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Have you read the story of Morgan, from the Esperance Series?

I wrote her into a small part in the very first book of the series, Jareth, First Lord. Later, I got to thinking about her and my mind started wandering. And while it wandered, I came up with her story, which I decided to share with my readers.

Morgan was originally from Clan Belfort, but volunteered to come to Brannach as part of the The Choosing in the first book. In trying to escape the abuse in one clan, she was sexually assaulted not long after she relocated to her new clan.

Since that time, she has been off men. Every man she’s ever known has hurt her in one way or another and she’s having no more of it.

But what about James?

James Ferguson was one of the men who came to her rescue when she was assaulted. Even though she was battered, bruised and covered in dirt, it was love at first sight. But he’s been biding his time since the trial to give her a little breathing room before he asks her out.

But she always has an excuse as to why she can’t come out with him. Not even for a cup of tea across the street at lunchtime.

How about an excerpt?

MORGAN–The Pixie and the Green Man

“Could I coax you out of here for lunch today?” he asked. How could his eyes have so much sparkle? And that smile was so warm and inviting.

“I don’t know, James. I’m not particularly social. Maybe another time.”

Not to be deterred, he asked, “What about dinner after work? You have to eat sometime. We could go to the little place across the square. It’s small and not crowded, but the food is good.”

“Maybe not today, but thank you for asking.”

He seemed really nice, but she was terrified.

“Are you sure? They have roast chicken worth killing for.”

“Isn’t that normally worth dying for?” she asked.

“Yes, but I’m not planning to die any time soon.”

Even Morgan had to laugh at this.

“I’m sorry, James. I just can’t.”

“Oh, well. Can’t blame a guy for asking. I’ll see you later,” he said as he waved goodbye.

“Morgan? Was that James again?”

Great. Now she’d have to explain it all again.

James became a regular customer and every time he came in, he asked Morgan to lunch, to dinner, or for tea. And each time, she gently refused.

About three weeks after she’d first spoken with him, she looked through the front window and saw him carrying a tray across the square. With a content nonchalance, and a warm smile on his face, he seemed happy to be alive.

As she watched, he pushed the market door open, walked over to one of the tables in the front, and put down the tray he’d carried in. He turned, smiled brightly at her, and strode to the counter.

“Now, I’ve brought a pot of tea, two cups, milk, sweetener, and scones—complete with whipped honey. Will you join me, Morgan? I scarcely ever bite and I never draw blood.”

Morgan felt her eyes widen and her cheeks flush. She stared up into the sparkling green eyes of this charming man, who was trying so hard to be friendly, while her mouth hung open with nothing to say.

“Morgan,” she heard from the back. “We can take care of things while you have some tea. It’s fine.”

James walked to the end of the counter and offered her his arm. In a daze, she went over to the table and slid carefully into the chair he held for her.

“I’m afraid I asked about you across the way,” he said as he poured tea. “They told me this was your favorite tea, and that you love scones with honey.”

The lightly lavender-scented tea was indeed her favorite and smelled wonderful. There were days when she would fight for a scone.

“They spoke the truth,” she told him, still too timid to meet his eyes.

She quietly sipped at the tea he’d brought and enjoyed the scones. He didn’t press her for conversation, but every time she glanced up, she saw those green eyes twinkle and the smile broaden.

As they tidied up the table, he asked, “So, will you share a meal with me one day?”

“I don’t know, James. Maybe.”

“Have I done something to offend you, Morgan?”

“Why do you want to go out with me?” she demanded in frustration. “There are plenty of girls in the clan.”

He stared at her for a moment before he said, “But they don’t have your beautiful smile.”

“No, seriously. Why ask me out, damaged goods and all, when there are other girls you could ask? Pretty girls.”

“Damaged goods? You’re not damaged goods. And you’re a pretty girl. Yes, there are other pretty girls in the clan, but you have a sparkle they don’t have. Unless I’m trying to take you out and then you shut down. Now what do you say?”

“I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it.”

“Tell me where you would feel comfortable. I’m not fussy. Ask my mother. I’ll eat damned near anything.”

For some reason, Morgan found this amusing and began to laugh, something that didn’t happen often.

“And you’ve got a lovely laugh, too. You should set it free more often.”

“I’ll think about it, James. I will.”

“I’ll hold you to that,” he answered, with a teasing grin on his face. “I’ll talk to you later.

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Wouldn’t just a little magic be helpful sometimes?

Well, maybe, depending on your control.

Yesterday we had a peek at Jareth, First Lord. why don’t we take a look at Viviane, First Lady today?

After her outburst the day of their betrothal, Jareth and Herrick–Viviane’s father–discuss her apparent Talents. Since they have appeared, she will have to train them so they don’t get out of hand.

In talking with Jareth later, Viviane learns a little about what it was like for her husband and First Lord when he was growing up, with all his Talents.

Excerpt from Viviane, First Lady

“Boys will be boys,” he told her, eyes twinkling in delight. “You know the kind of stuff young lads get into. Fighting and teasing the girls. Fighting over the girls. Fighting with the girls. My dad’s stronger than your dad.”  

“But it must have been a little different growing up with talent,” she insisted.

“That’s where part of the trouble came from. With all the mischief boys can get into without talent, imagine how much trouble you can cause with talent, if you want to.”  She looked at him questioningly.

 “Sometimes you just want to fight, but nobody else does. You don’t want to have it get out that you started the fight, so you kind of reach out, plant a suggestion, toy with emotions a little bit… You get the idea.”

“You can’t be serious.” He shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes at her. “I can’t believe, well I guess really I can. But honestly, how mean and underhanded is that?”

“That’s why Dad and I had our fights half of the time. When your dad is First Lord and knows you have a penchant for mischief, he can usually back track the mischief to its source. It took me a while to catch on,” he confided.

“Annie said you and your dad used to have fights and they sometimes got really out of hand.”

“Yes, well, I had a bit of temper in my younger days,” he said, as if he had none now, “and Dad had a bit of temper too. When all our temper collided and control started to slip it could get a little exciting.”

“I should think losing one’s temper is fairly usual at a young age,” Viviane said.

“Yes, but I had a way of getting under Dad’s skin. Once in a while his control would slip, too. That’s when things started getting weird.”

“Weird? What do you mean?”

He chuckled, thinking back on the scenes of his childhood. “When you’re young and angry, you sometimes think the old man is past it, so you decide to use the energies you can control against him. When he deflects them and they start breaking things, it can get a little weird. And when his temper began to take over, it was like the immovable object and the unstoppable force. The increasing tension from all the energy had to go somewhere, but where was anybody’s guess.”

“But you’re not supposed to use energies to harm, only to heal,” Viviane protested. “Certainly you knew that.”

“Yeah, but there’s a difference between knowing something and comprehending it. As an object lesson once or twice, Dad decided to turn the tables. After I had unleashed a series of attacks against him, which he neutralized, he thought it would be good for me to experience a little dose of it myself.”

“What happened?” Viviane asked.

He looked at her for a moment, sort of halfway between shamefaced and mischievous.

“Let’s just say that the wall is a very hard thing to hit at speed. After I regained my senses, still angry but confused, he made me clean up the mess I’d made of the room, quite literally.”

“I don’t quite understand what you mean,” she said, trying to see the picture.

“Do you have any idea how humiliating it is to have someone else in control of your motor centers? Or to be forced to clean up broken crockery, vases, and spilled flowers, when what you really want to do is to break something else? Preferably over his head.”

“Good heavens!” she laughed. “But sooner or later he had to let go of his control.”

“Yeah, after he had marched me forcibly down to my masters and had me confined in a shielded room for three days. Not to mention, I was on disciplinary rations until my temper faded and I’d gained a little understanding and respect.”

Viviane started to chuckle, and then laughed heartily at the scene she imagined. He glared at her for a moment, before he joined her in laughter.

“Anyway, that was quite a while back. It was one of my first real insights into what the power of a trained First Lord could be. I began to understand how important control is.”

“Well, you won’t have to worry about me starting any duels with you,” Viviane stated firmly. “I’m beginning to understand what my talents are and I am certain yours are greater than mine. It would be kind of like a flea picking a fight with a tiger.”

“Come on, flea,” he told her, grinning, “let’s see what we can rustle up for dinner.”

“Bad tiger! Down boy! Be good, or there’ll be no treats tonight.”

“We’ll just see about that.”

Get Viviane from Amazon or Smashwords!

Want the whole set?

Amazon Kindle, paperback, or audio book!

Smashwords ebook

So reach out for a little magic! It’s the weekend!

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Yes, Jareth First Lord has been out for quite a while, but it’s still one of my favorite stories. So I thought I’d share one of my favorite scenes with you.

For a little background, Jareth is the First Lord, or ruler, of Clan Brannach. His wife died in childbirth about three years before this story began. After meeting Viviane during negotiations with her father, First Lord of Clan Belfort, he includes her in the Choosing, taking her back to his clan hoping to win her heart. He hadn’t known she was a member of the ruling family.

She is a beautiful woman, with black hair and dazzling blue eyes. But temper? She was a feisty on. Oh yeah. She had temper to spare. But Jareth thought he had a chance at taming this wildcat named Viviane.

Viviane is the youngest daughter of the ruling house of Belfort. Her husband died about six months before this story begins. Though she would rather do nearly anything else, she may be forced to move back to her father’s house unless she can find someone to buy the shop and cottage she’d shared with her husband. But when Jareth chose her as part of the spoils, another option was thrust upon her.

She wasn’t ready for a relationship, though she was growing fond of Jareth. But he could get on her nerves when he pulled his high and mighty act. First Lords. Always thought they knew what was best for everyone.

Yeah, she’d see about that. It was about time he met someone who would stand their ground and give him a piece of her mind.

Here’s the excerpt.

“Annie, I’m so tired I want to sleep forever, or for at least a week, and it’s only the second day of the Gather. Jareth wants me to come with him but I’m not sure I can keep up the pace,” Viviane admitted, so tired she was almost in tears.

“Now, now, milady! Let’s get you upstairs and into a hot bath to begin with. No, now don’t argue with old Annie. She knows what’s best.”

A few minutes after she’d slipped into her bath, Annie insisted on some calming herbal tea, just enough sweetening in it to bring out the flavor. Then, pulling a stool up to the end of the tub, she began to brush Viviane’s hair for her like her nanny had done when she was a little girl.

“Annie,” she protested, “you don’t need to do this. Really, I’ll be fine with a bath and good night’s sleep.”

“Now, Viviane, you relax and drink your tea. A little pampering never hurt anyone. What you need is a bit of family here, which you don’t have. So you’ll have to accept me as a substitute. See? You’re feeling better already.”

She was, too. Something about the warm tea, the bath, and the rhythmic brushing pulled the tension out of her body. Finishing her tea, she relaxed for a while, nearly dozing off.

“There now, I’ll bet you can sleep and feel just like new in the morning,” she heard Annie say, as if from a great distance.

“Thank you so much Annie,” she told her, pulling herself out of her reverie. “You are a gem and I’m so glad you’re here. If there’s anything I can do to repay your kindness, let me know.”

Annie said goodnight and saw her tucked in before she left and turned out the lights. Viviane hadn’t slept so well in years.

The next morning Jareth was up early. Viviane, though, had had enough. Deciding to stay in bed and rest, she was happily on her way back to sleep when someone knocked at the door.

“Viviane? It’s Annie. Lord Jareth wants to know when you’ll be ready to leave.”

“I’m not going, Annie. I simply can’t. Give my apologies to the First Lord.”

A few minutes later there was another, stronger knock at the door. “Viviane, come on. We’re going to be late!”

“No, Jareth, I’m not going to be late. I’m not going. Please extend my apologies to your guests.”

“This is not acceptable, Viviane. You knew the requirements beforehand. You will be up and ready in ten minutes.”

Now she was fully awake and mad. How dare he give her orders?

“I beg your pardon, Lord Jareth, but exactly who do you think you are? I did not come here to be ordered about like a servant. I told you I might not manage the entire week and I can’t. Go away!”

“You will be ready in ten minutes or you will go to the Gather just the way you are. A bargain was struck and you will be held to it. Now get ready!”

Fearing he might carry out his threat, Viviane snarled and stormed out of bed. She dressed to an accompaniment of slamming doors and drawers before attacking her hair with the brush.

Jareth was pacing the hallway when she opened her door. “It’s about damned time! There will be no more of this nonsense. You will accompany me at the Gather each day and at least appear like you’re with me willingly. Is that clear?”

“Do stop, Jareth. Nobody’s impressed.”

“I beg your pardon,” he said in a dangerous tone of voice.

“Yes, okay, fine. You’ve made your point, now shut up. We’re late. Remember?”

If anyone noticed a bit of frost in the air they said nothing, but there did seem to be more space around them than usual. It was nearly halfway through the day before Viviane began to calm down. How had she gotten herself into this mess?

Want the book? Jareth, First Lord–first book of the Esperance Series— is available at Amazon, Smashwords, or from Audible!

Get ready for your weekend with Jareth, First Lord!

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Yes, I’m having an end of October Sale! Now through Monday, all of my books on Smashwords will be on sale for 0.99 each!

All books from both series and from Sultonna Nadine are on sale for only 0.99 this weekend, through Monday, Nov. 2.

So now is the time to stock up on ebooks! After this sale, everything goes back to normal price until later in the year.

Where can you find me? Just click on Smashwords, and then scroll down the page to the series details.

GAMBLER’S FOLLY SERIES

Gambler’s Folly –Book 1

Dante’s Angel –Book 2

The Russian — Book 3

ESPERANCE SERIES

Jareth, First Lord — Book 1

Viivane, First Lady — Book 2

Morgan–The Pixie and the Green Man– Book 3

SULTONNA NADINE

Master of the Fleet

Happy reading!

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That’s right!

Another book of mine will be FREE this weekend over at Smashwords!

I know a lot of us don’t have a lot to spend on books right now, after the Covid outbreak. So during this month, I’ve decided to offer one of my books fro free each weekend.

Which book will it be this week?

MORGAN–The Pixie and the Green Man Book 3 from Esperance!

I don’t know. There’s something about this story which makes it my favorite of all my published books. Inset into the story of Jareth and Viviane, this book tells about Morgan, a young lady who volunteered to come to Brannach during the Choosing in Belfort. (See Book 1–Jareth, First Lord)

After being molested during most of her life, she’s ready for a new start. But almost as soon as she gets settled into her new clan, she is attacked yet again.

Since then, she has sworn off men. Until she meets James with his devilish green eyes and dimples.

Can she open her heart to this man, who has secrets of his own?

Go over this weekend and get your FREE copy of MORGAN–The Pixie and the Green Man.

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Or rather, where can you find my books?

I know that can be a question these days, with so many of us self-publishing. But I’m pretty easy to find out there on the web!

Of course I’m on Amazon.

And if you like ebooks, you may be familiar with Smashwords.

But I’m also available at Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Walmart Books. though for some reason, Walmart shows the Gambler’s Folly books and Morgan on one page, Jareth First Lord on another, and doesn’t show Viviane. The Barnes and Noble link for Sultonna Nadine’s book Master of the Fleet is here!

And if you’d like souvenirs from your favorite world? go to TeeSpring and pick your swag!

There may be other places which sell my books, but I think these are the major players. Let me know if you have trouble finding the book you want.

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My favorite season of the year. The turning leaves, wood fires in the fireplace, a nice cuppa and a good book… I love the cooler evenings, with the windows open and the breezes whisking cool, clean air through the house.

What do you like about autumn?

And good books… Have you read the books in my series or my stand alone under the name Sultonna Nadine? All are available at Amazon or Smashwords!

GAMBLER’S FOLLY takes place on a futuristic pleasure world featuring shape shifters and their mates. Book 1, Gambler’s Folly introduces the setting and general tone of the series. There are currently 3 books in the series, with more to come.

ESPERANCE is more of a frontier world, a world lost to Earth and left to fend for itself. Ruled by First Lords with vast psychic abilities, you’ll discover that Talent can be found in many of the inhabitants of this world in just as many forms. Book 1 introduces Jareth and Viviane, their trials and troubles, and brings in the idea of Talents. Tere are three books in this series also, with more in the offing.

MASTER OF THE FLEET is a stand alone under the pen name Sultonna Nadine. The Cote d’Or exists in an alternate universe on the west coast of what we know as the United States. In this world, magic is part of every day life. Richard Lemarnier controls wind and water, but his love life oculd use a little magic. Can he win his lady’s heart?

Watch for more books from Sultonna!

. Enjoy the cooler autumn weather and watch for more books later in the year.

Happy autumn everyone!

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Who doesn’t? Right?

Well, September is my birth month, and my birthday is this week. So as a twist on the tradition, I’m giving you a gift.

Starting tomorrow and going through the weekend, all my books will be FREE at Smashwords!

That right! Four days of free books! All the books from Gambler’s Folly, Esperance and Sultonna Nadine will be free for the next four days!

Where can you find them?

SMASHWORDS

Just follow the link to mh profile page and scroll down. You can shop by series!

Happy September to everyone out there! And happy reading!

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Though from the weather we’ve been having, I’m not so sure. This has to be the wettest August we’ve had here in a while. Normally by now, the rain has tapered off and everything is getting ready to harvest.

So what’ s new here?

I’ve finished the first draft and first edit on Whiskey Jug Genie, and I’m really liking the story. Which I suppose sounds odd. But sometimes, once I’ve finished a book, I read it through and think, yeah, it’s okay. But I’m not thrilled.

While the story needs tweaking, I like it overall.

I’ve also done another edit on several other books–two for the Gambler’s Folly Series and one for Esperance. So watch for those coming up soon. I think the next series book will be Too Many Talents, from Esperance. It continues Viviane and Jareth’s story from Book 2 and brings in Connell, the new heir of Belfort.

Now who is Connell?

Viviane’s sister Alice’s son, who has been chosen to replace Carl as the heir to her home clan is the co-protagonist in this story. At almost eleven, Connell isn’t sure he wants to be First Lord. Nor does he understand why he needs Talents to begin with, let alone why he has to work so hard to train them.

Don’t forget, each weekend one of my books will be on sale over at Smashwords for $0.99. This week I will choose one from Esperance. You can go to my Author Page, scroll down to Esperance for the series page and find the one on sale.

Sale begins tonight and goes through Monday morning.

Happy Friday to you all. And I wish you a wonderful weekend.

And as always–

Don’t Forget to Share the Romance…

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Yes, it’s that time of year–the hottest and driest time around here. And heading into my favorite time of year. Autumn.

I know a lot of people hate it because everything is dying back, but I love the change in colors, the change in the air, and the gentle scent of drying grass and leaves. The brilliant yellows and oranges covering the ground in a mosaic of color always amazes me.

And with the change in seasons, with less to do outside, there’s more time to read!

With that in mind, now that the Smashwords sale has finished, I’ll be putting one of my books on sale for $0.99 at Smashwords each weekend. That way you don’t have to spend a lot for something to read.

Of course, all my books will still be available at other venues as well, but not on sale. Just go to your favorite book seller and choose your book.

At Amazon:, you can go to my Author Page and find all my books.

Or go to my profile on Smashwords.

And don’t forget! There are several choices of mugs, totes, and T-shirts available for your favorite series or book at TeeSpring.

Wishing you a wonderful month of August and a lot of fun reading.

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