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I dedicate this novel to my father, SPENCE LEDFORD (deceased) and my mother, HELEN RUTH LEDFORD, ninety-one years old and ballroom dancing every Wednesday at the time of this publication. 



No one does anything worthwhile without phenomenal assistance from others.  Likewise, finishing my first novel, “Just A Girl,” occurred because of many others.  I want to acknowledge and thank those who encouraged me, coddled me, cajoled me, challenged me, inspired me, annoyed me, drank with me, and made themselves available to me whenever I needed them.  That’s more than friendship.  That’s dedication.    



Constance Vlahoulis, a long-time special friend who demonstrates and spreads love throughout the world every day.  Dr. Jean Blosser, my graduate school chum, who questions me, as appropriate, and demands high expectations.  Ann and John Sharples, my British friends living in Spain, who always think the best of me, despite my behavior.  Cildalia Pimenta, Claudia Frantzen, Deb Trumpy, Janett Thomas, Kevin Phipson, Marilyn Valentino, Rreze Xhaferi, Ruth Ann Ott, and others I met while traveling throughout Europe who became incredible friends. 

They continue to be great source of support and inspiration.



I dedicate this book to my father, SPENCE LEDFORD.  He would have been 102 old at the time of this writing.  Although he chose to pass up a four-year scholarship at Northwestern University (IL), he, by his own volition, was a scholar, a voracious reader of history, and a lifelong learner.  

 My father was also a strict conservative.  For example, reading paperback books was forbidden and he was dead set against girls going to college.  Yet, he had high expectations.  He demanded my sister and I learn to work with our hands and obey our husbands. 

I excelled in the former and failed in the latter.   

Dad always told me I could do anything I wanted to do.  That consistent message instilled a level of confidence in me that has remained at my core throughout my life. 

I miss him.


Nothing of significance is ever done well without the help of many others. 

My colleagues and friends prodded, pushed, encouraged, and challenged me all along the way.  I’m grateful and honored.  I appreciate those who took the time to write glowing endorsements.


I especially am thankful to Enis Dibrani, whose beautiful cover design captured the essence of this book; to Elion Misini, whose positive attitude and inquisitive mind always inspire me to reach higher; the incorrigible Hasan Salihu, who always finds an easy answer to what seems an insurmountable challenge; to the sweet, lovely and intelligent Lavdije Pllana, who is a great friend; and Sharon Hart and Steve West who invited me to RIT Kosovo with open arms and made this reference book possible.

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