Tag Archive | reading books

Look at us now! A Close Look at Owl and Pussycat Promotions

 owl-and-pussycat-promo

WHAT WE ARE ABOUT

Viv Drewa and Karen Vaughan formed Owl and Pussycat Promotions July 2016. We pride ourselves on friendly service that will meet the needs of independent authors. Our focus is on social media, i.e., Facebook and Twitter primarily and other platforms. Every week we feature a book or two of the authors choice including book blurbs, reviews, character quotes, and excerpts and we also have a follow the author day.  We firmly believe that having a consistent and organized plan is key to the success of any book promotion.

As authors, we understand the promotional needs and a variation on the golden rule applies “Promote for others the way we want to be promoted!”

BLOGS

OWL AND PUSSYCAT-WORDPRESS

OWL AND PUSSYCAT –BLOGSPOT

FACEBOOK PAGE

OWL AND PUSSYCAT PAGE

WHO WE ARE

VIV DREWA

viv-drewa-gray-sweaterViv is a Michigan native who has enjoyed reading and writing since 1963. Though she studied medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan her passion has always been writing.

She was awarded third place for her nonfiction short story about her grandfather’s escape from Poland. Later, she rewrote this story and was published in the “Polish American Journal” as “From the Pages of Grandfather’s Life” and recently had it published again on Amazon.com

Viv took creative and journalism courses to help in her transition to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer. She worked as an intern for Port Huron’s ‘The Times Herald”, and also wrote, edited and did the layout or the Blue Water Multiple Sclerosis newsletter “Thumb Prints.” 

She teaches sewing to physically and mentally disabled adults, a cause close to her heart.

Viv also writes two blogs to help promote our authors.

KAREN VAUGHAN

d3193-karen2bvaughanKaren Vaughan lives in Peterborough Ontario with her husband Jim and a cat named JJ. She is the mom of a 26-year-old daughter and four grown stepchildren, a newborn granddaughter and a 6-year-old grandson named Izak who could very well be smarter than a fifth grader. DEAD COMIC STANDING is her second novel. Her first novel DEAD ON ARRIVAL garnered praise from friends, family, and online gamers. She also enjoys doing crafts and other hobbies. Her third book and sequel to DEAD ON ARRIVAL is called OVER HER DEAD BODY. DAYTONA DEAD is the third in that series and was released in May 2013. Other than writing Karen loves to read, do crafts and play online games. Currently, she hosts an internet radio show called WRITERS ROUND TABLE since January the 14th, 2014. She has a quirky sense of humor and shows this in her mysteries and her side hobby of stand-up comedy. DEAD MEN DON’T SWING AND JAMAICA DEAD WERE PUBLISHED in January 2015. LEFT FOR DEAD AND HOLMES IN AMERICA WERE PUBLISHED IN 2016. Karen is currently working on her 7th book in the Laura and Gerry series DEAD TO WRITES.

 

OUR AUTHORS

AARON R. ROBERTS~~CONTEMPORARY FICTION

ANNA OTHITIS~~CHILDRENS LITERATURE

DELLANI OAKES~~SCI-FI, ROMANTIC SUSPENSE AND HISTORICAL ROMANCE

GERALD DARNELL~~MYSTERY

KAREN VAUGHAN (SHE’S A CLIENT TOO!) MYSTERY 

L.ANN MARIE~~EROTIC ROMANCE, ACTION AND ADVENTURE, PARANORMAL FICTION

MARTA MORAN BISHOP~~POETRY, CHILDRENS LITERATURE, CONTEMPORARY AND PARANORMAL FICTION

PAUL NOSACH–CONTEMPORARY AND PARANORMAL FICTION

SAMANTHA JACOBEY–EROTIC ROMANCE 

VIV DREWA (YES ALSO A CLIENT)-CONTEMPORARY AND PARANORMAL FICTION, MYSTERY

OUR PRICES AND SERVICES

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OUR WINTER SPECIAL

Try us for $10 and get all the
services you would for the 5 days/week/month
Only available until Feb. 28th!

OUR REGULAR PRICES

2 days/week/month
$10/month
Or $100 for the year
Shared on social media sites and blogs

3 days/week/month
$20/month
Or $200 for the year
Shared on social 
media sites and 
blogs
One free teaser

5 days/week/month
$25/month
Or $250 for the year
Shared on social 
media sites and 
blogs
Free teasers

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
ABOUT OUR SERVICES

DELLANI OAKES AUTHOR OF THE LONE WOLF SERIES

I love Owl and Pussycat Promotions. Karen Vaughan and Viv Drewa are organized, professional, fun and wonderful to work with. They get a lot of input from their authors to personalize the promotions, making them unique to each person.

GERALD DARNELL AUTHOR OF THE CARSON RENO MYSTERIES

To promote my writing and novels who could do a better job than another writer, a writer who understands how to get my books in front of the right people – the people who buy and read books. Viv Drewa and Karen Vaughn with ‘Owl and Pussycat Promotions’ (writers themselves) are doing that for me, and I could not be more pleased with the results.

PAUL NOSACH AUTHOR OF BLAZING HEARTS

To Owl & Pussycat Promotions: I have never felt such a warm welcome from the people who are helping me promote my novels. Not only are they doing that, but are creating spectacular art for my covers.

MARTA MORAN BISHOP AUTHOR OF DARKNESS DESCENDS

The Owl and Pussycat Promotions have just the right balance between cleverly and stunning advertisements, creative marketing strategies, and professionalism that has been and will continue to be a godsend to me. 

Red River Radio Presents Mark David, Maria and Dan

Wednesday, August 24 What’s Write for Me

 

Wednesday, August 24 at 4:00 PM EDT (3 CDT, 2 MDT, 1 PDT), Dellani and Christina welcome back two guests and greet a new one.

Distinguished as being one of Dellani’s first guests, we are pleased to have Mark David Gerson on the show again. He is the author of Sara’s Year, Moonquest Series, Acts of Surrender, Birthing Your Book and many more. Mark will join us from 4:00 – 5:00

Also returning is Maria DeVivo , author of Coal Elf and The Rise of Sturd. Maria will join us 5:00 – 6:00

New to the show is Dan O’Brien, author of Sixth Prime, Lauren Westlake Mystery series, Society of Dawn series and many more. Dan will talk with us and the others from 4:00 – 6:00.

Join us in chatting with these three amazing guests LIVE or via PODCAST at your convenience.

Dellani’s Tea Time Presents Social Media Show with Christina, Dellani, J.D., Karen and Marta!

Once in awhile, Dellani and Christina talk to one another, as well as a few stellar authors, and chat about using social media to publicize yourself as an author. Listen in TODAY at 4:00 PM Eastern time (3 Central, 2 Mountain, 1 Pacific) when we chat with JD Holliday, Karen Vaughan and Marta Moran Bishop.

Don’t miss this fun and informative show!

Enjoy the Chatroom Transcript

Tea-Time-Jun-13th-2016

JD HolidayJD Holiday Janosse the Goose, The Spy Game, The Great Snowball Escapade and more at Amazon

JD’s Blog

 

karen vaughan pictureKaren Vaughan Left for Dead, Jamaica Dead, Daytona Dead and many more at Amazon

Karen’s Blog

marta moran bishopMarta Moran Bishop The Between Times, Darkness Descends, Dinky: The Nurse Mare’s Foal, and many more at Amazon

Marta’s Blog

 

Rachel RuebenRachel Rueben Hag, Eternal Bond, Fedelta. Rachel’s Amazon page

Rachel’s Blog

 

Dellani Oakes with glassesDellani Oakes Lone Wolf, One Night in Daytona Beach, Room 103 and many more at Amazon

Dellani’s Blog

To Listen Live or Catch the Podcast at Your Convenience

Something New – Part 26

something new coverAfter the press conference, they have a lavish lunch at Sarducci’s restaurant. While they are there, Dwight gets a call from Babs, telling him they have been summoned to The Presence. Austin has no idea what that means, but it seems to awe the others.

Dwight tipped his head to Elaine.

She sighed, pushing them toward the door. “The Presence is what we call the God of Broadcasting in this city. He knows all, he sees all, he’s God.”

“Does this paragon have a name?”

“Yes,” Liat said. “I call him Daddy.”

They dragged a stunned Austin to the car. Stu sped along the streets, miraculously hitting green lights and minimal traffic. Though he asked many questions, Austin couldn’t get another word out of the women, Stu or Dwight. Resigned to the fact that he was being ignored, he settled back in his seat and closed his eyes. The car slowed, making a hard left turn. Austin woke. Liat handed him a breath mint. He popped it in his mouth before kissing her.

“Feel better now?”

“Little bit.”

“Good. You’ll need it.” She climbed out of the car.

Stu ushered them to the elevator and waited with them. “I’ll be waiting in the car,” he promised.

“Where are we?”

“The Vogel Building,” Liat replied.

“You’ve got a building—named after you?”

“Named after my great-grandfather.”

Liat pressed a section of wall and a sliver of wood slid back, revealing a single button. Elaine pushed it and the elevator rose rapidly, not stopping at any other floors.

When it reached its destination, the doors opened to a pink marble floored foyer. The walls were tooled bronze to about chest height, and creamy cloth above. On the left, wide steps led down to a lavish room with a black marble floor. There was a rectangular fireplace standing in the middle. The perimeter of the room consisted of gray leather couches. A padded lip ran around the fireplace, perfect for people to put up their feet.

To the right, a grand piano occupied a cozy nook. A panoramic view of the city filled the bowed glass windows. The room continued, but Austin didn’t have time to look at it all.

Elaine led them to the sitting area around the fireplace. They took seats in a tight cluster, except for Elaine, who sat directly opposite the steps. Moments later, a tall, dark haired man with broad shoulders and muscular chest, came to greet them. He trotted down the steps and stopped in front of Elaine, holding out his hands. She took them and he raised her to a standing position. His arms went around her waist, pulling her close, as he kissed her.

“Hello, darling,” she said with a smile. “How was Paris?”

“Boring. French.” He winked, patting her on the fanny. “You’ve had some excitement. Hello, Precious.” He greeted his daughter with a kiss and hug.

Austin and Dwight stood, waiting anxiously. Liat’s father was an intimidating man. He stood over six feet tall. His black hair was shot with silver, his blue eyes penetrating. His voice was a loud and rumbling baritone, laced with a distinctive Oxford accent.

“You’ve studied Shakespeare,” Austin said as he stepped forward.

The man’s blue eyes twinkled. “I have indeed, young man. Royal Shakespeare, 1971 through 75. Astute.” He shook Austin’s hand.

“No one rumbles like a Shakespearian,” Austin replied. “Which must make you Gordon Vogel.”

“It must, indeed! Gordon Oliver Desmond Vogel, God for short.” He turned to his wife, smirking. “You told me he was sharp. Who’s your friend?” He held out his hand to Dwight.

“Dwight Wales. He’s my personal assistant and good friend.”

“Everyone needs those,” Gordon said, shaking Dwight’s hand. “Friends, I mean. Assistants are a dime a dozen.”

“Not good ones,” Dwight said confidently. “We go for a dollar a dozen.”

Gordon burst out laughing at the silly joke. “I like this one too. Can we keep them, Mummy?” He sounded like a child, directing the comment to his wife. “Sit, everyone. Beverages. Sam-u-el!” He drew out the name like a battle cry.

The windows shook when he called the name. An elderly gentleman in a black suit came to stand by the sunken room.

“You bellowed, sir?”

“Beverages, Samuel. Tea?” He asked the room in general. “Yes, tea. The Oolong.”

“As you wish, sir.” He bowed, turning his back to the room.

“Great man. Deaf as a post,” Gordon muttered.

“I can hear you,” Samuel said. “I’m not deaf.”

“He’s not. I just like yelling. Sit!”

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

Something New – Part 25

something new coverThe press conference went well. Austin played his part perfectly.

They laughed as the elevator opened. Stu was waiting for them, grinning.

“Beautiful job. Where to now?”

“Lunch,” Liat said. “I’m starving.”

“We’ve got the whole city to choose from.”

“Sarducci’s,” Liat replied.

Dwight pulled out his phone and made a call. “They’ll have a private dining room for us. Go to the back door,” he told Stu.

“You got it!”

“Let’s eat, then you need to discuss the schedule for all your interviews with Dwight and your agent.”

“All my interviews? I thought there were just the two.”

“After this? Everyone is rabid to chat with you.”

“I was hoping that my statement would make them less interested, not more.”

“Ride the wave, dear,” she advised. “This is a great forum for you.”

“For the show, you mean.”

“No, for you. You believe everything you said today. There are more important things than gossip and celebrities. If we spent as much time worrying about the country and less time worrying about movie stars, we’d be a far better place.”

They pulled up to the back door of Sarducci’s Italian Restaurant. The hostess, a tall blonde woman, met them at the door and led them to a private dining room. When Stu had parked the car, he joined them. Hors d’ouevres circulated on Venitian glass serving trays, accompanied by champagne. Soon, lunch was served.

Austin took his first bite. The flavors rolled across his tongue and he smiled. “Divine,” he said as the waitress refilled his water. “Please give my compliments to the chef.”

“I will, Mr. Templeton, thank you.”

The waitress moved away, but Austin caught her sleeve.

“Ask her if I detect a hint of anise and just a touch of—” he smacked his lips a second. “No, fennel, not anise. It’s really unique.”

“I’ll ask.”

A few minutes later, a short, petite woman with long black hair and a chef’s cap, walked into the room. The men rose, including Austin, though he had no idea who she was. Grinning, she came over to him, her hand out.

“You’re good. You tasted the fennel. Not even my father caught that.”

“There’s cardamom too, but I didn’t catch that until after the waitress left. Nice background to the garlic, onion and pepper.”

“Are you a chef?”

“No, I just love to eat. I can barely boil water, but I appreciate good food. It is delicious, Chef. Thank you.”

“You’re very welcome. Come back any time.”

“Thank you. If you keep cooking like that, I’ll eat here all the time.”

“I’ll keep cooking like that.” She winked and left.

Applause followed the chef out. A waiter closed the door behind her.

Dwight’s phone rang. He wandered away from the table before answering. “No kidding!” He couldn’t seem to contain his delight. “Thanks, Babs.” He scurried over to the table. “How soon can we get to Riverside?” he asked Stu.

“If we hurry and there’s not too much traffic, forty minutes, an hour tops.”

“Come,” he gestured to Liat and Austin. “Elaine, you too.”

“What? Where?” Liat asked.

“We’ve been summoned,” he replied. “To the Presence.”

Obviously understanding, the women stood, preparing to go. Stu dropped his napkin and hitched up his pants.

Austin frowned. “What are you talking about?” Austin followed Dwight to the door.

“Honestly, do I have to tell you everything?” Dwight stopped, incredulous.

“Apparently, yes. What’s the Presence?”

“It’s not a what, it’s a who.”

“Okay, that then.”

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

Something New – Part 24

something new coverWaking a little late Saturday morning, Austin is greeted with several phone messages, including several from Liat. He calls her first and finds out there is a press conference at the studio, to counter the charges levied by Irving. When he gets outside his apartment building, he’s greeted by reporters and cameras.

“What was that?”

“Fame.”

“That’s all Irving’s doing?”

“Mostly, yes.”

“Bastard.”

Dwight and Stu laughed.

“Do I have lines or am I winging this?”

“Lines.” Dwight handed him his phone.

Austin flipped through the e-mail his friend had been sent. He read it through twice, making sure he had all in his mind.

“Don’t ad lib,” Dwight cautioned. “Stick to the script.”

“Right.”

They arrived at the network building and drove into an underground garage. The building was surrounded by rival networks converging upon them. They all headed to the front door and were guided to an auditorium. Austin and his entourage went to the back elevator reserved for executives and others too important to brave the public places.

Dwight did a last minute primping, making sure Austin’s tie was straight, his hair contained and his handkerchief suitably fluffed. Liat waited in the wings stage right. Her mother was already on stage, talking to the press.

“Without further adieu, I present Austin Templeton.” She gestured to the wings, clapping.

Austin entered, shoulders back, chin up. He worked the crowd like a politician on the election trail. Smiling and waving, he stood with Elaine, posing for pictures. He kissed her hand before she stepped aside. Cameras clicked, people jostled. He winked at her when his back was turned to the audience, before stepping on his mark, exactly center stage. He didn’t have a microphone, that anyone could see, but he spoke with confidence.

“Good morning, everyone. I trust you slept well.” He paused a moment, smiling. “Seems that there are ugly rumors flying about and I’d like to put those to rest, if I may. I’d like to begin by saying that I am, quite frankly, deeply concerned about Irving. I strove to keep our relationship professional, but perhaps he misinterpreted that as being aloof.” He shrugged. “Who can say? In any case, if he wishes to believe that I was rude to him or insulted him, that’s his choice. I wish him the best of luck in his professional career and appreciate the direction he gave me.” He bowed, turning to exit.

“Austin!” one woman up front called. “Show us your bum!”

He leaned forward, hand to his ear. “Excuse me?”

“Your bum,” she repeated eagerly.

Austin walked to the front of the stage, crouching in front of her. “Have there been any robberies this morning? Muggings, murders? Stock fraud, car crashes? Are there people sleeping in boxes in ally ways because they can’t afford a home? Do people starve to death and wander the streets because they lost their jobs to outsourcing?”

The woman stared at him, dumbfounded. Some of the reporters caught on, but most of them stared too.

“Because I find it hard to believe that this petty argument between me and Irving Childers is worth this amount of air time. How much money did you spend getting over here for this? What is this press conference costing the network? Tomorrow, over coffee and bagels, will the American public be talking about the war, the homeless, the starving or the terminally ill? Or will they, in fact, be talking about this tripe as they sip their seven dollar lattes and chow down on expensive pastries?” He glared at them, standing suddenly.

“This is a farce and I no longer want to be party to it. When you have important things to ask, I’d be happy to chat. Until then, go home.” He spun angrily and strode off the stage.

Shocked faces greeted him in the wings. Dwight followed, with Liat trotting behind.

Elaine watched him, smiling. “Good lad!” Putting on a solemn face, she went back to the stage. “I apologize, ladies and gentlemen. Mr. Templeton has left the building and will be unavailable for contact. Any questions may be directed to my staff. Please pick up the press kit on your way out.” She, too, exited.

Chaos ensued. No one had ever been dismissed from a press conference so precipitously. They weren’t sure whether to be insulted or respect the hell out of the kid. The more perceptive chose to look closely at his statement. Others chose to feel insulted. Either way, Austin was the talk of the town.

By the elevator, Austin waited for Dwight and Liat to catch up. Dwight smiled, holding out his hand. Austin smirked, grabbing it. They exchanged a brief hug. He turned to Liat, tugging her into his arms, kissing her surprised mouth.

“How was I?” he asked Elaine, as she approached.

“Bloody perfect! You were wonderfully condescending. It doesn’t hurt that you feel strongly on the subject. I happen to agree with you. It’s a wretched nuisance and a waste of everyone’s time. Thank you.”

“Did you plant her? Because that was almost too perfect.”

“Oh, no. She’s really a reporter. But before the conference, I had people chatting the reporters up and one of them made a remark to her, and others, on the subject of your magnificent derriere. Couldn’t have done better if we’d said it ourselves.”

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

Something New – Part 23

something new coverAustin didn’t realize what a shit storm had been stirred up by Irving being fired. Now, everyone wants a piece of him, but not in a fun way.

When he turned his phone on the next morning, there were 30 new messages, mostly from networks wanting comments about Irving. He also heard from Irving’s lawyers, saying that he’d defamed Irving’s character and they were filing charges against him. He heard from the network lawyers wanting to know what he’d said to or about Irving. Radio and TV stations wanted him to do interviews. The last few messages were from Liat, Dwight and Elaine. He chose to call Liat first.

“Austin? Oh, thank God! Can you believe the shit storm that’s sprung up?”

“No. I’m stunned. I never said a word about him to anyone. He may be a turd, but I’m not going to bad mouth him.”

“He says you insulted him to his face.”

“I barely spoke to him. When I did, I was polite. You heard me.”

“I know, I’m just letting you know what he’s saying.”

“Does he think it’s my fault he was fired?”

“Yes.”

“Bugger.”

“It’s all right. Mum has the lawyers armed and ready. They’ve got a statement for you to make. They want to do a press conference at eleven this morning. Can you do it?”

“I guess I’ll have to.” He glanced at his watch. “I’ll need a shower. I just got up a little while ago.”

“Okay, we’re sending a car to pick you up at ten forty-five. Do you have a suit?”

“Yes.”

“Wear it. Don’t worry. I’ll be there too. He’s gone after me as well.”

“The dirty bugger.”

“See you soon. I have to go.”

“See you. Bye.”

“Bye.”

He hung up and headed for the bathroom to shower and shave. His front door opened.

“Where are you?”

“Naked in the bathroom.”

Dwight appeared at his bedroom door. “Who have you talked to this morning?”

“Liat. I’m getting ready now.”

“Great. Stu’s picking us up in thirty minutes.”

“Then get out so I can bathe.”

“I’ve seen your arse.”

“But not the other bits. Go.” He pointed to the door.

Dwight huffed out. Austin heard the door open and close again as he got out of the shower. When he walked into his bedroom, he saw a new suit lying on the bed. It was navy blue and far nicer than anything he’d ever owned. A dark red shirt and a silver and blue tie lay next to it. There was a handkerchief in the pocket, fluffed and flared like a fan. A pair of new, expensive shoes, sat on the floor.

Austin dried his hair and got dressed. He was just doing up his tie when Dwight returned. He stopped in the doorway, admiring his friend.

“You look great. Very impressive.”

“Love the suit.”

“I knew you would. Early birthday.”

“Thank you. Must have cost a fortune.”

“I was owed a few favors. A friend of mine makes suits. He’d love your endorsement. He’ll keep you in suits for life.”

“I can do that. Is Babs okay with it?”

“Sure is. Time to go.” His phone beeped. “Stu’s downstairs. Walk right to the car. Don’t stop.”

Austin frowned. “I know how to get in a car.”

“Not like this, you don’t.”

Chaos greeted them. There was an aisle cleared between the door and the waiting car, the crowd held back by police officers. Stu stood beside it, back door open. Austin and Dwight dashed across, dove in the car and the door slammed behind them. Frantic reporters, cameramen and photographers followed them into the street. Stu sped away, neatly avoiding the ones too stupid to stay out of the street.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

Something New – Part 22

something new cover

A few minutes later, his phone pinged showing a text. It was Liat’s number, sent by Dwight. A second one followed.

“Any action?”

“Little bit. Progress.”

“Good. Go watch yourself. You’re about to be executed.”

“Bugger all. Who cares?”

His phone rang. He’d barely said hello when Dwight started talking.

“I’ve never met anyone as uninterested in his own career as you are.”

“Are there really web sites devoted to my bum?”

“What? Yes. So?”

“So, there are people starving and living on the street and they’re waxing pornographic about my ass? What’s wrong with people?”

“You got me. Nothing better to do. You do have a very nice ass, Austin. But it’s not worth the attention it’s getting.”

“Precisely my point. Am I doing the talk shows and so on?”

“Yes. I’ll coordinate with Sandy and Robert so we can schedule around you. They may want Liat too. Babs is following up on that.”

“What days?”

“I’m sending a schedule. The next week will be rather tight, but we can manage.”

“You take such good care of me. Do I thank you properly for that?”

“All the time, my friend.”

Austin smiled. “Yes, you are my friend. And thank you for that too.”

Dwight cleared his throat. “You’re a good guy, Austin. Don’t ever lose that.”

“If I tried to be an arrogant prick, you’d kick my magnificent bum.”

Dwight laughed. “Yes, I would. Oops, there’s Babs again. Need to go. Night!”

“Goodnight.”

Austin clicked on the TV and channel surfed until he saw his own face staring into the camera, eyes wide, mouth open with surprise. An alien dictator had him prisoner and he’d attempted to escape, but was caught at the last moment. Things were about to get ugly when he worked his technological magic and managed to escape with the dictator’s beautiful daughter in tow. She’d helped him escape, of course, after a night of unbridled passion with The Magician. He dumped her in the next episode, kiting off with some other winsome lass.

“Where do they go, do you suppose?” he mused. “Is there a home for The Magician’s abandoned companions? Do we every fully explain their disappearance?” He thought back to the scripts and decided they didn’t. They skipped time and took him to another location, sans companion. “What a bastard he is.”

He fixed himself some tea and warmed a few leftovers. He wasn’t terribly hungry, but he wanted something to do while he watched The Magician’s antics.

“People actually like this?”

He switched channels and watched a marathon of Bones. He liked the show. At least the characters served a useful purpose. Aside from dropping his pants and, occasionally, saving the human race from their own stupidity, The Magician did nothing noteworthy.

The news came on at eleven. He rarely watched it, since he had to go to bed early.

“The lead story tonight, director Irving Childers storms off the set of The Magician.”

“That’s their lead? There are people dying in the war and they lead off with that? What’s wrong with them?”

Magician producer, Elaine Vogel, had this to say.”

The picture cut over to Elaine. She was outside the sound stage, smiling. “Mr. Childers is extremely difficult to work with, often changing his mind and having to reshoot frequently. He keeps the actors and crew on edge. After he verbally attacked the show’s star, Austin Templeton, I told him to leave. Austin is a lovely young man, very talented, with a stellar reputation. I couldn’t allow that to continue.” She ended the interview and went back inside.

Austin clicked it off. He couldn’t believe that story was considered that important. His phone rang. He answered, not really paying attention to it.

“Mr. Templeton? Channel Seven news. Could we get a statement about Irving Childers?”

“No. And stop calling. I’m going to bed.” He hung up.

The phone rang again. This time, it was Channel Three. He blocked the call. In the space of five minutes, he had calls from all the major local stations. Disgusted, he turned off his phone and went to bed.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

Something New – Part 21

something new coverAt home again, Austin runs the gauntlet down the hall. His floor is home to two (of three) brothers, all of whom have twins or triplets. It’s apparently bath time and the dads are having trouble keeping track of their children.

The naked child ran across the hall again, trailing bubbles and water. His father made a grab and missed because the other child clung to his leg.

“Rory, no!”

Austin scooped up the child before he could make a break for the elevator. His father picked up the one attached to his leg.

“Thanks! He got away from me when I went after his brother.”

“Mum’s out, then, Owen?”

Owen chuckled. “How’d you guess? Girl’s night out. I might live through it. Ewan’s out of town, so we’ve got his as well. And Aiden’s on the injured list.”

His brother appeared at the door, a crutch under one arm. “Stepped on Legos in the dark. Turned my ankle. You’d think I’d know not to go in their room after light’s out.”

Austin chuckled. “What shall I do with this, then?” The child dangled from his hands, swinging back and forth, pulling at his toes. He flipped nearly upside down, but Austin caught him.

“You’re good at wrangling,” Owen said. “Want a job?”

“Got one,” Austin replied.

“Oh, hey, you’re on tonight, aren’t you?” Aiden asked.

“Am I? I don’t watch it. Is it good?”

“Dude, it’s awesome,” Aiden replied, bending over to keep one of his daughters in the apartment. “There are websites and forums devoted to you—and your ass.” He winked.

“Really? Then they’ll be disappointed to know I’m keeping my pants on for a bit.”

“The American public will cry with woe,” Owen said dryly.

“The women will—and the gay guys,” Aiden said.

“What?” Austin held the twin awkwardly as he spun around. “Gay guys? My bum?”

“The topic of more than one board. Lots of speculation about which way you swing.”

“Me? That’s insulting, that is. Not that there’s a thing wrong with being gay,” he rushed to say. “But it’s not me. Jesus!” He handed off the twin and went home.

His phone rang and he answered absently.

“Austin?” His manager, Babs. She handled models and actors.

“Yes, hi!”

“You’re a hot commodity, it seems. The local sci-fi con is calling to see if you’ll come for a visit. They’re inviting a couple of the companions, and a few of the writers.”

“Yes, of course. When? Where? Do you need to talk to Dwight?”

“Already did. He said you’d say yes and send the schedule to him. He says you have a new companion and she’s staying? Dish. Tell me all.”

He did. Babs fired off questions, demanding detailed answers.

“Also, the local talk shows want you on. I’ve been approached by City Today and Late Night Ladies.”

“I don’t even know who those are. Why all the interest?”

“You’re number one across the nation. Everyone’s talking about you. Do you live in a bubble?”

“Mostly? Why don’t I know any of this?”

“Most of the calls came in today. I heard there was a big stink over one of the directors. He walked out?”

“He was fired for being a beast,” Austin said, setting her straight. “He might think he’s someone special, but Elaine did not.”

“The producer? You met her?”

“Yes. Lovely lady. Just got back from dinner with her and the rest. We ate with Naomi and Dexter, the caterers. At their cabin.”

There was a stunned pause. “Really? You know Naomi owns the island?”

“The um. . . . Island? That bit in the middle of the river?”

“Yes. Their cabin is an exclusive lodge. Very high end. They live on the island in a smaller cabin. Her family has owned it for years.”

“Hm, the things you learn.”

“Do you think your new companion would be interested in joining you for the shows and conventions?”

“You can ask her.”

“Do you have her number?”

“Uh, no, actually. Dwight—”

“Dwight will.” She chuckled. “You’d better have him give it to you too.”

“Will do.”

“I’ll let you go. I’ll get her number and call you back tomorrow. Bye, honey!”

“Right. Yes. Goodnight.” He hung up.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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Something New – Part 19

something new coverAustin throws himself into every experience, including something as simple as a walk in the moonlight. Liat finds herself swept up in his enjoyment. She finds the setting, not to mention the man, captivating.

A crunch of footsteps on gravel alerted them that they weren’t alone. Dexter stood on the shore.

“Sorry to bother, but I’m about to lock up and turn out the lights. I saw the car and thought I’d better come looking.”

“Just was enjoying the river for a few minutes,” Austin mumbled.

Dexter laughed at his friend. “It’s been nearly an hour, mate.”

Austin’s fingers laced with Liat’s. “Good company,” he replied.

“Thanks, Dex.” Liat kissed his cheek.

Dexter clapped Austin on the back, grinning. When Liat’s back was turned, he gave his friend a subtle thumb’s up and a wink. Austin smirked, nodding.

Austin and Liat chatted quietly as they drove back to town. His apartment wasn’t far from where she was staying. It was a modest building, though comfortable.

“You can afford a bigger place,” Liat commented. “Not that this isn’t nice—”

“I like the people,” Austin said with a smile. “Dwight’s right across the hall. Next door is this elderly couple who have been married close to sixty years. They’re amazing. Some of the others from the show live here, scattered about.” He wiggled his fingers at the large, old fashioned brick building. “Downstairs is a fabulous restaurant. When I feel adventurous, or really hungry, I go down. The chef lives down the hall with his wife. He keeps a table for me, in the back, so I’m not bothered by fans. His wife works for the paper.

“I can exercise here, or take a dip in the hot tub. They’ve got a dojo upstairs and the lads and I work out there. I think Naomi’s father owns it, though he doesn’t live here. There’s a convenience store on the main floor. They stock my tea and biscuits, order them in specially for me. There’s a dry cleaner’s and a hair and nail place. Everyone knows everyone else. It’s like having a huge, extended family all around. I love it.”

His eyes sparkled happily as he extolled the virtues of his housing choice. Liat could see the appeal. For a man who’d come from nothing, lived on the street and hadn’t any family, a place like this would be like heaven. Her heart ached when she thought of the things he’d lacked, but she knew he was changing that. Having the job as The Magician had turned his life around.

“You want to come in for a bit?”

“I would. Don’t have to get up early.”

He smiled and got out, going around to open her door. “I always get up early. I go out on my balcony and I listen to the city wake up. I can’t do that the days we work, there isn’t time. But on my days off, I do. On rubbish days, the trucks rumble around and clatter and bang as they collect. I used to hate rubbish days. Had to run fast or you might get yourself dumped in a truck.”

“Did you live in a dumpster?”

He shrugged. “Briefly, when I was young. It wasn’t a busy one. Mostly just boxes and paper trash at an office, so it was fairly clean.”

“How old were you when you started living on your own?”

“Fifteen.”

“Why? Didn’t they take care of you in the foster homes?”

“Not so much,” he replied, clamping his lips together. “Can we please not talk about my youth? It’s behind me and I’d far rather think about my future.” He unlocked his door and ushered her in.

His home was Spartan, but clean and neat. He had simple tastes and only a smattering of furniture.

“When I find something I want, I buy it. Otherwise, I wait until something catches my eye. I don’t watch much television.”

“Do you watch your show?”

“Why? I live it. No need to see it. I used to.” He led her to the kitchen. “Then I’d look at myself and say, God, do I really look like that? It’s enough to make me contemplate surgery, so, I stopped.” He put the kettle on and pulled cups and tea out of the cupboard.

“What’s wrong with how you look?”

“I’m all arms and legs and this big, huge head. Floppity ears and an enormous nose. Don’t get me started on my bum.” He turned, examining it critically.

Liat giggled, clapping her hands. “Stop being such a girl! You look wonderful. All the bits fit together splendidly.”

“Even my bum?” He winked at her.

Liat’s eyes focused on his close fitting jeans as she smiled secretively. “Most especially your bum.”

Austin put the tea on the counter and walked over to her. She took a few steps toward him and they met in the center of the kitchen. His hands cupped her chin, lifting her face to his. She moved closer, putting her fingers through his belt loops as he bent toward her. Their lips met with a small spark.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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