Friday, December 13, 2019

FREE Today Until December 17th! Defending Jagger - Book 1 The Search and Seek Series by Amanda Mackey

Jagger Reed has a secret that could destroy lives… And one life that could be destroyed is his disabled brother’s. Jagger is in jail for a crime he didn't commit, and believes it’s a small price to pay to protect his family. 
Rosalind McAllister is the newest creative writing teacher at Arizona State Prison… Rose is determined to prove herself to her criminal students and not let them break her—like they did the last teacher. But when she meets Jagger Reed, she immediately knows the line between student and teacher could be easily blurred. Tall, intimidating, and way too handsome to be incarcerated, she vows to keep him at a distance.
A creative writing assignment turns into the discovery of Jagger’s innocence…When Rose reads Jagger’s creative writing piece, she’s both astounded and impressed. His written words call to her, providing a window into his private world. But as the assignment continues, she discovers facts about Jagger’s conviction that change everything.
Determined to piece together clues that leap out from the pages, she finds much more than an articulate prisoner.
How can she save a man who doesn't want to be saved? And can she stop her heart from getting involved while… Defending Jagger?

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Poplar Mountain Part 55 by Dellani Oakes

Before leaving for their appointment with McCleary, Luke draws a map so the women know where they will be.
His lips silenced her before someone overheard them. "I promise. I'll come back hale and hardy. You stay safe."
They exchanged a furtive kiss.
Dinner was pleasant, though somewhat subdued. Rachel knew something was in the wind and didn't protest when her sons said they were going out.
"You mind yourselves up there," she said calmly. "And you take this poke with you." She pulled a burlap bag from a cupboard. It was bulky and heavy. She handed it to Will. "You find them sheep and come on home." Her eyes held more than she could say aloud.
If the men had any doubt about their mother's understanding of the situation, that one look cleared it. Rachel Henry knew much more than she'd said. With the children around, she wasn't in a position to say much, but Dollie vowed she'd find out what she could when the young'uns went to bed.
The Belloit women saw Will and Luke off, kissing them as passionately as they dared.
"You be safe," they said, over and over.
"We will," the brothers assured them.
"Go on inside, before Mama gets riled," Lucius cautioned.
The girls waited on the porch, waiting until the truck was out of sight. Inside, a cheerful fire and soft light from a lamp, greeted them. The children said their goodnights and went to their rooms. Wilt said he had some things to tend to, but Dolly suspected he was going out to check with the other menfolk, who were positioned around the property.
Once everything was quiet, Rachel patted the couch beside her. "You girls come sit down a spell. I reckon you know all that my boys do."
"Yes, ma'am," the chorused.
"Precious little, mind you. Earl was real tight lipped, but I think I got a thing or two I can tell you."
"Who is McCleary?" Dollie asked, apologizing for her outburst.
"He's an old Army buddy of Earl's. He's a geologist now, works for the state. He's a good man. This all started when they dug out the new pool—right before you got here."
"What new pool?" Dollie asked.
"Exactly," Rachel said. "They was building it on the other side, not far from Doc's place. They found something that caught their interest."
"Coal," Patty whispered.
"Coal." Rachel nodded. "They contacted McCleary's office asking for a survey. He didn't come out hisself, but he contacted Earl and told him what was happening. Well, you can imagine Earl...."
"Mad as a wet hen," Dollie said, nodding.
"Madder. Specially when the folks from down to the school come up and asked if he'd consider selling the land to a mining company."
"Someone was dumb enough to suggest that to Earl?" Dollie was appalled.
"This land has been in the Henry family over a hundred years. The school sits on land that his great-grandfather tilled. His grandfather loaned the land to the school."
"They don't own it?" Patty was surprised.
"They pay us rent every year," Rachel said. "It ain't much, but it tides us over. They come to Earl with a real fine offer from the mining company."
"But he said no," Dollie concluded.
"Damn right he did. This is our home. And you seen what a mining company would do. Come in here, dig up this good bottom land, tear down the trees, make this place not fit for man or beast. He told 'em he'd rather die than see them rape his land. They said they were patient. If he wouldn't sell, maybe his boys would. Every man's got a price, one of 'em said. Earl told 'em Reckon you don't know my boys. They can't be bought."
"And you think this is what got Earl killed?"
"I know it. When they couldn't convince him to sell, they kilt him. Now, they want to kill my boys. They're gonna have to work extra hard if they want to stop Luke and Will. Their daddy might not have been good for much, but he taught 'em to shoot and he made them tough. My boys are survivors."

The sun was getting low when Luke and Will pulled up to the narrow gap that led to their father's thinking spot. There were no other cars in sight, but that meant nothing. There could be another way in they didn't know, or McCleary could have arrived on foot.
"What's in the poke?" Will asked Luke before they got out of the truck.
Luke smiled when he opened the bag. "Remember Grandaddy Nation's pearl handled Colts?"
"The matching set Granny gave him for a wedding gift?"
"Yup!" He lifted the guns from the tote bag along with a box of shells.
They checked the guns, finding them loaded and in perfect working order. Granny Nation was ninety, she'd married at sixteen. At seventy-four years old, these guns were like new. Chuckling, they each took a gun, sliding it in their belts. They divided the shells and headed into the narrow way leading to the secret holler where their father's still was located. They took a few steps when they heard the distinctive sound of a gun being cocked. Three more joined the first.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Books Make Great Gifts ~ True Sacrifice book 2 by Amanda Mackey

I remember nothing.
Not my name, where I come from, my past, or how I ended up in the hospital with a bullet wound in my chest. Everything is a black void…except for her. The beautiful nurse with the friendly smile.
I have no idea who I am, but I know Mac has something that draws me to her. The more she helps me uncover the mysteries of my past, the more I want her to be a part of my future.
But as vivid images of being in a warzone seep through my dreams, I can’t help but wonder if I’m putting her life at risk by allowing her to help me—by allowing myself to fall for her.
With every piece of the puzzle we manage to put together, it becomes clear that there are secrets and dangers hidden within the darkness of a life I can’t remember.
Now I need to do everything I can to protect her. I’m just not sure what I’m protecting her from. My past…or me.

Books Make Great Gifts ~ Cross Stepping Your Way to Success: The Power to Transform Your Life One Step at a Time by Carolyn Bowen

When surfers hit the waters, they use a technique called cross-stepping, or moving their weight forward and backward to stay standing. Cross-stepping isn't just a good idea for surfers, though - you, too, can metaphorically use the same strategy of zig-zagging motions to achieve success. In "Cross-Stepping Your Way to Success," career coach Carolyn Bowen shows you how to zig-zag your way to success one step at a time. She examines grieving, life planning, owning your power, becoming health conscious, learning to love again, and more. With "Cross-Stepping Your Way to Success," you'll discover how to maintain your balance on the choppy waters of life! 

Books Make Great Gifts ~ The Ninja Tattoo by Dellani Oakes

Teague McMurtry spent the last six years of his life in the Army. Finally having enough of killing, he comes home, thinking he's put the nightmare behind him. When he meets beautiful and sultry Vivica Rambo, he thinks his life is taking a turn for the better.
Little does Teague know that he's been targeted for death by a violent biker gang led by Vivica's psychotic older brother. Now Teague must put his skills to the test to protect himself and the woman he loves.

Books Make Great Gifts ~ King of the Hill by Nelda Bedford Gaydou

Ten entertaining biographical stories set in Dickens County, Texas portray rural life during the Great Depression. They reflect the straitened circumstances, strong work ethic and close sense of community of the time, as well as the resilience and ingenuity of that generation. Despite the difficulties, or perhaps because of them, Benji’s childhood was marked by strong family ties and sheer love of life.

Books Make Great Gifts ~ Demon's Destiny, book one of the Dark City Guardians by TW Knight

Demon's Destiny is book one of the Dark City Guardians.
Garrett Duex Sabres is handsome, wealthy, brilliant and a demon with a split personality feeding on the living energy of humans. However, unlike others of his kind, Garrett chooses not to feed off pain and misery, he’s discovered a more palatable and just as potent source—sexual energy. Exploiting his charms, Garrett spends many evenings moving from one “dinner-date” to the next siphoning off small amounts from willing playmates. When Kay walks into Garrett’s life, his entire world is flipped around.
Set in the world of the Dark Knights of Heaven 

Poplar Mountain Part 54 by Dellani Oakes

After talking to McCleary, the brothers fear for the safety of their women.

Lucius and Willem were nearly beside themselves with worry by the time they got to the school. They breathed a huge sigh of relief when they got to the school office and the girls were fine. They were just closing up for lunch. Surprised, but pleased, they invited the men to their apartment for a meal. Over sandwiches and soup, Willem and Lucius told the girls about their conversation with Mr. McCleary.
"Any idea what he meant about where your father went to think?" Dollie asked.
"No idea," Willem replied. "We need to run up and see Mama and ask."
"You do that," Lucius said. "I'm gonna stay down with Dollie and Patty."
"We're fine," Dollie said, smiling. "You don't need to worry about us."
"But I do," Lucius replied solemnly. "Someone tried to take you from me last night. I won't stand still and wait for them to hurt either of you."
"Do you really think we're in danger?" Patty asked, her hand flying to her throat.
"I don't know, Miss Patty. Don't especially want to find out that I'm right and have someone get hurt."
"I'll head up there. Ma may want us to dinner. I'll come down and get ya if she does."
"I'll be up to help with chores," Lucius said. "So don't worry about coming back down. We can come up in Dollie's car."
"All righty. We can talk about out plans when you arrive." He gave Patty a kiss and left the three of them together.
The afternoon was quiet. Dollie and Patty worked quickly, typing letters and writing checks. When five o'clock rolled around, Patty put the balance sheets and checkbook in the safe while Dollie covered her typewriter.
Lucius drove Dollie's car up to his mother's house. Willem met them at the front porch.
"I talked with Uncle Wilt. He went and fetched some of the menfolk to keep an eye on things. I talked to Ma about Daddy's thinkin' spot. At first, she didn't want to tell me. Finally, she decided it was silly not to, and told me."
"Why so secretive?"
"Cause Daddy had him a shine still up there. Don't want the government men to find out."
"Did you tell her why you wanted to know?" Patty asked.
"I had to tell her something, or she wouldn't have given me the location. She didn't seem too surprised to hear McCleary's name. She wasn't real shocked when I mentioned coal neither. Reckon she knows more than she'll say."
"Why not tell you?"
"Too many folks around. Even family can't be trusted with all the information. Besides, if she believes that's what got Daddy kilt, she ain't gonna tell her boys, now is she?"
Lucius shook his head. "Girls, I want y'all to stay up here with Mama while me and Will go meet with Mr. McCleary."
Dollie and Patty tried to protest, but he and Will were firm.
"Can't have you with me, worrying sick if you're safe. We got men watching here. They're armed and they can shoot the wings off a gnat." Will said.
"But you and Luke!" Patty said.
"We can take care of ourselves," Will replied. "You're not to worry none. Now, we're gonna go have us some dinner with Mama and the kids. Then we're gonna make the excuse we got to check the upper fields. Got some ewes ready to lamb. Reckon we got to anyway, so we'll have a look before we meet up with McCleary."
Despite what the girls said, there was no arguing with the men. They finally agreed, grudgingly, to stay at the house.
"But you tell us exactly where it is," Patty said. "So if we have to come looking, we know where to start."
"I'll do ya one better," Lucius replied. "I'll draw ya a map." He dug a piece of paper out of a drawer in his room. He grabbed a stub of a pencil and smoothed the paper on the kitchen table. A few quick strokes and he had a basic layout of the Henry land. "This here's us," he marked an X on a rectangle representing the house. "Bout half a mile up," he drew a dotted line. "In a little hidden holler. Got a shack up there and water nearby, which is good for a thinking spot." He winked.
Dollie folded up the paper and put it down the front of her shirt. Lucius' eyes followed her movements hungrily. He took her hand, bringing it to his lips.
"Damn, Miss Dollie, I sure wish I was that paper."
She smiled, kissing his forehead. "One day, you will be. You come back safe, you hear? Don't go off and get yourself killed before—"
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Books and Entertainment Radio Presents Dellani's Tea Time with KG Bethlehem and F-Kenneth Taylor

Books and Entertainment logo

It's December already? Wow, it doesn't seem possible. If you're whittling away at your gift lists, books make great gifts! Today, we have on two authors of great books. One is a frequent flyer with our network, the other fellow is brand new. We're delighted to have them both on.

Kevin Daniel or KG Bethlehem

K.G. Bethlehem fathers one daughter, and has been writing since the late 1990s and has evolved into an accomplished author, poet, conscious-minded individual, narrative storyteller, and overall excellent writer. He is also a well-experienced short-story writer as well. His first venture into writing was poetry. He wrote, some in high school but more in college. He took a class under the tutelage of Dr. Georgia Johnston at St. Louis University and went on to perform at poetry readings around the St. Louis area from 1999-2003
K.G. Bethlehem specializes in the Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Dystopia genres where he combines well-thought storylines with a vivid imagination to comprise to ultimate reading experience.
He has self-published 6 books including his most recent full-length novel, “Astronomical”, and “Shadow Within A City”, which was co-authored with F. Kenneth Taylor, as well as his newest publication and short-story, “The Forever Spring”. His first self-published book was Avenging Knights, a fantasy novel, that came out in 2009. He’s the Co-Creator of the 2004 Dark-Comic release, ShadowKill.” Also this year Shadow Within A City II Ghost Squad’s Apocalyptic was release, Dystopian, sci fi novel written with F. Kenneth Taylor. He currently has several upcoming projects. One such project is due to come out in May of 2020 called “She is to be remembered.” This sci fantasy. Anti utopian fiction is part of the Shadow Within A City universe that will showcase a new hero fighting against an ancient foe.

F Kenneth Taylor

F. Kenneth Taylor is a Self-Published Author of 9 books in multiple genres including; Sci-Fi/Space Opera, Dystopia, Urban-Drama, and Poetry. He wrote his first manuscript in 2001, but wouldn't become a published author until 2012. Since then, he has become a Freelance Writer/Editor and most recently, began consulting new SP Authors. However, there's much more F. Kenneth Taylor has accomplished in writing...
2014-2019 Owner/Creator of Some'n Unique Magazine LLC
* 2015 Nominated 'Author of the Year' by STL Star Awards
* 2015 Featured in Dec. issue of F.U.S.E Magazine
* 2015 Guest Speaker at Gateway Elem. School
* 2016 Featured on The Hangin With Web Show
* 2016 Launched 'Books Jazz Coffee & Smoke' on BTR with Kevin Daniel (KG Bethlehem)
* 2017 Launched Local Poetry Open Mic, "Poetic Vibez"
* 2018 Featured on Roku TV's, "The Women's Cave"
* 2019 Launched new BTR Open Mic, "The Cipher" Aside from being a Self-Published Author, F.
Kenneth Taylor is also an Acrylic Abstract and Landscape Visual Artist. Losing his father in 2018, who was an amazing artist as well; re-ignited F. Kenneth's passion and first love of Art. He was 1 of 7 hand-picked artists to have their work presented at Urb Arts in the 2019 Abstract Pop-Up Exhibit. Finally, F. Kenneth Taylor is a Spoken Word Artist who performs regularly in St. Louis, MO and select venues in Illinois.
In his down time, F. Kenneth Taylor is usually with his youngest god-daughter, who is also a budding artist, or he's playing Call of Duty: Black Ops II (his fav. one), Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, Dragon Age II, or Mass Effect II. FUN FACTS: Major Star Wars fan... Loves playing Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Assassin's Creed (Brotherhood or Black Flag), Dragon Age II & Mass Effect. -- He's an avid music lover and favorite snack is Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, Banana Moon Pies & Welch's Fruit Snacks.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Poplar Mountain Part 53 by Dellani Oakes

The men find a letter in the bank which shows that someone had found coal on the Henry land, and they assume that's what had Earl upset the night he confronted them.
When they got outside, Luke pulled him close. "What was all that with Mr. Kelly?"
"You want him to think we got the papers or not? I don't think he's in on it, but we got to figure that anyone we know might be guilty."
"I don't like thinkin' our friends might've kilt our daddy," Luke said. "But you're right. We can't rule out any man we know."
"Or woman," Will countered.
"You think a woman shoved our daddy in the creek?"
"Not really, but we can't rule anyone out but us and the girls. They was with us when Daddy died."
"Besides, it wouldn't even occur to them to do such a thing."
"That's the God's truth. Let's go find that phone."
The two men made a show of driving out of town as if they were headed back to the school. Instead, they took the first available road to Cumberland. The whole way, they talked about what had happened and lined up their suspects. The sheriff was at the top of the list. The people who ran the school stacked up right under him.
"I don't like to think Bert would kill our daddy," Luke said. "But he was powerful angry with him at the party."
"He had a right to be," Will countered. "I was powerful angry with him myself. And you were pretty mad as well."
"Yeah, I was. Not enough to kill him."
"Well, no. But you'd have punched him given half a chance."
Luke had to agree, he would have. His father knew just how to get under his skin to make him furious.
They arrived in Cumberland and drove around a few minutes looking for a payphone. They found one near the courthouse. Parking down the street, they walked over to the phone, digging around in their pockets for change.
Will took up the phone and gave the number to the operator. A few clicks and buzzes later, he heard the phone ringing on the other end.
"Geological Society of Kentucky, 1939, " a man answered.
"Hello," Will said, doing his best to lose the country hick accent that came so naturally to him. "I'm calling regarding a letter you sent to Mr. Earl Henry about a survey you did of his land."
There was a pause.
"Who are you and why are you calling?"
"I'm Mr. Henry's heir."
"Earl's dead?" There was a tone of shock and horror in the other man's voice. "Is this Willem or Lucius?"
"I'm Willem," he said, a slight question in his voice.
"Where you calling from, son?"
"Payphone in Cumberland. Who's this?"
"Timothy McCleary. I need to talk to you boys. How can I reach you? Will you be in Cumberland long?"
"No, sir. We come up here to make our call. We have to head home soon."
"Dammit." McCleary cursed softly. "Can you meet me somewhere? Tonight. Preferably not in Harlan."
"Mr. McCleary, you're scarin' me a bit."
There was a short silence. "Phones aren't private," he said. "Anyone with a mind to can listen in. If you can't make it to me, I'll come to you. You do what you need to do and I'll meet up with you. Your daddy had a special spot he went to think. You ask your mama. I'll meet you there after supper."
"You sure, Mr. McCleary? That's a powerful long drive."
"Y'all ain't safe, Willem. Soon as I hang up, I'm on my way."
"We'll see you then, sir."
Willem hung up, sighing. It took a few minutes to tell Lucius everything because he kept interrupting. Finally, he had the entire story.
"So, what now?" Lucius asked.
"Now, we find out from Mama what the hell Timothy McCleary was talking about."
"Reckon so. I'm powerful worried about the girls. We need to get on back now."
Willem agreed. They hopped in the truck and drove back to the school as fast as they were able. It seemed that every possible delay met them. First, there'd been a wreck. A truck ran away on the narrow mountain road. Fortunately, the driver had been able to direct it into a soft bank. He was hurt, but alive. They saw him standing on the side of the road talking to a deputy.
Next, they got behind an overloaded bus. It was almost too long for the steep mountain road. More than once, the end of it hung over the edge of the road, its wheels barely on the pavement. Fortunately, they stopped at an overlook to check out the scenery and the men were able to get around.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Poplar Mountain Part 52 by Dellani Oakes

The men head to the bank in the morning, to check out Big Earl's safe deposit box.

"Just let me know when you've finished. I'll put the box right back."
"Thanks, Mr. Kelly," Will said.
He waited for the door to click shut before opening the box. He lifted the lid and put his hand inside. He brought out a stack of papers tied with another piece of the same red ribbon as was on the key. He untied them, handing half to Luke. There were chairs in the room, so they sat down and looked through the stacks.
Most of the items were nothing special. There were a few receipts for things like the plow he'd bought five years ago. He had various livestock papers were there. An official looking envelope caught Luke's eye as he shuffled through his stack. Taking it out, he sent the other items down and removed the paper from its envelope. The address was typed and the return address was printed on the left hand corner. Inside, the official state seal graced the letterhead. Thinking it looked important, Luke unfolded the paper.
"Dear Mr. Henry," Luke read quietly. "Enclosed you will find a full report from our independent firm. You were right in thinking there were resources under your feet, Mr. Henry. Please see the report to verify our findings. Sincerely Layton Haws, Geology Society of Kentucky."
The accompanying sheet was full of words and numbers he couldn't interpret. Then one word hopped off the page at him—coal. Tugging Will's sleeve, he showed it to his brother.
"What the hell? Luke, look at the date on this. He got it the day before he died."
"No wonder he was so antsy. This is what he meant when he talked so crazy at the party. He meant this—this is his payout."
"You suppose he was gonna sell to a coal mine?"
"I dunno, Will. There ain't any love lost between him and Mr. Bertram. Them two hate each other. But I can't see him tearing up the family land. That's been in his family since time began."
"He'd do it if he thought it would make things right for Mama. He's always been sorry he couldn't provide better for the family. Reckon he thought he'd found a way."
"This is what got him kilt," Luke whispered. "This right here is the reason our daddy's dead."
Will paled. "Now you're talkin' crazy, Luke. No body killed him. He got drunk and fell in the creek."
"If that's so, why did someone try to break into the girls' dorm?"
"You don't suppose they think the girls know something?"
"Nope, but wouldn't they make damn fine leverage if they wanted us to give them this information?"
"Jesus, Luke!" Will smacked his forehead. "Kidnapping? Of our womenfolk?"
Luke lowered his voice to a whisper. "And I reckon our sheriff is in on it. All those questions he's been asking, staying late at the office and scared as hell that we called instead of someone else."
Will ran his hands through his hair. "You ain't kiddin'. You really believe that."
"I do. Makes a body wonder who else knows and is after wantin' this information."
"We got to call that fella in the letter," Will replied. "And we need to figure out a way to protect our family. What if next time, the fellas bring guns instead of a baseball bat? We ain't even safe here. Folks saw us in town. They're gonna talk."
"And the girls went back to school." It was Luke's turn to go pale.
"They can't grab 'em in broad daylight."
"They can if it's Mr. Bertram and his buddies."
"I can't imagine Bert kidnappin' anyone," Will tried to sound confident. "Aw, hell, Luke. I can imagine it."
"Safest place for this is right here," Luke said. "Lemme get that number." He scribbled a phone number on a scrap of paper in his pocket. He added the address. "Or, maybe we need to drive up and see him."
"That's all the way to Lexington," Will protested. "That's a half day's drive at least. Even if we started now, we'd not be back until after dark. The girls won't be safe."
"Then we take them with us. Drive up this afternoon, spend the night and see that Mr. Haws in the morning."
"I got a better idea. We drive up to Cumberland or some such, find us a pay phone and make that call," Will said.
"Why go all that way?"
"You want the whole town to know our business? Old Louisa Michelson is such a gossip, the whole county would know. Hell, they'd know as far south as Knoxville."
Will laughed at his brother, though he saw the wisdom of it. "Okay. Then let's do that. And if we have to, we'll plan a trip tomorrow up to Lexington, and take the girls with us."
That matter agreed on, they put everything back in the box and asked Mr. Kelly put it away.
"You find all you needed?"
Will had kept out a few papers on a cow that had died of milk fever. "Sure nuf, Mr. Kelly. Got all we need right here." He waved the pages nearly under the man's nose.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

FREE Today Until December 17th! Defending Jagger - Book 1 The Search and Seek Series by Amanda Mackey

Jagger Reed has a secret that could destroy lives… And one life that could be destroyed is his disabled brother’s. Jagger is in ja...