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Review and Excerpt: The Secret Language of Stones by M. J. Rose

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THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES is a stunning historical gothic romantic suspense published by Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, releasing on July 19th. Written to be a total and complete standalone novel, THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES is the second title in M.J. Rose’s The Daughters of La Lune Series. Sexy, compelling, and seductive, be sure to grab your copy today!

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“The most powerful book I’ve read this year! Seductive, compelling, and beautifully written.” ~New York Times bestseller Melissa Foster

 

– SYNOPSIS –

 

 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.

The Secret Language of StonesNestled 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).

 

– EXCERPT –

 

My mother was disappointed I wasn’t following in her footsteps and studying painting but agreed jewelry design offered a fine alternative. I knew my choice appealed to the rebel in her. The field hadn’t yet welcomed women, and my mother, who had broken down quite a few barriers as a female artist and eschewed convention as much as plain white handkerchiefs, was pleased that, like her, I would be challenging the status quo.

When I’d graduated lycée, I convinced my parents to let me apprentice with a local jeweler, and Timur often stopped by Roucher’s shop at the end of the day to collect me and walk me home.

Given our ages, his twenty to my seventeen, it wasn’t surprising our closeness turned physical, and we spent many hours hiding in the shadows of the rocks on the beach as twilight deepened, kissing and exploring each other’s bodies. The heady intimacy was exciting. The passion, transforming. My sense of taste became exaggerated. My sense of smell became more attenuated. The stones I worked with in the shop began to shimmer with a deeper intensity, and my ability to hear their music became fine-tuned.

The changes were as frightening as they were exhilarating. As the passions increased my powers, I worried I was becoming like my mother. And yet my fear didn’t make me turn from Timur. The pleasure was too great. My attraction was fueled by curiosity rather than love. Not so for him. And even though I knew Timur was a romantic, I never guessed at the depths of what he felt.

 

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Early reviews for The Secret Language of Stones by M. J. Rose —

“A dazzling mix of history, mystery and mystical arts . . . Rose’s paranormal historical bewitches from start to finish. Her amazing ability to make her story line believable and her extraordinary protagonist relatable result in an unforgettable psychic thriller.” (Library Journal (Starred review))

“An exciting mix of adventure, intrigue, and romance in this thrilling historical tale.” (Booklist)

“Haunting, spellbinding, captivating; Rose’s story of the power of love and redemption is masterful. More than a romance or ghost story, this is a tale of a young woman learning to embrace her unique qualities…So carefully crafted and beautifully written, readers will believe in the magical possibilities of love transcending time.”  (RT Magazine (Top Pick))

“Rose follows up The Witch of Painted Sorrows (2015) with Sandrine’s daughter’s story, set against the tragic yet exquisite canvases of Paris, the Great War, and the Russian Revolution, and offers fascinating historical tidbits in the midst of bright, imaginative storytelling and complex, supernatural worldbuilding. A compelling, heart-wrenching, creative, and intricate read.”  (Kirkus Reviews)

 

– REVIEW –

 

“ . . . A grand love, you wrote. Did you have a love that grand?” I asked him.

No. I never did. Did you?

“No, and I wouldn’t want to. It would be too painful if it failed.”

But to experience it once—even if it is painful—don’t you think it would be worth it? Wouldn’t you want to know what that kind of intensity is like? Wouldn’t you want to feel that deeply?

Opaline Duplessi to Jean Luc Forèt 

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Set in Paris during the last year of World War I, M. J. Rose’s The Secret Language of Stones is an enchanting and utterly absorbing story of the romance between the young woman, Opaline Duplessi, and her spectral lover, Jean Luc Forèt.

As a Daughter of La Lune, Opaline descends from a legendary family of witches, each female in the line gifted with specific powers or talents. It is while working as an apprentice jeweler in Paris that Opaline’s gift of lithomancy (the ability to connect with other realms through stones) comes into full fruition.

Using her talent to fashion talismans of remembrance for the grieving families of lost soldiers, Opaline discovers that the crystal talismans are speaking to her, sending her messages from those who have passed.  As quiet word goes out in Paris about the young psychic jeweler and her talismans, Opaline finds herself sought out by the mourners seeking one last contact from their departed loved ones.

One day a grief-stricken mother enters the jewelry shop, seeking Opaline. Denise Alouette has received notice that her son, Jean Luc, has been lost in battle. She commissions Opaline to create a remembrance talisman, giving Opaline a lock of Jean Luc’s hair and the dates of his birth and death. As Opaline starts to assemble the pendant, Jean Luc begins to speak to her through the stones.

Opaline begins to doubt her sanity — Jean Luc’s spirit is far stronger that any she’s encountered in the past. His persistence in seeking her out convinces Opaline that Jean Luc has a significant purpose in her own life. Keeping the finished talisman for herself, a guilty Opaline gives his mother a substitute pendant.

Following his direction, Opaline sets out to learn the facts of Jean Luc’s life, his passions, his dreams. During the course of their connection, Jean Luc’s spirit becomes increasing stronger and a heated romance grows between Opaline and her spirit lover — to the point of physical consummation. (And this reader leaves it to you to discover how the author brilliantly accomplishes this stunningly sensual feat.)

The Secret Language of Stones will captivate your imagination while it grabs your heart. The second novel the M. J. Rose’s The Daughters of La Lune series, it is a stand alone novel and does not required the reader to have read Rose’s The Witch of Painted Sorrows. The romance between Opaline and Jean Luc, centered amid the vestiges of a Belle Époque Paris suffering under German bombardment, combines the mystique of the paranormal with the grim reality of the cost of war.

Beautifully written, author Rose weaves her plot lines with golden threads — the secondary plots, strong and fascinating, could easily stand as their own story. The characters are carefully crafted and, given the story’s premise, completely believable. The rich attention to detail will leave you feeling as if you are taking a walking tour of Paris, whether it be through the halls of the Louvre, or amid the shadows cast by the tombs in the Père Lachaise. Rose generously gives her readers a little bit of everything — intrigue, sorcery, history — not to mention a breathtaking love story that will have the reader devouring every page, down to the very last word.

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

 

*ARC received from Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

 iBooks | IndieBound

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And Don’t Miss the First Book in The Daughters of La Lune Series, THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS!

 

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Amazon   Barnes and Noble

   iBooks    IndieBound

 

Daughter of La Lune Pendant
 Giveaway!

We’re celebrating the release of THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES by giving away a beautiful Daughter of La Lune pendant. Designed by Cadsawan Jewelry, the silver pendant contains a labradorite, a magical stone excellent for awakening one’s own awareness of inner spirit, intuition, and psychic abilities.

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

M. J. ROSE

 

MJ Rose - HeadshotNew 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.

Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization’s co-president.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Website TwitterFacebook 

 Author Goodreads Novel GoodreadsNewsletterPinterest

 

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One response to “Review and Excerpt: The Secret Language of Stones by M. J. Rose

  1. Jessica July 14, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Thank you so much! ~Jessica, InkSlinger PR

    Like

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