Tag Archive | Dellani Oakes

Red River Radio Presents Dellani’s Tea Time with Al, Elaine and Eric

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Join Us Live Monday, February 12 from 4-6 PM EST time on Blog Talk Radio.

Well, the Ground Hog saw his shadow, so that means six more weeks of winter. Brrr! We’re going to keep warm chatting with our three fantastic guests! Dellani and Christina are delighted to welcome back two guests, and welcome a new one!

al jendrasik

First, is Alfred Jendrasik author of I Met God at the Beach, Mysterious Tales of Colton Trane and The Other Side of Life series. Welcome back, Al!

Elaine Dodge

Second, is my fellow Tirgearr author, Elaine Dodge author of Harcourt’s Mountain (Historical Romance). Bloody Parchment: Blue Honey and the Valley of Shadow (Horror Anthology in which her short story ‘The Man with a House on His Back’ was featured. Welcome back, Elaine!

Eric Klein

Third, is new to the show, and currently waiting for his first book to be released, Eric Klein author of The One; A Cruise Through the Solar System. Welcome to the show, Eric! We know you’ll have a great time!

Grab your favorite beverage, put up our feet, and enjoy the show. As always, a lot of laughs will ensue!

Or Listen to the Podcast at Your Convenience!

To Pre-Order Eric’s Book, Click Here

 

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Red River Radio Presents What’s Write for Me with Christy, Gary and William

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Wednesday, January 24 from 4-6 PM Eastern on Blog Talk Radio

Can you believe that January is almost over? It doesn’t seem possible. It’s actually chilly in Florida, and they had snow, up north of here, for the first time in about 20 years. Yes, I know it’s way colder in other parts of the country. Why do you think I don’t live there? To help us keep our minds off our troubles, we have some wonderful guests to chat with. So, have a cuppa, grab a mug of joe, or sip a hot toddy and listen in!

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Our first guest is the lovely and talented Christy Nicholas, author of Call of the Morrigú, The Enchanted Swans, The Druid’s Brooch series, Better To Have Loved, and more. Welcome back, Christy! 

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Our next guest is the handsome and talented Gary D. Henry is the author of In the Manor of Heather Black, Witchwoods, Groundsmen of Sleepy Hollow and many more. Welcome Back, Gary! 

william beck

Last, but not least, is the handsome and talented William Beck, author of The Judas Coin, Crosscurrents, Solemn Vow, Red 7 among others. Welcome back, William!

We’ve got quite a selection of genres here, with some truly wonderful guests. This will be quite a show, so be sure to tune in.

 

When Tis Done – Part 16

When Tis Done coverMorning came way too early for Neil. He was woken by his 7 year old niece, Lucy, yelling and jumping on the bed. At breakfast, he’s talking to Dora about burning the pancakes when they were children, and flippantly blames the incident on Cliff.

“Wasn’t me. All Cliff’s doing.” He took an innocent bite, chewing as silence followed.

He’d forgotten that he and Cliff used to blame one another for everything. Even after he moved, Cliff would blame things on Neil. He, himself, had continued to blame his brother-in-law for problems, even after becoming a Marine. His buddies used to tease that he had an imaginary friend who did things just to mess him up.

Noticing the silence, Neil looked around the room. “I’m sorry.” He swallowed, setting down his knife and fork. “For me, it’s like he’s still here. He was with me every second I was gone. And I can still feel him in the wind. When I was in the desert, I could hear his voice in the sand…. More than once, he kept me sane.”

Dora hugged her brother, kissing his cheek. “He said he talked to you whenever he heard you call.” She hugged him again. “Eat your pancakes before they get cold.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He chuckled. “I remember you and Mama always telling me to eat before it got too cold, or watch it cause it was too hot. Took me a full year to realize I could judge the temperature of my own food. Not real well, as it happened. I burned myself more than once.”

His mother giggled, dabbing at her eyes. “It’s so good having you home, son. When you have a chance, pop in and say hi to Daddy. He’s got some things to tell you. You too, Chase.”

“Yes, ma’am,” they chorused.

Neil ate enough pancakes to please his mother, and carried his third cup of coffee into the den. Neil’s father, David Braxton, looked up, smiling, gesturing for his son and grandson to sit.

“Son, I hope Cynthia and Chase have brought you up to speed.”

“More or less, yes. Sounds like y’all have had a hell of a time.”

“More so than in my day. Things were pretty quiet for us. We were lucky. Your generation saw some trouble, but Chase’s—whoo, boy!” He gasped, wheezing. Doing a lot of talking was hard for him. “But there’s more coming—a storm that’s going to lay waste. Don’t ask how I know, you live long enough, you learn to feel the signs. We faced a hailstorm before. This is a full blown hurricane—of massive proportions.”

“An actual hurricane, Dad? Or a metaphor—”

“Both. Hush up and listen. I don’t have breath—for much.”

They sat down, waiting for David to speak.

“This stuff with Mr. D. and Opal, it’s just the start. Once every thousand years or so, the Dark leaps up, seeking leverage. Cause we get lazy, lax. We don’t prepare our young until we know who’s chosen.”

“You didn’t do that,” Neil said. “Neither did Dora and Cliff.”

“No, because the Earth told us and we listened. So you have a lot of what you need already. Only training you need, is stuff you didn’t have skills for before. But you do now. The Circle called you here, gave you to Cynthia, brought you home.”

“Gave me to Cynthia?” Neil chuckled, thinking his father was joking. “I gave myself to Cynthia damn near twenty-five years ago.”

“All this, and that’s what you latch onto?” His father’s laugh wheezed from him. “You two were meant to be together—all along. Even if you weren’t the chosen, the Circle had plans.”

“But I took my hurt and ran.”

“Boy, none of us here would have done different. We don’t know why the Circle picks one over another. Chase is oldest, Jordan youngest. Dora’s five minutes younger than you. Mama and I are smack in the middle. I’d say it’s random, but I imagine there’s a pattern if we look hard enough. Doesn’t matter now. You have to take your sister’s spot immediately—tonight. Because the storm that’s coming—it’s soon.”

“When?”

David shook his head. “I wish I knew. I’m hoping when you join, you’ll have a sense.” He turned to his grandson. “You get things settled with your girl?”

“I think so, Papaw. We’re working on it.”

“Work faster. You need to help train Neil.”

“Me? I don’t know shit….”

“I’ll tell you both and you demonstrate. Your daddy taught you a lot, you just didn’t know it at the time. What’s the weather forecast?”

Chase glanced at the window. “Partially sunny, wind south-southeast at five miles an hour, eighty percent humidity. Eighty-six degrees with a feel of ninety-two. Rain in thirty minutes. Heavy, with thunderstorms.” His eyes grew round. “How did I know that?”

“Same way you know you could make it snow if you took a notion. Or change the tides, or halt that rain. We can do it….”

“But just because we can, should we?” Neil finished. That was one of his father’s favorite sayings.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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When Tis Done – Part 15

 

When Tis Done coverAfter talking to Chase, Neil has a short conversation with Cynthia, then heads to bed with the promise to text her when he wakes.

Morning came early in a household with a seven year old. Neil was sleeping soundly when his bedroom door banged open and a little blonde missile landed on his bed, bouncing.

“Unka Neil! Unka Neil! Brea-fist!”

Groaning, he rolled over, putting the pillow over his face. “I’ll be up in a minute, Sugar. Let Unka Neil sleep a little longer.”

“No. No. No. Got to be up for brea-fist! Mommy said!”

Neil doubted that. More likely, Dora had said not to wake him. The bouncing intensified as Lucy pulled the pillow off his face.

“Now, now, now, Unka Neil!”

“Lucy Lou, leave Uncle Neil alone. He’s tired. He drove a long time to get here,” Chase said from the doorway.

“But it’s brea-fist, Chase!”

“He’ll be up for lunch, Peanut. Go.” He lifted his sister off the bed, carrying her to the door. Setting her down, he told her to run up stairs.

“Thank you,” Neil mumbled into his pillow. “Would locking the door help?”

“No. Then she just knocks a gabillion times.”

“She usually do this to you?”

“Yep.”

“Lucky you.”

“Why do you think I chose the basement? The stairs slow her down a few seconds.” Chuckling softly, he closed the door.

Neil dozed a little longer, but his room was directly under the kitchen. Lucy seemed determined to have him up to join the family. If it wasn’t deliberate, then she was the noisiest child he’d ever met. Then again, he hadn’t been around that many kids, at least not early in the morning. Groaning, he rolled over with the pillows pressed to his head. There was an all mighty crash, followed by scolding and wailing.

“I’m UP! Dammit!” He got dressed and went upstairs, walking into complete chaos.

A huge dog was galloping around the kitchen with Lucy in its wake. A string of puppies followed, at least six of them, and another huge animal tried to get in the door, but Dora held it with flagging strength. He grabbed the dog at the door, dragging him outside. He took the collar of the other and hauled her out onto the deck. The puppies followed, all but one that Lucy had scooped up. The mother dog tried to get back in after her baby, so Dora grabbed the puppy from her screeching daughter and set it on the deck. Neil swung the door shut. Silence settled over the house.

“What was that?” Neil gasped, pointing at the deck where the enormous dogs frolicked. “Since when do you have Shetland Ponies?”

“Those are the puppies,” Lucy yelped. “Not ponies, silly.”

Folding his arms across his chest, Neil waited for a reply.

“They help the Circle,” Chase said, handing him a cup of strong, black coffee.

“Okay.”

“Their names are Janus and Zofia. They’re our Guardians. When there’s trouble, they come to our aid. When there isn’t, they hang around different houses and procreate.” Chase nodded at the puppies. “They were born at Jordan’s house. We all went over to witness the miracle of birth.” His tone implied he hadn’t found it very miraculous.

“Lucky you.”

“Yeah, it was three in the morning and freezing cold. Jackie insisted.” Chase chuckled, pouring his own coffee, adding lots of cream and sugar.

Pancakes appeared on a plate in front of Neil, decorated with berries and butter. He said his blessing and took his first bite.

“Holy wow, these are delicious. I’ve missed your pancakes, Mama.”

She beamed. “Katie and I made those just for you.”

“Katie’s a cook? Didn’t take after her mama, then.”

Dora giggled, swatting her brother. “I’m a good cook. You should taste my possum supreme pie.”

“Mommy’s teasing. She doesn’t cook possums,” Lucy explained.

“When you were Katie’s age, you burned the pancakes, as I recall,” Neil winked at his sister. “Darn near set the kitchen on fire.”

“You know that was your fault,” Dora countered.

Neil feigned innocence. “Mine? Just how?”

“Cliff was over and the two of you scared the bejeezus outta me! I ran and hid in the pantry.”

“Wasn’t me. All Cliff’s doing.” He took an innocent bite, chewing as silence followed.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

When Tis Done – Part 14

When Tis Done coverNeil and Cynthia have a lovely evening, but he has to get home. As he’s walking home, something jumps him. He gets away and runs home. Finding Chase there, he sits down with his nephew to talk. He reveals that he’s loved Cynthia since he was a teenager.

“We’re so completely different,” Chase said about himself and Marissa.

“Sometimes, opposites attract. And not so different. I see things in you both, where you compliment one another. You need to work out your intimacy issues—and I don’t mean that you need to have sex. But talk about things. Make sure she knows you care. You do, you know. You love that girl, probably more than Brian loves Jordan.”

“More than you love Auntie?”

Neil shrugged. “Maybe. I have one advantage that you don’t. I’m not seventeen itching to get laid for the first time. Trust me, I remember that feeling, like your insides are on fire. You’d do a handy hydrant if you thought you could get away with it.”

Chase laughed louder than he’d intended. Clapping his hands over his mouth, he chuckled and sputtered. “Not built the right way, or I might consider it.”

“Gas tank,” Neil suggested. “Or grapefruit, I hear that works.”

“Only warmed in the microwave.”

“Always good to warm up the lotion first, but don’t nuke it. Good way to roast your willie.” He rubbed his hands together as if he had lotion on them. “Friction works best.”

“I can’t believe we’re having this conversation! I couldn’t talk to Dad like this.”

“No, but I bet you can with some of your friends.”

Chase shook his head. “Maybe when we’re older.”

“Meanwhile, I will be here for bizarre, off the wall, raunchy, inappropriate conversations whenever you like.”

“Thank you, Uncle Neil. It’s good having you home.”

“It’s good being home. And you can just call me Neil, Chase. I don’t mind.”

“Thank you—Neil.”

They said goodnight. Chase was ready for bed, so Neil took a quick shower and brushed his teeth. He could smell Cynthia’s cologne on his clothing and it made him want her again. He remembered, with a lurch, he’d promised to call when he got home. Picking up his phone, he saw a missed call. It was from Cynthia. She merely said to call as soon as he got the message. He called back immediately.

“You must think I’m a real dick,” he said when she picked up.

Cynthia laughed. “No, but I was worried.”

“I’m sorry. Chase was up when I got here. Kid needed to talk.”

“He’s going through a lot right now.”

“Yeah. I know. I hope that I can help.”

“I don’t know about Chase, but you sure helped me.”

“Yeah?” He couldn’t keep the delight from his voice. “You helped me, too, Cindy Lou.”

“Uhh, I wish I’d never told you my middle name is Louise.”

“Really? I’d forgotten that. I just always thought of Cindy Lou Who.”

“Now I really want to smack you.”

“Promise? Some gentle abuse, light bondage…. I’m up for it, but are you sure that’s how you roll, babe?”

“You are semi-impossible, Mr. Braxton.”

“Only semi? I think I should be offended. Really, the more accurate assessment is semi-improbable and nearly impossible.”

“Oh, I apologize for irregular use of adjectives.”

“I do love you, Cindy Lou.” He paused. “Shit, is it too early in this budding romance to say I love you?”

“Took you twenty years to say it. I think it’s allowed. Had we just met, Mr. Braxton, it would be entirely too soon.”

“Yeah, if we’d just met, I betcha we wouldn’t have done what we just did, either.”

“Safe bet. But we didn’t and Boy DID we!” She giggled light heartedly. “I think it’s semi-improbable that I feel this good.”

“It’s nearly impossible that you feel as good as I do.”

“Superlative Game, Mr. Braxton? Should I be offended?”

“No games, Cindy Lou, just the God’s honest truth. I feel better than I can ever remember. See what happens when I get to make love to the most beautiful woman in Miracle, Mississippi?”

“Not to mention the entire county.”

“Venture to say, the state.”

“The whole Southeast.”

“Babe, you are the most beautiful girl in the world, to me.”

Her reply was a sniffle. “I’ve missed you so much, Neil.”

“I’m back, Cynthia. I’m not going anywhere.” He yawned, loudly. “Except to bed. Jeez, is it really almost three? I’ve been awake nearly twenty-four hours!”

“Call me when you wake up.”

“How about you call me? I don’t want to wake you.”

“Shoot me a text or I will shoot you one. Whichever one of us gets the text first, calls.”

“Works. Goodnight, Cindy Lou.”

“Goodnight, Neilio,” she teased, hanging up quickly.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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When Tis Done – Part 13

When Tis Done coverCynthia tells Neil that he’s there to repair their Circle. He confesses to her that he’s always loved her. This time, when they kiss, they don’t stop there. Neil takes her upstairs to her room.

Fair Warning: When Tis Done is more mature than the prior two books. I have toned it down, but it still may not be appropriate for readers under 17.

Neil poured his love into the moment. The girl he’d had a crush on, had grown into a beautiful, desirable woman. The two of them shimmered like a Christmas tree. They made love, reveling in the fact that they were finally together, no longer teenagers, and able to express their desire. Afterward, Neil was tempted to stay the night, but he knew his mother would worry if he didn’t come home. More to the point, Chase would probably be up. With the promise to stay over the next time, he decided to walk home so she wouldn’t have to make the drive back by herself. It was a clear night, cool and breezy with a hint of fall in the air.

Neil thought about cutting through on the swamp road, but after all that had happened to both Circles, he decided not to risk it. Instead, he went the long way, passing by the Barrett’s house, as well as the Casey’s. As he neared his home, he sensed something not right. He’d been a Marine in hostile territory more years than not. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up and he watched his environment carefully. Wishing he had a weapon, he remembered that he did have keys. He placed them between his fingers, pointing out dangerously.

It rushed him from the bracken near the lane that lead to their house. Something came at him from the dark, jumping the last few feet. Ducking, he turned to follow the movement, but whatever it was, he couldn’t see it. He heard it running, but didn’t dare pursue in the dark. Worried it might return, he dogtrotted to the house. He didn’t hear or see anything else, but the sense of being watched was stronger. Dredging up the St. Michael prayer from some long forgotten memory, he repeated it as he unlocked the front door. Bolting it behind him, he made his way downstairs, turning off lights as he went. As he’d suspected, Chase was up and waiting for him. Neil dropped the keys on an end table near the couch, and slumped in the chair.

Chase cocked his head from side to side, eyeing his uncle with a twinkle in his eyes. “Holy shit, Uncle Neil! Did you and Aunt Cynthia…? Forget it, I don’t wanna know!”

“We had some adult fun. Is that a crime?”

“It is when your aura looks like that. Dude!” Blushing, he looked away.

“I didn’t know you could read auras. What else can you do?”

“All kinds of shit. You’ll have to learn it too, now that you’re taking Mom’s spot….” He blinked hard, his head dropping. “This is weird for me, Uncle Neil.”

“I know, kid. It’s weird for me too.” He sat quietly, staring at the wall, smiling a little. “I miss your dad. We used to meet up once a year and hang out. Even when I was deployed, I’d get a day or two of leave, we’d find a spot where there were no guns and bombs, and just shoot the shit.”

“Did Mom go?”

Neil shook his head. “I saw your mama in my dreams. We talked all the time. Your mom and dad, and Heath, were my best friends. And Cynthia…. No, she wasn’t my friend, she was my other half. I tried to find a woman, came close a few times, but none of them measured up. I gave her her first kiss on her front porch the night she turned fifteen. Broke my heart to leave her.”

“Why did you go? I feel like I never got to know you.”

“I couldn’t stay here. There was too much hurt. We were all close—until Dora joined the Circle. Then it was Dora and the Circle—and me. They shared so much that I didn’t. I couldn’t stand it another second. I’d always hoped that it would be me. When she was chosen, I was jealous.”

“I’m sorry, Uncle Neil. I hate that you felt like that all these years.”

“Me, too.”

“So, you think you and Aunt Cynthia will get married?”

Neil smiled, remembering the night he’d had. “If you think I’m letting that woman get away a second time, you’re messed up in the head.”

“I was dropped as a child.”

“I’ve heard rumors.”

They laughed quietly, sharing a moment.

“Was Auntie your first?” Chase asked quietly, embarrassed by the question, but wanting to know.

Neil sensed he was leading up to something else, so he answered truthfully. Besides, he’d lost any modesty he’d had when he became a Marine.

“No. That honor fell to a girl with low morals and a large tent.”

“This whole thing—of destiny. Do you believe in it?”

“Like you and Marissa being destined to be together?”

Chase nodded.

“Until tonight, kid, no. Now, I’m not sure. But give it time. Don’t rush. If the Circle chose you to be together, then you have to believe that it’s done it for a reason.”

“We’re so completely different.”

“Sometimes, opposites attract. And not so different. I see things in you both, where you compliment one another. You need to work out your intimacy issues—and I don’t mean that you need to have sex. But talk about things. Make sure she knows you care. You do, you know. You love that girl, probably more than Brian loves Jordan.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

When Tis Done – Part 8

When Tis Done coverNeil, Dora Finley’s brother, has returned after nearly two decades. Could he be the replacement that the Center Circle needs to heal it?

“Yes, the way Mama fixed it. Me, I’d have burnt it to a crisp.”

“Thanks, Peanut. This is great!”

“I’m Lucy, not Peanut!”

“Oh, sorry Lima Bean!”

She stamped her foot, pretending to pout, but the giggle escaped her. “You’re silly, Uncle Neil.”

“I got it from Mommy. She made me silly before we were born.” He stood slowly, rubbing the kinks from his thighs.

“You were twins!”

“Yep, we still are. Me first, Mommy five minutes later.”

She gave him a hug around his knees and ran in the yard after her sister.

“Come in and have a bite,” their mother said, after hugging and kissing him ardently.

“Mama, I could sure use a shower first.”

“Of course! Daddy’s inside. It’s hard for him to get around these days. His C.O.P.D. is real bad, Sugarbean.”

Neil followed his mother, shuffling his feet. It was hard enough coming home after all these years, but to see his formidable, robust father reduced to a tired, old man, was almost more than he could bear. His father sat in his comfortable, blue recliner, feet up, watching TV top volume. He looked up and grinned at his son. Releasing the lever, he lowered his feet and stood.

Neil held his father gently, afraid he’d bruise him, or worse. His father’s embrace was a shadow of what it had been, but the strength was there—briefly.

“Damn good to see you, son. Been too long since you were home.”

“Way too long, Daddy. I’m sorry….”

“Nonsense. You did what you had to. But you’re home now. By God, boy, you stink!”

“My air went out around Memphis.”

“No wonder, evil old place, Memphis.” He winked. A native of Tennessee, he enjoyed poking fun. No one else had better do it in his hearing, though. In his younger days, he’d been in more than one fight because of it. “Let this boy have a shower, Mama,” he said to his wife. “He reeks to hell and back.”

“That I do.”

“Go on up. You’re in the guest room. The girls are sharing your old room. Chase is in the basement.”

“There’s two rooms down there, you in both, boy?”

“No, sir.”

“I’d as soon be down there, Mom. Suits me to be underground.”

“Whatever you want, Sugar. There’s fresh towels and sheets on the bed.”

He gave her a kiss. Chase showed him to the basement. It looked much as it had in his youth. It was freshly painted and the pattern of the bedspread had changed, but the overall feel of it said home to him. He’d always liked the basement rooms. Built into the side of a steep hill, the back of the house was exposed, with a beautiful view of the woods. As a child, he’d spent as much time here as he could, reading, working on his school projects and daydreaming about his life to come. On cool days, he’d fling the French doors open to the outside, lie on his belly and watch the trees move, their leaves singing in the breeze.

“Takes me back a piece,” he told Chase. “Which you in?”

Chase pointed to the left. Neil nodded, heading to the room on the right. He put his bags in the floor and headed directly to the small, interconnecting bathroom. His shower was long and as hot as he could get it. It felt so good to get the road grit and sweat off his body, he indulged himself. Once he felt cleaner, he made sure to shave before getting dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. His mother insisted that they go without shoes in the house, to save the carpets. He didn’t mind, preferring going barefoot to wearing socks and shoes. His dirty clothing, accumulated over the last few days, went in the washer and he started a load. His mother might object, but his clothing reeked of sweat. He hardly wanted to touch it himself, let alone make his delicate mother do it.

Waiting in the sitting area, he found Chase. His nephew looked old beyond his years, care worn and down trodden. The emotions radiating off him were enough to make Neil gasp and take a step back. He’d always been empathic, but now—something was new here. Something had changed. Or maybe it was he who had changed? He didn’t know. Crossing the room, he sat by the boy, putting his arms around him as he drew him close.

“Let it out, son. If you can’t cry in front of me, who can you? I’ve been in your shoes, boy. Let it out.”

Chase sobbed, his body shaking with the horrendous emotions he’d tried so hard to contain. He wept for his father, and for his mother having to go on without him. He cried for himself, missing his father so much it hurt, and for his sisters, who would grow up without their daddy. He also wept for his grandparents, who missed their son.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

Dellani Oakes

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