I spent much of today preparing my completed chapters for a public unveiling in an online critique group. I had to draft a bit of set-up text – something like the teaser you might read on the back of a paperback novel. It needs work, but this is what I came up with:
In one line:
A haunted Midwestern family discovers its own secret heritage after one member dabbles in new-age spirituality.
In about 250 words:
Lizzy Rickart Robideau – thirty-three years old and sixteen years married – has everything her extended family ever wanted for her: a snug house in picturesque Arden, where generations of Rickarts have grown up. Two bright, well-behaved children. An adoring, ambitious, husband. Lizzy knows she should be content, but lately her homely, constructive pastimes – like knitting, scrapbooking, gardening – have failed to stave off a gnawing restlessness.
One September evening, on her weekly night out, Lizzy’s childhood fascination with the paranormal is rekindled. In the days that follow – inspired by books about new-age witchcraft and spurred on by her long-held suspicion that her century-old house is haunted – she develops an eclectic practice of the Craft for herself. Her magickal efforts meet with satisfying success, but unintended consequences arise. The minor paranormal phenomena which initially sparked her curiosity intensify. Tensions develop in her relationships when her occult interest is dismissed, even mocked, by her most trusted confidants.
As the formerly benign haunting begins to menace her and the children, Lizzy – feeling more isolated than ever before within her close-knit family – is forced to seek understanding, advice and instruction from an experienced witch, who has recently opened a metaphysical shop in Arden. While striving to control her own abilities – and those of her teenage daughter – she works to excavate her family’s heritage in an effort to identity the spirits that are threatening to tear apart everything she has built.