Yesterday, my blog post included some thoughts about the “Mighty Change of Heart.” Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I love conversion stories. I have always had incredible admiration for those who are willing to make the leap and join the church.
For about seven years I collected conversion stories from readers and posted them once a year on the blog as part of what I deemed “International Hug a Convert Day.” (If you are curious, look for the link “Conversion Stories,” at the top of this page.)
One of those stories is from Monique Luetkemeyer. She was an early, avid MMM blog reader from almost the very beginning. Over the years I met her “in real life,” and we became friends.
After a few years I learned how to pronounce her last name. Monique always had stories about her life that were rather shocking for a lifelong member of the Church. It was fascinating.
I was sitting next to Monique at a writing conference in a class about writing memoirs. I thought about her wild stories, and did the expected thing: I keep elbowing her. Apparently, the Spirit was elbowing her as well. Between the two of us, she got the message and began the arduous task of dissecting her life and writing it down.
Along the way, it became clear that her story was a little too “gritty,” to be published by a standard LDS publisher. Non-LDS publishers simply aren’t interested in LDS conversion stories. She went the rounds of traditional publishing submissions, and it didn’t look good.
But the book was remarkable. My EC, daughter, and some friends had the opportunity to read an early draft and we were gobsmacked. It was powerful and difficult to read. BUT, as it was a conversion story, you already know how it ends.
I have always been bugged that every couple of years someone publishes a memoir that gets huge national attention that goes this direction: Born and raised in the church, lives a miserable life, leaves the church, finds incredible happiness.
Monique’s story goes the opposite direction. It is redeeming.
Enter Me: I felt like this book needs to be published. Having published two of my own books, I thought, “Hey, I can do this!” If the normal publishing channels won’t get this story out there, I can.
So, I set up a new business venture – a new boutique publishing house. Tah-dah!
My first release? Monique’s memoir.
I am ridiculously proud to be associated with the creation of this new book, and I am happy to announce that today it is available for pre-sale.
I do need to give you a warning, as some are more sensitive to others. This book does have some rough edges, as did her life. There is some profanity, some discussion of sexuality, sexual and physical abuse, and some rough stuff. If it were a movie, I would give it a hard PG-13 rating. Even so,I am completely comfortable supporting this book- rough edges and all. You’ve been warned.
You will also note that Monique is using her maiden name as her pen name. Thankfully. 😉
The book is available right now! Please give it a look. It is powerful and wonderful. It will enhance both your empathy and your testimony.
Here is the link to purchase:
If you need more convincing, please check out Monique’s website at MoniqueBerish.com. There are reviews and a sample chapter to give you a taste.
Monique was also a guest on the great Latter-day Lives podcast, with the fabulous Shawn Rapier. Here is the link. Give it a listen and you can get to know her a little better.
I’m sure a lot of you already know Monique through social media. You might know her now, but you have no idea how she got to where she is now.
That “Mighty Change of Heart,” is a real thing. A wonderful, real thing.