Book Review: “A Tale of (Two) 3 Witches” by Christiana Miller and Barbra Annino

Posted October 13, 2021 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: “A Tale of (Two) 3 Witches” by Christiana Miller and Barbra Annino

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

"A Tale of (Two) 3 Witches" by Christiana Miller, Barbra Annino
Series: Stacy Justice #2.6, Toad Witch Mysteries #5
Genres: Mystery, Cozy, Paranormal Fantasy
Published by HekaRose Publishing on December 25, 2011
Pages: 93
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

Also in this series: Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie We're In Trouble!, Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie We're Kidnapping Cupid!, Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie We're Canning Demons!

Also by this author: Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead, Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie We're In Trouble!, Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie We're Kidnapping Cupid!, Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie We're Canning Demons!

A novelette that blends characters from the Stacy Justice (#2.6) and Toad Witch Mysteries (#5) cozy paranormal mystery series and revolving around two, no, three witches — Mara Stephens, Gus, and Stacy Justice.

My Take

It’s the usual start . . . Mara doesn’t want to do anything or go anywhere.

I do love that the baby is psychic! How many mothers would love this!?!

It’s melodramatic as Miller/Annino keep us hopping. I’d sure like to know what the point was to have the hallway change and the “drama” of swapping “two” for “owt”. Why wouldn’t someone have informed the Geraghty girls about Tillie’s death?

It ticks me off when authors can’t give their characters a last name, let alone give the baby a name. It doesn’t need to be part of an info dump, but I do expect to eventually learn the last name of the main characters.

I reckon Miller/Annino are using third person global subjective point-of-view to allow their main protagonists to express their views and thoughts with input by some of the other characters. It is a sweet trip that allows Mara and Stacy to become friends.

There’s action a’plenty with some definite characters — it does have me interested in reading more about Stacy — and it is a full story for its few pages. Well, minus some of my whining above.

The Story

Aunt Tillie’s old friends, the Geraghty girls, invite Tillie up to help them with a Samhain problem — a Soul Stealer has come to town, threatening the souls of Amethyst, Illinois.

Only problem . . . Aunt Tillie is dead and they’ll have to accept the help of Tillie’s great-niece, Mara, and her friend, Gus.

The Characters

In the cottage Mara Stephens, a witch and new mother, inherited from her Aunt Tillie (who still lives with her . . . in a skull!), is her best friend and cottage mate, Gus Andrakis, also a witch and their three pets: two Dobes, Aramis and Apollo, and the spirit-enthused, Lord Grundleshanks, the Poisonous Toad. Oh, and Mara’s new baby daughter. Zed is Mara’s Ford Explorer Hybrid.

Paul is the nervous, very skeptical father. Daniel, Paul’s grandfather, lives in assisted living.

The Geraghty Girls Guest House is . . .
. . . a B&B in Amethyst, Illinois. It’s run by three sisters: Birdie, Lolly, and Fiona. Henderson is a guest at the B&B.

Anastasia “Stacy” Justice is Birdie’s granddaughter in total denial of her genetic inheritance as well as her role as The Seeker of Justice. Thor is Stacy’s Great Dane.

The Geraghtys’ coven includes Iris Merriweather and Gladys Sharp. The Black Opal is a bar run by Cinnamon, Stacy’s cousin. Steve Charon is the hoodoo guy.

Lisette and Lucien had possessed Mara and Paul in Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead, 1. The Soul Stealer is always out there. The Soul Eater.

The Cover and Title

The cover finds us in a dungeon with arched windows and a hexagonal?? stone table on which the long, black, curly-haired Mara is sitting, one knee bent and tucked under her other jeans-clad leg with flip flops that match her pinkish violet peasant top. In the middle is Lord Grundleshanks wearing a black witch’s hat with a royal blue band. A lit red candle is behind him. On the right, the long, wavy red-haired Stacy is standing, hip-cocked with her left hand on her hip, her right arm bent upward at the elbow with her hand bent at the wrist. Stacy is wearing a red bustier and dark navy jeans with some deep cuffs with her black slip-on heels. At the very top is the title in white — except where the red “x” crosses out the “two” and pops in that “3”. Immediately beneath that and above Mara’s head is the series info in white. The author of the Stacy Justice series has her name spanning Stacy’s thighs in a light green teal. The author of the Toad Witch Mysteries is just below Mara’s name in the same teal.

The title pulls Mara and Gus together with Stacy in A Tale of (Two) 3 Witches.

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