Articles for the Month of January 2019

In Foreign Fields: How Not To Move To France by Susie Kelly

 

I just loved this book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a firm fan of Susie Kelly’s books about her adventures and experiences of living in rural France, I couldn’t resist downloading this, her latest book, and I am so happy that I did.

In it I discovered how it is that Susie Kelly came to live in her house in the Poitou-Charente region of France. Throughout this wonderful book she shares her incredible adventures of this time, and I found myself laughing, sighing, and sometimes nearly crying, as I read them described in truly ‘fly on the wall’ style.

Like many others before and after them, Susie and her husband Terry set off armed with practical advice, hope and lots of information and tips on house buying in a foreign land. Needless to say, despite this, we all know the draw of the Estate Agent’s window, all those amazing properties, interesting, and sometimes slightly misleading descriptions, plus the financial restrictions which we all have. Susie and Terry were just the same and settled for, as my dad would say ‘a doer-upper.’

From the moment you open this book and start reading, Susie Kelly’s frank and humorous style of writing draws you in, and, as an expat myself, I have to say it really is a very honest look at the wide range of characters of people, both English and other nationalities which you encounter here. Through her amazingly descriptive writing she paints a vivid picture of the countryside and life around her in this beautiful region of France, and recounts honestly many of the situations she finds herself in, and the antics of her menagerie.

Whether you dream of moving to France, want to know what life here is really like, or just want to be a fly on the wall enjoying someone else’s experience, then this is the book for you.

About the Author:

Susie Kelly was born in grey post-war London, and spent much of her childhood and young adulthood in the beautiful country of Kenya.

She now lives in south-west France with a menagerie of assorted animals, and is passionate about animal welfare.

Her first book “Best Foot Forward” was published by Transworld Publishers in 2003, followed by “Two Steps Backward” in 2004, and “A Perfect Circle” in 2006.

Since 2011 Susie’s books have been published by Blackbird Digital Books, whose theme is strong, adventurous women living life to the full. Blackbird Digital Book people love birds and animals, travel, history, romance, natural health and environment, resourcefulness, humour, the surreal and magic.

If her house caught fire and she could only save three things (apart from her animals, of course), they would be courage, compassion and a sense of humour.

About the Book:

Susie and Terry dream of living in France. The dream comes true, but not in the way they had imagined. Sometimes it feels more like taking part in a musical comedy than starting a new life in France.

Yes, the countryside is spacious and peaceful. On summer nights the stars skim the rooftops, the owls hoot and the nightingales sing. Sunflowers smile from their fields. The wine is cheap and the baguettes are crusty. The French neighbours are generous and gentle.

But then come the drug addicts, builders who cannot build, demanding compatriots, undercover cops and unwelcome guests. Susie begins to lose hope of attracting the fabled French philanderer and, far from appreciating their new home, the animals do everything they can to make life as difficult as possible. With her house literally crumbling around her, the number of odd characters Susie manages to attract are only matched by the assortment of creatures appearing from in and out of the woodwork. Terry almost dies, and Susie’s resilience and good humour are tested to the limit.

Available from Amazon in Kindle and Paperback https://www.amazon.com/Foreign-Fields-How-Move-France-ebook/dp/B07KN1TF1J/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1548246187&sr=8-3&keywords=susie+kelly

 

 

Pinnacle Lust by Michelle Dim-St.Pierre

 

Secrets unfold when a mother reveals all to her daughter.

What would a girl expect to be given from her mother on her 18th birthday? A locket, or similar as a keepsake perhaps? Leigh Stone does receive something memorable on her 18th, but not quite what one would expect. Her mother Sharon decides that this is the right age for her daughter to discover secrets she has kept about her past, through necessity, until now. So bravely (or foolishly, I wonder) Sharon decides to give Leigh her own journal, which reveals the truth about her younger life.

The story begins with Leigh’s stunned acceptance of her mother’s unusual gift, and as she reads it the story unfolds through Sharon’s own words.

The journal begins in November 1990, when the young Sharon, a kosher Jew, living a secular life, is the nurse house supervisor at the Kol Israel Achim Jewish Hospital. It is there that one day she is introduced to a new physician at the hospital Dr. Sloan, and it is love at first sight.

Despite being in a relationship, with a very eligible man, the sight of the six foot, well built and ‘gorgeous’ Dr. Sloan literally takes her breath away. As their eyes meet she dares to imagine that he feels the same.

Sounds like a fairy-tale, a match made in heaven. Well it would be, if it wasn’t for the fact that Sloan is in fact a married man with a son. However, their joint attraction is so strong that neither can resist the temptation, and they embark on a passionate, and very intense love affair.

Leigh soon discovers in the pages that her mother’s young life at this time was very traumatic. She reads of Sharon’s decision to finish the relationship with boyfriend Joel, her establishment of lifelong female friendships, brief sexual encounters, and tragic loss of life. Also, she get a glimpse of what it was like to live through the terrors of the bombing of Israel by the Iraqis during Operation Desert Storm.

As adults with a few years of life behind them, many people, myself included, can relate to the core emotions of this story, from one side or the other, wife, mistress, husband, lover, either through their experiences, or those of friends. However the reader has to remember that Leigh is only 18 and her reactions to her mother’s life as they unfold are typical of someone that young.

Along with the excitement of the affair, Sharon and Sloan also have to deal with the real life issues of being together, both at work and at home. The celebratory days when the married lover is with his ‘family’, the snatched moments, these and so much more are situations which the lovers have to come to terms with. Very clearly the loneliness of Sharon, (the mistress’) life is exposed, laid bare, emotions raw.

With her body clock ticking away, like thousands of women before her, Sharon decides she wants a baby. However, how will this affect their future? Will Sloan really leave his wife for the woman he professes to love? If he does, what will the spurned wife do, and how will she react when she discovers about the affair? So many questions run through Leigh, and the readers mind in this exciting story.

As the story concludes, Leigh’s life is turned upside down by the revelations the journal contains, and she realises she doesn’t know her mother at all!

About the Author: 

.Michelle Dim-St. Pierre was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel, where she spent more than half of her life before relocating to the United States.

She lived through four wars and served in the Israel Defense Forces for two years. Unlike her first year of service in an armored division in the Golan Heights, she spent her second year serving in the medical corps where she interacted directly with the injured soldiers of the Peace of Galilee war and their families. This interaction, along with the exposure to the hospital atmosphere, fascinated Michelle and further touched her heart.

After graduating from nursing school with a BS in Nursing in Tel-Aviv, she practiced internationally for 32 years in various positions in the surgical field and quickly advanced into health care administration. During her career she worked in the Operating Room, Recovery Room, and CCU—along with many other duties.

Writing was Michelle’s outlet at first, but it soon became her passion. Recently she left nursing and became a full-time writer. Her international background, along with her military and nursing experience, is always at the tip of her pen. Her first novel, Pinnacle Lust, starts the Pinnacle trilogy. She is also currently creating a cookbook inspired by the Pinnacle trilogy featuring dishes mentioned in the books.

Michelle is a world traveler who enjoys cooking epicurean food and creating original recipes.

Author’s Website: http://www.michelledimstpierre.com/

About the Book:

In a Tel-Aviv hospital during Operation Desert Storm, Sharon Lapidot, a beautiful young nurse, is having an affair with a married doctor. Sharon’s colorful and exciting life is ultimately destroyed by powerful and eroding mistakes. But her courage and wisdom lead her to an unregretful commitment. Vividly told, this compelling journey of love and lust, honor and betrayal, loss and redemption, will move you — and perhaps even change you.

Pinnacle Lust is available from Amazon in Paperback, Hardcover and Kindle format https://www.amazon.com/Pinnacle-Lust-Michelle-Dim-St-Pierre-ebook/dp/B00SIH3TC8/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1547650164&sr=8-1&keywords=pinnacle+lust

Hide and Panic Stations: Super Speed Sam Book 1 by Monty J. McClaine

 

I first fell in love with this series of Super Speed Sam books when I downloaded book 5, just before last Christmas. My granddaughter and I so enjoyed reading of Super Speed Sam, the innocent looking Basset Hound’s adventure when he was Santa’s Rescue Dog that we just had to read the whole series.

In this, the first book we were introduced to the McClaine family, which consists of Mom, Dad whose real name is Marty, but who Mom calls Monty, Jack a typically mischievous six year old boy, and Molly (also known as moms little princess) who has just managed to start to crawl. The sworn defender of this family is their best friend and pet Super Speed Sam.

The character of Sam is adorable, my brother had as pets, and bred Basset Hounds for a number of years. Their strong characters and clever brains are cleverly hidden behind their sloppy loveable face, and they make wonderful childhood pets, as my children and nieces will attest to.

The affable Sam is the perfect companion for Jack on his adventures and in this story they are playing hide and seek, a game which every dog owner knows, dogs excel at.

Sam is very good at hiding but Jack finds him in the end. However, when it is Jack’s turn to hide he discovers the perfect place, somewhere nice and comfy, and being a boy he has his hands free flashlight and his MP3 player. Things get even better when Jack finds a hidden gem just waiting for him to look at. At this point Jack does what boys do best, he loses himself in the moment and goes off into his own world, innocently totally unaware of the bedlam he is causing.  Meanwhile poor Sam is confused, where could he be?

Sam looks in all the usual places and soon his desperate searching alerts the family to the fact that Jack is missing. Mom is panicking and even dad is getting worried. There is nothing left to do, Sam decides he must chant his special powers chant and become Super Speed Sam!

Donned in his special Sherlock Sam hat and in full sleuthing mode, as only Basset Hounds know how to, he begins his search. The question is, will Sherlock Sam find his young master safe and sound?

Well, the only way to discover the answer is to read this exciting adventure, and I am sure you will enjoy this wonderful story, which is beautifully illustrated, as much as we did!

About the Author:

Proud winner of the 7th Annual Beverly Hills Book Awards (2018) in the “Environment” category for The Rescue Elves – The Plastic Pollution Adventure.

Proud winner of the 5th Annual Beverly Hills Book Awards in the “Holiday” category for Super Speed Sam – Santa’s Rescue Dog.

I feel that some of the natural interactions between family and friends are gradually eroding, if not already completely worn away for some. And I was reminded of a C.S.Lewis quotation –

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”

It also feels like the simple joy of laughing or crying among family and friends is being replaced by beeps, bops and demands to ‘add new features’ or ‘why doesn’t this work?’ or ‘who’s hogging the Wi-Fi?’.

So I set out to create a fun and exciting series of children’s short stories, with lots of adventure and splashes of humor, all paced to hold children’s attention whether reading or listening… at least that’s my hope!

Stories that will delight both boys and girls, the young and old, and, of course, moms and dads! Tales that allow a return to simpler values, kid-like imagination for both children and adults and, I sincerely hope, bring families closer together.

Author’s Website: http://superspeedsam.com/

 

About the Book:

Olly-olly-oxen-freak out!

Super Speed Sam is a boy’s best friend. But what will this super sleuthing, crime fighting, mystery solving wonder pup do when his boy goes missing?

It’s all in a dog-day’s work for old Sam. When he’s not lazing about with his boy Jack or sniffing out a good treat, Sam is hard at work saving the day and those he loves from danger. Because when no one’s looking Sam transforms into Super Speed Sam! With super-secret powers gifted to him by his ancestors, Sam becomes the fastest pup in town! Able to do amazing things, Sam uses his powers for good and helps those in need. So when a routine game of hide and seek with Jack goes terribly awry, Sam answers the call for help in no time flat!

Can Sam find Jack before this day goes from bad to worse? Find out what four fast legs and a nose for solving mysteries can do in this first installment of Super Speed Sam!

Hide and Panic Stations is available from Amazon in Paperback, Kindle and Audiobook formats https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CO4DYXY/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0