Friday, April 11, 2014

The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose - excerpt

Hello, everyone! I'm super excited to be offering up an excerpt from M.J. Rose's latest release, The Collector of Dying Breaths, which just hit shelves this week.

But first a bit about the book:

The Book of Lost Fragrances had Cleopatra. Seduction had iconic novelist Victor Hugo. Now, with The Collector of Dying Breaths, Rose showcases her most fascinating character yet: Catherine de Medici, who infamously spearheaded the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre during her son Henry III’s reign, slaughtering thousands of French rebel Protestants in one fell swoop.

In 1533, an Italian orphan with an uncanny knack for creating fragrance is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. To repay his debt, over the years René le Florentine is occasionally called upon for a darker purpose: the creation of deadly poisons used to dispatch the Queen’s rivals. But it’s René’s other passion—a desire to reanimate a human breath, to bring back the lives of the two people whose deaths have devastated him—that incites a dangerous treasure hunt five centuries later.

That’s when Jac L’Etoile—suffering in modern day France from a heartache of her own—becomes obsessed with the possibility of unlocking René’s secret to immortality. Soon Jac’s search reconnects her with Griffin North, a man she’s loved her entire life. Together they confront an eccentric heiress whose art collection rivals many museums and who is determined to keep her treasures close at hand, in both this life and the next.

If you've not yet read Rose, you really are missing out. Each new release is rich in historic detail, suspense, and romance. The books are linked via common characters, but each one can easily be read on its own.

And now for your reading pleasure, a piece from The Collector of Dying Breaths:

That night, Jac fell asleep easily, cosseted by the down pillows and comforter. Her dreams were full of the perfumer who had lived here so many centuries ago. In his secret laboratory, she saw him mixing up potions and recipes, stirring, shaking and sniffing. At one point he picked up his head and looked right at her, as if she were in the room with him, as if he could actually see her. And then he spoke to her. All this I do for you. To see you again. To be with you again. Please God, it will work. Because without you I am lost to the world. 

In her sleep Jac felt the power of his words like a perfumed wind, blowing around her, embracing her. The most profound sense of longing overwhelmed her. Jac tried to go to him. Tried to move toward him. Wanted him to take her in his arms. Want to bury her face in his chest and have him stroke her hair. Wanted to feel his rough lips bruising hers. Oh, how she wanted him. But she was a half a millennium away. And they were forever separated by time. 

She woke up suddenly. Soaked with sweat. The perfumer had seemed so familiar to her. Her feelings for him were the same as her feelings for Griffin. Was it possible that-No. She would not entertain the thought. But she couldn't escape it, could she? Jac could almost hear Malachai asking her how she could even question what the dream revealed: that in a previous incarnation Griffin had most likely lived a life as the perfumer. Time was coming full circle again.

M.J. Rose will be live at BookTrib on April 21 at 3pm ET and there are a ton more offerings this month all around the blogosphere so be sure to check them out.

1 comment:

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

I've never read M J Rose, but I think this book has one of the most poetic titles I've seen in a long time. Maybe one day I'll get to reading her!