Pump Up Your Book Tour – Bandits of Basswood By E.P. Bellows

An adventure tale for young readers…

By E.P. Bellows

Author: E.P. Bellows
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 195
Genre: Children’s Fantasy


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.


“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

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

“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

“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

“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

Ferdinand shook his head with terror in his eyes. “We’re in for it now,

Hills and Valleys

By E. P. Bellows

2006, late August, early, early morning… I groaned and rolled myself out of bed. My six-month-old son could be heard shifting in his crib through the baby monitor. He was finally starting to sleep through the night. I shuffled to his room wiping the sleep out of my eyes.

“Good morning, little man!”

He looked at me with his adorable toothless smile while clutching the ear of his tattered Mickey Mouse plush. I scooped him out of his crib and grabbed a book of classic fairytales we bought when he was a week old.

“Which story should we read this morning?” We snuggled on the couch with a ba-ba (bottle). “Well, it looks like we’ve read every story.” Just like every other morning, I thought about writing my own stories. I certainly had plenty of ideas; and have since childhood.

The little man took an extra-long nap that day and I parked myself in front of my computer screen. I just started typing; the story was spilling out through my fingers. It was therapeutic – like I was releasing my bottled-up imagination.

I finished the rough version of Alexander Drake’s Extraordinary Pursuit and wanted nothing more than to keep writing. So, I continued on to part two. I also considered submitting to publishers with a “why not” attitude.

I knew nothing of the publishing world. After submitting to a handful of publishers and agents, I received a handful of rejections (mostly polite and generic). Hmm, I suppose I won’t be rubbing elbows with J.K. Rowling after all… oh well. Lesson number one for a newbie writer: humility. After that experience I thought it best to continue writing simply because I really enjoy it.

I joined Authonomy, a sort of online community for writers which I found to be very supportive. I reluctantly put bits of The Realm of Azra’s Pith (Alexander Drake’s title at the time) up to be critiqued. Lesson number two for a newbie writer: you need a thick skin – when I say thick, I mean tough, and leathery – no sissies allowed!

Trudging through comments like “you couldn’t write a letter to your cat”, and “your title sucks”; I received some very helpful feedback and learned a lot about my writing. The letter to your cat statement is an exaggeration. I don’t think anyone would be that cruel; but I did change the title if that tells you anything.

2007, mid June, late afternoon… I sat in my squeaky desk chair checking my email. Let’s see, “become a millionaire working from home” – spam, “meet singles in your area” – spam, “The Realm of Azra’s Pith Submission” … huh? I clicked on it expecting a late rejection letter – but it wasn’t. Someone actually wanted to publish my book!

After running around the house like a headless chicken I submitted my contract to Rain Publishing. The release date was set for October of 2008… a very long year and a half away. Lesson number three for a newbie writer: patience – because the process take’s f.o.r.e.v.e.r.

For a few months I skipped around basking in the glow of my newfound title: Published Author, giving myself mental high-fives … Yes! I’m a published author… yes!

2008, late March, mid-morning… I was spinning around in the same squeaky chair checking my email. The fist subject line read “To all authors – very important please read”. As I read everything went a bit fuzzy. I did manage to finish half the email before my stomach started doing back flips. “Rain Publishing is closing…,” I suppose I needed a dose of lesson number one (humility). It certainly was humbling every time someone asked how my book was doing – the book? It’s doing… okay, I guess.

After a month of wallowing around in self-pity, I climbed back on the old saddle and pulled my files up. I decided to start at square one with Alexander Drake, and pretty much rewrote the entire manuscript. I was happy with the updated version; so out it went. Yet again, I submitted to a handful of publishers and agents. You’d think I would have learned my lesson the first time.

With the rejections came some slightly more positive feedback from a polite and extremely patient submissions editor at Wild Child Publishing.  Lesson number four for a newbie writer: proofread and proofread again. If you think your work is perfect… have someone who knows what they are doing proofread it for you.

I took a month, bought some editing software and allowed the authonomites (members of Authonomy) to rip it to shreds. Then, I resubmitted it.

2009, early October, early evening… YES!!! A publishing contract! This time I took a pass on the basking, and the self-proclaimed title. Of course, I had to revert back to lesson number three (patience)… Alexander Drake did not get released until June of 2011.

So, so many years (and few books) later, mid-July, 6 years or so after my second publisher folded. I think I’m on lesson umpteen and a half of a not so newbie writer… write for the enjoyment of it and don’t sweat the rest. The happiness lies in the journey through those hills and valleys.

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:)



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!


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2 thoughts on “Pump Up Your Book Tour – Bandits of Basswood By E.P. Bellows

  1. E. P. Bellows is new to me, but I love meeting new authors. Thanks to this blog for the introduction.

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