Thanks so much to Layna for allowing me to guest here today. I’m happy to be here.
As in any business, romance authors often have to tailor their work so it meets public demands. I don’t know an author out there who doesn’t keep an eye on trends in the genre. We all have to understand what the reader wants.
I would argue we also have to understand what we want.
Writing is a personal process. I’d wager most of us got into this business because we had an idea burning inside us, a story we needed to tell. And yet I wonder how many of us have written that story. Have we shared the stories of our hearts with the masses or have we kept them close, worried they might not sell or that they might buck the trend?
My latest paranormal romance, Night Lover, is one of these “stories of my heart.” The concept first occurred to me about a decade ago. It moldered in the pages of my notebooks and went through various transformations. I can honestly say it looks a lot different than my first draft, but those changes were necessary and didn’t change the integrity of the story. In effect, I wrote a book I desperately wanted to read.
If I hadn’t released it, I think a little piece of me might have withered. Does it look like one of today’s romance novels? The cover does, but I think the story inside is unique. This isn’t your typical boy-meets-girl romance. For one thing, there are two sets of boys meeting girls. I like to think of it as a romance within a romance.
After fighting with the book for so long, alternately loving and hating it like a petulant lover, I finally made the decision to submit it. I’m so glad I did. My readers seem to be enjoying it so far.
As writers, we have to trust that there is a reader for every book. The story of your heart will find a life in someone else’s heart as well. If it’s written with love, it will be received with love.
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?
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.
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.”
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.
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-nightlover-1918934-149.html
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 www.rosannaleoauthor.wordpress.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rosanna-Leo/e/B007X5P4I8