Please welcome our Saturday Storyteller, Barbara, who talks inspiration and bubbly wine! Don't forget to enter her giveaway at the bottom of the page!
What’s your name and where do you come from?
I’m Barbara DeLeo and I live at the top of the South Island of New Zealand
Tell us a bit about your latest release.
Contract for Marriage is about how far you’ll go to get what you want. 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. There’s only one solution for their stalemate. A marriage of convenience.
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.
What’s the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you?
My husband proposed to me on a cobbled street on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. It was the same street his mother had lived on sixty years earlier, before she emigrated to New Zealand. It was the first time he’d been back in the country of his ancestors and it was a very special time.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
If you sat me down with a glass of bubbles with my best girlfriends to watch an awesome rom-com, you’d pretty much have sent me to my nirvana.
What’s your greatest weakness?
Champagne. Anyhow, anywhy, anywhere. In fact it doesn’t even need to be champagne. Give me a bubbly white wine and I’m all over it.
What trait do you find the sexiest?
Honour. A man (or woman) who’ll stand up for someone or something they believe in will get me every time.
How do you decide how hot or not your book is going to be?
My readers expect my books to be on the warmer end. I always try to keep situations true to my characters, though, and don’t just throw in a love scene for the sake of it.
Is the stuff you write about from experience or mostly imagination?
I guess it’s a combination of both. On one hand I want my stories to be an escape, a fantasy that my readers can immerse themselves in. On the other, I like my situations and my characters to be relatable and life-like.
What’s your idea of a perfect romantic evening?
Anything with champagne, a rom-com, my beloved, and possibly cookies and cream ice-cream would be at the top of my list.
What do you do to get in the mood for writing love scenes? Candles, music etc?
Bubbly wine works for me. There has to be no noise and definitely no fighting children anywhere in the vicinity.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I exercise, I do a lot of stuff with my four kids and my dog and I’m a member of our local school board.
Tell us something that might surprise our readers.
I beat odds of about 70,000 to one and had two sets of twins in consecutive pregnancies. My first set was identical girls, followed two years later by non-identical boys. I thought going for the elusive single baby might be tempting fate...
Barbara DeLeo’s first book, co-written with her best friend, was a story about beauty queens in space. She was eleven, and the sole, handwritten copy was lost years ago much to everyone’s relief. It’s some small miracle that she kept the faith and now lives her dream of writing sparkling contemporary romance with unforgettable characters.
Degrees in English and Psychology, and a career as an English teacher, fuelled Barbara’s passion for people and stories, and a number of years living in Europe gave her a love for romantic settings.
Discovering she was having her second set of twins in two years, Barbara knew she must be paying penance for being disorganized in a previous life and was determined to get it right this time. It’s amazing what being housebound with four preschoolers will do for the imagination and she decided it was time to follow her writing dream. Funnily enough, those first manuscripts had not a single child in them.
Married to her winemaker hero, Barbara’s happiest when she’s getting to know her latest cast of characters. She still loves telling stories about finding love in all the wrong places, but now without a beauty queen or spaceship in sight.
Find Barbara here: Website Facebook Goodreads Twitter