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Happy Weekend

And Happy Father’s Day to all you father’s out there.

Have a fun and safe day today, guys!

Stone arch and green hills

Sneak Preview!

Who’s ready for a sneak peek at Dante’s Angel?

You?

Well, here you go! Here’s Chapter 1!

Chapter 1

“Karianna! We’re going to miss the flight,” Damiano shouted from the front door. “Anything you forget we can buy on the shuttle or once we get to Rome.”

Damiano was the classical Mediterranean male–tall, with dark hair and gray eyes. His wife, Karianna, was tall, with dark hair and mischievous green eyes.

He’d sent the luggage down to the car already and was simply waiting for his wife to get her personal bag. At the rate she was going, she would take everything in her wardrobe.

“All right, Dam. Ready.”

“Benissimo, cara,” he said as he kissed her.

They finally made it to the car. Marco was driving and Paulo was in the front with him. His two friends and team mates were also going back to Earth for the wedding. Dante was going as well. Marco and Paulo were a little older than Damiano, but they looked like they could be relatives. Dante was the youngest member of the team, but shared their Mediterranean heritage.

“Marco, where is Dante?”

“He said he would meet us at the spaceport. He’ll be there, Damiano. I think he needed a little independence.”

The drive took about half an hour through traffic. Being one of the major ports on Gambler’s Folly, made Speranza exceptionally suitable for hotel and entertainment ventures. Damiano had certainly done well for the family there.

“So, cara, what do you want to do when we get to Rome?” he asked Karianna, his lovely wife.

“I have no idea,” she admitted. “I’ve never even been to Europe. What is there to do in Rome?”

“So much, Kari, so very much to do and see. Since we will be in there for only one day this time, we’ll decide on one venture when we get there.”

They had chosen to take a day for themselves once they reached Earth, before his family overwhelmed Karianna with their well-wishes and wedding plans.

Yes, they were married, but his mother insisted on a cathedral wedding, one they could share with the family. His was an old, religious family and his mother was not entirely happy about their civil marriage.

Once they arrived at the spaceport, they left their things with the porters. Given Damiano’s standing on Gambler’s Folly, their boarding was expedited, which made the whole trip so much more bearable. Their suite was ready when they boarded and their luggage arrived soon after they did. Marco and Paolo were in adjacent rooms, and Dante had a smaller room across the hallway.

Speaking to Marco, Dam asked, “Have we heard from Dante yet?”

“Yes. He’s in the process of boarding now. Has he travelled much before?”

“I don’t think so. Why?”

“He seems uncomfortable, uneasy. Maybe it’s simply nerves about the trip.”

****

Dante had waited as long as he could before he left for the shuttle. He’d never been off-planet before and was homesick before they even left. The rest of the party was already on board and enjoying the amenities before he even got to customs.

On top of it, the whole reason for the trip was the wedding, yet another reminder that he was single and had no prospects at the moment. And here was Damiano, with everything in the world going for him, going to Earth to marry his mate, his bond-mate. It just wasn’t fair.

What was wrong with him? He glanced at his reflection in one of the large plate windows. All right, he wasn’t as tall as Damiano, Marco, or Paulo, but he wasn’t a midget. He was six feet tall and around one hundred eighty-five pounds, with no fat to spare. Dark hair and dark eyes completely the look, from his Mediterranean heritage.

He’d been told he could be mistaken for Damiano’s younger brother, but it didn’t seem to do him much good. He was awkward in crowds and women tied his tongue in knots before he even started talking. He hadn’t had a date in over a month, and now he was going to a wedding on a planet he’d never seen.

Sighing deeply, he answered the questions at the customs desk, handed over his papers, jumped through all the hoops, and finally boarded the shuttle.

“May I help you?” the older man asked.

“Yes. I’m trying to find my berth,” Dante said.

“Ah! Take the lift to the fourth level, turn right, and it will be on your right.”

“Thanks.”

Trudging to the lift, he followed the instructions, used his pass card on the door, and took a look around.

His suite was nearly as big as his apartment, he decided. He’d have to thank Damiano for his generosity. Of course, they would be on the shuttle for a week. At least he wouldn’t go stir crazy. He stowed his luggage in the wardrobe and checked the time.

Pushing the button on his communicator, he checked in with Marco.

“Did you have any trouble, Dante?”

“No, sir. Just huge crowds of people. But I’m in my room now, so everything is good.”

“All our rooms are across the hall from yours. Damiano suggested we all get together for dinner, around seven this evening. But until then, relax and enjoy the trip.”

“When do we lift off?” Dante asked.

“In about an hour. They’ll make an announcement. Follow the instructions and you’ll be fine. It’s much like flying, but the take-off is a little stronger. Don’t worry, amico. I’ve done it several times.”

With nothing else to do, a nap sounded like a good idea. Slipping out of his shoes and jacket, he dropped onto the bed and closed his eyes. Maybe he could at least dream of happy times.

****

“Marco, is everything all right with Dante?” Karianna asked.

“Sì, signora. He’s a little nervous about leaving Gambler’s Folly. He was born here and has no family on Earth. He’ll be fine once we’re underway.”

“If you’re sure,” she said reluctantly. The first time she’d left her home planet, she’d been lost on a bet, divorced from her husband, and married to the strongest of the underworld syndicate bosses—Damiano Leone.

“Should someone go check on him?” she asked.

“Cara mia, he’ll be fine. He’s probably taking a nap. We’ll see him for dinner this evening,” Damiano assured her.

It wasn’t long before the lift-off announcement was made. As far as Karianna was concerned, this was the worst part of the trip. Flying always affected her in the same way. Too much imagination.

At least it didn’t last long. Marco called to check on Dante after lift-off. He chuckled as he ended the call.

“So, how is he?” she asked.

“Dio! He’ll be fine. He swears he’s never doing it again, though how he plans to return to Gambler’s Folly without it, I don’t know.”

“I didn’t think it was that bad,” Karianna reflected. “The one from Earth to here was worse.”

“Don’t worry wo much, cara,” Damiano told her. “Why don’t we send these guys on their way and see what there is to do?”

Knowing her mate, she had a good idea what he meant.

Their friends took their leave, so she was soon alone with her husband.

“So, cara, I think it’s time to enjoy this most comfortable bed, don’t you think? And from what I’ve heard about your last trip, I doubt you’ve ever been loved on an intergalactic flight.”

“Time for a first then, isn’t it?” she answered as his hands unzipped her dress, before they corrected the oversight.

Karianna showered after their lovemaking and decided on a nap before dinner. Later, when she tried to stretch, she was wrapped in Damiano’s embrace. Snuggling deeper into his arms, she drifted off once again.

“Karianna, cara. Time to dress for dinner,” she heard. The kiss did more to wake her up.

“I suppose we should go to dinner,” she said, as her stomach rumbled. “Unless you want to come back to bed.”

“Now, cara, you know we’re all meeting for dinner this evening. We can go back to bed later.”

“Promises, promises.”

“You want promises, cara?” Damiano asked her. “I promise you, before I finish with you later, you’ll be begging.”

“You’ve got rather a high opinion of yourself,” she teased.

A fierce kiss and swat on her bottom told her the night was going to be exciting.

“Now, come on. Put on some clothes before I change my mind.”

When they finally arrived in the dining room to meet the rest of their party, Karianna was still slightly flustered. Damiano’s friends had made an effort this evening. Even Dante was well dressed for dinner. Why he never seemed to have a girlfriend, Karianna couldn’t figure out. He was good-looking, intelligent, and had plenty of money.

“To the most beautiful woman in my world,” was Damiano’s toast to start off the evening. She’d finally gotten used to his flattery. Her first husband never made her feel pretty, let alone beautiful.

Dinner was tasty and the atmosphere around the table relaxed. These four men had worked together for a long time, through dangerous situations. But they had welcomed her into their circle and made her feel safe, even though “safe” could be a relative term around Damiano and his business.

“Dante, are you settling in all right?” she asked.

“Sì, Signora. The lift-off was sort of tense, but I’m fine now.”

“Are you ready for your first look at Earth?”

“I’m not sure. I don’t know what to expect. Everyone tells me it is special, but how can it be any better than Gambler’s Folly?”

“I think it’s the history of humanity there,” she explained. “I haven’t been back since I left nearly two years ago. I want to find out how I react to coming home again.”

“I’ve never been anywhere but Gambler’s Folly. Everyone else here has ties to Earth but me. I feel like an outsider, in a way. Everyone else is coming home, but I have no home to go to.”

“Dante,” Damiano said. “My home is yours. We’re all brothers here—except for Kari, of course. And once Mama meets you, you’ll have trouble leaving.”

“If you say, Damiano. If you say.”

A Big Thank You!

I want to thank Dori Klaproth, at dkletsreadblog for inviting me to interview on her blog! You are ever so kind.

Want to know a little more about me? Go over there and check it out!

Looking for my books?

Click here for my Esperance Series books.

Or here for Gambler’s Folly!

Once again, Thank you Dori!

 

 

 

 

 

Almost Summertime

I know it has been a while since I wrote anything here. I have been writing, but not on the blog… I’ve been working on Book 3 for Gambler’s Folly.

Yes, I said Book 3.  Book 2, Dante’s Angel, should be out by the end of the month. Since I was already sort of in Gambler’s Folly mode, I decided to go ahead and begin Book 3–The Russian.

While the main characters in Gambler’s Folly and Dante’s Angel are big cat-shifters, our Russian, Dmitri,  is a wolf-shifter. Descended from a dire-wolf line, when shifts he is one big wolf.

The young woman who is meant to be his mate, Danni, is a very small person, but her attitude makes up for her size.

Meet Dmitri and Danni!

Dmitri:

“The tall, lanky man strode through the emigration hall on Gambler’s Folly with an ease and confidence that spoke of danger. At first glance, most people assumed ex-military. At second glance they decided he was syndicate.

The shaved head, neatly groomed stubble, and ice cold eyes did nothing to dispel this impression. Neither did the expensive shirt, with the first three buttons open under an expensive and worn dark leather vest. The black denim jeans hugged him snugly over boots whose cost would have fed a family of four for six months.

Dmitri Ivanovich Volkov, otherwise known as The Russian, encouraged this impression. It had served him well for a long, long time. People left him alone, which suited him fine. He was a loner and preferred the peace that came with the image.”

Danni:

“If it hadn’t been for her scent, he would have been fine. The lilacs with honeyed-vanilla and white musk wrapped around him softly. Hazel eyes under blonde curls had drawn him in. He’d thought, after all this time, he would have control over his urges. What had possessed him to kiss her?

Her mouth, now, there was a treat. Fresh raspberries and sweet white wine still teased his palette. Between her scent and her taste, he was one messed up wolf. He wanted to run through the forest, roll in the leaves, and howl to his pack mates about this delicious female he’d met.”

This story is about halfway to completion. We’re waiting for cover art to publish Dante’s Angel. Ready for another excerpt?

Dante’s Angel:

“What is the occasion, Dante?” Paulo asked him. “You look exceptionally well tonight.”

“I thought I’d take Karianna’s advice and watch my posture.”

“Well, it seems to have done you some good. I hadn’t realized you were as tall as I am.”

Neither had Dante. He was used to looking up when he talked to Paulo, but tonight he was close to looking the man in the eye.

“I don’t think I’m quite that tall,” he answered.

“Perhaps not, but very nearly. You should stand up more often.”

“Maybe I will. Have you heard anything about Angela?”

“A little. She is a cousin of Damiano’s, on his mother’s side. She is twenty-four and has trained as a healer for our kind.”

“Her family are shifters?” Dante asked.

“Yes, cats like us. And she’s training with Damiano’s mother, so she must be very good. The Signora only works with the most promising.”

“I guess I should stop hoping then,” Dante said, sadly.

“Why?”

“Nobody with her background would be interested in me, would they?”

“You should begin to believe in yourself,” Paulo told him. “Why would anyone else believe in you if you don’t? If you’re interested, let her know. You should see her fairly often. I think she’s helping with the wedding.”

“Maybe. I’ll think about it.”

“Now that you’ve learned to stand up straight, maybe you will stop putting yourself down at every turn. You work for the agency, in a specialized division. You don’t sweep floors in a warehouse.”

So watch for Dante’s Angel later this month. As soon as we have a cover we’ll do a cover reveal! In the meantime, I’ll be working on The Russian.

Where can you find my books? Follow me on Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/Mellie-Miller/e/B00954K2C8

For Esperance Series books:

 

 

For Gambler’s Folly:

http://amzn.com/1627405844

Until later.

Don’t forget…

to Share the Romance…

 

 

 

I hope your Memorial Day weekend was restful and peaceful. I’ve been working on the book which will come after Dante’s Angel, The Russian.

With any luck at all, Dante’s Angel will be out by the end of the month. Still waiting on cover art. Why do they never have an image which looks like the couple I’ve written about?

So, watch for Dante’s Angel. After that I’ll have a stand alone coming out–Master of the Fleet– and then The Russian.

A più tardi…

That woman

 

Come With Me…

…to Esperance.

A place of beauty, wonder, and, of course, Talent.

Excerpt from Viviane, First Lady.

 

“So, how were you planning to catch fish for dinner?” Viviane asked. “I don’t see any fishing gear anywhere, except for a bucket.”

“I was planning to coax them over to the bank and pick them out of the water,” he told her. Normally he wouldn’t use his talents for something this simple, but he thought it would be a good lesson for her at this stage of her training. Besides, with the need to bring everything in with them, he’d forgotten to bring any fishing tackle along.

“You’re kidding, aren’t you?” she asked, not sure what to believe.

“What kind of fish do you want for dinner,” he asked, ignoring the question. “Up here there are silverback, gold speck, rainbows, and cat’s eyes.”

Looking at him like she was humoring a lunatic, she said, “Well, since I have a choice, I really like gold speck.”

“Gold speck it is then. I think I’ll get a couple rainbows to go along with them.”

He took off his shoes and socks, rolled up his trousers, and stepped into the shallow water at the edge of the stream. Standing quite still, he mentally reached out gently to find the fish he wanted, and then pulled them toward his location by the  bank. One by one he picked them up and put them in the bucket of water, three gold speck and two rainbows.

 

We are one step closer to publication on Dante’s Angel. I spent time yesterday getting everything formatted, title page, copyright page, etc., finished, and all that sort of thing. Now we’re just waiting for the cover art.

Why is it that no matter what sort of image I need for my couple, there is anything else besides what I’m looking for?

So stay tuned for cover reveal and release date!

Here’s the blurb!

Dante wouldn’t have missed his boss’s wedding for the world, but he’s never been off his home planet, Gambler’s Folly. And attending the wedding only points out his very single status. He has trouble asking a woman out for dinner. What must it be like to meet your soul mate?

But Dante’s troubles haven’t even begun until he meets Damiano’s cousin, Angela. A bit on the wild side, and with quite the attitude, their initial meeting leaves them both irritated. But their second meeting in the olive grove leaves them breathless, as they try to figure out how to break the news to the family that they are soul mates.

Follow the two of them as they struggle to hold it together until they can be properly married in church—in a double wedding with Dam and Kari—to keep the family happy.

Dante’s Angel—Gambler’s Folly Series Book 2

 

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