Monday, September 17, 2012


Welcome back, Delia. What a beautiful cover! I know you're not responsible for that, the artwork at least, but your story is what leads to the beauty created on the outside, so I can't wait to see what's inside.

I have to ask, is this a "tree-hugger" story? and what prompted it?

I guess you could call it a "tree-hugger" story...but not in the way that phrase usually implies. Tim is willing for every tree in the forest to be cut down if necessary...just not this ONE tree. I say it's a tree-hugger story because he does love this tree, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with "going green" or other environmental issues. I guess curious readers will just have to read the whole 6-chapter story to find out!

LOL Well she told me, didn't she! I guess we'll just have to give it a peek!


Tim Kerschner’s attachment to a solitary aspen on property he inherits goes much deeper than aesthetics. Can he make landscape architect Ryann Dean understand his refusal to let her chop down this single tree in a forest of them?

Ryann loves her job in Bliss, Oregon. Junior high teacher Tim Kerschner, on the other hand, she’d be happy to have never met. The man’s handsome face loses any appeal in light of his arrogance and obvious inclination to violence—the latter of which Ryann despises for reasons close to her heart.

A visit to what lies within the branches of the controversial tree could give them both a whole new outlook on life...and on each other.


“Sorry to bother you at home, Miss Dean.” The voice belonged to Amy, her assistant. “I know you planned to go straight to the school meeting today and I wanted to catch you before you got out the door.”

Adjusting her cell-phone earpiece with one hand, Ryann slipped the other arm through the sleeve of a favorite navy blazer. She jammed her right foot into a sensible white wedge pump, and then kicked at a pile of footwear on the floor of her closet. Where on earth was the other shoe?

“Well, you did, just barely. I’ll be out of here in about—oh, there it is!”

“I’m sorry, Miss Dean, what was that?”

“Nothing, sweetie. Look, will you cut out the Miss Dean stuff? I’ve told you a hundred times, I’m Ryann. You say it just like you say your brother’s name—it ought to be easy for you.” She chuckled, plowing through an explanation she had provided countless times already. “I guess my parents thought adding that extra ‘n’ made it OK to give me a boy’s name. Problem is, with it spelled this way, nobody knows how to say it unless I tell them.” She brushed a flyaway strand of dark hair off her face and caught her breath. “But I have told you, so no more Miss Dean. OK?”

“You’re the boss.” As usual, Amy skipped all the fluff and got right to the point.

The girl epitomized efficiency. So annoying.

“I just received a call from the planning committee. They want to put your presentation off until one o’clock. Mr. Kerschner can’t make it until then, and since he owns the land they want him there, of course. What shall I tell them?”

Would’ve been nice of Mr. Timothy Kerschner to provide a little advance warning.

Ryann flopped down onto the bed and kicked off the shoes she had just stepped into. She snatched a thick planner, already mentally shuffling the list of appointments and tasks lined up for the day.

“Miss Dean?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m here. And it’s Ryann, for crying out loud!” She paused, waiting for her assistant to comply. Amy didn’t, so Ryann did, but not without huffing a bit. “Just tell them it’s fine, of course. I’ll make it work somehow.”

She spent the next few minutes on the phone juggling appointments with two other clients. Each profuse apology raised her dander to a new high.

Kerschner’s well-publicized generosity had won the heart of every parent, teacher, and public official in town. A sixth-grade English teacher at Bliss Junior High and great-grandson of one of the town’s founding fathers, Kerschner had inherited the large piece of acreage adjacent to the family homestead when his uncle, the last of the previous generation of Kerschners, passed away a couple of months ago. He gained instant local celebrity status when he offered a portion of the land to the school district to be used for new administrative quarters, thereby freeing up the buildings they were currently housed in for several more classrooms and a rather sizeable expansion of the library.

Which was all well and good, but it didn’t give the man a right to play God with other people’s time.

“Whatever.” Purse hanging off one shoulder and the all-important planner tucked under one arm, Ryann snatched her car keys off the kitchen table and slammed the door, muttering under her breath. “Doesn’t matter what you think. Kerschner is the current darling of local government, so you’ll cater to his every whim and pretend you like it.”

Glancing into the rearview mirror as she backed off her gravel drive and onto the roadway, Ryann twisted her face into a wry grimace. “Not a lot of choice, is there, Ry? You need this job if you want to stay in Bliss.” She tapped a finger on the mirror, teasing a smile from her dour reflection. “And you do, so get the job. Think positive.”

Nor would she allow a little schedule adjustment to spoil her day—not with such incredible beauty splashed so generously over the countryside on the drive from her cabin to the newly arranged first meeting of her work week. She never grew tired of the forests that crowded the back roads, which she chose whenever possible over the busier freeways. As always, she found herself soothed by the pine-scented air and the lush green of the Douglas firs marching up and down each side of the road.

Here and there, a stand of hemlock, spruce or cedar interrupted the visual monotony, along with wild tangles of berry bushes and wildflowers spread out in a vivid array of vibrant color.

Perfect. With the radio off, no one screamed out dark lyrics set to a cacophony of instrumentals that passed for music; no media evangelist pandered to the masses with more focus on bringing in an extra dollar than in reaching needy souls; and perhaps most pleasing of all, no reporter spread horrible news about random acts of senseless violence.

Senseless. The only word she knew to describe the evil that men do. It made no sense when a mother walked into a convenience store for a loaf of bread and never walked out, but that’s what had happened to hers.

Twelve-year-old Ryann had dealt with the loss with determined stoicism and the constant love and support of her father. What choice had there been? Still, she’d like nothing better than to make it through the rest of her life without hearing, seeing, or coming into contact with any kind of violence, random or otherwise.

Forcing the errant thoughts to the furthest corners of her mind, unwilling to face the demons they awakened, she focused once more on the breathtaking surroundings. A smile of pure pleasure tugged at the corners of her lips, and she allowed it to come out and play across her face.

Happiness was living in Bliss, Oregon.


Wow! What a big punch wrapped in such a small package! The pain and heartache felt by both Ryann and Tim is amazing, and the way God uses it in each of their lives is awesome. (Talk about showing that "All things work together for good to them that love God...") I can't believe in these few pages that the lessons of forgiveness and not judging are both brought out in such fine detail.  And oh yeah, she brought tears to my eyes once again. I loved it! Nice job, Ms. Latham!

About the author:

Born and raised in a place called Weedpatch, Delia Latham moved from California to Oklahoma in 2008, making her a self-proclaimed California Okie. She loves to read and write in her simplecountry home, and gets a kick out of watching her husband play Farmer John. The author enjoys multiple roles as Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. She loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her through her website or send an e-mail to


  1. Looks great! Best wishes with this story.

  2. Looks like a great read. :) I'm intrigued about his attachment to this tree...

  3. Donna, what a sweet review - and you have the honor of having written the very FIRST review for this short tale. :) I appreciate your constant willingness to help other authors get the word out about their new releases - and I'm thrilled that you enjoyed TREEHOUSE. :) May God bless you RICHLY for being such a generous, giving person!

    Carla and Patty...thanks for stopping in to check out TREEHOUSE!

  4. I'm looking forward to reading your story, Delia. Many blessings on your new book! May it touch many lives for Jesus Christ.


  5. Thank you, MaryAnn!

  6. I had the pleasure of an advance read on Treehouse and it is a keeper. Congratulations, Delia. Great post, Donna!

  7. Thanks for stopping by everyone...gotta love that tree!

  8. Glad you find it so, Sheila - that's the goal! :D

    Mary, thank you AGAIN for reading TREEHOUSE in advance for me! Knowing you liked it gave me courage to submit.

  9. Oh, Delia, you strike again with a wonderful story and a heart-tugging, intense story line! Yes, I devoured Treehouse while in north Michigan with my family, and am posting the review to Amazon in just a few minute. You're a gem!! God bless, my friend.

  10. Congrats, Delia, on another terrific story!

  11. Marianne, I can't tell you how much it means to know an author I respect and admire as much as I do you actually LIKES my story! :) Thank you so much - can't wait to read your review.

    Tanya and JoAnn - thank you, ladies! Y'all are the best!

  12. Donna, thank you so much for sharing space on your lovely blog to let people know about TREEHOUSE! :)

  13. This provide you some basic steps and easy instructions to make a nice tree house. I will surely happy to visit him. There are also share some idea there where in the materials needed are from things around your house.

    Tree House Plans