Blog Book Tour | “The Witch of Painted Sorrows” {Book 1: of the Daughters of La Lune series} by M.J. Rose #HistFic is captured within the essence of a traditional Gothic tale where a woman has to choose what she desires more? Passion or Freedom?

Posted Wednesday, 18 March, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 5 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Witch of Painted Sorrows” virtual book tour through France Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Atria (an imprint of Simon & Schuster), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Intrigued to Read:

I previously hosted Ms Rose during her blog tour for The Collector of Dying Breaths, whereupon I also interviewed her for the same tour. I had a fascination inside me about the Reincarnationist series, but it ended up my heart was attached quite dearly to the second trilogy making up the volumes of: The Book of Lost Fragrances, Seduction, and The Collector of Dying Breaths. I went into details about this on my previous M.J. Rose book review, but what intrigued me about returning into her next novel is how it was set to life in Paris itself.

I have come to appreciate different eras of French History through the writers who write stories that surround us in the history and lore of France. In regards directly to the Belle Époque 1890s of this highly regarded city, I last ducked inside it’s chapters of time in Heather Webb’s Rodin’s Lover. The eras of salons where writerly and artistic immersions of the crafts could be celebrated and explored through peers of the same inclinations was quite the intrigue for me, as it is hard to pin-point where the ‘meeting of the minds’ meet-up in latter centuries which have provided as much feedback as camaraderie amongst like-minded spirits.

The layers she knitted into the story to encourage a back-drop of suspense mixing inside Gothic Lit undertones and the possessiveness of a long-dead master of darkness, was imploring as I wanted to see how this story would balance most of what I’ve come to love inside an M.J. Rose novel! I was thinking this was in-part a departure from her Reincarnationist series as much as an extension of the passionate drive her characters have for not only their pursuit of joy but their pursuit of how to live their lives without the attachments which might not allow them to live as freely as their soul desires. Rose tends to write convicting fiction where her characters are seeking ‘something’ in relation to who they are at their innermost core whilst giving the reader a depth of back-story to soak inside whilst the characters thrive through the journey they undertake.

Blog Book Tour | “The Witch of Painted Sorrows” {Book 1: of the Daughters of La Lune series} by M.J. Rose #HistFic is captured within the essence of a traditional Gothic tale where a woman has to choose what she desires more? Passion or Freedom?The Witch of Painted Sorrows
by M.J. Rose
Source: Publisher via France Book Tours

Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Also by this author: The Collector of Dying Breaths, The Secret Language of Stones

Series: The Daughters of La Lune,


Also in this series: The Secret Language of Stones


Genres: Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense


Published by Atria Books

on St. Patrick's Day, 2015

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 384

Published By: Atria ()
{imprint of} Simon & Schuster (

Converse via: #TheWitchOfPaintedSorrows, #MJRose, & #FranceBT
Available Formats: Hardback and E-Book

About M.J. Rose

M.J. Rose

New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed.

She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice…books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

(Biography updated August 2016)

I love Historical Suspense Thrillers:

If I were to find another new layer of insight into my own reading habits, as I am on the fringes of being a 2nd Year Book Blogger lateron this month (on the 31st) — it would be the revelation to accept that there is a part of me who has become moved to seek out compelling historical suspense / thriller novels wherein the elements of mystery are shrouded a bit deeper than by a particular case of enquiry of death; fusing instead directly to the psychological, the paranormal, and the mysteries of what is not yet explainable.

Stories which break into other genres of interest such as Gothic Literature, Paranormal Suspense, or a traditional Psychological Suspense borderline to a Cosy Horror. I love how the earthly descriptions of a house and grounds can give you a proper sense of foreboding and foreshadow; or how this instinctive awareness of having knowledge not everyone else has can tip the scales in and out of your favour (as a nod to Sandrine’s grandmother). These are the stories I love for their beautiful descriptive narratives, their eloquent place of setting, and a compelling ability to have the research behind the novel melt out of sight from the reader as the writers are deftly controlling how the information is transparent.

I love them for the historical roots they bring alive as much as how I appreciate the veil they hold back from becoming too grisly or graphic, as they truly are Cosy Horror in some ways, as they give ‘just a firm glimpse’ at violence without breaking the will to turn the next page. They give your heart a jump-start and tether you to your seat until the story is consumed. I love them because they are a hearty departure from Contemporaries whilst giving you a heap of joy to read how their creators chose to tell their tales.

My Review of The Witch of Painted Sorrows:

A bedraggled exodus back to Paris, grants Sandrine entrance into her grandmother’s world, albeit a bit of a delicate situation emerging out of how time and circumstance have changed their relationship. I was caught up inside her emotional past, as Sandrine’s heart had fused to her soul mate a bit young, and like Romeo and Juliet they were ill-fated in the stars to align forevermore. Rose paints her life honestly, giving yield to soak inside the anguish and the sorrow whilst giving foundation to what precipitated her flight to Paris — away from her present life and the husband she left behind.

Ah, how clever, Ms Rose! There is a hidden clue for those of us who have appreciated her previous works, in how there is a direct connection between Sandrine’s grandmother and L’ Etoile! Yes, quite clever indeed and quite subtle at the same time! Love!

What a horrid sea of chaos Sandrine was drowning inside due to the sins of her own husband! The shocking way in which her father died and how her husband’s own implications of deceit and mistrust were parlay to the situation of her father’s early demise — the most shocking bit for me is how Sandrine held her grit. How she was was able to dig deep enough to sort out a path towards her grandmother and towards a place where instead of succumbing to what she could not change or effectively alter circumstances from, she might have a chance of re-defining who she is and what she can do with her life hereafter. That takes a certain level of moxie and a heap of perseverance!

As Sandrine moves closer to understanding why her sojourn back to Paris was such an urgent acceptance of an unspoken request on her behalf, I was truly caught up in the house of her grandmother’s; Maison de la Lune is a labyrinth of secrets, waiting to be found out. Sandrine is not one to sit on instincts, which is why I had to smile whilst she was exploring hidden sections of La Lune* as if motivated by a force not of her own making yet a guide to give her wanton spirit a place of purpose to tread. She’s a woman whose trying to make an about-face change in her life; to step outside the despair and give herself pause for pleasure out of tragedy. This house has a drawing appeal to it, culling her with it’s historic knowledge and wielding a presence as ancient as time itself. This is why Gothic Literature evokes such a hungry attraction to readers, the suspension between reality and what is never seen is a hearty thread of intrigue! I love having turnt the pages, curious as to what I shall find next, and being caught up in the moment of ‘what is not understood’ but fully accepted as happening as Sandrine reacquaints herself with a house which has held spell over her for ten years.

Sandrine’s artistic awakening was beginning on the footheels of uncovering her family’s ancestral heritage; a heritage which had become passed down through the women. The closer she came to realising her own artistic liberty of choice, she was being drawn further back into a past heated by shadows and an onslaught of a curse even her grandmother was a bit on pins disclosing with her in full. Her new alley in companion was the young architect in residence at La Lune; giving his time to encourage Sandrine’s pursuits and give her grandmother an order of archive for the art inside the home. Her very sanity was on the line, as she dipped her toes closer to the flames of the past whilst attempting to brazen her way forward in the present.

All the while, those flames which were tempting her forward were trying to prevent her escape; not just from her mind or her heart’s desires in passion inasmuch as life, but to consume her, extinguishing out the light which she had found through her art. Sandrine was set on a wicked pace of untangling the past through the bits left behind of La Lune (the fabled witch of her ancestral line; not the house) whilst attempting to forestall the inevitable day her husband would find her in France.

Your on patient breath waiting to see what will befall her; the kindness of freedom or a fate worst than death? How does a true love’s beauty break out of the darkness swelling into the edges of your soul? When and how do you paint your own destiny before you drink in the belief destiny is carved in stone and unable to be reset by will alone? You will surely not want to put this book down until you see how it concludes,… a beginning in of itself.

*I shortened the name of the house to La Lune, however, to be fair, La Lune is also the name of a key character inside the story; in full essence the house was hers and thus, the house passed down through her descendants. From the very beginning the house felt entwined with La Lune, and perhaps it is this I had picked up on to simply refer to the house as La Lune? Where the two are not separate but combined into one; one of stone and structure, one of flesh, bone, and spirit.

On why I enjoy reading an MJ Rose novel such as this:

As I have previously blogged about on behalf of M.J. Rose, there is a distinctive voice difference between her first trilogy of the Reincarnationist series and the second trilogy therein, where I attached my heart directly into her passionate prose. There was a shift from Historical Horror to Historical Suspense which I appreciated finding, as it is within Historical Suspense I find myself soaking inside her worlds. She has a gift for writing eloquence into her stories, herein she did this by giving the softer and luxurious benefits of being a ‘courtesan’ on behalf of Sandrine’s grandmother but also, owning to the setting and time of the story itself — the Belle Époque period was it’s own inclusive Renaissance of artistic expression. It was a period of creative expression breaking barriers which previously were constrictive and a moment where enlightenment through art and decadence thrived in Paris.

Rose has a spirit about the writer’s craft in her novels, I appreciate the touches of prose she stitches inside them because she wants you to be sensory aware of each key moment that triggers a deepening connection of ‘time and place’ for her characters. I noticed this in The Collector’s of Dying Breaths as much as I have inside The Witch of Painted Sorrows; as she endeavours to have you carried through what is nearly tangible by taste, smell, and a sixth sense attribute.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

This book review was courtesy of: France Book Tours:

{ click-through to find the road map for the tour }

The Witch of Painted Sorrows blog tour with France Book Tours

Be sure to check out my Bookish Events for (2015)
to see what I am hosting next via:

France Book ToursRainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva.

{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Witch of Painted Sorrows”, book synopsis, author photograph of M.J. Rose, author biography, the blog tour badge were all provided by France Book Tours and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. France Book Tours badge created by Jorie in Canva. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Wednesday, 18 March, 2015 by jorielov in 19th Century, Antiques, Art, Art History, Artist's Proof, Artwork Provenance, Belle Epoque Era, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Crime Fiction, Disillusionment in Marriage, Earthen Magic, Father-Daughter Relationships, France, France Book Tours, Freedom of Expression, Gothic Literature, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, Parapsychological Gifts, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Psychological Suspense, Sculpture, Supernatural Fiction, Witches and Warlocks




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5 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “The Witch of Painted Sorrows” {Book 1: of the Daughters of La Lune series} by M.J. Rose #HistFic is captured within the essence of a traditional Gothic tale where a woman has to choose what she desires more? Passion or Freedom?

  1. Andrea (aka rokinrev)

    This author has intrigued me for a while… I have a stack of books from the library first (working on my library challenge)

    • Hallo Andrea,

      I *know!* exactly how you feel! :) For years, I was contemplating reading the Reincarnationist series, then, finally I was able to dig inside it which led me to this new release. I am unsure how to suggest to start, as I did tell Gina to seek out the books I had first, but to be honest, it might work either way: go through the Reincarnationist series OR start with Daughters of La Lune! It depends what your in the mood for, truly!? I look forward to hearing your thoughts when your able to sink inside them; until then, you left me curious, which library books are you reading for your challenge!? :) I love reading via my local library, too! Especially when I can grab books by ILL’ing! (inter-library loan)

  2. carol L

    Thank you for your in depth review. Unfortunately I haven’t read any of her books yet. I’ve read many positive reviews on her books. I’m really looking forward to reading this. Then I will start on the others.
    Carol L

    • Hallo Carol,

      Thanks for dropping by tonight! :) I’m not part of the giveaway as I’m only hosting the review for the blog tour, which is why my post hadn’t mentioned anything about it. I don’t offer giveaways on Jorie Loves A Story, but as I was visiting previous stops tonight, I noticed you were trying to win the book, so I decided to let you know my stop is simply to talk about the story itself and share my findings of what I saw as I read The Witch of Painted Sorrows . Hence why I hid your email.

      I hope you’ve clicked through the linked posts I have shared about Ms Rose on this review, as it took a bit for me to find my footing with her stories. Once I picked up the second trilogy of the Reincarnationist series, I found a wicked voice in Historical Suspense, one that I was thankful to have discovered. This novel of hers today carries forward what I delighted in seeing in that trilogy, as she gives you such an up close experience to her characters and the time setting they live inside.

      I appreciate your compliment — I love giving my readers and visitors an inside look at how stories resonate with me as I read them. It’s a lot of joy to blog about my bookish journey and seeing where the stories take me.

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