Cecelia and her two daughters, Summer and Winter, moved into a “new” house in the insular community of Mistwood. They had fled from Opalton to start a new life for Dylan, Rain, and Teddy, the children of Summer and Winter. They had gotten the farm at a cheap, almost unbelievably low price. Arriving at the “new place, they could see why. The extensive fire damage made the place almost unlivable. That it needed cleaning was an understatement. Cecelia wanted them to use traditional cleaning methods to make the house livable while concealing their magic powers but a rock through their window and a message on their windshield let them know they might as well use magic. It seems the community knew the witches had arrived.
Cecelia and her daughters soon learned that there were secrets about the previous owner of their farm. Members of the community thought Rory had been terribly stingy and even tried to cheat his housekeeper, Olivia, what was owed her. When Rory died by suicide in the fire that destroyed the farm Cecelia had purchased, Olivia lost back earnings. Now Olivia lived with the neighbor of Cecelia’s Bumbletree Farm. She worked as a housekeeper for Mr. Whitemarsh, one of the biggest landowners in the county.
The more Cecelia heard and the more Summer and Winter discovered as they explored the house led the suspicious witches to launch their own investigation into how Rory had died. When they solved that mystery maybe they would know who was harassing them and trying to force them to leave Mistwood.
This is an entertaining story about witches and their struggle to remain secret about their identity so they can be accepted by the “normal” community. Cecelia, the senior, mother witch, uses powers wisely. The children, Summer and Winter, although also mothers, use their powers more impulsively. The children are still finding out they have powers. It is good to keep them away from the wands.
The “normal” community also has secrets. Someone wants the witches to move on, not because they are witches but out of financial interest in the Bumblebee Farm. So lots of secrets for different reasons.
There is 99% no sex in this story. There is an implication of some when Olivia appears to answer the door with a serious bedhead in the middle of the afternoon, but that is it. Stories can be told (and sold) without sex; what an interesting idea!
There is almost no violence. I don’t count the breaking of a window as a broomstick is flown through it as violence. It was a justifiable response to possible child endangerment.
The author describes this as a prequel novella to her planned series. I believe it does the job of establishing a hook that will draw in many readers.