Now that Something New is over, a decision must be made. What next? I have so many books to choose from. The number of finished novels is now 75 (at least at the writing of his post. Could be more than that by the time it goes live).
So, the question that needs to be answered is this: What shall I share next? I admit myself in a quandary. Should I share A Novel Romance about Lionel the genius college professor? Or perhaps Mirrored, the sequel to Conduct Unbecoming and The Ninja Tattoo (another Teague McMurtry mystery)? I also have a story set in rural Kentucky in 1939, called Poplar Mountain Mystery. And don’t forget First Love, a young adult romantic suspense set in 1975. I’ll even consider Love, Death & Pizza, a modern murder mystery. I can head down a variety of roads.
Usually, I don’t get much response to a post like this, but I still hold out hope that at least one or two people will tell me what they’d like to read. Below are short blurbs with each title I’ve mentioned. Please leave a note in the comments and let me know which one interests you. Thank you! Dellani
A Novel Romance is set in my city (somewhere up North). It’s about Lionel Pettigrew, a flighty, brilliant college professor, who can’t seem to keep both feet on the ground. Not for lack of trying, he’s just a genius with a serious ADHD problem and a hard core caffeine addiction. When he meets his new research assistant, Arista Lockhart, the bullet train in his brain slows to a more manageable speed and he finds himself falling in love.
Mirrored is another Teague McMurtry mystery, set after Conduct Unbecoming and The Ninja Tattoo. Teague’s cousin Joel is on medical leave from the police force due to a work sustained injury—a man he arrested sliced him on the thigh with a knife. He’s now living in Teague’s old place on Riverside Drive, next to the elderly Millie. When she gets spooked one evening when walking her dog, Joel is concerned—but not half as concerned as Millie’s great-granddaughter, Cora Surray, who has come to live with her great-grandmother. Is it someone from Teague’s past or Joel’s who threatens their safety?
Poplar Mountain Mystery is set in rural Kentucky in 1939. Lucius Henry works for a small boarding school situated on land his great-grandfather leased to them many years ago. His father, shattered by WW I, is an abusive drunk who, not surprisingly, turns up dead. However, it becomes clear that it was no accident. It’s up to Lucius, and his girlfriend, Dorothea Belloit, to discover what’s going on and who’s behind it.
First Love is set in New Mexico in 1975. Madison Reynolds is visiting a small mission church with her Presbyterian youth group. If her on-going battle with another girl, Claire, weren’t enough, she finds herself embroiled in a mystery that threatens her and her friends. Drawn to the minister’s son, Gabriel, Maddie is in a quandary when her friend, Clayton, makes his feelings for her clear. They embark on a dangerous voyage of discovery, determined to find out who is threatening them and why.
The final choice is Love, Death & Pizza, a romantic suspense set in western Nebraska. Owner of Parnell’s Pizza Palace, Brock Parnell is not a man to start a fight, but by his own admission, he’ll surely finish it. Bullied as a teenager, and further harassed as an adult, by Tack Carmichael, Brock isn’t terribly disappointed to find out that Tack’s been killed. He actually does a celebration dance, until the cops come knocking at his door. Offended by their stupidity, Brock endures a late night interrogation by two police detectives, but he has nothing to feel guilty about. He didn’t kill Tack. They don’t believe him, but Assistant District Attorney, Adrianna Hasselhoff, does. However, someone seems very keen to pin Tack’s murder on Brock.
These are your choices, choose well because you’ll be enduring the fruits of your choice for the next however many weeks. I really would appreciate feedback, so please let your choices be known by commenting below. If we get a tie, I’ll draw a name from the hat. ~ Dellani
Heat Warning! The following contains intimate details. If such things bother you, you can read the first bit and the last bit and ignore the naughty bit. You can’t wait for the next installment, because this is it! The last hurrah, as it were. Not intended for readers under 17.
Now that he’s feeling better, Austin goes back to work. When he gets home, his friends and neighbors surprise him with a party. During the evening, Dwight gets a call from billionaire Ian Yarrow, who wants to back The Magician’s Fund and take it nationwide. It’s great news for Austin.
The party wound down by eight because more than one person had an early wake up call. Ellen fussed over Austin, until Jerry insisted that they leave him alone. Eventually, everyone left. Austin smiled at Liat.
“You tired?” she asked.
“Not at all. You?”
“Splendid.” He pulled out his phone, sending a quick text to Dwight.
His phone dinged and he chuckled.
“What did you say?” She snatched his phone.
Austin had texted, Beam me up, Scotty.
Dwight sent back. Energize.
Taking his phone, she dropped it on the coffee table and led Austin to his room. Once there, she backed him up until he was sitting on the bed, and straddled his lap.
“I really wanted to ride you like Seabiscuit,” she confessed. “But I thought that might be harder on your back. You have a choice.”
Austin waited as Liat took off her shirt.
“Missionary Style.” She carefully took his shirt off. “Like this.” She wiggled her hips against his. “Or Doggie Style.” His pants and hers followed.
Austin unhooked her bra, burying his face in her cleavage. After a moment, he resurfaced. “So many choices,” he said, stroking her soft skin. “I’ll take all three, please. With a smattering of Reverse Cowgirl. And a side order of conalingus to add spice.”
“Are you feeling up to that?”
“I don’t know. Am I?” He wiggled his hips, pressing his erection against her.
“I’m not going to injure you with sex,” she declared. “So you get one choice main dish with a side order.”
“Don’t suppose I could talk you into fellatio?”
He looked so hopeful, she had to laugh.
“We’ll see. I make no promises.”
“Just don’t bite,” he cautioned. His hands traveled over her body. He kissed and licked her, taking his time to get her excited.
“You never said which you wanted,” she said as they got in bed.
Austin’s green eyes glittered mischievously and he barked. Liat kneeled on the bed, but Austin pulled her to him.
“All in good time,” he said.
His kiss lit her insides on fire. Liat could only gasp and moan as his mouth and hands worked her body. He nudged her knees apart, centering himself before dropping his head. His tongue flickered inside her and she groaned with pleasure. He continued licking and sucking her until she was nearly wild with desire. When he was sure she was nearly ready to cum, he positioned her with her hands on the headboard. He pulled her ass to him, teasing her soft, pink folds with his tongue and fingers.
He lunged into her, making her gasp and go weak in the knees. He put her hands on the headboard once more, holding them as he pumped against her. She tried to decode the sensations filling her, but it all felt too good. He thrust into her more rapidly, his hands and mouth busily working her body toward climax.
One hand dropped between her legs, teasing her clit as he thrust from behind. The other steadied her hips against his as he moved more quickly. He plunged deeply, stroking from front and back, sending her skyrocketing. Liat gave herself over to passion, leaving logic behind. Austin drove into her harder and faster. Holding her hips with both hands, he changed position, bending her over onto her hands and knees.
“Do you feel it?” he gasped. “Are you coming?”
“Any—second—” she panted. “Oh, Austin! Yes!” She screamed, thrusting her ass up at him.
“Liat! Oh, God!” he rasped.
She bent over more, exposing herself completely. He felt hot and thick inside her. “Yes,” he bellowed. “Yes! Right there!” He stopped moving, his hips forward, pressing hard at a spot inside her. It triggered her orgasm, spinning her into orbit. He continued thrusting until he joined her. Liat came again when he hit his climax.
Laughing and gasping, they collapsed on the bed. Austin got up and stumbled to the bathroom to get rid of the condom.
“Oh, shit,” he said from the bathroom. “We certainly enjoyed ourselves,” he said as he came out again. “Sorry, love. We shredded the condom.”
“Really?” she laughed. “I’m on good birth control.”
His hand smoothed her belly, planting a kiss on her navel. “Even if you weren’t, would it be a bad thing? Having my child?”
“Not at all. It would be lovely. A little magical baby with big brown eyes.”
“And great hair. I’ve got great hair.” To prove it, he tossed his head, flipping his bangs out of his face. “You’re simply smashing,” he said softly.
“So are you. I was completely wrong about you,” she admitted. “You’re none of those things I said.”
“Except for the hair.”
“Yes, except for the hair.”
“I’m so glad you tried out for the show.” He kissed her throat. “I was ready for a change.”
“Me too. I took a chance and I’m so glad I did. It was the best decision I ever made.”
“You need to make another one,” he said in a matter of fact tone.
His kiss stopped conversation for a few minutes.
“Decision?” she replied, as if there hadn’t been a ten minute gap.
“Yes. It’s tricky. You might need my help deciding.”
“Oh? Do tell.”
“Yes. You have your choice. Missionary Style.” He licked one breast. “Doggie Style.” He licked the other. “Or Reverse Cowgirl.”
They kissed a few more minutes and his hands found all kinds of soft, cuddly things to play with. Her hand dropped between them, cupping him gently.
“You haven’t told me what you want yet.”
“We’ll go for Reverse Cowgirl,” she decided.
“Excellent. I’ve never tried it before, but I’m always up for something new.”
© 2015 Dellani Oakes
I hope you’ve enjoyed Something New and I hope you’ll continue to follow me and wait for something new (which isn’t Something New, but something… different and new. Bugger, you get the idea).
Austin recovered quickly. His doctor gave him a clean bill of health within a week. The bruising was almost completely gone and the cuts were healing nicely. He went back to work the following Monday.
When he walked in, everyone clapped and cheered. Dexter and Naomi had a plate of scones, fresh butter and a pot of tea. Liat carried a plate of pineapple and a bowl of melted chocolate on a tray, setting it in front of him. He laughed when he saw it, and fed her a piece. She took the hint and fed him one. Anyone who didn’t already know they’d consummated their relationship, knew it when he kissed her.
“We’re taking the leftovers home,” he mumbled against her lips.
The day went well. Sandy insisted on using a stunt double and, for once, Austin didn’t object. He was in pain by quitting time, but Dwight had his pills and gave him one before he headed home. Liat drove back to his apartment and parked in a place near the elevator.
“They gave me a special spot since you haven’t a car. Seems the management likes you.”
“That’s because I’m handsome, outrageously famous and I’ve got great hair,” he said with a toss of his head.
“Will you ever let me forget that?” she pleaded.
“Maybe, when you’re old and gray and all my hair falls out.”
“How are you feeling?”
“Tired. I’d like a short nap, but then I want—entertainment.” He kissed her, his hand sliding up her thigh.
She helped him out of the car. They kissed as the elevator rose to his floor. When the door opened, they were surprised to see his neighbors clustered around. Glad he hadn’t been doing something naughty, Austin took Liat’s hand and stepped off the elevator.
“I know you’re tired,” Liat said. “But they so wanted to have a bit of a party now that you’re well. Do you forgive us?”
He chuckled. “Always. What’s for dinner? I’m starving!”
“We’re having a cookout on the roof,” Jerry announced. “So go get changed and come up. When’s the last time you had a pain pill?”
“Half hour ago.”
“Then you’re not drinking,” Ellen said.
“Yes, Nurse,” he said, inclining his head.
He and Liat got changed and went upstairs. All his neighbors were there, along with other people he knew in the building. Owen and his staff had fixed a dozen side dishes and half a dozen desserts. He and Jerry were grilling spare ribs and arguing, good naturedly, over the sauce.
Dwight came upstairs, fairly bouncing with excitement. “Just got a call from God. He said that Irving’s in jail on charges of breaking and entering, vandalism, attempted arson and assault. He won’t get out for some time. His defamation charges have been dropped, of course. He couldn’t prove a thing anyway. And—” He paused dramatically. “The founding fathers want a chat with you about The Magician’s Fund. It seems you’ve come to the attention of the big man himself.”
“Someone bigger than God?”
“God controls network TV and dabbles in radio. I’m talking about the man who owns half the city.”
“Not Ian Yarrow?” Liat gasped.
“Himself! Gorgeous man!” He rolled his eyes, sighing dramatically. “How sad it is that he’s straight. Ah well, one can dream!”
“Why do they want to talk to me?”
“They want to see if you’ll allow it to go nationwide. With Ian backing you, it could go international too.”
“Is he rich, or something?” Austin asked.
Dwight gave him a withering look. “You really need to get out more, ducky. He’s got something like a billion dollars.”
“Maybe in his back pocket,” Liat commented dryly. “Ian’s got more money than God. In this case, I mean Almighty, not Daddy. He’s a wonderful man.”
“Great. Just tell me where to go. If it helps the kids, that’s all that’s important.”
“Splendid. I’ll text you details.”
© 2015 Dellani Oakes
Only Dwight and Liat stayed after talking to the doctor. Austin was released and wheeled out to Dwight’s car by an orderly. Liat climbed in back and Dwight scooted the front seat all the way back. Austin got in, leaning against the seat gingerly. The nurse handed him his pain pills and the orderly closed the door as Dwight went to the driver’s side. He drove slowly and carefully home, heading to the underground garage. As they passed the front of the building, they were surprised to see cameras and reporters outside.
“The vultures descend,” Dwight said through gritted teeth. “Can’t they leave him alone?”
“It’s the price of fame,” Liat said.
“Then I wish I weren’t bloody famous,” Austin said. “But I like my job and I can do great things for people, so I guess I’ll learn to put up with it.”
Two of their neighbors met them at the elevator. Dwight had sent a text to Jerry and his wife, Ellen. She worked as a registered nurse and he had experience as an orderly. They had a wheelchair they’d borrowed from their elderly neighbors, and they wouldn’t let Austin walk the length of the hall to his apartment. They got him settled in bed and Dwight went over the instructions with Ellen. Jerry chatted with Liat.
“So, you’re the woman who’s been making him smile, huh? Austin’s a good guy.”
“He’s the best,” Liat agreed. Her voice cracked and she started to cry.
Jerry took her in his arms, rocking her back and forth. “Let it out, sugar. He’s fine. Minor bumps and cuts. Nothing serious.”
“I know. I know.”
Ellen came over, smiling. “He’s asking for you. Don’t let him misbehave,” she tried to scold, but failed.
“Babe, he’s got so much bug juice in him, he’s barely gonna rock a piss by himself,” Jerry said.
“Dwight will go over the schedule with you. Here’s my number. Call any time if you need me,” Ellen said.
She and Jerry left, taking the wheelchair with them. Liat went to the bedroom. Dwight sat on a chair near the bed, talking quietly. He stood when Liat entered, giving her the chair.
“I’ve got a schedule. I assume you want to stay?”
“Of course. I don’t suppose you’ve got a toothbrush?”
“Austin’s got one. He always keeps a spare. He’s got some pajama shirts he never wears. You can use one to sleep in. Ellen will be by at nine to check on him. I’ll take you to get your car and pack a bag if you want to stay a few days.”
“May I hire you to run my life too?” She giggled, giving him a hug.
“Pain pills are on the night stand and he can have one in four hours, if he wants. If you need me, call.”
“We’ll be fine. Thank you, Dwight.” She kissed his cheeks, holding his face in her hands. “He’s all right. No worrying allowed.”
“Hey,” Austin groaned from the bed. “Stop kissing my girlfriend.” He chuckled hoarsely, groaning when it pulled on his throat.
“Go to sleep, gimp. I’ll see you in the morning. I gave Ellen a key, she can let herself in. I’ll bring coffee. Our grocery order came in and was delivered to my place.”
Dwight finally, reluctantly, went out.
Liat got ready for bed and slid in next to Austin. He lay on his stomach, his head facing the door, but he turned his head when she lay beside him.
“Damn, I’ve just made love to the most beautiful woman in the world, and now, I can’t do anything more. You could put 1.21 gigawatts through me and I still couldn’t get it up.”
Liat kissed him. “Give it a day or two, you’ll feel better. And as soon as you’re off the injured list, we’ll make up for lost time.”
“Goody. Because it was yummy and I like yummy.”
She giggled, brushing his hair out of his face. “I like yummy too. And yes, it was.”
“Only thing that would make it better—pineapple and chocolate sauce.”
“That’s because pineapple and chocolate sauce make everything better.”
“Kiss me before I fall unconscious.”
She did as he asked. His eyes drooped shut and she knew he was asleep.
© 2015 Dellani Oakes
The confrontation with Irving is, fortunately, short lived and not as serious as it might have been. Austin does ride to the hospital in the ambulance, due to the injuries he sustained from the shattered sign. Liat gets a ride with Irma the gate guard.
Irma drove off and Liat wandered into the emergency room. Dwight was there already, pacing in the cramped space. He rushed to Liat’s side when he saw her.
“I saw him, he’s fine. Some glass splinters and bruising on his throat.”
“His throat? Why?”
“Bastard tried to choke him with the golf club.”
“What a wretch!”
“Are you Liat?” the nurse asked from the doorway.
“Yes. I am.”
“He’s asking for you. We don’t usually let anyone but family back, but he’s insisting. Seeing it’s Austin, Doc said it was okay.”
“Thanks, awfully!” She followed the nurse back. “Is it because he’s famous?” Liat asked her.
“We saw the interview with Liz,” she replied. “Anyone who does that for strangers deserves special privileges.” She smiled and opened a door to a treatment room.
Austin lay on his belly, his back exposed. He was peppered with bits of glass and debris, his throat mottled red, blue and purple. He smiled feebly.
“They have me all pumped up on something really lovely,” he mumbled. “Feel all floaty.” He wiggled his fingers, flapping his hands at the wrist as if he were flying.
She sat next to him, taking his hand. She kissed him gently. “That was very brave. Not very smart, but very brave.”
He chuckled. “Next time, I’ll call the stunt double.”
“Thank you for protecting me,” she whispered. “And thank you for a delicious time earlier. I hope we can continue that soon.”
“Me too. Was—luscious.” His eyes drifted closed and he snored slightly with his face pressed against the table.
A white clad doctor and a nurse in pink scrubs, walked in.
“I’m Doctor Dickens,” the young woman said, extending her hand. “I’m a big fan. My colleague got stuck with the fat guy.” She smirked. “We flipped a coin.”
“Nice to meet you. I’m Liat Vogel, the newest companion—and his girlfriend.”
“You lucky girl!”
“I like to think so. I’ll get out of your way.”
“I’ll let you know when we’re done. Don’t worry. The cuts are superficial and the bruises and swelling will go down in a few days. It could have been much worse.”
Liat kissed Austin once more before leaving. He didn’t stir, but she hadn’t expected him to. Dwight stood when she came out. She was surprised to see a room full of people. Many of the cast and crew members were there, anxiously waiting.
“He’s fine,” she announced. “Minor cuts and some bruising. He’ll be all better soon.” She burst into tears.
Dwight embraced her, holding her close. The cast and crew people hugged one another. A couple of the other assistants went to the cafeteria for coffee and cookies. They brought them back, distributing them. They waited, chatting quietly, for about half an hour. When the door opened and Doctor Dickens walked out, they stood.
She smiled. “He’s doing great. He’ll be groggy for awhile. The pain medication worked better than I anticipated. He’ll be sore for a few days,” she told Liat. “And he shouldn’t exert for about a week. The throat is fine, but he should follow up with his own doctor in the next day or two. Any questions?”
Liat had millions, but wasn’t sure what to ask first. Dwight stepped forward, introducing himself. He asked several questions, clarifying instructions and took all the paperwork.
“I can sign him out,” he told the nurse. “I’ve got his medical power of attorney.”
Liat raised an eyebrow.
“We did it as a precaution,” he told her without her asking. “Since he has no family, he asked me if I’d act as his next of kin.”
“You take such good care of him.”
Dwight held her close. “He says that his job saved him, well mine saved me too. I was in a dark place when he hired me. His friendship has been the biggest blessing I ever had.”
Liat nodded, her cheek pressed against his chest. She could hear his heart beating and it was comforting having his strong arms around her.
Sandy approached, speaking softly. “I know he’s going to ask, so please assure him that this isn’t going to be a problem for the show. We have enough footage for several episodes, so he can take time off with no worries.”
“Thanks, Sandy.” Liat hugged the director.
© 2015 Dellani Oakes
After a lovely time together, Liat and Austin are relaxing when they hear noises outside. Foolishly, perhaps, Austin goes to investigate and finds Irving breaking into the sound stage. Armed only with a cellphone and a nine iron, he confronts the former director.
Irving turned. Austin pressed the button, eyes averted. He shone the light in Irving’s eyes. With a scream, the man rushed him. My some magic, Austin clicked the strobe, illuminating the room in flashing, blue-white light. Irving tried to tackle him, but he dodged. Swinging with his nine iron, he connected with Irving’s flabby middle. Austin wasn’t prepared for Irving to grab the golf club and yank it away, which he did on the second swing.
One meaty fist wrapped around Austin’s wrist. Irving grappled Austin, trying to choke him by using the golf club across his throat. Dropping to a crouch, Austin used Irving’s weight against him. He ducked under the club, grabbing it in both hands. He tugged, knocking the other man off balance. Irving fell awkwardly, cracking his head on the table. Items scattered with a clatter.
“Hands up!” Someone yelled from a few yards away. “Don’t move.”
“I’m Austin Templeton,” he said calmly. “My girlfriend called you. This bloke was trying to set the place on fire.” He nudged Irving with his toe.
“Stand down,” a loud female voice said. The woman from the front gate walked into view. “Hi, Austin. You okay?”
“I think? Hello.” He staggered, but she caught him in a surprisingly strong grip.
“You’re bleeding all down your back. Hold still.” She got on her radio and called someone.
Other security officers moved forward. They found Irving in the dark by the desk. He was bleeding heavily from a head wound. The shaft of the nine iron was bent, still gripped in his hand.
Moments later, an ambulance arrived. Austin wandered out, helped by the female guard. She was amazingly strong, or maybe he was just weak. They loaded up Irving, who was still unconscious.
Liat ran over. “Are you all right? You’re bleeding!”
“You ride along, buddy,” the EMT said to Austin. “Only got one truck, but we can take you both.”
“I’ll follow,” Liat said. “I’ll see you there.”
The doors to the ambulance slammed shut and she watched it drive away. The female security officer came over with a woman police detective.
“Are you all right, Miss Fogleberg?” the guard asked.
“I’m a little shaken up. But I’m not hurt. Is Austin okay?”
“Looks like he took some glass from the sign. Mind if I ask what you were doing here tonight? He doesn’t usually stay over without telling us.”
They took seats in the outdoor smoking area. Someone put a blanket around Liat’s shoulders.
“We hadn’t intended to stay. We—got carried away.”
Both women smiled, nodding. They’d had their share of getting carried away.
“We heard banging and Austin went out to see what was wrong. I called security.”
“Why didn’t he wait for us?”
“I don’t know. I suspect he was trying to keep me safe. Can you imagine what would have happened if Irving had successfully blown up the sound stage? I doubt we’d be sitting here right now. May I go to the hospital? I’m worried about Austin and he’ll be asking after me.”
“Sure,” the police detective said.
“I’ll take her,” the security guard volunteered. “Can we call anyone for you?”
“I’ll call,” Liat said. “I need to tell his friend and call my parents.” She pulled out her phone and dialed Dwight’s number.
“You’re on the news!” he screeched. “Is he all right? Are you hurt?”
“I’m fine. He’s headed to St. Mary’s. I’m following. Irma, from the front gate, is taking me.”
“I’m on my way. See you there.”
“Be safe. I don’t want you injured too.”
“I’m fine, baby. No worries. See you soon.”
The call to her parents was more difficult. They were so worried about her, they barely listened to details. They decided against going to the hospital, but told her to call if they were needed.
Irma turned in at the emergency room door, dropping Liat off. “You’ll be okay from here?”
“Yes, I can get a ride. Thank you so much!”
“Call me when you know something.” She handed Liat a card with her name and number.
“I will. Thanks.”
© 2015 Dellani Oakes
Please Note: Part 41 of Something New will be on Thursday, October 29 as I have a new book coming out on October 28th. Be sure to look for One Night in Daytona, available for pre-orders now!