Blog Tour: Luna Rising by Selene Castrovilla #Review #WomensFiction #BlogTour #Excerpt

Book Review


I’m very pleased to be hosting “Luna Rising” today!

Luna Rising (Release Date: June 25, 2017)

Life begins at thirty-eight for Long Island mom and writer Luna Lampanelli, when she kicks her secretly gay husband to the curb. She’s got her freedom, but what she wants is love. Luna knows she doesn’t need a man to exist, but try telling that to her heart. Against the advice of Sunny, her snarky best friend, and Jiminy, the cautioning voice in Luna’s head who just won’t shut up, Luna sets course to find a mate. Luna speed and on-line dates her way into several short-lived, surreal relationships. There’s Ari, the humorless Israeli who refuses to assimilate – to America, and to humanity. There’s Alex, the young and handsome ex-crackhead who informs Luna he doesn’t want to be monogamous—while they’re in bed. There’s Memphis, the wild-eyed sadomasochist. There’s Red, angry and crippled, who becomes the catalyst for Luna to join Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. But before Luna can proceed to recovery, she meets the elusive but oh so appealing Trip. He’s emotionally unavailable and has the Madonna-Whore Complex, but how can Luna (aka “whore”) let him go when she enjoys his dry wit so much, and his body even more? Humorously haunting and packed with unspeakable truths, Luna Rising follows a woman’s funny and heart-breaking struggle to relate with un-relatable men and an un-relatable world, and to figure out something even more un-relatable: herself.

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My Thoughts…

I love reading books that feature authors as the protagonist. It’s like reading a book within a book.

“Luna Rising” is a charming, and painfully relatable book about the heartbreak of divorce and the pitfalls of “getting back out there”.

Luna finally breaks up with the father of her children, after she’s decided that she will no longer be a beard for her closeted husband. She show’s incredible strength and resolve during this painful process but ironically subjects herself to the dredges of the dating pool, as she’s so desperate for love and affection.

This book is all about Luna dealing with her childhood demons and how they play into her search for love.

The writing is excellent and Luna possesses a little bit of all of us. As someone who has been divorced, I can definitely relate, especially when it came to dating again, though perhaps my history isn’t as colourful lol.

This book will have you laughing, reaching for the kleenex box, and shaking your head in disbelief. If this is your cup of tea, then I think you’ll really like it.

Rating… B+





“I’m gonna try dating again,” Luna told Joe, her boxing coach. They were doing pad work— jabbing, hooking, ducking, slipping and talking about love.

“Don’t do it. You ain’t ready,” he said. “Uppercuts!”

“Gee, thanks.” She drove her fists up into the pads until the bell rang.

“Rest. Hey, you want me to lie, or what?”


“What makes you all gung-ho to do this? You need to get laid?”

“No . . . well, I guess maybe yes . . . But that’s not it. I just feel good. I’ve been living alone for nine months. I’ve been okay.”

Not exactly true . . . she’d nearly fallen apart every time something in the house broke down. But she wanted to concentrate on the positive. She’d survived. That was positive.

“What’s your game plan?”

“I thought I’d try CraigsList.”

CraigsList? Are you shitting me? That’s where you buy a table, not get a date.”

“Yesterday, I heard a guy on Howard Stern say he met someone on CraigsList. It was love at first sight.”

“That’s ridiculous. That ain’t love.” The bell rang again. He held up his right pad. “Double hook. Twist on your heel!”

Luna complied, or at least she thought she did.

“TWIST!” he hollered. “Holy shit, for months I been telling you to twist. What does it take?”

She tried again. She responded to being yelled at. “Better,” he said. “Twenty. Go!”

Luna twisted and thudded, twisted and thudded. In the background Cher crooned “If I Could Turn Back Time.”

Joe said, “It took me six or seven years to fall in love with my wife.”

Luna almost fell over mid-twist. “Really?”

“Yeah. In the beginning I would’ve told you it could never happen. But people can grow on you.”

Twist, thud, twist, thud.

Over and over, catching Joe’s steady blue eyes in-between each move.

Then he said, “Love is a consequence.”

Twist, thud¸ twist, thud. “That’s an unusual concept,” she said.

“It’s true,” he said. Then he said, “Jab, jab, double left uppercut.”

She struck the pads silently for a few moments. Consequence seemed almost a dirty word, although she didn’t know why. Maybe it was too grown up.

Luna liked the immediate.

She asked, “What about the Zen saying, ‘leap and the net will appear?’”

Joe said, “You’re mixing metaphors. Jab, jab, right, right uppercut.”

Thud, thud. “Am I?” Thud, Thud.

He laughed. “What the hell do I know about metaphors? Sounded good, though.”

The bell rang. Joe yanked off Luna’s gloves, tossed them to the corner under the mirror, ripped the Velcro seal on her wraps and unraveled her. The wraps landed in a heap at her feet. “Let’s go,” he said.

He put a thirty-pound weight on what Luna called “the butt machine” and motioned her on. She stepped onto the platform, bent under the shoulder lift, spread her feet so they were centered, pulled the safety bar out and pushed up, lifting the weight on her shoulders.

Lift, squat. Lift, squat. The first couple were never bad. She said, “Don’t you at least believe in unconditional love?”

“The only unconditional love we have is for our kids.”

Up, down. Up, down.

By the fourth she was feeling the strain in her thighs and her rear. She felt it in her chest too, which stopped her from responding.

Up, down. Up, down.

Up, down. Up, down.

Her legs were trembling. “Jesus, Joe…” she managed.

He said, “Jesus wasn’t really sacrificing anything to die for our sins. He knew he was going to heaven. I don’t have that kind of faith.”

Up, down. Up, down.

Up, down. Up, down.

Was he even keeping count here?  “I have to stop,” she told him.

“Two more.”

Up. “Uhhhh!” Down. “Uhhhh!”

Up. “Uhhhh!” Down. “Uhhhh!”

“And rest,” Joe said.

Luna slid the locking bar forward and moved out from under the shoulder rest. She wobbled down.

That’s why she paid him – she’d never push herself this far.

She leaned against the machine for support. In between recuperating huffs she said, “So you’re saying even Jesus didn’t offer unconditional love?”

“I’m saying he had nothing to lose. It was a no-brainer for him.”


About the Author

Selene headshot 2015

Selene Castrovilla debuts in women’s fiction with Luna Rising, but she’s no stranger to publishing. An award-winning teen and children’s author, Selene believes that through all trends, humanity remains at the core of literature. Her novel Melt, Book One of the Rough Romance Trilogy, received six honors including the IndieReader Discovery Award Grand Prize for Fiction. Revolutionary Friends: General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette, her third nonfiction picture book about the American Revolution, was the recipient of four awards including Booklist Top Ten Biography for Youth, International School Librarians’ Honor Book and Eureka! California Reading Association Honor Book. A companion book, Revolutionary Rogues: John André and Benedict Arnold, is hot off the presses. Selene holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The New School and a B.A. in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons and too many cats, where she sits on her deck in the summer, fall and spring (and at her picture window in the winter) and writes. She loves the color purple and coffee. Selene plays well with others, but with words even better. She is so grateful to do what she loves. National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson calls Selene “a writer worth watching.” Visit


Twitter: @SCastrovilla












11 thoughts on “Blog Tour: Luna Rising by Selene Castrovilla #Review #WomensFiction #BlogTour #Excerpt

  1. This sounds absolutely awesome! The blurb made me want to go read it so I could get a few good laughs (and cries) out of it 🙂 It just looks so genuine and raw. And definitely relatable to most of us, or at least anyone who has ever had a break-up/divorce before.
    Wonderful review/tour! ❤ I might have to check it out soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sophie! It makes my heart happy to know you connected. If you decide to read Luna (and I hope you do!), please let me know what you think. You can reach me directly through my website, or of course there’s always social media. 🙂

      PS: I blame chocolate, too. 😉


      Liked by 2 people

  2. I enjoyed the review and I like the book cover, however, for me, I think there’s no need left to read the book after the book description gave away most of the plot. Perhaps the author used the synopsis rather writing a new description?
    Book descriptions are a tricky thing to get right; too little and no one knows what the book is about, too much and you’ve gone the other way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Rosie,

      Thanks for your thoughts, and taking the time to comment. This is interesting, and I thought hard before replying. Honestly, I don’t think the description gives away too much. There’s a whole lot more to my book. It’s filled with nuances, emotions, characters who aren’t mentioned or are only briefly mentioned (for example, her best friend Sunny is not only a major character and so amusing, but she also has her own story to follow) and then there are Luna’s parents, aunt and kids…even her chiropractor! (Also Joe, her boxing coach, who is featured in the excerpt.) The real story is Luna’s journey and what she takes away from each encounter, so even if you learn some of these guys’ names, you’re not really getting the story behind them. When you read literary fiction, you step inside the shoes of the characters and live their lives with them. You can’t get that experience with a description of some of the things that happen.

      Here’s a great essay about the writing and plotting in Luna:

      I’d love for you to give Luna a chance, and let me know what you think. Book descriptions are totally a tricky thing. My editor spent much time analyzing book jackets by authors in a similar vein (Like Erica Jong and Jennifer Weiner) and this description was partially the result of that research.

      Anyway, thanks again for your comment. It means a lot that you took the time to write it. It’s a problem if a reader thinks they’ve learned too much, and so I’m going to dwell on this further.


      Liked by 1 person

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