Baby by Design (Designing Love Book 1) by Elley Arden
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 11, 2013
Trish DeVign knows what she needs to be single, successful and satisfied. She needs a baby. With recent relationships falling short of her expectations, she’s single by choice. With a thriving interior design company, she’s got successful covered.
It’s the satisfied part that eludes her, and that’s her mother’s fault—not her adopted mother, but the mother who gave her away, sentencing her to a privileged life with two good people who don’t share with her a single drop of DNA.
Tony Corcarelli has spent his adult life as the black sheep of his large Italian-American family ever since he turned his back on running the family carpentry business so he could live a more laidback life, forcing his sister to take the reins. Now, Tony’s grandmother has cancer, and he’s expected to join the family in making her wishes come true. Unfortunately, the two things Nonna wants most for Tony are two things he can’t fathom: a wife and kids or the priesthood. There has to be another way.
When Trish asks her best friend’s brother, Tony, to escort her to a wedding, a night of fun and flirtation turns serious, with Trish confessing she wants a baby. Could a calculated conception be the answer they’ve both been looking for?
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know you wanted to be a writer?
I was always a writer. Starting when I was in elementary school, I spent hours on my mother’s typewriter. But, I didn’t realize writing could be a career until after my middle child was born. I had a pain-free birth with him. The contractions were little more than mild menstrual cramps, and I arrived at the hospital ready to push. It was magical—and not repeated with my first and third births. Lol. I wrote the story in email form, and that story went viral before I even knew what viral meant. Then, I was asked to re-write the story for an international midwifery magazine. And so it began.
What inspired Baby by Design?
At the crux of it, my family inspired Baby by Design—both the Italian-American culture and the interior decorating backdrop. I remember my critique partner saying how much she loved the characters and how real they seemed, and my response was, “They are real to me.”
Which came first for you, the characters or the plot?
The characters came first. Trish Devign was the product of the constant decorating and renovating of every home I’ve ever lived in. In some ways, she’d be me and I’d be her if I wasn’t doing this writing thing. As I got to know her, I realized she and I also share an incredibly powerful urge to be a mother, something that went deeper with her, because she’s adopted. That meant, I needed a man who would be daring enough to jump into a cockamamie scheme with her, and the planning went from there.
Is there anything you found particularly challenging when you were writing Baby by Design?
Early on, I was very conscious of portraying Trish’s desire for a baby from a place that didn’t seem too desperate. Of course, there’s an inherent desperation in a wish like that no matter what, but nobody can possibly know how they’d react in a similar situation unless their background was the same. I just tried to stay true to someone who wanted the biological connections she saw thriving all around her.
If you could be one of your characters from any of your books, who would you chose? Why?
Oh. Hmm. This could get my in serious trouble. I’m going to say Nel, because, well, Grey. He’s about as yummy as they get.
When writing Baby by Design, was there anyone or anything specific that inspired the character Tony?
Honestly, Adam Levine inspired Tony. I love the inherent edginess of the guy, but then when he opens his mouth he’s a big goof.
In your opinion what three words best describe Trish?
Driven, serious, and believe it or not, lonely
Coffee or Tea?
Tea, green to be exact
Milk chocolate or Dark?
Favorite novel and why?
I think it changes every time I answer this question. *grins* I’ll just say anything written by Susan Elizabeth Phillips has a good shot of making that list.
Hard copy books or e-books? Why?
E-books. It’s so much easier to collect books and keep them with me wherever I go when the books are in digital format.
What kind of weather do you write best in?
Sunny, cools days are my best writing days (unless I’m writing something sad—then it’s rain). I gather vibrancy from the sun, and the cool air through an open window keeps me sharp.
Favorite author and why?
Judith McNaught is my favorite author. She hooked me on romance in the first place. Never before and never again have I been so engrossed in a book I would’ve given up my life to jump into the pages.
If you could turn one book or series into films, what would you pick and who would you cast as the main characters?
Out of my books? The Kemmons Brothers Baseball Series, although I’m not sure how well that would translate to the screen. I pick them because I know exactly who I’d cast: Jon Hamm as Jordon, Joe Manganiello as Gray, and Matt Bomer as Tag. That’s a mighty fine cast.
Elley Arden is a born and bred Pennsylvanian who has lived as far west as Utah and as far north as Wisconsin. She drinks wine like it’s water (a slight exaggeration), prefers a night at the ballpark to a night on the town, and believes almond English toffee is the key to happiness. Elley writes provocative, emotional contemporary romances for Crimson Romance.