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Red River Radio Presents Authors of Progressive Rising Phoenix Press

Wednesday, June 26 from 4 – 6 PM EDT (3 – 5 Central, 2 – 4 Mountain, 1 – 3 Pacific) Dellani and Christina welcome guests from Progressive Rising Phoenix Press

First up, author/ publisher Amanda Thrasher, whose books for children and young adults both amuse and inspire her readers. She is the author of such works as The Greenlee Project, Fairy Match in the Mushroom Patch and Bitter Betrayal.

Other guests are:

Darrell Bartell author of Barry and the Vampire in the Rosedale Encounter and Ten-Five: You’re Going Home, Marine!

Matthew Gene author of Hope and Terminus X.

William Speir author of King’s Ransom; Arthur, King; Legacy of the Grand Master and many more.

Join the fun while we chat about books, writing and publishing the Rising Phoenix way!

Join us live or listen to the podcast recording at your convenience. 

Red River Radio Presents Dellani’s Tea Time with Aleigha, Andy and William

TODAY from 4-6 pm Eastern, on Dellani’s Tea Time, Dellani and Christina will chat with three fascinating authors. 

william beck

They will welcome back a favorite guest, political thriller author, William Beck – Crosscurrents, Solemn Vow, Red 7 among others.

AleighaSiron

Also along for the ride, Aleigha Siron, author of the historical romance, Finding My Highlander

Andy Peloquin

Last, but by no means least, dark fantasy author, Andy Peloquin – Blade of the Destroyer, Child of the Night Guild, Gateway to the Past and others.

Listen Live or Catch the Recording at Your Convenience!

 

The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 7

the-man-who-wasnt-thereAfter Marissa announces that Brian has to dance naked to summon the Peddler, the teens and their parents, organize a meeting of the Circle members so they can discuss the ritual and make plans.

They carried the platters outside. Chase’s parents had just arrived and Cliff joined their fathers on the screened lanai. Chase’s younger sisters, Katie and Lucy, went to play with the baby. The boys were heading back to the kitchen when Marissa’s family knocked. They were just greeting the boys when the first of the Louisiana contingent arrived. Andre and his parents came up the sidewalk with his girlfriend, Louisa. Sweet and his parents pulled up seconds later. Louisa’s parents drove up at the same time as Ginnifer and her mother and father.

Each of them had brothers and sisters, all of whom were younger. They joined Chase’s sisters in the yard. They fussed over the baby, taking turns carrying her. Brian didn’t have to make good on the bath offer. Louisa and Ginnifer did it for him. They kept the baby off the ground afterward, so she didn’t need another one.

Once dinner was ready, they took places at the long tables the men had set up in the backyard. The dogs lay down at the head and foot of the assembly, alert and happy, hoping for scraps. Dishes passed around the table as everyone took what they wanted. Laughter and happy chatter filled the air. Although they had come together for a serious reason, none of them wanted to miss out on catching up and enjoying each other’s company.

“I feel happiest when I’m with all of you,” Maribelle declared. “This is the best group of people I know.”

“I agree,” Miles said. “Which makes our reason for being here the more serious.”

“Wait, you know what this is about?” Brian asked.

“Sure, son. We talked this over with the Barretts a couple days ago. We just hadn’t set a date until Jordan called and said we needed to meet tonight. Now, what’s up? I hear that Marissa had something to tell us.

She blushed a fiery red when all eyes turned on her. Jordan opened her mouth to take over, but Marissa shook her head.

“I’ve got this.” She squared her shoulders, sitting up straighter. “I’m not the Dreamer,” her eyes flickered over to Brian. “But I get things. Flashes and images, mostly. Sometimes I hear a voice.” She gestured vaguely to her right ear. “Anyway, we were talking today about the Harvest Ball and the witch trials in 1713. And—the Peddler.”

Finding it hard to continue, she ducked her head. “Anyway,” she muttered toward her chest. “I got this—impression—I guess you’d call it. I know we have to summon him to help us. And it has to be Brian. And he has to dance….” She couldn’t make herself say the words.

“Naked,” Brian blurted. “And I want to know if that’s accurate. And I want to know why me? And, more importantly, why naked?” he asked loudly. Angry and embarrassed, he found control difficult. The tables shook slightly, the earth trembling under them.

“Son,” Miles Casey said gently. “We’ll figure this out. Some of our older rituals had to be conducted in the nude.”

“Why? Can’t I at least wear a loin cloth? Cause I don’t want—everything—on display.” He gestured vaguely in the area of his zipper.

“I’ll do some checking.” Miles Casey thought it prudent to hide the smirk he felt twitching his lips.

“But why Brian?” Jordan asked. “Couldn’t any of us perform the same ritual and have the same result?”

Cliff Finley shook his head. “I’d have to do some research, but I’m pretty sure it has to be him. A variety of reasons, not the least of which is, he’s the Dreamer.”

Brian rolled his eyes, putting his head on the table, nearly in his plate. “Did I mention that I really hate being the Dreamer? That I hate all of this? Why can’t I just be some normal, stupid teenager who makes mistakes and decisions that don’t involve people getting killed—or buried alive—or dancing naked?”

He felt a touch on his hand and calming assurance filled him. He sat up to see his baby sister. She leaned from Jordan’s arms. Her little spit covered hand wrapped around his finger as her dark brown eyes met his. Sometimes, she seemed so much older than six months. She reached for him and he took her, holding her close. Her hands embraced his face and she put her forehead next to his. Closing his eyes, joy filled him, shoving aside the scary thoughts. He knew that he could do whatever was needed. He had the best family and friends in the world. He could handle it—even if it meant dancing naked.

“None of us wanted this,” Dr. Beauchamps, Andre’s father said softly. “Each of us fought against it, denying our powers, wishing for someone else to take the burden. None of us had to face what you’ve faced, Brian. No one else at this table knows exactly what you’re going through because none of us have been in your shoes. I know it isn’t easy—we all do. We fight our inner battles every day just to keep going, trying to act normal. I am telepathic, you know. If I allow myself, I can read the minds of every person here. It takes unimaginable control to keep all your voices away.”

“I have visions,” Marissa admitted. “And I’m not exactly telepathic, but I get flashes of images and I see things about people. I know when they’re good at heart or when they’re mean. I can also tell when they’re sick or in pain. That’s why I’m learning to heal.”

Andre cleared his throat. “I see auras, like Jackie. And I feel strong vibrations of emotions. I can tell what y’all are thinkin’ without you sayin’ a word. Like Marissa, I know sickness, as well as every emotional combination there is. Hearing voices would be worse, but this is disconcerting enough. We aren’t trying to belittle what you’re feeling, Brian. We’re telling you that we know what you’re going through. Our challenges are different, but no less annoying and painful.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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The Music Behind the Story from First Love by Dellani

Historical Novels by Dellani Oakes

music-behind-the-storyA few weeks ago, I shared Music Behind Under the Western Sky, set in 1976. This isn’t my only story set in that same time period, though First Love isn’t published yet. The Seventies were an era of great music, no doubt about it. We had bands like Carlos Santana, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Gary Wright. Fantastic songs filled the airwaves and my characters, like me and my friends, listened to each new song with enthusiasm.

I did a lot of research so that I would have the right songs for the year. Though I lived through this era, my memory for when each song came out, was kind of faulty. I enjoyed revisiting songs from my past and now sharing them with you. One of the first songs mentioned is Love is Alive by Gary Wright. No visit to the Seventies would be complete without Stairway to…

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The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 6

Marissa tells Brian that she has the impression that he needs to summon the Peddler. Not only does it have to be he who does it, but he has to dance—naked. Understandably upset by that announcement, Brian freaks out a little, so they leave Sweeties and go to Chase’s house.

“So, naked,” Brian said.

“Huh?” Chase, who was the only one who hadn’t heard, was immediately vigilant.

Brian explained briefly while the girls took the time to vacate by cleaning up the work space.

“So…. Naked.” Chase nodded, laughing.

“Don’t laugh or you’ll join me,” Brian snapped. “Why me? And why naked? I’m asking our folks about this. Because no f**king way!”

“Brian!” Marissa scolded.

“Hush, Marissa. If you’d been told you had to dance around with no clothing, you’d be upset too,” Jordan said. “We’ll ask Dora,” she advised. “She knows about rituals and stuff. In fact, we need a meeting of the families. Tonight. My house. Eight.”

“That’s okay with your folks?” Chase asked.

“Yes,” Jordan said. “It will be when I tell them. Everyone. Your folks too,” she added with a squint of her eyes at Marissa. “They might like to spend their Saturday nights being all pious, but this is more important.”

Marissa pressed her lips together on whatever snarky reply she’d intended. Jordan was right. Marissa had learned a lot in the last year, not the least of which was that agreeing with Jordan was the prudent thing. She was right more often than she was wrong and she was a strong leader. While they might never be best friends, like Brian and Chase, they were grudgingly learning to get along.

“I’ll let them know,” she said with a gulp.

“We need to go,” Jordan said. “If I’m going to invite people over, I’ll need to clean up and prepare.”

“I’ll help,” Marissa volunteered. “We can make those Shrewsbury Drops your mom showed us last weekend. And I’ve been working on a new tea blend.” The girls chatted as they walked upstairs.

Brian and Chase followed them more soberly. Brian walked with his hands in his pockets, head down. Chase wasn’t much perkier.

“See you tonight,” Chase said at the front door.

“Yeah.” Brian stopped, turning around to face his friend before heading to his car. “Life got too damn complicated, didn’t it? I mean, we should be worrying about football and our grades—whether we’re gonna get laid before we’re twenty.”

“Why us?” Chase asked, his eyes wandering over to where Marissa and Jordan were. “And why, for God’s sake, Marissa?” he dug his toe into the grass by the porch. “I mean, I like her and all. But Jesus!”

Brian chuckled, smacking his friend in the arm. “Exactly. I know it’s not easy, Chase. Jordan makes me crazy. I can’t even imagine what Marissa’s like. But do you love her?”

Chase shrugged, rolling his eyes helplessly. “How would I know? You have any vast experience to draw from?”

“Nope.”

“Brian!” Jordan called. There was command in her voice.

“Just got a jerk on the short leash,” Brian said quietly. “See you later.”

“Yup.” They tapped knuckles.

Jordan was right that her parents didn’t object to having the meeting at their house. In fact, Jackie even suggested calling their Louisiana friends too. None of them were surprised to find out that they were already planning to come up.

“Spend the night,” Jackie suggested. “We’ve all got room.”

That was decided and they set about getting the house in order. Jordan and Marissa talked on the phone, organizing rooms and food while the boys cleaned bathrooms and made the guest beds. Once that was accomplished, they joined the women in the kitchen, pitching in to prep vegetables or wash dishes as needed.

Maribelle and Miles Casey arrived with Elise in tow. Heath walked in the door a few minutes later. Maribelle joined them in the kitchen, but Miles and Heath took Elise outside to play in the huge back yard. Their job was to start the gigantic grill and set potatoes baking in the coals.

They were greeted by delighted yelps of two huge dogs. Zofia and Janus had stayed behind after Mr. D. left. They had deigned to make Jordan’s house their home, though they visited Brian and the others regularly. Sometimes, they would disappear for days at a time, coming back filthy and tired. No one knew where they went, but none of them questioned the actions of the two enormous dogs. Elise loved the huge animals and they doted on her. They played gently with the baby, letting her tug at them, climb over them and roll around in the grass.

“I just gave her a bath,” Maribelle said with a sigh. “She’ll be filthy again before dinner.”

“It’s okay, Mom. I’ll give her a bath when the dogs finish mauling her.”

Maribelle giggled, swatting at her son. “Thank you. You’ll make a good father one day.”

Brian blushed. “Thanks.” He had no words for how embarrassed he felt. Everyone in the room knew that when he had children, at some unspecified time in the future, it would be with Jordan. Strangely, the subject didn’t seem to bother her.

“Corn’s ready for the grill,” Chase said, showing the foil wrapped bundles.

“Potatoes are already in the coals,” Brian said. “Let’s get these out there.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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The First Day, First Paragraph

rami-ungar-first-day-first-paragraph-tagMy good pal, and fellow author, Rami Ungar came up with this idea and tagged me. The process is simple. When tagged, you publish the first paragraph of something you’re working on, follow the instructions below, and have fun with it! Thank you, Rami, for thinking of me! ~ Dellani

So if you get this tag, here’s what you have to do:

  1. Publish your own post on the first day of the month.

  2. Use the graphic above.

  3. Thank and link back to the person who tagged you.

  4. Explain the rules like I’m doing now.

  5. Post the first paragraph of a story you’ve written, are writing, or plan to write someday.

  6. Ask your readers for feedback.

  7. Finally, tag someone to do the post next month (for example, if you do the tag on the first of August, the person you tag has to do it on the first of September), and comment on one of their posts to let them know the good news.

it-takes-a-thief-coverMy first paragraph is from my novel, It Takes a Thief – a romantic suspense novel available in e-book format on Amazon.

Jason Banes was a thief. Despite how much he and his lawyer might publicly deny it, it was the truth. Which was why he was standing before the judge in an ill-fitting suit, sweating. A twist of fate had brought him to this. He was an excellent thief, masterful, skilled, almost magical in his ability to divide his marks from their possessions. Regardless of his skill, he’d been caught. His palms began to perspire as the judge looked over the top of her pearl studded reading glasses. She didn’t look happy. Jason saw his world collapse as she studied him. Her scrutiny made him nervous. She looked like a velociraptor ready to attack and rip his guts out with her long, sharp claws. She blinked.

I welcome your comments below!

I tag Rachel Rueben

The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 3

the-man-who-wasnt-thereIt’s been about a year since their first battle with Mr. D. Brian and Jordan have embraced their roles in life and practice their skills to be better prepared for the next battle. Since last year, their relationship has changed, no longer just friends, they are now dating.

“Be safe,” Jackie said, making a sign of blessing on their foreheads as they leaned over to give her and Maribelle each a kiss.

“Yes, ma’am,” they chorused, laughing at one another as they walked out of the house.

Their mothers watched them go, smiling and shaking their heads.

“Were we like that?” Jackie asked.

Maribelle grinned. “Yes. I’m sure that Miles and I were awful. I knew I loved him from the time we were kids. He didn’t take to the destined for one another thing very well. He played the field.”

“So did Heath. It freaked him out when I knew every time, and called him on it.” She sipped her tea. “I don’t think Brian’s going to act like that. He doesn’t strike me as a player.”

“He and Jordan’s bond was forged in greater adversity than ours. If the circumstances were the same as ours, I could see it. I think it’s harder for the men to accept. I didn’t have a problem with the idea of Miles being my one and only.”

A plaintive wail pierced the quiet house.

“Herself’s awake. Excuse me.”

“I need to go anyway, honey. Call me later.”

They hugged and Jackie left. Maribelle went upstairs to the nursery. A tiny, pink clad form kicked and mewled in her crib. She stopped wailing when she saw her mother and smiled as she was picked up.

“Hello, precious,” Maribelle said, kissing her baby girl. “How’s my angel?” She carried the baby to a nearby rocking chair and sat down to nurse.

Elise Casey’s dark brown eyes gazed at her mother with love. Maribelle crooned to her baby as they cuddled.

The front door opened. “Where’s my girls?” Miles Casey called.

“Upstairs,” Maribelle replied.

Elise cooed as Miles walked in the nursery door. He kissed them both and sat on the footstool next to them.

“Good day or bad?” Maribelle asked.

“Good. Andre’s making excellent progress. Can’t say the same for Sweet. That boy’s got serious control issues.”

“Brian’s having trouble. I think you need to have Cliff work with him.”

“You’re the one proficient with fire, why Cliff?”

“It needs to be someone who’s not kin. I’ve pampered him. He needs a firm hand. Cliff will provide that.”

“Okay. I’ll give him a call later and see what we can work out.” He kissed her forehead. “I’m going to have a shower. Sweet boiled swamp mud. I think he caught a few crawdads or frogs too.” He sniffed himself. “Ew.”

Brian and Jordan headed to Sweeties Soda Fountain. A full service, old fashioned soda shop, they sold ice cream treats, hot dogs, hamburgers and patty melts. The decor hadn’t changed much since the shop was built in the late 1940s. They took seats at the red linoleum topped counter. Several of their friends walked in and sat next to them.

“So, going to the Halloween Ball Thursday night?” Chase asked.

“Jordan, you wouldn’t know this, but it’s been a tradition around here since our grandparents were teenagers,” his girlfriend, Marissa said.

“Longer,” Chase said. “It just wasn’t called the Halloween Ball. It was the Harvest Ball instead. They changed the name in the Seventies.”

“Why do people keep telling me that?” Jordan asked. “Honestly, I’ve been told about the stinking ball for the last month. Why is it such a big deal?”

“It’s the social event of the fall—until Homecoming,” Marissa gushed. “Come on, you have to go!”

“We’re going,” Jordan replied. “I just don’t know what the big deal is.”

“The rumor mill has a lot to say about it,” Brian replied quietly. “Apparently, back in the day, this was a big community for witches.” He nodded slowly, eyes open wide. “Isn’t that right, Annie?” he addressed their waitress, who was old enough to be his grandmother.

“That’s the skinny,” she replied. “Salem wasn’t the only place to hang witches. No one talks about it, but our town damn near wiped itself out in the early days. Between the witches getting hanged and the people getting hexed, there were only a handful of folks left. Brian’s many greats granddaddy was one of them. He went and married himself a Native bride. Somewhere, back in your ancestry, you’ve got Choctaw blood.”

Annie herself was at least half Choctaw. She bragged to be full blooded, but her brother claimed three quarters. No one argued with either of them, accepting their varying claims with a smile. Annie wandered off to take care of other customers, leaving the teenagers alone for the moment.

“You’re telling me this town hunted witches?” Jordan frowned. “And we live here, why?”

“Amazingly, our families weren’t among the ones hanged. The witches were evil and our ancestors fought against them,” Chase said, snagging one of Brian’s fries.

Brian smacked his friend’s hand. “Get your own. I’m hungry.”

Chase ate another before waving at Annie. He ordered his fries and leaned on the counter.

“How do you know all this?” Jordan asked.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes 

To Buy Dellani’s Books