Posts Tagged ‘Camp NaNoWriMo 2014’

2014-Winner-Square-ButtonI made it! With 50,081 words on Defender of the Red Dragon. What am I talking about?

Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2014!  There are now two camps during the summer, in April and July, complete with virtual cabins and cabin mates. We had a lot of fun this month and several of those in our cabin crossed the finish line.

In my opinion, anyone who signed up and gave it their best–even if they didn’t finish their  word goal–is a winner. It takes effort and determination to sit and write everyday, whether your goal is 50,000 or 15,000.

Congratulations to all those in my cabin this month. Hope to see you in November for the main event. If not, look for me next April for the spring Camp. Maybe we can all sign in to the same cabin!

And would someone please remember the hot chocolate…


Excerpt from Defender of the Red Dragon


Ruth was almost too tired to shower before she fell into bed. But on her way past the painting, she gave it a smile, said goodnight to the warrior by the throne, and gave the dragon a goodnight stroke down the nose.

She had no idea what woke her at one o’clock in the morning, but she was instantly awake, her heart was pounding, and her eyes searched the shadows.

As her eyes brushed the painting, she had the briefest wish that the young warrior was there to watch out for her. Sliding her feet to the floor, she quietly put on her robe and started toward the door.

A choked cry and the sound of pounding feet reached her first, accompanied by the sound of steel against steel. As Ruth looked through her living room toward the door, she saw it was standing wide open.

But for a moment, before her eyes adjusted to the light, she saw the shadow of a man, well over six feet tall, replacing a wicked-looking blade in a sheath at his side. Behind her she heard a sound like sea shells on stone. Glancing at the painting in the dim light, the dragon blurred for a moment before it came into focus, encircling the throne.

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CampNaNoWriMoCamp NaNoWriMo is almost over. Three more days of writing time. I’m proud of one of my cabin mates–PalmerMorel.  He has already finished his goal!

I have only 2680 words left to finish mine for, Defender of the Red Dragon. I hope to reach that finish line tomorrow and validate my count for a win.

To anyone out there who hasn’t tried NaNoWriMo, it is a great motivator to write everyday and to set goals. In April and July, you can set your own word goals and shift them if need be. The standard count is 50,000 words in one month, which is what I’m doing this July.

The biggie is in November. No cabins. Just you, and your manuscript, and 50,000 word goal.

So come along and join us next time. Not ready for November? That’s all right. Join us in the spring and set a smaller goal. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you’re writing. 

Wish me luck! 50,000 words or bust!


Excerpt from Defender of the Red Dragon–rough draft.

Enough musing, Ruth thought. Time for bed. After saying good night to the warrior in the painting and stroking the dragon’s nose, she slipped wearily between the sheets and nodded off, her mind still on moons, tides, dragons, and knights.

Thunder boomed and echoed through the darkness, as her house trembled to the sound. Great bolts of lightning seared the night sky. Shaken from slumber by the storm, Ruth quickly grabbed a robe and went to fill up some pitchers with water, in case the power went out. She unplugged the coffeemaker just in case. She’d had several fried during thunderstorms as power surges came in through the power lines.

The air had cooled significantly, so Ruth snapped the front of her robe most of the way down and tied the belt snuggly. With all the noise, there was no way she would sleep for a while. Lighting a candle, she took the book from her nightstand and sat down to read.

The storm continued to escalate. Lightning bolts became sheets of electrical display. Though she’d seen sheet lightning before, it was a rare occurrence. The air had a different feel, and she felt a heightening of her senses.

It was around three in the morning. Restless, Ruth paced the floor. Admiring the painting again, she reached up to touch the dragon just as a tremendous bolt of lighting struck across the street.

Everything went black around her and her ears rang. “That was awfully close,” she thought, as she tried to find the door frame to steady her. “I must be a little dazed by the sound of the lightning.”

As the ringing subsided, she heard faint sounds of people talking, while the air was infused with the scent of roasting meat.

She still couldn’t see anything, but discovered she had her eyes tightly closed. She remedied this and found she was crouched down behind a large barrel in a dark alley. She must have blacked out for a time, because she could see daylight overhead. While there was no rain, she could hear thunder in the offing.

Where in hell was she? She rose to her feet and brushed at the dirt which clung to her robe. At least she was dressed, sort of. But what should she do? She could see no one else in the alley, and she wasn’t sure what she would find in the street. The voices came from inside the building next to her. It must be some sort of café or something.

Shocked and dazed by recent events, she simply stood in the alley and tried to think it through.

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Black and whiteWell, sometimes it seems like I’m waging a war. These characters of mine and their stubborn tendency to remake the story in their image….

While I’m working on this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo project, I thought I would give you a taste of  April’s novel. It still has work to be done, like editing–but I’d like to share a little bit about it anyway.



Hope you enjoy!


The Seduction of Lady Calloway

In an alternate timeline in England, Lord Kerrick Calloway’s wife has become a problem. The government in Europe is run by the church. As liaison between the church and the state, Kerrick must follow the church’s law explicitly.

How could he know, before their marriage, that his wife, Liora, had been raised in heresy? Following church rulings concerning sex and marriage changed at least a century out of date, she seldom agreed to sleep with him.

As a descendant of a line of confessors, Kerrick knew what would happen to her if this knowledge came to the attention of the church. He also knew what they would do to him if he didn’t bring her to the church to confess.

In an attempt to save his wife and his life, Kerrick takes her away to an isolated family counry home for a time of study and seduction. His hope is to win her over to the new teachings of the church, root out the heresy in the little village where she grew up, and finally have a wife who could enjoy being with him.

Liora is terrified by the thought of having sex with her new husband. Handsome, well-situated, and kind, she finds it nearly impossible not to enjoy being with him. But since she firmly believes that enjoying sex, even with her husband, is no different than being a prostitute, she finds it more and more difficult to give her body to him without sinning.

It’ll be easy, she’d been told. It isn’t really enjoyable for women anyway. Just let him have you when he must and you can at least save his soul by keeping him in the marriage bed.

But how could she give herself to him to save his soul without consigning hers to hell?


“Paradise preserve me,” Kerrick muttered, shaking his head. Hadn’t today been aggravating enough already?
“What’s wrong?” Liora, his wife asked. “Why are you angry?” Shrugging her shoulders, she began to turn away as she waited for his answer. His arm shot out toward her, his hand grasping her jaw firmly, tuning 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 that my wife cares for me, rather than tolerates me.” Releasing her with disgust, he started toward his study.
“I don’t know what you mean,” Liora replied. “Every day I meet you at the door with a kiss.”
“You call that a kiss? That’s the sort of kiss you’d give to a brother or father, not the kiss a husband expects from his wife.”
“Well, what’s the difference? I greet you each and every day to show that I love you. Does the kiss matter that much? At least you get a kiss.”
“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 brotherly 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, one hand twined in her hair turning her face to his. He kissed her savagely at first, his mouth hard on hers, until it became more sensual than demanding. At first she tried to struggle free, and then, for just 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. I can’t bear it.”
“Can’t bear what? The thought that 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 that the pleasures of the flesh are evil.”
“Yes, when indulged outside the marriage bed. But we exchanged vows. That changes things considerably.”
“No, it doesn’t. Would you be married to a whore? Women, even married women, who give themselves to the seduction of carnal pleasures are whores, or just as good as. I should think that 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 that?”
“I do,” Liora responded.
“Then why did you even get married? Didn’t you know that sex is part of that 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!”

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Black and whiteYes! I’ve reached my word goal of 40,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo 2014. I’ve made it!

No, the book isn’t’ finished yet, but  with 40,000 words as a start, it shouldn’t take long to finish. And then there is the editing, rewrites, and all of that. But finishing it is the first order of business.

The Seduction of Lady Calloway is a fantasy romance set in an alternate timeline in London, around 1850. The church and state are one organization with two different branches–one for clerical administration and the other for secular affairs.

Kerrick Calloway works as a liaison between the two divisions. Recently married to Liora,  a delightful girl from further north, imagine his shock when he finds out she was raised a heretic.

So what does one who is employed by the church do in this situation? He won’t subject his wife to the confessors unless forced, but in the meantime, can he bring her back to the church?

Sound like something you’d like? Well, keep your eyes on this blog for news of releases. A second edition of Jareth: First Lord should be out later this year, followed by the sequel, Viviane: First Lady.

And if you haven’t read it yet, Gambler’s Folly is available at:





Happy reading everyone!


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Mel and Gambler's FollyGambler’s Folly is going to Book Expo of America this May! I was invited by BookBuzz to send them two copies for the expo this year.

Yes, I’m excited!

And second, I’ve signed an author agreement with a Georgia publisher, FreedomInk, to release a second edition of  Jareth: First Lord later this year, with an option on the sequel, Viviane: First Lady.

If you’ve read Jareth: First Lord, this is a newly edited edition, so while this will be similar, the writing is tighter, more exciting, and there are extra scenes at the end.


I’ve also entered Camp NaNoWriMo 2014 and am busy working on a new novel there, The Seduction of Lady Calloway. What happens when you work for the church and state and find you’ve married a heretic? This is Lord Calloway’s dilemma. Set in an alternate timeline of London, around 1800, where the state is just another arm of the church and confessors can read minds.

And I’ve been nominated for the BB Let Me Tell Your Story this year in the category for Most Determined. I’ll keep you informed as to when this segment will be aired.

And Bavarlee will introduce Jareth: First Lord later this year. Stay tuned for news!

Check back for news of Jareth: First Lord.

And if you haven’t read Gambler’s Folly snag your copy today!



Ciao amici!

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