Black Friday Freebie

5x8TemplateSo, who’s shopping today?! Not this introvert! Can’t handle the crowds. For me, this is the perfect down day. A day to relax, get things done around the house, or, of course, curl up with a good book. If you’re looking to join me in that, here’s a deal for you!

A digital copy of my contemporary romance Her Greatest Risk is free on Amazon today! Take a break and get lost in a love story. Will Jennifer risk her heart or settle for safety?  “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.” — Amazon reviewer

 

Get your copy here!

I’ve got three books that I’ve started. Hoping that choosing which one to crack open this afternoon is the hardest decision I have to make all day! And maybe I’ll at least start my Christmas shopping list. Planning to do a little Small Business Shopping at my favorite indie bookstore tomorrow.

Happy reading!

Darlene

In search of the perfect perch

pool horizontalSo Memorial Day is generally viewed as the unofficial start of summer – that time when we all start dreaming of long, tranquil days and free time on our hands, right?

Ahhh, I attempted to ring in my favorite season lounging in the sun on my patio, book in hand. Twice, I took my cushion, book, and iced tea outside. And twice, pop-up showers disrupted my delightful plan and drove me inside again.

I’m still a bit miffed about it. The day started out so promising. Plenty of sunshine and only a few clouds. The guys were gone. The flowers smiled cheerily, finally planted and in their places. The patio beckoned.

Sigh. I’m left hoping, waiting, for the next opportunity. With mosquito season upon us as well, the opportunities on the patio diminish. It will end up being a view I enjoy from behind glass. So where will I perch for summer reading? I don’t see a beach read in my immediate future, but perhaps, a book by the pool. For sure, a book up in the quiet Colorado mountains later in the season. That’s one of my favorite reading spots.

Where are you hoping to hide away with a book this summer?

Re-visiting old friends

rereadHere’s an interesting topic (at least for a bookworm) I’ve seen on social media in the last week – the question of re-reading books you love. Do you, or don’t you? With so many books to read, why would anyone spend time reading something they’ve already read? You know the ending, so there’s no suspense, right?

For me, re-reading a favorite book is like curling up with an old friend. Even though my to-be-read list seems miles long, sometimes I want to revisit characters I love, and a story I know I can count on to give me a satisfying plot and ending. Though there isn’t an element of surprise, I often find little nuances in the story that I missed or had forgotten about when I re-read. For me, there’s comfort and pleasure in re-visiting familiar characters. I kind of miss them!

I have several books that I occasionally re-read.

Here are ten of them (in no particular order).

  1. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells.
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  3. Plainsong by Kent Haruf
  4. Lake News by Barbara Delinsky
  5. Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
  6. Montana Sky by Nora Roberts
  7. Paradise by Judith McNaught
  8. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  9. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  10. The Mitford series by Jan Karon

Occasionally, I’ll even go waaaay back and read an old favorite from childhood like These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder. 🙂 And I always keep an oldie-but-goodie in my car for those periods of unexpected down time.

Do you re-read? What is your go-to book that you can always count on?

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!

 

Throwback Thursday, literary style . . .

P1050882For a throwback today, I thought I’d offer a little snippet from my first novel, Unexpected Legacy. It’s one of my favorite scenes between the hero, Matt, and heroine, Kate, and it just happens to occur in a pumpkin patch shortly before Halloween. Unexpected Legacy is fiction with romantic elements. It’s about a dad who meets his son for the first time when the boy is sixteen years old and recovering from a serious car accident. Kate is the high school principal who steps in to help the kid, but with a different agenda than his father. 🙂

Matt caught up to her, and rested his arms against the fence.
“Let me guess,” he said. “You’ve loved horses since you were a little girl.”
She leaned against the fence, pushing back a strand of hair that had come loose. “Is something wrong with that?”
“Not at all, but I’m intrigued. I think I’ve stumbled across a soft spot. You put on a tough front in your profession, but your home is full of soft things, and you like ponies.”
“Excuse me, are you a psychiatrist?”
“Hell, no,” he laughed. “I’m just making this up. Basically, it means you’re such a girl.”
She laughed then, and smacked his arm. When she tossed her head back, Matt reached out and pushed the loose strand of hair behind her ear again. His hand lingered near her face, while his thumb skimmed her cheek.
And in the next instant his lips brushed against hers.
Maybe it was the warm rays of sunshine surrounding them, or the light smoldering in Matt’s eyes. Maybe it was purely Matt Dalton’s sensuality that sent liquid heat surging through her veins. She felt deliciously enveloped in warmth.
So when he pulled her against him, she lifted her face, welcoming his kiss. His arms went around her, pressing her closer, and she melted against him. He murmured her name, and her heart pounded as a wave of desire washed over her.
Kate clutched the taut muscles of Matt’s arm with one hand, while the other one curved around his neck and wound into his thick, coarse hair. His hands splayed across her back, sending shivers rocketing up her spine.
When his lips trailed kisses behind her ear and down her neck, she moaned softly, lost in his arms. When Matt shifted, his arousal, hard against her hip, jolted Kate back to reality. She drew back and turned, leaning against the fence.
One of the horses nuzzled up to her. Breathing in light gasps, she held out a shaky hand, grateful for the diversion. She couldn’t look at Matt. Kate knew she was playing with fire. She shouldn’t have come. She thought she could get past her attraction to him and simply enjoy the day, but when he touched her, her body had a will of its own.
“I’ll get these loaded up,” Matt said finally. His voice sounded strained, and she looked up quickly. He gave her shoulder a soft squeeze, then turned toward the wagon.
She followed behind while he wrestled with keeping the wagon upright in the uneven dirt and ruts. When they reached the tent near the entrance, Matt pulled out his wallet.
“Oh, Matt. No. I’m getting these,” she said, fumbling for her purse.
“Kate,” he said, his voice brooking no opposition. “Go pick out a couple of mums.” He nodded toward a grassy area to the side with a display of colorful mums in varying stages of bloom.
Swallowing hard, she turned and marched across the lot. The man had a bit of a bossy streak. Hardly even looking at them, she picked up the two closest purple mums and headed back toward the tent, until she realized Matt was already loading pumpkins into his car. He motioned to her, and before she made it halfway, he was at her side, taking the mums. She whispered a thank-you and hurried toward the car.
Kate sensed the electricity in the car as she sat with her hands in her lap, staring out the window. When he pulled into a parking lot, she turned and looked at him. “What are you doing?”
“I’m buying you lunch, of course.”
Oh. Right. Still processing her emotions, she’d forgotten about lunch.
“Matt, maybe we should just head back,” Kate said softly, not meeting his eyes.
“Kate. Come on. It’s almost one. I promised you lunch, and I’m starving. I know you must be, too.” He opened his car door, leaving her little choice but to do the same. He waited for her to round the car, then ushered her up the stairs of an old Victorian farmhouse.
Snap out of it, Kate told herself. Great blazes, it was one little kiss. She stepped onto the porch determined to be cool and collected. Taking a deep breath, she looked around at the stately old home.
“This is a clubhouse?” she asked.
“No. I thought you might like this better. My mom and sister love it.”
“Oh. It’s really cool.” It was absolutely gorgeous. With massive pots of flowers and cushioned wicker furniture, it looked like something from a magazine. The tranquility of the place went a long way toward restoring Kate’s equilibrium.
A hostess appeared. “Terrace this afternoon, folks?”
Kate couldn’t help but smile up at Matt. “Would that be okay with you?”
“Of course.”
Kate nodded to the hostess, and she led them to a table outside with a view of a small pond and lovely gardens. “Wow,” she breathed. “It’s incredible.” She picked up the menu and read the brief history of the Mansion. “Oh, I think I’ve heard of this place.”
“Glad you like it,” Matt said.
Kate’s heart sank at the stilted, formal tone to Matt’s words. How could they recapture the easy mood of this morning?
She ordered a salad and iced tea, glad to have the beautiful scenery to look at and take her mind off of . . . other things.
“Kate, I–”
She held up her hand and gave him a shaky smile.
“Matt, please. That shouldn’t have happened, and I shouldn’t have let it. Why don’t we just let it go, and enjoy the rest of the day, all right? I’ve had a lot of fun. You were right. I needed a day away.”
She didn’t add that she’d actually enjoyed it a little too much.
His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed. His gaze met hers, and slowly he nodded. “Okay, we let it go today, but Kate?”
She caught her breath, held captive by the intensity in Matt’s eyes.
“This conversation isn’t over.”
The ride back was quiet. Once, he reached out for her hand. He squeezed it gently then caressed the top of it with his thumb. The soft movement sent shivers up her arm. Kate kept her hand where it was, but she ached inside. She couldn’t help but feel cheated – here was a really great guy whom she liked and was attracted to, but he was off limits. It wasn’t fair.
For her, this was a fairy tale day. It couldn’t be real. She was like Cinderella, and Matt her handsome prince – only there was no ball, and no glass slipper. When the clock struck midnight tonight, she’d be left with nothing but pumpkins. And no fairy-tale ending.

Unexpected Legacy on Amazon

Speaking of throwbacks, do you have any books so near and dear to your heart that you occasionally re-read them? I have a couple of oldies but goodies that I enjoy re-reading. In romance, two of my faves are Paradise by Judith McNaught, and Montana Sky by Nora Roberts. And yours?

Release Day! Read All About It!

5x8TemplateWoo-hoo! It’s finally here — release day for my new contemporary romance, Her Greatest Risk! That means there’s a lot going on today! First, the book is now available in digital and paperback versions at Amazon.

Second, to celebrate, I’ve put all my other romance novels on sale this weekend only for 99 cents. Makes it a great time to stock up! 🙂
Over on my Facebook Author Page I’ll be discussing the book throughout the day and giving away a few digital copies of Her Greatest Risk. Follow the page, share or comment on the post there, and you’re entered for a chance to win!
You can also visit Goodreads and register for my paperback giveaway there. Good luck, and happy reading to all!

What it’s all about . . .

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?

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