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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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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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