It is with great pleasure that I welcome back fellow Canadian author, Rosanna Leo to the blog. Today we’re discussing her very popular and award-winning GEMINI ISLAND SHIFTERS Series.
Here’s the list of the titles in the series…
1. Predator’s Kiss
2. Predator’s Serenade
3. Predator’s Refuge
4. Predator’s Claim
5. Predator’s Fire
6. Predator’s Trinity
7. Predator’s Rescue
Good morning, Rosanna. So wonderful to have you here.
Thank you, Kacey. I’m excited to visit you.
Kacey: What was the inspiration for the Gemini Island Shifter series?
Rosanna: To be honest, Kacey, Canada was my inspiration. My husband and I often go for long hikes in an Ontario park called Crawford Lake. It was on one of these hikes that I was struck by the rugged beauty of the scenery. The idea of setting a shape shifter romance series in Canada’s woodland was one I couldn’t ignore. My series really is a homage to my country and province and I hope readers will want to visit after reading it.
Kacey: What can you tell us about Gemini Island as a whole? Give us a visionary of it if you will.
Rosanna: One of the taglines I use for the series is: “Come to Gemini Island, where the men are rough, gruff and a little wild.” The setting is very much the same. The community is set in Northern Ontario’s woodland on an island that has become a shape shifter sanctuary and resort. Bear shifter Ryland Snow (the hero of Predator’s Kiss) runs a resort called the Ursa Fishing Lodge and Resort. It’s also a place where teenage shifters come when they are need of mentoring. Shifters in my world live alongside humans, but the humans are unaware of their special powers. The shifters on Gemini Island keep their true identities a secret and the Ursa Resort is a perfect getaway. On the island, we have wooded trails, a pristine lake, caves and hills and meadows full of flowers. It’s like a provincial park on steroids.
Kacey: Some writers pen stories in real locales, is Gemini Island only a fictional place?
Rosanna: Alas, Gemini Island is very much fictional although many readers have told me they wish they could book a cabin at the Ursa Resort.
Kacey: As the matriarch of GI, so to speak, what liberties have you taken with the island?
Rosanna: I suppose the only real liberty I’ve taken is in making the island the ideal hideaway. It has all of nature’s lushness and no imperfections. The people there may be flawed and may encounter some nasty villains, but the location is just as God intended it.
Kacey: With the vast array of shifters in your stories, Rosanna – lynx, tigers, bears, wolf, jaguar – which was the easiest to control? Or was it hopeless? LOL
Rosanna: Great question! LOL. They all have their issues, believe me. I insist on doing a lot of research on each animal before writing the various books and try to infuse each shifter with traits that are native to the animal. Ryland, being a bear, can be ornery and moody. My wolves, like Bart and Charlotte, understand a sense of hierarchy and order. My jaguars, like Percy and Byron, enjoy their solitude and so they live on the far side of the island, away from the other inhabitants. As for my tigers, like Anton and Jani … well, they may be the wildest. However, each shifter, when roused, can be deadly and terrifying.
Kacey: Which character surprised you the most from any of the stories?
Rosanna: I think that would be my latest hero, Jani Fodor, from Predator’s Rescue. Jani’s book ends unlike any of the other books. I don’t want to give away too much. However, it’s safe to say all my heroes are peaceful until someone threatens their mates. Jani is a bit of a brawler. He’s not opposed to looking for trouble.
Kacey: Which female character are you most jealous of? Which woman got the ultimate hero?
Rosanna: Well, all of them, of course! LOL It’s so hard to choose who I would trade places with. I love all my men. Nevertheless, if I had to pick which heroine did the best, I’m sure most readers might agree Marci did well with Anton in Predator’s Refuge. After all, not only is he a hunky tiger shifter, he’s a prince in his native Hungary. Nice gig if you can get it!
Kacey: If you could choose any shifter man/animal all for yourself (though they do all belong to you really *g*), who would it be?
Rosanna: Such a hard choice, but I think my favorite has to be Soren Snow, Ryland’s bear brother in Predator’s Serenade. Soren is a hot, blond musician, as well as a shifter, so he really speaks to me. And I love his transformation from lovable bad boy into a wonderful man who adores his mate.
Kacey: It might be an unfair question, but do you have a favourite couple in the series?
Rosanna: I’m actually very fond of my latest couple, Jani and Fleur from Predator’s Rescue. The reason is they both surprised the heck out of me. Fleur was a former bad girl. She was literally one of the villains in the previous books but undergoes a huge transition. I loved seeing her path to true remorse and the way she makes amends. She is now one of my favourites and I love that Jani stood by her through thick and thin.
Kacey: What character(s) have you found readers loved the most? Clamoured for their story to be written?
Rosanna: Actually, since Predator’s Rescue released on Feb. 29, readers have been in touch with me to say they are excited for a book for Elaine and Connor. Elaine has been widowed and is grieving her mate, Lloyd. Connor was Lloyd’s best friend. By the time Predator’s Rescue ends, the pair are experiencing some conflicting emotions. Readers are desperate to see Elaine happy again and so am I.
Kacey: What surprised you about yourself when you were writing the series? Did you learn anything, your writing change from other stories you’ve written, that you hadn’t expected?
Rosanna: I like to think my writing improves with each book. After all, writers learn new things and try new techniques every day. What shocked me most, though, was seeing the series take a darker turn around book 5, Predator’s Fire. The previous books were all rather light and warm and the conflicts were resolved at the ends of the books. However, once book 5 came along, we begin to see a new villain emerge and that storyline takes a couple of books to resolve. The ill effects will carry right to the end of the series. We encounter darker characters and our heroes take longer to recover. Readers have told me they love the direction the series took.
Kacey: Gemini Island Shifters is a very popular and well-loved series amongst readers – what has been the best response you’ve received so far?
Rosanna: I’m so pleased my readers have enjoyed the series. I never intended a series when I wrote book one, so it’s tickled me to see the reaction. I think the best response is when readers tell me they are sad to see it end and that they wish the books would continue. That, and when people message me to tell me they wish they could take a holiday at the Ursa Resort!
Kacey: Currently there are 7 titles in the series – any plans to write more? Maybe a spin-off?
Rosanna: There will be one final book – book 8 – entitled Predator’s Salvation. This will be Elaine and Connor’s book and it will resolve the story of Gemini Island. I’ve flirted with the idea of a “next generation” series, but I don’t tend to like those so I think I will let the series come to its natural end.
Kacey: What do you hope readers take away with them after reading the stories?
Rosanna: Just a whole lot of good feelings. It’s very important for me to write “feel good” romances. Even when the subject matter gets dark, I always like to instill a sense of hope and leave the reader with a smile and a sigh.
Kacey: What are you most proud of with the series, Rosanna?
Rosanna: Probably the fact that so many people want to visit my shifters on Gemini Island. There have been several offers to spend a night in one of those cozy cabins with Ryland or Killian or Jani or Bart or…
Kacey: What/when is your next book due to release?
Rosanna: Actually, for the first time in a while, I don’t have a pending release date. 2015 was a very busy year for me. I had 4 releases and another just in February. So right now I am writing a new contemporary series but am taking my time with it and enjoying the ride.
Thank you for being here, and sharing your series with us, Rosanna.
PREDATOR’S RESCUE BY ROSANNA LEO
BLURB AND EXCERPT
Tiger shifter Jani Fodor should have washed his hands of Fleur Bissette long ago. However, when she disappears from the shape shifter sanctuary on Gemini Island, he can’t forget her, and launches a fraught two-week search to find her. He thinks she’ll be grateful but the petulant she-wolf resents his intrusion in her life.
Jani recently liberated Fleur from a vicious cult of shape shifters, where she was brainwashed by the sadistic August Crane. The wolf shifter terrorized their friends at the Ursa Fishing Lodge and Resort on Gemini Island. Labeled a “bad girl” all her life, Fleur knows she’ll never fit in with the good guys at the Ursa, no matter how much Jani tries to convince her of their regard. Besides, she can’t stay with Jani. Although he’s the closest thing she’s ever had to a friend, their chemistry is explosive in the worst way.
When a new menace arises, in the form of a vicious drug dealer with a grudge, Jani is adamant Fleur accept his help to rehabilitate her addict mother and remove her from the influence of her dealer. Fleur accepts Jani’s assistance but as they work together, friendship erupts into passion. Neither can deny their lust-struck spirit animals and before long, they realize their connection runs deeper than they ever expected.
Despite the threats posed by the drug dealer, the worst danger of all dwells inside Fleur. Haunted by the spirit of August Crane, Fleur is inundated by visions that torment her. She is consumed by guilt and plagued by old hostilities. Can this bad girl make good? And is Jani’s love enough to save her from her demons?
Once again, Jani’s temper flared but he swallowed his simmering rage. He stood and raised his voice so he could be heard over Loretta Lynn’s tinny warbling as it emanated from the jukebox. “Now I’m going to ask everyone in this shithole one more time. I’m looking for Fleur Bissette. Where is she?”
There was a crash and a feminine cry from behind one of the closed doors. Jani didn’t hesitate. He launched himself off his stool and toward the door, already on the verge of shifting. His tiger hairs danced in anticipation under his skin, ready to burst through his pores.
The two men who’d approached him grabbed him by the shoulders and hauled him back.
“Hey, asshole,” the grizzly man shouted. “You’re not allowed back there. Private parties only.”
Jani glanced at the hand on his shoulder and then at the man. “One warning. Take your hands off me.”
The idiot snorted and looked at his pal. “Why waste your time lookin’ for Fleur anyway? That girl’s nothing but trouble. Trouble loves her. In fact, she’s probably spreading her legs to trouble right now.”
Jani reached for the man’s arms and spun him around. “What did you say?”
“It’s all the bitch knows how to do. That’s all women like her are good for anyway.”
Jani reared back and let his fist fly, cracking it against the man’s face. The grizzly shifter flew across the room, hitting the back wall, collapsing to the floor. The grim satisfaction of seeing the man crumple overrode any pain in his knuckles. In fact, it felt so good to hit the jackass he had to hold his hand behind his back so he wouldn’t hit him again.
No one, no one, insulted Fleur. The man was lucky Jani didn’t kill him for the slight. Fleur had been called too many names in her time, and he’d made it his mission to see she was never belittled again.
Jani nodded toward the other men. “Don’t even think of stopping me.”
He tried the closed door, relieved to find it unlocked. He flung the door open and his tiger senses homed in on her immediately.
Fleur had clearly been serving drinks to the small group of shifter bikers inside, but one of them had gotten a little too close to the new waitress. Her tray of drinks lay on the floor, smashed, and one of the men had her over his lap. His large hand caressed her ass as she squirmed in his grip.
As time seemed to freeze for Jani, Fleur turned to glance at him. She mouthed his name.
The silent plea made his heart twist in his chest. Had she actually spoken aloud? He wasn’t sure. He couldn’t hear her voice. His ears were ringing too much as his tiger roared her name.
Her dark eyes seemed to grow darker, black with emotion, but he didn’t take time to analyze the sentiment flitting behind her irises.
With a noise that must have sounded more animal than man, Jani raced toward her and pulled her off the man’s lap. He moved her toward the door, so she wouldn’t be hurt in the melee. He then turned to the shithead who’d grabbed her, a growl emanating from his furious core.
The biker, startled and likely drunk, didn’t react quickly enough to shift. Jani hauled him off his chair and thrust him toward the wall.
“Jani,” Fleur called, her voice loud and clear now. “Don’t. You don’t know what you’re doing.”
“His hand was on your ass. I know enough.”
One of the other men was foolhardy enough to try to stop him. He tried to yank Jani away but Jani snapped his arm back, using his elbow to hammer the man in the face. Cradling his bloody nose, the man retreated.
Jani turned his attention back to the shifter who’d groped Fleur. “That was the last time you ever touch her.” Bracing himself, he head-butted him. A sickening crack sounded in the room. The man moaned, his eyes rolled back, and he dropped to the floor.
Ignoring the pain exploding through his forehead, Jani marched toward Fleur, picked her up, and hauled her over his shoulder.
“Hey. Put me down! You have no right.”
No right. He might have laughed if he wasn’t concerned about getting her out of there in one piece.
Holding out his free arm to warn off any others who might consider having a go at him, Jani carried the writhing Fleur out of the room and out of the bar. His heart thumped against his chest just from holding her. Granted, he hadn’t quite envisioned holding her like this, her ass high in the air near his face, but it pleased him more than he cared to admit out loud. Something about the scenario made his inner caveman very happy.
Liquid Silver Books: http://www.lsbooks.com/predators-rescue-p1125.php
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Rosanna_Leo_Predator_s_Rescue?id=ffSaCwAAQBAJ
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28451478-predator-s-rescue
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