Is Rosanna Leo a lingerie or a flannel girl? #meettheauthor

Yes, I know it’s only Thursday, but I was so excited about this one I’m posting it a day early.  Today Rosanna Leo, author of contemporary romance, Up in Flames, is letting it all hang out right here on the blogzilla.

Welcome, Rosanna, so glad you’re here!  Let’s get right to the nitty-gritty, primal you.  What scared you most as a child?

OMG!  It still does!  Two words: ZOMBIE APOCALYSE!!!! I’m terrified of zombies and zombie movies.  Since my brother made me watch “Night of the Living Dead” so many years ago, I’ve been petrified of those movies.  I still watch from time to time, but then I have nightmares for weeks afterward.  I am a total wuss when it comes to zombies.  The worst thing anyone could do to me is dress up as one and ambush me.  I would dissolve into a terrified puddle on the floor!

Haha!  You’d better watch out now since you spilled the beans about that.  You just gave everyone who knows you a great prank to pull.  😉

There are a lot of stereotypes cast in a romance novelist’s direction, like they must sleep in slinky lingerie when most I’ve met are dressed from head to toe in flannel jammies when they hit the sack.  Are you a warm and comfy girl?  Or an in-the-buff or silk and satin kind of girl?

Ha ha!  Well, of course, I only wear the finest of French negligees at all times!  I actually parade around the house this way, and greet workmen in my skivvies.  I get a lot of work done around the house for free! 🙂  No, I hate to say it, but I usually sleep in old T-shirts. 

My favorite one is the one I got for climbing the stairs of the CN Tower in Toronto, what used to be the world’s tallest freestanding building.  It took me 45 minutes and I am absurdly proud of getting the T-shirt!  Oh, and the negligees do make an appearance from time to time…gotta keep hubby happy! 😉

Yes, the hubbies must be obliged now and then, I agree.  Let’s pretend, for a second, that you’re not married and you meet a yummy man who has a time machine.  Where would you ask him to take you, and when?

Oh, my!  That is a delicious idea!  There are so many lovely choices!  I think perhaps my initial choice would be a dark Scottish castle in the Highlands.  Medieval, baby!  With a huge, Highland hunk on my arm…or elsewhere on my body!  But then, I’ve always loved the Regency period.  I’d go there, but not for polite Jane Austen world.  I think I’d like to explore with a real Regency rake.  In the master’s chambers…oh, yeah!   

A girl after my own heart!  I’d choose the Scottish highlands, too, as in step right into one of Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander novels set in the 14-1500s.  Men in kilts are delish, especially Hawk (book 1)!  Of course, it helps that I’m married to one.  😉  Speaking of tasty morsels, what’s your favorite paragraph from Up in Flames?  No spoilers now, just a nice, slow tease if you please.

Hmm, (she says over steepled fingers), how to choose?  Okay, I’ll have to go with the following paragraph:

“They all watched as an old pick-up truck pulled into the gas station lot. As she pulled out the nozzle, Jules checked out the driver. And then she did a double take.

Driving the pick-up was the most scrumptious specimen of manhood she’d ever seen. He was tall and buff and had windblown blond hair. And, she noticed as her tongue dried out, he wasn’t wearing a shirt. As the truck approached, she could make out the clear definition of his pecs, the muscular shoulders and arms. And as he parked his truck next to her Jeep, she took note of a strong jaw, full lips and hair that kept falling into his eyes. Tom Brady at his finest could not have looked so fine.

Jules tried very hard to pick up her jaw and not drip gas on her shoes.”

The reason I like this one so much is because it’s the first moment my heroine Jules sees my hero Shane.  I just love it because she’s immediately flustered, immediately attracted, and she’s awkward, which I can relate to!

I’m thinking with a guy like THAT in that confined space, the windows in that truck must be fogged right over.  *fans self*  Where did your hero, Shane Gaskill, come from?  Someone you know?  Dreams of the *ahem* daytime persuasion?  What makes him tick?  Inquiring minds would like to know, because he sounds positively yum terrific.

Thanks Jocelyn!  I kinda like him myself! Shane was born, not as a character first, but as a name.  I had heard the surname Gaskill on a soap opera one day, and it stuck.  And then it occurred to me that Shane Gaskill sounded like a sexy, strong name.  I made him a firefighter because for years I’ve been amazed at how crazy women get over firefighters! 

I used to work at the local City Hall, and when the firefighter recruits would show up for training en masse, everything would stop.  Every woman in the building (and some men) would cease what they were doing, ignore their work and just watch those recruits saunter by.  It occurred to me that those men could wield a lot of power over a woman.  But I also wanted my Shane to be a good guy, someone who would never use a woman ill.  He’s honorable and protective.  However, I think his greatest trait is his love of performing oral sex!  That may happen once or twice in the novel (*wink wink*).

Whoa, right on!  Now my glasses are fogging over.  I think I’ve found my weekend read.  Maybe twice!  How much of you is in your heroine, Juliet Baker? 

A fair bit, actually.  I like geeky girls.  I especially like geeky girls when they get the hot guy.  And I always felt geeky growing up, so a bit of that is present in Jules and how she sees herself.  She’s awkward and has a little temper and tends to shoot her mouth off.  If anything, she’s probably more outspoken than I am.  Where Jules would launch into a tirade about an injustice, I’m more likely to ponder it quietly.  She is loyal, sometimes to a fault, and I’ve felt that too in my life.  It doesn’t always pay to be the “nice” one, because there will always be someone who will try to use you as a doormat.  I like Jules because she is done being a doormat!

Geez, I think you just described me.  It shocks me how many of us romance & UF authors are geeks in real life.  What kind of high school personality were you?  Band dork?  Jock?  Loner?  Brainiac?

Although most of the photographic evidence has been buried, I was a wannabe goth girl in high school.  It was pretty bad.  I read “The Vampire Lestat” and watched vampire movies, but wasn’t cool enough to actually be accepted by the goth kids.  I used to blacken my eyebrows and dye my dark hair even darker and wear red lipstick.  My Italian grandparents used to think I had a disease.  I was a total dork, but pretty happy nonetheless!

What???  No pictures?  Gah, now I’m going to have to form the mental picture myself, but that’s okay, ’cause I’m a writer and I can already see you as a goth princess.  😉  Are there any other fantastic novels waiting to burst free from your imagination in the future?

Well, I have a couple on the backburner that I’m trying to finish.  One is a paranormal romance about a Selkie.  These creatures come from Scottish folklore and are said to be seal shapeshifters.  They say if a woman is unsatisfied with her love life, she need only cry 7 tears into the sea, and an immortal Selkie man will come to her and love her as no one else can.  I think that’s a pretty hot premise for a romance!  And because I’ve written 2 paranormals about the Greek gods (For the Love of a God, and Sweet Hell), I am thinking of doing a third.  This one, with the god Apollo as the hero.  Apollo, with his muscles and blond hair, just knocks my socks off!

I LOVE Selkies, in fact they play a role in my UF series.  I, for one, would be all over that one once you get it written. Now for the good stuff.  Let’s get the down and dirty on Up in Flames:

Back of the Book:

Juliet Baker is not looking forward to coming home after six months. Yes, the fiery brunette wants to make a go of turning her parents’ farmhouse into a B&B. She’s just not looking forward to seeing the place where they died. To make things worse, she knows she’ll finally have to face her cheating, firefighter ex-boyfriend.

Luckily, her sister has found Jules a boarder. Easy money, right? Not when she realizes the boarder is Captain Shane Gaskill. Not only is Shane a firefighter, he’s the town’s hot new fire captain.

Jules is determined to hate all firefighters. After all, the men of that precious brotherhood protected her cheating ex. Shane, however, proves he’s different from the start. He’s protective and kind, and she can’t stop looking at his smoking, Viking-hot body. She learns, though, that Shane isn’t so willing to love again either. He’s been hurt, too. They both fight the sexual chemistry, and resulting tenderness, between them. But when a stalker begins to target Jules, they realize they can’t fight their desire forever.

As the threats escalate, Shane and Jules are thrown together. The resulting passion overwhelms them. But are they willing to trust each other and surrender to the flames of love?

Connect with Rosanna here:

By this tasty treat here:

Excerpt: (Yes, she even gave us a teaser!)

When he saw the woman, his breath caught in his throat. It was her, the rude but delectable brunette from the gas station. The one, he loathed to admit, he’d been thinking of almost the entire drive over.

“We meet again,” he whispered. “Maybe Ms. Baker has a gorgeous granddaughter?”

Gorgeous didn’t seem to be the right word for her, he decided, as he watched her argue with the firefighter. Her delicate face had blushed rosy pink from anger, and her bright eyes shone with indignation. She was splendid in her fury, from her cropped black hair to the shapely legs extending from her khaki shorts. Her body was tense, but her stiff shoulders could not detract from the soft, swelling bosom below them. The woman’s fists were clenched, so much so he ached to calm and relax her. Her generous lips were pursed into a tight line, but he remembered their sweet fullness when she’d gawked open-mouthed at him at the gas station.

No, her anger did nothing to diminish her many charms. Gorgeous wasn’t quite a strong enough word to describe her. Stunning seemed more appropriate.

“Oh, come on, babe,” the other man replied. “You always took things so seriously.”

“You mean, like our relationship? Yes, I did.”

“I swear, those others meant nothing to me.”

Listening to the other man, the other firefighter, Shane felt his own anger rising. How many others did he have when he had this knockout as a girlfriend?

“Kevin, I can’t do this right now. Please, just go.” Her eyes grew moist.

Her tears were not lost on Shane. He felt his stomach clench, and he was seized by the extraordinary impulse to protect her. She might be a bit odd, careening away from him earlier, but something in her luscious figure and angelic face called to him.

He heard the other man, Kevin, begin to protest. And then, Shane heard his own baritone voice cutting through it. “I believe the lady asked you to leave.”

Shocked, the other two turned to see Shane hurtle over the porch railing to the yard below. He pulled himself to his full height and approached Kevin and the brunette.

“Who the hell are you?” Kevin demanded. “This is a private conversation.”

“The lady asked you to leave.” He nodded at her, and then came to within a foot of Kevin’s face. “Consider it an order from your captain.”

“What?” Kevin blurted, as the woman’s jaw hit the floor.

“You’re the new fire captain?” she asked. And then her eyes dropped to his chest, the one he’d last displayed in its naked, sweaty glory.

Shane inclined his head toward her and smiled. Damn. Up close she was even prettier. At that moment, he would have given anything to get rid of that Kevin.

“Captain Gaskill?” Kevin ventured. A comical flurry of emotions flew across his face, betraying everything from anger at being interrupted to fear for his job.

“And you are?”

“Kevin McGuinness. It seems you’re my new boss,” he said slowly, as if mentally choosing his tactic for dealing with the unwanted newcomer. “You’ve got the wrong idea, though. This lady and I have a relationship…”

“Had a relationship,” she broke in.

“Mr. McGuinness, we’ll talk again when I’m settled at the station.” Shane used his most authoritative tone, the one that brooked no opposition.

Kevin, blue eyes blazing and blushing himself now, stared down his captain. Shane suppressed a chuckle, wondering at his luck at making an enemy in Riverbend, despite having only been there a few days. He could see Kevin wanted to take a swing him, but had enough brains to decide against it.

Instead, the man addressed the woman. “I’ll talk to you soon.”

“Whatever,” she replied. As soon as Kevin pulled away in the Mazda, she stormed toward the house.

Shane called out to her. “Miss, excuse me. Do you know where I can find Ms. Baker?”

“Why, Captain Gaskill, you’ve already found her.” She turned about, hazel eyes flashing and then pounded down the walkway to the house.