blog hop bus



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.


Dellani Oakes

What genre do you write in?
I write romance—historical romance, sci-fi romance, contemporary romance, paranormal romance & romantic suspense.

If you were forced to switch genres which would you write and why?
If I had to switch, it would probably be to mystery & suspense. Romantic suspense is my favorite sub-genre, so this would be an easy step.

If you were stranded on a desert island would you spend your time trying to get off or writing about the experience?
I’d try like hell to get off the island and THEN write about it. Of course, some uninterrupted writing time would be great and I could work on my tan. If I had a handsome man with me, forget it, I’ll stay!

Organic writer or plotter?
I am very much an organic author. I get a starting sentence that compels me to write and off I go. Of course, sometimes road blocks pop up – like my muse suddenly goes into Mute mode. One day, she’s talking my ear off, the next I can’t get a word out of her.
What’s your fave genre to read?
I like romance & romantic suspense. I also like mysteries.

Do you listen to music while you write or do you need quiet?
I have to have music playing. I do it for a variety of reasons, mostly because it provides a buffer between me and everything else going on in my house.

If music, what kind?
I listen to just about everything. You won’t find rap playing, I guarantee. However, it’s not uncommon to hear Jimi Hendrix, Joe Satriani, Meatloaf, Pink Floyd, Carlos Santana, Gary Moore, Sublime, Nirvana. . . . It depends on my mood and what I’m writing.

Is there a subject you won’t take on for moral or spiritual beliefs?
I won’t ever have a rape depicted in my books. It’s a reprehensible act and I don’t condone it in any way. I may have characters who have been damaged by this brutal act, but I don’t describe it. It’s something that happened in their past which shaped them (My character Vivica Rambo in The Ninja Tattoo is one of these) I also will never, ever use child molestation in any of my novels, except in the circumstances as above. Bad things happen to good people. That’s a fact of life. However, I won’t exploit someone’s pain in order to sell books. That’s irresponsible and morally reprehensible.
If someone asked you to put them in a story would you and as what-villain, hero, or victim or just a bit part?
I had someone ask me recently if I would name a character after her. I was working on “Conduct Unbecoming”, a companion novel to “The Ninja Tattoo” and a Facebook friend asked if I would name one of the characters after her. I did so. I hope she likes how I portrayed her.

About karenwritesmurder

I am a writer, blogger and radio host. I love to read and my love of books has lead me down this path. People tell me I write like Janet Evanovich. I take that as a compliment as I love her Plum books. I feel like Stephanie and Laura could be best friends.
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  1. dellanioakes says:

    Thanks so much for having me here today, Karen. I love your books and value our friendship! ~ D

  2. Great interview Karen, and good luck with Shakazhan Dellani. I’ll be reading it soon.

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