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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Guest Post with Author Barbara DeLeo and Giveaway

Today I am happy to welcome to RFTC author Barbara DeLeo. Barbara is celebrating the release of her book Contract for Marriage and has stopped by for a little chat. Before I give the floor over to Barbara, let's get to know her a bit.

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.

Places to find Barbara:

Thanks so much for having me here, Danielle. I’m in a bit of a crazy space at the moment as we’re on a three-month trip to Greece and Cyprus so it’s lovely to be able to sit down and put my feet up for a chat with you!

Actually, it’s a little spooky that we’re visiting Greece and Cyprus right now. The day my very first book, Contract for Marriage, released was the day I left Athens after a four-week stay. Coincidentally, my book opens with my hero, Christo, leaving Athens too!

Although I live in New Zealand, my husband’s family is Greek and we’ve travelled back here this time with our four kids and their grandparents to live the culture a little. My husband and I worked here in our twenties and we love the lifestyle—the focus on family, fun and great food.

In Contract for Marriage, Christo’s heritage is Greek too, and he returns to New Zealand after his annual trip to his home country to acquire the villa where his mother’s been housekeeper for forty years. Unfortunately for him, Ruby Fleming, the woman who turned her back on him ten years ago, wants it too. They’re both fighting to hold onto a piece of the past and they’ll do anything in their power to get it.

I guess we’re looking into the past while we’re on our trip here too and it’s fascinating. Visiting the villages my in-laws left when they were children, making connections with long lost family members. It’s fantastic for my kids to find people with names like theirs and to see a part of the world so very far from their home. Looking back in time can be fascinating, but for people like Ruby and Christo, it can throw up challenges far greater than those they’ve faced before.

I have an e-copy of Contract for Marriage to give away to a commenter who tells us about their experience when they revisited something (or someone!) from their past.

Barb X

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.

When Christo offers a marriage of convenience, Ruby knows it’s the only way for them to get what they want. Ruby needs her baby to have the link to its past, Christo needs his mother to retain her home, and for him to have the child he could never father.

But it’s another need—to have Christo again—that Ruby must resist at all costs.

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
1 lucky commenter will win a eBook copy of  Contract for Marriage

To Enter:
  • Please answer Barbara's question: Please share about an experience when you revisited something (or someone!) from your past.
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.

Good Luck =)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I revisited a past relationship about 2 years ago. He was a high school sweetheart and we dated off and on while I was in the military. It never seemed to work out because of the distance separating us. So, two years ago I thought I would give it another try now that I am permanently back in my home town. Well it didn't work. All along I was in love with the feelings that I remembered and not the man he turned into. There was no romance and no heat between us. We dated for about 7 months and then I ended the relationship. TO this day we are still friends.

  2. Great to see you here, Patricia! There's something about high school romances, right? The feelings are so new, so intense, and it's amazing how strong the memories can be. Good on you for giving the relationship another go and recognizing how much things had changed. Perfect that you gained a solid friendship from it.

  3. I gave a High School Romance a second chance several years back before I got married and it did not work out....but it is possible! A co-worker of mine is currently engaged to her high school sweetheart after 10 years apart, it is such a romantic story :)

    1. Hi Brandi! Ten years apart is amazing. Imagine all the changes that those two went through as individuals but still found that spark that they'd recognized all those years ago. Ahhhh, that warms my romance writer's heart!

  4. Hi Barbara - Greece...lovely. My revisit moment... it was in fact via the internet, but really was a blast from the past. Many years ago i lived in Israel and a boyfriend at the time was from Argentina. We lost touch when i finally left Israel for Europe, but apparently he visited NZ briefly about 20 years later and tried to find me but couldn't. Then 5 years ago i got an email... was i Jane O'Sullivan (my maiden name) He'd found me on an Israeli web site where i had used my maiden name and emailed me all the way from Argentina. It was a 'moment'. I was once again that giggly girl. He's married now with 3 kids and i have two, but it's been lovely since then talking and catching up on our lives. He is truly a lovely friend to have.
    Good luck with your book release
    Jane Beckenham

    1. Thanks so much for dropping by, Jane. Yes, Greece is amazing. I'm sitting in a little coffee shop right now eating yummy goodies. What a fantastic story! How amazing that your old boyfriend tracked you down. There's a lot to be said for Google! I bet it's put a whole lot of exes back in touch with each other. And the friendship that can be rekindled after so many years is so valuable.

  5. Hi Danielle! Hi Barb! I love how your trip coincided with your debut release, Barb. I think that probably makes both more special. A few years ago my hubby and I went back to hike the spot where we went on our first date. It was really fun and brought back lots of memories from when we were teenagers. :)

    Contract for Marriage is next up on my Nook! I'm so looking forward to reading it! Congrats again!!

    1. Robin! So lovely to see you here. What a perfect thing for you and your hubby to do. I really believe in the power of sights and smells and sounds to rekindle memories more deeply than just memories or photographs. We're currently staying in the village where my hubby proposed eighteen years ago so I know that feeling! {:o)

  6. I revisited a vacation spot with friends instead of family and it was just as fun.

    1. Hi bn100,Great to see you here. I know what you mean about vacation spots. There's something about holiday time that seems to intensify memories. Lovely that it was just as good with your friends.

  7. I recently revisited quite a few someones when I went to my 10 year high school reunion a couple months ago. It was great because I hadn't kept in touch with too many of them and now many are settled and have kids while others are more career driven. Had a great time catching up!

    CONGRATS on your release Barbara! Can't wait to read Contract for Marriage!!!

  8. Thanks so much for the congrats yadkny! Oh, I LOVE high school reunions, in fact I'd love to set a story around a high school reunion. It's just so fascinating to see how people have changed, and if they changed in the way you expected or really surprised you. Isn't it incredible how strong some of the links we have from high school remain?

  9. My grandparents have always lived in the neighboring state and all through my childhood until about the age of 19 I always spent part of my vacations with them. When I was in high school my grandfather passed away and my grandmother decided to sell the house. On one of my last trips to visit her in her new place I decided to go by the old house and see how everything was. I didn't expect the memories to be as powerful as they were but I was overcome with emotion. Seeing the house made me feel as if I could walk right through the front door and my grandfather would be sitting in his chair watching a ball game while my grandmother was in the kitchen cooking. Knowing that wouldn't happen left me filled with pain. Yet I realized that even though he may not be with us the memories I have of him I will be able to cherish forever. We can't go back but we can look back fondly and head to the future :)
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

    1. Oh, Cassandra I felt that emotion right along with you there! Isn't it incredible that the house still held such strong memories for you. The fact that you could still imagine your grandfather sitting in his chair is testament to the happy times you must have had in that house.

  10. Ive revisited friends that i lost touch with from school. It was great seeing them. Unfortunately, some of the friends didnt last been was great knowing how they are. Wishing them all the best!

  11. Revisiting old friends can be fascinating, can't it Shadow!? I've had old friends from college get in touch with me through Facebook and it's always so interesting to find out what they've ben doing. Love a little look back into the past.