Cheryl has always been fascinated with ancient times, and Egypt is the center of her fascination. [This is something I have in common with her; I love Egyptian mythology and it would be one place I’d love to visit. Not necessarily the great pyramids, but I’d love to visit the Valley of the Kings where so many rulers were buried!] Cheryl visited Egypt in 2008 and this trip prompted her creativeness and the story of Sons of the Sphinx was born.
Cheryl uses her teaching experience to engage middle schoolers in the hopes of encouraging them to read more. Sons of the Sphinx is aimed closer to readers age 14 and up, and is, at the heart, a coming of age story. The main character, Rosa, is a high school sophomore desperate to find her place in life, just as the books potential readers will be.
Sons of the Sphinx has been getting awarded even though it has only been out for a little more than a month. Cheryl says, “My experience as a teacher and my ability to understand what motivates kids is a big factor in the success of my books.” (Q&A with Cheryl) She uses her writing as a way to encourage her readers to explore their place in their world, but instead of being “preachy”, this journey is shrouded in an exciting and often dangerous adventure. In this way, she allows the reader to experience the characters’ emotions while remaining in a safe place themselves.
Cheryl is hard at work on the sequel to Guievere: On the Eve of Legend, a story that was meant to be a stand-alone book, but her fans are clamoring for more of the tale. She had titled this sequel Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend--Cedwyn’s Story, and she’s hoping to have it out in 2015. She’s also working on a trilogy called The Feather of the Phoenix that she wants to release in 2016, and the books are tentatively called The Atlantean Horse, The Ashes of Pompeii, and The Norse Star. She also planning The Trojan War and a sequel to Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom.
Read on for an excerpt of Sons of the Sphinx, chapter Seven!
Sons of the Sphinx
2014 Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval
2014 Children’s Literary Classics Silver Award Fiction PreTeen
Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom
2014 Global eBook Gold Medal in Juvenile Fiction http://globalebookawards.com/2014-global-ebook-award-winners/
2013 EVVY Finalist/Merit Award Winner Juvenile/YA http://www.cipacatalog.com/cipa-evvy-winners-1998-2013/ - 2013
2012 USA Best Book Awards eBook Finalist
2012 Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval http://clcreviews.blogspot.com/2012/07/young-knights-of-round-table-kings.html
Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend
2011 Global eBook Finalist Pre-Teen Literature
Excerpt from Chapter 7 of Sons of the Sphinx by Cheryl Carpinello
“Please, Rosa. Tut Khan can protect you. We need you.”
The voice goes silent. The shock waves stop. Tut stands there, his ebony eyes burning into mine. He knows I’ve talked to her. He could hear me, but not her.
Without a word uttered, I sense Tut’s plea. I remember back in my bedroom—boy, that seems like ages ago—I gave my word.
But then you didn’t know that some ghost, ba, whatever, had plans to kill you, my brain yells.
I know, but when Tut touches me, the electricity shoots through my veins, not just as her, but as me. Here I am fifteen years old. Most girls I know have had at least one boyfriend and have even gone on dates, even if it was with a group of kids. Me, the last time I held hands with a boy was in the fourth grade. We went on a trip to the zoo, and I had to hold hands with red-headed Erik as we crossed the road. It took me weeks to get the nerve to ask Caleb to the fall dance, and then he said no. How sad is that?
What if the closest I ever get to the love that Ankhesenamun is talking about is right here and now? My heart races when Tut smiles at me. I know he’s only seeing her. I mean I’m not that stupid. But I can pretend.
And if I don’t help them, there is no one else. Their spirits will be separated for eternity. That’s a long time. If I don’t help, then somehow they will be wiped from the pages of history. It will be like their love for each other never was. I told you I was a romantic.
If I never have someone love me like Tut does Hesena, then at least I’ll have felt what she felt and know that for myself. And if Tut can’t protect me...