The Secret of the Sacred Scarab by Fiona Ingram

Come along with cousins Justin and Adam on an adventure of a lifetime!

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab is the story of two adventurous boys who accompany their aunt to Eygpt. Both Justin and Adam are familiar with the work of James Kinnaird, an archaeologist who is searching for the legendary tomb of an ancient Egyptian ruler, the Scarab King.

Unknown to the boys, a scruffy street peddler drops an ancient scarab into Adam’s pocket. Dr. Khalid, head of the department of antiquities and research at the Eygptian Museum, expresses great interest in the boys and their discovered relic. Khalid is also heading up an investigation into a smuggling ring that has been carrying ancient artifacts out of the country.

When James Kinnaird is reported missing and presumed dead, Adam and Justin know something sinister is afoot.  Their lives now in constant danger, the boys continue to investigate the mysterious scarab in their possession, knowing that someone will do whatever it takes to get their hands on it.

Can the boys solve the mystery of the sacred scarab and save James Kinnaird before time runs out?

What a fabulous first book in a planned series from Fiona Ingram.  In The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, readers are introduced to adventurous and ingenious cousins Adam and Justin, lovers of history and interested in all sorts of neat artifacts.  The boys are allowed to join their aunt’s trip to Egypt provided they each write a paper about their discoveries for school.  Little did they know what they would find in Egypt.

Ingram immediately draws the reader in as Justin and Adam are quickly pulled into the mystery surrounding the secret scarab thanks to the scruffy street peddler they meet when they first land in Eygpt. Never ones to shy away from an adventure, the boys begin their investigation in earnest after meeting the strange and evil looking Dr. Khalid. There are very few valleys in this book, it’s truly a non-stop adventure story, and one that boys and girls alike will enjoy.

One of the neat aspects of the book is to see how the boys’ relationships with their aunt and other adults in the story evolve: the immediate and growing tension between the boys and Dr. Khalid, Aunt Isabel attempting to be the responsible adult by not overly encouraging their adventures while at the same time not wanting to squash their natural curiosity and interest of Egypt; Gran’s desire to protect the boys and the many others I can’t reveal without giving away too much of the plot.

Once I started reading The Secret of the Sacred Scarab I never wanted to put it down, and I was ready to read it all over again as soon as I was done.  If the first book in The Chronicle of the Stone series by Fiona Ingram is this superb, I hold out high hopes for future installments.  I eagerly anticipate Book 2 in the series, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur!

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: iUniverse
  • ISBN-10: 0595457169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595457168
  • SRP: $17.95


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    Just Breeze by Beverly Stowe McClure

    For every tween/teen girl who has felt like nothing good is ever going to happen, here comes Just Breeze, the latest release from Beverly Stowe McClure.

    Breeze Brannigan quickly finds that eighth grade is destined to start out like every other school year: she still towers over her classmates, her shoes are big enough to belong to a clown, the reflection off her braces could start a small fire, and her hair is still uncontrollable and very red.

    In walks Cam, the new boy in school who is different from all the other boys Breeze knows.  He must be from another planet.  As time moves on, Breeze discovers Cam might be an earthling, but he is definitely hiding something; and when Cam trusts Breeze with his secret, a secret that could put Cam and his mother in danger, Breeze is determined to help Cam keep that secret, no matter what!

    As much as I enjoyed McClure’s Rebel in Blue Jeans, Just Breeze is one hundred times better. With this book, McClure’s writing has evolved into something that movies are made of.  The mystery behind Cam’s sudden appearance and how he works his way slowly into Breeze’s life when she expected this year to be just as nondescript as the others, is well done and keeps readers turning the pages.

    Breeze could have been you or me (several years ago) or many of the other young girls who struggle to find their place in a family and a peer set where fitting in isn’t easy or siblings seem to be much more talented than you.

    But even girls who don’t seem to fit in have friends, and Breeze’s friend Amy is perfect for her. The reader will enjoy their banter and their adventures.  What I thought was a unique twist in Just Breeze is that it isn’t Breeze who has a nemesis, but Amy. Allison is the new girl at school and she does a lot of cruddy stuff to Breeze and Amy, and she seems to like Amy’s boyfriend Tony, which puts the girls immediately at odds with Breeze somewhere in the middle.

    McClure starts off with an excellent set of characters, tosses in a superb plot, and comes up with a major winner.  I think this is her first book with 4RV Publishing, and I have to say I am impressed with the quality product they put out.  Attractive font, fabulous cover illustrations from Aidana WillowRaven, and thorough editing.

    Not only will Just Breeze make the perfect gift for your tween/teen reader, it will be a book that is read time and again because it is just that good!  I hope to see more collaborations between Beverly Stowe McClure and 4RV Publishing.

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC
  • ISBN-10: 0984070826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984070824
  • SRP: $15.99


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    Humberto the Bookworm Hamster by Mayra Calvani

    Humberto is an antisocial little hamster… he’s totally addicted to books! His neighbors, the squirrel, the rabbit, the skunk, the hedgehog and the beaver want to become his friends, but Humberto doesn’t have time for them. He’s too busy reading! Then one day, disaster strikes and he must choose between saving his books and helping his soon-to-be friends.

    “Humberto the Bookworm Hamster explores the joys of reading and friendship. Humberto’s gift of imagination will delight children as much as his kindness towards others will inspire them.” –Cheryl Malandrinos, The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection (formerly The Kids Book Connection)

    About the author:

    Mayra Calvani is an award-winning multi-genre author for children and adults. A reviewer for more than a decade, she’s a regular contributor to Blogcritics Magazine and the Latino Books Examiner for Examiner.com. She’s a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators, the CBI Clubhouse and the Children’s Writers Coaching Club. Visit her website at www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com. She also has a blog at http://www.mayrassecretbookcase.blogspot.com/.

    Purchase from Amazon!

    Purchase info:

    Humberto the Bookworm Hamster
    By Mayra Calvani
    Illustrated by Kit Grady, www.kitgrady.com
    Guardian Angel Publishing
    ISBN 13: 978-1-935137-92
    ISBN 10: 1935137921
    Copyright September 2009
    Paperback/Ebook
    24 pages
    Ages 4-8

    Tweet for Literacy Adds Prizes for Twitter Party December 1!

    In honor of National Family Literacy Month, the Tweet for Literacy campaign is extending not only throughout the month of November, but through December 1st, too.

    Our Motto: “The family that reads together has a lot of fun!”

    On December 1st, at 6pm CT, we’re going to award the Grand Prize Package, worth $700. That’s right, the Grand Prize Package is now worth $700! Life coach, author, and Tweet for Literacy sponsor Sheri Kaye Hoff, is adding a personal one-hour coaching session worth $100 to the Grand Prize Package as part of her Keys to Living Joyfully book and telesummit. Click here to see the gifts included in the Grand Prize Package and to see the prizes included in today’s draw.

    Twitter Party!

    Our other big news is that the Tweet for Literacy sponsors are currently in the process of putting together a Twitter Party. The Twitter Party will take place for one hour–the hour before the Grand Prize drawing–from 5pm CT to 6pm CT on Tuesday, December 1st.

    Every 10 minutes, a winner will be drawn from the people who are tweeting for literature (using the hashtag #Tweet4Lit and linking to a contest website–such as http://bit.ly/2P3Lgb) during that hour. Please follow all 7 sponsors in advance so you will qualify to win. Click the link above to do it quickly and easily.

    Some of the prizes in the Twitter Party giveaways include 2 copies of Sheri Kaye Hoff’s Keys to Living Joyfully book and 2 literacy games.

    The Twitter Party will end when the Grand Prize is drawn, and the winner of the Grand Prize will be chosen from among all entrants who have qualified since November 5.

    Click here to read more about Tweet for Literacy and to enter the contest. We’re giving away a set of prizes every two days for the month of November!

    Enter as often as you like. Must be at least 18 to enter and a resident of the United States.

    Thank you for participating in the 1st Annual Tweet for Literacy campaign!



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    7 Ways to Make this Winter’s Family Vacation More Fun for the Whole Family by Lisa M. Cottrell-Bentley

    Today’s guest blogger is Lisa M. Cottrell-Bentley, author of the Wright on Time series. Lisa has been writing since she was a child, winning her first writing contest at age 9. She’s been writing professionally since 2002. Lisa is an active member of RWA and SCBWI. 

    Lisa and her daughters spent many hours searching for children’s books about homeschoolers, but found very few. So, they decided to create their own. As they discussed their dream storylines, the Wright on Time series took shape. While they haven’t found any mysterious devices yet, they have done lots of field research trying out many of the activities described in these books. 

    Lisa lives and learns while writing in southern Arizona with her husband Greg, two happy always homeschooled daughters Zoë and Teagan, and three cats. Her desire is for all people to live their own personal dreams, now and for always. 

    “7 Ways to Make this Winter’s Family Vacation More Fun for the Whole Family” by Lisa M. Cottrell-Bentley 

    Parents are finding vacations taxing and stressful these days, especially when their children are small.  “Vacationing with children doesn’t have to be hard or stress-inducing,” says Lisa M. Cottrell-Bentley, author of children’s chapter book Wright on Time: Arizona, Book 1. “Traveling with children can make some of the best vacation memories you’ll ever have.” 

    Cottrell-Bentley offers the following tips for making family vacations more enjoyable: 

    • Use online resources to look up family friendly tourist attractions and restaurants before you get to your destination.
    • Pack surprises for the kids. New audio books, books, portable video games (DS, PSP, etc.), journals with special pens, and other small toys. Go ahead and wrap them! It helps prolong the experience. The Wright on Time books are great for this! J
    • Have a list of potential activities planned for each day, but be prepared to do none of them.  Choose ones which you think your kids will like.  This keeps things interesting, and assures that no one will be bored.  It’s alright to only do one thing a day – drop off the items that don’t interest anyone and be flexible enough to know when even one activity is too much.  Even kids appreciate days where nothing is a “have to”.
    • Keep some activity choices a surprise and have your children help plan the rest.  They want to be involved, yet surprises can be fun.
    • Make sure the overall vacation has at least one activity planned for each person in your family. Don’t leave out Dad just because he’s not a kid!
    • Take lots of snacks.  This is the one area where you can’t overpack. Sometimes kids (and parents) are grumpy just because they are hungry. Make the snacks healthy ones – e.g. homemade trail mix, whole grain cereals, and water.
    • Be sure to give everyone a chance to take some photographs.  It’s nice to have pictures of everyone on a trip and the perspective of kids can be fun. You’ll quickly see things through their perspective when they are behind the lens. 

    Wright on Time: Arizona, Book 1 gives fun ideas for activities to do while caving with children. Each Wright on Time book brings the excitement of different states straight into the homes and hearts of children. At www.wrightontimebooks.com, parents and children can read about family fun things to do in all the states and submit their own findings for other people to know about. Games and puzzles for the states can be found, too, which make great printouts for long roadtrips.

    Look for our review of Wright on Time:  Arizona, Book 1 coming soon!



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    Tweet for Literacy Giveaways – Prize Package 12 Announced!

    Tweet-for-Lit-Logo-sidebar-sepia

    Our Motto: “The family that reads together has a lot of fun!”

    The Tweet for Literacy Giveaway is a campaign designed to raise awareness of the importance of involving the whole family in a child’s reading activities. Tweet for Literacy will be giving away literacy-related prizes every two days throughout the month of November in honor of National Family Literacy Month. Help a child to read, and let the fun begin!

    How to Enter the Tweet for Literacy Giveaways

    Step 1: Follow our 7 sponsors on Twitter. This step is required. We will all follow you back!

    http://twitter.com/ccmalandrinos

    http://twitter.com/lindathieman

    http://twitter.com/hollyhardin

    http://twitter.com/susieqtpies

    http://twitter.com/cafeofdreams

    http://twitter.com/nicole_odell

    http://twitter.com/sherikayehoff

    Step 2: Re-tweet (RT) any post about the giveaway. Use the hashtag #Tweet4Lit on each RT. Be sure to add the bit.ly URL link for this contest page. It’s .

    Sample Entry Re-tweets

    RT @ccmalandrinos Tweet for Literacy is giving away 12 prize sets and a grand prize thru Nov. Enter here. http://bit.ly/7miVdh #Tweet4Lit

    RT @ccmalandrinos Enter Tweet for Literacy giveaways here! New prize sets every 2 days. #Tweet4Lit http://bit.ly/7miVdh

    Step 3: That’s it! See the Official Rules below.

    Official Rules

    You can re-enter as many times as you like. Prizes are awarded every 2 days starting on November 8. First day to enter is November 6, 2009. Last day to enter is November 30. A prize package will be awarded on each even day of the month. Each prize package will be a set of items that are literacy related. See below for specific information on prizes.

    The name of the winner will be selected at random and will be drawn at approximately 6pm CT. The winner will have 3 days to respond. If we don’t hear from the winner, we will select another winner for that prize package. We will notify our 13 winners by Direct Message (DM) on Twitter.

    Whereas you can enter as often as you like, if you are not following all 7 sponsors on Twitter, which will be verified, your entries will be disqualified. All entries that comply with the above rules will be valid for each drawing, including the Grand Prize. The Grand Prize will be awarded on December 1, 2009.

    Open to residents of the U.S. only. Must be at least 18 years old to enter.

    If you have any questions or comments about the giveaway, please contact Linda Thieman at blog (at) katieandkimble (dot) com.

    Our Sponsors

    Authors

    Holly Hardin, author of the children’s picture book Aurora of the Northern Lights

    Twitter name: @hollyhardin

    Blog: Holly’s Helpful Hints

    http://hhhelpfulhints.blogspot.com/

    http://hollyhardin.net/

    Sheri Kaye Hoff, Life Coach and author of Keys to Living Joyfully

    Twitter name: @sherikayehoff

    Blog: Coach Sheri’s Living Joyfully Everyday blog

    http://www.lifeisjoyful.org/id1.html

    Nicole O’Dell, author of the Scenarios books for girls ages 10-15

    Twitter name: @nicole_odell

    Blog: Nicole O’Dell blog

    http://nicoleodell.blogspot.com

    http://www.nicoleodell.com

    www.scenariosforgirls.com

    Linda Thieman, author of the Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story chapter book series for ages 7-10

    Twitter name: @lindathieman

    Blog: The Katie & Kimble Blog

    http://www.katieandkimbleblog.com

    Bloggers

    Susan Buetow, homeschooling mom/blogger

    Twitter name: @susieqtpies

    Blogs: The Homeschool Messenger; Scraps of Life

    http://homeschoolmessenger.blogspot.com/

    http://cafescrapper-scrapsoflife.blogspot.com/

    Cheryl Malandrinos, writer/mom/book blogger

    Twitter name: @ccmalandrinos

    Blog: The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

    https://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com/

    April Pohren, mom/book blogger

    Twitter name: @cafeofdreams

    Blog: Café of Dreams

    http://cafeofdreams.blogspot.com

    Prizes and Winners

    The Tweet for Literacy campaign was designed to encourage family literacy. Our motto is “The family that reads together has a lot of fun!”

    Our goal is to empower children and teens, especially girls, who are so often overlooked. We also seek to teach tolerance and self-acceptance through reading and through family interaction.

    Our twelfth prize package winner will be selected on November 30, 2009, at 6pm CT. Total value of Prize Package Twelve is $109.

    Prize Package Twelve (Final Drawing before Grand Prize)

    1) 2 codes for e-books at the iTunes App Store from PicPocket Books (combined value up to $7.98). These picture book apps are downloaded to an iPhone or an iPod Touch. For children 2 to 8. Donated by PicPocket Books.

    2) Aurora of the Northern Lights by Holly Hardin (autographed — an $18.95 value), the delightful Yuletide-themed picture book by one of our Tweet for Literacy sponsors. Donated by the author.

    3) The Katie & Kimble chapter book series by Linda Thieman, for ages 6 to 10. Lexile® measures: 280L and 290L. This set includes Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story and Katie & Kimble: The Magic Wish. These are stories of love and healing, and are not scary! Donated and autographed by the author, one of our Tweet for Literacy sponsors. (Value: $11.90 per set)

    4) Persephane Pendrake and the Cimaruta (autographed) by Lady Ellen. This book is the first of a planned 9 book series made up of 3 trilogies called “The Persephane Pendrake Chronicles.” For ages 9-12; a $16.95 value. Donated by the author.

    5) All that Glitters (autographed), Book 2 from the Scenarios for Girls interactive series by Nicole O’Dell. For ages 10-15. ($7.97 Value) Donated by the author, one of our Tweet for Literacy sponsors.

    6) Kids in the Kitchen: Easy Recipe & Craft Cookbook, for all ages. Creative foods kids make themselves! Value: $16.95. Donated by Barb at Gooseberry Patch.

    7) Focus on Reading Strategies: Standards-based Instruction, Level C by Perfection Learning. 3rd grade.  Value: $11.95. Donated by Tweet for Literacy sponsor Linda Thieman.

    8) I Just Want My Kids to Be Happy!: Why You Shouldn’t Say it, Why You Shouldn’t Think It, What You Should Embrace Instead by Aaron Cooper, Ph.D. & Eric Keitel, M. Ed. (Parenting), advanced readers copy (ARC). Value: $15.95. Donated by Tweet for Literacy sponsor Cheryl Malandrinos.

    Last prize package before the Grand Prize!



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    Tweet for Literacy Giveaways – Prize Package 11 Announced!

    Tweet-for-Lit-Logo-sidebar-sepia

    Our Motto: “The family that reads together has a lot of fun!”

    The Tweet for Literacy Giveaway is a campaign designed to raise awareness of the importance of involving the whole family in a child’s reading activities. Tweet for Literacy will be giving away literacy-related prizes every two days throughout the month of November in honor of National Family Literacy Month. Help a child to read, and let the fun begin!

    How to Enter the Tweet for Literacy Giveaways

    Step 1: Follow our 7 sponsors on Twitter. This step is required. We will all follow you back!

    http://twitter.com/ccmalandrinos

    http://twitter.com/lindathieman

    http://twitter.com/hollyhardin

    http://twitter.com/susieqtpies

    http://twitter.com/cafeofdreams

    http://twitter.com/nicole_odell

    http://twitter.com/sherikayehoff

    Step 2: Re-tweet (RT) any post about the giveaway. Use the hashtag #Tweet4Lit on each RT. Be sure to add the bit.ly URL link for this contest page. It’s .

    Sample Entry Re-tweets

    RT @ccmalandrinos Tweet for Literacy is giving away 12 prize sets and a grand prize thru Nov. Enter here. http://bit.ly/8iwTYi  #Tweet4Lit

    RT @ccmalandrinos Enter Tweet for Literacy giveaways here! New prize sets every 2 days. #Tweet4Lit http://bit.ly/8iwTYi

    Step 3: That’s it! See the Official Rules below.

    Official Rules

    You can re-enter as many times as you like. Prizes are awarded every 2 days starting on November 8. First day to enter is November 6, 2009. Last day to enter is November 30. A prize package will be awarded on each even day of the month. Each prize package will be a set of items that are literacy related. See below for specific information on prizes.

    The name of the winner will be selected at random and will be drawn at approximately 6pm CT. The winner will have 3 days to respond. If we don’t hear from the winner, we will select another winner for that prize package. We will notify our 13 winners by Direct Message (DM) on Twitter.

    Whereas you can enter as often as you like, if you are not following all 7 sponsors on Twitter, which will be verified, your entries will be disqualified. All entries that comply with the above rules will be valid for each drawing, including the Grand Prize. The Grand Prize will be awarded on December 1, 2009.

    Open to residents of the U.S. only. Must be at least 18 years old to enter.

    If you have any questions or comments about the giveaway, please contact Linda Thieman at blog (at) katieandkimble (dot) com.

    Our Sponsors

    Authors

    Holly Hardin, author of the children’s picture book Aurora of the Northern Lights

    Twitter name: @hollyhardin

    Blog: Holly’s Helpful Hints

    http://hhhelpfulhints.blogspot.com/

    http://hollyhardin.net/

    Sheri Kaye Hoff, Life Coach and author of Keys to Living Joyfully

    Twitter name: @sherikayehoff

    Blog: Coach Sheri’s Living Joyfully Everyday blog

    http://www.lifeisjoyful.org/id1.html

    Nicole O’Dell, author of the Scenarios books for girls ages 10-15

    Twitter name: @nicole_odell

    Blog: Nicole O’Dell blog

    http://nicoleodell.blogspot.com

    http://www.nicoleodell.com

    www.scenariosforgirls.com

    Linda Thieman, author of the Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story chapter book series for ages 7-10

    Twitter name: @lindathieman

    Blog: The Katie & Kimble Blog

    http://www.katieandkimbleblog.com

    Bloggers

    Susan Buetow, homeschooling mom/blogger

    Twitter name: @susieqtpies

    Blogs: The Homeschool Messenger; Scraps of Life

    http://homeschoolmessenger.blogspot.com/

    http://cafescrapper-scrapsoflife.blogspot.com/

    Cheryl Malandrinos, writer/mom/book blogger

    Twitter name: @ccmalandrinos

    Blog: The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

    https://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com/

    April Pohren, mom/book blogger

    Twitter name: @cafeofdreams

    Blog: Café of Dreams

    http://cafeofdreams.blogspot.com

    Prizes and Winners

    The Tweet for Literacy campaign was designed to encourage family literacy. Our motto is “The family that reads together has a lot of fun!”

    Our goal is to empower children and teens, especially girls, who are so often overlooked. We also seek to teach tolerance and self-acceptance through reading and through family interaction.

    Our eleventh prize package winner will be selected on November 28, 2009, at 6pm CT. Total value of Prize Package Eleven is $113.

    Prize Package Eleven

    1) 2 codes for e-books at the iTunes App Store from PicPocket Books (combined value up to $7.98). These picture book apps are downloaded to an iPhone or an iPod Touch. For children 2 to 8. Donated by PicPocket Books.

    2) Henry & the Crazed Chicken Pirates by Carolyn Crimi and John Manders for ages 4 to 8. ($15.99 value) This is the sequel to Henry & the Buccaneer Bunnies. Donated by Blue Slip Media.

    3) Magic School Bus Kit: Diving into Slime, Gel, and Goop. Ages 5 and up. ($19.99 value). New for 2009. Donated by The Young Scientists Club.

    4) Aurora of the Northern Lights by Holly Hardin (autographed — an $18.95 value), the delightful Yuletide-themed picture book by one of our Tweet for Literacy sponsors. Donated by the author.

    5) Magic in Manhattan Series by Sarah Mlynowski (Grades 6-9) (Value: $27 for the set of 3). Donated by Tweet for Literacy sponsor Linda Thieman:   Bras and Broomsticks,  Frogs and French Kisses,  Spells and Sleeping Bags.

    6) Close Encounters of the Third-grade Kind: Thoughts on Teacherhood by Phillip Done ($22.99 value). Donated by Hachette Book Group.

    Only one more prize package to be announced before the Grand Prize! 



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