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Archive for the ‘Fantasy Fiction’ Category

Between the weather and this bug I’ve been fighting, the year has been a little harsh so far.

What is everyone up to?

I’ve been away from the blog for a while, due to the aforementioned issues, but I hope to be back on a more regular basis.

Still trying to get Master of the Fleet out. We’re having cover issues, as usual. Why is it that no matter what sort of guy I’m looking for, he doesn’t exist when I need him for cover art?

Anyway, stay warm and safe out there. I’ll try to do the same…

Looking for something to read? Check out my Author pages.

Amazon

http://bit.ly/Mellie_Am

Books-a-Million

http://bit.ly/MellieMiller_BAM

Barnes and Noble

http://bit.ly/MellieMiller_BN

Smashwords

http://bit.ly/MellieMiller_SW

Goodreads

http://bit.ly/Mellie_GR

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Yes, I had planned for Master of the Fleet to be out tomorrow, but due to difficulties, I’m having to delay it for a week, until December 29.

It’s still available for pre-order at Smashwords, so if you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet, go on over!

Happy holidays to everyone, and happy reading!

Excerpt:

Richard was angrier than he had ever been. How had she used him for so long without him noticing the hints he should have seen? After a year of courting, he had asked her to marry him, but she’d begged for more time. He’d decided to ask her again, here at the festival. He was so certain of her acceptance, he had bought a ring for their betrothal.

She had never intended to marry him. She had simply used her charms to get what she wanted. When the source dried up, she would have left him for greener fields. Use him would she? He would show her what it was to be used, and he had half a lifetime to make his point. As soon as the priest got here, she would be bound to him, not only by her oath to him and the blood oath, but by her vow to heaven as well.

 

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Master of the Fleet should be released December 22! A stand-alone romance (written under the pen name Sultonna Nadine) set in an alternate timeline of the American Northwest, the hero of our story owns a merchant fleet and is Master of the Fleet as well. His special abilities in elemental magic give him control over wind and water, the perfect combination to keep his ships safe.

Who’s ready for an excerpt?

Master of the Fleet

Chapter 1

For the first time in a very long time, Anne-Marie was afraid. She had been on her own since she ran away from home years ago. Up until now, she had always managed to stay in control of her affairs.

How had she let her temper get out of hand this evening? Since she had made her way into the upper echelons of society, she had dreamed of coming home to gloat. Even if nobody recognized her, she could look down her nose at those who had scorned her for her country upbringing. In spite of them all, she had escaped and become somebody. In Côte d’Or, people looked up to her, as she mingled with the leaders of the world.

She had met Richard at a society ball two years ago, during the harvest celebration. He was home for the season, like most of the merchant seamen, since the western seas were treacherous during the winter months.

Half a head taller than most, he stood out from the crowd, and had immediately captured her attention. She’d caught glimpses of him all evening, but they weren’t introduced until it was nearly time to leave. She hadn’t realized how large a man he was until she saw him returning from the hors d’oeuvre table in the next room.

Twisting his shoulders slightly to keep from brushing the door frame, he ducked his head and stepped confidently into the room. As she watched, he reached up to run his fingers through pale, sun-bleached hair. As if he sensed her watching, he turned his gaze toward her, and his dazzling blue eyes seemed to pierce her soul.

“Who is the handsome man by the doorway?” she’d asked the woman next to her.

“Oh, you mean Lord Richard? Let me introduce you.”

Richard LeMarnier was the owner and master of the fleet of the largest merchant fleet on the coast. At well over six feet tall, he stood head and shoulders above everyone there. His tanned, weathered face was in sharp contrast to the sun-bleached hair and blue eyes from his Nordic ancestry and time spend at sea. The thin white scar running from his left temple to the point of his jawbone stood out against the deep tan.

Given his position in society, he was invited to all the social events. Still a bachelor at forty, he was the most eligible man on the Côte. As soon as she saw him, her goal was to capture his attention and see how much she could glean from this new source of income.

All in all, she had done pretty well from Richard. He wasn’t in town too often, as he preferred to oversee his ventures from the decks of his ships. He showered her with gifts from abroad: fabrics, spices, jewels, and gold. In return he asked for very little. Mainly he sought her company at social functions and her companionship over dinner in his home.

By the time he was ensnared in her plans, he thought they were courting. She, of course, never hinted there would be no betrothal. Long before the question arose, she would’ve had to leave the Côte and return to her family for some dire reason. She would have shed torrents of tears at their good-bye and have promised to remember him always.

Naturally, she wouldn’t have gone home. She would have taken her gains from this relationship and traveled to some new place of opportunity, selling what she must to pay her way. Once situated in a new town, she would have set up her seamstress shop once again, and kept her eyes and ears open for the next perfect mark.

This was how it had always happened. You met them, loved them, milked them, and left them, before anything permanent developed. They were none the wiser and happy to have known you. Sorry your mother is dying and, of course, you must leave. In a few weeks they were over you and looking at fresh faces for a bit of dalliance. You were far away setting up the next mark.

She had stayed with Richard for far too long. Charming and a true gentleman, she kept putting off her farewell. Once affection had had a chance to blossom, she’d concocted a plan to go home and gloat over who she’d become. She’d known very few men who could afford to bring her so far and had been carried away with the idea.

Because of Richard’s social standing, they had been invited to the Baron’s banquet. She had been intoxicated by the opportunity, which was where the trouble started. After a glass or two of wine, she flirted with any man who gave her a second glance. After three or four glasses, it was any man at all.

****

If Anne-Marie hadn’t begged and pleaded with him, Richard LeMarnier would never have made the exhausting trip from the Côte, high up on the northwestern coastline, across the mountains to High Plains. But after several years away from home, she must return for the festival.

“Please, Richard,” the tall slim woman with dazzling green eyes had begged. “You must come with me. You must!”

And so he had. The bewitching beauty with hair as black as a calm sea on a moonless night and eyes like perfect jade was stunning. Dressed in crimson satin, every eye in the dining hall was on her.

The evening had started out well. White linens and crystal goblets invited them in to tables heavily laden with the best in food and wines. He must be edgy from the trip and imagining slights from the woman he adored.

As the evening continued, it became clear he was being snubbed by the woman for whom he’d sacrificed so much. Her warm smile and come-hither eyes sent an invitation to any man but him. She flirted with every man who came past, whether lord or serving boy. Yet Richard couldn’t attract her attention long enough to ask if she was enjoying the evening.

“Anne-Marie,” he finally asked, in exasperation, “could you spare me some of your charm? You make me a laughing stock, after I brought you all this way for the festival.”

“Are you accusing me of some impropriety, Richard?” she asked in a haughty tone. “I haven’t accepted your offer. Therefore, you can lay no claim on me.”

“I think you could pay me at least as much attention as you do the serving boys,” he snapped. “For them you have smiles and flirtatious glances. For me, you have nothing at all.”

He had seen her angry before, but nothing ever came of it. Perhaps it was being home which made the difference tonight. His eyes burned from the wine she threw in his face as her temper flared.

“I will not have any man dictate my actions,” she shouted, rising to her feet. “If I’d wanted a task master, I would have stayed under my father’s roof rather than cross half the continent to get away.”

The jeweled dagger flashed in her hand as she thrust it at him. A skilled swordsman, Richard easily parried the attempt as he rose to his feet. The dining area was too crowded to deal with the situation.

Backing away from the table, he suggested, “Anne-Marie, drop the dagger and sit down. You’re making a scene.”

She stalked after him, dagger in hand and in an absolute rage, as he retreated toward the dance floor. This was getting a bit sticky. With room to maneuver, Richard was ready when she lunged at him again. Grabbing her wrist with one hand, he slapped her with the other. As the dagger dropped, she tumbled to the floor and her glare was pure venom.

With the dagger tucked safely into his belt, Richard turned back toward the table. This should end the matter, and the relationship as well.

“I hate you,” Anne-Marie screamed, as she snatched a sword from a nearby table. Swinging wildly, she came at him with murder in her eyes.

Lord Richard drew his blade. While defending himself was not a problem, disarming her without harming anyone else might be. Anger rising, he waited for his opening. After the time and money he had spent on this trip, would she murder him in front of the high table?

His opening came and he threw her blade clear of the floor. With the point of his sword at her throat, Anne-Marie backed away, eyes wide, as anger became terror. Richard moved toward her, his blade never wavering. Finally backing as far as the high table, Anne-Marie’s retreat was blocked. Sidestepping, he grabbed her hair to expose her throat fully to his blade.

In a room as silent as a tomb, every eye was focused on the frozen tableau before the baron’s table.

“My good man, were you planning a human sacrifice on the high table? Who are you and what is the meaning of this?” the baron demanded.

A large man, with dark hair turning gray at the temples, and neatly trimmed beard, his presence commanded the attention of the room.

“Your Excellency, I am Lord Sir Richard LeMarnier, from Côte d’Or. The lady and I have traveled for more than a week to attend the festival here in her homeland. At least she claims it as such. After courting her for over a year and asking for her hand in marriage, I dance on her leash while she toys with my affections. Though she hasn’t refused my offer, she has yet to accept it.”

“What do you do?”

“I am in shipping, Your Excellency, with access to goods up and down the coast and from overseas. I have brought her gifts from every part of the world, given her everything she’s asked for, and more. She’s been blessed with everything within my power to give.”

“We’ll agree you’re a generous man. Why are you here?”

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…when people are trying to come up with gift ideas.

Look no further! Is there a reader in your family or circle of friends? If so, they would most likely appreciate a gift they can return to again and again.

Yes, I know some people read a book only once, but for others of us, certain books become close friends. They’re there when we need encouragement, or excitement, mystery or romance.

Nearly everyone I knew growing up read something, even if their choice of reading material was a magazine. My father read a little of everything, from the Farm Journal to historic non-fiction and westerns. Zane Gray was one of his favorite authors.

So, what do your friends read? What do you read?

In this day of e-books, reading isn’t as expensive as it used to be. Sure, you can still buy the paperback, and I prefer to buy paperbacks as gifts. But everyone I know has some sort of e-reader, which makes it easy to carry a whole library around with you.

Books as gifts.

Just right.

If you’re looking for fantasy romance, with a little twist of the paranormal, check out my author pages.

Amazon

Books-a-Million

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

 

 

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

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Commercial

How about a little something from Master of the Fleet?

“She never promised marriage. She never intended to marry, after what life had shown her. Men were animals, who could be amusing or entertaining. On the other hand, they could be violent and perverse, especially when drunk. As long as they were pursuing her, they were on their best behavior. Once they’d captured the prize, it would be a different story. Why take the chance?

“It became a game. How much could I get before it was time to move on?”

“You’re a greedy little whore, aren’t you?”

“That’s not fair! Once I left the travelers, I never slept with anyone again, until last night with you. After being forced to bed anything that came along, I have no interest in sex.”

“So you held out hope and took them for everything they had.”

“Yes. And I made a good living at it, as well as the sewing.”

“What happened this time?”

“You did. You had enough money to take me home, so I could gloat. I wanted to look down my nose at the people who’d said I could never leave and know they were wrong.

“But after a little too much wine, and a bit too much excitement, things got out of hand. You sounded too much like those I’d run away from years ago and I snapped.”

“What do we do now?” Richard asked. “Will you share my bed willingly as my wife? Or will you simply tolerate my advances and send your mind roaming?”

“We’re bound by oath, marriage, and blood oath, Richard. I must stay with you. As your wife, I must share your bed. Will I ever enjoy it? I doubt it.””

Who owns your passion

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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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