Category: Historical Thriller Suspense

#PubDay Book Review | “The Fortune Teller” by Gwedolyn Womack Sophomore release by the author of “The Memory Painter”

Posted Tuesday, 6 June, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: Originally, as a hostess of HFVBTs (Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours) I was able to participate on the blog tour for Ms Womack’s debut novel: The Memory Painter. (see also Review) I was contacted by the author to gauge if I had interest in her sophomore release ‘The Fortune Teller’ of which I researched on her site and found the premise to be quite intriguing. I readily accepted her offer to read this for an honest review and she had her publisher send me a paperback copy of which I was grateful. I received a complimentary copy of “The Fortune Teller” direct from the publisher Picador in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I enjoyed reading this author’s previous release: The Memory Painter

Womack uses creative juxtapositions throughout her novel – where we’re with Bryan and Linz one moment, whilst being treated to a sequence of knowledge not yet introduced to the main thread of the story-line. This is where she shifts both perspective and the trisectional splitting between the main context of how Bryan & Linz are inter-connected to each other, the critical research on Alzheimer’s and the mystery History has attempted to shroud out of memory and sight from humanity. She presents her characters with a depth of being who are grounded as much as they are dimensional. You can sense their emotions, even at a first glance to how they hold themselves and how they allow themselves to interact with others. There is quite a lot bubbling just below the surface – not only of the narrative direction but through the stitchings of how her characters are moulded together.

Womack writes with a subtle accuracy of giving you just enough information per each scene or character visit to allow you to tie everything together in the larger scope of things. It’s an interesting told narrative, from the point-of-view of shifting perceptions and how you are augmented through different portals of how the story-line is moving forward. The main focus is centred on Bryan and Linz, but you have other influences moving the timeline as well as how each cross-section pertains to the two protagonists who hold the key to the whole story! You can simply let your mind alight through Womack’s graceful narrative and let yourself wander as you wonder how the author knitted the story out of the ethers!

I give a nod of excellence to Womack for compellingly giving her readers a visceral level of realism towards understanding how Bryan painted his portraits of life and death! She used words as he uses paint – you could not help but feel as if you were standing below his portraits, seeing how everything felt alive and telling in that stance you took to see what shouldn’t be able to be seen. It’s a lovely novel of depth for the world of art, as similar to music, art is at times hard to conceptionalise on the page; Womack had such an organic way of presenting the art, you could not help but appreciate it in full!

How Womack was able to intervene on History to such a level of intriguing juxtapositions, I am uncertain! As she even brought back to life the compelling argument of how sometimes not everything is fully resolved before or after death! She interwove Egyptology in such a fascinating and inventive way as to cross their Ancient History with our current timeline! It was wonderful to watch her pull her layers together, explore the details further and to watch how even her characters were a bit startled by how everything was inter-connecting straight through to the finish! Her mind truly has captured the intricacies of a plot that is told not only through multiple perspectives but through a threading of counter current lives who are affectingly drawn to each other due to how their past lives originally affected their soul’s journey. Now that’s beyond impressive for a debut novel!

-as quoted from my review of The Memory Painter

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#PubDay Book Review | “The Fortune Teller” by Gwedolyn Womack Sophomore release by the author of “The Memory Painter”The Fortune Teller
by Gwendolyn Womack
Source: Direct from Publisher

Semele Cavnow appraises antiquities for an exclusive Manhattan auction house, specializing in deciphering ancient texts. And when she discovers a manuscript written in the time of Cleopatra, she knows it will be the find of her career. Its author tells the story of a priceless tarot deck, now lost to history, but as Semele delves further she realizes the manuscript is more than it seems. Both a memoir and a prophecy, it appears to be the work of a powerful seer, describing devastating wars and natural disasters in detail thousands of years before they occurred.

The more she reads, the more the manuscript begins to affect Semele's life. But what happened to the cards? As the mystery of her connection to the manuscript deepens, Semele can’t shake the feeling that she’s being followed. Only one person can help her make sense of it all: her client, Theo Brossard. Yet Theo is arrogant and elusive, concealing secrets of his own, and there’s more to Semele’s desire to speak with him than she would like to admit. Can Semele even trust him?

The auction date is swiftly approaching, and someone wants to interfere—someone who knows the cards exist, and that the Brossard manuscript is tied to her. Semele realizes it’s up to her to stop them: the manuscript holds the key to a two-thousand-year-old secret, a secret someone will do anything to possess.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781250099778

Also by this author: The Memory Painter

Genres: Ancient Civilisation, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense


Published by Picador

on 6th of June, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 368

Published By: Picador (@PicadorUSA) via St. Martin’s Press
imprints of St. Martin’s Publishing Group,
which is now a part of MacMillian Publishers

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Gwendolyn Womack

Gwendolyn Womack Photo Credit: Copyright JennKL Photography

Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn Womack began writing theater plays in college at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She went on to receive an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Directing Theatre, Video & Cinema.

Currently she resides in Los Angeles with her husband and son where she can be found at the keyboard working on her next novel. The Memory Painter is her first novel.

Photo Credit: Copyright JennKL Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Tuesday, 6 June, 2017 by jorielov in Ancient Civilisation, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Book Trailer, Content Note, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Father-Daughter Relationships, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Modern Day, Pharaohs & Dynasties, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Seers, Supernatural Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “The Semper Sonnet” by Seth Margolis

Posted Friday, 27 January, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

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 Semper Sonnet” direct from the author Seth Margolis in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why this title interested me to read:

I am not your typical reader for this particular type of Thriller as I shy away from the stories mentioned in being within the framework of similarity to this novel; so much so, I honestly surprised myself in wanting to read this one – except to say, I have a soft spot for Shakespeare – and a personal goal to read through his Sonnets and Plays whilst refuelling my participation in The Classics Club over the score of the new few years.

When I read one of the Sonnets themselves was the cipher key to this mystery, I was quite hooked! I love ciphers and codes – as much as I love a tautly written suspense novel! I decided to take a chance on this title and see if I could find my next favourite thriller author! I’d be curious what drew others to read this title and if they had known about the publisher Diversion Books prior to finding it?! I noticed they are publishing a lot of different kinds of stories – I am sure I will be reading more by them in the future.

This marks my first review past The Breedling and the City in the Garden (see also review) and You’re the Cream in my Coffee (see also review) as I am re-aligning myself back into blogging after my family’s medical emergency. Although, I had attempted to read this story in December – later than I had planned to post my review on the blog tour itself, I simply could not alight into the chapters nor focus on the narrative. Novels at that point in time were a struggle for me to find footing inside – which is why the novellas by ChocLit (see also #MidnightChocLit) helped heal my bookish heart and provided a way for me to reclaim my bookish life. Since then, I’ve been treading water – dipping my toes back into literature one story at at time; whilst being honest with myself about which stories I can alight inside and which ones I simply needed to ‘hold over’ until I could honestly enjoy reading them. This is one of those stories I knew I needed a bit longer to appreciate and am thankful I had the breathing space to read it – even off-tour, to where I could properly give the story a chance to resonate with me.

I’m starting to find my way back inside stories and finding the words to express what I’m reading – as you can denote from my anthology review of Gifts of the Magi (see also review) and the audiobook Halfway Dead (see also review); however, all things being equal it was a bit more of an uphill climb than I first thought possible. I appreciate everyone’s patience in me – as I had to re-shuffle my blog’s schedule this December by pushing reviews in January. In many ways, I’m past deadlines for several reviews whilst posting within the tours which are still running (i.e. Illusions of Magic (see also review) and Beyond Derrynane (see also review) this January. One review I postponed into January (The Egg & I) will be  posting in conjunction with my review of The Plague & I; two memoirs I’ve been listening to on audiobook. Each new post I’m featuring is a journey back to my blog and a lift of spirit for the girl who loves blogging inasmuch as she loves reading. Here’s to resuming where I left off and finding new stories to appreciate as well.

NOTE: The one blog tour I’m still working on amending with a review this January is Who Is To Blame? as this tour ran the week my Dad was in the hospital recovering from his stroke. Meanwhile, I hope everyone is had a merry December whilst enjoying Winter’s reprieve from Summer.

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Blog Book Tour | “The Semper Sonnet” by Seth MargolisThe Semper Sonnet
by Seth Margolis
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

In this stunning thrill ride, perfect for fans of Dan Brown and Steve Berry, a long-lost manuscript, written for Elizabeth I, holds the key to unlocking the past—and to eliminating the future.

Lee Nicholson is ready to take the academic world by storm, having discovered a sonnet she believes was written by William Shakespeare. When she reads the poem on the air, the words put her life in peril and trigger a violent chase, with stakes that reach far beyond the cloistered walls of academia.

Buried in the language of the sonnet, in its allusions and wordplay, are secrets that have been hidden since Elizabethan times, secrets known only to the queen and her trusted doctor, but guessed at by men who seek the crown and others who seek the world. If the riddles are solved, it could explode what the world knows of the great Elizabeth I. And it could release a pandemic more deadly than the world has ever imagined.

Lee’s quest for the answers buried in the sonnet keeps her one step ahead of an international hunt—from the police who want her for murder, to a group of men who will stop at nothing to end her quest, to a madman who pursues the answers for destructive reasons of his own.

As this intelligent thriller moves back and forth between Tudor England and the present day, Lee begins to piece together the meaning behind Shakespeare’s words, carrying the story to its gasp-out-loud conclusion.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781682300558

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Thriller


Published by Diversion Books

on 19th April, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 374

Originally Published By: Diversion Books an imprint of Diversion Publishing Corp.
Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #HistFic + #Thriller

About Seth Margolis

Seth Margolis

Seth Margolis is a writer whose most recent novel, THE SEMPER SONNET, was published on April 19. He is the author of six earlier novels, including LOSING ISAIAH, which was made into a film starring Halle Berry and Jessica Lange.

Seth lives with his wife, Carole, in New York City. They have two grown children, Maggie and Jack. Seth received a BA in English from the University of Rochester and an MBA in marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business Administration. When not writing fiction, he is a branding consultant for a wide range of companies, primarily in the financial services, technology and pharmaceutical industries. He has written articles for the New York Times and other publications on travel and entertainment.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 27 January, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 16th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Castles & Estates, Content Note, Crime Fiction, Elizabeth I, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Thriller Suspense, Indie Author, Tudor Era, Vulgarity in Literature, William Shakespeare

Narrator (Audiobook) Interview | Conversing with the ‘voice’ behind the theatrical presentation of “The Cryptic Lines”!

Posted Sunday, 6 November, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Narrator Blog 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.

A few months ago, I was approached by Jess @ Audiobookworm Promotions to consider reviewing audiobooks and hosting the authors and/or narrators attached to the audiobooks as a bit of a switch-up from reading print books! I, was quite excited by her pitch to me, as for one, I had already started to consider breaking into audiobooks in the New Year (2017) as my chronic migraines returnt this past Spring (2016) and have continued to be an annoyance straight into Autumn!

Ergo, I have heard positive feedback from readers who have chronic migraines such as I do finding a better balance of reading their books and listening to audiobooks – wherein, you off-set your physical books by giving a go at the audio versions! It’s a whole new territory for me! I was quite the traditionalist, too! I never fathomed I’d get so giddy over listening to digital audiobooks until of course, my previous computer died a sad death in a lightning storm and had to be replaced post haste approx. a month later (early October). You see, my old computer was half dead already from the 90 days of lightning storms from Summer of 2015; part of the casualty then were the speakers! So you see, without the benefit of needing to replace said computer, digital audiobooks, podcasts or even internet radio was all a ‘non-go’ for me!

All things being equal, my new computer has opened a few new doors for me! Listening to digital audiobooks is just one of them! Coincidentally, my local library offers physical copies of audiobooks and digital audiobooks – which is rather smashing! If I’m in the mood for either of them, at least they are readily available! They also take purchase requests and can fetch others via ILL’ing (inter-library loan). You can well imagine my surprise then, when Ms Jess approached me! All of this was being considered in due haste on my part, sorting out how to navigate the new world of audiobooks (as I’ve been privy to some of the movement therein via chats on Twitter) whilst embracing a new avenue for me to pursue as a book blogger! I’ll talk more about this new path of mine between now and when my second audiobook tour arrives in December, but I wanted to give a bit of an introduction to my new showcasing of audiobooks – especially to those of you who have been so very loyal in following my bookish life and might be curious to know about this new interest of mine!

I do still credit Katie @ Doing Dewey as being the one person who initially inspired me towards this end, as one of her Non-Fiction Book Club choices was a CD audiobook I enjoyed listening whilst reading the print book in tandem! This is a special treat I enjoy doing, perhaps you do as well!?

Today, marks my first contribution to the blog tour featuring the Historical Suspense Thriller “The Cryptic Lines”. I had originally planned to post my review today, but have inverted my tour stops (the 6th and 8th respectively) at the last minute! Please return mid-week to see my ruminations on behalf of the story and a bit of a new method of revealling my impressions as I change my format of how I review a novel I’ve read, er, listened too!

I am looking forward to hosting narrators and sorting out which narrators will become my most beloved in the industry. I can attest the one I am interviewing today is definitely at the top of the list for owning his characters and for the incredible capacity he has for theatrical voicing!

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

Narrator (Audiobook) Interview | Conversing with the ‘voice’ behind the theatrical presentation of “The Cryptic Lines”!The Cryptic Lines
Subtitle: an audiobook read by Jake Urry
Narrator: Jake Urry

Set in a sprawling Gothic mansion in a remote coastal location, somewhere in the British Isles, the elderly recluse Lord Alfred Willoughby is deciding what is to become of his vast fortune after his death. Whilst his head is telling him to leave nothing at all to his wastrel son, Matthew, his heart is speaking differently.

After much deliberation, in a last-ditch attempt to try and show to his son the importance of applying himself to a task and staying with it to the end, he devises a series of enigmatic puzzles cunningly concealed within the lines of a poem – the cryptic lines.

If he completes the task successfully and solves the puzzles he will inherit the entire estate; but if he fails he will receive nothing. However, from Lord Alfred’s Will it emerges that Matthew is not the only interested party. The mysterious old house holds many secrets, and nothing is as it first appears…

Places to find the book:

ASIN: B01D0E6ZK6

Genres: Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Suspense


on 16th March, 2016

Length: 4 hours and 13 minutes (unabridged)

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

I love how you’ve taken such a theatrical tone in narrating “The Cryptic Lines” to where it feels textural like a live-action play rather than a narration of a novel. What is your process for enveloping yourself inside the atmosphere of a story such as this one that has a unique pacing of revelation of it’s twists, events and the final reveal?

Urry responds: Thank you! It was important for me to get across the different personalities of the characters in this book, as they are all so well written. For me the process starts with finding the voices for each character and then thinking about how they fit in with the overall atmosphere of the story. For instance Lord Alfred in many respects sets the whole mysterious atmosphere up and revels in the game he’s created, so his voice was more theatrical and menacing. In contrast the character of Meg is very much acting in her own tempo, unconcerned with the urgency of the contest, so I had fun making her more whimsical and carefree. Read More

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Posted Sunday, 6 November, 2016 by jorielov in Audiobook Narrator Interview, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Thriller Suspense

Blog Book Tour | “The Lady of the Tower” by Elizabeth St. John

Posted Saturday, 13 August, 2016 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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 Lady of the Tower” direct from the author Elizabeth St. John in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read a story writ out of the author’s historical past:

Hallo, dear hearted readers – I was especially keen on the idea of a historical fiction novel inspired by the ancestral history of the author’s past because I am an Ancestry Sleuth myself! I have had a penchant of following in the footsteps of my Mum and grandfather who originally started to ferret out the remnants of our ancestry past through the groundwork they started in the 1970s to not only unearth hidden threads of our ancestors but to start the quest to work towards understanding where we all originated once you enter into the historical data on immigration from the UK and Europe respectively.

It’s an interesting process, as an Ancestry Sleuth as your digging through records and following leads – where some days you come up empty and other days, you might get a lucky break – where finding one ancestor could lead you to find a whole lot of ancestors you never even heard about previously! Thus, knowing this about how much I love researching where the living histories of my family could lead to new ancestors in the historic past, imagine then, my joy in reading the synopsis and back-story attached to The Lady of the Tower, wherein Ms St. John used one of her ancestors as the cornerstone of enquiry into how her story was both set and told.

I could be mistaken, but I believe the Stuart period of England is one that I haven’t yet had the joy of exploring? I love when I get to dig into another chapter of British history, seeing a whole generation pop alive against the pages of a historical novel and give me a cardinal viewing of that generation’s untold insights & stories. I remember when I first read a novel set during the era of the Tudors & the Georgian era, too. Of the two, I leaned more towards the Tudors – however, I have the tendency to fall back on my regular haunts of the Regency & Victorian eras whilst traversing a bit into the Edwardian. It would be quite lovely to feel an equal attachment for another era – perhaps, the Stuart will appeal? I do appreciate certain stories set during Elizabethan England, too. It’s just my heart flutters such joy in the other three eras it’s hard to pull myself out of them! Laughs.

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Blog Book Tour | “The Lady of the Tower” by Elizabeth St. JohnThe Lady of the Tower
by Elizabeth St. John
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Orphaned Lucy St.John, described as “the most beautiful of all,” defies English society by carving her own path through the decadent Stuart court. In 1609, the early days of the rule of James I are a time of glittering pageantry and cutthroat ambition, when the most dangerous thing one can do is fall in love . . . or make an enemy of Frances Howard, the reigning court beauty.

Lucy catches the eye of the Earl of Suffolk, but her envious sister Barbara is determined to ruin her happiness. Exiling herself from the court, Lucy has to find her own path through life, becoming mistress of the Tower of London. Riding the coattails of the king’s favorite, the Duke of Buckingham, the fortunes of the St.Johns rise to dizzying heights. But with great wealth comes betrayal, leaving Lucy to fight for her survival—and her honor—in a world of deceit and debauchery.

Elizabeth St.John tells this dramatic story of love, betrayal, family bonds and loyalty through the eyes of her ancestor Lucy and her family’s surviving diaries, letters and court papers.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781523417889

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Self Published Author

on 30th January, 2016

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 246

Published By: Self-Published Author

Read more about the Stuart period of England via WikiHow

Converse via: #TheLadyOfTheTower & #Ancestry + #HistFic
Available Formats: Softcover paperback and E-Book

About Elizabeth St. John

Elizabeth St. John

Elizabeth St.John was brought up in England and lives in California. To inform her writing, she has tracked down family papers and sites from Nottingham Castle, Lydiard Park, and the British Library to Castle Fonmon and The Tower of London. Although the family sold a few castles and country homes along the way (it’s hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth’s family still occupy them – in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their imprint. And the occasional ghost. But that’s a different story…

Elizabeth is currently writing a sequel to The Lady of the Tower, following the fortunes of the St.John family during the English Civil War. The working title is “By Love Divided”, and it is due to publish in early 2017.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 13 August, 2016 by jorielov in 17th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, Lucy St. John, Multi-Generational Saga, Story knitted out of Ancestral Data

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

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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).

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

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


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


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: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

(Biography updated August 2016)

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 10 August, 2016 by jorielov in 20th Century, Art, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, 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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