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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halo Kids Tales on Book Garden Radio: Saying The Rosary

Halo Kids Tales on Book Garden Radio: Saying The Rosary: How to Say The Rosary  Life can be a challenge and sometimes we can use a little help. You need not be Catholic to join. You don't ha...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I Love Dialogue! from Driving Blind

Ax is a motorcycle cop. Zenobia works for the Geek Squad. He pulls her over on the road, but doesn't give her a ticket. He thought she might be having car trouble, because she had difficulty with her standard shift car. He also wanted her name and number. Since he's not shy, he asks her out to dinner and she picks a new barbecue place. Since he doesn't know where they're going, they take his car, but she drives—his 1959, cherry red Impala.

She perused the glossy pictures, wrinkling her nose over the bacon ice cream sundae.
Bacon is great,” she said. “But not for desert.”
I agree. But I'm glad you're not a vegetarian,” he said with a grin. “I dated a girl back home who was vegan. Of course, she didn't share that fact with me until we went out to a steak and seafood place. She whined the whole time that it was cruel to eat meat and called me a murderous carnivore.”
Oh, my!”
So I ordered her the surf and turf when she went to the bathroom and left her with the check.”
That was so mean!”
Yeah, well I didn't like being called a murderous carnivore in public. Loudly, I might add.”
That was rude of her. I would probably have done the same thing you did.” She considered a moment. “No, I would have ordered that and shoved her face in it. Then walked out.”
Believe me, I was tempted. She knew the name of the restaurant before we went. Wouldn't that be your cue to say, By the way, I'm a veganous herbivore?”
Zenobia giggled, nearly spewing her coffee. “Veganous. . . .” She laughed more, trying not to choke on her beverage.
Ax tensed, mentally reviewing what to do for someone who was choking. He didn't think the Heimlich worked on someone who had inhaled liquid. Instead, he suggested she raise her arms and try to relax.
The waitress came over to see what the problem was. Zenobia tried to speak, but started coughing again. Ax explained, telling her about the veganous herbivore. The waitress laughed too. She helped Zenobia to the restroom and came back for their order.
Ax had no idea what to order for Zenobia, so she said she would come back. Five minutes later, Zenobia sat across from him once more and the waitress returned. They placed their orders and sipped coffee while they waited.
I assume you didn't see the herbivore again?”
No. I was a little disappointed though. It was our third date and I really hoped to get lucky.”
Well, ya know, she wasn't a meat eater,” Zenobia said with a smirk. “Probably wouldn't have been that much fun.”
It took a moment for her words to have the desired effect. Ax's ears turned pink, the color rose to his cheeks and he started laughing. He didn't quite choke on his iced tea, but it was close.
I can't believe you just said that,” he whispered.
I take lots of people by surprise,” she replied, winking at him over her glass.
Probably wouldn't have been that much fun,” he repeated, snorting.
The waitress arrived with their food. Ax greeted her, blushing furiously. The waitress leaned over, murmuring to Zenobia.
What on earth did you say to him? He looks ready to fall out.”
Zenobia ducked her head. “I really can't repeat it. I shouldn't have said it in the first place.”
Taking the waitress' arm, Ax pulled her close so he could whisper in her ear. She burst out laughing and had to muffle herself with her apron. She tapped Zenobia on the hand.
That was so funny! I'll have to remember to tell my hubby that. He's not vegan,” she said with a sly wink. “And neither am I.”
Ax and Zenobia laughed again, drawing curious looks from other customers. Some frowned at them, but Ax merely smiled and waved like the Queen of England. That got some deeper frowns, but also several return waves.
They finished their meals, pointedly avoiding talking anymore about the vegan girl in his past. Instead, he asked Zenobia questions about her family and the Greek community in the area. They decided to go for a walk on the beach.
Visiting New Smyrna Beach was the first thing I did when I got here. I'm a beach boy by birth. I grew up on the Carolina coast. Can't keep me outta the water.” His accent got stronger through the sentence. It flavored his words with hints of the Old South.
Ax's eyes grew dreamy when he thought about his home. There was a hint of pain there too. Zenobia didn't ask, but she knew something bad had driven him from his home. She sensed a bitterness tinged with longing. He was no stranger to pain, Zenobia decided. What had compelled him to come here, so far from home?
The beach here isn't as nice as the one down home.”
World's Most Famous Beach is a disappointment?”
I think so. If you like condos and dirty sand, that's the way to go.” She danced excitedly, eyeing the car. “Can I drive?”
Be my guest. I'm totally turned around. If it weren't for the ocean, I wouldn't know compass points at all.”
GPS, my friend. It's a wonderful thing.” She started the car. Putting it in reverse, she backed with confidence.
Ax watched with amusement as she pulled up to a stop sign. “You don't have to be so careful. I'm not going to give you a ticket.”
Zenobia blushed, dropping her head. “That obvious?”
Relax. Enjoy the moment. How often do you get to drive a car like this?”
The light changed. Zenobia hit the gas with a bit more enthusiasm than she intended. The tires squealed. Ax threw his head back, laughing loudly. Zenobia mimicked the movement, but didn't take her eyes off the road.
This is a sweet ride,” she proclaimed. “Lots of power. You can feel it vibrate—”
Oh, yeah?” He chuckled behind his hand. “Didn't know I drove a vintage, cherry red—vibrator.”
You're impossible!”
No, sugar, I'm a man. Plain and simple. And I assure you, everything this baby can do, I can do better.”
You can go zero to sixty in under two minutes?” She glanced at him, raising an eyebrow.
No, takes me more like two hours. What I lack in speed, I make up for in—satisfaction.”
You packing a V-8 I don't know about?” She licked her lips, her fingers flexing on the wheel.
You'll have to pop the hood and find out.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I Love Dialogue! from Christmas and a Vampire

A few years ago, some friends on Facebook gave me an idea for a short story. I liked it, so I wrote Vampire Hunter as a result. I have the story up on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble for free. Later, my husband said, “You know, you should write a story called Christmas and a Vampire.” I asked him why. “Because it would be an interesting combination.” Once again, I rose to the challenge. Still working on it, but one day, I'll publish the story. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this exchange.

Rafaela slid silently out of bed, her bare feet chilled by the hardwood floor. Slipping on a pair of jeans, she searched her belongings for a weapon. Gone! Even her secret stash in the wardrobe, was missing.
"What the hell?" she whispered.
"Looking for something?"
His silky voice made her shiver. Rafaela spun around, crouched and ready for his attack.
Dirk licked full lips, glittering ruby drops rolled off his chin. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, leaving red streaks in its wake.
"What are you doing here, Dirk?"
"Nice move, staying with your fuzzy friends. Did you really think they could protect you?"
She had, but didn't say so. He took a step toward her. Rafaela held her ground.
"Because, really, you should know better, Ella."
"How did you get in?"
He gave her a patient smile, meaning he had no intention of answering her.
"Did you kill them all?" A sob welled in her throat at the thought.
"You mean this?" He wiped his lips casually. "I don't enjoy the taste of dog. Their guests, however, were delicious and quite cooperative."
Which explained how he'd gained access. He mesmerized one of them to invite him in.
"I should have killed you when I had the chance."
"So you're always telling me, Ella. And yet. . . ." He held out his hands from his sides.
"You're loathsome."
Quick as a lightning strike, he crossed the room. One hand dug into her hair, the other clasped her spine, not quite paralyzing her. Her neck arched under his grasp, her blood throbbed against her skin. Dirk rubbed his lips up and down as his fangs descended. He inhaled slowly, deeply.
"Delicious, as always. You do this to torment me," he groaned.
Rafaela shoved him away, breaking his hold on her. Chest heaving, gut taut, she did her best to ignore the fact she wanted him. She always did. Even after he ravaged her family, killing some, turning others, she couldn't resist his touch.
"I have work to do, Dirk."
"Why, Rafaela? It's almost Christmas."
"No rest for the wicked."
"And I would know."
Her smile was tight, forced. He took a step away, shaking his head.
"Thanks to you, I have to find new accommodations. Someone burned crosses on my lawn."
"What did you do to upset the neighbors this time?"
He turned to her, eyes sad. For a beast of his caliber, the sight was alarming. Rafaela took a step back, stance defiant.
"Must we always do this? Every time we see one another, we fight."
"Maybe that's because our vocations are diametrically opposed."
"Oh, stuff it, Ella. You could kill every vamp in the world, and probably will. It won't change the fact I love you and you love me. Will you cut a guy some slack?"
"You kill, people, Dirk."
"So do you, Rafaela. Case in point, three friends of mine only today."
"They were monsters, just like you."
"I'm a man. Grant you, an undead one, who feasts on blood. . . . But I'm no more of a monster than you are."
"You killed all my friends and their guests."
He pointed at her, angry. "An assumption. Yes, I had a snack." He peeled a dried patch of blood from his chin flicking it away after examining it. "But I didn't kill anyone. Check for yourself. Your friends are fine. Unconscious, but alive."
"Then who's that?" She pointed to the blood stain on his shirt.
"Female guest about twenty-six, busty. O positive with an undertone of A. Very tasty vintage."
"And you swear she's alive?"
"Alive and sleeping. I do have some scruples, Ella."
"Why did you come here?"
"I'm lonely. I thought you might like to spend the holidays together."
Rafaela rolled her eyes, laughing. Dirk didn't laugh. His eyes were solemn, his mouth in a soft, full bow. He took her hands, gazing into her eyes, Fortunately, Vampire Hunters were immune to mesmerizing, but he still had the uncanny abilities of a human man. Dirk was nearly a hundred and fifty years old. He knew how to get around a girl's defenses. He'd done it successfully with her for nearly a full century and he knew exactly what buttons to push.
"Please, Ella. I may be a monster, but I still don't want to spend the holiday alone."
In point of fact, neither did she. Since she had no idea where most of her family was, she had no one to spend time with. A hundred years of vampire slaying had kept her from making friends with the humans around her. She'd found out the hard way that friendships made you vulnerable and got innocent people killed. She'd forged relationships with other special people, like Claudette and her family, reluctantly. They were better able to defend themselves if an irate vampire came calling.
"You can pretend that you aren't lonely, Rafaela. But I know you are. Hell, I'm lonely too. What you do is far harder than what I do. I survive, even lead a fairly comfortable existence from time to time. But you—my love. . . . You work so hard, hunting a race who wish only to coexist."
Rafaela's face had softened as he spoke, but when he said this last, her expression hardened once more.
"You say that after you devoured my little sister in her sleep? After you ripped out the throat of my brother and turned my parents? You attacked and killed half my family, the other half you turned into monsters like yourself. That is not peaceful coexistence."
"I didn't say it was peaceful." He smirked, raising an eyebrow.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sexy Without the Sex - On the Fairway

This excerpt is from On the Fairway (not yet published). I just started writing this a few days ago. I wrote this scene and thought I'd share.
Heath Otts works for a golf course doing greens maintenance. He likes his job, enjoys the people and doesn't complain about how early he has to get up in the morning. One day, his boss asks him to drop some pink gravel at the clubhouse. It was delivered to them by mistake. While there, he meets Essa Jaymes. She impulsively invites him to a charity auction the next day, as her date. He gets coerced into joining the auction as one of the bachelors. The winning bid for him is the highest they've ever had--$10,000.
Heath & Essa start dating and he goes to her house for breakfast one morning.

Essa took his hand. “I never had to do without. I was very lucky. When my mom left, it was a relief. She isn't a good person, not like Tori. I've been very fortunate my entire life and I know it. That's why I do these events. It's a chance to make rich people feel guilty enough to spend money on something like a bachelor auction so that I can give the money to local charities.”
Tori said you didn't have to drive up the cost on account of her.”
Essa laughed, tossing her head. “I know. It wasn't because of her, it was because of the harpies. Those women are horrible.” She shuddered. “They would have expected favors.”
Oh, you mean I couldn't just strut my stuff and pole dance for 'em?” He flexed his arm, striking a silly pose. He hopped up, doing a ridiculous, but sexy, dance.
Essa's heart fluttered as she watched his hips gyrate in a slow, sensual circle. She could imagine him naked, aroused— Blinking hard, she tried to get that image out of her mind. Tasty as it would be, she'd never been the type of girl to leap into bed with a man. The one time she did, she'd ended up burned.
She moaned softly, watching him dance. Heath stopped mid-thrust, arms over his head, hips aimed at her.
Oh, girl. . . . Don't make that sound.”
What sound?” She sighed again, a little moan following it.
That sound,” he said. “Goes straight south,” he admitted, stepping closer. “Makes me forget I'm a gentleman and want to do bad things to you.”
Essa's breath caught as she saw the expression in his eyes change. What had been playful seconds ago, suddenly turned seductive. She had to admit, it excited her. Lightheaded, slightly dizzy, she allowed him to draw her into his arms. He started a slow, sultry dance to music she had playing softly in the background. His hips brushed across hers as he spun her in a tight circle. She could feel his desire, mirroring her own. Did she dare give in to her passion? Could she?
Heath dipped her, swinging her in a low arc, his legs supporting them, his arms holding her weight. She gave into gravity, arching her back. His arms circled her, lifting her languidly. His mouth dove between her breasts. Exhaling, he held her close. He didn't kiss her, merely let his breath play sensuously across her skin.
Essa shivered, closing her eyes. He held her a moment longer before raising her upright. Still close, his knee went between her legs, pressing up ever so gently. Her toes barely touched the floor as he pressed again, harder. It felt so impossibly good, she could barely stand it. She felt herself teeter on the verge of—something, when he stopped.
Gasping with frustration, she opened her eyes. Heath's gaze wasn't on her, it was focused on something in the distance. His body tensed and he pulled her away from the window.
Is there a way into the main house?”
Yes. Why?”
Go. Now,” he commanded.

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Thursday, October 09, 2014

J.P. Lane: The Scoop on Dellani Oaks

J.P. Lane: The Scoop on Dellani Oaks: It’s a pleasure to have internationally acclaimed author Dellani Oakes as feature author on The Scoop this month. Dellani was one of my ...

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Mary T Bradford: Join Dellani Today, for Conduct Unbecoming

Mary T Bradford: Join Dellani Today, for Conduct Unbecoming: Did you fall in love with Teague McMurtry in The Ninja Tattoo ? Well, he's back and sassier than ever! This time, he's got help fr...

I Love Dialogue! The Wall of Time - A Lone Wolf Novel

Wil is still visiting Abudali. He's decided to leave, thinking that there are more urgent, pressing matters to deal with. He's really talked himself out of staying. Could it be fear keeping him from exploring his mind with Abudali?

Wil's announcement that he was leaving fell on deaf ears. Abudali ignored what he said and smiled.
"I'm really going," Wil told him. "I have things to do. I have a schedule to keep."
"Of course you do. Go then, I won't keep you." Instead of arguing, Abu was giving him the brush off.
"Don't you want me to? I thought for sure you'd try to make me stay."
"How could an old, feeble man like me make a strong, virile man like you do something he doesn't want? Go if that will make you happy. Don't find out the answers to your burning questions. Go!" He shoved Wil toward the door, nearly knocking him back a step.
"All right, Abu. You win."
"Excuse me? You wanted to go five seconds ago."
"But maybe you're right. I should stay and find out what they did to me."
"Now he acts like he's doing me a favor! You don't have the dedication! One minute you're leaving, the next you want to stay. Which is it?"
"May I stay, Abu?" Wil asked him, much subdued.
"Since you ask, then yes. But you have to agree to do what I tell you, even if you think it's silly."
"Agreed."
"Good. We begin in an hour. Now is a time for eating."
"You're not going to feed me anything that gives me the shits for over two hours, are you?"
"No."
"Or makes me puke, or anything like that?"
"Of course not. Whatever gave you that idea? Really, Wil, you're entirely too paranoid."
"I wonder," Wil mumbled as he ate and drank sparingly.
Abu pressed another cup of tea on him. It wasn't until a few minutes later that Wil realized it had been a bad idea to take the other cup of tea.
"What did you put in that?"
"I might have added a little Dimboloo Root."
"What? Are you trying to kill me?"
Dimboloo Root was another highly toxic weed that had mind expanding capabilities. In the wrong dosage, it was lethal. Even his body would have trouble metabolizing it.
"You said you wouldn't argue with me," Abu told him as his ears wiggled and his nose exploded into purple flowers.
"I know what I said," Wil struggled to stand. "But that was before my mouth went to sleep and my knees urinated pink frogs. What the hell is in that stuff? My fingers. Look at my fingers, Abu! They won't work like this. How can I hold a guitar pick and strum the monkey?"
"Don't be ridiculous, Wil."
Abu's ears now looked like pontoons and his nose hair had grown at an alarming rate. It hung down to his armpits.
"You can't strum the monkey, you have to pluck it."
"Right." Wil sat heavily, knowing something wasn't right, but not sure what it was. "Why do my eyes feel like they're melting into my kneecaps?"
"It's the Dimboloo. You'll be fine soon."
"Make my pants stop burning, will you? I can't seem to put it out."
"Certainly, my son." Abu patted Wil absently, spreading the flames instead of putting them out.
Wil wasn't worried anymore because a flock of birds hovered over him with buckets. "That's better. The ducks put it out. What are we doing?"
"Listen to me, Wil. I'm going to go into your mind now. You mustn't fight me. The Dimboloo will help you relax. I don't want you to fight me. Don't attack unless I tell you to. But I'm going to give you a special code word. If I say the word barnacle you will attack whatever target I give you. If you don't hear barnacle you will not attack. Is that clear?"
"Yes. You'll say barnacle. Is that before or after I eat the ice cream?"
"Forget the ice cream."
"Then how about the ducks."
"Piss on the ducks. It puts the fire out."
The conversation would have gone on like that awhile longer, but Wil felt as if someone had driven a steel spike in his hand. He knew how that felt, because someone had done that to him once. He didn't like it much then either.
An old lady sat in a rocking chair wearing a brown dress and a tan shawl. She had really long ears and sharp teeth.
"Abu, if that's your wife. . . . Whoa!"
"Don't be ridiculous, Wil. I have no wife."
"I do, don't I?" Wil tried to put on a blue flowered hat, but it melted. "Is that her?" He shuddered. "I've got sick taste, man. She could be my grandmother."
"Wil, focus! You're letting your mind wander. Enough of that!"

He slapped Wil sharply across the cheek. Wil's head snapped sharply back and his eyes crossed. When he refocused, he was able to get a grip on what he was seeing. No, the walls weren't melting into puddles of cotton candy. A camel wasn't passing through the eye of a needle and his fingernails were not sixty-two inches long. However, he did feel and see Abu walking slowly through his mind, exploring.