Sunday, July 31, 2016

I can't contain my excitement!

I had planned to post a review today

but.....

NetGalley sent me an e-mail Saturday afternoon to let me know that Berkley Publishing Group

approved my request to read Magic Binds!!


I haven't been this excited about a book in a long time.  I actually squealed.  My husband thinks that I am nuts....but I don't care.


I will be back on Monday with a review....but Sunday belongs to Kate and Curran.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Stacking the Shelves #31


I am really excited to participate in Stacking the Shelves, a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Another week in the books!  I have been incredibly sluggish lately.  I seem to be behind on just about everything in my life right now.  I am pretty sure that my thyroid levels are completely out of whack which is not helping.  The summer heat is probably adding to the mix as well. 

Digital Books

Reckless Creed by Alex Kava (First to Read)
Kids of Appetite by David Arnold (First to Read)
Fates and Traitors by Jennifer Chiaverini (First to Read)
Little Nothing by Marisa Silver (First to Read)
The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis (Edelweiss)

Woo hoo!  I scored an Alex Kava book AND a Jill Shalvis book in the same week.  I really couldn't resist the books on offer over at First to Read this time around and went a little overboard.  I can't wait to get to each of them.  I loved the first book in Jill Shalvis's Heartbreaker Bay series so I had to accept the offer of the next book when it was offered to me by the publisher. 


What books do you add to your shelves this week? 
Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own STS post!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Review - The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells

The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: July 26, 2016
Date Read: July 6, 2016
Source: NetGalley

From the acclaimed author of The Bones of You comes a haunting and heartbreaking new psychological thriller about a man thrust into the middle of a murder investigation, forced to confront the secrets of his ex-lover's past.

"I was fourteen when I fell in love with a goddess. . ."

So begins the testimony of Noah Calaway, an ex-lawyer with a sideline in armchair criminal psychology. Now living an aimless life in an inherited cottage in the English countryside, Noah is haunted by the memory of the beguiling young woman who left him at the altar sixteen years earlier. Then one day he receives a troubling phone call. April, the woman he once loved, lies in a coma, the victim of an apparent overdose--and the lead suspect in a brutal murder. Deep in his bones, Noah believes that April is innocent. Then again, he also believed they would spend the rest of their lives together.

While Noah searches for evidence that will clear April's name, a teenager named Ella begins to sift through the secrets of her own painful family history. The same age as April was when Noah first met her, Ella harbors a revelation that could be the key to solving the murder. As the two stories converge, there are shocking consequences when at last, the truth emerges.

Or so everyone believes. . .

Set in a borderland where the past casts its shadow on the present, with a time-shifting narrative that will mesmerize and surprise, The Beauty of the End is both a masterpiece of suspense and a powerful rumination on lost love.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23014705-does-this-beach-make-me-look-fat

My Review

I have so many mixed feelings about this book.  I remember that I really wanted to see how things would work out for the characters.  So much so that I had a hard time putting it down.  The whole time I was reading, I was also thinking about how nothing in the story really rang true to me.  In the end, it was rather disappointing.

I read this book several weeks before I actually had a chance to sit down and write my review.  I hate to say it but I remembered very little of the book at first.  It was really that forgettable.  After reading over the summary and checking my notes, I did recall the story but I am still amazed that I was able to completely wipe the plot from my mind in just a few days. 

I didn't really care for any of the characters in the story which is a pretty big problem for me.  In most cases, I really need to like at least one character in a book in order to connect with the story.  I didn't understand Noah.  It didn't make sense to me how he was able to always think so highly of April.  Nobody is as perfect as he felt April was.  April was probably the closest to be likable but we never got to hear her voice and she also made little sense to me.  I wasn't even sure who Ella was or why I should care about her portions of the book.

I thought the plot was incredibly far fetched.  The story jumped back and forth in time which took away from the flow of the story at times.  There were also random sections of the book that came from Ella's point of view that did not appear to be linked to the main plot in way.  I just really had a hard time believing that otherwise intelligent individuals could be as clueless as everyone seemed to be in this story.

On a more positive note, I found the book to be easy to read.  I found that sections of the book were rather exciting and I did want to see how everything would work out.  I was hoping for a big finish based on the title but felt that the ending fell flat.  It was a book that I had no trouble getting through but I found myself thinking about all of the problems in the story more than the actual mystery.

I can't recommend this book to others.  I think that there are too many great options out there for anyone looking for a great mystery thriller.  This was the first book by Debbie Howells that I have read and I would be willing to give her work another try in the future.

I received a copy of this book from Kensington Books via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review. 

About the Authors

Debbie Howells is the author of The Bones of You, her debut thriller which sold internationally for six-figures in several countries. While in the past she has been a flying instructor, the owner of a flower shop, and a student of psychology, she currently writes full-time. Debbie lives in West Sussex with her family, please visit her online at DebbieHowells.com.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Review - Dark Matter by Blake Crouch @blakecrouch1 @CrownPublishing

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Publication Date: July 26, 2016
Date Read: May 15, 2016
Source: NetGalley

“Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable--something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23014705-does-this-beach-make-me-look-fat

My Review

I loved this book. I picked this one up when I was really hoping to pull myself out of a reading slump...and it worked.  You would think that I could easily write a nice gushy review of the wonderful story but I am finding it really hard to write a review because I am determined not to spoil this story for anyone else.  

I think that I thought that there would be some elements of horror in the story.  I was wrong.  This is really a science fiction story.  I don't read a lot of science fiction but I really enjoyed this one.  It made me think about things.  There is really a whole world of possibilities presented in this story and while I realize that it is a work of fiction, it was really fun to imagine all of the scenerios.

This story follows Jason.  Jason is really a pretty normal guy.  He is married with a teenage son.  He is a professor at the local college and is really pretty happy with his life.  I thought that Jason was a really solid character.  He was pretty easy to get behind and I found myself really caring about him.  I was cheering for him until the very end of the story and wanted to see him succeed.

I loved the writing.  This book was pretty fast paced and I found it really hard to put down.  I read the whole book from cover to cover in less than 24 hours because I couldn't get it out of my head.  I needed to read just one more chapter...and we all know how that goes.  The book flowed largely due to the wonderful storytelling.  The unbelievable became believable and the lines between fiction and fact blurred.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of science fiction.  I think anyone looking for something a little different may enjoy this one as well.  I have read a couple of books that Blake Crouch co-authored and I enjoyed those but I do think that I prefer his solo efforts a bit more.  I definitely plan to read more from this author very soon.

I received a copy of this book from Crown Publishing via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review. 

About the Authors

BLAKE CROUCH has sold over a million books and his work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. He is best known for his bestselling Wayward Pines series, which was adapted into a FOX Television “event series” airing in Spring 2015, directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Matt Dillon, Juliette Lewis, and Terrence Howard.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #25 - Kids of Appetite

 Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My Waiting on Wednesday pick is:


Kids of Appetite by David Arnold
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 20, 2016

The bestselling author of Mosquitoland brings us another batch of unforgettable characters in this tragicomedy about first love and devastating loss.

Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23014597-what-doesn-t-kill-her

Pre-Order:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BAM!


Why Am I Waiting?
I have had my eye on Mosquitoland even though I haven't had a chance to read it yet.  This book sounds wonderful and I love the idea of a tragicomedy.   

What are you waiting for this week? 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

New Releases - July 26, 2016 #newreleases #newbooks

July 26, 2016  

It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are just a few books that have just been released that you may want to grab soon:
The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BAM!


Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere - a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he's welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he's a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.


Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23746004-black-eyed-susans
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BAM!


“Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable--something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25205422-who-do-you-love

From the acclaimed author of The Bones of You comes a haunting and heartbreaking new psychological thriller about a man thrust into the middle of a murder investigation, forced to confront the secrets of his ex-lover's past.

"I was fourteen when I fell in love with a goddess. . ."

So begins the testimony of Noah Calaway, an ex-lawyer with a sideline in armchair criminal psychology. Now living an aimless life in an inherited cottage in the English countryside, Noah is haunted by the memory of the beguiling young woman who left him at the altar sixteen years earlier. Then one day he receives a troubling phone call. April, the woman he once loved, lies in a coma, the victim of an apparent overdose--and the lead suspect in a brutal murder. Deep in his bones, Noah believes that April is innocent. Then again, he also believed they would spend the rest of their lives together.

While Noah searches for evidence that will clear April's name, a teenager named Ella begins to sift through the secrets of her own painful family history. The same age as April was when Noah first met her, Ella harbors a revelation that could be the key to solving the murder. As the two stories converge, there are shocking consequences when at last, the truth emerges.

Or so everyone believes. . .

Set in a borderland where the past casts its shadow on the present, with a time-shifting narrative that will mesmerize and surprise, The Beauty of the End is both a masterpiece of suspense and a powerful rumination on lost love.

The Lost Girls by Heather Young
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24502483-the-scamp?from_search=true&search_version=service

A haunting debut novel that examines the price of loyalty, the burden of regret, the meaning of salvation, and the sacrifices we make for those we love, told in the voices of two unforgettable women linked by a decades-old family mystery at a beautiful, decaying lake house.

In the summer of 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanishes from her family’s vacation home on a remote Minnesota lake. Her disappearance destroys her mother, who spends the rest of her life at the lake house, hoping in vain that her favorite daughter will walk out of the woods. Emily’s two older sisters stay, too, each keeping her own private, decades-long vigil for the lost child.

Sixty years later Lucy, the quiet and watchful middle sister, lives in the lake house alone. Before she dies, she writes the story of that devastating summer in a notebook that she leaves, along with the house, to the only person to whom it might matter: her grandniece, Justine.

For Justine, the lake house offers a chance to escape her manipulative boyfriend and give her daughters the stable home she never had. But it’s not the sanctuary she hoped for. The long Minnesota winter has begun. The house is cold and dilapidated, the frozen lake is silent and forbidding, and her only neighbor is a strange old man who seems to know more than he’s telling about the summer of 1935.

Soon Justine’s troubled oldest daughter becomes obsessed with Emily’s disappearance, her mother arrives with designs on her inheritance, and the man she left behind launches a dangerous plan to get her back. In a house steeped in the sorrows of the women who came before her, Justine must overcome their tragic legacy if she hopes to save herself and her children.

More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27416021-ultimate-couragehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25883016-riverkeep?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25486998-p-s-i-like-you?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27274410-where-the-wild-things-bite?ac=1&from_search=true

Monday, July 25, 2016

Review - The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel
Publisher: St. Martin's Press 
Publication Date: July 26, 2016
Date Read: July 18, 2016
Source: Tiffany McDaniel / St. Martin's Press

Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere - a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he's welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he's a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23014705-does-this-beach-make-me-look-fat

My Review

I really enjoyed this one.  I seem to always be on the hunt for something original and different when it comes to my reading and this one really hit the mark.  I love a dark story and this one did not disappoint.  Not only was the story dark, it really dealt with a lot of different things in an impressive manner.  I thought that the writing was beautiful and really added to the tale.

The book is mostly set in the summer of 1984 in the little town of Breathed, Ohio.  There are a few flashes into Fielding's future where we learn how deeply the events of that summer impacted his life.  At the start of the book, Fielding meets a little black boy wearing a dirty pair of overalls.  This boy says that he is the devil and came due to the invitation set forth by Fielding's father but asked to be called Sal.  Sal quickly becomes another member of the eclectic Bliss family.

The town of Breathed isn't nearly as welcoming to Sal.  Since he is the devil, he is blamed for lots of things that go wrong.  Despite the feelings against Sal, he seems to be one of the most level headed characters in the story.  The advice he shares with Fielding and the rest of his new family shows a wisdom that is truly remarkable.  Sal, Fielding, and the rest of the Bliss family were really colorful and interesting characters that all added a lot to the story.

The writing was spectacular.  Seriously.  I am amazed that this was the author's debut novel.  The way this story was put together really shows remarkable skill.  The words flowed in such a way that it was really a treat to read this book.  I almost felt like I was there with the Bliss family since the descriptions in the book were so vivid.  I thought the pacing was very well done with a lot of difficult topics being covered.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something dark and different.  The writing and the story are equally strong in this wonderful little story.  I rarely accept review requests from authors but I am so glad that I decided to take a chance on this book.  I will definitely be reading more from this author in the future and can't wait to see what else Tiffany McDaniel will come up with next.

I received a copy of this book from Tiffany McDaniel and St. Martin's Press via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review. 

Book Trailer

About the Authors
Photo Credit JENNIFER MCDANIEL 2016

An Ohio native, Tiffany McDaniel’s writing is inspired by the rolling hills and buckeye woods of the land she knows.  She is also a poet, playwright, screenwriter, and artist.  The Summer that Melted Everything is her debut novel. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Did you see this? Wonder Woman Movie Trailer


Wonder Woman - Comic Con Trailer

Wow!  This looks absolutely amazing!  I am not a big movie person so the fact that I am getting excited about a film that will not be released until next summer is kind of impressive.  Until I watched this trailer, I was not completely sold on the idea of a darker Wonder Woman but I have to say that it looks like they did a really good job with it.  

I was born in the early 70's and kind of thought I was Wonder Woman for the first decade of my life.  I had a Wonder Woman barbie that I really wish I still had if I am being honest.  I ran circles around the house in my Wonder Woman Underoos and couldn't get enough of the TV show.  I even named my childhood dog, Tiger, after a random dog that was featured on one the episodes.  Yep...Wonder Woman and me go way back.  

I only go to the theater about once a year to see a movie but I am pretty sure that I will make my way there for this one.

What are your thoughts on next year's Wonder Woman film?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Stacking the Shelves #30


I am really excited to participate in Stacking the Shelves, a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews

I took a few days away from blogging this week.  We had a really busy week planned and I just needed one less thing on my to do list.  I was able to really enjoy curling up with a good book during my break and I spent a lot of time playing with the puppies.

Digital Books

The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman (NetGalley)
IQ by Joe Ide (NetGalley)
When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz (NetGalley)
Shadow Falling by Rebecca Zanetti (NetGalley)
Land of Careful Shadows by Suzanne Chazin (NetGalley)

As you can see, I went a little crazy at NetGalley this week.  I featured The Masked City and Shadow Falling in my Waiting on Wednesday posts earlier this year so I am thrilled to get early copies of both books.  I really enjoyed the Jayne Ann Krentz's last release so I am hopeful that this one will be just as good.  I am a sucker for a good mystery so I couldn't resist IQ and Land of Careful Shadows.


What books do you add to your shelves this week? 
Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own STS post!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Taking a short break....

I am currently in the middle of a short break from blogging.  We had a storm in our area Tuesday night that knocked out my internet connection so I couldn't do a blog post for Wednesday morning as planned.  

We have a pretty busy week this week so I think it will do me some good just to take a few days to focus on real life.  And curl up with a good book.

I will be back on Saturday and look forward to catching up with everyone!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

New Releases - July 19, 2016 #newreleases #newbooks

July 19, 2016  

It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are just a few books that have just been released that you may want to grab soon:
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BAM!

From New York Times bestselling author of the “twisty-mystery” (Vulture) novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, comes The Woman in Cabin 10, an equally suspenseful and haunting novel from Ruth Ware—this time, set at sea.

In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s works, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

With surprising twists, spine-tingling turns, and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another taut and intense read in The Woman in Cabin 10—one that will leave even the most sure-footed reader restlessly uneasy long after the last page is turned.


White Bone by Ridley Pearson
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23746004-black-eyed-susans
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BAM!


John Knox and Grace Chu, the incomparable duo of the Risk Agent novels, team up again in the latest international thrill ride from New York Times–bestselling author Ridley Pearson.

When ex–military contractor John Knox receives a text from partner Grace Chu warning that she fears her cover may have been blown while on assignment, he jumps into action. Knox must locate her overseas handlers, convince them of the threat, and then attempt to retrace the well-hidden steps of a woman who had been attempting to determine how one million euros’ worth of AIDS vaccine disappeared, all while eluding angry poachers on a parallel trail.
Corruption isn’t a “problem” in Kenya, it’s the way of doing business. The poaching of ivory from African elephants, driven by insatiable demand from mainland China, fuels constant blood and slaughter. Knox faces police, national rangers, journalists, and safari companies who are each in their own symbiotic relationship with elephants, both good and bad. As the threat from Al-Shaabab militants interferes with his pursuit of Grace, Knox finds himself pitted against the most savage and suicidal fighters in the world. And there’s this woman, Grace, always in his head. His gut. As Grace watches as her civilized self slips away while abandoned in the bush, Knox races against the clock to find her.

The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25205422-who-do-you-love

The stunning new novel from the highly-acclaimed author of The Panopticon

It's November of 2020, and the world is freezing over. Each day colder than the last. There's snow in Israel, the Thames is overflowing, and an iceberg separated from the Fjords in Norway is expected to drift just off the coast of Scotland. As ice water melts into the Atlantic, frenzied London residents evacuate by the thousands for warmer temperatures down south. But not Dylan. Grieving and ready to build life anew, he heads north to bury his mother's and grandmother's ashes on the Scottish islands where they once lived.

Hundreds of miles away, twelve-year-old Estella and her survivalist mother, Constance, scrape by in the snowy, mountainous Highlands, preparing for a record-breaking winter. Living out of a caravan, they spend their days digging through landfills, searching for anything with restorative and trading value. When Dylan arrives in their caravan park in the middle of the night, life changes course for Estella and Constance. Though the weather worsens, his presence brings a new light to daily life, and when the ultimate disaster finally strikes, they'll all be ready.

Written in incandescent, dazzling prose, The Sunlight Pilgrims is a visionary story of courage and resilience in the midst of nature's most violent hour; by turns an homage to the portentous beauty of our natural world, and to just how strong we can be, if the will and the hope is there, to survive its worst.

The Secret Language of Stones by M.J. Rose
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24502483-the-scamp?from_search=true&search_version=service
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).

More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27272236-this-must-be-the-placehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26114497-the-baker-street-jurors?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27774755-monterey-bay?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26114232-flying?ac=1&from_search=true
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