Monday, April 12, 2021
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Clover mostly enjoys assisting her father as he makes his medical rounds in the foothills of the Centurian Mountains, but what she is especially enamored by are oddities, rare everyday items that behave in peculiar and unique ways. Like the Ice Hook that she's been carrying around in her haversack that can freeze everything it touches. Or perhaps the wineglass that is rumored to be able to fill a lake with an endless supply of wine. Items that if Clover's father knew she possessed, he'd surely force her to get rid of, despite her own mother having collected them as a member of the Society of Scholars. Then one day while Clover and her father were making their way home from one of their medical visits, they encounter a group of men barring their passage across the bridge. Sensing these men plan to do them harm, Clover's father hands her his medical bag, with the cryptic message that it contains a rare oddity that she alone must protect. He also tells her to find Aaron Agate in New Manchester by looking for "the canary among doves," and then throws her off the bridge into the water below. Clover witnesses the bandits murdering her father, before fleeing to safety into the nearby forest. While in the forest, Clover happens upon a rooster fighting off a dog, and is surprised when the rooster begins to speak, introducing himself as Colonel Hannibal Furlong of the Federal Army. Clover has always known about the war between the US and France over the Louisiana Purchase, but to encounter a living oddity such as Colonel Furlong comes as quite a shock. He is only the first of many uncanny allies that will help Clover on her adventure to New Manchester.
Monday, March 1, 2021
Monday, February 15, 2021
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
In New York City, lights twinkled across Sam’s ceiling all night long. She had never felt lonely there,
knowing the city was awake with her. She could already tell Foggy Harbor was different. It looked like
the loneliest place ever. Why would anyone live here on purpose? she wondered.
The driver pulled into the bus station. A neon sign that should have flashed Foggy Harbor Parking
was missing most of its letters. BOR . . . ING. Some sign, she thought. I’m already bored here.
“You got someone picking you up, Miss?” the driver asked as he pulled her suitcase from the luggage compartment.
Her t-shirt clung to her in the heavy, muggy air. Sam checked her phone for the address Mom had given her: 1 Foggy Way.
“My uncle lives a block from here,” she said, pointing at the street sign.
The driver nodded and pulled out of the station, leaving her under the broken sign. Sam texted Mom one word out of duty: ARRIVED. With no choice but to find her new home, she adjusted her backpack and popped up her suitcase handle, dragging it along. It clickety-clacked all the way down the quiet street.
Uncle Mitch’s stone house sat at the end, alone and secluded, hugging the ocean. Its sloped roof pierced the murky sky. One light glowed in a back window. Crickets trilled around the house, creating an eerie buzz as waves lapped the shore.
Sam crunched over the walking path made of shells, then thumped up the front porch steps and rang the doorbell, eager to escape the empty night.
After a few minutes, the door was yanked open. A tall man with curly black hair and a bushy mustache loomed over Sam, the porch light deepening his frown. “Yes?”
Sam swallowed hard. “Uncle Mitch?”
His eyes grew wide and he pulled her inside, slamming the door. “Samantha? What are you doing here?”
Cool air washed over her from a ceiling fan that whirred above, and she shivered, shrinking under his glare. Then she remembered what Mom had said: He’s the only family we’ve got.
One winner will be chosen at random within 48 hours after the contest ends. The winner’s first name and last initial will be posted on the contest page automatically and the author will email the winner to get their address to ship the prizes.
Thursday, February 4, 2021
Today I'm excited to be hosting a spot on the SOL INVICTUS by Ben Gartner Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my guest post, the links to other interviews and guest posts and make sure to enter the giveaway while you're here!
Title: SOL INVICTUS (The Eye of Ra #2)
Author: Ben Gartner
Pub. Date: February 2, 2021
Publisher: Crescent Vista Press
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Siblings John and Sarah barely made it home
last time, but in their next time traveling adventure the challenge really
heats up. Surrounded by clashing cultures on the ancient Roman frontier, they
must fulfill their quest to unite the emperor with his enemy, an Alemanni
barbarian, or risk being stuck in time forever.
An action-packed fantasy full of sword fights, chariot chases, fearsome wild animals, and high mountain survival. For graduates of the Magic Tree House looking for a thrilling middle grade page-turner, read Sol Invictus, book two of The Eye of Ra series!
⭐️Gold Recipient, Mom's Choice
Awards Honoring Excellence
"Once again, Gartner deftly weaves real-life history into a compelling adventure, offering high-stakes, realistic danger and vivid scene-setting."-Kirkus Reviews
"Gartner has a knack for action and creating compelling historical personalities . . . Middle [grade] readers who treasure ancient history with a side of adventure will welcome this fantasy story."-BookLife Reviews by Publishers Weekly
⭐️ Gold Recipient, Mom's Choice Awards; ⭐️ Silver Medal in Children's Adventure, 2020 International Readers' Favorite Awards; ⭐️ Finalist, Next Generation Book Awards; ⭐️ 1st Place in both Children's Adventure AND Grades 4th-6th, 2020 TopShelf Awards
Why Action Adventure for Middle Grade?
Action adventure is exciting. I think we can all agree on that. And kids love exciting books. Yes. But that would be too easy an answer for a whole blog post! So, the top-secret reason I like to write action adventure for middle graders? Well, I have ulterior motives…
I think the nooks and crannies of history (which is really just the story of people) are where the important details lie, the real meat of who we are as a species—our shared desires, motivations, hopes, and dreams. We all know the shared, massaged, refined stories taught in textbooks. But what an ancient Egyptian ate for dinner and what they might have discussed with their family while they ate can tell you just as much about them as people as studying the pyramids. Perhaps even more so!
How did this post on action adventure turn to the mundane topic of eating dinner? Well, the collision of those two things is my ulterior motive. I want to spur kids to imagine themselves in a different time, a different family, a different skin—this builds empathy, for which middle graders are primed. And what better way to encourage that imagination than to suck them in with a good, exciting, action adventure plot! If they truly feel the excitement of time travel and wandering around lost in an ancient Egyptian village, or trapped in a gladiator ring with only a spear against wild animals, they’ll become viscerally involved in the story and care for the characters. They’ll want to hang out with them.
Action adventure is great for teaching facts without it feeling like teaching facts. For example, in Sol Invictus, Crocus has a tattoo on his face along his jawline of the letters “LIV.” John and Sarah, the main characters, assume it’s a girl’s name. But it turns out it’s not. It’s… well, I don’t want to spoil the surprise. But there’s action and teaching involved. ;)
About Ben Gartner:
Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of The Eye of Ra adventure series for middle graders (ages 8-12). His books take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.
1 winner will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card, International.
1 winner will win a finished copy of SOL INVICTUS, US Only.
1 winner will win an eBook of SOL INVICTUS, International.a Rafflecopter giveaway