Blog Tour & Review: The Secrets of Hawthorne House by Donald Firesmith

The Secrets of Hawthorne House
by Donald Firesmith
Genre: Teen Paranormal Mystery
Matt’s life changes forever when a family of druids moves into the dilapidated Victorian mansion next door. The story of an unlikely friendship, the clash of two completely different cultures, secret magic, and a search for the lost Hawthorne treasure.
Fifteen-year-old Matt Mitchell was having the worst summer imaginable.
Matt’s misery started when a drunk driver killed his mother. Then his father moved him and his twin sister to the small town of Hawthorne in rural Indiana, as far as his grieving father could take from the ocean that Matt’s mother had loved. At the new high school, three bullies are determined to make Matt miserable. And to top it off, Matt learns that the recluse who lives in the ‘haunted house” next door is none other than Old Lady Hawthorne, the town’s infamous witch and murderer. Matt’s terrible summer is turning into an awful autumn when something quite unexpected happens. Old Lady Hawthorne’s niece and her three children arrive, and Matt meets Gerallt.
**Only .99 cents!!**
I’m going to start off by saying that I felt this book was going to be the perfect read for the coming Halloween season and I seriously wasn’t wrong. The Secrets of Hawthorne House isn’t exactly spooky or creepy, but the magic and mystery is perfect for the Halloween season regardless. I found myself connecting with both Matt and Gerallt, mostly because I lost a parent when I was around their age. So, I felt for them in that respect. I also know what it is like to have money issues, so I felt for them in that respect as well. I loved how the boys handled the bullies they encountered. That was awesome and kind of made me wish I could have done something similar to my bullies in school. I wasn’t, however, thrilled with the way the parents handled a situation that arises, but then again, it was quite realistic. You’ll know what I mean when you read it. There were a couple of things that bothered me in the book. The first was the way the Hawthorn family’s dialogue was written. I understand it was meant to convey their accent, but honestly, once I knew what accent they have, I just didn’t need the constant reminder. For me, it was annoying, although others may not feel the same way. The other thing that bugged me was there was a place in which the weather pattern had a storm blowing from east to west – but weather patterns actually don’t move that way. They move from west to east. It was a small thing, but it did bug me because I’m just enough of a nerd to know how weather patterns work. Other than that, I found the characters to be likeable and hateable as they were supposed to be. I gave this 4 stars on Goodreads because of the couple things that bugged me. However, I would definitely recommend this to YA lovers looking for a Halloween vibe without it being horror, because it has a great story. I can’t wait to see what the sequel brings.
A geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive systems. In this guise, he has authored seven technical books, written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers, and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. He’s also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered somewhat by his fear that the term “distinguished” makes him sound like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer whose beard is still slightly more red than gray.
By night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels and relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and mystical gemstones. His first foray into fiction is the book Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore written under the pen name Wolfrick Ignatius Feuerschmied. He lives in Crafton, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, and his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs, cats, and birds.
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4 thoughts on “Blog Tour & Review: The Secrets of Hawthorne House by Donald Firesmith

  1. Thank you for pointing out the storm direction problem. I’m well aware of the direction that cold fronts travel; I must have suffered an “elder moment” when I wrote that sentence. After that, it’s just a case of reading what you expect to read rather than what you actually wrote. Thankfully, with ebooks and print on demand, I can make fixes any time I want. Needless to say, I’m going to find this mistake and fix it.

  2. Can you please point me to the place where the wind is blowing from the wrong direction. All I could find were:

    The sun had set, and the weather was turning colder, with dark clouds rolling in from the west.

    The headlights turned off, but no one got out into the wintry mix of sleet and frigid northwest winds. [wind from the northwest]

    • It’s in the first sentence of Chapter 16. The sentence currently reads as: “The gathering winds marked the edge of a huge snowstorm that moved slowly from Ohio into Indiana.” Indiana happens to be west of Ohio, but perhaps since you didn’t find it, it was corrected after I received my review copy?

      • Thank you sooo much. I just searched for east and west. No wonder I missed it. I currently live in Pittsburgh, so I must have subconsciously used Pittsburgh rather than Indiana. Great catch. I will fix it. Thanks again.

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