Fiona Ingram's Blog

August 30, 2015

 
When I began researching King Arthur and the Dark Ages for Book 2: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, I had a pretty hazy view of Arthur based on popular fiction and movies. I was astounded to find so much material, some more fiction than fact, on this enigmatic figure. As the facts around Arthur solidified and merged with real history, I then began wondering who came after Arthur. We know he died at the Battle of Camlann, but history and Britain did not disappear into a black hole after that. Even though Arthur was no more, someone else must have continued in his role of leader. Someone did.
There has been much speculation as to who took Arthur’s place after the battle of Camlann. Geoffrey of Monmouth (circa 1100-1155) says: ‘He handed the crown of Britain over to his cousin Constantine, the son of Cador Duke of Cornwall.’
Modern historians are not convinced of Geoffrey’s reliability as an historian. Sadly Geoffrey did not let the facts stand in the way of a good story. He could almost be called one of the earliest novelists. William of Newburgh, who wrote around 1190, said: “...it is quite clear that everything this man wrote about Arthur and his successors, or indeed about his predecessors from Vortigern onwards, was made up, partly by himself and partly by others." Ouch! Harsh words indeed! Given Geoffrey’s tendency to elaborate on the Arthurian legends, one might wonder if this anecdote of handing over the crown to Constantine was another literary invention.
Cador (Latin: Cadorius) was a legendary Duke of Cornwall, known chiefly through Geoffrey of Monmouth's pseudo-historical History of the Kings of Britain, but he is mentioned in a manuscript called Vita Sanctus Carantoci written circa 1100 (‘The Life of St Carantoc’). Cador is said to be King Arthur's relative (a cousin?), though the details of their kinship is usually left unspecified. Cador was the historical son of a Dumnonian king named Gerren Llyngesoc, and succeeded him as monarch. Traditionally Cador was a good friend of Arthur; they even ruled together says the Vita Sanctus. According to literary tradition, the two fought together many times against the Saxons and other enemies. At the famous Siege of Mount Badon, Cador commanded the British contingent that chased the invaders back to their boats at Thanet.
Cador appears in The Dream of Rhonabwy, a medieval romance. In it, Cador hands Arthur's sword Caledfwlch (Excalibur) to the king, and when the story's protagonist Rhonabwy asks who he is, his guide Iddawg replies that he is ‘Cadwr Earl of Cornwall, the man whose task it is to arm the king on the day of battle and conflict.’Cador probably died at the beginning of the 6th century. Traditionally this was at the Battle of Camlann (AD 537), after which he was buried in the Condolden (or Cadon) Barrow near Camelford in Cerniw, Wales.
Constantine III (c.AD 520—576), the son of Cador, was a legendary king of the Britons, as recounted by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Constantine also fought in the Battle of Camlann and was apparently one of the few survivors. Arthur, about to be taken to Avalon, passed the crown to him. Constantine continued to have trouble from the Saxons and from the two sons of Mordred, who were Melehan and Melou. He eventually subdued his enemies, however, and chased Mordred's sons into churches where he murdered them. Constantine reigned only four years before being struck down, apparently by God’s vengeance. He was buried at Stonehenge beside the body of Uther Pendragon.
Constantine’s brother ought to have reigned next, but Constantine’s nephew Aurelius Conan attacked him, imprisoned him, and slew his two sons.  Though mostly forgotten in later continental romances, the British retained some knowledge of Constantine. He appears, for example, in the Alliterative Morte Arthure and Malory's Morte d'Arthur as Arthur's cousin and successor.
Facts are unclear after that, and for me this indicates that no one had the leadership and charisma of Arthur to unite people, to repel the enemy, and to create the kingdom that perhaps Arthur envisaged.
The Search for the Stone of Excalibur is Book Two in The Chronicles of the Stone. If you’re looking for more adventures, then please visit The Quest Books, where Cheryl Carpinello, Wendy Leighton-Porter and I have teamed up to offer readers an array of exciting quests. Sign up for our monthly newsletter with exciting exclusive material and get your choice of any e-book on the site FREE!
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Published on August 30, 2015 23:07 • 3 views

August 28, 2015


Prepare yourself for an incredible adventure in ancient Egypt when you pick up Sons of the Sphinx by Cheryl Carpinello. The story starts with a prophecy that sets the tone for magic, mystery, and mayhem in places. Rosa, 15, has an unusual gift she inherited from her grandmother: she hears the dead. Maybe it would be easier if she could see them and tell them to go away properly, and not have to put up with an annoying interruption in her maths test. Of course it is all Nana’s fault because once Nana told Rosa and a friend about the spirits that visited her, life was never quite the same. At age 15, when all you want to do is fit in and be accepted, that’s not the kind of thing guaranteed to win friends and influence people. The really scary part comes when, from only being a voice, the young pharaoh Tutankhamun appears large as life in Rosa’s bedroom, telling her he needs her to help in a vital mission. How much better can it get? Tut tells Rosa that part of his one true love, Ankhesenamun, is now contained within Rosa, and he needs to take Rosa along with him to find her burial place so they can be united. The problem is this mission must be fulfilled within seven days and Rosa’s parents, who’ve gone to a movie, will be back by midnight. But that’s not a problem as Tut explains what a time wrap is to the bemused Rosa. However, hurtling back to the ancient past isn’t going to be an easy ride. Danger, magic, evil and the possibility that Rosa might not be able to return home dog their footsteps.
 What a story as Cheryl Carpinello displays her expertise as both a writer and an educator in her incredibly detailed portrayal of life in ancient Egypt. Readers will feel the sun’s heat, smell the perfumes and spices, taste the food, touch the artefacts, and bask in the glory of Egypt’s past. Threaded through the non stop action and adventure, the author drops in the right kind of historical information in bite sized pieces, painting a portrait of the ancient past, the story behind the rulers and their people, their relationships, and their choices, both good and bad. I really enjoyed the portrayal of Rosa as a typical teenager with the issues, problems, angst, crushes, and awkwardness of her age. The dialogue is spot on with the nuances and colloquialisms that will appeal to the intended target market. I also enjoyed Rosa’s often sarcastic inner monologue as she deals with sand, heat, sunburn and a lot of discomfort, not having had 3000 years to rack up the right kind of experience with these matters. For me, the most compelling part of this intriguing adventure is the subtle lessons Rosa learns that are contained in the story: the value of life, the value of love, trusting your instincts, trusting in friendship, finding the courage within, and finding self belief. I think teens will just love every aspect of this well written, mesmerising tale.
 If you’re looking for more adventures, then please visit The Quest Books, where Cheryl Carpinello, Wendy Leighton-Porter and I have teamed up to offer readers an array of exciting quests. Sign up for our monthly newsletter with updates and exclusive material and get your choice of any e-book on the site FREE!
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Published on August 28, 2015 04:00

August 21, 2015


Another adventure unfolds as twins Jemima and Joe, Charlie (best friend and neighbour) and Max, their talking (yes, talking!) Tonkinese cat, embark on yet another adventure in The Shadow of Camelot . The twins have still not found their missing parents, trapped somewhere in the past, and have been on five amazing adventures so far with the help of an ancient magical book and the key to open it – kept safely on a chain around Jemima’s neck. They always get hints and clues to their parents’ whereabouts and hope that the next adventure will be the one to restore their mother and father. In the meantime, they live with their studious Uncle Richard, who is a Professor of Archaeology at London University and doesn’t suspect a thing.
The magic begins with the Prologue, and the wizard Merlin hard at work, trying to see if a prophecy will come true, and if he can summon help from the future. His assistant is a gorgeous black cat appropriately named Midnight. In the meantime, fast forward to the future where Joe catches a book as it falls off a shelf in Uncle Richard’s study. Is that a voice he hears calling for help …? It seems to come from between the pages of the book entitled King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Using Jemima’s key, the kids and Max (feeling as reluctant as ever about yet another foray into foreign climes) open their ancient book which had served as a portal before to the past and arrive … in Merlin’s cave. This adventure is definitely going to be different because magic is at work – they are needed for a very special purpose, actually Max (to his horror) seems to be the one who is needed the most, in order to fulfil a prophecy and assist Arthur in defeating his greatest foe.
Wendy Leighton-Porter has another winner in The Shadow of Camelot, Book 6 in her time travel fantasy adventure series Shadows From the Past. Reluctant hero Max deserves a very special mention. Some (cats) are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Max definitely experiences the latter. Although truly faint of heart, he reprises his role as a messenger of the gods, assuming the form of an ancient cat spirit, Cattus Britannicus, a role requiring a disguise as well. He is joined in this enterprise by Midnight, who assumes the suitably dramatic role of Felina Malina, and together they achieve the impossible. This was one of the funniest parts of the book. Max rises to the occasion and surprises everyone, including himself the most.
The author effectively recreates the court of Camelot, along with characters familiar to readers and fans of Arthuriana: various knights, including Sir Lancelot (with a truly hilarious French accent) who discovers that, since the twins share his name, they are related. He also gives some information about the twins’ parents. Other well known characters include Arthur himself, of course, Guinevere, and Arthur’s evil sister Morgana, who has her own villainous part to play. The story encompasses real events, places, and historical characters, adding to the fascinating story around Arthur and Camelot.
Arthurian fans will heave a huge sigh of relief to discover that Arthur’s initial choices of name for Excalibur were voted down. In fact, Wendy Leighton-Porter has put an entirely new spin on the origins of Excalibur that I found truly unique. The end notes also amplify the facts and the fiction about Arthur, the man, the king, and if he did exist. If you have been following the series, this will be another delightful adventure to enjoy with our young heroes and feline. This is an engaging read for the young and young at heart with action, adventure, feats of daring, time travel, magic, fun and lots of very clever ideas! Five stars!
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Published on August 21, 2015 05:59 • 3 views

August 18, 2015

Readers who've been following my Middle Grade adventure books will know I love including history, geography and archaeology in my books and that requires a huge amount of research. Sadly, one can never put all that information into a story, but the writer needs to know all the facts about a location, a period in history, and sometimes a few famous people of the era if they're going to produce a well researched book.

One of my very first books as a child was Ancient Egypt , a Time Life series book. Can you believe it? From the link you can see it 's still in print! I loved this book; I loved everything I read about ancient Egypt. Maybe that's why it was so easy for me to start writing a book for kids after my trip there with my mom and my two nephews.
Mom, me (behind), "Adam" (green T-shirt), "Justin" (blue T-shirt)
Most people have, at some time or other, either studied ancient Egypt at school, or know stuff because of their own reading interests. Here's a quick quiz to test how much you know about ancient Egypt.


1.      Name the great river that runs through Egypt.
2.      Name the capital of Egypt.
3.      Name the process used to prepare the bodies for death in ancient Egypt.
4.      What is a Sarcophagus?
5.      What is the name of Egyptian writing?
6.      What did the ancient Egyptians write on?
7.      The people who did the writing had a special name or title?
8.      What is the name of the most famous pharaoh?
9.       Can you name one Egyptian god?
10.  What is Egypt most famous for?
11.  Name any three animals you’ll find in Egypt.
12.  What sort of environment will you find in Egypt?
13.  What is a scarab and what does it do?  I'd love to see how many readers get all the answers right so to add a little incentive, I'm giving away a few e-books to those who get all the answers right. You can put your answers in the comments box, or, if you're not keen on that, email me directly at fiona@fionaingram.com - looking forward to hearing from you. Book 1: The Secret of the Sacred Scarab and Book 2: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur are both available on Amazon and other book sites.
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Published on August 18, 2015 07:38

June 7, 2015


In Instigators of the Apocalypse, author Kevin Timothy O’Kane sets out to prove how those with false interpretations of the Book of Revelation influenced wars and revolutions in the history of Western civilization. A monumental work indeed by O’Kane, and it is nigh impossible to encapsulate in this short review all that he manages to cover in his book. How does one go about condensing the history of Christian eschatology and how it has played out in the political arena and subsequently the battlefield? The author takes us right back to the beginning of Christianity in order to take us forward, covering decisive moments in history such as the Crusades, the Reformation,  the conquest of the Americas, the Inquisition, and various revolutions including the American Civil War. The time span is centuries, and the litany of carnage and destruction is depressing. The history of the early Christian church is one of Roman oppression, divisive factions and sub-factions, and a large number of arguments over the literal or spiritual meanings behind much in the Bible; however, most were strongly focused on the divinity or lack thereof of Christ, and the literal or figurative meaning in the Book of Revelation. When would the end of days and the new millenium come, and who would be the Anti-Christ?
The ideal of the predicted ‘New Jerusalem’ has permeated religious belief down the centuries, even to modern times. Interestingly, the manipulation of various so-called Christian and Muslim prophecies spawned what can only be described as ‘disinformation’ that was used to serve various political purposes, and with dire consequences. This is such a turning point because the church, impatient for results, ultimately eschewed Jesus Christ’s message of peace and submission in the face of oppression, and turned to more violent means to achieve the final days. Ironically, once the subject of persecution, Christianity morphed into an excuse for the Crusades, which had bloody and tragic consequences. Subsequently, Islam, already conquering from the 7th century with jihad as its diktat, was as brutal and destructive, and conversion by the sword the order of the day. Jerusalem, what it meant and has come to symbolise historically and theologically, is a key point in this drama. One is left saddened and astonished at the madness that prevailed when both Christians and Muslims were gripped by a religious fervour that defied all sense, all morality, all true belief as would form the basis of any faith. Even more sadly, nothing has changed because the actions of ISIL in the modern day Middle East chaos seem to herald a return to those days of carnage in the guise of divine sanction. The territorial skirmishes between Palestine and Israel have focused attention once again on an age-old issue; possession of Jerusalem, I feel, more than anything else. The Palestinian denial of Israel’s right to exist and the intention to wipe out this nation also echoes the past. Current warfare between the Arab nations, based on their own religious schisms between Sunni and Shia sects and sparked by the unrest in Yemen, rings warning bells, given the extent of the various nations’ military might.
This is a complex topic, and possibly theology students would whiz through this book. However, the author masterfully achieves what he sets out to do and that is make his theory comprehensible to the lay person, or the ordinary reader interested in Christian eschatology and the role it has played in politics, both then and now. The author enlivens the facts by introducing key figures in this vast and sweeping historical landscape, some familiar, some not, and brings their own personal stories to life. His excellent and succinct writing style allows the reader to fully absorb a large number of complicated facts, but at the same time appreciate the ‘story’ behind the history. I was astounded by the far-reaching effects of charismatic leaders over the centuries, and how in many cases a single man’s opinions, beliefs and ambitions have shaped history and the political landscape today, in many cases with negative consequences.  Tragically, faith, which brings comfort, solace and strength to millions around the world, can be twisted to wreak havoc and, with today’s access to modern weaponry, threatens to plunge the world into destruction. A fictional section of the book’s final chapter sounds a warning note. There are detailed end notes for the serious biblical scholar to refer to, testimony to the amount of research put into this fascinating, well constructed, very readable and thought provoking work. Five stars.
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Published on June 07, 2015 00:18 • 11 views

May 28, 2015


To Be a Duke is the story of a Border Collie cross named Duke. Duke began life being taken away from his mother early, much to his shock. A couple of homes and owners later, and Duke wasn’t really getting the love, training, and attention he needed. His previous owners just didn’t know how to handle him so their reaction was either to pass him on, or tie him up in the yard and ignore him. He developed bad chewing habits, was never house trained, was never properly leash trained and, to the outside person, was a handful. He cowered when threatened, having been beaten in the past. His behaviour didn’t live up to his name, Duke. Life was full of sadness and confusion, and hunger … Until the day a kind lady noticed him, noticed his scabs and thin appearance, and bought him from the man who couldn’t care less about him. But this kind lady was only temporary. Life, miraculously, got even better. From this warm, loving home where Duke found that he was not scolded, beaten or starved, Duke finally went to a Fur-Ever Home, one where everyone seemed to love him, want him, and spent the time and energy to get his behaviour right in a fun and happy way. He ‘unlearned’ fear and confusion, and learned how to be a dog, how to play with a ball, how to catch treats, and how to be confident. He learned that he was needed by every single member of his new family in some way, some mysterious and special way that only he could offer. They were all ‘friends forever.’ Even more mysterious, the spirit of Misty, the previous family dog, still lingered, appearing in his dreams, and Misty was there to guide Duke in his new, happy life. Duke learned to cope with the ups and downs of family life, and discovered he had a very special talent!
Sadly, Duke’s story is nothing new. People get a puppy that starts out cute, and ends up uncontrollable. With the proper chew toys, potty training, leash training, and the ability to respond to obedience commands, a dog knows where it is in life; it knows what the owner expects and everyone is happy. Author Emily-Jane HillsOrford knows dogs and it comes out so clearly in the text. What I really loved about this story is how the author gets right into Duke’s head, showing readers how a young dog can become easily afraid, easily cowed by not being taught properly and thus annoying the owner who doesn’t understand that a dog, like a child, needs to be taught. A dog is not psychic, and it responds badly to what it perceives as anger, violence, and other negative emotions. The author has an amazing gift for being able to portray life from the dog’s perspective and it certainly showed me how my two (much pampered) little pooches could misinterpret my moods and action. The author does not dwell overly long on Duke’s sad past, something that soft hearted animal lovers will prefer, and this makes the book suitable for older children. Instead she focuses on Duke’s new beginnings, his progress of learning how to fit into his new life, and the role he plays in the family’s life. This is also good for new owners and youngsters to read because training is just that—training. A dog does not come with an instruction manual in its head to tell it not to chew something that looks deliciously chewy (shoes, perhaps?). The author subtly highlights how getting a new dog, especially a puppy, involves input and time from the owner. However, the words of warning are there in the beginning of this story, and all too often dogs, so loving, so eager to please, are shuttled around from home to home, finally ending up dumped or at a shelter. Duke is one of the very lucky ones. This is a delightful book for animal lovers, animal owners, and youngsters to enjoy. A heart warming, five-star story for the whole family!
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Published on May 28, 2015 03:42 • 10 views

May 24, 2015

Finishing up Book 3 in The Chronicles of the Stone series has taken up a huge chunk of time. Since my young heroes are in a completely foreign and exotic environment (a tropical jungle!), that has meant devoting time to a great deal of research in order to get the historical and physical facts right. As in my previous books, there are some great illustrations for young explorers to enjoy, including images of the uncontacted tribe that rescues them, the dreadful Tezcatlipoca, or Smoking Mirror, and other intriguing images to help young explorers imagine they are right there in the thick of the adventure!

Here's some tantalising detail to whet your appetites: Continuing the adventure that ended in Britain just a short while ago in The Search for the Stone of Excalibur , cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair, with their friend Kim Maleka, are now hunting for the third Stone of Power, one of seven mysterious stones lost centuries ago. The third stone might be located in an ancient city, hidden in the depths of the Mexican jungle.

Tezcatlipoca, the Smoking Mirror!When their small plane crashes in the jungle, Adam, Justin, Kim, and James are rescued by an uncontacted tribe. James, who is wounded, must stay behind as the kids, with only a young boy, Tukum, as their guide, make their way through the dense and dangerous jungle to find the city. Riding rafts on a crocodile-infested river and evading predators are just part of this hazardous task.

Of course, their old adversary Dr. Khalid is close behind as the kids press on in search of the lost city of stone gods. But he is not the worst of their problems. This time Adam will clash with a terrible enemy who adopts the persona of an evil Aztec god, Tezcatlipoca, and is keen to revive the ancient tradition of human sacrifice. Adam, Justin, and Tukum must survive a dreadful ball game of life and death. Will they emerge alive from the jungle? Will Dr. Khalid find the third Stone of Power before they do?

This is perfect for the young (and young at heart) explorer in the family, as well as reluctant readers who will be riveted by non-stop action and adventure. Loads of interesting facts create the wonderful and mysterious ambiance of an ancient city, hidden away in the jungle for centuries. Danger and potential disaster lurk around every corner... What more could a young explorer ask for? Available soon on Amazon, B&N and all good book sites. Read the first chapter of Book 3 at the end of Book 2! For readers new to this exciting, adventure filled Middle grade series, it all starts with Book 1: The Secret of the Sacred Scarab.
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Published on May 24, 2015 01:25 • 7 views

March 14, 2015


In Godhead: Book I of the Aldariad(Volume 1), Greg McLeod weaves a fantasy tale that merges with the real world in a magnificent, gripping saga. Seemingly disparate stories are begun, and then abruptly stop; only to be picked up again as the threads linking the two dimensions are drawn together. In Diggers Row, in the American West, in 2001, a boy named Billy disappears before his friend’s eyes while they’re out hunting. Then we are transported to Vereld, a world grown complacent over time with no apparent threat to make maintenance of the fortifications against enemy invaders seem a necessity. We meet Rather, a healer – although he terms himself more hedge wizard than mage – who is summoned to the house of a peasant couple to attend to their autistic boy. Something is terribly wrong. The boy, a savant, has covered the walls in his bedroom with prophetic sayings. Rather is able to translate and, having an eidetic memory, remember them. Then all hell breaks loose… The reader is swept into a loathsome maelstrom of black magic as a grim and awful dark god awakens and starts to get his grip on a world totally unprepared for the onslaught. There are many sorcerers willing to invest their powers in the creation of hybrid, monstrous creatures to fight in a battle that draws on black and white magic. As the story unfolds, we are introduced to three Redeemers – Anili, Jon and Orrin - whose stories merge so that they can fulfil their part of the prophecy and save humanity. The story moves from Billy’s disappearance - which elicits the interest of the US security forces, and other, more unscrupulous parties anxious to commercially exploit this new dimension’s resources – to events in Vereld that link the two dimensions, to the Nazi interest in Jon’s great-uncle’s castle that holds a great secret, and finally unites the three people who can stem the impending tide of destruction.

I absolutely loved this book. It’s hard to find the words to encompass the scope of this bold and brilliant tapestry. Although there are strong hints of the influence of Tolkien, this story is uniquely the author’s own. Greg McLeod is a true ‘Wordlord’ in that he can describe a scene so beautifully and yet so succinctly that the reader imagines themselves transported there, be it a battle, a moment of quiet beauty or introspection, or the unfolding of a character’s development. I was captivated by this tale and although the abrupt changes in the story, as a new scenario is introduced, take some getting used to, the author deftly draws the reader back and reignites their attention. I loved the side characters who got equal attention in their portrayals as much as the main characters. The seven Unborn, misshapen and frightening to behold, but tender, compassionate and gentle, were wonderful. There is such a vast cast of characters that one is hard pressed to pick out particular names. They are all well developed and serve their purpose, from Baran the soldier tasked with protecting Anili, to Torgrim the wizard mentoring Jon, to the forest folk who saved Orrin from captivity. I also enjoyed the quotes that prefaced each chapter, in which a reader may glean more about coming events as well as information about how the magicality of Vereld works. Greg McLeod has created a compelling tale of good versus evil, with a unique and yet realistic fantasy world, populated with characters that rise to fulfil their destiny for the greater good, no matter what the cost. This story has everything for the fantasy fan, as well as the reader who enjoys a deep, well constructed plot, believable and appealing characters, and imaginative and credible world-building. Five stars!
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Published on March 14, 2015 03:57 • 27 views

March 3, 2015


Rosabelle by Linda Harrington is a delightful children’s book set in rural New Zealand, in the 1970s. The main focus of the story falls upon 11-year-old Jane Williams, and their father’s racehorse, the titular Rosabelle. When Jane’s father has a suspicious accident at the racing stables, he is unable to work for a good while; this wreaks havoc upon the family’s finances, as well as family relationships since Jim Williams is a proud man, not used to accepting help from people. Rosabelle is the family’s last hope because she is such a good racer. However, finances are so tight that Jim even considers selling Rosabelle to his so-called friend and associate, Don O’Leary. But things are going wrong all round with various farmers’ sheep being stolen from farms. When Jane overhears O’Leary making sinister remarks about her father and Rosabelle, she is on the alert to his motives. Sadly, no one believes her until disaster strikes again and more sheep go missing. With the help of her friend Marta, and with information helpfully supplied by her teacher, Mr. Dunkerton, and with surprising assistance from Rosabelle herself, Jane sets out to expose Don O’Leary and get back those sheep. But it’s not going to be as easy as she thought!
The story unfolds slowly, and this enables young readers to really get to know Jane, her family and her friends, and also to learn about Rosabelle. The pace of living several decades ago was very different as well, and the author has a delightful way of describing rural life, as well as deftly inserting interesting snippets of historical information to place readers in the ’70s context. Readers also learn more about Jane’s family history (which has an interesting outcome), and might be keen to dig into their own family backgrounds as a result. There is enough horse detail to satisfy equine fans, without overpowering readers not as familiar with saddle soap and stables!  I enjoyed this book very much; the author painted the entire story with loving strokes, imbuing it with a whimsical charm that seeps right through each page, making the ambiance, the era, the characters and their lives come to life. I especially enjoyed Jane’s Scottish teacher, the eccentric Mr. Dunkerton, and his bagpipes. The author includes a front map and a back glossary of unfamiliar words and terms which young readers will also enjoy, enabling them to place the location of the story and to understand the colloquial words and terms. This book will appeal to young readers and those who enjoy family oriented stories. 4 Stars.
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Published on March 03, 2015 23:29 • 20 views
Mother Daughter Book Reviews is very excited to be coordinating a Book Blast for a book that is taking reading in new directions. “Raising Sleeping Stones” by P.H.T. Bennet is a fantasy adventure whose story and app will help readers learn more about their own dreams. Read on for more information. Raising Sleeping StonesAbout the BookTitle: Raising Sleeping Stones (The Orora Crona Chronicles, Book 1) | Author: P.H.T. Bennet | Publication Date: December 4, 2014 | Publisher: DreamKeeper Publishing | Pages: 364 (est.) | Recommended Ages: 9 to 14
You can purchase a copy of this innovative book/app for only 99 cents until April 2, 2015!Please note that the full functionalities of the app (e.g., music, hidden illustrations, and other interactive features) are not included in the e-book. The app is available through iTunes.Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iBooksKobo * Smashwords * Goodreads 
The Story ***Winner of a 2013 Newbury Comics Award!*** Raising Sleeping Stones - inside pageWhen sisters Kiva and DeeDee Stone discover a mysterious plot that threatens them and everything they care about, they have to take a crash course in the ancient art of DreamKeeping to survive. As two elder Dream Keepers lead them up the Varruvyen river to the Eyle of Return, they show the girls how to gain dream powers greater than anything they had ever imagined. But can they become strong enough to face the monsters that haunt their dreams at night, strong enough to fight the enemies that draw nearer each day? The answer lies somewhere in the broken history of Orora Crona, the Valley of Dreams lost centuries ago, and whoever can piece it together first will rule for centuries to come.  
The Experience Raising Sleeping Stones - The ExperienceTHE APP: Raising Sleeping Stones has been released as an electronic book in app form because it will do what dreams do by weaving together a story, music, illustrations, and interactive features to create a richer, more layered reading experience. STORY: The adventures of Kiva and DeeDee will become clearer and richer if you pause at the end of a chapter to think about the new clues you could use to start unlocking the mysteries of the earlier chapters ... or to predict what will happen in the next ones. DREAM TECHNIQUES: Kiva and DeeDee meet the DreamKeepers who teach them how to not only remember and explore their dreams, but also how to use them to develop incredible super powers including flying, changing shape, traveling to the past, living underwater, creating impossible buildings, looking into the future, and more. This may be a fantasy series, but most of the dream techniques the characters use in the book really work, so readers can actually get better at dreaming by following what the characters do. STORYSCORE: The music tells the same story at the same time as the words, but adds additional musical cues to help you figure out what's happening between the characters or who might be involved in the plot against them. The closer you listen to the music, the more secrets you can uncover. DYNAMIC ILLUSTRATIONS: The illustrations represent the main characters and events in the story; but, if you answer the questions at the end of certain chapters, you can unlock hidden layers to the illustrations, layers that show what lies beneath the surface of the story. TUMBLER & FACEBOOK: Readers will be able to share their ideas, questions, drawings, and/or their predictions about the book on Tumblr and will be able to find sound clips, albums of drawings, updates, and other extras on Facebook as well.  
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About the Author: P.H.T. Bennet P.H.T. BennetP.H.T. Bennet began exploring the world of the dreams when he was a child and never bothered to stop when he grew up. He had the good luck to have two daughters, Juliette and Paola, who not only served as the inspirations for DeeDee and Kiva, but also shared their dreams and helped him turn their family dreamwork sessions into this book. His lucky streak grew when he married his lovely wife, Mim, who tolerates his turning on a light in the middle of the night to write down ever-crazier dreams and talking about them in the morning as long as he lets her sleep in, first. Though flying dreams are his favorite, he also loves the challenge of rewinding, replaying, and revising nightmares until they have much more interesting (and less brutal) endings, the thrill of breathing and swimming at high speeds underwater, the surprise of creating new works of art, the dangers in meeting, battling, and learning from his Shadow as it changes forms, the delight of returning to Paris, where he lived for 5 years, for delicious meals, and the peacefulness he gets from dream visits with his father, who passed away four years ago. He can’t wait to hear what readers favorite dreams are and what dream skills they hope the book will help them develop. Readers can either share them with him at phtbennet(at)raisingstones(dot)com or with everybody reading the book at http://raisingsleepingstones.tumblr.com
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* $25 Book Blast Giveaway * Amazon 25 gift card Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: April 2, 11:59 pm, 2015 Open: 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 the author, P.H.T. Bennet 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. a Rafflecopter giveaway MDBR Book Promotion Services  
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Published on March 03, 2015 06:53 • 11 views