Tuesday, 23 September 2014

“Been there, done that, and don’t talk to me about gurus”

The Drowned Phoenician Sailor shouts quality before one even gets to chapter 1.  No other writer (to date) has given me Stevie Smith and T.S. Eliot to get me into the right frame of mind; and then that first paragraph: "...the cat, eyeballing me into subservience" - BLISS, like slipping into a warm jacuzzi, prior to being massaged by words precisely chosen and arranged in just the right order.

This is Lesley Hayes at her best, and a superb best it is: sharply analytical, deeply observant about the vagaries of the human character and reliably lyrical in her use of language.  You just know you’re in a very safe pair of well-informed, wittily writerly hands.

The story chronicles an interesting period in the life of Fynn, short for Fiona (the name her controlling, unfaithful father insisted on).  She also goes by the name of Kaya – her ‘soul’ name given to her by her now “aging hippie”, very likeable mother.  Lesley Hayes has told us in her “Meet My Character” blog (http://bit.ly/WbKT8S ) that “it’s in using her ‘soul name’ that she discovers more of who she really is throughout the course of the novel.” 

Fynn/Kaya tells us quite early on, she’d “had a happy childhood.  Well, no more miserable than most!”  However, in adulthood, particular memories kept returning to ‘haunt her’ – hence the need for her therapist Paul, who “loved life” and “lived love”.  His sudden, unexpected death leaves her with unfinished business, and she embarks on a journey towards a kind of happiness: a journey guided in a most intriguing way by an unlikely pair of “ghosts”.

One of the things I love most about Lesley Hayes’ books is the entertaining way in which I learn so much about people and the different ways they find to deal with their experiences of abusive behaviour – some by abusing in their turn and others by incredible feats of forgiveness, reinvention and renewal.  In consequence, I feel better able to deal with the vagaries of my own existence having read them, and that is no mean feat.

Fynn’s father was “anything but” a father figure, and her mother was “a fallen angel”.  Does that ring any bells for anyone?  Fynn says “I always saw in her the absence where someone should have loved her more.”  In savouring this book I highlighted hundreds of passages like that, at least one on every page: deep, questioning, thoughtful, perceptive observations in a smooth and cultured prose. 

Above all it’s a hopeful book, ending with Fynn/Kaya discovering “what it’s like when you are happy” (it’s all so simple, really); by which time we are acutely aware “how intricate are the strands of connection that the universe weaves.”

I recommend this book without reservation.

Monday, 22 September 2014


Hello, and welcome to the 2nd day of my BETTER PARENTING, BETTER KIDS Blog Tour!  I'm so happy to be here today with Robin and all his guests that I thought I'd bring a special message.

I know that there will be some who won't agree with my "kind" of parenting, although for the life of me, I can't understand why.  I have been told by parents in the past that they don't want their kids addressing adults with Mrs. and Mr;  I've had parents to tell me that they don't like their kids having to say "Yes, Ma'am" and "No, Sir."  All I can say to that is:  we all have choices.  But in saying that, I must be honest, I WILL NOT ALLOW anyone's child to address me by my first name, and when it happens, I have no problem stating as much.  But I'm sure my reputation like my stomach, precedes me.  {I did write a book entitled:  SUGARCOATIN' IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN' IS FOR KIDS:  "YES, I SAID IT!"}.  When I say that we all have choices, that means that they are welcome to allow their children to behave in any manner that suits THEM, I on the other hand have the choice, not to deal with them.  And, there have been (not many) times when that has happened.

Now, let me share something... my daughters do not address my husband as Sir.  Never have and I suppose they never will.  If you do hear it, they're joking with him.  He doesn't demand that they do, and that just shows that we are all cut from different cloths.  BUT, make no mistake, if my daughters are outside of our home, you hear nothing but:  "Yes, Sir." "No, Sir" "Thank you, Sir." "Excuse me, Sir."  Kids (I refer to anyone who is younger than 35 as a kid, by the way, because that's what they are to me) today who address me with "Yes, ma'am..." I immediately say "Oh, my!  You are so respectful.  Please tell your mom she did a great job." Parents need to realize that RESPECT and MANNERS will take their kids very far in this life.  You can deny that they don't matter until you're blue in the face, but I am a living witness to it.  And trust me, my Sarah walking into a job interview with all her manners, and your John walking into the same interview with his "Yea, what's," who do you think is walking out with that job?  (Monday morning scenario:  "Good morning, Sarah!  Welcome to the company."}  -________-

I always say, "I have two daughters that I love more than life itself, and I am not going to allow them to be disrespectful towards me or anyone else, so surely you have to know that if I didn't 'bear' your children, that feeling doubles."

It's time we took this back to the village.  Remember when everyone in the neighborhood was raising everyone's kids?  Remember when old, cantankerous Ms. Mary use to sit on her porch and just watch us kids and if we did one little thing that she thought was wrong, she'd tell our parents and we'd be in trouble?  Today, honey, if you open your mouth to say something to someone else's kids or to try and correct them in any way, you better walk backwards because the parent may be coming for you with a pistol or a knife.  #NewAgeParenting...it's not working.  {And just for the record, if I have something to say about someone's kids misbehaving in my presence, guess what I do?  I SAY IT!...And I don't like walking backwards...they didn't just make one knife and one gun, now did they?...LOL}

My time is up here but I hope I have enlightened and moved you in some way, so that we may all band together to change this world back into one we're comfortable leaving our kids to.  We can't continue to sit by and twiddle our thumbs and yell at the television news, each time there is a story about another kid who has committed another crime.  WE MUST ACT!

Do us all a favor and pick up your copy of  "THE GOOD MOMMIE'S GUIDE TO RAISING ALMOST (PERFECT) DAUGHTERS." If your kids are grown and gone, gift it to them for their kids.  If you don't have kids, gift it to the young mom next door or down the hall who could use the wisdom between the covers of this life-changing little book.  And, if you're just in the mood for a really good read, I can guarantee, this one is a joy!



Nonnie Jules is the mother of two beautifully kind daughters, who along with the help of her husband, have turned out to be two of the greatest assets to this world.  THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS is her first published piece of work and two weeks after publication, it hit Amazon’s Top 100 list, where it reached the #7 mark.  With all the violence which is being exhibited by some children today, it is her vision and goal to get THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE…into the hands of everyone who breathes around a child.  She feels the only way we can make this happen, is if we are all working from a common blueprint.  Ms. Jules strongly believes that every opportunity we are given with a child, should be a teaching one for us and a learning one for them.

So far, Nonnie has authored two other books:  a novel which she released in November of 2013, entitled “DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND” and “SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS!” where she shares her no-holds-barred style of teaching us all about support and social media.  Her second parenting guide {THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO BULLY-PROOF KIDS} is due for release the beginning of January, 2015 and the sequel to her debut novel, DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, shortly after.  (Both have been delayed due to her extensive workload with RRBC).

She is a fan of the well-written word, and so along with 3 partners, she started 4WillsPublishing Co. in November, 2013 to assist other writers in putting out their best work ever.  By December, 2013, she had founded the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB where in less than a year, the membership has rapidly grown to well over 500.  If you’re not a member yet, this is your personal invitation to JOIN US!

As you can see, she is an Author on the move and if you’re interested in keeping up with her, here is her contact info (and a good pair of running shoes would help as well):

Twitter:  @nonniejules
Facebook:  Nonnie Jules, Author