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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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Mel and Gambler's FollyHe’s over 500 years old and has been a lone wolf since his soul mate died 200 years ago. He’s on Gambler’s Folly for business and doesn’t need a mate. But the cute little blond he’s just rescued attracts him like no one has since Ilyena.

Has the universe seen fit to give him a second chance at happiness?

Watch for The Russian later this year. Book 3 from Speranza and Gambler’s Folly!

https://www.facebook.com/gamblersfolly

Soul-bound lovers

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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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I’ve been working on this WIP for the past few days, trying to get it ready for the editor. Fourth book from Gambler’s Folly, this story introduces Kort Behrens, multi-billionaire bachelor and bear shifter and his old flame, Elizabeth. Heading out to Gambler’s Folly, he intercedes in an altercation and discovers a lady friend from his university days–thirty years ago.

While they’ d been friends and had a lot of fun together,  they’d never dated seriously, so they are both surprised when interests begin to heat up. He sees no problem if romance blossoms, but she is certain she could never fit into his crazy life.

Book 3, The Russian, is currently with the editor, so watch for it later this year.

Short Excerpt from Old Flame:

“As I recall, a long time ago I threatened to spank your bottom,” he teased back.

“Your memory is correct. And I believe I dared you to try it.”

“If you keep it up, I’ll do more than try,” he said and felt his face light up.

“Yeah, right,” she answered. “Think you’re up to all that effort? Rich living

hasn’t slowed you down?”

“Not so you’d notice,” he said.

“I guess I’d better stay on my toes.”

“You’d be easier to kiss that way,” he said before he could keep the words

from coming out of his mouth.

“Who says we’re going to kiss?”

At least, this is what she said, but her face developed a

glow that hadn’t been there before, and her scent grew a little

stronger as the tip of her tongue moistened her lips.

“I do,” he told her. “At least once in this life, I’m going to taste that

pretty mouth of yours. I missed my opportunity thirty years ago,

and I’m not going to wait another thirty years.”

“Is that a challenge?”

“No, sweetheart, that’s a promise.”

She must be Elizabeth3

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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.

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