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Image of children reading, preceding information on the Idea Miners series of middle-reader fantasy books. The information is directed to adults searching for inspirational and educational reading material for young people.

For parents, teachers, librarians . . .

As the author of The Lost Lake Dig, I want to provide as much information as possible to someone searching for appropriate books for middle readers. At the same time, since this page is open to everyone, I need to be careful not to reveal too much about the storyline.

In The Idea Miners: The Lost Lake Dig, young children are needed to help in a parallel world, finding and retrieving glowing spheres that contain undiscovered knowledge. These spheres are ultimately release into our world to be “harvested” and used in the building of the Pyramid of Knowledge. Helping in the retrieval of the spheres involves traveling in this parallel world with ageless mysterious seers, dwarfs and elves, giant crazed miners, aloof winders, and bloodthirsty trolls. 

This is a children’s book like no other. On the surface it is a fantasy adventure with a stunning ending, but underneath flows a stream of past world-altering ideas that will instill in the reader a keen awareness of the unique gift and power of the human intellect.

For me, it’s the undercurrent of ideas that makes The Lost Lake Dig unique, and others agree. Julina K. Small, of Armchair Interviews, said in her review: “I especially enjoyed the historical fiction that is woven into The Lost Lake Dig. By providing historical facts in association with the ideas contained within the squirts and gushers, Cross has found a unique way to teach our youth about history while keeping their interest at the same time. My twelve-year-old daughter began reading the book after I finished it, and I could hardly get her to put it down to come to the kitchen for dinner!”

Was it the undercurrent of ideas that kept Julina Small’s daughter away from the dinner table? 

Probably not.

Don’t get me wrong. The ideas are great, the underpinning of my writing that I hope will plant seeds for the future. But I know that’s not what keeps young readers glued to the book. It’s something else. And that something else is what Tim Grundmann, an author of the Disney’s Doug Chronicles series, highlighted in his review: “PW Cross knows what his readers will like–hidden worlds, crazy characters, and danger!”

So there you have it, the book’s specifics: hidden worlds, crazy characters, danger, and an undercurrent of world-altering ideas!

Elsewhere in the website I say that writing is a window into the writer. As an adult searching for appropriate reading material for kids, you may want to know more about me. My life’s experiences include:

  • Veteran of the U.S. Army Medical Core

  • BA degree in Mathematics

  • MS degree in Computer Science

  • Married with two grown children

  • Retired computer software developer

  • Author of

    • The Computer Revolution Survival Guide–or Martha Cuts Loose

    • The Idea Miners–The Lost Lake Dig


The software I’ve developed is used worldwide. The Computer Revolution Survival Guide was praised by the American Library Association and consequently acquired by libraries throughout the U.S. The Idea Miners: The Lost Lake Dig has received glowing reviews, many of them long and detailed. But one I cherish is from the reviewer of the Benjamin Franklin Awards program who simply wrote “Loved the book!!” —high praise from a professional book and award program reviewer.

On a personal note, my work on the Idea Miners series has been on hold for a while, interrupted by life’s events. Thankfully, I’m now able to move forward. I sincerely appreciate any interest you may have in my writing. (UPDATE - Book 2, The Twisted Tree Dig, is on track for release the beginning of 2023.)


Thank you.

—Erin Doran, Allbooks Reviews

The Lost Lake Dig is sure to intrigue children of all ages.

There are things in this book that no one will be able to predict.

Kindle Link

Book Link

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