Today I'm bringing to you a middle grade fantasy series featuring fraternal twins who are complete opposites. You'll have an excerpt to read plus a chance to get to know author Scott P. Southall a little bit better as he tells us about himself and his Order of Time series. Be sure to follow the tour for even more. Best of luck in the giveaway!
About the Series
Picture two twelve-year-old fraternal twins who are like night and day. She is a smart and highly organised MMA fighter. He’s not a fighter, he’s a lover of history, art and Star Wars. Despite their differences they are one formidable team. Together Anastasia and Edward Upston travel through time and navigate ancient civilisations, angry gods and mythical monsters in their quest to protect the integrity of human history.
About The Order of Time
Anastasia and Edward Upston are eleven year old twins who are different in almost every way. Despite this they are inseparable and he best of friends. They tackle the highs and lows of sixth grade together whether they are fending off bullies at the elite Blake Academy or examining rare antiquities at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Then: life gets complicated.
They discover that their friend and mentor, Dr. Gregorian, is part of a secret society called the Order of Time. It turns out that time is not fixed, it’s a fluid continuum where changes to the past can create ripples all the way through to the present. It unwittingly falls to the twins to travel back through time to ancient Egypt where they must overcome deadly assassins, evil high priests and vengeful gods in order to prevent disaster. Together Anastasia and Edward must navigate all obstacles to preserve the past and find their way back home.
The large, blue gem on the top of the scepter started to glow. It transformed from a light blue like the sky to a golden yellow. A beam of the golden yellow light leaped off the surface of the gem and shot straight into the clay pot. The previously dull mixture took on the color of the sun as its light shone from the ceramic container.
“Aten’s rays,” Anastasia said to herself in a mixture of both understanding and wonder. It’s like something from Harry Potter. It’s magic.
“Yes, child. Aten’s rays,” Akhenaten said with a smile.
Akhenaten parted the dead man’s lips and slowly poured the glowing liquid into his mouth. “By Aten’s will, I command you to return to the land of the living to answer my questions.”
Nothing happened at first. Then the dead man’s skin started to change, turning brighter and brighter until it glowed. It was as if sunshine were leaking out through his pores. The man’s eyelids opened to reveal two luminous, white eyes without pupils or irises. Salah grabbed Anastasia’s arm in fright, and she couldn’t help but gasp.
Then the dead man opened his mouth and spoke. “I am here as commanded, Pharaoh.” It was the same voice as when he was alive but empty and devoid of emotion. It was chilling.
About The Order of Time and Odin’s Door
Q: Do you ever wish you were someone else? Who?
A: This is a great question. I’ve always been fascinated by history so the hardest part is having to pick just one person. If I do have to limit my pick to one person it would be Leonardo Di Vinci. There was nothing that man couldn’t do. He was an inventor, draughtsman, engineer, sculptor, theorist and painter.
“Hey Leo, can you theorize a machine that can fly?”
“Yeah, I got it.”
“Hey Leo, can you tell me how the human circulatory system works?”
“Hey Leo, can you paint one of the most famous paintings ever?”
He was the very definition of a renaissance man during a time in which the human race was advancing at an exponential pace.
Q: What did you do on your last birthday?
A: Unfortunately, we were three months into an extended covid lockdown in Sydney, Australia. Luckily, the State government had approved outdoor picnics a few days before my birthday so we were still able to have a wonderful picnic in the botanical gardens with views of the water, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Opera House. After being cooped up for three months it was just great to be able to get out and enjoy a meal and time together. Plus my kids love to feed and pet the long-finned eels in the ponds. It totally creeps my wife out.
Q: What part of the writing process do you dread?
A: It’s definitely receiving the first round of feedback from my editor. Writing, for me, is a very personal endeavour. You’ve poured so much of your heart and soul into the process that it’s hard not to be defensive and protective of what you have done. I find I really have to make an effort to open myself up to any constructive feedback so that I can move the story forward. I know it’s the only way for me to really hone the story but I still have to brace myself when I open the cover notes and edited file.
Q: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
A: I am lucky that I don’t suffer from writer’s block. I think it’s because I don’t have as much time to write as I would like. Between my day job as a banker and my young kids there is not a lot of extra time. I typically write late at night when the rest of the house is asleep. By the time I get writing I usually have more things stored in my head than I have time or energy to type.
Q: Tell us about your latest release.
A: Picture two eleven-year-old fraternal twins who are like night and day. She is a smart and highly organised MMA fighter. He’s not a fighter, he’s a lover of history, art and Star Wars. Despite their differences they are one formidable team. Together Anastasia and Edward Upston travel through time and navigate ancient civilisations, angry gods and mythical monsters in their quest to protect the integrity of human history. This is essentially the premise for The Order of Time series.
In book one, The Order of Time, the twins discover that their friend and mentor Dr. G is a member of a secret society of time-travelling museum curators sworn to protect the integrity of history. The twins learn that time is a fluid continuum where changes in the past can disastrously alter the present. When Dr. G is ambushed at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History by the nefarious Corsairs they are forced to travel back to ancient Egypt. They must foil a plot between the Corsairs and Anubis to assassinate the Pharaoh in order to protect their own future.
In book two, Dr. G and the twins are summoned to the Order’s London headquarters. Dr. G must face charges for breaking Order rules by allowing the twins to time travel to ancient Egypt using the Order’s Refractium Crystal. Needless to say things again get complicated as the twins navigate the politics of the Order and are forced to face an entirely different set of people, gods and mythical beasts in the Viking Age.
Across both books in the series I try to weave my passion for history, archeology, and mythology into a single tapestry. My hope is that I have created a story with heart that educates without forgetting to laugh (a lot).
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