Multiple Beach authors release books in multiple forms

Beach author and cat lover Penel J. Smith has just self-published a children’s book for which she also did the drawings. Hugo and Fluffy Tales is told from the point of view of Smith’s two cats of the same names. It traces their time together from when the kitten, Fluffy, first appeared as part of a group of kittens, through her acceptance by the elder Hugo, and on through their adventures.

Smith took art courses at the Ontario College of Art in the 1990s, as well as at Vaughan Road Collegiate. Since then she has drawn and painted, and done commissioned portraits. She has had her work on display in the Yorkville Library Gallery, and done illustrations for the children’s book publisher Groundwood Books.

Although her beloved Hugo died a couple of years ago, Fluffy is still going strong at the age of 14. For nine of those years Fluffy ‘volunteered’ as a ‘cat therapist’ at the Beach Arms Retirement Home, her visits eagerly anticipated and welcomed by the residents.

Smith has dedicated Hugo and Fluffy Tales to the Dalai Lama following a chance meeting with his Holiness in 1980. Smith was working at the time in the watch repair department of Birks Jewelers in the Eaton Centre. Apparently the Dalai Lama enjoys watchmaking as a hobby, and came into Birks accompanied by a group of followers and security.

“I looked up and there he was,” Smith said. “He asked to see a watchband that was the same colour as the burgundy robes he was wearing. He didn’t buy it (because he is not allowed to wear leather products), but was amused by the colour match.”

Smith wrote to his office asking about the dedication, and received a letter from the Dalia Lama’s assistant acknowledging and approving the request.

Purchase a copy of Hugo and Fluffy Tales for $17 by emailing
Dr. Geordie Fallis is Chief of Family Practice at Toronto East General Hospital, and Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto, and a self-styled comedian and story-teller. His latest project is an audio book titled From Testicles to Timbuktu: An Eclectic Look at Love, Life and Laughter From the Other Side of the Stethoscope. It is a collection of anecdotes from a journal Dr. Fallis started while in medical school. It is narrated by the doctor himself.

“Through the years I have met some extraordinary individuals and families who have risen above incredible obstacles and challenges to continue living their lives to the fullest,” says Dr. Fallis. “The resilience of the human spirit is truly inspiring.”

Dr. Fallis is highly regarded at TEGH for his ability to use humour as part of his compassionate patient care.
From Testicles to Timbuktu is available through
Beach authors Susan Winlaw and Alex Law have established, a website to publish a series of e-books about movies. Many of the titles are compendiums of movies around particular topics. For instance, the first title the couple released was called Movies About Weddings, a collection of 700 movies that have weddings in them. Another was called Movies About Christmas.

The authors are looking for help from readers – especially female readers – to write books about movies that deal with the everyday lives of women. They suggest perhaps movies about divorce, movies about sisters, or movies about mothers. They would love to hear directly from you.

You can contact Susan or Alex through their website,, or by emailing

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