Archive | July 2018

Red River Radio Presents What’s Write for Me with Karen & Scott! Tuesday, July 31 at 4PM EDT on Blog Talk Radio

Catch Us Live!


It’s summertime and it’s HOT! In order to take our minds off how sweaty we are, I’ve got two really cool authors lined up to chat with us today.


First up, alphabetically speaking, is Karen Vaughan is the author of the Laura and Gerry Mysteries, as well as Holmes in America and Dead Comic Standing. She is also a PA for authors, and a talk show host here on the Red River Radio Network. Welcome back, Karen. You’ve been here so often, I’ve lost track. It’s like a second home for you.


Second is Scott Moses, author of the futuristic thriller Between Truth and Eternity and the hilariously thought provoking Fools of Parody. Welcome back, Scott! We’re so delighted to have you here for a second visit.

This show was originally scheduled for Wednesday, July 25, but I was ill. I’m better now, so away we go!

Listen in live, or catch it at your convenience.

Karen Vaughan Scott Moses What's Write for Me collage


When Tis Done – Part 81

When Tis Done cover smallChase and Brian do a perimeter check, glad the did, because some of the wards are damaged. They tell Miles and Heath what they’ve found, and they are very concerned.

“Holes? That’s weird! Completely through?” Miles asked.

“No, like thin places in your jeans right before a hole opens,” Chase replied.

Nodding, both men hurried off to look at the wards. Neil joined them. Cynthia went over the spell with Jackie, Marissa and Maribelle. Brian and Chase joined Jordan, who was holding Elise. The baby flung herself at her big brother as soon as he was close enough.

“Byee!” she gurgled, patting his lips with her spit covered fingers.

“Elise!” he gurgled back, rubbing her nose with his. He froze, staring into his sister’s eyes. “Get Dad,” he told Chase. “Now! Go!”

“Miles!” Chase bellowed, rushing off after the men.

“Brian, what’s wrong?” Jordan said.

The women had turned and were rushing over, but Brian halted them with a gruff command.

“Nothing serious,” he said in a very soft, cajoling voice. “But I think…. I think there is something very strange going on here.”

Miles rushed up. He was the only one Brian allowed to come closer.

“Dad,” Brian said softly. “Look in Elise’s eyes and tell me what you see.”

Miles stood directly behind his son and looked in his daughter’s staring eyes. She hardly blinked as she held her brother’s gaze.

“Holy shit,” Miles whispered. “What is that?”

“Not a what,” Brian whispered in return. “That’s a who. And I don’t know. Is that in her or is it really behind me? Because it’s scaring the ever loving shit out of me right now.”

The baby blinked slowly and the image shifted. It was no longer directly behind Brian, but rather to the left of his father, somewhat behind. Reaching for them. Miles held up a hand, snapping a harsh command. The figure stopped, hand mere inches from Miles’ shoulder.

“Who is that?” Brian asked.

Miles tilted his head. “That, Brian, is your great-great-grandfather Theodore Casey. What he’s doing here or why, I don’t know. But I’d sure like to find out before our guests arrive. Do you see anyone else?”

“No, sir. Just him.”

Miles nodded, confirming what Brian said. “Then I think we need to find out what’s brought him around, don’t you?”

“Yep. Theodore, would you like to join us?” he said to the image in his sister’s eye.

The man smiled, stepping back. He folded his arms across his chest and waited.

“Do I have to keep looking at him this way? Cause I’m getting a headache and I really want to blink.”

“I think we can manage something,” Maribelle said with a smile. “Theo, let’s sit by the fire and chat, shall we?” She gestured to a nearby bench. She sat on one end, indicating that Theo should sit on the other.

“Can you see him, Mom?”

“Yes, clearly. Which is amazing, since I see everything in a slight fog. I don’t know if I can hear him or not. Theo, why are you here?”

The breeze fluttered an answer in the trees. Jordan thought she could barely discern a voice. It was high and breathy, not quite a proper voice at all, more an illusion of one, as if the speaker had lost the ability to make himself heard.

Maribelle Casey smiled, taking an invisible hand. They could tell by the way her fingers curled around the air. “He felt your call,” she told Brian with a tip of her head.

“But I didn’t—” Stopping suddenly, he realized that he had asked for help as he went to sleep. He hadn’t directed the request at anyone in particular, but this seemed to be his answer. “I asked for help as I was going to bed. Is that why he’s here?”

“Yes. He heard you and he’s been trying to get our attention, but it’s much harder than you might imagine. Elise was the only one who could see him, until now.” She paused, smiling and listening, her head tilted to one side. “I see. Yes. That’s very helpful, Theo. Thank you.” She kissed the air, hugging emptiness to her. “Please come back and visit again, now that you know how.” She blew a kiss and waved as if someone were walking off. Sighing happily, she settled back a little. “Well, that was interesting!”

The others waited impatiently, but she didn’t seem inclined to share the conversation with them.

“Well?” Miles couldn’t stand it another second. “Why was my great-grandfather here?”

“He had a message for Marissa. She’s on the right track with the warding. They called it branding, though it didn’t use a hot iron. However, fire wielders will need to do it and it does entail burning the spell into the person’s skin.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

When Tis Done – Part 80

When Tis Done cover smallNeil and Cynthia have a newlywed moment, driving the others outside for awhile. Brian and Chase feel it more than the girls, and make up some chore, so they can escape from the energy for awhile.

Chase shuddered, clawing at his spine with both hands. “I feel like I’ve got spiders up my back.”

Brian had the same feeling. He was doing his own shivering and freaking out. “How can the girls ignore that?”

“No clue, but I wish I could. I’d do a stump if I thought it would help.”

“Splinters,” Brian said sensibly.

Chase crossed his legs with both hands over his privates. “Yeah. Ouch.”

“So, this tattoo thing. Marissa found a spell?”

“Yeah, I think so. She’ll ask Jackie.”

They busied themselves with the wards, just as glad they had, because there were spots where the protection seemed thin.

“What could cause that?” Chase wondered as they reset the ward.

“No idea. I thought these were pretty impervious. I wish I were better at this.”

“Get better quickly, okay? I used to do this with Dad, so I know what to do, but I need your help. Some of these are different and they’re more complicated.”

“Can you see them?” Brian was stunned.

“Yeah, can’t you?”

“I sense them. I see sort of a shimmer.”

“I see them individually. Each one is a diferent color. It’s quite beautiful. The thinning bits are paler and wispy.”

“Are there many?”

“Quite a few. Like someone was throwing balls at a plate of glass that cracked a little with each hit. I’m glad we did this. I’m concerned. We need your dad to look over this.” Chase stared at the air, arms crossed, thinking.

“Yes, but let’s finish anyway.”

“Hell, yeah. I’m not going back to the house yet!” Chase shuddered from head to foot.

Making the loop of the property line, they neared the house once more. The golden glow was brighter now, blazing for several seconds before dimming and going out. Chase stumbled, fumbling with the ward he was trying to repair. Brian tried to grab him, but feeling just as clumsy, he missed. Both boys toppled on the ground, landing in an untidy heap. Laughing and shoving one another, they got up and dusted themselves off.

“Do you think it will be like that—for us?” Chase asked.

“No idea. Kinda freaky, if I’m honest. Can you imagine? Our folks would know from half a mile away!”

“I sure hope not.” Chase wouldn’t look at the house, nor did he look at Brian anymore than he had to. “I’m really happy for them,” he murmured. “But jealous as hell.”

“I know.” Brian clapped his friend on the shoulder. “Relax. Our time will arrive. Once we take that step, there’s no turning back.”

“I’m sorry I’ve been such a dick about it—with you and with Marissa. I’m so jealous of what you and Jordan have, I can’t stand it. You’re like parts of each other and it seems completely effortless. I want what you have, what they have.” He pointed to the house. “What my folks had.”

“You dumb ass.” Brian shoved his friend back a few feet. “You do have that. You and Marissa work well together. You’re completely in sync. You have the advantage of being around one another your entire lives. Jordan and I don’t have that. There are still things we’re learning about each other.”

“I want surprises. I want not to know what she’s thinking. I don’t want to be able to read every expression. She knows me better than I know myself, and sometimes that’s not such a good thing.”

“You have to quit fighting that. We all should have that. Do you know how strong a unit we’d be if every couple were as in tune as you and Mar? We’d kick serious Dark Side ass!”

“You really think so?”

“I know so. Look at the plus side instead of the negatives.”

“When I find some, I’ll sure do that.”

They made their way back to the picnic area to find Miles, Heath and Maribelle had joined them. The girls were playing with Elise. Neil and Cynthia walked hand in hand out the back door. She looked slightly flustered, he looked happy and rather proud.

“Glad you could join us,” Heath said with a smirk. “Jeez, did we ever look that happy?” he asked his wife.

“More than once.”

“Sorry about that,” Cynthia giggled, tugging at her hair.

“I haven’t forgotten being a newlywed,” Maribelle said with a smile. “Is there anything that needs to be done for the meal?”

“No, we’re set,” Jackie answered. “I do need to run the spell casting by you.”

“Dad, we need you and Heath to double check our work. There were holes in the wards. Chase and I patched them, but you may need to do them again.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

Red River Radio Presents What’s Write for Me with Alexsys, Karen & Scott

It’s summertime and it’s HOT! In order to take our minds off how sweaty we are, I’ve got three really cool authors lined up to chat with us today.

First up, alphabetically speaking, is Alexsys Thompsonthe creator of the Trybal Gratitude Journal, a keynote speaker, executive coach, member of the Forbes Coaches Council. This is Alexsys’ first visit, and we intend to make it a fun one. Welcome, Alexsys! So pleased to have you here.

Second is Karen Vaughan is the author of the Laura and Gerry Mysteries, as well as Holmes in America and Dead Comic Standing. She is also a PA for authors, and a talk show host here on the Red River Radio Network. Welcome back, Karen. You’ve been here so often, I’ve lost track. It’s like a second home for you.

Last, but not least, Scott Moses is the author of the futuristic thriller Between Truth and Eternity and the hilariously thought provoking Fools of Parody. Welcome back, Scott! We’re so delighted to have you here for a second visit.

When Tis Done – Part 79

When Tis Done cover smallMarissa has the idea to use a charm of some kind, to infuse the ward against the Killing Hand, into their skin, for additional protection. The boys check the wards around the site and Marissa joins Jordan. Pleased to see that Brian and Chase have mended some of their differences, Jordan gives Brian a big kiss.

“I should go away more often, if I’m gonna get a welcome like that every time.” He kissed her quickly and gave her a lingering hug.

To everyone’s surprise, Marissa did the same thing with Chase. Faster, more fleeting, but she showed him more affection in those ten seconds, than she had ever publically expressed. Chase was so surprised, he inhaled sharply, but gave a slow exhale when she stood next to him, her arm around his waist. His own arm crept slowly around her, as if he were afraid she’d run away. When she stayed, he smiled at her, giving her a soft kiss on the cheek. She didn’t pull away, so he relaxed a little, enjoying what she gave him.

No one wanted to spoil the moment for them, but keeping silent would draw attention as much as pointing at them. Neil hugged his wife once more, kissing her cheek. She fed him another taste and he gave her another kiss, this time on the lips.

“Still doesn’t taste as sweet as you,” he teased. “I don’t think anything does.”

“Ditto,” she murmured.

“What can we help with?” Brian asked, feeling the need to redirect their attention. He could sense their desire and it made him incredibly uncomfortable.

“Get out the picnic supplies,” Cynthia said, not moving from the circle of Neil’s arms.

“Yes, ma’am,” the teens chorused.

Jackie joined them as they gathered the bins of paper plates, plastic ware and napkins which were kept in the storage cabinet on the deck. They had so many gatherings at the Finley home, they kept a stockpile of items there.

“Getting low on napkins,” Jackie remarked.

“No, I saw another package in the cabinet. I’ll get it,” Jordan said.

She dashed up the steps and over to the cabinet. As she went past the door to the kitchen, she saw Neil and Cynthia kissing. Not just kissing, his hands were all over her. The pudding had been set to one side and forgotten. Suddenly embarrassed, as if she were a voyeur, Jordan rushed down the steps. Tripping halfway down, she fell with a yip of fear. Suddenly, she was floating and landed on the ground at the base of the stairs. Surprised and puzzled, she tried to figure out what had happened. Brian raced to her side.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes, thanks to you.”

“Wasn’t me.” He nodded at Chase. “He caught you.”

“Thanks, Chase. I’d have ended up with some nasty bruises.”

“You could have broken your arm,” Jackie fussed. “Or your neck! Why were you running?”

“I saw Neil and Cynthia—kissing,” she whispered. Her tone and accompanying blush told them it was more than just that.

“We’ll stay out here for awhile,” Jackie said. “Let me tell the men to come around back.” She called Heath.

“Stopping to pick up Maribelle and the baby. Be there soon.”

“Take your time. I hope they won’t get too busy with the rest of us around, but with newlyweds….”

“Exactly. I hate that we’re having to impose on them, but that’s our best meeting space.”

“I’d host, but we’re not nearly as isolated. I’m glad we all own the property around here, or we’d have to worry about developers.”

They talked a few more minutes before hanging up. Jackie hoped the teens wouldn’t notice the extra energy in the air, but suspected that the boys did. Determined to keep them occupied, she asked about the necklaces. Chase got them for her and she examined the work.

“Super job,” she complimented. “You have an eye for detail, both of you. These are better than Cliff’s. I think we should all have ours upgraded.”

“Marissa had an idea about additional wards,” Brian said.

He was doing his best to ignore the golden glow he saw coming from the bedroom window. The vibrations in the air around them were almost too much for him to bear. He could see that it was affecting Chase as much as it was him. The girls didn’t seem to notice it, but Jackie did.

Marissa explained about the Killing Hand and her idea for supernatural tattoos. Brian was glad she took over the explanation, because he couldn’t if he’d tried. He and Chase made an excuse to check the wards on the perimeter of the property and scuttled away to do that. The further they got from the house, the better is was, but they were both sweating and panting when they arrived a the stream on the outer limit of the land.

“Shit!” Chase said, wiping his brow with the back of his hand. “I wish they’d warned us. Better yet, kept a lid on it. That was super sexy, and really creepy all at once. My aunt and uncle! It wasn’t that icky with my folks.” He shuddered, clawing at his spine with both hands. “I feel like I’ve got spiders up my back.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

When Tis Done – Part 78

When Tis Done cover smallNeil sets Marissa and Chase on a task of charming the necklaces, while he and Brian prepare the meeting area. They talk about why Chase is so obstinate, and Brian blames himself.

Neil smiled. “Kid, this is not all on you and you aren’t allowed to take the blame. Sure, that hurt. It probably affected him some, but that isn’t enough. I wonder, sometimes, looking back, if our folks started teaching us too early. I was four when I started my first lessons. Chase was five or six. It changes your perspective somewhat. I believe it’s important to teach our children, but maybe some middle ground before they mature, but after they have a few years on them. Trouble is, we don’t have a handbook for this. We play it all by ear.”

“How did they do back in the day?”

“Back in ancient times, we lived in closed communities and raised our young to know what was what from birth. But we weren’t trying to fit into normal society. Some of the remote Circles, those that live in less developed areas of the world, can do that. Around here, they’d think they had another Wako on their hands and send in the FBI to rescue our kids.”

The door to the shed opened below, Chase and Marissa came out smiling and holding hands. Neil and Brian pretended not to notice. Neil popped the top off a couple of IBC root beers and handed them each one when they sat down.

“Done. Good job on the necklaces,” Chase said. “They needed a little tweaking, but otherwise, they were fine. Marissa got the charms on them and they are ready to get the new stuff tonight.”

“I got to thinking,” Marissa said quietly. “These necklaces are good, but they can be damaged or torn off. What we really need is some sort of ward on our skin—like a tattoo.”

“Only not quite as archaic,” Chase concluded. “Mar had an idea.”

“There is a spell for a charm to be infused in the skin. I’m not entirely sure how it’s done, but I bet one of our parents would know. If this is something we’re really worried about, we should do that.”

“I agree,” Neil said. “We’ll discuss it tonight when the Texas party arrives. I think the necklaces would make a good option, but I’m not averse to two lines of defense. Brian?”

“I agree. Good idea, Marissa.”

“I’m going to go check on Jordan,” she said and stood up rather suddenly.

The men hopped to their feet as she left, settling back once more. No one knew what to say. Neil was waiting for the boys to bridge their gap, only acting as a moderator. When it became obvious that neither of them knew what to say, he decided he should.

“Brian and I laid the wards around the fire pit, but it wouldn’t hurt to double check them. Do you know what your dad used to use?”

“Yeah. I could do that.”

“Why don’t you and Brian work on that? I’m gonna go see if the ladies need help.”

The boys put their empty bottles in the recycling bin and trotted down the steps. Neil stood on the deck, casting his focusing spell before going inside. The women didn’t need his help, but he knew the boys needed time alone. He also knew that if he helped out, they would let him act as official taster, a job he had always loved. Not only that, he needed to be close to his wife. He’d never experienced this sort of thing before. Whether it was part of their bonding, or because he was finally able to show her how much he loved her, he didn’t know. He’d learned not to question.

The women were in the kitchen. Cynthia was next to the stove, stirring something mysterious in a big pot. It smelled good, but he had been taught as a child, not to taste things without asking what they were. A useful lesson, since sometimes his mother wasn’t preparing food. Sidling up behind her, he put his arms around her, nuzzling her cheek.

“Smells almost as delicious as you.”

Giggling, Cynthia gave him a taste. It was smooth, silky and sweet. Licking his lips, Neil tried to analyze the flavors as Brian had.

“Chocolate….” that was obvious and easy. “Cinnamon. Little bit of orange essence.” He licked his lips once more. “What is that? It’s delicious.”

“A pudding to go between the layers of the cake. I’m glad you like it. It’s my own recipe.” She gave him another taste.

Neil closed his eyes, savoring the flavor. “I wouldn’t mind licking that off…um. Sorry,” he whispered.

“I’ll save some,” she whispered back.

Marissa tightened up, but Jordan patted her hand. Neil and Cynthia were newlyweds, after all. She could only imagine how she and Brian would be once they finally gave in to their passion. Looking outside, she saw Brian and Chase coming up the back steps. They were laughing and joking like they had before the intensity of their reltionship drove them apart. Unable to stop herself, Jordan rushed to the sliding glass door and let them in. She gave Brian a quick kiss, hugging him tightly.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

Truth, As Strange As Fiction: What’s In A Name

Cereal Authors

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I never liked my name. I can’t really say why but I thought it might have something to do with my father always teasing me. He turned my name Janice into a twisted version of it but calling me Janoose The Goose! Yes, a goose.   babyhueybh

From the start I acquainted it with the cartoon character, Baby Huey, a large goofy duckling unable to fly. Baby Huey was meant to be laughed at. So you can see why I was upset.

My father smiled when he said it, and I’m sure he didn’t mean it the way I took it. Every time he’d come into a room I was in by myself he would greet me with, “Hello Janoose The Goose.”

 Why it was so amusing to him, I’ve never figured out. But I was five and did not know how to explain it to him. But maybe he didn’t like…

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