From a character’s point of view!

What a fun interview! A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of being a guest on author Amber Daulton’s blog where she “interviewed” Kristen Hanover, the lead female character in my new contemporary romance “The Story Between Us.” It was a fun exercise to really get inside my character’s head and think about how she would respond. Here’s what she had to say:

(p.s. Please excuse formatting issues! WordPress went and changed everything!! ERG!)

What’s your name?

Hi, I’m Kristen Hanover, heroine of The Story Between Us

What do you look like? I’ve got brown hair with reddish highlights that falls a few inches below my shoulders. I tend to wear it down or in a single braid. I also have green eyes and a smattering of freckles across my cheeks that seem to explode in the summer.

What time period does your story take place? It’s a story of contemporary life. We could be friends today!

For a visual storyboard of “The Story Between Us,” visit my Pinterest page! https://www.pinterest.com/darlenedelucaau/books-the-story-between-us/

What’s your goal in this story? What conflicts are you facing? To tell you the truth, they’re wearing me thin. I’m trying to focus on my career and really make the most of my recent success, but there’s so much going on to distract me. My brother is ready to sell the family farm following my mother’s death, so I’m facing the big clean-out and having to sell our horses – including my own pet, Star. It’s a tough, emotional time for me. Then I meet a really sweet kid and get a great story idea based on one of his heartwarming memories of his parents. I have visions of adorable illustrations and a treasured keepsake for this charming little boy who likes my books. I’m thinking of a dedication, maybe a scholarship fund from a portion of the sales. We’re both excited about the idea. Then his uncle/guardian accuses me of exploiting the boy – using him to make a couple of bucks. Whoa! Are you kidding me?

What is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it? I write children’s books, and I love it. My newest book shot up the charts and became a bestseller, so I’m now on tour visiting classrooms and bookstores and meeting my adorable young fans. Interacting with them is a blast. Kids are so funny, and I’m humbled to be an influence in their lives.

What skill do you have that you’re proud of? Why? Besides writing, I have a couple of skills, or talents. I can handle a horse pretty well and love to ride. I also play guitar. Now that I think about it, it’s interesting that both of these things are activities that help me wind down, to clear my head and let my thoughts wander. They soothe my soul. And I’ve found that they can help others. In this story, I’m able to connect with a little kid, that’s Dylan, by playing my guitar in a private jam session. Music has a way of bringing people together. And because I have some horsemanship skills, I’m able to help Dylan overcome his fear of horses, which has caused some issues on his grandpa’s ranch. I’m definitely proud of that accomplishment!  

What did you think the first time you saw Reed ? I noticed two things about Reed Armstrong right away. First, he was a fine speciman – good looking, nicely put together and kind of a hunk. But, second, I could tell he wasn’t thrilled about being dragged to a book signing that evening. He seemed bored and ready to get out of there. I caught that look of impatience in his otherwise gorgeous smoky blue eyes. So, while he sent my heart rate spiking, he also got my defenses up. After all, my book signing in a popular Dallas bookstore was a great place to be!

What do you wish your author had not told others about you?

Sigh. I don’t think it was necessary for her to tell everyone that I’d been warned, that I was headed for trouble and it was my own fault. Okay, yes, my agent had warned me about getting involved with fans. She said it was a bad idea – more than once. But Dylan is such a sweet kid, and I couldn’t turn away from him and his tragedy. His uncle…well, he needed help, too. They tugged at my heartstrings. Maybe I should’ve been more cautious, but come on, who wants to hear “I told you so?!”

“The Story Between Us” is now available in digital and paperback formats at a variety of online retailers.

https://www.amazon.com/Story-Between-Us-Darlene-Deluca-ebook/dp/B08DCVKMWV/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=darlene+deluca&qid=1599575413&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

As summer transitions into fall, curl up with a book that’s sure to offer all the feels and leave you with a satisfied smile!

Happy reading to all!

Darlene

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

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Order at Apple Books

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

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.
     

Launch Party!!

P1040503Today’s the day!
Hello, everyone! So excited to share the big news — Second Wind is now available in both digital and paperback formats! It’s book two in my Women of Whitfield series about a group of longtime friends and their lives in a small, fictional town in Kansas. There’s a big dose of friendship, some drama, a little family angst, and a dash of romance — women’s fiction at its best!
I’m celebrating the release on my Facebook Author Page. Be sure to stop by for excerpts, info and giveaways! The more you like/comment/share, the better your chances of winning a copy of the book!
(click on the link to the right)

Here’s the cover blurb:
When a devastating tornado rips through the small town of Whitfield, Dana Gerard’s home is reduced to rubble and her well-ordered life to chaos. In the wake of the disaster, she finds herself in financial straits and confronted by challenges that test her limits.

With support from longtime friends, Dana begins the daunting task of rebuilding, but that’s not her only worry, and may be the least of her concerns. Change greets her from all directions – at work and within her own family. At a crossroads, Dana is forced to see her life with a new vision and to trust the one person she’s determined to push away.

Click here to purchase your copy of Second Wind!

Drum roll, please . . . here it is!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00031]Here it is, the cover for my new women’s fiction novel “Second Wind!”

The cover says so much about the story, but of course, you’ll have to read it to understand how the images and title and storyline all work together.

I love the bright colors, and the sunflowers, which capture a windy day on the plains of Kansas, where the story is set.

“Second Wind” is book two in my Women of Whitfield series featuring a group of longtime best-buddies who support and encourage each other through life’s ups and downs in the small town of Whitfield.

They raise kids, manage homes and careers, run community events and organizations, laugh, live and love.

Pick up a copy of book one, “The Storm Within,” to get to know these women – people you’d want to be friends with in real life!