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Friday, 3 April 2015

Blog Tour Interview & Giveaway - Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen by Barbara Becker Holstein

Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen
Author: Barbara Becker Holstein
Genre: YA Coming of Age

Book Description:
Following in the footsteps of The Truth, Secrets: Diary of a Gutsy Teen begins 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.

Buy Links:
Amazon ¦ B&N


Author Interview

1. Tell a little about yourself. What you do when you’re not writing? What are your aspirations for the future?
When I am not writing I am often listening to novels in the car via CD's.  I have fallen in love with some authors and their series.  I enjoy the Miss Julia series the most.  Why? Because she is a senior citizen with a full life, a clear mind, good health, a wonderful husband and lots of adventures! All of the above is what I aspire to as I grow older, along with my books being turned into film, TV series and plays.  Look for me someday at the Oscars! 

2. When and why did you start writing?
I started writing in my bedroom at age 9 after my mom and I went downtown to Reed's department store and went to the Girl Scout section.  That's where she bought me my first Girl Scout diary which I kept faithfully in the fourth grade.  Often I was 3 days behind, and never did I admit my true feelings and concerns, but I did faithfully record all the external events of my life!  Exactly why I did this I don't know.  The push was just inside of me. 

3. Have any particular novels or writers influenced your writing?
I have been very influenced by my major in philosophy in college and my awareness that things are not always as they seem.  The Alexandrian Quartet did a great job of that as a series of novels. John Fowles later on did the same. Currently  I have been very influenced by Alexander McCall Smith, who is able to weave human and depth and plot and fun into his novels. 

4. Give us some backstory behind Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen. Where and when did you write it?
The back story of The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween and Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen is as follows:  The girl had received a blank diary from her favorite aunt a couple of years earlier.  She loved the idea of the diary but never used it.  It lay lonely and listless in her underwear drawer.  One day she heard her parents having a terrible fight.  She wanted to tell someone, but who?  She couldn't tell her grandmother who would just get upset.  She couldn't tell the kids she played with.  They would look at her funny.  She didn't feel safe enough with her best friend Angela to tell her.  Maybe Angela would get disgusted and want a best friend who had a happier life!  There was only one place she could write the truth.  That was the diary in the underwear drawer.  So the girl got out the diary and started to write about the fight.  The problem was she had to go to school so she left it for after school that day.  Then the strangest thing happened in school that day that knocked her world upside down!  To find out more, go to the first entry in The Truth! 

5. What was your favourite part of writing The Truth and Secrets?
My favorite parts of writing The Truth and Secrets were entries when the girl was able to express her feelings to the fullest.  I love those parts because I know as a child I would not have dared and consequently I was afraid of sharing myself in ways I now believe I could have.  I now believe my parents would have understood and given me comfort if I had shared feelings and things that happened to me of which I was ashamed or afraid.  So when the girl speaks from her heart it gives me hope that I am helping other girls speak the truth and tell the secrets they should to the right people, like hopefully their parents. 

6. What does your writing schedule look like?
I write randomly, but it works out to about one hour a day or more. 

7. Which fictional character would you like to take to dinner and why?
I would like to take Miss Julia to dinner and talk our heads off!  I would like to actually spend a week in her town and meet all her friends and her wonderful housekeeper. 

8. Besides your lead, do you have a favourite character in the story?
My favorite character in The Truth and Secrets is the girl's aunt Belinda as she understands the girl best and she has secrets to share! 

9. What is one of the most surprising things you've learned as a writer?
What my father said.  Writing is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration!  As are all good things. 

10. Any advice for aspiring authors?
Get a good deodorant!

About the Author 
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.

Author Links:


$20 Amazon / B&N Gift Card.

Blog Tour Organised by:


  1. Every teen should read this. I loved your comments.

  2. thx u for hosting this giveaway :)

  3. I enjoyed the author interview.

  4. Thanks for giving us an interview

  5. I loved reading the excerpt and the cover is very pretty.
    Thanks for the giveaway! =)

  6. The beautiful cover is my favorite part of the post.

  7. I enjoyed the author interview! Thanks!!

  8. My favorite part was the interview!

  9. being introduced to a nice story. :)