John William and the Bandits of Basswood by Elizabeth Parkinson Bellows
John William Drake was born an explorer; just like many, many Drakes before him. His adventure really began with the discovery of an old book hidden in the ceiling of the Drake home, followed by the mysterious disappearance of his father. He lived everyday 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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Praise for the Book
“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.”
“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.”
“Love this book! Great kids book!”
John William approached the table and stared the possum down. “Who’s there?” The possum squinted through his good eye. He put his paw out, grabbing at the air.
“Over here.” John William waved his arm awkwardly.
“Oh, there you are – care to try your luck?” The possum slid three nut shells around on the table.
“What? No, that bag hanging on your chair is mine. I want it back,” John William said.
“Sorry, finders, keepers; I won it fair and square. You can wager for it if you want.” The possum raised his eye patch. “What have you got?”
“Um, I have this pet hopper.” John William pulled Ferdinand out of his pocket.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait just one minute – I am no one’s pet!”
“Ooh, he’s feisty; I like him! Okay, all you have to do is guess which shell the nuts are under.” The possum lifted the shells to show the nuts, then quickly swirled them around with his hands. “They call me Hawkeye; how about you, fella?”
“Um – J-Jammer, yah – Jammer,” John William stammered, dizzy from watching the swirling shells. “That one.” He pointed to the shell in the middle.
The possum lifted the shell, exposing the nuts underneath. “Nope! Sorry, Jam-Jam; nothing there,” Hawkeye declared, sitting back with a satisfied grin.
“Yes there was! I saw the nuts.” John William scowled.
“I saw nothing!” Hawkeye snapped.
“Oh, this is nonsense!” Ferdinand jumped out of John William’s pocket and yanked the bag off the seat while they argued. “Jammer, let’s go!”
“Yes, okay! Thanks, Hawkeye.” John William perked up and followed Ferdinand out the door with his bag stuffed in his coat.
“Hey – I want my hopper pet!” Hawkeye stood up and tapped his cane out the door behind them. “Come back here!”
“Keep walking. Possums have terrible eyesight. We will lose him easily,” Ferdinand ordered.
“Hawkeye!” John William turned and watched an oafish bandit stomp over to the possum, clutching a matted feather. “You told me this empyrean feather would give me magical powers! It doesn’t work. You sold me a broken feather; now I’m going to have to shove it in your good eye!”
Hawkeye placed his hands over his heart and shut his eye. “It’s happening!”
He fell flat on his back and threw his legs in the air. “I’m moving toward the light!” His paw twitched. He opened one eye, glanced around, and then shut it again. “Goodbye, Azra’s Pith.” He let out one last pitiful groan.
“Pathetic display,” Ferdinand muttered. “There is no way
anyone would believe that… not even a big, dumb bandit.”
The bandit nudged the possum with his boot. Then, with a
defeated shrug of his shoulders, he thumped his way into The Garbage Pail to join the scuffle.
Author Elizabeth Bellows
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 love to write… these days sneaking away just to use the bathroom is hard enough. Finding a quiet moment alone with my laptop is impossible. I’ve developed a talent for making airplane noises out the side of my mouth for my son while squeezing in a paragraph or two.
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 a good bottle of vino… AND, if the Chargers would make it to the Super Bowl again – just once:)
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