Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Love Dialogue! Excerpt from "Kai"

This book is not only unfinished, it hasn't got a proper title. I named the file after the main character, Kai Marcello. He meets a young woman, Paisley, who comes to teach water aerobics at his family's gym. He finds out that she's running away from a very bad relationship with a crazy guy who tried to kill her. She lives just up the street from Brill, who's the head of a gang and cousin to one of Kai's best friends. Brill agrees to have his men look after Paisley. Having something to report, they come up as Kai and Paisley are leaving her apartment.

They hopped in the Jeep and were just pulling out when a black Ford truck with spinners and a lot of chrome cut them off. Kai was grateful for good brakes.
Four thugs got out and came over to the Jeep. Kai recognized Brill, TM's cousin, and some of his heavies.
"Yo, Kai," Brill said, flashing a bunch of gold teeth. "This your lady?"
"Yeah. TM talked to you?"
"Yeah, man. Listen, reason I'm stopping by, we saw some dude we didn't know, hanging around. He looked kinda weasely. What's your ex look like, baby?" He directed at Paisley.
"I've got a picture." She shrugged. "My mom and dad are in it too," she added. "Otherwise, I wouldn't have kept it." She flipped through the pictures on her phone and handed it to Brill.
He slid his sunglasses down his nose, looking at the screen. He passed it to his men. One of them pointed to the picture.
"Nope. This wasn't the guy, but similar build. The guy I saw was a little taller, scrawny, fidgety, like he's got a snake up his ass. Dark hair—course that means nothing, hair dye, right? But this guy? No."
"Memorize this face," Brill said. "If that other guy comes back, get us a picture, dig? If they get a shot, we'll send it to you, baby."
"Thank you, Brill. Why are you being so helpful? I mean, you don't even know me."
He flashed a smile, leaning on the door of the car. "Cause you're pure, babe. Unspoiled. And you're a lady. Real men don't beat their women or try to kill them. My boys know how to treat a woman right. They raise a fist, they answer to me. I may be a criminal, but I'm not a wife beater."
She smiled, blinking back tears. "I feel like I've got my own army of knights protecting me. Thank you. Hey, what's your favorite kind of cookie?"
"You tell me."
"Peanut butter chocolate chip."
"Damn, you're right!"
"When I've got power back, I'll make you some."
He fiddled a moment with her phone, handing it back to her. "Got my digits. You'll really make me cookies?" He looked like he wanted to laugh, but didn't want to offend her.
"As many as you can eat."
"Kai, dude, you got a lady of quality there. You take care of her."
"Will do, Brill. And thanks. I feel better knowing you guys have her back."
They exchanged a complicated handshake and the gang members left. Kai sat a moment, hunched over the steering wheel, shoulders shaking.
"Kai? Are you okay?"
A stifled snort told her he was fine. He glanced at her tears of humor in his eyes.
"Babe, that guy's a bona fide bad ass. He's been in prison for assault and armed robbery, he's probably killed a few people—and you offered to bake him cookies." He couldn't contain his laughter.
Paisley crossed her arms, smirking. "And if more people had offered to do that for him when he was a kid, he might not be a bona fide criminal. Everyone likes cookies, even gang leaders, and I have a killer recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip cookies."

"Baby, I will personally help you bake them."

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Why I'm Not Taking the Ice Bucket Challenge

I was challenged by my darling daughter to do the Ice Bucket Challenge or donate $100.00 to ALS. Well, I'm in a quandary. I don't particularly want to dump cold water on myself. I suffer from migraines and that's the sort of shock to the system that would bring one on. But I don't have $100.00 to donate to ALS either.

I decided that I'll donate to ALS, although in a lesser amount. Or I might donate to another charity that desperately needs money. There are so many out there that get little to no attention. Grant you, ALS was one of them until this Ice Bucket thing.

So, instead of soaking yourself in ice water, just give to ALS or some other charity in whatever amount you can. Don't spend the money on ice, don't worry about soaking yourself in cold water, just GIVE! That's the entire purpose of the challenge anyway. Just GIVE!

I gave a donation in the name of my cousin's husband who died from this disease. I urge everyone to join me in GIVING! 


Friday, August 22, 2014

Dellani Oakes Wined, Dined and Read

I am so pleased to be invited by my friend, Uvi Poznansky. Many thanks for thinking of me! I'm proud to be a part of the Wined, Dined and Read blog tour.

The book I'm going to talk about is my historical romance, Indian Summer. This is my first published work and holds a special place in my heart.

If your main characters were glasses of wine, which would they be?

If Manuel Enriques were a wine, he would be San Sebastian Winery'sCastillo Red, a dry red, this wine is a delight with a deep burgundy color and a hint of oak. Light on the tannins this wine should complement meats or richer foods nicely. Manuel is bold, fearless and spicy hot. He is a true romantic hero.

If Gabriella Deza were a wine, she would be San Sebastian Winery's Blanc de Fleur
This wine has a hint of fruit and sweetness and the tiny bubbles that produce tingling flavor all through the palate. Gabriella is innocent, bubbly and ready to take on life. She may be young, but she is spirited and effervescent. 

Describe your book in one meal:

My book would be Mariscada, a seafood casserole with lobster, clams, shrimp and lots of garlic and ginger, onions and other savories add depth to the meal. Set in St. Augustine, Florida in 1739, Indian Summer has something for everyone: love, lust, intrigue, spies, action. . . .

What does your book smell like?

It smells briny like the river that flows by St. Augustine. With the Atlantic a stone's throw away, Anastasia Island between it and the ocean, The Matanzas River, an intercoastal river flows by. It smells like hot, tropical climes and the heady perfume of exotic flowers.

What candy would your book be?

Why, the famous rock candy of the Spanish Quarter, of course!

Your book’s snack would be?

Grilled sausages from the historic Spanish section.

Describe your most memorable meal:

That would have to be at Cortessa's Restaurant in St. Augustine. We went for our 25th anniversary. The meal was delicious, beginning with their signature artichoke soup. We dined in the portrait room, in which all the walls are painted with mythological images, like the Three Graces. Not only was the food wonderful, the service was fantastic and the atmosphere relaxing. It's a shame that Cortessa's closed. It was a St. Augustine icon.

One food word to describe your writing style:


What will someone find you eating/drinking when you’re really into a good book?

Coffee and chocolate.

Sweet or Salty?

I like pretzels with ice cream, so I really prefer both salty and sweet.

My author friends will be:
Mary Bradford

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I Love Dialogue! Excerpt from The Best Medicine #2

Tanya and Morgan have been together for a couple months when his friend, Hal turns up. It's Morgan's birthday, but he forgot to mention it to Tanya. The three of them get to talking about a palimony case brought against Morgan by his ex-girlfriend, Vanessa - a money grubbing witch of a woman with bad hair and a worse temper. Hal compliments Tanya's house, bemoaning the fact that his house is farther from work than hers.

"Hal loves shortcuts," Morgan explained. "He spends hours looking for them and plotting them out. No matter how long it takes him, he figures out back roads and shortcuts everywhere he goes. Ask him directions to anywhere in the city, he can tell you and give you an estimate of how long it will take to get you there."

"Morgan's jealous," Hal confided to Tanya. "He's really directionally impaired. He won't admit it, of course."

"Oh, of course not," Tanya giggled. "He finds his way to the most important places, don't you baby?"

"Yeah," Morgan grinned, putting his arm around her. "I can find my way to the bedroom with absolutely no wrong turns." He kissed her tenderly, his eyes glowing with happiness.

"Oh, hey," Hal changed the subject suddenly. "Before I forget, Caden said to tell you something."

"Yeah? What's that lawyer sell-out got to say for himself?"

"Cut the guy some slack, Morph," Hal's eyes looked slightly pained. "He found something that will help your lawsuit."

"How'd you find out about that? I don't remember telling you."

"Because my mom is friends with your step-mom. Mom and Julie talk all the time, so word got out. Were you planning to tell me?"

"Like I said, you've been out of town quite awhile. It slipped my mind. Not like I could call you in Rwanda or wherever the hell you were."



"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 and being 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 said. "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 fucking 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 in bed the things you do. 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 and got 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.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fantastic Blog Hop Summer Splash!

It was a dark and stormy night—actually, it was the middle of the afternoon. I was brainstorming, once again, how to get more publicity for my books. Short of stuffing them down various throats, (which I immediately dismissed) I was fresh out of ideas. Then it hit me—like a big yellow bus!
I decided to ask a few of my friends who are also struggling with sales, and committed to self-preservation (promotion) and we'd put together a blog hop and share all our work with all our fans.
And so the Fantastic Blog Hop was born! Of course, we had no idea how to go about it, nor did we have a name. But thanks to KarenVaughan for the name and Crimson Kildare for the FBH bus logo, we had a beginning.
It was very hit and miss the first time. We did get a few more followers on our blogs and might have made a few sales, but we had an interesting experience and decided to do it again.
Our next round was even more complex. We had more authors and that meant more work. Our third attempt, we decided to do a Facebook event. It was a lot of fun! We chatted with other authors, readers, friends and family. We made new friends and gave away a few books. We also broadened our readership a little and made a few sales. Each time has increased our visibility a little more.
So, here we are again. Although our numbers have grown, our participating authors have dwindled a little. Things come up, folks get busy. But we're back and we're going to have a great time with our friends—new and old—at the Fantastic Blog Hop Summer Splash!

The event begins this evening at 9:00 PM Eastern time on Facebook! You can drop by now and join or pop in tonight and tomorrow for some bookish fun!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I Love Dialogue! Excerpt from The Best Medicine

Anyone who's read my work knows I like good dialogue. I love capturing the feel of each character and I use their conversations as a characterization instrument. The funnier, the better. In this excerpt, Tanya is having breakfast with her new boyfriend, Morgan, his sister, Molly, her husband, Kenny and their son, Duke. Their family dynamic is quite different from what she's used to, but she finds that she likes it and feels right at home.

"Where are the other boys?" Tanya asked.
"They're on tour," Molly said proudly. "They left last night. They'll be gone about six weeks. All that driving, Cullen's going to be wild before it's over. He hates being in a vehicle for any period of time."
"They'll just have to sing to him like we did. Do you remember? Any time we got in the car, he'd scream. The only thing that kept him happy was She'll be Coming Round the Mountain! We even made up our own verses because we got sick of singing the same thing over and over. Dad's were the best," Morgan remembered fondly.
"I liked yours," Molly told Morgan. "Of course the best ones we couldn't sing around Dad. Morgan's a creative lyricist," Molly told them with a sly grin. "Though I don't think that some of those things she was doing round the mountain were physically possible."
Morgan threw his head back, laughing heartily. "Oh, God! I was just thinking of that one, you know?"
He made some vague gestures. He and Molly laughed heartily. No one else knew what they were talking about. The confused looks set Morgan and Molly laughing even harder.
"They're crazy, you know this right?" Kenny looked at Tanya, his tone and expression flat. "Completely bonkers, the entire family."
Tanya looked at Morgan and Molly, their eyes watering as they giggled. "I'm beginning to figure that out. But it works for me." She winked at Kenny who grinned back at her. "I just wish I understood, I'd like a good laugh too."
Kenny shook his head, leaning back in his chair. "Trust me, no you wouldn't. I've heard this story. It's one of those where you had to have been there for it to be funny at all. I didn't even crack a glimmer of a grin when they told me."
Morgan and Molly finally stopped laughing long enough to gather up the plates and put them in the dishwasher. As they cleaned up, Kenny and Tanya sat at the table sipping coffee and chatting.
"So, what are the plans for the day?" Kenny asked her.
"I'm working this afternoon," Tanya said. "But before I do that, I'd better go to the grocery store. In fact, we both should. Morgan hasn't a thing in his house to eat and I'm out of just about everything."
"Oh, what excitement," Molly said dryly. "And here I thought you had something fun planned, like rock climbing or hang gliding."
"No, that's next week," Morgan said, keeping his face completely straight. "I thought we'd try joining the Mile High Club tomorrow, that is if I can borrow the family jet."
Tanya glanced around the room trying to figure out if Morgan was teasing. No one smiled. They all looked as if his remark was completely normal. Just as she was about to ask, Duke's ears went red and he burst out laughing. It was an explosive sound and made her jump. He giggled until tears came to his eyes.
"I'm sorry," he told Morgan. "I just couldn't hold it any more. Tanya, the look on your face was priceless! Good one, Uncle Morph."
"I don't know what you're talking about, Duke. I'm completely serious." He took a sip of his coffee and tipped casually back in his chair.
"But—I—Whatever!" Making rude finger gestures at his uncle, he walked from the room muttering to himself.
Morgan's lip twitched and then a smile spread across his face. "No, I'm kidding about the mile high thing, Tanya. But the family does have a plane. It belongs to Uncle Scott."
"No, Uncle Stan," Molly corrected.
"I'm always mixing them up," Morgan told her. "I hope I know them by sight and haven't had them mixed up in my head for the last thirty years. I think they played a prank on me as a child and pretended to be one another to confuse me."
"It wouldn't surprise me," Molly told him. "They are a little eccentric and have a very bizarre sense of humor."
"Which is the one with gold teeth? Stan?"
"Oh. Well then I don't know which is which. My entire life has been an illusion. I'm going to require years of therapy to make me myself again."
"I can help with that," Tanya told him with a perfectly straight face. "I am a professional. I even did a short stint on a psychiatry ward. Would you say you suffer from delusions?"
"Constantly," Morgan said with a huge, dramatic sigh. "Or are they illusions? What's the one when you see things?"
"Hallucinations. . . or is it halitosis? I get those two mixed up."
Kenny was looking from Morgan to Tanya and back again. "She's as loony as he is. No wonder they get along so well. What a relief! I thought we had a normal one in the family and I was going to worry about her continued mental health!"
Molly grinned, watching Morgan and Tanya be silly. "I think it's wonderful! I'm so glad you fainted into my brother's arms, Tanya!"
"Well, specifically she fainted and I caught her in my arms, but it's just semantics. I'm glad too."

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Sexy Without the Sex - We Are the Champions by Dellani Oakes

Asher Wilkinson is an actor who works with an improv group called Cheesers Champions. He meets Ruby one night when she's called up to participate in one of the skits. They hit it off and she shows up the next night as well -- and the next.

This time, their kiss wasn't just a tease. Ruby stood close, her hips not quite touching his. Her hands rested on his cheeks, her fingers in his hair. Asher held her waist, his chest resting against hers. Ruby opened her cherry colored lips, sighing contentedly. Her breath tickled Asher's lips making them tingle excitedly. One second more, delighting in the titillating nearness, he closed the last fraction of an inch that separated their waiting mouths. The noises around them faded into a blur of muffled sound, creating an impersonal backdrop to the scene playing out between them.
Asher's tongue swept into her mouth, teasing hers. Ruby opened more and he deepened the kiss. She tasted like strawberries and cherry Coke, a combination he found intoxicating. Her perfume was soft and dusky, making him think of dried rose petals. Her hands moved to his waist, circling around. His heart raced as she pulled him closer, bringing his hips to hers. He couldn't stop a soft moan from escaping him.
Someone cleared his throat nearby. Asher opened his eyes, turning toward the sound.
"Sorry, my friend," the stage manager said. "But we've got to clean up. Looks like you need a more private venue to continue."
"Aw, hell," Asher groaned. He found he'd already unbuttoned Ruby's blouse.
She wore a silk shell beneath it, but his hands were on her breasts and the throbbing member in his pants could no longer be disguised by his shirt.
"I'm so sorry," he mumbled to Ruby. Putting his arm around her shoulders, he led her to the dressing room area. "Pardon me for mauling you in a public place," he whispered. "Seems I don't have the self-control I've always prided myself on."
"Did I seem to mind?" She toyed with his collar, rubbing her hips invitingly against his.
Asher leaned her against the wall, hands on either side of her head. His knee slipped between her legs as he lowered his mouth to hers once more.
"Get a room," Hansel said as he walked by. "You're making me horny and Gabe is out of town."
"Sod off," Asher replied, flipping him the bird.
The others wandered past. The women spoke, the men didn't. Once they'd all gone, Asher sighed.
"Nothing like an entire theatre of chaperones to break a man's concentration."
"You seem to be doing just fine."
"But I'm not getting lucky tonight."
"Did you expect to?"
"Not really, but I remain hopeful."
"You just want to try that suggestion on the card."
"I'm a guy. . . ."
"You say that like it's a bad thing."
"Just hoping for forgiveness."
Ruby yanked on his belt loop, pulling him closer. "Can I tell you a secret?"
"Sure." He nipped her earlobe, his fingers trailing down her arm.
"Women like sex too."
He stopped nipping at her, meeting her gaze, surprised she'd say such a thing.
"Really, it's true! Only we're not always as quick to give in to those urges."
"You like to torture the men in your life."
She laughed, arching her neck. Asher couldn't resist the temptation of that long expanse of lush skin. His mouth descended. Ruby inhaled sharply as he licked her throat.
"We don't want to be slutty," she whispered.
"I don't think you're slutty." His words were muffled by his mouth on her neck.
Ruby pushed at his chest, sliding away from him. Asher groaned, nearly banging his head on the wall.
"Are you okay?"
He chuckled, shaking his head. "Nothing an hour in bed with you wouldn't cure. Swear to god, Doc, you make me so hot, I can't stand it."
She put her hand on his forehead. "You're feverish again. You need to go back to bed."
Asher pulled her close. Ruby lost her balance, falling into his embrace. "That's what I was tryin' to do, but you won't let me."
"By yourself. To sleep."
"Yeah, I know. Don't stop me wishing."
His Southern accent was much stronger when he was aroused. The musicality of his words played at Ruby, making her think of lapping waves and swaying palm trees.
"I'll go. On one condition."
"Depends on the condition," she replied.
"You promise we'll go out on a real date tomorrow. The clinic is closed. I'm not workin'."
"A real date. Okay. What do you have in mind, Mr. Wilkinson?"
"I dunno, Doctor—what's your last name anyhow?"
She closed her eyes, sighing. "I hoped you'd read my card and see."
"I was feverish, Doc."
"Ruby Diamond."
"Aw, Doc, you're kidding. Your folks saddled you with a name like that?"
"It gets worse. My middle name is Pearl."
"Were they drinkin'? Or stoned or somethin'? How do you give a pretty little baby girl a name like 'at?"
"Believe me, I've asked myself that a million times. I never got a chance to ask them. They were both killed when I was small. My grandparents raised me."
His arms wound around her, drawing her body close. "Doctor Ruby Pearl Diamond, you are, indeed, a very precious gem of a woman. I really wanna get to know the lady with the jewel of a name."
"I'd like that too, Asher. You know my guilty secret name, what's yours?"
"Who says I have one?"
Ruby eyed him, arms crossing her chest. “You felt sorry for me. No one has ever been that sympathetic about my name, which leads me to believe yours is as bad or worse.”
He straightened, face full of disgust. "You had to ask. Well, you told me yours, reckon I can tell you mine."
She waited patiently, chin raised, lips inviting. He'd far rather kiss her again than tell her his name. If his friends ever found out, they'd tease him unmercifully for the rest of his life.
"You can't tell anyone," he whispered. "Or I will be forced to kill myself and you don't want that on your conscience."
"I'd hate to be responsible for the death and subsequent mortification of such a finely sculpted body."
It took him a second work through since the majority of his blood pounded in his lower regions. "Fine." He leaned closer, lips by her ear. "Gaylord," he mumbled.

© Dellani Oakes

Old Time Religion ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 25

Obi took a moment to compare the sisters. Frankie had dark brown hair, and blue eyes. Though their coloring was different, they clearly were...