Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I Love Dialogue from A Brand New Day by Dellani

Brand New Day is a step in a slightly different direction for me. It's a story about young love, heartbreak and loss. Believe it or not, it does have a happy ending, but it takes awhile. It follows the journey of Janet and Diego, who fall in love as teenagers, but life takes them very different directions – not the least of which is the nature of Diego's job, covert ops for the military. He's just come back into Janet's life after being gone for almost a decade. Unfortunately, their reunion is short lived.

Slinging back the door, Diego got even angrier. Three people he hoped he'd never see again, stood on the porch. Diego was frowzy and disheveled from their love making. The three men knew they'd disturbed something, but they politely said nothing. The leader, a man who looked like he could break a tree in half with his pinky, walked past Diego and into the living room.
"Don't mind me, Colonel," Diego growled. "But you're trespassing in the lady's home."
"Wanna press charges, kid? Go right ahead and call," the man said calmly, smiling.
Diego refused to be dragged into a conflict. "What do you want, Colonel? I left the game. I'm done."
"You were, until now. Your country needs you."
"You played that card all ready!" Diego yelled. "I gave you seven years, and almost gave my life. It kept me from the woman I love. Now, I've got her back. We're building a life...."
"Those men who held you had friends," the colonel said with a menacing glower. "Friends who will track you down and kill you and your happy life. They're in this country looking for you. We came to give you the means to even the score."
Janet came out of the bedroom and stood beside Diego. He took her hand, drawing her close, slightly behind him as if to protect her from the large, angry man.
"Revenge? You came at me with revenge? "That's pathetic, Coffey. Even for you."
Colonel Lane Coffey eyed him grimly. "They want you dead. Only they won't just kill you. They'll kill your pretty, little woman, after they do unspeakable things to her body—while you're forced to watch. If you're lucky, it ends there. But you've got family next door. A beautiful sister, three darling little kids, a crippled father, an aging mother...."
"Enough!" Diego roared. "You've made your point, Lane. You want me back. You want me to track these guys down and bring them in."
Colonel Coffey said nothing, shifting from foot to foot uneasily.
"I see. It's like that, huh?"
Janet stepped closer, her arms circling his waist. "What's going on? What does he mean?"
"He wants me to hunt down some people and kill them," he replied coldly.
"And no one's better at that than you, Diego," Colonel Coffey said with a nasty grin.
Diego's dark eyes flashed and Janet got the impression that the man he most wanted to kill was his superior.
"If I find out this is a ploy to get me back, there won't be a safe hole to shit in." Diego took a step closer to the colonel, slipping out of Janet's embrace. He leaned in so his face was mere inches from Coffey's. "You said yourself, no one's as good as me."
"You're threatening me in front of witnesses, Hernandez."
"They don't hear a thing," Diego flung the statement into the room.
The other men paled. Janet got the impression the threat extended to them.
Colonel Coffey shook himself, squaring shoulders. "Get your things, Hernandez. We need to go."
"I'll go when I'm ready, Coffey. You're dragging me back in the game, you'll give me the time to say goodbye. I'll see you here tomorrow morning at nine o'clock. Not a second before."
Coffey tried to protest, but decided against it. He and his men left without another word.
Janet flew into Diego's arms. "You can't leave me again!"
"I have to find these guys, babe. If what Coffey says is true, none of us are safe."
"And if he's lying? They may not be here—they may never find you!"
"If they weren't a real threat, Coffey would never have come."
"He hates you!"
"No.... If those men take me again...."
"You can handle it."
"I almost broke," he told her in an agonized voice. "They did things to me no man should have to endure. And I lived. I don't know how, but I did. I can't let them do that again."
"What about me?"
"I'll be back," he promised. "You can't get rid of me."
© 2017 Dellani Oakes

Thursday, March 16, 2017

First Meeting from Bad Fall by Dellani

Frank Atherton works as the assistant director at a large retirement complex. He's staying in one of the guest rooms at the facility, to keep an eye on the son of one of the residents, who is causing trouble. Frank has just seen a short interview on the in-house TV station, with the new staff psychologist, Marka Ventimiglia and is somewhat surprised when she shows up at his door.

Someone knocked at his door. Thinking it might be someone about Mr. Penwarren, he groaned quietly as he stood up.
"Be right there!" he called. He dropped his plate in the kitchen sink and went to the door. "What's he done now?" he asked automatically as he opened it.
It wasn't Sue or one of the other staff members. An attractive brunette stood there.
"I'm sorry? Who did what?"
"Oh, no one you'd know. Frank Atherton, Assistant Director. I just saw you on TV." He held out his hand after wiping it on his T-shirt.
She smiled. "Marka Ventimiglia. Nice to meet you. I feel really stupid asking, but yours is the only room with a light on. I took a chance that someone was up."
He invited her in. She hesitated a moment, then followed him inside.
"What can I do for you?"
"I'm embarrassed to ask. I'm staying in a guest room and I'm out of toilet paper."
"Really? No spare?" he was puzzled by that. "The girls usually put it under the sink."
He walked to his restroom. It was quite spacious, with a tub and a separate, walk-in shower. He opened the sink and didn't find a spare paper under there. Checking all the cupboards, he came up empty.
"That's weird. Gimme a second." He dialed housekeeping but got no answer, so he dialed the front desk. "Sue, it's Frank."
"Hi, Frank. All's quiet at the moment. Whatcha need?"
"Dr. Ventimiglia is with me and she hasn't got a spare roll of toilet paper. Neither do I."
"Oh, gosh. You want me to run some up there?"
"No, you don't need to. Is Kathy around?"
"She should be. Shall I call her?"
"I just tried. I'll call her again. Thanks." He dialed the housekeeping office a second time. No one answered. Puzzled, he hung up.
"I'll try later," he told his guest. "Do you need some immediately?"
She looked slightly uncomfortable. "As a matter of fact...."
"Please, make yourself at home. There's a nearly full roll." He gestured to his restroom. "Want some coffee?"
"Love some. I'm a caffeine addict. I also drink a lot of water. Hence the urgency." Marka closed the door behind her.
Frank set up a pot of coffee, pulled out the half and half and sugar packets. She came out just as the coffee finished.
Smiling, he served Marka, inviting her to sit on the love seat. His laptop occupied the chair. He set it carefully on the floor and clicked off the TV.
"I'll give Kathy a call again a minute," he explained. "She might be on break."
"Thanks. I'm still learning my way around. I got here yesterday."
"I caught your show tonight. Interesting. You should get a good turn out. I'll talk it up for you."
"You wouldn't believe the success I had when I was doing my clinical," she responded excitedly. "It was amazing, the results!" she sobered slightly, catching herself before she got too crazy. "I won't bore you with details. You'll have to excuse me, Mr. Atherton. I get very excited about my work."
He smiled, eyes twinkling. "I'm glad one of us can. I'm either playing nursemaid, mother or cop. I never thought I'd have a job like this. None of my duties were in the job description."
"The director, Mr. Norton, speaks very highly of you."
Frank laughed abruptly and rather rudely as he finished his coffee. "Yeah? Boy, that was lie. He thinks I want his job."
"Do you?"
He couldn't tell if she was serious or not. Looking surprised, he set his mug down. "Not really. Too much schmoozing."
"Isn't that in your job description?"
Frank laughed, shaking his head. "I'm not a schmoozer. I'm more of an in your face kind of guy."
© 2017 Dellani Oakes

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I Love Dialogue from Shakazhan by Dellani

Wil and Matilda lead an expedition to Iyundo, a remote and nearly forgotten planet far from known space. To their surprise, the Galactic Marine ship, Hannibal, also arrives with Aisulov, head of the Galactic Committee on board. Knowing that they have to follow John Riley, to stop his diabolical scheming, they realize they will need the help of the Marines. This necessitates talking to Chairman Asilov, who isn't known for his affability. In fact, the Vandaran tends to play political games in order to gain advantage over his opponents. He hasn't counted on Wil.

Aisulov liked long, uncomfortable silences. He wanted to see how people handled them. Some grew very agitated. He noted his observations without betraying any emotion in his face.
Slatterly looked annoyed. The woman was harder to read, but she was mildly uncomfortable in his presence. VanLipsig was an enigma—his face and eyes showing nothing except what he wanted Aisulov to see.
Slatterly was an open book, with all his emotion in his face and mannerisms. It was obvious to Aisulov, however, that the Guild captain didn't care what was thought of him. He got the impression that the man could be quite unreadable if he wanted to be.
The woman must be regarded very beautiful among her own kind. Aisulov saw characteristics that he knew most humans considered desirable. His eyes lingered appreciatively on her breasts, allowing a slight leer. It was a terrible breach of protocol, but he wanted to gauge her husband's reaction.
Matilda's gaze dropped to Aisulov's lap, lingered there a moment, and traveled back to his face. A slight raising of the right eyebrow communicated volumes. Captain VanLipsig intended for him to know that she was completely unimpressed with his attributes.
Oh, she's good, that one. She plays the game like a man.
Wil said nothing, sizing up Aisulov with a blank expression. He saw a politician who liked to play mind games. It amused him, but he didn't show it. Aisulov must think they were all below him intellectually. It was a characteristic of the Vandaran people to underestimate the intellect of their human contacts. Wil had used that to his advantage in negotiations many times. Aisulov might have heard stories about him, but he hadn't heard everything or he wouldn't now be playing games.
Silent Time was an age old technique for someone who wanted to establish himself as the one in charge and give him the upper hand in negotiations. Wil could play the game as well as Aisulov, so he waited, sitting unruffled in his seat, gazing at the old moose as intensely as he himself was perused.
Marc looked like a thunder cloud. Wil knew he was annoyed with Aisulov's game, but he also knew Marc to be playing a game of his own. They'd done this often enough from the age of ten or so. It was their form of "good cop and bad cop." Marc played the overly excitable, hot tempered, agitated fellow who's impatient and ready to explode.
Wil sat quietly, sizing up the situation, coming in for the kill when the other party was occupied with Marc. It had done them in good stead many times and it was interesting to see that they still fell into the old pattern. It felt right, like a comfortable chair and well worn boots.
One last lingering look at the woman, and Aisulov swiveled his chair abruptly, facing VanLipsig. He'd tried everything he could think of to make the fellow drop his guard or show a chink in his armor. So far, nothing. Aisulov could be subtle, but he was beginning to think the man was too stupid for sophisticated techniques. He changed tactics.
"Tell me, Colonel, how is it that a man of your skills and reputation has allowed a toadying sycophant like Riley to slip through his fingers three times now? I should have thought a man like you would've captured him or at the very least killed him by now. Yet, here we sit." His broad gesture encompassed the entire universe.
Wil allowed himself a tight smile that didn't reach his eyes. He knew Aisulov was trying to embarrass him, which he found most amusing. He might have told the old man to save his breath, but it would be a waste of his own.
Aisulov liked long pauses, so did Wil. He waited a full minute before replying. His face betrayed nothing, he spoke in an even, modulated voice, his gestures and words chosen with care. He shifted in his chair, leaning back and sliding down slightly. His lackadaisical attitude was intended to mildly offend Aisulov and he could see a flicker of annoyance in the old Vandaran's face.
"It's true, Riley got away from me three times. However, I put it to you, Your Honor, how many other men would've gotten this far in the pursuit?"
Aisulov was decidedly uncomfortable. He didn't answer for a little while. When it was obvious that Wil expected a reply, he muttered. "None, Colonel, as we both know."
Wil nodded, spreading his hands in a gesture of openness and honesty.
"I further put it to you, Your Honor, what other man could possibly track him better than I? While it is true he got away again, this time incorporating an ages old device, unused for millennia, I believe I know his destination. In fact, my wife had the forethought to download information from the console before it was consumed by flames. At no small risk to herself, I might add."
Wil paused again, waiting for Aisulov to make all the appropriate noises of gratitude. To have to thank a woman was decidedly beneath his position, but humans considered their females equals. He had played the game so far, he must continue to do so. He thanked her as briefly as was polite.
Matilda inclined her head respectfully, but didn't give him the added honor of cocking her head to the right as she should have to one whom she considered an equal.
Aisulov was incensed, but decided she simply wasn't familiar with the customs of his people. He overlooked the slight, but at the same time, it rankled.
Matilda smiled to herself. Having dealt once or twice with Vandarans, she was perfectly aware she'd insulted him. Let the old boy cook in his own juice. Stare at her breasts and leer, would he? She could play the game almost as well as Marc could. She hadn't come this far in her career by the age of 28, not to have learned a thing or two. Wil glanced at her and she caught a millisecond of a twinkle in his eye.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Red River Radio Presents Dellani's Tea Time with Livy, Maureen and Savannah

Be sure to join the fun on Dellani's Tea Time - Monday, March 13 at 4:00 PM EDT when Dellani and Christina welcome Livy Broussard, Mauareen Larter and Savannah Verte to the show. All these ladies are new to the show, so let's welcome them and show them a good time! If you can't join us live, the link will take you to the podcast recording later!
Livy Broussard has a website, The Fire Breathing Bunny, devoted to surviving eating disorders, as well as being the author of creative non-fiction.
MaureenLarter joins us from New South Wales. She is the author of several children's books like Candy Cow and the Caterpillar or Broken Wing; Book 1 of the Fairies of Aurora. She also has a variety of Simple Gardening Guides.

SavannahVerte is a paranormal and fanstasy author whose books include Sultry & Sinful, Book of Time, CASE Revelations and more!

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Meet Cullen Fellowes

Have you ever met a person who has boundless energy, is full of joy, compassion and talks non-stop? Meet Cullen Fellowes. I introduced him in a book called The Best Medicine (not yet published). He was meant to be a minor character who comes in, meets his brother's girlfriend and then takes a back seat.
There is only one thing Cullen likes to do in the back seat, and that's—sing. You thought I was going to say something else, didn't you? Well, he probably does that too. He's handsome, charming, disarming—and a rock star. He will hit on every woman he meets, because that's just the way he is. He'd probably be shocked if they all said yes, though enough of them do that he's always got companionship. I can't really describe Cullen effectively. He's like no other character I've ever met.
The non-authors out there will think I'm crazy, I know my husband does. I tell him that characters introduce themselves, start talking, develop personalities and take over the scene. This is Cullen to the hilt. He has no off switch, says whatever he thinks, comes in like a hurricane – then he hops up on stage and starts singing. I fell in love with Cullen when I first met him, and every time I encounter him, I fall for him again. Because of his dynamic personality, I've used him in a variety of books since introducing him in The Best Medicine. I offered to write his story, but he doesn't want that. He'd rather give glimpses into his life through his encounters with others. One day, he might settle down, but for now, he's Cullen the Rock Star—handsome, charming, single – with no off switch.
Below is the scene that started it all. Morgan and Tanya are both doctors and work at the same hospital. When she collapses from exhaustion one day in the doctor's lounge, Morgan comes to her rescue. He invites her to dinner that same night, and introduces her to Cullen.

The band took a short break and came out onto the deck for a smoke. The singer walked over and sat down in front of them. Cullen Fellowes was tall and dark haired like his brother, but his eyes held a wariness she didn't see in Morgan's. He smiled warmly, snagged a home fry off his brother's plate and ordered a beer with a toss of his head at the bar. Molly brought over a draft beer, checked their rum runners and went back to the bar.
"Hi," he said quietly, holding out his hand. "I'm Cullen."
"I'm Tanya," she replied, wiping her hand on her napkin before shaking his hand. "You guys are good," she said between bites. "I like the intricacies of your music and the diametric styles you've brought together. It really works. Not what I normally listen to, but I'd buy an album." She grinned at his surprised expression.
"Morph, who is this amazing woman and why is she with you and not me?"
"Because I saw her first, baby bro. Besides, you're too young for her."
"Speak for yourself, I like older women! They have more class and you can have an educated conversation with them. I always thought Vanessa was damn hot...."
A look from Morgan quelled him.
"Excuse me," Tanya said irritably. "I am here, you know, and semi-involved in this conversation. I think you need to know we just met and I'm not dating your brother. It's a friendly dinner between colleagues. As to my age, you've no idea how old I am, so could we drop that part of the conversation?"
The men looked at one another sheepishly. Morgan frowned, tight lipped at his younger brother. He shook his head slightly and went back to his meal.
"Morgan is reminding me to use my manners," Cullen replied sullenly. "He's always telling me I'll be the only rock star who never gets laid because I keep putting my foot in my mouth."
Morgan cleared his throat pointedly. Cullen looked at him again and dropped his eyes to the table, his ears and neck reddening.
"I'm sorry, I did it again. Perhaps I should just go back on stage. I don't make quite so big an ass of myself there." He rose to leave.
"It's okay," Tanya said. "I've been feeling rather like the whole family is traipsing around like the Lord of the Dance and I'm the one person in the audience who doesn't know Michael Flatley."
Cullen laughed, throwing his head back as he threw himself back into the chair. "Oh, God, Morgan! Where did you find this woman and can I possibly steal her from you? Jesus, she's refreshing! You two really must have just met if you don't know about Vanessa."
"Cullen, why don't you go back on stage?" Morgan's voice held an edge. He was getting angry with his brother.
"God, Morgan, calm down, would you? Can't I even say her name without you having a shit fit?" His voice became taunting like a little child. "Vanessa, Vanessa, Vanessa."
"Cullen," it was Molly this time. "Your break's over, go back on stage. The band's waiting."
"Join us in a set, Morph?" Cullen hardly seemed to realize he'd nearly caused World War III.
"Not tonight, Cull. I've got to see the lady home soon. She's had a long day."
"K. Nice to meet you, Tanya."
He kissed her hand and left for the stage, hopping up as the band began their introduction. He slid to a halt in the middle of the stage and grabbed the microphone, singing without missing a beat.

So far, Cullen has made an appearance in 15 of my books. He's been mentioned in 6. Maybe one day he'll want his story to be told, but until then, I'll leave you with this quote, which Cullen told me: “You don't need to tell my story, babe. It will just make all the women wet and all the men jealous.”
© 2017 Dellani Oakes

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

I Love Dialogue from We Are the Champions

Asher Wilkinson is an actor in an improvisation group that performs at a local club. He's not been having a very good night and, in a fit of anger, admits he'd fantasized about a three-way with one of the actresses, Katie and his then girlfriend, Sallie. Katie is now engaged to his friend, Riker. Misunderstandings ensue.

Alone, Asher headed out to the parking lot. Riker met him there, leaning against Asher's car, smoking. Sensing trouble, he stopped a yard away, readjusting his bag to get it out of his way.
"So, you're lusting after for my fiancée."
"One time, that's it. Before you two were even together."
"I was with Katie the whole time you and Sallie were together."
Raising an eyebrow, Asher spread his hands, sauntering closer. Pent up sexual tension, an argument with the women and another with Hansel, he was spoiling for a fight.
"Didn't say that," he replied. "Before you got with Kate, I had her—first." Asher shoved his friend's chest, knocking Riker back a step.
Riker's knuckles went white, his fists clenched. "You're a liar! Katie would have told me if she'd made it with you."
"Like you told her all about Manky Marissa?" Asher laughed, taunting the other man.
Riker led with his left, his swing wide and badly timed. Asher ducked, grabbing Riker's arm as it passed over his head. A short scuffle followed and Riker was face down on the hood of Asher's car.
"Never attack me in anger," Asher growled.
Riker wriggled, trying to get free. "When the hell else am I gonna hit you, f**khead?"
"You're my friend, which is why I'm not breaking your arm." Asher leaned close, his mouth an inch from Riker's ear. "I'm not apologizing for screwing Kate. I'm not apologizing for thinking of a three-way. I am apologizing for wanting to break your neck for being a f**ktard. Got it?" He pressed Riker's face onto the hood.
"Yeah, got it." Riker's voice was muffled from the hand and the hood.
"Don't come at me again. I can kill you." Asher let his friend up.
Riker wiped drool off his face. "You're f**ked up, man. Like totally crazy. No wonder you liked Marissa. Both of you are f**king nuts!"
"You wanna stop talking now," Asher said quietly. "And you wanna step off."
Riker knew better than to push his luck. He walked around the car next to Asher's, putting a ton of metal between them.
"This isn't over."
"Yes, it is." Asher got in his car and drove off. He saw Riker in his rearview, dialing his phone.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes

Thursday, March 02, 2017

I Love Dialogue from Room 303 - a Marice Houston Mystery

Room 303 is a sequel to Room 103 – a Marice Houston Mystery. Back in Pittburg, Kansas, Deputy Marshall, Marice Houston, has come to visit her friend Todd and, of course, gets embroiled in a heap of trouble. Someone shot Todd's date earlier in the evening. When Marice goes to help the police investigate the office the shots were fired from, they find a bomb and nearly get themselves blown up.

On the way to the motel, Marice's phone rang. She cringed. It as her boss, Alvin Ripley.
"Houston! What the hell is going on down there? Why haven't you called? No, don't tell me. You're in the thick of it, getting shot at and blown up."
"Not shot."
"Jesus H. Christ, Houston. You didn't get your man shot again, did you?"
"No, Todd's date got shot. She's critical. Then her office blew up."
"Were you there?"
"What do you think?"
"Your ass on fire?"
"Well, it will be if you don't stop f**king around and get to the bottom of this!"
"Is that an order, sir?"
"That's a don't f**k this up, Houston! I swear to god, trouble comes looking for you. I never met a woman so good at finding ways to let someone kill her off. Were you born under a bad sign? Cursed at birth? Did you piss off your fairy godmother?"
She didn't reply. Al was in full rant mode. He wasn't going to stop anytime soon. If she said a word, he was likely to rip her a new asshole.
"Help me out here, Marice. How do you get into all this shit? You Super Girl now, or something? Is your super power, f**king shit up?"
"No, sir."
"Good answer. To that end, the not f**king it up, that is. I'm sending help."
"Have the police asked for our help?"
"Someone tried to blow up my favorite deputy. I don't give a hickey in in a high wind if they want us there or not. I can stomp in wearing jackboots and f**k all their shit up. Do I need to do that?"
"No, sir."
"Good. Make no mistake, I will do what it takes to keep you safe. I made a promise to that man of yours. If that means I put you riding a desk for the next slice of forever, I can make that happen. I like you, Houston. f**k knows why, you're a pain in my hemorrhoids. But I will slap you on a desk so fast, it will make your head spin."
"Thank you for the help. I'm sure Detective Scrivener will appreciate it."
"Appreciate what?" Darla asked, flashing her a look. She could hear just enough of Al's rant to know he was furious.
"He's sending help. He's also threatening to take over the case."
"Let him. Things are too damn exciting with you around."
"Praise be, one of you has a lick of sense. Where can we find you?"
"At Todd's motel."
"Might have known he'd be mixed up in this. Karma's a bitch, Houston. You f**k with her, you're going down." He hung up.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes