Thursday, October 31, 2019

Poplar Mountain Part 44 by Dellani Oakes


After following the men, Dollie doesn't want to be alone while she bathes, so she and Luke take turns in the shower.

"Why did he come here?" she asked.
"Dunno. Maybe he was just looking around. We don't even know if it was the one we're after."
"It was. I could feel it. He had such hatred in him. Do you think he'd have killed us?"
"I don't know."
He almost wished she'd stop talking. He'd be okay if he could pretend she wasn't there. If she kept talking, he was gonna get all excited. It was already too late. He'd been excited for days. Now, he was becoming aware of it, thus making it worse. He bathed fast so he wouldn't be tempted to touch himself. There'd be no covering that up and no way of explaining to Dollie. That thought alone gave him the control he needed.
Drying off in the shower, he knew he couldn't dress in there, he'd get his clothing wet. He put on his clean boxers, but had to get out to do the rest.
"Turn around, Dollie. You ought not to see me."
"Are you naked?" She sounded shocked and intrigued.
"Not entirely." He chuckled. "But it's more than you ought to see."
"Okay."
He heard her move. Peeping out, he saw her back turned. Stepping onto the floor, he grabbed his pants, pulling them up quickly as Dollie suddenly turned around. Pants up but not zipped, he felt vulnerable and slightly foolish. She wasn't looking at that, she was staring at his chest and abdomen like it was the most amazing sight she'd ever beheld.
Lucius was a strong, lean man whose muscles were sculpted by hard work. His body was bronzed by being out in the sun without a shirt. The golden hairs on his chest and abdomen glittered in the dim light of the bathroom.
"You look like the statue of Adonis," she whispered, finally drawing a shuddering breath. Taking a step toward him, she touched him as if to see he was real. "You're beautiful!"
"No, Dollie, you are."
Her fingers ran down his chest to his abdomen, lingering seductively in the curls above his belt. The hair was soft, springy, as if it were alive. And that astounding curiosity in his pants grew with each stroke of her fingers. Dollie couldn't take her eyes off his groin. Much as she knew she should look away, it fascinated her. The fact that it was her touch that made it swell delighted her. She had control, she ruled. A part of her knew she was treading in dangerous territory and soon she wouldn't be able to control him or the situation. Part of her wanted him to lose control. She wanted to lose control herself.
"Dollie, I...."
Her hand dropped once more, brushing his fly. Luke pulled her to him, gently, but determinedly. His hold was unyielding, though he didn't hurt her. His lips were like fire and for a moment, she thought he had a fever. She realized the heat was generated by their desire. Luke carried Dollie to the bedroom. Tossing the bedding back, he set her on it. Undoing, his pants, he dropped them on the floor. Her robe went next.
"I been a patient man, Dorothea, but damn if I can wait another second to make you mine."
Dollie held out her hands to him, welcoming him. Taking her invitation to heart, he joined her on the bed. He approached her like he might a frightened animal, not wanting to scare her off. He needn't have worried. Dollie returned his kisses in kind, passion building inside them both.
Lucius lifted the edge of her gown and she didn't protest. She didn't squirm away or fight him off when his hands crept higher, resting at her waist. Dollie moved her legs so his hand could drift between them. His fingers slid along her thigh and he realized she wasn't wearing any panties under her gown. She was hot and wet, waiting for him. He stroked her gently, teasing at the soft hair at the juncture of her thighs.
Dollie sighed contentedly, gasping as his hand moved closer to its destination. She opened her legs a little more, biting her lip as his fingers dipped deeper still. Her mouth sought his as her hands explored his magnificent form.
Suddenly, Lucius stopped. His mouth hovered over her breasts, his finger tips nearly inside her. He sat up, jerking back as if he'd been shocked.
Dollie squeaked, startled by this sudden movement. She tried to hold him, but he sprang up from the bed.
"What are we doing?" he asked her.
"I think we were about to make love," Dollie said, her voice a hoarse whisper.
"What's wrong with me?" Luke gasped. "I can't do this. Not like this. Not when it's sordid and dirty—not when it's lust." He turned away, pulling on his pants and doing up his belt.
"It's not sordid or dirty, Luke. Not when you're in love."
"You don't understand, Dorothea. It's not like that. You could be anyone and it wouldn't matter if I loved you or not. The way I feel—what I wanted to do—I won't treat you like that." He turned to face her. "You're too precious to treat like a common woman, and that's what I'd be doing if I did this tonight."
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Poplar Mountain Part 43 by Dellani Oakes


Dollie disappears. The men follow, and find signs that she's marked the way for them.

They had gone another half mile or so when they saw a figure in the woods ahead of them. The moon filtered through the trees, giving the figure an eerie glow. It huddled and shivered under a tree. When they got near, they saw that it was Dollie. She launched herself toward Lucius, kissing him furiously.
"You're all right?" His hands examined her carefully. "He didn't hurt you when he took you?"
"Goodness no, he didn't take me. I followed him when Patty fainted. He came in the bedroom window, I left the same way. I lost him though, about ten minutes ago, I think."
"Lord have mercy, Patty!" Will took off the way they'd come.
Lucius and Dollie followed more slowly. Luke gave her back her shoe, which she gratefully put on. He helped her as she limped down the rough slope. The terrain was good for goats and men in hiking boots, not girls in tennis shoes. When they got to more level ground, Lucius picked her up and carried her quickly to the girls' dorm.
When they arrived, they couldn't find Will and Patty in the apartment. Luke left Dollie to make coffee and headed toward the room the brothers had shared. It didn't take a genius to know what was probably happening. The sounds coming from the locked room confirmed his suspicions and he wished like hell Dollie was the kind of girl to give him a tumble. He needed one badly.
He hurried back to the apartment. With a screwdriver from Dollie's tool chest, he fixed the door, locking it. He then inspected the bedroom windows. All were secure, though the screen needed replacing on one of them. Feeling slightly better, he went back to the kitchen. Dollie had set out their coffee and a plate of cookies. Luke attacked the food like a starving man.
Dollie got out bread and cheese, putting some of the leftover barley soup on to heat. Luke drank his coffee and she poured him more. It was partially the fact he'd hardly had any solid food for three days, and partially the excitement and exercise running around the valley. It was also the fact he had to keep himself occupied or he was going to concentrate on how good Dollie looked, even though she was dirt streaked in a torn robe. The gown was slightly damp from her nighttime tromp in the woods and the sheer fabric clung to her luscious curves in a way that invited a man to consider clinging to them the same way.
"So," he said, his voice louder than he intended. "He got in through the window."
"Yes. I couldn't see him well at all. Just this big, huge dark spot lit from behind by the moon. Patty screamed and fainted. He turned and ran, hopping through the window like Old Scratch was after him. I followed."
Luke chuckled. "In a way, Old Scratch was after him. Remind me not to make you angry, Dollie. You'd likely half kill me."
Dollie giggled, tossing her hair over her shoulder. It fell in damp waves, a halo of blue-black around her head and shoulders. Luke wanted to bury himself in her hair. The urge to kiss her was stronger. She smelled like outdoors and sweat and a little fear. The combined scent excited him.
"Why did you follow him, Dollie? Patty thought he'd taken you."
"I imagine he would have if we'd been alone. I think that was his intention. He didn't expect you and Will to be here. I guess following him was pretty stupid."
"He could've kilt ya, Dollie."
Shivering, she put her cup down, her hands shaking uncontrollably. "I didn't think. Oh, Luke!"
He took her in his arms, holding her close. She continued to shiver and shake, harsh sobs wracking her slender frame. He lifted her easily, carrying her to the couch where he wrapped her in an afghan. When that wasn't enough to stop the shaking, he held her on his lap, cuddled up like a child.
Dollie clung to him, sniffling and crying. Soon, the shivering subsided. She rested her head on his shoulder. She was still so long, he thought she might be asleep. Lifting her gently, he carried her to the bed and set her down. When he stood to go, she held him.
"Don't leave me!"
"I won't, darlin'. I'm here. Lemme get my shoes off and I'll lie down with ya."
He took off his shoes and socks. When he looked at his pants, he realized they were both filthy.
"You need a bath, Dollie. We both are dirty as all get out. I'm gonna take you to the bathroom and wait right outside."
"What will I do while you bathe?" Her eyes grew wide with fear.
"Reckon you can sit on the commode if you think you can handle seeing me...."
Could he? He doubted it. Just knowing she would be in the bathroom with him while he was naked filled him with an almost overwhelming lust. Dollie didn't bother to comment. She got her clean clothing and brought him some of his clothing she'd laundered. He didn't even know she had it.
"Ladies first."
She was quick, barely ten minutes. Luke's turn came all too fast. He got in the shower, drawing the curtain, before he undressed. He dropped his things out the back. Dollie picked them up and put them in the hamper. When he got to his boxers, he was embarrassed. Instead, he wadded them up in the back of the shower and started the water, glad the pipes were warm.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

His Soul to Keep (Dark Knights of Heaven Book 1) by TW Knight




Where fallen angels battle Hell’s demons, find their lost souls, and discover love while hunting for a prophecy that holds the key to either their redemption or their destruction.
At twenty-eight, Cassidy Long is happy with her life. She has a job she loves, a great family, and a future open to possibilities. That all changes after she discovers she is the vessel for the immortal soul of an angel cast out of Heaven, and the only way to break the bond is by her death. Spirited away, Cassidy finds herself in the middle of an eternal war and falling for her angel.
Rail is captivated by Cassidy immediately, but fears it’s only the connection to his soul fueling his interest. He’s vowed to never fall in love, but fate has different plans. The more he fights his growing feelings, the deeper in love he falls. Cassidy not only holds his soul, but his heart. Now, he will fight Heaven and Hell to protect her.
Heaven abandoned them, but they did not abandon their calling. Once they were the Watchers, teachers, and mentors to human kind. Now soulless and exiled from Heaven, forced into an endless war, some will fall while others rise to find their destinies. They are the Dark Knights of Heaven. 





King of the Hill by Nelda Bedford Gaydou




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





Room 203 – A Marice Houston Mystery by Dellani Oakes




Having just moved in with her fiance, Kris, Marice isn't too happy to be given an out of town job. She has been sent to Daytona Beach, Florida. There's been a huge sting operation, and the local FBI is under scrutiny. The Marshals have been called in to oversee prisoner transfers.
Things get sticky when Marice and her team are ordered to transport the ringleader, China Finetti, from Daytona Beach to a federal prison in Kansas City. Someone sets a car bomb, injuring Marice and Butch—and that's only the tip of the iceberg. Everything seems to point to China Finetti pulling the strings from prison—if so, how do they prove it? 





Cross-Ties by Carolyn Bowen




Leah was a rebel. She chose to live her life outside the constraints of 19th century English society. She rebuked any parental control and choose to decide her own fate. From England to the Caribbean and then frontier America, she was loved by family and friends yet still had enemies. Sailing the seas with pirates lurking about helped chisel her character as she created a life of her own near the sea.
Explore the scenic countries with Leah and learn of the native cultures and taste their delicacies. As a mixed race female, she placed prejudices under her feet and learned to recognize and accept love even if it was against the law. 





Your Heart to Keep by Amanda Mackey




We don’t choose fate. It chooses us. Or so we are led to believe. Holly Jenkins is about to receive a new heart, thanks to a donor match from accident victim, Chloe McQuade. The victim’s boyfriend, bad boy Jax, is angry and grieving for his lost love. He hates everything and everyone, including Holly. It isn’t until he meets her that he realizes there is something about her he can’t explain. Could it be the beating heart of his dead girlfriend- the very one he owned, that calls to him? Is the intense pull towards Jax coming from Holly’s own emotions or are they Chloe’s? And why is she suddenly craving things she never has before? How do they decide what’s real and what’s not? Is fate at play or is it something more? 






Thursday, October 24, 2019

Poplar Mountain Part 42 by Dellani Oakes


Luke and Dollie share a hot makeout session, but are interrupted by someone at the door.

"I'm here," Patty said, pulling her robe on. "We'll lock the door after you."
Nodding, the men got a flashlight and headed out to the front doors. The banging had stopped, but they thought they saw someone moving around outside. Following his movement, they saw him heading for the open windows of their room. Racing down the hall, they were determined to get there first. The flimsy screen wouldn't keep anyone out.
They got to the room just as the man was fighting his way through the bushes. Roaring with anger, he tried to reach the windows but the heavy growth of mountain laurel kept him away. Furious, he hurled curses at the men and ran off.
"We need to catch him," Will said, heading to the front door.
"No!" Luke said. "We can't leave the girls. He could double back and break in. Or we could kill ourselves running around in the dark."
"That man probably killed our father," Will argued.
"Maybe so, but I'm not risking Dollie and Patty!"
Will groaned, stopping in his tracks. "Lucius, I hate when you're right."
Dollie screamed. Luke barreled down the hallway. The door was locked. Hammering on it with his good hand, he called out to the women. The only windows they hadn't checked were those in the girls' bedroom. Theirs weren't surrounded by bushes the way the others were.
"Dollie! Patty!"
Will hammered and yelled. "I'm going outside."
"Not alone!"
"He might have Patty!"
"And he might be waiting out there for you to open the door! Will!"
His brother tore out of his grasp, running to the front door. Unsure what to do, Luke hesitated before bracing himself to try to break the door down. Backing up a step or two, he put his shoulder down, lunging at it like a battering ram. The door shook, the impact knocking the breath out of him.
"Dollie!" he gasped.
Instead of using his shoulder, he decided to put his foot to use. He had powerful legs, strengthened from all the hard work he'd done his whole life. He braced himself, balancing on one leg, raising the other to the door lock. Three hard kicks knocked the latch loose. Pulling the door open, he saw devastation in the apartment. Chairs and the dining table were upended. Precious decorative items were scattered around the room.
A crumpled form lay on the floor of the bedroom, the broom nearby. The blonde curls told him it was Patty. Rushing to her side, he checked to make sure she wasn't bleeding. She looked like she'd fainted. There wasn't a mark on her. Taking her hand, he slapped it to wake her. With a start, she sat up.
"Dollie! He got Dollie!"
"Will went after her. Who was it?"
"I couldn't see. The flashlight went out when we were fighting him. Dollie screamed and I think I must have fainted."
"They can't be too far. Dollie will fight like a demon. Will's outside. He'll track her."
"You go too, Luke."
"I don't want to leave you!"
"I'm fine. He's got what he's after. Go! You get my sister back!"
Not wanting to argue, he ran into the rain filled night. He couldn't see any tracks. All signs were obscured by the rain. Standing still, he gathered his thoughts, waiting for the mountain to speak to him. Sending out a silent query, he waited.
"Help me," he begged.
Was that a scream? And a roaring curse. To his left. No, straight ahead. He followed, sending out the silent message to his love, "I'm coming, Dollie."
Will ran up to his side. "Where's Patty?"
"Back at the apartment."
"You left her?" He raised his fist to his his brother.
"He's got Dollie! Patty told me. I heard them, up ahead."
"You're sure?"
"Patty said!" he called over his shoulder.
Torn, Will ran after his brother. He couldn't let him confront the lunatic alone. He didn't want to leave Patty, but for the time being, she was safe. They found one of Dollie's shoes near the banks of the creek. A few feet later on, they found a scrap of robe, then another. It wasn't a coincidence.
If Dollie was marking the trail, she wasn't the one being chased. There was little likelihood that she'd mark her trail for someone to follow her. Since her markers were still in place, no one had followed her but them. Putting on a burst of speed, they continued.
The clues got further apart as if Dollie were moving more quickly for some reason. Moments later, they came upon a clearing. The trees and bushes were cut away from the bank in a semi-circle. It was a spot that the summer camp counselors came for cookouts. Blackened stones ringed the fire pit. Someone had taken the time to move a few of the smaller stones, making an arrow with them, pointing more or less toward their mother's home. Both men moved faster.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Demon's Destiny, book one of the Dark City Guardians by TW Knight




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




From Sea to Sea by Nelda Bedford Gaydou




From a three-week voyage of more than 7000 miles from New Orleans to Buenos Aires in 1964 through an eight-day, 3258-mile round-trip drive between Evanston, Illinois and Clovis, New Mexico in 2017, whether in their prime or in their nineties, the Bedfords have packed a lot into their life's journey. Follow their inspiring story of faith and service, set in fascinating times and places in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. 





Cross Stepping Your Way to Success: The Power to Transform Your Life One Step at a Time by Carolyn Bowen




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





So Much It Hurts by Dellani Oakes




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. 





Pain by Amanda Mackey


Life is sweet in The Sanctuary—until Lillian Harris is thrown the curveball of her life.
Lillian is perfectly happy cocooned within the lofty perimeter fence of The Sanctuary. Her Sanctuary—a vast oasis for rescued lions, tigers, and elephants. The animals are her world. So when Lillian’s dad tells her a nineteen-year-old criminal who’s fresh out of prison is coming to The Sanctuary as part of a rehabilitation program, Lillian is more than a little apprehensive. She interacts with animals more than humans—and definitely not criminals.
Justice Armstrong is more arrogant than a Silverback, but something darker lurks behind his eyes…
It isn’t until Justice swaggers toward her from the parole officer’s car—pierced, confident, and more than a little hot—Lillian knows she has her work cut out for her. His stare has the power to rob her of all thoughts. His words, although crude and nefarious, bring a part of her to life she never knew existed. How is this criminal suddenly turning her world upside down?
He has the power to drag her to the dark side....
Pain is his drug of choice, a vice he can’t survive without. Then he meets Lillian Harris. Little miss hellcat. Fiery, strong, and all woman. She challenges him at every damn turn, and watching her tame those fierce big cats makes his need for her that much stronger. He wants to do things to her…wicked things. She makes him crave pain in a whole new way.
When a teen with a dark past bumps heads with a feisty rescue worker, will it be love over lust—or a matter of life and death? 




Poplar Mountain Part 41 by Dellani Oakes


A storm knocks out the lights, making Dollie afraid.

There was no answer from the other couple, but Lucius hardly noticed since he was already busy kissing Dollie. Careful where he put his hands, he held her close, kissing her with abandon. Dollie put her arms around his neck, her kisses becoming almost fierce. Luke had never felt such fury form her. The more the storm raged, the wilder she became as if she fed off the storm's energy. Gasping for breath, he pulled away from her. Dollie followed, acting completely unlike herself.
"Dollie, what's got into you?" Luke asked.
"I love you. I want you!" She reached for him again.
Luke took her arms, holding them away from his neck. "Honey, I know that. I want that too, but this ain't like you."
"I'm scared, Lucius! I'm so scared! Don't leave me."
"I won't, darlin', but you're not acting like yourself a'tall. Calm down some, talk to me. You're really that afraid?"
"It's like the mountain’s angry with us. It wants something it thinks we've got. It won't stop raging until we give it what it wants."
"What does it want, Dollie?"
"Us!" She whispered, eyes wide with terror. "It wants us!"
"It don't want us dead, darlin'. The mountain always takes some folks to its heart. It always has. There's some of us that's a part of these hills, won't prosper no place else. Then there's others, like Will, who leave and go into town. But it's always a part of who we are. Can't come from the stone's blood without it's in you."
"But it wants me too. And Patty!"
The men chuckled softly.
"That's cause you're a part of us now. It don't want to hurt you, Dollie. It wants to be part of you just like you're a part of us."
"Then why's it so angry?"
"Ain't the mountain that's angry," Will explained. "It's the sky. See, water, sky, earth and fire, those are the elements. They mostly get along, but sometimes one gets miffed with the others and has a temper tantrum. Well, sir, right now it's the sky that's upset about the fire. It'll yell and fuss a spell, then it'll stop. Water'll be miffed awhile, then it'll calm down too. Soon, the sun comes out and they're all friends again. That's just nature's way, darlin'."
Will sat on the cozy loveseat with Patty in his arms. He spoke quietly, as if imparting a secret, nuzzling her neck as he spoke. Patty sat with her eyes closed, enjoying his closeness and his touch. Dollie sat in Luke's embrace, shivering. As Will spoke, she quieted down, relaxing against Luke.
"Honey, did you think you had to do something drastic to keep Luke here?" Patty asked softly.
Dollie ducked her head. "I wasn't thinking. I was too scared."
"You don't have to seduce me, just ask me to stay." He rested his forehead against hers, lips hovering close to hers. "Course, you could still seduce me, Dollie. I sure wouldn't say no."
Giggling nervously, she kissed him playfully. "Marry me quick, Luke," she breathed into his ear.
"I want to, Dollie...." He couldn't stop himself from kissing her again.
She felt so warm and soft, with luscious curves to hold and lips like honey. She smelled like sunshine and flowers and felt so good in his arms, he could hardly stand it. His chest swelled with his bound up feelings. He wanted to make love to her and it was getting more and more difficult to take no as an answer, especially when his brother and Patty were getting along like woods on fire just a few feet away. If they slept in separate beds, he'd be shocked.
"Dollie, please," he breathed. "You're killing me! Please!"
She ate at his face, her breath coming in short, sharp gasps as his hands slid up under the edge of her nightdress. Dollie's hands drifted from his shoulders down his back, leaving a white hot trail in their wake. Luke felt for a moment as if his breath had been knocked out of him, when Dollie's exploring fingers found the buttons on his shirt. One by one, she opened them.
Luke undid her robe, hands scrabbling with the loosely tied knot at her waist. Her body felt delicious. None of the usual stays and girdles that women fettered their bodies with during the day. Her breasts swelled under the thin fabric of her nightdress, the nipples greeting his curious touch. Hungry lips found her cleavage, nibbling and licking lower as the filmy cloth seemed to evaporate, slipping aside at his command.
Luke's heart pounded in his chest, like to break a rib, it was hammering so hard. He could hear it in his ears. No, wait. That wasn't his heart, it was someone at the door. Jerking upright, he listened, face mere inches from Dollie's breasts. He didn't want to leave, but he couldn't leave whoever that was out there banging on the door.
Will came to the apartment door, half dressed. "Who is that?"
"No idea. Dollie, you wait here."
"Not alone!"
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Poplar Mountain Part 48 by Dellani Oakes

After talking to the sheriff, Luke and Will decide that spending the night with the girls again, is a good idea. They talk about Big Ear...