Sarah McCoy's 5 Things I'd Tell the Teen Me

Todays' guest: Sarah McCoy Why we love her: The Baker's Daughter is one of the best books we read this year. We've always admired Sarah from afar and are so glad she's hanging out with us today!

Her latest: The Baker's Daughter (in paperback today!)

The scoop on it: 1945, Elsie Schmidt is a naive teenager, as eager for her first sip of champagne as she is for her first kiss. She and her family have been protected from the worst of the terror and desperation overtaking her country by a high-ranking Nazi who wishes to marry her. So when an escaped Jewish boy arrives on Elsie’s doorstep in the dead of night on Christmas Eve, Elsie understands that opening the door would put all she loves in danger.

Sixty years later, in El Paso, Texas, Reba Adams is trying to file a feel-good Christmas piece for the local magazine. Reba is perpetually on the run from memories of a turbulent childhood, but she’s been in El Paso long enough to get a full-time job and a fiancé, Riki Chavez. Riki, an agent with the U.S. Border Patrol, finds comfort in strict rules and regulations, whereas Reba feels that lines are often blurred.

Reba’s latest assignment has brought her to the shop of an elderly baker across town. The interview should take a few hours at most, but the owner of Elsie’s German Bakery is no easy subject. Reba finds herself returning to the bakery again and again, anxious to find the heart of the story. For Elsie, Reba’s questions are a stinging reminder of darker times: her life in Germany during that last bleak year of WWII. And as Elsie, Reba, and Riki’s lives become more intertwined, all are forced to confront the uncomfortable truths of the past and seek out the courage to forgive.

Our thoughts: A truly beautiful story.

Fun fact: Sarah also blogs! Check it out here.

Giveaway: 5 copies! Leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winners after 3pm on Monday, August 20th.

Where you can read more about Sarah: Her website, Facebook and Twitter.


1. Listen to your momma. Wash your face with soap at night only. Rinse with water in the morning. Stop with the facial scrubs: they’re just making your skin breakout more. Stop with the tweezers: you should not be drawing eyebrows beside your grandma. Stop with the tanning salons: blushing purple is going to cost you.

2. Hug your baby brothers even when they push you away. Let your mom, dad and grandparents hug you even when you do the same. Never choose the mall with ‘cool kids’ over board games with the family. You’ll be clicking your heels for the rest of your life: there’s no place like family.

3. Listen to your momma. You’ll get further on grit, drive, dreaming big and working as hard as you possibly can than talent alone will ever hand you. She’s not being critical when she tells you this. She’s preparing you, making you stronger.

4. That guy you think you’re utterly in love with? He’s going to toss your heart around like a basketball and leave you deflated and sorry. But I know you. Nothing I say is going to stop you from bouncing into his hands. In fact, you’ll need to go through this despair. It’ll toughen you up and help you know without a shadow of a doubt when you’re really in love. It’s coming soon. So wipe your eyes. That jerk isn’t even worth the smeared mascara.

5. Listen to your momma. You don’t have to agree with what she says now or ever, but she loves you and she’s been around longer than you have. She’s wiser than you want to concede. I get that. You’re two firecrackers lit under one roof. Hold firm to what you feel passionately about. That’ll do you well in the future. But hush for one minute and listen to me, listen to her. Listen.

Thanks, Sarah!


Liz & Lisa