Excerpt From “A Cat Tale” by John Paulits

Can Hayden and his fellow cats put an end to the mysterious disappearances occurring at TALULA TUPPERMAN’S HOME FOR DISTRESSED FELINES before they fall prey to the same fate?

EXCERPT:

“…Shut up and enjoy the evening. Look,” said Stanley.

“Where?”

“There on the hill. Over there.”

“What hill? This place is nothing but hills.”

“There. There. Those two tiny pairs of lights.”

The light from the full moon lit Tiger’s and Pouncie’s eyes. They watched the shack from the highest pile of debris they could find. They’d followed the two dump-men this far, determined not to lose them. The two men had come to the barn after dark, as Pouncie predicted, and with their expert cat vision, the two cats followed the men along the road and through the dump to the shack. Now, they lay down, their chins on their paws, and watched the men.

“Oh, yeah,” Rodney said, getting to his feet. “I see.”

“Eyes,” Stanley said.

Rodney turned to his friend. “You’s what?” He sat back down and stared at him.

“I’m sorry?”

Rodney looked puzzled. “Why? What did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything? I mean what do you mean?”

“What do you mean what do I mean? What do you mean? You’re not making sense, Stanley.”

“I’m making sense? You’re not hearing sense. When I said I’m sorry, I didn’t mean I’m sorry for anything I did. I mean I don’t know what you mean?”

“You don’t have to yell.” Rodney shook his head. “You’re always yelling.”

“I have good reason to yell when your brain goes bling blang blung.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Don’t apologize, pay attention.”

“I’m not apologizing for anything I did. I mean I don’t know what you mean—bling blang blung?”

“Rodney, Rodney, Rodney. What are you talking about? What were we talking about?”

“You said I’s.”

“Yes, there on the hill, eyes.”

“There on the hill you’s what?”

“What do you mean, there on the hill you’s what?”

“You’re shouting again. You can’t say there on the hill I’s. You gotta say there on the hill I’s something. Like I’s hungry. I’s sleepy.”

“I’s hungry? I’s sleepy? That’s ridiculous and not even good English. And I didn’t say ‘I’s,’” Stanley cried, poking his chest with the fingers of his right hand. “I said ‘eyes,’” making wide eyes at his friend.

***

John Paulits has been writing fiction for over thirty years.  His science fiction novel Hobson’s Planet was an Eppie award nominee in 2009.  His children’s novel Philip And The Boy Who Said, “Huh?” won the Mayhaven Publishing Award for Fiction in 2000.  His children’s novel Philip And The Superstition Kid was voted best children’s book of 2010 in a readers poll conducted by Preditors and Editors.  His latest book, The Mystery Of Charles Dickens:  A Tale Of Mesmerism And Murder from MX Publishing in London, will be available on June 6, 2012.  He formerly taught elementary school in New York City and now writes full time. A born and bred Philadelphian, he lives in New York City and Brigantine, New Jersey.

Website: http://www.johnpaulits.com

Amazon site: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=John%20Paulits

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Excerpt From “Old Man Harry” by Siobhán Nolan

Little Beth was a funny little girl. Her hair was always messy, her face was dusted with dirt and freckles, and her socks never matched. But Little Beth had a wild imagination and a BIG heart. All she wanted was a special friend of her own, and her dreams came true when she met a tiny, orange kitten. He certainly was not the cutest cat Little Beth had ever seen, but his fur was soft and covered in beautiful zigzaggy amber stripes. His whiskers were crooked, and one of his eyes drooped a little. He had freckles on his lips and one of his ears was folded and crunched like a dry, fall leaf. She named him Old Man Harry. They became friends instantly, sharing adventures, mint chocolate chip ice cream, and an inseparable bond of love and friendship.

EXCERPT:

“Months passed and finally it was summertime. Little Beth and her family had gone to the beach for their vacation. On the last evening of their trip the family walked along the shore, picking up seashells and watching little ghost crabs scurry across the sand. As they neared the boardwalk, Little Beth heard the faint, distant cry of – could it be? – a kitten! Little Beth followed the noise, and nestled in the dune, beneath a thicket of sea-grass, she found a tiny, orange cat.

“Mom! Dad! Come quickly!” yelled Little Beth. “It’s a cat! He’s just a baby and he’s all by himself. Oh please, oh please, oh PLEASE can we take him home? PLEASE?”

Little Beth’s parents knew how much she wanted a cat, and this little beach kitten was all alone. Little Beth bent down, picked up the tiny ball of orange fur, and held him up to her face.”

***

Siobhán Nolan is a student at University of North Carolina Wilmington majoring in Elementary Education. She is looking forward to having her own classroom one day soon. She loves painting, enjoying the beach, and spending time with her family, friends, and her beloved cat, Harry.

Old Man Harry is available from Second Wind Publishing.

Excerpt From “Taconi and Claude: Double Trouble” by Margot Finke

Taconi and Claude: Double Trouble. (Mid-grade, historical coming of age adventure, set in the Aussie outback of 1950.)

On Coorparoo Cattle Station, Taconi, a young aboriginal boy, deals with what life throws at him, including a lot of advice from his chatty mate, a sulfur crested cockatoo named Claude. When Taconi has nightmares about his upcoming “man” ceremony, ancient Dreamtime Spirits stalk him with plans of their own.

It’s not easy being an aboriginal boy in the Aussie outback of the mid 1900′s. He dodges a nasty Medicine Man, helps his dad become station “cookie,” by hunting enough witchetty grubs, snake and yabbies, for a bonzer soup. And he ends up a hero of sorts, thanks to a crazed emu. All this, plus a grand tribal gathering that helps Taconi decide his future.

** Glossary of Australian and Aboriginal words included.

Excerpt:

The full moon cast a cold light on Taconi’s naked body as four wizened elders pinned him on the ground close to a blazing fire. Sweat rolled off him, and his heart raced the thump, thump, thump of the feather drums: faster and faster.

The Medicine Man slid out of the shadows, a ceremonial spear in his hand. Firelight flashed across the wrinkles on his painted face. His bony old limbs ducked and bobbed to the ancient rhythm of the drums. Eagle, kingfisher, and cockatoo feathers swayed on his headdress. The Old Man plunged the tip of his spear into the flames, holding it there while he mumbled an age-old mantra.

When the tip of the spear glowed red, Taconi’s arms and legs dissolved into mush. There was no escape. The man ceremony was about to claim him. His insides threatened betrayal. N-o-o-o . . . mustn’t pee, mustn’t pee. . .

The Medicine Man thrust the glowing tip of the spear under his nose. Taconi felt the heat, sniffed its acrid smell. The tip sizzled, hovering over his reluctant flesh, poised, ready to burn him into manhood.

The singsong voice of the Medicine Man grew faint. The Old Man’s eyes stared into his, blazing with the power of timeless ritual. The stars—a billion sparkling eyes—whirled overhead, cold and uncaring. Taconi shut his eyes, waiting for his flesh to sear—waiting for the pain.

Taconi held his breath. He waited . . .

When the pain didn’t come, he risked a quick peek. Smoke from the fire blotted out everything except the eyes of the Medicine Man. His burning stare hung over Taconi for a moment, before the smoke claimed him.

Bathed in sweat, Taconi jolted upright. “By Cripes, what’s happenin’?” Relief flooded through him. He was safe in his bed.

Outside in the cool pre-dawn air, Coorparoo Cattle Station’s feathered alarm clock, a sulfur crested Cockatoo named Claude, rasped, “Wakey, wakey. Rise and shine!”

“Crikey,” he muttered. “That man ceremony dream would scare the hide off a croc!” Ever since he found out about his upcoming man ceremony, the recurring dream had haunted his sleep. He glanced at the other bed and frowned. “Bed’s Empty. Dad musta left early for the homestead kitchen.”

He couldn’t understand what drove his dad to cook white folk’s muck for the Boss and the Missus. This was an outback size worry. If his dad got the cookie job, permanent like, there’d be no time for hunting together or throwing the spear. If he was to become a man of his tribe, Dad must teach him these things. The idea of his dad as cookie sat on Taconi’s shoulders like a giant termite mound.

He stared out the small window of the hut he shared with his dad. The vast expanse of Coorparoo Cattle Station waited for the day’s first sunlight. “Coor-par-oo,” he murmured, liking the feel of the word on his tongue. The soft sounds mimicked the gentle call of doves.

***

Margot Finke is an Aussie transplant who writes midgrade adventure fiction and rhyming picture books. For many years she has lived in Oregon with her husband and family.

Gardening, travel, and reading fill in the cracks between writing. Her husband is very supportive, though not interested in children’s books . Their three children are now grown and doing very well.

Margot didn’t begin serious writing until the day their youngest left for college. This late start drives her writing, and pushes her to work at it every day. Margot said, “I really envy those who began young, and managed to slip into writing mode between kid fights, diaper changes, household disasters, and outside jobs. You are my heroes!” Website: http://www.margotfinke.com

Amazon (Kindle + soft cover) http://tinyurl.com/6vg7sez

Guardian Angel Publishing http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/authors&books.htm

Powell’s Books: http://www.powells.com/biblio?isbn=1616331305

Barnes and Noble (Nook): http://preview.tinyurl.com/3dvtxnj

“Talon, Come Fly With Me” and “Talon, On The Wing” by Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer

TALON, COME FLY WITH ME is about the life of nine-year-old girl, Matica. Matica lives in a remote village on a dry plateau in the Andes of Peru. She moved here with her Australian missionary and schoolteacher parents when she was five years old. Ever since Matica could remember, she faced cruel rejection because of a growth handicap that traps her in a body a two-year-old. Because of her appearance, the local Indians wouldn’t accept her into their community or allow her to play with their children.

Under the watchful eyes of her parents, lonely Matica explores the plateau of the Andes. She found a pair of condors soaring near the mountains and with patience and a sense of adventure she befriended them. She named the condors Tamo and Tima and a strong bond and love developed between them.

The adventure of this book begins two years later, as Matica helplessly witnessed poachers stealing the condors’ egg from their nest. After a dramatic fight between Tamo and the poachers, the poachers abandoned the egg leaving it far from its nest. Being unable to bring it back to the nest, Tamo and Tima sent signals to Matica to take care of their egg.

Later on, during Matica’s tenth birthday, the condor egg hatches. The hatchling is called Talon and this story focuses on the self journey of Matica, as she teaches the little hatchling to fly. This experience changes her life completely and enables her to see a positive side to her handicap.

***

TALON, ON THE WING is the second book in the Talon series. What Matica has dreamed ever since she first befriended the condors actually happened in the last chapter of the previous book, Talon, Come Fly With Me. And now the adventure continues.

Finally accepting Matica into their community with that incredible event, the Indians of Peru loves seeing her together with Talon and his parents, Tamo and Tima. Now she has to tell all of her adventures with her condors in class.

Only her mother wasn’t very impressed with that event but she finally is turning around as well and loves her seeing them together in that intimate way. Her mother first saw danger in it but after showing her how safe she is with Talon her mother gave her the go ahead.

Matica is now happy that she is small and doesn’t want to have it any other way. She is accepted, she is loved and she can have the incredible adventure with her beloved Talon. What more could she have? All her rejection and hardship is over.

In this book she has scores of incredible adventures and near disasters with Talon. Also, a love between Amos and her develops.

The adventure continues.

***

TALON, FLIGHT FOR LIFE, the third book in the series will be published soon.

***

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 until finally settling 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 handicraft business. As a specialty, she made colourful parrots 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.

Click here to read an interview with: Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer, Author of “Talon, Come Fly With Me”

The Adventures of Machu and Jack by Tabitha Grace Smith

The Adventures of Machu and Jack

Authored by Tabitha Grace Smith 
Illustrated by Mindy Lou Hagan 


Reading level: Ages 3-7
Softcover: 48 pages
Product Dimensions:
 8.25 x 8.25 inches x 0.1 inch
 
It’s no fun being a pirate cat when you’re afraid of the water, but Jack the Kitten (fiercesome pirate in his own mind) can’t be scared to take a bath, can he? When his older brother shows him the power of his own imagination Jack learns that there’s no time to be afraid when you’re having fun.

About the author:
Tabitha Grace Smith has been writing interesting stories since age 6 (and by interesting we mean fascinating). She’s worked with kids for over 16 years and, in “Jack the Kitten is Very Brave”, she’s been able to pair her passion for kids with her love of cats and pirates! She currently lives in Los Angeles with the real life versions of Machu and Jack. When she’s not writing she works in social media and marketing.