Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Nomad's Premonition by Georges Benay

Eric Martin is desperate to forget his past, one that almost cost him his future.

Synopsis - 

Working in Paris as deputy head of a bank's internal security department, Eric notices a high-speed trader's uncanny ability to predict extremely profitable trades. Even though there's nothing illegal about the activity, he knows the trader's success is more than just luck.

But, no one believes him. Armed only with a handful of data and a powerful instinct, Eric searches for the mysterious trader on his own. He suspects that a predictive algorithm has fallen into the wrong hands.

​Eric sets off for Istanbul to find answers promised to him by an informant. He finds an unlikely ally in Interpol agent Stephanie Brule. With Interpol wanting him back in Paris and out of the way, Eric's quest is also hampered by the sudden appearance of his ex-lover, a boss he's not sure he can trust, and a terrorist who always seems one step ahead.

​Will Eric put an end, once and for all, to the nightmare that began when he accepted a job that was too good to be true? Or will his need for revenge and justice lead him deeper into a treacherous world he has no way of escaping?

Review - 

Eric Martin barely survived with his life in Nomad on the Run. Nomad's Premonition, book two in the Nomad series, begins the story months later when he is working internal security for his old international bank. His injuries have healed, but his heart is still mending from tremendous personal loss.

While most of his job is pretty mundane, his uncanny abilities as a former trader spot an unusual pattern. One trader's success rate is well beyond the norm. The question arises - is there a chance the stolen predictive algorithm he protected with his life ended up again falling into the hands of terrorists? Unfortunately, his boss doesn't think it's possible which means no one at the bank takes these worries seriously.  His boss is being transferred to a lucrative management position in Australia and offers Eric a great transfer to a more interesting and challenging job there. The catch, he has to let this matter go.

Against all advice, and knowing he is again putting his very life on the line, Eric realizes he has to follow the thread and put this matter to rest once and for all.  It's the only way he can move on. This time the stakes are even higher and danger is imminent from the moment he lands in Istanbul. While he does find an ally with Interpol agent Stephanie Brule, in the end he decides to head off on his own to connect with a possible mole. Will he find the answers he seeks or will this be his final act with no encore to follow?

As Nomad's Premonition is book two in a series. I highly recommend reading Nomad on the Run first. (Review of book one - HERE!)

Buy the Book:  Amazon  Add on Goodreads

Meet the Author - 

Great author interview HERE!

Georges Benay is a former international banker who is now working as a Toronto-based writer and award-winning photographer. He is the author of two novels, including The Nomad's Premonition and a collection of short stories. His award winning pictures have been featured in several magazines and book covers.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Photography Website ~ Twitter


Monday, August 28, 2017

Interview With Susanne Bellefeuille, Author of Path of Lucas: The Journey He Endured

Your personal story is inspiring. Can you share about your journey to finish high school and earn a university degree in Social Work at a later age? What dream drew you on this path?

My journey to finish High School was to show a better example to my four boys; I didn’t believe that I could tell my children to finish High School and me being a dropout. I wanted to show my children the importance of an education. Also for me as a person to gain more confidence and believe in myself.

As for my College Degree in Social Service Worker is because I always wanted to help people. My College degree was for me to better my life.

The dream that drew me on this path was to follow my heart and make my dream come true. Writing a book was a passion I always had in my heart, when my children grew up it was my opportunity to go for my passion and write a novel.

Can you share a bit about the true events that inspired the storyline in your first book, Path of Lucas? Are the characters in the book based on real people from your life?


When I made the decision to follow my dream to write a novel, I needed to find a topic to write about. One day I looked in my dad’s eyes and that is when I knew there and then to write about my father’s journey. My dad is my hero and I wanted the world to know how this man kept his family together. Especially when my mom suffered with a psychotic depression after being hospitalized for almost a year. The doctors told my dad that they did everything and she was not responding, she would have to be put into an institution. My dad refused, he worked with her and she was able to come back home. It was a miracle!

Yes, most of the characters in the book are based on real people from my life but in different names.

Did your job as a Social Worker influence the development of your book's characters and their interactions with others?
Review - HERE!

My job as a Social Service Worker didn’t influence the development of my book’s characters and their interaction with others; it was my father’s strength and love that influence me.

As this is your first published book, can you share what you found most enjoyable about the writing process? What did you find the hardest? Was there anything about writing/publishing that surprised you?

What I found most enjoyable about writing this book was that I was fulfilling my dream and passion. Creating a story and making these characters come alive, also because I got to spend quality time with my dad talking about his journey.

What I found the hardest was learning the ropes on publishing my book: example how to create the book cover, finding editors, how to set up the book page, color and glyphs. Also reliving the past was hard but I want to help others that are going through their personal issues in life.

The most surprising thing about writing was how I was able to achieve my dream from being a high school drop out, young teen mom to writing a book, also for publishing my book was the cost on self-publishing and all the work behind it.

When working on Path of Lucas, how did you organize your time - writing (scheduled or as inspiration hit?), research, marketing?

When writing Path of Lucas I organized my time in different ways, most of the time was evenings, also there were times in different places with my IPad at a mall or waiting for an appointment, my favorite time was outside in the nature on weekends.

My research for my book was by computer, that is where I found different publishing companies and answers I had about putting a book together. For marketing was with Balboa, my publishing company or book events, Book Expo, Book launch.

What's next for you as an author? Do you have any new titles in development?

I am currently writing my second book, it will be more in depth about my mom’s depression. How she had to live with depression and how the depression crept up on her. I already chose my title for this book but I have not released it yet.


What would you most like readers to know about you?

What I would like readers to know about me is that I am an ordinary person that followed my passion, my dream about the love I have for writing books. I don’t have any University degree or Major in English but I did follow my heart.

Any thoughts to share with others hoping to write and publish their first book?

My thoughts to share with others hoping to write and publish their first book is follow your heart and dream, don’t give up when times get hard and don’t let anyone or anything stop you from creating your dream. I was a High School drop out and I did what it took to reach my goals and create my dream, always remember to have the drive to do what is in your heart

Connect with the author:  Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Path of Lucas: The Journey He Endured by Susanne Bellefeuille

Based on true events, Path of Lucas follows one man’s incredible journey through trials and tribulations.

Synopsis - 

​Path of Lucas follows Lucas Clarkson who is a simple man, a family man, and a hard working farmer’s son. From a small town in Eastern Ontario, the author, Susanne Bellefeuille, brings us on Lucas’s journey through the trials and tribulations of his life.

Lucas’s path is not as simple as the man he’s portrayed to be. From the days spent working on his dad’s farm to becoming a successful mechanic, with a genuine heart and his incredible strength, Lucas faces many difficult decisions. The choices he makes may be the difference between realizing his dreams and keeping his family together.

Based on true events, this is Susanne Bellefeuille’s first novel.

Review - 

The Path of Lucas is the first offering by writer Susanne Bellefeuille, so kudos to the author. I know what an amazing accomplishment this is.

There are a lot of great things about The Path of Lucas - a story based on true events in the author's life. I loved that the main character's life didn't follow the expected path with his hard work meaning every dream was realized. Instead readers are offered a more realistic journey that had great highs, moments of love, family and success, but also the heartache of life challenges that demand you let go of a dream as well as challenging health issues that turn the family's lives upside down.

I also loved her choice to tell the story as flashbacks of an older father sharing his life with his adult daughter who was lying in a hospital bed in a coma after a terrible accident. Through it all, the story's message is one of love, sacrifice, determination and the knowledge that you can have a good life even if you have to make compromises.

There was one part of the book I did struggle with.  As a first time author, Bellefeuille's dialogue in the flashbacks tended to be stilted - a little he said and then she responded. Conversations between Lucas and his wife in particular didn't flow with a natural ease the way they do in real life.  However, when the storyline moved to the present, this wasn't as evident.

Susan Bellefeuille's first novel shows an author with great promise. I encourage her to continue to hone her craft and look forward to reviewing new works from her in the future.

Buy the Book:  Amazon.ca ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble  ~ Chapters-Indigo  ~ Add to Goodreads



Meet the Author - 

Great author interview HERE!

Susanne Bellefeuille is a sister, mother, grandmother, and an inspirational mentor to many people. Graduating from the social service worker program at St. Lawrence College in Cornwall, Ontario, Susanne spends countless hours offering her professional aid, guidance, and most importantly, her friendship to people with intellectual disabilities.

Susanne’s life changed remarkably after the realization that her desires would require her to complete college and set a better example for her children and grandchildren. From being a high school dropout and a mother at the young age of seventeen, Susanne has journeyed a considerable distance to become the successful person she is today. Her journey is not only to write books but also to help people reach their full potential, as she truly believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to shine in life.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

EFWA Upcycling Challenge by Marilyn R Wilson Part 5 of 5 - Evan Clayton, Lara Ireland, Markéta Martišková & Yasuhiro Tomita

I was so honoured when the founder of Eco Fashion Week Australia offered to let me create a unique show for their event in November in Perth, Australia. It took two weeks to finalize the idea for this upcycling challenge and another one to two weeks to finalize this amazing list of incredible talents - 21 in all representing 12 countries. Each will be creating one unique look from used men's dress shirts (thrift store or flea market finds, discards from family and friends or ?).

These fashion designers were all asked to step out of the box conceptually and have fun with the challenge. Their look should represent them as designers and showcase their creativity. They were asked to do more than just use the shirts as fabric. At least one original detail from the original garments used should be incorporated in their final design.

Here is a brief introduction to the final four designers - Evan Clayton, Lara Ireland, Markéta Martišková and Yasuhiro Tomita. Alex S. Yu, Francesca Phipps, Jessie Liu, Sacha Cooper and Tieler James were covered in Press Release Part 1 - HERE. Aloke Kumar Singh, Camila Castillo, Lesley Hampton & Sam Stringer were covered in Press Release Part 2 - HERE. Anita Heiberg, Jacqueline Zeyi Chen, Sara Armstrong & Stevie Crowne were covered in Press Release Part 3 - HERE. Amber Nifong, Lauren Kemp, Charné Esterhuizen & Ras Kasozi  were covered in Part 5 - HERE.

To read about my journey to create this challenge, check out my article, "The Move From Media Seat To Backstage."

Evan Clayton (Vancouver) –


About - Evan Clayton is a fashion designer highly skilled in both the art of tailoring and the fluidity of drapery who love to puch the boundary of the silhouette. He strives to marry art and fashion in such a way as to create political, personal and artistic expression. Creative influences include psychology, modern pop culture, French history and a variety of performance artists including Marina Abramovic, Lady Gaga and Jonna Lee of iamamaiwhoami.
  • About - Evan Clayton is a fashion designer highly skilled in both the art of tailoring and the fluidity of drapery who love to puch the boundary of the silhouette. He strives to marry art and fashion in such a way as to create political, personal and artistic expression. Creative influences include psychology, modern pop culture, French history and a variety of performance artists including Marina Abramovic, Lady Gaga and Jonna Lee of iamamaiwhoami.
  • Studied at – Blanche Macdonald
  • Instagram - @evanclayton
  • Twitter - @Evan_Clayton
Lara Ireland (Sydney) –

  • About - Lara Ireland is a Sydney based designer, with a focus on a conceptual approach to Sustainable applications and Design. Her collections are intimately hand-made and artisanal at the very heart.Lara markedly sets her philosophy around the basis of ‘Cradle to Cradle’ design – recycling materials and eliminating the impact on wastage and environmental conservation.
Markéta Martišková of STOPisSTART (Antwerp) –


  • About - Marketa Martiskova is currently working on setting up her own fashion and accessories label ‘STOP’ based in Antwerp. She looks to the world and identifies social distraction, day-to-day topics and global issues through designs. She is communicates through symbols, typography, prints and employed techniques.The designer creates eco-friendly and recycling based designs by using leftovers from production or even raw materials which could be regarded as waste.Her designs could be described like painting with textile. 
  • Studied at - Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp 
  • Website - www.stopisstart.com/
  • Facebook - www.facebook.com/STOPisSTART/
  • Instagram - @stopisstart
  • Tumblr - http://marketa-martiskova.tumblr.com/
  • LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/marketa-martiskova-2b656929/
Yasuhiro Tomita of Rukus by Yasuhiro Tomita (Tokyo) –

An article by Marilyn R Wilson titled The Move From Media Seat to Backstage covering her journey to develop this show can be found at http://bit.ly/2eNJOTI

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Mexican Quinoa Salad

Image from Cooking on the Front Burner
I am forever looking for great salads that can be an easy make-ahead dish for a dinner party/potluck. Special attention is given to ones that can be eaten as a healthy lunch the next day.

Sometimes I make this type of salad just for myself - an easy lunch to grab on a busy week. You do have to be willing to eat the salad for several days  in a row. When busy - I am!

This one hits all points beautifully and the dressing is on the milder side which lets the flavours of each ingredient shine. It also works as a vegetarian main dish salad, so great if you have a mixed group to feed.

For those who have not discovered Yummly, they are a recipe gathering site that send you emails several times a week highlighting the offerings from hundreds (or more) cooking blogs. Each email is often themed - trending this week, summer salads, chicken, etc. I look at every email, but only occasionally does a recipe catch my eye.

The recipe below and image included above are from a blog call Cooking On The Front Burner. I highly suggest you check them out. There are tons of delicious looking offerings and the pictures are truly drool worthy - something I continue to fail at when I take my own.  I guess I need better lighting, better photoshop skills or something.  I'm working on it.

I assembled this salad in the late morning, then served it to company with marinated chicken skewers fresh from the butcher shop and quickly cooked on barbecue.  A fruit salad and some bread and voila, a cool summer repast that was a hit with everyone.  I barely had enough for my lunch the next day. Enjoy!

= = = =

Mexican Quinoa Salad

Ingredients -

1 C         Uncooked quinoa
2 C         Water or vegetable broth
1/2          Large red pepper diced
1/2          Large orange pepper diced
11 oz      Canned corn rinsed and drained
15 oz      Black beans, rinsed and drained
4             Green onions sliced
1/4 C      Chopped cilantro
1/2          Avocado diced
2 T         Apple cider vinegar
2 T         Vegetable oil
3 T          Honey
2 T          Fresh lime juice
2 tsp       Minced fresh jalapenos
1/2 tsp    Dijon mustard
1             Small garlic clove minced
1/4 tsp    Salt
1/4 tsp    Black pepper
1 T         Chopped fresh cilantro (I love this so added more!)

Instructions -

Place the quinoa and water (or broth) in a medium saucepan, bring to boil then cover and cook for 15 minutes or until done. Let rest with top on for about 5 minutes

In a large bowl combine the peppers, onion, black beans, corn, cilantro and avocado - toss gently until mixed and set aside

In a small food processor combine the cider, oil, honey, lime juice, jalapeno, cilantro dijon mustard, garlic and S&P; blend until very smooth - there will be some small pieces left

When the quinoa has cooled a bit add to the veggies, toss to mix and then drizzle the dressing over and mix again.

This can be served warm or chilled

Friday, August 18, 2017

EFWA Upcycling Challenge by Marilyn R Wilson Part 4 of 5 - Amber Nifong, Lauren Kemp of Lo Life, Charné Esterhuizen of MAAK Clothing & Ras Kasozi of Kas Wear

I was so honoured when the founder of Eco Fashion Week Australia offered to let me create a unique show for their event in November in Perth, Australia. It took two weeks to finalize the idea for this upcycling challenge and another one to two weeks to finalize this amazing list of incredible talents - 21 in all representing 12 countries. Each will be creating one unique look from used men's dress shirts (thrift store or flea market finds, discards from family and friends or ?).

These fashion designers were all asked to step out of the box conceptually and have fun with the challenge. Their look should represent them as designers and showcase their creativity. They were asked to do more than just use the shirts as fabric. At least one original detail from the original garments used should be incorporated in their final design.

Here is a brief introduction to the next four designers -  Amber Nifong, Lauren Kemp of Lo Life, Charné Esterhuizen of MAAK Clothing & Ras Kasozi of Kas Wear.  Alex S. Yu, Francesca Phipps, Jessie Liu, Sacha Cooper and Tieler James were covered in Press Release Part 1 - HERE. Aloke Kumar Singh, Camila Castillo, Lesley Hampton & Sam Stringer were covered in Press Release Part 2 - HERE. Anita Heiberg, Jacqueline Zeyi Chen, Sara Armstrong & Stevie Crowne were covered in Press Release Part 3 - HERE. The rest of the designers will be covered in a final press release coming soon.

To read about my  journey to create this challenge, check out my article, "The Move From Media Seat To Backstage."

Amber Nifong (New York City) –

Lauren Kemp, Lo Life Shop (Vancouver) -

  • About – Designer Lauren Kemp describes the garments she creates as, “Repurposed Vintage Goods as Well-Loved and Worn In as your Soul.” She works to keep used garments from ending up in landfils by hand embroidering & re-purposing clothing Remaking them into apparel you wear until it falls apart. Because of the hand detailing, garments aren't “perfect” - they have character!
  • Website - www.lolifeshop.com
  • Studied at – Vancouver Community College
  • Instagram - @lolifeshop
  • Facebook - www.facebook.com/LoLifeShop/
Charné Esterhuizen, MAAK Clothing (Canberra) -

  • About – MAAK Clothing focuses on creating sustainable fashions for tomorrow by introducing 3d printing into our range of garments and accessories. The benefits are endless. Mass-customisation, local production, 3D printing and fabrics are combined and then detailed with tailored stitching lines, giving a stylish and unique look. All garments are designed and produced locally in Canberra.
  • Website - www.maakclothing.com
  • Studied at - Canberra Institute of Technology and Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE)
  • Instagram - @maak_clothing
  • Facebook - www.facebook.com/MAAKCLOTHING/
  • Linked In - www.linkedin.com/in/charne-esterhuizen-5a9a0ab0/
Ras Kasozi, Kas Wear (Kampala)

  • About –Raz Kasozi is a self taught fashion designer who began his passion at a very young age. Lack of money led him to explore upcycling and the use of different textiles and materials to create the  unique, one-of-a-kind looks that have become his trademark. His collections have been show on the international stage, he collaborates with established designers around the world and is partnered with the U.S. Mission Kampala on Skilled Expressive Entrepreneurial Designers Show (SEED), a project that promotes fashion and entrepreneurship.
  • Website - www.kaswear.com/
  • Studied at – Self-taught
  • Instagram - @raskasozi
  • Facebook - www.facebook.com/kaswearfashion/
  • Linked In - www.linkedin.com/in/ras-kasozi-34286b99/

Monday, August 14, 2017

Interview With Georges Benay, Author of Nomad on the Run and Nomad's Premonition


Can you share a bit about what led you to walk away from your career in international banking to embrace writing (and photography)?

Fatigue and exhaustion. After twenty years of investment banking, I thought I needed to do something different with my life. Not that investment banking was no longer fulfilling or that it did not have its rewards, it's just that I needed a break. A question of rebooting my passion for what I was doing, if you will. I've always been writing. If you consider essays, poetry, short stories, business proposals, reports and speeches, I guess you might say that writing is in my DNA. So why not write a novel. What a neat idea I thought at the time! And I've not stopped writing since then.

When you began your first book - Nomad On The Run - had you already planned to make this a series?

Nomad on the Run was my first attempt at a full scale novel. When I started writing it I'd no idea where story line would take me, what would happen to my protagonist after the first couple of chapters, or how the novel would end. It was indeed a total experiment. It's only while doing readings at local libraries when the novel was completed, that I realized that there was much more to tell about Eric's adventures. Readers wanted to know what was going to happen to Eric, they needed a good answer for why anyone had to die, and they were not convinced that the algorithm had been destroyed. Some particularly avid readers even called for retribution. In short there was much unfinished business with the first novel and so the idea of the series came about. 

The Nomad's Premonition is the second book in the series. It takes place in Turkey where Eric is confronted with new challenges and hopes to find answers to some of the unresolved mysteries.

Review coming Aug. 31st
How did you develop the characters included in this series? Were they based on people you have met in your previous career?

My characters are all purely fictional. Naturally, I borrowed from my past life to create composite personalities for certain key players in the novel. Most successful investment bankers are cut from the same mold. They are driven people, relentless in their pursuit of the deal, used to winning at all costs, and exude confidence that borders on arrogance. My challenge was to incorporate these "fine" qualities in my protagonist and add a softer human side to the mix so as to make Eric more likable. The villains on the other hand were totally new to me. They came in the novel as fully developed personalities just like magic. Valerie is special to me as a character. Someone I'd love to meet in real life.

What kind of research/travel was necessary to bring authenticity to the stories settings, especially Morocco, and the the interactions with government agencies?
Luckily for me, I've spent my early teenage years roaming the streets of Casablanca. So when I describe the medina, the Corniche d'Ain Diab or the Boulevard D'Anfa, these places are all part of my youth and are deeply rooted in my memory bank. My interactions with various government agencies as a former investment and corporate banker also served me well in writing the novel.

Does your work as a photographer influence your work as a writer in any way?

Absolutely. I often use my photographs as a source of inspiration to convey in words the image that I captured digitally and how the scenery made me feel at the time. A novel to me is a series of vignettes, artfully woven together so that everyone can feel a connection and experience a range of emotions. Just like my photographs, I want my stories to have impact at an emotional level.

How do your organize your time when working on a new book? Research? Working on Manuscript? Pre-marketing?

Review - HERE!
There are a couple of things I do when I'm working on a new book. I stop reading other authors' work and I do not follow a rigid outline. In fact, I shy away from documenting my ideas in great detail beforehand. I remain totally flexible about the storyline preferring instead to let the mood of the moment mold the plot or even allow the characters to guide me where they want me to go with the story. My only discipline is to sit in front of my computer every morning and write. Sometimes I manage to produce one whole sentence for all my efforts, other times an entire chapter. Inspiration is like creativity. Without notice it'll take you where it wants you to go and will leave you with no control over the amount of writing you can produce at any one time.

I approach research in a totally different way. I'm thorough, disciplined, and systematic. If you want to be credible and make sure that your novel has an authentic feel to it, you better be certain of your facts. For obvious reasons, I leave pre-marketing activities to the very end. It's definitely not the fun part of the job.

As an author - what do you enjoy most about writing process? What feels like a chore?
Writing to me is first of all about sharing. As I tackle my manuscript, I find myself sharing new ideas with my characters. Sometimes they like my ideas, sometimes they reject them but the interactions are always enjoyable. Writing a novel is always full of surprises and that's what I like the most about it. I always look forward to my next day of writing until the novel is completed to my total satisfaction. Writing to me is not a job, it's a passion. It's never a shore.

What's next for you as an author? Any new titles in development?


Well, I'm getting ready to complete the Nomad trilogy. I've an idea or two of where I'd like to anchor the new novel in the series and I need to work on a new plot. I'll be travelling to Australia and New Zealand this winter to explore and test my choice of locations. As to the plotline, does anyone out there have any ideas for a new adventure for our hero? If you do please send them to me. Cheers!

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Photography Website  ~  Twitter



Nomad on the Run by Georges Benay

​Beneath the golden desert and azure seas of Morocco lurks a hidden world of greed, deceit and financial terrorism. But the players are not who you might think. 

Synopsis - 

Lured away from his seemingly idyllic life as a managing director for a major international bank in Toronto, Eric Martin returns to his ancestral roots in Morocco.

Tempted by a mysterious offer from a boutique financial firm, Eric soon discovers he has walked into the middle of a whirlwind where everyone has their own secret agenda, and he unwittingly has become the key to unlocking them all. From the broad avenues of Toronto to the mean streets of Casablanca, Eric rushes to discover the truth before time runs out. But who can he trust?

The power and attraction of money is strong. In the midst of a dangerous cast of characters, Jeff Offenbach, bank president, knows more than he lets on. But how much does he know? Is he a key player in a scheme to terrorize the global economy, or is he just trying to save his firm from becoming another victim of the global economic collapse? Valerie is the unknown factor. Is she involved in the partners' machinations, or is she as guileless as Eric? Can he trust her? And more importantly, will he survive long enough to find out?
Review - 

After a really hectic day of work - something that seems to be de rigueur at this moment - it 's always a welcome distraction to pick up an engaging work of fiction.  Nomad on the Run by Georges Benay did not disappoint. The author's previous career in banking and extensive travels allowed him bring his characters and settings alive. I could picture them in my mind as I read.

Nomad on the Run offers a great range of characters, unique settings, danger and romance all combine in this unique tale of international intrigue. personal danger and global threat. The main character, Eric Martin, is a financial wizard looking for change in both his professional and personal life.  When an offer comes in to work in exotic Morocco the answer is yes. This move will not only bring a breath of fresh air to his career, it will allow him to connect with his ancestral roots. After settling in, though, it quickly becomes clear that all is not as it seems. Dark clouds begin to form.

The world is faced with shady dealings that could bring financial ruin and fund a radical terrorist organization. In the middle of it all, Eric finds himself falling in love with Valerie, the daughter of his boss.  Can their relationship survive the chaos surround them? Even more important can they survive? And can Eric find a way to stop the plot before it is too late?

Buy the Book:  ​Amazon  Add on Goodreads


Meet the Author - 

Great author interview HERE!

Georges Benay is a former international banker who is now working as a Toronto-based writer and award-winning photographer. He is the author of two novels, including The Nomad's Premonition and a collection of short stories. His award winning pictures have been featured in several magazines and book covers.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

EFWA Upcycling Challenge by Marilyn R Wilson Part 3 of 5 - Anita Heiberg, Jacqueline Zeyi Chen, Sara Armstrong & Stevie Crowne

I was so honoured when the founder of Eco Fashion Week Australia offered to let me create a unique show for their event in November in Perth, Australia. It took two weeks to finalize the idea for this upcycling challenge and another one to two weeks to finalize this amazing list of incredible talents - 21 in all representing 12 countries. Each will be creating one unique look from used men's dress shirts (thrift store or flea market finds, discards from family and friends or ?).

These fashion designers were all asked to step out of the box conceptually and have fun with the challenge. Their look should represent them as designers and showcase their creativity. They were asked to do more than just use the shirts as fabric. At least one original detail from the original garments used should be incorporated in their final design.

Here is a brief introduction to the next four designers. Alex S. Yu, Francesca Phipps, Jessie Liu, Sacha Cooper and Tieler James were covered in Press Release Part 1 - HERE. Aloke Kumar Singh, Camila Castillo, Lesley Hampton & Sam Stringer were covered in Press Release Part 2 - HERE. The rest of the designers will be covered in upcoming posts so please check back.

To read about my the journey to create this challenge, check out my article, "The Move From Media Seat To Backstage."

Anita Heiberg, 13 Dresses (Berlin)


  • About – Anita Heiberg has over 10 years experience as a designer and patterng cutter for numerous independent designers as well as her own eponymous label. Most recently, she founded a unique interactive crowdsourced sustainable fashion design platform called 13 Dresses. The designer's mission, to leverage technology to accelerate sustainable social and environmental change in apparel production.
  • Studied at - Kwantlen Polytechnic Univessity, Central Saint Martins in London and Esmod Berlin.
  • Website - www.anitaheiberg.com/ and www.13dresses.com/
  • Instagram - @anitaheiberg and @13dresses
  • Facebook - www.facebook.com/anita.heiberg/ and www.facebook.com/13Dresses/

Jacqueline Zeyi Chen, Zeyi Studio (Guangzhou) -


Sara Armstrong (Vancouver) –


  • About - Armstrong creates ready to wear pieces for Men and Women, with an androgynous blur, at once loyal to the functionality of heritage craftsmanship and subversive in their welcoming of innovative details. The designer's formal training in sculpture is immediately apparent in pieces that balance complex geometries with pared-down simplicity.
  • Studied at – Blanche Macdonald
  • Website - www.sararmstrong.com/
  • Instagram - @sararmstrong
  • Facebook - www.facebook.com/sararmstronglabel/
  • Twitter - @sararmstrong_

Stevie Crowne (Toronto) -

  • About – Canadian fashion designer Stevie Crowne, 22, designs his collections recycling top quality vintage and thrift styles. Deemed an Eco-Friendly label creating 2+ collections per year since 2011, he upcycles his findings into newer and more edgy-contemporary fashion garments. In this process, he breathes new air into vintage clothing by refurbishing the original idea into a new piece.
  • Studied at – Self-taught.
  • Website www.steviecrowne.com/
  • Instagram - @steviecrowne
  • Facebook - www.facebook.com/StevieCrowneDesign/

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

EFWA Upcycling Challenge by Marilyn R Wilson Part 2 of 5 - Meet Aloke Kumar Singh, Camila Castillo, Lesley Hampton & Sam Stringer


I was so honoured when the founder of Eco Fashion Week Australia offered to let me create a unique show for their event in November in Perth, Australia. It took two weeks to finalize the idea for this upcycling challenge and another one to two weeks to finalize this amazing list of incredible talents - 21 in all representing 12 countries. Each will be creating one unique look from used men's dress shirts (thrift store or flea market finds, discards from family and friends or ?).

These fashion designers were all asked to step out of the box conceptually and have fun with the challenge. Their look should represent them as designers and showcase their creativity. They were asked to do more than just use the shirts as fabric. At least one original detail from the original garments used should be incorporated in their final design.

Here is a brief introduction to the next four designers. Alex S. Yu, Francesca Phipps, Jessie Liu, Sacha Cooper and Tieler James were covered in Press Release Part 1 - HERE. The rest of the designers will be covered in upcoming posts so please check back.

To read about my the journey to create this challenge, check out my article, "The Move From Media Seat To Backstage."

Aloke Kumar Singh, Micronesium & ESEDS (Kolkata) -

  • About Miconesium sources scraps and leftover cloth from export houses. Khadi and organic textiles are then combined with scraps of other material. The label is an exercise in waste management. They also work with certified organic and sustainable fabrics which are dyed with different herbs, flowers and left over fruit skins and are working on a project with banana and bamboo fabrics and legitimate nonviolent silk
  • Studied at – London College of Fashion, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and National Institute of Fashion Technology
  • WebsiteRelaunching in September 2017
  • ESEDS School of Design - www.eseds.com/
  • Twitter - @micronesium1
Camila Castillo, Camila X Castillo (Venezuela/U.S.) –

  • About - Camila Castillo's work as a designer has always been influenced by the visual arts. She loves to work on a manequin, cutting and folding the material until she finds interesting geometric compositions that she adapts to the curves of a woman. Her innovative work also incoporates the usue of innovative technoloby such as 3D printing and laser cutting.
  • Studied at - Neumann school of graphic design (very material oriented/bauhaus influence), followed by pattern making courses at seamstress schools.
  • Instagram - @camilaxcastillo
  • Twitter - @camilaxcastillo
Lesley Hampton (Toronto) -

Sam Stringer (Vancouver) -

  • About - Sam Stringer is known for red carpet ready, one of a kind, elaborate and luxurious evening gowns that combine traditional mastery with modern aesthetic to create. Her silhouettes offer a wonderful fusion that celebrate both art and fashion.
  • Studied at – Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Instagram - @sammyjay666

Friday, August 4, 2017

EFWA Upcycling Challenge by Marilyn R Wilson Part 1 of 5 - Meet Alex S. Yu, Jessie Liu,

I was so honoured when the founder of Eco Fashion Week Australia offered to let me create a unique show for their event in November in Perth, Australia.  It took two weeks to finalize the idea for this upcycling challenge and another one to two weeks to finalize this amazing list of incredible talents - 21 in all representing 12 countries. Each will be creating one unique look from used men's dress shirts (thrift store or flea market finds, discards from family and friends or ?).

These fashion designs were all asked to step out of the box conceptually and have fun with the challenge. Their look should represent them as designers and showcase their creativity.  They were asked to do more than just  use the shirts as fabric. At least one original detail from the original garments used should be incorporated in their final design. 

Here is a brief introduction to the first five.  The others will be covered in upcoming posts so please check back.  To read about my the journey to create this challenge check out my article, "The Move From Media Seat To Backstage."

Alex S. Yu (London, Vancouver Taipei) -

  • About - ALEX S. YU's aesthetics rollick the happy emotions of childhood, nostalgia and wanderlust; and ponder the very definition of femininity in a modern, quirky way through garments.d unusual silhouettes while mixing and using different colours and fabric weights in one garment.
  • Studied at – Blanche Macdonald Center (Canada) and London College of Fashion (UK)
  • Websitewww.alexsyu.com
  • Instagram - @alex.s.yu
  • Facebook - www.facebook.com/pg/alexsyualexsyu/
Francesca Phipps (London)


  • About – Francesca Phipps is always trying to find new innovative silhouettes with a mixture of tailoring and drape. Drapery is a very strong skill for the designer, something she is always pushing the boundaries of. She constantly explores the experimental use of colour and alternative construction of materials and fabrications
  • Studied at - De Montfort University (Leicester).
  • Website - www.artsthread.com/profile/francescaphipps/
  • Instagram - @francescaphippsfashion
  • Facebook - www.facebook.com/francesca.phipps/

Jessie Liu (San Francisco) -


·         About – Jessie Liu designs timeless and innovative styles with flattering silhouettes which enhance the existing beauty and confidence of her clients. Style, function, beauty and freedom collide in her designs.  Each season the designer selects luxurious fabrications and creates bold graphic prints that appear almost three dimensional amongst more muted tones adding balance to her eponymous RTW collection.
·         Studied at - Academy of Art University
·         Website - www.jessieliucollection.com/
·         Instagram - @jessieliucollection/
·         Facebook - www.facebook.com/jessieliucollection/

Sacha Cooper, Cooper Hotcooture (Luxembourg) -


·         About - Cooper Hotcooture is a ready-to-wear fashion label located in Luxembourg that offers subtle sexiness, affordable wearable couture and more importantly, unique designs that are handmade in Luxembourg.  The label stands for fine fashion and exclusive garments,
·         Studied at - ESMOD and AMD ('Akademie für Mode & Design)
·         Website - www.cooperhotcooture.lu/
·         Instagram - @cooperhotcooture/
·         Facebook - www.facebook.com/CooperHotcooture/

Tieler James (New Orleans) -
·         About – Tieler James was a finalist on Project Runway Junior and is the youngest designer participating.  His vision is to design clothing for all women that will let them feel powerful and beautiful as soon as they are.
·         Studied at – Self taught. James is still in high school.
·         Website - www.tielerjames.com/
·         Instagram - @tielerjamesdesigns
·         Facebook - www.facebook.com/designertieler/