Counting Down

At the end of this month, I officially become unemployed. I’ve talked about it before, and while there are still some lingering mixed emotions, for the most part, I’m ready to be done and out of here. My employer extended my position for one more month before it transitions to California, so I could finish up fiscal year end programs and tasks. Unfortunately, IT never got the word, and they shut off my network account. I still can’t get back into many of the systems I need to complete the tasks I stayed on for. It’s been frustrating, but on the plus side, it’s given me a few weeks where I was able to work on and wrap up two of my manuscripts.
I got good news about one this morning- the third book in my Marchand BDSM romance series has been accepted by Sizzler Editions. Sadly, I still don’t have a title, but I have a few ideas (and if anyone has any suggestions, I’ll take them! lol) It’s an equestrian eventing set tale, which is why coming up with a title has been a bit tricky – horses, BDSM – wouldn’t want people to get the wrong idea! 😀  I don’t have any further information yet, but will be sharing as I get it.
I also wrapped up Warrior’s Wrath and sent that off to Pink Flamingo, though now I’m in a bit of a panic because I think I left something out of a scene, but I’m not looking. I figure my editor will point it out if I did and since there’s nothing I can do about it at the moment, no use making myself sick over it unless I really have to.
I’ve also been spending the last several days revising The Night Club – my next vampire romance. This book has been in the works for a very long time. I first wrote it shortly after I finished The Taste of Magic, in 2003! Various events conspired to knock me out of the writing game for a bit – the unexpected pregnancy with my son and his infant and toddler years, specifically. Babies take a brutal toll on the creative juices. Thankfully, we’re done with those days.
In any case, when I got back to writing, I took a huge detour from that book and tried something new. Some of you know I tested myself by writing a very popular Harry Potter fan fiction (Dramione, anyone?). It got such a good response that the darn thing took on a life of its own and really helped my confidence (I will advise you don’t go looking for it, it’s been removed from all the sites where it once appeared).  From there, the Marchand series was born. One thing led to another, and I wrote Warrior’s Vengeance, which was another book I started back in my early days. Since my goals and genres changed drastically, I didn’t give the vampire book a second thought.
Until I re-released The Taste of Magic. It did very well, so I dusted off The Night Club and decided to revise it. Turns out, this baby needs a whole lot of re-writing. Not only was it written back when my voice was significantly different, there are a lot of issues with the writing in general. Too much passive voice, more telling than I’d prefer, and plotlines that go off in all sorts of directions. I’ve been deleting a lot of things, streamlining the plot and cutting down on the word count. It’s still over 90K at this point, but I suspect it’ll wrap up around 80-85K when all is said and done.
Once that’s complete, I’ll be starting my next series, which I talked about before – Vikings! I have plots for two books. The History Channel show has inspired me so much, and last week’s episode was particularly awesome! Hail Earl Ragnar!  lol  I’m inspired, motivated and excited to get started. And with the next several months of actually having time to write, I’m salivating waiting for May to come!
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Changing of the Seasons


Not really a complete change though – technically the cooler fall weather and the leaves turning won’t really start for a few more weeks around here. But summer vacation is ending, school is starting in a few days, so to me that signals the change. And I’m hoping it will bring a little more order to our little corner of the world.
It’s been a busy and eventful summer. On the home front, I can now honestly say I can’t wait for my daughter to get her driver’s license. The chauffeuring gets old fast, and somehow she had somewhere to go nearly every night. Much easier when her friends come over here, but that brings its own set of dilemmas. At least now, I can say no to Tuesday night guests and not be made to feel like I’m the evil stepmother in Snow White!
I turned a lot of my focus toward revising my next vampire story, The Night Club. It’s just about finished – I’m still doing some final revisions and adding a couple new scenes and just trying to get everything clean and logical. Which got me thinking ahead to my next vampire book. I actually began sketching it out. Just jotting down some ideas of what I think should happen, no real writing. Yet. You may remember Josh and Sophie from The Taste of Magic – well, they have their own tale to tell. So I started my spreadsheet for their story.
In the midst of that, I also began the sequel to Warrior’s Vengeance. Rowan Langley is the hero in Warrior’s Wrath, and if you read WV, you know him as Marissa’s brother. He learns a few things about himself that turn him very angry and bitter. This doesn’t bode well for the heroine, Aeron, a Welsh woman who steals from him. I’m having lots of fun getting this first draft down, and hopefully will complete it quickly. At the rate I’m going, there’s actually a good chance of that.
I’m also doing some minor work on the sequel to Prince of the Universe. I had lost my fire for that story a couple months ago, but it’s back. Christina and Reygar’s story is a bit more difficult to pinpoint. I’m focusing on world building at this point, and making my usual lists – these are of various cultural customs and societal norms. With each one that becomes clear, the trouble between the Aldarran and “Earth Woman” gets stronger. This book will be set entirely on the planet of Aldarra – and civilization on that planet is very different from Earth’s.
Lots of irons in the fire, which is kind of crazy, considering the insanity and chaos of the rest of my life. But my mind just works that way – I suppose because I’m a Gemini and there are way more than two of me in here! 😀 Each part of me wants to be focused on something, so to appease them all, I spend a little time on each planned book, at least so when I finish the two I’m neck deep in, I’ll have at least two more to get to work on. The madness keeps me focused – I get 2 to 2 ½ hours a night to write, so I’ve been trying to use it wisely. With school starting, I may even gain another hour – no more kids staying up late because they don’t have to get up in the morning! It’s really hard to concentrate on medieval England when Mario’s in the background trying to save the Princess!

Who’s Your Favorite Vampire?

So, it’s October. The time of year when all ghosts and ghouls and witches and monsters come out to play. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the fall, the weather turning colder always bums me out. Hey, what can I say? I’m a summer baby, born on the summer solstice, as a matter of fact, so I like my weather warm and my sun endless.
But I digress. This time of year is actually pretty cool, for one big reason. It’s vampire season! As you’ve probably guessed, I’m a fan of all things vampires. Even as a kid, I was drawn to the bloodsuckers. Of course, growing up in the Twentieth Century, when vampires first started to become sexy to the population in general, helps with that. Prior to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, vampires were pretty much reviled and feared. No one wanted to be seduced into an immortal life of darkness by one of the creatures. The perceptions of vampires back then were also very different – they were filthy, evil monsters whose only intent was to kill. People went to all sorts of crazy rituals to ensure dead bodies didn’t come back to stalk the living. The natural effects of a body’s decomposition also lent to the belief in vampires. Modern science has debunked a lot of the cultural beliefs about vampires by explaining this very process. Sort of takes the fun out of it, if you ask me!
Through the years there were several vamps who caught my eye. I do remember watching Dark Shadows with my grandmother, and though I didn’t particularly find the Barnabas Collins of the 60’s very sexy to my child’s perception, I most definitely rooted for him to come out on top.
From there, my next big recollection was seeing the play Dracula on Broadway in the late 70’s. I think I was 14. Raul Julia had just taken over for Frank Langella who had originated the role and then gone on to act in the movie. Can I just say, from that moment on, vampires had me hooked, and I was ready to be bitten! When they staked him at the end (my aunt still laughs about this), the entire audience heard me yell, “NO!” But who can blame me? I mean, really! Look at this guy! Is he one of the hottest vamps you’ve ever seen?
As soon as the movie version came out, I was there. And fell in love with The Count all over again:
 
Again, I ask, how can you resist? Seriously? To this day, I still find Frank Langella incredibly sexy. He’s one of the ones who I think has aged well over the years.
As time went on, and I watched/read lots of vampire tales, I found many really sexy ones, some others who made my skin crawl.
Of the ones I like, and always recall with fondness (and likely some drooling) there was this guy:
Yes, the remake of Dark Shadows, where I fell in love with Barnabas for real this time, and discovered Adrian Paul, yes, the Adrian Paul of Highlander fame and my obsession for most of the 90’s and a good part of the early 2000’s. And now, still, to be honest!
But Ben Cross made a fantastic Barnabas, right amount of tortured hero/vindictive villain and for all the right reasons! Sexy, yet unconventionally in a lot of ways.
But my true favorite vampire is this one:
Few people remember this show, which cast Geordie Johnson as The Count in a campy little TV series called, what else? Dracula: The Series. It was silly and sexy, at times solidly spooky, but always good fun. I thought the idea of Dracula living as a modern day businessman was a hoot. Then I thought, if he could do it, how many other vampires were there throughout Europe who had made a success of themselves as seemingly ordinary businessmen? Turns out, more than you’d think! At least in my twisted little mind. One of them in particular sprang to life and demanded I write his story – Adrian duLac. He is much older than Drac, nearly 2,000 years old, and though he may physically resemble this early 90’s portrayal of The Count in some ways, he is not as much of a parody, and as Katerina Romanov finds out, quite capable of love. Not to mention, the man possesses some serious sexual prowess. After all, what kind of vampire would he be if he couldn’t kiss a woman senseless, among other things?
Anyway, in honor of Halloween and the recent release of The Taste of Magic, I’m giving away a copy. Tell me – are you a fan of vampires and the various desires they supposedly represent? Who is your favorite vampire and why? Comment here, and be eligible to win!

The Taste of Magic Release Day

The Taste of Magic is now available again! I’m very excited – it was one of my favorite books to write, and I still take a lot of pride in being an EPIC Ebook Award finalist with it. The best part is that it has that beautiful new cover. Books We Love Publishing has been a pleasure to work with in re-releasing it.

Like many of my stories, this one was inspired by a character on a TV show, and the “What if” game played a huge part in coming up with the idea. And that game continued through probably almost all of the writing of the book, as well. And of course, since I’m a sucker for super-human men, and this was my first work in the paranormal genre, I really had a hell of a lot of fun writing it. I hope you’ll have fun reading it. Kat and Adrian are both very stubborn people, but when it comes to matters of the heart, few can withstand the power! 🙂

Here’s the blurb:

Adrian du Lac is not your average vampire. Nearly two-thousand years old, he uses immortality to his advantage. Though he lives the life of a successful European businessman, what he really wants is to rule the world.

Originally, he sought Katerina Romanov for her latent powers of witchcraft, but now that she’s come of age, his desires have changed. When Katerina succumbs to Adrian’s charms, some fear the vampire will become invincible. As du Lac’s enemies set out to destroy him once and for all, he and Katerina run the risk of losing each other forever.

You can get your hands on a copy at this link: http://bwlpp.com/rosavin.php   And I’ll be giving a couple of copies away – here and on Twitter. Stay tuned!

The Taste of Magic

I’m very excited to share this news – though many of you may already know. My very first book, published under the name Gina Rosavin, is being re-released. The Taste of Magic will be out in October from Books We Love Publishing (http://bwlpp.com/rosavin.php)  
This book is very dear to my heart, for obvious reasons. It was my first paranormal, a vampire tale, and was one of my favorite books to write. Adrian du Lac is a 2,000 year old vampire with an oversize ego and plans for world domination. Katerina Romanov is a witch who is unaware she has any magical ability. Adrian wants her powers, want to utilize them to his own advantage, but Katerina is just as determined to free her family from his control. Neither of them counted on the fiery attraction, one that quickly escalates into so much more.
The Taste of Magic was a 2007 EPIC E-book Award finalist – they were still called the EPPIES at that time. I didn’t win the category, but knowing that my book stood with some of the best of the year was a thrilling experience. I do have other stories planned in this world, there are secondary characters who have been crying out for their story to be told, and now that Magic is coming back, it’s a good time to get that next book finished up. At the Gina Rosavin website, www.ginarosavin.com, you can find an excerpt of Betrayed.
In the meantime, here’s the new cover and “a bite” of The Taste of Magic. 🙂  It will be released next month, and I’ll be sure to share when it’s available to purchase.
Adrian responded to the buzz of the intercom. “What is it now?” “Katerina Romanov is here to see you. She doesn’t have an appointment.” Adrian tossed the file onto the desk. “Send her in.” He smiled. Just the distraction he needed from the morning’s work. He glanced down at his tie and straightened it. Just because he had no reflection didn’t mean he would settle for his appearance as less than perfect.
The double doors of his office opened. She stepped into the room. Amazed at how easily she could leave him speechless, he rose. Her sheer beauty was like nothing he had ever seen before, even dressed in the severe gray suit which hid her charms. Her dark eyes hinted at a limitless fire. He wanted to taste those full lips. At that moment, he knew the longing he’d felt the other night was more than a fleeting notion, and he had to have her.
Not as a vampire, but as a man. He wanted her in his bed.
“Katerina, what a pleasant surprise.”
She tore her gaze from his for a moment, a heartbeat, but enough to reveal her nervousness. “We have some business to discuss.”
Adrian shrugged. “We do? I was not aware…”
“I owe you for my education. And I intend to see the money returned, with interest.”
Adrian waved toward a chair. “Please, I thought we’d settled this.” Once she had taken her seat, he sat.
She shook her head. He wished her hair was unbound, as it had been the other night. What had gotten into him? He was not comfortable with the way these strange thoughts came upon him so suddenly, and at any time.
The lack of control was unfamiliar. And unwelcome.
“We settled nothing, du Lac. I will not have my family used by you any longer.”
He shrugged. Anticipating what was coming, he played along. “I’m sure I don’t know what you mean.”
“I know what you are.”
That knowledge would make her seduction more difficult, but he was up for the extra challenge. “Really? And what would that be, Kat?”
He felt a twinge of satisfaction at the way she flinched. She leaned forward. “No one calls me Kat. My name is Katerina.”
He decided then and there he wouldn’t call her anything else. “You were saying…Kat?” A sense of triumph swept over him when she didn’t respond to the deliberate taunt. Her eyes flashed with annoyance before she once again composed herself. Subduing her fiery nature was clearly a struggle. Perhaps here was a way to get to her. He forced himself to focus on her words. “Mr. du Lac, I’m determined to see every penny you spent on me is repaid. Then you will release my father from your service. Though he receives a substantial salary from du Lac Enterprises, I know his actual duties are not managing your Financial Advisory department.”
“You believe so? Your father has contributed to much of du Lac Enterprises’ profits in the last fifteen years. His particular…skills are greatly needed, and appreciated, by the company.”
“Skills? Don’t you mean his magic, his ability to cast good fortune your way?” “Your father is a valuable asset. I assure you, should he choose to…depart his position, I would not oppose him.” He knew Dimitri would never retire, would always remain loyal, despite whatever arrangements Adrian might make with Katerina.
She arched an eyebrow, her lips pursed in annoyance. “Really? Then you deny you use him for…unethical dealings.”
He smiled, but let no emotion show. She was smart. He wouldn’t be able to outwit her as easily as he’d anticipated, not without taking her blood. How much did she know about her father’s responsibilities? “Kat, I am shocked you would accuse me of such things. Your father chooses to work for me. If you object, I’m afraid you’re talking to the wrong man. You should speak with him.”
“I already have.” She opened her briefcase and took out a large envelope. Disappointed, he realized he’d halfhoped she would pull out a stake or a bottle of holy water. Such a confrontation would have been exhilarating. Instead, she placed the envelope in front of him.
“Since you wouldn’t accept my check the other night, consider this a down payment on my father’s freedom.”
He opened the envelope and peered inside. Three folders. He removed them and glanced at the names of several major international corporations before tossing them to the desk.
“Really, Kat, what am I supposed to do with these?”
She stiffened at his continued use of the nickname, but again did not protest. “I scrimped and saved any extra money not used on living expenses the past few years. What I saved, I invested. And made some wise choices, as you’ll see. I’d say it’s enough to cover boarding school through the high school years.”
He arched an eyebrow and nodded. “I’m impressed. But really, you should share this with your family.”
“No, it’s for you. You’ll have the rest by the end of the year. You can suggest to my father he take an early retirement. Then, I want your word you’ll leave my family alone.”
He stood and walked around the desk, stopping beside her chair. He leaned over her. “You are very brave to make such demands. Now, I have a demand of my own.”
Katerina stared at him, hoping she still maintained her outward bravado. Truth be told, she was terrified. She had no magic like her parents to protect her. He could destroy her in an instant for her boldness, but it was a risk she had to take.
At the same time, the man was devilishly handsome, and she couldn’t deny his sensual appeal. Even long ago, when she’d barely been past her twelfth birthday, she’d noticed. The memories were clear, etched in her mind as if it had happened yesterday. He’d come to her parents’ home, and soon afterward, she’d been sent off to school.
Now, after years of adolescent recollections and imaginings about what it would be like to face him, she was in his office, and he leaned over her, his mouth beside her ear. The spice in his cologne intoxicated her. How could she act like a coldhearted businesswoman when he was so near? No man
had ever affected her like this before. But he was no ordinary man. What was he going to ask of her?
“You will have dinner with me tonight.”
No, she couldn’t! Even as she shook her head, her mind screamed to accept. His fingers slid along her jaw and turned her to face him. His touch was cool, but ignited sparks of fire within her. She met his crystal blue gaze, willing her heart to stop pounding so hard.
“Yes, Kat. We will dine together at my castle.”
She couldn’t resist. His hypnotic voice echoed in her mind, his words laced with a hint of some strange accent, and an almost medieval manner of speaking. How old was he, anyway? Even as the thought fluttered through, she found herself nodding in response. All rational thought had fled. The only thing she wanted was to hear him speak again in his silky voice, which caused delightful vibrations in her belly.
“I’ll send a car for you. Be ready at seven.”
She nodded again and stood, her gaze still locked with his. “I’ll be ready.” He turned away, and she felt as though she’d been suddenly released from some sort of restraint. With his hand at the small of her back, he guided her to the door. Her legs felt strangely unsteady. She prayed she wouldn’t trip in front of him as they made their way to the door. She paused and turned back to him, her mind jumbled with confusion. What had just happened?
“I…”
He placed a finger on her lips. The touch made her knees weaken. “I’ll see you tonight. We’ll discuss my other terms then.” Then she stood outside his office, aware his assistant watched her with curiosity. She cleared her throat and strode to the elevator, conscious of the fact she had not gotten him to agree to anything.

Getting Close Now – RWA11

Another crazy week gone by, but this one is filled with excitement! Next week, RWA is holding its National Conference in New York City. I’ve been to National a couple of times – whenever it’s in New York. Going any other time has been difficult to justify, due to the high costs involved, conference fee, airfare, hotel. Not to mention, the conference usually takes place the week of my annual family vacation (that warrants its own separate post).  So logistically, I can rarely make it work. This year helps as well because it’s early this year. However, that had a glitch of its own – we hold an annual July 4th bash, usually the weekend of. But that is being cancelled for the first time in 19 years because I’m going to National!
This is my first time as a published author. The last time I went, in 2003, I was shopping my vampire book, The Taste of Magic. It had done well on the contest circuit, finaling in contests several times, and I pitched it to Dorchester. Sadly, that book didn’t go anywhere at the time, it took another three years before I finally contracted it in 2006.  But I remember having a great time at the conference, seeing friends I hadn’t seen in a while, some I’d only ever met online. I networked, I partied, I learned.
Now, I’m going to experience it from the other side. I’m looking forward to my “First Sale” ribbon on my badge, I’m looking forward to participating in the literacy autographing, and I am very excited to see and meet old and new friends. There are a few parties I’ll be attending, which I love, because they serve a dual purpose. You can have fun and network at the same time. I find it much easier to chat without the constraints of a set time-limited pitch. I’m less nervous, and I get to drink at the parties! lol And there are some really great workshops I’m eagerly anticipating. I volunteered to moderate one, and they assigned me to the Time Management one. Perfect for me! I’m looking forward to learning from some of my colleagues and authors who I am a fan of. And yes, I can guarantee, the fangirly moments will occur. I can’t help myself. One of my all time favorite fangirl encounters was when Carly Phillips and I stalked Catherine Coulter in NYC in 1993 (or 1994 – somewhere back in the early 90’s). There’ll be more moments like that this year, I am sure.
I’ve even signed up for editor and agent pitches. I’m not sure I really need or want an agent at this point, but there were a couple who interested me with their views and experience in the publishing world, so I thought I’d take a chance and take advantage of all my options. As for an editor appointment, I’ll admit part of that was because I am looking forward to meeting the editor I signed up with, but the book I’ll be pitching is a tricky one. The set-up for the story is a bit unconventional and while I certainly am free to submit at anytime without a prior pitch, I wanted the opportunity to actually discuss the possibilities with said editor. I do much better talking about my books than I do trying to condense it into a 2-page or less synopsis. Any one of my critique partners can tell you I suck at writing synopses, and like many, many authors I know, I despise having to do them.
So who else will be there? If you’re going to be there, I’d love to say hi face-to-face, so let me know.
See you there!

A Very Productive Evening

I settled in last night with some wine and the laptop and got to work on finishing up my pre-edits of In The Devil’s Arms. I made excellent progress, about twenty pages left to go. On my personal PC, I use Microsoft Word 2010. I got the full MS Office package through a program at work, since we use their applications. Cost me $10 for the entire 2010 suite. The only problem now is my work laptop, which I use a lot at home too, doesn’t have the 2010 software. That did create one issue.

I know a lot of people don’t like the newer MS operating systems and software, but I really like it now that I’m used to it. One of the features I found very helpful was the new search function. It creates a list in a sidebar, and one of the new functions is a preview showing the instances of your search topic, along with the surrounding words. So I did a search for “was.” Too many to preview. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw the total count. Normally the preview lets me look over several sections of text where the word appears, and I can formulate how to rework it and see how close the next instance was.

Anyway, on to the main point. I really need to work on my tendency to ramble. 🙂 Last night, I used the work laptop – my daughter had commandeered mine for her homework, and since I keep everything on removable media, I can work anywhere as long as I have a computer. After I put the little guy to bed, I perched in my kitchen with aforementioned wine and dug in. Nearly three hours later, when I had to stop because my eyes were starting to tear, I had only twenty or so pages left. I did a quick search for my targeted word again and was pleasantly surprised. Knocked out about 400 of them! Most of what I left in occurred in dialogue, or the scene just called for a particular phrase. And I will likely lose a bunch of those too when I go through it one last time. I don’t think I could ever be done finding a way to lose another one. Even to this day, when I look at The Taste of Magic, there are things I would change if I wrote it now.

One other thing I found – even with the focus on that one word, I made a lot of other changes as well. So many times the following sentences then seemed out of place and also needed reworking. Passive voice has been a big problem for me with this manuscript, more so than with any others, but I think I managed to take care of most of it, if not all. No doubt a few eluded me, after a while, I stop noticing those flaws so easily.

And since it’s Friday, tonight should be another productive night – I can stay up later! And, I still have some wine left.