One family. Ten months. Living a dream. This spring has been a rollercoaster of editing and  publishing my travel adventure trilogy, Cry of the Kiwi: A Family’s New Zealand Adventure. I’ve rolled over the highs of approving the first two volumes and plunged into the lows of intensely detailed mapmaking and indexing for the third book. Yet, it’s all been worth it, and I’ve become more efficient at indie publishing – the reward of experience.

Tree Ferns in Tongariro Forest, North Island, New Zealand (© Vilis Nams)

Tree Ferns in Tongariro Forest Conservation Area, North Island, New Zealand (© Vilis Nams)

I launched the first book of the trilogy, Once a Land of Birds, in mid-April. Next week, I’ll launch the third book, Tang of the Tasman Sea. And last week, I launched the second book, This Dark Sheltering Forest, setting the scene for readers to step into my family’s adventures on North Island, New Zealand.

Rainforest on North Island, New Zealand (© Vilis Nams)

Old-growth Rainforest in Ōhinetonga Scenic Reserve (© Vilis Nams)

Description of This Dark Sheltering Forest

As a writer, naturalist, and homeschooling parent, Magi Nams had dreamed of travelling with her family to far-away countries to hike through landscapes inhabited by exotic animals and plants. In the summer of 2000, her dream came true when she, her scientist husband, and two sons left their home in Canada to spend ten months in New Zealand.

This Dark Sheltering Forest is the second volume of Nams’s trilogy, Cry of the Kiwi: A Family’s New Zealand Adventure, a captivating chronicle of her family’s travel dream fulfilled in a land of volcanoes, giant trees, and endangered flightless birds. Amid downpours and summer heat, the Nams – Magi, Vilis, Dainis, and Jānis – drive quads over muddy, pitted tracks on North Island’s Central Volcanic Plateau, dodging danger as they trap stoats, the subject of Vilis’s research. Long hours in the outdoors introduce Dainis and Jānis to the challenges of field research, and the entire family to the lush, cluttered beauty of a New Zealand rainforest. During time off, the family treks over an active volcano, snorkels among electric-blue fishes, and spots glow-worms in caves. They walk among New Zealand’s most endangered birds, gaze in awe at some of the largest trees on earth, and explore a gaudy geothermal wonderland that rests on the fiery guts of the earth. Along the way, Nams reflects on the character revelations that spring from working together as a family, and the impact of invasive species on the ecology of New Zealand’s fragile native ecosystems.

For more information about This Dark Sheltering Forest and Cry of the Kiwi: A Family’s New Zealand Adventure, click here.

North Island, New Zealand, photo gallery

On Tongariro Alpine Crossing (© Vilis Nams)

On Tongariro Alpine Crossing (© Vilis Nams)

Ōhinetonga Lagoon, Ōhinetonga Scenic Reserve (© Magi Nams)

Ōhinetonga Lagoon, Ōhinetonga Scenic Reserve (© Magi Nams)

Rimu with Perching Lilies, Lake Rotopounamu (© Magi Nams)

Rimu with Perching Lilies, Lake Rotopounamu, North Island (© Magi Nams)

West of Taumarunui (© Magi Nams)

Pastoral Landscape West of Taumarunui, North Island, New Zealand (© Magi Nams)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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