Archive for March, 2017

Ready for an excerpt? Dante’s Angel is the second book from Gambler’s Folly. Damiano and Karianna have gone back to Earth for their big family wedding, taking their closest friends with them.

Dante was born on Gambler’s Folly and has never been off-planet. And as the youngest of the group, he has a few issues. He doesn’t have a girlfriend and has trouble meeting women. Though he’s been told he could be Damiano’s brother, he lacks all the things Damiano has, that he thinks hold the key to his relationship problem.

Money, family, and his soul-mate.

Haven’t read Gambler’s Folly yet?




Dante’s Angel Excerpt:

“I’m sure you were worried about finding a gown on such short notice,” she told Karianna. “I would have been a wreck in your place. But I do believe we’ve captured your spirit and personality in the one we bought.”

“Are you purposely irritating me, Angela? You know I can’t see the gown until we are at the wedding, unlike everyone else in the house. Don’t make me pry the details out of you,” Damiano threatened.

“What makes you think you’d get any details? You should know me better than that. And you’d also have to deal with your mate.”

“Women. They will find a way to gang up on you every time.”

Dante tried to concentrate on his dinner, until Damiano added, “Remember that, Dante, when you’re considering a mate. Not only will her family stand up for her, all the women in your family will as well.”

He saw the smile behind the complaint and started to answer. But one look over at Karianna and Angela made him tongue-tied. Anything he said would be spun into something else, so he nodded and went back to eating.

“Nothing to say, Dante?” Karianna asked.


“Cat got your tongue?” Angela asked. The lilting, musical tones of her voice drew him like a siren’s song.

The challenge issued with the remark came from behind those beautiful eyes, the color of tiger’s-eye, framed by long, thick lashes, which she fluttered at him.

While her wit wasn’t necessarily at odds with her beauty, the two in conjunction did hamper his thought processes. While his mind dithered, his mouth spoke.

“Signorina, when I play with kittens, it is not my tongue which is in danger.”

What had come out of his mouth? He suddenly wanted to disappear from the face of the planet and he didn’t care where he emerged. She sat with her eyes wide and her mouth open, apparently shocked at his answer.

The table erupted with laughter, as the two of them locked gazes. In a moment, she dropped her eyes, tossed her thick tresses over her shoulder and said, “I don’t believe we’ve met. And I’m not sure we should.”

“I see. It’s fine for you to wound a stranger, but not for him to defend himself. I am Dante Bonfiglio, of Speranza on Gambler’s Folly. My family was originally from Sicilia, though this is the first time I have been to Earth. Now we can fence as friends, rather than as strangers.”

Again, she seemed to search for a comeback and simply stared at him. Time to get back to dinner, perhaps. With a nod in her direction he turned back to his plate.

“Dante! It is a first. I can’t remember the last time anyone left Angela speechless,” Damiano exclaimed. “Well done.”

“Speechless? I am not speechless, but I don’t see any point in encouraging such an attitude. Rude!”

“Angela mia,” Signora Leone said, still chuckling. “You were speechless and, if rudeness were a sin, you would be as guilty as Dante. Maybe you’ve finally met your match.”

“I don’t think so, zia Caterina. Never would I be associated with a man as arrogant as he is.”

“You mean like you and the rest of your family?” Damiano added.

“I am not arrogant.”

“Oh? Maybe you are just rude.”

“Damiano, when it comes to rude and arrogant, you take first place.”

“Then you are a close second, cugina. Perhaps Dante is the man to take you in hand.”

“Not in this lifetime.”

How had he managed to get involved in this old family feud? And how had he let his mouth get out of control? He was normally shy, not adding much to conversations. One remark without thinking and he was embroiled in a family dispute, which, though friendly, was a little closer to the family Leone than he cared to be.

“Dante, since the brat won’t introduce herself,” Damiano said, “this is my cousin, Angela diGatti, from my mother’s side.”

Piacere, signorina,” Dante replied. “Pleased to meet you, miss.”

“Humph…” was all she said.

“And now who is being rude?” Signora Leone asked. “Maybe this is why you have no boyfriend.”

“Who needs a boyfriend?” the young woman snapped in answer.

“Who is always wishing someone would ask her out in the evening?” her aunt countered.

“Fine. Think what you will.”

“Well, there’s nothing like a spat to get a relationship off to a good start,” the signora said with a smile. She reached for the olive oil to season her pasta.

“No!” he and Angela said together, looking daggers across the table. Once again the dining room erupted with mirth.

“This should make for interesting times,” Damiano said, wiping tears from his face. “She reminds me a little of you, cara, when we first met. As I recall, you spit in my face—not once, but twice.”

“That’s right,” Marco said. “I remember the evening. Such a little hellcat you are when you’re angry, Signora.”

“You might remember that before you comment further,” Karianna said with an evil smile.

Dante locked himself in his own world and finished his dinner, wishing the evening could begin again. He had wanted to meet this dark-haired angel when he’d first seen her. But now he wasn’t sure whether she was an angel or a she-devil. The attraction remained, however. How would one go about taming her?

“Dante,” someone called from across the entry after dinner.

“Yes, Damiano?”

“I take it you’re interested in Angela.”

“I had hoped to meet her. I saw her when the ladies returned yesterday. I hope I didn’t offend.”

“Offend? Oh, no. Angela is quite a handful. We’ve been waiting for someone who was up for the challenge for a long time.”

“Sir, I don’t want to intrude where I’m not invited.”

“If you’re waiting for an invitation from Angela, you’ll grow old and gray. Sometimes a man has to take charge and see where it leads.”

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Black and whiteBesides Dante’s Angel, of course.

The book I have in queue after this is a stand-alone, a United States from a different timeline, where it has a different name and culture. A timeline where the internal combustion engine hasn’t been discovered yet and France had a much greater influence.

This version of America is divided into kingdoms rather than states, each autonomous and under the rule of barons, earls and dukes.

Enter Anne-Marie. Born into a lower class family, she dreams of one day wearing the silks and pearls of the high born women. Frustrated with her lot in life, she runs away, only to discover something much worse.

Until Richard enters the scene. Richard comes from a long aristocratic line of merchant marines. He owns LeMarnier Shipping on the west coast and is the Master of the Fleet over his ships.

He’s also the most eligible bachelor on the Cote d’Or, and Anne-Marie sets her cap on him to be her next meal ticket. Which seems to work out well for her, until–

–she sees a way to go home again and gloat over those who had tried to keep her from rising in the world.

And where she makes her biggest mistake.

Watch for Master of the Fleet, under my pen name Sultonna Nadine, here or at my Facebook page, Meleigh’s Creations.



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Mel and Gambler's FollyWhen I wrote Gambler’s Folly, I had no idea I was writing the first book in a  five book series. Why do I do this to myself? (sigh)

Dante’s Angel will be Book 2 from Gambler’s Folly. Mentioned a few times in Gambler’s Folly, Dante works with Damiano and is the youngest member of his team. Tall, with a Mediterranean look, he is generally happy with his life.

But when Dam and Kari return to Earth for a big church wedding, Dante is invited to come be in the wedding, along with Paulo and Marco. How could he refuse?

He’s never been off Gambler’s Folly and he has to admit he’s a little jealous of Damiano’s luck in finding a mate. What would it be like, he wondered, to find his soul mate, the one woman who was his perfect complement?

Little does he know how soon this question will be answered, in the form of Damiano’s cousin, Angela. Fiery tempered, with dark hair and amber eyes, Dante is immediately drawn to her, in spite of her wicked tongue.

Watch for Dante’s Angel, right here or at my Facebook page for Gambler’s Folly.

For other books or works in progress, check out Meleigh’s Creations!


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