Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Both Jake and Rami have been on before, and we're thrilled to have two such talented gentlemen back on the show. I know we're going to have a great time with lots of laughs, as well as some thrilling and exciting excerpts read by both our guests.
Tune in TODAY Wednesday, July 27 at 4 PM Eastern (3 Central, 2 Mountain, 1 Pacific) for What's Write for Me with Jake and Rami or Listen to the Podcast at your convenience!
Jake Combs is the author of Haunted by Shadows, an adventurous fantasy novel.
Rami Ungar, author of dark sci-fi stories, Reborn City, The Quiet Game, Snake and Video Rage.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Blake Atherton is on his way to south Florida to take pictures of the beach, and other sights, for book covers. He and his friend own a business making covers, which they also pose for. He witnesses an accident and accompanies one of the victims, a young woman, to the hospital, where he meets Dr. Grace Healey. Taking a shine to Grace, he asks her to show him around. Their first stop is the national park on the island.
There was a canoe ride, taking people through the channel islands, and we decided that looked like fun. We got into one canoe with a pretty blonde woman paddling. She was dressed in a ranger uniform with a silver pin that said: Q. Bazan.
"I'm Quinn," she said, grinning.
"I'm Blake. This is Grace." I held my lady's elbow as she got in the canoe. She was a little unsteady.
"I never lived up to my name," she said as she awkwardly took her seat on the bench. "In fact, I've managed to go completely the other direction."
"Maybe I shouldn't have suggested this," I replied. "If I'm gonna lose you in the river. That'd suck, cause I'd get all wet jumping in after you. I'll mess up my hair."
That earned me an elbow to the gut and a poke with a paddle from behind.
"Hey, I said I'd jump in," I pretended to pout. "I'm a very good swimmer," I muttered. "A very, very good swimmer."
"Okay, Rain Man," Quinn giggled.
"Maybe I should hold onto you so you won't fall." I put my arms around Grace from behind. "Who needs a seat belt when you've got me."
"Sexiest seat belt I've ever had," she agreed.
I felt her relax against me. I'd read it right, she had been a little nervous on the water. That she did this for me, I appreciated more than I could tell her. I stayed close, but I did get a lot of pictures as we glided across the water.
Quinn pulled up at one of the islands and let us walk around for awhile, taking more pictures. There were primitive camp sites there, though they did have bathrooms. Thankfully, no pooping in a hole out here. I appreciate the finer points of camping, even if I don't enjoy it much.
"If you're campers, we do rent these sites out," Quinn told me when we got back in the canoe.
Grace drew back, slightly appalled.
"I'm gonna say no to that, but thanks. Not much of a camper myself. I'm guessing Grace isn't at all."
"My idea of camping is sharing a cozy cabin in the woods. With electricity, air conditioning and hot water," Grace said.
Quinn chuckled, nodding. "My husband isn't a real fan of it, either. I love it. I lived in a tent for a couple months one summer. It was great. Got the best tan of my life."
"You one of the—nature people?" I asked, not entirely sure if they liked being called nudists or not.
"No, but funny you should mention it. My husband's folks manage the site here. Wonderful bunch of people, but they are nice enough to put on wraps when Dmitri and I visit. I've seen more ski-slope titties and sagging scrotums than I'd ever care to see again."
Grace blushed, pressing her lips together. I snorted loudly.
"Not my favorite sight either," I managed to say. "There were some guys at the gym I used to go to, who would strike up conversations when stark naked. And there's always this one guy who has to put his leg up on the bench—right by your face." I shuddered slightly. "Don't want another man's sack that close to me."
The women thought that was extraordinarily funny and laughed all the way back to the landing.
"You'd get along great with Dmitri," Quinn said. "We'll be visiting tomorrow. When you get done with Burt and Maribeth, come by the manager's office."
"I'll sure do that."
"I wish I could come with you," Grace said. "Unfortunately, I'm not on vacation until next week. I can't wait. I love my job, but it's stressful. I need a chance to unwind."
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
What's that I hear? Sleigh bells? Can it be Santa? What's he doing outside my window in July? He's looking for the Christmas in July Event hosted by Maria Devivo on Facebook July 25
Smart Santa! Authors from all genres and all over the world are taking turns chatting, playing games, giving away prizes and freebies from 10:00 a.m. To 8:00 p.m. Eastern time (9 CDT, 8 MDT, 7 PDT)
And the coolest part? Dellani is there from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EDT to talk about her romantic suspense book, Room 103. Join us for a fun filled day. We're going to have a blast!
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Brock Parnell has been wrongly accused of murdering Tack Carmichael, a man he's hated (with good reason) since they were teenagers. Stress from his arrest, caused him to have what was apparently a heart attack, and he's now in the hospital. Strangely, the female prosecuting attorney, Adrianna Hasselhoff, has taken an interest in him and is visiting him.
"I'll see what I can find," she patted my shoulder and kissed me on the forehead. "How do you take it?"
"Light, extra sweet. I use Splenda," I added quickly so she wouldn't bring it loaded with sugar. "Bring packets, I'll sweeten it."
"No problem. I'll be right back. Your folks will be up soon. We talked about it last night before they brought you up."
"My pleasure," she smiled and walked out.
Damn, that woman had a sexy walk. I enjoyed watching her down the hall as she headed toward the elevator. My view got blocked as the door swung closed, but I watched long enough to get a good taste of what I was missing.
"Dammit." I bit my knuckle and tried not to cry. “Dammit!” I pounded on the bed with a clenched fist.
Jake the orderly walked in about that time, grinning. "You okay, Mr. P.?"
"Regretting the fact I'm laid up, Jake." I gazed down the hall where Adrianna was still waiting for the elevator.
Jake held the door open, also admiring the view. I couldn't fault the kid, she's a gorgeous woman. I had no claim on her, but I admit I was a little jealous. I mentally kicked myself for getting possessive when I hardly knew her.
"Yeah," I groaned. It hurt just looking at her.
"Oh, shit. You didn't have your episode when you two were gettin' busy, did you?"
I gave a caustic laugh and tried to gag down some toast. "No, thank God. I was being arrested for a murder I didn't commit," I told him. "Where are my bodyguards?"
"At breakfast. The nurse told 'em you weren't likely to go anyplace considering you can't even get up to take a piss by yourself. They sent me up to sit on you in case you feel like taking a stroll out of the hospital."
A barking laugh escaped me, but it made my chest hurt. "Fuck, Jake, do I look like I can even stand up?"
"Not so good. If you were healthy, you'd give me a run. Even if you're my dad's age, you look in pretty decent shape."
"The way of the Ninja, Jacob."
"Ah so," he bowed to me. "So who do they think you killed?"
"No shit? My dad knows him. Real douche bag from what my old man tells me."
"Not a nice man, no."
"So, did you whack him?"
"I just told you I didn't. What are you, the secret weapon? We'll send in Jake the Orderly and wring a confession from him?"
Jake laughed, his white teeth flashing in the morning sun. "No, just curious. I get the impression from the news that he wasn't well liked."
"You got the right impression."
"So why do they think you did it?"
I picked at the rest of my food and shoved it around on the plate absently. "I had a thing with his wife awhile back. They think I killed him so I could have her."
"Is she hot?" His eyes widened excitedly. He picked up my unused fork and snagged a bite of the eggs.
"Almost as hot as my wife, in a brassy, artificial way."
"Damn! Why'd you have a thing with her when you have a lady that hot at home?"
"I wasn't with Adrianna yet. I was lonely and it seemed like a good idea at the time. When you're drunk and horny and a hot woman throws herself at you, are you gonna say no?"
Jake snorted derisively. "Doh!"
"I rest my case," I said, spreading my hands.
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Austin Templeton stars in a Doctor Who-esque show called The Magician. He's got a new co-star, Liat Fogelberg, in whom he is quite interested. He didn't, however, get along with the director. Since the director was causing trouble for everyone on set, he was unceremoniously fired. He's now making noises about suing the network, and Austin, for defamation. After this announcement, Austin and his assistant, Dwight, are summoned to see The God of the Network—Gordon Oliver Desmond Vogel, God for short—Liat's father.
"Gordon. Or God, your choice." He winked. "You," he pointed at Dwight. "Can you type?"
"Hundred words a minute." He wiggled his fingers rapidly.
"You bellowed, God?" The older man appeared once more, hands folded in front of him.
"Have we anything to type upon?"
"Only a top of the line laptop in your office, sir. Shall I fetch it for you, dah-ling?"
"Bastard," Gordon chuckled. "Please. And we could use your help, old thing."
"Already on it," the older man said. "One moment."
He scurried off and came back with a very fancy laptop that looked as if it had been custom built. He handed it to Dwight. They got it up and running seconds later. Samuel showed him the word processing program and settled back with his feet up.
"Designed that program myself. It does everything but wipe your bum. I'll send you a copy. It's the only way to keep his nibs on time." He pointed to Gordon.
"Are you the butler?" Dwight asked.
"Sometimes. I think the last one quit, he hasn't been in for several days. So I fill in. I'll hire someone next week." He shrugged. "Now, what can we do for you, Gordy?"
The old man nodded, steepling his fingers. He started dictating to Dwight, who kept up remarkably well. They became so engrossed in their conversation, they ignored everyone else. The others moved closer together, leaving them to work. Austin couldn't help overhearing things, but he chose to ignore most of the running commentary, trying to concentrate on Liat and her parents.
"Can't show his bare bum on network TV," Samuel muttered. "Best he keeps his pants on."
"Excuse me?" Austin stood. "I'm not taking down my trousers to please the public. If they want to see my arse, they can watch the program!"
"Of course not," Dwight said. "We just wanted your attention."
"Why didn't you just say Hey, Austin?"
"Where's the fun in that?" Samuel asked, smirking.
"You're as bad as he is," Austin pointed from Dwight to Samuel. "Evil. Both of you."
"That's why I work for God," Samuel replied. "Because I'm Satan. Samuel Alan Thomas Aquinas Nichols."
"Who names their child like that?" Austin asked.
"Rich, bored people with too many people they have to please. To be fair, I added Thomas Aquinas when I took my Confirmation name."
"I've crossed over," Austin decided. "I'm in Limbo or Purgatory waiting to be judged. I've God on one hand and Satan on the other. What am I supposed to do on these talk shows? Other than baring my bum, which isn't happening."
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Monday, July 11 at 4:00 PM Eastern (3 Central, 2 Mountain, 1 Pacific) Christina and Dellani will chat with several of their author friends; Heather Poinsett Dunbar, Karen Vaughan and Ruth Davis Hays. Among the topics of conversation, their Cereal Authors project. Of course, anything else can and will come up. Join in the chatroom for this fun and lively discussion.
HeatherPoinsett Dunbar is co-author of Morrigan's Brood Series, with husband Chris Dunbar.
KarenVaughan is the author of cozy mysteries; Left for Dead, Jamaica Dead, Dead Comic Standing, and more.
RuthDavis Hays is the author of the Translations of Jorthus fantasy series.
Saturday, July 09, 2016
Today, I'm proud to announce that Shakazhan – Book 2 in my Lone Wolf Series, is now available once more! Re-issued with fabulous new covers, Shakazhan and Lone Wolf are for sale on Amazon.
Please note, if you see paperback copies with any covers other than this dazzling blue, you're not buying the Dellani Oakes authorized edition, and I don't get any money for it. (For full disclosure onthis, click here.)
Below is a teaser from Shakazhan, as well as the last couple of pages of Lone Wolf – Book 1. Shakazhan begins just as Lone Wolf ends.
Riley was guided by someone who knew this world. His feet carried him across rocks and desolate land until he reached what had once been city gates. Nothing remained of the metal, but the stones stood silent sentry as he passed between the ruination of the arches. A stone lined, circular plaza stretched out before him surrounded by what had once been a beautiful city. Little was left save the shell of ancient buildings overgrown by tawny grasses and rust colored vines. The buildings formed concentric circles around the center.
Led by a voice inside his head, he found a room deep in the heart of the least damaged building. In the middle of the room, he discovered what he sought—an ancient teleporter. Scrambling over rocks and trash littering the teleport pad, he found the control panel.
By some miracle, he found a set of rusty tools. Tapping off the oxidized metal, he worked rapidly to repair the antiquated device. He had no idea what to do consciously, his hands moved of their own accord. Laughing and whistling as he worked, he saw the ancient controls take shape beneath his hands.
Unerringly, Wil followed Riley's trail. Somehow, he'd managed to find the most direct path to the ruins on the horizon . They approached the long abandoned ruins warily, unsure where to find Riley.
The remnants of a magnificent fountain formed the focal point of a crumbling courtyard. Slimy, green water gurgled lethargically in a noxious smelling stream. Wil and Matilda gave it a wide berth, stopping once they were past it, looking for Riley's trail. Wil was near to giving up when he spotted drops of dried blood. His son had cut himself on sharp, twisted metal not far from the fountain. Following the blood trail, they entered the only surviving structure, a large building to their left.
Matilda used hand signals now that they were inside. Wil nodded, coming up next to her. Moving in tandem, they checked their surroundings as they went. It was narrow, dark, dank and littered with ancient bones. The bones fell to dust as they passed, holding their shape all these centuries merely from habit. Signaling Wil, Matilda walked cautiously forward. He heard movement ahead of them; muttering and cursing, sounds of debris being shifted, shuffling and scuffling. They advanced in two directions, circling around to come up on Riley from different sides.
The old man straightened, head cocked in Wil's direction.
"Hello, Dad." Riley turned slowly, facing his father.
"Hello, Son." His gun was leveled at Riley's chest, unwavering, waiting for an excuse to fire. "She never told me about you. Never said a word."
Riley laughed. The cold, abrupt sound echoed around the room. "Would it have made any difference?"
"Yes. It would have." Wil's voice was soft, almost gentle. "I know it doesn't change things now, but I'm sorry. I know what that place was like."
"Hell! Like Hell on earth!"
Wil nodded, not taking his eyes off Riley, nor dropping his weapon. "So, what now, Son?"
"Are you going to kill me, Daddy?"
"If you make it necessary."
Riley shook his head slightly. "I don't think so. You look at me and see a part of yourself. Mother used to tell me I looked a lot like you. That is, before she lost her mind. After that, she thought I was you, come back for her."
Riley's voice broke with anguish. "She forgot me, but remembered you until the end. Ironic isn't it?" His laughter this time was hollow, as if he'd been left empty. He was no longer angry. He was a child, wanting confirmation that he was loved.
Matilda felt sorry for the man, but at the same time was wary. She sensed something about Riley she couldn't pinpoint. There was power here, evil, great, demonic. She hoped Wil wouldn't be taken in, that Riley wouldn't be able to play on his emotions.
Wil remained impassive, his jaw muscle flexing, the only indication of his discomfort. "Yes. If Cherise had just told me, we wouldn't be here now. But that doesn't matter anymore, nothing can change the past."
Wil approached Riley warily, sensing something different about him. He kept his weapon drawn as Matilda approached with a set of cuffs. Once she placed them on Riley, binding his arms behind him, Wil grabbed his son by the elbow, propelling him to the exit. Matilda followed a few feet away.
No sooner had his hand touched Riley, a scream sounded in Wil's head, disorienting him. Grandma screeched hysterically, "Kahlea! Kahlea! The Ancient Evil has returned!"
Knocking Wil to the floor, Riley scrambled to get his cuffed hands in front of him. Wil tried to right himself and stop the screaming in his mind, but he couldn't. A red miasma flowed before his eyes, his ears rang, disorienting him further.
Matilda tried to grab Riley, but he elbowed her roughly aside as he ran to the control panel and hit the combination of buttons to activate the machine. A grinding rumble filled the air. High pitched screeching of millennia old equipment made his eyes water, disorienting him slightly as he struggled to the platform. The earth shuddered underfoot as the age old conduits ground downward toward the undulating deposit of Trimagnite beneath their feet.
Matilda was overcome by incapacitating nausea. Unable to maintain her equilibrium, she collapsed in a pile of rubble. Wil struggled to rise, forcing himself upright. Hands trembling, he leveled his weapon at his son.
Riley's halting steps carried him to the transport pad. He stepped upon it, feeling the humming shudder grow louder, higher in pitch. The sound set his teeth on edge as if millions of giant fingers dragged their nails down a chalk board. He stepped onto the center of the pad, his skin crawling with the vibrations of the antediluvian device. The unshielded energy disintegrated his clothing as the transport slowly began.
Wil stood directly in front of Riley, weapon aimed at his heart. "I should have killed you long ago."
Riley's world slowed to a crawl. Wil's finger tightened on the trigger, sending the pulse of energy which would incinerate his son. Riley felt an excruciating pull on his head and the soles of his feet as if he were being bent backwards into a hoop and dragged through a key hole.
The pain of transportation was agonizing. A flash of orange light and a lancing, heat seared his chest and genitals as he fell backward into nothingness. Like a light speed roller coaster, Riley road the waves and undulations through space. He lost all sense of time, space, self; dragged away to the heart of darkness, to a hell he so richly deserved.
Shakazhan – Chapter 1
The Inhospitable Surface of Iyundo—1630 Galactic Mean Time (GMT)
"Where the hell did he go? I hit Riley point blank! It's impossible for me to miss at that range!"
In a fit of peevishness, Wil threw his gun to the ground, kicking debris over it. Matilda moved to the control panel. Flames licked at it, consuming the ancient device.
"We won't get this working again." She kicked it hard, the tip of her steel toed boot bouncing off the console. Finding a port for her scanner, she downloaded information from the console.
"That's a waste, baby."
"You never know what we can find out. Even a fragment can help."
Wil knew she was right, he just didn't want to admit it. "We need to get out of here before that blows."
"One more minute...." Matilda replied in a casual singsong.
Picking up his gun, Wil considered the flames. "The way that fire is going?"
"Put it out, then," she snapped as she watched the status bar on her download.
"Yes, Ma'am." He saluted flippantly, searching for something to extinguish the flames, but found nothing but unusable debris that would only succeed in feeding the fire.
"Speed it up, baby, I can't put it out."
Flames leaped higher. Wil watched with growing concern. Just as he was about to grab her and run, she uncoupled the scanner and set off at a sprint. Wil followed her, trying to shield her body if the console blew. They dove behind a pile of rubble, keeping their heads down.
A small, fuzzy creature burst into the room, gesticulating wildly. Eyes wide with panic, he chittered at them in a language their translators couldn't decode. His face sported a slight snout, but there was intelligence in the bright, dark eyes. Dressed in a loin cloth, his body was covered with a soft layer of fur and was only marginally humanoid in configuration. He had a head, two arms and two legs, but there the resemblance to humans stopped.
Wil aimed his weapon at it, calm but wary. Matilda stopped him with a hand on his arm.
"Wait! He's okay. Listen." She tilted her head toward the creature.
"Listen to what? That's gibberish."
"He's telepathic. Come on." She followed the creature without question.
"Shut up and follow him. It's not safe here."
Wil went after her reluctantly, more to protect her than because he trusted the creature.
"Hurry! Felix says it's about to blow."
"Who told you?"
She huffed sharply, exasperated. "He did."
The control panel fire gained intensity. The area around it blazed. A low rumble reached them, the earth trembled below their feet, cracks forming in the walls and floor. They moved away from the fire and deeper into the building, opposite the way they had entered.
The way was often blocked by fallen walls and broken, decaying furniture. This had been a showplace once. The vestiges of its long forgotten beauty were still visible—here a green marble floor, there a magnificent chandelier made of jewels.
"Where is he taking us?" Wil demanded.
"He's showing me a picture of a courtyard out this way." She pointed to their right. "It's safer than going back the way we came."
Wil followed unwillingly, senses alert. His hackles rose, his nerves tingled. Matilda could sense tension and concern in Wil's every move. The sense of urgency she got from Felix made her doubly uncomfortable.
The rumbling and rushing of air grew louder and closer. Risking a look behind them, Matilda saw the chamber they'd left seethed with flames. The front of the building, where they'd entered, fell into a flaming pit. Silver tinged fire burst suddenly from its depths.
"Hurry!" Wil yanked on her arm as he passed her.
The urging from Wil was unnecessary. Matilda tried to keep up, but his legs were considerably longer and he could cover more ground in a mile eating lope, hardly winding him. Panting, she trotted beside him. The hot, dry air burned the back of her throat. The fire raged to the rear, erupting anew. It raced closer, singeing their hair. Their lungs rasped with each breath.
Felix ducked behind a fallen set of doors, raced around a corner and led them to a courtyard, surrounded on three sides by the building they'd just exited. The fourth was gone, long ago fallen to rubble. The air behind them grew hotter. The walls bulged and vibrated violently.
"It's going to blow, Wil!"
Matilda took off at a dead run, legs pumping as hard as they could, her lungs burning. Wil moved behind her, shortening his stride. He wanted to take the brunt of the shock wave and any shrapnel. Matilda stumbled, sliding sideways. He reached out to grab her, missing as her body tipped away from him. Her knee hit hard on a sharp rock protruding from the rubble. Standing with difficulty, she gritted her teeth, determined to continue.
Felix stopped. The sight of her blood worried him. His saucer shaped eyes held deep concern. He glanced behind them nervously, though he waited patiently for her to rise.
Matilda could barely put her weight on her leg. Shaking her head, she limped forward a few inches, nearly falling again.
Wil scooped her up in his arms, running faster than Matilda could have on her own. His long legged stride devoured the distance toward safety. They ran over the stark terrain, Wil's legs rapidly eating up the miles. Felix chittered and gesticulated, pointing to a deep depression in the landscape. He ran toward it, not waiting for Wil, trusting him to follow.
The ground dropped sharply, turning spongy and damp. The depression looked like an artificially made ditch, not a river bed. The edges were too regular and smooth. There was a lot of rubble here as well. Wil slowed, careful where he put his feet.
Felix ran ahead, chittering and yelping loudly. Dozens of little furry creatures like Felix, ran out from a well concealed opening. They yelped and gesticulated wildly when they saw the humans, but ushered the party into their hiding place. Wil and Matilda were surrounded by a three foot high sea of multihued fuzzy people dressed in loin cloths and sarongs.
The tunnel they entered wasn't quite high enough for Wil to stand upright. The floor dipped downward at a steep angle. Stooping to enter, Wil bent his knees, his back bowed as the way narrowed.
Wil expected it to be damp and dank underground. Instead, it was dry, well lit and smelled of roasting meat and exotic spices. After about a hundred meters, it broadened out into an open area where three or four large pipes joined into an open common room. Soft pallets lay on the floor in neat rows. On the outer perimeter, they passed cooking fires.
Felix led him to a group of mats, motioning that Wil should put Matilda down on one. He did so, noticing that the bedding was meticulously clean. It was soft and resilient under her weight.
Another creature, this one with peppered gray fur, moved in beside Matilda. Felix stepped aside respectfully. She wore a leather bag at her side. Wil lingered a moment until Felix tugged his pants leg. Reluctantly, Wil allowed the healer near Matilda.
The healer pulled surgical instruments from her bag, laying them out on a pristine strip of cloth. Made predominantly of glassy stone, they glittered dully in the half light of the culvert. The healer hummed as she cut Matilda's stasuit away from the wound with a pair of shears. That accomplished, she held her hands over her instruments, chanting. They flared pale purple, continuing to glow brighter as she chanted.
As a counterpoint to her high voice, Wil heard and sensed the rumbling of the explosion building not far away. Worried, he looked around him. The serene visages of Felix and the others should have reassured him, but they didn't. The explosion he'd anticipated nearly knocked him off his feet. The ground undulated, the earthen roof groaned, sprinkling them with a fine dust. The tremors continued several minutes, lessened, gradually subsiding. It wasn't nearly as formidable as Wil had anticipated. Regaining his balance, he watched the healer do her work.
The healer leaned over Matilda's leg, protecting it as much as possible from falling debris. Her humming continued and her patient's eyes fluttered shut. Wil could tell Matilda was in a deep hypnotic trance. He took a step forward, but Felix stopped him, shaking his head, smiling. Wil was suddenly filled with peace. He knew the healer wouldn't harm Matilda.
Clearing her work area with sweeping motions of her hands and another song, the healer began again. She cleaned the wound with a bitter smelling liquid. That accomplished, she took up her first instrument, preparing for her incision.
Wil couldn't watch her cut into his wife's leg, for the first time in his life squeamish at the sight of blood. He turned away as the blade descended. His comlink squawked urgently.
"VanLipsig, go ahead Flotilla." He hardly recognized his own voice, it was partially choked with dust and partially constricted with anxiety for his wife.
"Wil! What the hell is going on down there? We registered a massive power surge, followed by a inferno and now a colossal explosion. Are you two all right?" Marc, captain of the mining vessel and Wil's long time friend, yelped. His voice sounded an octave higher than normal, showing his worry.
Wil gulped, trying to clear his throat. "We're alive. Matilda's hurt. She fell when ran away from the explosion. She's being looked after now."
"Looked after? Are you back on the ship?"
"No, we met some people here. One of them is tending to her."
"People? Wil, there's no sign of life there except the two of you!"
"Trust me, I was just as shocked as you. There's life here, just not as we would recognize it. They seem to be silicon based, not carbon. A science officer would have a field day down here."
Felix tugged on Wil's pants leg. His face held an urgency unequaled by any Wil had seen. The little rock man made a tapping motion on his chest, just like hitting a comlink.
"I think of one of them is asking me to end this conversation. I'll get back with you when I can. VanLipsig out."
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
Thursday, July 07, 2016
|New Cover by Suzette Vaughn|
Having reached a mysterious planet, deep in uncharted space, Wil and Matilda find themselves in peculiar circumstances. Led here by Riley, and nearly killed in a massive explosion, they take refuge with an alien race who call themselves the Kindred. From what they can tell, the Kindred are silicon based lifeforms. Highly intelligent beings, they don't speak – they are telepathic. Matilda is injured and is given expert medical aid by one of the Kindred healers. Afterward, they sit down for dinner – if you can call it that.
Wrinkling her nose at the unsavory looking, pinkish gray, pulpy rectangle, she glanced over at the cooking fire with longing. "Whatever they're fixing smells delicious."
"I don t think we had better try their food, I doubt their diet would agree with us."
Matilda took the trail food reluctantly, breaking off a piece and adding a little water. Biting in, she shuddered. "Strawberry Beef Supreme? Ugh! Who thinks of these things? "
Wil took his own package nibbling experimentally at the corner. "Marc and I developed theories over the years. First was that they simply do the combinations at random. Second was that they spend an inordinate amount of time thinking hard what would be the most disgusting combinations known to mankind. My favorite, a team of nutritionists gathered at a convention, got ripping drunk and played Scrabble with the food pyramid. Think Strawberry Beef Supreme is bad? I once got Mango Macaroni Surprise. The surprise was that it was completely inedible." Grinning, Wil ate his Strawberry Beef Supreme with great relish. It was filling and it wasn't Mango Macaroni Surprise.
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
Shakazhan To Be Re-Issued Saturday, July 9, 2016!
Tuesday, July 05, 2016
Abraham Carson is single and not particularly loving it. However, since he's currently living with his recently widowed sister, helping with her four year old twins, he hasn't had a lot of time to do anything about it. He's met a woman, Helene Marcos, and finds himself greatly attracted. Only problem—she has a boyfriend. Inattentive, sometimes infuriating as he may be, that puts Helene off limits.
Once he got home from his jog, Abe showered and started a pot of coffee. It was only about 6:00, so he made pancakes. At 6:32, the twins bounded down the stairs. He heard his sister groaning from her bedroom. She'd been subjected to the Drago Missile Launch, too. She hobbled downstairs a few minutes later, dressed in comfortable, but professional, clothing.
"I have to teach them to tell time. And I need to lock my door. And put Eddie on a diet. Damn!"
"Yes, he landed on the goods this morning. They woke me at four fifty-two."
"I'm so sorry. I've tried putting them to bed later, it doesn't help."
"Put them both in military boarding school."
"Oh, ha ha."
"Or you can teach them how to tell time and lock your door."
"They'd just knock until I opened it."
He set coffee in front of her, with just the right amount of cream and sugar.
"If you weren't my brother, I would marry you."
"Thank you. Big shoes to fill, though."
Tina sniffled, wiping her eyes.
"No tears." He set another piece of bubble wrap in front of her.
Giggling, she ate her pancakes and popped the bubble wrap. "All life's troubles can be solved with a roll of bubble wrap."
"Except that pesky, and decidedly uncomfortable—itch." He adjusted his nuts and she knew exactly what he was talking about.
"It's been six months, sis."
"I know. But I can't even think about that. Not for awhile, yet. I just can't."
"Doesn't mean marriage. Find someone fun. Chet...."
"Is a child."
"He's a grown man and a really good one. His mama raised him right."
"Yes, she did. If I do half as well as their mom and ours, I won't feel like a complete failure."
"You're a great mom. Your kids are wonderfully well behaved. Don't you ever think they aren't."
"Are they going to hate me when they grow up?"
"For awhile, when they're teenagers. But hell, so did we. And look at us now. Warping the tender minds of a new generation."
"When are you going to have tender minds of your own to warp?"
"Need a woman for that." He started loading the dishwasher.
"Helene is nice," she teased.
"Helene has a man," he snapped.
"It may not be serious."
"She's planning the office Christmas party for him."
"Maybe he's a really pushy boss. Women don't like pushy."
"Don't, okay? It's not meant to be."
"You don't know that."
"I can read the signs, Tina. And one of them is this big." He held his arms all the way out. "And it says, Stay Outta My Pussy in big red letters."
"What's a pussy, Mommy?" Emmett asked from the doorway.
"It's another name for a cat." She flashed an angry glare at her brother.
"Why do you have to stay out of it?" Violet asked her uncle.
"Because it's rude to violate a pussy. Go get dressed," Abe replied.
"What's violate?" Emmett asked.
"Never mind. Go." He snapped his fingers loudly, pointing up the stairs.
Two towheaded children ran up the steps to their room.
"You'll have to teach me that trick."
"Spend six weeks in Marine boot camp."
"Thanks, I'll pass."
He winked at her. "No, you wouldn't."
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
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