Thursday, January 29, 2015

Undiscovered Trivia About Dellani Oakes!

How long have you been writing?

I've been making up stories since I could talk. I began as a child telling stories about my imaginary friend, Snowy Green, and our adventures are Rainbow School. I was four – so, way longer than I like to think about.

Which of your main characters is your favorite? Do you have more than one?

I do have more than one favorite character. I'm always in love with my leading man. SIGH
I love Detective Walter Scott (call me Scott). He's a good man who's been burned more than once by the wrong woman. By his own admission, he's as bad at finding a woman as his sisters are at finding a good man. He's intelligent, courageous and dead sexy.

Not to be left out, Teague McMurtry from The Ninja Tattoo. Why? I'm not sure. He's a great guy, takes charge, he's protective and in control. He doesn't treat Vivica like an adornment, but as an equal.

My other favorite is Wil VanLipsig from Lone Wolf and Shakazhan. He's a cold, calculating bastard with a heart of gold underneath. WAY underneath. He's honorable, loyal, reliable and dead sexy.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in everything. Sometimes, it's a conversation I hear in passing. Mostly, I just get an idea in my mind and run with it. Inspiration for Undiscovered came from my friend, Mickey Hoffman, who said, “I had the weirdest dream. I was showing a condo and shots rang out.” It blossomed from there.

What kind of music do you listen to when you write?

It's probably easier to tell you what I DON'T listen to: rap, hiphop, pop and twangy country. I have been known to listen to Funky Cold Medina, maybe some Faith Hill and Willie Nelson, but that's my limit. Mostly, I'm listening to Gov't Mule, Joe Bonamassa, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Metallica, ZZ Top, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Clapton, Zeppelin, Rammstein, Slash, Guns n Roses. . . .

Name a famous author you've met, nearly met or wish you'd met.

I was fortunate, when in college, to attend lectures given by several famous authors. I met and conversed with Robin Cook – Coma, Richard Brautigan – Trout Fishing in America, Edward Albee – Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf. I also saw Harlan Ellison speak. I didn't get to meet him, though.

What is the weirdest thing a character ever did in a book?

My characters have done some strange things. I think the weirdest that one of them ever did, was the villain in New at Love. She was mad at her ex-husband for dating a new woman (even though, she herself, had cheated on him) So she broke into the new girlfriend's apartment and shaved the cat before taping him (the cat) to the hood of his car. (The cat was okay, though. Don't worry.)


Who really wrote the book, you or your characters?

My characters always write every book. I can't take credit for anything but typing really fast. They do it all, dialogue, action, pacing, story arc – all them, always.

How many books have you started and how many have you finished?

This is such an unfair question. I demand a recount! Oh, wait, that's what you want, isn't it. Umm (counts)
Finished Novels: 62 (Just finished another one last night)
Unfinished novels: (mumble-mumble) 54
Giving me a grand total of (drum roll) 116 novels/ novellas (I didn't include short stories in here. These numbers are mind boggling enough for me.)

I set myself a goal to finish a book a month in 2015. I've finished off 5 so far. One of them was start to finish, the rest were unfinished novels that I finally wound up!

What's the hardest part with writing: the writing of the story or the editing?

The hardest thing for me is finishing – as evidenced by my numbers above. I get a great idea, run with it awhile, then get another great idea, and another. (later, rinse, repeat)

How many books do you have published?

Undiscovered makes book #8! The others are:

Indian Summer - historical
Lone Wolf – futuristic romance
Shakazhan – Lone Wolf #2 futuristic romance
The Maker – Lone Wolf #3 futuristic romance
The Ninja Tattoo – romantic suspense
Under the Western Sky – retro romantic suspense
Conduct Unbecoming – romantic suspense


All my books are available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Undiscovered - Excerpt from Chapter 5

Undiscovered is now available for sale! Get your copy now!


The next morning, Cadence and Scott know they have to find a better solution to her protection dilemma. He plans to contact his boss as soon as possible, to get her around the clock surveillance.

"So, what will they do with me?" Cadence asked suddenly.
"As far as protection? No idea. Sometimes we take a witness to a hotel. Other times, we patrol the neighborhood. Different levels of protection depending on circumstances."
She nodded, sniffling as she cleared her plate. "I want to thank you again, Scott. I know you didn't have to do what you did."
"Can't have my star witness scared and alone, can I?" He stood, bringing his things to the sink.
Cadence turned quickly, finding him directly behind her. She hadn't heard him walk up. She was in tears again. Scott put his plate on the counter and took her in his arms. She pressed her face to his shirt, crying softly. He held her close, stroking her hair and murmuring comfortingly in her ear. Not quite sure how it happened, he found himself kissing her. Mouth closed, at first, nothing special about it. Just an average, friendly kiss.
She opened her lips, her tongue diving into his surprised mouth. That was all the encouragement he needed. They stood there for several minutes, consuming one another. She clung to him desperately as he possessed her. His phone ringing broke the moment. Cursing, he looked at it. Nessa. He answered, trying not to sound as pissed off and horny as he was.
"Yeah?"
"What's biting your ass?"
"Never mind. What do you need, Vanessa?"
"You not to take my head off. You busy?"
"A little."
Cadence started away from him. He took her hand, gently, worried she was upset. She pointed to the clock, then the door and he understood she needed to get ready for work.
"I gotta go," he mumbled.
Wide eyed, she nodded. He could tell she was afraid to be left alone.
"I can stay fifteen minutes," he murmured, the phone away from his mouth.
She made rushing motions and ran up the stairs.
"Is someone there with you? Where are you? You're not at your place."
"How would you know that?"
"Cause I'm knocking on your front door with donuts and coffee."
Shit!
"I'm at a friend's place."
"Ooh, new lady friend?"
"Not like that. If you must know, my witness called me last night, terrified because our fourth floor guy saw her even more clearly than she saw him. She's afraid he'll find her."
"Shit!"
"Yeah, my thoughts exactly."
"Okay. Give me the location. I'm on my way over."
"Ocean Sun, apartment Five ten."
"Ocean. . . . Oh, my God! Her place is the floor in between? Jesus, Scott. Why didn't you tell me that? I'll be there in ten. Stay tight. Call the station and tell them where you are so the lieutenant won't bust your ass when you get there."
"Good idea. See you in a few."
He concluded his call to the station as Cadence walked down the stairs. She looked incredible he couldn't help staring at her. She wore a short, gauzy black dress covered in rusty orange and lavender butterflies. Her necklace and earrings were teardrop shaped purple stones in antique gold filigree settings. Her sandals made her about three inches taller and clasped around her narrow ankles. Her golden hair was done in a loose chignon, her makeup minimal.
"Oh, teacher, spank me! I've been a bad boy!" he murmured as she got to the bottom step.
Cadence blushed, feeling his scrutiny. No man had ever looked at her that way—like a dying man seeing his first glimpse of heaven.
"If I took your class, I'd fail the whole year," he said as he took her hand, bringing it to his lips.
"Why's that?"
"Cause if I failed, I could take you again." It took him a second to realize how that sounded, but decided he didn't care.
Cadence laughed nervously, blushing more as he kissed her hand. His lips moved to hers, kissing her softly, lingeringly. A small sigh escaped her parted lips.
"You look—amazing. . . ."
"Thank you." She gently extracted her hand with an apology. "Sorry. Got to get my things." She pointed to her desk in the corner of the living room.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes




Thursday, January 22, 2015

Meet Miriam Davidson!

Miriam Davidson is a new indie author whom I had the good fortune to meet on Facebook during a book event. We all had such a good time chatting at the event, we decided to start a group, inviting those people who attended. Miriam was one of those folks. She is a delight to talk to and I am pleased to be able to count her among my Facebook friends. Her book, Blushes, Blunders and Bagpipes is available HERE





Blushed, Blunders and Bagpipes: 
Sarah Phillips is accident prone pure and simple. If it's not her body letting her down; it's her mouth! Join her and the love of her life, Jason Alderson, as they travel to Scotland and Majorca with hilarious results. Home life is no less hectic, but through it all, they are hopelessly in love.





Hi, Miriam. Where are you from?

I’m from Newcastle Upon Tyne, in the North East of England.

What genre do you write?

I write fantasy, romantic comedy and I am busy writing a paranormal book at the moment.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I have always loved writing. I used to write my children’s school essays for them. It wasn’t until I became a single woman again, that I decided to try it professionally.

Do you remember what inspired this book?

I had a bad few years with verbal and physical abuse and at first, I began writing a book about my life. One night I went to bed and dreamt of a secret fantasy world alongside our own. I went straight to the library the next day and began research on mythology and my first book was born. I am looking to rewrite it into a children’s book and then turn it into a screenplay for a partially animated movie.

My latest book is a romantic comedy which came to me after I had been talking with my girls and sister about love and marriage. A lot of the things that happen in Majorca, actually happened to me or one of my family while we were in Majorca many years ago.


Also available from:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I Love Dialogue - Call Me #2

Distraught over the loss of her cellphone, (the case held sentimental value) Moira Crane goes to the police station to report the theft. Detective Rhys Fletcher ushers her into his office and it becomes more of a flirtatious conversation than a police interview.

"Sorry for the mess. They're repairing my usual office. Had a waterpipe burst. So I'm stuck in the file room. They're in the process of converting to paperless." He held up a file, pulling a silly, sad-clown face.
Moira smiled. "I thought maybe you were just incredibly busy and awfully disorganized."
"Me?" Fletcher tossed his hat on a rack near the desk. "Neat as a pin. Ask Sue." He nodded to the woman outside.
"Don't listen to him, he's a slob. They're all slobs," the older woman laughed.
"Thanks. Make me look bad in front of the lady." He invited Moira to take the only chair in the office. He perched on the edge of his desk, one well sculpted thigh slung over the corner.
In the small, windowless room, Moira could smell his cologne. It was dusky, spicy and tingled her nostrils. An uncomfortable warmth filled her. She shifted in the chair.
"I know it's a little cozy in here. I'm sorry." He shifted too.
Moira got the strong impression she had the same effect on him that he had on her.
"So, tell me what's wrong, Miss Crane."
Moira told him about what had happened in class and her actions afterward. Fletcher nodded, pressing his lips together.
"So, you don't think any of your students could have done this?"
"Maybe, as a joke. None would do it seriously—at least I hope not."
"Could it have been taken by mistake?"
Moira shook her head. "I doubt it. My phone case is very distinctive and childish. My ex-boyfriend's daughter gave it to me for my birthday. She's five."
Moira gulped, her eyes watering again. She pulled out a crumpled tissue from the stack Sue had given her, smiling when Fletcher's handkerchief appeared in front of her. Laughing, she took the handkerchief.
"I'm sorry, I got mascara on it." She handed it back to him.
Fletcher tossed it aside. "That's what I pay the maid for." He smiled down at her. "I can't guarantee we'll get the phone back. If it was stolen, it's probably been sold off by now. But you did the right thing by contacting the phone company."
"It's the pictures," she wailed. "I don't have copies of them. I know I should have saved them—"
"But you don't think about that," he said quietly. "Not with something as precious and spontaneous."
He sounded so subdued, Moira stared at him. She never tried to read people she'd just met. Sometimes, their emotions were so obvious, she couldn't help it. The pain radiating off him was intense. He'd lost someone he loved dearly—and the pain was recent. Moira's fingers brushed his hand before she could stop it. She got a flash of a grave—no, two. One adult sized and one very small one.
"I'm so sorry," she whispered. "It must be quite awful to lose your family."
Rhys Fletcher recoiled from her touch, jumping off the edge of the desk. He knocked his lamp to the floor in his attempt to get away. The bulb shattered on the tile floor.
"Who are you? Did he send you?"
"What are you doing in there, Rhys Fletcher?" Sue called from her desk. "If you break another lamp. . . ."
"Sorry. My fault," Moira called.
Moira stooped to pick up the lamp. Her long, sable hair cascaded over her shoulder. Their eyes met when she stood up. Fletcher's were dark, penetrating, glaring at her.
"I'm sorry," she whispered. "I didn't mean to pry. It's just—I sense things. I know it sounds all freakish, but when I touched you, I saw graves. Your wife and child?"
"Who are you, Miss Crane?"
"I'm an English teacher at the high school."
Fletcher signed, running his hands over his close cropped hair. "I'm sorry, Miss Crane." He adjusted his shirt sleeves, tugging at the cuffs. "It wasn't my wife and child. It was my sister and her daughter." He set the lamp well out of his way and sat on the desk once more. "I apologize. I'm naturally suspicious."
"You asked if he sent me. No one sent me, Detective Fletcher. I'm here about my phone."
"Of course. If I haven't completely blown any chance in hell I had of getting to know you better, would you like to go to dinner?"
Moira's eyes widened. "What?"
"Dinner." He eyed her calmly, smiling.
"Like a date?"
"Yes." He folded his hands in his lap, waiting.
Moira crossed her legs, twitching hair behind her ear. She couldn't read any deception in his face. He really wanted to ask her out. If the feelings she got from him early on were any indication, he was genuinely interested in her. In fact, she suspected this conversation was brought on less by him being a police officer and more about being a man.
"Are you married?" Her eyes narrowed.
"Sue, am I married?"
The older woman didn't even look up from what she was typing. "Nope, more's the pity."
"Am I dating anyone?" He winked at Moira, knowing that would be her next question.
"There's not a woman alive who would put up with you long enough." She smiled up at him. "Is that young whelp asking you out?" she directed at Moira.
"Yes, ma'am."
"Well, he's not completely untrainable, but you'll have your hands full. He's better than most and not as bad as some others. Go for it." She waved at them. "With my blessing. Now, leave me be. I have work."
"You have the Sue Seal of Approval," Fletcher said. "What more can you ask for?"
Moira laughed. "I guess I can't ask for anything more. Okay, I'd love to have dinner. I need to go home and fix my face."
"I'll pick you up at seven."
"Don't you need my address for that?"
He picked up her paperwork, grinning as he waved it at her. "I've got it right here. All your most intimate details."
"If you weren't a cop, that would be a really pervy thing to admit," Moira said, her lips twitching as she tried to hide a smile.
"Moi?" He pointed to himself with both index fingers. "Not a perverted bone in my body," he said as he walked her out.
"You're a man, aren't you?" Sue said, without looking up. "You're all perverts."
"Well. Put that way. . . . At seven?"
"Yes. And thank you, Detective Fletcher."
He kissed her hand. "Rhys, please. I promise that dinner isn't part of our usual customer service."
Giggling, Moira walked out to her car. Fletcher accompanied her,closing her door when she was settled. She turned the key and opened the window.
"I'll run over your foot if you keep standing there."

Taking a couple steps back, he put his hands in his pockets, squinting against the sunshine. "See you at seven, Moira."

Monday, January 19, 2015

Undiscovered - Excerpt from Chapter 3

Detectives Walter Scott and Vanessa Weinstein have been called to the scene of a strange crime. Someone shot the younger brother of movie mogul, Kent Griswald. Connor Griswald wasn't killed, but when a man is shot on a public beach, while surrounded by celebrities, there's pressure on the police to produce suspect quickly.
Fortunately, Scott and Vanessa have a witness, Cadence Stewart. She shows condos part time and works as a music teacher at a local college. After finishing up the stacks of paperwork, Scott and Vanessa decide to go out to dinner.

They drove back to the station together. They hit the door and headed to their desks to start the paperwork ball rolling. Long after their shift was supposed to be over, they finally finished. Meeting up at the Lieutenant's office, they decided to go to dinner. They met at the best restaurant on the beach. There was a live band and the place was packed, but Scott could always get in.
"My sister's the manager," he explained as the hostess led them to a table.
"Your usual drink, Scott?"
"Not tonight. I'll have iced tea."
"Not a rum runner or something more interesting?" The hostess probed.
"Thanks, no. Still gotta drive home." He flashed a winning smile.
The hostess sashayed off, swinging her hips. Scott watched her until Nessa nudged him, clearing her throat.
"Friend of yours?"
"Used to be. Okay, still on occasion. A beneficial friend," he clarified.
"Got that. My keen observation sense." She tapped the corner of her right eye.
"We gonna rehash that old dog?"
"Which old dog?"
"That argument where you tell me what a man slut I am? Cause that got old the first sixty times. I don't think I can sit through it again."
"You can do what you want."
"Why didn't you feel like that before?"
"We were dating then."
Walt frowned, pursing his lips. "Cheap shot, Ness."
"And what you're doing isn't?"
"When we were dating did I ever look at another woman? You'd love it if I'd been unfaithful, then you'd be able justify leaving me."
"Here we go," the waitress said cheerfully. "Dinner is served! Can I get you anything else?"
"We're good," Scott said. "Thanks."
She strutted off again and he made a point of watching her just to irk Vanessa.
"How'd you like it if I started ogling some guy while I'm with you?"
"When you can find one better built than me, go ahead."
"Arrogant prick."
"But you liked that arrogant prick, Ness. As I recall, you found it quite satisfying."
"I think we'd better drop this subject too."
"But we're finding out what we have in common, a messed up love life."
They changed the subject to anything but love and crime.
© 2015 Dellani Oakes




Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tears of Crimson - The New Orleans Vampire Bar by Michelle Hughes


Tears of Crimson, the New Orleans Vampire Bar contains adult situations, sexual content, and is not appropriate for minors.

I was only fifteen the first time he found me.  I say he found me because I hadn't been looking for him... yet there he was when I closed my eyes. When my mother was declared insane, the only person I had left in the world was Granny Louise.  Even though she was good to me, I was a target for bullies, ones that were convinced that the apple never fell far from the tree.  I was tired of my life, tired of a world that fostered such heartache and pain.

Rafe changed things.

He salvaged what was left of my will to live.  Those six years became my lifeline.  He opened my eyes to passion, shared a world with me that was so vivid that I could still hear his words in my ears, and the ghost of his touch on my skin when I woke up.

Now that my world has seemingly fallen apart, the only place I can think of going is where my dreams took place- New Orleans.  Rafe and I have walked those streets in my fantasies. Somehow, I feel like that's where I can find my salvation, my purpose.

What frightens me is, now that I've stepped in Tears of Crimson, a part of me is starting to believe that some dreams are meant to be lived.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Author Bio:  Michelle Hughes is an international bestselling romance author with over 15 books published. She is an Alabama native, married with five children, and formerly a singer/songwriter. Michelle is also the owner of Tears of Crimson LLC which provides exposure to independent authors and entertainers on a global level. 

When she's not writing or promoting, Michelle and her family enjoy spending time on their 40 acre homestead in Verbena. Fishing, riding four wheelers and exploring all the natural resources of her state are very important to Michelle. She is also a den leader to her local cub scouts troop. Giving back to the community is something Michelle truly believes in, and is always willing to help with organizations that support those less fortunate.

Links for Michelle:
www.tearsofcrimson.com 
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/authormichellehughes 
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/MichelleHughes_

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I Love Dialogue - The Big Sleep

Roger Findley made a mistake. He got drunk and had hot sex with a woman he didn't know. The bad thing is, he can't remember it. He's in an on again, off again relationship with his friend (and boss) Siobhan. She and Amber are aware of one another and have accepted it—Roger didn't lie to either woman. Now, they're all out to lunch at a very exclusive restaurant. The women take advantage of the fact that Roger's gone to the restroom.

While he was gone, the women talked about him in very explicit terms, comparing his performance.
"Oh, he did that with you too? I thought he'd spanked me raw," Siobhan exclaimed.
"It was so naughty! And so hot. I don't usually do that—you know, go off with some guy I barely know. But I'd seen him at the club a few times. We'd chatted, danced some, but never anything more. He was so handsome and charming, he swept me off my feet."
"Was he there a lot? Roger hates clubs. Crowds make him claustrophobic."
"He didn't seem to mind. He was out there on the dance floor with me and a few other girls. He was in the middle of six of us having a wonderful time. I guess that and the tequila got him pretty hot, next thing I know. . . ." Amber blushed, ducking her head away. "God, I'm embarrassed to tell you."
"What?" Siobhan leaned forward. "Don't tell me, you did it in a stall?"
"Never in my life before! Humping in the bathroom like a couple of drunk teenagers."
Siobhan laughed loudly, green eyes sparkling. "That's so unlike him. I mean, he'll do it just about anywhere, but he's always been picky about hygiene."
"I guess any man will lower his standards if he's horny enough."
"I feel cheated. He never did me in the bathroom." She pouted, giggling.
The women were laughing and talking when Roger came out of the restroom. He was glad they were getting along well, but—they were getting along—well. A little worried, he stood by the restroom, watching. He might have continued to do so, but he heard his name. Not one of the women he was with, a decidedly masculine voice.
"Roger! Hey, are you deaf?"
His old school buddy, Lionel Pettigrew, whose parents owned Sarducci's, was sitting at a quiet corner table with a beautiful brunette. Roger walked over and found himself enveloped in a hug. Lionel pummeled him on the back.
"Damn, it's good to see you! It's been what? Four, five years?"
"At least. You left me far behind, Leo." He used the nickname that their circle of friends had adopted as kids. "I'm smart, but shit. You make smart people look dumb."
"I want you to meet someone. Arista, this is my old pal, Roger Findley. He kept up with me better than some of the others."
"Yeah, I did duel enrollment while he worked on his Masters," Roger said, smiling at the attractive woman. "Pleased to meet you." He noticed she looked to be about four months pregnant. "So, Leo, you and Arista?"
"Getting married next month. Mama was kind of pissed we waited, but we've been busy."
Arista grinned. "We took a sabbatical to go on a dive. Ran into a few problems along the way."
"It got crazy," Leo explained. "Can you stay a minute?"
"Can't. Your cousin is waiting for me."
"Oh, hell. Don't keep Shiv waiting. I suppose I ought to come say hello. Honey?" He helped Arista stand. "My cousin, Siobhan. She's great. Not psycho like some of the others."
They walked with Roger to the table. Roger and Leo made introductions.
"Why don't you join us?" Siobhan suggested. "Have you eaten yet?"
"No, we were waiting. G's fixing us something special. Arista had a craving for artichokes."
"Have you had a lot of those?" Siobhan asked her. "We're currently trying," she admitted with a blush.
"You and Roger? Congratulations! When's the wedding?" Leo sat next to Arista.
Siobhan and Roger exchanged a look. "Well, there probably won't be one. I wasn't planning on marrying Roger. . . . In fact, he was kind of dating Amber."
"I don't think one night of wild sex constitutes dating," Amber said.
Roger dropped his head to the table, groaning. "See the problem with having two women you've been to bed with at the same table? Never do this to yourself, Leo. Not ever."
"Oh, but Roger, honey," Arista said, patting him on the back. "Leo knows all about us, sweetheart! It's not a secret, the love we share."
Roger started to laugh. "Did you have to find a woman with as twisted a sense of humor as you? She'll fit right in. Has she met Cullen?"
"He's singing at our wedding," Arista replied. "And yes, he hit on me."
"Cullen hits on anything with breasts," Roger replied, taking a sip of his wine.
"Can I meet Cullen?" Amber asked.
The others laughed loudly, drawing attention from other diners. None of them cared.
"Do you think she can handle Cullen?" Siobhan asked Roger.
"She survived a night with me, I imagine she could hold her own. I thought he was marrying Sabrina."
"On again, off again," Arista replied. "That man doesn't know what he wants. Brie's pretty sure she wants him, but won't trust him. And he hits on anything with breasts."
"She'd better make up her mind soon. She's due in what, six weeks?"
"Something like that," Leo replied.
"She's pregnant too? Are all my old friends going to be fathers?"
"Brodie's got a kid, another on the way," Leo explained. "Duke's engaged, Finn's married."

"Duke and Finn? My God! Duck, honey," Roger said to Siobhan. "The world's coming to an abrupt and catastrophic end."

Thursday, January 08, 2015

The Maker by Dellani Oakes

In the Maker, I introduce several new characters. Not all of them are human, in fact, most of them are some sort of bipedal alien race. There are others, however, who are just as important, but aren't remotely human. In fact, some of the best characters in the books are the sentient ships. We've already met Styx, Hammer, Anvil and Quick Silver. They are a family unit who have been remarkably helpful to the folk of Shakazhan.
Now, however, a galaxy wide call has gone out and the Timokuan people must respond. The ships are the ones who must carry them to Shakazhan. This scene takes place as the Timokuan prepare to depart. It is customary for the mated pairs to travel, leaving their children for who knows how long, because there isn't any room on the ship for them. Reluctantly, Tianna and Lordvik must leave their family behind.

The final good byes were said and the four of them took the nearest teleporter to the spaceport. Luggage stowed, they tried to make themselves comfortable in their tiny cabins.
Jessia's thoughts turned to the legends she had heard in her childhood of the living ships her people had used. They were said to be operated by tiny, hairy men and carried the Timokuan wherever they need to go. Large and spacious, they could house everyone in comfort, their needs met with a thought.
She looked around at the cold metallic and silicon cabin. Not even the bed she and Acey were to share was homey or comfortable. Despite her efforts, she knew nothing would ever make it feel like home. But it would be where they lived for who knew how long?
Sighing deeply, she sank slowly to the hard, chilly metal chair, her thoughts churning slowly as she felt the engines ignite.
Suddenly, planetary alarms sounded. An attack? Had the Evil Ones come for them? Her training took over and she responded automatically to the klaxon. Grabbing up her weapons, she ran to her duty station. Acey met her there, anxiety in his face, which he tried hard to conceal.
"What is it?" What's happening?" Jessia asked.
"Not sure, but I heard someone say there were ships on the sensors."
"Ships? What ships could there be? Is it the Evil One?"
Acey turned confidently to his new wife, taking her hand gently. "No, Jessia, if it were the Kahlea, we would already be dead."
They both shuddered involuntarily. All they could do was wait, which they did, in silence. A few minutes later, the alarms silenced and a ship wide announcement began.
"Good people, although this will seem a peculiar command, you're to return to the planet, gather your families and come back to the spaceport within the next quarter sun. That is all."
Acey and Jessia turned to one another, stunned. Gather their families and return? Nothing more. Obediently, they met Acey's parents and went back to their house.
In silence, Jessia and Tianna gathered the children's things together, told the servants to watch over the house in their absence and returned to the spaceport. They were surrounded with other dazed and confused people, children in tow.
The skies seemed to part and above their heads was a gigantic, multicolored ship of unknown make and origin. Never had they seen such a vessel. Shocked, no one spoke for a few moments and then the flood of comments began.
"What is this ship? Who mans it? Where did it come from?" The same questions, as yet unanswered, bubbled through the crowd. As if in response to their queries, a large view screen flickered into life high on the main tower of the spaceport, showing the Parva's pale, startled face. Beside him, resplendent in full ceremonial gear, a short, furry person stood proudly, dwarfed only in size by his human counterpart.
"Good people," the Parva began. "My friends and colleges, we're honored today to welcome the Kindred from the planet Iyundo."
Silence echoed from one end of the spaceport to the other. A murmur began, then a thunderous sound of shock. Amazement, horror and consternation rumbled through the assembly. Kindred? Iyundo? These were names from myth, legend, histories older than recorded time and yet here they were in the flesh.
As if having anticipated the noise, the Parva held his hands for quiet. Slowly, the rumble died to a mutter and then silence.
"As unbelievable as it may be, it is true. We welcome the Kindred and ask all of you to make your way to the designated areas of the spaceport for transport to the ship. You'll see the symbol of your units emblazoned above each section. Stand quietly and be patient. This will be as swift as possible. I assure you, you have nothing to fear."
Tianna's face was ashen and she looked ready to faint. Lordvik held her firmly by the elbow, leading her to their designated departure area. The sign of their unit was hanging in the sky above it, blazing orange. Reaching to touch it, Lordvik found his hand passed through it, not even seeming to break the image. It was neither hot nor cold, as if his fingers mere passed through air.
"Do you think it's safe?" Tianna's face showed fear, which she tried to hide from her children.
"I'm sure it's perfectly safe. They could have killed us a million times over by now. They mean us no harm."
"Perhaps they want to lure us on board to enslave us!"
"My love, be reasonable. There are simpler ways of enslaving people. They could have drugged us all by infiltrating our atmosphere with chemicals to make us sleep and then swept us up in one massive motion. No, we're fine, don't fear."
A gentle tingle started on their scalps, working down to their toes. The children giggled happily, holding onto their parents hands. Jessia clutched Acey's hand in both of hers, not noticing that his fingers were going blue. Acey was too fascinated by the process to notice until they were aboard.
They found themselves in a large cargo hold with more of their people around them, equally benumbed. A strange voice made an announcement which they received in silence.
"Welcome good friends. We apologize for taking you so much by surprise, but it was unavoidable. Our attempts at communication were unproductive. We tried to warn you of our arrival. An anomaly of your planet made communication impossible until we were in your atmosphere." There was a short pause and the voice continued.
"Please accept our hospitality. The Sentience has instructed us to transport you to Shakazhan. You'll be taken to the quarters assigned to you. Your belongings have already been brought here and are waiting for you in your state rooms. As your children are such a vital part of you, we have invited them to join you, they'll be well cared for. I am delighted to introduce myself, I am Bellerophon, your ship and home to you for the next few weeks. Welcome."

© 2014 Dellani Oakes


Tuesday, January 06, 2015

I Love Dialogue! Brick McMillan

The following excerpt is from a story I began September 11, 2014, as I boarded my plane in Daytona. I didn't really need another story, but it refused to be still. It's not got a proper title yet, so I named it after the main character, Brick McMillan.
Brick's heading to Daytona from Kansas City for a funeral—the fourth in five years. First his father, then his Aunt Mabel and wife, Danai. Now, his younger brother, Stony, has died under somewhat mysterious circumstances. He's planning to move back to Florida to be near his nieces and nephews, to help raise them as his brother wanted. He also meets one of Stony's co-workers—Colleen. She isn't quite what she seems. Right now, he's out with Colleen and a real estate agent named Stacy.

They pulled up to a comfortable house in one of the closed communities that was back to back with the golf course, separated by a low wall. The house was seashell pink with pale green trim. Brick wasn't sure he liked it. It was the kind of thing that Danai would have loved, but his tastes weren't quite that feminine. Dubious, he allowed the women to coerce him inside. The interior was equally feminine. He wandered around politely, but Stacy could tell he wasn't all that interested.
It's nice and all, but I feel like I should be hosting a party where we sip chai tea and talk about our periods.” Brick shuddered.
The women laughed, understanding exactly what he meant. Fortunately, neither of them was offended by his remark.
The next house, in another community, wasn't as feminine, but wasn't to his taste either. After looking it over, he stood in the living room, legs spread, arms crossed over his chest.
Lemme tell ya what I don't want,” he said. “This here?” He made circular motions with his right hand. “Not this. That other place—hell no. Either something ridiculously modern or something old fashioned. This golf course chic or kitschy—shit. . . .” He shook his head, gesturing around himself at the home's interior. “No. Just—no.” He strutted out.
Colleen and Stacy watched his departing form, eyes lingering on his well toned ass. Stacy raised an eyebrow.
Yum!”
No kidding! He kissed me earlier.”
No, he didn't! Oh, my God, was it wonderful?”
It was worth doing again, that's for sure.”
Makes me wish I were single.”
They left the house, locking it behind them. Brick was on the phone, leaning against the car, legs crossed at the ankles. His long, lean body was relaxed and casual. A soft smile tugged at his lips.
Charlie, I can't do that right now. Go to the house and get it.” He paused, listening. “Cause I'm still in Florida. I told you that before I left. I gotta go. Bye now. Love you!” He put the phone in his pocket. “My youngest. Most helpless child on the face of the earth.” He laughed.
How old is Charlie?”

She'll be nineteen next month. Looks just like her mother.” His smile faded slightly. “The kids didn't want to come to the funeral.” He swallowed hard. “Too much death. I don't blame them. If I could have avoided this, I wouldn't be here either.” He cleared his throat. “Let's get this circus on the road,” he commanded.

Conduct Unbecoming by Dellani Oakes

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