Strawberry Wine is on Sale Now!

Need an escape from the winter blahs? How about snuggling up with a sweet, summer romance? The eBook of STRAWBERRY WINE is on sale now for only $0.99—and just in time for Valentine’s Day! Get your copy now before the sale ends. Click HERE to purchase (and please consider leaving an Amazon review, they’re super important)!

small-official-strawberry-wine-coverHow do you know if a first love is made to last?

Addison Monroe was eighteen when she fell for Jake Grady, a college student working on her family’s farm for the summer. With his sapphire eyes and killer smile, Jake could have had any girl in Lakeside, Georgia. But he wanted Addy, and for those brief, wonderful months—before circumstances drove them irrevocably apart—they belonged to each other.

Ten years later, Addy is engaged to a doctor and working in Atlanta as a physician’s assistant. Life feels full and satisfying. Yet memories of that long-ago summer and wine-flavored kisses are hard to shake. On a return visit to Lakeside, Addy crosses paths with Jake again, and soon finds herself at an unexpected crossroads. So much has changed, and Addy has chosen another route. And the magic of first love can never be rekindled…can it?

Read Month on Swoon Reads

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What is Swoon Reads?

Swoon Reads, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing under Feiwel & Friends, has created a website and app where serious writers can submit their completed and unpublished young adult and new adult manuscripts and readers (like you and me!) can read for free and then rank and comment on our favorite stories! You can even leave feedback for authors that will be extremely helpful for when they go back to make edits.

How is this site different than other reading/writing websites? 

When readers rank and comment on their favorite Swoon Reads stories, it can attract the attention of the editors who will then look at those manuscripts more closely and choose which titles they’re interested in publishing! In fact, right now is Read Month, and your reads, ranks, and comments are so very important to help decide what gets published next!

Is it true that titles published by Swoon Reads are turning into TV shows and movies?

Yes! Swoon Reads has recently partnered with A+E Studios to develop their titles for TV and film! You can read more about their partnership HERE!

Is there a deadline?

You can submit to Swoon Reads anytime, but each year is divided into three seasons that end in approximately January, April, and August (times are subject to change). That means, there’s no rush! Submit whenever you and your manuscript are ready!

Is there a cost?

Swoon Reads is absolutely free for both readers and writers! All you have to do is create an account and you’re ready to go!

Will my work be protected?

Swoon Reads takes theft and plagiarism very seriously and they do their best to make sure each work is protected. Cutting, copying, and pasting are not permitted, neither is printing or downloading. And all members of the Swoon Reads community must agree to the terms and conditions provided by the site.

Where can I learn more?

Just click HERE for more information!

Darly, do you have a manuscript posted on Swoon Reads?

LOL, I’m so glad you asked, and I do! It’s called My First Kiss (and Other Summer Disasters) and it’s available to read for free! And if you’ve read it, don’t forget to rank and comment—I’d love to know what you think! The deadline for this season’s voting ends 11:59 p.m. EST on February 28th, 2019. Happy reading!

 

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My First Kiss (and Other Summer Disasters)

Fifteen-year-old dyslexic Gwen Lincoln has three goals before sophomore year begins: experience her first kiss; find a way to get rid of her chipmunk cheeks once and for all; and her most important mission, escape the separation of her parents, something she has yet to mention to her free-spirited, yet slightly unstable, best friend Hartley MacKenna, whose house she’s visiting in New Orleans over summer break.

With Hartley taking charge of her ambitious to-do list, Gwen’s summer of change begins, but nothing prepares her for meeting Sullivan “Sully” Reed, the impossibly cute soccer player next door, who to her utter disbelief, asks her on a date.

Caught between living her life and trying to run away from it, Gwen tentatively conforms to Hartley’s adventure-seeking world. From lip-syncing on stage at a transvestite club, having their tarot cards read by a blind Haitian psychic, ghost-hunting at an abandoned plantation or spending the day volunteering at a shelter for homeless teens, Gwen’s longing to embrace the sun-kissed wetlands of Louisiana and broaden her previously limited horizons is coming true. But when she discovers the devastating secret her friends have been hiding-a secret that could mean the difference between life and death-she must learn to face her own demons (with a little guidance from the big-hearted Creole drag queen down the street) or surrender herself to a tragic reality.

*All information obtained for this post was found on the Swoon Reads website and in blogs. 🙂

It’s My Book Birthday!!!

I can’t believe it’s finally here! As of today, I am officially a published author. EEP!!!

But I had lots of help getting here. First, I’d like to thank Kensington Publishing and Wattpad for providing this amazing opportunity. Without them, I can honestly say publishing would have never happened. I’d also like to thank the countless authors I’ve met and wonderful friends I’ve made along the way. Their consistent kindness and support encouraged me to pursue my dream. And finally, my deepest gratitude, respect and love goes out to every person who has read my book, including my oldest and dearest friends and family. If it weren’t for you, Strawberry Wine would still be a story stuck in my head. THANK YOU all from the bottom of my heart!

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How do you know if a first love is made to last?

Addison Monroe was eighteen when she fell for Jake Grady, a college student working on her family’s farm for the summer. With his sapphire eyes and killer smile, Jake could have had any girl in Lakeside, Georgia. But he wanted Addy, and for those brief, wonderful months—before circumstances drove them irrevocably apart—they belonged to each other.

Ten years later, Addy is engaged to a doctor and working in Atlanta as a physician’s assistant. Life feels full and satisfying. Yet memories of that long-ago summer and wine-flavored kisses are hard to shake. On a return visit to Lakeside, Addy crosses paths with Jake again, and soon finds herself at an unexpected crossroads. So much has changed, and Addy has chosen another route. And the magic of first love can never be rekindled…can it?

Available now and please feel free to share with your romance-loving friends! 🙂

Kensington   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-A-Million   iTunes   Google Play   Kobo

See You In 2017!

 

Fresh starts and positive changes come to mind as we bring in the new year, and I know many are thrilled to say goodbye to 2016. Instead of focusing on what went wrong this year, I’ve been trying to remember all of the things that went right. In addition to making some wonderful new friends, I feel I’ve grown – not only as a person but as a writer. So as we celebrate 2017 and all it has to offer, I’ll be counting my blessings and wishing you more. May the new year bring you much happiness and good fortune!

Love Always,

Darly

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What Makes A Good Romance?

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When I was younger, I used to borrow books from the library. No, no — I don’t mean check them out with my library card. I mean borrow them. You know: stuff one inside my book bag before anyone noticed, smuggle it out of the library and into my house then read it underneath the privacy of my covers by the dim yellow glow of a flashlight swiped from my father’s work bench. When I put the book up for the night, I’d carefully conceal it underneath my mattress where my parents would never find it. And when I finally finished it, I’d return it to its rightful place on the library shelf and find another.

Borrow, read, return, and repeat.

What genre was I so secretive about? Romance, of course. Something eleven-year-old me wasn’t allowed to read, and something adult me still can’t get enough of.

On January 31st, 2017, my very own romance novel will be sitting on book store shelves. True story! But between you and me, I never intended to publish. Not that I didn’t want to. It had always been something I’d fantasized about, even as a child. I just didn’t think something like that could ever happen to someone like me. So when I wrote Strawberry Wine, I wrote it for me. I wrote it for the story that played over and over inside my head every time I heard the song by the same name on the radio, performed by country singer Deana Carter. I never actually thought anyone would read it! And now, as I contemplate my second published novel, I’m left to wonder: what makes a great romance? Here are my thoughts:

  • The main ingredient is … you guessed it. Romance. Romance has to be the main plot. Not just sex. I mean, sex is good. Very good. But I want the whole will they or won’t they end up together? I want the slow burn of infatuation that inevitably builds into a raging inferno of love (so cheesy, I know!).
  • I want meaningful connections with secondary characters. They help make the story more believable. And above all else, authenticity is a must. Secondary characters give the story depth and can be an excellent way to introduce a bit of contrast or comedy. Even tragedy, if you must.
  • I want conflict. Not in real life, of course, but in books. The best way to do this is to make sure at least one of your main characters is fighting the relationship. Do they have a history of failed affairs? Are they damaged in some way? Suffering from a horrific loss? Is the romance forbidden? Internal conflict is more important than external conflict (and yes, you need both) because the reader needs to be left wondering will they or won’t they end up together? It’s especially successful if the internal conflict and the external conflict come into play simultaneously. It gets me every single time!
  • Perfection is for chumps! I don’t want perfect characters, I want them to be flawed. I want them to be human; to be real. I want them to make mistakes and I want consequences to their actions. Imperfect characters make for better storytelling, and writers want readers to experience emotions through the characters they’ve created. Not only that, but by the end of the story, your characters need to have grown. They can’t grow if they have no weakness.
  • I, myself, want that happy ending. At least in a romance. It’s a must! By the end of the book, I want to have fallen in love with the couple and their journey, and I want them to end up together. But this isn’t always the case. A happy ending isn’t guaranteed, and some readers are okay with that. It’s all a matter of personal preference. Happy endings are mine. What’s yours?

These are what make a good romance for me, but what makes a good romance for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Introducing Wattpad Studios – Aron Levitz will lead new division as head of Wattpad Studios

(Reblogged)

One more amazing thing to look forward to from Wattpad!

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At Wattpad, we believe that the future of entertainment will be driven by communities of storytellers and backed by powerful data and insights. Today, we are one step closer to this future with the introduction of Wattpad Studios.

Operating like a multi-channel network (MCN), Wattpad Studios will partner with the entertainment industry to co-produce Wattpad stories for print, film, television, and digital platforms.

With insights on approximately 250 million original story uploads and access to over two million creators, Wattpad is in a unique position to partner with the entertainment industry. Wattpad stories reflect what people love in life, on the screen, and in the depths of their imaginations; and as a result, Wattpad stories are always culturally relevant. With Wattpad Studios, entertainment executives can keep their finger on the pulse of pop culture and also reduce the guesswork involved during the traditional development process.

Aron Levitz has been promoted…

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