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Hello, and welcome to Maretha’s spot, part of a child-friendly blog – Fauna Park Tales. What fun we’ve had thus far this month! There are still a few days to go, so come and join me today, the 28th of August. Remember you must be in it to win it. So leave a comment at the bottom of the page, beyond “About Me”.  Links for the other participants’ places are on the RRBC website at:
https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/back-to-school-book-blog-block-party-line-up/

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On today’s stop, you’ve landed in Lancashire, part of the North-West in the United Kingdom, in the vicinity of the Darwen Tower – an octagonal structure also known as the Jubilee Tower, completed in 1898 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. It was opened to the public on September the 24th, 1898. Walking on the moors, climbing a stone spiral staircase, 85 feet up is always worth it. Vistas as far as Morecambe Bay and an accompanying stiff breeze, clear one’s mind and fire lots of inspiration for new adventures, already part of my new Works in Progress. Here I am at the top of Darwen tower, proud to have walked the steep uphill and climbed the stairs for the second time this season.  Unfortunately my smile is rather frozen as if I’ve had a Botox injection, but my mind is already in overdrive, full of new stories.

PRIZES I’M GIVING AWAY  TODAY!!

NINE black-and-white illustrated paperbacks of the first three books of FAUNA PARK TALES with subtitle,  An African Adventure, to three fortunate visitors! And who knows, if you pop in at my Amazon Author Page, you might be able to download the eBooks which are on a KDP-Select special as well!  So spread the news and make a children’s author happy by posting a short positive review on Amazon. Thank you!

An update on the prize winners!

Each of these awesome RAVE REVIEWS CLUB MEMBERS received black-and-white paperback copies of the first three books of Fauna Park Tales.  I hope they enjoy the stories, which I believe often take us back to our childhood and reliving memories of the  “inner-child”.  Happy reading!

1. Member:  Karen Ingalls
Website:  http://www.kareningallsbooks.com/
Twitter:  @KIngallsAuthor

2. Member:  Yvette Calleiro

Twitter:  @YvetteMCalleiro

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/YvetteMCalleiro

3. Member:  Jenny Hinsman

Twitter:  @JennyHinsman1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Maretha-Botha/e/B00MOORJAO/

Flame and Hope: An African Adventure sets the scene for Fauna Park Tales – the Series, which was conceived while we lived on the outskirts of a game reserve in Mmokolodi, Botswana. The series is based on the original “African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends”, a GOLD MEDAL WINNER on Authonomy, supported by HarperCollins.

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The series strives to bridge the gap between Early Readers and Middle Grade (ages 9-13) and has illustrations, not only to enhance reading pleasure for better readers, but to serve as memory aids for younger readers throughout the series. Please bear this in mind when reading the introductory chapters of this first book to younger listeners and readers.

These chapters deal with family life’s losses and gains, adoption, finding true worth and true friends, as experienced by a young pup born in a semi-desert. This special place somewhere in Southern Africa is called the Kalughari by the bush creatures. Events during this time provide an emotional arch for this young dog and his furry and feathered friends’ behaviour throughout the series, progressively amplifying the plot by means of short stand-alone stories. This format provides ideal opportunities for younger readers to either read shorter stories by themselves, or have a family member read a bed-time story to them. Teachers often use these short stories during reading sessions. *

Not many humans speak Faunalang – the bush creatures’ own peculiar language – a sought-after talent which bad ones want to use, and Flame and his furry and feathered friends will protect, without regard for their own safety. There are memorable characters – an elusive bird with pink eyelids and two martial eagles; two rats – one good, one bad; a stubborn goat who shows forcefully that ‘a promise is a promise’ and  the good humans – the James family, Chief Monametsi and the Molodi villagers, as well as bad ones such as Tall Leader, and his band of poachers and cattle thieves.

Puppy Flame in the Desert

The young pup finds himself alone in the Kalughari, but he courageously chants the bush creatures’ first motto:

‘HOPE REMAINS ALIVE AND KEEPS OUR FEARS AT BAY.

‘LET’S KEEP OUR HOPE ALIVE THROUGHOUT EACH NIGHT AND DAY!

‘FINDING HOPE WILL LEAD THE WAY!’

*Here is a comment from an older reader and retired school teacher who posted a review as ‘Dragon’5.0 out of 5 stars  I don’t like anthropomorphic stories  August 2016 Format: Paperback

“Maretha sent me Flame and Hope & Friends and asked me to comment. Oh dear! I don’t like anthropomorphic stories. I need not have worried, these stories are charming and the animals have the characteristics of animals and don’t behave like little people – not a pinny or waistcoat in sight. A moral message gets across subtly with no preachiness. I think younger children will enjoy having these stories read to them, and grown ups will enjoy reading them. Older children will be able to read for themselves and will enjoy the made up words such as Humanlang and Faunalang. They will also learn something about Africa.”
Book  One: After a serious event affects him and his family in the desert, a young scrawny desert pup – Flame – is adopted by a free-range cattle farmer who lives in the Molodi valley, where he is known among the good humans as Jack Old Boy.  There Flame grows into a strong working dog. No longer a skinny or scared pup, he and a few of his new friends on the farm are on a quest – The Promise – to protect and care for helpless creatures, just as Flame’s first mistress in the Kalughari taught him. Unexpectedly, a young martial eagle comes hunting  in Fauna Park.  No one knows where he comes from and when he finally kleeous defiantly, he does so in French! After grappling with him, Flame takes him to a safe hunting territory beyond the Llokodi Hills.  Only time will tell whether this young martial eagle will become a friend or remain a foe.
Mars and Flame's Grapple

Flame aka Jack Old Boy (3)

Book Two: When duty calls unexpectedly, Flame risks his life to save a vulnerable young zebra trapped by fearsome fires. A former foe becomes a friend, but during this particular rescue, Flame becomes very ill. Humans, as well as furry and feathered friends surround him with love and care. During this time, Hope finally tells him who he really is and where he comes from. Meanwhile, the chickens feed him two newly laid eggs every morning and the cats take over as his nurse aids. How all this care ends, especially when the good humans begin digging a hole in the ground when it seems as if nothing can save our hero from ‘new moaning‘, provides interesting reading and often hilarious moments.

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In this illustration, Flame and a young zebra foal are trapped, first by fires and then in a thunderstorm which quickly floods the area.  A lone martial eagle circles above them, sounding warnings.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Friends-African-Adventure-Fauna-Tales-ebook/dp/B00Y2WS82E/ and paperback at: https://www.createspace.com/5515932/

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Book Three: Bad humans are disturbing the peace in the Molodi valley, and two small orphans are in danger. One of them speaks Faunalang – a rare and wonderful talent – something which the bad ones want at all cost, but Flame and his furry and feathered friends stick to The Promise. Young and old will enjoy reading about their latest thrilling adventures, when Molodi’s bush creatures meet friends and foes in their quest to protect helpless ones in Fauna Park. Plump-Grump, the stubborn goat, and his harem do their bit, but what will happen at the farm while Flame and his friends are on a dangerous mission? His Handsomeness, King Rat returns, but is he a friend or a foe? In this illustration, a bull frog who calls himself Fee-Far-Fun, overhears a chat between a greedy rat and a common mynah while they’re causing mischief in Fauna Park.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Orphans-Plight-African-Adventure-Fauna-ebook/dp/B01CO4LXLE/  and paperback at https://www.createspace.com/6131789

Should you have a few moments to browse longer, read this post about why  Children’s Indie Authors are grateful to receive reviews.

https://wordpress.com/post/marethabotha2013.com/655

You may want to visit Fauna Park Tales at their Facebook page.  Please like our page and leave us a link to yours at the same time. Thank you!

https://www.facebook.com/flameandhope.co.uk

Here are other links for you to click on should you wish to follow and/or comment.

https://marethmbotha.wordpress.com/ and https://twitter.com/MarethMBotha

Thank you so much for stopping by.  We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the lives of the furry and feathered friends, as well as the humans who share this part of Southern Africa with them.

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