Blog Book Tour | “The Secret Language of Stones” (Book No.2 of Daughters of La Lune series) by M.J. Rose

Posted Wednesday, 10 August, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “The Secret Language of Stones” direct from the publisher Atria Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why I wanted to continue reading the Daughters of La Lune:

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.

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. – as related on my review of The Witch of Painted Sorrows

I have become quite intrigued by Ms Rose’s style for crafting her stories through sensory awareness, as I also made a footnote about on my review for The Witch of Painted Sorrows, stated as follows:

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.

It isn’t so much that your merely reading an MJ Rose novel, your experiencing the full breadth of what she’s etching into the background of the story itself. Providing you with a portal of intrigue which defies time and catapults you through history’s mirrored door. I was quite spellbound by the first Daughters of La Lune novel and I have been eagerly awaiting the sequel, to see where Ms Rose is going to further takes us throughout the trilogy!

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Blog Book Tour | “The Secret Language of Stones” (Book No.2 of Daughters of La Lune series) by M.J. RoseThe Secret Language of Stones
by M.J. Rose
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

As World War I rages and the Romanov dynasty reaches its sudden, brutal end, a young jewelry maker discovers love, passion, and her own healing powers in this rich and romantic ghost story, the perfect follow-up to M.J. Rose’s “brilliantly crafted” (Providence Journal) novel The Witch of Painted Sorrows.

Nestled within Paris’s historic Palais Royal is a jewelry store unlike any other. La Fantasie Russie is owned by Pavel Orloff, protégé to the famous Faberge, and is known by the city’s fashion elite as the place to find the rarest of gemstones and the most unique designs. But war has transformed Paris from a city of style and romance to a place of fear and mourning. In the summer of 1918, places where lovers used to walk, widows now wander alone.

So it is from La Fantasie Russie’s workshop that young, ambitious Opaline Duplessi now spends her time making trench watches for soldiers at the front, as well as mourning jewelry for the mothers, wives, and lovers of those who have fallen. People say that Opaline’s creations are magical. But magic is a word Opaline would rather not use. The concept is too closely associated with her mother Sandrine, who practices the dark arts passed down from their ancestor La Lune, one of sixteenth century Paris’s most famous courtesans.

But Opaline does have a rare gift even she can’t deny, a form of lithomancy that allows her to translate the energy emanating from stones. Certain gemstones, combined with a personal item, such as a lock of hair, enable her to receive messages from beyond the grave. In her mind, she is no mystic, but merely a messenger, giving voice to soldiers who died before they were able to properly express themselves to loved ones. Until one day, one of these fallen soldiers communicates a message—directly to her.

So begins a dangerous journey that will take Opaline into the darkest corners of wartime Paris and across the English Channel, where the exiled Romanov dowager empress is waiting to discover the fate of her family. Full of romance, seduction, and a love so powerful it reaches beyond the grave, The Secret Language of Stones is yet another “spellbindingly haunting” (Suspense magazine), “entrancing read that will long be savored” (Library Journal, starred review).

Genres: Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, War Drama

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781476778099

Also by this author: The Collector of Dying Breaths, The Witch of Painted Sorrows

Series: The Daughters of La Lune

Also in this series: The Witch of Painted Sorrows

Published by Atria Books

on 19th July, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 320

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

Converse via: #DaughtersOfLaLune, #SecretLanguageOfStones & #MJRose
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: She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

(Biography updated August 2016)

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Ms Rose has a way with charming your eye:

Within the short expanse of her Prologue, already Rose has found a way to entice you to carry your eyes forward into the chapters following this small respite of atmospheric allurement! She knows what your seeking even before you realise it yourself – a hidden historical secret, an intriguing set of circumstances, a back-drop full of dramatic situations and an encroachment on the darker arts that are sometimes considered too wicked to even entertain the notion of – and yet, they are pursued all the same by those who clearly need a better filter in their lives for understanding critical warnings.

It is here in this hidden encavement of a nearly underground oasis in an unfamiliar corner of Paris, we begin our journey. It’s quite curious in nature, filled to the brim with creative sorts and a menagerie of vices with a fixture of purpose towards granting visitors a bit of unexpected bliss to their otherwise traumatic lives in the middle of a war that has touched everyone with grief. You can feel pulled into this setting as if you were about to walk round a corner and see it clearly for yourself – this unexpected place, full of life and wonder, yet the hour in which it’s all thriving is not the best of days for anyone.

My Review of The Secret Language of Stones:

The continuity is quite impressive as we first begin to get acquainted with Opaline, we become aware of the fact that the woman we knew so vividly within the pages of The Witch of Painted Sorrows, is in fact, this girl’s mother Sandrine! The interesting bit here is that I did distinctively remember Sandrine chose to embrace the ‘witch’ La Lune quite of her own accord and this is what is pertinent now as Opaline did not have the same choice presented to her when it came time to transition into her powers of maturity. Like her mother, she was gifted with clairvoyance but unlike her mother, her choices were morally affected by her personal beliefs on behalf of what is right, true and just. She did not want to be influenced by anyone (not even Sandrine) or a force that was not of her own spirit. Opaline truly took to heart the responsibility of her supernatural inheritance.

Opaline’s true passion is the art of working with stones, crafting jewelry and listening to the stones themselves as they have an inherent language only she can hear and understand. She took an inopportune moment to declare her independence from her parents and opted to repeat her mother’s declaration to fuell her own destiny. Her mother could not truly take fault with her daughter (even though I think she might have to some degree) for being of the same silk as her, but daughters rarely surprise their Mums; even if letting go is harder on them. Opaline wanted to find an honourable way to deport her gift onto others, a way of cleansing the jaded past her mother inflicted on her by not having any sense of how harming her choices were to hear or observe. Such a clever method of etching in her gift with something tangible – in the beginning, as Opaline settled into her work at a friends’ jewelry shoppe, she imparted keepsakes with the hidden addition of a protective shield. Each person who touched the objects directly felt her influence on them, as despite the anguished losses they were trying to heal from – Opaline found a way to soothe their very souls.

I was happily enjoying the fuller history of the La Lune legacies whilst treated to the specific gift’s of Opaline’s origins; as it isn’t as easy to break-down by components of what she is able to do but rather by the quirks of how it’s able to be done. It made sense to me that her gift is a fusion of the past and present, of a tangible lock to the person whose deceased and of the person left behind to grieve. Humanity has long since been attached by heart, soul and spirit; we leave imprints wherever we go and it is through our love for each other we leave the greatest legacies behind. Ms Rose has a way of delivering the historical artifacts of her story with such a vein of truism, you do not discount what is being expressed, but taking it on face value for being true.

The greatest danger Opaline had was the fact she was a receptor of energy – she breathed in everyone’s grief and the tragedies that befell those who were fallen. She was both empath and clairvoyant – a medium of not only communicating a lost message but a conduit of the energy that fuells all spiritual beings. This was her greatest power and the power that most influenced La Lune in some ways – a harnessing of lifeforce energy that could influence others not for the apparent good but in a bit of a nefarious afterglow of deceit if the power was not used properly. Her portal was through the stones themselves and of the harmonic resonances she heard through them.

Quite cleverly whenever Opaline would speak with the dead, their words would fall under hers, but would be in italics to discern the differences between who was alive and who sadly was no longer of this life. Their voices were desperate at times and conflictive of understanding how to find the peace they longed after but did not feel they deserved. The anguish on their souls so newly crossed from living was wrenchingly apparent due to how they felt attracted towards the luminary beacon of Opaline’s spirit. Her inner shine of light motivated those who were in need of help to locate her and to seek her advice. It was quite fitting then, on the book cover how the crescent moon is overlayed near her heart as if it is pulsing to flicker into a gleam of light by her internal energy. The same as if you held your hand over a light-bulb and it flickered to life due to how intense of a current of electricity was inside your palm. Magicians and illusionists love to demonstrate how we can ‘turn on’ a bulb with nothing more than our own energies – but the fuller truth is how we can become illuminated by the light of our souls.

The beauty of the story is watching how Opaline grew in her courage to grow into her living legacy of generational mystical gifts whilst realising that she could paint her own stars toward a destiny of her choosing where light and love could forevermore be entwined as one.

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

Ms Rose has a distinctive voice in her historical suspense novels – of which I have oft lamented about on my reviews. What I wanted to broach again if perchance I’m being repetitive in my observations, is that she transfuses us through three portals of awareness: first the atmospheric, then the emotional threading and finally the sensory aspects of how her characters are indebted with gifts not of our realm. She has grounded the supernatural within a realistic portrait of how the occult can overtake a person’s mind whilst influencing their soul. She paints the portrait quite clearly in each instance, showing how her character’s have their own free will but sometimes, counterdict what you think they should be choosing to do instead. This is why it was refreshing to see the stance Opaline took in regards to her La Lune ancestry.

Rose also has the intentional foreshadow to give you a bit more information than you are needing as a precursor to future events not yet revealled. I appreciate seeing this side of her character’s vulnerability as it doesn’t spoilt what is to come later, but rather, makes you question how her characters’ might have overlooked something we in turn could take for being obvious. Then again, could we? You can theorise both sides of the coin on that thought, but truly, unless you walked the same path, perhaps there are warning signs that would have gone as readily unnoticed!? It’s quite difficult to walk through life backwards with the foresight that is only relevant after you’ve gone through the experiences.

The overlay during the story’s setting is WWI – not overtly shadowing the drama but with a continuous presence that affects the timeline. I liked how Rose did not seek to over commit to the war bits but focused rather on the continuing legacy of La Lune women. This could have been harder to read simply due to the nature of what was happening in France during the time in which we arrive inside the novel, but blessedly Rose pulled back just enough to give us a realism of the era but without the guttingly brutal reality that is so oft-times inclusive to traditional war dramas. I can respect the traditions of how their told but sometimes, a lighter read is necessary to offset the emotional despair of re-visiting the war torn past of that particular generation.

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBT

Follow the Virtual Road Map by visiting the blog tour route:

The Secret Language of Stones blog tour hosted by HFVBTs.
I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “The Secret Language of Stones”, author biography (updated from a previous biography provided on another tour), author photograph of MJ Rose, the tour host badge and HFVBTs badge were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.

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Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2016.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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, 10 August, 2016 by jorielov in 20th Century, Art, Blog Tour Host, Crime Fiction, During WWI, Earthen Magic, France, Ghost Story, Gothic Literature, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, Jewelry & Jewelry Design, Mediums & Clairvoyants, Multi-Generational Saga, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Psychological Suspense, Supernatural Fiction, The World Wars, War Drama

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