Ampersand Solutions

Spotlight on our Members


Rosalie Avigdor

Rosalie Avigdor is a published author of Dear Bubby With Love. This book of letters from a Grandmother to Granddaughter shows the deterioration of one suffering from Alzheimer Disease. This book was published in Toronto and Montreal and the CD of this book, soon to be released, features Anik Matern and the rest of the Dynamic Theatre Factory actors.

Rosalie was the co-ordinator of the Alzheimer Society, West End and a member of the Advisory Committee of the CLSC Caregiver Support Centre. She has chaired many committees in the past, has been featured in the Toronto Globe and Mail and in many books and articles on caregiving. Her studies were in gerontology and she did an internship program at the Senior Centre in Montreal.

Rosalie is a former executive member of the Canadian Authors Association, Montreal Branch. co-founder, Vice President and Co-ordinator of the Canadian Writers Society. More recently she was on the Kevin and Trudie Show, CJAD, with reference to her forthcoming book of interviews concerning adoption. She is presently working on a book of poetry, co-writing a mystery novel with Joseph Richard Mannella and guest speaking to different groups concerning her works.


Joseph Richard Mannella

Joseph Richard Mannella has been a member of the Canadian Writers Society since 2005. Writing short stories since "forever", he really started enjoying it when his children asked him to read them to sleep, and he wrote fantastical stories for them, using the three of them as the main characters. A small sampling of his poetry (he is old school, preferring poetry with rhyme, rhythm and cadence, but he's getting to know more modern types as well) can be found on

He has no preference in style, enjoying everything from comedic to dramatic works. A prolific reader, he goes through fifty or so novels every year, and can usually be found with a Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, or Piers Anthony novel in his hands.

He is a computer buff (okay, not THAT buff, just what might be considered a connaisseur-in-the-making) and enjoys everything having to do with the internet (okay, despite the myriad e-mails he receives daily, he has NOT made application for that special loan or credit card and he is DEFINITELY NOT interested in splitting $47,000,000.00 with the widow of a deposed African president-for-life). In the not too distant past, he hosted a trivia show online.

He has most recently (June 2010) received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Creative Writing from Concordia University and is currently co-authoring a novel with Rosalie Avigdor.

Sydney Berne



Michael Cohen

Mike Cohen joined the English Montreal School Board as its communications and marketing specialist on February 18, 1999. Mr. Cohen is responsible for all aspects of media and public relations, publications, advertising, promotions, special projects and the Board’s website. He works closely with senior administrators, commissioners and principals.

Mr. Cohen is also a columnist for The Suburban Newspaper. He contributes stories to the Seniors Times, The Jewish Tribune, The Jewish Standard, The Jewish Magazine Directory and the website. In November 2005 he was elected to Côte Saint-Luc City Council with 92 percent majority.

The school board serves more than 38,000 students through its youth and adult sectors. Prior to his arrival at the EMSB, Mr. Cohen spent 11 years as the national director of communications at Canadian Jewish Congress, the public advocacy arm of the Jewish community. He is a 1985 graduate of the Communications and Journalism Program at Concordia University .

Mr. Cohen actually began his career as a journalist with The Suburban and Monitor newspapers at the age of 16. Two years later, while attending Dawson College, he began working for the now defunct Sunday Express Newspaper as the assistant sports editor. He continued in that role for three years, returning to The Suburban as a full-time news reporter during his final semester of university and for the next three years. During this same time period he doubled as the sports information and promotions director for the varsity sports program at Concordia.


Anne J. Fotheringham

Winter Memories

An anthology of stories and verse written by the members of the

West Island Writers Group

On sale to benefit Dans la Rue.

The West Island Writers Group is pleased to invite you to the launch of Winter Memories, our second anthology of Christmas and Winter stories and verse, sold for the benefit of Dans La Rue.

This publishing project showcases our members' writing while contributing to an organization that works to help street teens in Montreal. In 2004, we published an anthology entitled Winter Dreams which sold out two press runs and raised close to $1,300.00 for this worthwhile cause. We want to raise even more this year.

Our members all write in different genres, ranging from literary to popular fiction, so readers will be sure to find something that pleases. Some stories will pull at the heartstrings, others will make you laugh, a couple may make you cry and feel nostalgic for the "good old days."

When the wind howls on cold winter nights and Christmas approaches, join us for some great story entertainment and help give a "lost child" some happy Winter Memories. We're counting on your support.

Please join us and jelp support Dans La Rue:

Readings by our authors, Book Sale (copies are $8.50)

To make an order or for any further information, please contact us by e-mail at wiwg

N.A.T. Grant

NAT Grant: NAT Grant is author of both Race Without Rules and Running the Race, the first two books in her Race Series (Llumina Press). The Race Series books are international espionage thrillers based in Montreal. The Westmount Examiner called her first book “a page turning read, hard-hitting, thought-provoking”. Grant is now completing her third novel in the series, An Inhuman Race. She was recently voted as Quebec and Atlantic Region VP for Crime Writers of Canada.

Race Without Rules (Book I)
Running The Race (Book II)
An Inhuman Race (Book III) in the works

Seeing N.A.T. Grant is always an event ~ and not to be missed. She's fun and funny.

Her second conspiracy thriller is also set in Montreal.

Terrorism, brewing in the quiet backyards of Westmount, comes to a climax.

Praise for Book II ~ Running The Race
Newly released!
"a combination of
James Bond and Michael Crichton.
The reader comes out a winner."
Book Banater, April 2005, CJAD

Praise for Book I ~ Race without rules

"a spy thriller of intrigue with a plan for terrorism that is all too plausible and makes for a page turning read that leaves the reader shaken long after the book is put down."

Westmount Examiner

"Intrigue, Espionage, Anti-Semitism, Nazis, Brazil, Grant stepped inside evil characters and went for the gusto. It is so successful!"

Global TV

"high drama, moving at a wild, whish pace"

A. Koranyi-Bergman, Canadian Writers Society

Ann Lloyd

Ann Lloyd has published her new book, LURCHING INTO THE LOONEY BIN, a light-hearted book with a deadly serious purpose: To prepare, in advance, for the most comfortable transition possible into a Retirement Home with your favourite things around you and your memories intact. To ensure you stay happy when matters are taken out of your control. It's been called a comfort for the patient, a helpful reference for the carer.

For more information, you can contact her at her e-mail address:

or go to her website

Christina Manolescu

Christina Manolescu is a teacher, self-publisher, publishing consultant and advocate for self-publishing.

She first embarked on the self-publishing adventure in the U.K. Since returning to Canada, she studied digital imaging and computer graphics at Rosemount Technology Centre.

She also founded Invisible Cities, which is a networking group that promotes independent publishers and artists.

She has published two novels, Baglady and Waldensong Saturnalia, and the FUNLIT Series of Millennium Tales for children.

She has also assisted several self-publishers, among them the Union United Church, to get their books into print.

She has an Honours degree in Literature from Concordia University, a Certificate in TESL, and 25 years teaching experience in Canada and abroad.

Steven Manners

Steven Manners is the author of a novel, Ondine's Curse (Beach Holme), and two short fiction collections, Mytho/Genies (Underwhich Editions) and Wound Ballistics (2002), which was shortlisted for the Hugh Maclennan Prize. His fiction has appeared in literary journals such as The Antigonish Review, Descant, sub-Terrain, Blood & Aphorisms, The Canadian Writer's Journal, and The Grist Mill. He has also written extensively for magazines and newspapers, and his book reviews have appeared in Quill & Quire and on the CBC.

His latest book, "Super Pills: Prescription Drugs We Love to Take", a cultural history of prescription drugs, was published by Raincoast in the spring of 2006.

The Eleanor London Library in Cote-St-Luc featured Steven Manners on Tuesday, June 12th, 2007.

Ruth Reiner

Ruth Reiner

Ruth Reiner is a Quebec-based psychologist and marital and family therapist. Although she enjoys writing and public presentations, her heart will always be with her clinical practice in Montreal where she resides.

Divorce, dips, dives and daffodils, Ruth Reiner's new novel, is about resiliency and self-acceptance. Deceptively simple and easy to read, it is built upon layers of depth. It's a travel guide around the limits of life, and an inspiration for the replacement of broken dreams.Written primarily from a woman's point of view, its chapters take you through vignettes of the separation process: How do we manage that first night with a new man? How does love for our children collide with resentment of the ex? How do we transfer longing, shame and fear into a new gym membership? And finally, how do we endure the dips and dives that eventually catapult us to grow?

Those of us touched by divorce will say, "Geez! Here I am!" and recognize parts of themselves in its pages.