Project Purse Dump – Paula Tiberius

It’s a pleasure to welcome Paula Tiberius today to #ProjectPurseDump. And I promise my enthusiasm has nothing to do with mentions of sex seminars or one-night-stand toothbrushes. However, they certainly help.

Welcome, Paula!



I never used to carry a purse. While my high school, then university compadres mooned over their new Coach bags and fished around for keys for half an hour, I always had cash in my front right pocket, one slim key in my left back pocket, and whatever lipstick I had on when I left the house was good enough for the night.

Nov 27 - Paula Tiberius


  1. My wallet – a freakin’ wallet, people. I’m a grown-up.
  2. Sunscreen. I live in Los Angeles and my husband Richard has had five skin cancers removed so far. This is the only kind that doesn’t feel oily. If you’re reading this, Neutrogena, I am looking for sponsors on my blog.
  3. Rice Krispies treat – this is “for Violet” (my 7 year old daughter) when “she” gets cranky in the car.
  4. Two pens stolen from my credit union, an over-sized My-Pal pencil (because sometimes you just don’t want the finality of a pen), a Sharpie (because sometimes things can’t be indelible enough),one pen from The Pleasure Chest (because I cover sex seminars there for, and a pen from an Australian hotel – that’s right, I went to Australia. I’m a grown up with a purse.
  5. TWO travel tissue packs, because one would leave me quite insecure.
  6. A GO train receipt from my visit to Toronto in June. It’s now September.
  7. A red button. Thinking, thinking….it’ll come to me.
  8. A metal mesh turtle pendant without a chain. Don’t you have one in your purse?
  9. Migraine meds. I used to leave them at home thinking that it was bad juju to carry headache medicine when you don’t have a headache. But then I kept getting headaches while out in the world with my giant purse that had no medication in it.
  10. A one-time-use-only toothbrush. I know I’m married with a kid, but I might still have a one-night-stand at some point. You never Actually I stole it from a spa in Palm Springs last weekend.
  11. Two plastic stencil sheets. I picked them out from a counter full of crap to redeem points at an arcade. My daughter Violet was dead set against them, but I remain certain that she will change her mind. Stencils rock.
  12. A green feather from the boa Violet wore at her rock and roll camp performance this summer. She borrowed it from her father who wears it in our band Fame Whore. Yes, we’re setting an excellent example.
  13. Ear buds. You can’t talk on the phone without them in your car, and I’m always in my car.
  14. Red lip gloss that my friend Tara gave me about six months ago when I was feeling really, really shitty and broke, overworked and underpaid. She told me that it was the “lip gloss of abundance,” which seems to have worked, actually. Now I’m afraid to throw it out even though its fuzzy wand is drying up.
  15. An Always mini-pad. I pay extra for the black box kind because I like to have stylish cardboard in my bathroom cabinet.
  16. A tester tube of double-helix water cream, given to me by a medical intuitive who channels angels. He is awesome and so is this cream. I’m putting it on my C-section scar to see if it helps it disappear.
  17. Matches – I don’t smoke, but my husband does. Also, I used to be a pyromaniac.
  18. A packet of salt. Don’t listen to people who say salt is bad for you. It makes everything better.
  19. Pink and red paper clips tied together in a chain. I grabbed them for a parent teacher board meeting and did not use them.
  20. Orange bauble hair tie. I used to hate this kind when I was a kid. I wonder if Violet hates them too? I should ask her.
  21. Big black hair clip. That’s the shit you want.
  22. A coupon for a free cupcake at Barnes & Noble – now expired.


Paula Tiberius is an author, blogger, screenwriter, filmmaker, musician and mom living in North Hollywood, California with her husband, daughter, and their German Shepherd. Paula wrote and directed the award-winning feature film Goldirocks which is available on Netflix, distributed by R Squared Films. She is currently writing and recording a kids’ album called Be Who You Are with music and spoken word pieces to empower kids. Please read more at


Moving past negative criticism.

Most of us deal with negative criticism at some point in our lives. Sometimes, we rally and triumph. At other times, we absorb the aspersions and internalize them for good. They become our inner dialogue and we bash ourselves as readily as our critics do.


As an author, I receive negative criticisms all the time. It’s part of the package. I learned early on not everyone will be a fan of my stories and that’s okay. We can’t all like the same things. I’m fortunate in that I have a large number of readers who enjoy my work and I try not to obsess over the ones who don’t.

However, like most people, I felt the sting of criticism at a young age, before writing was part of my career. In fact, there is one particular moment that defined how I saw myself and that taught me I need to be careful who I choose to believe. This instance is one that made it into one of my books. In my recent paranormal release Night Lover, heroine Renata is a talented soprano, but she must deal with a conductor boss who hasn’t given her any credit.


The man says to her: “In life, Renata, there are those who are born to play starring roles. There are those with walk-on parts. And then there are those who occupy the background. You are one of those background singers. Leave the showy stuff to those who understand it.”

Of course, Renata overcomes adversity and goes on to have a brilliant career. She must make the decision to disregard her conductor’s mean-spirited comments.

These words were basically said to me once, a long time ago. Always involved in the arts, I used to take part in community theater productions. I performed in all sorts of shows and in various roles. For one production, I rehearsed very hard before auditioning for one of the lead roles. I didn’t get the lead. Rather, the producer hired his wife for the role. This man later pulled me aside and said, “Rosanna, in theater and in life, there are those who are born to play starring roles. There are those who play secondary characters. And then there are those who are only good enough for the chorus. Background players, like you.”

I was crushed. This man was older and more experienced than I was. Instead of taking an opportunity to coach me, he tore me down. I was miserable during that whole production and never worked with his ensemble again.

I could have abandoned music and singing. I certainly considered it. When someone tells you you’re worthless, it’s hard not to absorb the insult. However, I decided I wouldn’t allow one petty man’s words to shape my life.

Still in university, I auditioned for the University of Toronto’s acclaimed Faculty of Music. It isn’t easy to get in, but I got into the singing program. After finishing my B.A., I completed a three-year diploma in Vocal Performance. Right out of university, I got a singing job with the Elmer Iseler Singers, one of Toronto’s most renowned classical choral ensembles. I got the chance to sing at famed venues here in Toronto: Roy Thomson Hall, Massey Hall, and performed with groups such as the Canadian Brass.

I fulfilled my dream of becoming a classical soprano. After a time, I decided to move onto new challenges, but I did exactly what I wanted. And now, with writing romance, I’ve realized another dream and have used some of my experiences in my plots.

Every so often, I still hear that community theater producer’s voice in my ear, telling me I’m not good enough. That I don’t have talent. But then I remember how much I’ve accomplished.

I now know the truth: that man probably tried to make me feel insignificant because he recognized something in me that he didn’t possess. He was likely more insecure about his talents than I should have been about mine. Sadly, there are those in life who will always strive to drag us down instead of encouraging us.

We owe it to ourselves to look past the criticisms and aim high. We need to educate ourselves and decide the best tactic for realizing our dreams. When we say no to negativity, it’s amazing how the road clears. Sometimes the worst obstacles are the ones we set for ourselves.


Thankful for You Blog Hop! #Thankful4You

Thanks so much to Anna from Herding Cats & Burning Soup for allowing me to take part in the #Thankful4You Blog Hop! This was a hop I really wanted to be part of because I get to share why I am thankful.

thankful shorter

There’s a giveaway at each stop, so please make sure you visit each one and comment. You’ll find links for all at the main page:

Now, what can you win from me? Well, if you follow me you’ll know I’ve had a few releases lately. In fact, I’ve had 3 since August (Predator’s Trinity, Night Lover and Vice.) However, for this hop, I am offering an ecopy of Night Lover.

Cover teaser

How to win? Simply comment and tell me a story of when you were thankful and why. I will choose the comment that speaks to me and will award the book accordingly at the end of the hop (it runs Nov. 20-27).

In the meantime, I’ve chosen to talk about why I’m thankful for my readers. My readers are not just people who buy my books. I consider many of them to be friends and we’ve gotten to know one another. My readers challenge me. Not only do they let me know when I’ve done something right, they let me know if I can do something better. I like that. Feedback is a gift, after all.

My readers have been so vocal in their appreciation as well. I’ve been blessed to have so many wonderful reviews and shares. I can’t tell you enough how much this means to me. Because my readers continue to pick up my books, I can create new ones. And there’s nothing I like more than giving you hot new heroes to adore.

Thank you for all your support and enthusiasm. It means the world to me.

Night Lover by Rosanna Leo




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.

It’s him.

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.”

“I’m fine.”

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.

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