Blog Tour!! Saving Rain by Karen-Anne Stewart

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Available now on AMAZON!!



Raina has tried to forget her past, forget the pain, but when she finds herself staring straight into the fury blazing in her ex-boyfriend's eyes, her dark past comes rushing back. Furious with herself for actually having chosen someone like her father, she uses that anger to her advantage and fights for her life...and for her future that she prays will involve the man she can't seem to get out of her head. Kas is a natural leader, a fierce fighter, the type of man you send in when you need to get the job done. He is a courageous hero who is used to risking his own life to save others, but can he save the one who has captured his heart from her horrific past and the men who are hell-bent on destroying her? As Kas and Raina try to navigate through the twists and turns of a deviously intelligent human trafficking group, they find solace in each other's arms. Can they infiltrate the trafficker's tight ring, saving the innocent lives from imminent danger before it's too late?

***Disclaimer: Due to sensitive issues of abuse, human trafficking, and adult scenes, The Rain Trilogy is intended for readers 18+. Although Saving Rain does not include 'adult' scenes, the final two novels do.


The warm spell has continued, and the clean night air is refreshing when it lightly blows against her skin as they walk to the jeep.  Kas opens her door and helps her in before climbing in himself, cracking the windows so they can enjoy the crisp breeze. They stop at a local pizzeria and order a pizza to go on their way.

Kas drives her to a place called Hains Point.  The view of the moon and the reflection of the cherry trees glimmer over the slow ripples of the Potomac River, putting on a stunning show.  He has to remind himself to breathe when he looks at Raina and how the wind softly blows her hair.  “Truly breathtaking,” he whispers, his voice low and husky from desire.

Raina, mistaking his meaning, smiles, “It certainly is.”

Kas lets out a small chuckle as he shakes his head before retrieving a blanket and the pizza from the back of the jeep. He grabs a folded card table and chairs, throwing the tartan blanket over the top.  He knows that the traditional picnic of plopping on the ground to eat would be very uncomfortable for Raina in her current condition. Raina takes in the picnic setting Kas has created, and she is overcome and touched by his thoughtfulness. 

“I come here sometimes when I need to clear my head,” he states as he looks at Raina staring out into the magical beauty of the scenery around them.  “Or when I’m searching for answers,” he continues, his tone just about a whisper as he studies her.  

“It’s so beautiful,” Raina exclaims, her silky voice filled with awe and her eyes soft and dreamy as she watches the reflections slowly dance on top of the watery, onyx stage. 

Kas spends several minutes just watching her, admiring her, as she is lost deep in her thoughts. After a few moments, the delicious aroma of the pizza and its loaded toppings are too tempting to ignore and they spend the next half-hour eating pizza, talking, and laughing. Kas shares stories about his large family made up of his dad and his two uncles, three aunts, eleven cousins and his grandparents.  He laughs as he remembers the summer when they all went together to visit his grandparents.

“My grandparents have a farm with a large farm house and a guest house, so we all went there for a visit one summer when I was eleven.  It was great for all of us kids to be able to take off into the corn fields and play until sunset, without any of the parents having to worry about us.”

Raina leans against the back of the chair, carefully tucking her legs underneath her as she listens attentively to Kas’ story.

“My grandfather had bought a puppy a few weeks before we arrived and he was wound tighter than the eleven of us rolled into one.  We were told to not let the puppy near the animals but I guess we were too distracted by playing, because the puppy came running when we were feeding the chickens, and he took after them like a speeding train, ready to derail.  All you could see was a melee of chickens flapping and squawking, the puppy barking, and feathers flying.  The dog chased those poor chickens all over the yard, through the mud puddles form the previous night’s storm, and every last one of us kids was wet and muddy from trying to catch that darn dog.” 

Kas’ head leans back as he laughs at the memory.  “The puppy was better than any quarterback I’ve been up against, as he dodged and ran through our legs and then went straight into the door that one of us must’ve left wide open.  Our parents were mortified, my grandmother was in hysterics, and my grandfather was laughing so hard he was doubled over, as the puppy ran through the house and jumped on the couch with those muddy paws.  My grandfather thought all of the commotion was hilarious until the puppy overshot the turn and ran straight into the TV stand, knocking it onto the floor, causing pieces to fly everywhere.  The darn dog must’ve known that ‘all you know what’ was getting ready to break loose, because he sat down and looked up at everyone with those large, innocent puppy dog eyes.”

Kas’ hearty laughter echoes through the spring night air, sending sweet chills up Raina’s arms.  “I thought my grandfather was going to tan all of our hides, but he took mercy on us and just took us outside and hosed us down instead.  After we were mud free, he sent us back inside, where we spent the next few hours cleaning up the muddy disaster.  Pops came out better in the end anyway, after our parents went in together and bought them a new large screen TV.  We spent the next two weeks doing extra chores to repay them. That was one of the best summers I’ve had.” 

Raina watches how happy Kas looks as he recalls his favorite childhood memories and instead of jealousy for something she never had, warm comforting feelings run through her, knowing that he has those memories to cherish.



Once all the pizza is gone, Kas refuses to let Raina help him pack up the table and chairs, instead sending her off to enjoy the view.  He plays with the radio until he finds a station he likes.  He leans against the trunk of a cherry tree with his legs out in front of him, one foot resting casually over the other, and his thumbs tucked into the edge of the pockets of his well worn jeans.  He watches Raina run her hand tenderly down one of the blooming branches of the cherry tree.  His heart does funny things when he sees a smile spread across her luscious lips as she inhales the sweet cherry aroma.  He is taken aback by the intensity of his desire to take her in his arms, press her soft, feminine body against his firm, masculine frame.  He wants nothing more right now, than to get lost in the scent of her, as he holds her in his arms, slow dancing under the moonlit blossoms of the cherry trees. 

As if Kas’ thoughts beckon her, she slowly turns around.  When their eyes connect, the truth hits Raina like a bolt of lightning.  She has fallen in love with him, helplessly and unequivocally in love.

That night, under the pale light of the moon, the full impact of the harsh meaning behind the saying ‘truth hurts’ slams into Raina just as viciously as a sucker punch.  For the first time in so many years, she has to fight back tears that threaten to spill from her eyes. Every fiber of her being wants Kas, needs him.  Her heart, her body, and her soul cry out for his love.  The thought of him not loving her back hurts worse than the sharpest sting from her father’s belt ever could.  Looking at him looking at her, she does what she does best and forces her emotions deep inside and plasters a smile on her face as she walks, lovesick and deflated to the jeep. 

Kas witnesses the earlier carefree attitude dissipate from her lovely face and he tenses as his heart restricts when her usual guardedness returns.  Kas knows that she has started to lower her defensive barriers the past few days with him, and he’s bound and determined to chip away at her wall, until it’s nothing but a pile of rubble at her feet.  He knows that he only has a week or so left with her, before she will be healed enough to be on her own without too much worry.  He also knows that it’s not enough time.  Before he has time to change his mind, he blurts out, “I don’t want you going back to the cabin, it’s too secluded and that makes it dangerous.”

Raina stops walking and swallows her desire to tell him that she would stay with him forever if he just wanted her.  She meets his gaze over the hood of the jeep and replies wistfully, sorrow darkening her jade eyes, “Don’t worry, I won’t be dating again anytime soon.”  She opens the door and slips inside, the cold leather of the seat matching the coldness gripping her heart.   

Pain slices through Kas’ soul.  He deflates at how her understanding of dating correlates with physical harm.  The ride back home is quiet, with just polite pleasantries being exchanged.  The silence is deafening as Raina stares out the side window, so lost in thought that she sees nothing of the beautiful scenery.  Kas steals glances at her, longing to pull her into his arms and kiss away the pain and sadness. 



Karen-Anne Stewart

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I am a new author and have recently discovered that I am now addicted to writing. My first novel, Saving Rain, was originally going to be a single novel, but it quickly turned into a trilogy. I fell in love with the characters and had to continue with the story to delve more into their intriguing, dangerous lives. The Rain Trilogy is a powerful story of abuse, human trafficking, and beautiful, redeeming love (new adult contemporary romance suspense meant for readers 18 and older). Saving Rain and Healing Rain are live now, and After the Rain will be live by the end of October 2013.
I live in the mountains with my family, and I love to read, hike, and travel when I am not writing. I am a sucker for romance, especially a book with a strong alpha male who has a sensitive side. I also enjoy a good mystery and thrillers. My favorite author is James Patterson, he is an amazing writer.
With being a newbie, I am just learning all the ropes, but I'm loving the wild ride. I plan on writing for as long as my fingers have dexterity.  

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Join the Fight Against Sex-Slavery
   The Rain Trilogy is a powerful story of abuse, human trafficking, and beautiful, redeeming love.  I have experience working with domestic abuse survivors, but I wasn’t very familiar with sex-slavery, other than knowing it exists and is horrific.  This is not a happy or easy topic; in fact, it’s sickening and saddening.  Throughout the research process for the trilogy,  I spiraled through a myriad of emotions, anger being the most prevalent.  Reading statistics and stories about what so many children, women, and even men, go through every minute of every day enraged me.  There were many times I had to walk away from my laptop because I simply couldn’t read any more of the horrors of this modern day slavery.  I cried, wanted to scream, and even wanted to cause physical harm at times, while reading about what goes on in every country, every state, and every town.  I have a daughter, and the thoughts of anything bad happening to her is paralyzing.
   After researching trafficking, I was hit hard with the task of how to present sex-slavery into The Rain Trilogy.  I wanted to show the depravity while being sensitive, but still felt compelled to shed light on the reality of  what the survivors and victims are forced to endure.  This is my humble attempt to stand up in the fight against trafficking.  There are several amazing organizations that provide resources for survivors of sex-slavery; the Polaris Project and Shared Hope International are a couple of them.  The Polaris Project treats all forms of human trafficking in a holistic approach, and this organization, as well as Shared Hope, have become close to my heart.  You can find the website for the Polaris Project information on my website, www.karen-annestewart.com, and the Human Trafficking Hotline is in the back of all three novels in The Rain Trilogy. 
   As tragic as sex-slavery is, it’s a lucrative business, growing rapidly throughout the world, and number one in organized crime, according to FBI statistics.  Finding accurate statistics of how many children are forced into sex-slavery is daunting, due to under reporting.  According to http://www.forsakengeneration.com/#!learn-about-child-sex-trafficking/clo6, the United States is the top location in the world for child trafficking.  Minors are forced into sex-slavery every hour of every day.  I strongly encourage readers to conduct their own research, but be prepared, your heart will break.  Although this topic is devastating, it is necessary to get the information out there so people can become aware of the growing problem and realize that it’s in every part of the world, including our own backyards. 




This is one of those books that when I read the blurb I was a little nervous as to whether or not I should read the book. I am extremely sensitive to domestic violence, child abuse and human trafficking! I've done quite a bit of my own personal research on the subject of human trafficking and that part of this story did intrigue me even though it can be difficult to absorb. After reading the book I was quite pleased at the way the author approached the very sensitive nature of this topic and gave us just enough information to get the idea without being too explicit.
I can't say the same for the domestic violence or the child abuse. If you are sensitive to these topics just be aware that the opening chapter is somewhat explicit as well as the flashbacks to Raina's past child abuse. But, it is a little hard to "get" a character like Raina without dredging up the pain.
I really, really liked Raina... she behaves as a woman probably would behave considering her abusive childhood. I love that she has decided to hold on to the last bit of innocence she has and save herself for the man she loves. Not having been given much control over her body in the past, it is the one thing she can give when she chooses... on her own terms. I thought it was a powerful message to send that innocence has very little to do with the physical act of sex but instead with the giving of yourself. Your body can be taken and abused but no one can really have you completely unless it comes from your heart. Yes, I like that a lot...
Raina is a survivor. She could be wallowing in her own self pity but she doesn't. She holds her head up high and presses forward throwing herself into helping others and determined to be independent. She is such a courageous character considering all that she has been through. She also feels a connection with the girls they rescue from trafficking and it serves as a reminder that even though she endured similar pain, it could never compare to what these girls went through. So, it was almost a kind of therapy for her. I liked that...
And what can I say about Kas?? Well, he is the best guy. He cares for Raina and recognizes that she needs protection from her past both physically and emotionally. I think he helped Raina finally understand that it is okay to admit defeat on some things and we all need somebody to take care of us. Despite the fact that the sexual tension is high between these two he promises to respect her needs and boundaries. So, all you ladies out there who are saying, "Are they ever gonna??" the answer is no! But, there is enough passion from this couple coming off the pages that it really doesn't matter. It simply is not needed nor would it be appropriate at this point in the story. But, I have a feeling it will come later in this trilogy... patience ladies... patience!! The best romances bloom slowly...
And, guess what?? Yep... it ends on a big cliffhanger. No surprise there... it's a trilogy. The ending truly surprised me... I was a little annoyed at Raina but, we'll see how it all works out in the next book.
Nice easy writing style, engaging story, very likable characters... intriguing enough to continue on to book two.

ARC provided by CTC virtual book tours!

On a personal note...  one of my all time favorite people is Somaly Mam and her story of survival as a victim of human trafficking.  She devotes her entire life now to saving and rescuing girls from sexual slavery.  Click HERE to read my review of the biography of this amazing and inspiring woman!   




4 comments:

  1. Thank you for letting me stop by your amazing site today for the excerpt, guest post, and review!

    Karen-Anne

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  2. Good Luck with your book promotion! Happy to be a part of the tour!

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  3. Great post KT! Thank you for joining the tour and I'm happy that you enjoyed the book. :-)

    ReplyDelete