Welcome Rosanna! Thanks for joining us.
RL: It’s a pleasure to be here, Lisa. Thanks for having me.
Tell us a little about yourself. When did you publish your first book? Did you always want to be a writer?
RL: I’m from Toronto, Canada, and have worked in fields as diverse as tourism, recruiting and processed meats. I guess you could say I floundered a bit before setting out on the right path. As far as my writing, yes, I always wanted to be a writer but I never dreamed it would happen. Writing is one of the careers so many people fluff off as unachievable. However, this is a great time to write as there are so many options available to writers. Luckily I discovered one of those options in 2012 when Liquid Silver Books published my first romance in ebook format. Since then, I’ve published just shy of 20 books, including the two free anthologies done with my former blogging group. It’s been such a wonderful journey for me. Aside from writing, I now work part-time at my local library and my dual careers offer the best of both worlds.
What do you do for fun when you aren’t writing?
RL: My husband and I are big fans of traveling and we wish we could do more. We’re never happier than when living out of a suitcase. However, if we need to stick close to home, we love hiking and watching British TV series, especially the ones with warped and scary storylines.
Is there a book or story in particular that had a lasting impact on you?
RL: I’ve enjoyed so many but several have made a lasting impact. My readers have heard me wax poetic about the Narnia Chronicles. Those books turned me onto fantasy as a child and probably inspired my interest in shape shifters. I always thought Aslan would make a great romantic hero. Jane Eyre is another biggie in my world. I love the gothic feel and the intensity.
Are you a planner or a pantser when it comes to your writing?
RL: As much as I try to plot out each detail, I can honestly say I am more of a pantser. I like having a general idea of where to head, as far as major plot points, but I love leaving room for change and development.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
RL: Be honest with yourself, about what you want to write and what you need to learn about the business. It can be a wonderful experience with so many highs, but it does come with lows as well. Once you decide to make a go of it, learn all you can and research every angle of the business. Writing can be a fun hobby but once you make it a career, you need to be prepared.
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
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.