Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Salon: Opal Fire And A Surprise

Another week has past as we once again gather for Sunday Salon and share our thoughts on books we’ve read.

The cozy mystery genre comprises such a vast array of subjects that all most everyone can find something they enjoy. Pull up a comfortable chair, relax and let’s talk books. You can reach for your favorite beverage as we talk, but when you read the book I’m spotlighting today you might want to leave it off, otherwise there could be liquid sprayed everywhere because this story has some laugh out loud moments.

Be sure to check at the end of the post as the author has offered a special surprise.

OPAL FIRE by Barbra Annino

A fire at her cousin’s bar changes Investigative Reporter Stacy Justice’s life in more ways than she could ever image.

The insurance company doesn’t want to pay and even suggests her cousin torched her own business. It will take all of Stacy’s investigative skills, along with a few family traits she’s not so sure of, to find out who really started the fire and why.

Stacy begins to dig into the cause of the blaze despite objections from the local police chief, who also happens to be her boyfriend. Soon she discovers a mummified body sealed in the bar’s basement wall.

The closer Stacy gets to finding answers, the more danger she encounters. From an exploding chicken to a car wreck to a mysterious stranger stalking her to an icy plunge in a lake, Stacy remains determined to solve the case and help her cousin.

Stacy’s personal life is also on a bumpy road when her ex-boyfriend and her current boyfriend join together to try and protect her. Her divorced grandparents go on a marriage retreat just when she needs her grandmother’s advice the most. Stacy is also torn between trying to be ‘normal’ or following in the footsteps of her grandmother and aunts and embrace herself as a witch.

OPAL FIRE is filled with suspense and intrigue, along with a host of quirky characters that will have you laughing out loud. Stacy Justice is a delightful protagonist that is both enchanting and loyal to her family and friends. She also has a Great Dane that will have you shaking your head in amazement at his antics.

Author Barbra Annino keeps you guessing ‘whodunit’ until the end. And just when you think all is calm, she throws in a new twist that will have Stacy racing to her grandmother for answers. You don’t have to be a fan of the paranormal to enjoy OPAL FIRE, just a lover of fascinating cozy mysteries.

Author Barbra Annino’s website is

Opal Fire by Barbra Annino, A Stacy Justice Gemstone Mystery, Vanilla Heart Publishing (has since changed publishers), @2010, ISBN: 9781935407904, Hardcover, 236 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Now for the surprise….I can offer a book giveaway that is international. Author Barbra Annino has graciously offered 3 copies of OPAL FIRE to 3 lucky visitors who comment on today’s review. The winners will have a choice - if they live in the U.S. or Canada, they can select either a printed ARC (Advanced Reader Copy, uncorrected) of the book or a Kindle e-book and if the winner(s) live outside these areas, they will receive the e-book version. Be sure to include your e-mail address with your comment if it’s not included in your profile. The deadline to comment and be entered in the giveaway is 8 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, March 31.

What is your thoughts on bits of the paranormal and humor being included in a murder mystery? What was on your reading list this week?


  1. I'm not a mystery reader generally speaking, but you always make me want to run out and grab one!

  2. A mystery and a comedy? Sounds perfect.

  3. I keep hoping that I will enjoy the next murder mystery laced with humour or paranormal elements better than I did the last one I tried. I think I may be too sceptical, or perhaps not have a good enough sense of humour, but, ever an optimist, I live in hope! Perhaps OPAL FIRE wil hit the sweet spot! As you know, I have a Kindle :-)

  4. I'm also glad to indentify a fellow Sunday Saloner who is also hooked on crime fiction reading.

  5. Oh, this one grabbed my this kind of mystery.

    I'm at chezraine(at)gmail(dot)com

    Opal Fire sounds like the perfect addition to Sparky, my Kindle!

    I liked the part where you mentioned coffee spurting out of our mouths...yes, sounds good.


  6. Vicki, this would be a good book to try if you're not a big mystery reader. There's mystery, don't get me wrong - but a lot of other things going on as well.

    ladyfi, it is a perfect match. There's just enough humor mixed in to make it light-hearted.

    Kerrie, OPAL FIRE is a good mix of humor and mystery. I enjoy this type read ever so often to help lighten the mood after I've read a thriller or a murder mystery that goes into great detail about the killing. I do enjoy crime fiction. Folks if you haven't drop by Kerrie's blog, please do so she has a wonderful blog devoted to crime fiction. (Sorry I'm not got at adding links to the comments.)

    Laurel-Rain, there are moments (at least for me) that it was good that I wasn't drinking anything. There is one aunt in particular that is quite interesting. Sparky, your Kindle, I like that.

  7. I enjoy mysteries and love humor in books so this book sounds perfect. Paranormal fiction is somewhat of a new genre for me.

  8. I've read so many good things about Opal, that I just downloaded it the other day.

    I don't mine light paranormals, it's the heavier or darker ones I don't like.

    The last 4 books I've read were all e-books: Bound by Suggestion by L.L. Bartlett, A Haunting in Lottawatah by Evelyn David, Take the Monkeys and Run by Karen Cantwell and The Chronicles of Marr-nia by Karen Cantwell.

  9. Mason - this sounds wonderful!!!! (added to my list!).

    I'm loving the bits of paranormal in mysteries these days. I'm not a fan of vampires, but paranormal - yes indeedy.

    Right now I'm reading Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler series. Loving it! It's not a cozy series, but not hard-boiled either (and should definitely be read in the order written). Traditional, I'd say, but tackling some tough subjects and sometimes difficult to read because of it. But Susan Hill is a master storyteller and I'm totally hooked.

  10. Opal Fire sounds like the kind of mystery that's right up my alley! I always enjoy a bit of humor and quirky secondary characters. I'm just finishing up Fruit of All Evil, a new cozy by Paige Shelton and then I'm going to read the new Newbery, Moon Over Manifest. I like to keep up with the kids! Thanks for the intro to Opal Fire and chance to win!

  11. I think I've seen OPAL FIRE around blogosphere lately. It seems Barbra is doing a nice blog tour!

  12. I'm a fan of mysteries w/paranormal thrown in, usually an interesting combination. Would love a chance to win....Am currently reading Missing Mark by Julie Kramer


  13. What a delightful combination. Any mystery that has these delightful quirks are appealing. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  14. I'm all for having paranormal and humor elements in a mystery because I love reading in the paranormal genre in general, so if a mystery novel were to have these elements, then it would pique my interest for sure!



I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.