Rosanna is one of my favorite people, thanks to her encouragement and support back when I just started out (not that I've gone very far since then...). She writes super sexy romances, many of which star shifters and mythical beings. Her most recent release is Selkie's Lure, which brings us back to Orkney, Scotland to witness a battle of wits and wills (as well as smoking hot scenes, I'm sure). Read an excerpt from the 3rd installment in the Orkney Selkies series after this brief writing tip break.
Respect the Reader’s Imagination
by Rosanna Leo
Thanks so much to Tara for hosting me today! It’s always a pleasure to visit.
My new paranormal romance Selkie’s Lure, Orkney Selkies 3, releases January 16 and I’m very excited to share it with you. This book not only features Scottish selkies but other creatures of legend such as water horses, fairies and sirens. As I wrote the novel, it was important for me to retain a bit of mystery. After all, we’re dealing with paranormal characters. Mystery is important.
In other words, I try hard to respect the reader’s imagination.
I’ve never been fond of long, flowery descriptions. As a reader, I like envisioning the scene. Let’s face it. Many readers will insert their own image of what the hero or heroine or villain looks like anyway. They don’t need them described down to the curl of their eyelashes. If your setting is a flowery meadow, we don’t need to know the color of every single flower.
I used to work as a classical singer years ago. One of my conductors, a man who was well respected in the musical community, always used to say, “There is music in the silences.” In other words, don’t hit the audience over the head. Don’t try to fill every space with noise. This applies to writing as well. Allow the reader to absorb your information so she can imagine her own setting.
Be a little mysterious. Be a little vague. The reader will supply the rest.
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoy Selkie’s Lure.
Orkney Selkies 3
by Rosanna Leo
Amy Woods, one of TV’s famed Beast Seekers, has come to Orkney, Scotland, to hunt sirens. One of them killed her sister and she has sworn revenge. Most people think she’s crazy for believing in monsters. She knows the truth. But while patrolling one of Orkney’s cold beaches, she runs into a naked selkie man rather than a siren, and he proves to be an alluring distraction.
Edan Kirk is a selkie, one of an ancient race of seal shape shifters. When he hears of Amy’s intention to hunt sirens, tragic memories overwhelm him. He knows he must get rid of the pesky human. As much as he tries to convince her she’s on a fool’s errand, he can’t resist trying to protect her. After all, he has heard the enticing song of the sirens and he knows its deadly power.
As Amy and Edan engage in a battle of wits and wills, other emotions rush to the fore. Their connection is intense, the sort to come along only once in a lifetime. Edan recognizes her as his mate. However, another woman has set her sights on him as well, one whose powers of seduction are legendary. One whose voice has driven men to madness and devastation.
Can Amy accept Edan as her mate, making her home in the world of the supernatural? And can they save each other from a beast that cannot be destroyed?
After patrolling the shore for the better part of an hour, Edan began to feel the call of his bed. He might possess more stamina than a human man but it had been a long day. Resolved to catch a couple hours of sleep before morning, he swam toward the shore. Relinquishing his pelt, letting it slide from his body, he stood up straight.
A man appeared before him.
No. A woman.
Because she wore fatigues, he was momentarily confused, but there was no mistaking her buxom figure. She was certainly doing her best to look like an army man, right down to her combat boots.
The lass smiled and aimed a camera phone at him. “Hello, sailor. Did you fall off your boat?”
Fuck. What sort of woman walked on the beach at four in the morning? “Something like that.”
Despite the obvious threat posed by her camera, he couldn’t help noticing she was a beauty. Perhaps not in the Hollywood starlet sense, but her imperfections intrigued him. She’d pulled her chestnut hair back into a tight ponytail. There was an asymmetry to her face that gave an edge to delicate features. Her nose was slightly crooked near the tip and one eyebrow arched higher than the other. Her generous mouth was compressed but it looked capable of wide smiles.
And her scent. It hit him hard and made him see stars, like that time his younger brother Calan lobbed a dictionary at his head. She smelled like strawberries, juicy and ripe from the bush. Interesting, considering she was dressed like Rambo.
His gut turned, as if skewered on a rotisserie. As his innards roiled, he couldn’t help wondering what it would be like to wind her ponytail around his fingers, draw her close and...
“Well?” Her eyebrow quirked even higher.
How much had she seen?
He stepped toward her but when she snapped several photos in quick succession, he stopped moving. “It’s not polite to take photos of a man in his birthday suit.”
“Yes, but you’re not quite a man, are you?”
She’d seen everything, then. He’d simply have to persuade her not to trust her senses. He’d talked himself out of worse scrapes. Edan waved his hand in the direction of his crotch. “I’m all man, lass, as you can see.”
She indulged in a quick glance. Her eyes widened in clear wonder, as if she’d never seen anything quite like him before. “Something more, then.” She nodded toward his pelt. “I’ll take that, please.”
“I don’t think so.” He hedged his bets he could convince her to give up whatever mischief she’d planned. How had he missed her on the beach? Too distracted by the thought of Breena, perhaps. “You’ve seen enough to understand I’m a selkie. If you know that, you know I need this pelt. If you’re looking for a lover, you need to be wily and steal the skin. I won’t just hand it over, unless of course you can prove to me you’d be worth a tussle.”
“I’m not looking for a lover and I don’t want to tussle with you.”
“I’d say that was a shame, you know, if you didn’t look as if you were out to blackmail me.”
Two men, also dressed in camouflage, emerged from behind a sand dune. One of them looked as if his sole hobby was frequenting the gym. Although the other man was smaller in stature, he presented more of a threat and it had everything to do with his professional-looking video camera.
“I’d give her the pelt if I were you,” the bigger man said.
“Who the hell are you people?” Edan demanded as he slowly handed the skin over to the woman.
She took it but didn’t lower her phone. “We’re the Beast Seekers. You’re our first selkie. Smile for the cameras.”
About Rosanna Leo
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