It’s so lovely to be here on Contemporary Romance Cafe. It’s getting to be winter here in New Zealand and when I had to think about my current inspiration I’d have to say it’s a place with endless sun, sand, gorgeous food, and very sexy men. Greece!
I kind of fell in love with Greece when I fell in love with my Greek boyfriend in college. He was dark and mysterious and had a last name I could only pronounce when I’d scoffed a few ouzos. A few years later he took me to Greece and we lived in the bat-crazy city of Athens. I was captivated by the history, the language and the loud, passionate way people lived and loved. There was romance everywhere – in the ancient temples, the classical stories of enduring love, and in the slow, sensual way people lived their lives. I’d give anything to have a mid-day siesta these days!
I was lucky enough to go back to Greece and Cyprus for three months last year and I realized that so much of what I write is influenced by that magical country. I still write about swarthy men with love on their minds. I write about their families who are often loud and intense, but who love with incredible passion. And I’ll put an olive or a greek sweet in my stories whenever I can.
My latest book, Contract for Marriage is set in New Zealand but it’s about Christo, the son of a Greek immigrant. He wants the one thing his money can’t buy – the mansion where his mother’s been 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 it and her more than ever.
So, what about you? Is there a place that holds special inspiration for you? Or is there a country you’d always dreamed of going for the romance and the sexy men?
……..Oh, and the Greek boyfriend? We’re still together, and he’s still dark and a little mysterious.
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 is now living her dream of writing sparkling contemporary romance with unforgettable characters.
After completing degrees in Psychology and English then travelling the world, Barbara married her winemaker hero and had two sets of twins.
She still loves telling stories about finding love in all the wrong places, with not a beauty queen or spaceship in sight.
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