The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan — A Book Dragon Review

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Red PyramidBook Review Profile of the Red Pyramid

Title: The Red Pyramid

Author: Rick Riordan

Genre: Middle Grades Fiction

Main Characters: Carter & Sadie Kane

Small Bio: Sadie and Carter Kane find out their boring archaeologist dad is actually an Egyptian magician, who is trying to save the world from Apophis (the Chaos Snake). After Set (Egyptian god) captures their dad, Sadie and Carter must find out Set’s plan and save the world before Chaos has a chance.

Favorite Quote(s):

“I saw magicians dueling in a place. A man in tattered robes, with a shaggy black beard and wild eyes, threw down his staff, which turned into a serpent and devoured a dozen other snakes. I got a lump in my throat, “Is that…”

“Musa,” Zia said, “Or Moshe, as his own people knew him. You call him Moses. The only foreigner ever to defeat the House in a magic duel.”

Reviewer Thoughts: I love mythology. The stories about good vs. evil always get my blood pumping and normally it is greek mythology I cling to, but Riordan has opened up a soft spot for Egyptian mythology now. The format for this story is much different than others I’ve read from him. This is the first book series (before the seven Olympians) he goes back and forth in point of view. His first series was all Percy, so it was refreshing hearing from both of the narrators. Also, something I always enjoy is Riordan has small references to Christianity such as the Moses part and in other books, he references how there is an all powerful God above all the mythological ones. I can’t wait to read the next adventure for Sadie and Carter!

Goodreads.com Rating: 4.06 out of 5

Reviewers Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars —  Recommend to any pre-teen who loves fantasy, mythology, and adventure.

Keep the Reading Fire Going,

BookDragon

Afraid of Me, Myself, & I (Part 3): Continue on the Adventure w/ Jason & the Nameless Girl

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afraidAfraid of Me, Myself, & I (Part 3)

(See below for the links to the first two parts and catch up on their adventures)

It had been a month and still no sign of Donovan. Jason was starting to get restless, but I was enjoying trying to get back to a normal life. Well, as normal as I could remember. According to Jason, this was my third life. In a sense that my second life was me still technically alive, just reprogrammed. I don’t remember that part. All I remember is going to the school dance with Jason as high school sweethearts, kissing under the tacky disco ball our committee put up for kicks and giggles. After high school, well, that is the blur.

Jason had left the trailer for the day to find some work. We had been moving from small town to town, sniffing out Donovan, but trying to stay under the radar. Especially since the newspaper in Boston said I died and my family had a memorial service for me.

For now, we settled in a town called Maysville, Nebraska that had an abandoned trailer park. We decided it would be safe to stay here a little longer since our funds were pretty much depleted.

I needed a walk and we needed some food, so I grabbed my black zip up hoodie and the rest of the cash we had. Flipping up my hood, I walked through the leaves falling from the trees. I smiled, remembering glimpses of jumping into piles of leaves as my dad tossed more on top of me. The memory of what he looked like alluded me.

I shook my head as I passed some teens trying to make an ollie on their skateboards. I finally came to the old mom and pop store, ringing the bell that hangs over the door when I entered. The cashier looked up to greet me, but her face fell as she took in my facial features under my hood. I waved, but the blood drained from her face. Before I took a step in she had a shotgun pulled out from beneath the counter pointed right at me. My eyes went wide in panic and the door behind me opened. A frantic Jason stopped right beside me and raised his hands up when he realized the gun pointing at me.

“What is going on?” I asked him mentally.

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He replied out loud, “Apparently, you have been here before.”

I glanced over at a picture behind the girl. It was her and a man with balding hair and a scar on his left eyebrow. My brain sparked as an image of this man on the floor, bloodied with a knife sticking out of his chest flashed across my eyes.

“I…killed someone here…” I mentally whispered to him, but it must have gone to the girl and the guests that were in the store, who know saw the gun pointed at me because I could now hear the fear. My carefully constructed mental barrier broke.

“Jason, they are afraid of me,” I mentally said to him, “I don’t blame them. I am afraid of myself too.”

Jason and I looked at each other, trying to figure out how we were going to get out of this one.

Links to Parts 1 & 2

This is the Tricky Part (Part 1)

French Fries & Revenge (Part 2)

UnNerved: A Friday Fictioneer Flash Fiction Piece by AshleyDannie

UnNerved
PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Unnerved

The half egg shaped arches unnerved me. I just stared at the entrance, feeling claustrophobic.

“I can do this,” I whispered, clutching my violin.

A fellow violinist walked up beside me, “I froze in that hallway my first time too.”

“What happened?”

“I missed the concert and demoted down to second violins.”

“Oh boy.”

The fellow violinist glanced down at my shaking hands, “Trust me. Just close your eyes, take a breath, and let those strings sing. Each time you get up there by yourself it gets easier.”

“Really?”

The man chuckled, “No.”

I stared as he walked away.

 

 

 

 

This is the parameters of the story. 🙂

Friday Fictioneers
copyrighted to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

 

This is the Tricky Part {Writing Prompt Wednesday Story}

Writing Prompt Wednesday

This is the Tricky Part

tricky part I died. It was easy actually. A bullet found my heart, shredding it pieces. It felt like sleeping at first until he got his hands on me. He wheeled me into a secure room and…and…

Well, let’s just say dying is easy. Coming back is when things get tricky. And they got tricky. The pain racked through my body as the electric pulses tried to start up my brain and my new heart. The peace ripped away from me.

I twitched. My eyes fluttered. My ears heard screaming. It sounded like a banshee…found out later it was me.

Silence.

The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was a blank white canvas of a ceiling. Everything was sterile. I turned my head, feeling every muscle ache and pull as if I hadn’t used them in years. As if I was a new being, awakening for the first time. Then I saw him. He stood at the end of my bed–Jason.

I tried saying his name, but the words caught, and my vocal chords puffed out only air.

“You…you won’t be able to speak…I couldn’t heal your vocal chords,” his voice was rough.

Why, I thought.

He answered as if he heard me, “The second bullet went through your throat. I didn’t have time to repair it.”

My hands shot up to my throat. That action barely registered on the pain meter this time. Actually, my reflexes felt–powerful.

What is happening to me, I pondered inside my head.

He answered. “I had to use a high degree of electric shock therapy to get things going again. He…changed you…”

I started to panic. Electric shock? What am I? Frankenstein’s bride?

“Cora. I would never piece you back together in that nature…”

I looked down. No stitches. No random new body parts–just a new heart. My eyes found his again and I could see his pain–and his relief.

Why can you hear me? I directed the thought toward him.

He grinned, “I don’t know. All I know is you’re back.”

Then I heard it. The thoughts floating in the air.

We got her surrounded.

                                 Move! Move!

On my mark!

I pushed a thought to him, It might not last very long…

He gave me a concerned look right before the doors burst open in flames and men charged in…

{to be continued}

Mirror Mirror on the Wall {Writing Prompt Wednesday}

mirror mirror

Writing Prompt Wednesday

Instructions: Use the prompt provided and write a short story, poem, dialogue, scene, etc of your choice. No more than 500 words and the story needs to be an original of your own. Leave a link to your story in the comments below where readers and I can check them out!

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

“Dana, what are you doing?” Sophie came up beside her best friend.

Dana wore her short black hair in a small ponytail at the nape of her neck with a baseball cap, covering up the rest of her hair. Her sharp emerald eyes lit up as she stood in front of the old, victorian mirror.

“Come on Soph, aren’t you curious?” she asked, glancing at her friend.

They were in a forbidden part of a German castle. The girls were on a summer tour before starting college for the first time and this was their high school graduation present to themselves. Sophie’s soft blonde hair started to stand up on her neck as Dana reached out a hand to the mirror. The faded designs looked as if they were trying to tell a story–one the girls needed to decipher before they spoke to it.

“Mirror mirror on the wall…” Dana started, smirking as she was scaring her friend Dana, “Who is going to kill us all?”

She saw Sophie’s eyes widen, but not at the request. The mirror flashed a bright light and when the girls found their eyesight again, a floating grim looking head was staring back at them from inside the mirror.

“An interesting request that has awakened my slumber. You’re own curiosity has dialed death’s number,” he chanted at the girls.

Before they could say a word the ground started to shake, causing the cracks in the walls and tumbling decor around them as the head continued, “What you did not know is summoning me brings the Queen back to the show.”

The girls turned to scream and run, but a shadowy figure stood behind them, stifling their voices. Once materialized their eyes went straight to her face. The Queen’s evil smirk made the girls cower as the Queen took steps toward them.

“For you, a lesson is to be learned, what you speak is what you earn,” was the last thing the girls heard…

The End

Now It’s Your Turn

AshleyDannie

Coming Back from My Hiatus–A Summer’s Tale

My Hiatus

Summer 2016 turned into many sunshine-filled months of gluing myself to my computer to accomplish my final task for my Master’s in Creative Writing–My Capstone. I had to write 15,000 words of a novel I wanted to start to create and a publication plan with it, so I ignored any other writing I would normally do (including this blog) and set out on my journey. During my adventure into the stressful life of storytelling for a final grade, I found Mia. She is a mid-twenties, young, business owner who has accomplished a few of my own dreams, but nothing ever is what it seems.

I only finished the first third of the novel and I am still walking down Mia’s path as she faces tragedy and her past. Since school is over I can start sharing some of the writing love back to my beloved blog. So I will be sharing bits and pieces of Mia’s journey as I continue to complete the novel. Here is a small section of the story.

Falling to Pieces

“MOVE!” I screamed at the body lying down on the pavement beneath me. I was floating–suspended in midair–witnessing the disaster beneath me. I wanted to help. I needed to help, but invisible strings kept me in place, only allowing me to see and not act.

“Stay with us!” a paramedic hollered at the body. I could only see the person’s jeans and their right hand, lifelessly stretched out. Something glistened for a split second on one of it’s fingers–something gold…

I shot up out of bed when I Prevail, a local rock/screamo/heavy metal band from Grand Rapids, jarred my sleep heavy body awake with their version of Blank Space by Taylor Swift from my iphone next to my bed. In my opinion it was the better version of the song. I pressed my palms to my eyes, trying to remember what I had just dreamt about. It was already slowly fading into the black void. Once I opened my eyes, accepting defeat, a glisten of something gold flashed below me and I instinctively grabbed at my ring on my right hand, twisting it as I always do when I am nervous. For a moment I almost remembered my dream, but the moment past as I heard many feet clicking across the floor toward my bedroom.

So I welcome you into the life of Mia and I hope you stay with me through the journey of writing, the rejections of publishers, and the final joy of getting my manuscript published (Lord willing).

Keep Shining,

 

AshleyDannie

My Kind of Magic–Experience the Magic of a Good Bookstore

I love writing stories based on prompts and here is one with a picture I took of Hyde Bros. in Fort Wayne, IN. I was a magical place and I need to journey downtown to go there again. Hopefully, you have a bookstore where you melt into the magic of stories.

Magic

My Kind of Magic

Eyes wide with intense sparkle between the different blues circling the iris. They soaked up the stacks and stacks of books that hit her eyes as soon as she walked through the  mangled looking front door. The carpet had seen better days as the greens and navy blue stripes spoke lovingly of the feet which had strolled up and down the aisles, slowly, intimately as the hands attached to those feet explored the bindings and pages of the books on the shelves. She took a cautionary step further into the store, tilting her head back so she could see the top of the shelves. Her hands extended to the spines as if a magnet were between them. She followed the footsteps of the ones before her, moving at a waltzing pace through the maze–one she wanted to be lost in forever. Beloved reading chairs peppered throughout the journey, caked with tears of anger and joy and sadness from the eyes of readers, mixed with the bookstore house cats, who appear lounging on the shelves themselves.

The girl comes to a set of stairs, leading down deeper into the maze, lined with volumes of all sizes and topics. She makes her way down, breathing in the musty smell of old parchment and fading ink–the scent of bookworm paradise. She finds another way up another book littered stairwell, into a section of the stacks with texts she reads religiously. Her fingers and eyes scan the spines, pulling out ones that call to her. She settles criss-cross on the floor, reading the words as they float up off the pages. Something sparks around her as she recites the melodic words. Images start to appear as she dives into the world of pirates on a ship with a mutinous crew and then they shift as she opens a story into a haunted forest with ghosts and slumbering dragons.

Minutes turns to hours as she melts into the structure of the bookstore. The hours turn to evening and without knowing the bookkeeper locks her away. She does not notice, lying on the floor with many stories open around her. One of the cats nestles up near her as the magic starts to take effect on the girl. Somewhere in sleep she shifts a book on top of her body,opened with the pages facing down on her side between her stomach and back. The book although seems translucent with a misty fog settling around them.

The next morning the hunching bookkeeper opens the store to find the misty fog still clinging to the floor. He follows it slowly through the maze to the point of origin, where he finds a book open, but facing down on the floor in the middle of scattered closed books. He bends over slowly, picking up the book and examining the name on the spine. My Kind of Magic scribbled on the spine. The back cover details a grand adventure with pirates, dragons, and a warrior princess battling evil. The bookkeeper then turns the book over to the cover and there in faded color, half a face is visible on the cover, one with curly blonde hair and sparkling eyes of different blues.

He smiled and carried her up to the front of the store, opening a locked bookcase. Inside other volumes of many sizes littered the shelves. Titles and stories of souls lost within the maze and the bookkeeper locks them away to keep them safe until the magic brings them back. But after experiencing the magic, who would ever want to leave it?

Country Wire: A Friday Fictioneer Story

Country Wire

Friday Fictioneers

Country Wire
PHOTO PROMPT © Madison Woods

The barbed wire fence was a mess. Some areas were pulled tight, but others lacked and dripped to the ground. The tall, stringy grass swayed in the breeze within the confines of the fence. The weathered barn was broken and rotting with a rusting Farmall living in the middle of it.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Hailey stated the obvious, “I can’t believe your grandpa let it go like this. This will take forever!”

Tristan laughed, “Well Grandma did say Grandpa said if he was going to grow old so was the farm.”

 

Word Count: 96

Check out Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for details if you want to join the community

A Light in the Cold (Friday Fictioneers)

 

ted strutz provided by rochelle wisoff fields

provided by Ted Strutz and Rochelle Wisoff Fields

The demolition worker started early that cold morning. The sun, peeking over the horizon, shot faded light into the condemned property. Although the piles of rotting wood,  dangling shingles, and blackened siding sucked the light away. He met the previous tenant yesterday with her secondhand rags. He ignored her unlike the others, who berated her. She simply smiled and accomplished her task.

When he rounded the corner there stood the lone toilet, but this time, it held something beautiful–yellows, blues, and greens brightened the surroundings. A note pushed in the leaves read: “To brighten the darkness.” He wasn’t cold anymore.

Word Count: 100

Flash Fiction Friday!

So I started being a part of a group of writers called Friday Fictioneers and it is writing flash fiction pieces in 100 words or less. Today I needed something to get my wheels turning before I dived into my homework and research paper, so I decided to do another flash fiction piece from a picture prompt I chose from Pinterest. Hope you like!

 

wizarding world
Pinterest Find

 

FLASH FICTION:

She laughed, reading Hermione’s line about LeviOsa, not LevioSA. She eyed her wand and grabbed it, pointing at the stack of books next to her.

“Wingardium LeviOsa,” she repeated in her best Hermione voice.

When the books didn’t move she sighed, “Oh, J.K. you are definitely not one of us.”

Then she flicked her wand, just for flare, as she lifted the books with just her thoughts. For fun, though, just to make it look as if she was of the Harry Potter Wizarding World, she pointed the wand at the floating books.

“Hmm, then again maybe she is.”

_____________________________________________

I love the Harry Potter books and when I saw this picture, my imagination began! Have a great Friday everyone!

Ashley Danielle