The Stones Speak if you Know How to Listen

The Secret Language of Stones Banner

Welcome to the tour stop for THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES the latest from M.J. Rose and the 2nd in the DAUGHTERS OF LA LUNE trilogy.  It is hard to resist any of the books/tours of France Book Tours. This is not the first M.J. Rose novel I have read and it feels good to be back in her good care.

Opaline Duplessi is from a family of those who have certain magical gifts.  Opaline was never really aware of what her magical powers were and her mother and grandmother who also possess gifts were happy to keep it that way. 

But with her imminent departure to the states for her safety during WWI Opaline hatched a plan to stay in Europe and find a way to help with the war effort. Opaline fled to family friend’s, the Orloff’s, who own a jewelry store in Paris. The Orloffs were from Russia and Pavel Orloff was a protege of Faberge and known for magnificent gemstones and unique designs. 

It is during her time working at the family’s store, La Fantasie Russie, that Opaline becomes curious about what she suspects her gift is. Here day job is crafting trench watches for soldiers as their fine watches are no good in the trenches of battle. But for those lucky enough to hear word of mouth, Opaline is crafting mourning jewelry for mothers, wives and lovers of those who have fallen in the war speak to her.  During this period in Paris, as a way to protect widows and parents, Opaline’s spiritual assistance is illegal.  

Opaline was earning quite a name for herself when a skeptical mother comes to see her and she takes the commission of crafting an amulet for her.  But instead of a message for the mother, the stone allows the lost son to open communications to her.  As she finds herself falling in love with this spirit she takes  a dangerous adventure that you will have to discover for yourself.  Every time there was a moment to read a chapter it felt as if a spirit were turning those pages but I did not mind.  

THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES is my favorite M.J. Rose novel to date, yet I have to admit that I have not read the first book in the trilogy. However, purchasing THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS is a must to connect all of the dots even though this read well as a standalone.  No question I shall be picking up the last of the DAUGHTERS OF LA LUNE but as with all trilogies waiting is so very hard.

Be sure to visit the rest of the tour stops THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONE – France Book Tours, there are giveaways at a number of stops too.  Pick up this or another novel from M.J. Rose if you like a historical fiction backdrop with characters that are well-developed and a glimmer of something magical. 


Posted in Book Tour, French History, Historical Fiction, Magical, Mystery, Mystery, Novel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

It is a Hotel’s Heart – THE LOBBY

The Lobby (1)

Given an opportunity to join CLP Blog Tours for THE LOBBY by Randi M. Sherman I said yes without a delay. Having a hotel as a backdrop is ripe for all kinds of possibilities but the lobby even better. In this case I was more than surprised by the clever way in which Sherman organized this novel.  She chose to use the hour of the day to kick things off we start with 4:00 AM.

At 4:00 AM Hall, the florist, and his son are making a delivery to the Shipley Hotel. That is just the start of a busy day for this San Francisco hotel, it’s staff and guests.  There are two functions a business conference for the Master Flash company and a 30th high school reunion too.  Guests abound with different stories some end quicker than others but it is fitting for twenty-four hours in a hotel.  There are permanent guests like Oscar Pasternak a former actor that was aged out of rolls but is a fixture in the lobby so he comes and goes in any number of chapters. We are even invited to an impromptu wedding and Sherman makes you feel you are a welcomed guest.

So many parties, so many stories…some overlapping and others just stand alone.  It was a light and enjoyable read from start to finish.  I know I am for sure game to return to the Shipley Hotel’s lobby anytime Sherman would like to return.  I whole heartedly recommend this light read for the summer, a simple click away.

Thanks to CLP Blog Tours and Randi here is a excerpt to enjoy:

Slump-shouldered and dizzy from exhaustion, Peggy stretched her neck, took a deep breath and rubbed her eyes, willing herself to be awake and perky. Dressed for the day in her high-rise, poly-blend walking shorts, a muted-colored Madras blouse, and an oversized pastel pink Jazzercise visor, she stood in the hotel lobby. It was only 6:00 a.m. Looking out through the front windows of the hotel, she could see the streets were still practically empty, and even the sun was having second thoughts about starting the day. Waking up before six o’clock in the morning was just too early, especially on a vacation.

“Hank, dear,” she said sweetly, holding a Mylar-wrapped breakfast bar. “Have one of these energy grain bars. It has fiber.”

He snatched it from her, peeled back the wrapper, then shoved it into his mouth and ate it in just two bites. Crumbs flying, he said, “Damned right. I’m not going to wait in line at some overpriced coffee shop for a plate of twelve-dollar eggs. We can have an early lunch.” He spotted a basket of shiny red apples on the registration desk. “Mary Margaret, go get a few of those too. They will tide us over.”

 Peggy’s movements are hindered by the beige naugahyde pocket-for-everything purse that was slung over her head and shoulder, crossing her chest. The purse strap was too short for it to be worn this way. It cut tightly between her breasts and rested at her side, just below her armpit, causing her arm to hang at a forty-five degree angle from her body.

 “You can never be too careful, Mary Margaret.” Hank checked the positioning of her bag. “I hear there is a lot of purse snatching going on in this city.” He stood back to take a look at her. “Maybe you should put on your sweater—you look like a tourist. You’re just inviting trouble.”

 It was big talk from Hank, who was dressed in brighter than-white walking shoes with Velcro closures for efficiency, an AARP fanny pack, and his new short-sleeved sport shirt which was tucked tightly into his underwear beneath his sans-a-belt, high-water polyester dress slacks, replete with a bulging back pocket due to an overstuffed wallet. Clutching his cartoonish city map like it was the map to the Holy Grail, Hank marched toward the morning clerk who was standing behind the front desk. He pointed at Peggy’s feet. “Pick ‘em up and lay ‘em down. We have a lot to do today, and it’s already after six.” With purpose, Hank asked the desk clerk Candice, “Is the conger . . . conseer here?”

 Another typical tourist, Candice thought. Ready to go at the crack of dawn. Should I tell him that with the exception of a Starbucks, nothing in this city is open before nine? “Good morning, sir,” Candice smiled. “I see you are up early. I’m sorry sir, but Philippe, the concierge, does not get in until nine o’clock. Perhaps I can help you with something?”

 “Yes, you can. We have a heavy day of sightseeing ahead of us, and I want to be efficient about it.” Hank slapped the map down on the counter.

 “Okay, I’ll see what I can do. What would you like to do today?” Candice smiled again, as she was trained to do. 

“Well,” Hank began, “today we want to walk across theGolden Gate Bridge, ride on a cable car, go to the Cable Car Museum, Fisherman’s Wharf, that curvy Lombardo Street, Golden Gate Park, the Legion of Honor, the Cannery, and Alcatraz.”

 Peggy tapped Hank on the shoulder. “And don’t forget Union Square, Hank.”

 “You can shop at home,” He called over his shoulder. Turning back to Candice, “What’s the best route? I’d like to work from furthest to closest.” Hank was all about efficiency. “It’s all about organization,” he explained. If a household task could be wrapped up in five minutes he found a way to do it in four. “In the military . . .” Hank would say and then fill in the blank with the most Hank-a-fied, time-efficient way to do something. He meant well, but Peggy knew that he usually made it up as he went along.

 Peggy had always hated being called Mary Margaret, Hun, or Marge, but Hank insisted. She endured Hank’s bossy, blow-hard-headedness all for the sake of keeping him calm. They had been married for thirty-five years, and she figured it was probably her fault that he was the way he was. After all, she had been raised to be agreeable. But she secretly wanted to break free of the middle of the row, middle class, very average, superefficient life she was leading and do something wild, something unplanned. Thursday night Bingo just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Anything new or different would be welcome. Dining out somewhere other than the two places in town where Hank was comfortable and where he didn’t spend twenty minutes raving about the “cost of things”— that would be good. Sex with the lights on or for longer than two minutes would be a welcome change. But neither would be enough. Peggy craved the life that she saw on the morning and afternoon talk shows. The life where people were frivolous and chatty, who drank champagne any day, for any occasion, not just at 11:55 PM on December 31st. Wearing a piece of clothing that wasn’t labeled “wash-n-wear” or blended with some fabric that’s name ended in -ester or -oline would be heaven after years in flammable synthetic clothing.


To catch other legs of this tour please visit CLP Blog Tours




Posted in Blog Tour, Books, ChickLit, Fiction Light, Novel, Reads, Summer Read | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Tour Stop & Giveaway – THE RAILWAY MAN’S WIFE

04_The Railwayman's Wife_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL.png

Posted in Beach Read, Blog Tour, Giveaway, Historical Fiction, Novel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

FALL OF POPPIES – A Taste of Post War Despair

FallofPoppies_cover (1).jpgFALL OF POPPIES is a collection of stories that takes place after WWI. They do not take place in the same country or even with the same point of view. There are both male and female leads and they involve both those having served in the war and those civilians touched by the war.  In all cases Armistice Day is the anchor.

I wish I could say that each story was joyful but than the authors would not have been true to the mission.  While there are glimpses of joy in these powerful stories they are emotional and pull at your heart strings in different ways.  Each offering in this anthology shares an intimate struggle for those trying to pick up the pieces of their lives that have been directly impacted by WWI.

A number of the contributing authors are favorites and there are other author finds within as well. Contributing authors are: Heather Webb who also serves as editor (read everything she has written); Hazel Gaynor (read everything she has written); Beatriz Williams (read everything she has written); Jennifer Robson (read everything she has written this year); Jessica Brockmole ; Kate Kerrigan; Evangeline Holland; Lauren Willig (read many but not current) and Marci Jefferson.

A number of the stories ended before I was ready for them to end. That is both the ease of an anthology but in some cases the frustration as well. While tweeting about reading this book one of the contributors, Beatriz Williams, shared that her character Octavian has more in her new book coming out later this year. Ladies I would not mind if that were the case across the board in fact that would be kind of genius although my TBR pile might topple because I would have to acquire them all.

Thanks to Tasty Tours for this opportunity to share the stories in this anthology. Please be sure to check out the other stops on the tour that is making its way to a finish this week:

If you love historical fiction, enjoy any of these talented authors or are seeking to discover new favorites you do not want to miss this anthology. Tasty Tours is providing three copies of FALL OF POPPIES for giveaway:


Posted in Blog Tour, Book Tour, Bring your tissue read, Historical Fiction, Short Stories | 2 Comments

CLUTCH: See what is inside this book.

CLUTCH is by Lisa Becker and am delighted to feature it with a special giveaway. When Lisa tweeted me about doing a feature I said yes for four reasons. One, very brave thing to do; she has written a novel and I have not; three, this novel has purses throughout; and last, but not least, my best friend from college shares the same last name. So it seemed like fate had struck a bull’s eye.

Clutch Novel

CLUTCH is a light read that will be the make you smile throughout your read. CLUTCH is perfect for the stockings hung with care for the fiction light reader on your list. Cleverly Becker utilizes purses throughout; they are even chapter headings which I adored. As a purse gal this was right up my alley.

What is inside: In Caroline’s youth her Aunt Mimi gives her a purse and that plus pearls of wisdom leads her love for purses in to a business. Caroline attends Harvard MBA program with the urging of her Aunt Mimi. There she meets Mike who is also following his dreams.

Post graduation they head to LA where he opens a bar and she launches her handbag line. Years go by and these friends share everything. Mike is a serial dater of including those that work at his bar and Caroline’s friends as well. Caroline cannot seem to find a guy that wants to spend the rest of his life with her.

Things wrap up with a bow on top in the last chapter titled CLUTCH. Once again Aunt Mimi’s sage words guide Caroline to “hold tight”.

Giveaway: I am so fortunate to be able to give one lucky visitor a clutch purse. That is right this darling authorpreneur found a way to provide purses to to celebrate the publication of her new novel. With the holidays around the corner we are in search of gift ideas for others but this just might be a perfect gift for you. Enter to win a beautiful lime green clutch.



Giveaway below runs from Sunday, November 22nd – Sunday, November 30th.  Winner is limited to a US residents 18+ only. Must be able to ship to a mailing address; no PO Boxes.

Posted in Books, Fiction Light, Giveaway, Novel, Romcom, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

A Twisting Tale of Speculation

BOOK OF SPECULATION_MECH_01.inddOnce before in my reading and blogging journey, I wondered how a debut novelist could come up with a story wonderfully odd and unique and this is the second time I have had that feeling. THE BOOK OF SPECULATION presents a family story intertwined with other carnies and their descendants. It flips back and forth in time which is not my favorite writing technique but might have possibly been the only way to connect the turn of the 18th century to the present.  For this novel it was essential.

Simon Watson a librarian in a small town on Long Island.  He lives in his family’s home but both of his parents have now passed away and he is alone.  The house is falling apart around him and to save this beachfront home would take a great deal of money he does not have.  Things head downhill for Simon but a distraction soon arrives.  He receives a mysterious old book from a stranger that acquired this book at auction and felt it should be seen by Simon.

Nothing is by accident in this book. One has to read very carefully to catch the clues and the connections of those characters that come in and out of the story.  And in a favorite move of mine some of those twists are created by inanimate objects as well.

Lunch Erika? I would like to have lunch with an author that has to tale in her brain. But then I avoid all info about a novel and its background before I read it, that is just my way of experiencing it without any expectations or clues to its path. But you can bet I am going to jump in to find out more about where this  story line came from just in case lunch does not work out.


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Opening Day for Starstruck Book Tour

A chance to read a novel about Broadway, yes; and a novel that features the behind the scenes of a new Broadway production, yes.  I could not be more thrilled to join this Chick Lit Plus Blog Tour.  And the pages of STARSTRUCK did not disappoint.

starstruckYoung and first time producer Scarlett Savoy is taking her off-Broadway production to Broadway this season. This is a retelling of Swan Lake titled Swan Song. Even though Scarlett is the producer her life does not take a back stage to the actors or the production.  She has quite a few men in her life that are part of the production that come in and out of the story.

Read here for a run down of Scarlett’s men: There is Graham Stewart who was destroyed by his divorce and does not want another.  Scarlett and Graham dated in a faux relationship and he offered her a platonic marriage but that was not for Scarlett. But Graham still provided the Broadway theater to Scarlett for SWAN SONG.  Let’s not forget Lawrence, who also dated Scarlett, but more recently the leading lady of the show Bliss Hadley.  That ended badly so we have a nice platform for awkwardness between all. Finally, there is Marco who is Bliss’s recently hired PR guy and former grad student flame of Scarlett’s.  In the end Scarlett makes her choice.

But the reason I loved STARSTRUCK was reading about the launch of a Broadway show.  There is so much to consider and Preston did a great job of bringing those to life in the book. There was strategy and planning, rehearsals, PR and events and other factors that go in to this enormous endeavor. Not to mention the risk of course since many Broadway productions do not make it off the ground and still others only stay open for a short run.

It was not all smooth sailing for Scarlett and STARSTRUCK so dive in and find out if the show makes it and who Scarlett chooses. Thanks Ruby Preston for the light, fun Broadway novel that definitely should be a read for anyone that loves the Great White Way.  Best of luck on your own Broadway adventures, may you produce many shows for us Broadway lovers.

clp-buttonThanks as always to the amazing Samantha March for her attention to detail and for putting reads in the hands of readers.  Always something fun with books going on at her spots: Chick Lit Plus and CLP Blog Tours.  Be sure to check out the full blog tour Schedule: Starstruck Blog Tour. 



Posted in Beach Read, Blog Tour, Book Tour, Books, ChickLit, Fiction Light, Novel | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments