Magical Stripey Beasts

Magical Stripey Beasties feature in the fairy storybook “The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen”.

Ivy Lion uses their hair in her paintbrushes and in return she touches up their stripes when they start looking a little tatty. However, Ivy is not fond of this job because these beasties are a tad smelly (especially to a teeny fairy) and they tend to flick her with their tails every now and then too – mistaking her for a fly!

I guess it does not take too much imagination to realize that these MSBs are the gorgeous zebra that roam freely around Faerie Glen.

Did you know that the stripe patterns on each and every zebra are totally unique (a bit like a finger print) and that this is how zebra foals recognize their mothers.

Sometimes the zebs hang out in places where it is really easy to see them and other times they are completely elusive. Often we spot them from the top of the hill, but by the time we get down again they have moved on. I have yet to take a decent photo of them. Usually they blend into the bush so well you can barely see them and you land up with a picture of an extremely well camouflaged creature.

These fabulous photos were taken by a gentleman who regularly walks in the nature reserve – Martinus (Tienie) Cronje. Thanks very much for sharing them with us.

A portion of the proceeds of all the book sales (both printed copies and eBooks) will be donated to the Friends of Faerie Glen Nature Reserve. They are in desperate need of funds to maintain and upgrade the boundary fence that keeps these magnificent animals enclosed. The thought of one of them landing up on a major highway is too terrible to contemplate and we’d like to help as much as we can.

Here’s the question…

Are these magical beasties white with black stripes or…
Are they black with white stripes?

Makes you think doesn’t it!

FYI – The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen eBook will be on sale from the 26th December to the 1st January 2018 – and will only cost R$1.50 instead of the usual $2.99.  If you want a real book – feel free to order one here.

Birthday Blog for Lovely Lisa

In our book, The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen, there is a character called Winona Wurm. She is the soft-hearted, kick-ass fairy in the Glen who loves animals and looks after them when they need some TLC. She’s also a tad strange because she really loves her naughty little worms.

Because Lisa is the lady who gives the animal science lectures and is pretty soft-hearted and extremely kick-ass herself, we decided to model Winona Wurm after our gorgeous friend.

Don’t you think this drawing Igz (illustrator of our book) did does Lisa justice? From the long flowing locks, to the cropped top, right down to those trendy boots – or snugs as they are known in the Glen.

Dynamite definitely does come in small packages!

Lisa has been involved with the Imaginaeries ever since I first asked her to read the story and give some honest feedback – long before the eBook was published.

I guess she liked the book because her comment after reading was… “Ginny! I’m almost done with your book! Can I please be your PR lady for it? It’s that good! I’m willing to put my neck on the line for it” 

Hells yeah!  And what a seriously classy PR lady to have on our Imaginaeries team.

Well my friend, this is for you – immortalized in the Imaginaeries!

Have a fabulous birthday and may the coming sun-circle lavish upon you only good, happy and magical things.

Lots of love,

Ginny, Igz and all the Imaginaeries in the Glen (especially the worms!)

xxxx

 

Marigold… the sunshine-flavoured fairy.

By now you all know that my daughter Igz is illustrating the print version of The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen!

When I say illustrating, I mean little sketches – what we really want is for you to use your imagination and magic up your own version of the fairies.

Slowly but surely this really is happening. Really… it is. Or it had better be.

She brings them to me one by one. Usually I have to beg for the latest masterpiece.

Unless it is a Sunday morning and then she’s hovering around outside our bedroom window, sending whats apps with beggy hands saying “When OH WHEN are you getting up you lazy baggage!!???”.

(In case you are wondering, Igz lives in a flatlet on the property – she has keys to the house, obviously, and sometimes leaves little illustrated presents for me on my laptop.)

We are breaking the mold of fairies. There are no cute little fluffy dresses and sparkly bows. Instead, the Imaginaeries roam quietly around the Glen in spotted sneekers and comfy snugs. They wear trendy leggings and jeans with little cropped tops. They have wing-piercings, tattoos and all sorts of other fabulously jazzy stuff. They are free-spirited and outspoken.

Judge for yourself…

This is the final version of Marigold.

 

Picky 11 year old gives Imaginaeries 3.5 out of 5!

Drawing by Chloe Hwang

I’m Chloe Hwang. Gail is my Mom’s friend and she told me about the book and sent me the email.

I am eleven years old and soon going to 6th grade. I am really passionate about reading books, especially adventure and fantasy genres.

When you started the book you used  an onomatopoeia, which was good because I think if you have a good “hook” in the beginning of the book the reader will be more interested in the story.

Next, you introduced the reader to Bradley Beetle and Marigold who lived in Glen. I loved how in each chapter there was a story from a different person’s point of view. I’m not sure if an Imaginaerie  is a bug, small creature, animal, or a human being, but I imagined that most of them are humans.

Even though your book did not have a lot of adventure it was still interesting. I thought that was one of your strong points because most authors need a part in the book when the main character swoops in and saves the princess or when a character swims in a river of crocodiles. But you didn’t have to do that you just used your characters and build some problems, that’s what makes your book unique.

In my opinion I think it was a little difficult remembering all the characters. In the middle of reading I sometimes have to stop and think of which character is which. Gogo Gaia, Madame Shews, Mister Grumpy Pants, Monsieur, Winona Worm, Pete The Publisher, and Granny Catty all stood out because they were all so different which was really interesting.

I think Marigold, Bella Dew, Ivy Lion, and Mor-a-Bella were sort of all the same. I felt like they were hardest to remember. I kept on thinking ,”which one lived on the farm and was a bumpkin again?” Or ,”Is it Marigold who wanted their flying license or was it Ivy Lion?

So I went back in the book and found out who was who but I wish I could remember the characters instead of going back into the book all the time.

With all that said I give your book The Imaginaeries a 3 and a half star rating out of 5 stars. Don’t feel bad though because I’m a picky reader and having a 3 and a half star book is pretty good!

I really recommend kids to read this book because it has some life lessons in it.

The only tips I have for you is to maybe put some excitement in it, or maybe make the characters a little more different from each other. Oh, and you should explain what an Imaginaerie is because I’m still not sure what one looks like. I think the most important thing you should do to change your book is explain. I know I know explaining is a little hard to do in a book because you got to let the reader know what is what in a way that doesn’t bore the reader. If you did some good explaining the reader will be able to understand and process the book more easily. You should explain the Beetle Boys or what an Imaginaeries look like.

Bella Dew by Chloe

Over all, I think you are extremely talented because I know it’s not easy to write a book. Thank you for letting me critique your book I really enjoyed writing about all your strong points in your book.

I’m so lucky that I’m able to read before it comes out in paper. If we ever meet and I have a copy of The Imaginaeries will you please sign it for me?

Sincerely,

Chloe Hwang

Anyone for Dandelion Tea?

In the “Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen”, dandelion tea gets mentioned quite often. Whilst this is obviously just part of the story, in reality dandelion tea is really incredibly healthy.

According to Tom Linden’s blog …

“Dandelion root coffee is actually a tea made from the roasted roots of dandelion plants (Taraxacum officinale).

It is commonly referred to as “coffee” because it brews into a dark-coloured liquid that appears much like coffee. However, it does not contain caffeine and is not related to the coffee plant.

The taste of dandelion coffee has been compared to a combination of real coffee, chocolate and caramel. Some people say it has a bitter taste, but this can be improved by adding natural sweeteners.

Dandelion coffee is sometimes used for weight loss, as a diuretic or laxative and as a digestive aid.”

Read Tom’s blog Dandelion Root Coffee to find out how exactly to make dandelion tea and to see what other health benefits it has.

It’s actually awesome stuff.

 

Review from a self-professed fairy tale expert – Liza Martz

Hello dear,

I am SO sorry it’s taken me this long to respond. I kept waiting for a time when my life was uninterrupted and today was it. And I’m so glad I waited so I could read the whole thing in one fell swoop. The proof of what a good story is, my doggies were requesting many outside and inside trips and I was getting irritated that they were interrupting my reading.

The Glen is such a wonderfully magical place. And the various characters have such distinct personalities that make each of them individual. The writing is simply the best. As  you know I am a big fan of magical places in stories and you have nailed it, my dear, and brought the Faerie Glen alive.

Your style reminds me of two of my all time favorites, E. Nesbit and Eva Ibbotson. I can read their stuff over and over and it always sweeps me away. And The Faerie Glen is in that same league.

Now, I do have to admit to being puzzled at the end when the Beatles Boys show up. I had gotten the impression they were kind of tough guy thugs and that their return would not be cause for celebration. But I couldn’t tell if they were welcome or if everyone had a feeling of, “Oh no, here they come and wreck everything.”

BTW, I am in love with the worms. They are hilarious little pranksters and totally crack me up!!!! Mr. Grumpy Pants reminds me of my maternal grandfather except he would never have come around to seeing things any other way but his own. I’m glad Mr. G. got to test out the new fangled stuff and see the benefits.

I can go on for days about how lovely this is, it is just wonderful. I’m sorry to gush but it is needed here. Thank you so much for allowing me to read it. And I sure hope it gets published by a major publisher, Peter the Publisher????, haha! and I can buy my own hard copy here in the USofA!

Very nicely done!!!  xoxoxoxoxo

Liza Martz


Liza lives in the USA – and it was great to see that she enjoyed the book – South Africanisms and all!  Thanks for such fabulous feedback my friend.

Feedback from Toni Henning

We’ve been sharing The Imaginaeries with various people who have indicated an interest in “test-driving” the manuscript and so far the feedback has been rather awesome.

Below is from a new friend of mine – a lady who I have never met – but hooked up with on Niume, after I read her blogs and realised she was a bit of a kindred spirit and fellow scribbler.

Toni Henning has her own marketing business – see details below!

Thank very much for your positive feedback (and pointing out some of the glitches) Toni.

Where do I begin? 
At the beginning I guess.
You had me hooked at Imaginaeries! I love the name! 

I love the South Africanisms – the guinea fowl taxis (I had a good laugh!), PESCOM (so glad they got there comeuppance and the worms shone thru), the simba chips packet, the indigenous and alien plants, the loeries saying go away – all fantastic! And the expressions like ‘beastiepoop’… so funny. The interwebs and flutterbytes – so clever! 
Really everything is quite brilliantly written.
Otherwise it’s a very cute story and all your characters come together really nicely at the end. 
Kids (and grown-ups) … but more importantly kids … are gonna love your humour and your amusing character descriptions. 
Thank you for letting me read your book. I trust the feedback is relevant.
Looking forward to hearing the news of it being published and becoming a top seller! 

 

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Seasons

The seasons really do change in Faerie Glen.

Summer in the Glen is magical! It’s lush and green with vines rambling all over the place, dripping assorted flowers. Admittedly, some of the flowers are aliens and not really great to have there, but they still add to the visual charm.

Touched by magic.

Masses of bright orangey-red zinnia-type flowers march along the pathways, along with the delicate (almost translucent when the sun shines behind them) morning glory with their white, pink and purple hues – just like perfect faerie gowns. Thorn trees are green and the thorns are white and pliant. Lantana (vile stuff actually but very pretty to look at) twines itself around branches and bushes in vivid hues of yellows, pinks and orange.

The magical beasties are hard to spot in all the growth and the spruit flows freely. It’s not really possible to cross in more than a few places without getting wet. Sometimes the water dashes down in a torrent and even washes the bridge away.

Once the rains recede it starts to get a little drier.

The green fades to olive-brown. There are still the odd flowers but it’s nothing like summer. It all looks a little faded – as though Ivy Lion has packed her bags and flown off on holiday.  Yet the Traveller’s Joy emerges and is fabulously delicate, draped around the place like fluffy old shawls, glinting in the sunlight.

Winter sees the Glen getting all dry and crispy.

This has a special charm all of its own.

The green has totally gone in most places and you can peer into spots and hidey holes that are totally hidden in the summer. Branches are stark and bare and the birds that perch on them are clearly outlined. You can see the Loeries shouting at each other (or maybe it’s the hikers they are shouting at) to “Go-away”.

The thorn bushes and trees are a little more vicious and tend to clutch and snag if you give them half a chance. The Traveller’s Joy has turned a silvery white colour and still glints magnificently in the sunshine but you can see it is a little passed its sell-by date.

In-between the dry crackly bits, the gentle pink and green aloes soften the harsh landscape, adding bursts of pastel colour to the sepia tones.

The beasties are much easier to spot and you can play Tarzan by holding onto willow branches and leap across the river without getting even vaguely wet.

It’s hard to believe at this stage that anything will ever be lush and green again.

But once the rains come, the water works its magic and the cycle starts all over again.

Impatience vs Imaginaeries!

Have to say – I am dying here!

Most writers are such insecure little weasels and I am no exception.

Impatience is my middle name and I have to suck it up and be as patient as possible waiting for feedback from everybody who volunteered themselves and their kids to test drive “The Imaginaeries” for us and give feedback.

Totally understand that people are busy and that this is not like my other books that are a quick read. I mean its 90 whole pages for goodness sake! A novelette.

I’ve had a few great comments back from adults but am now busting to hear what the kids have to say.


“I’ve read it folks and is spontaneous, ingenious, captivating . Big hats off to Ms Stone. Suitable for all ages with a penchant for things faerieistic.”  – Peter Sanderson

“My current favourite read! Can’t wait to hold a hard copy in my hands! Signed of course.” – Lisa Chella (Lisa was the first person I sent the book to read and she wants to be our marketing lady so she must like it!)

“I really, really loved the stories. They reminded me of the Enid Blyton I used to read, but somehow friendlier! So, THANK YOU, for letting me have an early look at them.” – Jaynie Padayachee (Jaynes kindly edited the first draft for me too.)


My family think it’s really funny – this me having to wait thing. They are of the opinion that as soon as I think of something I’ve already done it. So they reckon this is a good life lesson for me. Meanies!

Stay tuned