Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Blog Tour: The Shadow of Atlantis


This is where the mystery begins – a mystery that will soon turn into a magical journey, a quest to unlock the secrets kept hidden by an ancient book bearing the title "Shadows from the Past"…

By Wendy Leighton-Porter

Author: Wendy Leighton-Porter
Publisher: Silver Quill Publishing
Pages: 128
Genre: Middle Grade Literature / Time Travel / Adventure


My Review

Ten-year-old twins Joe and Jemima Lancelot get the shock of their lives when their parents disappear without a trace and with no explanation. The only clues are a mysterious old book that had belonged to their father and a piece of jewellery belonging to their mother … something she always wore. The only witness to part of their disappearance is Max, their unusually talented Tonkinese cat. Months pass with no further information, and so the twins begin a new life with their Uncle Richard, a professor of archaeology. Although he hasn’t any kids of his own and isn’t very good at parenting, luckily his wonderful housekeeper, Mrs. Garland, makes the twins feel at home. Uncle Richard said Max (short for Maximus) could stay too, so, apart from deep sadness about their parents, the twins settle into a new routine. Charlie Green, the shy boy next door, soon becomes their best friend.

 One rainy day, the twins decide to look at their father’s old book. In an amazing magical moment, they manage to open the book and, accompanied by Charlie and Max, are transported to the lost city of Atlantis. They befriend a kind family but the disaster facing the city soon becomes their problem. The trouble is, only a few people believe their warnings. Can they escape dangerous enemies, save the city, and get back to their own world before it’s too late? And where are their parents?

I loved this story. The kids are all clearly defined and bring their own thoughts and personalities to this well-paced adventure: Joe always daring and often impetuous; Charlie a little hesitant but getting braver; and Jemima, sensitive and perceptive. Max is a unique character all on his own: wise beyond his years, observant, and alert to any hint of danger. He adds a lovely touch of humour with his cryptic comments. Wonderful descriptions bring the past to life and create a sense of otherworldliness mixed with reality. The story of Atlantis is one of those incredible mysteries that people aren’t quite sure is true or not. I’m a firm believer and I really enjoyed how much authentic detail the author includes in describing the history and legends of Atlantis and its origins. Greek mythology interweaves nicely with the story and makes for easy and interesting learning for young readers. This book is the start of a series that takes Joe and Jemima on new and exciting adventures into the past. Highly recommended. 5 Stars.

“Author Wendy Leighton-Porter’s Shadows from the Past children’s series is an outstanding collection of books that would make an excellent addition to any home or school library. Written in an engaging style with characters that will have great appeal to young readers, this page-turning collection will be as enticing to avid book enthusiasts as it will be for reluctant readers.” CHILDREN’S LITERARY CLASSICS BOOK AWARDS

“The Shadows from the Past series is perfect for a rainy day and a must-have for a child’s shelves.” READERS’ FAVORITE BOOK REVIEWS

The Shadow of Atlantis is a well-written story with a collection of likable main characters, a solid plot line, snippets of educational facts about a historically important location and event, and, is filled with mystery, magic, and suspense. This book grabbed me at the prologue and had me hooked until the end.” MOTHER DAUGHTER BOOK REVIEWS

After teaching French, Latin, and Classical Studies for almost twenty years, Wendy’s career took a new direction when she turned to her first love – books – and decided to devote herself to writing children’s fiction. With the old adage “Write about what you know” in mind, when she first came up with the idea for her series of time-travel adventures, she jumped head-first into the ancient world of classical history and mythology which formed the backdrop for her first three books. As the series moves forward in time, she sets each story in historical periods that have always fascinated her. Although no longer in the classroom, she seeks to entertain her young readers, to engage them, to foster a love of reading, but also to educate. As she takes them on a thrilling journey into the past alongside her three young time-travellers and their talking cat, Wendy hopes that her love of history, myth and legend will rub off on them along the way.

Website: https://www.wendy-leighton-porter.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WLP_author

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WendyLeightonPorterWriter

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Saturday, May 1, 2021

Book review: Ethan Murphy and the Race for the Incan Crown

Ethan Murphy and the Race for the Incan Crown
is the second book in the Ethan Murphy series. With his first adventure under his belt, thirteen-year-old Ethan Murphy is now a fully-fledged member of ROM: The Riddle of Macrocosm Agency. Managed by Ethan’s grandpa, the agency dates back quite a while and is in the business of locating and researching ancient artifacts and treasures. Four years ago, Ethan’s dad, Logan, was abducted while on a mission for the agency. Ethan now occupies his dad’s office. He met his two friends, Grace and Steve, while on his first mission, and they make a formidable team. However, he has not yet told his mom he’s an agent now because he knows what her reaction will be. Mysteriously, the office Ethan occupies is vandalized and valuable documentation is stolen. Who did this? Does this have something to do with what Ethan’s dad was working on prior to his abduction? How could the person get into the office … unless there is a mole in ROM? When a blackmail letter arrives, how will Ethan and everyone at ROM deal with the situation?

Kids who love puzzles, riddles, and mysteries will welcome the return of Ethan and his team. Author Anita Mishra has cleverly included a ‘catch-up’ prologue for kids who are starting with this book so readers will be up to speed with how Ethan got to where he is now. Ethan faces a new, tough assignment: to locate the traditional crown of the Inca people before the baddies get to it. Their destination is Peru! But it’s a dangerous assignment and people have been injured in the past when looking for the crown. The nail-biting suspense and mystery start right away with the theft of the vital information and continue as Ethan and his team are followed by men in black. Of course, puzzles and clues are a necessary part of this adventure and readers with a flair for cryptic puzzles, codes, and word games will love working these out with Ethan. The suspense builds as the hunt begins and the young reader wonders who will get to the crown first.

 There is no shortage of mystery, intrigue, subterfuge, non-stop action, danger, and adventure as the kids are thrust into a new and threatening environment. Who is a friend and who is a foe? Teamwork, courage, trust, and self-belief, as well as family love and values and being honest are themes that the author subtly includes. This is a rollercoaster adventure with twists and turns that kids will love! Bonus: at the end of the story the author includes a cipher for keen readers to solve and earn a ROM Agency badge!