Winter Blogfest: Darlene Deluca

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win your choice of a digital copy of one of my novels. 

Snow Is a Four-Letter Word by Darlene Deluca

Snow. Snow is a four-letter word. To me, it’s a terrible word and a terrible thing! To me, it means cold and gray days. It means the hassle of wearing hats and gloves and coats and scarves. It means difficult driving conditions, car accidents and shoveling injuries that can wreak havoc in lives.

Okay, I grant you that it can be pretty. A frosty winter wonderland of snow-dusted trees can be a pretty sight when I’m curled up inside with a book and a warm beverage. Here in the Midwest, there’s no avoiding it, so of course, I’ve made snowmen (and other assorted snow-figures) with my kids. I’ve done sledding and snow angels. I’ve gone snow skiing. And I know a lot of people love those things.

But they wear me out. I just wasn’t made for freezing temps! When people get excited about cooler temps in fall, I start to dread what comes next. I would enjoy fall a lot more if it didn’t lead to winter. If only we could go into “second summer!”

Summer is my season. Give me sunshine over snow any day. I enjoy the freedom of summer–longer days and pretty sundresses and sandals that don’t confine my feet. Pair those things with cold beverage and a pool or ocean breeze, and I’m in my happy place.

Believe it or not, a mountain ski resort is the setting for my new holiday romance, Christmas at Tall Pines. And Melanie, the leading lady, pretty much sums up my feelings about skiing:

So, what brings you to Tall Pines? Is your family coming for Christmas?”

Tyler hitched his shoulders. “Nah. I’m gonna ski for a couple of days then meet everyone for Christmas.” Grinning, he rubbed his hands together and cocked his head toward the doors. “I do love me some fresh powder.”

Melanie glanced out the windows where snow fell, as it had all day. Good for skiing, which she wouldn’t be doing. She was born bookish and un-athletic, and she accepted those things at an early age. For her, fresh powder meant a visit to the cosmetic counter—or a reason to stay inside by the fireplace with a good book.

For me, the highlight of winter—in fact, the only redeeming feature of winter—is Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday. I enjoy decorating, making cookies, gatherings with friends and family, holiday carols and movies, and gift-giving. (Of course, shopping is much more pleasant done without snow…just saying!)

I suppose that’s why I juxtaposed a cold, snowy setting with the warm feels of Christmas for my newest book. Cozy up by the fire with a warm beverage and a book, and bring on the Christmas cheer!

Melanie Beck is searching for an idyllic Christmas like the ones her small family used to have. Traveling solo and still grieving the loss of her parents, she’s counting on cozy Tall Pines Lodge tucked into the mountains of Utah to provide the elusive holiday feels with merry music, stunning decorations and traditional Christmas feast in a beautiful frosty setting.

But a blizzard turns the winter wonderland into a hazard, and a chance encounter with a now-famous high school crush has her reeling with emotions she’s never quite gotten over.

Tyler Shaw, a Hollywood heartthrob and silver screen star, is so over a grueling film schedule and persistent paparazzi. In disguise and using a fake name, he comes to Tall Pines to escape the spotlight and get some much-needed rest. He’s hoping the adrenaline rush of downhill skiing at the nearby slopes will give him the reboot he’s looking for.

Instead, he’s stuck at the lodge and is shocked to run into an old high school friend that he left behind more than a decade ago. He’s even more surprised to discover how much he’s missed her.

As their past and present collide, can an old flame ignite some Christmas magic?

Darlene Deluca writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction that explores relationships – what brings people together or keeps them apart.

Her intent is to bring to life interesting characters that readers can relate to in real-life situations that combine a little fun, plenty of drama (with perhaps a tear or two), and big helpings of friendship, love and self-discovery, and will leave readers either cheering or sighing with a satisfied smile as they turn the final page.

The Kansas City author enjoys getting lost in a good story with a glass of tea, a bit of dark chocolate and a warm, sunny beach.

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