Drum roll, please… It’s Release Day!

Here it is! It’s finally done! It’s the end of a journey — it’s book three in a trilogy, the last installment in a heartfeltPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00031] story of three friends in a small Kansas town.

The three stories in this series are companion books. They feature a trio of close-knit women who’ve been friends for a long time – each story focusing on one of the friends. The series will take you on a ride through their ups and downs as women, wives, mothers, bread winners and civic leaders. Through joy and pain, new love, longtime love and lost love, these women pull for each other, catch each other when they fall, and embrace life. You’ll wish these gals were your friends in real life!

Barefoot Days is Mary’s story — the story of a strong, beloved woman who suddenly faces fear and loss when her rock-solid world is shaken.

Available now in ebook or paperback!

Readers are saying:

  • Like in all of Darlene Deluca’s books, these characters seem very realistic and the reader really comes to care about them. I especially enjoyed hearing more about the characters that appeared in the first two books of this series, and seeing where life had taken them. The engaging characters, realistic dialog and compelling storylines make for another great book from Deluca!
  • There’s plenty of drama, romance, and a scary medical mystery, told with Deluca’s trademark honesty and sensitivity to real human issues and the ways that real people, like us and our own friends, try to cope with grace and kindness.
  • Barefoot Days is about how the bonds of friendship and love of family can turn despair to hope and fear to strength.

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Get Book Two

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Get Book One

Comment here or on my Facebook Author Page for a chance to win a digital copy of Barefoot Days or a $10 Amazon gift card now through Sunday, April 23!

 

 

Exposure is Good

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00031]I admit, I’ve resisted giving my books away for free to the general reading public. Of course I give away copies for review to bloggers and release day festivities and occasional promotions. But something about giving my work away for free just goes against the grain. Who wants to work for free? Every book I write is a lot of work. It takes a long time, a lot of thought, research and hours and hours of writing, revising and editing. And it costs real money – cover images, cover design, proofreading, swag, promotion, etc.

Well, I finally decided to try it, and placed an ad with Bookbub in an effort to reach more readers. To get exposure. Thousands of people responded, and downloaded the book. Now, I know many of those downloads will sit on Kindles for months and may never even be opened. A lot of people are simply drawn to the power of “free,” and download on a whim.

This morning, as my promotion ends, I’m feeling grateful, and rather in awe. Not only did thousands download the book, which is the first in my Women of Whitfield series, I sold many copies of book 2, and already have four new five-star reviews. And I’m re-energized to get back to working on the next book! So, many thanks to all of you who downloaded The Storm Within. I hope you enjoy it. I hope you bond with Claire, Mary and Dana and will want to spend more time with these three friends.
Happy reading to all!

Get your copy of The Storm Within

For those of you who are still contemplating the series, or hesitant to try a new author, please use the Look Inside feature available on Amazon, and take a look at the reviews there and on Goodreads. In case those things aren’t enough to tempt you . . . here’s a little excerpt from The Storm Within:

They shopped for two hours, and Claire’s bags were bulging with evidence of a spending spree. The new skirt and blouse would replace the ones she’d worn the night Ray was over for dinner. Those had found a new home in the landfill.
“Okay, we better put the brakes on, or I’ll need one of those ‘oversized load’ signs for my car to haul all of this stuff home. Besides, I can’t carry anything else,” Claire said.
“And my feet are tired. And we need food,” Mary told her. “What do you think? Gardenview or one of the other restaurants down here? What about the little Mexican place?”
“Sure. That sounds good.”
A few minutes later, they dumped their bags into the extra chairs at their table, and dove into the basket of chips waiting for them.
“This is what I love about this place. Instant gratification,” Mary said.
“Exactly.”
Under the table, Claire eased her tired feet partway out of her sandals. Ahhh. Now all she needed was something for her parched throat.
The waitress stopped by with glasses of water. “What can I get you ladies to drink?”
Claire spoke first. “I’ll have a house margarita on the rocks. With salt, please.”
She glanced over at Mary and caught her frown.
The waitress turned to Mary. “Ma’am?”
“I’ll have the same.”
As soon as the waitress left, Claire pursed her lips, and set the menu down. Her eyes met Mary’s.
“What?” Mary asked.
“You know what. I don’t want to see that look every time I order a drink. We’ve been having wine with dinner, or drinks and appetizers forever. I can have one margarita, for heaven’s sake.”
Mary leaned forward, her brow furrowed. “But can you? Have just one? What about when you get home, Claire? What about the other night?”
Her throat constricted. Of all people, Mary should understand. “You know what happened the other night. It was awful, and I needed to go numb for a while. Jesus, can’t you cut me a little slack on this?”
“Claire, I don’t want to argue. I’m worried about you, that’s all.”
“I’m fine.”
“All right, but if you’re fine, why aren’t you doing anything? Why don’t you come help me with concessions at the baseball field next week?”
Claire shrugged. “I might. I’m not sure how long I’ll be at Elise’s or how worn out I’ll be after that. I’ll call you.”
“When are you leaving?”
“Tomorrow after lunch.”
“Want me to help you pack or anything?”
Claire rolled her eyes. “No, I do not need help packing, for heaven’s sake.”
“What are you doing with Reggie?”
“He’s staying here. I’ll put out extra food and water.”
The drinks arrived, and they ordered dinner. Claire lifted the heavy margarita glass, and held it out toward Mary. “Well, that’s that.”
“To new beginnings,” Mary said as she clinked her glass against Claire’s.
Her attorney had said the same thing. A euphemism for starting over, Claire thought. Starting over at fifty-five. When she should be settled and comfortable. What was so great about starting over?

Survive and Thrive . . . novels for women

Hello, friends!
As I mentioned last week, I’ve met so many interesting people in the world of writing and publishing. To me, it’s always fun to meet new authors, and learn about their journey. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Charmaine Gordon, author of women’s fiction and romance, and her newest work, When Double Becomes Single Again. Welcome, Charmaine!

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Darlene,
Thanks for inviting me to your blog today. As strangers we are starting from scratch and that’s often a good thing. If we were in a bar, we might say “Come here often?” but no we’re in outer space, both authors who write about women who survive and thrive. If you don’t survive, you’re in big trouble and yet many women are too weak to stand up and make a life for themselves after a drastic situation has happened. I’ve been there and it’s a scramble to put on make-up, dress well, go to work and keep your head up. I recall when my first husband died suddenly, the psychologists on the radio talked about men liking younger women. I looked in the rear view mirror to see an attractive woman-ME-and decided I was okay and not to worry. A year later, I married a sweet guy and we’re happy together. At 84 that’s a stretch.

I often wonder where a story comes from. For me. I sleep write and stories blossom but in the case of When Double becomes Single, this story is part of my real life-at least the beginning. I cried a lot and eased up as the heroine learned to become single after being married about thirty five years. She talks to him at night the way many widows do, her dogs keep her company and she works the business they started when they were young. Eventually she blossoms. That’s where my heart sings. And not to worry, there is an HEA.

Excerpt: When Double Becomes Single Again

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The touch of her husband’s lips on hers warmed Sharon Michaels all the way home from the hospital. Remembering his whispered I love you before she left released a cascade of tears. She groped in her bag for a tissue, found none and used the sleeve of her good winter coat as a blotter. Mac would fix Barry. Their favorite doctor always knew the magical potion to apply. Even when Fred, their difficult teenager now in his thirties, started using marijuana and refused to stop, Mac knew what to do. Tough Love was the prescription. No driver’s license and other privileges allowed until he straightened out. So Barry’s bad cough should be easy like the croup. Hmm. Fred still held a grudge against us. Get home and go to sleep.

Exhausted after hours visiting with her husband at Community Hospital in Suffern, New York, Sharon stripped and pulled on flannel pajamas. Too tired to shower, she brushed her teeth, washed her face and slipped under the comforter on this chilly night. The phone rang. She picked it up. Mac Bloom, the family doctor said something she couldn’t quite hear.

“Crisis? Is that what you said? What do you mean crisis? I left him at the hospital about an hour ago. We kissed and said I love you the way we’ve always done for thirty six years.”

Their doctor for many a long time sighed. She heard urgency and sadness in his voice. “Sharon, is anyone at home with you?”

About Charmaine . . .
Charmaine Gordon writes books about women who Survive and Thrive. Her motto is take one step and then another to leave your past behind and begin again. Six books and several short stories in three years, she’s always at work on the next story. The books include To Be Continued, Starting Over, Now What?, Reconstructing Charlie, Sin of Omission and The Catch, and her series of Mature Romances, The Beginning…Not the End, including the stand alone novellas, She Didn’t Say No and Farewell, Hello and her most recent series, River’s Edge Stories where the town motto is Kindness to Strangers.

“I didn’t realize at the time while working as an actor in NYC, I’d become a sponge soaking up dialogue, setting, and stage directions. I learned many tools of writing during the years watching directors like Mike Nichols and actors including Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, and Billy Crystal. And would you believe, I was Geraldine Ferraro’s stand-in leg model, my first job giving me entrée into all the Unions needed to work. When the sweet time ended, I began another career and creative juices flowed.”

Where to find Charmaine…
Facebook
Twitter
Website

Purchase on Amazon

99-cent Sale!!

HappyPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00031] Friday, everyone! In celebration of the launch of book two in my Women of Whitfield series, I’ve reduced the price on book one to 99 cents!
You can buy a digital copy of The Storm Within at Amazon this weekend for just a buck. Download, curl up with your favorite beverage, and start getting to know these longtime friends!
Laughter, drama, suspense and friendship — women’s fiction at its best!
Enjoy!

Click here to Buy!

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!