Many of my readers and fans ask me, “Where do your ideas and inspiration come from?” Sometimes it’s as simple as overhearing short dialogue in an airport lineup, or reading in the local paper about an amazing hero who ran into a burning house to save someone…Or a kernel of a story idea springs from my real life, with added ‘what if’ scenarios for good measure.
Nobody’s Baby But Mine, which released April 28th, was one such novel that I began writing twenty-three years ago. But some things just didn’t feel right about it. Until this last rewrite.
I now share the journey of how this amazing novel taught me so much about the human psyche, the grey areas and complicated nuances of relationships. And it improved my writing along the way, reaffirming that cliché, “reality is stranger than fiction”.
In 1995 my husband and I had been trying for a baby for five years. One morning as I meditated a story began unraveling in my mind like a movie playing out in full layered scenes. I got my note pad and within an hour I had written—okay, scribbled like a fiend—the whole synopsis. I even captured the protagonist’s very end line.Truth vs. Fiction and everything in Between - Plus Giveaway! Click To Tweet
Authors all over the world will vouch for how rare and gratifying these gifts are when they do come to us.
Not to give away too much, below is a taste for you, with which parts were based on my real experiences, and which were inspired by ‘what if’… for your entertainment.
This gripping, romantic novel is close to my heart, delving into marriage, family, priorities, sexual temptation at work, possible infertility and ex-lovers who cause further friction in a once amazing marriage.
Has my own husband ever had an affair like JT/James Windsor was tempted to do—even an emotional one? No. Not that I know of…only kidding! Not only do I feel unconditionally loved by him, my husband is definitely as serious about marriage vows and commitment to monogamy, as I am. And after nearly twenty-nine years we still find each other so funny, and miss each other when either of us are away. After nearly thirty years of being together, I don’t take this for granted.
Have I ever been tempted I hear you ask?
I can admit that I know what it’s like to be tempted (read below), and have seen and heard of many scenarios where affairs in the work place have been responsible for breaking up many marriages and families.
So, yes, I cheekily imagined, what if that gorgeous ex-lover came back into my life…Haven’t we all? Have you?
Marriage and Business
Marriage, fairy-tale-like happy-ever-after and having a large family were all part of my dreams. This book’s protagonist, nurturing, caring Rachel is mainly based on me, and like my own husband coming from the British pharmaceutical industry, JT/James works as an executive in a large company, dealing with stressful mergers and redundancies and employees’ crises.
I’ve worked in a real-estate agency, among many other businesses in London, England where I grew up, and have had a boss just like the pedantic Gareth Robinson-Brown. Only his name was Carlo Sagnay de la Bastida – the bastida part (spelled my way in English should have tipped me off about him!)
Infertility and Desperation for a baby
Yes, after five years of trying to get pregnant, like Rachel, I became obsessed, and everywhere I looked I saw babies and happy families. Yes, I envied many of my friends, but they knew, and sympathized with our situation. But I made Rachel even further devastated. When upon meeting an ex-lover and she has a crazy thought, she realizes how desperate she has become and she decides she has to do something different.
In the early 1990’s the specialists called our issue ‘unexplained infertility’ and like the protagonist, Rachel, I did suffer from debilitating endometriosis. But for me, despite the many (excruciating) exploratory examinations, it was all worth it. Because we have a wonderful twenty-two-year-old daughter, our gift and joy every day.
But many people can never have children, and I wrote this book with them in mind. Because I understand how painful that yearning is. I admit, that just like Joan Wilder at the beginning of “Romancing the Stone” movie, that I found myself crying as I wrote the last third of the book.
Like Rachel and her younger sister, Abby, I’ve had a close bond with my own younger sister (by almost two years). I also have a brother eight years my junior and I created the ‘maternal’ bond between the sisters in this book inspired by them both. Abby is also based on my own younger self, with a few exaggerated traits for dramatic effect. Abby Valentino stars in her own upcoming novel, Healing Love, for release end of summer 2018.
Related Post: Book Review: To Say Goodbye by Lindsay Detwiler
Close Bosom Friends/BFFs
The protagonist, Rachel and the ‘other’ younger woman, Lori/Lauren, who become close friends under the most surprising circumstances, is based on my own good friendships with some of my female friends. Especially when I was going through recurrent breast cancer around ten or fifteen years ago, (I deliberately do not recount when exactly this happened, it’s done and behind me now), I have a few incredible ‘breast’ friends, who over the years have proven their worth a thousand-fold, who are my lifeline even now. I combined many of their personalities and habits to create Tina and Lori.
Can women and men stay good friends without being tempted?
From personal experience, absolutely. Over the three decades of our marriage my husband has some female co-workers who admire and respect him. As one of his side line businesses in London Austin used his psychotherapy and hypnosis training to help those around him. He’s a true healer and helps those he works with, even now.
I did become very close friends with one of my boss’s direct reports in British Telecom when in my late twenties I worked full-time in London. Austin and I were already married and Alan and his wife Marie became one of our best couple friends. They helped so much, especially through the hard times of trying unsuccessfully to have a baby. Alan was the second person I phoned with the incredible news of the positive pregnancy test on that fateful day in 1995. Even now, although we live in Ontario Canada, and they are in Woking, Surrey, we’re still in touch with Alan and Marie.
Was I ever tempted in real life? Did I meet my own ‘Brandon’ ex-lover?
Sort of, and yes!
His name was Tony, and unlike the real estate property tycoon Brandon is in this novel, Tony owned a family business…wait for it…selling beds in Barnet, near London. I was seven months pregnant and I went to the large store for a new mattress.
Tony and I did have lunch together. He asked if I was happy and I told him “Yes, of course.” But unlike Rachel, who didn’t admit to her husband that she had met an ex, I told Austin about it that evening. Let me tell you, my very zen-calm, unflappable soul-mate went ballistic! In the nearly six years of marriage I’d never seen him so angry and rightfully indignant!
Only then had I realized that even if I was completely in love with my husband and was glowing with my long-awaited baby growing within me, there are lines one can never cross. Would I have accepted the idea of Austin seeing an ex?
So, although I said I was ‘sort of’ tempted—to see what Tony was like nearly ten years after I’d broken up with him, and I never saw him again—my love and our marriage vows are the most important bond between me and my husband.
I do not remember Tony’s last name, otherwise I wonder if I’d have looked him up on Facebook, but haven’t we all wondered…what if…?
So, now you know why I love to write, and unleash my imagination, just for your entertainment. Enjoy, and write to me about your own ‘what if’: email@example.com or visit: http://www.gloriasilk.com/
Title: Nobody’s Baby But Mine
Author: Gloria Silk
Publication date: April 28th, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
From USA Today Bestselling Author, Gloria Silk this is a gripping, romantic and sensuous novel of marriage, fidelity, fertility and the power of love.
“Gripping, romantic, sensuous and astute.”
“New women’s fiction that touches all of our emotions, fulfills our yearnings, and opens up new possibilities.”
Can Rachel and James find their way back into each other’s hearts after tasting temptation and facing devastating news? How strong is love in the face of reality? The seven year marriage between Rachel and her adoring patient saint of a husband has grown from great to blessed. But after years of failing to get pregnant all Rachel craves is a baby.
Her marriage to James is perfect…until she bumps into her sexy ex-lover, Brandon. Her desperate thought of wondering if he can get her pregnant makes Rachel realize that something has to change. After having more fertility tests she meets a beautiful pregnant career woman. It seems destined, and as they bond the young woman offers Rachel a gift that will change all their lives.
But has Rachel pushed her suddenly aloof husband away? Is it really his pressure at work or is he keeping something from her? Can they ever become a happy family, or is it too little too late? And where does Brandon come into all this when she discovers her husband’s biggest betrayal?
READ CHAPTER 1:
The March rain pelting the kitchen windows made Rachel think of tears. And there were indeed tears in her eyes as she told JT that their best friends’ marriage was over. The inseparable love birds, Tina and Andy, were the last couple they thought would lose in the marriage roulette. Rachel had also thought that their two young children were another unbreakable bond.
Her husband frowned as he looked up from his poached salmon and asparagus laden plate. “I didn’t even know they were having problems.”
Her temples throbbed. She had been too self-absorbed with her own life and yearning for a baby that she hadn’t noticed any signs or cracks in Tina’s marriage.
Some friend you are, Rachel.
“He was having an affair with a friend of theirs since Justin was born. Tina didn’t suspect a thing…It’s so sad how everything can change so suddenly. Why would a man jeopardize his whole family life like that?”
How fragile life and relationships seemed.
Nervous for all marriages she thanked God for her own strong bond with JT. Despite their issues of unexplained infertility, their marriage was blessed even after seven-and-a-half years.
“I’m sorry to hear this. I’m shocked…but maybe he wasn’t getting what he needed from her—”
“What? Tina’s been a great wife and very patient with him all these years.” She felt her anger rise thinking of Tina’s meddling mother-in-law—so much like her own—and Andy’s fledgling music production business, which had ostensibly kept him away from home for days at a time. “It’s disgusting what he’s done.”
“I agree, but no one knows what really goes on behind closed doors.” He sighed, “But there’s never any excuse to screw up a marriage.”
Rachel shook her head. “No, and especially with Emily and Justin….” How would Tina manage with her five-year-old daughter and almost three-year-old son on her own?
He shook his head. “He’s a fool. I’m disappointed for them all.” He glanced at her, his fork half way to his lips, “Don’t worry, Rachel, I know how much you care for her. All you can do is be there for them.” He then put a salmon morsel in his mouth.
“Communication is the most important thing in any marriage, right?”
She felt JT’s eyes bore into hers as he watched her across the narrow mahogany kitchen table. Putting down his cutlery he reached for her hand nearest to him. She adored that sparkle in his gunmetal-grey eyes and that slow smile.
“We’re not like the rest, to do anything stupid and ruin everything.” With a quirked brow his thumb massaged the top of her hand.
Her heart skittered at JT’s deep knowing expression the way it had when they met at a mutual friend’s wedding in London nine-and-a-half years ago. He seemed to always know how to brighten her moods, make her smile, feel safe and whole.
He kept her grounded, focussing on what mattered most; them: them, together.
Rachel would concentrate on her part-time job with Gareth Robinson-Brown’s real estate agency and not drive herself crazy about why she was still not pregnant after five years of trying. She remembered JT’s wise words after their last specialist appointment a couple of months ago to stay patient and positive and not let anyone stress her out. That was why she had given up running her own team in a Central London agency three years ago.
Neither did she get too involved in her younger sister’s private life. Emotionally supporting the twenty-five year-old Abby without getting sucked into the turmoil of her sister’s love life was proving wise and healthier for both sisters. She pushed aside the uneasiness she had felt seven months ago when she had met Rick, the new boyfriend. Abby had seemed happy with a bright ‘I’m in love’ smile at her trendy restaurant in Islington, but the phone calls had petered out over the last couple of months. Rachel resolved to call and see how she was doing.
In the meantime, she would be truly present for Tina. She took in a breath and slowly exhaled and felt a smile play on her lips. “I know you’d never dare stray, because I’d just have to kill you.” She threw him an arch look.
JT grinned. “I’d never want to be with another woman but you, and you know it. And it can work both ways. I’d strangle any guy who even looks at you in that way.” His eyes darkened, his passionate lips thinning into a resolute line on that handsome rugged face, making her smile broaden. “Like your old boyfriend we bumped into… where was that? The French restaurant soon after we met.”
“Brandon.” Her pulse raced for a few seconds and then settled. “It was our second date.”
“Ah, so you still remember the name of that pretty-boy, no-good gigolo.” The twinkling glint in his eyes was warm and inviting. “You’ll have to make up for that, wench.”
“I truly love you, JT. How did I get so lucky?”
He smiled again. “You’re going in the right direction.” He let go of her hand for the moment it took to push his chair back and come and stand beside her. Holding both her hands he raised her left one to his lips. His touch was always simultaneously calming and arousing. He leaned towards her. “Am I reading those sexy brown eyes right? There’s more than one choice for dessert to make up for…”
She licked the corner of her lower lip while he stared at her mouth as if it was a luscious strawberry, his favourite fruit. Especially when served with melted semi-sweet dark chocolate.
“Devil’s food cake and chocolate dipped strawberries.”
His lips slowly gravitated towards her mouth.
Even after all these years together, Sundays were their full day and night for each other and no one else. Their routine became a variation of sharing a long shower or an indulgent hot soak in the tub before dinner.
Before long they lay in each other’s arms against the soft cushions on the large Persian rug. The large fire in the regal fireplace shed heat and golden light over their naked skin and the plush cream throw. The intermittent crackling of the flames accompanied Nora Jones in the background. The light banter between them changed as JT gently placed Rachel’s empty wine glass on the sofa table beside the plate with the single remaining chocolate-dipped strawberry.
He leaned closer. “I’ll make you forget everything and everyone tonight.” JT murmured low, nuzzling his lips against her ear and migrating to her other sensitive erogenous zones. Almost purring, she lay back welcoming his explorations. Her arms encompassed his broad shoulders. She closed her eyes and counted her lucky stars. Everything would work out, even filling the nursery with their gorgeous, healthy baby. Pushing the thought out by letting the languid feelings of their intimacy flood her mind, she gave herself over completely to the bliss.
“I’ll always adore you.” He groaned, inhaling into her throat. Her pulse and heart beats quickened as he explored her skin and his lips hovered so close to hers. “Don’t ever doubt it.”
“I know. I—I love you, too.” Shivers of anticipation made her voice shake. Then they were kissing, hungry and sated at the same time. As always, his touch and sure kisses covering her tingling skin melted her insides.
Lightly, her shaking fingertips traced a butterfly-light line from his neck to his shoulders. His hard biceps stiffened at her caress. She loved his strong physique. Running impatient fingers through his thick silky hair she directed his head lower and kissed him deeper. She was home, warm and stimulated, marvelling how neither tired of making love with each other despite their pressures. His work and her constant hopes for a baby.
Almost of their own volition, her hands roved down his straining back muscles, as her legs tightened around his taut buttocks and hips to meld even closer into each other.
Everything outside their circle vanished. Well, almost everything.
Ever since Gloria Silk was little her passion was creating and sharing her romantic stories with others. She always loved reading contemporary and historical novels that grasped her imagination. Gloria now writes intense, sensuous love stories.
In addition to writing romance and women’s fiction, she enjoys writing intercultural romances and about family bonds. What can be more important in life than love and family?
Born in Russia, Gloria Silk has visited and lived in amazing, exotic places in the world. Loving Europe (especially the English, Italian and French countryside) and the Mediterranean, her other favorite country is Hawaii. She has yet to visit India and Australia, her dream destinations in the name of research, of course!
Being a writer gives her the privilege to explore, travel, and meet wonderful, new and exciting—and sometimes eccentric—people. Her background in English literature, writing, and psychology helps her create unique characters for her stories. Especially the charismatic heroes and feisty heroines who find themselves in sticky situations with each other, their families, and their cultures. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing readers love her warm heroines and the gorgeous enigmatic heroes, like she falls in love with them.
When she is not painting in various media or watching romantic movies, or cooking up a storm for her family and friends, she hangs out with her writing friends and other creatives.
Although she was brought up in England, she now lives – and writes – in the Toronto, Canada, with her own love of her life, soul-mate husband, her gorgeous and fun daughter and her smart, blonde Cockapoo, Princess Bella.
Please email Gloria Silk with any questions or comments at: contact@GloriaSilk.com
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