A sneak peek at “Al Dente.”

As I mentioned not long ago, my short story “Al Dente” was recently accepted to be part of the sexy anthology, Craving: One Night, coming to Crave Publishing this spring.

I couldn’t resist giving you a sneak peek. My hero is a famous Italian chef by the name of Matteo Rinaldi and my heroine is a Toronto food blogger named Ruby Zhang. The story begins with Ruby winning tickets to be part of a private couple’s cooking class with Chef Matteo.

Only she loses the other half of her couple right before the event.

Please enjoy this excerpt!

“Al Dente”

It wasn’t so much that her boyfriend had taken dick pics.

It was more the fact he’d sent them to the entire internet.

Not the entire internet, of course, Ruby Zhang corrected herself. Just about half of it. The female half.

At least she assumed Steve hadn’t sent photos of “Moose” to the male half. If he had, that opened up a whole can of worms she wasn’t prepared to confront. It was bad enough knowing he’d cheated.

“I didn’t cheat, babe, I swear.” Steve had tried to justify his actions once discovered. “You went away for the weekend with your sisters and I drank too much. I was just bored one night. Those women meant nothing to me.”

“Wow,” she’d countered. “You actually think that qualifies as an excuse.”

He might as well have cheated and probably had. It was the only reasonable assumption, although she hadn’t stuck around long enough to ascertain the particulars.

Either way, he’d unleashed Moose. That was his pet name for his dick, given to him by an ex because of its admirable dimensions. He’d liked it so much he’d kept it and used it as much as possible. At first, Ruby had thought it was cute. Now, it made her want to vomit.

Eighteen months with a man who likened himself to a huge mammal known for its annoying moans and inability to sustain its energy after rutting.

Yup, that was Steve in a nutshell.

Still, they’d talked marriage … that is, they’d talked about it being a possibility one day. Those plans were over. Less than two weeks later, Ruby was still reeling.

However, life would have to go on.

That was why she now stood in front of Toronto’s Ristorante Al Dente. Although it was Valentine’s Day evening, the restaurant was closed to the public for a special event. And not just any special event.

Months ago, Ruby had entered a draw to win a private couple’s cooking class with famed Italian chef Matteo Rinaldi. As a food blogger, Ruby had followed Rinaldi’s career and tried many of the recipes featured in his popular cookbooks. In fact, she owned the entire collection of books and most of the pages were dog-eared and covered in splotches of sauce because they were such a treasured feature in her kitchen. The handsome chef wasn’t just an author, though. He’d hosted numerous cooking specials on TV and Ruby had been glued to every single one.

Matteo Rinaldi might possess some incredible knife skills but he was also so gorgeous most soap opera actors would hurl themselves over the nearest cliff out of insecurity.

Meeting the chef would be a dream come true.

Learning to cook with his instruction would be heaven.

When she won the tickets, she’d been over the moon, despite Steve’s indifference. When she broke up with Steve, she’d contemplated giving the tickets to some friends. After all, it was supposed to be a couple’s cooking class and she was no longer part of a couple.

Ruby had waffled for all of five minutes. After a short period of wallowing, she’d cuddled her aging pet rabbit Shania and said, “Fuck that shit.”

Shania always helped her channel her inner badass. The rabbit was the equivalent of one hundred human years old and had that effect on people.

Only now, standing in front of Al Dente on a cold February night, Ruby was losing her courage. What would Chef Matteo say? On TV, he seemed like a nice man but what if he was haughty and disparaging in real life? Ruby had met a lot of chefs in her line of work. They weren’t always known for their humility.

The wind whipped through her, compelling her to make a decision. She took a deep breath.

Resolved, she grabbed the door handle and walked inside.

*****

Like the excerpt? Don’t forget my latest contemporary romance A Good Man, Handymen 1, is currently available. Click here for more!

 

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“Al Dente,” a spicy romance novella…coming soon!

A short time ago, I received word that one of my submissions would be included in a spring anthology coming to Crave Publishing.

Craving: One Night is going to be a hot anthology featuring some memorable one-night stands. I’m excited that my novella “Al Dente” will be part of it.

I thought this would be an intriguing exercise for me because, believe it or not, I’ve never written a one-night stand before. Because I firmly believe in bringing my readers a “happily ever after” with each story, this novella will be no different. “Al Dente” might begin with a moment of lust but it will end with a commitment.

So what is this one about? Here’s a short blurb for you:

When celebrity chef Matteo Rinaldi announced he would visit Toronto on his latest book tour, food blogger and fan Ruby Zhang knew she had to be in the audience. The best part? Chef Matteo will be teaching a Valentine’s Day couples cooking class and Ruby has scored tickets for her and her boyfriend Steve.

Unfortunately, a week before the class, Ruby learns Steve has been “cooking with gas” with numerous other women. Determined not to let his betrayal impact her plans, Ruby attends the couples cooking class. Alone.

Chef Matteo notices Ruby on her own and invites her to be his “partner” for the class. Flattered by the handsome chef’s attention, Ruby decides it’s time she turned up the heat as well. A casual flirtation over the squid-ink linguine flares into red-hot need and a wild night in Matteo’s hotel room.

Come morning, will Ruby and Matteo find a way to continue their culinary adventures?

I can’t wait to share more about this one in the days to come. Please stay tuned or subscribe to my newsletter for all the latest.

My year of saying “yes.” #amwriting #UpbeatAuthors

First of all, allow me to wish you a very happy new year! I hope 2018 is a wonderful year for you.

I don’t make resolutions but when my peeps at #UpbeatAuthors chose resolutions as a topic for this week’s post, it got me thinking. I decided I need to say “yes” more often.

I say “no” a lot. This isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it wasn’t long ago I was celebrating the fact I can say “no” a lot easier now. It’s not easy for everyone. There’s a measure of guilt involved when you shake your head. Sometimes I say “no” out of self-preservation and rightly so. We can’t do everything and we can’t be everything to everyone. We all need a hard limit.

But it occurred to me I might be missing out by not saying “yes” more. One of my characters is going through a similar epiphany right now. Dana Hamill, the heroine Covet, Vegas Sins 2, has just had a life-changing experience and decides she needs a “week of yesses.” In other words, she will remain open to anything fun that might happen. (You’ll hear more about Dana soon – stay tuned!)

I don’t think I’m as open as I should be. Much of that stems from fatigue and commitments. My weeks are always busy between work and family life. At the end of the week, saying “no” feels luxurious. It feels justified. I sometimes close down when I should be opening myself up to new experiences.

So I’m going to try it. As a writer, I should be willing to explore and make new memories. Exploration leads to plot bunnies and plot bunnies lead to new books. Whenever I am tempted to close up shop, I am going to ask myself, “Could this be good for you? Could this be an adventure?”

Wherever possible, I will say “yes.”

I hope 2018 brings you lots of adventure as well.

Merry Christmas from Rosanna Leo!

The next few days are going to be a blur so I want to take an opportunity now to wish you all a very merry Christmas and all the best in the new year!

I’ve really appreciated all the love and support shown here in 2017 and I thank you for showing interest in my books and my writing process. This is a funny business sometimes and it’s wonderful to know we can rely on each other. My writer and reader  peeps are the best and I look forward to sharing more yummy stories with you in the new year.

Love and peace, always. I hope you get to spend the holidays exactly as you would like to spend them. I wish you great joy.

Rosanna

WARNING: Extra-Gooey Cinnamon Roll Heroes Ahead

Awesome author Olivia Dade released a list of some scrumptious “Cinnamon roll” heroes, a.k.a. really good guys who melt our hearts. I’m so honoured that Michael Zorn from A Good Man is on this list. Thank you, Olivia!

Olivia Dade

cinnamon roll heroes

A couple of weeks ago, I finally realized what I needed to break my reading slump: heroes. But not just any heroes—supportive, kind ones who tried their best, even when they made mistakes. In other words, human cinnamon rolls.

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The “Best” of the Worst Sex Scene Writing Contest.

Yep, you read it properly.

So often in writing, we strive to do our best. Well, I recently put pen to paper in a quest to be the “best of the worst.”

Crave Publishing is holding its first ever “Best” of the Worst Sex Scene Writing Contest and I have an entry!

The publisher asked for the cheesiest, drippiest, most jaw-dropping excerpts possible and I think I may just have outdone myself.  My submission, “Closing the Deal” can be found here: https://cchronicles.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/sex-scene-closing-the-deal-rosanna-leo/

There are some fun entries and so far, readers have responded well to my characters. Who are they?  Brianna Hawthorne, the woman on a mission, and Ridge Montgomery, the real estate agent extraordinaire…who may just be too much for the average woman to handle.

Will Brianna convince Ridge her love is real? Will she finally make an offer on that ocean-front property? Will Ridge’s penis decimate her? It’s entirely possible.

How to vote for your favorite entry? Simply post a comment on the entry you like the best.

And thank you for reading. (Sorry about the cheese.)

When It Was Us. Larissa Weatherall.

Title: When It Was Us 
Series: Sage Hill Series #1
Author: Larissa Weatherall
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 5, 2017 

 

Betrayal tore her world apart. Now Anna is back in her hometown hoping she might be able to pick up the pieces. 

 

Anna is determined to get her life back together—to not let the disappointment of a failed marriage define her. That is, until the first man to ever break her heart steps in and throws her new plans for an independent future off course. 

 

Drew pushed Anna away in a moment of panic, and he’s lived with the regret since the day he watched her marry another man. Now he wants her back, and he’ll go to any length to prove he never stopped loving her. 

 

But ten years is a long time, and nothing is as simple as it was back then. 

 

Not only does Anna still carry the scar Drew left behind all those years ago, she also hides a secret that threatens to destroy their last hope to find happily ever after.


Larissa Weatherall is a born and raised southern girl who currently lives in the “big city” to the north with her flyboy husband and two adorable little handfuls. From the first moment she watched Cinderella and Prince Charming kiss and ride away at the end of the movie, she’s been obsessed with happily ever after.

 

Larissa is a sucker for stories that shred her heart then heal it when love conquers all in the end. When she’s not writing all the swoony, southern heroes, Larissa enjoys spending time with her family and friends and the occasional hour she can soak up the sun on her back porch with a book.

 

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