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I am often asked if I use a pen name. And the answer to that is both yes and no.

How can it be both?

When I first started writing and publishing my books, I used my actual name, mainly because it never occurred to me not to. Yeah, I’m a little slow.

But then I mentioned to a friend that my mother had another name picked out for me, but was pressured to name me after my two grandmothers. My dad was the eldest son of his family and I would be the first grandchild on my mother’s side. So she got overruled. When he asked what the name was, I told him. Sultonna Nadine. And he loved the name.

I told him he could name one of his characters Sultonna if he’d like, but he said no. The name was mine and I should use it somewhere. Maybe as a pen name. I thought it was a wonderful idea to honor my mother’s choice of names for me. And honestly, I’d always wished she’d given me the name she’d chosen. I feel more a Sultonna than a Mellie most times.

Since I already had both series started under Mellie Miller, I wasn’t sure what to do with the name, until I had the idea for Master of the Fleet. It didn’t fit in either series, but I loved the story. What if I wrote stand alone novels under a different name…

Et voila! Sultonna Nadine the author is born!

So there you have it–the story behind the author. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t like the spelling of Sultonna, so if you do a search, it will always come up with a different suggestion. But Sultonna it is.

Am I going to write more under this name?

Absolutely! I actually have two different stories ready for professional editing for Sultonna Nadine. I hope to have one of them out this winter. So keep an eye on this blog for news of a release.

Have a wonderful weekend and a splendid month of September–my birth month!

And as always,

Don’t Forget…

…to share the Romance…

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One question I am asked often is where I get my ideas. Most people think I get all my ideas the same way, I suppose. But this isn’t the case.

Take Jareth, First Lord.

This particular story began with a dream. But the dream didn’t begin with the opening scene of the book. I wouldn’t have paid any attention to it, except it kept recurring for several nights. In order to make it go away, I wrote it down.

The next few nights, I dreamed a different scene from the story. Again, it wasn’t the beginning of the book, nor did it follow the scene I’d already written.

So, I decided to sit down and try to figure out how those involved in the story would get to the point of my dreams. And how did they connect?

Sitting down in front of my computer, I let my mind drift off into a daydream and began to write. After I had the beginnings of the story, the rest flowed pretty easily. Of course, there was a lot of editing to do, but at least I stopped dreaming it.

The original story became two books, Jareth, First Lord, and Viviane, First Lady. My editor noticed that i seemed to have one ending, took a breath, and launched back into the story. She felt it would work better if we stopped at the first break and continued in the second book.

Now the third book is Morgan–the Pixie and the Green Man.

Morgan was a character in my first book who touched my heart. I decided she needed a story of her own and spent several days wondering where I should start. And since I write romance, who would be her love interest?

Enter James Ferguson, whose family has Talents related to wood and the forest. His nickname for Morgan is Pixie, since she is much smaller than her is. Because of his abilities, she calls him her Green Man, which is how we arrived at the title.

Book 4 will be coming out soon–Too Many Talents. This one continues the story from Viviane, First Lady and brings in the story line from Clan Belfort and the new heir–her nephew, Connell.

Watch for it here!

And as always,

Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance…

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Yes, Too Many Talents should be out later this month. Book 4 from the Esperance Series, it continues where Viviane, First Lady left off. It picks up just after Jareth and Viviane return from her brother’s trial in Clan Belfort.

Viviane’s training has not progressed well since returning from her brother’s trial. Her instructor and husband feel it’s because she’s resisting training due to an unfortunate incident in the court. But the more she resists, the more often her Talents get out of hand, causing episodes almost every day.

What will it take for her to finally step up and be the multi-talented First Lady she was born to be?

Back in Clan Belfort, her nephew, Connell, struggles with the concept of Talents. Why should he need these weird abilities to rule the clan when the time comes? And why must he leave his old friends behind and move to his grandfather’s home to train? But when old friends, jealous of his change of status, decide to harm his little friend, Nellie, his abilities take over and save her from harm.

Maybe this is his turning point. And maybe he should talk with his Aunt Viviane.

Watch for Too Many Talents, Esperance Book 4

Now, how about an excerpt?

“Viviane, Duncan is worried about you and has me worried, too.”  

“Worried? Whatever for?” she asked.

“I know how you feel about your Talents, but hiding from them isn’t the answer. And neither is running away and pretending they don’t exist. Duncan and I feel the loss of control you are experiencing is coming from something besides the porting aspect of your Talents.”

“I don’t know what you mean, Jareth,” she answered sharply.

 “Yes, you do, Viviane. Since we’ve been home you’ve been resisting your Talents, and fighting them, especially during training. They will win in the end. In the meantime your control will get worse and worse, until it is manifesting more unpredictably, even when you’re not working with it. With the strengths you have, you will hurt someone, while trying to deny your heritage.”

“But Jareth…”

“Your Talents have to be trained,” he stated emphatically. “There is no escape from it. You have to let go of your fears and put your entire will into your training. It’s the only way to gain control before you do irreparable harm.”

“I don’t want these Talents, Jareth! I never have! Why won’t they go away and leave me alone?”

Now, from Connell in Clan Belfort.

At ten years old, he has been chosen to train as heir to the clan in Carl’s place, which requires him moving to his grandfather and first lord’s home, away from his friends, and for now, his family.

Why does he need Talents to rule the clan anyway? He doesn’t see the point in all this training and the headaches.

But when his old friends come down for the Gather, their jealousy makes them lash out in the one way they know will hurt Connell–by picking on his friend Nellie. As they restrain him and try to hurt her, his Talents come to the rescue, making him think about all those things he’d heard and now how they might apply in real life.

Here’s an excerpt from Belfort.

With a huge sigh, Connell took a deep breath, let it out, and dropped down into his mental working state. Focusing on the little box on the bench, he tried to reach out and nudge it to the end of the table. Instead of scooting to the end of the table, it rolled over twice and refused to budge another inch.

Coming back to his conscious level, he shrugged his shoulders in aggravation and looked up at Master Olivier.

“Well, at least you didn’t slam it into the wall. But why did you roll it instead of slide it?”

“I have no idea, sir.”

“Maybe we should work on something else for a while. Go get a drink of water, stretch out for a minute, and come back. We’ll work on your telepathy and see if we can narrow down your focus.”

By the end of the day’s session, Connell had a tremendous headache, and he was aggravated and frustrated with his progress. What was he missing? Master Olivier told him it would all come together soon, but what if it didn’t? His whole family and clan were counting on him, and he couldn’t even move a box from one end of the table to the other.

Watch for Too Many Talents! I’ll keep you posted!

To get the first three books in the series, go to Amazon or Smashwords!

And as always,

Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance…

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The three book series, Esperance, will soon be joined by a fourth book–Too Many Talents.

How about a little background?

The world I call Esperance was settled during a very disturbed time on Earth. People with a particular remote viewing ability sought new worlds to colonize, as it seemed Earth might not survive. On this new world, these individuals, called Seekers, also helped discover minerals for mining concerns, new food which could be used by the new settlers, and many other things.

As the colony would take time to become self-sufficient, Earth subsidized them with shipments of necessities they couldn’t manufacture yet. Machine parts, medicines and the like were at the top of the list.

Until the shipments stopped coming. The colony struggled to keep going until a mutated virus wiped out over half of the colony. Without the medicines from Earth, they were at the mercy of nature. Many skills were lost, machines broke down with no way to repair them, and the remaining settlers descended into chaos, each man for himself in a bid to survive.

After several decades of this confusion, a few among them developed Talents–psychic abilities such as telepathy, teleportation, telekinesis, and a host of others. Using these new abilities, they got together to impose the rule of law to save what was left of their world.

Dividing the world into clans, each named after one of the original talented men, the colony slowly began to revive. New Talents, which took the place of mechanism and medicines, began to emerge among the people. Some had abilities relating to wood and the forest. Others for various sorts of metal or stone. And those who could heal using energy became the new medical professionals among them, while the herbalists researched various plants to add to the mix. Some had very minor abilities, others became masters in their field.

Until we come down to the time of Jareth and Viviane, several hundred years after the end of the confusion.

Viviane has Talents she should never have developed. Though she has struggled for control, an unfortunate outburst of temper at her brother’s trial nearly takes a life. Now terrified of her abilities, she begins to resist her training, which only makes the outbursts of uncontrolled Talent more frequent. Jareth and her instructor struggle for a way to make her understand how important her training is, as her uncontrolled manifestations of Talent become a daily concern.

Follow her continuing story in Too Many Talents.

We are also introduced to her nephew, Connell.

When the original heir of Viviane’s home clan, Belfort, turns traitor, another heir must be found. He should be of the family line, and still able to access his Talents. The only one who fits the bill is Connell, her sister’s son.

Connell, who is only ten and a half, isn’t sure why he needs Talents to be a ruler. After all, what could go wrong which would require it? And why does he have to come live with his grandparents for this training? But when his friends from home come to the clan center for the Gather, he learns a lesson about jealousy, friendship, and Talent he won’t forget soon.

He also learns how helpful it is to keep control of his thoughts, when he accidentally finds himself in Jareth and Viviane’s study, unannounced and quite confused, after letting his temper get out of control.

Watch for Too Many Talents, coming soon!

Haven’t read the first books in the series?

Go to Amazon or Smashwords for your copies today!

And as always,

Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance…

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Did you ever just look at someone and say, “He looks like a wolf, or bear, or a big cat?”

Maybe it’s just me. I know. I’m weird. Nothing new there.

But that’s how The Russian began, from seeing someone who instantly reminded me of a wolf. Of course my mind then took hold of the idea and began to wonder what sort of person he would be as a wolf shifter. And so it began.

Dmitri Ivanovich Volkov, a wolf shifter, was born in Russia a long, long time before Gambler’s Folly was settled. He’s lived over 500 years. How long exactly? Even he can’t tell you. He has spent most of his life in the military or as a mercenary across Earth, and later, across the galaxy.

He was finally approached by Interpol and has been working with the special division–all shifters–for several years. Though mainly based on Earth, he gets to Gambler’s Folly frequently chasing contraband.

A little over two hundred years ago, his soulmate died and left him adrift in the world. Deciding never to get close to anyone again, he has avoided long-term relationships. One thing he has learned in his life is that everyone he meets will eventually be taken from him.

But Mother Nature has other plans for him on Gambler’s Folly, in the form of a petite blonde who’s scent is reminiscent of vanilla and lilacs. Sensing something wrong while on a walk, he finds her surrounded by gang members intent on doing her harm. Using one of his unusual abilities, he sends them away and walks the girl home.

For the first time in a long time, he is drawn to her. The need to protect her, to be with her, is nearly overwhelming. And before he even knows her name, he leans down to kiss her, before apologizing and taking his leave.

How could he have known she also worked for the Special Department? Or that she would be in the office the very next morning?

And who could have predicted they would be soulmates?

All from a picture of someone who reminded me of a wolf.

Welcome to my writer’s mind. It’s crazy in here!

Want to read The Russian?

It’s available for Kindle, in paperback, and hardcover over at Amazon.

How about the Gambler’s Folly Series?

That’s it for now. Have a great week.

And as always,

Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance…

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At least, that’s what the calendar says. Mother Nature is still trying to make up her mind. But at least the storms have stopped for this week, even if the temperatures are a bit chilly again.

If this is your first visit, let me introduce myself and my worlds.

I write paranormal fantasy romance.

What is that?

My worlds are fantasy worlds, on other planets, or alternate timelines of this one. Some contain elements of psychic abilities, like mental telepathy, telekinesis, and other Talents. This is the main theme in the Esperance Series.

Some are stories about shifters. The Gambler’s Folly Series has shifters of all sorts–leopards, panthers, wolves, bears. And more to come!

Some have characters with magical abilities. In Master of the Fleet, our MC, Richard, has command over the elements wind and water. Others can control earth, fire, wind or spirit. Most of these are published under my pen name, Sultonna Nadine.

The next magical book to come out will be Whisky Jug Genie. One of our characters dabbles in white magic. And of course, there is the genie, wielding his own form of magic.

And there is always an element of romance. Some spicier than others, granted, but romance of some sort. The shifter series is a little spicier than the Esperance series is, though it does have its moments.

Want to see a little more?

I have trailers up on Vimeo.

Or you can watch them on YouTube!

So, go check it out, find something you like, and settle back into another world.

And as always,

Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance…

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Yes, here it is the last Friday of February. Wasn’t it just the first of February a few days ago?

Of course, I’m sure the crazy weather around here hasn’t helped much. Just last week we had one night where the temperatures dipped down into the 20’s. Last night? Mid-60’s. My body can’t adjust to this.

But enough of the weather. Let’s talk books!

Here’s something to put on your calendar!

Read an eBook Week is coming to Smashwords March 6! And that means a whole lot of books will be on sale!

What’s not to like about that?

But it only lasts for a week, so make sure to head over there early.

Yes, all my books will be in the sale, from Gambler’s Folly, Esperance, and Master of the Fleet! If you haven’t tried my books yet, or if you need to add to one of the series, now would be a good time.

I’ll remind you and post a link to the sale as soon as it is available, so keep an eye out for it. I don’t know about you, but I love book sales.

But to continue what I started last week…

Where did I get the idea…

…for Jareth, First Lord?

This book began as a dream which kept repeating, night after night. Not the beginning, but partway through what became the second chapter. Just the one scene. And every time I would wake up and go back to sleep, it would come back.

Finally, to get it out of my head, I sat down and wrote out the scene that was on repeat in my brain, only to have it pick another scene with the same cast of characters, at some other point in the book.

In order to get a little sleep, I sat down and tried to piece together how these characters came to be where they were in the first scene. Why would they find themselves in this situation? And where would they go from there?

And Jareth, First Lord was born, followed by the continuation of the story in Viviane, First Lady.

The third book in the series is inset into the story flow. Morgan is a character introduced in the first book. I loved her character and wanted to explore who she was and why she had come to Clan Brannach.

The story will continue in the fourth book of the series, which will be out later this year–Too Many Talents.

But what started the whole thing? Let me give you an excerpt!

JARETH, FIRST LORD

In the gray light of dawn one week after the postings,
the women for The Choosing gathered on the parade grounds
of the Belfort estate, nervous and frightened.
Striding up to the podium, First Lord Jareth addressed the
crowd. “Custom dictates older daughters marry first. With this
in mind, I will accept volunteers. Some of you who are
younger, with long waits ahead, may wish to try your chances
in Clan Brannach. Once the volunteers are accepted, we will
choose from those left to make up the tithe.”


While his men recorded the names of the girls who came
forward, Jareth once again felt the strange spider on his brain
which he’d sensed in the village. Searching the group before
him, he was drawn to cascades of black curls shimmering in
the soft morning light. About twenty feet away, she was
comforting others with a touch or quick hug. Her concern
impressed him. As she turned to face him, her dazzling blue
eyes captivated his heart.


Regaining his senses, he threaded his way through the
crowd. As he drew closer her eyes sparkled like the blue
waters of a mountain stream in the sun. Lush dark lashes
framed them in perfect contrast to her smooth, creamy skin.
Her mouth was a small rosebud begging to be kissed. She
appeared to him as a fairy princess come to life. Expecting
fear or anger as he approached, all he saw was inner strength
shining through sadness. He cultivated his imposing presence,
but she rose tall and met his gaze.


“Good morning, miss. What is your name?”

Don’t forget the book sale March 6!

And as always,

Don’t Forget…

...to Share the Romance…

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I mean, why is it so difficult to get people to review your book?

As an author, you get notified that you’ve sold a book, or several books. And you wait. And wait some more. But the reviews never come. Even if the one or two reviews you’ve manage to obtain are top rated reviews.

Why review?

It isn’t to give the author a good feeling about their book, even though that’s great.

When it comes to selling on Amazon and getting their help to promote your book, they go by the number of reviews you’ve received. It doesn’t matter whether they are one star reviews or five star. They only look at how many reviews you have.

Until you have at least 25 reviews for your book, you really don’t get recommended at all. After 25 reviews, your book starts showing up in the recommendations. You’ll see it in the “customers who liked this also liked…” area when you buy a book in a similar genre.

After 50 reviews, an author really starts gettine promoted on Amazon.

But until then, you’re pretty much sunk.

So, why is it difficult to get people to review a book? It isn’t hard to do. Takes maybe two minutes. But that two minutes meas a lot to an author, especially an indie author struggling to get a book into the public eye.

So, please, if you read a book, stop by Amazon and review it. It means so very much to those of us putting all that blood, sweat, and tears into writing them.

If you’re looking for something to read, check out my Mellie’s Romance page.

Or go to my Amazon Author Profile!

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday!

And Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance…

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A preview of what’s to come, actually.

As you know, if you’ve read any of the series, there are currently three books available. But, with any luck at all, the next book will be out later this year–Old Flame.

They met at university, graduated and haven’t seen each other since, until they meet by chance on their way to Gambler’s Folly. While they’d never been more than friends, hadn’t even seriously dated, there was an attraction now they couldn’t ignore. But can she fit into his very public world?

Here’s a little teaser–

“How particular can you be if you’re keeping company with me?” she teased.

“As I recall, a long time ago I threatened to spank your bottom,” he teased back.

“Your memory is correct. And I believe I dared you to try it.”

“If you keep it up, I’ll do more than try,” he said and felt his face light up.

“Yeah, right,” she answered. “Think you’re up to all that effort? Rich living hasn’t slowed you down?”

“Not so you’d notice,” he said.

“I guess I’d better stay on my toes.”

“You’d be easier to kiss that way,” he said before he could keep the words from coming out of his mouth.

“Who says we’re going to kiss?”

At least, this is what she said, but her face developed a glow that hadn’t been there before, and her scent grew a little stronger as the tip of her tongue moistened her lips.

“I do,” he told her. “At least once in this life, I’m going to taste that pretty mouth of yours. I missed my opportunity thirty years ago, and I’m not going to wait another thirty years.”

“Is that a challenge?”

“No, sweetheart, that’s a promise.”

After Old Flame we have Scotch and Soulmates. Paul is from the British nobility working for Interpol as a profler. Since he’s also an expert on expensive Scotch, he’s helping out on Gambler’s Folly with counterfeit liquors. Sophia is from the Bronx and a radical feminist, who takes ain instant dislike to Paul, even if she is attracted to him. Mother Nature is going to have fun with these two.

Teaser:

“How do you feel about Paul?” Kari asked.

“He’s arrogant, annoying, smug, and too confident for his own good. He makes me want to crack that composure and see the man underneath the mask. Nobody is that calm all the time.”

“Dangerous territory, Sophia. Once you let the wolf out of the cage, it can be difficult to put him back into it.”

“Oh, I don’t want to let him out, just see him snarl a little, and show he’s actually human.”

“And how does he feel about you?”

“No idea, but I don’t think we’re destined to be best friends.”

“No. But I wouldn’t be surprised to find out you’re soul mates.”

“Be serious! I can’t be around the man for five minutes before my inner bitch comes out,” Sophia answered.

“Then why is your scent changing?” Kari asked. “How does his scent affect you?”

Sophia thought back to the conference room and the scent which slowly filled the space. Visions of heather in bloom, with hints of rich loam, and the sea, overlaid lightly with musk had called to her, building her tensions higher.

“That’s what I thought,” Kari said with a laugh. “His scent attracts  you.”

“No, I refuse to take a mate, especially an arrogant Englishman.”

And after this is Unwilling Soulmates. Trevor is originally from Scotland and has worked on Gambler’s Folly for three years up in the Crystal Mountains region. Recently transferred to Speranza, Theresa takes one look at him and immediately dislikes him, but won’t tell anyone why. The tension becomes so difficult around the office, Trevor stops coming into the office and teleconferences with the team when needed.

So when Theresa shows up on the beach during one of his weekend camping trips, he is confused, angry, and completely blindsided when she thows down her mating challenge.

Teaser

“All right, you two. Enough,” Dima barked. “Can we see if there is a way to get past this?”

“Whatever,” the crazy woman answered.

“Now that you’ve worked with Trevor, read his reports, and talked to the guys he works with in the field, don’t you think you could give him a chance to prove himself, rather than instantly relegating him to some ridiculous category?”

“I just don’t like him,” she stated. “Am I not allowed to have a personal dislike for someone?”

“As long as you keep it under wraps at work. But that’s not what you’ve been doing,” Dima told her. “I now have one of my team working from home, with minimal contact with the rest of us, because you can’t control your attitude.”

“Like I said, I can’t seem to control my mouth or emotions around him.”

“What, exactly, have I done to you?” Trevor asked. “I’ve been polite, stayed out of your way, and rearranged my workout to accommodate your schedule. Hell, I even sent you flowers.”

“And we all know you meant them as some sort of insult, you bastard,” she shouted at him. “Was that some crack about my social life? How exactly did you mean those weeds?”

“They weren’t meant as an insult, though at the moment, I doubt I like you any better than you like me. As for being a bastard, I am well acquainted with my father. As a matter of fact, we currently have a good relationship. I’m sure he wouldn’t approve of you or your attitude any more than I do.”

“Is that a fact?” she asked. “And why wouldn’t he approve of me? Too low in the income bracket for his tastes?”

“No. He prefers it if I see women who know how to be ladies instead of screeching harpy fishwives,” Trevor answered, keeping his tone conversational.

“Screeching? Harp… Fishwives?” she sputtered.

“I could have called you an SOB,” he returned.

“Why would you call me a son of a bitch? I am nobody’s son,” she demanded.

“Sorry. In this instance it stands for selfish obnoxious bitch.”

So there’s the lineup from Gambler’s Folly. Sorry you’ll have to wait a bit, but editing takes time. But don’t worry. There is another series and some stand alones coming your way as well.

Looking for books already published? Check out my author profile on Amazon!

So, ciao for now, and as always,

Don’t Forget…

...to Share the Romance…

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Yes, it is!

“Why?” you ask.

I went in for my second cataract surgery yesterday. I had the first cataract removed a month ago, which helped quite a bit in the reading department. I’m hoping this one goes just as well. It’s nice to be able to read labels in the store, newspapers, magazines, and print books again.

Thinking about the same thing yourself?

Don’t sweat it!

The surgeon at Gainesville Eye Associates does laser surgery. It’s quick, and virtually painless. From the time I went in until I was back in the car was about an hour and a half. And that included the post surugery check up. What takes most of the time is getting your eye dilated, IV hooked up, and all the things you need to do before you reach the OR. The surgery itself takes about ten minutes.

Ten minutes?

Yep. That’s it. I will have eye drops to put in several times a day for a month, but that’s no biggie. And for the first few days, my vision will be a little blurry as everything heals. But the results will give me vision like I haven’t had in years.

So what’s happening in my writing world?

I’m still working to finish Gregor Thayne. Too Many Talents should be about through editing, and a few other things are in various stages of editing.

So this weekend, reach out and take home a little magic!

Master of the Fleet will be on sale at Smashwords for only $0.99 this weekend.

So reach for the magic, settle into a comfy chair, and visit the Cote d’Or!

Prefer Amazon?

Check here for the paperback or hardcover!

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