Izzy Hoffman is Not a Witch
Izzy Hoffman is Not a Witch
by Alyssa Alessi
GENRE: Middle Grade Horror
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.
Q&A With the Author:
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I enjoyed writing this book so much. The thing I enjoyed the most was always having an excuse to visit Salem, MA for “inspiration.” Everywhere I turned I’d find something to add to Izzy Hoffman is Not a Witch. The brick streets, the old lamp posts and the smell of the ocean all made it into the book.
Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about?
I am currently working on a vampire slayer YA novel. Inspired by the ugly vampires of the nineties, and the girls who slayed them. It will be pitched as Euphoria meets The Lost Boys!
Can you tell us about what you have planned for the future?
I plan on writing more scary stories for young readers-teens! On top of creating more in the kid-lit space, I will have a few short stories for adults published late in 2023.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing seriously for about four or five years. I started with picture books and graphic novel scripts, then switched to novels two years ago.
Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you so much in advance for reading any of my work! Whether you read my debut middle grade, Izzy Hoffman Is Not a Witch, or just this blog, thank you so much!
Alyssa Alessi will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.