Sylvain Reynard's Blog, page 8

July 17, 2013

Dear Everyone,



A couple of weeks ago, I posted a dialogue with the Professor, on Facebook and Twitter. In case you missed it, here it is in its entirety:

















So
the Professor stopped by my flat and without introduction strode into my living
room. He sat in a chair, crossed his legs, and glared at me.




(This
was not uncommon.)




“SR.”  He nodded.




“Gabriel.”





I
glanced in the direction of the kitchen. 
“Would you like a drink?”




The
Professor’s lips visibly thinned.




“This
isn’t really a social call.”




“So
you aren’t here to borrow milk, then?”




“No,
I am not.”




“Can
I offer you a towel?”




“I’ll
get to that in a minute. First, I want to talk to you.”




“No
need to wait. I have plenty in a variety of colours.”  I gestured to the hallway. “I’ll just run and get one.”




“As
I said, I want to talk to you.”




I opened
my mouth to protest, but realized that in his current mood, such protestations
were futile.




Averting
my eyes from the spectacle that was the naked professor seated on my very nice
leather chair, I sat far away from him, feeling very uncomfortable.




Clearly
he was agitated and sadly for me, Julia had not accompanied him.




(I
pondered the possibility of fetching the Snarky Narrator in order to deal with
him, but alas, he was out shopping for a new set of parentheticals.)




“This
isn’t an art gallery,” I grumbled. 
“Or a photo shoot. I’m going to have to have that chair cleaned now.”




“Have
you forgotten something?”  The
Professor’s eyes flared in my direction.




I
looked away from him pointedly.  “I
might have asked you the same question.




“No,
I don’t think I’ve forgotten anything, apart from a plastic cover for my
leather furniture.”




He
leaned forward. “Perhaps my appearance might jog your memory?”




I
continued inspecting the fascinating sight that was the bare wall of my
condominium.




“I
can hardly see what your appearance has to do with me, although you might want
to rethink your wardrobe choices. 
The police aren’t likely to look favourably on a naked professor
sauntering down Bloor Street.”




“Allow
me to refresh your memory.  On June
third, you released Chapter One of Gabriel’s
Redemption
. Then the story stopped. Does this ring any bells?”




“Well,
you and Julianne were in the orchard at the end of the chapter, and …”




The
proverbial light went on in my head. “Oh.”




“Exactly.  Oh.
Although in this case, it would be better to say ouch.




“Do
you have any idea what it’s like to lie naked in an orchard day and night for
weeks on end?”




I
blinked as I scanned my memory banks.




There was that one time in Barcelona




I
shook my head.




“Sadly,
no.”




The
Professor sniffed primly.  “Well,
it’s damned cold. We only have one blanket.  I’m afraid Julianne is going to catch pneumonia.”




“And
die,” I muttered.




“Excuse
me?” The Professor gave me a look that was so scathing, it could have peeled
the paint from my walls.




“Uh,
nothing.”  I scratched my head
thoughtfully. “I could rewrite the scene and add a few more blankets.”




“You’re
obfuscating.”




I
straightened in my chair.  “I most
certainly am not. And may I remind you, you stole my thesaurus the last time
you were over. I want it back.”




The
Professor waved a dismissive hand in the air, as if he were swatting a gnat.




“Forget
about the thesaurus.  What’s this about
Gabriel’s Redemption being released
in December?”




Oh, here we go, I thought. 




“Et
tu, Brute?”




The
Professor merely scowled.




I
cleared my throat.




“As
you know, I hadn’t planned to write a sequel to Gabriel’s Rapture.  Readers
changed my mind.  So the gap
between the release of books two and three is wider than between books one and
two.”  I pushed my glasses up, as
they’d begun slipping down my nose. 





“Regrettably,”
I added.




The
Professor gazed at me coldly.




“I’ll
say this slowly so that I’m sure you can keep up.




“We’re
in limbo, naked, in the orchard until you release Chapter Two or publish the
entire book.  How do you think that
feels?”




I
pondered this idea for a moment, since his wife was very beautiful.




“SR?”
he prompted.




“What’s
that?” I had momentarily forgotten he was there.




His
eyes narrowed, as if he were reading my mind.




I
looked away.




“I’m
sure it’s extremely uncomfortable. 
Somewhat like having one of your characters show up during lunch
unannounced, naked, and truculent.




“And
don’t even think about borrowing my Oxford English Dictionary in order to look
up ‘truculent.’”




“I
don’t need your damned dictionary. I know what it means,” he spat.




Muttering
to myself, I wandered down the hall to fetch him a towel, which I dumped
unceremoniously in his lap.




“Please
give my apologies to Julianne. I’m sorry for the inconvenience and I will go
back and write in a few more blankets and maybe a cashmere robe.”




“Thank
you. 




“Being
stuck in limbo until December third is damned inconvenient for both of us.  And I’ll have you know that Professor
Picton is not pleased about your delay, either.”




At
this, I closed my eyes.




Not Katherine, too.




I
opened my eyes.




“As
I recall, Professor Picton appears in the novel fully clothed.”




The
Professor glared at me once again.




I
shifted my weight awkwardly. “Not that she isn’t attractive. Um, should I
expect a visit from her as well?”




“No,
she’s in Oxford, where you left her.”




“Oxford
is a bit like limbo. Although perhaps the food is better. I’m not sure.”




Gabriel
snapped his fingers.  “Try to stay
focused, will you?  You have the
attention span of a fruit fly.”




I
straightened myself to my full height.




“I
beg your pardon. I am completely focused. And you might want to rethink your
attitude given the fact that your destiny rests in these hands.”




I
crackled my knuckles in what I hoped would be a menacing fashion.




The
Professor snorted like a horse.




“I
think my destiny rests more in the hands of readers, but carry on, oh God-like
third-person author.”




I
narrowed my eyes at his sarcasm.




“Allow
me to explain how this works.  Readers
can pre-order our novel, which means they’ll receive it immediately on its
release. In some cases, it’s delivered to their Kindle at the stroke of
midnight.  So pre-orders will
certainly hasten your freedom.




“And
because Julianne is – ah – cold, I’ll release Chapter Two. But after I’ve given
her a bathrobe.”




I
gazed into the distance, as I began thinking aloud.




“And
maybe one of those things … you know… with lace and straps.  And some …”




“Watch
it,” he growled.




My
attention immediately returned to the Professor.




I
gulped.




“Right.
Just a robe. But a nice one. Cashmere. 
Very warm.”




The
Professor checked his watch.  “I
should leave so you can get on with it. We’ve waited long enough.”




He
stood to his feet, affixing the very large black bath sheet around his waist.




“I
don’t like to be kept waiting, especially with this book. You know what’s at
stake.”  He gave me a significant
look.




I nodded,
keeping a safe, respectful distance. 
“I promise to do my best.”




“Is
this to be the last book?”




I scratched
my head.  “I think so.”




“You
think so?”  he repeated.  “You don‘t know?”




“Well,
you know what happened the last time I said ‘this is the final book in the
series’…” 




He
shook his head.




“For
an omniscient author, you know precious little.”




I
sighed deeply.  “I get that a lot.”




“I’ll
see myself out.  Enjoy your lunch.
And SR…”




“Yes?”




“Put
on some clothes, for God’s sake.”




He
grimaced at the sight of my Superman pyjamas (of dubious origin) and quickly
withdrew, leaving me to my solitude and my writing.




I’m going to have to burn that chair, I thought.




Or perhaps I can sell it on Ebay…




Fin.




As mentioned above, I posted Chapters One and Two of Gabriel's Redemption on my website. If you preorder the book, the Professor has a gift for you. You can learn more here.




The Professor, Paul, and the Snarky Narrator were recently interviewed by the Sub Club Books site. You can read the interview here.  They'll also be posting a transcript of July 13th's Twitter chat with the Professor, #Lust102.



Finally, UK readers can see the cover design for Gabriel's Redemption and preorder it here.




In order to pass the time between now and December 3rd, (when Gabriel's Redemption releases), I have a number of extras and surprises for you. Please stay tuned and thank you for reading, SR




www.sylvainreynard.com
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Published on July 17, 2013 10:47 • 654 views

July 12, 2013

 Dear Everyone,



I've never had a guest post on my blog. Today, I'm pleased to introduce my first guest post, penned by author Heather Huffman.



Thank you, Heather, for joining us today. - SR

-



Before I wrote Throwaway, I thought slavery ended in the United States when the 13th Amendment was ratified. What I stumbled across while doing research opened my eyes to a world I didn’t know existed - to the human trafficking trade in the United States and abroad.



I had no clue what to do about my newfound knowledge, though. I tried getting involved with various anti-slavery groups, but none of them returned my emails. When the obvious failed, I began toying with the idea of using the books as a way to raise awareness, since some of them included human trafficking as plot points.



Then my sisters signed us all up for a human trafficking symposium in January 2011. On our way there, I told them that I wasn’t sure how or what it would look like, but I wanted to use my books as a voice for the voiceless. At the conference, as the main speaker was introducing the topics for the day, he said, “Maybe someone here is supposed to be a voice for the voiceless…” The entire row turned and looked at me.



Not long after that, I released four novels as free ebooks. Two of them had human trafficking as plot elements, two didn’t. They weren’t in-depth examinations of trafficking or anything, more like conversation starters. My books are first and foremost romance novels. Still, all four included an author’s note about trafficking along with ways for readers to get involved.



The books went kind of crazy. Tens of thousands were downloaded, and I began hearing from readers all over the world, including some who were former slaves. It was readers who put me in touch with groups like Project Liberty and The Covering House, two organizations on the front lines of the fight against slavery.



About six months after the books were released, I was contacted by a small publisher out of Seattle called Booktrope. After a couple months of discussion, they republished the first four novels and the fifth was in the publication process. I worried the decision to republish would be selling out, but I felt my reach would be greater with a publisher behind the books. Now that the books were being sold, I decided to donate a portion of my royalties to groups fighting trafficking.



Thankfully, Booktrope believes in offering free ebooks often, which means the books are still out there raising awareness. When Throwaway was re-released under their banner as a free ebook, it received 150,000 downloads in the first six weeks of its release. We recently made the ebook format of Throwaway free again (on iTunes In the United States) and plan to leave it that way for the foreseeable future.



When I set out on this venture, I have to admit I envisioned writing a big, impressive check to Project Liberty – something that would make a real difference in their daily operations – but I seem to be better at raising awareness than funds. Still, I’m not sure the amount matters as much as the act of doing something, anything to help. If I waited to donate until I could give an amount that I felt made a difference, that day might never come.



So I give what I can and offer encouragement to those doing the work the rest of us can’t. In addition to donating to a couple of groups I trust, I sponsor children through World Vision because fighting abject poverty in third world countries is another way to attack the evil of human trafficking. I also give talks in schools, churches and women’s groups about trafficking and how we can keep our children from being victimized. It’s an eclectic approach to joining the fight, but then my personality has always been a bit eclectic so I guess that’s fitting.



Before I wrote Throwaway, I had no clue about things like human trafficking. Now that I know, I feel like an itty-bitty ant trying to move a mountain. Luckily, I don’t have to move the mountain alone. I just have to keep chipping away at it along with everyone else who feels called to move that same mountain. Eventually, we’ll get there. - Heather Huffman




Heather & Goatsy





Heather Huffman calls the beautiful Missouri Ozarks home. When not
writing, this homesteading mother is either cheering one of her three
sons on at a sporting event or tending the family’s myriad of animals,
which includes alpacas, goats, chickens and ducks. Huffman’s optimistic
and somewhat quirky view of life often finds its way into her
novels.               



Heather is the author of Throwaway, Ties that Bind, Jailbird, Suddenly a Spy, Ring of Fire, Tumbleweed, Devil in Disguise, Roses in Ecuador, and her latest book, Fool’s Game. You can find out more about her family’s adventures as they
strive to live off the land, as well as her writing and charitable work
on www.heatherhuffman.net



















Jessie  Jones is living the life--except
for the fact that she earns it by working the streets. She's been under
pimp Spence's thumb for fourteen years, and she isn't looking to change
it. That is, until undercover cop Gabe walks into her life and offers
her something she's never had before: a love, a future, a home. But even
if Jessie could walk away from Spence, there are darker forces of evil
who want her to stay put, or worse, dead.

In
this romantic suspense, author Heather Huffman delivers an adventure
from the vibrant streets of St. Louis to the caves of the Ozarks as
Jessie discovers whether she can love another, whether she can love
herself, and whether any of it is enough.

Don't miss Heather Huffman's other books: Suddenly a Spy, Jailbird, Ring of Fire, Ties That Bind, Tumbleweed, and the newly-released Devil in Disguise!


















At the request of the U.S. Government, Caitlyn O’Rourke faked her death
years ago, only to be reborn as the Cat—a deadly black-ops agent tasked
with working for the shadowy organization Chameleon and doing the jobs
that can’t be done in the light of day. Now, on the verge of taking down
a notorious drug lord and rescuing a captured Chameleon agent, Cat is
targeted for assassination…from within. But who’s making the call, and
why?



As she attempts to uncover answers and stay alive, Cat finds
herself working alongside Cody Kingsley, the mysterious senator who
broke her heart and betrayed her long ago. Along with an inner circle of
fellow agents, Cat and Cody must untangle the web of lies that
surrounds them before it’s too late.



From the sultry streets of
New Orleans to a secluded plantation in Ecuador to Washington, DC, Cat
must elude an agent hell-bent on her destruction while figuring out how
high up the ladder the conspiracy reaches. At the same time, she must
work through her tumultuous and conflicting emotions where both Cody and
fellow agent Galloway—who may or may not have her best interests at
heart—are concerned.



A thrill ride of emotions, suspense, and
action, Fool’s Game intertwines matters of the heart and survival …and
the only thing certain is that Cat will never be the same.







Where to find Heather:



Website



Twitter



Facebook



Pinterest




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Published on July 12, 2013 05:00 • 123 views

July 10, 2013







From Enn:





 





Have you seen this?



No? Well take a moment to watch.



Now watch it again.



Are you still with me?



I have a treat if you are.



The lovely The SubClub Books is hosting a Gabriel Emerson chat on 7/13/13 at 5PM Est.



That's right, Gabriel takes over SR's Twitter.





On 7/12/13 (stretching into 7/13/13) in preparation, I'm hosting a Gabriel's Inferno Read-a-Long on Twitter. Your mission should you choose to accept it is...



1. Wear kick ass heels

2. Pour a drink

3. Open your book

4. Tweet your favorite lines with the #GabrielsInferno hashtag

5. Tweet a photo of you, your kick ass heels, and your ereader and/or novel to me @ennbocci



No start time, just jump on when you can and send the photos to me. End time can be just before the chat starts on Saturday.



What will your kick ass heels and awesomely perfect lines get you?



How about either...



a Gabriel's Inferno audio book or a set of foreign editions (with bookplates from SR)



Speaking of foreign editions, the Italian version of Gabriel's Rapture has just been released.   If you haven't seen it, yet the cover is gorgeous!!




See you soon!



Enn



www.sylvainreynard.com
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Published on July 10, 2013 16:10 • 805 views

July 5, 2013

Dear Everyone,



As a way of saying thank you for your continued support, and also to bridge the time until "Gabriel's Redemption" releases on December 3, I've decided to go back into the archives and repost some previous outtakes and other materials.



Here is a flashback, first person account of New Year's Eve, written by the Professor. It first appeared on the Fresh Fiction Blog December 31, 2012.



























“New Year’s Eve” by Professor Gabriel O.
Emerson





In the past, New Year’s Eve was always
bittersweet.  I spent Christmas
with my adoptive family before returning to my lonely condominium in Toronto.




By the time New Year’s Eve arrived, I’d be itching
for human contact. So I’d do what I always did when I craved a connection. I’d walk to Lobby, my
favourite club.




On New Year’s Eve it was difficult to get
in. But on this particular evening, as on most nights since I became a club VIP,
I was welcomed by the bouncer, who directed me to skirt the long line and enter
the building.




I approached the bar and ordered my
favourite drink – a double shot of Laphroaig, neat, with a side of spring
water.




Within five minutes, I was sitting on a
banquette near the wall, sipping Scotch and scanning the room.




My criteria for female companionship were
simple. I preferred tall, leggy blondes but would occasional approach a red
head or a brunette. I liked women who were attractive, confident, and intelligent.  I avoided those whose mannerisms hinted
at self-esteem issues or overt aggression. I also steered clear of women who
arrived at Lobby in packs, since I found it tiresome to have to disengage them
from their friends.




Halfway thru my Laphroaig, I saw her.




She had long hair the colour of corn silk
and was dressed in a backless black dress. Her legs were encased in sheer
stockings and she wore extravagantly high red-soled black heels.




I adjusted myself at the sight of her legs
alone.




She sat at the bar with another woman, who
was striking but not as attractive as her companion. They were involved in a
relaxed conversation, their eyes occasionally darting to the men nearby.




As time wore on, I watched a few men send
over drinks, or try to gain the women’s attention.  Both the drinks and the men were rebuffed.




I found myself smiling. Few of the women at
Lobby presented a challenge for me. This would be a rare delight.




I tipped back the last of my drink and
approached the bar slowly, my eyes locked on hers. Her lovely red lips parted
as I approached and it seemed she was holding her breath.




At the last minute, however, I made eye
contact with the bartender and ordered another drink.




Then I waited.




I kept my posture straight, not bothering
to lean against the bar. When I pursued a woman I liked to be the aggressor and
I had no wish to appear as anything other than focused.




But first I had to get her attention.




I waited just long enough for her to wonder
if I was going to approach her. 
Then I turned in her direction.




We made eye contact and I smiled at her
briefly, before turning away as the bartender served my drink. I took a sip,
then placed the glass on the bar.




“Hello.” Her throaty voice cut through the
music of the club like a sword slicing silk.




“Hello.”




I gazed at her face appraisingly. She was even
more beautiful up close - high cheekbones, large expressive eyes, and a mouth
made for the first of the seven deadly sins.




My trousers grew even more snug at the thought.




“Can I buy you a drink?” she asked.




I lifted her hand, kissing the back of
it.  “No.”




Her green eyes grew wide.




She tried to withdraw her hand but I held it,
stroking her palm with my thumb.




“I’ll buy you a drink and one for your
friend. And then, I’ll ask you to dance.”




She lifted her eyebrows. “What makes you so
sure I’ll say yes?”




I leaned over to bring my lips to her ear,
dropping my voice to a whisper. “You’re the only woman I’ve spoken to this
evening because you’re the only one I’m interested in. And you deserve to be a
man’s first choice.”




I felt her shiver at my nearness and I
restrained a smile.




“I’m your first choice?” she whispered
back.




I traced the side of her neck with a single
finger.  “Yes.”




When I heard her breathing pause, I knew
she was mine.




At least for New Year’s Eve.




-Professor Gabriel O. Emerson,

Associate Professor of Italian Studies

University of Toronto






I penned this flashback intentionally, since the two women mentioned are also mentioned in my novels. See if you can guess who they are in the comments below.



All the best everyone and thank you for reading, SR.



PS.  Don't forget that if you've preordered "Gabriel's Redemption," or if you will do so in future, the Professor has gifts for you. Click here for details.



The Portuguese translation of "Gabriel's Rapture," which is entitled "O Julgamento de Gabriel," released this week from Editora Arqueiro. It's also available on Amazon.com.br.



The Greek translation of "Gabriel's Inferno" also released this week. It's available through Psichogios Books and the iTunes store. The Greek translation of "Gabriel's Rapture" will release December 5.
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Published on July 05, 2013 05:47 • 577 views

June 29, 2013

CHAPTER TWO 


Today, I'm (Enn) at Book Bash in Orlando, FL. Thanks to Berkley, those that stop by SR's table (manned by me, not SR) will get a copy of the new "Adult" Sampler with excerpts from SR, Erin McCarthy, Tammara Webber, Samantha Young, Emily McKay, M. Leighton & Shaunta Grimes!



Exciting, right?



But, Enn, what about those of us that can't be at Book Bash in Orlando (to see you and give you a hug)?  Well, SR decided that everyone should be able to enjoy Chapter Two from Gabriel's Redemption.





So, it's below, along with the available translations.



Happy reading,



 Enn.



This is an unedited excerpt, it may or may not change prior to publication.

  

Please do not share without linking to original post. 



All rights reserved, 2013 Sylvain Reynard, Berkley Penguin




























Julia startled awake very early the next morning, the remnants of her nightmare choking her.  Dawn had yet to break and the bedroom was dark and quiet, the silence broken only by the sound of Gabriel’s rhythmic breathing.



She clutched the sheet to her naked chest and closed her eyes, forcing her heart rate to slow.  But the act only brought the scenes from her nightmare into stark relief.



She’d been back at Harvard, running across campus to find the location of her general exam for her Ph.D.  She asked person after person for help, but no one seemed to know where the exam was being held.



She heard the sounds of crying and was shocked to find an infant in her arms.  The baby was hungry but she didn’t have a bottle. She clutched the child to her chest, trying to shush him, but he wouldn’t stop crying.



Suddenly, she was standing in front of Professor Matthews, the chair of her Department.  He knew where the exam was being held, but told her she wouldn’t be allowed to take it.  He pointed to the baby and said that children weren’t allowed. Then he turned away and walked down the hall.



She ran after him. She promised she’d keep the baby from crying. She begged him to give her a chance.  All her hopes and dreams of completing her Ph.D. and becoming a Dante specialist rested on the exam.  Without it, she’d be dismissed from the program.



She hugged the child, shushing him, but he began to scream.



Julia wrapped her arms around her chest.  Even now, the nightmare seemed real. She was close to a full blown anxiety attack, her body trembling.



Somehow, she stumbled to the bathroom and was able to turn on the shower. The hot water would comfort and soothe her. The lights of the bathroom certainly helped dispel some the darkness.



As she stood under the spray, she tried to forget the nightmare and the other worries that were trying to breach the surface of her consciousness – her lecture, their family’s impending visit, Gabriel’s sudden urge to have a baby ...



She focused on the silver necklace clasped around her throat, fingering the three charms.  She knew that Gabriel wanted children.  They’d discussed it prior to their engagement last year. But they’d agreed to wait until she graduated before they started a family.  Graduation was still a good five or six years away.



Why is he bringing up the topic of children now?

She was anxious enough over her studies.  Come September, she’d be completing her coursework and preparing for her general exam, which would have to be completed the following year.



Even more pressing was her lecture, which was to be delivered at a prestigious conference at Oxford in a few weeks.  Julia had completed a paper on Guido da Montefeltro in Professor Marinelli’s graduate seminar that past semester.  The Professor had liked the paper so much, she’d mentioned it to Professor Picton, who encouraged Julia to submit an abstract to the conference.



Julia had been overjoyed when her paper proposal was accepted. But the thought of standing in front of a room of Dante specialists and lecturing them on topics they were far more expert in, was daunting in the extreme.



Now Gabriel was talking about having his vasectomy reversed when they returned from Europe in August.



What if the vasectomy reversal is successful?



Guilt washed over her for even formulating the question. Of course she wanted to have a child with him. And she knew that undoing the vasectomy was more than just a physical procedure. It would be a symbolic gesture – that he’d finally forgiven himself for what happened with Paulina and Maia. That he’d finally begun to believe that he was worthy of fathering and parenting children.



They’d prayed for children.  After their wedding, they’d approached the tomb of St. Francis and said spontaneous, private prayers, asking for God’s blessing on their marriage and the gift of children.



If God wants to answer our prayers, how can I say ‘wait’?



Julia worried she was being selfish.  Maybe she should prioritize having a child over her education and aspirations. Harvard wasn’t going anywhere. And lots of people went back to university after starting a family.



What if Gabriel doesn’t want to wait?



He was correct to point out that life was short. The loss of Grace was testament to that fact.  Once Gabriel knew he was able to father a child, he’d probably want to do so.  Immediately. How could she say no?



Gabriel was a consuming fire.  His passion, his desires, all seemed to overtake the desires of those around him.  He’d told her once that she was the only woman who’d ever said no to him. He was probably correct.



Julia worried about her ability to say no to his deepest longing.  She’d be overwhelmed with the desire to please him, to make him happy, and in so doing would be giving up her own happiness.



She hadn’t had much growing up. She’d been poor and neglected when she lived with Sharon in St. Louis.  But she’d distinguished herself in school.  Her intelligence and discipline had served her well through Saint Joseph’s University and the University of Toronto. Her first year at Harvard had been successful.  Now was not the time to quit or drop out. Now was not the time to have a child.



Julia covered her face with her hands and prayed for strength.



-x-x-x-x-



A few hours later, Gabriel walked into the kitchen, carrying his running shoes and socks.  He was clad in a Harvard t-shirt and shorts and was about to retrieve a bottle of water from the fridge, when he saw Julia sitting at the kitchen island, her head in her hands.



“There you are.” He dropped his shoes and socks to the floor and greeted her with an insistent kiss.  “I wondered where you’d gone.”



He remarked her tired eyes and the purple smudges below them. She looked distressed.



“What’s wrong?”



“Nothing.  I just finished cleaning the kitchen and the fridge, and now I’m making a list for the grocery store.” She pointed to a large piece of paper that was covered in her flowing script.  It sat next to a cup of coffee that was stone cold and half empty, along with another equally long list of to do items.



Gabriel looked around at the kitchen, which was sparkling within an inch of its life. Even the floors were immaculate.



“It’s seven o’clock.  Isn’t it a bit early for housekeeping?”



“I have a lot to do.” She didn’t sound enthusiastic.



Gabriel took her hand, stroking his thumb across her palm.  “You look tired. Didn’t you sleep well?”



“I woke up early and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I need to make up the rooms upstairs and clean the bathrooms. Then I need to go shopping and plan the meals. And …” She heaved a shuddering sigh. She knew there was more to do but somehow she couldn’t remember the rest.

“And?” he prompted, lowering his head so he could meet her eyes, which had moved to the long to-do list.



“I need to keep moving. I’m not even dressed.” She tugged the edges of her bathrobe together and moved to stand.



Gabriel stopped her.



“You don’t need to do anything. I said I’d find someone to come in and clean the house, and I will.”  He gestured to the grocery list.  “I’ll go to the store after my run.” 



He cupped her cheek with his hand. “Go back to bed. You look exhausted.”



“There’s too much to do,” she whispered. 



“I have this, darling.  I was expecting you’d need to work on your lecture today, and that’s precisely what I want you to do. But catch up on your sleep first.” He offered her a half-smile.  “A tired mind doesn’t work very well.”



He kissed her once again and led her upstairs.  He pulled the covers back on their bed and watched her settle, before tucking her in.



“I know this is the first time we’ve had houseguests together.  But I don’t expect you to be the maid.  And I certainly don’t want our relatives to keep you from meeting your deadline.



“You can work in the study for the rest of the day.  Forget about everything else.”  He pressed his lips to her forehead and turned out the light, leaving Julia to her slumber.



-x-x-x-x-



Gabriel usually listened to music while he jogged, but on this morning his mind was distracted enough.  Julianne was overwhelmed; it was obvious.  She wasn’t usually an early riser and from the looks of her this morning, she’d been awake for hours.



They probably shouldn’t have invited their relatives to visit. But since they were going to Italy for most of the summer, this was the only time everyone could be together.



He’d forgotten how time consuming it was to have company.  He’d never entertained more than one or two people at a time, and then only with the support of a housekeeper and a bank account that permitted him to take his guests out for meals.



Poor Julianne.  Gabriel recalled his own years at Harvard; how vacations were never truly holidays since there was always more work to be done, languages to learn, reading to do, and exams to prepare for.



He was relieved to be tenured at Boston University.  He wouldn’t trade places with Julia for anything. Especially since he’d coped with the pressures of grad school by drinking, doing cocaine and P-



Gabriel stumbled, pitching forward as the toe of his shoe caught on the sidewalk.  He righted himself quickly and regained his stride, forcing himself to concentrate on his steps. 



He didn’t like to think about his years at Harvard, when he’d allowed Paulina to enable his addictions. Since his move back to Cambridge, he’d experienced drug flashbacks so vivid, he would swear he could feel the cocaine entering his nostrils. He’d drive down a street, or enter a building on the Harvard campus and he’d feel a craving that was so sharp it was painful. 



Thus far, with the grace of God, he’d resisted.  Certainly, his weekly Narcotics Anonymous meetings had helped, as had his monthly appointments with his therapist.



And then, of course, there was Julianne.



If Gabriel had found his higher power in Assisi last year, Julianne was his guardian angel.  She loved him, inspired him, made his house a home. But he could not shake the fear that heaven had smiled on him only to bide its time before snatching her away.



Gabriel had changed in myriad ways since Julianne was his student back in Toronto. But he had yet to abandon his belief that he was not worthy of sustained happiness. And as his therapist had warned, Gabriel had a pattern of self-sabotage.



His adoptive mother, Grace, had died of cancer almost two years previous.  Her untimely death symbolized the shortness and uncertainty of life. If he were to lose Julianne …



If you had a child with her, you’d never lose her.



A still, small voice spoke in his ear.



Gabriel quickened his pace. The voice was right, but it didn’t express his primary motivation for wanting a baby with Julianne.  He wanted a family that included children – a life filled with laughter, and the knowledge that he could right the wrongs done by his own parents.



He’d kept his internal struggles from his wife.  She was burdened with her own concerns and he was loath to add to them.  She’d worry about his addictions and his fears and he’d already given her too much anguish.



While Gabriel jogged the familiar circuit of his old neighborhood, he began to wonder why she’d been so dispirited this morning. They’d spent an incredible night together, celebrating their love in the orchard and later, in their bed.  He racked his brain, trying to figure out if he’d done something to hurt her. But their lovemaking had been, as usual, both passionate and tender.



There was at least one other possibility and Gabriel cursed himself for not having thought of it sooner.  Julianne always carried with her a degree of anxiety about being back in Selinsgrove. A year and a half ago, her ex-boyfriend, Simon, had broken into her father’s home and assaulted her.  Subsequently, his current girlfriend, Natalie, had confronted Julia at a local diner, threatening to release lewd pictures of her if she didn’t withdraw her assault complaint. 



Julianne had convinced Natalie that it was not in her interest to release the pictures, since they’d implicate Simon, as well.  His father was a U.S. Senator who was running for President and Natalie was working for his campaign.



Gabriel had kept his doubts about Julia’s success to himself.  He knew that once a person acquired a taste for blackmail, he or she would keep trying to draw from that well.



Gabriel cursed again, now running at a punishing rate of speed.  He’d never told Julia what he’d done. He didn’t want to do so now.  But if she was worrying about Simon and Natalie, then perhaps it was time to tell her the truth ...



-x-x-x-x-



When Gabriel returned from his run, Julia was sleeping.  He chuckled, noticing that her bare feet were sticking out from under the covers.  Julia didn’t like it when her feet grew hot and so she’d bare them to the air, while snuggled under several blankets.



Leaning over, he tucked the covers around her feet, and walked to the shower. After he dressed he checked on her, but she was still asleep.  He hurried down the stairs, grabbing her lists from the kitchen and heading out to the Range Rover. With any luck, he’d be able to complete the shopping and make a head start on her to do list before she awoke.



-x-x-x-x-



At eleven o’clock that evening, Julia finally descended the stairs from the second floor.  She found Gabriel seated in the living room, reading.  He was in his favorite leather club chair, his feet resting on a footstool, his eyes moving behind his glasses.



“Why, hello there.”  He greeted her with a smile, closing his book.



“What are you reading?”



He showed her the cover.  The Way of a Pilgrim.



“Is it good?”



“Very.  Did you ever read J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey?”



“A long time ago. Why?”



“Franny reads this book and it troubles her. That’s where I first heard about it.”



“What’s it about?”  She picked up the book, glancing at the back cover.



“It’s about a Russian Orthodox man who tries to learn what it means to pray without ceasing.”



Julia arched an eyebrow.  “And?”



“And I’m reading it to discover what she learned.”



She looked at the book again.  “I suppose we’re all on our own spiritual journeys.”



“Some of us are further along than others.”  He smiled.



She put the book down and climbed into his lap.  “I don’t think of myself that way. I think we chase God until He catches us.”



Gabriel chuckled. “Like The Hound of Heaven?”



“Exactly.”



“One of the things I admire most about you is your compassion for human frailty.”



She kissed him lightly.  “I have my own vices, Gabriel. They’re just hidden.”



She looked around the room, noting the vacuum marks in the carpet and the freshly dusted furniture.  The air smelled of lemon and pine.



“The house looks great. Thank you. I was able to get a lot of work done today.”

“Good.”  He looked at her over the rims of his glasses.  “How are you feeling?”



“Much better. Thanks for making dinner.”  She rested her head on his shoulder.



“You weren’t hungry when I brought it up to you.”  He ran his fingers through her hair.



“I finished it eventually.  I ran into a problem with my paper, so I had trouble leaving it in order to eat.”



“Is it something I can help with?”  He removed his glasses, placing them on top of his book.



“No. I don’t want people thinking that you’re the brains behind my research.”



“That wasn’t what I was offering.” Gabriel sounded offended.



“I need to do this myself.”



He sniffed.  “I think you worry a little too much about what other people think.”



“I have to,” she said sharply.  “If I present a paper that sounds like you wrote it, people will notice.  Christa Peterson has already been telling stories about us. Paul told me.”



“Christa is a jealous bitch. She’s going backward in her career, not forward. Columbia made her enrol in the M.Phil program in Italian. They wouldn’t admit her directly into their Ph.D.



“I’ve already spoken to the head of her department at Columbia. She slanders us at her peril.”  He shifted in his chair. “And when were you speaking to Paul?”



“He emailed me after the conference he went to at UCLA. That’s when he saw Christa and heard the rumors she was spreading.”



“You haven’t even let me read your paper. Although, we’ve discussed Guido so much I’m sure I know what you’ll say.”



Julia chewed on the edge of her thumbnail, but said nothing. 



He hugged her more closely.



“Has my book been helpful?”



“Yes, but I’m taking a different tack,” she hedged.



“That can be a double-edged sword, Julianne. Originality is admired, but sometimes established methods are established for a reason.”



“I’ll let you read it tomorrow, if you have time.”



“Of course I’ll have time.” He began rubbing her back, up and down.  “In fact, I’m looking forward to it. My goal is to help, not hurt. You know that, right?”



“Of course. Thank you.”  She kissed him again, before burrowing against his chest.  “I just worry about what you’ll think.”



“I’ll be honest, but supportive. I promise.”



“That’s the best I can hope for.”  She smiled up at him. “Now I need you to take me to bed and cheer me up.”



He laughed.  “What would cheering you up entail?”



“Taking my mind off my troubles by tantalizing me with your naked body.”



“What if I’m not ready for bed?”



“Then I guess I’ll have to go to bed by myself. And maybe cheer myself up.”  She stood and stretched, glancing at him out of the corner of her eye.



In a flash he was behind her, scooping her into his arms and racing for the stairs.






















































Italian translation 

Portuguese translation

Spanish translation







Disclaimer: These translations have been made non-profit and with the only purpose of permitting the non-English speaking readers to read the presentation, worldwide, of this second chapter of Gabriel's Redemption by Sylvain Reynard. All rights belong to Sylvain Reynard, his publisher Penguin Berkley and the European publishers.

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Published on June 29, 2013 09:05 • 773 views • Tags: gabriel-s-redemption, teaser
As promised, here is the complete conversation with the Professor:

So the Professor stopped by my flat and without introduction strode into my living room. He sat in a chair, crossed his legs, and glared at me.

(This was not uncommon.)

“SR.” He nodded.

“Gabriel.”

I glanced in the direction of the kitchen. “Would you like a drink?”

The Professor’s lips visibly thinned.

“This isn’t really a social call.”

“So you aren’t here to borrow milk, then?”

“No, I am not.”

“Can I offer you a towel?”

“I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I want to talk to you.”

“No need to wait. I have plenty in a variety of colours.” I gestured to the hallway. “I’ll just run and get one.”

“As I said, I want to talk to you.”

I opened my mouth to protest, but realized that in his current mood, such protestations were futile.

Averting my eyes from the spectacle that was the naked professor seated on my very nice leather chair, I sat far away from him, feeling very uncomfortable.

Clearly he was agitated and sadly for me, Julia had not accompanied him.

(I pondered the possibility of fetching the Snarky Narrator in order to deal with him, but alas, he was out shopping for a new set of parentheticals.)

“This isn’t an art gallery,” I grumbled. “Or a photo shoot. I’m going to have to have that chair cleaned now.”

“Have you forgotten something?” The Professor’s eyes flared in my direction.

I looked away from him pointedly. “I might have asked you the same question.

“No, I don’t think I’ve forgotten anything, apart from a plastic cover for my leather furniture.”

He leaned forward. “Perhaps my appearance might jog your memory?”

I continued inspecting the fascinating sight that was the bare wall of my condominium.

“I can hardly see what your appearance has to do with me, although you might want to rethink your wardrobe choices. The police aren’t likely to look favourably on a naked professor sauntering down Bloor Street.”

“Allow me to refresh your memory. On June third, you released Chapter One of Gabriel’s Redemption. Then the story stopped. Does this ring any bells?”

“Well, you and Julianne were in the orchard at the end of the chapter, and …”

The proverbial light went on in my head. “Oh.”

“Exactly. Oh. Although in this case, it would be better to say ouch.

“Do you have any idea what it’s like to lie naked in an orchard day and night for weeks on end?”

I blinked as I scanned my memory banks.

There was that one time in Barcelona …

I shook my head.

“Sadly, no.”

The Professor sniffed primly. “Well, it’s damned cold. We only have one blanket. I’m afraid Julianne is going to catch pneumonia.”

“And die,” I muttered.

“Excuse me?” The Professor gave me a look that was so scathing, it could have peeled the paint from my walls.

“Uh, nothing.” I scratched my head thoughtfully. “I could rewrite the scene and add a few more blankets.”

“You’re obfuscating.”

I straightened in my chair. “I most certainly am not. And may I remind you, you stole my thesaurus the last time you were over. I want it back.”

The Professor waved a dismissive hand in the air, as if he were swatting a gnat.

“Forget about the thesaurus. What’s this about Gabriel’s Redemption being released in December?”

Oh, here we go, I thought.

“Et tu, Brute?”

The Professor merely scowled.

I cleared my throat.

“As you know, I hadn’t planned to write a sequel to Gabriel’s Rapture. Readers changed my mind. So the gap between the release of books two and three is wider than between books one and two.” I pushed my glasses up, as they’d begun slipping down my nose.

“Regrettably,” I added.

The Professor gazed at me coldly.

“I’ll say this slowly so that I’m sure you can keep up.

“We’re in limbo, naked, in the orchard until you release Chapter Two or publish the entire book. How do you think that feels?”

I pondered this idea for a moment, since his wife was very beautiful.

“SR?” he prompted.

“What’s that?” I had momentarily forgotten he was there.

His eyes narrowed, as if he were reading my mind.

I looked away.

“I’m sure it’s extremely uncomfortable. Somewhat like having one of your characters show up during lunch unannounced, naked, and truculent.

“And don’t even think about borrowing my Oxford English Dictionary in order to look up ‘truculent.’”

“I don’t need your damned dictionary. I know what it means,” he spat.

Muttering to myself, I wandered down the hall to fetch him a towel, which I dumped unceremoniously in his lap.

“Please give my apologies to Julianne. I’m sorry for the inconvenience and I will go back and write in a few more blankets and maybe a cashmere robe.”

“Thank you.

“Being stuck in limbo until December third is damned inconvenient for both of us. And I’ll have you know that Professor Picton is not pleased about your delay, either.”

At this, I closed my eyes.

Not Katherine, too.

I opened my eyes.

“As I recall, Professor Picton appears in the novel fully clothed.”

The Professor glared at me once again.

I shifted my weight awkwardly. “Not that she isn’t attractive. Um, should I expect a visit from her as well?”

“No, she’s in Oxford, where you left her.”

“Oxford is a bit like limbo. Although perhaps the food is better. I’m not sure.”

Gabriel snapped his fingers. “Try to stay focused, will you? You have the attention span of a fruit fly.”

I straightened myself to my full height.

“I beg your pardon. I am completely focused. And you might want to rethink your attitude given the fact that your destiny rests in these hands.”

I crackled my knuckles in what I hoped would be a menacing fashion.

The Professor snorted like a horse.

“I think my destiny rests more in the hands of readers, but carry on, oh God-like third-person author.”

I narrowed my eyes at his sarcasm.

“Allow me to explain how this works. Readers can pre-order our novel, which means they’ll receive it immediately on its release. In some cases, it’s delivered to their Kindle at the stroke of midnight. So pre-orders will certainly hasten your freedom.

“And because Julianne is – ah – cold, I’ll release Chapter Two. But after I’ve given her a bathrobe.”

I gazed into the distance, as I began thinking aloud.

“And maybe one of those things … you know… with lace and straps. And some …”

“Watch it,” he growled.

My attention immediately returned to the Professor.

I gulped.

“Right. Just a robe. But a nice one. Cashmere. Very warm.”

The Professor checked his watch. “I should leave so you can get on with it. We’ve waited long enough.”

He stood to his feet, affixing the very large black bath sheet around his waist.

“I don’t like to be kept waiting, especially with this book. You know what’s at stake.” He gave me a significant look.

I nodded, keeping a safe, respectful distance. “I promise to do my best.”

“Is this to be the last book?”

I scratched my head. “I think so.”

“You think so?” he repeated. “You don‘t know?”

“Well, you know what happened the last time I said ‘this is the final book in the series’…”

He shook his head.

“For an omniscient author, you know precious little.”

I sighed deeply. “I get that a lot.”

“I’ll see myself out. Enjoy your lunch. And SR…”

“Yes?”

“Put on some clothes, for God’s sake.”

He grimaced at the sight of my Superman pyjamas (of dubious origin) and quickly withdrew, leaving me to my solitude and my writing.

I’m going to have to burn that chair, I thought.

Or perhaps I can sell it on Ebay…

Fin.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Today at 12noon Eastern (NYC time), I'll be posting Chapter 2 from "Gabriel's Redemption" on my website. Please read Chapter 1 first: http://www.sylvainreynard.com/2013/06...

But note that these chapters contain spoilers from the first two books. So if you haven't read "Gabriel's Inferno" and "Gabriel's Rapture," please don't read the new chapters.

Thanks again for your support, SR
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Published on June 29, 2013 00:54 • 624 views • Tags: dialogue, gabriel-s-redemption, teaser

June 22, 2013

Over on Facebook and Twitter, I've been posting a conversation I had recently with the Professor.

I've been posting new excerpts daily. Here's the dialogue thus far:


So the Professor stopped by my flat and without introduction strode into my living room. He sat in a chair, crossed his legs, and glared at me.

(This was not uncommon.)

“SR.” He nodded.

“Gabriel.”

I glanced in the direction of the kitchen. “Would you like a drink?”

The Professor’s lips visibly thinned.

“This isn’t really a social call.”

“So you aren’t here to borrow milk, then?”

“No, I am not.”

“Can I offer you a towel?”

“I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I want to talk to you.”

“No need to wait. I have plenty in a variety of colours.” I gestured to the hallway. “I’ll just run and get one.”

“As I said, I want to talk to you.”

I opened my mouth to protest, but realized that in his current mood, such protestations were futile.

Averting my eyes from the spectacle that was the naked professor seated on my very nice leather chair, I sat far away from him, feeling very uncomfortable.

Clearly he was agitated and sadly for me, Julia had not accompanied him.

(I pondered the possibility of fetching the Snarky Narrator in order to deal with him, but alas, he was out shopping for a new set of parentheticals.)

“This isn’t an art gallery,” I grumbled. “Or a photo shoot. I’m going to have to have that chair cleaned now.”

“Have you forgotten something?” The Professor’s eyes flared in my direction.

I looked away from him pointedly. “I might have asked you the same question.

“No, I don’t think I’ve forgotten anything, apart from a plastic cover for my leather furniture.”

He leaned forward. “Perhaps my appearance might jog your memory?”

I continued inspecting the fascinating sight that was the bare wall of my condominium.

“I can hardly see what your appearance has to do with me, although you might want to rethink your wardrobe choices. The police aren’t likely to look favourably on a naked professor sauntering down Bloor Street.”

“Allow me to refresh your memory. On June third, you released Chapter One of Gabriel’s Redemption. Then the story stopped. Does this ring any bells?”

“Well, you and Julianne were in the orchard at the end of the chapter, and …”

The proverbial light went on in my head. “Oh.”

“Exactly. Oh. Although in this case, it would be better to say ouch.

“Do you have any idea what it’s like to lie naked in an orchard day and night for weeks on end?”

I blinked as I scanned my memory banks.

There was that one time in Barcelona …

I shook my head.

“Sadly, no.”

The Professor sniffed primly. “Well, it’s damned cold. We only have one blanket. I’m afraid Julianne is going to catch pneumonia.”

“And die,” I muttered.

“Excuse me?” The Professor gave me a look that was so scathing, it could have peeled the paint from my walls.

“Uh, nothing.” I scratched my head thoughtfully. “I could rewrite the scene and add a few more blankets.”

“You’re obfuscating.”

I straightened in my chair. “I most certainly am not. And may I remind you, you stole my thesaurus the last time you were over. I want it back.”

The Professor waved a dismissive hand in the air, as if he were swatting a gnat.

“Forget about the thesaurus. What’s this about Gabriel’s Redemption being released in December?”

Oh, here we go, I thought.

“Et tu, Brute?”

The Professor merely scowled.

I cleared my throat.

“As you know, I hadn’t planned to write a sequel to Gabriel’s Rapture. Readers changed my mind. So the gap between the release of books two and three is wider than between books one and two.” I pushed my glasses up, as they’d begun slipping down my nose.

“Regrettably,” I added.

The Professor gazed at me coldly.

“I’ll say this slowly so that I’m sure you can keep up.

“We’re in limbo, naked, in the orchard until you release Chapter Two or publish the entire book. How do you think that feels?”

I pondered this idea for a moment, since his wife was very beautiful.


To be continued ...

If you wish to keep up with the daily updates, see my Twitter account @sylvainreynard or check out my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSylvai...

I'll post the conversation in its entirety when its complete.

All the best and thank you for reading, SR

PS. Thanks to you and your support, "Gabriel's Redemption" cracked the top 100 Contemporary Romance Novels in Amazon.com's Kindle store: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI...
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Published on June 22, 2013 09:51 • 1,184 views • Tags: gabriel-s-redemption, outtake-with-the-professor

June 3, 2013





Don't forget! Important information regarding pre-orders can be found here! 







This is an unedited excerpt, it may or may not change prior to publication.

  

Please do not share without linking to original post. 



All rights reserved, 2013 Sylvain Reynard, Berkley Penguin































































For Italian Readers


Disclaimer: This translation has been made non-profit with the only purpose to let Italian readers read the chapter. All rights belong to Sylvain Reynard, his publisher Penguin Berkley and Casa Editrice Nord.



For Spanish Readers









Disclaimer: This translation has been made non-profit and with the only purpose of the non-English speaking readers may know the presentation, worldwide, for this first chapter of Gabriel's Redemption by Sylvain Reynard. All rights belong toSylvain Reynard, his publisher Penguin Berkley and Editorial Planeta-Esencia.





For Russian Readers




Disclaimer: This translation has been made non-profit with the only purpose to let Russian readers read the chapter. All rights belong to Sylvain Reynard, and his publisher Penguin Berkley. 


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Published on June 03, 2013 09:00 • 2,302 views

June 1, 2013










Gabriel's Redemption Pre-Orders









Hi Everyone,

It’s Enn.




If you follow SR on Twitter, Facebook, or on this site, you know that the Gabriel series was supposed to end with “Gabriel’s Rapture.”  A third book was not planned.




However, because so many of you contacted SR asking for more Gabriel and Julianne (and Paul), the series has been extended to include “Gabriel’s Redemption,” which will be released in December.




As a way of showing appreciation for your support and enthusiasm, SR wanted to give something extra to those who pre-order “Gabriel’s Redemption.”




Actually, it’s two somethings. Two separate somethings.







If you've pre-ordered the EBOOK of Gabriel's Redemption from any site, Amazon, BN, iBooks, etc. email the receipt / proof of purchase / screenshot to me here EBOOK@sylvainreynard.com




If you've pre-ordered the PRINT of Gabriel's Redemption from any site, Amazon, BN, iBooks, etc. email the receipt / proof of purchase / screenshot to me here PRINT@sylvainreynard.com 







What do you get for pre-ordering?






Those that pre-order the EBOOK you will get a special Authorgraph from Gabriel with an exclusive bit that isn't in the novel. *****(Please make sure your authograph email / Twitter is listed somewhere so we can match them up)




Those that pre-order the PRINT you will get a special bookplate from Gabriel with an exclusive bit that isn't in the novel. *****(Please make sure your MAILING ADDRESS is listed so I  can send you the bookplate)





No, they're not the same 'special' bits. 



So, EBOOK and PRINT will have two separate goodies from Gabriel.





Yes, this is open internationally.



It's very important that you're accurate with your information so everyone gets their Gabriel treat.



If you have questions, please email me at enn@sylvainreynard.com with PRE-ORDER in the subject.





xo

Enn






ALSO, THE FIRST CHAPTER OF GABRIEL'S REDEMPTION 

WILL BE POSTED HERE ON 6/3/13 
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Published on June 01, 2013 05:00 • 1,655 views

May 27, 2013

Dear Everyone,



I've posted on the subject of charity before but because it was so long ago, I thought I'd revisit the subject.



I've been fortunate to be interviewed by readers and bloggers from around the world. My most recent interview was with Pioneer Books in Hungary in advance of the release of the Hungarian translation of "Gabriel's Inferno." (They're running a contest where you can win a trip to Florence here.)



Often I'm asked about my charity work. I enjoy answering those questions because it gives me an opportunity to highlight some of the causes that I care about. Rarely am I asked why I support charities and development organizations.  I think this is because the importance of charitable work is obvious and this importance transcends countries, cultures, and religions.



But putting together my work as an author and some of my private charitable commitments wasn't obvious to me at the beginning of my fiction writing. I had charitable involvement in my private life and I was a novelist. But I wasn't doing both at the same time.  It was only after I'd heard of writers donating original short works or copies of their novels for fundraisers, such as for Alex's Lemonade Stand, that it occurred to me this was something I could and should do.



Once "Gabriel's Inferno" was published, I developed a social media presence. This enabled me to be more intentional about focusing people's attention on charity, but once again, the opportunity wasn't obvious initially. It was only after I read "Twitter for Good" and met Heather Huffman that I realized I could do more.



"Twitter for Good" highlights the ways in which this social medium can be used to effect positive change in the world. I'm sure we're all familiar with cases in which Twitter is used for less than noble purposes. Claire Diaz-Ortiz argues that there is a tremendous opportunity for us as Twitter users to change that and she highlights several different ways that we can do so. For me, Miss Diaz-Ortiz's work was a wake-up call.



Then I came across a review of Heather Huffman's book "Throwaway."   I was intrigued and decided to visit Heather's website.  I discovered that she is an anti-slavery/anti-human trafficking activist who uses her skills as a writer to raise awareness about these issues. She also donates a portion of her royalties to support organizations who combat slavery and human trafficking.



(NB:  Some of you are already aware that Heather and I are planning to co-author a romantic comedy in order to raise money for charity. We've already begun and I can tell you, I'm already enamoured of the characters we've created. While we don't have a release date yet and we've both been busy with other projects, I'm committed to finishing this work.  So please stay tuned for more information.)



Once I became aware of the fact that I could do more as an author to highlight charities, I started to make some changes.  On Twitter and sometimes on Facebook, I've begun posting a charity highlight of the day. You can see the charities and organizations I follow here.  You'll notice that many of the charities deal with poverty and homelessness, while others address human trafficking, health, grief and bereavement, and fair trade.



I'm not the only one in writing/reading/blogging community who is doing this.  Many of the book blogs I interact with have hosted giveaways to raise money for charities or for disaster relief. It's always inspiring to see readers, writers, and bloggers come together for a good cause and I'm very proud of the work that has been done together by these groups.



I'm also inspired by the volunteer work readers do in their own communities.  Argyle Empire has put together a series of posts on the charities I support. They recently highlighted one reader's involvement with her local Covenant House.



So if someone asks you - why support a charity?  I think there are a number of different answers.



First, it's important to serve something other than yourself. The purpose of life isn't to accumulate stuff or to hoard goods while others are in need.



Second, supporting charities can inspire others to do the same.  This multiplies the good work.



Third, supporting charities is a way of giving back to yourself. You never know when you or someone you love will need the charitable outreach you've been supporting.  We are all connected.



Fourth, supporting charities is a way of receiving inspiration and encouragement as you see people from around the world come together to give to those in need. When you read the newspaper and see a particularly horrifying story, it helps to have a little good news to counterbalance it.



Social media can be used for good or not. I choose to use it for good and I ask you to join with me in doing so as well.



All the best and thank you for your support,



SR



www.sylvainreynard.com






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Published on May 27, 2013 07:19 • 474 views