Monday, July 30, 2012

Transracial, Open Adoption: A New Fiction Book

I was so happy to pick up a copy of Being Lara at my local library.  I recently interviewed the book's author, Ms. Lola Jaye,  to get more insight on her work:

Rachel:  Summarize Being Lara for my readers.

Lola Jaye:   Lara had always known she was ‘different. At eight she finally learned the word adopted. Twenty-two years later, a stranger arrives as she blows out the candles on her thirtieth birthday cakea woman in a blue-and-black head tie who also claims the title Laras mother. A woman the same shade as she and not like the adoptive parents shed grown up with.

Lara, always in control, now finds her life slipping free of the stranglehold she's had on it. Unexpected, dangerously unfamiliar emotions are turning Lara's life upside down, pulling her between Nigeria and London, forcing her to confront the truth about her past. But if she's brave enough to embrace the lives of her two mothers, she may discover once and for all what it truly means to be Lara.

Rachel:  What inspired you to write a book that focuses on transracial adoption?

LJ:  In the last few years interracial adoption has been highlighted in the media (I believe such adoptions are more common in America than here in the UK). And I thought it was very important to not write about the ‘popular’ view – that all African children adopted from their homelands are from villages steeped in poverty. It seems to be a general view, that the child is from a poor family and the adoptive parents are people of immense material wealth and fame. So it was important that Pat, Lara’s adoptive mother, be a fading pop singer living in a little house in Essex and was more interested in watching the TV than appearing on one. Also, I myself have experienced the interracial experience growing up, so felt I could add some valid input to the story, however small.

Rachel:  What do you hope readers take away from the book? What do you hope readers will learn from Lara's journey?

LJ:  It is my hope that readers will feel the love these two women (Yomi and Pat) have for a child they both share. I hope that readers are also willing to appreciate the journey Lara takes to
Being Lara. That for all her hang-ups and insecurities, it is the choices of these two women as well as her own that have shaped her into the individual she is. That we as people are ALL a work in progress during our lifes journey.

Rachel: 
The most significant part of the book for me was on page 150 when Lara (as a young girl) tells her adoptive mother that earlier that day, a stranger called her a nigger.  Lara's mom shares that she was teased as a child for her "ginger hair."  The mom goes on to say that Lara and "anyone of any color is beautiful.  And if anyone ever tells you any different---you just let me know."    Lara, who tends to be wise beyond her years at times, doesn't "feel right" despite the heart-to-heart with her mother and "in fact, she may have felt a little worse." Lara, who tends to be wise beyond her years, points out to her mother, "You dye your hair."    Tell me why, as an author, you chose to include this in your book:

LJ:   I remember including that scene after the first draft. I felt there needed to be a moment such as this that could be so subtle, so delicate but with the impact of an elephant! I wanted to depict the differences between these two character's way of thinking on such a HUGE issue. Two people, who love each other, are equal in the home, but who, as soon as each leaves the confines of that loving home, WILL be defined differently because of the colour of their skins.   It needed to be subtle yet powerful enough to get the point across.

Rachel:  Lara, upon turning thirty, reunites with her birth mother and meets, for the first time, her birth grandmother.  You share the ups and downs of this relationship---the awkwardness, the surprises, and the beauty.   My daughters have open adoptions with their birth families, something that many people do not understand.  Why include a reunification in your book?

LJ:   
mean shed be rid of all her hang ups but it would certainly go some way to a few wrongs being put right especially as there seemed to be an abundance of secrets and lies floating about from the past (I wont say what these are, so as not to spoil it for those who havent finished the book). But yes, birth mother and daughter needed to be reunited within the context of this story. Lara needed to know certain aspects of the past, if she was ever going to find out what it truly meant to be Lara -some of which only her birth mother could tell her.

Rachel:  What is next for you?  Any other adoption-themed books in the works?

LJ:   Whatever I come up with next will have a strong relationship/familial theme.  I enjoy writing about what shapes individuals, be it nature, nurture, or both.



 
 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thanks, Pinterest!: Whipping Coconut Oil

I love coconut oil!  But like this blog author shares, it can be tricky to work with.    Traditionally used for cooking, coconut oil is my favorite way to moisturize my skin (and my daughters' skin, too) without fragrance (I have so many allergies!).    This recipe is on my "to do" list to try---whipped coconut oil!  Plus, you have the option to add your favorite essential oils.   Love!   If you try it, let me know how it goes!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Do You Really Mean Welcome, Or Is Your Front Doormat Just For Show?

I have met many incredible people throughout our adoption journey thus far.   One such person, or should I say personS, was the family who served as interim care parents to our oldest daughter.
In the county we adopted from, children go from the care of the birth mother to interim care parents, who meet the child's needs until the adoptive family has legal custody of the child and can take him or her home.    We were fortunate enough to have a lovely couple, Mr. M and Mrs. K, take care of our oldest daughter. 

Going to meet Miss E for the first time....well, I can remember it "like it was yesterday."  ;)   We followed our social worker from our hotel, across interstates and highways, and finally into a grand subdivision.    With hearts pounding, we followed her into a driveway.  We stepped our of cars to the sound of a water feature, a waterfall spilling into a fish pond.  Next to the small pond was a garden stone that said Heaven's Baby Lodge.   

We stood on the front porch of a large ranch-style home and waited.   Moments later, a figure approached the door.    As the door opened, I held my breath.    The woman was holding a swaddled, crying infant.   

Our baby.

We stepped inside.    Mrs. K said to me, "She's hungry and poopy, Mommy."     These words changed my life and rocked my world.   The word I'd been waiting to take upon as my own, to claim as my title, was being directed at me, clearly, without hesitation.   

Mommy.

Who is mommy?

That's me!  I'm Mommy!

And this precious, tiny girl, the girl with the shiny black hair and the sugary-brown skin, this is my baby.  

I am Mommy.


We have stayed at Mrs. K and Mr. M's house a dozen times since then.  They opened their home to us when we had visits with Miss E's birth family, when we met with waiting families at our adoption agency to talk to them about transracial and open adoption, and when we went back for a second time to adopt another baby, Baby E.      We swam in their pool, we helped them decorate for Christmas, we spent many nights catching up, and many days sharing meals.   They have given us advice, made us laugh, and helped us see hospitality in a new way.

Mrs. K and Mr. M have cared for nearly two hundred (yep, that's 200!) children since they became foster parents.    They have nurtured newborns and toddlers, minority kids, kids with special needs ranging from mild to extensive, twins.     They took children into their home that scared other people, but as nurses and Christians, Mrs. K and Mr. M were armed with the perfect balance of medical knowledge and faith.     

Mrs. K was my oldest daughter's second mama.   It's hard to believe that my daughter has already had THREE mothers in her lifetime, and she's only 3.5 years old.    We tell Miss E her adoption story.  We talk about how she went from her birth mother at the hospital, to Mama K (pseudonym) as we call her, to me.   I once asked Miss E, "Who is your birth mother?" and she claimed it was Mama K (her second mama).  :)  

Once when staying with Mrs. K and Mr. M, we asked about their home.  Mrs. K shared that when she and Mr. M moved back to the area, they built the house and essentially asked God to use them and their beautiful home to bless other people---be it the children they fostered, their own children and grandchildren, their friends, and traveling adoptive parents.  

Where would we be without them?    What if they hadn't have been hospitable?

Fast forward to now.   My husband and I, at the end of April, purchased our second home.   This home is much larger than our previous home.  It's spacious,  it's warm, it's welcoming.   The home has every single thing we wanted on our wish list.   (We were so excited that we applied to be on HGTV's House Hunters, but then decided not to continue with agreeing to be filmed because of the time commitment).

Since we've moved in, we've had a few parties, numerous play dates, and we've had a few overnight guests, with more to come this summer.     Our home has been a gathering place.   A place to eat a meal, to play, to share conversation.   

It's everything I hoped it would be.  

Granted, this isn't totally easy for me.  Though I love to entertain guests, I'm a total control freak.   I get unnerved pretty easily.  I'm impatient.  And worst of all, I love having time to myself.   I don't like a guest to linger too long.  I need peace, quiet.  I need to refocus on my sanity, adjust, breathe, think, create.    

But I'm learning to let go, to relax a bit, and to worry about the messes later.  I'm learning to care for others, to help them feel at ease and relaxed, and to relish in the moments I am privileged to be a part of.

Despite my idiosyncrasies, which are numerous, God is doing in our home what Mrs. K and Mr. Mike's home has done for so many.    It's exciting.   It's energizing.  It's rewarding.   

A few weeks ago, I bought a new WELCOME mat for the front door.    I placed it outside the door, on the front porch, with pride and excitement.

A new season in our lives has begun.  I don't know what will come, or should I say, who will come through our front door.  

But I'm very excited to see where this journey takes us next. 

----

Take some time to reflect on those who have opened their home to you.  What did that mean to you?  What part did that play in your life?    How can you use your home to bless others?

Let your welcome mat be a true reflection of hospitality.     
 

 

Friday, July 20, 2012

5x7 Print Winner...

Michellesaid...
hmmmm... I am having a hard time picking my favorite one... I would have to pick between Brown eyed girl, Daddy's Arms, Hair time, Little Friends, and Thoughtful in Quiet Shadows if I won!

Please contact the Etsy shop owner, via Etsy, to claim your prize!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Giveaway: From MossyRockDesigns

Let the shopping fun continue!  Meet my Katie Bradley, owner of MossyRockDesigns on Etsy.   She's offering one White Sugar, Brown Sugar reader a 5x7 print from her collection of fabulous prints.

What I love about Katie's work is that each print she makes is so different.  Some feature boys, other feature girls, some are clearly adoption-focused---diversity!




 

First, let's meet Katie:

My name is Katie Bradley, and I'm the artist behind MossyRockDesigns. In the real world I'm a wife, and a stay-at-home Momma to 2 wonderful boys. We are currently in the process of adopting a daughter from Ethiopia.

Becoming an artist was kind of an accident: I have always loved drawing and painting, so when my son was born, I painted 3 watercolors for his nursery (Jungle Baby, Forest Baby, and Bear baby). My friends started asking me for prints to give to their friends for baby shower gifts. Then someone suggested I sell prints on Etsy, so I created my shop.

In early 2011 we began the (very long) process of adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. I realized that there isn't a lot of children's art for multicultural children, and especially for adoptive families. I think it is SO important for a child to grow up seeing art that represents him or her, and so I began to paint the pieces you see in my Etsy shop.

Most of my prints and paintings in my Etsy shop are of multicultural (African or African American, or Asian) children. Some of them are adoption-themed, others celebrate hope, love, family, friendship, childish innocence, and African hair.

Each of my paintings has a story. For example, I painted Hair Time after my friend taught me how to detangle and braid her daughter's beautiful curly hair.

Here's a little secret: Later this Fall (right on time for Christmas shopping!) I will be launching a new product in my Etsy shop: domino pendant jewelry with tiny prints of my art encased in resin.

To learn more about what I'm up to, visit my website

-----

Giveaway:  One 5x7 print from MossyRockDesigns.
Dates:   Now until noon, Central Time, on 7/20
How To Enter:

1:  Visit Katie's Etsy page, and leave a comment telling me which print from MossyRockDesigns would you choose if you won.

2:  "Like" MossyRockDesigns on FB; leave me a comment telling me you did so.

3:   Leave a comment telling Katie what she should paint next.

4:  Tweet, FB, or blog this giveaway, and leave me a comment telling me you did so. 

Yes---you can enter up to 4 times!

The winner will be posted on 7/20.   It's the winners responsibility to set up an Etsy account (free) and contact Katie to claim the prize.

Friday, July 13, 2012

New Book Written By an Adoptive Mother

Meet Aminta Arrington, author of the new book Home is a Roof Over A Pig:  An American Family's Journey In China.  (Great title, right?)    I had the privilege of interviewing Aminta about her new book and ask her some burning adoption questions.

Readers, this book, though it concentrates on Chinese culture, offers wonderful insight into transracial adoption in general.    I encourage you to order a copy of the book today, and when you are finished reading it, pass it on to a family member or friend or donate it to your local library or adoption agency.   

Meet Aminta---and relish in her insight and wisdom.  (Note:  Words in larger font are my chosen emphasis). 

1: Why did you decide to write your book? What do you hope readers gain from reading it?
I went to China without any intention of writing a book. It never entered into my mind. But I had so many experiences and was constantly turning over these events in my mind that I had to have an outlet. I wrote pages upon pages of journals. Eventually turning those into a manuscript helped me make sense of this culture and what I was experiencing. I hope readers will think about China differently after reading Home is a Roof, and hopefully, will find it as fascinating as I do.

2: You write (p. 40) about your daughter Katherine and her difficult time adjusting to living in China. You say, "I wondered if I was expecting too much. I wondered if we would fail utterly." I think many parents can relate to this when it comes to adoption. We are scared that we will fail the children who we chose or were chosen for us. What advice do you have for adoptive parents who try something new (move to a new place, try to mingle with people of their child's same race, etc.) and it doesn't go so well?
That’s a really good question. Things not going well are just part of life. It’s just not easy sometimes. But that doesn’t mean we are on the wrong path, or that we should give up. I read somewhere that 75% is just showing up. So when things are difficult, I try to just keep showing up. Usually there is something to be gained in the struggle. At the end, the victory will be that much sweeter if there was difficulty along the way.
3: In Chapter 9, you talk about how you had "come to China because I felt a strong connection with this country. Having adopted a daughter from China, I further defined myself not just as a mother, but a Chinese mother. I had the responsibility to teach Grace to celebrate her Chinese birth and for Katherine and Andrew to take pride in the Chinese heritage her adoption had given our family." But, you continue to say that you felt separated, isolated, and at "arm's length" (94). What are transracial adoptive parents to do when there is and will always be differences that separate them from their children's racial culture?
You can choose to raise your child only in your own culture, which is simpler by far, and is certainly a valid choice. Or you can choose to embrace your child’s heritage culture realizing that you will always be living within an irresolvable tension, but one that will bring richness to your family’s life.
For me there was never another choice, just because of my own make-up. I love languages and cultures, and I admired Chinese culture long before I had Grace. I wouldn’t be authentic if I didn’t embrace and expose Grace to Chinese culture. And I suppose it is that I am living as my authentic self which is what helps me live within the tension.
Ultimately, what helped me overcome the separation and isolation were the relationships we developed. Relationships with our students, with our minder Mr. Jia, with the retired folks on our campus, with the local fruit seller, with the cobbler on the street corner, and ultimately with Grace’s foster parents. Eating Chinese food and attending festivals and trying to experience cultural events are fine, but for us the most authentic experience of culture was in the relationships we made.
4: What was the greatest reward you have received by moving your family to China?
China is a comfortable, familiar place for my children. It is not a strange, foreign place. In particular, we know that Grace will have access to her birth culture whenever she should choose. It is not closed off to her. At the same time, this has not been her experience alone, but one she has shared with her brother, sister, and parents, a shared experience that has caused Grace’s Chinese culture to wash over all of us.
A second reward is that we’ve been forced to reexamine our American life. We’ve been close to people who have very little, and are content. We’ve learned to be content with less.

5: What is next for you? Any new writing projects? More adoptions?
Our family feels complete. I have a few writing projects in the back of my mind--the most pressing one is about the impact of Chinese history on the Chinese mind--but between teaching and studying (and three kids) it’s hard to find time to write.
Probably looming largest for our family is our return to the U.S. We’ve signed on to teach in Beijing for another year, but we anticipate it will be our last. Our kids are aging out of Chinese school. We want them to reap the benefits of primary school in China (learning all of the Chinese characters as well as excellent instruction in math), but we don’t want them to bear the burden of middle school (too much pressure, plus the beginning of political indoctrination). So we’re entering the window of needing to return. Plus, we’re Americans. Our kids need to slide into the American school system early enough that they feel fully comfortable in their American identity.
We’re not quite sure where we’ll settle in the U.S., nor do we have specific plans, but we’re ready for the next adventure.

 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Discount Code Week: Sarah Jane Studios

Simple, nostalgic, innocent, inspirational----the words I use to describe this seller's beautiful products!   Meet Sarah, and take advantage of the discount code she's offering you, White Sugar, Brown Sugar readers, for one week!    Several of her art prints and one of her jewelry items featuring brown-skinned children---horray! 





Hi, my name is Sarah Wright, and I'm the owner of Sarah Jane Studios. I sell fine art prints, stationery, paper play, embroidery patterns, jewelry, and have a fabric line with Michael Miller Fabrics. My shop is unique because I offer hand illustrated goods for children - a perfect mix of classic and charming but with fresh and modern color. You'll also find that my products inspire classic play: paper dolls and puppets... it’s the art of children engaged in simple play. I'm offering White Sugar, Brown Sugar readers a 15% discount for one week, today to July 18th,  on my website.  Use code:  SUGAR15. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Discount Code Week: The Paper Nut

Friends,

This week I'm happy to share with you that several Etsy shop owners are offering White Sugar, Brown Sugar readers a one-week long discount on their products!    I personally contacted these shop owners because of their fantastic, adoption/transracial friendly products.   As we all know, it's very difficult to find products that "match" our families.  :)

Meet the shop owners, learn about their products, and, the best part, get your shop on with a discount code!   Check back here daily for another Etsy shop offering you a deal on some pretty fab products.

First up is Jeanie Nelson, owner of The Paper Nut on Etsy.   I instantly fell head-over-heels for her prints, some of which you can see below.    They are the perfect mix of nostalgic and modern, and Jeanie offers several prints feature brown-skinned girls, including a print of a brown-skinned girl with a pink-skinned mama! 


 My name is Jeanie Nelson, and I own The Paper Nut Etsy shop. I sell Giclee art prints and greeting cards. What makes my Etsy shop unique is the wide range of color variations on each design to match artwork to your decor or personality. I'm offering a one-week discount code of 20% to White Sugar, Brown Sugar readers which can be used on your entire order from The Paper Nut.    The discount code is valid from today, 7/9 until Monday, 7/16.   Enter code:  TWENTY. 



Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hip Hip Horray: Movie Remake Featuring A Cast of Fab Black Women

Photo Credit:  Jill Heupel Photography Edwardsville, IL


Perhaps you didn't know that the original Steel Magnolias was about a young woman named Shelby who had diabetes and the friends and family that surrounded her wedding, journey to motherhood, and death.  Specifically, Shelby had type I diabetes---yep, the kind I've got

I adore that film, and I have since I saw it for the first time, at the tender age of 11.  I was eating junk food with my girlfriend and her mom while we sprawled out on the living room carpet and watched the dramatic, hilarious, and heartbreaking movie unfold.  This was long before I had type I.    

The movie has been remade, and the cast includes Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad, Jill Scott, and Alfre Woodard---a black, female cast.   Please watch the preview! 

Movies starring blacks haven't been well-received by the overall public.  Black actors have struggled to move past supporting roles.      I remember seeing a story about the movie Red Tails, and how it took almost twenty years for the movie to be produced because Hollywood basically refused it due to it's all-black cast.    The director, George Lucas, had to self-fund the film.

I want to encourage you to watch this film when it debuts on Lifetime (date TBA).    Ratings teach networks what their viewers want more of.  Let's support African American actors!

What else can one do?  Well for personal/family gain and education and to help support the black community and their media endeavors, try:

1:  Subscribe to magazines like Ebony and  Jet and Essence.

2:  Read and comment on websites like Madame Noire, My Brown Baby, and Black Voices (Huffington Post).

3:  Purchase books written by African American writers.

4:  Write letters of appreciation to those who are doing great things for the black community.

5:  Follow your favorite black actors on Facebook and Twitter; leave them encouraging messages. 

What do you do in your home to support and uplift the African American community? 

You might also be wondering why I find it so important to support black actors, writers, producers, etc.?  Because, when we adopted black children, we became a black/white family.   Yep, look at me. I'm white.   But arguably, I'm now also black, too, by association.    And issues that matter to black folks, and the ways black folks are climbing to media success, well, these things matter to me!  I want my girls to grow up in a world where blacks matter as much as whites.   Where black actors are given the same opportunities as white actors.  Where black writers can sell books just like white authors can sell books.  And the way to make these things happen is by doing something!    "Vote" with your money (the movies you go see, the books you buy), vote with your social media, vote with your words and actions.    Create the world you want your children to live in.    Let's go!
 






Friday, July 6, 2012

Great Article: Let's Stop Labeling Adopted Kids

Happy weekend, and happy reading!

Winners!!!

If your comment is published below, please e/m me at whitebrownsugar AT hotmail DOT com with your first and last name and mailing address.  I will pass the information on to the publisher, and they will take care of shipping your books!

Stay tuned!   Next week I'll be posting coupon codes for adoption and transracial goodies!  

Winners were chosen using Random.org.   :)   CONGRATS!


salamanda76said...
My daughter is our bio child and she's white. Even before we adopted, we tried to make sure she had multicultural experiences, toys, and books. She's five now and these are absolutely the kinds of books she would love us to read to her. I don't think I could pick just one that I'm most excited about. I'm excited that they all exist.

Krista Dsaid...
They all look great! Based on covers -- likely "Toeshoe Trouble". Puppies are popular at our house!

Kaitsaid...
My daughters loved the cover for Dancing Divas so I'd say that's the one I'm most excited about.

Jill Heupelsaid...
I follow your blog and fb! :)

Anonymous said...
Thank you for writing about these books. I'm in the midst of the homestudy process, hoping to adopt a girl from foster care. I would love to read these books with her! I have registered for Deborah's list, checked out her website (although I couldn't pick a favorite book -- they all looked great!) and liked your FB page. Thanks for entering me in your contest!

Monday, July 2, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Sugar Plum Ballerina Books

I'm so excited to share with you an interview with the co-author of the Sugar Plum Ballerinas books.   Deborah Underwood co-authors the series with Whoopi Goldberg, and the books feature characters of different races who face a variety of situations in which they learn to work together and prevail.   Diversity + girl power =  yes, please!

Deborah's publisher has generously offered to give five lucky White Sugar, Brown Sugar readers one set (!!!) of Sugar Plum books in paperback.     Even if you don't have a Sugar Plum ballerina in your household, you can donate your winning set to your local library or pass them on to a lucky young lady.   

First, let's meet Deborah. 

Rachel:    Summarize the Sugar Plum Ballerina series---the main characters, their ages, and typical plot themes. Who is your target audience (age-wise)?
Deborah:  The series is about a group of eight- and nine-year-old girls who live in Harlem and take ballet classes together at the Nutcracker School of Ballet. Each book centers on a different girl and is told in her voice. Some plots focus on challenges many kids face: moving to a new city, getting used to a parent's new relationship, overcoming perfectionism, and so forth. Other plots are more unique to the series: in one book, the ballet school is in danger of closing, and the girls must figure out a way to save it.

The books are aimed at ages 7-10, but some parents use them as a read-aloud for even younger kids. According to the reviews I've read, I'm happy to say some parents are enjoying the books, too!
Rachel:  What attracted me to the books in the first place was the racial diversity represented on the books' covers. As a mother of two African American girls, I'm always seeking books, toys, and videos that feature kids of color as lead characters, not just sidekicks serving as supporting roles. Was a diverse cast of characters important to you and your co-author, Whoopi Goldberg? Why?
Deborah:  A diverse cast was part of Whoopi's plan from the beginning. Some of the girls are African-American, one is half-Chinese, one is Puerto Rican and Italian. While the girls come from diverse backgrounds, the books don't dwell on that. The books are about the girls themselves and their relationships, not the color of their skin.

Rachel:  What sorts of situations do the characters encounter, and what lessons do these situations bestow upon readers?

Deborah:  I don't like to think of writing books to teach kids lessons, although of course the girls do grow and change over the course of each book. But empathy and seeing things from someone else's perspective is somewhat of a theme in the books. In TOESHOE TROUBLE, Brenda is jealous of her wealthy cousin and uncharacteristically lies to her--but of course the lie comes back to haunt her, and along the way she learns that her cousin's life isn't as easy as it looks. In TERRIBLE TERREL, Terrel's dad starts dating her arch-enemy's aunt. Terrel tries to sabotage their relationship in a rather humorous way, but ends up with a better understanding of her dad, her dad's new friend--and even her arch-enemy.
Rachel:    What is next for you? Do you plan to write more books in the series, begin a new series or project, or something else?
Deborah:  DANCING DIVA was the final Sugar Plum book. I really miss my ballerina pals, but am looking forward to my other projects. My picture book THE CHRISTMAS QUIET BOOK, which is a sequel to THE QUIET BOOK and THE LOUD BOOK, comes out in October, and another picture book called PART-TIME PRINCESS debuts next spring.
Rachel:    If the Sugar Plum Ballerinas could send one message to their readers :), what do you think it is?
Deborah:  In each book, the girls come together to support each other and to solve problems, and each girl brings her own unique skills to the table. So I think the main messages are that friendships are important and that our differences should be cherished.
----
Giveaway
What:  Five blog readers, selected at random, will win one paperback set of Sugar Plum Ballerina books, offered by Disney-Hyperion.  
When:  7/2-7/6 at noon, Central Standard Time.  Winners will be posted on 7/6.   Winners must e/m me their mailing address (whitebrownsugar AT hotmail DOT com) by Monday, 7/9, at noon, Central Time.    Disney will mail the books to the winners. 
How:   Each reader may enter up to four times, via four separate comments.  
1:  Subscribe to Deborah's mailing list, and leave me a comment telling me you did so. 
2:  Visit the Sugar Plum page on Deborah's website, and in a comment, tell me which book you are most excited about and why.  
3:  Become a follower of my blog on Facebook, and leave me a comment telling me you did so.
4:  Facebook, blog, or Tweet this giveaway, and leave me a comment telling me you did so. 
Thanks to Deborah for her interview and to Disney for offering my readers their fabulous books!  
 
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