Great Summer Reads 2020 Countdown Blitz Day 2!

I am a children’s author, but up until a few years ago, I was a journalist and editor. Something rather unexpected sparked my new career as an author—a family trip to Egypt with my mother and two young nephews. We had a great time and I thought I’d write them a short story as a different kind of souvenir…. Well, one book and a planned book series later, I had changed careers. I have now published Book 3 (The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper) in my MG adventure series Chronicles of the Stone, with many awards for the first book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, and a few for Book 2, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, and one already for Book 3! I also teach online novel writing for aspiring authors and I find that very satisfying. Relaxation time finds me enjoying something creative or artistic, music, books, theatre or ballet. I love doing research for my book series. I love animals and have written two animal rescue stories. I have two adorable (naughty) little dogs called Chloe and Pumpkin, and a beautiful black cat called Bertie.

In this exciting Middle Grade adventure set in Egypt, a 5000-year-old mystery comes to life. A scruffy peddler gives Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in Egypt. Only when the evil Dr. Faisal Khalid shows a particular interest in the cousins and their scarab, do the boys realise they are in terrible danger. Dr. Khalid wants the relic at all costs. Justin and Adam embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, taking them down the Nile and across the harsh desert in their search for the legendary tomb of the Scarab King, an ancient Egyptian ruler. They are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events when Dr. Khalid kidnaps them. They learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. They must translate the hieroglyphic clues on the underside of the scarab, as well as rescue the missing archaeologist James Kinnaird, and their friend, the Egyptologist Ebrahim Faza, before time runs out!

Q&A With the Author:

1.What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love reading, movies, staying at home, but also visiting new places. Especially places of interest with something historical to learn.

2.  What was the hardest part of writing your book, and how did you overcome it?

I am in the middle of my MG adventure series and, honestly, there’s nothing hard about any of it. I don’t get writer’s block and I am never short of ideas and creativity.

3. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

My current book in the series (The Eye of the Indian Idol) is set in India and although it would be lovely to explore in real life, the corona virus has put paid to many travel planes. But if I could go anywhere right now, it would be to India.

4.  Where do you get information and ideas for your books?

I do LOADS of research, and read nonfiction books around the places, the legends and the mythology of the countries where my young explorer go in their quest to find the Seven Stones of Power.

5. Tell us a bit about a future project you are working on? Do you have any little sneak peeks you can share?  

I’m busy with Book 4 (The Eye of the Indian Idol) but also planning for the next one, Book 5, called The Curse of the Cup of Jamshid. Sorry, I can’t give away anything at the moment…

6. Now that we've gotten to know each other, tell us a story of a favorite childhood activity you used to do during the summer. It can be long or short. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it's yours. Tell us a story?  

I am one of five children and we grew up very poor. The beach was close by and since it was free, my parents took us there a lot. We had many picnics, swam in rock pools, played in the surf, dug sandcastles, and brought home endless buckets of smelly seaweed and crabs, thinking the little creatures could live with us. My most vivid memories are of riding on my dad’s broad shoulders as he walked into the waves and screaming with delight every time he ducked down lower so I could get splashed. The smell of sunscreen lotion, the taste of cotton candy, and salt water is unforgettable. Some of our happiest times as kids.

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