Friday, December 4, 2009

Blog Tour: Pearl Girls


A pearl is formed when a piece of grit, or another foreign substance, gets stuck inside of an oyster. In pain, the oyster secretes nacre, which covers the grit. Ultimately, the grit - initial source of pain - transforms into a beautiful pearl.

Using the image of a pearl, found within an oyster, Margaret McSweeney has edited a collection of more than 60 stories or "pearls" that tell how women have transformed unexpected  pain into beautiful pearls filled with God's grace.

Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, features stories by several well-known authors including Debbie Macomber, Melody Carlson, Robin Jones Gunn, DiAnn Mills, Susan May Warren and Shaunti Feldhahn.

Each story delves into their pain, to show the "pearl" that emerged through the Grace of God.

"We are all Pearl Girls," writes McSweeney. "Each of us has been touched by God's gift of love and grace, and its a gift that I want to share with others."

McSweeney said one of her first pearls - the gift of her name - was given to her from her parents.

"Margaret means 'precious pearl,'" McSweeney said. "So perhaps this is what I was always supposed to do.

"My heart's prayer is that Pearl Girls will be a blessing to others - to the women who contribute their literary talent to the Pearl Girls projects; to the readers who are inspired and comforted by the life experiences shared through these projects and to the women and children who will benefit from the proceeds given by Pearl Girls to various charities."

McSweeney said after the first Pearl Girls tea in Atlanta, she went to her brother, Claude's home, to help sort through their parents' boxes in his basement.

"It was an emotional experience and tedious process to discover what was in each box, to decide what to do with each item and to discard those belongings which we needed to let go," she explained. "After several long hours of sorting, I received an incredible hug from heaven - a confirmation that Pearl Girls is something that is meant to be. I discovered a three strand necklace of painted pearls belonging to my grandmother from the early 1900s! Isn't that amazing?"

What I Think - The Review
I devoured this book when it arrived in my mail box. I read the first story, and then began to flip through, first looking for nuggets by authors I recognized, then those by others.

McSweeney has gathered together a variety of stories that carry with them numerous life changing moments - all showing how God worked in their lives, despite of circumstances.

I loved this book! It's full of encouragement, hope and inspiration. I'm so glad it dropped into my life.

Want to Read An Excerpt? Click here

The purpose of Pearl Girls is two fold:
1) Connecting and
2) Collaborating for charity.

This collection of "pearl" stories by women from all walks of life will encourage the reader. In these short essays we see the evidence of God's grace in their lives. All proceeds will benefit a safe house in the Chicago suburbs and women and children with AIDS in Africa. (Keep reading, the projects are explained below).

To learn more about the charities Pearl Girls contributes to, visit the website: www.pearlgirls.info

Beyond the Pages: It’s about Connecting Hearts and Souls to Impact the World.
Did you know that McSweeney doesn’t keep a penny of any proceeds from the book.  When getting the word out about Pearl Girls, please let people know that 100% of the royalties go directly to two charities:

--WINGS (women in need growing stronger). The proceeds will help fund a Safe House in the Chicago suburbs. It costs $50 a night to provide safe shelter for a woman and her children. During this economy, WINGS is receiving even more phone calls for a safe place to stay. Already, the Pearl Girls have provided 60 nights with the advance royalties.  www.wingsprogram.com

--Hands of Hope. The proceeds will help build wells in Uganda for school children. Can you imagine a child at school without a water fountain in the hallway where he or she can grab a quick sip of water in between classes on a hot day? These children have to drink from puddles and other water sources which carry diseases and parasites.  It costs $12,000 to build a well in Uganda. Already, the Pearl Girls have provided funds to build a fourth of a well.  www.handsofhopeonline.org

Buy the Book: At Amazon.


About Margaret McSweeney
Margaret McSweeny lives with her husband, David and two teenage daughters in the Chicago suburbs.  After earning a master's degree in international business from the University of South Carolina, McSweeney moved to New York City to work at a large bank where she met David. She became a vice president in the corporate finance division of a New York City bank and worked there from 1986-1993.

McSweeney is the editor of Pearl Girls, author of A Mother's Heart Knows and co-author of Go Back and Be Happy.  Charity and community involvement are very important to McSweeney.  She has served on the board of directors for WINGS (Women in Need Growing Stronger) for over six years.

McSweeney has been featured on Greg Wheatly's "Prime Time America," TLN's "Aspiring Women," and LeSea's "The Harvest Show." McSweeney writes freelance articles for The Daily Herald, the largest suburban Chicago newspaper. Notable interviews include Wolfgang Puck, Thomas Kinkade, Susan Branch and Dr. John Gottman.

For more information please visit www.pearlgirls.info

More about Pearl Girls

Pearl Girls from Michael J Garvey on Vimeo.


Spread the Word about Post-a-Pearl!
Inspired by the many women who opened their lives and shared their stories in Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, we have created sister site, Post-a-Pearl.

This is a place to continue the connection and encouragement the book began. McSweeney hopes readers will take the opportunity to connect through the Post-a-Pearl site.

Please post your own Pearl story and reach out to share your own story with others. Collaborating is an important purpose of Pearl Girls. We connect to make a difference in the world.You can find all the info and instructions on the website.

Pearl Girls button
Get your button here

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Litfuse Publicity Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

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