The Secret Language of Stones by M.J. Rose…Blog Tour Stop & Review

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02_The Secret Language of Stones

The Secret Language of Stones
by M.J. Rose

Publication Date: July 19, 2016
Atria Books
Hardcover & eBook; 320 Pages

Series: The Daughters of La Lune, Book Two
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy

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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, protÈgÈ 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).


My Review:

The Secret Language of Stones is the second book in author M.J. Rose’s phenomenal The Daughter’s of La Lune series and after falling in love with the first book, I was eager to read this next installment.  It’s at this point I tell you how difficult it’s going to be for me to adequately put into words just how much I loved this book and how deeply the story affected me.  It was beyond anything I could imagine and holds a spot as one of my top five favorite reads ever.

Opaline’s journey was so incredibly touching and emotional from the very start.  She’s a young woman born into a witch’s bloodline, gifted with the ability to speak to the fallen through gemstones.  She has learned the art of jewelry making and has an admirable desire to help with the ongoing war by making the soldier’s watches suitable for the battlefield. It’s when doing that work that she learns to use her abilities to read stones to bring grieving mothers or wives or sisters some measure of peace and closure by making a talisman for the grieving family member.  Where Opaline can speak one last time to the soldier who has passed on and deliver a final message.

It’s in doing that work where she crosses otherworldly paths with a soldier named Jean Luc.  It’s at that moment Opaline’s life changes forever.  It’s at that moment that this book went from an engaging read to an all-consuming one I simply could not put down.

Jean Luc had been a journalist before leaving for war and Opaline, along with having private spoken moments with his spirit, reads the weekly columns he wrote.  We got to read them along side her and I cannot tell you just how achingly beautiful he wrote and how tender his words were.  His entries are written to a fictitious love and he asks her to visit certain places and think of him.  When Opaline goes to those sentimental locations it drew so many emotions from me.  I was desperate for there to be some way for these two people to be together.  I cried a lot of tears just basking in the words they shared and the moments they spent together, yet apart. I have to say, that measure of not knowing how there could possibly be a way for their relationship to work, but hoping beyond hope that there was, made this even more of an all-consuming read for me.  Their interactions were so beautiful and touching but also laced with a bit of pain and sorrow.  Now, I won’t ruin anything for you, but I will give you a bit of a hint and let you know that I don’t review a book that ends badly so while you will need a box of tissues to get through more than a few parts of this book, you will not be disappointed.

Of course, peppered in with the incredible budding relationship between Jean Luc and Opaline there are possible spies, family duplicity, and a search for hope within the Romanov dynasty.  All of that added a wonderful and suspenseful layer to this story that I really enjoyed.

It would be remiss of me to end this review without paying respect to the immense talent Ms. Rose is.  I read a lot of books in many different genres and in many different styles.  I know that when I sit down with a book written by Ms. Rose it will be an experience, not just a book.  I know I will feel what the characters feel, experience all of the sounds, tastes, and smells through the lush and rich descriptions in her writing.  It is truly a gift and one I am so thankful Ms. Rose shares with us.

Thank you, Ms. Rose, for another stellar read. I will continue to look forward to more from The Sisters of La Lune and all the magic they share with us.


Five Loves

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A spellbinding ghost story that communicates the power of love and redemption through Rose’s extraordinary, magical lens.”  (Alyson Richman, internationally bestselling author of The Lost Wife)

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About the Author03_M.J. Rose Author

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 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. Visit her online at MJRose.com.

Connect with M.J. Rose on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 12
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at The Mad Reviewer
Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, July 13
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Thursday, July 14
Spotlight at Teddy Rose Book Reviews

Friday, July 15
Review at A Dream within a Dream

Monday, July 18
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, July 19
Review at First Impressions Reviews

Wednesday, July 20
Review at Laura’s Interests

Thursday, July 21
Review at Read Love Blog

Friday, July 22
Review at Nerd in New York
Spotlight at I Heart Reading

Monday, July 25
Review at Broken Teepee
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, July 26
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Wednesday, July 27
Interview at First Impressions Reviews

Thursday, July 28
Review at Creating Herstory

Friday, July 29
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Monday, August 1
Review at The Book Junkie Reads

Tuesday, August 2
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Wednesday, August 3
Review at Diana’s Book Reviews

Thursday, August 4
Interview at Diana’s Book Reviews

Friday,August 5
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Monday, August 8
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, August 9
Review at Worth Getting in Bed For

Wednesday, August 10
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, August 11
Review at Girls Just Reading

Friday, August 12
Review at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Monday, August 15
Review at Fangirls Ahead!

Tuesday, August 16
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Review at The True Book Addict


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