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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Character Quotes from Under the Western Sky by Dellani

Cereal Authors

Under the Western Sky by Dellani Oakes - 500“What took you so long? I been here ten minutes already,” Ramon said in Spanish.

“You’ve been here five. Mom stopped me at the door. Am I gonna walk out and not talk to my mother?”

Ramon laughed, smacking him upside the head. “Not if you’re smart. We got a lot to do today.”

“You feeling okay?” Rico asked. “You look bad.”

“Thanks, pipsqueak. Do I insult you this early in the morning?” Rico was fourteen and small for his age.

“Just asking. You look sick.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Indian Summer by Dellani Oakes

writemindsauthors

Indian Summer is an historical romance set in St. Augustine, Florida in 1739, a year before a major siege by the British. Gabriella Deza, the daughter of the Spanish governor, is fast approaching womanhood. Her fifteenth birthday looms on the horizon. She is completely taken by surprise when her father’s aide-de-camp, Manuel Enriques, declares his love and asks to accompany her to her birthday party.

Indian Summer isn’t currently available, but will be re-released the summer of 2017 along with the sequel, Savage Heart!

Excerpt from Indian Summer

“This is my dance, I believe, Señorita Deza.”

Manuel locked eyes with the next candidate for treading on my toes, who cowered under his look. Nodding rapidly, the little rabbit of a man retreated to the corner behind Clara and seemed to take her as his shield of defense.

I graced him with my sincere smile and said, “I promise the next…

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Character Quotes from First Love by Dellani

Cereal Authors

character-quotes-image“Cows!” Brad yelled, breaking the silence. “Must be a hundred at least.”

“Dude, they’re like four,” his friend, Clayton, said in a bored tone.

“I’m estimating. That gives me 4,361 cattle.”

“That gives you five,” Clayton persisted. “And I have—what? Five.” He pointed to a lone bovine on his side of the car.

“Creative cattle counting. One is one—two is—” Brad tipped his head, closing one eye. “Fifty?”

“Then by that logic, my one cow is worth twenty-five.”

“No. One is one. Ask anybody. Isn’t one cow just one cow?” He appealed to the other six people in the station wagon.

“One is one—two is two,” Madison Reynolds pointed out. “But creative counting is accepted practice in Bury the Cows. He’s right, though, Brad. If two cows is worth fifty, one cow is twenty-five.”

“Fine. I concede that. But I’m still ahead.”

“You can’t count the billboard for the dairy…

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Character Quotes from Poplar Mountain Mystery by Dellani

Cereal Authors

poplar-mountain-cover“Dollie, I’d be pleased if you’d go to the moving picture show with me this evening,” Lucius said carefully, just as Will had coached him. “There’s a film I thought you might like to see. I remember you said how much you liked books by the Bronte sisters….” He was extemporizing now. On shakier ground, he hesitated.

Dollie’s eyes glowed excitedly. “You don’t mean that Wuthering Heights is finally here?”

He grinned broadly. “I do indeed. I recollect you said how much you’d like to see it. I’d be mighty proud if you’d go with me.”

“Oh, Lucius! I’d love to go! Thank you!” She kissed him on the cheek. Suddenly realizing they had an audience, she jumped away like she’d been shocked.

Leaving her tray on the table, she scurried from the room to the sanctity of her office. Lucius sat at the table, stunned. Had it gone badly?…

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Character Quotes from Indian Summer by Dellani

Cereal Authors

Indian SummerSunday morning dawned gray and sullen, casting a mood of gloom over the household. We should have been happy to have the family back together. Instead we were muttering to ourselves, listless, unhappy and snappish with each other. The heat was unbearable and the air hung heavy upon us. I heard Cook say to Ana that it was storm weather.

We made our way to Mass on foot, for the chapel was only a short distance from our house. The congregation seemed oppressed by the weather. Even Father Moses was less energetic. His sermon should have been bold and fiery, instead it was damp and musty as a cellar.

Communion, always a time for celebration for me, was merely a duty to be performed. Father Moses ended Mass as quickly as he could without seeming to be unsightly, and we all went home as the first drops of rain began…

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Character Quotes from Under the Western Sky by Dellani

Cereal Authors

Under the Western Sky by Dellani Oakes - 500“Are you going to go all the way with Danny?”

“I don’t know, Libby. He’s so cute and sexy, but I mean, good grief! I can’t make up my mind. Every time I even think of doing it with him, I get this vision of my mom scolding me. The thoughts go right out of my mind. She’d be so disappointed.”

“How would she know? My mom probably wouldn’t even notice.”

“This is my mother,” Toni said patiently. “The woman who always knew when we were doing something sneaky. Remember the milk and cookie incident?”

“Toni, you fell off a chair holding the cookie jar. Didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what you were doing.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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The Music Behind the Story from First Love by Dellani

music-behind-the-storyA few weeks ago, I shared Music Behind Under the Western Sky, set in 1976. This isn’t my only story set in that same time period, though First Love isn’t published yet. The Seventies were an era of great music, no doubt about it. We had bands like Carlos Santana, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Gary Wright. Fantastic songs filled the airwaves and my characters, like me and my friends, listened to each new song with enthusiasm.

I did a lot of research so that I would have the right songs for the year. Though I lived through this era, my memory for when each song came out, was kind of faulty. I enjoyed revisiting songs from my past and now sharing them with you. One of the first songs mentioned is Love is Alive by Gary Wright. No visit to the Seventies would be complete without Stairway to Heaven. This song evokes strong emotions even today. I also mention the album Blow by Blow by Jeff Beck. This album woke a love in me for this kind of music and I’ve been a fan of Beck, and others like him, since.

We begin with a road trip from Western Nebraska to New Mexico. A group of high school students from a church youth group, are on a mission trip over the summer. Traveling together, they have to compromise on some things, but the one area where they are all in agreement is the music they want to hear—the good stuff, (which does not included Barry Manilow, who was very popular at the time.)

First Love cover“Can we have on the radio, Mr. C?” Brad asked. “Mrs. C wanted to play Barry Manilow. It was a unanimous veto on that.”

“What makes you think I don’t like Barry Manilow?” he asked over his shoulder.

“Because you’re too cool to think It’s a Miracle for Mandy to Be Somebody’s Baby over on Avenue C,” Brad replied.

The boys gave him an evil eye.

“You know an awful lot about Barry Manilow,” Maddie said. “Are you sure you aren’t a closet fan?”

“My mom listens to Manilow like—all day and forces me to pollute my mind with his lyrics. But when she’s gone, I put on some Hendrix or a little Jeff Beck and rock the rafters.”

“I’m not much for Manilow either,” Craig admitted. “Okay. Maddie, pick a station.”

Delighted at being given that honor, she reached for the dial and turned it for a few seconds before coming to an audible station. The new, but familiar, opening strains of Love is Alive filled the car.

“Leave it there!” the boys yelled.

Maddie passed it, just to tease them, but went right back to it. She happened to like the song too. By the first chorus, they were singing with Gary Wright. Brad played air guitar, imitating the part to perfection. Clayton took bass. Daniel beat on the back of the seat to the drums. Maddie and Richard sang, harmonizing together. Craig bounced to the beat, tapping the steering wheel. They cheered when the song ended.

“Danny, you got that Zeppelin tape with you?” Craig asked when the radio went to commercial.

“I do.”

“Got a perfectly good cassette player up here. Toss it up.”

Seconds later, the tape was in the player and cranked up. Stairway to Heaven filled the air. This time, they made Maddie sing solo because none of them could hit the notes like Robert Planet, except her.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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