Tag Archive | sci-fi

The Maker is Back!

The Maker front

It’s been a long time coming, but The Maker is back! Welcome to the world of Shakazhan – again – where our heroes wait for the Kahlea Grand Master to arrive. Though he may not be there yet, he’s got plenty of resources and angry slaves to send their way. As if the threat of interplanetary warfare isn’t enough, they are also getting attacked from inside the planet. It seems that nowhere, and no time, is safe from the Kahlea’s flunkies. It’s Mariah’s first birthday and everyone is relaxed, enjoying the celebration.

The party was in full swing, Happy Birthday was about to be sung and cake served when Wil got the first tingle of trouble. He couldn’t explain how he knew something was wrong, but it was as if he felt a change in the wind. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up, getting his full and undivided attention. He could see that several of the Cousins, Marc and Ben all had the same feeling, the look in their eyes unmistakable.

“Get the children inside quickly!” Wil’s voice carried all over the compound. The call was taken up by the other leaders. Mothers ran for their little ones. Older children grabbed the younger and they made their way quickly and quietly to the nearest training hall. Guards were posted and the doors locked tightly.

“They can get out in an emergency, but nothing can get in there, at least I hope not! Hammer!”

“Yes, Wil.”

“Evacuate the children, you see them?”

“Yes, Anvil has already begun. Styx and Quick Silver will also be working at it. Don’t worry about the children.”

“Does anyone see anything? Talk to me!” Comunits popped and crackled with static, something that never happened. “What’s going on? Talk to me!”

Wil ran wildly around the compound checking on the others. Matilda joined him as soon as she was certain the children were taken care of.

“What’s happening, Wil?”

“I don’t know. I don’t think anyone does, but something is up. Sentience!”

She didn’t reply right away. After a short, uncomfortable pause, she answered. “Yes, Wil?”

“Tell me what’s wrong, I can taste it on the wind.”

“I am afraid there has been an insurgence from below.”

“Coming from where?”

Sentience hesitated, her voice deeply concerned when she replied. “From the Chimarria.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Wil’s voice was harsh with reprimand. “Where are they coming up?”

“They come from the hills, the mountains and the plains. They have found many outlets which were sealed. They broke through.”

“So what you’re telling me is that we’re surrounded and your bots didn’t stop them?”

The fighters scrambled and the cats prepared to do a swift reconnaissance of the area surrounding them. The foot soldiers and armored divisions took their spots waiting for news.

“Talk to me, Cap!”

“Difficult to see, Wil. There’s an unusual cloud cover. We picked up some life forms in the foothills, but it was cattle, not devils. Dropping below the clouds a wee bit more.”

A few tense moments passed, then Cavitus’ voice broke through the silence. A loud, long caterwaul echoed in Wil’s head.

“I see them! Strange robots to the north-northwest, hundreds of them! Heavily armed, I don’t see energy weapons, but do see projectile weapons. Shall I strafe them?”

“Not yet. If they get within three clix of the compound, open fire.”

“There are more from due west, Wil,” Ariella added.

“I see about a hundred, maybe a hundred and fifty to the southeast. Where the hell are they all coming from?” This last from Escascia.

“Defensive positions. I want my Marines in the tanks outside the compound now! Targets of opportunity. Let’s not mess this up!”

Wil and Matilda ran to the nearest training building, climbing the ladder on the outside wall. They took a position on the roof. It was from this vantage point that they first saw the wave of Blue Devils.

“Look!” Matilda pointed beyond the lines of Blue Devils. Something else, bigger, more menacing followed them in a darker cloud against the night. “What are they?”

Wil shook his head. “No idea. Sentience? What’s with them?” No answer. “Sentience, answer me!Dammit! All right, we do this our way, people! Wait until you have a clear target, let them attack first. Give them the opportunity to surrender.” He sighed deeply, “If they don’t, vaporize them.”

Matilda’s gaze held worry and a hint of reprimand, but she couldn’t deny this was an aggressive move on the part of the Chimarria. She made herself ready. Unlike her last battle with the Blue Devils, she was prepared to kill them.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

The Maker – Book Three is on sale for only .99 cents. Get yours now!

The Maker Returns!

The Maker front

It’s been a long time since I promised The Maker would return and I apologize. With one thing and another, it’s taken longer than I anticipated to get it reader ready.

I’m delighted to announce that it is now available for pre-order at Amazon!

The Lone Wolf series is especially near to my heart because the core three characters of Wil, Matilda and Marc are based (loosely) on three characters friends and I played in an old role playing game, Traveler. It’s sort of like Dungeons and Dragons, only in outer space. The character of Wil wasn’t initially part of the scenario, that was Matilda (also known as Romance) and Marc. Wil came in later and stirred things up.

Originally, I had intended to chronicle our actual game adventures but early on, things took a turn. Instead, Wil swept in, spirited Matilda away and Marc trailed after to cover their backs. I honestly had no intention of them rushing off to save the galaxy, but that’s what happened.

Am I unhappy about that? No, I’m delighted. I feel as if I have done my job as an author correctly if my characters take over and run rampant with my story. I’m not sure who spun things out of control first, but I’m sure it was probably Wil. Okay, I’m sure it was Wil’s fault. He’s a very strong character and decidedly had a mind of his own.

Wil’s motivation was simple: the bad guy needs to be stopped because he made me look foolish. Followed by: the bad guy needs to be stopped because he’s extremely dangerous and has the potential for causing a lot of trouble. Somewhat hedonistic and narcissistic by nature—did I say somewhat? I should have said completely. Completely hedonistic and extremely narcissistic, Wil couldn’t let the villain make him look incompetent. He as a reputation as a legendary badass to maintain. Though there is an element of altruism there, buried deeply under his ego, he probably wouldn’t have cared as much if his reputation wasn’t at stake.

Matilda, on the other hand, sees the big picture. If the bad guy is allowed to continue, everyone is in jeopardy. She cares about Wil’s reputation, but only minimally. Her concern is more what can happen to everyone else if they are unsuccessful.

Marc is there, initially, to protect Matilda and cover Wil’s back. He, like Matilda, is motivated by the greater good. He couldn’t care less about Wil’s reputation, but he counts on the other man’s skills to help save the day. Don’t think that Marc is any kind of a wimp. In his own way, he is as formidable as Wil. His mental games of What If often prove effective in finding a solution.

I had intended to make Lone Wolf a stand alone novel. However, I got to a point where I realized that I had so much story to tell, I needed to split it in two, or I’d have a book about 1,000 pages long. I ended Lone Wolf rather abruptly and picked up the action for Shakazhan immediately after the first one ended.

The Maker picks up after several months have passed. The small fighting force is settling in, doing their best to train themselves into some sort of army. Unfortunately, it becomes readily apparent that there are too few of them to hold out against a concerted attack.

Wil and the others decide that they must contact the people back home and request reinforcements. They also must attempt to make alliances with some of the planets’ residents. This quest is much harder than it first appears, because many of the natives don’t want to be friends.

The Maker is a pivotal book where I introduce several new characters who take key roles later in the series. One, in particular, takes off and becomes a major player in The Kahlea -Book 4. I have to admit, that she is a particular favorite of mine who gave me lots to explore.

I hope you enjoy The Maker, as well as the other books in the Lone Wolf Series: Lone Wolf and Shakazhan.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

A very special Thank You to Suzette Vaughn for the beautiful cover!

Red River Radio Presents Dellani’s Tea Time with Barbara and Karen

The New Year is upon us! As we’ve done for the last few years, Christina and I will chat with a couple of our other Red River Radio hosts, Barbara Ehrentreu and Karen Vaughan. Tune in TODAY at 4PM EST or catch our recorded podcast later.

Barbara Ehrentreu is the author of If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor and After. She has also penned a lovely book called You’ll Probably Forget Me: Living With and Without Hal.

Karen Vaughan is the author of eight cozy mysteries, among them Left for Dead, Dead on Arrival, Dead Men Don’t Swing and Dead Comic Standing.

Co-host, Christina Giguere, known by her nom de plume of Rachel Rueben, will also chat about her work. She is the author of young adult novel, Hag. She also has a wonderful vampire novel, Eternal Bond, available to read on WattPad.

 

Host Dellani Oakes is the author of 12 published books – mostly romantic suspense, but 4 of them are from a science-fiction series set in the distant future. Dellani’s most recent book is Lone Wolf Tales: A Lone Wolf Series Companion, a collection of short stories connected with the Lone Wolf series.

Each author will talk about her show, her goals as an author and how she feeds her writing addiction. Be sure to tune in TODAY at 4 PM EST for this fun filled show.

2016 A Good Year for Writing

Dellani Oakes with glasses2016 stunk in a lot of ways, not the least of which were all the deaths, both famous and not. Too many taken from us too soon. There was one respect in which 2016 was kind of all right. It’s a very personal way, not something that means much to anyone but me.

For several years, I’ve made a resolution to finish a book a month. This doesn’t mean that I start and finish the book in the same 30 day period (though I do that, too). This means that I take a book I’ve been working for awhile, maybe years, and I complete it. I’ve been making this same resolution for three years now, and I’ve just made it again. I don’t always meet this goal, but I feel that if I make a concerted effort and write constantly, I’m progressing well. Of course, the new goal becomes getting them publication ready—a longer and more complicated project. (And, let’s face it, a lot less fun)

In 2016, I managed to finish fourteen books! That’s better than one a month. There were a few months I didn’t complete something, but others where I did two or more. Please keep in mind, unless it states short story or novella, these are all books 50,000+ words. That includes the ones written in 5 – 10 days.

This years list includes:

January – Author of Love

February – Tarrah (a short story)

March – As yet untitled novella

April – Ranger’s Heart & When Tis Done

May – none finished as I was editing Room 103 for publication

June – How Far is Heaven, Sierra and Food Truck Hero (which was written in 6 days)

July – Raven Willoughby: Origins, Beach Bum, Alton & Velda and Game Junkies

August – He Needed Killin’ (written in 9 days)

September – none finished

October – none finished

November – So Much It Hurts (2016 NaNo, completed in 5 days)

December – none finished

Overall, not a bad year, though I did better in 2015 (25 books), but I consider anything 12 and over, a win. I finished 14 books in 2014 as well. Though I didn’t finish any books every month of the year, I started 4 new ones. I couldn’t seem to make up my mind how to finish them, but it gives me a goal for this year. Challenge accepted!

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

What better way to celebrate than to publish another book? Look for the newest offering from Dellani Oakes at Amazon today!

Lone Wolf Tales is an exploration of my sci-fi world. I have taken characters from the Lone Wolf Series and delved more deeply into their backgrounds. As I wrote the Lone Wolf books, I realized that there were so many other stories I didn’t have time to tell there, things I wanted to discover and to share with my readers.

Photo by ZD Parish

Photo by ZD Parish

And Itza Danced – Itza is a character who is introduced in The Kahlea – Book 4. She is an ancestor of The Champion, Sta Hyt Mai. And Itza Danced reveals a little about her origins, and sets her on the path of becoming the First Champion of Bankaywan.

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Blackened – This short story, explores an incident in Wil’s life that he has done his best to forget. This chilling short is also included in the anthology, Nightfalls: Notes from the End of the World.

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Brothers at Arms – Wil and Marc weren’t always super human, thought they did manage to survive every hellhole they ended up in. Hand picked for a special Super Soldier program, their lives changed dramatically. Originally included, in a much shorter form, in Lone Wolf, I decided to edit it out of the novel and make a longer, more detailed version for a stand alone story. It’s a bit more grim than most of my other stories, but it was a very dark period of Wil’s life.

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Call Me Penny – introduces a character who, unfortunately, doesn’t make it into the series. I had originally written this to be Lill’s origin story (read Brothers at Arms), but once I reread Lone Wolf, I realized that it couldn’t be her tale. Instead, I used another character from A Little White Lie, also in this volume. I like the character of Penny and I’m glad I was able to find a way to tell more of her story.

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Fractured – examines the origin of a very important character in Wil’s life. He doesn’t remember her, but her life is destined to intertwine with his. More of her story will be told in A Wall in Time – a Lone Wolf Prequel. (No publication date in mind yet.)

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Gone But Not Forgotten – This story isn’t so much from Wil’s past, as from Matilda’s. The reader is drawn into the hot, dusty, miserable life on the planet of Saltulle, where Matilda was born and grew up. What little moments of joy there are, have to be savored and treasured. Unfortunately, life in the Mining Guild is also full of dangers, something Matilda discovers all too young.

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A Little White Lie – brings the characters of Penny and Wil together. The Galactic Marines have finally realized that allowing the earlier groups of Super Soldiers to live, might have been a mistake. As such, they have devised a method of ridding themselves of this nuisance. It’s a real mission, but Wil and his team aren’t apprised of everything their superiors have in store for them.

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Pain Killer – shows a side of Wil we rarely see—one of sorrow and remorse. Dealing with the death of a friend, he’s none too happy when Greyling pulls him into a mission that’s so easy, she calls it a cake walk—or is it?

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There Shall Be Great Rejoicing – We know and love Champion Sta Hyt Mai, the Zarbani warrior who holds such amazing powers. However, she wasn’t always such a formidable opponent as she is now. This story explores her humble beginnings and takes us through her early life, before she becomes the most powerful woman on Bankaywan.

I hope you enjoy these nine tales. I had a lot of fun writing them and I hope one day to write stories about other characters in the series. I found such a strong bond with Wil, Matilda and Mai, that telling their tales was easy. The others are presenting minor difficulties. Such is the way of the creative process.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

Lone Wolf Tales is now available at Amazon. Buy your copy today!

I Love Dialogue from Wall of Time, a Lone Wolf Prequel

lone wolf first four coversNeeding help with his increasingly bizarre and unique problem (having visions of his daughter, born over 300 years in his past) Wil goes to see his—well, friend is probably too strong a word—someone he doesn’t feel like killing (often). Abudali is a mystic who lives on a frozen world in a very posh cave (for a hermit). He agrees to help Wil, but after some consideration, Wil isn’t sure he’s ready for the type of help Abu has in mind.

Wil’s announcement that he was leaving fell on deaf ears. Abudali ignored what he said and smiled.

“I’m really going,” Wil told him. “I have things to do. I have a schedule to keep.”

“Of course you do. Go then, I won’t keep you.” Instead of arguing, Abu was giving him the brush off.

“Don’t you want me to? I thought for sure you’d try to make me stay.”

“How could an old, feeble man like me make a strong, virile man like you do something he doesn’t want? Go if that will make you happy. Don’t find out the answers to your burning questions. Go!” He shoved Wil toward the door, nearly knocking him back a step.

“All right, Abu. You win.”

“Excuse me? You wanted to go five seconds ago.”

“But maybe you’re right. I should stay and let you find out what they did to me.”

“Now he acts like he’s doing me a favor! You don’t have the dedication! One minute you’re leaving, the next you want to stay. Which is it?”

“May I stay, Abu?” Wil asked him, much subdued.

“Since you ask, then yes. But you have to agree to do what I tell you, even if you think it’s silly.”

“Agreed.”

“Good. We begin in an hour. Now is a time for eating.”

“You’re not going to feed me anything that gives me the shits for over two hours, are you?”

“No.”

“Or makes me puke, or anything like that?”

“Of course not. Whatever gave you that idea? Really, Wil, you’re entirely too paranoid.”

“I wonder,” Wil mumbled as he ate and drank sparingly.

Abu pressed another cup of tea on him. It wasn’t until a few minutes later that Wil realized it had been a bad idea to take the other cup of tea.

“What did you put in that?”

“I might have added a little Dimboloo Root.”

“What? Are you trying to kill me?”

Dimboloo Root was another highly toxic weed that had mind expanding capabilities. In the wrong dosage, it was lethal. Even his body would have trouble metabolizing it.

“You said you wouldn’t argue with me,” Abu told him as his ears wiggled and his nose exploded into purple flowers.

“I know what I said,” Wil struggled to stand. “But that was before my mouth went to sleep and my knees urinated pink frogs. What the hell is in that stuff? My fingers. Look at my fingers, Abu! They won’t work like this. How can I hold a guitar pick and strum the monkey?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Wil.”

Abu’s ears now looked like pontoons and his nose hair had grown at an alarming rate. It hung down to his armpits.

“You can’t strum the monkey, you have to pluck it.”

“Right.” Wil sat heavily, knowing something wasn’t right, but not sure what it was. “Why do my eyes feel like they’re melting into my kneecaps?”

“It’s the Dimboloo. You’ll be fine soon.”

“Make my pants stop burning, will you? I can’t seem to put it out.”

“Certainly, my son.” Abu patted Wil absently, spreading the flames instead of putting them out.

Wil wasn’t worried anymore because a flock of birds hovered over him with buckets. “That’s better. The ducks put it out. What are we doing?”

“Listen to me, Wil. I’m going to go into your mind now. You mustn’t fight me. The Dimboloo will help you relax. I don’t want you to fight me. Don’t attack unless I tell you to. But I’m going to give you a special code word. If I say the word barnacle you will attack whatever target I give you. If you don’t hear barnacle you will not attack. Is that clear?”

“Yes. You’ll say barnacle. Is that before or after I eat the ice cream?”

“Forget the ice cream.”

“Then how about the ducks.”

“Piss on the ducks. It puts the fire out.”

The conversation would have gone on like that awhile longer, but Wil felt as if someone had driven a steel spike in his hand. He knew how that felt, because someone had done that to him once. He didn’t like it much then either.

An old lady sat in a rocking chair wearing a brown dress and a tan shawl. She had really long ears and sharp teeth.

“Abu, if that’s your wife…. Whoa!”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Wil. I have no wife.”

“I do, don’t I?” Wil tried to put on a blue flowered hat, but it melted. “Is that her?” He shuddered. “I’ve got sick taste, man. She could be my grandmother.”

“Wil, focus! You’re letting your mind wander. Enough of that!”

He slapped Wil sharply across the cheek. Wil’s head snapped sharply back and his eyes crossed. When he refocused, he was able to get a grip on what he was seeing. No, the walls weren’t melting into puddles of cotton candy. A camel wasn’t passing through the eye of a needle and his fingernails were not sixty-two inches long. However, he did feel and see Abu walking slowly through his mind, exploring.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

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Meet Cute from Wall of Time, A Lone Wolf Prequel

lone wolf frontMeet Cute is a theatrical term used most often in romantic comedies. It is the first meeting, sometimes contrived, of the two main characters.

The following is from The Wall of Time, which is a prequel to my sci-fi Lone Wolf Series. Although these two have met before, I like this meeting between Wil and Valkyrie. It gives us a feel for Wil’s character prior to meeting Matilda.

Once in the bar, Wil sidled up to the counter, ordered his drink and had a look around at the available women. There weren’t many. It was either too late or too early for a good selection and Wil was picky. Being a man who had always been able to selective, he chose carefully. He was strong and quick, but that was no reason why he should put himself in danger by taking the wrong woman to bed. He’d found out, with nearly fatal consequences, how foolish that was.

He had almost made up his mind to go try his luck with a brunette in the corner, when a tall, leggy blonde entered. She was beautiful in a dangerous, lethal way. She carried herself like a well seasoned warrior, though she didn’t appear to be any older than he himself. Her golden hair was secured by what looked like black and silver chopsticks, but his cyber eye revealed they were really sheathed stilettos.

A feral, lupine grimace twitched his full lips. It was what passed as a smile for a man known as the Lone Wolf. Most people were terrified when he smiled like that. The woman, who had just turned his way, caught his eye and gave an equally chilling smile of her own.

She swaggered over the where he stood. Dressed in bright red leather pants and bustier, she sported a long, black leather duster and high, metal heeled, cowboy boots. A powerful handgun rested on her left hip. A whip graced the other.

Wil’s smile grew broader when she came up to him, standing less than three inches away, her breasts brushing his chest, her hips a whisper from his. Reaching out one leather clad hand, she grabbed his crotch in a very friendly fashion. His right hand held his drink, but his left glided down her arm in a familiar caress, his cyber eye checking her hands and feet for weapons. He found plenty, smiling.

“Hello, Val, how are you?”

“I’m better now, Wil. Good to see you.” Her hand stayed on his crotch, rubbing absently.

“What brings you to these parts, Val? I thought you were working Vandaran space.”

She shrugged one shoulder casually. “Vandarans are so boring. A bunch of overzealous, religious mooses. Meese?” She rolled her eyes, not caring if she got the right word or not.

“I think plural and singular are the same, moose.”

“Oh, who gives a shit, Wil? Only you would even know something like that.” She took a sip of his drink, licking her lips seductively.

“Which is part of my charm, Val.” He nibbled her neck, his hand moving to her hip in a very proprietary way.

“This is your charm, baby.” She grabbed and kneaded at his pants. “Right here.”

“Is that an invitation, Valkyrie?”

“A command performance, Wilhelm. Where can we go?”

“I have a ship. Five blocks to the spaceport.”

“Too far,” she bit his lower lip, pulling it with her teeth. She put her right foot on the rail below the bar, leaning hard against him. “Right here, right now.”

“Val, you may be an exhibitionist, but I don’t do that.”

“Shy, lover?”

He chuckled softly. “Paranoid. I don’t want to be doing something fun and get shot in the back. Tends to spoil the romance.”

“Oh, true.” She pouted slightly.

“I’d hate to rob a nice girl like yourself of her orgasms.”

“Always so considerate. Compromise. A room at the mercenary hostel? That’s where I’m staying. It’s two blocks away.”

“Lead the way, sugar. I’m all yours.” He finished his drink, plunking the glass on the bar.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

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lone wolf first four covers