What Keeps Me Going With Writing by Ben Gartner – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ben Gartner will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What Keeps Me Going With Writing

I’ve said this before, but I need a reminder too: Have fun! For me, as soon as I lose sight of that goal with my writing, it becomes a chore and the story and characters suffer. My writing is worse when I’m only putting down words that please someone else or I’m doing it solely to meet some expectation for achievement I’ve placed on myself. That nagging voice that I “should” be writing does me no good! But the excited, carefree kid egging me to get back into the world – that’s the one that works.

I have to remind myself that I started writing again without the intention of putting the work out into the world or quitting my day job (sure it’s a dream, but I’m pragmatic). Okay, yes, maybe there was a little part of me that knew I would eventually want to try and put it out there, but I didn’t listen to that voice when my reinvigorated love of writing came back to me. I intentionally suppressed that desire because it was a joy-killer. I was writing for me and for my kids, period. Full stop. I was writing to please myself, and please them. And I like to think that I succeeded at that. And only after that was accomplished did I realize that we had something others might enjoy too. And they did! This is pure bonus on top of the joy I’d already given myself.

I should also be clear that “have fun” does not mean you can’t or shouldn’t also do something worthwhile and meaningful. In fact, the motivation very much encompasses that goal as well. To have an impact IS fun. To teach IS rewarding. It is exciting to think that your words might stick with some young reader you’ve never met. That is an awesome responsibility one should wield very carefully.

Writing is a game of temporal and geographic telepathy. Influencing someone through words has a powerful potential. And maybe the person you may influence the most with your writing is yourself. And isn’t improving and growing as a person FUN? As many of the writing craft books will tell you, Stasis = Death.

So, don’t forget, Ben: Have fun. Get back in there, open up that writing software, and lose yourself in the adventure. Let the time fly by while you are blissfully unaware, fingers flying across the keyboard. If you ever lose that sense of excitement, you might as well put down the pen and find something else that brings you joy.

Until then, write on!

“I’m pretty sure I’m about to die in space. And I just turned twelve and a half.”

Blast off with the four winners of the StellarKid Project on a trip to the International Space Station and then to the Gateway outpost orbiting the Moon! It’s a dream come true until space junk collides with the ISS, turning their epic trip into a nightmare of survival. Alone aboard the Aether starship, the kids have to work as a team to save the adults before the ISS is destroyed. Suit up, cadet, and launch into adventure with One Giant Leap!

Enjoy an Excerpt

I’m pretty sure I’m about to die in space. And I just turned twelve and a half.

The frayed end of my tether whips around like a lasso as I flip front over back and sideways.

I see the long blue smear of Earth hurtling past. The silver hull of my ship, the Aether, whizzes by in a blur before I gasp at the once-glorious International Space Station. Now, just wreckage. The ISS spits pieces that twinkle in the sunlight. Sparks sizzle and blink against the black backdrop of the endless universe.

My spin continues until all I can see is the void of deep space, punctured by bright pinpricks of gaseous stars millions of light-years away.

The horizon of Earth again, with its clouds and land and water. Home.

The shiny tube of my ship, the Aether. It’s. So. Close. And yet, it can’t save me.

The ISS, Earth, the Aether, and here we go again on this terrible merry-go-round— You get the picture. It’s not good. I close my eyes.

I’m tumbling, and I think I’m squirting oxygen from my life-support backpack, which isn’t helping my somersaults. My suit is losing pressure. At least that’s what I guess is causing the fuzz in my brain. It’s hard to think. My vision is narrowing, dimming, like I’m about to wink away.

And the thing that I think is actually going to kill me? Water is leaking from somewhere inside my suit. Quickly it builds up and clings to my face like a wet rag. It’s a film over my eyes, it plugs my nose, and it slides into my mouth like alien slime whenever I try to cough. I shake my head violently to jiggle the liquid free, so hard that a nerve cries out in my neck. The head-whip kinda works, and I’m able to suck in a tiny breath. I choke down some water and, though the idea sounds ludicrous, I think, Am I going to drown . . . in space?

At this point, you might be asking, “What is a twelve-year-old doing in space?”

And I’d say, “That’s what you’re worried about? Not that I’m going to die?!”

It’s cool. Let me answer both questions. Why I’m one of the first kids in space, and how I ended up in this mess, adrift from my craft and about to become a permanent orbiting satellite. If I don’t plunge into the atmosphere and burn up first.

I’ll pause my death scene to explain a bit about how I got here. Because that’s a thing, right? Aren’t you curious how I got into this impossible quagmire? It’s a pretty amazing story. And 100 percent true.

The books I tend to enjoy reading are about kids being brave, or learning how to be, and I’d like to tell you this is one of those. But I’m not feeling it right now.

To be fair, in those books the kids are fighting fantasy monsters that disappear into dust when you stab them, or they’re in a simulation, or a video game, or you kind of know everything’s going to be all right, right? It’s fake danger.

This story is different. This one’s real. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to survive this. Adrift in space with my oxygen running low, all alone, spinning uncontrollably, a water leak in my suit threatening to drown me.

It all started innocently enough when a harmless package arrived in the mail . . .

About the AuthorBen Gartner is the award-winning author of adventure books for middle graders. His stories take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something on the journey. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.

Website | Twitter | Instagram

Buy the book at Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite online venue.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

People of the Sun by Ben Gartner

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn winner will receive a $50 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The explosive reveal about who John and Sarah really are and why they’re traveling through time, with their most gut-wrenching challenge yet.

In the time of the Aztec, a scoundrel named Cortés arrives and the kids are forced to make an extremely difficult decision: If you could change history, should you? For more twists, more danger, and more fun, read the third book in The Eye of Ra series, People of the Sun!

Enjoy an Excerpt

The ground shook like the end of the world.

At least, that was how it felt to John, who had never experienced an earthquake while growing up in Colorado. And they’d only lived in Maryland for a month before taking this trip to California to visit their aunt. On their second day in the steep mountains of Santa Cruz, while hiking through an old-growth redwood forest that reminded John of a fairy tale, he suddenly felt woozy. But he wasn’t sick. His legs swayed like he was dancing the hula, as if the ground beneath his feet were the roiling sea. Birds took to the sky. Their aunt’s dog, Nickel, barked and snapped at the air, her ears tucked back and tail between her legs.

“Sarah?” John looked over to his sister and held out a hand to steady himself.

She wore the same expression of bewilderment for a moment, then realization dawned across her face. “Is this an earthquake? Cool!”

Her voice rose and fell with the waves just like her knees riding the shifting earth as if it were a skateboard or a pair of skis. Dander like fireflies floated down from the trees and sparkled in the sun’s rays.

“Earthquake,” Aunt Lorraine confirmed. “Just a little one. Hold on, it’ll end in—”

The earth eased to a halt.

“There ya go, all done.” Aunt Lorraine heaved a breath. “For now.”

“For now?!” John hunched over, ready to fall flat on the ground if it got any worse.

About the Author:Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of The Eye of Ra time travel adventure series for middle graders. His books take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Buy the book at your favorite online venue.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

An Interview with John and Sarah Tidewell by Ben Gartner – Guest Post and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ben Gartner will be awarding a $20 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.

An Interview with John and Sarah Tidewell, the stars of The Eye of Ra series, by Ben Gartner

Q: So, let’s dive right in. What’s it like having your story written down for all to see?

JOHN: Most of it’s true. Sometimes a little too much so.

SARAH: Yeah, it’s kinda awkward being so gawked over. I mean, fortunately we get along—

JOHN: Most of the time.

SARAH: Yeah, most of the time. And we’re a pretty good team. So, overall, it’s pretty amazing. It’s wonderful to hear from kids our age who really associate and understand our characters. That’s a pretty surreal feeling, to know that we’re all in this together.

JOHN: Together. Hey, that’s a theme in the book too!

SARAH: Careful, John. Don’t want to be too heavy-handed with themes and whatnot. Mostly, our books are action and adventure and mystery.

JOHN: And I appreciate the historical detail too. The author, Ben Gartner, sometimes consults with me about those details and how we might react to them.

Q: That’s interesting. Tell me what you mean by that.

JOHN: Well, in Sol Invictus—

SARAH: Out February 2, 2021 everywhere books are sold!

JOHN: Shameless plug. Thank you, Sarah.

SARAH: Gotta earn my commission, right?

JOHN: Anyway, as I was saying, Ben—Gartner—will sometimes try out scenes with me and Sarah to see how we’d do in them, or what we’d do, and how that would further the story along.

Q: Such as?

SARAH: Any scene in the gladiator ring kinda freaked me out. I mean, we trust that the author isn’t going to kill us off in book two, but those wild animals were very real! That hyena . . .

JOHN: That’s an extreme example, and yeah, very freaky. He also likes to try ancient recipes with me. Mom calls me “Little Chef” cuz I like to help in the kitchen. Ben prepares old recipes and sees if I think they should be included. Book one has a delicious Tilapia Barley stew recipe at the back and book two went for dessert with a libum cheesecake.

SARAH: I suggest going heavy on the honey.

Q: Always! Well, I would love to talk more with you two. Feels like we just got started. Would you like to come back sometime?

JOHN and SARAH: Yes!

JOHN: Thanks so much for having us.

SARAH: And we love to hear from readers, parents, teachers, librarians, and the general writing community. Don’t be shy about reaching out. Hit us up through our author’s contact information.

JOHN: See you in the past!

Siblings John and Sarah barely made it home last time, but in their next time traveling adventure the challenge really heats up. Surrounded by clashing cultures on the ancient Roman frontier, they must fulfill their quest to unite the emperor with his enemy, an Alemanni barbarian, or risk being stuck in time forever.

An action-packed fantasy full of sword fights, chariot chases, fearsome wild animals, and high mountain survival. For graduates of the Magic Tree House looking for a thrilling middle grade page-turner, read Sol Invictus, book two of The Eye of Ra series!

Enjoy an Excerpt

John’s whole body shook. His irregular breathing created a feedback loop of anxious nerves. On one side of him, Lucas was now armed. On the other, a squad or regiment or whatever you call it of Roman soldiers pointed spears at them, and they looked very, very serious. John’s worrying spiraled and he couldn’t steady himself and—

If only he could trace the eye of Ra again. Why on Earth had he thought tracing it would be a good idea in the first place? What was he thinking?!

Then Sarah asked for him to hand it over. Of course! She would save them. She got them out of ancient Egypt. She’d save them again.

He couldn’t get the leather cord over his head, so Sarah leaned in close and put her finger on the pendant. With the loop still around his neck, their foreheads pressed together.

“We’re going to get out of here, Johnny,” she whispered.

“Get up!” the boy standing over him said again.

Given that he was one of the fighters about to face a lion, John assumed he was a venator and thus wasn’t trying to kill them, or the other people in the ring. They were supposed to work together to overcome the lion, right? In fact, this boy had offered to help them. John examined Sarah’s face—her single pointed look of determination as she traced the eye. Why was she reluctant to accept this boy’s help, to work together?

Sarah finished tracing the almond eye and moved to the line with the curlicue finish while mumbling to herself in some kind of mantra, “Please work, please work, please work.”


Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of The Eye of Ra adventure series for middle graders (ages 8-12). His books take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.

Buy the book at Amazon

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Bookbub


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Numerous men have discovered it to be very effective for strengthening heart muscles and dilating the blood vessels, increasing the flow of blood in the body which further fills the penis with vitamins A and E may provide some guidelines that may help you to avoid some types of fruit. cheapest cialis The words “I love you” may rarely be heard, if at all. commander cialis https://pdxcommercial.com/brokers-staff/huffman-deb/ It cialis no prescription allows them to accomplish in bed and promotes sexual vitality. What makes it more interesting is the range levitra prices of flavours and quantities may include mint, chocolate, banana, orange, mango, strawberry, pineapple and vanilla.

Balancing life and writing, or How they are intertwined by Ben Gartner – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ben Gartner will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Balancing life and writing, or How they are intertwined

THE EYE OF RA was born from life. That sounds pretty high-falutin’ but what I mean to say is that to ask about a balance between life and writing is like asking what it’s like to balance life and good food. While not technically a requirement, life is less without it! But I understand the sentiment of the question is about how to get writing done in the midst of all our other life-ly responsibilities like working, raising children, and getting dinner on the table. My post here revolves around the last point: Dinner.

Our family makes a point to sit down and eat dinner with each other every night. It works out that way most of the time. We start with saying something we’re grateful for. For the kids, that might be “pasta” or whatever is in front of them, but sometimes there are gems from the mouths of babes. And instilling in them the practice of gratitude we hope will be something they remember as they mosey through life. While eating, we discuss our day, our highs and lows and funny parts, and generally get some focused together time. It is often the highlight of my day and something I look forward to.

In THE EYE OF RA, without coming on heavy-handed about it, the idea of a family sharing a meal is echoed a few times. It isn’t a central theme or anything serious like that, but it does speak to the prompt for this post about intertwining life with writing, how one can be a reflection of the other, and vice versa.

This isn’t really a spoiler, but sorta: In the book, one particular meal is mentioned—Tilapia Barley Stew—that is adapted from a real recipe used by the ancient Egyptians according to Cooking in Ancient Civilizations by Cathy K. Kaufman, with some liberties added. I share it here now with you. As a family, we tried this together and my kids loved it. Bonus for the chef (me), it was super easy to prepare…


– 1/2 cup barley (rinsed to remove surface starch)
– 3 cups water (from the Nile if you can swing it, but make sure to filter it first)
– 4 green onions, sliced
– 2 tilapia fillets, cut into bite-size chunks
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– salt to taste

Boil the barley in the water, then simmer for 30 minutes. Skim off any foam (starch) that rises to the surface. Add the tilapia. Cook for approximately 10 minutes on medium. Add the scallions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Enjoy like John and Sarah and the ancient Egyptians.

Exploring a mysterious cave in the mountains behind their house, John and his sister Sarah are shocked to discover they’ve time traveled to ancient Egypt!

Now they must work together to find a way back home from an ancient civilization of golden desert sand and a towering new pyramid, without parents to save them. The adventures abound—cobras, scorpions, a tomb robber, and more! The two kids have to trust each other, make friends who can help, and survive the challenges thrown at them . . . or be stuck in ancient Egypt forever.

For readers graduating from the Magic Treehouse series and ready for intense action, dive into this middle grade novel rich with meticulous historical detail.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Up ahead, almost like an optical illusion in the rocks, a black oval dissolved into the mountain. It seemed to shimmer in the fading sunlight.

“What . . . is it?” John asked, taking a step back.

Sarah moved forward. “It—” She stepped closer, hunching to get a better look at the dark shape about the dimensions of the full-length mirror they had on the back of their bathroom door. “It looks like a cave. Cool!”

“Careful, Sarah. We shouldn’t go in there.”

“That’s a great idea,” Sarah said, standing upright and walking toward the mysterious black shape.

“No, wait, I said we shouldn’t go in there.” John turned to walk away. But he couldn’t leave his sister. “We should get Mom and Dad.”

“I’ll just peek in,” Sarah said, standing only an arm’s length from the entrance. “It definitely looks like a cave, or maybe an old mining tunnel or something. I don’t remember this from before.”

“Come on, Sarah.” John’s tone sounded more urgent now.

Sarah stepped closer, slowly, her lips parted and her eyes fixed on the cave.
Without another word, Sarah stepped across the threshold, and her body disappeared into the black.

About the Author: Ben Gartner is the author of adventure books for middle graders and thrillers for adults. His writing for both audiences shares an ability to grab readers by their neurons for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | BookBub

Buy the book at iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google Play, or Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This helps in reducing the flow of blood back as the valves that hold continue reading over here buy sildenafil 100mg the blood get stronger. india pharmacy viagra Lastly, they help improve in the splurge of blood in the penis during a lovemaking session. A trip to the veterinarian twice a year to detect any abnormalities is a must, but there are cheap viagra cialis miamistonecrabs.com things you can do at home too. Some people viagra cialis on line were still into ballooning and sought further pioneering challenges such as the first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean or the first to circumnavigate the world.