Archive for July, 2014

CampNaNoWriMoCamp NaNoWriMo is almost over. Three more days of writing time. I’m proud of one of my cabin mates–PalmerMorel.  He has already finished his goal!

I have only 2680 words left to finish mine for, Defender of the Red Dragon. I hope to reach that finish line tomorrow and validate my count for a win.

To anyone out there who hasn’t tried NaNoWriMo, it is a great motivator to write everyday and to set goals. In April and July, you can set your own word goals and shift them if need be. The standard count is 50,000 words in one month, which is what I’m doing this July.

The biggie is in November. No cabins. Just you, and your manuscript, and 50,000 word goal.

So come along and join us next time. Not ready for November? That’s all right. Join us in the spring and set a smaller goal. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you’re writing. 

Wish me luck! 50,000 words or bust!


Excerpt from Defender of the Red Dragon–rough draft.

Enough musing, Ruth thought. Time for bed. After saying good night to the warrior in the painting and stroking the dragon’s nose, she slipped wearily between the sheets and nodded off, her mind still on moons, tides, dragons, and knights.

Thunder boomed and echoed through the darkness, as her house trembled to the sound. Great bolts of lightning seared the night sky. Shaken from slumber by the storm, Ruth quickly grabbed a robe and went to fill up some pitchers with water, in case the power went out. She unplugged the coffeemaker just in case. She’d had several fried during thunderstorms as power surges came in through the power lines.

The air had cooled significantly, so Ruth snapped the front of her robe most of the way down and tied the belt snuggly. With all the noise, there was no way she would sleep for a while. Lighting a candle, she took the book from her nightstand and sat down to read.

The storm continued to escalate. Lightning bolts became sheets of electrical display. Though she’d seen sheet lightning before, it was a rare occurrence. The air had a different feel, and she felt a heightening of her senses.

It was around three in the morning. Restless, Ruth paced the floor. Admiring the painting again, she reached up to touch the dragon just as a tremendous bolt of lighting struck across the street.

Everything went black around her and her ears rang. “That was awfully close,” she thought, as she tried to find the door frame to steady her. “I must be a little dazed by the sound of the lightning.”

As the ringing subsided, she heard faint sounds of people talking, while the air was infused with the scent of roasting meat.

She still couldn’t see anything, but discovered she had her eyes tightly closed. She remedied this and found she was crouched down behind a large barrel in a dark alley. She must have blacked out for a time, because she could see daylight overhead. While there was no rain, she could hear thunder in the offing.

Where in hell was she? She rose to her feet and brushed at the dirt which clung to her robe. At least she was dressed, sort of. But what should she do? She could see no one else in the alley, and she wasn’t sure what she would find in the street. The voices came from inside the building next to her. It must be some sort of café or something.

Shocked and dazed by recent events, she simply stood in the alley and tried to think it through.

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Here’s a little ditty I sent to my editor the other day, RuleBreaker Editing. It had been a day….

Red Ink

“You’ve been writing in that corner now from dusk until dawn.
You know you’re getting tired as you stifle that yawn.
But the story’s almost perfect, at least that’s what you think.
What it really needs to do now is to bleed some red ink.”
Mellie Miller

July 9, 2014

Love you Rulebreaker!

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Everyone understands promotion is important to authors. But where do you go? Check out this article from Jerri Hines.

Write a Good Book and they will read…with the right Promotion!

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Black and whiteWell, sometimes it seems like I’m waging a war. These characters of mine and their stubborn tendency to remake the story in their image….

While I’m working on this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo project, I thought I would give you a taste of  April’s novel. It still has work to be done, like editing–but I’d like to share a little bit about it anyway.



Hope you enjoy!


The Seduction of Lady Calloway

In an alternate timeline in England, Lord Kerrick Calloway’s wife has become a problem. The government in Europe is run by the church. As liaison between the church and the state, Kerrick must follow the church’s law explicitly.

How could he know, before their marriage, that his wife, Liora, had been raised in heresy? Following church rulings concerning sex and marriage changed at least a century out of date, she seldom agreed to sleep with him.

As a descendant of a line of confessors, Kerrick knew what would happen to her if this knowledge came to the attention of the church. He also knew what they would do to him if he didn’t bring her to the church to confess.

In an attempt to save his wife and his life, Kerrick takes her away to an isolated family counry home for a time of study and seduction. His hope is to win her over to the new teachings of the church, root out the heresy in the little village where she grew up, and finally have a wife who could enjoy being with him.

Liora is terrified by the thought of having sex with her new husband. Handsome, well-situated, and kind, she finds it nearly impossible not to enjoy being with him. But since she firmly believes that enjoying sex, even with her husband, is no different than being a prostitute, she finds it more and more difficult to give her body to him without sinning.

It’ll be easy, she’d been told. It isn’t really enjoyable for women anyway. Just let him have you when he must and you can at least save his soul by keeping him in the marriage bed.

But how could she give herself to him to save his soul without consigning hers to hell?


“Paradise preserve me,” Kerrick muttered, shaking his head. Hadn’t today been aggravating enough already?
“What’s wrong?” Liora, his wife asked. “Why are you angry?” Shrugging her shoulders, she began to turn away as she waited for his answer. His arm shot out toward her, his hand grasping her jaw firmly, tuning her to face him.
“Why? I just want to know why I can’t have a proper kiss from my wife! After working all day, it would be nice to feel that my wife cares for me, rather than tolerates me.” Releasing her with disgust, he started toward his study.
“I don’t know what you mean,” Liora replied. “Every day I meet you at the door with a kiss.”
“You call that a kiss? That’s the sort of kiss you’d give to a brother or father, not the kiss a husband expects from his wife.”
“Well, what’s the difference? I greet you each and every day to show that I love you. Does the kiss matter that much? At least you get a kiss.”
“Yes, it does matter that much!” he shouted in anger. “A man expects a few niceties when he gets home, and a proper kiss from his wife is one of them.”
“Why are you going on so much about a kiss? You know I love you.”
“Do I?” Kerrick asked, exasperated. “And how am I supposed to know that? Your kisses are brotherly at best, unless I press the issue. And in our bed, half the time, I feel I’m committing rape. You agree to sleep with me, but show no passion for me. Can you even feel passion?”
Suddenly wanting to know if she could show anything at all, he pulled her to him roughly, one arm firmly around her waist, one hand twined in her hair turning her face to his. He kissed her savagely at first, his mouth hard on hers, until it became more sensual than demanding. At first she tried to struggle free, and then, for just a brief moment, he felt the beginnings of awakening arousal before she stiffened into her usual stance—endurance.
“Don’t, Kerrick,” she pleaded with him as he released her. “Please, never do that. I can’t bear it.”
“Can’t bear what? The thought that you might feel something for me? You didn’t have to accept my proposal of marriage.”
“Decent gentlewomen should not give in to the temptations of the flesh. Men can’t help but fall prey to their desires, but women must not, for the sake of both their salvations.”
“Where did you learn such rot? I thought all those bizarre sects had disappeared decades ago.”
“How dare you say such things? The Holy Writings of the Prophet teach us that the pleasures of the flesh are evil.”
“Yes, when indulged outside the marriage bed. But we exchanged vows. That changes things considerably.”
“No, it doesn’t. Would you be married to a whore? Women, even married women, who give themselves to the seduction of carnal pleasures are whores, or just as good as. I should think that a man in your position would be happy to have a chaste, gods-fearing wife.”
“I can’t believe what I’m hearing,” Kerrick stated in amazement. “You really believe that?”
“I do,” Liora responded.
“Then why did you even get married? Didn’t you know that sex is part of that bargain?”
“I married you because I love you,” she answered. “And one of a wife’s duties is to redeem her husband by keeping his lusts contained within the marriage bed, not out buying the favors of prostitutes!”

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CampNaNoWriMoEveryone has a story.  And some of us choose to share. Some write non-fiction from their own lives, others write non-fiction of other kinds. And some of  us write fiction and make it up as we go along.

Whatever story you decide to tell is up to you.

And that’s where National Novel Writing Month comes in. With two summer virtual camps and the big event in November, it is a wonderful aid to get started and keep writing for an entire month. You set your own goals and use your stats page to keep track of your progress.

There are all kinds of tools to help you on your journey on the resources page, as well as forums to answer questions or simply interact with other writers.

There is also a Young Writers Program for teachers and students, and the Come In Library program.

To top it off, NaNoWiMo is a nonprofit organization.

And that’s where you come in. It takes funds to keep all this going. The people you help are the writers of tomorrow.

If you can lend a hand, know that it will be put to good use and greatly appreciated. Here is a link to my fundraiser page.


Thank you for your support,



Mel and Gambler's Folly

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