The Runaways Blog Tour

The Runaways Cover

The Runaways
(Smiler Trilogy, Book 1)


Children’s Classic Fiction

Victor Canning

About the Book

On a night of wild storms, two troubled figures escape from captivity.
On a night of wild storms, two troubled figures escape from captivity. One is a 15-year-old
boy, Samuel Miles, a.k.a. ‘Smiler’, wrongly convicted of theft and sent to a young
offenders institution. The other is a cheetah, Yarra, a restless resident of Longleat Wildlife
Both are in danger from the outside world – and each other – but somehow their lives
become inextricably bound up as they fight for survival on the edge of Salisbury Plain.
A fast-moving and compassionate adventure story, The Runaways is the first book in
Victor Canning’s classic children’s trilogy.

Reviews of the Smiler Trilogy
‘Victor Canning is one of the world’s finest story-tellers’ Good Housekeeping
A delightful tale by a brilliant thriller writer’ Daily Mirror
‘Smiler proves himself to be a resourceful, resilient and very likeable leading character.’
Dan Smith, author of Big Game and Boy X

‘No spoilers but it left me a wreck and soon afterwards I realised the power books and
authors had to make us feel deep emotions.’ R.W.R McDonald, author of The Nancys

Author Photo

Author biography

Victor Canning was a prolific writer throughout his career, which began young: he had sold
several short stories by the age of nineteen and his first novel, Mr Finchley Discovers His
England (1934) was published when he was twenty-three. It proved to be a runaway
bestseller. Canning also wrote for children: his trilogy The Runaways was adapted for US
children’s television

Other titles in the Smiler Trilogy
Flight of the Grey Goose The Painted Tent

Full Tour Poster

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Breakfast of Superheroes

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. Affiliate link included. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Breakfast of Superheroes by Steve Frederick

Breakfast of Superheroes Cover

Purchase Link:

My Review

When you look for a funny book for kids to read, there will be many choices. Breakfast of Superheroes – The Superhero’s Ring is a really fun read that will keep kids turning the pages to see what crazy thing will happen next.

Most children love getting a box of cereal to eat, and also to find a prize hidden inside. When a real magic ring is accidently packaged in a box of cereal, the company tries to get all the boxes returned to the factory. One box gets through, and the real ring just happens to be inside. Kyle Alexander’s mom unknowingly buys that one box.

When Kyle and his best friend open the box, they fight over the ring and Kyle ends up with it. At first he notices that it doesn’t seem like a cheap plastic ring, but just continues to wear it. When he realizes that if he talks really nice to the ring he is able to fly! Although he knows better, he keeps it and wonders what the ring can help him to do.

He feels the urge to be a helpful superhero so that he can use the ring’s powers for good. He tries a few times to rescue someone, but is too afraid. He struggles with the possibility of going into a dangerous situation in order to really help a person in distress.

When he sees one of the worst gangsters trying to kidnap a lady, he knows what he should do. But, won’t he get hurt or worse? Children will want to read this fun adventure book to find out!

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Swop The Satsuma-Sized Secret Cover Reveal

Swop The Satsuma-Sized Secret by Lucy Noguera

Swop the Satsuma-Sized Secret


What would you do if you found the world’s smallest dog?

When Ernie and his family leave the countryside to move to the city. Ernie feels like he’ll never settle into their new home.

Yet on his very first night, a surprising new friend introduces himself – Swop is a very tiny dog. A dog that just happens to be the size of a satsuma.

Ernie vows to keep Swop a secret, but Swop has other ideas and he’s determined to make Ernie’s first day at his new school a memorable one!

Author Bio
An ex-primary school teacher and Teacher of the Deaf. I now run a small educational company, specialising in arranging book projects and theatre events for schools and families. I live with my husband, our three children and our three dogs in Ealing, London. Yet the one in charge is our little ex-street dog, even though he has no eyes and three legs. He also happens to be called Swop!

Buy Links


Amal the Thirsty Gamal Book Tour


Join us for this tour from July 6 to July 26, 2021!

Book Details:
Book Title:  Amal the Thirsty Gamal: A Christmas Tale by Robert Schorr
Category:  Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7),  38 pages
GenreChildren’s Picture Book 
Publisher:  Mascot 
Release date:  July, 2021
Content Rating:  G.
Book Description:
The charming tale told in Amal the Thirsty Gamal is for every young person who might be anxious about how they are viewed by those around them (and yes, camels care about that too!). For so long, our little hero has been hearing taunts and jeers and thinking negative things about himself, his looks, and especially his little hump. But—oh, brace yourselves! — because Wise Men are traveling with Amal’s special caravan, and when one of them speaks up around the campfire one night, everything changes for little Amal!

Meet the Author:
Robert Schorr resides in San Clemente, California, with his wife Sharilyn and their family nearby. For 26 years, he served as Senior Pastor at Calvary Chapel Old Towne in Orange, California. Prior to that, they lived in Asia for 17 years. He is devoted to his Savior, to Sharilyn, his children, flying, hiking, fly-fishing, Chinese, and writing. He loves any story that makes someone special, and he knew, a long time ago, that little Amal had one to tell.

Connect with the Author: website ~ facebook 

Tour Schedule:
July 6 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
July 6 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
July 7 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
July 7 – Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
July 8 – Laura’s Interests – book review / guest post / giveaway
July 9 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – book spotlight
July 12 – Books for Books – book review
July 13 – Pick a Good Book – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 13 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
July 14 – Reading is My Passion – book review
July 15 – Icefairy’s Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
July 16 – Lisa’s Reading – book spotlight / giveaway
July 16 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review / giveaway
July 19 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
July 19 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 20 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
July 20 – The Adventures of a Travelers Wife – book review / guest post / giveaway
July 21 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
July 22 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 23 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
July 26 – @twilight_reader – book review

Enter the Giveaway:



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Bandits of Basswood Book Tour & Giveaway

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 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:)



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!


Sponsored By:

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Audiobook Tour

Author: Lewis Carroll

Narrator: Lynn Norris

Length: 2 hours 42 minutes

Publisher: Blackberry Publishing Group

Released: Mar. 12, 2021

Genre: Classics; Fantasy

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel by English author Lewis Carroll (the pseudonym of Charles Dodgson). It tells of a young girl named Alice, who falls through a rabbit hole into a subterranean fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as with children.

Buy Links
Narrator Bio

Lynn gets it. She’s an audiobook fan as much as a narrator. And she cannot wait to be transported by a fabulous story and taken to another realm, or taught a series of fascinating new facts by a talented chronicler. Her own fandom has become a master class study and informed her narration and performance in the audiobook ring. Lynn doesn’t really have a favorite genre of narration, though she’s becoming a favorite for Romance and YA authors. She also loves Mystery/Thrillers and finds herself really connecting to Stephanie Plum-type heroines.Lynn’s lifetime of acting, improv and singing training lends itself smoothly to a hassle-free audiobook narration from someone who takes the time to be engrossed in the story, absorb the direction and deliver the desired performance on the first go. And her easy facility with accents and dialects infuses extra life into elaborate worlds of characters. A fair amount of her catalog of audiobooks are from authors who’ve come back for sequels and additional book series. A Voice Arts Awards-winning narrator, Lynn’s a 2021 Finalist for Independent Audiobook Awards in the Fantasy and Best Female Narrator Categories.

Q&A with Producer LaQuita James of Blackberry Publishing
  1. Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    1. From a producer’s stand point. I have loved this book ever since I was a child and being an audiobook producer I wanted to put it into audiobook form. I had to publish my own version of the book on Amazon to get rights to put it in audiobook format on Audible. I then held a casting call for narrators. I received over 50 auditions from professional narrators for this title both women and men. Lynn Norris stood out from the start with her ability to voice each character distinctly. It was as if she were in my head and pulled the voices from my thoughts. She then recorded it and my publishing company put it out for distribution worldwide-LaQuita James, audiobook producer
  2. Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    1. I think most fiction writing translates well into audiobook format. Some non-fiction does well except cookbooks or recipes-LaQuita James, audiobook producer.
  3. How did you select your narrator?
    1. I selected Lynn from a pool of 50 auditions. Her ability to voice each character so distinctly as well as her narration voice is just uncanny. She has this clear and engaging voice and I just fell in love with it.
  4. How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    1. I basically turned Lynn loose with the production and trusted her direction. I did not provide any pronunciation tips or direction. Sometimes less is more. She did not disappoint-LaQuita James, audiobook producer
  5. Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    1. I love listening to audiobooks. It’s like listening to a play or movie. As a musician, I am highly audible already so it works perfectly for me. The words form images in my mind-LaQuita James, audiobook producer
  6. Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    1. The part where Alice continuously falls. It is way more interesting in the audio format than the written version.
  7. If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    1. Absolutely! I would go to Victorian England.
  8. If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
    1. Elle Fanning
  9. What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    1. I would ask them “Is listening to music rather than playing an instrument cheating as well?”
  10. What’s your favorite:
    1. Food-Cedar planked salmon
    2. Song-Imagine by John Lennon
    3. Book-Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
    4. Television show- Bluebloods
    5. Movie-Pride and Predjuice 2005 version with Keira Knightley
    6. Band-Don’t have one. I like too many different styles of music.
    7. Sports team-Don’t have one
    8. City-NYC
  11. Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
    1. Trust the narrator and don’t micromanage because you will stifle the creativity of the narrator. And the narrator will be able to voice the characters you “hear in your head”. That’s an unfair request. The narrator can not hear your thoughts or your characters’ voices. Lastly, don’t narrate your own book unless you are a comedian or professional actor. Even then you might not be up to the task either.
  12. What’s next for you?
    1. I am looking for new authors to work with Blackberry Publishing Group. Now accepting submissions from new and published authors that need their book in audiobook format.
Q&A with Narrator Lynn Norris
  1. When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?
    1. When I first started exploring voice over and audiobooks, I remembered reading to a friend when he was in the hospital getting cancer treatments (he’s fully fine now, btw) and thought “that was cool, I’d like to do that some more”. Also, I’ve always liked the idea of getting to play every character in a performance, so audiobooks were a natural outlet for that.
  2. A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
    1. I do feel like my theater background gave me an advantage. Audiobook narration is acting, directing, stage managing, casting and playing all the parts, including the narrator. That’s very similar to putting on a play, or filming a movie, except you wear every hat. I think the learning curve is steeper without that experience. Trained actors have learned how to discover subtext and take apart a script – and you need these skills to prep an audiobook – you’re not just reading it for pleasure, you’re reading it to then perform it. Does that mean you can’t narrate without a theater background? Of course not. But it may take a lot longer to be competitive.
  3. Are you an audiobook listener?
    1. Yes, although I really wasn’t much of one before I decided to learn more about narrating them – you get such a masterclass listening to how other narrators and producers approach a story. What about the audiobook format appeals to you? I was the kid who wanted to read to the class. You know, hold a book in one hand and show the class the pictures while I read the story – like the ladies in the library. I feel like the audiobook format lets narrators hold the book (so to speak). We get to bring our unique understanding of the author’s world to others. I love to read, but I also love that someone else is going to tell me a story – show me a way to “see” and hear it that I may not have come up with if I had read it myself. You get a glimpse of other humans and how they think – both from the author’s words in the story, but also how they’re presented by the narrator.
  4. What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
    1. I can handle a large cast of characters and not get flustered. I got the best advice from Johnny Heller early on in my work and that was to “cast” the book. So I choose people I know, celebrities, characters from other books, etc. to lock in who the characters are. Good writing gives you what they look like, how they think, where they’re from, etc. so I use all that information to “cast” them from people in my life and that makes it easier to switch between many. If you have 2 high school girls who might otherwise sound really similar, for instance, I may decide that one is my niece and maybe the other one is my friend’s daughter, etc. That way I’m not just trying to rely on changes in vocal quality to distinguish them. The personality can come first, and inform how they sound.
  5. What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
    1. I had never actually read Alice In Wonderland! Though I had seen snippets of the cartoon and had been very confused watching the Tim Burton movie. It was one of those “I really should read this” books. All I knew was there would be lots of fantastic characters and bizarre circumstances that would be fun to narrate. So I decided to go for it and audition.
  6. How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
    1. I have loved getting to know the authors that I’ve worked more closely with, but I think it’s really a case by case basis. I think sometimes authors prefer to let their agents and publishers/producers be involved instead and that’s ok too. I think the key is trust – does the author trust me to tell their story? If they do, then it is a really fun experience.
  7. Who are your “accent inspirations”?
    1. PJ Ochlan immediately comes to mind. What’s the joke, that Scott Brick doesn’t do accents because PJ Ochlan does them all? Anyway, PJ has an incredible facility with dialects and is a really great coach as well! Also Katherine Kellgren. She’s unfortunately no longer with us, but I am completely in love with her narrations of Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness series! Talk about large casts – and she was an American who absolutely mastered a whole range of British accents!
  8. How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
    1. This title was fun because many of the characters were animals (birds, mice, rabbits, snakes, etc) or inanimate objects come to life like the playing cards. That gave me another level to play with for speed, the size of the voices, their status – whether some were working class or gentry or royalty, etc. Also because so many were just in one scene, I could bring in different accents to play with as well and take some risks.
  9. Have there been any characters that you really connected with?
    1. I’m lucky because there have been many. I tend to gravitate towards sarcastic, sometimes insecure, reluctant hero types. Not sure if I just admitted I have a hero complex, but in most of the books I’ve narrated there’s been a main character or two that I think “this is me”. Which makes them easy to narrate! I’ve also had a few villains I really loved playing as well. So maybe I’m not all hero! haha
  10. What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    1. Listening and reading are such different sensory experiences! Are your ears inferior to your eyes? You will still engage your imagination and “see” the story whether your inner voice is narrating or someone else is. There is no test that says you must read a book in order to be considered knowledgeable about literature. And sometimes listening to a book that you have a hard time finishing just by reading gives you access to stories you would otherwise miss. I say do both! Read and be read to – your imagination will thank you.
Top 10 List
Narrator Lynn Norris’ Top 10 Reasons to be an audiobook listener
  1. Storytelling is part of what it means to be human. Listening to stories is a deeprooted and ancient human experience.
  2. Audiobooks connect you to other humans through the sound of their voices.
  3. You get to enjoy being read to, instead of reading.
  4. You can enjoy audiobooks in moments where reading isn’t possible – while driving, on a run, while exercising, while cooking, etc.
  5. You get new perspectives on stories that your own inner voice wouldn’t provide while reading.
  6. You can close your eyes and let your imagination paint the pictures you’re hearing.
  7. Audiobooks improve your listening skills.
  8. You can experience new accents or dialects you might not encounter otherwise.
  9. Audiobooks can open up your experience to new parts of the world.
  10. If you listen to while reading a book narrated by the author, you’re getting to hear exactly what the author intended with every word.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Blackberry Publishing Group. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Click here to view the full tour schedule!

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