The Garden Key

General Fiction, Humor, Romance

By Angela Dolbear

Publisher : Cloud Pillar Publishing

ABOUT Angela Dolbear

Angela Dolbear
With much divine prompting, singer/songwriter Angela Dolbear sat down at her laptop night after night in her cozy modest home in Austin, Texas, faithfully flanked by two angelic golden retrievers, to receive THE GARDEN KEY – the story of Madeleine and Peter, and their pursuit of sexual p More...


“Hi, my name is Madeleine and I’m a lust-o-holic.”

Madeleine Marie Winger sits in church one sunny August Sunday morning in Chino Hills, California, while her brain is held hostage. Her thoughts detained by visions of her "Adonis," a luscious dark-haired, green-eyed musician who she has yet to even speak a single word to during the year she has had a crush on him.

THE GARDEN KEY unlocks the inspirational story of Goth-girl Maddy, a senior at BiolaUniversity, and the trials and temptations she endures with her mad-crush mystery musician man.

This tale of lust, redemption and really good cheeseburgers follows the couple as they cultivate their relationship and passionately pursue purity. Will they resist their sensuous urges and stave off the ever disappointing cliché of jumping into the sack on the first date, like both had done in their previous lives?

Along side her ongoing battle with her lust-filled thoughts, Maddy struggles with her fear of the future, misgivings about her excessively curvaceous body, and the frustrations of living with her promiscuous dorm roommate at the prestigious Christian university they attend, who has had more partners than a champion square dancer, including a tryst with the fiancé of their hyper-righteous next-dorm neighbor.  And then there is Maddy’s mother, the mega-moody plastic surgery obsessed bleach blonde who persistently criticizes Maddy for her dyed-black hair and gothic appearance.

This one-of-a-kind work of fiction is a laugh-out-loud and touchingly tender adventure into the lives of single people as they navigate their way through relationships, attempting to balance the Word of God and the modern dating scene, as they discover the very real power their faith must play in their lives.

I have two golden retrievers and a big backyard, so cleaning up after them is a lengthy process. So I spend that time in prayer. The story for THE GARDEN KEY, the full novel actually, was given to me during my weekly “Doody Duty.” It made perfect sense at the time. I was studying the Song of Solomon with my husband, Tim, and the book is rooted in Songs 4:12 – “A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a rock garden locked, a spring sealed up.” The book is a fictitious look at pursuing purity in a relationship, and living out an obedient life in Christ in the midst of temptation and pressure from outside, as well as inside influences.

"I just finished an amazing book...The Garden Key. I absolutely loved it! I was sad that I was at the end. I got so wrapped up in the book, it became real to I was there. I am recommending it to everyone. It is a must read for all women, especially young women. It is about the importance of having God in our relationships and His plan for purity.

I truly believe that this book should be in every household, in the schools, and in youth groups. You are really going to get young people thinking....which needs to be done in this country! I love how you tell the story that [Maddy] was not the "perfect" person, but it is possible to change your ways and live as God wants us to. You are very talented that's for sure! Awesome book! May God continue blessing you with your talents!"  -- Kelli Heller, Celina, OH
"Just wanted to let you know -- I started reading your book and I really like it. I was just going to read one chapter and I read 8. I'm making myself put it down because I've got other stuff to do and want to savor it and make it last. Your [main] character is great. I told the Lord, "I like her spunk." I also like that she has a "past' (yet to be fully revealed). The Lord has shown me that He is still working on healing the damage in me from past sexual relationships...I thought I was ok because it was so long ago (I am 46), but I still have wounds and am not yet ready to enter a relationship, but I feel it is getting closer and He is prepaing me. Your book is part of His work in my life. so thank you!" -- Anonymous

"Before I found your book, I had been praying for the Lord to have mercy on young women who might make a wrong decision about sexuality that would significantly affect their lives. The devil has made such inroads in our culture/society in this area...but the greater the darkness, the more the Light of Christ shines forth as something different from the darkness. I especially like that your Christian main characters are fun and interesting and "cool." It is a breath of fresh air. I used to work in campus ministry and still know people who do -- I will definitely recommend your book. Get it in libraries, too -- I will recommend it to my local library. Let the light shine in the darkness, sister!" -- Megan, Michigan

"I feel like God is giving more of myself spring flowers sprouting where there was frozen earth only a few months ago. Add me to your list of people who are already looking forward to your next book. I really like how you have [Maddy] pray in the book -- I really like when books have realistic Christian characters who pray and use scriptures -- you have done this really well, in a way that is not a turn off or too 'religious.'" -- M.M.


The Garden Key A PRECIOUS GIFT wrapped up in this DEBUT NOVEL
By Ellen C Maze, author Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider

(Recently, I read an awesome book by first-time author Angela Dolbear. I have been changed by it and want to share it with all of you. As a matter of fact, I want to shout about it from the rooftops! )

The Garden Key, by Angela Dolbear, is a book that could literally change the world. I can say with all honesty that if every man and woman on the planet read this book and let its words sink deep into their souls; when they opened their eyes the following day, they would be transformed. Changed into people who love. Really love. And in a real sense, The Garden Key is about real love.

Told in first person, in a voice that I fell in love with immediately, The Garden Key sweeps you into the protagonist’s life; so much so, you feel like part of her story. You experience her joy, her triumph, her failures and her desire for redemption. And because the author walks so closely with God, it is impossible to not be encouraged in your own faith as you travel through novel-time with the main character.

Promos for The Garden Key entice the reader with comical, tongue-in-cheek, real-life phrases, dialogue and emotions. Honestly, I was convinced by one line from the web site which said something about ‘lust and cheeseburgers.’ But rest assured, the promises on the back cover can be trusted absolutely. As I read this book, I did indeed laugh often, and I cried with joy aplenty. I wept most when I reached the last page—do you know why? Because the novel ended.

Selfishly, I wanted it to go on and on and never conclude. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed this book so much (it was literally un-put-down-able), that when I got to the last 30 pages, I forced myself to stop reading. I would not pick it up for fear of finishing it. For over a week, I peeked at it next to my desk, carried it to my room to peek at it as I went to sleep—but I would not read on. I was terrified to see the last page. I was horrified that this wonderful, sweet, delightful, insightful and encouraging book was about to be finished. I have never read a book like this and I thank God that he led me to read it now. I have no doubt in my mind that I will read it over again many times.

And thankfully, the author hinted that she would write another. Praise the Lord.
5 stars from Kristen Woolstrum:

It's worth every penny. Just buy it and read it now.

Christian art (writing, music, etc.) tends to be very prescribed and repetitive. Not this book. This is really something new and enjoyable.

I'm in the book's audience age range, and I can tell you that it is truly inspiring and helpful on issues of purity and sex when you're trying to honor God. Why? Because it's REAL.

It's easy to tell someone what not to do. But it's hard to apply what seems like a very difficult and strict principle to everyday life. There aren't many examples to live by. Realistically, how do you avoid temptation and still figure out if you're with the right guy? Just read this book. It's an awesome example of how to (realistically) live by the right standards.

Madeleine (the protagonist) is not the overly sexualized "modern woman," (because how many women actually live a Sex In the City lifestyle?) nor is she the "I'm wearing an invisible chastity belt" perfect Christian girl. She's a woman. A flesh-and-blood, three dimensional, real and relatable girl. And that's what makes this story precious. So many women's fiction novels strive to conform to the same old formula. But this is a story. A real, true, beautiful, original story that lets the reader enjoy all the details and themes that life inherently weaves throughout our lives.

And PS, I won't give away the ending, but I will tell you that you'll cry. :-)

“Wow, it just took me two days to complete the reading of The Garden Key and I have to tell you, it was a page turner. I was sad when I read the last sentence in the book, but it was such a great experience for me to read the story. It helped me to not judge my sister for what she does or did. It will hurt, but I feel like I have to forgive her for her way of life… I must be willing to help her pick up the pieces of her broken heart.”  -- Anonymous



“Madeleine’s story is uplifting, sad, funny and even anger can be found in the story. In a way I felt like all those questions I had about purity and how to abstain from pre-marital sex were answered in the book. It made me more persistent to stay pure.” – Adele, Vanderbijlpark, Republic of South Africa

"Just finished reading an awesome book about an awesome love story!!!! I highly recommend the novel, "The Garden Key"!!! It's about pure love staying pure until the marriage night." -- Susan Adams, Austin TX
“The Garden Key is a book that touches women -- regardless of age -- specifically about the importance of Godly love and relationships. It has an amazing way of telling a story that draws the reader into the lives of the characters, and simultaneously causes us to examine our own past and present relationships, and our own faith. This book is a MUST READ for young women in particular, who need to see that God does have a plan for them, and that His plan for purity has a purpose. This book has the capability to change decisions, hearts, and lives for those who read it.”
-- Amy Stevens, Managing Partner, Marketing Edge Ventures
"The Garden Key is an influential story of love and commitment that I recommend all teenagers read. It provokes thought into the readers' life and experiences and as a teenager, I find this story easy to relate to. The characters are accessible. The story is effortless to connect with and readers will walk away with new insight into their own lives."

-- Sarah Hembree, high school junior, Minneapolis, MN

"The Garden Key is a wonderful, heartwarming story. Maddy will make you laugh and cry. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Definitely a page-turner. It's written with great insight and empathy."
-- Marie Hembree, Woodland Park, CO

“The Garden Key is a must read for teens. They will enjoy this compelling story about boy and girl relationships while gaining more confidence.”
-- Jerri Conrado, Marketing Consultant, and mother of two teenagers