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And that is a very good question. Where do authors and artists get their ideas?

And for me, it depends on which book we’re talking about. Some of mine have come from recurring dreams of a particular scene. Jareth, First Lord is a good example. I kept dreaming a particular scene over and over until a sat down and wrote the scene out. Of course I then had to figure out where in the story this particular bit occurred, but this was my starting point.

Some start with a “what if” sort of idea, such as Gambler’s Folly. I heard a particular song and wondered how this sort of thing could happen now or in the future. What if…?

But Master of the Fleet was a bit different. For several years I participated in a group called the SCA–Society for Creative Anachronism. The people in this group learned skills used during the middle ages and met to practice their particular skill. I was a musician. Mostly I played in a recorder consort, but sometimes I sang and composed little ditties about the places I’d been.

It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about the various skills the people during that time used in their lives.

And I loved watching the fighters. Some fought with sword and shield, others with staffs. Some wore leather armour, others chain mail. Watching someone painstakingly make chain mail is an education in itself.

So one day as I was daydreaming about this and that, I came up with a scenario for entertainment at a high feast. A scene that would play out in the performance area in front of the high table, which should shock yet entertain those gathered there.

It began with an argument between a man and his lady over something silly, until tempers flared and blades were drawn. As the disagreement escalated, her blade was thrown clear before she was backed up to the baron’s table, sword tip at her throat, as the man demanded justice.

As these things go, it eventually ended up as a book, and while it is in the first chapter, it is only the beginning of the story. There were a lot of questions I had about this relationship.

Why were they at the feast?

Why were they arguing?

Why did they marry, and what about the blood oath which bound them together?

Do they ever find happiness?

What is a weather shaper? And where does magic fit into this picture?

Ready to find out?

How about a short excerpt?

MASTER OF THE FLEET

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.

Master of the Fleet is available at Amazon, at Smashwords, and most major book sellers.

So if you’re ready for a little magic, check out Master of the Fleet, written under my pen name, Sultonna Nadine!

And as always…

Don’t forget…

…to Share the Romance…

Welcome to April!

I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t expecting below freezing temperatures this time of year down here in the American Southeast. Last week we had highs around 80 degrees outside with night time temperatures in the 50’s. So yesterday’s high in the low 50’s followed by below freezing temperatures was a shock to my system.

And then there were the tomato plants we set out, thinking warm weather had arrived. I managed to get them dug back out of the garden, put into pots, and back in the greenhouse before the chill hit. With any luck they’ll survive all the disruption.

So what am I doing as far as writing?

LADY CALLOWAY

I’ve finally figured out how to wrap it up, which has been my hold up on this particular project. The lady is being quite obstinate about cooperating with me.

Not that her husband is any better.

However, with a little luck, Lady Calloway should be finished by the end of next week. Unless she decides to pull another stunt I’m not expecting.

In the meantime, my editor is looking over the next book in the Esperance series–Too Many Talents. This story picks up right after Viviane, First Lady, continuing Viviane’s story and bringing in the new heir of Clan Belfort–a little boy of almost 11, who is not necessarily happy about it.

While it seems having paranormal Talents would be fun, getting a handle on them can be quite a pain. Just ask Viviane and Connell.

Want a bit of a peek?

TOO MANY TALENTS

Viviane–First Lady of Clan Brannach

“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?”

“We may never know the answer as to why they developed, but since they have, you must treat them responsibly. You wouldn’t hand a child a live blade and expect him to use it properly, would you?”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“Your Talents are exponentially more dangerous than the deadliest blade ever forged. Just as it would be irresponsible to hand a child a sword and let him run through the house with it, chasing the staff, and playing guard, it is ever so much more dangerous to have you, with so much untrained Talent, manifesting uncontrolled.”

Connell, Heir of Belfort

“But Mom, why do I have to go live with Grandpa? I want to stay here with you,” Connell complained for the hundredth time.

“You know why, young man,” his mother scolded. “And as soon as your father and I can take care of everything here, we’ll join you.”

“But how long will that be?” he asked, rolling his blue eyes at her. “I don’t know why we have to go anyway. I don’t want to be First Lord.”

“Now that is enough. We don’t have time for this. You’re ten years old and you know better.”

“I’m almost eleven,” he countered.

“Then start acting like it,” his mother snapped, exasperation beginning to show.

“But what about all my friends? I won’t have any friends there,” he continued.

“I’m sure you’ll make new friends.”

“But I like my old ones.”

“Connell, find something to do besides complain, or I’ll find something for you to do.”

“Fine!”

The little boy of almost eleven spun on his heel and ran out the door. Arriving at his favorite spot by the stream, he dropped down onto a large gray boulder and fought back the tears. No, he would not cry. Selecting a flat stone from the bank, he skipped it expertly across the water.

He wasn’t sure how long he’d been there before he heard someone behind him.

“Connell? Can I sit with you?”

Great! The voice could only be little Nell. She was all right for a girl, but, well, she was a girl. And she was always trying to help him with whatever he was doing. Two years younger than he was, they’d grown up together in the village, and he’d always liked her, even though she could be annoying.

“I guess. Sure,” he answered with a sigh.

He turned to give the little blonde, blue-eyed girl a hand so she wouldn’t slip on the bank. Once seated on the rock bench, she smoothed her flowered frock down over her knees.

“What are you doing down here? I thought you guys were moving.”

“Mom’s mad and told me to find something to do. So I came down to skip stones.”

“I could never do that. Can you show me?”

Even if she was a girl, Nell took his mind away from his problems. They skipped stones until the light began to fade.

“We should probably go back, Nell,” he told the little girl. “Mom was mad before I came down here. If I’m too late getting back, it won’t help anything.”

“Will I see you before you go, Connell?” she asked.

“I guess. We’ll be here a few days yet, and anyway, I’ll come back sometimes.”

“Can I still be your friend when you’re First Lord?”

“Of course. Why couldn’t you?”

“I don’t know. I just wondered. Thanks, Connell.”

They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, but in this case I believe they are mistaken. Mother Nature was definitely having a temper tantrum last night. We had thunderstorms all night, which resulted in lightning running in on the phone lines.

With the phone system taken out, the DSL blasted, two desktop computers and a laptop out of commission, this morning has been quite busy. Fortunately the rest of the house wasn’t damaged, and using my mobile as a hotspot we are in communication with the rest of the world.

My husband, wizard that he is, has gotten the phones back online with a temporary fix. Let’s here if for wizards! Of course, with all the outages around, the carrier won’t be able to come out and do a proper job until early next week.

After all the fireworks last night, today is beautiful and sunny, which was not expected after looking at the forecast yesterday. I guess Nature got her ill temper worked out last night and decided to give us a break for a day or two.

Fortunately, all my book files and WIPs are backed up on a thumb drive, so in case of something like this, I’m covered. With any luck at all, I’ll have one of those WIPs finished and ready for its first edit next week. Keep your fingers crossed…

How about an excerpt? An early peek at this work in progress?

LADY CALLOWAY

In a country that’s not quite England, and a town which just misses being Victorian London, Kerrick Calloway trudged wearily up the walkway to his home.

“Paradise preserve me,” Kerrick muttered, shaking his head and running his fingers through his sandy brown hair. Hadn’t today been aggravating enough already?  

His wife greeted him with a kiss which barely grazed his cheek, irritating him even more.

“What’s wrong?” Liora, his wife asked, her gray eyes stormy and troubled. “Why are you angry?”

Shrugging her shoulders under her thick auburn hair, she began to turn away, as she waited for his answer. His arm shot toward her, his hand grasping her jaw firmly as he turned her to face him.

“Why? I just want to know why I can’t have a proper kiss from my wife. After working all day, it would be nice to feel my wife cares for me, instead of feeling she simply tolerates me.”

Releasing her with disgust, he started toward his study.

“I don’t know what you mean,” Liora replied. “Of course, I care for you. Every day I meet you at the door with a kiss.”

“You call that a kiss?” he shouted, turning back towards his wife. “That’s the sort of kiss you’d give to a brother or father, not the kiss a husband expects from his wife.”

“What’s the difference? I greet you each and every day to show you I love you. Does the kiss matter so much?”

“Yes, it does matter that much!” he shouted in anger. “A man expects a few niceties when he gets home, and a proper kiss from his wife is one of them.”

“Why are you going on so much about a kiss? You know I love you.”

“Do I?” Kerrick asked, exasperated. “And how am I supposed to know that? Your kisses are sisterly at best, unless I press the issue. And in our bed, half the time I feel I’m committing rape. You agree to sleep with me, but show no passion for me. Can you even feel passion?”

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, before his kiss became more sensual. 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.”

Wishing you all a fantastic Friday and wonderful weekend!

And as always…

Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance…

Meleigh’s Creations

I mean the one in the world of Lord Sir Richard Lemarnier. The one on the Northwestern coast of what we call the USA, in an alternate reality.

Let me tell you about this world. Grab a cuppa and join me!

The world of Richard and Anne-Marie is a world of magic. Most people are born under two different elements of magic. One corresponds with the year in which they are born. The other from the month. Most people have very little ability and can’t actually train to use them effectively.

But for those who can, they are a boon to society. Crops are grown with the aid of people who can control water and earth to nurture plants. Ships are guided and protected by those with control over wind or water. Suspects are questioned by those trained to use their abilities with spirit.

Those who are adepts use magic to bind contracts, blood oaths, and vows. Priests having abilities with heaven and spirit bind marriages using the elements of creation in the presence of heaven. Vows or oaths bound with blood carry their own penalty when broken.

Richard Lemarnier is Master of the Fleet for his family’s shipping firm, as well as the owner since his father died. In this capacity, he controls wind and water to help shape the weather when necessary to help his ships out at sea. With a little ability inherited from his mother, he has a bit of telepathy to use as well.

Imagine seeing the various air currents as slightly different colors or textures and being able to manipulate them. You could create a small breeze or a raging storm, depending on how much power you had to call on. And the same with water. You can speak to it and bend it to your will, shift the currents or calm the waves. With control over both wind and water, you could create a storm or calm one.

Richard had fallen for Anne-Marie and asked her to marry him, but she kept putting hiim off. Not refusing, exactly, but not accepting either. So when she asks him to come with her back to her home kingdom for the fall festivals, he figures it would be a good time and place to ask once more.

But after too much wine and excitement, things get out of hand at the feast, leaving them bound not only by marriage vows but by a blood oath, as well as an oath of fealty from Anne-Marie to Richard. He is bound to be her husband and protector, and her loyalty is sworn to Richard. Onlh an adept of at least the rank of Baron can unbind the spells.

Anne-Marie had no intention of marrying Richard. But how can she escape now, with all the spells binding them together?

And who is trying to destroy Richard’s company? Anyone with the kind of power this enemy shows should have been bond by the guild oath, forbidding them to do harm with their abilities.

What will it take for Richard to win his lady’s heart and keep his company safe from attack on the high seas? And are the two related?

Read MASTER OF THE FLEET this weekend!

How about a snippet?

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.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

And please…

Don’t Forget...

…to Share the Romance…

Rainy Day in Georgia

And rainy night. And day… You get the picture. It has been wet here the past few days.

So what do you do when it’s rainy outside? I like to grab something warm to drink and sit down by the fire with a good book. And then I generally wind up with cats all over me wanting to cuddle.

Looking for something to read?

Go over to Smashwords and look at my profile page. I have two series and one stand alone available there in ebook formats.

Looking for something in paperback?

Go to my Amazon Author Page and find a book you like. I also have two books available as audio books. So if you’d prefer to listen to your story, check them out!

I’m going to go get a refill on the coffee, check on the fire and the cats, and then see what I can scrounge up for lunch.

wishing you a wonderful day today.

And as always…

Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance…

Esperance…

Have you read the books in my Esperance Series?

What is Esperance?

Settled by pioneers from Earth, the planet was far from being self-sufficient when they lost contact with Earth, and with the supplies they needed to continue building their world. Without the medicines from Earth, the population was devastated when a pandemic hit, leaving less than half the people of the original settlements.

With society now in total chaos and anarchy, it was every man for himself until a few people with unusual psychic abilities were able to force their will on the population and bring law and order back to their world. These men became the original First Lords.

Dividing the remaining population into clans, the First Lords gave their names to the clans, gradually rebuilding a successful society on their world. While it was far from what they’d had when Earth was subsidizing them, this frontier world, they had food, shelter, and a sense of direction.

As the population grew, so did these unusual Talents. Only the First Lords had the multiple Talents needed to rule their clans, but others developed abilities related to their work, or for healing and nurturing.

The first book in the series, Jareth, First Lord, is about one of these Talented men and the woman he hopes to win. Set a couple centuries after the Age of Confusion, his clan is well established and prosperous. Two years previously, he had lost his wife in childbirth, losing the baby as well. He knew he had to remarry, but was surprised when he found the woman of his dreams in another clan with which he had a dispute.

Book two, Viviane, First Lady, continues their story and tells of Viviane’s struggle to learn how to control Talents she has suddenly developed before they cause any more trouble. While having psychic abilities seems like it would be a great deal of fun, learning to control them, instead of having them control you, can be a trick.

Book 3, Morgan, tells of a young woman who came to Brannach during the Choosing. She had determined to live her life alone, after being abused by nearly every man she’s known in her life. When James begins to show her attention, she isn’t sure what to think. As for James, his family has a couple Talents which can make people nervous. As his attraction grows for Morgan, so does his anxiety about sharing his secret with her.

Watch for new books in the future!

Esperance. A world full of mischief, magic, and romance.

Come with me and visit this amazing world.

And as always,

Don’t Forget to…

…Share the Romance…

There’s still time to take advantage of the Smashwords Book Sale. But not for long!

The Sale ends tonight, so if you’re looking for major discounts on some awesome reads, hurry over before it’s too late.

All of my books and thousands of others are on sale through tonight. Most of my books are available for $0.99 and a few are FREE!

Where can you find this sale?

Go to Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/shelves/promos/1/any/any

This will take you to the general sale.

For my books, go to my profile page and scroll down to find the books or series you want.

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/meleigh53

Don’t miss it! After tonight, all books go back up to regular prices.

And as always…

Don’t forget…

…to Share the Romance…

It’s Here!

What’s here?

The BOOK SALE!

Yes, the Smashwofds Read an Ebook a Week Book Sale is here today and will last through March 13.

So what are you waiting for? Thousands of books are waiting for you to take them home. And all of my boooks from both series and from Sultonna Nadine are included in the sale.

So if you’re looking for something to read, go over tl Smashwords and take a peek.

Looking for my books? Go to my Author Profile page and scroll down to find the series and Sultonna Nadine books.

Look for Gambler’s Folly, Esperance, and Master of the Fleet, all on Smashwords.

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!

And Don’t Forget–

–to Share the Romance…

Book Sale!

That’s right! Beginning Sunday, March 7 thousands of books will be on sale over at Smashwords.

I love book sales. There are authors I see out there, but have never tried. I think I might like their writing, but I’m hesitant to spend the money, just in case it turns out it’s not what I thought it would be.

But with all those books on sale, I don’t have to spend a lot of money. Some of them are even free! So I can justify stepping out a little bit and giving a new author a try. I’ve found some of my faves that way.

So if you’ve been hesitating about any of my books, now is the chance to try them on the cheap. All of them will be on sale, and some of them are FREE!

So head on over Sunday and take a look around. I’m sure you’ll find something to suit your tastes.

Want to read an excerpt from one of my books? Just click on the Excerpt tab at the top of the page. You’ll find excerpts from all of my books there, along with links to Smashwords and Amazon.

So so check out the sale.

Or go to my profile page for a listing of all my books on Smashwords. I have two series and one stand alone under the name Sultonna Nadine.

Have a wonderful weekend!

And Don’t Forget—

—-to Share the Romance…

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