Alexander Drake Blog Tour ~ Review ~ Guest Post

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Alexander Drake new coverAlexander Drake’s Extraordinary Pursuit

Meet Alexander Drake, a curious young man living in a drab, oversized mansion with his secretive father. He spent his days playing alone. In the back of his mind he wondered what happened to his mother, and why his father was tight-lipped about the past; but secrets have a way of getting out. It all started with a stay at his grandmother’s cottage. Alexander found strange clues tucked away in his father’s old bedroom. With a mysterious key and several maps in his pack he set off on an innocent search for answers about his family. When he discovered a secret passageway the search took a dramatic turn. He suddenly worried about what was searching for him. Alexander was being hunted by a sorcerer from his father’s past. Answers lead to more questions and the journey of his life. Join Alexander for a thrilling adventure in Azra’s Pith, a place of beauty and magic… but beware—something evil lurks in the shadows.  



General drake new coverThe Return of General Drake

When Alexander arrived in Verhonia, something went terribly wrong. A dark spell delivered from the mountains of Acadia sent him on a dangerous journey in the middle of the night. As he marched into the mountains, the great city of Verhonia was ambushed and burned to the ground by Roman’s army of vicious giant murks. With the safety of the realm in jeopardy, General John William Drake was asked to come back to Azra’s Pith. He swore he would never return. But after discovering his son was under a spell and in the grips of a dark sorcerer, he had no choice. Things take a wild turn in the mountains, with runaways, a hungry wolf and a mysterious, young empyrean wizard thrown into the adventure. A tight race against time and evil is in full swing. With faith and a little magic, they just might come out on top.  



lizzieAuthor Elizabeth Parkinson-Bellows

Being the frizzy-haired tomboy with buck teeth gave me a slight case of shyness as a kid. A colorful imagination meant escape and adventure at the drop of a hat. Over the years I learned that the insecurities I carried around were a waste of time. I still prefer a football game to a manicure any day of the week. That indispensable imagination has found its way into my writing providing a sense of joy and a true purpose.  

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Hello there, Paul here today with a busy post so settle in and enjoy. I had the pleasure to read Alexander Drake’s Extraordinary Pursuit. I also have the pleasure of a guest post by author Elizabeth ParkinsonBellows. Enjoy!

I spent most my childhood in my own little world. I had stories running through my head all the time. The main presence in all my adventures was this lonely, wandering soul on a journey of great importance. I never thought about it then, but I’m pretty sure the wandering hero was a reflection of me. When I read “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis, I turned into a tireless seeker of portals. The thought of entering another realm through my closet was fantastic!

The ideas for my stories were always there, I just never thought to write them down until my son was born. For some reason middle grade fantasy is what runs through my mind. It all started with Alexander Drake. He suddenly became crystal clear; he was my wandering hero. It only seemed natural that he embarks on his journey in an enchanted world like Azra’s Pith.

A couple of the characters and places are loosely based on my own childhood memories. Ferdinand, the fearless hopper, and Julien, the wise and somewhat silly empyrean wizard are both part of my imaginary cast of characters that have been with me for years. Beatrice (Alexander’s Grandmother) is based on my grandmother. She lived in an old yellow house in the woods on Lake Fenwick. 

I used to play Robin Hood and build teepees with my cousins all day. We would hang out on the “sinking log” (that was what we called it) in the middle of the lake. It was a giant old tree that fell in years before. We swam out to the log and bobbed around on it until our fingers were pruney… some amazing memories. 

I started out with the intention of writing short stories to read to my son and the series evolved from there. When I finished the final chapter of book one I already knew how the entire series would unfold. Three kids later the ideas are still flowing and new characters keep coming into fruition. 

I’m revising book 3, “The Butterfly Curse” now and working on a new series about his dad, John William. “The Bandits of Basswood” should be out by the end of May. At this point, I don’t see an ending in sight; I’m having too much fun with it!

  Paul again, before I move on to my review, here is the Goodreads blurb:

Alexander Drake is a curious young man. He lives in a drab, oversized mansion with his secretive father and spends his days playing alone. Where is his mother? And why is his father so tight-lipped about the past?

But secrets have a way of getting out. And a stay at his grandmother’s cottage provides strange clues to his father’s past. A past Alexander is determined to find out about.

What I liked best:  I really like the messages in this story. Libera’s comment about helping Alexander (when Alexander is hurt) because Alexander trusts him and he is his friend really is a nice message to send to children. Another message in the story that I liked was the lesson Alexander learns from Ferdinand. Alexander realizes that being different can make one extraordinary. These lessons are great for young readers and will be learned and accepted as they are integrated seamlessly into the story. Sometimes readers are beaten over the head with messages, that is certainly not the case here.

What missed a bit: I grew a bit tired of all the characters referring to Alexander as “boy”. It got a bit tedious. Another miss for me was the “cliffhanger” ending. Those of you that have read my posts before know that I am not a fan of these. I really enjoyed this book and will happily read the next one in the series, but I do not like feeling like I have to for closure. I won’t reveal the cliffhanger because that would be a spoiler. For that, you will have to read the book yourself.

Overall: I liked the story a lot. It has great characters and character development. It is exciting and humorous. All in all it was very good. I really enjoyed the final pages as answers were unveiled and things really gathered steam. A very exciting book that should be on all parents and children’s “to read” list. 

Be sure to check out the Moonlight Book Blast and Giveaway (ends  5/5), enter to win a Kindle Fire as we help Kathy at I Am A Reader Not A Writer kick off her new website Feed My Reader (ends 5/5), the Literary Loom: The Big Debate Book Blast and Giveaway (ends 5/8), and there’s still time to enter the Alexander Drake Book Blast (ends 5/15). Be sure to leave me a comment. 


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Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. Thank you for having me here; and thanks for the review, Paul! 🙂

    • Hi Liz,
      Thanks for stopping by & you’re welcome! What a good book and I really LOVE the covers! Best of luck and please don’t hesitate to ask if there is ever anything I can do for you in the future.


  2. These sound like fun reads.

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