Love, Romance, Snarky Pants, Doughnuts, and Sylvain Reynard – NY Times Best-Selling Author

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My thanks to S.R. for his evasive but funny answers; I’m already plotting my next twenty questions. I’m coming for you, Foxy One.

1. Was Erich Fromm right…is love an art?

Hello Tosha. I agree with CS Lewis that there are different kinds of love. But yes, I think love is an art rather than a science.

2. First thought that comes to mind when I mention Le Baiser (The Kiss)

Desire.

3. Favorite love song?

Besame mucho.

4. What would constitute a perfect Valentine’s Day for you?

Perfection is to be found in the person of the beloved and in time spent together…

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

In the shower this morning.

6. Have you ever used a cheesy pick up line? If so, what was it?

I plead the Fifth.

7. Backpacking or a luxury hotel?

It would depend on the location.

8. Is it easier to love or be loved?

I think the correct answer to these questions is “it depends.”

9. True romance is…….

I think a lot of ingredients go into this – the right person, time, attention, creativity, devotion, etc. Did I mention playfulness?

10. Favorite love poem?

i like my body by ee cummings.

11. What the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever done to impress a girl?

These questions are designed to embarrass me, aren’t they?

Tosha interjects: Yes! I need to work on my baiting skills.

12. What’s the Snarky Narrator up to this Valentine’s Day?

I try to remain ignorant of his romantic activities, but I think it’s safe to say he’s up to no good …

13. If you were a candy heart…..what message would be printed on you?

(Speechless)
Tosha so much for what the fox says. ;)

14. What do you get when you cross the soul with love and desire?

The culmination of what love is supposed to be.

15. What color patterns on argyle socks are best for seducing women?

Truthfully, Argyle is sufficient in itself, no matter the colour. Argyle is, as someone intelligent expressed, the very fabric of seduction.

16. Do you think Lipton Tea workers get coffee breaks? (random, I know)

I don’t, actually.

17. If you could be a woman for a day, how would you spend your time?

There’s no way to answer this question without sounding creepy.
Even that answer sounds creepy.
(sigh)

18 Tell us about your latest work The Raven.

Thank you.
“The Raven” is a paranormal romance set in Florence, Italy, which begins two years after the end of “The Prince.” It follows the character of Raven Wood, who is working as an art restorer at the Uffizi Gallery.
She is attacked one evening on her way home and wakes up days later with no memory of the incident. When she returns to work, she is stunned to discover that the Gallery has been robbed of a priceless set of illustrations by Botticelli, and the police want to question her …
Raven’s attempt to solve the mystery of the robbery and clear her name leads her to the underworld of Florence – a place that is inhabited by powerful and mysterious creatures, ruled by the dark and ruthless Prince…

20. Who would win in a doughnut eating contest, Gabriel or The Prince?

I think the correct answer is me.

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If you would like to keep up with the not so nefarious goings on of the always delightful S.R….
find him here:

http://sylvainreynard.com/

He’s also on Twitter working his magic
@sylvainreynard

Hia latest works:

THE PRINCE – Novella

BN:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-prince-sylvain-reynard/1120399274?ean=9780698192065

​Amazon:

Amazon UK:

Amazon Canada:

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-prince/id922369900?mt=11

​The Raven – Book One of The Florentine Series

BN

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-raven-sylvain-reynard/1119619658?ean=9780425266496

Amazon

Amazon Canada

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-raven/id888019240?mt=11

I Loved You That Summer by Tosha Michelle

I loved you,

that summer

as the gentle breeze

caressed my hair.

The notes of hope filling the air.

I loved you,

that summer

as we frolicked,

in the rays of sun kissed day.

I loved you,

that summer

as you sat

in the shade of my insecurities,

and you held me in your arms of betrayal.

I loved you

that summer,

as love color drained away

with the setting of the sun.

I loved you,

that summer

as summer turned into fall

and we fell apart

while the leaves rattled

In the tall pine trees.

Leaving only gold dust wonder..

on a ground littered with regret.

-Tosha Michelle

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Twenty Random Questions with Morgan and Jenn Locklear.

!. If you were Alice, would you rather stay in Wonderland on the other side of the mirror, or come back to the real world to share your story?
Jenn- I love to travel and I rarely deal with homesickness when I do, so I know there would be a huge temptation to remain in Wonderland. However, there is something to be said for re-connecting with family and friends in order to share such fantastic adventures.
Morgan- I have a feeling that I will be too wasted to find my way back.
2. If you were going to write an article about yourself, what would the headline be?
Jenn-You Should Really Sit Down Before You Read This…
Morgan- Cockeyed Optimist shares unique vision
3. If you were a drink, what would you be? Why?
Jenn-I’m probably well on my way into transforming into a Sailor Jerry Rum & Coke as it is. Why mess with all the hard work I’ve put in over the years?
Morgan- I would be one of those gaudy big airport drinks; something colorful and even a little girly but with enough of a kick to get plenty of guys to order one. It would be called: The Loudmouth.
4. What childhood fear do you still have as an adult?
Jenn-I developed a fear of heights as a child. I try not to let it rule my actions, but there are definitely hard limits to what I can handle at a higher elevation. It’s probably why I’ve chosen to live at sea level.
Morgan- Roving murders.

5. If you could choose just one thing to change about the world, what would it be?
Jenn-Life is so miserable when people harm one another. I just wish we could all find a way to happily share the planet.
Morgan- Tyranny.
6. What’s your favorite poem?
Jenn–When Morgan and I were on our third date, he surprised me by reciting a poem he had written. This was the first time he shared his creative side with me and I was absolutely amazed by his talent. Immediately afterwards, he asked me to be his girlfriend and I said yes. That poem is my favorite.
Morgan-“The Ballad of the Guy Who Came In From the Cold” by Garrison
7. Does darkness soothe you or frighten you?
Jenn-There was a time when I would have said that the darkness frightened me, but now that I’m older I realize it isn’t darkness itself I find unsettling. It’s the silence that accompanies darkness that unnerves me.
(So answers the shy girl.)
Morgan- It neither sooths or frightens me, I’m fine in the dark but mostly because I see quite well in low light.
8. If you ruled your own country, who would you get to write your national anthem?
Jenn-I would like to see what Morgan could do with a National Anthem. People might expect it would come out light or humorous, but knowing Morgan like I do I know he would take the responsibility quite seriously. He would put his all into the effort.
Morgan- Either Sam Beam (Iron and Wine), or Jeff Lynn (ELO),

9. What makes you nostalgic?
Jenn-Music probably does that more immediately than anything else. A song can instantly help me recall a moment or a feeling of some kind.
Morgan-80’s music.
10. Clowns., creepy or cool?
Jenn-I have no fear of clowns and I do enjoy a good laugh so I guess they lean more toward cool with me.
Morgan- I love clowns, especially magician clowns.
11. Do you remember your dreams?
Jenn-As far as I know I do. I don’t think I dream as much as I used to but I’ve had some doozies over the years.
Morgan- Fortunately, I do and it’s a good thing because I come up with a lot of crazy shit when I’m asleep.
12. What’s your favorite song?
Jenn-My favorite band is a-ha. I’ve been a fan since I was a teenager and my favorite song of theirs is “The Swing of Things” from their second album “Scoundrel Days”. Simple brilliance.
Morgan-“Owner of a Lonely Heart”
13. What’s your favorite season?
Jenn-Summer. I love the long days and the warmth. It’s also when I celebrate my birthday.
Morgan- Fall, especially late October.
14. Does pressure motivate you?
Jenn-I don’t enjoy the stress that comes along with pressure, but I do find I can work well under tight deadlines. Pressure doesn’t distract me from the things that need to be accomplished.

Morgan- Yes, it does, I work well under pressure and often set deadlines for myself because I know I will work harder to meet them.
15. To what extent do you shape your own destiny, and how much is down to fate?
Jenn-I do believe in fate, but I also know I have to put in the hard work to achieve my biggest goals in life. And I try to remember than when things don’t appear to be going the way I want them to, it’s usually because something better is going to come my way as a result.
Morgan- Fate plays a hand in how we come into this world, but its’ influence loses ground to free will with every passing year after that.
16. What published book do you secretly wish you had written?
Jenn-Last year, when I was reading Outlander for the first time I remember thinking this very thing about that story. I don’t know that my writing can ever reach that level of perfection, but wow would I love to write a story like that one.
Morgan- Swan Song by Robert McCammon.
17. Are you the paranoid type or calm, cool and collected?
Jenn-I’m an internal worrier in calm times; however I don’t tend to express my worries to others. When an emergency situations pops up, I’m typically cool and collected during a crisis. Once an urgent situation has resolved itself, I tend to fall apart for a day or two after my guard has come down. Then I go back to my usual pattern of quiet worrying.
Morgan- I’m pretty easy going for a guy who’s not allowed to drink coffee
18. What would qualify as the afternoon of your dreams?
Jenn-Right now? An afternoon spent in Europe would be fabulous.
Morgan- Disneyland! Disneyland! Disneyland!
19. Are you more like fire or the earth?
Jenn-I think those around me would say the earth, but I’m definitely fascinated with volcanoes.
Morgan- I am an Earth power
20. Do you hear voices?
Jenn-My characters speak to me all the time. But I’m quite aware of their fictional status, so it’s all good.
Morgan- Yes, but they are always singing.
Bonus question:
What are you currently working on?
Jenn-I’m writing a story I’ve entitled Constellation. It’s a May to December contemporary romance set in Central Oregon. The story begins with the two main characters, Jack and Kathleen, having just given in to the temptation of mutual attraction. The rest of the novel explores how this one spontaneous event will alter how Kathleen perceives her universe. When I initially began the story I thought Jack would be a man of mystery, but the deeper I get into the story the more I realize that Kathleen is the one with all the secrets. I’m halfway done writing the book and realizing I actually have a series in the making. I can easily envision two more books and that has me very excited right now. I’m hoping to publish the first book later this year.
Morgan- My short game. (Golf joke).

_______________________________________________
My thanks to Morgan and Jenn.They are always a delight. Check out their debut novel EXPOSURE on amazon.com Note the five star reviews.

You can also keep up with them at:

https://morganandjenniferlocklear.wordpress.com/

Follow them on Twitter at: @MJLocklear

THE RAVEN by Sylvain Reynard (A Review) When Nevermore becomes Once More.

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The Raven.  Synopsis.

“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.

_________________________________________________

Review 

Once in a great while a book comes along that you can’t put down. Sylvain Reynard’s The Raven is one of those books. I fell in like with Reynard’s literary prowess with his Gabriel’s Inferno trilogy; after reading The Raven, I can say I am head over heels, crazy, twerking in the street Miley style, Tom Cruise chair-jumping, forget that bass, Meghan Trainor is sure to be all about this novel, IN LOVE with this man’s prose. He has my undying book devotion until pen doth us part. The Raven is everything you could want in a good read: intelligent, witty, thrilling, sexy and hard to let go of. It’s the type of book you’ll spend all night reading and not feel guilty about it in the morning. You’l l even want to take it home to Mom. It’s hard to express how much I love this novel, but I will try.

Let’s dish about the heroine of the book, shall we? Raven Wood is strong, feisty, determined, witty and real. She has overcome adversaries with grace and lives a life of purpose. This woman knows how to make the proverbial lemonade out of lemons. She compassionate and brave, to use the vernacular, she is a total bad ass. In a book age where the romance genre is inundated with wimpy, subservient, spineless, superficial women, Raven is a breath of fresh girl power air. I love her.

Of course you can’t have a heroine without a hero, or in The Prince’s case antihero. He is very much an alpha, Byronic male but atypical in his otherworldly abilities. At first glance he seems mercurial, but underneath beats a tender but tormented heart. Still, he is a force to be reckoned with, but Raven is up to the task. Together, they are a formidable match. The chemistry between the two leaps off the pages.

Reynard, in signature style throws in literary, cultural, historic, art and aesthetic references. There’s a strong Machiavellian theme throughout the book and a huge nod to Cupid and Psyche. He’ll also have you clamoring to catch the next flight to Florence, Italy. The Florence Tourist Board owes him a commission. You’ll feel like you are taking the Renaissance Walk and touring the Uffizi Gallery. You’ll gain a new appreciation for the rich history of Florentine art. There are even analyses of a few of the great artworks of the Renaissance, deftly explaining them in terms of the religion and politics of the time.

Reynard took some creative risks with this novel and did it in an audaciously ambitious way. The dividends pay off. His style is terse but lyrical, bold and edgy Gritty and visceral. His voice is original and commanding. The novel manages the delightful tricks of being harrowing and romantic, suspenseful and intellectual. He effortlessly weaves in themes of justice, mercy, loss, hope, love, redemption and good old-fashioned fortitude of character. The Raven is a fearless and flawless read by a remarkable author.

Excerpt from The Raven 

In the distance, the Prince could hear voices and muffled sounds.

He approached silently, almost floating across the floor.

Desperate groans and the rustling of fabric filled his ears, along with the twin sounds of rapidly beating hearts. He could smell their scents, the aromas heightened due to their sexual arousal.

He growled in reaction.

The corridor was shrouded in darkness but the Prince could see that the professor had his wife up against a window between two statues, her legs wrapped around his waist.

Her voice was breathy as she spoke, but the Prince tuned out her words, moving closer so he could catch a glimpse of her lovely face.

At the sight of it, flushed with passion, his old heart quickened and he felt the stirrings of arousal.

It was not his custom to observe rather than participate. But on this occasion, he decided to make an exception. Careful to remain in the darkness, he moved to the wall opposite the couple.

The woman squirmed in her lover’s arms, her high heels catching on his tuxedo jacket. Her fingers flew to his neck, undoing his bow tie and tossing it carelessly to the floor.

She unbuttoned his shirt, and her mouth moved to his chest, as murmurs of pleasure escaped his lips.

The Prince felt more than desire as he watched the woman’s eager movements. He caught a glimpse of her exquisite mouth and the toss of her long hair that would no doubt feel like silk between his fingers.

She lifted her head to smile at the man who held her close and he could see love in her eyes.

___________________________________________________________________________

​The Raven – Book One of The Florentine Series 2/3/15

BN

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-raven-sylvain-reynard/1119619658?ean=9780425266496

Amazon

Amazon Canada

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-raven/id888019240?mt=11

“Life is a journey, Frannie darling,” Feagan had once told me. “Choose well those with whom you travel.” As always, I’ve followed Feagan’s counsel.” ― Lorraine Heath, Surrender to the Devil

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