Clement Countians just can’t catch a break.
Citizens of this fictional southeast Kentucky county have been besieged by warring bigfoots and serial killers. Now, only weeks after battling genetically engineered wolves on the rampage, residents are facing the wrath of four Quapanog witches. They were banished in 1769 after punishing a member of Daniel Boone’s expedition who was caught stealing the tribe’s precious silver. Now, 247 years later, combined natural forces could make it possible for them to return and seek their revenge.
Welcome to the fourth book in the Clement County saga. “The Fourth Witch” is written by four seemingly well-adjusted Eastern Kentucky University faculty: Charlie Sweet, Hal Blythe, Mason Smith and Marie Mitchell, who use the pen name Quinn MacHollister.
“You’d think all the murder and mayhem the past few years would prompt an exodus,” said Blythe. “But Clement Countians aren’t going to let these setbacks scare them away from their homes.”
Faithful fans of the saga will be reunited with several favorite characters who have taken the recurring violence in stride. One is Kristin Cannady, a savvy lawyer defending a young woman accused of setting her husband on fire as he slept. Kristin hires private-eye Frank Bowie Ph.D., who slyly gives people reasons to underestimate his sleuthing abilities – something they later regret.
Newcomers on the scene include Bridget and Syble Bishop, who open the Fantasy Factory salon granting customers their deepest desires, plus adoptee Lacey Larkin, who soon turns 16 and becomes obsessed with tracking down her biological parents.
All the action builds to a special comet arriving on May 1. “But in proofreading the book, we realized our dates didn’t line up and we had the comet actually appearing May 2, which was rather anticlimactic,” Mitchell acknowledged.
Fortunately, it was an easy fix before publication. “That’s why collaborative writing works so well,” Smith said. “Multiple minds make it easier to catch mistakes like this and save ourselves eternal embarrassment.”
Richard Givan, an original member of the writing group who just published his own book, “Code War,” designed all of the book covers for the series. Givan, who recently passed away, secured permission to use an eerie silhouette of a witch sketched by Melike Acar from Turkey.
“She was very gracious to allow us to use her image,” Blythe said.
Acar is “a rising star in the art world,” Sweet added, “so we probably won’t be able to afford her in the future.”
The writers are already working on the next novel in the saga. “It begins with – what else? – a murder,” Sweet promised.
All of the Clement County books by Quinn MacHollister are available on Amazon and Kindle. To follow the authors, visit Mitchell-Smith Books on Facebook.