Salvaging a Milestone Birthday

So today is a big day for me. It’s a milestone birthday — one that I had planned to celebrate with travel and festivities. I was going to bask on the beaches of Kauai. I was going to indulge myself and get out of town for a few weeks during the long, cold, snowy, miserable winter. But, alas, there’s an international health crisis, and I’m not going anywhere.

pretty cover picI was feeling bummed about this, of course, as are a lot of people who had to cancel cruises, weddings and other fun events. I’m not really complaining. I know it’s the right thing to do, and I want us to kick Covid-19 to the curb. Still, it’s hard to not feel a little sad.

What salvaged this birthday? My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, by chance scheduled release day for my new novel on my birthday! Another occasion to celebrate! While I can’t hold an actual release party or book signing, I can throw a virtual book bash! So that’s what I’m doing. I hope you’ll join the festivities on my Facebook Author Page (join the party). We’ll have virtual champagne and chocolate. I’ll introduce you to Kristen, Reed and Dylan, and “The Story Between Us,” and I’ll give away a few books! Hope to see you there!

Darlene

The Moments We Wait For!

Well, finally, here it is! “The Story Between Us,” my new contemporary romance, is scheduled for release this month! Woot! So excited to launch the book into the world, and happy to announce the ebook is now available for pre-order at a discount price at Amazon, Apple Books and BarnesandNoble.com. Pre-orders will automatically download to your reading device on release day – Aug. 26th.

pre-order square

Here’s what advance reviewers have to say:

“Kristen Hanover is a winsome heroine and THE STORY BETWEEN US is a satisfying romance that will warm your heart and renew your belief in the hope of happy endings.” –Marie Bostwick, NYT and USAToday bestselling author of Hope on the Inside

“An utterly charming tale of life, loss, and finding love in unexpected places. A heartwarming and delightful read from start to finish!”  ~~InD’tale Magazine

I couldn’t put this sweet story down. The characters are so life-like. I found myself pulling for this couple to make it. Darlene’s stories never disappoint! – Toni A.

“The Story Between Us” is a sweet, poignant story about loss, love, and finding sparks that last. I recommend this 5 Sparkler book to anyone looking for a romance that tugs at the heartstrings in all the right ways. – Sparkling Book Reviews

Introducing Kristen, Reed and Dylan . . .

Her agent warned her not to get attached to a fan. But children’s book author Kristen Hanover is about to break the rules. Kristen meets a young boy who is a victim of a tragic accident and is drawn into the heartbreaking situation.

Six years ago, Reed Armstrong never imagined he’d actually become guardian of his sister’s boy. Now he is, and most days he’s not sure he’s up to the task.

When he and Dylan meet Kristen, Reed downplays his nephew’s crush on the author. But as their lives become unexpectedly intertwined, he finds himself captivated as well. Trouble is, she sells stories for a living. Does she truly care about Dylan…and Reed, or is she using them for her own career advancement?

The book is part of The Wild Rose Press Sweetheart Line and will also be for sale in paperback. Order yours today, and be prepared to complete your summer reading with a smile! 🙂

Until then, happy reading to all!

Darlene

Order at Amazon

Order at BarnesandNoble

Order at Apple Books

Ta-dah! A shiny new cover!

After a couple of years of writing, revising, editing, querying, and editing some more, my contemporary romance The Story Between Us is inching its way into the world! Today, I’m excited to release the cover. The book will be published later this summer or early fall by The Wild Rose Press for its Sweetheart line.

SBU_reveal2

 
When a children’s book author gets a story idea from a young fan who’s lost his parents in a tragic accident, she knows she’s hit gold. She sees a bestseller and heartwarming keepsake. But the boy’s guardian sees exploitation.
Stay tuned for release date!
Happy reading to all!
Darlene

Trip down Memory Lane salutes Teachers

I could never be a teacher. I don’t have the stamina or the patience — and I don’t have enough control over my facial expressions. (It’s probably the eye-roll.) So I have a high regard for good teachers.

Having gone to public schools and sent two kids to school, I’ve seen a thing or two go down in the classroom. I’ve been a room parent and school volunteer. I’ve witnessed classrooms in total disarray and classrooms that function like clockwork thanks to a special kind of person who can only be described as a rock star, or maybe a saint!

I’m delighted to pay tribute to one such teacher in a new anthology that features me and 38 other authors from around the world sharing everything from heartwarming to hilarious essays about teachers and teaching. It’s called Will Work for Apples, and it released today in ebook and paperback formats.

My piece is about a favorite memory from third grade and the fabulous teacher who cheered me to one of my greatest childhood achievements! It’s called A Wagon and A Wink. It’s about jump-roping, persevering, and a little encouragement!

apples for website

Are you a teacher? An education advocate? Need a year-end teacher gift or simply enjoy true stories? You might need a copy of Will Work for Apples! 🙂

Happy Reading!

Darlene

Amazon: http://bit.ly/WILLWORKFORAPPLESamazon
Kindle: http://bit.ly/WILLWORKFORAPPLESkindle
iTunes: http://bit.ly/WILLWORKFORAPPLESitunes
B&N Nook: http://bit.ly/WILLWORKFORAPPLESnook
Kobo: http://bit.ly/WILLWORKFORAPPLESkobo

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!

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

A Valentine for you!

free Risk

Ah, love is in the air! It’s Valentine’s Day weekend — and I have a gift for you! Like romance? Hunky book boyfriends? Stories that feel real? Here’s your chance to try a Darlene Deluca contemporary romance for free (digital edition) on Amazon.

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?

Whether you’re enjoying a night on the town or a cozy evening at home, happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Get your copy of Her Greatest Risk here!

 

Inspiration and affirmation in Palm Springs!

roneSo here we are facing down October, and I still can’t get my head around September! It’s been such a flash! A new release, a book fair appearance, a writer’s conference and awards gala, and a trip to see the college kid!

It’s all been fun, but I want to pause just a minute and revisit the InD’Scribe Conference and RONE Awards ceremony in Palm Springs.
I didn’t meet as many readers as I had hoped for, but the rest of the conference was outstanding. I met so many awesome authors and industry professionals! It was great to meet in real life several people I’ve only had a Facebook relationship with, and put names with faces. The keynote speakers, Catherine Bybee and Anne Perry, were fabulous and inspiring. I found myself wishing I could just get away and write! Ah, but that real life thing . . .

I still haven’t had time to thoroughly go back through all of my notes, and implement everything I learned, but it’s on my list of things to do! One of the most valuable things about a conference and sitting down and chatting with other authors, is hearing about their success and failure. What they’ve tried in terms of marketing, what was effective, and what wasn’t. Tips and tricks. It’s always encouraging to find other authors who are living the dream and willing to help others. And it’s energizing to feel like I’m part of something bigger. Sometimes writing can be isolating and I feel like a gerbil spinning in circles on one of those little wheels all alone in a cage. It’s really good to get out and about! 🙂

And then there were the RONE Awards. “Something Good,” my finalist in the Sweet Contemporary Romance category, got the first-runner-up spot! Of course it was disappointing not to take home the big prize, but still, simply being there was so affirming! I was among very talented company, and the book was read by four to seven judges who gave it a strong thumbs-up, and that in itself is a wonderful thing!

I extended my stay in Palm Springs a day after the conference to settle down and enjoy another day of summer. Great decision! I got to have dinner with a long-time friend from high school who was one of my bridesmaids from thirty-some years ago!! 🙂 Ah, what a three-hour dinner with a good friend can do!

I also spent some time at the pool and had fun giving a few leftover books to readers lounging in the sunshine. I gave one gal the choice between my new release Her Greatest Risk or Something Good. She read both covers, and chose Something Good, saying it sounded like a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. So many people have said that!! I’m wondering if my next visit to southern California should include a stop in Hollywood!? Well, a girl can dream!

Happy reading, everyone! Wishing you a lovely Autumn!

Click HERE to find Something Good on Amazon!

Drum roll, please . . .

5x8Template
Today’s the day! Here’s the first glimpse of my soon-to-be-released contemporary romance Her Greatest Risk! I love the colors and the large, striking image. Creating the cover for a novel comes with soooo many decisions . . . . colors, mood, font, images, title, etc. I can’t even tell you how many different titles I considered or how many images I looked at before settling on these. Many thanks to Marisa Shor of Cover Me Darling design studio for pulling my concept together!

I know many romance books feature couples on the cover — images that convey the author’s idea of what the characters look like. For some reason, I prefer other images. For one thing, it’s really difficult to find stock images or models that exactly fit. Also, as a reader, I like to create the image of the characters in my mind. Every reader may see something a little differently, and I think that’s part of the fun of stepping into a work of fiction.

Anyway, here it is! The book will be available in print and digital formats at Amazon beginning Friday, Sept. 11. Stay tuned for more on release deals and giveaways. Happy reading to all!

Darlene

A Sneak Peek

Cover Reveal SoonThis is always an exciting yet anxious time. I’m getting ready to release a new book –  my sixth published novel! The title, which took forever to decide on, is Her Greatest Risk, and it’s a contemporary romance. Some of my books are more general fiction with romantic elements and have additional story lines. This one is pretty much straight romance with low to medium heat level.

Planning the cover reveal on Sept. 1 and the release on Sept. 11. Hope you’ll check back for both of those, and join in the celebration. I’ll be doing a giveaway or two, including a Goodreads Giveaway of paperback copies. Fun times ahead! 🙂

Here are a couple of short excerpts. Get your copy soon to read more!

  • Fascinated and shocked at the same time, Michael watched as a woman pushed against the window, shouting fiercely, her face so distorted that it reminded Michael of one of those wavy mirrors at an arcade. Will simply nodded his head as he inched the car forward. People yelled and pounded on the car. Signs blanketed the front of the windshield.

 

  • He brushed a thumb across her lips, and another thought slammed in. That call. That damned phone call from him. She said she’d call him back later. Would she yet tonight? And what would she say? Michael swallowed hard. It wasn’t something he could ask. All he could do was . . . wait.