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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Memory of Lavender and Sage

Narrator: Caroline Hewitt

ISBN: 9781400237272

Publisher: HarperCollins Focus

Harper Muse

Publication Date: 03/05/2024

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

Perhaps the secrets of her mother’s past in this tiny French town hold the key to her own future. . .

Food critic Tempèsta Luddington has always felt like the odd person out in her family, ever since she lost her beloved mother at the tender age of thirteen. When her workaholic father passes fifteen years later, Tempèsta is not surprised that the majority of the considerable family money will pass to her dutiful younger brother, Wal. Still, she is left a modest remembrance from her mother, and for the first time Tempèsta has a world of choices before her.

Lost in grief and hoping to reconnect with her memories and her mother’s past, she uses the money to buy a ramshackle manor house in Sainte-Colombe, a small village in Provence, where her mother had grown up. But she is greeted with more questions than answers. Her welcome, especially by the town’s stodgy mayor, is cold at best, and she finds herself wondering if the entire experiment was a mistake.

Yet she stays, stubbornly sticking it out, slowly learning that her mother’s legacy was more than just a nest egg. Through her mother and the village, Tempèsta learns the value of community and friendship, the importance of self-confidence, and the power of love and trust. What’s more, she sees for herself that there is magic and beauty in the everyday—even something as simple as a sprig of lavender and sage.



“A standout voice in women’s fiction. I was captivated from the very first line.”

—Kristy Woodson Harvey, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Summer of Songbirds

“For readers who love Under the Tuscan Sun and Chocolat, this is your next heartfelt, delightful read.”

—Jennifer Moorman, bestselling author of The Baker's Man

"Aimie K. Runyan wows in her latest atmospheric novel about the power of family, the beauty of change, and the transportive magic of finding where you truly belong. Set against the backdrop of an idyllic village in Provence, THE MEMORY OF LAVENDER AND SAGE reminds readers that every moment should be savored and that, sometimes, the simplest pleasures are the greatest gifts. Runyan has proven herself as a standout voice in women's fiction. I was captivated from the very first line."

—Kristy Woodson Harvey, New York Times Bestselling Author of THE SUMMER OF SONGBIRDS

'Some books are simply a joy to read. Aimie K. Runyan's The Memory of Lavender and Sage, is one of them. Sensuous...dreamy...romantic...The Memory of Lavender and Sage is a mand eacute;lange of tastes and smells, magic and romance. Aimie K. Runyan weaves a sumptuous tale of mystery and magic, family and friendships, reminding us that it's never too late to find the home of our heart. If you long to be transported to a charming village in Provence, surrounded by loveable characters and secret spells, grab a cup of tea and immerse yourself in this magical novel!"

—-Lori Nelson Spielman, New York Times bestselling author of The Life List

'The Memory of Lavender and Sage is an enchanting novel that sweeps you away to France on a journey of self-discovery, uncovering family secrets, and learning how love lives on. With a home renovation and a charmed greenhouse filled with herbs and plants that lovingly grow for their keeper, this family saga bridges the generations together with understanding, compassion, and forgiveness but not without a lot of misunderstandings in the middle! Friendships are forged, romance is cultivated, and magical moments abound in the captivating small French town. For readers who love Under the Tuscan Sun and Chocolat, this is your next heartfelt, delightful read.'

—Jennifer Moorman, bestselling author of The Magic All Around

"In Aimie K. Runyan's signature heartfelt voice, The Memory of Lavender and Sage is a warm, generous, and utterly satisfying novel about the power of kindness, character and finding purpose and love where you least expect it."

—Ann Garvin, USA TODAY bestselling author of There's No Coming Back From This

About the Author

From even my earliest years, I loved jotting down stories and really, really bad poetry. I dabbled in the world of the short story for a long time, until I finally sat down one fateful February day and decided that my beloved short story, “Days of Plenty” deserved to become a novel. I felt (and feel) it was a story the world needed to hear. More importantly, I knew that after thirty-three years of life, seven years of marriage, and two children, I finally had the life experience to tell it. Thus, Promised to the Crown was born.

Since Promised, and its little sister Duty to the Crown, I’ve moved forward in time. Daughters of the Night Sky was a complete departure from my earlier works, but the stories of the long-forgotten female pilots on the Russian front in World War Two deserved to be told. Girls on the Line, the story of the intrepid women who served as phone operators in World War One was another story I was thrilled to bring to the page. Ruby remains one of my favorite heroines. My subsequent novels, Across the Winding River and The School for German Brides largely delve into the personal nature of war and the people who are forever changed by it.

I am also thrilled to be moving into contemporary fiction in the near future. My upcoming novel, The Memory of Lavender and Sage, set in the lush hillsides of Provence, explores the life of Tempeste Luddington, unmoored after the death of her father. She seeks out her purpose in the small village of Sainte Colombe where her mother was raised. Along the way, she learns some shocking truths about her mother’s past…and herself. Delving into the emotionally-charged world of Women’s Fiction is a challenge I am so excited to undertake. I hope to create vibrant characters, lush settings, and heartwarming dramas that will transport the reader to a different place. Consider it “Virtual Vacation Fiction”.

Before transitioning to full time writing, I taught French to high schoolers, with occasional stints into English, Public Speaking, and Competitive Forensics. When I’m not writing or wrangling my wayward kiddos, I enjoy hiking, baking, sewing (especially costumes), music (especially live), theater, movies, and all things sacred unto Nerd Culture.

I’m proud to be a member of the Tall Poppy Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Pikes Peak Writers, and the Women’s Fictions Writers Association. WEBSITE

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