#Review – NOT BY DESIGN by Carol Balawyder


5 Stars

 Available now on Amazon


What a touching story! When I saw that this book featured a main character with MS, I knew that I could relate to this story as my mother has MS. The author really did her research regarding MS and brought attention to an invisible disease mixed with a little romantic story. You never know who someone is until they are faced with news that changes your future completely. This was a great book to read relaxing next to the pool. If you or someone you know has MS, share this story with them. You just want the best for Felicity and want to keep reading to see what the future holds for her.

I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to review.


Not By Design: A Feel Good Novel

In a life turned upside down, Felicity finds joy is sometimes just around the corner.

Ever since she first appeared in Getting To Mr. Right, Felicity Starr has been struggling to find her own kind of contentment. Now, at thirty-five and living in Rome, Felicity is about to break into the world of fashion design, and caught in a flurry of plans for her wedding when calamity strikes.

Her father’s sudden death brings into question the whole meaning of success. Then Marco, the man she’s about to marry, leaves her when he learns of her Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis.
Forced to return to Montreal, Felicity finds her life thrust into unexpected turns. As she confronts the on-going challenges presented by her disease, she gains the strength to let go of old beliefs and face her inner truths.

Love, friendship and rewarding work come in different forms and Felicity finds it all in ways she never imagined – in a life that’s not by design.


carol-balawyderMy dad was born on a farm town in Rama, Saskatchewan and my mom in Montreal.  I was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec  but currently I live in Montreal. I first came to study Early Childhood Education at McGill. It was a lonely time for me. Away from home for the first time. My parents didn’t believe in summer camps.

I didn’t like teaching kindergarten. All that discipline and yelling and screaming all at once…no I had the book first…he hit me…Patty peed in her pants. So I went on to get a B.A. in Education so I could teach high school.  My first teaching job was teaching poetry to a group of drop-outs who were no older than I was and even some of the boys in my class were my brother’s friends. It was weird. Teaching High School didn’t turn out to be the be all and end all of saving the world.

After that, I got a neat job teaching English as second language for this company run by a really old woman who let me do practically whatever I wanted. I got to create a lot in those years.

And then I needed to travel.  I did some research at The British Museum Library on my own grant. It was on Alice in Wonderland. The real reason why I wanted to do this research was that I just wanted to read from the original Lewis Carroll manuscript. Man, did they ever survey that manuscript. You’d think I was taking out Russian spy material.

Fast forward. I went back to study Applied Linguistics at Concordia University in Montreal where I almost got an M.A. degree if it weren’t for this professor (Gosh I wish I could remember her name…she was ancient)  who didn’t think that using music to teach a second language was cool to use with adults. Although, a year later she kind of got with it and delivered a speech at an ESL convention using my material! Really. Now, that’s not fair.

Okay, so bad things happen to good people.  I write a few ESL books that sell fairly well. Maybe you’ve heard or even used some of them: Open For Business and Windows on Sci-Tech. These were under my married name Carol Ann Fournier.

So I have my Andy Warhol fifteen minutes of fame and now what?

Oh, I know… I want to write crime novels. But don’t I need some kind of credibility, like maybe having been a criminal myself or a detective (which really, really would have been super cool, if in my good old days they’d accepted women in the police force).

I went back to university to get a M.Sc. in criminology and then ended up teaching Police Technology and Corrections for eighteen years in a college in the north end of Montreal. How’s that for credibility?

In the meantime, I got divorced and found myself side tracking from crime writing and writing about dating. Horror!

Here I am, years later and too many dates to keep track of but with a collection of dating stories and a novel.

Now you know my sad story of how I became a writer. But wait, that’s not all. I’m only beginning.



2 thoughts on “#Review – NOT BY DESIGN by Carol Balawyder

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s