Interview with Author David Liscio!


David Liscio

Please help me welcome autho David Liscio to Jemsbooks Blog Segment, Interview an Author.

Welcome, David. It’s a pleasure to have you here today to share a little about yourself and your books.

1. Please tell us something about yourself.

I grew up in a house where the Bible, TV Guide and the small-town local newspaper were about the only reading materials, at least until my mother discovered Nora Roberts and Danielle Steele. I devoured a belly full of the classics while in college and that made a big difference in how I view the world. I have spent nearly thirty years as a newspaper reporter and magazine photojournalist. I’m also an adjunct college professor teaching public relations and social media, a volunteer firefighter/emergency medical technician, a member of my town’s Ocean Rescue team, and an avid sailor and outdoorsman. I live on the Massachusetts coast with my wife, a dog and cat. I have a son and daughter, grown up now, one on each coast.

Jjspina: You certainly have worn an eclectic mix of hats, David.

2. What projects are you currently working on?

I’m researching and writing my third novel, which will be Book 3 in the Hannah Summers series. It’s set in the ‘90s and focuses on the Japanese underworld – the Yakuza who were then smuggling heroin from Thailand to Saipan to San Francisco. My interest in the subject began while I was on a newspaper assignment on Saipan Island.

Jjspina: This book will take a lot of research, I would think. Sounds intriguing.

3. What do you expect to accomplish in 2018?

I’d like to finish the Yakuza novel and work on some other ideas that have been brewing in my head.              

Jjspina: I’m sure you have plenty brewing in there. I know I always do.

4. What hobbies do you have when you are not writing?

Sailing and traveling are my passions. I also enjoy carpentry.

jjspina: I could tell that you love sailing by the beautiful photo of you on a boat. Must be wonderful to sail.

5. What is your target audience for your book?  

My books should appeal to readers of crime fiction. Those who appreciate action and adventure stories by authors like Nelson DeMille, Vince Flynn and Lee Child might also enjoy my work.

Jjspina: They sound like something I would enjoy and my husband too. 

6. Please share your books with us and a synopsis of each.

DEADLY FARE is a serial-killer thriller. When beautiful young women begin to vanish from Boston Logan International Airport, State Police Lt. Hannah Summers is the only one who sees a pattern amidst the cold case files. She knows a killer is on the loose, and she’s determined to make her chauvinistic bosses believe her hunch about a gypsy cab driver – before it’s too late.

As the body count rises, so does the public’s panic. Under pressure from the district attorney to make the killings stop, Summers soon finds herself rubbing elbows with ex-Special Forces solider Emmett Decker, a private investigator hired by the wealthy family of a missing local girl. The more their paths cross, the harder it is to deny they may be chasing the same monster – and that the tension between them is more than purely professional.

Only one thing is certain: the Boston Butcher must be stopped before any more women climb inside his cab… and wind up paying the ultimate price.

In BLOOD SONS, a powerful mobster learns through DNA testing of an accidental hospital baby-switch fifteen years prior. Two teenage boys find their lives upside down and their futures uncertain. Against his will, Nicholas Cooper is abruptly transplanted from his idyllic vineyard home to the crime-ridden streets of Providence. His biological father – none other than notorious crime boss Vinnie “Cocktails” Merlino – has big plans to retake control of Cuba’s once-flourishing casino scene… and those plans include his rightful heir standing by his side.

As Nick grows ever more deeply enmeshed in Vinnie’s violent underworld, he unwittingly becomes the focus of a Central Intelligence Agency investigation, led by new recruit Hannah Summers. From the colorful streets of Havana to the snow-capped trails of upstate New York… through blood rites, flying bullets, Belizean jungles, and family betrayals, BLOOD SONS poses the ultimate question of nature versus nurture.  

Does the blood in your veins determine the man you’ll become?

Jjspina: Both of these books sound like entertaining reading.

7. Please share your links and where to purchase your books.  

Deadly Fare and Bloods Sons are available on Amazon in ebook and paperback. Here are the links:




Author’s Links:



Facebook Author Page:





8. What advice would you give prospective authors?  

Write about what moves you, what interests you. Aspire to project an original voice. Don’t let negative reviews ruin your day.

Jjspina: Yes, definitely on all counts. Good advice!

9. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?  

Komodo Island to see the prehistoric dragons.

Jjspina: Now that sounds fascinating. I hope you get there one day.

10. What would you do if you were not a writer?

I’d like to be a secret agent, or the leader of expeditions into wild places.

Jjspina: By the sounds of your books and your background, I think you could be either one.


David Liscio is an international, award-winning journalist whose lengthy experience covering crime stories led to the writing of his debut novel, the Boston-based serial killer thriller Deadly Fare.

An investigative reporter, David’s work has appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers. The recipient of more than twenty journalism honors, his feature stories have earned first-place awards from the Associated Press, United Press International and many regional news media groups. He has reported extensively on organized crime in both the United States and abroad, in addition to writing about environmental and military subjects.

David is an avid sailor, outdoorsman and adjunct college professor. A father of two, he lives with his wife, dog and cat on the Massachusetts coast, where he is a volunteer firefighter/EMT and a member of the Ocean Rescue squad.

David’s second novel, the mafia thriller Blood Sons, was released through Amazon in June. You can contact him on the Facebook page Author David Liscio, or on his website: For book news and updates, please subscribe to his monthly newsletter:

AUTHOR BOOK COVER LINKS – Covers designed by One Click Covers.

Thank you, David. It was a pleasure to learn more about you. I didn’t know I had met a famous personality with such impressive credentials. It was my honor to meet you. I wish you much success with your books and with all future endeavors.

Davi and I met at a recent New England Authors Expo in Danvers, Massachusetts, USA. We had a nice chat and I invited him to this interview. Maybe David and I will meet up again at another expo.

Thank you, readers, for stopping by to read about this fascinating author. I hope you will check out his books and links above.


Reaing is Good for your Health! Please remember to leave a little love for authors by doing reviews. We will love you for your efforts.

Blessings & Hugs!


Posted in action/adventure, author interview, award-winning author, Award-winning journalist, books, new books, new novel, Reading, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Jemsbooks.Blog Interview an Author!


Thank you to all authors who have come forward to request a place on my blog for an Interview. Twenty authors have come forward at present. I am in the process of scheduling them as they respond back with their answers and links.

If you would like an opportunity to be interviewed on my blog please email me at jjspina(at)myfairpoint(dot)net. I will send you a list of questions out of which you will choose 8 questions to answer.

You will need to send me the following:

1. Your photo

2. Links to purchase your books

3. Book covers

4. Links to social media

5. Links to Website & Blog

Once I receive all of the above, I will begin to work on your post and send you a link with date of publication.

It has been a pleasure to meet and learn more about many of my fellow authors.

I thank you all for your interest in my blog.

Thank you, readers, for stopping by. I hope you will peruse all the authors’ books and their links who are on my blog and click in and comment. They would love your support!


Have you checked out my newest middle-grade series book 1, Abby & Holly School Dance, for girls and boys yet, (adults enjoy it too)? It has received 5-star reviews!

It’s available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Enjoy some fun summer reading and learn about #mystery #antibullying #adventures #magic #ghosts #friendsmatter.

AH FrontCover

Please review authors’ books wherever you purchased them and leave a little love for them. We authors will appreciate your efforts!

Reading is good for your health!

Blessings & Hugs!


Posted in 5-star reviews, Abby & Holly Series, Author Interviews, books, Jemsbooks blog, MG/PT/YA Books, middle-grade series, new book, Summer reading, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Interview with Author Victoria Zigler!


Victoria Zigler

Please help me welcome author Victor Zigler to Jemsbooks Blog Segment, Interview an Author. Tori was here in three previous posts –  here, here and here.

It’s a pleasure to have you back again, Tori.

1. Please tell us something about yourself.

My name is Victoria, but I prefer to be called Tori.  I’m a vegetarian poet and children’s author, who was born in the Welsh mountains, but now lives on the English coast.

I’ve been married to my Canadian husband for a little over 15 years now, and we currently have four furkids: a degu named Joshua, a pair of chinchillas named Mollie and Maizie, and a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie.

I’ve never had particularly great eyesight, and have now been completely blind for more than a decade.  I’ve been visually impaired since birth, registered blind since just before becoming a teenager, and lost the last of my sight to Congenital Glaucoma in my early 20s.

jjspina: I’m so sorry to hear about your loss of sight. You appear to be adapting amazingly well. God bless you.

2. How do you come up with ideas for your stories?

It varies.  Sometimes – such as in the case of my “Degu Days Duo” and “Kero’s World” books – the ideas will come from the events in the lives of one or more of my furkids.  Sometimes it will be an event in my own life that inspires me, like how my struggles to adapt after my sight loss inspired my “Toby’s Tales” series.  Sometimes it will be random questions that pop in to my head, musings from things I’ve read or watched, or random things I hear in my day to day life.  In other words, my ideas can – and do – come from just about anywhere.

I write them all down, and work on whichever I’m most inspired to work on at any given time, often having more than one story on the go at once.

jjspina: You are amazing, Tori, with all you have done with your books.

3. What projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a middle-grade pirate adventure story.  This is a challenging project for me, since most of my stories are either fantasy stories, fairy tale retellings, or animal stories based around my pets.  The fact I’m challenging myself with this project – combined with some real life stuff I’ve been dealing with this year – means it’s taking longer to complete than I thought it would.  But I’m enjoying the challenge, along with the things I’m learning while doing research.

I’m also working on another poetry collection. I’m always working on another poetry collection, since I start thinking about the next one as soon as I finalize the previous one.

Along with both those projects, I’m also currently in the process of getting all my backlist available in audio, which is a project I started last year.  I have over 50 titles, and 40 of them are now available in audio, with most of the others in various stages of production.

jjspina: Wow, you certainly are a busy young lady. Good for you!

4. What hobbies do you have when you are not writing?

I have a lot of hobbies I dabble in, some I do more than others.  Reading is right up there in the top spot, of course.  But I also enjoy watching movies, watching nature and science themed documentaries, watching some other types of TV shows, listening to music, knitting, solving brainteaser puzzles, playing Dungeons And Dragons style roleplaying games, and sometimes doing a little cooking and baking.  I’ll dabble in a few other activities from time to time too, but those are the main ones.

Jjspina: Like I said before, Tori. You are one amazing lady!

5. What is your target audience for your book?

My new release, “Where’s Noodles?” is aimed at animal-loving children.  It’s aimed at those old enough to enjoy a story without pictures – since my books are not illustrated – but still young enough that sitting through a long reading session isn’t going to happen.  So around 1st grade, give or take, depending on the child’s reading level.

Most of my books are aimed at a similar sort of reading level, though there are a couple of my books I’d recommend for slightly older readers.  I have a story about the Battle of Hastings, for example – it’s called “Eadweard – A Story Of 1066” – which contains some violence due to being about a real battle, so it carries a warning on its blurb that it’s not suitable for younger, or more sensitive, readers.

jjspina: You have quite a broad range of books and subjects sure to entertain many ages.

6. What advice would you give prospective authors?

Read, write, research, revise, and edit.  All of those are important things to do.  But the main thing is to write.  Just sit down and write.  Worry about the rest of it afterwards.

Also, if you’re going to write about a character with a disability, and don’t have that disability yourself, please actually talk to someone with that particular disability to find out how things really work.  Not all the myths about disabled people are true.  I don’t have super hearing just because I’m blind, for example.  I wish I did, because that would be kind of cool.  But I don’t.  So, just as you would research any other topic thoroughly – at least, I certainly hope you would – do your research when it comes to writing about a person with a disability too.  Most people are happy to educate people as to what it’s really like having their particular disability.  I’m always happy to answer questions about blindness, for example.  Just ask.  The same goes for people of cultures and religions not your own.

Jjspina: Wonderful advice, Tori. Thank you for sharing that with me and my readers.

7. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

If I could go absolutely anywhere, I’d love to go to Africa on safari.  Just to see the animals.

I’ve had some awesome animal experiences.  Last year, for example, I had a keeper for the day zoo experience, where I got to cuddle an armadillo, a hedgehog, a meerkat, and some snakes, as well as feeding bats, lemurs, and penguins, among other things.  I’ve also had several experiences dealing with farm animals, including bottle feeding lambs and kids (as in baby goats).  Then there have been the times I’ve ridden various animals, like the camel I rode while on holiday in Cyprus, the donkeys I used to ride during trips to the beach, the elephant I rode at a circus when I was about six, and the various horses I’ve ridden over the years.  All that is not including the lifetime of caring for my own birds, cats, chinchillas, degus, dogs, fish, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, and rats.  Each one was a wonderful experience, which I’m glad to be able to say I’ve had – especially the keeper for the day experience, which was beyond awesome.  But an African safari would be even more amazing.

Unfortunately, the combination of cost, extra arrangements that would need to be made because of my lack of sight, and my inability to deal with hot temperatures  – seriously, I’ve been struggling with the UK’s Summer temperatures, and they’re nothing compared to how hot it can get elsewhere – I doubt it’s ever going to happen.

Maybe I’ll just go with plan B and go to Disneyland Paris, and while I’m there check out the other tourist things in Paris.  Or do the things I’d like to do even closer to home, like visit Loch Ness and Stonehenge.

Jjspina: I wish you all the best with your traveling and pray that you get to visit some of those places.

8. What would you do if you were not a writer?

I can’t imagine not being a writer.  I’d likely still write even if I didn’t publish anything.  Writing isn’t just a job to me.  It’s part of me.

However, if I didn’t have the option to call my writing my job, and had to pick something else to do, I’d want to do something involving either animals or young children.  Whether that be a vet, a zoo keeper, a pet-sitter, a child-minder, or whatever.  Working with animals or young children is the only way I think I could be happy doing something other than writing, and even then I’d likely find some way to get some writing time in.

Jjspina: I bet you would find a way to write. If it’s what you love, then you must do it. I understand perfectly.


Book blurb:  Where’s Noodles

“Noodles is a strange red creature with a squeaker in his tummy, who just happens to be the favourite toy of a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie.  At least, he is now, since the bushytailed squirrel and cuddly triceratops fell apart while she was playing with them – totally not her fault, by the way!

Now noodles is missing.

Lilie’s sure she left Noodles on the living room floor when she went walkies.  But when she comes home and goes to fetch him so they can have a nap together, Noodles isn’t there.

Where’s Noodles? Is he somewhere else, or is he lost forever?”

Available in multiple eBook formats, with paperback and audio versions planned for the near future.

Where to find the book:


Barnes & Noble:




About the author:

Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK, with her hubby and furkids.  Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, and describes herself as a combination of Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books: Hermione’s thirst for knowledge and love of books, combined with Luna’s wandering mind and alternative way of looking at the world.  She has a wide variety of interests, designed to exercise both the creative and logical sides of her brain, and dabbles in them at random depending on what she feels like doing at any given time.

To date, Tori has published nine poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the future.  She makes her books available in multiple eBook formats, as well as in both paperback and audio.  She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II, which is available in eBook only.

Author links:




Facebook author page:



Thank you, Tori, for sharing your new book with me and my readers. I love the cover. I wish you much success with all your future endeavors. It was a pleasure to have you back again.

Thank you, readers, for stopping by to read about Victoria Zigler. I hope you will check out  her books and links above.


Reading is Good for your Health! Please show a little love for authors by reviewing their books. We appreciate your efforts!

Blessings & Hugs,


Posted in animal stories, author interview, children's books, new book, New children's book, Reading, Victoria Zigler, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Interview with Author Noelle Granger!

Interview with Author Noelle Granger!

Noelle Granger


Please help me welcome, author Nicole Granger, to Segment, Interview an Author.

It’s lovely to have you here, Nicole, to share a little about yourself and your books.

Thank you, Janice. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Please tell us something about yourself.

Well, I’m at heart an academic – retired bench scientist and teacher of human anatomy, plus holder of an EMT license.

Here’s the boring stuff: I got my undergraduate degree at Mount Holyoke College, my Ph.D. at Case Western Reserve, and taught undergraduates Biology for Non-Majors at the University of California Irvine, while doing research. I did post-doctoral research for a year in Prague, Czech Republic (now), then a fellowship at Northwestern in Chicago. In 1981, I moved with my husband to Chapel Hill and started at the bottom of the academic ladder at the University of North Carolina. While there, I helped to create the University’s Women’s Center; paid maternity paternity and elder care leave; and Bridges, a developmental program for women faculty. I think I am most proud of those accomplishments.

After retiring, writing a book was at the top of my bucket list, and nine months later I had a first draft of my first book. It took three years and a lot of help from my critique group before it was ready to publish!

I’m an extrovert, love to eat – which is why I alternate between enjoying food and dieting, adore cats, and like to do adrenaline-rush activities like sky-diving, zip lining, white water rafting, and one thing I haven’t done yet – go down in a cage with great white sharks.

Jjspina: Quite an impressive set of credentials, Noelle! Wow, what surprises me is you are a dare devil doing all those death defying stunts like sky diving, etc. May God watch over you! I tremble just thinking of doing any of those things! Yikes!

How do you come up with ideas for your stories?

Death in a Red Canvas Chair

I spend part of each summer or fall in Maine, one of my favorite places on Earth. I’ve even visited there in February to get background for the second book. The idea of mysteries set in Maine was a natural, and the idea for the first book (Death in a Red Canvas Chair) came to me while watching hundreds of games of soccer with my son in goal.

Death in a Dacron Sail

The second book (Death in a Dacron Sail) was spawned from a discussion with my husband, when I told him I wanted to spend some time with a Maine lobsterman. That led to lobsterpots and a finger within. The third book, Death by Pumpkin, came from watching the pumpkin drop at the Damariscotta, Maine, Pumpkin Festival.

Death by Pumpkin.png

My most recent outing (Death in a Mudflat) came from watching the opening scene in the book (minus the arm in the mud) at a wedding on Cape Cod.

Death by Mudflat.png

Jjspina: You can never tell where or when your muse is going to wake up.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’ve written the prologue to my fifth mystery, Death at the Asylum, but am currently writing a historical novel called The Last Pilgrim, about Mary Allerton Cushman, the oldest surviving person to sail to Plymouth Colony on the Mayflower. I grew up in Plymouth and worked as a tour guide, and my hope is to make the Pilgrims’ experience up close and personal. And I’m sort of under the gun – the quadricentennial of the 1620 landing is two years away.

Jjspina: This sounds like a fascinating subject to write about, Noelle. I look forward to hearing more about this.

What hobbies do you have when you are not writing?

I swim laps nearly every day, enjoy travelling in spurts (Egypt, Jordan, all over Europe, Iceland), knit, read, and review books for Rosie’s Book Review Team, love action movies and Guardians of the Galaxy, and tutor middle school students one day a week. Plus I have to play constantly with my blog-writing Maine coon cat, Garfield.

Jjspina: You are certainly one busy and productive lady! I love Guardians of the Galaxy too!

What advice would you give prospective authors?

I would tell them to sit down and write. It doesn’t matter if it’s not the next great American novel. The way you learn to write is by writing. I had a career in writing: manuscripts, book chapters, science books, and grant applications. It was a start, but I had to learn how to write fiction. And that’s where critique groups come in. Find one, join it, and learn how to write – learn how other people view your writing and can help you with it.

Write every day, even if it’s only a blog piece, off-the-cuff thoughts, observations.

Jjspina: Excellent advice, Noelle.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

This is a tough one – there’s lots of places I haven’t been and wish to see: Antarctica, Italy, Greece, Nepal. Next year we are heading to Ireland, in search of my roots and to kiss the Blarney Stone!

Jjspina: Have a wonderful time in Ireland. I’ve heard it’s beautiful! I’d love to go one day too.

If you could have one wish, what would it be?

Continued good health. At my age (74), that’s the underpinning of everything I do and I’m only sorry I took my good health for granted for so long! The pictures of me on my book covers are recent; I’ve been blessed to stay more or less young-looking (knock on wood)!

Jjspina: I would never have guessed that was your age! You look wonderful! It must be all these dare devil things that you do! LOL!

Do you have any unusual talents? What are they?

The only one I can think of is that I am very good at fancy hair braiding (courtesy of my daughter and her long hair). Plus if you ever saw The Silence of the Lambs, I raised the insects for that movie and taught the insect wrangler how to handle them.
Jjspina: Let me get my hands under control. I am laughing so hard I need to stop shaking. Braiding I can believe! I could use a good braid. Now I know where to go to get one done.

jjspina: I know where to go for a French braid! Braiding I can believe but the insect thing! I am laughing so hard it is difficult to write this! LOL! You are hysterical!! Unless, your are serious…

Noelle’s links:

Email: sailingawayng
Twitter: @rhebrewster

Author Bio:

N.A. GRANGER is a Professor Emerita at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. After forty years of research and teaching undergraduates and medical students, plus earning her EMT licence, she decided to use her knowledge of human anatomy and emergency medicine in mystery writing. In addition to the Rhe Brewster mystery series (Death in a Red Canvas Chair, Death in a Dacron Sail, Death by Pumpkin), she has written for Coastal Living and Sea Level magazines and several times for the Bella Online Literary Review. Her latest mystery, Death in a Mudflat, was released in June of this year. You can find more of her writing and musings on her website: She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband and a Maine coon cat who blogs, and she spends a portion of every summer in Maine, researching for her books and selling them, too.

Thank you so much for coming today, Noelle. I had a wonderful time getting to know you. I love your sense of adventure and humor. I look forward to reading your books. I wish you much success with all your future endeavors. Please feel free to come back again to share new projects.

Thank you, readers, for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed learning about this entertaining and fascinating author as much as I did. Please check out all her links and her books above.



Blessings & Hugs!


Posted in author interview, books, new novel, Noelle Granger, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Looking Back at My Jobs!


I stumbled upon this sweet little book when I was cleaning out a book shelf the other day. It brought back happy memories of when I was a school secretary at the Marsh Grammar School in Methuen, Massachusetts USA for 12 years. It became a second home to me. The varied jobs I did while I was in this position were similar to being a mother of many children. Somewhat like The Old Woman in the Shoe who had so many children she didn’t know what to do!

I began working in Methuen Public Schools in 1984 as a Teacher’s Aide or Program Assistant in Special Education classes and then in Chapter One or Title One Reading program for kids who needed assistance. I co-taught with two lovely teachers during these three years and enjoyed working with students one-on-one. To see the joy in the children’s faces when they began to read more fluently was a tremendous feeling.

The Marsh School was a K-Grade 4 back then. It was rebuilt around the old foundation and expanded to PS-Grade 8. We grew from a 500+ student population to over 1400. My husband, John, became the principal after I had been employed there for nine years. At the time we were not married or we would not have been able to work in the same building. Once we did marry I had to move to another school.

I like to remember Marsh School as a small school with the 500 students and 20-30 teachers. When I started working there back in 1987 I was thrilled to be in a place where I was essentially my own boss. I helped the principal run the operations of the building, answered phones and greeted visitors, ordered supplies, opened boxes, delivered the supplies to the classrooms in a little red wagon, opened mail and delivered that also to the teachers’ boxes, put together the school opening day catalog/book for all students, typed all correspondence, took dictation and anything else that was needed for the principal.  I have to say ‘thank you’ to a custodian who helped lift the heavier boxes since my back was sore from lifting so many.

When I made copies back then it was not as easy as it is now. The machine we had did not collate so I had to make 500+ pages of each page of the 15-20 page book and collate them by hand. Phew! I worked on these books all summer long in between opening 50+ boxes of supplies for my office and the students. The copy machine broke down intermittently just to get a rest from my relentless copying. Sigh! Later on we did get a better copier so I could collate. Thank God!

Other responsibilities that I had were as a school nurse, babysitter of troubled students who disrupted the classes, and listening to teachers who needed an ear after a hectic day with 30 students. Ahh, I remember the good ole days! We were like a family.

But the funny part of it all I loved every minute of it. I loved when the students would pass by my window on their way in or out of school. They would wave and smile and make my day brighter by the minute. I enjoyed meeting new people coming and going to our school and tried to make new students comfortable by easing their nerves with a few kind words. It was my favorite position of all positions I have had in the past.

Many days the kindergarten students all lined up and stopped by my office and would run in and give me hugs if their teacher said it was okay. I felt loved! What a wonderful feeling! It was a wonderful job!

Over the years many students would come back to say ‘hi’ and give me a hug. In those days we gave all the children hugs if and when they needed them. There was one particular student who would come back with his mother every summer to visit me when the school was empty and quiet. He was a sweet little boy who grew into a sweet young man. He told me that I had made a difference in his life by being kind to him when he first came. That brought tears to my eyes.

When the new school opened with PS-Grade 8 capacity, I had a larger office and two other secretaries who had their own offices in different ends of the school – one for the lower and one for the upper school. I was smack dab in the middle between the other two with the Supervising Principal, head of the whole building. The job was a new one and did not have any duties designed into the position. That I did myself. I created the duties and set the tone for all the other schools that opened afterwards with new offices and secretaries.

I missed the smaller original school. The new school was so large that it did not have that same intimate feeling of a family setting. Don’t get me wrong it is a wonderful school with exceptional teachers and principals and children are learning.

After I left the Marsh I moved over to the Timony Grammar School for four years and then to my final position at Central Administration Building for six years to work with the Director who became the Assistant Superintendent of Schools.

Though I enjoyed all my positions in the school system none touched my heart like the Marsh School. It will always have a special place in my memories – all the students over the years I met and cared for as secretary and nurse and all the lovely teachers who became friends.

This little book above touched on all that I did in a days’ work. I love it! Here are two more pages to share with you.

I visited Amazon to see if this cute little book is still there. It is! Here is my review and link to Amazon in case you would like to pick it up. All school secretaries should have one of these! Please say ‘thank you’ to your school secretary today.

5 Stars What School Secretaries Do When No One is Looking

by Jjspina

A lovely tribute to school secretaries everywhere!

I was given this book when I retired from an administrative secretarial position in a school system but had completely forgotten about it. I discovered it recently when I cleaned out an old book shelf that hadn’t been touched in years. What a surprise to find this little jewel!

Being a school secretary for 12 years was one of the best positions I ever held. This book displayed in a sweet and comical way all the duties a school secretary has. It brought back lovely memories. Thinking back over the years in that position, I can’t believe I did all that was displayed in this book. But I did, and loved every minute of it.

I recently posted on my blog about this book and had to write this review which I also shared with my readers. I want to say ‘thank you’ to the authors, Jim Grant and Irv Richardson, for this lovely tribute to hardworking school secretaries everywhere! I love the illustrations too by Patrick Belfiori. I will always treasure this little book.

Thank you, readers, for stopping by to read this post. I hope school secretaries out there will check out this cute little book. You will love it too!

Now that I am retired my job is writing books that will teach, entertain and delight children of all ages. I hope you will check out for books for all ages. My books are written in rhyme with life lessons that encourage children to be kind to each other, accept differences, respect parents, elders and each other, love siblings and each other, and do not accept bullying in any shape or form.

Read every day to your children to help them become healthier and wiser. It’s good for you too! Reading is good for your health!


Please remember to give authors some love and leave reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble or wherever you purchase books. We authors will love you for it!

Blessings & Hugs!


Posted in book reviews, books, jobs, kindness to others, Reading, school secretary, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Interview with Author Jane Risdon!


Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon

Please help me welcome author, Jane Risdon, to Jemsbooks.Blog Segment, Interview an Author.

It’s lovely to meet you, Jane. Welcome.

Hello Janice, thanks so much for letting me tell you and your readers something about myself.

I’m married to a musician who I’ve been with since I was very young. Life was hectic and I was the main bread-winner for many years when he was touring and recording. Crime/thriller writing was something I’ve always wanted to do since a small child, but life got in the way as you can imagine. Enid Blyton started me off, with Robert Louis Stevenson and Agatha Christie feeding my yearning for adventure I suppose.
Later my husband and I went into management of artists, singers, songwriters, and record producers and we placed music on to soundtracks for movies and television. Yet again we spent almost all our time on the road – in planes and tour buses – in recording studios or sound-checking, giving concerts or filming videos and doing live promotions on radio, television, and video stations from Los Angeles to Singapore, and from Taiwan to Texas to Torquay, and everywhere in between. My time was well accounted for and writing wasn’t possible. Babysitting testosterone fuelled males and hormone raging females takes one hundred percent of energy and time.

About 8 years ago we decided to step back and take stock and it was then I decided if I was going to write, it was then or never. I was lucky enough to be asked to contribute towards several anthologies – crime mostly – including two for my present publisher, Accent Press. In 2014 they also contracted to publish Only One Woman which I wrote with best-selling award-winning author, Christina Jones. This novel is Women’s Fiction with no crime in it at all surprisingly. Christina and I have known each other since we were in our teens. She was fan-club secretary for his band and that is how we met. We’ve always wanted to write together but she writes bucolic frolics and I write crime – no meeting of minds there we thought.

jjspina: It sounds like you have had an exciting and busy life on he road with your husband.

My inspiration for a story comes (usually) from my own experiences and often from when I was working at The Foreign and Commonwealth Office when young, and my life in the music business working mostly in Hollywood. I recall something that happened, or I’ve heard or read about – a news report perhaps. Quite often I get the main character first, a name, or an occupation. The rest seems to just flow from the ether. I compare it to the process of song-writing and recording – the magic comes as if from nowhere. Most of my crime stories have music, espionage or organised crime as a theme.

jjspina: I’m happy to hear that you began your career writing – doing what you always wanted to do. Good for you!

Inspiration for Only One Woman came when I was going through some fan mail, tour schedules and old diaries which I had kept from the times my husband and his band were together. Also, some little touches came from my own experiences later on working with artists; I can get inside their heads.

Jane Risdon Book Only One Woman

Going through the memorabilia I started to make notes under date headings so that I could show my husband, and it was whilst reading these later that I started to form a story around them. Eventually I wrote what was to become Only One Woman. I couldn’t manage to fit a murder into the story but it struck me that it could be a story of two girls in love with the same musician, Scott; a social history of the late 1960s and with world events and lots of music and fashion references throughout. I soon realised I needed another voice and so I sent the finished story to Christina who loved it and realised this was the book we could write together – our experiences in the music scene back when would be just perfect.

jjspina: That is a wonderful idea to collaborate with another writer. You never know what you will discover together when you join forces. 

She wrote her character, Stella, around those I’d created and fitted her side of the story to Renza’s – my main character.
Only One Woman is written from two points of view and describes the UK music scene and how the era changed the lives of the two girls and their peers forever.
Only One Woman was published May 2018 in paperback (stores) and for e-book (Kindle). The foreword was written by iconic rock singer, Graham Bonnet, who sang the 1968 hit of the same name, written for him by The Bee Gees. He is a legend in the music business having sung with bands such as Rainbow, Alcatraz, Michael Schenker, Ritchie Blackmore and others. He now fronts his own band, The Graham Bonnet Band.

jjspina: Sounds like a fascinating story with definite undertones of your life on the road with a musician. 

There are calls for a sequel to Only One Woman and although one isn’t officially planned I have begun writing a rough draft. But we shall have to see.
My main interest is crime and for the last few years I have been working on a series called Ms Birdsong Investigates. Lavinia Birdsong is a former MI5 Officer who is ‘voluntarily’ retired when an operation goes wrong. She ends up in a rural village where she is going nuts with boredom trying to think of a way to redeem herself and get back into the Security services.

When a young woman goes missing she cannot help herself, she begins to investigate and soon she is on the trail of Russia Mafia people traffickers, Ukrainian drug and arms smugglers, and of course – murder.
Book one – Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder in Ampney Parva is in with my publisher and two other books are almost ready to follow it.
I also have several other novels ‘on the go,’ as well as a number of short stories I am deciding what to do with. I may self-publish those.

My audience for Only One Woman is the generation who grew up in the 1960s or anyone who loves that era. Men and women love it and several have read it more than once, which is nice.
My audience for Ms Birdsong and my other stories is anyone who loves a good yarn, a believable plot, and real characters, and who reads the same crime/thriller and espionage books as I do.

I don’t write Police Procedurals although I have undertaken seven online Forensic Science, Criminal Justice and Archaeology courses to enable myself to better understand the processes involved in investigating murder, identifying bodies and bringing criminals to Justice.

I enjoy photography and often use photos of locations as visual notes for my locations and settings. I love history, science and astronomy – basically I am a curious person and just love to learn and understand the world around me. I love to read.

Advice is something I don’t feel qualified to give to others. However, if you want to write, do it. Keep doing it and don’t let anyone put you off. You are dead a long time, don’t wait.
As for unusual talents, well, I can spot talent, nurture it and put it in front of those who matter. I can hear a hit song – even when it is sung in Mandarin and Cantonese – and I can help produce one. I know the process of song –writing and recording which, to tell the truth, is not dissimilar to writing stories.

jjspina: Good advice, Jane. You definitely have a good ear for music. It must be from all the years listening to music traveling with your husband. That’s quite a talent.

If I wasn’t a writer I would be enjoying an early retirement, travelling and taking photos. All the years we were touring and travelling the world, I rarely ever took photos – lack of time. I think I’d do that with my husband and see more of our grandchildren and son in Los Angeles.

jjspina: I hope one day you get to do all that and more in your retirement. 

Biography for Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon writes mostly Crime Thrillers, often set in the music business or with an organised crime or espionage element. With a former career in the international music business managing songwriters, singers, musicians, and record producers, she often draws upon her experiences in Hollywood, Europe and SE Asia for her plots.
She is also the author of short stories which have been included in 14 anthologies to date, as well as in magazines and online newsletters. She also contributes articles and writes flash fiction. Two of the anthologies she has contributed towards are award winners.
Jane is married to a musician, has one son and three grandchildren who live in Los Angeles.

With author Christina Jones, Jane has co-authored Only One Woman, set in the UK Music Scene of the late 1960s and using her experiences married to a musician in the sixties, as a source of research and information. This is Jane’s first outing into writing Women’s Fiction and the paperback and was published 24th May 2018. It is also available on most good digital platforms as an e-book.
Jane and Christina recently received the Wild Dreams Indie Publishing Award for Favourite Co-Written Tale.

1-Jane Risdon Book

Synopsis for Only One Woman:

Christina Jones and Jane Risdon

Steeped in the music and fashions of the era filled with the effects of social change and world events, Only One Woman is more than a love triangle and guys will love it as much as gals.

One boy, two girls, and a journey through the heady, mad, rock ‘n’ roll of the late1960s.
June 1968: Renza is reluctantly preparing to leave school – and England. Her family are moving to Germany and she really doesn’t want to go, but her parents say she’s too young to stay behind so she’s resigned to facing a new life abroad. But then the four stunningly sexy boys who make up pop band Narnia’s Children move in next door and leaving the country is absolutely the last thing she wants to do…
Renza falls head over heels for drop dead gorgeous lead guitarist Scott, and he for her, but after a whirlwind of gigs and parties and a romantic summer of love together and despite trying every trick in the book to stay in England, Renza has to obey her parents and go.
Before she leaves for Germany, Scott says he will love her forever and asks her to marry him. Renza – of course – says yes but it will have to be a secret until she’s old enough to leave home and join him.

December 1968: On the night that she believes will be her last alive, Stella meets Scott at a local dance where Narnia’s Children are playing. Scott’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen, and she falls in love at first sight – and he seems to be attracted to her, too. Because she’s ill, and has no idea what will happen in the future – and despite being told about Renza – she thinks if this one night is all they have, then she’ll take it.
As the colourful, exciting final year of the sixties dawns and Narnia’s Children start to hit the big time, Renza struggles with her new life in Germany, only living for Scott’s letters and phone calls and managing to sneak the occasional trip home to see him, while Stella, recovering from her illness, spends more and more time with Scott and the band, slotting herself happily into the “Renza-free” parts of his life.

As 1969 plays out in a rainbow swirl of music and fashion, Renza and Stella – who have never met but are aware of each other’s existence – both realise there will come a day when he has to choose between them, and sadly know there can be only one woman for Scott…
One One Woman Jane Risdon

Jane’s Social Media Links:

Jane’s Amazon Author Page:

Author Blog:

Facebook Author Page:




Only One Woman Facebook Page:

Only One Woman Blog:

Jane’s Book Links – go to my Amazon Author Page:

Only One Woman: available on most online digital platforms including Kobo, Barnes & Noble etc., for Kindle and Paperback.

Amazon UK/USA/Australia/Germany/ France and others:

Simon & Schuster: ISBN: 9781682994252
Only One Woman is available in Waterstones and good indie book stores upon order.
Paperback in Waterstones etc. ISBN: 9781783757312

Only One Woman just received an award from

Thank you, Jane, for coming today. It was a pleasure to learn more about you and your new book. Please feel free to come back again when you have another book to share. I wish you all the best with your future endeavors. I also want to add a special good luck also to your co-author, Christina Jones. Congratulations to both of you on the book award from First Annual Indie Awards!

Thank you, readers, for stopping by to read about Jane Risdon and her new book. I hope you will check out her book and links above.



Blessings & Hugs,


Posted in author interview, books, Jane Risdon, love story, Music, new novel, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , | 42 Comments

Interview with Author Kathryn E. Jones!


Kathryn E. Jones

Please help me welcome Kathryn E. Jones to Jemsbooks Blog Segment, Interview an Author.

It’s lovely to meet you, Kathryn. The floor is now yours.

1. Tells us something about yourself.

I have always been an avid reader even before I could actually read. My mom tells me that I would make things up as I looked at the pictures. I enjoyed reading all through grade school and college – yes, I even enjoyed the stuff I had to read for the most part. And yes, I attended college in my early 40s so maybe that’s why I did all of my assignments. My first book was published by a local publisher in 2002, but it wasn’t until 2012 that I began to take my writing seriously enough to write continuously. Maybe college taught me about not giving up, but when I received my degree in Mass Communications with a minor in Creative Writing, it didn’t take me long to give up the journalism career in favor of what I really loved.

jjspina: That’s wonderful, Kathryn, that you got to do what you love to do daily. That love of reading must have been what was the turning point in that direction for you.

2. When did you know that you wanted to be an author?

The publishing end of things was always in my veins. I knew that it would be my dream job, I just had no idea how I was going to get there. I imagined a fancy building with fancy offices and cubicles and plenty of people who knew all there was to know about writing, publishing and marketing a book.

What I got a year or so after graduating from college was a publishing business in my home. A small, manageable business that is growing each year. I mentor, write, edit, market, publish, and even hand hold when necessary. Publishing that first book is scary, but more and more writers are interested in publishing on their own, and they want to do it right. Idea Creations Press is the publishing house I always wanted but never got until I created it. But sometimes dreams are like that.

jjspina: Sometimes we must create what isn’t there to make things right. It looks like you did just that. Congrats!

3. What criteria do you use for publishing an author’s book.

Great question! I love to think we are unique in that we want authors who have something to say without all of the world views vying for attention. In other words, we are looking for authors who have something inspirational to say, whether this inspiration comes from their own life or a life created by them. We want clean books. That doesn’t mean a book can’t have darkness and light, a bad guy and a good guy, it just needs to be clean read. No smut. No foul language. If your mother can read it, you’re pretty safe.

Jjspina: That all sounds reasonable to me.

4. What projects are you currently working on?

I have just finished my first tween science fantasy called, “Light Shade.” It’s the story of a boy from the future named Aaden. At first, Aaden appears to be your typical 10-year-old boy. He plays with Legos and thinks his mom is weird because she talks to plants. But when Aaden learns that the earth and everyone on it is going to be destroyed, and he has only two weeks to help his family escape, Aaden learns that he has gifts and talents never before imagined.

Book two in the Aaden Prescott Space Adventure series, “Light Descending,” will be released in the spring of 2019.

I have also published Christian fiction, Christian nonfiction, business nonfiction, and mystery.

Jjspina: This will be a fascinating story for kids. They love fantasy and sci-fi mixed together.

5. What would you do if you were not a writer/Publisher?

I love this question! I would be an interior decorator and would probably write books about design. As it is, in-between writing and mentoring other writers through the writing, publishing and marketing process, I do manage to do some decorating – without the degree of course. My husband and I are in process of remodeling our home. There have been some challenges – what do you do when you decide to open the wall after the baseboards are already in? but it has been a fun journey.

Jjspina: Yeah, what do you do? I hope you figure it out.

6. Please share your books, blog and website.

I would love to get to know you! Please visit me at:

Writer’s site:
Business site:

Light Shade:





Kathryn’s Bio:

Kathryn is a lover of words and a bearer of mood swings. When she is feeling the need to inspire, she writes a Christian fiction book. If a mystery is waiting to be uncovered, she finds it. If something otherworldly is finding its way through her fingertips, she travels to it.
Kathryn has been a reader since she was a young child. Although she took classes in writing as a teen, it wasn’t something she really thought would become her career until she was married. And even then, it took a few more years for something worthy enough to publish to manifest itself.
Kathryn’s first book was published in 2002. Since then, many other books have found their way out of her head depending on the sort of day she is having. Kathryn is a journalist, a teacher, a mentor, an editor, a publisher, and a marketer.
Her greatest joy, other than writing her next book, is meeting with readers and authors who enjoy the craft of writing as much as she does.

Thank you, Kathryn, for coming today to share a little about yourself and your new book. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and look forward to checking out your book. I wish you much success with this book and others that follow.

Now that you are part of family, please feel free to come back again to share more books.

Thank you, readers, for stopping by to read about Kathryn and her books. I hope you will take some time to check out her links above.



Blessings & Hugs!


Posted in fantasy, Kathryn E. Jones, new book, publisher, Reading, sci-fi, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels, Young adult | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You with Janice Spina

I was thrilled to see my interview up on Sally Cronin’s fabulous blog. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with my lovely friend. Thank you, Sally! Hugs xx

Please check it out and peruse Sally’s incredible blog. Thank you, readers!

via Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You with Janice Spina

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Interview with Author Gigi Sedlmayer


Please help me welcome author Gigi Sedlmayer of the Talon Series to Jemsbooks Interview an Author Segment.

Hi Gigi. So nice of you to stop in today to share your wonderful books.

1. When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?

I actually never knew for sure what I wanted. In my early days, I loved oil painting. I was really fascinated with them and so I thought I could do some restoration of old paintings. But life didn’t let me realise my dream. But after immigrating from New Zealand to Australia, I was diagnosed with cancer. I couldn’t go on working. I was still in too much pain and unable to walk. Albert, my husband said, “Why not start writing?”

He had writing down the adoption of our twin girls from Fiji. I started to write short stories, of course, animal stories. I sent them in for competitions. Yes, I was brave, with my imperfect English which still is. I didn’t get the first prize but I was encouraged. That gave me motivation to go on. One of the short stories was about Talon and Matica. Then it came to me. I wanted to be an author.

jjspina: You are amazing that you persevered and continued to be creative in writing these inspiring books through this difficult time.

2. What process do you need in order to write?

Process? Well, I need quiet, no music or anything. But when I put my fingers on the key board, the ideas come, floating out of my fingers. It happens here now as well, trying to answer these questions. Thinking about the answers at first nothing came, but now, all is clear. So it is with my writing of the Talon books.

jjspina: It is amazing that all we have to do as authors is open our minds and let our characters take over. 

3. How do you come up with ideas for your stories?

Ideas? I have no ideas, until I put my fingers on the keyboard. Strength? Yes. But it is like that. Sometimes when I am thinking of a scene in my book I think I could do it better.

Jjspina: Sounds like you have the magic touch when you use your keyboard.

4. What projects are you currently working on?

I am writing, well not quite right, re-writing the sixth book in the Talon Series. I have had to re-write it many times. First draft is only the skeleton, then the veins are coming, then the muscles, then the skin, and so on. So, I take time with the re-writing. It is called: TALON, WINDSONG. I have started with the seventh book, maybe 1000 words. It’s called: TALON, MYSTERY OF LIFE.

Jjspina: That is wonderful that you are working on two more books. I wish you much success with both.

5. What do you expect to accomplish in 2018?

I hoped to get the sixth book published, but it might not work. Time is going by.

Jjspina: Keep typing away, Gigi! You’ll get there.

6. What hobbies do you have when you are not writing?

Oh, hobbies. Yes, we love to go on a day-trip into the Hinterland of the Gold Coast. It’s so beautiful out there. We will do around 400 to 600 km going on holiday, mostly into the outback then. We love it there. There we collect stones, opals, if we can find them, and fossils from dinosaurs. I love doing gardening at home as well but I hate housework.

Jjspina: That all sounds like some exciting hobbies.

7. What is your target audience for your book?

I think the books are good for children from reading age to young teenagers. But many reviewers say, the books are for adults as well. They can see what one can do when putting his/her mind to it, not staying negative, but looking at the bright side and being positive. Life is much better looking positive at the world, instead of negative.

Jjspina: Yes, I agree. I enjoyed reading them all and I am well over being a teenager! 

8. Please share your books with us.


New, not yet published, TALON, WINDSONG and TALON, MYSTERY OF LIFE


BOOK 1: Talon, come fly with me
5 star Review by Readers Favorite,
Silver for BOOK COVER competition with Authorsdb,
Finalist with: BOOK EXCELLENCE AWARD, 2017
Finalist with: IAN Book of the year award 2017 – The Independent Author Network
4 out of 4 stars review by Online Book Club

BOOK 2: Talon, on the wing
5 star Review by Readers Favorite

BOOK 3: Talon, flight for life
5 star review by Readers Favorite
SEMI FINALIST for BOOK COVER competition with AUTHORSDB 2017
3 out of 4 stars review by Online Book Club

BOOK 4: Talon, Connected
5 star review by Readers Favorite
FINALIST in First line competition with AUTHORSDB 2018

BOOK 5: Talon, Encounter
4 out of 4 star review by Reader’s Favorite
Sole Medallist Winner with New Apple in the Young Adult General Fiction category of our Annual Book Award 2017 Book Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing
Finalist with: BOOK EXCELLENCE AWARD, 2018

10. What advice would you give prospective authors?

Never give up. If you gave up, you’d never know if success could have been right around the corner. Even if you struggle, stick with it. Write and do what you think you have to do. But never give up. That is my motto as well. I’ve wanted to give up many times. But I won’t.

Jjspina: Excellent advice, Gigi.

11. Is there anything else you would like to share?

Yes, I would like to let Matica, my main character in my stories, speak for herself.


My name is Matica and I am a special needs child with a growth disability. I am stuck in the body of a two-year-old, even though I am ten years old when my story begins in the first book of the Talon series, TALON, COME FLY WITH ME.

Because of that disability, (I am saying ‘that’ disability, not ‘my’ disability because it’s a thing that happens to me, nothing more and because I am not accepting it as something bad. I can say that now after I learned to cope with it.) I was rejected by the local Indians as they couldn’t understand that that condition is not a sickness and so it can’t be cured. It’s just a disorder of my body.

I never gave up on life and had lots of adventures roaming around the plateau where we live in Peru, South America, with my mum’s and dad’s blessings. After I made friends with my condors I named Tamo and Tima, everything changed. It changed for the good. I was finally loved and accepted by the Indians. I am the hero now and I embrace my problem. In better words: I had embraced my problem before I made friends with my condors, Tamo and Tima. I held onto it but I still felt sorry for myself and cried a lot, wanting to run away or something worse.

But would it have helped me? Would it have become better? Would I grow taller? No, nothing of that would have happened. I didn’t have those questions when I was still in my sorrow, but all these questions came to me later, after I was loved and cherished.

One day I looked up into the sky and saw the majestic condors flying in the air. Then and there, I made up my mind. I wanted to become friends with them. I believed, if I could achieve that, all my sorrow and rejection would be over. And true enough, it was over. I was loved. I even became famous. (You can read all about it in the series.) And so, if you are in a situation, with whatever your problem is, find something you could rely on and stick to it, love that and do with that what you were meant to do. I never run from conflicts.

Jjspina: Matica is quite an extraordinary young lady who is quite an inspiration to others.

12. If you could have one wish, what would it be?

Pay off our house and have money left over for travel.

Jjspina: Wonderful goals – I hope you will realise these goals one day soon.

13. What would you do if you were not a writer?

The writing bug caught me. Writing.

Jjspina: Well said.

14. Do you have any unusual talents? What are they?

I was and I am good with my hands.
In Germany I started to draw animal pictures with oil colours. I loved to see oil painting from the masters and thought, I could do that as well. I wanted to be actually a restorer for old oil paintings, but life didn’t direct me into that direction. When we immigrated from Germany to New Zealand on the big passenger cruiser Galileo-Galilei for 5 weeks, I started to draw animal pictures with pencil. Being then in New Zealand, and not really being master of the English words, I started a handcraft business. I created with the help of my husband wonderful colourful parrots, sleepy tigers, koalas. I sold thousands of them. People really loved them. When we became adoptive parents, of twin girls, I sold my business. But being creative I had to do something. I started to cross stitch animal pictures.
After we immigrated to Australia I was diagnosed with cancer, but survived with the grace of God. Thereafter I started to write.

Jjspina: You are quite a creative and talented woman, Gigi. I am in awe of what you can do.

Gigi’s links:

My website:

Gigi’s Bio:

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 schools nine times. In the end she never had friends, for 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 from Fiji the year after. They lived in New Zealand for eighteen years and moved to Australia in September 1992.

One year later Gigi was diagnosed with cancer. After operations and radiation, she withdrew. She thought 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 two 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.

Thank you, Gigi, for coming today. It was a pleasure to learn more about you and your books.

I’ve read all of Gigi’s books and included one of my reviews below.

FIVE STARS All ages will love this tale of friendship and love and acceptance of differences.

January 17, 2015

Talon is an entertaining and heart-warming story about a young girl who has a medical problem which prevents her from growing normally for her age. Because of this medical issue she is not accepted by other children and has to deal with ridicule and being an outcast. Matica finds it difficult to adjust to this new home that her parents, who are missionaries, have moved from Australia to Pucara in Peru. They came here to work with the Indians in the area, most of whom are illiterate. Matica is lonely and notices a couple of condors flying around her new home who she befriends. Some surprising events unfold that no one expected even Matica.

This is a lovely story that will capture your heart and hold tight to your emotions. All ages will love this tale of friendship and love and acceptance of differences. I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful tale and eagerly look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Thank you, readers, for stopping by to read about this creative author and her inspiring books. I hope you will hop over and take a look at her books on the links above.


Reading is Good for your Health!

Blessings & Hugs,


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Smorgasbord #Film review – #Mama Mia: Here We Go Again – As cheesy as you like, but #brilliant

Loved, loved, loved this movie as much as the first Mama Mia! If you haven’t seen it, hurry to the theater before it is gone. You will have so much fun. Take your friends, spouse or anyone who loves Abba music and tap away with the music.  Check out Sally Cronin’s fabulous review of this fun movie soon to be classic for all lovers of ABBA’s music! HERE WE GO AGAIN! THANK YOU, SALLY CRONIN, FOR THIS ABSOLUTELY SPECTACULAR REVIEW!! HUGS XX

via Smorgasbord #Film review – #Mama Mia: Here We Go Again – As cheesy as you like, but #brilliant

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