Monday, February 16, 2015

Eye Unveiled (Unveiled # 1) by Crystal Walton *Book Blitz*

Eyes Unveiled by Crystal Walton
(Unveiled #1)
Publication date: February 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Twenty-one-year-old Emma Matthews lost the song in her heart the same night she lost her dad. With an unfulfilled promise and an ultimatum shadowing her junior year of college, maybe it’s better that way. You can’t hurt if you can’t feel.
But when the reflection she sees in musician Riley Preston’s eyes borders dangerously close to the one she’s spent the last five years searching for, Emma discovers her walls can’t guard her heart from its fiercest desire. Terrified of what she’s experiencing, and even more afraid of what she might lose, Emma grapples for the courage to hold on to one dream without abandoning the promise of another.
Contemporary New Adult Romance novel Eyes Unveiled lets you relive those heartfelt moments when you don’t know how you’d survive a day without your best friend, when you’re trying to figure out who you are and what you’re supposed to do with your life, and when falling in love changes everything.
Music. Friendship. Self-discovery. Hope. Purpose. Identity. Within this inspirational love story, you’ll find you have a song of your own to share.




Excerpt 1
If I kept moving, maybe the uneasiness spiraling in my stomach would dissipate.
Wouldn’t be that lucky. An awkward silence lingered the moment Trevor’s Outlander gunned away from the curb.
“Do you go to Nuts and Jolts often?” A. J. asked.
The tread on my sneakers skidded against the sidewalk about as smoothly as my thoughts skidded into each other. “Not really. I’m not a big coffee drinker, but the shop’s atmosphere is cool, especially on Friday nights.”
“Nothing beats live music.” He kept his face forward, but the shadow of a furtive grin fell on me. “My car is that Acura ZDX over there.”
Was I supposed to be impressed?
In the car, he angled toward me right as he turned the key in the ignition, about to say something. Bass pulsated through the speakers. He reached for the controls, accidentally turned up the volume before turning it off altogether, and laughed. “How’s that for smooth? Sorry. I don’t usually have other people in the car with me.”
His brief flicker of embarrassment disappeared in seconds, along with the college entrance behind us. “So, you like live music. Do you play any instruments?”
I ran my fingers over my seatbelt. “I play the guitar a little, but I’m not very good.”
“I bet you’re better than you’re admitting.”
“What makes you so sure?” The question ended more in a snort than a question mark.
“I’ve seen you around campus. Off by yourself, playing where no one can hear you.”
My jaw dropped halfway open. Had people on campus actually been watching me?
“The way you glow when you play, you have to be enjoying it. So, it can’t be that bad.”
Heat swept up my neck. “Wait a sec. You just asked me if I played, but you already knew.” Start talking, buddy.
“Trevor warned me you were a little shy about it. I wanted to see how open you’d be with me.” He stole another glimpse across the car. “You blush easily. I’ll have to remember that.”
The charm trailing his words fueled my growing debate over which type of guy he was. Ladies’ Man, up one point.
“With all your time spent trying to make girls blush, do you ever actually study for classes, or is the whole academic scene kind of overrated for you?”
He laughed. “Just because I’ve noticed one girl on campus doesn’t mean I’ve noticed any others.”
Right. And Ladies’ Man takes the lead.

Excerpt 2
Coffee beans churned in the automatic grinder, my nerves not far behind. “I’ll have a small—actually, make that a large chai tea.” It had the potential of being a very long night.
The barista twisted from the back to the front counter and set my drink next to the register before I unburied my wallet from my cluttered purse. “That’ll be $3.79, dear.”
Someone set a five-dollar bill in front of me. “May I?”
Slowly, I lifted my head toward a voice I didn’t recognize to find the eyes I knew by heart. I couldn’t answer him. Not with that half smile tying my vocal chords in knots.
Riley propped an elbow on the counter. “I’ll take that as a yes.”
Blink. Say something. What in the world was Riley Preston doing paying for my drink?
“It’s rare you see a non-coffee drinking college student.” His voice was rich and dangerously mesmerizing. “That’s impressive.”
Words, Em. You can do it. “I . . . I never really cared much for the taste of coffee. Tea has less caffeine, but it still helps. I’m a tea kind of girl.” Really? I’m a tea kind of girl? I buried my chin in my shoulder and reached for my earring to block his view of my now-burning cheeks.
Riley circled around, flashed a soft, playful grin that made me feel faint, and handed me my cup. “Well, ‘I’m a tea kind of girl,’ I hope you enjoy the night.”
Thank god the stage was on the opposite side of the room. Away from the ridiculous smile I couldn’t coax my jaw into releasing. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one wondering if that really just happened. Jaycee blinked from the table as though transmitting her question through Morse code. I slipped into my seat. With any luck, maybe no one else had noticed.
A. J. rocked his half-emptied mug on the table. “Maybe Rico Suave will let you have a turn on the stage after all.” His arm grazed mine as slightly as his tone grazed jealousy.
Trevor tilted his chair back. “What do you say, Em? Up for a little guitar showdown?”
A. J. pried my whitened fingers off my mug handle, rested my hand in his palm, and met my gaze. “I bet this guy isn’t half as good a player as Emma is.”
“Think we’re about to find out.” Trevor dipped his head toward the stage in the corner.
The shop owner jumped onto the platform. “You guys ready for another local artist to bring down the house? Give it up for Mr. Riley Preston.” The packed café lit up in sound.
Riley adjusted the microphone in the stand. “Thanks, guys. I don’t usually perform in public arenas. So, if I run off the stage in a panic, don’t worry. It was all planned.” The crowd laughed on cue. Riley rubbed the overgrown stubble along his cheekbone. “No, seriously, I write my own music and don’t often get the chance to share it. So, I hope you enjoy it.”
In worn jeans, navy blue flip-flops, and a solid tan, long-sleeved T-shirt, he could’ve been any other college student in the room. Yet even though he’d just announced he rarely performed in public, it was clear he was made to be on stage.
From the first chord, his acoustic guitar’s melancholy tenor set off a level of emotion that mended places I hadn’t realized ached until that moment.

Excerpt 3
Riley and I stopped halfway across the footbridge leading to the other side of campus. “My dad used to tell me life’s a lot like being an artist. It has less to do with mastering technique or theory, and everything to do with risking the cost of opening your heart to the song you’re meant to share.” Amazing how he’d made that so easy to believe.
Riley set his arms next to mine on the rail. “He sounds like a wise guy.”
“He was.” The wooden plank scratched into my palms, the sense of loss cutting deeper. “A natural dreamer too. You would’ve liked him. You share a similar passion. I can tell. You’re probably connecting with more people than you realize. There’s something about music. Even if you’re not aware of what you’re missing, you walk away after hearing it, knowing—”
“You can’t live without it.”
“Exactly.” I turned and met a gaze locked on mine, as if he hadn’t looked away the entire time I was talking. He held that same expression from the first day I saw him—torn between surprise and fear of finding something he’d lost.
“The way you understand things, it’s . . . refreshing,” he said.
The sincerity teeming in his eyes turned my throat dry. The bridge’s hazy blue lights lit up an exit route.
On the other side of the bridge, we stopped along the edge of the empty sports field. I slid out of my flip-flops and sank my heels into the cool earth. “When I was a kid, I practically lived in my backyard.” Blades of grass wove through my toes with each step toward the center of the field. “Do you mind if we sit for a while?” I spun around.
Riley stood back on the sidewalk, staring with enough enamor to be admiring an intricate painting.
I peered behind me and back again. “What?”
Glimpses of a hidden expression followed him toward me. “Sorry. The beauty of artistry still catches me by surprise sometimes.”

Amidst multiple moves up and down the east coast, Crystal received her bachelor of arts from Messiah College in PA, married her exact opposite in upstate NY, and earned her master of arts from Regent University in VA, where she currently resides with her husband. Crystal writes contemporary new adult fiction fueled by venti green teas from Starbucks.

When not working her accounting day job, she's delving into the wonder of words, supporting her Starbucks habit, or laughing over movie quotes & singing eighties songs with her husband.

She'd love to connect with you at
What inspired you to write Eyes Unveiled?

When I first contemplated writing fiction, three musts came to mind. (1) It had to include romance because that’s my favorite part of any story. (2) I wanted whatever I wrote to be relatable. (3) I didn’t want to write simply for the sake of entertainment.


As soon as I opened myself up to daydream, a scene fluttered into focus. A guy and girl, college age, sitting in the middle of a secluded field. The guy was playing an acoustic guitar, as much in love with music as he obviously was with the girl across from him. Every chord stoked her love for him the same way it fanned the craving in her heart to find where she belonged. Both fighting what they felt. Both wanting to make the other see what they saw. Physical and emotional tension flared in a palpable tug-of-war between hope and doubt, caution and desire, passion and responsibilities. And right then, I knew these characters had a story to tell—one I wanted to read as much as write. From there, I couldn’t stop the scenes from coming.


What made you choose New Adult?

I didn’t intentionally set out to write NA fiction. But the truth is, college was the best season of my life. I’d relive it in a second. There's something special about it. Sharing an extended sleepover with your best friends, stepping out on your own for the first time, discovering things like who you are & what friendship really looks like. It's when we fell in love like never before, and when we fell apart like never before. It shaped our lives. One of my favorite parts about Eyes Unveiled is that you get to relive those moments all over again. The laugh-until-you-snort moments. The heart-flutters-taking-flight moments. The on-the-floor-crying-your-heart-out moments. All of it. Doubt. Faith. Friendship. Love. NA is a dynamic genre to read and write.


What made you decide to go indie?

I started off on the traditional route, but the more I studied publishing, the more passionate I became about going indie. Along with the benefit of keeping the rights to my book, it’s a joy to partner with some amazingly talented contractors. I love getting to offer my books at a low price and still receive a fair royalty, so readers and I both win. And since traditional and self-published authors have to do the same amount of marketing on their own anyway, you might as well be compensated fairly for the investment. Overall, it simply made the most sense.


Why do you write what you do?

In a word? Passion. As an artist, I leave my heart on the page. Exposed. Vulnerable. Nothing withheld. It’s risky to bear your soul to the world, but that’s the cost of art. There might always be a part of me tempted to guard my heart. But there’s a much more compelling part that’ll never allow me to. Regardless of the outcome, I write what I do because my heart is spoken for.


What do you want readers to take away from your books?

My goal as an author has always been to craft novels that are relevant and encouraging. I love compelling fiction that draws you into characters’ lives to the point of feeling what they feel. The kind that you walk away from knowing the story just impacted your life. Beyond mere entertainment, they awaken dormant dreams, stir creative visions, and remind you that you have a story of your own to live. If you walk away with an emotional connection that touches and inspires you, then I know I’ve written the kind of story I’ve always wanted to.


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