A precipice and no doubt about it.

Precipice Of Doubt 300 DPI

“We need a sequel – I don’t think their story has finished. I can still feel their voices in my head…”


And that’s how Precipice of Doubt was born. The rumbling and ticking of ideas started before the ink had dried on our ‘The End’ statement with To Be Determined. Mardi and I talked the ideas over, made a start, and were well on the way to creating another exciting Aussie tale, when our fearless and tenacious editor held up a metaphorical hand that was more powerful than a stop sign, and asked us whose character voices were speaking the loudest. At first, the main characters from To Be Determined, Pip and Charlie, came to mind, but it was their co-stars who become the headliners in Precipice of Doubt. This was to become Jodi and Cole’s story.


Surveyor’s Swamp (photo by Bob Simpson)

A core strength of the tapestry of this story belongs to friendship, weave in a budding romance, the excitement of new love, uncertainty, a couple bucket loads of doubt, some animal stories that capture your heart, and, as the final kicker, throw in the majestic Australian wilderness and some hair-raising moments to bring it all on home.


Charlie’s Gap (photo by Bob Simpson)

Animals are a key element in both of our everyday lives and this series has provided a lot of fun being able to share that with our readers. But the star material that drives what we share, and what people ask us about all the time, is Australia. What is it like to live in a country with such extremes – the wilderness, the mountains, the wide open spaces, the cities, town, beaches, its unique wildlife, and of course spiders as big as hatchback cars? A land, who supposedly, has every poisonous, vicious type of animal imaginable, and then some more, in case the first 70 didn’t get you the first time around.


Dandahra Crags (photo by Bob Simpson)

We hope you enjoy Precipice of Doubt. We hope you lose sleep, staying up late at night to read ‘just one more’ page. We hope we make you smile, think and maybe even dream a little. Most importantly, we hope that a little bit of Australia creeps into your heart, but never your sleeping bag.

Special thanks to Bob for allowing us to use some of his photographs that perfectly reflected the images in our heads, and which we think you’ll recognise while you read Precipice of Doubt.


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Pocket Change

Change… all by itself, it’s a simple word with the power to send terror through the hearts of many. You know what I’m talking about, right?

Blue-faced Honeyeater

But really, let’s look closer. As a noun or verb, it can have meanings such as: adapt, alter, castrate (ouch), deviate, evolve, shift, substitute, transform, veer, cash and coin.

Accompanied by a few more words, it doesn’t seem quite as threatening: Changing pattern, like a kaleidoscope; Changing in color, iridescent or opalescent, Changing-color animal as in a chameleon, and, as has become one of my favorites, “a gradual process by which something changes to a better or more complex form.

Anyway, when I set out to write this, I fluctuated between telling you about the awesome holiday I enjoyed in northern Queensland and the fact that I’m launching a new website. There is so much to share about my 2 1/2 weeks on the road and I was leaning toward that. But, I did an about-face and decided you should know that I now have a domain. So now you’ll have to edit the address to lauriesalzler.com.

What was the catalyst you may ask. Well, I wanted to diversify my site, but since I was in the middle of writing After A Time (look for a November, 2016 release), After A Time cover I didn’t want to remove myself from the flow of the story and have to learn how to do some of the things you’ll see here. I had also promised Casey & Claudia from Bedazzled Ink., to have the finished manuscript to them before Christmas. Thank the goddesses for Nikki Grimes. She’s the all powerful wizard behind the curtain who metamorphisized an okay amateur-built site to this professionally designed work of art! Go Nikki!


So, here’s a little about After A Time. When I initially came up with the idea about two years ago, I was on the road and desperate to log the basic outline, I ended up putting it all on the back of my auto insurance card. I had this idea to mix some historical fiction with a dash of paranormal. But as I think lot of authors will tell you, the muse sometimes reroutes the direction of a story and it took on a life of its own. What began as a lesfic romance suddenly clicked over to a young adult mainstream fiction, no lesbians, no romance, but lots of adventure. Nobody was more surprised than I. Like the photos below that have “rainbow” as the common theme (rainbow lorikeet & rainbow bee-eater are the birds), After A Time still maintains some similarities with my previous books. You’ll just have to read it to figure them out.


Queensland Rainbow


Rainbow Lorikeet

Rainbow Bee-eater


antappu mi’amia isn’t always bad. Especially if the wind is at your back, the sun feels warm on your face, and the waters are calm.



Common Goose











Oh, the italicised words? If you haven’t figured it out, they all mean change of some sort or another. That wasn’t so bad, now was it?

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In the Stillness of Dawn received a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention!

In the Stillness of Dawn coverHonorableMentionSM

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I’ve just added a couple new pages to this site for two new books coming your way soon: After A Time is my first foray into Historical Fiction, and Eye of the Beholder is the long awaited photo book co-authored with my good friend Sheila Pearsons.

Also, just this morning I received notification from the GCLS that In the Stillness of Dawn was nominated for a 2016 Goldie award. 🙂

In the Stillness of Dawn cover

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Quick Update

Hey everybody… I paid an impromptu visit to Cocktail Hour and had a chat with my good bud Peyton Andy Andrews. Have a listen and find out what I’ve been up to. Cocktail Hour ProductionsIn the Stillness of Dawn cover

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Survival & Determination

The following is a huge series of photos depicting the incredible instinct of survival and determination by an Osprey.

The story begins one morning while I was whale watching from a lookout in Ballina. There were quite a few people watching the stream of Humpbacks as they made their way north to the calving grounds. I was the only one who saw the Osprey hover above the water around the rocks below.Osprey (1 of 1)-5




Suddenly the bird plunged into the water. And this is where the real story begins. Osprey & Drummer (1 of 67)

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It was at this point I realized he was holding onto a drummer fish by one talon.

Osprey & Drummer (30 of 67) Osprey & Drummer (31 of 67) Osprey & Drummer (32 of 67) Osprey & Drummer (33 of 67) Osprey & Drummer (38 of 67) Osprey & Drummer (37 of 67) Osprey & Drummer (36 of 67) Osprey & Drummer (35 of 67) Osprey & Drummer (34 of 67)Fighting the surf and the weight of the fish, he finally managed to land it.

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Osprey & Drummer (61 of 67)It wasn’t long before he had something else to fight… ravens.

Osprey & Drummer (62 of 67)First one, then two. With a heave, it took to the air with the ravens hot on its tail.

Osprey & Drummer (63 of 67)Osprey & Drummer (64 of 67)With a bit of effort, he finally cleared the water.

Osprey & Drummer (65 of 67) Osprey & Drummer (66 of 67) Osprey & Drummer (67 of 67)Unfortunately, I was unable to get the rest of the story in photos. Between the weight of the fish and the raven’s harassment, the Osprey dropped the fish back into the water. But he did get some satisfaction. For the next ten minutes, the Osprey chased the ravens mercilessly. He definitely had a (fish) bone to pick with them.

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Amid the Trees and Beyond

Do you ever have times when there is too much going on in your head? Where there’s too much noise or it’s crammed with thoughts, characters talking (or not, and I’m wondering what they’re waiting for)… things like that? Yeah, me too. It normally happens when the daylight is short during winter. I can be writing, watching tv or reading when it hits: the need to be outside. And not just outside my door. I need to get out-out. That’s when I increase my daily walks from the one in the morning (along the river) to another in late afternoon (on the property behind me) and sometimes one more in between. Of course Leika and Kalie don’t complain about that at all.
2015-06-11 09.02.24 But sometimes I need to go way out. Yesterday was one of those days. We took a drive on one of my most favorite routes… the one to Brooms Head, NSW. It’s about a 40 minute drive south from here, and along the way pass cane fields, a huge bat camp, thousands of acres of grazing paddocks, national rain forest, and national parks. Cattle and kangaroos are nearly everywhere, and so are the wide open spaces. Breathing room.Paddock Rainbow1

The last brumby in this area lives in the bush around Brooms Head. He’s a beautiful pinto and unfortunately, alone. The rest of the herd perished in a bush fire several years back and now he wanders the vastness by himself… although there is rumor he has sired a foal by sneaking into a nearby pasture and visiting a mare. (wink, wink)Brumby (1 of 1)-2

I hadn’t seen “Wildfire,” (the local’s name for him) for a few months. Knowing he’s getting up there in age (20 yrs or so) and the inherent dangers of living in the bush, namely poisonous snakes, I was worried. But yesterday as we drove in, I saw a flash of white. Yep, it was him, calmly sunning himself about  a quarter mile off the road. As you can imagine, I was quite relieved.Brumby (1 of 1)-3

We continued on up to the Brooms Head lookout to eat lunch and watch the ocean. White milky waves moved in against the rocks and a few gannets flew back and forth searching the water for a meal. Gannet (1 of 1)

The sun warmed, the breeze cooled and the water soothed. A perfect combination. Brooms Head-8233

Humpback whales migrate past here on their way to their northern calving grounds. I knew it was getting close to when we’d start seeing them but it’s a case of being at the right place at the right time. Much to my delight, far off on the horizon three white blows signalled the presence of a trio of whales. For several minutes we were treated to watching as they breached, slapped their tails and pectoral fins against the water, sending it high into the air before diving out out of sight. Humpback Whale  - Ballina-5731

The next stop was into the bush along the Bosche Water Hole road where the soil is a reddish brown and pocked with water puddles from recent rains, some rather large, but fortunately shallow. About two miles in, just before entering the forest, there’s a road that heads west into the short bush. This is where I got out, tightened the laces on my boots, and settled my akubra on my head. Carrying my camera I spent the next two hours traipsing that road. Huge white barked gum trees lined the forest on my right. In front of me and to my left was a huge expanse of short heath with a few wildflowers having pushed up from the hard ground.Bottlebrush (1 of 1)

As I walked, I watched to either side of the road, looking for movement and signs of wildlife. The birdlife was abundant. There were tawny-crowned honeyeaters everywhere and a pair of red-backed fairy wrens. Red-backed Fairy Wren (1 of 1)

Tawny-crowned Honeyeater (1 of 1)

When the breeze paused I was able to hear a high-pitched tinny reel… like a “tseep.” I stopped and waited, hoping the bird would show. What hopped up onto a bottlebrush shrub delighted me. It was an Emu-wren. Of course when I got home I had to find out why the name. It has to do with their tail which has only six feathers which are loose and coarse in structure, rather like the feathers of an emu.Southern Emu-wren (1 of 1)-2

The absence of kangaroos was notable and disappointing. Not a one. I love roos. I never get tired of seeing them. In one instance, while on this road, I raised my camera to take a photo of one, and when I lowered it, I discovered I was surrounded by no less than twenty grey kangaroos. But not today. Only tracks. Kangaroo track (1 of 1)

When I arrived back at the car, I had several photos, tired feet and most importantly, a clear and quiet mind. My therapy for the day was successfully completed. Cheers.

Rainbow Lorikeet (1 of 1)

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New Release!!

I’m very happy to announce that the long anticipated sequel to A Kiss Before Dawn was released today. It is now available as an ebook on Amazon and will be available on Barnes & Noble and Kobo by tomorrow. The paperback will be out in a couple of weeks.


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Meet Another of My Aussie Mates

I met Selena Silcox not long after I arrived in Australia. She friended me on FB and since then we’ve become pretty good mates. She’s definitely an Aussie you should meet.



1. Tell us a little about yourself – Can I change this to what five words/terms would you use to describe yourself? (much easier to answer!) Cricket nut, author, opinionated, reformed accountant, goalkeeper ☺
2. What area of Australia do you live in and what’s it like there? Currently I live out in Western Queensland smack bang in the middle of mining and agriculture country, about a half-day’s drive from good coffee. It’s been dry out here since we moved (about 2 years ago now), but we’ve just recently had a heap of rain in a short period of time so the grass is looking deceptively green. It’s been keeping my wife busy with mowing, and therefore out of my hair.
3. Tell us a bit about your book… how much of it is from real life experience? The book that’s coming out in May takes quite a fair bit from my childhood. I can’t say too much yet obviously because it’s not completely finalized (it’s going through final edits and waiting for its cover to be done), but it’s set in a small town based roughly on the town my family is from, and thought I’ve changed quite a few things, the main setting is based on my grandparent’s farm where I spent a lot of my school holidays. I’ll be happy to come back closer to the release date if you’ll have me to reveal the cover and more about the book and reveal some of the secrets I’m holding back 😉

4. Tell us a bit about your main characters… what makes them interesting or unique? When I started writing the book, my main goal was to write about young lesbian teenagers whose sexuality wasn’t the main focus. Remember those teen romances from the 1980s that were short and sweet? I wanted to use those as a basis and ‘lesbian’ them up. The two main characters in my story are polar opposites – one is a small-town girl who tells things as she sees it, and the other is a city girl with big ambition that finds herself in a small town for respite. (Again, I can’t say too much just yet! Sorry for being so cryptic).
5. What is your favorite part of the writing process? Working on the initial idea and chapter summaries – it’s the most exciting part for me. At that point, there are still enough unknowns to make the actual writing process interesting. On the flip-side, I hate the preparation for editing, especially the first and second passes. Teasing out the full story from the initial draft can sometimes be like pulling wool through the eye of a sewing needle.
6. What made you decide to write and what are your ambitions for your writing career? I started writing when I was at uni as a way to escape from the drudgery of accounting and business law. It was mostly wish-fulfillment type stuff and I never really understood structure back then. I started taking it seriously about ten years ago, and left my accounting job two years ago to pursue writing full-time. I love writing YA, and currently I’m concentrating on sweet romance YA with lesbian main characters. I want to write about teen lesbian characters whose main problems don’t centre on their sexuality. While I think it’s important that we have literature that deals with coming out and bullying and discrimination, I think it’s also important to have stories where the lesbian characters are just accepted for who they are. And the girl gets the girl in the end – my wife loves happy endings so I don’t think she’d forgive me if I didn’t write happy endings.
7. How much research did you have to do for your book? Outside of my own experience as a kid, not much except make sure my timing was right for the end of the cane crushing season and the end of school.
8. Anything in the works you can tell us about? Nothing substantial yet, but I’m working my way through two YA ideas that are wrestling for my attention. I’ll work on whichever one wins out. I’ve also started on a humorous urban fantasy novella series for adults under a pen name that I’m hoping to have completed by mid-year depending on how my next few months schedule turns out.
9. Is there anything I have not asked that you wish I had? What fuels my writing – skinny lattes and custard tarts from the local bakery/café. I go to the gym a couple times a week just so I can have those custard tarts.
10. Do you have any questions for me? What made you decide to come to our little island? Any plans to travel and see more of Australia? Australia has fascinated me since childhood. I went through a major life change and decided I’d take a chance and follow a dream. I plan on doing some extensive traveling later this year.
11. Can I come visit? ☺ Haha, always up for visitors, but all the interesting stuff ‘near’ us is hours away so I hope you like to travel.

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Gave It My Best Shot…

Hey all… one of my photos is now a finalist in the 2014 BirdSpotter Photo Contest held by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The voting is open to the public! I sure would appreciate your vote.

Here’s the link: http://feederwatch.org/birdspotter2014/#26280 that will take you directly to my photo.

Pole Dance

Pole Dance

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