Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx
[Book II]
Released On: Apr 13, 2011

Using his father’s watch as a key, Jake intends to return to Calypsos. Instead he’s thrust into a strange desert land where he’s joined by his friends Marika, Pindor, and Bach’uuk and his sister, Kady. As they try to figure out what to do next, a surprise attack by the beautiful young Princess Nefertiti takes them all captive.

Soon even she is battling the Skull King’s minions. For Jake has something the Skull King wants—a prize that will give its owner awesome power, including control of the fearsome Howling Sphinx. In a new pounding adventure, Jake races against time to outfight and outwit Kalverum Rex, knowing that if the Skull King wins, he’ll be unstoppable.

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FAQ

  • Q. Are any of the characters or situations in Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx inspired by real-life people or events?
    A. I don’t think any writers spin story and character out of thin air. We draw upon people we know, u ... Read More
  • Q. Did you face any challenges in writing an adventure with such strong fantasy elements, as opposed to a story set only in the “real world”?
    A. One of the dangers of fantasy writing is not letting the “magic” of your world overrun your char ... Read More
  • Q. Do you begin writing a new series with a roadmap for all future books in your head, or do you improvise from book to book?
    A. I definitely have an overarching plot line to the series. I know how it all ends, and I have outline ... Read More
  • Q. Have you faced any unexpected challenges in writing your first middle-grade series?
    A. Challenges? Sure. This series is for an entirely new audience and requires some streamlining of plot ... Read More
  • Q. How did you develop the villain of the Jake Ransom series, the menacing Skull King?
    A. I wanted someone mysterious, powerful, and strangely connected to our young hero. So I have Kalverum ... Read More
  • Q. How did you invent the Atlantean alphabet that appears in clues throughout the book?
    A. I’ve always enjoyed fantasy books where a foreign/ancient language comes to life and plays a vital ... Read More
  • Q. How did you research the dinosaurs that appear in Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx? Are they all real dinosaurs?
    A. All the dinosaurs referenced in the novel were indeed real--though that doesn’t mean I didn’t cr ... Read More
  • Q. How did your background as a veterinarian help you develop the unusual creatures in Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx?
    A. Ah, as a lover of all creatures great and small, I’ve had so much fun creating the fantastical ani ... Read More
  • Q. How much do you draw from your own experiences when writing your characters? Have you ever taken Tae Kwon Do lessons like Jake, or fencing lessons like Kady?
    A. I’ve taken fencing lessons, but not Tae Kwon Do. That said, next to my veterinary clinic was a Kar ... Read More
  • Q. Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx draws on Ancient Egyptian history and myth. Where does your interest in Ancient Egypt come from?
    A. There are three peoples that have always interested me: the Mayans, the Egyptians, and the Vikings. ... Read More
  • Q. What discovery did you find most interesting or surprising as you mapped out the plot to Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx?
    A. It was the introduction of a tiny winged creature--half dragon, half snake--called a wisling. He app ... Read More
  • Q. What kind of research or travel did you do for Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx?
    A. While I wish I could say I took a jaunt into the prehistoric past to research this novel, I did do e ... Read More
  • Q. What kind of research or travel did you do for Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx?
    A. While I wish I could say I took a jaunt into the prehistoric past to research this novel, I did do e ... Read More
  • Q. What other mythologies have influenced the Jake Ransom series?
    A. It’s hard to explore a set of “lost ancient civilizations” without acknowledging the Greeks an ... Read More
  • Q. What triggered the concept for the world of Pangaea, a prehistoric land inhabited by lost ancient cultures?
    A. I wanted to create a fantasy world where all manner of ancient civilizations were forced to work tog ... Read More
  • Q. Will any of Jake’s companions from Pangaea, such as Pindor the Roman or Bach’uuk the Neanderthal, return for future adventures?
    A. Of course! Along with Marika, they are Jake’s best friends. They are bound together by strange mag ... Read More
  • Q. Without giving away any secrets—what do future books have in store for Jake and Kady?
    A. As I mentioned above--and will be no great secret to those who finish Jake Ransom and the Howling Sp ... Read More
  • Q. You’ve said that the character Jake is a lot like your younger self. Is Kady based on a real person?
    A. I grew up with three sisters. Kady is a combination of all three. But don’t tell them I said that, ... Read More

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