The Secrets of Hawthorne House

Description, Buy It, Background, Schedule, Cover Artist, Characters, Druidic Spells, Beta Reader Signup


Front cover of The Secrets of Hawthorn HouseFifteen-year-old Matt Mitchell was having the worst summer imaginable. Matt’s misery started when a drunk driver killed his mother. Then Matt’s father moved him and his sister to a small town in rural Indiana, as far as his grieving father could get from the ocean that his mother had loved. At the new high school, three bullies were determined to make Matt miserable. And to top it off, Matt learned that the recluse who lived in the dilapidated Victorian mansion next door was none other than Old Lady Hawthorne, the town’s infamous witch and murderer. Matt’s terrible summer was turning into an awful autumn when something quite unexpected happened. Old Lady Hawthorne’s niece and her three children moved in next door, and Matt met Gerallt.

Buy It (Pre-order for October 1st) Smashwords


This teen magical mystery has been 15 years in the making. I started it about the time I moved to Pittsburgh, but I got stuck halfway through the last chapter. I knew what I wanted to say, but got serious writer’s block when it came to how to say it. But, it was too good of a story to just let languish in a folder on my computer desktop, so I recently took out the old manuscript, dusted it off, and finished it.


September 8) Inputs due from beta readers.
October 1st) Planned book publication and launch date.

Cover Artist

Rudy Parfaite French artist Rudy Parfaite, lead environment artist at the game company Pretty Simple, created the cover for The Secrets of Hawthorne House.
Cover Art

Beta Reader Signup


If this is your first time as a beta reader, let me explain your responsibilities:

  • Read the manuscript within one month of receiving it (2 weeks if possible).
  • Provide you recommendations and comments to me. This would include identification of errors (e.g., inconsistencies, grammar, spelling, typos), specific areas of improvement (e.g., dialog, prose, characterization), and general comments (what you like and what you didn’t like).
  • Do not post a review based on problems in the beta version of the book that will be fixed prior to publication.
  • Do post a review based on the finished book, preferably on launch day.
  • Do post about the book on your social media, preferably on launch day.


As a token of my appreciation, I will mail an autographed copy of the final book to all beta readers who help me improve the book and make it successful by providing specific recommendations and/or identify specific problems. I will also explicitly thank you on the acknowledgements page.

Sign Up Form

Click on the following link to be taken to a signup page for my group of Beta Readers:
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