Thursday, June 27, 2019
The fire is out, and the men see Dollie and Patty home. Will brings up a woman named Betty Mae, causing his brother to run off.
"She claimed she was in a delicate condition, and that the baby was his," Will told the girls as they went inside. "Luke come close to marrying her. Her daddy was pretty insistent. It became apparent that she was lying, and he called off the wedding. Her daddy never forgave him, neither did Betty Mae. Few months later, she trapped some other poor sap. This time, she was. Don't say it was his, but he had more money and prospects than the rest."
"A woman who treats a fella like that, uses a baby to manipulate a man.... Well, she's trash," Patty said angrily.
"I agree. And that's a word you could use to describe Betty Mae."
"You shouldn't have told us, Willem," Patty scolded. "That wasn't nice."
"He was lecturing me on how I'm behaving and I can't say something back? Seems to me, I got cause."
"We were behaving badly," Patty reminded him. "Not that I minded. Misbehaving with you is more fun than being well behaved with a hundred other people."
Will chuckled and looked smug. Dollie was shocked. Gasping, she backed away from her sister and Willem.
"I can't believe you're talking so blithely about—intercourse!" She whispered. "Patty, you know better than that!"
"Perhaps, baby sister, but I also know what I like."
"You mean this wasn't the first time?"
"We've been dating over a year, and promised for more than six months," Patty replied as if that explained it.
"Why not get married right off, then?"
"And live where? Here in our little apartment with you?"
"They have places for married couples...."
"We wanted our own place, Miss Dollie."
"Sorry if we've upset you, Sis. When you're with the right man, you'll understand."
Dollie sniffed angrily. Squaring her shoulders, she marched into her bedroom in a huff.
"I need to get going, Patty," Will said softly. "Best go find my brother before he gets hisself in trouble someplace."
"You'll come by tomorrow?"
"Can't keep me away. I love you, Patty."
"And I love you, Will."
They kissed briefly and he took his leave. Patty watched him drive off, then went to talk to her sister. She found her getting ready for bed, brushing her teeth vigorously in the bathroom.
"I never meant to hurt you, Dollie," she began.
Dollie spat out the toothpaste and rinsed before answering. "You didn't hurt me, Patricia, you hurt yourself. Men don't want to buy the cow...."
"It's not like that with Will. We love one another. We've been all but married for almost eight months. It was a matter of pride for him to have the house built before the wedding. He's been working on it since we met, isn't that romantic? He knew that day, that exact moment, I was the woman he wanted to marry."
Dollie blinked back tears. That was romantic and it hurt her feelings to think that a man had been that decisive about her sister and not her.
"I'd love for a man to say that about me," she said in a sad, dreamy voice.
"How do you know one hasn't all ready? Lucius is mighty fond of you, Dorothea. In fact, I venture to say he loves you as much as Willem loves me."
"He doesn't. He's fond of me, to be sure...."
"I see the light in his eyes whenever he looks at you. He aches with wanting you."
"Why's he not spoken up, if that's how he feels?" Her chin jutted defiantly.
"Because Lucius isn't as impulsive as his brother. He thinks things out long and hard."
"He hasn't built me a house," Dollie protested.
"That's not his way either. When he makes up his mind, he'll do it. And won't a thing in this life stop him when he's decided either."
"I hope you're right."
"I know I am."
Willem followed his brother, knowing where he'd gone. Whenever he was upset, he'd go sit in the woods behind the chapel. He'd done it since they were kids, and his habit hadn't changed. There was a small grove there that Lucius had whittled out and maintained. He called it the Woodland Chapel and it was his special place. As he anticipated, Will found Lucius sitting in the center of his chapel, arms wrapped around his knees.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Will and Patty were getting cozy when the fire alarm went off. The school's barn was on fire. The four of them help put it out. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt or killed.
The county sheriff showed up to make sure no one got hurt in the fire. The fire chief from Harlan came out next. After an inspection, he took the sheriff and Mr. Bertram aside. A few minutes later, the three men came over to where Will and Lucius were standing. The young men had their arms around Dollie and her sister, watching the debris for hot spots.
"You the Henry boys?" The fire chief asked.
"Yes, sir," Will replied. "I'm Willem, this here's Lucius."
"Boys, the men up here have reason to believe it was your pa as set it."
Will and Lucius stared at him, then at one another.
"Pa was pretty riled about something. Never did cotton as to what set him off. He was yelling at us," Lucius replied.
"Be fair," Will said. "He was yelling at me. He thinks I betrayed him by moving to town. I couldn't live out my life on the farm. He needed fewer mouths to feed and I needed more than raising chickens and milking cows. I gave my brother the option of joining me soon. Pa musta heard about it."
"Not from me," Lucius assured him.
"Ma prolly told him," Will replied, ignoring the other men completely.
The brothers nodded, silently concurring. The three older men glanced at one another. Mr. Bertram stepped forward.
"I hate to ask.... But what were you boys doing just before you came down here?"
Will's arms tightened around Patty. Blushing, she hid her face in his chest.
"We helped clean up after the party and saw the girls home," Lucius replied, his ears burning.
Mr. Bertram and the other men, who'd had their share of after party encounters, didn't press for details. It was pretty obvious they'd had nothing to do with the fire.
"Pa ain't right," Will explained. "He got the shell shock in the War. Mr. Bertram, you know that. He drinks, you know that, too. When he gets riled, he might crack some heads, but he ain't one for setting a fire. Truth be told, he don't like fire much. And if he's got a grudge, it ain't against the school, but me. If he set fire to anything, might be my drawers, but ain't gonna be the school. He and his daddy helped build this place."
"The boy's got a point, Edward," Mr. Bertram said to the sheriff. "Earl's got a destructive streak, but it's pretty self-directed. I can't really see him doing this either."
"Did y'all see anything at all?" Sheriff Squires asked them.
"We was kinda occupied," Lucius said quietly. Hands shoved in his pockets, he met the sheriff's eye defiantly.
"Reckon I know," the older man said quietly. He hadn't missed the traces of lipstick on Will and Lucius. He leaned toward them, speaking quietly. "Y'all don't do nothing you'll be shamed of later."
"No, sir," Will replied rapidly.
"I'm done here," Sheriff Squires said loudly. "You coming, Nolan?" he asked the fire chief.
"In a bit. Me and the boys are gonna watch for hot spots. Reckon I'll be back later. Run by, tell my wife?"
"Will do." The sheriff tipped his hat. "Ladies."
"We'll see y'all home and go up to check on Pa," Will said as he opened the truck door.
The four of them squeezed into the front seat and drove in silence back to the girls' dorm.
"Y'all ain't misbehavin'?" Will raised an eyebrow at is brother.
"Fine one to talk," Lucius said, wiping lipstick off his brother's cheek.
Will did the same, holding up his thumb for his brother to see. Both men looked away. Concentrating on the narrow track that passed for a road, Wil said nothing more.
"Y'all don't want a shotgun wedding," Lucius said quietly.
"Like you'd know."
"Done my share," Lucius said defensively. "How you gonna feel if you have to tell Mama you got Patty in the family way? She'd have your hide. And her parents?" He made a disgusted noise. "Be lucky their daddy didn't skin you and cut off your...."
"Enough! Like to see your self-control later on. Before you lecture me, remember Betty Mae."
Lucius hunched down, leaning against the door. He stared out the window, ignoring the others.
"Who's Betty Mae?" Patty asked the question that Dollie wanted to.
"Never you mind," Lucius snapped. "Will spoke outta turn."
"She's the girl he almost married couple years back just 'fore y'all got here."
"Willem!" Lucius' eyes blazed dangerously.
"They got a right to know. Patty's almost family."
"But Dollie isn't."
"She's got a right to know," Will maintained.
"And I'd have told her in my own time," Lucius growled. "Do I tell your secrets?"
"Why didn't you marry her?" Dollie asked.
The truck stopped in front of their apartment. Lucius jerked the door open and ran off into the night. Dollie wanted to follow, but the dark closed around them, scaring her.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
Monday, June 24, 2019
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
On the road to seek work in the cotton fields of Texas, an old Ford Model T truck breaks down and forces a change of destination that ultimately leads the protagonists to the Argentine Patagonia. Follow the anecdote-driven story of a devoted couple who spent their childhood in the U.S. Southwest during the Great Depression, met and married during World War II, and together undertook a lifelong journey of adventure and service.
Alone in the big city, Pia Donvan is feeling rather lost when she finally arrives at the majestic, old hotel in the downtown area. All that changes when she meets Flynn Chancellor. He and his roommate, Yancy Fredrick, take an interest in Pia, introducing her to their city. Pia seems to have found her niche, making friends with the friendly residents in the old hotel. Life seems perfect, until one weekend when everything changes forever.
Practicing law in a large partnership, Sydney Jones was primed for making partner. Then her life turned upside down after a disagreement with her boss at Birdman & Birdman.
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?
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Make a list and check it twice, To chose those titles both naughty and nice!?
Thursday, June 20, 2019
After Big Earl crashes the party, it ends. Willem and Lucius walk the sisters home, where Lucius kisses Dollie for the first time. Will and Patty have disappeared. Puzzled, Dollie invites him inside.
Lucius suspected he knew where they were. He thought the windows of Will's truck looked a bit steamed up. He figured Will and Patty were starting early on the honeymoon. Not that he was a man of great experience, but he had more than a few steamed up windows in his past. It was fairly obvious that Dollie hadn't. He'd have to tread carefully, or he'd scare her away. He cast about for a subject, finally settling on the party.
"That was some funny thing when that clarinet made us think we'd got a fire," he said as they walked inside.
Dollie giggled, nodding. "I thought the Devil himself had lit a fire under you, you jumped so high."
Lucius chuckled. "Yup. Da—darn near scared the life outta me."
"You can say damn around me, Lucius. I'm not so sheltered that I haven't heard, or said, the occasional swear word."
She took a step toward him, taking his shirt front in her hands. Fiddling with the buttons, she raised her chin.
"Thought we talked about that."
"We did. I reckon I'm gonna backslide some."
"You got it right when it counted most."
"Dollie, I sure like you loads."
"I know that. I like you too, Lucius."
"I'm proud to hear that."
"That was a nice kiss," she whispered.
In response, he kissed her once more. Dollie found it hard to believe, but this one was even better. Arms around her, Lucius held her close. The kiss intensified, but this time, she didn't pull away. It felt right being in his embrace. This was where she most wanted to be.
The bell at the dining hall clanged once, startling them both. It clattered and clanged again, faster and more imperative. The fire siren started up soon after and the two created a cacophony of sound that made the hills ring. Moments later, the door to the apartment burst open. Will stood there, shirt open, pants unzipped, Patty's lipstick smearing his face and neck.
"The barn's on fire!" He ran from the building.
Lucius followed him out, hopping in the truck as Will took off with a grinding of gears. Patty stood on the porch, her hair a mess, lipstick smeared, dress askew. Dollie didn't notice right away. She was more concerned about the fire.
"We better get down there, see if we can help."
"Yes," Patty said, somewhat dazed. "We should."
"I'm changing into pants and a sweater," Dollie said. "Patty, come on!" She yanked on her sister. "You okay? You look all flummoxed."
"Dammit, we were so close!" Patty wailed as she washed her face and changed her clothing.
"Close to what?" Dollie stopped, suddenly aware of what had been happening in the truck. "Patricia Belloit, were you getting overly familiar with that man?" She stood with her arms akimbo, hands firmly pressed on her denim clad hips.
"So what if I was?" Patty struggled into her sweater. "He's my fiancé. We can do as we like."
"Is this your first time?"
"Not entirely," her sister evaded. "Dating isn't all about movies and play parties, Dorothea. Time you learned that. Kissing is nice, but it eventually leads to more. You'll find out. Fix your face, little sister. I imagine Luke's got Red Poppy lipstick all over him too. Oh, Will!" She hung her head, suddenly ashamed.
"No one's gonna notice. They'll all be too busy with the fire. Come on, would you?"
They ran down the hill carrying flashlights and buckets, intent on getting down to the fire. Some of the men had formed a bucket brigade while others did their best to attach the hose to the ancient hand worked water pump.
Everyone pitched in to fight the fire. An hour later, the flames were out, and only a smoking mess was left. The animals, fortunately, were fine. Aside from a few minor burns, they'd escaped the blaze.
"Would've been a different story without Luke and Will," Mr. Bertram, the director, said. "They got here faster than anyone, thanks to the truck. They got all the animals out, before the rest of us showed up."
Will and Lucius were filthy, covered with sweat and soot. Will had a burn on the back of his neck where some sparks from the roof dropped on him. Lucius had a mark on his hand where one of the horses nipped him.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
We've got a great show planned for Wednesday, June 26 from 4-6 PM EDT.Joining us today are two familiar folks, and one new one.
First up is a fellow Tirgearr Author, Maya Tyler is a multi-published author of paranormal romance novels and blogger at Maya’s Musings. An avid reader, Maya writes the books she loves to read—romances! She still believes that “True Love's Kiss” is the most powerful thing in the world. Her paranormal romances come with complex plot twists and happily-ever-afters. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, listening to music (alternative rock, especially from the 1990s), practicing yoga, and watching movies and TV.
Second is the happiest horror author I know. Rami Ungar knew he wanted to be a writer from the age of five, when he first became exposed to the world of Harry Potter and wanted to create imaginative worlds like Harry’s. As a tween, he fell in love with the works of Anne Rice and Stephen King and, as he was getting too old to sneak up on people and shout “Boo!’ (not that that ever stopped him), he decided to merge his two loves and become a horror writer. Today, Rami lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio. He’s self-published three novels and one collection of short stories, and his stories have appeared in other publications here and there. Rose, his first novel with Castrum Press, will be released June 21st, 2019. When he’s not writing your nightmares or coming up with those, he’s enjoying anything from the latest horror novel or movie to anime and manga to ballet, collecting anything that catches his fancy, and giving you the impression he may not be entirely human.
Third, and new to the show, is another Tirgearr Author. Julia Byrd lives and writes in Chicago with her handsome dog and scruffy husband. She tells people she enjoys books, wine, baking, and architecture as plausible cover for her secret double life. Her second Gothic romance, Soil and Ceremony, was published by Tirgearr Publishing in June 2019.
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Owl and Pussycat Book Promotions: TEAGUE'S FRIEND NADEYA IS IN TROUBLE AND SHE NEEDS...: CONDUCT UNBECOMING BY Dellani Oakes https://www.amazon.com/Conduct-Unbecoming-Teague-McMurtry-Novel-ebook/dp/B00O05NQKW/ref=sr_1_1?keywo...
The party is going well, and Lucius is about to declare his intentions toward Dollie, when his father shows up, drunk.
Lucius and Willem blocked his advance, taking him bodily from the building. Struggling feebly, their father tried to get away as they propelled him toward the pigsty. With a mighty shove, they toppled their sire into the mud of the sty. Roaring with fury, he struggled to get out, but kept slipping in the mud. The Henry boys walked away, dusting their hands.
"You ain't heard the last of me!" Earl yelled after them.
They were dancing to a scratchy, old recording of Surabaya Johnny when the doors burst open once more. Big Earl stood there dripping stinking mud on the floor. Running faster than any man his size should be able to, he upset the refreshment table, overturning it with a crashing bang that made everyone jump. This time, all the men, including his sons, dragged him outside. Mr. Bertram, the director, and one of the male teachers subdued him enough to put in the back of a truck. They drove him home to sleep it off.
Several of the women cleaned up the mud and everyone pitched in to clean up the food mess. They danced some more, but the party wound down after that point. Several of the male teachers and workers carried flashlights and lanterns to see the students safely to their dorms.
Patty, Willem and Lucius stayed with Dollie and several of the teenage boys, in order to take down the decorations and get the dining hall ready for breakfast the next morning. Everyone pointedly avoided talking about Big Earl. It didn't take long to get things packed away, the floor swept and tables put back in place, but Dollie was tired by the time it was over. Willem had offered to take his brother back to town with him in his truck which he'd left at the girls' dorm. They walked with the girls up to their apartment, bidding farewell outside.
It was obvious that Willem and Patty had news to share, so Lucius and Dollie waited impatiently for them to say something.
"Well, I reckon you can tell we've made some progress," Willem said proudly. "I done asked Patty to marry me, and by damn if she didn't say yes!"
"He gave me the prettiest ring!" Patty held out her hand. It wasn't a diamond, but it was lovely. Enamel flowers and birds decorated the simple silver band.
"That's the prettiest ring I ever saw!" Dollie exclaimed as she examined it.
"Will made it himself," Patty said with a proud sigh.
"Set a date?" Lucius asked.
"Still thinking about that one," his brother replied. "It'll depend on how soon her folks can come."
"I want to get married as soon as possible," Patty said. "We've waited long enough."
"Well sir, I'm right proud," Lucius said, pounding his brother on the back, nearly knocking him over. "Miss Patty, I'll be real happy to call you my sister."
"This don't make you and Dollie kin," his brother reminded them.
"Got that. Sure did," Lucius said, going red around the ears. He shuffled his feet nervously.
Dollie wasn't entirely sure how to proceed. She'd been receiving confusing signals from Lucius most of the evening. Really, they were fairly straight forward, he had expressed an interest in her—a very specific one. The confusion was on her part. She had absolutely no experience with having a boyfriend. Back home, she and her friends went out in groups. From time to time, they broke off into couples, but for the most part, they weren't exclusive. She'd never dated a man, nor had she ever been kissed. It was apparent by the way Lucius stood and how he looked at her, that he wanted a kiss.
Feeling very much like a fish out of water, she waited for Lucius to make the next move. Patty and Willem kissed nearby. No one was watching. The only light came from the nearly full moon. It cast eerie shadows around and about them. Shivering, Dollie inadvertently took a step closer to Lucius. The heat of his body warmed her in more ways, and in more places, than she'd ever felt before. The warmth increased as he moved nearer, bending over to kiss her.
Lucius stopped, his mouth less than an inch from hers. "Dollie, I'd sure like to kiss you."
Dollie closed her eyes, raising her chin. Smiling, Lucius lowered his mouth on hers. Their kiss was experimental, but fully expressed how they felt about one another. Lucius moved closer, putting his arms around Dollie, holding her close. Dollie's chest pressed against his. The combined beating of their hearts was the only sound they heard.
Lucius teased and coaxed her lips apart and his tongue flickered tentatively into her mouth. When she opened her lips to accommodate him, he took full advantage, kissing her hungrily. Frightened by the surge of passion, Dollie broke free with a little gasp. It was then they realized they were alone. Will and Patty were gone. Not knowing where the other two were, they felt alone and vulnerable outside.
"Best get you inside," Lucius murmured huskily.
Dollie nodded, licking her lips. She could feel his mouth against hers, possessing her, making her his own.
"Yes, I suppose. Please, come in."
"I shouldn't ought to, ma'am," he said, shuffling back a step. "If anybody saw...."
"No one's around for miles. We can't stand around in the cold waiting for your brother and my sister. Who knows where they've gone."
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
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