All posts by Maurus Cappa

Perparim Kapllani Releases his Book “The Thin Line”

  

Perparim Kapllani’s novel “The Thin Line” has the readers walking on a thin line of emotions.

The drama unfolds when Ermal Bllaca’s family flees and hides in a basement to escape from the Serbian Police and Yugoslav Army who are taking revenge by killing Albanians for the NATO bombing of former Yugoslavia. But they had nothing to do with the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Hundreds die including his mother , Marigona and three sisters Tana, Trendelina, and Dodona.

We witness Ermal’s grief and his recovery from his surgery of his bleeding arm. Throughout the novel intense action and suspense is created until Ermal is finally reunited with his father, Adem.

The struggles that Ermal and Adem experience are palpable. They have to adjust to a new homeland while being tormented and haunted by the memories of the war atrocities they witnessed.

They get some type of closure once their family is located and a proper burial is provided and they are present to witness the event.

The novel is compelling and heart-wrenching.

 

Maria Pia Marchelletta

President, WEN

 

October 15, 2018 Bruna Di Giuseppe Releases Her Father’s WWII Diary

Bruna Di Giuseppe has published her father’s WWII Diary titled “Diary of a Tufarola”.  She launched the book in her father’s home town of Tufo in Italy in October, 2018 and is planning a second launch in Toronto. The diary written by her father is a compelling and emotional story about his life growing up as an orphan and then being sent off to war in North Africa. After enduring life as a prisoner of war in England, he returns to Italy to start a family. In 1964, his family leaves the poverty of after-war Italy to start a new life in Toronto. He kept the diary hidden from his family until just before his death in 1993 when he asked his eldest daughter, Bruna to take care of it.

Breakfast Meeting September 21, 2019

Shane Joseph is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers in Toronto, Canada. He began writing as a teenager living in Sri Lanka and has never stopped. Redemption in Paradise, his first novel, was published in 2004 and his first short story collection, Fringe Dwellers, in 2008. His novel, After the Flood, a dystopian epic set in the aftermath of global warming, was released in November 2009 and won the Canadian Christian Writers award for best Futuristic/Fantasy novel in 2010. Shane’s most recent collection of short stories, Crossing Limbo, was published in 2017. His latest novel, Milltown, is set amidst the intrigues of small town Ontario, and will be released in April 2019. His short stories and articles have appeared in several Canadian anthologies and in literary journals around the world. His blog at is widely syndicated.

Shane is the owner and publisher of Blue Denim Press (www.bluedenimpress.com), a literary press he founded in 2011.

His career stints include: stage and radio actor, pop musician, encyclopedia salesman, lathe machine operator, airline executive, travel agency manager, vice president of a global financial services company, software services salesperson, editor, publisher, project manager and management consultant.



Breakfast Meeting, June 15, 2019

Komal Singh is in the midst of her first book tour – making appearances on talk shows and in bookstores – but she’s not what you’d consider a typical children’s book author. The Google program manager and engineer wrote the book when her then-four-year old daughter casually remarked that only boys were engineers. “It really bummed me out!” she says.

So in August of this year, Ara the Star Engineer was born. It’s the story of a young girl who solves big problems with courage, creativity and collaboration – which are all hallmarks of Singh’s own story, as well.

Singh grew up in India in the 1980s, when female role models in the sciences were few and far between. Now, in Canada, she wants to change that for little girls growing up today. “My anchor was my father,” she says. “He encouraged me to study and never give up on my goals.”

In 2005, Singh graduated from Simon Fraser University with a masters degree in computer science and, after 10 years in the software engineering business, landed her dream job at Google (on her third attempt of the company’s notoriously grueling interview and vetting process). “I loved the idea of doing work that impacts billions of people around the world,” she says. “I wanted to be somewhere I could be a whole person – a mother and engineer and someone with passion projects so I could inspire my kids.”

While Singh says she hasn’t faced overt discrimination as a woman in the male-dominated field of software engineering, she points to more subtle forms – like the fact that when the team scores a win, they sometimes circulate memes of white men high-fiving, or the fact that brainstorming sessions are recorded on whiteboards she’s too short to reach. “These seem like such small things, but over time they make you doubt you belong,” she says. And she hopes that getting more women and girls interested in computer science will help eradicate such continuing challenges through sheer numbers.

With the publication of Ara the Star Engineer, she hopes young girls will see that there is a place for them in engineering and that women will seek out mentors committed to diversity, as she has over the course of her career. As part of her commitment to closing the gender gap in her field, all profits from the book are being donated to charities encouraging girls’ and underrepresented groups’ participation in STEM fields.

Breakfast Meeting May 18, 2019

Leonard Rosmarin is Professor Emeritus of French literature and former Chair of the Department of Modern Languages at Brock University in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada. He received his Doctorate from Yale University where he began his teaching career in 1964, then was appointed Assistant Professor at WesleyanUniversity, also in Connecticut.

He returned to Canada in 1969 to take up a position as Associate, then Full Professor at Brock, which, at that time, was only five years old. Leonard felt it would be an exciting challenge to create programs and traditions at a place that was just beginning its existence.

Before reincarnating himself as a novelist, Leonard has been an internationally recognized scholar and published nine books that have taken him all over the map of literary scholarship, from the 17th century to the 21st.

He has been decorated twice by the Government of France for distinguished service in the cause of French letters. From 1992 till 2002 he was Visiting Professor at the School for Doctoral studies at theUniversity of Perpignan in Perpignan, France.

A self-confessed opera addict, he has written a study on the relationship between literature and lyric drama titled When Literature Becomes Opera. He is especially proud of the essays he has devoted to the works of some of the great Franco-Jewish writers of the 20th century: the novelist Albert Cohen, the philosopher Emmanuel Lévinas, the dramatist Liliane Atlan and the Nobel Prize winner, Elie Wiesel.

His English adaptation of Mme Atlan’s finest play, Les Mers Rouges, was mounted by the very popular Toronto Fringe Festival in 2005 and will eventually be made into a film for television.His essay on the novels of Elie Wiesel has been enthusiastically endorsed by the great man himself. Leonard is fully fluent in both French and English, and navigates effortlessly between the two languages and cultures.

Leonard has become a novelist rather late in life, at the ripe old age of 70! Why did it take so long? Here is how he relates his unusual trajectory: “For literally decades I had wanted to immortalize my over-the-top, larger-than-life Jewish family. They were refreshingly un-hypocritical. In fact, they were always brutally frank. They would never stab you in the back; it was always in the chest. So at least you knew where the blows were coming from. They were absolutely transparent. What you see was what you got.

“But whenever I felt inclined to sit down and actually write about them, I would begin to worry about what would happen to my academic career. As of the late 70s, Canadian, just like American universities, were becoming afflicted with the neurosis of ‘Publish or Perish.’ In order to rise through the ranks, I simply had to concentrate on my scholarship and leave novel writing on the back burner.

“Once I retired, however, I had no more excuses. My immediate family and friends got after me to finally put down in writing all the tantalizing, scandalous stories I had been relating to them for years about the extended family of my childhood.  So I sat down and started working on the novel in earnest.

“I had written a few chapters way back in 1982, twenty-six years earlier. At that time, all I intended to do was to make fun of my relatives and throw in some sex into the story for good measure. When I returned to them so many years later, my attitude had, by then, changed radically. I felt a deep empathy towards them. I could no longer mock them. Instead of making my readers laugh at them, I wanted my readers to laugh with them.  I still wanted my novel to be hilarious, but I wanted it to have poignancy, too. Hence the title, Getting Enough.

“It’s the story of a group of individuals from the same family who are desperate for emotional and spiritual fulfilment but go about seeking it the wrong way. They get short-circuited by their erotic cravings. Rubbing epidermises is not the same thing as being in love with another human being.

“The two main characters, at least, come out stronger and better people. Once they stop typecasting one another, they can move towards a loving reconciliation after 26 years of an acrimonious, hate-ridden marriage.

“Now that I have written my first work of fiction, I would love to continue. When you create a novel, you experience the thrill of roaming, untrammelled, within your imagination. The sense of freedom is boundless. You are absolute master of the world you are building. And what is so wonderful is that by creating imaginary destinies you can see more clearly into yourself and our whole human condition.”

 

Breakfast Meeting April 20, 2019

Maureen Jennings, now a Canadian citizen, was born in the UK and emigrated to Canada as a teenager. After a long career as a psychotherapist, she is now writing full time and has published one novella, thirteen novels of crime fiction and one book of non-fiction relating to creativity, as well as four professionally produced plays.

She was awarded a Certificate of Commendation from Heritage Toronto in 1998; the Grant Allen award for on-going contribution to the genre in 2011, and has received a total of Eight nominations from Crime Writers of Canada, for best novel and short story of the year. Her books have been translated into other languages, including Polish; Korean; French; German, Italian and Czech and are also published in the UK by Titan Books.

Her first series was set in Victorian Toronto and has been adapted for television first as three movies of the week, and now The Murdoch Mysteries tv series, now in production for its 11th season for CBC television. Since 2011, she has written, and co-written, 7 scripts for the series including the adaption of “Shipwreck”, the novella which deals with the origins of Murdoch’s interest in detection.

Maureen has written two novels in a contemporary series about the forensic profiler, Christine Morris. These books are set in both the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, and Orillia Ontario, and have been purchased by Shaftesbury Films.

In 2016, the 4th book in a series of novels, Dead Ground In Between, set in England during WW2 and Featuring DCI Tom Tyler, was published. The first book, Season of Darkness, was released August 2011. The second book, Beware This Boy, was published November 2012. The third No Known Grave, was nominated for the Arthur Ellis award for Best Crime novels.

The second book in the Tyler series, Beware this Boy, served as the inspiration for the concept that she developed with a partner for the television series,Bomb Girls. Broadcast on Global TV in Canada, Bomb Girls was nominated for the Canadian Screen awards for Best Drama in its first two seasons as well as Best Movie of the week for its third and final season, and won in that category. Bomb Girls also won the Gracie Award in the US for its first season. All of the Tyler series is now under option for television with Pelee Entertainment.

In November 2017, the 8th novel in the Murdoch series, Let Darkness Bury the Dead, which is set during the Canadian WW 1 home front 1917, 22 years after we last saw Murdoch in novel form, was published by McClelland & Stewart to great critical acclaim.

Maureen is currently working on a new series set in 1936 Toronto where we meet PI Charlotte Frayne, who is presented with her first case entitled “The Paradise Café, book one, Heat Wave”.

Maureen lives in Toronto with her husband, photographer Iden Ford, and her Dog, Murdoch.