French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley
Dog Ear Publishing
Produced by Pump Up Your Book
In the summer of 1979, twenty-one-year-old Linda Kovic contracts to become an au pair for an wealthy French family in the Loire Valley. To secure the position, she pretends to speak the language, fully aware her deception will be discovered once she arrives at her destination. Based on the author’s diary, French Illusions captures Linda’s fascinating and often challenging real-life story inside and outside the Château de Montclair. The over-bearing, Madame Dubois, her accommodating husband, Monsieur Dubois, and their two children are highlighted as Linda struggles to adapt to her new environment. Continually battling the language barrier, she signs up and attends classes at the local university in the nearby town of Tours, broadening her range of experiences. When she encounters, Adam, a handsome young student, her life with the Dubois family becomes more complicated, adding fuel to her internal battle for independence.
Chamed is not the registry office name of the author, yet it is not a pseudonym. She lives in Tuscany, she works mostly abroad, as a painter on canvas and porcelain. Some of her porcelain works are displayed in exhibitions in Italy, Sweden and Poland, France, Portugal and Brazil. My Heart Stopped Beating is her first novel. A second novel by her is forthcoming.
About My Heart Stopped Beating
Fourteen year old Italian girl, Chamed, is a living miracle after fighting illness since birth to live a normal life. Now fourteen years old, she feels a thrill of freedom when she convinces her parents to let her stay home alone while they go on holiday. She soon regrets that decision when she receives a call from her aunt Patrizia that the worst has happened: her parents have died in a car accident.
Things only get worse for Chamed as she mourns the deaths of her parents and suffers under the care of her aunt and uncle. Her aunt repeatedly abuses her and convinces others that she is an evil child. When Chamed’s best friend’s father sexually harasses her, the blame is placed on Chamed. Deeply depressed, she attempts suicide, only to find herself waking up in a mental hospital. Her nightmare is only beginning as she is subjected to electroshock therapy against her will – and worse from the nurses and doctors.
Finally she finds hope again in Dr. Franco, but will he be enough to save her from this living nightmare?
Title: The Accidental Millionaire
Author: Gary Fong
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Ben Bella Books
The Accidental Millionaire is the memoir of Gary Fong, would-be slacker who revolutionized wedding photography, inventor of popular photography aids, entrepreneur, contrarian, bon vivant and a man who really, really didn’t want to become a doctor. A first-generation Chinese-American, Gary was raised in one of Los Angeles’ least-desirable neighborhoods and was forced to deal—in his own quirky and often very funny way—with the burdens of poverty, crime and his parents’ relentless aspirations. These issues almost overwhelmed him until he had a dramatic epiphany. Spotting a bumper sticker that read “Since I gave up hope, I feel much better,” Gary promptly did just that.
He stopped trying and started succeeding. At turns hilarious, insightful and instructive, The Accidental Millionaire is Horatio Alger-meets-David Sedaris. Turning the traditional self-help principles upside down, The Accidental Millionaire disdains the goal-oriented approaches of traditional self-help philosophies. Sometimes not knowing where you are going is the best possible way to get there.
Gary Fong is a world-renowned photographer, inventor and entrepreneur who has made multiple fortunes in business and real estate. From his inauspicious beginnings in a tiny, hairspray-saturated apartment that doubled as his parents’ wig studio, he went on to become, at a very young age, one of the world’s most successful wedding photographers. After making millions by revolutionizing an industry traditionally reserved for small businessmen, he “stumbled” upon serial successes in photo printing, software, real estate and camera accessories by making unconventional decisions based on his own quirky impulses. Gary has photographed celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone, Paul McCartney and Ronald Reagan, invented and marketed the Lightsphere, and co-founded Pictage, which became the largest dedicated online digital/web solution in the United States and sold for $29 million.
His latest book is The Accidental Millionaire: How to Succeed in Life Without Really Trying.
You can visit his website at www.garyfongaccidentalmillionaire.com.
Homer’s Odyssey – A Fearless Feline Tale, Or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Once in nine lives, something extraordinary happens…
The last thing Gwen Cooper wanted was another cat. She already had two, not to mention a phenomenally underpaying job and a recently broken heart. Then Gwen’s veterinarian called with a story about a three-week-old eyeless kitten who’d been abandoned. It was love at first sight.
Everyone warned that Homer would always be an “underachiever,” never as playful or independent as other cats. But the kitten nobody believed in quickly grew into a three-pound dynamo, a tiny daredevil with a giant heart who eagerly made friends with every human who crossed his path. Homer scaled seven-foot bookcases with ease and leapt five feet into the air to catch flies in mid-buzz. He survived being trapped alone for days after 9/11 in an apartment near the World Trade Center, and even saved Gwen’s life when he chased off an intruder who broke into their home in the middle of the night.
But it was Homer’s unswerving loyalty, his infinite capacity for love, and his joy in the face of all obstacles that inspired Gwen daily and transformed her life. And by the time she met the man she would marry, she realized Homer had taught her the most important lesson of all: Love isn’t something you see with your eyes.
Homer’s Odyssey is the once-in-a-lifetime story of an extraordinary cat and his human companion. It celebrates the refusal to accept limits—on love, ability, or hope against overwhelming odds. By turns jubilant and moving, it’s a memoir for anybody who’s ever fallen completely and helplessly in love with a pet.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Gwen Cooper is the author of the novel Diary of a South Beach Party Girl. A Miami native, she spent five years working in nonprofit administration, marketing, and fundraising. She coordinated volunteer activities on behalf of organizations such as Pet Rescue, the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, the Miami Rescue Mission, and His House Children’s Home. In conjunction with Hands on Miami and Barnes & Noble, Gwen initiated Reading Pen Pals, an elementary school-based-literacy program in Miami’s Little Haiti. Gwen currently lives in Manhattan with her husband, Laurence, and her three perfect cats—Scarlett, Vashti, and Homer, who aren’t impressed with any of it.
You can visit Gwen Cooper’s website at www.gwencooper.com and read an excerpt from Homer’s Odyssey.
Homer’s Odyssey is available at Amazon.com and wherever books are sold!
The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference
Loving Healing Press
Irene Watson’s pretentious life could go no further until she faced her past. Her moving and inspiring memoir begins at the end, in a recovery center, where she has gone to understand a childhood fraught with abuse, guilt and uncertainty. Her powerful story is a testament that it’s never too late to change your life, never too late to heal.
The Sitting Swing shows us how guilt, fear and ignorance are borne by our children. Two distinct parts of the book look at an abusive child rearing and the process of recovery that takes place years later. On many levels this is a classic story showing us that change, growth, forgiveness and recovery are possible. It is also a heart warming healing story and a testament to the strength and courage of the human spirit. In the end it gives hope and freedom to those that accept the past and move forward by rewriting life scripts that have been passed down for generations.
A Full House – But Empty
Filled with anecdotes, lessons learned, and an inspirational message for everyone who believes that hard work breeds success, this moving autobiography shares the remarkable story of Angus Munro.
Munro is just three when he suffers from appendicitis and spends several weeks in a Vancouver hospital as his family struggles to survive the Great Depression. After finally arriving home, Munro asks his sister, “Where is Mummy?” and is promptly told his mother doesn’t live there anymore. It is this traumatic event that changes the course of Munro’s life forever. His father is suddenly a single parent while simultaneously turning into Munro’s mentor and hero. He teaches Munro the motto, “Always do the right thing,” while raising his children in an environment that is at the very least hectic, and more often completely chaotic.
Through a potpourri of chronological and heartfelt tales, Munro reveals how he learned to view incidents in life in terms of responsibility, recognition, personal conduct, and consideration of others. Despite dropping out of school at a young age, Munro perseveres, eventually attaining professional success.
Munro’s memoir is a wonderful tribute to his father’s legacy and the greatest lesson of all – whatever you do, follow through.