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The Witches of Moonshyne Manor

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Member Reviews

I absolutely LOVE paranormal , Witchy books.

But The Witches of Moonshyne Manor fell flat for me. 
The characters really didn't work well for me.
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Ok, I love Bianca's previous books but I just couldn't get into this one. I read 103 pages of this before giving up. There is a lot of sex talk from like 80 year old witches and I just want interested. The premise dives so good but didn't know how randy it might come off as
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I loved it. Loved. It. I’ve been hand selling it using the phrase “snarky, sassy, and a bit badassy.” I love everything Bianca writes, and this was no exception.
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I immediately fell in love with this bevy of post menopausal witches.  
It was a mashup of Golden Girls and Practical Magic and it had me laughing out loud so many times. 

Perfect read for spooky season for those who enjoy the lighter side of magic. 

Thank you HTPbooks and HarperAudio for my complimentary copy. Review is my own.
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The Witches of Moonshyne Manor has witches in their 80s, a magical heist and mystery. Rarely do we see elderly women star in the media. The witches live together in a big manor. But problems arise when one witch, Queenie, makes a deal with Charon just around the same time an old friend and fellow friend will return to the manor.

I quite enjoyed the book. I am glad we got to see the heist that was part of their past. The mysteries were nice. But the book is also very funny. All in all, it is a good time.
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This was a fun read to get me in the mood for my fall reads. I can never turn down a book about witches and it was fun to follow an older coven as they work to basically defeat the patriarchy. All of their different powers were very cool and I couldn't choose just one I would want to have. However, my favorite character was definitely Persephone, an unstoppable teenager, and her dog RBG.

Bianca's writing is always easy to fly through and I can't wait to read whatever she writes next.
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Queenie, who is in charge of the witches who live at Moonshyne Manor, hasn’t told the other witches that they are behind on their mortgage payments. She made a deal with Charon, the ferryman of Hades, and if she can’t produce what he wants on time, they will lose their home. Meanwhile, all of the witches are awaiting the return of Ruby, who has been in prison for the past thirty-three years. They think that Ruby’s return will solve all of their problems, but she’s not the same person that went into prison. Teenage Persephone arrives on their doorstep one day, ready to learn from them and help them fight the patriarchy. These witches have to use their special sisterhood to save Moonshyne Manor. 

The witches who live at Moonshyne Manor are all in their eighties. I loved this, because there aren’t many novels that have elderly characters. The story has been described as the Golden Girls meets Practical Magic, and that’s the perfect description. Though these women were older, they acted youthful and took charge of the problems in their lives to proactively solve them. 

The witches were also modern and open minded. One of the witches had a fluid gender identity as part of their magic. None of them married or had children, defying society’s expectations for them. They also acknowledged when they needed help from a younger mind. Persephone was able to find solutions that they didn’t think of. I loved how unique the characters were in this story. 

The Witches of Moonshyne Manor is a fabulous witchy novel!

Thank you HarperCollins Canada for sending me a copy of this book.
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Bianca Marais can certainly write across genres- literary fist fic (LOVE!), dystopian (also loved!), and now a fantastical novel about a group of endearing witches!

The Witches of Moonshyne Manor is about five witches, all in their 80s. Moonshyne Manor may be torn down because they are behind on the mortgage. Ruby has returned recently, and they are hoping she can turn things around. It’s not just their home that needs to be saved, though, and they may have to look to others for help and not just each other.

You just have to meet the witches, and Persephone, the TikToker, too. Not only is this book fresh and fun and full of heart, female friendship, and found family, it’s smart and packed with important messaging. I loved every character and every word. Can we please see these witches as a movie or series soon?!

I received a gifted copy.
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I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy of The Witches of Moonshyne Manor from Bianca Marais and Harper Collins in preparation for my interview with Bianca (airing Aug 23/22 on #badasswriters podcast). What a gem of a book this was to read! I love it when I feel so connected with the characters that I wish they were real, and that’s what I felt with this sisterhood consisting of Ursula, Queenie, Ruby, Tabby, Jezebel, and Ivy. You can’t get any more badass than this coven of sassy, smart, strong women! Widget was such a clever character, and I loved the role she played. Persephone and Ruth Bader Ginsberg were also great additions to the mix and I LOVE that Bianca named Persephone’s dog RBG. How fitting for this story! There were so many instances where I paused to highlight or make a note on passages that really resonated with me and that I think will resonate with many readers. So many great uses of metaphors and little bits of humour are thrown in. There were lots of instances of fighting against the patriarchy that were as hilarious as they were truly meaningful.

Setting plays a big role in the story. There was excellent use of language to ground me in the location and in each scene, and wonderful use of sharp specifics that helped me picture exactly what was going on or to make something stand out. I enjoyed the sarcasm, the snappy responses, and the strength that these women all had individually—but especially together. I also loved the way the chapter headings served as a ticking clock, adding to the tension and keeping that at the forefront the whole time. Each character had their own internal struggles and tensions and emotions, and they all played into the bigger picture. The witches were each their own person in their own unique way, but they were also part of the greater whole; they were, in many ways, the same. On an emotional level, despite their magic, they had very real, relatable issues.

The use of recipes and concoctions throughout was fabulous! It was a unique way to add epistolary passages to the book, and I say that because there is usually some sass to the directions, depending on who’s recipe it is, which made me giggle. It adds to the voicey-ness and overall tone of the story. Some of the recipes sound quite interesting!

Overall, this book was an absolute delight to read. I loved the characters, I loved their magic, I loved the writing. It was a compelling story right from the start and there were so many facets that kept me wanting to turn the pages. The characters are quirky, funny, and easy to love. Bianca dives head-first into issues that are very real and uses poignant passages to outline their importance and get to the root of it all: that love is for everyone, no matter your age, gender or identity, appearance, race, skin colour, beliefs, or anything else. Love doesn’t discriminate the way some humans do, and at the end of the day, the only person you need to answer to is yourself and what you believe in. And also, damn the patriarchy! There are very powerful and emotional messages woven throughout this extraordinary story and I felt a solidarity in reading the author’s words. The book’s logline alone made me want to read it: Why were we taught to fear witches and not the men who burned them? If that doesn’t make you pause and think, I don’t know what will! Underneath it all, this is a story about acceptance, love, and not letting anyone own you or trample your uniqueness. It’s about coming together, about forgiveness, and about standing up for what’s right.

Knowing Bianca and what she stands for, I can very much hear pieces of her in these wonderful characters that I wish were real so I could be friends with. And visit in their spooky manor. (Because who doesn’t want to go inside a spooky manor and have cool drinks with witchy friends?!)
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EEEKKK!!!! One of my favorite authors has a new book in the world today. @biancamarais_author is back, and this time, she brilliantly meshes present-day themes of race, gender, women’s rights, and sexual identity with a spellbinding flair in her brand new magical tale, 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘔𝘰𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘩𝘺𝘯𝘦 𝘔𝘢𝘯𝘰𝘳. It is time to hop on a souped-up Harley Davidsonstick and fly on over to Moonshyne Manor & Distillery to meet some of my new favorite characters who are not only fierce friends but WITCHES too. Being described as 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐆𝐨𝐥𝐝𝐞𝐧 𝐆𝐢𝐫𝐥𝐬 meets 𝐏𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐌𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥, Queenie, Ursula, Jezebel, Tabitha, Ivy, and Ruby are a force to be reckoned with. Let’s not forget about Widget and Persephone too. These characters are MY PEOPLE!⁣
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So here is what’s brewing in the cauldron. The witches are trying to save Moonshyne Manor & Distillery from a reckoning ball that threatens to end its existence. As they devise a plan to save their home, we get an inside look into what their lives are really like living as modern-day witches. Now here is the fun stuff. There are potions, rituals, and cocktails to keep things mystical. But more importantly, there is FIGHTING THE PATRIARCH. The witches are some badass feminists, so If you are hoping for some form of high-stakes heist or perhaps a magical wand or two all in the hands of some powerful women, you will be a delighted reader. ⁣
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To say I am obsessed with this book and its colorful characters is an understatement. Marais writes friendship and aging with grace and humor that had me cackling like a witch. I was utterly blown away by the exquisite details of enchantresses at their finest and sorcery galore. The action-packed scenes that fill the pages are wild and sparkly and will have you on the edge of your broomstick, while the deep-rooted friendships will tug on your tender heartstrings.⁣
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𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘔𝘰𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘩𝘺𝘯𝘦 𝘔𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘳 is everything I dreamed it would be. I genuinely want to be a witch and hang with this crew! Please make this book happen!
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This is a really fun book full of quirky characters that shifts the focus from the stereotypical coming of age magical protagonist to a bunch of strong willed older ladies.
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This book! I have it now in every version and I am obsessed with it. I think the Golden Girls vibe is what really gets me so excited about this book. I love the fact that each witch has their own personality and are just hilarious in their own right. 

Bianca Marais can do no wrong in my eyes and after listening to The Prynne Viper, I knew this book was going to be exquisite! Definitely recommend to all who love a little witchy magic in their life!
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Any time a book has this many quirky characters, there's bound to be some laughs. Throw in that so many are in their 80s and completely unapologetic for their quirks, and it's like a day with my grandparents 4 times over. Now, I'm not going to pretend that I saw the need for some of the steamy stuff, which is where this one lost me in the beginning. I have no doubt that octogenarians do get busy, and I hope I'm as fortunate, but I don't want to know what my granny is doing in the bedroom, so there's that. The rest of the story is a fun bit of escapism, and once everyone was introduced, I was able to immerse myself in the book and enjoy the read. I have a feeling this is gonna be one of those books that love it or hate it; you're probably not likely to forget it. If you like quirky witches and a bit of mystery, I'd say give this one a go.
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I will start off by saying- I love this author. The two books I read from her prior to this one were both five star reads, but this book was so different that I had a hard time with the story. I read the synopsis of this book and was hesitant to request it knowing that fantasy doesn’t usually work for me…and as it turns out, I should have just skipped it. 

I really wanted to love this one, but sadly I just couldn’t get into it and never felt a connection to the characters. I know that many will love this one, but witches and magic just aren’t my thing. 

I still look forward to whatever Bianca Marais comes out with next. Thank you Netgalley for this advance reading copy.
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I hadn’t yet read Bianca Marais before this year, but I had heard from a few trusted book friends that her books were just too good. So, when I had the chance to review The Witches of Moonshyne Manor, which was being described as Golden Girls meets Practical Magic, I hopped on it. And I’m really glad I did! Marais’ latest novel, which published on August 23, is a great, feminist, well-written addition to plethora of witchy books being released lately.

Here's the book’s description:
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.
It did take me awhile to get really into this story. It was hard to keep track of each of the witches. They had their own personalities, but I read someone else’s review that said their “voices” weren’t distinctive enough in writing and I think I must agree. There were also a lot of secrets and pieces of information that was being kept from the reader that I didn’t really think was adding to the story in any way. Give me all the details and move on with telling me the current story. Once pieces fell into place, I was able to enjoy the story more and was completely invested in the ride and was desperately hoping the women would be able to save their home and their town.

I love reading magical, witchy books and part of it is seeing how the magic is described and performed. Each of the witches in this book had slightly different types of magic that they excelled at, and I loved it so much. Nothing was overly complicated (other than the game the witches play that even the name escapes me because that scene dragged on for far too long) and it all made sense – as much as magic and witches can make sense.

This novel is intensely feminist without really beating you over the head with it. Kind of how I hope I live my own life, but I don’t think I’m as vocal in my beliefs as these gals were. And that includes Persephone. I hope more teenagers are like this fictional one because that will bode well for humanity.

The Witches of Moonshyne Manor won’t be a book for everyone but I really enjoyed the novel Bianca Marais wrote. It was smart, funny, and magical which is what I ask from every witchy read I pick up. I’ll definitely be checking out what Marais writes next – and probably her backlist too!

*An egalley of this novel was provided by the publisher, HarperCollins, via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*
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A group of octogenarians who are witches? Oh yes, sign me up! This read was hilarious, let me tell you that. I loved how this group held together to save what they have. Their bond and friendship was just amazing.

Not only was this novel about witches and a sisterhood, but this book was also magically written because you’re getting enchanted after having read the first chapter. I just couldn’t put my Kindle down while reading this gem, and it just gave me so much joy.

I also loved the fact that the reader was able to get to know all the witches of the group because they were all so different and loveable in their own ways.

I guess that I will stop here because I definitely don’t want to spoiler anyone and that’s also my cue to tell you to read this book!
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The Witches of Moonshyne Manor

Publication date: August, 23 2022

Thank you to @netgalley and @_mira_books_ for both the audio and EARC of this novel! 

QOTD: Do you have a favorite fictional witch? Who are they? If not, what’s your favorite type of soup? 

This book was marketed as Practical Magic meets The Golden Girls, and I cannot think of a more apt way of describing this book. This novel follows five octogenarian witches and residents of Moonshyne Manor. These wacky ladies run a distillery and sell to the locals in town. We have Queenie, the leader of the pack who love experimentation. We have the Sarah Sanderson/Blanche Deveraux sexy one of the group, Jezebel. Clairvoyant Ursula, Tabby who can communicate with animals, and geeen thumb Ivy round out this group. 

The main story of the book is that the women are at risk of losing Moonshyne Manor after being behind on multiple mortgage payments. The women perform a series of comedic stunts, unravel mysteries and even join forces with a TikTok star hellebent on smashing the patriarchy to safe their home. 

This book is full of magic, laughs, and wonder all while managing to tackle harder issues Ageism and sexism are among a couple of the issues tackled throughout this book. I highly recommend this novel for fans of witchy stories and a celebration of diversity.
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4.5 🌟

I love Bianca Marais’ books 𝐇𝐮𝐦 𝐈𝐟 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐃𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐊𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐬 and ​​𝐈𝐟 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐖𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐆𝐨𝐝 𝐋𝐚𝐮𝐠𝐡. Now I have another to add to the list! 

Six old witches: feisty, funny, even some of them sex-crazed, live in their manor house awaiting their sister Ruby to return. See, they are behind on mortgage payments, and they hope that Ruby remembers where she hid the treasure from when they pulled off a heist years ago. Yeah, they did that. 

Anyway, an angry mob arrives trying to remove the witches; one man even claims his family is the victim of the witches’ heist. This is when Queenie, the witch in charge, makes a “deal with the devil,” so to speak. 

Things between the sisters get very interesting upon Ruby’s return as secrets start to emerge. The witches have their own personalities and powers, but they are not very tech savvy; help in that area comes from a young TikToker named Persephone. 

This is a magical story about modern-day witches, with themes of female empowerment, friendship, and even celebrating aging. There are special treats with recipes and spells scattered throughout the pages.

Thank you @harpercollins @_mira_books_ and @biancamarais for a spot on tour and a gifted ebook.
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Bianca Marais may have been a new author for me, but after reading the blurb for The Witches of Moonshyne Manor, I jumped at the opportunity to read and review. After all, lead characters in their eighties are not a usual occurrence in the book world. The idea of octogenarian Witches banding together to save their home intrigued me. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out the way I hoped.

The story began in an interesting tone, and soon I found myself eager to discover how it would all unfold. However, it took a 360-degree turn and was not for the best. With its slowing pacing and lack of excitement expected, the story became a struggle to get through. The Witches are supposed to be working on saving their home, but more focus was placed on reunions, events from the past and acquainting themselves with the teenager who offered to assist them in protecting their home.

I had a hard time getting into this book. It definitely did not work for me. I kept listening, hoping it would get better, but it never did. I felt disconnected from the characters and the story. The most interesting aspects of the story were
1. the Narration
2. the past events regarding the heist, which ultimately revealed reasons for Ruby’s incarceration.

Amy Landon narrated and her narration gave what otherwise a dull story some life. Her voices aptly portrayed each of the characters. She brought them to life by adding the right emotion to her reading. I had no issues Listening to her narration, which was the main reason I stuck with the story to the bitter end.

Now I know I am in the minority where liking this story is concerned as I have seen several readers giving rave reviews. It didn’t deliver the desired effect for me, but don’t let my views deter you from picking it up if you think it would interest you.
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Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Witches of Moonshyne Manor

Author: Biance Marais

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 1.5/5

Spice: 1/5

Diversity: Black character

Recommended For...: paranormal, adult, thriller, heist, magic, fantasy

Publication Date: August 23, 2022

Genre: Paranormal Thriller

Age Relevance: 18+ (cursing, sexual content, sexism, death, HP references, illness, alcohol consumption, violence)

Explanation of Above: There is a lot of cursing in this book and sexual content mentioned, hardly any shown. There are some sexist comments thrown around and illness is shown and mentioned. There are 3 HP references. There is alcohol consumption shown a lot. There is some gun violence.

Publisher: MIRA

Pages: 400

Synopsis: 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.

Funny, tender and uplifting, the novel explores the formidable power that can be discovered in aging, found family and unlikely friendships. Marais’ clever prose offers as much laughter as insight, delving deeply into feminism, identity and power dynamics while stirring up intrigue and drama through secrets, lies and sex. Heartbreaking and heart-mending, it will make you grateful for the amazing women in your life.

Review: This was a meh book for me. For the good portions of the book, I liked that it poked some fun at older witch media and it’s got a strong Fuck The Patriarchy tone to it. I also liked that it included the recipes for the items that the witches were making throughout the book.

However, I didn’t like this book. The book was a bit too heavy handed on the “wokeness” and while I’m definitely all there for changing society and everything, I felt like the author tried too hard and it leaned into the satirical territory or the “let’s make fun of liberals” territory. I also hated that the book had a character who was very feminist, but loved Harry Potter. Like… make it make sense? You can’t have true feminism unless you fight for every female. Maybe I missed the whole point of the novel and it’s really not a true witches book, but it’s certainly messy and doesn’t make sense half the time. Unless I’m completely wrong about the character of the author, I think the author tried but really needs to do some rewrites on this one and needs to make sure that they’re as socially aware as their characters pretend they are.

Verdict: It’s a no for me.
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