Sunday Lines: Sunday, March 6

The authors from Word by Word sharing a few inspiring quotes to start the new week. Enjoy!

Word by Word

Here are a few encouraging #SundayLines with an IRISH theme provided by our #WordbyWord authors.

Interested in learning more? Click on the pictures below to gain more insight into each author.



“A good friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.” ~ Irish proverb

Janet Leigh


“May love and laughter light your days and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours wherever you may roam.” ~Irish Proverb

S. A. Taylor

“Everybody is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, but if your name is Eisenhower, you’ve got to wear something green to show it.” ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Marsha West

“When things go wrong as they sometimes will, when the road you’re trading seems all up hill, when the funds are low and the debts are high and you want to smile but you have to sigh, when care is pressing you…

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Celebrate Your Besties!

Word by Word

In 2010, I wasn’t an avid “Parks and Rec” viewer, so it took a couple of years for me to catch up and learn about “Galentine’s Day.” It’s a day to celebrate the women in your life – especially the friends who laugh, cry and travel this journey called life with you.

Technically, I guess it’s celebrated on Feb. 13. But, hey, Feb. 14 works, too, if you aren’t celebrating a romantic relationship. The day was the brainchild of Leslie Knope, the character played by Amy Poehler in the show Parks and Rec. She gathered together several friends for a gals brunch “full of waffles and love.”

Myself, I’m seeing happy hour with a glass of wine and sharing chocolate cake or something decadent, but you do you. 🙂  The thing is, I think it’s a fabulous idea to celebrate our friendships!

Galentines girls

Goodhousekeeping Magazine explored the popularity and thinking behind…

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Happy New Year to All!

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Wow! That was a fast year! For me, it was full of ups and downs, but mostly ups. My daughter got married, and my son got engaged! We had showers and a bachelorette get-away and a fabulous wedding and reception. Lots of special memories were made.

I published a holiday novella with The Wild Rose Press and finished a full-length romance novel that’s now in the editing phase. Just completed the rough draft of a short story for an anthology, and getting back to a women’s fiction novel I started a few years ago. It promises to be a busy year ahead!

Of course not everything was rosy in 2021. I lost a brother-in-law to cancer. And we didn’t end the pandemic. We didn’t get to travel freely. To kick off the new year, I’m supposed to go on my first ever cruise this month. Sadly, that might not happen. While it’s frustrating, I’m trying to do my part to follow guidelines and science and get through this.

Come on, 2022! Let’s make it a good year!

Wishing you all a peaceful, prosperous and happy new year with books to read and time with all your favorite peeps in all your favorite places! Cheers!

Darlene

Bring on the cookies–It’s Release Day

Gingerbread, shortbread, frosted sugar, chocolate chip…what do these have in common? Sure, they’re cookies, but they’re also one of the main ingredients in a new collection of holiday stories from The Wild Rose Press!

square release day

Get in the holiday spirit this year by curling up with your favorite beverage and a Christmas story–and don’t forget the cookies! The novellas cover a range of genres including everything from contemporary romance to cozy mysteries and werewolves.

Today is release day for my novella “Cookie Collision!” Here’s a peek at it and a few others from the contemporary romance collection.

Happy reading! Let the merry season begin!
Darlene

–Justin moved into the room, set the things on a side table, and perched on a chair. Watching her, he could practically see the pain fade from her face. Her brow smoothed, and the tension he’d noticed around her lips disappeared. He fought the urge to brush a kiss across her forehead. She looked way too peaceful to disturb. But now what? Sit here and watch her sleep? Sneak out the door? He couldn’t leave it unlocked, and he had no idea whether she’d be down for the night or if she did power naps.

Finally, he took off his shoes and quietly padded to the kitchen to deal with supper. For now, everything could go in the fridge. Feeling like an intruder, he moved stealthily around her kitchen. With that task completed, he grabbed a newsmagazine from a basket and settled into a chair across from his patient…and/or dinner date.

Twenty minutes later, Alana stirred. She pulled up her arm and adjusted her position. Then her eyes opened.

“Hey,” he whispered.

She bolted upright. “Oh, my gosh. Justin. Did I fall asleep? I’m so sor—”

He held up a hand. “Shhh. No worries.” He handed her the glass of water and tablets. “Why don’t you take a couple of these then I’ll wrap your ankle.”

For him, the biggest issue was not the condition of her ankle but trying to stay in professional mode and ignore the feel of her smooth leg under his hands. Seated on the table in front of the sofa, he forced his eyes to focus on the strip of fabric as he wound it around both foot and ankle and secured it firmly. “How’s that feel?”

Alana nodded. “That’s amazing. It’s better already.” Luminous eyes met his. “Thanks.”

“You’re welcome. Keeping it tight is the key.” He couldn’t help himself. He reached out and touched her hair. “Sorry you had a bad day.”

A light sparked in her eyes, and she sat straighter. “I didn’t have a bad day.”

Frowning, he cocked his head. “You didn’t? Looks like the ankle was, well, a big pain.”

She grinned. “It was. Except for this stupid ankle, I had a great day. I got two offers on the house, and another couple that’s interested is supposed to let me know tomorrow. That means we could have a bidding war and get more than our asking price. And that is a good thing.”

Justin couldn’t help laughing. He held up his hand for a high-five. “Very nice.” He loved her triumph-over-adversity attitude.

“Hey, food’s in the fridge. Easy to heat up whenever you’re ready.”

“Oh, okay. Thanks.” She glanced toward the kitchen then met his eyes again. “Are you— Can you stay?”

He felt a pull deep inside as those questioning blue eyes leveled on him. Yeah, he wanted to stay.–

Get your copy today!

https://www.amazon.com/Cookie-Collision-Christmas-Cookies-Darlene-ebook/dp/B09FXHKZDH/

https://books.apple.com/us/book/cookie-collision/id1585465393

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cookie-collision-darlene-deluca/1140147032?ean=2940162321422

The entire cookie collection

includes about 50 books.

Here’s a peek at a few other contemporary romances. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Crinkles and Christmas Sprinkles by Maria Imbalzano

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Favorite quote from author:

“Dean’s gaze zeroed in on her, and her thoughts fuzzed. No way was she going to get out of this chair, sporting flannel pajamas and bunny slippers.”

Book Description:

Competitive, work-obsessed Bella Simonetti has just been fired from her high-paying job at a Manhattan law firm. At an all-time low, she returns home and helps her parents at their small-town gift shop, but the business is failing and may not make it past the Christmas holidays.

Successful landscape architect Dean Jackson is like a son to Bella’s parents. But he’s a persistent annoyance to her—he seems to have forgotten his unforgivable blunder thirteen years earlier.

When Bella transforms her parents’ gift shop into a cookie cottage, Dean’s generosity and magnetic smile are hard to resist, and those feelings of unrequited adolescent love come rushing back. But can Bella let go of the past and accept Dean for the man he is today?

https://www.amazon.com/Velvet-Crinkles-Christmas-Sprinkles-Cookies-ebook/dp/B09FYVGDWR/

Tinsel and Tea Cakes by Jill Piscitello 5117yDXeTHL

Step back in time for an unforgettable winter wedding. 

Book Description:

Hair stylist Scarlett Kerrigan lost her job and her apartment. To alleviate a touch of self-pity, she succumbs to her stepmom’s pressure to attend a wedding in the New Hampshire White Mountains. Unfortunately, she runs into the vacation fling who promised the moon but disappeared without an explanation. Months have passed, but she is not ready to forgive and forget.

After a chaotic year, executive Wes Harley settles into his family’s event venue, The Timeless Manor. His carefully structured world is shaken to its core when Scarlett arrives for the Victorian Christmas wedding weekend. The feelings he never quite erased flood to the surface.

When secrets are revealed, will a magical chateau and a sprinkle of tinsel be enough to charm Scarlett?

https://www.amazon.com/Tinsel-Tea-Cakes-Christmas-Cookies-ebook/dp/B09J3FHCP8/

Let it Snowball by Margot Johnson perf5.000x8.000.indd

Christmas tours brim with cookies, lights, and…unexpected romance?

Book Description:

Divorced, empty nester Merilee is on a roll. Filled with scrumptious cookies and old-fashioned fun, her Christmas bus tours aim to add festive spirit to her hometown and new meaning to her lackluster life. Too bad her reserved driver slams the brakes on fun.

Widowed farmer Ross needs a little joy to combat his December blues. Behind the wheel, he wears a Santa suit but can’t muster a convincing ho-ho-ho. Too many memories block his road to happiness…until irrepressible Merilee sparks a snowstorm of unexpected feelings.

In two weeks of holiday tours, Ross might drive Merilee crazy…or will romance snowball inside their lonely hearts?

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B09FX386MR/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0

The Gingerbread Cookie Code by Ann M. Trader 51zGTWNKSaL

Computer geeks write code… and sometimes they bake them in gingerbread.

Book Description:

Clay Blackstone, avowed bachelor, is an ambitious computer design engineer at a prestigious firm. When an accident puts his dad on crutches, he returns home to help with his family’s Christmas tree farm, never expecting to find romantic entanglement with an alluring woman he remembers as a tomboy in braids.

As a single mother launching a bakery business, Shelby Turner has experience with measuring cups and watercolor paints, but not handsome, intriguing men—especially one who is her secret schoolgirl crush.

Between her sweet treats, his tech savvy, and their combined chemistry, will they risk their hearts and discover the code to their happily ever after?

https://www.amazon.com/Gingerbread-Cookie-Code-Christmas-Cookies-ebook/dp/B09GNNRW1M/

Are you a seasoned holiday book aficionado? Just browsing some holiday reads? 

Hope you’ll find a new favorite in the cookie collection!

Comments or questions for the authors? Leave them here!

Cheers to all!

House calls and Christmas cookies …

I know, I know, it’s still Halloween season. But I’m excited about the upcoming release of my newest story and helping to get YOU in the Christmas spirit!

“Cookie Collision” releases November 3, and is now available to pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble online and Apple. See? By the time it drops onto your reading device, it’ll be the perfect time to snuggle up with a holiday read!

“Cookie Collision” is a heartwarming novella set at Christmastime in Kansas City. It’s part of a collection of holiday stories offered this year by The Wild Rose Press.

Here’s a peek:

House calls and Christmas cookies . . . a sweet combination or recipe for disaster?

Before she can let up and enjoy some holiday cheer, real estate agent Alana Drake has work to do. With Christmas moving in fast, she has clients to meet with, houses to show, and cookies to bake. Every open house deserves her special touch—homemade and hand-decorated sugar cookies for a warm welcome. And she needs several dozen for upcoming holiday events and open houses.

But a poorly timed stop at the grocery store could upend more than her bag of groceries. Running into Doctor Justin Teague—literally—shakes up Alana’s tidy world. The chance encounter leaves her with a bum ankle, forces her to reconsider some dating ideals, and reveals new information about a longtime nemesis.

When all she wanted was to bake some cookies…

A few words from an early reviewer:

In relatively few pages, Darlene Deluca again works her magic with realistic, relatable characters and a story that draws you in and leaves you smiling. The story starts with a bang … almost literally. It features an unexpected twist that I won’t reveal here, but let’s just say I made peace with the woman I vehemently disliked. It’s such a fun holiday story and I highly recommend it!

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Apple

Buy on BarnesandNoble

Whether you’re not ready for the holidays to begin, already shopping or anxious to get started, I hope you get some time to yourself to relax and enjoy the season — and maybe a book or two!

Happy reading to all!

Darlene

Watching happy-ever-after unfold

Word by Word

From the day they are born, we spend a lot of time watching our kids. And delighting in that activity. Who didn’t watch their kids sleep when they looked so peaceful and angelic?

Like most parents, when our daughter was young, we hovered constantly, watching her roll over, crawl, take that first step, etc. During the school days, we watched countless soccer games, band concerts, piano recitals and horseback riding lessons. We had so much fun watching our daughter discover nature – taking her to Sea World, aquariums and zoos all over the country. There were parties and dances and awards ceremonies where her fun, her accomplishments, were our entertainment and pleasure.

Those years whiz by, and then come the big events: Watching her receive her high school diploma and her college degrees. A couple of weeks ago we had the joy of watching her get married! Wow! What an…

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Last Blast of Summer

Here it is, almost the end of August. Sigh. Summer is my season, so I’m always a little bit sad as it inches closer to the end of the month. For me, September signals the end of the best time of year and hints at cooler — colder — days ahead.

But I’m not giving in just yet! I’m clinging to the sunny days as long as I can — lunches with friends, a few hours at the pool as I can get them, and a book sale! In honor of the one-year anniversary of my sweet romance “The Story Between Us,” my publisher has put the ebook on sale for just $1.99. Grab it now, then settle in with a cold beverage in your favorite reading spot and enjoy another summer read!

The book is available on Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo and the Barnes & Noble online store.

https://www.amazon.com/Story-Between-Us-Darlene-Deluca-ebook/dp/B08DCVKMWV/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Darlene+Deluca&qid=1629826405&s=books&sr=1-1

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-story-between-us-darlene-deluca/1137387092?ean=2940162985785

https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-story-between-us/id1525107147

Happy reading to all! Enjoy the final couple of weeks of the sunshine season!

Darlene

Can’t wait to get on the road again!

Word by Word

Hi, everyone! Darlene here. A couple of weeks ago, I flew for the first time since before the Covid-19 pandemic drastically changed our lives.

It wasn’t too bad! Yes, I had to wear a mask for eight hours as I navigated three airports and two flights to get where I was going. And again to get home. But the flights were mostly on time, I managed to avoid screaming children, and my bags arrived with me coming and going!

P1070588But it definitely had me comparing air travel to a road trip. Have to say, I almost always prefer to drive. Of course, sometimes you just have to get from point A to point B, and flying is a must. But other times, it’s nice to relax and meander a bit—to stop and see what’s along the way.

Some of the best reasons for a road trip:

First, you can take…

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That time I didn’t win Mom of the Year

Sometime you just have to laugh.

Ever have one of those brain cramp/senior moments? You know what I’m talking about, right? Now think about those in terms of Mom moments. Here’s one for youIMG_9869—It was kind of a silly sad incident, but it’s also provided a lot of laughter over the years.

One morning in all the rush to get everyone to work or school on time, I breezed into the kitchen to help manage the chaos. Every day we packed a lunch for my son, who happened to be the World’s Pickiest Eater. This kid ate peanut butter and jelly, or honey, every day of his life for YEARS. Even when we went out to eat, which was often, we’d pack a sandwich and take a little bag with us.

Anyway, on this particular morning, I saw the day’s sandwich sitting on the counter, so I grabbed a plastic bag, shoved the sandwich inside and completed the lunch bag with a juice box and whatever else went in that day. Done. Move along. Chop, chop.

Well, later that day…my son opens the bag at lunchtime only to discover his “sandwich” is actually two slices of bread. No peanut butter. No jelly or honey. You can imagine his surprise! Yum!

In my defense, it looked like a sandwich! This little incident, while trivial, has become an example of my (not too many) failures in the Mom department. He survived. And I can handle being laughed at a little. We’re not perfect. Things happen. And it’s little shared memories like this that bond us and keep us real. 🙂

Is there a little incident that kept you from winning Mom Of The Year? Happy MD

Enjoy the day!

Darlene

Petals, posies and blooms, oh my!

Happy May Day! It’s been a gorgeous (but slightly cool) spring. The flowering trees have been stunning, and the perennials are bursting with color. And all I can say is Yay, Spring! It’s such a relief when the cold is behind us and we can get outside again. My husband and I took our first walk of the season the other day. It’s fun to get out see people and peek at everyone else’s yards. There’s something about the warmer temps and sunny skies that just makes me feel better! Hope you are enjoying the blossoming of spring. Here are a few snapshots that capture the color and mood!

Might be a great day for a book and a glass of iced tea on the patio!

Darlene