THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES is a stunning historical Gothic romantic suspense published by Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, releasing today! Written to be a total and complete standalone novel, THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES is the second title in M.J. Rose’s The Daughters of La Lune Series. Sexy, compelling, and seductive, be sure to grab your copy today!
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. 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).
“I went to Le Figaro,” I said out loud. “I met a receptionist who has quite a crush on you.” A moment passed in silence. Just about to be convinced yet again that, yes, I’d imagined it all, I felt an almost breeze blow through my room. There should be nothing suspect about a breeze. Except it was impossible. There were no windows here. Yet it brushed my face, ruffled my hair. The very air moved. I smelled limes mixed with…I sniffed again…mixed with verbena and a hint of myrrh.
“Now that we’ve met, I wanted to read your columns.Who did you write them to?”
At the time I didn’t know. Now I think maybe, I wrote them for you.
I think we were supposed to meet but I messed that up.
“What do you mean?”
It’s all my fault, I misread the signs, I delayed issuing orders…
The words ceased. Silence. And then I heard what sounded like a sob.
“Jean Luc, what do you mean about us meeting? About messing that up.”
I think if I hadn’t made those mistakes in the field I would have come back to Paris and visited your store and looked at the jewelry and seen something to buy for my mother and would have met you.
I put my hand up to the talisman to touch it. To touch him?
But now you won’t.”
Yes. Me too. For you. For so many many things.
I didn’t say anything.
He could see me?
“How did you know I was crying? So you really can see me? Where areyou?” I was so frustrated and confused.
Until you started to make the talisman I was asleep, floating…and then the closer you came to completing it, the more aware I became. When you touch it, you come into focus. Through fog. As if there is certain distance between us. Yet more clearly thanmakes any sense, considering I am a world away from you.
“I don’t understand,” I whispered. “And I am a little afraid.”
And then, I felt, or I thought I felt…no…I did feel his hand brushing myhair off my forehead.
I don’t want to make you afraid.
His touch made me shiver and begin to tremble.
I can’t bear for you to be afraid of me. You, here, it’s the only time since…since it happened I don’t feel as lost.
I tried desperately to quell the shaking. Pressure increased against the spot he’d cleared. Not lips, no. But a force suggesting lips. Perhaps from the shock, my shaking stopped.
When I kissed you just now, you felt it, didn’t you?
And now, do you feel this?
Somehow he’d taken my hand. I looked down and saw nothing but myown hand in my lap. I didn’t feel flesh. Instead, it was as if I was holding smoke.
And where our hands met, my skin warmed to his touch.
I can’t stay.
“What do you mean?”
It takes an effort to be here. So much effort. Have to…learn how to…
He continued speaking, but from an even greater distance. His voicefading.
And then, my tears came. As if I’d known him for years and just found out he’d died. I glanced down at my hand again. It looked no different from before and yet was cold. I touched my right hand with my left. Trying to find where his amorphous fingers had lain, trying to pick up a sense of him. But there was nothing there.
"The most powerful book I've read this year! Seductive, compelling, and beautifully written." ~New York Times bestseller Melissa Foster
“THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES is a unique, hauntingly romantic love story that could only come from the imagination of M.J. Rose. This absorbing, richly rendered novel is one you’ll want to savor.”
~Lara Adrian, New York Times bestselling author of DEFY THE DAWN
And Don’t Miss the First Book in The Daughters of La Lune Series, THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS!
A dazzling mix of history, mystery and mystical arts . . . Rose’s paranormal historical bewitches from start to finish. Her amazing ability to make her story line believable and her extraordinary protagonist relatable result in an unforgettable psychic thriller.” (Library Journal (Starred review))
“An exciting mix of adventure, intrigue, and romance in this thrilling historical tale.” (Booklist)
“Haunting, spellbinding, captivating; Rose’s story of the power of love and redemption is masterful. More than a romance or ghost story, this is a tale of a young woman learning to embrace her unique qualities…So carefully crafted and beautifully written, readers will believe in the magical possibilities of love transcending time.” (RT Magazine (Top Pick))
“Rose follows up The Witch of Painted Sorrows (2015) with Sandrine’s daughter’s story, set against the tragic yet exquisite canvases of Paris, the Great War, and the Russian Revolution, and offers fascinating historical tidbits in the midst of bright, imaginative storytelling and complex, supernatural worldbuilding. A compelling, heart-wrenching, creative, and intricate read.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Daughter of La Lune Pendant Giveaway!
We’re celebrating the release of THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES by giving away a beautiful Daughter of La Lune pendant. Designed by Cadsawan Jewelry, the silver pendant contains a labradorite, a magical stone excellent for awakening one’s own awareness of inner spirit, intuition, and psychic abilities.
About M.J. Rose:
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 – 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.