The Trouble With Boys: A Surprising Report Card On Our Sons, Their Problems at School and What Parents & Educators Must Do, Peg Tyre

BoysFrom Peg Tyre’s website:

…The ferocity of the response from the academic feminists was telling and I began to understand why talking about the underachievement of boys can be so difficult. My book, The Trouble With Boys is an attempt to frame a discussion about education and gender in a new way. I am not interested in rehashing a debate about gender politics left over from 1978. We can no longer talk about gender and education like a seesaw—when girls are up, boys are down and visa versa.

Yes, the struggle for equal rights for women continues—and there is much work to be done, particularly when it comes to equity issues in the workplace. Yes, there need to be more women in technology and computer fields and more women in corporate board rooms and in Congress. But we don’t get there by ignoring the very real struggles of schoolboys. Right now, we have 2.5 million more college-going females than college-going males. The growing education gap between men and women is having, and will continue to have, massive implications for our children and our children’s children. My book is an attempt to take a serious look at what is ailing our sons and what parents and educators must do.

Carrie:  What inspired you to write The Trouble With Boys: A Surprising Report Card On Our Sons, Their Problems at School andPeg1 What Parents & Educators Must Do?

Peg:  I’m an investigative reporter and the mother of sons. I see, and I think a lot of parents, see the ways in which school is bad for boys. I  wanted to write a book for smart, empowered parents of sons that will help them get the most out of their son’s education.

Carrie:  Tell us about The Trouble With Boys.

Peg:  The book provides tons of information on why you son might be having trouble — and what you can do about it. It is not anti-teacher, anti-school, or anti-mom. I believe we raise and educate our children the way we do for some very good reasons. But I think, taken on the whole, the changes in our families, in our schools and in our society and driving boys a little crazy.

Lily Koppel, author of The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal


**Be sure to check out the audio interview posted 8/18/08 & Hear about The Read Leather Diary straight from the author’s lips

Carrie:  What inspired you to write this book?

Lily:  Ever since I climbed into a dumpster outside of my apartment building and rescued a 75-year-old diary, kept by a young woman in the 1930s, I strongly believed that this story was an important one to tell. THE RED LEATHER DIARY: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal (HarperCollins), is about my discovery of Florence Wolfson’s diary, the amazing life that is portrayed in its pages and the return of the diary to its owner at 90.

Carrie:  Tell us about THE RED LEATHER DIARY.

Lily:  The journal painted a vivid picture of  1930s  New York—horseback riding through Central Park, summer excursions to the Catskills, and an obsession with a famous avant-garde actress. Its nearly two thousand entries, written in faded black ink, captured the passions and ambitions of an intensely creative young woman interested in carving out a place for herself. From 1929 to 1934, not a single day’s entry had been skipped. Brief, breathless dispatches filled every page of the five-year chronicle. Compelled by the hopes and heartaches captured in the pages, I set out to find the diary’s owner, my only clue the inscription on the frontispiece—“This book belongs to . . .Florence Wolfson.” A chance phone call from a private investigator led me to Florence, a 90-year-old woman living with her husband of sixty-seven years. Reunited with her diary, Florence journeyed back to the girl she had been, rediscovering a lost self that had burned with artistic fervor.

Carrie:  What is the primary message you’d like your readers to take away from this book?

Lily:  The book speaks to the significance and “private truths” of all of our lives.

Carrie:  Tell us about your writing process.

LilyFlorenceLily:  THE RED LEATHER DIARY was about excavating a life. The 2,000 entries hinted at a mystery to be reconstructed. My meetings with Florence were delivered into a tape recorder and layered into my description of Florence’s New York and our meeting when she was ninety. We joked that it was like a sexy TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE.

I was like an actress taking on a role. My job was to see the world through Florence’s eyes. The diary was my script. I remember riding down Fifth Avenue in a cab, staring out of the window at Central Park, imagining Florence. My boyfriend turned to me and said, “I think you feel more at home in the thirties.” He was right.

I Brake for Meltdowns: How to Handle the Most Exasperating Behavior of Your 2-to 5-Year-Old, Michelle Nicholasen, (Barbara O’Neal, co-author) Audio Interview

**Scroll down and click on the gray arrow to listen to the interview

I was referred to Michelle Nicholasen from Erin of Manic Mommies. Initially, Erin had asked me to read and review I Brake for Meltdowns: How to Handle the Most Exasperating Behavior of Your 2–to 5–Year-Old and once I started reading, I realized the incredible resource the book is for parents of young children. So, I decided to ask Michelle to be a guest on the show ~ Lucky for you, she agreed.

I Brake for Meltdowns is like the What to Expect When You’re Expecting for the toddler years, because you can look up specific behavior and find strategies and suggestions for how to handle them–practical advice you can use right in those moments when your kids are driving you CRAZY.

Michelle’s 75–year old co-author, Barbara O’Neal, has had decades of experience tending to children as a Pre-school Executive Director ~ Barbara’s wisdom inspired Michelle to chronicle her countless parenting suggestions and they collaborated to write I Brake for Meltdowns—a reference guide for 2–5 year olds, organized by behavior rather than the “usual” developmental milestones.


We chat about:

  • *Different kids = different personalities = different parenting styles/strategies
  • *Developing a Boundary Hierarchy
  • *Kids with poop problems? “Glycolax to the rescue

The book also covers:

  • *Social graces (or lack thereof)
  •  *Sleep Issues
  • *Eating (or refusing to)
  • *Potty Training Woes

Dr. Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., L.M.F.T., author of Money, Sex, and Kids and The Commuter Marriage (audio interview)

Fair Warning:  We talk about SEX, Baby…
So, you may want to listen with your earbuds if younger ears are nearby. **Scroll down and click on gray arrow to listen.

TinaDr. Tina Tessina Ph.D., L.M.F.T, aka Dr. Romance, has been married 26 years and has over 30 years counseling experience. Join us as we have a casual honest conversation about money, sex, and kids–all possible stumbling blocks to a healthy happy marriage.

Money, Sex, and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage  explores how to develop a relationship infrastructure to help us view our marriage as a partnership and learn to talk to one another and bring up difficult subjects in a way that won’t end up in a fight. Dr. Tessina offers insight, real-life scenarios, and practical solutions to the everyday challenges of married life. She says, “With a little information and practice, you can become a successful, happy couple. You’ll learn to understand why you and your partner argue and the remaining skills you need to enhance your relationship and transform your struggles into working together to create a smoothly working partnership. You’ll be able to resolve your issues about money, sex, and kids, and move on to having a workable, satisfying relationship, with minimal or no arguing or fighting.”

Dr. Tessina’s Words of Wisdom:

  • “Part of marriage is teaching each other–you get to teach each other what works for you.”
  • “If you develop partnership, your marriage is gonna work. If you develop an antagonistic relationship, then your marriage will struggle…and eventually you’ll probably get tired of the struggle.”
  • “Think about your struggles as “problems to be solved” rather than who’s right and who’s wrong.”
  • “Sex is supposed to be fun. It’s not supposed to be a drag.”

Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, Mignon Fogarty (audio interview)

Grammar Girl**Scroll down and click the gray arrow to listen to the interview

As a technical writer and editor, Mignon Fogarty realized she repeatedly encountered the same grammatical errors. While sitting in a coffee shop one morning, a light bulb moment led Mignon to creating the Grammar Girl concept–a weekly podcast with memory tricks and fixes for the most common grammatical mishaps. Little did she know, what started out as a hobby for Mignon would quickly turn into a whole new career path.

Within a couple weeks, Grammar Girl topped iTunes featured podcasts and just a few months later, the Wall Street Journal chose Grammar Girl as its web pick of the day, and then…Mignon found herself sitting on Oprah Winfrey’s coveted couch–What a whirlwind! Can’t you just picture Grammar Girl as a super hero, complete with cape and tights, flying high above to rid the world of our grammar woes?

Since then, Grammar Girl evolved into an entire Quick and Dirty network with a variety of podcasts providing tips on parenting, etiquette, and personal productivity.

GGbookOn July 8th Mignon’s first in-print book, Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, hit bookshelves and online book distributors. The book is a writing companion MUST for everyone from business professionals, bloggers, published authors, to folks who wouldn’t dream of writing anything beyond email to co-workers or friends. Listen in on the interview to hear the author talk about the book and her grammar quest in her own words.

Jason Van Orden ~ Community Magnet (audio interview)

**Scroll down and click gray arrow to listen

Jason-pi-avatarJason Van Orden is considered a new media expert and a pro at creating community. He hosts Podcast Underground, co-hosts Internet Business Mastery, wrote Promoting Your Podcast, and provides exceptional content on creating community in his latest Community Magnet series. See the links below to access his websites and priceless content.

Today, I explore with Jason how business owners, politicians, life coaches, authors, even hobbyists—virtually anyone—can build brand-recognition and community connection through optimizing new media. Jason suggests providing consistent and valuable content via the following avenues:

  • an interactive website,
  • blog posts,
  • podcasts,
  • e-newsletters,
  • forums,
  • premium memberships, and
  • webinars 

“Trust is the foundation of relationships and relationships are the foundation of the community,” says Jason. According to a recent Eidelman survey, purchasers make decisions based on trust of both peers and experts, so Jason recommends branding one’s self as an expert and then providing a place where your audience can interact with their peers.

He Loves Me, He Loves Me NOT, a memoir of finding faith, hope, and happily ever after by Trish Ryan (review / ruminations)

TrishWhen I first read the book jacket on He Loves Me, He Loves Me NOT (HLMHLMN), I thought I was in for some light-hearted chick lit or a God on a Harley type ride. Trish Ryan’s desperate hubby hunt turned faith quest ended up far more meaningful than finding Prince Charming.

Spirituality/Religion can be a heavy topic and can put many a reader on the defense, but Trish reveals her journey with such candor and humor, I, for one, walked away appreciating her process. 

In her twenties, Trish threw around the common disclaimer that she was “spiritual, but not religious.” She embraced everything from A Course in Miracles, astrology, tarot cards, feng shui, crystals, chakras, Native American spirituality–you name it, she tried it. If she hadn’t already made her choice, you better bet, Trish would be first in line to buy Oprah’s Book Club pick, Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose.  With painful self-dissection and heartache, all that changed…

Even if you’re not exploring enlightenment, you can glean clarity from Trish’s memoir. I appreciate her willingness to allow us a glimpse into her spiritual and psychological trenches–she admits her insecurities and speaks openly about the dreaded “D-word,” depression. Don’t be detered–HLMHLMN is by no means a downer. Think Sex in The City meets Women of Faith  ~ Trish’s relentless self-effacing humor inspires quick page turning.

I doubt we’ll find many people, especially women, who won’t find themselves relating to Trish, at least on some level. She reminds me of our tendency to project our ideals onto our latest man crush–the biggest trap we can set for ourselves. Instead of seeing others–specifically, prospective mates–for what they truly are, we throw our notions of perfection at them in hopes they’ll stick, so we’ll finally find our elusive soul mate glazed in shiny flawlessness. Then, “Life Happens,” and inevitably things heat up and that glaze begins to melt, slowly dripping off to reveal the faulty individual underneath…and we’re left with our disappointment wondering “What happened? Why did THEY change? I appreciate Trish’s comitment to digging deep in HLMHLMN to determine that the hole she thought she could fill with a man truly could not be satiated by someone of this world.

I must admit, I was left wanting her to explore just a bit more:

  1. WHY she had such a deep sense of insecurity in the first place ~ From her account, she comes from a strong Catholic in-tact loving family–anything BUT dysfunctional compared to today’s standards–so where does this deep internal abyss originate? Without God, does that unfillable hole reside in us all? 
  2. Like Trish, in my twenties, I fell into the trap of thinking my boyfriend could complete me . On page 26 of HLMHLMN she admits: Dating Josh marked an evolution for me: it was my first experience with lying about who I was and what I wanted, of guessing what a guy wanted and then pretending to be eactly that.” That was me. I didn’t know myself or what I wanted and I thought finding a guy would fill that void–in was unconscious, unintentional. After reading HLMHLMN, I found myself wanting Trish to explore her own individual passions and purpose apart from her quest for landing a man. Hmmm, maybe visiting her website will provide those answers. You can also visit Trish’s Forty Days of Faith website.

Just a sidenote:  As a young twenty-something “yankee,” living very much like Trish–very defensive to condescending “Christianese.” I had a number of Born Agains hit me with well-intended phrases like “Don’t you want to be washed in the blood of the lamb?” and “My heart is burdened for your salvation” ~ Huh? That, quite frankly, felt far from loving–only sanctimonious–and turned me OFF from Christianity. It’s no wonder Christianity gets a bad rap these days. Conversely, I think Trish does a superb job of articulating the Christian tenets in a nonthreatening conversational tone–very much like a discussion you may have with a nonjudgmental loving girlfriend. Admittedly, I’ve lived in the southern Bible Belt for nearly fifteen years now and embrace the Christian perspective, so maybe I’m immune at this point, but I’d be interested to hear how you receive Trish’s message.

What are your impressions? Let’s start a conversation…

Bottom line: HLMHLMN obviously evokes much introspection. I recommend it and would love to hear your thoughts on the book and the points I’ve raised in this post.

Call (206) 309-7318 or leave a comment below to share! I have one copy of HLMHLMN that I’ll throw in the giveaway hat…Let me know if you want to be entered to win or click the link below and buy NOW.

Playing with the Enemy, Gary Moore

Listen NowWWII German POWs and Baseball ~ Quite honestly, not subjects this gal would usually pick for a read…I’m so glad I did and I encourage you to do the same. Don’t just pick it up, give it as a gift this Father’s Day weekend.Playing with the Enemy is truly a story about second chances, not only in baseball, but in life. It doesn’t have the fairytale ending you may expect, but ultimately one much richer. Talking with Gary Moore, the author of Playing with the Enemy, was refreshing. He’s a humble man who has honored his father by telling his secret life story. Imagine being a teenage boy, finding a letter in your dad’s sock drawer proving he’d been signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates—and being sworn to silence—the subject never broached again until just before that father passes away.

Playing with the Enemy, is being produced into a movie by Gerald R. Molen (Schindler’s List, Jurrasic Park, Rain Man) and Toby MooreToby (CSI: Miami, Law & Order), Gary’s son, will play Gene Moore, Gary’s father. Gary even gets to dabble his toes in acting and play the part of his grandfather. “It’s become a conversation between generations,” Gary says about the experience, “and I feel truly blessed.” 

Playing with the Enemy is not just about baseball. It’s about redemption and relationships. Reading this book and hearing Gary’s story from his own lips, encourages reflection of relationship. Don’t let another day pass without telling your loved ones What You Need to Say…before it’s too late.

Click the arrow below to listen as Gary depicts the details of his father’s life and the “Greatest Generation” of our time. To have future shows delivered to your computer for free, subscribe on iTunes.

Please call with your favorite Father’s Day story or a comment about the book, interview, and/or show 206-309-7318 or email

Thanks to Natalie Brown for her song You Gotta Believe from the Podsafe Music Network

Debba Haupert, author of The New Book of Image Transfer

Transfer by Debba HaupertI met Debba Haupert at Podcamp Nashville. She’s an extraordinary woman and the creator of ~ A place for inspiration, appreciation, and celebration of girlfriends. Little did I know at the time, Debba is also the author of a popular craft book on image transfer. I’m honored to help her promote her book and her efforts in new media. Take a moment to read our conversation and if you’re interested in hearing her turn the tables and interview me, check out Girlfriendology (on iTunes).

Carrie:  What inspired you to write this book?

Debba:  After leaving a corporate job, I followed my creative passion and went into the craft/hobby industry. With a marketing background, I soon was working with craft companies on newsletters, promotions, and PR. I started working with Lazertran, an image transfer paper company out of Wales. At an industry tradeshow, I taught a class on doing image transfer. The acquisitions editor for Lark Books was in the class and asked me to write a book on it! I will add that the product is very inspiring. It does allow you to put a custom image on pretty much any surface – ceramics, paper, wood, glass, fabric, etc. It was a blast to write the book and get to see what new techniques I could come up with!

Carrie:   What is the primary message you’d like your readers to take away from this book?

DebbaDebba:   There isn’t enough instruction and inspiration available on television any more – the Carol Duvall Show (craft show on HGTV and DIY) is no longer taping.* There aren’t any general crafts magazines so books are the best resource for technique and inspiration. I was able to demonstrate some of the projects from the book on the Carol Duvall show and in magazines which was a wonderful way to show people how to combine technology (image creation – photoshop, using photographs, etc.) with craft (surfaces and techniques).

Carrie:   Tell us about your writing process.

Debba:  Funny, it seems like writing a craft book would be easy and fun. It was fun, but it wasn’t easy! You have to go back and forth with the editor to approve projects, send in chapters on an aggressive timeline, etc. One of the fun parts was the photo shoot. I went to Asheville, NC for a week to take all the images for the book. The Lark Books editors and photo crew were fabulous, especially the talented Terry Taylor–That means you have to have multiple sets of projects in various stages of completion. If the photo doesn’t work out, you have to have another example to use, so there is a lot of prep before the photo shoot.

Carrie:   The process of writing a book is not easy, to say the least. What motivated you to keep going, especially in those times when it was far from convenient to write?

Dr. Carmen Harra, The Trinity of Health

Listen NowI’ve had this interview with Dr. Carmen Harra in my “back pocket” for a while now. She is an interesting and accomplished woman–a renowned psychologist, metaphysical intuitive, licensed hypnotherapist, astrologist, numerologist, singer/songwriter, and radio personality. We ended up jumping from topic to topic–addictions, negative emotions, diet, nutrition & health, recipes, alternative medicine, politics, spirituality, future predictions, unconditional love–and before I knew it, we had close to an hour of recording. Some of her predictions were mind-blowing. Wait ’til you hear who she predicts to win the presidential 2008 election! It will be interesting to look back in November and see if she’s right!My intent was to split this into two shows with a separate book excerpt, but as is often the case with my life, it got crazy-busy. I couldn’t find the time to do the appropriate editing before leaving on my mission trip to Africa, so I’ve gone ahead and posted the interview in its entirety. You are welcome to listen to it in small chunks if that helps, but I hope it tides you over until my return.Dr. Harra and I come from different backgrounds and I’ve had little exposure to some of the spiritual beliefs she embraces. That being said, I respect and appreciate her loving spirit. See her website for her detailed bio.

A little side story for you:
I initially met Dr. Carmen Harra on a talk show and asked her what her thoughts were about my then career path and the other Internet talk show I participate in,
TheDivaCast. I’ve been a freelance writer, but at that particular time, I was working as a Patient Liaison and hadn’t mentioned my writing experience. Dr. Carmen asked me if I had written a book. Though I had started three separate novels, I was embarrassed to admit I hadn’t finished one. She told me she saw me behind a microphone promoting a book. I left her thinking, “Geese, I better get cracking on one of these books, so I can get out on my book tour!” Ha. This was back in October 2007 before I ever had an inkling of starting this author interview talk show, Words To Mouth.

A few months later, Tom Royce, a friend and mentor of mine, suggested I merge my writing and recording experience to create an author interview blog & talk show and I thought, “Why not?” It wasn’t until another friend, Marilyn Haas of arts & expressions magazine, came up with my logo and I looked at it for the first time that I remembered the words of Dr. Carmen Harra ~ GOOSE BUMPS. Take a peek at that logo in the upper right-hand side of my website. Dr. Carmen Harra knew on some level about Words to Mouth before I ever dreamed about it…To me, no matter your belief stystem, this is FASCINATING stuff!


**I will post our latest FREE book winners when I return from Africa.

Subscribe on iTunes to have the show delivered to your computer for free.

Thank you to Natalie Brown for You Gotta Believe from the Podsafe Music Network.

Find out more about Dr. Carmen Harra and her books at

  • Subscribe

    Subscribe in iTunes

    Podacast RSS Feed

  • About WordstoMouth

    Carrie created Words-to-Mouth—a blog & companion Internet talk show introducing new book releases and their authors to a community interested in excellent writing that may not  necessarily top the New York Times Bestseller List—Yet! To learn more about Carrie, click here