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Neighbors of DuPage

Author Lisa Zarkin McHugh releases 'Layla Bali'

Sep 28, 2015 10:49AM ● By Neighbors Magazines

In a colorful world of castles, kingdoms and magic, the story of "Layla Bali" (published by Xlibris) unravels. A new fantasy fiction solely weaved from author Lisa Zarkin McHugh’s imagination; this tale explores the thin line between the truth in fantasy and the illusions of reality.

Layla Bali is an 11-year-old girl who sees things that others do not. She knows that there are unexplained dangers in this world. When Layla’s dog, Molly, goes missing, Layla’s search for her leads her into strange new lands. Layla awakens to a noise in the middle of the night and meets Jasmine, a black cat from the land of Baismal. Layla can speak to Jasmine, and the two are transported to Baismal through a staircase of fire. In this strange world, they encounter strange circumstances and even stranger characters. Layla meets people who look exactly like those she knew back in Middle Land. They journey deeper into the land of Baismal where the evil ruler Malkolm wreaks havoc. Will they find Molly alive? Through a series of close encounters, they narrowly escape the wrath of Malkolm. Lord of goodness, Gani, saves them but is Malkolm ultimately defeated? Layla then awakens to find herself back home, with Molly safe and snug in her room. Yet, her intuition tells her something is not right. Was it just a dream or is there something more sinister happening around Middle Land?

A young adult narrative suffused with the elements of the surreal and the imagined, the story of "Layla Bali" calls into mind the classic tale of Alice in Wonderland, combined with the gripping suspense of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. It invites readers to explore a whole new world of spellbinding fantasy that seeks to enthrall from beginning to end.

Lisa Zarkin McHugh strives to be the most efficiently active mom. She makes balancing life as a mom, wife, financial advisor, accountant, Zoo on Yoo, Inc. business owner, All Life Animal Rescue charity director, published author, dancer and tennis player seem effortless. As the mother of three young children, ages 9, 11 and 13, McHugh feels blessed to help each of her children attain their independent goals while also fulfilling her own life’s passion of writing. She resides in Naperville, Illinois with her husband Eric and three children