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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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But at long last, I think autumn is on the way. I hope this heat wave over the weekend is Mother Nature’s last hurrah for summer.

So what’s in the works?

Too Many Talents, the fourth book from Esperance, should be out soon. I know, I keep saying that, but we’ve had to go back for more rewrites. Me and beginnings just don’t seem to get along. I’m fine after the first chapter. For some reason, most of my ideas start somewhere around Chapter 3. Weird…

And hopefully by the end of the year, there will be another Sultonna Nadine book out. I’ve finished my last edit on Whiskey Jug Genie before the editor gets her hands on it. It isn’t as long as most of my novels and while it deals with magic, the romance is sort of low key.

Martin runs an apothecary shop in London. While on vacation in the southern USA, he finds an old whiskey jug to add to his collection of old bottles and jugs. What he doesn’t realize until he gets it home is that a genie is trapped inside. And once Bubba is released, things become…complicated.

So watch for Whiskey Jug Genie. And yes, Sultonna Nadine is the correct spelling of the name, no matter what Amazon says.

Need to catch up on a series? Go to Amazon!

Have a wonderful end of August. I’ll see you again in September!

And as always,

Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance…

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If you’re like me, you like to read. And the fact that you are here says you do as well.

But sometimes, it’s easier to listen.

Did you know I have the first two books from the Esperance series available in audio? You can go over to Amazon and order them, or get them from Audible.

The reason I’m asking is that I’ve been considering narrating some of my own books. They won’t be as good as the first two, but I know a lot of people who love audio books. While I have no problem with narrating them in general, I can’t do the male voices properly, and I’m afraid it will be off-putting to those listening.

If you want an example of my narration, go over to my podcast of my blogs at Anchor.FM. Several of my posts have been made over into podcasts, and I hope to do a few more.

Drop me a line in the comments, or send me an email and give me your opinion.

Watch for Too Many Talents later this month.

And Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance…

Open magic book with the light. Eps 10

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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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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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All right, I know it is the electronic age. Technology is everywhere, whether we like it or not. Everywhere you look, there is something else being done electronically.

But I wonder, how many readers prefer ebooks to print? Do people buy paperbacks and hardcover books anymore? Or are actual physical books a thing of the past?

I have recently been reading ebooks mostly because of the trouble I’m having with my eyes. I can’t seem to get enough light on the printed page to read the words. But I would much prefer an actual print book. There’s something about the feel of it in your hands, the turning of pages, and the smell of the ink.

It isn’t just the reading. It’s the whole experience. New books have the fresh from the press smell of the new paper and ink. Old books from a bookstore, especially the really old ones, have a musty, dusty smell. Sometimes, on the fly leaf you will find a brief note from a previous owner. Maybe it’s the date of purchase. Perhaps the book was given as a gift and there is a birthday or holiday message to the recipient of the gift.

On rare occasions, you might come across an autographed book and wonder who originally bought it. How did this book come to be in a used book store?

And how much are you willing to pay for a book? Do you buy ebooks from new authors, to try them out before committing to anything more expensive? I do this quite often with someone I’ve not read before. And then, if I like the book–and can actually see–I buy the next book in a print format.

Maybe you wait until they have a sale on, so you can save money. I like to do this if I’m completing a series, because I know I’ll probably binge read the whole thing.

If you’re looking for books this season, you can find all of mine in all formats at Amazon.

If you like ebooks, keep your eyes open for December 17, the start of the Smashwords seasonal book sale. All my books, and others, will be on sale for the holidays.

So drop me a line below, and share your thoughts with me. If I don’t see you again, have a wonderful and happy holiday!

Winter Wonderland

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Yes, it is that time of year for celebrations. Thanksgiving has just passed here in the US, and all the other holidays people celebrate are coming up quickly.

Our big celebration when I was growing up was Thanksgiving. Everyone went to my grandmother’s house for Christmas, but our house was the place for Thanksgiving. We would normally have several other families over to help celebrate. Each would bring a favorite dish to add to the table, so there was plenty to share, to send home with people, and to keep us fed for a week after.

Which holidays do you celebrate? And what makes them special to you?

Some of you will be buying gifts this time of year. If there are readers on your list, check out my books on Amazon. I have recently published all of them, both series and Master of the Fleet, in hardcover editions, perfect for gift giving.

I have several people already asking about them.

Stay safe out there. Things can get a little crazy this time of year. The roads are busy, sometimes snowy or wet, and it only takes a second for disaster to strike.

Best of all to you, if I don’t get back before New Year.

And of course, as always…

Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance…

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My favorite time of year. The summer heat is beginning to ease off and the winter chill hasn’t set in yet. Of course, that’s not so much a problem here in the Southeast. While it gets chilly here, and sometimes down in the teens in the deepest part of winter, there’s nothing sub-zero.

Growing up in farm country up North, autumn was harvest time. All the late fruits and vegetables were coming in and the walnuts were falling off the tree. And I dearly love black walnuts…

Yes, they are a pain to get out of the shells, and the husks are just as bad. So what we did was rake the fallen nuts into the driveway. As the heavy equipment ran them over, it tore the husks off the walnuts for us. Of course, we still had to get the shells off, but that’s why there are hammers and small anvils…

Dried apples were always one of my favorites, with thoughts of pies made later in the winter full of cinnamon. Of course, I love to eat apples any time and our family could go through a bushel of apples in a couple weeks.

And the scenery was beautiful, with the leaves turning bright fiery red and orange, with splashes of gold amongst the others. Of course, as kids, raking up a huge pile of leaves to dive into was always fun. I’m not sure our parents appreciated it, but we had a blast.

It was also time to unpack the sweaters for the cooler temperatures, and I love sweaters and knits of all kinds. So when the temperatures began to drop, I was ready to dig back into the closet for my winter clothes and find my favorite knits to wear.

We always went to the county fair, which came around in September where we lived. Dad always went through the cattle and stock barns. Mom wanted to look at the cooking and canning items on display. And of course my sister and I went for the snacks and rides. It was a once a year family thing we all enjoyed.

Some of this love of autumn comes out in my writing. In Esperance, you’ll find fall festival gathers, with all the excitement I loved at the fairs. I also write about spring gathers. Couples form during the gathers, old friendships are renewed, new friendships are born. Gathers are a special time of year to celebrate the abundance of the harvest.

Haven’t read the books from Esperance? They’re all available at Amazon and Smashwords, as well as most other major book sellers. Watch for the next book to be released later this year–Too Many Talents.

Too Many Talents continues the story of Viviane and Jareth, while bringing in the story of the new heir of Belfort–a little boy of ten and a half years old named Connell. He’s having some of the same troubles as his Aunt Viviane as he tries to develop the Talents he’ll need to become First Lord.And he’s not happy about the whole affair, especially when his old friends come to see him at the gather.

Anyway, check out the Esperance Series and watch for Too Many Talents.

Have a wonderful autumn.

And as always,

Don’t Forget…

...to Share the Romance…

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Of course, it’s raining here in Georgia, so I think the barbecue is off for the afternoon. But at least my guy made it home for the weekend. We can cook indoors and watch a movie with the cats. They are, of course, pointedly ignoring him for being gone.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful Father’s Day. Give that guy a hug while you have him here. You never know when his time on earth will be over.

Looking for something to read later in the week?

Check out one of my series on Amazon!

And as always,

Don’t Forget…

...to Share the Romance…

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