Review + Interview with Dorine White of The Emerald Ring

The Deets:
Audience: middle school readers
pages: 192
publisher: May 14th 2013 by Cedar Fort, Inc.
ISBN: 9781462111336
genre: mystery, action adventure

The Emerald Ring (Cleopatra's Legacy)Ordinary tween life turns upside down when Ancient Egypt intrudes on modern middle school life. Twelve year old Sara Guadalupe Bogus reads about adventures, but unexpectedly is drawn into one when a mystical emerald ring that once belonged to Cleopatra becomes stuck on her finger.
A series of burglaries spook Sara’s small Ohio hometown. Concluding that the root of all the crimes is the emerald ring, Sara realizes it’s up to her and her friends, Heidi and African exchange student Kainu, to save the town and protect Cleopatra’s legacy. Filled with magic, the ring thrusts Sara into a world filled with nightmares, allows her to shape shift into an Egyptian cat and battle assassins.

The lovely author, Dorine White, has been gracious enough to answer a few questions about her new middle grades mystery The Emerald Ring.

For those of you unfamiliar with The Emerald Ring, it's an action packed mystery based on Cleopatra's missing jewels. These aren't just any jewels either! If all the jewels are together, the person in possession will have a lot of power... even enough power to bring back the Roman empire. Of course, one very brave girl (and her two friends) have to make sure that does not happen.

The Emerald Ring has a strong heroine going to great lengths to protect herself and the ones she loves. Middle grade readers will surely find something that mesmerizes them in this new series.

The story:

I have always been fascinated by Cleopatra. What made you decide to make Cleopatra such a large element in your book?

I have always loved Ancient Egypt. There are so many mysteries surrounding their beliefs. I picked Cleopatra because she is a recognizable figure that kids will have heard about. Plus, she was known for her beauty, so who better to have a necklace of magic gemstones?

I find that I don’t know much about Cleopatra, even though I find her history intriguing. Do the gems mentioned in your novel have any historical reference, or were they an original idea?

The gemstones are my own ideas. However, Cleopatra was famous for her emerald mines.

 Any hints for book two?

Yes, In fact, starting on May 14, 2013, I will have the uncorrected 1st chapter up on my blog in the sneak-peeks section!

  Here is my pitch- Welcome to New Orleans- home of Mardi Gras, jazz music and voodoo. Eighth grader Melanie Belaforte is home for Spring break and itching for excitement. Late one night she discovers a hidden chamber and a secret journal in her deceased Aunt Florence’s bedroom.
            The diary contains the writings of a mad woman, along with vague clues about the whereabouts of a ruby necklace that once belonged to Cleopatra. The ruby bestows upon the wearer the power to hear other people’s thoughts- even the thoughts of the dead!
    And so the hunt begins. Melanie, her best friend Sybil, and a haunting specter unravel clues that take them from crumbling graveyards, to the busy streets of the French Quarter, and then into murky swamps, all to find the prize. But they need to watch out, because a murderous cult is matching them step for step, and they won’t give up, ever.

The process:

Many people are interested in the writing/publishing process. What did you find the most difficult aspect of writing a book?

The editing. Writing the book is always fun, though it takes time.  I love to get the ideas out of my head and onto the paper. Coming up with the story is like a mystery. I’m not one of those writers that outlines first. Instead, I have the main idea and what I want to happen, and then I go from there.

Once the first draft is done, it is all about editing- again and again and again. There are so many rules to grammar that I often feel overwhelmed. And then you have to find the holes in your story and patch them up. This is where beta readers are so helpful. For this book I was lucky enough to use a book doctor, and it really helped.

The fun stuff:

Would you rather live in a world where Transformers or real or Marvel super heroes?

Super heroes! Though the transformers are cool, the decepticons caused major death and damage. The humans could not beat them without the autobots. With superheroes there is the chance that good will defeat evil and hopefully there won’t be mass destruction. Plus, there is a slight chance that I might fall into radioactive goo and get an awesome superpower J

Would you rather have your dreams written by JK Rowling or the writers of LOST?

JK Rowling! I am all about magic and fantasy. I dream of wizards already and that is the type of world I would want to live in, though not as a muggle. LOST was an amazing show, but it was really screwy. There were way too many mysteries that did not get solved, or that I think didn’t get solved in a good way. I think those kind of dreams would freak me out.

I want to say thank you to Dorine White for allowing me to host The Emerald Ring on her blog tour, and for taking the time for the interview.


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