Welcome to my stop on the excerpt tour for The Eye of Ra by Ben Gartner. This tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Here on my stop, I have a semi-exclusive excerpt for you, my interview with the author himself as well as the tour-wide giveaway, which is for a chance to win a $30 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Pretty cool stuff, right? Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more exclusive excerpts and opportunities to enter the giveaway. Have fun and enjoy it!
by Ben Gartner
Genre: Middle-Grade Adventure
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.
“Sarah, where are we?” John asked, frozen in place despite the heat. In front of them was a vast ocean of sand as far as the eye could see. It rolled in carved waves, dunes that sparkled in the low-slanting rays of the sun.
Dunes? John thought.
Sarah staggered forward, shielding her eyes from the glare. “I—I—”
It was rare for her to be speechless. And it was kind of spooky, her not saying anything and stepping forward with the jerky movements of a zombie.
“Are you okay?” John followed his sister out into the sand, suddenly very afraid to be even a foot away from her.
“Woo-hoo!” she shouted, jumping into the air in her signature move, arms shooting up in a V shape.
“You’re excited about this?” John snapped. “Sarah, how are we in a desert all of a sudden? Where’s the mountain? The cave?” The incredible moment tickled at his brain, and he couldn’t put two and two together. “Am I dreaming?”
“Yeah,” Sarah said. “Dreaming. We must be dreaming. Together.” She knelt into the sand, picked up a handful, and let it drain out of her fist. “This feels pretty real to me.” She turned around to John as she said it, so he could see the roll of her eyes.
“How could we be in the mountains in one moment and then . . .” He trailed off, watching Sarah’s eyes go up and her head tilt back, taking in something very large behind him. John wasn’t sure he wanted to turn around.
Sarah laughed, her face turned toward the sky, her hand covering her mouth. “So.” She took a full breath. “Cool!”
The curiosity got the better of him. John held his breath and rotated on his heels in the sand. He’d been stunned by the vast golden dunes, but what he saw now made him squeak out a chortle of disbelief.
“What—? How—? Is that—?” John stammered. His finger reached out, pointing to the scene as if maybe he could poke it, like it was a postcard of a giant pyramid and not a real one.
1) Describe your book in 280 characters (like a tweet).
"What good middle grade is all about." For graduates of the Magic Tree House series, THE EYE OF RA delivers intense action rich with meticulous historical detail.
2) Tell us about your characters - did they 'talk' to you?
Almost literally! This project was created in collaboration with my two children, so there are certainly some elements to John and Sarah taken from my own kids, but more so John and Sarah are most definitely their own unique characters.
3) Was one part of the story more difficult to write than the rest?
Time travel is tricky. Ha, understatement! It’s mind-blowing to think about and consider, and some of the early feedback on the first draft from adults tended to ask some of those questions. So, while in the final product we do explain a bit more about some of those aspects, this novel was not meant to dive deep into the wonders of time travel. Instead, we rely on real physical challenges and emotional conflicts to drive the story forward.
4) If you could co-write with another author who would it be and why?
Well, at the risk of sounding cheesy, I’m going to reiterate how this novel was born: in collaboration with my two kids. Working through the plot, the drafts, fleshing out the characters, that process of creation with them is something I’ll remember forever. <cue happy tears>
5) The world is under attack and you are forced to run for your life. You only have room for one book in your survival kit, what book do you take?
Well, if I wanted to be practical, I guess I’d choose some kind of Wilderness Survival guide. But assuming my family was with me, we’d probably need a bit of humor so probably a Calvin & Hobbes.
6) Think quickly: Milk or Dark Chocolate?
Milk came to mind first, but I’m a fan of both!
7) So what new projects do you have in the cooker?
Before THE EYE OF RA, I was working on a thriller for adults, but with the positive reactions we’ve received to this middle grade adventure book, I may need to insert another story for John and Sarah into my queue. My boys and I are already scheming, so we’ll see!
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.
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=The%20Eye%20of%20Ra%20by%20Ben%20Gartner&c=books&hl=en_US
Will be available February 1, 2020 via Amazon and IngramSpark distributors.
The book is only $2.99.
Ben Gartner will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.