A book launch for a steamy psychological thriller & a poetically crafted work on hot-button US issues

Inhaled by Nathalie Guilbeault

LOVE, GUNS & GOD in America by Christian Fennell

He read her book and wrote his first-ever, non-paid review. That was the impact Nathalie Guilbeault’s story had on Christian Fennell, a writer and editor from Toronto. He commented on a Facebook post, and she responded on Instagram. “The Leafs will beat the Habs in six,” he wrote. One year into the pandemic, Fennell headed down the 401 east to Montreal, where Guilbeault was waiting to collect her wager. The writing continued, their latest books now completed—Guilbeault’s Inhaled, 2nd edition and Fennell’s LOVE, GUNS & GOD in America, the third in his trilogy, The Real and the Imagined. They celebrate their books, love and life with cocktails and conversation on June 22 at Pub Burgundy Lion along with readings and a Q&A.

Nathalie GuilbeaultNathalie Guilbeault’s Inhaled, 2nd edition is a novel based on a true story. Silencing her own intuition, Isabelle falls into the arms of hope; a hope she keeps weaving into a new reality, putting her life and that of her daughter’s at risk. In this psychological thriller, where sex is used both as a weapon and a cure, Guilbeault exposes with great lucidity, the dangers of becoming entangled with a person whose character is poisoned by narcissistic and sociopathic traits. It is the story of a woman’s desperate need to surrender and escape, whatever the price.

This updated edition of the book comes out almost four years after its initial release. Guilbeault was compelled to examine what one tells oneself in order to survive the humiliation. Time gave perspective and made it possible for the author to better understand why she remained within the confines of a dangerous relationship. She went back to the memoire and added more insights, “I delved further and found answers as to why it happened, how.” The act of rewriting did something to her; she discarded her pen name, Isabelle Duval, and emerged as herself. “Writing about abuse is challenging,” said Guilbeault, “mostly because I expose myself, and also, the type of abuse I write about here is hidden. Would it be believed? There are no bruises, no scratches, no broken bones. It’s invisible to friends and family, and that makes you want to become invisible, too. Words were my way out.”

“This book was intense! I couldn’t put it down. Knowing that this was based on a true story got to me in my deep. A whole mix of emotions with some added eroticism made this book captivating and relatable. Very well written.”— Dr. Laurie Betito, clinical psychologist with a specialty in sexual wellness, radio host, best-selling author and TEDx speaker

Christian FennellChristian Fennell describes his novel LOVE, GUNS & GOD in America as a portrayal of the violence, race issues, and ideological confrontations facing America today, as exemplified by the recent shootings in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX. His novel is timely; his masterful, unique writing style is poetic and dense. When two young children, fleeing a white nationalist upbringing chance upon a large, mythical man in the woods, he helps them on their journey to California. When captured, events take a horrific, racial turn, one that many years later, still impacts all those involved. LOVE, GUNS & GOD in America completes Fennell’s trilogy, The Real and the Imagined. “I started the trilogy because I wanted to examine the lives of people when viewed through a lens of what is real, and what is perceived as being real. This fascinates me—the blending of these two things. In a sense, it is how we all live our lives. And certainly, it is at the root of many of the problems currently facing America and much of the world today,” he said.

“Passionate observations of life in different strata of the American psyche drive a story that is a raw inspection of the violence and confrontations of both a nation and the individual.”—Diane Donovan, Senior Editor at Midwest Book Review

Readings and lively Q&A: Wednesday, June 22, 7-9pm
Pub Burgundy Lion — 2496 Notre Dame O., free admission, refreshments, cash bar


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