Whirlwind reviews for “Hurricane”

My book has now received twenty-three reviews online. 22 of 23 have given it five stars. The screenshot, below, shows my rating and the latest review . . . and the photo of the hand—thanks, Sue!—shows where I grew up in Michigan (it’s a book reference).

The review might be too small to read. Here it is: This is a book that educates people about being transgender. I loved it! As a Christian, I appreciate the author’s sincerity and honesty in relating his experiences while maintaining and expressing his Christian faith. This book should be read by everyone, especially those who condemn transgender people based on their Christian beliefs.

To read the rest of the reviews, click on the book, below. Even better, you may purchase it today, either as a paperback or an ebook.

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While I hope to sell many books, there are some folks I can’t ask to shell out bucks for it. On July 7, Julie and I attended the annual Eilers family reunion. I took a bunch of books with me to Michigan. Indeed, as I toted a handful to the reunion’s picnic area, I inadvertently snapped a pic:

Announcing that I would be honored if anyone took my book, I set a stack on an end table. After we ate, folks began to grab them. I continued to refill the stack. I was pleased that fifteen were taken . . . and many folks asked me sign theirs.

One cousin zipped through it in a few days. Before you read her reaction, know that when she asked me to sign her copy she requested I note how she’s my best, most wonderful cousin. After her review, I’m not arguing.

She posted on Facebook: You two are amazing and I love you both and admire you so much! Sooo who will play you guys in the movie? Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow?

I have a call in to Matt’s people. I’ll let you know how that goes.

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Help me promote

Of the few dozen folks from whom I’ve received feedback regarding my book, readers can’t put down my book, they find it riveting, and they state this is a story that needs to be told.

That all is as wonderful as I could possibly ask!

And now I will ask more.

I don’t have a publisher behind me. While I am working on in-person promotion and selling in bookstores, those things will take weeks and months to accomplish.

For now, you can help. If you believe in my story, please promote my book.

Who is A Roller Coaster Through a Hurricane for?

  • It’s for those who have a family member or friend who is transgender, who has transitioned, or who is struggling with gender dysphoria.
  • It’s for those who are in the midst of the gender identity conflict, who can benefit from a sympathetic voice, who can use a book to share with those they are aching to tell: “Read this. What Greg went through is what I’m experiencing.”
  • It’s for those who have transitioned, who are dealing with the fall-out, who could hand the book to their loved one and say, “Read how Greg was rejected and cast out. Read how deep goes the hurt. This is what I’m going through, what you’ve done to me.”
  • It’s for Christians, who could use a faith-lift, to see how a fellow Christian was strengthened by the Lord, who walked through the valley of the shadow of death and now enjoys green pastures.
  • It’s also for Christians who reject all things transgender, who need to be educated, to have their eyes opened and their hearts poked so that they might realize we’re all in this together.
  • It’s for the spouses of trans folks, for whom Julie can serve as a model to help them abide with their marital vows.
  • And, it’s for everyone who enjoys a human interest story, who can identify with a person who’s been put through the paces of suffering, of learning, of growing, of triumphing in the face of adversity.

With that, I kindly ask you to please share with your family and friends.

  • Click Share on the Facebook post of this, or share one of my several posts regarding my book.
  • Share a link to my website: https://gregeilers.com/
  • If you have read the book, review it on your Facebook page.
  • Share the link to my Amazon book page (see the end of the post for that).
  • Bloggers, share it on your blog.
  • Talk with whomever fits any of the seven It’s for categories.
  • Do what several have told me they have already done: purchase it for someone who would benefit from reading it.

If you’ve read it, I always appreciate your feedback. If you are an Amazon customer, you can write a brief review on my book page. The more reviews, the more the book will be promoted on Amazon.

Thank you, friends!

My book is now in print!

A Roller Coaster Through a Hurricane—One Wild Ride: My Journey with Gender Identity is now available in print. You may order the paperback edition here:

The back cover copy:

Greg Eilers was at the center of privilege: a respected minister in a conservative church, a middle-class male in a rural community, a family man with a wife and kids. But he harbored a deep secret—a lifetime of questioning his gender identity. In 2013, the questioning had morphed into crushing gender dysphoria, and Eilers found himself in a battle to save his life and sanity. He also found himself in a conundrum: gender identity issues don’t fit with a traditional life and conservative values. How could a man who followed all the rules, and made the church his life’s work, be transgender?In 2015, Eilers transitioned to female to resolve the internal struggle. The road to inner peace, though, was rife with sacrifices. Transitioning took him from the job he loved, put his relationships to the test, and cast him to the margins of society. Scorn replaced privilege. Then, 2018 brought a development just as confounding as 2013’s struggle, and Eilers faced yet another transition.Through it all Eilers held firm to his faith, and found room in the Gospel for an outcast such as himself. He resolved to speak out—to share his story so others would know they’re not alone, and to speak up—to educate the public about transgender and bring dignity to a highly misunderstood group of people.A Roller Coaster Through a Hurricane is a memoir, a unique transgender experience, and an inspiration to the Christian church to lovingly minister to transgender persons.

What readers are saying

17 of 18 readers have given the book FIVE STAR reviews. Snippets from some of their reviews:

  • Richard wrote: [Greg’s] superb and very readable style draws you in and tells you stories – important and true stories of human pain and resilience.
  • Colleen commented: When I started reading this story, I could not put it down. And now, I’m reading through for the second time. I am entranced all the more.
  • Jocelyn said: I had the hardest time putting this book down. I really enjoyed learning about a condition I don’t know much about and getting to know a genuine and wonderful human.

gregeilers.com

Introducing the website that could only belong to me! Yes, Virginia, there really is a https://gregeilers.com/

With the publication of my book, “A Roller Coaster Through a Hurricane,” and my goal of educating regarding gender dysphoria and being transgender through the presentation I have developed, the aptly named “Transanswers,” the time was ripe for me to have a website with my name on it.

The website provides an easy CONTACT ME page, where anyone can email me directly. Indeed, I’ve learned that it works. A person, who purchased my book, used it to contact me, and we’ve now begun a conversation.

Over time, I will build the site. Right now, you will find on it a link to my book and information regarding Transanswers. There’s also a nifty photo album of my life—from my youth to adulthood, and through my trans years to now—including some pictures I’ve never published before.

I won’t give up this blog. Over the last four years I’ve cultivated a nice readership on it. And since publishing my book I’ve seen an uptick in visitors, with lots of posts read on the many transgender and Christian topics which litter my menu.

Book update

I am in the process of producing the print edition. Stay tuned for details on that!

Five-star ratings and rave reviews!

Fourteen reviews have been posted to my Amazon book page. Every reviewer has been wonderfully generous in their assessment of the book. Thirteen of fourteen have given it five stars.

I am elated readers are finding my story compelling, and are learning about gender dysphoria and the struggles transgender people experience. And, I must confess, I love it when they write, “I couldn’t put it down!”

I even created my first tiny url!
https://tinyurl.com/rollercoasterhurricane

On sale now!

My book, “A Roller Coaster Through a Hurricane—One Wild Ride: My Journey with Gender Identity,” is now available on Amazon. Purchase the ebook for $4.99. (I hope to offer it in print, soon.)

I published RCTH (as I like to abbreviate it) last week. The first five days it was available, I offered it free of charge to those people who said they would read it in a week or so and then place a review on Amazon.

Since it was available on Amazon, shoppers on the site could see it and get it for free. The first few days, I assumed those downloading it were the fifty or so whom I notified of its being ready. The sales statistics reflected this:

  • January 30: 27
  • January 31: 38

Enough copies were downloaded that RCTH reached the Top 100 Free Books list in two categories. Once there, Amazon shoppers now could see it and my sales reflected it:

  • February 1: 55
  • February 2: 178
  • February 3: 82

I had my moment at #1 of the Top 100 Free ebooks in the Parenting category. Parenting, you ask? Yup. Of the five areas I was able to categorize RCTH, one was “Parenting and Relationships.” Who knew they would further break down the category when listing sales? By their doing so, I leapt to number one!



In the category it seems RCTH is most appropriate—Biographies and Memoirs— I did quite well, on Saturday reaching a high of #14.

Finally, in the overall sales of ebooks, I reached a high of #821.

That now all is history. The five day free period has elapsed. It’s onto the paid sales department. And, now I ask kindly that if you have read RCTH and found it to be a “I can’t put it down” book, as everyone has expressed to me whose read it, would you post a review on my Amazon page and share it on your Facebook wall, or Twitter feed, or by that tried and true, old fashioned yet reliable, word of mouth?

“I can’t put it down.”

Thinking out loud: I wonder how many people read all the way to the bottom of my blog posts?

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Self-publishing my book, I have to market and promote it. That’s what this post is about; it’s my advertisement to get your mouth watering.

When I say that folks are reading my book and posting reviews, that might provoke you to think, “It must be available for me to get!”

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In my second seminary class on the art of preaching, my professor, the sainted Dr. Donald Deffner, told us that if we wanted to be good writers we should read a lot of books. That we should read novels. That learning to tell a story would help us craft sermons in which we would be able to proclaim the text in a manner which is easy on the ear and memorable. Put that together with good theology, and we would have excellent sermons.

I already enjoyed reading, so I stepped it up. I’ve read hundreds of novels—during the winter in Port Hope, I read one to three a week—not to mention all of the books it takes to get through college and seminary.

Sermons, it seemed to me, could be like books. Make ‘em, um, ear-turners. Feedback from members indicated they were.

When I set out to compose my first book, I was determined to make it a page-turner.

When I finished the first draft of “A Roller Coaster Through a Hurricane,” I asked two friends to read it. The first one reacted to the content: “You should be on Oprah.” The second went to the readability: “I only put it down at night because I had to go to bed.”

I’ve now had several folks react to the finished product. A friend wrote, “It is a ‘can’t put it down book.’ I actually read about one book a year. I listen to over thirty Audible books per year. So, you’ve captivated me to be actually reading,”

One reviewer posted, “Excellent book, I had a hard time putting it down!” As proof, the review included the photo, below, my added arrow pointing to the indentation left by the device held a bit too long at a time.

Um, wait. When Julie saw this, she thought the person was referencing how in the book I explain where Montague is located in Michigan’s mitten: just below the base of the pinkie.

To the content, this reviewer wrote, “This subject was presented clearly and with great honesty.”

Here is the full review of another: “A complicated person, useful and thorough, a transgender uniqueness, struggles with life, faith, family, and being authentic in their search for purpose. The story ends with just as many questions and starts the reader to learning how to love others like Julie, their wife.”

Then there’s this snippet from what one of my best pastor-friends wrote: “The purpose of the book is clear, Greg’s writing is excellent, and it is all very focused.”

Finally, the fourth of the four online reviews so far posted: “Wow! A really great read! Greg is an incredible writer and tells his story with grace. I read the book in two days. It is very much a page turner. You will grow to love the author and his wife as he tells his incredible journey.”

Beginning Monday, February 4, my ebook will be available for purchase for $4.99. Until then . . .

. . . get it FREE through Sunday, February 3!

Julie’s foreword to my book

Having completed the final edit of my book, Julie said, “I’ve been thinking about writing a foreword.”

“Oh. Wow. Okay. Yeah, I like the sound of that. Do you have in mind what you’d write?”

Giggling, she replied, “No.”

“Well, now that you’ve mentioned it, I love the idea. Just start writing, it will come to you.”

She retrieved a pen and pad. She started writing:

Soon, she was typing. A few hours later, she showed it to me. Immediately, I was dazzled.

I am but a few days from offering the book for sale. I present Julie’s foreword now because she sets the tone for what I’ve written, the spirit in which I’ve described the challenges I’ve endured.

Julie’s spirit shines through her words—the lovely person with whom I fell in love by her words, before I ever saw her face.

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“I would have left in a heartbeat.”

The declaration is volunteered by many, men and women alike, upon hearing the story about a transgender husband transitioning to live as a woman. The question I, the wife, expected—“Did you ever think about leaving?”—is bypassed, and the listeners fast forward to their own bold assertion about hitting the road. As though even asking the question about staying means there is a sliver of possibility they themselves would have to live through something so unfathomable, so unpleasant. Better to nip that in the bud, slam that door shut. Outta here, in a heartbeat.

How a couple handles a big situation has more to do with how they handled all the little things in all the previous years. Since our wedding on December 30, 2001, I’d learned a lot from Greg Eilers about respect, unconditional love, and kindness. We’d built a pretty deep store of those Golden Rule treasures, so it was only natural that we drew upon it when Greg’s gender dysphoria upended our lives.

I couldn’t declare “I didn’t sign up for this”, because this—facing hurdles with my life partner—was exactly what I did sign up to do. I couldn’t turn my back on the person I loved, because I knew he, without hesitation, would face any deluge of difficulties I threw his way. I couldn’t run the other direction because, I asked, what would I want my spouse to do if I were in his shoes? I couldn’t shout “This is not fair!”, because life isn’t about fairness. It’s about being our best for others.

We tend to view relationships as a give and take proposition. That what we give and what we receive is measurable and should somehow balance out the scales. As if every checkmark in the debit column deserves a credit entry on the next line.

What if we saw it this way instead: that both sides of the scale belong equally to both partners, that all the debits and all the credits belong collectively to the team.

Living through a spouse’s gender dysphoria and transition from one gender to another seems a very debit-heavy transaction. It is excruciating to watch the person you love experience the torment of being one gender on the inside and another in public. It is painful to see your spouse feel trapped in an unchangeable life and view death as the only escape. It is sorrowful to mourn the loss of the only identity (husband and wife) you’ve known with this person. It is daunting to fathom an existence where you expect to be condemned and ostracized. It is nerve-racking to think about how your family, your friends, the world will see you.

Life has an abundance of challenges, but the majority of them are understood and accepted. Most everyone will commiserate with you when your spouse has a terminal illness, a disability-causing accident, an affair, a job loss. People can imagine themselves in common situations. They have a frame of reference. You might still feel isolated, but at least you know you’re not the only one.

The crossing of gender boundaries, though, is just too weird, too outlandish, too forbidden for most people to wrap their heads around. You don’t have the luxury of calling up friends and family, of drawing on a readily-available support network, to help get you through this. This—the “my spouse is transgender”—starts out a closely-held yet extremely-loaded secret—a frightening one to share. And when you do begin to share, it’s very often not support you get, but highly-opinionated directives and ultimatums.

It’s no wonder most marriages don’t survive a gender transition.

Jesus teaches us in Romans 5 that we should “rejoice in our suffering”. Quoting scripture doesn’t take the hard stuff away. But understanding the point—looking though our earthly suffering to the ultimate spiritual reward God gives us, eternal life with our Savior—helps us take a bigger picture approach to the struggles we have in life.

Despite the trying times, despite the unconquerable mountains and precarious ravines that riddled the landscape of my spouse’s gender dysphoria, I always had one thing to cling to: hope. Hope for the four things I desired for my spouse—that he stay alive, that he keep his sanity, that he be as healthy and whole as possible, and maybe even that he achieve happiness. Hope that Greg and I would emerge as a couple—however that looked—stronger, better, and deeper in our love. Hope is a powerful little thing. Hope let me redefine the debits as credits.

It is my hope that Greg’s story, and the story of all transgender people, will prompt others to see the bigger picture. To set aside their preconceived notions about what it means to be transgender. To turn their ears and listen to a group of people struggling to be heard. To brave their awkward feelings and step into a space they’ve never been.

Comfort zones are tough to give up. When faced with an unfamiliar situation, particularly one vastly different than we are accustomed to, our tendency is to recoil, get back to the easy. Something new might pique our curiosity, but we’re careful about getting too close, cautious about letting ourselves be vulnerable. Yet, there are some really valuable benefits outside our bubbles: Enrichment. Love. Growth. Understanding. Compassion. Selflessness. Humanity.

Would I leave my comfort zone to stay with Greg? In a heartbeat.