About The Author


About the Author

Aba and Shamana is my first full length novel. I have used a liberal amount of creative license to construct the story and I do hope readers will enjoy it for what it is, ultimately a story about love and friendship between a young girl and her unusual pet donkey. The story also highlights the importance of family.

I live with my two cats and 13 year old pup in a northern suburb in Perth, Western Australia.

I am a mother of four beautiful grown children and a very proud grandmother.

I am a recent recipient of an MBA scholarship through Edinburgh Business School the Graduate School of Business for Heriot –Watt University based in Edinburgh and am keenly working through my studies.

In my spare time I have plans for a sequel to Aba and Shamana.

Readers are welcome to email me with any queries or feedback at: freedomspiritgreetings@gmail.com

I will endeavour to respond as time permits.

Thank you

Cynthia L. Floriani


In loving memory of

Adriana, Dante, (baby John-Anthony)

With all my love to my children (you are my treasures),

Christopher, Melissa, Nadia, Luke


Christina and Michael


Thank you to the Artist:

Vivienne O’Neill

A copy of Vivienne’s original oil painting that depicts her impression of the book’s main characters, Aba and Shamana, features on the front cover. Vivienne has very skilfully managed to capture their beautiful essence.

A special mention goes out to family, including those no longer with us and friends. My heartfelt thanks to you all for your love and support over the years.

Benn Van Elburg, Shaun Preston together with Matea and Liliana Nonni Materni: Maria Teresa e Antonio Finotti; Nonni Paterni: Licia e Giovanni Floreani The other twin, Zia Franca Finotti; Stepfather, Nello Farinelli Zia Esterina, Zia Maria, Zio Tony, Zia Nini, Zia Giovanna, Zio Amerigo, Zia Bice, Zia Nefer Zio Gigi, Zio Renzo, Zia Aldina, Zio Tete, Zio Sante, Zia Gloria, Zia Rosina, Zia Edda Godparents, Edda Fanchetti and Michele Fanchetti Extended Family clans: Finotti/Pasin/Bersani/Biagiotti/Calanca/Cafaggi/Conti/Miconi/Marafiotti/Tiengo Daniela Miconi, Chiara Bersani, Alessandro Calanca, Gianna Pilotto, Stefania Settecieli Clarise Brown, Tanith Mueller, Tom Cullen Lauri and Robert Valli, Lina and Robert Coe, Sheryl and Graeme Lange, Heather Daniels, Antonella Gibson, Debbie Kotaridis.


The Purpose of this Book

The idea to create Aba the mammoth donkey first came to me after I had come across a series of photos of donkeys which had suffered from mistreatment and malnutrition at the hands of cruel owners. Some donkeys were so small they could never defend themselves against the ill treatment they received. These hard working creatures were often neglected and tortured.

They would be tied with wire instead of the proper equipment to pull carts too heavy for their tiny bodies. The donkeys would tolerate beatings with pipes, sticks, whips whatever was available to get them to keep on moving and working. Some of the donkeys in the photographs were terribly emaciated and many would not survive. When they became too old or sick to go on they would be abandoned and left to fend for themselves. In Christian history the humble donkey was the animal which carried Mary safely so she could deliver Jesus. It had also been the animal of choice to carry Jesus on the day of Palms. The donkey has somehow managed to devolve instead of being revered for its place in history. Yet despite the harsh treatment meted out, the donkey remains a humble creature, living a life of servitude, endurance and tenacity. This led me to research information on the various breeds and discovered Mammoth donkeys which can grow to very large sizes. The largest presently stands at eight feet (2.4m) and is known as an American Mammoth Jackstock. They can live up to forty years. So while considering the donkey’s plight I imagined creating a character for my novel that would not be easily manipulated, had almost humanlike traits, an evolved intuition and supernatural strength. Aba sprang to life as the book’s central character. Aba’s name means father so I instilled a new dimension to Aba’s character and referred to him as the father of all donkeys. Aba would become the humble donkey’s champion. Through his story his descendants including the humble donkey would always be led to safety. In Aba, a hero was created. This book was written to draw attention to the donkey’s plight in the hope that it draws the interest of my readers to help support in any way the charities that are working toward long term improvement of donkeys’ welfare issues around the globe. Through my book I look forward to the donkey receiving more attention and respect. Ultimately, I would love that this book about the donkeys’ champion Aba, brings joy to children and adults all around the globe.

Author’s Note

 In any way that I can I lend my support to causes which involve the voiceless, homeless and the socially disadvantaged. Over a period of time I have developed a personal project which I have named, Survival Backpacks. I fill these with essential items such as meal replacement bars, toiletries, sleeping bags and also include small tents for shelter for those less fortunate so that they may have a sense of being cared for and belonging.

When I make each backpack up I carefully consider what I put into each one and find that each pack becomes as individual as the person who will eventually receive it. I am of the belief that when a person feels cared for and loved it gives them something to hold on to. It offers them a sense of hope. So, I ensure to include in each pack a handwritten note to convey to them to have faith and to maintain hope for the future. I feel hope offers a reprieve from pessimism and introduces opportunity. West Australian Red Cross Soup Patrol supports the Survival Backpacks and distributes them to those most in need. Finally, I draw similarities between Aba’s story and those less fortunate. The character Aba shows how to rise up above life’s challenges, to never give up in the face of adversity and sustain the belief that it is possible to emerge victorious. Aba shows by following your heart you can find your way home!

Should readers want to know more about the Survival Backpacks please email: freedomspiritgreetings@gmail.com

Part proceeds from the sale of this book will go toward providing more Survival Backpacks which will be donated to, Australian Red Cross for distribution.

Cynthia L. Floriani

Supported Charity

red crossRed Cross Australia



donkeysanctuaryThe Donkey Sanctuary




WSPA Animal Rescuewspa

World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)

For information about working equines:


For general information about WSPA’s work:


Useful Links

Links to author’s sites:









Lina Coe Photography – linacoephotography@gmail.com

Aba and Shamana – original musical score created by Tal Ornan Music: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXH6oXYtUoczvy4U1vX1d3Q

Sketch artist name: Phu Thieu: http://phumac.deviantart.com/gallery/