29 Sep 2013

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Linda A. Cadose

1. Please tell our readers a little about yourself.
Since 2011, I have been a full time children's book author. Prior to 2011, I was a Registered Respiratory Therapist. During my career, I had the privilege of being on staff at the New England Sinai Hospital; Tufts Medical Center, Boston Children's Hospital and the Spaulding Rehab Hospital. I presently live in a retirement community in Carver, MA.
I love to travel and have been to Egypt, Holland, France, Germany, the Bahamas and Mexico.


2. Tell us about your book.
Dr. Khalid Saad discovers a hidden chamber in the right paw of the Great Sphinx. He invites his life-long friend Dr. Cliff Post to join him in an expedition to excavate the chamber. Cliff eagerly accepts. Dr. Hosnee Sadat opposes the inclusion of Americans on any archaeological expedition. He plans to open the chamber himself. Finally, Drs. Saad, Sadat and Post open the chamber. Inside they discover a supercomputer composed 0f 13 crystal skulls that were left there by ancient aliens. After the skulls are discovered Dr. Post and Dr. Saad are spied on, followed and kidnapped. Will they survive? Will the supercomputer be discovered?


3. What was your inspiration in writing The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx?
My nephew was my inspiration. When he was a little boy, my nephew was a reluctant reader. I was worried that his unwillingness to read would adversely affect his school performance. I began to write stories for him. I discovered that mystery/adventure stories would entice him to read. My book is a mystery/adventure in which I wove an educational tale about ancient Egypt.


4. Tell us about your book cover design and how the book came to be titled.

When I was in Egypt, I took many pictures. My favorite was a picture of the Great Sphinx with the Great Pyramid in the back. My pictures were lost so I used Thinkstock to find a picture that was similar to my favorite photograph. I chose the title after the book was written; the title sums up what the book is about.


5. Give us an insight into your main character.
Dr. Cliff Post is a college professor who goes on archaeological expeditions when he is on a Leave of Absence from Lodge University. He is honest, highly intelligent and a true friend. He is very protective of women and the children in his life.


6. What is the best advice you've received as an author?

Write every day. Take courses and attend seminars to improve you writing. My advice to aspiring authors is never give up.


7. What are your interests outside of writing? Do any of these activities find their way into your books?
I love to travel, I love to read and I love to learn. I take courses every chance I get. My love of travel and knowledge of foreign locations become the setting of my books.


8. What’s next for you?
I'm already writing another book. The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx is the first book in a series featuring the tales of American archeologist, Dr. Cliff Post. Follow him in later books as he visits underwater pyramids and goes to Jerusalem.


9.  Which author would you say your writing most resembles?
I am a great admirer of Rick Riordan. I hope to write as well as he does one day.


10.  Where can we buy the book?
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Chamber-Great-Sphinx-ebook/dp/B007A8LUV8

About the Author and Book
The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx, by Linda A. Cadose, is a YA mystery adventure novel set

The book follows archaeologist Dr. Cliff Post and his friend Dr. Abdul Saad who discover a hidden chamber in the Great Sphinx. Inside of the right paw they find ancient scrolls and 13 crystal skulls that form a supercomputer.  This great discovery soon takes a dangerous turn when Drs. Saad and Post are followed, spied on and eventually kidnapped. On this extraordinary adventure, readers learn information about not only the Great Sphinx but also about Egypt, its mysteries, and the study of archaeology.

The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx is the first book in a series featuring the tales of American archeologist, Dr. Cliff Post. Follow him in later books as he visits underwater pyramids and goes to Jerusalem.

Linda Cadose is a retired respiratory therapist who is now a children's book author. She likes to travel, enjoys reading, and loves history. She has been to Egypt and has visited all of the historical sites she discusses in her book. Linda currently resides in Carver, MA. For more information, visit http://lindacadose.authorsxpress.com/


in Giza, Egypt.
Buy the book
Amazon.

 Excerpt

The Hidden Chamber In The Great Sphinx
Chapter 5
The rest of the school year crept by for Cliff. He hadn't realized how much he was looking forward to his upcoming sabbatical until he got back from Cairo and went back to work. Talking about Egypt and being in Egypt were a far cry from one another, and the short time he'd spent there made him want to be back immediately.

He was in one of his afternoon classes giving a lecture, and he kept glancing at the clock.

"The Giza plateau is a mile square and was leveled by human hands. The plateau is 130 feet above the Nile Valley. It is only half a degree off from being perfectly level. Any questions so far?" Cliff asked his students as he paused in his lecture to make sure he wasn't losing them. A student raised his arm, and Cliff pointed to him.

"Professor, I understand why the Egyptians made the pyramids, but what was the purpose of the Great Sphinx?"

"That's a good question, Peter. The Great Sphinx guards the pyramids of Giza," Cliff told the student and pointed to another student who had her arm in the air.

"Dr. Post, what exactly is a sphinx? I've always thought it was, like, a cat," the young lady wanted to know. Some of her classmates giggled.

"Settle down, guys. That's a good question, too. Does anyone know the answer to Stephanie's question?" Cliff looked pointedly at some of the students who'd giggled when Stephanie asked her question. "You, there. Thomas. You seemed to be very amused by Stephanie's question. Should we take it that you know the answer?"

"Well, isn't it, like, I mean, doesn't it have the body of a lion and the head of a man? I think it's something like that," Thomas said and the smile was gone from his face now that he found himself in the hot seat.

"Correct," Cliff told Thomas. "The word sphinx comes from an Egyptian phrase which means 'living image' or statue. It is a sculpture carved out of a sandstone knoll. The Great Sphinx is 240 feet long, just a little under 14 feet wide and stands 66 feet high. It wears a Pharaoh's headdress, which is denoted by the cobra on the forehead.

"The Sphinx's nose was shot off with a cannon by Napoleon's troops and is now housed in the British Museum. At one time, the Great Sphinx was painted dark red. The eyes were painted black, and the headdress was painted white. The Sphinx is situated so that it faces the rising sun on June 21st, the summer solstice.

"The face of the Great Sphinx was analyzed and compared to the face on the Louvre sphinx of pharaoh Amenenhet II. The similarities were said to be profound. Both faces are full and broad and slope downward over the cheekbones. Subsequently, the face on the Great Sphinx is believed to be the likeness of Amenenhet II. Are there any questions?"

Cliff looked around the room and realized that many of the students weren't paying attention to his lecture. Some were doodling and a few in the back of the room had their heads down on their desks. He was grateful that at least Stephanie, Thomas and Peter seemed to be interested in what he was talking about, and he smiled at each of them in turn. Cliff continued his lecture.

"There is a theory that the Great Sphinx was a statue of the Egyptian God Anubis in the Old Kingdom. Anubis was the god of the dead and mummification. He was placed on the Giza plateau to guard the Giza necropolis. The proponents of this theory believe that the body of the Great Sphinx is the body of a dog and not the body of a lion.

"There is evidence that the Sphinx was recarved in the Middle Kingdom by the pharaoh Amenenhet II in his own image. The head of the Sphinx is disproportionate to the body of the Sphinx. It is believed that the head of the Great Sphinx was much larger than it is now. Behind the Great Sphinx lies the Great Pyramid. Yes, Stephanie," Cliff said when he saw the young lady's arm in the air.

"Which pyramid is the biggest, Dr. Post?" Stephanie asked.

"The largest of the pyramids on the Giza plateau is the Great Pyramid of Pharaoh Kheops (Khufu). It is almost 486 feet tall. The pyramid's base occupies 13 acres and is said to represent the Equator. The apex of the pyramid deviates a half a degree from True North and is said to represent the Northern Hemisphere. The Great Pyramid was built with two and a half million blocks of limestone, some of which weighed 15 tons. That is more stone than can be found in all the churches, chapels and cathedrals built in England since 33 A.D.

"It is postulated that four mud ramps were erected to build the pyramid, and it took 2,500 men to construct it. The king's sarcophagus is one inch wider than the Ascending Corridor which leads to the King's Chamber toward the center of the pyramid. The King's Chamber, which is 19'1" high, 34'4" long and 17'2" wide, was to be the interment location of the pharaoh. It, however, is empty except for a large sarcophagus of rose granite. Archeologists believe that since the sarcophagus is wider than the chamber it must have been built in. Who can tell me how many sides there are to the Great Pyramid?"

"Four," Peter answered quickly.

"Ah, one would think that, wouldn't they, Peter? However, the Great Pyramid's core is concave which makes the Great Pyramid an eight-sided figure. This concavity divides each of the four faces of the pyramid in half. This feature can only be seen from the air, and the first person to record seeing it was a British Air Force pilot by the name of P. Groves, who flew over the Great Pyramid in 1940. Yes, Thomas?" Cliff paused to acknowledge Thomas who had raised his arm into the air.

"Dr. Post, I read something odd in the book, and it didn't make much sense to me. It said something about a Queen's Chamber that was built, too, but am I mistaken that it wasn't actually for burying the queen of the Pharaoh?" Thomas' brow was furrowed as he asked the question.

"You're correct, Thomas. It wasn't for the burial of the queen. The name is somewhat misleading. The Queen's Chamber in the Great Pyramid was built as an alternative resting place for the pharaoh in the event that the King's Chamber was not completed at the time of the pharaoh's death. If the King's Chamber was completed on time, then the Queen's Chamber would be used to house a statue of the pharaoh's ka. Does anyone know what that is? Yes, Jacob?" Cliff pointed to another student who had finally decided to start paying attention.

"The ka was the pharaoh's essence," Jacob said confidently.

"That is correct, Jacob. After death, the pharaoh's khat (corpse) was mummified. The ka or spiritual double can be thought of as the personality or life force of the pharaoh. The ba was another part of the total person. The khaibut was the pharaoh's shadow, and it was associated with the ba. The ren was a person's name. You should be writing these terms down, class. It's possible you may see them on the final exam." Cliff paused as there was pronounced movement among the students as they took out paper and began to write. Cliff chuckled inwardly. He knew the mention of the final exam would make his lecture more interesting to his students.

Before continuing, Cliff took a few moments to repeat the information he'd just shared with his class, so the stragglers could write down all the terms. Once he was satisfied that they'd all had a chance to catch up, Cliff continued his lecture.

"The story goes that after his death, the ka of the pharaoh was put on a scale and weighed against an ostrich feather by the god Maat. If the pharaoh's heart was lighter than the ostrich feather, it meant that the pharaoh could enter the afterlife. Even in death, the ka would continue to need sustenance, so the family left behind by the deceased pharaoh would continue to nourish it with food and water. Are there any questions about the Great Pyramid of Pharaoh Kheops?" Cliff paused but no one raised their arms to ask questions.

"Before we run out of time today, let me quickly talk about the other pyramids. Again, you need to be writing down the terms I mention, because you'll probably see them on the final examination. Now then... The Second Pyramid was built for the Pharaoh Khephren (Khafre) and is 446 feet tall. It is made of massive limestone blocks faced inside and out with slabs of red granite. It is easily identifiable by its layers of casing stones. The Second Pyramid measures 78 million cubic feet.

"The Third Pyramid of Giza was built for the Pharaoh Mykerinus (Menkaure). At 215 feet tall, it is much smaller than the other two pyramids. The first 15 meters of this pyramid are pink granite, and the rest is limestone. Menkaure's sarcophagus was made of basalt and was lost at sea while being transported to the British museum.

"The Pharaoh Menkaure was a much more beneficent ruler than his two predecessors, Kheops and Khafre. Menkaure was known as a good king with a mild mannered disposition. Kheops and Khafre were resented by their subjects, because they enslaved their citizens and required them to labor at massive building projects.

The three pyramids form a Pytharean triangle and are aligned with the three stars in Orion's belt. Moreover, the three pyramids and the Great Sphinx are actually parts of a whole which are connected by interlocking golden angles. These golden angles measure 26 degrees, 33minutes and 54 seconds. The golden angle is found in all four corners of the Great Pyramid, all four corners of Khephren pyramid and in two corners of the Mykerinus pyramid," Cliff said as he paused and looked at the clock. He was out of time.

"That's all we have time for today, class. Make sure you finish reading chapters 23 and 24 in the book, and I'll pick up where I left off in the next class."

When all the students had left the room, Cliff released a long sigh. He stuffed his notes in his briefcase and walked out of the building. Out of a class of 45 students, only four had bothered to participate in today's class.

Yes, he was looking forward to his sabbatical, and the end of school year couldn't come quick enough.
 

22 Sep 2013

REVIEW: The Gatekeeper's Daughter by Eva Pohler


Title: The Gatekeeper’s Daughter (Gatekeeper’s Saga #3)
Author: Eva Pohler
Publication Date: May 1st 2013
Publisher: Green Press
Format: Paperback
Pages: 235
Rating: 5/5
Blurb: In The Gatekeeper's Sons, Therese and Thanatos, the god of death, met and fell in love. In The Gatekeeper's Challenge, they did everything they could to be together, even break an oath on the River Styx. But the Olympians don't tolerate oath-breakers. 

In this third book in the saga, The Gatekeeper's Daughter, Therese may have finally succeeded in becoming a goddess, but if she wants to remain one, she'll not only have to discover her unique purpose, but also make some allies among the gods. Artemis sends her on a seemingly impossible quest across the world, while Than searches for a way to appease Ares. To make matters worse, her baby sister's life depends on the outcome of her quest.
Ely’s Review: Usually when it comes to sequels, I get a little hesitant about reading them because they are almost never as good as their original. I immensely enjoyed the first two books of the Gatekeeper’s Saga, and so I began to worry that maybe this book wouldn’t live up to those standards? However, this book was even better than the last two- though, it shouldn’t have really been surprising because Eva Pohler is just so ridiculously talented that it kills me. 


From the moment this book started, it drove me absolutely crazy (in a good way). I was so excited to be back in this world with Therese and Than, but mainly Hip (let’s be honest). I think the character’s that Eva has created are so wonderfully written and I particularly like the way she writes each of the gods and goddesses- they are all so different, but they all work so well together. Therese is legitimately one of my favourite young adult protagonists, perhaps even my favourite character ever. I think she is definitely a character that most readers will be able to connect to in some way or another, even if you aren’t off falling in love with the God of Death. Even the characters that aren’t Gods are just perfect- I felt so sorry for Jen throughout this book and I sincerely hope that things get better for her. One of the best things about this series is the pets- Eva never fails to mention them and give them an important role in Therese’s life. It is so very amazing to read this interaction between Therese and her pets, because I think it’s definitely something that most books miss out on. Just another way in which Eva’s books are so unique!

The plot of this book is as amazing as ever. It’s especially amazing how Eva always manages to slip things in from the previous books- I swear, she never leaves an important thing out of anything. The pacing of this particular was also really good- sometimes I feel like sequels often spend quite a bit of time recapping and whatnot, but this one gets right into the action. Another thing with the pacing is that it was very well done- it was pretty steady throughout the book, there weren’t those long parts where nothing really happens, instead it’s all interesting. Again, this is a pretty rare thing, but as usual Eva does it perfectly. Another thing is the world building- I can’t say I’ve read many books set in mythological settings but Eva does such an amazing job at creating these beautiful scenes and descriptions that are so easy to imagine and really do transport into this world.

I think I should probably stop going on about this book, before things start to get out of control and I begin to decode absolutely every word that Eva has written (I would so go there). But the most important things are that this book is just crazy and brilliant and every other good adjective in the entire world, Eva Pohler is once again the most lovely, talented, amazing author alive and that you should most definitely read this entire series so that you can experience it for yourself. I honestly don’t think I could ever accurately express my love for this series, so please just give it a go for yourself.

Chami's Review:


Eva Pohler, you have done it again. Okay, okay. I just finished The Gatekeepers Daughter and I absolutely loved it to death. Haha- See what I did there? Ain’t I punny?

Eva is crazy talented with her methods in story telling. You can’t deny she knows how to create a story and maintain it the whole way through.

One of the things I loved about the previous book was how Therese never forgot about what happened to her previously and this book doesn’t take away that magic.  Her character is just total and complete and she has to be one of my favorite heroines with no aspect of being annoying whatsoever.

One of my favorite things about this book is how Eva was able to handle topics people don’t usually bring up in young adult fantasy books. It creates a distinct credible link between the real world and Greek world, which is meandered between in the book itself. It takes candor for someone to discuss those topics and I generally appreciated the presence of them.

This was fast paced to the max. I had barely had any time to step away and breath. Every time a problem was solved another one would come up and everything would just be laced within each other and it was nuts and crazy and just WOW.

If you haven’t read this series you should seriously give them a chance. They are utterly fantastic and I just want to hug them to death.



8 Sep 2013

COVER REVEAL: The Gatekeeper's House by Eva Pohler

Today, we are incredibly excited to reveal to you guys the cover for the fourth book in The Gatekeeper's Saga by Eva Pohler. The fourth book is titled 'The Gatekeeper's House' and here is the lovely synopsis:

Eighteen-year-old Therese Mills has second thoughts about marrying Thanatos when she learns no god has ever been faithful to his wife. Before she can move into Hecate's rooms, however, the Underworld is attacked, she and her friends are crushed, the souls are unleashed, and a malevolent goddess threatens to unhinge Mount Olympus.

Hypnos has just made a deal with Hades to have his turn in the Upperworld, but before he can tempt Jen with a kiss, he's called back to rebind the souls and defend the House of Hades, and he unwittingly puts Jen and her family in harm's way.


You can add the book to your Goodreads "To-Read" shelf by clicking here.

You can pre-order the book through Smashwords by clicking here.

If you don't already own the first three books, click here to order them.

Thanks to Melinda VanLone for creating another masterpiece for the Gatekeeper's Saga. Notice that it maintains the gate and the overall brand of the series while introducing new elements that represent the story. So, without further ado, here is the cover for the fourth book, The Gatekeeper's House:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00023]



To celebrate the occasion, the author, Eva Pohler, is giving away a Pomegranate Gift Basket to a random commenter on her site using Random.org. Only one entry per person, please. The basket contains pomegranate earrings, pomegranate dark chocolate, pomegranate sachets, book marks with all four covers, and...a signed Advanced Reader's Copy of The Gatekeeper's House a month before its release date. This giveaway begins now and ends at noon (Central Time Zone) on September 30th. Here is a link to the giveaway: http://wp.me/p2ESzq-9h Good luck! Tell us what you think of the cover!

6 Sep 2013

REVIEW: Ink by Amanda Sun



Title: Ink (Paper Gods #1)
Author: Amanda Sun
Publication Date: June 25th 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: Paperback
Pages: 326
Rating: 4/5
Blurb: 
On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.
Review: Ever since I saw the amazing cover of this book it has been on my most-wanted list so to say I was a little excited to finally get to this book would be a massive understatement. Once I’d gotten the book I realised I knew almost nothing about the book at all- the only thing I did know was that it’s set in Japan.

I don’t know what I was really expecting but it was different. I was a little bit hesitant with the whole orphaned girl moves somewhere new thing, but I thought it was done really well. A lot of the focus was on Katie adapting to the new society she has found herself in rather than focusing too heavily on the tragedy, which was honestly much more enjoyable. I don’t know a lot about Japanese culture so it was really interesting to learn new things while Katie experienced them. I found some of things more difficult to understand than others- there are actually quite a few Japanese words within the book, though there is also a glossary at the back which I didn’t noticed until I’d finished the book. I had originally given this book five stars but after I started this review and thought about it, I decided to bring it down to four stars.

Character-wise, I didn’t completely hate Katie but there were times when I wasn’t the biggest fan of her. I can’t really explain it but there were times when she did things that seemed a little strange- maybe it’s a situation/culture thing but whatever. Tomohiro was the same sort of situation- I went from thinking he was weird, to loving him, to thinking he was weird again and hating me and then back to loving him. I don’t think there was really any chance for many of the other characters to grow- I would have really liked to see more friends and family dynamics which unfortunately lacked in this book.

The main concept of this book is brilliant and very unique. As I realised what this book was about, I really got interested in Tomo’s abilities and how that was all connected to Katie and whatnot. Without giving too much away, I liked how this was able to let their relationship develop in a more interesting way than it would have without the idea.

Probably my absolute favourite thing about Ink, was the setting. I’ve never read a book set in Japan before and it previously wasn’t really somewhere that captured my attention but after reading this book, I’ve become a little more obsessed with Japan and the Japanese culture. I think Ink did a good job of capturing the beauty- there was a part about the cherry blossoms that just absolutely took my breath away, but there was also this element of darkness and destruction that was just perfect.

Moving away from that, I just want to say before I finish that there’s a high possibility that I may try and steal the sequel before its release date in March next year.

1 Sep 2013

August Wrap-Up and September TBR

Last month I planned to read 40 books, I managed to get through 6 of them which included: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Angels and Demons, Rebecca, Ink, Happily Never After and The Gatekeeper's Daughter. I also read one book which wasn't on my list which was City of Bones- this was a re-read for me.

For September, quite a few of my books are re-reads either for school or for fun. I have a total of 30 books for this month and I'm hoping I manage to read more than last month.




*= currently reading  -= re-read
Library Books


The Gyspy Crown by Kate Forsyth *
The Silver Horse by Kate Forsyth
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Jasper Jones by Craig Silver *
The Wrong Boy by Suzy Zail
Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan
The Loving Spirit by Daphne Du Maurier
Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern *
The Skeleton Key by Tara Moss
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenger 
Non-library Books

Beowulf by Seamus Heaney *
The Go-Between by L.P Hartley
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare - *
All That I Am by Anna Funder
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada
Legend by Marie Lu
Germinal by Emile Zola (French and English)
Stasiland by Anna Funder -
Atonement by Ian McEwan -
BRB by Bob Wernly and Kathy Clark
Frostbite by Richelle Mead –
Shadow Kissed by Richelle Mead –
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare –
Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
The Haunted by Jessica Verday
The Hidden by Jessica Verday
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen