Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Inside the Pages: Bandits of Basswood by E.P. Bellows @lizzypbellows @pumpupyourbook #InsidethePages

 


An adventure tale for young readers…



By E.P. Bellows

BOOK BLURB:

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.

PRAISE

“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





~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….”~

 
















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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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.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter
  • This giveaway ends midnight September 30.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on October 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!







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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Inside the Pages: TELL HER SHE CAN'T by Kelly Lewis #insidethepages

 


Title: TELL HER SHE CAN’T: INSPIRING STORIES OF UNSTOPPABLE WOMEN
Author: Kelly Lewis
Publisher: Go Girl Publishing
Pages: 210
Genre: Nonfiction / Inspirational


BOOK BLURB:

Who says you can’t?

Tell Her She Can’t is the manifesto for every woman who has been told she isn’t strong enough, smart enough, or capable enough to excel-and the motivational anthem for those who have succeeded despite doubt.

Entrepreneur Kelly Lewis shares the true stories of 35 inspirational women who overcame the naysayers to achieve “impossible” dreams.

Tell Her She Can’t is packed with motivational stories of adventurers, changemakers, and prevailers who have taken on the world to become pioneers in their fields or challenged gender stereotypes to build million-dollar businesses. These inspiring women transformed adversity into a springboard for empowerment and success-and you can too.

A powerhouse guide for every modern woman and girl, Tell Her She Can’t invites you to blast past the gatekeepers of “can’t” and become unstoppable.







In the third grade, a boy in my class told me I'd never be able to beat him at the spelling bee. I stayed up all night studying and whooped his butt on competition day, despite fresh stitches from a dental operation in my mouth.

In high school, a friend said I couldn’t do more cartwheels than she could. I did 72 in a row and was still going, long after she had quit. As a child, I was told that I would never be successful, so I became the owner of multiple six-figure businesses and went to every continent on the planet in the process. Simply put, I don’t take kindly to being told I can’t.

Chances are that someone, somewhere, has also told you that you can’t. Maybe you had a dream to be an astronaut, and everyone around you poo-pooed it, saying you didn’t have the brain for that much science and math. Maybe you wanted to run a marathon, and your aunt told you that was a ridiculous idea for someone who could barely walk around the block. Maybe you thought of a business idea and your mom told you it would never make any money. Whatever your ambitions or dreams, baby, the naysayers are everywhere.

Throughout this book, we’re going to talk about these naysayersthe ones I call the blockmakers. The people who stand in our way, get in our heads, and fill us with all kinds of self-doubt. If left unchecked, their limiting voices can become our own. We cannot let that happen. When you meet a blockmaker, you have two choices: accept their words as truth and give up, or use those words as fuel and prove them wrong. I hope after reading this book that you choose the latter.

Society has been telling women what they can and can’t do, who they can and can’t be, and what they can and can’t look like, ever since Eve took a bite out of what I’m sure was a delicious apple. With that, women have been punished for eternity for their choices.

Can’t focus too long on your career, you’ll never have a family. Can’t start a family, you’ll ruin your career. Can’t be too sure of yourself or you’ll scare men away, can’t be too accomplished or you’ll be too intimidating—can’t, can’t, can’t. Where does it end? Trying to live your life by someone else’s standards is a losing game, so I propose we change the rules. What if we started to hear “can’t” as an invitation to do exactly that thing? What if we lived our lives exactly the way we want to, authentically and unapologetically?

We cannot control other people’s opinions, nor can we continue to live life within boundaries that have been designed to keep us small.

We are powerful.

You are powerful.

You have the potential to take all the hater-ade around you and turn it into a propellant that pushes you toward success.

You have the capacity to grow, learn, unlearn, and create so much beauty in the process. How do I know? Because I’m living proof. 















Kelly Lewis is a women’s travel industry maven, passionate about helping women tap into their personal power through travel. She’s the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the world’s first series of travel guidebooks for women; founder of the annual Women’s Travel Fest, and creator of Damesly, a boutique women’s tour company. Born in Arizona but raised in Hawaii, she now lives in Portland, Oregon.

Kelly has been called a “dame disruptor” by Adventure.com, a “travel veteran” by Brit + Co, a “badass female founder” by Huffington Post, and “The woman making travel better – and safer – for all women” by The Muse. Lewis and her work have also been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Shape Magazine, Elle, AFAR, Culture Trip, CNN, Travel + Leisure, and more.


Website: www.tellhershecant.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/gokellylewis & www.twitter.com/tellhershecant

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gokellylewis  & http://www.facebook.com/tellhershecant








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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Inside the Pages: THE TRUTH BEHIND THE MASK by W.L. Brooks #insidethepage

 

A Romantic Suspense Must Read…



By W.L. Brooks


Title: THE TRUTH BEHIND THE MASK
Author: W.L. Brooks
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Pages: 302
Genre: Romantic Suspense

BOOK BLURB:

Is Alexandra McKay the reason her sister Fletcher left town? Yes. Does that mean Alex wants to put her life on hold to bring the little beast back? No! But when she discovers her sister’s been abducted, Alex will do whatever it takes to rescue her.

Giving up his PI gig was tough, but Jake Keller would rather do that any day than partner up with Alexandra McKay. Unfortunately, if he wants to find his friend Fletcher, he has to work with Her Royal Pain-in-the-Behind-ness. Hot or not, the woman makes his jaw twitch.

Forced together by circumstance, and ensnared in a web of clues, the pair submit to their undeniable passion. But if they’re unwilling to face the truth, they will risk not only Fletcher’s life but their own chance at happiness.




“Get the hell out of there, Alexandra. Get the hell out or I’m coming in,” he warned through her earbud. 
“Just stick to the plan,” she hissed.

“I will if you will. Shit!”

 She got to the first landing. “What now?”

“Neighborhood security. Damn it all to hell.”

 “Show your PI license.” She cocked her head to the side. Was someone up here?

 “I know that, princess, but I’m going to have to cut off communication so we don’t get arrested. Get out of the house! Good evening, officers…”

Static filled her ears, and she slipped the earpiece out. There was no way she wasn’t going up to the second landing. Jacob would have to get over it. The wood under her feet groaned; she cringed. She glanced up the last few steps. Nothing. She tiptoed into the hall; it looked like some creepy maze. Wonderful.

 She walked with her back to the wall until she came upon the only room with light shining under the door. Putting her ear against the cool wood, she tried to make out any movement; again nothing. Dr. Drake didn’t have any pets or girlfriends, so what in the hell was going on? She took off her goggles and hooked them onto her belt; she didn’t want the light to make her hesitate. She took a deep breath, put one hand on the knob, the other on the door, and pushed it open…


 



 








W.L. Brooks was born with an active imagination.  When characters come into her mind, she has to give them a life- a chance to tell their stories. With a coffee cup in her hand and a cat by her side, she spends her days letting the ideas flow onto paper.  A voracious reader, she draws her inspiration from mystery, romance, suspense and a dash of the paranormal.

A native of Virginia Beach, she is currently living in Western North Carolina. Pick up her latest novel, Unearthing the Past – available now!

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | FACEBOOK

 

 




Unearthing the Past









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Monday, July 12, 2021

BLACK ROCKS AND RAINBOWS by Susan C. Riford & Narrated by Actress Suzanne Ford

 

High on a cliff in Hawaii in 1807, an irrepressibly curious native boy dives into the sea and swims to an American merchant ship anchored offshore, embarking on an extraordinary adventure that will change history…





By Susan C. Riford

Title: BLACK ROCKS AND RAINBOWS
Author: Susan C. Riford
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Genre: YA / Historical

BOOK BLURB:

The journey of a lifetime told in the audiobook BLACK ROCKS AND RAINBOWS begins with a ship: “An enormous canoe, with great white wings like a magnificent bird.” This is the merchant schooner Triumph from New England, anchored offshore by what is now known as the Big Island of Hawaii, and in 1807, the sight of it captivates a young Hawaiian boy’s imagination and spirit of adventure. Fifteen-year-old Hiapo Opukahaia, orphaned as the result of a war between two rival island chiefs, has been contemplating his future. He dives into the sea and swims to the ship, where he is invited to stay for dinner. When the captain asks if he would like to go to America, he nods Yes.

The audiobook BLACK ROCKS AND RAINBOWS, an historical novel for young adults, edited and narrated by actress Suzanne Ford, was written by her late mother, Susan C. Riford.  The audiobook chronicles the gripping story of Hiapo – renamed “Henry” by his fellow crewmen – whose literal and figurative journey leads to the greatest adventure of all: a hunger for knowledge which ultimately changes Hawaii forever. The title refers to the lava rocks and beautiful rainbows of the Big Island, the vision of which Henry carries with him for the rest of his life.

Working as a cabin boy, Henry does encounter true-life adventures – pirates, storms – during the ship’s year-long voyage, via the Seal Islands and China, back to its home port of New Haven, Connecticut. He also learns to read and write English, unlocking his quest for further knowledge; upon arriving in New Haven, Henry realizes he desperately wants to keep learning, but has no idea how.

Weeping one day on the steps of Yale College, he is found by a kind student, a relative of the school’s president. Taken under the president’s wing, Henry becames a scholar. He wants to translate written works from English into Hawaiian, but at the time, there is no such written Hawaiian language. So he begins to apply the principles in an American spelling book – devised by Noah Webster, of dictionary fame – to the sounds of his native tongue. In doing so, he creates the alphabet-spelling-grammar system that is the basis for the Hawaiian written language in use to this day.

Sadly, Henry dies of typhus fever in 1818 at the age of 26. He is buried in Cornwall, Connecticut, until 1993, when he makes one final journey: a group of Hawaiian residents has successfully crusaded for the return of his remains to the Big Island for permanent burial. Hiapo Opukahaia has come home.

Suzanne Ford was inspired to create the audiobook BLACK ROCKS AND RAINBOWS originally written by her late mother, Susan Riford, a prolific author of children’s books and plays and founder of what is now known as the Rev Theatre Company in Auburn, New York. Her mother became fascinated with Henry’s story when she moved to Maui. “The novel was her final work before she died,” Ford says. “I took on the unfinished manuscript, wrote the last chapter, had a few copies printed and recorded the audiobook. The story is such a fascinating and compelling adventure, fun to listen to for anyone, but especially for young adults.”

Ford is working on an updated, illustrated book version of BLACK ROCKS AND RAINBOWS. “It’s noteworthy that there has never been a full-length historical novel about Opukahaia, who is such a major figure in Hawaiian history and whose story carries a timeless message about the importance of education,” she observes. “Especially in this era of the dawning of deeper recognition of indigenous peoples and their heritage, this as yet unfamiliar but universal coming-of-age story is resonant and relevant to youth of any culture.”

PRAISE

“This adventure story is riveting from start to finish and the action keeps coming. The ending, though sad because it’s a true story, was very uplifting and inspiring. A very satisfying audiobook experience.”

-Amazon

Listen to a sample of the audiobook here:

https://www.amazon.com/Black-Rocks-Rainbows-Adventures-Opukahaia/dp/B08S58DNKW/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2250DQNT6KKE5&dchild=1&keywords=black+rocks+and+rainbows&qid=1617483025&sprefix=black+rocks+and+rainbows%2Caps%2C208&sr=8-1

And here:

https://soundcloud.com/user-158936241/black-rocks-and-rainbows














Suzanne Ford is an actress and writer working in film, television, and theatre. She has performed in more than 100 stage productions in New York and Los Angeles, on tour and in regional theatres around the country. Her many film credits include the Duplass Brothers’ recent hit Manson Family Vacation; You, Me and Dupree and The Apparition, and she has appeared on such television shows as Grace and Frankie, Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal MindsIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Friends. She has been an advertising copywriter, has written a biography of Mel Gibson, screenplays, and cookbooks, and has ghostwritten memoirs. She and her husband live in the Hollywood Hills.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK







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Inside the Pages: Bandits of Basswood by E.P. Bellows @lizzypbellows @pumpupyourbook #InsidethePages

  An adventure tale for young readers… By E.P. Bellows BOOK BLURB: John William Drake was born an explorer; just like many, many Drakes befo...