NEW ORLEANS — When Erica Warren was in her 20's, she was stuck in a horrible relationship.

"I was married to a man who was emotionally abusive to me, and I stayed in that marriage for six years trying to make it work for my kids," says Warren

She had been taught that if she were a good enough woman that she could change a man's toxic behavior.

"I want to tell young women that does not work. "While you are trying to build him up, you are tearing yourself down," explains Warren.

Warren is sharing how she moved past that unhealthy relationship in a new book called, "Dear Young Woman."

"I wanted to get the ladies together to transparently share their testimonies in hopes of encouraging other people," explains the mind behind the project, Alandria Lloyd.

She pulled together 25 other women to share lessons from their life experiences.

Rashunda Glenn opens up about developing a drinking problem because she was dealing with so much in her relationship.

"Cheating...lies...physical and verbal abuse...everything," says Glenn. "I don't want young women to believe that they have to deal with these things."

The organizer of the book has quite the story to tell herself.

Lloyd was pregnant three times before she turned 18. Only one of the children survived.

And she and her son were struggling financially when she was fired.

"The book is really just to let women know. This is my story. This is what I went through. If you found yourself in the situation, you can overcome it just like I did by the grace of God," says Lloyd.

And Lloyd does overcome it all. She started writing books and launched two businesses.

In fact, all of the women in the book are in a better place now, but they don't hesitate to reflect on what they went through to get there.

"We do a disservice to each other by not pretending that we are going through anything when really if we share our stories we can help somebody else come out of a situation," says Warren.

More Books on Sheba's Shelf:

The other book on Sheba's Shelf this month is "We Cast a Shadow" by Maurice Carlos Ruffin.

Ruffin is a professor at LSU. This is his debut novel. It is a satire on racism and tells the story of father who wants to protect his young son by turning him white. Ruffin's book was just named as one of 16 finalists for the Aspen Words Literary Prize, which gives $35,000 to a work of fiction that addresses a vital contemporary issue.

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WWL-TV reporter Sheba Turk can be reached at sturk@wwltv.com;

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