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Word Spelunking’s temporary hiatus is now permanent. All requests are closed and there will be no new content. Thank you to everyone I’ve worked with and everyone who has read and supported this blog. Y’all are awesome!!

Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Goodie Basket (58): Weekly Book Haul and Blog Recap

Goodie a weekly feature hosted here at Word Spelunking that showcases all the goodies (books, bookish things, reviews, interviews/giveaways/guest posts, blog tours, etc) that popped up in the Goodie Basket that is Word Spelunking each week.

(This meme is inspired by other book haul memes such as In My Mailbox hosted by  The Mod Podge BookshelfStacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, Showcase Sunday hosted by Books, Biscuits & Tea and Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer )

Welcome to another edition of Word Spelunking's Goodie Basket! I hope everyone had a fabby fab week. Before we get to my loverly haul, here's your weekly dose of Baby Aeicha cuteness...
It's hard to tell in this pic, but A's blonde hair is really coming in now!

In my mailbox this week...

From Macmillan

The Lost Planet by Rachel Searles
NIL by Lynne Matson

From Harper Collins

No Angel by Helen Keeble
Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart

From Simon & Schuster

Friday Never Leaving by Vikki Wakefield

From Penguin

Flo & Wendell by Willian Wegman

From Simon & Schuster Audio

Smoke by Ellen Hopkins


Broken by C.J. Lyons
(Sourcebooks: from Netgalley)

Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong
(Harper Collins: from Edelweiss)

Big THANK YOUS to Macmillan, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and Sourcebooks for all the bookish awesome this week!!!

Weekly Blog Recap
This week I...



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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Spotlight (Excerpt and Giveaway)-- The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx

Today I'm spotlighting Linda Cadose's YA/MG mystery/adventure novel The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx. Below you can read an excerpt and win a copy...

The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx
by Linda Cadose 
purchase: amazon / b&n / authorhouse

The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx, by Linda Cadose, is a YA/MG mystery adventure novel set in Giza, Egypt. The book follows archaeologist Dr. Cliff Post and his friend Dr. Abdul Saad who discover a hidden chamber in the Great Sphinx. Inside of the right paw they find ancient scrolls and 13 crystal skulls that form a supercomputer. This great discovery soon takes a dangerous turn when Drs. Saad and Post are followed, spied on and eventually kidnapped. On this extraordinary adventure, readers learn information about not only the Great Sphinx but also about Egypt, its mysteries, and the study of archaeology.
“I believe that children’s books should be educational as well as entertaining. My book teaches children about ancient artifacts and discusses the advanced technology that the ancient Egyptians possessed,” Cadose says.

Linda has been to Egypt and has visited all of the historical sites she discusses in her book.

The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx is the first book in a series featuring the tales of American archeologist, Dr. Cliff Post. Follow him in later books as he visits underwater pyramids and goes to Jerusalem.

The Hidden Chamber In The Great Sphinx
Chapter 5

The rest of the school year crept by for Cliff. He hadn't realized how much he was looking forward to his upcoming sabbatical until he got back from Cairo and went back to work. Talking about Egypt and being in Egypt were a far cry from one another, and the short time he'd spent there made him want to be back immediately.

He was in one of his afternoon classes giving a lecture, and he kept glancing at the clock.

"The Giza plateau is a mile square and was leveled by human hands. The plateau is 130 feet above the Nile Valley. It is only half a degree off from being perfectly level. Any questions so far?" Cliff asked his students as he paused in his lecture to make sure he wasn't losing them. A student raised his arm, and Cliff pointed to him.

"Professor, I understand why the Egyptians made the pyramids, but what was the purpose of the Great Sphinx?"

"That's a good question, Peter. The Great Sphinx guards the pyramids of Giza," Cliff told the student and pointed to another student who had her arm in the air.

"Dr. Post, what exactly is a sphinx? I've always thought it was, like, a cat," the young lady wanted to know. Some of her classmates giggled.

"Settle down, guys. That's a good question, too. Does anyone know the answer to Stephanie's question?" Cliff looked pointedly at some of the students who'd giggled when Stephanie asked her question. "You, there. Thomas. You seemed to be very amused by Stephanie's question. Should we take it that you know the answer?"

"Well, isn't it, like, I mean, doesn't it have the body of a lion and the head of a man? I think it's something like that," Thomas said and the smile was gone from his face now that he found himself in the hot seat.

"Correct," Cliff told Thomas. "The word sphinx comes from an Egyptian phrase which means 'living image' or statue. It is a sculpture carved out of a sandstone knoll. The Great Sphinx is 240 feet long, just a little under 14 feet wide and stands 66 feet high. It wears a Pharaoh's headdress, which is denoted by the cobra on the forehead.

"The Sphinx's nose was shot off with a cannon by Napoleon's troops and is now housed in the British Museum. At one time, the Great Sphinx was painted dark red. The eyes were painted black, and the headdress was painted white. The Sphinx is situated so that it faces the rising sun on June 21st, the summer solstice.

"The face of the Great Sphinx was analyzed and compared to the face on the Louvre sphinx of pharaoh Amenenhet II. The similarities were said to be profound. Both faces are full and broad and slope downward over the cheekbones. Subsequently, the face on the Great Sphinx is believed to be the likeness of Amenenhet II. Are there any questions?"

Cliff looked around the room and realized that many of the students weren't paying attention to his lecture. Some were doodling and a few in the back of the room had their heads down on their desks. He was grateful that at least Stephanie, Thomas and Peter seemed to be interested in what he was talking about, and he smiled at each of them in turn. Cliff continued his lecture.

"There is a theory that the Great Sphinx was a statue of the Egyptian God Anubis in the Old Kingdom. Anubis was the god of the dead and mummification. He was placed on the Giza plateau to guard the Giza necropolis. The proponents of this theory believe that the body of the Great Sphinx is the body of a dog and not the body of a lion.

"There is evidence that the Sphinx was recarved in the Middle Kingdom by the pharaoh Amenenhet II in his own image. The head of the Sphinx is disproportionate to the body of the Sphinx. It is believed that the head of the Great Sphinx was much larger than it is now. Behind the Great Sphinx lies the Great Pyramid. Yes, Stephanie," Cliff said when he saw the young lady's arm in the air.

"Which pyramid is the biggest, Dr. Post?" Stephanie asked.

"The largest of the pyramids on the Giza plateau is the Great Pyramid of Pharaoh Kheops (Khufu). It is almost 486 feet tall. The pyramid's base occupies 13 acres and is said to represent the Equator. The apex of the pyramid deviates a half a degree from True North and is said to represent the Northern Hemisphere. The Great Pyramid was built with two and a half million blocks of limestone, some of which weighed 15 tons. That is more stone than can be found in all the churches, chapels and cathedrals built in England since 33 A.D.

"It is postulated that four mud ramps were erected to build the pyramid, and it took 2,500 men to construct it. The king's sarcophagus is one inch wider than the Ascending Corridor which leads to the King's Chamber toward the center of the pyramid. The King's Chamber, which is 19'1" high, 34'4" long and 17'2" wide, was to be the interment location of the pharaoh. It, however, is empty except for a large sarcophagus of rose granite. Archeologists believe that since the sarcophagus is wider than the chamber it must have been built in. Who can tell me how many sides there are to the Great Pyramid?"

"Four," Peter answered quickly.

"Ah, one would think that, wouldn't they, Peter? However, the Great Pyramid's core is concave which makes the Great Pyramid an eight-sided figure. This concavity divides each of the four faces of the pyramid in half. This feature can only be seen from the air, and the first person to record seeing it was a British Air Force pilot by the name of P. Groves, who flew over the Great Pyramid in 1940. Yes, Thomas?" Cliff paused to acknowledge Thomas who had raised his arm into the air.

"Dr. Post, I read something odd in the book, and it didn't make much sense to me. It said something about a Queen's Chamber that was built, too, but am I mistaken that it wasn't actually for burying the queen of the Pharaoh?" Thomas' brow was furrowed as he asked the question.

"You're correct, Thomas. It wasn't for the burial of the queen. The name is somewhat misleading. The Queen's Chamber in the Great Pyramid was built as an alternative resting place for the pharaoh in the event that the King's Chamber was not completed at the time of the pharaoh's death. If the King's Chamber was completed on time, then the Queen's Chamber would be used to house a statue of the pharaoh's ka. Does anyone know what that is? Yes, Jacob?" Cliff pointed to another student who had finally decided to start paying attention.

"The ka was the pharaoh's essence," Jacob said confidently.

"That is correct, Jacob. After death, the pharaoh's khat (corpse) was mummified. The ka or spiritual double can be thought of as the personality or life force of the pharaoh. The ba was another part of the total person. The khaibut was the pharaoh's shadow, and it was associated with the ba. The ren was a person's name. You should be writing these terms down, class. It's possible you may see them on the final exam." Cliff paused as there was pronounced movement among the students as they took out paper and began to write. Cliff chuckled inwardly. He knew the mention of the final exam would make his lecture more interesting to his students.

Before continuing, Cliff took a few moments to repeat the information he'd just shared with his class, so the stragglers could write down all the terms. Once he was satisfied that they'd all had a chance to catch up, Cliff continued his lecture.

"The story goes that after his death, the ka of the pharaoh was put on a scale and weighed against an ostrich feather by the god Maat. If the pharaoh's heart was lighter than the ostrich feather, it meant that the pharaoh could enter the afterlife. Even in death, the ka would continue to need sustenance, so the family left behind by the deceased pharaoh would continue to nourish it with food and water. Are there any questions about the Great Pyramid of Pharaoh Kheops?" Cliff paused but no one raised their arms to ask questions.

"Before we run out of time today, let me quickly talk about the other pyramids. Again, you need to be writing down the terms I mention, because you'll probably see them on the final examination. Now then... The Second Pyramid was built for the Pharaoh Khephren (Khafre) and is 446 feet tall. It is made of massive limestone blocks faced inside and out with slabs of red granite. It is easily identifiable by its layers of casing stones. The Second Pyramid measures 78 million cubic feet.

"The Third Pyramid of Giza was built for the Pharaoh Mykerinus (Menkaure). At 215 feet tall, it is much smaller than the other two pyramids. The first 15 meters of this pyramid are pink granite, and the rest is limestone. Menkaure's sarcophagus was made of basalt and was lost at sea while being transported to the British museum.

"The Pharaoh Menkaure was a much more beneficent ruler than his two predecessors, Kheops and Khafre. Menkaure was known as a good king with a mild mannered disposition. Kheops and Khafre were resented by their subjects, because they enslaved their citizens and required them to labor at massive building projects.

The three pyramids form a Pytharean triangle and are aligned with the three stars in Orion's belt. Moreover, the three pyramids and the Great Sphinx are actually parts of a whole which are connected by interlocking golden angles. These golden angles measure 26 degrees, 33minutes and 54 seconds. The golden angle is found in all four corners of the Great Pyramid, all four corners of Khephren pyramid and in two corners of the Mykerinus pyramid," Cliff said as he paused and looked at the clock. He was out of time.

"That's all we have time for today, class. Make sure you finish reading chapters 23 and 24 in the book, and I'll pick up where I left off in the next class."

When all the students had left the room, Cliff released a long sigh. He stuffed his notes in his briefcase and walked out of the building. Out of a class of 45 students, only four had bothered to participate in today's class.

Yes, he was looking forward to his sabbatical, and the end of school year couldn't come quick enough.

Linda Cadose
Linda A. Cadose is a retired respiratory therapist who is now a children's book author. She is the author of The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx and The Underwater Pyramid in the Bermuda Triangle, a YA mystery adventure series featuring the tales of American archeologist, Dr. Cliff Post. Linda likes to travel, loves history, and enjoys reading. She currently resides in Carver, MA. For more information, visit

Win a copy of 
The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx!
Linda has generously offered one print copy for US/CAN or one ebook copy for INT for one winner.
-open INT
-will end 10/6
-must be 13+, one main/free entry per person
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-I am NOT responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes in the mail
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mini Picture Book Review: Doodled Doggy by Jason Sandberg

Doodled Doggy
by Jason Sandberg

Doodles are usually drawn in the margins of a notebook, scribbled on  ephemeral scraps of paper. But what happens when a doodle comes to life and refuses to be erased or discarded. Doodled Doggy is a lighthearted adventure for the young at heart!

Purchase: Amazon B&N iTunes

Jason Sandberg’s Doodled Doggy is a super cute picture book that’s sure to delight the preschool crowd. A quick read, Doodled Doggy follows the antics of one silly doodled dog who comes to life and does all he can to escape capture by his creator. Doodled Doggy features short, yet charming and addicting couplet rhymes that little readers will love and easily memorize. The rhyming story is perfect for being read aloud in different, fun voices.

Sandberg’s illustrations are simple, yet amusing, with their soft color palette and funny main star. The doodled doggy has a lot of character and personality, which shines off the pages. This is a character that could easily be drawn by little readers, who will definitely want to create their own doodled doggies.

Entertaining and endearing, Doodled Doggy will be a big hit with young readers who will want to read it again and again.

Find the Author
Jason Sandberg

*please note that I do not rate picture books, merely review them

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review: Crest (Ondine Quartet #3) by Emma Raveling

(Ondine Quartet #3)
by Emma Raveling
purchase: amazon / b&n / smashwords
Illusion. Power. Identity.Tensions are reaching a fever pitch everywhere Kendra Irisavie turns.Darkness settles over elementals as a new threat stirs suspicions of a betrayal from within. Details of recent events spread through Haverleau, prompting doubts over Irisavie leadership. The mysterious Selkie Kingdom finally opens its doors, but the gesture only fans the flames of division. And despite the perils involved, Kendra finds it difficult to ignore the demands of her heart.As the body count rises, pressure also grows to shift the tides of war. The sondaleur is on the hunt, but tracking the Aquidae leader is the greatest challenge she’s ever faced. With the Shadow playing a deadly game of obsession and horror, Kendra’s best chance to win is to unravel a tangled web of deception spanning back to the origins of the elemental world.Nothing is what it seems and the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her pursuit for answers becomes.When the unthinkable happens, Kendra must decide if survival is worth the sacrifice.Conflicting loyalties, fierce passions, and irrevocable choices ignite in the electrifying third installment of the Ondine Quartet.
I received an eARC of this title in exchange for my honest review

Quick note before I begin my actual review- since this is the third book in its series, I may refer to events in the previous books. I’ll try not to spoil any of the big stuff, but if you’re new to this series and don’t want to be spoiled at all then I suggest you read my reviews of Whirl and Billow and then skip down to My Final Thoughts below.

OH. EM. GEE y’all! I loved Whirl and Billow (books one and two) and Chevalier and Warrior Prince (the novellas), but Crest blew me the fuck away and reminded me why I totally heart Emma Raveling…not that I could ever forget. I mean I’m the president of the Emma Raveling Fan Club- I’ve got the badge, tattoo, and totally non-creepy shrine to prove it ;)

The Ondine Quartet is one of those series that seriously just keeps getting better and better with each new addition. I walk away from each book in this series completely impressed, thoroughly entertained, and excited for more. Crest, book three in the Ondine Quartet, finds our heroine, Kendra Irisavie, traveling to NYC with Julian to hunt Aquidae and locate the elusive Shadow and traveling all the way to the mysterious Selkie Kingdom…and shizz gets real! Deadly battles, heartbreaking losses, steamy romance, painful betrayals, Crest is filled to the brim with it all and so much more. This book took me on such a complex and enthralling ride through almost every emotion imaginable.

It goes without saying that I think Emma Raveling is a spectacular storyteller. She seriously writes some of this most breathtaking and palpable scenes in YA. Over the course of three books and two novellas she has woven such an intricate and beautiful story that feels truly epic and special. Like books one and two, Crest has phenomenal world-building. The complex and rich history of the Ondines and Selkies and their enemies is explored and laid out even further and deeper in book three, and the social/cultural/political structures of this world continue to enthrall and fascinate. This is a world that, despite its magic, feels so incredibly real, as if Haverleau must exist somewhere out in the real world. With the addition of the Selkie Kingdom, the physical world-building in Crest is by far my favorite so far. This mysterious kingdom is crafted with such wicked cool imagination and striking beauty.

The action, thrills, and stunning twists are plentiful in Crest, but it’s very much an emotion driven story. Kendra, her friends, her family, and fellow people have been through so much up to this point and we really get to see how the events in books one and two have affected the characters and defined their paths. Kendra especially has had so much thrown at her- being the sondaleur and the future Governor, being responsible for stopping the Shadow, and facing devastating losses- and Emma does such a wonderful job of exploring this emotional arc. Every emotion, every loss, every choice has meaning and purpose.

Kendra continues to be one of my fave YA heroines, and for good reason. There is so much depth and complexity to this girl. She is everything a heroine should be (smart, brave, selfless, badass), but is always relatable and real. I love her snarky, smart mouth and temper that always gets her in trouble, her ability to kick ass, and her poignant moments of vulnerability and honesty. She continues to surprise, amaze, and entertain me.

And of course, there are the two swoon-worthy fellas, Tristan and Julian. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, the chemistry and genuine connection Kendra has to both guys and the way Emma Raveling has carefully crafted these relationships makes this triangle feel very non-love triangleish. I love both guys and they are each complete, layered characters on their own, but I’ve so enjoyed their interaction with Kendra since book one. I won’t spoil anything for ya, but I will say that in Crest Kendra is finally honest with herself and with the guys, and where her heart truly lies is revealed…and OMFG, things get HOTHOTHOT *fans self*

And all the emotion, action, and romance lead to one hell of an ending that has me DYING for book four.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Crest had me reading until 4 am and blew me away with its awesomeness. I am so in love with this series and cannot wait for the final book (2014 hurry up please!). Fans of the series will not be disappointed by Crest and new readers have an incredible book three to look forward to. A MUST read book in a MUST read series.


Emma Raveling
Emma Raveling writes urban fantasy and fantasy books for teens and adults. Hopelessly addicted to coffee and diet coke, she is currently working on completing her young adult series, Ondine Quartet.