James W. Mercer

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Child and family advocate, James Mercer is our guest this week. He’ll be talking with us about his new memoir, SECRETS & SHAME: DEAR OPRAH DIARIES (Archway Publishing, 2016).

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We want to tell you thank you for listening to our show. Now, on to this week’s guest —

James MercerJames Mercer received a PhD in Counseling Psychology, an MA in Forensic Psychology, and a BA in Psychology from Argosy University Phoenix. He also holds an AS in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science from the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service.

His memoir, SECRETS & SHAME: DEAR OPRAH DIARIES was released last month by Archway Publishing.

James is the owner and director of Lonestar Social Services, a foster care and adoption agency that contracts with the Texas Department of Family Protective Services to pair foster children with the right parents. Since 2012, Lonestar Social Services has placed over 120 children with families in Central Texas. The agency also provides supervised visitations, home studies, mediation, and counseling.

James lives in Austin with his partner and three daughters.

In praise of Secrets & Shame: The Dear Oprah Diaries

Secrets & Shame shows us the power of the human spirit to survive and thrive…” –Robi Ludwig, author, psychotherapist and TV commentator

“A true hero’s journey that inspires us…” –Todd Pierce, CDO Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

“[A] brutally honest, eye-opening portrait of his life…” –Ashleigh Rhodes-Courter, NYT and International bestselling author of Three Little Words and Three More Words

About Secrets & Shame: The Dear Oprah Diaries

James remembers the day he began to plot to kill his father, Harry:

It was the day before his seventh birthday, and he finally realized his mom was not going to leave him.

Whenever Harry would beat his mom, James would think, “No, Dad! Stop beating Mom. Look over here at me. I’m the one you are angry with. I’m your sissy son, remember?”

Eventually, Harry would banish James from their Texas home, telling him he was going to pray he’d get AIDS and die. “Our family has been shamed and embarrassed enough by you,” he raved. “You’ll get what you deserve one day.”

James, desperate for the need to be loved and accepted for how God made him, turned to drugs, alcohol, and partying–and before long, he realized he was on the path to becoming an abusive alcoholic just like his father.

He shares how hitting rock bottom led to a Jewish spiritual awakening filled with love and an abiding faith in humanity in Secrets & Shame.

For more information, we direct you to the author’s website and YouTube. You can also keep up with him on Facebook and Twitter.