Tag Archives: Delilah

A Review from an English Professor (my father)

I was searching for my first book’s manuscript on my computer and came across this article my father wrote about my book. He used to write a column in our hometown local newspaper. His review made me happy and I wanted to share it. My dad loves opera, serious mystery novels, and the Far Side. I’m sure it is the Far Side part of him that found appreciation in my little Chick Lit novel. Thank you, Daddy. I love you.

My dad and I.

My Daughter, the Novelist, by Rick Thurman (7 March 2012)

            This column provides me with an opportunity—and I’m unabashed when I say this—to do some bragging.  After all, not everyone can say that he is the father of a novelist!

            Some time ago (maybe ten years ago, maybe longer) our daughter Victoria began writing accounts of some of her experiences on various dates.  I suppose that I was idly interested in her “hobby” at the time I first heard of it, but I became increasingly impressed as I continued to hear references to this activity.  Eventually she announced to us that she was writing a novel about a young woman whose experiences with men were suggested by her own.  Last fall she entered the ranks of published authors as a result of following the path that more and more writers are taking these days: self-publishing. 

            Her novel is entitled The Dating Dilemmas of Delilah Dunnfield.  The title character, who goes by the nickname Deli, is a 24-year old woman whose mother has always emphatically warned her that “all the good ones are taken by the time you’re 25.”  As a result, Deli is searching, almost desperately, for Mr. Right.  Her search is both frantic and hilarious.  Maybe it’s hilarious because it’s so frantic!  Victoria swears that many of the adventures, or misadventures, Deli has are almost precise accounts of her own encounters with the opposite sex. 

            I must say at this point that I have next to no interest in or experience with “chick lit.”  It is probably true that this novel is the first such work I have ever read.  I began to read it with interest, of course, because the author carries my DNA, but I was not many pages into it before I began reading it for itself—as an interesting and well-written story.

            Indeed, I was truly impressed with the quality of the writing.  I had had long experience with Victoria’s delightfully eccentric sense of humor, and I was pleased to find that quality exhibited in full measure on almost every page.  I was almost more impressed, however, to see what a good writer she is!  To be honest, I don’t know to what degree skill in writing may be inherited.  While I would like to claim some credit for the merit of the novel, I hardly dare do so.  (When she asked me to proofread and edit the galley pages, my first question to her was, “Does it have a beginning, a middle, and an end?”  She assured me that it does.  I don’t know why I was so skeptical!) 

The Story Behind “Delilah” Part I

I had a very bad experience at my first job out of college and I moved back home to recoup. What was going to be a temporary layover in my life journey, ended up being two years. (My whole life is filled with long stories, so I’m just going to keep moving forward with my Delilah story.) I turned twenty-four a month after I moved back home. Then I turned twenty-five and twenty-six. Still at home. I remember going on a date and later that night, my dad said, “Victoria! He is a redneck!” But who else was I going to meet in a redneck southern town? It was slowly dawning on me, that I needed to kick myself out of the house. But I still didn’t know how to do it.

One morning, before I moved out, I woke up and a title for a book was given to me by God (the Universe). It just flowed through my mind. The Dating Dilemmas of Delilah Dunnfield. It would be about a southern girl approaching twenty-five and realizing if she didn’t leave the small town, she may end up an old maid. Her mother told her all through her growing up years that “all the good ones are gone by the time you reach twenty-five.”

It came from the fact that my mother told all of us kids (five) that all the good ones are gone by the time you reach twenty-five. Well, there was no hope for me, I was already well into my twenty-sixth year. But maybe my character would have better luck than me and I could live vicariously through her. So, I started writing a novel in October 1996. A novel about a young woman coming of age in her twenties. I had no idea at the time that I had been a part of a collective consciousness forming the genre Chick Lit. “Bridget Jones” was published in 1996. But I didn’t know this until the movie came out in 2001. I read a couple Jane Green novels in 1998. I still didn’t know the significance of these books. I was still writing my book.

My handmade cover before the real one.

I moved to Memphis in November 1996 and then moved to Atlanta in November 1997. Still collecting experiences to add to my book. I went to a Microsoft Office seminar once in Atlanta with one of my first corporate jobs and I was telling the instructor about my book. When she heard the title she said, “That sounds like a best seller!” I have never forgotten that. And why should it not be? The book was Inspired and given to me by God. This story means so much to me. I will never give up on it.

I moved to Denver in 2000 and met some amazing creative writers. (Which is a whole other blog story.) In 2005 I found out about Pikes Peak Writers Group and their annual writing conference. Wow. I had never joined a writing group before. I had just been floating around trying to figure things out on my own. I went to the conference and was so amazed. I found my people! I never knew life was so LIFE before. I never knew how I could be so connected to my dreams before!

I had not completed “Delilah” yet, but I joined a class taught by a coveted literary agent to gain feedback on my first few pages. Boy, was I slashed and trashed. No one volunteered to read first, and I had so much confidence in my story that I decided I would be brave and go for it. I read the first three pages with confidence and then she tore it to pieces. I wanted to crawl under my chair and die.

“Nobody laughed because we didn’t know what was going on!” On and on it went. I personally don’t think anyone was listening to me, because they were probably too nervous about reading their own story. And I can also say, NO ONE volunteered to go second.

I dragged my little story and broken heart home with me and began re-working it. A couple of months later I saw an email come through from Pikes Peak Writers to enter a contest, mimicking American Idol. You could read any place in your book that you wanted to read from. It had to last three minutes. And the sign up was first come first serve. I immediately signed up. I had two weeks to prepare for the event. I bought crazy pajamas to act the part of Delilah. I re-worked my favorite chapter (Welcome Guests) to read for the three-minute time slot and I memorized it. I could not wait for everyone to be introduced to Delilah the proper way.

My friend who lived in Colorado Springs invited me to spend the night at her house and I invited her to be my guest at the event. We sat at a table in the back of the room. There were a little less than a hundred people in the room and I think fifteen contestants would read. There were four judges, one being a Hollywood screenwriter, one an editor, and two authors. I think my number to read was twelve. So I had a long wait. I was very nervous. I left the table to go change from my dress into my pajamas. When I got back to the table my friend was gone and none other than Ms. Slash and Trash herself was sitting in her place! Gulp.

“This seat is saved,” she said. She recognized me and my lame beginning. Sigh.

“Oh, it’s my table and my friend.”

“Oh, I didn’t know. She just asked me to make sure to save the seats.”

“Okay. Thanks. Hi,” I nervously smiled.


Sit. Sit. Sit. Wait. Wait. Then my friend, Pam finally came back over and started a conversation with Slash and I. Whew.

Halfway into the readings of serious literary stories, or young adult fiction, the Hollywood screenwriter hollered out to the room, “Anyone got any Chick Lit out there?” I raised my hand. Oh my goodness! I was the only one, and he was really wanting to hear my story. Then it was my turn to read. I stood at the podium with a spotlight shining on me and ninety people in front of me. All eyes were on me. Gulp.

I decided it was best not to go from memory, but to just read from the paper. (Of course, since I had it memorized, I just used paper as a guide.) I did all the voices and Southern accents and dramatizations. After the second sentence the whole room burst into laughter. YES! Take that, Slash!

Laughter rang out throughout my whole three minutes and I was in heaven. At the end the judges took turns telling me their opinions. It was all so good. “What a way to meet your dream guy- in handcuffs with your mail!” “How many of us have had our underwear stolen from the laundry?” Everyone agreed it was hilarious and relatable. The only real criticism was that I needed to expand more on one area when the cops come to the door. (Which I later did, in a way that really happened to me in fifth grade and I doubt those judges would have ever guessed it would have worked so well.)

After the remaining three contestants read their stories, the judges left to deliberate on the four main prizes to be given. First thirty pages to be read by Donald Maas… People’s choice (voted by everyone in the room), first thirty pages to be read by Slash and another thirty-page reading prize by another agent.

My name was called. MY NAME WAS CALLED! I got up to walk to the stage and then they had me turn around and told me I won the Ms. Slash and Trash prize. (Of course, they used her real name.) Oh my goodness!

Delilah Dunnfield the Valentine’s Vamp

For Vday blog Event page

I am honored to be participating in another indieBRAG Blog Hop. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our readers! My first book is called The Dating Dilemmas of Delilah Dunnfield and I have been slowly but surely working on the sequel. I am going to give you all a peak into the sequel. I hope you enjoy it!

Delilah Dunnfield the Valentine’s Vamp, a chapter from Daylight Dawns on Delilah Dunnfield by Victoria L. Thurman

I raced in the door, my hands full with my purse, keys, and a beautiful bouquet of a dozen red roses that Ben sent me at work. My first real (happy, guilt free) Valentine’s flowers ever! I tripped over Boots, who meowed and then tried to bite my ankle. It was already 5:25 and Ben was coming to pick me up at 7:30 for our Valentine’s dinner. Our Valentine’s dinner. Me and someone I really liked. Me AND someone I really liked. I couldn’t believe it was real. I figured I would get hit by a bus before this day ever came. I had to find something special to wear.

Boots had a change of heart and rubbed up against my legs. He seemed to meow “feed me, please.” I ran in the kitchen and put my flowers on the counter and raced to get Boots’ dinner. He sniffed it and walked away. Typical.

I was drying off from my shower, when I heard a loud crash and breaking glass. I bolted out of the bathroom and to find Boots sitting on the counter looking down at the dozen red roses and baby’s breath laying on the floor. That cat had no idea how much time he was costing me. I should have found an outfit on Sunday when I’d had time.

“Why, Boots, why?!”

I put my slippers on and picked my way across the linoleum. I gathered my fifteen pound, longed haired cat in my arms and took him back to my bed. I closed the bedroom door and ran back to the kitchen to sweep and mop up. I should have remembered he loves flowers and plants. I think that cat loves them more than I do. Ever since I rescued him from the flood and never let him outside, he acts like he is in prison. Always trying to eat the plants I bring in and always trying to escape. But then there are the times when cuddles up in the crook of my neck and sleeps next to me and I know he loves me and really doesn’t want to escape.

Boots lounged on the bed and was watching me fifteen minutes later standing in a pool of clothes around my feet. I sank down into the pile and shook my head in defeat, “Boots, it’s impossible. I’m running out of time. I have nothing to wear. I knew I should have taken the day off from work. Why didn’t I realize how important this night would be to me? Bootsie, I never had a real Valentine’s Day before. What am I supposed to be, act like, wear, do? Hair up or down? Evening dress or slacks or jeans?”

I let a long sigh and decided I had no more time to waste. “First of all Boots, I need to do my hair and make-up. That way when I try on an outfit, I can get the full effect.” Boots looked at me and meowed. I took that as agreement.

I smiled at myself in the mirror, dark burgundy lipstick for sex appeal, or light shimmery pink for the innocent look? My hair was a win. I used my curling brush to straighten out my kinky curls and created large soft curls. My brown hair showcased the natural highlights when I blew it out straight.

I dug through the pile of clothes and found my slutty yet conservative shirt. I paired it with my black skirt that was cut above the knees and knee high black boots with the spikey heels. (Hand me over from Jeannie.) A little dark purple eyeshadow and dark purple lipstick (curtesy from a free gift of make-up at the cosmetic counter at Flaire’s Department store). I strutted around in front of my full length mirror wrapping a black feather boa around my neck and batting my eyelashes. Maybe I was expected to be sexy and like a bad girl. Maybe my first Valentine’s was going to be like other people’s prom night. Maybe Ben had made reservations at a hotel and we were going to… oh no. But I had to be ready just in case. I certainly didn’t want to say no to the one person I longed to say yes to.

Boots sat on the bed watching me. I lowered my lashes and whispered in my best smoldering sexy voice, “Well, hello, Bigboy. Come and get it.”

I heard a strangled noise come from the black and white fluff ball staring at me from the bed. I turned, “No?” He gave me a look of disgust and licked his paw.

Hmm. I sighed and figured I could never go through with a bad girl image. What a joke. I found my green and plaid button up shirt, jeans and brown boots.

Oh no. Lord, I can’t wear this! I looked like a boy! A boy learning the lumber jack trade from his father. Maybe it was because I washed my face and didn’t reapply make up. I quickly redid make-up with green eye shadow and burgundy. Ugh! Now I look like the boy’s sister learning the lumberjack trade!

“It’s 7:17! What am I going to do!”

I found my old prom dress. Did I still fit it? Green satin skirt that flared out from an emerald sequined sleeveless bodice. I squeezed in the best I could. Although I couldn’t breathe very well, I turned to look in the mirror.
Boots looked up at me and then looked away curling up in a ball, like there was no hope for me. Fine. I didn’t need his opinion anyway. I knew what to do.

My underarms sweat profusely from my panic attack. I stripped down again and dried off. As I was reapplying antiperspirant I glanced in my closet and saw an option I hadn’t thought of still hanging inside. My pink monogrammed boyfriend shirt. It was perfect. Ben was my boyfriend. He didn’t expect bad girl in black leather. He didn’t want lumberjack girl or prom queen. At least… I didn’t think he did.

In the end I decided on my boyfriend shirt and jeans. I wrapped a pink chiffon scarf in my hair and let the ends hang over my shoulder. I turned and threw a smile at myself in the mirror. Hmm, maybe a little too Sandy in Grease.
“Boots. Boots! You gotta tell me is this too Grease?” Boots snored in response. Argh! Never trust a cat. I ran toward the closet. I need to change!

A knock, knock, knock came from the front door.

Too late. Ben was here. I glanced at my face in the mirror, the soft pink lipstick and the seashell toned eye shadow were a perfect choice. My pink patent leather pumps made me feel feminine and pretty. So maybe I was okay. Maybe even if I was a little Sandra Dee tonight, maybe Ben would like me anyway.

I opened the door. I held my breath admiring Ben’s brown eyes and dark hair hanging across his forehead. He smiled at me and took me in. I was glad I didn’t dress up in prom clothes or as a Valentine’s vamp. Ben wore jeans, a simple blue button down shirt and his Gucci shoes.

“Delilah, you look beautiful. Happy Valentine’s Day,” Ben said and kissed me so sweetly. “Ready to go?” he asked still holding me in his arms.

After I locked the door, Ben laced his fingers through mine and we started down the stairs. He leaned in and whispered, “Too bad I left my T-birds leather jacket at home. We could have met up at Thunder Road.”

Ugh. I rolled my eyes. He laughed.

The End
Enhanced photo, scarf

If you would like to win a copy of my first book The Dating Dilemmas of Delilah Dunnfield please leave a comment for my give-away. I am giving away a signed paperback copy. Please let me know your email address, so I can get in touch with you if you are the winner! book

Each author participating in the Valentine Blog Hop is providing a print copy or e-book in the book giveaways. Be sure to visit their websites and comment on their post to enter a chance to win a copy of their book.

Prize and book giveaways Start February 13 and End on February 26.

Also! Click on the indieBRAG website https://www.bragmedallion.com/ to enter your chance to win a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card!
– The chance to enter for the Prize and Giveaways ends February 26. The winner will be given a gift card from Amazon. The prize will be announced on the indieBRAG Website on February 29th. And each author will announce the winner for their giveaways on their sites on February 29.
– You must be 18 years or Older to participate in the prize & Giveaway.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize and giveaway or a new winner is chosen.

Please hop over to our next indieBRAG Valentine’s blogger C.L. Talmadge: http://www.healingstonebooks.com/stonescribe/www.healingstonebooks.com/stonescribe/