Blog Tour + Giveaway: A Curse of Mayhem

Title: A Curse of Mayhem (Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions #2) | Author: Sunayna Prasad | Genre: Middle Grade| Publisher: Self-published | Release date: October 2018

Book Description: 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.

My Thoughts: Alyssa McCarthy finds herself living with her godfather and navigating a whole new environment — new house, new school, new friends. The last thing she wants is magic shooting out of her hands in class, at parties or during cheerleading practice. But that’s exactly what happens. Try as she may, Alyssa can’t seem to control the magic and as a result, gets in trouble at every turn. Truly, a curse of mayhem.

Meanwhile, the evil wizard Errol, now only a skeleton, converses with the soul of Master Beau to get back his flesh and find Alyssa. Using an invisibility cloak, Errol moves through society, stealing what he needs to become whole again and promising Alyssa communication with her dead parents if she helps him. But news of an exhumed grave set Alyssa in a whole new direction with a dark mystery to solve.

In the second book of Sunayna Prasad’s Magic Missions series, enchanted technology and wild wizardry, flying monkeys and winged unicorn zebras, join to create the surreal world surrounding Alyssa McCartney. This time with even more eccentric results. Her loyal friends stand by her side, even when inflatable snakes come alive and human-headed dinosaurs appear without warning. But with the wizard police under a sleeping spell, no one can help Alyssa, except herself. Written for young readers aged 8-12.

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo
Add to Goodreads
Meet the Author:

Sunayna Prasad enjoys writing fantasy books for children, as well as cooking, creating artwork, watching online videos, and blogging. She has also written The Frights of Fiji, formerly titled as From Frights to Flaws. She is passionate about modern life, fantasy, and world-building. Aside from her website, she also has a blog about different creative and entertaining topics, including fiction and writing, called “Sunayna Prasad’s Blog”.
Sunayna has graduated from college in May 2017. She lives in Long Island, NY.

Connect with the Author:   website ~ twitter 

Enter the Giveaway: Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a set of ebooks or a $25 Amazon gift certificate.

Book Blast + Interview + Giveaway: The Adventures of Wilhelm

Imagine that — a rat who loves to travel found his way onto a blog called Writer with Wanderlust. This adventurous rodent brings children on a journey around the world and back, experiencing a variety of cultures along the way. Read on to find out more about The Adventures of Wilhelm and its author, Maria Ritter, on this blog tour coordinated by iRead Book Tours. Then enter to win a copy of this entertaining middle grade book.

Title: The Adventures of Wilhelm: A Rat’s Tale | Author: Maria Ritter | Illustrator: Teri Rider | Genre: Middle-grade Fiction, 210 pages | Publisher: PartnerPress | Release date: August 2018

Description: Young Wilhelm leaves home and travels the world. He not only discovers the value of different cultures and the importance of family and friendship, but he also overcomes obstacles with courage and cleverness. He returns home with deep respect for all creatures on this earth and a new sense of rat identity and purpose.

My Thoughts: Wilhelm wants to see the world, so he sets off on an adventure that takes him around the world. But this is much more than a book about travel. The scenes in various countries don’t just focus on famous sites, but go much deeper into the language, food, mannerisms and music that define a culture. These little details fill the pages with a sensory experience leaving behind a list of compelling reasons to learn about new cultures and journey to unfamiliar places.

I was most surprised at learning so much about rats and the impact they have made on our world. I’ll admit that I hadn’t given much thought to these creatures other than the fact that I prefer not to see them, but the author illuminates areas — such as science and health — where rats have proven uniquely suited to things that humans can’t do. I have to admit that I’m now intrigued by rats.

This clever story is a quick-paced novel that gives middle grade readers constant peaks and valleys within each chapter compelling them to turn the page. There is a good mix of the elements of classic storytelling such as tension, danger, excitement, success, friendship and home. But at its heart, The Adventures of Wilhelm: A Rat’s Tale is a story of about growing up, following dreams and finding your own way in life.

To follow the tour and read more reviews, please visit Maria Ritter’s page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

 Add to Goodreads


 Meet the Author:

Maria Ritter is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in La Jolla, California. She is the author of Return to Dresden (2004), an autobiographical reflection on her childhood in Germany during and after World War II. It is a healing memoir that confronts national guilt for the Nazi past and weaves the broken pieces of loss and grief into a healing tapestry.

I was lucky to have the opportunity to learn some insights behind the book from the author herself.

Interview with Author Maria Ritter:

1. What’s the main reason someone should read this book about a rat, named Wilhelm?
I hope for this tale to be an enjoyable read in the rich tradition of telling tall tales and fairy tales where animals can speak, and humans understand their words and purpose among us. They invite us into the realm of unbelievable events with exaggerations, projection and fantasies we then image in our creative minds as real.

Our main character, Wilhelm, invites the young readers and others young-at-heart to travel to different places on this earth, to discover the value of different cultures, to learn about the importance of family and friendships and to overcome obstacles with cleverness and courage. Yes, Wilhelm had ‘Wanderlust’ and enjoyed the experience.

2. Is there a message that the book brings to the reader?
Every journey we take invites us to bring back some new experiences and lessons to be learned. Sometimes it takes time to reflect on them. I hope the readers will be encouraged to follow the rat to face good and evil, recognize and remember traps and other dangers, but ultimately develop human attributes: receiving and offering kindness.

The other deeper meaning lies in the underground and hidden life of one of the most disliked creatures among us, hated and to be exterminated with poison and traps. Just go to The Home Depot and see the isles filled with pest control items – it is big business and feeds into our fears of being attacked, too.

It is my hope that the readers also connect this tale to the many millions of people who live among us in the shadows, are hated and unwanted and live with few possessions and leftover food found in garbage cans. Kindness, understanding and compassion can lead the way to less fear and inspire a willingness to share our resources among all.

3. Which was the hardest character to write and the easiest?
Of course, the main character, Wilhelm, presents as a typical adolescent, leaving home enthusiastically, but inexperienced. Although his parents give him solid advice, he must learn from his own experiences, the good one as well as from his mistakes. As a writer I became also protective of him on his journey, and I had to allow him to make mistakes and learn from them, understand the complexity of his feelings and his own prejudices. I did not want to idealize him just as a cute rat but let him go and wait what happens next.

The easiest character to write about was Hohua Wikiwiki from the island of Kaua’i, Hawaii. He is a free-spirited character, a surfer dude who jumps off cliffs with a red cape on and dances the hula at the Oktoberfest. He goes along wherever the opportunities arise and does not seem to worry much. He is also a fine band musician, plays the ukulele, and can find work at many festivals around the globe. He is fun to follow around.

4. What are your next writing projects?
I am currently narrating my book for an audio version with a wonderful audiobook producer, Carter Wogahn. It is such a great experience to read the story out loud and imagine a group of listeners nearby. To put voice and emotions to the different characters brings the book alive.

Another manuscript, a follow-up memoir to my first book, Return to Dresden (2004) is waiting for completion. Return to Leipzig is focused on my childhood experiences during and after World War II (WWII) and putting together my mother’s thank you letters for the many care packages we received from America during the post war years in East Germany. It is a painful yet reconciling project.

Finally, Wilhelm, the Rat has been encouraged and is itching to travel the world some more. Maybe he could start in San Francisco, travel to New York in a moving truck, visit relatives in Michigan during the summer and fly to Las Vegas to join the circus? Maybe he could even travel to Egypt to visit the famous pyramids?

5. Where and when do you write?
I have a home office, filled with books, papers, photos and trinkets I brought back from my own travels. They serve as inspiration and confirm my memories. I do not have a daily routine for writing. The writing usually comes to me if I sit still and follow my thoughts and imagination. It happens quite often that I compose ideas into thoughts early in the morning in my half sleep state. I must then get up and write it down, so it does not drift away. My imagination has been always visual and often free associative. I have accepted my free style of writing into the computer only to correct and organize the text later in proper English and sequence. It is almost like hearing music and then putting it on paper. What I have learned over the years is that it is ok to sometimes make a mess, just like the Rat, but be patient and tenacious until you complete a manuscript into a book. Being a bi-lingual writer, I am grateful to my editors and publisher.

6. Do you have a dream for your book?
Given my rich background in music and being a music consumer, I am dreaming of finding a composer to set the book to music in the style of Sergei Prokofiev’s, ‘Peter and the Wolf’. I can hear already the leitmotivs for the various characters, imagine famous tunes from different cultures, and follow Wilhelm’s adventures with the colorful sound of an orchestra. The music will tell the story! I will keep dreaming and hope music will come as a gift.

Connect with the author: Website

Win one of five copies of The Adventures of Wilhelm: A Rat’s Tale by Maria Ritter – choice of print or ebook. Open to USA mailing addresses only. Ends April 5, 2019

Blog Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway: Ralphie, Always Loved

 Title: Ralph, Always Loved | Author: Andrea Yerramilli | Illustrator: Samantha Van Riet | Category: Children’s Fiction | Genre: Picture Book | Publisher: About Something Good, LLC | Release date: October 28, 2017

This is the story of the life, love, and adventures of a beloved family dog, and how he delighted and touched his family and everyone he met.

Ralphie was born with a heart on his belly.

He loves food, his family, his friends, his neighbors.

He loves pretty much everything and everyone.

And they love him back.

And that’s how it is all through his life.

Read the book and fall in love with him too.

Rambunctious and hyperactive, Ralphie had already been returned to the animal shelter three times, but when Andrea and her husband adopted him and gave him a loving home where he was understood, accepted, and taught, he learned fast. As Ralphie’s human family grew, so did his capacity for love and the ways he could express it. He remained a loving and beloved family member who touched the hearts of the whole neighborhood until he was ready to say goodbye at the grand-old age of sixteen. Ralph, Always Loved will remind you of all that is good, and reaffirm your belief in love’s power to uplift and transform. Follow the tour by visiting Andrea Yerramilli’s page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

Guest Post: Signs of Being Always Loved by Andrea Yerramilli

When I wrote the children’s picture book Ralphie, Always Loved, the story of my dog Ralphie, instead of beginning from the point when I met him for the first time, I chose to begin where I imagined how Ralphie got to be my Ralphie. He was a black dog, with white paws, a streak of white on his nose, a white-tipped tail, and a perfectly drawn white heart on his belly. I believed that the only way he could have come by those markings was if he was up in heaven, painting clouds just before he was born. And I imagined that when his earthly life was over, he would go back to exactly where he left off. After Ralphie passed on, I imagined that he was painting clouds and found myself looking up at the clouds for signs from him. And I’ve found them: heart-shaped clouds. Sometime it’s the cloud itself, and sometimes it’s in the sky between the clouds that makes a distinctive heart. Ralphie’s first birthday after he had passed was extremely difficult for me. I was missing him terribly and remembered the wonderful celebration we’d had for his sixteenth birthday a year before. I could not stop the tears. Something made me step out onto my deck and look up at the sky . . . and there it was, two clouds that, together, were shaped like a broken heart. The clouds seemed to be a message from Ralphie, who recognized that on this day—his first birthday apart from me in sixteen years—my heart was breaking. I think he wanted to let me know that he was okay and that I would be too. Of course, it could all be in my imagination, but it doesn’t matter. These signs help me and remind me that I’m always loved, just as I’ll always love Ralphie. I truly believe that those we deeply love never really leave us. They stay on in our memories and are Always Loved. And I often see hearts in the clouds to remind me of that fact.

Meet the Author: Andrea has always been an avid reader and that jumpstarted her imagination at a very early age. In fact she escaped to the Land of Make Believe more often than her mother liked. 

She is a former marketing professional who is a mom to kids both with and without fur. Andrea says that it helps to have one foot planted firmly in reality while the other is foot loose and fancy-free in Imagination Land. She enjoys the best of both worlds. In 2013, Andrea and her husband started About Something Good (ASG) as a vehicle to curate, inspire and share goodness in the world. In a world where negative images flood the media, and words like “hate” get tossed around so easily, Andrea felt she needed a space that encouraged and focused on the words like “love” and the beauty that is life.

Andrea is committed to finding the good in everything and believes: that a sense of belonging to someone’s heart is what makes us feel complete, that kindness goes a long way, and that keeping your mind and heart open can help when things happen that you don’t understand.
Andrea lives in New Jersey with her husband and children.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram


Giveaway: Click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a print copy of Ralph, Always Loved and a $15 Amazon Gift Card. Open to residents of the USA only.  Ends May 12, 2018.


Blog Tour + Giveaway: Purple Turtle Graded Readers, Level 3

Title: Purple Turtle Graded Readers Level 3 (12 Titles) | Category: Children’s Fiction | Genre: Educational | Publisher: Aadarsh Pvt. Ltd. | Release date: April 1, 2017

Description: A1 Edutainment is all set to take you on an adventurous journey to the amazing world of Purple Turtle and his friends. Purple Turtle Graded Readers by A1 Edutainment is a new reading program especially for emerging readers. The third level includes a set of 12 books with engaging stories and fun-filled activities. It is based on the Lexile and ATOS reading level system and has a word count of 250-350. This level is for learners who have started reading with confidence.

My thoughts: Purple Turtle Graded Readers are a fun tool to supplement school reading activities. The third level features “longer stories with complex sentences and enriched vocabulary”. The Level 3 set written by Imogen Kingsley includes longer stories with titles such as So Many Jobs!, The Big Birthday Calendar, Many Kinds of Homes, Melody’s Magic Show and The Rhyme Game. With a wide variety of topics and options for children to choose, there is sure to be multiple titles that appeal to each child. The bright an colorful illustrations compliment the simple text on each page and include clues to help young readers figure out what is happening in the story. My five-year-old who is reading at an above average Kindergarten level pushed through the Level 3 readers and found many familiar sight words throughout the slightly challenging books. I also appreciated the little extras such as an option on the title page of each book to tick your achievement level which includes Read Along, Read Aloud and Read Alone and games such as mazes and matching activities. To read more reviews, please visit Purple Turtle’s page on iRead Book Tours.
Buy the Boxed Set at Amazon.
Watch one of the book trailers:
Meet the Publisher: Purple Turtle is India’s 1st International brand with its educational content in several languages sold in more than 30 countries including Russia, China, US and UK. The character of Purple Turtle has delighted children across the globe through beautifully created Purple Turtle books, rhymes and videos available on YouTube.
Purple Turtle was created with the idea to spread education through a wide range of innovative books for children. To give them the experience of convenient online learning, Purple Turtle also brings both learning and entertainment on a common platform to give a wholesome learning experience to young minds.


Connect with the publisher: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Giveaway: Enter to win one of 10 trolleys that contain 5 Purple Turtle books (ends Dec 2). Good luck!

Best of 2016 Giveaway Hop!


Welcome to the Writer with Wanderlust stop on the Best of 2016 Giveaway Hop hosted by Bookhounds.

As a children’s book reviewer, I read dozens of picture books each year, a few chapter books, a couple of middle grade and YA novels but only as many adult books as I can squeeze in between. So, it’s no surprise that my Best of 2016 List is focused on kidlit.

But before my list of favorites, let’s talk giveaway…$15 Amazon Gift Card to buy any one of these fabulous books.

Now for my picks for the Best of 2016…(and by that I mean the best of the books I read in 2016, not necessarily published last year).


Best Picture Book for Preschoolers – Where is Bear? by Johanthan Bentley

Geared for children aged one and over, this simple, funny, irresistible story and its charming illustrations will keep toddlers (and adults) smiling from beginning to one of the best twists of an ending ever. Love it!


Best Picture Book for Primary Aged Children – Land Shark by Beth Ferry & Ben Mantle

Poor Bobby…all he wants for his birthday is a shark. Is that so much to ask? Land Shark is a great contemporary picture book with fantastic illustrations that are filled with laugh-out-loud details.


Best Picture Book to Give Children Nightmares – The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt & Tony DiTerlizzi

First, this book was not published last year or last decade, in fact the original poem by Mary Howitt was published in 1829. But this is an exceptional book from the spine-chilling  writing to the almost glowing silver screen-esque illustrations. Just don’t read it to children before bed…it’s been proven to induce nightmares.


Best Tear-Jerker – The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Sometimes I really do wonder where I’ve been. This book, published in 2012, is based on a true story that happened just a hour from where I lived at the time. A Newbery Medal award-winner, this one will break your heart, but it’s worth it.


Best YA Thriller – Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristof

I’m blown away by how many people I meet who haven’t heard of this book. This Australian three-book YA series is being made into a movie people, so check it out. It’s awesome and written in e-mails, reports, charts…just about anything other than plain text. Brilliant!


Best Adult Book – Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis

Written from the point of view of her orphaned 10-year-old nephew, Auntie Mame is the hilarious story of an unconventional caretaker loosely based on the extraordinary life of the author. There is absolutely nothing predictable in this book and it immediately became one of my all-time favorites. OK, it was published in 1955, but it’s still considered a masterpiece of contemporary fiction.

So there you have it…the Best Books (I read) in 2016.

GIVEAWAY – $15 Amazon Gift Card for a 2016 Favorite Book

CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Please do hop around the other participating blogs to see more 2016 favorites and enter some fabulous giveaways. Good luck!


Blog Tour + Giveaway: Let’s Hug & The Unusualasaurases


Title: Let’s Hug: 15 Hugs for Beginners  |  Author: Efrat Shoham   Illustrator: Yuval Israeli  |  Publication Date: December 2016  |  Publisher: The Pink Camel

Book Description: There must be over a millions ways to say “I love you” or “I care about you”, but with a single hug, even without words, you can simply feel it. Hugs are proven to have a generally positive healing and relaxing effect, since they increase calm and happiness, reinforce our self esteem, and support our sense of connection to those who are close to us. This book is written for toddlers and encourages children and adults alike to try out all possible types of hugs. The book was beautifully illustrated by Yuval Israeli and is the second creative collaboration between Yuval Israeli and Efrat Shoham.

Available on Amazon


Title: The Unusualasauruses: 15 Playful Dinosaurs  |  Author: Efrat Shoham   Illustrator: Lilach Ramati |  Publication Date: December 2016  |  Publisher: The Pink Camel

Book Description: Ages and ages ago, many different kinds of dinosaurs roamed our planet. Some were as large as whales, while others were the size of small dogs. Some were plant-eaters, while some ate other animals. Some had very long necks and tails, while others were tiny. Some had horns. Some had wings and could fly.

Despite all of these many variations, they were all part of the dinosaur family. And, as is often the case with family, they shared many common features. No one has ever never whatsoever seen a live dinosaur or spoken to one of them. So, what if dinosaurs could really talk, or smile, cry, dream, dance, play and joke?

Available on Amazon

About the Author: Efrat Shoham is an Israeli writer and independent publisher (The Pink Camel). Shoham grew up in a small agricultural village in Israel. Her father was a farmer and her mother – a teacher and librarian. She lives with her family in Tel Aviv, on a small street lined with eucalyptus, mulberry and loquat trees, where 3 rabbits from the nearby kindergarten run wild. She thinks and believes that curiosity, imagination, humor, green fields, fresh mango or avocado and pink camels are some of the keys to a good and happy life.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~ Facebook

About the Illustrator of Let’s Hug: Yuval Israeli – I grew up in a kibbutz in the north of Israel and for years I live in Tel Aviv with Roy and our cat “tsimuki”. I studied design and illustration at “Vital” the school of visual arts, which reunited later with “Shenkar”. I also learned classical painting in the “station studio”. I always paint pop icons and characters which affected me, and I also always paint portraits of friends. Besides, I always enjoyed painting all kinds of creatures from my imagination”.

About the Illustrator of The Unusualasaurases: Lilach Ramati – “I majored in visual communication in Holon Institute of Technology. I studied Interactive, but eventually my final project was an illustrated book. Today I work as a designer in games company”.

GIVEAWAY! Win one of two copies of Let’s Hug or one of two copies of The Unusualasaurases (4 winners, open internationally). Ends Jan 28th. Good luck!

CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

As seen on…


Blog Tour + Giveaway: David Travels to the Past