Archive | September 2018

Sidetracked by Dellani Oakes Part 3

sidetracked resizedDeirdre’s husband gets home from dropping the boys, and gives her bad news. His job is sending him out of town for a couple of weeks. Not happy, but resigned to it, she accepts it.

Fred laughed, giving her a kiss. “I love you, Mrs. Partridge.”

“I love you, Mr. Partridge. Call me when you take lunch.”

“Will do.”

They kissed again, not wanting to let go.

“I’ll miss you,” he whispered. “Shit,” he hissed.

Deirdre laughed at him, she knew what was wrong. “Didn’t we take care of that problem?”

“Apparently not. Dammit, behave!” he addressed his zipper and what was behind it. “Not gonna happen, not with my lovely wife in my arms. Gotta go. Bye!” he kissed her nose and darted out the door.

Once she was alone, Deirdre went back to her computer. She did a few tasks, checked her Facebook page, shared some posts and finally put on some music. With a quick click, she opened a new document and sat there, starting at the blank page. Absolutely nothing came to mind. She tried a few sentences, but after one trite, hokey quote after another, she gave up.

A glass of wine, that was what she needed. Didn’t Hemingway say to write drunk and edit sober? She wouldn’t get drunk. She had to pick up the boys, but maybe one drink would limber her up. When she actually typed, It was a dark and stormy night, she knew she had to stop.

Flipping through the how-to-write books didn’t help. They didn’t give any suggestions on how not to sound like a complete idiot. She would have to figure that out on her own. It was almost time to go get her boys, so she made a pit stop, grabbed her purse and headed to the garage. Her bright red Jeep sat there, looking happy and perky—odd words to describe a Jeep, but it was one of the new ones, which were a long step away from the original. She still wasn’t sure she liked it, preferring her old Bronco, but Fred decided she needed an upgrade from the old standard shift vehicle.

Aiden was driving, Burl had his learner’s permit, and they couldn’t handle standard. Aiden had tried, and nearly stripped the gears. More to the point, she couldn’t handle teaching them how to shift. Since Fred had protested the very idea of teaching their sons to drive, the job fell to her. All those fun jobs fell to her, like talking to them about puberty. By the time she got to Corin, she knew better what to say, but the conversation with Aiden had scarred them both for life.

The drive to school wasn’t too bad. She arrived early enough to get a good spot, right at the curb, and far enough up the line that getting out wouldn’t be too difficult. She sent a text to the boys, telling them where to look for her, and sat back with some Nirvana on her satellite radio. She did appreciate that feature of the car, because she listened to music all the time. A teen of the 90s, she loved bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Metallica.

She’d brought a notebook with her, and scribbled some ideas in it, still at odds with herself. Every helpful book she’d read, told her to outline. For the life of her, she couldn’t remember how. Not only that, she found herself putting in too many details. Outlines were supposed to be hints and suggestions—subject headings to be filled in later. She remembered that much from school. She was spending so much time on the outline, she couldn’t figure out how to write the book itself. By the time the boys hopped in the car, she’d given up and was writing her grocery list.

“How was school?” she asked, when they were settled.

“How is it usually?” Aiden asked, checking the mirrors as if he were the one driving.

True to her word, Deirdre made a hole and cut ahead of a Lexus. That earned her a honk and a finger. She waved her own finger out the window.

“Shit, Mom!” Corin yelped. “You can’t flip off people in the car line!”

“Wanna bet?”

The Lexus rushed up behind her, slamming on his brakes just in time.

“I swear, that asshole is doing it on purpose.” She glared at her mirror.

“If he hits you, it’s his fault,” Burl said. “We learned that in driver’s ed.”

“I’m aware. But your father would have a piglet.”

“He’d have a whole litter,” Corin corrected. “Did you know one collective name for pigs is a drove?”

“Did you know that I don’t care?” Aiden tossed over his shoulder. “I swear, Cor, you know the weirdest shit, that no one else gives a f**k about.”

“At least I know more than you do. Mom, do you know what they call a bunch of crows?”

“Who cares?” Aiden yelled.

“It’s called a Murder,” Deirdre replied. “Aiden, you yell in my car again, and you won’t drive for a month. Also, a shrewdness of apes, a bellowing of bullfinches and a kaleidoscope of butterflies. Collective names are fascinating.”

“Correction, only you, and Mom, care,” Aiden snarled.

“I care,” Burl added, “but you never include me, because I’m invisible.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

TODAY Red River Radio Presents What’s Write for Me Kathleen Rowland, Susan Clayton-Goldner and Tegon Maus

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Join Us Live Or At Your Leisure

I’m so excited about our next show. I’ve got three wonderful Tirgearr authors with me. Two, you’ve met, but one is newly with us. I know this is going to be a fund show

Kathleen Rowland

First up is Kathleen Rowland, author of One Night in Havana, Unholy Alliance, and Deadly Alliance. This is Kathleen’s first time on the show, and we’re delighted to have her with us.

susan clayton goldner

Next is Susan Clayton-Goldner, author of murder mysteries and thrillers, A River of Shame, A Bend in the Willow, and Tormented, among others. This is Susan’s third, or maybe fourth visit. Welcome back, Susan!

Tegon Maus

Last, but only because we’re alphabetical, is Tegon Maus author of fantasy novels, Machines of the Little People, The Wishing Stone, Service Before Self, and Bob, among others. Tegon has also been a frequent visitor, so happy to have him here again.

With these three guests, it will prove to be a fun, entertaining and lively show, so be sure to tune in!

 

It will be great! Join us live, or at your convenience, using the same link. Share with friends.

Sidetracked by Dellani Oakes Part 2

sidetracked resized

Deirdre Partridge is trying to get her husband and three teenage sons out the door, so Fred can take them to high school. They kiss one another goodbye, and their youngest son feels the need to make a comment.

“Get a room, you two,” Corin yelled, laughing hysterically at his supposed joke. Both brothers socked him. “Ouch! Baby Brother abuse!”

“Shut it, Cor,” they said in unison.

Closing the door, Deirdre Partridge leaned against it. Finally, all three boys in high school. Aiden was a senior, Burl a junior and Corin a freshman. Her boys were evenly spaced, almost exactly two years apart, but Aiden had a late September birthday, which held him back a year. No end of bother for him, especially since he and his brothers were avid golfers, and the younger two were also on the team.

“Not even seven o’clock,” Deirdre sighed. “Just once, I’d like them to get out of the house without me.”

She poured another cup of coffee and turned on her computer. The elderly tower warmed to life. It might be old, and a little surly, but she loved it. It had long been a friend and companion to her, keeping the boys entertained, helping with research papers, or providing her with hours of Netflix viewing. She could do that on the TV as well, but no one wanted to watch what she did, and they didn’t respect her right to watch what she wanted. There was always a reason to interrupt, regardless of how much she was enjoying a film.

Keys rattled in the front door and Fred came back in, grumbling. “Let me tell you, those bastards have no respect!”

“The students?” She knew the parking lot was often very chaotic.

“The parents! It took me five minutes to pull away from the curb. I realize they’re in a hurry, but so am I. I sat there like an idiot with my blinker going. Not a soul would let me in. And those teachers have no clue how to direct traffic. Someone in a yellow SUV nearly ran Coach Bullock down. Never saw that asshole move so fast!” He chuckled as he poured himself some coffee. “So, what’s on your docket today?”

“I think I’m going to write a book,” she said, not looking at him.

“That’s fantastic! You need a project to occupy you.”

“Now that they’re all in high school, self-sufficient, I want to do something for me,” she continued. “So, I’m going to write literature. Really serious stuff, dealing with social issues. I want to write the next To Kill a Mockingbird.”

“My wife writing the Great American Novel, huh?” he sounded skeptical.

“What? I know that tone. You don’t think I can.”

“No, it’s not that. Honey, you’ve never written a book, let alone a serious one, in your life.”

“I’ll learn. I’ve been reading books and watching videos. I love to write, I simply never put my mind to it. I just have to try. Harper Lee had very little experience when she wrote that book.”

“I know. I know…. Well, if that’s what you want to do, I support you.” He kissed her forehead. “I don’t have to be at work for three hours.” He raised his eyebrows with an inviting tilt of his head. “House to ourselves. We can make as much noise as we want!”

“Talked me into it.”

“Race you!”

“Let me just turn—”

“Leave it on.” Grabbing her hand, he tugged her to the bedroom.

Later, as they lay side by side, he curled his fingers in her hair. “How is it still so good, even though we’re old folks.”

“We’re not old folks. Well, you are,” she teased. He was two years older than she. “We’ve had a lot of practice.”

“You should write a steamy romance novel. You could use what we just did. Make everyone jealous.”

Deirdre laughed. “I told you, I want to write something serious.”

“A good sex life is very serious.” He gave her a hand up and they went for a shower.

After they bathed, he got dressed for work. He was an assistant manager at a large department store chain. “Before I forget, they’re sending me on another setup next week. I got the call when I was at the school.”

“Really? Another one? Where?”

Fred closed his eyes, thinking. “Somewhere in Minnesota.”

“Thank God it’s mid-August. You’d freeze up there in the winter. Got your lunch?”

“Yeah. You’ll be okay, with the drop off, when I’m gone?”

“I’m up anyway. Doesn’t make any difference. I hate it, but I’m not as polite as you. I don’t wait to be let in, I make a hole.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

The Choice is Made! Introducing Sidetracked ~ A Mystery by Dellani Oakes Part 1

I got a bit more feedback this time. Thank you all who helped me out. Two books, Sidetracked and Alton & Velda got an equal number of votes, so I discussed it with my son, and decided to post Sidetracked this time. For those of you who wanted Alton & Velda, I will post it once this novel is done.

Sidetracked began as a challenge from author friend, Karen Vaughan. She encouraged me to try a cozy mystery. I didn’t expect it to be particularly easy, because cozy mysteries aren’t supposed to contain sex or bad language. (Well, there went that idea.) She suggested, as an alternative, I should simply write a mystery. I thought I could probably handle that, and I’ve been wanting to try one, so I set out on the first of November with a happy heart. By page 11, it turned a bit downbeat. By page 20, it was dark, then it got rather grim. All that aside, it’s a great book, and I’m very proud of it. ~ Dellani

sidetracked 2

Cover image from Free Stock Photos: Railroad Track On A Fall Day by Curtis Dean Wilson

Prologue

Early morning dew speckled the grass and hung heavy in the air. Ready for her run, she stretched all the stubborn muscles that had tightened up overnight. Even though it was early, the sun not even up, there was a muggy heat to the air. Shoes tied just right, light jacket over her crop top and shorts, she headed to the door, keys and cellphone in her pocket. Earbuds plugged into the phone, she was ready to jog. AWOL Nation’s Sail began as she reached the street. Starting at Silver Palm Drive, she headed east toward US-1, about two miles away. She ran twice a day, early mornings and evenings. It helped her focus, ridding her mind of distractions. She was close to her goal now, closer than she’d ever been.

Vulfpeck’s 1612 started as she reached the first cross street. Liking the jazzy tempo, she punched the air, matching her steps to the song’s beat. She didn’t notice the dark van following her, couldn’t hear the noise of the motor over the music. When the van pulled up onto the grassy verge between the bike path and the street, she saw it. Curious, her steps slowed, and that was her undoing. Dark clothed figures jumped out. One grabbed her, another covered her mouth with duct tape. Together, they lifted her struggling body. She was no match for the men, they simply tossed her into the back of the van, slammed the door and took off. More duct tape secured her hands and feet.

No one saw her. No one would notice she was gone. As she bumped along in the van, she knew they’d been sent to silence her. Sobbing with frustration, she sensed that these would be her last moments. Determined to fight them for every victory, she prepared for the ordeal she knew was coming. Hers would not be a quiet, nor an easy, death. But she would confront her end with courage. They wouldn’t make her beg.

The van pulled up behind a low, cinder block house. It looked virtually colorless in the gray light of dawn, but she knew where she was. She didn’t know what was worse, the fact they intended to kill her, or that they would kill her here. The ignominy of her situation, knowing her last breaths would be taken in the one place she despised the most, filled her with regret.

The men carried her inside. The stench met her nose, worse than ever, if such a thing were possible. Throwing her on the kitchen floor, they did unspeakable things, with the television blaring in the front room. When they’d had enough of pleasuring themselves at her expense, the torture began. One of them got off on it so much, he violated her again, choking her. Her last sight was his face blurring above her, cumming as he choked the life from her.

~*~

“Mom! Where are my Vans?”

“Where did you leave them, Aiden?”

“If I could tell you that, I’d know. Oh, shit…. Never mind. Found ’em.”

“Honey, where are my car keys?”

“Check yesterday’s pants.”

“Got ’em!” her husband called. “Boys, move it along!”

“Can I drive, Dad?” Burl asked.

“No, Dad. Please, for the love of God, do not let him,” Corin, the youngest, entreated. “I want to get to school alive.”

“I’m a very good driver!” his older brother fussed.

“Yeah. You and Rain Man. Great in the driveway.”

“Lunches?” Deirdre said over the mayhem.

“Going to McDonald’s,” Aiden said. “Riding with Lance and his girlfriend.”

“Can I go?” Corin asked as they headed out the door.

“Oh, sure. We want the lame ass freshman along.”

“He won’t even let me go,” Burl whined. “Why would he let you?”

“I’m cuter than you.”

“Goodbye!” Deirdre called, blowing kisses.

“Bye, Mom!” the boys chorused.

Her husband, Fred, stopped at the door and gave her a kiss. “Bye, darling. See you in a few.”

“Love you.”

“Love you,” he replied, giving her another kiss.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

Choices 6 Game Junkies

man holding black game controller

Photo by Anton Porsche on Pexels.com

In order to help your choice of book along, I’m including the first typed page of each. I’m not going beyond the first typed page, though. Just the first 500 words or so – even if it stops in the middle of a sentence. It will be fun! Trust me.

Presented in order they are listed in the post.

CHAPTER ONE

The line at Game Junkies extended out the door and down the mall corridor. Colby Thatcher stopped in his tracks, blue eyes wide behind round, wire-frame glasses. He’d never seen such a mass of humanity unless it was a new game release. He stared a full minute before he realized someone was waving at him. Three of his friends stood in the line. Two were grinning widely, smart phones clutched in their hands.

“Wait until you see!” Stan Fitz said, hopping excitedly in place.

Stan was nearly seven feet tall. His lean, gangling frame moved oddly, like he was a marionette guided by a puppet master on crack. He giggled, waving his phone under Colby’s nose.

Gavin Carter eyed their friend with forbearance, but his dark brown eyes twinkled.

The only one who didn’t show enthusiasm was Avery. Dressed in skinny jeans, sporting a lip ring, nose ring and multiple earrings, she hunched over with her hands in her pockets. Her blue streaked red hair escaped from under her Rasta striped beanie. She looked bored and somewhat disgusted.

“If I didn’t have to be here, I wouldn’t,” she snarled before Colby could speak. “But I have to get game time. They’re doing buy one get one because of the upcoming game launch.” She elbowed Stan who had hopped on her foot. “These two are impossible.”

“We saw her first,” Stan said. “Then all these others showed up.” He frowned, jerking a thumb at the line.

“Maybe if you hadn’t sent a massive text to everyone on your phone, it wouldn’t have happened,” Avery growled. “It’s your own damn fault. Get off me!”

She elbowed Stan again. Given the difference in their heights, the sharp jab got him in the nuts. Gasping from pain and surprise, he backed off. Avery smirked, satisfied that she had disciplined him appropriately.

“Nicely played,” Gavin said with a smirk of his own. He and Avery exchanged a knuckle bump.

“What’s going on?” Colby appealed to Avery.

Tossing her head, setting her hoops rattling, Avery glared up at him. She was tiny, maybe five feet tall if she stood up straight. Her slender frame and small breasts, in combination with her baggy shirts and bulky jackets, often got her mistaken for an adolescent boy.

“You really don’t know?”

“You live in a cave?” Gavin asked him. “We sent you the text.”

“Phone’s dead,” Colby said. “It got sent through the wash again. I’m waiting for a replacement.”

Avery grabbed the sleeve of his hoodie, pulling him toward her. She opened a text message with her

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

Those are the choices. Which will it be?

Choices 5 Blacksmith’s Heart

action animal bronco bucking

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In order to help your choice of book along, I’m including the first typed page of each. I’m not going beyond the first typed page, though. Just the first 500 words or so – even if it stops in the middle of a sentence. It will be fun! Trust me.

Presented in order they are listed in the post.

CHAPTER ONE

Enid Parker was an addict who never wanted to admit she had a problem, because all of them were completely legal vices. However, the combination of cigarettes, alcohol and prescription pain medications she took eventually landed her in the hospital with a near fatal stroke. Goaded by her family and doctors, she decided to take a rest cure in New Mexico.

The Lazy J Dude Ranch appealed to her, but she was unable to go alone. Every assistant she’d hired had ended up leaving after a few days. Enid was very demanding. Never having been very even tempered, she was worse than ever. Frustrated by her inability to cope alone, her independent nature made living with her hell. She couldn’t pay anyone enough to stay on with her, so she turned to family.

Hana Sutherland was Enid’s great-niece. At 23, she was fresh out of college and between jobs. When she graduated, she’d had a job with a good computer software company, ground level at $40,000 a year, but it fell through at the last minute. After moving from Houston to Albuquerque, she’d used up what little savings she had and couldn’t afford to move back home. Job hunting wasn’t going well.

Enid’s stroke, though problematic for her, was a blessing in disguise for Hana. She put all her things in storage and flew, at Enid’s expense, back to Houston. From there, they drove to the Lazy J. Enid refused to fly or take a train. Despite her great-aunt’s cranky nature, Hana enjoyed the trip. She was seeing parts of the country that she’d never visited before. She even convinced her aunt to stop at Carlsbad Caverns. Aunt Enid would never admit it, but she enjoyed the tour just as much as Hana.

The trip took about a week, but it wasn’t rushed and Hana wasn’t exhausted when they arrived. In fact, once she had Aunt Enid ensconced in her ranch style cabin, with TV remote, six pack of Fresca and her salt free pretzels, Hana went out for a short walk. The Lazy J was pretty, in a quaint, deliberately rustic way. Everything was carefully planned to remind the guests they were in the Wild West. Each cabin had a hitching post by the front door and geraniums growing in window boxes.

Hana wandered around and she came to a corral near the western side of the compound. She and Aunt Enid were to the southeast. Several guests and ranch hands gathered along the fence, some sitting on the cross beams, others leaning against it. Hana walked over shyly, hands in the

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

Choices 4 Sidetracked

sidetracked coverIn order to help your choice of book along, I’m including the first typed page of each. I’m not going beyond the first typed page, though. Just the first 500 words or so – even if it stops in the middle of a sentence. It will be fun! Trust me.

Presented in order they are listed in the post.

CHAPTER ONE

“Mom! Where are my Vans?”

“Where did you leave them, Aiden?”

“If I could tell you that, I’d know. Oh, shit…. Never mind. Found ’em.”

“Honey, where are my car keys?”

“Check yesterday’s pants.”

“Got ’em!” her husband called. “Boys, move it along!”

“Can I drive, Dad?” Burl asked.

“No, Dad. Please, for the love of God, do not let him,” Corin, the youngest, entreated. “I want to get to school alive.”

“I’m a very good driver!” his older brother fussed.

“Yeah. You and Rain Man. Great in the driveway.”

“Lunches?” Deirdre said over the mayhem.

“Going to McDonald’s,” Aiden said. “Riding with Lance and his girlfriend.”

“Can I go?” Corin asked as they headed out the door.

“Oh, sure. We want the lame ass freshman along.”

“He won’t even let me go,” Burl whined. “Why would he let you?”

“I’m cuter than you.”

“Goodbye!” Deirdre called, blowing kisses.

“Bye, Mom!” the boys chorused.

Her husband, Fred, stopped at the door and gave her a kiss. “Bye, darling. See you in a few.”

“Love you.”

“Love you,” he replied, giving her another kiss.

“Get a room, you two,” Corin yelled, laughing hysterically at his supposed joke. Both brothers socked him. “Ouch! Baby Brother abuse!”

“Shut it, Cor,” they said in unison.

Closing the door, Deirdre Partridge leaned against it. Finally, all three boys in high school. Aiden was a senior, Burl a junior and Corin a freshman. Her boys were evenly spaced, almost exactly two years apart, but Aiden had a late September birthday, which held him back a year. No end of bother for him, especially since he and his brothers were avid golfers, and the younger two were also on the team.

“Not even seven o’clock,” Deirdre sighed. “Just once, I’d like them to get out of the house without me.”

She poured another cup of coffee and turned on her computer. The elderly tower warmed to life. It might be old, and a little surly, but she loved it. It had long been a friend and companion to her, keeping the boys entertained, helping with research papers, or providing her with hours of Netflix viewing. She could do that on

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

For More About Dellani