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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Welcome Back Author Dellani Oakes!!

The month of April flew by and suddenly it became May and that was even busier for me. So I am finally getting back here and I think you will be very happy that I did!

My guest author today is a longtime friend and multi-published author, Dellani Oakes. Let's learn all about her. Then we will be treated to a preview of her new book: The Maker, the third book in her Lone Wolf series.

Welcome back to my blog, Dellani!! I know you are on your blog blitz and I am so happy you stopped in here. I have a few questions that my readers might want to know about you.

Where were you born and where do you live now?

I was born in Knoxville, Tennessee but have moved around a lot. My husband and I moved to Florida, just south of Daytona Beach in 1989.

Who or what influenced you to begin writing?

My parents are the major influence in my writing life. They both encouraged reading, storytelling and writing when I was younger. My father was an English professor and my mother a school teacher, who was also a storyteller and poet. Neither of them wrote fiction, I went my own way on that.

Besides writing do you have any hobbies?

I used to, but now don't really have any hobbies. Wow, that sounds terrible, doesn't it? Unless you can count a serious Netflix Binge Addiction a hobby. When I'm not writing or tending to my family, I am glued to Netflix. I tend to favor cop shows or those with a medical bent.

Tell our readers what a typical day of writing would look like for you.

My days follow a loose schedule. In the morning and early afternoon, I check and share blog posts for myself and my friends. If there are any chores associated with the blogs, I tend to them. Short break for a late lunch, then I decide what I'm going to work on. If I'm editing, I'll work on that during the day and into the evening. Most of my writing is done late evening or at night. My creative mind seems to work best then.

If I've just finished a book, like now, I will take a break from it and do some casual editing of something I've already finished. I am constantly perfecting, finding errors and rewriting things so it's not as big a job when I decide to get something reader ready.

How did you get the idea for The Lone Wolf series?

I originally set out to write the adventures two friends of mine, and I had in a Traveler game back in the early 80s. Traveler is like D&D, only set in outer space. Matilda, Marc and Wil were born in those long ago games. Once I started writing, the characters took over, and what happens in the books is nothing like what happened in the games. That's okay, though, because the book adventures are better.

How did reading science fiction and watching science fiction influence your choices for The Lone Wolf series?

Reading science fiction gave me a feel for the unique and off the wall, no holds barred mindset of sci-fi. You can go anywhere, do anything, and it doesn't matter. As long as you set your parameters and don't violate them (too much) you can travel the stars.

I try not to be influenced by series like Star Wars or Star Trek, because people have expectations for those worlds. I want my universe to be unique and not a carbon copy of something else. I've tried very hard to stay away from those worlds.

The Maker - Book 3 tells the story of Wil and his wife Matilda, who are battling evil on the planet Shazakan. For readers who haven’t read the other two books, can you tell us how he got there?

Wil VanLipsig is a former Galactic Marine Colonel. He's been genetically enhanced by the Marines and at the age of 86, he doesn't look over 30. Unbeknownst to him, he fathered a son with his first love and now that indiscretion has caught up to him. His son has set him up for a fall, then takes off for parts unknown. Wil and Matilda must follow him in order to save the universe, quite literally, from a legendary evil race known as the Kahlea.

By a few twists of fate, and lots of crazy adventures, they end up on the planet, Shakazhan, a virtually dead planet in deep, uncharted space. It is on this planet that an ancient warrior race, the Timokuan, made their last stand and drove the Kahlea away. Because of Wil's son, though, the Kahlea are coming back and they and their companions must stand against them.

In the excerpt you provided for us here, something happens to Matilda. Will she be okay in the rest of the book?

That's something readers will need to find out by reading the book. I won't give spoilers, but I rarely kill off main characters in my stories.

How did you get the idea for Wil and Matilda? Are they based on any real life people you know?

Wil, Matilda and Marc, are based on characters two friends and I created for a Traveler game back in 1982. My character was Matilda Dulac, also known as Romance. One friend created Marc and the other Wil. I changed their characters' last names, though, because I couldn't remember them. Except for having been loosely based on their characters and mine, they are completely my own creation.

Are you planning any in-person or online events to talk about this new book?

No. Maybe later when Book 4, The Kahlea, comes out – which will be late summer or early fall of this year – I hope.

If you could meet any writer living or dead, who would it be and why?

Oh, there are so many! I think I'd have to pick Andre Norton, because her book, Star Man's Son, was the one that woke a love of science fiction in me. I went through a time when I was in the third grade, where I didn't want to read. I'd been told by a clueless school librarian that I couldn't read above my grade level. In third grade, I was reading at least a sixth-grade level. She banned me from the older books.


My mother, wise woman that she is, took me to the city library instead. One of her dear friends was the head librarian. She took me to the young adult section of the library, told me to pick whatever I wanted, and I could check it out. If I didn't like it, I could always get another. I remembered that my mother had taken my cousin to meet Andre Norton when he was a boy, so the name struck a chord. I fell in love with her books and that stuck with me my entire life.

Thank you for providing us with such complete answers and I know my readers now want to see an excerpt. So I just happen to have one from The Maker:



Blurb:
The Maker – Book 3 in the Lone Wolf Series by Dellani Oakes

If anyone had asked Wil VanLipsig where he'd be in five years, he surely wouldn't have said he'd be fighting the ultimate evil on an unknown planet in a lost galaxy. Fighting a war, probably. Killing off insurgents, righting political wrongs, following another man's agenda, decidedly. Funny how life throws things in our paths that we must overcome. Wil is no different. With the help of his wife, Matilda, their good friends and benevolent aliens, they battle the Kahlea's slaves, wondering when the Grand Master himself will arrive. What's next for this tiny, insignificant oddment of miners and marines? Travel to the forgotten world of Shakazan and find out!
The Maker is Book Three in the Lone Wolf Series, with more to come. The story is far from being told.

Excerpt:

Wil dragged Matilda back down the tunnel. Roaring, Surau rushed them from the rear. Ben and Marc took shots at him, but they didn't have time to aim carefully. The shots went wild, zinging around the tunnel dangerously. They holstered their weapons and provided a meat shield for Matilda. Wil ran, dragging her down the tunnel.
They encountered nothing until they got to the first junction, where the metal passage intersected with the stone tunnels. Instead of being empty as it had been, they found themselves facing tall, dark humanoids. These carried lethal looking spears and didn't appear angry, just startled. Raising their spears threateningly, the dark men charged the group.
Finding the way blocked, the unlucky humans veered off down the metal passage, footsteps echoing hollowly as they ran. Matilda tripped over her skirt, as it wrapped around her legs. Taking one set of claws, she slashed a portion of it away, freeing her feet to run more efficiently. Wil's grip on her arm was painful, bruising her skin, leaving her muscles feeling numb. She did her best to keep up, but his legs were far longer than hers, his stamina greater. The passage grew increasingly dim as they went further in. They had never been so far from Sentience and her repaired networks before. They initiated their Kindred suits as the air around them thinned and grew stale.
The dark men surged down the tunnel after them, their numbers overwhelming. Ben and Marc formed a wall, with Wil directly behind them. He tried to contact the ship to teleport them out, but there was too much interference. Backing slowly as the men advanced, Marc picked off two with carefully aimed shots. Ben joined him, taking out a couple more. Their weapons were set to stun, but to the dark men, their comrades appeared to be dead.
Instead of stopping, the men grew more determined, advancing rapidly. As one, they suddenly lunged forward, making a grab for the small, retreating party of humans. One grabbed Marc, who crushed the dark man's skull with a blow from his gun butt.
Another held Ben, who summarily broke his arm, yanking it from the socket. The dark man screamed in pain as Ben's blow to his head killed him. Wil kicked a third in the teeth, before aiming down the tunnel, targeting the leader. His kill shot was true.
The dark men stopped advancing as their leader's head exploded. With a mighty roar, they made a last, monumental attempt to grapple with the humans. Wil pressed his wife behind him, trying again to contact the ship. There was a crackle of static and a faint acknowledgment from Hammer.
"Smith, get us the hell out of here!" Wil roared into his com.
The dark men gathered their dwindling numbers, preparing for a final assault. Growling angrily, they reformed their ranks around the fallen, glaring at the humans with hatred.
Wil shouted to his wife, "Run, Matilda! We'll catch up to you! Run! Run!"
Matilda hesitated a moment. The passageway was dark, she could feel it surround her. Even the Kindred suit couldn't compensate for the complete lack of light. Her nightmares came back, freezing her in place.
"Wil, I can't! I can't see a thing! Oh, God, Wil, I'm so scared!"
"Babe, it's okay. Hammer has us. He'll get us out of here. Please, keep going a little longer."
Hesitantly, she picked her way along, the floor sagging beneath her feet. The ceiling was partially collapsed, filled with so much rubble, she had to stoop to move. The others were engaged in combat, she could hear it. All her instincts screamed at her to go back, to fight beside her mate.
Wil's voice echoed down the passage, "Run!"
One of the dark men broke through their line, scrabbling over the stones, nearly on top of her. Matilda knew Wil was aiming at him. Flattening herself against the wall, she pressed back as far as she could.
"Now!" she screamed. "You have a clear shot!"
The weapon fired as she ducked, turning further away, sensing the electromagnetic pulse from Wil's gun, hit the dark man in the back, hurling him toward her. She tried to dodge him, but a hand shot out from his dying body, clutching at her flowing dress, dragging her with him. The floor collapsed beneath their combined weight. The man fell like an anchor into the nothingness below her. Kicking wildly, Matilda struggled for a hand hold, screaming hysterically.
Wil heard her scream, felt the give in the floor and ran full speed down the passage. The ceiling collided with this forehead, the sides of the passage snagged his clothing. "I'm coming! I'm coming! Hang on!"
"Wil! Oh, Wil! I'm falling! Wil!" A scream ripped from her throat, fading away as she fell.
Wil reached for her a second too late. He saw her dropping into the bottomless pit. His cry of despair turned into a howl of grief. A moment later, the men found themselves on the bridge of Hammer. Matilda wasn't with them. Wil lay on the floor, still as death.
"Oh, God," he whispered. "Oh, God! No!"

I know that I definitely want to read more about these characters. Where can we find this book?

The Maker – Book Three is ready for pre-order and will be available May 15, 2017

ASIN: B071HH7CK8 








It has been delightful to talk with you today and I also want to tell my readers that you can hear Dellani on her two radio shows in her bio.

Bio:

Dellani Oakes is a Tennessean by birth, a Floridian by a quirk of fate. She resides in a town south of Daytona Beach where her constantly changing household usually has at least one grown child in it. Dellani loves science fiction and grew up reading the greats. She always felt something was missing from their story lines—a little romance. Taking that idea to heart, she began her Lone Wolf Series, incorporating all she loved about sci-fi, but adding a strong romantic bond between Wil and Matilda.
Dellani is an avid writer, but when she's not writing, she's reading anything she can get her hands on. She leads a small writers group through the Council on Aging, enjoying her time away from home. She also hosts two blog talk radio shows a month, Dellani's Tea Time – Every 2nd Monday of the month, and What's Write for Me – every 4th Wednesday. She and her co-host, Christina Giguere, interview other authors.
You can find more about Dellani Oakes here:

As always all of your comments are welcomed!

Until the next time, I hope you will be able to tune into my radio show on Thursday, May 25, 2017, to hear author and poet, Cynthia Sharp and award-winning author Eleanor Kuhns. If you miss the time you can hear it anytime by clicking on the link.
If you are a Facebook friend then you already know this, but to any who have not seen this news, my short screenplay, "The Kiss" and my poem, "My Thoughts Turn To You" -- a Scriggler poem of the day, are official selections for Action on Film festival. I was so surprised because this is the first screenplay I have ever written!!
Many people have said that my poems affect them. If you are looking for a gift for someone who has lost a loved one, you might want to think of my poetry book, a memorial to my late husband. You'll Probably Forget Me: Living With and Without Hal.
 If you buy the book and would like it signed just either leave a comment here or contact me on Facebook. I will send you a personalized bookplate.

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