by Ben Gartner
GENRE: Middle Grade
Exploring a mysterious cave in the mountains behind their house, John and his sister Sarah are shocked to discover they’ve time traveled to ancient Egypt!
Now they must work together to find a way back home from an ancient civilization of golden desert sand and a towering new pyramid, without parents to save them. The adventures abound—cobras, scorpions, a tomb robber, and more! The two kids have to trust each other, make friends who can help, and survive the challenges thrown at them . . . or be stuck in ancient Egypt forever.
For readers graduating from the Magic Treehouse series and ready for intense action, dive into this middle grade novel rich with meticulous historical detail.
Up ahead, almost like an optical illusion in the rocks, a black oval dissolved into the mountain. It seemed to shimmer in the fading sunlight.
“What . . . is it?” John asked, taking a step back.
Sarah moved forward. “It—” She stepped closer, hunching to get a better look at the dark shape about the dimensions of the full-length mirror they had on the back of their bathroom door. “It looks like a cave. Cool!”
“Careful, Sarah. We shouldn’t go in there.”
“That’s a great idea,” Sarah said, standing upright and walking toward the mysterious black shape.
“No, wait, I said we shouldn’t go in there.” John turned to walk away. But he couldn’t leave his sister. “We should get Mom and Dad.”
“I’ll just peek in,” Sarah said, standing only an arm’s length from the entrance. “It definitely looks like a cave, or maybe an old mining tunnel or something. I don’t remember this from before.”
“Come on, Sarah.” John’s tone sounded more urgent now.
Sarah stepped closer, slowly, her lips parted and her eyes fixed on the cave.
Without another word, Sarah stepped across the threshold, and her body disappeared into the black.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
THE EYE OF RA started as a side project to my side project. My boys and I started brainstorming ideas for a novel for their age group, one they could read and help develop, and we let our imaginations take hold. That was super fun to collaborate with them and get excited about the act of creation. Whether the book sells any more copies or not, that together time was priceless.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
I love learning, especially about areas in which human knowledge may not know all the answers. That gray area at the edge of our understanding is where the imagination takes over. Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” That’s one of my favorite quotes because of the surface-level irony: that a man known the world over for his contributions to human knowledge instead favors the imagination. So, to get my ideas for writing, I read. I read fiction, but also nonfiction. I poke around Wikipedia. I also listen. I listen to people and their stories and imagine those people in situations that challenge them. The ideation process in writing is probably the best part.
What do you like to read?
I tend to prefer books with high stakes and a fast pace, though that doesn’t necessarily always have to be obvious things like car chases and gunfights. Well-crafted prose that sparks a vision in my mind’s eye is especially alluring. Take me somewhere, tickle my neurons, teach me something.
What would your advice be for aspiring authors in regards to writing?
This is something I have to constantly remind myself and I’m by no means free of it: Have fun. Don’t pressure yourself to be perfect or achieve some certain sales goal. Enjoy the act of writing for the sake of it, not for any outward measure of success. Sure, ratings and reviews can feel like validation, but never forget that ultimately you’re writing for you. Whenever I forget that, writing becomes stressful and I fade from it. But when I don’t care anymore and just do the thing I love, that is when the hairs on my arms tingle.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Ben Gartner is the author of adventure books for middle graders and thrillers for adults. His writing for both audiences shares an ability to grab readers by their neurons 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.
All available for pre-order except Amazon, which will be available on publication date.
Will be available February 1, 2020 via Amazon and IngramSpark distributors.
The book is only $0.99.
Ben Gartner will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway