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Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Secrets of Hawthorne House Book Blast and Giveaway

Our latest book blast is for a teen paranormal mystery, then enter to win an Amazon gift card and signed copy of book. Open worldwide through 10/31. Good luck.

The Secrets of Hawthorne House
by Donald Firesmith
Genre: Teen Paranormal Mystery

Fifteen-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.

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.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Disclosure: Java John Z's did not receive compensation for this post and is not responsible for prize fulfillment.
*Read my Disclosure


  1. Title and cover are great match.

  2. I love the title, catches your attention and makes you want to read it! Did the author enjoy writing this book?

    1. This book has been in the works for about 15 years. I had the first draft about 90% done and then got stuck on the ending and let it set for about 14 years. I enjoyed writing a book for a younger audience (age 13-110), but I didn't enjoy getting stuck, although I did write 3 books while this one was one the back burner. I've even enjoyed making changes recommended by my editor and beta readers. I also enjoyed researching the background for the Hawthorne family from ancient Wales to modern Maine.

  3. Replies
    1. Rudi Parfait, a lead environmental artist for a game company, did a great job interpreting the Hawthorne House for me, based on my architectural drawings.

  4. My favorite cover is The Secrets of Hawthorne House. My question is where do you get your ideas for your stories.

    1. I wanted to do a book in which the paranormal magic had an interesting backstory and an underlying explanation. Unfortunately, one of my driving ideas would be a spoiler if I told you, so you'll have to read to book to learn Matt's theory. I love the Pacific Northwest and at one time lived In Northeast Indiana, so I drew on that for Matt's background.

      When it comes to my science fiction (e.g., my Hell Holes series), I read several popular science magazines and constantly read science books. This often gives me ideas that I can build a story around. I also do a LOT of research, relying heavily on Google. For instance, I virtually drove the relevant parts of the Dalton Highway using Google maps while researching Hell Holes: Demons on the Dalton.

  5. The cover art seems appropriate for the book. Good job.

  6. Great cover on this book, sounds like a wonderful read.