Saturday, August 4, 2012

"the stars shine bright" by sibella giorello

About the book (from the back cover): 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 fiance 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 fiance 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.

My take: There's just something about Sibella Giorello's writing. It's crisp and clear, completely engaging, and she uses words that I sometimes even have to *gasp* look up!

I read and reviewed book four in Giorello's Raleigh Harmon series, The Mountains Bow Down, last year, and I liked it a lot. But The Stars Shine Bright is on another level! I simply could not put the book down, reading well into the night to finish it.

Woven throughout the story, one theme stands out: the truth will set you free. Because of the duplicitous lifestyle required of an undercover agent, all of Raleigh's relationships are stretched, some to the breaking point. It is not until she is able to finally speak the truth that she feels freedom. With that freedom comes hope: hope for a renewed relationship with her mother, hope for a job she will find fulfillment in, and even hope for love.

The book ends on a very satisfying note (I may even have sighed happily as I read the last lines), yet it also left me clamoring for more. After tweeting Giorello to find out if there will be another Raleigh Harmon book (there will!), I went to Amazon to buy used copies of books two and three in the series because I can't wait until next year to read more about Raleigh! 5 enthusiastic stars!

Book trailer: 

See what other bloggers are saying.
Buy the book.

About the author: Sibella Giorello grew up in the mountains of Alaska admiring the beauty and nature that surrounded her. She majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts hoping to learn more about the landscape she loved back home. From there Sibella followed a winding path, much like the motorcycle ride she took across the country, which led to her true love, journalism.

She found herself in Seattle writing for rock-n-roll magazine and earned a journalism degree from the University of Washington before heading south to the land of great stories.

In Virginia, Sibella became a features writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. It was there she also met her husband and would hear Jesus whispering her name at a tent revival.

Sibella started writing about Raleigh Harmon as a way to keep her love of story-telling alive while staying at home with her young sons. As a journalist and author, her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. The Stones Cry Out, the first Raleigh Harmon novel, won a Christy award for debut novel in 2008. Sibella now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons.

Visit Sibella Giorello online at, Facebook or Twitter.

About the giveaway: Novelist Sibella Giorello is celebrating the release of the latest book in her praiseworthy Raleigh Harmon series by giving away a Kindle Fire! 

Find out what the reviewers are saying here!

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!

Just click one of the icons below to enter. Tell your friends about Sibella's giveaway on FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

1 comment:

  1. Becky, I laughed at your image of sighing out loud at the end. Thanks. So glad you enjoyed the book. -- sibella


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