Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Goldeneyes by Delia Latham
Delia Latham is a former newspaper Staff Writer and a frequent contributor to her hometown’s regional publication, Bakersfield Magazine. She also writes greeting card verse, short stories, articles, and songs. Her editing and proofing skills have been utilized by numerous authors, including Dr. Chuck Wall, founder of the Random Acts of Kindness movement.
A debut novel, Almost Like a Song, was released in June 2006; Goldeneyes will be released in March 2008 by Vintage Romance Publishing. Delia’s work is included in an upcoming short story anthology, The Shortstack: 20 Stories to Fill You Up.
The author lives in Bakersfield, California with her husband, Johnny, a Pentecostal minister. Her four adult children and four “beautiful, absolutely perfect” grandchildren daily light up her life. She loves to hear from her readers. Contact her through her website (www.delialatham.com) or her blog (http://themelodywithin.blogspot.com.)Q. Who is Delia Latham?
A: I’m a Christian wife, married to a Pentecostal minister. My husband is the assistant pastor at our church, and I’m involved in the music ministry. I play piano and sing. I have four grown children and four beautiful, absolutely perfect granchildren – no, really, they are! We all live in Bakersfield, California. I was born here and have resided in or around this desert town my entire life.
Q: What books are on your nightstand right now?
A: Too many. I write reviews, so there’s always plenty of reading material in my room. Right now, I’m looking at Rainbow’s End by Irene Hannon, Veil of Fire by Marlo Schalesky, Abandoned Identity by Tamara Tilley – that’s just a few of the unread books. I just finished Loving Liza Jane by Sharlene MacLaren and – a little detour from the usual – The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz.
Q: Your novel, Goldeneyes, is scheduled for release in March. What is it about?
A: It’s an historical romance about a depression-era man who does something horrible to satisy his alcohol addiction, and the ripple effect his action causes in the lives of two families over twenty years later.
Q: What inspired you to write Goldeneyes?
A: I grew up in Weedpatch, the little farming community where Part One of Goldeneyes is set. I’ve always wanted to write something using that location as a backdrop. This story has been brewing in my mind for several years, but it was hard for me to get past the reality of Weedpatch in my own life and get on with turning it into a fictional tale. I prayed a lot! Once God gave me the go-ahead, He also gave me the inspiration, and I’m very pleased with the completed product.
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: Ahhh … the question every writer gets asked most often - and for me, quite possibly the hardest, because I’m not always sure. Sometimes I get ideas from little snippets of history; a few of my stories are major exaggerations of tiny occurrences in my own life or the lives of people I know; and sometimes I sit down to write with absolutely no idea what I’m going to write about. Oddly enough, those are the times I usually wind up being happiest with the results, maybe because I’m most open for God to take my writing wherever He wants to.
Q: So you don’t always plot or outline your book before you write?
A: How’d you guess? No, I write like I do most other things in my life – totally off the cuff. I’m what the writing community refers to as a SOTP: Seat-of-the-pants writer.
Q: Which authors have most influenced your own writing?
A: Too many to possibly mention here! As a child, I devoured just about every book I could get my hands on: Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, the Bobbsey Twins – even the Hardy Boys; I wasn’t gender specific as to reading material. As I got older, I graduated to romance and found Grace Livingston Hill, Barbara Cartland, Emilie Loring, and oh, yes – I discovered Harlequin Romance (oh, my!). Now some of my favorite writers are Joy Fielding, Lori Wick, Lori Copeland … the list goes on for miles. My favorite book of all time is Swan Song, by Robert McCammon – rather surprising for an inspirational author, I know, but it’s a beautifully written epic account of good vs. evil. Unforgettable!
Q: What other projects are you currently working on?
A: My current work-in-progress is surprising me by actually creating a connection between my debut novel and Goldeneyes, which I wasn’t expecting at all. I’ve also just completed something completely new - at least for me. While it’s still Christian romance, it will fit more easily into the Chick Lit genre, bringing in a touch more humor and lightheartedness than is in my other works.
Visit me at my website: www.delialatham.com
My blog: www.themelodywithin.blogspot.com
A man’s eyes are the windows to his soul … if he has one.
Deep in the darkness of a Depression-era night, a man addicted to alcohol sells something precious to obtain it. His vile action impacts the lives of two entire families, and it will be over two decades before the horrible wrong begins to be made right again.
Two young women – strangers to each other – unknowingly enmeshed in a Pandora’s Box of secrets that could prevent them from finding happiness with the men they love. Two adoring mothers who know more than they are willing to say. A newsman with a story he cannot tell. What is their connection, and who is the golden-eyed stranger who moves in the shadows of their broken lives?
The old cuckoo clock on the shelf in the front room struck midnight. It’s persistent chirping irritated Jack Kelly’s already frayed nerves as he paced back and forth across the small room.
“Shut up! Shut up!” he growled beneath his breath, casting an anxious look at the crib in the next room. When no signs of disturbed sleep were forthcoming, he breathed a grateful sigh of relief. The last thing he needed right now was a squalling infant to further vex the burning demon within him. He had promised his wife he would not spend a cent on liquor. New babies meant new expenses, and those things must come first.
So far he had kept his promise; he’d had no choice. Every penny he earned with his hoe, day after blistering day in the cotton fields, was swallowed up in scratching out a meager existence. There never seemed to be a penny extra, to say nothing of the few dollars a bottle of whiskey would cost. With the addition of this new offspring, who knew when he would be able to quench the gnawing demon of thirst that drove him insane? He had to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. The arrival of more children would only make that job harder, and it was obvious Annie did not intend to stop at one pregnancy.
Another glance into the small bedroom revealed no unwelcome stirrings from the crib. A bright moonbeam, however, lay across the bed, and Kelly’s tormented gaze fell on the lovely face of the woman he had married. He had considered himself a lucky man when she said yes to his proposal, despite her goody-two-shoes, Bible-thumping parents. If he loved anything on this poor excuse of an earth, he loved Annie. She was a perfect wife.
Their home might be barely more than a shack, but it sparkled, and she was a real wonder in the kitchen. He could not remember her voice ever raised in anger, even when he had fallen through the front door, dog drunk, a week after she married him.
Kelly’s fevered mind wandered to his conversation with the poor fish in the cotton field. Had it only been eight or nine hours ago? It seemed an eon; every moment without the drink he craved was an eternity.
Poor fella don’t know how lucky he is. Only has to worry ‘bout that pretty little gal and hisself. I bet he could buy a bottle of whiskey if he wanted one!
With the thought, an idea was born, full-blown and itching for action. He actually stopped pacing for a moment, shocked to the core by the undiluted vileness of the seed taking root in his mind. He stood staring at the crib against the far wall and shook his head as if to toss out the evil thought.
“You’re crazy,” he whispered. His heart pounded painfully against his chest; little beads of sweat dotted his forehead and chin. “You’ve done gone stark, starin’ mad!”
And perhaps he had, for suddenly he found himself across the room, gazing down into the hand-me-down crib. He was horrified at the darkness within his imagination, yet knew full well he hadn’t the strength of mind or will to resist its powerful pull.
One more almost desperate glance at his wife’s face … if she would only wake up he would have to forsake this notion, and perhaps he could rid himself of the unforgivable intent. Indeed, Annie did stir a little and drew a deep sigh, almost as though she heard his desperate mental cry. But hers was the sleep of utter exhaustion and she slumbered on.
A few moments later, Kelly slipped silently out the back door of the little shack, clutching a tiny pink bundle in his arms and blinking back the tears of shame and self-loathing that sprang unbidden to his eyes.