Music Behind the Story – Under the Western Sky by Dellani

Dellani Oakes

Under the Western Sky by Dellani Oakes - 500Quite often, my characters are musicians. A lot of them play guitar because my sons do, and it’s what I’m familiar with. Also, I’m totally hooked on guitarists like Jeff Beck, Joe Satriani, Dave Gilmour and Carlos Santana. Santana’s music features in Under the Western Sky, a romantic suspense novel set in Western Nebraska in 1976. One of the main characters is Bobby Menendez, a young Mexican man who loves to play the guitar. He is always telling his best friend, Danny, that bands like KISS won’t last, but in 30 or 40 years, people will still be listening to Carlos Santana and Led Zeppelin.

At one point during the story, the characters gather at Bobby’s home and have their own version of Name That Tune.

Excerpt from Under the Western Sky

After they ate, Evanston and Bobby got their guitars. Some of the others also had musical…

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Character Quotes from Indian Summer by Dellani

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Indian Summer color coverMy mind was churning when Ana came in to clear the dishes. What I was thinking must have shown in my face, for Ana stopped by the table, smiling broadly.

“And what mischief are you cooking up there, Miss Gabriella? I see in your eyes the look of a lady plotting the fall of man.”

I looked up at her, pursing my lips as if she had offended me. Instead my eyes sparkled and I couldn’t help but laugh. “Perhaps so, Ana.” I looked at the ceiling, the wall, the floor, out the window and fiddled with my napkin. “Tell me, Ana, what do you know of Señor Enriques who was here today?”

Ana hesitated to answer at first. She was always eager to impart what she knew of the local men. Be it good or bad, she held to the gossips’ truths of the town. She sighed deeply and…

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Character Quotes from Poplar Mountain by Dellani Oakes

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character-quotes-image“Should I go talk to her?” Lucius asked Willem.

“Patty’s going. She’s got to get on to work anyhow. You done good, little brother. Keep talking like that, you’ll be a married man in no time.”

Lucius wasn’t sure what to think. He wanted to marry Dollie. He loved her with a passion he didn’t know existed. But he wasn’t sure he could live through the courtship. If she took off like that every time they kissed, he’d spend all his spare time chasing her down.

“Did I do something wrong to make her take off like that?”

“From what I saw, you did everything just right. Some women are more skittish than others. Now Patty, she’d have kissed me smack on the mouth and marched out proud as a peacock with its tail spread. Miss Dollie, she’s more shy-like.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Savage Heart by Dellani

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savage heart coverSavage Heart is the much anticipated (and demanded) sequel to my historical romance, Indian Summer. Set in the early summer of 1740, Gabriella and Manuel are now happily (or maybe not so happily) married.

The bright, green eyes missed little. Touching him fleetingly, she drew his attention. “What makes you sad?” It was strange how she said it, emphasis strong on the pronoun. She knew her own grief, but his sorrow puzzled her.

“Something very hard to explain,” he said.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Over the Edge by Dellani

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character-quotes-image“I think now is a good time to put some rules in place,” he said as he approached them. “I’m not your father. But as the one responsible for you both, I give you this to think about. How would your fathers react if they saw you like that?”

Natasha and Billy exchanged a look, a hot flush of red suffusing their faces.

“Exactly. I don’t mind some kissing, because I know it’s inevitable. However, no groping,” he looked pointedly at Billy. “That goes for you both,” his eyes switched to Natasha. “And God forbid you do anything more.” He scowled. “Because God’s wrath will be nothing compared to mine. Not under this roof and not when you are under my care. Is that clear?”

“Yes, Kolya,” Billy replied politely.

Natasha nodded, slightly ashamed of herself. She knew better, but there was something so delightfully compelling about Bilal. She couldn’t…

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Character Quotes from Indian Summer by Dellani

Indian Summer color cover“The ship!” Manuel managed to gasp. “Your parents’ ship is foundering! They need all able bodied men to come to the wharf immediately. Hurry!”

He left to spread the word. I heard the church bell ringing, calling all men to give aid. The men in the room leapt to their feet. Ana rounded up the servants to help. They gathered stout ropes carrying them to the docks.

Marcos wanted to go help his Mamá, but I insisted he stay home. “A boy of five, though he’s big and strong, can’t go out in this weather! I forbid it. Go to your room, change into a dry nightshirt and get into bed at once.”

“I’m not a baby, Bella! I want to go help Mamá and Papa! I’m strong!”

“Marcos, you would simply get in the way. There is nothing you can do. If you won’t go voluntarily to your room, I shall take you there myself!”

He stuck out his tongue, crossed his arms and plopped on the floor, ready to have a temper tantrum for me. With that, I lifted him, kicking and screaming, into my arms, carried him up to his room and plopped him unceremoniously on the bed.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Indian Summer

Indian Summer color coverThis entire afternoon had me in a deep quandary I couldn’t get out of. In fact, every way I turned, something else made the quagmire deeper until I was nearly to the point of being buried in it. She reached out and patted my hand.

“Miss Gabriella, I know you’re wondering about all this. I apologize. You’re just a little young to be asking about a man like Señor Enriques. He’s not your sort. Nor is that young Dr. Stevens. I won’t speak ill. But I’ll say this, steer clear of them both, Miss.” Her expression was of deep concern, but I saw only the face of one who opposed me.

“Oh, bother being too young! I’m nearly fifteen and I shall be old enough to wed soon. Why does everyone treat me like a child?”

I threw my napkin to the floor, rushed out the door and banged it behind me.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Indian Summer by Dellani

Indian Summer color coverMy mind was churning when Ana came in to clear the dishes. What I was thinking must have shown in my face, for Ana stopped by the table, smiling broadly.

“And what mischief are you cooking up there, Miss Gabriella? I see in your eyes the look of a lady plotting the fall of man.”

I looked up at her, pursing my lips as if she had offended me. Instead my eyes sparkled and I couldn’t help but laugh. “Perhaps so, Ana.” I looked at the ceiling, the wall, the floor, out the window and fiddled with my napkin. “Tell me, Ana, what do you know of Señor Enriques who was here today?”

Ana hesitated to answer at first. She was always eager to impart what she knew of the local men. Be it good or bad, she held to the gossips’ truths of the town. She sighed deeply and seated herself at the table, another thing she had never done.

“Miss Gabriella, I’d not talk awful of anyone as you know.” She held up her hand. “I know I gossip, Miss, but that’s just for sport. I mean to really speak ill of someone with full knowledge and malicious intent and I just won’t do it.” She sighed again. “All I can say, Miss, is that one is better left unnoticed. Best to let sleeping dogs lie, Miss.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Indian Summer by Dellani

Indian Summer color cover

Irena was a vision in her yellow chintz. She had a soft pink shawl draped round her shoulders, matching the exquisite roses in her hair. The sun had chosen just then to come in the window illuminating her, making a wreath of blue black around her head. I heard Jason gasp beside me as he gazed up at her.

The color rushed to Irena’s cheeks as she descended the stairway, dropping her eyes shyly when she stood on the last step. Jason’s eyes fairly glowed, his love so clearly expressed. He moved forward as if in a dream, holding his hand to aid Irena from the bottom step to the floor. This was not necessary of course, but he wanted an excuse to touch her.

James looked at them, smiling softly, his eyes glittering with ill suppressed merriment. Leaning in toward me, he spoke in a near whisper. “Methinks my friend Jason hath been bit by love.”

“It’s as well,” I said teasingly. “For my sister hath been bit by the same bug.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Coming Soon from Dellani Oakes – Indian Summer

That’s right! A whole new look for Dellani’s first published novel, a reissue that’s long overdue. Now available for pre-order, be sure to reserve your copy now. Book goes live September 8, so don’t wait. For the introductory price of only .99 cents, get it while it’s hot! The sale price will last one month, so don’t delay! 

Below is a short excerpt to whet your appetite. Enjoy! And reserve your copy today.

Indian Summer color cover

After Irena’s wedding, Gabriella and Manuel are left alone for a short time. She has some questions for him, but isn’t sure how to ask.

“You’ve a question in your eyes, my love.”

I reddened, dropping my gaze. “Am I that obvious?”

“Only to me. Now what is it? There should be no secrets between us.”

I pursed my lips and thought of the best way to phrase it. “Well, you know much about me having known my father for so long, but I know so very little about you. Much of what you told me just now, it was about your aunt. Tell me of you.”

He smiled pensively. “Very well, and where shall I start?” It was more a rhetorical question, but I decided to answer him in any case.

“You could begin with telling me your age.” I said, suddenly becoming interested in my shoes. To rid myself of fear, I tossed my head back, looking him squarely in the eye.

His contagious laughter filled the town, echoing off the buildings. “Ah, Bella, I thought you wanted the confessions of all my sins or something the way you’re acting. My age? Well I’m older than you but not old enough to be your father.”

I stamped my foot, startling the horses. “I’m being serious! You know much about me, nearly my life’s story. I know you’re an orphan and that you love me and—that you’re well appointed.”

He laughed even louder. “What a minx you are to say a thing like that! All right, you win. First, you make a guess. How old do you think I am?”

I looked at him appraisingly, considering. “Well, when I first met you, I considered you an old man. I would have said a few months ago that you were in your thirties.”

His laughter subsided, a twinkle in his eye.”And now?”

I thought again. “Well when you laugh it takes many years off you. But when you’re serious, it adds a few years. So I shall go with an average, somewhere in the middle and say three and twenty?”

“Well, I could be, but then again, perhaps not. You’ve not considered everything, my sweet.” He ticked the points off on his fingers, dropping the reins. The mares stopped moving as soon has he set them down.

“First, I’m a trusted aide to your father. Second, I’m extremely well educated and I speak several languages fluently.”

He winked at me and I tapped him with my parasol lightly on the knee.

“And third?”

He considered a moment. “There is no third. No, I think we have covered the salient points. So, do you still think me three and twenty?”

“Well, given the evidence as listed, I would have to say more like three and thirty.” I nodded to emphasize as if I meant it.

His reaction was animated and hilarious. “Three and thirty? Th—” He was incapable of speech for a long time, then very red in the face, he sputtered. “Is that what you really think? What kind of old lecher do you think I am?”

I suppressed a giggle with great difficulty. “I don’t think you an old lecher in the least! But if a man of three and thirty were interested in a young lady of fifteen, he would certainly be one. I was teasing, my love. I don’t think you’re above three and twenty as I originally said.” So saying, I sat quietly, waiting for him to speak.

“Well, as I tire of this game, I will tell you.”

“You only tire of it because you’re coming out poorly.” I smiled sweetly.

He waved it off as unimportant. “Be that as it may, and I don’t deny that’s my motivation in part. I also must get you home soon. Very well, I’m not three and thirty, nor am I three and twenty. Given the ability to speak several languages fluently, as well as some Indian dialects of this area, I worked first as an interpreter. Then I became a liaison. Having other necessary talents, I obtained my position with your father at the ripe old age of seventeen. So therefore, my sweet, I’m a mere child myself.”

I counted up the years he had worked for my father.

“You’re one and twenty!?” I hugged him, regardless of the looks we drew.

His smile widened as he held me closely. “Why is that so wonderful?”

“Well it’s silly, really,” I giggled, blushing deep red to the roots of my hair. “But I didn’t want you to be too old, for fear you would tire of me since I’m still so young.”

He took my hands in his. “I assure you, Gabriella, I’d never tire of you were I three and forty.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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