Dellani’s Alphabet Challenge Letter X – The X-Factor

Originally posted on writemindsauthors:

ABC ChallengeI’m always looking for ways to expand my vocabulary and this X Challenge gave me a good reason to go looking for new words. I don’t know a lot of X words, apart from Xylophone, X-Ray and Xanadu. Xenon and Xenophobic also are ensconced in my vocabulary. However, I wanted to expand upon that, so I went to Collins Dictionary and did a little excavating.

I recently watched a silly show on Netflix. One of the characters was named Xanthippe. I found it interesting to read that Xanthippe was the name of Socrates’ sharp tongued, spiteful, harping wife. They writers had obviously chosen this name for a reason, because the character was all of that and more.

I discovered, in my explorations, that xylophagous is an adjective pertaining to certain insects, crustaceans, etc feeding on or living within wood. With xylo as the root of the word…

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Interview with Draven Wick AKA Raven Willoughby-Hybrid Vampire

One_Night_in_Daytona_Beach_by_Dellani_Oakes - 200What is your name?

My real name is Draven Andrew Wick, but I’m better known as the hybrid vampire, Raven Willoughby.

What do you want most?

Until today, I’d have said a secure job, a long neck and some blues playing. Now, I just want to live until tomorrow—preferably the day after, too.

Why is this so important to you?

It’s important because today, I reconnected with the love of my life. Cool thing, she still loves me, too.

What makes you happy or sad?

Finding Jamie again makes me happy. Realizing that I’ve dragged her into a mess and she could get hurt, makes me sad.

How do you treat the people in your life?

I try to treat people well. They say fame changes a man, I am trying to prove that it doesn’t.

Can people count on you?

Absolutely. I will drop everything to help a friend.

What makes you angry?

Moose and his damn biker gang. And, if I’m honest, freaking Erickson. Something doesn’t sit well with me. I’m doing him a damn favor and he treats me like crap.

Do you stand up for your beliefs?

Always. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be doing the job I’m doing. That I can’t tell you about.

What excites you?

Jamie Humphrey…. Damn, that girl grew up fine!

What do you do for a living?

I’m an actor who plays a hybrid vampire on a popular drama. It’s not Shakespeare, but it’s a steady pay check.

What kind of books do you like?

I don’t have a lot of time to read, but I like steamy romance novels. I know, call me crazy, but I like a happy ending. And the sex scenes give me some great ideas.

What kind of music do you enjoy?

Blues, classic rock, swamp rock—basically, anything good. Mostly like stuff from before I was born, but there are some really good modern bands around, just have to look for them.

What’s the one thing you’d most like to do before you die?

I’d most like to build a life with Jamie in it. I didn’t realize what all I’d lost until I found her again. She’s what’s been missing from my life all these years.

If you could, what’s one thing you’d change about yourself?

I’d gladly give up this side job I’m doing if it meant keeping Jamie safe. I’m stuck in it now. Got to play it through. It’s the only way to save us both.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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Something New – Part 35

something new coverDespite dire predictions of his impeding death by dismemberment, Austin can’t resist Liat for long, nor she him. They end up in a compromising position on the couch when Dwight walks in unannounced.

His friend nodded. “You never had the other girls up here. Not that there have been many. Why now?”

He shrugged. “I didn’t feel comfortable letting them into my life that much. It’s my own private space. I felt like they would be invading it. But Liat—she comes in and makes it her space as much as mine and demands I share it. And it’s okay. She belongs here.”

“Just so you know I wasn’t trying to interfere.”

“I know that. It embarrassed you worse than it did me.”

“Probably right about that. When you do finally do put your tractor beam into her incision, you’ll be sure to warn me? Or at least take it in the bedroom.”

“I imagine you’ll no doubt hear her screaming my name.” He winked. “As to keeping it in the bedroom—” He paused, raising an eyebrow. “Probably not. I find I like the kitchen.” He danced out of Dwight’s way when his friend tried to hit him. “I’ll put my tie on the doorknob.”

“You won’t. Do you know how much that cost?”

“Not a clue.”

“Too much to risk someone walking off with it. Just send me a text. No details, just saying I’m going in. Or something like that.”

“I’ll think of something.”

“Good. Get dressed. You’ve got a dinner date.”

“Aren’t you coming? You’re part of this too.”

“Are you sure? I only made the reservation for the four of you.”

“Owen won’t care. Just come along. This is your victory too.”

“Thanks. I’d better change. You too. You look like a Nirvana reject.”

Austin chuckled as the door closed. They met up again at six minutes until eight. They rode down the elevator together, stepping off in unison. They stopped, hands in pockets, scanning the room for their friends.

Liat saw Dwight and Austin come off the elevator and strike a pose. Intended or not, they stood with their heads turned, profiles prominent. She had never realized that they looked enough alike to be brothers. Dwight had lighter hair and eyes, but their basic features; strong jaw, cleft chin, high cheekbones and sloping noses, were strangely similar. Taking out her camera, she snapped a picture before they spotted her.

She and her parents met up, walking across the lobby to the elevators. Hugs and kisses all around, they went to the restaurant. Heads turned, but the customers were, for the most part, residents and regulars. No one bothered them, though a few smiled and waved.

Dinner was in a small, private dining room that Owen reserved for friends, family and small gatherings. Sensing that Austin and Liat wouldn’t want to be in the public eye after their TV appearance, he had the hostess take them through.

They had a short evening since most of them had to be up early for work. After giving Austin a chaste kiss, Liat went home with her parents.

“I’d hoped you’d stay,” he whispered.

“Another time,” she promised. Her lips brushed his ear and her fingers wound in his hair. “Soon.”

He had to be satisfied with that, though it was getting more and more difficult to give her a kiss and just walk away. Their session that afternoon had done nothing to quell his attraction and quite a bit to increase his desire. Had Dwight not walked in when he did, it would probably have ended in a satisfying, but somewhat embarrassing, episode. Since the idea was to build a relationship with Liat, not drive a wedge between them, it was probably as well it hadn’t happened.

The following week was a mad, dashing blur for Austin. When he wasn’t filming, he was hopping from one interview to another. He had a lot of time with Liat, but most of it was on camera. When they had time, they kissed and made promises about how they would share their upcoming alone time.

It interested Austin that, after their initial interview, the hosts didn’t belabor the arse angle or the argument with Irving, and spent more time talking to them as individuals. They didn’t dwell on his homelessness either, though they always mentioned the fund and the great work they were doing.

Their last interview was on Friday, for Late Night Ladies, a show hosted by women for women. Sometimes, they dealt with women’s issues, but more often they just had fun. They didn’t take themselves too seriously, but woe to any guest who made light of anything they felt strongly about.

The show taped in front of a live audience, consisting of all women. There were very few men on the crew. Austin felt somewhat intimidated by the number of women present. He was introduced first, as usual, and was greeted by a massive wave of applause. Fortunately, no one threw their panties at him. He got hugs and kisses from all the hosts. They ranged in age from 30 to 60.

“Maggie and Fiona and Bridget and Ginny—Oh, my!” he said as he took the stage.

“Are we better than lions and tigers and bears?” Fiona, a woman in her mid-fifties, asked. She hardly looked her age. She was nearly as tall as Austin with auburn hair, green eyes and a voluptuous figure.

Oh, yes,” he purred, kissing her hand.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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The Characters of One Night in Daytona Beach

One_Night_in_Daytona_Beach_by_Dellani_Oakes - 200Like many other authors, I like to find an actor or actress who embodies the character I’m creating. This gives me not only a face, but a voice and a body as well. I can picture the person walking and talking, as well as facial expressions, as I write. I had the actress who plays Jamie Humphrey firmly in my mind when I started. I wanted someone tall, curvy and a redhead.

It wasn’t a hard leap to picture actress Deborah Ann Woll, from Daredevil and True Blood as the long and lovely Jamie. She was exactly what I wanted and she jumped off the page at me, daring me to change her. I didn’t.

Draven was a little more difficult, but I did some exploring on-line and decided that I couldn’t find anyone better than Tyler Hoechlin from Teen Wolf. I hadn’t intended to make Draven’s character, Raven, a hybrid vampire when I began writing, but that evolved as I wrote. It seemed to fit, since Tyler already plays a werewolf.

Buddy was also easy. I was watching reruns of The Crazy Ones on Netflix and I fell in love with Hamish Linklater. He fit the role of Buddy perfectly. I hadn’t expected Buddy to take as big a part as he does in the story. I anticipated that he wouldn’t be more than a voice on the phone, but he had other ideas. Of all the characters, I find him the most endearing.

I’ve been asked in the past if I do character sketches before I start writing. Other than sometimes having an actor in mind, I don’t. In fact, I plan very little of my stories. Instead, I jump in with an opening sentence, or a vague What If, and run with it. Not everyone is comfortable with that style of writing, but it works for me and I’m all for using what works.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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Something New – Part 34

something new coverLiat and Austin are sharing a few quiet moments after the interview. He would like to take things further, but she puts him off by saying her parents will be waiting for them soon. Austin finds the idea of her father knowing they’ve been intimate, a bit off putting.

Liat pulled the pillow away, laughing at him. “Daddy won’t kill you.”

“He’ll want to. Believe me. My first girlfriend’s father threatened me with a cleaver.”


“Thought I was having my way.”

“Were you?”

Austin chuckled, pouting saucily. “Yes. He had every right to threaten me. I was being very inappropriate.”

“Have you been—inappropriate a lot?”

He shrugged, shaking his head against the couch. “Let’s see. I’m thirty-two, been active—a good few years. Maybe ten girls in all that time? About that. Why?”

She wouldn’t answer. Austin touched her cheek.

“I’m not like him,” he told her. “I don’t run about sticking it to every woman I meet. No one night stands, no fly by night affairs. I can’t say I’ve always had the best sense where women are concerned. But I think my taste has improved considerably over the last three days or so.”

“You’re wickedly charming, you know. Virtually irresistible.”

He struggled to a sitting position. “Virtually, not completely?”

“Completely. I didn’t want to seem slutty.”


His lips brushed hers once more, before drifting down her throat. He nibbled her earlobe, licking behind it. His breath was hot, his tongue rough on her soft skin.

Liat shivered, leaning into him, her breasts pressing against his chest temptingly. Austin let his mouth drop to the curve of her shoulder as his hands slid up her sides. Long, lean fingers teased her breasts, not quite touching them. She shivered again as his mouth met hers. She knew she was letting it go too far, but she couldn’t seem to find the strength to tell him no. Even thinking about dinner with her parents didn’t sufficiently put the brakes on. Austin could kiss like no one else she’d ever met and it made her wonder, again, what sex with him would be like. She wanted to know, wanted to grasp his lean hips with both hands and clamp down tight.

“Someone’s at the door,” Austin gasped when he heard the latch click. “Fuck!”

Dwight stepped in carrying another suit and shirt. He stopped halfway through the door when he saw Austin and Liat. She was on her back on the couch. Austin lay partly on top of her, between her legs. Their clothing was on, but they were obviously well on their way to getting naked.

“Ooops,” Dwight said. “I am so sorry! I had no idea. You’re the first woman he’s had up here,” he babbled. “I’m so used to just coming in and out. I live across the hall. . . .”

Liat started laughing. “It’s okay, Dwight. We probably shouldn’t be doing this anyway.”

“But it’s such a smashing idea, we were anyway,” Austin concluded. “Until you showed up.”

“You now have an effective cock block,” Dwight replied, smugly. “Imagine me walking in and seeing your lovely ass in the air. See what that does for you.” He winked, hung the suit and shirt on the back of the door, and left.

Austin got up, helping Liat rise to a sitting position. “Hell! Dwight has the Devil’s own timing.”

She smoothed his hair. “Look at it this way. Us being together is a given.”

“What you’re saying is that eventually, at the appropriate point in time, when all the stars align properly, I can shag you?”

Liat giggled, nodding. “Yes, you goof. At the appropriate point in time, when all the stars align, you can shag me.”

“Yay!” He did a silly, happy dance.

She glance at the clock. “But right now, I need to dash home and get ready for dinner. Hair, makeup, all that girlie stuff.”

“I think you look gorgeous without all that girlie stuff. But if it makes you feel better, go for it.”

“Thank you. I’ll see you downstairs at eight.”

“I’ll be there. I’ll miss you.”

Taking her leave, she gave him a quick kiss and headed toward the elevator. He wanted to go with her, but she assured him she’d be fine. The door closed and she rode down to the parking garage.

Dwight heard Liat leave. He tapped on Austin’s door. His friend answered, smiling.

“Sorry about that. I didn’t know she was here.”

“Not a big deal. At least we weren’t naked. Bit soon for that anyway.”

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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What’s the Backdrop for One Night in Daytona Beach?

One_Night_in_Daytona_Beach_by_Dellani_Oakes - 200When first approaching One Night in Daytona Beach, I wanted an exciting backdrop. A friend suggested setting it during the NASCAR racing, but in all the years I’ve lived here, I’ve never been to the races. However, one cannot go anywhere during Daytona Bike Week or Biketoberfest without encountering thousands of bikers. Since The Ninja Tattoo is set during Biketoberfest I decided to use Bike Week as my setting.

In the spirit of complete honesty, I don’t know that much about Bike Week either, though when I worked for the paper, I helped print quite a few pictures from the events. (I printed a lot of NASCAR pictures, too, but one race car looks like another to me.) I may not have been, but the thrum of all the motors does tend to set my pulse racing.

With that decided, the characters popped into my head. Jamie emerged first and I knew she had to be a redhead. My daughter gave me my favorite line from the opening: Draven couldn’t draw his eyes from the gorgeous redhead, whose hair reminded him of the flames on the side of his bike.

Draven was a bit slower in appearing, but I finally found his face and voice when he races to Jamie’s rescue: Startled by the noise, the girl lost her balance as she rolled out of the shoulder stand. Toppling, she fell. Draven leaped toward her, covering the ten feet to the cycles, in a superhuman rush. He steadied her, helping her sit up slowly. He became my hero, as well as Jamie’s, at that moment.

One Night in Daytona Beach is available for pre-orders now! Follow the link below to reserve your copy before the October 28th release date. If you buy through Amazon, the cost is only .99 cents! (.99p/ .99euc)

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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Conversations with Dellani Oakes


Rami Ungar​ thank you so much for inviting me to your blog!

Originally posted on Rami Ungar The Writer:

It’s time for another author interview! This one is with a Facebook friend whom I’ve known for a couple of years now. And while what we write and how we write are very different, I’m glad to know her and I think she’s just terrific. She’s got a new book out and she’s got more on the way, apparently. I think we could all learn a thing or two from her.

Oh, and you’ve seen her name on the blog before. Remember that radio show I was on not too long ago? She’s the host. Ladies and gentleman, Dellani Oakes (hey, that rhymed!).

Welcome to my blog, Dellani. Tell us a little about yourself and what you write.

I’m an author of mostly romantic fiction. I have one historical romance, one retro-romance, three futuristic romances and three romantic suspense already published. My latest book, One Night in Daytona Beach

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