AND NOW FOR SOMETHING ENTIRELY DIFFERENT
As everyone knows, my blog is dedicated to bringing you information about unusual or endangered animals around the world. This week’s post is going to be entirely different. I am going to shamelessly plug my second book, The Gift of Sunderland. As with The Sword of Demelza, The Gift of Sunderland is running rampant with the flora and fauna of Australia. There will also be a glossary in this new book, and there will be web links for the youngsters (and the adults), so you can see what the critters look like in the wild.
I am working on a final draft, but I figure why not introduce two of the main characters. Below is a portrait created by my very talented illustrator, Guy Atherfold (http://www.guyatherfold.com). The tall creature is Waylond. He’s a Numbat. The short critter is Fergal. She’s a wonderful little Quoll who Waylond saves from a raging river. He doesn’t realize it at first, but he’s going to be very taken in with her as we move along in the story.
So let’s hear a bit from Waylond himself. I hope you enjoy his introduction, and if you are so inclined, send me an e-mail at Jeanne.firstname.lastname@example.org and I will put you on my mailing list. Simply put The Gift of Sunderland in the subject field, and tell me you would like to receive updates. You’ll be one of the first to be informed as to the release of this new, action packed, fast-paced adventure where endangered animal heroes roam the pages! J I hope to see you in Sunderland!
“I am Waylond of Acadia, Son of Roland, Guardian of the Forest.” The candlelight in his room is dim, but the black band of fur on his face accents his sparkling, black eyes. It has been a long time since he has had a guest, and although he typically shuns visitors this one he welcomes. The spotted Quoll, named Fergal, listens carefully, a pen and paper in her paws are at the ready. She doesn’t want to miss a thing.
“Tell me, Waylond,” Fergal begins, “what is the status of your relationship with your brother. I believe his name is Kailond. Is that correct?’
“Yes, that is correct,” Waylond replies. “Our relationship is strained at best.”
“Hmmm. Sunderland is abuzz with speculation about what it was that drove the two of you apart.”
“My brother and I did not see eye to eye,” Waylond said. “My father’s announcement that Guardianship of the Forest would be passed to me caused friction.”
“Yes, friction is saying the least!” Fergal clears her throat and stifles a giggle, which she is prone to. She rubs a paw along her snout, and does her best to strike a serious pose. “Well, he must have been pretty angry with you for burning down the family tree.” She leaned forward, anxiously waiting for his answer and searching his snout for any hint of emotion. There was none. “Why did you burn down the tree?”
“I was devastated,” Waylond said. “My father was dead and I was left to sort things out. I realize now that I wasn’t ready.” Waylond shifts uncomfortably in his wingback chair.
“Yes, at the time I believed that I was not prepared to take on the responsibilities of Guardian. Sunderland and the surrounding lands are vast.”
“I see,” Fergal said, tapping her pen on her pad of paper. “So you thought it best to wander into the Forest and leave the creatures of the Forest without a Guardian?” Fergal tightened her jaw. She felt that it would be necessary to be straightforward with her questioning. She was a stickler for the facts. She would print nothing less than the truth. In Fergal’s opinion, the honest story is always the best story.
“I did what I had to do,” Waylond said.
Fergal thought she heard a hint of sadness in his voice.
“Yes, you did, and the rest of us went along for the ride. Didn’t we?” She persisted. “We all found out what we were made of, whether we liked it or not.” She put her pen down and stared at the mighty Numbat. “We did our best, Waylond. Didn’t we?” The love in her heart made her smile. She examined the Numbat who had become more to her than just a friend. Maybe I won’t print this quite yet, she thinks to herself . . .
THE GIFT OF SUNDERLAND
By J.E. Rogers (Jeanne E. Rogers)
A rift has been created in the Ayers’ lineage. Roland Ayers, the Great Numbat and Guardian of the Forest, must pass on Guardianship. His decision will tear two estranged brothers further apart, causing the Forest to rise from its long sleep.
Waylond of Acadia, is one of the main characters in The Gift of Sunderland, the second book in the Australian Fantasy Adventure Stories.
Written by, Jeanne E. Rogers, it will be released prior to the end of 2014.
The Numbat is a small colorful marsupial, which is also known as the banded anteater. It has a finely pointed nose and a bushy tail. Like other anteaters, the Numbat has a long sticky tongue. Once upon a time, it could be found across the southern regions of Australia. However, now its range is restricted and it is considered ‘endangered’ on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) list.
Photo credit: http://www.arkive.org/eastern-quoll/dasyurus-viverrinus/image-G107383.html
The Quoll is a marsupial that is carnivorous. It will eat small mammals, birds, lizards and insects. Its numbers have declined since Australia was colonized, and one species has become extinct. Urban development and poison baiting are the major threats to the Quoll. Depending on the species, they are listed as ‘threatened’ and ‘endangered’ on the IUCN list.
My sincere thanks to ARKive.org for the picture of the Numbat and the Quoll.
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Jeanne E. Rogers, Award Winning Author
The Sword of Demelza, Middle Grade Fantasy Where Endangered Animals Roam the Pages!