Review of The Collector of Dying Breaths and a Giveaway

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Happy Sunday everyone! Today I’m reviewing M. J. Rose’s novel, The Collector of Dying Breaths. At the bottom of the post are the rules for the giveaway. Please read the rules closely since this one has a twist. Click on this link for the rest of the tour stops.



Collector of Dying Breaths coverFrom one of America’s most imaginative storytellers comes a passionate tale of love and treachery, spanning the days of Catherine de Medici’s court to the twenty-first century and starring a woman drawn back, time and again, to the past.
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 to put his vast knowledge to 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 from a heartache of her own—becomes obsessed with the possibility of unlocking Rene’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, not just in this life but in her next.
Set in the forest of Fontainebleau, crisscrossing the lines between the past and the present, M.J. Rose has written a mesmerizing tale of passion and obsession. This is a gothic tale perfect for fans of Anne Rice, Deborah Harkness, and Diana Galbadon.

Release date: April 8, 2014 by Atria Books

Hardcover, 384 pages

ISBN13: 9781451621532, also available as an ebook


This novel is hard to sum up and I’ve always found that’s a good thing. I love stories that have depth, but that also stick to a main storyline and don’t become so convoluted that I have no idea what happened. It takes skill to have so many revolving parts and to stay on track. And the author does that. This story jumps back in forth in time telling René le Florentin’s story in the 1500s and then jumping to the present with Jac L’Etoile who is dealing with the death of her brother. Taken separately they make good stories on their own. Putting them together was a brilliant decision. There’s love, hate, intrigue, espionage, reincarnation, murder, jealousy, and more.

M. J. Rose does an excellent job of weaving fact and fiction and creating a captivating story that kept me up late for several nights in a row. Rose’s writing pulled me into the story and I felt for the characters.

This was my first book my Rose. I’m certain it won’t be my last.

But don’t just take my word, here’s some advanced praise for The Collector of Dying Breaths:

“Mysterious, magical, and mythical, this book is as heady as the fragrances, potions and elixirs that saturate the pages.Twists and turns abound in this book. It had me guessing to the very end. What a joy to read!” New York Times Bestselling author Sara Gruen, Water For Elephants

“History, mystery, ambition, lust, love, death and the timeless quest for immortality—a riveting tale of suspense.” —B. A. Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of The Art Forger

“From the labyrinthine alleyways of 16th century Paris to the danger-infused woodlands of 21st century Fontainebleau, M.J. Rose has crafted a superb, mesmerizing tale of two people separated by centuries yet linked by a haunting secret. Poison, obsession and undying love have never been so enticing—or so lethal. I could not stop reading it!” – C.W. Gortner, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici

“With an alchemist’s skill, M.J. Rose mixes present and past with the dark scent of love and an intricate mystery, creating a blend that is splendidly, spookily magical.” —New York Times bestseller, Susanna Kearsley



M.J. Rose, is the international bestselling author of 13 novels;Lip ServiceIn FidelityFlesh TonesSheet MusicLying in BedThe Halo EffectThe Delilah ComplexThe Venus Fix,The ReincarnationistThe MemoristThe HypnotistThe Book of Lost Fragrances, andSeduction.
Rose is also the co-author with Angela Adair Hoy of How to Publish and Promote Online and with Randy Susan Meyers of What to Do Before Your Book Lauch.

She is a founding member and board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for She runs the popular blog; Buzz, Balls & Hype.

Getting published has been an adventure for Rose who self-published Lip Service late in 1998 after several traditional publishers turned it down. Editors had loved it, but didn’t know how to position it or market it since it didn’t fit into any one genre.

Frustrated, but curious and convinced that there was a readership for her work, she set up a web site where readers could download her book for $9.95 and began to seriously market the novel on the Internet.

After selling over 2500 copies (in both electronic and trade paper format) Lip Service became the first e-book and the first self-published novel chosen by the LiteraryGuild/Doubleday Book Club as well as being the first e-book to go on to be published by a mainstream New York publishing house.

Rose has been profiled in Time magazine, Forbes, The New York Times, Business 2.0, Working Woman, Newsweek and New York Magazine.

Rose has appeared on The Today Show, Fox News, The Jim Lehrer NewsHour, and features on her have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including USAToday, Stern, L’Official, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

Rose graduated from Syracuse University and spent the ’80s in advertising. She was the Creative Director of Rosenfeld Sirowitz and Lawson and she has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

She lives in Connecticut with Doug Scofield, a composer, and their very spoiled dog, Winka.

Connect with the author:

The Giveaway!

This giveaway is a bit different from the usual ones I sign up for. Please note that the rules were not determined by me, but I wanted to make it available for those who would like to participate.

Here’s the deal. In order to be considered, you must share about this book on Twitter or on Facebook. If you do, please send me the url of your Twitter or Facebook post. My email address is tbmarkinson (at) In the subject line put Rose Giveaway. Each person will only receive one entry, even if you post on Twitter and Facebook. I’ll select a winner randomly and then I will submit that person’s name to the author who will then choose 2 winners. Each winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Please note, that winning on my blog does not guarantee that you’ll win the gift card. It guarantees that you will be put into the larger hat for final selection. I know it’s a bit confusing, however, some of you may want to do it so I wanted to leave the decision up to you. I will select the winner on Thursday, April 17th.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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15 Responses to Review of The Collector of Dying Breaths and a Giveaway

  1. Wow, this sounds like it has a little bit of everything!! I’m definitely going to enter :).

  2. KimberlyAfe says:

    You amaze me with how many books you read. 🙂 This one sounds so good, I will have to check it out. It has a lot of elements I like, history, reincarnation, a mystery. 🙂

  3. I have a book or two from this author, but not this one. I love the title and description.

  4. Pingback: France Book Tours stop for April 13 | France Book Tours

  5. Pingback: M. J. Rose on Tour: The Collector of Dying Breaths | France Book Tours

  6. thanks for your great review! did you see you can actually win Seduction? it’s the current book of the month giveaway on France Book Tours. I enjoyed a lot Seduction, it’s around Victor Hugo! and of course Jac

  7. cleemckenzie says:

    A book after my own heart. de Medici’s court up to the present day!

  8. lexacain says:

    This sounds fascinating. I love history re-imaginings like The DaVinci Code. Thanks for the review! 🙂

  9. lynnsbooks says:

    I love the sound of this one and such a strong recommendation from you means it goes on the list!
    Lynn 😀

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