Tag Archive | Dellani Oakes

Red River Radio Presents What’s Write for Me with Julia, Maya and Rami

We’ve got a great show planned for Wednesday, June 26 from 4-6 PM EDT.Joining us today are two familiar folks, and one new one.

First up is a fellow Tirgearr Author, Maya Tyler is a multi-published author of paranormal romance novels and blogger at Maya’s Musings. An avid reader, Maya writes the books she loves to read—romances! She still believes that “True Love’s Kiss” is the most powerful thing in the world. Her paranormal romances come with complex plot twists and happily-ever-afters. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, listening to music (alternative rock, especially from the 1990s), practicing yoga, and watching movies and TV.

Second is the happiest horror author I know. Rami Ungar knew he wanted to be a writer from the age of five, when he first became exposed to the world of Harry Potter and wanted to create imaginative worlds like Harry’s. As a tween, he fell in love with the works of Anne Rice and Stephen King and, as he was getting too old to sneak up on people and shout “Boo!’ (not that that ever stopped him), he decided to merge his two loves and become a horror writer. Today, Rami lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio. He’s self-published three novels and one collection of short stories, and his stories have appeared in other publications here and there. Rose, his first novel with Castrum Press, will be released June 21st, 2019. When he’s not writing your nightmares or coming up with those, he’s enjoying anything from the latest horror novel or movie to anime and manga to ballet, collecting anything that catches his fancy, and giving you the impression he may not be entirely human.

Third, and new to the show, is another Tirgearr Author. Julia Byrd lives and writes in Chicago with her handsome dog and scruffy husband. She tells people she enjoys books, wine, baking, and architecture as plausible cover for her secret double life. Her second Gothic romance, Soil and Ceremony, was published by Tirgearr Publishing in June 2019.

Be Sure to Join Us!

Sidetracked by Dellani Oakes Part 66

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

“Is something wrong?”

“What? No. Just thinking…. They’ve offered me Mona’s job.”

Deirdre knew there had been a temporary manager in her place, since her arrest.

“Would it mean moving?”

“No. They want me at this store. It might mean a change down the line, but unlikely. I’ve worked at the same store since it opened. I know it better than anyone else. It would mean a few business trips for meetings, but no more jaunts for set ups. What do you say? You want to be the wife of the store manager?”

“Yes! It’s a wonderful opportunity for you!”

“I hoped you’d say that, because I accepted almost as soon as the words left the district manager’s lips. This would put me on a fast track for his job, in a few years. But he’s bucking for tri-state, so that would be okay with him.”

“Really? Wow! I think I’ve had my limit of excitement for the night.”

“I hope not,” Fred cut his eyes at her, giving a seductive smile. “Because I have plans for the rest of the night.”

“You do, huh? Am I to be party to these plans?”

“You’re the main recipient of the plans. And I’ve saved a special treat or two.”

“What could you possibly have in mind, that you haven’t used in the last twenty years?”

“You’d be surprised.”

And she was—happily so. As they snuggled into one another’s arms, she lay with her head on Fred’s chest.

“I finished my book.”

“I remember. We celebrated.” He kissed her forehead. “Much as we just did.”

“I found someone to edit it for me. And I want to submit it for publication.”

“Really? That’s fantastic! My wife, a published author, eh?”

“We haven’t gotten that far yet, but maybe one day.”

“Not the Great American Novel, though.”

“Sadly no. It will never be that, but it’s still good—at least I think so. Maybe one day, I’ll write one of those, but for now, I’m happy. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing.”

“Let’s hope that with the next one, you don’t have anything interfere. I don’t think I can take anymore of that kind of excitement.”

He nuzzled her throat and she knew what kind of excitement he did want. She let him kiss and fondle her a few minutes before turning to face him.

“Are you trying to distract me, my love.”

“Yes. Am I being successful?”

“Yes!” Her voice caught in her throat as he nibbled and licked.



© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Sidetracked by Dellani Oakes Part 65

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

Deirdre smiled, wiping her eyes, as she nodded. She listened to that song nearly every day, and loved it.

“Without further adieu, mes aimes have more great music for you. Join us in celebrating this special night. And if Fred and Deirdre recall, this is the anniversary of the first time I met them, and was welcomed into their home and family.”

The evening progressed with a variety of music that Deirdre and Fred loved. After they ate, they joined others on the dance floor, to one side of the stage. Near the end of the program, Eoin took his place center stage once more, now dressed as Angelique.

“This is the last dance of the night, ladies and gentlemen. Your boys tell me this is the first song you ever danced to as husband and wife. I hope they’re right, or I’m going to look like a fool.”

The introduction began, and Deirdre burst into happy tears. This was their song, the first time they made love, it was playing, and they chose it as their first dance at their wedding. Eoin did the old Otis Redding song, I’ve Been Loving You, great justice. His voice rose and fell, alternately crooning and growling out the words.

The audience went wild once more, demanding an encore. Eoin grinned at Deirdre.

“I’ve got the perfect song in mind, but I need help. You lot,” he pointed to Fred and Deirdre. “You come up and help me.”

She’d had just enough alcohol to think it would be fun. They were helped onto the stage as the bass and drum began. Eoin took the first verse without telling them the song, but both of them recognized it. Their voices joined his on the chorus, and they sang the unedited version of Space Lord by Monster Magnet. By the second chorus, the entire audience joined them on, “Space Lord Mother f**ker!”

Eoin and Deirdre did a silly, sexy dance. Not to be left out, Fred turned her around to face him, and continued the seductive dance with her. When the song ended, he pulled her close, kissing her deeply. Giddy and lightheaded, Deirdre clung to him as their kiss continued.

They didn’t hear the thunderous applause, or the cheering, for a good minute. Once Eoin cleared his throat twice, and tapped Fred’s shoulder, they came up for air. Blushing and finger combing her hair, Deirdre was persuaded to take a bow. Fred’s was more awkward, but they both made a good showing for themselves.

They followed Eoin and the others off stage, where they were hugged and kissed by the cast and crew. Everyone congratulated them on their performance, and several offered them a job. Politely declining, they finally were able to follow Eoin to his dressing room. He went behind a screen to change, while they sat and talked to him.

“Did you like the show?”

“It was fabulous! How did you know what songs to pick?”

“You sing a lot around the house, and I’ve seen what you posted on Facebook. Also, your boys were a fountain of information. What about the encore?” He came around the screen, dressed in jeans and a tee shirt, still with his Angelique face on. Sitting at the makeup table, he proceeded to remove this as they talked.

“It was f**king perfect,” Fred declared. “I love that song. I don’t know why, but I do. Embarrasses the hell out of our boys, perhaps that’s why?” He winked at his wife.

“You’ll be all right on the road? Didn’t drink too much?”

“Yes, Mum. I know my limits.”

“Good, I don’t have to take your keys and lecture.” Once his face was clean, he turned around with a grin. “I’ve asked Fonda to move in with me. I wanted you to be the first to know.”

“That’s fantastic! We’re so happy for you!” Deirdre said, smiling.

“I couldn’t have gotten to this point without the two of you. You have done more for me than my own parents. I want to ask her to marry me, but that can wait a bit. We need to get used to this first. We are having a house warming in a couple weeks, and you lot will have to be there.”

“Absolutely. You’re both invited for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years!” Deirdre said, bouncing with glee.

“One holiday at a time, but yes. We’ve neither of us any family but you. It means so much to us both that you’ve adopted us. Thank you.”

“You’re family,” Fred said. “Son of our hearts.”

They said their final farewells and drove home. Deirdre chattered happily, recapping the evening. Eventually, she realized that Fred wasn’t saying much.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Sidetracked by Dellani Oakes Part 64

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

The girls blushed.

“No, ma’am,” Inez said. “You don’t mind that I’m older?”

Deirdre shook her head. “I want him happy. If you do that, then I don’t mind.”

“Thank you.”

Their guests didn’t linger, but the young men walked the girls out to see them off, and stayed quite a while. When they returned, they were both smeared with lipgloss, which Deirdre politely ignored, though she did tell them to wash.

“Are you happy?” she asked when they came back.

She was seated in the recliner, alone in the living room. Fred was playing Call of Duty with his younger sons. They were yelling and swearing loudly in the den.

“Getting there,” Eoin said. “She’s not Wendy, but I believe she could be more.”

“Good. Keep it in your pants,” she ordered sternly.

“And if not, keep it wrapped,” the young men chorused.

“No more grandchildren until I’m fifty. That includes you,” she pointed at Eoin.

“Can’t promise that,” he said with a sly grin and a wink. “But perhaps I can wait until you’re forty. But if you think I’m waiting that long to have sex, you are, in fact, mistaken.”

Deirdre giggled, tossing her head back. “Duly noted. It does my heart good to see you both smile.”

Eoin got ready to go home a little later, promising to come by for dinner the next night. “I promise to eat you out of house and home.”

“I have so much food, even the Vacuum Brothers can’t suck it all down. Please, you would be doing me a favor. And a standing invitation for Sunday dinner, since you aren’t working.”

“Yes, Mum, I promise. And I’ll call when I get home.”

“Good. I’ve trained you well.”

Eventually, life got back to normal. A new principal replaced Harkness and another golf coach was found to step in for Bullock. Inez, Fonda and Eoin became fixtures around the house, and Deirdre worked furiously on her book. It wouldn’t be then next Great American Novel, but she was pleased with it.

Once she was out of her boot, she and Fred decided to go to Eoin’s show. He set them up with seats near the stage, and told them to order whatever they wanted. The management had agreed to cover their meal, as a thank you.

Excited as a girl going on her first date, Deirdre dressed for their night out. Her dress, chosen by Eoin, was a shimmery red, which offset her pale complexion and blonde hair. Her fancy, matching shoes, sported a stiletto heel, giving a graceful curve to her leg. When she walked into the living room, her boys snapped pictures of her, requiring more when she joined their father.

“Now I know what it’s like for you, on special occasions,” she teased. “Can we go now? We’ll be late.”

“Go,” Aiden said. “Have fun. Be good and don’t stay out late. I want you back here no later than two.” He slipped something into his father’s hand. “We don’t want any hiccups,” he said, dropping his voice to sound stern.

Fred chuckled when he saw a condom packet in his palm. He dropped it into Aiden’s pocket. “Thanks, but no.”

“Seriously, Dad. No more kids. I’m tired of the brothers I have, already.”

Laughing, their parents went out to the driveway. Climbing into the Jeep didn’t seem very classy, but Fred’s heap had now been given to Aiden.

Arriving at the club, they were treated like royalty. Stacy saw them to their table, at the point of the stage, where it jutted into the audience. All the servers came to say hello, and they were lavished with food and drinks. After his first Tom Collins, Fred switched to ginger ale. Deirdre had two Cosmos before the show started, but didn’t want anymore after that.

The lights dimmed and Eoin’s voice began, with no accompaniment. After the first few notes, a quiet guitar joined, then drums and organ. He seemed to caress the words as he sang, the lights slowly rising to show him standing alone on the stage. Dressed in sleek black pants, and a sparkling white silk tee shirt, he wasn’t in drag. The song, Arms of a Woman, wound to a close and the applause was deafening.

“Good evening, my friends,” he said, using his own mild tenor voice. “Forgive my dishabille, I promise Angelique will visit later. Tonight is very special for me, because two people, dear to my heart, have come to see us for the first time. Closer than my own parents, they have taken this strange Irishman to their hearts. Welcome, Deidre and Fred.” He gestured to them. “We have a very special show for them tonight, featuring some of their favorite songs. I have on good authority that my opening number is near the top of the list.”

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Sidetracked by Dellani Oakes Part 63

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

“You’re welcome. Thank you for standing up for what’s right,” Aiden replied, giving each a gentle kiss.

With Inez, he got more than just a little kiss in return. Both realized it wasn’t the venue for such a thing, but she couldn’t help it. He promised to call her, and the girls also went to the buffet.

Finally, the line ended and they were able to get some food. Several of the ladies had set aside special tidbits for them, knowing they would disappear quickly. The buffet was hosted by the Council of Catholic Women. The family made sure to thank them for their kindness and generosity.

“It’s the least we can do for a lost lamb,” the president, Mary, said. “When Barry told us the circumstances, we couldn’t say no.”

It was finally time to go. The family, with Eoin, drove home. Changing into more comfortable clothing, they sat in the living room together. Fred brought out a bottle of wine that looked somewhat old and dusty.

“I had planned to save this to celebrate Aiden’s twenty-first birthday, but I think we need it now. I am a firm believer in celebrating someone’s life, after mourning their passing. We’ve had the sorrow of the day, now the joy.” He poured each of them a glass, including the two younger boys. “To Wendy. You touched our lives in many ways, whether you knew it or not. Your love, gave us a beautiful granddaughter. Your death brought us closer together. We mourn you, daughter, but delight in you as well. May you find peace that you didn’t know in this life.” He raised his glass.

The all clinked glasses before sipping the wine. It was a good vintage, a lovely, mellow white wine. Fred gazed down into his glass after taking his first sip.

“I bought this the day we found out we were going to be parents. From the beginning, I knew it was a boy. I have no idea how. I had a name picked out, and I was lucky Deirdre liked it. I wanted to name my first born son after the best man I knew, my grandfather, Aiden Stewart Partridge. He came to this country as a boy, with his mother and younger brother. His mother wasn’t well, so he was the one who found work, supporting them. He worked tirelessly until the day he died, providing for his family. If you will bear with me a moment more, to my grandfather.”

They toasted his grandfather as well. After that, the mood lightened and they told funny stories about Wendy and Granda Aiden. He had been around when Aiden was young, and he remembered the old man fondly.

The stress of the morning finally caught up with Deirdre and she went to bed. When she woke later she heard voices, more than she’d anticipated. Not quite feeling up to a houseful of company, for the first time in years, she made her slow way to the living room. She found Vanessa and Dario, along with Fonda and Inez. Not a bad crowd, she could handle that.

Fred brought her water and a pain pill once she was settled in the recliner. Eoin fussed, doing his own impression of a mother hen, and she had to laugh at him.

“I didn’t get a chance to meet the young ladies,” she said, smiling at Fonda and Inez. She didn’t miss how close the girls were sitting to Aiden and Eoin, but it didn’t bother her.

Aiden made the introductions.

“It was their testimony that helped get the search warrants,” Vanessa explained. “But that’s not why we’re here.”

“We know you have a lot of food already,” Fonda said. “But we really wanted to thank you, and this is the only way we know how. Despite our mothers’ shortcomings, they insisted that it wasn’t a true thank you celebration without food. So we made a comfort meal.”

Once they were all seated at the table, the girls served heaping bowls of mashed potatoes, parsnips and butter beans. Along with these side dishes, they served the best fried chicken any of them had tasted. This wasn’t the Colonel, or Publix deli, they had made it themselves.

“My granny taught me how to fry chicken before I got my first bra,” Fonda said, unashamedly. “The secret, she says, is cooking in cast iron. I don’t know if that’s true, but I don’t use anything but the deep skillet she gave me when I was ten.”

Inez set two platters, mounded with flaky biscuits, in front of them. “My grandmother insisted that every girl had to know how to make biscuits. While Fonda friend chicken, I mixed biscuits until I could do it in my sleep.”

“Mine are never this light,” Deirdre said.

“You could pave a road with them,” Fred said, earning himself a punch in the ribs. “I’m telling the god’s truth, woman,” he laughingly complained.

“Which is why we have Pillsbury,” she countered. “I know my weaknesses. This is absolutely delicious. Thank you.” She genuinely liked the girls, and felt that her two oldest boys, that being Aiden and Eoin, were in good hands. “At least I know they won’t starve,” she teased.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Sidetracked by Dellani Oakes Part 62

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

The service was beautiful. Father Barry spoke as if he knew Wendy, and Aiden suspected he’d spoken to some of their friends, in order to find out about her. Near the end of his sermon, he stepped in front of the podium, putting his hand on the coffin.

“I didn’t know this young lady personally, but after speaking to those who loved her, I feel as if my life missed something, not having her in it. The world has lost a loving spirit, but heaven has been given an angel. If you will, please, join me in our closing song. You’ll find the words in the program.”

The pall bearers walked forward and the organ soared around them. The congregation raised their voices in song. The words to I Shall Not Walk Alone had always brought tears to Deirdre’s eyes, but hearing everyone sing it for Wendy, was too much. She forced herself to walk out of the church behind the coffin, but she wobbled. Corin steadied her on her left, Burl on her right. The men set the coffin on the rack that slid into the hearse. She and her boys stood together, and were joined by Eoin and Fred. Watching the hearse pull away, the two young men broke down once more.

There was to be a reception at the fellowship hall, so they walked over. The family, and Eoin, were lined up to receive condolences. Aiden wished he were anywhere but there, but it was part of the ceremony. He felt he owed it to Wendy to see this through.

A couple came up to him. They didn’t speak right away, but the woman took his hand, staring into his face. They looked to be in their late thirties or early forties. She was blonde, elegant. He was swarthy and rugged.

“You must be Aiden,” she said, her voice a mellow alto.

“Yes…ma’am. And you are?”

“Amanda and Leonard Register. You gave us our daughter,” she said softly. “We debated coming, but we had to say goodbye to dear Wendy. We also wanted you to have this.” She took a framed photo from her handbag. It was a picture of his daughter, dressed in a pretty pink dress, a bow in her hair. “She will be three in a month and we would be pleased if you would come to her party. You can be Uncle Aiden, if that’s all right?”

“Yes. Yes, of course! Thank you! You have no idea what this means to me. To be a small part of her life. Thank you. My parents, Fred and Deirdre Partridge, my brothers and our dear friend, Eoin Reilly.”

“You’re Eoin?” Amanda said, taking his hand. “Wendy talked about you. She lived with us before Rowan was born.”

“You kept her name?” Aiden didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

“Such a lovely name, how could we not? Wendy spoke of you both so often, and fondly, we feel as if we know you. We are so very sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you,” Eoin said graciously. “May I come with Aiden? I feel…she talked of you and the baby, Rowan, so much these last few months. If I may?”

“Absolutely! And we would like you all to visit from time to time. Lenny’s family is mostly gone. He grew up in foster care, like Wendy. That was one reason we were drawn to her. I came from a huge family, but we can always have more, don’t you find?”

“I do,” Deirdre said softly, taking her hand. “Thank you for making the trip down. Gainesville is over three hours.”

“We moved to Ormond a year ago, so we’re much closer now.”

“Thank you, son,” Leonard spoke for the first time, taking Aiden’s hand. “She’s such a treasure and a joy for us. We could never have our own, and having Wendy choose us, was such a blessing.”

“I’m so glad you’re all so happy. Thank you again.” He shook the other man’s hand, and was pulled into a hug. Amanda hugged him, too, and they wandered over to the buffet table.

“Uncle Aiden,” Eoin said softly. “Not bad.”

“I can live with it. F**k, Eoin, I’m a dad!”

His emotions were in such a jumble, he didn’t know what to do with himself. He didn’t have time to figure it out, because Fonda and Inez walked over. They had both been crying and their makeup was in ruins. Inez hugged Aiden, and Fonda buried her face on Eoin’s chest. They held them gently, hardly knowing what to do. A few minutes passed, and they disentangled themselves.

“Sorry, guys. Lord, we’ve made a mess of your shirts.” Fonda wiped at it with a tissue, but it didn’t help.

“Not to worry,” Aiden said. “Are you okay? You both look pretty shaken up. More than just this.”

“Our folks are in jail,” Fonda said. “And it’s about goddamn time!” she said a bit louder than she’d intended. “Sorry. Our dads, especially, deserve it. Thank you for making me brave,” she said, touching Aiden’s cheek, then Eoin’s.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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.


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.


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!