Opal Fire

A Stacy Justice Mystery, #1

Stacy Justice returned to Amethyst, IL just a few short months ago and has barely settled into the guest cottage behind her Grandmother and Great Aunts Bed & Breakfast. Little did she know when she agreed to help her cousin, Cinnamon, by going into The Black Opal bar to open early that she would be fighting for her life and that of her Great Dane, Thor. A fire suddenly breaks out and Stacy won't leave without Thor and he is caught in the corner on the spigot of a beer keg. With Thor just out of reach, and Stacy unable to move the heavy keg, she is about to give up on either of them surviving. Then incomes Leo, the sheriff. Stacy grabs his gun and shoots into the Barrel so the beer runs out. Leo shifts the keg, cuts Thor's collar loose and rushes them all out of the blazing bar.

A young boy in the crowd outside the burning bar, with a smug look on his face, causes an uneasy feeling in Stacy. He flips her the bird and she takes off after him with Thor. When her lungs start to give she sends Thor to get him, then promptly ends up in the snow sitting on her backside. She runs into Derek the new photographer at the paper where she is employed. After Cinnamon's flammable temper flares and she gives Derek a hard time for causing her cousin to fall, Stacy looks up to a sight she was hoping to miss.

Her Grandmother, Birdie and both her Aunt Angelica and Aunt Fiona, The Geraghty Sisters, the local witches coming down the side walk toward her. Their colorful capes are billowing around them. They came to celebrate Imbolc day or Birdie's namesake, Brighid's day. For some reason they feel Stacy is a very talented witch, even though she is forever denying it. She has not practiced since her father died and her mother left her when she was 13. No more visions, no more spells (okay a few to make her Grandmother happy but that's all).

While rummaging in the closed off basement of the bar for Thor's food Stacy is drawn to a dark corner where she finds a necklace. Then she overhears that the fire was most likely caused by faulty wiring, even though it had recently been inspected. When the insurance adjuster, Benjamin Smalls, arrives though it is a different story all together. Arson, such an ugly word. In this case it will keep Cinnamon's insurance from paying out on the insurance policy so that she can rebuild. All the evidence points to Cin, but everyone knows it couldn't be her. Everyone but Smalls who seems almost gleeful to point the finger at Cin.

Birdie informs Stacy she is going away with her ex of 30 years to a married couples retreat as she hands her The Blessed Book, the very large family book of spells, potions and family history. She is instructed to read it. Her grandparents get their things together as the new guest arrives, unfortunately it is Mr. Smalls. This encounter doesn't go any better than the last, in fact it is even worse. Stacy and Thor are arrested for assault.

So begins a new wonderfully humorous series by Barbra Annino. Follow along as Stacy's talents demand to be acknowledged and she begins to think her family may be right in that she may have strong Wiccan talents. Maybe she deserves the name her Grandmother Birdie gave her as a child, The Seeker of Justice. With threats coming from all directions and a dead girl who wants justice, and both old and new boyfriends wanting her safe, Stacy wants answers and will let nothing stop her from getting the truth and writing the story. You will stay close until the end when Stacy finds out who the stranger that is stalking her is and a 20 year old dream comes true. Don't miss out on the second installment of the Stacy Justice series "Blackstone". It's just waiting for you to pick it up to read.

Book Blurb for Opal Fire

Stacy Justice is just your average green-eyed, redheaded, twenty-something witch who would rather focus on her job as a reporter than practice the crazy magic her grandmother and great-aunts are into. She’s perfectly content to spend her free time hanging with her cop boyfriend and her gassy Great Dane and helping her cousin Cinnamon run the Black Opal bar. But when the Opal goes up in flames, Stacy may need that magic after all.

The blaze was arson—and Cinnamon is the prime suspect. Determined to clear her cousin’s name, Stacy digs deep into the crime and makes a shocking discovery amid the rubble. It’s clear someone wants her dead—and she’ll have to dodge everything from angry motorists to exploding chickens to survive. It’s time to dust off her so-called magic skills. But will they be there when she needs them?

With its strong, sexy heroine and her razor-sharp wit, and its collection of eccentric small-town characters, Opal Fire introduces a bewitching new mystery series.

Night Owl Reviews May, 2013 5.00