Thursday, April 27, 2017
This is a first meeting of a slightly different kind. Ostia Farrell is lonely, lives alone and works hard as office manager for a large law firm. She never knew her father and recently lost her mother. Suddenly, her father reappears in her life, begging for her to donate bone marrow to a brother she never even knew she had. Determined to meet the boy, she heads to the hospital on her lunch break.
Adhering to her plan, Ostia headed to South General Hospital at lunch time and asked about Wyatt's room at the front desk. She had a number, she simply needed directions. She followed the map the woman at reception gave her and found him with only a couple of wrong turns.
The face that gazed up at her from the hospital bed might have belonged to Richard, their father, forty years ago. His blue eyes widened with surprise in his too pale face.
“You must be Ostia,” he croaked.
She rushed to the table and handed him a glass of water. “Yes.”
“Dad said he came to see you. Did he spring it on you or did he at least give you some lead-in?”
“Blind sided me,” she replied, taking the chair next to the bed.
“Figures. Subtle, my old man. Our.... I imagine it's all kind of surreal.”
“You're very well spoken for a fifteen year old,” Ostia remarked.
“Not a lot to do when you're hooked up to poison,” he replied, showing her his IV. Instead of going into his arm, the line led to a spot on his upper left chest, just above his heart. “I read a lot. Classics, graphic novels, lots of sci-fi. How about you?”
“I love to read. I grew up reading those stupid Goosebumps things. Then I switched to the Series of Unfortunate Events books.”
Wyatt laughed, nodding. “Me too, on both. Now I'm hooked on Narnia. I'm up to A Horse and His Boy.”
They talked a while longer, until Ostia noticed he was getting visibly tired.
“You're going to help, aren't you?” his voice sounded to plaintive, Ostia almost cried.
“We don't even know if I'm a good match,” she replied. “Please don't think I'm horrible, but I had to meet you first.”
“To see if I'm worth saving?”
She gulped. She wouldn't have put it that way, but it was surely an accurate assessment.
“I wanted to put a face on the request. This isn't because your father asked me. This is because you're a great kid and you deserve every chance you can get. I'll talk to your doctor before I go. May I come see you again?”
“Yeah, I'd like that. This is usually a good time. The parents go have lunch and leave me on my own for a couple hours. I don't imagine you really want to see the old man right now.”
“Not much, no,” she admitted shyly.
“I'd like you to meet my mom sometime,” he said quietly. “She's a pretty cool lady, even if Dad's kind of intense.”
“Maybe later,” Ostia assured him. “I'd better get back to work. It was great meeting you, Wyatt.”
“You too, Ostia.”
“My mom always called me Ozzy,” she said.
“She doesn't anymore?”
Ostia shook her head. “She died last year.”
“I'm really sorry,” he said quietly. “Can I ask how?”
She shook back her bangs, wiping her eyes. “She just didn't want to live any longer.”
He nodded, biting his lip.
Bidding farewell, she went to the nurses station and asked for Wyatt's oncologist, Dr. Maureen Riley. They had a short chat about what needed to be done and scheduled tests the following day.
“Don't tell his parents,” Ostia said. “This is for Wyatt, not for—our father.”
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
TOMORROW,Dellani and Christina welcome guests from Progressive Rising Phoenix Press
4 - 6 PM EDT (3 - 5 Central, 2 - 4 Mountain, 1 - 3 Pacific) on Blog Talk Radio.
4 - 6 PM EDT (3 - 5 Central, 2 - 4 Mountain, 1 - 3 Pacific) on Blog Talk Radio.
First up, author/ publisher Amanda Thrasher, whose books for children and young adults both amuse and inspire her readers. She is the author of such works as The Greenlee Project, Fairy Match in the Mushroom Patch and Bitter Betrayal.
Other guests are:
Darrell Bartell author of Barry and the Vampire in the Rosedale Encounter and Ten-Five: You're Going Home, Marine!
Matthew Gene author of Hope and Terminus X.
William Speir author of King's Ransom; Arthur, King; Legacy of the Grand Master and many more.
Join the fun while we chat about books, writing and publishing the Rising Phoenix way!
Join us live or listen to the podcast recording at your convenience. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rrradio/2017/04/27/red-river-radio-whats-write-for-me-with-amanda-darrell-matthew-william-1
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
"I don't know and no. I didn't really know until now that I had. Jealous, yeah. But any man in my position would be. I mean Brodie! Jesus, I can't compete with a man like that."
"It was never a competition! What do you take me for, a slut? Where in my life did I turn into the kind of woman who would sleep with her boss? Did I make some huge metamorphosis that I don't know about?"
"He's got this rep...."
"Oh, the infamous rep! So what! Just because he's a player doesn't mean I got played. Did you boff every woman you worked with?"
"That's a ridiculous question. Of course not."
"Then why assume Brodie does?"
Ben said nothing, not meeting her eyes.
"Did I ever once compare you to him?"
Ben didn't answer right away. "You remember his girlfriend, Amanda?"
"His ex, you mean. Resoundingly ex. What about her?"
"She told me once that she found you and Brodie in his office having sex. She said you two were having an affair and had been for some time."
"Oh my GOD! And you believed Psycho Barbie over me? Let me get this right. She told you I was doing Brodie—In his office?"
"Yeah. On the desk."
"Have you seen his office? It's ninety percent glass! Can you picture me humping in front of the rest of the staff? Even a quick boff on the desk, someone's gonna see."
"I guess I didn't think it through."
"Amanda was a liar, Ben. She liked to cause trouble. Did it occur to you to ask me?"
"No. I didn't want to know if it was true."
"So instead you quit making love to me. Were you afraid I'd compare you to him? That's it, isn't it? You dumb ass!" She wanted to throw something at him, but she knew her mother would have a fit.
"I didn't say it made sense, Saige."
"It's the stupidest thing ever, Ben. What's wrong with us? When did we become the couple who can't talk to each other? The only way we know how to communicate is to argue. Even now."
"I don't know."
"You can't keep blaming all our problems on Brodie. He's done nothing to deserve it. Since we broke up, he's been a good friend to me."
"Oh, a good friend you have drinks with the night we break up and have breakfast with him the next morning? Did you spend time with him this afternoon as well? Is that where you were when I was trying to call?"
"Actually, the majority of that time, I was making out with Stan. Are you satisfied now?"
"Stan? When did he get into this?"
"Apparently several men at the office find me attractive and were hoping we'd break up so they could ask me out. Stan's one of them. He's a hell of a kisser too."
"And I'm not?"
"I didn't say that."
"That's the implication."
"You've hardly kissed me in so long, I can't remember! We used to make love every night. Then suddenly, you won't even touch me unless you're trying to apologize for yelling at me. Even then, it's like I'm not really there. You put about as much thought and effort into is as you do opening a box of Fruit Loops."
"You couldn't give a shit if it was me or Margaret Thatcher there as long as you get some pussy. I've had my eyes opened over the last two days. There are men out there who want me. Not a handy pair of tits and a tight ass. I've turned down more offers for sex in the last two days than I've had from you in six months."
"Saige! That's not fair!"
"I'll tell you what's not fair. Being treated like I'm a slut because my boss has a reputation. Rejecting me because of your own insecurity, isn't fair. I loved you, Ben, but I don't like you at all right now."
"You're making me crazy in that outfit. You know that," he murmured. "The hair, the perfume, you look amazing and you won't even let me kiss you."
"You want me now, you have to earn it. We broke up. You're back at square one."
"We didn't officially break up, babe."
"You threw my things out the window! Where in your logic is that not breaking up? What do you call that? Redecorating?"
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
Thursday, April 20, 2017
As they danced, Jasper rubbed slowly up and down Hana's spine with his strong, calloused hands. Despite their strength, they held her with a gentleness she had never experienced. Tiny thrills followed his fingers as they traveled along her back.
With a subtle shift of his body, Jasper raised her head, exposing her throat. His lips brushed her skin, lingering on the curve of her shoulder. His hot breath tickled, his lips not quite touching her. His nose touched her earlobe, making her shiver and pull him closer. Sighing, she tilted her head slightly, giving him full access to her throat.
Agonizingly slowly, he pressed his lips against her neck, gradually rising until he graced her jaw with his lips. The dip below her left ear invited him to kiss and nibble—which he did. His teeth caught her earlobe, tugging slightly. His tongue flickered against her, followed by his teeth rasping against her throat. Hana shivered, her knees going weak.
Her mouth hungered for his. Taking his face in her hands, she turned slightly, so their noses wouldn't collide. He kissed her lingeringly, deeply, sending thrills down her spine. His lips parted and his tongue flickered against hers. She opened her mouth to his.
His kiss was deep, lingering, fulfilling. She couldn't put names to the feelings and emotions he woke in her with that kiss. She never wanted it to stop. She wanted his hands touching her everywhere, his body next to hers. She returned his kiss almost fiercely. Jasper pulled away slightly, gazing into her eyes. He looked slightly embarrassed by her ferocity. A question flickered across his face, unspoken. Instead, he led her slowly off the dance floor and out to the patio around the pool.
The door closed behind them as he led her to the far side. They took seats in the gazebo that overlooked the hot tub. Jasper bit his lower lip.
"Hana," he began, hardly knowing how to proceed. "I like you, a lot. I've heard your aunt talk about you all these years, seen your picture and watched you grow up. I feel like I've known you my whole life. I know that you don't have that same advantage. But—" He paused again, turning away from her, head bowed. "I don't want you to think that this is something I do all the time. I don't want to trash a potential relationship. So please don't take this wrong—"
"Whenever a sentence starts like that, I know something awful is going to follow. I think I know what you are going to say. You don't want me to think this is just a vacation fling. Take the new girl to the barn for a roll in the hay, fresh meat! Am I close?"
He chuckled. "You are so like your Aunt Enid, it's almost spooky. That's exactly what I was thinking. You are very special to your aunt and that makes you special to me. She doesn't love lightly, yet she loves you above everyone else in her family. That puts you in a very unique category."
"As long as it's not a category that means you'll never touch me again," she blurted. "I don't want to be the statue worshiped from afar. If you like me, then do something about it. Don't make me wait the way Marnie's waited for Jeff all these years. Just tell me."
His work hardened hands held her soft ones. "You make things complicated," he told her. "I've carried a torch for years. Now that I've met you, my heart is so incredibly full, I can't even express it. To say I love you, that's ridiculous, we just met. But when I saw you on the fence today, I felt a piece click into my heart that I didn't even know was missing. I look at you and I can't think straight. I touch you and all I want to do is keep on touching you. I. . .I can't trust myself when I'm around you, but I don't want to be away from you either. Am I making any sense?"
"No," she replied softly, "and yes." Without another word, she touched his cheek, leaning toward him.
Hana's lips brushed his. For a moment, she felt a spark between them. Like static electricity, it jumped from lip to lip. Instead of breaking their embrace, she pressed her lips more firmly against his, holding him in an unyielding embrace. Her kiss was long, forceful and penetrating, and she held him to her for at least two minutes before she released him. His eyes opened slowly. His gaze met hers, questioning.
"If that didn't answer your questions and set your mind at ease, then I don't know what to do or say."
Jasper didn't reply in words. He took her in his arms and kissed her. Hana lost track of time, she didn't care how late it was, all she wanted to do was stay in Jasper's arms and kiss him.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
"Oh, my God, my mother!" Holding her forehead, she answered. "Hi, Mom...."
"You couldn't call? Or send a text to tell me you're all right?"
"It was a busy morning, Mom. I was a little shell shocked. I didn't think. I'm so sorry."
"But you're all right?"
"I'm fine. We all got out of it just fine, thanks to Claude. He saved me—us." She burst into irrational tears, sobbing on the phone with her mother.
Claude put his arms around her, holding her close as she cried and blubbered. When her nose stuffed up, he got paper napkins from the lunch bag, for her to blow on.
"Thanks," she mumbled.
"Is someone there?" her mother's sharp hearing caught the one word.
"Claude is here. He brought me lunch so I wouldn't be by myself."
"That was very thoughtful. Did he do that for Mr. Pomfrey or Susanna?"
"Of course not."
"Good. Is he handsome?"
"Mom!" she couldn't control the shock in her voice. Her mother never asked questions like this.
"It's a question. People ask those, especially when their daughters don't share. Well?"
"Well built—all over?"
"Mother!" her voice rose to a screech, she wasn't just shocked, she was horrified. A series of unintelligible sounds dribbled from her lips.
Flashing his lopsided smile, Claude took the phone from her. "Mrs. Masgay? Hi, this is Claude Meredith. You seem to have shocked her mute. Can I help you?"
"I asked if you're well built, and it seemed to be impossible for her to answer."
"I lift weights, run and swim...."
"You know that's not what I asked."
"We haven't gotten to that stage, ma'am. I just asked her out on a date tonight."
"You can still answer me."
"Wouldn't you prefer for it to be a mystery?"
Emilia Masgay giggled musically. "I suppose you're right. You'll treat her well? I don't have to worry about you breaking her heart like that deadbeat ex-husband of hers?"
"No, ma'am. I'm not in the habit of breaking hearts. I'm not a love 'em and leave 'em type."
"Good. I'd hate to bust your kneecaps."
"I'd hate that too."
"May I speak to my daughter again?"
"Sure. Nice talking to you." He handed Violet the phone.
"Oh, lighten up. He sounds really nice."
"He is. I'm sorry I didn't call you."
"It's all right, lovey. You take care. Have fun on your date!"
"I'm sure I will. Love to Dad."
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
"Hansel, Kate and Ron, you're in this one. Ron, your character has an imaginary friend and Hansel is that friend. Kate is your wife who can't see your imaginary friend. He keeps getting you into trouble. When you're ready, begin."
Hansel grinned, rubbing his hands together. They all took a moment to prepare. Kate shook back her hair, and started miming the movement of the knife on a cutting board. Hansel turned his back, crouching. Ron mimed coming through the door.
"Hi, Honey Bear!" He walked over to Kate, kissing her on the cheek.
"Mom called today. She's coming for a visit."
"Great," he said, face hardening.
Hansel popped up behind Kate. "Oh, joy, the gorgon!" he said in a smarmy British accent.
Ron jumped, hissing at him to be quiet.
"Did you say something, honey?"
"I said, sounds great."
"Mummy Dearest! Does our ickle Honey Bear miss her mumsy wumsy?"
"Shut up!" Ron tried to hush his friend.
"Mummy doesn't like us, precious. Mummy thinks we aren't good enough for Honey Bear."
"She likes us—me—just fine."
"Sure, she does...."
The scene progressed, getting somewhat darker than intended. Asher decided to enter into the scene, trying to lighten the mood. He started dancing around like a ballerina on crack.
"What's this? Who are you?" Hansel demanded.
"I'm the Honey Bear! I'm Naomi's friend!"
"Well, you can sod off, mate. This is my domain."
Asher tapped him on the head with one of his pencils.
"Here, what was that?"
"It's a happy stick," Asher said, waving it around. He tapped Hansel with it several more times. "Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be working."
"I'm happy. Blissful, that's me." Hansel giggled giddily. "See?" He chuckled and guffawed.
Ron and Kate kept up a domestic sounding conversation about her mother's visit. Asher stopped dancing, eyeing Hansel.
"That's it? That's all you've got?" He took on a disgusted stance, hands on hips. "You suck, man. You've got to be the worst imaginary friend ever."
"What?" Hansel screeched.
"Bo-ring! I can out laugh you in my sleep."
"Can too. Ha!" Asher laughed loudly, leaning toward Hansel.
"Ha, ha, ha!" Asher tapped Ron with his pencil.
Ron giggled, covering his mouth with his hand. Kate glared at him.
"You think that's funny?" she giggled.
Ron laughed again.
"Ha, ha-ha, aha!" Asher laughed.
Hansel repeated him, adding to it. Soon, they both started laughing in earnest. Kate could no longer keep a straight face. Ron held on a little longer, but soon they were all laughing hard, holding their stomachs. It went on long enough that Riker stepped forward, hands out.
"I'm calling the scene," he said in a solemn tone. "We've had enough jocularity for one evening."
"Jocularity," Hansel wheezed.
Asher grabbed himself. "He said jock!"
The audience started clapping and they called the scene. Still giggling, Asher went back to his desk.
"Not sure where that came from, but I'd say it was successful." Sitting down, he pulled another card.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
Sunday, April 09, 2017
Monday, April 10 from 4-6 pm Eastern, on Dellani's Tea Time, Dellani and Christina will chat with three fascinating authors.
They will welcome back a favorite guest, political thriller author, William Beck - Crosscurrents, Solemn Vow, Red 7 among others.
Also along for the ride, Aleigha Siron, author of the historical romance, Finding My Highlander
Last, but by no means least, dark fantasy author, Andy Peloquin - Blade of the Destroyer, Child of the Night Guild, Gateway to the Past and others.
Thursday, April 06, 2017
Villains. Where would any movie, play, TV show or book be without them? Heroes are needed to save the day, but we wouldn't need them if it weren't for vile villains. Large or small, fat or thin, weak or strong, handsome or ugly, male or female, villains propel the action along and give our heroes something to do. I don't know about other authors, but I love to craft a really good villain.
Looking back at my college days, I remember reading Othello for the first time. I had seen the movie staring Lawrence Olivier and Maggie Smith, but I hadn't taken in the subtitles of the character of Iago. In fairness to me, I saw the movie when I was a child. I did well following the action at all.
But to get back to Iago. When I read the play in college, I learned to appreciate a well crafted villain. Iago's first soliloquy is all about how much he hates Othello and why. He feels slighted and passed over for promotion, among other things. He lays out exactly how he's going to manipulate the militaristic Moor and ruin his life. He intends to strip away wealth, position, friends, his love and finally – death in abject humiliation. Then, he proceeds to carry out his diabolical plan. Othello, and everyone else, fall for his machinations. It's really rather impressive just how gullible they all are.
When I started writing my own stories, many moons later, I knew I had to have strong, decisive villains. This doesn't mean that they can't be deluded or psychotic, because those can make some really good baddies. It means that even if they are operating behind the scenes, which all good scoundrels should do, they are working toward a specific goal. This will vary per story, but it usually entails messing up the hero's day as completely as possible.
I found that I enjoy telling the villain's story. I like exploring motivation and following the subtle (or not so subtle) manipulation that leads the bad guy, or gal, toward their goal. Besides messing up the hero's day, there is always something that the villain wants and is willing to sacrifice everything to attain. For Iago, it was revenge. For some it's money, others want fame, still others are out to attain a military target. Regardless of what they want, we, as authors, must make their motivation clear. I know I've discussed motivation before. It bears repeating as it is extremely important in the structure of every story. If I don't know what drives my characters, I can't find my ending.
In the next few months, I am going to explore villains. Along with I Love Dialogue, Notable Narrative, First Meetings and Sexy Without the Sex, I will be adding Vile Villains. In this series of posts, I might give a scene where they are introduced, I might even include some of their alarming antics. What I won't be sharing is how they get their comeuppance – because I refuse to give spoilers. Even if the books aren't published yet, doesn't mean I want to give the plot away. Why spoil the ending, after all?
Be looking for Vile Villains, starting May 11, 2017, with something new every second Thursday, here at the Writer's Sanctuary.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
Tuesday, April 04, 2017
Drew Carlson is a lifeguard with a terrible love life. Every woman he's ever dated has ended up married to one of his friends instead. Then he meets Magda Yarkowsky, a Georgian from Georgia (The country near Russia and a state just to the north of Florida) His life changes from somewhat routine to far more exciting. After the comedy club, Magda drags Drew to the deck behind the restaurant where a band is play, insisiting that he dance with her.
Drew's body sang the haunting chorus as they danced together. Her closeness made him vibrate with sublimated passion. Their hips were tantalizingly close together on the crowded dance floor. The music was slow and seductive, tingling his spine. Magda pulled his face to hers, almost touching. Her breath tickled his lips as she licked hers, her tongue agonizingly close. Despite his hunger for her, he was still irritated. Her none too subtle barbs about his intelligence and performance rankled. She might think he was a dumb blond, but now she was treating him like a boy-toy, too.
"What are you doing?" His voice was muffled, his words slurred, but his irritation was obvious.
"Dumb question. What does it look like?" Her thick, exotic accent flavored the remark. Like honey, it clung to the words.
Drew dragged her angrily from the dance floor once more, out to the grass by the small lake that bordered the restaurant property. "Why are you doing this, Magda? Why the whole seduction routine?"
She jerked her wrist out of his grasp, shoving him away. "You saved my life. Am I not allowed to thank you?"
"Most people send thank you notes or fruit baskets."
"Insufferable man! You have wanted to kiss me since you pulled me from the foam. Like a baby, I was reborn in your arms. Now I thank you for my life. Is simple, no?"
"Is not simple," he copied her accent fairly well. "Is complicated."
"How is complicated? Because of this Tina person?"
"Tammy. And yes."
"She doesn't love you."
"So you're an expert on my love life now?"
"Am an expert on women." She stalked away from him. "But you don't deny you tried to kiss me? I could feel your passion course through your body! Your lips caressed mine."
"It's called mouth to mouth resuscitation. You weren't breathing."
"My breath caught in my throat at the sight of you!"
"I was doing my job, Magda. Nothing more."
"You lying bastard! You so wanted to kiss me! Even in my semi-conscious state, I could feel your passion hard against my thigh!"
He burst out laughing, his anger totally forgotten.
"That was the rescue float, Magda. You thought that was me? I'm flattered. No wonder you wanted in my pants so badly."
"What am I supposed to think when my rescuer tries to kiss me and starts groping me?"
"It's called making an assessment. I was checking your pulse."
"Down there?" She gestured toward her inner thigh. "Where I am from, that is groping."
"Your femoral pulse is there."
"I have neck and wrist...!" She pointed to each, gesturing with her left hand in the air.
"The pulse is stronger there. Besides, you had a head injury, possibly a neck injury too. I'm not using that area."
She mutely held up her wrists, shaking them at him.
"Femoral is stronger than radial, easier to find. I was doing my job." He defended himself quietly, hands deep in his pockets.
"And the kiss?"
"I told you already."
"And when it was obvious I breathed on my own?"
Drew blushed, the blood rushing from his neck to his ears turning his bronze tan to copper. He had wanted to kiss her. Even wet and disheveled, she was beautiful, voluptuous, radiating sex.
"You admit, then. You wanted to kiss me."
"Magda, you were almost killed yesterday. Doesn't that mean anything to you?"
"It's not the first time," she murmured, facing away from him.
"What? You're in the habit of having near death experiences?"
"It is who I am, Drew. Is not a problem—"
"Not a problem?" He laughed, gesturing wide with his left arm. He placed his right hand on her shoulder. "Magda, for some people, that would be a huge problem."
"You deal with death too. Always. Whenever you go in the water for someone, it is a battle for life over death."
He hadn't thought of it. Shrugging, he dropped his hands to his sides, shoulders slumped. "It's what I do."
"You are also—what did you call it? Paramedic?"
"Yes. I work part time with the E.M.S."
"So, an ambulance driver." She scoffed, wanting to make light of his training.
"No. I don't drive the ambulance. I'm the guy starting the IV and making sure the patient doesn't die on the way to the hospital. You want to dis someone else's profession for awhile, Magda? Just because I work on the beach and sport a great tan doesn't make me an idiot. You may not want to believe it, but we aren't like the guys on Baywatch who flex our muscles and pick up hot chicks with fake tits and a spray tan. I saved your life and practically all you've done since is make dumb blond jokes, sex me up and argue with me. Thanks for dinner. I'm going home."
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a ...
"Successful night?" Claudette drew clear liquid into a hypodermic needle. "Very." Rafaela lay on the bed, thigh bar...
She held out her hand to him. Dirk took it, raising her hand to his lips. He drew her to him, kissing her deeply. Rafaela felt her knees ...
"Enough! Leave more for later." "Why?" he gasped. "You never—" "Merry Christmas, my love. I had no...