About the Book
The Daughters of La Lune Novel #2
by M.J. Rose
Genre: Gothic Historical Romance
Release Date: July 19th, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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.
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.
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But this was nothing like walking by the sea in Cannes. I missed the scent of salt, the sound of the waves crashing, the give of the sand underfoot. Instead, the swiftly flowing river smelled cold and slightly metallic; the stones underfoot were uneven and unforgiving. Only the moon was the same. At that very moment, the same moon was shining down on the beach at home. And the soldiers in the field. And the tombstones in the cemetery.
The path appeared empty. I was alone. With no destination in mind, I just kept moving forward, hoping I might walk into proof that my mind wasn’t infected. Or even proof that it was. I just wanted an answer.
If I could just know I wasn’t insane, I could live with the discomfort. I could withstand the bittersweet romance with a lover whom I knew I would lose one day. I could tolerate the noise. But this lack of proof? This uncertainty? That’s what I couldn’t endure anymore. Were the voices in my head or in some other place? Was I making up Jean Luc, or was he a trapped soul communicating with me?
And if Jean Luc was real—if any ghost could be real—then this love affair was doomed, wasn’t it?
I’d reached the oldest bridge in Paris, the Pont Neuf, and stood underneath it. Water swirled in eddies around the bridge’s piles. So many had walked across its span since it had been built in the sixteenth century. How many times had my ancestor, the original La Lune, traversed it? Had she stood here and stared down at the water, missing her lover, wondering how she could live with the mistakes she’d made in trying to recapture what she’d lost, what she’d destroyed? Had she ever stood here and wondered if the river would welcome her and offer her the release she so badly wanted . . . freedom from longing, from loneliness?
Despondent, I climbed the stairs to the street level. I meant to turn away, not to walk out onto the bridge. But I did. I walked halfway out, stood at the railing, and stared down.
About the Author
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.
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