The Cotton Family Series by Nicole Canfield

Updated on October 25, 2019
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Holding a complete fascination with the folkloric witch, Kitty has studied the history and folklore of witchcraft since she was a child.

Books 1 and 2 of The "Cotton Family" series
Books 1 and 2 of The "Cotton Family" series | Source

What Is The Cotton Family Series?

The Cotton Family Series is a highly-rated, addictive fictional series written by Nicole Canfield. Fans have described Canfield's books as "supernatural thriller meets magical realism," as the series combines intense ghostly scenes with American folk magic, witchcraft, and bits of Native American shamanism. The magic woven throughout the series is fantasy and yet invokes a sense of reality as if the reader is actually seeing the world through the eyes of the main characters.

The first book, Familiar Spirits, was published in April of 2016 and since its publication has sold hundreds of copies. It is available as an e-book through Kindle Unlimited and also as a paperback through Amazon or directly through the author. Familiar Spirits leaves its readers wanting to know more about what happens to the main character, Lucy Cotton.

The second book, Hungry Spirits, was published not long after the first in October of 2016. Hungry Spirits picks up directly where Familiar Spirits left off . . . with Lucy Cotton surviving in a world full of restless spirits, malevolent witches, ancient curses, and other unforeseen enemies. Read on to learn more about the witchy main characters (Lucy, Maddox, and Vieve), the setting, the inspiration for the plot, where the series is headed, and more!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Artist Giada Rose's illustration of Lucy at the piano with two restless spirits beside herFamiliar Spirits, Book 1Hungry Spirits, Book 2
Artist Giada Rose's illustration of Lucy at the piano with two restless spirits beside her
Artist Giada Rose's illustration of Lucy at the piano with two restless spirits beside her | Source
Familiar Spirits, Book 1
Familiar Spirits, Book 1 | Source
Hungry Spirits, Book 2
Hungry Spirits, Book 2 | Source

The Main Characters

This section provides an overview of each of the series' three main characters: Lucy Cotton, Maddox Rowtag, and Genevieve Castrano.

Lucy Cotton

The series is told mostly through the perspective of Lucy Cotton. Lucy is a woman with a frightening and mysterious past that is linked to her grandmother's estate, the Cotton Family Plantation. After running away from her childhood home at the age of eighteen, nearly a decade later she is forced to return to be the executor of her late grandmother's will.

She finds that the spirits from her past were just waiting for her to return, and her estranged mother reveals an age-old secret about Lucy's family. Lucy learns how to accept the truth about her family while also dealing with a malevolent and malicious spirit that haunts the property. As the story unfurls, Lucy has to rise to meet her destiny and learns about who she truly is in the process. Lucy Cotton is a fierce, take-no-crap kind of woman who has a love for the darker side of life. Join her on her adventure!

Maddox Rowtag

Maddox is another of the protagonists in the series and is Lucy's sidekick . . . of sorts. He is her childhood best friend and throughout the story turns out to be a little more than her pal. Maddox is a Native from a local tribe known as the Yaocomico and has been reared in a tradition of indigenous shamanism.

His grandfather was the last true chief of the tribe and encouraged Maddox to continue on with their legacy. Maddox struggles between his mundane responsibilities and his spiritual calling to protect Lucy Cotton. He is a tan, muscular, and laid-back man with a passion for old houses, sales, and getting his hands dirty. Find out more about Maddox in the series.

Genevieve Castrano

Genevieve "Vieve" Castrano is another of the series' protagonists. She is introduced in Hungry Spirits, Book 2. For this reason, spoilers will be kept at a minimum. We will say that Genevieve's character adds a sweet balance to Lucy's fiery side. She becomes another of Lucy's witchy sidekicks and is just as powerful as the next on the Cotton Family Plantation.

This twenty-year-old young lady from New Orleans can hold her own in the realms of magic and farmwork, and she may just have a few dangerous secrets of her own. Meet her unlikely, unique character in Book 2 of The Cotton Family Series.

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Sotterly Plantation in Maryland is the historic (and spooky) inspiration for the Cotton Family Plantation.The front door of the Cotton Family home (Sotterley)A closer look at the Cotton Family house (Sotterley)
Sotterly Plantation in Maryland is the historic (and spooky) inspiration for the Cotton Family Plantation.
Sotterly Plantation in Maryland is the historic (and spooky) inspiration for the Cotton Family Plantation. | Source
The front door of the Cotton Family home (Sotterley)
The front door of the Cotton Family home (Sotterley) | Source
A closer look at the Cotton Family house (Sotterley)
A closer look at the Cotton Family house (Sotterley) | Source

The Setting: The Cotton Family Plantation

If the eccentric and lovable main characters aren't enough for the story, the setting of The Cotton Family Series might entice you to read. Based in a fictional town called Weatherly, Maryland, the Cotton Family Plantation was built in the 1700s by a family of English Catholic immigrants. Their name was Cotton. The Cotton Family Plantation sat on a hundred acres or more of property and so it became a tobacco farm.

The Cotton Family House and plantation were inspired by a real historic landmark located in Hollywood, Maryland, known as the Sotterley Plantation (seen in the photos provided). Sotterley was the perfect place for a book setting with its colonial-style home, manicured fields, gardens, and multiple barns and cabins on the property. Not to mention Sotterley itself is reportedly haunted by not just one but multiple ghosts. The Cotton Family Plantation is also haunted by a plethora of restless spirits.

There's something about the Cotton Family House's twisting hallways, dusty corners, wooden stairs, and antiques that draws the reader in. The majority of the furniture and contents are from bygone eras: the Colonial and Victorian periods. Imagine walking into the past and you'll have imagined the interior of the Cotton Family House.

The secrets that unfurl with the turning of each page, the witchcraft, and the spirit elements really pull you in. Reading this story truly becomes an evocative experience.

— S.F. (Fan of the Series)

The Story: Ancient Curses & Magical Mysteries

The Cotton Family Series is inspired by the author's love for all things supernatural and includes some of her favorite monsters from folklore. The author actually weaves real bits of American and British folklore into the story. Readers might not realize, but they are reading witch folklore and antidotes of folk magic from the Appalachian and Ozark Mountains in the U.S. and also from Cornwall, England.

At eighteen years old, Lucy Cotton left her childhood home and all of her nightmares behind her. Over a decade later, she has no other choice but to return to be the executor of her grandmother’s will. Little does she know her entire logical world is about to be turned upside down.

Her estranged mother reveals a centuries-old family secret that shakes Lucy’s sense of reality. Not to mention, the terrifying nightmares that once haunted Lucy as a child seemed to be just waiting in the shadows for her to return. In Familiar Spirits, Book 1 of The Cotton Family Series, Lucy must try to settle the restless spirits in her ancestors’ Colonial home and sell the estate before she loses her sanity . . . and possibly her life.

In Hungry Spirits, Lucy Cotton returns. She has learned she is a witch, and the powers of her ancestors have been handed down to her through her bloodline. In Hungry Spirits, Book 2 of the Cotton Family Series, we continue Lucy’s story following her initiation into the craft. Lucy rises to greet her newfound powers and life seems to be falling into place. She’s running her ancestors’ colonial plantation, cultivating a beautiful romance with her childhood friend, and learning the ways of her witch-ancestors. But loose ends were never tied up, and Lucy has to come face to face with reality—the spirits at the Cotton Plantation do not rest.

The spirit that haunted her as a child and tried to take her life refuses to give up his vendetta. In search of the truth, Lucy discovers it’s not just the spirits who have it out for her, but another family whose ancestral roots run as deep as her own. Will she be able to protect herself and her home from her enemies? Will she finally solve the mysteries that held her family in turmoil for centuries? Or will she succumb to the pressure of a town’s hatred, a spirit’s malice, and another family’s revenge?

Supernatural thriller meets magical realism in the addictive Cotton Family Series where a woman learns alarming secrets about her family’s past and discovers she is no longer a normal person with a normal life.

Artwork by Giada Rose inspired by Lucy Cotton in "Familiar Spirits"
Artwork by Giada Rose inspired by Lucy Cotton in "Familiar Spirits" | Source

Ancient Spirits, Book 3

We've been left to decide what happens when Lucy comes face to face with one of her ultimate enemies in Hungry Spirits, Book 2 of The Cotton Family Series. What will happen with Lucy's search for the malevolent spirit that torments her and her family? Will she solve the mysteries that have plagued the Cottons for centuries?

In Ancient Spirits, Book 3 of The Cotton Family Series, we will find out exactly why there's a curse on the Cottons. We will also learn more about the Cotton Family Plantation and why it's so haunted. And we might finally see the end to a vampiric spirit's bloody reign and a conclusion to Lucy's ongoing struggle with the magical and spiritual worlds. Join me and become an ancient spirit!

To get updates about The Cotton Family Series, follow Author Nicole Canfield on FaceBook and YouTube. There may be a prequel released in the future!!!

Depiction of Lucy Cotton by artist Giada Rose
Depiction of Lucy Cotton by artist Giada Rose | Source

© 2017 Kitty Fields


Submit a Comment
  • dahoglund profile image

    Don A. Hoglund 

    3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

    Although I am not a big fan of witchcraft I do find something compelling about such stories and lore.

  • Whispering Night profile image


    3 years ago from our World

    When I think about my life I find Fiction stranger than truth. What is normal becomes supernatural just because we are not able to see it

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    3 years ago from England

    Well done! and nice one! just my kind of book, sounds amazing!


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