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Posts Tagged ‘Fantasy romance’

And who doesn’t love a sale?

Smashword’s July Summer/Winter Sale begins July 1 and continues all month. And all my books are enrolled in the event.

So if you’re missing a book in one of my series, or want to try something new, now’s your chance.

All my books, under both Mellie Miller and Sultonna Nadine, will be 50% off during the month of July!

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

Esperance Series:

Jareth, First Lord

Viviane, First Lady

Morgan–The Pixie and the Green Man

 

Speranza Series:

Gambler’s Folly

Dante’s Angel

 

Sultonna Nadine

Master of the Fleet

esperance-series-covers

Speranza the Series

MOF Woman Rules his heart

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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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This is the question people always have. What was the inspiration?

Most of my story ideas came from dreams–recurring dreams which wouldn’t stop until I’d written the scene. These stories include all the Esperance books and a couple of my stand-alones.

One–Gambler’s Folly–came from a folk song I heard about a man winning his wife in a card game. I got to wondering how that could happen now, or in the future.

The next story in the Gambler’s Folly series, The Russian, was inspired by a face. I decided the person involved  looked like someone who could be a werewolf and wondered how he would fit into the series.

And Master of the Fleet?

Well, I have at various times been involved with the SCA–Society for Creative Anachronism. Taking inspiration from the feasting and tournaments, my mind wandered from there to choreographing sword fights. Somewhere along the way, staging a fake sword fight as part of the entertainment at a feast began to play around in my head. But what if the fight wasn’t staged? What if it was real?

And that is the idea I built the first part of Master of the Fleet around. The wealthy owner of a shipping firm hoping to marry a successful seamstress agrees to take her home for the festival season. What he doesn’t know is that she is only playing him for what she can get, never intending to marry.

At the baron’s feast, she gets tipsy, and begins flirting with every man around. When her escort mentions it, she draws a dagger and attempts to stab him across the table. In self-defence, he takes the dagger away and decides the affair is over. Still angry, the lady grabs up a sword from somewhere and again tries to kill him, only to be disarmed and backed up to the baron’s table.

From there, I developed the setting for the story–an America much more heavily influenced by the French and divided into kingdoms, SCA fashion, instead of into states. This is an America without the internal combustion engine, set around the end of the 1800’s in an alternate time-line, where elemental magic is real. Magic is used to bind contracts, marriages, and control the weather for shipping.

Haven’t read Master of the Fleet? It’s available on Amazon, Smashwords, and at most major book sellers.

Want more?

Esperance Series

http://bit.ly/EsperanceAM

Gambler’s Folly

http://bit.ly/GamblersFolly_Am

 

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THE RUSSIAN!

The wolf-shifter, Dmitri, hasn’t had a long-term relationship since he lost his soul mate, Ilyena, two hundred years ago. But the cute, petite blonde he’s met on Gambler’s Folly affects him more than anyone in a long time. Is he ready for a relationship?

How about an excerpt?

If it hadn’t been for her scent, he would have been fine. Lilacs with honeyed-vanilla and white musk had wrapped around him softly. Hazel eyes under blonde curls had drawn him in. He’d thought, after all this time, he had control over his urges. What had possessed him to kiss her?

Her mouth now, there was a treat. Fresh raspberries and sweet white wine still teased his palette. Between her scent and her taste, he was one messed up wolf. He wanted to run through the forest, roll in the leaves, and howl to his pack mates about this delicious female he’d met.

No, he wouldn’t see her again. He didn’t need a relationship. Life around him was too uncertain. Besides, he’d had a mate long ago and, when she’d died, she’d taken his heart to her grave.

He was here for a job. He had no time for females. Looking at the time, he picked up his pace. He didn’t want to keep Dam and Kari waiting.

Watch for The Russian later this year, here and on Facebook!

 

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The next book from Sultonna Nadine will be Lady Calloway.

In an alternate time-line of Victorian London, in a world where the church and state were two arms of the same body, Kerrick and Liora are having marital issues. Married for only a few months, Kerrick thought his wife should be over her shyness by now. But instead, it was getting worse.

When pressed, she finally admitted to adhering to an old version of the Church’s doctrines on sex within marriage–doctrines which forbade women to enjoy sexual relations, even with their husbands, or be guilty of adultery.

As an employee of a specialized department within the Church, Kerrick is faced with a problem. By law, he should turn Liora in as a heretic. But having seen what happened to people brought back into the faith, he couldn’t do that to the woman he loved. He couldn’t continue on the way they had been. And with the debate over Church and state raging, the Church was looking for anything to help solidify its power, leading to purges and forced confessions.

The one option he had left was to take the time they’d been shorted on their honeymoon and get his wife out of town before anyone found out about her heresy. Once safely away, he would try to help her understand and bring her beliefs into line with the current doctrine.

Can Kerrick seduce his wife–spiritually or sexually–and return home safe and satisfied?

How about an excerpt?

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, and then more

sensually. 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.”

“Can’t bear what? The thought 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 the pleasures

of the flesh are evil.”

“Yes, when indulged outside the marriage bed. But we exchanged vows, which changes

things considerably.”

“No, it doesn’t. Would you be married to a whore? Women, even married women, who

give themselves to carnal pleasures are whores, or just as good as. I should think 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 this?”

“I do,” Liora responded.

“Then why did you even get married? Didn’t you know that sex was part of the 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!”

“Might you not think the reason men frequent prostitutes is that they can’t find the love

and passion they desire at home, in the first place?”

“But why? All a man needs is to have his way with a woman, to satisfy his body’s desires.”

“I’ll bet you didn’t get that from your father, because it’s wrong. A man likes to know he can ignite passion in his wife and give her the pleasures she deserves as his lover. Not

have her lie there like a corpse, hoping it’ll soon end.”

“I will not prostitute myself for you, Kerrick,” she responded hotly.

“I don’t want you to prostitute yourself, I want you to be my wife. A prostitute is someone

who sells her body on the streets. Now if you start that, I’ll be exceedingly angry with you.”

“You’re being vulgar, Kerrick.”

“Well, I’ve got to do something to make you understand my position. So why, after three

months of marriage, are you pushing me away? Before, you simply endured my advances,

but you didn’t refuse or resist me.”

As Kerrick watched, she crossed her arms in front of her, bowed her head over them,

and tried to seem even smaller than she was.

“Liora? I’m waiting.”

In a voice that was barely a whisper, he heard, “I didn’t realize how difficult it would be.”

“How difficult what would be?”

“Resisting the temptations. The closer we become, the more time we spend together,

feeling your hand in mine, your kisses, the more difficult it is not to give in and enjoy the

forbidden land I dare not enter.”

The Kiss2

Carew Castle

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…are perfect for reading.

Have you read Master of the Fleet?

He’s a weather shaper, controlling the elements wind and water, to keep his ships safe out at sea.

She’s the lovely lady who has captured his heart. But she has a dark secret, which doesn’t come out until she is bound to him by a blood oath and marriage vows.

How about an excerpt?

One evening about halfway through that last week, Anne-Marie looked up into his eyes. He had been morose since dinner, contemplating the journey back to the Côte, and wondering how he was going to cope with the circumstances he now faced.

“Richard, I’m sorry,” she said. “If I could go back and relive the evening of the banquet, knowing what I do now… But I can’t.”

“What do you suggest we do?” he asked angrily. “I’m bound to a woman who will never enjoy being with me, never be excited by my touch or my kiss.”

“I can’t help it, Richard. Maybe, in time, I will enjoy being touched. I don’t know.”

Sighing, Richard shook his head as he twirled the wine in his goblet. “All I ever wanted was for my wife to be my closest companion. In my bed, I hoped to bring her pleasure and make her happy to be my lover. I have no interest in simply using you to relieve my urges.”

“I will try, Richard, but I can’t promise. I never wanted to marry. Not after seeing what the worst of the drunkards do to women. I’ve seen only the scum of the world, not the cream of the crop.”

“I appreciate how you’ve shown affection when we’re out. I know it’s an act, but I appreciate the effort.”

“I’ve always enjoyed being out with you, but I won’t be a possession or a servant. I want to be my own person, not a prized catch to show off.”

“Have I ever treated you that way?” he asked as his temper began to rise.

“No, but now we’re married. The pursued has become the captured, and that can make all the difference.”

That night, when they went up to their room, Anne-Marie went into the dressing room to change for bed. Richard took the spare comforter, a blanket, and a pillow, to make up a bed on the floor.

He finished undressing as she stared at him, with her lips parted and disbelief in her eyes. If he hadn’t known better, he might have thought she was disappointed.

“Richard, please,” she tried once more.

“Bonne-nuit, Anne-Marie. Sweet dreams.”

As he tried to get comfortable on his makeshift pallet, he heard his wife get into bed, pull up the blankets, and turn over. A few minutes later, he heard her crying, muffling the sound with the bed clothes. He waited for her to stop, but she continued to sob into her pillow.

“Anne-Marie,” he called softly. “Anne-Marie?”

“Go to sleep, Richard.”

“Why are you crying?”

“I’m fine. Go to sleep,” she answered between choked breaths.

MOF Woman Rules his heart

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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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