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Shelley Buck was born into a creative family in the Midwest and moved to California after college to follow her dream of working for Disney. It was there she met and fell in love with her husband, Chris, who worked in animation. After they married and had their first child, Ryder, she stayed home to be a full-time mom to him and the two brothers who followed.


She is a writer, storyteller, and artist, which she expresses through her original jewelry at ShelRae Designs. When Ryder was diagnosed with cancer and the journey went to unimaginable places, she poured her heart into writing their story. Her lessons in parenting through these tribulations, combined with the power of Ryder’s larger-than-life spirit, offer profound messages for living in the light.


Kathy Curtis moved into Shelley’s neighborhood when they were both 12 years old, and an instant and lifelong friendship took root. She has worked as a healing artist and writer since 1991. Her programs guide others to find their way through grief, illness, and emotional barriers through the creative paths she designs. She is the author of Invisible Ink, a memoir that came out of her own journey through grief. The unique writing process that brought her so much healing has since become a successful program, both online and at various venues in the Midwest.

Kathy's intimate connection to the Buck family, combined with her writing and healing background, made her the perfect person to partner with Shelley on the creation of this book. 


“I will never be unhappy, again!”

The 15-year old best friends skipped their way home from cheerleading tryouts, having won their coveted spots on the varsity squad. Traffic whizzed by, but they were in their own cloud of teenaged bliss. Practicing cheers and acrobatics on the lawn every day that summer had paid off, and they finally had life figured out!!

One followed her magical dreams of working at Disney, relocating to sunny California right after college. The other followed her passion for art and storytelling to help companies and individuals across the country. Though miles apart and living very different lives, their friendship grew deeper and richer through the years.

Then traffic whizzed by, again. This time, they couldn’t be oblivious to it.

Now, 50 years after that gleeful day, they have co-authored a book about the day life broke its promise and heaped an unimaginable dose of unhappiness on the one with all those magical dreams. Together, they found the light in the darkness and the words to bring it back to life.

Leave Your Light On is an unforgettable story - not about their friendship, but about the light that is always there, if only we can find it.

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