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Yes! I finished in the winner’s circle of #NaNoWriMo2019, along with many others who participated this year.

What was this year’s story?

Whiskey Jug Genie--a fantasy about a genie trapped in a whiskey jug, only to find himself free in London, England 200 years later, still cursed and bound to the jug.

Is the story finished?

Not yet. I’m still working on the conclusion to the whole affair. But I’ll get there. And it will have a happy ending for all concerned.

What about those who didn’t finish?

There is a camp in April, one in July, and another NaNoWriMo in November. But even those who didn’t finish the 50,000 words this month have gained a habit of sitting everyday to write, or have gained words toward finishing a project.

There are no losers. We all won something.

Anyway, I can breathe a little more easily now. While I will continue to write daily, I don’t have the pressure of a certain number of words each day.

In the meantime, if you’re a writer, keep writing.

If you’re not, keep reading!

Thank you, NaNoWriMo for making all of this possible.

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Yes, NaNoWriMo is almost over. Tomorrow is the last day. Those who have reached the 50,000 word goal will be declared winners. And there will be quite a few who will not have attained the required word count, who will be disappointed, frustrated, and wondering if they’re really cut out to be writers.

But no matter your word count, the fact that you started a book and worked on it for a month says you’ve won something. Maybe you didn’t finish as much as you’d hoped to.

But you wrote. For a month.

This could be the beginning of a habit that will see your first book published.

Everyone has different ways of staying motivated, or of making time to sit and write. I go for a walk in the afternoon, come back and stretch out, and with a glass of water in hand, I set the timer for 30 minutes.

During those thirty minutes, I write on my WIP. It may not be award winning prose, but I will have taken my project a little further down the road. If it’s a first draft, I can polish it up later. Or delete the passages I don’t like and rewrite.

But I will have made progress.

And you can, too.

If you want to give it a try, just get a cheap little timer from Amazon or Walmart–or any place you shop–put it next to where you are going to write, and choose your time.

Once that time is near, get your mind focused on your project, turn on that laptop, set your timer, and start writing. You may want to read over the last page or two of what you wrote the day before to get into the flow. But write for that half hour.

If you started NaNoWriMo with us, you are a winner. You may not get the certificate or the T-shirt, but you’ve earned my respect for having signed up and given it a go.

Besides, there’s always Camp NaNoWriMo coming up in April…

But for now, it’s time to get back to Whiskey Jug Genie!

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Yes, it looks like it’s going to be another wet Friday. After last week’s eight inches of rain, I’m not feelin’ it. Know what I mean?

The sun has been playing hide and seek all day long and we’ve had a few small showers, but tomorrow should be wet.

A good day for reading.

What have you been reading lately? Anything to share?

I’ve been reading The Painted Lady Inn Mystery Books, by M.K. Scott and I thoroughly adore them. I like to write fantasy romance, but my reading preferences share the romance with mysteries.

So if there’s a book or series you just love, feel free to share it with us! I need something to read this upcoming rainy weekend…


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How is everyone this Monday morning? It’s looking very much like rain here today, again…

Who’d like an excerpt from Master of the Fleet?

Set in an alternate timeline of North America, where the French had a much greater influence and the country was divided into various kingdoms rather than states, magic is part of everyday life.

Richard Lemarnier is a weather-shaper, commanding wind and water. As CEO and Master of the Fleet for the family company, he is in the upper echelons of society. And still single, he’s considered the most eligible bachelor on the Cote d’Or.

But he only has eyes for one–Anne_Marie…

Excerpt:

“I will not have any man dictate my actions,” she shouted, rising to her feet. “If I’d wanted a task master, I would have stayed under my father’s roof rather than cross half the continent to get away.”

The jewelled dagger flashed in her hand as she thrust it at him. A skilled swordsman, Richard easily parried the attempt as he rose to his feet. The dining area was too crowded to deal with the situation.

Backing away from the table, he suggested, “Anne-Marie, drop the dagger and sit down. You’re making a scene.”

She stalked after him, dagger in hand and in an absolute rage, as he retreated toward the dance floor. This was getting a bit sticky. With room to maneuver, Richard was ready when she lunged at him again. Grabbing her wrist with one hand, he slapped her with the other. As the dagger dropped, she tumbled to the floor and her glare was pure venom.

With the dagger tucked safely into his belt, Richard turned back toward the table. This should end the matter, and the relationship as well.

“I hate you,” Anne-Marie screamed, as she snatched a sword from a nearby table.

Swinging wildly, she came at him with murder in her eyes. Lord Richard drew his blade. While defending himself was not a problem, disarming her without harming anyone else might be. Anger rising, he waited for his opening. After the time and money he had spent on this trip, would she murder him in front of the high table?

His opening came and he threw her blade clear of the floor. With the point of his sword at her throat, Anne-Marie backed away, eyes wide, as anger became fear. Richard moved toward her, his blade never wavering  as she retreated. Finally shrinking against the high table, Anne-Marie’s retreat was blocked. Sidestepping, he grabbed her hair to expose her throat fully to his blade.

In a room as silent as a tomb, every eye was focused on the frozen tableau before the baron’s table.

“My good man, were you planning a human sacrifice on the high table? Who are you and what is the meaning of this?” the baron demanded.

A large man, with dark hair turning gray at the temples, and neatly trimmed beard, his presence commanded the attention of the room.

“Your Excellency, I am Lord Sir Richard LeMarnier, from Côte d’Or. The lady and I have travelled for more than a week to attend the festival here in her homeland. At least she claims it as such. After courting her for over a year and asking for her hand in marriage, I dance on her leash while she toys with my affections. Though she hasn’t refused my offer, she has yet to accept it.”

“What do you do?”

“I am in shipping, Your Excellency, with access to goods up and down the coast and from overseas. I have brought her gifts from every part of the world, given her everything she’s asked for, and more. She’s been blessed with everything within my power to give.”

“We’ll agree you’re a generous man. Why are you here?”

“She begged me to travel to your kingdom for the harvest festival this year. Besides transportation and chaperones, I paid for passage and accommodations across two kingdoms to please her.”

The Baron’s frown deepened. “What has that to do with all of this?” he demanded.

“This evening, Your Excellency, I asked if she could spare me some of the attention she’s lavished on every other man in the room, acknowledge me as her escort, and grace me with an occasional word or smile. Heaven knows her eyes have promised more to every other man she’s met this evening.”

Pausing in his explanation, he heard the murmured agreement of others around the room.

“In her anger, she tried to cut my heart out with a dagger. When I took it from her, she snatched a sword from some poor soul and tried to kill me.”

The baron took a moment to ponder the question, glancing at the drop of blood trembling at the tip of Richard’s sword.

“Is this true, woman?” he asked Anne-Marie.

Not answering for a moment, she eventually replied, very carefully, “Unfortunately, it is, Your Excellency.”

 “Given the circumstances and from what I have seen tonight, I pass judgment. Your life is forfeit, woman. Have you anything to say?”

With her eyes on Richard, she answered, “If you expect me to beg for my life, you will be disappointed. I will not. Look into your heart and do what you must. If you require my life, then take it. If you find mercy, I would be grateful, milord.”

The silence deepened, with everyone stunned at the scene playing out in front of the high table, while Richard pondered his options. Still holding her head with one hand, sword in the other, he forced her into the center of the floor. Releasing her with a shove he commanded, “Kneel, Anne-Marie. Your life is forfeit. I see no reason to prolong this farce.”

Taking a stance, he raised the sword and swung it down in an arc which would separate head from body. Gasps and a few screams echoed in the room before, he stopped a scarce half-inch away from her neck. Stepping in front of Anne-Marie, he lifted her chin with the tip of his sword, and studied her face. Her eyes were wide with fear, and silent tears streamed down her cheeks before staining the bodice of her gown.

“I have spared your life, which was forfeit. It is now mine to command. Does anyone disagree?” he challenged.

There were murmurs all around, but no disagreement. The baron shrugged his shoulders and sat down, quaffing a large quantity of wine.

Reversing his grip on the blade, Richard held it point down and perpendicular to the floor.

“Kiss the blade that spared your life and swear your loyalty to me.”

The hoarse whisper echoed to the farthest corners of the banquet hall. Trembling, Anne-Marie pressed her lips against the sword.

“On pain of death, I, Anne-Marie Desplaines, swear loyalty to Richard LeMarnier, until his death or until released from my vow. Repeat it to me,” he demanded.

As she did, the baron rose from his seat and cleared his throat.

“After the events of the evening, I will allow this to stand under one condition.”

“And what is the condition, Your Excellency?” Richard was careful to keep his tone respectful.

“An oath which will keep her safe and make you her protector,” the baron replied. “Draw your dagger.”

Richard did as commanded, as the baron circled the table.

“Make a small cut on your hand and on the woman’s.”

“A blood oath, Your Excellency?”

“You question me?”

“No, Your Excellency.”

With the tip of the dagger, Richard made a nick in his hand, and its twin in Anne-Marie’s. Droplets of blood beaded up in their palms.

“Clasp hands,” the baron instructed them.

Over their joined hands, the baron traced arcane symbols in the air. Tingling magic swirled around their hands to bind the oath.

“By the mingling of your blood, do you, Anne-Marie, swear absolute loyalty and obedience to Lord Sir Richard LeMarnier, on pain of death, for as long as you shall live?”

 She was crying and shaking so hard Richard wasn’t sure how she was still upright.

“I do so swear,” she replied through the tears.

“And Lord Sir Richard LeMarnier, do you swear to spare her life and guard her, as her sworn protector, for as long as she lives?”

“I do so swear.”

“You will remain together, blood-bound, for as long as the oath shall stand, neither one leaving the other, nor causing harm, one to the other. Breaking the conditions set forth will bring forth the penalty. The oath can be revoked before death by the skills of a baron only. Take heed.”


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Hope you’ve all had a great week and are having a fantastic Friday!

What are you reading this weekend? While you’re waiting for The Russian, you should check out my other series from Esperance or my stand alone under the name Sultonna Nadine.

And watch for The Russian–coming soon!

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While a new month may have begun, it’s still raining here in Georgia. How are things out your way?

If you haven’t read the books in my Esperance Series, go on over to Amazon and check them out. Books 2 and 3–Viviane, First Lady and Morgan–The Pixie and the Green Man–are on sale!

Wishing you all a wonderful new month. Watch for a new release this spring!

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It looks like winter is having one last fling. At least, I hope it is the last one. But it’s a perfect time to dig into that “to-be-read” stack. Right?

I’ve been re-reading some of Vonnie Davis‘ books, which are some of my absolute favorites.

So what are you reading? Care to share?

Of course, there are the books in my two series–Gambler’s Folly and Esperance

Or, if you like stories set in an alternate time, check out Master of the Fleet, under my pen name Sultonna Nadine.

Whatever you choose to read, enjoy!

 

 

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