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Alton & Velda Part 10 by Dellani Oakes

alton and velda cover smallerFollowing Revanth, the three meet Stout Jack, a man whose mother, wife and daughters have all been claimed by the river. Velda assures him they aren’t dead, but naiads.

They traveled several miles below the rapids before Velda handed her pack to Alton. With a kiss, she stepped into the water, calling out a greeting. The waves and ripples circled her, chattering happily. One last smile at Alton, and she dove in.

“We’ll continue on foot,” Alton said, gazing at the sky. “We have another hour or two before it gets too dark for you to see.”

“Can you see in the dark?”

He smiled. “Day or night, light or darkness, I see the same.”

“What else can you do?”

“Many things. You’d think me bragging if I told you all.”

“How old are you?” she asked unexpectedly.

“Far older than I look. I was a full grown man before you were born. In fact, before your parents were born.”

“How long have you and Velda been together?”

“A decade.”

“That’s a long time to be without your family,” she mused.

“It is. Though we have one another.”

“Is that enough? Revanth and I have one another, but sometimes—I still long for my family.”

Alton nodded, holding a tree branch out of her way. “I miss mine every day.”

“Even your father?”

His green eyes darted over his shoulder and he grew tense, as if listening.

“What makes you think there’s anything between me and my father?”

She laughed lightly, shaking her head. “Because fathers and sons often fight, especially when the son chooses a woman his father doesn’t approve of. It was he threw you out, wasn’t it? Cut you off?”

“Yes,” was his terse reply.

“He can’t live forever, Alton. One day, you can go back and claim your own.”

“I can’t.”

“I don’t understand. Why not?”

“It’s complicated.” He stopped walking. “The ways of my people aren’t for you to understand, or not. I can’t go back—ever. I gave up my inheritance, for Velda.”

“Why? There are other women in the world, Alton.”

“There are no others like Velda,” he murmured. “Could you give up Revanth? Or would you turn your back on all you’ve ever known, to be with him.” He paused. “Oh, wait! You already did that!”

Astrid nodded, a tear escaped her eye, trickling down her cheek. “You needn’t be so mean.”

Alton stopped, turning toward her. He put a gentle hand on her shoulder. “I don’t intend to be mean, child. For ten years, I’ve been cut off from my family and home. Yes, I am with the woman I love—”

“But if you had the choice to make again?”

“I might not make the same one,” he replied softly. “I love her more than my own life, but sometimes I feel as if a part of me died that day.” He cast about for a moment, then set his pack on a nearby rock. “This looks as good a place as any to stop for the night. I’ll gather firewood. You call for Velda. Just dip your fingers in the water, and call out to her with your mind.”

Astrid nodded. She set her pack down beside Alton’s, and walked to the riverbank nearby. She dipped her fingers in the calm, cool water, letting her thoughts drift. There was a splash and tinkle of laughter. Moments later, Velda swam up to the bank, her blue eyes glittering happily. Her dark hair flowed around her like water.

“Hello, Astrid. I met some of my cousins here. We’ve had a lovely day.”

Velda slithered onto the bank. Her dress clung to her legs in a silvery, glittering garment that looked like the lower end of a fish. Moments later, Astrid was sure she had imagined the entire thing until Velda shook her hem and Astrid saw her feet. They were fins! Startled, she gasped and backed away. The naiad giggled.

“What did you think, my dear? That I swim like you by kicking my limbs?” She shook her hair free, the water scattering around her like diamonds. “Lower body of a fish in the water. Lower limbs of a human on land.”

Astrid nodded, wide eyed. “I never thought about it. Until I met you, naiads were mythical creatures.”

“Like wood sprites, dryads and elves?” Velda asked with a laugh.

“Yes. I never met anyone like you and Alton before.”

“And I never met a man enchanted into horse form,” Velda replied. “Let’s see what Alton has for dinner. I’m starved! Then I’ll tell you what I found out about Revanth.”

“Yes, please!”

They hurried back to camp. Alton had a fire blazing, surrounded by rocks. It was built in the center of the circle of trees, in a shallow depression that looked like it had, had fires in it before. Alton smiled when Velda approached. Taking her in his arms, he kissed her.

“I’ve missed you. Sit. Eat.” He handed around a bowl of fruit, followed by mellow cheese and other treats.

The women ate greedily, as Velda told them what she had found.

“You must have sensed that they passed this way,” Velda said to Alton.

“Yes. Many hours ago. It wasn’t a fun passage for any of them.”

“Is he all right?” Astrid asked.

“One of them beat him,” Alton replied. “But his companion reminded him that he’s worth more money if he’s not got marks upon him. They are gentler now, but not by much. The one who beat him said that if he got too problematic, he’d kill him, and have done. Revanth is quieter now.”

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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Red River Radio Presents Dellani’s Tea Time with Christina and Karen

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Join us for Dellani’s Tea Time – Monday, June 10 from 4-6 PM Eastern on Blog Talk Radio

We don’t like to do it, but we do anyway—Authors, promoting themselves. Whether you work strictly for yourself, or promote others, it’s a pain with very little gain. Many of us don’t have a lot of money to spend on ads and promotional services. Social Media constantly changes the rules. What to do? My guests this month will share some tips and ideas for promoting yourself (and others).

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Though she’s usually the strong, silent type, my able bodied assistant, Christina Giguere, is going to talk about her new book on Social Media! Welcome, Christina!

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Joining us is Red River Radio host and author Karen Vaughan. She owns and operates an author promotions company, Owl and Pussycat. Welcome, Karen!

We’d love for authors to join us in the chat room and ask questions, or share your tips with us! If you can’t join us live, leave your questions in the comments, and we’ll try to answer them!

Dellani’s Choice Could Use Some Love!

Dellani's Choice - Books

Dellanis Choice iconDellani’s Choice could use some love! I share my reviews, promote other authors, post interviews and talk to other authors – all for free! I’d love to see this site expand to include more followers – readers and authors!

Please take a moment to follow Dellani’s Choice and drop your website in the comments. I’ll follow you! Also, when I double my current following, I’ll do a random drawing for one lucky follower to win a free e-book!

Thanks for Following Dellani’s Choice – Sharing Great Books, One Page at a Time.

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Red River Radio Presents What’s Write for Me with Kelsie and Rick

Join Us Wednesday, April 24 from 4-6 PM Eastern on Blog Talk Radio

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Dragons, and Dryads and Elves – oh my!

We’re taking a step in a slightly different direction. Anyone who plays video games knows that there is an incredible story behind each one. Even if the history isn’t active in the game, it’s there. World building for a fantasy game can be especially challenging.

This week, we will chat with Rick Simmons, programmer and trouble shooter for Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted. He is joined by Kelsie Belanger, an artist and animator for the game.

I’m looking forward to getting to know these two talented people a lot better. I know we’re going to have a great time, regardless of where the conversation takes us.

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Meet Artist Kelsie Belanger

How are you involved with Istaria?

I’m an artist, specializing in 3D animation and user interface (so icons), as well as some minor work in texturing and modeling. I also own and manage the Discord and have managed various events in the past.

Favorite pastime

I love to draw, but mostly I like playing video games with my friends.

Favorite book series or author

My favorite book series is the Age of Fire series, by E. E. Knight, though really only the first three books.

Family, furry friends or other life stuff

I have an elder sister and a young niece, and a whole boatload of cousins. I’ve a cat and a lizard as pets, though I really want a snake in the future, too.

Major things happening in life right now

I’m working my way through college to get a bachelor’s degree in Biology, however I do hope to get into the gaming industry as a 3D animator in the future.

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Meet Programmer Rick Simmons

How are you involved with Istaria?

I’m a programmer and do client and server side programmer. In general, I try to keep some distance from the design side of Istaria. It’s my experience that programmers make games that programmers like, while Istaria is intended for a wider crowd.

Favorite pastime

I like cooking and reading. For fiction, I usually read hard scifi and non-fiction is currently the psychology and biology of consciousness.

Favorite book series or author

While a bit older of a series, I still think the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons is a fantastic. I think a Canticle for Leibowitz deserves to be read more widely. For non-fiction, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter is a favorite.

Family, furry friends or other life stuff

Wife and two kids, but kids are mostly grown up now.

Major things happening in life right now

Getting on the crazy train… I think we’re on the cusp of significant changes to our lifestyle, based on climate change, and trying to figure out a better place to live that is more insulated from those effects. Maybe not so crazy.

To Join Us Live, or Listen Later!

Sidetracked by Dellani Oakes Part 56

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

“I’m proud of you for nursing,” Deirdre said. “I’m glad young mothers are coming back to the right way.”

“You know my doctor tried to talk me out of breast feeding?” Nadeya said. “As soon as he stopped screaming, I asked for my records and found another doctor.”

“Another testicular torsion?”

“Na, titty twist. Very effective.” She laughed, cutting her eyes at Deirdre, who laughed loudly.

“I kicked my OB in the balls when I had Burl. He and I didn’t see eye to eye on several things. Long story short, he didn’t tell me I had a few hoops to jump through for an epidural. Then he goes to sew me up without any numbing agent. It was reflex POW!”

“She had awesome aim,” Fred said, carrying in a tray full of mugs and coffee things. “His wasn’t a torsion, but he was limping when he left. Served him right, he was a complete terror the entire time.”

“We had to go to him because of the insurance,” Deirdre said. “But I complained so about him, they dropped him and got a really lovely woman. She delivered Corin.”

“I was lucky with my OB, she’s got midwifes with her, and one of them delivered Ray.”

“More family?”

“The doctor, not the midwifes. One of them a very handsome guy.” She raised an eyebrow.

“I guess I went into the wrong field,” Fred said, pouring them each a cup of coffee.

The other men trailed in with dessert and plates. They enjoyed their treat in the living room.

“Bedtime,” Fred announced, pointing to his boys. “I’m driving you in the morning, so move it, Rawhide.” He made a whip-crack sound.

“I’ll take them,” Aaron said.

“No need….”

“I’d rather. You and Dee stay here with Jasper and Nadeya, and I’ve got the boys.”

“I’ll go,” Nadeya said. “I have to pick up Ray-Ray. I can pump some, but I need my baby fix by then.”

“Okay, it’s settled. Nay takes the boys, Jasper and I will stay here.”

“You’re not worried about Nadeya by herself?” Fred asked.

Jasper chuckled, kissing his wife. “My wife is nine times more lethal than anything those jokers can send. No.”

Eoin headed to Daytona, riding to the club with Aaron. He had everything he needed in his satchel, and he’d already done the prep work at Deirdre’s house. Walking in, he was greeted like a long, lost prodigal son. Assuring everyone he was fine, he settled in his dressing room and put on his foundation garments. These nicely padded his chest and rounded his hips and buttocks so he looked more feminine. Once this was accomplished, he dressed and started his makeup and hair.

The stage manager came by a few minutes after he’d finished, greeting him and going over special guests, events and so forth, that he was to mention during his spiel. Eoin always ad libbed his introductions, preferring to be spontaneous and in the moment. He felt a little flustered and off his game, but once the house lights went down and he took his spot for the opening number, the butterflies stopped fluttering. He was in his element, ready to take possession of the stage. The music came up and his voice formed the first words of Feeling Good by Nina Simone, echoing in the dark. As the music built, the lights came up, to find him seated on a stool, in a glittering black sheath dress and fishnet stockings. His own black hair had been teased and glittered, standing up like Tina Turner’s.

As he went through the evening, he couldn’t stop himself thinking about their situation. He wasn’t afraid for himself, but he was worried about Deirdre’s family. He didn’t let the preoccupation interfere with his performance. If anything, he did better than he had in a long time. They had finished the grand finale, and the cheering audience begged for one more song. Eoin whispered to the others, and the band, what he wanted to do.

“That’s gonna bring everyone down, man,” Miss Twiggy, an anorexic looking performer, said.

“This is important to me. Please just do it. I can’t explain now.”

“Fine. But my objections….”

“Are noted.” Signaling the band, he walked alone onto the stage.

Slow, soulful music began. A soft spot came up on Eoin’s torso. Standing in the half dark, he spoke quietly into the microphone. “Ladies and gentlemen, I lost a very dear friend, the love of my life, a few days ago. She was murdered.” A gasp escaped the audience. “Normally, I would end the show on a high, happy note, but if you’ll bear with me, I would like to dedicate this song to Wendy.” Soft applause followed.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Love in the Pink by Dellani Oakes

Cereal Authors

character-quotes-image“Her mother must be an artist.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Her name. Not a name a man would choose, and not mainstream. It’s lovely and unusual.”

“As is she.”

Mom smiled, patting my hand. “I apologize for interrupting. First time?”

Despite the fact I’m a grown man, and my mother and I are very open about my sex life, that caught me off guard.

“How can you tell?”

“That soft glow on your faces. It must have been very good.” She touched my cheek fondly.

“It was the best. I can’t describe it.” Shaking my head, I fiddled with my coffee. “I think maybe this one will take.”

“Good. I want grandchildren.” Grinning, she smacked my cheek, pinching my lips together in a duck face. “At least four. Since you are my only issue, you need to be prolific.”

“Might have to get Cerise’s okay on that, Mother,” I…

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Curl Up with a Good Book ~ From Sea to Sea by Nelda B Gaydou

Dellani's Choice - Books

curl up with a good book from sea to sea nelda b gaydouFrom a three-week voyage of more than 7000 miles from New Orleans to Buenos Aires in 1964 through an eight-day, 3258-mile round-trip drive between Evanston, Illinois and Clovis, New Mexico in 2017, whether in their prime or in their nineties, the Bedfords have packed a lot into their life’s journey. Follow their inspiring story of faith and service, set in fascinating times and places in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres.

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Nelda Gaydou Sea to Sea cover

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