Insecurity. As women, we all struggle with it. Our skinny jeans mock us. Our age-defying serums with flecks of gold refuse to erase our crow’s feet. Our social media feeds taunt us with everyone else’s picture-perfect lives. If you’ve ever felt uninteresting, unlovable, or unattractive, you’re ready for Lincee Ray’s particular brand of hilarious (and hard-hitting) self-reflection.
Like a trustworthy friend, she shows us that the fastest way to happiness is to embrace ourselves in all our imperfection and trust that God knew what He was doing when He made us. From maneuvering the muffin top to navigating the sketchy waters of singleness to walking the judgmental halls of the workplace, Lincee’s laugh-out-loud look at real life reveals many of the key truths she’s learned about her identity:
Yoga pants are your friend, Jesus sees you, and green-bean diets are never the answer.
PRAISE FOR WHY I HATE GREEN BEANS:
“Lincee is a brilliant writer. She once described me as ‘smelling of worn leather, a vintage nine iron and swagger.’ She pretty much nailed it. She is definitely worthy of the final rose.” —Chris Harrison, host of ABC’s Bachelor franchise and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
“I found myself laughing out loud, wiping away a few tears, and cheering her on every step of the way. Lincee is the best friend you wish you had. Get ready to fall in love with her and her fabulous debut book!” —Melanie Shankle, author of the Big Mama blog
“By the end of this book, you’ll think of Lincee as a favorite friend: someone who shoots straight, finds the funny in every situation, and reminds you what matters most. You are in for a treat!” —Sophie Hudson, author of Giddy Up,Eunice and cohost of The Big Boo Cast podcast
When I was growing up I was forced to eat a lot of canned green beans, so I hate them, detest them, and ignore them as menu selections. Heck, my dogs would not even eat them when I tried to hand them off under the table. Thankfully, my grandmother picked fresh green beans and they were best raw in my opinion – not cooked. Because of that affinity of hating this vegetable, I was drawn to Lincee Ray’s book, Why I Hate Green Beans. I had to know why she hated green beans.
First, the cover is gorgeous and the inner pages are divine. What’s written on the pages is brutal honesty about Lincee’s life experiences, both good and bad. We’ve all had bad experiences or the horrific experiences we wish never to recount again because they are embarrassing or either so ghastly you just keep them hidden deep away. You share them only in the possible instance if it helps another friend.
It’s experiencing both good and bad that create who we are and Lincee is brave enough to share her own experiences in a positive way that leaves you feeling like you can accomplish anything no matter what has happened to you, as well as helps you understand that you are not the only woman to have experienced life-changing realities or made mistakes.
In her conversational writing, Lincee not only tells her stories, she also offers advice she’s learned along the way. From drinking Amaretto sours, to accepting who you are is more important on the inside than the outside, and Taco Cabana is a lifesaver during college. Most importantly leggings are not pants! Plus she shares how praying and God helped in certain moments of her life.
I would highly recommend women from ages 20 to 60 read her book. You might be inspired to write your own story to share.
Lincee Ray is an accidental blogging superstar from Texas who now writes for EW.com and the Associated Press. An active speaker, she can be found at her popular website ihategreenbeans.com, where she makes it clear that she believes it’s important to tell your story—even if it makes you seem a little crazy. Connect with Lincee!
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! FEBRUARY 13-22, 2018
Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed bookplate, $50 Barnes & Noble Gift Card, and Lincee’s Loves Basket which includes: Rave travel hairspray, Minnie Mouse ears, Vodka*, Heartbreakers Candy, Dr. Pepper, chocolate rose, and green jelly beans.
Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed bookplate, $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed bookplate, $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier.
With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn’t afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.
“The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck is a rare treat packed with humor, hope, and heart. Sarah’s struggles are real and nearly tangible, and she feels like a friend we’ve all had. I laughed with her and fell in love alongside her and couldn’t wait to hear her whole story. What a charming, delightful book!”
—Liz Johnson, bestselling author of The Red Door Inn
I’ve been serious about it for the last five or six years, I suppose, but I think I was bitten by the bug way back in second grade. I placed and won a medal in a state-level contest for my deep, heart-level, inspiring essay about John Stamos. I guess that should have been my first clue that pop culture would always play a pretty big role in my writing…
How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?
I, like Sarah Hollenbeck, previously wrote some novels which don’t fit into the Christian market. Unlike Sarah, mine were not graphic in nature, by any means. Also unlike Sarah, hardly anyone has ever read mine! But when I began to believe that the Lord was calling me to write Christian romance, I worried about that. I worried about whether or not I would be accepted into the Christian market. On a much, much smaller scale, I could relate.
Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?
I felt very strongly from the moment the book began bouncing around in my head and heart that I needed to write a story which presented some middle ground for Christian readers. Certainly not always, but often, Christian fiction can tend to present the Christian walk as a neat and tidy thing. Those stories can be fantastic, of course, but sometimes they can be a little bit difficult to relate to. But a lot of what is presented in the general market is just as extreme, on the other end of the morality spectrum. I wanted to write a story in which we see our heroine go from adult non-believer to adult Christ-follower, and I wanted us to journey with her as she struggled to adapt to her new life, through the lens of her new faith. I wanted Sarah Hollenbeck to struggle with temptation in ways she never had before because she was tackling life with a brand new moral compass. And it was important to me that Sarah faced as much resistance from Christians as she did from those outside the faith. Salvation does not always equal maturity and wisdom.
What literary character is most like you?
Hmm…I think I have to say Ramona Quimby, from the Beverly Cleary books. Those were the first books I truly loved, and without a doubt they unearthed my love of reading. Probably because I identified with Ramona. Granted, I was about eight years old when I read Ramona Quimby, Age 8, but I think I can relate to her just as much today, in my late-thirties. Much like Ramona, I tend to say yes, and deal with the consequences later. We’re both impatient and never stop dreaming, and just like Ramona, I’m not a fan of nap time.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
I would actually say I’m a full-time writer, who also has another full-time job. God has blessed me beyond anything I ever would have asked or imagined, and after years of being in a career which drained me, I now have two careers which fill me up – and they even play nice together! I’m on the staff of a church, and I get to go into an office and work in ministry alongside some of my very best friends. And when it comes to writing and publishing, the people I work with – and do life with, really – are among my strongest supporters. It’s honestly difficult, at this stage in my life, to imagine one career without the other.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
Either “What she did mattered,” or “Colin Firth may never recover from this loss.” I can’t decide which.
Bethany Turner is the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. A former VP/operations manager of a commercial bank and a three-time cancer survivor (all before she turned 35), Bethany knows that when God has plans for your life, it doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say. Because of that, she’s chosen to follow his call to write. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight.
Grand Prize: Copy of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck + a typewriter tote bag + a typewriter notebook + Columbia Jo’s coffee + Novel Teas teabags 2nd Prize: Copy of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck + a typewriter hardcover journal + typewriter enamel lapel pin 3rd Prize: Copy of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck + $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card