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And that is a very good question. Where do authors and artists get their ideas?

And for me, it depends on which book we’re talking about. Some of mine have come from recurring dreams of a particular scene. Jareth, First Lord is a good example. I kept dreaming a particular scene over and over until a sat down and wrote the scene out. Of course I then had to figure out where in the story this particular bit occurred, but this was my starting point.

Some start with a “what if” sort of idea, such as Gambler’s Folly. I heard a particular song and wondered how this sort of thing could happen now or in the future. What if…?

But Master of the Fleet was a bit different. For several years I participated in a group called the SCA–Society for Creative Anachronism. The people in this group learned skills used during the middle ages and met to practice their particular skill. I was a musician. Mostly I played in a recorder consort, but sometimes I sang and composed little ditties about the places I’d been.

It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about the various skills the people during that time used in their lives.

And I loved watching the fighters. Some fought with sword and shield, others with staffs. Some wore leather armour, others chain mail. Watching someone painstakingly make chain mail is an education in itself.

So one day as I was daydreaming about this and that, I came up with a scenario for entertainment at a high feast. A scene that would play out in the performance area in front of the high table, which should shock yet entertain those gathered there.

It began with an argument between a man and his lady over something silly, until tempers flared and blades were drawn. As the disagreement escalated, her blade was thrown clear before she was backed up to the baron’s table, sword tip at her throat, as the man demanded justice.

As these things go, it eventually ended up as a book, and while it is in the first chapter, it is only the beginning of the story. There were a lot of questions I had about this relationship.

Why were they at the feast?

Why were they arguing?

Why did they marry, and what about the blood oath which bound them together?

Do they ever find happiness?

What is a weather shaper? And where does magic fit into this picture?

Ready to find out?

How about a short excerpt?

MASTER OF THE FLEET

Richard was angrier than he had ever been. How had she used him for so long without him noticing the hints he should have seen? After a year of courting, he had asked her to marry him, but she’d begged for more time. He’d decided to ask her again, here at the festival. He was so certain of her acceptance, he had bought a ring for their betrothal.

She had never intended to marry him. She had simply used her charms to get what she wanted. When the source dried up, she would have left him for greener fields. Use him would she? He would show her what it was to be used, and he had half a lifetime to make his point. As soon as the priest got here, she would be bound to him, not only by her oath to him and the blood oath, but by her vow to heaven as well.

Master of the Fleet is available at Amazon, at Smashwords, and most major book sellers.

So if you’re ready for a little magic, check out Master of the Fleet, written under my pen name, Sultonna Nadine!

And as always…

Don’t forget…

…to Share the Romance…

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I mean the one in the world of Lord Sir Richard Lemarnier. The one on the Northwestern coast of what we call the USA, in an alternate reality.

Let me tell you about this world. Grab a cuppa and join me!

The world of Richard and Anne-Marie is a world of magic. Most people are born under two different elements of magic. One corresponds with the year in which they are born. The other from the month. Most people have very little ability and can’t actually train to use them effectively.

But for those who can, they are a boon to society. Crops are grown with the aid of people who can control water and earth to nurture plants. Ships are guided and protected by those with control over wind or water. Suspects are questioned by those trained to use their abilities with spirit.

Those who are adepts use magic to bind contracts, blood oaths, and vows. Priests having abilities with heaven and spirit bind marriages using the elements of creation in the presence of heaven. Vows or oaths bound with blood carry their own penalty when broken.

Richard Lemarnier is Master of the Fleet for his family’s shipping firm, as well as the owner since his father died. In this capacity, he controls wind and water to help shape the weather when necessary to help his ships out at sea. With a little ability inherited from his mother, he has a bit of telepathy to use as well.

Imagine seeing the various air currents as slightly different colors or textures and being able to manipulate them. You could create a small breeze or a raging storm, depending on how much power you had to call on. And the same with water. You can speak to it and bend it to your will, shift the currents or calm the waves. With control over both wind and water, you could create a storm or calm one.

Richard had fallen for Anne-Marie and asked her to marry him, but she kept putting hiim off. Not refusing, exactly, but not accepting either. So when she asks him to come with her back to her home kingdom for the fall festivals, he figures it would be a good time and place to ask once more.

But after too much wine and excitement, things get out of hand at the feast, leaving them bound not only by marriage vows but by a blood oath, as well as an oath of fealty from Anne-Marie to Richard. He is bound to be her husband and protector, and her loyalty is sworn to Richard. Onlh an adept of at least the rank of Baron can unbind the spells.

Anne-Marie had no intention of marrying Richard. But how can she escape now, with all the spells binding them together?

And who is trying to destroy Richard’s company? Anyone with the kind of power this enemy shows should have been bond by the guild oath, forbidding them to do harm with their abilities.

What will it take for Richard to win his lady’s heart and keep his company safe from attack on the high seas? And are the two related?

Read MASTER OF THE FLEET this weekend!

How about a snippet?

Those in the wedding party removed their shoes to stand on earth. With hands raised, eyes to the heavens, the priest began to intone the opening words of the marriage oath.

“In the presence of God, I call upon heaven and earth, water and fire, wind and spirit, to witness the union of Lord Sir Richard LeMarnier and Anne-Marie Desplaines…”

They made it through the ceremony without complications. He used the ring he’d bought for their betrothal for her wedding ring. She used his signet ring for his. These represented Earth. Candles lit during the ceremony represented fire, the couple was sprinkled with water, and the kiss represented an exchange of spirit. As the ceremony continued under the stars, the evening breeze swept around them, caressing them and adding its seal to the union. Arcane symbols bound their vows to each of the elements.

Bound by God and the six elements of creation, their human representatives bearing witness and completing the perfect ring of seven, the marriage was sealed by the priest, and recorded.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

And please…

Don’t Forget...

…to Share the Romance…

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Have you read the books in my Esperance Series?

What is Esperance?

Settled by pioneers from Earth, the planet was far from being self-sufficient when they lost contact with Earth, and with the supplies they needed to continue building their world. Without the medicines from Earth, the population was devastated when a pandemic hit, leaving less than half the people of the original settlements.

With society now in total chaos and anarchy, it was every man for himself until a few people with unusual psychic abilities were able to force their will on the population and bring law and order back to their world. These men became the original First Lords.

Dividing the remaining population into clans, the First Lords gave their names to the clans, gradually rebuilding a successful society on their world. While it was far from what they’d had when Earth was subsidizing them, this frontier world, they had food, shelter, and a sense of direction.

As the population grew, so did these unusual Talents. Only the First Lords had the multiple Talents needed to rule their clans, but others developed abilities related to their work, or for healing and nurturing.

The first book in the series, Jareth, First Lord, is about one of these Talented men and the woman he hopes to win. Set a couple centuries after the Age of Confusion, his clan is well established and prosperous. Two years previously, he had lost his wife in childbirth, losing the baby as well. He knew he had to remarry, but was surprised when he found the woman of his dreams in another clan with which he had a dispute.

Book two, Viviane, First Lady, continues their story and tells of Viviane’s struggle to learn how to control Talents she has suddenly developed before they cause any more trouble. While having psychic abilities seems like it would be a great deal of fun, learning to control them, instead of having them control you, can be a trick.

Book 3, Morgan, tells of a young woman who came to Brannach during the Choosing. She had determined to live her life alone, after being abused by nearly every man she’s known in her life. When James begins to show her attention, she isn’t sure what to think. As for James, his family has a couple Talents which can make people nervous. As his attraction grows for Morgan, so does his anxiety about sharing his secret with her.

Watch for new books in the future!

Esperance. A world full of mischief, magic, and romance.

Come with me and visit this amazing world.

And as always,

Don’t Forget to…

…Share the Romance…

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Maybe you’ve heard of Gambler’s Folly. And maybe you’ve wondered where the idea came from. So sit back, with a cup of something relaxing while I tell you the story.

Way back when, in the age of the dinosaurs, there was a song done by the Kingston Trio called South Coast. In the song, a man wins his wife in a card game. My husband being a Kinston Trio fan had been listening to some of their music one day, and the thought occurred to me that it would be difficult for that to happen in this day and age.

Wouldn’t it?

So the idea was settled into my brain and I couldn’t get it out. What if it was on another world, where there was a strong criminal syndicate, which could bend the rules to fit the situation?

Once I sat down to start writing, the story evolved from Karianna’s husband losing a card game in one of Gambler’s Folly’s casinos and betting his wife against his debt.

Which he lost.

The second book, Dante’s Angel, I wrote because I liked Dante’s character in the first book and wanted to explore his life and personality. Since he was one of Damiano’s right hand men, he would most certainly go with him to Earth for the church wedding. And perhaps he could meet a love of his own.

The Russian, Book 3, I wrote after seeing a photo of someone who just looked like a character who would fit right in to the rest of the bunch on Gambler’s Folly. A Russian rapper, he looked like the perfect match for a wolf shifter, to go along with Damiano’s leopard.

How about a little excerpt from Dante’s Angel?

Dante had waited as long as he could before he left for the shuttle. He’d never been off-planet before and was homesick before they even left. The rest of the party was already on board and enjoying the amenities before he even got to customs.

On top of it, the whole reason for the trip was the wedding, yet another reminder that he was single and had no prospects. And here was Damiano, with everything in the world going for him, going to Earth to marry his mate, his bond-mate. It just wasn’t fair.

What was wrong with him? He glanced at his reflection in one of the large plate windows. All right, he wasn’t as tall as Damiano, Marco, or Paulo, but he wasn’t a midget. He was six feet tall and around one hundred eighty-five pounds, with no fat to spare. Dark hair and dark eyes completely the look, from his Mediterranean heritage.

He’d been told he could be mistaken for Damiano’s younger brother, but it didn’t seem to do him much good. He was awkward in crowds and women tied his tongue in knots before he even started talking. He hadn’t had a date in over a month, and now he was going to a wedding on a planet he’d never seen.

Sighing deeply, he answered the questions at the customs desk, handed over his papers, jumped through all the hoops, and finally boarded the shuttle.

“May I help you?” the older man asked.

“Yes. I’m trying to find my berth,” Dante said.

“Ah! Take the lift to the fourth level, turn right, and it will be on your right.”

“Thanks.”

Trudging to the lift, he followed the instructions, used his pass card on the door, and took a look around.

His suite was nearly as big as his apartment. He’d have to thank Damiano for his generosity. Of course, they would be on the shuttle for a week. At least he wouldn’t go stir crazy. He stowed his luggage in the wardrobe and checked the time.

Pushing the button on his communicator, he checked in with Marco.

“Did you have any trouble, Dante?”

“No, sir. Just huge crowds of people. But I’m in my room now, so everything is good.”

“All our rooms are across the hall from yours. Damiano suggested we all get together for dinner, around seven this evening. But until then, relax and enjoy the trip.”

“When do we lift off?” Dante asked.

“In about an hour. They’ll make an announcement. Follow the instructions and you’ll be fine. It’s much like flying, but the take-off is a little stronger. Don’t worry, amico. I’ve done it several times.”

With nothing else to do, a nap sounded like a good idea. Slipping out of his shoes and jacket, he dropped onto the bed and closed his eyes. Maybe he could at least dream of happy times.

So if you like paranormal fantasy romance, with big handsome shifters, check out the Gambler’s Folly series. Meet Damiano and Karianna in Book 1.

Dante and Angela in Book 2

And Dmitri and Danni in Book 3.

Yes, there will be more coming along. The next book will feature a bear shifter billionaire and a woman he knew years before when they were both at university–Old Flame.

All the books are available from Amazon, Smashwords, or most major book sellers.

Ciao for now. Have a great weekend.

And Don’t Forget—

—to Share the Romance….

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All of us from Esperance–Jareth, and Viviane, James and Morgan, and all the folks you have yet to meet-; from Gambler’s Folly— Damiano and Karianna, Dante and Angela, Dmitri and Danni, and all their friends; and Lord Sir Richard and Anne-Marie from Cote d’Or–wish you a very Happy Holiday.

Stay safe. Stay warm. Stay healthy.

And Don’t Forget–

to Share the Romance…

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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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And you know what that means.

One of my books is on sale over at Smashwords!

Which book of mine is on sale this weekend? I’ll give you a hint. It’s one of the Gambler’s Folly Series books.

https://smashwords.com/books/byseries/46456

Go to the Gambler’s Folly Page on Smashwords and check it out!

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Book 2 in the Gambler’s Folly series, this book begins where Book 1 left off. Dam and Kari travel to Earth with their friends to have the big wedding his family wants.

Included in the wedding party are Marco, Paul, and Dante, Dam’s best friends and colleagues from Gambler’s Folly.

Panther shifter, Dante, was born on Gambler’s Folly and this is his first time leaving it. And he’s leaving to go to his boss’s and good friend’s wedding.

Why does his friend have all the luck? Money, power, and now a soulmate. Would Dante ever find someone to share his life? Why did he get so tongue-tied around the fairer sex?

And then he meets Angela and his mouth has a mind of its own.
Be careful what you wish for…


DANTE’S ANGEL

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073SJYN67
#fantasy #romance #paranormalromance #series

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Once Morgan and James become serious, he shows her a little of what he can do. As a result, her nickname for him becomes the Green Man.

Who says the Green Man is a myth? Maybe over the centuries the stories have become distorted. Perhaps the Green Man is just a guy with some unique abilities. And just maybe there is more than one…

So what does one with “a way with wood” do? Let’s take a look at one aspect of the Talent.

Here is James showing Morgan a little bit about what he could do.

MORGANThe Pixie and the Green Man

Excerpt:

“Now, you wanted to know a little bit about the Fergusons, he stated. “Watch.”

For a moment, his eyes seemed unfocused, as he reached his working level. It was similar to what Morgan did when she worked with inlay. Holding the branch with both hands, he put his thumb and index finger on either side of it, about halfway down its length, and slid them down the branch.

As she watched, the branch changed shape. Now, instead of round, it had flattened into a strip a little wider than the original and a little longer. The prickling feeling which crept up her arm was similar to what she felt when working with metal. Soon, her whole body tingled from the energy of his work.

With the other hand, he did the same thing to the other half of the branch, with the same result. Morgan watched, fascinated, as he began to shape it into something else.

From the flattened branch, his fingers began to shape little semi-circular bits, like petals, which stood up in bas-relief from the original. As she watched, they became flowers. In between, he pulled bits away from the main branch to become leaves.

Morgan held her breath, afraid of interrupting his work. Once the flowers and leaves were finished, he glanced up at her briefly before continuing.

With his fingers on either side of the branch, he began to curl the branch into a spiral, which made the flowers stand out even more. With one complete circle in the middle and two partials on either end, he pushed the coils together to shorten the overall length. When he was finished, she saw a free-form bracelet, about three inches in width.

Morgan was transfixed by the sight. It was so beautiful she was nearly in tears as he held it out to her. She gently reached out a finger to touch the little petals, still warm from the energy of the shaping.

There were no signs of breaking from the work. It was as if the branch had grown that way on the tree. The bark was even intact, its silvery color making the flowers seem to shine in the soft evening light.

“Morgan?” she heard. “Are you all right?”

“Oh, James. It is so lovely and the little flowers so dainty and beautiful.”

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Yes! Tomorrow is release day for THE RUSSIAN–Gambler’s Folly Book 3.

He is Dmitri Ivanovich Volkov, a wolf-shifter often referred to as The Russian. Born over five hundred years ago, he has been a lone wolf since his soulmate died in his arms. Since then he has avoided  long-term relationships. But maybe the universe is giving him a second chance at happiness.

Dani works for The Agency, in Speranza, on Gambler’s Folly. Most of her time is spent working or caring for her mother. She’d been lucky up until now, but tonight she’s accosted by one of the street gangs and is sure she’ll soon be dead.

Until The Russian steps in, saves her life, and captures  her soul.

Today is the last day to get The Russian for the pre-order price. So go on over and check it out!

It is available at either Amazon or Smashwords.

Haven’t read the other books in the Gambler’s Folly series?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XM3VRXK

https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/46456

Go on over and get your copy of The Russian!

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