Monday, August 4, 2014

The Prince - Releasing January 2015

(NB. This announcement first appeared on The Rock Stars of Romance site on July 30, 2014
Thank you to the Rock Stars for hosting the announcement)

Dear Everyone,

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know I’ve mentioned several times that in addition to working on the sequel to “The Raven,” I’ve been working on a second writing project.

The nature of that writing project has been a secret until now …

I’m pleased to announce that I’m writing a prequel novella to “The Raven” that will be entitled “The Prince.”  “The Prince” will be released by Intermix in January 2015 as an ebook.

Here’s the description:

The unveiling of a set of priceless illustrations of Dante’s Divine Comedy at the Uffizi Gallery exposes the unsuspecting Professor Gabriel Emerson and his beloved wife, Julianne, to a mysterious and dangerous enemy.

Unbeknownst to the Professor, the illustrations he secretly acquired years ago were stolen a century earlier from the ruler of Florence’s underworld. Now one of the most dangerous beings in Italy is determined to reclaim his prized artwork and exact revenge on the Emersons, but not before he uncovers something disturbing about Julianne …

Set in the city of Florence, “The Prince” is a prequel novella to “The Raven,” which is the first book in the new Florentine Series Trilogy by Sylvain Reynard.

“The Prince” can be read as a standalone but readers of The Gabriel Series may be curious about the connection between The Professor’s world and the dark, secret underworld of “The Prince.”

I view “The Prince” as a bridge between The Gabriel Series and “The Raven.” It’s a chance to see Gabriel and Julianne and also meet new characters from The Florentine Series.

Here's a short teaser:

"Let the Emersons view themselves as modern incarnations of Dante and Beatrice. It mattered not. Mercy was not a part of the Prince’s nature …"

"The Raven" is already available for preorder from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, KOBO, and The Book Depository. "The Prince" will be available for preorder soon.

Thank you for your continued support.

All the best,


Friday, July 25, 2014

The Famous Kitchen Table Outtake

Dear Everyone,

Some time ago, The Rock Stars of Romance were kind enough to post the famous Kitchen Table Outtake from Gabriel's Rapture. Recently, I've heard from a number of readers who had heard about the outtake but couldn't find it, etc.

Here it is.

(NB. Please test the sturdiness of any kitchen furniture before trying it out.)

"Julia rolled over and reached across the bed.  Gabriel was gone.  With the sun high in the sky and shining in through the balcony windows she was not surprised by his absence, or by the coolness of the sheets on his side. Clutching his pillow, which still retained the scent of Aramis that always clung to him, she found a handwritten note.

Good Morning, my Lovely.

You were sleeping too peacefully to awaken. 
I’ve gone into Todi to pick up a few things.
I want to cook for you today.
Call my cell phone if you need anything.


PS:  Your beauty is truly breathtaking.

Julia smiled.  It was a simple note, not unlike countless others he’d written for her. But in the bottom corner, almost as an afterthought, he’d sketched her.  It was her profile with her hair cascading over the pillow while she slept, transposed into a small pencil drawing. And underneath it he’d written My Beatrice.

She hadn’t known that he had skill with a pencil, although his dexterity in other respects suggested a multiplicity of manual talents. But the sketch was rather good, quite good.  She’d have to keep it.

Still smiling, she swung her naked feet to the cold floor and walked gingerly to the closet.  She didn’t feel like wearing clothes or getting dressed properly.  For the first time perhaps ever, she felt comfortable in her own skin.  So she took one of Gabriel’s white dress shirts and put it on, buttoning only a few of the buttons before searching one of the dresser drawers for some socks.

She heard Gabriel’s voice calling to her. He had returned.

Enthusiastically, she sped down the stairs and toward the kitchen.

“Hello, Miss Mitchell.”  He kissed her forehead as he set the groceries on the counter.  “You look pretty.”

Hands free, he pecked first one cheek then the other before trapping her in his arms against the counter.

“Did you sleep well?”  His lips moved against her hair.

“Very well.”  She pressed her mouth to his Adam’s apple and he recoiled slightly as if she’d tickled him.  “Thank you for the drawing.”

“You’re welcome.”

“I didn’t know you could draw.”

“Darling, I’d paint you if I could. With my fingers.”

Julia’s mouth hung open and Gabriel chuckled before gently closing her mouth.

“We’ll try fingerpainting later.  I like your socks.”  He released her from his arms, smiling slyly.

She looked down at her feet and flexed them. 

“Argyle is sexy.”

“I’ve always thought so.  Let me turn the heat up. I don’t want you to catch cold.”  He disappeared into the other room and returned a moment later.  “I’ll build a fire when we sit down for lunch.” 

He began unpacking the groceries, watching her from the corner of his eye.  “You seem happy today.”

She hoisted herself up onto the counter and began to swing her legs back and forth.  “I am happy.  I’m in love with a wonderful man and I get to share this fantastic house with him. I’m the luckiest girl in the universe.”

Gabriel’s eyebrows shot up.  “In the universe?  Hmmm. I’m sure the inhabitants of the galaxy next door will be sorry to hear that.”

She playfully poked him with her argyle-covered foot.  “You’re a nerd.”

He turned on her and grabbed her foot, pulling it upwards until her leg was extended to the height of his shoulder.

What did you just call me?”  He feigned anger but his green eyes twinkled with amusement.

“Um, I called you a nerd.”

He raised a single eyebrow. 

“Oh, really? Would a nerd do this?”  Expertly, Gabriel used his fingers to stroke the contours of Julia’s instep, over her sock.

When she gasped at the pleasant sensation, he sensuously peeled off her socks before tossing them over his shoulder. 

“I think it’s hot enough in here now, don’t you agree?”  His voice was low and provocative and it made Julia quiver.

He slid his hand down her leg, toying with the back of her knee until she closed her eyes and groaned.

“Julianne,” he growled, his eyes dancing.


“You aren’t wearing any panties.”

A brilliant red flushed her cheeks and she tried to withdraw her foot, realizing how exposed she was.

“Not so fast.”  With a single finger, he travelled the length of her inner thigh and back again, stroking up and down in a patient rhythm.

She began to breathe rather rapidly as his long fingers approached where she was exposed.

“Nerds are not known for their skills in lovemaking.”  Gabriel withdrew his hand and placed his index finger against her lower lip. 

“Open,” he commanded. 

She opened her mouth and he pressed his finger inside.  He peered down at her expectantly and she closed in around him, sucking his finger slightly before releasing it.

He winked at her before using his now moistened finger to stroke the inside of her upper thigh.

“Would a nerd know to do this?”  He leaned over and began to blow across the trail of wetness he’d left with his finger. 

When Julia shivered and squirmed, he smiled wickedly and nuzzled the same trail with his nose. 

Standing up again, he kissed her hungrily and then abruptly retreated.  Before she had the time to protest, he dropped to his knees in front of her.

“Hmmmm,” he said, moving her legs so that they rested on his shoulders. “This counter seems to be the perfect height. I guess you really are the luckiest girl in the universe.”

He leaned forward, blowing air across her naked flesh and then extended his tongue to taste her.

“Aaaahhhh!”  Julia’s strangled cry sounded like a dying cat, when in reality she was exclaiming in pleasure.

Gabriel hummed against her skin and continued his activities, peering up at her on occasion with an expression of unconcealed delight.

There was no possibility of keeping her eyes open. It was too intense. And he was working her slowly, oh, so slowly, as if to defend his sexual prowess by this single act.

And what an act.

Gabriel knew exactly what he was doing, teasing and tantalizing until she was perched on the edge, and then withdrawing impishly until she cobbled together enough wits to peer down at him.

He did this several times until his compassion got the better of him and he allowed her to come in a cacophony of cries and pants and incoherent exclamations.

When she had finished shaking, he gently removed her legs from his shoulders and stood to his feet, grinning widely.  He cleaned his face with his handkerchief before kissing her chastely. (For he was, as always, a gentleman)

“Still think I’m a nerd?”

Julia leaned backwards and collapsed into a fetal position atop the counter.


An hour later, they were seated at the kitchen table enjoying their lunch.  Gabriel was playing music over the stereo system and he’d built a fire in the fireplace.

They began with black olive crostini and an arugula salad, followed by pasta with truffles and a side of fresh roasted porchetta.  Their meal was a leisurely affair and when it was finished and they were sipping their wine, Julia watched him.  He seemed rather proud of himself, a smirk firmly plastered across his face as he stared at her over the rim of his glass.

Boldly, she placed her hand in his lap and began to stroke him. But her intention was immediately thwarted.  He took her by the wrist and brought her hand up to his mouth, kissing her softly before winding their fingers together.

“That isn’t necessary,” he said.

“But you did something for me.”

“I didn’t do it so you would reciprocate. I did it because I wanted to please you.  And I pleased you, didn’t I?”

She blushed self-consciously as she recalled what had placed the smirk on his face and immediately his expression shifted.

He reached over to lift her chin. 

“That’s better,” he breathed, his eyes concerned and kind.

“You’re very …  giving,” she whispered.

“It’s only what you deserve.”

“You’re the only one who has ever thought so.”

Gabriel frowned slightly.  “Come to me.”

He pushed his chair back from the table and opened his arms.  Julia positioned herself sideways on his lap and brought her head to rest against his chest.   He held her tightly and kissed the crown of her head.

“How do you feel when you’re in my arms?” he asked.

“Comfortable. Happy.”

He nodded.  “That’s how I feel when I’m near you.”

“Really?”  Her voice was muffled against his shirt.

He squeezed her even closer.

“You’re a gift – a pearl of great price.  When I was in despair and had alienated and abused my family, you appeared. A brown eyed angel in jeans and sneakers.  And you weren’t afraid of me, even though you should have been.”

“I was curious.”

“As I was about you.  And when I was mired in depression a second time, when Grace died, you came back to me.  Treating you well is the least I can do.  You’re the love of my life, Julianne.”

Julia lifted her head and brought their lips together.  “You’re the love of my life, Gabriel.”

He smiled and kissed her firmly before running his fingers across the back of her neck.

“I don’t want to take from you Julianne. I want to give. This trip, our time together, is all about building something for the future. It’s about more than sex, although sex is a part of it. An important part.”

Julia blushed and nodded.

Gabriel tapped the end of her nose with his finger.

“Did you know that in Judaism intercourse is the right of the wife? As is an orgasm?”

“You’re kidding.”

Gabriel smiled.  “No, I’m not.  A husband is obligated to fulfil his wife’s sexual needs and to make sure that she orgasms, preferably before him.”

“Your vast sexual knowledge never ceases to amaze me.”

He laughed. “I suppose I should be flattered by that remark.”

She smiled at him and he kissed her.

“Under the proper circumstances, when done with love, sex can be a mitzvah,” he whispered.

“And you know this how?”

“I read it in a book – Kosher Sex.”

“Sounds delicious.”

Gabriel grinned.  “Our lunch might not have been kosher, but our lovemaking can be.”

Julia blushed deeply and shifted against him.

“How did you know what to do – yesterday?”  Now her voice was small. She didn’t want to reopen the topic of the previous evening’s conversation, but it was important to her to communicate her gratitude, her awe for Gabriel’s understanding.
He seemed surprised by her question and began tapping his foot against the stone floor.

“I love you. You were upset …” He shrugged and his face took on an earnest expression.  “I wanted to do something – intimate that would demonstrate that I cared for you.”

“It was very intimate, very caring.  Thank you.” Her eyes were downcast once again.

Gabriel’s lips tightened and he tapped his foot twice more.

“I saw something once, shortly after Grace found me.  She’d brought me home to live with them.”  He paused, appearing to search for the appropriate words.

“I was given the run of the house. It was late at night and I decided to go downstairs to raid the refrigerator.”  He clenched his jaw. “I used to stockpile food in my room because I was worried that there might not be anything to eat the next day.”

Julia reached over and took his hand in hers, squeezing it tightly.  “I’m sorry,” she whispered.

“I was just outside the kitchen when I heard Richard and Grace talking. She was insisting that they keep me and he, while not totally opposed to the idea, was arguing that it would be better for me to be with relatives and not strangers.

“I was intrigued by their discussion, since it concerned me and so I peeked around the doorway. Grace was leaning against the counter and Richard was standing in front of her. Her hands were covered with suds as if she’d been doing the dishes and her hair had fallen into her eyes.  Richard reached up, probably to push the hair back from her face, and she leaned into his touch.”  Gabriel stared at Julia deliberately.

“Richard told her that he loved her and then they began kissing. I backed away from the door and returned to my room.” 

Gabriel sighed.  “I’d never seen something like that – a man being tender with a woman.  I wondered who these people were and how I found myself in their house.”

He pressed his mouth to Julia’s.

“I’ve never been tender with a woman before because I never loved a woman before.  Now that we’re together all I want to do is love you and adore you.”

“I love you, too.”  Boldly, Julia moved to straddle his lap, winding her fingers in his thick and unruly hair.

He gripped her lower back and slid his hands underneath the shirt she was wearing until they were comfortably cupping her backside.

“I think that you’ve forgotten something, Miss Mitchell.”

“And what could that be, Professor Emerson?”

“Your panties,” he whispered, pulling her close until their chests were flush against one another.

Julia was so focused on the kiss that she didn’t notice his fingers fumbling with her buttons until he was slipping the shirt over her shoulders. She shuddered as the air hit her skin.

“This isn’t fair,” she pouted, sitting completely bare on his lap.

“What isn’t fair?”  He smiled as he drew his thumb across her protruding lower lip.

“I’m naked and you’re – not.”

He fixed her with an intense stare. 

“Then undress me, Julianne.”

He pulled her against him and then proceeded to encourage her to slide back and forth over his groin.

She purred into his mouth as they pressed together.

Gabriel leaned forward to kiss and nibble across her breasts, placing a hand against one of her shoulder blades in order to press her closer.

She quickly undid his shirt and tugged at the fabric, indicating that he should rid himself of it.  In one quick motion, the cotton fell to the floor and he pulled his undershirt over his head.  Then he returned his mouth to her chest.

“I don’t know how to lap dance,” she whispered as he placed his lips around her nipple.

“You’re already proficient,” he murmured, licking and sucking and gripping and grinding.  “Remind me to beg for more in the future.”

“You don’t have to beg.  Ever.”

As Julia’s moans became louder, he stood up and walked her to the kitchen table.  He roughly pushed the dishes and glasses aside and then placed her bottom at the edge of the table.

“Lie back,” he instructed, eyes blazing.

Julia reclined on her elbows and watched as Gabriel undid his trousers, pushing them and his underwear to the floor.  Stepping out of them gracefully, he kicked them and his argyle socks aside.

Coming toward her, he grabbed her knees, pulling them apart.

“Ready?”  He gazed down with a kind of frenzied look but his voice was chillingly calm, as if he were forcing himself to hold back until he had her assent.


He pulled her legs around his waist, waiting until she was gripping him tightly, and then he entered her with one swift movement.

“Uh,” she gasped.

Gabriel stilled, bringing his hand up to her face.  “Did I hurt you?”

“No. You just – surprised me.” 

He kissed the tip of her nose and took her hand in his, weaving their fingers together.  Then he gripped her hip with his other hand and began his rhythm, biting his lip as he paced himself.

From Julia’s position, it was more comfortable to lie back and stare up at the crystal chandelier but she craned her neck so that she could see his expression.  Gabriel wore a look of focused concentration, his eyebrows knitted, his jaw clenched.

He was not slow.  He was not hesitant.  But he was not unkind.

Reclined as she was atop the wooden harvest table, it wasn’t possible to touch him, but she wrapped her legs around him and began digging her ankles in the soft flesh of his bottom.

It was a good thing she wasn’t wearing heels.

Enmeshed as they were, he went deeper and deeper still.  Julia found a unique, previously unknown pleasure in the angle in which he moved and with every push she found herself crying out for more.

I breathe you,” he whispered, between grunts of admiration.

Julia found herself staring up into searing green eyes and a wide panting mouth.

Ah,” he gasped, his fingers digging more deeply into the flesh of her hip.  “You’re everything.  You’re the air.”

She dragged their connected hands over her head as her lower back bowed off the table, elevating her breasts towards his hungry mouth.  He gripped them with his lips as she writhed beneath him, electricity jumping between their sweating skins.

The forward movement of Gabriel’s hips began to generate a persistent knocking sound as he slammed against the table.  He would have bruises, but he didn’t care. He couldn’t even feel the contact, overwhelmed as he was by the feeling of their intense and heated connection.

She wanted to touch him.  She pressed her heels into his backside with greater force, urging him deeper still, hoping he would crawl on top of the table and press his body over hers. 

And with a cry, he did just that, pulling her legs so that they wrapped closer to his shoulders.

His face was inches from hers now and he dipped down to taste her neck, rolling a patch of skin over his tongue before sucking on it slightly.

She arched off the table into a screaming orgasm just as he released her neck.

Gabriel increased his pace, pushing and swirling until he, too, climaxed, collapsing atop her as the tension left his body.

Julia tried to catch her breath as the lingering tentacles of her climax caressed her limbs and then retreated.  This warmth, this favoured bliss, this afterglow was almost as sweet as the moment of release.  Especially because she could look up into the face of her lover and know that their affection was mutual.

Gabriel inhaled deeply.  It took a moment or two for his heart rate to slow, but when it did, he squeezed her hand and pressed his lips gently to hers.

A warm, sweet smile greeted him.  The smile of contentment and love.  He’d pleased her and she was happy.  He felt manly and proud.

He kissed her breast and wiggled his fingers at her.

“Are you ready for some fingerpainting?”

All the best and thank you for reading,

PS. Be sure to visit The Rock Stars of Romance on July 30th, when they will be posting a special announcement penned by me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Dear Everyone,

I'm proud to reveal the cover of my next novel, The Raven, which is the first in The Florentine Series, a new trilogy published by Berkley/Penguin. The novel is a paranormal love story set in Florence, Italy.


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…

As you can see, the design team at Penguin did a great job encapsulating the novel in the cover. I like it a lot and I hope that you do too.

The Professor, as well as a few other characters from The Gabriel Series will have cameo roles in The Raven.  And as you can see, the Botticelli illustrations mentioned above are a link between the two series.

If you read Gabriel's Redemption, you've already met one of the characters from The Raven. 

Release Date:  February 3, 2015

Pre-Order Links US / Canada

Barnes & Noble  - Coming Soon


Print - US
Kindle - US
Print - Canada
Kindle - Canada

Chapters/Indigo  - Coming Soon


Books-a-Million  - Coming Soon




As we lead up to the release date, I'll be releasing teasers and we'll be having giveaways.

And there' s something else I'm working on as well.  I should have an announcement to that effect shortly.

All the best and thanks for reading,

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