Category: Bookshelf (Page 1 of 2)

Evacuees Spanish Civil War -Tortosa.

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One of the highlights of this year’s programme is the forced exile by this unpleasant, unwelcomed Civil War, the evacuated route, those Tortoisins followed away from the bloodiest, most horrific bombing cascaded on them by the Italian fascist aircraft they did endure on April 15, 1938. Twenty tons of bombs fell from the skies, more than in Guernica -the Basque country, on good Friday. Later sadly referred to as Blood Friday.

[Aside: There is so much about my immigrant, beloved Catalonian homeland of seventeen years, that I do not know the history about. Through my writings, readings and research I endeavour to resolve and share it with you, my readers. I apologize profusely for ignoring these facts purely because they were written in Catalan. And why shouldn’t they be? It is their language- it is up to me to conquer and understand it.]

Starting today a week of exhibitions, conferences, book presentations have been coordinated by the Tortosa City council for the second year running. (The covid restriction guidelines have been applied accordingly. )

  • Wednesday 14th, at 7 pm, A Week of Historical Memory from 14 to 19 April. ‘Displaced people from Tortosa, rooted in Vic’ will take place, which aims to follow the path taken by the Tortosa community that settled in the capital of Osona. “We know that many people from the city had to take refuge in Vic, and that is why we will have the dissertation of the Osona historian Xavier Cateura,
  • Thursday 15, the Marcel·lí Domingo library reading club will focus on the renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning comic ‘Maus’, which narrates with illustrations the torment of the Jewish community in Nazi Germany. The event, at 7 pm, has limited access due to the covid measures and a place must be reserved at or at 977 445 566.
  • Later, at 7.30 pm, in the didactic classroom of the Museu de Tortosa, The second Petjades Awards will be presented, which recognize the research work on historical memory carried out by students at Terres de l’Ebre high schools.
  • The following Friday at 6 pm sharp in the Marcel·lí Domingo library (necessary to reserve space due to limited capacity), the in-person presentation of Víctor Amela’s book ‘Ens robar la joventut‘ {‘We steal the youth.’}
  • Lastly, on Saturday at 12 noon, the inauguration of the exhibition ‘Persecuted and Saved’ (‘Perseguits i salvats’)will take place, organized by Amics i Amigues de l’Ebre at the Museu de l’Ebre. A sample that revisits the journey of the evacuees, through the escape routes of exiles during the Civil War. These same tracks later served the Jewish arrival from their persecution, during World War II.

Ernest Hemingway

There is a fathom of written works out there to delve into and immerse yourself for never-ending hours in history, stories, well-written journalism and biographies. The man I am partial to is Ernest Hemingway. – the more I read his writings the more I want to know. Despite what some may feel that the Civil War is boring to hear about, he was here in Tortosa reporting on thises horrors -read his works!

A Week of Historical Memory from 14 to 19 April.

Councilor Dolors Bel emphasized that “it is important to know our history and delve into what has happened to our environment, to our ancestors”, (“és important conèixer la nostra història i aprofundir en el que ha passat amb el nostre entorn, amb els nostres avantpassats”)

Tortosa remembers!

The Chimona Chronicles kids series released in print format

“Building on all the positive feedback from reviewers around the world, Foden Press today announces the release of their first two kids titles in full print format. Rosie Reay’s delightful voice of The Chimona Chronicles as the critters of Okanagan Lake come alive can now be enjoyed in print worldwide.” 19 November Press release

San Francisco, CA (1888PressRelease) November 19, 2010 – Foden Press today released the first two kids’ novels in The Chimona Chronicles series in print format. Written by Rosie Reay and set in an actual resort on Okanagan Lake in central British Columbia, Canada, these books have already received critical praise from their ebook format. They are ideal for the young reader, parent, or grandparent who love stories of critters that come alive and then have very similar personalities to children everywhere. Younger kids will enjoy the illustrations by Candice McMullan that so delightfully illustrate a few key scenes throughout the book. In addition, a matching website helps children and their parents understand the more unusual words and locations, while also providing full character personas for each critter, all of which have interesting names already.

The first book, How Kelvyn Got His Name, shows how the whole community rallies round to find a full proper name for their favorite gopher. Are your kids fascinated by names too? How do they name their pets and furry friends? Since Rosie Reay is a professional namer (see in her daytime profession, she even introduces kids to a simple naming process for selecting interesting names. Parents may also use this as a fun guide for naming their next offspring. In what has now become a trademark in all Rosie Reay books, a full length poem “The Squirrel from Wirral” is weaved into the story too, along with an illustration of the squirrel walking hand in hand with his friend George.

The second book, Salquin to the Rescue continues the exploits of the main Chimona Chronicles plus introduces the reader to some of the First Nations people of Canada. There are actually two mystery stories weaved together here. In the first, children will learn some basics about numbering. In the second, they will learn how to read signs and prints. Once again the Lake Okanagan kids interact as all families do, even as some grow more serious and some new critter characters are introduced, which we are sure to see more of in future novels in this educational travel series.

Written in Rosie’s delightful English voice, these books have been released simultaneously in the USA, Canada, UK and Europe. Rosie currently resides between Barcelona and Valencia in Spain where she also writes a monthly column for the Catalonia Chronicles and maintains a blog The Ebro Voice for English speaking people living in the greater Ebro River delta area. Make friends with Rosie Reay on Facebook to read more about her books and life. Kyra Dawson is the editor of the series, and she works as an editor, writer and copywriter out of Vancouver, Canada. See

Foden Press is an independent publisher of children’s books, as well as business How To Do It business books and ebooks. They are based in Northern California, and may be reached at Call +1-650-960-0811. Professional reviewers of children’s books are invited to request review copies of any title. How Kelvyn Got His Name (ISBN # 978-0-9710157-0-8) and Salquin to the Rescue (ISBN# 978-0-9710157-1-5) may be ordered directly from Foden Press, plus they are available on request at bookstores nationwide and are distributed by Ingram Micro.

USA: Athol Foden (amfoden ( @ ) fodenpress dot com) 650-960-0811
Europe: Rosie Reay (rosiereay ( @ ) fodenpress dot com) +34-619-772-492
Canada: Kyra Dawson (info ( @ ) brighterscribe dot com) 604-566-1064

El dia del nen. El dia del llibre

Oh I wish I was a child today!

Today is called Children’s Day around the world. In parts of the Spanish or Catalan speaking globe some may even call it “Festival of books” (for children). I just love an excuse to buy books. How much more wonderful that you give your children and other children a book as a celebration of the fiesta / festa!

Teach children to actually read and digest, to query what they are actually reading. Take for example the heading:-

<<El dia del nen. El dia del llibre.>>

No, I haven’t  written in incorrect Spanish. This is Catalan – the dialect spoken in the North-East of Spain, Majorca and a province just inside the French border. This translates as:-

<<Children’s Day / The day of the book>>.

This week I stumbled across a brilliant online shopping site for children’s books in Catalan that covers various themes with exciting illustrations to boost. I am considering buying one of the theme sets myself to improve my Catalan. Well, why not? You have to start reading somewhere and it can often be more fun than trawling though boring newspaper about politics – all about nothing!

However, there is no rhyme nor reason why you, the parent or grandparent, can´t choose the books you want to read in order to relive your childhood  through their eyes and ears. How I miss those hours of reading stories after bath time to my sons and later on to grandsons Jordan (Jordí) and Shane (Shimbob)!

Perhaps that is why I feather my nest (and empty nest – as the case maybe,  now the children have flown to spread their wings) and write childrens’ books myself.

There are some wonderful famous authors out there doing a sterling job in encouraging children to read through their literary charities. One of my favourite’s James Patterson, himself and his better half, have “Read, kiddo, read” with wonderful suggestions of books for different age groups. They have now also created a smart forum. If  the children read themselves they receive bonus points-otherwise the parents must read to them if they are too

<<Parents, teachers and librarians, you’ve found your way here because you’ve … you the only way to get kids to read was to give them great books, cool books..>>

Let us celebrate today and everyday. Lets teach our children and all children we come into contact with to become ardent bibliophiles. Yes! Along the way they will increase their vocabulary without realising it.

There is so much available on the internet! So when Junior won’t get off the internet trying and direct his / her little cotton socks away from the computer games, to search for book to read online or just to read ! 5 Minutes for Mom Blog Directory.

What is the biggest cultural shock I had when I arrived in 2004 in Catalonia?

There were no English book shops in the Lower Ebro Valley. I always used to watch the W.H.Smith’s new listings and rush for first day release to purchase another treasure. Now we are lucky to pick up a 2nd hand book, that I haven’t read. I still am a voracious reader. So how do I manage? I moan to a brother, another bookworm in California.  Every 3 months I pop down to the local post office in Jesús and pick up a huge parcel of books that he has just read ! Now that is what I call a Result!

So parents, friends and grandparents and siblings please remember one of the greatest gifts you can give to us (young and old and doddery) is a book, another book and still more books. As a child my friends used to write copiously long lists to Father Christmas of  “Please may I have…?” Mine were short and sweet, year in and year out – “Just books would do nicely thank you.”  My request remains the same for any day or any fiesta …I need to read!

Do I write or do I weed?

“I´ll make your tea and toast in a minute, Mom,” I say, without looking up from the keyboard. That was an hour ago. Mom had quite happily dosed off in her chair with the warm sun rays lighting up her very good mop of hair for 84 years of age. Oh well, I was never cut out for all this  nursey-carey larkey stuff. Anyway, she is fed and watered now, so back to the question of the day.

Do I write or do I weed?

The voice of practicality commands, “Weed girl. Get them weeds up before the earth is sun baked and rock hard!”

The voice of emotion whispers, “Sod the weeds! Write away to your hearts content. The weeds will still be there tomorrow. Write while the ideas are tumbling about – that fountain of ideas may not be flowing tomorrow. Never waste an idea. Write it down. Write it now!”

Okay, okay, I hear you both. Write first and weed later – maybe or maybe not.

I had oodles of email from my writers’  and Expats groups to catch up on. This is not a complaint, mind you, I do enjoy them. I do learn an awful lot from them. I relish hearing the debates between  professional writers of all different calibres. I feel like I am on a steep learning curve on some of the discussions. I am not feint-hearted. I hear what they are saying. I mull it over (while weeding, when I do eventually get outdoors) and often think  “Hey, that idea / style  might just work in another series in my Chimona Chronicles.Mmmmh…”

Chimona Chronicles: How kelvyn got his name

Chimona Chronicles: How kelvyn got his name

When I first moved to the Ebro River Valley I felt starved of intellect momentus. I craved discussion and debate outside the normal Expat lament of dodgey builders and not quite British building materials. I soon tired of eavesdropping and hearing the character assasinations of fellow expats, “If you are a fisherman first by definition,  then of course you are a bona fide brickey, plumber, sparkey or lumberjack!”

My sons then home on leave, hooked me up to Facebook and I can track them wherever the MOD send them. Aha! I also became a Scrabble-maniac, but my sons beat me into a word pulp, but I am not a quitter. I have made very good friends of  like minded lingusitics stature around the world and just good friends, old and new, who love to play for fun. You needn´t feel lonely out here. It is also a great place to share your photo albums and reunite with long lost classmates ( I know I have found mine from South Africa – be then scattered around the world) and even mislaid cousins – one is settled in New Zealand. Now I never did get to new Zealand. I wonder what she would say I turned up one day like Dick Whittington.

Another great source of inspiration, both mentally and inspirational for writing and contacts have been joining It is so easy to do. All you need is an email address and a password and slowly you develop your profile, or edit it as you see fit to do. I have found a huge cluster of other Expat writers and writers of children books on there. Illustrators and publishers abound to. You can choose which groups you wish to belong to under the Category you have assigned yourself to. Often my friends on LinkedIn are my friends on Facebook too. These casual social networks can interlink with the more professional ones. If you are wearing the entrepeneur cap or would aspire to be one,this is just the place to share your views and ask questions or start discussions. You will be amazed how the right and brighter people home in to help you.

Not quite sure if I did ever answer my rhetorical question: Should I write or should I weed?

Oh well better show willing…Weeds Attack! Attack!

La Diada de Sant Jordi!

La Diada de Sant Jordi! Saint George or Sant Jordi in Catalan is a lovable and chivalrous gent who is the patron saint of Catalonia and Saint George in England. Although I am sure today Saint George’s day is celebrated in a far less romantic style in the UK to that of Barcelona’s medieval hero. Barcelona ( and right across Catalonia) celebrates it with roses for the ladies and in turn they exchange them with a book for their sweethearts. This is the Catalan equivalent of St. Valentine’s day

Somehow I would prefer a yellow climbing rose bush and a new book – some chance of that!

Pulling into the car  park at Hospital de la Santa Creu, Jesús, I was amused to see how many ladies were leaving with a single red rose in their hands. Mmmmh…I wonder who gave them their roses? Needless to say mother’s appointment went without any dramas, so we headed off to Eroski.

I enviously looked at all the bookshops who had brought out tables onto the pavements and were displaying a wonderful array of books across them. Some folk just stopped by and browsed, others bought one or two or more. How many admirers do they have? A lady explained. These days you buy a book for every male in your household. My husband has to buy more red roses as there are more women in our home! We shared the joke in laughter and I proceeded on, but still I mused sulkily to myself, I wanted a b-o-o-k!

Pushing the trolley around Eroski, it self-propelled  to the books displayed and aah, right there in the middle of the pile was one of my favourite children’s stories.  I grabbed it and paged avidly through it. The illustrations are just positively delightful.

“Sant Jordi i el drac” – the author is Anna Canyelles and the drawings are by Roser Calafell

Who knows? My next book review may be one of  a Catalan childrens book. Now that would be a novel experience and somewhat of a challenge to me, who is just setting  out on the route of learning Catalan.

Valerie Collins on TV on Andre Buenafuente show Spain La Sexta Channel

Hello readers
Valerie we share in your excitement. Wow!Wow! Book promotion on TV just brings amazing results.So many people want to see the faces of the authors before they buy the book.
Folks I have just received this email. You will gain so much from listening to Valerie and Theresa, even if you do not live in Spain nor ever think you will. This book is informative, well written and as you rub garlic into your eyes you will smile and laugh and remember their travels and possibly relate to your own. But most of all you will go away enriched from their experiences in Spain and their knowledge.
” I’m incredibly excited to tell you that I and co author Theresa will be appearing on Andreu Buenafuente’s popular late night show on Spain’s La Sexta channel (Channel 6), talking about our book In The Garlic and our experiences in Spain. The show goes out Thursday 4 February, at midnight, and repeated at 7.30 a.m. the following morning. Later it will be streamable from the La Sexta webpage and YouTube.
Many thanks to all of you who have supported In The Garlic.
Valerie Collins
Don’t forget if you are on different time zones check back tomorrow on You Tube or La Sexta webpage.
It is also on my Twitter this morning:- RosieReay is proud to present Ebro.TV.

An initiative to promote the diversity of the Ebro region and also to build stronger community links has arrived.The new website, Ebro.TV, has been launched as a place to share videos, audio, photo’s, news and stories about the Ebro River Valley and Delta.

This is not just for the English community. This is for everyone! You can write in Catalan or Spanish. Dutch, German and French is okay too. There are certain groups setup already so please join in. Start your own group and display your interests or wares.

Photo Album and unlimited media uploads! Here’s your chance to show off all those snaps you have been taking. Let the world know what a wonderful place we live in! Please invite as many of your friends as possible.

With features too numerous to mention, from RSS feeds to photo ratings and a personal messaging system.
You can even signup using your current AOL, Facebook, Google, Yahoo or OpenID details.

So, if you want to boast about that Catfish you caught OR upload your latest karaoke efforts OR even just put up a photo / video of a property you have for sale, see you at www.ebro.TV!!

And it is all free!

How Kelvyn got his name. Press release.

For Immediate Release

Book 1 of The Chimona Chronicles: How Kelvyn Got His Name by Rosie Reay

Includes FREE Supplement Poem: The Squirrel from Wirral

Jun 3rd, 2009. Silicon Valley, CA: Foden Press today announced the release of Rosie Reay’s first book in The Chimona Chronicles series that tells a tale of critters around a lake. Titled How Kelvyn Got His Name, it is an educational and fun read for bright young readers. It will introduce them to the animal and bird characters as they come alive through both words and the lovely illustrations done by Candice McMullan. Often it will stretch them to learn new meanings, word roots and names, as well as real places and locations. But that is what the story is about, creating a new name for their favorite gopher.

Set on the banks of Lake Okanagan, there are a variety of critters that play different roles. Mrs Porcupine runs a shop, Hodgekiss Drake is the professor, Okando Owl dispenses advice, and the chipmunk twins drive their brother nuts. Boys and girls, and probably their parents too, will all find something to enjoy in this imaginative tale once they start to settle into it. There is even a complete long bonus poem included called The Squirrel from Wirral.

“This story was inspired by a real road trip to Canada some years ago,” said Rosie Reay. “In fact, we actually stayed at the Okanagan Resort on the banks of the lake! I just knew there had to be a story in all those gophers that so confidently roamed the little golf course. Little did I know it would bring so many critters to life, let alone trigger a whole series of books to follow.”

Rosie Reay currently lives in the olive and mandarin countryside between  Barcelona and Valencia, Spain above the lovely Ebro River valley. Surrounded by her own crowd of pets, she actually does work as a professional U.S. naming consultant! (See In addition, Rosie helps Spanish students perfect their English and writes blogs (, articles and marketing materials for the English community in that part of the country.

Candice McMullan is an up and coming young illustrator based in Canada. Young children will surely identify with her drawings when their parents read this story to them and show them her pictures. Kyra Dawson, editor of the series, ( who is actually based in B.C. Canada, helps keep the Canadian details straight.

How Kelvyn Got His Name is available for immediate download, as it is being released as an eBook first. So a perfect surprise for Dad to have on his laptop when junior gets restless during the summer travels.

Based in Silicon Valley, California, Foden Press is an independent publisher of both children and marketing books. Marketing titles include Brighter Naming: Naming for the Average Propeller Head, Brighter Branding: Branding for the Average Propeller Head and Spreadsheet Marketing: Planning for Success. They may be reached at or 650-704-8181.

© Copyright 2009 Foden Press. All rights reserved worldwide.
Foden Press™ and all images are trademarks of Foden Press. Brighter Naming® is a registered tradema

Labou is out on DVD today!

Wow! It is ages since a cute little, lovable character has come onto our screens to capture the hearts of every child and their family like ET did. Now he has competition . There is a new kid on the block – or should I say swamp?  Labou is here. It is out on DVD today 19th May 2009.

This is an ideal DVD for all Expats expecting family with young children or grandchildren coming out for the summer holidays. I guarantee they will watch it not just once, but over and over again. I bet Grandpa will sit through it a couple of times as well.

Likewise, anyone who is renting out holiday properties this year I strongly recommend you have a copy of this DVD on your shelf for your tourists. No matter which country they originate from they will enjoy a break from the summer heat in the afternoon to watch this DVD. Labou will touch the hearts of everyone.

The children have been so wonderfully casted as the three most unlikely kids to become such staunch friends. They set out in search of the legendry Ghost of Captain LeRouge whose ship laden with treasure was lost in a storm in the Louisiana bayou.

In them becoming lost in these swamps, they are enveloped in an unexpected adventure where they discover the joys of true friendship and an unforgettable experience of a lifetime and above all Labou!

Order online now and enjoy!

Vibrant reading, straight talking, motivation, results

Steve Miller is just the sort of mentor everyone needs in today’ s world.

Everyday you open the paper or switch on the telly and the news is depressing. Crisis, closures, financial ruin, re-possessions, cost of living hiking up higher and higher coupled with an awful exchange rate of the sterling to the Euro if you live in Spain or the Eu mainland.

So why Steve Miller?

So why Steve Miller?

How many New Years resolutions have been made “This year 2009 I am going to get the weight off!” More to the point, how many of these resolutions flared up like the fireworks and have already burned out, given up on or forgotten about until next years resolutions are feebly re-made?

This is one of the “must buy” books this year. You will treasure it. You will be able to work with it and you will love it. You will still have time to revive your New Year’s resolution.You will be successful and have a laugh along the way.

This guy talks straight. This guy talks sense. Read it today.

“Get off your arse and lose weight” by Steve Miller – knows what he is talking about.

So no more excuses!

So why more of Steve Miller?

Times are tough.Times are depressing. News are “No jobs out there for anyone”. Are you sure about that? So what are you going to do? Sit back and just accept your fate? Give up? Come on you guys have more go about you.

Wherever you are in the world this book is valid. Steve Miller will show you how. He will encourage you to laugh, he will motivate you, he will give you the push up your derrie-air which we all need from time to time, but he will help you.

“Get off your arse and grab that job” by Steve Miller.

He is true to his slogan “Building a world of winners”. Try it, I dare you, you will not be disappointed.

But Steve Miller is not done yet!

Watch out for his next book soon to be released. Look out for him on GMTV in 2009

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