Thursday, April 9, 2015

Secrets: Diary of A Gutsy Teen (+$20 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Secrets
Author: Barbara Becker Holstein
Series: Diary of A Gutsy Teen
Pages: 144
Date Published: February 10th, 2015
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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Following in the footsteps of The Truth, Secrets: Diary of a Gutsy Teenbegins as the thirteen-year-old protagonist makes a move with her family to a new town. She has grown up a lot over the past year—and has made a list of everything that’s important to her now that she doesn’t want to forget when she gets older. But now, as she enters her early teen years, she begins to write down the secrets she wants to keep—and the ones she has no one to tell about. From new school experiences to a new baby in the family to a new crush, this new teen finally feels empowered on making her own decisions with confidence and keeping those secrets she holds dearest for herself.

In a positive and supportive diary-entry format, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein encourages tween and early teen girls to carry the most precious parts of themselves into adulthood. A great book for mothers and daughters to read together, Secrets is aimed to improve communication, understanding, and self-esteem for young girls as they enter the rocky road of teenager-dom.

~Secrets Behind Secrets!~
Books don't come out of thin air!  They are often agonized over and sometimes seem to magically write themselves.  Yet, behind every book are the secrets of creation if we can just get to them.  Behind Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen there are the years of my work as a school and private practice psychologist.  There is also the lifetime of being me!  Yes, some of the original ideas for Secrets came from my introspection of my own growing up years.  As I plunged deep and long into my own efforts to hold on to myself as the tween and teen years came upon me, I started to have the girl appear.  At first she spoke of memories I had.  Soon enough she got her own voice and left me behind.  What follows below is some of the transitional writings that led to Secrets.  The memories are mine, (I am old enough for watching I Love Lucy not in reruns) but the spunk that begins to appear in her homework assignment is definitely not me.  That is the girl coming alive.  I hope you enjoy hearing her as she is first being born!!!!
"I should be honest and tell you that sometimes I get sad. Like when the weather is terrible and it rains all day on Monday.   Sometimes on a miserable Monday I’ll come home and look out of the window and feel very sad and remember that I didn’t win a million dollars cause the Millionaire didn’t come to my house.  Do you know that TV show where the man gives a million dollars away every week?  It is always delivered on Monday.  But then I get happy because I Love Lucy is on Monday night at 9:00.  And I love her!  I get in my pajamas and watch her.  She is so fun and funny.   My parents let me stay up for her.  
"Teachers always give me homework and they don’t always know so much.  I think I should give you some homework, so you can try to remember the truths that so many grown-ups forget.  Here is what you should do:
1.    Stand in front of the mirror and stare at yourself.  Look into your own eyes and smile.  Take your time.  Make different expressions and stand very tall.  Then move your hands and change your body positions like you are posing for a commercial.  Just keep looking at yourself.   Smile and pretend you have met a best friend.  It works for me!
2.    Make a list of everything you know how to do.  Make another list of all the things you are really good at.

That’s all the homework for now.  See, I am not a mean teacher!  Ha, ha!"
~Try an Excerpt!~
Date: June 27
Dear Diary,
I can’t believe it. Today we moved, and I feel like I’m in a dream. I just keep walking around our new house and wondering when we will go home. It feels so different and strange.

Everything is on one floor (that’s called a ranch house). The floors are all bare wood. My mom said our rugs would look terrible here so she let the people who bought our old house keep them. I think she was probably right. They were a dark maroon and the walls here are a light cream. I don’t think that would look good.

I went to the bathroom three times since we got here and every time I used a different
bathroom. I can’t believe it. Three different toilets in the same house! Only my friend
Susan, my rich friend, had more than two bathrooms in her house. And four bedrooms!
And a family room. I can’t believe we have this much space now.

When I look out of the windows I expect to see the shrubs and the Hudson’s house who were next to us on the left, but I don’t. Instead, I see a big open field that will probably have houses built on it by next year. That’s what my dad said anyway. And when I look out to the right I expect to see our clothesline and the Dixon’s driveway, but instead I see rose bushes and a wooden bench under a tree that the last owners said we
could have.

Tonight, we had to eat supper off paper plates and use plastic forks, knives, and
spoons because our boxes are still packed. My aunt made us a big picnic basket full of
food and that’s what we ate for supper. It was delicious. There was fried chicken, potato salad and potato chips, cupcakes for dessert, and fruit salad. And at the bottom of the basket under the ice was a whole package of Hershey Kisses. Yum!

My brother already started to play with a kid next door who’s about a year older than he

is. He’s so lucky. I have no new friends yet and that’s the truth!
~Meet Barbara!~
I have been a positive psychologist in private practice for the past thirty years. In the course of working with my clients, I originated the idea of THE ENCHANTED SELF(R), a positive psychology therapy where I teach people how to recognize and utilize their strengths, talents, skills and even lost potential. I have developed a number of methods, including using our memories to rediscover what is right about ourselves and our lives, rather than what went wrong, helping people to overcome adversity, experience positive emotions and live the good life!

Since developing this concept, I've been able to use many tools to bring the Enchanted Self to everyone, particularly women and girls. I've written many books, starting with THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy, and then Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU! My books for girls are very popular, as they are great fictional reads and also help deal with many of the questions that trouble kids as they move into the tween and teen years. The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween and Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen are the first two books in this series.

I really love to teach and educate about happiness and how to benefit from positive psychology in ways that let us lead lives of meaning and happiness. You can find me all over the place on the web.

Barbara will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.


  1. Thank you and a wonderful excerpt.

  2. So happy you hosted my book. Gave me a great chance to delve back in time and my own mind into how Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen really started!

  3. This really is a wonderful book. I loved the excerpt.

  4. Secrets Diary sounds like a really interesting book.

  5. What a wonderful book. I like how you shared the character transition from you to a new character. The excerpt shows a refreshing point of view I'd like to be part of. Well done, and great life work.

  6. "... using our memories to rediscover what is right about ourselves and our lives". Awesome! We totally SHOULD focus on the cup being half full instead of empty....

  7. The author bio is my favorite part of the post. I go to a therapist and am intrigued by the methods you have developed.

  8. I love the phrase a positive psychologist. It seems so warm and user friendly.