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August 14, 2020

Author to sign copies of new children’s book

WATSONVILLE — Aptos author Linda S. Gunther will celebrate the release of her new children’s book, “Toffee and Esmerelda,” with a book signing on Saturday from 2-4 p.m. at Kelly’s Books, 1838 Main St. in Watsonville.

The book features Seacliff Beach as the setting, with 22 illustrations by South African artist Zsa Zsa Venter. The story follows a young girl named Esmerelda who moves to Seacliff Beach in Aptos with her mother, while her dad is in the U.S. Army stationed in Afghanistan.

Esmerelda spots three SPCA volunteers walking three dogs, one of them called Toffee, who immediately pulls toward Esmerelda. The story describes the pet adoption process, how the SPCA evaluates potential dog owners and how this community organization also inspires a little girl to cherish her new canine family member.

Gunther said she quit her Silicon Valley job after 18 years to focus on writing as well as consulting in Watsonville.

“I was a commuter to Silicon Valley for more than 18 years, a crazed high tech Human Resources executive, on call 24/7 and traveling the globe, not taking any time to appreciate where I live in Aptos,” she said.

Gunther has also published four romantic thrillers. The most recent book, “Finding Sandy Stonemeyer,” is set in the Santa Cruz Mountains and other local areas.

“Toffee and Esmerelda” is available at Kelly’s Books, Bookshop Santa Cruz and Amazon. For information, visit


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