An Interview with Lynn Dove – author of the “Wounded Trilogy”

An Interview with Lynn Dove – author of the “Wounded Trilogy”

Lynn Dove is a graduate of the University of Calgary, where she earned her Bachelor of Education degree in 1981, she has spent the last thirty years teaching children in the private and public school settings.  In 2007, she earned a Masters of Religious Education degree from the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada.

Tell me something about yourself?

I am a Christ-follower, a wife, a mom, a soon-to be grandmother, a teacher and a writer (in that order).  I wear so many different “hats” that I find prioritizing them tends to focus me better.  I have been married to my best friend, Charles for 32 years and we have three wonderful children: daughter, Laurelle (husband, Matt) are expecting our first grand baby in February, and we have two live-at-home teenagers, Brett and Carmen.   I have been a teacher most of my adult life, and I still substitute from time to time at the private Christian school my teenagers attend.  I love volunteering and working closely with the youth in our church as well.  Lastly, when I’m not writing, I’m reading.   I love to blog and when I’m not blogging, I’m working on my next book.

Do you have a life verse that you have claimed and why is it so meaningful to you?

My husband, Charles and I have claimed this life verse: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”  Proverbs 16:9  Through our nearly 32 years of marriage, this verse has sustained us through all the ups and downs of life knowing we may make our plans but God is always in control… AND He allows U-turns!

What led you to write your “Wounded Trilogy” books?  Why did you target youth with these books?

Having been an educator for over thirty years, and I discovered that there are still very few good contemporary Christian books for a young adult audience.

Youth today are under such a spiritual attack from the enemy.  He wants to destroy their spirit and he does it subtly by surrounding them with worldly messages that make them question their looks, their intelligence, as well as their hope for tomorrow.  I wanted to write books that deal with relevant themes, but with a definitive Christian message running throughout: the hope in Jesus Christ.

I also wanted my young readers to know that everyone makes mistakes; Christians are not excluded from that.  Scripture teaches us to “love one another” even when they make mistakes, however our actions speak louder than our words at times.  I have seen wonderful young people crumble from the constant barrage of cyberspace bullying, malicious gossip and innuendo.  Insensitive words and blatant lies can lead to deep emotional scarring sometimes with tragic consequences.  My books deal with gritty topics such as “cutting”, bullying, gossip, family violence and cancer.  We are not excluded from tough situations just because we are Christians, on the contrary it is exactly in those tough times that God comes alongside us and helps us.  I want my young readers to understand that they are never alone; God is their ever present comfort and strength in everything they are going through.

Could you tell us a little bit about your books?

Shoot the Wounded, the first book of the Wounded Trilogy, is written for youth and young adults. It addresses how lies and gossip destroy a person’s spirit and speaks to the heart of relevant themes such as bullying, teen pregnancy and family violence.  The story points the characters, and ultimately the reader, to hope in Jesus Christ.  STW was a finalist in the 2010 Readers Favorite Book Awards.

Heal the Wounded, is the much-anticipated sequel to STW and the second book of the Wounded Trilogy.  HTW delves even deeper into the real world of teenagers trying to live out their faith in the midst of upset and struggle.   Heal the Wounded, continues to follow the characters, Jake, Leigh, Mike (Jake’s best friend), and Tim (Ronnie’s brother) each of them dealing with the aftermath of their friend’s death in the first book. Jake is especially dealing with a variety of disappointments (“Job” experiences I call them) that cause him to question why God allows bad things to happen to good people. A new character is introduced into the story, Cassidy, a young cancer patient whose unquenchable spirit and faith impacts Jake, Leigh, Mike and Tim in a way that allows them all to experience God’s grace and the power of His healing in each one of their lives.

Both STW and HTW have been selected as helpful resources on the world’s largest anti-bullying website: www.bullying.org

I hope to have Love the Wounded, the final book in the trilogy published next year.  I am also writing an autobiographical account about my experiences and personal battle with breast cancer, and I am working on putting that book proposal together to submit to prospective publishers next year.

What advice would you give to young writers who are thinking about becoming published authors?

I have been asked often to give advice to young writers and truly the best advice I could give is this:

Write!

I believe everyone has a story inside of them.  As a teacher, I encourage my students to write poetry, journal, write short stories and novellas.  The more one writes, the more you improve and polish your craft.  Write about things that appeal to you, write from the heart and write from experience.  Much of my writing is based on my personal experiences and I believe God allows us to go through these experiences for a reason.  Writing allows us the opportunity to share our life lessons with others.  If God has called you to write…just WRITE!

I actually wrote Shoot the Wounded well over ten years ago.  It started out as a short story and after I had written one hundred pages I knew I couldn’t consider it a “short” story any longer.  Then the manuscript literally (hahaha) took up space on the hard drive of my computer for ten years.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and battled the disease for two years.  My family and I experienced God profoundly through that time and certainly to many I am considered a “survivor” today but I hope I have done much more than survive, I hope I have “thrived”!

I wanted to share part of that experience with my readers, so in Heal the Wounded, the main character’s mom is going through breast cancer and I write about how a family copes with that in the book.

The next piece of advice to young writers is:

Read!

I don’t think it is possible to be a writer if you don’t like to read.  I read all genres and because I write primarily for young adults and teens I try to read all the books that they may be interested in.

Do you have any publishing and/or marketing advice for new writers?

I am still a “rookie” for all intents and purposes when it comes to publishing and marketing a book.  For me, I find that writing a book is a relatively simple thing, but marketing a book can be extremely challenging, time-consuming, occasionally frustrating and discouraging.  I have learned over this year to network with other authors, especially Christian authors who have experience with publishing, and those like me who are new to it.  Some online social networking sites have given me the opportunity to meet some wonderful writers and authors who have been more than willing to share their expertise, their successes and failures with me.  I have learned that book signings can be fun, only if you go into them with the attitude that you might not sell one book, but you’ll meet lots of interesting people.

One thing I would tell new authors is to not feel shy about purposefully promoting yourself in the marketplace.  I think that was one of the hardest things for me to do initially.  As Christians, we value a humble attitude, but as authors the louder and bolder we are in promoting ourselves to our readers the more books they will buy and read.  Some self-published or POD (print on demand) authors are quite content to write for a select audience, family and friends, but for those of us who want to reach a larger, more world-wide audience, we need to be prepared to create a “buzz” about the book.  The only way to do that is to get people talking about it.  Word of mouth is huge!

That said, I think it is also important to ask yourself the questions ahead of time about what your personal goals are with publishing a book.  I applaud my publisher, Word Alive Press for asking some pointed questions up front in their publishing questionnaire.  One question in particular prompted me to prayerfully consider my personal goals: “What is the one thing, (the most important thing) you would like to accomplish with your manuscript (book)?”  I remember I wrote, “My hope is that teenagers and young adults who read this book will be touched by the message in the story and ultimately that this book and any others I write will bring Glory to God.”

Other:

To celebrate the launch of Heal the Wounded, Lynn will be hosting a contest on January 25th on her blog, Journey Thoughts http://lynndove.wordpress.com/

Readers may also connect with Lynn on Twitter, Facebook and on her website: www.shootthewounded.org

Amazon Kindle – The Future of Publishing?

So, I decided to publish Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person on Amazon Kindle. For any author, I’d say it’s the way to go! The customer gets a discount, the author gets better royalties, you still own the rights to your book, and it’s available immediately to the reader! To download The Right Person on Kindle for $7.99 click here.

Barnes & Noble Customer Reviews

Customer Rating  (5 Ratings)

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Anonymous

Not Just for Teenagers!

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Posted August 6, 2010, 4:03 PM EST: So I read this book in one sitting. It took me about 2 hours. Perhaps I couldn’t put it down because it made me feel 15 again. Not a bad feeling. I’m passing this book on to some of my younger cousins, nieces, and nephews. It’s definitely a good read for any kid about to enter high school, or one who is in high school. I enjoyed it, and I’ve been out of high school for quite a while… not to age myself. Anyway, two thumbs up!

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2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

 

Anonymous

Looking Forward to Montgomery Lake High #2

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Posted August 6, 2010, 1:39 AM EST: This story brought me right back to high school – the good and the bad. Experiencing this story from so many different characters perspectives made it play like a movie in my mind. It was difficult at first to keep all the characters straight, but as the story continued and the plot further developed, I found myself relating to the characters personally. I felt like I was with Courtney and Bryan beneath the staircase! I could feel Chris’s disappointment when he could not come to rescue Courtney at Jason’s. I felt Alyssa’s humiliation and pain as her friends did not stick up for her. I also felt the “emotional bomb” (as Courtney said) that Chris dropped on her. I did not expect the twist ending. Looking back I can see some hints, but hindsight is always 20/20. I recommend this book to any adult kid (like myself) who is young at heart, and to any kid that wants to read about what high school is really like. Parents – this book sends a positive message to kids about faith, integrity, and the importance of abstaining from drugs and alcohol.

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Boston_Mama

Recommended for Parents & Teens!

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Posted December 8, 2010, 1:19 PM EST: This book is helpful to any parents who want to know what their children are facing in high school. I recommend it to anyone who’d like to get in the head of a fourteen year old boy or girl, to see where they are coming from.

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A Recommended Read!

If you love historical fiction, you should check out April W Gardner’s, recently released Wounded Spirits. Today marks the novel’s Amazon Book Launch.

Buy the book today and receive:

1. Gifts from the author

2. E-gifts from generous supporters

“In Wounded Spirits, April Gardner has skillfully blended research with fiction to create a story that entertains and educates. Wounded Spirits has something for everyone: forbidden love and romance, brutal war scenes, sacrificial love, history of the 19th century, and a faith that triumphs over adversity. This is a debut novel to remember.”

Suzanne Woods Fisher

Bestselling Author of The Choice

ABOUT THE BOOK:

On the frontier, Adela McGirth’s life is simple, rugged, and exactly to her liking. Her greatest concern is whether to marry the settlement’s most eligible young officer. When a distant war among the Natives spills over into a nearby skirmish, life takes a perilous turn. Deep in enemy territory Adela must choose between the man she loves and a baby that has yet to be born; will she be strong enough to wait on God’s provision?

A peace-loving yet loyal Creek warrior, Totka is forced to align with the extremist Red Stick faction whose purpose is to eradicate the Whites from Creek soil. In the midst of battle, Totka is assigned to protect those he is expected to hate–and kill. Life was simpler before his enemy became a beautiful face with a quiet strength and dignity he cannot resist.

Having lived a life plagued with death and loss, Zachariah McGirth is a man on a mission – he’ll have his revenge or die trying. Blinded by grief, he can’t see his way clear of yet another tragedy. Why has God taken everything from him…or has He?

Their lives molded by the course of history, can these Wounded Spirits learn to rely on God’s grace during one of the bloodiest conflicts in the South?

BUY NOW! And receive… http://tinyurl.com/2u8bbj2

FREE E-GIFTS FROM THE AUTHOR—

  • Every buyer receives a PDF of the first chapter of the sequel, Warring Spirits
  • PLUS a personalized, signed book plate mailed straight to you!

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT WOUNDED SPIRITS—

“This is a solid debut from Ms. Gardner, one that demonstrates not only her skill with words, but her insight into the human condition. The characters will grip your heart, the story will seize your mind, and the hope at the end will leave you with the surety that your God is bigger than any human troubles.”

-Rosanna White,

Christian Review of Books

 

“Wounded Spirits is a powerful story of love, loyalty, the effects of war, and faith in God. The writing is vivid and compelling. The characters were so real I felt I knew them, and I was caught up in their lives and compelled to read on. The ending was sweet yet realistic. The story and its characters will stay with me for a long time. I look forward to reading future books by this talented author.”

–Melanie Dickerson,

Author of The Healer’s Apprentice

 

BUY NOW! And also receive… http://tinyurl.com/2u8bbj2

FREE E-GIFTS FROM THE SUPPORTERS OF

WOUNDED SPIRITS, including—

Three free e-books!

A set of children’s greeting cards!

A free devotional book mailed to your house straight from the author!

Just for writers–two free critiques from professional editors!

All these gifts (and much more!) will be yours by purchasing Wounded Spirits today. Follow this link to learn how. http://tinyurl.com/2u8bbj2

As a thank you for your interest in Wounded Spirits’ Amazon Launch, follow this link http://tinyurl.com/2u8bbj2 to enter the drawing for a bundle of amazing books! (No purchase necessary)

MLH Character Chart & Info

Chris Dunkin – Freshman
Activities: MLH football
Best Friends: Jason Davids, Jon Anderson, & Bryan Sartelli
Interests: football, baseball, Boston sports, anything social
Descriptive phrase: “the life of the party”

Courtney Angeletti – Freshman
Activities: School Council, Ski Club, Yearbook
Best Friends: Marielle Kayne & Julianna Camen
Interests: shopping, politics, Christianity, anything girlie
Descriptive phrase: “the mayor’s daughter”

Jason Davids – Freshman
Activities: MLH baseball, Ski Club, Engineering Club
Best Friends: Chris Dunkin, Bryan Sartelli, & Jon Anderson
Interests: making people laugh, socializing, architecture, sports, academics, girls, anything adventurous
Descriptive phrase: “the one that’s up to no good”

Bryan Sartelli – Freshman
Activities: MLH basketball, MLH baseball
Best Friends: Chris Dunkin, Jon Anderson, & Jason Davids
Interests: Boston sports, Courtney, friends, socializing, going with the flow
Descriptive phrase: “the nice guy”

Jon Anderson – Freshman
Activities: MLH baseball, MLH cross-country
Best Friends: Chris Dunkin, Bryan Sartelli, & Jason Davids
Interests: girls, meeting new people, sports, running
Descriptive phrase: “the ladies man”

Marielle Kayne – Freshman
Activities: Drama Club, Yearbook
Best Friends: Courtney Angeletti, Julianna Camen, & Chantal Kagelli
Interests: going with the flow, scrap-booking, Boston sports, shopping, anything her friends are up for
Descriptive phrase: “the good friend”

Julianna Camen – Freshman
Activities: Peer tutoring
Best Friends: Courtney Angeletti & Marielle Kayne
Interests: academics, nature, animals, traveling
Descriptive phrase: “miss goodie-two-shoes”

Chantal Kagelli – Freshman
Activities: MLH JV football & hockey cheerleading
Best Friends: Marielle Kayne, but also long history with Alyssa Kelly
Interests: family, friends, church, volunteering, photography, sports, Andy, socializing, creative writing
Descriptive phrase: “the good little church girl”

Cathy Kagelli – Freshman
Activities: MLH soccer, MLH basketball, Ski Club
Best Friends: Alyssa Kelly & Lisa Ankerman
Interests: being a social butterfly, running the show, laughing, sports, Jason, socializing, stirring up trouble
Descriptive phrase: “the one with all the gossip”

Alyssa Kelly – Freshman
Activities: MLH Social Planning Committee, Ski Club
Best Friends: Cathy Kagelli, but also long history with Chantal Kagelli
Interests: the latest gossip, anything girlie, fashion, working out, friends, socializing, hosting events, planning parties
Descriptive phrase: “the princess”

Andy Rosetti – Freshman
Activities: Student Council Class President, MLH hockey, Montgomery Community Service Association, Yearbook, Peer tutoring, Guidance Aide, Student Government, Ski Club
Best Friends: Bobby Ryan & Lisa Ankerman
Interests: pleasing people, volunteering, inspiring others, sports, friends, family, church, Chantal, school, socializing, just about everything
Descriptive phrase: “Mr. Perfect”

Lisa Ankerman – Freshman
Activities: MLH JV football cheerleading, Student Council Class Representative
Best Friends: Leslie Lucus, Andy Rosetti, Katherine Rossi, & Cathy Kagelli
Interests: her boyfriend Jeff, friends, socializing, Boston sports, planning & plotting, fashion, working out
Descriptive phrase: “the pretty one”

Katherine Rossi – Freshman
Activities: MLH Varsity football & hockey cheerleading, Student Council Class Secretary
Best Friends: Lisa Ankerman & Leslie Lucus
Interests: her boyfriend Bobby, cheerleading, friends, academics, decorating, fashion, writing
Descriptive phrase: “the quiet one”

Leslie Lucus – Freshman
Activities: MLH JV football & basketball cheerleading, Student Council Class Representative
Best Friends: Katherine Rossi & Lisa Ankerman
Interests: meeting new people, socializing, laughing, being silly, talking, cheerleading, dance, singing, volunteering
Descriptive phrase: “the social butterfly”

Marc Dunkin – Senior
Activities: Co-Captain of MLH Varsity football, Student Council Class Representative
Best Friends: Luke Davids & Matt Davids
Interests: football, friends, family, academics, working out, Boston sports, girls, Boston College, meeting new people
Descriptive phrase: “the jock”

Matt Davids – Senior
Activities: Captain of MLH Varsity Football, Captain MLH Varsity Wrestling, Student Council Class Treasurer
Best Friends: Ricky Samson & Marc Dunkin
Interests: every sport, friends, family, Allison, working out, UNH
Descriptive phrase: “the big man on campus”

Luke Davids – Junior
Activities: MLH Varsity basketball, Ski Club
Best Friends: Marc Dunkin & Pat Ryan
Interests: making people laugh, socializing, Boston sports, pulling pranks, hanging out with the senior class, music, working out
Descriptive phrase: “the flirt”

Allison Jordan – Senior
Activities: Captain of MLH Varsity football & basketball cheerleading, Dance Club, Yearbook
Best Friends: Michelle Taylor, Day Angeletti, & Katie McKnight
Interests: Matt, socializing, her best friends, cheerleading, working out, dancing, laughing, being silly, UMASS Amherst
Descriptive phrase: “the friendly one”

MLH in the News – Patriot Ledger

Rockland resident publishes her first book

By Ashlee Fairey
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Nov 02, 2010 @ 12:38 PM
Last update Nov 02, 2010 @ 04:52 PM

Rockland resident Stacy Padula’s first book, “Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person,” was published in August by Strategic Publishing Group.

It is the first of five novels in the Montgomery Lake High series, which follows a group of high school friends and their struggles with substance abuse and finding faith.

“I wanted to write a realistic series to represent what really happens in high school,” the 27-year-old author said.

She began writing the first book when she was a high school student and resumed writing in 2006.

The second book of the series, “Montgomery Lake High #2: When Darkness Tries to Hide,” is expected to come out in the spring.

Reach Ashlee Fairey at afairey@ledger.com.

Copyright 2010 The Patriot Ledger. Some rights reserved
http://www.patriotledger.com/entertainment/x294036521/Rockland-resident-publishes-her-first-book

Pembroke Express Says…

Pembroke writer launches series
Written by Becca Manning
Thursday, 19 August 2010 10:04
It’s been nine years since she graduated from high school, but Pembroke native Stacy Padula remembers clearly what it felt like to be a teenager.“It was such a war zone,” she said of high school. “You’d have somebody say something about you and you’d be like, ‘I don’t even know where they got that.’ […] Between the rumors, the gossip, the fake friendships and the drugs … it was definitely a war zone.”

A 2001 graduate of Silver Lake Regional High School, Padula has good memories, too, and is still best friends with people she went to school with. But she also believes kids may not get an honest picture of what high school is like before they get there.

“I grew up reading a lot of books and it kind of painted a picture in my mind of what high school was going to be like, and then I stepped into it and it wasn’t anything like that,” Padula said. “It’s not Baby-Sitters Club; it’s not Sweet Valley High. I just felt like kids really needed books that were realistic to kind of prepare them.”

Padula hopes to help fill that gap with a series of novels called “Montgomery Lake High.” The first in the series, “The Right Person,” was released this month, published by Connecticut-based Eloquent Books, part of Strategic Publishing Group.

Padula started writing the series when she was in high school and rediscovered the books after college.

“I read through them and I was shocked that at such a young age I knew what half the stuff I wrote about was,” she said. “I decided to edit them and write additional books to kind of connect them, to explain how one got to the other, and added in bits of wisdom I picked up along the way.”

She sent out query letters to about 70 literary agencies, found one interested in representing her and then shopped the book around to publishers.

“I started sending out the letters in January 2009 and got an offer by October 2009 from a publisher. I felt like it was forever, but evidently it can take a lot longer than that. I ended up signing with them in November,” Padula said.

She is currently working on the second book in the series and said in total she has written five — though she doesn’t have plans to stop anytime soon.

“I just want to keep writing. I want to know what happens next, because I don’t know when I sit down what I’m going to write but I know my characters,” she said. “It’s like watching a movie. You can’t wait for the end.”

The first book tells the story of characters Chris Dunkin and Courtney Angeletti (later books center around other characters at the fictional school).

“Chris is realizing he’s kind of gotten in over his head with partying at a young age and it’s really affecting his life. One day, he meets this girl and he’s just drawn to her, he just sees a light about her. Something’s different and he just wants to know what it is,” Padula said. “Courtney, the girl, had been raised as a Christian and she’s very strong in her faith and was able to not get pulled into what Chris and his friends are into. […] She’s dealing with getting pulled into high school and getting to know Chris’ friends and how all of a sudden she’s feeling like she doesn’t fit in and wanting to get accepted.”

Padula said the books do follow a spiritual theme — the author grew up attending St. Thecla Church in Pembroke and now attends New Hope Church in Norwell — but that it isn’t overwhelming.

“There’s a Christian message to it, but not like a rigid, follow-the-law message — more like the law of liberty and love and pursuing a relationship with Christ as opposed to following all these rules thinking that’s going to set you free,” she said.

Padula grew up in Pembroke, moving to Kingston her sophomore year of high school. After graduating from Silver Lake, she attended Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston where she studied architecture and interior design, temporarily putting her writing on hold. After college, Padula worked at an architecture firm for several years but felt something was missing.

“I wanted to be doing something that helped. I wanted to be more involved with people and doing something I felt was useful and utilizing more of my talents and gifts,” she said.

Padula got connected with JBG Tutors, a company that helps kids work on certain subjects and study for tests like the SAT and ACT. She recently was promoted to program director when the company expanded to JBG Educational Group, now doing career counseling and consulting as well as tutoring. She lives in Rockland and works mainly in the Metro West area of Boston, though the business is starting to expand.

“I love my job. I literally wake up every day and I can’t believe I get paid to do this,” Padula said. “It also leaves me time to write.”

Padula’s first book, “Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person,” is available now on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. Eventually, it will be available in whatever bookstores decide to order it through the distributor, Padula said.

She said she is open to the idea of doing book signings or speaking to kids at school about her books.

“I believe in the message behind the books, so anything that’s going to reach out and help kids find out about it, I’m open to,” she said. “[…] I figure the books will get in the hands of whoever is meant to read them. My hope is that they meet them wherever they’re at, and that it can prepare younger kids for high school or encourage kids who are in high school to kind of rise above it and to hold their ground, not buckle under the pressure.”

News Travels Fast!

Well, news certainly travels fast! Today the Pembroke Mariner called me, requesting an interview about “The Right Person”.  I was excited for the opportunity! The article is going to be printed in Friday’s paper. I am very interested to see what it will say! It’s a strange feeling, to know someone is writing about you and the book that you wrote. Signing off now… Book #5 needs some editing!

Hello World!

Press Release (click below):

Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person – Press Release!

From the author: I grew up reading a few book series, that painted a picture in my mind of what high school would be like. Just after turning 14, I walked through the doors of high school and quickly realized it was nothing like what I had read; rather, it was a war zone! I felt that, in a way, the books I had read as a pre-teen had been a disservice to my emotional/spiritual/mental preparation for high school. That was when I began writing the Montgomery Lake High book series. I decided that teens needed realistic books to read that wrestled with the battles of social acceptance, drugs, alcohol, and other sensitive issues. I wrote three of the books while I was in high school, and then revisited them after college. I realized I had a book series before my eyes that had been written from the perspective of someone who was right in the battle! I then began professionally editing the books. After four years of editing, writing, and praying, I released Montgomery Lake High to the public. It is my hope that these books will help prepare pre-teens and teens for high school–the peer pressure, temptations, and harsh battle between gaining social acceptance and discovering who you are.

About the author: At 26, Stacy Padula of Pembroke, Massachusetts, looks back on her teen years as a lesson for others. She is writing her Montgomery Lake High books in the hope they can help kids deal with the stresses and peer pressure of high school. “I also wanted to encourage kids to steer a straight path, pursue God, and not fall for the false promises of the world.”