Wednesday, January 20, 2016

[Author Interview]: Rosanna Leo + Excerpt


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

Where to Find Rosanna:

The_Book_Queen: Hi Rosanna! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How did you get started writing romance?

Rosanna: Thanks for having me, Danielle. I’m thrilled to be here. I’m a Canadian romance author from Toronto and I also work in a library. Best of both worlds. I started writing when I was young but got my start in the business in 2012 when Liquid Silver Books published my first book For the Love of a God. Like many authors, I received a lot of rejections first and each one only served to spur me on and to try and learn more about the craft. Now, I have almost 20 books under my belt and I also publish with Samhain Publishing and Hartwood Publishing.

TBQ: 20 books? That's fantastic! I think many of us are a bit jealous right now; you get to work around books in one way or another for both of your jobs. 

What is the best and worst thing about writing?

R: Honestly, as much as I love great reviews and comments from readers, the best part is actually sitting down to write. You have to want to do it and you have to want to do it as often as possible. I love the exercise of writing, of digging deep. That being said, the worst part is also digging deep and writing. LOL Not every day at the keyboard is a triumphant experience, but I just push myself through those less-than-wonderful moments.

TBQ: So true. Being an author isn't as easy as many mistakenly believe. 

Your newest release, Night Lover, came out a few months ago. Can you tell us a little bit about this book, and why readers are going to love it?

R: I can tell you why I love it and I think those who’ve read it so far have responded the same way. Ultimately, Night Lover is a love story, one of undying love. That idea has always fascinated me, a love that can endure beyond the grave. Night Lover is really two love stories in one. We have Renata and Finn in the present day, and we have Hugh and Claudia in Regency times. However, because of the supernatural elements at play, these stories cross over and pose a threat to each other.

Renata is a Canadian soprano who has been having intense sexual dreams of a man she doesn’t know. When she takes a job in England, singing for a new ensemble, she finds herself working for her old boyfriend Finn, the one who broke her heart. However, while in England, she also comes fact-to-face with Hugh Dawlish, the man from her dreams. Hugh is dead and lived in Regency times. She begins to suspect Hugh is the victim of a foul curse and believes he is the incubus haunting her dreams. The incubus threatens her health and sanity and it becomes a race to save him, as well as herself.

TBQ: Oh, I do enjoy a good crossover story like that. 

What makes Finn and Renata perfect for each other?

R: Finn and Renata were each other’s first loves. They met and fell in love in university but circumstances drove them apart and they spent the last eight years on different continents. When they meet again, it is spontaneous combustion. He loves her for her talent and compassion. She adores him for his drive and protectiveness. And because of their passionate history, they can’t help but fall into each other’s arms.

TBQ: In 5 words or less, describe Renata for us. And let's not forget Hugh, who's also part of the story -- what's he like?

R: Renata is a survivor. As for Hugh, our doomed incubus: sexy, persuasive and tortured.

TBQ: Do you have a favorite part from Night Lover?

R: My favorite part is when Renata first makes the connection between the Hugh in her dreams and the Hugh who existed in real life. I don’t want to give away too much, but there is an enigmatic portrait involved. 

TBQ: Oooh. :D

I know we all hate this question, author and reader alike, but I have to ask: What are a few of your all-time favorite books and/or authors?

R: I have many. The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis, the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and the S.E.C.R.E.T. series by Canadian author L. Marie Adeline.

TBQ: Oh Outlander. (sigh) Yes. 

We've all fallen for a hero. Or two, or three, or....ahem.  Tell us one hero that you've fallen for; who is he and what drew you to him?

R: Actually, when I fall for a book boyfriend, no matter who it may be, there are usually some qualities they share. As long as he is protective without being overbearing, I can love him. He needs to be strong but must also admire strength in his woman. He must have a sense of humor and should be smart. If book boyfriends can tick these boxes, I’m a happy camper. 

TBQ: Yes! All of those are important qualities for the hero to have. 

Okay, one more question and then the speed round. Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming releases or WIP?

R: I have a few projects on the go right now. Predator’s Rescue, Gemini Island Shifters 7, comes out Feb. 29. This is the second last book in my shape shifter series and I’m so pleased at how it’s been received. Book 8, the final book, will be written soon. I’ve also begun a new contemporary romance series featuring sexy contractor brothers. I can’t wait to be able to share more on that soon. 

Speed Round:

A day on a secluded island OR a day at the spa? Secluded island.

Reading a spicy romance novel OR a sweet “my-heart-skips-a-beat” one? Spicy, please.

Which would you rather have an affair with: a sexy highlander OR a devilishly handsome English lord? Hmm. Yikes. That’s hard. I’d be delirious with either.  [Or maybe both . . . ? ;-) ]

Hot summer days OR cold winter nights? Summer!!

Where would your dream house be: in the city, where all the action is OR nestled in the mountain where you can enjoy the quiet and the wilderness? As much as I love the country, I’d like to live in the city with all its amenities and be able to escape to the country regularly.

If you could live in any time period, past or future, which one would it be? I fantasize about living in a castle, but this woman needs plumbing. I think I’m best where I am.

Cover Lover OR Blurb Fan? I do fall for great covers but the blurb sells the book. [Agreed.]

Steamy Novella OR Sweet Novel? (aka, Quickie or Slow Build Up?) I don’t care for novellas. I like to like in a novel for a while, so make it a sweet novel in this case.

Quick—name the one food that you cannot live without? My readers will say Nutella (I have a slight obsession) but I couldn’t live without veggies. [Nutella rocks. That is all.]

And finally, tell us 3 unique/wacky/fun things about yourself:
I hate clowns. [Same!]
I love a cold beer on a hot day. 
And if a book doesn’t grab me in the first ten pages, I put it down (gasp!) [You're not alone!]

The_Book_Queen: Thanks so much for stopping by, Rosanna, and please know that you are welcome back anytime! Do you have any questions for our readers—something to spark a good discussion? :)

Rosanna: Thanks, Danielle! I do have a question for the readers. 

Romance has experienced so many trends in the past few years. What would YOU like to read about?

Night Lover by Rosanna Leo
Publisher: Hartwood Publishing (November 5, 2015)
Genre: Paranormal Romance

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?

Where to Buy*:
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Night Lover by Rosanna Leo

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.

It’s him.

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.”

“I’m fine.”

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.

Thanks again for stopping by today, Rosanna, and sharing more about Night Lover with us! 

Remember Rosanna's question for you: 

Romance has experienced so many trends in the past few years. What would YOU like to read about?


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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