Darlene Deluca for Charmaine
One of the questions I’m most often asked by others is where do I get my story ideas.
Honestly, ideas just pop into my head. I can’t say from where, exactly, except that they seem like snippets from real life. I write contemporary novels that are about people and their relationships – what brings them together or keeps them apart. They’re books about women, for women. There’s often a friendship theme along with situations and story lines relating to women’s careers, parenting, home and family, loss and love – things we all encounter in real life.
My characters are well-rounded women (with some classy heroes sprinkled in) who juggle careers and personal life, and find fulfillment whether it’s through romance or solid I’ve-got-your-back girlfriends. I generally start with a scene in mind, maybe a beginning, then I construct a very loose potential story line and create characters. When I sit down at my computer to write, I don’t necessarily know where the story is going, or all the characters who might show up. The story evolves as I write – or as I take a shower, or clean the house! Ideas flit in, and I let them mull around. That’s how I got started writing fiction in the first place. I’ve always been a writer, and with a degree in journalism, I started my career as a newspaper reporter. I turned to fiction a few years ago when I decided it was time to get all these stories out of my head and onto paper. It’s been a fun journey, and I can’t wait to see what – and who – bubbles up next!
Excerpt: Her Greatest Risk
Jennifer didn’t register exactly when the embrace changed, but his motions became caresses and he nuzzled his face against her hair. Forgetting anything but the warmth and strength of him, Jennifer wound her arms around his neck, and his lips immediately found hers. Electricity surged through her as she clasped him to her, melting against the heat of his body. Her hands curled into his hair.
“No parents?” Michael whispered against her lips. When she shook her head, his grip tightened, then softened as his hands found the zipper of her cover-up. He gently pulled the zipper. When she made no effort to stop his wandering hands, he shoved aside the flimsy scrap of fabric that was her swimsuit and lightly ran his fingers across her skin. She gasped, clinging to him. Her legs nearly gave way when his lips left hers and trailed soft kisses down her neck to her bare shoulder.
Jennifer sucked in her breath, and pulled back. She shook her head, tears pricking her eyes. “I don’t know how you can do this to me when I’m not sure I even like you.”
Michael chuckled, smoothing her hair. “What? You thought you’d be able to dump me too? Too much chemistry, babe.” He folded his fingers into hers, bringing her hand up to his lips.
“Come on,” he said, releasing her hand. “We’d better get this mess cleaned up. I don’t suppose you have another one of those?”
“I do, but I’ll get you a can. That was really stupid of me. The rule, of course, is no glass on the patio. For good reason. Now we won’t be able to walk barefoot out here.” She sighed. “The parents won’t be happy.”
She went to the kitchen for a broom, and grabbed Michael a beer. He’d already started picking up the pieces of glass when she joined him. Tenderness shot through her as she watched him on his hands and knees picking up Connor’s mess.
“So how did you happen to be here at that precise moment?” she asked him.
He looked up at her, shaking his head. “Just lucky, I guess. I heard voices, so came on around instead of going to the front door. I figured you were here, since your car was in the driveway.”
“But why are you here?” she pressed. “Is this just my day for drop-in boyfriends?”
He smiled at her. “Obviously you have some kind of magnetic pull. Thanks for not saying ex-boyfriends.”
“Well, one, for sure,” she said emphatically. Then her voice dropped to a soft luster. “Thanks for being my knight in shining armor.”
He turned, and his eyes met hers. “My pleasure.”
She dropped a piece of glass into the wastebasket. “Of course,” she added playfully, to break the tension, “I wouldn’t have needed a knight in shining armor if I hadn’t had a boyfriend in the first place. I’m not sure one is entirely necessary.”
He straightened up, and she saw the glint in his eyes as he smiled at her. “But with me, you get both. Two-for-one bonus. It’s your lucky day,” he added as his lips met hers again. “Are you still mad at me?” he whispered into her ear.
Mad? Oh, God, how could she be? She was completely unable to withstand his magnetic pull. With a sigh, she collapsed against him. “I forgot about that for a minute.”
Darlene, it’s a pleasure having you as my guest today. Success ahead for this new novel.