Character Quotes from Russell by Dellani

character-quotes-imageThis one hasn’t got a proper title yet, but the main character’s name is Russell – so there it is.

“Connie says when you’re healed up, she’ll set you up with one of her cousins,” Lloyd promised.

“Yum. I wish I were all right now. Her cousins are delicious.” Russell concealed a sigh of longing.

“Several of whom you’ve sampled.”

“They have been generous enough to share their affections Who am I to say no to beautiful women? I have to wonder, though, why so many of them have.”

“Sharon was very complimentary.”

Sharon was the first of Connie’s cousins Russ had bedded, after his friend’s engagement party a few years ago.

“We had a very good time.”

“Six, is the number bantered about.”

“Six would be accurate.” He tried not to sound too pleased with himself.

“I didn’t even do six on my wedding night. Connie copped out on me. Sharon was so complimentary that the others wanted a taste. Hence, he largess.”

“That was kind of her. Too bad she didn’t come back for lucky number seven. I found her participation exemplary.”

“I don’t wanna know,” he grumbled. “Actually…. What do you do to these women? They talk about you like you’re some sort of sex god.”

“Well, I am.”



© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Family Matters by Dellani

Family Matters coverFamily Matters was my 2015 NaNo novel

“Sit down and have a cup,” Porter invited. “The others are coming. I knew you’d be first. My little Frangi is always early. Now, that brother of yours…. Pfft!” He waved his gnarled hand. “Boy was born late.”

“Boone’s coming?” Olivia tried to keep the eagerness from her voice, but figured she probably failed miserably.

“I thought he was working today?” Frangi said.

“He told me he was coming. Now, whether that means after work, now, or midnight, who can say? That young’un keeps his own time. We got real time and Boone time.”

The women giggled, knowing it was true.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Amanda Thrasher, Article, author, Book Marketing, books, educators, Excerpts, Fiction, Life, Literary, parents, publishing, Sharing, Social media, Teens, tweens, Uncategorized, writer's life, YA

The Dangerous Side of Teen Dating

I have two teenage daughters at home. My son, now grown, survived the teen years. I’m certain my girls will as well, though they’ll likely receive a few bumps and bruises along the way. Heartache, fallouts with friends, and decisions about future life goals will leave a few scratches, I’m sure.

Dating, according to many teens these days, is often nothing more than a hook-up. Sound shocking? Yes! But according to teens, it’s normal. In fact, they rarely call it dating anymore. It’s often just referred to as hanging out. I’m hanging out with so-and-so, and then the hook-ups often follow that with no regard as to it being unnormal. Scary? It is.

Local Dr’s have said they treat teens two to three times a week for STD’s. I know… WHAT?! And it’s not that parents and schools aren’t talking to these kids about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases or having sex too young because they are, it’s that kids, especially teens, often think they’re invincible and nothing can happen to them.

But hanging out and worrying if your kid is hooking-up isn’t the only danger that goes along with teens social lives today. Dying to grow up, surrounded by social media promoting just that, some kids think they’re more mature than they really are, jump into physical relationships taking on more than they can emotionally handle. The problem is they often don’t understand the dangers of that until the emotional rollercoaster starts. Some teens are forced into sexual situations prematurely, especially if they’re not thinking clearly because they’re impaired by using drugs or alcohol. Obviously, the fallout is devastating and can be life-altering.  

Concerned about the accounts that I heard from teen after teen, fearful my teens would find themselves in a dangerous situation themselves, I set out to write a novel that would imitate a true-life threatening situation. The situation that occurs in the book, takes place too many times and affects too many young girls/women and boys/men. This type of situation, as in the book, becomes increasingly complicated when the relationship has been a lasting one and something terrible happens. Lines are crossed, emotions are suddenly confused, and lives are forever changed. My hope is that if only one person reads the book, thinks twice about getting into the type of situation described, then I’ve done my job as an author and accomplished what I set out to do with the message in this piece.

I believe I pulled the overall message of Bitter Betrayal off in regards to showing how the dating situation effects young boys/men and girls/women differently due to their emotions and how they handle a dating situation. I believe the scenes that show the destruction of the relationship depicts what happens to some teens when they find themselves in dangerous situations.

I’ll be one of the authors on a panel at the TeenBook Fest by the Bay, speaking to over seven hundred teens about this book. It shows the dangers of miscommunication while being impaired and how great kids make terrible mistakes that affect them for the rest of their lives. The book has won two awards, The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA), Gold, which evaluates products and services created for children, families, and educators. The program is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products, and services, and the New Apple Literary Award, both for YA. If you’re a teen, parent, educator, youth group leader, or a librarian, this book may interest you.

Here’s an excerpt of the book:

Bitter Betrayal by Amanda M. Thrasher Text Copyright © 2017 Amanda M. Thrasher – All rights reserved. Published 2017 by Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, LLC

Sweet as Sugar, Bitter as Poison

Picking a college wasn’t turning out to be as easy as Reece had hoped. The school he wanted to attend was out of state and hadn’t made him any kind of offer yet. His coach had written letters of recommendation. His grades were good, game films highlighting his plays were in the hands of several recruiters, and services that assisted students and parents were working on his behalf. But the waiting part was no fun. His parents wanted him to stay in Texas, but agreed not to stand in his way if a school he liked came knocking.

Reece wanted two things: to attend a D1 school and receive an out-of-state offer. Truthfully, he hadn’t thought too much about Payton or what she thought. There were 347 D1 schools that he was aware of, scattered across forty-nine different states. Some colleges were smaller, private schools and some larger universities, but the odds of Reece receiving a full scholarship were excellent. Coach had said a full ride was more than a realistic possibility; it was a probability, especially riding on his brother’s reputation. Reece idolized his brother and wanted to follow in his footsteps, not easy to do, but he never once felt jealous or envious of his brother’s success. Coach always bragged about Royce and Reece. Proud to have coached them both in their high school years.

“Just like Royce, son. You are capable of playing for a D1 program,” Coach Duncan would say. “You know, those programs can generate millions of dollars in revenue annually for the schools. And like your brother, you could handle the pressure of performing and the expectations of winning.”

Reece believed Coach and worked hard at proving him right. Payton cringed when Reece talked about the schools he wanted to attend, because she knew it meant the inevitable—he’d be leaving. He’d get so excited. His eyes would light up and he’d get animated as he talked. She was happy for him, but sad for herself. Despite the heaviness she felt weighing on her heart and in her head because she missed him already, she tried her best to encourage him. He called her to tell her about an email Coach had received asking about his eligibility. He could tell she was down by how quiet she got on the other end of the phone. Now he knew why he hated to call. He’d rather send her a text than talk.

“You know we’ll stay in touch every day and hang out when I come home.”

“Well, yeah,” she replied, kinda shocked that he had to actually state it. Surely that was understood. Wasn’t it?

“Just checking. You sound down or something.”

Payton shook her head, and then realized she needed to answer. He couldn’t see her through the phone.

“Sorry. I’m fine.”

“I’m almost there. Are you ready?”

“I will be by the time you get here,” she said. “If you let me off the phone!”

When Payton climbed in, Reece raised the console divider in the front seat so she could sit next to him. He’d crank the aux and she’d lay her hand on his leg, unless he was holding hers in his. She loved Friday nights, even more than Saturdays. It was the excitement of spending real time with him after being in school all week. They were going to the movies with Reece’s friends. Aubrey didn’t have a date and even though she could have joined them, she opted out. Payton didn’t mind. All of her attention was on Reece anyway.

“You smell good,” Reece said as soon as Payton climbed into the truck and turned to give him their customary kiss hello.

She knew the perfume she’d sprayed all over her clothes and neck was his favorite perfume; smiling coyly, she kissed him again.

“Trevor might bring some girl,” Reece stated nonchalantly.

Payton laughed. “Like just some random girl, seriously?”

Reese shook his head. “Right! I didn’t ask. He said he might bring some girl. I don’t care who.” He took a sip of Coke. “But I think her name begins with an S. Samantha, Sydney, Sophie, something like that. Chase is coming as well, but I doubt he’ll bring anyone; no one will date that loser.”

As they turned onto Trevor’s street, they saw Trevor outside, leaning against his car with a pretty girl standing next to him. She was tall, slim, and blond. Payton didn’t recall seeing her before, but gave her a quick once-over as they walked toward the truck.

“This is Stacie,” Trevor announced as they climbed into the back.

“Stacie,” Reece repeated, glancing at Payton.

“Hi, Stacie, nice to meet you.” Payton made the introductions for everyone.

Reece looked at Trevor as the girl climbed into the truck and gave him a nod of approval. How did Trevor score a date with that? Trevor looked as if he hadn’t quite figured it out either; he seemed to know exactly what Reece meant as he grinned big, shrugged his shoulders, and threw up his hands. No complaints from him. They had met during one of his classes. She was a transfer. Totally used to rejection, Trevor was bold enough to ask her to go out with them that night. Shockingly she had said yes, and here they were. She was undeniably hot and he wasn’t. Weird.

“You never know if you don’t ask, bro,” Trevor muttered as he patted Reece on the back.

Payton leaned over the back of the seat and spoke to the girl.

“You’ll get used to it. They talk to each other as if we’re not here, and they do a lot of things in groups.” She laughed out loud. “They say girls are bad about doing everything together. OMG! These guys. Stick around, you’ll see.”

Trevor grabbed Stacie’s hand, not sure if he’d actually see her again after that evening, but she didn’t seem to mind. More of Reece’s friends were waiting for them at the movies than they’d expected. Doug, Shane, Tristan, and Lisa. Additional introductions were made, tickets bought, and seats found. Sci-fi was not her thing, but Payton was just glad to be there. The boys enjoyed it, though; she knew because they were relatively quiet throughout the entire show. Unusual.

“Where to?” Payton asked as the credits rolled.

“Lake. Tiger’s trail,” Trevor suggested. “Denis said there’s a party up there tonight.”

Returning to the truck, Reece nodded, turned up the music, slipped his hand into Payton’s, and they took off. Trevor was right. Trucks, cars, and kids were everywhere. There was no telling how long they had until someone called it in, but they were there now. The typical classic red plastic cups found at every teen get-together were being passed around. Beer was drunk by most, but others were slamming liquor brought by kids who could get their hands on it. Some of the kids pretended to drink it. Peer pressure. Payton was one of those kids. She held onto a cup that was handed to her and pretended to sip what was in it. Fake IDs were something else that kids seemed to have easy access to. Payton was dying to look into that, but hadn’t quite been brave enough to attempt it yet. Reece didn’t need one. If he needed anything, Royce took care of him. It was common knowledge that teens were able to get their hands on just about anything they wanted or needed if they had a few dollars. If the price was right, someone always seemed to know someone who could get it or whom to ask. At these parties vodka floated around because it looked like water, was easily found in most homes, and easily mixed with soda, juice, or just about anything else. Every time Payton was handed a drink with vodka in it, her mom’s voice would ring in her head. Kids on booze: not only illegal, but lethal. Her mom had recited these words for years, hoping Payton would avoid the teen drinking scene. Payton was an observer and Reece for the most part was too, unless he was planted somewhere for the night and even then he didn’t usually overdo. But he didn’t mind enjoying the scene with his friends and usually he had fun no matter what, especially with his girl by his side. Handed a beer, Reece shook his head and pointed to his truck.

“Dude, I’ve got a full truck tonight.”

His attention turned to Payton as he reached for the cup and handed it to her.

“Babe, yours is gone, you can have it.”

She wanted to shake her head and decline as well, but against her better judgment she held out her hand. Noticing the hesitation on her face, Reece pulled her toward him and whispered in her ear.

“You’re good, you’re not driving. Plus, you’re with me.”

He put his arms around her waist, leaned forward, and kissed the back of her neck. She turned around to face him and he pulled her even closer, kissing her with such intensity that her stomach filled with butterflies. She kissed him back just as hard. As he pulled away from her, he whispered something so softly she wasn’t quite sure what she’d heard. Were they the words, as in the real form and not a version of them, like he usually said, or number digits in his texts? That’s what they sounded like; surely she hadn’t missed the words? Tugging at his sleeve, she asked him to repeat what he had said.

“Wait. What? What did you say?”

“You heard me,” he countered with a muffled voice so no one else would hear him.

“No, really. What did you say?”

“I love you, babe,” he whispered again, bashfully the second time. He kissed her on the cheek and turned back toward his friends, joining their conversation as if he hadn’t just said the most important words she’d ever heard.

Seriously, the words! First thing she wanted to do was say them back, but she couldn’t because he was talking to his friends. Then she wanted to text her BFF, Aubrey, but she couldn’t do that either, because Aubrey would want details. Super excited, madly in love, how could she have known what would happen next?

Author Website Amanda M. Thrasher


Cereal Authors, chapter books,, Children's story, JD Holiday, parents

Book Reviewer Fran Lewis Reviews,The Great Snowball Escapade

The Great Snowball Escapade  9780981861425

 by J.D. Holiday

Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Growing up can be difficult enough for kids today but falling prey to a bully’s wiles makes it even harder as Wilhelmina Brooks finds out when her cousin, Bud comes to live with her. Bud’s amusement is at the expense of the others. Wilhelmina, who prefers begin called Wil, takes the brunt of his escapades as he insults her friends, takes ownership of her old sled and becomes the class terror in her second grade class. Even worse, he ruined her Christmas vacation by putting gum in her hair, taking her new sharpener and just being plain old MEAN! What can she do when her mother insists that she has to be nice to him, looks away from his pranks that are not funny and ignores the fact that he is angry at his present situation and more? Poor Wil! Is she going to survive living with Bud? Will he ever learn his lesson or will he become the terror of the second grade and the entire neighborhood? Author J.D. Holiday brings to light the issue of bullying and harassing other kids in her outstanding chapter book: “The Great Snowball Escape.” acd15-sb6-12-10-09013

To escape means to want to get away from it all. You might want to go on a vacation, trip or just take a walk to clear your head. But, poor Wil, wants to escape her house, her school and her life just to get away from Bud, her mean cousin whose pastime is picking on kids smaller and weaker than him and creating havoc in the second grade and more.

Snow days are every kids dream. A day off from school to play outside, building a snowman and even better throw snowfalls or snowball fights are every kids and even adults idea of fun. But, when Wil and her friends decide to build a snowman in front of her house, what happens disrupts everything and she gets sent to her room as once again she and Bud cannot work or play together.

Wil’s mother wants her to understand that Bud is going through a difficult time and needs understanding. But, how much can she endure and will she have to take before 9780981861425_txt_Page_33someone realizes that she is only 7 years old and cannot be expected to understand or withstand everything her cousin dishes out. So, when her mother insists they make peanut better cookies together, will they succeed or will they get into a flour and sugar throwing war? Will they be able to work together and finally go outside to play? This reviewer will not divulge that secret to you. You are going to have to read the book yourself.

But, what happens when one bully meets another bully? Who wins or who backs down? While sledding down the huge hill where her friends were, they encounter Drew and his mean dog. Drew thinks that he has the better of Bud and Wil and wants Bud’s sled. What happens next will definitely surprise the reader and one bully might learn a serious lesson from another and two cousins just might become friends.

But, there is more. On the way home Bud and Wil encounter her friends who are gathered around Suzy whose cat, Mimi is missing. Added to that someone destroyed his or her snowman and everyone thinks it was Bud. Just how this story ends and if they find Mimi will not only endear you more to Wil, but will teach children a lesson in loyalty, trust and friendship that every kid needs to understand and learn. Will they get the cat back? Who gets blamed and who really did take it? Who destroyed the snowman? 9780981861425_txt_Page_04Will Bud and Wil ever see eye to eye and become friends? Author J.D. Holiday has created two characters that are not so different. Wil just wants to be understood and have her mother understand that having Bud stay with her caused some major changes in her life. Bud, just feels like an outcast and might be using his outbursts, and pranks to get attention and tries to get sent home to live with his Dad. Both Bud and Wil need the adults to understand them. Wil’s mother makes one statement that I feel says it all: Treat people the way you want to be treated. Now, if everyone did that maybe there would be no wars, fights or hate in the world. Just what positive things can come out of snowdays: Read this great children’s book and learn for yourself as Wil and Bud teach not only themselves but adults so really important lessons in friendship, understanding, communication and teamwork. This is definitely a FIVE SNOWMAN BOOK! Let’s hope the author brings Wil and Bud and her friends back in another novel.

 This book should be in every school library, guidance counselor’s office, public library, police youth groups, public libraries and of course my own.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

To read more of Fran Lewis’ reviews go to:  http://www.gabina49.webs.com/

Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes, Uncategorized

Character Quotes from Something New by Dellani

Something New second cover“Everyone wants you, kid. How does that make you feel?” God asked.

“Terrified. It’s like being the tenderest steak in the shop. Everyone wants to grill you and have a bite.”

“Couldn’t have put it better myself. We’ll get you ready, no fear. I hear you’re some sort of genius at memorizing.”

Austin didn’t bother to ask how he knew. God knew everything. “Yes, sir.”

“Gordon. Or God, your choice.” He winked. “You,” he pointed at Dwight. “Can you type?”

“Hundred words a minute.” He wiggled his fingers rapidly.

“Excellent. Sam-u-el!”

“You bellowed, God?” The older man appeared once more, hands folded in front of him.

“Have we anything to type upon?”

“Only a top of the line laptop in your office, sir. Shall I fetch it for you, dah-ling?”

“Bastard,” Gordon chuckled. “Please. And we could use your help, old thing.”

“Already on it,” the older man said. “One moment.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes, Sassy Sarcasm, Uncategorized

Slightly Sarcastic…. by Dellani

Sassy Sarcastic

Last month, Rachel Rueben shared a post which stated, in part, that children can understand sarcasm by age six. It also said that people with frontotemporal dementia lack the ability to understand it. I wasn’t terribly surprised about the comment about children. My granddaughter, who turned 9 in September, is possibly the most sarcastic child on Earth. I can’t confirm this scientifically, because I don’t know every child on Earth. However, I do know my granddaughter, and she’s extremely sarcastic. (You see my line of reasoning, it’s sound—ish) Considering that she comes from a long line of sarcastic people: her parents, their parents and their parents, it’s really not surprising. It will be interesting to see how her little sister fares in this sarcastic environment. I lay bets that the younger one will be even more scathing and sarcastic than her older sister. But give her time, okay? She’s only six months old.

Speaking of children, which we were in the previous paragraph, as well as higher brain functions, I thought I’d share a couple of quotes with you which deal with one or the other. (Yes, grasping at a straw for a theme. Get over it, it will continue until Doomsday, or possibly Lent, depending upon which comes first).

From Blacksmith’s Heart

Hana Sutherland is visiting a dude ranch, with her Great Aunt Enid, who is recovering after a stroke. While there, she meets Jasper Flying Eagle. They take a real shine to one another. He invites her to go for horseback ride, then starts giving her instructions like she’s a child. Hana finds it amusing, but a little annoying, as well.

“What time do you want me to be ready?” Hana asked.

“Around ten. Oh, and cover up more. Jeans and a long sleeved shirt, boots and a hat. You’ll also want your sunglasses and some sunscreen. You’re too fair to be out without it at midday,” Jasper replied.

“Yes, Papa, I promise to dress warm.” She winked at him.

He ducked his head, not meeting her eyes. “I just want you safe, Hana Belle.”

She took his hand, squeezing his fingers gently until he looked at her. “I know, I’m just teasing. You’ll have to spend more time with me so you can learn to tell the difference. About the only way my family knows how to communicate is with sarcasm.”

Jasper chuckled, glancing at her Aunt Enid. “Oh, I’d never noticed the sarcastic bent. Must come from your mother’s side.”

“I’m sure that’s where she gets it. It couldn’t possibly come from a sweet old thing like me.”

From Beach Babe

Fiona Cartwright is an actress, though not very famous yet. She’s in Florida, filming a new TV show, when her brothers come to visit. She, her boyfriend, his brother and hers all go to the grocery store. The teenage bagger recognizes her from a horror movie she was in a few years ago, and can hardly speak, he’s so excited to meet her. (The fact that she’s tall, blonde and beautiful might factor into his attraction.) Her brothers are stunned, and somewhat upset, by his reaction to her.

Kyle said with a smirk. “Damn, baby sister! I never thought of you as a sex symbol.”

But that boy sure does,” Rich added with a shift of his shoulders. “Dammit, you suppose Jessica Alba’s brother feels like I do right now?”

Like you want to throttle him?” Kyle asked as he opened the car. “If she’s got one, pretty damn sure he does.”

There wasn’t a lot of talk in the car until we were out of the parking lot.

That was a strange experience,” Rory said. “Fame, eh? What’s your opinion on that, Fiona?”

Not sure yet, Rory. I guess we’ll find out. And that boy didn’t think I was a sex symbol,” I said sternly, punching Kyle when he stopped for the light.

All four males turned to me as if they’d practiced it. Their expressions were identical, as if to say, Go on living in denial because you obviously aren’t wise enough to live in the real world. My interpretation might be a bit cynical.

My darling Fiona,” Rory said in a patronizing tone. “You have six brothers and yet you continue to amaze me at how oblivious you are to the inner workings of the male mind. Shocking. Very. You lot are useless,” he chided Kyle and Rich. “Didn’t teach her a damn thing about men. What were you thinking?”

Kyle laughed. Rich blushed. “Considering how we all are, we figured maybe she was better off not knowing.”

Now I’m very interested! How y’all are? Hmm? I hear a story there.”

Suffice to say, your brothers might have been Boy Scouts, but we weren’t choir boys.”

From A Novel Romance

But enough about siblings and children (sort of?) on to higher brain function. Lionel Pettigrew is a college professor, and a certified genius. He’s so smart, he makes smart people look dumb. He’s recently met Arista, who has been hired as his new research assistant. At the moment, he’s at a boring conference and finds himself in need of entertainment, so he texts Arista.

Arista got a text message a moment later. Grinning, she showed the attachment to Monica. Lionel had taken a picture of the people at the meeting. All of them looked asleep, including the speaker. She and Monica laughed about it as they went back to their offices.

“I’m surprised he knows how to use the camera,” Monica said. “Let alone save and send it.”

“He’s probably playing with his phone functions out of desperation. He never needed to learn it before. I bet he knows more about it when he gets back than the two of us do together.” They all had the same model of phone.

She got another text message, this time without a picture. “I am losing higher brain functions. I just forgot Ancient Macedonian.”

“Ask him a question,” she sent back.

“What should I ask?”

“What’s he talking about?”

“I dunno. Stuff.”

“Make something up. Totally off the wall. You’re a genius. Act like one.”


“U betcha.”

There was a pause. A few minutes later, Arista got another text.

“Me: Dr. White, what do you think of the work of Dr. Qui? Dr. White: Dr. Who? Me: Qui. Dr. White: Who’s that? Me: Nothing, sorry. Something else entirely. Carry on.”

“Evil genius,” Arista replied.

“He’s winding it up early. I broke his train of thought. Boohoo. Crap, he’s asking me who Dr. Qui is. Got 2 Go.”

“Spanked by your own brilliance.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Stay tuned next month when one of us will be talking more about sarcasm. I had a list, but ironically, I can’t find it. Until then, enjoy our daily offerings and please be sure to follow all Cereal Authors on Facebook, Twitter, etc. It will make us happy, and trust me, you want us happy….


Character Quotes from The Power by Dellani

character-quotes-imageThe Power is set in post cataclysmic Florida. A tidal wave has wiped out much of the east coast, though the interior and west coast of the state are doing fine. Aliya and Zeb have met quite by accident, though some might consider it destiny. Zeb was peeping at Aliya as she bathed in a pond, and is most chagrined when she catches him.

Aliya tugged his ear, laughing at his discomfort. He could hear her giggling as she gathered her clothing.

“You are very odd, Zeb,” she called from the pond. “Are all men as funny as you?”

“No, I’m the funniest one. I’m freaking hilarious.”

She giggled again. “If you say so.”

The grass rustled behind him and he smelled her scent. Tensing, he waited for her to pass. Her hand clasped his ass for a moment as she walked by.

“Nice—birthmark,” she commented dryly.

“Holy Jesus, you saw everything!” The birthmark was very low on his belly, just above the top of his thigh. That meant she saw it all. Hanging his head, he walked to the bus.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes

Character Quotes from Conduct Unbecoming by Dellani

conduct front cover“Why are you calling on my day off?” Joel asked, bellowing over loud rock music.

“Tell ya about it when you pick me up, cuz. I need a ride. I’m at Old Fort Park.”

“Be there in five.” He hung up.

Good to his word, Joel pulled up in his bright blue, souped up Honda Civic. Teague got in, wrinkling his nose.

“This car is an embarrassment, Joel.”

“What’s wrong with Blue Bell?”

“The name, for starters. Gay.”

Joel stopped abruptly at the corner. “If you don’t like my ride, you can walk home.”

“Sorry I insulted the ugliest car on Earth.”

The car lurched to a stop in the middle of the street.

“I lied, it’s not the ugliest,” Teague replied. “Could we not? I just got shot at.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Among the Shine Clan, Dellani Oakes, Uncategorized

Among the Shine Clan – Part 10 by Dellani

among-the-shine-clan-coverAlthough Fiddlestix and Deacon had a confrontation, they know they must work together. She asks to speak to him privately, as leaders. Once he’s calmed down, he comes to get her. Much subdued, he invites her to go for a walk. She goes with him, leaving Kaz with Harmony, who soon leaves with Jasper to plan their next attack.

Kaz sat quietly at his table, suddenly at loose ends. Several of the Shine Clan women eyed him curiously. Used to the men of their clan, they found the outsider interesting. The most brazen approached him, sitting across the table from him.

“Howdy,” she said quietly. “My name’s Betsy. What’s yours?”

She made conversation very easy and following her to her quarters even more so. Kaz quite decidedly enjoyed Betsy’s style of Southern Hospitality.

Deacon Scott walked beside Fiddlestix, his arm barely touching hers. He’d said nothing since leaving the dining room five minutes earlier. He walked her to an isolated part of the underground bunker. The door opened and she found herself quite unexpectedly, outside. After examining the place, she realized they were still inside, but that the cavern had been landscaped and lit as if they were in the woods. There were birds and small animals making noises in the trees and bushes. A few deer grazed nearby. A gaggle of geese swam in the pond a few feet away. He showed her to a cast iron bench, sitting after she settled herself. Picking some grass, he fiddled with it for a moment, then cast it from him.

“It’s an illusion,” told her quietly. “The geese and deer, squirrels and all. But the plants and water are real. It gives us a place to come and relax.”

She nodded, gazing around her with longing. One didn’t see this kind of untouched beauty anymore. “It’s beautiful,” she sighed. “Even if it’s not real.”

For the first time since meeting him, he smiled. A distant expression filled his eyes. He hesitated, as if he wanted to say something, but didn’t know how. Instead of playing a game, he was genuinely at a loss of words.

Fiddlestix decided to break the silence surrounding them. “I think we got off on the wrong foot, General Scott.”

Deacon’s smile flashed again. “Still not used to that. My father was General Scott. I’m just plain old Deacon.”

“Hardly plain,” she blurted. Stopping suddenly, she blushed and looked away. Smooth, Hannah, she castigated herself. Really great. Let the man know you have the hots for him, why don’t you? Tip your hand early. Dumb ass!

“Why, Master Sergeant Braun, was that a compliment?”

“Maybe,” she teased, still not looking at him.

“I agree. We did. I guess I took those insults you hurled my way a little too personally.”

“I had to get your attention,” she said in her defense. “It was all I could think of, short of stripping myself naked and dangling from the trees by my tits.”

“That would have worked better,” he eyed her more like a man than a warrior. “I wouldn’t have been so pissed off then.”

“True. But would you have been able to concentrate?”

“What do you think?” He grinned, holding out his hand. “Let’s start over. I’m Deacon Scott, and you are?”

“Hannah Braun, also known as Fiddlestix.” She took his hand.

“Pleased to meet you, Hannah Braun.” He raised her hand to his lips, kissing it.

“And I you, Deacon Scott.”

Hardly able to stop himself, Deacon leaned forward to kiss her. She made him giddy. He wasn’t used to that. He was always in tight control, so much so that he never let his guard down. She’d gotten in under his guard, taken him totally by surprise, infiltrated his personal security, circumventing his defenses. The funny thing was, she hadn’t even tried. His lips brushed air as she moved out of his way, neatly avoiding his clumsy embrace. Suddenly embarrassed, he sat back, trying to pretend none of it had happened. Fortunately, she let him.

“So, tell me about our problem. Right now, things are quiet. That makes me suspicious.”

“Have you got them under surveillance?”

“Yes. They aren’t moving. They’re just sitting in one of the tunnels they took. There’s this little blue light flashing on their necks. They’ve been like that for the last hour, since y’all got here.”

“Oh, shit. Why didn’t you tell me this before?”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes

Character Quotes from One More Night by Dellani

character-quotes-imageI was glad when morning came. I’d slept very badly and didn’t want to stay in bed anymore. A hot shower put me in a better mood, but I was still fuzzy and muddled when I got downstairs. Gazing out at the gray sky and leaden ocean, I noticed a flash of color on my back deck. It was lined with pots of Brazilian Wine Red Allamandas! I ran to the sliding glass door leading to the deck, but didn’t open it. I stared with my nose pressed to the glass.

It occurred to me to call the police, but what would I tell them? Someone broke onto my deck during the night and brought a bunch of potted plants? Did I have a stalker? How often did stalkers bring foliage? It was creepy and charming all at once. I couldn’t decide which took precedence. I guess it depended upon whether I chose to enjoy the gesture or be repulsed by it. For the time being, I chose to think it was charming, but I was horribly curious why he didn’t just come up to the door and knock.

Someone rang the bell.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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