#RRBC SPRINGTIME BOOK & BLOG PARTY

RRBC Badges (2) SPRINGTIME BLOG PARTYA warm welcome  from a cold and grey North-West, Lancashire, United Kingdom on Saturday 22nd April! (I did the draft on the 21st, so please don’t think you have the wrong day, and for some reason unknown to me, the date didn’t change after midnight). I hope you all want to be a winner today, because if you don’t own the first three eBooks in the Fauna Park Tales Series yet, you may want to download all three during the course of this weekend.  The preview and free download links are at the end of this post. And speaking of links, here is the link for other hosts of the SPRINGTIME BOOK & BLOG PARTY  for the next few days. Please copy and paste into your browser.

https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/rrbc-2017-springtime-book-blog-block-party/

Don’t forget to leave a short comment to be considered for the extra three prizes I have for today, namely: 2 black-and-white signed paperbacks (Books 1 and 2), for two winners living in the United Kingdom; and should you be a winner living anywhere else, you may choose one paperback from books 1,2 or 3, which I’ll gift to you via CreateSpace or Amazon.

As far as receiving constant reviews for any of my books goes, I’ve not had much success, even though I had a number of downloads along the way since the first book was published in August 2014, and the books reached the Bestseller list in their respective categories on a number of occasions.

Therefore, most children’s authors experience this rude awakening: getting reviews for children’s books is well nigh impossible.  From time to time, I feel and look like these two furry friends . . .

Image result for free stock images of a dog and cat sad face

So, I’m trying something different and certainly would like to hear what you think. I have book 4 on PREORDER for the next three months, which should give anyone interested enough time to read and review at least one of the earlier books, and bring you up to speed with the plot which runs throughout the series. Despite a continuous plot, there are stand-alone stories which can be read to younger listeners such as the exploits of His Handsomeness, King Rat and stubborn goat, Plump-Grump.

Just by way of reminder. The combined word count for all four books is approximately 80,000 words – considering that most of us read more than that in a week. Unfortunately, children’s authors need parents, teachers or carers to post reviews on behalf of their children.

Book Blurb 

“Life continues to take strange turns for Flame, a working dog on a free-range cattle farm. He and three of his furry friends follow the trail of Tall Leader and his gang into the desert after they kidnapped their beloved orphans and stole all the villagers’ cattle. There, they face many dangers, despite the help of their feathered friends, a martial eagle and female eagle owl. Jumping off a moving train, getting lost in the desert without food and water, as well as enduring the taunts of persistent vultures, make their rescue mission even more challenging. However, good humans also pursue these enemies, trying to cut off their escape by approaching the last waterhole nearest the Tukani River from two different directions.
The furry and feathered friends, as well as the good humans have ingenious ways to survive in the desert while they stay in hot pursuit of their enemies. Ostrich eggs and buried roots, a helpful gripe of sandgrouse and a few cheeky meerkats are some friends who provide help along the way. Meanwhile Tall Leader is confident that his tactics and decoys fooled everyone and that nothing can stop his plans to cross the border undetected.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Maretha+Botha&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Maretha+Botha&sort=relevancerank#

PLEASE NOTE: The preview is not available on pre-order books, but click on the link above to take you to the book page.

Book Description

Trail One: Cattle thieves and their hostages are confident that their venture will succeed and make them very rich;

Trail Two: Flame, and his furry and feathered friends are determined that Tall Leader and his gang of cattle thieves will not succeed to cross the border. So, they intend to find their small hostages and drive the stolen cattle back to Molodi. They are in hot pursuit of their enemies, despite experiencing hunger and thirst;
Trail Three: An elderly tracker and his companion take a risky short-cut, starting on the other side of the Llokodi Hills, traversing a Salt Lake, grasslands, treacherous dunes and rocky spaces. They keep going non-stop, using knowledge of the harsh environment to survive, because failure is no option. The elderly tracker also has a familial interest in the small hostages’ welfare;
Trail Four: Chief Monametsi, John James and their party, are at least twenty-four hours behind their quarry and have no idea that Flame and his friends are ahead of them. Their sole hope lies in the fact that those on Trail Three reach Tall Leader in time to thwart his plans.

These illustrated adventure stories will provide endless hours of reading pleasure to better readers who also enjoy seeing some illustrations of the characters, increasing overall reading pleasure. Book Three and Four should ideally be read in sequence and are most suited to readers 9-13.”

Flame_and_Hope_Cover_for_Kindle

Book 1 – The hero and his furry and feathered friends are still young, so younger listeners will also enjoy hearing Plump-Grump the stubborn goat and conceited, His Handsomeness, King Rat’s stories read to them. Better readers from nine years up, will be able to read for themselves and be aided by the illustrations to have greater reading enjoyment.

      Flame aka Jack Old Boy (3)Book 2 – The hero has learned much and in this book he and his friends stick together when their beloved Fauna Park is threatened by bush fires.  The elusive narrator with unusual pink eyelids who perches in the highest acacia finally reveals his secret. The animals and birds begin to realise how important the good humans’ support is, especially when a further secret helps them discover the identity of someone who can communicate with them in their own language, Faunalang.

https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/embed?asin=B00Y2WS82E&preview/

Kindle Cover (1)

Book 3 – The young orphans are in danger and the furry and feathered friends make plans to find them and Molodi’s stolen cattle.  Again friends and foes make life difficult, especially when an old foe, His Handsomeness, King Rat, appears while Flame and his friends are away from the farm.

Thank you so much for your interest.  We here at Fauna Park appreciate your support very much.  Please don’t forget to COMMENT/FOLLOW our blog too!

I want to say CONGRATULATIONS ! to the following winners on my blog stop.

DAILY GIVEAWAYS:

(2) e-book vouchers for “FAUNA PARK TALES” BEEM WEEKS – received a MOBI file of Flame and Hope: An African Adventure and PAT FURSTENBERG, South African Children’s author – downloaded Flame and Hope: An African Adventure and left a review for it – which I received with thanks at: https://www.amazon.com/gp/review/R2WW3UETDVV78W?ref_=glimp_1rv_cl

 (This person is not an RRBC Member but her email address may have been captured on my site when she left her comment).

(3) Signed B&W paperback copies of FAUNA PARK TALES. I’ve dispatched a B&W signed copy of Flame and Hope on Saturday, 13th May, but while the three prizewinners had to wait for their physical prizes, I emailed a MOBI file to each of them one who did not have an opportunity to download a free copy during my blog tour

  •  LINDA MIMS – Flame and Hope: An African Adventure book 1
  •   RON YATES – Flame and Hope: An African Adventure book 1
  •   FLOSSIE BENTON ROGERS – Friends: An African Adventure book 2
  •   D. E. HOWARD (1) Color-version paperback of FAUNA PARK TALES – not yet received, but I sent Dawn a MOBI of Flame and Hope: An African Adventure in the meantime.  She has kindly left a review already. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XDRQJQX/ref=pdp_new_dp_review Thanks so much.
  •  Mary L. Schmidt 1xSet of three illustrations S. JACKSON – despatched colour print on Saturday the 6th of May.

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99 responses to “#RRBC SPRINGTIME BOOK & BLOG PARTY

  1. Hi, Maretha! Do you know, I had never considered how difficult it must be to garner reviews for ‘Children’s Books’ in these age brackets. We all need reviews, and actively seek them, but this genre must be so much more difficult given the age of those either reading or being read to. You would have already contacted school Librarians that carry your books, this is quite an additional problem that we who write for adults (Thankfully) don’t have to deal with. I’m putting my thinking cap on… (which can be dangerous) 😊If I put these on my TBR it will be far too long before I can get to them. I’ll reblogg this tomorrow when my tour day closes. Hugs, my friend. I’ll let you know if I come up with anything that may help get the word out there.❤️️ Soooz.

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    • Thanks so much, Suzanne! I’ve been to a few schools where I’ve been allowed to read to the pupils who loved Flame and his friends, as did the teachers. ( I always get inside info from my grandchildren, who tells me their teachers read to them from my books during the day). Yet only one teacher responded and she is now retired. She went to see the school near her on behalf of my books, but so far no further news, but I do appreciate your interest so much, thank you! Hope you feel even better today!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just a thought off the top of my old head, but have you considered a mail out to the Libraries in your home state? I’m not certain it would be cost effective. Have you put an Authors Note in your books mentioning that Adults who read your work to children might like to offer a review? Sorry, I haven’t come up with anything cohesive yet, but I’m sure going to put some thought into it. 😊

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      • Honey send me a DM on Twitter please, if you haven’t heard back from me by Wednesday. I have daily Hospital visits next week, but they should not be of long duration. (((HUGS))) 😊

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      • Hi Suzanne, I see KDP Select has not activated the FREE DOWNLOAD. Please check back later in the day should you wish to download any of the first books. You will notice that I’ve re-released book 1- hopefully with good improvements. X

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  2. Pingback: #RRBC SPRINGTIME BOOK & BLOG PARTY | Grandma Midnight Book Reviews - Sassy and Outspoken·

    • Thanks so much for your support and for your wonderful review of book three. I was thrilled to read it and your comments about the artwork – basically confirms what one of my grandchildren said: “Don’t change Flame’s pictures, putting lines around everything – just paint it like you paint it.” (I tried making the images clearer for black and white painting, but now I’ve just tried other techniques – am learning a lot of new stuff in my old age! Enjoy your weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Maretha! 😀 My favourite grand-niece’s 3rd birthday is coming up so I’ll be getting her the paperbacks as she loves books already (I can say she’s my favourite because she’s my only granniece! 😉 ) Hope you have a blast at your party today! 😀

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  4. Thanks for inviting us to your Block Party today, Maretha. The review issue for children’s books was news to me as well – I can see why, though. Of course, it is an issue for all of us no matter what gender our books fall into. I hope you have a great turnout today!

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  5. Maretha, your “Fauna Park Tales” book series looks amazing! I love your illustrations.
    I wish you best of luck getting reviews. I know from my own experience that reviews for children’s books are hard to get. Just be persistent and believe in your readers. Maybe a kind reminder every now and then might help.

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  6. Hi Maretha! Yes, reviews are hard to come by all around, but no more so than for children’s books. I have downloaded all of the first three books on your free promotion, and will get to reading and reviewing as soon as I can manage. Best of luck with everything! 🙂

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  7. Great party, Maretha! I’ve added some of your books to my TBR list. I have a special little girl in my life, so I will have her *help* me read them. 🙂 She’ll love the illustrations!! Enjoy your party day!!

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    • Thanks Marlena! I am busy updating the first combined volume of books one and two with the illustrations in colour as a paperback, later next month. I would like to produce one in a hardcover, but the printing costs will be exhorbitant. My Italian family wants me to write some of the stories in a simplified Picture Book/Early Reader, but it will still take a bit of time, especially if it must be translated into Italian, as well. 😄All the best with the release of your first book, next month, too. Kind regards.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a shame children’s books don’t get the reviews the deserve – they can be such an influence on our love of reading – I hope your promotion turns the tide

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    • Thank you for your good wishes, Dawn. I hope so too, because I’m trying very hard to write the best stories I can and here I refer to even something like the choice of words – not too simplistic, but really age appropriate. Fauna Park Tales is written primarily for nine year olds and up, including better readers who also like a few illustrations here and there. 😄 Thanks for visiting. I hope you have a pleasant evening. 🤓🌺

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  9. Maretha, my two grandsons loved your books which I gave them for Christmas. They are 7 & 9 years old. I have been remiss in leaving a review which I promise i will do today. Wonderful blog.

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    • Oh thank you SOOO much, Karen. I fully understand, but you’ve had your health to consider. I’m preparing the DELUXE COLOUR VERSION – updating the first two books in a combined book with COLOUR illustrations and I’m sure young ones will LOVE to see their characters in colour.😀💐 I popped in at MIND PEN AND SPIRIT today. DAVIDA is a memorable and great tribute to your grandmother. I’ve discussed a fair bit of her story with my husband and daughters. We feel she should be immortalised in a movie AND I’m sure many of our club members will agree with my sentiments. Have a super, relaxing evening. 💐💐💐

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  10. I’ve had trouble getting reviews,also. I never thought children’s books would be harder. I guess they are. I love your use of animals as the voices and characters in your stories. I’ve read your first, will have to go for the rest of the trilogy. Hope you have a great blog tour.
    Patricia A. Guthrie

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    • Thanks so much Patricia. Yes I’ve tried my best not to make the animals little humans. So they bark, yap, yelp and twitter and tweet their sounds which are all understood by them. After all, they know Faunalang and chit-chat all the time. So, of course, humans don’t understand what their needs are, except they discover one human who does speak their langusge… So book 4 shows just how much they will do to save such a good human. Unfortunately bad ones also want to use the person with such a gift for their own wicked plans. All the best. Kind regards.

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  11. Hi Maretha. I hadn’t thought about how hard it must be to get reviews for children’s books either! Having such young readers must be challenging in this instance. I will add your work to my TBR and certainly leave a review after I have read them. I have reviewed a few children’s books by RRBC authors that I have read with my family and really enjoyed them. Have a great party today!

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    • Thank you so much Lizzie. Everyone who visited my blog today has been so encouraging that I’m actually starting to believe that there might be light at the end of the tunnel. I try to involve young listeners whenever I can, but it is quite difficult, because we have only been here in the UK for three and a half years. But I’ve had the privilege to read to students from my grandchildren’s respective schools. Ideally, as far as my reader target market is concerned, I write for nine year and up, better readers who still like to see a few illustrations in the script, but younger listeners certainly like being read to and especially like His Handsomeness, King Rat and Plump-Grump the stubborn goat.

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    • Thanks Charles. I have a few older fans who say the books revived their “inner-child”. One of my most ardent supporters is an 84 -year old lady who has been nagging me for BOOK four and because of the illustrations, I’ve rather been dragging my heels. As far as the preorder goes, I’ve never done this before, so I have no idea whether it would do any good – I certainly hope so! All the best with your publishing endeavours, too. I thought you had an interesting, eclectic array of books with splendid covers. 🌟

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  12. You are right Maretha, Reviews for children’s books can be slow in coming in. I bought your first three books but discovered that they were not age appropriate for my grandkids. This could be one reason they have not been reviewed.
    I would like them to read the books, and tell me what they think of them before writing the reviews based on what they say. Or, I could go ahead and review the books without the kids reading them. I could do this, give me some time. 😀

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    • Thanks for visiting Joy. I appreciate your wonderful support so much. Perhaps you might like to refer to my reply to Beem Weeks. Especially the second section of book 1 makes great bed time reading for younger ones, but I write specifically for better readers aged nine and up, yet the first book deals with a young pup that loses his desert family under suspicious circumstances, but he promised his first mistress to always look after vulnerable old or young bush creatures wherever he finds himself in the world. As you might imagine, when this scrawny pup gets to the farm, after a free-range cattle farmer adopts him, not everyone accepts him there. So in this book he is still young, but as he gets older, he keeps his promise and finds friends who support him.Anyway, I’m running away with talking too much. Thanks again. Kind regards.

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  13. Hello Maretha. I have actually reviewed a couple of children’s books and I have heard how difficult it is to find reviewers. I often wondered if kids themselves might try to write about how they felt reading a book. Good luck with your blog and the party. I enjoyed stopping by.

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    • Thanks so much for popping by. I’m of the opinion that children are more than willing to write about their feelings AND they are brutally honest – I had a young listener ask me why I haven’t got a Peregrine Falcon as a hero – he was adamant that the Peregrine Falcon had to be a hero as it was his favourite raptor. And he also said that he didn’t care about the Tawny eagles, but the martial eagles were alright, because they’re also endangered. Needless to say, I was gob smacked …! Pleasant weekend for you and yours, but I’m working on somehow rewriting a bit to feature this lad’s favourite raptor into book 5 which is called, The Bird Mission. 🙂

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  14. Hi, Maretha! I just recently reviewed a children’s book for another RRBC member. I also reviewed a couple or non-RRBC books a few years ago. They are easy to review if one has children or grandchildren (or nieces and nephews) to use as a barometer. If no kids, it gets a little difficult figuring out what to look for in a children’s book. I will have to grab one or two of your books and give them a read. Best wishes to you.

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    • Thanks Beem. You are very generous to offer to do so and I really appreciate your interest. When you read, please remember that I write with older better readers, who still like to see a few illustrations, in mind. So it’s not quite picture book. Perhaps a final bridge between Early readers and the next level, but I have agonised for hours about not using words which are too complicated for their age. So there is so much to consider, but I’ve added A NOTE TO THE READER to explain that the first few chapters in book one really sets a plot in motion which develops throughout the whole series. I think that made the book a bit advanced for younger readers, but further along the stand-alone stories are loved by listeners wherever I’ve introduced them.

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  15. I hope you are enjoying your blog party. I understand what you mean about getting reviews for children’s books. I also write children’s books and have found it difficult to get reviews but do have a few trickling in.

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    • Thanks for your comments. I did look in at your SPRINGTIME Book and Blog Party earlier in the week and thought your illustrations are very age appropriate. I’m trying to get to know a few more of the authors in our club who also write children’s books, so it’s been great to get to know you a bit better, too. 😄🌸😄

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  16. Hi – great post! Yes, I totally understand – I have published 8 children’s books, and it is definitely hard to get reviews. I look forward to reading your books! Glad I stopped by! 🙂

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    • Thanks Lynn for popping in. You’re on my Tst list and while trying to get to know everyone on my list better, I came across your children’s books. So as I get to know everyone in the children’s division of RRBC I’ll try to review a few more. Truth be told, I find it to be quite a difficult task, so I take longer, because I ask my grandchildren to read the books and then we have a discussion. So when I make comments, I quote them directly. I believe we childten’s authors need to get closer to our readers and listeners, writing about things they like and not what we think they want.

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  17. Hi Maretha, I enjoyed your post very much. If you find a sure way to get people to write more reviews about your book, please let me know. I’m sure everyone on here would like to know. If only others were as supportive as #RRBC members. I am having a blast learning more about me peers through this Book & Blog Party. Make your day a good one. Thank you for sharing. Party on!

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    • Thanks, Larry. Yes, it seems getting reviews is a difficult thing, but they are so important – one of the reasons we have our wonderful book club to support us. Of course, not just in this aspect, but in so much else. Have a pleasant fishing “expedition” in your swamp. I hope you catch a big one for the braai, i.e.an open coal fire dug into the ground – an Afrikaans word and custom. Kind regards, M

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  18. There is always a demand for children’s books here in the United States. Hearing your experience with getting reviews is an eye-opener although I am not surprised. The book business is very fickle, especially for Indie Authors. I wish you all the luck and will be stopping back by to look closer at your works.

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    • Thanks Shirley, I’m very happy that you stopped by and I’m sure in the weeks to come, we’ll chat some more. I’ve met the most incredible authors VIA RRBC and every single one has been a great encouragement. All the best for now. Enjoy the rest of the SPRINGTIME BOOK & BLOG TOUR, which is where I’m heading now for day 23. x

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  19. Hi Maretha, well you just solved my puzzle. I wrote my first kids’ book which can be colored too.People that I know bought it and love it but I am having a rough time getting reviews–even from those who promise to do one.. I have more than I need on my memoir. It makes no sense as reviewing a children’s book takes no time at all compared to a novel. When running behind on RRBC I always grab a kid’s book to review to save time. I am crazy about your illustrations!! I plan to get some of your books for my nieces and great grand children. And I will review lol. Have a great party day and thanks for solving my own dilemma!!

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    • Thank you Micki, I was very happy to see that you also have a children’s book alongside your wonderful memoir. So I’ve made a promise to myself to get all the children’s books which I know of listed on my blog over the next few weeks – just so they’re at hand when my grandchildren visit. They are very particular that I quote EXACTLY what they said. So I’ve got some tough cookies to deal with, but thanks for popping in. The support from the RRBC authors have been overwhelming. Have a lovely day and I’m sure we’ll chat some more in the next few weeks Kind regards M x

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  20. Hi Maretha!
    Reviews are hard to get and such a necessity now for authors. It is harder to get reviewed from children, you usually have to depend on the parents or grandparents to review it. That is what I focus on. I have only had one actual young reader do a video review for one of my children’s books. I will be watching to see if you can come up with a new approach! I loved “Hope and Flame”. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series soon. Right now, I am trying to read as many people as I can from RRBC to get to know what is in our club, but I plan to get back to your amazing series. With the kids books I prefer to have the actual book so I can read it to my grand kids after I read it–or at least share it with them. Although, they do have their own kindles now so I could just start passing it on that way, but there is something about a book in hand sitting next to a young child. Enjoy your day!

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    • Yes, DL. I COULDNT AGREE MORE WITH YOU. There is something about holding and reading a physical book which is unbeatable. Frankly, my opinion is that children need to be involved in the real activity of book reading before moving on to cyber space. I’m not sure how they can develop “a photographic memory” using an iPad or other electronic device all the time. I remember holding The Noddy books close to my chest. My iPad has never evoked such feelings in me – maybe I’m just weird, not sure! 😱 Thanks for your sterling, constant support which I appreciate so much. I like your comment about the video review. 🤓

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  21. Hey Maretha! I contacted a children’s author (via Facebook messaging) of mine who is also a book reviewer (or she was but not sure she still is). I have to say getting reviews is hard for all but I can see where it could be harder for children authors. Anyway, I believe she would be happy to review your books. Hope you’re having a great party.

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    • Thanks sooo much for your interest and really going the extra mile, contacting a children’s book reviewer on my behalf. I’m simply blown away by the interest shown by everyone who visited my blog yesterday. All the best. I’m sure you’ll hear from me again! 🌷

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    • Thanks so move for your interest, Suzanne. I’m simply blown away by the tremendous support here at RRBC. Thanks too, for mentioning the graphics – I just hope they serve the purpose they’re intended for! All the best🌺💐🌸

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  22. Hi Maretha. I enjoyed reading your post. I don’t write children’s books so it never occurred to me that it might be difficult to get reviews for them. On the contrary, I figured all the parents who were reading those books to their kids would be falling all over themselves to leave reviews. Lol There is a children’s author who has contacted me directly several times to review his books and I’ve always been happy to do so. Now he’s got me following his YouTube channel. 😅 I’ll skip over to Amazon and take a look at your work. I’m sure I will enjoy reading a couple of your books.

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    • You’re very kind, Rhani and I appreciate your comments. There are so many things children’s authors need to do over and above writing and illustrating. Formatting these books has been harrowing and time-consuming, so I tend to slip up when it comes to asking parents for reviews. Being fairly new in the UK hasn’t helped either, but I thought that I’ll have to intensify my efforts next year as far as persistently visiting schools and libraries is concerned. Please bear in mind that my ideal reader target market is for better readers nine years and up, who still like to see illustrations, although grandparents have commented positively about bed-time reading on HIS HANDSOMENESS, KING RAT as well as stubborn goat, Plumo-Grump. 🤓 Enjoy a lovely Sunday. ☀️

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    • Thanks so much for popping in. I must admit that I feel very chuffed that you love my artwork. I took out my pencils and painting brushes again after years of life getting in the way, not having done anything. It was really a necessity to try things out again, because there are very skilled illustrators out there, but putting together a children’s’ book with illustrations is very costly, and starting out as a complete unknown, I had to attempt things myself to cut down on publishing costs. I appreciate your Visit and hope you have a pleasant Sunday.

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  23. Maretha Botha, I love your name! So exotic. LOL! I’m glad you pointed out the defiency of reviews for children’s book. Adults post reviews for books in their genres but children can’t or aren’t encouraged to write reviews after reading a book. I will be more mindful to read our children’s authors and review them going forward. Thanks for supporting all of RRBC with your RT’s. Have a wonderful party?

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    • Thank you so much, Linda! I think children would be very happy to write about their favourite books, but I’m not sure whether they are allowed to have their own Amazon account before they are sixteen. I had the most incredible support from quite a few RRBC members. Thank you for your support too. Have a blessed Sunday. 🌹

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      • Maretha, I’m sure you’re right about the age. However, the same parent who purchased the book (child or YA) on Amazon could let a child post on that account. That way maybe the child will grow up respecting the review process.

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  24. Hi Maretha!
    Reviews are hard to get and such a necessity now for authors. It is harder to get reviewed from children, you usually have to depend on the parents or grandparents to review it. That is what I focus on. I have only had one actual young reader do a video review for one of my children’s books. I will be watching to see if you can come up with a new approach! I loved “Hope and Flame”. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series soon. Right now, I am trying to read as many people as I can from RRBC to get to know what is in our club, but I plan to get back to your amazing series. With the kids books I prefer to have the actual book so I can read it to my grand kids after I read it–or at least share it with them. Although, they do have their own kindles now so I could just start passing it on that way, but there is something about a book in hand sitting next to a young child. Enjoy your day!

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  25. Hi Maretha,
    As a children’s author I understand the difficulty with getting reviews posted on Amazon. Each review is a precious jewel! Best wishes with your books.

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    • Hi Wendy, I think you hit the nail on the head with your reference to the value of each of our reviews received:”Each review is a precious jewel.” – a good tweet line, don’t you think?
      I have Hieroglyph on my TBRLIST. Strange as it may be, I’m amazed that slowly but surely I’m getting through my bulging TBRLIST. Hugs and thanks so much for your interest.

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  26. This is a lovely blog stop, Maretha. And, as you know, I loved reading Flame and Hope. Now my Kindle is bursting with more delight. I look forward to reading (and reviewing) your beautiful books – which span age groups with their universal message. All the best to you – and thank you for offering this generous incentive.

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    • Dear Gwen, I’m so glad you popped in and again I must tell you just how much I appreciated your comments about Flame and Hope – you give balm to a person’s soul. I hope you have a very enjoyable afternoon. Hugs and kind regards.

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  27. Hi, Maretha! Have gotten three of your books on my Kindle now. Will read and definitely let you know what I think! Are you a part of RRBC’S BOOKS DOWN LOW group? If not, check with Marlena for more details!

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    • Thank you so much for your interest, Nonnie. I look forward to hearing your comments. I appreciate RRBC support very much. It has been difficult to be out in the cold, not having found a group I could call home after autonomy shut its doors – a writers’ website supported by HarperCollins at the time (we also immigrated to the UK) and finding one’s feet in new surrounds, not easy. So, coming across the RRBC newsletter and regularly reading WHO’S ON THE SHELF WITH NONNIE JULES helped me to get some direction. I think my subscription is up for renewal in May, but I lost time getting into the swing of things immediately, when we were unexpectedly offered a ground floor flat with a garden in drier surrounds. So moving again, came first. Meanwhile I’ve tried to make up for lost time. 🤓 Enjoy your Monday. Best wishes and kind regards 💐💐

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  28. Hi Maretha. Congratulations on your novels. Especially your new one coming out. What inspires your tales? I’ve added them to my TBR. Getting reviews is a process. Do you mind my asking what you’ve tried?

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    • Hi Maggie, many of my tales, especially those to do with domestic ones – cats, dogs, the rabbit and the timid rat and even some of the smaller birds – are composite characters built on personality traits of some of our family pets through the years. The story about His Handsomeness, King Rat who came to visit RatX, wanting her as a bride, is a true story – even the saving of the timid rat from the school laboratory.
      Then, I had a bird’s eye-view of all the villagers’ goats, chickens and herds of cattle passing by daily. We lived on the edge of a game reserve for about three years.
      The idea of adding birds-of-prey came as a result of something which happened to one of them. I’m also interested in the plight of martial eagles. Adding to that, the onslaught of man-made activities on the savannah, burning trees for firewood and that sort of thing, got the ball rolling.
      The thing I found most difficult in the beginning, was building the human’s characters. So initially I just used names of people whom I knew. For example, the French-speaking Marie is a real person – a teacher and someone who runs an animal and bird shelter totally at her own cost, but I changed her name when I was at first draft, to Marie.
      The plot itself, as well as the Nomadic family are completely figments of my imagination though, and their complete story was written after everything else, introducing the emotional arch for working-dog Flame’s actions.
      Anyway, I’m running away here. Thank you for asking. I appreciate your interest. I’m going through my notes at the moment, hoping to run a few short blog posts on exactly the sort of questions you asked. 🤓 Kind regards and I hope your week runs smoothly! 🌷

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    • Whenever I’ve read at schools, I’ve given the pupils leaflets and other promotional paraphernalia and asked many of the teachers, but not with much FOLLOW through success.
      Before joining RRBC I was more active on Facebook and from that, I arranged to swap books and leave a review. The problem with that could, but not in all cases, mean that someone will just leave a low rating with no explanation. I had that happen to me where a previous colleague wrote a twenty word comment for each book and thumb-sucked a rating – all in less than the time it took me to read my e-mails. I’ve not had colleagues or many friends (acquaintances yes) in the U.K., so that has not been an avenue to explore. My last official post was way-back in April 2012 in a place where most had to leave when work permits were not renewed. I’m sad to say that till this point only two of my relatives have read any of my work – a phenomena I don’t understand, but have to accept, so I’ve decided not to go down that route again.
      I would be interested to hear your experience, or for that matter, our club members’ experiences in trying to get reviews. The one thing I’ve not done is to pay for a review. 🤓

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    • Hi Rob, thank you so much for visiting my blog. I’m glad that the book covers stand out on Twitter where each product is just one of millions. Of course, I think it gets worse when you talk books! I hope you have a successful week 📚📚📚📚writing many good lines 🤓

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  29. Maretha, sorry I’m a little late to the party. I’m trying to catch up today! So glad I didn’t miss your stop. I just adore your illustrations. You are such a gifted artist!
    Your post really opened my eyes, as I never really thought about how difficult it must be to receive reviews for your work. I see a few great suggestions from fellow members above. As a fellow author and friend, I’ll do my best to bring awareness to this as best as I can. Thanks again for sharing. And a huge THANK YOU for your tremendous support for fellow authors and RRBC members. You’re an absolute gem! 🙂

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    • Thanks So much for your comments about the bright colours. I grew up in sunny South Africa and I must admit that I changed to brighter colours in my blogs over the past year or so. It must have something to with our grey skies here in Lancashire, UK. I would love to paint them blue all the time, but having said that; when the sun does shine here and the sky is bright blue, it is not a bad substitute for the bright skies of Southern Africa!

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  30. Pingback: SPRINGTIME BOOK & BLOG PARTY WINNERS | About Fauna Park Tales·

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