Tag Archive | writing novels

Something New – Part 20

something new coverLiat drives Austin home. He invites her upstairs of a cup of tea, but instead, ends up kissing her.

Rubbing his mouth across hers soothed the sting, he licked her lips. She invited him to take more, which he did, kissing her tenderly. Austin stood less than a foot, but more than six inches from Liat. He could feel her body heat buffet against him, exciting him. Somehow, it was even more thrilling having her a few inches away than it would have been having her against him. He thought that until she closed the gap between them and her hips pressed against his.

No, that’s ever so much better, he concluded.

Her hands crept around his back, dropping so she could put her hands on his back pockets. A playful squeeze made him laugh, breaking the hypnotic lure of her mouth.

“I see what it is, you’re after my arse. All this is a clever ruse to cop a feel.”

“You have a magnificent bum,” she countered. “Highly squeezable.” She squeezed again.

“Best watch that,” he cautioned. “Too much bum squeezing and I can’t be responsible.”

She kindly moved her hands to his waist. He smiled, relieved that she understood, but disappointed that she’d stopped. In his mind, he knew it would be rushing things if he took her to bed right away. The logical part of him knew that, but the illogical, Magician part, who often reared his ugly, horny head, did not.

“Problem is,” he murmured against her forehead. He didn’t continue, merely held her close, her head on his chest as he stroked her hair. “Problem is, you aren’t a player and neither am I.”

“Mm hmm. . . .”

“Because it would be incredibly easy.”


Liat slowly stepped back. His arms slid away to dangle at his sides. She smiled up at him. “You are a wonderful man and I’m wildly attracted to you.”


“But we’ve only just met.”


“And I’m not like that.”


“Therefore, perhaps I should go rather than torturing us anymore.”

“Perhaps you should,” he chuckled. “Forgot to start the kettle in any case. Thank you. I had a marvelous time tonight.”

“I should thank you. You convinced my mother to let me keep this job.”

“I’m very good at that,” he whispered near her ear. “I am a Magician, you see.”

Austin walked her back to her car and watched until she drove away. He wandered around the downstairs, deciding to go workout in the weight room. He’d neglected his workouts for the last couple of days, preferring to spend his down time with Liat. He kept a bag of clean clothing and a change of shoes in a locker, so he headed to the locker room to change.

He walked into the weight room and saw one of the attendants, Todd. The young man nodded at him and came over.

“Hey, Austin. Haven’t seen you in a couple days. Everything okay?”

“Yeah. New companion.”

“Ooh. Another one? How many is this now?”

“Twelve. But she’s staying awhile.”

“On the show or with you?”

Austin lay down on the bench. Todd spotted him as he lifted the bar.

“Both, I hope.”

“Good luck, my friend.”


They talked while Austin worked out. The gym was quiet, not surprising for that hour on a Friday night. He preferred to workout late or very early. He avoided the crowds and didn’t have total strangers coming up saying, Hey, you look familiar.

Todd closed up as Austin left. He also lived in the building, a floor up from Austin. He was a personable young man and Austin had helped him get a part time job working as a personal trainer with the network. They said goodnight when Austin got to his floor.

Music was playing in one of the apartments and several doors were open. Children dashed back and forth, laughing and playing. A dark haired man dashed across, following one of the children, who was naked and wet.

Austin stopped, watching the antics. He knew that two brothers lived in apartments across the hall from one another. Their third brother lived in a house not far away. Both of them had three year old twins, as multiple births ran in the family. The brothers were triplets and the eldest had triplets of his own. They must be visiting, because there were far more children than usual.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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Undercover Lover Links

undercover lover coverUndercover Lover is one of my romantic suspense novels set in a Big City Up North that has no name. I did that because I didn’t want people saying to me, “Oh, that’s Chicago.” or “That’s New York. You got the details all wrong.” Instead, I made up my own city where things are my way, people act the way I want, and no one can come back at me and tell me I got the facts wrong. I don’t give it a name, it just is The City. ~ Dellani

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Oscar Friedman’s Freakish Occurence

Oscar Friedman’s Freakish Occurrence

This story was partly inspired by a trip to Tampa (on the west coast) from where I live on the east coast of Florida. It was rather an hellacious trip and one I will never make again. The GPS took me all over creation, down the wrong roads, back tracking on myself through the less savory parts of town, and took me places I hope never to go again. Each time I made a turn that I knew was right, it got snarky with me.

This was also inspired by a trip I made to North Carolina for a book signing. My good buddy, Norm Brown, and I shared some of Oscar’s frustration with the GPS as well.

Part 1oscar friedman cover

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

The Love Hate Challenge!

I have been challenged by my buddy Rami Ungar to participate in the Love/ Hate Challenge. To do this, I must list 10 things I love, and 10 things I hate. Then I have to challenge 10 other people to do the same thing. (My friends might never forgive me, but here goes!) Thank you, Rami. I know I’ll have fun with this.

author dellani oakes banner with conduct unbecoming from Christina


First, the 10 things I love:

1. I LOVE my family. They make me crazy in the extreme, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Besides, they have given me inspiration and encouragement with my writing, so I really want to put them first.

2. I love to write, I write to live. Telling stories comes to me as naturally as breathing. I can’t imagine not writing stories. If I had to stop for some reason, I truly believe it would kill me.Ocean & Sailboat

3. I love the ocean, but I can’t enjoy it like I used to. However, living near it and knowing I can go when I feel up to it, is important to me. There is an amazing energy and draw to the ocean that is only rivaled by the mountains.

4. I love the mountains. I can’t get there—ever, but I love it there. I grew up in Western Nebraska, not far from Wyoming and Colorado. We didn’t have mountains, but we had Scottsbluff National Monument and the Wildcat Hills, which are nearly as cool. I was born in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, but I love the Rockies.

Scotts Bluff National Monument

5. I love music. Like Rami, I think I would go completely insane without my music. I listen to a wide variety of music, from classical to heavy metal, and most in between. I don’t like rap, twangy country (though I love Willie Nelson) and I don’t care for that club crap that’s really just noise on a loop. (This will be discussed in the I Hate section)

6. I love traveling and seeing new places and faces. (The I hate traveling will be discussed below)

7. I love to read nearly as much as I love to write. I love to read my own work, though I know some authors who don’t enjoy reading their own books. I write partially to entertain myself. If I can’t make myself laugh, cry or lust after the hunky hero, I haven’t done my job right.3dab4-undiscovered2bby2bdellani2boakes2b-2b5002bbanner

8. I love to laugh. I try to find something funny every day. When I had cancer a few years ago, I set myself a goal of laughing at least once a day. I had to have something to make me feel human again. Nothing does that for you like laughing!

9. I love to find the absurd in the every day and bring it into my writing. I collect odd moments that I observe or participate in.

10. I love movies (TV and live theatre). I joke about being a movie junky, but it’s absolutely true. I can’t afford to indulge in this addiction to see movies on the big screen. I have to wait until they come out on DVD or hit Netflix. I don’t watch TV, except to catch my favorite shows on Netflix. (The I Hate of this will be listed below.)

lone wolf series banner 3

Now for the I Hate portion:

1. I hate marketing my books. I love writing and getting them published, but I hate having to hawk my wares so I’ll sell books. I know it’s a necessary evil, but it doesn’t make me love it.

2. I hate editing. I’m not talking about proofreading to find the occasional misplaced comma or a dangling modifier, I hate having to do major rewrites because something drags along, isn’t necessary to the plot or makes the reader fall asleep.

3. I hate hypocrisy—which is one reason I’m not fond of politicians (Below). I may not agree with everyone’s beliefs, and I don’t expect them to share mine. However, don’t say one thing and do another. Not a fan.Under the Western Sky by Dellani Oakes - banner

4. I can’t say I hate politicians, per se, but I hate the political system. I truly dislike hypocrisy and callousness. I hate that they will make blanket statements about how things should be, yet in the next breath, totally negate what they just said. Also, some of the issues they choose to make political, that are clearly not political at all, infuriates me. (I could spend an entire rant on this, so I’ll move along now.)

5. I hate rudeness. There is way too much of this going around. Folks like to say it’s the young who are to blame, but I beg to differ. I have met plenty of rude, obnoxious old farts—I live in Florida, for God’s sake! Do you know how many old, constipated, angry, decrepit assholes live here? Way too many. And they are all willing to make everyone else as miserable as they are. (I could also spend way too much time on this one, so I’ll continue.)

6. I hate noise that’s only loosely masquerading as music. I know I’ll offend all kinds of people with this one, but I’m past caring. I like what I like and I don’t like (most) rap. I can’t stand that crap they play in clubs that is some sort of mixed up, trippy, looping noise. That isn’t music. I will listen to Conway Twitty before I assault my senses with that. I’m also not a fan of screaming in lieu of singing. (Since I could rant for a long time on this, too, I’ll forge ahead.)The Ninja Tattoo by Dellani Oakes - banner

7. I hate badly written books and movies (TV shows, plays) There are tons of them out there, all vying for a spot on the shelves with their well written counterparts. When something badly written wins international acclaim and makes millions of dollars, I’m even more offended. I don’t need to go into detail, anyone with taste knows what I’m referring to.

8. I hate hatred. There is far too much of this in the world. Hating for no apparent reason is so senseless. Turning that violence against another person, or group of people, is also senseless. (I could rant on and on about this for days, but again, I will move on.)

9. On safer ground, I love to travel, but I hate traveling. By that, I mean that I hate the hassle of making travel plans, finding a place to stay, renting a car, squeezing into the tiny seats on the airplanes, with my knees to my chin and my thigh rubbing that of the person next to me. I hate driving in unfamiliar places, through ridiculously heavy traffic, praying I will get where I’m going in one piece.

10. And finally, I hate TV commercials. I don’t like being interrupted during a show, having the flow of the story interrupted for some crap about tampons, dog food or virility enhancing drugs. This is why I watch a lot of Netflix and will wait for a show to make its way to their streaming list. (I also hate how they don’t get everything and so many things are only on disc, but I’ll live)

my photo and the books in banner with read

Now the fun part (maybe) the 10 people I think should do this challenge:

Troy Lambert

Seth Anderson Bailey

Bennet Pomrantz

Fran Lewis

Marsha Casper Cook

JD Holiday

Kemberlee Shortland

K.A. Laity

Mary Bradford

Lucy Felthouse


I’ve Been Nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award!

The-Versatile-Blogger-AwardThank you, Rami Unger, for thinking of me. It really made my day finding your message on my blog. I love being nominated for these awards, because it validates, in some small way, all my hard work. Check out Rami’s blog here.

My next step is to tell you 7 random things about myself. I need to figure out 7 random, yet interesting things, about myself. That may be difficult. . . .

One—I volunteer with a small group of writers at our local Council on Aging. I love the group and have met some fascinating people there. I joke with my husband that my best friends are all over 60. In fact, several of them are old enough to be my mom and then some! It’s a lot of fun and keeps me laughing. I look forward to it all week.

Two—I had to drop out of typing class when I was in high school, because it stressed me out. We had those huge, hulking manual typewriters to type on. The upper ranks of keys were so far away from the home keys, I couldn’t reach them. (I have little hands.) I couldn’t hit the keys hard enough to mash them down, so my accuracy was horrible. I sat next to the best guy in the class. Smug bugger, he knew it, too. I wanted to punch him at least twice a class period. I didn’t actually learn how to type well until I got my first computer. I still can’t take a typing speed test without choking.

Three—I’ve told this before, so it isn’t really a new item of interest, but it’s something I’m proud of. Those of you who follow me, or listen to my radio shows, know that I write—a lot. I have, at post time of this message, 65 finished novels and 28 finished short stories. I also have 53 unfinished novels and 18 unfinished short stories.

Four—I have two radio broadcasts each month on Blog Talk Radio, Red River Writers Network. I’ve spoken to dozens of dellani photo dark 2 super cropwriters over the years, and enjoy the hell out of every show. I have had some amazing people on and wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

Five—I collect odd events which I often include in my novels. Beware if you see me in the grocery store or a parking lot! Don’t be rude to the writer, she will put you in her next novel!

Six—I never thought I’d write romance novels. I never read them very often when I was younger, I mostly read fantasy and mysteries. I think the mysteries really influenced me, because I frequently write romantic suspense.

Seven—I have met a few famous people in my life. When I was at USM, the Honors College sponsored lectures by authors and actors. I met Ruth Warrick (Citizen Kane and All My Children), Richard Brautigan (author of Trout Fishing in America, among others) and Robin Cook (Coma). The theatre department brought in Edward Albee (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?) for a lecture series. Not only did I get to speak to him, but I got tons of pictures. He liked it so much, he would strike a pose for me.

Now, I want to nominate some bloggers:

karen vaughan pictureKaren Vaughan








Rachel RuebenRachel Rueben 








Ruth author picRuth Davis Hays



Tirgearr Publishing opened its doors on 29 February, 2012, Leap Day.
We took a big leap of faith that day to start our new venture.
Now, one year on, things couldn’t be better. We have a great team of authors, our staff is growing, and our collection of books is second to none.

To celebrate, we’re putting all of our books on sale.
All Kindle titles for just 99c!

Join us from Sunday, 3 March, to Saturday, 9 March, for our one year anniversary sale. These days coincide with Read an eBook Week.

What a great opportunity to pick up some great digital books at a fabulous price.

This is no one-day sale. This sale goes all week!

During our sale week, you could win some FREE books.
Comment on one of our media sites and it could be you!
We’d love to hear comments on books you’ve read,
but we’ll take a simple hello or even a smiley.
Heck, just ‘like’ a post on our Facebook page between 3-9 March,
and we might pick you to win a book.
Just make your presence known and if we pick you,
you can choose any book in our catalog.
Tirgearr Publishing
One Year Anniversary Celebration – Kindle eBook Sale
3-9 March, 2013

Give Books for Christmas!

Books make amazing gifts. They’re the kind of thing that keeps on giving since your loved one can return to them again and again. E-books make a marvelous last minute present. Below, I’ve gathered the websites of several of my author friends for you to visit and (I hope) purchase from. Other author friends, please put your links below in the comments.

My book, “Indian Summer”, is an historical romance set in St Augustine, Florida in 1739. It’s available at http://www.secondwindpublishing.com and http://www.amazon.com The novel is available in E-book and Kindle form as well as printed form. My new sci-fi novel, “The Lone Wolf”, is coming soon form Second Wind. ~ Dellani

For William Beck’s great spy thrillers:

For the beautiful & moving Paradise Island, Heavenly Journey by Jon Magee
And Jon’s other amazing book, From Barren Rocks to Living Stones

For books by Bethany Warner

For the work of Olwyn Conrau

Visit Karen Vaughn here
http://www.karenvaughan.info/ Karen Vaughn
Find her book, Dead Comic Standing at http://www.amazon.com

For the books & artwork of Mickey Hoffman

For the funny and poignant, My Bad Tequila by Rico Austin

For your copy of Activate Intuition by Jim Wawro

To find the work of Mark David Gerson
http://www.amazon.com/Mark-David Gerson/e/B002CQXFPM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

“From a Child’s Perception” is available at www.authorsden.com/annalfowler Anna Fowler

Susie Schecter http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=lifetimes+ago&x=14&y=1
Susie’s website is http://www/. lifetimesago.com

When Something You Write Makes You Cry

sea of destiny coverI just got done writing one of the saddest books I’ve ever written. Unusual for me, because most of my work is pretty upbeat. It might be intense or action packed, even hot and steamy, but not sad. I don’t mean depressing, because the story is one of hope and it has a happy ending. However, I had a lot of moments when I found myself in tears.

Crazy. I’m the one writing it, and it’s making me cry. Does that make sense? When we write something that moves us to tears, is that a fair judge of how our readers will be affected? Does it make us even crazier than we thought we were? Or is it something else?

I like to hope that what I’m writing creates an emotional response in my readers. I want my words to excite them, get their imaginations moving and energize their senses. A story is more than just words on a page. They become meaningless and dull if they don’t go somewhere. What if that somewhere is dark, murky, frightening? Or conversely, light, humorous, whimsical? Sometimes that place is sadness, remorse, resignation.

The story I wrote hasn’t really got a title yet, so let me give a brief synopsis. Kyle, a 34 year old single father, is still grieving after the death of his wife, Margo. She died from cancer five months prior to the beginning of the book. Haunted by his inability to fix the situation and make her well, he buries himself in work and the responsibilities of raising three children alone. Seeing him heading toward an early grave himself, his boss (who is also a good friend) forces him to take a month off to get himself together.

At his boss’ insistence, Kyle books a cruise and takes his children and housekeeper/ friend, Carmelita, with him. The first night at dinner, he meets Emily. Beautiful and vivacious despite the fact that she’s recently finished chemo therapy, Emily captures his heart. His children love her, Carmelita likes her, everything is perfect – until he discovers that Emily, too, is dying. By the time he finds out, he’s already falling in love.

Kyle’s past comes back to haunt him and he makes a disastrous mistake, thus jeopardizing his relationship with Emily. Tortured by guilt and self-doubt, he falls into a very dark, emotional place. It is a story of regret, rebirth, renewed faith, resignation and remembrance. It also made me cry like crazy.

I felt compelled to update this many moons later. This story, which at the time didn’t have a title, is now called Sea of Destiny and I am currently sharing it on Cereal Authors blog. You can find the posts here.

Research, A Writer’s Lifeline

I’ve got research on my mind because I’m writing a sequel to my historical romance, “Indian Summer”.  Although fairly conversant with the time period, new things pop up.  I needed a timeline for the battle I’m going to include in my story.  I could find a few basic facts, but it wasn’t until I came across a website that was of important dates in Georgia history, that I got what I needed.  Strange, since I’m writing something set in Florida.  However, since the attack was led by General Oglethorpe and his troops were stationed in Georgia at the time, I suppose it makes sense.
Another fact that presented itself (from the Georgia timeline) was the name of an obscure fort that was attacked prior to the siege of St. Augustine.  Fort Diego?  Where’s that?  Obviously, this led to more questions than I had answers for.  Initial web searches gave me a lot of information on Fort Diego in California (now San Diego), but didn’t help the Florida research at all.  I did a serach for ‘forts in Florida’ and got a list.  Eventually, with a bit of digging, I found it’s location – well, sort of.  It’s now a golf course, but at least I found it! 
Each little tidbit made me so proud, I had to read it all to my husband and eldest son this morning.  They were both interested, which was nice.  There’s nothing like sharing these little gems with someone who couldn’t care less.
The main problem I have with research is that I have a tendency to get off subject really easily.  I have to force myself to focus and it’s not always easy.  I find some juicy tidbits which are fascinating, though unrelated to my subject.  I often am tempted to follow these leads. 
However odious you might find research, being accurate is so very necessary.  Even something not fully related with the story, like the Fort Diego problem, can be necessary background material that I, as the writer, need.

Richard Brautigan

Richard Brautigan wrote several short novels, among them “Trout Fishing in America” which wasn’t about trout or fishing. I always got a laugh when I saw it mis-shelved in book stores under the game and wildlife section.

Brautigan didn’t actually mention fishing at all in that book, as I recall. He used the words “Trout Fishing in America” as a slogan that the 6th graders wrote on the backs of unsuspecting 1st graders as a playground prank. No one, including the “Trout Fishing in America Terrorists” knew why they chose that slogan. One kid had a piece of chalk, grabbed a 1st grader and wrote it on his back. Soon all of the 1st graders had it on their backs and the principal dragged in all the usual suspects. (ie. The kids who actually did it).

The book wasn’t about terrorism or about fishing, it was just a really odd, very good book. His books were very episodic, though loosely strung together with a main storyline or theme.

I was fortunate enough to see him speak at the University of Southern Mississippi and got him to sign my books. He committed suicide shortly after that.

It interests me that Garrison Keeler mentioned him today in his daily broadcast. Way to go, Garrison!