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Monday, February 1, 2021

Blog Tour- SOL INVICTUS by @BGartnerWriting With An Interview & #Giveaway! @crescentvista, & @RockstarBkTours 


I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the SOL INVICTUS by Ben Gartner Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!


About The Book:

Title: SOL INVICTUS (The Eye of Ra #2)

Author: Ben Gartner

Pub. Date: February 2, 2021

Publisher: Crescent Vista Press

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 300

Find it:  Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org 

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!


️Gold Recipient, Mom's Choice Awards Honoring Excellence

"Once again, Gartner deftly weaves real-life history into a compelling adventure, offering high-stakes, realistic danger and vivid scene-setting."-Kirkus Reviews

"Gartner has a knack for action and creating compelling historical personalities . . . Middle [grade] readers who treasure ancient history with a side of adventure will welcome this fantasy story."-BookLife Reviews by Publishers Weekly


Grab book 1 THE EYE OF RA now!

️ Gold Recipient, Mom's Choice Awards; ️ Silver Medal in Children's Adventure, 2020 International Readers' Favorite Awards; ️ Finalist, Next Generation Book Awards; ️ 1st Place in both Children's Adventure AND Grades 4th-6th, 2020 TopShelf Awards



Hey Ben! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books I’m glad you could stop by for a chat! SOL INVICTUS sounds AWESOME and I can’t wait for everyone to read it!


For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about the SOL INVICTUS and the characters?

Going beyond the blurb, Sol Invictus is about clashing cultures. The Roman frontier in Europe was a boiling melting pot of Germanic, Visigoth, Roman, and many others. It would be wild to experience that time and place in history.

Lucky for John and Sarah, they get to! They are siblings who don’t always get along, but they do have each other’s backs. They’re both on different arcs in their maturation process and both have different challenges to overcome internally, while sharing external challenges together.


What are you working on now?

Book three of The Eye of Ra series! Sol Invictus is book two and The Eye of Ra is book one. Book three will explain a lot more about the overarching storyline for the series and have John and Sarah bouncing around in time a bit more, but with the historical focus on the area in the middle of Mexico at the beginning of the sixteenth century. The people in Tenochtitlan—what is now Mexico City—called themselves the Mexica (pronounced Me-SHI-ca), but we more commonly know them as the Aztec. I love learning so many details about all these different cultures and eras. It’s fascinating research!


Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?

Of course, but this is a tricky question. I have two sons—currently ages ten and thirteen—and my whole writing middle grade adventure started in collaboration with them. They helped me with the base mold in defining the characters of John and Sarah. So, of course, there are elements of my boys in both John and Sarah, but I have to be clear that they are wholly separate beings. I took the bits I wanted to explore and spent more time with those to make sure they are not just mirror images of my boys. Additionally, I included bits of myself—both my adult self and my middle grade self—and explored that as well.


Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?

I’ll double-dip on this answer and say that John and Sarah are my favorite characters to write. I try to flesh out every character in every book behind the scenes so I know how they’d act during their “on screen” time, but I’ve spent the most time with John and Sarah, so they are the most alive to me.

My least favorite? I honestly can’t say I have one. Even though some of them I may not like as much as others, those may still have been fun to write. J


What is your favorite passages/scenes in SOL INVICTUS?

The scene in the gladiator ring with all of the wild animals running around was a lot of fun to write, read to my boys, and then revise and write again. It is a tense scene with some very high stakes and we really see what John and Sarah are made of. Their sibling bond is strong.


What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

Lots! I do waaaaaay more research than ever makes it into the story. I definitely, absolutely do NOT want my books to come across as lectures or boring history lessons. But at the same time, I try to implant tiny details throughout the book that are true, that provide rich color to the scenes and characters. One of my favorite questions from a kid about The Eye of Ra (book 1) was around Imhotep and why I made him do something or other. I responded with “Because that’s true. That’s what we think he really did!” and the child’s eyes went big and mouth went ajar. “Imhotep was real!” THAT spark. I wonder what she researched on her own after that.


What inspired you to write middle grade?

It started with a desire to write something with my two boys. But since then, I’ve realized that I have a true passion for this niche. I love the opportunity, the endless imagination, and the impact that a good book can have on humans at this stage of their maturation into adults. Mostly, because it’s FUN.


Lightning Round Questions


What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

By the time you read this, it’ll have changed, but I’m currently reading THE MIRACULOUS by Jess Redman. I really liked her book QUINTESSENCE and am looking forward to her upcoming novel THE ADVENTURE IS NOW.



Instagram, Twitter or Facebook?

Twitter by far. I do post to Instagram, but it’s not as much a communication mechanism as I like. It’s more like people just posting stuff, but not a ton of conversation. Twitter is just right. Facebook is a hot mess. I have a presence there, but interact with it as I would a tick (more on that later).



Favorite Superhero?

Iron Man is the first thing that popped into my head. And a funny one that comes up too is Silver Surfer. Seems like such a B-player superhero, but as a kid I always thought it would be cool.



Favorite TV show?

I don’t watch a ton of TV, so nothing really pops to the top of my head. I guess I’ll answer with one I really liked when I was a kid. Amazing Stories from Steven Spielberg—the original, not the recent reboot. Oh, and I’ve been into The Expanse lately…



Sweet or Salty?

I guess “both” is cheating? If I have to choose one, I’ll go with sweet. I love chocolate in pretty much any incarnation.



Any Phobias?

Ha! Funny question I’ve never been asked about before on a blog. I know they won’t hurt me for real, but I have an irrational dislike of ticks. I don’t want them hiding in my crevices. Thing is, I haven’t had a tick since I was a kid… Hm, there must be an origin story somewhere in there…



Song you can’t get enough of right now?

Well, it’ll probably change by the time people read this, but I’m digging Overwhelmed by Royal & the Serpent. I like the music itself, but the words about anxiety and overwhelm resonate with me as well.



2021 Movie you’re most looking forward to?

What is coming out in 2021? I love movies, but I guess I don’t look ahead too much anymore.




Thanks so much Ben for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read SOL INVICTUS!


About Ben Gartner: 

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.


Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook |Goodreads | Amazon


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card, International.

1 winner will win a finished copy of SOL INVICTUS, US Only.

1 winner will win an eBook of SOL INVICTUS, International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:


Two Chicks on Books



Westveil Publishing

Guest Post


BookHounds YA



Log Cabin Library

Guest Post


A Dream Within A Dream

Guest Post

Week Two:


Lifestyle of Me



Little Red Reads






Wonder struck






  1. Replies
    1. Awesome! Thank you, Danielle! It's out today! :)

  2. This sounds like an exciting book. I think my daughter would love to read the series!


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