Happy Heart Day!

Happy Val

Hello, everyone! Hope you all are feeling the love today from significant others, fans, friends and family! Many thanks to all the readers who’ve shown my books a little love! Right back at you!

Today, the hubs and I are going out for a nice lunch and skipping the restaurant crowds tonight. Coming up on our 35th anniversary, we’ve kind of been there, done that! 🙂

There will most likely be chocolate and wine this evening.

However you celebrate the day – or not – enjoy!


Enhancing your Romantic Getaway!

Whether your getaway-for-two is over Valentine’s Day or not, by land or by sea, you can enhance your romance wherever you go — without spending a fortune. Here are some inexpensive and easy tips: Find a garden. It could be right there at your resort, in a park near your hotel, or part of an […]

via Easy Ways to Enhance Your “Getaway” Romance — I Luv2cruz!

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?

Celebrate all the love!

love_cookieThis Valentine’s Day, let’s celebrate love! I know, right now you’re thinking, well, duh. That’s what Valentine’s Day is all about. But it seems to me that more and more the holiday is touted as a romantic day, a special time to get away with your sweetie, spouse, significant other. It certainly is that, and I enjoy my chocolates, flowers and special dinner. It’s more than that, though.

I enjoy lots of aspects of Valentine’s Day – including the non-romantic ones. I often send cards to friends. This year, since neither kid is home, I mailed them both Valentine packages full of goodies. This is a first – included in my son’s package is a little gift for his girlfriend. 🙂 Yesterday, I left cookies for a favorite waitress at a restaurant we frequent. I used to sit the kids down with construction paper, doilies, markers and stickers and have them make valentines for grandparents and neighbors. I remember the excitement of picking out valentines for classmates, and making special “boxes” to collect the valentines in year after year with my kids. For several years, I hid little cut-out hearts around the house and sent the kids on a heart hunt. I know lots of kids had Valentine parties at school yesterday. I’ve seen adorable pictures on Facebook of girls in big pink hair bows, red sweaters, and red and black leggings with hearts all over them. Lots of fun stuff!

Often at this time of year I see posts from people lamenting Valentine’s Day, especially if they don’t have the aforementioned sweetie, spouse or significant other. If that’s the case, I hope there’s an opportunity to celebrate all the other love in your life. Spend the evening with a parent, a sister, or friend, and share a bottle of wine. Send cards to family, neighbors and friends. Not all love is romantic love, but it’s all worth celebrating. Earlier this week, I had lunch with a friend who’s never been married, has no children, and has lost her parents. That may not sound like it has the makings of a stellar Valentine’s Day. But this gal has a huge heart, and lots of friends. She’s loved by many, and that’s something to celebrate! You don’t need a “love life” to celebrate the love in your life.

Cheers to all the love in your life!

Meant to be, or . . . not?

Since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share a little snippet from my most recent contemporary romance novel, Something Good. This scene takes place near the end of the book. It’s full of romantic tension  – will they or won’t they. Love me? Love me not?

CoverOnly.SG.lowresOf course you’ll have to read the whole book to find out what happens next! Enjoy, and Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

That evening, Mandi picked up on the second ring.
“Hey,” she said.
“Hey, there. Out with the gang last night, huh?”
“Yeah. It’s a fun group.”
“That’s great. Anyone in particular?”
Mandi laughed. “Well, my boss is kind of a funny guy. He tells a good story.”
Lane’s heart lurched. He couldn’t remember what else she’d said about her boss. How old was he? Was he married? He couldn’t let it go. He had to know. “Mandi, are you seeing someone?” His question hung between them for a long moment.
“You mean like dating?”
She spoke only one word, but Lane had a feeling there was more to it. Her voice was quiet, strained.
“You okay?”
“Why did you ask me that?”
More silence. How to answer that? “I just needed to know. Guess my imagination got wound up when I couldn’t reach you last night.”
“Well, I have made some friends, Lane.”
“But no one– No one you want to go out with.”
“No. How could I?” she asked, her voice barely a whisper.
His heart thumped. “What do you mean?”
“You’re not here.”
Her response stole his breath, and he had to pace a minute before he could hear anything other than the blood pounding in his ears. “Say that again.”
Okay. He couldn’t pressure her for more. God, he wanted to head straight to the airport and book the next flight out. He took a deep breath. “How would you feel about some company before school starts?” Or sooner.
Silence met his question. Again. He wished he could see her face. “I miss you,” he said. Now he really wanted to see her face.

Mandi clenched her eyes shut.  How to respond to that? She couldn’t tell him that her entire body ached for him, that she thought about him pretty much twenty-four seven. How could they really have a relation-ship? Long distance for at least three years? That was too difficult. Too stressful. Too expensive. She wouldn’t lie to him, but did she have to tell the whole truth?
“Do you like the beach?” she asked instead.
“I do like the beach. I like you and me sitting on the beach watching the sunset, having a beer or a glass of wine.”
She gave a choked laugh. “You do?”
“Yeah. Does that mean I can come visit?”
The visual played in Mandi’s head, and lodged in her chest. She and Lane walking along the beach at dusk . . . holding hands. Oh, yeah. She’d avoided the beach since that one time she’d ventured out by herself. Rather than being soothing, it’d been lonely. Something about the vast expanse of water had made her feel small and vulnerable. Alone. She loved being in California, loved her new job, and was excited about going to school. But somewhere along the way, being alone had become lonely.
Most nights, she worked. And talked to Lane. That kept her mind occupied. But then every night she went to bed, and the darkness reminded her that she’d left more than a chunk of her heart in Texas. She wouldn’t be going back to retrieve it, so where did that leave her? What was she supposed to do? Live without it?
At last she answered him, “Yeah. You can come visit.”

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