Win a signed copy of Hope in Patience! Details at the end of this post.

I wake up in a cold sweat most nights, and I think it’s happening again.

I think he’s in my bedroom, and I can feel him running his hands all over my body. He’s rubbing my back, squeezing my butt, and trying to push his fingers down into where the tightly wrapped blanket makes a V, where my legs meet. He tries to roll me onto my back again and again, but I have my arms locked at my sides and my hands prayer-like across my breasts. My legs are pushed together and slippery from sweat, and I’m as stiff as a corpse. . . .

I grit my teeth and force myself out of the nightmare. I roll onto my back, unlock my hands, and open my eyes to prove that I am safe in my bedroom, just down the hall from my father and stepmother. The bathroom light stays on all night for my extra reassurance. I snake my hand from beneath the covers and rub the rough cedar paneling, then pull the comforter up to my chin, turn onto my side, and align my body with my dog Emma’s. She paddles her feet, and I know she’s chasing rabbits in her dreams.

Excerpt copyright © 2010 Beth Fehlbaum

About the book:

The Patience Books, Courage in Patience, Hope in Patience, and Truth in Patience, are the story of Ashley Nicole Asher, who is sexually, emotionally, and physically abused by her stepfather, from the age of nine. Courage in Patience begins Ashley’s story. When she at last tells a trusted teacher what has been happening to her, Child Protective Services steps in, and Ashley is removed from her mother’s home. She is then reunited with her biological father, who has not been a part of Ashley’s life since infancy. Through the summer school English class taught by her stepmother, Ashley learns to face her greatest fears and, along with other teens, discovers just how strong she is. Ashley’s story continues with Hope in Patience, as Ashley continues her rocky road to recovery, wonders what it would be like to have a boyfriend, and faces the ultimate betrayal.

Ashley’s story is about courage and the power of hope to overcome fear.

This is not ‘an abuse story’– it is a survival story, as evidenced by the bravery shown by all the teenagers in the Patience books, who face life-changing events head-on. A huge part of Ashley’s ability to begin to heal comes about by witnessing acts of profound courage, all around her. Ashley’s story is anyone’s story– anyone who has ever overcome what they thought they never could; anyone who has ever known what it is to want to be loved and accepted as-is.

What people are saying:

The American Library Association named Hope in Patience a 2011 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers!!

“Ashley’s struggles to make friends in a new school, to fit in, to figure out who she is are normal teen issues even if her personal history is not. Even readers who have not been abused will connect with Ashley and her friends. Their voices are real. Their struggles are real. For those who have or are dealing with similar issues, this book speaks up where perhaps they cannot…this title deserves a place in every high school and community library.”–Children’s Literature

“I was astounded to find that anyone can relate to Ashley’s story and that the book was remarkably optimistic and fun.”–VOYA‘s teen reviewer

“The author is to be applauded  for her courageous and accurate portrayal of the many small steps that lead toward psychological healing. It is Ashley’s friendships with other ‘misfits’ that help Ashley understand that she, too, deserves love. This book will open hearts and might well save lives.”–School Library Journal

“Ashley will have readers rooting for her.”–Publisher’s Weekly

Released: October 2010

About the author:

I was inspired to write this story by my own recovery from childhood sexual abuse. In the process of working through my own grief, disbelief, and anger, I was writing poems and short stories, and sharing them with my (long-suffering) therapist. One day, he suggested that I try writing a novel.

In the process of knocking down the walls I had built around myself,  I found Ashley Nicole Asher, age 15, and Patience, Texas, a tiny East Texas town populated with people who can be found anywhere, dealing with the same problems that all people must face, whether they want to admit it or not.

I was born in Dallas, Texas, and I have one brother, who is a police sergeant. My husband and I were high school sweethearts, and we married young. We have three daughters who are amazing and brilliant. I have a B.A. in English, minor Secondary Education, from the University of Texas at Arlington,  and an M.Ed. in Elementary Education, specializing in Reading, from Texas A & M — Commerce.

I am fortunate to love both my jobs, as teacher and author! I cannot imagine a more perfect existence than the one I have. My favorite place in the world is my front porch. I write books there in the summer at a table built by a good friend.

Oh– one other thing– Ashley’s dog, Emma, who wanders up to Ashley one hot July day, is based on my dog, Emma, who wandered up to me the same way, every bit as worn down and scarred by life as Emma in the Patience books. You can visit me at


Beth has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of Hope in Patience for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

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Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on October 14th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!