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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Author Interview with Crimson M. Kildare and Kat Marlow

The Fantastic Blog Hop Tour

Moving along in the Fantastic Blog Hop Tour, the bus makes a stop in the midwest the home of Crimson Kildare and Kat Marlow two amazing and talented writers, not to mention, two fabulous ladies!  Today we learn what makes them tick and why writer’s block freakin’ sucks! 🙂

What is your story about?Wyveria Cover 1

CMK: The story is about three men in the far future and the challenges they face as each must deal with the very fabric of his life unraveling like an old tapestry. Both Jamie and Val will have to cope with culture shock and some severe loss issues. Idris is dealing with the murder of a father figure and the growing realization that it may be up to him to fill the man’s shoes. Now, if he can just survive both the discovery of the murderer’s identity and the duel to the death, he’ll have to win to fill them, it might just all work out in the end. So in a way our story is about magical shape shifters, the future and being displaced, but really it’s about life, about knowing yourself and embracing the challenges of being alive.

KM: It’s a romantic adventure that takes place in our future that focuses on three characters, Jamie, Val, and Idris. Jamie and Val are from our time, and due to a twist of fate they are separated and flung into this future world of magic and shape-shifters. Idris is from a clan descended from the Welsh and Celtic peoples, and when the story begins he’s dealing with the death of someone very dear to him. It falls to him to solve this mystery, while his life becomes more entwined with Jamie and Val. All three men go through a journey of adjustment and self-discovery; Jamie and Val are dealing with the loss of their world while trying to acclimate to the one they’ve woken up to. Idris is dealing with losing a mentor while facing various challenges on the way to his true destiny. It’s really about life like Crimson said, and I hope this story will inspire as well as entertain.

Where does your story take place?

CMK: It takes place on Earth in the far future in what was once Antarctica.

KM: You heard Crimson say that its future Antarctica, and you’re probably thinking, ‘Why are there Celts there?’ I’ll only say that circumstances warranted their having to leave the UK and settle elsewhere.

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

CMK: Writing is something I just do from my gut. I would like to take some courses to improve my understanding of classic writing techniques and textbook language skills. This way I would have more to work with when making choices about story shaping and character development.

KM: I mainly go from the gut like Crimson does, but I did hone my skills in high school. I was fortunate to have a very encouraging English teacher there, and if this novel succeeds its due in no small part to the confidence she instilled in me.

Do you have a ritual when you write? 

CMK: I write most days from 11 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m. with my partner Kat Marlow. I often listen to music as I do this and the music can definitely influence the work and vise versa. I sometimes notice that as I’ve been writing my musical choices will unconsciously change with the theme of what I’m working on.

KM: I write whenever I have spare time, but I usually work better from morning to afternoon. During those hours on weekdays I’m usually working with Crimson. I listen to music sometimes, but usually I have a DVD playing in the background. I’m often playing the movies that have inspired me, such as Star Wars, certain superhero movies, or the James Bond films. I’ll also play episodes from my favorite shows, such as Law & Order: UK or Mad Men.

Do you write in multiple genres?

CMK: Yes and sometimes at the same time.

KM: I see this novel as a combination of fantasy, sci-fi, and romance, so I would say ‘yes’. I mainly write sci-fi with a dash of romance, and my ultimate dream is to write for Torchwood, Doctor Who, or a Star Wars project.

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

CMK: Is it hard? Yes and no. Sometimes it’s so amazingly easy and you wonder how you ever thought it would be tough. Those are the moments all writer’s live for, those golden moments where it all just flows effortlessly. The rest of the time it’s a cross between reasonably easy and pulling teeth. It just depends on your muse really.

KM: It can be when you’re blocked, or you’re having a hard time figuring out which direction to take the story next. There are merits to free-form writing, but I find it easier to map out the storyline beforehand. It’s like a seed being planted, and from there the story should grow to its full richness.

Do your family and friends read your work?

CMK: Yes they do.

KM: I’m more private about my work than Crimson, as the stories I’ve written before tend toward the explicit side. My mom does know about this novel, and she’s already expressed an interest in reading it. She’s thrilled that I’m finally stretching my muscles, and that we’re working towards publication.

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

CMK: I find that there are three things I can do for writer’s block. Call on a piece of music that always inspires to get my creative juices flowing, work on something else to get the juices flowing or if those fail just leave it and go do something else all together. Doing something else gives my brain and my muse a rest so that when I sit down next time; the juice is flowing free, improved by the break.

KM: Yes I have, and it SUCKS! I mentioned mapping out the story beforehand, which is a useful tool. Still, even with an outline you can find yourself blocked. I always find it best to just step away from the work for a time and just clear your mind, as constantly focusing on solving the problem might only frustrate you. Relaxing with music or TV can help.  If I’m writing fan-fiction, I might watch the show or movie that it’s based on. It’s a good reminder of the character voices, and helps to re-awaken the muse.

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

CMK: Yes, Kat Marlow is my partner as you can see and she’s just tops! Also on occasion my mother who is a fine artist will do drawings for me if I ask her.

KM: The illustrious Ms. Kildare, who has Photoshop skills in addition to her literary mind! She’s been a great co-author, and I’m so grateful that’s she’s encouraged me to take my writing to the next level.

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

CMK:  Always from my heart.

KM: Always from the heart; on the surface this novel might seem to follow the fantasy/romance trend, but we’re intending for it to be much deeper than that. We’re hoping to offer something that will stand out, something unique to the genre.

Who is your favorite author of all time?

CMK: This is such a hard question to answer! There are so many I love and adore and for such vastly different things, but if the criteria are the content of what was written, the author’s intelligence and cleverness and their ability to inspire by the way they chose to live their own life as well? Then the clear winner across all of those categories would have to be the 19th century authoress Madame George Sand!

KM: That’s like trying to pick a favorite child! I think Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye is one of the best novels ever written, and I adore Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. There are a few authors of the Star Wars novels that I love, such as Timothy Zahn, Troy Denning, and Aaron Allston. I’ve really enjoyed the books that John and Carole Barrowman have written so far, and they’re a great example of a successful writing partnership.

What’s best: Pen and paper or laptop?

CMK: Both have their merits and I truly love pen and paper for journaling and personal letters, but for writing a book? The laptop wins hands down!

KM: I usually prefer pen and paper, but I enjoy the benefits of writing on a laptop. No ink to waste and edits can be done with the push of a button!

What are you reading now?

CMK: I am currently reading George R.R. Martins Game of Thrones books, The Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson series, both of Laurel K. Hamilton’s ongoing Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series and the John and Carole Barrowman Hollow Earth series! All of them exceptional books!

KM: I’m currently reading Hollow Earth by John and Carole Barrowman and next on my list is the second book of the Star Wars: Dark Nest trilogy by Troy Denning.

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

CMK: If my house were on fire the first thing I would save would be my 11 year old daughter. The next thing would be my laptop case in which I keep both the computer and my copy of George Sand’s Letters D’un Voyageur! That’s Letter of a Traveler for those who are interested.

KM: Oh God, another ‘pick your favorite child’ question! I consider books to be precious, so I would want to save my book collection after I save my mom. There would be a lot to carry though, and it also depends on whether I’ve transferred my computer files to a flash drive! I admittedly can’t live without my computer, but if I lose it I can always get another one. I guess I could always get new books, but some of them might be out-of-print and hard to find. I appreciate modern technology, but there’s nothing like having an actual book in your hands and turning the pages. I hope books don’t fade out completely.

Have you gotten in trouble for your work?

CMK: Kat and I both got our start writing fan fiction. Thankfully no one has ever complained about our playful musings.

KM: Thankfully no. I’m lucky to have not gotten in trouble for my publicly posted fan-fic, and as I mentioned before I keep my other work private. Whatever results from this novel remains to be seen!

Do you consider yourself a tech wiz?

CMK: Good Heavens no. I get along and that’s all I can say about that. My husband is the tech wizard in our house.

KM: Ha, barely! I’m only now getting the hang of Microsoft Word!

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

CMK: Not sure this is strange per se, but I’ve called complete strangers to ask them about their towns, professions and so on.

KM: I wouldn’t call this strange, but I did find it fascinating to research Welsh names. My love for the show Torchwood has led to a love and admiration for the Welsh people, and I find their language and ancient culture very interesting. I suppose that comes from my own Celtic blood, as I’m part English and Irish.

CMK: Oh me too, Irish, Scottish, English and the list goes on, lots of Celts in me.

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

CMK: Yes, I want to know the reaction people have to my work and the work of other authors I admire. Sure it’s difficult when someone hates your stuff, but oddly I find I dislike it more when people knock the work of other writers I admire. I think to myself, ‘Really? But they’re so talented!’ I can find it baffling when others aren’t inspired by what seems so immediately and obviously inspiring to me. Still the finest authors who ever lived got bad reviews from time to time. No two people have exactly the same taste and that’s what makes it so exciting, because there’s room for everyone’s work.

KM: I like to know what people think of my work, and I know I’m going to have to develop a thick skin if this is going to be my career. No one likes negative things being said about their baby, but you have to remember it’s not always personal and try to take your emotions out of the equation. Ideally, critical reviews will also be constructive, and hopefully I can use such reviews to fix any flaws in my writing.

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

CMK: It’s a real career. It’s real work; it’s not a ‘bird course’ way to make a living. Like anything worth doing it requires three things: a modicum of talent, the ability to learn, grow and improve and the willingness to work hard and even then it’s no certain guarantee that you’ll be wildly successful. It will however guarantee that you’re worth reading, that you’re a good writer. You have to do it, because you love it, for its own sake. As Rainer Maria Rilke said, “Don’t ask me how to be a writer, just do it. If you wake up in the morning and all you can think about is writing? Then you’re a writer! Go do it!” That may be a bit paraphrased, but you get the idea. My mother is a phenomenal singer, truly talented, beautiful voice. She’s been singing professionally for 40 years now. She’s well known and well respected in the music industry in certain circles, but she’s not famous or wealthy. When I was a teenager I asked her, ‘After all this time, you should be famous, why do you keep doing it?” she told me, “I don’t do it to be famous. I do it because I love it. I do it because I need to, it’s who I am.”

That’s what you have to know about being a writer, a singer, an actor or anything creative; do it because it’s who you are, because it lives in you, do the best you can, learn, grow, get better and pray for the best.

KM: As I said before, you’re going to need a thick skin.  You’re also going to need determination and a willingness to work hard. Your work will not be accepted for publication right away, and you might have to submit it countless times, which can be frustrating. Most publishers will point out what they think your work is lacking, and it wouldn’t hurt to take their advice. Your work will hopefully come out better in the end. Publishers are mainly out to sell books, and sadly the quest for profits overrides good writing sometimes. The balance between good writing and sellable writing is hard to find, but it can be done.

What’s your next project?

CMK: The next book in this series which we anticipate being at least three books long. Also before any of the books will be published in complete form and offered via Amazon and possibly other publishers as well; they will be available to read chapter by chapter at our website starting April 4rth, 2013. We will put up a new chapter every month. The site is called The Looking Glass Writer’s Cooperative. Our aim is to promote both our work and the work of other writers each month, while also providing some good excerpts, reviews and articles on writers, books, television and films. We want to create a warm, welcoming space that engenders a sense of community for authors and avid readers alike.

The web address is thrutheglass.net

KM: Yes, Crimson and I will be working on the next book, and my fan-fiction is always a work-in-progress. I also write reviews for our website.

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?”

“No.”

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.

“Trimagnite.”

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 http://dellanioakes.wordpress.com

Writer’s Sanctuary http://writersanctuary.blogspot.com

Dellani’s Choice Book Reviews http://dellanischoice.wordpress.com

The Ninja Tattoo http://theninjatattoo.wordpress.com

Indian Summer http://indiansummerbydellanioakes.wordpress.com

Lone Wolf http://lonewoldbydellanioakes.wordpress.com

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

Character Interview: Daytona Dead By Karen Vaughan

For those of you not keeping up, I’ve been participating in the Fantastic Blog Hop Tour and have been featuring this week author, Karen Vaughan author of Daytona Dead, Dead Comic Standing and Dead on Arrival.  Today, we’re gonna have a little fun and talk to one of her characters to see just how she feels about her circumstances in crime/murder mystery.  Enjoy!

Character Interview: Daytona Dead By Karen Vaughan

Interview with Laura Hamilton-Fitz

What is your biggest fear?Daytona Dead By Karen Vaughan

LHF: I fear that one day all my amateur sleuthing is going to catch up with me. Gerry or I could get really hurt or Gerry could get sick of me playing Nancy Drew and leave.

What would you give up everything to have?

LHF: Children

What is the biggest mistake you’ve ever made and are you going to be able to rectify it?

LHF: Hmm that’s a hard one but getting to involved in the Leena situation in OVER HER DEAD BODY. I could have been Killed and it nearly ended me and Gerry.  I tried to lay off but again death found is in DAYTONA DEAD.
What food would you never eat?

LHF:  Entrails- I don’t do liver, tripe, tongue or kidney –makes me want to yack!

You’ve dressed to impress. What are you wearing?

LHF:  Me a fashion maven? I am most comfortable in a pair of sweats and a t-shirt.

What one thing have you found unattainable thus far in your life?

LHF:  Motherhood and a winning lottery ticket.

What is about to change for you?

LHF:  I am not sure but Gerry and I are trying for that all important baby. The clock is ticking.

Where do you live? (and is this your only life?—for para stories only)

LHF:  We live in the north end of Toronto in Canada. We just moved from Scarborough.

When did you live?

LHF:  Why did your writer pick this time in history? (if this is not a contemporary story)

Who are you? (ie: warrior, demon, doctor, mechanic):

LHF:  Building superintendant for a high rise building  and amateur sleuth as it turns out. Some even call me a corpse magnet.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? (more than physical description, please)

LHF:  Someone who is trying to find herself and who is insecure.

Who do you hate and why?

LHF: Not really hate but I do have a few people I would be happy not to see again.  Tiny Todd Crawford(DEAD ON ARRIVAL), Leena Dubois Brown(OVER HER DEAD BODY) and Killer T. Ford (DAYTONA DEAD)

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Previously posted articles about Karen and Daytona Dead:

https://rachelrueben.com/2013/04/01/karen-vaughan-breakout-star/

https://rachelrueben.com/2013/04/02/an-excerpt-from-daytona-dead-by-karen-vaughan/

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About Karen Vaughan:Author Karen Vaughan

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.