Who’s Feeling Lucky?

Do you enjoy discovering new authors? Have you ever been hesitant to try a new author? Maybe your budget doesn’t allow you to try all the authors you’d like. Well, here’s a super opportunity for you! While this weekend might be all about shopping, here’s one thing that won’t cost a dime––enter for a chance to win eight books from a group of Kansas City authors. It’s a multi-author, multi-genre opportunity!

oban giveaway (1)

One lucky reader (U.S. only) will win all eight books. The books will be mailed in December after the close of the contest. Keep them for yourself, or give them as gifts! You can visit the Of Books and Nooks website to check out the individual authors and their work. 

While we all write individually, the group has teamed up to offer you a glimpse into the lives of writers, travel adventures, recipes, book reviews and more! Come along and follow us!

Don’t miss this opportunity.

Good luck and happy reading to all!

Darlene

Holiday Giveaway

Snow is a four-letter word

Word by Word

Snow. Snow is a four-letter word. To me, it’s a terrible word and a terrible thing! To me, it means cold and gray days. It means the hassle of wearing hats and gloves and coats and scarves. It means difficult driving conditions, car accidents and shoveling injuries that can wreak havoc in lives.

Okay, I grant you that it can be pretty. A frosty winter wonderland of snow-dusted trees can be a pretty sight when I’m curled up inside with a book and a warm beverage. Here in the Midwest, there’s no avoiding it, so of course, I’ve made snowmen (and other assorted snow-figures) with my kids. I’ve done sledding and snow angels. I’ve gone snow skiing. And I know a lot of people love those things.

P1010448But they wear me out. I just wasn’t made for freezing temps! When people get excited about cooler temps in fall, I start…

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A Pretty Fall After All!

A few weeks ago, I was concerned we would have a lackluster fall because it’s been so dry. Some wind took down leaves too early, but overall, it’s pretty out there!

In Kansas, we don’t have the beautiful expanses of fall color you see in places like New England. I miss the falls in the Finger Lakes region of New York why my daughter went to college. The colors are stunning.

Even so, we do have some fine specimens that include trees and shrubs around here. I have a maple in my yard, but I can’t remember the specific kind. I wish it turned a brilliant red, but, alas, it turns orange. Still a pretty sight!

I’ve been out with my camera this week, so here’s a sampling of lovely fall colors!

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Hope you are having a good autumn wherever you are!

Darlene

Me and my camera just for fun!

Word by Word

I like to take pictures. Sometimes to document an occasion or place, or to remind myself of the name of a wine label or restaurant I’ll never remember later. But mostly, I just enjoy capturing a good image, whether it’s people, landscapes, or a snippet of nature.

My first couple of jobs at small newspapers that couldn’t afford a staff of photographers required me to use a camera. Many times, I had to shoot the pics to go along with my stories. My boyfriend, now husband, helped me learn about lighting and backgrounds and framing a shot. And I got to be reasonably proficient. (I could load film into the camera, but never had to develop on my own.)

P1010077Fast forward several years. Every event we go to, every vacation we take, we do double on the photos! Even though he’s a professional photographer and gets amazing shots that I…

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Ahhh, summer…relax and recharge!

Word by Word

I’ve been spending a lot of time in Colorado this summer. We have a small, longtime family cabin just west of Colorado Springs. First, the hubs and I went out to get things opened up. Then both kids (one with a husband and the other with a fiancé) joined us. Then I made another trip with a friend.

It’s a great place to relax and unwind—to sip morning tea or an evening glass of wine on the porch with no mosquitoes attacking me. So many things about the place make me smile—a creekside picnic where I can hear the rushing water of a babbling brook, the bright blue sky and big, puffy white clouds, the sweet wildflowers along a hiking trail.

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On this last trip, my friend and I had the delightful surprise of meeting a mama deer and her fawn along a walking trail. I’d never been that up-close-and-personal…

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Still rolling after all these years!

Word by Word

This month I’m celebrating the 16th birthday of my car. That’s right, my car!

Now, I generally try not to get too attached to inanimate objects and “stuff.” But this car has been just about the best purchase ever. It turns 16 this month, and it also just rolled over 220,000 miles. I don’t want to jinx it, but it still looks great inside and out. It’s a little noisier on the road than it used to be, but that’s to be expected. IMG_3719

This workhorse, a 2007 silver Lexus RX350 (bought in 2006), has been around! It’s made numerous road trips from Kansas City to New York, Ohio and Michigan. It’s been to Chicago and all over the Midwest. And a few years ago, it made a three-day trek from KC over to the Grand Canyon, through the desert and into Los Angeles.

You know how people say their…

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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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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!

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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