Friday, July 12, 2013

Guest Post w/ Barbara DeLeo-- Scarlett and Rhett salt and pepper shakers?

Image consultant Blake Matthews is facing his toughest PR challenge yet: salvage the image of celebrity chef Kirin Hart. Once he does, he’ll be able to acquire LA’s most successful PR firm. But Kirin’s no easy fix. She’s stubborn about changing her comfortable homemaker image, and is being sued for sexual harassment by a junior staffer. She needs a PR lifeline fast. Only problem is Blake wants more than to make her over...

Kirin doesn’t need a makeover—her fans love her as she is. But she could lose everything if the sex scandal and reputation that has followed doesn’t get quashed right away. Kirin agrees to let model-perfect Blake work his magic for two weeks, but things get complicated when she can’t deny the way her body flares to life whenever he’s near.

It’s so great to be on “Herding Cats and Burning Soup” today. I definitely feel like a cat herder with my four kids and miniature schnauzer, and my cooking disability is legendary. Maybe that’s why I wanted to write about a celebrity chef in my latest book.

In Dishing up Desire, Kirin Hart has built an empire out of great cooking, but she’s never forgotten where she came from.  She has a salt and peeper shaker collection which was started when her mom gave her a set with Rhett and Scarlett from Gone with the Wind when she left Iowa—only trouble is that Rhett got broken and Kirin can’t bare to have Scarlett sitting on the shelf on her own.

I loved adding the salt and pepper collection to the story. It gave a good insight into what sort of character Kirin is, and also a fun thing for the hero and heroine to talk about. It got me thinking, too,  about how other writers have used objects to provide an extra layer of texture to the story. Some that spring to mind are the “running cups” Jennifer Crusie has in “Fast Women”, and the knitting in Debbie Macomber’s books. I love reading about a passion or hobby that a character has and seeing how that plays out in the things they say and do.

Have there been instances of this in books you’ve read, or do you prefer less detail and more focus on the characters? I have an e-copy of an earlier book, Contract for Marriage to give away to one lucky commenter and at the end of my blog tour we’ll be drawing the name of one commenter from all of the blogs to win a deluxe “Dishing up Desire” chef’s apron and a $50 Amazon gift card!  
~Barbara DeLeo

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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