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Monday, January 12, 2015

Moonlight and Oranges by Elise Stephens (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Moonlight and Oranges by Author Elise Stephens!

Book Review

Moonlight and Oranges by Elise Stephens
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Format: Paperback - 220 pages
              Kindle - 433 KB
ISBN: 978-1935961352
ASIN: B0065U78MC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BUY THE BOOK: Moonlight and Oranges

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

A timeless tale of young romance.

Lorona Connelly is ready for a change from her carefully planned, bookish life. When sparks fly at a costume party, she embraces a chance for romance with the handsome Kestrin Feather. However, she quickly realizes that even love and destiny may not be enough to overcome the reality of an overprotective mother-in-law and Kestrin's long, tarnished history of relationships.

When Lorona's curiosity leads her to Kestrin's journal, doubt plagues them both with insecurities and threatens the relationship. Can true love overcome the odds, or was their whirlwind romance just a frivolous crush? Author Elise Stephens shares a journey of young love, fate, and wounded trust in the story of Lorona and Kestrin, a couple who must learn to overcome their fears to share a life together.

Book Excerpt:

Lorona rolled her eyes and surveyed the long line of girls fidgeting outside the tent. In a gust of alien tractor-beam light, the entrance flap jerked open and a huge woman in a swath of blood-red velvet swept majestically into view.

Behind her, a skull-sized crystal ball glowed on a pedestal. A slender girl with almost-white hair stood just inside the tent, clutching her purse. She smiled timidly at the imposing bulk of Madame Ovary’s enormous shadow before scuttling like a mouse freed from a trap and collapsed into the arms of her waiting boyfriend. She was whispering something into his ear energetically and Lorona looked away, groaning in disgust.

“Please tell me you know I don’t believe in any of this stuff.”

“Yeah? Well, neither do I.” Yuki shrugged with exaggerated carelessness.

“What about the horoscopes you read in the newspaper?”

“I just think they’re quaint.” Yuki tried to laugh lightly, then said, “This will be a good distraction for you.” She grabbed Lorona’s elbow. “I’m taking you in whether you like it or not, babe.”

“She’ll just put bogus stuff in my head and then I’m supposed to believe that it’ll come true.”

Yuki took a clipboard from an attendant who wore smoky eyeliner. “Then why do the police hire psychics? Explain that.”

“I don’t know, but—”

“Do you want to know why I think you should see this psychic?” Yuki brandished a pen at Lorona like a wand. “Because I’m afraid you’ll get stuck in the past. I could see it in your eyes. If what she says is junk, it will at least make you think of the future.”

“Isn’t this a little premature? It’s not like I’ve been locking myself in my room and not eating.”

“Oh, but you were going to. I could see the ‘I’ll just have tea diet’ all over your face. I don’t need to be worrying about your health while I’m at work.”

Lorona felt her nostrils flaring.

“I know you.” Yuki thrust out her chin. “I might have psychic blood, too.”

Lorona looked at the clipboard and her subconscious thrust a new agitation to the surface. She knew why she didn’t want to see the fortune-teller. It made her think of Kestrin’s dream. Real or not, he was definitely submitting to its voice, and this made Lorona angry. An amorphous force was fencing her out and probably looking down at Kestrin right now and laughing.

Bizarre survey questions covered the clipboard, asking for her name, which she said was Martha Washington, and birth date, which she wrote truthfully but changed the year to make herself four-years-old, and then the questions turned to things like,

Have you seen any of the following animals cross your path with a high level of frequency (cat, dog, raven, owl)? and Have you ever woken with a sensation that you were not in control of your body?

Lorona drew a line down the “no” boxes.

Yuki snorted as she peeked over Lorona’s shoulder. “You’re impossible.”

Lorona handed the sheet to the attendant, who glanced at the answers before giving her a withering look.

“If that woman is a real psychic, she’ll know I’m lying,” Lorona muttered.

“If she’s a real psychic, she’ll give you what you deserve and scare your panties off,” Yuki whispered back.

“I went commando today. Too bad for her.”

They were both snickering when the tent opened and Madame Ovary practically threw her client out. The girl never stopped running. She skirted the crowd and vanished, her face round and white as a full moon.

“Next,” Madame Ovary boomed, her eyes roaming the line. She raised a finger and pointed, not to the first in line, but farther down, near where Yuki and Lorona stood at the end.

“What did she just say?” Lorona whispered.

The assistant examined the list on her clipboard quizzically as Madame Ovary stared right at Lorona. Lorona’s Adam’s apple froze into a lump of ice. Yuki turned to a pillar of stone beside her, pinned under the same burning glower.

“You’re here for your fortune, yes?” the psychic said, clearly addressing her.

“Uh, yes,” Lorona managed in a voice that was not nearly as skeptical as she’d planned.

Madame Ovary crooked her finger.

Dragging their feet, Lorona and Yuki filed past the column of eight girls, ignoring the glares for line-cutting. Yuki squeezed Lorona’s hand tighter and tighter with each step.

“Just you,” Madame Ovary ordered Lorona. “Your friend can wait outside.”

Yuki throttled her hand and all five of Lorona’s knuckles popped. She slipped gratefully away as the tent flaps fell and whispered to Lorona, “I’ll be right outside.”

Madame Ovary turned to face Lorona, her giant shoulders silhouetted by the glow of her crystal orb. She didn’t smile or say a word. She just stared at her.

My Book Review:

Moonlight and Oranges is a delightful modern day adaptation of the classical Greek mythology romance tale of Cupid and Psyche.

Author Elise Stephens weaves an enjoyable romantic story that seamlessly blends the timeless Greek classic with a modern twist. Set in Seattle, the reader follows the development of the romantic relationship of Lorona and Kestrin. Their relationship starts off with a whirlwind romance that quickly develops into passion, love, and a hasty elopement. But their marriage isn't perfect or strong enough to withstand a variety of trials and tribulations that stand in the way of true love. With a mixture of fear, doubt, secrets, lack of trust, betrayal, obstacles, intriguing twists and turns, and tough decisions, Lorona and Kestrin's love will be put to the test. Is Lorona and Kestrin's love and marriage strong enough to overcome the obstacles in their way, or will it tear them apart?

Moonlight and Oranges is an intriguing and complicated story full of emotion, passion, drama, and angst. It takes you on a roller coaster ride as Lorona and Kestrin's whirlwind relationship is put to the test time and time again. You can't help but get drawn into their story: opposites attract and fall in love, yet forces are trying to pull them apart. This story engages the reader in wondering if fate and destiny really had a hand in their relationship, and what's not to love about a great romance story intertwined with a timeless and classic Greek mythical tale that will capture the reader's attention from the beginning until the climatic ending? This is a well written and enjoyable story that will leave a smile on your face.


About The Author

Elise Stephens received the Eugene Van Buren Prize for Fiction from the University of Washington in 2007. Forecast is her second novel. Her first novel Moonlight and Oranges was a quarter-finalist for the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Her short fiction has appeared in the Unusual Stories anthology, as well as in multiple journals.

She lives in Seattle with her husband where they both enjoy swing dancing, eating tiramisu, and taking in local live theater.


Contest Giveaway

Win 1 of 2 eBook Copies of Forecast

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

January 5 - Polished and Bubbly – Review
January 5 - Reecas Pieces – Review
January 6 - Authorsand Readers Book Corner – Excerpt
January 7 - Chick LitPlus – Review
January 9 - Ski-Wee’sBook Corner – Excerpt
January 9 - Christy’s Written WordLove – Excerpt
January 12 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like an awesome book! I am someone who loves Greek mythology so a retelling like this sounds really cool!