Genre = Light Paranormal, Romantic Comedy, Humorous Fantasy, Romance​

Crone Wars Book Cover, light paranormal romance, witchesCrone Wars

Game of Crones, Book 3

Written for the Magic and Mayhem Universe


**The Magic and Mayhem Universe is published through Draft2Digital which currently does not support Google.

LENGTH: 31,276 words

RELEASE DATE: June 26, 2023

Will the Power of Three soon cease to be?

In a world of witches, familiars, and dark forces, Katherine must prove her loyalty and battle against the hot mess she created by holding back the truth. Mather, a dark witch reborn through sacrifice, is also the man who fathered her and he wants her powers. She should have warned her coven, but she didn’t, and now they no longer trust her.

Her problems are out of control. Sean won’t take no for an answer. People are dropping off strange dog familiars in her shop, and the Baba Yaga is coming to lecture. Worst of all, Goddess Hecate pronounced her not powerful enough to fight her evil father and only good enough to be used as bait.

How is she ever going to prove everyone is wrong about her?

If you enjoyed the witchy adventures of other books in the Mayhem and Mayhem Universe and Donna McDonald’s Games of Crones, you’ll be enthralled by the exciting finish of the series in Crone Wars.


Katherine stood in the small rear courtyard of her business and stared at her beautiful surroundings. The stone patio wasn’t easily damaged, which made it a great place to practice magic. She put a century into creating the perfect landscaping that now sheltered the outdoor space.

She lived in the five small rooms upstairs and it had been important to create an outdoor sanctuary that made her feel less trapped by walls. She was the last store on this street and the thick woods surrounding her business on two sides provided a shelter where she could safely practice her craft without risking observation.

This town wasn’t the home Salem had been in her youth, but it was close enough. She’d felt the possibilities for thriving here the first time she’d set foot in the store. Despite Violet’s encouragement for her to stay and Listeria’s attempts to guilt her into obeying Violet, she’d moved out of Salem and into a life of her own.

She’d begun as a shopkeeper but made the store all hers as soon as she was able. That was back when she’d spent most mornings shoveling horse poop off the cobbled street outside its door. Eventually, she’d turned enough profit selling tinctures and salves to hire someone to do it for her. Then had come the cars and electricity. Goddess, the changes she’d seen in this place awed her even on the worst of days.

Now she’d ruined everything.

Mather had escaped them once more, and it had been her fault yet again.

Her Crone sisters hated her for her lame magic, not that she blamed them. Her powers had failed at the critical moment, which meant she’d miserably failed her coven. Jabari even lost one of his nine lives because of her.

Thankfully, Alastair hadn’t been inside the building. He was only a warlock. Goddess only knew what might have happened to him.

Sean also hadn’t been inside the building to witness her utter defeat. If something had happened to him, Violet would have killed her for sure. She hated worrying about Sean. She hated that the only man in her life was barely a man.

Sean shouldn’t even be talking to her. He should be afraid to be in her company.

Beaten down by her regret, Katherine removed her Crone cloak and laid it on the nearby table. She stared at her hands while she folded it. Her hands looked like a normal pair of forty-year-old hands, but in the space of a single eye-blink, her hands could look like they belonged to a hundred-year-old woman.

Centuries had passed since she took the Crone oath, but the cost of gaining Crone powers still stunned her.

“Well, that could have turned out much worse,” the man-child in her life said from behind her back.

“How, Sean? Both of them hate me. Even Listeria is mad at me, and she never gets mad. Violet may never forgive me for not telling her that Mather was my biological father. The only way this could be worse is if she knew about you hanging around me all the time.”

Sean shrugged and smiled. “It’s technically not your fault that I refuse to take no for an answer. That’s all on me, and I’m happy to take the blame.”

Katherine turned to face him. “This is not a matter of taking the blame. This is a matter of principle. You are Violet’s son—her only child. Her hopes and dreams live in you. That’s how motherhood works.”

“How can you be so sure? You’ve mothered no one. I’m not saying that to be cruel. I’m just pointing out that you’re awfulizing everything you think Mom might do in reaction to finding out.”

She breathed out a sigh as Sean walked closer. He pulled a vine out of a pocket in his robe before making the garment disappear. That was his level of power now. He’d grown a lot since he’d been practicing his grandmother’s craft.

Sean smiled at her, placed the green stem on her arm, and sent his magic flowing through it. The vine stretched and crawled from her wrist to her elbow, blooming all along its length as it wrapped her arm.

He put a hand on her shoulder. “I’m not a fifteen-year-old boy with a crush anymore. I’m a man, Katherine, and have been one for a long time now. And I’ve been with enough women to understand how unsatisfying sex can be with the wrong person.”

Internally, Katherine wept for the romantic affection Sean offered her. What woman wouldn’t be impressed with such a sincere declaration? Externally, she ignored his gift because she was determined not to lead him on. She would not give Sean any hope. She made that mistake once and Sean had kissed her.

Moving on to someone else after his kiss had been impossible. There had been no men in her life since Sean had come back into Violet’s.

She swallowed hard as she stared at him. “Despite Listeria and Jabari’s unusual situation, living in solitude for centuries is one of the many costs of practicing Crone magic.”

“I disagree. Living in solitude is a choice,” Sean argued. “You can make a different one any time you want. Mom reconciled with Dad. Listeria has Jabari. You have me, Katherine. All you have to do is accept what I’m offering you.”

Katherine rubbed her forehead and swore. “Listeria cursed me. On top of everything else wrong in my life, I now have to suffer the witch’s equivalent of behavior therapy. If I fail, I will lose my powers, age rapidly, and die.”

Sean shrugged. “All the more reason not to send me away, right? I’m more of an optimist than you are. If you forgive yourself for being foolish, your magic will thrive. Mom is right about that.”

“Your mother is right about a lot of things, but she may not be right about me. Making me into a Crone could be the worst mistake Violet ever made.”

“Mom is going through her own midlife Crone crisis. I let my father convince me to ignore my mother’s guidance and study magic with him instead. Mom’s forgiven me enough to let me study Tituba’s magic, but Dad and I both cause her guards to go up when we question her. Mom’s not nearly as confident as she seems to be.”

Shaking her head, Katherine walked away. When she looked at her arm, she smiled and touched the fragrant white blossom. “Violet loves you, Sean.”

Sean shoved his hands in his pockets. “The only one talking about Mom is you. All that time I spent living with Dad, I never contacted you in person. When I saw you again, I realized time and distance never changed my feelings. You and I are meant to be, Katherine. That’s why I’m willing to risk Mom getting mad at both of us. I wouldn’t have minded if Listeria had made telling Mom about me a part of her bargain with you.”

Katherine kept all her relationships loose and let no one get close enough to tie her down. Six months ago Sean showed up here, insisted his lifelong infatuation with her was true love, and said he was tired of sleeping with women who weren’t her.

“Your interest in me is abnormal, Sean. Can’t you wrap your head around that truth?”

Sean shook his head. “Here’s my truth. Mom and Listeria think of you as a child, which is exactly what they still think of me. I don’t see the problem with us as a couple. We’re both children to them.”

“I’m a Crone, Sean. You get upset when you see Violet in her Crone condition. I’ve seen you look away because her human fragility scares you.”

“Only because Mom lets herself get to the point of death before regenerating. You don’t use your Crone state as an excuse not to take care of yourself like she does.”

Katherine rubbed her forehead. “Cotton Mather debauched my birth mother. I’ve done my best to put those terrible Salem days behind me, which is why I refuse to debauch you. Also, Violet would turn me into some hideous creature and leave me like that. And I wouldn’t blame her.”

“What if I were someone else’s son and not Violet’s? I doubt you’d be giving my age or my birth any consideration. Auntie Listeria said you preferred younger men.”

Shock burst out of her unchecked. “How is she your aunt, but I’m not? And I can’t believe you talked to Listeria about us.”

“Ha! So there is an us,” Sean said, grinning at her face turning red.

Katherine stomped her foot. “You’re missing the point, Sean. Younger men are simple and uncomplicated, but you are neither of those. Your innate power exceeds mine and Listeria’s. I won’t say I don’t find you attractive, but I can’t betray your mother again. Violet would freak out if she was here listening to this conversation.”

Sean chuckled. “Of course, she would freak out. I simply think you’re worth the trouble. I wish you felt the same about me.”

Katherine held out a hand and let the vine grow down to her palm where it bloomed in a large white blossom that smelled heavenly.

“Please, Sean. Please go find someone who will grow old with you and give you children. I could be dead tomorrow. Listeria’s curse could kill me.”

“Yes, I recall the details of the curse. No, I will not look elsewhere. Get used to me sticking around because that’s what I intend to do. Right after I go get us some lunch,” Sean said, chuckling as he walked away.

“Sean… wait. I don’t have time for lunch today. I have too much work to do.” She followed him back inside and tried not to cringe when Liz turned her face away from them to laugh.

“You need to keep up your strength to do your Crone work. See? This is why you need me to take care of you,” he tossed out, moving through the shop and out the front door.

Katherine trekked back to the courtyard and fought not to scream. This was the most out of control she could ever remember feeling. Confirming she was the offspring of the corrupted Cotton Mather had brought her physical suffering, actual pain, and emotional torment. Plus, endless humiliation.

Katherine would never, ever forget the humiliation of thinking she could bind his soul. “I have to stop this madness—to stop him,” she said aloud.

“Yes, I completely agree. And you need to do it quickly.”

Katherine swung around to look for the person who’d spoken and encountered a thick cloud of purple and orange glitter. Out of it walked a slender woman wearing a purple mini-skirt, black hose, and white knee-high boots. The woman was also wearing a wig and the fake black hair made her look pasty. She looked like one of the goth backup dancers in the Robert Plant video she’d watched last week on TV.

No… wait. She knew this witch. It was the Baba Yaga in all her strange glory. What was she doing here? The realization irritated her too much to guard her tongue. “Hecate bless, can’t I be left alone for five seconds to whine about my life in private?”

The Baba Yaga giggled at her outburst.

“Hello to you as well, Katherine. How’s my least favorite Crone doing these days? The three of you are always so grumpy when I visit.”

Katherine waved away the still-falling purple glitter before motioning to the nearby table. She didn’t want to add poor manners to her list of growing sins.

“I’m sorry, Great One. Would you like a glass of witches tea? I made some yesterday but haven’t gotten to drink it.”

The Baba Yaga crossed her arms. “Are you having a bad day?”

“Something like that.” Katherine waved at the table again. “Please, Great One, have a seat.”

Katherine watched as the Baba Yaga debated her next move. How much of a personal crisis was deciding to sit down at a table or not?

It was all she could do not to roll her eyes at the alleged alpha witch of all witches. She’d bet her money on Violet being able to take the Baba Yaga in a magical fight. Katherine waited at least sixty seconds before the powerful woman finally lowered herself to pull out a freaking chair. Then she spoke.

“There are very few witches walking our planet as powerful as you and your sisters. I consider you Crones to be my peers, so please… call me Carol.”

Katherine rolled her shoulders instead of her eyes. “Thanks for that, I guess. Can I get you some tea, Carol?”

When the Baba Yaga finally nodded, Katherine sighed before hustling into the shop and the small kitchen she’d had installed downstairs. It required updating every couple of decades, but it allowed her not to have to traipse up to her main living quarters all the time.

Her shop assistant, Liz [check this name], appeared in the doorway. “Was that burst of magic in the courtyard something you did?”

Katherine shook her head. “No, the Baba Yaga has come to visit. I’d invite you to join us, but I get a sense that this is not a social call. I believe I’m in magical trouble.”

Oh, wow,” Liz exclaimed as she hurried to peer out the kitchen window. “She’s dressed very goth for the Witch Protectress. Is that a wig she’s wearing? I’m confused. I thought she had red hair.”

“That was the Jezibaba—the previous something-baba-whatever. This version is forty-ish, but she doesn’t regenerate like Crones. She simply ages slower than most witches.”

Liz snorted. “For a woman in her position, you’d think she’d want to project her authority. She looks like she’s going to audition for a music video.”

Snickering, Katherine filled two glasses with tea. “Did you expect to see the Witch Protectress wearing a long black robe, ceremonial charms, and sporting a tall black hat?”

Liz giggled and shrugged. “I guess I watch too much TV.”

Katherine grinned. “We all do, but your questions are shared by many who meet her. Be grateful she’s not wearing the metal Madonna bra today. The only thing she wears under that ensemble is a lime green spandex jumpsuit that shows every unflattering bulge.” She picked up the two glasses of tea. “Warn Sean when he gets back, will you?”

“He’s picking up lunch for all of us. I’m happy to keep a watch out for him,” Liz promised.

Her assistant’s giggles brought a smirk to Katherine’s lips as she carried drinks outside.

What is the Magic and Mayhem Universe? Here’s what the author says…

Blast Off with us into the Magic and Mayhem Universe!

I’m Robyn Peterman, the creator of the Magic and Mayhem Series and I’d like to invite you to my Magic and Mayhem Universe. What is the Magic and Mayhem Universe, you may ask? Well, let me explain…

It’s basically authorized fan fiction written by some amazing authors that I stalked and blackmailed! KIDDING! I was lucky and blessed to have some brilliant authors say yes! They have written brand new stories using my world and some of my characters. And let me tell you… the results are hilarious!

So here it is! Blast off with us into the hilarious Magic and Mayhem Universe. Side-splitting books by fantabulous authors! Check out each and every one. You will laugh your way to a magical HEA!

For all the stories, go to Grab your copy today!


Who is Robyn Peterman? So glad you want to know!

My life hasn’t been the same since I met Robyn Peterman in a writer’s group where we were the only two comedy writers and the only two authors writing paranormal. Now we’re critique partners and over our years of working together she’s taught me many, many, many new potty words. We’re thinking about making our own dictionary.

Check out Robyn’s original series that began the Magic and Mayhem Universe. CLICK HERE to visit the website.

 Other Books You Might Enjoy

Stone Cold Crone Book Cover, light paranormal romance,  witches

Stone Cold Crone

Crone Alone Book Cover, light paranormal romance, witches

Crone Alone

Crone Wars Book Cover, light paranormal romance,  witches

Crone Wars

science fiction romance, military, space opera, sexy aliens, paranormal, action and adventure, literature and fiction
science fiction romance, military, space opera, sexy aliens, paranormal, action and adventure, literature and fiction
Howl about it by Donna McDonald Light Paranormal romance
Second Chance Witch Book Cover