Friday, 26 June 2015

The Witch of Painted Sorrows Tour


(Daughters of La Lune #1)

by M.J. Rose
Gothic Historical Fantasy
Published by Atria Books on March 17th, 2015

Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul”, her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

Praise for The Witch of Painted Sorrows
This bell époque thriller is a haunting tale of obsessive passions.” —People Magazine
Provocative, erotic, and spellbindingly haunting…will have the reader totally mesmerized cover-to-cover….a ‘must-have’ novel.” —Suspense Magazine
A haunting tale of erotic love…. M.J. Rose seamlessly weaves historical events throughout this story filled with distinctive characters that will keep the reader captivated to the end.” —
Rose has a talent for compelling writing, and this time she has outdone herself. Fear, desire, lust and raw emotion ooze off the page.” —Associated Press
Haunting tale of possession.” —Publishers Weekly
Rose’s new series offers her specialty, a unique and captivating supernatural angle, set in an intriguing belle epoque Paris — lush descriptions, intricate plot and mesmerizing storytelling. Sensual, evocative, mysterious and haunting.” —Kirkus
Mixes reality and illusion, darkness and light, mystery and romance into an adult fairy tale. [Rose] stirs her readers curiosities and imaginations, opening their eyes to the cultural, intellectual and artistic excitement that marked the Belle Epoque period. Unforgettable, full-bodied characters and richly detailed narrative result in an entrancing read that will be long savored.” —Library Journal (Starred Review)
An elegant tale of rare depth and beauty, as brilliantly crafted as it is wondrously told….melds the normal and paranormal in the kind of seamless fashion reserved for such classic ghost stories as Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw.” —Providence Journal

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Paris, France April 1894

I did not cause the madness, the deaths, or the rest of the tragedies any more than I painted the paintings. I had help, her help. Or perhaps I should say she forced her help on me. And so this story—which began with me fleeing my home in order to escape my husband and might very well end tomorrow, in a duel, in the Bois de Boulogne at dawn—is as much hers as mine. Or in fact more hers than mine. For she is the fountainhead. The fascination. She is La Lune. Woman of moon dreams, of legends and of nightmares. Who took me from the light and into the darkness. Who imprisoned me and set me free.

Or is it the other way around?

"Your questions," my father always said to me, "will be your saving grace. A curious mind is the most important attribute any man or woman can possess. Now if you can just temper your impulsiveness..."

If I had a curious mind, I'd inherited it from him. And he'd nurtured it. Philippe Salome was on the board of New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art and helped found the American Museum of Natural History, whose cornerstone was laid on my fifth birthday.

I remember sitting atop my father's shoulders that day, watching the groundbreaking ceremony and thinking the whole celebration was for me. He called it "our museum," didn't he? And for much of my life I thought it actually did belong to us, along with our mansion on Fifth Avenue and our summerhouse in Newport. Until it was gone, I understood so little about wealth and the price you pay for it. But isn't that always the way?

Our museum's vast halls and endless exhibit rooms fascinated me as much as they did my father—which pleased him, I could tell. We'd meander through exhibits, my small hand in his large one, and he'd keep me spellbound with stories about items on display. I'd ask for more, always just one more, and he'd laugh and tease: "My Sandrine, does your capacity for stories know no bounds?"

But it pleased him, and he'd always tell me another.

I especially loved the stories he told me about the gems and fate and destiny always ending them by saying: "You will make your own fate, Sandrine, I'm sure of it."

Was my father right? Do we make our own destiny? I think back now to the stepping-stones that I've walked to reach this moment in time.

Were the incidents of my making? Or were they my fate?

The most difficult steps I took were after certain people died. No deaths were caused by me, but at the same time, none would have occurred were it not for me.

So many deaths. The first was on the morning of my fifteenth birthday, when I saw a boy beaten and tragically die because of our harmless kisses. The next was the night almost ten years later, when I heard the prelude to my father's death and learned the truth about Benjamin, my husband. And then there were more. Each was an end-ing that, ironically, became a new beginning for me.

The one thing I am now sure of is that if there is such a thing as destiny, it is a result of our passion, be that for money, power, or love. Passion, for better or worse. It can keep a soul alive even if all that survives is a shimmering. I've even seen it. I've been bathed in it. I've been changed by it.


Four months ago I snuck into Paris on a wet, chilly January night like a criminal, hiding my face in my shawl, taking extra care to be sure I wasn't followed.

I stood on the stoop of my grandmother's house and lifted the hand-shaped bronze door knocker and let it drop. The sound of the metal echoed inside. Her home was on a lane blocked off from rue des Saints-Pères by wide wooden double doors. Maison de la Lune, as it was called, was one of a half dozen four-story mid-eighteenthcentury stone houses that shared a courtyard that backed up onto rue du Dragon. Hidden clusters like this were a common configuration in Paris.These small enclaves offered privacy and quiet from the busy city. Usually the porte cochère was locked and one had to ring for the concierge, but I'd found the heavy doors ajar and hadn't had to wait for service.

I let the door knocker fall again. Light from a street lamp glinted off the golden metal. It was a strange object. Usually on these things the bronze hand's palm faced the door. But this one was palm out, almost warning the visitor to reconsider requesting entrance.

I was anxious and impatient. I'd been cautious on my journey from New York to Southampton and kept to my cabin. I'd left a letter telling Benjamin I'd gone to visit friends in Virginia and assumed that once he returned and read it, it would be at least a week before he'd realize all was not what it seemed. One thing I had known for certain—he would never look for me in France. It would be inconceivable to Benjamin that any wife of his could cross the ocean alone.

Or so I assured myself until my husband's banking associate, William Lenox, spotted me on board. When he expressed surprise I was traveling by myself, I concocted a story but was worried he didn't believe me. My only consolation was that we had docked in England and I had since crossed the channel into France. So even if Benjamin did come looking, he wouldn't know where I'd gone.

That very first night in Paris, as I waited for my grandmother's maid to open the door, I knew I had to stop thinking of what I had run away from. So I refocused on the house I stood before and as I did, felt an overwhelming sense of belonging, of being welcome. Here I would be safe.


New 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 – 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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Thursday, 18 June 2015

Rising Tide Book Blitz



by Susan Roebuck

Contemporary Suspense

Published by Mundania Press on May 19th, 2015

Time, and most of Portugal, has almost forgotten Luminosa, a small fishing community on the Alentejo coast. A cluster of white and blue cottages huddle under the cliffs overshadowed by the great manor of Herdade Albatroz, whose family has ruled the village since the days of Napoleon. Far off the tourist route, nobody visits Luminosa by chance.
When a ruthless American racketeer turns up, the peaceful village’s way of life could be ruined forever. But will other visitors—Piper Pines, seeking news of her long dead Portuguese mother, and Leo Shine, bereft of a father and brother accused of terrible crimes—help or hinder his objective to drag Luminosa into the twenty-first century?

Amazon UK – Nook – Omnilit – Mundania Press


Sue Roebuck was born and educated in the UK but she now lives in Portugal with her Portuguese husband. She has taught at various colleges and institutions in Portugal and her interest in dyslexia started with a discussion over lunch with a colleague and friend. Nowadays Sue’s mostly occupied by e-learning courses which, when no cameras are used, are also known as “teaching in your pajamas”. But, given a choice, writing would be her full-time occupation. Working from home presents no problem for her since her office window overlooks the glittering point where the Tagus River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The huge container ships, tankers and cruise liners which are constantly on their way in or out of Lisbon harbor are a great source of inspiration (or distraction). She has traveled widely through The States and believes that “being born American is like winning the lottery of life”. If she could live anywhere, she’d live in the Catskills in Upstate New York.

Website – Blog – Facebook – Twitter – Google+ – Goodreads


Alentejo, Portugal 
Leo woke to find the sun on his face. He raised himself onto his elbow, disorientated. Had he slept too late? He’d kicked off the covers during the night and was butt naked, his body sweating in the heat. Shouldn’t it be raining? It always rained in September. The crashing of waves sounded familiar enough, but where were the other usual sounds: the clanking of the dockside crane as it dipped and swung from the fishing boats’ holds, the wagons rumbling towards the canning factory, the glad shouts from crews on the vessels returning home? Where was the everlasting stink of fish and gasoline? Why did it smell of freshly baked bread? He scratched his head to free it from the last clouds of sleep and forced his eyes open wider to look around the cramped room. Against the wall was his open rucksack with his few spare clothes spewing out onto the floor. 
Glancing at his watch, he saw it wasn’t that late and then it dawned on him the sun was in a different position, that’s all, because he wasn’t in his bedroom in the family home on Wharf Street; he was six thousand miles to the southeast and he’d arrived last night. 

Leo had wondered during all those hours on the planes if he should charge in when he arrived in the village like a storm trooper and shake the first inhabitant he saw until information rattled out of him along with his teeth. He snorted at the idea. No, he’d play with them like a fish on a line and then reel ’em in once they took a bite of his enticing bait. And if it turned out they had played any part, however small, in the Goblin’s sinking then he, like Luke Skywalker, would be a force to be reckoned with. 
But when he did arrive last night, a stocky and very hairy guy asked, stating, Leo thought, the damned obvious, “Just arrived?” He said his name was Serafim as he placed a dish of steaming fish stew in front of Leo. 
This was a primo. The main one. Serafim was the guy who sent the Christmas cards and he hadn’t been difficult to find in this one-horse town since the sign Serafim’s Bar/Café was the first thing Leo spotted on arrival. 
It felt strange, though, finally meeting a relative who wasn’t his father or brother, and for a moment Leo was tempted to wonder if he could get away with introducing himself. Nah—bad idea. Hadn’t he already decided the best action was to keep schtum? Anyway he was too hungry and he eyed a fragrant dish brimming with clams, white fish fillets, golden potatoes, and chorizo sausage with almost the first feeling of pleasure he’d known since March. 
Leo chewed on a briny clam and eyed possibly more of his relatives: a handful of fisherman who arrived, creating a buzz of too many voices so the air was thick with sounds and a fishy odor that didn’t come from his plate. They didn’t look much different to the hard-lined, weathered fishermen he’d lived and worked with all his life, sitting at the scuffed bar on bar stools that had been broken several times and patched up, their shirts stained with fish blood. Except money wasn’t flowing like it would where Leo came from. In the dingy Halcyon Bar back home there would be a constant ringing of a bell when guys had had a big catch and a bunch of money to spend on buying rounds. Here they hugged their one beer, chewed what looked like flat yellow beans and spat the transparent skins out onto a saucer. 
Still, their leathery faces looked cheerful enough and they’d given him a wave or two as they passed, even though they couldn’t have a clue who he was. Course, they might all be dimwits. His father had once referred to the primos as “all inter-married and crazy as Crackerjacks. Won’t change a thing in the village, it’s like walking into a time slip and going back a hundred years.” 
When it came time for Leo to ask about renting a room, Serafim told him there was one above the café and didn’t even ask his name. 
This morning, Leo clambered down the wooden staircase and opened the door that was the inside entrance to the café. The only things he desired right now were freshly baked bread and a coffee.
The café was empty except for a plump woman holding a straw basket, her ankles so swollen they rose over her shoes and spilled down the side like beer foaming over a glass. She turned as Leo came in, saying, “Good morning,” and her weathered face creased into a brown-tooth filled smile. “Welcome. I do hope you have a very pleasant stay.” 
His mind tumbled in confusion. Where did these people learn their English? It wasn’t like everyone in the country spoke fluently. The cab driver last night had stumbled and tottered over his words several times before he’d managed to convey to Leo he’d have to drop him at the top of the hill that led down to the village because he didn’t think his cab would get down the narrow street. 
Unaffected by Leo’s lack of response, the woman continued, “Would you like a coffee the likes of which you’ve never had before? Just the way Serafim knows how to make it, thick, strong and short—a bit like Serafim himself, but not so hairy.” The woman gargled what could’ve been a chuckle. “One and a half cups and you’ll be buzzing.” 
“Sounds good to me,” Leo said as she threw a final laugh in Serafim’s direction before she placed what looked like jars of honey on the counter and then clattered through the chain curtain hanging at the door. 
Leo turned to his primo behind the counter. Primo. God dammit, families were people you had feelings for and the only people he cared about had been wiped out by a rogue wave. In any case, Leo didn’t think Serafim and he resembled each other in any way. 
Bica I presume?” Serafim asked, offering the tiny steaming cup of coffee with an elaborate bow.
In the fug of ground coffee-beans, tobacco, stale beer and wine, Leo held the tiny cup of thick brown liquid to his nose, inhaling deeply before adding three packets of sugar. The coffee began to work its magic, bringing a warm glow to his insides on a par with a gulp of brandy. 
“We aim to please,” Serafim said, obviously reading Leo’s expression correctly. 
The guy had attitude and Leo had to admit he liked it. Serafim wasn’t morose, nor a meathead, and probably neither were the guys in the bar last night because after Leo had turned in, he heard a coarse-voiced chorus from down- stairs which had lulled him off to sleep. “You speak good English,” Leo said. 
“Practice, that’s all,” Serafim said, handing over a warm roll with butter and jelly that, he told him was, “all homemade. If you want any ask Rosa, she’s my sister and the one who just left.”
So he’d just met another primo, had he? Rosa? Shame, he’d kinda liked her.

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