Holiday Adventure Books Blast

This Book Blast is brought to you courtesy of Adventure Quest Books. Answer the hero’s call to adventure and enjoy more tales, legends and myths from the ancient and medieval worlds for MG and YA readers.

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About the Books

The Search for the Stone of Excalibur by Fiona Ingram

The Search for the Stone of Excalibur - coverTitle: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur (The Chronicles of the Stone, Book 2) | Author: Fiona Ingram | Publication Date: October 6, 2014 | Publisher: The Educational Publisher / Biblio Publishing | Pages: 399 | Recommended Ages: 10+

Summary: Continuing the adventure that began in Egypt a few months prior in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail of the second Stone of Power, one of seven ancient stones lost centuries ago. This stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword that archaeologists believe belonged to King Arthur: Excalibur. However, their long-standing enemy, Dr. Khalid, is following them as they travel to Scotland to investigate an old castle. Little do they know there is another deadly force, the Eaters of Poison, who have their own mission to complete. Can Justin and Adam find the second Stone of Power and survive? And why did Aunt Isabel send a girl with them? And how annoying for them that their tag-along companion, Kim, seems to have such good ideas when they are stumped.

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Max’s Arabian Adventure by Wendy Leighton-Porter

Max's Arabian Adventure by Wendy Leighton-PorterTitle: Max’s Arabian Adventure | Author: Wendy Leighton-Porter | Publication Date: July 16, 2014 | Publisher: Mauve Square Publishing | Pages: 82 | Recommended Ages: 7+

Summary: In this spin-off adventure from the Shadows From The Past series, Max the talking Tonkinese cat goes on a solo mission without his usual time-travelling companions. Snatched from the house where he lives with eleven-year-old twins Joe and Jemima Lancelot, Max is dragged back into the past by an evil magician who has lined him up to perform a special task. Torn away from all he holds dear, the despondent cat fears he may never be able to return to the present and his beloved owner, Jemima. What will become of him? Will he make it back or will he be condemned to remain forever in a distant time and place, far from home?

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Sons of the Sphinx by Cheryl Carpinello

Sons of the Sphinx by Cheryl CarpinelloTitle: Sons of the Sphinx | Author: Cheryl Carpinello | Publication Date: October 10, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 182 | Recommended Ages: 10+

Summary: Armed with what she considers her grandmother’s curse, 15-year-old Rosa agrees to help the ghost of King Tut find his lost queen Hesena. Though Hesena’s ba inhabits part of Rosa, finding the whole spirit of Hesena so that she and Tut can be together for the first time in over 3300 years proves to be a harder task than Rosa first thinks. Thrust back into Ancient Egypt with Tut, Rosa discovers that finding Hesena is not all she must do. She must keep out of the reach of the living Horemheb—who crosses mortal boundaries using Seth’s evil magic—if she is to stay alive to make it back home.

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About the Authors

Fiona Ingram

Fiona Ingram, Author

I love ancient history, mystery, legends, and travel. Join my young heroes Justin and Adam in an exciting quest as they search for the Seven Stones of Power. Each book is a new adventure, so be part of it!

Website: http://www.fionaingram.com

 

 

Wendy Leighton-Porter

Wendy Leighton-PorterI spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies, but now write books for children instead of teaching them. I take young readers on a magical mystery tour through the past and hope that my love of history, myth and legend will rub off on them.

Website: www.wendy-leighton-porter.com

 

Cheryl Carpinello

Cheryl Carpinello AuthorI’m a retired high school English teacher. My hope is to reach reluctant readers with my Arthurian Tales and soon a series of stories from ancient lands and legends that will take readers on adventurous quests throughout history.

Website: http://www.beyondtodayeducator.com

 

 

* $100 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 100 gift card

Prize: One winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card or $100 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

Contest closes: December 9, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Fiona Ingram, Cheryl Carpinello, and Wendy Leighton-Porter and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
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Guest Book Review: Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom by Cheryl Carpinello

kings-ransom

Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 17, 2013)
ISBN-10: 148252709X
ISBN-13: 978-1482527094
Genre: Juvenile fiction, adventure, Arthurian legend

Five stars
When the King’s Ransom, a wondrous jeweled medallion, is stolen from Pembroke Castle in Wales, it is up to three young heroes to band together to solve this mystery and save a life. Prince Gavin (12), the youngest son of King Wallace and Queen Katherine, and his two friends, Philip (13), an orphan, and Bryan (15), a blacksmith’s apprentice, are an unlikely trio, uneven in terms of social status but firm and loyal companions. Their friend, the Wild Man, is accused of murdering the king’s advisor and stealing the marvelous medallion, a symbol of absolute power and justice, but only in the right hands. Kings have enemies, and it soon becomes apparent that someone was after the medallion for the prestige it would bestow. Gavin, Bryan, and Philip race against time to find the medallion, reveal the true killer, and save the Wild Man’s life. They have only a few days before the arrival of King Arthur. If the medallion is not found, the Wild Man will be executed in front of Arthur. Can they overcome their fears and fulfill this momentous quest? Is it possible the Wild Man has tricked them all and simply used their friendship to get closer to the medallion?
What a delightful story. I am familiar with Cheryl Carpinello’s writing from reading and reviewing her first Arthurian book, Guinevere: On the Eve of a Legend. Then I was entranced by the author’s spell-binding descriptions of life in Arthurian times and her meticulous attention to detail. Cheryl’s skills have remained as bright as ever with the unfolding of this fast-paced tale, threaded with mystery, adventure, a bit of magic, danger, darkness, and lovely twists in the end. I so enjoyed the factual information about weapons, clothing, daily life, and places, cleverly interspersed in the text and dialogue to inform without overwhelming young readers. The author has a gift for delving into the depths of each young hero’s psyche. The way each one of the trio faces their fears, learns to believe in themselves, and finds their true meaning and path in life is moving. This is a superb coming-of-age story, set in a time of chivalry and pageantry, and harking back to an age when a hero was truly a hero.

 

Reviewer’s bio: Fiona Ingram is an award-winning middle grade author who is passionate about getting kids interested in reading. Find out more about Fiona and her books on www.FionaIngram.com. She reviews books for the Jozikids Blog.

Interview with Cheryl Carpinello, Author of The King’s Randsom

cherylIn addition to being a writer, Cheryl is a retired high school English teacher. Still passionate about working with kids, she conducts writing workshops for kids in the elementary and middle schools. The kids outline their own medieval stories complete with knights, dragons, magicians, and usually princesses. 

Cheryl loves to travel to college football games, to Las Vegas, to visit family, and to see new places. She and her husband recently spent two weeks visiting Egypt where they traveled by local train from one end of Egypt to the other.

Links:

Blog: http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com

Website:   http://www.beyondtodayeducator.com

FB:  https://www.facebook.com/cheryl.carpinello1

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/author/cherylcarpinello  

My main website Beyond Today Educator contains information on both Guinevere and The King’s Ransom. The events section is a picture gallery of the Medieval writing workshops I do with the Colorado Girl Scouts.  

On my blog Carpinello’s Writing Pages, I review Children/MG/Tween/YA books, conduct interviews with authors, and post ideas to get kids involved in reading and writing.

Thank you for joining us today, Cheryl. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself? 

I’m an avid reader when I get the chance. Some of my favorite authors include the writing duo Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child since I first discovered The Relic way back when. I love JRR Tolkien and have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings several times. Rick Riordan and Joseph Delaney are two of my favorite MG authors. I enjoy working with kids and love doing the Medieval Writing Workshops.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug? 

I remember writing a poem for my 8th grade English class. Unfortunately, my teacher thought that I had copied it from some place and wouldn’t give me credit for it. I didn’t write again until I was in my mid-twenties. I finished three projects before I ever let anyone read my work.

Why did you decide to write stories for MG/YA? 

I’ve written several books over the years. I’ve done an adult romance, a YA romance/bildungsroman, and several stories suitable for picture books. I just never seemed to find a genre I was passionate about writing. Then I started teaching The Once and Future King. My students loved the story and the whole medieval world. After writing Guinevere, I started doing medieval writing workshops in the elementary schools and found every classroom full of kids crazy about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and the medieval time period. I have to say that being in the classroom and working with the younger kids has been my entire motivation for writing my books.

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

I wouldn’t say it was harder because I don’t think any age group is easier to write for than another. However, writing for young readers, as any age audience, means that you have to know your readers. With most writers being adults, writing for younger readers could be difficult if an author doesn’t interact with kids, read books they are passionate about, and understand the many facets of growing up today.

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

My favorite part of writing for young people is writing the action/adventure books that I loved growing up. In fact, I probably haven’t grown up that much. I’m still dazzled by ancient cultures, good v.s. evil, and stories that have the protagonist(s) reaching deep inside themself to meet challenges.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?kings ransom

The Young Knights are three kids who have become friends via their friendship with a beggar/vagabond called the Wild Man. Without the Wild Man, it is likely that they would not have met and become friends because they are from very different backgrounds. Eleven-year-old Gavin is the youngest prince of Pembroke Castle in southern Wales. Fifteen-year-old Bryan has been sent to Pembroke by his parents to learn to be a blacksmith. Thirteen-year-old Philip is an orphan who wandered into Pembroke village and lives and works at the church. They are really just three lonely kids who find friendship with the Wild Man and each other.

When someone breaks into the king’s (Gavin’s father) treasury in Pembroke Castle, not only is the medallion known as The King’s Ransom stolen, but Aldred, the king’s advisor is murdered. Being a beggar/vagabond, the Wild Man is captured and charged with the crime. It doesn’t help that a bloody knife is found with his belongings. Gavin, Bryan and Philip are determined to prove that the Wild Man is innocent. In order to do this, they embark upon a quest where each is tested and must conquer their fears or face humiliation and/or even death.

What inspired you to write it?

I’ve always been fascinated by King Arthur. I’ve probably read just about every fiction story written over the last 15-20 years. One of my favorites is Deepak Chopra’s The Return of Merlin. I’ve also ventured to nonfiction and scholarly accounts like Tyler Tichelaar’s King Arthur’s Children: A Study in Fiction and Tradition. However, I’m more of a romantic, and it’s that side of the legend that appeals to me. I like the ideas that surround the legend like might is not right and that it is still possible for mankind to live in peace. I believe this is what draws young and old to the legend. What the legend says to kids without them realizing it is that there is a right way and a wrong way to live. This is done with the stories of the knights with their quests, their jousts, their rescuing of the damsels, and their fighting for the underdog. These stories present young readers with vivid accounts of honor, loyalty, and friendship. This is why I chose Arthurian Legend.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table) is available at several sites:

Muse It Up Publishing (An 18-page study guide is available for free on Muse’s web site.):   https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=322&category_id=10&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0086MEW76

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co,uk/dp/B0086MEW76

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-kings-ransom-cheryl-carpinello/1112317555

What is up next for you?

My current work-in-progress takes my readers out of Medieval England and back to Ancient Egypt. Sons of the Sphinx is a mystery/adventure for tweens/YA and introduces readers to a different type of quest.

Future projects include a sequel to Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend. I’ve had several readers ask me what becomes of Guinevere’s friend Cedwyn, so I’m working on a storyline there. And, somewhere soon, I’m going to do another Young Knights of the Round Table. I haven’t decided yet whether to continue with the same characters, or to give a new group of young people a chance at joining the Round Table.

Do you have anything else to add?

I have found that Arthurian legend is for all ages, but my main focus is on young readers (ages  8-15). I typically write shorter books for reluctant readers. These reluctant readers are kids who are able to read, but prefer to do other activities. If I can reach them early in their schooling, it’s just possible I might hook them into exploring other books. I’ve yet to find a student in the younger grades who isn’t excited about the medieval time period.

Guest Book Review: Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend by Cheryl Carpinello

Length: 122 pages

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN-10: 143273704X

ISBN-13: 978-1432737047

Genre: Children’s Fiction/YA

Rating: FIVE stars

Suitable For: Ages 10+

Available from Amazon/most booksellers

 

The Arthurian legends have timeless appeal and Cheryl Carpinello’s book Guinevere: On the Eve of a Legend is no exception. As an educator dedicated to encouraging reluctant readers, and having taught the legends of Arthur to high school classes for nearly 20 years, the author knows her stuff and her love of the legend shines from every page. Although much has been written about Arthur both as boy and king, and books have been devoted to the adult Guinevere and her ill-fated marriage to Arthur, this book comes as a surprise by introducing Guinevere as a young girl. In fact, our heroine is truly on the eve of a legend as the book centers around Guinevere’s 13th Birth Day, the turning point for her, when she crosses over from being a child to a young woman. We find Guinevere in the opening pages having the time of her life. With her friend, seven-year-old Cedwyn, she spends most of her time playing, roaming the castle grounds and occasionally the forest, hunting for rabbits or mythical creatures. But life has plans for her, as Guinevere finds out, and life’s plans, a combination of what her father and the wizard Merlyn have decided for her, do not sit well with this fiery-tempered and independent young girl. Upon hearing she will be betrothed to the young brave King Arthur and then married to him on her fifteenth Birth Day, Guinevere decides to run away from home. She is not interested in being married and is even less interested in becoming a queen. Her attempt at fleeing is short-lived, partly because Cedwyn’s legs are too short to do much running, partly because foraging for food in the wilds loses its appeal very quickly, and partly because Guinevere realizes that she must eventually grow up and grasp her destiny with both hands. In this coming-of-age story, her friend and advisor Merlyn is there to guide and instruct her. With magicality, tenderness, and spinning a sense of enchantment, Merlyn uses the teachings of legends and the forest to illustrate the lessons one must face in life. In this way Guinevere realizes that if she enjoyed being a princess so much, it is just a small step to enjoying being a queen. She also understands how much her father loves her and that her happiness is all he desires. Besides, she still has two whole years to enjoy before having to really grow up.

Cheryl Carpinello’s take on the Arthurian theme is unique and enchanting. Her descriptions of everyday life, food, behavior, weapons, and attitudes of the early Middle Ages display a wealth of research. Information is subtly introduced to enhance the story and does not overpower the reader. Her descriptions are rich, palpable, and appropriate to whatever scene one reads. The moment when the children see the unicorns is one of poignant magicality. The scene with the brachet, the rabbit, King Pellinore, and the hapless Painted Dragon is roaringly funny! Cheryl Carpinello has created a book along the lines of The Once and Future King, with the same kind of appealing humor and dry wit in her Merlyn. She has included an interesting glossary for young readers to fully enjoy their understanding of an historical environment; as well as Q&A for educators, and a recommended reading list. I look forward to reading Cheryl’s next book Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom.

No monetary compensation was received for this review.

Reviewer’s bio: Fiona Ingram is an award-winning middle grade author who is passionate about getting kids interested in reading. Find out more about Fiona and her books on www.FionaIngram.com. She reviews books for the Jozikids Blog.