Yesterday, moments before I headed out to lunch, UPS arrived at the office with “advance” copies of “Dear Ashley . . .” – A Father’s Reflections and Letters to His Daughter on Life, Love and Hope. It’s impossible to describe the range of emotions that washed over me as I opened the boxes and caught my first glimpse of what is a SPECTACULARLY BEAUTIFUL book! As I picked up a copy and started turning the pages, tears filled my eyes, I couldn’t help but reflect on all the time and effort I’ve devoted to this project over the past 3 ½ years and how many people have contributed in some way to making all of this possible. Hopefully, in the coming weeks, I will have an opportunity to express my thanks to each of them individually.
But a few deserve special recognition, including my editor and friend, Michele Rothkopf, who was with me every step of the way, my publishers, Imbue Press and Morgan James Publishing, and their outstanding team of professionals and affiliates (David Hancock, Jim Howard, Rick Frishman, Kristen Moeller, Margo Toulouse, Bethany Marshall, Rachel Lopez and Bonnie Bushman – to name a few). I also owe particular debts of gratitude to Dr. Michael Berrett (www.centerforchange.com), who authored the Foreward for my book (https://donblackwell.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/a-foreward-by-dr-michael-berrett), and to Kristen Moeller (www.kristenmoeller.com) for believing in me and for so enthusiastically embracing “Dear Ashley’s” message of hope and healing.
Last night, I surprised Ashley with a copy of the book at a special “father/daughter” dinner. It was, fittingly, the first copy I delivered. Inside the cover, I inscribed the following words: “Dear Ashley, I wrote this book to honor you. My hope is that, in its pages, you will come to more fully understand how very much you are loved and, in the process, embrace the truth – that you are worthy of love and of all the good life has to offer! Dad” What I didn’t tell her, but intended to, is that everything I do around this book from this moment forward, every speech, presentation or interview I may have the privilege to give, every book signing I attend or host, is dedicated to her. Hopefully, holding her heart in mine, I can help to make a positive difference in others’ lives.
“Dear Ashley . . .” is available for pre-order on, among other sites, Amazon.com (http://tinyurl.com/btr4cjj) and, I’m told, will soon be available in a variety of electronic formats. I would be very grateful if all of you would begin spreading the word and encourage others to do the same.