Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Book Blitz: The Other Side of Him by Alice Rene #historical #mystery #fiction #promo

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Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery
Publisher: California Country Press

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A smart, successful girl finds herself trapped in dangerous relationship with a stalker.

It’s the middle of the twentieth century, World War II is finally over, and Claire Wagner is on the brink of an exciting new life. With a well-deserved scholarship in hand, and much to her immigrant mother’s dismay, Claire flees the Chicago tenements for a prestigious graduate school program in California.

At first Claire keeps her nose tucked firmly into her books, but when her brother asks for a favor, she reluctantly agrees to a blind date. Greg turns out to be handsome, successful, and rich—and he’s definitely smitten with Claire. He introduces her to a sophisticated world she thought only existed in the movies, and before she knows it she’s trading her bobby socks and German home cooking for black silk and caviar.

When Greg starts to show signs that he’s not as perfect as he appeared, Claire’s friends urge her to overlook his occasional short temper and controlling behavior. But the warning signs pile up, building to a crisis that will test even Claire’s power to persevere.

Inspired by true events and steeped in the details of the 1950s, when vulnerable women weren’t protected by the law or society, The Other Side of Him is a provocative look at how darkness can lie under the most polished exteriors.

About the Author

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Alice Rene wrote her award-winning memoir, Becoming Alice, after a grandson interviewed her about her early life when Hitler marched into Vienna, foreshadowing in WWII. She followed this work with a historical fiction/ romantic a thriller inspired by true events, The Other Side of Him. The working title of her next book at this time is The Lieutenant from Podolia.

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Book Blitz: Master Your Moods by Jacqui Fleury, ND @SaskatoonND #mind #body #health #nonfiction #promo #excerpt

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Mind/Body - Health
Date Published: January 2019


We know we should exercise regularly, get enough sleep and eat well to increase our quality of life and performance. So why is it so hard to do?

According to brain health enthusiast Jacqui Fleury, ND, it’s because we take on too many big changes all at once and get overwhelmed! Plus, if you are already anxious, depressed or have a foggy brain, making positive changes can be even more of a struggle!

Master Your Moods is a proven, practical, easy-to-read guide that will help you understand what contributes to a happier brain and show you how to make a few simple changes that will make a big difference in your moods, your energy and your outlook on life. You can thrive. This guide will show you how!


What you eat and how you move your body affects the way your brain works. Conversely, the thoughts you think can have a dramatic effect on the way you eat and the foods you choose and, in turn, can affect how (and if!) you move your body. But knowing this isn’t enough. Many of us know that we need to eat well, exercise and get adequate rest; yet we struggle most with these three things. The number one reason diets fail and we stop going to the gym is because we can’t sustain the regimen. Deciding on a few small changes, committing to these changes 100% of the time, and staying consistent over a sustained period of time will ultimately bring you more longterm results than any fad diet or extreme eating or exercise plan. In this book, I will lead you through creating a customized 3-step plan that will help you make small changes toward better health and wellness. The ultimate purpose of this book is to adopt a few key strategies as part of your routine. These strategies will simplify your habits around brain health while providing the best outcome for you, both mentally and physically. I firmly believe in keeping this simple for you, as I know simplicity is the key to long-term success! I’ve seen this to be true over and over. As such, this book is meant to be user-friendly. I intentionally chose the length and size of this book to help you succeed in reading it front to back quickly and to avoid overwhelming you with too much information. I will give you just enough information to inform and educate you on how your mind and body are connected and show you the way to upgrade both without committing an unnecessary amount of time and resources to the process.

About the Author

Dr. Jacqui Fleury, ND, is an entrepreneur, writer, speaker, and naturopathic doctor with a passion for helping people survive and thrive as top performers. Her consulting is tailored to guide individuals, teams, small businesses and large corporations to build emotional and physical resilience with the vision of fostering higher levels of engagement, creativity, well-being, and performance. Having been in private practice since 1998, Dr. Fleury has successfully treated many patients for the acute and chronic effects of stress. Her treatment style is to provide clients with a framework and customized recommendations on how to make small, sustainable and highly effective upgrades to their physical and mental health that results in better sleep, moods, digestion, hormone balance and overall happier brains.

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Monday, April 29, 2019

Tour Kick Off: Benevolent by Erin A. Jensen @ErinAJensen #nowontour #blogtour #fantasy #giveaway

Contemporary Fantasy
Date Published: February 2nd, 2019
Publisher: Dream Waters Publishing LLC

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A story about the purpose of life, the healing power of fandom, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Tormented by the in-crowd at school on a daily basis, there were two things that gave fifteen-year-old Abigail Perkins the strength to keep going—her best friend, Danny Cobb; and her favorite television show, Supernatural. But the night Danny’s mother calls to say that his battle with cancer is nearing its end, and the doctors don’t expect him to live through the night, even Supernatural can’t dull the ache in her heart.

Devastated by her impending loss and crushed that Danny’s mother won’t allow her to visit him one last time, Abigail crawls into bed and cries herself to sleep that night; and she wakes to find Supernatural’s most endearing angel standing at the foot of her bed.

Told from Abigail’s perspective as she nears the end of her long life and revisits the moments that defined it, this story was inspired by the deep connection that Supernatural fans feel with the show’s beloved characters, and the show’s miraculous ability to help its fans through troubled times.

100% of the net proceeds from this book will go to Random Acts charitable organization.

Random Acts inspires many amazing things around the world every day — from small acts of kindness, such as inspiring someone to buy a stranger a cup of coffee, to much bigger acts of kindness like building a school in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

To learn more about Random Acts visit randomacts.org

Erin Jensen is the Amazon International bestselling author of The Dream Waters Series. She was awarded the Bronze Medal for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Readers' Favorite international book award competition. She also received Honorable Mention for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Writer's Digest self-published e-book awards. A part-time pharmacist and a full-time daydreamer, she resides in upstate New York with her ridiculously supportive husband, two teenage sons – who are both taller than her – and a Yorkshire terrier who thinks he's the family bodyguard.

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April 30 - The Bookworm Lodge - Spotlight
May 1 - Valerie Ullmer - Excerpt
May 2 - Book Addict - Spotlight
May 3 - Tyto Forest - Excerpt
May 4 - Stephanie's Book Reviews - Spotlight
May 6 - Just Books - Excerpt
May 7 - Nana's Book Blog - Spotlight
May 8 - The Avid Reader - Interview
May 9 - Tea Time and Books - Spotlight
May 11 - T's Stuff - Spotlight
May 13 - Momma and Her Stories - Excerpt
May 14 - Silver Dagger Scriptorium - Spotlight
May 15 - A Life Through Books - Interview
May 16 - Dina Rae Writes Stuff - Spotlight
May 17 - Alyssa Faye Blog - Interview
May 18 - Momma Says to Read or Not to Read - Spotlight
May 20 - Truly Trendy - Review
May 21 - Beach Bound Books - Spotlight
May 22 -Novel News Network - Review
May 23 - Book Reviews by Virginia Lee - Spotlight
May 24 - My Reading Addiction - Interview
May 25 - Voluptuous Book Diva - Spotlight
May 27 - Texas Book Nook - Review
May 28 - Sylv.net - Spotlight
May 30 - Kelly P's Book Blog - Spotlight
June 1 - Crossroads Reviews - Spotlight
June 3 - On a Reading Bender - Review
June 4 - Elodie Parks - Spotlight
June 5 - The Indie Express - Review
June 6 - Lisa Queen of Random - Spotlight
June 8 - Book Junkiez - Excerpt
June 17 - Jazzy's Book Reviews - Review

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Release Blitz: Pretty Reckless by L.J. Shen @lj_shen

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All Saints High, Book One
New Adult Romance
Date Published: April 29, 2019

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We were supposed to be best friends But turned out to be worst enemies…


They say revenge is a dish best served cold.

I’d had four years to stew on what Daria Followhill did to me, and

now my heart was completely iced.

I took her first kiss.

She took the only thing I loved.

I was poor.

She was rich.

The good thing about circumstances? They can change. Fast.

Now, I’m her parents’ latest shiny project.

Her housemate. Her tormentor. The captain of the rival football team she hates so much.

Yeah, baby girl, say it—I’m your foster brother.

There’s a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to shell out some serious tears.

Daria Followhill thinks she is THE queen. I’m about to prove to her that she’s nothing but a spoiled princess.


Everyone loves a good old unapologetic punk.

But being a bitch? Oh, you get slammed for every snarky comment, cynical eye roll, and foot you put in your adversaries’ way.

The thing about stiletto heels is that they make a hell of a dent when you walk all over the people who try to hurt you.

In Penn Scully’s case, I pierced his heart until he bled out, then left it in a trash can on a bright summer day.

Four years ago, he asked me to save all my firsts for him.

Now he lives across the hall, and I want nothing more than to be his last everything.

His parting words when he gave me his heart were that nothing in this world is free.

Now? Now he is making me pay.

About the Author

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LJ Shen is a USA Today and Washington Post bestseller of over a dozen books. Her books are translated into more than 10 languages.

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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Book Blitz: Oscar Mojica by Loreen Sumner #nonfiction #promo #motivational #inspirational #excerpt

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Motivational, Inspirational
Publisher: Bayou Publishing

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In 1992, Loreen Sumner was hired as the first English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher in Duplin County, North Carolina, and, through the years, she has had the privilege of teaching many students immigrating to this country from diverse parts of the world. Oscar Mojica, a twelve-year-old from Mexico, was one of her first ESL students. As a young migrant boy, he had quickly become disillusioned by his surroundings in America, realizing his expectations of ever reaching “the American Dream” would require overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles. In 1992, due to the first influx of migrant students to the small, rural, agricultural community in which he now resided, naturally there was an adjustment process for all. In actuality, he did not receive a hearty welcome or “bienvenido” from some of the American folks who had adjustments to make themselves. He immediately felt a sense of not belonging in America.

Arriving in America as an immigrant child was a difficult adjustment, and Oscar felt the hurt in not being welcomed with open arms. Some Americans saw him as an intruder, and it took him some time to adapt to his new surroundings. Along with the hurt and sense of feeling like an outsider, he also suffered anguish from having to leave his homeland and his beloved abuela, his mother’s mother. He had departed from Mexico only at his mother’s insistence. His beloved mother desired to alleviate the extreme poverty and harsh trials he and his younger sister had suffered back in Mexico, so she brought her children to America, in hopes of a better life.

On the very first day Oscar walked into his first ESL classroom, his first ESL teacher was more than intrigued when he stubbornly crossed his little boy arms and said in a defiant little boy voice, “Le reto que me enseƱe ingles!” Yes, he dared her to teach him English! Immediately, she recognized from the look in this young boy’s big brown eyes that he was hurting from a sense of rejection from his new community. He was really informing her to not even try to make him fit in or assimilate in a community that resented him just for being here, even though they did not know him as the fine young man he was. 

As a new teacher who felt she could overcome any obstacle, Ms. Sumner enthusiastically accepted his challenge. She immediately recognized that his stubborn, determined personality would be a significant, contributing factor in helping him overcome the enormous struggles he would encounter. Sensing that his destiny was divinely ordained, Ms. Sumner was inspired to not only teach him English but also to help him discover or follow his divine purpose in life. She was just as stubborn as he was, and he soon would learn that she would lovingly interfere in every aspect of his life until he reached his goals. Oscar became not only her student but also her son. She became like a second mother to him.

Today, Oscar Mojica is thirty-nine years old, and his story covers an amazing journey that ultimately has brought him to the fulfillment of a divine purpose for his life in America. He is living “the American dream” as a Mexican-American, and he is helping others achieve their dreams as well, in America. Today, with tender emotion, his first ESL teacher recalls the very first time she met her beloved student from over twenty-five years ago:

"As a new teacher, when the twelve-year-old little boy named Oscar Mojica dared me to teach him English, I eagerly accepted his challenge, and he became my prodigy. I embraced his Mexican culture and taught him to embrace my American culture. Today, he is thirty-nine years old, and he is contributing or giving back to the same small-town community that not only accepted him but also embraced Oscar Mojica. He became more than just my student. He became my son. I became like his second mother. Proudly, I can say that he is making America great again due to his amazing contributions to America. He is a blessing to those who have had the privilege to get to know him. Oscar Mojica is not only an amazing person of Mexican heritage, but he is just as American as I am."

This is his incredible story written by his first ESL teacher who accepted his challenge when, as a twelve-year-old boy, he dared her to teach him English.



In 1992, a young Mexican immigrant student arrives to America and quickly becomes bitterly disappointed because "the American dream" did not seem to apply to him. His arrival was met with rejection by certain Americans; he felt like an intruder, an unwelcome outsider. His first English teacher enthusiastically accepted his challenge when he dared her to teach him English. Today, Oscar Mojica is living "the American dream" and helping others achieve their dreams as well, in America.

As a new ESL teacher, Oscar Mojica was my first student in 1992. Due to the first influx of Mexican migrant students to our small, rural, agricultural community in Duplin County, NC, Oscar walked in my room as an 11-year-old migrant boy who did not receive a hearty welcome or bienvenido from the American folks. He was introduced to folks who immediately resented him for coming to America. He dared me to teach him English, but I knew what he was really saying. He dared me to try to make him fit in or assimilate in a community that resented him and considered him to be an immigrant intruder. As a new teacher, I accepted his challenge and he became my prodigy. I embraced his Mexican culture and taught him to embrace my American culture.  Today, he is 38 years old and he is contributing or giving back to the community that eventually, not only accepted, but also embraced Oscar Mojica. He became more than my student. He became like a son to me. I became like his mother. Today, he is making America great again due to his amazing contributions to America. He is a blessing to those who have the privilege to get to know him. Oscar Mojica is not only an amazing person of Mexican heritage, but he is just as American as I am. 

About the Author

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Loreen Sumner is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She taught high school for over twenty years and then received her ESL certificate from East Carolina University and currently teaches ESL in North Carolina. She is a

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Saturday, April 27, 2019

Book Blitz: A River Between Us by JoAnna Grace @joannagrace4ya #promo #excerpt #contemporary #romance #womensfiction

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Sweet Romance, Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction
The Riverview Series, Book 2
Publisher: Y&R Publishing/Arrow Book Works
Published: March 2019

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Holly freaks out when she and her date show up at the same restaurant as her husband-even though they're separated. Unable to hide, Holly reveals the secrets that sent her running from the love of her life years ago. Divorce papers or wedding rings? Once Justin finds out why she ran away from Riverview, he might make that decision for her.

Other Books in the The Riverview Series:

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Why The River Runs
The Riverview Series, Book 1
Publisher: Y&R Publishing

Some call this river a taker of souls, a reaper. Sanguine is the Spanish word for blood and God knows plenty has been spilled in its murky depths. As Tina floats on her back, she couldn’t help but feel its more of an artery, giving life to its limbs.

Not everyone would agree.

Tough as nails, Tina Foster, doesn’t have time for a relationship. She’s far too busy running her family construction company. Tina’s take charge attitude may intimidate some, but to others, she’s a rock, a woman with a plan. Taming a heart this strong will take a man up for a challenge, and so far, there haven’t been too many contenders worthy of her time.

Bo Galloway is returning to Riverview after a rough few years. He’s home to take care of his grandmother and prays for a chance at redemption and a fresh start. Untrusting of most women, he doesn’t know what to think of his new boss. He definitely didn’t expect to admire Tina Foster. Bo’s only shot at getting Tina to notice him is to be as strong as she is.

Just like the waters of the Sanguine, Bo and Tina must find their flow. Will the waters sweep away their only chance at true love, or nourish a relationship as steady as the river itself?


Four years ago, down by the river.

Holly’s stomach turned cartwheels as she faced Justin Meyers and held his hands.

The minister cleared his throat and smiled. “Repeat after me. I, Holly Grace Combs…”

“I, Holly Grace Combs…” Thank God he said her name. She might’ve forgotten it, as nervous as she was.

“Take you, Justin Alexander Meyers…”

“Take you, Justin Alexander Meyers…”

“As my lawfully wedded husband.”

Husband. Holy hell. Justin would be her husband; to have and to hold until death they did part. She said the words, meant them with all her heart. Justin had been the great love of her life since they were kids playing house together. College had pulled them apart the last couple years, but as he repeated his vows back to her, she knew this was the right thing to do.

The Sanguine River flowed behind them as the preacher pronounced them man and wife and Holly kissed her best friend since childhood in the presence of her brother and his flavor of the week.

“Now, y’all don’t get me wrong,” said the preacher with a wide smile that shined as bright as the moon on the river. “I don’t mind performin’ this ceremony ‘cause I’ve known it was comin’ since you was both runnin’ ‘round the playground at church. But y’all might wanna tell your parents b’fore you file the actual paperwork. I usually don’t do this without the license. But you got your witnesses present and it’s better than you kids livin’ in sin, I guess. You’re married in God’s eyes; that’s what counts.” He slapped Justin on the back and left with Hunter and his girlfriend.

Holly and Justin stayed hand-in-hand, staring at each other with matching grins, the water flowing gently behind them. She loved his smile. She loved that special spark in his eyes when he smiled at her. No one else saw it. Only Holly.

“We’re married,” he whispered.

“Yeah, seems that way.” Holly met his dark hazel eyes and bit her bottom lip.

Justin ran his fingers over her cheek and through her hair. “I love you, Honeycomb. Always have, always will.”

“I love you too.” His hand cupped her cheek and she kissed his palm. “Our parents are going to freak out.”

“I’m not worried about it.”

She let out a huff of air. “You never worry about anything.” Which was why she worried about everything.

They laughed and kissed until excitement turned into desire. Justin rented a hotel room down the river and they didn’t come up for air until the next afternoon.

Holly lay naked in the bed, her legs intertwined with Justin’s. “We have to get back to reality.”

Justin propped his head up on his elbow and frowned. “Yeah. We should tell our parents, and our friends…and you should make sure Lance isn’t going to be an issue.”

Chills vanquished all the elation from the last twenty-four hours. It was time to face her ex-boyfriend once and for all.

About the Author

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JoAnna Grace lives in a world of alpha males and strong females where true love conquers all--at least in her mind!

From the time she started holding a crayon she began to create magical worlds. Her first book was a series of pictures about a puppy princess. The story changed each time she told it, but there was always a happy ending! Her first written story was about girls who changed into tigers. 

Hmmm... Guess some concepts stick around even into adulthood. Now those stories have become a bit more complex!

JoAnna's tales are spun at her home in East Texas where she lives with her husband, three kids, a couple dogs and a few fish. When not hiding behind the computer screen you can find her camping, boating, and shopping.

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Friday, April 26, 2019

Book Blitz: The Frights of Fiji by Sunayna Prasad @SunaynaPrasad #middlegrade #fantasy #promo #excerpt

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 Alyssa McCarthy's Magical Missions, Book 1
Middle-Grade Fantasy
Published: October 2018 Second Edition
Publisher: S.A. Prasad Publishing

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A Modern Magical World Awaits…

Life changes for twelve-year-old Alyssa McCarthy when she discovers magic—something nobody has ever believed in. Strange incidents occur, hinting that a sorcerer is out on the loose. That warlock kidnaps Alyssa from her uncle’s home and takes her to an enchanted Fiji Island called Yanowic.

The only way she can overthrow him is to fight perilous creatures as well as track the other wizards using magical technology. But unless she succeeds, Alyssa will remain trapped in the nation.

Originally published in 2013, the book has been updated to its full potential while keeping the same storyline.


Rain banged against the window. Alyssa looked up from washing her lunch dishes and stared at it. At least she could daydream while no one else noticed. After all, how else would she spend life without family fun—or even love? Her uncle enforced strict and unfair rules. Alyssa longed for the kind of life she’d lived before her parents had died in a car crash five years ago. She’d only been seven at that time, and now she couldn’t experience things like many children her age. Unless . . . she could find her godfather’s phone number and secretly call him. She hadn’t talked to him ever since she’d also lost her aunt three years ago. But she recalled his kind attitude. Her parents had even designated him as a legal guardian. But something seemed off with the raindrops. They turned grayish blue and darkened into black, looking as if ink fell from the sky. Alyssa leaned closer, squinting to determine the shapes it formed on the window. The rain formed—letters. No. That couldn’t happen. But a message formed as the rain plopped on other parts of the window. Nature couldn’t change its laws, right? Yet, the message finished putting itself together. Alyssa gasped at what it said.

 Your life will never be the same again, Alyssa McCarthy, as magic will interfere.

 What? Alyssa had never believed in magic. She’d been told at a young age that it hadn’t existed. Everyone on Orion Street was ordinary—at least, Alyssa had thought that ever since she’d moved here, right after her parents’ deaths.   Turning around, she saw her babysitter, Mrs. Hutchinson, examine the kitchen floor. Alyssa’s eleven-year-old cousin, Hailey, watched the progress. Hailey had mopped the floor. Would she earn a break now? Ever since her uncle, Bruce, had hired Mrs. Hutchinson, Mrs. Hutchinson had admired the way Hailey had done her chores more than Alyssa.  “Hailey, you can take a break until your next chore,” said Mrs. Hutchinson. “Alyssa, get back to work. You’ve been staring at the rain for too long.”  “Okay.” Alyssa turned back—only to see the message gone and the rain back to its normal transparency.   “What did I say?” asked Mrs. Hutchinson.  Alyssa sighed. “Fine, I’ll finish washing the dishes.”  She scrubbed her dish and glass with soap under warm running water. Her eyes focused on just those. No way would she want Mrs. Hutchinson to catch her looking out the window again. Mrs. Hutchinson was only in her sixties, but she’d sometimes seem to forget that was 2010 and not 1960 with her guidelines. Yet, it had taken Alyssa a while to realize that she wouldn’t even tolerate the mildest kind of nonsense, such as getting distracted by a windowpane when having to perform chores.  Now that she finished washing her dishes, Alyssa put them to the side and grabbed some paper towels to dry them.  “What do you think you’re doing?” Mrs. Hutchinson asked.  Alyssa stopped. “I’m just—”  “The last few times I was here, you left little bits of food on your dishes.”   “But they were stuck.”

 “Let me inspect them. Also, if something is rubbery, you have to wash it again.”  “Why?”  “Because clean dishes aren’t supposed to be rubbery. And boy, did you do such a sloppy job. Look at that stain on your sweater.”  Alyssa looked down.  “That looks like chocolate.”   Alyssa blushed and arched her eyebrows.  “Hey—it’s just water.” She covered the stain at the bottom of her sweater’s V-neck.  But Mrs. Hutchinson waved her index finger. “Don’t you ‘hey’ me, Alyssa. That’s rude. In my days, kids respected their elders. We never would dare talk to them that way unless we didn’t mind them smacking our bottoms.”  “Things change.”   “Not when I’m here, they don’t. Now let me do my inspection.”  Great—an inspection! How long would Mrs. Hutchinson take? She might spend a couple minutes or maybe twenty. Alyssa crossed her arms and tapped her foot. She wanted her break now. She wished to read, rest, do a small craft, like lanyards—anything but wait for Mrs. Hutchinson to finish her task.  “Mrs. Hutchinson?” Alyssa asked.  “Whatever you need to say, wait till I’m done,” she said.   Alyssa sighed. She continued to watch Mrs. Hutchinson run her finger down the middle of the front of the dish. She then rubbed it back and forth. When she put it down and nodded, Alyssa figured out that the dish had nothing on it.  Mrs. Hutchinson spent a few minutes of running her finger down the glass. She put it down and turned to Alyssa. “You’re good. Now what did you want to tell me?”  “Um . . . if I tell you, can you not give me a hard time?”   “Okay.”  “There was writing on the window.”  Mrs. Hutchinson pursed her lips and tilted her head. “Really?”  “Yeah.”  “Nonsense.”   “No, really, it was there.”   “There was nothing there when I came, and there’s nothing there right now. So don’t tell me stories.”  “But it’s not a story.”  “I don’t want to hear any more. Now it’s time for your next chore.”  “Aw, but I wanted my break.”  “Too bad. You have to go vacuum the living room.”  Alyssa dragged her feet toward the living room and took the vacuum from the corner. She cleaned and thought about that writing as well as how Mrs. Hutchinson wouldn’t believe her. Would a nicer babysitter have believed her? Mrs. Hutchinson had watched her and Hailey for three years, and not once had she smiled or assisted with anything.   After vacuuming the carpet for about five minutes, Alyssa decided that she had tidied the floor enough. So she stopped and put the vacuum away.  “Hailey, you and Alyssa need to go get the mail now!” Mrs. Hutchinson called, facing the staircase.   “Coming!” cried Hailey.

Another rule Uncle Bruce had placed on Alyssa and Hailey was they could only go outside together. He worried about people taking them or something, even though Alyssa would turn thirteen next month. But that rule had been placed because a few months ago, Uncle Bruce had heard about a seventeen-year-old boy who had been shot while skateboarding in his neighborhood. Violence could even happen here in Bursnell, New Jersey.  Hailey and Alyssa headed to the closet and put their raincoats on until Mrs. Hutchinson said, “It stopped raining outside.”  “Already?” asked Alyssa.  “Yes.” Mrs. Hutchinson went to the bathroom.   The girls walked outside toward the mailbox. Alyssa pulled the mail and headed back toward the door. But mud bubbled from the ground near the house. It piled up, looking like horse manure, and grew as more soil emerged. Alyssa dropped her jaw and stared at it.  “Alyssa, what’s going on?” Hailey asked.   “No idea,” said Alyssa.  The dirt stopped piling up, but it continued to bubble, and the effects spread throughout the whole pile. The bubbles stopped popping up and down. Alyssa and Hailey gasped as they expanded. They kept their mouths open as the bubbles merged together, each one attached to another, forming a single bigger shape. Alyssa and Hailey stepped back as the now giant bubble swelled. And it . . . popped! Particles of exploding mud landed on the girls. They shrieked.  The front door opened to reveal a glowering Mrs. Hutchinson. “What the heck have you two been doing?”   “T-the mud . . . it e-exploded,” said Hailey.   “Nonsense!” growled Mrs. Hutchinson. “Get inside!”  The girls returned inside, pulling and wiping the mud out of their hair. Alyssa could spot the mud in her straight pale-blonde tresses, unlike Hailey, who likely needed more patience to search for globs in her elbow-length red locks. But Alyssa’s hair fell a few inches past her hips, so cleaning out the mud would take longer, even with the shorter layers in the front.  “How could dirt explode?” Mrs. Hutchinson stomped.   “I-I think it was magic!” exclaimed Alyssa.  “There’s no such thing as magic!” screamed Mrs. Hutchinson. “Alyssa, you’re twelve years old. You’re too old to say things like that!”  “But nothing else can make mud explode!” Alyssa said.  “Mrs. Hutchinson, we swear it did!” whined Hailey.   “Enough!” snapped Mrs. Hutchinson. “You and Hailey—go upstairs and take showers!”  Alyssa followed Hailey up the stairs and heaved a sigh. How else would the mud have splattered all over them? Mrs. Hutchinson couldn’t have thought they’d play in the mud like small children.  “Alyssa, can I shower first?” asked Hailey.   “Sure,” said Alyssa.  As Hailey strode into the bathroom, Alyssa walked into her room. She scratched more mud off her skinny jeans (the only jeans she’d worn ever since they’d come into style) and the back of her hand. She stood by her bed since she wanted to keep it clean.  She considered the writing on the window and the exploding mud. Someone wanted magic to interfere with her life, but who, and how come?

 Also, why hadn’t she ever seen wizardry before? Why would her parents and others tell her that it hadn’t existed? Did sorcery just start on earth? Had it hidden somewhere? There had to be some reason why no one had ever believed in it.  Alyssa thought about the possibility that maybe magic might only interfere if she stayed here in her uncle’s house. Maybe if her godfather could arrange with his lawyer to let her move in with him, sorcery would hopefully leave her alone. However, unlike science, anything could occur with magic, which meant that it could follow her wherever she went.   The sound produced by the bathroom’s running water ended, which let Alyssa know that Hailey had finished. Now she could have a turn.  After about five minutes showering, Alyssa stepped out and headed back to her room. She put on leggings and a long shirt. But she gasped at something appearing out of nowhere on her bed. Now that had to have come from . . . magic.  Approaching it, she saw that it was a folded piece of paper. She opened it and read it. Hello Alyssa McCarthy, You must be wondering about the writing on your window, the exploding mud, and the note that appeared here. Who was responsible for them? You’ll find out at some point. Anonymous

 Anonymous? How dare someone create incidents and not say his or her name! Alyssa needed to know his or her identity in order to report him or her. She didn’t want strange, magical occurrences to keep happening.  Regardless of that, now she had proof to Mrs. Hutchinson that the writing and exploding mud had occurred. Mrs. Hutchinson had seen her write before, and this looked nothing like hers. She handwrote in a half-print and half-script style. This, however, was pure print. Alyssa jogged down the stairs and carried the note. “Mrs. Hutchinson, I have something to show you.”   “Not right now, Alyssa.” Mrs. Hutchinson left the kitchen. “You and Hailey have to go wash my car.”  “But it’s quick.”  “You can show me after you’re done with my car.” Mrs. Hutchinson turned to Hailey, who emptied the dishwasher and put dishes away. “Are you almost done?”  “I think so,” said Hailey.  “How many dishes do you have left?” asked Mrs. Hutchinson.  “Uh . . .” Hailey looked at the top rack. “Four.”  “Okay, hurry up.” Mrs. Hutchinson turned to Alyssa. “Why don’t you go put that piece of paper away?”  “But this is what I need to show you.”   “Do I have to repeat what I said before?”   “But—”  “Alyssa, do as you’re told.” Mrs. Hutchinson pointed to the staircase.  Alyssa sighed. This note contained so much crucial information. Only that paper itself had evidence to show that those incidents had occurred.

 After putting the note back in her room, Alyssa headed down the stairs and walked with Hailey toward the garage. The two grabbed sponges, buckets, and soap for washing cars. They filled the buckets with water and scrubbed Mrs. Hutchinson’s car.  “I wish we had another babysitter,” muttered Alyssa.   “What was on the piece of paper?” asked Hailey.  Alyssa told her.   “Who wrote it?”  “There was no name on it. Just ‘anonymous.’”  A girl whistling turned Alyssa’s attention away from the car. She leaned her head toward the sidewalk and saw her friend from grade school, Madison Jennings, riding her scooter.  “Hi, Alyssa,” said Madison. The wind blew her long dark-brown waves across her face. She stopped at Alyssa’s driveway, and her hair went limp. Hailey and Alyssa ran up to greet her and ask how she’d been.  “I just moved onto Draco Drive a few days ago,” Madison referred to a road off Orion Street.  “So how do you like the middle school?” asked Alyssa.   “Oh, I go to Catholic school now,” said Madison. “What about you?”  “Hailey and I are homeschooled now,” said Alyssa. “I never got to tell you.”  “That’s okay,” said Madison. “So you guys want to come over to my house on Saturday?”  “What time?” asked Alyssa.  “I’ll ask my mom and let you know,” said Madison. “Okay, bye, guys. Nice seeing you again.” She rode back in the direction she’d come from as Hailey and Alyssa waved goodbye to her.  After washing the car for another ten minutes, Alyssa and Hailey cleaned up and walked back inside. A snore suggested to Alyssa that Mrs. Hutchinson slept. Huh? She never napped while babysitting.  Alyssa strode toward the living room and saw Mrs. Hutchinson asleep on one of the couches. Hailey followed her. “Why is Mrs. Hutchinson sleeping?”   “I don’t know,” said Alyssa.  “Can you show me the note?”  Alyssa nodded and led her up the stairs. She opened her door but gasped at what she saw. The note that she’d left on her bed was gone.  “Where’s the note?” asked Hailey.  “It was right there,” Alyssa pointed to the bed.  But another piece of paper appeared onto the mattress. Alyssa picked it up and read it.

Hello again, Alyssa,

I have put your babysitter to sleep to reveal magic to you. You’ll find out why she is sleeping later. Anonymous

 “Not again,” mumbled Alyssa. “Why won’t they say their name?” She showed the note to Hailey.  “Let’s go call my dad before anything happens,” said Hailey.

 How much worse could this get? Alyssa thought as she follows.

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About the Author

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Sunayna Prasad has published a few books between her late teens and her mid-twenties. She has won a Pacific Book Review Award for her novel, Wizardry Goes Wild, which will return as a new edition, like From Frights to Flaws. Sunayna also has a blog on different creative and entertaining topics, including writing and fiction. It is called “Sunayna Prasad’s Blog”.

Aside from writing, Sunayna also likes to cook, do art, and watch videos online. She has graduated from college in May 2017 and is looking to continue more writing as well as hold a job soon. Sunayna lives on Long Island, NY.

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