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After Viviane and Jareth return from Clan Belfort, Viviane struggles with her Talents. But she is not alone. Her nephew, Connell, the newly chosen heir of her home clan, is having troubles along the same lines. Partly because he doesn’t understand why he needs Talents. And partly because he misses his old friends from home.

At the Gather in Belfort, some of those old friends, jealous of who he has become, accuse him of cheating at a ring toss game. When they grab him and start to harm his friend Nelly, he reacts by using his Talent to protect her. He is sure his grandfather will be angry.

Let’s check in on Connell.

 

“But I wasn’t supposed to get into any trouble,” he explained.

“As far as I can tell, you didn’t go looking for trouble. Trouble came looking for you.”

By the time they caught up with the family, they were making their way toward the entrance

on the way to the manor.

“First Lord,” the guard called.

“Yes, Greg? What is it?”

“I’m sorry, sir,” Connell spoke up. “I was in a bit of trouble today.”

“Before he takes responsibility, he did nothing wrong, sir,” the guard said.

“Perhaps someone can tell me what happened,” the first lord said, looking around for someplace

to sit. Finding a bench close at hand, he sank down onto it. With a shake of his head, he looked

up at Greg.

Once again the man explained the situation, and once again emphasized that it wasn’t

Connell’s fault.

“Well, Grandson, if it wasn’t your fault, why would you take responsibility?”

“If Nellie hadn’t been with me, she wouldn’t have skinned her knee and been scared.”

“Did you do anything to warrant their accusation?”

“No, sir. Cheating is wrong. I just got lucky.”

“Did Nellie like the teddy bear?” his grandfather asked with a twinkle in his eye.

“Yes, sir. She’s naming him after me. But I used my Talents to keep her from getting hurt.

Was that wrong?”

“Connell, was there any other way to keep him from kicking her?”

“Um, no. Two of the other boys held my arms, and I couldn’t have reached her before she got

kicked.”

“Then you did well. How do you feel about your Talents now?”

Connell stood and pondered the question for a few moments.

“Think about it this way. When you are first lord, and someone comes with the intent to harm

either members of your clan or clan

property, wouldn’t you like to know you have the ability to do something about it?”

“Of course.”

“Are you beginning to understand the use for Talents?” he asked softly.

Looking deeply into the first lord’s eyes, Connell nodded. “Yes, sir. I am. But I still didn’t cheat.”

“I never thought you had, Grandson,” the man said seriously. “Let’s go clean up and see what we

have for dinner.”

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My latest WIP is set on Esperance and features Ben, the son of the village blacksmith, of Blacksmith’s Forge. His family and the Wills family have been friends far longer than Ben has been alive, and he has always been fond of Deborah, the eldest Wills daughter.

But something happened when he went away for a few years to finish training for his journeyman’s ranking. When he returned to his home village, she was distant, angry, and did her best to drive him away. While he was saddened by her demeanor, it was her choice.

Until her father chose to arrange a marriage for her. And his father suggested he go and talk to Mr. Wills about it.

How about an excerpt from Ben of Blackstone’s Forge?

 

“Come here, little girl,” he said, taking her into his arms. “Why didn’t

you come to me when I got back?”

“I was afraid of him, and afraid of how you would react. I thought you’d

never want to see me again.”

“Is that why you put on the wicked witch act?” he asked.

“Yes. I thought if I drove you away, I wouldn’t have to deal with any of this.”

Thinking back on growing up in the village, he had to shake his head.

“Deb, who has always been there for you?”

“You have, Ben.”

“And who has looked after you?”

“You again.”

“Who took the whipping for the window you broke out of old Mrs.

Covington’s front room?”

“I’m so sorry, Ben. I would have confessed.”

“Yes, but then you would have got the whipping, and I couldn’t stand seeing you cry.”

“I’m sorry.”

“And who climbed twenty feet up a damned tree to fetch down a kitten

who didn’t want to be rescued?” he demanded.

With a giggle, she admitted it was him.

“Yeah. And the little bastard tried to claw his way out of my shirt. All those

little claws hooked into my chest as he tried to climb out. I could have bled

to death.”

“Now, Ben, I got the disinfectant and washed all the scratches,” she

reminded him.

“Which was nearly as bad as the scratches. That stuff burned.”

“It wasn’t that bad. You were just being a baby. I put some healing ointment on afterwards.”

“Which did nothing for the pain, I might add.”

“You are such a wimp, Ben Blackstone.”

After a quiet moment of reflection, he looked over and said, “We had some fun, didn’t we?”

“We did.”

Watch for Blackstone’s Forge.

In the meantime, check out my other Esperance books on Amazon,  Smashwords, or any major bookseller.

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I hadn’t intended to write a series when I began. I really hadn’t. Things just  got out of hand.

When I originally wrote Jareth, First Lord, I had assumed it would be a stand-alone. But I decided I really wanted to continue on with Viviane’s story.

So I began to write the second book, adding Viviane, First Lady. Which seemed like a good idea, until my editor suggested bringing this book to a quicker end and using the rest to start another book..

(sigh)

I could see her point. It did seem as if I’d decided to end the story, got my second wind, and continued.

So then I had three books. Until I had the idea for another book in the series, which was more a “story in a story.” It focused on one character from Book 1–Morgan.

Okay. Back to Book 3, now Book 4, which continues from where Book 2 ended. Right?

Well, yes. Except I have this fabulous idea for another feature story, like Morgan. Which is a wonderful story, if I say so myself. And while I’m piecing together Book 4 , Book 5–The Blacksmith’s Son–is taking shape.

Of course, during all of this, I’ve been trying to figure out how to end the series. How to tie it all together. Which leads us to at Book 6.

No! Wait! What about this guy? Surely he can contribute to the plot of the series. (Rolls eyes) And so we have another vignette–Gregor Thayne.

Book 6 becomes Book 7.

Gregor becomes Book 6.  I think. Maybe.

No, there will be an end to the series. Someday.

Seriously. But in the meantime, enjoy the stories from Esperance.

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Our daughter, Dawn Krois, is a photographer. So this weekend we got together to do some photos for my author pages. We had a fantastic time!

It was so much fun, I decided to share some of the pics with you!

If you’re in her area and would like a photoshoot with her, here’s her Facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/rulebreakerediting/

And remember, my books are available at all major booksellers!

https://authorsdb.com/community/8748-mellie-mille

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The little boy who must be First Lord…

When Viviane’s brother,  Carl, was cast out for treason against the clans, her nephew, Connell, was chosen to be the new clan heir. But at ten years old, he doesn’t see the need for all these abilities he must learn to control.

And Viviane still hasn’t managed a firm hold on her Talents.

Follow their stories in Talents, Book 4 from Esperance.

Coming soon!

Here’s a little excerpt!

“Who are you talking to, Connell?” his friends asked.

“Little Nell. Why?”

“Nell? Little Nell? Why are you talking to her?” Bobby asked with a sneer.

“Because she is a friend of mine, just like you are. And I’ll talk to whomever I like.”

“How can she be a friend? She’s too little, and she’s a girl.”

“If you can’t accept my friends, then maybe you should go elsewhere,” Connell stated.

“Connell, don’t let me get you in trouble with your friends. It’s all right,” Nell told him, her face bright red in embarrassment and on the verge of tears.

“You’re not getting anyone in trouble, Nell. I don’t answer to anyone except my parents and the first lord about who I can have as friends. And they all like you and your family. If our families are friends, then we can be friends, too.”

“Are you coming with us or what?” Bobby asked.

“It’s almost time for lunch. I should head over to the family pavilion. I’ll catch up with you later.”

Bobby was still muttering as the group of boys went back to the Gather.

“Look, Nellie, I’m sorry. They had no right to say anything. You’ve always been my friend and you always will be. Besides, none of them made me a bookmark.”

This time the blush was different and there was a smile on her face.

“It was just a little bookmark,” she said.

“Well, it is special to me.”

When he arrived at the family pavilion—a few minutes late of course—his mother began to scold him, but his grandfather interrupted.

“Just a minute, Alice. I sense things are not quite what you’re making of them. Connell, what kept you?” Grandfather asked.

With a deep sigh, he explained about the other boys and Nell.

“I mean, she was really upset because of what they said. I wanted her to understand she was still my friend. She was about to cry!” he stated firmly, daring anyone to disagree.

“Is she all right now?” Grandfather asked quietly.

“She was when I left, but it made me a little late. I’m sorry, sir.”

“You’re here now, and you did the right thing, grandson,” the older man said. “I should hope you would stay friends with Nell. She seems a very sweet and talented young lady.”

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Where, you ask?

On Facebook and Twitter! I have pages for both my series, one for my stand-alones, and one all-purpose page.

https://www.facebook.com/meleighscreations

https://www.facebook.com/gamblersfolly

https://www.facebook.com/esperanceseries

https://www.facebook.com/SultonnaNadine

And of course, there’s Twitter! Find me @Sultonna

So check out the pages for news, snippets, and excerpts!

Ciao!

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I’m working on Book 4 from EsperanceTalents. It picks up the story of Connell, newly chosen heir of Belfort, while it continues with Viviane’s struggle with her Talents, those magical abilities she inherited from her father.

When the story begins, Connell is ten years old and about to go live with his grandparents where he can train more intensely with his Talents. And Viviane’s Talents are misbehaving after she nearly killed her traitorous brother Carl at his trial.

While you’re waiting for Talents, check out Book 3Morgan–The Pixie and the Green Man. If you don’t like Kindle, Morgan is also available at Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, and at Smashwords.

 

 

 

 

Here’s a little teaser from Morgan.

 

“Are you sure you want to go out with me? There must be someone more suitable.”

“No, there isn’t. We’ve been over that ground before. Lord or not, I know when I’ve found something I like.”

“I still don’t understand it,” Morgan insisted. “As much damage as I carry from my past, I’m permanently flawed. Someone with your family and upbringing should be able to do better than me.”

James shook his head in wonder. She really couldn’t see her beauty, could she?

“Morgan, some species of trees are susceptible to particular fungal infestations or viruses, which make them unsuitable for lumber. But the same disease produces beautiful patterns in the wood, making it prized for its artistic qualities. The paneling from these trees is probably ten times the cost of what the lumber would be.”

“What does this have to do with me?” Morgan asked.

“Jewels can sometimes have flaws. Usually this makes them less valuable. But on occasion, the flaw makes the jewel worth more than its weight in gold.”

“What are you trying to say, James?”

“I’m saying that perhaps what I like about you wouldn’t be there if the flaw was missing. Your attitude, your sense of humor, or the way you always get back up and carry on when faced with adversity, spring from your past.”

“Don’t be daft.”

“I’m not. Your past is what made you who you are today–the beautiful woman I love. ”

Ciao for now everyone.

And Don’t Forget–

     –to Share the Romance…

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