Monday, June 27, 2011

DELIA LATHAM: Romance, Grandma? Really?

Don’tcha just love love?

I do. I hope I always will. And that, my friends—just in case you’re wondering—is why a 50-something grandmother would write an entire series of books based around a Christian dating agency.

(To be perfectly honest, when I got the first little mustard seed of an idea, I was eleven years younger, had only one grandchild, and hadn’t yet written a novel at all, much less a series of them.)

Here’s what happened:
Some years ago, I read a series written by an author I’d never heard of at the time. Her name is Shari MacDonald, and she has an amazing knack for humor. One of the books in that series grabbed me by the imagination and would not let go. That book, A Match Made in Heaven, struck some kind of chord in me. It made me want to write the novel I’d been promising myself for years.

Now, let’s be reasonable here. That was well over a decade ago. Don’t ask me what that pivotal novel was actually about—I don’t have a clue, other than there was a dating agency involved. It made an impression on me, and got me thinking about the matchmaking profession. Wouldn’t it be fun, I thought, to write about a place where Christian singles could go to find—in King Solomon’s words—“he (or she) whom their soul loveth?”

I stored the idea away in my brain, and every once in awhile, I took it out and played with it (not my brain—the idea). I wrote two inspirational romances, neither of which had anything to do with a dating agency, and got them published. I started a couple of other manuscripts, which I still haven’t finished.

Then I woke up one day and it was as though something clicked in my heart—like God was saying, “It’s time. Let’s do it!”

In a perfect world, I disappeared into my office and emerged three days later with a completed manuscript, painstakingly edited and ready to send to a publisher.

Uh-huh. Whoever said this was a perfect world?

No. I still wasn’t completely there. I thought about the idea while I was doing dishes; I mulled it over while driving down the road all by myself; I worked out a fun little scenario or two as I lay in bed at night, instead of counting sheep; I created and discarded a number of storylines and subplots. Weeks, months, and more months went into mentally laying the groundwork.

By the time I actually did go into my office and start writing, I had several nice little scenes all cozied up in my head, just waiting to be put on paper. And…I was no longer just writing a book based around a dating agency. Now it was a series. Three books, maybe more (depending on how well you like them). Plus, God threw in a real surprise for me.

My dating agency would be no ordinary, run-of-the-mill love connection. Sometime during all of those mental writing sessions, it received a touch of the divine. Now it had an extraordinary connection to Heaven.

I’d love to tell you all about it, but then there’d be no need to read the book(s). And I really want you to read the Solomon’s Gate Series.

Destiny’s Dream released in December 2010, and Kylie’s Kiss followed four months later, in April 2011. (Come on, admit it. You’re a little bit curious about this series!) It’s available through White Rose Publishing and Amazon. I’m eager to hear what you find between its covers, because I’m thinking different people might find different things. Divine experiences often happen that way, you know.

The third book, Gypsy’s Game, should release later this year.
Come on in. I’ll leave the Gate open for you.

On a dare, Kylie Matthews lands smack in the middle of Solomon’s Gate—Castle Creek’s new Christian dating agency—and she finds herself revealing exactly what she’s waiting for in a relationship: “The kiss that steals my breath away.”

What she doesn’t reveal is her lack of self-esteem or her irrational reaction to facial disfigurement. Neither is applicable to her quest to find the perfect match. But that seemingly superficial malady becomes all-important when her first agency-arranged date is Rick Dale—a man who is everything Kylie is searching for. He’s handsome, smart, fun. Rick has it all…including an angelic six-year-old daughter with severe scarring on one side of her face.

Hard at work founding a therapy camp for young female victims of deformity or disfigurement, Rick wants Kylie to be a part of those plans. She’d love to say yes…but how can she, when every contact with the facility’s guests—and Rick’s own daughter—will make her violently ill?

Kylie is ready to admit their relationship doesn’t stand a chance, but she’s forgotten that God makes a way where there seems no way.

Delia Latham is a born-and-bred California gal, recently transplanted to Oklahoma where she lives with her husband Johnny. She’s a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend—but above all, she treasures her role as child of the King and heir to the throne of God. Delia enjoys big, loud, happy family gatherings. When she’s not writing, she loves to play piano and sing, read, enjoy nature’s beauty, and design marketing products for authors.

A former newspaper Staff Writer and frequent contributor to her hometown’s regional publication, Bakersfield Magazine, she has also freelanced projects to a public relations firm and various magazines; has compiled, edited, and designed cover art for several book projects for Kindness Incorporated and Chuck Wall, the president/founder of that organization; and has sold greeting card verse. Many of her short stories, articles, and devotions can be found online.

Latham’s backlist of published novels includes: Goldeneyes (2008, Vintage Romance Publishing); Yesterday’s Promise (2010, White Rose Publishing); Destiny’s Dream (2010, White Rose Publishing, Solomon’s Gate Series, Book 1); and Mine! (children’s picture book, 2011, Vinspire Imaginations). Kylie’s Kiss (Solomon’s Gate, Book 2) released in April 2011. Book 3 in the Solomon’s Gate Series will also be available in 2011, with release date pending.

Find out more about Deliah Latham:


  1. I'm really interested in this series of books, and I'd love to win the oil pendant necklace.

    Lena Nelson Dooley

  2. I believe in the power of anointing oil. Please enter me for the necklace.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  3. That is so great that you were inspired by another novelist. So glad you kept your promise to yourself and finished the book!

  4. Keep 'em comin' Delia! Keep following that promise - to yourself and to the One above!

  5. I'm hoping to read more of your wonderful series. Really liked Kylie's Kiss!

  6. I truly thought I left a couple of comments here earlier, but I'm not seeing them. I'm so sorry! Cheryl, thank you for hosting me today - I do appreciate it, and it's so nice to see all these wonderful comments! Best of luck to all of you in the drawings!

  7. I really enjoyed reading Yesterday's Promise and these stories sound wonderful too. Thanks.

  8. Thank you, Martha! Readers, do remember that FOUR PRIZES still remain to be given away. You may leave comments up until midnight tomorrow, June 30th, for the drawings on July 1st. Winners will choose from pdf copies of either Destiny's Dream, Kylie's Kiss, or my self-pubbed book of devotions, Morning Rendezvous.

    So keep talking, readers...I'm still listening!

  9. It's almost to the bursting point, Cheryl! lol