Saturday, January 26, 2019

Fuller House: The Complete Third Season ~ Now on DVD!

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this blog post. The opinions I share are my own.

One of my favorite TV shows in the '80s and '90s was Full House, so I was thrilled when Netflix decided to keep the family's story going with its new series, Fuller House. Fortunately, the show has been a big hit, and just got renewed for a fourth season! In the meantime, I'm enjoying the Fuller House series on DVD and just completed watching Fuller House: The Complete Third Season! Keep reading for the highlights...

Major life events take place on the third season of Fuller House. Steve and C.J. make plans to get married in Japan, and the gang heads overseas for the big wedding. But before anyone has a chance to say “I do,” a big revelation has an impact on the nuptials. Plus, Stephanie makes plans to have a baby via surrogate, D.J. tries to get Tommy into a prestigious preschool, and Fernando buys Kimmy’s childhood home and restores it to its former glory. Meanwhile, Jackson and Ramona start high school where Ramona tries out for her school’s dance team while Jackson becomes a joke at his school after slipping on a piece of bologna during lunch. Joey, Jesse and Danny come home to celebrate 30 years since they initially moved in together to raise the Tanner girls. It’s an unforgettable season filled with laughter and love for the Tanners and their friends on this beloved family comedy.

As the description above notes, there is a lot happening in Season 3! At times, it borders a bit on the side of slapstick (DJ's wrestling of a koi fish to expel the wedding ring it had swallowed was a little over-the-top), but I enjoyed watching the family's continuing adventures. In previous seasons, I thought that DJ's big decision whether to date Matt, the hunky veterinarian, or Steve, her childhood boyfriend, had been decided, but we discover in this season that she might be having second thoughts... Fernando is charming me more and more. In the first season, he seemed to be an irresponsible sort, but he's changing his ways and turning into a real family man and comedic star. As the de facto leader of this goofy family, DJ is doing a good job of keeping everyone (mostly) in line. And I love the musical numbers, especially the opening episode of Season 3 when Max has a dream prior to the start of his "Best Summer Ever"! I can't wait for Season 4 to discover what's next for the Tanner/Fuller/Gibbler families!

P.S. Enjoy this peek at the upcoming Season 4!

This post contains my Amazon affiliate link, and I will receive a small commission on purchases made through this link.

Warm Up this Winter with Comforting Recipes Made with Moore's Marinades and Sauces!

Baby, it's cold outside! It's the time of year when you want something comforting cooking in the kitchen, whether it's soup, chili, or a yummy casserole. We all have our family favorites, but sometimes it's fun to try something new. Moore’s Marinades and Sauces are a great place to start because their huge line of marinades, sauces and hot sauces give added flavor to all kinds of foods. I was given the opportunity to review Moore's Original Marinade, and was delighted to discover all of the wonderful dishes that could be made with it. First, let me share more about the product:

Moore's Original Marinade
  • Original award-winning restaurant recipe
  • Versatile marinade for beef, chicken, pork, fish, vegetables & wild game
  • Robust hickory flavor
  • Adds great flavor to all your favorite dishes
  • Makes a great jerky!
  • Use as an added ingredient to add flavor to your favorite recipes!
  • Gluten-free, Kosher
  • Available in 16 oz bottles and gallon jugs
So, I went online to discover all of the amazing recipes that Moore's provides on their website. You can search by ingredient, meal or Moore's product! I chose "Original Marinade" in the product section and found this wonderful recipe for Turkey Enchiladas!

¼ cup Moore's Original Marinade
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup sour cream
½ cup onion chopped
½ cup green chilies diced
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup cheddar cheese
2 cups cooked turkey cubed
12 flour or corn tortillas

  1. Combine Moore's Marinade, soup, sour cream and chilies in a medium pot.
  2. Heat thoroughly.
  3. Warm tortillas in damp towel in microwave.
  4. Coat a 13x9 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. Mix cheeses, onion, turkey and 1 cup soup mixture, in a separate bowl.
  6. Add 2 tbsp of cheese/turkey mixture in center of each tortilla.
  7. Then roll tortilla up and place in baking dish
  8. Pour remaining soup mixture over top and sprinkle with cheese.
  9. Cover and bake at 350º for 30 minutes.
Moore's Chicken Enchiladas
We had a bunch of chicken we wanted to use, so we made our own version of the recipe above by substituting chicken for the turkey and cream of chicken soup for cream of mushroom soup. It was delicious!

Step 1
Step 5
Moore's Marinade Chicken Enchiladas
Check out some other great meals you can make with Moore's:

Brisket Chili: Add a little Moore's Jalapeño Hot Sauce to give this chili its edge:

Buffalo Meatloaf: Moore’s Original Buffalo Wing Sauce is what sets this meatloaf apart from the rest:

Harissa Chicken Soup: Moore’s unique blend of peppers in this delicious hot sauce is what takes this soup from bland to amazing:

Discover hundreds of delicious recipes that you can make with Moore's products here.

Moore's sauces and marinades are amazing. You'll want to pick up several different flavors and try out some of their awesome recipes or create your own! Here's a $1.00 coupon to help you get started. Now use this convenient store locator to pick up your Moore's products! 

Disclosure: I received a complimentary product sample to facilitate my honest review.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Book Review: "Sleepover at the Museum," a Children's Picture Book by Karen LeFrak

Written by Karen LeFrak
Illustrated by David Bucs

About the book:
Mason can't wait to celebrate his birthday with a sleepover at the museum of natural history -- his favorite place to visit. Who wouldn't want to sleep surrounded by gemstones, or under a massive blue whale? Armed with headlamps for the dark hallways, a map, and a list of clues, Mason and his two best friends take off on a scavenger hunt through each hall of the museum. But they aren't just trying to solve the clues. They're scouting for the best place to spend the night.

Sleeping next to a T. rex in the Hall of Dinosaurs feels too scary. And sleeping with the monarch butterflies would probably tickle. This decision isn't as easy as Mason thought it would be.... But wherever they end up, the museum at night is the best place for a birthday adventure!

My thoughts:
Sleepover at the Museum will convince your child that museums are fun! The Museum of Natural History has it all, from dinosaur bones and whales to butterflies and planets. Mason and his friends show great teamwork as they solve riddles to work their way through the museum, and they learn some cool facts along the way. (Did you know that an elephant herd is always led by a female elephant?) There's even something for parents: a list of cool museums around the country to explore with kids. Once they read this fun book with their children, the whole family will be inspired to find a great museum to explore together!

About the author:
KAREN LEFRAK is the author of Jake the Philharmonic Dog, Jake the Ballet Dog, and Best in Show. She is an avid dog lover and breeder of champion poodles, as well as a composer of music for ballets and instrumental works around the world. Karen and her husband divide their time between Manhattan, Southampton, and Miami, where they live with their two poodles. For more information, visit

About the illustrator:
DAVID BUCS began his career at KlaskyCsupo, the studio famous for Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys, and has art directed television series for Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, TLC, PBS, and Disney. David loves to create characters and bring them to life using watercolors, colored pencils, and digital media. Sleepover at the Museum is his first children's book. He lives with his wife and young son in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where life is sweet. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter, or visit him at

Disclosure: I received a proof copy of this book to facilitate my honest review. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link, and I will receive a small commission on purchases made through this link.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Review and Giveaway: "30 Days to Understanding the Bible," by Max Anders

About the book:
Do you want to learn the Bible but don’t have a lot of time? Do you need a quick refresher on what you already know? If so, 30 Days to Understanding the Bible is for you. With just fifteen minutes a day, for one month, you'll learn the Bible's key people, events, and doctrines. Using a proven study plan, author Max Anders breaks down the Bible’s structure so you can learn and remember the key points of the Bible’s text quickly. 30 Days to Understanding the Bible is the straightforward, easy-to-use guide to learning that Bible that’s been recommended by Bible teachers and pastors for 30 years.

Learn more in this video:

Purchase here.
Official website:

My thoughts:
30 Days to Understanding the Bible isn't a study Bible; it's an accompaniment to the Bible. It's a wonderful way to learn more about the Bible's people and events. Dr. Anders' techniques give readers a very clear picture of the truth of the Bible, presenting its teachings in the context of the historical periods in which they take place. He breaks the Bible up into manageable divisions, so that you learn something new every day, but aren't overwhelmed with too much information at once. Most importantly, this is a workbook that uses repetition to help you remember key concepts so that when you return to your Bible, it will make greater sense. Made for both beginning and long-term Bible readers, everyone is certain to learn much that they didn't know about the greatest book ever written.

About the author:
Dr. Max Anders is the author of over 25 books. He has taught on the college and seminary level and is a veteran pastor. Max was also one of the original team members with Walk Thru the Bible Ministries. He provides resources and discipleship strategies at to help people grow spiritually.


One lucky winner will receive a paperback copy of 30 Days to Understanding the Bible, by Max Anders. Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to residents of the continental U.S. and Canada only, and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Monday, January 28, 2019.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Read the Bible in a Year with "The CSB Day-by-Day Chronological Bible"! (GIVEAWAY)

Many people are unfamiliar with the stories of the Bible and how they fit together into the grand narrative of God’s Word. God gave us the Bible to reveal great truth about himself and about our lives, and he wants to draw us into the ongoing story of what he is doing in the world. The CSB Day-by-Day Chronological Bible features a clear narrative approach to the Bible, arranging the complete text into a fresh chronological reading plan with daily readings guided by Dr. George Guthrie.

In this plan, the books, chapters, and verses of the Bible are thoughtfully arranged so readers can track the story of Scripture, day-by-day, from beginning to end, understanding the flow of events and how the grand narrative of Scripture applies to everyday life. Unlike other chronological Bibles, this arrangement is not date specific (e.g. “January 1”), so the reading plan can begin at any point in the calendar year.

Features include: 52 weeks of readings (six readings per week) in chronological order, Scripture presented in three main acts (God’s Plan for All People; God’s Covenant People; God’s New Covenant People) and seventeen total scenes, an introduction for each act and scene to orient the reader to its importance in the grand story, single-column text with plenty of space for taking notes, concordance, smyth-sewn binding, presentation page, and full-color maps.

The CSB Day-by-Day Chronological Bible features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible® (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.

Learn more here.
If your resolution this year is to read more of your Bible (or to start reading it for the first time), The CSB Day-by-Day Chronological Bible is the perfect choice! It's divided into days and weeks, so reading is split up into manageable parts. Elements to look for and questions for reflection are also included, along with lots of room in the margins if you want to write down your thoughts. There's a Scripture Index in the back of the Bible, along with eight beautiful full-color maps showing various journeys in the Bible, such as "The Migration of Abraham" and "Paul's Missionary Journeys." The CSB Day-by-Day Chronological Bible also makes a fabulous gift with its leather-like cover, rounded corners, and even a gift box.


One lucky winner will receive The CSB Day-by-Day Chronological Bible -- a $40 value! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on January 25, 2019.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this Bible to facilitate my honest review.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Goosebumps 2: Enjoy the Movie on Digital, DVD and Blu-ray! (GIVEAWAY)

Now on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD!

Be careful what you wish for. With their after-school junk business, best friends Sonny and Sam hope to find treasure in other people’s trash. But when cleaning out the old Stine house, they open a locked book that frees a supernatural nightmare -- Slappy! Now, with the help of Sonny’s sister Sarah, they’re in a race against time to get the sinister dummy and all the creatures he’s brought to life back into the pages before he unleashes total pandemonium!

GOOSEBUMPS 2 has a run time of approximately 120 minutes and is rated PG for scary creature action and images, some thematic elements, rude humor and language.

Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Bonus Materials Include:

* Gag Reel
* Three Deleted Scenes:
* Five Featurettes
     o “Thrills & Chills – The Making of Goosebumps 2
     o “Meet The Monsters”
     o “Science with Slappy”
     o “Junk Brothers – Call Now”
     o “Slappy's Audition”
* Three Slappy-Oke Sing Alongs

More about the bonus materials: The GOOSEBUMPS 2 Blu-ray, DVD and Digital bonus features include a gag reel full of hilarious hijinks, three all-new deleted scenes and five featurettes. Between the chills, thrills and goosebumps, watch the cast get a case of the giggles in the “Gag Reel.” Dive deep in “Thrills & Chills -- The Making of Goosebumps 2” with Madison Iseman, along with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew. “Meet the Monsters” gives fans a sneak peek of how the scary creatures were brought to life. In “Slappy’s Audition,” watch what happens when Slappy auditions for the role he was born to play. In “Science with Slappy,” enter the Slapatory where Madison, Jeremy and Caleel join Slappy for some electrifying experiments! And get ready to sing along with three hilarious “Slappy-oke” songs. Who knew dummies could sing?

Pick up a copy today!


One lucky winner will receive a DVD/Blu-ray copy of Goosebumps 2! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, January 27, 2019.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received no products or compensation for posting this information. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link, and I will receive a small commission on purchases made through this link.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Little Passports: How to Make DIY Rainbow Unicorn Slime

From Little Passports

Want to learn how to make colorful slime at home? Whether you are an expert at slime making or trying it for the first time, you are going to love this easy tutorial for making rainbow slime.


1/2 cup clear glue
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup liquid starch
3 different colored glitters (we used pastels)


1) Mix the clear glue, water, and liquid starch together. When it’s formed a slime consistency (which should be immediately), divide slime into 3 sections.

2) Stir in one color of glitter into each section.

3) Take your first colored slime and stretch it so that it is about a foot long. Repeat with the other colors.

4) Join the threads of slime together, twisting slightly so that you have a rainbow braid of slime. Squish and mix to your heart’s content!

What’s the science behind slime?

When you combine glue and sodium borate (which is found in liquid starch), something called crosslinking happens and turns the mixture into more of a solid than a liquid. Glue is made up of polymers (you can think of polymers like rubbery spaghetti noodles that slide past each other), and sodium borate is made up of negative ions (which help things stick together). When you add the sodium borate to the glue, the sticky ions help the rubbery noodles come together, and everything stiffens up. As a result, you get this fun textured slime!

Here are a few discussion questions you can ask the kids to think about:

 How is glue different from water? Why do you think we use glue to make slime, rather
than water?

 What are other substances similar to the slime you just made?

 What would happen if you throw your slime against a wall? (Optional, of course.)

Inspire Your Child with a Science Expeditions Subscription!

Every month, your child will receive a package full of science experiments and STEM-related activities with themes like rockets, forensics, caves and crystals, slime and so much more! Learn more here.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Enter to Win a $100 Prepaid Card in the MAM #babytroublemakers Contest ~ Plus Enter This Giveaway for $30 in MAM Products!

MAM has a #babytroublemakers contest going on from January 7–January 25!

Have you ever caught your baby doing something he or she knows they shouldn't be doing, like scribbling a "masterpiece" on your walls or throwing food ALL over the floor?

Share your story with #babytroublemakers and #contest on the MAM Facebook page at and they will select three lucky winners to win one of three $100 prepaid cards!

And remember, as trying as these moments are now, they're what we'll look back at and laugh at together when they're all grown up!

Follow MAM:
Twitter: @MAMBABY
Instagram: mam_usa

Join the MAM Club today and receive a free 2-pack of pacifiers with $25 purchase + free shipping on and be the first to know on news of special offers, promotions and new product introductions from MAM!


One lucky winner will receive $30 in assorted MAM products! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on January 25, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz: "A Trail of Honesty," a Children's Book by J.A. Angelo

 photo unnamed_zpsxiyjv2uz.jpg

Children's Book, Children's Social Issues
Published: October 2018

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

Summertime is vacation time for the Angelino family, and the two Angelino boys are excited about their upcoming camping trip. They’re going to the local state park, where they can swim, go fishing, and look for wildlife!

Being on vacation doesn’t mean the boys have to be careful. An encounter with a sneezing deer provides their father with an opportunity to teach the boys about respecting wildlife and staying alert for danger. Knowing more about the park’s wildlife helps the boys have more fun while staying safe. They discover staying quiet and moving slowly makes it easier to see the animals and birds that call the park home.

At the camp, the boys have responsibilities like the rest of the family. When they neglect one of these responsibilities and lie about it, they wind up in trouble—and learn an important lesson.

Beautifully illustrated, A Trail of Honesty teaches children about honesty while explaining actions have consequences. J. A. Angelo’s delightful story is an ideal way for parents to use consequences to teach children how to be better people—not simply to punish them.

 photo unnamed 1_zpsfhhd1wv9.jpg

About the Author

 photo unnamed 2_zpsp1jwd21u.jpg
United States Army veteran J.A. Angelo believes strong family values build strong families. J.A. and his wife enjoy volunteering in their local school district and are leaders in various non-profit organizations catering toward children. They also donate to various national and local charities to include the Apraxia Kids, Wounded Warrior Project, and the Coalition to Support America’s Heroes. A portion of the book proceeds will go to these great organizations to help children and support veterans and their families.

J.A. Angelo is originally from Zanesville, Ohio, and currently resides in northern Virginia. He is a dad to three wonderful children -- two daughters (16) and (10), and a son (7). He is also a devoted husband to his loving wife of 17 years. He is also the oldest of eight children -- three brothers and four sisters. 

Some of his hobbies include spending time with his family, writing, donating time and materials to charities, and going to the beach.

Contact Links

Purchase Links

RABT Book Tours & PR

Friday, January 11, 2019

Book Blitz: "From Flights to Flaws," a Middle-Grade Fantasy by Sunayna Prasad

 photo unnamed_zpst0gtyuxm.jpg

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

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

An Adventure of Modern Magic

Twelve-year-old Alyssa McCarthy longs for a better life. She lost her parents at age seven and her aunt at nine. Her uncle also enforces unfair rules. But Alyssa discovers something she has never thought existed before… magic. A wicked sorcerer hunts her down. He kidnaps her from her ordinary New Jersey town to Yanowic, an enchanted island in Fiji. 

Alyssa is trapped in the country due to a giant shield covering it. She must defeat dangerous creatures and the evil wizard in order to leave. But with sorcerers and enchanted technology getting in her way, can Alyssa succeed? 

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


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.”


“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?”


“There was writing on the window.”

Mrs. Hutchinson pursed her lips and tilted her head. “Really?”



“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? 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?”


“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.

“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 followed Hailey down the stairs.

 photo unnamed 1_zps6xo1mkz8.jpg

About the Author

 photo unnamed 2_zpsi2th9fpa.jpg
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 graphic design job soon. Sunayna lives on Long Island, NY.

Contact Links

Purchase Link

RABT Book Tours & PR