The Search for the Stone of Excalibur by Fiona Ingram

excalibur front cover final2-2

Hold onto your hats. The long-awaited sequel to The Secret Of The Sacred Scarab has arrived!

Following their Egyptian adventure, Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail for the second Stone of Power. It seems the stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword that archaeologists believe belonged to King Arthur.

The boys journey to Scotland to search for the Scroll of the Ancients, a mysterious document that holds important clues to the Seven Stones of Power. Aunt Isabel has sent her house guest, Kim, to tag along with them. Tensions rise, but the boys can’t worry about Kim’s interference. Their enemy, Dr. Khalid, has followed them to Scotland. And little do they know, the deadly Eaters of Poison are on a mission of their own that will place all of them in danger.

Fascinating, exotic, and packed with adventure, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur by Fiona Ingram is even better than the first book in The Chronicles of the Stone Series. New characters join familiar faces to create another exciting and fantastic journey. Ingram has the ability to draw her readers in quickly and fully. This book–just like the first one–is impossible to put down. Adam and Justin experience some growing pains in this novel; and it certainly doesn’t help that everything unfolds in front of Kim, who they barely know. Ingram’s skillful creation of unique characters mixed with an engaging plot wrapped around a beloved legend, truly makes this a book that tweens and teens shouldn’t miss.

Highly recommended!

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 378 pages
Publisher: Biblio Publishing (October 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1622492188
ISBN-13: 978-1622492183

Fiona Ingram was born and educated in South Africa, and has worked as a full-time journalist and editor. Her interest in ancient history, mystery, and FionaIngram-794310legends, and her enjoyment of travel resulted in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, the first in her exciting children’s adventure series—The Chronicles of the Stone. This was inspired by a family trip the author took with her mom and two young nephews aged ten and twelve at the time. The book began as a short story for her nephews and grew from there. The Search for the Stone of Excalibur is a treat for young King Arthur fans. Fiona is busy with Book 3 entitled The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper, set in Mexico.

While writing The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, Fiona fostered (and later adopted) a young African child from a disadvantaged background. Her daughter became the inspiration for the little heroine, Kim, in The Search for the Stone of Excalibur. Interestingly, the fictional character’s background and social problems are reflected in the book as Kim learns to deal with life. Fiona’s experiences in teaching her daughter to read and to enjoy books also inspired many of her articles on child literacy and getting kids to love reading.

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I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.


Interview with Fiona Ingram, Author of The Secret of the Sacred Scarab

I can’t remember NOT having a book in my hand. My schoolmates called me a bookworm, and nothing’s changed since then. I was brought up on the children’s classics because my parents are also avid readers. My earliest story-telling talents came to the fore when, from the age of ten, I entertained my three younger brothers and their friends with serialized tales of children undertaking dangerous and exciting exploits, which they survived through courage and ingenuity. Haunted houses, vampires, and skeletons leaping out of coffins were hot favorites in the cast of characters. We also acted out the stories for my long-suffering parents! I graduated from the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, with a double first in my B.A. (French & Drama). After completing my Honors in Drama at Natal, I then went to the University of the Witwatersrand to do my Masters degree in French-African literature (graduated cum laude). I also studied drama at The Drama Studio in London and mime at L’Ecole Jacques le Coq in Paris. Upon my return to South Africa, I immersed myself in teaching drama at community centres, and became involved in producing community and grassroots theatre with local playwrights and performers in Natal for several years. A move to Johannesburg took me in a new direction—that of journalism. I have written freelance for the last fifteen years on everything from serial killers to relationship advice. Writing a children’s book—The Secret of the Sacred Scarab—was an unexpected step, inspired by a recent trip to Egypt. The tale of the sacred scarab began life as a little anecdotal tale for my 2 nephews (then 10 and 12), who had accompanied me on the Egyptian trip. This short story grew into a children’s book, the first in the adventure series, Chronicles of the Stone. I have already completed the next book in the series—The Search for the Stone of Excalibur—a huge treat for young King Arthur fans. Although I do not have children of my own, I have an adopted teenage foster child, from an underprivileged background who is discovering the joys of reading for pleasure. My interests include literature, art, theatre, collecting antiques, animals, music, and films.

Fiona’s latest book is the middle grade adventure novel, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab – Book 1 in the Chronicles of the Stone series.

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

I am a South African children’s author. I graduated in theater studies, switched to journalism, and then after a family trip to Egypt wrote my first children’s book The Secret of the Sacred Scarab. It is the start of my adventure series The Chronicles of the Stone. When I am not writing I love reading (of course), movies, theater and anything cultural, spending time in my beautiful home with my mom, my adopted daughter and a menagerie of animals! I also love travelling and the good part of writing my book series is that I absolutely have to go to each new country that my young heroes visit.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I began life as a raconteur of tales extraordinaire rather early (age ten). I have three younger brothers and as big sister it fell to me to entertain them quite often. I had a long-running serial called Gruesome Gables, about four children (us, of course) who somehow end up in a haunted house, in the middle of nowhere. The children are stalked by every possible monstrous creature imaginable, but they always manage to escape. That was the beginning. I also wrote a lot of humorous poetry about family members, so until I switched to full time writing I kept my writing talents bubbling away.

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

I am not sure. Possibly because of my early experiences with my younger brothers; possibly because I took my two nephews to Egypt and their infectious enthusiasm for every minute in a foreign environment inspired me; possibly because I remember my own childhood and the magical world of books so clearly. I have written other material – two published historical novels and co-authored another. But my main love is my children’s series.

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

I don’t know. Some people say so. I find myself hopping quite easily into the brain of each of my young heroes and somehow the story flows. I believe a good story holds its own with any audience. Children are remarkably perceptive and clear about what they do and don’t like. Just telling a captivating story with believable characters that hold their interest is the secret to successfully writing for children.

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

Anything can happen! Adventures are especially predisposed to amazing events taking place quite naturally. In The Secret of the Sacred Scarab it is quite possible to go to Egypt with your aunt and your gran, get given an ancient scarab by a strange peddler and to be catapulted into the craziest adventure possible, riddled with danger and with terrible enemies leaping at you from all sides.

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

A 5000-year-old mystery comes to life when 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 survive terrifying dangers in a hostile environment (such as a giant cobra, as well as sinking sand), pursued by enemies in their quest to solve the secret of the sacred scarab. 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. They must also learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. With just their wits, courage, and each other, the boys manage to survive … only to find that the end of one journey is the beginning of another!

What inspired you to write it?

I actually went to Egypt with my two nephews (10 and 12 at the time) and my mom. It was a fabulous trip and we had such an adventure. All sorts of things happened, alas, not half as exciting as in the book, but exciting enough! When we got back home I thought I’d give my nephews an unusual souvenir – a short story of an amazing adventure with them as the two heroes. Well, the short story grew into a book, and the end of the book heralded the beginning of another. Then I found myself planning subsequent adventures…

Where can readers purchase a copy?

Amazon e-book:

Amazon paperback and hard cover Book Link

Please check on the book site Purchase Page for links to other outlets for e-book, paperback and hard cover. Young explorers will enjoy an interactive journey through Egypt, following Justin and Adam’s exciting adventure on Readers can also browse the first chapter of the book. Those who survive the journey and manage to translate the Curse of Thoth will be able to read the first chapter in Adam and Justin’s next adventure—The Search for the Stone of Excalibur—as they hunt for the Scroll of the Ancients.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Yes, please visit me on  for details about my work. I also have articles and other points of interest on my Media Page, especially tips on getting kids to enjoy reading, and how parents can instill a love of books into their children. Please also visit the Facebook Fan Page and ‘like’ the book!

What is up next for you?

My editor is busy fine tuning The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, which is Book Two in the series. I am about to begin The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper, Book Three, which takes my young heroes off to another exotic location. This time they are jetting off to Central America and will find another hair-raising adventure as they search for the Third Stone of Power. Lucky me I have to go on ahead to check out the terrain…

Do you have anything else to add?

I have been fortunate to attract the interest of a British film company who read a review of the book, bought it, loved it, and contacted me. I signed a movie option this year and it looks as if The Secret of the Sacred Scarab will be made into a film next year some time.

How exciting! Thank you for spending time with us today, Fiona. We wish you much success.


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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