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Monday, July 16, 2012

Giveaway/Excerpt/Interview - Sweet Hell by Rosanna Leo





Sweet Hell
Rosanna Leo

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.

**Excerpt**

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.


**Interview**

Hello Rosanna!  Thank you for interviewing with me today!
Thanks so much for having me, Liz! It’s wonderful to be here!

First, your new release, Sweet Hell, just released yesterday (July 16).  What can you tell us about this story?
Yes! I am thrilled to see this one launch. Sweet Hell is a follow up of sorts to my first novel For the Love of a God. It can be read independently of the first, however. Both books deal with some sexy Greek gods and the mortal women who can’t help but fall for them.
     In Sweet Hell, my hero is Dionysus, the randy Greek god of wine. Dionysus is completely happy with his carefree life until he stumbles upon a hard-working, flour-encrusted baker from Toronto named Josie. Dionysus has spent an eternity carousing with loose women, and enjoying himself, thank you very much. But when he sees Josie for the first time, a switch is turned on in him. She’s nothing like him. She works, is mouthy and thinks he acts like a Greek god. Josie doesn’t know the half of it!
     Josie is not looking for love. 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.
  
You also have two other books published by Liquid Silver books.  Care to mention anything about them?
     Yes, thanks! For the Love of a God tells the story of Eryx, the Greek god of love. While masquerading as a museum director in Toronto, he claims the attention of Maia Douglas, a nerdy conservator of Greek statuary. Maia is drawn by his raw sex appeal, but hates that he wants to change her beloved museum workplace. And Eryx is obsessed with Maia, even though he knows he lives under a curse that threatens any woman he has ever dared to love. As they battle each other, they must also battle an ancient enemy, one who is capable of destroying both of them.
     My second book is an erotic contemporary called Up In Flames. It is about Jules Baker, a woman whose cheating ex-boyfriend was a firefighter. Jules is now determined to avoid or hate all firefighters.  But when fire captain Shane Gaskill arrives in town, looking like a modern-day Viking, Jules is smitten. However, Shane is not looking for love either. He’s been hurt too. Up In Flames is a story of learning to trust again…oh, and some steamy love scenes don’t hurt!





And now that I’ve gotten the scoop on all three of your books… do you have a favorite of them?
     LOL! It’s like having to pick your favorite of all your children!  Aaah! I have to honest, I can’t say I love one best. For the Love of a God will always be dear to my heart because it was my first published. However, Up In Flames was special because it validated the first. I began to realize it wasn’t a fluke! And Sweet Hell means a lot to me because it helped me feel as if I’d really arrived on the publishing scene. I think, out of all the three, my humor comes out most in Sweet Hell.  It’s sexy, but quirky and funny too.


Your covers are deliciously gorgeous (say that 3 times fast!).  How hard is it to make a cover decision?  Do you get to have much personal input?
     Thank-you! I’m so proud of my covers! Liquid Silver Books, my publisher, gives me so much input! I am able to let them know everything from which fonts I prefer, to colors and moods and what the characters look like. I absolutely adore the cover art process. It really brings everything home when you can see your book’s cover. Amanda Kelsey and Valerie Tibbs, the graphic artists, did such lovely jobs for me! J Honestly, the cover art process has to be one of the most fun parts!


Do you have a favorite genre to read?
Absolutely, hands down, paranormal erotic romance. I used to devour historicals, but got a little tired of them. I prefer the contemporaries now.


Rosanna, here is a hard question… What villain from any book would you bring to life?
     Actually, Liz, an answer popped into my head right away! Inspector Javert from Les Miserables. Javert is the stoic police inspector chasing Jean Valjean through the years. He’s so straitlaced…I would just love to loosen some of those laces! Some of the men who’ve played him have been so dishy!  And now my man Russell Crowe will be playing him in the new movie! Heaven!


Social media.  You and I are tribe mates on Triberr, which seems to be a love it or hate it type of venue.  Do you have any others that are favorites?  And of course, please give us all of your links so we can stalk... I mean, follow you J
     LOL! Stalk away!  I belong to about a gazillion Facebook groups. I do a lot of promoting there, as well as on Twitter. I also belong to a few Yahoo email loops such as the Literary Nymph group. I love using Pinterest as well, and my books are represented on my boards. Liquid Silver Books also has a forum that both readers and authors can access, although that is going through some transition. 
My links are:
Facebook fan page- www.facebook.com/rleoauthor1

 Do you have any favorite websites that you go to that aren’t social media related?
     Good question! There are some romance bloggers who I love checking in with. Good folks such asThe Nuthouse Scribblers and Tory Richards’ Sex Between the Covers. Those are fun for checking out other author’s works. Mostly, I like to read and support other author blogs. It’s important to support those who support you and it’s such a wonderful community of friendly, like-minded people. I love being here!
  
Do you have anything you must do/hear/eat while writing?  Tell us a bit about your process!
     My process is a spare one. No music, although I have been inspired by different songs. I prefer peace and quiet. A nice coffee has been important, although at the time I’m writing this, I’m caffeine-free for about a week! We’ll see how that impacts my writing…I may show some angry tendencies! And I sometimes forget to eat! I just love having a few uninterrupted hours of work! 





Is there anything you would like the readers to take away from your writing?
     I want them to fall in love and root for my characters. I want them to be swept away by the fantasy I’ve created, but also to have a good laugh. A reader recently wrote about one of my books that it inspired her to write her first review because she enjoyed it so much. That was wonderful. If I could bottle that sentiment and provide it to every reader, I’d be thrilled!
  
Ok, how about some fun questions…. You have to pick one!
Would you rather….
Get attacked by a zombie or by a shark?  Ack! Terrified of zombies! I have to say shark!! Oh my!
Eat a cup of salt or drink 2 cups of vinegar? Vinegar…but both sound horrible…
Messy yard or messy house? Messy house…you can hide what’s inside!
Penthouse in the city, or mansion in the country? Country mansion, baby! Lots of rooms to “christen.”
  
LOL, I think that’s it for today.  Thank you again for taking the time! I can’t wait to read Sweet Hell, congratulations on your release!
 Thanks so much for having me Liz! It was a blast! J





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