Friday, April 18, 2014

"The Collector Of Dying Breaths" by M.J. Rose

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  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; First Edition edition (April 8, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451621532

What is worse that starting to read a book that you know you will love, and also know that you will hate how you will feel when it ends? When you actually get to finish! Every time I read a book by M.J. Rose, that's what happens. I had looked forward to the publication date for "The Collector of Lost Breaths", and eagerly began to read it. I could not put it down! The only thing, aside from awe, that I felt when it ended, was 'when I can read the next book in this 'series' ??!!

I have always enjoyed each and every book from the pen of M.J. Rose, none of them has ever been a disappointment. I do, at times, tend to anticipate that the more an author continues to write a series, the less fulfilling the books may become, but M.J. Rose seems to go in the opposite direction! "The Collector of Dying Breaths" is better that it's predecessor "Seduction" which was the sequel, of sorts, to her wonderful read, "The Book of Lost Fragrances". All three of these books have been delights, but this latest offering really riveted me. It is divinely suspenseful, with a plot that is intricately interwoven with a raft of interesting, well rounded characters. I simply could not put this book down. As predicted, when I finished reading it, I was, indeed, sad! The problem with finishing such a good read is that no other book holds my interest for very long. I have to wait for my enthusiasm to re-ignite!

This book continues the story of Jac L'Etoile and her brother, Robbie, both of whom are well known perfumers. I love perfume myself and so this series of books has really held my interest. Ms. Rose obviously knows her stuff when it comes to the perfecting of scents! The books spans the 16th century to the present. It is, in part, a love story which adds to the interest of the book - but this is no bodice ripper - the  bonds of love in this story are much too delicious just for that! The romance is perfectly interwoven within the plot which is about the concept of collecting the last breaths of dying people in order to reanimate their souls.

I am also a time travel fan as well as a lover of historical fiction and no one manages this writing style more artfully than M.J. Rose. Her books are very well researched and the historical facts blend beautifully with the fiction. This book is a love story, a tale of reincarnation (which will please both believers as well as non-believers), a book of complete suspense right to the end, and it is also a book that presents some interesting historical facts about the indomitable Queen of France, Catherine deMedici and her predilection for all things alchemical and astronomical.

My only problem now is that I have to wait for the next book! I just want to keep reading...maybe I should just begin to re-read the entire 'Reincarnationist' series from the very beginning ?!!

The 'series' includes:  The Reincarnationist, The Memorist, The Hypnotist, as well as these last three, amazing, volumes, The Book of Lost Fragrances and Seduction, and now "The Collector of Lost Breaths". Each is a perfect stand alone book, but if read in order you simply are more aware of some of the small nuances of the series.

The author's website,, is very interesting. Check it out!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Two New Noteworthy Titles From Search Press

I believe that I have mentioned in the past that one of my favorite craft book publishers is Search Press. The books that they publish are always premium quality and I find that their new titles always manage to entice me. The following two have done just that! Thanks to the great people at Search Press I have been able to take a peek at two of their upcoming releases. Have a look. I bet you will want to add them to your pre-order list!

Jenny Dean is one of my favorite authors who writes about all things natural dye. The first book of Jenny's that I fell in love with and use consistently is called "Wild Color". I love this book. The photography is perfect, the directions are all wonderfully written for ease of comprehension - and they are easy to follow. Nature affords us so many beautiful options for colors of dye!

This new little gem of a book, "A Heritage of Color" covers the colors that are possible to obtain from 50 rather ordinary plants. Plants that have provided our world with color for more than 2000 years. Different ways of processing, using a variety of mordants and "eco-dying" are covered. This little 160 page gem offers a lot. It will have its permanent place on my bookshelf next to "Wild Color" and, I know, it will be an often used, much dog eared book! The release date in June 10, 2014, but this title is available for pre-order now! Get yours reserved!

 I have heard the word 'Zakka'  a lot recently, but really wasn't sure just what it meant - or what the style was. In all honesty, I had not been interested enough to find out more about it. That is, until I saw the cover of this book. I had been looking for a pattern similar to the one on the cover for some time. I am so glad that I got to have a look at this book and learn more about Zakka!

According to author Cecelia Hanselmann, the word Zakka "...originates from a Japanese word which originally meant 'household items', ... In recent years, it has increasingly been used to mean home made everyday items...". 

The 'everyday items' in "Love To Sew Zakka Style Gifts" include (a partial list ) the 'Sakura Box Bag' (on the cover), a camera pouch, a tissue holder, an owl paperweight, a mug wrap, a coin purse, table baskets and more. If you like to sew and also like to make and gift handmade items, then this book would be a perfect addition to your library! 

This very modestly priced book seems to be available for purchase now, although the official release date is May 13, 2014.