Saturday, 27 December 2014

Amazing Art Competition - Enter Now!

I hope that you have all enjoyed a magical Christmas and that Santa brought you lots of lovely new
books to read!

Now that the excitement of the big day is over, you might have a little extra time on your hands - so
how about entering an exciting drawing competition? Head over to the World Book Day website and you'll find a competition based on my new Secrets of the Tombs series All you have to do is draw a scene from the first book of the series, The Phoenix Code, and you'll be in with a chance of an amazing prize  - the chance to be a named character in the third and final book of the series - in which Cleo and Ryan will travel to Mexico for their biggest - and most perilous - adventure of all. Click here for all the details.

Drop everything (even that leftover turkey and mince pie sandwich!) and do it now, because the closing date for entries is 10th January. Good luck. I can't wait to see all your pictures!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Update on Book Two

If you enjoyed reading about Cleo and Ryan's adventures in The Valley of the Kings in The Phoenix Code, you might be wondering where their next mystery will take them - and more importantly, when!

I'm happy to tell you that I can now answer both questions.

(1) China
(2) June, 2015

If you were reading very carefully, you might have picked up a hint as to the first answer . . . in the final chapter of The Phoenix Code, Pete McNeil mentions that he's been asked to study a strange ancient burial in China. He wonders whether Ryan's Mum, Julie Flint would be interested in coming along to write some articles about the dig. So that's where they go. You can find out what happens next in The Dragon Path . . .

The final version will have lovely shiny foil lettering
 And here it is! A sneak preview of the new book cover. I hope you'll agree that the cover is fabulous - full of mystery and danger. I love it!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Waterstones Event

I was delighted to be invited along to Waterstones book shop in Cambridge to talk about The Phoenix Code and to lead some Ancient Egyptian themed activities. It was so much fun to chat to lots of children - including some familar faces I've met before on school visits.

Everyone listened politely as I talked about the legend of the benben stone and the bennu bird on which The Phoenix Code is based.  Then I read a passage from the book (in which Ryan makes a daring escape from a temple at night, comes face to face with a snake and hurtles through a market place on a runaway donkey cart). 


Then I signed some books (I loved sitting in the golden chair!)

Saturday, 2 August 2014

New Reviews for The Phoenix Code

It's been so exciting to see some lovely reviews for The Phoenix Code.
 I wanted to take a moment to
thank all the wonderful readers who take the time to share their thoughts about books with others, and also to the amazing book bloggers who put so much into reading books for children and teenagers and writing helpful and thoughtful reviews to help the rest of us find the kinds of books we want to read.

I've listed some reviews on the previous post but I wanted to share a couple of new ones with you.

These are two of my favourites. The first is a review on the reading website Goodreads. It is written entirely in Greek. Out of interest, I copied it into Google translate to find out what it said. I don't think it was a very good translation, but all the words were nice. I particularly enjoyed the first line.

"The author has done good research for this book and he does not write crap."

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Phoenix has Launched


Heffers Children's Bookshop in Cambridge - one of my very favourite places - very kindly hosted an event to celebrate the launch of The Phoenix Code, the first book of my new series, Secrets of the Tombs.

This is my new book . . . it's only nine days old! If it were a human it would be in nappies!
Lots of lovely children (and their Mums and Dads) came along. I read an extract and talked about some of the legends behind the mystery - incuding the benben stone and the bennu bird. We dined on magnificent Egyptian-themed cupcakes (a big hit;  thank you to Sarah Jameson Creative for making them so beautifully) and Egytpian hisbiscus cordial or karkade (I'm not sure that this went down quite so well - mainly because it was pink and everyone thought it was summer fruit squash or Ribena and got a bit of a surprise when it wasn't that at all!)

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Secrets of the Tombs


Welcome to the website for my new series, Secrets of the Tombs. The first title, The Phoenix Code, was published by Orion's Childrens Books in July, 2014.

"A thrilling novel chock full of action and adventure that is inspired by the secrets, treasures and legends of the great ancient civilisations.  It is the first in an informative and entertaining new collection aimed at fans of history, but full of fast-paced excitement to make your heart race!" (Lovereading4kids)

If you liked the mystery and adventure of Adventure Island, I hope you will enjoy Secrets of the Tombs as well.There are lots of the same ingredients:

  • friendship and teamwork? Check!
  • unscrupulous criminals up to shady shenanigans and dastardly deeds? Check! 
  • problem-solving, code-breaking, and sleuthing of all kinds? Check!
  • menace and peril around every corner? Check!
  • funny bits? Check!
  • ice cream and cake? Check! 
  • brilliant illustrations by Leo Hartas? Check!
But now, with added extras!
  • history
  • archaeology
  • amazing locations in far-flung places
  • myths, legends and ancient treasures
  • and much much more (yes, the books are twice as long as an Adventure Island mystery!)
Three books are planned for the series. The Phoenix Code is set in the mysterious Valley of the Kings near Luxor in Egypt (famous as the burial ground of King Tutankhamun and numerous other New Kingdom pharaohs). The second book, The Dragon Path, will come out in 2015, and is set in China. As for the third book . . . watch this space!

I've absolutely loved writing The Phoenix Code and I hope that you will enjoy reading it.



"When Ryan Flint accompanies his journalist mother to an archaeological expedition in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, he isn't expecting life-threatening danger and a 3,000-year-old murder mystery - but that's exactly what he finds! Before he knows it, he has joined forces with Cleo McNeil, an archaeologist's daughter, to solve secret codes, discover an ancient treasure and outwit a strange cult intent on gaining possession of the relic. Can Ryan and Cleo unravel the mystery and solve the Phoenix Code before it's too late?"
The Phoenix Code also features fabulous line drawings by Leo Hartas (who also illustrated the Adventure Island sereis).  The drawings combine traditional Ancient Egyptian symbols with modern elements, and capture the atmosphere of the story perfectly. For more information vist Leo's website.



If you would like to buy The Phoenix Code on-line, visit the Orion Children's Books website or lovereading4kids