Kuartam: a legend

In the province of Morona-Santiago, around the city of Macas, a legend has always been told about the dangers of behaving disrespectfully towards nature. It is a legend that comes from the Shuar people, who live in the jungle in the southeastern Ecuadorian Amazon. Generally speaking, they are brave and proud of their traditions and of the fact that they are one of a handful of indigenous groups who managed to resist both the colonising missions of the Inca and the Spanish.

Meet Helen Pugh

Helen Pugh is the author of Unsung Women in Somerset, a collection of short stories focussing on real-life and legendary women who lived, loved, worked and struggled in Somerset. She grew up in the county and returned in 2018. Her other works include Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire, an accessible non-fiction historical account of incredible Inca women who lived hundreds of years ago. For children, she has written Jungle-tastic Tales and Inca-tastic Tales, short story anthologies for children based on extensive research into the rainforest and Inca history, respectively, as well as Cuentos incatásticos for Spanish speakers. Her interest in South America and the Incas began in 2006, when she first went to Ecuador. Helen studied Spanish and Italian at university and has a lifelong passion for history, especially that of historical women who made history, but have been sidelined.

The World is Our Playground Series Book 5: Nanak & Tara’s Australian, Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) Adventure

The World is Our Playground Series Book 5: Nanak & Tara’s Australian, Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) Adventure tells the story of siblings Nanak & Tara as they visit the land of the Aborigines, the Noonuccal people in North Stradbroke Island, Queensland, Australia, also known as Minjerribah. Here they discover and experience the Noonuccal people’s land, food, language, art, dance, festival, traditions, games, and folklore.

Meet Jamel Kaur Singh, Uncle Gene Blow

-Jamel Kaur Singh, a vibrant member of Australia’s multicultural landscape, has been an integral part of the community since her arrival from England in 1981. Together with her parents, Jessiee Kaur Singh and Dya Singh, they founded the Multifaith Association in South Australia in 1988, establishing a legacy of promoting cultural understanding and unity. Immersed in the rich tapestry of Australian society, Jamel’s educational journey reflects her commitment to embracing diverse cultures, religions, faiths, and traditions. Her academic pursuits include a BA in Aboriginal Administration Management and Community Engagement from Uni SA, fostering strong connections with First Nations communities across Australia and the globe. Jamel’s dedication to fostering unity within diversity is evident in the culmination of her academic achievements, with her MBA thesis centred on promoting cultural awareness and understanding. Recognized as a national and international ambassador for cultural education, she envisions transforming societal and corporate cultures, eradicating racial violence, and fostering global peace and harmony. At the core of her advocacy, Jamel introduces “The World Is Our Playground” series, a ground-breaking initiative aimed at nurturing cultural education from an early age. Through this series, she strives to instil in students the recognition of similarities and differences as ‘normal’ facets of human identity, creating pride in their own cultures. By offering inclusive literature, Jamel ensures that every child sees themselves represented within the pages, contributing to a more harmonious and interconnected world. -Uncle Gene Blow, a proud Noonuccal and Gorreng Gorreng elder in Brisbane, draws his cultural heritage from his grandparents on North Stradbroke Island and the Bundaberg region. Raised on a tobacco farm in NSW, his upbringing was steeped in family and tradition. Home-schooled initially, he later embraced formal education in Cribb Island, spending nine transformative years immersed in island culture. During this period, Uncle Gene actively participated in protest marches, gaining insight into contemporary Indigenous issues and political activism. His experiences fuelled a commitment to challenging misconceptions and advocating for the rights of First Nation people. Uncle Gene’s journey began with a talent for AFL, leading to representation in Queensland’s Under 16 team and subsequent opportunities in Victoria’s football clubs. He then travelled Australia, playing AFL and immersing himself in many mobs across the nation. Post-football, he entered government roles under Aboriginal employment strategies and discovered his calling as an educator, specializing in Aboriginal Cross-Cultural Training. His dedication to cultural education expanded during his tenure with Qld Health (2006-2019), where he shared dreamtime stories, played the Yidaki (colloquially known as the Didgeridoo), and taught cultural songs and dances. Inspired to preserve his cultural heritage, he authored dreamtime stories for children, complemented by native animal puppets. Since 2009, Uncle Gene has led the Ninghy Ninghy Dance Group, named in homage to Redcliffe Peninsula’s traditional owners. Today, he shares his extensive knowledge through diverse cultural programs in childcare centres, schools, and organizations, aiming to leave lasting cultural legacies for all Australians to appreciate and embrace.

The Moonrise Warrior

He once had a future as the crown prince. Now, Khanh is a feared mercenary. With every moonrise, he shapeshifts into one of twelve zodiac animals. The warrior relentlessly seeks for answers to salvage his spellbound life. The last person he expects a job from is his little sister. As the new heir, sixteen-year-old Vinh is warned that to protect her country, she must ignore her heart. Khanh is not the whimsical brother she remembers, and Vinh fears she isn’t the only one trying to bribe him. Mythical creatures awaken and fierce tribesmen invade. The enemy discovers a way to break Khanh’s agonizing curse. And suddenly, they have leverage over him. The torn princess is forced onto a path she once thought she could never take. Will Vinh sacrifice her brother to save her kingdom? If you love long reads of epic or dark fantasy for young adults, be immersed in this story of complex characters and Asian myths. Recommended for ages 13+

Meet Vy Nguyen

New World: a Frontier Fantasy Novel

Across the sea lies a newly discovered continent, a world whose forests and beasts are unknown to the recorded memory of elves, dwarves, or men. In this land called Mira, the brutal sacking of a young colony links the fates of two opposite characters: a twelve-year-old printer’s son named Simon Jones and his long-lost uncle Tiberius Bogg, one of Mira’s legendary mountain men. Simon is small, but smart; scared but determined. Bogg, with his raccoon-skin cap and smart-talking grammar abuse, is fast as a splintercat and stealthy as a hidebehind. Together, they turn the tables and pursue their attackers (a cruel knight and his soldiers from the old country) through a wilderness full of extraordinary creatures – jackelopes and thunderbirds, fur-bearing trout and four-legged hills – all culled from American tall tales, Indian legends, and backwoods folklore.

Meet Steven W. White

Steven W. White has written science fiction and fantasy since he was a teenager. Along the way, he’s been a Christmas tree farmer, a rocket scientist, and a snake handler. He writes, teaches, and occasionally plays with fire in the Pacific Northwest.

Between Wild and Ruin

cover

Truth, like love, isn’t always obvious.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby Brooks has never had a boyfriend. After moving to small-town La Luna, New Mexico following her mother’s untimely death, boys aren’t even on her radar. Ruby just wants to forget the last horrible year and blend in. But when she discovers an ancient pueblo ruin in the forest behind her house, and meets Ezra, a bitter recluse whose once-perfect face was destroyed in an accident he won’t talk about; Angel, La Luna’s handsome sheriff’s deputy, and Leo, a stranger who only appears near the ruin, Ruby finds herself teetering between love, mystery, and other worlds. What happened to Ezra’s face? And why is she so attracted to the one boy in town everyone despises? As Ruby unravels her own connections to both Ezra and the pueblo ruin, she’ll learn surfaces are deceiving. Especially in the heart of New Mexico, where spirits and legends aren’t always just campfire stories.

Gazetteer of British Ghosts

cover

The classic inaugural work by the well-known British ‘ghost hunter’ Peter Underwood (1923-2014), which can now be read in conjunction with a specially created ‘Gazetteer of British Ghosts’ GoogleMap, as well as ‘The Ghostly Gazetteer’, a WordPress blog dedicated to hunting down illustrations to all 236 sites contained in the book.

First published in 1971, and republished under the title ‘The A-Z of British Ghosts’ in the 1990s, this work represents the first attempt to offer a systematic survey of uncanny accounts of ghostly happenings throughout Britain, ranging from legendary to real-life experiences.

This newly revised ‘pure digital’ edition has been updated with information about the current status of each site, and each account has been further revised for greater clarity and ease of reading, following in Underwood’s footsteps in terms of his style, as well as in his aim of making each account as interesting and readable to the reader as possible.

You can read about famous haunted houses such as Borley Rectory, Hampton Court and Glamis Castle, as well as lesser known hauntings such as those associated with Woburn, Bury St Edmunds, and the Gargoyle Theatre in London’s Soho.

This new edition also includes a foreword by Underwood’s son Christopher, as well as an afterword by author Alan Williams, followed an interview Williams conducted with Underwood in 1997.

‘Every single entry has been reconsidered for today’s readership – to bring Underwood’s original accounts into the present – to enliven them and carry on his original endeavour to present them to the reader in the most accessible and readable way’ – Adam Underwood – Editor of the ‘Revised Edition’.

‘I read Peter Underwood, book after book, year after year and I hope that I am able to make my own readers feel that way about my own.’ – Alan Williams, author of The Seance Parlour (2013)