Thursday, September 20, 2012

Interview: "Sweet Hell" by Rosanna Leo

I have Rosanna Leo her today for a review of her fabulous book Sweet Hell. I also posted the review today so just scroll down to the next post and read Ava's review. Lets all welcome Rosanna to Romance Book Junkies.

I know you get asked this question over and over but can you tell us a little about yourself? Maybe something juicy. ;)

Well, I’m Rosanna Leo and my very existence is juicy! Haha. Couldn’t resist. I am a happily-married mom to two lovely boys, and have been writing for a few years. I have four books published by Liquid Silver Books and spend my time smiling like a lunatic because of it.  Juicy, you say? Well, I can often be found talking to myself. I could eat potato chips every single day. I have slightly unreasonable crushes on many celebrity men (yeah, that’s you, Colin Firth), and Scottish accents make me moist.

When did you first start writing? Are you a full time author or do you do it on the side?

 I began about ten years ago when my eldest son was napping…he took really long naps. Right now, my writing is on the side right, and I also work in a library. However, it’s my dream to make this a full-time gig, a la Danielle Steel. At some point, I’d like to have a really posh pic of myself on the back of the book, in which I’ll wear every piece of diamond jewellery I own.  In the mean time, I’ll just have to be happy to be me!

Do you have a author that has really inspired you?

Diana Gabaldon is my fave, although I haven’t read her latest. Her saga of Jamie and Claire Fraser just makes my heart melt. And I love Ms. Gabaldon’s research and attention to detail. 

How long does it normally take you to write an average book or your last book?

Most of my books have taken me a few months to complete. Sweet Hell is a good example. I got the grain the idea while on vacation in Mexico in January 2012, and it hit the ebook shelves in July!

What do you think makes a story great?

Conflict is imperative. And as much as I want my H/H to fall immediately in love, I realize we can’t do that. There has to be some friction between them at first. I’ve spoken to readers, asking if they agree and many do. We want to see the characters fight that crippling attraction, and then surrender to it. Sigh!

Can you describe your book "Sweet Hell" in one sentence?

Cannoli and coffee. Lust and wine. Loving a god can be Sweet Hell.

Can you know tell us a little more about “Sweet Hell”? Is it a series?

It isn’t a series but it does begin where my first paranormal left off. My first book For the Love of a God deals with another hero/heroine, but Dionysus is the naughty wingman. In Sweet Hell, Dionysus, that randy god of wine, gets his own story and his own feisty woman. Whether he wants her or not! LOL.
     Sweet Hell begins with Dionysus living a pretty charmed life as a Greek god- no responsibilities or ties. When he encounters Josie Marino, an Italian-Canadian workaholic baker, he has an intense physical reaction to her. But she drives him crazy with her work ethic. To say nothing of the fact that she totally recognizes he’s a player.  They tolerate each other as he patronizes her bakery, but barely.
     However, when a sinister force enters the bakery, threatening Josie, Dionysus feels strangely protective. He’s compelled to watch out for her, and pretty soon they’re on a bizarre journey to Hades. One that could destroy both of them.

Have you done lots of research for your books or do the stories just come to you?

I’ve always been a big Greek mythology buff, and although I felt comfortable with those old stories, I did a lot of reading to refresh my memory. Although my works are obviously fictional, I wanted to include details that came right from the myths. And when you read those myths, there’s a lot of info on how those gods might have reacted to others. It’s a treasure trove of information. Josie is working as a baker, and I spent some time in my youth working in a bakery. I was able to use those details when describing the Marino Brothers Bakery.
     In general, I try not to write blind, no matter the topic. I hate assuming I know everything about anything!

What are you currently working on?

So glad you asked! I am in the middle of another Greek god romance, this one about the sexy Apollo! I hope to submit it really soon.

Can you tell us about some of your prior achievements?

LOL! I like that question! Does Mother of the Year count? I guess no one actually awarded me that one. I was thrilled this year to get some lovely reviews on Hearts on Fire and Night Owl for For the Love of a God and my contemporary romance Up In Flames. That meant a lot to me. Of course, every reader review means a great deal too. However, I think I’m most proud of my ability to annoy my long-suffering husband. Someone should give HIM a medal for that!
     The best comment I had was from a friend who said my book was the best $5 she ever spent, because it turned her on…and her husband too!

Is there anything that I didn't cover that you would like to talk about or say to your potential readers?

Just that I sincerely thank you for your interest and I hope you’ll take my books for a spin. I want to turn you on!

Just for fun:
Hardback or Paperback?  Both
Dog ears or Bookmarks?   Oh, dear! I work in a library and dog ears are blasphemous…but I dog ear!
YA novels or Adult novels?  I like both, but mostly adult. I like my sexy bits!
Library or Bookstore?  Libraries, baby!
Reading glasses or No glasses?  A bit of both, depending on how tired I am (sigh)
Snack while reading or No snacks?  No snacks
Beach or Mountain? Beach
Vampire or Werewolf? Vamp, oh yeah!
Hot or Flirty?  Can I have both? I’d like both.
Movie 1st or Book 1st?  Book 1st, absolutely.
Contemporary or Historical?  Used to be historical, now it’s contemporary.
Page-Turner or Tear Jerker? Agh…such hard decisions! Okay, tear jerker. 

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.

Rosanna Leo has her degree in history and literature, as well as in classical singing. She currently resides in Toronto, Canada. Her favorite things are her family, libraries, and her mother's gnocchi. Rosanna loves it when the geeky, awkward girl gets the hot guy, and has made it her mission to see this happen in her books as much as possible. Sweet Hell is her third book published with Liquid Silver Books. She is also the author of For the Love of a God, Up in Flames, and the soon-to-be-released The Selkie.


Rosanna Leo said...

Thanks very much for allowing me to play with you Romance Book Junkies!! :)

ReneAva said...

Awesome interview :)

It was nice getting to know you through the interview Rosanna also great to have the pleasure of reading some of your works! I wish you the very best of success always!!


Rosanna Leo said...

Thanks again Ava- it's so nice getting to know you too! :)

Sheri Fredricks said...

Tear jerker over a page turner? Really, Rosanna? LOL Each time a read an interview about you, I learn a little more. For instance, I don't snack and read at the same time either. I'd probably choke if I did.

Best wishes, you HOT Italian Lady!

Rosanna Leo said...

Thank you Sheri. I know...I am an enigma wrapped in a conundrum...LOL! Thanks for coming!

Carin said...

Rosanna, it is so good to see your work up here in the blog world so I can tell everyone how awesome your work is!
IF you haven't already you MUST buy ALL of Rosanna's books she is an amazing author and you will not regret having these books, you will love them and wait not so patiently for Rosanna to write another :O)

Rosanna Leo said...

Hi Carin!!! Aw, you are the best, my dear! I am so grateful for your support. Thanks so much for coming here and sharing the love!! :)

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