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Book Review of Vagabonds In France by Michael A. Barry in South County Healthy Living Magazine Summer 2020

April 18th, 2020

Book Review of Vagabonds In France by Michael A. Barry in South County Healthy Living Magazine Summer 2020

South County Healthy Living Magazine featured Michael A. Barry's book, "Vagabonds in France" in a book review in its Summer 2020 issue:


Book Review: Vagabonds in France

"Come with my wife and me as we lose our home, put everything in storage, sail across the Atlantic, navigate through Europe, dodge pickpockets, climb mountains, and descend into the Paris Metro. Endure nasty weather and illness, witness the flood of the century, and meet some wonderful and not-so-wonderful people. Chuckle with me as we live among the French and try to learn their ways and language. Then make it back home again to an empty house we’d never seen before. – Michael A. Barry"

These words written on the back cover of Vagabonds in France captures the essence of a memorable two-month adventure. Using the pen name Michael A. Barry, Mike Walsh wrote the text and his wife Liesl illustrated the book with 75 photos showing many of their favorite stops. Liesl is a popular local photographer from Venice.


Vagabonds in France is an easy read about their visits to Funchal and Madeira in Portugal, Malaga, Cartagena, and Barcelona in Spain, and Antibes, Nice, St. Paul de Vence, Eze, Arles, Avignon, Paris, Giverny, and Versailles in France.


This is more than a fluffy travel book about charming castles and fine restaurants. Mike’s story notes plenty of tourist attractions, but it also includes dismal weather reports, close encounters with low level scoundrels and the unending search for restrooms (le toilettes). His playful writing style and levity about life on the other side of the pond is refreshing. I found myself giggling every few pages.

The backstory is also interesting. Mike and Liesl were living in Parrish when their landlord called to tell them the house they were renting was being sold. Their immediate stress turned into excitement when the couple realized their unwelcome news was an opportunity to fulfill a dream. So, after stuffing all of their possessions into storage, they boarded a cruise ship headed east. Way east for 3,788 miles to Madeira Island, Portugal plus another 762 miles to Malaga, Spain. Welcome to Europe.

Mike’s regular updates to family and friends became the basis of his book. Liesl took thousands of photos. Her select images featured at the end of each chapter enhance the reading experience. My favorite photo is the cover featuring Mike and Liesl strolling in Montmartre, Paris. You can see the famous dome of Sacre-Coeur in the background. With the magic of Photoshop, Liesl placed separate images of herself and Mike on the cobblestone road.


Vagabonds in France is an enjoyable book even if you don’t plan to drop everything and head for Europe. Then again, maybe you should. – Randy Moore

Vagabonds in France is available on Amazon. See more of Liesl’s photos at LieslWalsh.com.

Get FREE Lightroom Presets from Serge Ramelli

April 18th, 2020

Get FREE Lightroom Presets from Serge Ramelli

Renowned French photographer Serge Ramelli is giving away a FREE Photography Toolbox that includes FREE Lightroom presets and profiles. In the toolbox you will also get FREE Photoshop brushes, FREE Premier profiles, FREE Sky replacements, and FREE Textures. Included are videos how to install the presets and profiles, how to do sky replacement, and how to use the Photoshop brushes and textures.

You can get the FREE Photography Toolbox in the link here:
https://www.photo-serge.com/cfpl001a?affiliate_id=2302163&aff_sub=FAA&aff_sub2=&nopopup=true&noautoplay=false&cookiepreview=true

This is an affiliate link, and all of the products listed here are free. But I would receive a small commission if you were to purchase another product that Serge Ramelli offers. I am working with Serge as an ambassador in his PhotoSerge Academy assisting him in teaching photography online.

Serge Ramelli is from Paris now living in Los Angeles. He has over 600,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, the number one channel on Lightroom in the world. Serge is a landscape and cityscape photographer who's fine art is being sold in YellowKorner, one of the largest gallery networks with over 85 galleries around the world. Serge has published 7 coffee table books with Teneues about New York, Paris, Venice, Los Angeles, and Barcelona.

Serge Ramelli enjoys teaching photography with the goal of helping his students achieve success. Serge has many courses about Lightroom and Photoshop. He coaches students in his private Facebook group, the PhotoSerge Academy, and in his new mentorship program, the PhotoSerge Institute of Photography, where students complete assignments to receive a diploma and become a certified photographer.

If you would like to learn more about Serge's courses or coaching/mentoring programs, please feel free to contact me at Liesl Walsh Photography at https://www.lieslwalsh.com/Training. Thank you.

Boost Your Photography with Fine Art Masterclass by Serge Ramelli

April 18th, 2020

Boost Your Photography with Fine Art Masterclass by Serge Ramelli

One of the things that has helped me during this time of staying at home is to stay busy learning and working on my photography. I just got Serge Ramelli's Fine Art Masterclass and can't wait to start it. It is inspiring me! :-)

Serge is a renowned French photographer from Paris who has his photos in over 85 art galleries around the world. He has published 6 coffee table books and has almost 600,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel teaching photography. It is an honor to be working with him teaching photography online to students from all over the world.

Use this time to boost your photography and grow as an artist. Keep your mind on positive things and stay hopeful. Check out Serge's Fine Art Masterclass in the link. He shares how he created the images in his coffee table books. I hope you enjoy it!

https://www.photo-serge.com/cfpl018-fine-art-masterclasspit2nke0?affiliate_id=2302163&aff_sub=FAA&aff_sub2=&nopopup=true&noautoplay=false&cookiepreview=true

This is an affiliate link, and I would receive a very small commission if you were to purchase this course. I am an ambassador for Serge Ramelli in his PhotoSerge Academy, assisting him in teaching photography online. If you would like to learn more about Serge's courses or coaching/mentoring programs, please feel free to contact me at https://www.lieslwalsh.com/Training. Thank you.

Vagabonds in France Book by Michael A Barry Now on Amazon

June 2nd, 2018

Vagabonds in France Book by Michael A Barry Now on Amazon

Photographer Liesl Walsh is excited to announce the new release of her husband's book, "Vagabonds in France" (pen name Michael A. Barry), which is now available in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon. Liesl illustrated the book with 75 of her photographs and designed the book cover and the interior layout.

Michael writes:
"Vagabonds in France" is a lighthearted book about an unexpected travel adventure to France. Find out how life threw a lemon at us with losing our home, and our attempt to make lemonade. Putting all our furniture in storage, we left everything behind to experience an adventure of a lifetime. With no mortgage or rent to pay, we left with no return date or home to come back to. Exploring for 9 weeks, we traveled from Florida (Tampa and Key West), to Portugal (Funchal, Madeira), to Spain (Malaga, Cartagena, and Barcelona), to the Cote d'Azur in the south of France (Antibes, Nice, Eze, St. Paul de Vence), to Provence (Arles, Avignon), then a month in Paris. Come with my wife and me and see this country's amazing beauty, along with all the humorous cultural differences and "what the hell" moments you'll get a kick out of. Climb mountains, descend into the Paris Metro, dodge pickpockets, endure nasty weather and illness, and witness the flood of the century with us. Experience some wonderful and not-so-wonderful people. Chuckle with me as we live among the French and try to learn their ways and language. Then make it back home to an empty rental home we found online. Readers say they feel like they are right there with us on the journey, and laugh out loud, especially from the "Bathroom Reports". This book, with its 75 photograph illustrations, is available now on Amazon in both paperback (black and white illustrations) and Kindle (color illustrations)! To see the book on Amazon please go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NCUNSEK . The book is also available outside the US on other Amazon websites.

About the Author:
Michael A. Barry is a semi-retired small business owner, husband, and world traveler from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania now living in Florida. Hobbies include: aviation, anthropology, psychology, history, and weekend polyglot.

You can read a preview of the book on Amazon in the link below.

Putting Our Stuff in Storage to Travel Europe Then Writing and Illustrating Vagabonds in France by Michael A. Barry

May 30th, 2018

Putting Our Stuff in Storage to Travel Europe Then Writing and Illustrating Vagabonds in France by Michael A. Barry

Ten years ago if you were to say that sometime in the future I would be putting my belongings in storage, leaving everything behind to travel Europe with no return date or home to come back to, that my husband Mike would write a book about it, and I would be illustrating it, I'd think you were in the sun too long. For one: I didn't think I'd have the guts to travel that way, and two: Mike had no desire to ever write a book, and three: though I did dream of illustrating a book one day, I never dreamed that I would be illustrating HIS book.

Well, all of it came true, a few years ago. We had moved away from the frigid winters of Pennsylvania to sunny Florida, eager to enjoy a warmer climate. We loved Florida and all it had to offer, but life threw a lot of not-so-nice surprises at us. It seemed like it was just one trial after another and it took a huge toll on us and our health. We wondered, how much more can we bear? Well, after a horrible summer we got the news: we had to move out of our rental because our landlord was putting our house up for sale.

The news shocked us, but Mike realized it was an opportunity to fulfill one of his lifelong dreams: see Paris, do a trans-atlantic cruise and backpack Europe. We had to move anyway, why not put it all in storage and just go? So we did. We realized life is short, and we were eager for a big change. So we put everything in storage, and took a cruise from Tampa to Europe, stopping in Key West, Florida; Portugal (Funchal, Madeira); and Spain (Malaga, Cartagena, and Barcelona). We then flew from Barcelona to the south of France in the French Riviera. After a quick couple days in Antibes it was on to Nice with day trips to St. Paul de Vence and Eze. Then it was a week in Arles, Provence with a day trip to Avignon. From Provence it was on to Paris for a month with day visits to Giverny and Versailles. It was an incredible once-in-a-lifetime adventure. It was not always fancy wines and cheese (just grocery store stuff), but we had so many memorable moments. We met many wonderful people, and a couple not-so-wonderful people, dodged pickpockets, climbed mountains, descended into the Paris Metro, endured nasty weather and illness, and witnessed the flood of the century.

During the trip Mike kept a journal to help remember everything we did and to catalog the thousands of photos I was taking. He enjoyed writing it and emailing it back to family and friends. By the time we got home he had quite a substantial story. He decided to put it into a book, so he spent the next four months working on it full time, at least five to six hours a day. I would stay up very late each night proofreading it, suggesting some edits, which he would look over the next morning. It was like shift work. We had a couple people be beta readers for us, giving us feedback, also an editor. Our car insurance representative couldn't put the book down, and this was during the busy Christmas season. Everyone said the same thing: it made them laugh, and they felt like they were right there on the journey with us. We titled the book, "Vagabonds in France", by Michael A. Barry (Mike's pen name).

I worked illustrating the book, designing the cover, and doing layout of the paperback and Kindle. It was a great experience. I learned all the layout requirements, which were quite tedious at times but doable. The paperback and Kindle layout rules were totally different, so I had to make two different documents. We decided on 75 of my photos to illustrate the book. We decided to place the photos at the end of each chapter, so readers wouldn't be interrupted while reading, and have time to use their imagination as they read before seeing the photos. Also having the photos at the end of the chapter was easier to do in the layouts.

For the book cover we wanted to use a photo that showed a winding road, to give a sense of our personal journey. We wanted it to give the feeling of Europe, and I wanted enough open space at the top and bottom to add the title and author name. I narrowed down the images that would fit the layout options, and then Mike chose the final image. It was perfect, our favorite street in Montmartre, Paris: Rue de l'Abreuvoir, a curvy cobblestone street near Place Dalida with quaint old world buildings and a view of Mike's favorite place in all of Paris: Sacre Couer. Then Mike had a great idea, to sneak both of us into the cover walking down the street. So I found a photo he took of me near the Arc de Triomphe and a photo of him walking at the Sorbonne in the Latin Quarter of Paris, and I photoshopped them into the book cover. It really improved the cover's message and composition. When I added the title and author name to the cover, Mike asked if I could curve the word "Vagabonds". After removing a few poles from the road to make room for the author name at the bottom, we were done. We are very happy with how the cover turned out!

On the back cover Mike chose an image of one of his favorite memories: walking along the Seine River in Paris with Notre Dame in the distance. We walked along the Seine so many times from our apartment in the Latin Quarter, going to Notre Dame and the Louvre, seeing all the fancy bridges.

It was a great experience working on the book together. We're very happy with how it turned out, and are pleased with how well the book is doing. It was an unexpected result from an unexpected adventure.

To see the book on Amazon and read a preview you can click on the web link below.