I am a children’s author, but up until a few years ago, I was a journalist and editor. Something rather unexpected sparked my new career as an author—a family trip to Egypt with my mother and two young nephews. We had a great time and I thought I’d write them a short story as a different kind of souvenir…. Well, one book and a planned book series later, I had changed careers. I have now published Book 3 (The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper) in my MG adventure series Chronicles of the Stone, with many awards for the first book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, and a few for Book 2, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, and one already for Book 3! I also teach online novel writing for aspiring authors and I find that very satisfying. Relaxation time finds me enjoying something creative or artistic, music, books, theatre or ballet. I love doing research for my book series. I love animals and have written two animal rescue stories. I have two adorable (naughty) little dogs called Chloe and Pumpkin, and a beautiful black cat called Bertie.
A modern day adventure as our protagonists search for Excalibur and the treasures it holds! This is a must-read for Middle Graders keen on action, adventure, and Arthurian stories!
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 archeologists 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. Time is running out as the confluence of the planets draws closer.
Can Justin and Adam find the second Stone of Power and survive? And why did Aunt Isabel send a girl with them? Join Justin and Adam as they search not only for the second Stone of Power, but also for the Scroll of the Ancients, a mysterious document that holds important clues to the Seven Stones of Power.
As their adventure unfolds, they learn many things and face dangers that make even their perils in Egypt look tame. And how annoying for them that their tag-along companion, Kim, seems to have such good ideas when they are stumped.
Book extras include some historical background on King Arthur, the Dark Ages, warfare and weaponry during Arthur's time, and details on Excalibur. A fascinating peek into the life and times of the real King Arthur, perfect for young time travelers and budding archaeologists. For coloring-in enthusiasts, ten original black and white illustrations including 2 maps make for more enjoyment!
Q&A with the Author:
1. When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author?
I have been a storyteller since the age of ten, ever since I made up ghost stories to entertain my younger brothers and their friends. I created an ongoing spooky adventure called Gruesome Gables, in which a group of youngsters (us, of course!) were trapped in a haunted mansion and had to fight off ghosts, vampires, ghouls, werewolves and other popular monsters. I actually became a writer only years later after I went to Egypt with my mother and my two young nephews. That trip inspired the idea of a short story for my nephews. It turned into a full-length book called The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, the first in the adventures of The Chronicles of the Stone.
2. Are you currently working on a project, and if so, can you tell us anything about it?
I am busy with Book 4 in The Chronicles of the Stone middle grade adventure series. Book 4 is called The Cabal of the Ouroboros and is set in the catacombs of Paris, with the main theme being the treasure of the Templar Knights.
3. What is your favorite writing snack?
I try not to eat while writing although I have lots of cups of tea. But when I need a break and a pick-me-up, it’s either a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit, or a cup of coffee and a very small piece of chocolate.
4. If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? Why? What food would you serve?
I love the characters of Humphrey Biddle (paleographer) and Archibald Curran (historian and expert on King Arthur) in The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, because they are hilariously funny when they are together, being such old friends. Plus, they know so much about history! And instead of dinner, I’d have their favourite meal: a slap-up full English tea with scones, cream and jam, cucumber sandwiches, lots of cake and tarts, and plenty of English Breakfast tea (which can be drunk any time of the day, not just at breakfast!).
5. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I always learn so much when writing my books because they are based on historical fact, ancient history, mythology and legend. This time, I learned an incredible amount about King Arthur, whom I had always considered to be a legend. It turns out he was a real person, who united the warring British tribes against the Saxons and pushed them back. His actions kept Britain safe from invaders for the next 50 years.
6. How do you relax, or what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
I love to read, watch movies, take walks with my eager pooch, Pumpkin, visit historical spots, travel…
7. What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?
That my books are sold in their millions and billions, that my books bring joy and happiness to readers worldwide, that they are made into bestselling films and I achieve the fame I dream about. To achieve this, I am taking my own advice to others and every day, in a way, I tell people about my books – word of mouth is the best advertising. (Plus, I have a movie agent so that’s a big help and I have had some interest…)
8. What do you fear most?
Not achieving the above.
9. What was your favorite Halloween Costume?
A witch, of course…