Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Author Spotlight/Interview with Darlene Deluca

Today I am pleased to welcome author Darlene Deluca.

 Darlene Deluca writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance, and likes to explore relationships – what brings people together or keeps them apart. Her characters seem like real people with real issues that readers can relate to.

Darlene released her debut novel, Unexpected Legacy, in January, 2013, and it advanced to the quarter-finals in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award. Her second novel, Meetings of Chance, is a contemporary romance. Last August, she released the first book of a small-town trilogy, The Storm Within. The series focuses on the bonds of friendship, and family relationships.

Darlene has been a reader and writer since childhood. She holds a degree in Journalism, and is the go-to person when her kids need help with an English paper, resume or essay. (Math, not so much.) Darlene started her writing career as a newspaper reporter, and later moved into corporate communications. “Writing fiction is a lot more fun,” she says. “It’s liberating. I can make up the people, places and the pertinent facts.”

She has a daughter who just graduated from college, and a son who’s a senior in high school. Darlene tolerates living in the Midwest (that’s where the fam is), but when the temperature plummets and the ground turns white, she often longs for a distant sunny beach.

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
I love the freedom of being able to make up people and places and stories, to build my own worlds. My background is Journalism, and in that kind of writing there are definite rules and structure to follow – who, what, when, where and why. Writing fiction is more fun. The possibilities are endless.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
I hope they feel like they’ve spent time with good people, with people they’d like to know. In all of my novels, I think there’s a message of resilience, dealing with change, with death, disability, loss, alcoholism, but there’s also renewal, hope, friendship and second chances. I like to read stories that have a positive or hopeful ending, and that’s what I write.

How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
Surprise is always the first reaction. I don’t talk about it a lot, and it took me a while to get comfortable with putting myself out there. My dad is my biggest fan. He seems to get a kick out of it. My daughter has become one of my beta readers. Even if they haven’t read any of my books, I think my friends do see my writing as an accomplishment.
What’ really funny is that so many people assume that since I’m published, I must be famous. They say things like, “Wow, I’m having lunch with a real author.” Clearly, they don’t have a clue about the reality of it, but it’s kind of sweet. :-)

Please tell us 5 miscellaneous facts about yourself.
- I changed my major three times in college. First, I intended to be a Theater major. Then an Art major. I finally settled on Journalism.
- I’m a gift-giver. In the language of love, that’s what I like to do. I like finding just the right thing, and I enjoy wrapping a beautiful package.
- I’m pretty much the stereotypical bookworm. I’ve always been a reader. Even as a kid, I loved books and libraries. I used to take the bus downtown so that I could go to the main library.
- I have a major sweet tooth. Though my tastes have changed a little over time, I can almost always be convinced to go for dessert. I have a special weakness for almonds and dark chocolate.
- I’m a tea snob. Seriously. I know this has been an embarrassment for my children at times, but I like only good tea. If it’s old, canned or otherwise gross, I won’t drink it. So, yes, in restaurants, I ask if the tea is freshly brewed before I order it. I make lunch selections based on who has the best iced tea. And I always keep a couple of tea bags in my purse . . . just in case.

What genres and authors would we find you?
I write a variety of genres, and some crossover. My debut novel, Unexpected Legacy, is technically mainstream fiction with romantic elements, but few retailers or contests have that category, so I usually end up calling it contemporary romance. It might not have enough romance, though, for a hard-core romance lover. It also has a young adult theme as well. My second novel, Meetings of Chance, is a sweet contemporary romance. My third novel, The Storm Within, is women’s fiction. The next book to be released is contemporary romance. I think readers who enjoy good stories with some romance and multiple story lines will enjoy my novels, and readers who enjoy Barbara Delinsky, Kristin Hannah and Jennifer Haigh.

Please share with us your future projects and upcoming releases.
I have so many things in the works! I have a finished full manuscript that’s a contemporary romance with an agent right now. Waiting to hear her interest level. If that doesn’t pan out, I’ll be publishing that this spring. I have another full draft of a new adult romance with my critique partners and beta readers right now. Planning to publish that this year. I’m also working on the second novel in my Women of Whitfield trilogy. It’s a women’s fiction series. Book one, The Storm Within, was published last August, and I’m hoping to release the next one this summer.

Please share any links you would like listed in the Interview. Website, Myspace, blog,

Unexpected Legacy
By Darlene Deluca

Matt Dalton’s world is spinning off its axis. Without warning, he’s thrown into the world of parenting a teenager. Matt meets his son for the first time when the sixteen-year-old is dealing with the consequences of a tragic car accident. Not only has Brady lost his best friend, he faces disability and scars both physical and emotional.

Determined to do whatever it takes to give his son a second chance, Matt looks to his alma mater to step up and help Brady regain his athletic abilities and sense of self. But sparks fly when he meets the high school principal, the captivating Kate Austen. Kate is ready to take Brady under her wing, but to her that means helping him refocus and find a new passion – using his brains rather than his brawn. Kate fully expects the younger Dalton to come with issues and challenges . . . his father may prove to be the biggest one of all.

Though the chemistry is hard to ignore, Kate fights to keep her personal feelings and professional life separate. At the same time, Matt struggles to gain his son’s trust, and Brady must face the road to recovery and find a way to accept the changes in his life.

Excerpt: From Chapter Twenty-One, Unexpected Legacy

Kate watched from the sidelines. She told herself she hadn’t intentionally looked for Matt. After all, the man was tall and commanding, and stood out in a crowd. She’d seen him before the game even kicked-off. At half-time she traded places with one of the teachers on duty so that she’d be on the opposite end of the field, closer to the student section – and far away from Matt Dalton. But when the game was over, and dozens of students and parents filed out of the stadium, she couldn’t help seeing him as he walked down the bleachers with two women.
She froze. Was he really with them? When he stooped to speak to one of them, she caught her breath. There was her answer. She knew the women – and knew one of them would sink her claws into him with the very slightest encouragement. It was no secret that she went through men at an amazing rate. Good luck with that, Mr. Dalton, she thought. Then she chided herself. Who were the high-schoolers here, anyway? She had no claim on the man.
Hoping she didn’t look as stricken as she felt, she pasted on a smile and greeted parents moving by. When Matt filed past, and caught her eye, he gave her a simple nod and kept walking.
Well, that was that. Kate cringed as she remembered her earlier thoughts. Matt Dalton wait a year and a half? He hadn’t even waited a month and a half.


  1. 'Unexpected Legacy' may be my favorite of your novels, so far. I read it at a very stressful time, knowing that your characters would be good people, even if they were confused or having issues, and that the ending would not jar or distress me further. Good book!

    Thanks for sharing some of your writing journey! Best wishes - and may you enjoy lots of chocolate almonds over the Valentine's holiday!

  2. Thank you! And thanks for stopping by. I've actually put in a request for some dark chocolate covered cherry Jelly Bellies. They are yummy! Good writing food! :-)

  3. Sounds like a wonderful book. I love to learn more about authors. I am like you and wish I could escape to the beach today!!

    1. Thanks, Melissa. I'm counting the days to spring break. Get me out of here!

  4. It would be difficult to find out you have a 16 year-old son, and try to help him during a crisis time. What an interesting twist you created with your story!
    Tea drinker...I knew a woman who brought her own tea set to meetings and brewed her tea in front of everyone...even in restaurants!

    1. Thanks, Marianne!
      I don't think I've done anything quite that extreme with my tea fetish, but the day might come . . .

  5. Thanks so much for having me today, Bernadette!