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Archive for July 3rd, 2019

The Chronicles of the Stone by Fiona Ingram

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The Secret of the Sacred Scarab (Book 1)

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. 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! Book bonus includes a Readers’ Guide to Ancient Egypt for young explorers, plus hand-drawn pictures from Adam’s journal of what the cousins saw in Egypt.

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My Review

5 Stars

Adam and Justin Sinclair are over joyed when their journalist Aunt Isabel invites them to explore Egypt with her. On their first day they run into a peddler that gives them an Egyptian scarab that catches the eye of Dr. Faisal Khalid. The boys sense they are in danger and do end up kidnapped at one point. But they are on an adventure to solve the riddle of the scarab and find the tomb of the Scarab King.

This is a wonderful midgrade adventure in Egypt. Both boys are excited to find the tomb and are aware that Dr. Khalid is going to do whatever it takes to find the tomb also, including kidnapping the boys. The boys are going to be up to their necks in trouble but they keep fighting through.

This is a great adventure story for kids with a dash of Egypt. I think it will appeal to kids and adults alike. I really enjoyed how this was the first in a series that clearly opens the way to more about the Seven Stones of Power. I can’t wait to read the next book to see what happens next.

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The Search for the Stone of Excalibur (Book 2)

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.

Fiona Ingram was born and educated in South Africa. Her interest in ancient history, mystery, myths and legends, and her enjoyment of travel resulted in an exciting children’s adventure series-The Chronicles of the Stone-which began with the multi award-winning The Secret of the Sacred Scarab.

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My Review

5 Stars

We jump right into the action with Adam and Justin in Scotland at the Strathairn Castle. But they are not alone, Aunt Isabel send them with a girl, Kim. The three kids are after the second Stone of Power. They think it is the stone in the hilt of Excalibur, which has just be rediscovered. Of course Dr. Khalid is still after the kids and the stones.

I love the continuation of The Chronicles of the Stone. Justin and Adam are back and not exactly happy about having a girl with them. But no matter what they think Kim comes in handy quite a bit.

Of course Dr. Khalid is back and after the next stone but the kids also have a new threat, the Eaters of Poison have their own plans. The kids will have to be on their toes around these guys. But they are not just hunting for the next stone; they also need to find the Scroll of the Ancients. This holds clues for finding the other Stones of Power.

This is a great action adventure for midgrade readers. I quickly found myself with the kids on their hunt for the next stone. But as they get closer they are going to find that the stakes are also higher and things are going to get significantly harder the further they go along.

I have enjoyed this series and can’t wait to see where the kids are heading for the next stone.

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The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper (Book 3)

Continuing the adventure that ended in Britain just a short while ago, 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.

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. River rafting 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 play a dreadful ball game of life and death and maybe survive. Will they emerge alive from the jungle? Will Dr. Khalid find the third Stone of Power before they do?

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My Review

5 Stars

Adam, Justin and Kim are on the hunt for the third Stone of Power. They find themselves flying to the Mexican jungle when things go wrong and the plane crashes. The kids know the dangers of the jungle but they still need to find the stone. They come across some Maya descendants that are being terrorized by a man calling himself Tezcatlipoca and believing himself a god. It’s up to the kids to find the stone, keep it out of Dr. Khalid’s hands, and to stop this man posing as a god.

I just love this series. This time the kids are in Mexican jungle and we get to learn more about the Aztec and Mayans cultures and mythology. I loved learning with the kids. I felt for Tukum and everything he had on his shoulders. Of course I hated Tezcatlipoca, Smoking Mirror and how he was treating the people. I was so glad when he got his.

This is a great adventure series for midgrade readers and any age. You learn history as the kids race to claim the Stones of Power. I am officially hooked and can’t wait to find out where the next stone will take the kids.

Fiona Ingram

About the Author

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 (of course!). Ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and skeletons leaping out of coffins were hot favourites in the cast of characters that populated “Gruesome Gables” where all these adventures were played out. We also acted out the stories for my long-suffering parents, whom I see now were remarkably tolerant of my budding thespian and script-writing talents!

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. 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 (making me a popular dinner guest to revive any flagging conversations). 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. We had a marvellous time and it truly was the catalyst in changing my career. This short story grew into a children’s book, the first in the adventure series, Chronicles of the Stone. After the usual spate of rejections from snobby (British) agents, which I believe it every writer’s baptism of fire, I discovered America and made the decision to be published there. The book has done well there, even though the young heroes are South African, and has already garnered two impressive fiction nominations.

I’m already immersed in the next book in the series—The Search for the Stone of Excalibur—a huge treat for young King Arthur fans (and older ones as well). Although I do not have children of my own, I have an adopted teenage foster child, from an underprivileged background who is just discovering the joys of reading for pleasure. My interests include literature, art, theatre, collecting antiques, animals, music, movies, and wondering when I am going to be the next J.K. Rowling.

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I would like to thank Loving the Book for the opportunity to read and share these books.

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Grey Skies

Grey Skies
by William Becker
Genre: Horror
Roman Toguri finds himself burying the body of a nun in Boone, North
Carolina. As the skies darken and it begins to storm, he is forced to
shove the corpse into his trunk and take it home for the night,
unaware of the torment that playing God will bestow upon him.
Enter Hell with two bonus short stories: The White Shade, an ultra-violent
look into the mind of a mass shooter, and The Black Box, a
psychedelic dive into weird horror.
William Becker is an 18-year-old horror author with a mind for weirder sides
of the universe. With an emphasis on complex and layered storylines
that tug harshly on the reader to search for deeper meanings in the
vein of Silent Hill and David Lynch, Becker is a force to be reckoned
within the horror world. His works are constantly unfathomable,
throwing terror into places never before seen, while also providing
compelling storylines that transcend the predictable jumpscares of
the popular modern horror.
His first novel, WEEPING OF THE CAVERNS, was written when he was 14.
After eight months of writing, editing, and revising, the story
arrived soon after his 15th birthday. During the writing sessions for
his debut novel, he also wrote an ultra-controversial short story
known as THE WHITE SHADE that focused on the horrors of a shooting.
Living in a modern climate, it was impossible for THE WHITE SHADE to
see the light of day. Following a psychedelic stint that consisted of
bingeing David Lynch movies, weird art, and considering the depth of
the allegory of the cave wall, he returned to writing with a second
story, THE BLACK BOX, and soon after, his second novel, GREY SKIES.
My Review
4 Stars

Roman Toguri is getting ready to bury a nun when it starts to rain and he stashes her in his trunk and goes home. But when he gets home things go weird and to the next level. We follow along with Roman as he has delusions, or visions, or memories. All are gory and messed up but as you follow along with him you wonder what really happened to him.

I was instantly hooked from the beginning and wanted to know what Roman was doing with a dead nun. Then the story took a dark and very twisted turn as we learn about his past and around to his present situation. There is all kinds of brutal and dark things that are happening that made me wonder about Roman and how much of this was just his addled mind.

But when you get to the end, I was blown away. Everything was a shattered mirror that came together. There are several puzzles throughout the story, unfortunately I’m not really good at solving them but I have the feeling if you did they would add another dimension to this already off the wall story.

William Becker is a wonderful author that has caught my attention. There are two short stories afterwards that are great and have me curious about his other story Weeping of the Caverns. He is definitely someone to keep an eye out for.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
Enter for your chance to win $20 Amazon – 1 winner or Grey Skies Poster – 3 winners
I would like to thank Silver Dagger Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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