Meet Maretha Botha #RRBCPIF

 

Time has come once again for the members of Rave Reviews Book Club to take a moment and “pay it forward” by spending a day supporting another member, who in turn will support another member, who in turn will… well you get the idea 🙂

I am lucky to have been assigned the talented children’s author Maretha Botha, who has created the wonderful world of Fauna Park.

Who is Maretha?

MarethaAuthor/Illustrator Maretha Botha admits to being addicted to espresso and chocolate, and hiking occasionally on the moors, as well as being a seasonal gardener. In addition, she has written a series of children’s books – Fauna Park Tales. Books 1-3 are available in Kindle as well as black and white paperbacks. To enhance reading pleasure for better readers in her target market, 9-13, she has added some illustrations.

Additionally, she has combined books one and two in a 174-page Colour illustrated Version, should you want to see colour illustrations on the printed page as well.

What has she written?
Maretha has written a series of animal books based in the fictional location called “Fauna Park” where the animals commune together in an attempt to protect and preserve them all. I reviewed the first instalment of this series recently here:  https://dawndelivers.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/flame-and-hope-book-review-rrbc/
It almost made me wish I had a couple of kids to read the book to … almost 😉

FlameHopefauna2fauna3fauna5fauna4

Where can I find her?
Well, like most of us these days, Maretha can be contacted around the web and you can find her at these places:
On her blog:      https://marethabotha2013.wordpress.com/
On twitter:     @MarethMBotha
On Amazon:   https://www.amazon.co.uk/Maretha-Botha/e/B00MOORJAO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

So, now you’ve met Maretha it’s time you got to know her furry friends who live within the pages of her books 🙂

 

This too shall pass

When you think the world is being dragged into hell, when the hate seems to be all that there is and when the terror seems to be never ending we have to remember, this too shall pass.

There is a time for grief; our cities, our countries, our world needs to mourn their senseless losses, but let that grief not be fuelled by hate. Hold on to the hope of better times and of better lives.

 

If they try to stop you singing, then sing louder.

If they try to stop you dancing, then dance longer.

If they try to stop you loving, then love harder.

If they try to end your way of live, then live it all the more.

Never let the hate win, that is the way those who spread the hate will win.

 

Book Review – Page of Buckets

So, not long ago I posted a review of Circus Tarot and said how I would just HAVE to read the sequel. Well I did 🙂

So, the second book in the trilogy is Page of Buckets

Blurb: More Clown mayhem than in the cult movie classic Killer Klowns From Outer PageSpace, Page of Buckets, the second instalment of the Circus Tarot Trilogy, Charles W. Jones takes us back to World Circus. More than six years have passed, and unknown to Mary and Darrin, the Circus Tarot has rebuilt itself, tempting their young daughter, Susie, with the delights inside the cards. They return to World Circus to rescue Susie from the denizens of World Circus to find she is content being a Clown with no desire to leave the enchanting land.

Rating: 4/5

My thoughts:  Set six years after the first book the lives of Mary and Darrin have returned to normal and the horrors of World Circus have become a thing of the past. They have a daughter and life couldn’t be better. However when their daughter, Susie, starts to show an interest in going to the circus her parents can’t help but be fearful. Surely it’s just a normal childhood interest though rather than anything more sinister? Of course not!

Once again Mary and Darrin must venture into the terrifying world, this time to rescue their daughter. The only problem is Susie is having a wonderful time and “clown fun” is harmless… isn’t it?

While this maybe didn’t have the same unexpected impact of the first book I still really enjoyed it and another trip into a crazy, scary world of the characters from Circus Tarot.

And yes… I am looking forward to reading the next one!

 

Book Review – Circus Tarot

My oh my it appears I have another book review for you already – and this time it’s

“Circus Tarot” by Charles W Jones
You can get a copy here

Blurb: 4 Stars “This is not your typical walk in the park horror either! It is a creative twist with one of the most original settings I have seen in a long time!” – Kriss Morton

CircusInspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Stephen King’s IT, and cult movie classic Killer Klowns From Outer Space, Charles W. Jones brings the first instalment of the Circus Tarot Trilogy. In the strange land of World Circus, Mary and Darrin discover they aren’t in their safe, dull life any longer, but have taken the identity of one of the cards from the Circus Tarot. After a terrorizing encounter, resulting in death, they learn the bizarre rules of the land, and discover that the denizens of the sinister World Circus want more than to entertain them.

Rating: 5/5

My thoughts: This begins as a familiar concept – Mr and Mrs Ordinary Folk get pulled into an alternate reality – but that by no way suggests that this is a familiar or uninteresting tale. On the contrary.

When Mary buys an old packet of tarot cards and does a reading for her husband Darrin neither of them have any idea what the consequences will be as they find themselves inside the colourful world the cards portray. Each card in the tarot deck is one circus character or other, Queens and Kings, Knights and Pages, all of the tarot deck are represented – and there is even the clever inclusion of “flipped” cards.

The first challenge the couple have is finding each other, then it’s finding their way out – but even escape wont end their story as there are frightening and binding rules with this deck and World Circus.

This is a really gripping story – it was certainly a “just one more chapter” type of book for me. There are some horror type scenes but these are well written and not over the top, although depending on your tastes they may well make you wince once or twice.

The story develops well and held my interest from the first to last page… I was pleased to see there are more books in this series and I will certainly be reading them… I need to know what happens next!

A great read and thoroughly recommended.

Flame and Hope – Book Review #RRBC

This isn’t a book I would normally choose to read but as I won a copy in the recent RRBC Springtime Book and Blog Party, combined with today’s beautiful sunshine – well it just seemed the perfect combination for a relaxing afternoon read.

So today’s book is:

Flame and Hope: An African Adventure (Fauna Park Tales Book 1) by Maretha Botha
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flame-Hope-African-Adventure-Fauna-ebook/dp/B06XDRQJQX/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1494176672&sr=1-1&keywords=flame+and+hope

Blurb: “Flame and Hope: An African Adventure” is the first book of the series called “Fauna Park Tales” based on “African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends”, a GOLD MEDAL WINNER on Authonomy, supported by HarperCollins. The following is an excerpt from the HarperCollins Children’s Editor Review:

FlameHope“A vivid and engaging world of animal characters . . . the use of cleverly animalised verbs is very creative – Dolly Cat’s ‘whispurr’. The exploration of interrelationships between animals is a very successful topic in the children’s literature genre, and you have created some great personalities – the stubborn goat ‘Plump-Grump’ and the conceited ‘His Handsomeness, King Rat’ being some of my favourites . . .”

Life takes strange turns for Flame, a puppy born in the African desert. Adopted by a free-range cattle farmer, the pup faces the challenge of proving himself to more than one of his new family.

As Flame grows into a strong and brave dog, he finds friendship with many loyal furry and feathered friends who help him to keep The Promise – protecting the helpless ones in Fauna Park, a secret sanctuary within the boundaries of the farm.

One of his feathered friends is Hope, an elusive bird with strange pink eyelids who tells stories about a tall leader and his gang of villainous poachers, ups and downs of life in the bush and Flame’s ingenious plans to banish foes to the Llokodi Hills.

These stories are perfect to be read before bedtime to younger children. Preteens will enjoy escaping into an imaginary world where many bush creatures always have hope that everything ends well when the sun goes down.

Rating: 4/5

My thoughts: This is an adorable animal tale told through the eyes of the animals in question, the central characters being a dog called Flame and a brightly coloured bird, Hope. The animals act in a way that all children would like to imagine, having meetings and talking together – but they are still animals being animals, the author doesn’t try to humanise them in any way.

Flame’s sad history is revealed through Hope’s story telling as the dog brings all of the animals together to make a promise, a promise which will make Fauna Park a haven for all creatures who may need sanctuary.

I can see this being a wonderful bedtime story with younger children being able to follow along with the gentle illustrations and older ones enjoying falling in love with all the different creatures.

A lovely read set it a great animal filled world.

Pinkie and Pow-wow Part Three

Well you can’t ever accuse me of overloading you with too many posts can you 🙂

But it’s a relaxing Sunday afternoon in the middle of a bank holiday weekend – what better time to catch up on the antics of a couple of naughty pups!

In case you missed it Part One is here: https://dawndelivers.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/pinkie-and-pow-wow-the-tale-of-two-playful-pups/  and Part Two is here: https://dawndelivers.wordpress.com/2017/01/22/pinkie-and-pow-wow-part-two/

So now it’s time for…

Part Three

“Pinkie, Pinkie, Pinkie…” Pow-wow’s voice was high pitched as she yapped the white dog’s name over and over, relentless and never taking a break until finally Pinkie relented and opened one eye.

blackpug“What do you want?” Pinkie asked as the small black pug bounced back and forward on the rug at the base of the sofa.

“Come and play, I’m bored.” Pow-wow said with an excited yelp as she jumped in the air before spinning around.

“I’m busy,” Pinkie replied with a deep yawn, her eyes already growing heavy again.

“You’re just sitting in the sun sleeping.”

Pinkie smiled to herself. She knew that before long Pow-wow would grow large enough to be able to clamber up on the sofa and her peace would be shattered, but for now the smaller dog was stuck at ground level and Pinkie could bask in the early afternoon sun which always bathed the back of the sofa in warmth.

“That’s what I do at this time of the day,” Pinkie said, closing her eyes once more.

“What should I do?”

“Whatever you want to, go and explore, just leave me in peace.”

“Explore,” Pow-wow repeated to herself. She could do that. She didn’t need Pinkie by her side all day long, she was a big girl now and she could do this on her own.

Sitting in the centre of the room Pow-wow looked slowly around her. This was the most familiar room to her, it was where she had spent most of her time since Lucy brought her home. There really didn’t seem much there worth exploring. Then something out of the ordinary caught Pow-wow’s attention.

She hadn’t noticed it earlier but one of the doors leading out of the room was every so slightly open. The other woman, the one Pinkie had referred to as “mum” clearly hadn’t pushed it all the way closed after she had brought Pinkie back from walks. She wasn’t sure what walks were but the woman had assured Pow-wow she would be able to join them before too long, after she had had her “jabs.” Jabs didn’t sound like a nice thing but Pinkie seemed to enjoy walks so much that maybe they were worth it.

Padding slowly over to the door Pow-wow scratched gently at its corner, leaping back quickly as the door moved a few inches, just enough for a small dog to wriggle through. The door opened wider as Pow-wow made her way through and into the kitchen.

Pow-wow’s feet slipped a little on the tiled floor until she gained her balance. She liked this room, it always smelled so good, especially when Lucy was in there clattering about with the pots and pans and sometimes dropping a tasty morsel onto the floor, most of which Pinkie snapped up before Pow-wow had even noticed, but that was okay as Lucy would then hold out a little taste for the pup to try.

Now Pow-wow had the kitchen to herself but it didn’t seem quite as interesting. There was nothing bubbling away on the stove and nothing roasting in the oven. There were still tasty smells but they seemed locked away and out of a small dog’s reach.

Pow-wow’s twitching nose led her to the large white door of the strange cupboard looking thing and, as she pressed her flat face against the rubber seal around the door, she caught the scent of many indescribable delights, her little mouth drooling at the smells.

“Pinkie, Pinkie,” she barked.

“Leave me alone!” Came the gruff reply from the other room.

Sitting on the cold tiles Pow-wow raised one paw and slowly scratched at the edge of the large white door, pawing at it over and over until one nail managed to hook onto it and slowly, carefully, it swung open.

Pow-wow sat transfixed for a moment. She had never seen so many treasures, so much to delight her puppy senses. Never had such a small dog been faced with the quantity of food as Pow-wow could see inside the open refrigerator.

“Pinkie,” Pow-wow barked again, “Come and see, come and see what I found!”bichon

The small dog’s barks were so insistent and so excitable that eventually, reluctantly, Pinkie raised herself from her comfortable resting place and jumped down from the sofa, slowly padding into the kitchen to see what all the noise was about.

“Oh!” Pinkie said, her eyes growing wide as she saw what Pow-wow had done.

“What is it?” Pow-wow asked, bouncing up and down in front of the refrigerator her tail wagging so fast it was almost a blur.

“It’s where Lucy keeps all the food,” Pinkie said, her mouth filling with saliva at the aroma of such delicious treats.

“Can we have some?” Pow-wow asked, stepping up close to the refrigerator and sniffing deeply. “Just a little?”

“I don’t think we should,” Pinkie said, taking a few steps closer to the lure of the food.

“Did Lucy said we’re not to?”

Pinkie considered for a moment. At no time had Lucy ever explicitly said they couldn’t have anything out of the fridge, but that wasn’t the same as saying they could.

“Just a taste wouldn’t hurt,” Pow-wow said, her teeth catching onto a sausage that lay curled up on a plate, just too tempting for a pup to resist. As she pulled back the one sausage turned into a string of them, unravelling from the plate and spilling onto the floor.

Pinkie moved forward and took a large bite out of the closest sausage. Now they were already on the floor it seemed pointless not to have a little taste. And it tasted so good that she had quickly devoured two, three and then four.

Pow-wow’s attention returned to the interior of the fridge where she quickly liberated a block of cheese and a carton of yoghurt, which splattered over the floor as it landed,both dogs eagerly lapping up its sweet creamy flavours.

The cheese proved harder to sample, its tough plastic covering refused to budge and after placing several puppy teeth marks across its surface Pow-wow returned to the fridge to find something else to try.

Before long most of the contents of the refrigerator lay scattered on the ground in front of it. Packets torn, cartons and milk bottles split open and several plates which had contained carefully saved leftovers smashed as they hit the floor.

No item of food which the dogs discovered had gone untasted, from a small bite of something which proved unappetising to fully devouring those items whose flavours were too good to resist.

Pow-wow slumped onto the floor and rested her head onto her paws, her belly was so full that it felt twice its normal size and the combination of rich food was beginning to churn within her.

“Pinkie,” she said quietly, her voice containing none of the earlier excitement. “I don’t feel very well.”

Pinkie looked over at her small companion and understood exactly what the little pug was feeling, her own insides were beginning to spin around, like that funny machine Lucy would put her clothes into, round and round and round.

Pinkie lay down on the ground and hoped that the spinning would soon stop. “Me neither,” she said to Pow-wow. “I really don’t think we should have eaten all that.”

The two dogs closed their eyes and felt very sorry for themselves. But it was nothing compared to how sorry they were going to feel a couple of hours later when Lucy got home and discovered the mess.