EDITORIAL REVIEWS

THE HUFFINGTON POST

The first woman in history to have owned and operated her own TV commercial production company, Dale Engelson Sessa was a pioneer and master in the boardroom, but the bedroom proved to be a tougher battle. Her eloquently penned literary debut, the autobiographical, And All The Queen's Men, is one woman's uncensored coming of age as she navigates the romantic and sexual relationships with the men in her life -- speaking with humor and courage to women of all ages.

One thing was for sure, Sessa wanted to find a life partner that was completely unlike her own heavy handed father. And by the age of seven, she was very aware that she had no interest in being anything like her subservient mother. She comments:

 

I went to a memoir writing class at UCLA, and I recognized that my life with men -- and the relationships I've had was a big story inside of me that I needed to figure out, and the book unfolded. It would be lovely if a young woman in some small town in America would read this, and find the information in this book useful.

 

With And All The Queen's Men, Sessa has already found some fans in high places including Howard Gordon, Executive Producer of 24 and Homeland, who says:

Part The Great Santini, part The Happy Hooker, And All The Queens Men takes us on a deep, emotionally challenging journey leaving us breathless when, in the end, the author finally finds what she's been searching for.

 

I have had male readers come up to me and say "Thank you for pointing out to me that I don't pay enough attention to my spouse or girlfriend." When couples are together for a very long time they often stop noticing things in one another or talk about their day, and that's a problem. I hope this book can open up communications with couples so they are more aware of each other. Live life to the fullest every day. Don't save your best clothes for a trip, wear them all the time!

 

Sessa writes with unabashed honesty as she puts a face to women in relationships that have become scarred by sexual domination or verbal abuse or to those smothered by a soundless partner who refuses to communicate. All of which Sessa has experienced and shares with an elegant sensibility.

 

I don't hold grudges, and I didn't want this book to hurt anyone, but I wanted to get the story out there, and get it right.

 

And All The Queen's Men is published by Dunham Books and is available on Amazon (hardback and Kindle) and in all major bookstores nationwide.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/xaque-gruber/and-all-the-queens-men-is_b_4168908.html

KIRKUS REVIEW

An unabashedly honest, introspective and moving debut memoir focusing on the author’s relationships with the men in her life.

 

Sessa grew up in a Philadelphia suburb, dealing with her long-suffering mother and emotionally abusive father—a central influence on her later outlook on relationships. However, her family lived a life of luxury, traveling around the country and spending summers in Beverly Hills, Calif. While vacationing there as a teenager, the author met Ellis, a handsome man from a wealthy family whom, due to pressure from her father, she married while still a teenager. Although at first she was dazzled by Ellis and his lavish relations, her naïveté, youth and unhappiness soon became evident: “[B]ehind this illusion, evenings and weekends with Ellis seemed endless, like sitting in a stalled car.” After several years in an unhappy marriage, she divorced Ellis and married Myles, a doctor who was far more charming and sexually compatible. Soon, however, her second marriage felt like a prison, and she grew to despise her husband’s sexual advances and hostility. She threw herself into her career as a TV commercial producer in New York City and took several lovers as a means of escape. Twenty years later, she divorced Myles and dated a series of boyfriends, including Aaron, an attractive ad executive, and Art, a retired art dealer. Through these men, the author writes, she learned how to be in a loving relationship while balancing her own independence and aspirations. She experienced true love, heartbreak, anger, and even the death of a close friend before she married her third husband, Joe, with whom she says she’s the happiest. Sessa is a talented storyteller, and her candid, poignant and often sassy prose allows readers to relate to her young-adult immaturity, her later pain and frustration and her eventual joy. She successfully weaves together her different experiences with men into a powerful, thought-provoking message: One must turn mistakes into positives in order to grow and learn from one’s past.

 

A fast-paced, optimistic memoir.

 

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/dale-sessa/and-all-the-queens-men/

WESTSIDE TODAY

And All the Queen’s Men, a new Memoir by Dale Engelson-Sessa

By Amy Sommer  |  October 15, 2013

 

Interior designer, television producer and philanthropist, Dale Engelson Sessa is even more than the sum of her parts. In addition to her multi-hyphenate career she has had multiple marriages – starting at 16 years old when her father coerced to marry the man of his dreams – a string of lovers and today finds herself whole and living in Los Angeles with Mr. Right. “And All the Queen’s Men,” recently released by Dunham Books, is Engelson-Sessa’s memoir that takes readers on her journey from adolescent to fully-fledged woman through many lovers, raw sex scenes and an unflinching look at her tragedies and triumphs.

 

 

“Your past always finds you… even when you think it has let you go,” is both a truism and the tag line for the book. By telling her story so honestly, Engelson-Sessa will surely help others liberate themselves from the psychological bindings of their pasts.

 

The book is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, diesel, a book store Powell’s Books and Book Soup.

 

http://www.westsidetoday.com/n10171/preview/#.Ul2O78hrKgw.email

LA-STORY.COM

And All the Queen’s Men, a new Memoir by Dale Engelson-Sessa

By Stevie Wilson |  November 10, 2013

 

Women’s Fiction

Finally we get to fiction but it’s not really so much fiction because it’s a memoir of the author. This book isn’t quite as fast as read as the other two book but there’s lots of detail and dialogue that you want to really “get” on the first read. It’s a woman’s coming of age- when women were getting married at 18 and how this woman actually becomes a woman of means, talent and accomplishing many things that we would all like to do.

 

The Recipe: Take one controlling father, add three husbands, fold in an assortment of boyfriends and lovers, stir in the Hollywood machine, sprinkle with a touch of promiscuity and serve with forgiveness.

 

Author Dale Engelson Sessa invites you to sit at her table and enjoy the banquet that she has created in her book, “ And All The Queen’s Men” is a truthful memoir of a woman’s courageous journey to discover herself through various relationships in her life–eloquently penned coming-of-age story of a (not-so) nice Jewish girl, filled with wonderfully descriptive narratives that reflect the various times and lifestyles of LA’s culture. Alone, driven and searching for decades, Sessa ultimately emerges as an emotionally empowered woman who reaches for an enduring relationship, one that sets her free from the Pamplona-type chaos that heretofore has consumed her life. Amid all the shadows she has forged in previous relationships, this new awareness illuminates and forgives the restless ghosts of her past. That’s just the fast synopsis of the book. It’s a great read and starts back in the 60′s! Sessa captures the essence of LA’s upscale lifestyle without sparing herself from any revelations or a-ha moments. The process of writing this book must have been pretty intense and the resilience that the character demonstrates shows you what Sessa has learned in her life over several decades, marriages and relationships. Because this is a memoir, Sessa shows us the character’s true self– warts, flaws and all and doesn’t sugarcoat anything in the process. An interesting gutsy read from a woman who has been through a lot in her life and is willing to show you what she has done. (KUDOS! Definitely worth the read!)

 

http://la-story.com/2013/11/booking-it-hot-new-books-in-fiction-and-non-fiction-for-girls-guys/

TOLUCAN TIMES

Lunching with Author Dale Engelson Sessa

By: Sue Facter

 

Maya Angelou said: “There is no greater agony than bearing the weight of an untold story inside of you.”

 

And that’s exactly how Dale Sessa writes her autobiography, All the Queen’s Men, a Memoir. Her name may or may not be familiar, but she instinctively knows how to pen a book you won’t want to stop reading.

 

At lunch at The Avalon’s Oliverio Restaurant, Dale recounted some of the tales, starting with her father, with whom she had a difficult relationship. The author doesn’t hold back. “It was the way I had to do it.”

 

Jason, a very attentive waiter, had no idea his regular customer was an author. “I’ll have to hit Amazon,” he said. And the entire staff knew her name and the location of her regular table.

 

Fighting allergies, the author teared up when she recounted a conversation she had with Joe Sessa, her third husband. Not only would he have to read about himself, he’d have to read about her amorous past. “When you’re dating, you talk about these things. I can’t tell you how supportive he was when he finished the book. We communicate like no one else.”

 

The book goes into her past marriages, some long-term relationships, as well as casual hookups. “As I was writing and remembering, it got me thinking about why I chose certain men. I’m so glad it has a happy ending!”

 

She and her husband reside in Beverly Hills and recently purchased a weekend home in Rancho Mirage. “He’s a golfer, which I’m not. He’ll be in heaven with over 100 golf courses in the Coachella Valley!” The duo has traveled around the world twice after working vigorous life-long hours. Dale retired some time after marrying Joe to spend quality time with him. “But retirement didn’t exactly suit me.” She is working on her second book, this one fiction.

 

From 1995 to 2010, she was the owner of a design and interior architecture firm, Design Works Inc. She has also written screenplays.

 

Formerly Dale Engleson, she was the first woman to operate her own TV production company, D. Productions Inc. where she produced commercials for Proctor and Gamble, Pepsi, and Ford Motors.

 

When many first time authors are self publishing, Dale managed to procure a publisher, Dunham Books. “An agent had shopped it around. I was very fortunate. A good friend of mine was working on a book with Alana Stewart (about Farrah Fawcett) and helped connect me.”

 

The book contains almost as much sex as in a Jackie Collins novel. “I am not embarrassed. It was my life.” (That includes an unhappy tale of losing her virginity to her first husband, through wonderful romantic liaisons with her current husband, and everything in between. She takes us from Orangeburg, South Carolina, to Philadelphia, to early family trips where she stayed at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, to New York and Vancouver.

 

Sue Facter owns a news agency that specializes in the luxury brand. Her work appears in USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and Women’s Day Australia, as well as on broadcasts and the web.

 

http://tolucantimes.info/section/inside-this-issue/lunching-with-author-dale-engelson-sessa/

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