Spotlight & Giveaway: Salvatore by Cecy Robson

Posted March 25th, 2019 by in Blog, Spotlight / 9 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Cecy Robson to HJ!

Hi Cecy and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, SALVATORE!

Hey, Sara! Thank you. It’s great to be back!

To start off, can you please tell us a little bit about this book?:

Hmm. Where to start?

I was always fascinated with anti-heroes. How is a man who is so dark and violent deserving of an HEA? Salvatore always had good intentions. But good intentions, especially for a man like Salvatore, only pave the way to hell. To save and help his brothers, Salvatore makes a deal with Vincent, a crime boss set to take over his ailing father’s empire. Salvatore is smart and good at hurting people. He’s exactly who Vincent needs on his side.

In come Adrianna Daniels, a counselor at Salvatore brothers’ school. His brothers are skipping school, fighting, and overall getting into trouble. Adrianna knocks on his Salvatore’s door to confront him. This is their first meeting and not their last. Sparks fly just as Salvatore dives deeper into the dark underground world of the mafia. This is a bad time to fall in love, but both are now in too far.

Please share your favorite lines or quote(s) from this book:

I love this one because it’s just so, *swoon* Salvatore.

My hold on her is gentle despite the aggression of my tongue. It moves deep into her mouth, seeking her out, claiming her as mine.


What inspired this book?

  • HBO The Sopranos
  • Bon Jovi’s Living in Sin
  • And how even the hardest, toughest men can have good hearts.


How did you ‘get to know’ your main characters? Did they ever surprise you?

We got to know each other slowly. Adrianna, was a little easier. I pictured a dark-haired Rachel McAdams, someone sweet and a little niave, but also strong. Salvatore was harder. He needed to be guarded, kind of scary, but also likeable. It’s hard to make someone you’d run screaming from sexy and alluring, but dang, Salvatore is all those things and more. His endearment was surprising, as well as his humor.


What was your favorite scene to write?

The scene where Salvatore and Adrianna go to dinner at Vincent (the mob boss) and his wife, Rita’s house. *spoiler alert* Adrianna does not want to be there.

“Have you met her yet?”
I place the stem on a plate, trying hard to keep my motions casual, even though I already suspect whom she means. “Who?”
“Vincent’s whore,” she answers.
In growing silent, I tell her exactly what she wants to know. She laughs without humor. “Come on, Aedry. I’m not blind. And I assure you I’m not stupid.”
I turn slowly in her direction, my voice as leaden with sadness as my expression. “I don’t think you’re stupid, Rita.”
She straightens, keeping her back to me from where she was placing my rolls in a wire basket. “She was here before me. So, she stays. But men don’t marry whores, do they?” She glances over her shoulder at me. “They marry good women like us. Those who cook, who wait for them to come home, those they’re not embarrassed to bring to church when they confess their sins, right?”
I don’t answer, because she’s not really asking. She’s telling me how she feels.
“Have you met her? Donatella?” She huffs when my expression gives the truth away. “I know her name and I know what she looks like. I followed them once, right before we got married.” Her voice cracks. “I wanted to see what she could give Vin that I couldn’t.”
“I’m sorry,” I tell her, meaning it down to my soul.
“Don’t feel sorry for me,” she says, despite how her lips press together in her attempt to hold back her tears.
I abandon my station, walking slowly to her side. Out of instinct, I embrace her, gathering her carefully in my arms.
She stiffens against me with so much resentment, I’m sure she’ll push me away. But then she returns my embrace and tells me something I don’t expect to hear. “Thank you,” she says, sniffling. “I promise to be there when it happens to you.”
I break away, taking a step back. She was crying on my shoulder seconds ago, but now those tears are nowhere in sight. “What?” I ask.
She cocks her head, scrutinizing me closely as if I can’t possibly be this naive. “Come on, Aedry. Salvatore and Vincent are cut from the same cloth. Do you think your pretty eyes will spare you from the control over women men like them crave? It won’t be long before he leaves your bed for someone else’s.” Her irises sparkle with anger. “If he hasn’t already.”
“He wouldn’t do that to me,” I say, hating the sudden doubt that quivers my voice.
“Why?” she asks. “Because he tells you he loves you or swore before God that he wouldn’t?” She lifts the back of her hand, twiddling her fingers to draw attention to the large engagement ring and wedding band. “That doesn’t mean anything when power means more.”
She motions to my side. It’s not until I glance down that I realize she’s pointing to my bracelet. “Did Salvatore give you that? What did it cost you? A night alone? Maybe more?”
My mouth is closed so tightly, my teeth ache. She strolls toward me, her hips swinging, and her steps barely registering over the increasing pounding in my ears.
She stops directly in front of me, sighing softly and shaking her head. “Whether you believe me or not, Sal will eventually get an extra friend to play with. Maybe more if he stays as tight as he is with Vincent.” Her voice is casual. But she laughs when she catches a glimpse of my face. “Don’t look so sad, Aedry. It’s all a part of the game.”
She may have gone from tears to laughter, but I don’t find anything she says amusing. “What if I don’t want to play?” I ask her.
“Ah, but you will play,” she tells me. Her smile remains, yet it’s not enough to hide the flickers of misery plaguing her face, and the sorrow lingering so close to the surface.
Her attention fixes on the bracelet Salvatore gave me. I don’t fight her when she lifts my hand, not when I see how fast her light brown eyes pool with tears. “You’ll play, because you love him . . . tut-tut-tut,” she says when I open my mouth to deny it. “You know you do, despite knowing there’s more to Sal’s work than what he tells you.”
My spine grows rigid enough to crack.
“You’ll play the role of his devoted woman, you will,” she tells me. “Just like you’ll keep your mouth shut for pretty little things like this.” The tip of her long red nail taps over my bracelet. “In exchange, he’ll give you a nice house, his name, and babies. Those are good things, Aedry. There’s no shame in that.”
Slowly, she lowers my hand, her hips swaying as she returns to the stove. I barely move, a feeling of dread tightening my chest hard enough for me to clasp it.
As I watch, she opens the oven door and removes a covered dish. “Be a dear and finish up,” she says, blindly staring at the wall. “Vincent’s hungry. I don’t want to keep him waiting.”


What was the most difficult scene to write?

The action scenes are always the hardest. The choreography needs to make sense and flow flawlessly. Otherwise, it can really distract from the tension or the tenderness of the moment and leave the reader stumbling over the content.

The drive to Bianchi’s estate should only take thirty minutes. With the rain causing mudslides all over the island, it’s been an hour and change, and I still don’t know how close I am. I swerve all over hell, working out a plan. Lucca should be calling me and he’s not. Either he’s dead, hurt, or running for his life. I find out which it is as I round the bend.
My lights strike Lucca staggering down the road, illuminating his pale face and the blood streaming down his body. He lifts his piece and fires. I swerve out of the way, narrowly missing a tree as I skid off the road.
I roll the window down when I catch sight of Lucca in the side view mirror. He stumbles forward, his gun out.
I crouch low. “It’s S!” I call to him, careful not to reveal names. “I’m here to get you out!”
The other family probably knows who he is by now. That doesn’t mean I need to announce him. And as much as I think his head’s not clear in the condition he’s in, I’m hoping he can recognize my voice and hear it through the rain.
When he doesn’t answer, I ease up in my seat in time to watch him collapse. Every instinct tells me to get out and haul ass―that he’s done. But Lucca, he’s young, smart, and, to some extent, a friend. I can’t leave him.
I throw the door open, my feet kicking back the mud as cold rain comes down on me in waves. I roll Lucca over from where his face is buried in a puddle. He coughs up a bunch of brown shit as I haul him into a fireman’s carry.
“God damn,” he groans.
He’s hurt and I’m making it worse. I don’t care. I move fast, the rain pelting me hard in the face as I rush back to the jeep. I throw open the rear door and toss him in the back seat, shoving him forward. He crawls across, swearing until he slumps onto his back.
I jump into the driver’s seat, ready to stomp on the gas and get my family out of the country. But there’s a job to do and I need to finish it.
How the hell am I going to get us through this?


Would you say this book showcases your writing style or is it a departure for you?

I think SALVATORE is an adequate representation of how I write. However, the storyline is completely different from any novel I’ve written. I’m proud and equally frightened of how dark I went and how I captured the grittiness of organized crime.


What do you want people to take away from reading this book?

I’m working on . . . a lot! I’m preparing a young adult novel with magical elements for submission. I’m also contracted with CHAPTERS, an interactive story app for my Weird Girls and Shattered past series, as well as HOOKED, a mobile story app where I write as Rosalina San Tiago. My Young Adult Fantasy UNION OF SOULS, will be releasing around April on Radish. In my spare time, I’m preparing UNEARTHED, a brand new urban fantasy series to release later this year, followed by OF FLAME AND FATE, the latest novel in my Weird Girls fantasy series. I was also recently contracted for my Weird Girls series for international release. ETERNAL, the second novel from my Carolina Beach series just released in France and Imperfecti, (Once Perfect, Book one of my Shattered Past series) recently made its debut in Italy. All this would not be possible without my amazing agent, Nicole Resciniti.


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?

I’m working on . . . a lot! I’m preparing a young adult novel with magical elements for submission. I’m also contracted with CHAPTERS, an interactive story app for my Weird Girls and Shattered past series, as well as HOOKED, a mobile story app where I write as Rosalina San Tiago. My Young Adult Fantasy UNION OF SOULS, will be releasing around April on Radish. In my spare time, I’m preparing UNEARTHED, a brand new urban fantasy series to release later this year, followed by OF FLAME AND FATE, the latest novel in my Weird Girls fantasy series. I was also recently contracted for my Weird Girls series for international release. ETERNAL, the second novel from my Carolina Beach series just released in France and Imperfecti, (Once Perfect, Book one of my Shattered Past series) recently made its debut in Italy. All this would not be possible without my amazing agent, Nicole Resciniti.

Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: I write in multiple genres. Let’s give you a little taste. One winner will win an audio book of Gone Hunting from my Weird Girls urban fantasy series.


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Salvatore is a bad boy. A really sexy bad boy. Name a bad boy character from a movie that you wouldn’t mind being naughty with.

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Excerpt from Salvatore:

Chapter One

“What do you think, Salvatore?”
Donnie taps her iPad with her long red nails when she finds yet another pair of shoes she wants. Like I actually give a shit what she’s buying with Vincent’s money.
“Sure. Get them,” I answer, not bothering to really look and fixing my gaze back on the door.
She pouts in that way that annoys me, but probably gets Vin hard. “That’s what you said about the other six. I’m serious. Which ones should I get?”
I don’t have to tell her that Vincent will buy her whatever she wants so long as she keeps blowing him, but I come close. The muscles along my back are ready to tear away from the bone. Every nerve along my spine fires a warning that shit’s about to go down. But I don’t show it, my face giving nothing away. “Donnie, I’m paid to watch your back. Not help you pick out shoes,” I mutter.
She starts to argue, but a knock on the door shuts her up, so does me motioning her to the corner. She may spend her days worrying about what she looks like and what she’ll wear, but she’s not stupid enough to ignore me.
I lean against the wall, opposite the door. Donnie might have shrugged off Vin yelling down the hall, but I didn’t. He isn’t happy. Neither are the other mob bosses in Jersey. It won’t be long before hell itself rains down on us. “Yeah?” I ask, keeping my deep voice casual, like my piece isn’t already clutched in my hands.
“Vincent wants you in on the meeting,” Lucca says.
Lucca’s smart. And for someone who hasn’t been in the family long, he’s tough and good on his feet. But I pick up enough in his voice to know this meeting’s not going as planned. So maybe Vin didn’t send for me. Maybe Lucca thinks I’m needed. If so, things are a lot worse than I thought.
Donnie looks at me, her preoccupation with shoes nothing more than a memory. “Lock the door behind me,” I tell her.
She rushes forward. I snag her elbow and pull her in tight to whisper in her ear. “You hear shots, you leave out the back, through the alley and down the street. Find a diner, a store, any place with lots of people. Got me?”
She nods, but she’s trembling already. Shots fired means there are plenty more to come. The other family knows who Donnie is to Vin. But if they don’t know she’s here, or if they find her with too many witnesses, she’ll be okay.
She clutches my arm when I start to leave. “Sal . . .” she says.
Donatella and me are from the old neighborhood. We’ve known each other since back when we were kids and were too stupid to know shit about organized crime. Now, we’re more stupid, because we’re willingly a part of it. She wants to say something like “be careful” or “keep him safe” or something else I don’t need to hear. So, I don’t.
I crack open the door, making sure Lucca’s standing there alone, and step out.
His eyes cut toward the hall leading to Vincent’s office, where he’s meeting with Arturo, the boss in charge of most of South Jersey, including Atlantic City. Yeah. Shit’s going down. But I don’t move until Donnie clicks the lock behind me.
Lucca starts forward, moving fast. I haul him back. “Easy,” I hiss.
That’s all he needs to hear. He slows, mimicking my pace and stance, chest out, hand curled near the piece at his waist, face hard and unreadable.
Arturo’s men stand in unison when we round the corner. At the sight of me, Vin’s men rise, too. They see what I want them to see in Lucca and me. A united front. It solidifies our crew and tenses Arturo’s. As Vin’s crew fixes their hard stares on the other family, I know they’re ready for what the next few minutes will bring.
I reach Vin’s office door. It’s open, wide open, and it pisses me off. An open door shows weakness and it demonstrates how scared Vin is about being alone with the other boss.
I march in and take point to Vin’s right. Lucca starts to head to his opposite side, but he catches the subtle motion of my left hand that tells him to stay by the door. I want to tell him to shut the door and lock it, but I can’t without raising the paranoia already thickening the air. Like I said, Lucca’s smart. He shuts the door and flicks the deadbolt.
Arturo huffs when he realizes he’s closed in. “What the fuck’s this?” He doesn’t turn around from where he’s seated directly in front of Vin, but his second sitting beside him, and his enforcer straighten at my presence. I expected them to react upon seeing me, but I don’t expect the same response from Vin’s third, Angelo. Their reaction is so subtle that everyone gathered seems to miss it. But me, I don’t miss a thing, ever. The one time I did, it cost me the only woman I’ve ever loved.
“Just a little privacy, Mr. Sorenzo.” I answer, because Vin waited too long to respond and he’s already lost enough face.
Vin eases back in his chair. He knows I’m there and that I have his back, but his fingers digging into the armrest give it away, he’s scared shitless. Christ. How many times have I told him to keep his hands relaxed and his expression like stone? His ailing father has been grooming him to take over his empire for six fucking years, and Vin’s still not ready. The other bosses are honing in on his incompetence. Which is why I’m not sure how much longer I can help keep Vin alive.
“Let’s get back to business,” Vin says, trying to sound harder than he is.
Arturo smiles in that sleazy way of his and tosses a hand out. “I believe we’ve reached a standstill,” he says.
“You’re right, we have,” Vin fires back, getting pissed. Good, anger is better than fear and, right now, it’s exactly what he needs. He leans forward. “You’re not getting the rest of A.C. And you’re not getting an eighty percent―”
My 380 auto is out and pointed at Arturo’s enforcer before his fingers reach the hilt. “Move and I’ll blow your fucking head off.” Without me telling him, Lucca rams his guns in the back of Arturo’s and his second’s skulls. Smart guy. I reach for my 9 mil tucked in my leather jacket, not even blinking when I shoot Vin’s third in the leg, blowing out his kneecap.
With a scream, Angelo falls to the floor howling. “What the fuck?” Vin growls, leaping to his feet.
I don’t explain why I shot one of his made men, someone he trusted. My next bullet goes into the enforcer, the impact and his pain enough to send him flying off his chair. He went for his Sig. I wasn’t waiting for him to pull the trigger. Outside, all hell’s breaking loose, my heartbeat pounding fast in my chest until I hear the voices of Vin’s family taking control.
Less than a minute later, a sharp rap to the door is followed by Benny’s deep voice. “Sal?”
“All clear,” I tell him, my tone steady. “You?”
It’s not my words that he believes, it’s the confidence behind them. “All clear,” he responds in the same tone, letting me know they have Arturo’s men on the ground.
Vin’s reaching into the drawer, pulling out his Glock. To his credit, he’s not questioning anything anymore, not after Arturo’s enforcer went for his piece. He’s reining in his shit like he needs to.
Lucca covers me as I strip every one of their weapons. Angelo is wailing like the little bitch he is. The enforcer is swearing, pressing the wound on his shoulder as blood seeps through his fingers. I intentionally missed his heart. But no one needs to know that.
I drop the weapons beside Vin and far out of everyone’s reach. Arturo and his second haven’t said a damn thing. They weren’t scared of Vin before. But they are now.
I’m not sure what Vin’s going to say. My fear is, he may say the wrong thing in front of Lucca that makes him look pathetic. Lucca is loyal, so are a few others, but if they keep seeing Vin acting like he’s acting, they’ll lose whatever respect he’s managed outside his title of boss.
“Vin knew you were playing him, you pussy,” I tell Angelo, lying through my teeth. “Were you going to kill him in front of Arturo? Was that your way into the family, you lying piece of shit?”
In not answering, he answers enough. At Vin’s nod, Lucca puts a bullet in Arturo’s second, and finishes off the enforcer.
Vin motions to the door. “Call in a few of my men,” he tells me.
I unlock the door and do as he asked, after I make sure everything is still under control. Vin’s not ready to be boss, but he isn’t stupid, at least not completely. He knows Arturo needs to die by his hands, and that he needs witnesses to see him. I pick three who have started to question Vin’s strength, knowing they’ll tell the rest of the family what’s about to go down, and show them what happens to those who don’t stay loyal.
The men pile in, but Vin doesn’t let them get too comfortable. He shoots Arturo in the face with his Glock while the last two to enter are still busy taking in Angelo, writhing on the floor. Vin keeps his face neutral, his confidence returning now that he knows his life isn’t immediately on the line.
I take a step back when he prowls toward Angelo. Angelo was Vin’s trusted third. To be who Vin wants to be, he has to send a message. But I don’t tell him that. It’s something he needs to realize on his own. “What did he promise you after you killed me, pussy?” he asks Angelo.
Angelo doesn’t deny his intention. Doesn’t beg for his life. He knows it’s over. So, he hits Vin the only way he can. “Your father’s the pussy for letting a chicken shit like you take over.”
Vin’s heel comes down hard on Angelo’s face, smashing his nose in. But he doesn’t stop there. He snatches the paperweight on his desk and flings himself to the floor, bashing Angelo’s face in, not stopping until the side of his temple caves inward.
To anyone eyeing me, it looks like I’m watching everything and immune to it all. Yeah. My face never gives anything away. That doesn’t mean my body’s not punishing me on the inside. I fight back the nausea working its way through my gut and just how hard my heartbeat thunders out of control. Weakness in the mob and in life gets you killed. I need to live, despite how my sins have all but sliced my throat.
“Fuck,” one of the boys says, looking away. He’s new and probably has killed with his gun. But shooting someone is easy. Too easy. It’s not intimate. Not like killing someone with your bare hands like Vin just did.
Vin stumbles to his feet, out of breath and covered with plenty of Angelo’s DNA. His face twists as if angry, which makes him look good, but I know better. “Get rid of them,” he says, spitting out blood that hit his mouth.
“What about his men?” someone else asks.
“All of them need to go,” Vin says, falling back into the leather seat behind his chair.
“All right, boss,” another says.
Vin’s focus darts my way. He expects an approving nod from me. But he isn’t going to get it. As much as I’m a part of this shit, it doesn’t mean I like it.
Or that I don’t want out.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

Desperate men do desperate things . . .

Salvatore Romero is a dangerous man. If you’ve lived the life Sal has, rage is to be expected and maybe so is heart. After his father killed his mother in a jealous rage, Sal was left to raise his two younger brothers, becoming a parent long before he was ready.

Desperate for money to support his family, Sal sought help from his old friend, Vincent Maggiano, the son of New Jersey’s top crime boss being groomed to take over his ailing father’s empire.

Sal never planned to join the mob. He also never planned to fall for his brother’s sweet and ultra conservative counselor, Adrianna Daniels.

Aedry isn’t the type of girl Sal is usually drawn to. Her skirts are longer, her hair is tamer, and her heels aren’t clear. But he can’t deny the attraction he feels. And Salvatore’s dark, sexy, and dangerous persona is the exact opposite of the clean-cut business men who usually catch Aedry’s attention.

Neither planned on a life of crime nor did they plan on love. But now, both are in too far.

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Meet the Author:

Cecy Robson is an international and multi-award winning author who has published over twenty-character driven novels with heroes who’ll win over your heart and villains who deserve a good flogging. As a registered nurse of more than seventeen years, Cecy spends her free time creating magical worlds, heart-stopping romance, and young adult adventure. After receiving two RITA® nominations and winning a Maggie Award of Excellence, you can still find Cecy laughing, crying, and cheering on her characters as she pens her next story. For more information, check out
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