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

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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!

 

The Mushy Stuff

Ahhh, Valentine’s Day. A day to celebrate love and romance. Nowglass hearts I know not everyone reads romance novels. But, come on. Who doesn’t like a little romance? Whether it’s a certain look, a private joke, a simple touch or more, doesn’t everyone want some romance in their life? A little something to make your heart go pitter-patter every once in a while?

I’ve selected a few short scenes from my novels that just might make you sigh, smile or say awwww – it’s the mushy stuff:

 

Something Good

Lane stood in the drive. On the curb, Mandi was eye level with him. He gazed into her face, and almost blurted out the words. Fought to keep them inside. He couldn’t unload that on her. He had to let her go. He clenched his jaw. It was a risk, but one he had to take. He couldn’t tell her that he loved her. Wouldn’t be fair to say those words knowing she was leaving. What if it made her second-guess her decision? He wouldn’t be responsible for that.

With his hands on her shoulders, Lane leaned in then planted a kiss on her cheek. That’s all he intended to do, but it was out of his control. As if some magnetic force surrounded them, they were propelled toward each other. He couldn’t pull away. And neither did she. Another second and his lips found hers. Her hands gripped his arms, and he deepened the kiss, his lips moving over hers with need and urgency, oblivious to everything around them.

When she let out a soft whimper, he broke off the kiss and pulled her against his chest, burying his face in her hair. Again, he fought the urge to say those words. “Have a good trip,” he whispered. “Say hello to California for me.”

Nodding, she backed up, grabbed her bag, and without another word turned for the entrance, her long hair swinging around her.

Lane let her take about two steps before his hand locked around her arm and swung her back around. He tipped her chin. “Hey, just so you know. This isn’t good-bye, babe. This is see you later.”

 

Meetings of Chance

Tom gently removed both the bottle of wine and glass from her hands. Her eyes fluttered shut as his lips met hers. Light kisses teased her. Just when she thought she’d scream with wanting, the kiss deepened, and steel bands circled her. Breathing was not an option.

When he finally pulled back, Tom cupped her face and looked into her eyes until the sensation that she was drowning nearly buckled her knees.

“Stay with me,” he whispered.

More than a request or an invitation, it was a promise, and liquid heat shot through Megan’s veins. Unable to speak, she tightened her grip on his arms, and nodded.

His lips moved on hers again, but with a new hunger. He pressed her against him, his hands firm and warm on her back. When he buried his head against her neck and whispered her name, she clutched her fists in his hair. Her breaths came in shorts gasps as his fingers found the clasp of her bra and released it. She shivered, moaning softly while his calloused hands began their exploration, and claimed their territory.

His territory. Even in her foggy state, Megan understood she was giving more than a night’s pleasure. She was giving herself – her heart – to this man. She was more than ready. In his arms, she felt safe and selfless. He gave her confidence and filled her with new energy.

When they tumbled onto Tom’s bed, Megan couldn’t think how she’d gotten there. She must’ve floated, was floating still as deep blue eyes locked onto hers, and a rush of heat enveloped her.

She wound her arms around his neck and sensation took over as she lost herself in a passion deeper than anything she’d experienced before.

 

Her Greatest Risk

“Jen,” Michael said, bending to look into her eyes. “I love you.”

She caught her breath and folded her hand into one of his. “Michael, I—” she stopped herself, and studied his face, his words echoing in her head. And in her heart. Impulsively she traced his jaw-line with her hand. He turned into it and kissed her palm, holding her hand against his cheek.

A thousand memories flashed through her brain – the way he made her laugh, the way he made her feel, the little ways he used to pamper and please her. She’d given them up for a bunch of what-ifs. Her mind reeled as the truth sank in. No matter how much she worried or fought it, her heart belonged to Michael Reynolds. And it had since that very first warm summer day on a tennis court when his handshake had sent her pulse skyrocketing. Tears filled her eyes, and she flung herself against him. “I love you, too,” she said softly. Pulling back, she looked into his eyes again. With her hands on her cheeks, she shook her head as a little laugh escaped. “Oh, my God,” she said breathlessly. “I do. I still love you.”

He closed his eyes, and his arms went around her, almost suffocating her. But it was exactly what she needed. She could breathe later. Now all she wanted was to soak up his warmth. She pressed into his shoulder.

Your turn to share. What is your favorite romantic read?

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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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

Hello, friends! OcWedding Bands 99 cents adcasionally, I like to have guests on my blog to share their work, an interesting story, travel tips or experiences you might enjoy.

Today, I’m excited to host a fellow RONE Award finalist, Ev Bishop. Like me, Ev writes romance and women’s fiction, and she’ll be meeting and greeting readers at the InD’Scribe convention in Palm Springs next month. Dozens of authors will be attending. If you live in southern California, or just want a trip to a warm and sunny destination, come join us!

Ev’s romance novel “Wedding Bands” is currently on sale. Here’s a peek:
Wedding Bands by Ev Bishop, River’s Sigh B & B, Book 1

Ditched by her high school sweetheart, Callum Archer, on the night they’re supposed to elope, Jo Kendall casts out on her own, brokenhearted.

Over the years, Jo reels in a life she loves, centered on the outdoors, fishing (favoring a lucky wedding band lure), and her fine dining restaurant—a life that crashes away when her husband and business partner cheats her, leaving her bankrupt and alone.

Then her uncle dies, bequeathing Jo and her sister, Samantha, his rural property. Jo returns to Greenridge, determined to build a new business and permanent home—without the help of a man. Unfortunately Samantha wants her inheritance in cold, hard cash and hires a lawyer to get it for her, a lawyer who turns out to be none other than Jo’s long-lost love, Callum.

Jo’s fledgling plans—and her heart—are at risk once more.

If Jo can fight her insecurities, she might end up with a wedding band that doesn’t come with a sharp hook. But should she risk everything she’s worked for, yet again? Before she can decide, she needs to know: can a lost love truly be reclaimed?

Get your copy for 99 cents!

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.