Thursday, October 28, 2021

Crash Into Me ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 30

"No funny stuff."

"Nothing funny. Want me to take a sip first?"

"Yeah. Yeah."

Quaid took a sip and moved closer to hand the cup to Riley. The other man took it, thanking him.

"Most polite jumper I ever saw," Hunter murmured.

"Talk to me, Riley. What's up?" Quaid stayed about three feet away, leaning on the railing. His arms and legs were casually crossed, but Eilene could see him ready to jump if he had to. He positioned himself on the side with the dead man's switch.

"Kid's got balls of steel," Hunter commented as he watched.

Riley was talking, pointing to the car, waving his arms. He almost fell.

"Riley, we can't talk if you splatter yourself on the river." Quaid glanced over his shoulder, shaking his head. "Yeah. That's gonna hurt."

"What? I fall in and drown!"

"No, man. You hit the water from this height, it's like concrete. You hit that wrong, splat. But you know what you're doing. Just, before you go, let me take the switch."

"What? Why?"

"Cause if your car blows up, that's a big blast. Colossal. And this is a new suit."

"Guy's got a strange negotiating style," Eilene heard Harvey's voice over the headset. "f**king genius."

"I want to kill myself, and you're worried about your suit?" Riley yelled. "This is my life!" He banged on his chest with the switch in his hand.

"It's an expensive suit. My fiancee is graduating with her Nurse Practitioner today. I bought it special. Only I'm up here, freezing balls, running late. You know I hate to run late. You hate it, too. You're my on-time guy. I can always count on you to be prompt."

"That's right. You always say that."

Quaid looked at his watch. "But I'm late now, and Faydra's gonna be pissed. You know her, she's gonna give me an earful. So, if you're gonna jump, go for it. It's cold and I need to leave." Shrugging into this coat collar, he rubbed his hands together.

"What the f**k? You want me to jump?"

Quaid edged slightly closer to Riley, who didn't seem to notice.

"I want you to do what makes you happy. But I have to be honest, you could live through it. And coming back from that...." He sucked air through his teeth. "Gonna hurt like f**k. Oh, and speaking of f**k—you won't ever do it again. That kind of fall, you're quadriplegic. No sex, dude. Never. Do what you want, though. Be my guest. But move it along. I'm almost an hour late."

"You smug bastard! Why, I ought ta...!" He scrambled down and rushed Quaid.

The police tensed, but the psychologist caught the hand with the switch, holding it while the officers moved in to subdue Riley. One officer took the switch, holding it carefully. Two others stood by as Quaid embraced Riley.

"You damn fool," he chided. "What were you thinking? You get this desperate, you call me. What am I always telling you?"

"To call," the other man sobbed. "I got mad, broke my phone. It was too much!"

"Is there really a bomb in the car?"



"No. No, I swear. It's the garage remote. I'd never hurt my family. I just didn't want the cops to stop me."

"Treat him gently," Quaid instructed the officers. "Riley, be good, okay? I'll meet you at the hospital. These nice officers have to take you in for emergency evaluation."

"Okay, Dr. Quaid. Okay."

The police led him slowly to a squad car. Others rushed up to the family, opening the doors. When Riley was gone, Quaid turned his head over the railing and vomited. Eilene trotted over with a towel and a bottle of water.

"That was pretty impressive," she complimented.

Quaid nodded, sipping some water. "Jesus!" Rinsing his mouth, he spit it over the railing, too.

"Done that a lot?"

"No. Second time. Only the first time it worked, though."

"I'm so sorry. You did great. Not the standard approach."

"Can't take that approach with Riley. He had a traumatic brain injury in the riot. Hasn't been the same since."

"He a cop?"

"No. He owned a small grocery store. It got burned down, when they torched the soup kitchen next door."

"That's Riley Cooper?" She knew him well, but hadn't recognized him. Once robust and muscular, he was now pale and thin. "My folks owned the soup kitchen."

"I'm so sorry. Riley tried to help them. He was beaten by the crowd, and left for dead."

"Poor man."

©2021 Dellani Oakes

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Crash Into Me ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 29

"Can't tell you."


"I may need it next year."

She thumped his shoulder and he laughed, nearly dropping his cake. Only ridiculous antics saved it, but he got some icing on his shirt. Pulling it off, he headed to the locker room in his sleeveless t-shirt. The eyes of every woman in the room were glued to him. The noise level dropped because they were struck speechless.

"I've imagined how he'd look," Trish moaned softly. "Not even close. My imagination isn't that good."

"But the real question," Nina, one of the dispatchers murmured. "Can he cook—or can he cook?"

All eyes focused on Eilene.

"What? I don't know!"

"He took you home," Nina said.

"And brought you in," Trish added.

"And can't take his eyes off you," Hanna, the other dispatcher, said.

"Don't you have phones to answer?" Eilene snapped.

"Bluetooth," Trish said, tapping her ear.

Newton came in with a clean shirt on and the women pouted.

"Dammit, he covered up the deliciousness," Nina complained.

"I look just as good," Harvey, the sniper, said.

"I require proof," Nina replied, crossing her arms. She stared at him, waiting.

Harvey lifted his shirt with one hand. He was well built and had a scattering of dark brown hair on his chest and abdomen.

Nina pursed her lips, examining every inch of bare flesh carefully. "You'll do. After shift, breakfast."

"Uh—yeah—anything you want."

"I want breakfast." Snapping her fingers, she turned sharply, returning to to her desk.

"That happened, right?" he appealed to the other women.

"Breakfast better be really good," Trish said, making a similar exit.

"What just happened?" he asked Eilene.

"You have a date. And, if you play your cards right, you're getting laid. Play right," Eilene warned, pulling his shirt down. "Her ex was an abusive dick, who cheated on her from day one. Don't be that guy."

"You know I'm not, Staff." The men had shortened her name the first day.

"I know. Be sweet, handsome and charming."

"You know, the opposite of you?" Newton said as he walked up. "Be me." He laughed, blocking when Harvey took a swing at him.

A phone rang and they all got very alert, dropping cups and plates in the trash.

"We got one!" Nina yelled, and gave details.

Canon fired off orders and everyone grabbed their gear. Ready quickly, they met at the vehicles and were on the way. They arrived at a tall, suspension bridge which spanned the river, leading into the city from the northern approach. A man stood on the edge, gazing at the water, hands by his sides.

"You need me to take a perch, Loose?" Harvey asked, high powered rifle in hand.

"Yes, but let's see how this plays They're negotiating now. Tell me when you have a target."

"Copy that." He trotted off to find a place to observe.

"What's going on?" Eilene asked Hunter, the police sergeant in charge.

They had been given sketchy details, because very little was known when the call came in.

"He's threatening to jump. And I'd be okay with that, but he's got a dead man switch and his car...." He pointed to a red Ford four door sedan. "It's wired to blow. It could take out half the bridge—and his family's in there. Wife, three small kids, ages three, five and seven."

"Can we get the kids out?"

"That's part of the negotiations. They sent in his psychologist. See the black haired fella?" He pointed to a man in a brown overcoat.

The wind whipped the man's hair around wildly. After a short conversation with the police negotiator, he stepped forward.

"I said no cops!"

"It's me," the dark haired man said. "It's Dr. Jennings—Quaid. What's going on, Riley? Can you come down so we can talk?"

"I can talk just fine up here."

"Okay. May I join you? I don't want to have to yell."

"Yeah. Sure. But not too close." He held up his fist.

Eilene saw a little, black box in his hand.

"I'll stay as far away as you want. But my throat's a little dry. I brought some tea. You want some? Nice and hot. Pearl made it just how you like it. Honey and lemon. No one makes tea like Pearl."

"Yeah. Okay."

"I'll pour, since your hand is full."

©2021 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani's Books

Monday, October 25, 2021

Books and Entertainment Radio Presents What's Write for Me with Christine and Karen!


It's almost Halloween, good thing our guests authors have some books to thrill and excite you! Be sure to tune in to What's Write for Me November 27, 2021 from 4-6 PM EST on Blog Talk Radio! Our scary guests will be Christine Husom and Karen Vaughan!

Christine Husom is a national best-selling author from Minnesota. She pens the suspenseful Winnebago County Mysteries, and the cozy, but not too cozy, Snow Globe Shop Mysteries where bad guys demonstrate not everyone is “Minnesota Nice.” She has stories in six anthologies and co-edited one. Her latest titles are Remains In Coyote Bog and Frosty The Dead Man. Husom served with the Wright County Sheriff. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, and active with the Twin Cities chapter. She loves meeting readers at a variety of venues and events.

Karen Vaughan is a proud Canadian living in Ontario. She wears a few different hats: mom, grandma wife author, comedian, radio host and promoter of independent authors. She has a sarcastic bent which comes out in her writing and her comedy act. She has been the host of writers round table for several years and loves talking to new authors each month. Karen started writing 12 yrs ago and first got published in 2008 with Dead on Arrival. These books came after: Dead Comic Standing in 2010, Over Her Dead Body 2011, Daytona Dead 2013, Dead Men Don’t Swing 2015, and re-issued 2017. Jamaica Dead 2015, Left for Dead 2016, Holmes in America 2016

Join us from 4-6 PM Eastern on Blog Talk Radio

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Crash Into Me ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 28

"I don't hate anyone that much," Newton replied. "But she's gonna bust through my window glass any second. Yours are reinforced."

"Fine. You owe me."

"A case of Redd's."

"You're forgiven."

"Hit me up later."

"You're new," the other officer said to Eilene as he got out of his car. "Tull," he said, taking her hand.

"Did you say Tull or Tall?" Eilene teased. "Because, my lord, are you!"

He was well over six feet. Newton was six foot two, and this guy made him look short.

"I answer to either, if a pretty woman calls."

He and Newton transferred Denise to his car while Eilene kept an eye on the man. He didn't say a word as she railed and screamed.

"My mama always told me my pecker would get me in trouble," he moaned.

"Bet she didn't warn you about psycho bitches, with talented tongues and wonder pussies," Eilene remarked as the patrol car door closed in Denise's face.

"Not so much, no."

Tull eased into traffic, lights and siren running.

"Our turn to make a drop. We're going to county," Newton said.

"I'll call Canon."

"Thanks. Let's go, buddy."

"What about my car?"

"Highway Patrol will tow and impound it."

"But I need it for work!"

"Buddy, you just tried to shoot someone. You aren't going to work. You're going to jail."

The fellow burst into tears. Eilene called Canon to tell him about their delay.

"Well, hurry it up, Champ. Can't have my best sergeant going to the Dark Side."

She laughed. "We're going to the jail, and have to give statements to the highway guys."

"My point exactly. Those guys will hit on a girl like you, in a heartbeat. Bunch of hotshots."

"One already did." Laughing, she hung up.

After depositing and processing their prisoners, Eilene and Newton gave detailed statements about what they had witnessed.

"Did the other guy say how it started?" Newton asked the officers, when they were done.

"Something about the retard stealing his woman―his word."

"Is he really a retard? –I mean intellectually challenged?" Newton stumbled over the politically correct term.

"I don't know, but based on that and how he's acting, I asked for a social worker to evaluate him."

"Thank you. He seemed a little off to me, too," Eilene said.

When they were finished, they were nearly three hours late for shift. Eilene was glad that Newton was driving, because he got them there much more quickly than she would have.

The office was strangely quiet. Even the dispatchers weren't at their desks. Wandering toward the break room, Eilene thought she heard a noise. Cautiously, the two of them pushed the door open. The room was completely dark, which wasn't the norm. Newton's fingers found the switch and he flipped the lights.

"Surprise!" all their coworkers bellowed.

Newton roared in shock, hand going to his pistol. Eilene saw his movement and caught his hand, squeezing tightly.

"Just a surprise party, Newt. Nothing serious."

"I read the situation and still freaked. I'm sorry."

"We all have our moments. Is it any consolation that I anticipated it, too, and nearly peed myself?"

He burst out laughing. "Strangely, it is."

"What brought this on?" Eilene asked as they accepted cups of punch.

"Do you own a calendar?" Trina, the receptionist asked. "Someone has a birthday. "Her expression read dumb ass.

Still puzzled, Eilene was shocked when the group started singing Happy Birthday, including her, until they got to Dear Eilene. Bursting out laughing, she finished the song with them.

"You really didn't remember?" Trina sounded incredulous.

"I didn't think about it, since my parents...."

The women hugged her. The men clapped her on the back. Someone handed her a huge piece of cake with her name on it.

"Is that so you won't forget whose birthday it is?" Newton chuckled, taking a bite of her cake.

"Did you know?"

"I know all and see all. I was supposed to be the distraction, but fat ass and the retard interrupted."

"Is that why you bought the iced coffee and croissants?"

"Partly. But mostly because I had no food, and it's tough always eating alone."

"Yeah. It is. So, what was your distraction going to be?"

©2021 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani's Books

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Crash Into Me ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 27

"Try me and find out," he winked at her.

"Set myself up for that," she chuckled.

"You did. Hang on." He rapidly changed lanes, frowning.

"What's wrong?"

"Trouble, two cars up. See the red F-250 and the white Camry?"

She looked ahead, focusing on it. "Yeah. Shit, he pulled a gun."

"Truck or car?"

"Car. Waving it at the truck."

"Call highway patrol, speaker" he said clearly to his phone, which was on the dash. It rang and was quickly answered.

"Highway Patrol Dispatcher."

"Hi, Laura, Newton. We've got a situation southbound on the interstate, just past the Ridgeway exit." He described the situation.


"Moderate. My SWAT partner is with me. We can intercept."

"Please. My nearest officer is three minutes out."

"You got it. Buckle up," he said to Eilene. "You strapped?"

"Not yet."

"Spare in the glove box."

She yanked it open, checked the weapon, sliding in the magazine before racking the slide. Newton flipped a switch, starting lights and siren. Traffic melted out of their path as they approached their target.

The driver of the Toyota fired at the truck, hitting the passenger door. A woman next to him screamed, pulling at his arm. Both vehicles swerved wildly. The truck veered left, the car tried to follow, but Newton slid between them. Eilene's window rolled down automatically. She flashed her badge, raising her weapon.

By this time, they'd been joined by a patrol car, who pulled the truck over. Newton nudged at the Toyota, clearing a path for them with his siren. Another two patrol cars slowed traffic, funneling it through the center two lanes of the four lane road. Vests on, weapons drawn, Newton and Stafford approached the car from opposite sides.

The driver had dropped the gun on the ground by the car, and sat with his hands on the wheel. The woman screamed, hitting him with her fists. Newton picked up the gun, while Eilene made her way to the passenger's side.

"Turn off the car," Newton ordered. "Ma'am, are you hurt?"

"She's fine," the driver said as he turned off the car.

"No, I'm not fine! You dumb ass! What were you thinking? You stupid f**ker!" She hit him again.

Eilene opened the door and grabbed the woman, hauling her out. Newton kept them covered, as well as keeping an eye on the driver. The man hadn't moved, not even turning his head while the women were occupied.

"Stupid bitch said she wanted to run away with me," he grumbled.

"Who's in the truck?" Newton asked.

"Her old man."


"Husband. I'm her back door man."

"You dumb son-of-a-bitch! You were supposed to kill him. You no good mother-f**ker!"

"Denise, you stupid bitch! Shut up!" he yelled at her, without turning his head. "I brought the gun to scare him," he explained to Newton. "It wasn't even loaded. Only toothless, here, wanted him dead, and put bullets in it. Ain't no pussy worth killin' over. Am I right?"

The woman fought like crazy, scratching and clawing at Eilene.

"Little help! Bitch! I will end you if you punch my tit again." She slammed the woman against the car, taking the fight out of her.

Newton cuffed the woman and walked her to his car. She screamed as soon as he put her in the back seat. She tried to climb over the seat, but she was too fat.

"I did a bad thing," the driver said, sobbing. "I let my desire for a woman get the better of me." He was docile as Newton took him out of the car and cuffed him.

"But why her? You aren't a bad looking guy. Why a fat hag like that?" Eilene rubbed her breast where Denise had hit her.

The man looked chagrined. "My lust done me in. The things that woman can do with her tongue! They should be illegal."

"And probably are," Newton said as he searched the man.

"Can I say goodbye?" the man whimpered

The woman was screaming and trying to break the window with her bare feet.

"No f**king way," Newton replied.

A highway patrol car pulled up. "I hear you need transport."

"You can have the fun one." He nodded toward his car. "I'll hang onto this guy."

"Do you really hate me that much?" the officer asked after eyeing the woman. His face fell.

©2021 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani's Books

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Crash Into Me ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 26

"Thank you. This is really nice."

"You're welcome." He flashed his devastating smile over his shoulder, as he leaned to pick up his drink.

"How do you know about...." She raised her cup.

Newton shrugged. "I pay attention to the women in my life."

Eilene was so flattered, she blushed, ducking her head. Newton leaned over, peering up at her from a contorted position.

"You okay there, Stafford?"

"Yeah. Thanks―again."

"My pleasure." He took a bite, chewed and swallowed. He was eating a bagel sandwich with great gusto. "One thing I missed when I was deployed, bagels and walnut cream cheese."

"The Army doesn't do bagels?"

"Not like these. Fresh from the Geiger Bakery. They make their own cream cheese blends. Best in the city."

Which meant he'd gone out of his way for her coffee, because the shop that she favored, was nowhere near the bakery.

"This was really thoughtful of you. Can I pay you?"

"Absolutely not." He gathered the trash and both plates, heading to the kitchen. He washed the dishes, putting them in the drying rack.

"I should keep you around. Are you always so neat?"

Newton flashed his sexy, disarming smile. "Yeah. Military father, military myself. I'm very tidy, because leaving a mess, meant KP duty."

"The Army really does that?"

"What Army? That was at home!" he chuckled.

They gathered their gear and headed out to his car.

"I appreciate the ride today, and last night."

"You're welcome. I don't live far from you. If you ever want to carpool, holler."

"Will do. Thanks. My car is kind of a tank."

"A 1968, white, Buick Riviera. You get what, about ten miles per gallon?"

"How do you know that?"

"I told you. I pay attention." He backed quickly into the street and took off with care. "Any kids in the neighborhood?"

"A few. Most are at school. Why?"

"Cautious. I hate residential streets. Too unpredictable."

"This is a nice, quiet neighborhood. I lived in that house, there, from the time I was thirteen." She pointed to a yellow and pink house, circa 1930.

"Your folks are on the same street? Cool."

"No." She glared out the window to her right.

"Sorry. I've said something wrong."

"Do you know why I transferred to SWAT?"


"My parents were victims of the violence in the War Zone. They ran a soup kitchen down there. Rioters broke in and killed them. Torched the store."

"That's horrible. I'm so sorry."

"Sorry doesn't bring them back," she snapped, glaring at him.

"No. But it lets you know someone cares."

"Anyone can say it."

"Not everyone means it." He drove in silence a few minutes. "How long were you a cop before SWAT?"

"Seven years."

"Wow, you came up fast. Top of your class, fast tracked for sergeant. First female sergeant in SWAT."

"How do you know all that, Newton?"

He shrugged, taking the on ramp to the interstate very quickly. He merged into traffic so fast, it made her skin crawl.

"I pay attention."

"It's a little creepy."

"Sorry. Does it help knowing that Ferge likes his beer with salt, and Pope eats pork rinds with ketchup?"

"Really? Ew!"

"I watch, pay attention, observe. One thing my old man drummed into me from the time I was three―situational awareness. Watch your environment, and the people in it. The Army honed it for me. Over thirty years of that, it's habitual, I can't turn it off. It's saved my ass more than once."

"You're always aware?" She found it hard to believe.

"Well, not in my sleep," he stated the obvious with a twitch of his lips.

"What about when you're having sex? Difficult to be situationally aware then."

©2021 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani's Books

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Crash Into Me ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 25

"Call him Don. He's a casual guy."

"That okay with you, Boss?"

"Yes," he scribbled. "Thanks."

"Happy to. Off we go. I'll check on you soon, CV."

"See ya, baby girl." He closed his eyes.

They stopped at the nurse's station for his shot. It took a few minutes to write up and dispense. By that time, he really hurt. After his medicine, it took two women to get him back into bed. Feeling wobbly, he lay back, falling immediately asleep.

When he woke, Tabitha Levi was there. Her smile just about did him in.

"Hi," she said softly. "I hear good things about you."

"Yeah?" he whispered, trying to sit up.

Tabitha leaned over to help him. Anton felt weak and helpless.

"I didn't call them," she whispered. "I thought about it, but that old man needs you. And you're―not so bad."

"Should we talk about it?"

"No. How are you feeling?" she asked more loudly.

"Peachy, f**king keen, Doc." It hurt like hell to talk, so he asked for his board.

Tabitha handed it to him, and their fingers met, sending a tingle up and down his spine. Anton inhaled sharply, his eyes wide open.

"Are the cops still here?" he wrote.

"No," she scribbled under it. "But security is gung ho."

"Great. Should you be seen with me? I don't want to get you in trouble."

"Don't worry about me." She smiled, brushing his hair from his forehead. "Did they give you a report on CV?" she asked aloud as he wiped the board.

"Yes," he managed to say.

"Don't try to talk. The damage was more extensive than anticipated. Some of your teeth were compromised. Also, your jaw. Didn't Dr. Bennett tell you all this?"

"Yes, but I'm on drugs, Doc," he wrote.

"I know it's hard for an independent man to be in bed."

"Alone," he added softly. "Don't pretend you don't know," he printed slowly.

"I should be furious with you," she replied.

Anton touched her cheek, tenderly. A flicker of a grin twitched across his face. She touched his uninjured cheek and smiled.

"You are far too charming for your own good, Mr. Winthrop."

"Good." He couldn't keep the smug tone from his voice.

Giggling, Tabitha made to rise. "I have to go on shift soon."

He caught her hand, keeping her seated. "You aren't in trouble?"

"The judge seemed to think that doing my job was more important than being locked up."

He closed his eyes, sighing happily. At least one of them was free. "Good," he whispered again.

She stood, still holding his hand.

"Why Lister? Not Levi?"

"Married, briefly. Lister is my maiden name. I got famous as a model while I was with him. Too much trouble to change it."

Anton nodded slowly, drifting back to sleep. He didn't think it was his imagination that he felt soft lips on his uninjured cheek.

Eilene Stafford woke early, after only five hours of sleep. Her mind racing, she couldn't find the silence and relaxation needed to go back to sleep. The man next door was doing his lawn. Normally, she slept through that, but not today. Jazzed from the night before, she got up and made breakfast. A cup of coffee made her far too alert, so she put on an exercise video. The kenpo workout got rid of the extra energy, and she felt more relaxed after her shower. She didn't want to go back to sleep, afraid it would make her groggy.

Putting the energy to good use, she cleaned her house. With her on evenings the last few weeks, her housekeeping had suffered. She hated shift rotation, preferring straight nights to evenings. Soon, she would be on nights again, and she looked forward to it.

"You need a man," she said to herself. "Oh, shut up! I'm fine without one." In a moment of complete honesty, she replied. "No, you're not. And stop talking to yourself―dumb ass."

There was a sharp knock at her door about 1:30. She peeped out to see Newton's grinning face. He held a drink carrier and bag.

"I know you probably ate already, but I'm starving, and I didn't have any food." He walked over to the coffee table as boldly as if he lived there. Setting down the beverage tray, he handed her a covered plastic cup. "I noticed you like these at the start of shift." Smiling, he sat on the couch and opened the bag. "I got croissants, if you want one."

"Thank you. Want a plate?"

"Please. Don't want to get crumbs on your carpet."

She grabbed a couple plates from the kitchen. He served her a croissant before taking one himself. Her drink was mocha iced coffee, the milk and sugar just right.

©2021 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani's Books

Monday, October 11, 2021

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 ~ Under the Western Sky by Dellani Oakes


Buy Now!

It's small town Nebraska in the late 1970's and life in the small Midwestern town is quiet and uneventful. That's what Libby Marshall and Bobby Menedez think until Bobby's cousin, Ramon is beaten by a group of white boys. Racial tension is high after the beating and it's soon revealed that something quite evil lies hidden Under the Western Sky.

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.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Books & Entertainment Network Presents Dellani's Tea Time with Guest Mary T. Braford!


Fall has come, and temperatures are cooling down. How better to spend a chilly day, than to curl up with a good book? Our guest today has several to choose from.

Mary T Bradford has been writing mainly short stories for a number of years now and has enjoyed success with her fiction in many magazines, newspapers and anthologies both in Ireland and abroad. It was because of this success, Mary took the plunge and self published her first collection titled, A Baker’s Dozen (2012) and is available in both print and e-book format from Amazon and other sites. She decided to tackle a novel when one of her stories kept getting longer and the word count continued to climb and so ended up with My Husbands Sin. She has also branched out into writing plays and has seen her work shortlisted and performed.

When taking a break from writing and reading Mary loves to crochet or cross-stitch, crafts in general interest her. Living in County Cork, Ireland, she is married and is a mother of four children. Having overcome open heart surgery in 2008, Mary made the decision to dedicate more time to her writing as her children were almost raised and were starting to spread their wings. Family is important to her and her writing often reflects the ups and downs of life that all families go through daily.

Join us Monday, October 11, 2021 from 4-6 PM Eastern on Blog Talk Radio

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Crash Into Me ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 24

Touching her hand, Anton brushed his thumb over her knuckles before writing, "Please ask her to come by, if she's allowed."

"I'll let her know you asked. Dr. Bennett, your plastic surgeon, will be here soon. Any questions about yourself?" Her eyes held a merry twinkle.

"How long am I here?"

"That's Dr. Bennett's decision. You can ask him."

Anton handed her the white board.

"That's for you to use while you're here, until you feel like talking."

He gave her a thumbs up.

"Anything else?

"No. Thank you," he wrote.

"You're very welcome."

"I'll be back to see you soon," Dr. Maddox said.

He gave her another thumbs up.

Dr. Bennett, and his group, walked in a few minutes later. He was a tall, self-possessed man with broad shoulders and a swimmer's lean build. He smiled and shook Anton's hand.

"I won't ask how you're feeling," he said quietly. "Because I imagine you hurt like the devil. Let us tell you what was done." He reported himself, his interns scribbling notes. Afterward, he fired questions at them, which they answered quickly and succinctly. "Any questions, Mr. Winthrop?"

"How soon can I leave?" Anton wrote.

Bennett cut his eyes at his students. "It could be a while," he emphasized, widening his eyes meaningfully. "They want to put you in jail as soon as I release you. Considering the obvious risks for a man post op, I've insisted you remain here several weeks." He held up a hand to still Anton's protests. "I know it's not ideal. But a man with a head wound, on a compound with inmates trying to prove themselves? No. You'd be an easy target. And the next time, you might not survive. It's my understanding that you live in a mobile home?"

Anton inclined his chin slightly.

"Also, not ideal. And you live alone. Your choice is here, or rehab with Mr. Carpenter."

"Which do you suggest?" Anton wrote.

"I strongly suggest you stay here for at least two weeks. If I feel you're recovering quickly enough, I'll send you to rehab with him. I think he would do better with you around. We did a lot of delicate reconstruction on your ear. It was, to put it bluntly, dog meat. What did you fall on?"

Anton drew a large question mark. One of the interns stepped forward.

"I saw the―incident, sir. He fell on the pebble patio by the food truck. The officer shoved him down, and he was unable to break his fall. Then the officer dropped on him while he was down, further driving his face into the patio."

Anton's eyes grew wide. Stunned from the initial fall, he'd forgotten that part. It explained why his chest and back hurt, in addition to his face.

"I gave my statement to the lieutenant," the intern told Anton.

"You were one of the people who helped me," Anton wrote and showed him.

"Yes. Susie and I responded first."

He shook the young man's hand, mumbling. "Thank you very much, for your help." He felt a sob rising in his chest, overwhelmed by his feelings. He'd never had complete strangers give him assistance before. His experience had been the complete opposite, and even friends could turn.

"No one should be treated like that," the young man said. He looked like he wanted to say a lot more, but snapped his lips shut. "You're welcome. Kinda wanted to kick his ass."

Everyone laughed. It hurt Anton to laugh, but he snorted with amusement.

"I appreciate it, but he'd have creamed you, Doc," Anton wrote.

"Not me. I'm Bruce Lee, baby!" He made the characteristic sound as he struck a crazy pose.

Everyone laughed louder.

"If I need a bodyguard, I'll call. Thank you, again," Anton wrote.

"Anytime, dude." They exchanged a knuckle bump.

Half an hour later, Maddox returned. She took a full set of vital signs, frowning.

"I know you're in pain, why didn't you take your pain med?"

"Don't want to sleep. Want to visit CV."

"Okay, but we keep it short for both your sakes. And pain meds right after."

"Yes, ma'am."

His visit with CV lasted about ten minutes. His friend was obviously in a lot of pain, despite his medication. The pain had aged him another ten years, making him pale, with dark circles around his eyes. Maddox took his vitals, too, seemed satisfied and withdrew to the corner of the room.

"They treating you okay, Donnie?"

"Yes," he wrote.

"Good. I hope they nail that asshole."

"Me too."

"I think it's time to go back to your room, Mr. Winthrop."

©2021 Dellani Oakes

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Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Crash Into Me ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 23

"I didn't say I minded. But if you ever want a ride, let me know." His voice held a certain, unmistakable tone.

"Does that line ever work for you?"

"You'd be surprised." He leaned closer, grinning saucily. "Is it working now?"

Eilene shivered. Cheesy as the comment was, it got her thinking about him as a man, not another officer. "I don't―date―"

"At all? Pity," his voice caressed the words.


"Too bad...." he breathed. Rolling onto his back, he did a fancy move and jumped to his feet. Standing over her, his left hand pulled her up, bringing her close. He didn't say another word, or make any move, merely gazed into her eyes.

Eilene found his dark stare captivating. She wanted to dive in and stay there. "I need...I should...." she mumbled, pointing at her door.

"You don't have your car. I'll pick you up at two."

Before she could answer, Newton released her and walked backward around his car, surefooted and confident. Since she hadn't closed her door, he leaned across the seat, pulling it shut. Flashing another huge, dazzling grin, he saluted her as he backed up. Eilene watched him until he got to the end of her street.

"Did that really just happen?" She could feel his body imprinted on hers. She had never dated coworkers before, but there was no rule against it. Maybe it was time to try?

Anton woke with a pounding headache. He felt like a vice was around his forehead, tightening. Trying to sit up, he got dizzy and felt nauseous. A plastic dish sat on a nearby table. With difficulty, he grabbed it, only to gag over it. There was nothing in his stomach to come up.

A woman poked her head around the door and he smelled food. It had a surprisingly good aroma, and he realized it had been a long time since he'd eaten a proper meal. The coffee and danish last night was nearly all he'd eaten the day before.

"I hope you're hungry. If there's one thing we take pride in, it's breakfast. Surgical has its own kitchen." Her kind face broke into a big grin.

Anton tried to speak, but winced, gasping. His hand flew up to his left cheek and he felt a dressing.

"You had surgery last night," the aid explained as she set out his food and raised his bed. "That fella nearly broke your cheek, and tore up your poor ear."

He tried to speak again, but she waved him off.

"Better you don't talk. You eat. It's all real soft so you don't have to chew. Applesauce with cinnamon. And farina. They ordered scrambled eggs, too, but I'm not sure you can eat them if they aren't cut up real small. Do you need help?"

Anton grunted and tried to shake his head. It hurt like hell.

"None of that. Keep it still. Tap your finger once for yes, two for no."

He tapped twice.

"Okay, then. I'll come back and get the empty tray. And you better eat it all, I fixed it special." Smiling, she shook an admonishing finger at him. "Doctor will be in soon, then the nurse will bring your pain med." She waved and left.

Confronted with the food, Anton discovered he could swallow without chewing, but took small bites. His throat was very sore. They had given him hot tea instead of coffee, which was soothing on the rawness. When he was nearly finished, the door opened, and Dr. Smithers came in, followed by a crowd of younger people. Anton felt very on display.

"I got stuck with post op rotation," she apologized after greeting him. "My resident is down with appendicitis."

Anton snorted at the irony.

Smithers seemed to recognize the tone. "I know, right? He assisted our plastic surgeon, who will be by with his own crew in a few minutes."

The students presented the case notes, and Smithers asked questions to clarify. Anton knew she did that for him, having them explain in less medical terms. Afterward, she handed him a small white board and marker, with an eraser attached.

"In case you have questions."

His first question was, "How is CV?"

"We were just in his room. Dr. Maddox, report."

A young black woman stepped forward, updating him on CV's condition. Anton thanked her with a note.

"Can I see him?"

"Yes," Dr. Smithers replied. "Dr. Maddox is assigned to you both. She'll come back and take you after rounds."

The intern scribbled a note to herself and smiled at Anton. "My pleasure." She seemed to genuinely mean it.

"And Dr. Lister?" He left the question open, unsure what to ask.

"Released on her own recognizance," Smithers sniffed. "She's a victim, not a criminal!" Her eyes flashed and her back straightened.

©2021 Dellani Oakes

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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...