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Archive for the ‘Fantasy Fiction’ Category

Yes, it’s November, which means it is once again time for NaNoWriMo. I’ve joined NaNo several times in the past, and would like to have participated this year. Alas, time constraints will not allow it this year.

My very best wishes to all those authors out there who are participating. It is a real blast, and if you’ve been trying to get a book started, this is a great way of doing it.

50,000 words in one month? Yes, it can be done.

So, good luck to everyone who has signed up for this adventure. You will have days when the words just fly into the manuscript like magic, and days when pulling words out of the ether is like pulling teeth. But you’ll get there!

Have a great time with NaNoWriMo. Hopefully, I’ll see you there next time.

Until then, may your words flow as if by magic, with just a bit of hocus-pocus on your part.

Where can you find my books?

Esperance–The Series

http://bit.ly/EsperanceAM

http://bit.ly/Esperance_BN

http://bit.ly/EsperanceSeries

Gambler’s Folly

http://bit.ly/GamblersFolly_Am

http://bit.ly/GamblersFolly_BAM

http://bit.ly/GamblersFolly_BN

Dante’s Angel

http://bit.ly/DantesAngel

http://bit.ly/DantesAngel_BN

http://bit.ly/DantesAngel_SW

Master of the Fleet–Coming Soon!

http://bit.ly/MasteroftheFleet_SW

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, you know me. I can’t work on one thing at a time…

However, Master of the Fleet is with my editor, as is The Russian, so you know she has her hands full. Gotta love her. She loves a challenge.

Master of the Fleet is a stand-alone set in the late 1800’s of the American Northwest. Richard LeMarnier thinks he’s found the woman of his dreams, but finds he’s been played. All she was after was what she could con out of him with her hints at a relationship before she moved on to another mark.

The Russian is the third book in the Speranza Series from Gambler’s Folly. Dmitri, a wolf-shifter, has been around for quite a while. At least 500 years. Two hundred years ago his first soulmate died, leaving him alone and wishing for death to take him.  Since then, he’s been a lone wolf, never seeking  a relationship, until a chance meeting on Gambler’s Folly brings him a second chance at happiness.

Master of the Fleet should be out right after Thanksgiving, so keep an eye out for it. And The Russian should be available after the turn of the year.

In the meantime, check out my other books at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

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Yes, as of September 1, 2017, the Esperance Books on Smashwords and Barnes and Noble will go up to their regular pricing.

But between now and then, you can pre-order them for $0.99 each!

Jareth, First Lord–Book 1

Viviane, First Lady--Book 1

Morgan–The Pixie and the Green Man–Book 3

What are people saying about these books?

Jareth, First Lord

“It matters not the time nor place. Past, present, future. This lifetime or the next. This planet or another world entirely. We women have always possessed our very own unique voices. Even embedded deep within a book entitled ‘Jareth, First Lord’! Full of fire and determination, desires and willfulness, thoughts, feelings and opinions wrought with emotions. The very thing that society is afraid of. We have been silently submissive way too long. Viviane appears in ‘Jareth, First Lord’ so full of life. She won’t go without a fight. Her voice will be heard and with such an extraordinary gift, she demands to be obeyed… Even if she doesn’t know it.

Set in a fantastical, futuristic, historical, other worldly setting, ‘Jareth, First Lord’ is bound to take you on a trip of your imaginations’ lifetime.”

Morgan–The Pixie and the Green Man

“An enchanting love story that touches the heart and engages the mind from beginning to end. The characters are so real it feels as if they could jump of the page. Enjoyed every page of this wonderful tale.”

So go over and pre-order your copy today! 

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Who doesn’t like an excerpt? Here’s a sample of the first chapter from Dante’s Angel.

To read the first 20% of the book, check out my page at Smashwords.

Dante’s Angel is Book 2 from the Speranza Series.

If you haven’t read Book 1,  Gambler’s Folly, check it out!

DANTE’S ANGEL

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 traveled 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.”

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Yes, I’ve finally reached the end of The Russian. And now begins the work. Taking that 99,000 word draft and shaping it into a story, and cutting it down to size in the process.

Many people think coming up with an idea and writing the first draft is the difficult bit. And maybe it is for some people. What most don’t realize is that the first draft is only the beginning. Yes, it gets your idea down on paper–so to speak. You now know where you’re beginning and how it all works out in the end.

Does the guy get the girl? Is it a “happily ever after” romance? Is it something much darker? Mainstream or erotica? Mystery or intrigue?

But the first draft isn’t a story yet. It hasn’t been shaped or molded. It is the raw material, the bare bones, from which your story can grow into something wonderful–with work.

Some authors have trouble getting up to a novel length word count. Some of us overwrite–sometimes a lot–and have to pare the story down to size. This is my particular problem.

But it’s okay! It’s the first draft. It’s a place to start, the clay to shape into your masterpiece. A potter doesn’t take a huge lump of clay, slap it down onto the wheel and say, “There it is! Isn’t it marvelous?”

It’s just clay at this point, nothing recognizable. But with a little work, the potter can make it into something beautiful or useful. Or both!

If you’re beginning to write, that’s fantastic! But don’t get stuck in your first draft.

And don’t stop writing because your first draft isn’t perfect. No first draft is.

But you must have a first draft before you can have a finished product. As one of my friends says, you can edit a first draft. You can’t edit a blank page.

Here’s to first drafts –the  misspelled, grammatically challenged, run-on sentence laden,  unedited  trash from which our stories grow.

Cheers!

 

Looking for something to read–that isn’t a first draft?

Check out my Esperance Series:

Or get a copy of Gambler’s Folly or Dante’s Angel from the Speranza Series.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/738377

 

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The rain has finally stopped after several days. Maybe the chickens and the garden can dry out. Nothing looks more pathetic than a chicken which is sopping wet and too stupid to go back in the hen house.

But I have had a little more time to work on my WIP–The Russian. And work is coming along on the cover art for Dante’s Angel. I hate trying to come up with images for my books. No matter what the characters look like, there is seldom anything which truly represents the people I see in my head.

I’ve decided to name the series Speranza, which is the city on Gambler’s Folly where most of the stories begin. I was originally going to name the series Gambler’s Folly, but with the first book having the same name, I thought it might be confusing.

So Speranza it is!

As soon as I have a cover, I will reveal it here and on Facebook.

What? You don’t follow me on Facebook? Shame on you.

 

https://www.facebook.com/meleighscreations

https://www.facebook.com/gamblersfolly

https://www.facebook.com/esperanceseries

 

Want to read the book which started the series?

Gambler’s Folly

http://amzn.com/1627405844

 

Here’s a snippet from Dante’s Angel

“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.”

Dante opened his mouth to object, but Paulo gave him a look which said he should think over what he’d just heard before he disagreed. Instead, he nodded, thanked the man for his advice, and walked back over the rest of the party. Maybe Paulo was right. Perhaps he should take another look at his circumstances before he sold himself short.

Ciao! A domani…

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

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