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!”
The Door in the Ceiling
John William huffed and dragged his feet over to the ladder. “I
don’t like climbing this old thing.”
“You’ll be fine. I will be right behind you with the lantern.” His
father gave him a nudge.
“Fine…” John William clutched his hands around the rails.
“Relax, son.” He rubbed John William’s white knuckled hands.
“This is just another walk in the park. You can do it.”
“Okay, let’s get this over with.” John William took one step,
then another; then he closed his eyes and climbed until his head hit the ceiling. He pounded the hatch with his fist repeatedly with no results. His father climbed up behind him.
Thud! He gave the ceiling one good hit. John William ducked his head and the hatch flew open. “Here, take the lantern.”
John William looked at his father’s excited smile. He swallowed
the lump in his throat and grabbed the lantern. A chill hit his arm the instant it moved across the threshold. He used his elbows to boost his body through before he could talk himself out of it. “It is tight up here. My head hits the top; and the smell… it reminds me of Uncle Andrew’s old tree fort.
“Yes, yes… but do you see anything?” His father huffed.
John William moved the lantern around every part of the
opening. “Aside from some scratch marks in the wood, it is completely empty – not a single trace of anything.”
“Maybe I should come up.” His father took another step up the
“Those scratch marks – they are from a rodent, right? Like a
cute little mouse?”
“Yes, John William; don’t worry.”
John William crawled deeper in. Something in the wall caught
his eye. He narrowed his eyes. “I, I think I see something. No, it can’t be.”
“What is it?” His father blurted.
Thump! “Did you hear that?” John William gasped. He jolted the lantern around. “I’m not alone up here.” A dark shadow darted across the wall, accompanied by more thumping.
“Look out! I’m coming down!” John William stumbled through
the hatch in a frantic fit, barely getting one arm around the ladder to secure himself. The lantern hit the ground; glass shattered everywhere.
“Fire!” His father slid down the ladder and covered the
wreckage with his coat, followed by a vase full of water and flowers, extinguishing the flames.
John William perched at the top of the ladder, watching his
disappointed father catch his breath. “I’m sorry.” He closed the hatch and stepped lightly down to the floor.
“It’s okay; I was never really fond of that coat anyways.” He
paused and smiled at John William. “You did well; I’m proud of you.”
John William felt his dad’s reassuring hand ruffling his curls.
“Now can I go to bed?”
“Of course, we have an early start tomorrow… rest well.”
“Thanks, you too.” John William glanced up at the ceiling, and
shuffled out of the study.
“John William… you are certain you did not see anything?”
He paused before turning the corner. “Yes. I just heard
something. Maybe it was a rat?”
“Most likely; goodnight, son.”
John William waved and continued on. He did see something; at least he thought he did. What he saw was so peculiar it must have been his eyes playing tricks on him.
It was a small red door with a well-used brass knob set in the wall on the other end of the space where there was enough shadow to keep it out of sight… but there was no way he was going back up there tonight. His father would have to find out another time.
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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