Friday, April 20, 2018

Guest Post with Andrea Yerramilli

Photo Content from Andrea Yerramilli

Andrea Yerramilli is a former marketing professional who is a mom to kids – both with and without fur. She has an abiding commitment to finding the good in everything and believes that the sense of belonging to someone’s heart is what makes us feel complete; that kindness goes a long way; and that when things happen that you don’t understand, keeping your mind and heart open can help.

In her debut book she shares her special connection with her dog Ralphie, who turned her perfectly perfect life on its ear from the moment he came home from the shelter, and enriched it until he was ready to say good-bye. And somehow all of that was exactly as it should have been. Andrea lives in New Jersey with her husband and children.


When I held my printed book, Ralphie, Always Loved, for the first time, it was a dream come true and the culmination of years of hard work. I got to savor that feeling up until the official launch . . . and then I went back to work! As an author in today’s world, I learned that it is not enough for me to write: I also have to be a spokesperson and an ambassador for my book. It makes sense, because I know my book better than anyone else. This new journey of publicizing Ralphie, Always Loved, which I began on pub day - October 28, 2017 - was exciting but took me way out of my comfort zone.

My book was finally out there for the world to read, digest, and hopefully love, but it was like letting my child go out to play with a group of kids I didn’t know. And I worried about whether the world would treat my book kindly. When the good reviews poured in, I felt like I was flying, and then ones that weren’t so wonderful came in—and I came crashing down. It’s hard not to take critical comments personally and feel completely rejected. They made me doubt myself and my abilities; all those other five-star reviews fell back into the shadows. I’ve had to learn how to take criticism with a pinch of salt and let it go. Not everyone was going to love my book, and that was okay.

I also had to come to terms with being the focus of attention. One minute I was a regular person, and the next my book had launched me into the spotlight with it. Book signings and readings took me into a different realm altogether, where I had to present myself and my book in the best light. I had to be confident and knowledgeable without sounding like a know-it all. (It’s a fine line!) And I had to remember to smile, because people were taking pictures that would eventually end up on social media to stay there forever, ha ha.

I’ve done a few radio interviews, and let me tell you, they are quite the experience. The first one was nerve-wracking, and I’m glad it was done over the phone and not in the studio. I had to remember to breathe and just speak from my heart. It helped to talk about my dog Ralphie, who is the star of the book. The hosts of every interview I did were gracious and had years of experience in helping their guests feel welcome and comfortable, and they put me at ease. I can give you a trick that I think worked for me: I smiled when I talked. It took the nervous edge out of my voice and calmed me down.

I also found out that after spending a few minutes asking about Ralphie, Always Loved, most people want to know what’s coming next. Although I have many other ideas and plans, for now I want to stop and take this all in, bask in the amazing warmth and love that I’m feeling at this moment. I did something monumental: I wrote my first book. When I wrote it, I hoped it would make a positive change in someone’s life.

And it already has. It’s changed mine.

1. Ralphie, Always Loved is unabashedly sentimental and heartfelt. It will remind you of all that’s good in the world.
2. Like any good puppy, this book is playful and fun. It will take you back to the first time you loved a dog and were unconditionally loved in return.
3. Ralphie’s story will reach into the farthest corners of your heart and reaffirm your belief in the power of love to transform and uplift.
4. Ralphie’s story shows us that every relationship can be made perfect—with work, patience, and a whole lot of love.
5. Ralphie, Always Loved is the story of a rescued dog who approaches each change in his life with hope and love, and more love. We could all learn something from that!
6. The illustrations are delightful!
7. Ralphie, Always Loved celebrates the life of a well-loved dog and touches upon the subject of loss in an uplifting way.
8. The story reminds us that love never ends.
9. This picture book will warm your heart and make you smile; it might also make you cry.
10. Ralphie, Always Loved is about the good stuff, but it makes you think about the hard stuff too.

This is the story of the life, love, and adventures of a beloved family dog, and how he delighted and touched his family and everyone he met.

Ralphie was born with a heart on his belly.
Andrea Yerramilli
He loves food, his family, his friends, his neighbors.

He loves pretty much everything and everyone.

And they love him back.

And that’s how it is all through his life.

Read the book and fall in love with him too.

Rambunctious and hyperactive, Ralphie had already been returned to the animal shelter three times, but when Andrea and her husband adopted him and gave him a loving home where he was understood, accepted, and taught, he learned fast. As Ralphie’s human family grew, so did his capacity for love and the ways he could express it. He remained a loving and beloved family member who touched the hearts of the whole neighborhood until he was ready to say goodbye at the grand-old age of sixteen. Ralphie, Always Loved will remind you of all that is good, and reaffirm your belief in love’s power to uplift and transform.


"This is a story of patience and understanding, of love given and love received. Even though I had the privilege of knowing Ralphie, I fell in love all over again." Karen Soares, DVM, VCA Pacific Petcare Animal Hospital 

"I'm excited that kids reading Ralphie's story will see that adopting a homeless dog is the way to go, and I hope that parents will use this book to teach their children to Adopt, don't shop!" 
Kim Alfred, The Rescued Dog, San Diego, Calif. 
You can purchase Ralphie, Always Loved at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you ANDREA YERRAMILLI for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Ralphie, Always Loved by Andrea Yerramilli.


  1. "Who was your first pet?" Two little kittens who were sisters when I was 10! They were quite a handful!

  2. I can't remember what my first pet was. I know we took in an old tom cat, and we had what my Dad called a cockapoo, which was a cocker spaniel and poodle mix, but I can't remember which we had first.

  3. My first pet was a mixed breed dog named Mamma J.

  4. My dad loved cats so we always have had cats. I've also had a few turtles, birds, a dog, ferrets (6) and a few snakes and lizards have come and gone over the years

  5. My first pet was a dog named Mandy. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. My first pet was Sparky,a blue tick hound dog, which had a soft mouth for hunting. He chased rabbits instead of finding the ducks, geese and turkeys. My second pet was a mouse that didn't look well one day, so I didn't want to go to school. Mom gave him a capful of whiskey and he was running around on his wheel when I got home and lived another 6 months. You could say he had a second wind. My third pet was Gerald, Maine Coon cat who decided when we were on vacation to take the hamster cage off the shelf and we never found Fritzle again. The next pet was Barney, a Border Collie, who herded everything - the cat and people. He had a big vocabulary.

  7. My first pet I ever had was a cat. She loved to go indoors and outdoors as we lived on a hobby farm.

  8. My first pet was a rabbit named Thumper.

  9. Tom was my first pet. He was a cat.