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Exploring a mysterious cave in the mountains behind their house, John and his sister Sarah are shocked to discover they’ve time traveled to ancient Egypt!
Now they must work together to find a way back home from an ancient civilization of golden desert sand and a towering new pyramid, without parents to save them. The adventures abound—cobras, scorpions, a tomb robber, and more! The two kids have to trust each other, make friends who can help, and survive the challenges thrown at them . . . or be stuck in ancient Egypt forever.
For readers graduating from the Magic Treehouse series and ready for intense action, dive into this middle grade novel rich with meticulous historical detail.
read an excerpt...
As soon as her finger finished following the line of the eye, a bright flash illuminated the chamber for nothing more than the blip of a nanosecond, as if an electric bulb had exploded and gone out. John blinked back a sudden headache, wondering if he’d imagined the burst.
“Did you see that? So cool!” Sarah exclaimed.
John’s heart was in his throat. “Can we get outta here now?”
“So cool,” Sarah repeated, shaking her head. “I wish I had my phone to take a picture of this. Dad will love it!”
John tugged on Sarah’s shirt. “Can we please go now, Sarah? Please?” He could feel sweat on his forehead.
“Yes, fine,” Sarah said, pulling her arm away from his tugging. “This is a dead end, anyway. Let’s go.”
She marched off back to the corner and around it, John close behind. John could feel his chest loosening with every step, could almost taste the mountain air again. He plodded along behind her in the tunnel without looking up.
As soon as they were out of the cave, John smashed into the back of Sarah, who’d stopped suddenly.
“What the—” she muttered.
John didn’t smell the fresh mountain air. When he looked around his sister, expecting to see the scree slope and forest and the way back to the trail, instead he dropped his flashlight and his jaw at the same time.
He’d never seen anything like it.
BEN GARTNER - interview with Our Town Book Reviews...
Does this book have a special meaning to you? i.e. where you found the idea, its symbolism, its meaning, who you dedicated it to, what made you want to write it?
THE EYE OF RA is absolutely special to me. I’ll remember the process fondly since it was born out of a collaboration with my two sons. It was a way for us to dive into our imaginations and enjoy the creative process -- together. I dedicate the book to them saying their collaboration is priceless and it’s 100% true. It is also my debut middle grade novel and something that I waited way too long in life to do, and yet on the same token it’s absolutely the perfect time.
Where do you get your storylines from?
Besides allowing the mind to roam, I like to research facts and find the fringes where there is room for mystery. I find that with the most immersive and intriguing stories, no matter how wild they may seem, all have some root in factual accuracy. The most fantastic and magical stories all have a thread of reality to them that makes them hard to dismiss, especially when you look at the characters. This applies to human emotion and our ever-present challenges. For example, when I was young, my mind was blown while skimming around in the dictionary (proud Word Nerd!) and I came across the definition for ambergris. It is basically whale vomit that we used to use in perfumes as a fixative (now they have chemical synthetics). How the heck did they figure that out?! There’s gotta be a great story in there somewhere…
Was this book easier or more difficult to write than others? Why?
THE EYE OF RA was a fun project because it was just me and my boys shooting ideas around, having fun, with no expectation of grandiosity. I didn’t know it would grow into this novel we have today. We received so much positive feedback that we thought we might as well push it out to the world.
Do you only write one genre?
I cross a few genres, but they all share the common thread of adventure, thrills, and include elements of true fact. For example, in THE EYE OF RA, I mention the Heb-Sed festival where older pharaohs were made to run around a track and if they couldn’t do it without stopping, they’d be executed to make room for the new, younger, fitter successor. This history is a little fuzzy with different interpretations, but there seems to be a general thread that older pharaohs were murdered. Crazy, right?
Give us a picture of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?
I have to have complete quiet while writing. Sometimes I can knock out a few words on the plane or something, but those are usually subpar days. I need to completely immerse myself in my mind’s eye and let the story out through my fingertips without interruption. It can take a good 30 minutes of reading and editing before I’m up to speed and diving back into laying new words down, which is why two hours is the minimum chunk of time where I’m at my writing best.
And finally, of course…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a writer?
I never not wanted to be a writer. I always read, and I always wrote. They just were. It’s like asking someone, “Do you remember when you first wanted to be a breather?”
About the Author
Ben Gartner is the author of adventure books for middle graders and thrillers for adults. His writing for both audiences shares an ability to grab readers by their neurons for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.
All available for pre-order except Amazon, which will be available on publication date.
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=The%20Eye%20of%20Ra%20by%20Ben%20Gartner&c=books&hl=en_US
Will be available February 1, 2020 via Amazon and IngramSpark distributors.