Today I decided to introduce you my hero in Incandescent—Mikhail Petrov, a strong willed Russian. Instead of interviewing him I am going to show you what he’s like.
I’m inviting him to the Southern Magic Reader’s Luncheon. If he came--it might go something like this:I greet a tall man at the door. He's dressed in a grey Armani, his dark hair combed back. His eyes rotate color, first blue then ice grey, deep green. They never settle in to one color. I have force myself not to stare. He looks around, his lips curled into a half smile. Behind him are five men dressed in black suits--I try not to roll my eyes. It's obvious they are security.
M.V. : Hello Mr. Petrov, I am glad you could make it.
A few volunteers hurry by, arms filled with decorations. He’s early and we're not quite ready.
Mikhail-gives me a cool nod: Of course.
He strides into the room filled with tables. He has no hesitation, it's as if he owns it. He probably does. He has extensive real estate holdings in the southeast. He heads to the largest table located front and center.
M.V.: Please, that is the Keynote Speaker's table.
I hurry over and point to the one toward the back of the room.
M.V.: Just as you requested there is your table and it is overlooking the room.
Mikhail: I prefer this one.
With a snap of his fingers, three of the dark suited men begin to clear the table. I try not to hyperventilate.
M.V.: You can't do that! That is Sherrilyn Kenyon's table. She has Dark Hunters-- you don't want to meet them.
He pauses and gives me a considering look. I swallow. There is something about him that makes me want to take a step back. I managed to hold my ground, but it costs me.
Mikhail: If they come, they may sit with me. Now, did you get that bottle of Russian Standard that I requested?
I slow throb begins just behind my left eye. I have a feeling its going to get ugly.
M.V.: I am sorry, but there is no drinking at these functions. This is a sponsored...
Mikhail raises one eyebrow: Is this so? We shall see.
He reaches inside his suit jacket and pulls out an impossibly thin cellphone. It looks like an iPhone but I'm not sure--do they even make them that thin? He hits a number and begins to speak in Russian. I try to stop the men from clearing Sherrilyn's table, by putting my hand on the arm of one, who shrugs me off. Nothing like being ignored.
I'm so dead.
Mikhail ends the call: So, now we will have vodka.
The table is being reset with a black table cloth, fine china, and crystal shot glasses. That's when I notice that shot glasses are being placed at every place setting in the room.
M.V.: Wait. Mr. Petrov, I just said we can't drink! They'll shut us down.
Mikhail rolls his shoulders in a shrug and sits down in a chair brought in especially for him, a large carved wooden chair with black leather upholstered seat. Wow. He even brought his own chair.
Mikhail: What is this to me? I pay the fine. They go away. All is good.
He pulls out a thin cigar from inside his breast pocket. I hold out a hand.
M.V.: Stop! It's against the law to....
Mikhail gives me small smile as he pulls out a box of matches. My Laurie, she says this to me once. Same thing. Someone gets upset. It is easy to solve. You worry too much.
I feel a headache coming on as another of his security comes to his side carrying a bottle of Russian Standard--by the looks of it, the expensive stuff. Identical bottles are being placed at all the tables. He lights his cigar and watches me as I rub my temples.
Mikhail: Please, come. Sit. Drink with me. We will toast for good luck.
He pours me a shot glass of the clear liquid and holds it out to me. At this point, why not? The police are going to come. I'm probably going to jail. Lets make it good. I take it.
Mikhail raises his glass: за тевя (za tee-bya) To you!
Just wait until the Dark Hunters come.....
As you can see--he is *very* difficult. Mikhail references a scene in the book---where Laurie confronts him about his smoking---here is what it reads like:
A cool breeze floated over Laurie again as she tried to cash out. This time, it smelled of snow and wood smoke. Her skin tingled and she held back a scream of frustration. Instead, she took a deep breath, and looked up, knowing he’d be there.
Petrov sat on a bar stool, his trench coat draped over the stool beside him. He scraped a match along the underside of the counter and the stench of sulfur touched her nose as he lit another of his slim cigars. His strange eyes focused on her, his expression unreadable.
He blew out the cigar smoke and studied her through the blue haze, letting the silence stretch between them. Feeling about as awkward as she’d ever felt in her life and wanting to say something that would give her the upper hand, Laurie started to tell him he couldn’t smoke in here. His lips curled upward into the most wicked and knowing grin, its blatant sexuality left her speechless. For a moment, she stood poised at the edge of a precipice, wanting to leap off and return his smile with a wicked one of her own, to lean across the bar and connect with him on a level she didn’t even have words for. The feeling terrified her.
Instead, she stepped away from the edge and sought refuge in annoyance. What the hell was this guy’s problem, anyway? She was no beauty queen.
“Smoking is a filthy habit and I don’t appreciate you blowing it in my face.”
He was amused. With a teasing lift of his eyebrows he carefully blew his next exhalation away from her but didn’t stub out his cigar. “I am Mikhail Sergeivich Petrov and I humbly apologize for being filthy.” His tone was flirtatious and charming.
Laurie didn’t want to be charmed. “You could be fined for smoking in here.”
“Is this so?” He shrugged. “I think you worry too much about silly things. What is a fine, after all? I pay it and it becomes nothing. The government gets a little money and I do what I want.”
As you can see--he had the same attitude when I had him come to the Luncheon.
Speaking of---if you live or are near Birmingham or Alabama for that matter--if you love SHERILYN KENYON or DIANNA LOVE, (plus oodles of other writers) be sure to check out: http://www.southernmagic.org/luncheon.html November 3, 2012 at Harbert Center downtown Birmingham. Parking is FREE. If you attend, we will be giving away books, swag and opportunities to get more!
Speaking of swag--I have a candle, chocolate and tea to give away to one lucky commentator located in the continental U.S. (My apologies--due to cost I can't ship outside of the U.S.) --PLEASE PUT YOUR EMAIL at the bottom of the comment like this: jane at g mail dot com. I will post the winner the Thursday morning at the bottom of this blog.
PLUS: For EVERY comment Romance Magicians will be giving away a KINDLE FIRE to one lucky person (U.S. only---sorry again) at the end of the Blog Blitz. (Every comment counts--and imagine if you comment every day---JUST THINK---more entries!) This ends October 16. There are PRIZES daily! :)
Author Bio: M.V. Freeman is a native of Minnesota, but calls North Alabama her home. She is a member of RWA, and the chapters: Georgia Romance Writers, Southern Magic, Heart of Dixie. By day her mind is filled with medical jargon at the local health clinic, but at night she finds herself exploring alternate worlds within our own. Heavily influenced by Slavic languages and culture, you will find she weaves these elements into her stories. She is currently working on the next book while plotting another project. When she is not writing, she's reading, cooking, throwing around kettle bells, or making coffee. www.mvfreeman.com my twitter @MVFree
Winner is Jane! I will email you. :) Thanks everyone for participating. The rest will be put into the final drawing for the Kindle. GOOD LUCK! :)