The Secrets of Hawthorne House

Description, Genres, Praise, Reviews, Author Commentary, Cover Artist


Front cover of The Secrets of Hawthorn HouseFifteen-year-old Matt Mitchell was having the worst summer imaginable. His misery started when his mother died in a senseless car accident. Matt’s grieving father, unable to remain in the family’s seaside cottage, moved Matt and his twin sister as far as possible from the ocean they loved.

But their relocation to the small town of Hawthorne, Indiana only made Matt’s life more difficult. Three bullies at his new high school dedicated themselves to making him miserable. To top it off, Matt heard that the recluse living in the dilapidated Victorian mansion next door was none other than Old Lady Hawthorne, the town’s infamous witch and murderer of wayward husbands.

Then, Old Lady Hawthorne’s niece and her three children moved in next door, and something extraordinary happened. Matt met Gerallt, the strange boy destined to become his best friend. And when Gerallt divulged the Hawthornes’ family secret, it changed Matt’s life forever.

The Secrets of Hawthorne House is the story of an unlikely friendship, the clash of two radically different cultures, hidden magic, and a search for the lost Hawthorne treasure.


Fiction > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
Fiction > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Contemporary
Fiction > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban
Fiction > Mystery & Detective > Amateur Sleuth


Anna del C. Dye

“I love the story and the characters… This is a great, clean and entertaining story for middle grade and young adult kids who like mystery, treasure hunts, and magic. It is nicely done by Donald Firesmith. I would keep my eyes out for the next book in this series.”
Anna del C. Dye The Elf And The Princess Ermine's Nightmare Once Upon Two Kingdoms

Readers’ Favorite

“Rudy Parfaite’s cover art is the first attractive feature of Donald Firesmith’s The Secrets of Hawthorne House. It’s beautifully done and complements the story well. Engaging readers from the start, Firesmith doesn’t rush the story development, making the narrative flow deftly. It was easy for me to immerse myself in this coming-of-age urban fantasy combined with Celtic mythology. I was invested in the characters, their successes, and predicaments. The Hawthornes’ peculiarities are instantly intriguing, especially when Matt gets to know more about them through his friendship with Gerallt. The plot is well thought out, substantiated with imperative messages to the targeted readers on dealing with life’s hardships, the loss of a parent, bullying, and financial stress. There’s also the matter of dealing with discrimination and respecting others’ beliefs. As an adult, I found The Secrets of Hawthorne House truly enjoyable even though it’s for teen readers. A commendable work from Donald Firesmith, and I look forward to the sequel.”


Review Results
Read all 19 reviews. (4.7 Stars)

Author Commentary

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.

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

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