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I couldnt have done it without you
cookie dough 003a
Monica Cane with 150 tubs of cookie dough that helped pay for her book to be published. - photo by Photo Contributed
Special to the Bulletin
Six years ago, while sitting on a bench at the Parks and Recreation in Manteca, an idea for a faith-based fiction story came to mind.   Having my laptop with me, I quickly typed the title, “The Lost Coin.”  I then wrote a prologue describing an eighteen year old “good girl” from Manteca, who abandons her faith and family in search of her independence.  

I knew exactly how the story would evolve.  The “good girl” meets the “bad boy” who manipulates her into a world of deception, abuse and crime.   Her life spirals out of control, leaving her wondering if she could ever find her way back to her family and to her faith.

Though I only wrote a few pages, I knew “The Lost Coin” would be a captivating story, one that would not only entertain but one that had the potential to bring healing and restoration to readers who could relate to the struggles the main characters faced.  What I didn’t know is that it would take me six long years to actually complete the story.  

Having young kids to raise, work, church, after school sports and a ton of other activities, I only managed to write a few pages here and there before tucking it aside for months on end but in my heart and in my mind, I knew the story needed to be completed.  

Finally last April, thanks to the prayers of some fine woman in my bible study group, I finished writing the story.  I then did what all good writers do--I searched for a qualified editor to help make the manuscript ready for publication.  I was put in touch with a fantastic woman from Montana, Erin K. Brown ( who caught my vision for the story immediately and did so much more than I could have imagined from an editor to help develop the story even further.  A few months and a ton of emails back and forth between my editor and me, “The Lost Coin” was finally ready for publication.  There was only one thing needed and that was to raise money to actually publish the book.  

I decided to hold a fundraiser selling Otis Spunkmeyer frozen cookie dough.  I was pretty certain that my closest friends and family would buy a tub or two but I needed to sell quite a few tubs in order to raise the money needed for publishing.   I took a chance and reached out to the community for help through an article in the paper announcing the fundraiser for my book.   To my pleasant surprise, not only did members in the community get involved by purchasing cookie dough, they also became down-right excited about the idea of having their funds contributed to a project like publishing “The Lost Coin.”
People I had never even met before like Sandra Costa, owner of The Diet Center on Maple Street purchased tubs of frozen dough to support the project and asked that I sign her for autographed copy of “The Lost Coin” upon release.  A pastor from Lathrop Eric Baca, who I had only met once, agreed to host a spot on his church website ( for a Virtual Book Tour I am arranging toward the end of spring.  Then there were the two guys (Darryl Thomas and Loren Babeira) from Knights Plumbing and Drain ( who bought seven tubs of frozen goodies between them.  This was a real shocker to me because (no offense to men) but guys don’t usually get involved with things like cookie dough sales—but they did, and it made a difference.  Even my husband, normally a quiet, reserved man, went on a bold cookie selling spree on my behalf.

As cookie dough orders started to pour in from the community, woman, who read about the fundraiser in the paper, really touched me.   Anita Pacheco, a Day Care owner, and a young mother of four kid, who  are all involved in sports and are required to sell cookie dough for their own fundraisers, bought three tubs of cookie dough and pre-ordered a copy of The Lost Coin.  At $15 a tub plus the cost of the book, I would imagine the money she spent was a sacrifice for her but she did it willingly to help someone she had never met fulfill a vision.

Now to let you in on a little secret - as soon as the delivery guy walked away after piling over a 150 tubs of cookie dough in my living room, which was more than enough to cover the publishing cost, I knelt down and had a good cry.  I felt so grateful that God had given me this opportunity, not only to write an intriguing fiction story with a strong spiritual message but that He allowed me to experience the support from my community in a special way.

“The Lost Coin” is now undergoing the final publishing stages and will be released soon.  This was only possible through love, prayers and support of family, friends and especially the members of my community.  Although it doesn’t seem like much, I would like to say a very heartfelt THANK YOU.

To learn more about The Lost Coin or my freelance writing ministry, A Breath of Inspiration, visit