Thursday, February 13, 2020

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The Eye of Ra by Ben Gartner

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for The Eye of Ra by Ben Gartner. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt and a guest post regarding ancient Egypt for you as well as the tour wide giveaway for your chance to win a $30 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more excerpts, guest posts, interviews, reviews, and more. Enjoy!
Title: The Eye of Ra
Author: Ben Gartner
Publisher: Crescent Vista Press
Publication Date: February 1st 2020
Print Length: 280 pages
Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fiction
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.

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 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.

- If you could travel back in time to any ancient civilization, which one would you choose and why?

The answer has to be ancient Egypt, right?! I traveled in my mind’s eye back to that time while researching for THE EYE OF RA and I found it chock-full of story ideas from thousands of years of history. What’s so great for the writer about this era is that we have a lot of the history recorded, but at the same time there are a lot of gaps. And therein lies the mystery.

We know quite a bit about this ancient civilization from the archaeological record, but I would be more interested in talking with the “ordinary” people – listening to stories about their everyday lives, about how they perceived the world around them. We’ve all heard that “history is written by the victors” (though the source of the quote is unclear) and I would extend that to include “history is written by the powerful.” In modern times, that power has been distributed somewhat with technology – the power of Twitter, for example. But back in the time of King Djoser and Imhotep (who features in THE EYE OF RA), the King’s scribes were charged with documenting their stories via hieroglyphs. Since their lives and livelihood were under control of the King, in what light do you think that history was recorded?

Imhotep is one name sometimes recognized as being associated with ancient Egypt by most people (the movie The Mummy with Brendan Fraser may have helped to popularize it). And while we think we know a good deal about the architect of the first pyramid at Saqqara, Egypt, I would love to visit his home, meet his family, eat at his dinner table. “A day in the life” could be every bit as dramatic and captivating as magic.

I try to touch on that sense of wonder and timeless continuity in THE EYE OF RA. With some cobras and spiders and tomb robbers to spice it up, of course.
Ben Gartner will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter after the tour. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the tour each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hello! Thanks so much for sharing your book with us. Always fun reading about another book to enjoy.

  2. This sounds like a great book. I hope that it is a success.

  3. Sounds awesome - thank you for sharing!

  4. What is one of the most fascinating items/fact that you've come across in your research?

  5. The cover is eye catching and sharing this with my grandson.. he will ask me to buy it once!

  6. When you were a child, what authors, book series and genres did you enjoy reading?

  7. Love the cover and sounds like a great read!

  8. Cool cover and this is sounding like a really good middle grade read.

  9. How will these two modern day kids understand ancient Egyptian language?

  10. I can already think of a few of my students who would love this book!

  11. Love the design on the cover. Love to read this book.

  12. I really enjoyed the excerpt and think this is a great MG reader for readers of this genre. The cover is also sure to attract your young readers. Best wishes on the novel.

  13. This book sounds like a great adventure! I can't wait to get started on it!

  14. looks like a fun one

  15. Middle grade books are so fun to read at any age! This sounds like a great one!

  16. I hope Ben Gartner plans on writing more books. This is so my genre.