Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Best Medicine by Dellani Oakes – Part 33

"Nothing to sniff out," Tanya smiled. "All the plans were in my head. I didn't have a single list lying around. Davida had all the physical evidence in her possession. Morgan won't even talk to her."
"Why not?"
"Have you ever met Davi?"
"You will tonight," Molly laughed. "Oh, will you ever!"
"What's that supposed to mean?" Duke was dying of curiosity now.
"It means, you'll be meeting her tonight," Molly laughed again. "Don't worry about it."
Everything had been planned carefully and assignments were given to each member of Molly's family. Cullen and his band were on time and set up on the lanai. The girlfriend was a pretty, petite girl with multicolored hair and lots of piercings in her ears and eyebrows. She was a friend of Duke and Finn, as well as their uncle. More than once Tanya caught Duke watching her with something akin to longing.
"You okay?" She leaned over, asking him as he unplugged the vacuum.
"I dated her for about five minutes. She met Cullen and shwing! He snagged her right out of my arms. I wanted to deck him."
"Why didn't you?"
Duke's expression was tortured. "He doesn't ever do it on purpose," he sighed. "Chicks dig rock stars. Admit it, if you had met Cullen first, would you have looked twice at Morgan?"
"Honest opinion?"
"He'd have been a great self-destructive fling of hot sex and a crazy, wild ride. I'm much happier with what I have, thanks. You know what your problem is?"
"Do tell," Duke sighed, prepared for the worst.
"You let him do it."
"I what?"
"You expect and anticipate that the girls will like him better, so you don't try to compete. Have you looked in a mirror lately?"
Duke gave her a quizzical stare. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means, Duke, that you're gorgeous and if I'd met you first, Morgan and Cullen both would have had a fight on their hands." She smiled, nudging him with her knee. "So lighten up on yourself, huh?"
"For real?"
"Absolutely," Tanya smiled, kissing his cheek. "Now come help me blow up more balloons."
A few minutes later, Molly took her aside. "What on earth did you say to Duke? I haven't seen him smile that much since Sabrina hooked up with Cullen."
Tanya told her and Molly laughed heartily. "Oh, no wonder he looks like a fluffed up peacock! That was clever, Tanya!"
"And true," Tanya said with a giggle. "I'm sure it hasn't escaped your notice, your sons are very attractive."
"Aren't they a tad young for you?" Molly gave her a sidelong look, not sure what to think.
"More stamina," Tanya said. "But I'm not interested in a younger man. I like the one I've got just fine."
"Good, otherwise I was gonna have to smack ya." She winked.
Molly liked Tanya, and thought she was the best thing that had ever happened to Morgan. In fact, she was one of the best things to happen to the entire family. For a close knit group like theirs, someone like Tanya fit right in by making her own space. She didn't mind their eccentric ways or ridiculous humor. Tanya was fast becoming the sister Molly had always wished for.
The guests started arriving at six thirty, careful to park far away from the house. By the time Hal's car pulled up in the driveway a few minutes after seven, family and friends had all gathered. They found hiding places and waited.
Morgan walked in first. Tanya greeted him with a hug and kiss. He looked around expectantly.
"I thought you were fixing dinner."
"I changed my mind. I thought we'd eat out. Hal would you like to join us?"
"Love to," Hal raised an eyebrow.
"Great! I want a drink first."
She kissed Morgan again, leading him into the living room. Hal trailed in their wake. When they walked into the other room, everyone came out of hiding, yelling, "Surprise!"
Morgan's jaw dropped open, his eyes bulged and he nearly fell on the ground laughing. He was well and truly surprised for the first time in his life.
"No one has ever given me a real surprise party! I mean, they tried! How did you do it?" He drew Tanya into his arms, kissing her deeply, regardless of anyone around them.
"I had help," she giggled when he finally stopped. "I couldn't have pulled it off without Hal, Davida and Molly."
"Hal? You knew about this?"
Hal blushed, accepting a beer from Duke. "Yeah, well, I got suckered into it. I thought for sure we'd lost the element of surprise, when I didn't get to the right house this morning. Then she started talking about it right in front of you!"
© 2020 Dellani Oakes

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Best Medicine by Dellani Oakes – Part 32

"Seven. That way I have plenty of time to get everything set up."
"Cool. Okay. So, Morgan. Get dressed. I've got stuff in the car, plenty of food in a cooler, beer, vodka shots, the whole bit."
"All the essentials. Beef jerky?"
"Wouldn't be a day on the river without it."
"I'll be down in five minutes." He kissed Tanya and ran up the stairs two at a time.
"Do you think he suspects?" Tanya said quietly.
"I heard that!" Morgan bellowed from upstairs.
The bedroom door slammed and they heard him rushing around upstairs trying to get dressed.
"Do you think he suspects anything?" Tanya giggled softly.
"Him? He's always suspicious. But does he think we're really planning a party for him? No."
Morgan clattered down the steps, one shoe missing. He found it in the hallway outside the library. "Okay, I'm ready." He kissed her hastily, then lingeringly, groaning regretfully. "I'm beginning to wish I hadn't agreed to go."
"You can't back out on tradition, buddy," Hal said, grabbing his collar. "Slip her some tongue and come on."
Tanya laughed, kissing Morgan playfully. "You'll be home soon enough, and I promise to have a very special dinner planned."
"I'm just interested in the desert," he kissed her neck and nibbled her earlobe. "Whipped cream on your—"
"Morgan!" Her tone was dangerous. "He's kidding about the whipped cream," she blushed as she explained to Hal.
"I am not. Remember that night—"
"Good bye," she turned him around, pushing him as he walked reluctantly to the door.
"You see this? This is abuse, Hal."
"See you later, Tanya. I promise to bring him back in one piece."
"There's only one piece I'm interested in you preserving. If he falls apart, you know what to save."
"Sure do! See you later!" He dragged his friend to the car, shoving him in the front seat.
Tanya waved from the steps, grinning secretively. As soon as they were out of sight, she called Molly.
"He finally left! I forgot Hal was supposed to come by Morgan's, and we stayed at my place last night. But they're gone now."
"Great! The guys will be over in about thirty minutes to set up and decorate."
"Cool! I can't believe we fooled him."
"Don't be so sure. Until I see his face, I won't believe he didn't catch on. We've never successfully surprised Morgan."
"But you never had a master conspirator involved before. Don't worry. Hal played it beautifully. Wow, he's cute. Good thing Morgan saw me first." She giggled, playing with her hair. "What's the deal between Morgan and Hal's brother? I sensed real hostility between them."
"Caden thought Morgan told Hal, that Caden was having an affair with Hal's fiancee, a few years ago. He didn't, but try telling Caden that. Hal figured out on his own."
"And now the woman is engaged to Caden."
"I'd think Hal would be mad, not Caden."
"Who knows with men? I blame testosterone. It makes them crazy and stupid."
Tanya heard a muffled, "Hey!" It sounded like one of her boys
"I've offended my son."
"He'll get over it."
"I better get started, if I'm going to get to Morgan's anytime soon."
"K, I'll see you there." They hung up simultaneously.
Tanya's eyes glittered happily when she met Molly at Morgan's house. She unlocked the door and let everyone in. Even full of all Molly's massive menfolk, Morgan's kitchen was roomy enough for them all to work. That was why they had chosen his house for the party instead of hers.
"The band will be here at six to set up out back," Molly told her. "Cullen promised to be on time."
"He's promised that before."
"Yes, but this time he has a girlfriend. She'll get him here."
Tanya laughed, tossing her head happily. "I wonder how single men get anywhere promptly."
"The promise of pussy," Duke said. "If there's even a whiff of it, a man will be prompt."
"Oh, shut up, Duke!" Molly swatted her son. "He has a point, but why say it that way?"
"Because I'm a single man," Duke chuckled. "Okay," he turned to Tanya. "Where do you want the banner?"
"The end of the living room. I want him to be able to see it when we all stand up and yell Surprise!"
"Are you sure we've surprised him?"
"Why does everyone keep asking me that? You don't think I'm a professional conspirator?"
"Morph's sneaky," Duke said as he dragged a stepladder to the corner. "He sniffs out things like you wouldn't believe."
© 2020 Dellani Oakes

Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Best Medicine by Dellani Oakes – Part 31

"I was doing volunteer work," Hal explained. "I do a few months a year. I keep trying to get Morgan to come, but he hates to fly."
"And I refuse to drive to Uruguay, so I don't go."
"You could go on one of the ships," Tanya said. "I hear those are interesting."
"Not interesting enough. Come with me, then I'll think about it. I refuse to travel for months on end, patching up people in a third world country, while staying celibate, at the same time."
"I'll think about it," she replied with a grin.
"I don't know how you stand it," Morgan said to Hal. "The whole depriving yourself of female companionship for three months. I'd die."
"Who said I was deprived?" Hal's eyes twinkled, flecks of gold sparkling with humor.
"Toothless, mountain, hags don't count," Morgan corrected him.
"Actually, she was one of the other doctors, and very pretty. Her name was Celestina and she was from Brazil."
"You still seeing her?"
"No, she went back to Brazil."
Morgan nodded. "So, in effect, you're celibate again."
"Why do you care?" Hal sounded slightly irritated with the entire conversation.
Morgan smirked, chuckling while he fixed his coffee. "I care, because now I can tease you unmercifully about being a priest, and stand there smiling with ill concealed glee, while you complain about not being laid."
"I guess I'll have to find myself a woman then. Got any suggestions?"
"Tanya's friend, Davida, is available."
"Really. You think I'd do well with her?" He smirked and flexed.
"I think she'd eat you alive after you mated," was Morgan's snappy reply.
"Because I love you, I won't tell her you said that," Tanya giggled.
"I don't think she likes me anyway," Hal shrugged. "We've gotten off on the wrong foot. At least that's all I can figure out. We don't see eye to eye on much of anything."
"That's because she's seven foot two and you're only six two," Morgan exaggerated. "So what was it your lawyer brother had to tell me? We got off that subject at Rwanda."
"Uruguay. Okay, basically he said to tell you to call him. You two may not get along, but he's one of the best damn lawyers in the city, and you know it. If he's willing to set aside your differences, why can't you?"
"Because I didn't hit me in the face, dislocate my jaw and piss me off for no reason," Morgan said in a matter-of-fact tone."I happen to be fond of myself."
"He thought you told me about...."
"I know why he did it. Anyway, so I should call him. Why can't you just tell me what's what and leave it at that?"
"Because I'm not a f**king lawyer, and I'm not your bitch, is why," Hal exploded. "One day you two will start to listen to me."
"Either that, or we could lock them in a room with a rabid, horny wildebeest, and see who makes it out alive," Tanya offered, trying to diffuse the situation.
"I like how this woman thinks, Morph. Can I steal her from you?"
"I don't know. Honey, would you like Hal to steal you from me?"
"That depends," Tanya brushed Morgan's hair out of his face.
"On what?" He frowned slightly.
"On if he can do the things you do in bed. If so, it would be very stiff competition."
Morgan looked thoughtful. "That I don't know. I've never examined Hal's bedside manner."
"Well, since I like yours, I guess I'll stick with you."
They kissed for several seconds before Hal quit laughing, annoyed instead. "Other person in the room," he said loudly.
"This is why you date girls from Botswana," Morgan said as he nibbled Tanya's earlobe.
"Brazil. It wasn't a serious relationship. Great sex, no commitment."
"I like commitment," Morgan continued to nibble.
"It has its appeal. Listen, are we going canoeing or not?"
"Go ahead," Tanya said. "If this is something you two always do on your birthday, go ahead."
Morgan grimaced, thinking seriously before replying. "Hmm, going canoeing with another guy, or taking a sexy brunette back to bed for an afternoon of naughtiness. Hal? I leave the decision to you."
"Is that an invitation?" He winked at Tanya as she blushed and giggled. "If it were me in your shoes, I'd opt for the brunette. She's prettier than I am."
"I really wouldn't mind if you went for a canoe ride today, Morgan. You tan is starting to fade."
He chuckled seductively, putting his arms around her. "True enough. I haven't seen this schmo for a few months."
"Is that your none to subtle way to tell him that you want some time alone?" Hal asked casually.
Tanya flashed a wicked smile at Hal. "My, how perceptive! It will give me time to organize his surprise party."
"Oops, you told the secret!" Hal laughed. "What time am I supposed to have him home?"
© 2020 Dellani Oakes

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Meet TW Knight

Tricia was born in Michigan and knew at an early age that she had a creative soul and a connection to the paranormal.

After moving to Maryland her first artistic expressions were in the forms of crafts, sketches and paintings. In later years she even dabbled in comic book art, before getting her Associates Art Degree in Studio Art.

During the 1980's Tricia branched out into jewelry design creating a small handmade jewelry business, which is still operating today.

While Tricia had begun writing in her early teens it was not until 2007 when she met a wonderful group of likeminded women (through of all things an online fan club discussion for one hot young vampire) who encouraged her to take that first step and introduce her intriguing stories to the world. After that the dam of creativity broke and a multitude of plot bunnies burst forth.

By day, Tricia is a Customer Service manager for an insurance brokerage handling clients numerous daily needs; by night, she wields her mighty keyboard to craft otherworldly universes filled with fantastical - and often lusty - creatures, who beckon us to join them in their irresistible adventures that determine the fate of men and angels."
Tricia has been inspired by everything from music, art, cultural and religious mythology, ancient aliens' theory, and history.

Over the years a collection of writers have helped to shape her thinking and views of the world, including Ursula Le Guin, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Tanya Huff, JD Ward, Gena Showalter, Larrisa Ione, Alexandria Ivy, Kresley Cole, Jeaniene Frost, Kevin Hearne, Colleen Doran, and Mercedes Lackey. 

TW's Reviews

His Soul to Keep by TW Knight
#Romance #Paranormal

Imagine being pulled out of your world. Imagine being taken away from your family, friends, job and everything you love. Cassidy Long knew how it felt and was trying to make the best of it. Never mind that she had been rescued from a real live monster by the most gorgeous man she had ever seen.That man literally swept her off her feet and brought her to his world to protect her. After a few days of frustration and little to do, Cassidy finds the courage and energy to stand up to Rail and his brothers, trying to convince them she can help them in their search for others like them. As she finds her voice, she finds love in Rail , the fallen angel who's soul she holds. Will their love get them through the terror they will face together? Will their love endure all the dark secrets Rail keeps from Cassidy?
I could not put this book down! The story was so well written that I found my self laughing, sobbing, cursing and holding my breath (and that was in just one chapter). Three cheers for T.W. Knight. You have written one of the best books I've ever read! Please don't make us wait too long for book 2!

His Soul to Hold by TW Knight
#Romance #Paranormal

I am an avid reader of paranormal and I would certainly recommend this book. The story is an intriguing spin on fallen angels and demons. I can’t wait to see where the author takes these fallen angels and their soul-keepers. Along with Bass' soul-keeper Bree we are intoroduced to Bree's brother Sam and a new fallen angel, Hogart. The character development is handled well and a little more complicated in this book as the charactors are faced with self doubt, PTSD and questions about their own future. More secrets and complications are revealed creating more questions and another mystery.

His Soul to Save by TW Knight
#Romance #Paranormal

Another great installment in the Dark Knights of Heaven. While the book could stand on its own, I strongly recommend reading it after the previous two. It really does help put all of the pieces of the puzzle in the right places since there are a lot of plot points that tie to the previous books. It’s one of the traits of the series I love. Everything ties together. No characters ever really leave once they’ve had their chance to shine.
Overall, this is my favorite Knight by far. I am a sucker for a tortured soul and the fact that Zach is also incredibly smart, caring and wears glasses just makes him even more lovable. I spent a good part of the book wanting to do nothing but hug him.
Amber is a fantastic heroine. The way she’s introduced to everything and how she reacts is that of a new reader to the series. To me, it seems like Amber is the woman I’d be if in that same situation. She’s strong, caring and stubborn. She refuses to be left out of her own life any longer. Love a strong female lead and you’ll love her.

Meet Nelda B. Gaydou

Nelda is the author of delightful biographical books about the Great Depression, Post World War II and early 1960's. Her stories include King of the Hill – Set in Depression Era Texas, From Sea to Sea – takes place in 1964 and follows the journey of the Globe Trotting Bedford family. Her third book, To the Ends of the Earth which chronicles the life of missionaries who travel from Texas to Patagonia. 

Reviews of Nelda's Books

Review of To the Ends of the Earth by Nelda B. Gaydou

Stories of lives well lived is the way that you can summarize the book. To do so would rob you of the intriguing vignettes that dot the landscape as the author shares the trials and travails of the Bedford family from the United States southwest to the Argentine Patagonia at the bottom of the world. Along the way the author sprinkles history in such a captivating way that the reader is seeing the events play themselves out and learning of the interlocking world in which we live without even realizing it.
To the Ends of the Earth: High Plains to Patagonia by Nelda B. Gaydou is the story of a period in American religious history which transformed the evangelical world. It is the story of two people who met, fell in love, responded to God’s call, moved to South America, raised a family, and in between impacted countless lives. This is a story as only an MK (missionary kid) can tell it with love and deep insight into the relationships that brought about the events as nothing else could have done. Although on the surface this is a chronology of a family and their ministry, first in the United States and later in Argentina, in reality it is the story of the love that develops between people as they get to know each other, and, in spite of the differences of language and culture, how that love can transform them and the world around them.

Review From Sea to Sea by Nelda B. Gaydou

This is a wonderful tribute to an extraordinary family as the author takes the reader on a fifty plus year odyssey. It follows their winding journey on a world-wide adventure. Using vignettes, Gaydou highlights the remarkable exploits of her family as they work and travel in the United States, South America, and Europe. Along the way she introduces the reader to spectacular people who made a real difference in the lives of those around them.
This is a story of love and friendship against the backdrop of some of the most dramatic events of the late twentieth century in the South Cone. Along the way the author peppers her narrative with historical tidbits to help the reader understand the circumstances of what is happening in the United States, Argentina, and their surrounding neighbors. Not just along for the ride, she showcases how her family was intertwined with the events, cultures, and people.
Through her stories Gaydou highlights how the various cultures have coalesced to create Argentina and how her family has become part of that mixture of North American, Spanish, Italian, German, etc. cultures which makes the world such a delightful place. 

Meet Dellani Oakes

Dellani Oakes makes her home in Florida, but she grew up in Western Nebraska. Before that, she had lived in four other states. Since then, she has added two more, giving her a unique perspective on life. Always a people watcher, Dellani put that talent to use when she became an author.
Bitten by the writing bug early in life, Dellani first pursued poetry as her medium of self-expression. Soon, she moved on the song parodies and then short stories and humorous essays. Once she got to high school, it became apparent that she needed to learn to spell when she got a paper back from her English teacher, “For content – A+. For mechanics – F.” That comment changed her life, forcing her to focus as much on how she said things as what she said.
Dellani took up writing full time when her youngest son started kindergarten in 2002. Since then, she has published sixteen books. Her five romantic suspense novels are with Tirgearr Publishing. Eleven other books ranging from historical romance to sci-fi, round out her resume of published works. She has also contributed to several anthologies.

Reviews of Dellani's Books

Under the Western Sky by Dellani Oakes
#RetroRomance #Suspense

Bobby Menendez has it tough, he is a Mexican teenager in a small town that has more than its share of racial tension. On top of that, he is dating Libby Marshal, a blond hair blue eyed white girl. This doesn't go unnoticed by the local bigots who are determined to make Bobby's life and everyone he loves, hell. Betrayed by his best friend, Bobby is left to face his enemies on his own all the while trying to protect Libby.

A plan is hatched and traitors close in on all sides while unlikely allies appear to fight at Bobby's side. Secrets are exposed and the people Bobby thought he knew, reveal their true nature. In an effort to protect themselves and preserve their "perfect" town, it is decided Bobby must die. This is when all hell breaks loose!

Under the Western Sky is a story that could have easily been ripped from today's headlines only it takes place in the 1970's. I could almost hear the hiss from the turntable as the Santana record played while Bobby and Libby danced together. Dellani Oakes does an awesome job at depicting the era as well as the issues that plagued that period.
Under the Western Sky is filled with action, romance and suspense which will leave readers glued to the pages or eReader which ever you prefer. I give it 5 stars.

So Much It Hurts by Dellani Oakes

#LoveintheCity #Romance

So Much It Hurts by Dellani Oakes follows three people, each wonderful in their own way. Mexican-Irish Pia Donavan arrives in the big city from a small town in Nebraska to pursue a degree in music. As a child of a college professor, her family moved around a lot which forced her to cultivate friends. At her new residence, the old Ambassador Hotel, she takes to the avant-garde college population. On the first day she meets two handsome young men who are roommates, Flynn and Yancy. “A girl would be an idiot, or crazy, to pass up on either of you two,” she says.

Pia becomes acquainted with Flynn first. He’s a PhD candidate in art but has painting gigs on the side. Paint is his medium, and bodies are his canvas. He paints landscapes and soon has a money-making opportunity with an outdoorsy company, Crossfire. After being with Pia for a few days, Flynn is off to help this camping and hiking company create their launch. In the woods he’s occupied with lighting, reflection, shadows, and models.
In the meantime, Pia hangs out with Yancy, an accounting major. In his company she takes part in an impromptu concert with other music majors using a harpsichord and antique instruments. She sings. She invites new acquaintances to her apartment to cook together. Just about everything she does goes up on because of her sweetness, talent, and spirit. With Yancy she finds her niche.

One night something happens. This something reminds her of her former boyfriend’s betrayal. What is the right thing to do? A theme running through this book is fear. They grapple with decision-making, the kind tying people up in knots. Can these people leave fear at the door or throw it out the window? I highly recommend Dellani Oakes' So Much It Hurts to every reader.

Five Star Review by Kathleen Rowland

Meet Carolyn Bowen

Carolyn Bowen was into life planning and career development before it was cool! With extensive advanced studies in psychology, adult learning, and career development, she has the background to guide you in becoming the best possible you! She’s not only walked the walk but perhaps can save you a few steps in finding your niche – your purpose in life. She knows how to master cross-stepping as a surfer and life coach. She can guide you in avoiding wipe-outs while discovering your niche – your purpose in life. She’s a well-read and beloved

Reviews of Carolyn's Books


#Suspense #Thriller

Sidney was working on a case for her law firm but was abducted and now doesn’t remember her life before that. This novel starts off with a bang and does not slow down. There are elements of mystery, suspense and what’s a book with out a little romance? Throw in murder and some shady characters and you have a first class read to enjoy by the fire with cocoa or the beach with a cool cocktail!!! I enjoyed Primed for revenge immensely and anticipate the next installment. 5 stars for this exciting novel!!!!
~ Karen Vaughan

Cross-Ties by Carolyn Bowen

#Romance #Historical

Wow, what an adventure! Admittedly, I’m usually not a big fan of these kinds of books (I tend to stick to the sci-fi and romance genres) but I decided to give “Cross-Ties” a chance and go into the read with an open mind, and I must say that it turned out to be a great decision. I could see early on, within the first few chapters, that the author is truly talented when it comes to weaving words into stories. The prose flows in a very smooth manner while conveying everything in very vivid way – I personally found it easy to visualize many of the scenes and also empathize and understand the feelings of Leah, the protagonist. I highly recommend ‘Cross-Ties’ to readers looking for a genuinely immersive and adventurous read. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for future releases by Carolyn M. Bowen.

Books & Entertainment Radio Presents Dellani's Tea Time with Jenny, Jon and Karen!

It's summer time and folks are flocking to the beach, the mountains, and anywhere else they can go (at least in their minds—there'...