Articles for the Month of April 2018

The Adventures of Anuk: The First Leap by Suzanne Mondoux


The fantastic adventures of Anuk and her friends.

As this amazing adventure story opens we are with Anuk, it is her sixteenth birthday and her life is about to change forever!

Adopted by Julea and Lucca, who are mammal beings, Anuk has had a wonderfully happy childhood, at the hostelry they run. However, on this, her birthday, she has been given a book of poems, and told that she must leave behind everything she holds dear, and follow her destiny back to her homeland the island of Roese.

You see Anuk is an Assisi Human, a very special being, half animal half human. What’s more, Assisi Humans have a very important responsibility, and this is to keep the harmony between the humans and the other beings.

As well as the book of poems, she also has around her neck two medallions with magical powers, there for her protection. The journey is a very scary prospects for one so young, however Anuk decides that she could be a protector, and so she takes up the mantle and her adventure begins.

Accompanying Anuk is Aye, a primate being, and two other beings, an owl called EagleOwl, and a golden brown furry animal being called Kinkajou.

From the beginning their path is hazardous, across fetid swamps, ruins, desolate areas and seas. Even in the beautiful partems (or lands) there are hidden dangers, however they are resolute in their determination to travel the dangerous route to Gibo, and then onwards to Roese Island.

Had they realised that perils they were to face, or the strange beings they would encounter, I am not sure they would have been brave enough to stay the course. However, they didn’t know that they were going to meet fairies, mermaids and many other creatures from myths, legends, and the author’s incredible imagination. Neither did they realise that they would be imprisoned by evil people, tested and deceived, or ride on a dragon’s back for that matter!

To go with them on this amazing adventure, discover if they did reach Roese Island, and what the future held for Anuk and her friends, you will have to read this wonderful book. I guarantee you, you will not be disappointed. Throughout it I was reminded very much of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, a classic and a childhood favourite of mine.

The author has woven two very clear messages into this story, the first reminding the reader of the devastation the human race has reeked on the earth, and the second is the strong message of the importance of kindness, acceptance of others unlike yourself, and living in harmony. After all there is a place for everyone, and thing, on this wonderful planet.

Young or old, anyone who loves to be transported into a magical world, where anything is possible and incredible creatures exist will love this book!


About the Author:

Suzanne Mondoux: A Nature’s Voice

Explorer, Environmental Professional, Author, Screenwriter, Playwright and Actor

French Canadian-born Suzanne Mondoux brings a unique and powerful skill set to the strenuous pursuit of shielding wildlife and the environment from ruthless forces.

Armed with various degrees including an MSc in Environment and Management, a Technical Degree in Renewable Resources – Fish, Wildlife and Recreation, Suzanne’s mission is clear; “I am passionate about the well-being of animals.” Author Mondoux ‘pays the bills’ as an environmentally-conscious mining manager. Her fascinating work in Mauritania, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, and Guinea included bonding with elephants and long tailed forest monkeys. Suzanne’s profound African connection inspired authorship. “I wrote my first book ‘How I Became a Dragon’, when I was in the Congo, and I chose the title because the tusks of elephants that are poached and killed for the ivory, mostly end up in China, where the heavy symbolism of the dragon is so prevalent in the Chinese culture.”

Mondoux’s 2015 destination is Yellowknife, land of the midnight sun. Here, just south of the Arctic, Suzanne Mondoux will write her third novel.

Her second novel ‘Tragedy of the Moth’ will soon be published.

Author’s Website: 

About the Book: 

The Adventures of Anuk is an ecological story of an Assisi Human on a quest to save the world.

The First Leap – Despite her curious appearance as an Assisi Human, Anuk had a normal childhood and was happy living with her adopted parents in a faraway land where three suns pass in the sky overhead. She loved collecting yamagoos berries in the fields and helping her mother run the kitchen at their Inn. Then, on her sixteenth birthday, Anuk receives a summons by the messenger Aye who says it is time to return to faraway Roese Island. Though reluctant to leave her home and family, Anuk is assured by her parents that they always knew the time would come when she must leave and fulfill her destiny as an Assisi.

Two oddly unfamiliar looking non-human Beings, EagleOwl and Kinkajou arrive to escort Aye and Anuk, because the journey ahead will be arduous and fraught with danger. They will have to cross a great sea and pass through many partems, as the lands are called there. Some of these are barren regions of devastation and waste. Others are lush paradises that are not quite as they seem, for their spectacular beauty conceals lethal secrets. Anuk realizes that, even if she should survive these hazards, she has no idea what awaits her at the end of the journey.

When young Anuk embarks on this enthralling adventure, she discovers the world beyond her parents’ inn is far more fantastic and dangerous than she could have imagined.

Available from Amazon in Paperback

and Kindle format


Billy Gogan, American: A Novel by Roger Higgins


Billy Gogan’s epic adventure begins as he leaves Ireland for a new life in America.

Lose yourself in the pages of this exciting historical novel as you follow the adventures of Billy Gogan, an Irish orphan sent to America on the eve of the 1844 Irish Famine. Discover the dangers he faces as he lives by his wits, and does what he has to, to survive….

The author of this exciting adventure story, Roger Higgins was born in Cheshire, England, and he emigrated to America with his parents and younger brother just before he was seven. Today he lives with his wife in Chicago, Illinois and is immensely proud of his four children.

He served on a guided missile destroyer and other ships as a naval officer, he then became a lawyer, and had various other jobs, eventually becoming a partner at a firm with the grandest bankruptcy practice of them all. He still practices law on a smaller scale and enjoys writing novels.

It is this diversity of knowledge, and life experiences which the author has used to full effect in writing the story of Billy Gogan – American.

The book begins with the 15 year old Billy Gogan in school, however, suddenly his life changes forever when he learns that his father has died in mysterious circumstances in prison. Following this devastating news he is informed by Father O’Muirhily that he must leave his native Ireland and start a new life in America. Passage has been arranged for him on the Maryann.

Forced to travel in steerage he meets in the boarding queue Mary (Máire) Skiddy a young widow, and her young daughter Fiona. When a sailor mistakes them for a family they are bunked together, and a firm friendship is formed. However the voyage hasn’t even begun before Billy witnesses the death of Father O’Muirhily on the quay, but was he pushed, or did he fall?

The vividly descriptive historical writing of this author enables his reader to really get a feel for the lives of his characters. The harshness of life on board ship, the living conditions, and the terrible weather they endure during the voyage, are acute reminders of what travel used to be like.

When the Maryann eventually docks in Gotham, New York, Billy Gogan is distraught to discover that he has become separated from Mary and Fiona. Despite various attempts to find them, he is unlucky, the Five Points district of New York is a dangerous blend of ex-slaves, Americans, and Irish refugees, he can only hope they are safe.

Straight away he manages to find board and lodgings, and after starting work as a brick carrier, being quick to learn, he soon finds himself working as a bookkeeper for the notorious Magee. There, as if by fate, he is reunited with Mary and Fiona, and they begin to plan a future together…

Through Billy we discover what it was like in those times not only to travel to and survive in a foreign country, but also to make a new life, and learn about love, hate, and the myriad of emotions in between.

I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful historical novel and am looking forward to discovering what happens next in the life of Bill Gogan – American.

About the Author:

Roger J. Higgins and his wife reside in Chicago, Illinois, and they are immensely proud of their four children, one of whom is a serving U.S. Marine, and one of whom is Marine turned police officer (happily married to a wonderful high school chemistry and biology teacher).  Their daughter is a nurse, and she and her husband (a retired Coast Guard officer) are the proud parents of a baby boy.  Their youngest son is an aspiring doctor.  As Mrs. Higgins has patiently observed to her husband when he ruminates about the trials and tribulations of raising children, it was together that they went four-for-four with their children, hitting safely at every at-bat.  Not a bad day in the batter’s box.

Roger was born in England, in the County Cheshire, where he learned early of the orange-striped Cheshire cat, which disappears, leaving only its grin, full of teeth and gums.  Roger emigrated with his parents and younger brother to the United States when he was 6 ¾.  When his mother registered him at the local elementary school, he saw fit to wear his English grammar school uniform, which looked a lot like Harry Potter’s, except his cap was gray with purple piping and topped by a purple button, and he wore gray short trousers, gray knee socks and a purple clip-on tie with his dark gray blazer.  After his mother finished registering him for school, the principal gently asked whether he would like to leave the tie and cap with her for the day and pick them up after school.  Roger demurred.  He was fortunate enough to retain both tie and cap (which were never worn again) on the walk home from school.

At the advanced age of ten, Roger taught himself the art of swearing, a skill he found useful in his thirty-odd years of playing rugby, where he was noted for his stone hands, his lack of size for certain positions and lack of speed for all the rest.  As a young United States naval officer serving on a guided-missile destroyer many years ago with the lucky number “13” as her hull number (where he met some of the best friends a man can be lucky enough to have), he also learned, as did Captain Horatio Hornblower two centuries earlier, that sometimes having fifty-five oaths at your command can be entirely inadequate to the occasion.

Roger learned the art of leadership from his ships’ commanding officer and executive officer, who together led the tired, old ship, which was a bit of a laughing-stock along the waterfront, to win the Arleigh Burke award as the best destroyer in all of the Pacific Fleet.  Roger served another fifteen years after that, having had during that time the privilege of being the fire control officer for the U.S.S. Missouri’s 16-inch guns, and thus the only naval officer in the world (at that time) under the age of thirty proficient in the ancient—and wonderfully obsolescent—art of major caliber naval gunnery.

Roger became a lawyer after retiring from the Navy with a small pension fit to pay the property taxes.  After clerking for a Tax Court judge, who taught him the value of telling your story so as to win your reader to your side, Roger worked for a number of very large law firms, eventually becoming a partner at a firm with the grandest bankruptcy practice of them all.  Roger greatly admires the practice group leader’s philosophy of practicing law, which is to get the best outcome possible for your client, never re-trade on a deal, and if you must stab someone, don’t stab him (her) in the back; look the person in the eye and then stab her.  You’ll be treated the same way, when the time comes.  Oh, and never sell your reputation.  Once sold, you can never buy it back again.

Roger continues to practice law at a much smaller and less grand law firm and to write novels to his own taste.  He is having a wonderful time doing so.


About the Book: 

The Billy Gogan story is a fictional memoir told by an old Army general of his adventures as a young man. Billy Gogan, American, opens with recently orphaned Billy Gogan fleeing Ireland on the eve of the Great Hunger — either because he is the son of a dangerous revolutionary, or because his cousin doesn’t trust him around his daughter. Billy befriends a destitute Irish peasant named Máire and her young daughter Fíona, and together they endure a harsh passage to New York, America’s greatest city. They get separated as they debark, and Billy searches tirelessly for them in the dangerous Five Points, ground zero in the collision of Americans, ex-slaves, and Irish refugees.

Here, Billy completes his education. Already able to declaim Cicero and construe Aristotle, he learns voting fraud from Bill Tweed, the future head of Tammany Hall, and the numbers game from Charlie Backwell, Tammany’s top bookie. Finally, Brannagh O’Marran, the beautiful mulatta daughter of the Irish madam of Gotham’s finest brothel, teaches him about love.

Billy eventually finds Máire and Fíona, and the three of them plan their future together. But that future is taken in a cruel stroke, and nothing will ever be the same.

Author’s Website:


Bily Gogan, American is available from Amazon in Paperback 

and Kindle format 


Barnes and Noble in Paperback

and as a NOOK Book


Mommy & Mikel Go for a Walk by Ann Morris


A walk in the park turns into an amazing adventure for mommy & Mikel.

Memories of the lovely times spent by the author with her son Mikel are the inspiration for this wonderful story.

As parents we know how important it is to keep our children safe, however children don’t always understand. So, through this story the author explains to children that because mummy wants Mikel to get the best out of their walk in the park, she knows that he must dress correctly, and is important for Mikel to accept what she says.

On their walk Mikel sees a beautiful bird, and mummy tells him that it is a goldfinch and that they are the state bird of Iowa. However Mikel is soon to discover that there are lots of different things to see on their walk, and that not all are okay, some can be dangerous, but with mummy’s guidance he is safe.

Later, when they see an animal swimming in the river, Mikel wants to get closer, but mummy sensibly reminds him that it is dangerous to get too close to water, and so they take a look at the animal and then go to the library to discover what it is.

In the library not only does Mikel learn how to behave, but he also finds the mysterious animal in an encyclopaedia. Can you guess what it is?

I read this with my two grandsons aged 4 and 6 and they not only enjoyed the story but learnt a valuable lesson from it. The lesson was that they should always listen to their mummy and take her advice, as she loves them and not only wants to teach them about the wonderful world around them, but also keep them safe.

This book is beautifully illustrated by Blythe Russo, and will be treasured for years to come.


About the Author:

Ann says: This was my first published children’s book. It practically wrote itself, as it is a true account of a walk she wnt on with her son Mikel before computers. The story is one that we have both always remembered and cherished. When Mikel read the book, he laughed and remembered the day.


About the Book:

Mommy and Mikel find rare time to spend together. Mommy suggests going for a walk, and Mikel loves the idea. On the walk there are natural teaching moments, as Mikel is curious and asks about everything he sees. Mommy patiently guides him and cautions him when his enthusiasm would let him leap before he looks.

This is experience is not only for the learning from Mikel’s curiosity, but because Mikel discovers a mystery animal. In order to learn what the animal is, Mommy takes him to the library and shows him how to find the animal using the resources available. Success! Both are happy and Mikel has learned some lessons in caution.
It is also available in Spanish on – Mami y Mikel dan un paseo

Las memorias de las ocasiones bonitas pasadas por la autora con su hijo Mikel son la inspiración para esta historia maravillosa.

Como padres sabemos lo importante que es el mantenerles seguros a nuestros hijos, sin embargo los niños no lo entienden siempre. Así que durante esta historia la autora les explica a niños que dado que Mami quiere que Mikel aproveche .o mejor de su paseo en el parque, sabe ella que necesita vestirse correctamente, y que es importante que Mikel acepte lo que diga ella.

Durante el paseo, Mikel be un pájaro muy bonito, y Mami le dice que es una cardelina y que representa el pájaro del estado de Iowa. Sin embargo dentro de poco Mikel va a aprender que hay muchas cosas distintas que ver en el paseo y que no todas son seguras, algunas pueden ser peligrosas, pero con Mamí como la guía, se queda seguro.

Más tarde, cuando ven nadar un animal en el río, Mikel quiere acercarse, pero Mami lógicamente lo recuerda que es peligroso acercarse demasiado al agua, así que miran el animal y luego van a la biblioteca para descubrir lo que es.
En la biblioteca Mikel no sólo aprende cómo portarse, sino también encuentra el animal misterioso en la enciclopedia. ¿Puedes adivinar lo que es?

Leí esto con mis nietos de 4 años y 6 años y no sólo les encantó la historia, sino aprendieron una lección importante. Lo que aprendieron es que siempre necesitan escucharle a su mami y aceptar sus consejos, porque ella los quiere y no sólo quiere enseñarles sobre el mundo maravilloso alrededor, sino mantenerles a salvo.