Today I'm really excited to welcome author Barbara DeLeo in celebration of her latest release with Entangled Publishing, Contract for Marriage. Barbara stops by today with an interview answering all kinds of questions and a giveaway for all of you :) Please, check at the end of the post for more details.
- Hello Barbara and welcome at Books to Brighten your Mood! Could you tell us a bit more about your newest release, Contract for Marriage?
Barbara: Hi Anna, it’s lovely to be at Books to Brighten Your Mood today. Contract for Marriage from Entangled Publishing’s Indulgence line is my debut novel. The story explores what happens when you have to compromise your own needs for those of someone else. Christo wants to acquire the villa where his mother’s been housekeeper for forty years so she can stay on in the only home she’s known. Ruby wants the same house too—for her unborn baby so it can have links to a family that’s been lost. Both Ruby and Christo must trust each other to get what they want, but first they must revisit a past littered with lies and deception.
- Being Greek myself, I can't help but ask you about a couple of things, like why did you choose your main hero, Christo, to be from Greece.
Barbara: Geia sou, Ana! I love everything about Greece (in fact I’m on a three month trip there right now!). I wanted Christo’s mother to be an immigrant to New Zealand where the story’s set so that it would make his fight for the house all the more emotional. The villa is the only home his mother’s known in the last forty years—so having him Greek worked out well. Besides all that, a Greek man fits my tall dark and handsome hero profile perfectly.
- Also, I noticed that you used pretty correctly many Greek phrases as well as food choices (lamb is like an official food recipe we cook when we want to celebrate something!). Did you research all those things or have you ever visited Greece?
Barbara: I’m so glad it was mostly correct! Even though I speak some Greek and have lived in Greece, I’d hate to get anything wrong. In my twenties I lived in Athens with my boyfriend (now my husband!) who is a Greek New Zealander. We’ve also lived and worked in Cyprus where his mother is from so have spent a lot of time in the Greek culture. We’re back here now with our four children and his parents and we’re having an amazing time getting back into the culture, teaching our kids a little about their heritage and eating lots and lots of delicious Greek food, especially lamb!
- Ruby's pregnancy was in any way challenging to write, like in sex scenes?
Barbara: I guess the only thing that was challenging was working out how Ruby would look at the stage of pregnancy she’s at. I’ve only ever been pregnant with twins (twice!) so showed very early in both pregnancies. At the start of Contract for Marriage Ruby is only fifteen weeks along and not showing but by the end of the story she’s noticeably pregnant which adds to the emotional depth in the black moment, I think.
- If Contract for Marriage would become a movie, which actors would be your choices to play Ruby and Christo?
Barbara: For each of my books I like to do a collage of settings and characters. I choose all sorts of images and put them together to make a visual reference point for the book. I usually end up with pictures of celebrities for my characters as I can find lots of different facial expressions which help in my description of moods and emotions. For Christo I used an Australian actor called Don Hany (isn’t he lovely!) and for Ruby I used Portia de Rossi. I guess after imagining them as these two people for so long I’d have to stick with them for the movie!
- After Contract for Marriage what should we expect from you? What are your plans for future books?
- Are there any authors that influenced your work?
Barbara: My undergraduate degree was in English Literature so I’ve always loved classic writers like the Brontes, also more contemporary women writers like Margaret Atwood and Fay Weldon. I read a lot of romance, mostly contemporary now. Some of my favorites authors are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lisa Kleypas, Robyn Grady, Rachel Bailey, Kristin Hannah and Emily Gee.
- What is your favorite genre to read and could you share some of your favorite books?
Barbara: Romance, or any story with romantic elements, is my favorite to read. At the moment I’ve been reading a lot of the new releases from Entangled Publishing. Taming the Tycoon by Amy Andrews, The Boss and her Billionaire by Michele de Winton and A Night of Southern Comfort by Robin Covington are current favorites.
- When not writing, how do you like spending your free time?
Barbara: I have two sets of twins; girls who are 11 and boys who are 9 and they keep me very busy! My husband is a winemaker and we love food and wine so I’m often cooking for us all or running around the kids to all their after school activities.
- Which place in the world are you dying to visit?
Barbara: New York. I’ve been to the States a couple of times but have never made it to New York and I’d love to go. There seems to be such romance and energy about the place, not to mention the great galleries and restaurants. I think I need to write a book set there so a research trip would be perfect!
Thank you Barbara for stopping by here today!
Barbara: Thanks so much for having me here today, Anna, it’s been a pleasure!
About Barbara DeLeo:
About Contract for Marriage:
Pregnant and alone after her ex-lover’s death, magazine editor Ruby Fleming’s not about to give up her home to the man who broke her heart—until she discovers her mother left half of the estate to somebody else, and she realizes she’s trapped.
Property tycoon Christo Mantazis wants the one thing his riches can’t buy—the villa where his mother has lived and worked as housekeeper for forty years. That it’s the same house he was banished from after being caught making love to the owner’s irresistible daughter stirs up old memories, and now he wants her more than ever.
Entangled Publishing has generously offered an e-book copy of Contract for Marriage to one lucky winner. (Open to all)
~ The contest is open Internationally.
~ You must be 13 years old or over to participate.
~ The winner will be chosen via Random.org
~ The prize is submitted by the author/publisher and I have no responsibility whatsoever over it.
~ The contest will be open until October 31st.
~ The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have 48 hours to confirm his/her e-mail address before a new winner is selected.
~Fill the form below to enter ~