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
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:
Some Books I've Reviewed...
Where is God When it Hurts? - by Philip Yancey
Waking the Dead The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive - by John Eldridge.
Merciful God of Prophecy - by Tim LaHaye.
Return to Harmony - by Janette Oke and T. Davis Bunn.
Another Homecoming - by Janette Oke and T. Davis Bunn.
Tomorrow's Dream - by Janette Oke and T. Davis Bunn.
The Bluebird and the Sparrow - by Janette Oke.
The Princess - by Lori Wick.
ALL books reviews
Frequently Asked Questions
About this Novel, Ruthe's Secret Roses
by Ruth Marlene Friesen
Q. What is the main conflict or theme in this story?
It's a unique Christian girl's struggle to sort out her secretive double life.
She has one life in the city, and another one back home. Although she helps
many others and gives good advice, it takes a while, and stronger pressures,
before she faces her own fears. Ruthe's story is about walking and talking with God
about everything that happens to you - no matter what.
Q. What are the secret roses in the title?
Ruthe thinks of her friends as types of roses. She discusses them with her
Friend in their early dawn walks, but she hides her city friends - or most
of them - from her family.
Q. What is the locale of this book?
Ruthe Veer and her family live in the Saskatchewan town of Kleinstadt, but
much of the action in the novel happens in the city of Saskatoon, which is
about a half hour's drive away. Ruthe works shifts in the telephone office
as an operator, and commutes most of the time.
Q. Why persist in writing this for 30 years and work so hard to publish it?
I had a dream about it when about 11 or 12 years old. I was convinced
back then God meant for me to write it, and that one day it would do
marvelous things around the world. I've had some periods of doubting, but
mostly the calling has only grown stronger. I used to do an annual re-write
then give up on it. For many years most of my friends had no idea I was
writing it. But it has been the theme of my life and everything else is
periphery or while-I'm-bidin'-my-time stuff.
You'll find the more detailed saga on this site, on the
Q. What does it take to publish a book for free on the internet these days?
Fiction is a bit harder. Non-fiction ebooks sell like ice cream. You need a
good idea, preferable something to benefit people in a niche group. Almost everyone
has some area of expertise or wisdom gained from their experience that would qualify. On
my site I recommend certain books and even a free email course that guides you
through the steps, from brainstorming to marketing and sales.
Secondly, you need a willing and teachable spirit to get on the internet
and learn some basic skills in communicating, web design, and marketing.
There is lots of stuff out there, most of it still free - though that
era is losing ground. The ones who know their stuff are starting to charge
just to read their site! But hey, a hungry and determined person can teach
herself all she needs to know.
Thirdly, you've got to be doggedly persistent. Work your plan, and keep
promoting your book in the many avenues that are available on the net.
Publishing a book IS still work! At least the first!
Q. In what era or decade does this story take place?
This story transcends eras, but the early 1970s is indicated early on in
a scene with Cathy. The years of the cars should be another clue. Plus the reference
to Prime Minister Trudeau.
Q. Why doesn't Ruthe talk like modern teens?
Because she never was a modern teen, she's unique, partly because of her
Mennonite upbringing and partly because she has not socialized in
the usual teen scene much on account of her home situation.
Q. This book doesn't follow the conventions of other novels. How come?
Isn't that refreshing? This book is for those who are
tired of being in a rut. I tried NOT to be shallow and one dimensional.
Q. There are too many characters - What if I can't follow or remember all of them?
I'm sorry. I love lots of people, a great variety of them, and there are those who like
me, happily define themselves as people watchers or a collector of new friends.
If there seem to be too many people to get to know, may I suggest you read slower?
Unless you have threats hanging over you - take your time. This is not TV, so you can
even go back to re-read as much as you like.
Q. Tell us about your family and background.
I was born into an poor, evangelical Mennonite family on the Saskatchewan prairie,
near Hague, which is a half-hour drive north of Saskatoon. I'm the oldest with two
brothers and two sisters after me. My mother was gored by a cow before I started school,
so she was sickly all the rest of her life, in and out of hospitals. I had to be grown
up and care for my siblings from early on. My two brothers and one sister married, and
gave me four nieces and two nephews. Two nieces have had babies, making me a Great-Aunt!
Twenty-one years ago, I came home to look after my aged parents, depending on God to
meet my financial needs, while I used my free time to write.
Q. Did you really give up everything and move back home to your parents?
Without a salary?!
Yes, though I cringed for two years over that. It seemed way too hard. But I prayed a
lot about that decision and once I was ready to give up my beautiful dreams of romance,
marriage and a huge family, and to really trust God's plans for my future, then it
That's not to say the last 21 years have not been hard. Looking after Mom was tough,
we clashed at times, but once I was clear that it was God's plan and therefore good,
I was able to be resolute.
Besides, the full salary from God hasn't been paid out yet. It's still coming!
Q. How come you've never married?
I did dream of it for many years. When I realized the lovely scenes in my head were
not prophecies of my own marriage after all I decided to love God more and stop feeling
sorry for myself, and get to work. (sigh) It's a long story. However, I've got things to
do with eternal value, and in those matters, singleness can be a blessing rather than a
Q. Why not put your parents in a nursing home and concentrate on your career?
Because Mom resisted, and I wouldn't want to either, as long as it is not absolutely
necessary. My mother looked after her aged grandmother until she died, and it seemed
only fair that she should be cared for at home too. Mom spent lots of times in the
hospitals, and wanted to die at home. I chose to honour her wish and managed to do it,
though at the end it almost looked like her dying would take too long. I'd wear out.
Dad is still mostly healthy for his age, and since he doesn't need nursing care yet, and
can go for long walks, or travel in the car with me, there is no earthly reason to coop him
up in a Home. Nor would they accept him yet, even if he is 89!
Besides, I wouldn't be able to work full-time at getting my book published as I am now,
if I didn't have this roof over my head, and free meals for making them. God knows what
He's doing in giving me this career setup.
[Note: if you have questions, feel free to write and ask. I'll be happy to put
them, with my answers, up here to help others out as well].
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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