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WOMEN RUN THE WORLD: Celebrating Some of the Inspirational Women Around Us

March is Women’s History Month, and we thought it would be fitting to highlight some of the incredible women who have self-published their book with Tellwell, and the moving stories that they have to tell! 

Jennifer Robertson

Self-proclaimed Fertility Warrior, Jennifer Robertson is the author behind the inspirational memoir The Injustice of Infertility: A True Story of Heartbreak, Determination and Never-Ending Hope. In addition to her debut novel, Jennifer is a fertility coach, aiming to help other women feel less alone throughout their journey with fertility treatments. 

“Infertility was not my first rodeo – but it was the first bull I ever rode that bucked me off and laid me on my ass.  It broke me open and created scars that never really healed.”

Jennifer puts everything out there, and her real approach to infertility (no sugar-coating, just empowering, brutal honesty) has connected thousands of women across the web. With this community, she’s helped tons of people understand infertility and the pain it can cause, while providing an insightful helping-hand for any woman that needs it. 

In order to help those struggling with infertility, Jennifer created The Lighthouse Project. The Lighthouse Project is a four-week online program that helps provide some clarity and direction in the infertility process, and provides the opportunity for women to feel less alone as they navigate their journey with infertility. .

To be inspired, work with Jennifer, or learn more about her journey, visit her website, www.jenniferrobertson.co.

Cathy Mulroy 

Cathy Mulroy is the author of the gripping historical memoir, My View from the Blackened Rocks: A Woman’s Battle for Equality and Respect in Canada’s Mining Industry. The daughter of a hard rock miner at Inco – a Canadian Mining company in Sudbury, Ontario – Cathy followed in her father’s footsteps, and became one of the first women to work at the mining giant since the war years!

The company didn’t want them there. The men didn’t want them there, and their wives certainly didn’t, either.”

Cathy’s memoir discusses how the lack of laws protecting women in the workplace resulted in discrimination, sexual harassment and assault, and threats. Labelled as a “troublemaker”, Cathy fought back and stood up for herself, and this memoir dives deep into what it was like being the only woman among dozens of men. 

To quote Cathy, “It was never boring.

Cathy and her incredible story have been featured across Canada in newspapers like The Sudbury Star, and major outlets like CBC News. You can read all of Cathy’s interviews by visiting her website, www.mulroysview.com!

Lili Naghdi 

Author Lili Naghdi is the brilliant mind behind the award-winning historical romance novel, On Loving. Following Dr. Rose Hemmings, this beautifully written love story features a woman’s journey to finding not only love, but also herself as she overcomes personal challenges and lives through a lifetime of love and loss. On Loving has won numerous awards including Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner in the Romance, IPPY Gold Medal for Best Adult Fiction E-book, eLit Silver Medalist for Romance, and the Literary Titan Book Award, as well as received a 27/30 in the Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.

On Loving is Lili’s first novel, and was inspired by the great literature of Persia as well as the supportive people in her life. The title itself was inspired by Forugh Farrokhzad, a popular Persian poet whose poem “On Loving” is considered to be one of her most beautiful pieces of work. Fascinated by the literature, poetry and history, Lili includes Persian poetry in On Loving, and dedicates the book to the memory of not only Farrokhzad, but also all women who have experienced discrimination for being who they are.

To join in on the fun, watch the On Loving book trailer here, and check out this great review from popular book reviewer, The Mental Traveler!

Marianne Brandis 

Using her mother’s diary entries from 1942, established Canadian author Marianne Brandis created This Faithful Book: A Diary from World War Two in the Netherlands

“History is always about people, and individual people are always part of history.”

Marianne’s mother, Madzy, was 31 when she began writing this diary, and she always referred to it as “this faithful book,” making it the perfect name for this historical memoir. A young girl at the time, Marianne lived through these dark and dangerous times alongside her mother, and the diary became a place where Madzy could express her worry and loneliness after her husband was suddenly taken prisoner by German authorities days after giving birth to their second child. 

The diary provides a first-hand account of how civilians survived, or did not, during wartime. Originally written in Dutch, Marianne worked hard to translate her mother’s courage in not only the meaning, but also the feelings behind the writing. The result was a beautiful tribute to not just her mother, but also the men, women and children of World War Two. 

Marianne is an award-winning author, who is known for her work in historical writing (both fiction and non-fiction). To learn more about Marianne, visit www.mariannebrandis.ca. To learn more about This Faithful Book: A Diary from World War Two in the Netherlands and Madzy Brender À Brandis story, visit www.madzysdiary.ca.

Raj Arneja

Raj Arneja is the author of the beautiful memoir, Love at First Sight: A Mother’s Journey to Adoption. As a celebration of motherhood through adoption, Raj hopes her story will inspire more people to adopt, and shares how she travelled to India to find her two beloved, adopted children. She refers to them as her jaans (her lifelines), and explains how adoption can be one of the most rewarding life experiences a person can have. 

In September 2020, Raj sat down with journalism master Sharad Kharé, creator of the enlightening Youtube show, Human Biography, to further discuss her journey and the book. Check out the interview here

As Raj says, it was love at first sight. 

Penny Kendall Reed

In addition to Women’s History Month, March is also National Nutrition Month in Canada! With that in mind, we had to feature Dr. Penny Kendall Reed, one of the brilliant minds behind the self-help book Fix Your Genes to Fit Your Jeans: Optimizing Diet, Health and Weight Through Personal Genetics

Penny is redefining the way we look at health and “diets” by teaching people that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a healthy lifestyle. She helps people at all stages of life take control of their lives and their health, and offers a way to understand which foods will benefit their health and what should be avoided. This is all based on their genetic makeup! 

With her husband Dr. Stephen Reed, Penny has written six national best-selling books, all with the intention to make people feel understood and help improve their health one step at a time! 

You can learn more from Penny by reading some of the educational articles on her website, PKR Health, as well as catching some of her interviews with CityTV, CTV News, and her own educational video series with Feed Your Genes co-founder, Morgan Knull. 

Elaine Alec

Saturday, March 20 is World Storytelling Day, and we would be remiss if we didn’t highlight Indigenous author, Elaine Alec. Her exceptional story about how she overcame trauma can be found in her debut novel, Calling My Spirit Back

“My story may be rooted in trauma, but it is not my only story”

This inspiring memoir creates a safe space for readers and those experiencing the same hardships, and addresses a number of important topics like sexual abuse, violence, racism, and heartbreak. 

Elaine’s memoir is filled with raw emotion, and she refused to hold back in hopes that her story could help someone else going through the same thing and erase shame for others. Elaine also includes the teachings from her family and nation throughout the memoir, creating spaces for diversity and inclusion.

Elaine and her incredible story have been featured across Canada in newspapers like National Observer and the Toronto Star, and major outlets like CBC News. You can read and listen to all of Elaine’s interviews by visiting her website, www.elainealec.squarespace.com! Elaine also has a YouTube channel where she discusses Calling My Spirit Back and her self-help tips to dealing with PTSD and anxiety.

Tina Whalen

Sunday, March 21 is World Poetry Day! To quote renowned poet Rita Dove, “Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.” And nothing is more powerful than creating poetry with the sole purpose of helping others! 

Published earlier this month, Poems to the Homeless by author Tina Whelan is a moving collection of poetry that paints a graphic, yet beautiful, picture of the poor and the homeless around the world. 

I’ve never wanted to profit from things just for me,” Tina told us when discussing her goals for the book. “I believe in the win-win mantra which helps my conscience and my desire to do good and win fairly at the same time.” The book itself is meant to be a fundraiser, with all proceeds going towards helping those in need, and providing jobs for those currently on the streets. Using Poems to the Homeless, Tina plans to blend her natural passion of helping other with her hardcore bussiness skills (which were developed over a long career in both the non-profit and business sector). 

The proceeds for the book will be dedicated to helping others. To quote Tina, “The book will be a fundraiser as it always has been my intention. Some of the profit will be applied to teaching early elementary (basic reading and math) starting at the grade one level, on a tutorial basis for individual children to make sure that program quality and results will equip the child with basic early skills so as to continue from success to success in successive grades. With the remaining profits, I would like the homeless individuals on the streets, here in Saint John, to sell my book, anyway and everywhere they can. This story is personal. The homeless would make perfect ‘salesmen’ to sell something they know all about, such as trying to explain their homelessness to others, when they can’t even find the words. I want to speak for them with my book. They would become my contractors – self-employed on commission – a good commission. I will meet the salesperson in a coffee shop as an employer/employee to deal with cash and inventory and have a work relationship which is personal at the same time. I would provide them with the first book, and they can choose to continue selling if they’d like. They would have honestly and legitimately worked for their money, and there will be lots of it.

At 80 years old, Tina’s passion is infectious, and it’s a joy to watch her build a legacy of compassion, and helping those in need. To help support Tina’s cause, you can get a copy of Poem to the Homeless at Amazon.ca.

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