Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway with Barbara Becker Holstein

by Barbara Becker Holstein



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.


Date: July 7
Dear Diary:

I feel so lonely. I can’t believe my parents made us move. Don’t they understand how
awful it is for me? I don’t have anyone to share secrets with. I talk to Angela on the phone, but it isn’t the same. Sometimes when I’m on the phone with her I get the feeling that she is on her computer at the same time or maybe just thinking about other stuff. I don’t feel that closeness with her anymore. I want to feel it, but I don’t know how. I’m afraid to ask her if she is playing a game on the computer or chatting on Facebook at the same time as she’s on the phone with me.

The only good thing that happened is I asked Angela if she wants to send selfies back and forth to each other. My phone is old and I don’t have FaceTime, but I can still take pictures and send them to her. She loved the idea, so I spent hours yesterday sending her pictures of me in different rooms in my house and in the backyard, too. It was a lot of fun. I dressed up as if I was putting on a play and each room was a new scene. I wore a velvet scarf and one of my mom’s fancy hats and put on an old long petticoat I used to dress up in as a kid and then I went outside and stood on the swing that is hanging from a tree. It was hard to keep the swing still enough to get a good Selfie, but finally I did, and I sent it to Angela.

She sent back a selfie of herself dressed up like a Flapper girl from the 1920s, posing with a long stick as if it was a cigarette in a holder.

We laughed and laughed on the phone, and it was the best I have felt since we moved. The best part was that if felt like we were together again even though we are apart!   


Here is an excerpt from Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen that gets right to the guts of a young teen and her mom being successful in relating:

"Dear Diary,

The other day Mom and I were home alone. Gloria was over Grandma’s for the day, to give Mom a break. My brother was at school, and I was home with a cold. But despite the cold, actually the day turned out to be perfect. For the first time in months Mom and I had a chance to talk. I told her how sometimes I feel so confused and concerned about things. After she gave me a big, long hug, which already really helped, she said that was so normal for my age. Growing up is tough. There are so many changes and lots of things that we have to get used to. Like getting your period, having more responsibilities, even starting a part-time job or doing other chores. She also told me about some of her best friends at my age and what they did together. They laughed and danced and stayed up late and flirted with boys. She was in love at fourteen. I was so shocked. Why hadn’t she ever told me before? His name was Steve, and his father owned the local gas station. She started to tell me about kissing him under the back porch, but the phone rang!

I was so mad. She promised to tell me more. I want to know what happened!

We talked a lot about what can be helpful to a kid growing up. She told me that no matter how busy she looks or acts, I should always tell her when I need to talk or be with her. I told her I need her to still tuck me into bed sometimes, just so we can talk and cuddle. She promised she’d do that more.

I also told her how I love to look at cute videos on YouTube that have dogs playing the piano and singing and stuff like that. When I see those videos I feel happy inside.

She said she wants me to share cute stuff like that with her. I promised I would.

It was such a good day! I was almost sorry my cold got better and I had to go back to school. It was a secret day for just the two of us."

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:


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  1. My favorite part of this post is the excerpt. My daughter would LOVE this book!

  2. Really enjoyed reading the blurb, thank you!

  3. Great excerpt..thanks for sharing! I'll be recommending this to my sister :)