Review: Fin Rising

  • Fin Rising
  • Written by Paul W. Newman
  • Published by Really Blue Books on May 20, 2013
  • 253 pages; Literary Fiction
  • Received from the author in exchange for an honest review


Finn Rising is a romantic mystery and black comedy set in Ireland. Fin McGrath loves and fishes in equal measure, and when the twists of the present cause the questions of the past to arise suddenly, he begins to wonder where the truth lies. Will the dark twists of the past be finally revealed? Will Fin have everything or nothing? Will love be reborn or lost again, this time, forever?

This book is all about second chances. The question is who is entitled to get that second chance. There are so many ghosts, as well, that may prevent those second chances from being earned. Finally it is up to Lord Henry Comerford to decide each character’s happily ever after.

During his life, Lord Henry Comerford made some very questionable decisions regarding his life and his family. He is alone; accept for when each year his children and friends gather for a dinner. This particular dinner changes everything. In the beginning, I found that Lord Henry was a pleasant, old school Earl. However, as the story unfolds, he is not so pleasant, especially to his wife and children.

Fin is the family favorite. He has lived the majority of his life on the estate near the lake that he loves. However, due to the death of his mother many years before, he can’t truly be happy there. Also, with a love lost, he needs to find his own path outside of Ireland. Fin represents all that is good and he is opposite of Lord Henry’s son, Roger. Fin and Roger, as children, were like brothers. However, when Lord Henry favors Fin, Roger turns away from both Fin and his father.

Besides his quarrel with Roger, Fin, also, have his nemesis in the lake. A rainbow trout named the King is forever taunting him. It is man versus nature. Eventually, they come face to face and it is a thrilling moment in the book. Roger, likewise, faces the lake and finds a little bit of his childhood that he thought was lost. I always find it remarkable how nature can bring goodness back into someone’s soul.

There is another character that was lost in the beginning but later is found. Lorelei really finds herself when she comes home. So many things are revealed to her that could have crumbled but she didn’t. She embraced those revelations and is able to move forward in her life. By the end of the story she is a completely different person. Maybe she became the Lorelei of old. At the end, I liked her quite a bit.

In my opinion, Fin Rising would make a wonderful independent film. I love the quirky Irish movies. They have so much charm and humor. Fin Rising could very easily become one of those.


It’s Monday! What are you reading?!


Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! Hosted by Book Journey.

Last Week:

This Week:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

9460487A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows



Side Jobs by Jim Butcher

The first short story collection in the #1 New York Times bestselling series-including a brand-new Harry Dresden novella!

Here, together for the first time, are the shorter works of #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher-a compendium of cases that Harry and his cadre of allies managed to close in record time. The tales range from the deadly serious to the absurdly hilarious. Also included is a new, never-before-published novella that takes place after the cliff-hanger ending of the new April 2010 hardcover, Changes. This is a must-have collection for every devoted Harry Dresden fan as well as a perfect introduction for readers ready to meet Chicago’s only professional wizard.


Also reading:

Floats the Dark Shadows by Yves Fey



Review: Andre the Giant: Life and Legend

  • Andre the Giant: Life and Legend
    Written by Box Brown
    To be published on May 6, 2014 by First Second
    240 pages
    Graphic Novel/Biography


Andre Roussinmoff is known as both the lovable giant in The Princess Bride and a heroic pro-westling figure. He was a normal guy who’d been dealt an extraordinary hand in life. At his peak, he weighed 500 pounds and stood nearly seven and a half feet tall. But the huge stature that made his fame also signed his death warrant.

The Princess Bride is one of my all-time favorite movies which means I’m a fan of the lovable giant rather than the pro-wrestler. That is the reason I wanted to read Andre the Giant: Life and Legend. However, after reading about his life, I’m left with a sadness on how Andre lived his life.

Box Brown really captured the loneliness of Andre’s life. All of his life he was treated with disdain. People feared him. However, once Andre discovered wrestling, his life changed. When he was in the ring, people loved him, but outside of it, he was an outcast who was feared and tormented by the same people who cheered him. This fear, loneliness, and abuse caused Andre to turn to alcohol to ease his pain; both mental and physical.

After reading this book, I felt that Andre was never comfortable in his body. He couldn’t be alone; or maybe he was afraid to be alone. He truly wished for a normal life; however, that wasn’t possible. Furthermore, Andre was a very flawed man. He was not only an alcoholic but he was a mean and abusive one at that. He made bad decisions and sometimes abused his friends. But it seemed they always forgave him for his shortcomings.

Andre’s body was not his friend. I couldn’t imagine that pain he endured just to remain mobile. However, he never gave up and remained in the ring until the end. Andre lived a full life; but, he lived a very sad and lonely as well. He died alone; but he will always be remembered. He is a true legend; a flawed one but a legend all the same.

 Does anyone want a peanut?



Review & Giveaway: The Towers of Tuscany

The Towers of Tuscany_Tour Banner _FINAL 2 (1)

  • Publication Date: January 23, 2014
    New Arcadia Publishing
    388 pages
    Historical Fiction


Set amid the twisting streets and sunlit piazzas of medieval Italy, the Towers of Tuscany tells the story of a woman who dares to follow her own path in the all-male domain of the painter’s workshop. Sofia Barducci is born into a world where a woman is only as good as the man who cares for her, but she still claims the right to make her own mistakes. Her first mistake is convincing her father to let her marry Giorgio Carelli, a wealthy saffron merchant in San Gimignano, the Tuscan city of towers. Trained in secret by her father to create the beautifully-crafted panels and altarpieces acclaimed today as masterpieces of late medieval art, Sofia’s desire for freedom from her father’s workshop leads her to betray her passion and sink into a life of loveless drudgery with a husband who comes to despise her when she does not produce a son.

In an attack motivated by vendetta, Sofia’s father is crushed by his own fresco, compelling Sofia to act or risk the death of her soul. The choice she makes takes her on a journey from misery to the heights of passion—both as a painter and as a woman. Sofia escapes to Siena where, disguised as a boy, she paints again. When her work attracts the notice of a nobleman who discovers the woman under the dirty smock, Sofia is faced with a choice that nearly destroys her.

The Towers of Tuscany unites a strong heroine with meticulously researched settings and compelling characters drawn from the rich tapestry of medieval Italy during one of Europe’s most turbulent centuries. The stylishly written plot is packed with enough twists and turns to keep readers up long past their bedtimes.

The Towers of Tuscany is a very powerful story about a woman’s passion for art and independence. Sofia is a wonderful character who will face any obstacle to remain true to herself and her true passion. Since her birth, Sofia has been surrounded by art. Her father taught her the intricacies of frescoes and panels. He taught her to look at the world differently. She took all of his lessons to heart and attempted to make a world for herself.

I really loved the way Ms. Cram used flashback conversations between Sofia and her father to really enhance how Sofia looked at life. Her father really made Sofia into who she was. I’m not sure it was really fair to her due to the fact that being a woman in medieval Italy was extremely limited. Sofia had to hide her talent and passion to paint. She sacrificed everything to achieve her dream.

Ms. Cram’s description of the medieval art world was so descriptive and detailed. You feel that you are actually in a workshop smelling and seeing the creation of a panel or fresco.

There are some characters that I really didn’t like which was, I believe, the author’s intent. Sofia’s love interests started out to be so hopeful and optimist; but in the end, both men wanted her to give up her life as an artist and become basically their wife in servitude. It was so sad to see Sofia’s heart break each time. Ms. Cram really captured the misogynistic tone of medieval Italy.

The Towers of Tuscany is a wonderful book about passion and courage. The backdrop of medieval Italy was beautiful and so vibrant. You could picture Sofia’s world in your mind. You could feel her passion and pain. This book just makes you feel.


About the Author

Carol Cram

Carol M. Cram has enjoyed a great career as an educator, teaching at  Capilano University in North Vancouver for over twenty years and  authoring forty-plus bestselling textbooks on business communications  and software applications. She holds an MA in Drama from the University  of Toronto and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh,  Scotland. Carol is currently focusing as much of her attention as she  can spare between walks in the woods on writing historical novels with  an arts twist.

She and her husband, painter Gregg Simpson, share a life on beautiful Bowen Island near Vancouver, Canada.

Author Links

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Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, April 14 Review at Historical Novel Reviews Tuesday, April 15 Review & Giveaway at Kinx’s Book Nook Wednesday, April 16 Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past Thursday, April 17 Review at Book Lovers Paradise Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages Friday, April 18 Review at A Chick Who Reads Guest Post & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter Monday, April 21 Review at CelticLady’s Reviews Excerpt & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time Tuesday, April 22 Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book Guest Post at Kincavel Korner Wednesday, April 23 Review at Flashlight Commentary Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book Thursday, April 24 Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views Interview at Flashlight Commentary Friday, April 25 Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace

Barefoot Saturday: The Prince’s Breakfast

The Prince’s Breakfast

theprincesbreakfast_w_9Jaunty text and vibrant illustrations take a fussy prince on a global adventure in search of foods that he will eat. With story CD narrated by Hugh Bonneville!
• MULTICULTURAL JOURNEY: The royal trip around the globe introduces foods and mealtime practices of many cultures
• PICKY EATERS: Perfect for families struggling with mealtimes
• LESSONS FOR LIFE: Joins The Prince’s Bedtime to address common frustrations for families with small children

Ages 3 to 7 years
Written By: Joanne Oppenheim
Illustrated By: Miriam Latimer
Narrated By: Hugh Bonneville

The Prince’s Breakfast is a wonderful new book published by Barefoot Books written by Joanne Oppenheim and Illustrated by Miriam Latimer. In fact, its the sequel to The Prince’s Bedtime which happens to be one of my favorite children’s books. The Prince’s Breakfast is about a little boy who refuses to eat nothing but dry toast and hot chocolate. The king and queen decide to introduce to him foods from around world to try to get him to eat. Their travels take them to India, Mexico and Zambia. In each amazing place, the Prince refuses to try anything. However at the end of their travels, a man brings a simple bottle of something yummy for the Prince to try. Well, it worked and the Prince will now try anything as long as he has his special bottle of yumminess.

This book has so many things for your child to enjoy. First, the illustrations are so beautiful. I love Ms. Latimer’s art work. Every page is so vivid and bright where a child will be caught up in the story. Second, the words of the story flow so nicely and the rhyming scheme is very fun. It’s a fun way for a child to be more familiar with rhyming words. And last, your child will be able to visit some amazing countries and learn about food from that country. In India, we are introducted to  idlees and dahl, in Mexico, it’s tortillas, fried eggs, avocado and salsa and finally, in Zambia, it’s plantains and other amazing fruits. Your child’s tummy will definitely rumble with hunger after reading The Prince’s Breakfast.

The Prince’s Breakfast is a wonderful to read to your child or for her to read on her own. My younger daughter loved it!


Review: Darkfever

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning (Fever, #1)
Published in 2006
342 Pages
Urban Fantasy
Purchased from Amazon for Books, Babes and Booze


When MacKayla’s sister was murdered, she left a single clue to her death, a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone. Journeying to Ireland in search for answers, Mac is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to master a power she had no idea she possessed – a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae.

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho…while at the same time, the ruthless V’lane – an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women – closes in on her. As the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: to find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book – because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of both worlds in their hands.

I found Darkfever to be a very good start to this urban fantasy series. It is dark, full of the disgusting Fae, and a good female heroine in Mac. At times, I thought Mac was a bit annoying but she made some serious changes that redeemed her in the end.

Usually, I don’t read a lot of Fae urban fantasy because I’m not a huge fan of the Fae. However, I did like this story. I like the concept of the sidhe-seer; maybe because it’s a lot like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think there can be a lot of comparison made between Mac and Buffy Summers. Like Buffy, Mac starts the story as a spoiled, prissy girl; however, she ends the story with a whole lot of new skill and confidence. I really liked at Ms. Moning developed Mac throughout the story.

Now, Jericho Barrons is very mysterious. He’s not quite human. What is he? Whatever he is, he is a good match for Mac. Their unlikely partnership is fun and full of caustic banter. I’m thinking opposites attract but I need to keep reading the series to find out.

Overall, Darkfever is a fun and action-packed book with lots of sexual tension. I love urban fantasy which means that I have found a new series to get lost in. I can’t wait to start reading Bloodfever.





It’s Monday! What are you reading?


Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! Hosted by Book Journey

Last Week:

This Week:

18126203Finn Rising by Paul W. Newman

Fin Rising is a romantic mystery and black comedy set in Ireland. Fin McGrath loves and fishes in equal measure, and when the twists of the present cause the questions of the past to arise suddenly, he begins to wonder where the truth lies. Will the dark twists of the past be finally revealed? Will Fin have everything or nothing? Will love be reborn or lost again, this time, forever?

Dark Fever by Karen Marie Moning1451694

“My name is MacKayla, Mac for short. I’m a sidhe-seer, one who sees the Fae, a fact I accepted only recently and very reluctantly.

My philosophy is pretty simple – any day nobody’s trying to kill me is a good day in my book. I haven’t had many good days lately. Not since the walls between Man and Fae came down. But then, there’s not a sidhe-seer alive who’s had a good day since then.”

When MacKayla’s sister was murdered, she left a single clue to her death, a cryptic message on Mac’s cel phone. Journeying to Ireland in search of answers, Mac is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to master a power she had no idea she possessed – a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae.

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysteriou Jericho…while at the same time, the ruthless V’lane – an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women – closes in on her. As the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: to find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book – because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control both worlds in their hands.

18684482Project Darcy by Jane Odiwe

Floats the Dark Shadow by Yves Fay13646255


16174311Cold Days by Jim Butcher


After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad. Because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard.

He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long. And now, her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter where she wants him to go, and no matter who she wants him to kill.

Guess which Mab wants first?

Of course, it won’t be an ordinary, everyday assassination. Mab wants her newest minion to pull off the impossible: kill an immortal. No problem there, right? And to make matters worse, there exists a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could land Harry in the sort of trouble that will make death look like a holiday.

Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent the annihilation of countless innocents, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own…

His soul

What are you reading this week?


Review: The Cats of Savone

The Cats of Savone
Written by David-Michael Harding
Published in November 2013 by Q&CY Books
260 pages
Short Stories
Received from the author in exchange for an honest review
18462357The Cats of Savone is a compilation of eight extremely moving short stories. Each one is unique with its own message of strength and compassion; and one has hint of the supernatural. I enjoyed each story and couldn’t wait to start the next one.

Cats of Savone tells the story of how a cat can bring hope and humanity to a group of inmates who are lost in the brutality of prison life. It is so very true how an animal, whether it is a cat or a dog, can soften a person’s heart. Gretchen, the prison’s cat, becomes an integral part of prison life. The loyalty and love she receives from her inmates is quite touching.

Black Men in Bright Blue takes place during the Civil War where aiding runaway slaves can bring grave consequences. Rachel Justice, a ten-year little girl, who happens to be the daughter of a plantation and slave owner, is confronted with the inhumaneness of slavery. She digs deep and finds a very brave heart within her little body. She figures out, with the help of her mother, what is right and what is wrong. This story is a very powerful depiction of life on a plantation and one little girl’s coming to terms with it.

Forever Beneath the Celtic Sea is a sad story about decisions; one captain’s bad decision that started a war with the United States. This is a good depiction that just following orders has serious ramifications and can haunt you forever.

The History of West Texas According to Henry Brass is one of my favorite stories. I really enjoyed reading about his life and adventures in West Texas. Henry is a true Texian and proud of it. I, also, appreciated Henry’s need to pass on his life lessons to a younger generation. Whit truly valued Henry’s life and benefited from his brief friendship with Henry. Even though theirs was a very short friendship, it still had lasting effects.

St. Alden’s is my other favorite story of this collection. I love the supernatural and this story had a touch of it. It is full of good versus evil; light versus darkness. It is also about acceptance and forgiveness; and one young couple taking up a magical mantle that is very hard to believe and accept. This story is full of mysticism with a great all-out fight between the powers of good and evil. It will keep you riveted.

The Junket is a nice little story about a mentally challenged man looking for “painted ladies” in Vegas. At its heart, it’s a tale of loneliness and acceptance with two very unlikely people finding each other. Their desperation to overcome isolation and rejection, they find a connection that you grow to companionship.

My Boo Radley is an interesting little baseball which reminded me a little bit of The Sandlot. I love sports stories that promote the love for the game. However, this story is quite sad that is full of regret. The E-man is viewed as a monster due to a tragic accident. But he loves baseball and he teaches a young baseball player how to throw a screw ball. The young man feels tremendous guilt over not doing more for the E-Man when he gave him so much. Life is full of rejection and regret which is the core of this story.

The Jazz Bridge wasn’t my favorite story and that’s why I’m talking about it last. I really don’t have a lot to say about it. It didn’t really touch me that way the other stories did.

Overall, The Cats of Savone is a wonderful book of stories. Each one is so different and you want to read more from each one.


HFVBT Book Blast & Giveaway: The Chalice

The new novel The Chalice, by Nancy Bilyeau, sends readers on a page-turning historical quest. Set in Henry VIII’s England, the story is driven by plot twists, deceptions, spiritual searching and romantic tension. Readers fall in love with protagonist Joanna Stafford, a Catholic novice forced to leave her priory and find her answers. “She is strong and determined and very likable,” says one blogger. “Exhilarating,” says Good Housekeeping, and “The novel is riveting and provides fascinating insight into into the lives of displaced nuns and priests, with fully realized characters,” says RT Book Reviews. Launching in paperback on March 18 and available in ebook too.

The ChaliceThe Chalice

by Nancy Bilyeau

Publication Date: March 18, 2014

Touchstone Publishing

Paperback; 496p

ISBN-10: 1476708665

Series: Joanna Stafford, Book Two

Genre: Historical Mystery


Between the crown and the cross stands one woman…

IN 1538, ENGLAND is in the midst of bloody power struggles that threaten to tear the country apart. Aristocrat-turned-novice Joanna Stafford knows what lies inside the king’s torture rooms and risks imprisonment when she is caught up in an international plot targeting the king. As the power plays turn vicious, Joanna understands she may have to assume her role in a prophecy foretold by three different seers.

Joanna realizes the life of Henry VIII, as well as the future of Christendom, are in her hands—hands that must someday hold the chalice that lies at the center of these deadly prophecies…

Praise for The Chalice

“A brilliant and gripping page-turner…A fascinating blend of politics, religion, mysticism and personal turmoil. Well-researched and filled with sumptuous detail, it follows Joanna’s early life from Bilyeau’s début novel, The Crown, but this book easily stands on its own. Bilyeau fills in the blanks from her earlier work while leaving the reader both wanting to read the first book and eagerly awaiting the next. This is a must-read for lovers of historical fiction.” – Free Lance-Star

“English history buffs and mystery fans alike will revel in Nancy Bilyeau’s richly detailed sequel to The Crown.” – Parade

“The novel is riveting, and provides fascinating insight into the lives of displaced nuns and priests during the tumultuous Tudor period. Bilyeau creates fully realized characters, with complex actions and emotions, driving the machinations of these historic personages.” – RT Book Reviews, (Top Pick)

“The human and political battles of Henry VIII’s reformation are brought to exhilarating life in The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau.” – Good Housekeeping UK, April 2014

“Bilyeau sends her plucky former novice back into the intrigue-laden court of Henry VIII.” – Entertainment Weekly

“Bilyeau continues from her first novel the subtle, complex development of Joanna’s character and combines that with a fast-paced, unexpected plot to hold the reader’s interest on every page . . . history and supernatural mysticism combine in this compelling thriller.” – Historical Novel Society

“Joanna Stafford is a young novice caught up in power struggles familiar to readers of Hilary Mantel and C.J. Sansom, but with elements of magic that echo the historical thrillers of Kate Mosse.” – S.J. Parris, author of ‘Heresy,’ ‘Prophecy’ and ‘Sacrilege’

“[A] layered book of historical suspense.” – Kirkus Reviews

“The Chalice is an engrossing mix of the complicated politics of the Reformation with the magical elements of the Dominican order, and Joanna–fiery, passionate, determined to honor what she thinks God wants her to do–is a fascinating character. Fans of historical mysteries, Tudor politics and supernatural fiction will all be pleased by the broad scope, quick-moving plot and historical integrity of Bilyeau’s second novel.” – Shelf Awareness

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About the Author
Nancy Bilyeau

Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Ladies Home Journal. She is currently the executive editor of DuJour magazine. Her screenplays have placed in several prominent industry competitions. Two scripts reached the semi-finalist round of the Nicholl Fellowships of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Her screenplay “Zenobia” placed with the American Zoetrope competition, and “Loving Marys” reached the finalist stage of Scriptapalooza. A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. THE CROWN, her first novel, was published in 2012; the sequel, THE CHALICE, followed in 2013.

Some earlier milestones: In 1661, Nancy’s ancestor, Pierre Billiou, emigrated from France to what was then New Amsterdam when he and his family sailed on the St. Jean de Baptiste to escape persecution for their Protestant beliefs. Pierre built the first stone house on Staten Island and is considered the borough’s founder. His little white house is on the national register of historic homes and is still standing to this day.

Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

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Book Blast Schedule


Monday, March 17

Bibliophilia, Please

Book-alicious Mama

HF Book Muse-News

Flashlight Commentary

Confessions of an Avid Reader

So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, March 18

A Book Geek

Kinx’s Book Nook

Passages to the Past

Book Lovers Paradise

To Read or Not to Read

Oh, for the Hook of a Book

Historical Fiction Obsession

Wednesday, March 19

Closed the Cover

A Chick Who Reads

The True Book Addict

A Dream within a Dream

Thursday, March 20

CelticLady’s Reviews

Ageless Pages Reviews

She is Too Fond of Books

Peeking Between the Pages

Friday, March 21

A Bookish Affair

The Maiden’s Court

Let Them Read Books

Historical Fiction Connection

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HFVBT: The Collector of Dying Breaths


  • Publication Date: April 8, 2014
  • Atria Books Hardcover; 384p
  • ISBN-10: 1451621531

The Collector of Dying BreathsFrom one of America’s most imaginative storytellers comes a  passionate tale of love and treachery, spanning the days of Catherine de Medici’s court to the twenty-first century and starring a woman drawn  back, time and again, to the past.

In 1533, an Italian orphan with an uncanny knack for creating  fragrance is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s  perfumer. To repay his debt, over the years René le Florentine is  occasionally called upon to put his vast knowledge to a darker purpose:  the creation of deadly poisons used to dispatch the Queen’s rivals.

But it’s René’s other passion—a desire to reanimate a human breath,  to bring back the lives of the two people whose deaths have devastated  him—that incites a dangerous treasure hunt five centuries later. That’s  when Jac L’Etoile—suffering from a heartache of her own—becomes obsessed with the possibility of unlocking Rene’s secret to immortality.

Soon Jac’s search reconnects her with Griffin North, a man she’s  loved her entire life. Together they confront an eccentric heiress whose art collection rivals many museums and who is determined to keep her  treasures close at hand, not just in this life but in her next.

Set in the forest of Fontainebleau, crisscrossing the lines between  the past and the present, M.J. Rose has written a mesmerizing tale of  passion and obsession. This is a gothic tale perfect for fans of Anne  Rice, Deborah Harkness, and Diana Galbadon.

The Collector of Dying Breaths is a wonderful book of intrigue, sensuality and  deadly passion. This totally mesmerized me and I couldn’t put it down. I was caught in its fire and I couldn’t put it down.

In the beginning, Jac is in denial and pain. She isn’t able to accept her abilities or her life. However, by trying to fulfill her brother’s  experiments she is able to finally accept who she is and not live her life in fear. She has found her passion again and it is a deep and sensual passion. Her connection with Griffin is incredibly passionate and romantic. It is timeless.

Rene is an excellent and moving character. I love the scents he seemed to create. Ms. Rose’s description of each fragrance seemed to real and vivid. Each fragrance brought so much passion!

Now, Melinoe is a great villainous character. She is obsessive and broken. Her live revolves around her collections and her obsession to remain with them. She cares not for people; only her prized possessions. Her brother, Serge, knows of her character and still remains by her side. Their life is so tragic; beginning, middle and end.

The Collector of Dying Deaths is a must read for any true romantic. It is full of love, hate, obsession and finally fulfillment. It is to die for. I will end with my favorite line of the book:

The secret, which is not so secret after all, is that people who we love live in our hearts, in the beat of our blood.


Praise for The Collector of Dying Breaths

“History, mystery, ambition, lust, love, death and the timeless quest for immortality…a riveting tale of suspense.” – B.A.Shapiro, New York  Times bestselling author of The Art Forger

“Mysterious, magical, and mythical…what a joy to read!” – Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author

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About the AuthorM.J. Rose

M.J. Rose is the international best selling author of fourteen novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She  has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, 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 – The television series PAST LIFE,  was based on Rose’s novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one  of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype. She is also the co-founder of and

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

For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.


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