The Secret Language of Stones

Secret language of stonesAs 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. 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).

Lily and the Octopus

Lily and the OctopusBy Steven Rowley

A man is reminded of how it feels to love fiercely, to fight for a loved one and to work through the pain of letting go as he becomes gradually aware of his devoted bond with his aging canine companion. A first novel.

Most Wanted

Most wantedBy Lisa Scottoline

Using a sperm donor to conceive when she learns that her husband is infertile, a happily pregnant woman is shattered to learn that a man arrested for a series of brutal murders is the biological father of her baby. By the Edgar Award-winning author of Betrayed.

At the Edge of the Orchard

at the edge of the orchardSettling in the swamps of early 19th-century northwest Ohio, the Goodenough family works relentlessly to establish an apple orchard that reflects respective dreams before their youngest child heads to Gold Rush California to collect seeds for a naturalist. By the best-selling author of Girl With a Pearl Earring.

The Nest

NestGathering to confront an older sibling who has been recently released from rehab after a drunk driving accident, the Plum siblings watch as the trust fund left by their father rises and falls according to self-inflicted problems. A first novel. 150,000 first printing.

 

Miller’s Valley

Millers ValleyBy Anna Quindlan (signed copies)

Coming of age in a dwindling 1960s farming community in eastern Pennsylvania, Mimi struggles with profound family secrets and the pain of falling in love with the wrong person against a backdrop of dynamic historical periods. By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Object Lessons.

Spill Simmer Falter Wither

Spill simmerBy Sara Baume. Two damaged creatures, a man who has been shunned by his village, and a one-eyed dog, accidentally find each other and form a lasting relationship that transforms their lives as they travel the Irish countryside.

Best Boy

Best BoyA middle-aged autistic resident of a therapeutic community where he was sent as a young child rebels against changes in his environment by attempting to return to a family home and younger sibling he only partially remembers.

Fates and Furies

Fates and furiesMarrying in a glamorous whirlwind amid predictions of future greatness, Lotto and Mathilde are shaped throughout a subsequent shared decade by complications, secrets and powerful creative drives.

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

Kitchens midwestKitchens of the Great Midwest, about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation, is the summer’s most hotly-anticipated debut.

When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine—and a dashing sommelier—he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter—starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience.

Each chapter in J. Ryan Stradal’s startlingly original debut tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity. By turns quirky, hilarious, and vividly sensory, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life—its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises. It marks the entry of a brilliant new talent.

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