About the Book
Title: The Shadow of Atlantis (Shadows From the Past, Book 1)
Author: Wendy Leighton-Porter
Year Published: 2012
Publisher: Mauve Square Publishing
Recommended Age: 8+
Ten-year-old twins Joe and Jemima Lancelot have no idea why their parents have disappeared, but a mysterious old book which had belonged to their father holds the answer… and so begins an unusual quest to discover the truth.
Together with Max, their remarkable Tonkinese cat, and Charlie from next door, the children embark on an epic adventure, travelling back in time to the lost city of Atlantis. Once there, however, they soon run into problems.
Can they save the people of Atlantis from the disaster which is about to destroy their land forever?
And will they find their way back to the safety of their own time before it’s too late?
“Shadows 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, 5 Stars
“… Shadow of Atlantis is an imaginative tale that will draw children in right from the get go. The characters are deftly and warmly established, and Wendy shows a sure touch in enabling these characters to interact in a fun but believable fashion, each playing their own part in the plot’s development….” ~ 5-Star review from John C., Amazon US
“The author makes the legend of Atlantis (and also the story of the Minotaur in the second book) so accessible to kids and in such an imaginative way. My daughter loved the children’s characters and also the comical, lovable cat Max and his ability to help the characters out during times of strife! We will be looking out for future books from this author for sure. A really enjoyable adventure for kids and highly recommended…” ~ 5-Star review from A. Bradshaw, Amazon US
“This story will draw any young reader in will keep them entertained and engaged. It is sometimes hard to find books that will keep children interested, often their subject matter is trivial and insubstantial, this is not true of The Shadow of Atlantis. My daughter can’t wait for the next adventure…” ~ 5-Star review from Annaliese M., Goodreads
*** You can buy the all 6 books (electronic copies) in the series (The Shadow of Atlantis, The Shadow of the Minotaur, The Shadow of the Trojan Horse, The Shadow of the Pyramid, The Shadow of the Volcano, and The Shadow of Camelot) for only 99 cents each from Amazon between October 14 and 28, 2013. Get hooked on this great series NOW by clicking on the Amazon button below. ***
About The Author, Wendy Leighton-Porter
Dividing my time between homes in England and South-West France, I live with my husband Simon and our two beautiful Tonkinese cats. I spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies, but now write books for children instead of teaching them.
The Shadow of Atlantis is the first book in a series of 15 planned time-travel stories, featuring 3 children and, unsurprisingly, a rather special Tonkinese cat. Having recently completed number #7, The Shadow of the Norman Arrow (coming soon!), I’m currently working on the eighth book in the series.
As I take my young readers on a magical mystery tour through the past, I’m also hoping that my love of history, myth and legend will rub off on them too. Personally, I’m enjoying the journey so much, I don’t ever want it to end! Why not come along with me for the ride?
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Coffee. Although once, on a visit to Rome, I went to an amazing Gelateria where they had a mind-boggling selection of ice creams (I’m hopeless at making decisions, so it was agony for me to make a selection), but in the end I chose Watermelon. It was one of the most heavenly things I have ever tasted and the watermelon “seeds” were little pips of dark chocolate scattered through it. Yum! I dream of going back there one day.
If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
King Richard the Third. I’d like him to tell me the truth about the death of his two nephews, the princes in the Tower. I’m currently writing my eighth book about that very topic and it’s very frustrating not to know what really happened. That said, the weight of evidence points to Richard being guilty.
One food you would never eat?
Shellfish – because they make me ill. It’s really not fair because I love mussels, but just can’t eat them.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Getting positive feedback from my target audience is really rewarding; when children write to me, saying I’m their favourite author, it gives me a lovely warm glow inside. One little girl recently told me she’d already read my latest book 6 times. And I have to confess to a certain glimmer of pride whenever I look at my books all lined up on the shelf – a little voice in my head says, “I wrote those!”
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
I loved reading when I was a child. In fact my father taught me to read even before I started school, so I always had my nose buried in a book from a very young age. I’d find it hard to narrow my choice down to just one. I devoured Enid Blyton’s “Five find-outers” mystery series, as well as all “The Bobbsey Twins” adventures. Then I progressed to “Anne of Green Gables” and “Little Women” before becoming a huge fan of Gerald Durrell, starting with “My Family and Other Animals”, a very amusing account of his childhood on the Greek island of Corfu.
If you could be one of the Greek Gods, which would it be and why?
It would be tempting to say Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, but I think that might cause all sorts of problems – just look at what happened to the ancient city of Troy, thanks to her. No, I think I’d rather be Athena, the goddess of wisdom. It’s far more important to be clever than beautiful and besides, I like it that she has an owl as one of her symbols. I’m very fond of owls and they play an important role in my books!
What’s your favorite season/weather?
Early summer, maybe late May or the beginning of June, when everything is still fresh and green, but the weather is warm and sunny … with the promise of all those hot summer months still to come.
Newly mown grass – I know it’s probably a cliché but, for me, that sweet, fresh scent is the very essence of a perfect English summer’s day and I find it almost intoxicating.
What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?
I’m a sucker for silly romantic movies like “You’ve got mail” and “Sleepless in Seattle” – but please don’t tell anyone!
In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?
J K Rowling. I think the “Harry Potter” series are amongst the most inspired, clever and entertaining children’s books to come out in recent years. I wish I’d written them!
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I was once involved in a high-speed crash whilst riding a camel in Cairo! (True … and unfortunately I had a party of my students with me to witness it!)
Pets? – childhood or adult
As a child I had small pets; hamsters, gerbils and then guinea pigs, which I adored. My guinea pig Millie lived for 9 years which I think was something of a record. Now I have 2 cats, Tonkinese cats to be precise. My male is a lilac-point called Bertie (after P.G. Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster) and he is absolutely enormous – not fat, but huge in every way; big face with a long muzzle, massive paws and weighing in at over 8 kilos. Everybody who meets Bertie falls head-over-heels in love with him, partly because he’s so striking and handsome, but also because he’s such a friendly gentle giant. The character of Max in my books is based on Bertie and many of the things I write about him are what people have said in real life or things which have happened to him. I also have a female Tonkinese, a little brown cat, named Clio after the Greek Muse of History. She’s half the size of Bertie and devastatingly pretty, but is the bossiest cat on the planet – in fact I’m sure she thinks she’s the supreme ruler of the universe!
Favorite place you’ve been and/or would like to go
Lake Garda in Italy – it’s absolutely delightful. I’d happily go back there again and again. I would also like to visit Venice one day too. I’ve never been and, although I know it’s terribly touristy, it’s still a magical city… and I’d just have to take a gondola ride while I was there.
What is on your “keeper shelf” of books?
Homer’s “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey”. The father of Greek storytelling, Homer’s epics are as fresh and exciting today as they would have been nearly three thousand years ago.
Do you write as you go or do you have the book all planned out from page 1?
I begin with a general outline, starting out at a certain point and knowing where I’m going to end up, with a basic framework of events in between. But, apart from that, I find that the story tends to evolve as I go along, often taking unexpected detours along the way.
How do you come up with the characters names/personalities?
For my characters’ names I delve into my family tree. One of my hobbies is genealogy and I’ve traced my family history back several hundred years, so I’ve got a lot of names to choose from. For example, my young heroine, Jemima Lancelot, is called after my 5x great-grandmother who was born in 1721. I loved her name when I came across it. As for their personalities, well they just seem to grow as I go along. As I’m in the middle of writing a series (The Shadow of Atlantis is just the first book), I’m finding that the characters are developing with each adventure.
Craziest thing you ever ate?
Frogs’ legs – I love them! Well, I do live in France most of the time, so I guess I’ve gone native.
Most embarrassing moment?
It happened one Halloween a few years ago when I’d been to a friend’s party, dressed as a vampire with full gruesome face make-up; white face, black-ringed eyes and blood dripping from the corners of my mouth. I was the first to leave just after midnight, as I had to go to work the following morning. My friend lived in a rural area with a manned level-crossing near to her isolated cottage. Late at night you weren’t allowed to ring the bell to get the railwayman to come and open the barrier for you to cross the railway line. Instead you had to climb the steps of the signal box and knock on the door, which I duly did – but there was no reply. I was a bit cross at having to wait there in the cold and the dark, so I moved in front of the window and saw the man with his feet up on the desk, seemingly engrossed in his newspaper. I rapped angrily on the window pane and at last he looked up. His face went white, his eyes almost popped out of his head, but he remained seated, staring at me with his mouth hanging open. So I banged harder on the glass and eventually he staggered to his feet and came to the door, looking terrified. ‘You nearly gave me a heart attack,’ he gasped. Then I remembered what I looked like! Apparently he dined out on that story for years and always told my friend, every time he saw her, that the encounter had probably shortened his life by 20 years!
Titles: do you write the books first and the title comes next or does the title come to you as you write?
I’m in the middle of writing my “Shadows from the Past” series, which I think will comprise 16 adventures in total. I’m currently working on number 8, but already had planned the titles for each book when I started. It wasn’t too difficult as each one begins with the words, “The Shadow of …”
About how long does it take to write a book?
Each book probably takes me about 3 months, before I’m totally happy with my manuscript. Then I pass it on to my proof-readers.
What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process?
There are so many parts of the process that I enjoy, from the thrill of anticipation as I set out on a new adventure and the joy of actually writing the story, to the immense feeling of satisfaction as I complete the last line. Then I get so excited waiting to see the design for the cover. I’m lucky to have a brilliant designer, the wonderful Berni Stevens, who always produces the most amazing covers for my books. But the best part of all is when the first copy arrives hot off the press from the printers and I finally get to hold it in my hands – that feels great.
*** The Shadow of Atlantis Blog Tour Giveaway ***
Prize: One winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash
Contest runs: October 14 to November 5, 11:59 pm, 2013
How to enter: Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by author Paul Hewlett and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.