A coven of modern-day witches. A magical heist-gone-wrong. A looming threat.
Five octogenarian witches gather as an angry mob threatens to demolish Moonshyne Manor. All eyes turn to the witch in charge, Queenie, who confesses they’ve fallen far behind on their mortgage payments. Still, there’s hope, since the imminent return of Ruby—one of the sisterhood who’s been gone for thirty-three years—will surely be their salvation.
But the mob is only the start of their troubles. One man is hellbent on avenging his family for the theft of a legacy he claims was rightfully his. In an act of desperation, Queenie makes a bargain with an evil far more powerful than anything they’ve ever faced. Then things take a turn for the worse when Ruby’s homecoming reveals a seemingly insurmountable obstacle instead of the solution to all their problems.
The witches are determined to save their home and themselves, but their aging powers are no match for increasingly malicious threats. Thankfully, they get a bit of help from Persephone, a feisty ‘TikToker’ eager to smash the patriarchy. As the deadline to save the manor approaches, fractures among the sisterhood are revealed, and long-held secrets are exposed, culminating in a fiery confrontation with their enemies.
The Blog Tour
This is a story of witches, in particular: a clairvoyant witch, a seductress, a botanist, one agoraphobe and an inventor… oh, there’s a missing witch as well, who’s rather outlandish – and so ‘The Witches of Moonshyne Manor’ begins… and with a rather abrupt start to the day. It’s this abrupt knocking that starts the battle for the Manor against an angry mob and man determined to regain his perceived inheritance.
Firstly, this book is littered with delightful and entertaining witches’ recipes from ‘Ivy’s Elixir of Life, Smoothies for Seniors’ to ‘Jezebel’s Full Bush Care’ – lol! They serve as great little break-up moments interspersed throughout the narrative and are very entertaining.
‘The Witches of Moonshyne Manor’ was written during once of the pandemic lock downs, in a ‘cold and dark’ Toronto and the author states that spending time with the Moonshine Manor Sisterhood was like ‘holding my hands up to a roaring fire’ and the sense of warmth does permeate in this book. What also strongly resonates is the issue of aging – and as I approach my 50th year, it’s certainly often in my thoughts… how can this be! Particularly as I’m still 18 in my mind – lol! Aging also releases the ‘I don’t give a ***k’ and this is another theme throughout the book and how women unite together to survive the ups and downs of the aging process! A friend told me recently that I’m too preoccupied with getting older, and I’ve thought a lot about that. He was right, I absolutely do and after reading this book, I’m going to focus more on living and laughing.
So, ‘The Witches of Moonshyne Manor’ actually seemed a very long book and I did drift at times, but the fun dialogue and witches’ shenanigans kept me coming back for more – it’s coming into the perfect time for this book, as nights draw in darker and fires are lit. There are links to Salem, secrets to unfold and a battle to be won by midnight on All Hallow’s Eve.
With themes of ageism, female empowerment, and the special nature of female friendship, do check out ‘The Witches of Moonshyne Manor’.
Please buy from Independents if you can xx
The Author – Bianca Marais
Bianca Marais is the author of the beloved Hum If You Don’t Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh (Putnam, 2017 and 2019). She teaches at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies where she was awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award for Creative Writing in 2021.
A believer in the power of storytelling in advancing social justice, Marais runs the Eunice Ngogodo Own Voices Initiative to empower young Black women in Africa to write and publish their own stories, and is
constantly fundraising to assist grandmothers in Soweto with caring for children who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. In 2020, Marais started the popular podcast, The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, which is aimed at helping emerging writers become published.