September 19, 2014

Blog Tour + Excerpt: Hook's Revenge by Heidi Schulz


Welcome to (Pirate) Queen Ella Bee Reads' day on the HOOK'S REVENGE blog tour!

Title: Hook's Revenge (Hook's Revenge #1)
Author: Heidi Schulz
Release Date: September 16th, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Powell’s | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon
Twelve-year-old Jocelyn dreams of becoming every bit as daring as her infamous father, Captain James Hook. Her grandfather, on the other hand, intends to see her starched and pressed into a fine society lady. When she’s sent to Miss Eliza Crumb-Biddlecomb’s Finishing School for Young Ladies, Jocelyn’s hopes of following in her father’s fearsome footsteps are lost in a heap of dance lessons, white gloves, and way too much pink.

So when Jocelyn receives a letter from her father challenging her to avenge his untimely demise at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile, she doesn’t hesitate-here at last is the adventure she has been waiting for. But Jocelyn finds that being a pirate is a bit more difficult than she’d bargained for. As if attempting to defeat the Neverland’s most fearsome beast isn’t enough to deal with, she’s tasked with captaining a crew of woefully untrained pirates, outwitting cannibals wild for English cuisine, and rescuing her best friend from a certain pack of lost children, not to mention that pesky Peter Pan who keeps barging in uninvited.

The crocodile’s clock is always ticking in Heidi Schulz’s debut novel, a story told by an irascible narrator who is both dazzlingly witty and sharp as a sword. Will Jocelyn find the courage to beat the incessant monster before time runs out?
Heidi Schulz sent me an excerpt (message in a bottle style, of course) to share with all of you, but FIRST I have to tell you why I'm SO EXCITED today.

The main reason I'm SO EXCITED is because I love HOOK'S REVENGE so very much. It's a tale about family, friends, loyalty, overcoming your fears, pirates, silliness, crocodiles, fairies and a hundred other perfect things. And who wouldn't love all that, I ask you?

But I'm also so very excited because today is INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY




I'm not sure pirates are as polite as that last gif might lead one to believe, but perhaps it's some kind of pirate trickery - always be on the look out for pirate trickery!

Anyway, you're all probably about to make me walk the plank for making you wait to read this excerpt from HOOK'S REVENGE so, without further ado, I turn it over to Heidi!


Hi Gaby! I am thrilled to making a tour stop here! I thought you might like to read about the best not-so-fierce pirates the Neverland has ever seen.

Captain Hook’s daughter, Jocelyn, has been charged with avenging his death on the Neverland’s crocodile. In order to do so, she’ll need to help of an able crew. Instead, well… how about you see for yourself?

Jocelyn stood at the top of the gangplank as her men boarded the ship. Smee was on hand to make introductions and provide commentary. The first to arrive was One-Armed Jack.

The girl wondered at his unusual name. Unless her eyes were deceiving her, he had two good arms (though under her gaze he quickly tucked one inside his shirt), yet here he was introducing himself and saying, “Happy to meet you, Cap’n. I’d offer to shake your hand, but as I’ve only got the one, and it being full o’ me gear...”

Jocelyn thought to question his strange behavior, but she noticed Smee shaking his head. Instead she said, “Welcome aboard, Jack. You may stow your things below deck.”

As One-Armed Jack walked away, carrying his trunk in one hand and scratching his hindquarters with the other, Jocelyn tuned to Smee and demanded, “What was that about?”

He ducked his head and replied, “Begging your pardon, miss, but your men have some . . . how shall we put this, Johnny? Some unusual characteristics. You see, they’ve not had much experience. Not like your regular crews. None of them have even been in a real battle, but that doesn’t stop them from wishing they had, so they, ah, pretend.”

“That’s ridiculous. Anyone with eyes could see that that man has two arms. How can he get away with pretending he doesn’t?”

Mr. Smee looked away, watching another pirate limp his way up the gangplank. “Ridiculous, yes, well, it might be a mite ridiculous—yet they all go along with it. You see, if, say, Jim McCraig with a Wooden Leg here,” he motioned to the man boarding the ship, “was to point out that Jack had two arms, then Jack could say that Jim doesn’t really have a wooden leg; he’s only got a corroded old sliver in his big toe. See there, that’s what causes the limp. So aye, it may be silly, but, begging your pardon, it works, see.”

At this point Jim McCraig with a Wooden Leg reached the deck. When he addressed his new captain, though, Jocelyn was hard-pressed to decipher much of what he said. His words appeared to be a delinquent cousin of English—faintly familiar, but mostly jumble and noise. She leaned over to Smee and whispered, “Is he pretending to have something wrong with his tongue as well?”

Smee whispered back, “No. In this case something really is wrong with his tongue: he’s Scottish. I believe he just introduced himself.”

Jocelyn turned back to Jim, considering. “Mr. McCraig, I see that you are missing one of your limbs. I hope its absence will not cause you to be lax in your duties, for I plan to run a tight ship and have no room for those who are unable to pull their own weight. You will be required to do as much as a sailor with two good legs.”

The man replied with another enthusiastic string of gibberish. Smee translated: “He says it won’t hold him back. Matter of fact, might be dead useful at times. Jim can tell when a storm is brewing by the phantom itch where his meat leg used to be.”

“Very good, Jim. Be sure and let me know if that happens.”

The crew was rounded out by the arrival of Nubbins, the cook, and Blind Bart, the ship’s lookout. Nubbins was the only crew member with a real battle wound. Smee explained that the man had lost his left thumb in an unfortunate cooking accident, but claimed that it had been bitten off by a giant squid. Nubbins liked to brag that he’d gotten his revenge by transforming the creature into a delicious dish of calamari with capers—served cold, of course.

Blind Bart seemed an unusual choice for lookout, as he wore patches over both eyes. His reasoning here was elegantly simple: if one eye patch made a pirate look fierce and dangerous, two would make him look doubly so. (The man also had a fear of drowning—an unfortunate quality in a sailor—but as even the stupidest toddler knows, covering your eyes makes you invisible. Thus, if the ocean couldn’t see him, it couldn’t get him.)

Though her pirates were certainly odd, Jocelyn was in no position to turn even a single one away. She was running with a skeleton crew as it was. Her ship would need every man to do his part.

These guys were such fun to write. I can’t wait for you to see what kind of trouble they get up to!


                              ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Heidi Schulz is a writer, reader, and giraffe suspicioner. She lives in Salem, Oregon with her husband, co-captaining a crew made of their teen daughter, a terrible little dog, and five irascible chickens. Her debut novel for middle grade readers, HOOK’S REVENGE, will be published by Disney•Hyperion on September 16, 2014. A sequel, HOOK’S REVENGE: THE PIRATE CODE, will follow in fall 2015. Bloomsbury Kids will publish her picture book debut, GIRAFFES RUIN EVERYTHING, in 2016.

If you want to check out the rest of this blog tour...

9/17 - Mundie Moms
9/19 - Queen Ella Bee Reads
9/23 - Kissed by Ink
9/24 - Who RU Blog
9/25 - Supernatural Snark

And with that, I bid thee ARRRRRRRRdieu.