew she spent money where she didn't have it and two, it is what got me to start writing my own stuff. The other is sad and to most people pointless but when i was little i was abused bu my mom and her husband at the time. they never fed me.So when a down stairs neighbor got me food and water and called social services. He unwittingly saved my life for Christmas.
    my e-mail is batwomanff88@yahoo.com. i also follow you on twitter.

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  95. My grandfather gifted me with a book that has been passed down in my family for generations. Every other generation has received this book, and when I turned 30, he gave it to me. To know that my great-great grandmother held that book and read it, and others before her, it was priceless to me.
    Looking forward to Defiance!!!
    JenLouise0201@yahoo.com

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  96. I will never forget the lengths my Dad went through to get me and my sister a Cabbage Patch doll for Christmas. It was during the midst of Cabbage Patch mania in the early eighties. My parents had looked everywhere for two cabbage patch dolls, one blonde and one brunette to match their daughters, but the stores were completely sold out. One of our neighbors owned a car dealership and was giving away Cabbage Patch dolls with each new car sold. My dad approached him about buying two dolls and he told him he would not sell them but he was willing to make a trade. My dad is an electrician and our neighber need his basement wired, so my dad traded wiring an entire basement (2 days work) for two cababage patch dolls, for his girls, for Christmas. After all these years, my sister and I still have our Cabbage Patch dolls, a visual reminder of our parents love for us.
    I can't wait to read Defiance.I just love the characters and the story.
    mldenver@yahoo.com

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  97. Gorgeous! I love this contest what a great way to remind people of how lucky we are. The best gift I have received would be a necklace my mom gave me when I was going through a hard time. She gave me a beautiful heart necklace that says someone special and told me to always remember that. It meant a lot at the time and I wear it whenever I'm having a bad day to remind me.
    Can't wait to read Defiance!!!
    Cera
    jeanscholarships@hotmail.com

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  98. The best gift I ever received was the first year i was divorced for Christmas I bought a real tree and it didn't fit in the stand I had I told my neighbor and the she said she would help me since I could not afford to by another stand, the next day when I arrived home the tree was in my front room and in the stand. That was not the only gift I received but many that year Santa stopping and giving gifts to my kids it made my cry the gratitude of other and I never thought we were poor or needed the help but it is forever in my memory the gift of love from my neighbors.
    vdeeann@gmail.com

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  99. Usually when I am gifted with something its for functional purposes, something practical. So it came as a surprise when my mother buys me a ticket to Paris as a graduation gift. This was a gift that I could not keep, hold, or wear or re-gift but the memories are everlasting.
    Irma_t09@yahoo.com

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  100. Without a doubt, the best present I ever got was the dog my husband got me. We already had more than enough animals in my house and he was usually pretty cranky about having 3 dogs plus random fosters from time to time. That was why it meant so much to me when he came home with this little pit bull puppy. She was on her way to the pound when he found out about her. The owners didn't want to keep her because of various medical issues she had. So he brought her home to me and said "here's a gift. A free puppy that is probably going to cost us five grand." Despite being driven crazy by the animals we had and despite knowing this puppy was going to need some very expensive surgery, he still brought her to me. Now she is a year old, happy and a huge part of our crazy family :D

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  101. My parents had four children so money was pretty tight while I was growing up. We always had everything we needed and most of what we wanted. All throughout school I was in choir, it was a tremendous part of my life. My senior year, my choir got the opportunity to go to NYC for a week. The price for everything (not including personal spending money) was $1200. I knew it was a long shot but I asked my parents to go. I begged, I promised to never ask for anything ever again, I volunteered myself to do the dishes for life, but my parents just couldn't afford it. I was devestated. Well in order to go you had to have your money turned in by Christmas break. Unbeknownst to me, my parents turned in a check to my teacher so I could go and on Christmas morning the only present I had under the tree was a box big enough for an outfit in it. I opened it up to see a shirt with NYC written all over it and a disposable camera. Needless to say I freaked. Along with paying the $1200 dollars for the trip they also gave me $200 dollars for spending money and I got to go on a trip I thought I'd only ever dreamed about. I got to experience so many things I had always wished to do and I only hope I can do such wonderful things for my children when I have them. They gave me the greatest gift ever. They made on of my dreams come true.
    Katrina
    trina13smith@gmail.com

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  102. The best gifts I have ever received are my children. My oldest daughter (Lily) is 7. She was born with a cleft lip and palate. She is the most beautiful and confident child I have ever met! My second daughter (Madison) is 3. I almost lost her when I was 3 months pregnant due to the womb and the placenta separating. She came out a whopping 9lbs 4oz! Quite the large baby for my 5'5 frame! Lol. My last favorite gift is the little being that is now growing inside my womb. My children are my life and my most precious gifts. <3 my email is stillmatic_mami@hotmail.com Leslie Lindblom

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  103. My best gift was my daughter, Charlotte. She was born weighing 1 pound, 7 ounces, and was 12 inches long. After the devastating loss of 4 other pregnancies, combined with the overwhelming odds against her survival, she was a true gift to our family and this world. Today she is a beautiful 4 year old miracle.
    Katy
    Mougeroo@aol.com

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  104. I'm a teacher, have been for 7 years now. My first year teaching was a special one in Prescott Valley, Arizona. I taught first grade and loved that first group of babies more than anything else. We were in the lowest economic school in the district and I had some really tough kids who'd seen more heartache in the 6-7 years than I had in my 21. One of my student's imparticular had it really rough. Her dad had just gotten arrested for domestic violence (again) and they were about to be evicted from their home. Well, the day of the Winter Party she came in with a small package wrapped in newspaper. Her smile lit up the room and she was so proud that she could bring her teacher a Christmas present. She was so excited she insisted I unwrap it immediately. I carefully schooled my expression with excitement and anticipation. Inside was a ratty, dirty, old teddy bear. She told me that it was her favorite bear and she wanted her favorite teacher to have it. Well of course I fought off the tears that threatened to poor down my face at such affection from her. I hugged that little bear and treasured it like it was gold. I still have it in my desk at school as a constant reminder that every day I teach is the chance to touch a life.

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  105. The best gift I have received was my adoptive father. He adopted me when I was 10 years old. Through my adolescent years I was angry and hurt after meeting my real father for the first time. My real father denied my existence to his new family. During those rough years I grew distant to those I loved and was afraid to get close to anyone for fear of their rejection. My adoptive father throughout this time showed support and love to me even when I told him multiple times that I hated him. He still stuck by me and told me he loved me and always would. I am so thankful for the support he has given me which has enabled me to go through college and graduate this June. I am thankful to God for giving me such a wonderful father and the unconditional love that my father has shown to me as I have grown into an adult. I can't wait for this June when he gives me away to my husband.
    Sarah
    sarah.ann.90@hotmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Wow it took you that freakin long. At least you eventually learned something.

      Delete
  106. The best gift ive ever gotten is my son. Aside from that was a necklace that my now husband got for me back when we were dating. It surprised me so much because I was in love with that necklace. I remember telling him I liked it once while watching Tv. I was not expecting him to get for me because at that time we where just dating for a few months. I loved the necklace then and I still love it now. I will never forget that day.

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  107. With out a doubt the best gift of all is family. Happy New Year to everyone out there. Here is to a happy, healthy and blessed New Year.

    And thanks for all the wonderful books. :)

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  108. My favorite gift I have received has been my very own stethoscope. I received the gift from my mother. When I use it at work, I feel, in a way, proud that I have my own personalized one. I am a Licensed Veterinary Technician
    (Animal Nurse) and have your own stethoscope is not necessary since we have "communal" ones.

    Shelly
    mydarkbaybenny@aol.com

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  109. When I was in high school, a long time ago. :) One of my best friends that I had known since elementary came to me after reading a book about how the conspiracy of the catholic church to hide Mary who is Jesus' daughter (It was the book that DaVinci Code was based on). So I shared my faith with him, told him to go to the source--the bestseller, the actual bible for answers. Later that year, he gave me a gold cross earing from a pair that he kept one of and wore in his ear. So we each shared the pair.

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  110. One of my favorite things my husband ever gave was one of the most simple gifts. I worked 12hour night shifts when we first got married. One afternoon when I woke from sleeping/recovering after my shift I found a trail of note cards my hubby left for me befor he went to work. They were just little sweet love notes. I still have them 16years later.

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  111. My friend gave me a small side purse for my birthday. I have always wanted one and she knew that i've been lookinbn for one.She has found several of them in a shop and has bough two of them for me and herself and gave one for me for my birthday.I was so happy .
    After 3 months...in December...me and my family was getting ready to pay a Christmas visit to my aunt's house.I got ready quickly and got out of the house and stairs of the porch until others come out.
    While sitting there..i opened the purse and looked inside what's in it. While i was rummaging in it..i found a small pocket inside, secured with a zip that i have not noticed before.
    I opened it to find a beautiful necklace inside. It was part of my birthday present and had been hidden inside the purse for all 3 months.
    I was thrilled and called my friend right away and thanked her again.She was thrilled...both because at last i found the real present inside the purse and i found it at an unexpected time.

    ruwanthie@gmail.com

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