Monday, July 02, 2007

MySpace My Kids

Today is the beginning of my blog tour for Wanda E. Brunstetter's A Sister's Secret. You can win a copy of this terrific book by submitting a funny or sweet story about your sister. You can email it to me or put it in the comments section. I'll announce the winner on Friday.

Best-selling author Wanda E. Brunstetter releases A Sister’s Secret (Nashville, Tenn.)Everything is going well for Grace: a loving family, a waitress job, and a wedding on the way. But when Gary Walker comes to her Amish community, Grace’s secret threatens to destroy
everything she holds dear. Grace is ashamed of her running-around years (rumschpringe), and has kept it hush-hush since returning to join the Amish church. Gary shows up as a freelance photographer and writer, but he is capable of much more. Not only does he know some of Grace’s secret, he is part of it. As a contrast to Gary’s evil ways, fiancĂ© Cleon Schrock is filled with all things good. Does Grace have the strength to reveal her secret? Compounding the situation are the unusual pranks gone too far in hurting the Hostettler family. Is Gary to blame, or is someone upset with Grace’s father? Why is it easier to turn the other cheek for strangers than for your own kin?

Wanda E. Brunstetter is a nationally recognized expert on the Amish community. Last autumn her Amish book sales surpassed the million mark, bringing her total of books sold to 1.6 million. She enjoys an uncommon kinship with the Amish community. Letters from all over the country arrive from her Amish readers, and she’s been told her books are passed "from buggy to buggy." Wanda’s books have received various honors including the 2006 Retailers Choice Award and Christian Book Distributor's Book of the Week, as well as topping the charts of the Christian Booksellers Association and CDA.

MySpace My Kids by Jason Illian has bettered my relationship with my daughter. We've had troubles with MySpace for over a year. I banned it in our house and kept discovering that she had been on the site. After multiple infractions, I deleted her site at the beginning of the year. A few months later, she was grounded for putting up a new site. Then I got Illian's book, and he changed my mind. He says that there are three types of parents: Those who don't know much about MySpace and think that their children don't either, those who think MySpace is evil and have banned it from their home, and those who are cautious about the site and allow their children to participate with supervision. I definitely fell into the second category. Illian points out that MySpace is not in itself a bad thing; it's all about how it's used. For some people it's simply an opportunity to keep up with their friends and express themselves. There are others whose intent is not pure and are trying to seduce children or engage in violent and unhealthy behavior. As a parent, it's my responsibility to make sure that my daughter's time on MySpace is safe, and Illian gives the tools to do so. He explains how to set up your own account and walks you through his own as an example. He shows where trouble can start and how to avoid it. After reading the book, my daughter and I sat down at her site, and she was very willing to make the changes the book recommends to keep her safe. We talked about content and friends that are ok, and because I wasn't raving like a maniac about the site anymore, she listened and together we implemented the changes. The book is short and entertaining to read with easy to follow instructions. This is a book every parent should read before allowing their child to use the site. It will alleviate some concerns and teach how to avoid pitfalls. My daughter actually thanked me for letting her use the site. My thanks go to Jason Illian.

The summer isn't even half over and already the cries of "I'm bored" has started. But when I offer ideas, they don't like any of them. I whiled away my summer days with book after book. It's how I worked my way through Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden and the Dana Girls. Boredom served as my introduction to Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler.

Don't forget to enter the book contest!