Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Meet Vella Day!

One of my guests on What's Write for Me on June 25, is Vella Day. I had the great good fortune to meet Vella at DitterCon in Orlando in January. She's a fun lady to know. Here's a little about Vella!

Not only do I love to read, write, and dream, I'm an extrovert. I enjoy being 

around people and am always trying to understand what makes them tick. Not 

only must my books have a happily ever after, I need characters I can relate to. 

My men are wonderful, dynamic, smart, strong, and the best lovers in the world 

(of course).
You'll find me most days on my chaise lounge with my laptop and my iced 
tea(unsweetened!) on the side table. I love to sleep in late and write into the wee 
hours. I also love FB, so you'll find me on there, too!
I believe I am the luckiest woman. I do what I love and I have a wonderful, 
supportive husband, who happens to be hot!
Fun facts about me
(1) I'm a math nerd who loves spreadsheets. Give me numbers and I'll find a 
(2) I'm addicted to taking pictures (I taught high school photo for 30 years). I plan 
to periodically post some of my favorites on my newsletter [so sign up!].
(3) I also like to exercise. Yes, I know I'm odd. Not only do I walk with different 
women each week, I teach Pilates twice a week at a local rec center, and lift 
weights the other days.

I love hearing from readers either on FB or via email (hint, hint).

What's Write for Me
Wednesday, June 25 @ 4:00 PM Eastern time
Show Link:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sexy Without the Sex - Call Me by Dellani Oakes

This excerpt is from a story called Call Me (not yet published). Moira Crane teaches high school English. She has a strict no phone policy in her classroom and even makes the students put their phones in a special bin at the beginning of class. One day, her phone rings during class, so she adds her phone to the bin. When the students leave, she finds her phone is missing. Upset and frustrated, she goes to the police to report the theft. While she's there, she meets Detective Rhys Fletcher.
Rhys and Moira hit it off and he asks her to dinner, which goes remarkably well. The next night, he invites her to a special Christmas event on beachside. After the Light Up Flagler event ends, they walk back to his car, which is parked a few blocks from the beach.

Police officers on bikes road up and down the street making sure that no one was too drunk to drive home. They all knew Rhys and everyone stopped to say hello. They were obviously curious to meet Moira. He proudly introduced her to them as his girlfriend. Once they were gone, he pulled her close.
"I hope you don't mind me being presumptuous by introducing you like that."
"Not at all, if I can introduce you as my Meat Popsicle."
Rhys hugged her tightly, kissing her loudly on the mouth. "I will be whatever you want, Miss Crane. Meat Popsicle, willing servant, boyfriend or love slave. Your pick—or all of the above."
"I guess we'll stick with boyfriend for now, with an option on love slave. I think you'd make a good one."
"Oh, really."
"Yup! You're all kinda hot and sexy, you dance divinely and you drive a cool car."
"Ahh, see, I believed you until you mentioned the car. Now, I know it's just because my car is sexy. Not because I'm sexy."
Moira snuggled close, her arms around his waist. "You could drive a Yugo and you'd still be the sexiest thing on two legs."
"Yeah." She nipped his lower lip.
"You're so beautiful," he whispered. "How did I get so lucky?"
"I've been asking myself that since you asked me out yesterday."
"I've been thinking it since you dropped your keys in the parking lot."
Rhys' kiss electrified her, making her spine tingle. His powerful body pinned her to the car as his mouth ravaged hers. His hands were everywhere, first grabbing her ass, next sliding under her top. He couldn't seem to get enough of touching her, kissing her. Moira felt a gush of moisture. She was so hot inside, she couldn't stand it. Nestor had never made her feel like this. She'd had sex with him, not because she desired it, but because he demanded it. She'd never wanted a man as much as she wanted Rhys.
Did she dare make a leap of faith? Could she let him into her heart, into her body? Would he disappoint her like Nestor had? Would he try to control her and manipulate her?
Rhys' hand stroked her breast and she stiffened. Shoving his hands aside, Moira pushed his chest. Puzzled and sex befuddled, he stepped back.
"I'm sorry," he muttered. "God, what's wrong with me? I'm being a beast." He reached to touch her cheek, but she flinched away.
Silence vibrated between them. Rhys took another step back, rubbing the back of his head with his left hand.
"I'm not him, Moira. I'm not going to hurt you like he did. I won't tear your heart into little pieces."
She took an angry step toward him. "How do you know that's what I was thinking?"
His step was measured, casual, non-threatening. "You read people, so do I. He hurt you horribly, I get that. But I'm not him and I won't hurt you like that. Do you believe me?" He wound his fingers in her hair, tilting her head back so she'd look at him.
"I don't know what to believe, Rhys."
"Touch me," he whispered.
"I can't read things about myself, I told you that."
"You're not reading yourself, you're reading me. What am I thinking?" He gazed into her eyes.
Moira touched his face, her eyes meeting his, staring at him. With a slow breath, she trembled, her fingers caressing his strong jaw and full lips. A shuddering sob forced its way up, but she gulped it back down.
"Why couldn't I have met you five years ago?"
Rhys smiled. "You wouldn't have liked me much back then. I was a real prick."
"I can't imagine you ever being anything but what you are now."
"What am I?" He kissed one hand, then the other.

"Wonderful." She brought his mouth to hers, searching and finding her answers.

© Dellani Oakes
To Purchase Dellani's Books:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Blog - Dellani Oakes

I was asked by the amazing and talented Marta Moran Bishop to participate in the My Writing Process Blog Tour. I have also shared this opportunity with a few friends. Their answers will appear on their blogs Monday, June 30th.

What are you working on?

Right now, I am concentrating on finishing up some older novels before moving on to something new. I have so many unfinished works that hover on the edge of being finished, I'd like to complete a few. So far, I've finished two and I feel pretty good about that.

How does your work differ from those in your genre?

I write predominantly romance. I have historical romance - Indian Summer, as well as futuristic (sci-fi) romance Lone Wolf and Shakazhan. I also write romantic suspense and have one contemporary - The Ninja Tattoo and one retro - Under the Western Sky.

That being said, how am I different? I don't write to a formula. You won't see my characters fight throughout the book, only to make up and declare their love moments before the story ends. I like my characters to work together against a common, outside foe, and not have the major conflict be between them.

Why do you write what you do?

I like having people fall in love. I like happy endings. I enjoy bringing couples together and watching them grow closer as they battle the enemy.

How does your writing process work?

I'm not sure I could really call what I do a process, though it does yield results. I have described my process as well oiled chaos. I think I could I think I could also describe it as loosely tamed insanity, though I'm not sure that full describes my process.

I don't have a set schedule. Depending upon my other commitments for the day, I try to work from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM before breaking for lunch. During that time, I try to catch up with blogging commitments, do some marketing, and a variety of other chores that I'll put off unless I do them right away.

After an hour break for lunch, I go back to my current work in progress and read through the prior writing session. If it's been a day or more since I worked on it, I'll read through more so I am up to speed.

If it's been months since I read through something, I re-read it all, making corrections and notes as I go. I never leave editing until later, unless it's a major renovation. I correct things as I find them or leave notes to draw my attention to it the next time I read the story.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sexy Without the Sex - A Bride for Brodie (part 2) by Dellani Oakes

A Bride for Brodie has a lot of really fun, sexy scenes between Brodie and Cassandra, because they don't immediately hop into bed. She has a lot of issues, not the least of which is her ex-fiance was a total jerk. The first part took place the night they met. This scene takes place the following day.
Brodie made kind of an ass of himself the night before. He didn't mean to, but Cassandra sent very mixed messages and he couldn't really be responsible for picking up on the more obvious, I want you ones, because that's what he wants too.

The next morning I was a little disappointed to find that the elevator not only arrived on time, but it didn't have Cassandra Tillerman in it. As angry as she'd made me the day before, she'd more than made up for it last night. I couldn't help wondering how I was going to look her in the eye the next time I saw her, because I was going to be really distracted by the warm, sensual memories of our encounter in my living room.
My curiosity was satisfied about five minutes later when she walked into my office. Dressed in a pink designer suit that reminded me of Jackie Kennedy, she strutted through the door looking soft, cuddly and desirable with another pair of those sexy pumps on her feet. These were black and matched her purse and the trim on her suit.
Saige, my assistant, called me from my office, exchanging a long look with me behind Cassandra's back. She and I are good friends and up until about a week ago, I had more than a little crush on her before she hooked up with a good friend of mine. Cassandra looked uncomfortable, nervous and slightly flushed. Saige sat at her desk trying to pretend she wasn't listening to us. I led Cassandra into my office.
"My mother sent me over with the pictures and blueprints," she showed me a portfolio case and a long, cardboard tube.
"Oh, yes, she told me she was going to do that. I assumed she'd send a courier."
I gestured for her to sit down, but she stood just inside the doorway, wielding the photos and blueprints like a weapon or charms to ward off evil.
"She was going to, but I walked in at just the right time to be given the job instead. She thinks we need to chat." She half smiled, not moving.
"Do we?"
I chuckled, glancing around the offices nervously. Everyone looked extraordinarily busy, but I knew they were all trying to eavesdrop. I led Cassandra into my office, offering her a seat. This time she sat, crossing her legs as I shut the door.
I couldn't do anything about the front window that overlooks Ches' office, because it has no blind, but the other walls I could cover. I closed the blinds on the sides so we had the illusion of privacy. I had never felt so on display in all my life. Part of me wanted to go primal and make love to her on my desk for all to see. But I held that part in check and sat behind my desk with as much aplomb as I could muster. My brain was battling itself, but my face, I hope, showed none of this.
"This is going to be awkward, isn't it?" She blushed prettily, igniting yet another fire inside me.
Making the pretense of taking out the pictures to show me, she handed them across the desk. Every movement belied what she was saying. The girl could go on Broadway. Nothing she said matched her actions.
"I hope not."
I looked over the pictures calmly while the inside of my head exploded. Oh, please don't say you want this to be a professional relationship or I'll run into traffic and pray for a bus with bad brakes to cream me.
"I've never been so attracted to any man in all my life as I am you." She pointed to two of the pictures, smiling as if telling me something witty.
I grinned, nodding and feeling like a fool. I was doing the same damn thing she was, and was nearly as good at it. She handed me the blueprints and I laid the tube on the drafting table next to my desk. She stood beside me, our arms not quite touching.
"Then what's the problem?"
"I'm scared out of my mind." Her smile seemed rather strained, her lips twitching spasmodically.
"Of me?" I couldn't help glancing up at her, wide eyed.
Giggling happily, she took the blueprints out of the tube, spreading them on my drafting table. "No. Of myself. Of what I might do given half a chance."
I leaned over her shoulder, examining the blueprints with a practiced skill. Even if I was only pretending to look, I was appraising the plans, making mental notes of what to examine more closely later. I automatically noted the interior weight bearing walls, coming up one short. Another glance found it.
"What might you do?"
My hand brushed her waist, a simple, meaningless gesture to anyone watching. My touch made her jump toward me, setting me on fire. She shivered, shifting away from me slightly.
"Lose all self-control," the blush softened, working its way down to the bodice of her suit.
"Why's that a bad thing? Sometimes giving in to our baser instincts has its advantages."
I spoke with studied calm even though I wanted to lick her neck from base to earlobe. My breath was hot on her skin. I could feel her body's heat burning me.
"Don't, please, Brodie."
Clearing my throat, I frowned, bending over the plans, closely examining them pretending to locate that other wall I'd already spotted. Jotting down a note or two, I kept looking, smoothing the paper out flat.
"Don't what? What am I doing but being honest? I'm hot for you, you seem hot for me, but you won't let your barriers down enough to let me in. I'm talking emotionally, not physically. You've got a handle on the physical barriers." I spoke more sharply than I'd intended to. Her eyes started to tear up and I knew I'd put my foot in it.
"I'm sorry," I said softly, trying to touch her hand.
Cassandra jerked her fingers away from mine, suddenly chilly. "You can see that the dimensions are different on the east side from what they are on the west. Dad and I wondered if that caused a problem."
"How much difference in square footage?" I turned on the professionalism. About time, huh?
"Overall, about ten square feet per proposed unit."
"Charge more for the bigger side. There's really no need to compensate," I meant the apartments, but left the statement open to interpretation.
"I'm not compensating," she picked up the double meaning.
"Then what are you doing? Because I'd really like to know, Cassandra. Is it wrong for me to want to know where this relationship is going? Is it wrong for me to ask you what you want from me?"
I leaned closer to the paper, right over her shoulder. I whispered, my lips brushing her ear. "Is it wrong for me to want to feel your body wrapped around mine in passion? Don't you want to know what it's like to have me inside you? I'll set you on fire and then put out the flames. If that's wrong, I want to be wrong with you every moment for the rest of my life."
Cassandra stiffened, jerking away from me abruptly, nearly knocking me in the teeth with her shoulder. "I think I'd better be going, Mr. Brodie. Mother said she'd meet you at the restaurant at one. Don't be late, she doesn't like to be kept waiting."
"Nor do I. I'm a fairly patient man, Cassandra, but I only wait so long before I'm gone."

"I see," she said without much conviction. "I'll leave you to the plans then." She scuttled out sideways like a crab.

© Dellani Oakes
To Purchase Dellani's Books:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sexy Without the Sex - A Bride for Brodie (part 1) by Dellani Oakes

A Bride for Brodie is one of my favorite books. I was going to share it on my site, but somehow, the ending disappeared. One day, I'll finish it--again--for now, I'll enjoy what there is of it.
Malcolm Brodie (call him Brodie) is an up and coming architect in a big city. He's recently ended a very destructive relationship and trying to get his mojo back, but is finding it hard. He's a player to end all, in fact, a friend teases him that there's a club and the only requisite is having been to bed with Malcolm Brodie. Done with that aspect of his life, he's looking for something more, but doesn't find the right woman until Cassandra Tillerman storms into his life.

Their first meeting doesn't go well. In fact, she gives him a good ten minute rant, publicly eviscerating him. Although he's furious, Brodie can't stop looking at the way her breasts jiggle when she gestures at him, or the curve of her perfect lips as she rips him a new one. Later, realizing how horrid she's been, Cassandra comes to his apartment to apologize. She tells him that she's just ended a destructive relationship too.

"Needless to say, that was the end of the engagement. That was about three months ago."
I chuckled, my voice tinged with sarcasm. "That's the same time I broke up with my girlfriend. If you tell me it was July twenty-first, I might laugh myself into irony hell."
Cassandra's face went blank and she blinked owlishly. "Oh, Brodie. It was."
I'd never heard anything as flat and unemotional as those four words. My laughter stopped suddenly, and I felt like a truck had run me over and stopped on my chest.
"Please tell me you're kidding and that's some sort of sick joke."
"I think I know the date my life went to hell."
"Me too."
I wanted to cry and laugh and kiss her all at once. All I could do was sit there like an idiot and fiddle with the damn sugar wrappers.
Tears ran down Cassandra's face as she tried to pull herself together. I was being completely useless until I finally had the brilliant idea of getting her a box of tissues off my desk. I sat next to her on the couch, close, but not quite touching her. I didn't want to broach that semi-impenetrable wall around her.
Fresh sobs took over as we sat side by side on the couch. Cassandra leaned toward me, putting her head on my shoulder, bawling her eyes out. I put one tentative arm around her. She didn't run screaming from my presence or punch me in the gut, so it seemed to be all right.
She smelled fantastic. My senses reeled as she snuggled next to me, sobbing and gulping pitifully. Every instinct in me wanted to protect her. These feelings warred with my very masculine need for some female companionship. My baser instincts took over and I lost self control. I guess there's something sexy about a woman sobbing on my shoulder.
My lips sought hers, I couldn't help it. Every nerve in my body was screaming for her touch. She didn't resist, but relaxed against me, her breasts pressing against my chest in a tasty, comfortable way. My other arm went around her, pulling her to me in a tight embrace. I managed to keep control of my hands, but I knew it wouldn't be long before I was making a grab for places I shouldn't. Any moment, she was going to break away and tell me no. Any second, she was going to make me stop. Anytime now. . . . Surely she wasn't going to. . .? It wasn't possible!
My mind raced, keeping pace with my heartbeat. Lust and desire were taking over. I didn't know how much longer I could hold on. She was soft, sexy, curvy, warm, delightful and decidedly, deliciously female. I could smell her scent and I wanted it all over me. Her kisses made me weak. I could hardly breathe with her so close.
No, I just met this girl today. I don't even know her. She's the daughter of a client. It wasn't working. I couldn't find a single thought to kill the burning in my loins that this woman caused.
I'm having lunch with her mother tomorrow. Bingo!
It would have totally killed the mood, except Cassandra put my hand on her breast, pressing against me. Then the fingers of her other hand drifted down between my legs. Like electricity, her touch shocked me. If I'd had any thought of stopping up to that point, it was gone now.
Her body felt so good next to mine. I tried to take her top off, but she wouldn't let me. Hands all over the outside she allowed, but when I went for flesh, she slapped me.
Was it me, or were there mixed messages here? Yes, I want you, but on my terms. That's what she meant. Shit! Her terms weren't enough. I wanted the whole thing, not the bits and pieces she was allowing me. I wasn't sure how we came to this point from the tirade this morning. She felt guilty about that, so did I. I was a real prick, but she was a bitch too. This wasn't all my fault and she knew it. But this wasn't a bootie call. No sex, please, we work together.
I wanted to roar loudly, go primal, tear her clothing off, drag her by the hair and take her to bed. In my mind I was begging her to shove caution aside and grind away, but I'd never say that to her. This was a woman who needed to be romanced, finessed, treated like a lady. Then fuck her brains out, the primal Id said loudly in the back of my head.
I started having a metaphysical argument with myself. The Id battled the Super Ego while the Ego sat there saying: "Guys. Guys! The lady's talking!" He slapped us both upside the head. We shut up and listened.
"I should go, Brodie. I really shouldn't have come here at all. But I felt I had to explain why I was such an unmitigated bitch." She was adjusting her rumpled clothing furtively, like she'd been caught doing something dirty.
I forced my eyes to focus on hers and my mind to concentrate for a few precious moments so my lips could say something profound. Clearing my throat, I marshaled my spiraling emotions.
"I understand, Cassandra."
"I need to go." She started to get up from the couch, but I held her.
"Please stay. I want you—to stay," I faltered.
I was about to say the wrong thing. It was all going to fall out and be all the wrong words. I opened my mouth to either recant the invitation or extend it again, I don't know which. Suddenly her lips were on mine again, kissing me compellingly.
"Cassandra, you are the hottest woman I've ever seen. I want you," I gasped. "Let me inside you." I'm not above begging.
She stiffened, pulling away from me like she'd been electrocuted. "I need to go now," she said stiffly.
Great, I totally screwed up. She hated me again and it was my own, primal, lusty, dickhead self that did it. I walked her downstairs, hands carefully away from her, feeling sorry for myself. I hated what I'd said, but dammit that was how I felt! She couldn't appreciate the finer points of conversation going on here. Men don't communicate like women do. When we say something like that, it's a compliment. I don't say that to every woman I meet. Only the incredibly hot ones who play with my emotions and screw with my head.
Before we left the building, she turned to me, kissing me once more. If I didn't have such snoopy neighbors, I swear I'd have thrown he on the foyer floor and humped her into the basement. Instead, I settled for some fantastic kissing, a little nibbling and some more groping. She handled it all well until I got a little too friendly and tried to put my hand up under her skirt. I found out that Suzie wasn't the only one who knew incredibly painful things to do to a man. Cassandra did fine along that line too, I figured out as she threatened to crush my fingers.

"I'm sorry," I babbled. "Really sorry. I won't do it anymore. Cassandra, I need my hand. I really, really do." Another minute or so of babbling and apologizing, she finally let go of my fingers. Nothing was broken, but that was gonna hurt tomorrow.

© Dellani Oakes
To Purchase Dellani's Books:

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Sexy Without the Sex - Bad Day by Dellani Oakes

Reva Kelly is an up and coming wedding planner. She's the number one planner for Perrine Wedding Planners and a favorite of the owner, Jacob Perrine. When she falls and breaks her ankle one day, he has his "personal physician", his nephew, Hal, check on her at the hospital.

Hal Perrine and Reva are immediately attracted to one another and it's all they can do not to hop right into bed. The desire is there, but they both realize that it's a bad idea, for a variety of reasons. However, that doesn't stop them from getting cozy. Hal takes Reva to dinner with his friends, Morgan and Tanya, at his favorite restaurant, where she meets members of her favorite band. The frontman, Cullen, hits on her.

Hal came back from the restroom to see Cullen leap back on stage.
"Was he making a pass at you?" he asked Reva.
"Just a pass?" Morgan scoffed. "Cullen never makes a pass, he makes an entire offensive play looking to score. He doesn't know what a pass is, he goes in for a touchdown."
"Are we done with the football analogies," Tanya asked in an exasperated tone. "Let Reva answer for herself, Morgan."
"He was," I told Hal honestly. "But I asked if I could sample the goods before I wrote you off completely. He was very amenable."
"That's because Cullen is convinced he's irresistible."
I leaned over, speaking quietly to him. He looked very upset that Cullen had been hitting on me. What I saw as playful banter, he saw as a serious play for me.
"He would be, if I hadn't met you first." I took his hand in both mine, squeezing gently.
"Hal, has Reva seen the dock yet?"
"No, Morgan, I don't believe she has."
"Why don't you show her the dock, Hal? There's a lovely view of the river from there."
"Thanks, Morph. I will." He gave me a hand up.
We walked slowly out to the dock. It was getting chilly on the water. I was glad of my long pants and sweater. It was indeed beautiful on the dock. A light wind blew the sounds of the restaurant away from us. The moon glittered on the slowly undulating river, shimmering with the movement of the water. Not quite full, it shone like a huge, silver disk.
Hal put his arms around me as we leaned against the end of the dock. I shivered slightly, though I wasn't very cold. I think it was more of an anticipatory shiver than it was a chill.
"Sorry for how I reacted in there. I've lost more than a couple women to Cullen over the years. He doesn't do it on purpose. I guess a rock star is more exciting than a doctor."
"He's definitely cute," I said, rubbing it in a little. "But you're gorgeous." I let that sink in a moment, gazing into his golden eyes.
"Reva, I. . . ." His lips met mine before he finished what he was saying.
His kiss was full of promises. With each passing moment, I knew he would fulfill every one and make more. It was rich and sensual, bathed in dark chocolate and whipped cream. I smiled at that thought, remembering long forgotten fantasies of my youth. I knew, at that moment, if I told Hal those silly, girlish dreams he would do his best to make them come true.
"Did you mean what you said?" He asked quietly, his voice husky.
"Which thing did I say?" I didn't want to talk. I wanted to keep kissing him.
"About sampling the goods."
I took his lower lip in my teeth, nibbling gently. "What do you think, Doctor Hal?"
"I think that's a yes." He chuckled, kissing me again. Hal stopped suddenly, looking thoughtful. "Cosmo would kill me if I did anything to jeopardize your recovery." He looked upset, his doctor's training overriding his manly urges.
"How is kissing me going to harm my recovery, Doctor Hal?"
"Because I don't want to just kiss you," he told me with flat honesty. "And it wouldn't be a good idea to participate in a full contact sport right now."
"Sex isn't a full contact sport, Hal."
He laughed deep in his chest, the seductive tone back in his voice. "It is the way I do it." He winked and kissed me again. "Besides. . . ." He let his lips trail down my neck. "If I took you to bed right now, you'd think I was a player."
I considered that a moment. He was right, I would think that. "Then you need to charm and romance me first."
"I can do that," he conceded. "I'm pretty good at the charm and romance." He let his lips linger on mine, just barely touching. "It's the long term commitment I have to work on. But I'm ready to do that now." He sighed contentedly.

© Dellani Oakes
To Purchase Dellani's Books:

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 62

Sam gets cut in the fight with Hempe. A nurse in the lock down wing stitches him up, thanking Sam for taking the monster out. He shows Sam a...