Maya’s Magical Adventures
Young Adult, Fantasy, Comedy
4.77 Average Rating on Goodreads · Rating details · 87 Ratings · 22 Reviews
Like nothing you've read before! A fast moving, laugh-out-loud magical comedy and fantasy adventure for children ages 10 to adult. Join Maya a young Scottish girl and her know-it-all talking cat Mischief and dragon Blink on a series of magical adventures and mishaps as she discovers her magical powers and their hilarious pitfalls. Find out what lies behind the forbidden door. Solve a series of strange riddles, journey across Ayrshire and eventually face her mystery foe. Slapstick, magic and mythical creatures with a generous helping of cheeky safe cheeky humour for the younger ones mixed with enough more subtle humour, intrigue, surprises and plot twists to keep older readers and adults captivated.
The book is based upon the bedtime stories and illustrations of Maya herself. How will each of her friends meet with their inevitable sticky end? Can she figure out who the mysterious shadow is and how to defeat it? Is Aunty Dot really as shallow as she appears and can she trust her? Or is she destined to live out the rest of her life in the strange nightmare of the mirror maze? There's only one way to find out, read it! Failure to do so may lead to feelings of disappointment, delusions of sanity and the loss of a potentially right good giggle for you and your family!
Nobody was in the hallway. Maya waited for him to leave, then crept apprehensively up the forbidden staircase. Eyes firmly focused on her quarry; the sturdy oak door ahead. Nervous clumsy feet stumbled over the top step, with all the stealth and grace of a dizzy giraffe on skates stepping out onto an icy pond.
“Shhh!” Maya hushed herself instinctively, creating far more noise than the original stumble had.
Nobody was what dad called next door’s cat. He pretended that he couldn’t remember its real name. No one saw him come in. No one was the ginger tom from two doors down. Nobody would start eating hungrily the second Maya finished putting down the cat food every morning. No one was there in a flash too and inevitably there would be Mischief. Mischief was Maya’s own cat. He would have none of it and chase them both off, and fur would fly! The whole cat situation was really quite confusing.
Taking a deep breath and regaining some composure, Maya crept ‘silently’ across creaking floorboards and hid behind the full-length dark velvet curtain which was always drawn over the stairway landing window.
Tentatively, she peaked out through a small hole, which she had previously worn between the ageing curtain seams. Two minutes slipped past with all the speed of an elderly slug crossing a hot sandpit. Maya’s nervous wait was punctuated only by the deafening sound of her own breathing and the pounding of her heart as it bounced back and forth between her chest and her eardrums.
Without warning beams of red, purple and orange light probed the dimly lit landing from under the old oak door. Flickering shafts of ever-changing light danced across the floor and up the walls from around the ill-fitting door frame, like searchlights probing the night sky. Soon they were gone, just as quickly as they had started. The faint sound of muffled voices came from behind mum’s secret door. Silence fell again, then shattered into a thousand pieces, as a loud ‘clunk’ rang out from the old door’s lock. The handle began to turn slowly.
Maya jumped and her heart, now lodged in her throat somewhere around her voice box, missed a beat. She held her breath, clenched her buttocks tightly for extra security and shuffled backwards. She was now pressed tightly against the cold window pane, but she was safely out of sight, and that was all that mattered she told herself.
The door creaked open a crack, and an eye surveyed the stairwell ensuring that the coast was clear. Her mum slipped silently through the doorway and onto the landing. Mischief their scruffy black and white cat followed closely to heel.
Maya shook her head. Where did he come from? She had hardly ever seen Mischief climb the stairs before, he was far too lazy! If I didn’t know better, she thought to herself, I’d swear that cat can walk through walls.
Maya’s mum turned and locked the door behind her. Now facing back towards the stairs, she bowed forward slightly to slip the key on its chain back over her head. She always wore that key around her neck, suspended on a delicate silver chain, but she had never told anyone why and Maya had never seen her take it off before.
Her mum froze suddenly. Her eyes were now fixed and staring down towards the base of the curtain. Maya inched guilty feet back instinctively, the sound of her heart now pounding in her ears like bongo drums strapped to the back of a runaway camel. Had her toes given her away? Beads of sweat broke out across her brow like soggy measles.
Maya’s mum was lovely, but when it came to the secret door…, no, she was very serious and very clear. “It was off limits, no access, forbidden…. completely taboo!” Whatever a taboo was? It sounded like some of her Aunty Dot’s cheap perfume.
“Off limits. On pain of a hideous, blood-curdling and lingering death! Or likely something much, much worse!” according to her dad.
A knowing smile spread gently across Maya’s mother’s face. She spoke softly down to the cat, “Perhaps Mischief…, it’s time now after all?”
Mischief looked up and let out a “meow,” as if to agree.
Her mum paused thoughtfully, then brought the key chain back over her head, turned again, reached up and placed it gently on the mantle above the door.
Maya stiffened at the touch of the cat rubbing up against her leg from the other side of the curtains. As they swayed she lost sight of the landing through her peak-hole. She was sure her toes or that pesky cat had given her away and that the curtains would be pulled back at any second. She was in for it now! Maya screwed up her face and clenched her hands into clammy fists by her sides and braced herself for the ear-bashing to come.
Footsteps made their way across the landing towards her, then paused and made their way down creaky stairs. A minute passed before Maya relaxed her buttocks and summoned up enough courage to peak out from behind the curtains. She was alone now and could allow herself to breathe once again.
Her first instinct was to flee, but she knew she couldn’t. There was a mystery here and she was determined and unashamedly intensely nosey after all. A trait inherited from her mother’s side of the family according to dad. She couldn’t leave, not now. It was never going to happen. She took a deep breath and crossed the creaky stairwell landing one step at a time on tip-toes. Reaching up, she retrieved the key from above the door. Tentative shaky hands placed the antique key into the lock and …
The ‘accidental’ debut author Malcolm McCoard, an engineer from Ayrshire has based the book upon bedtime stories created for and the subsequent illustrations of his daughter Maya, who insisted, “You need to write that down daddy!”
He is now working on the third book in the Maya’s Magical Adventures series and has also published a rhyming picture book; The six lives of Henry the Eighth, about the misadventures of surely the world’s most unlucky cat.
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