I’m thrilled to have the wonderfully talented author Rosanna Leo on my blog today! I first found Rosanna‘s work when I was just getting Maenad off the ground. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was still writing it, and I happened upon an author who wrote something quite similar to what I was playing with: gods in the modern world. I devoured all three of her god-centric pieces, and have since moved on to her most recent release, Night Lover, which is fantastic so far.
Super excited to have her here, so please give your full attention to the lovely Rosanna Leo!
- Where do you generally do most of your writing? Is there a specific room that has been dubbed “The Writer’s Cave”?
I do have a writing cave, and it’s known in our house, as “Spare Room.” (Very Narnia, isn’t it?) It really is just the spare bedroom, so there’s a bed there if I grow especially weary, or if I need to bash my head against pillows. However, I also write in the kitchen sometimes. Lots of light and lots of snacks. The snacks are not particularly conducive to writing, but they keep me happy.
- Any advice for writers about to be published?
My advice to writers about to be published is this: get yourself ready for a wild ride. There is no feeling in the world quite as special as seeing your first book published. The others are special, too, but the first one brings forth emotions you won’t expect. Embrace them. Be ready for highs and lows, however. As exhilarating as it can be to see your name in print or digital print, there are stresses as well. Bad reviews, looming deadlines, keeping up with family and job. All these things can bring you down. Try to keep it all in perspective and stay on an even keel, while enjoying the blissful moments as much as possible.
- Tell me about your debut novel. Looking back, what are your feelings toward it now?
My debut was a fun paranormal romance called For the Love of a God. This is the book my heart wrote. Would I write it exactly the same way now? Perhaps not, but I don’t regret the lessons learned. Besides, writing is a constant learning process. Writers improve with each book, with each paragraph. I still get lots of emails from readers who say they love that book, and that taught me something. If you believe in a story, others will, too. I am extremely proud of where and how I began and For the Love of a God is part of that story. In many ways, I wouldn’t change a thing.
- Tell me a little about your upcoming release.
My current release is another paranormal romance, and this one is called Night Lover. Featuring a classical soprano heroine, her dishy conductor and a naughty incubus, it explores the themes of grief, faith and redemption. Set against the backdrop of a music festival at an English country manor, it features the music of Mozart, a bit of Regency passion and foul murder. I’m so excited to share it with readers.
- What are you most excited about with this upcoming release?
I’m eager to share Night Lover because, at its heart, it’s about old-fashioned romance. It’s a story I’ve had in my head for over ten years and it’s taken a long time to bring to life. I’ll be very excited to see what readers think about it, and hope they fall in love as I did.
Here’s a spot to pimp one of your writer friends… GO! (Or to gush about a recent fave read)
I’m so glad you asked me to pimp a writer friend! I would love to let everyone know about historical romance author Jessica Cale. She writes books set in post-Fire London and I have fallen in love with her characters. Make sure you check out her books Tyburn and Virtue’s Lady!
Canadian soprano Renata Bruno is tired of waiting for her big break. Unfortunately, her boss, the conductor of a chamber ensemble, sees her as little more than background material. When she learns of an opportunity to sing solo with a different troupe in England, she knows she must seize it. Especially when she hears the group is to perform Mozart’s Requiem, her favorite work.
As soon as Renata decides to make her move, a strange, sultry presence invades her life. She begins dreaming of a man, one who makes love to her, bewitching her. It isn’t long before her night lover leaves startling proof of his nocturnal presence, making her doubt her senses.
To compound her discomfort, she learns her new conductor is the college boyfriend who broke her heart years ago. As Renata grapples with old hurts and renewed passion, she must also fend off the increasingly fervent advances of her night-time visitor. She realizes she is under the influence of an incubus, a sexual demon.
It becomes harder to resist the incubus when she learns he has a name and had a tragic history. The more she discovers about his past, the more she realizes they are linked in more ways than one. Renata begins to rediscover love and her sense of faith, but will it be enough to save her night lover from an evil curse? And will it destroy her in the process?
When I saw the face in this painting, I gasped, feeling as if someone had punched me in the gut.
It was the portrait of a man, much in the style of a Gainsborough painting. Full-length, it displayed the man in Regency dress. Tall Hessian boots reached up over his pants, accentuating his height. A waistcoat peaked out from under his soft blue riding coat. I looked up to the face above the coat, clean-shaven and somehow boyish with its round features. His hair was the color of honey and quite curly, with long sideburns travelling down his cheeks. Although he bore a fashionably serious countenance, his blue eyes smiled.
The man from my recurring dream, the man from the theater mezzanine in Toronto. I blinked several times, not believing my eyes.
I couldn’t move. I returned the stare of the man in the portrait. A friendly face, it still managed to unnerve me. The artist must have been a master because its subject seemed to be looking right at me. His pale eyes bore into mine. As I continued to gaze at my dream man, other objects in the background began to blur. The portrait frame and the wallpaper behind him dissolved into nothingness. I could only make out the man, and his gaze seemed to issue me a challenge, daring me to look back at him. My head swam. My tongue grew thick. Pain shot through my stomach and I clutched it so I wouldn’t keel over.
Lizzy came out of nowhere and bounded up behind me. “What’s up? Ooh, he’s cute.” She, too, had noticed the portrait. She also saw how intently I stared. “Hey, are you okay?”
“No.” I couldn’t look away from him, couldn’t stop myself from raking my gaze over every painted inch. “It’s him. The man from my dream.”
“Yeah, right.” She frowned.
Finn walked up to us and put a hand on my back, oblivious to my shock. “So you’ve found the lord of the manor.”
“Hugh Dawlish, scion of Dawlish Manor. The women in the ensemble love this portrait because they think he’s, ah…easy on the eyes. So, shall we rehearse?”
I let him lead me away, but I couldn’t stop looking back at Hugh Dawlish’s portrait.
He was real. Not a wraith from my imagination.
Real. And dead.
Lizzy elbowed me. “You look like you’re going to pass out.”
As we left the room, I looked back once more. The eyes of Hugh Dawlish followed me. I shivered.
A slight smile played on his lips.
Rosanna Leo is a multi-published, erotic romance author. Several of her books about Greek gods, selkies and shape shifters have been named Top Picks at Night Owl Romance and The Romance Reviews.
From Toronto, Canada, Rosanna occupies a house in the suburbs with her long-suffering husband, their two hungry sons and a tabby cat named Sweetie. When not writing, she can be found haunting dusty library stacks or planning her next star-crossed love affair.
A library employee by day, she is honored to be a member of the league of naughty librarians who also happen to write romance. Rosanna blogs at www.rosannaleoauthor.wordpress.com
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