Aaaand we have a middle grade magical adventure book for you today! We’re featuring ElsBeth and the Call of the Castle Ghosties, Book III in the Cape Cod Witch Series by authors J Bean Palmer and Chris Palmer. We also have a short interview with creator and co-author J Bean.
About the Book
When their wild and free ancestral lands are threatened, three ancient ghosts need one of their clan from the living world. They call the Thistle heir from across the sea to the old country.
Almost-ten-year-old ElsBeth Amelia Thistle, the youngest witch on Cape Cod, has her own need to unearth the family mysteries and to begin in earnest her chosen calling to protect the natural world.
ElsBeth uses the best she knows of science and magic (not so very different from each other, after all). But even with help from a curious cast of magical creatures she befriends, and her spirited classmates who’ve been swept along (including the beautiful feisty fashionista Veronica, a Wampanoag chief-to-be Johnny, and Frankie, who wants to follow in the footsteps of his prize-fighting Uncle Vittorio), ElsBeth is in way over her magic level — and into older, odder mysteries than she could ever dream — in an adventure just above the surface of reality.
Interview with J Bean Palmer
Tell us about your book/series in 5 sentences or less.
The series chronicles ElsBeth Amelia Thistle, the youngest witch on Cape Cod, and her needs to unearth the family mysteries and develop her skills to begin in earnest her chosen calling to protect the natural world. She uses the best she knows of science and magic (not so very different from each other, after all). But even with help from a curious cast of magical creatures, and her spirited classmates (who include the beautiful but feisty fashionista Veronica, a Wampanoag chief-to-be Johnny, and Frankie, who wants to follow in the footsteps of his prize-fighting Uncle Vittorio), ElsBeth’s fierce determination often gets her in way over her magic level, and into mysteries and adventures somewhere just above the surface of reality.
How did you come by the idea for your book/series?
I wanted to write an adventure, in the vein of the classics, and something for both boys and girls. But also with magical elements that presented new realties, and an environmental theme because of my passion and respect for the natural world — influenced, no doubt, by my education and degree in environmental science.
What is your favorite food to snack on while writing?
Unsweetened cocoa and cocoa nibs
If you weren’t a writer or author, what would you be?
I first wanted to be a vet but had some allergies preventing that. I did become an environmental scientist, and I’d definitely be doing something in and with the natural world and keeping and making it healthy.
What are you working on now?
ElsBeth ventures to the Wild West and gets involved with some Native American spirits who are troubled by what’s happened to their lands. ElsBeth is growing up even more, and she learns she can’t make things right all on her own, even if she is a witch.
About the Series
ElsBeth and the Pirate’s Treasure, Book I
ElsBeth Amelia Thistle, the youngest witch on Cape Cod, is involved in all the normal aspects of growing up. Her teacher Ms. Finch is a horror, like something out of one of those scary movies her grandmother would never let her watch. And the obnoxious Robert Hillman-Jones has it in for her.
But when Halloween approaches in the sleepy Cape Cod town, a never-quite-forgotten pirate’s treasure awakens some serious trouble. And ElsBeth and her friend Johnny Twofeathers, chief-to-be of the local Wampanoag tribe, together with a cast of spirited classmates and curious magical creatures (including two troublesome fairies from the old country), must face off against dangerous outsiders — and the notorious pirate Billy Bowlegs — to restore the balance of past and present, good and evil. (Particularly appropriate for readers aged 8-10.)
ElsBeth and the Pirate’s Adventure, Book II
On an innocent field trip to Boston’s historic Freedom Trail, ElsBeth and her classmates become entangled in the kidnapping of another student — a young Arabian prince. Under the Old North Church they meet the famous freedom fighter, the pirate ghost Captain Thomas Jacques, who leads them on a daring rescue attempt across treacherous waters to Nantucket Island. And along the way ElsBeth and her friends get a real-life lesson in fighting for freedom and caring about something bigger than themselves.
Readers also discover a treasure chest of historical nuggets and Cape and Islands lore, together with a brief account of the authentic pirates featured in Books I and II. (Much-enjoyed by readers ages 9-12.)
About the Authors
In The Cape Cod Witch Series J Bean Palmer calls upon her family’s long history in New England including a Revolutionary “Green Mountain Boy,” Cape Cod cranberry farmers and artists, and an oft-told family legend that as her grandmother’s ancestors stepped off the Mayflower, her grandfather’s relatives were there to greet them. With a degree in Environmental Science (summa cum laude, University of Maine), the author’s ElsBeth stories reflect a passion and respect for the natural world and its magical kinship.
Co-author Chris Palmer makes some use of his education in philosophy (and his experience as a short-order cook on Cape Cod, a Boston cab driver, and an Internet business executive in California) in contributing the poems that are sung or spoken by several characters in the stories. A 14th generation Cape Codder, he and J Bean currently reside in a converted barn on the banks of a western Maine river. The authors welcome readers’ comments and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.