Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Izzy Hoffman is Not a Witch by Alyssa Alessi

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Alyssa Alessi will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

There is something so special about juvenile fiction. It is the beautiful time in between childhood and growing up. The in between years of innocence and the life lessons to come. I absolutely love the magic of those years, where anything is possible. I write juvenile fiction to capture those moments on a page.

Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?

If Izzy were to open her locker, you’d find an extra cardigan hanging up. She would have it draped so it partially covers her non school related books, her sack of crystals and her homemade lotions. If you ask to use some of her lotion, she’d gladly share.

What candy do you give out at Halloween?

I became the boring adult who hands out goodies other than candy. I know, it’s hard to believe. I usually start picking up cool Halloween themed items towards the end of the summer and add the trinkets to a Halloween box I have. Inside this treasure box you’ll find things like Halloween pencils, stickers, fake tattoos, vampire teeth, plastic spiders, etc.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

I tend to read more than one book at a time, so there are multiple. For middle grade, I have Warriors of the Suburbs by Tim Kreher. Adult fiction, Bad Cree by Jessica Johns, and The Beast You Are by Paul Tremblay for a short story collection. I usually have a craft book on my bedside table as well, but I must have taken it on the road with me and forgot to put it back.

Hunger Games or Twilight? Why?

I will forever be a twilight fan. Between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, I didn’t read as much as I used to. Stephanie Myers pulled me out of that reading slump by combing vampires, wolves, and a main character who could have been any of my friends. I fell in love with reading again, and I for that, Twilight holds a place in my heart!

Favorite pizza toppings.

Pizza is my all-time favorite, and I will never tire from it. The toppings I head for are green peppers, onion, black olives and (turkey) pepperoni. Preferably all of those toppings at once.

Twelve-year-old Izzy has been haunted by the shadow of her ten-times-great grandmother for as long as she can remember. This is no ordinary ancestral ghost: This great granny was the first woman to be hung for witchcraft in Izzy’s small New England town.

Every October first, tourists flood the streets of Marblehead. Unfortunately, this year so do a mysterious man and a possessed town psychic. When the man shows up at Izzy’s family-run bookstore, making odd demands and threatening her mom, she must find the connection between this creep and her ghostly visions.

Trying to make sense of this chaos, Izzy roams into secret rooms, holds seances at the local tarot parlor, and digs through the old family cookbooks that sit on her shelves. When she discovers that she may be a part of a once-in-a-century ritual, Izzy must decide whether it’s going to take baking magic or blood magic to protect herself and her parents from the return of the witch hunt.

Read an Excerpt

The tarot reader is only a few blocks down. The cheesiness of her storefront makes me second guess coming here. A neon crystal ball flickers in the window. I open the door and I’m hit in the face with the scent of incense. She has floral tapestry hanging from literally everywhere. It’s so dark in here I’m surprised she can even see her cards.

“Hello?” No answer. What am I doing? I turn to leave but hear the faint sound of a woman talking from a distance. Miss Clara is walking a client out of her back room.

“Thank you so much.” A young woman sniffles while wiping away tears.

“You are very welcome, love and light.” The client leaves and Miss Clara stops when she sees me. The old woman wears a pair of small rectangular purple sunglasses. They match her black-and-lilac colored robe, which flows freely around her frail ancient body. Her white fluffy hair gives her a frazzled appearance that doesn’t match her sudden robotic tone.

“Izzy, I’m so happy you came to see me. That crystal looks great on you.”

“Yeah, well it doesn’t work. You should give my friend her money back,” I snap.

“Well, I think you know it isn’t instant magic. You must believe in things for them to work.”

I had a really hard day so far and I’m not in the mood to play her games.

“Oh my god! Will you stop? What is with you? Why did you tell my friend I’m a witch?” I get made fun of enough by kids my own age and don’t need some crazy old lady spreading rumors about me.

“Well, aren’t you?” she asks.

About the Author:
Alyssa Alessi is a writer of middle grade, young adult and short stories all inspired by the unsettling macabre aesthetic of New England. As a child she was on a constant hunt for ghosts, vampires, and her own powers as a witch. When she couldn’t find them, she settled for writing them into existence. You can find her hiking any trail in the Northeast said to be haunted, roaming old cemeteries with a camera in hand, or thrift shopping anywhere antiques are sold. She resides in Boston, MA with her husband, three children and their mini dachshund.


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