Monday, June 27, 2011
Welcome Delia Latham!
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's New Book and Contest!!
"I have a beautiful oil bottle necklace from The Master's Jewels. I want to give it away for my birthday. I’ll choose a first-prize winner from all the commenters across the Blog Blitz board, and also give away one pdf copy of either Kylie’s Kiss (Book Two, Solomon's Gate Series) or Destiny’s Dream (Book One, Solomon's Gate Series) for every half dozen participating blogs. (If twelve blogs participate, I’ll give away TWO pdf books, in addition to the necklace. If I visit twenty blogs, THREE commenters will receive their choice of Kylie’s Kiss or Destiny’s Dream.)"
Excerpt from Kylie's Kiss:
Rick settled into a seat across from Kylie and Clay and sat in silence for a moment, a slight frown drawing his dark brows together. Finally he looked up, first at Clay, then in her direction. “Kylie, I haven’t had a chance to share with you about Lea, though I believe Clay knows a little.”
Her heart sank and her gaze flew to her boss, who nodded. Yes, he knew about Lea, whoever she was. This didn’t sound good. “Who’s Lea?”
“She’s my little girl.” Kylie drew in a slow, deliberate breath, forcing herself to stay calm. So he had a daughter. As long as a wife wasn’t the next announcement, she could handle that.
“You have a child. How old is she?”
“She just turned six.” Rick’s expression softened as he spoke, and Kylie knew without a doubt that Lea was his life. His green eyes, startling against the olive of his skin, met hers without flinching. “She’s a special child, Kylie. Smart, beautiful, charming….” Kylie found herself fascinated by the adorable little self-derisive grin that played about his lips. “And sweet as cotton candy.”
Kylie couldn’t help smiling. “You don’t like her much, huh?”
“She is my heart and soul.” A little sheepish, but unrepentant.
“When do we get to meet this perfect child?” Clay’s grin lit up his craggy face. “Destiny’s already looking forward to it, but be warned—she’s going to try to keep her. My wife has a thing with kids, man. She loves ’em, and they always love her right back.”
Rick laughed a little, but his tone was serious. “I hope she still feels that way after she meets Lea.” He pulled a wallet from his pocket, then sat for a moment, saying nothing.
Puzzled, Kylie watched him run slender fingers through his thick black hair. Again and again he invaded the thick waves, managing to somehow leave them only slightly mussed. Finally he opened the billfold and pulled out a photo.
When he raised his head, revealing the torment in his eyes, her heart nearly stopped. What was wrong with Lea? Whatever it was, did Rick think it would make a difference in how she or Clay might feel about the child? If so, he certainly didn’t give them much credit.
“This is Lea.” He handed the photo to Clay, who smiled and passed it on to Kylie.
“She’s a cutie all right, my friend. You weren’t exaggerating. So what’s the problem?”
Kylie wondered the same thing. The photo showed a partial silhouette of an extraordinarily beautiful child. Unlike her olive-skinned father, Lea was a vision of light. Golden hair, porcelain skin, eyes the color of a robin’s egg. Kylie met Rick’s gaze, mystified by his obvious unease. “She’s lovely.”
“Thank you. I think so.” He pulled out another photo and handed it to Clay. “In spite of this.”
Kylie’s stomach clenched and threatened to revolt. Her boss’s flinch was slight, but unmistakable. Oh, dear God, please help me handle whatever this is with grace. How ironic that her first real prayer in years would be one of such a pitifully begging nature. Somehow she knew her reaction to this photo could mean life or death for her relationship with Rick. How strange that she’d be thinking in terms of a relationship now, when only moments before she’d been ready to concede defeat.
Clay nodded slowly, then met Kylie’s eyes. He held briefly to the picture even after her fingers closed on it. His words were directed to his friend, but his gaze held hers. “You’re right, my friend. Nothing could make this child anything less than perfect.”
He released the photo into Kylie’s grip. By now she did not want to look at it. Something in Rick’s eyes and Clay’s voice told her she could be in trouble. But what choice did she have?
Her eyes moved in slow, jerking movements from Clay’s face to the photo in her hands. She gasped, overwhelmed with sympathy—and total panic.
Another silhouette, shot from the opposite side of Lea’s face. Long, lumpy red welts stained her exquisite skin, puckering her cheek into an inhuman mask. Kylie had no idea she was crying until the tears tickled her face, even as her throat closed and her stomach lurched.
The photo fluttered to the floor as she leaped to her feet. Sending the two men a desperately apologetic look, she flew out of the room with a hand over her mouth.
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