The Star and the Strange Moon by Constance Sayers

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The Star and the Strange Moon is the second book I have read from Constance Sayers and I love her unique style – it is paranormal fantasy mixed with historical fiction. Magical realism is another way to categorize these stories- all involving curses gone wrong. This is Sayer’s third book, and all three share one common character: Althacazur. Althacazur is a character made of dark magic, deceptive deals, and noir. He may be my favorite literary “demon.”

The Star and the Strange Moon was released in November 2023, and I would have read it immediately if I had known. Note to self: Follow Constance Sayers on social media so I do not miss another release! You can follow me on Facebook for future updates about Sayers and other authors.

The book starts in 1968 with a young Hollywood actress named Gemma Turner trying to redeem her career after a few bad films. She is famous for happy surf movies like “Beach Blanket Bingo” and wants to make more of herself than a bikini model with lines to read.

Her agent sends her to a meeting with a famous director in Paris to discuss the starring role in a French horror film. Gemma and the director, Thierry Valdon, share an interesting lunch where he encourages her aspirations to be a writer and offers her the role, with the expectation that she will review the script and suggest changes to make the movie the best horror film ever.

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The problem is, Valdon has never watched a horror film. His script is awful, he demeans and humilates her in front of the entire cast for trying to make the film better, and she has a terrible feeling from the beginning that something is wrong. One night, during filming, she runs down a dark alley and disappears into thin air. She is never seen again.

Jump forward to 1994, and a kid named Christopher Kent witness his mom have a complete and total breakdown after seeing a photograph of Gemma Turner on the wall. Christopher fixates on Gemma, and he spends years of his life studying film, cinematography, and tracking down anyone who ever met her. He’s determined to find out what happened.

Christopher finds out that every ten years, there is a highly secretive showing of the film, including scenes that include Gemma, but long after she disappeared. Every ten years, the film is released, and it always includes new scenes. How is that possible, when Gemma went missing in 1968? He does find out what happened, but you’ll have to read the rest for yourself – and trust me – you want to read this one!

Other Books by Constance Sayers

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More About Constance Sayers

Check out her award winning short stories here.

She used to be a night shift radio host, spinning tunes from midnight to six am.

She enjoyed reading The Memory Painter and The Fortune Teller by Gwendolyn Womack. She said in an interview that these books made her feel like there was a kindred spirit to her and the types of books she wants to read and write. Based on her recommendation I’ve added these books to my “TBR” list and you should, too!

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