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Saturday 12 September 2015

☀ The Hippity Dippity Witch: Jenny's Adventures in Willow Grove [1] - Lorraine O’Byrne

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for The Hippity Dippity Witch , a Middle Grade novel, for ages seven to eleven, by (, Updrift, 132 pages).

This is the first book in the Jenny's Adventures in Willow Grove series. The Hippity Dippity Witch was first published on 30 May 2012; this is a new and revised edition.

PREVIEW: Read the first chapter with Amazon Look Inside. The Hippity Dippity Witch is FREE on Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owner's Lending Library.

Check out the book's synopsis and the excerpt below, as well as our Q&A with author Lorraine O'Byrne.

Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), interviews (ℚ) and reviews (✍).

Synopsis | Teaser | Author Q&A | About the Author | Tour Stops


Eight year old, Jenny Connolly, skips school to visit her friends in an enchanted wood. When she arrives, it's a scene of total devastation. The creatures of the wood cower in terror. There is a cruel magic at hand here.

She goes by the name of Marigold Dimple, a feisty, ten year old witch from Elderwood. Marigold is a witch with a vengeance, determined to have her own way and create havoc wherever she goes.

When Jenny and Marigold's paths collide, nothing will ever be the same again...

Teaser: Excerpt

Chapter 1: The Spelling Test

     It was a Monday morning. Jenny had just turned eight years old, and there was less than three weeks to go before the summer holidays. She couldn’t wait.
      "Got everything, Jenny?" asked her mother as she descended the stairs in a long skirt, polo-neck jumper, and slippers. Jenny’s baby brother, Fergus, dozed peacefully, tucked under her mother's right arm.
      Jenny nodded. "Think so," she said, buttoning up her yellow rain jacket. "Good girl," her mother murmured, leaning over to give her a kiss on the cheek. She fixed the straps of the school bag on Jenny’s shoulders. "There now, you’re all set."
      Jenny blew her a kiss and then was just turning to leave when her mother said, "Best of luck with the test, honey bee."
      Her face froze. Oh no! The Spelling Test. She’d forgotten all about it. She paused, rattling her brain for an excuse not to go to school.
      "Actually, Mum, can I stay at home today? Don’t feel too good."
      Her mother frowned. "What’s wrong?"
      "It’s my tummy," she said, rubbing it fiercely. "Think I’m gonna be sick."
      "And this only happened now?" asked her mother with an arch of her eyebrow. "
      Just a few minutes ago— ooh it hurts," she said, clutching her stomach and scrunching her face up in pain.
      "Well, you don’t seem to have any temperature," her mother murmured feeling her forehead. "Hmm, think I know what this is."
      "You do?" Jenny exclaimed, peering up at her innocently.
      "Jenny love," she said, brushing back a strand of her hair, "it’s all in your head. You’re just worried about the test. That’s all."
      Jenny flew startled eyes towards her. "But…"
      Fergus chose that very moment to wake up. Curling his little fists into a tiny ball, he howled at the top of his voice. Floods of tears ran down his plump red cheeks and his whole body shook with temper. Her mother ushered her towards the porch, rocking the baby in her arms.
      "Look, I have to go, pet. Everything will be fine." She smiled. "You’ll see."
      "Bye then," Jenny said, her top lip trembling as she tried so hard not to cry.
      "And, Jenny?" her mother said. Jenny paused at the doorway and turned slightly, her face miserable. "Please don’t dawdle after school, your Aunt Shelley is coming over for tea."
      "Oh… okay." Jenny continued down the drive way.
      As her mother closed the door, Jenny waved a forlorn farewell from the gate. She gave a long sigh, and, with her hands stuffed into her pockets and her head down, she trudged off down the boreen in the direction of the school.
      Her heart raced wildly. She remembered with dread the look on Miss Harrington’s face the last time she’d gotten a total of seven spellings wrong. The teacher had wagged her finger crossly and had made Jenny stay back for twenty minutes after school to learn every word, while all the other children went home. Jenny sniffed. It will be even worse now. She won’t be allowed go home at all.
      Jenny paused for a moment at the top of the road and gazed back at her home, wishing she was little Fergus in her mother’s arms, wishing she could just forget this day altogether.
      Not too far off in the distance, she heard the other boys and girls laughing and shouting as they spilled into the school yard. Her heart thumped as each step drew her nearer.
      A car rumbled to a halt beside her. Mrs. McGrath popped her curly head out the window. Jenny could see the top of her crisp white uniform, and guessed that she must be dropping the boys to school before heading off to the hospital.
      "Want a lift love?"
      "No thanks, Mrs. McGrath,” Jenny replied with a wavering smile. “I’m almost there."
      "Well, you’d better hurry on," she pointed to her watch, "you’re going to be late."
      "Hi ya, Jenny," piped one of the McGrath twins from the back seat.
      "Hi, Edmund," she mumbled.
      Edmund was tall for his age, and, with jet - black wavy hair, and a patch that covered his right eye, liked to think of himself as a pirate. He was always doodling cartoon images of ships and buried treasure when he should be paying attention in class.
      "See you later then, Jenny," said Mrs. McGrath, giving a wave as they disappeared around the bend.
      The sun chose that moment to break a gap through the smoky grey clouds, turning the sky a beautiful indigo blue, and the surrounding fields and countryside into a shimmering warm light of gold. Evergreens tossed their branches, creaking back and forth, stirring their leaves in response to a light wind that had picked up. Bushes and hedges rustled and crackled, announcing the presence of scurrying little animals. The air buzzed with the lilting melodies of birdsong.
      Jenny dragged her feet over the bridge; on past the church, Morris’s shop, and Doyle’s post office. Her school was now only less than one hundred metres away. The shrill bell signaled the start of class. She felt a prickle of anxiety run down her back. Even her palms felt sweaty.
      Without thinking, Jenny made a dash for Mr. Hayes’ farm on the right.

The Hippity Dippity Witch  - available NOW!

UK: purchase from US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble find on Goodreads

About the Author

Lorraine O’Byrne was born in county Limerick, Ireland.

Following two and a half years in Dublin on a City & Guilds course in photography, she went on to teach English in Colombia then spent a further six months in France as part of her European Studies degree.

Lorraine loved writing at a very young age and felt that this was where her true passion lay.  She underwent an intensive creative writing course before embarking on her first novel “The Wrath of Voodoo” (adult fiction) published in 2004 but since then has turned to writing children’s books.  Her love of children’s stories comes from the active imagination she had as a child, Walt Disney Movies and the animals on her farm.

Follow Lorraine O’Byrne:

Visit the author's website Visit the author on Facebook Visit the author on Twitter Visit the author on Google+ Visit the author on their Amazon page Visit the author on GoodReads

Tour Stops

Follow The Hippity Dippity Witch 's tour at:

Aug 22: I Heart Reading
Aug 22: Domestic Chanteuse
Aug 23: Indy Book Fairy
Aug 25: I’m an Eclectic Reader ☀
Aug 28:Teatime and Books
Aug 30: Books are Forever ☀
Sep 2: Books are Love ✍
Sep 4: Bedazzled Reading ☀
Sep 6: The Single Librarian ℚ
Sep 8: Editor Charlene’s Blog ☀
Sep 10: Cassidy Crimson’s Blog
Sep 12: BooksChatter ☀
Sep 14: Cajun Book Lover ✍
Sep 16: The Book Daily
Sep 18: Laura’s Interests ✍
Sep 20: 365 Days of Reading
Sep 22: Books, Books and More Books ✍
Sep 22: BooksChatter ℚ

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