Helen Pugh


Helen Pugh is the author of Unsung Women in Somerset, a collection of short stories focussing on real-life and legendary women who lived, loved, worked and struggled in Somerset.

Her other works include Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire, an accessible non-fiction historical account of incredible Inca women who lived hundreds of years ago. For children, she has written Jungle-tastic Tales and Inca-tastic Tales, short story anthologies for children based on extensive research into the rainforest and Inca history, respectively, as well as Cuentos incatásticos for Spanish speakers.

Her interest in South America and the Incas began in 2006, when she first went to Ecuador. Then, from 2011 she lived there for 7 continuous years, 6 in the Amazon Region and 1 in Quito. Her children are half Ecuadorian, which was another driving force for exploring South American heritage. She experienced domestic violence and very long and traumatic legal battles in Ecuador so can relate to some of the Inca women in the book on that front.

Helen studied Spanish and Italian at university and has a lifelong passion for history, especially that of historical women who made history, but have been sidelined.

Smashwords Interview

What's the story behind Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire?
Initially I was going to write a historical novel about Quispe Sisa, Atahualpa's sister, because although I had heard of Atahualpa and Francisco Pizarro countless times, I had only recently heard about her. The idea that the Inca emperor's sister was forced to marry a conquistador fascinated me. I couldn't believe that she wasn't super famous, considering what a life she must have led.
Then a new idea came to me when I was reading 'The Incredible Incas' by Terry Deary. I just thought that while it's a very good book, where are the women? It was a very male-centric book and I decided that Inca women and goddesses deserved to have their stories told too.
How did the book evolve?
Well, starting as a way to tell these women's stories, I also wanted to make the experience fun and interactive. So I added questions that people can respond to on my Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram pages and I added little hashtags as commentary on the stories e.g. #HenryVIIIEatYourHeartOut! I want the readers to feel involved in the process and to give their opinions.
Read more of this interview.


Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire Part 1
Ebook out now!

Why I Wrote The Book
Find out more about the story behind the book and more :)

Pachamama, diosa extraordinaria
Video sobre el libro de la madre naturaleza: 'Pachamama, diosa extraordinaria'. Junto con Pachamama, aparecen en el libro las igualmente intrigantes diosas llamadas Killa, Saramama, Mama Cocha, Cocamama y varias otras.

Reading of Chapter 1
Here I read part of Chapter 1 of 'Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire Part 1'!


Cuentos incatásticos
La historia incaica cobra vida para todas las edades.
Cuentos incatásticos
Price: $1.99 USD.
Inca-tastic Tales
Inca history brought to life for all ages!
Inca-tastic Tales
Price: $1.49 USD.
Tears of Blood
Price: Free!


Unsung Women in Somerset: Free Bookmark
Price: Free! Language: English. Published: October 6, 2023 . Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
A free bookmark to celebrate the upcoming release of Unsung Women in Somerset, a book of real-life women who lived from pre-Roman to modern times, women with courage, kindness, innovation and even some who smashed the rules!
Jungle-tastic Tales and Inca-tastic Tales
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 67,950. Language: English. Published: July 5, 2023 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals » Jungle animals (general), Fiction » Children’s books » Legends, Myths, Fables / Other
For the first time ever, Jungle-tastic Tales and Inca-tastic Tales are coming together in one epic book! Aimed at ages 8 and up, Jungle-tastic Tales is an epic collection of 13 short stories plus 3 chapters on archaeology that take the reader through thousands of years of Amazonian history, while Inca-tastic Tales is a cultural and educational adventure through Inca legends and history.
Cuentos selvatásticos / Cuentos incatásticos
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,720. Language: Spanish. Published: March 24, 2023 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy Tales & Folklore / Country & Ethnic, Fiction » Children’s books » Historical / Ancient Civilizations
Cuentos selvatásticos es una colección de 13 relatos cortos y 3 capítulos de arqueología que llevan al lector a través de miles de años de historia amazónica, desde la Edad de Hielo hasta nuestros días. // Cuentos incatásticos es una aventura cultural y educativa en Sudamérica dirigida a mayores de 8 años.
Jungle-tastic Tales: Stories from the Western Amazon Region
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 46,950. Language: English. Published: November 15, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » People & Places / United States / Hispanic & Latino, Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy Tales & Folklore / Country & Ethnic
From the author of Inca-tastic Tales comes: Jungle-tastic Tales! Join Yacumama, the Amazon's most powerful snake to travel through 1000s of years of history & culture (a lot of which not many grown-ups know about!). We'll start with the Ice Age and go right the way through to modern times. Oh, and Yacumama promises not to bite you! She'll be on her best behaviour.
The Mysterious Helpers
Price: Free! Words: 3,860. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy Tales & Folklore / Adaptations, Fiction » Children’s books » Legends, Myths, Fables / Other
Two kids find themselves trapped on a mountain when a flood suddenly covers their village. All alone with no food, they cry themselves to sleep every night until feasts begin to magically appear. Who are the mysterious helpers who provide all this food? Discover the secret in this super cute tale, adapted from an Indigenous legend.
Los ayudantes misteriosos
Price: Free! Words: 3,920. Language: Spanish. Published: August 9, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Action & Adventure / Survival Stories, Fiction » Children’s books » Legends, Myths, Fables / Other
Dos niños se encuentran atrapados en una montaña cuando una inundación cubre su pueblo. Solos y sin comida, lloran hasta quedarse dormidos cada noche, hasta que empiezan a aparecer festines de la nada.¿Quiénes son los misteriosos ayudantes que proporcionan toda esta comida? Descubre el secreto en este cuento superbonito, adaptado de una leyenda indígena de la región amazónica ecuatoriana.
Mama Chira (How to Negotiate with an Emperor)
Price: Free! Words: 1,950. Language: British English. Published: May 22, 2022 . Categories: Nonfiction » History » Medieval
From the author of Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire comes a retelling of the fascinating Inca legend of Mama Chira, passed down from generation to generation in southern Peru.
Cuentos incatásticos
Series: Cuentos incatásticos. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 21,970. Language: Spanish. Published: November 25, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » People & Places / Caribbean & Latin America, Fiction » Children’s books » Legends, Myths, Fables / Other
Acompaña a la diosa Pachamama y al arco iris Cuychi en un viaje épico por la historia incaica. Conocerás a dioses, diosas, un mago, reinas, reyes, príncipes, princesas, secuestradores, guerreros, conquistadores, buscadores de tesoros, exploradores, heroínas, héroes y dos volcanes enamorados. Abróchate el cinturón y acompáñanos en esta aventura cultural y educativa por Sudamérica.
Tears of Blood
Series: Inca-tastic Tales. Price: Free! Words: 2,290. Language: British English. Published: August 14, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy Tales & Folklore / Country & Ethnic, Fiction » Children’s books » Historical / Medieval
Forget princes saving princesses. This story has a twist on that idea! An Inca legend written down hundred of years ago and now adapted for English-speaking kids! 'Tears of Blood' is part of Inca-tastic Tales- an epic journey through Inca history and legends. 
Lágrimas de sangre
Series: Cuentos incatásticos. Price: Free! Words: 2,320. Language: Spanish. Published: June 26, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Historical / Medieval, Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy Tales & Folklore / Country & Ethnic
(5.00 from 1 review)
Olvídate de los cuentos en que los príncipes que salvan a las princesas. ¡Esta historia es algo diferente! Una leyenda inca escrita hace cientos de años y ahora adaptada para los niños y niñas. "Lágrimas de sangre" forma parte de "Cuentos incatásticos", un viaje épico por la historia y las leyendas incas.
Intrepid Dudettes and Inca-tastic Bookmarks
Series: Intrepid Dudettes. Price: Free! Language: English. Published: April 8, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Historical » Medieval, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Hispanic & Latino
Free downloadable bookmarks for you to enjoy! One is an Inca-tastic Tales bookmark and the other is an Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire bookmark. The second page contains black and white versions of the bookmarks for you to colour in!
Contarhuacho, a Biography
Series: Intrepid Dudettes. Price: Free! Words: 1,710. Language: British English. Published: March 25, 2021 . Categories: Nonfiction » History » South American, Nonfiction » Biography » Woman biographies
(5.00 from 1 review)
You may have heard of the Inca emperor Huayna Capac but probably not Contarhuacho (or Contarguacho), one of his many secondary wives. She was a curaca or female cacique of great importance in her own right who played a significant role both before and after the Spanish Conquest...
Inca-tastic Tales
Series: Inca-tastic Tales. Price: $1.49 USD. Words: 21,480. Language: British English. Published: February 23, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy Tales & Folklore / Anthologies, Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy Tales & Folklore / Country & Ethnic
(5.00 from 1 review)
"I would recommend it to young readers and anyone else that wants to read tales about Incas. Children also get to find out what their Inca name is and this absolutely fascinated my children!" "This book really brings Inca history to life for kids!" "engaging and entertaining" Join the goddess Pachamama and the rainbow Cuychi on an epic journey through Inca-tastic history! Buckle your seat belt an
Mama Sarpay (Extract From 'Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire')
Series: Intrepid Dudettes, Book 3. Price: Free! Words: 2,180. Language: British English. Published: November 25, 2020 . Categories: Nonfiction » History » South American, Nonfiction » History » Biography
(5.00 from 1 review)
An Inca princess of the highest pedigree becomes a priestess.  Unravel the mysterious surrounding her and the Apurimac River where she led worship of a sacred goddess. Discover her courage when she uses her gifts to resist the Spanish Conquest. All this and more in 'Mama Sarpay'. An extract from 'Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire'.
Andean Storm
Series: Intrepid Dudettes, Book 5. Price: Free! Words: 2,780. Language: British English. Published: November 10, 2020 . Categories: Nonfiction » History » South American, Nonfiction » History » Native American
(5.00 from 1 review)
"Two hundred years after the last Inca ruler (Tupac Amaru) died, a rebellion began to bubble away in Peru"... Micaela Bastidas Puyucawa and her husband, known as Tupac Amaru II, led a huge uprising against the Spanish. Who was Micaela exactly? What was she like? How did the movement end? And what legacy did the couple leave behind? All this and more in 'Andean Storm'.
Map Book for Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire
Series: Intrepid Dudettes, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 470. Language: British English. Published: July 2, 2020 . Categories: Nonfiction » History » South American, Nonfiction » Travel » By region » South America
I decided to make this separate book of maps to accompany ‘Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire’, because readers might want to refer to them at several points while reading. There are maps of countries, the empire itself and mor
Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire Part 1
Series: Intrepid Dudettes, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 15,720. Language: British English. Published: June 17, 2020 . Categories: Nonfiction » History » South American, Nonfiction » Biography » Native Americans
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
'Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire Part 1' is all about rescuing historical pre-Columbian women from obscurity. Well-researched historical reading that isn't heavy going, the book tells fascinating true stories and legends about Inca goddesses and indigenous South American women who lived before the Spanish Conquest, many of whom lived through challenging times.

Helen Pugh's tag cloud

1500s    accessory    amazon jungle    amazonia    archaeology    arqueologico    bolivia    bookmark    bosque lluvioso    brazil    children book    childrens book    childrens story    chile    colonial    colonial peru    cuento infantil    culture    cusco    diversity    ecuador    educational kids book    empire    empower women    extract    fable for kids    fairytales    folklore    free biography    freebie    futbol    historia para jovenes    historical    historical women    historico    history    history for kids    inca    inca civilization    inca empire    inca gold    inca history    inca legends    inca mythology    inca religion    incan    incan history    incas    indigenous    infantil    jungle    jungle animals    kids 8 and up    kids book    kids book free    kids books    kids lit    kids story    learn spanish    legend    legendary    leyenda    libro cultural    libro juvenil    maps    middle grade    middle grade book    mountain    multicultural    mystery story    myth folklore    mythology    native american    nature    peru    peru book    peru history    precolumbian    priestess    princesa    principe    rainforest    reading    rebellion    reina    revolt    short stories    short story    south america    south american    spain    spanish conquest    strong women    sudamerica    tales for kids    talking parrot    womanhood    women    women heroines    womens history   

Smashwords book reviews by Helen Pugh

  • Tales From Earth II on June 17, 2020

    I enjoyed this. It was rather a unique idea and some beautifully worded phrases! Couple of typos to look at (e.g. seen not scene), but overall very good and I'd be interested to read what happens next! - Helen Pugh Author of Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire
  • All The Voices on June 17, 2020

    I found the picture of the beans, us and mals a bit confusing, but loved the artwork and thought it was a unique idea to have the pictures behind with writing on a yellow background over the top! - Helen Pugh author of Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire
  • The Underground Toy Society's Coloring and Activity Book on June 17, 2020

    This looks like a fun book. My kids especially enjoy mazes and it's good to have some text to accompany each maze so that hopefully they will do some reading as well as the mazes! :) - Helen Pugh author of Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire
  • Fortune Cookie on June 20, 2020

    A rather interesting idea and very well written. - Helen Pugh Author of Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire
  • Boudicca: Britain's Queen of the Iceni on July 01, 2020

    Beautifully crafted, evocative and a real page-turned! I enjoyed this a lot. Also, I hadn't heard the theory before that Boudicca was French, so that was interesting. Helen Pugh - Author of Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire
  • A Bird's-Eye View on Aug. 02, 2020

    A beautiful piece that is evocative and carefully crafted. The moral of the story isn't obvious until the very end. The idea of anonymity is important in a world where we all increasingly live in cities or even in small towns but don't get to know our neighbours well like previous generations did. - Helen Pugh author of Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire
  • And the Answer Is . . . on Aug. 02, 2020

    A very interesting piece that is engaging and you really feel like you are there watching the toddlers fidget on the mat! As a side note, it struck me that the original questions could almost have "God" as their answer too. God in the form of Jesus moved with his parents to Egypt then Nazareth, though as a small child he wasn't making the decisions. Then, Jesus prayed for safety and protection while all alone in the wilderness. And God made the walls fall down and is a good listener. - Helen Pugh author of Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire
  • Secrets of the Mighty Amazon on Aug. 19, 2020

    The prologue needs tweaking for historical accuracy (e.g. the Dark Ages was way before the 1400s) as does the life of Francisco Pizarro (9 years after the Conquest and 8 after he entered Cusco, he was killed). However, the information about Orellana appears accurate. Moreover, I enjoyed the fast-paced story and appreciated its uniqueness. There are very few historical books about indigenous Amazon people. (Avoid the word 'indios' as many of them find it offensive.) The story flowed well and the Spaniards' dire situation was palpable. I liked the inclusion of images of artefacts and maps as well. It's not a book I will forget for a long time. The small sections on the Muisca were interesting- these could be expanded into another book (which I'd love to read)! - Helen Pugh Author of Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire Part 1
  • On the Amazon - Diary of an Irish Emigrant on Aug. 27, 2020

    An evocative well-written piece that resonated with me on some levels, having previously lived in the Ecuadorian Amazon for many years myself. -Helen Pugh author of Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire
  • Be With Me on Sep. 06, 2021

    I've just started this book but am a bit confused about when it is meant to be set. The blurb states Iron Age and yet the year give is something like 245 AD, which is during the Roman occupation of Britain. Should it be BC?