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Red River Radio Presents Dellani’s Tea Time with Aleigha and Ellie

TODAY at 4 PM EST (3CST, 2 MST, 1 PST) on Blog Talk Radio!

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Hanukkah is two days away, and Christmas in two weeks! Have you started your shopping yet? Books make great gifts, and my guests have novels to entertain you and yours (as do my co-host and I). These lovely ladies are taking time away from holiday preparation, to share a little about themselves and their books.

AleighaSiron

Our first guest returns to the show Aleigha Siron author of Finding my Highlander and My San Francisco Highlander. Welcome back, Aleigha!

Ellie Gray

Our second guest is new to the show. Ellie Gray is the author of Warwick’s Mermaid, Beauty and the Recluse and Love on the Nile. Welcome, Ellie!

Kick back with your favorite beverage and join us for a grand time here at Dellani’s Tea Time.

To Listen LIVE or Catch the Recording

 

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When Tis Done – Part 11

When Tis Done coverWhile talking to Heath, Neil spots a woman he’d never expected to see again—Cynthia Finley, Cliff’s younger sister. Feeling the years drop away, he finds himself drawn to her again, stronger than ever. They decide to do get supplies for banana splits before going to her house to eat.

“I used to go camping here,” he said as they walked into the Wal-Mart. “Over there, near aisle ten, is where I lost my virginity.” He chuckled. “Nothing like sex in a tent….”

“Better than the flatbed of a truck.”

“Is that how you…? Naw, you’re kidding.”

“Totally exaggerating. It was in the comfort of my boyfriend’s dorm room at college.”

“I did it all wrong, Cynthia. That should have been you and me in that tent.”

“I was fifteen when you left, Neil.”

“I know, but I loved you ever since you were twelve and shoved me off the dock.”

“You almost drowned, Neil Braxton! How could you love a woman who almost killed you?”

“Cause you jumped in to save me. Then you went under and Cliff saved us both. Jesus, I miss him. I didn’t even know how much he was in my heart, until I got home. How do you stand it?”

She blinked hard, shaking her head. “I try not to think.” Hugging him fiercely, she wiped her eyes. “Look at me. Having an emotional breakdown in the frozen foods aisle. You always did bring out the worst in me, Neil.”

“I never did. I brought out only the best, Cindy Lou.”

She tapped him with the shopping cart, knocking him sideways. Laughing, he righted himself and grabbed the door to the freezer. Fortunately, it held and he got his balance. Standing close, he touched her hair.

“If I promise not to call you Cindy Lou again, can we get the damn ice cream and go?”

“Yeah,” she sighed.

They made their purchases quickly, heading back out to her car. She drove to her home, on the edge of the swamp, where her brother and sister-in-law had lived since they were married. It was the Finley ancestral home, going back to a time when Miracle was a fly speck on a map. It was lit up by brass lamps on each porch post. Two carriage lanterns flanked the door. The stairway was long and steep, leading to the front porch, since this part of the house was on stilts. The lower part, which they called the basement, was really at ground level.

“Old place is still the same,” Neil said, smiling sadly. “We had some good times here.”

Cynthia unlocked the door, ushering him in. “Yep. You gave me my first ever kiss right over there,” she teased, pointing to the darker end of the porch.

“Was it your first? Aren’t I the lucky man.”

“Wasn’t your first, though.”

“I’m three years older, course it wasn’t. But how I wished you were older, because I wanted it to be.” His fingers wound in her hair as the door drifted shut. “I wanted all my firsts to be with you, Cynthia. I’m sorry that it didn’t work out that way.” His lips touched hers, brushing gently across them.

Her arms went around him, pulling him close. He held her around the waist with one hand, the other still wound in her hair. They kissed a long time, until they remembered the ice cream. Laughing, they went to the kitchen and got out bowls. Preparing the banana splits didn’t take long. They took their dessert to the living room, sitting together on the huge, white couch, foot to foot, like the old days.

When they were done, they set their bowls aside and stared at one another for a long minute. Neil’s eyes drooped a little, making him look sleepy, his arms crossed behind his head. Cynthia knew that expression. He always looked at her that way when he wanted a kiss. No longer a teenager, she suspected he wanted something more. She hadn’t quite made up her mind until he leaned forward. Crawling over to her, he knelt between her knees, his lips less than half an inch from hers.

“I really wanna kiss you, Cindy Lou.”

For once, the silly nickname didn’t earn him a smack or a shove. Instead, Cynthia wound her arms around his neck, pulling him to her. Touching her only with his lips, he loomed over her, kissing her deeply. Cynthia could smell his desire, it coursed through him like white heat. Hers rose to meet his, setting her veins sizzling. She pulled his shirt over his head as he reached for hers. His body felt hot, more than feverish, as if he had a fire burning under his skin. Each muscle stood out in sharp contrast, the grooves and ridges of his superb body seeming to glow from within. It took a moment to penetrate her lust induced haze, he really was glowing!

Neil stopped, staring at her body. He’d just taken off her shirt and he could swear her body shone with a pinkish-golden light—like holding your hand in front of a candle. It wasn’t his imagination.

“You’re glowing,” he gasped, his voice very nearly betraying him.

“So are you.”

He stared at his hands, shocked by what he saw. It looked like some sort of weird special effects were at work here. Both of them shone brighter than the carriage lights outside.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Undiscovered by Dellani

Undiscovered by Dellani Oakes - 500

There was no identifying serial number on the weapon.

What a surprise.

“Interesting choice,” Scott said as he eyed the weapon. MSSR with a suppressor. Nice sniper weapon, used by the Philippine Marines, among others. Uses 5.56mm shells, roughly 10 pounds in weight, nice scope. . . .”

“Why would this one have a suppressor and not the one upstairs?” Geraci asked.

“No idea,” Scott replied.

“Why have two gunmen?”

“This guy’s a decoy. Put him where he’s gonna get seen, the real shooter goes up topside, makes the kill, and gets away clean. If this guy’s seen, he takes the fall. But he didn’t even get a shot off,” the detective mused.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from The Ninja Tattoo by Dellani

The Ninja Tattoo by Dellani Oakes - 200

The brothers had taken off their uniform shirts, but both still wore their vests and carried their sidearms. Vivica noticed the way they had positioned themselves, they each had a good view of the room, their backs to a wall, not a window or door. Teague smiled, taking the last good seat, leaving Vivica with her back to the living room window. She insisted on closing the drapes before sitting down.

“I’m not entirely helpless, you know,” she told the men without prompting. “I do have six brothers, none of them democrats.” Her eyes twinkled. “I know how to shoot and I venture to say I’m nearly as good a shot as any man in this room.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Music Behind the Story – Under the Western Sky by Dellani

Under the Western Sky by Dellani Oakes - 500

Quite often, my characters are musicians. A lot of them play guitar because my sons do, and it’s what I’m familiar with. Also, I’m totally hooked on guitarists like Jeff Beck, Joe Satriani, Dave Gilmour and Carlos Santana. Santana’s music features in Under the Western Sky, a romantic suspense novel set in Western Nebraska in 1976. One of the main characters is Bobby Menendez, a young Mexican man who loves to play the guitar. He is always telling his best friend, Danny, that bands like KISS won’t last, but in 30 or 40 years, people will still be listening to Carlos Santana and Led Zeppelin.

At one point during the story, the characters gather at Bobby’s home and have their own version of Name That Tune.

Excerpt from Under the Western Sky

After they ate, Evanston and Bobby got their guitars. Some of the others also had musical instruments and they sat down to play. Rico kept time tapping on the bowls, dishes and table top. Libby and Toni sang. Jim surprised everyone by turning up with a banjo and Toby rushed home for his bass guitar and amp.

Once the improvised band was assembled, they sat down to find a song or two they all knew. Most music they didn’t have in common until Evanston played a very distinctive melody. Laughing, they all joined in playing Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Bobby played rhythm and the girls sang, their voices blending beautifully.

With barely a break, Bobby started Free Bird, improvising the solo since he had never stopped to figure it all out. From there, he launched into Europa by Santana. Before he was finished, the others dropped out, listening to him in awe. Realizing that he was playing alone, he came to a halt, looking around him, wondering if he’d done something wrong.

“What?”

Libby leaned over, kissing him lingeringly. “I had no idea you could play that well.”

“Where have you been keeping that, Babu?” Maria asked him breathlessly.

Bobby had trouble focusing, his attention still on the music. “What do you mean? Was it bad?”

“It was so good, I couldn’t even keep up,” Link said with a grin. “Damn, kid. That was something else!”

“Really? I just played.” He shrugged, suddenly embarrassed by their compliments.

“Is the concert over?” Toby sounded disappointed. “I was just getting into it. Come on, let’s keep playing. I’m itching to play something else. See if you can figure this one out.”

Flexing his fingers, he started to play. Although it was an octave lower, he played a melody Libby had loved for years. Evanston joined in with a grin and Rico improvised drums on a plastic container full of potato salad. When it got to the vocal, Bobby started to sing, looking at Libby.

“Well she’s walking through the clouds with a circus mind that’s running around. Butterflies and zebras and moonbeams and fairy tales….”

He knew how much Libby loved Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix. If he could have sung it to her alone, he would have taken that moment to propose because all the love he felt for her washed over him, making him dizzy. When the vocal ended, he joined Link on the guitar, taking melody as the older man slid into harmony. They played several minutes, Link following Bobby’s lead as he improvised an intricate solo.

This time they didn’t stop playing, wanting to listen to the magic that came from his fingers. No one wanted to disturb his focus, causing him to quit. When he stopped, the others were staring at him again and he got very embarrassed. Seeing how he was feeling, Jim hopped in with his banjo.

“I’m feeling left out,” he plucked a few notes. “See if you can follow this one.”

Laughing loudly, Evanston played the same notes, which Jim repeated. The two launched into a lively rendition of Dueling Banjos from Deliverance. When they had finished, Jim went directly to Foggy Mountain Breakdown.

It was getting late and Connie decided they all needed to go to bed if they were going to get to church in the morning. As a finale, the girls sang His Eye is on the Sparrow so perfectly, even the men were near tears.

They parted reluctantly, especially those going back to motel rooms. Bobby walked Libby across the street with Grace and Toby trailing behind them. They went inside, feeling oddly self-conscious with the adults in the living room saying good night.

“I didn’t realize it was so serious between them,” she whispered, smiling happily. “I’m really happy for her.”

“Me too,” Bobby said, not wanting to talk about Libby’s mother.

His lips covered hers before she could speak again, kissing her deeply. His arms wrapped around her, holding her close. He infused his kiss with his love, hearing Little Wing play in his mind as they embraced.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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I apologize for not having a link to Little Wing. It’s really hard to find and doesn’t seem to be on You Tube at all. I did find Skid Row’s version of the song, which, while it’s not Hendrix, is still pretty good.

Red River Radio Presents Dellani’s Tea Time with Andy and Josh

TODAY, November 13, 2017 at 4 PM EST (3 CST, 2 MST, 1 PST) on Blog TalkRadio

Can you believe it’s November already? Where did the year go? The scent of fall is in the air—at least it is other places, but not Florida. I’m still running my air conditioning. Halloween has passed and Thankgiving looms ahead. As we prepare for the onslaught of the holidays, it’s nice to relax and enjoy talking to my two handsome, amazing guests!

First up, returning to the show, is award winning, dark fantasy author Andy Peloquin, author of Child of the Night Guild, Thief of the Night Guild, Different, Not Damaged and others. Welcome back, Andy! We’re so glad to have you with us again.

New to the show is Joshua Robertson, award winning author of The Blood of Dragons Series, Thrice Nine Legends Saga, The Hawkhurst Saga. Welcome to the show, Joshua. We know you’ll have fun with us!

Both authors write dark fantasy, I don’t know if I did that on purpose, or if it’s just a happy accident. Either way, sit back, have a listen, enjoy the show and join us in the chat room if you dare! Who knows what treats these gents have in store!

Tune in Live or Listen at Your Convenience!

When Tis Done – Part 7

When Tis Done coverChase and Marissa have a serious talk and start mending their relationship. Heath and Jackie are worried about them because they help stablize the Inner Circle.

“Miles and Maribelle are nuts to have Elise so late,” Heath said.

“You know how much they wanted another child. The rest of us have so many. For them, it was only ever Brian,” Jackie replied.

“I have a feeling that baby girl is going to be a lot like her brother.”

“Oh, surely not. There’s only one per family.”

Heath pressed his lips together, shaking his head. “Not entirely true. I’ve been going through the archives with Chase and Cynthia, trying to make sense of Cliff’s system. We came across something. I haven’t said anything to the others yet. I don’t want Maribelle to worry. Once in awhile, a second child can also be chosen by a Circle. It’s rare, but it happens.”

“Lord have mercy, I was so hoping that Maribelle would have one normal child.”

Heath chuckled. “Baby, it’s not like any of our kids are exactly normal. The boys grew up knowing their baby sister was going to be the chosen one from their generation. They know about more weird stuff than some folks twice their ages.”

Chase and Marissa were still talking quietly on the porch when the house phone rang. Jackie reached for it.

“Hello?” She listened for a moment. “Oh, hi, Dora. Yes, Chase is here. He’s kind of—occupied at the moment. He and Marissa have been talking.” She nodded. “Yes, exactly. Well, good. Thank you for letting me know.” She turned to her husband, worried frown on her face. “He’s almost here. She wants Chase home for when he arrives.”

* * *

Crossing into the city limits of Miracle, his skin tingled. It wasn’t unpleasant, exactly, more along the lines of a sensual touch from someone he didn’t know. It felt great, and disconcerting at the same time. He was hot, sweaty and exhausted. His air conditioner had crapped out somewhere south of Memphis and he’d made the remainder of his trip with the windows down, praying it wouldn’t rain.

Rolling up to his parents’ home, a place he hadn’t been in close to twenty years, was strange to him. He’d left, not under the best of circumstances, putting Miracle, Mississippi and all its oddities, behind him. He’d seen his folks a few times, when they came to see him. He loved his family, but he’d never been able to live with the disappointment of who and what they were—that he wasn’t.

Shutting off the engine, he stared at the house without moving to get out of the car. Couched in a grove of giant magnolia trees, it looked magical. A snort of laughter left him feeling weak. Magical…. Yeah. Stepping out onto the gravel driveway, he inhaled deeply. The scent of pine trees, magnolia blossoms and the tang from the river, filled his nostrils. Closing his eyes, he inhaled again, feeling something sweep over him, knocking him back a step. He couldn’t put a name to it, but it was a sense of belonging that he’d never felt before. It comforted and scared him all at once.

It’s so beautiful here. I never noticed just how stunning it is.

The front door opened and his family walked out. He hardly recognized the two girls, Katie and Lucy, having only seen them in pictures. His sister looked older and care worn, not unexpected under the circumstances. And Chase….

God, he’s the image of his dad!

Seeing his nephew, he burst into tears. The boy, now man, raced down the steps, hurling himself at his uncle.

“Uncle Neil! It’s so good to see you!”

Neil clung to his nephew, weeping. He’d held himself together through the entire trip, only to lose it right before he walked in the door.

Some Marine you are, Braxton, he mentally chided himself. The girls drew back from him, but Dora rushed down the front steps, flinging herself into his arms. He held his fragile, slender twin, as she wept uncontrollably.

“Oh, Neil! I’ve missed you so!” she sniffed and sniffled.

He became aware of how rank he smelled and how damp his shirt was. “Sorry, I’m not real fresh. Damn air in the car conked out. Maybe you can help me fix it later?” he appealed to Chase. “Your daddy said you’re pretty handy.”

“We’ll pop the hood tomorrow.”

“Come meet the girls,” Dora said, taking his hand. “Katie, Lucy, this is Uncle Neil.”

Katie, the older of the two, stepped forward, smiling up at him. Throwing her arms around his waist, she hugged him. “Welcome home,” she said.

Lucy came forward shyly. He went down on one knee to be on her level. She handed him a drawing of two men standing together, a huge fish hanging between them.

“This is you and Daddy fishing,” she said with a gap toothed grin. “I copied the picture on Mamaw’s dresser.”

“Yes, I remember this day. We went to the river and caught that granddaddy catfish. He was some good eating, wasn’t, he Dora?”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

Dellani Oakes

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