Monday, September 29, 2014

M. Bridget Cook, author of The Witness Wore Red

Author Bio:
M. Bridget Cook-Burch is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author best known for her riveting tales of transformation. Her gift is her courage to bring light into the darkest places of humanity, and illuminating paths that awaken readers to their own magnificent journey. Her powerful work has been showcased on Oprah, CNN, Good Morning America, and in People among others. Co-author of best-selling Shattered Silence, the Untold Story of a Serial Killer’s Daughter with Melissa G. Moore, and Skinhead Confessions: From Hate to Hope with former neo-Nazi TJ Leyden, Bridget’s stories continue to rock readers around the world.

Bridget’s 2013 book The Witness Wore Red, tells the astonishing life story of a woman who escaped from Warren Jeffs and the insidious organized crime ring of the FLDS church; and who has become a powerful advocate for the dignity of victims of human trafficking worldwide.
In writing as in life, Bridget loves to refute stereotypes. After operating two transportation companies, she is now writing, speaking and training full-time as CEO of Inspired Legacy, LLC.  Bridget enjoys her four amazing children and more pets than her beloved husband can handle. An internationally sought-after speaker and activist, Bridget wows audiences on the subjects of radical transformation, conscious business, and how to leave the footprints of an inspired legacy.

Title: The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice
Author: Rebecca Musser with M. Bridget Cook
ISBN: 978-1-4555-2783-0
Page count: 338
Genre: Memoir
Price: hard cover $26.00, soft cover $17.00, Kindle $9.99, Audible $19.95, Audio CD $30.00

Tell us about your book:
Rebecca Musser grew up in fear, concealing her family's polygamous lifestyle from the "dangerous" outside world. Covered head-to-toe in strict, modest clothing, she received a rigorous education at Alta Academy, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' school headed by Warren Jeffs. Always seeking to be an obedient Priesthood girl, in her teens she became the nineteenth wife of her people's prophet: 85-year-old Rulon Jeffs, Warren's father. Finally sickened by the abuse she suffered and saw around her, she pulled off a daring escape and sought to build a new life and family.

The church, however, had a way of pulling her back in-and by 2007, Rebecca had no choice but to take the witness stand against the new prophet of the FLDS in order to protect her little sisters and other young girls from being forced to marry at shockingly young ages. The following year, Rebecca and the rest of the world watched as a team of Texas Rangers raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch, a stronghold of the FLDS. Rebecca's subsequent testimony would reveal the horrific secrets taking place behind closed doors of the temple, sending their leaders to prison for years, and Warren Jeffs for life.

THE WITNESS WORE RED is a gripping account of one woman's struggle to escape the perverse embrace of religious fanaticism and sexual slavery, and a courageous story of hope and transformation.

How long did it take to write the book?
Usually it takes me about a year to write a book, but this one was still taking place as I was conducting interviews.  It took over 2 ½ years.

What inspired you to write the book?
Just talking with Rebecca Musser over the phone, I knew she was a woman of great integrity, and almost unfathomable courage.  To do what was right and stand up against an entire population of family and people to protect young girls was unthinkable in that culture.  And yet she did it.  Her courage, tenacity, sass, and foresight is truly amazing.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
We were two single moms at the time, and it took a lot for us to be able to get together.  She was attempting to support her two little ones, I was supporting three (a bit older, but mostly still at home) and we had to do most of the interviewing and eventually the writing in the wee hours of the morning, before our kids stirred, and even as we were getting them off to school before work, etc.  So for many, many months in a row, we talked from 4:30am until 7:30am.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
The power of just one person to change the world.  The power of courage, of love, and of Genshai.

Excerpt from book:
“Please,” I begged, tears in my eyes, “Please do not do this to me.” Warren knew—he knew I struggled with marital relations! And still he was forcing me.
Suddenly the fire that I was known for welled up inside of me, and I could not stop it. My head pounded with the heat.
“I will not say ‘yes’ to something I don't agree with, Warren.”
“You'll be blessed if you do,” he said flippantly, shrugging. Then he turned to look at some papers on the side of his desk as if he had become bored by the discussion.
“I’ve heard that before!” I snapped, my tone insinuating many things. I couldn’t believe my audacity, but there it was before me. My father and mother. Uncle Fred and my mother. My marriage to Rulon. Elissa’s situation. The list of supposed blessings went on and on and led only to heartbreak and denial.
Finally, Warren looked up.
“You know that this is what God and Father want,” he said.
“No, I do not. I do not know that this is what God and Father want for me.”
Warren’s eyes turned to steel, filled with cold malice.
“I-WILL-BREAK-YOU,” he said, with deliberate pronunciation on each word. “And I will train you to be a good wife. You have had too much freedom for too long, Becky. No matter who you marry, I will ALWAYS have jurisdiction over you.”
The reality of his words sank in. I was enslaved to Warren Jeffs, who had just claimed my life, my marriage, my body, and my soul. The buffer of Rulon gone, any rights had disappeared just as surely as if I were bound, hands and feet. I thought of all the times I had disobeyed Warren. He would show no mercy now.
When I rose to leave, he stopped me.
“I want to know where you are at all times, Mother Becky,” he declared. “I want to know who you are talking to. If I don’t know, do NOT go.”
 “Please, do not do this to me, Warren,” I beseeched one last time. “I'm begging you.” He looked up at me for a less than a second.
“You WILL be remarried. One week from today.”

Where can we go to buy your book?
Barnes & Noble, Hachette and Amazon, as well as Kindle and Audible

Any other links or info you'd like to share?

Book Trailer Link:

M. Bridget Cook will be at the St. George Book Festival October 24-25, 2014. See all the events and sign-up at

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