Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday Tales: Rosanna Leo

Hi! Thanks so much for coming today. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi Carrie Ann! Thanks so much for having me. It’s a real pleasure to be here! Well, I’m Rosanna and I’m still a bit of a newbie at this author thing! It’s been a whirlwind year. My first book was released in April, a second in May and now my latest, Sweet Hell, is now available. I have a fourth book coming soon. Between all this writing and promo (LOL), I am the mother of two sons and am happily married. I live not far from Toronto, Canada, so I say “eh” a lot, drink gallons of Tim Horton’s coffee (if you haven’t tried it, you must), and think Sidney Crosby is a god!

Tell us a bit about your book.

Sweet Hell takes off where my first book, For the Love of a God, left off.  Sweet Hell is the story of the Greek god of wine, Dionysus. He is gorgeous, mostly idle and lives to pleasure women. However, as we learned in the first book, he is a good friend and a fierce god with powers. He is happily working his way through the world’s women when he stumbles upon Josie Marino, an Italian/Canadian baker. Josie is everything he is not: she has a good work ethic, love for family and doesn’t get much time to spend on her looks. Upon seeing Josie for the first time, Dionysus has an intense physical reaction to her…if only she weren’t so annoying! Sweet Hell is the story of these unlikely lovers and how they discover their love…as well as how they must descend to the underworld to preserve it.

Is this part of a series?

Although Sweet Hell continues from where For the Love of a God left off, they can be read independently. Both books feature two different couples, so it’s not really a series.

What did you find the hardest part of writing it to be?

Balancing writing time with promo time. Promo can take every waking hour one has. And I love it too! For someone who spent many years being shy, it’s actually quite liberating to be able to promote myself and my work. However, one must still write! And if I don’t write for a while, I really regret it.

What was your favorite part?

My favorite part of Sweet Hell is near the beginning where Josie realizes Dionysus is not just “a” Dionysus…he’s “the” Dionysus! He’s a Greek god! I love her reactions and how she makes him prove his godliness to her. After all, Josie’s a no-nonsense girl. She puts his powers to the test…in a way you might not expect.

Rate your story in terms of steaminess

My scale would be:
1 wink= wishy-washy. Maybe you should be writing for a YA audience
2 winks= getting there. Those were some nice kisses…elaborate, please!
3 winks= ho ho! That’s the ticket! Touch me there!
4 winks= caliente! Descriptive sex involved…show some ID.
5 winks= Oh my! You wanna do what? Please don’t tell my mother about this book!

Sweet Hell would likely come in at a 4 winks level. It’s hot, has several scenes of descriptive sex, but I don’t get into long discussions of human anatomy.  No one’s being stretched out on a rack in my book…not that there’s anything wrong with that! Wink! 

Who is your favorite romance author?

Hmm…right now I really love Syrie James. I haven’t read all her books yet, but I did read Nocturne and it was beautiful and sad and poignant. I think if there’s a book I wish I had written, that would be it.

What is your favorite romance book or series?

Definitely the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Diana’s a goddess in my eyes! Such research, such knowledge and such a wonderful romance between her characters. Although the series is not just about kissing and cuddling, there’s a good amount in there too! And Jamie Fraser is so dishy with his tartans and long, red hair! Yum!

Who is your favorite romance character? If you could go on a date with that person, what would you do? Details please! *wink*

Oh, well, I think I gave myself away a second ago while gushing over Jamie Fraser from Outlander. He would be the one! He’d whisk me off to his Highland castle, lay me on his tartan before a roaring fireplace and…eat oatmeal with me!  WHAT?? He’s Scottish! We’d eat oatmeal, okay? LOL! (Well…maybe not the whole time…)

Boxers or Briefs?

Boxers. Fitted ones, preferably!

What is next for you?

My newest book The Selkie just got contracted and I’m so excited! I don’t have a release date at the time I’m writing this but hope to soon. Look for it on the Liquid Silver Books website. I had such a blast writing that book too. It’s about a sexy, immortal Selkie man…mythical shapeshifters from Scotland who are reputed for their love-making abilities!

What were your first impressions of each other?

Dionysus: Josie was a mess! A sexy one, though! Gods, she was covered in flour, wearing old sweats and working so hard in her bakery, my immortal head spun. Luckily, I could see under all that bakery sludge and noticed the fine ass under those sweats!

Josie: Dionysus! You never stop. (glares)

Dionysus: (pulls her to him) You know you love it.

Josie: (giggling) Okay, okay, I love it. Just don’t be so cocky in front of these nice people. (she removes his hand) When I first saw Dionysus in my bakery, I pegged him right away. A player. Always a new woman on his arm. No responsibilities in life. And he was my most annoying customer…(she smiles over at him) Luckily, he proved himself to be a lot more. He’s kind and protective and sexy (she bites her bottom lip while gazing at him)…sorry, what was I saying?

What are your favorite parts about each other?

Dionysus: Oh, that’s easy! Her boobs! No, her ass. (looks her up and down, one eyebrow cocked) Hang on, maybe her cat eyes…no, it’s gotta be that sexy, little belly. (grins) Of course, if we’re talking about heading south….

Josie: No heading south here, buster! (she grins over at him) It is hard to choose, though. I could pick his rock-hard abs or his long, dark waves. Maybe his knowing, brown eyes….nope, it’s gotta be his penis. It’s huge.

Dionysus: Josie! You shock me…good girl. I like that.

What’s next for you?

Dionysus: Babies, and lots of them. When we escaped from Hades, I promised Josie I’d give her the family she always wanted. I can’t wait to be a dad. And I told her I’d enjoy giving her every last one.

Josie: (blushes and smiles) Yup.

Sweet Hell is available through Liquid Silver Book at

***Giveaway Info***

Rosanna is giving away a copy of Sweet Hell to a person who comments. Be sure to leave your email to be entered.


Dionysus, Greek god of wine and theater, is the world’s original playboy. But lately, he has been restless, moody, and he knows something is wrong. His carefree and bacchanal lifestyle is starting to feel like one long string of meaningless, sexual escapades. Even worse, he is suddenly aroused by the idea of marriage. And to top it all off, Josie Marino, the mouthy, disheveled, and eternally annoying woman who serves him coffee at the local bakery, sets him on fire.

Josie, a Toronto baker of Italian heritage, is not looking for love or lust. Especially not with Dionysus Iros, the most aggravating, demanding customer she'd ever had to serve. With his rippling muscles and sexy, knowing eyes, he's obviously trouble with a capital T. Unfortunately, he's also the star of her every X-rated dream. She’s known players like Dionysus before, and one of them almost got the better of her. Josie determines she will not fall for his considerable physical charms, come hell or high water.

But Dionysus turns strangely protective when a sinister character arrives at Josie's bakery, and they can no longer deny their unwanted feelings for one another. They are forced to embark on a bizarre, sexually-charged journey to hell itself, which threatens to either change them for the better, or destroy them.

There were usually two men Josie Marino had contact with at the ungodly hour of five in the morning. Not good contact. Certainly not sweaty, chest-heaving, “take me, take me” contact. And definitely not contact with Petter, the Norwegian male model who lived next door.
Nah. That would have been too perfect, wouldn’t it?
Instead, most mornings, Josie had to settle for haggling with her two least favorite men on the planet. Nelson Tate, the deliveryman from her most important supplier. And Dionysus Iros. Worst. Customer. Ever.
Because of the business, she just had to put up with Nelson. He’d been delivering dry goods to her family bakery for years. Had known her parents, schmoozed with her brothers, and basically enjoyed making life hell for her. Not that he was a vicious sort. He was just far too handsy for her liking.
In the case of Dionysus, he was just an early bird and a womanizer. And couldn’t function without the coffee she brewed first thing in the morning. Invariably, he was already waiting for her when she got to the bakery each day.
Oh, joy of joys.
Not that he was a horrible person either. He just intimidated her with his unearthly good looks. Men like him, not that most men came close to looking like him, rattled her. They were best kept at a distance.
Dionysus was so bloody perfect; Josie wanted to shake him to see if she could muss his seemingly unmussable hair. Most days, though, she just contented herself with a lot of grumbling in his presence. He unnerved her, with his sexy brown eyes and long, dark waves of hair any woman would die for. To say nothing of his body… No, it was best not to say anything about that smoking body at all. She couldn’t help hating him, just a little. No man should look so divine at dawn, when she felt about as put together as a cavewoman.
To makes things worse, the man acted as if he were a Greek god. His parents, in a tragic case of bad judgment, had even named him after one. It was no wonder he was so obnoxious.
On this morning, too, he was waiting at the door when she got there. Looking as if he’d just tumbled off the cover of GQ, and the birds weren’t even up yet. At least today he didn’t have a sleepy bimbo on his arm, like he often did.
“Mr. Iros,” Josie drawled, yawning, as she unlatched the bakery door. “You’re losing your touch. I haven’t seen you with a woman in, what, forty-eight hours?” She pushed ahead of him into the bakery, catching the scent of wine on him.
God, how much did the man drink? She was sure he dabbed a little bit of the stuff behind his ears, and splashed it on his face instead of aftershave.
On any other man, the strange cologne would have been a red flag. An indication he drank more than coffee in the morning. But on this man, it just smelled delicious. As if the scent were his pheromone, oozing out of every pore, inviting her to mate with him. In very dirty ways.
He chuckled, low and deep, and sauntered in after her as if he owned the place. Within seconds, he was seated at his usual spot at Josie’s counter. “Just be a good girl and fetch my coffee.” He lowered his shades and peered at her through sensuous dark eyes that should have been bloodshot at that time of the morning, but weren’t. “And don’t forget. Make it a tall, half-skinny, half-one percent, extra hot, two shots decaf, two shots regular latte with whip. And exactly…”
“I know, I know,” she interrupted. “One hundred fifty degrees. Has it ever been anything less, Your Highness?” She pasted on her sweetest of smiles and turned to prepare the elixir of the gods. She heard him huff as he flipped open the day’s newspaper.
“No need to call me that, Josie. ‘My Lord’ or ‘He From Whom All Good Things Come’ will do just fine.”
She reached for the one percent milk, and contemplated tossing in some heavy, artery-clogging cream just to soften up some of his sculpted muscles. A man with that kind of body had to be on some sort of special diet. With that brawny physique he must spend hours a day at the gym and ingest copious amounts of protein powders.
She snuck a peek at the bulges rippling under his sleeves, turning her head sharply when he grinned.
It was one thing to look like God’s gift to women. It was another thing to act like it.


  1. Hi Carrie Ann! (waves) Thanks so much for having me, as well as Josie and Dionysus. It was such fun!

  2. Congratulations on a new book release! Loved the interview, except the Tim Horton's and Crosby mention. LOL It's Green Tea and Daniel Alfredsson.

    Wishing you many more books!

    1. Hi Selena! Thanks so much for coming to meet my characters! I do take exception to the green tea thing...but you're so special, we'll ignore it! LOL.

  3. Rosanna, you know I love your work and this book is next on my reading pile. I am in love with the stories you write. Fantastic interview. Huge congrats again on a hot new book.

    1. Hello Savannah!! Thanks for coming along. You are such a good friend and great support to me...not to mention hugely talented. Thanks!

  4. I loved this interview! This book sounds like it's going to be as hot as the last one. I can't wait to read it!! Congratulations!

    1. Pauline!! Yay- thanks for coming! Thanks so much for your support! You are awesome, and I really hope you enjoy it!!

  5. Rosanna I loved the interview! I read and loved "For The Love of a God" Can't wait to read this one :O)Carin

    1. Hi Carin! So glad you could come to visit today! Thanks for the enthusiasm. It truly means so much to me. I'm really happy my characters have struck a chord for you! Cheers!

  6. Rosanna, I love your cover--your book is must read for me.
    Tim Horton's coffee is to DIE for.
    Hockey is my fav sport, and the Vancouver Canucks are my team. LOL, there are quite a few guys who play on that team who could grace the cover of romance novels, lol.

    1. Hi Brenda! Thank you sooo much! Do you take a double double? That's my fave coffee at Timmy's- gotta have it! And Vancouver, eh? "LUONGO!!!!!!" (God, he is so sexy and I loved him in the last Olympics!! Thanks for your support!

  7. Congrats on the new release. Wonderful cover. Thanks for the great interview. I love your favorite past of the book, where Josie makes Dionysus prove that he really a God. This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it.


    1. Hi Joanne! Thanks so much for joining us today! I really appreciate your interest, and hope you enjoy that part when you get to it! :)

  8. Rosanna, great interview! Congrats on Sweet Hell!

    1. Hello Danita! Thank you very much for taking time to visit and comment! You are awesome! :)

  9. This sounds like a good book. Fun interview.


    1. Hello BN! Thank you for your kind comment. It was certainly fun to write. I hope you enjoy it!

  10. Hello all! Thanks again Carrie Ann for hosting me, and to all for the lovely comments. I have drawn a name and it is Joanne! Yay! Congrats Joanne. A copy of Sweet Hell is on its way to you! Thanks.