Affliction Series gets a facelift!

You’ll be happy to know that after a brief hiatus my cover designer is back to work on my covers. After some thought I decided that though the old look was very beautiful, it didn’t scream Vampire Hist Fic so we decided to tweak the look a little. The cover for Bathory’s Secret has received a face lift and Vampire Edifice has been given a new cover altogether, and one that I was initially going to go with before opting for the current one. Having thought about it however, I came to realise that the initial one was better so we went back to it.

Book three, which will be titled In the Presence of Blood, is in the final stages of editing and with some godspeed and luck will be out by April. I will share the cover as soon as it is finalised but for the moment you may feast your eyes on the first two, which will be going live in the coming week.

Without further ado I present you with the new covers:

Tada!

Seven nights in Florence and a day in Padua

As I was saying the other day, this summer I had the opportunity to visit Florence. Florence, alongside Rome from two years ago, has always been one of those lifelong dreams, and I was very fortunate that this year I managed to make it a reality.

Walking into the Uffizi Gallery and facing Michelangelo’s Tondo just before the next room where I was flanked by Botticelli’s Birth of Venus to my right and La Primavera on the left were moments I have looked forward to since childhood (ok teenagehood). Also seeing the David up close and personal was a moment beyond anything I can describe. It was like meeting old pen-pals face to face and realizing they’re better than your wildest expectations.

Michelangelo's David in the flesh
Michelangelo’s David in the flesh

But I digress, the minutiae of my holiday aren’t the point here. Part of the reason I chose Florence this summer was the fact that it is close to Padua which is where a small part of Vampire Edifice is set. Padua University, in fact, is rumoured to be the second oldest university in Europe with an anatomy school that rivals none in prestige and history. It was home to several prominent figures like Galileo, Andreas Vesalius (father of modern Anatomy) and William Harvey, who discovered blood circulation, to name just a few. On a side note, in the hall of the forty I noticed a drawing of a man called Stephano Bathory (King of Poland) 1533-1586 who I am more than intrigued to research at some point for obvious reasons.

Padua University
Palazzo Del Bo

I can honestly say that the trip to PU was going to be as much of a highlight of the trip as the Medici Mausoleum or the David and at €5 for an hour tour I was very excited to make the three hour journey to Padua from Florence and back. Thanks are owed to my kindle and A Song of Ice and Fire for hours of entertainment.

Anyhoo, the first blow of the tour came in the fact that we were not allowed to take pictures of the rooms. Big bummer, ‘cause I’d planned a detailed blog post of the bloody thing. Secondly the tour guide lady was very economical with the details of the place. In fact, when she was asked a question about certain inscriptions on the walls she promised to come back to it later but never actually took the time.

The biggest bummer of all however came in the form of the Anatomy theatre, which I’d been looking forward to seeing all summer long, in anticipation of the trip. For those not in the know, an anatomy theatre is an inverse conical space, think upside down traffic cone, where students of anatomy would collect in order to watch the dissection of corpses in the name of science. PU’s Anatomy theatre was built in 1594 by Gerolamo d’ Acquapendente and was made world famous by some of the aforementioned historical personalities.

Were we allowed to see that? Oh no, that would’ve been too normal a thing to do on a specialist tour. Instead we were led in under it, picture the eye of the cone, and made to look up through the hole. Though there was a level of geeky coolness in the fact that this was the way the corpses got to see it, by way of practicality, it was next to useless. Atmospheric? Yes! Pointless? Also yes!

Whatever the case, though I was disappointed by the tour experience, I did love the location and of course the History of the place. What I did get to see and ask about satisfied my research needs for the book (I like to have visited the locations I write about wherever possible) and hey, I got to stand in the same rooms that Galileo and Harvey et al did almost five centuries ago. Can’t fault that.

On another note, whatever satisfaction I didn’t get from the tour at PU, I got in spades from the Museo La Specola in Florence itself. The museum holds one of the largest collections of wax anatomical aids from the 18th century and is an incredible sight for all lovers of medical history and the macabre.

Little Wax Massacre
Little Wax Massacre

The museum itself is not that well marketed and is home to series of other random exhibits which suddenly lead to the wax models in a slightly surreal shift of mood. It is an amazing place, with incredibly well-crafted pieces which marry the worlds of history, sculpture and medicine into an unforgettable experience. I know I sound a bit tourist guide-y but think of the fact that these models were sculpted from life (or death to be precise) in the days before refrigeration. Chew on that for a moment…

To my good fortune, due to its lack of promotion no doubt, there were only two families in the entire museum along with me, which gave the space an added air of sobriety. At times it felt as if the whole place was mine.

Flayed Man
Flayed Man

Vampire Edifice now available for pre-order!

Very often my blog posts are like buses, there’s none for ages and then a bunch come together. To avoid a big post with several topics however, I’ll talk a bit about the book today and tomorrow about some of the research I’ve been doing in recent days. What’s historical fiction after all without some decent research?

Edifice

The last couple of weeks have been super busy for me, I finished editing my book, went on holiday (which I combined with a research trip to Padova) and have spent the best part of this week formatting and listing it on Amazon (the listing part was quite quick admittedly).

Vampire Edifice: The Awakening is now officially finished and ready. It’s on pre-order, and will be available as of next Monday 10/08/15 while I wait for ARC reviews to come in.

I’m very pleased with the end result, though it was more delayed than I expected, but as it stands, I’d rather have a top product than a rushed one.

As some of you may have already gathered the book picks up where the last one left off, with Kati’s escape from the Countess and follows her during the four years she spends away from Csejthe. The world of Affliction opens up to the reader as Kati begins to come into her own.

Final Blurb:

Hungary 1610 A.D.

A wave of terror grips Csejthe village as Erzsébet Báthory’s long list of crimes comes to light, forcing Kati, who managed to escape death at the hands of the Countess, to go into hiding after her close call.

Having caught the Countess red handed, Palatine Thurzó is shocked by the atrocities committed by his cousin and becomes intent on getting to the heart of the murders. Events unfold further when he is put on Kati’s trail by one of Báthory’s co-conspirators.

Kati is then forced to risk a return to Csejthe in order to cover her tracks and hide the journals which threaten to expose the Afflicted. The task proves more dangerous than she thought, however, and she is forced to flee to Vienna where she hopes to find more of her kind.

Once there she is accepted into an Afflicted paradise where she is supported, educated and helped to deal with the pain of her past. When she discovers that Báthory’s ill son is secretly being held in a Sanatorium for the marginalized and depraved, though, she comes to the conclusion that all is not as it seems and her life might be in danger once more…

To Blurb or not to Blurb? -To Blurb, Duh!

I’m starting to put together a blurb for Vampire Edifice.
Here is what I came up with just now.
I suspect I’m going to have to change a lot of it as I’m not sure it’s concise enough.

If you have comments feel free to share them, the floor (or comment section) is yours.

Vampire Edifice: Affliction Series #2

As soon as Kati escapes death at the clutches of Countess Erzsébet Báthory she realizes she risks detection by Palatine Thurzo who is investigating the murders of the countless girls that died at her mistress’s hands.

Intent on finding the missing victim everyone is talking about, the Palatine searches the castle and uncovers hints of possible written evidence. Wanting to protect Afflicted Vampires, Kati risks being caught in order to hide the journals.

When one of the Countess’s conspirators threatens to expose her to the Palatine she is left with no choice but to leave, making her way to Vienna to see if everything the Countess described in her journals was true.

There, she finds an Afflicted Paradise where she is accepted and helped to deal with the pain of her past. When she discovers that Báthory’s ill son is secretly being held in a Sanatorium for the marginalized and depraved however, she comes to the conclusion that all is not as it seems and her life might be in danger once more…

One step closer

So it is done! The umpteenth draft of Vampire Edifice is out of my hands and into those of my copy editor for a second plot opinion as well as proofing for typos and grammar.

This means that I am one step closer to the finish line. Hopefully I will be getting the draft back in a few weeks at most, at which point I will be doing the final corrections and then onto the dreaded formatting. Thankfully this time the plot is more straight forward and will not require funky tricks to separate the story within the story. The cover is ready to go, so now I must put some thought towards the blurb.

Hold the line please-

Teeny Tiny update

As I’m in the throws of editing before I send the final draft of ‘Vampire Edifice’ to the copy editor, I won’t be posting anything for a few days due to a very tight schedule.

Watch out for new posts after the 15th when it’ll be off my plate and I will be able to resume book 3 (currently no title) as well as foster loftier thoughts and discuss matters of entertainment.

Virtual hugs to you all.

Ro News!

Some of you might recall that I claimed “Vampire Edifice,” the second book in the Affliction series would be coming out in May. It is now May and I hear you ask: “Where is the book Romina?” The answer is: it’s on its way.

Sadly I only got the book back from my editor last week, a lot later than what I’d thought he’d be done by, so this has had a knock on effect on my own rewriting bits. And that’s not even making allowances for the proof reader that’s going to come after I’ve finished it and sent it to Steve again for one more quick read through.

Sooooo, by my (new and hopefully improved) calculations the book should with some luck be hitting the virtual shelves by July/August at the latest.

The cover is very nearly done too, so hang in there for that one.

I’ll update as appropriate and distract you with other things.

Cheerio!

Covers, covers, covers! Book #2 Affliction Series!

It’s finally time to share the title and potential covers with all y’all!

My title of choice is Vampire Edifice: The Awakening and the cover alludes to the old science and discovery themes that are prevalent throughout the work. I’m currently doing the final edits before it goes off to my editors. Hang in there for the blurb which will be coming soon.

With some luck and no editorial delays Vampire Edifice will be coming out in May.

Here’s the penultimate designs for the cover. They’re not finalized yet, but I’m close enough to reveal. I’ve sent my designer some comments but I think I’m more or less settled on the look.

Romina 3Covers