Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Annette Rochelle Aben, Gigi Sedlmayer, Sally Cronin


Welcome to the second of the review posts this week and the first author with a brand new review is Annette Rochelle Aben for her book Angel Messages: A Wing and a Prayer.

About the book

This book is a terrific way to share some Angel love with someone who needs a lift, a hug, a smile or that person who loves Angels. It is filled with pictures, prayers and poems that bring the Angel Messages to you.

From the Author…

Angels are real! Some say Angels have saved their lives, comforted them in their darkest moments and even appeared before them in physical form. I am one of those who believes in Angels. My personal testimony is here in Angel Messages, along with prayers that I have used to thank, summon and to send Angels to others when asked. The beautiful photographs of Angels inside, are designed to evoke deep personal connections.

Allow yourself to be inspired with a wing and a prayer by the love of the Angels. Share this book with others. Keep a copy close to you so you will always have an Angel at the ready. Let it refresh your body, mind and spirit Believe that Angels and Spirit guides are always there for you whenever you call, and so they shall. Love and Angelic blessings, I am Annette Rochelle Aben, a.k.a. Sister Angel.

One of the recent reviews for the book

You Are Not Alone on October 16, 2017

I have always believed in Angels and have read several books about them. What strikes me most about Annette Rochelle Aben’s book, Angel Messages: A Wing and a Prayer, is the open heart from which she writes.

Ms. Aben shares her personal experiences by sprinkling the Angel messages she has received, between passages of her own lovely poetry.

Two of my favorite messages are: 1. Be in love with the gift of your life. Your joy colors your world; 2. Choosing love will always bless you. The answers are in your heart.

Ms. Aben states that Angels may materialize in the guise of ‘just plain folks.’ I think we all experience this yet often overlook, for example, the woman who gives us the extra change we need to make a purchase, or the man who extends a hand to help us onto the bus.

Whether you believe in Angels as heavenly beings, visitors from the cosmos, or just plain folks, this book will touch that place in you that searches for comfort, assurance, and a positive outlook on life.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Angel-Messages-Annette-Rochelle-Aben-ebook/dp/B01CT5KT4A

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Angel-Messages-Annette-Rochelle-Aben-ebook/dp/B01CT5KT4A

Also by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY

Find more reviews at Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8262554.Annette_Rochelle_Aben

Connect to Annette via her blog: https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Time to check out the children’s books in the bookstore and an author who gets consistently excellent reviews for her Talon Series is Gigi Sedlmayer. And here is recent feedback for book five in the series

About the book

The poachers are back – and they are looking for Talon! They are doing everything in their power to capture him, and if they can’t get him alive, will kill him. Determined to get him at all costs the poachers run up against the might and will of Tamo, Tima and Talon.
It is war. The poachers against the condors, Matica and the Indians – with the poachers even taking hostages to win the war.

With the help of Tamo and Tima, Talon and Matica do the impossible knowing they have to capture and stop the poachers or they will be back.

Between the poachers shooting at the condors, the crows playing their part, and Tamo being shot and injured, Matica goes above and beyond to help her beloved condors.

Action-packed from beginning to end, Talon Encounter will keep you on the edge of your seat.

One of the recent reviews

Encounter is the fifth and final book in the Talon series. Talon, Tima, and Tamo are in danger as the poachers, Zed and Pete want to capture these birds and kill them. Matica is distraught and seeks the help of the Indian village leader. Things have changed from the first book. Matica used to be an outcast and now that she can fly with Talon, the Indians find her interesting and have accepted her.

Pete and Zed dominate the story with their vicious plot and agenda towards these birds. The story is filled with action and drama as Matica sets her heart in, once again, protecting these birds.

I found the novel to have a faster pace and more suspenseful feel to it, compared to the first book. I enjoyed the love spent for these animals and the way Matica had grown and matured. I admired the fact that even though she was psychically restricted, her determination was stronger than ever. The story had a small hidden reveal to it and the ending made you feel satisfied with the outcome.

I believe the author has great potential in writing about similar genre stories. I recommend this book to bird lovers and anyone that enjoys a well-written story.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Talon-Encounter-Gigi-Sedlmayer-ebook/dp/B018FNCA6

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Talon-Encounter-Gigi-Sedlmayer-ebook/dp/B018FNCA6K

Also by Gigi Sedlmayer

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

And read more reviews and follow Gigi on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4405791.Gigi_Sedlmayer

I am so delighted to have received some great reviews in the last few weeks and would like to share a recent one for Just an Odd Job Girl.

About the book

At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker.
Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.

The most recent review for the book

Imogen is fifty when her husband of over twenty-five years announces he has found himself a new and younger woman; a fast-tracker, as Imogen dubs her. This is a girl who is out to get man who has already established himself and made money, rather than marry someone of her own age and have to struggle their way to the top together.

Not only does Imogen lose her husband, she is left with no choice but to move from the family home and re-jig her life completely. It’s a daunting task; the children have flown the nest and she hasn’t worked in years.

Alone in her new little home on the edge of Epping Forest Imogen browses the local newspaper and comes across an ad from an employment agency. She telephones, makes an appointment, cobbles together something to wear and, for the first time in a very long time, compiles a CV.

The adventure begins.

From here the story takes Imogen to her interview, where Mr Jenkins ( call me Andrew) invites her to talk him through all the jobs, and there are quite a few, that she has previously undertaken.

Each chapter then describes unlikely and varied forms of employment. There is a lot of humour in the writing, but also some pathos too.

I won’t reveal the ending but, though it came as no surprise, it was just what was needed for this story, with a little comeuppance for the dastardly husband thrown in.

Reading a book like Just an Odd Job Girl by Sally Cronin reminds me that I should do this more often -I love thrillers and dark stories but a little lightheartedness, occasionally, goes a very long way.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Odd-Girl-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B00M10F4O4

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Odd-Girl-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B00M10F4O4

A selection of other books by Sally Cronin

To read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Read more reviews and follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you explore these books and their authors further. Thanks Sally

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Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Janice Spina, Gigi Sedlmayer and Sally Cronin


Welcome to another post where you can showcase your latest reviews. I do try to catch your reviews but it does help if you let me know by emailing sally.cronin@moyhill. I am happy to share your news every four to six weeks to keep you in the spotlight.

The first author with a review today is Janice Spina for book five of her Davey and Derek, Junior Detectives series – The Case of the Sad Mischievous Ghost

About The Case of the Sad Mischievous Ghost

Twins Davey and Derek Donato are enlisted by two new characters, Abby and her cousin Holly, to assist them in finding and capturing the spooky beings that haunt their house.

When the boys visit Abby’s house they discover that this old Victorian holds many secrets and shocking revelations.

Davey and Derek soon find that they need the assistance of their Great Aunt Gigi to handle these mischievous phantoms.

The most recent review on Amazon

Once again, Davey and Derek are off on an adventure to solve a mystery. These two young detectives are on the trail of ghosts that are living in their friend Abby’s house. Abby and her cousin Holly are school mates of Davey and Derek and have more interest in them than just finding the ghosts. When they visit Abby’s home, a large old Victorian house, they discover the house holds secrets even Abby’s parents didn’t know about. Of course, once again, they enlist their Great Aunt Gigi to help them.

This was once again another delightful middle grade book in the Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series. Davey and Derek and their friends are delightful children who are respectful and considerate of others, but who don’t hesitate to do a bit of sleuthing under the nose of Abby’s parents.

As with the other books in this series, The Case of the Sad Mischievous Ghost is well written and meets the author’s criteria for instilling the love of reading in children.

I highly recommend The Case of the Sad Mischievous Ghost to all middle graders and to their parents. This would be a wonderful book to share, with parents taking a turn reading aloud.

This book was a gift from the author. I received no compensation for my honest review.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Mischievous-Ghost-Davey-Junior-Detectives-ebook/dp/B072QBJ7LC

Also by Janice Spina

Discover all of Janice Spina’s books, read the reviews and buy:https://www.amazon.com/Janice-Spina/e/B00HNET4HG

Find more reviews and follow Janice on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7222888.Janice_Spina

Connect to Janice via her website: https://jemsbooks.wordpress.com

Another children’s author whose books receive excellent reviews continously is Gigi Sedlmayer and here is the latest for the first in the Talon Series – Come Fly With Me.

About Come Fly With Me

The adventure of a young girl will captivate your attention in this beautiful book. The words soar off the page and into your heart as you read this imaginative story.

Enjoy seeing the family dynamic from the first moment with her brother, to the gentle times with her mom, and the exciting scenes with her father.

A young girl, Matica, is jealous of her brother, Aiken’s ability to have friends. But Matica’s ability to form friendships is extraordinary. The trust and camaraderie between Matica and the condors is truly wonderful.

The way the author revealed each situation is fun to read and it made one anxious to see what’s next. Acceptance was eloquently woven into the story without being blatant. And the other thing I learned was that when certain things happen, you don’t always know why and just maybe something goodwill come of it.

Talon, Come Fly With Me is not only magical but inspiring. The author is expressive every step of the way and paint such vivid pictures with her words.

The most recent review on Amazon

This short story connects immediately to kids with its conversational tone. Matica is a girl who has grown up to be 9 years of age but physically is small. This leads her to feel isolated in her immediate circle. To add to the complexity, her parents – missionaries – relocate from Australia to South America to stay among the Indians.

Matica comes in contact with a pair of Condors – majestic birds which are close to extinction. She manages to develop a close bond with the birds and helps them through their travails when poachers try stealing their egg. In this attempt, Matica gets a huge round of admiration from the local Indians and is invited to various schools to share her story.

This narrative is a great example of story telling where the reader can bond with the main characters and get to understand issues like environment, conservation and diversity.

Full Disclosure : I had been provided a copy of the book by the author for an unconditional review (and I am glad I got to read her work)

There are 128 reviews for Come Fly With Me for you too browse and to buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Talon-Come-Fly-Gigi-Sedlmayer-ebook/product-reviews/B00J2643PG

Also by Gigi Sedlmayer

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

Read more reviews and follow Gigi on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4405791.Gigi_Sedlmayer

Connect to Gigi via her new website: http://gigised.com/

And finally I am going to slip one of my latest review into the pile for Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story.

About Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

The true story of Sam, a rough collie, written from his perspective. A tribute to a true friend and a genuine family member.

Millions of families around the World believe that their pet, dog or cat is the most intelligent, beautiful and loyal friend that anyone could have. And they are absolutely right.
From the first moment that I met Sam, when he was just three weeks old, his personality and charm shone from his button eyes. Like many pet owners, we were convinced he understood every word we spoke and he actually could say one or two himself. Rather than tell his story from our perspective I have given him a voice and let him tell his own.
I can only imagine what he really thought about his two and four-legged friends but I do hope he loved us as much as we adored him and the time he spent with us shining brightly in our lives.
If only our pets could talk how much richer the world would be, and funnier.

The most recent review on Amazon

When I read a book, I prepare for my review of it by highlighting the parts that I will want to quote in my review, ie. the sentences that are the touchpoints, or witty dialogue, the memorable moments, and lines that are the heart of the book. As I prepared to review Sam, I realized that I had highlighted the entire book. So many wonderful moments, funny stories, heartwarming scenes, and plenty of love are contained in this dog’s memoir.

Sam relates how he came as a young pup to live with Sally and David, in a lovely place near a beach in Ireland. Sam describes the large garden where he romps, his own splashing pool, his sun lounger, his rambles on the beach with his owners. Sam appreciates all this, but most of all he loves his pack and does his best to be a positive and helpful member of the pack. His only complaint is that he is never given enough cheese and sausages! (We hear you, Sam!)

Sam has many human and cat and dog friends. Sam and Sally’s adventures with Henry the cat, and his babies is quite amazing and touching. His Sally can speak Cat and Sam learns this language, too, along with a useful repertoire of words that he understands and words that he can say! He is also a very good listener.

Sam seems to be the typical smart, mature, only child. He is well-traveled (over 50,000 miles and several countries!) and interested and engaged in his world. As Sam writes, “There is no doubt that my pack could not do without me.” Adults, children, and worldly dogs and cats like Sam, will enjoy reading or hearing this lovely story. Highly recommend.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Sam-Shaggy-Story-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B00GM0HPQE

Other books by Sally Cronin

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Read more reviews and follow Sally on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Thank you for dropping by today and I hope you enjoyed the selection. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Invitation -Air You Reviews – #Throwback Thursday – Gigi Sedlmayer, Pamela S. Wight and Sally Cronin


Welcome to the Thursday edition of Air Your Reviews when I take a look at an author’s earlier books and give them a boost.

First is children’s author Gigi Sedlmayer and her Talon Series of books.  The review from 1st July 2017  is for book two in the series On the Wing. The book has already received over 50 positive reviews.

About On The Wing

What Matica has dreamed ever since she first befriended the condors is actually happening.
And now the adventures begin.

Finally accepting Matica into their community because of an incredible event, the people from the village love seeing her with Talon and demand she tell them about her adventures with the condors.

Matica is now happy to be small because she can do what she has always dreamed of – fly. She is accepted and loved, and because she is so small can have incredible adventures with her beloved Talon. In the meantime, her friendship with Amos continues to grow…
In this book, she has scores of adventures and near disasters with Talon.
The most recent review for On the Wing.

This exciting tale is the second part of a series of books about a ten-year-old sandy-blonde girl by the name of Matica who has a special condition that has stunted her growth, making her remain at the height level of a toddler. She is special in this book because of her remarkable relationship with a family of condors that live in the mountains nearby her home in Peru, South America. She and her parents Mira (mom), Crayn (dad), and younger brother Aikon are originally from Australia but moved to Peru due to Crayn’s occupation. In part one of this series, Matica was able to save an egg of two adult condors who was being eyed by a bunch of ruthless poachers. From this saved “egg” came a dear friend, Talon, whom which this series of books are about.

Now in this book, Matica had a dream that she was able to fly on Talon’s back across the Andes Mountains of Peru, where she was then abruptly dropped with Talon not making an attempt to help her at all. She woke up in time and proceeded to relay her nightmare to Aikon and her parents who took it lightly except that Mira thought she should be careful because you never know… This book is different from part one in that it introduces a bunch of new characters all eager to hear about Matica’s relationship with Talon as well as seeing her fly on his back. We have to consider the fact that this is something “extraordinary” and that no one has ever flown on the back of a bird in the skies or been recorded down in the history of the world. (I think.) There is a plot twist here where one of these new characters resents Matica because he had someone dear to him with her condition abandoned due to thoughts that this beloved person was of no use to society anymore.

I read this book with anticipation waiting for that lesson that part one had. I felt that the same moral was being played out here where Matica once again proved to her surrounding community that her disability and her friendship with Talon tells all those who have a friend or family member with her condition to embrace that person because they might come in handy someday. And all through the book, the Peru Indians were very thankful and adamant to listen to Matica’s tales of her friendship with these condors especially the title character, Talon. It gave them a reason to embrace these birds, Matica’s condors, knowing that they have a valid place in their environment and must be protected at all costs from poachers and all those who threaten to hunt them down for trading and consumption purposes.

I recommend this book to grandparents and parents who are looking for a book for that special, dear bookworm in their families. It will instill in him or her a sense of duty to look out for our friends in nature and teach him or her also the values of love, compassion, friendship and leadership. I also recommend this book to teachers who are searching for titles to add to their classroom libraries. Trust me, your students will enjoy this tale at story-time because the notion of a disabled girl befriending a bird (just like with a dog or a cat or a turtle) and showing it all of her tender love and care is something very kind and sweet that they can relate to. So what are you waiting for? Order this dear today! You will get your money’s worth!

Read some of the other great reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Talon-Wing-Gigi-Sedlmayer-ebook/dp/B00J264EJQ

Also by Gigi Sedlmayer

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

Read more reviews and follow Gigi on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4405791.Gigi_Sedlmayer

Connect to Gigi via her new website: http://gigised.com/

My next author with a recent review for her first book is Pamela S. Wight with her fast-paced The Right Wrong Man.

 

About The Right Wrong Man

Meredith Powers’ career as a medical editor seems safe enough as she searches for love with the right man. But she is pulled suddenly from her serene world in Boston to one of intrigue, kidnapping, and murder in the Caribbean.

Meredith’s simple life becomes terribly complicated when she works with an author who drags her into a drug heist. The reappearance of her ex-boyfriend, the D.E.A. agent, and the stunning response from her current accountant boyfriend all lead to complications, danger, and more than a few questions.

Meredith wonders if she really knows the people who surround her in her daily life. Her parents, her best friends, her boss, even her lover. She discovers that almost everyone holds secrets, and the unearthing of those cover-ups lead to mystery and danger that changes everything, and everyone, she thought she knew.

One of the recent reviews for the book

The first pages of this thriller romance were not particularly fast-paced, and I thought I would be in for a slow, but sweet upbeat romance flavored with a thin mystery. Boy, was I wrong. The book speeded up, faster and faster, until by the time I was about 1/3 of the way in, I became so engrossed I almost missed an appointment. When I got back from my appointment, I decided to set everything else aside and finish the book because I was obsessed with discovering what was happening to the protagonist, Meredith, a medical book editor, and which–if any–of the three mysterious and sexy men involved on one side or another of an illegal drug scheme she would choose as her true love. This books features lots of adventure, suspense, and mystery.

Read more of the many excellent reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Right-Wrong-Man-Pamela-Wight-ebook/dp/B00AYNQ7EG

Also by Pamela S.Wight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-S.-Wight/e/B00AYXT6R6

Connect to Pamela via her website: https://roughwighting.net/

Last but not least I would like to share a terrific review from Deborah Bowman for my What’s in a Name short story collection Volume One.

About What’s in a Name Volume One.

There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow.

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.

Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and

The most recent review for the book on Goodreads

Deborah Bowman rated it it was amazing – Recommends it for: EVERYONE!

Little slices of history (x2 generations approximately), but it’s so hard not to give spoilers when these anecdotes, family stories, and clips of emotion make you cry tears of happiness and sadness, literally only pages apart.

What’s in a name? Everything … your identity, your life, your dreams, desires, failures and triumphs. It’s all that you are or could have been. It’s inspirational, deep in meaning, and relates to every heart, life, and soul.

I took notes in the book, meaning to share, but reading it unawares is the only way to shed the light of day … or night on an epiphany of release, glory with each story, mind tingling and bell ringing. All I can strive to thrive in this heartfelt book is felt in but two teasers…Annie and Clive, mere drops of expression, packed with life’s lessons. That’s the reason to keep this unusual genre alive!

Congrats and sincere thanks to Sally Cronin … a masterpiece.

You can read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6Y8BK1

And on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34122268-what-s-in-a-name

My other books

All my books can be found at https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

My new book is out at midnight tonight in a special post…. What’s in a Name Volume Two….It is very pink!

Thank you for dropping by today and if you could share around the universe that would be terrific.. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – Shehanne Moore and Gigi Sedlmayer


The first author with an update is Shehanne Moore with another excellent review this week for her book The Writer and the Rake.

About the book.

He saw her coming. If he’d known her effect he’d have walked away.

When it comes to doing it all, ‘wild child’ writer Brittany Carter ticks every box. Having it all is a different thing though, what with her need to thwart an ex fiancé and her being transported from the present to Georgian times. But then, so long as she can find her way back to her world of fame and promised fortune, what’s there to worry about?

Georgian bad boy Mitchell Killgower is at the center of an inheritance dispute. He needs Brittany as his obedient, country-mouse wife. Or, rather, he needs her like a hole in the head. In and out of his bed, he’s never known a woman like her. Nor a woman who can disappear and reappear like her either.

And when his coolly contained anarchist, who is anything but, learns how to return to her world and remain, will having it all be enough, or does she underestimate him, and herself?

The latest review on Amazon.

I totally loved everything about this time-travel romance and would give it ten stars if I could.

Brittany Carter is an author, who drinks, smokes, and parties too much. After a surreal encounter with a character called Morte, she’s transported to the Georgian era and meets bad boy Mitchell Killgower, who is locked into an inheritance dispute with some hateful relatives of his deceased wife. When Brittany materialises out of nowhere, he hopes she can prove useful by pretending to be his obedient and mousy wife for long enough to hoodwink those who hold the purse strings and stop his son getting the inheritance. The only trouble is that the feisty Brittany is incapable of fitting into this role and Mitchell has truly met his match on the impossible person’s front.

I don’t want to give too much away, as this will spoil readers’ fun; and the novel is such great fun, in a quirky sense of the word, always sustaining a wonderful forward momentum with wonderfully entertaining dialogue. Come to think of it, I don’t recall the author using any dialogue tags at all, and if she did, they weren’t intrusive.

Brittany is often insufferable, but also pretty cool in a chaotic way. Mitchell is a Mr Darcy type: dark, handsome, brooding, stubborn, hard to impress, and master of his heart, but decidedly sexier than the original. His relationship with Brittany is meant as a short-term arrangement of convenience and nothing more. And the feeling is mutual …until it isn’t.

Speaking of the raunchy scenes, Shehanne Moore knows how to write about sex in a way that’s humorous, playful, erotic and, at times, intense. It’s never explicit, because it doesn’t need to be; the subtle interplay of all the human senses is sufficient.

On the hilarity front, the crowning moment for me is when Mitchell rifles through Brittany’s bag and puzzles over its contents from the future, and then questions her about one of the items in particular.

If you haven’t already guessed, I fell in love with Mitchell and felt really sorry for him when Brittany kept appearing and disappearing. A rake like Mitchell does not give his heart easily to a woman, preferring the casual company of floosies when needs dictate.

The Writer and the Rake can be read as a standalone novel, even though it’s the second part of a series. One reviewer has suggested that, in order to understand the time mutants better, it’s an idea to read the series in the right order, starting with The Viking and the Courtesan.

As you can imagine, Time Mutants #1 is near the top of my reading list, as I can’t get enough of Shehanne Moore’s writing and am delighted to have discovered someone with such a fresh and original voice. A highly recommended read.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Writer-Rake-Shehanne-Moore-ebook/dp/B06XS2R38K

Also by Shehanne Moore

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Shehanne-Moore/e/B00CMBK7BW

Read more reviews and follow Shehanne on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7029905.Shehanne_Moore

Connect to Shehanne via her blog: https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/

The next author who has been receiving great reviews for her books is Gigi Sedlmayer and here is the latest review for the first book in the Talon series Talon, Come Fly with Me.

About the book

The adventure of a young girl will captivate your attention in this beautiful book. The words soar off the page and into your heart as you read this imaginative story.

Enjoy seeing the family dynamic from the first moment with her brother, to the gentle times with her mom, and the exciting scenes with her father.

A young girl, Matica, is jealous of her brother, Aiken’s ability to have friends. But Matica’s ability to form friendships is extraordinary. The trust and camaraderie between Matica and the condors is truly wonderful.

The way the author revealed each situation is fun to read and it made one anxious to see what’s next. Acceptance was eloquently woven into the story without being blatant. And the other thing I learned was that when certain things happen, you don’t always know why and just maybe something goodwill come of it.

Talon, Come Fly With Me is not only magical but inspiring. The author is expressive every step of the way and paint such vivid pictures with her words.

The latest review

This inspirational story is the part one of a series of books about a family of condors taken care by a disabled girl named Matica and her Australian family residing in Peru amongst Indians and the wildlife of that country. Matica, a sandy-blonde girl who does not seem to grow in length appropriate for her age, goes through a series of hard events to make sure her condor friends Tamo, Tima, and their son Talon (which this book and those succeeding it are about) survive poachers and thrive in their natural habitat.

I thought this book was moving and endearing because it is a children’s book but the lessons in it are universal and can also benefit adults too. All throughout the book, Matica and I both discovered the beauty of purpose and advantage and how after the storm and turbulence, you come to realize that you have a reason for being here on earth. Matica is disabled and initially she had thought that her life was meaningless, that she did not fit in with her settings and environment, that she was a no-good individual that the Peruvian Indians were excluding from their society and was considered by them to be “weird” and or “cursed.” However, by the end of the book, she comes to terms with her own existence and that despite being disabled, she had a purpose, she had an advantage for living and that is to care for the condors she has named Tamo (the adult male); Tima (the adult female); and Talon (their son).

This book should be in your home library yes, yes, yes! I say this because it has a moralistic teaching about it that you can revisit over and over throughout your life. If you think you are a worthless, invalid person, just pick this book from your shelves and reread it and you will forget about your trouble. It is God-fearing, it is family-oriented, and it is inspirational. Great for your children, grandchildren, nephew/niece, godson/daughter, etc. Come on, reward that dear, favorite child of yours with a didactic story like this! Hey, and while you’re at it, get the other books in this 5-part series as well!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Talon-Come-Fly-Gigi-Sedlmayer-ebook/dp/B00J2643PG

Also by Gigi Sedlmayer

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

Thank you for dropping by today and please don’t forget to let me know if you have a great review, new release or a book on offer. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Amy M. Reade, Olga Núñez Miret and Gigi Sedlemayer.


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Welcome to Friday’s Cafe and Bookstore update and today three authors who are either celebrating a new release or terrific reviews. Amy M. Reade, Olga Núñez Miret  and Gigi Sedlemayer.

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USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and gothic women’s fiction Amy Reade has just released The House on Candlewick Lane, the first book in the Malice series, which currently consists of three books. Each book has a different main character, but you’ll find some characters that drop in throughout the series (some more than others). The second book in the series is called Highland Peril and will be out in the fall. The third book, with a working title of Death Comes to Thistlecross, will be out next year.

About The House on Candlewick Lane

It is every parent’s worst nightmare. Greer Dobbins’ daughter has been kidnapped—and spirited across the Atlantic to a hiding place in Scotland. Greer will do anything to find her, but the streets of Edinburgh hide a thousand secrets—including some she’d rather not face. Art historian Dr. Greer Dobbins thought her ex-husband, Neill, had his gambling addiction under control. But in fact he was spiraling deeper and deeper into debt.

When a group of shady lenders threatens to harm the divorced couple’s five-year-old daughter if he doesn’t pay up, a desperate Neill abducts the girl and flees to his native Scotland. Though the trail seems cold, Greer refuses to give up and embarks on a frantic search through the medieval alleys of Edinburgh—a city as beguiling as it is dangerous. But as the nightmare thickens with cryptic messages and a mysterious attack, Greer herself will become a target, along with everyone she holds dear.

Two of the early reviews

Incredible book that captures you from the start! By Kathleen Charon on February 7, 2017

I am a huge fan of Ms. Reade’s books! I enjoy her narrative style and her descriptions pull me into the world that her characters inhabit. This book is every parent’s nightmare and chronicles Greer’s search for her missing daughter. I was so caught up in the story that I couldn’t put it down. Although I read an advanced copy, I had to purchase it because I enjoyed it so much. Don’t start until you have the time to read straight through! It will captivate you. I cannot wait for her next book!

A great read! By New York Army Mom on February 7, 2017

The House On Candlewick Lane by Amy M Reade. Set in Scotland, Amy gives her reader a great look at the language and food of Scotland. One of my favorite things about Amy’s writing is the way she describes everything; From the characters, to the setting, to the plot! The reader gets to go along for the ride with the characters, in the streets and even in the kitchen! In addition, every chapter ends with a comment that pushes you on to the next chapter! This is an author you will want to get to know! And you will definitely get to do so in this story! She weaves herself through the pages beautifully.

Don’t stop at the end, there’s a glossary defining the many Scottish terms and teasers for her other books! And if you want to get to know Amy better click the link to the latest news about Amy M. Reade. Very Interesting! I don’t want to give anything away, I will just say that I would like to see this house on Candlewick Lane! And the cover… beautiful!

Read all the reviews and buy the bookhttps://www.amazon.com/House-Candlewick-Lane-Malice-Novel-ebook/dp/B01FBZXR3K

Also by Amy M. Reade

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Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2

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Connect to Amy via her website:  www.amymreade.com

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Olga Nunez Miret has received a wonderful review from Christoph Fischer for her latest book Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies.

51-yoxohzql-_uy250_About Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies

A woman shot dead. No enemies, no motive, only a story about how she swapped bodies with another woman found on her computer. The other woman in the story, the owner of the swapped body, goes into labour and won’t talk.

When FBI Agent Dave Dean asks psychiatrist/writer Mary Miller for her assistance, she doesn’t know that The Case of the Swapped Bodies is not the only mystery in Port Haven. A hit and run, an armed robbery gone wrong and questions about family traditions, priorities and legacies come into play and complicate matters. The line between fact and fiction is more tenuous than anybody realised and suspense is on the menu.

This is the third book in the Escaping Psychiatry series and it poses new challenges for Mary Miller. And not all the challenges are professional ones. How do you carry on when you’ve survived the unthinkable?

The review from Christoph Fischer for the book

“Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies” by Olga Núñez Miret was a real treat and almost a surprise. I like Olga’s sharp and psychologically charged writing the best and knew this would be good.I was not prepared, however, for the extremely clever plot.

At first there is the confusion of a woman waking up in a different body and in a different life. Then she establishes contact with the woman currently in her own body. That in itself is a great premise and the conversation between the trapped women would have been more than enough for one successful book.

Olga doesn’t stop there but now introduces more complexity as the case is being handled by both, the police, and our series heroine, psychiatrist Mary.Despite a heavy workload I couldn’t resist the book and kept reading at every opportunity to get to the bottom of this psychological thriller. My curiosity got the better of me and all I can say is that the denouement doesn’t let you down.

A clever idea, perfectly executed with sharp writing, excellent characters and a lot going for it.  Maybe the author’s best so far. Highly recommended.

https://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/review-escaping-psychiatry-2-the-case-of-the-swapped-bodies-by-olga-nunez-miret/

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Escaping-Psychiatry-Case-Swapped-Bodies-ebook/dp/B01NBGH9G1

A selection of books by Olga Núñez Miret 

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Discover all the books,read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Olga-Núñez-Miret/e/B009UC58G0

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Connect to Olga via her website: http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

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Gigi Sedlmayer has received a new review for Come Fly with Me the first book in the Talon Series from Akrum Menacker.

51jo3ypdlbl-_uy250_About Come Fly with Me.

Talon, come fly with me is a delightful middle grade story set in Peru with a family of condors and missionary Australians.

Is it possible for condors to understand humans?

Suspend your beliefs and watch how an under-size girl, Matica, finds friends with a family of condors, after being rejected by the Indians because of her size.

There are beautiful descriptions of the flight of the condors, and more so when Talon is cared for by Matica. The language suits this age group and does not talk down to the reader.

This is a great inspirational story for everyone. It will lift you up and make you believe in adventures, friendships, acceptance in a whole new light.

Come and take the journey that is called Matica’s life. It is filled with rejections, heartbreaks, growth and loneliness, but through it all, it will make you feel stronger.
Talon, Come Fly With Me is the first book in this series and you will be blown away!!!
In a world full of pain this story gives ones hope

Akrum Menacker’s review

Have you ever felt like you would never fit in? Of course you have, we all have at one point or another. But for some this is not simply being awkward socially, but much more. For 10 year old Matica, the problem is a physical one. She is not growing. Despite her age and having a younger brother, Matica has the body of a much younger child which has made her life a real challenge as far as making any friends in the little village in Peru where her parents are missionaries trying to help the local tribe. The tribe finds Matica’s situation strange and tend not to associate with her, making her more lonely than ever.

However, Matica does have knack for making friends. In this case its a pair of condors, which seems to fascinate the local villagers. But they are even more surprised when the bond between the undersized girl and the huge birds becomes so strong that when their egg is threatened by poachers they allow her to watch over and care for it. Soon the egg hatches and Talon is born. The villagers are more impressed than ever by the young girl as she helps raise the young condor, becoming an expert on the birds and soon Matica finds herself no longer the source of curious glances but a bit of a celebrity. But her true love for family and her condors never takes a backseat to this new status. Her dedication to both her families is unwavering and continues to grow just as quickly as Talon who is soon big enough and strong enough to take flight. But is he powerful enough to grant Matica’s most secret wish?

Aimed at preteens, this is a story that can be enjoyed by any age. As I said at the beginning of this review, we’ve all felt out of place and thought we’d never find where we truly belong. Matica’s journey is a tale that everyone can relate to. Sometimes its not finding where YOU fit in, but making a place for yourself in the world and watch it start swarming towards you.

This is such a wonderful tale, I have not problem giving it the 5-Star rating it deserves. I’m even more delighted to know that this is only the first installment. As of the writing of this review, there are four more books in the series. Needless to say, I’ll be adding them to my library and more reviews will come with time.

And now I will take my hat off to the author Gigi Sedlmayer, may she, Talon, Matica and the rest of this fine cast soar high and far for many years to come.
https://akrummenacker.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/my-review-of-talon-come-fly-with-me/

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Talon-Come-Fly-Gigi-Sedlmayer-ebook/dp/B00J2643PG

Also by Gigi Sedlmayer

51o8trgp4il-_uy250_ 510kmdvrffl-_uy250_ 51nirhb47l-_uy250_ 515tsm3dql-_uy250_Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

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Connect to Gigi via her website: http://gigised.com/

If you are in my virtual Cafe and Bookstore you can enjoy regular updates on your new books and reviews.

If you are not yet in the bookstore.. Why not?

Full details and the authors on the shelves is here:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore/

Thank you for dropping in and it would be great if you could spread the word about these outstanding authors.. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author update – Gigi Sedlmayer, Karen Ingalls and Kristina Stanley


Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

The first of today’s author updates is for Gigi Sedlmayer who not only has a recent review for Encounter, Book Four of The Talon Series, but is also moving to her new site in early February.. It will be still on WordPress but self-hosted.. If you already follow Gigi you will be migrated over but if you click on follow on the new site you can sign up for her notifications.. Full details are here. https://gigisedlmayer.wordpress.com/

515tsm3dql-_uy250_About the book

The poachers are back – and they are looking for Talon! They are doing everything in their power to capture him, and if they can’t get him alive, will kill him. Determined to get him at all costs the poachers run up against the might and will of Tamo, Tima and Talon.It is war. The poachers against the condors, Matica and the Indians – with the poachers even taking hostages to win the war.With the help of Tamo and Tima, Talon and Matica do the impossible knowing they have to capture and stop the poachers or they will be back.Between the poachers shooting at the condors, the crows playing their part, and Tamo being shot and injured, Matica goes above and beyond to help her beloved condors.Action-packed from beginning to end, Talon Encounter will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The most recent review of Encounter.

The saga of “little” Matica is an inspirational and heartwarming story for all ages. “Talon Encounter,” expresses the courage, intelligence, wisdom and cunning of not only of a small in stature girl, but of her beloved condors as well! Unscrupulous poachers are back, threatening the villagers, family, and friends…intent on killing animals for profit. Can they be thwarted by Matica and her winged friend Talon before their horrendous plans are carried through?

Come and join in the adventure and excitement in this continuing story set in the beautiful forest of Peru. Bravo to author Gigi Sedlmayer for another heartfelt tale of inspiration and bravery in the face of adversity! Highly recommended!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Talon-Encounter-Gigi-Sedlmayer-ebook/dp/B018FNCA6K/

Also by Gigi Sedlmayer

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Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

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Connect to Gigi via her website: https://gigisedlmayer.wordpress.com/

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

The next author update is for Karen Ingalls whose book Davida – Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens has been receiving wonderful reviews.

51uoh3ytil-_uy250_About the book

Augustus Saint-Gaudens was the premier American sculptor from 1880-1920. Though he was married and had a son, he fell in love with his model, Davida Johnson Clark. Their love affair lasted over twenty-five years and from which one son was born.

This fictionalized version of a true event is written by their great-granddaughter. It is her intent to bring honor and respect to Davida as a woman who was unconditionally in love with Augustus. Their son, Louis suffered all his life with the label bastard given to him during his childhood and she intends to remove that label.

She also wants to bring recognition to the wonderful talent and artistic contributions made by Saint-Gaudens.

In the book the reader will be introduced to some of the great works of art by Saint-Gaudens, the moral values during this Victorian era, and some historical facts.

One of the most recent reviews.

Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is a fictional memoir and is my first read in a fictional memoir genre. Ingalls’ infused bits and pieces into this memoir based on a true story, true characters, and true family history. I felt like I was truly in the time period that this memoir recreates, and it shows how Ingalls’ did her research in this well-written book.

Ingalls’ writing made the characters come to life in such a manner that I was compelled to look up Augustus Saint-Gaudens and see his works. I now know that one piece of his sculptures, William Tecumseh Sherman, which is located on a corner of New York’s Central Park has been a piece I’ve studied and photographed on every trip I have made to New York City.

Ingalls writing is perfectly edited and extremely well written. This is intimate and sad love story is filled with all the emotions one would expect from a story of this type, as well as the additional emotional parts since Saint-Gaudens was married at the time. I place this book in the adult category of memoir due to some mature scenes and the fact that this is a love triangle. I was sad for Davida as I felt she deserved more in her life than what she had, or lack of thereof. I felt the hurt of all three in this love triangle, and I don’t favor one character over another. Davida was Saint-Gaudens’ model mistress and she bore a child out of wedlock, and this child suffered the most – for all of his life actually, as illegitimate, and not belonging to a society simply due to his birth status. He fought his whole life to tamper down his birth, and all that happened to him, working on living a life separate from his true birth, and living a life of bitterness and hate. Ingalls’ weaved historical truth and fictionalized parts so well that this is truly a perfect read. I highly recommend this memoir!

Read all the excellent reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Davida-Model-Mistress-Augustus-Saint-Gaudens/dp/1530397871

Also by Karen Ingalls

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Buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

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Connect to Karen through her website: http://www.kareningallsbooks.com

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

The third author in the update is Kristina Stanley and a new review for her book Avalanche the third book in The Stone Mountain series.

51c4zk2mfil-_uy250_About the book.

On a cold winter morning, the safe at Stone Mountain Resort is robbed, and Kalin Thompson’s brother, Roy, suspiciously disappears. As Director of Security, Kalin would normally lead the investigation, but when her brother becomes the prime suspect, she is ordered to stay clear.

The police and the president of the resort turn their sights on Kalin, who risks everything to covertly attempt to clear Roy’s name. As threats against her escalate, she moves closer to uncovering the guilty party. Is Kalin’s faith in her brother justified? Or will the truth destroy her?

In her third installment of The Stone Mountain Mystery Series, Kristina Stanley begins the novel with her signature nail-biting tension. She immediately plunges the reader into the middle of an avalanche and we find out very quickly that “…Roy’s headlamp burst to life, eerily illuminating his surrounding snow coffin.” Lovely sentence.

Kristina Stanley maintains tension and suspense throughout the novel, whether it has to do with the protagonist’s decision to take an appealing job offer that might tear apart her newly married relationship with Ben, or, this being a mystery, on solving a murder.
I’ve had Avalanche on my Kindle since last June. When the weather started to turn cold and snow covered the ground I pulled up the novel. Avalanche is perfect to take on a ski holiday or to sit by a fireplace, sipping hot cocoa or tea and getting lost in the tangles of relationships.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Avalanche-Stone-Mountain-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B01F6232M4

Also by Kristina Stanley

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Discover more about the books and buy: http://www.amazon.com/Kristina-Stanley/e/B0106J097I

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Connect to Kristina via her Website/Blog: http://kristinastanley.com/blog/

There are two author promotions on the blog at the moment..

If you are in the bookstore already then please let me know of any new book releases or recent reviews so that I can share that in a Cafe and Bookstore update.

If you are not already in the bookstore then please take a look at the details in the post and then contact me with your information.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/smorgasbord-free-author-and-blogger-promotion-2017/

Thanks very much for dropping by and as always welcome your feedback.. Sally

Christmas Grotto 2015 – Talon, Encounter -Book Five The Talon Series by Gigi Sedlmayer


Christmas Grotto

Gigi Sedlmayer has released the fifth book in The Talon series, Talon, Encounter, in time for Christmas… Matica and her wonderful condor friend Talon are facing poachers.

About the book.

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The poachers are back – and they are looking for Talon! They are doing everything in their power to capture him, and if they can’t get him alive, will kill him. Determined to get him at all costs the poachers run up against the might and will of Tamo, Tima and Talon.

It is war.The poachers against the condors, Matica and the Indians – with the poachers even taking hostages to win the war.

With the help of Tamo and Tima, Talon and Matica do the impossible knowing they have to capture and stop the poachers or they will be back. Between the poachers shooting at the condors, the crows playing their part, and Tamo being shot and injured, Matica goes above and beyond to help her beloved condors.

Action-packed from beginning to end, Talon Encounter will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Reviews

By Alexia Janie Evanson October 17, 2015 Format: Paperback

“Talon, Encounter” by Gigi Sedlmayer is the fifth book in the ‘Talon’ series. I have read all five books in this series and have to say that I loved them. It is best to read this as a series but if you were to pick up book 5 you would be able to follow along as the author does a great job with the characters in the story. In this book Matica (the young girl that the story is written around) and her young condor friend Talon are dealing with poachers. There is much more to this story but it deserves to be read and enjoyed rather than me telling you what is going to happen. Perfect book for younger teens, but as an adult I thoroughly enjoyed it too. The way Gigi Sedlmayer writes shows how the author deals with love of animals, and accepting people with disabilities.

Well-written by talented author. By Eliza E.on October 24, 2015 Format: Paperback

It is war. The poachers are back – and they are looking for Talon. What an introduction!
This 382 page ‘Talon, Encounter’ is the fifth book of the Talon series by Gigi Sedlmayer.
The action-packed, inspirational and compassionate tale of Matica’s adventures with the condor named Talon, keeps us page turning. We learn to respect and admire Matica as we see her friendship with the condors – and she learns to interpret the condors’ sounds and gestures.

This is a super-duper series for young teens especially but can be enjoyed also by readers of all ages. Recommended. A well-deserved five stars.

Well done talented author Gigi. I look forward to reading more of your works.

 The other books in The Talon Series

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 Buy all of Gigi’s books

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

About the author

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Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer was born on 19 May 1944 in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin in Germany. Her family escaped to the West just before the infamous wall went up. They moved around in Germany, following where her dad got work. That meant she had to change 9 time schools. In the end she never had friends again, of fear, she will lose them again.

Finally they settled in Munich where Gigi studied architectural drafting and met Albert in 1965, marrying in December 1967. She worked as a civil draftsperson in various private consultancies in Munich.

Since her uncle was a writer, she tried to write short animal stories herself. Nothing further came of it, but she developed a love for the written word and started to consume books.

In May 1975, Gigi and her husband moved to New Zealand. Because of language challenges, she started a handcraft business. As a specialty, she made colourful parrots in several sizes of which she sold thousands in a few years.

In 1988, they decided to adopt and became adoptive parents of twin girls the year after. They lived in New Zealand for eighteen years and moved to Australia in September 1992.

Two years later Gigi was diagnosed with cancer. After operations and radiation, she withdrew, thinking that she would probably soon be dead, like her friend who died of cancer, but her two little girls gave her the courage to keep going. After a few years, still among the living, her brain started to work again, so she thought, ‘Get a grip on yourself and do something good with your life’.

She remembered the time she wrote short stories and got inspired again, seeing her husband Albert writing the story of their adoption. Her English became increasingly better so she pressed on to develop her creative writing.

Albert taught her how to use a computer and she wrote many short stories. She entered them in competitions and often got very good reports back, which gave her confidence to go on writing. One day the idea for the TALON series came to her and she spent the next several years bringing the story and the characters to life.

She now loves writing and spends most of her time at the computer, developing new story lines. She also loves travelling, 4×4 touring, swimming, gardening, handcrafting, reading, fossicking and enjoys good adventure DVD’s or going to the movies.

Connect with Gigi.
My website: https://gigisedlmayer.wordpress.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/4405791.Gigi_Sedlmayer
https://www.facebook.com/gisela.sedlmayer
https://www.facebook.com/gigisedlmayer?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GigiSedlmayer11/posts
http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=83666990&authType=name&authToken=-l0s&trk=hp-feed-member-name

Do not be shy and if you would like your book, designs, crafts, music and art showcased in the Christmas Grotto please contact me after looking at the format below. The shelves are filling up fast and there are only as many spaces as days to Christmas.

For details about how to submit your book, gifts and music please take a look at both the format of the post today and also in the link below.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/10/07/omg-the-c-word-sallys-christmas-grotto-open-again-for-business/

For the books and gifts currently in the emporium please pop into the shop.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/christmas-grotto-2015-books-and-gifts/

Australian Road Trip of 5,500 kilometres – Guest Post by Gigi Sedlmayer


Gigi Sedlmayer is kicking off the guest posts for October with a wonderful article on her 5.5k road trip around Australia. It is such a huge country that this will be just brief look at the amazing scenery, wildlife and culture, but you can tell that Gigi loves her adopted country very much. Enjoy and if you would like to share a trip, an article about a topic you are passionate about then please email me at sally.cronin@moyhill.com

I will now hand you over to Gigi……..

Our trip from 9 September to 19 September 2015 by Gigi Sedlmayer

Thank you Sally for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself and our trip to your readers. To show you some pictures and write something about our incredible journey through the Outback of our wonderful Country. I hope you will enjoy it and see some of Australia.

I have to say, that it was the most amazing trip we did from all our other trips. We saw kangaroos, Emus, camels, lizards, a big goanna, many haws and other birds, two wedge tail eagles.

It was a difficult choice to select the pictures I did. I would have loved to post way more, but I know that just can’t be.

Our trip was altogether around 5,500 km and we loved every one of them. Australian Outback is amazing. You have to experience it to love it. But again, we have heard people saying how boring it is to drive there. But, as I said, we loved it. Every time we looked out of the window, the scenery looked different; the colour is different, from all the colours of brown to beige, to yellow, to purple and to all the shades of red. There was coming a tree or a bush, that wasn’t there before. Or no trees or bushes at all, only grasses. Red sand was everywhere.

First we drove up the East coast from the Gold Coast we live, with first stop in Gympie to have our lunch, until we arrived in Gladstone.

Next morning we drove up further North to Mackay. That strong southerly has helped us greatly in our fuel consumption so far as it pushed us ahead. Next stop going further north was Charters Towers. From here we had a lot of options, but our main destination is the dried-out inland seabed around Richmond- Winton – Barcaldine, for fossicking for dinosaur fossils and opals.

(Yesterday it rained in Winton for the first time since many years as we have a draught. They probably would have looked at the sky and said: ‘What’s that stuff falling from the sky.’)

So we went a bit further North to Bowen then inland to Charters-Towers and finally to Winton, our destination, at the Matilda Motel. Here we stayed for 3 nights. Winton has bore water, tapping into the Great Artesian Basin, which tastes very good and has a sulfur smell, especially the hot water.

Albert looking for fossils

Albert looking for fossils

Since it has zero light pollution out there, we went out late at evening next day to look at the unbelievably spectacular sky. We never have encountered the sky like that. Lit up with billions of stars in our amazing Milky Way Galaxy. There aren’t that many accessible places from which the night sky can be seen so clearly, and especially during a completely dark sky with no moon at all. We drove out of town a few km, and then a km or so off the main highway, to avoid any light pollution. …And after car lights were out and our eyes got accustomed to the blackness, the heavenly splendour revealed itself. This can’t be described in words but has to be seen. Unfortunately we couldn’t take pictures. So we had to soak it in with our eyes and brain. I still can see it in my minds eyes.

Every day we went out fossicking for fossils there, since it is the best place for. At the first day we found lots of petrified wood and some fossils. No dinosaur fossil but we were happy enough to find that one. We had a lovely lunch in the middle of the outback under a eucalyptus tree beside a dry creek, with the warm nor-east zephyr caressing us gently while we looked out with eyes on infinite focus, toward the flimmering horizon interrupted only by the odd tree dot. Between breeze gusts that rustled the eucalypt leaves the silence was absolute. What an amazing experience. This is indescribable if you haven’t been out in Australia’s wide, open spaces and taken the time to absorb it, you need to go do it.

One of the fossils we found. Some grasses in the stone.

One of the fossils we found. Some grasses in the stone.

A small lizard decides to join in the hunt

A small lizard decides to join in the hunt

The road traffic around Winton is thin and drivers always greet us with a wave as they pass. Whenever we were parked at the roadside fossicking or having lunch, every passing car and truck would stop (or nearly stop) to ask if we were alright. Breaking down in this area and these lonely roads could be disastrous so everyone is eager to check each others’ wellbeing. It is quite a spectacle to see a road train switching down heaps of gears to come to a crawl opposite us so the driver could clearly see our thumbs-up ok gesture, grin and respond in kind, then gear up again to continue his journey. Country life is … well … different.

A typical road train

A typical road train

This is a typical road train (shown here in Winton). Some of the roads on which we met them were single lane dirt roads, where it was prudent to just drive off the road way to the side of the shoulder and stop, when one of these approached. At 53 metres length (174ft) you have to have a really wide, straight piece of road to be able to overtake, because you’re on the wrong side of the road for an awfully long time. Even so, these powerful rigs drive at the speed limit so if you can’t overtake just hang back far enough because they won’t really slow you down.

Next stop Quilpie in the Channel Country. Yesterday we drove on a wild, wild outback dirt road 380 km from Winton via Opalton to Jundah with no Mobil reception or internet for 2 days until we arrived in Quilpie.

Lifelike dinosaur. In that region they found a lot of dinosaur fossils since that place was all water once.

Lifelike dinosaur. In that region they found a lot of dinosaur fossils since that place was all water once.

From there we drove a single-lane paved road 400 km From Jundah to Quilpie. We also stopped for lunch at Windorah (population 80) and climbed a red sand dune nearby.

Me relaxing in shade staring into the nothingness. Loved it.

Me relaxing in shade staring into the nothingness. Loved it.

Inquisitive Kangaroos

Inquisitive Kangaroos

In Channel Country, Cunnamulla we were hunting for opals. Found some.

A stunning opal full of fire.

A stunning opal full of fire.

A living fossil.. A Goanna or Gonna, much featured in aboriginal mythology and culture

A living fossil.. A Goanna or Gonna, much featured in aboriginal mythology and culture

From there we drove to Goondiwindi and Warwick direction of home, Gold Coast.

A desolate place and here we are in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful but you do need to be prepared for any eventuality.

A desolate place and here we are in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful but you do need to be prepared for any eventuality.

About Gigi Sedlmayer

You can find out much more by connecting with Gigi on her blog but here is a brief summary of her extraordinary life.

Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer was born on 19 May 1944 in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin in Germany. Her family escaped to the West just before the infamous wall went up. Finally they settled in Munich where Gigi studied architectural drafting and met Albert in 1965, marrying in December 1967. She worked as a civil draftsperson in various private consultancies in Munich.

In May 1975, Gigi and her husband moved to New Zealand. Because of language challenges, she started a handcraft business.In 1988, they decided to adopt and became adoptive parents of twin girls the year after. They lived in New Zealand for eighteen years and moved to Australia in September 1992.

Two years later Gigi was diagnosed with cancer and almost gave up on life but was determined to continue for the sake of her children. One day the idea for the TALON series came to her and she spent the next several years bringing the story and the characters to life.

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She now loves writing and spends most of her time at the computer, developing new story lines. She also loves travelling, 4×4 touring, swimming, gardening, handcrafting, reading, fossicking and enjoys good adventure DVD’s or going to the movies.

Connect with Gigi.

My website: https://gigisedlmayer.wordpress.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/4405791.Gigi_Sedlmayer
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gisela.sedlmayer
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GigiSedlmayer11/posts
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=83666990&authType=name&authToken=-l0s&trk=hp-feed-member-name

Thanks to Gigi for this fascinating look at some of the beautiful parts of Australia that might not always be on the tourist route.

Please feel free to comment and share the post. Thank you.

Guest Post – How the Talon Series Came to Life by Gigi Sedlmayer


Good morning and to start the day…. a behind the scenes look at how an inspiring and exciting children’s book (of all ages) series took flight! Welcome to Gigi Sedlmayer and the story of the Talon Series.

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How the Talon story came to life by Gigi Sedlmayer

After surviving a deadly disease and I couldn’t go to work any longer, I wanted to be an author, to do something with my life and to leave something behind. The thought came, since I love birds, to write a story about a big bird and a handicapped child. It had to be a really big bird. And there was only the huge and majestic condor. But they live in South America. Well, so be it. The story goes to Peru.

But not knowing anything about the Indians in Peru and not much of the condors, I sat in the library for three full days, studying everything about the Indians, their culture and about the condors and their habits. At that time, there was not much available on the Internet, but it was enough for the start. Unfortunately there were only a few pictures of condors but they were enough as well, to show what majestic birds they are. Now, anything is easy to find and lots of pictures of a condor as well.

Now I was thinking of the plot. I wanted to write a story (for children and adults) about a handicapped or challenged girl to show others (the world) what they can achieve if they put their minds not to the negativity, which means on their affliction, but to the positivity.

As with Matica, my main character in the story, I did not have an easy childhood and was always an outsider, keeping to myself. I love birds and I decided to let her have a bird. But then came, what bird? And then the idea went even further. What is if she could fly on the bird? That would be something. But to do that, she has to have a disability and be very small. But again, the bird has to be big as well. And there the condor came to my mind. I loved the condors. Amazing birds. They are the biggest land birds (vulture) on our wonderful earth. And so the story of Matica and Talon came to existence. I set the scene in Peru, close to the great Andes where the condors live and decided to let her family move to Peru as missionaries from Australia.

My motto was and is: “Teaching Children Self-Confidence through Service to Others.” Children today face immense pressure to fit in with their peers. This pressure is leading to record rates of depression among preteens and teenagers and this to suicide. Parents look for ways to build their children’s self-esteem; however, teens look to their peers and popular culture for acceptance rather than their parents. This puts parents in a challenging situation. Many children of this age group have issues with acceptance and this is explored and resolved in a positive manner within the storyline of the Talon series. Matica shows children and teens that they can overcome great obstacles with love, patience and a selfless attitude toward helping others and experience exciting adventure on the way.

I wanted to let the world know that, when you put your mind to something and really want it, you can achieve it. Matica was rejected by the local Indians because of her disability. She hated it, but couldn’t do anything about it. As it is in real life. But, and there is always the ‘but’…

Matica was not always happy, even though she tried to be. And so she chose being kind over being right. She had to learn, but she learned it well because if you think that way, you will always feel good about what you do.

Because of my childhood challenges, I had to face being the hero in my own books. And as Mira, Matica’s mum says in my books, ‘Sometimes the worst and greatest problems in life cannot be solved. They can only be outgrown.’

The story has turned into four books published; the fifth is on the way this autumn. There will be around ten books all together..

Buy all of Gigi’s books: http://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

About Gigi Sedlmayer

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Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer was born on 19 May 1944 in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin in Germany. Her family escaped to the West just before the infamous wall went up. They moved around in Germany, following where her dad got work. That meant she had to change 9 time schools. In the end she never had friends again, of fear, she will lose them again.

Finally they settled in Munich where Gigi studied architectural drafting and met Albert in 1965, marrying in December 1967. She worked as a civil draftsperson in various private consultancies in Munich.

Since her uncle was a writer, she tried to write short animal stories herself. Nothing further came of it, but she developed a love for the written word and started to consume books.

In May 1975, Gigi and her husband moved to New Zealand. Because of language challenges, she started a handcraft business. As a specialty, she made colourful parrots in several sizes of which she sold thousands in a few years.

In 1988, they decided to adopt and became adoptive parents of twin girls the year after. They lived in New Zealand for eighteen years and moved to Australia in September 1992.

Two years later Gigi was diagnosed with cancer. After operations and radiation, she withdrew, thinking that she would probably soon be dead, like her friend who died of cancer, but her two little girls gave her the courage to keep going. After a few years, still among the living, her brain started to work again, so she thought, ‘Get a grip on yourself and do something good with your life’.

She remembered the time she wrote short stories and got inspired again, seeing her husband Albert writing the story of their adoption. Her English became increasingly better so she pressed on to develop her creative writing.

Albert taught her how to use a computer and she wrote many short stories. She entered them in competitions and often got very good reports back, which gave her confidence to go on writing. One day the idea for the TALON series came to her and she spent the next several years bringing the story and the characters to life.

She now loves writing and spends most of her time at the computer, developing new story lines. She also loves travelling, 4×4 touring, swimming, gardening, handcrafting, reading, fossicking and enjoys good adventure DVD’s or going to the movies.

Connect with Gigi.

My website: https://gigisedlmayer.wordpress.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/4405791.Gigi_Sedlmayer

https://www.facebook.com/gisela.sedlmayer

https://www.facebook.com/gigisedlmayer?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GigiSedlmayer11/posts

Thank you for stopping by and please feel free to comment and to share.. Happy Friday… Sally