In Today’s Spotlight Dellani Oakes

The Fantastic Blog Hop Tour bus is moving along and it’s making a stop in Florida (again) to pick up a woman who is responsible for encouraging my writing addiction.  I’m talking about none other than Dellani Oakes.

Dellani Oakes is an author, blogger and a Red River Writers pocaster.  Her latest sci-fi book Shakazhan is available at Second Wind Publishing.  She took time from her hectic schedule to speak with us and participate in the 10 Questions segment.

Indian Summer1. Are you a fan of the genre that you write in? Surprisingly, I am – to an extent. I write romance and I get burned out on the books where the two leading characters argue throughout the majority of the book. I want my characters to get along, fall in love, have some hot sex and fight the bad guys together. What an unusual concept!

2. Are you a pen and paper author or do you use a computer to write? Some of both, actually. If I have to go to an appointment, I take a notebook and pen. It’s impossible to find a spot to set up a laptop and I can’t type while balancing it on my lap. (I think the name laptop is a misnomer, by the way)

3. If you couldn’t write what would you be doing instead? If I’m not writing, I’m reading or watching Netflix. I watch WAY too many movies and TV shows when I get bored. I hibernate in the summer because I can’t stand the heat – brilliant of me to live in Florida! I love to cook, though I hate planning meals, and I love digging around doing research for my books.

4. What about this business surprised you the most? I would have to say the amount of marketing shocked me. I’m not good at talking myself up, but if I don’t, I don’t sell books. It took me a very long time to hit on an approach I can handle. It takes far more time than I like, but if I don’t do it, no one else will.

5. Do you blog? I do indeed! I have Writer’s Sanctuary – where I am hosting my guests for Fantastic Blog Hop. http://writersanctuary.blogspot.com/ I also have http://dellanioakes.wordpress.com/

6. Are you on social media? Do you enjoy it? I am on Facebook and always welcome new friends and fans https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dellani-Oakes/98897574794 I enjoy my time there and count it towards my marketing time. A wise author friend told me once that “You don’t market your books, you market yourself”. In other words, you reach out, get to know people and treat them as friends, not customers. People are far more likely to buy a new book a friend wrote than that of a complete stranger. Be friendly, genuine and honest. It takes time, but it will pay off in the long run.

7. The house is on fire, which do you save, your laptop or your Lone Wolfbook collection? Neither. I would save my flashdrives. All my books are on them. If my computer melted or my books went up in smoke, I can replace them. If I lost my flashdrive, I might as well die because my books would die with them.

8. The publishing industry is changing, do you think this is good or bad time for authors? In some ways, it’s great! There are opportunities for authors to publish their own work. However, there are so many other books out there, it makes it much harder to get recognition and build a following.

9. How do you promote your books? I do two shows month on Blog Talk Radio: Dellani’s Tea Time – every 2nd Monday and What’s Write for Me every 4th Wednesday. I chat with other authors about their work, giving each of us a bit of exposure. I have my blogs where I post fairly regularly. In addition to the two above, I have Dellani’s Choice which is my review site. http://dellanischoice.wordpress.com/ I also post the 17th of every month on my publisher’s website: http://secondwindpub.wordpress.com/ In addition to all this, I am on Facebook, getting to know people and posting about my shows & books. The main thing that seems to have made a bigger difference, is Twitter. With the help of a buffer program, I can schedule my tweets for select hours during the day. I have also been able to link my blog posts so that they show up automatically on other sites. That has been a godsend and I wish it had been around 5 years ago when I started!

10. Your editor says you have to kill a character, which one would get the ax? Hmm…. If we’re talking about a main character, I’d have to create one with the editor’s name and brutally murder it. Not that any of my editors would do that – they are wonderful people. If they actually suggested that, there would have to be a really good reason. If it worked for the betterment of the book, I would do it – crying the entire time.

Excerpt from Shakazhan

Shakazhan By Dellani Oakes
Picking up where Lone Wolf ends, Shakazhan follows the further adventures of Wil VanLipsig and Matilda Dulac. Having chased the evil John Riley to a far off planet known as Iyundo, they find themselves once more confronted with a problem of John’s making. However, this time they have powerful allies – the Kindred. These people put them in touch with a race of sentient ships. In the following excerpt, Wil and Matilda meet their ship for the first time.
       The cavern they entered dwarfed the other one. The ships inside were enormous. Flotilla and Hannibal could fit in there easily with room to spare. The design was unlike anything Wil had ever seen. The ships were shaped like horizontal teardrops, the narrow end foremost and the full end aft. The colors ranged from dull gray to a lustrous blue. The hulls shifted color as they walked by, particularly if Wil and Matilda spoke or touched them.
Wil laid his hand on one. It throbbed like a gigantic heart. To their right, a green light flashed rapidly, accompanied with odd, piercing, urgent sounds. The High Elder motioned them to follow. It took several minutes, but soon they were close enough to see blue and red and amber yellow had joined the display.
“Wil, I think it’s singing to us! Listen!” Matilda approached, mesmerized.
The ship was a deep, rich peacock blue. Larger than those below, it dwarfed any ship Wil had seen. Even the huge Guild ore transports weren’t this big. He felt like an ant in comparison.
Reaching up to the ship, Matilda’s hand smoothed the side. “It is singing!”
The tune changed when she touched it. Removing her hand, she heard the sounds modulate yet again. She stroked the hull of the ship, the colors shifted, altered and realigned themselves following the movement of her hand. A contented purr vibrated under her palm.
“Wil, it’s alive! Feel it!”
She grabbed his hand before he could pull away. Their two left hands brushed the hull together, hers atop his. The skin of the ship glowed a vibrant red, changing gradually to orange, flickered to dark yellow, settling to blue again.
Wil laid both his hands beside each other, leaning against the ship, placing his cheek to the side. As he moved back from it, the imprint of the outline of his face and hands remained for a moment, gradually receding.
“By God, Matilda, you’re right!”
The smiles of Felix and the High Elder confirmed their suspicions.
“I’ve heard legends of ships like this, but never expected to see one! This is incredible!”
Grabbing Matilda’s hand, Wil dragged her around the side of the ship, looking for an opening. About twenty feet from the point, a doorway appeared where none had been before. Steps descended, the ship molding them from its skin, forming depressions for their feet. They entered excitedly. Moments later, Felix, The High Elder and Aisulov joined them.
The sight greeting their eyes was one they hardly expected. The inside was ultra high tech, the instrumentation so advanced, they could only imagine what most of it was. The consoles had an Art Nouveau feel, with flowing lines and organic shapes. Here too, the colors melded and shifted.
“She’s beautiful!” Matilda’s eyes glowed happily as she walked around.

Bio

Dellani OakesWhen she moved to Florida, Dellani Oakes had no idea the history was so rich and fascinating. Visiting St. Augustine for the first time, she felt the allure of the country’s oldest city. She decided then to write a story based there. It wasn’t until nearly twelve years later that Indian Summer took its final form.
Dellani is a happily married mother of four, substitute teacher and former English teacher. When she isn’t being one of the above, she is an avid writer, spending every possible moment immersed in her other worlds.
She has also written a series of futuristic romance novels, contemporary romances and short stories. Dellani’s interests include reading, going to the beach, listening to all kinds of music and cooking.

 

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For Fleet: The White Aura by Felicia Tatum

This is for book of the week on Passionate about Books.

The White AuraHow do you live with the gut clenching truth that the one you love will die if you meet them? Twenty year old sorcerer Scott Tabors is learning how. After seeing seventeen year old Olivia Whitehead outside of a coffee shop, his heart will never be the same. He longs for her, he wants her, and he knows she will be his. They are heart mates. …but due to a curse on his family, he can’t meet her. Not yet. So for now, he visits her in her dreams. Her dreams where he can tell her everything but his name.

Olivia Whitehead is a typical junior in high school. She and her best friend are having the time of their lives, but she can’t help but notice the changes happening to her. Especially the changes in her heart after she begins dreaming about a mysterious dark haired young man. But what will happen when the school heartthrob decides he wants Olivia? Will she realize the dream man is real or will she move on?

Excerpt:

My reflection was much calmer than my inside. I was an absolute wreck inside, worried and scared about the events that would happen tonight at the dance. Wearing black dress pants and a white buttoned shirt, I looked dressed up enough to blend in if I had to go in the building for any reason. My pockets were loaded with stunning charms that would stun the attacker if I threw them at him. I had a knife in my back pocket, big enough to do damage if needed. I didn’t want this fight to become that violent, but I was prepared to protect Livvie if I had to.

Mark had similar charms and weapons to guard himself with. I had given them to him after he had left school. Grandma and Sadie were prepared with spells they had memorized. Immobilizing spells, memory erasing spells (for the dance goers), slumber charms, and they had found a few control spells that would be handy if we needed the crowd to leave without putting up a fight. Overall, I felt that we were well prepared. I couldn’t help the sinking feeling in the pit of stomach, a feeling that told me The Crimson Calamitous was much stronger and this may all be for naught.

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Giveaway on the Passionate about books page!

2 sets of magnets for The White Aura and The Vessel

2 ecopies of The Vessel

The White Aura will be on sale for 1.99 May 27-31 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

Also…a sneak peak at Felecia’s new Romance, Mangled Hearts: Francesca and Cade

I’d watched her every day since school began. She moved with grace and confidence, yet I could see hurt behind her eyes when she surveyed her surroundings. I didn’t know who would want to hurt a beautiful creature like her, but it angered me. A lot. I watched her from a distance for as long as I could, until the longing in my heart to hear her voice speaking to me was too much.

               I knew it was stupid and reckless to bring myself into her life. I was the worst kind of guy for her, into all the wrong things, but something about her made me want to be…more. The first time I saw her beautiful face was during lunch. She was stuck in a little hole in the wall, her nose deep into a book. Her dark blonde hair fell around her face, and she absent mindedly pushed it behind her ear, not once looking up from her book. People walked around her, came close to stepping on her, completely ignored her…and all I could do was stare. I couldn’t tear my eyes away. Two weeks after that, I’d followed her bus to the next bus stop. I prayed to be the one driving her home someday soon.

               As I approached, she hadn’t moved. She leaned back against the bench, her eyes furiously devouring the book she gripped. After I finally got her attention, my heart had almost stopped when her deep, rich brown eyes looked into mine. Her voice sounded like it came from heaven, her words singing a song to my heart. I laid a hand on her leg, the sparks shooting straight into my soul.

9 years prior-October

               I’d followed her to the bus stop every day since then. The week after our first meeting, I’d gotten the nerve to meet her at her locker. She was bent in, rummaging through her belongings, when I slid up and relaxed behind the door. I heard her groan as a book fell to the floor. I scooped in to pick it up, smiling at her as I handed it over. Her eyes widened as she whispered my name.

               “Francesca.”

               “Cade…you never talk to me in school,” she accused me.

               It stung. It was true. I didn’t want my friends getting the wrong idea or anyone saying things to her about how screwed up I was. It was selfish, and it appeared to hurt her.

               “I’m sorry. I didn’t know if you wanted to…” I admitted, taking her book bag from her.

               “What are you doing?” she questioned, eyeing my hand.

               “Walking you to class?”

               Her eyes stared down, and a small smile curved on her gorgeous face. She peered up at me, her lashes dark and framing her eyes perfectly. My breath caught when she did that. She walked around me, turning a few steps away to make sure I followed.

               “Of course I want to. We’re friends, right?” she said, sauntering off.

               Her voice hummed in my mind, sending smoke signals to my heart. I think I would have followed her anywhere. I’d walk off a cliff if it’s where she led.

Author Bio:

Felicia TatumFelicia Tatum was born and raised in Tennessee. She always loved reading, and at the age of twelve began writing. Her passion for creating stories grew and in May 2012, she finally wrote her first novel, The White Aura.

She still lives in Tennessee with her daughter and her kitty. She loves cooking and books. Animals are some of her best friends. She watches a lot of Disney channel and often dreams up new book ideas. She’s currently writing the second book in series, as well as a romance novel. Her dream is to write as many book as possible while entertaining as many people as possible.

Author Links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/feliciatatumwriter

Twitter: www.twitter.com/sassybrunette55

Website: www.feliciatatum.com

In The Wyverian Wilds By Crimson Kildare And Kat Marlow (An Excerpt)

Excerpt of In The Wyverian Wilds for, “The Fantastic Blog Hop!”

In the Wyverian Wilds by Crimson Kildare and Kat MarlowThe Village of Drysor Y Ddraig was laid out at the foot a large, sloping hill. The back end of the hill and the far edge of the village were bordered by a rushing river that flowed over the edge of a cliff. It was a lush, green land full of trees, plants, wild life and small insects. A view filled with beauty and tranquility.

Jamie sat on the lawn behind the house of Yates looking out over the cliffs at the roaring water of the falls. He was lost in thought when the older man, Henry, who’d come with the visiting dignitaries walked over and sat down beside him. He looked up and offered him a small smile. His eye wandering over to see Idris still deep in conversation with Charles and …Val…Val was walking down along the edge of the cliffs on the far end of the lawn. He really, really needed to talk to Val, but where to begin?

Henry watched Jamie for a few minutes and then chuckled. “You’ve so many things on your mind at once you can’t form a single coherent thought about any one of them can you young one?”

“No, I guess I can’t. I…I just have so many questions…” Jamie answered.

“May I ask what sort of questions?”

“About how I got here to begin with…I mean yeah I was frozen and they thawed me out, okay…but how is that possible after all this time, without…any kind of medicine or science…with nothing to help them but a fire?

Henry looked at Val and then at Jamie and gave him a smile in return. “This is where you wish to begin? Talking with me, about the nature of things?”

Jamie spared a guilty look for Val whose back was turned to him in that moment. “I…I…yes, because I don’t know how to begin…anything else…”

Henry nodded as he errantly picked a few blades of tall grass and began to weave them in an intricate pattern as he considered the concerns mentioned.

“You have old knowledge Jamie, compared to what is known to most now. However compared to what I know and more importantly what Thera knows it is the knowledge of the young, of a child. Long, long ago, before the times your people were able to map out and attempted to explain with their analysis and sciences there was another world, another people. These people, they were the first ones, the first of all peoples, of all beings.

They were not like you or I or anyone you’ve ever met. They were beings of…possibility. They took form as it pleased them, from them came all the variety of life that has ever existed from the smallest to the largest, from the most benign and powerless to the most clever and powerful. These people had knowledge to be sure, but their knowledge did not come from learning or analysis, but from the source of all things. They were born knowing. They also had healing and power, but theirs was made of the essence of all that is. You would call this magic. They did not have medicine, science or tools, because they did not need them. They had will. There came a time when some of these first ones grew to like physicality, to favor various forms and they chose to take on these forms permanently. This is where life on this world as we know it now and as you once knew it came from.

Now I could explain this all in much greater detail, as I used to do for Charles and his brother Cedric when they were young, but my point is that Thera, the land, the earth herself she knew what was coming. She is part of all that is and is connected to it still. She knew that great rock in the sky would come and hit her. She knew the cataclysm it would bring, the harsh reality that would be brought to bear on the peoples on her surface. So she spoke to the Great Mother and together they began to make preparations…they began to rework the nature of the people so that they might survive. They rewove the power of their will for them, giving them back the magics they had abandoned long ago…

“Okay, okay whoaaa Nelly! So what you’re telling me, is that the Earth, who you call Thera, and the Great Mother…by which you mean the spirits of all nature and the planet re-engineered the DNA of the people to give them magic, because they would be robbed of all their tools and sciences?”

“Exactly.”

“Okay…And even “IF” I choose to believe that, it explains what happened to me how?” Jamie asked.

“Easily. You are sitting on the ground in the land of the Lords of Wyveria, a people who can slip their skin and become Dragons. A people who can cast spells and affect the elements, who can speak to the wee creatures and you find my explanation what…too farfetched? How does it explain you? Do you not listen when others speak to you Logan? Did you not yourself hear Idris say he felt you in all that ice, sensed you were there, that you were pulsing with life. Does that not ring any bells for you, as it were?”

“Are you saying that I…have some sort of…magic?” Jamie asked.

“As you said yourself, you were frozen in a block of ice for many thousands of years and yet you thawed out whole and undamaged, not even the biting of frost upon your fingers and toes. What else would that be, but a great ability to heal oneself?”

Jamie blinked, “You mean I can…regenerate?!” he asked startled.

Henry merely nodded and smiled. Then he looked at Val again. “You have it in you to be a great healer Jamie Logan, go start now. Heal with words, heal with your heart.” He said nodding toward Val and gave Jamie a small shove.

An Excerpt From Daytona Dead By Karen Vaughan

Yesterday, I interviewed Karen H. Vaughan for the Fantastic Blog Hop Tour and today, I’ll be giving you a peek into her latest book, “Daytona Dead.”  For the next few weeks I’ll be interviewing and sharing excerpts with you from some of the most amazing authors so stay tuned!

Daytona Dead By Karen Vaughan
Available on Amazon and Barnes & Nobel

Plans for the next day included getting some of our pictures saved on a CD, so I could clear the card in my camera. So I figured I might as well develop the ones from Lou’s camera.  I was at a Kodak kiosk doing just that, when I felt the hair on the back of my neck prick up, so I whipped around to find the creepy cop behind me.

“Ok, this is getting old really fast. Do you have an odd fixation with following tourists around? Or are you just being a jerk?”

“Mrs. Fitz, dear, no need for a meltdown. I just happen to be at the same photo kiosk as you “

“Ya, I bet!”

“Oh my, someone is paranoid.” he laughed, “Maybe you really are guilty of that guy’s murder and used the road kill scenario as a cover up. Maybe, you staged it to divert attention. I may have to take my thoughts on this to the detective on the case.”

People were staring at us and backing away out of the store. The police officer was in his civvies and couldn’t do anything at that point.  He was grinning evilly, thinking he was getting the better of me.

I stood straight up, “Too late Fife, we’ve been cleared of all charges so don’t even go there.”

His weasel-like face turned bright red, “Quit calling me Fife, my first name isn’t even Barney! It’s Dave, Dave Meecham. With that he turned and stomped away from the kiosk.

Okay, so now my would-be stalker had a name, should I need to use it?  I continued to copy the photos from my card and printed off the ones from Lou’s SIM card.  I went to pay for my pictures and the clerk looked at me oddly.

“What do I owe ya?”

“Um, six dollars.” She was clearly rattled by clash with the creepazoid.

It’s okay, dear, I’m not going to rob or kill ya. There’s no need to be nervous. My friend who just left is highly delusional…thinks he’s a cop or something. Most people have a thing for FBI or the CIA. He just wants to be at home in Mayberry with Andy, Aunt Bea and Opie”

The counter clerk laughed, took my money and moved on. I walked out with my photos and CD and Lou’s hard copies.

When I got back to the hotel I was still angry at the nerve of Dave Meecham implying we still might be responsible for Lou’s death.  This made me angrier as no one should be pissed off on their honeymoon. What did the little dip wad know anyway. He had been at the scene and saw the condition of Lou’s body. In my shock I hadn’t even realized that Lou had been shot after he was killed by the car. Maybe one of those guys in Lou’s pictures was Meecham.  I shook my head. I was going to turn what I had over to the authorities and back way off. I was on a mission to enjoy myself with Gerry, not get dragged into a homicidal mess.

Copyright © 2013

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Author Karen VaughanAuthor BIO:

Karen Vaughan lives in Peterborough Ontario with her husband Jim and a four legged off spring named Sugar. She is the mom of a 22 year old daughter and four grown step children and a 2 1/2 year old grandson named Ike. DEAD COMIC STANDING is her second novel. Her first novel DEAD ON ARRIVAL garnered praise from friends, family and online gamers.  She also enjoys doing crafts and other hobbies. Her latest book is called OVER HER DEAD BODY is the second book to DEAD ON ARRIVAL. DAYTONA DEAD is the third in that series which is soon to be released.