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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Delia Latham's Destiny's Dream Review/Contest/Giveaway

I asked to review Delia Latham's book, Destiny's Dream--Book One in her Solomon's Gate series--because I loved the premise.

Here's a blurb: 

Is a little respect too much to ask at a parent’s funeral?

Apparently it is for Destiny May. Clay Gallagher is built like a small mountain and far more vocal than is fitting when he shows up late to her mother’s “going away party.” When it turns out he’s not even at the right funeral, Destiny demands retribution in the form of an escape from the day’s dreary proceedings. Spending time with a handsome stranger who makes her laugh is more therapeutic than fighting with her overbearing family.

Clay finds Destiny beautiful, charming...and intelligent. So why is she stubbornly determined to open a Christian dating service? Clay has little respect for such a frivolous profession, and doesn’t think the small, conservative town of Castle Creek will welcome such a progressive business. But when Destiny is threatened by an anonymous caller who deeply resents her and what she does for a living, Clay makes it his business to keep the saucy redhead out of harm’s way.

Trouble is, spending time in her company weakens his defenses, and Destiny may be the one thing Clay can’t escape...if he even wants to.
The funeral scene had me laughing out loud at the ludicrousness of it. What a fantastic and fresh way for the hero and heroine to meet! Well done, Delia! :)

My main reason for wanting to review this book was because of the Christian dating service Destiny founds, called Solomon's Gate. I've got an interest in the mechanics of these types of businesses, and I loved how Delia portrayed such a new version. It's different from eHarmony or Destiny's is more personal, and she spends a lot of time in prayer of her applicants, anointing the applications with oil as she does so.

I appreciated how she felt it was her calling from God to open this business. Even in the face of adversity, Destiny comes across as rock solid in her faith and this calling. It's a great reminder of how strong the Lord's work in our lives can be when we're working together with him instead of against him. Even the prejudice the hero has against the business is dealt with credibly. There are many people out there who are extremely uncomfortable with this type of business, and I thought it great tension-building fodder for the hero to have an issue with it.

For those romantics out there, you won't be disappointed, although Delia doesn't wait until the very end for you to know who's ending up with who. She throws in some delicious curve balls, though, which I enjoyed. (Hello, CJ!) I also appreciated the suspenseful aspect of the threatening caller. It was realistically done because Delia didn't paint a pretty picture of this side of humanity. Sadly, I know people in my practice who would do the same thing.

Delia is running a contest on her website for those interested in winning a beautiful decorative bottle and anointing oil to fill it. Check it out here! The more entries you leave at various stops on her blog tour, the greater your chances of winning.

Also, she's agreed to give away one .pdf copy of her book to one lucky commenter today! You have to be a follower to be eligible. Leave a comment and tell me if you've had any experiences with dating services, Christian or not. Include your email in a non-spam format (yourname at hotmail dot com) to enter. That's it!

To connect with Delia, you can find her at her website, blog, Facebook Reader Page, or newsletter.

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Debbie Burns said...

So I haven't had direct experience with dating services, by mom used one a lot while I was a teenager. It was a Christian service too. You'd think that might make it... I don't know... safer? Well it didn't. I couldn't believe the guys she was paired with. Crazies. I can still remember one guy showing up at the house with his shirt halfway unbuttoned, hair spilling out, and SEVERAL gold chains resting on top the forest of hair. Yum (read: ewwww... who screened this guy?). Too bad eHarmony wasn't around at that time! hehe

Debbie Burns said...

Lame... I forgot my email... sorry. Thanks!

debbie at burnsfam dot org

Delia Latham said...

Jeannie, thank you so much! I always enjoy your take on various books, and it was especially fun to see what you had to say about Destiny's Dream. (I'm sooo glad you liked it!)

Deborah, it's unfortunate that Destiny wasn't around to screen the applicants at whatever dating agency your mother used! It's exactly this type of unconcern that has given the arranged dating scene such a bad name. I'm convinced that handling it with prayer and a genuine concern for the applicants could make a big difference.

I thought I posted this earlier, but it didn't show up. Jeannie, it this is a duplicate post, just delete it. :)

Tracy Krauss said...

Great review. so many books ... so little time ... !

Tanya Stowe said...

I so love the premise of this story. Can't wait to read it!

Delia Latham said...

Jeannie does a great job of playing up interesting parts of the book, Tracy. And you're right about seeps away like water through a sieve!

Hey, Tanya! Thanks for stopping by.

April Gardner said...

I agree! The funeral thing is the most original thing I've heard in a while. I've never used a dating service, but know several happy couples who have!

Anonymous said...

Opening with a funeral is a bit touchy...some editors don't like the idea at all. I'm so glad White Rose Publishing DID like it! :)

I've never used a dating service either, but the concept fascinated me when I read about it in a novel over a decade ago. Of course, my first reaction was, "What if?" What if there was a dating agency targeted at a Christian market? What if that agency had a sort of divine connection to Heaven? All kinds of what ifs came into play before I actually got it writeen.

Thanks for stopping in, April!

Anonymous said...

This book sounds fantastic! I love the premise, and I'll bet it's hilarious. I would love to read it!

Deb Piccurelli

Anonymous said...

I hope you do, Deb - and I hope you love it! :)

Donna B said...

Sounds great, Delia! What an original way to begin a romance! LOL I can't wait to read this one!

God bless!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Donna! I'll be interested to hear what you think. :)

Vickie McDonough said...

Hey Delia! I've been married longer than dating services have been around. LOL, but what a great idea for a book. Love the cover, and that's a great picture of you!


Delia Latham said...

I have been too, Vickie. I think that's why I was so caught up in the concept when I first read about a matchmaking service. lol Thanks for stopping by!

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

DEB - you are the winner! i'll email you and delia to make sure you get your free .pdf!

thanks everyone for participating!

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Both comments and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed your time on the couch today.