Vicky Berdecio

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The Book of Lost Fragrances : a novel of suspense

Summary: 
This earlier novel by M.J. Rose (published in 2013) features Jac L'Etoile and her brother Robbie. It takes place in Paris, in the present day; as well as in ancient Egypt in Cleopatra's time, and during 1780's revolutionary France. The narrative weaves around some ancient pottery shards which still contain a scent which for some people can trigger past life memories. Jac's brother and her lover Griffin North are attempting to decipher the hieroglyphics on the ancient vessel, and Robbie is determined to give the shards to the Dalai Lama when he visits Paris. However, some members of the Chinese mafia also want the pottery, since China is attempting to repress the idea of reincarnation, in particular the location of the young man who is to succeed the Dalai Lama as Tibet's new leader. Combining history, passion and suspense, this novel is a wonder-filled and entertaining read you will not be able to put down.

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The Rules of Magic

Summary: 
Alice Hoffman's latest novel is a prequel to her bestseller "Practical Magic". It tells the story of three siblings with magical powers growing up in New York City at the cusp of the 1960's. They are members of the Owens family whose history dates back to the 1600's. There is Franny, the eldest, with blood-red hair; shy and beautiful Jet, who can read people's thoughts; and the youngest, Vincent, a handsome and charismatic musical wizard. During one summer the three siblings journey to a small town in Massachusetts to visit their aunt Isabelle. There they learn more about their secret family history from this wise older woman. This book is a story about the power of love, and a reminder of the importance of being true to yourself.

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Seduction : a novel of suspense

Summary: 
Another novel by M.J. Rose, this one was published in 2014. The main character is the mythologist Jac L'Etoile, also featured in a subsequent novel "The Collector of Dying Breaths"(reviewed previously). This story takes place on the isle of Jersey - part of Britain's Channel Islands - a place of magic and mystery dating back thousands of years to the ancient Celts. The narrative journeys back and forth from the present day, to the mid-19th century writings of Victor Hugo, to the centuries old Druids. Woven throughout this suspenseful tale are the spirits of the departed, references to reincarnation and dreams, mythology and the collective unconscious. This fast-paced evocative tale, set against the backdrop of the unrelenting ocean, will keep you enthralled, unable to put it down.

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The Little Book of Gratitude

Summary: 
This beautiful little book offers a simple, scientifically proven method of increasing health, joy and well-being in our lives through the practice of gratitude. With such activities as keeping a gratitude journal, writing letters of thanks, and meditating on the good we have received in our lives, we are able to enhance our relationships, encourage healthy sleep, and heighten feelings of being connected to ourselves and to the world. This book discusses the benefits of gratitude and shares easy techniques that will benefit every area of your life. It is a great little self-help manual which provides useful tips that are accessible to all.

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The Collector of Dying Breaths

Summary: 
An earlier novel from 2014 by the author M.J. Rose, part of her reincarnationist series, is filled with mystery, suspense and intrigue. This gothic tale travels back and forth in time between sixteenth- century Florence and Paris and the present day. The main characters include the perfumer Rene le Florentin, working for Catherine de Medici, the queen of France, and 21st century renowned mythologist Jac L'Etoile, who is seeking to unlock the secret to immortality by getting in touch with past life memories. Combining history, romance and magic, this complex story has a gripping plot and ultimately a happy ending.

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The Library of Light and Shadow

Summary: 
New York Times bestselling author M.J. Rose has come up with a new book, part of her series of the Daughters of La Lune. This novel's main character is Delphine Duplessi, whose mother Sandrine was featured in the novel "The Witch of Painted Sorrows". Set in Paris, Cannes and New York City during the 1920's, it tells the story of a young woman whose gift is being able paint portraits blindfolded which reveal a person's deepest secrets. Other characters include Delphine's twin brother Sebastian, her one true love Matthieu, as well as the famous opera singer Emma Calve who is obsessed with the writings of fourteenth-century alchemist Nicholas Flamel. This historical novel is a love story filled with mystery and magic with a riveting, thrilling denouement. If you are looking for a story that will hold your interest and can't put down, this book just might be for you!

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A House Among the Trees

Summary: 
Julia Glass's latest novel is a multi-faceted, multi-layered work of fiction, and a totally engrossing and enjoyable read. It tracks the life and death of Mort Lear, a famous children's book writer and illustrator and all the people whose life he touches. There is Tomasina Daulair his long-time and devoted assistant, her brother Dani, and Nicholas Greene, a charismatic actor cast to play the artist in a movie about Lear's life. Other characters include a young museum curator and Lear's lover Soren. The story travels back and forth in time from past to present, as well as fluctuating between the various character's point of view. This work of fiction is indubitably Julia Glass at her best.

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On Turpentine Lane

Summary: 
Elinor Lipman's latest novel is a charming romantic comedy. The main character is thirty-two year old Faith Frankel, who works for her alma mater writing thank-you notes for financial donations. After a serious break-up, her affable office mate Nick Franconi moves into her small bungalow as a roommate. Other characters include Faith's brother and her parents, who are going through mid-life crises as they re-define the nature of their long-standing relationship. Filled with people with quirky personalities and lively dialogue, you will sail through this enjoyable and easy read frequently smiling at the sometimes outrageous humor.

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The Enigma of the Owl : an illustrated natural history

Summary: 
This fabulous book about owls from all over the world is illustrated with more than 200 exquisitely beautiful photographs. From the tiny elf owl of the southwestern American deserts, to the majestic snowy owl, to the barn owl, this book covers them all. Describing the birds' habitats, their breeding and hunting behaviors and unusual calls, the author Mike Unwin documents the lives of these magnificent creatures with detailed scientific facts. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in birds and natural history.

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And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer : a novella

Summary: 
This short novel written by the New York Times bestselling author of "A Man Called Ove" is a very moving and compassionate tale about the relationship of an elderly man who is struggling with dementia and his grandson named Noah. Translated from Swedish into English, this is a beautifully written book is a story which will touch your heart.

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