Sunday, March 28, 2010
In March, fellow middle grade author Fiona Ingram provided a wonderful preview of Mice Don't Taste Like Chicken on her blog. http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/2010/03/book-preview-mice-dont-taste-like.html
Today, it's time to return the favor. Fiona's novel, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab is part Hardy Boys, part Indiana Jones, part History Channel, and all adventure. From terrifying hostage situations to the unveiling of age old treasures, Fiona's novel will have every child begging for a trip abroad.
Fiona graciously answered a few of my questions.
Could you provide a brief synopsis?
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 realize 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!
I understand The Secret of the Sacred Scarab received several prestigious nominations.
Yes, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab was a Finalist in the Children’s/Juvenile Fiction category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the 2009 National Best Books Awards. It was a winner in the preteen category of the Readers' Favorite 2009 Awards. The book was also nominated number 2 in The Children's and Teens Book Connection nominations for The Top Ten Favorite Books of 2009 for Kids, Tweens and Teens.
Your website provides countless interactive tools. Can you give our readers an overview?
Since this was a real trip with my two nephews, I decided to make the website mirror as accurately as possible the trip we took. When readers click onto The Journey, they'll find a map of Egypt, and a frisky camel ready to take them to any destination visited by the two heroes Justin and Adam. Not only that, included in the journey is a quick educational look at each place, photos we took (some of my nephews), artifacts we bought, clues to the plot, and sometimes Hidden Chapter which actually don't appear in the book.
Kids will enjoy learning about Egypt as they trace the footsteps of the two adventurers. Young explorers can enjoy this interactive journey through Egypt, following Justin and Adam’s exciting adventure on www.secretofthesacredscarab.com. Those who survive the journey, make it to The Tomb of the King, and manage to translate the Curse of Thoth (with the help of The Mummy) 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.
Readers can also browse the first chapter of the book by clicking on the button marked The Book. They'll see the desk and various pieces of equipment that belong to the adventurer archeologist James Kinnaird, and if they look carefully on the desk they'll see old photos of Egypt dating back to World War 2, painted papyrus and lots more cool stuff. Hieroglyphics and their translations are scattered throughout the site and it gives kids a chance to see their language ... in another language.
I hope you'll take the time to venture over to www.secretofthesacredscarab.com and discover Justin and Adam's adventure for yourself!
"Live, Learn, Teach"