Thursday, March 31, 2022

Alyssa McCarthy's Magical Missions Tour and Giveaway

 


The Frights of Fiji

Alyssa McCarthy's Magical Missions Book 1

by Sunayna Prasad

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

A world of magic and adventure awaits…

Sent to live with her strict, aloof, and uncaring uncle after her parents are killed in a car accident, twelve-year-old orphan Alyssa McCarthy longs for the life she used to have—one filled with fun and love. Then one stormy night, a message appears in the raindrops on the window that will change everything.

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

Before long, Alyssa is kidnapped by Master Beau, a banished sorcerer with a mysterious connection to her who can only regain his power by weakening hers. Suddenly hurled into a world of wizardry filled with fantastical beasts and marvelous technology beyond her wildest imagination, Alyssa must defeat Master Beau if she ever wants to get home again. But Master Beau will stop at nothing, including using Alyssa’s friends, to ensure he is triumphant.

Originally titled "From Frights to Flaws", this story is the exciting and enchanting first book in the "Magical Missions" series.


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1


The raindrops darkened into black, looking as if ink fell from the sky. Alyssa leaned closer to them. She squinted to determine the shapes they formed on the kitchen window… letters.

No! That couldn’t happen. Yet, a message spelled out as more pigments plopped onto the glass. Alyssa gasped at what it said.


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

What? Magic didn’t exist—at least that’d been what others had told her when she was little. No one on Orion Street could possess enchanted abilities.

Alyssa had lived here since she’d lost her parents in that car crash five years ago. She’d only been seven then. How would she tell her uncle, Bruce, about this? He’d consider her crazy. He’d already toughened up his attitude and rules. So he might consider it an excuse to escape this house. 

Although Alyssa’s parents had designated her godfather as the first priority guardian, Uncle Bruce forbade her to try and contact him. He’d hidden the phone number and other information about him.

Since Alyssa’s aunt, Laura, had died three years ago, Uncle Bruce had required fun to be earned. And that took more effort than Alyssa could often accomplish. 

Turning around, she spotted her babysitter, Mrs. Hutchinson, examining 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.” 


A Curse of Mayhem

Alyssa McCarthy's Magical Missions Book 2

History, like magic, has a habit of repeating itself

It’s been six months since thirteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy left magic behind for good. Or so she thought…Then the enchanted objects that protected her disappear. Now a skeleton named Errol has cursed her with magical powers that keep getting her in trouble.Suddenly strange things are happening with disastrous effects, and if Alyssa can’t remove the magic, she will lose everything she holds dear.

In order to get rid of her unwanted wizardry, Alyssa will have to boost her bravery and confidence and determine who Errol really is. But every time Alyssa uses an enchantment, Errol is one step closer to getting his flesh back and becoming alive, and he will do anything to achieve his goals…even if it means destroying Alyssa’s happiness.

Originally published in 2016 as “Wizardry Goes Wild” and “The Unruly Curse” in 2019, “A Curse of Mayhem” is book two in the exciting and suspenseful “Magical Missions” series.


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1


Lilac-colored smoke poured in through the slight opening under Alyssa’s bedroom window. Alyssa leaped back. She swore the window had been closed when she’d come in here a few minutes ago.

The gas clouded into her room, blocking her sight. It washed onto her, causing her to squint and lean back. She coughed, rubbed her eyes, and opened them. The smoke faded. Someone must’ve pulled a prank, and not just any kind—one that involved…wizardry. 

Alyssa’s breathing sped up. She shut the window and gazed at the huge yard and long driveway. No one was outside—not even Alex, her godfather and legal guardian. 

Perhaps the trespasser had escaped or had hidden somewhere—maybe behind the tree on the lawn or somewhere else on the property. 

Alyssa hurried out, brushing ash from her muted purple shirt. She entered the ground floor and opened the front door. “Hello?!”

There was no answer. 

“Whoever set that smoke off, it wasn’t funny!”

The silence continued.

Despite the freezing air this autumn evening, Alyssa stepped onto the front porch. A piece of paper appeared out of nowhere, making her jump. She picked it up, anyway.


Welcome back to magic.


Her chest tightened. She hadn’t encountered a single instance of wizardry in six months! Plus, she had two objects that were supposed to protect her from such encounters.

She dashed back up to her room and opened the closet door. Tape hung from a shoebox, and the items that she had left in there…were missing.

Heart jackhammering, Alyssa moved shoes and other boxes around. The two things might’ve fallen when she and Alex had moved here from Ohio in the spring after Alex had lost his job there. No one could have stolen them while Alex had taken her to Chicago this afternoon, right? 

As Alyssa picked up the same shoebox, her palms warmed up, and light beams shot out of both hands. She screamed as the rays smashed into each other, and then faded, revealing a tiny, rainbow-colored, bouncy ball.

Alyssa’s body stiffened, as if paralyzed. Her jaw hung as she gaped at the bouncing ball.

How could I have done magic? Alyssa asked herself. I’m not a wizard.

As the object jumped onto her knee, she yelped and fell back. It had left a multi-colored stain on her leggings.

She sat up. The toy sprung onto her narrow shoulders and then to the top of her head, where it cracked like an egg. 

“Ow!” Alyssa covered that area and then ran her fingers down her straight, pale-blonde hair, checking for any unusual, hard textures. She lifted the ends up from the area a few inches past her hips, where the length fell to. There were tiny plastic ball-bits stuck in her tresses, so she pulled them out. 

Alex knocked on the door. “Alyssa, are you ready for the party?” 

“Not yet.”

“It’s almost six o’clock, sweetie. The tent in the backyard is already set up.”

“Something’s wrong with me!”

Alex opened the door, already wearing his suit. “What’s the matter?”

“I…I…”

Alex had tied his shoulder-length light-brown hair into a ponytail. “What’s going on?”

Alyssa whimpered. “Ma…ma…”

“Are you all right?”

She shook her head.

Alex looked away and covered his goatee. “Your closet’s a mess.”
“I did magic!” Alyssa’s breathing quickened.

Alex opened his mouth. “No way. That doesn’t make sense.”

“I did!” Alyssa sucked in inhalations. “I’m not making this up!”

Alex tilted his head. 

“I told you about magic back in March! I was kidnapped and taken to Fiji by an evil wizard! And then one of the mentors gave me a couple of little things to keep me safe!”

“Wait, what?”

“The objects are gone! Somebody must’ve stolen them!”

Alex clapped both hands over his mouth.

“I looked everywhere in my closet! I can’t find them!” 

Alex removed his hands from his mouth. 

“How could you forget these things?!” 

He remained mute. 

“What the heck?!” She sat on her bed, and her breathing still hurried.

“I’m sorry.” Alex closed the door and left.

He’d wanted to hold this party over the summer. But his agricultural-engineering and country-singing jobs had kept him from setting a date.

Alyssa considered the ways in which she might remove these powers. Maybe one of her previous mentors would know a way. Like technology, magic became more advanced over time.

Alyssa picked up her phone, went onto her email, and searched for Mathias, the wizard who’d provided her with the magical objects. Nothing. The same happened when she searched for Isabelle and Simon.

Her device rang and she answered. 

“Hey, Alyssa, I hope you’re all right,” Simon said in his English accent.

“Something’s wrong with me. I…I did magic, even though—”

“I was calling about that.”

Alyssa raised her eyebrows. Then, she recalled how marble figures, which resembled statues, could gather information from others at the speed of sound, even if they were unconscious.

“Why didn’t you call earlier?”

“I wanted to get more information about your new powers.”

“How can I get rid of them?”

“I’m not sure.”

Alyssa exhaled. “There’s got to be something.”

“I’ll look into it. In the meantime, try some gloves.”

“You sure that’ll work?”


The New Enchantress

Alyssa McCarthy's Magical Missions Book 3

Cursed by a sorcerer’s hex, Alyssa McCarthy finds herself in a fight she can’t afford to lose, or everything she knows will be lost!

After she finishes her final year of junior high, fourteen-year-old Alyssa faces an uncertain future in more ways than one when a sorcerer casts a hex that leaves her with involuntary magical powers that are too dangerous to remove.

Unable to control her newly gained abilities Alyssa’s end-of-middle-school sleepover ends in disaster when she knocks her friends unconscious when her powers go out of control. If Alyssa can’t learn to master her magic soon, she will be cursed to forget her loved ones and serve as the warlock’s slave for all of eternity.

Her only hope is to focus on controlling her emotions if she is to break the curse. However, the difficulties of adolescence, along with the perils and growing disasters she faces, make Alyssa struggle even more. From putting her friends’ lives at risk to losing their trust, she continues to fear what will become of her if she fails.

Will Alyssa be able to break the hex and become the enchantress that she was meant to be, or will she become enslaved to the sorcerer forever?


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1


Alyssa played the video she’d made for the upcoming teen film festival. If she submitted it, she would earn five extra points to add to her 70 in math. That would allow her to drop the mandatory extra-help class for students with final scores less than a 75.

She watched the clip, experiencing watery eyes when she heard herself discussing losing her parents in a car crash when she was seven and other tragic events in her life. It concluded with how those times had shaped her into the person she was today, Friday, June 10th, 2011. She exported the project and would upload it to the festival’s site later. The deadline was not until Monday, 7 P.M. So, after this, she could focus on the end-of-middle-school sleepover that would happen today.

But the screen froze, and a small popup stated, “Cannot export file.”

“Huh?” 

How could a two-month-old device encounter issues already? Alyssa had had to wait until her last birthday, in April, and needed to maintain good grades at school to get her own computer. She recalled what her godfather, Alex, had told her in February after her math substitute had informed him about her scores dropping. “Alyssa, if you don’t get your grades up in math, you might not earn that laptop.” He loved and cared for her like a daughter yet shared no blood relation to her family members. She’d lived with him since turning thirteen last year.

Her breathing caught at the popup—a new model should not have a virus already. But she told herself, I’m fourteen and am going to start high school this fall. I can fix this.

The computer turned itself off, closed itself, and crushed Alyssa’s fingers.

“Ow!” she cried.

The device slid off her lap and under her bed. She looked underneath it—without warning, dust blew onto her, covering her petite body.

She coughed as the soot settled. Then she brushed the dirt off her black shirt and its straps on her narrow shoulders, followed by her short shorts and skin. She shook bits out of her straight, pale-blonde hair, which fell a few inches below her hips.

She’d dealt with enough sorcery already, once last year in March and again this past fall. However, neither she nor anybody in her life possessed magic in their blood. From age eight until two springs ago, she’d believed that magic hadn’t existed.

She had interacted with a few magicians when dealing with supernatural situations that no one as young as she should have to experience.

 She planned to find that idiot who just ruined her summer by stealing her laptop. A folded piece of paper appeared on her bed and seemed to include the word, laptop, so she read it.


Alyssa,

 

Your laptop is going to become a new brain-domination computer. The International Magic Control has disabled all the existing ones and has banned any magic from transforming enchanted technology into mind-managing devices. But your laptop is needed exclusively for my particular process.

Also, don’t remove your new magic powers. If you try, you might die.

 

Anonymous

 

The note vanished into thin air. Alyssa touched her forehead and breathed since wizardry shouldn’t work on standard technology. Possibilities advanced over time, but they still had numerous everlasting limits.

Alyssa could not risk performing sorcery anymore after ridding herself in autumn of the powers that a warlock had forced upon her. A skeleton called Errol had jinxed her with involuntary magic, landing her in lots of trouble, including near-expulsion from school. He had claimed that it’d been the only way for him to regain his old, human looks. Alyssa had needed to boost her confidence and bravery levels in order to overthrow Errol. That had taken a few weeks.

She would not allow this new hex to force her to remain home all summer. Otherwise, she’d have to miss travel camp at the end of this month and a trip to New York City with Alex in August.

Her palms heated, and beams shot out, bouncing against the ceiling and splitting in different directions. One tipped the bookshelf, and all the books tumbled out onto the wooden floor. It merged with the other shaft, smashed into the desk—knocking everything down—and disappeared in a snap.

Alyssa stared, her fist clenching and her face reddening. Without admonishment, another glimmer flew out of her hands and hit her bed, causing everything to tumble into the air. The blankets crumpled, and a few pillows were tossed onto the rug by the mattress. The ray vanished.

Alyssa gazed into her palms because that catastrophe reminded her of the enchantments she’d performed in the fall.

“Ugh!” She covered her face.

The downstairs door shut, suggesting that Alex had returned from walking Scooter, the yellow lab.

“Alyssa, is everything okay?” he asked.

“No!” She sat on her bed, not wanting to remake it, even though Alex required it when she didn’t have school. I’m never going to get through this stupid mess.


Sunayna Prasad has published a few books between her late teens and her mid-twenties. 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. Sunayna lives on Long Island, NY.


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Shadow of the Shapeshifter Blitz

 

Book One of the Vanquish Trilogy

YA Fantasy, Fantasy

Date Published: March 31, 2022

Publisher: Kingsbrook Publishing



Two strangers in the wrong place at the worst possible time…

.a lone assassin prepared to do the dirtiest of jobs…

and a guard sentry determined to stop him.

A dark enemy is about to rise in Illmoor, something even more chaotic and twisted than the citizens themselves. Step forward Enoch Dwellings, master sleuth, who boasts a reputation built entirely on an intricate web of carefully calculated lies. Together with his hapless but increasingly inept assistant, Doctor Wheredad (no medical training whatsoever), he will do anything it takes to solve a crime that might actually end up costing him more than his own life.



About the Author

Between 1998 and 2016, David wrote fantasy and YA books for some of the biggest publishers in the world. These included The Illmoor Chronicles (for Disney and Hodder), Gladiator Boy and Undead Ed (for Hodder and Penguin), Davey Swag and Outcasts (for Hodder). His books have been converted into audio works for BBC Worldwide and Random House and translated into fifteen different languages by companies including Sony in Japan. David’s short stories have also appeared in a variety of anthologies, including the celebrated Knights of Madness (with Terry Pratchett, Tom Sharpe, etc) for Orbit and Penguin, edited by the late and great veteran fantasy anthologist, Peter Haining. David has also written review columns for Interzone and SFX and fictional histories for Games Workshop and their Warhammer universe.


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Vitaly Blitz

 

The Misadventures of a Ukrainian Orphan


Memoir, Autobiography

Date Published: March 10, 2022


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Be Inspired with This True Story About a Ukrainian Orphan That Did Whatever He Could to Chase His Dreams - Discover That Even When Life Stacks Its Deck Against You, You Can Still Reach Your Dreams

There's nothing better in this life than finding your true self and being in touch with who you indeed are. But sometimes, life can beat us down and leave us without the will or power to find ourselves and live as we are truly meant to be.

In such situations, we have two options: to either let our circumstances define us or persevere and fight beyond that unbearable state until we reach where we desire to. Vitaly Magidov chose the latter option. Vitaly's touching autobiography highlights the struggles, hardships, accomplishments, and wins that he went through until he became the proficient man he is today.

Vitaly was orphaned right after birth when his mother left him at the hospital, and he ended up living at an orphanage in Ukraine until he was 12 years old. From there, he lived in foster care for six years until he was 18 and ready to face the world head-on. From an early age, Vitaly knew deep down he was different, but he had no clue, or guidance, to meet his true self then; also, living in the USSR times had its challenges.

Life was miserable.

Vitaly would live life without thinking about the future and take each day at face value. He was surrounded by loneliness and tried his best to enjoy life, but he couldn't help but question himself.

"Why wasn't I normal?"

No matter how hard Vitaly tried to conform to what was 'normal,' he just never could. He couldn't escape the feeling that there was something wrong with him. From a young age, he was taught the cycle of life — enjoy your childhood, be good, don't lie, respect your parents, go to school, finish school, get a job, start your own family, retire and savor the rest of your life.

However, he never really knew anyone that lived up to that cycle. Without anyone to turn or look up to, Vitaly was left to figure everything out independently.

Struggle, after struggle, he endured it all. Until he finally decided to question the standard.

This inspiring eye-opener highlights it all, from his childhood mishaps and challenges to his discoveries and accomplishments.

Do you want to read one of the best, most inspiring real-life autobiographies out there?

If you've answered YES, then read on because you are about to uncover one of the most moving autobiographies ever written.


More precisely, this autobiography:

Narrates the real-life events of Vitaly in the first person to give you the experience of his touching story and his life in Ukraine

Provides a comprehensible flow of events from the beginning to adulthood, making it easy to follow-through

It highlights the parallels between the Ukrainian culture and different religions and opens your eyes to people's experiences in other countries.

Vitaly's book clear tone and adventurous stories will keep you glued to the pages.

It is as touching as it is inspiring, and you are sure to draw out some of the essential life lessons from the book.


So, if you are looking for a touching memoir, or if you are feeling confused about who you are and want some inspiration to find personal acceptance, or even if you are looking for a good read, behold Vitaly, the best autobiography. Be inspired and know that it's not simply about what life you're born into; it's about what you make of it.


 

About the Author

Vitaly Magidov was born in Ukraine. His mother left him in a hospital when he was a baby. From there, he was taken into an orphanage and then, at 11, into foster care. Living without parental support was not easy, but he looked at life as a life of opportunities. At age 18, when he was living on his own, he was free to pursue his dreams.

Vitaly came to the U.S. with $3 in his pocket. He is now a U.S. citizen and wants to share his story with the world.

 

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The Order of the Fallen Blitz

 

Fantasy/Romance

Date Published: Jan. 24, 2022

Publisher: Jan-Carol Publishing, Inc.



Achaiah knew the dangers of falling to earth for the love of his human, Nev. When Nev falls for her guardian angel, Achaiah, she is unaware of the danger that their love puts her in. That's why fallen angels have one rule: Never fall in love with a human.


About the Author

Jacqueline Marinaro began her career as a therapist and college educator. Graduate school couldn’t stamp out her love of creative writing, however. Much to the chagrin of her husband, graduate school also only furthered her ability to constantly ask, “how does that make you feel?” Jacqueline lives in Florida with her wonderful husband and sweet little boy, where she enjoys the beach, reading, writing, and of course delving into the feelings of everyone she meets.


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✱✱Audio Book Review✱✱ The Billionaire by Marni Mann

The Billionaire
The Dalton Brothers, Book 2
By: Marni Mann
Narrated by: Kelsey Navarro, Tim Paige
Publisher: Dreamscape Media

I’ve always been a good girl. 

But the second I walk into the hotel bar, I see temptation. 

The man sitting there is delicious. Older. Experienced. Once our eyes meet, I know I’m not walking away unscathed. I’ve heard about men like Jenner Dalton - richer than God and hotter than sin. He’s got heartbreak written all over him. 

But it only takes fifteen minutes before we’re headed up to his room. 

I’ve never done anything like this before, but something tells me he’s worth it. Every swipe of his tongue feels electric, every kiss sets me on fire, and his experience has me begging for more. 

And more. 

And more. 

In one week, I’ll return to college in Miami. 

He’ll go back to being LA’s most eligible billionaire. 

The miles and years between us are just too many for this to mean anything. 

So, between now and then, I plan to spend every moment being anything but good...


Momma Says: 3 stars⭐⭐⭐

If you're looking for a fun bit of escapism, The Billionaire will do the trick. The angst is pretty low, and there's enough steam to fog up all the windows. It's an age-gap romance, which is one of my favorite tropes in the genre. Jenner and Jo have loads of sexual chemistry, and I liked the dynamic between the whole group (Jenner and his brothers and Jo and her friends). They all get along really well despite the obvious differences in their lifestyles and ages.
The drawback for me (and I can't believe I'm saying this) is the sheer amount of steam in this book. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against a detailed sexy scene or two or three... The problem is after so many, it becomes repetitive, and there was a lot of it between these two. I feel like a few less scenes with the others spaced out a little more would've worked out better and had more of an impact, at least for me. With so much sex, I got the attraction between Jenner and Jo, but I had a hard time getting the feelings.
Kelsey Navarro and Tim Paige gave voice to Jo and Jenner, and they did a terrific job. Kelsey Navarro voices Jo so well that I could just picture this girl about to graduate college, and Tim Paige makes Jenner sound just as sexy and arrogant as he's described. 
What it comes down to is I liked this story. I didn't love it, and I feel like my struggle to see the love story here had a lot to do with that. Nevertheless, I did enjoy getting away from reality for a while as the narrators carried me away into bookland, Marni Mann writes with a fast-paced, upbeat style that works for the low angst level. Oh! And I have to say that I love what she did with the epilogue. It was just perfect. 

Green House Haunting Blitz

Green House Haunting: An Andy Watts Ghost Column Olivia York Publication date: September 29th 2022 Genres: Mystery, New Adult, Super...