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Silver sweater.1

So, have you read the books in my Esperance Series? How about a brief look?

JARETH, FIRST LORD

Book 1 of the series introduces Jareth, the leader of his clan, and Viviane, the lady he hopes to win. He is a widower and she a widow, who isn’t sure she can ever open her heart again.

VIVIANE, FIRST LADY

Book 2 continues the story after their marriage. Viviane has developed Talents she shouldn’t have. As they grow stronger, she must learn to control them before she becomes a threat to everyone around her. In the meantime, she has to attend her brother’s trial, and the emotional stress may well cause an out-of-control outburst of Talent.

MORGAN-The Pixie and the Green Man

Book 3 brings the focus to a girl introduced briefly in Book 1. Morgan came to Clan Brannach during the choosing, hoping to leave the abuse and molestation behind. But a few short months after changing clans, she is attacked and would have been raped if not for the two men who stepped in to rescue her.

Deciding men weren’t worth the effort, she resists the attentions of the handsome and humorous James Ferguson. But those delightful dimples and his charm are so captivating.

Fantasy, romance, humor, psychic abilities… What more could anyone want?

All three books are available through Amazon, Smashwords, or any major book seller.

Excerpt from Viviane, First Lady

Bring help, Viviane. This is where I am.”

A simplified map showing the manor, his location, and a line tracing the way

between them appeared behind her eyes.

“See the map. Know the map. You can find me, and it is so. You have the ability. Make it so.”

Jareth, are you alright?” she asked him.

I’ll be fine. Just bring help to get me home.”

She must have yelled or screamed when she saw Jareth fall, because as she

turned to go get help for Jareth, she saw Annie, Gerard, and two guards

entering the room.

“Lady Viviane,” one of the guards asked, “is everything okay?”

“No! Jareth is hurt and needs help. Bring a doctor or healer, get Duncan, and

meet me in the stables. I will take you to him.”

“Milady, are you sure you’re alright? Maybe a bad dream or an after effect

of your medicine…” Annie began.

“No, it was not a bad dream! Jareth has had an accident on the way over the

mountain. His horse fell and threw him onto the rocks.”

One of the guards said, “Somebody fetch Duncan before we all go on a wild

chase for nothing. Maybe he can make sense of what she’s saying.”

At this point, Viviane became angry. She could feel her temper taking over,

yet now she didn’t care. Jareth was injured and alone.

“I am your First Lady and you will obey me! Take me to the stables,

get a doctor or healer, and bring Duncan as fast as you can before I lose the

information I have. If you won’t come with me to help your First Lord,

I will go by myself. To hell with you all!”

esperance-series-covers

Amazon review

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The next book from Sultonna Nadine will be Lady Calloway.

In an alternate time-line of Victorian London, in a world where the church and state were two arms of the same body, Kerrick and Liora are having marital issues. Married for only a few months, Kerrick thought his wife should be over her shyness by now. But instead, it was getting worse.

When pressed, she finally admitted to adhering to an old version of the Church’s doctrines on sex within marriage–doctrines which forbade women to enjoy sexual relations, even with their husbands, or be guilty of adultery.

As an employee of a specialized department within the Church, Kerrick is faced with a problem. By law, he should turn Liora in as a heretic. But having seen what happened to people brought back into the faith, he couldn’t do that to the woman he loved. He couldn’t continue on the way they had been. And with the debate over Church and state raging, the Church was looking for anything to help solidify its power, leading to purges and forced confessions.

The one option he had left was to take the time they’d been shorted on their honeymoon and get his wife out of town before anyone found out about her heresy. Once safely away, he would try to help her understand and bring her beliefs into line with the current doctrine.

Can Kerrick seduce his wife–spiritually or sexually–and return home safe and satisfied?

How about an excerpt?

Suddenly wanting to know if she could show anything at all, he pulled her to him roughly,

one arm firmly around her waist, the other twined in her hair turning her face to his.

He kissed her savagely at first, his mouth hard on hers, demanding, and then more

sensually. At first she tried to struggle free, and then, for 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 again. I

can’t bear it.”

“Can’t bear what? The thought 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 the pleasures

of the flesh are evil.”

“Yes, when indulged outside the marriage bed. But we exchanged vows, which changes

things considerably.”

“No, it doesn’t. Would you be married to a whore? Women, even married women, who

give themselves to carnal pleasures are whores, or just as good as. I should think 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 this?”

“I do,” Liora responded.

“Then why did you even get married? Didn’t you know that sex was part of the 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!”

“Might you not think the reason men frequent prostitutes is that they can’t find the love

and passion they desire at home, in the first place?”

“But why? All a man needs is to have his way with a woman, to satisfy his body’s desires.”

“I’ll bet you didn’t get that from your father, because it’s wrong. A man likes to know he can ignite passion in his wife and give her the pleasures she deserves as his lover. Not

have her lie there like a corpse, hoping it’ll soon end.”

“I will not prostitute myself for you, Kerrick,” she responded hotly.

“I don’t want you to prostitute yourself, I want you to be my wife. A prostitute is someone

who sells her body on the streets. Now if you start that, I’ll be exceedingly angry with you.”

“You’re being vulgar, Kerrick.”

“Well, I’ve got to do something to make you understand my position. So why, after three

months of marriage, are you pushing me away? Before, you simply endured my advances,

but you didn’t refuse or resist me.”

As Kerrick watched, she crossed her arms in front of her, bowed her head over them,

and tried to seem even smaller than she was.

“Liora? I’m waiting.”

In a voice that was barely a whisper, he heard, “I didn’t realize how difficult it would be.”

“How difficult what would be?”

“Resisting the temptations. The closer we become, the more time we spend together,

feeling your hand in mine, your kisses, the more difficult it is not to give in and enjoy the

forbidden land I dare not enter.”

The Kiss2

Carew Castle

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Silver sweater.1

Yeah, sitting here listening to the rain come down. I think my house needs pontoons.

So, what do you do when it’s a dark and rainy day outside? I’m trying to decide between knitting and reading. I have a knitting project started for a friend who’s expecting this fall. But my “to read” list is backing up also.

Decision, decisions…

What are you reading today?

Come with me to the Cote d’Or to visit with Richard and Anne-Marie. Set in an alternate timeline of the American Northwest, it is a tale of an America with a much stronger French influence, with kingdoms rather than states, and where magic is real.

Richard shapes wind and water in his capacity as master of the fleet for his family’s shipping firm. While he has master over these elements, a woman rules his heart. A woman who’s heart he hopes to win.

So let’s go for a visit, shall we, and leave all this rain behind.

Master of the Fleet

Who owns your passion

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I currently have two series up and going–Esperance and Speranza (Gambler’s Folly)–with more books in each series started and others planned. I also have a stand-alone about to release on Amazon.

And then there’s this one story, the one that wakes me up at night with new scenes. A book which would be in the Esperance  series, but was not previously planned. The book that is driving me crazy because I need to be working on another one, but can’t get this one out of my head.

Is it a good story line? Yes.

Would it fit in with the rest of the series? Yes.

Do I like the idea? Yes.

But the series isn’t ready for it yet. It needs the one I’m trying to work on.

So, the question is:

Do I force myself to write the one I should write?

Or do I write the one that keeps bugging me to be written?

Not a clue. But I’ll get there. They’ll both be written and released in the proper order. But sometimes being creative can make you crazy.

Or crazier than you were to begin with…

Welcome to March everyone! Let’s make it a great month.

 

 

 

 

 

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From Master of the Fleet? Here’s a bit from the marriage ceremony.

Excerpt:

“Is there anything else I should know before we begin? If not, call your witnesses and we will conduct the ceremony.”

Richard had nothing else to say and apparently Anne-Marie didn’t either. Once the witnesses were present, the ceremony began. The group passed through the front gates into the courtyard, to stand in the presence of the heavens.

Those in the wedding party removed their shoes to stand on earth. With hands raised, eyes to the heavens, the priest began to intone the opening words of the marriage oath.

“In the presence of God, I call upon heaven and earth, water and fire, wind and spirit, to witness the union of Lord Sir Richard LeMarnier and Anne-Marie Desplaines…”

They made it through the ceremony without complications. He used the ring he’d bought for their betrothal for her wedding ring. She used his signet ring for his. These represented Earth. Candles lit during the ceremony represented fire, the couple was sprinkled with water, and the kiss represented an exchange of spirit. As the ceremony continued under the stars, the evening breeze swept around them, caressing them and adding its seal to the union. Arcane symbols bound their vows to each of the elements.

Bound by God and the six elements of creation, their human representatives bearing witness and completing the perfect ring of seven, the marriage was sealed by the priest, and recorded.

Available in e-format from Smashwords!

http://bit.ly/MasteroftheFleet_SW

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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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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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