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Books for change
Sonora resident’s life experiences inspire charitable books

Like any person, Sandy Lee has experienced a myriad of emotions throughout her lifetime. The happiness, love and heartbreak she’s felt over the years has led the Sonora resident to a new passion, where her gift of writing helped her author books which help others heal. 

From poetry and stories for children to novels about the people most important to her, Lee has written six books with the proceeds from each going to a different charity. 

“I just like the thought of helping somebody else and making good out of all the bad,” Lee said. 

Lee was inspired to write her first book, “No Unturned Stone: A Mother’s Quest,” shortly after her 36-year-old son went missing in 2010 to tell the story of her search. Since it was originally published in 2014, the book’s proceeds have provided scholarships to Sonora High School seniors looking to go into law enforcement. 

From there, Lee had the writing bug. She’s gone on to publish five more books; “Hermie the Bug” is a children’s book and proceeds go to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “Live, Love and Loss” sees Lee share 40 personally-written poems with proceeds going to the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, and Alzheimer’s research benefits from her book “Remembering Grandma,” another children’s book where a young boy shares memories of his grandmother.

She’s also written another children’s book about her Dachshund, and the proceeds from that go to the American Cancer Society in honor of its illustrator, who was diagnosed with cancer. Her latest work, “My Heart Remembers,” tells happy memories with her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. 

From dealing with the pain of losing her son to remembering heartfelt memories with her mother, Lee hopes her experiences can impact others while also making a difference for the various charities they support. 

“I don’t know if it helped me because it’s always going to be in my heart, but I just want to get the stories out,” she said. 

Lee said she plans on releasing another poetry book in the near future, she said, as well as a book showing the positive side of foster care. One day she also hopes to tell the story of her family and where she grew up in North Dakota. 

Lee’s current and future books can be found at her website,