Friday, July 9, 2021

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway - Bandits of Basswood: John William Drake Part One (Azra's Pith) by E.P. Bellows

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Bandits of Basswood: John William Drake Part One by E.P. Bellows. This book tour was organized by Pump Up Your Book. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a guest post. There's also the tour wide giveaway to win an eBook copy of the book as well as some awesome swag! Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Bandits of Basswood: John William Drake Part One
Author: E.P. Bellows
Publication Date: July 10th 2020
Print Length: 174 pages
Genre: Children's Fantasy
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John William Drake was born an explorer; just like many, many Drakes before him. His adventure really began with the discovery of a book hidden in the ceiling, followed by the mysterious disappearance of his father. He lived every day in misery until his twelfth birthday. A new friend gave him an invitation he could not turn down… follow me and change your destiny.

He never imagined being captured by bandits and taken to a ship riddled with river rats was part of his fate. Not just any bandits – the Bandits of Basswood; known to be a ruthless and wild crew of thieves. Trying to escape would be a ridiculous idea. No one has ever escaped and lived to tell about it. Uncovering traces of his missing father gave him hope and upped the stakes. John William was determined to get off the ship alive and search for the missing pieces of the puzzle. The chase out of Basswood was on. He took a chance to change his destiny and ended up on a wild ride to solve the most important mystery of his life.

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EXCERPT:
~Escaping the pirate ship~

Celeste stiffened her posture. “Here is the plan; one of you needs to help me free myself from this tie before the hatch opens again. I will take on my bird form and fly out of here. They won’t even know what happened. Once I tell my dad, the guards will come to save you.” Her tongue hovered over her upper lip as she strained to free her hands.

Ferdinand frowned. “That’s your plan, is it? Marvelous! You are just going to flutter off in the dark of night? You don’t even know how far away from Verhonia you are. Nonsense! You’re not doing it!”

“Why can’t you turn to a bird with your hands tied? Then you could free yourself and unfasten my ties.” John William wiggled around on the bench.

“I could break a wing or something worse. I’m not willing to risk it.” Celeste replied.

“A lot of good having your hands free will do when you are locked in a cabin surrounded by bandits and river rats!” Ferdinand huffed.

The boat jolted suddenly, throwing the three of them off their seats. Celeste’s eyes lit up. She waved her hands around. “I did it!” she shrieked.

The drunken slur of a bandit came from the other side of the hatch. “I don’t want any foolery in there!” The hatch shifted and wiggled.

“Don’t worry,” Celeste whispered and smiled at John William.

Within seconds, she was a beautiful red robin flying around the cabin. The hatch swung open and out she flew, nearly hitting the bandit in the face.

“Oh, great,” Ferdinand grumbled.

The bandit swung his arm. “What the – how did a bird get in here? Hey, you lazy lumps! Catch that bird; let’s boil it for dinner!” He laughed belligerently. The bandit reeked. He must have been saturated from head to toe with rum.

John William and Ferdinand exchanged nervous glances.

The bandit poked his head in and looked around. “Hey! Where’s the girl?” He stumbled inside, knocking ship tools and other small objects around with his tail.

John William and Ferdinand remained quiet, looking like they both swallowed the same canary. The bandit stood over John William, swaying with his hands on his hips. “Well, where is the princess, wart? Did you help her escape?”

John William cleared his throat. “I, I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“Is that so?” The bandit pulled a knife from his belt with a taunting smile.

“She escaped,” Ferdinand blurted. “We tried to stop her, but she refused to listen. She went out the hatch and jumped overboard.”

“Impossible.” The bandit rubbed his fingers over his oily fur.

“Wait a minute… who are you?”

“Um, I believe I am Captain Vic’s supper.” The hopper stuck out his pudgy belly.

“It’s true! I heard the splash, myself,” declared John William, trying to take the focus off Ferdinand. The bandit examined their faces.

Plunk – it sounded just like that,” said Ferdinand with a shaky laugh.

“Plunk?” The bandit’s soggy, rum-soaked face crinkled in confusion.

“Yes, yes, that’s right… plunk,” Ferdinand squeaked.

The bandit stormed out of the cabin. “The princess escaped!

Get up, you twits!” He ran around the boat, banging his blade on an iron pot, making as much racket as one drunken bandit possibly could. The other bandits stirred.

Ferdinand shook his head with terror in his eyes. “We’re in for it now, boy….”
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PRAISE FOR BANDITS OF BASSWOOD:
The imaginative world created by the author is especially fun. Some animals can talk (with attitude!), magic is in the air and emu-like creatures provide fast transportation. Yes, I realize this series is for children- and they can certainly read it. Just as soon as I'm finished.” – Amazon Reviewer 5 stars

I enjoyed reading these books. Great for young adults, even though I'm an adult. I would recommend this series to those kids who like a good adventure…” – Amazon Reviewer 5 stars

A simple walk into the world of furry and fairy alike. Enjoyed the character building, as the young boy finds himself in a world with furry pirates, and a feisty fairy princess. Even the villains (as a group,) were only bad because of the main villain of the piece. all in all a nice intro to a simply enchanted world. Hope to see more...”Amazon Reviewer 4 stars
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A few random things about me...

Um, let's see... when I was eight, I had a pet turkey. I used to take it with me on my very short lived paper route. Needless to say, I was terrible at delivering the paper. No one wanted a "Dollar Saver" with turkey poop splattered across the front page. Apparently that's where the best coupons are.

Books... well, "Treasure Island" is a fantastic pirate tale. I love just about anything by Roald Dahl. I would also like to thank C.S Lewis for sending me on an unrelenting childhood quest for portals to amazing worlds (even in the most unpleasant locations, e.g... the older brother's closet, etc...)

I write fantasy stories for children. Yep - I am a HUGE fantasy geek. I can't help myself! It's too darn awesome to escape to another realm with sorcerers and wizards. The underlying theme in my stories is empowerment, self love, and living purposefully.

When football is on I turn into a different person. I may even use a curse word or two... or three. I enjoy running; which is a good thing because I need to do it in order to fit into my jeans.

I love to cook and really, really love to eat. I have a theory that avocados actually contain super powers and have the amazing ability to make any snack epic. I also love garlic... which, according to my loved ones, also has an unfortunate super power ... the pungent breath-inator... or something of that nature.

Few things make me smile more than chocolate, cheese... AND, if the Chargers would make it to the Super Bowl again - just once :)

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GUEST POST:
The Rolling Boulder
by E.P. Bellows


The other day I was scrolling down my social media newsfeeds (my morning ritual) when I stumbled across a picture of a man pushing a boulder up a mountain. I had to laugh out loud because that was the exact example I had been using to explain the process of promoting! The picture was attached to another author’s blog post about rejection. Does every writer have the same feeling?

The actual writing is the blissful part. I can escape into a world that I created every day. Submitting to publishers, polite rejection letters and getting critiques to improve your craft can be a test of emotional toughness. In other words… being told how terrible your writing is over and over again until your skin is thicker than that leather jacket in your closet from the 80’s. If you continue to write after being run over by a snow plow in a gravel pit the passion must be there.

If you do get published, the mountain only gets bigger. Now you have to promote your work. What the heck! I write fantasy stories about giant bird/wizards and talking frogs. What do I know about promoting? The day my book was released I felt sick to my stomach. Wait… now I have to actually sell books? How am I going to do that? Half my neighbors don’t even know I exist. How in Gandalf’s name am I going to tell the world to buy my book? The mountain only grew steeper; and so did the nausea.

Then came the reviews. Yeah, that whole sick to my stomach thing… I felt like all my vital organs were doing the Macarena through my ribcage after only slightly skimming through one review. Don’t get me wrong, I can handle criticism. It comes with the territory; but now the snow plow is running me over in front of an audience and I want the readers to enjoy the adventure as much as I enjoy writing them.

On the other hand, when someone has something nice to say… now, this is where the boulder can really hurt. I don’t dare take a moment to enjoy a good review in fear that the boulder will roll right over me smashing my face in the dirt. I imagine the fun factor in chasing a rolling boulder down a mountain with dirt in my eyes is low. The world of writing and publishing can be frustrating, demoralizing, and a crushing blow to the ego. I have scraped my dignity off of the pavement so many times, I’m pretty sure it is paper thin and full of holes. Nothing wrong with a few holes… right? It has been a wild journey and I’ve learned a lot. The experience has evolved from fear of the unknown to all part of the process. Meeting other writers on similar journeys and doing guest posts like this one are a lot of fun! Most of all, I take comfort in the fact that I can still escape all of the craziness and write my fantasy stories.
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GIVEAWAY:
E.P. Bellows is giving away a summer goodie bag containing Azra's Pith swag! Goodie bag includes a coffee mug, tumbler, beach towel, paperback and kindle copy of Bandits of Basswood.

Terms & Conditions:
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• Winner has 48 hours to reply.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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17 comments:

  1. I love the cover! The colors and graphics are great!

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  2. This book sounds great and the cover is pretty.

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  3. I love the great story, and the pretty cover.

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  4. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  5. This sounds like a very good book.

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  6. The Bandits of Basswood looks like a fun book for my young adventure reader.

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  7. This looks good. Thanks for the intro

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  8. Thanks everyone! This was a fun blog! Thanks for having me!🧡

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  9. I like the sound of this story. Plus, I love the bandit on the cover.

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  10. I loved the excerpt and can't wait to read the rest of the book!

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  11. Sounds like a great book. I like the cover.

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  12. This kids book has adventure and river rats on a ship. It's a fantasy which leaves the imagination wandering about and wondering.

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  13. I like the cover and would love reading it too.

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  14. I enjoyed reading the story about the turkey and the paper route!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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