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.
In this exciting Middle Grade adventure set in Egypt, a 5000-year-old mystery comes to life. 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. 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 learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. 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!
The animal leaped forward. Adam looked back at the horizon and gasped. An enormous wall of whirling, yellow dust was bearing down on them at frightening speed. It was gaining on them so rapidly that it seemed to be just an arm’s length away. Adam and Justin leaned over their saddles and clung to their camels’ necks. The usually indolent beasts galloped along like racehorses, with their necks outstretched and their ears flattened back. It was as if they understood the terrible danger just behind them.
“It’s a sandstorm!” Adam yelled.
The howling wind whipped his words away and Justin just shook his head to show he couldn’t hear. Ahead of them, the men were looking back, beckoning and yelling, but the shriek of the sandstorm drowned out their voices. The camels threw their long legs forward as they strained to run faster. Sand swirled in eddies around their thudding feet. Already the stinging gusts of grit-laden air were whipping the four figures. The sand scoured their skin as the wind battered their fragile bodies. In seconds, their eyes began burning and their mouths filled with choking dust. The four frightened beasts thundered crazily across the dunes, their riders clinging like limpets to their backs. One of the men pointed to the left, toward a small rocky plateau and, as the camels veered instinctively in that direction, Adam saw a narrow ravine plunging downward. The wind shrieked as if in anger that its intended victims might escape. The sandstorm closed over them with a wailing ferocity. The brigadier’s rambling tales of his desert experiences hadn’t prepared Adam for the real thing. The first impact hit with a gigantic force and thundered against their makeshift shelter. With banshee howls, the great gusts of stinging sand blasted against the camels’ tough hide. However, apart from a few bad-tempered moans, the camels simply pushed their heads down to escape the worst of the sandstorm’s wrath.