Tag Archive | Second Wind Publishing

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.

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Sea of Destiny – Part 44

sea of destiny cover

For those who have been faithfully following this story, I apologize for moving it again. I wanted something special to share at Cereal Authors, so I decided to use this. Please forgive me and thank you for your support.

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Sea of Destiny – Part 43

sea of destiny cover

Horrified with what he’s done, Kyle decides he needs someone to talk to who may be able to offer him some advice. He decides to visit the ship’s chaplain.

“What can I do for you, Mr. Scott?” The minister shook Kyle’s hand, inviting him to sit.

“I know you’re not a priest,” Kyle began without preamble. “But I need to make a confession.”

“Have you committed a crime?”

“No, sir. But I have committed a sin.”

“I can’t give you absolution.”

“I know, but I need to talk to someone.”

“Alright.”

Kyle told him everything that had happened the night before, in as great detail as he could remember, leaving out Vera’s name. It was making the other man extremely uncomfortable, but he didn’t care. He had to get it off his chest. When he got to Fr. Michael’s confession, the chaplain stopped him.

“Back up a second. Father Mike’s your biological father?”

“Yeah. He was married to my mom until I was seven. Then he left. Understandably, I harbor some resentment.”

“Yes. So it was rather a shock to hear this from him.”

“Yes.”

“I see. Wow, I can see why you did what you did. Not that it excuses it, but in your position I’d have probably done the same.”

“Even the woman?”

The chaplain shrugged, nodding, then shaking his head. “I’m not a priest, I’m not married. Honest answer? Yeah, even the woman. Not to belittle what you’ve got started with Ms. Geraci, because she’s a wonderful woman and a great boss, but Kyle, you aren’t married to her. You aren’t engaged, you aren’t even officially a couple.” He held up his hand to stop Kyle’s protest.

“That doesn’t mean that what you did wasn’t sin, it doesn’t mean that she’s not going to be pissed, cause she is. It doesn’t even mean that you can forgive yourself, or she can forgive you, but it gives you a perspective.”

“Yeah, it shows me what a dick I am.”

“It shows you that you’re human. You had a very human reaction to a lot of stress, more than most people ever have. You’re still grieving and you find yourself in a new relationship that could potentially end as tragically as the first. You have three kids who need you. You’ve just found your father after twenty-six years. Man, I’d have fallen apart months ago. In a moment of desperation and weakness you reached out to another person who reached back. You aren’t a saint, Kyle. Don’t expect to react like one.”

“Thanks, Daniel. You’ve put it in perspective for me. I appreciate that.”

They shook hands. Daniel held his hand a moment longer, gazing into his eyes. “Emily has a temper and she is going to get angry. Be prepared for that. But know too, no matter how mad she is at first, when she calms down, she’ll find it in her heart to forgive you.”

“How do you know that?”

“Cause she’s my cousin and I’ve seen it happen more times than I can tell you. Be patient, ride out the storm. I guarantee it will work out. And call me if you ever need a sympathetic ear.”

“Thanks, Daniel.”

Kyle spent the rest of the day in a daze. The only good thing that came from it was the fact that he didn’t notice his hangover. He ate lunch on automatic, hardly paying attention to what he was eating. Cindy’s eyes held less of a reprimand. He wondered if Adam had spoken to her or if she’d just gotten over it. Not that it mattered. She was going to be plenty pissed at him soon.

* * *

Emily was due to arrive in about half an hour. Kyle took another shower and changed into fresh clothing. She was just being brought to the gangplank when he came out. Waving, he started down the ramp and walked beside her wheelchair as Dr. West pushed her up.

The crew and many of the passengers gathered on the deck to welcome her home. A fancy reception, to which everyone was invited, was held in the dining room. Emily sat at the captain’s table officiating over the party like a queen. Kyle could hardly get near her because of the crew members and other guests, many of whom knew her.

Dr. West made a point of taking him aside when Emily was busy with a large group. “Now talk.”

Kyle sighed. “I’ve been through this way too many times today, Doc. I want the next person I talk to about it to be Emily. But you need to be there.”

The doctor frowned. “It’s that bad?”

© Dellani Oakes

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Sea of Destiny – Part 42

sea of destiny coverKyle is still reeling from his actions, getting drunk and betraying Emily by taking Vera to bed. He’s hungover, surly and finds himself confronting Fr. Mike. In the presence of Adam, Kyle speaks to his father, the priest. It doesn’t go very well. Fr. Mike is determined to explain his own actions years ago.

Fr. Mike laid out a series of photographs. Each was labeled either before or after. Kyle saw more injuries and abnormalities than he ever thought to see in a lifetime. Some were grotesque, threatening to turn his stomach. Adam looked away. Kyle wouldn’t let himself. The last was one he recognized. It was a copy of his First Communion photograph. He knew that smiling face with the scattering of freckles and shock of bright red hair. Next to it, Father Michael laid a picture of the same child on a gurney being loaded into an ambulance.

“Do you remember that day?”

Kyle shook his head, trying to take in details of the photograph. A mangled bike lay to one side. His mother, much younger, hovered over the child while his little brother clung to her legs. His father stood on the other side, hand on his son’s brow as the ambulance driver tried to make him move aside for the gurney to get loaded. The picture had a date stamp from a local newspaper.

“This is why we argued. I knew I could heal you, but your mother was just as sure I

couldn’t. You were dying, Kyle. Your heart stopped before the ambulance came. I started it again, I healed your internal bleeding. I could have done it all, but your mother insisted that you needed a doctor. The doctors called it a miracle that you didn’t die. I knew it was because of what I did. I’m not bragging,” he interjected before his son could accuse him. “I’m stating fact.”

He continued in a more tender tone. “I went to the hospital to see you, but your mother wouldn’t let me in the room. So I headed to the nearest bar and got trashed. Worst binge I’ve ever been on, and passed out at my table. The bartender was a pal of mine and he let me sleep it off in the backroom. When I got home, instead of thanking me for what I’d done, she threw me out. She knew, son, but told me to leave anyway. It was at that moment I became aware that my life path lay elsewhere. I filed the annulment papers the next day.”

“So now this is where I’m supposed to thank you and forgive you? The thanks I give you. You saved me and I’m grateful. The forgiveness you’ll have to earn, old man. You ruined my life twice now. Why the hell couldn’t you wait to tell me this another time? Why did you have to pick that moment?”

“I’m dying.” Fr. Mike gathered the pictures slowly, deliberately. “Too many years of taking other people’s pain, their diseases. I thought I was processing and purging the filth, but I wasn’t. If I’m to believe the doctors, I’ve got six months. A year if I’m careful.” His eyes met Kyle’s. “I’m not careful. Too many people need me. Each person I heal takes time away from me, but gives them so much more. I need your forgiveness so my soul can rest in peace.”

Adam sniffled, rubbing his face. Kyle forced himself to breathe. He had to do it consciously because the automatic mechanism refused to work. Something in his brain snapped and he had no control over his body. Sitting in stunned silence, he made himself breathe, blink, swallow. He was numb, unable to think. What his father asked of him was impossible. His father’s confession to him the night before had driven him to do something horrible. How could he forgive the priest when he couldn’t forgive himself?

“Don’t you think you should have told me some of this last night?”

“Would it have made a difference?” His father raised a dubious eyebrow.

“Yes. Telling me this now, after I’ve totally fucked up my life, doesn’t help a lot.”

“Meaning you can’t blame me for your sins anymore.”

“I never blamed you for Margo and me.”

“No, but you blamed me for you and the woman last night.”

Kyle nodded, conceding that point. “Fair to say. It’s always easier to cope when you blame someone else, don’t you think? I blame you, you blame Mom, she blames me.” He stopped a moment, stunned by that revelation. Out of nowhere, he’d struck on the truth. “My God, she does blame me! All these years, she’s blamed me for you leaving. No wonder I always felt like I had to make things right!” He laughed almost hysterically, rising to pace the room.

“You argued because of me. She blamed me. She still does. You want my forgiveness, old man, you go to the source. Take it up with her and leave me out of it. I’m no longer taking any responsibility for what happened between you. When you can say to me that you’ve talked to her and forgiven her, then we’ll talk. In the meantime, I’ve got my own life to put back together, my own demons to fight. This is your battle, Father, not mine.”

He stalked out with Adam in his wake. He didn’t know where the priest went, nor did he particularly care. He knew he had to talk to Emily, but first he had another stop to make. Halting suddenly, Adam collided with his back.

“Where’s the chaplain?”

“Chaplain? Um….” He pointed to his right, past the way they had come. “That way.”

The ship chaplain was happy to talk to him. Adam waited outside, pacing.

© Dellani Oakes

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Sea of Destiny – Part 41

sea of destiny coverKyle discovers that Adam saw him with Vera. Humiliated and ashamed, Kyle tells Adam what happened and promises he will tell Emily.

“What were you thinking?” Adam accused.

“I was thinking that if I didn’t get away from my life for awhile, I was going to explode. Haven’t you ever done something really stupid? I mean, so completely asinine that you feel like there’s no hope of redemption?”

Adam blushed and Kyle knew he had and probably in what way. Hadn’t all men done that at one time or another?

“Yeah, okay. But you’re old enough to know better.”

Kyle’s laugh barked out catching them both by surprise. “Boy, you’re so full of shit…. Hell, my first major mistake got me married when I was about your age. The next biggie was last night and might possibly screw up my new chance at happiness. Know better? Right….”

A call came over the shipboard intercom. “Mr. Kyle Scott. Please report to the Purser’s Office. Kyle Scott, report to the Purser’s Office.”

He looked at Adam for clarification. “Who the hell is the Purser and where’s his office?”

“Like Gopher on the Love Boat. This way.”

Kyle followed the young man through the labyrinth of passages, decks and corridors until they were at the Purser’s office. He didn’t know what he was expecting to see, but it wasn’t what greeted him. Father Michael stood there calmly talking to the Purser and the Captain.

Captain Carter stepped forward, greeting Kyle like a long lost friend. “Mr. Scott, good morning. Father Michael wanted to see you.”

“So I see.” He glared at the priest, trying hard to keep a lid on his temper.

“You can step into the salon next door. It’s empty at this hour. Adam, you can return to your duty post.”

“Actually, Captain, I’d rather like the kid with me. If that’s okay?”

“Certainly. Adam, you know the way.”

“Yes, sir.” He showed the other men into the empty salon.

Kyle had expected it to be a place to get hair done, but it was a large, airy sitting room with lots of windows and comfortable chairs. Kyle flung himself down in one, Michael sat carefully in another. Adam stood near Kyle, unsure what to do.

“Come to hear my confession now?” Kyle demanded.

“No. I came to show you something.” Mike gestured toward a briefcase he carried.

“What could you possibly have to show me that’s going to make twenty-six years disappear?”

“Not disappear, but maybe once you see this, you’ll understand.” He opened the case and extracted a folder, laying it on a low table in front of him.

“Before you start, I think I need to make the introductions so that Adam, Emily’s godson, knows why I proceeded to make such an ass of myself last night. Adam, I took a woman to bed I wasn’t married to. But you know that already. What you don’t know is that the man sitting across from me did the same damn thing thirty-five years ago. I want you to meet my father, Adam. Father Michael Scott.” He spat the name out, furious. “Now that you know that, can you begin to understand why I was unfaithful to Emily?”

Adam’s face went pale. He sat heavily opposite the priest. Fr. Michael’s expression hardened. The edge of his ears turned red, a flush of anger rising from his collar.

“Your sins are your own, son. And mine belong to me. I’ve received absolution. Have you?”

“Seeking absolution does nothing until you explain to my mother why you left. So you had an argument. I’ve had plenty of them. Not a week went by that Margo and I didn’t squabble over something, but I never left! I didn’t destroy three lives, leaving two innocent kids in my wake. I made my mistake and I lived with it for fifteen years. But they were good ones, despite the rocky start. So you were young when you married. So was I! I went to college at night, working three jobs during the day so I could support my family. For the last ten years, I’ve worked at a job I hate just to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. You know what? I’m damn good at it, I make a lot of money, but I hate it just the same.

“So don’t preach to me about being too young to get your shit together. That’s a bullshit cop out and I’m not listening to that line anymore. I’ll always be grateful for what you did for Emily, but don’t ask my forgiveness, Priest. I don’t have that in me.”

“Now that you’re done venting, perhaps you’ll listen.” Father Michael opened a folder. “This is a series of pictures of people I’ve helped. Some of them before I ever became a priest. Most of them in the last five years since I began this mission.”

© Dellani Oakes

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To Buy Dellani’s Books

Normally, this story would be posted on the Second Wind site. Regrettably, I have left Second Wind, so I will be posting the remainder of this story on this site instead, the 17 of every month as before. ~ Dellani

 

Something New – Part 33 (Again)

something new coverMy apologies that this part went up a month early. This is what happens when I work late at night. Clearly, that was a mistake!

Although the interview goes extremely well, Austin is so stunned and moved by Liz bringing some of the Magician’s Fund children on the show, he’s exhausted. Instead of going out to celebrate, he simply wants to go home.

“I know it would be fun to celebrate, but I honestly just want to go home and take a nap. That was emotionally draining.”

“Let’s plan on dinner,” Gordon suggested. “You can go home, relax and we’ll all meet up—where?”

“There’s a great restaurant in my building. Owen Rhys is the chef.”

“Sounds perfect,” Elaine agreed. “At eight?”

“I’ll call for a reservation,” Dwight said, taking out his phone. Moments later, he’d confirmed their reservation.

Stu dropped off Dwight and Austin at their building before heading to the Vogel Building. They went up the back elevator again.

“When did life get so bloody complicated?” Austin asked.

“About the time you got famous,” Dwight replied. “My phone is ringing like crazy.”

“I don’t hear anything.”

“Vibrate.” He pulled the phone out of his pants pocket, waving it around. “Only action I’m likely to get for awhile. Maybe I’ll just let it ring.” He winked and went home.

Austin started undressing as soon as he closed his door. He headed to the shower and let the hot water pound his back, unknotting his shoulders. Controlling his emotions had been exhausting. As much as he appreciated what Liz had done, it had brought all the horrors back. How he wished someone had done for him what he was doing for others. If he could save even one child or family from the fear and humiliation he’d felt, he would judge himself worthy.

He dressed in loose fitting jeans and ratty T-shirt. Walking around barefoot, he enjoyed the deep pile carpet. A lunch of Naomi and Dexter’s leftovers filled him up. He sipped a single beer and watched Farscape on DVD. He didn’t watch much television, but he loved to run marathons of favorite TV shows. He was deep into season one when someone knocked at his door. He paused the show and opened the door.

Liat stood there, grinning. “Mind if I join you?” She also was wearing jeans and a baggy shirt.

“Love for you to. I’ve been watching John Crichton whilst deciding whether or not to take a nap.”

“Can I interest you in something other than a nap?” She tugged his belt loops, pulling him close.

Austin smiled down at her, putting his hands on her waist. “I’d like that. I’d love to hope it involves getting naked.”

Liat playfully pushed him away. “I’ve known you since Thursday.”

“So, that’s a no.”

“That’s a be patient.”

Holding her waist, he walked backwards toward the couch. He sat down, pulling her down to straddle his lap.

“After all the sights I’ve shown you. Super novas in the beta quadrant.”

“That was just the light bulb going in one of the lamps.”

“Meteor shower in Sol Bea.”

“Styrofoam rocks hurled at us from the catwalk.”

“Bloody hell, I’m useless.”

“Almost entirely,” she replied, pushing him back against the couch.

“Well, the question burning in everyone’s mind, is this. How much of the last three days may we count as dates?”

She climbed off his lap, sitting close beside him. “Hmm. . . . We can count dinner the first night.”

“How about the snogging in my trailer.”

“Mm, no.”

“But I want to count it.”

“Why?”

“Because it was such fun. And now, may we include now?”

“Maybe. Depends upon what you want to do.”

“I’m a thirty-two year old man in a room with the most beautiful woman in the world. What do you think I want to do?” He loomed over her, his face mere inches from hers.

“Play Trivial Pursuit?”

“Not even close.” He smiled as his lips brushed her cheek.

“We’re having dinner with my parents soon.”

“And?” He nosed her hair, his tongue tickling her ear.

“And, if we do anything inappropriate—Daddy will know.”

He fell back, lying on the couch. “Dammit, that’s done it.”

“What?”

“The cock block I needed after the first time I kissed you. There it is. Your father will castrate me if I even think of shagging you.” He groaned, putting a pillow over his face. He pressed against it as if trying to suffocate himself.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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Rocking Bloggers – Dellani Oakes Edition

Many thanks to Tracey L. Clark for adding me to her 15 Rocking Bloggers list. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her via our posts and comments here on Word Press. We struck up a conversation and have been communicating ever since.

dragonaward (1)Here Are The Rules For This Award:

* Display the award certificate on your website.

* Announce your win with a post, and link to whomever presented your award.

* Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.

* Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post.

* Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

Now the fun part! Seven facts about me. This may take a little doing, because I don’t want to share things I’ve already shared. I’m not a world traveler, though I have been all over the United States, so I guess I’ll start there.

First fact: I am the daughter of an English professor and a school teacher. While my father was getting his education, and his first jobs, we moved a lot. By the time I was 9, we had moved 7 times. In comparison with some military families, this is no big thing, but for a kid who didn’t acclimate well, it was somewhat traumatic. We started in Tennessee, moved to Ohio, then Massachusetts, Texas and Nebraska. I picked up accents from everywhere we lived, so by the time we got to Nebraska, people said they couldn’t understand me. I did my best, as I grew older, to rid myself of any telling accent. I will, however, sound Southern when I talk to Southerners.

Speaking of Southerners, fun fact #2: My mother, sister and I each married Southern men. Not so strange for my sister and me, I suppose, but our mother is from Cleveland, Ohio and happened to meet our father in the Harlan, Kentucky bus station when they were both there seeing friends off. I met my Alabama born husband when I was living in Mississippi, going to college. (That was after move #11. I’ve moved 19 times—so far)

My third fact: I live about a mile from the beach (as the crow flies) but because of the lack of bridges, I have to drive 30 minutes to get to the beach—not that I go often. A few years ago, I developed migraines that are brought on by glare and bright sunshine, so the beach and I don’t get along well anymore. Despite that, Florida has become my home and many of my novels are set here, including The Ninja Tattoo, Undiscovered and Conduct Unbecoming.

The Ninja Tattoo by Dellani Oakes - 200

Undiscovered by Dellani Oakes - 200conduct unbecoming FINAL FRONT COVER large

 

Fourth Fact: Western Nebraska is still very much a part of me, though I haven’t been there since 1989. My formative years were spent in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, about 30 miles from the Wyoming border. I’ve set several books there, one of which is published. Under the Western Sky, is set in 1976 and allowed me to reminisce about a simpler time.Under the Western Sky by Dellani Oakes - 500

Fact #5: I love animals, but have developed asthmatic bronchitis and can’t be around anything with fur or feathers. Cats are especially bad, but dogs are awful too. And don’t get me started on birds! In fact, I can’t comfortably be around people wearing cologne, perfume or any kind of hair products, so I don’t hug people unless I know I can wash soon after. I had a doctor tell me “You’re allergic to Florida.” Since other places are no better, and some are much worse, I stay here.

Sixth Fact: This is something that many people know, but it bears repeating. I write—a lot. I have 8 books published, with my ninth coming out in late October. I write mostly romantic suspense and have finished 75 novels and novellas. I also have 47 unfinished, but I am working away at them. I set myself a goal to finish at least one of my languishing works per month this year. I have done pretty well. I finished 4 in July alone and haven’t missed a month, except for March.

 

indian summer scanned cover 500 x 750Final Fact: I have four fantastic children, 3 boys and a girl. They have been a source of inspiration and entertainment for many years. When I wrote my historical novel, Indian Summer, I patterned the main character after my daughter. The character is 15 and, by the society at the time, has become of marriageable age. She gets herself tangled in a conspiracy where she has witnessed a British spy plotting to overtake the town of St. Augustine. Some readers questioned her ability to cope at that age, but I thought about my own daughter at 15 and knew that Gabriella had what it took to overcome the odds—and boy does she!

 

 

 

 

Now for the hard part. I know so many amazing authors, and I tend to always choose the same few to participate in these things. I will be gradually adding to this list as I get more confirmations. Meanwhile, enjoy the writing of my good friends.

JD Holiday

Marta Moran Bishop

J. Conrad Guest

Barbara Ehrentreau