Coffee Time Romance & More

 

 

Reviews

The Arrangement

 

 

 

Good Afternoon! Hello, my name is Laurie and I am member of the Crew at Coffee Time Romance and More. Today, it is my distinct pleasure and honor to have this opportunity to chat with author Delaney Diamond. Delaney was born and raised in the Virgin Islands. Tri-lingual – Besides English, she speaks French fluently, and is conversant in Spanish. Delaney also loves to cook. Delaney enjoys writing sweet and sensual romance. So, without further ado, Let’s see what she has to say to us today.

Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we? What were your favorite types of books when you were growing up?

Mysteries/thrillers and romance, and that’s the same today. I read the following series: Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Encyclopedia Brown. Oh, and then there were the Sweet Valley High books with all their drama. My girlfriends and I couldn’t get enough of those. At age eleven I discovered Harlequin books. I still read Harlequin authors today, but I’ve branched out and discovered many other authors.

I certainly remember loving the Nancy Drew books, also, and I am many years older than you. Some books just seem to retain their appeal through the years for new generations of readers, don’t they? When you write, is atmosphere important? For example, do you use mood music or candles? Do you need complete quiet to concentrate?

I need quiet. No TV, no music, just me in my home office tapping away on the keyboard.

I have used music as inspiration, though. For instance, I have a dance scene at a club in a sweet romance that I’ve submitted to a publisher (*fingers crossed*) and I listened to salsa music to get me in the right mind frame to write the scene. I jotted some notes and then turned off the music to do the real writing.

What actually inspired you to pick the pen up one day and start writing; in the process, creating such life-like characters - ones that exude exceptional personality and dimension?

I think it’s natural for people who read a lot to want to write, too. I’ve been an avid reader since I was a child, but I didn’t actually start writing stories until high school. I penned my first romance on a typewriter at the age of fourteen and called it Captured Heart. I wrote throughout high school and won a few contests, but once I entered college, I stopped writing fiction.

I don’t know why, but a trip to Rome made me want to start writing again. I think I was just inspired by everything I saw. Still, it wasn’t until 2009 that I decided to try my hand at fiction writing again. That resulted in my debut release, The Arrangement. It’s the first book in my Hot Latin Men series and was an All Romance Ebooks bestseller.

I see that The Arrangement was also reviewed by Delane at Coffee Time Romance & More. Her glowing review has me eager to read that book, too. What do you hope readers take with them, after reading one of your stories? What do you hope they feel, or learn?

As they read my stories, I want readers to get excited, angry, and sad right along with the characters. I don’t use graphic language in my sex scenes, but they’re still sexy and sensual, and I hope readers enjoy them. When they finish one of my stories, I want them to feel good, as if it ended just right and they’re happy the characters were able to work out their problems and end up together.

Yes, I agree.  The books I enjoy the most are ones in which I get invested wholly in the characters – in their triumphs and their travails. And, I want to add that the sex scenes in Fight for Love were positively awe-inspiring.  They were intense. The words you used conveyed the mood and emotions flawlessly. How do you create that exceptional chemistry between your leading characters?

There has to be a physical attraction, but the characters must connect on an emotional level, too.

In The Arrangement, Leonardo and Alexa have a strong physical attraction, but lack of communication destroys their marriage. Instead of talking to resolve their problems, they usually end up in bed together.

She needed him to express his love to her and cut back on working, while he needed her support and appreciation.

Here are his thoughts about her:

“She’d made his house into a home…Just knowing she was there, night after night, no matter how late he worked, brought him peace. When he lowered his tired body into bed next to her late at night, it comforted him to have the sound of her gentle breathing lull him to sleep.”

In Fight for Love, Rafael and Rebekah are opposites. He wants the type of family life he never had growing up in Mexico and wants to give his son what he didn’t have. He was raised by his grandfather, grew up poor, and had to learn be tough. Rebekah grew up in a conservative but loving family. 

When the story opens and they’re face to face again, nine years have passed, but there’s still a strong attraction between them. 

Rebekah thinks she made a mistake falling for and marrying Rafael when she was a teenager. These are her thoughts when she sees him again:

“His coarse exterior had disguised a tender heart and loving disposition—or so she’d thought. Her disapproving parents had been correct in their initial assessment of him. Rafael had changed once they were married, and not for the better.”

I love that short little teaser about Rafe! Can you please share a longer excerpt from Fight for Love?

Sure! I’m happy to!

 

Alone in the house with Rafael, Rebekah’s pulse hammered a warning, alerting her she was at a disadvantage.
“Was there anything else you wanted to ask me?”
“We were discussing how tense you were.” His voice was dangerously low and inviting.
“And I told you, I’m not tense. I’m fine.”
“Turn around.” The words conjured erotic images of him behind her. Her body moistened at the thought of doing what he asked and lifting her bottom against his hips. “Let me give you a massage.”
 “Oh.” The erotic image dissipated. “I’m fine. Really.”
 “You used to like my massages.” His voice lowered even more.
Magic hands, she used to call him. Once he’d eased the tension in her shoulders and back, he would ease the aching in her loins with firm, sure strokes.
“Relax,” he said, taking matters into his own hands and turning her around so she faced the table. His long fingers began to move in a soothing motion across the knotted muscles. “You’re really tense, amada.” 
The initial touch of his hands sent jolts of electricity darting across her skin. Despite his size and strength, his fingers moved gently across her shoulder blades, kneading the tight tissue with the skill of a professional masseur. Having been an athlete for years, he’d mastered the technique of manipulating the various muscles. He applied the right amount of pressure, and her eyes drifted closed. She had no choice but to let go and soften to his touch.
“That’s better,” he whispered.
The warmth exuding from him caressed her skin, making the back of her neck tingle. The slow ascension of arousal began somewhere deep inside her and climbed at a steady pace through her body.
He abandoned her shoulder to encircle one wrist and brought the back of her hand to his lips. Her eyes flew open.
The other hand slid down the length of the A-line skirt, smoothing over the roundness of her hip. She heard him take a deep breath. “Now I remember.” His voice rumbled close to her ear. “Pomegranate Orchard is the name of the scent you wear.”
“Rafe, I’ve already warned you.” She retrieved her hand with a firm twist. A pulsing awareness thrummed through her, making her breathless and needy, wanting him with every fiber of her being. She turned to face him.
Bracing a hand on either side of her, he trapped her between him and the round table. “I’m not good at following directions.”
“Keep your hands to yourself.”
“You didn’t mind a moment ago.”
“I mean it.” She didn’t sound as harsh as she wanted to.

A crooked, unconcerned smile appeared on his face. “Well, if you don’t want my hands on you,” he said, “maybe my mouth is more to your liking.”

That’s a great scene! I love the passion that always seems to be present when Rafe and Rebekah are together. I have to say, though, that my absolutely favorite scene in the book is the surprise dinner at the In-laws.  That scene just struck all the right chords with me and the vivid images it evoked in my mind were hilarious! I really sympathized with Rebekah, however. She was placed in such an untenable situation, but she really handled it all gracefully.  

What about a woman is a turn-off for you when reading a book by another author?

So-called “feisty” behavior. That usually means the heroine will be annoying. Feisty usually translates into bratty and childish behavior. It makes me wonder what the hero sees in her and makes me want to find him a different heroine. 

Good observation. I never really thought of it that way before, though.  LOL . What do you do to relax and let the cares of the world go away for a bit?

I get out of the house! Because I’m a writer and the nature of my job, I have to get out of the house to unwind, because my home is my workplace. I like to go out to dinner with friends.

If I’m relaxing at home, I watch movies (yeah, Netflix!) or cook. I have a stereo mounted in the kitchen, so I listen to all kinds of music as I cook. I love to cook and it really relaxes me. Plus there’s a great end result—I get to eat!

Do you have a writing partner to bounce ideas off of?

Yes, I do. I have two. My first partner and I met at an RWA local chapter meeting and we’ve been close ever since. We critique each other’s work and flesh out story ideas. It’s a great partnership. My second partner I met online and we help each other in the same way.

On a more personal level, do you do something special when you complete a book as a celebration?

The only special thing I do is take a break. I’m relieved when I’m finished. It’s my own fault because I stress every detail and want the story to be perfect for the readers.

When I see the finished product (my “baby”) I’m excited and happy, but I like to take a break for a couple of weeks. It rejuvenates me so I can dive into the next project.

Tell us about the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you?

As I mentioned, I enjoy cooking, so I do it a lot. Back when I was working outside the home, one night, knowing I’d be getting in late, my boyfriend at the time let himself into my house and cooked dinner. When I got home, I was greeted by the smell of a delicious meal. To top it off he gave me a foot rub and ran me a bath! Let’s just say his romantic gestures paid off for him.

That is really special and what’s wonderful is that you will have that memory forever. {smile} What is the best part about being a writer? The most frustrating?

The best part is having people read your work and enjoy it. It’s gratifying when someone sends you an email or makes a nice comment about your work. The most frustrating part is having people look down their nose at the romance genre. It’s the best-selling fiction genre, so consumers obviously enjoy the writing and the escapism it offers.

Thank you so much for taking this time to chat with me today and for allowing our readers to find out a little more about you and your stories.

You’re so welcome, Laurie.  It was fun!

That’s it for this time. I hope you enjoyed finding out more about Delaney as much as I did. In preparation for this interview, I read Fight for Love, the 2nd, stand alone, title in her Hot Latin Men series. The story captured my attention immediately. It is a well-written, character-driven romance that I simply could not put down. I intend to read the 1st book, The Arrangement, as soon as possible. Add Delaney Diamond’s books to the top of your TBR. You won’t be sorry!

 

 

 

 

 

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