Wednesday, May 26, 2010

D'Amour Road

D'Amour Road is the story of two best friends who are turning 40. One of them goes missing, and the other joins a massive search to find her friend in conjunction with the police, her colorful women's collective, and a younger man whom she finds especially captivating. The book explores a number of themes including female friendship, violence against women, wrongful convictions, addiction, midlife crisis, and the painful phenomenon of unrequited love.

D'Amour Road is loosely based on the Louise Ellis story. Louise was a woman in Ottawa, Ontario who went missing in 1995. She was a member of my David Milgaard support group (David was a man who was wrongly convicted of murder) and I knew Louise fairly well, although we never met in person; we talked on the phone for two years. I have used some material from Louise's story because I wanted to keep her alive in my memory and in yours.

HOWEVER, D'Amour Road is entirely fictional. My main character, Lisa Campana, is nothing like Louise Ellis. Lisa, a drug counselor, and her family are solely figments of my vivid imagination.


Dannye Williamsen, acclaimed co-author of IT'S YOUR MOVE, calls D'Amour Road an auspicious debut novel that is stunningly original.

Joan McEachern, Former Professor at Algonquin College, says that D'Amour Road is riveting and spellbinding. She started the book at 9 a.m. one morning and couldn't put it down, so she read all day until she finished at 7 p.m.

And Magnus Hardarson, Manager of Human Resources, in Mannval, Iceland, found D'Amour Road to be ravishing. He's never been to Ottawa and enjoyed the description of the Ottawa/Hull landscape. The novel is full of humor, although the story line is serious and melodramatic. The author is preeminently clever when it comes to defining human nature, Hardarson declared.

Lisa Xing of the Charlatan, Carleton University's newspaper, has this to say about D'Amour Road:

"Sigrid Macdonald makes an astonishing entrance with her sophomore publication, D'amour Road. I've recently found it quite difficult to get through all of my existential philosophy reads and explanations into relativity, so it was refreshing, to say the least, when I picked up the book and couldn't put it down.Macdonald does an amazing job of setting the background for the action, especially in portraying Tara, a 40 year-old woman going through a mid-life crisis.

"With no sexual desire for her husband, she channels her frustration to the virile young man working at the local Loeb, Alain. She feels disconnected from her teenage son and has some serious reservations on her "older woman/motherly" image. Her life is thrown into turmoil when her best friend, Lisa, disappears suddenly.

"Tara's internal monologue and first person narration is entirely believable and realistic. Her bleak worries on her age and desire for Alain is hilarious, infused with sarcastic and almost cynical stream of consciousness that helps the reader identify with her. This makes her the perfect 21st century crisis-wreaked heroine."


To read my reviews in their entirety, including the recent review by She Unlimited Magazine, and the legendary Stephen Haines , one of the top 50 Amazon reviewers, please click on the link to the right that says Sigrid's Reviews.


Every day, we turn on the TV and hear about one more woman or child who goes missing. During the summer of 2005, Natalee Holloway received extensive publicity because the 18-year-old from Alabama disappeared during a graduation celebration in Aruba. Natalee deserved that media attention but I worry about other girls and boys, or men and women who aren't quite so good-looking, do not have devoted, affluent or influential parents, and lack white skin like Lori Hacking and Laci Peterson.

Little Tamra Keepness disappeared from Regina in 2004. She was only five years old and has yet to be found. What kind of publicity is this disadvantaged, Native girl receiving compared to Elizabeth Smart of Utah, who at one point had 8000 seekers looking for her? Secondly, women just keep on disappearing!

Alicia Ross from Markham, Ontario was found dead one month after she went missing; her neighbor confessed to killing her. Right in my own home town of Nepean, Ontario an 18-year-old named Jennifer Teague disappeared on September the 8th, 2005. Her body was discovered 10 days later and no one has been charged with her murder to date.

D'Amour Road is informative. It has a social message but at heart, it's just a novel that is meant to help you to escape into another world for a few hours. Aside from the missing persons theme, the book deals with midlife crisis, unrequited love and addiction. I deliberately made my main character slightly neurotic in order to add levity to a serious topic. My favorite dramas always contain some humor!


You can purchase D'Amour Road directly from Amazon for $17.00/U.S. Just click on the links to the right. Or you can buy the book directly from me for $12/US or $14/CDN and $3.00 postage in Canada or $5.00/US to mail to the US. I accept checks and PayPal. Just send me an e-mail by clicking on the button that says Contact Me below my link section.

BUY THE E-BOOK through me for only $4.99/US. Read it right on your screen or print it out and read from the comfort of your easy chair.

Take a trip down the rocky road of love and don't forget to sign my guestbook to let me know that you were here. I value your feedback and will respond to your comments.


I am a freelance writer living in Ottawa, Ontario. My articles have been published in American periodicals such as the Women's Freedom Network Newsletter in Washington, D.C., Toastmaster International Magazine, and Justice Denied. In Canada, my works have appeared in the national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, as well as the Anxiety Disorders Association of Ontario's Newsletter and Carleton University Womyn's Center's annual magazine. I also have a new article coming out in SNL Horror Magazine in December of 2008.

My interests are diverse but I am particularly drawn to women's issues and wrongful convictions. I've spent most of my adult life as a social activist in the women's movement, starting as the Political Action Coordinator and Legislative Task Force Leader of The National Organization for Women in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

My devotion to wrongful convictions stems from the work that I did with Joyce Milgaard to exonerate her son, David, who was wrongly imprisoned for 23 years and later found to have been innocent based on DNA evidence. I was the co-coordinator of the Milgaard Support Group in Ottawa and was also a member of the Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted.The Milgaard Inquiry began in January of 2005. Since David's case is considered to be one of the worst instances of injustice in Canadian history, it is important to discover what went wrong, and what kind of prophylactic measures we can implement in order to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening to other innocent people. Check out my blog at

In addition, I am an advocate for patients and have written extensively about alcoholism, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, menopause, invisible disabilities, social phobias, panic disorder and joint replacement.My first book is a patient's guide to hip surgery. GETTING HIP: Recovery from a Total Hip Replacement traces my personal story following hip replacement, which I required after being injured by a drunk driver. I also interviewed 10 people around the world in order to gain a broader perspective on different types of recoveries and hip implants. You can read more about GETTING HIP on Sigrid's Recovery at

Of course, I blog about issues related to D'Amour Road like missing women such as Natalee Holloway, Jennifer Teague, Alicia Ross, Laci Peterson, Lori Hacking, and Tamra Keepness; the effect of race and class on the way police conduct investigations for missing women; the plight of sex trade workers and the question of legalizing prostitution (many women who have gone missing in Canada over the last 10 years have been sex trade workers); unrequited love; turning 40 and coming to terms with the aging process. The D'Amour Road blog is located at

I am also book coach, helping people to organize their thoughts in order to write their first book and to market their material, and I am a copy editor. Please send me an e-mail if you are interested in my editing services.And don't forget to make comments on the blogs or in my guestbook! I am always thrilled to hear from readers and I answer all of my mail. You can write to me by clicking on the link that says CONTACT ME.

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Sigrid Macdonald

Saturday, May 22, 2010

American Adulterer: Too Much Information?

If the name JFK makes you envision a champion of civil rights, activist for nuclear disarmament, and a handsome, charismatic leader who was brutally snuffed out before his time, after reading American Adulterer, you will never view Jack Kennedy that way again.

Jed Mercurio, a British author with a medical background, offers a fictional glimpse into what could have gone on in the sex life, physical health and mind of JFK. Mercurio portrays Kennedy as such a medically ill person that we wonder how he ever had the clarity of mind to decide whether to wear the white shirt or the blue shirt, let alone to negotiate with Nikita Khrushchev. Kennedy is on a host of medications for his Addison's, thyroid failure, and suffers with severe bouts of stomach distress. This is not to mention the incessant pain from his back, which was injured in his early years playing sports, fractured when PT 109 was blown up by the Japanese, became septic during surgery, and infected during a postop operation for a herniated disc. Wow! How could one person have such bad luck? And how could that man possibly have had the drive, and the intellectual rigor, to aspire to the highest office in the land?

I felt very sympathetic towards Kennedy reading about all of his ailments, although there was quite a bit of TMI, but the sympathy stopped the minute Mercurio provided a detailed description of Kennedys affairs. I'm not sure how I feel about sex addiction -- is it just a way for powerful men like Tiger Woods to justify their infidelity and exploitation of women because women throw themselves at them? Is it a psychological problem -- a type of sociopathy where an otherwise devoted husband has absolutely no regard for his wife or her feelings? Or is it biological? Do some men (and women) have extraordinary urges for sex that go beyond the "norm"? There are no easy answers but I had an uncomfortable feeling reading this book -- that I wasn't sure if I was really entitled to this info. Just because people are famous, or even world leaders, doesn't mean that I should know the intimate details of their physical health or sex life. On the other hand, Kennedy is part of history. And the old boys' network that kept his secrets is long gone. Maybe we're entitled to know some of this but not all.

Although this book clearly took a lot of time to write, and was well-researched and thought out, it was repetitive and too intimate a look at the man for my own taste. Mercurio succeeds in crushing whatever idolization we've had about the JFK years and the dreadful assassination. Instead, he is reduced to a skirt chasing invalid. Very sad.

Sigrid Macdonald, Author of Be Your Own Editor