Jul 25, 2016

Book Review: The Secret Language of Stones

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.

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Talk about incredible!  Ms. Rose has penned a beautiful and evocative paranormal love story with set back in Paris during WWI.  Even if I didn't care for books set back in history, I would be changing my tune after reading THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES.

As a lot of my readers know, not only am I an avid reader but I also enjoy creating jewelry though I can only dream of being such a jeweler as Opaline.  Her 'gift' from her family line as a Daughter of La Lune is the ability to hear messages in the stone.  And when she creates one of her memory lockets she will hear a message from a fallen soldier to give to his family.

The problem is that Opaline hates and fears her gift.  She doesn't want to be part of this bloodline so she hasn't learned any control of her abilities which she now fears are driving her insane.  Especially since one of the fallen is now communicating with her on a regular basis.

I can't say enough good things about this book.  The characters are beautifully portrayed and have so much depth.  I just love the way that Ms. Rose weaves facts about the war and life during that time into the fictional story.  And her writing is so dang silky and sensual that it swept me away.  I highly recommend this book to any of my readers who enjoy  paranormal love stories or historical romance.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.

Jul 22, 2016

Pine Ridge Treasures Sunny Day Blog Hop


One of the things that I really enjoy about blog hops that start out as a kit is that there are times when my muse gets a workout. I have a tendency to avoid  certain beads or colors. Not so easy to do when someone else chooses the beads. 


This is one of those kits that forced me to grow. Some gorgeous beads and all the brass findings.  But all that yellow and orange!  I don't use that color.


Well maybe if I ease my way into with a pair of earrings that are perfect for the beach.  Light & airy, they make their own music. (Don't you just love how the camera picks up the flaws?)


Okay if I am going to go yellow, I am going to go all the way.  Of course, I had to have green also (one of my favorite colors). This necklace is all about the sun & all the plants who worship him.  I knotted it all up with some Chinese cord and a brass clasp. 

Now since this is a hop, be sure to check out what these other wonderful designers have done. 

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool Jewelry
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Rosee Hanemaayer, Silver Penny Artisans
Gloria Allen, Gloria Allen Designs
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware

Carolyn Lawson, Carolyns Creations

Book Review: The Killer In Me

Seventeen-year-old Nina Barrows knows all about the Thief. She’s intimately familiar with his hunting methods: how he stalks and kills at random, how he disposes of his victims’ bodies in an abandoned mine in the deepest, most desolate part of a desert.

Now, for the first time, Nina has the chance to do something about the serial killer that no one else knows exists. With the help of her former best friend, Warren, she tracks the Thief two thousand miles, to his home turf—the deserts of New Mexico.

But the man she meets there seems nothing like the brutal sociopath with whom she’s had a disturbing connection her whole life. To anyone else, Dylan Shadwell is exactly what he appears to be: a young veteran committed to his girlfriend and her young daughter. As Nina spends more time with him, she begins to doubt the truth she once held as certain: Dylan Shadwell is the Thief. She even starts to wonder . . . what if there is no Thief?

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I finished THE KILLER IN ME a couple hours ago and I am still trying to come back to reality.  This book has to be one of the most unique and terrifying books that I have ever read.  For the most part, this is due to Ms. Harrison's deft touch with the main character, Nina.  

In a lot of ways, Nina is the typical high school student.  She struggles to keep her grades up and has to deal with her mother.  She also has to attend support groups to help her overcome her addiction to stimulants.  What makes her unusual is the reason she was taking them.  Nina was afraid to sleep because her dreams would take her into the mind of a serial killer.  

She is finally fed up with the horrible crimes that she is an unwilling witness too and manages to track down the killer with the help of her best friend Warren.  What she discovers has her questioning herself, her perceptions and her life in general.

Now I don't want you to think that all of the other characters weren't as well portrayed as Nina because they were.  Heck, I was starting to doubt Nina's perceptions myself.  Readers are also treated to some of most beautiful desert scenery around. 

I highly recommend  THE KILLER IN ME to any of my readers who enjoy a mysterious tale that borders on horror.  There is violence but since the scenes aren't that graphic, this book would be great for younger readers also.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.