Book Blitz: THE FRIGHTS OF FIJI ( Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions Book 1 ) by SUNAYNA PRASAD!@SunaynaPrasad @RABTBookTours

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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.

EXCERPT:

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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THE FLIGHTS OF FIJI

A-C-T Like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K Like a Parent by KATHERINE SHEAR & C.S. WHITEHURST

 

Non-Fiction – Self-help/Family
Date Published:  June 29, 2017
 
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Just for kicks, have you ever wondered what your parents really want from you in life? Is it you, or do your parents want you to have no real fun? On any given day, do you want to make your parents proud of you and still do what makes you feel really happy within yourself? Of course you do! But the real question has always been, and still is…how? How can we actually get this done?
 
Well, with A-C-T like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K like a Parent, a.k.a “the child-part consoler”, you will get past common misunderstandings by learning how to truly talk, hear, and listen to your parents, guardians or caregivers instead of feeling like you have to run to friends to find some sense of acceptance, understanding, and real connection.
 
In this book, chock-full of questions and answers gotten directly from the source, you’ll learn what your parents, guardians or caregivers really expect of you—and maybe you’ll even find out how to explain to them what you really expect from them! Not that this book could ever replace a parent, because it can not. But when it comes to openly communicating certain key ideas, this book comes really close.
 
This tell-all guide contains lots of enlightening explanations and helpful answers to many common kid questions like:
·      What do my parents really want from me?
·      Why do my parents do what they do and say what they say?
·      What do I really need to know about my parents’ parenting skills?
·      How can I keep my parents happy with me?
·      How can I help my parents to help me?
·      How can I get what I want from my parents every time?
 
A-C-T like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K like a Parent is an intro to the secret knowledge of adults which is a set of informations that is mainly covered in the book entitled Surrogate Re-Parenting: A.K.A. Get Your Mind Right, and even more thoroughly covered in the book The Secret Knowledge Of Adults. While this book, A-C-T like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K like a Parent is intended for kids 10 and up, the info in this book is beneficial and useful to the intelligent kid parts in all of us. Yes, this means you too.
 
The information in this book will help you and yours to start to see your parents, not as the enemy, but as the caring human beings they really are, and take the first step toward family unity, understanding, growth, success, and happiness! Both you and your parents really deserve this, and with this book, A-C-T like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K like a Parent, you and your parents can actually achieve this.
 
 
 

EXCERPT:

28) Earning Your Parents’ Respect.
 
 
As a kid, when it comes to parents, us having, earning and receiving their love, is almost guaranteed. You can be one of the most stubborn, unruly, wayward kids and they would still love their child and that’s for life. It’s fairly easy to have a parent’s love but it is a whole different thing to earn a parent’s respect.
 
 
This is because love and respect come from two entirely different places. The love comes from what they feel for you, almost through themselves. Respect  comes from what they think about the what, and the “way”, you are doing things, that you are doing in your own life. As a kid, you can disgrace your parents and they will still love you. But even though they do love you, if you disgrace them, they won’t respect you. As their child, you can act shamefully and your parents will still love you. But if you act shamefully, they won’t respect you. You can steal from them and lie to them and they will still love you. But if you steal from them, and lie to them, they won’t respect you. As a kid you can smell bad and look terribly messy and they will still love you. But if you smell bad and look terribly messy, they won’t respect you. As a kid it can be very hard to earn the respect of your parents. You can’t just smile your way through this one. If you want your parents’ respect, you are going to have to earn it, and fight for it. This is because it isn’t as easy as being loved by them. Your being respected by them is definitely worth a lot to them. When it comes to your parents, the “way” you do things, the “way” you get things, the “way” you live and the “way” you keep things, does matter to them.
 
As a kid, watch the “way” that is being promoted in your surroundings. A “way” that you have the power to use, choose or change for yourself, in your own life. They may not say it but they, as parents, look for proof of character in everything that you do as a kid. Proof that you have made a point of displaying character in all that you, as a kid, do or touch. Your parents watch your life for proof of honor and honesty, hoping to find both honor and honesty present, in the “way” you do everything as their child. They especially watch for decency, which is based mainly on how well you treat other living things in your surroundings. It’s about how you use the power that you have over others, including smaller kids and pets. Your parents look to see you show mercy on those who have messed up on you, that are also smaller than you, like your brothers or sisters. It makes them, as parents, very proud when they see you, as a child of theirs, showing forgiveness to those who have foolishly wronged you. As you are growing up, it makes your parents really proud of you when they see how powerful you have become. They are especially proud when they see how gracious, kind, merciful and considerate you can be. They marvel at how great you have become, when they watch you being able to share with those who have given you nothing. As a parent, it gives them great joy to see their child, you, stand up against opposition to preserve the rights, safety and freedom of those around you as a kids. And the thought that if you were around a place, even if you were just passing through, that when you left that place, it would be better and cleaner because you were once there.
 
These are the types of things that can help you as a kid who already has their parent’s love, to earn their respect. These are just a few of the actions that can help a kid earn their parents’ respect.
 
 

About Katherine Shears


Katherine Shears is a mom, graduate of Strayer University, and an executive consultant, who is dedicated to bettering the social function and overall visibility of all she encounters. She is a deep thinker with an open mind who stays on the cutting edge of learning, having read over one hundred self-help titles and counting.
 

About C.S Whitehurst


C. S. Whitehurst is a psychology-based UX/UI designer/tester, computer programmer, IT Project Manager, and self-help enthusiast, who is a student of science, philosophy, life, and NYU. As a native of New York, having been exposed to social diversity, he has been coached by life to respond to the issues plaguing inner-city youth.
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WIZARDRY GOES WILD By Sunayna Prasad

 

 

Middle Grade Fantasy
Date Published: February 20th, 2016
Publisher: Trafford
 
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After months of living a normal life, thirteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy faces magic again. Only this time, though, she is cursed with it, thanks to an old depressed skeleton named Errol. Alyssa’s time with her godfather, Alex, will never be the same again, as she can perform sorcery, but never control it. From letting out enchantments at school to creating outdoor disasters, Alyssa is bound to face consequences. She can only get rid of her powers if she can boost her confidence levels and improve her bravery. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. She must measure those abilities with a special device called a skillometer. Will she be able to get rid of her unwanted wizardry?
 
 
 
About the Author
 
Sunayna Prasad is a college student studying art. In her free time, she likes to write fiction. She is also the author of From Frights to Flaws, which is the first installment of the series, Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions. Sunayna lives in New York with her family.
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Book Tour: Melvin The Sad…( ish) Robot Invented by Joshua Margolis

 

 

Children’s book
Date Published: 11/1/16
Publisher: Mascot Books
 

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Melvin is known for being a sad…(ish) robot. But, as he finds new friends and experiences, he may just figure out how to be happy…(ish).
 




About the Author
Joshua Margolis is a sculptor, photographer, and author from Oakland, Ca. His work has been featured in many galleries and studios. He was the de Young Fine Arts Museum artist in residence for the month of July 2014, where he brought his monsters and robots project to sculpted life. Melvin the Sad…(ish) Robot is the first story of its kind to incorporate Joshua ceramic sculptures into a real world setting, creating a unique visual narrative.
 
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#Book Tour# The Knights of Boo’Gar By Art Roche

Middle Grade Humor, ages 7 to 12
Date Published: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Andrews McMeel / AMP! Kids
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Princess Phlema’s pet goat Babycakes has been kidnapped from Castle Boo’Gar, and the ransom note demands the kingdom’s sacred Book of Loogey in exchange for the goat’s safe return. King Mewkus summons the Knights of Boo’Gar to track down the kidnappers, but the Knights have been on furlough for so long that only one person responds to the call: a 13-year-old boy named Rowland. Undaunted by the lack of reinforcements, Rowland agrees to take on the quest, enlisting the help of his pet turtle and his trusty steed, who happens to be an ostrich. While Rowland treks through the Dark Woods, encountering dangerous obstacles and fearsome creatures, Princess Phlema takes matters into her own hands.
 
The Knights of Boo’Gar is a quirky adventure set in an engaging world of heroes, nose goblins, a spunky princess, giant bats and way too many cantaloupes. Packed with full-color illustrations, this wacky chapter book emphasizes the importance of friendship, bravery and is a delightfully easy read for kids and grown-ups alike.

EXCERPT:

 

Chapter 3 – The Knights of Boo’Gar

In the castle courtyard, King Mewkus and Edwart had assembled the royal court to receive the Knights of Boo’Gar as they marched majestically through the gates. Brightly colored flags hung from the castle walls, and a small band of flutes and drums played the Mewkus family overture. It was a bouncy tune called “A Hasty Retreat.”
The lords and ladies of the royal court had been advised of the tragic kidnapping, so they had gathered in their most solemn attire, their puffy red faces looking damp and concerned under a hot morning sun.
The king had changed into his formal crown, and Princess Phlema stood tall in her tiara, dressed in her favorite blue velvet jumper and wearing her favorite tool belt. She was the picture of composure now, and no one would ever guess that she’d been crying earlier. Now she stood, proud and determined.
The two monks of the Green Order, Pik and Flik, lingered behind the king and princess, wearing their stiff ceremonial robes. Pik nervously fingered the cuff of his sleeve.
Edwart the wizard stood calmly, his fingertips touching as he surveyed the festive scene, nodding to the assembled nobility and trying to look extra magical.
King Mewkus looked around the courtyard. It had been years since he felt so important and in charge. Perhaps this kidnapping was just the thing he needed to get his kingdom back on track and to start ruling like a king again—more like his father.
He pictured the scene to come. Perhaps five hundred knights would ride into the courtyard and bow to him. He’d say something inspirational and the crowd would cheer. It was going to be grand.
Perhaps he would lead the knights into battle against the evil kidnappers and ride back into the castle carrying Babycakes. His daughter would be so proud of him.
“A rider approaches!” shouted a teenage girl perched high up on the castle wall.
A ripple of movement went through the crowd as they moved toward the gate to see the gleaming armor of the imposing champions riding under their colorful banners. The atmosphere was charged with excitement and everyone held their breath and waited for that moment—the moment they’d tell their grandchildren about.
Princess Phlema stood on tiptoes to see over the crowd. “Who is it? How many are there? How handsome are they on a scale from one to ten?” she bobbed her head to see. “Um, is that an ostrich?”
Sir Rowland rode alone through the gate to the triumphant blare of the royal trumpets. The Mewkus overture reached a thundering crescendo, which unfortunately spooked Rowland’s timid ostrich. Tulip jumped back, throwing Rowland into the air and landing him in a coop full of chickens.
The royal court looked on in horror as chickens flew everywhere. Rowland’s ostrich squawked and then pooped right in the courtyard.
“I’m fine. Not a problem!” shouted Sir Rowland from beneath twenty chickens. He jumped up pulling feathers from his hair and walked over to the king. The musicians stopped playing.
“Your Majesty!” Sir Rowland squeaked.
He pulled a small, tattered card out of his pocket and read aloud so that the crowd could hear him. “I am Sir Rowland Pockmyer, son of Rufus. I have come in answer to your call. How can the Knights of Boo’Gar assist you?”
Everyone stood in stunned silence. Princess Phlema frowned and looked back at the gate. King Mewkus plucked a chicken feather out of his teeth.
The wizard Edwart spoke up first. “Uh, good Sir Knight. Shouldn’t we wait for the other knights to show up?”
Sir Rowland looked back at the gate, hopefully. “Umm, actually, I think I’m pretty much it, Your Wizardship.”
More silence. Somewhere, a chicken squawked.
“You gotta be kidding me!” cried Princess Phlema. She turned to look at her father.
“Good Sir Rowland,” asked the king. “Are there not hundreds of you under my command?”
Sir Rowland cleared his throat. “Actually—ahem—there’s a funny story behind that. See, most of them have retired. I’m the only one left,” said Rowland uncomfortably.
“What about Sir Winston?” asked Edwart.
“Oh, he started a weasel stand in Sneezix.”
“I think I remember a Sir Justin?” asked the king.
“Yes, unfortunately Justin quit to start a boy band,” said Rowland.
Princess Phlema stepped forward. “How old are you, kid?”
“I am almost fourteen, Your Ladyship.”
The royals turned to look at each other. Edwart shrugged his shoulders. The princess crossed her arms and scowled. The king’s dreams of leading a brave army evaporated before his eyes as he looked Rowland up and down.
King Mewkus thought to himself, “Has my kingdom finally come to this? A thirteen-year-old ragamuffin is my only knight?”
The king sighed. “Well, perhaps I should bring you up to speed on the situation then,” he said with solemn emphasis. “You see, there’s been a kidnapping.”
“A what?” said Sir Rowland.
“A kidnapping,” said the king. “One of our royal goats has been taken.”
“And you think bees are responsible?”
“Bees? No, no—a person took the goat. It’s a kidnapping,” said the king with irritation. “Didn’t you hear me?”
“Oh . . . I see, well,” said Rowland slowly. “We mostly deal with bees. At least, that’s what I was trained for.”
“You mean all you do is practice battling bees all day?” asked the wizard.
Rowland continued with confidence. “Yes, it made sense since that’s what we were asked to do last time. We developed a number of very effective . . .”
“Look, this doesn’t have anything to do with bees, you silly child!” interrupted Princess Phlema.
“My goat has been taken and we need you to go get it back,” cried the princess. “And kick someone’s behind. You guys are supposed to be so terrifying and efficient.”
“Your Highness,” called Pik the monk. “This young boy can’t possibly hope to rescue a goat from dangerous captors all by himself.”
“I was actually going to say the same thing,” said Rowland. “I have no weapons. Only my bee-handling equipment,” he continued. “Perhaps I could use one of my nets to . . .”
“Will you drop the bee thing!” shouted Phlema. “There are no bees!”
The king tried to diffuse the situation. “Look, everyone calm down, OK? Can you at least look into this kidnapping for us? We’d really appreciate it.”
Suddenly, the wizard turned around and thoughtfully walked back toward the castle door. The king called out to him.
“Where are you going, Edwart?” he asked.
“I have an idea,” said Edwart. “I’ll be right back.”
The king turned back to Rowland. “We received this note. We need you to venture into the forest and track down these kidnappers. Can you at least try?” He handed the note to Rowland.
Sir Rowland looked at the note, then at Princess Phlema. Her lip trembled with emotion again. She feared she would never see her lovely Babycakes ever again. It was all too much.
Sir Rowland felt a surge of bravery. “I will do my best, Your Majesty. It will be my honor to track down these bees . . . uh . . . I mean these kidnappers.”
He paused in thought. “Are they called kidnappers because baby goats are called kids?”
The king looked at him like he was crazy. “No! They are called kidnappers because they abducted someone against their will. Look, are you sure you’re up for this?”
Some of the nobles in the crowd exchanged concerned glances.
“Ah, of course. Yes, Your Majesty. This will be a piece of cake. Yes,” stammered Rowland.
The wizard returned to the group carrying a long object covered in fine green velvet. He stopped in front of Sir Rowland and, with great ceremony, unwrapped the object.
“Good Sir Rowland,” intoned Edwart. “May I present to you your weapon. Passed down through generations of wizards. Enchanted by the elves of Highmark, and blessed by the friars of Vallejo. I present to you the Staff of Slumber.”
The crowd of lords and ladies recoiled with a gasp.
“Jiminy jaguars,” whispered Princess Phlema.
The wizard held a long, gnarled wooden shaft out to Rowland. Rowland took the staff and looked at it. The wood had a blue-green tint to it. It was carved from top to bottom with ancient symbols, and it felt very heavy and well balanced in his hands. Rowland thought he felt a tingle run through his fingers.
“This will make a fine weapon. Thank you, wizard.”
“Use it wisely, good knight,” said Edwart. “For the Staff of Slumber has great power. All who are touched by its magic will fall into a deep, dreamless sleep.”
“Cool,” said Sir Rowland. He held the staff in both hands, making swiping gestures right and left to get the feel of it.
The princess thought he looked rather knightly after all.
With this, the crowd of lords and ladies erupted in a loud cheer.
“Hooray!” said the crowd.
The band struck up the Mewkus overture again. Three maidens came out of the crowd and threw rose petals on Rowland, and the king and his court clapped enthusiastically.
“Well then,” smiled the king. “It looks like we have our champion after all. Good luck, Sir Rowland!”
Tulip was led into the center of the courtyard wearing a finely crafted new saddle. It was packed with a mountain of fresh supplies. Rowland took his new weapon and climbed up onto the saddle. He looked down at the stable boy holding the reins.
“Uh, sorry about the mess,” said Sir Rowland.
Everyone glanced down at the “deposit” that Tulip had left on the ground. The lords and ladies held lace hankies to their nose. Tulip blushed a deep red.
The monks, Pik and Flik, approached Rowland and called up to him. “Start your search in the Dark Woods.”
“I will do as you say,” Rowland replied. He gave the princess a self-assured look and raised one eyebrow for effect. The princess looked at him and shrugged.
With that, Sir Rowland turned Tulip around and headed out the gates of Castle Boo’Gar to the cheers of a grateful crowd. The band played joyously, and Tulip walked with extra snap in her stride as they marched off into their first great adventure.
“Yo! Sir Rowland!” cried Princess Phlema. “Bring me back my goat!”
The princess then tossed him a single white rose. It floated through the air to the brave knight, rolling against a cruel blue sky. Time seemed to slow down as Rowland reached . . . out . . . to . . . grab . . . it . . . and . . . he totally missed.
There was an audible groan of disappointment from the crowd, as the rose landed in the mud in front of the gate. Rowland chose not to see this as a bad omen and waved enthusiastically to the crowd.
King Mewkus took a step closer to his trusted wizard. “We are in deep doo-doo,” muttered the king.
END OF EXCERPT
The Knights of Boo’Gar
By Art Roche

 
 
About the Author
 

Art Roche is a cartoonist and three-time author, previously published by Sterling Publishing. He is currently the content director for the Charles M. Schulz studio in Santa Rosa, California. Before that, Art worked in video games and was a creative director at Cartoon Network.
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#PROMO Blitz# The Supernatural Pet Sitter: THE CURSE by Diane Moat is Now Available!!

Children’s Fantasy
Date Published: July 2017
 
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Pepper Neely is no stranger to dangerous situations. In The Supernatural Pet Sitter: The Magic Thief, the young gnome defeated an evil witch who was stealing magic from the Familiars that Pepper took care of. She wouldn’t have survived without the intervention of a pack of werewolves, who endured painful, fiery spells to save Pepper’s life.
 
Now Pepper is determined to repay the werewolves for their sacrifice, no matter what it takes. She decides to break the centuries-old curse that keeps them in wolf form. At first she keeps her plans a secret, but it’s not long before Pepper realizes she will need all the help she can get to end this curse. Magic is everywhere as enemy witches cast dangerous spells to stop Pepper.
 
Pepper and her family must trust the local witches and work together with them to fend off the deadly spells, find the curse, and break it—before the hostile witches get the best of them.
 
 
Other Books in the The Supernatural Pet Sitter Series:
 
Published: March 2017
 
Every animal can talk to you. You just have to know how to listen.
Pepper Neely is better at this than most, especially because she is in charge of pet sitting all the familiars in her neighborhood. A familiar is a pet magically linked to a witch or warlock. As a gnome, Pepper is no stranger to spells and sorcery. She also knows that, despite their special name, familiars aren’t all that different from regular animals. They get anxious when separated from their people, so Pepper uses her special gnome powers to calm them down. She watches Cranky the high-strung ferret, Frank the laid-back parrot, King Arthur the elderly tortoise, and many others.
Then, something terrible begins happening to the familiars. Someone is stealing their magic! It not only prevents Pepper from communicating with them but breaks their magical connection with their people. When King Arthur’s magic is stolen, his owner’s powers stop working too. Pepper can sense that the tortoise is very scared.
In order to protect the animal’s magic, Pepper decides to track down the culprit. With the help of her best friend, Luna, and her brother, Jax, Pepper fights to protect all of the special pets.
 
 
About the Author
 
Diane is a Tennessee transplant, animal rescuer, and nurse. The Supernatural Pet Sitter is her debut children’s series. Diane is assisted by her many rescue dogs.
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