Book & Author Details:
The Patience Trilogy by Beth Fehlbaum
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Courage in Patience:
Courage to endure.
Courage to survive.
Courage to overcome.
Tenacious 14-year-old Ashley Asher claws her way back to normalcy after enduring six years of an unimaginable Hell. Uprooted from her negligent and selfish mother, Ashley finds solace in the safety of her father’s home. Building a relationship with her stepmother, she’s finally able to open up and confront the past that haunts her.
With the help of her stepmom, therapist, and a group of troubled adolescents, Ashley battles her demons, struggling to find the normal teenage life she’s always wanted. Can Ashley find the strength and courage to overcome the horrors of her past while fighting for the future she so deserves?
Hope to heal.
Hope to grow.
Hope to evolve.
Still shattered from the horrific events of her childhood years, 15-year-old Ashley Asher is barely holding it together. Battling her vicious and vile mother who still sees her as the villain and not the victim, Ashley’s stuck in a cycle of self-injury and self-hatred as a result–despite the many people who trying to pull her out of it.
Adolescence is hard, but throw in a new school, a new family, and a father she hardly knows, Ashley’s need for self-destruction and pain intensifies. Her new therapist, Dr. Matt, may be unconventional with bizarre antics, but he’ll do whatever it takes to pull Ashley out of the doldrums. Ashley just wants a crack at normalcy. But can her counselor and the friends and family who love her teach her that “crazy is the new normal” and that nobody has it easy?
Truth in the past.
Truth in reality.
Truth for tomorrow.
Finally adjusting to life in small town Texas, Ashley Asher sees a glimmer of what happiness really is. Even her new relationship with the attentive Joshua Brandt shows promise of a first romance. But Ashley’s fear of intimacy after years of unspeakable abuse may cause friction and distance in their relationship.
Determined to prove to her that she’s healing, Dr. Matt, her beloved therapist, shows her that “life is messy.” And he doesn’t know how messy it is about to get. When her mother decides that Ashley belongs back in their hometown with her, Ashley is forced into another family feud that she isn’t prepared for. Refusing to leave behind the new life she created in Texas, Ashley and her mother go head-to-head. But can Ashley finally find the courage and strength to battle her demons when her mother might be the biggest demon of all?
Truth in Patience
Bev came back out to the waiting room and gave me a hug. “I’m going to pick up our usual therapy day take-out for dinner, but I’ll be here waiting when you get out, okay?”
I nodded. Dr. Matt opened the office hallway door. “Ashley? Come in.” My stomach dropped the way it does when a roller coaster takes the first big hill, and I self-consciously lowered my head as I walked by him and entered his of office. He followed me in. I sat where I always do, right next to his desk, and I watched his black cowboy boots pass by my chair.
“What’s up?” That’s how Dr. Matt always starts our sessions.
“Not much.” I glanced at him as he settled into his chair opposite me, then I lowered my head again. I pulled my knees up close and wrapped my arms around them, like I was doing a cannonball into a pool. I made myself inhale a shuddery breath and blew it out, then rested my chin on my knees.
“Good sigh,” he said, complimenting me on breathing. He did that to remind me not to hold my breath like I did when I used to hide in my closet from Charlie.
I nodded slightly, still keeping my head down. “Could you look at me, please?” Dr. Matt said.
I closed my eyes and slowly raised my head, anticipating that he would start bitching at me for what I’d done to my face. Go ahead, get it over with.
“How’s your week been?” he asked.
Huh? Wow, maybe the scratches aren’t as noticeable as I thought they were. I relaxed a little and looked at him. His eyes widened, and I ducked again.
“Mmm, so-so,” I said, then swallowed hard and choked on my spit.
“Hmm,” he said. That’s it? Hmm? I noticed the smirk on his face. “What’s so funny?” He chuckled and took a sip of water before giving me The Look: this laser-sharp blue-eyed stare that works like truth serum when he does it.
I rolled my eyes and sighed loudly. “Goddammit, Dr. Matt!” His eyebrows shot up. “What’d I do?”
“You’re giving me that look, the—”
“You know, the—” I tried to imitate his stare but I couldn’t. I honestly think he has two Ph. D.s: one in Psychology and one in Staring. “Nah, you’re seeing something that isn’t there,” he said.
I shook my head. “No. I know when you’re doing that ‘I can see inside your head’ thing.”
“What would I see if I could see what you’re thinking?”
I gasped. “Damn you’re tricky!”
He tilted his head side to side as if considering it, took a sip of water, and set his mug down. “Yes. I am.” He smiled briefly but kept his eyes locked on me the whole time.
I pointed at my face. “You’re probably wondering what this is all about.”
My feet hit the floor. I slapped my palms on his desk and leaned forward. “You’re not?”
I sat back and said incredulously, “You’re not going to bitch at me about it?”
He considered me a moment and shrugged. “Why should I? Yelling at you about it obviously doesn’t work. You’ve decided that mutilating your skin is an okay thing to do, so, hey: if you’re happy, I’m happy.”
“But I’m not happy. I don’t like doing it,” I said.
He kicked the underside of his desk, and I jumped a foot. “Don’t say can’t!”
I mentally peeled myself off the ceiling. “I hate it when you do that! I mean, I know it’s—what do you call it?”
“It’s aversion therapy. I call it mental floss. It’s like those thoughts you have are stuck, just like food gets stuck between teeth, and startling you is a way to interrupt that thought pattern.”
“So… you’re not pissed off when you hit the desk?”
“No. It’s a technique, that’s all.”
“Well, whatever you call it, I hate it,” I groused. I ran my finger up and down the curved armrest and sighed loudly. He didn’t compliment me on breathing this time.
“What happened in your bedroom with your boyfriend yesterday?”
“Why do you think something happened?” My voice was so high, it didn’t even sound like it was coming from me.
“Your self-injury impulse kicked in after something happened with…what’s his name?”
“Joshua,” I croaked. It felt like I was choking and the hot waves of nausea hit me again. I tried to swallow, but it was as if I had forgotten how.
In addition to writing Young Adult Contemporary Fiction, Beth Fehlbaum is a high school English-Language Arts teacher who frequently draws on her experience as an educator to write her books. She has a B.A. in English, Minor in Secondary Education, and an M.Ed. in Reading.
Beth is a featured author on the 2015-2016 Spirit of Texas Reading List- High School for the Kirkus Starred Reviewed Big Fat Disaster (Merit Press/F+W Media, March 2014) and The Patience Trilogy: Courage (1), Hope (2), and Truth (3) (Steady On Books, April 2016).
Beth is a member of the RAINN (Rape , Abuse, Incest National Network) Speakers’ Bureau. She has a following in the young adult literature world and also among survivors of sexual abuse because of her work with victims’ advocacy groups.
She has been the keynote speaker at the National Crime Victims’ Week Commemoration Ceremony at the Hall of State in Dallas, Texas and a presenter for Greater Texas Community Partners, where she addressed a group of social workers and foster children on the subject of “Hope.”
Beth is in-demand as a panelist, having presented/appeared at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference, the American Library Association’s annual conference, YALSA, and N.C.T.E./ALAN, and she is a member of The Author’s Guild.
She is a survivor of a traumatic childhood, like Ashley in The Patience Trilogy, and the day-to-day manager of an eating disorder much like Colby’s in Big Fat Disaster. These life experiences give her a unique perspective, and she writes her characters’ stories in a way meant to inspire hope.
Beth lives with her family in the woods of East Texas.