This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Leah Cupps will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your children’s book.
My name is Leah Cupps, I am a designer author and entrepreneur. I have spent the last eight years building eCommerce companies with my husband David. We have now sold all of those companies and it was time for a change. I started writing mystery thriller books for adults in 2019, and had some success, but I was struggling to find my passion. So, when my daughter starting studying Mayan history, I thought, what if we wrote an adventure story together? That’s how Harley James was born.
What inspired you to write this book?
My daughter Savannah was watching a documentary series on the lost cities of the Maya. I had always wanted to write an ‘Indiana Jones’ style book, so I asked her if she would like to write one together. We went back and forth and came up with the name Harley James and then conceptualized the story
. What has been your biggest challenge in terms of writing a children’s book?
The biggest challenge for me has been making sure that I write in ‘kid-language’. What that means for me is making sure that my dialogue and descriptions are a great fit for kids.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking of writing a children’s book?
My advice would be to write your story first, let all you inspired ideas flow into a story. Then, find a great editor who specializes in children’s literature to help you knit it all together.
What message do you think your book gives your readers?
Harley James is always looking to help others and do what is right. She stays true to her mission, but does it in a way where everyone wins.
Amateur cryptologist Harley James has just landed in the sticky jungle of Tikal, Guatemala—home to the famous Mayan ruins. She’s made a few friends, a few mistakes…and a ground-breaking discovery.
The legendary statue of the long-lost Mayan King.
Just as she is about to impress her father with her discovery, the statue is stolen. Right from her own room!
And what’s worse? The legend says if the statues of the three kings are reunited, they’ll bring back an army from the dead to rule the world.
Follow along with Harley as she tracks down the missing Mayan statue, solves a few riddles and stumbles upon a secret society that will change her life forever!
Read an Excerpt
Around 1600 Years Ago in Tikal, Guatemala
Eloy tucked the statue under his arm, tightening his grip as he stumbled forward into the jungle. He could hear the cries of the battle for Tikal behind him and feel the heat from the buildings burning under the pale moon. The statue was vibrating against his bare skin, the green glow around it beating to its own rhythm.
Three thoughts tumbled through his mind...
It was the final night of the 400-year Baktun cycle.
The Three Kings, Jasaw, Yax K’uk, and Jacinto, were dethroned.
The last of their loyalists were being exiled.
Earlier that night, the elders told him that when the Three Kings were defeated, a powerful magic had captured their souls. The priests then cast a spell and locked those souls inside three jade statues.
Separated, the statues were useless stone relics.
If the statues were reunited on the Eve of the thirteenth Baktun, the Three Kings would return. And in their revenge, they would bring an army of the dead to rule the world.
Eloy, a clever young boy of just eleven years old, had been charged with hiding one of the magical statues. He shuddered for a moment, thinking of what was hidden inside. The statue glowed in his arms, and he felt his feet move a bit quicker, knowing that the cover of night wouldn’t last for long.
“Run,” his mother had warned him. Her eyes had been bright with fear, her voice quaking as she spoke. She brushed a tuft of black hair from his eyes. “Run, my son, and don’t look back.”
“I will, Mama,” he replied. He willed his knees to stop shaking as he spoke. His mama must not know he was scared.
And now he ran. The elders had told him of an ancient temple hidden in the jungle just a few miles from Tikal. Older than the Temple of the Jaguar. There, he would hide the cursed little statue; hidden forever inside, and perhaps he along with it.
He volunteered to make this sacrifice. For the liberation of Tikal. For the protection of the world from the wickedness of the Three Kings.
Shouts emerged from behind him. He pushed his legs harder. His lungs burned as hot as the city in flames behind him.
The loyalists were gaining on him.
When he saw what was just ahead of him, he smiled. They were too late. The temple was just a few more steps away. And once he was inside, the statue would be hidden forever.
In a place where no one would ever find it.
Unless, of course, they were good at solving riddles.
About the Author:
Leah lives in Indiana with her husband and three children. She is also the cofounder of Vision Forty Press, a small family-owned publishing company.
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09XGWL688
Author website: https://harleyjamesadventures.com
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