I have found another new series! The Stacy Justice series by Barbra Annino. I found this series through the compilation Every Witch Way But Wicked. As you may know from previous posts, I can not stand to start in the middle of a series, so when I started reading "A Tale of Two Witches" by Christiana Miller and Barbra Annino and realized that the characters mentioned within were established in other series, I immediately stopped reading the story and started the respective series'. I did enjoy Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead by Christiana Miller (where some of the characters in the story originate) and will post my review soon. However, I was really drawn in by Annino's Stacy Justice. Opal Fire is the first book in the series and it introduces us to Stacy Justice, a woman born into a family of witches but does not want to accept her prophesied role as the Seeker. She has recently moved back to the small town of Amethyst and the lives of her family, including her grandmother Birdie and great-aunts Fiona and Lolly, collectively known as the Geraghty Girls and revered as the local witches. Stacy believes and understands the magic held by her family but refuses to embrace the magic as a part of her. However, when her cousin Cinnamon's bar, The Black Opal, burns to the ground under mysterious circumstances, Stacy has to harness everything in her power, including her powers, to prove Cinnamon wrongly accused and bring justice to another lost soul. In the second book, Bloodstone, Stacy is faced with accepting her role in the family in order to help a long lost sister (?) and protect a centuries old secret. She must learn to face her own demons regarding magic and find her place within the family hierarchy.
Both books are well-written and contain compelling characters. The Geraghty Girls alone are worth reading both books, but the other characters are as well-written and likable. Stacy is real, with real problems, magic aside, and very likable. She is surrounded by friends and family that are both skeptical about her family and supportive of the craziness. You want to read about her, her life and the town and you want her to triumph over whatever circumstances she finds herself in. I thoroughly enjoyed both Opal Fire and Bloodstone and look forward to reading the third Stacy Justice book Tiger's Eye due out in 2012.