Silver Heart by Victoria Green
Publication date: July 25th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
There comes a moment in everyone's life when they must decide which road leads to personal happiness. For Dylan Silver, this is that moment...
For the past twenty-two-years, Dylan has been living in her parents' carefully crafted world, always putting her own dreams on hold to play the role of a dutiful daughter.
So when her best friend coaxes her into a winter getaway to a mountain cabin, she sees it as a chance to forget about the responsibilities waiting for her at home. At least for a little while.
But then her past catches up to her--in the form of sexy snowboarder, Sawyer Carter.
Six years ago, Dylan bid goodbye to the only boy she ever truly loved. Now he's standing right in front of her, bringing up bittersweet memories and igniting suppressed desires as he dares her to be the person she has always wanted to be.
Dylan and Sawyer's unexpected meeting is a second chance, but will a girl who doesn't believe in fate and taking risks be able to overcome her fears of losing control and finally embrace the life she desperately wants?
Only one thing is certain: after a week in Whistler, Dylan's world will never be the same.
Mature Language/Content Notice
~* Excerpt One *~
I made the dangerous mistake of running my finger along his forearm over a swirl of black ink. His jaw tightened, but he didn’t say anything. He just watched me explore the art on his body.
“This is my favorite.” I traced the tip of my finger across two words that formed a cross. The word live ran down the length of his arm in a vertical direction. It shared the letter i with ride which intersected it horizontally. “It describes you perfectly. You live to ride.”
“And ride to live,” he added.
He didn’t have to elaborate. I knew exactly what he meant. Sawyer had started snowboarding as a means to get out of his house and escape his father.
He shifted his weight and leaned back on his arm. The sleeve of his t-shirt moved slightly, revealing another series of letters.
“What does this say here?” I asked as I lifted up his sleeve. It took every bit of strength and self-control I had within me to hold in my gasp.
“Is that…for that medal you won at the X-Games a while back?” I managed to ask without letting my voice crack.
“Yeah. The X-Games,” his lips said, but his eyes were telling a whole other story. His sad smile tore apart my heart, but the words that followed sewed it back up. “There’s nothing better than a silver medal.”
“Most normal people reach for gold,” I told him, tugging his sleeve back down. Before I had a chance to pull my hand away, he wrapped his fingers around my wrist, locking it in place.
“Most normal people don’t know the value of silver,” he said, gently caressing the sensitive skin above my pulse with his thumb.
“We’re not talking about medals anymore, are we?” I whispered, shivering under his touch.
He leaned in and lifted my chin up to his face, once again taking my breath away with a single, scorching look. “Were we ever?”
Unique Date Ideas From Silver Heart’s Characters
The traditional “Dinner and a Movie” may be the go-to first date for many couples, but is it always the best way to get to know someone? Dinners at fancy restaurants can carry a lot of pressure for constant conversation, while movies inside a crowded theater allow for none.
Dylan and Sawyer’s first date involved bungee jumping. Talk about pressure (and fear of dying!) While I don’t suggest going to that extreme with your new crush, I wanted to poll the characters from Silver Heart and find out their suggestions for date ideas that are both fun and out of the box. They came up with a variety of unique dates that can help reduce some of those first-date jitters.
Without further ado, here are they suggestions. *Cue Law and Order sound effect.*
Break a Sweat. Preferably Outdoors.
Okay, I may have gone a little overboard with that bungee jumping idea, but I think we’d all agree that after managing to convince Silver that I wasn’t crazy (or trying to kill her), the date ended up being one for the books.
The bottom line is that I’d much rather do something active with a girl than sit in a dark movie theatre. Those of you going to the movies because you think it will be a good place to hook up need to get more creative.
*See Sawyer’s snowboarding lessons date for inspiration.*
Getting sweaty and dirty before you even get to first base is a great way to get to know someone—and quite the tease. There’s nothing hotter than a girl who can enjoy a sporty, outdoor activity. She doesn’t have to be an Olympic athlete or anything, just up for having fun. The memories I’ve made with Silver while teaching her to snowboard beat out any other memories I’ve made on the slopes—including winning medals. Yeah, I didn’t even mind when she accidentally busted my lip.
My favorite outdoor date ideas are: snowboarding, hiking, ice skating, biking, rock climbing, as well any kind of “contact sport” like football or basketball. Maybe even check out an amusement park and feel like a kid again. Or why not join a city-wide urban adventure competition where your body and wits are tested during fun activities. What better way to find out whether or not your date is a team player, right?
Sharing is Caring
I sometimes have trouble sharing pieces of myself with people I don’t know well. Sawyer and I grew up together, so he has always known about the things that are most important to me, like my photography. Even though we’re both very different, I feel that he’s able to share in my interests with ease. But maybe that’s just what happens when you meet someone who is perfect for you. I don’t know…*blushes*
What I do know is that I’ve had some really bad dates in the past where dragging out conversation from a guy was like pulling nails. It’s even worse when you’re sitting face-to-face in a restaurant, listening to crickets chirp. Well, hopefully there aren’t any real crickets jumping around your restaurant, but you know what I mean. For me—though Maddie may disagree—being able to communicate with someone is the key to building chemistry.
My suggestion for a unique, fun date idea that is sure to spark a lot of conversation would be to indulge in a shared pastime or passion with your date: like an art exhibit, concert, event, or even a fair!
Even if you don’t end up liking the band or hate the art installation, at least it provides you with a shared experience and an opportunity to talk about it in real time. Who knows, maybe you’ll both discover a new favorite indie artist, or a shared dislike for a certain pretentious exhibition.
What about taking things a step father and going on a charitable date that involves helping make someone else’s day a little better while learning about each other? You can volunteer at a soup kitchen or an animal shelter. Many animal shelters are open to having the public help out, and would love to have volunteers come and spend the afternoon playing with the animals. It’s a low-cost date idea, and can really open your mind, eyes, and heart—both to your date’s personality and the world in general.
Maddie Evans is Dylan’s best friend, one of the most fun-loving characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of writing. Leave it to Maddie to spice up “boring dining”. I just hope she sticks to the rules and doesn’t turn this into a sex column. Take it away, Mads!
Dine and Dash
Don’t look so terrified, I’m not talking about skipping out on your bill! My version of “dining and dashing” is to pick some of your favorite restaurants or hotspots you and your date have always wanted to try out and got to all of them! Yeah, you heard right! Every. Single. One.
Start off with an appetizer at one place, get the main course somewhere else, move to a different restaurant for dessert, and finally finish off with drinks at that hot new bar you wanted to check out. If things go well…maybe that won’t be the end of your night. *wink*
Instead of the usual twenty-course meal at the same old boring restaurant, this keeps you moving. I’m sure Adam is going to talk about the medical benefits of digesting your food and all that boring stuff, but for me, it’s all about fun. And this kind of dining is fun!
You can keep it all in the same family of restaurants: for example Italian or Japanese, or mix and match. Maybe you love spicy, sexy, hot Mexican…uhh…food and have a place you’ve wanted to try in mind for the main course. Or perhaps your partner is in the know about the best crepes place that has a wide variety of whipped cream that would be perfect for…dessert. Right!
*Stay on track, Maddie.*
You can control the price—you don’t need to spend a lot of money or go to fancy restaurants for this to be exciting and adventurous. Maybe even decide on a budget and see what kind of cute places you can find that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Or be frugal about the first three courses and splurge on the drinks at a martini bar you’ve always wanted to visit.
This is also fun because you can take public transit instead of driving from place to place, which will give you a lot of face-to-face time and opportunity for conversation. But there’s no pressure for constant eye-contact like there would be if you were sitting at one place for two whole hours. Not to mention, it takes the heat away from “who is going to pay”? You can offer to pay for one meal, your date for the next, and so on…
You can learn a lot about each other this way, and you can also learn about the area you live in. Perfect for new couples, but also a way to spice things up for couples that have been together for a long time and need something different. Thought for that, I have some other suggestions that could work just as well, but would involve doing things with food that I was forbidden from talking about on this blog...
*Okay, Maddie, mind out of the gutter and back on the restaurants.*
Hope you enjoyed this hot date suggestion! Go out there and have some mouthwatering fun! You’ll have plenty of time to stay in after if this guy/girl turns out to be a keeper! ;)
If you’ve met Dylan’s brother Adam, then you know that he’s all about his education. So it’s no surprise that his hot date ideas center on learning! Alright, Adam, the floor is yours.
Play Teacher. Or Student.
Just because you’re on a date, doesn’t mean that you can’t learn something. Fun, educational dates are all the rage lately.
You can decide whether you and your partner both want to explore something you’re novices at, or go on a date where one of you is the expert and plays teacher to the other. But it’s not just about learning a new skill. This kind of date brings you closer, because you’re sharing your passions and interests with each other.
Maybe your date is artistic, so suggest going to a paint lounge where you can create paintings, while indulging in drinks. Or try out improve class or take bar-tending lessons. They even offer date-oriented DJ and cross-fit courses, depending on your interest and how high-intensity you want the activity to be.
What would I do with a girl? Good question. I’m a terrible cook. Growing up in a very traditional family, my mother never really placed much value on teaching me how to do many things she deemed “girly”. In turn, I’ve been living off pre-made food and takeout for most of my undergraduate years. Now that I’m in medical school, it’s even harder to find time to graduate from making scrambled eggs every morning and ordering Chinese every night. So I guess it would be kind of fun to take a cooking class with a girl. Either we can both learn to make a dish or she can play teacher if she’s a foodie. Maybe I’ll learn to make a proper breakfast. Who knows, it might come in handy…
Now that you’ve heard from my gang from Silver Heart, I want to hear from YOU! Which of these date ideas would you like to try? Or have you already tried some of them? How did it go? Do you have your own suggestions for fun dates that are somewhat out of the box?
Victoria Green is a New Adult author who enjoys writing about unspoken love and second chances. She’s a travel junkie and a huge photography enthusiast. Her experience growing up a war-torn country has helped teach her the importance of living life to the fullest and appreciating every single day. She believes in true love, good chocolate, and great books. She lives in Canada with her high school sweetheart (though he's graduated to a fiancé now) and their pack of puppies, and also writes Young Adult novels under a different name.
~* Interview *~
Why did you choose to write New Adult?
It was in one of my university lit classes that I fell in love with the classical Bildungsroman. I believe that the New Adult category is a modern twist on coming of age novels. It focuses on a very important time in our lives between our teen years and “real” adulthood that has been somewhat underrepresented in popular culture in the past.
I love writing about characters overcoming hurdles, growing, and learning from experience. I’m a big believer that no one is perfect and we’re never done developing, and the New Adult Contemporary genre is a great place to explore the human psyche. Or, at least, that of my imaginary characters!
What is Silver Heart about?
Silver Heart is a story about friendship and love. It’s a tale of relationships standing the test of time, as well as a second chance at love. It focuses on a week in a life of a “lost girl” who yearns to find her place in the world, but is too afraid to stand up to her family and societal pressures.
This may sound tame in comparison to battling zombies or solving murders, but “normal”, everyday problems are often some of the hardest to overcome. Personally, I know that finding my voice and gaining strength to stand by my own decisions were some of the biggest challenges I faced as a New Adult. It’s no different for Dylan Silver—except she also has to deal with feelings for one of her childhood friends, Sawyer Carter. A boy she never had a chance with due to their complicated pasts.
Instead of setting the story in a fantastical world like I enjoy doing with some of my other books, or focusing on high-intensity, soap-opera drama, I wanted this book to be very realistic and mostly character-driven. I wanted Dylan and Sawyer to be “real” people who could actually exist somewhere out there in the world. I hope you enjoy it!
Why the sport of snowboarding?
Umm…hot snowboarders, anyone?!
To tell you the truth, I haven’t read a single YA/NA book about snowboarding. I know they’re out there (if you have any good recommendations, please share!), but I felt like the sport was so underrepresented that I needed to do something about it. I’m a big snowboarding buff—though I’m more on Dylan’s skill level than Sawyer’s—so I felt quite passionate about this topic. The research into the competitive aspect of snowboarding was extremely interesting and informative.
Did I mention hot snowboarders?
During what must have been a momentary lapse in common-sense, I actually initially set the story during a summer lake retreat (same plot, but different setting!), but then realized that seeing Sexy Snowboarder Sawyer in action, rather than just talking about his snowboarding would be much, much more entertaining! Duh!
I do have to admit that writing a sexy story set in winter was slightly more complicated than anything I’d written before. Too many layers, if you know what I mean. I had to get creative. Reeeeally creative! ;)
Who is your favorite Silver Heart character and why?
Probably Sawyer. I seldom crush on my characters—I tend to love them all platonically, but he was special. I love the various layers of his personality—from the sweet to the sexy and everything in between. While I tend to go for NA “bad boys” (who doesn’t?), I wanted to take Sawyer in a different direction that may perhaps be somewhat atypical. I didn’t want to write him using any kind of formula. In turn, this made him much more “real” to me. I’m already midway through writing a new book with a very intense new hottie, so I need to enjoy Sawyer while I still can.
I also love Maddie. I was initially worried that the readers would find her a little too “out there”, but my Betas quickly came back with “WE LOVE MADDIE!” notes, and my readers have responded similarly. I’m so happy that her character came out exactly how I intended her—she’s wild, carefree, and lives life in the moment. But she’s also fiercely loyal, kind, and intuitive. However, as a character, I think she still has a lot of growing to do. After graduating high school, she hit the road and never looked back. Yes, she’s achieved things in her career, but I would love to see how Maddie handles a more serious life situation. In fact, I’ve already plotted out her story, and it has made me cry. Many times! If there is reader demand, I’m thinking about moving it up on my book cue and releasing it ahead of some other planned releases.
Of course, Dylan is also very dear to my heart. Being the main character, she has the most maturing to do. She has been trained to follow her parents’ dreams and be a perfect daughter to a point where she lost some pieces of herself. She’s also feeling guilty about the fact that she’s questioning her happiness, when she should be thankful for things like good health and financial security. I think one of the biggest lessons she has to learn throughout the book is that sometimes it’s good to let go and listen to your heart instead of your brain.
What type of reader would you recommend Silver Heart to?
Silver Heart is a New Adult Contemporary Romance, perfect for readers who enjoy sweet, sexy love/friendship stories. It contains some foul language and it features certain sexual situations, so reader discretion is advised. If you’re looking to heat up your summer or warm your heart on a cold winter day, snuggle up to Sawyer.
What is your next project going to be about and when will it be released?
My next book, Crimson Road, is a story about a guy and a girl who don’t get along, but due to unforeseen circumstances, get stuck on a road trip together. It’s also a NA Contemporary Romance, but there is a bit of mystery incorporated into the story. It’s almost opposite of Silver Heart, because it’s about a couple who dislike each other due to their past connection, so that will be fun to explore! It should be out in November, 2013. I also have some YA projects to get ready to release, so it’s going to be a busy end of the year!
~* Giveaway Information *~
Silver Heart Necklace
$30.00 Gift Card to Amazon/B&N/Kobo/Chapters/iTunes (winner’s choice)
Snow-Themed Essie Nail Polish (Color: Set in Stones)
5 Sawyer’s Live-Ride Tattoos
5 Silver Heart Bookmarks
*A value of $60.00a Rafflecopter giveaway