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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My Favorite Things Event with Sylvain Reynard

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

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

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

It’s a pleasure to be with you for the RFTC’s My Favorite Things Event. I want to share my top – 5 favorite museums.

1. The Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy.

The Uffizi Gallery contains a large percentage of the world’s Renaissance art, including pieces by Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, etc. It’s easy to navigate and not usually as crowded as, say, The Louvre. There’s an exceptional view of the Piazza Signoria nearby from a rooftop terrace café. I’ve used the Gallery (and the terrace) as the backdrop for several scenes in my novels, including Gabriel’s Rapture and The Raven.

2. The Louvre, Paris, France. 

The Louvre is an incredible repository of art and antiquities. It’s very large and so visitors would benefit from booking a guided tour that focuses on a few pieces. The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci is one of the jewels of the collection. The Louvre will be featured in my next book, “The Man in the Black Suit,” which is set in Paris.

3. The British Museum, London, England.

The British Museum is another incredible repository of art and antiquities. The Rosetta Stone is here, as are the Elgin Marbles, which were taken off the Parthenon in Athens. They have winged bulls from Assyria and heads from Easter Island. They also have an incredible atrium. Once again, visitors would benefit from booking a guided tour that would focus on a few pieces rather than trying to rush through the museum.

4. The Vatican Museums, Rome, Italy.

The Vatican Museums are incredible and a tour of the main museum ends with the incomparable Sistine Chapel, whose frescoes were painted by Michelangelo. You’ll want to take your time in this museum as there are a number of surprises, including wall frescoes by Raphael in various rooms and other incredible pieces.  Once you reach the Chapel, you’ll want to take a spot at the perimeter and look up, admiring the breathtaking ceiling.

5. The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada.

Admittedly, this is a patriotic choice. But The ROM does an excellent job of bringing art and antiquities to Toronto. They have a very interesting Egyptology section as well as a collection of Chinese art and artifacts.  The ROM is also the backdrop for a particular scene in “Gabriel’s Inferno” that I very much enjoyed writing…

The Raven, which is the first novel in my now complete Florentine Series.

Raven Wood spends her days at Florence's Uffizi gallery restoring 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 semiconscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attackers' 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. Upon returning to the Uffizi, no one recognizes her. More disturbingly, she discovers that she's been absent an entire week. With no recollection of her disappearance, Raven 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 police identify her as their prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence's wealthiest and most elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets . . .

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Up for Grabs:
  • 1 ARC copy of The Man in the Black Suit

To Enter:
  • Please leave a comment or question for Sylvain.
  • ARC won't be sent out until November/December.
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter.

**Don't forget to enter our grand prize giveaway!**

Good Luck!

Special thanks to Sylvain Reynard for sponsoring this giveaway.
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  1. I would love to visit the Vatican Museums as spell as the Ufizzi Gallery. Sylvain is a new Author for me so I'm happy to have met her here.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  2. What a great collection. I hope to go to Europe someday to see those things! I love exploring history!

  3. I would like to visit your list of favorites.

  4. This is truly an exciting contest. I cannot wait to be swept away to Paris, "The City of Lights," and into the mysterious world of Sylvain Reynard's next bestseller, THE MAN IN THE BLACK SUIT.

  5. Love all of your books, can't wait for this new one.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I have visited all except the royal ontario museum, what is your favorite piece of art in all of them? Thank you for write.

  8. Hi from France. We're in the middle of the presidential elections and with my friends we want to re-organize our governement and we'd like Gabriel as minister of Education. What do you think? �� . Thanks for your time and talent.

  9. I never been to Europe. All of those museums sound fantastic. I would love to go to the smithsonian museum of natural history.

  10. Hi SR, Im thrilled to know your next book will be placed in Paris and it will contain more art references. Can't wait to read it! Question: If you had to choose between a painting or a sculpture from these museums, which would you choose and why?

  11. I love this post, The ufizi gallery is certainly on my bucket list.
    I'm re reading Gabriel's Inferno and loving it even more than the first time.

  12. I have always had a love of art I lived over seas as a young child and I loved Rome and Paris. Now as an adult my husband is sick so we do not travel when I read Sylvian books I just go exactly where the characters are. I'm so excited to read The Man in the Black Suit!

  13. Hello Sylvain! Your books sound great! Thank you

  14. Hello dear Boss!
    This would be the perfect birthday gift <3
    Why do you fall in love with the Italian art&culture in particulary? What makes it different from the other ones? What's that "special something" it has to you that no other makes you love it as much as you do with Italy?
    Always supporting, admiring and loving you SR.

  15. Hey SR! So excited for your new book!! I have no question just continued praise for your body of work. I love museums as my first degree was in Fine Arts. So visiting the Uffizi, if only through your words, was a special experience. Hope you have a wonderful summer! Lisa Barrell, Beckley, West Virginia, USA

  16. Thank so much SR; your books �� transports me back to my visit to the Uffizi & Florence. I was also lucky enough to visit Rome and the Vatican museum. I hope to someday visit Paris, London, & Toronto. Thank for the Chance & I can't wait to read The Man in The Black Suit. Cheers Karen Komarinski your favorite cook/baker

  17. I love reading all of Sylvain Reynard's books, and I love hearing about all the different museums! Can't wait for The Man in the Black Suit! Thanks for contest and for giving us a great look into Italy and all the wonderful places, as well!

  18. Please, be my guide SR when I next visit these places ;)

  19. Love love love hearing about museums! I wish I could travel more. We have a new one in Lisbon called Maat.

    Awesome giveaway, can't wait to read #TMitBS

  20. Thanks for your awesome list of your favorite museums. They all sounds fantastic and I can't wait until I can someday visit them all. I have visited the Vatican Museums in Italy. All I can say is amazing.

  21. I love SR's books, so thank you for the awesome giveaway, I can't wait to read this!

  22. My question to Sylvain - which one is your favorite gallery? I personaly love Louvre the most 😊

  23. My question to Sylvain - which one is your favorite gallery? I personaly love Louvre the most 😊

  24. I want to go to Florence and visit every single part of the city. My question to Sylvain is - what let you more impressed in Uffizzi Gallery?

  25. Hope one day to have the opportunity to travel to Europe and visit these amazing places :)

  26. Getting lost in a museum is such a wonderful thing. I've been to a couple of these but need to see the rest! Someday...
    Thank you!

  27. Thank your for all the books now much of you do you put in the books are there any quirks in the characters personalities lie yourself. My husband and have a tour planned of Paris and Florence and also of Toronto Canada coming up due your books. All the love and thoughts.

  28. What was your true inspiration to create the characters of Gabriel and William?, They are different but at the same time so similar. Thank you Sylvain all your books are incredible ;)