The labyrinths of the heart are as complex as the fungal network of the soil. We begin small like the seeds. We absorb from the world around us - the good and the bad, the ugly and beautiful - much like how the roots take in nutrients from its environment. We grow and spread our wings like the branches of the trees that lend themselves to the crowning glories. But sometimes we falter like the trees that fell, devastated, but not defeated. We learn to bend like the willow and face the storms like the great oak. If trees could talk, what could stories would they tell? 50 Shades of Love chronicles one woman's endeavours through the different seasons of love and celebrates the unique relationship between humans and trees. 

About the Book

Shade of Love #1 


"Stop was the love that I received in my birth name 'Theng' ('stop' in Hokkien) for being born a girl in a different time, a different Singapore......."


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"How have your family history and traditions shaped the way you see the world and how you live your life?"  



Write or draw your reflection.



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Shade of Love # 27


"Pardon is the love I continue to work on for the son I chose not to have at 28........." 



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"What guilt do you need to release yourself from to move forward? What can you do to forgive yourself?" 




Write or draw your reflection. 



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Shade of Love #38


"Turn is the love that brought me back to that moonlit night on the barren floor when I only had $16 to my name at the age of 38......"  .


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"How different would your life be if you focus on what you have instead of what you don't have? What is your 'have' list?" 


Write or draw your reflection. 



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"In the Singapore Botanic Gardens, there is a sole male Double Coconut plant.......Pending the maturity of several seedlings, it is hoped that at least one of them will turn out to be a female plant....." 

"The English Yew, a conifer commonly planted as a hedge, is often found in churchyards and graveyards. It is also known as the 'tree of death' because all parts of this tree - except the aril - are toxic to humans and animals.........."

"The Splendid Deppea is thought to be extinct in the wild in Mexico. It is through the interest and efforts of botanists and scientists that this plan has had a remarkable turnaround of fortune, saving it from the brink of extinction..." . 

What's Love Gotta Do With It?

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Love failed me through different seasons of my life, from being born with a defect and 'unwanted' to being cheated on, and later being sued by my own husband. Yet it is also love of many shades and shapes, including the unyielding support of family, friends and the generosity of strangers, that have lifted me every time I fell. 


I first shared my ordinary tale of extraordinary twists and turns in 2016 with Her World and The Straits Times. Many seem to find comfort and inspiration. One woman shared how she got up and out of her house for the first time in a month since she found out of her husband's affair. A young man who was suicidal reached out to me. I know then, and now, that nothing belongs to me - not even my own story because every experience in our lives serve a larger purpose. 

Specially for You

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It is for you that I hope this book of love finds its use and gift. So I invite you, dear reader, to walk with me and take a pause with each ‘shade’ to reflect, to reconnect with yourself. For every question answered is a door opened for you to listen to your heart, to be better not bitter with the setbacks and to take action for the person you want to/can become. Please give yourself the time and space to write or draw your reflections. Breathe. Read. Reflect.

Gratitude of Love

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I am grateful to every person who has been put on my path to make me learn, laugh, cry, live and serve. For it is because of you that this ordinary life has been made extraordinary, without which this book would be one flat line. Especially the ones whom I have had challenges with - you have taught me more about myself than I could ever have on my own.

Where to Get Your Copy

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The Co-Creators

LAU EE WUN

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DEAF-INITIVE ARTIST


Ee Wun is Deaf and loves art. She gave up her childhood dream of being an artist until she met Anthea when she joined Hush TeaBar as a supporter with some of her Deaf friends. Anthea invited her to draw for some of the tea reflection materials for Hush. Ee Wun thinks it's a dream come true for her to illustrate for 50 Shades of Love despite having zero knowledge of plants. 

BIAN TAN

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TREE SOMMELIER 


Bian loves to explore and learn about nature, especially the forests, coasts and mountains. He is also interested in the spiritual aspect of nature and was probably a Druid or Shaman in a past life. In his current life, he conducts a lot of nature education and sings occasionally with various choirs. 



CANDID CREATION

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HEART-WORKING PUBLISHER


Candid Creation Publishing is an independent English-Chinese bilingual publishing house. This is a project like no other for us and so uniquely Anthea. She had options with other publishers but she chose us and gave us so much trust to co-create this vision with her because she truly walks the talk of supporting local entrepreneurs and fledgling enterprises. .