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.

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Get Book Two

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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!

Hitting a Milestone

one-thousand

One thousand. Could be a big number, could be small. Depends, right? Well, for me, a thousand is just a little goal I’d like to hit to kick off the new year. I only need a few more “likes” on my Facebook author page to hit that goal and move toward the next.

Want to help get me over that hump? The publishing/marketing gurus say the best way to sell a book is by word of mouth. You know, you tell a friend about this great book/author you read.

So here’s the plan. Visit my Darlene Deluca Author page on Facebook. You like the page and tag a friend or two in the comments and encourage them to like the page, too (not this post). They also like the page and leave a comment (so I know who they are), and you all are included in a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card!

It’s easy!
1. Like Darlene Deluca Author on Facebook
2. Tag a Friend
3. Friend likes page and comments/replies to your tag.
4. Everyone gets a chance to win!
I’ll draw the winner Friday evening (or later if it takes a little longer to hit the mark!)
Ready? Go!

Thanks, and good luck! 🙂

 

It’s Snippet Sunday!

Hey, readers,

Here’s a treat for you today. I’m inviting authors of all kinds of genres to share a tempting snippet from one of their books to give us a quick peek into their story. It’s a fun way to get a look at new authors and books you might not have discovered.

If you’re an author, please post in the comments a short paragraph or few lines to give us a hint about your book and writing style. (No erotica. One buy or website link only, please)

I’ll start. Here’s a snippet from Barefoot Days, book three in my small-town women’s fiction trilogy. Coming soon!

John gave a barely perceptible nod, and walked past Mary.

Mary stepped to the counter and gave her order while frost settled in her chest. What in the world was going on? She couldn’t remember offending anyone – recently. Mentally, she ticked through the various committees she served, trying to pinpoint an issue. She came up empty, but she was no stranger to drama. The slightest ember could erupt into flames with but a whisper of hot air.

Find books one and two here!

It’s a Good One!

CoverOnly.SG.lowresI’ve been waiting for several weeks for this review, keeping my fingers crossed, of course, that it would be positive. It just came in yesterday, and I have to share! Something Good passes the test of Kirkus Reviews!

TITLE INFORMATION
SOMETHING GOOD
Darlene Deluca
CreateSpace (322 pp.)
$13.99 paperback, $3.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1-4959-1795-0; March 13, 2014
BOOK REVIEW
An unlikely romance begins in a greasy spoon outside a soulless chain hotel.
When Lane Whitmore first meets Miranda “Mandi” Evans, she is working as a waitress in the depressed part of Texas he’s researching for his next project as an urban planner. Lane invites Mandi to his hotel room after her shift, but when she’s reluctant to tell him any details about her life, he worries that the beautiful woman with the haunted eyes might have more baggage than he’s willing to unpack. Back in her trailer park, Mandi harbors a shameful secret that she’s desperate to atone for, and she thinks she’s found a way to do it without ruining her ambitions to move to California and finish school. But her good intentions aren’t enough to keep her past trauma from threatening her future happiness. Mandi’s secret plan for redemption is commendable but complicated—maybe too complicated for Lane. Though Mandi’s dingy surroundings initially cast her in an unflattering fluorescent light, they also illuminate the camaraderie and determination of poor working women, whose managers walk them to their cars at night to make sure they’re safe, yet pay them so little that they can only afford to live in flimsy trailers in bad parts of town. There is something undeniably alluring about the flicker of the neon vacancy sign in Deluca’s (Her Greatest Risk, 2015, etc.) novel. It’s the nitty-gritty details that make this improbable romance unfold in such an unusual and affecting way. While Lane wonders how a girl from a wealthy family could end up living this way, Mandi ponders how an urban planner could be so blind to her plight. They’re not entirely sure they can even trust each other, let alone start a relationship, but their mutual
attraction should keep readers coming back for more.
This tale’s seedy premise featuring a Texas waitress evolves into an absorbing story of redemption that’s hard to put down. – Kirkus Reviews

Get Something Good on Amazon

It’s a Book Birthday sale!

Hard to believe it’s been a year since my newest contemporary romance novel hit the shelves (or cyber shelves)!

risk-anniversary

Her Greatest Risk has all the elements you’d expect in a romance novel — interesting characters, (including the hunky hero, Michael), conflict and tension, and a healthy dose of attraction. It’s almost love at first sight, but . . .

Her Greatest Risk

Clashing over the fate of a historic building, Jennifer Aukland and Michael Reynolds are on course to become adversaries. She’s an architect devoted to green building and restoration. He’s a developer hell-bent on ripping down the old hotel she’s racing to save to make way for a new casino.

Chemistry leads to compromise, and for a time, they’re on the same team. Jennifer adds Michael – and marriage – to her safe and steady plan for the future. But when Michael throws caution aside and lands in a life-threatening situation, Jennifer’s world comes crashing down. In her family, she’s learned that recklessness leads to tragedy. She must decide if she can commit her life to someone who takes unnecessary risks with his. Will she take control of her own destiny, even if it means leaving Michael behind? Or will she risk everything for love?

Reviewer comments

— “This one will definitely keep you turning the pages. I adored Michael, he was hot, sweet and had an awesome job.”

— “For me, Her Greatest Risk, by Darlene Deluca was a five star read! I really got into the story to the point where I got emotional at times.”

— “Love is a daily work in progress with ups and downs you have to be prepared to weather and Darlene Deluca writes with clarity how much the heart can handle.”

Excerpt

On wobbly legs, she made her way back to the stairs. Looking past Michael, Jennifer smiled. She stopped shy of his reach, but he moved toward her, hand extended. He took her hand in his, then leaned down to sear her cheek with a kiss.

“Hello, Jen,” he whispered.

Her face burned as if she’d been branded. Ignoring Michael as best she could, she moved past him when Sam turned and greeted her. Jennifer graciously shook hands with the entire team, nodded at the audience, and stepped back to the end of the line. Somehow she managed to stay there and endure the long-winded comments – and Michael’s arm brushing against her shoulder.

Say thank-you, she screamed inside, willing the lead architect to finish. Just say thank you. Had it been the Academy Awards, the music would’ve started ten minutes ago.

Get your copy of Her Greatest Risk

Pucker up – it’s Kiss Day!

lips_PNG6198Apparently today, July 6, is International Kiss Day!

http://www.dw.com/en/pucker-up-its-international-kissing-day/a-19381093

So, it seems appropriate to talk kisses! First kiss . . . Fall in love kiss . . . Favorite book or movie kiss . . .

Here’s a kiss scene from my work in progress, Barefoot Days, book three in my Women of Whitfield small-town friendship series:

“Do you remember the first time I kissed you?”

Smiling, Sara looked away as a crazy flush heated her face. She gave a little laugh, remembering the scene exactly. Her first kiss. Ever. So long ago, and tucked so far back in her memory she hadn’t thought of it in years.

Finally, she met his eyes. “Yeah. I remember.” She covered her mouth with her hand as tears welled in her eyes again. “Oh, my gosh, Evan. You gave me my first kiss.”

The boyish smile on his face tugged at her heart.

“Valentine’s Day.”

She nodded. “Yeah. Fifth grade. Sitting on the porch at our old house.” The memory came alive front and center. He’d hidden a pink carnation and a valentine card in his lunch bag. As soon as her mother went inside the house, Evan held the items out to her. When she took them, he grabbed her arm, pressed a kiss to her lips, then turned and ran away. They’d never spoken of it.

She shook her head. “That was so sweet.”

Evan’s brows shot up. “Sweet?” He put a fist to his heart. “Angel, please. Have a little consideration for my man pride.” He took a step closer. “Let me see if I can do better than that.” With a hand caressing the back of her neck, he bent his head again, his warm lips slanting over hers, and was a long time coming up for air.

Do you have a favorite kiss scene? Please share! Authors, feel free to share a SHORT (general audience) kiss from one of your novels!

Whether you get a sweet kid kiss or a hot and steamy tingle-your-toes kiss, have a great day!

 

 

 

Mothers of Character

blog orchidIt’s Mother’s Day! The day to honor all of the loving, hard-working moms in our lives. As a daughter, of course, I reflect on the relationship with my mom, so fortunate that she’s still with me and in good health. As a mom, I’m grateful for the joy that my two awesome kids bring to my life. And as a writer, I can’t help thinking about all the mothers in my novels.

Here’s just a quick introduction to a few of them:

There’s Dana, the single mother in Second Wind, who works diligently to provide for her kids, give them a stable home environment, and send them to college. She’s a steadfast encourager who does all she can to give support and direction to her children.

“Chase, like I’ve said a million times, you have so much potential. You can do whatever you want. You need to believe in yourself.”

“Yeah? What good does that do if no one else will?”

“Chase.” She waited until his eyes met hers. “I believe in you.”

 

In Unexpected Legacy, Grace, the hero’s mother, unconditionally accepts the 16-year-old grandson she didn’t know she had.

She got up from her chair and in three quick steps threw her arms around Matt. “Of course we’ll help,” she said as she hugged him tightly. “I want to meet this boy.”

His mother was a slight woman, a good foot shorter than him, but those were the most comforting arms he’d ever been wrapped in.

 

In Something Good, Mandi’s mother plays a supporting role – a steady presence primarily in the background. While Mandi’s relationship with her father is a little rocky, her mother is rock-solid.

Mandi punched in her mother’s number.

“Mom?”

“Mandi? Is something wrong?”

The worry in her mother’s voice tugged at Mandi. She didn’t always see eye-to-eye with her parents, but she could always count on them. They were her safety net, and tonight she wanted to feel safe.

“Yeah, there is. I don’t want to go home tonight. Can I come there?”

“Of course. Are you all right? Where are you? Do you need us to come get you?”

“No. I’ve got my car. I’m leaving the diner now. I’ll tell you about it when I get there.”

“I’ll wait up.”

Light spilled onto the porch, and the front door opened before Mandi stepped out of her car. She hurried up the stairs to the welcoming entryway of her parents’ house, and stumbled into her mother’s arms.

 

The mother/daughter relationship in The Storm Within is complicated. Claire struggles to accept the death of her son and forge a closer relationship with her daughter who’s always played second fiddle. While they haven’t been close, Elise refuses to give up on her mother.

Claire’s fingers grazed the small trinkets.

“You’re not upset that I took Ben’s things and put them in here, are you?”

“Of course not. I love it. And I love that I can still take them out and touch them. It’s very thoughtful, Elise.”

She swallowed hard, and took Elise’s hand. “This has been a tough year for both of us. I know I put you through some bad times. I’m sorry for that.”

When tears spilled down Elise’s cheeks, Claire wiped them away, Ben’s words echoing in her ears again. It’s gonna be okay. “No more tears,” she whispered. She gathered her daughter into her arms. “I love you, honey.”

“Love you, too, Mom.”

Though Elise’s words were muffled, Claire understood each one.

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms who love and support unconditionally!

 

 

You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Bag

bagIn honor of spring’s arrival, I have changed from my black winter goes-with-everything purse to a bright, fun bag. I love the bag – it’s a great color, and it has perfect pockets for keys, phone and little stuff. It’s a little bigger than what I normally carry, but going into spring and summer, that’s OK, because I tend to add things like a trial-size tube of sunscreen or DEET wipes. I like to be prepared. Anyone remember the game show Let’s Make a Deal? I could have been a serious contender. 🙂

And then I see women out and about with these cute little designer bags. Darling wristlets that hold no more than a credit card and driver’s license, and I can’t help but think where is all your stuff?! Where do these women keep their sunglasses, reading glasses, checkbook, lipstick, tissues, coupons and member cards, pens, mints, nail file, keys, Advil, phone, etc., etc.? It’s not a rhetorical question. Where?!

In my purse, I carry necessities such as hand wipes, safety pins, a mirror, a tape measure. No, really. Aren’t these necessary in your day-to-day life? And now I have reading glasses. And swag. Yes, I carry bookmarks and Darlene Deluca pens and lip balm where ever I go. You never know when I’ll have the opportunity to strike up a conversation with a reader!

I do own a few small bags that I use for special occasions or when I know that a large bag will simply be in the way – or I’ll have other things to carry. But if I routinely carried only a tiny tote, who would be the keeper of the stuff? My husband doesn’t like big purses, but I can’t tell you how many times he’s asked me to keep his wallet, or a brochure in my purse. Or the number of times he’s asked me for a pen or a wipe or sunscreen or some other item, fully expecting that I have said item in my purse! When a kid needs a Band-aid, or a tissue, or a cough drop . . . guess who they come to? Pretty darned handy, huh?

Over the weekend I happened across a conversation on one of my Facebook groups about this very topic. And guess what? The general consensus was that every woman needs to carry a bag at least large enough to carry their Kindle or a book! Yes! I found my group. I love these people! They get it. Some things are necessary, and they are bigger than a credit card! And I heartily agree – carry a book with you at all times. I can’t think of a better reason for a big bag!

What’s the largest item in your purse?