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. I also have

6. Are you on social media? Do you enjoy it? I am on Facebook and always welcome new friends and fans 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. I also post the 17th of every month on my publisher’s website: 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.


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.



Excerpt From Lone Wolf By Dellani Oakes

fantastic blog hop bus

Today, the Fantastic Blog Hop Tour pulls into Daytona Florida, where we meet Dellani Oakes, romance novelist, blogger, and podcaster.  Shew!  I’m exhausted just saying it all!  🙂  Anyways, let’s get down to business, I promised excerpts and that’s exactly what you’ll get.  Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, Dellani Oakes’ Sci-Fi novel, “Lone Wolf.”

Once he was up and dressed, Marc was all business. It seemed odd for him to be so professional when they had just been so intimate, but she knew something was bothering him.

Lone WolfAs Matilda followed Marc to the docking bay where the ship was locking on, she noticed he was armed. The energy weapon he wore was hardly standard Guild issue. On the maximum setting, it could take down a 300 pound man, putting a sizable hole in him.

“Expecting an army? You can kill a xar beast with one of those.”

“I wish I had something bigger. If I order you to fire, Commander, you fire. No questions. Is that clear?”

“Yes, sir.”

Marc opened the door to the docking bay. The other ship had attached and the airlock was pressurizing. As the door spiraled open, Matilda sensed a shudder pass through Marc. He raised his weapon, covering the entrance.

Slowly, with a casual air, a man entered the airlock. Nearly as tall as Marc, he was leaner of build. His curly, dark brown hair fell to his shoulders. He stood still while Rubee scanned his identification tag before releasing the force shield in front of him.

He wore a black eye patch over his left eye and a scar ran from his left temple to the corner of his lips. It was an old scar, worn and somewhat sunken. A slight stubble of beard shaded the lower half of his face, all but the scar line, leaving a pale crescent in the dark. His uncovered eye glittered, black and dangerous in his ruggedly handsome face. Holding his arms from his sides, he waited as Rubee scanned him for weapons. Finding none, she gave clearance for him to pass.

He stepped forward, lighting a dark, thin object. The pungent odor of a cheroot filled the confined space. Squinting past the smoke, he gazed into Marc’s eyes. Marc’s weapon remained pointed at the other man’s head, his calm expression strangely predatory.

Their visitor sized Matilda up with a glance, dismissing her as non-threatening. He puffed on his cheroot thoughtfully. A crooked grin cracked his face in half, the scar pulling his left lip up at an odd angle.

“Marc, it’s been a long time.” He held out his hand.

Marc remained aloof, not taking his eyes off the visitor, lowering his weapon or acknowledging the proffered hand.

“Kind of a cold reception, isn’t it?” His voice was rasping and low.

The smile was replaced by a slight frown, a hint of sadness in the obsidian eye. Then the same placid expression took its place. Nothing in Marc’s face betrayed what he was thinking or feeling.

Marc spoke calmly. “Commander Dulac, please show Colonel VanLipsig to the lounge.”

“Of course, sir.” Looking puzzled, she did as he asked, feeling his eyes on her.

Marc followed, covering the man from the rear. When they had seated themselves, Matilda ordered three cups of joe from the synthunit. Marc kept his weapon out on his knee with his hand resting upon it. The other fellow leaned back, seemingly unconcerned and at ease. Taking a sip of the joe, he grimaced, glancing down at his cup before matching his gaze with Marc’s.

“I know we parted under difficult circumstances, but is this really necessary? I’m here to do a job, nothing more.” He carefully kept his hands in plain view, moving slowly, talking with deliberate ease.

Marc looked at him blankly. “I thought you were dead, Wil.”

VanLipsig nodded slowly, thoughtfully. “You were sure you killed me.” His voice was flat, toneless, unemotional. He shrugged casually, tilting his head to the left. “I got better.” There was a flash of a chilling smile.

“The reports….”

       “The reports of my death were greatly exaggerated,” VanLipsig quipped, dark eye glittering mischievously.

Marc’s fist dented the metal table with a furious blow. “Dammit, Wil! Can’t you stay dead?”

VanLipsig threw back his head, laughing caustically. The laugh became a long, high pitched, chilling howl. Matilda felt a shiver run through her to the very bone. She did her best not to show it, but a subtle shift of her bearing betrayed her. His gaze penetrated her soul, laying it bare, finding it wanting.

“Aren’t you going to introduce me to the lady, Marc?”


Marc hid his anger, but Matilda knew he was furious. His attitude toward VanLipsig was puzzling. They seemed to have known one another for years, obviously parting on less than amicable terms. Though VanLipsig seemed to harbor no ill will, Marc certainly did.

“May I present myself, ma’am? I’m Colonel Wilhelm VanLipsig, also known as the Lone Wolf. Perhaps you’ve heard of me?” He attempted to look humble. “Pleased to make your acquaintance.” His glance flicked to her name tag and insignia, dark eye lingering hungrily on her chest. “Commander Dulac.” His mouth formed the words, enjoying the feel of the consonants on his tongue.

He waited patiently for a response. Getting none, his eye locked with hers, curious, intrigued. “Do you speak?”

Matilda studied him quizzically, raising an eyebrow. “There seemed little to say.”

Wil chuckled deep in his throat. It was a seductively menacing sound. He put his feet up on the table between them, relaxed, but all business.

“So, what’s this load I’m supposed to pick up?”

Matilda glanced at Marc, his blank face betraying nothing. He gave no indication that he was going to speak, so she took over the conversation.


VanLipsig, who was staring openly at her full breasts, raised an eyebrow. He grinned wolfishly, dragging his gaze to meet hers.

“Really? Nasty stuff.” He sounded almost gleeful.”How pure?”

She met his eyes with a challenge as his smile became predatory. Her personal scanner showed him the basic specs. His brow furrowed slightly as he read, then he handed it back to her, whistling softly in surprise.

“Show me the full scan.” All joking aside, he stood expectantly.

Matilda ushered VanLipsig to a console and typed in the commands. He leaned over her right shoulder, his face mere inches from hers. His scent tantalized her. It was  disconcerting, made all the more disturbing because he was dangerously handsome, well built, virile, wickedly seductive and extremely close. Forcing herself to look back at the screen, she felt his warm breath on her neck, tickling her skin in a very sensuous way.

He leaned forward, tapping the console, watching as the view and number readout changed. The very air between them was charged with energy. His shoulder brushed hers from behind, making her shiver

VanLipsig put his hand on her shoulder, brushing her neck slightly with his thumb, leaning in as if to kiss her. He checked himself abruptly, nearly brushing her ear with his lips. His breath stirred wisps of hair, tickling her neck.

“I’m sorry, Commander. Are you cold?” His raspy voice seemed loud, although he whispered.

She ducked out from under his arm, stepping aside. “No, I’m fine. Really. Thank you.”

Marc stood a few feet away, his eyes on the other man, saying nothing. The muscle in his jaw worked rapidly, bulging and relaxing as he fought for control.

Wil seemed unaware of them both as he read the screen, making mental calculations; sensuous lips moving as he spoke to himself. He nodded, clearing the screen, turning to them with a dazzling smile.

“No problem,” his smile broadened, but didn’t reach his eye. “I’ll just get my bots to work, then.”

He made for the door, but Marc stopped him with a powerful arm across his chest. Wil halted, pressing aggressively against Marc’s elbow.

“Old man, you know that’s dangerous.” Wil’s body stiffened defensively.

Marc glared at him, cold fury erupting. “By God, Wil! I killed you, you bastard!” Marc pounded the table next to him, scattering the cups of joe.

Wil didn’t even blink. “I told you, I got better.”

Marc’s huge fist shot out suddenly from shoulder height, all his weight behind it. Wil caught Marc’s fist, twisting up and away from his jaw, forcing Marc’s arm to bend back on itself, elbow by his ear.

“Don’t make me do this, Marc. ”

Wil held Marc’s arm, their muscles swelling and knotting as they fought for control. Marc tried to free himself from the other man’s unyielding grasp. Suddenly changing tactics, he swung at Wil with his left hand. With an audible crack, his enormous fist connected with Wil’s face. Neither man seemed to notice. Marc drew back, swinging again from the left.

Wil dropped Marc’s right hand in order to block the blow. He grabbed Marc’s arm in an elbow lock. Using the force of the attack, he spun Marc to face him, slamming his fist into Marc’s abdomen.

Instead of recoiling from the blow, Marc moved in, utilizing Wil’s momentum and his own greater weight, to put his opponent off balance. He threw Wil to the floor, hitting him with a bone grinding body slam.

Wil exhaled sharply as he grappled with one hand in Marc’s hair. Wil forced Marc’s head back at an odd angle. Marc’s face grew dark red as he gasped for breath.

Matilda reacted instinctively, her weapon trained on Wil automatically. Stance defiant, her eyes glittered with dark fire.

“Let him go,” she spoke quietly, teeth clenched.

Wil held Marc’s head, but stopped twisting.

“Why don’t you put the gun down, Ma’am, before you hurt yourself?”

Wil’s face registered momentary surprise when she didn’t immediately comply. Instead, her grip shifted on the weapon, her aim true, right between his eyes. The astonishment was quickly replaced by a placid expression. VanLipsig allowed himself a glance in her direction. Her face held a determination equal to his own. Slowly, he let go of Marc, who straightened up, shaking his head.

“Move away from him.”

VanLipsig stood in one fluid motion, taking two steps back. His hands were shoulder height, out from his body. He made no sudden movements, his demeanor passive.

“Now would one of you testosterone glutted males tell me what the hell is going on?” Her dark eyes flashed dangerously.

Lone Wolf is available through Second Wind Publishing as well as Amazon, and Barnes and Noble

About Dellani Oakes:

DellaniDellani Oakes doesn’t claim to be an expert on anything, but she has a lot of experience making something out of nothing. Thrown into the world of publishing four years ago, she found that trying to promote her work was the hardest part of being an author. Since then, she’s branched out, lost her inhibitions and faced the publishing world head on.

Dellani once told her publisher that she had enough books, finished & unfinished, to keep him busy for the next 10 years. He didn’t believe her, but he should have. Two novels, Indian Summer and Lone Wolf are published by Second Wind Publishing, but she has 42 finished romance novels and at least that many (she won’t count them) that are still in the works.

One of the 42, a romantic suspense, The Ninja Tattoo, came out September 24th from Tirgearr Publishing. The sequel to Lone Wolf, Shakazhan, is coming soon from Second Wind.

Dellani Oakes is a former A.P. English teacher, photo-journalist. She’s an avid reader & reviews the work of others. She hosts two shows for the Red River Radio Network – Dellani’s Tea Time the second Monday of each month, @ 4:00 PM Eastern and What’s Write for Me, every fourth Wednesday @ 3:00 PM Eastern on Blog Talk Radio.

Dellani Oakes WordPress site

Writer’s Sanctuary

Dellani’s Choice Book Reviews

The Ninja Tattoo

Indian Summer

Lone Wolf

Look for Dellani Oakes on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & Good Reads, among others.

Author Interview with Dellani Oakes Author of Lone Wolf

fantastic blog hop bus

Today, the Fantastic Blog Hop Bus makes a stop in Daytona, FL to speak with Dellani Oakes, author of several romance novels including; Indian Summer, Ninja Tattoo and the Sci-Fi thriller, Lone Wolf.

What is your story about?

DO: I have three books published.

The Ninja Tattoo is a contemporary romantic suspense set in Florida. A violent biker gang targets Army veteran Teague McMurtry for death. He must use all his skills to protect himself & the woman he loves.

Indian Summer is an historical romance set in St. Augustine, Florida in 1739. Gabriella Deza stands on the brink of womanhood & must choose her mate. Will it be the cheerful Englishman, Dr. James Stevens or the dark and mysterious Spaniard, Manuel Enriques?

Lone Wolf is a futuristic romance set in space in the year 3032. Matilda Dulac and her lover, Wilhelm VanLipsig, must capture John Riley before he can unleash the ultimate evil on an unsuspecting universe.

Is writing a natural talent, or did you take classes to hone your craft?

DO: Writing comes very easily for me. I had a very strict grammatical upbringing in a home with a school teacher mother and college English professor for a father. Other than the usual high school and college classes, I haven’t had any “formal” training. As far as the writing conventions everyone preaches about, I probably violate them all. I write in first person when the story calls for it. I “head hop” from one point of view to the next. The story demands to be told a particular way and I do my best to tell it. Dellani Oakes

Do you have a ritual when you write? (Special time of day, music etc.)

DO: My writing schedule is all broken up by phone calls, errands, writing groups and the demands of my family. I write when I can find the time. I always listen to music when I write. Sometimes the listening choices are dictated by the story, other times I simply listen to the same list and keep it as background noise. I listen to a wide variety of music, but that could be an interview all by itself.

Do you write in multiple genres?

DO: I write mostly romance, but I choose different permutations of the genre. I have 3 books published. One is contemporary romantic suspense, another is historical romance and the third is a futuristic romance. I also have (as yet unpublished) a “retro” romance set in 1976, and several contemporary romance novels. I seem to favor romantic suspense as it combines my love of romance and mystery.

Most people want to know, is writing really all that hard?

DO: It can be very hard. Finding the right words isn’t easy. Many people think that writing a story isn’t that big a deal, but it’s quite an undertaking. The author builds a plausible world with believable characters. S/he puts them into situations and has to get them back out in a satisfactory way. Dialogue, pacing, plotting, characterization… these are all under the writer’s auspice, but have to be balanced and controlled. I’d like to see the average person sit down and compose a story from scratch with nothing but a pen and paper and see how easy it is.

Do your family and friends read your work?

DO: Yes. My husband used to read everything I wrote. Now, with the cost of ink & paper, I don’t run hard copies anymore. He refuses to read things on the computer, so he doesn’t read them as much as he did.

My daughter has read my books and particularly likes the sci-fi series. She has helped me with editing Indian Summer by Dellani Oakeson a couple of them and has been an enormous help.

When my historical novel came out, my mother bought copies for all my cousins. I hope that some of them have read it.

Have you ever had writers block and if so, how did you overcome it?

DO: Sometimes the Muse takes a vacation. I don’t get completely blocked, but I will run out of words for one story or another. I either go back through and re-read it, doing a little editing, or I move on to another project. I have dozens. If the Muse isn’t speaking for one, I wake up another one and wait to see where it will go.

Do you have an illustrator, or co-author, if so, who?

DO: No.

Do you write according to the trends or from the heart?

DO: I’ve never been able to write to trends. My mind doesn’t work that way. I strictly write from the heart. I think that I get a more genuine, better product that way. Writing to a trend, while popular, doesn’t always create a story of lasting worth. In fact, once the trend is over, that story no longer has an audience. A well crafted novel will last regardless of trends.

Who is your favorite author of all time?

I can’t pick just one! I love Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Richard Brautigan, Ray Bradbury, Andre Norton, Janet Morris, Elizabeth Peters, Ellis Petes, Shakespeare, Harper Lee, Mark Twain and dozens of others. I could never limit myself to just one author.

Have you gotten in trouble for your work?

DO: No, fortunately I haven’t.

Do you read online reviews? If so, how do you deal with the negativity?

DO: I know it’s probably hiding my head in the sand, but I don’t read the reviews. I’ve had a few negative reviews, mostly on a story I gave away for free on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. The main complaint was “It’s too short, don’t bother”. I ignore those comments because we all have different taste in stories. Obviously, they just don’t get it. Yes, it makes me feel kind of bad, but I hope that other readers will be less swayed by a one line review and concentrate on the free preview of the story.

What’s best: Pen and paper, or laptop?

DO: I don’t have a laptop. I have a PC that sits under my desk. I know that’s kind of a dinosaur, but I like it. I do have a little Acer Notebook that I take with me when I travel. It’s very small & hard for me to type fast because the keys are so close together. I sometimes use a pen & spiral notebook when I have a doctor’s appointment. I’ve taken my Notebook, but that gets awkward if there’s no table for it. I much prefer my computer, but there are times when a story flows from a pen, not a keyboard.

What are you reading now?

DO: I’m reading three books: Deeds of the Disturber by Elizabeth Peters, Shelters of Stone by Jean Auel and The Road to Transplant: The Final Mile by Brian M. Hayden.

If your house was on fire, what would you save: your computer, or your book collection?

DO: I would risk my life for my flashdrive. It has all my writing on it. I would let the books burn because Lone Wolf by Dellani Oakesthey can be replaced. My writing can’t.

Do you consider yourself a tech wiz?

DO: Hah! No. That is, actually, quite laughable.

What’s your next project?

DO: I am part of an on-going anthology, Rubicon Ranch: Necropieces. I am also working with several other authors on Rubicon Ranch: Secrets. In addition to that, I’m working on rewrites of one novel, editing two more and trying to complete a variety of others, none of which are cooperating.

What’s the strangest length you ever went to research your book?

DO: When I was researching Indian Summer, I made my husband take me to St. Augustine for a week. It was our 25th wedding anniversary and we’d never had an actual honeymoon, so we made an event of it. St. Augustine is about 2 hours away. We spent the week at a beautiful B&B up there and toured the town by day, enjoying the sights. I won’t call that strange, exactly, but it was (for me) extreme.

What would you like aspiring authors to know about the realities of a writing career?

There are predators out there who are ready to rob you blind. Research carefully any agent or publishing company before you commit. If they ask for any money in advance, then be very leery that they are actually legit. This is different with self-publishers and vanity presses, but there are still people waiting to sucker the unwary.

Read contracts carefully. If you aren’t sure what you’re reading, consult a lawyer or someone who can weed through the legalize and tell you just what you’re signing. IF YOU DO NOT RETAIN YOUR COPYRIGHT THEN YOU DO NOT WANT TO SIGN THAT CONTRACT!

On a lighter note, enjoy yourself with your writing. Explore new settings, get to know your characters, let them off the leash and see where they go. Don’t limit yourself or your imagination. Let it fly into outer space or drift into the past. Put yourself in another pair of shoes and view the world from someone elses point of view. Keep it fresh and fun and you – and your readers – will never be bored.