Ruth Marlene Friesen: Welcome!
This site is like Ruthe,
the heroine of my novel,
Ruthe's Secret Roses
Ruthe is . . .
intimate with God,
prays a lot,
a bleeding heart for the hurting,
a big sister,
has creative ideas,
likes to give
loyal to friends,
dreams of love and
dreams of writing a book
goes the extra mile
So this site offers;
good books to read!
help to become Friends with Jesus,
The One Ideal Real Friend
a cure for loneliness
An Older Sister's Coping Secret
how to pray Panic Prayers,
how to grow in faith
how to share your faith
how to become a writer
Psst! I've got FREE taste treats of the novel ready for YOU! DOWNLOAD the first 3 chapters as an
eBOOK in beautiful colours, or read the first 8 chapters on this site, if you have time to stay a while. Start READING HERE!
OR, you can subscribe to a daily series of installments by email until you have read the 8 Chapter Sampler:
ALL books reviews
To Purchase my Novel; Don't forget the e-book versions are super-pretty!
In the USA or elsewhere, buy Ruthe's Secret Roses
at BookLocker.com (soft cover or the .pdf).
If you prefer the .exe e-book format you'll want to order and download it from
My Order Page
Prefer other options? PayPal, or
Canadian? Or would like to phone in your MasterCard or Visa to me personally?
This author's friendship area is still under development!
Let's Get Acquainted
Questions to start our friendship
A Successful Goal-Setting Spiritual
Tell me Your Story
Kathy's List -
my friend shares her secrets for tact and grace
My Back Patio -
meet this author informally, photo stories, etc.
My Sharing Library
Index of Reviews of Books I Highly Recommend
How I Learned to Read (a true story)
I Owe You Gratitude (Poem)
Books that Shaped Me
Articles & Reports: (Main Index)
History of This Novel, Ruthe's Secret Roses
When I was twelve I was sick in bed with mumps, listening to a Billy Graham radio
broadcast about many souls dying in a South American country without a single word about
Christ. I rolled over with tears and begged God to save some of those lives even before I
grew up and - even then I knew I couldn't reach everyone in my lifetime.
I drifted off into a vivid dream in which I was held back from becoming a missionary by
health problems, still, somehow I had produced a book, and wherever it went around
the world, it turned people to faith in Christ.
Later I woke feeling refreshed and excited as if I'd seen a vision. Only I knew visionaries
were not well-thought of in our church and community. I was afraid to tell anyone my dream
for fear they'd laugh at me or persuade me that it was nothing but that colourful imagination
of mine, running away with me again. I did look for an opportunity to confide in my favourite
uncle, but it didn't present itself. I tried to talk to a woman from church, but she
thought I was eager to be a Bible-translator and I didn't know how to correct her so I
It was as if I had a secret mission and purpose in life after that, and the more I kept it
to myself, the more it grew. Soon I decided I should start practicing and working on that
wonderful book. I got a few extra black covered scribblers, and tried writing by moonlight
by the window one night. The clouds came and the moon didn't shine every night, and I
just got far too sleepy. I went down into the cellar to write the story that was forming
in my imagination, using Dad's trouble-light, then hiding my scribblers in an old tin bread
box between the the cellar wall and the foundation. Eventually, I decided that I had not had
enough true life experiences yet. I'd have to wait until I'd finished high school, had a
job and was living on my own.
That day came after I graduated in 1967 and got a job as a telephone operator in Saskatoon.
The more I learned about city life and people, the more my fertile mind could cook up plots
and characters. At first I longed for them to come true, but one day the insight came that
then I'd never have time to write them.
I haunted the public library for books on writing, bought my first manual typewriter and
taught myself to type. The fact that I had shift-work came to be an advantage as most of
my friends were at university studying to be teachers. I traded shifts with operators who
wanted days but not the evening and night shifts. This meant I was at home writing while
my friends were in university. When they were home, I was at work.
Off to the Big Cities in the East
After six re-writes of my novel I'd learned so much I thought I'd arrived! But there
were no publishers in the yellow pages, so I'd have to go east to the big cities where
they were. Fortunately, I had a single aunt living in London, Ontario. After much prayer,
I decided to quit my job and go live with her until I landed my big contract.
It took me four days of driving there with my '68 Nova packed full of all my possessions,
and it was great fun exploring and learning many new things from Aunt Jean. However, I
had a rude awakening as I discovered that my manuscript did not impress the ones I sent
it to. I ran out of money and had to get a job to live... (There are a lot of stories in
that twelve year segment of my life).
In brief, when I prayed and humbly told the Lord I was ready to take whatever He thought
was the perfect job for me, He led me through a temporary office agency, to Philips
Electronics, where I ended up being the receptionist and switchboard operator for the rest
of my years in London. But at the same time, every year by January 1, I was drawn back to
my hidden manuscript. I'd take another look and realize that it was a worthy project. After
having left it alone a few months I could always see ways to improve it. So I'd tackle it
again, with long four hour evenings, and every year about the end of May I'd have it done,
and my anticipation would build that this summer it would be published!
I'd become very active in the church Jean attended until she moved away, and my many
involvements ate into my writing time, and gave me many friends. The last three years
I rented a lovely old house by the Thames, and boarded Christian college girls. Sometimes
I joked about being like a cat with nine lives, and living them all at once. But most
friends had no idea that I was squeezing another secret life in besides all the evenings
I was at church, mentoring my Pioneer Girls, or preparing crafts, or picking up
after my college girls (boarders).
Called to Go Home to Hague
One of the nice things about my Philips job was that I had time to spend hours in
conversational prayer with the Lord, and to study my Bible and read all the books I wanted.
Gradually, the Lord prepared me to be willing to go home to look after my aged parents.
I resisted at first, but saw His better wisdom and decided to give up all I had in London,
and move home, with the Lord's promise ringing in my heart that back in boring ol' Hague,
I'd finally have time to write full-time. He would flood my soul with joy. In return,
I vowed not to keep it a secret any longer. That whole move is a book in and of itself!
Hid in Deacon's Bench
When I left London I could not see any way to improve the novel any more. So I told
the Lord that I would hide it until He made me work on it again. Instead I would throw
myself into my caregiver role, and take odd jobs, and I'd learn to freelance short
stories and articles, to give me more polish and perhaps even a name and reputation as a
writer. The manuscript with all it's revised versions went into a deacon's bench or
wooden box for blankets that sat in my basement room. For eight years I didn't touch it.
Never took a peek.
Then I began to crave to re-do it and this time - let all conventional plots and styles
be hanged - I wanted to write it so it would appeal to ME. If I were to find the perfect
book in a store to win my praise, what would it be like? Well, it would be unashamedly
Christian, it would be deeper than a fluffy romance, and it would be filled with transformed
About that same time my faithful old Underwood typewriter died. Nobody could make the
letters type on a straight line any more. By that time, mind you, it had written and
produced some family history books, also doing all the pages on Gestetner stencils so I
could self-publish them. What's more, I was in the middle of a major translation job of
my great-grandmother's stepmother's journals. I began a prayer campaign for a used
computer. This I confided to my large list of penpals, and a number began to send gifts
towards this goal. Some urged me to get a new computer. Gradually I got used to the idea
that even I, yes, this church mouse, might learn how to use a computer.
New Life and Purpose with a Computer!
It took me a year to raise $1000 in 1991, but it was a great day when I brought home my
first new, albeit no-name bargain 286 computer. Aside from a one-hour lesson from the
dealer, I taught myself, and in a few months that translation job was wrapped up, indexed
and sent to the cousin who'd promised to publish it. Eagerly I pulled up the old novel
and began to key it in, re-writing as I went. Oh, the improvements! Finally my fingers
could fly about as fast as my nimble mind! Now I could be prolific at last!
But Mom, ever a sickly woman, got sicker. Instead of having hours to myself, I now had to
stay by her side all day. Aside from my long-hand scribbling in my journal binder, ever
with me, my writing all had to come to a halt in 1997. Finally after much drawn-out
suffering, Mom died November 10, 1997.
Dad is still able to putter and work in the garden and his workshop, though socially
getting to be more a boy all the time. Still, liberation came for me in that as long as
I do the meals and cleaning, and chauffeur Dad, I can have all the rest of the hours
of the day. A perfect writer's life.
Publication, which had always seemed so out-of-reach, suddenly came much closer as I
read about the internet and how one could market from a website, selling things like books.
I was ready and willing to self-publish this book, as I knew other publishers would not take
a risk on something so out of their categories. I had the determination and time to build
from the bottom up. Only, I needed a bigger and better computer first.
Finally Online and Learning to Publish!
The summer of 1998 I took Dad on a holiday to visit relatives all the way to B.C. and
back, and then into southern Manitoba. I also took along batches of my family history book,
Grandpa's Stories which covered Dad's side of the family tree. In January of 1999
enough funds were scratched together to buy a new Pentium III, and go online.
With gusto I tackled the process of learning to use Windows, email, and design my own web
sites, make e-books, and here we are at last. Ruthe's Secret Roses is finally
available and for sale to the public! Yes, even in print as of March 11, 2002!.
This is a small step, but I'm grateful to have got this far, and trust the rest will come.
Eventually the sequels will roll out too!
In fact, some fans have begged for the next adventures of Ruthe, so I've begun writing that
book. I hope to have the first draft done by the end of 2005.
What a saga, eh?
And yes, this book WILL affect you if you read it!
Ruthe's Secret Roses available in softcover! Purchase it at
BookLocker.com and it will be in the mail to you within 48 hours!
Read it Right NOW!
Or ASK at any bookstore!
Have the RoseBouquet
(my inspirational blog/RSS feed)
sent to you weekly by email:
In the Garden
Your book was a pleasure to read. I loved all the transformations; the
physical makeovers, the home decorating, and best of all, the total
heart conversions. All are made possible by an unassuming young Mennonite
woman who trusts God to lead her and work through her.
There aren't many books written about the Mennonite way of life;
particularly having them associating with other faiths, and sharing
(Kathy Wollf - First Reader)
I love it! Your style of writing is excellent, especially the way you
build interest and keep me wanting to read faster and faster. What a
wonderful story :-)
(Connie Lepovosky, Typesetter).
Wow! This little lady gets around doesn't she! The style is unique, not
your typical bookstore novel. I like the "stream of consciousness" effect
as we see into her thoughts and she talks to her Companion about
Internet friend, Rose Clarke
The book was a surprise to me in that when I first started the book, and
so many things happened to Ruth at such a fast pace, I did have
trouble getting my head around the 'reality' of it all.
However, once I
got into it I was soon intrigued by the events that happened. After all -
so many other secular fictional stories expect us to believe the impossible -
why should a Christian book not do the same, and possibly inspire us since
we believe in the God of the impossible?!
What surprised me is how I was soon able to keep pace with the events that happened to Ruthe, though
I had to think a moment or two 'who was who' from time to time.
Sharon Richardson, Scotland
Oh, how sweet to have a friend who'd drop everything and come when you need her. Ruthe, the heroine of this novel,
dashes away from her own grad when her friend Muriel calls. Don't you wish you had a loyal, caring friend like that?
Buy and READ Ruthe's Secret Roses!