Thursday, September 5, 2013


Author: Cassandra King
Publisher Maiden Lane Press, September 3, 2013

Book Description:
Helen Honeycutt is just getting her life back on track after a bitter divorce when she meets Emmet Justice, an attractive widower still grieving for his late wife, Rosalyn. Their sudden marriage sets off a maelstrom of resentment and ill-will among Rosalyn’s family and friends. Hoping to mend fences, the newlyweds plan a summer at Moonrise, Rosalyn’s historic estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Moonrise is known far and wide for its unique nocturnal gardens, which have fallen into ruin since the death of its mistress.

Like the heroine of Daphne DuMaurier’s classic romance, Rebecca, Helen becomes obsessed by her predecessor, who lives on in her house and gardens and the hearts of those who loved her. Not only does Helen fail to measure up to the beautiful and accomplished Rosalyn, she doesn’t fit into her world, either, an elite enclave of well-to-do summer people. Even the gardens exclude her, since their secrets, passed down by generations of gardeners, died out with Rosalyn. When it becomes clear that someone in Rosalyn’s close-knit circle of friends is determined to drive her away, Helen wonders if she can trust anyone, even her husband. As
the sweltering summer draws to an end, Helen must uncover the secrets of the past in order to establish her own identity apart from the woman she replaced.

Idgie Says:
This novel involves the ever difficult feat of people of a certain age blending families and trying to fit in with already established friends.  This time it's even more difficult as the first wife passed in an accident and the family and friends of the widower happen to remember the dead wife fondly.  They are not necessarily taking well to a new woman stepping into that particular role.

Helen talks her new husband into spending summer in the ancestral home.... ancestral home of the dead wife that is.

As she settles in, through certain events and observations a mystery arises - did the dead wife actually suffer an "accident".  Was there cheating, jealousy involved?  Is Helen safe?

A nice hearty book with elegant wordplay, great to settle deep into the cushions of your favorite couch with and immerse yourself in Helen's life for a while. 


The Story Behind the Book - Moonrise

A few years ago my husband and I rented a dark old house in Highlands, North Carolina, a place of summer retreats and historic old homes hidden away in the beautifully misty mountains, where close bonds are forged and remain for generations. While wandering through the overgrown flower gardens in back of the house l stumbled upon a circle of stones which marked the final resting place of the previous owner, the woman who had created the wildly beautiful, now sadly neglected gardens.

By chance I had brought one of my favorite books with me, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. At night, I found myself searching for the previous owner in the shadows of dark corridors, and imagined her standing at the foot of my bed, calling out to me. In that secret place writers go to weave our stories, I became the woman who had come into another woman’s house, her gardens, and her life, which I later learned had ended tragically, and much too young. Like the nameless narrator of Rebecca, I could not shake the feeling that I didn’t belong there. And thus the idea for Moonrise was born, my admiring homage to the most deliciously gothic romance of all time.
-- Cassandra King

Acclaimed author Cassandra King's new novel is Moonrise, available from Maiden Lane Press. Here are Cassandra's tips for planting a moon garden.

Begin planning your nocturnal garden on a night with a full moon. Determine a spot in your yard that gets the moon at night and plenty of sun in the daytime. Although the moon will illuminate your garden in bloom, it still needs sunlight to grow. To get the full effect of night-blooming plants, avoid planting your garden in spots that are illuminated by street lights or other artificial means.

Will you sit on a porch to enjoy the flowers and fragrance, or by an opened window? Perhaps you have a patio or terrace for your evening viewing. For some gardeners, much of the pleasure of the nocturnal garden comes from the element of surprise, and their gardens are tucked away in mysterious corners that call for a trek in the dark to appreciate them.

Night-blooming plants are basic to your garden, but other elements are essential, too. Consider both annuals and perennials, planted a bit more haphazardly than in a daytime garden. Moonlight will soften and blur rigid, formal layouts, and part of the charm of your nocturnal garden comes from the unexpected. Silvery-leafed
or variegated greenery can provide a lovely backdrop for highlighting the paleness of night flowers.

Some of my favorite flowers for a night garden are as follows: honeysuckle and jasmine, for their delicate flowers and summery fragrance; evening or river primrose, for the daintiness of their sweet blooms; white butterfly bush, for the night moths; mock orange, with its take-your-breath-away perfume, and of course the must-have moonflower vines, the showstopper.

Best of all, a moon garden is ideal for someone like me, an inept gardener with a passionate love of flowers.  By the light of a full moon, all is forgiven.

About the Author:

Cassandra King Photo Credit TamaraReynolds_5x7_300.jpgCASSANDRA KING is the bestselling author of four previous novels, Making Waves, The Sunday Wife, The Same Sweet Girls and Queen of Broken Hearts, as well as numerous short stories, essays and articles. Moonrise, her fifth novel, is set in Highlands, North Carolina. A native of Lower Alabama, Cassandra resides in Beaufort, South Carolina, with her husband, Pat Conroy.

Photo credit: Tamara Reynolds