Monday, 2 November 2015

The Next Adventure

Always carry a notebook!
If you have read The Phoenix Code and The Dragon Path you may be wondering where Cleo and
Ryan's next adventure will take them.

Although the third book doesn't come out until next Summer I've written the first draft and am now deep in the first round of edits, so it's about time for some sneak previews.

Secrets of the Tombs Book Three is called The Serpent King and takes place in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, mainly in the spectacular ruined Maya city of Calakmul. In this, the final installment of the series, many questions will be answered.


  • Will Ryan ever find out what happened to his dad?
  • Are the McNeil family just the unluckiest people in the world or is there a reason things go wrong every single time they go near an archaeological dig?
  • Will Ryan find a new stray animal to look after?
  • Can Cleo get through a whole book without falling down a hole? 
  • How many of Cleo's scarves will Ryan accidentally destroy this time?
  • Will the character named after Serge Wynne, the winner of the drawing competition, be a good guy or a baddie?
  • Are Cleo and Ryan going to fall in love? 
  • How brilliant will Leo Hartas' Maya-style illustrations be? (I haven't seen them yet but I know the answer to this one. Very!)
On the subject of the Cleo-and-Ryan-falling-in-love question, I recently received this following e-mail message from a young reader called Adam.
I'd like to congratulate you on your EPIC NEW BOOK. I would also like to know whether Cleo and Ryan kiss in Mexico? As every time they're going to, something's in their way, gas mask, tied back to back and nudging each over in the banana trees does not count . . .*
* (there were lots of cool emojis in this message but they don't show up here).

I've been grappling with this very question myself. Should Cleo and Ryan kiss in the final scene? They've clearly grown to like each other more and more (they could hardly like each other less than when they first met!). But would a kiss be too soppy? Would it ruin their friendship? This is something I'm contemplating as I edit my first draft. What do you think? I'd love to know whether readers are all rooting for a romantic end to the series (like Adam!). Or would you prefer our heroes to part with a friendly hug and a pat on the back?

I don't have a book cover to show you yet, but leave you with some more pictures of my research trip to Mexico last Spring.


The steps of this pyramid in Calakmul are very steep

But the view from the top is worth it - yes, those are treetops!
It's always very important to research the local cuisine

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