Gisela Hausmann writes authentic, straightforward books.
Born in Vienna, Austria, she graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Vienna. She worked in the Austrian movie industry while also traveling to the locations of her favorite books: Doctor Zhivago’s Russia, Heinrich Harrer’s Tibet, and Genghis Khan’s Mongolia.
Meeting her husband Gisela became involved in book design and publishing. After producing and self-publishing two aerial photography coffee-table books the couple moved to the United States, where their two children were born. In 2000 Gisela lost her husband unexpectedly but decided to stay in the United States and raise her children alone. Many of the humorous stories in her book Naked Determination come from her experiences working in five different industries to support her family.
Gisela Hausmann now lives with her cat Artemis in Wilmington, NC. She is author of eight books and her Straightforward Blog, which focuses on simplifying business concepts.
Where to find Gisela Hausmann online
Writing Great Emails is Not Art, 9 Ways to Get There
Wondering what it takes to get your emails noticed?
In WRITING GREAT EMAILS IS NOT ART, 9 WAYS TO GET THERE, author Gisela Hausmann explains why email is the least attractive way to “get mail” and what unspoken rules influence our perception of emails. She dissects email into its parts, and describes simple and easy to follow techniques how to improve each one.
Gisela Hausmann's favorite authors on Smashwords
Smashwords book reviews by Gisela Hausmann
- Divine Insights
on April 06, 2013
Divine Insight is a truly insightful book full of poems.
Aren’t all of us pondering the question “If God watches us… Where is He now that I need Him?” The question gets answered in K.C. Boone’s beautiful poem “Wait”. The lines
“When we try to rush
We are left in disgust
We never find satisfaction
Only disappointing reactions”
And: Aren’t we all waiting for “When God Smiles”. Yes, indeed, all of us want to “Learn to be free”
K.C. Boone has published a beautiful collection of poems, well worth to be read over and over again.
- Gift of Continence
on July 02, 2013
Finding the Magic Dress does not lead to a Magic Marriage. Now what?
"Sex and the City" step aside - here comes a hilarious Australian story of a wedding and early "marital bliss", which will have readers rolling in laughter.
It all starts out like a dream: "The dress was magic. I still think so. It had some supernatural quality that defied analysis..."
Unfortunately for the heroine Fiona, things don't stay magic. Early trouble indicates that not everything may go smoothly: "I looked like Elizabeth the First. My hair rose vertically up from my head into what appeared to be a solid mass about eight inches high."
Tabitha Ormiston-Smith's book Gift of Continence is hilarious for obvious reasons. While we hate when even the tiniest thing goes wrong at our own wedding, we have a tendency to enjoy laughing about others' mishaps, especially if they are fictitious.
Fiona's bold conclusions regarding her wedding also ring true to our own (secret) thoughts: "Actually, I had a wonderful time. After all, when do you get to invite all your friends to a party that's paid for by someone else, and you're guaranteed to have the most stunning dress there?"
While naïve Fiona does not want to work (earlier experiences had not gone well) she wants to be the perfect wife. Her reflections about her attempts are priceless: "People in books always seem to take a deep breath and then be able to do whatever it was they were trying to do. It doesn't work in real life though."
Things really take off when now married Fiona finds a black lace garter belt in her husband's coat pocket. It is an intolerable situation. However, divorce is not a good option for Fiona. It might make her look less than the perfect wife. Even with the people closest to her (brother Patrick, best friend Gloria, and Gran) weighing in and trying to help with advice, Fiona has a hard time coming up with the very best plan.
This reviewer is not a spoiler, thus I will not tell how the situation gets resolved. One thing though - the way how Fiona gets rid of her philandering husband took me by surprise.
Great many female readers will appreciate the many references to how important wearing the right attire is to all matters of life: "When you're in your dressing gown, with your hair tangled and a temperature probably coming on, and the other person is all freshly showered and suited and dripping with cologne, well you're just putty in their hands, aren't you?" and:
"It's always a mistake to get into any kind of difficult conversation when one's not dressed." Which is exactly what happens to Fiona - quite frequently.
- Perspectives on a Dragon
on Sep. 09, 2013
Three stories telling the same event from different perspectives.
A somewhat violent dragon interferes with life in a fairytale kindgom. The king's three sons are trying to solve the problem. Will the oldest, a master of the sword, win? Or, the middle son, the smartest of the three, or the youngest: weakest, dreamer of dreams, a singer of songs and a teller of tales? To spice up the story there is also a beautiful princess and a treasure.
Tabitha Ormiston-Smith tells the story from three perspectives and every time we find out more. I promise you will be suprised by the solution.
As always, Tabitha Ormiston-Smith, humors us with a mixture out of defty and elegant language. I laughed really hard about the ending. Somehow I could so see it.
Gisela Hausmann, author & blogger
- Women and Sport in India and the World: Examining the History and Suggesting Policy Reforms
on Oct. 11, 2013
"Rarely do I read a book, from which I have learned so much like from Women and Sport in India and the World: Examining the History and Suggesting Policy Reforms by Karmanye Thadani and his two co-authors, Shweta Sharma and Devaditya Chakravarti."
I am embarrassed to say that I never thought about it. I grew up in Austria, where skiing is the National sport #1, and special high schools, secondary schools with special emphasis on athletic training, keep guaranteeing that Austrian skiers keep winning. Now living in the United States, where "sports enjoys a commercial status, value and market", I never thought about the hardships, which female athletes endure in other countries. I also did not know that in the United States the participation of women only grew "after a deliberate legal intervention". Even in the United States Title IX was passed only in 1972, "which states that there could be no sex discrimination in educational programmes. To provide more opportunities for women, the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare brought the Athletics Regulation in 1975 to ensure that women were not denied any opportunity that was available on the playing field."
The book deals with the societal problems when girls cannot engage in sports: their health, their self-esteem, their self-worth suffers; in India, as well as in other countries in the region, women are driven into early marriages, because that's what society expects from them. The book makes an interesting read because Thadani compares these situations with the ones of American female athletes not too long ago. In times of dramatic TV coverage of all major sports event in the US we forget easily, that Julia Archibald Holmes, Helene Madison, and „Babe“ Didrikson had it quite difficult - less than 100 years ago. Karmanye Thandani tells of "patriarchal societies, and myths about sport having an adverse effect on women’s health and/or beauty...", that men want to have women at home, cooking and rearing children.
It was therefore that the UN Division for the Advancement of Women published an official document, which cited various health benefits sports can have for women. While I knew that there were issues with the attire of female athletes (specifically Muslim women) when they competed in worldwide competitions, the problems go much deeper.
The book does a great job to list the problems and achievements of other countries than India: Croatia appointing a woman to coach its men’s football team, the Chance to Shine programme becoming successful in England, Saudi Arabia sending a women’s contingent to the Olympics, and the Afghan Women’s Network (AWN) working to empower Afghan women, which includes encouraging them to participate in sports.
Naturally, most information in his book is about Indian female athletes and some of the information was heartbreaking:
"Another example that can be cited is that of female international level Indian archer Nisha Rani Dutta selling her silver bow, costing Rs.3 to 4 lakh, gifted to her by her Korean coach at Mittal Champions Trust, for a measly Rs. 50,000."
And, about the women's cricket world cup being hosted in India and the media not giving the topic the attention it deserves, especially since cricket is India's top sports. Which makes it even sadder that many Indians would not know that India's women’s cricket team currently ranks 1 in all formats.
The author demonstrates his immense knowledge, his smart suggestions how to improve the situation are build on legal documents and resolutions, e.g. from the United Nations:
“Increasing access for women and girls to physical education and sport helps build confidence and promotes stronger social integration. Involving girls in sport activities alongside boys can help overcome prejudice that often contributes to social vulnerability of women and girls.”
Anyone, who thinks, that this topic does not deserve the highest priority ought to consider that "Spalding Sports introduced the first baseball glove specifically designed for a woman’s hand only in 1996". Indeed, I too was surprised to hear that. Like stated before, I learned a lot from Thadani's book.
Highly recommended to athletes, college students, feminists, law students, and anybody, who wants to create a better world. Thank you, Karmanye Thadani, Shweta Sharma and Devaditya Chakravarti for this excellent and important work.
Gisela Hausmann, author & blogger
- Grammar Without Tears
on Feb. 26, 2014
"Grammar Without Tears" by Tabitha Ormiston-Smith is hilarious. She presents the typical errors every office employee, who knows his/her grammar, sees every day, because even working adults make them. While it may seem ridiculous to discuss when to use and write your/you're or their/there/they're, I know better. During my time in a particular industry I would get at least one email per day, which stated "Your welcome". I would hope many of the people I worked with there will find this gem. Ormiston-Smith has put together an array of short, funny dialogues , which illustrate the differences. They are poignant and easy to remember.
Red Riding Hood & the Wolf:
W: And what kind of goodies have you got in you're basket?
R: Shame on you, you mangy cur. I'll tell you nothing when you ask so rudely.
W: Rudely? What rudely? I only asked what's in you're basket.
R: Yes, but you said `YOU'RE basket'. `YOU'RE' means `YOU ARE', so that's like calling me a basket. (followed by some harmless swearing, which might attract middle school students, as it would indicate that this is not your run-of-the-mill grammar book).
This wonderful gem fills the void, boring schoolbooks cannot fill. Since the book is short students could even learn the dialogue examples by heart. The examples are so cute and funny, that I imagine even the most uninterested student will laugh and learn.
Gisela Hausmann, author & blogger
- Grandfather's Uncle
on Oct. 14, 2014
Philip McQuillan’s short book is not only wonderfully sweet, loving and deeply touching, it also raises a very important question:
“Who among us can remember, much less write even a scrap about the life of our grandfather’s uncle?”
As it so happens my family is struck with longevity; almost everybody, who did not die during the war, lived past their 90th birthday. That means that I personally knew one of my great-grandfathers and one of my great-grandmothers. However, since every able man had to serve during WWII I knew neither one of my grandfathers; both of them died at the Eastern Front, in Russia.
Which makes Philip McQuillan’s point – I know nothing about them! While I have heard some stories, I have no idea how they walked and talked, how they laughed and loved.
McQuillan decided to hinder that his father would become part of such a void; he is keeping his father alive – with a book. A wonderful writer Mc Quillan created a portrait, which lets “Big Philip” (his dad) become a part of every reader’s life:
“…He was a man of simple pleasures who loved reading, cooking and getting in a few rounds of golf or tennis. A swim in the ocean, a game of cards, classical music and great literature—these were a few of his favorite things. It always seemed that whatever he was doing, that was also his favorite thing. I have yet to meet anyone with so few dislikes, so few complaints and such a wonderful acceptance of life just as it is…”
It turns out that Big Philip also loved poetry and quoting famous authors (‘the masters’), he also read and reread them. Big Philip liked to prepare chicken (no dinner was complete without a bird), loved the lighthearted competition of a card game, and most certainly his vegetable garden. (The book includes a picture of Big Philip working the garden.)
As I am listing only these very few facts I am proving the author’s point: I know more about his dad than about my own grandfather.
I like this author’s dad. In particular I like the fact that “Big Philip” used special words to give his life and his perception of the world his flavor:
“… his own inimitable brand of understated humor. That, as you can see, was one of his favorite words. Inimitable—a wonderful word that describes him completely; truly he was one of a kind!...”
Big Philip also liked the word ‘connoisseur’ and to me it is clear that he was a connoisseur of life itself. It must have been the teaching of these special qualities, which made his son, “little Philip”, reach beyond just telling the story. ‘Little Philip’, now author Philip McQuillan, is encouraging his readers to participate and share stories about important people in their lives. I think it a wonderful idea. Grandfathers are supposed to be story tellers. Once their stories are written down they can stay story tellers forever. Seriously hoping that McQuillan can take such a project off the ground. In theory I could even see it as a sort of project for cultural understanding. Who knows what we could learn from grandfathers from different countries. Getting carried away I could even see this as a world-wide project for father’s day.
An awesome idea, Philip, keep on going! You are onto something!
Your book is highly recommended.
Gisela Hausmann, author & blogger