International Women’s Day: Strong Women in Fiction

urlIt’s International Women’s Day!

I was with a group of women fiction writers last week, and someone mentioned the occasion. The authors at this meeting realized we all write about strong women. To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, each of us agreed to post an excerpt from our writing featuring one of our strong female characters. And we want to share them with you.

Unexpected_Legacy_CoverI present Kate Austen, interim principal of a suburban high school, who faces hostility from male peers in Unexpected Legacy, fiction with romantic elements.

Bruce accompanied Kate to the office where they signed the log for opening the school safe, deposited the money, and locked up again. Bruce had already turned, heading for the door, when Kate glanced at the log. Her head snapped up.


He stopped and gave her a nod. “See you Monday.”

“Bruce, wait a minute. I don’t see your signature on here for any other day this week. You said you’d put the money in the safe.”

“Yeah. I did.”

She clenched the clipboard in her hand, but resolved to keep her voice calm. Don’t overreact, Kate. “Without signing and without a second staff member verifying what you put in?”

He shoved a hand inside a pocket and scowled at her. “It’s nothing that needs to be verified, Kate. There’s no accounting on this. It’s completely outside of school business.”

She bristled at his tone. “I disagree. Any time we’re collecting money, whatever the reason, there needs to be careful record of it and personal accountability. We’re talking about several thousand dollars here, and it’s our responsibility to make sure that every dime collected is accounted for and used for the purpose it was intended.”

Bruce’s eyes shifted from her to somewhere beyond her, as if he were bored by the conversation. When he looked back at Kate, his eyes challenged her. “Are you suggesting I would mishandle funds?”

“Not at all, but if there were ever a question of propriety, we’d need to be able to show clear and accurate records.”

Bruce continued to stare at her a moment, then glanced at his watch. “Are we done?”

Kate let go of the log. “We can discuss this further on Monday,” she told him, her voice clipped. “From now on, please refrain from putting anything in or taking anything out of the safe without my authorization.”

Your authorization?” he repeated.


Both hands went to his hips as he stared hard at her. “District policy says another staff member.”

“I’m aware of that, but you didn’t follow district policy, so I’m adding a stipulation. For the time being, I’d like you to see me if you need access to the safe.” She gave him the sweetest smile she could muster. “Just to be sure we’re on the same page.”

To read posts from other women authors about their strong women characters, please follow the links below. Happy International Women’s Day! Enjoy!


Joyce Brown, author of cozy mysteries

Pamela B. Eglinski, author of suspense and historical fiction

Theresa Hupp, author of historical fiction

Juliet Kincaid, author of historical fiction

Here’s to Heartwarming Holidays!


Hey, friends!

It’s that time of year –– time for some jolly holiday fun!

Join me and several other awesome authors, in the Heartwarming Holiday Blog Hop! It’s your opportunity to meet new authors and a chance to win a Kindle Fire 7 with Alexa!

Here’s how it works:

Visit each author blog in the hop and look for their “Heartwarming Holidays” blog post. 
Look for the title that includes the words “heartwarming” and “holidays.”
Visiting each blog in this hop is mandatory in order to be eligible for the grand prize, so be sure to comment on all “heartwarming holidays” posts from each of the following blogs between December 4 – 9, 2017:
Nicole Morgan, Suzanne Jenkins, Holly Cortelyou, Darlene Deluca, Casi McLean, Sensuous Promos, and  The Book Pub.

Speaking of heartwarming, it’s one of the words that always comes to mind when I describe my novel Unexpected Legacy.


You might fall in love with hero Matt Dalton who’s just found out he has a 16-year-old son. You might relate to the leading lady, an up-and-coming high school principal who champions her students. And you’ll definitely cheer on Brady, the teenager who’s dealing with the traumatic effects of an accident and the loss of his best friend.

It’s a heartwarming story of bravery, resilience, and, of course, love! One that will leave you with a satisfied smile! Perfect for cozy holiday reading!


Wishing you the happiest of holidays and best of luck!



blog hop visit authors icon












A weekend of bookish fun awaits!

728x90 RNR going

OK, who’s looking for some fun? If you’re in the Dallas area, you won’t want to miss this! Bring a friend, your book club, or just yourself and join us for Readers and ’ritas Nov. 10 -13. Parties, books, authors, scavenger hunt, swag, prizes . . . and did I mention fun?!

I’m so looking forward to this event. I love visiting with readers and chatting about books. Add in food and drink, and what’s not to like, right? And for me, another exciting plus is that the weather is Dallas is currently projected to be in the low- to mid-70s for that weekend. Woo-hoo. In other words, perfect!

Click here for the full agenda and list of authors and guest speakers.

Hope to see you there!


Fireworks of a Different Kind

Don’t you love feisty characters who create fireworks on the page or the screen? Those women and underdogs who stand up for their rights or fight against the establishment are often the ones we connect with. The ones who make us clap and cheer.

In honor of July 4th – fireworks day, and the day that a bunch of people said “enough,” I thought I’d take some time to think about the fictional folks who make us say, “You go, girl!”

20170513Norma-Rae1The first one that comes to mind, and I’m probably showing my age here, is Norma Rae – the classic story of a young woman (played by Sally Fields) taking on big business to get union representation. Who didn’t cheer when she shut down her machine and climbed up on that table with her sign? It’s so iconic, that I refer to these kinds of scenes as Norma Rae Moments.

Remember when Jewell Ivy in “Country” told that banker he’d better come with more than a piece of paper to take her family’s land?

Or how about when single mom Erin Brockovich took on big business over chromium contamination and won? You go, girl!

Do you like these kinds of feisty characters? One of my all-time favorite romance books also features a great Norma Rae Moment. In Paradise, by Judith McNaught, Meredith Bancroft has finally had it. After years of being pushed around by her father and later the board of directors of his company, she finds the courage to fight back, and gives a stunned group of men a piece of her mind. In standing up for her principles, she stands up for herself and the love of her life. It’s a fun read.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00031]In one of my Women of Whitfield novels, Second Wind, single mom Dana Gerard has a similar “I’ve had enough” moment. She’s tired of keeping her nose to the grindstone. Of not making any waves to protect her job. She’s good at what she does. She’s responsible and then some. So when her integrity is challenged, she refuses to take it sitting down.

Sneak peek without spoilers:

It was hard to keep her cool when fire flared inside. This guy was going to get his answer. Gathering her courage, Dana gripped the arms of the chair, and pulled herself erect. “Thank you. I’d be happy to address that, Mr. Newman.”

She glanced around the room, making eye contact with the other people, who shifted uncomfortably and looked as though they’d like to be anywhere else.

I know there are many, many more examples in both books and movies. Share your favorite Norma Rae Moment and let’s enjoy the fireworks!

Happy Fourth to all!

Happy Father’s Day to a fave fictional dad

Matt Dalton hasn’t celebrated Father’s Day in 16 years. That’s because for 16 years he didn’t know he was a father. Imagine his surprise when he’s suddenly called in as reinforcement in a traumatic situation.

Parenting is hard enough under normal circumstances, right? And teens? Whoa, pour me a drink. How about a hostile teen who doesn’t even know you?

Well, Matt Dalton steps up to the plate. And does a pretty fine job of it. It’s not easy, but with patience and baby steps, he manages to earn his son’s trust.

In a heartwarming tale that’s part coming-of-age and a little romance, father and son maneuver through tough times to forge a bond that strengthens them both.

Unexpected_Legacy_CoverUnexpected Legacy, a compelling story of bravery, compromise and resilience:

Matt Dalton’s world is spinning off its axis. Without warning, he’s thrown into the world of parenting a teenager. Matt meets his son for the first time when the sixteen-year-old is dealing with the consequences of a tragic car accident. Not only has Brady lost his best friend, he faces disability and scars both physical and emotional.

Determined to do whatever it takes to give his son a second chance, Matt looks to his alma mater to step up and help Brady regain his athletic abilities and sense of self. But sparks fly when he meets the high school principal, the captivating Kate Austen. Kate is ready to take Brady under her wing, but to her that means helping him refocus and find a new passion – using his brains rather than his brawn. Kate fully expects the younger Dalton to come with issues and challenges . . . his father may prove to be the biggest one of all.

Though the chemistry is hard to ignore, Kate fights to keep her personal feelings and professional life separate. At the same time, Matt struggles to gain his son’s trust, and Brady must face the road to recovery and find a way to accept the changes in his life.

Click here to learn more

Do you have a favorite fictional dad?

Drum roll, please… It’s Release Day!

Here it is! It’s finally done! It’s the end of a journey — it’s book three in a trilogy, the last installment in a heartfeltPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00031] story of three friends in a small Kansas town.

The three stories in this series are companion books. They feature a trio of close-knit women who’ve been friends for a long time – each story focusing on one of the friends. The series will take you on a ride through their ups and downs as women, wives, mothers, bread winners and civic leaders. Through joy and pain, new love, longtime love and lost love, these women pull for each other, catch each other when they fall, and embrace life. You’ll wish these gals were your friends in real life!

Barefoot Days is Mary’s story — the story of a strong, beloved woman who suddenly faces fear and loss when her rock-solid world is shaken.

Available now in ebook or paperback!

Readers are saying:

  • Like in all of Darlene Deluca’s books, these characters seem very realistic and the reader really comes to care about them. I especially enjoyed hearing more about the characters that appeared in the first two books of this series, and seeing where life had taken them. The engaging characters, realistic dialog and compelling storylines make for another great book from Deluca!
  • There’s plenty of drama, romance, and a scary medical mystery, told with Deluca’s trademark honesty and sensitivity to real human issues and the ways that real people, like us and our own friends, try to cope with grace and kindness.
  • Barefoot Days is about how the bonds of friendship and love of family can turn despair to hope and fear to strength.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00031]

Get Book Two

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00031]

Get Book One

Comment here or on my Facebook Author Page for a chance to win a digital copy of Barefoot Days or a $10 Amazon gift card now through Sunday, April 23!



Cover Reveal! Take a peek!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00031]Ahhhh . . . doesn’t that image make you want to curl your toes in the grass? I’m so excited to share the cover of Barefoot Days, the final novel in my Women of Whitfield small town trilogy! Book three takes readers back to Whitfield and the lives of three women who share a special I’ve-got-your-back friendship.

Barefoot Days is Mary’s story.

Mary Logan believes in the goodness of people. She believes in grace under pressure. But when the ugliness of human nature touches her family, and a series of seismic events shake up her world, she’s put to the test again and again.

She and her husband are supposed to be enjoying the benefits of early retirement. Their nest is empty. It’s time to travel and re-focus. It’s their time. Then an alarming diagnosis and an unexpected announcement from their daughter change everything. Facing the possibility of heart-wrenching loss, Mary finds herself breaking commitments, forcing smiles, and keeping secrets.

Until now, her cup has always been half full. Will a positive outlook be enough to withstand the challenges ahead?

Though final edits are still under way, you can pre-order your digital copy of Barefoot Days now! Release date for both ebook and paperback is April 21, 2017.

Happy reading!