The Alabaster Jar & The Hidden Tomb, Takes Middle Grade Readers on a Thrilling Adventure Though Ancient Egypt

WordCrafts Press and educator/author Marie Sontag, PhD are excited to announce the release of The Alabaster Jar & The Hidden Tomb, the second volume in Sontag’s thrilling middle grade Ancient Elements series of historical adventure novels. The Alabaster Jar & The Hidden Tomb released to retail on October 28, 2023, and immediately debuted on multiple category charts, including hitting Number 7 on the Hot New Release in the Children’s Ancient Civilization Fiction category, Number 55 on the Hot New Release in the Mythology category, and Number 74 in the Children’s Historical Fiction category.

In The Alabaster Jar & The Hidden Tomb, fourteen-year-old Samsuluna (Sam), having found a home with his adoptive family, now moves to Egypt with Balashi and Amata where his quest to solve the mystery of the hidden tomb threatens to tear his family apart.

“Middle grade students love stories about ancient Egypt,” says author Dr. Marie Sontag. “Book 1 of the Ancient Elements Series, The Bronze Dagger & the Stolen Jewels, leaves readers hanging. They know Sam decided to go with his adoptive father and sister to study medicine in Egypt, but they don’t know what happened once they got there. Book 2, The Alabaster Jar & The Hidden Tomb, answers this question, providing a great adventure as Sam and Amata work to unravel the mystery of the hidden tomb.

“Over the next few months, I’ll bring to life Book 3 of the series, Enlil’s Adventures: Clay Tablets & Mari Spies. Sam and Amata traveled to Egypt, but what did their friend Enlil do back in Babylonia? Readers find out in Book 3. Finally, in Book 4, all the characters meet in Phoenicia as Sam finds his uncle, but meets up again with his father in, The Silver Coin & the Puzzle Box.”

“The Ancient Elements Series by Dr. Sontag reminds me why I fell in love with reading back in elementary school,” says WordCrafts Press publisher, Mike Parker. “Faraway lands, danger, intrigue, the epic struggle between good and evil set in an exotic and mysterious ancient world… What’s not to love?”

From the Novel:

Amata gasped as Sam shone the light on the sarcophagus revealing a broken statue of Anubis, his jackal-shaped head not far from his wooden body. Stepping around the headless statue, Sam shone the light on a broken canopic chest, its sides colorfully decorated with the images of Osiris, Isis, Nut, and Thoth.

Amata stepped closer to the chest. “Look here, Sam.” She pulled four canopic jars out of the damaged container.

“Don’t open those!”

Even in the dim light, Sam caught her glare. “I know what these are, Sam. They contain what is left of this Egyptian’s insides preserved here for the afterlife.” She traced the edges of the limestone jars then placed them next to the broken container.

Sam shifted his attention to another broken chest. In the dim light, he made out the shapes of several wooden shabtis. They must have fallen out of the wooden box. The shabtis looked like miniature Egyptians, each carrying a basket of tools.

Amata moved to the other side of the sarcophagus. “Sam! Bring the lamp over here.”

Before he reached her, a loud crash boomed. Amata shrieked.

He rushed to her side, but his legs gave way as his body plunged into a dark hole.

About the Author

Marie Sontag enjoys transporting middle grade and young adult readers to various time periods and locations by creating stories that bring the past to life. Her 15 years of teaching middle school and high school have given her insight into what students find entertaining, and her B.A. in social science and M.A. and Ph.D. in education provide her with a solid background for writing historical fiction.

Born in Wisconsin, she spent most of her life in California, but now lives with her husband in Texas. When not writing, she’s often found playing princesses with her granddaughter, or super heroes with her grandson.

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