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Archive for the ‘Mainstream sensual’ Category

Yes, it looks like it’s going to be another wet Friday. After last week’s eight inches of rain, I’m not feelin’ it. Know what I mean?

The sun has been playing hide and seek all day long and we’ve had a few small showers, but tomorrow should be wet.

A good day for reading.

What have you been reading lately? Anything to share?

I’ve been reading The Painted Lady Inn Mystery Books, by M.K. Scott and I thoroughly adore them. I like to write fantasy romance, but my reading preferences share the romance with mysteries.

So if there’s a book or series you just love, feel free to share it with us! I need something to read this upcoming rainy weekend…


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Several years ago, before I began working on Gambler’s Folly, I wrote a very long book. My first. Even then, I realized I would have to make at least two books out of it. The word count was astronomical.

It has been on the back burner since then. Recently, while I was going through some of my files, I saw it hiding in there among the rest of the To Do items and decided to drag it out and have a look.

I still love the story, but it will take a lot of work. So while I’m finishing the ending of Lady Calloway, I’ve pulled out Mistaken Identity to edit. I’m about halfway through the first round, and it will take several rounds before it’s even ready to send to an editor.

What is it about?

When Earth began to expand outward into space, they came across a star system with two habitable planets. Since them, both planets have been transformed into worlds for colonization and have been thriving.

Unfortunately, they don’t get along.

She is a music instructor at the university on her world, former military, and has a love of the martial arts.

He is the commander of a large regional military base on his world. When a tactical strike at their neighboring world brings her to his facility, he doesn’t realize she’s the answer to his current interplanetary problem.

All she wants is to go home, but that is forever forbidden. The last thing she wants is to fall in love.

While you’re waiting for new releases, why not check out some old ones? You can find my books at both Amazon and Smashwords. And watch for the release of The Russian, Book 3 from Gambler’s Folly.

If you’re on Facebook, you can follow my series and my author page.

https://www.facebook.com/meleighscreations

https://www.facebook.com/gamblersfolly

https://www.facebook.com/esperanceseries

https://www.facebook.com/SultonnaNadine

Happy reading!


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How is everyone this Monday morning? It’s looking very much like rain here today, again…

Who’d like an excerpt from Master of the Fleet?

Set in an alternate timeline of North America, where the French had a much greater influence and the country was divided into various kingdoms rather than states, magic is part of everyday life.

Richard Lemarnier is a weather-shaper, commanding wind and water. As CEO and Master of the Fleet for the family company, he is in the upper echelons of society. And still single, he’s considered the most eligible bachelor on the Cote d’Or.

But he only has eyes for one–Anne_Marie…

Excerpt:

“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 jewelled 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 fear. Richard moved toward her, his blade never wavering  as she retreated. Finally shrinking against 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 travelled 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?”

“She begged me to travel to your kingdom for the harvest festival this year. Besides transportation and chaperones, I paid for passage and accommodations across two kingdoms to please her.”

The Baron’s frown deepened. “What has that to do with all of this?” he demanded.

“This evening, Your Excellency, I asked if she could spare me some of the attention she’s lavished on every other man in the room, acknowledge me as her escort, and grace me with an occasional word or smile. Heaven knows her eyes have promised more to every other man she’s met this evening.”

Pausing in his explanation, he heard the murmured agreement of others around the room.

“In her anger, she tried to cut my heart out with a dagger. When I took it from her, she snatched a sword from some poor soul and tried to kill me.”

The baron took a moment to ponder the question, glancing at the drop of blood trembling at the tip of Richard’s sword.

“Is this true, woman?” he asked Anne-Marie.

Not answering for a moment, she eventually replied, very carefully, “Unfortunately, it is, Your Excellency.”

 “Given the circumstances and from what I have seen tonight, I pass judgment. Your life is forfeit, woman. Have you anything to say?”

With her eyes on Richard, she answered, “If you expect me to beg for my life, you will be disappointed. I will not. Look into your heart and do what you must. If you require my life, then take it. If you find mercy, I would be grateful, milord.”

The silence deepened, with everyone stunned at the scene playing out in front of the high table, while Richard pondered his options. Still holding her head with one hand, sword in the other, he forced her into the center of the floor. Releasing her with a shove he commanded, “Kneel, Anne-Marie. Your life is forfeit. I see no reason to prolong this farce.”

Taking a stance, he raised the sword and swung it down in an arc which would separate head from body. Gasps and a few screams echoed in the room before, he stopped a scarce half-inch away from her neck. Stepping in front of Anne-Marie, he lifted her chin with the tip of his sword, and studied her face. Her eyes were wide with fear, and silent tears streamed down her cheeks before staining the bodice of her gown.

“I have spared your life, which was forfeit. It is now mine to command. Does anyone disagree?” he challenged.

There were murmurs all around, but no disagreement. The baron shrugged his shoulders and sat down, quaffing a large quantity of wine.

Reversing his grip on the blade, Richard held it point down and perpendicular to the floor.

“Kiss the blade that spared your life and swear your loyalty to me.”

The hoarse whisper echoed to the farthest corners of the banquet hall. Trembling, Anne-Marie pressed her lips against the sword.

“On pain of death, I, Anne-Marie Desplaines, swear loyalty to Richard LeMarnier, until his death or until released from my vow. Repeat it to me,” he demanded.

As she did, the baron rose from his seat and cleared his throat.

“After the events of the evening, I will allow this to stand under one condition.”

“And what is the condition, Your Excellency?” Richard was careful to keep his tone respectful.

“An oath which will keep her safe and make you her protector,” the baron replied. “Draw your dagger.”

Richard did as commanded, as the baron circled the table.

“Make a small cut on your hand and on the woman’s.”

“A blood oath, Your Excellency?”

“You question me?”

“No, Your Excellency.”

With the tip of the dagger, Richard made a nick in his hand, and its twin in Anne-Marie’s. Droplets of blood beaded up in their palms.

“Clasp hands,” the baron instructed them.

Over their joined hands, the baron traced arcane symbols in the air. Tingling magic swirled around their hands to bind the oath.

“By the mingling of your blood, do you, Anne-Marie, swear absolute loyalty and obedience to Lord Sir Richard LeMarnier, on pain of death, for as long as you shall live?”

 She was crying and shaking so hard Richard wasn’t sure how she was still upright.

“I do so swear,” she replied through the tears.

“And Lord Sir Richard LeMarnier, do you swear to spare her life and guard her, as her sworn protector, for as long as she lives?”

“I do so swear.”

“You will remain together, blood-bound, for as long as the oath shall stand, neither one leaving the other, nor causing harm, one to the other. Breaking the conditions set forth will bring forth the penalty. The oath can be revoked before death by the skills of a baron only. Take heed.”


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                           Black and white

What happened to the last one? It sure went by quickly.

Do you have anything planned for this new year? I’m going to try to get two–maybe three–books out this year. The first should be nearly finished with the editing. The second one is ready for editing.

And the third? I have to go through it again on my own before anyone sees that one…

So, the next one out will be the next book in from Gambler’s Folly, in the Speranza Series. I know I’ve told you a little about it before. The Russian. I just love this guy. He’s been around so long, he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. He is who he is and doesn’t apologize for any of it.

But one thing is for certain. He loves his little soul-mate, Danni. Never have you seen a guy as gentle as he can be with her. A little bundle of energy with blond curls and hazel eyes peering up at him. Nor would she hesitate to speak her mind. They were a match made in heaven, something he’d thought he’d never experience again.

Let me see if I can give you a little excerpt from The Russian.

 

 

Chapter 1

The tall, lanky man strode through the emigration hall on Gambler’s Folly, with an ease and confidence that shouted 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 well-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. He was a loner and preferred the peace the image brought.

Unlike most of his fellow travelers, he carried only a small duffle bag, since he had a local apartment in the establishment of his old friend, Damiano Leone. Looking at the time, he took a taxi to his place before taking a walk to work off the week of sedentary living on the shuttle.

His fourth floor apartment in the Stella d’Oro had been freshly cleaned and aired in anticipation of his arrival. Quickly stowing his bag in the wardrobe, he washed his face and checked to make sure his clothes were ready for the evening.

Back outside, he sniffed the breeze before turning to his left, toward the less privileged side of town. He strolled confidently down the walk as the crowds parted to give him passage. He liked to gauge the mood of a place when he arrived. Tonight he was picking up threads of anxiety.

A lot of it came from about a block to his left and a little farther down the street in the direction he currently traveled. Twilight had settled in, so he moved into the shadows and picked up his pace.

****

Danielle was scared. While walking the same route she did every night, several gang members surrounded her in this dark part of town. She’d always been concerned coming this way, but she had no choice without walking three time farther to avoid it.

“What have we got here?” the obvious leader of the group sneered. “Aren’t you kind of little to be out on your own?”

She was small, scarcely over five feet tall. But she felt even smaller now, as they slowly closed in on her. She thought she’d seen someone in the shadows, but a second glance showed nothing. Pity.

When strong, warm hands came to rest on her shoulders, she assumed the worst. Her mouth went dry and her knees nearly folded. She knew she was dead.

“Disperse. The woman is none of your concern,” she heard behind her.

“Who the hell are you? And what do you think you can do? There are five of us and only one of you.”

“Go your way. The woman is none of your concern.”

A tense silence followed for a few seconds before the leader of the group laughed and spoke again.

“Sure, man. Sorry.”

The entire group turned and retreated up the street. As she watched them leave, the shakes began. Turning to thank her savior, her nose caught the scent of woodsy loam and spicy autumn leaves, overlaid with hints of dark musk and tobacco. For a moment her head spun as she caught her breath.

“Are you all right?” the deep voice asked. “Did they hurt you?”

“No, I’m fine. Just scared,” she answered as she looked up into eyes as cold and blue as ice on a wintry lake. Eyes which seemed to pierce her soul held her captive.

“Where were you going?” he asked.

“I’m on my way home. Thank you for your help. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t stepped in.”

“It’s part of my job—rescuing maidens in distress. I’ll walk with you and make sure you arrive safely.”

The smile was warm, though it didn’t melt the ice in those eyes.

“What did you do? He was right, you know. There were five of them.”

“Some questions it is better not to ask,” he answered.

They walked quietly toward her small apartment, her arm through his. Honestly, she doubted she could have made it on her own. Her knees still shook and her legs felt like rubber.

At her door he asked, “Will you be all right? Is there someone you can call?”

“No. There is no one. Thank you for your help and your time. I’m sure you had better things to do.”

His eyes held hers and she had the sudden urge to kiss this man. He must have had similar thoughts, as he reached toward her and traced her face with one finger.

By mutual consent, they leaned together for the kiss she had to have. It should have been a quick parting kiss, but between his scent and his taste, she was lost. Apricots in brandy with a hint of cardamom lingered as they parted. The look in his eyes matched what she felt.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’ve taken liberties. I don’t know how that happened. I never do this.”

“Neither do I,” she replied. “I don’t even know your name.“

“I’m called Dmitri,” he said.

Her eyes focused on his mouth, wanting another kiss.

“I’m Danielle. Danni to my friends.”

“Danni. I like it.”

“Are you going to be on Gambler’s Folly very long?” she asked.

“No. I’m here for work.”

“Can I see you again?” she asked this man who had just saved her from rape and possibly death.

“I doubt I will have the time. Let me see you go into your apartment before I leave.”

“Goodbye, Dmitri,”

“And to you, Danni, my little flower,” he answered with a sad smile.

****

If it hadn’t been for her scent, he would have been fine. Lilacs with honeyed-vanilla and white musk had wrapped around him softly. Hazel eyes under blonde curls had drawn him in. He’d thought, after all this time, he had 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.

No, he wouldn’t see her again. He didn’t need a relationship. Life around him was too uncertain. Besides, he’d had a mate long ago and, when she’d died, she’d taken his heart to her grave.

He was here for a job. He had no time for females.

Happy New Year everyone!

Soul-bound lovers

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Hope your holiday was wonderful!

Who doesn’t love a book sale? I know I sure do. And for all of you out there who have been thinking about looking at some of my novels, now’s your chance

All my books at Smashwords are FREE through Jan. 1!

http://bit.ly/MellieMiller_SW

Do you prefer to shop Amazon?

Viviane, First Lady

Morgan–The Pixie and the Green Man

Dante’s Angel

Master of the Fleet

All are on sale right now for $0.99!

http://bit.ly/Mellie_Am

#fantasy #romance #magic #FreeBooks

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

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Have you read Gambler’s Folly and Dante’s Angel?

Then you’re in luck! The next book in the series, The Russian, should be coming out in the spring! He’s a wolf-shifter and over 500 years old. After losing his soul mate 200 years ago, he refused to get involved with anyone, preferring to remain a lone wolf than suffer the heartbreak again.

But all that changes when he meets Danni on a dark street and rescues her from several gang members. There was something about her scent as it wrapped around him. And when he kissed her good night…

Watch for The Russian! and if you haven’t read Gambler’s Folly or Dante’s Angel, go over to Amazon or to Smashwords and check them out!

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My current WIP in the Speranza Series from Gambler’s Folly!

Incapable of being a lady

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