Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 12-06-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | DECEMBER 6-12, 2018 THE VALLEY 13 Patrolman MICHAEL AKINROLA was sworn into the ranks of the North Smithfield Police Department by Town Administrator Gary Ezovski last Wednesday, Nov. 28, at police headquarters. Akinrola graduated from Woonsocket High School, where he was a star basketball player and attained All-State hon- ors. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Rhode Island College, where he was a four-year mem- ber of the Anchormen Basketball Team. In 2018, he graduated from the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy. He will be assigned to a Field Training Officer (FTO) for approximately 10 weeks. New officer Local author publishes sixth novel CUMBERLAND – The transition from corporate leader to best-selling author was somewhat of an accident for Cumberland resident Julien Ayotte, who said he hardly expected to spend the last six years of his life writing nov- els. "I just picked up a pen one day and started to write," he said. It was 1987 when he began his first thriller/mys- tery novel, "Flower of Heaven." More than a decade later, Ayotte would stumble upon the unpublished manu- script shortly after he retired from a Worcester-based law firm. "I had about 15 chapters done. I was going to throw it away," said the Woonsocket native, but he felt com- pelled to finish. The award-winning novel published in 2012, followed by a sequel "Dangerous Bloodlines," a story about an affair between a priest from Lincoln and a young woman from Paris whose twin sons wind up at the center of a murderous plot. In his 2016 novel "A Life Before," Ayotte explores radon poisoning and (spoiler alert!) reincarnation, weaving the two concepts together to create a suspenseful story about the unsolved murder of the wife of a Rhode Island lawyer. "How in the world do you match radon to reincarnation?" Ayotte asked, recognizing his propensity for mak- ing unusual connections in his literary work. "No one, to this day, has guessed the ending of the book." Last November, Ayotte published "Disappearance," a novel he describes as being about the witness protection program and "what could possibly go wrong" when a breach in the system leaves two wit- nesses dead. The fictional agent investigat- ing the leak is a former F.B.I. agent from South County. Asked what inspires his out- of-the-box ideas, Ayotte said, "My wife thinks I'm nuts. These stories are all bottled up in me and have been for years." Once inspired, he takes it "one chapter at a time," sitting down in his Cumberland living room with a pad of paper. "I don't have a clue as to what hap- pens in the next chapter until I start writing it. It's like a car in idle, and all of a sudden you get a green light and you're off like lightning … you just need enough green lights to finish the book," Ayotte said. His wife is the first to read all of his novels, which are then edited and critiqued by his three adult children. This December, the soon-to-be 77-year-old author will publish his sixth novel in five years, a historical fiction book called "Code Name Lily." The novel, based on a true story, centers around Micheline "Michou" Dumon, a young nurse using the code name Lily who risked her life to help save hun- dreds of airmen from the Nazis during World War II. Ayotte learned about "Lily" when he read her obituary in the newspaper last December. It was the first of countless articles and excerpts he would come to read about the woman from Belgium, who had served as a member of the Belgian resistance during World War II with the Comet Line, a civilian-run group that helped Allied soldiers and airmen escape enemy territory. "Everyone had written about her here and there in excerpts, but there was no book about her," said Ayotte, whose own mother was from Belgium and nicknamed Lily. "I knew I had to write this book." Dumon joined the Comet Line in 1942 after her parents and sister were arrested and deported by the German Gestapo for their work to subvert the Nazis. She proceeded to personally help more than 250 airmen escape from Belgium through France and over the Pyrenees Mountains into Spain. "She would find out about a downed airman who had parachuted into Belgium, clothe him, feed him, tend to his wounds, provide him with a false identity card and personally take him over the mountains to Spain," Ayotte said. "She was extremely clever and persuasive and would outsmart the Nazis time and time again." "Code Name Lily" is Ayotte's first foray into historical fiction and is the most researched of his novels. "This was the toughest book I've ever had to write, but it's the one closest to my heart," he said. "Code Name Lily" is available in both print and digital format in stores or online, www.julienayotte.com. He will be signing and selling his books on Dec. 16 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Bocce Club Restaurant in Woonsocket. By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer nicole@valleybreeze.com AYOTTE Are you living with Celiac Disease? The ReseT CeD Study is for adults at least 18 years of age who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease (CeD). There are currently no medical treatments or cures for celiac disease. Volunteers are needed for participation in this research study. For more information, please call our staff at Ocean State Clinical Research Partners at 401-475-7007.

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