Author Abdel Sellou shares The Upside

By Abdel Sellou
On Sale February 6, 2018

The real-life chronicle of Abdel Sellou—a young Algerian swindler struggling to find his way through life—and Philippe Pozzo di Borgo—his tetraplegic employer who leads him down a surprising new path— captivated millions in the 2011 film sensation, Intouchables. The film became the all-time highest-grossing foreign language film, and has since surpassed $400 million at the global box office. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston, and Nicole Kidman, THE UPSIDE (Hachette Books, on sale February 6, 2018) goes behind the silver screen to reveal, in Sellou’s own words, a story of unexpected friendship and personal transformation.

For all the tall tales he tells throughout his youth, Sellou could never have dreamed of befriending a wealthy aristocrat from Paris’s swanky 16th arrondissement. At age four, Sellou and his brother are shipped off from their native Algiers to the heart of the French capital to live with their new guardians, Uncle Belkacem and Aunt Amina. The couple—no children of their own, naïve to the ground rules of parenting—give Sellou what every boy dreams of: total freedom.

Sellou immediately sheds the shackles of society’s rules and boundaries, and youthful innocence gives way to cunning and deceit. Forged parental signatures become stolen sweatshirts and shoes; at age ten, he has his first police encounter for extorting one of his classmates. Sellou soon abandons school altogether, preferring to pinch cameras and Walkmen off unsuspecting tourists in Trocadéro than answer to the administration. Trips to the principal’s office are exchanged for time spent in handcuffs, though his artful smooth-talking and youth prevent the law from taking him out of the game for too long. That is, until his eighteenth birthday, when pickpocketing and assault land him his first prison sentence.

Ten months behind bars does little for Sellou except strengthen his conviction that he’s destined for a life of petty crime. Except now, he’s got counselors pushing him to find a job, and why not: a few months of menial work followed by a speedy resignation will land the next set of unemployment checks. But then a job lead sends Sellou to avenue Léopold II, to interview for a position as the “life auxiliary to a tetraplegic person.”

This first meeting between Sellou and his lifelong friend Philippe Pozzo di Borgo begins with a demand for a signature as proof for the unemployment office. It ends with an offer Sellou can’t refuse: full-time work caring for the wheelchair-bound man and an apartment all his own.
Almost instantly, the bond between Sellou and Philippe begins to solidify. It is strengthened by the good times they share together: Sellou’s effortless humor, Monsieur Pozzo’s toothy laughter, joy rides in the Jaguar XJS, family trips to the south of France. It is tested through the death of Philippe’s wife, Béatrice, and his constant, chronic pain. Sellou devotes himself to his employer and friend, and his life of crime starts to seem far behind him.

Sellou arrived on that first day thinking he wouldn’t stay ten minutes. He ends up staying ten years.

Told through the honest, humorous, and compelling voice of Sellou, and with a forward by Philippe Pozzo di Borgo himself, THE UPSIDE is a page-turning memoir that demonstrates how believing in someone else can allow you to finally start believing in yourself.

About The Author

Abdel Sellou now lives in Algeria with his wife and three children, where he runs a chicken farm. He remains close to Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, who lives in Morocco with his second wife and two children.


Spotlight Wednesday with Fox Halt Farm by Celia Moore #giveaway

Genre: Romance
Release Date: 1st November 2017

FOX HALT FARM is a compelling love story set over two decades with a backdrop of atmospheric Dartmoor, Devon. Perfect for fans of ROMANCE – this is a powerful and CAPTIVATING READ.

Opening on a cliff edge, Billy finds herself alone and betrayed. She believes everyone and everything she loves is threatened.

Richard’s world is aglow with wealth, love and unswerving family loyalty but then his perfect life crosses Billy’s. He could save Billy, her beloved dairy cows and Fox Halt Farm but this young woman isn’t in the mood to be rescued.

Nothing will stay the same. Should they trust each other? Will their secrets tear their lives apart?

Fox Halt Farm is going to be hard to put down. The story cracks along and you are caught up in Celia Moore’s vivid storytelling from the start. If you love novels by Jill Mansell, Maeve Binchy and Danielle Steel you will love this too!

Billy and Richard’s story will tug on your heart-strings. This novel is emotive, enthralling and so real – this is what could happen when two very different worlds collide.



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About the Author

Celia Moore was born in Devon, England, and grew up on a farm. Celia left the farm to have a successful career as a Chartered Surveyor working in the City district of London.

In 2000 she left the office life behind to start a new adventure of becoming an outdoor instructor and taught rock climbing, mountaineering, canoeing and even skiing, archery, rifle shooting and mountain biking. She managed an outdoor residential center until she met her husband and now she is concentrating on gardening for a few lovely customers, running and writing.

Born fifty years ago this year, Celia has been creative ever since – from explaining why there are no chocolate biscuits left when visitors arrive, to writing glowing particulars for ugly properties; from encouraging people to have a go at a scary abseil, oil painting and writing. Celia loves it all but especially the gardening, running and the writing!

Social Links: Blog/ Facebook/ Twitter /Instagram/ LinkedIn/ Pinterest

Book Review: The Beauty Doctor by Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard

Title: The Beauty Doctor

Author: Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 3 Stars= Okay Page Turner

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In the book, we meet Abigail, a young woman who dreams of becoming a doctor. She takes a job with a cosmetic surgeon in hopes of learning all she can, but soon becomes infatuated with the lure of what cosmetic surgery can do for a person. Abigail starts to admire what she is learning even though working with Dr. Rome has her stepping way out of her comfort zone, while introducing her to some of the most prominent people in New York. Abigail is doing things she would normally not do because this opportunity means everything to her.

This book touches on women’s roles in this era of time, politics, hint of romance and how concern people were with their looks and cosmetic surgery, which I wasn’t expecting when I started reading it. The characters are ones you either like or don’t like. I will say the transformation Abigail goes through and the actions she takes throughout the book made me invest in her character. This has been by far the strangest book I have read in 2017 but it was enjoyable.

I received this book from the author for review purpose only.

Meet the Author: Interview with Julia A. Royston

Stopping by Authors & Readers Book Corner is Julia Royston. She is an author, publisher, speaker and teacher. Royston provides full-service book publishing services, writing and publishing coaching services as well as hosts workshops and conferences to help aspiring writers become best-selling authors and thriving entrepreneurs. By profession, she is a 22-year certified, media specialist/technology instructor with the local public school system. Let’s get to know a little more about Julia Royston.

Tell us about BK Royston Publishing.

BK Royston Publishing is a full-service publishing company established in 2008 to publish high quality and enjoyable inspirational materials for all ages. BK Royston Publishing has assisted hundreds of authors with the guidance, information, coaching and publishing services necessary to write, publish and promote books in all media formats. BK Royston Publishing stays on the cutting edge of publishing by providing publications in multiple formats including paperback, hard back, eBook, Kindle and other mobile device.

Do you provide services? If yes, tell us about your services.

We provide all of the services to get a book from idea to the reader including writing coaching, editing, graphics, formatting, cover design and publishing options.

What led you into the publishing industry?

I wrote my first book and began selling it throughout the community. Prior to my first book, I sang 75+ events per year so I would go to different places in my community and around the country. I met with a friend and she asked me if I had more than 1 book in me. I hesitantly said yes and BK Royston Publishing was born to only publish my own books. A couple of years later, someone said that she had written a book, wanted it published and was going to pay me to publish her books. I told her I would do it for her and the rest is history. She told more friends and learned more and more about publishing.

As a motivational speaker, what topics do you cover?

Well, writing of course, publishing and being a business owner. Because I sing and teach technology as a career, I teach on praise and worship as well as being a psalmist and worship leader. As an information manager/librarian/media specialist, I teach technology skills and tools for business. I have multiple interests and gifts. I use them all of God’s glory and the education and benefit of others.

As a publisher, what do you look for in talent (meaning authors) to add to your roster?

A message, passion and an ability to reach and engage people. We can work on the book, its cover, the interior, tools and information for promotion and marketing to have the book ready for the world but if the author doesn’t have a passion for their own story, build a following of engaged people to become avid readers, it will be very hard to sell the book.

Tell us about Jillian Forrester.

Jillian is single, hard-working, spirit led, passionate, multi-gifted and talented educated young woman looking for someone to share her life with. She has had relationships but doesn’t want to settle for a man who doesn’t love God, her and himself, in that order.

Jillian touches on faith, how important was this topic to the story?

Extremely important because Jillian is Book #1 of the Women of the Fellowship Series set around women who are not church goers but church administrators and leaders on a national level in their particular denomination.

Do you write in other genres?

I write devotionals, poetry, children’s books, business topics and praise and worship.

Do you believe authors should be avid readers?

I do because it is the virtual networking and professional development that comes from reading someone else’s work that should cause you to take your writing endeavors to the next level. With the demands of publishing, I don’t get to read as much as I would like.

What is your favorite place to write?

My desktop computer with the door closed. I like music when I write and the music changes with the genre. Romance, soft romantic music. Devotionals or Praise and Worship Topics, Praise and Worship Music, etc.

What is your favorite quote or scripture?

“I will say of the Lord that he is my refuge, my fortress, my God and in Him will I trust.” Psalm 91:2

Where can readers find you?

My headquarters to find all of my websites, businesses and information is

About the Book

Jillian watched so many of her friends date, get engaged and marry before her. She wondered what was taking so long. Jillian had done all of the right things. She had gone to school, built a thriving company, owned a home, drove a luxury car and dedicated years of service to her church and community. But, where was her love? Come experience the lessons, longing and love of Jillian Forrester. Have faith, your love is on the way too.

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