Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Stars Shine Bright by Sibella Giorello (Book Review / Kindle Fire Giveaway)

In association with Litfuse Publicity, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Sibella Giorello, author of The Stars Shine Bright!

The Stars Shine Bright by Sibella Giorello
Published By: Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Release Date: July 17, 2012
Format: Paperback - 400 pages / Kindle - 748 KB / Nook - 878 KB
ISBN: 1595545360
Genre: Christian Fiction / Mystery - Suspense - Thriller

About The Author:

Sibella Giorello grew up in Alaska and majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College. After riding a motorcycle across the country, she worked as a features writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. She now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons.

Sibella Giorello's The Stars Shine Bright Virtual Book Tour Page On Litfuse Publicity

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A Kindle Fire

Sibella is celebrating the release of the next book in her praiseworthy Raleigh Harmon series by giving away a Kindle Fire!

One grand prize winner will receive:

A brand new Kindle Fire

The entire 5-book Raleigh Harmon series.

Hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/25/12. The winner will be announced on 8/27/12 on Sibella's blog!

Sibella Giorello's The Star Shine Bright Virtual Book Tour Page On Litfuse Publicity

Click Below To Enter: Contests Runs 8/4-8/25!

The Stars Shine Bright Book Trailer

Book Review 

BUY THE BOOK: The Stars Shine Bright

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event host by Litfuse Publicity. 

Book Description:

After the FBI suspends her for bending its rules, Special Agent Raleigh Harmon is looking for a chance to redeem her career and re-start her life.

Sent undercover to a thoroughbred horse track, Raleigh takes on a double life to find out who’s fixing the races. But when horses start dying and then her own life is threatened, Raleigh realizes something bigger—and more sinister—is ruining Emerald Meadows.

She’s never felt more alone.

Her one contact with the FBI is Special Agent Jack Stephanson, a guy who seems to jump from antagonistic to genuine friend depending on the time of day. And she can’t turn to her family for support. They’re off-limits while she’s undercover, and her mother isn’t speaking to her anyway, having been confined to a mental hospital following a psychotic breakdown. Adding insult to her isolation, Raleigh’s fiancĂ© wants them to begin their life together—now—precisely when she’s been ordered not to be herself.

With just days left before the season ends, Raleigh races to stop the killing and find out who’s behind the track’s trouble, all the while trying to determine if Jack is friend or foe, and whether marrying her fiancĂ© will make things better—or worse.

Raleigh is walking through the darkest night she’s faced, searching for a place where the stars shine bright.

Book Excerpt:

                                               Chapter One

The glass skyscrapers towered over Puget Sound, like crystalline prisons for office slaves. I stood at the corner of Third and Madison and watched the hurried workers, toting their Starbucks and battered briefcases, while down the hill, between the city's steep reflective walls, a basin of salt water sparkled under late-summer sunshine. Puget Sound looked dappled and calm, nothing like the busy people. Nothing like the emotions warring inside me. And nothing like the woman who walked beside me, gripping a strand of pink pearls.

"Don't do this," said Aunt Charlotte. Her pudgy fingers worried the silken beads. "Come work in my shop."

"It won't help."

"I'll pay you double minimum wage."

I waited for the crosswalk light to change. Hurry up. The breeze tunneled through the buildings, bearing scents of wet salt and city pavement and the close of summer. A city bus wheezed to a stop on Madison and belched diesel fumes before releasing more serfs. They lurched out, sighing like pneumatic doors.

I glanced at Aunt Charlotte.

She had switched the pearls to her other hand, presumably because her fingers were fatigued from all that rubbing. It had started early this morning, when she told me I needed some geological magic to save my job. I looked back at the light. It refused to change.

"I'm fine," I told her.

"I'll send you to all my rock shows," she said. "You're a geologist—they'll love you."

I was a geologist, a forensic geologist, but I doubted the poor souls attending Aunt Charlotte's rock shows would love me. They were wannabe celebrities, pop musicians, New Agers all of them, believing Charlotte Harmon when she said malachite could enhance their visionary powers. That marble kept time with the earth's internal clock. That pearls provided clarity and wisdom.

My aunt was the most loyal of relatives, and she was a total kook.

The light changed, I stepped off the curb.

She hurried beside me. "You're afraid, I can feel it."

"No," I lied. "I just want my old job back."

"You're in denial. And who wouldn't be, with what you're facing?"

A sarcastic Thank you perched on the tip of my tongue. But we had now reached my own urban prison. Nine stories of pale steel, the building stood at the corner of Third and Spring with its cross-hatched architecture looking as unfriendly as graph paper.

"Take the pearls," she said.

"No, really—"

But she had already shoved the strand into my shoulder bag and was gathering me into her arms, squeezing tight. Plump and warm, loving and lost, Charlotte Harmon was one of the world's all-time great huggers. I breathed in the last of her patchouli scent.

Then I turned and walked away, without saying good-bye.

My Book Review:

FBI Special Agent Raleigh Harmon has been suspended for bending the rules in a previous case, and finds herself being investigated by the agency's Internal Affairs department. The FBI is giving Raleigh another chance to redeem herself, she is sent to Seattle, Washington, on an undercover assignment at Emerald Meadows, a thoroughbred horse racing track, to investigate a case of fixing horse races. Raleigh finds that there is more than fixing races going on at the track, the horses are dying from mysterious illnesses, and someone is trying to stop her from solving the case.

Complicating matters even more for Raleigh are her personal issues: her mother has been involuntarily committed to a mental asylum; her fiance wants her to give up her job and move home to Virginia; and she's fighting an attraction to her co-worker, FBI Special Agent Jack Stephanson.

Can Raleigh put her trust in God and her faith, with memories of time spent with her Dad looking up at the night sky where The Stars Shine Bright to solve the case and her personal problems?

The Stars Shine Bright is an intriguing mystery novel filled with enough adventure, drama, suspense and romance to keep you guessing and sitting on the edge of your seat. Written in the first person narrative by our quirky protagonist, Raleigh Harmon, the reader goes along for the ride on her latest FBI assignment. Rich in attention to detail and vivid descriptions of the beautiful setting in Seattle; along with the sights, sounds and smell of the horse racing world, the reader is easily drawn into Raleigh's latest adventure full of suspenseful twists and turns with a bit of romance in the mix. The story is a real page turner, you can't help but feel like your transported to Seattle and becoming involved as Raleigh investigates the case, you won't be able to put the book down!

The author provides a cast of characters that are realistic, complex, multi-faceted, and easy for the readers to relate to. Raleigh is a little spit-fire, she has a quirky and engaging personality that made me laugh. Raleigh is a person that people can relate to, she has flaws and issues that she struggles with, just like we do. I was really intrigued by Raleigh's training as a forensic geologist, I found the description of her training and the interesting geological facts to be fascinating. Eighty-four year old race course owner Eleanor Anderson is a spunky lady who quotes playwright Tennessee Williams; while handsome FBI Special Agent Jack Stephanson matches wits with Raleigh while the sparks fly. The characters' stimulating dialogues, interactions and dry humor make this story an entertaining and enjoyable read.

The Stars Shine Bright is a gripping whodunit mystery novel that will keep you in suspense and entertained with its high level of intensity, drama and a bit of romance thrown into the mix.

The Stars Shine Bright is the fifth book in the Raleigh Harmon Mystery Series. While the book is part of a series, it can easily stand alone.



  1. Kathleen, thank you for giving readers so much material from the Raleigh Harmon series -- trailer and excerpt, especially. You clearly LOVE books! And I'm grateful.

    1. Hi Sibella! Thank you for stopping by and for the kind comment. Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host your virtual book tour event for The Stars Shine Bright, I loved the book! I like to provide my followers / readers with as much info as possible to hopefully encourage them to read the books and to get to know the talented authors that write them. I look forward to reading many more of your novels. :)