Review: Napoleon (Layers of Veronica #1), by Emilia Rutigliano

About the book Napoleon (Layers of Veronica #1)


They say that when a student is ready, a teacher appears.

What they don’t say is where to register, and how to matriculate in that teacher’s class.

That is a divine gift.

Veronica had it all: the looks; the brains; the personality; and the wardrobe. Not to mention a perfect husband, a fabulous career and two adorable children, until the perfect husband leaves her for another woman.

Thus begin the daily routines of a typical New York City immigrant with ambition whose teachers keep appearing, and for whom divine interventions keep affording new opportunities.

Though it starts like ordinary connections going through the tried and true, each relationship continues to delve into parts of her own universe that Veronica didn’t know existed. A universe that is suddenly open to her.

This is a different kind of heroine…

Welcome to the New American Dream, Dare to Dream…

Buy a copy

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the author, Emilia Rutigliano

Emilia Rutigliano

Emilia I. Rutigliano scored fiftieth percentile on her SATs… and on her LSATs… and on her BAR…Sigh…

But she nevertheless survived, and seems to be doing OK. She practices Law read lore) in Brooklyn, New York (read Nu Yawk). She was born in the former Soviet Union, and emigrated in 1979. She is happily married to the same crazy Italian she’s been with since college, who suffers from a severe addition to travel (still in acute form). Together they are doing a somewhat passable job with their three precious darlings (who are now teenagers, thus elaboration is not necessary).

Which is why Emilia writes about Veronica. Veronica, though… is interesting. And Emilia knows interesting.

So she weaved the tale about the interesting characters, places and events from her own life. It is remarkable how if you choose to view a subject objectively, it becomes downright artistically gorgeous. So Emilia views and shows Brooklyn Russians as gorgeous, and the Barese intricacies as gorgeous, and she even tolerates Paris, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia for the reader’s interests.

Thank you, dear reader, for tolerating these scenes….

Connect with Emilia

Website | Facebook | Twitter

My Thoughts:

I confess, I calendared this review incorrectly, and wasn’t finished reading the book as of last night. Fortunately, I had to be on a plane at 7 this morning, and really, there’s no better place to read than a comfy first class plane flight. Especially when it comes with a cheese omelet and fruit.

Veronica, I think, would have approved the setting. I can tell you that I completely approved of her. What a fantastic character – smart, funny, feisty, great at her job, and a wonderful mother. What a lovely blend of grown-up romance and a dash of “chick-lit” (I know, I know, we don’t USE that term any more) this novel was.

The scenes in the world of courtrooms and conference rooms had all the wit and drama of any tv series – actually reminding me of vintage LA LAW episodes. The courtyard aunties were hilarious – I think we all know old women like that. And the romance…well, it didn’t disappoint either.

Napoleon was the first of a series, but I’m looking forward to reading the rest. Emilia Rutigliana has an effervescent writing voice, and I really enjoyed this read.

Goes well with champagne and a cheese omelet.

Pump Up Your Book

This book review is part of a virtual book tour sponsored by Pump Up Your Book. For more information, click here.

Review: The Accident by Chris Pavone

About the book, The Accident

The Accident

Hardcover: 336 pages

Publisher: Crown (March 11, 2014)

From the author of the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning The Expats comes an elegant and riveting espionage thriller about spies, secrets, and the devastating power of the truth.

In New York, in the early dawn hours, literary agent Isabel Reed is reading frantically, turning the pages breathlessly. The manuscript—printed out, hand-delivered and totally anonymous—is full of shocking revelations that could bring down one of the most powerful men in the world, and initiate a tremendous scandal implicating multiple American presidents and CIA directors. This is what Isabel has been waiting for: a book that will help her move on from a painful past, a book that could reinvigorate her career . . . a book that will change the world.

In Copenhagen, CIA agent Hayden Gray has been steadfastly monitoring the dangers that abound in Europe. His latest task is to track a manuscript—the same manuscript that Isabel is reading. As he ensures that The Accident remains unpublished, he’s drawn into an elite circle where politics, media, and business collide. On the one hand, the powerful mogul who has unlimited resources to get what he wants. On the other, a group of book professionals—an eager assistant, a flailing editor, an ambitious rights director, and a desperate publisher—who all see their separate salvations in this project. And in between, the author himself, hiding behind shadowy anonymity in what he hopes is safe, quiet Zurich.

In this tangled web, no one knows who holds all the cards, and the stakes couldn’t be higher: an empire could crumble, careers could be launched or ruined, secrets could be unearthed, and innocent people could—and do—die.

Buy a copy, and immerse yourself in this story.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the author, Chris Pavone

Chris Pavone

CHRIS PAVONE is the author of the New York Times-bestselling The Expats, winner of the Edgar Award. He was a book editor for nearly two decades and lives in New York City with his family.

Connect with Chris

Website | Read an excerpt from The Accident

My Thoughts

“Los Angeles has the film business, and Paris has fashion; Berlin is for espionage.” I was hooked on The Accident from the very first page, but it’s that sentence that really sold the book for me. It’s an unspoken observation by one of the lead characters, CIA agent Hayden Gray, and it’s the perfect example of snappy language found throughout this book.

A book about a manuscript is more than a little meta, but author Chris Pavone pulls it off with aplomb. His bio says he used to work as an editor, so it makes sense that the characters in the publishing world rang true, but the parts of the book that dealt with espionage felt as true to life as anything LeCarre or Clancy ever produced, with a good deal more depth than others.

Dialogue never seemed stilted, technology never seemed misused, and the story was gripping from the first page to the last…and as I tweeted earlier today: READ THIS BOOK. You won’t regret it.

Goes well with a perfect cappuccino and a plate of half-moon shaped lemon cookies.

TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a blog tour. For more information, and the complete tour scheduled, click here.

Review: Clever Girl, by Tessa Hadley

About the book, Clever Girl

Clever Girl

• Hardcover: 272 pages
• Publisher: Harper (March 4, 2014)

Like Alice Munro and Colm Tóibín, Tessa Hadley possesses the remarkable ability to transform the mundane into the sublime—an eye for the beauty, innocence, and irony of ordinary lives that elevates domestic fiction to literary art. In Clever Girl, she offers the indelible story of one woman’s life, unfolded in a series of beautifully sculpted episodes that illuminate an era, moving from the 1960s to today.

Written with the celebrated precision, intensity, and complexity that have marked her previous works, Clever Girl is a powerful exploration of family relationships and class in modern life, witnessed through the experiences of an Englishwoman named Stella. Unfolding in a series of snapshots, Tessa Hadley’s involving and moving novel follows Stella from childhood, growing up with her single mother in a Bristol bedsit, into the murky waters of middle age.

It is a story vivid in its immediacy and rich in drama—violent deaths, failed affairs, broken dreams, missed chances. Yet it is Hadley’s observations of everyday life, her keen skill at capturing the ways men and women think and feel and relate to one another, that dazzles, pressing us to exclaim with each page, Yes, this is how it is.

Buy a copy, and start reading

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the author, Tessa Hadley

Tessa Hadley

Tessa Hadley is the author of four highly praised novels: Accidents in the Home, which was long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award; Everything Will Be All Right; The Master Bedroom; and The London Train, which was a New York Times Notable Book. She is also the author of two short-story collections, Sunstroke and Married Love, both of which were New York Times Notable Books as well. Her stories appear regularly in the New Yorker. She lives in London.

My Thoughts

I have to confess, I had a bit of struggle getting into Clever Girl, not because the writing was bad – it’s not – Tessa Hadley is a detailed and compelling author – but because of the formatting. You see, instead of quotation marks, dashes are used throughout to set off dialogue. (Note: my review is based on an ARC, and I’m not certain if that formatting remained in the final version.). It’s not a structure I’m unfamiliar with – a lot of English novels use it (and a few American ones, as well), though it’s not something you often see in contemporary literature – and at times I found myself confused about exactly who was speaking because there was a hard-return that hadn’t translated, or because I’d missed a dash.

Formatting aside, however, Clever Girl really captured my attention and imagination. I love that the lead character, Stella, was so well drawn, so specific, that even when she meets a neighbor as a child her observation is that the other girl doesn’t have high standards in selecting friends.

It’s this snarky observational style that ultimately won me over, possibly because it’s similar to my own style (I was much snarkier as a child than I am now, by the way, and I was also an only child of a single mother through my formative years.)

It’s difficult for me to review this other than to point out that this is Stella’s story, told by Stella, and while many people think writing an entire novel in first person is easy, I promise you it’s NOT. But Tessa Hadley makes it seem easy, and I finished the book feeling as though I’d made a new friend in Stella, and hoping my standards were up to hers.

Goes well with Curry and a really crisp hard cider.

TLC Book Tours

This post is part of a book tour hosted by TLC Book Tours. For the entire tour schedule, click here.

Review: The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh

About the book, The Moon Sisters

The Moon Sisters

Hardcover: 336 pages

Publisher: Crown (March 4, 2014)

This mesmerizing coming-of-age novel, with its sheen of near-magical realism, is a moving tale of family and the power of stories.

After their mother’s probable suicide, sisters Olivia and Jazz take steps to move on with their lives. Jazz, logical and forward-thinking, decides to get a new job, but spirited, strong-willed Olivia—who can see sounds, taste words, and smell sights—is determined to travel to the remote setting of their mother’s unfinished novel to lay her spirit properly to rest.

Already resentful of Olivia’s foolish quest and her family’s insistence upon her involvement, Jazz is further aggravated when they run into trouble along the way and Olivia latches to a worldly train-hopper who warns he shouldn’t be trusted. As they near their destination, the tension builds between the two sisters, each hiding something from the other, until they are finally forced to face everything between them and decide what is really important.

Buy a copy, and enjoy the story:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the author, Therese Walsh

Therese Walsh

Therese Walsh is the author of The Last Will of Moira Leahy and the cofounder of Writer Unboxed. She lives in upstate New York with her husband and two children.

Connect with Therese

Website | Facebook | Twitter

My Thoughts

What does hope taste like? How does love smell? For a synesthete, these are valid questions. Actually they’re valid questions for me, as well, and I don’t consider myself synesthetic at all, merely imaginative. For me, for example, comfort smells like the waxy-metallic-papery aroma of slightly sun-warmed Crayola crayons.

But I digress.

In The Moon Sisters Therese Walsh gives us a lovely, provocative story of two sisters, one of whom is a synesthete, and the other of whom tries to be a pragmatist. Olivia knows what hope smells like, and she’s on a mission to find it – considering it the unfinished business of her recently-deceased mother, while Jazz, responsible for her younger sister, is the practical one.

Author Walsh has given us, in Olivia and Jazz, two incredibly real young women, who seem vastly different from each other, but at the same could never be anything but sisters.

The use of synesthesia could have been a gross malfunction; instead, Walsh has blended lyrical reality with wistful magical realism, and a very human poignance.

I wanted to find the cranberry bog with Olivia, and I also wanted to hold her back, like Jazz. I wanted sit in their kitchen and play synesthetic memes with both women – “What color is friendship? Describe the taste of snow.” Instead, I’ll have to settle for re-reading the book – I was originally given an ARC and the hardcover, final edition came much later – and then devouring Walsh’s other work.

As for The Moon Sisters…my best advice is that you read it, because it will make you see life and death, sisterhood, and even your own senses, in a completely different way.

Goes well with Sun-brewed iced tea and lemon pound cake with fresh blueberries.

TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a blog tour hosted by TLC Book Tours. For more information, and the complete list of tour stops, click here.

Review: The Enchanted, by Rene Denfeld

About the book, The Enchanted

The Enchanted

• Hardcover: 256 pages
• Publisher: Harper (March 4, 2014)

A wondrous and redemptive debut novel, set in a stark world where evil and magic coincide, The Enchanted combines the empathy and lyricism of Alice Sebold with the dark, imaginative power of Stephen King.

“This is an enchanted place. Others don’t see it, but I do.” The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him, weaving a fantastical story of the people he observes and the world he inhabits. Fearful and reclusive, he senses what others cannot. Though bars confine him every minute of every day, he marries visions of golden horses running beneath the prison, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs with the devastating violence of prison life.

Two outsiders venture here: a fallen priest and the Lady, an investigator who searches for buried information from prisoners’ pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, honesty and corruption—ultimately revealing shocking secrets of her own.

Beautiful and transcendent, The Enchanted reminds us of how our humanity connects us all, and how beauty and love exist even amidst the most nightmarish reality.

Buy a copy, and start reading.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the author, Rene Denfeld

Rene Denfeld

Rene Denfeld is an internationally bestselling author, journalist, Mitigation Specialist, and fact Investigator in death penalty cases. She has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Oregonian, and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a published author of four books including the international bestseller The New Victorians: A Young Woman’s Challenge to the Old Feminist Order, Kill The Body, The Head Will Fall, and All God’s Children: Inside the Dark and Violent World of Street Families.

Connect with Rene

Website | Facebook

My Thoughts

A book about life on death row should not be able to be described with words like “beautiful” and “haunting,” and yet, those are the two words that come to my mind when I think of this book.

I read most of it in the course of one evening, much of that time spent soaking in the bath. Needless to say, I was so entranced with author Rene Denfeld’s use of language that not only was I stopping to read bits of it aloud (I needed to TASTE the words), thus alarming my dogs, but the water had gone cold, and I had become a complete prune before I could tear myself away.

The story itself is rather grim: a prisoner awaits execution, and uses books and his imagination to transcend the bars that imprison him. An investigator (the Lady) digs up as much information as she can in order to save the lifers, but the work is slowly eating away at her soul. A fallen priest offers whatever spiritual solace he can.

While the Lady and the Fallen Priest do move toward, and into, a relationship, there is no way this can be described as a romance, nor is any of it terribly happy.

What it is, then, is terribly, awfully, human. Poignant, visceral, naked humanity, wrapped in amazing language that drips from your tongue like the slow creep of river water down the prison’s stone walls.

TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a blog tour hosted by TLC Book Tours. For more information, visit the tour page for this book by clicking here.

Review: Fog City Strangler, by Greg Messel

About the book, Fog City Strangler

Fog City Strangler

As 1958 nears an end San Francisco is being terrorized by a man who calls himself the “Fog City Strangler,” who preys on pretty young blonde women. The strangler announces each murder by sending a note and piece of cloth from the victim’s dresses to the local newspapers.

Private eye Sam Slater is worried that the Fog City Strangler may be eyeing his beautiful blonde wife, stewardess Amelia Ryan. Sam’s angst mounts as the strangler continues to claim more victims. His anxiety is further fueled when TWA launches an advertising campaign with Amelia’s picture on a series of billboards plastered all over the city. Sam fears the billboards may attract too much attention–the wrong kind of attention.

Meanwhile, Sam and Amelia are hired to try to find the missing daughter of a wealthy dowager who fears she has lost her only child. The missing woman went for a walk with her dog on Stinson Beach, near San Francisco, and seemingly vanished into thin air. The woman’s husband arrived at their beach house and found the dog running loose but there was no trace of his wife. The police are stumped in their investigation.

As Sam and Amelia look into the disappearance of the woman on the beach they discover that nothing is as it seems at first glance. On a stormy night a shadowy figure sets fire to the beach house where the couple is staying–hoping to stop their investigation.

Fog City Strangler is a stand-alone thriller but is part of the Sam Slater Mystery Series–Last of the Seals, Deadly Plunge and San Francisco Secrets.

Buy a copy.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the author, Greg Messel

Greg Messel

Greg Messel grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and now lives in Edmonds, Washington on the Puget Sound with his wife, Carol. Fog City Strangler is his seventh novel and is the fourth in a new series of Sam Slater mystery novels. Greg has lived in Oregon, Washington, California, Wyoming and Utah and has always loved writing, including stints as a reporter, columnist and news editor for a daily newspaper.

Connect with Greg:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

My Thoughts:

San Francisco is my favorite American city. It was where I spent the day for my 13th birthday, where my husband and I shared our first weekend together, and where I went to college (Go USF Dons!), so when I was offered the opportunity to read/review a noir mystery set in the City by the Bay, I had to say yes.

Fog City Strangler did not disappoint. From the first scene, where Amelia is trapped between fire and an unknown assailant in her Stinson Beach beachhouse to the very last page, the story was gripping and action-packed. Sam Slater is a fantastic character, and while his exploits are new to me, I’m hooked enough to want to read the other books he inhabits.

Author Messel does a great job of making a period piece seem neither campy nor outdated, and making his stories relevant for a contemporary audience.

In short, Fog City Strangler is the perfect book to curl up with on a rainy day. Just make sure that you keep the windows closed and the doors locked while you read.

Goes Well with Cioppino and Anchor Steam beer.

Fog City Strangler

Greg Messel is giving away a 3 book set of his Sam Slater Mystery Series (Last of the Seals, Deadly Plunge and San Francisco Secrets AND a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the 3 book set and $25 Amazon Gift Card.
• This giveaway begins February 3 and ends on March 28.
• Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, March 31, 2014.
• Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

Rafflecopter Code:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Three Souls

About the book, Three Souls

Three Souls

• Paperback: 496 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (February 25, 2014)

An absorbing novel of romance and revolution, loyalty and family, sacrifice and undying love

We have three souls, or so I’d been told. But only in death could I confirm this….

So begins the haunting and captivating tale, set in 1935 China, of the ghost of a young woman named Leiyin, who watches her own funeral from above and wonders why she is being denied entry to the afterlife. Beside her are three souls—stern and scholarly yang; impulsive, romantic yin; and wise, shining hun—who will guide her toward understanding. She must, they tell her, make amends.

As Leiyin delves back in time with the three souls to review her life, she sees the spoiled and privileged teenager she once was, a girl who is concerned with her own desires while China is fractured by civil war and social upheaval. At a party, she meets Hanchin, a captivating left-wing poet and translator, and instantly falls in love with him.

When Leiyin defies her father to pursue Hanchin, she learns the harsh truth—that she is powerless over her fate. Her punishment for disobedience leads to exile, an unwanted marriage, a pregnancy, and, ultimately, her death. And when she discovers what she must do to be released from limbo into the afterlife, Leiyin realizes that the time for making amends is shorter than she thought.

Suffused with history and literature, Three Souls is an epic tale of revenge and betrayal, forbidden love, and the price we are willing to pay for freedom.

Buy a copy, and read it for yourself.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the author, Janie Chang

Janie Chang

Born in Taiwan, Janie Chang spent part of her childhood in the Philippines, Iran, and Thailand. She holds a degree in computer science and is a graduate of the Writer’s Studio Program at Simon Fraser University. Three Souls is her first novel.

Connect with Janie

Website | Facebook | Twitter

My Thoughts

I’ve been reading a lot of novels set in the “interwar” period between the first and second world wars this year, and Three Souls is the most recent of them, and also the last for a while. It’s an interesting period, and I’ve loved that two of the books set during these years focused on Asia, rather than being totally Eurocentric.

This book, in particular, I found to be really enjoyable, as it so nicely blends elements of magical realism – our narrator is dead at the novel’s beginning, after all – with pragmatic reality – “You haven’t seen me in years, and the first thing you notice is my new glasses?” (That’s a paraphrase, because I closed the book and lost the page, but it’s a close paraphrase.)

Whether the narrator is describing her disappointing wedding night or talking about the poet she wants and can’t have her voice is clear. We know her, and I, at least, resonated very strongly with her desire to choose her own path.

Three Souls is my first introduction to Janie Chang’s work. I really hope she ends up being prolific, because I love the way she writes, and I found this novel, in particular, to be not just engaging, but entrancing. Brava, Ms. Chang!

Goes well with strong black tea (Lapsang Souchong, maybe?) and far too many pot-stickers (I like the Korean version) to confess to in print.

TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a virtual book tour sponsored by TLC Book Tours. For the tour page, and more information, click here.

Review: Deceiving Lies by Molly McAdams

About the book, Deceiving Lies

Deceiving Lies

• Paperback: 336 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (March 4, 2014)

The irresistible, blazing-hot sequel to New York Times bestselling author Molly McAdams’s Forgiving Lies

Rachel is supposed to be planning her wedding to Kash, the love of her life. After the crazy year they’ve had, she’s ready to settle down and live a completely normal life. Well, as normal as it can be. But there’s something else waiting—something threatening to tear them apart.

Kash is ready for it all with Rachel, especially if “all” includes having a football team of babies with his future wife. In his line of work, Kash knows how short life can be and doesn’t want to waste another minute of their life together. But now his past as an undercover narcotics agent has come back to haunt him . . . and it’s the girl he loves who’s caught in the middle.

Trent Cruz’s orders are clear: take the girl. But there’s something about this girl that has him changing the rules and playing a dangerous game to keep her safe. When his time as Rachel’s protector runs out, Trent will turn his back on the only life he’s known—and risk everything if it means getting her out alive.

Buy a copy

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the author, Molly McAdams

Molly McAdams

Molly McAdams grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband and furry four-legged daughters. Her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach . . . which roughly translates to being a homebody and dishing out movie quotes with her hubby, or hiding in her writing cave trying to get her characters’ stories out.

Connect with Molly

Web | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

My Thoughts

While I received a copy of the book immediately preceding Deceiving Lies, both arrived at my door the night before I left for vacation, and I didn’t have a lot of time to read, so I jumped directly into book two – this book – in order to finish on time. (As it was, I still had to move the date.)

In any case, jumping into this series in the middle wasn’t much of a problem, as Molly McAdams writes characters so real, so familiar, that it was very like visiting long-lost relatives: the rhythms are in your blood, but the details are new.

What I especially like is the way McAdams writes relationships. While Rachel and Kash are young, they’re still absolutely adults – dealing with adult issues, like when (and whether) to start a family, adopting an animal, old lovers, etc, and I felt like the shoe conversation in the first few chapters was especially dead on. I mean, my husband and I had similar conversations when we were first combining our households.

I don’t read a lot of “typical” romances, but McAdams’ series is anything buy typical. This novel, in particular, included a nice balance of jeopardy, drama, and happy relationships, which made it the perfect beach book, even though it didn’t take place anywhere near the beach.

Goes well with limonada mineral and grilled shrimp tacos.

TLC Book Tours

This tour is part of a virtual book tour sponsored by TLC Book Tours. For more information, click here.

Everybody’s Talking About Sisterhood

The Moon Sisters

With the publication of Therese Walsh’s new novel, The Moon Sisters, the lovely folks over at The Muffin are celebrating sisterhood, and when I heard about it, I had to participate, but here’s the thing: I don’t have any biological sisters. I have a step-sister (sort of) and a few sisters-in-law, but I was an only child until I was twelve, and then I inherited a slightly-older step-brother, so the people I consider sisters are my chosen family, more often than not.

One of them, Cathy, is actually my cousin, but she was my “big sister” for most of my life. It was Cathy who spent hours with me, making home movies that we wrote and performed in, baking and cooking and playing with dolls. It was even Cathy who gave me my first bra. Her mother, my own mother’s cousin, shared her birthday with me, and used to call me her birthday girl, so we had a sister-like bond from the time I was born, really, and while our interests have diverged and our politics don’t always align, she’s family, and she is my sister in every way that counts.

Then there’s my friend Alisa. We don’t really talk much these days, interacting mainly via Facebook (she’s incredible at Scramble with Friends), but when we were kids, my mother sliced our hands (nicked, really) open so we could be blood sisters. We didn’t have headdresses like the girls in The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, but we did have matching t-shirts when we were seven.

More recently, my spiritual sisters have expanded to include my friend Kathy, who was there for me when I had a miscarriage several years ago while my husband was traveling for work, who knows my dogs as well as I do, and who lets me borrow her children and use them as guinea pigs when I do experimental baking. She’s a visual artist, while I play with words, but we have in common the creative spirit.

Does it matter that none of these women are technically related to me? No. In fact, I think the case could be made that all women are sisters at some level, though some of us are closer than others. This is why it drives me crazy when women don’t support each other. No, we all don’t think alike, dress alike, behave alike, but there is far more that unites us than divides us, and I think we should embrace that.

Which brings me to this awesome new novel by Therese Walsh – The Moon Sisters. Here’s a bit about the book:

In The Moon Sisters, her second novel, Therese Walsh wanted to write about one sister’s quest to find will-o’-the-wisp light, which was her mother’s unfulfilled dream. Also called “foolish fires”, these lights are sometimes seen over wetlands and are thought to lead those who follow them to treasure. Despite the promise, they are never captured and sometimes lead to injury or even death for adventurers who follow them. The metaphor of that fire – that some dreams and goals are impossible to reach, and that hope itself may not be innately good – eventually rooted its way into deeper meaning as the Moon sisters tried to come to terms with real-world dreams and hopes, and with each other, in their strange new world.

Olivia and Jazz Moon are polar opposites: one a dreamy synesthete, able to see sounds and smell sights and the other controlling and reality driven. What will happen when they are plunged into 24/7 togetherness and control is not an option? Will they ever be able to see the world through the other’s eyes and confront the things they fear the most? Death. Suicide. The loss of faith and hope. Will they ultimately believe that life is worth living, despite the lack of promise?

The writing of The Moon Sisters was a five year journey and at times author Therese Walsh felt like it was her own “foolish fire”. But remember, some fires are worth the chase!

I haven’t read it yet – though I have it sitting on my to-be-read pile (look for my review on March 20th), but it sounds like a truly fantastic story for anyone who has a little bit of magic left in her soul, or who has shared a secret with a sister, even if she is a sister of the soul, and not one of blood.

Therese Walsh If you want to be among the first to read The Moon Sisters, you can buy it from, on Kindle or as a physical copy. (I love my Kindle, but I miss trading books with my friends when I only read ebooks.)

You can also find out more about the author, herself, by visiting her website: where you can find book club information, a personality quiz based on characters in the novel, and much, much more.

Also, don’t forget to stop by The Muffin and enter to win a copy of The Moon Sisters for yourself. Read it, then pass it along to your own sister. It’s nice to share.