Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Raven by Sylvain Reynard

The Raven 
by Sylvain Reynard


From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel Series comes a dark, sensual tale of romance in a city shrouded in mystery…

Raven Wood spends her days at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery restoring fine works of Renaissance art. But an innocent walk home after an evening with friends changes her life forever. When she intervenes in the senseless beating of a homeless man, his attackers turn on her, dragging her into an alley. Raven is only semi-conscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attacker’s screams. Mercifully, she blacks out, but not before catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure who whispers to her…

Cassita vulneratus.

When Raven awakes, she is inexplicably changed. She returns to the Uffizi, but no one recognizes her and more disturbingly, she discovers that she’s been absent an entire week. With no recollection of the events leading up to her disappearance, Raven also learns that her absence coincides with one of the largest robberies in Uffizi history – the theft of a set of priceless Botticelli illustrations. When the baffled police force identifies her as its prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence’s wealthiest and elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth about her disappearance. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets…

Release Date:
Early 2015

About the Author

I'm interested in the way literature can help us explore aspects of the human condition - particularly suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. My favourite stories are those in which a character takes a journey, either a physical journey to a new and exciting place, or a personal journey in which he or she learns something about himself/herself. 

I'm also interested in how aesthetic elements such as art, architecture, and music can be used to tell a story or to illuminate the traits of a particular character. In my writing, I combine all of these elements with the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the transformative power of goodness.

I try to use my platform as an author to raise awareness about the following charities: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, WorldVision, Alex's Lemonade Stand, and Covenant House. For more information, see my Twitter account.

You can find Sylvain at 


Monday, May 19, 2014

Empower by Jessica Shirvinton


The Violet Eden Chapters 5

Author: Jessica Shirvington 
Pages: 472 pgs
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: May 6th 2014
Review Source: Purchase

It has been two years since Violet Eden walked away from the city, her friends, her future and - most importantly - her soulmate, Lincoln. Part angel, part human, Violet is determined to stand by the promises she made to save the one she loves.

Living in the perpetual coldness of a broken soul she survives day to day as a Rogue Grigori in London.

But when an unexpected visitor shows up at her door, the news he bears about someone she swore to protect leaves Violet with no choice.

Even worse, she fears that this might all lead back to the night she tries hardest to forget. And what was taken without her permission.

Violet is going back to New York ... and she knows exactly who is going to be there.

With Phoenix in her dreams and Lincoln in her heart she knows it is only a matter of time before the final choice must be made.

Once again, Jessica has completely blown me away with this last book in her series. Each one has been better than the last and the conclusion was everything that I could have hoped for and more. Even though it's come to an end, I'll be thinking about these characters for a long long time.

Violet is stronger and even fiery than she's been before, and with good reason. Everything that she went through leading up to the point of the last book had been pretty crazy, and left a gaping hole in her. The fact that Jessica was able to pull out the emotions that she did, leaving me as a reader feeling raw right along with her characters just proved to me how phenomenal she was as a writer.

Putting Empower down for even a second was almost impossible, and reaching the end was bittersweet. Not only did we get to meet new characters, but we got visits from old ones and conclusions that will hopefully leave everyone satisfied. I couldn't have asked for a better ending and only wish that we could continue along with Violet, Lincoln, Steph, and the rest of the gang on their journey.

I've said it before, but I definitely can't wait to read more from Jessica and I hope you guys will join along with me!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Guest Post: Linda Cunningham- The Nature of Romance

                                                                        The Nature Of Romance

            According to the dictionary, the word “romance” is defined as “an emotional attraction or aura attached to a specific era, activity, adventure, or individual”.  This is, succinctly put, why I am enamored of the genre and why I write it.  I have an emotional attraction to romance and all that it symbolizes.  I enjoy the aura of romance.  I find it everywhere.
            Romance embraces all the facets that come together to make the story.  People, place, and circumstance are woven together to form the fabric of each specific story.  I write about romance in a small town because small town life fascinates me.  I was born and grew up in the same small town where my father was born and grew up.  The air there fairly crackled with romance.  Around every corner there were stories that would break your heart, curl your hair, make you laugh, or warm your soul.  To this day I could drive you down the streets of that town and tell you a story worth telling about the people who live in every house we would pass.  Some of the stories are generations long, some only vignettes, but all of these stories attest to the same fact.  Ordinary life in a quiet, small town is anything but ordinary or quiet.
            I live in a small town now, not far from where I was born, and about the same size.  The romance quotient is the same.  The things that happen in the daily life of a population of 3,000 are astounding.  Nothing gets lost in a small town.  The stories of individuals live on in family lore, in town records, on grave stones, in the very architecture of the buildings.  In a small town, somebody can always help you find what you're looking for, from your car keys to your true love.
            When I examine the fabric of these romances, woven of linen circumstance, woolen places, and silken love, the one aspect that seems to stand out most clearly to me is the fact that there are no coincidences.  The trite phrase, “things happen for a reason” is proven over and over again.  When I was growing up, a woman in town pined for a baby.  She and her husband were still childless after ten years and it was breaking her heart.  Then, her younger sister had an affair with a married man and became pregnant.  The pregnancy was kept “secret” and the baby was “adopted” by the childless sister.  Everybody knew the circumstances.  Nobody judged.  The married man succeeded in obtaining a divorce, rare in those days.  He married the younger sister and they subsequently had two children together.  Meanwhile, the childless sister raised her niece as her own daughter.  The girl grew up, married, had multiple children and formed a veritable real estate dynasty.  The childless sister had the big family she and her husband had always dreamed of.
            Another story is of the wife of the local mailman.  Because of her personal religious beliefs, she had one baby after another, even at the risk of her own life.  After the birth of the tenth child, her husband contracted the mumps and became sterile.  Nobody in town doubted for a nanosecond that it was divine intervention.  The mother raised her children, and went back to school herself.  She ended up with a doctorate in history and went on to become head of Archives at the state university.  That's a romance!
            This is the foundation upon which my Small Town Girl series is based.  I write about the triumph of true love and of dreams coming true.  I write about people who discover themselves in their heritage, who overcome daily struggles to forge a decent, even flourishing, quality of life in often overlooked and unlikely places.  I write about the real people who will never be on television, but contribute every day of their lives in quiet, dependable, and even heroic ways.  I write about self-discovery without self-centeredness.
            The Small Town Girl series is a narrative embracing the nature of romance, the resiliency and resourcefulness of the human spirit, and the power of love that is ongoing and thriving in our own back yards.  Picket fences and all

Monday, May 12, 2014

Blog Tour: Burn Me by Shelley Watters

An Adult Contemporary Romance
Releasing April 29, 2014

Published by Swoon Romance

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

After her twin brother dies in a house fire, firefighter Katrina Hale is determined to prove she’s stronger than the flames. But while her focus on her career leaves little room in her life for romance and her current relationship fizzles, she soon discovers fighting fires is nothing compared to the scorching desire she feels in fellow firefighter Greyson Neal's arms. Firefighter Greyson Neal is the type of guy girls dream about when they want their knight in shining armor to wear bunker gear. But he’s not interested in fulfilling every girl’s fantasies. Now he wants the one woman he can never have, and she seems hell-bent on getting herself killed to prove that she’s worthy of her job. Kat must choose between her career and her heart, and fight to keep them both when an arsonist threatens to take it all away.

I've watched several TV shows and movies with firefighters in them, so it was a nice change of pace to try reading a story about them instead. And it was so much fun!

Shelley didn't hold anything back in introducing readers to what the everyday life of a firefighter is like and that just made the story even better. Not only did we get to see how frightening the fires could be, but we got to see them through a professionals eyes and experience what those situation could be like. It made me even more grateful for those men and women who put their lives on the line for us each day.

Along with that, though, Shelley also brought us romance and intrigue. The relationships between not only Kat's coworkers, but also her love interests were very well done. You could see how she felt about each of them and felt as though you were there right along with her. Add on top of that an arsonist that's doing some pretty scary things and you've got a story for just about anyone.

(1) $10 USD Gift Card to Amazon.com – International
(1) eBook copy of BURN ME (mobi and epub) – International

About the Author

Shelley Watters writes romance for young adults and adults. She lives in Arizona with her husband, two kids and two dogs. She loves listening to music, reading good books and letting her imagination go wild as she creates new worlds and torments her characters in delicious ways.

Author’s Social Media Links:

Twitter:@Shelley_Watters; https://twitter.com/Shelley_Watters


Friday, May 9, 2014

Blog Tour: Just Breathe by Tamara Mataya


New Adult Contemporary Romance

Releasing May 6, 2014

Published by Swoon Romance

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Twenty-one-year-old Elle Granger’s boyfriend broke up with her like a coward. He moved to another city without so much as a "goodbye." Devastated and embarrassed, Elle told friends the break-up was mutual and she endured the heartbreaking split without support from the people she's closest with. Instead, she embraced her librarian job as therapy and spent her nights medicated by a thick cloud of pot smoke. With her lungs, and heart, screaming for a break, Elle quits smoking cold turkey. Just when she's about to ask for support from her friends, and let them in on the truth of Jason's humiliating betrayal, her best friend moves to Spain.

Enter sexy-as-hell library patron Dominic, who literally knocks Elle off her feet during a memorable first encounter. Can he help her forget Jason's very existence? He can sure try, and Elle is more than ready to let him. Dominic makes Elle feel wanted and special, and puts effort into coming up with dates that don’t set off her Synaesthesia. Just when Elle is starting to feel whole again, Jason returns, determined to reunite. His effusive apology and reasons for leaving are a balm to her battered ego, but she rebuffs his attention.

But nothing good can last forever, and Elle catches Dominic in a devastating lie. How could she have been so wrong about both Jason and Dominic? Is letting Jason back into her heart a safe bet since he has already proven he can't be trusted? The wrong choice could see Elle's happy ending go up in smoke. But when your only choices are the devils you know, all you can do is JUST BREATHE.

This was a rather interesting read for me. The main character, Elle, has Synaesthia and I happen to know a couple of people also have it. So I was curious to see how this was going to play out, and while Elle's was much more intense than those I know with it, I loved how Tamara incorporated the condition into Elle's world and the overall story.

Everything from Elle's enjoyment of books and how they can pull her in, to the feelings of different fabrics and even someone's voice affected her and it was so interesting to see how it played out. Elle was such an interesting character and the Synaethia seemed to enhance those characteristics.

Then there was Elle's love interest, Dominic. He was so sweet and too such care in planning their dates together. I loved getting to see their relationship unfold and hated to see it come to an end. Though I wouldn't mind reading more about them. And Elle's condition made it even more interesting to witness.


(1) $10 USD Gift Card to Amazon.com – International

(1) eBook copy of JUST BREATHE (mobi and epub) – International

About the Author
Tamara Mataya is currently a librarian; she lurked there for so long recommending books to patrons and shushing people, that she suspects they only hired her so it would be less creepy. Now she’s armed with a name tag, and a thin veneer of credibility. She’s also a musician with synaesthesia – which isn't an issue until someone plays a wrong note, which makes her want to squirm inside out. It makes for a good live show.


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