The Secrets of Hawthorne House

Description, Background, Status, Beta Reader Signup


Front cover of The Secrets of Hawthorn House Fifteen-year-old Matt Mitchell was having the worst summer imaginable. Matt’s misery started when his mother was killed by a drunk driver. 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 Matt and his mother had loved. At the new high school, Matt became the new kid who three bullies were determined to make miserable. And then 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 most infamous murderess and witch. 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.


I started writing this juvenile paranormal mystery about 14 years ago, about the time I moved to Pittsburgh. I got stuck halfway through the last chapter. I knew what I wanted to say, but got serious writer’s block. I’m taking out the old manuscript, dusting it off, and finishing it up. It’s too good of a story to just let languish in a folder on my computer desktop.



Just finished the last line of the last chapter. I have about 10 pages left to write and then it’s on to editing and my beta readers.

Cover Artist

Rudy Parfaite will start work on the cover the first week in August. Rudy was selected based on the following piece of art that captured the spirit of what I was looking for in a cover:
Haunted House


I am happy to announce that Heidi Brayer, who edited my first two Hell Hole books, is also editing this book for me.

Beta Reader Signup

I expect to have an edited version of my book available for reading by sometime in August.


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

  • Read the manuscript within one month of receiving it.
  • 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.

Sign Up Form

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

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