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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Review: Secondhand Spirits by Juliet Blackwell

Lily Ivory feels that she can finally fit in somewhere and conceal her "witchiness" in San Francisco. It is in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of the Bay area that she opens her vintage clothing shop named Aunt Cora’s Closet, outfitting customers both spiritually and stylistically. She has not been in town long when the dark and dangerous Aidan Rhodes, leader in the local magical community, greets her with a housewarming present. Her powerful heriditary witchcraft has been noticed.  Lily is not happy to have the attention, even though Aidan is as handsome as he seems dangerous.

An elderly client is murdered and children start disappearing from the Bay Area. Lily has a good idea that the legendary spirit La Llorona is behind it. Lily starts snooping around to confirm her suspicion. She also tries to help Max Carmichael, a myth buster attempting to expose ghost-hunter scam artists. He does not understand her at all, yet she keeps saving him from dangerous situations.

Lily Ivory is a very powerful witch, but in this story she may be up against something more powerful than her considerable talent and skill. Even though she is resistant to seeking help, will she reach out to her employee’s women’s circle for help…or even Aidan?
To our right, I noticed a red sedan coming down the steep hill.  It seemed to be picking up speed, so I hurried a bit to get across the street and urged Maya to do the same. 
The car sped up.

We increased our pace and reached the curb on the other side.

Suddently the vehicle swerved to toward us.

I grasped Maya by the arm to get her attention.  We broke into a run and leaped over the sidewalk.
The car was still headed straight towards us.
Racing up the short driveway, we ducked into a small alley between the house and its neighbor.  A barred metal security gate kept us from going back farther than a few feet.   Maya and I plastered ourselves to the wall, huddling in the farthest corner.

The car careened into the metal garage cans, sending the heavy missiles sailing towards us.

A fraction of a second later we heard the terrible screech of steel on concrete as the car itself crashed into the buildings.  The force of the impact shook the ground.  Part of the nose of the car jutted through the opening between the two houses, coming to a stop a mere two feet from us.

Everything seemed to freeze for a moment...All I could hear was my own ragged breathing, and that of Maya.  We were clutching each other, squeezing our eyes shut.

Finally we looked up.  The grille of the car was close to us, far too close, trapping us between the walls of the houses and the metal gate at our backs.

We stood, still shaky, to peer inside the car.

There was no driver.  No one in the car at all.
I classify this new series as paranormal that is a cozy. It is too light and funny for an urban fantasy but has a strong spirits and witches element. There is plenty of humor and Lily is easy to like as she attempts to make real friends and let people into her otherwise isolated life.

Both Aidan and Max are potential love interests for the series and her employees and fellow shop owners In Haight are colorful characters. I felt the story had a strong ending with good drama as Lily and La Llorona face off. The author took a Spanish traditional legend and gave us a sinister evil. San Francisco comes alive, particularly the neighborhood where the children are disappearing. Good pacing, the story kept my interest and I did not want to stop reading it. This was an excellent first book in an exciting new series and I recommend it, and not just for a halloween read. The second installment, The Cast-Off Coven, is scheduled for June 2010 release and I am looking forward to it.

Obtained book through: Personal Purchase

For your convenience you may purchase a copy here.

Check back in on Monday for another Musings and until then I wish you many mysterious moments.
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Stormi said...

Sounds like a interesting story I think I will put it on my wishlist.

A.F. Heart said...

I think you will enjoy it!! Thanks for commenting and being an active member.

AF Heart

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Thanks for the review. I think this is the kind of paranormal i like, a little on the cozy side.


A.F. Heart said...

Excellent! So glad the book is finding its audience. I love the comments.

AF Heart

Juliet Blackwell said...

Hello! Thank you so much for the wonderful review -- it posted on my birthday, and was a great present. Thanks for sharing Secondhand Spirits with your readers -- Juliet Blackwell.

A.F. Heart said...


Happy birthday and thank you for visiting the site.

Having such a distinguished visitor has raised the reputation of this blog no doubt!!

AF Heart

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