Monday, February 17, 2020

VBT, Interview and Giveaway: The Eye of Ra by Ben Gartner

The Eye of Ra
by Ben Gartner


GENRE:   Middle Grade



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.


Up ahead, almost like an optical illusion in the rocks, a black oval dissolved into the mountain. It seemed to shimmer in the fading sunlight.

“What . . . is it?” John asked, taking a step back.

Sarah moved forward. “It—” She stepped closer, hunching to get a better look at the dark shape about the dimensions of the full-length mirror they had on the back of their bathroom door. “It looks like a cave. Cool!”

“Careful, Sarah. We shouldn’t go in there.”

“That’s a great idea,” Sarah said, standing upright and walking toward the mysterious black shape.

“No, wait, I said we shouldn’t go in there.” John turned to walk away. But he couldn’t leave his sister. “We should get Mom and Dad.”

“I’ll just peek in,” Sarah said, standing only an arm’s length from the entrance. “It definitely looks like a cave, or maybe an old mining tunnel or something. I don’t remember this from before.”

“Come on, Sarah.” John’s tone sounded more urgent now.

Sarah stepped closer, slowly, her lips parted and her eyes fixed on the cave.
Without another word, Sarah stepped across the threshold, and her body disappeared into the black.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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.

Will be available February 1, 2020 via Amazon and IngramSpark distributors.

The book is only $2.99.



What inspired you to write this book? 
My sons! I was working on an adult thriller and kept talking about it at the dinner table. They wanted to read it, but… well, let’s just say they’re not the target market. So, we started to brainstorm some ideas for something we could write together and voil√†, THE EYE OF RA was born (then nurtured lovingly). 
What does your writing space look like? 
When I’m writing I like to use my iPad and smart keyboard and sit in a comfy chair by the window. Less distractions. But I will use my desktop for writing too, I just find myself more easily feeling like I need to other “work” when I’m at the desk. However, when I’m editing or doing heavy research, it’s definitely desktop at that point. My desk is pretty sparse. I prefer no clutter. My iMac, wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, a few family photos, and some old art the kids made for me.
What motivates you to write? 
FUN. I’m having a resurgence with my writing over the last several years and it is entirely because I’ve reminded myself that I’m writing for the pure joy and fun and thrill of it. I’m not trying to get rich or be famous or replace my day job (I like my day job), I’m trying to write something that sucks me in and takes me on a ride. Hopefully, that immersion comes across to some readers too, but primarily it’s an activity for myself. Can’t forget that! THE EYE OF RA most definitely tickled my neurons in this way.
Who is your favorite character you have written?  
In THE EYE OF RA, I think my favorite characters are John and Sarah. Sure, they’re the protagonists, but they’re also the characters that inherited some of the traits of my own children (though they’re definitely wholly separate creations). However, the character that intrigues me the most, the one I’d like to learn more about, would be Imhotep, the vizier to King Djoser and the architect of the first pyramid in Saqqara, Egypt. Who was he, really? It would be nice to sit and share a meal with him and his family.


Ben Gartner will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

February 5: Rogue's Angels
February 6: Hurn Publications
February 6: Readeropolis
February 7: Our Town Book Reviews
February 10: Fabulous and Brunett
February 12: Kit 'N Kabookle
February 13: All the Ups and Downs
February 14: Sandra's Book Club
February 17: Lock, Hooks and Books
February 19: Books in the Hall
February 20: Sybrina's Book Blog
February 21: Long and Short Reviews

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  1. When you have many readers in your family, it's always great to hear about a great book you think one would enjoy. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I like time travel books. Thank you for the review.