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Posts Tagged ‘Mellie E. Miller’

Who’s ready for a sneak peek at Dante’s Angel?

You?

Well, here you go! Here’s Chapter 1!

Chapter 1

“Karianna! We’re going to miss the flight,” Damiano shouted from the front door. “Anything you forget we can buy on the shuttle or once we get to Rome.”

Damiano was the classical Mediterranean male–tall, with dark hair and gray eyes. His wife, Karianna, was tall, with dark hair and mischievous green eyes.

He’d sent the luggage down to the car already and was simply waiting for his wife to get her personal bag. At the rate she was going, she would take everything in her wardrobe.

“All right, Dam. Ready.”

“Benissimo, cara,” he said as he kissed her.

They finally made it to the car. Marco was driving and Paulo was in the front with him. His two friends and team mates were also going back to Earth for the wedding. Dante was going as well. Marco and Paulo were a little older than Damiano, but they looked like they could be relatives. Dante was the youngest member of the team, but shared their Mediterranean heritage.

“Marco, where is Dante?”

“He said he would meet us at the spaceport. He’ll be there, Damiano. I think he needed a little independence.”

The drive took about half an hour through traffic. Being one of the major ports on Gambler’s Folly, made Speranza exceptionally suitable for hotel and entertainment ventures. Damiano had certainly done well for the family there.

“So, cara, what do you want to do when we get to Rome?” he asked Karianna, his lovely wife.

“I have no idea,” she admitted. “I’ve never even been to Europe. What is there to do in Rome?”

“So much, Kari, so very much to do and see. Since we will be in there for only one day this time, we’ll decide on one venture when we get there.”

They had chosen to take a day for themselves once they reached Earth, before his family overwhelmed Karianna with their well-wishes and wedding plans.

Yes, they were married, but his mother insisted on a cathedral wedding, one they could share with the family. His was an old, religious family and his mother was not entirely happy about their civil marriage.

Once they arrived at the spaceport, they left their things with the porters. Given Damiano’s standing on Gambler’s Folly, their boarding was expedited, which made the whole trip so much more bearable. Their suite was ready when they boarded and their luggage arrived soon after they did. Marco and Paolo were in adjacent rooms, and Dante had a smaller room across the hallway.

Speaking to Marco, Dam asked, “Have we heard from Dante yet?”

“Yes. He’s in the process of boarding now. Has he travelled much before?”

“I don’t think so. Why?”

“He seems uncomfortable, uneasy. Maybe it’s simply nerves about the trip.”

****

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 at the moment. 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 decided. 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.

****

“Marco, is everything all right with Dante?” Karianna asked.

“Sì, signora. He’s a little nervous about leaving Gambler’s Folly. He was born here and has no family on Earth. He’ll be fine once we’re underway.”

“If you’re sure,” she said reluctantly. The first time she’d left her home planet, she’d been lost on a bet, divorced from her husband, and married to the strongest of the underworld syndicate bosses—Damiano Leone.

“Should someone go check on him?” she asked.

“Cara mia, he’ll be fine. He’s probably taking a nap. We’ll see him for dinner this evening,” Damiano assured her.

It wasn’t long before the lift-off announcement was made. As far as Karianna was concerned, this was the worst part of the trip. Flying always affected her in the same way. Too much imagination.

At least it didn’t last long. Marco called to check on Dante after lift-off. He chuckled as he ended the call.

“So, how is he?” she asked.

“Dio! He’ll be fine. He swears he’s never doing it again, though how he plans to return to Gambler’s Folly without it, I don’t know.”

“I didn’t think it was that bad,” Karianna reflected. “The one from Earth to here was worse.”

“Don’t worry wo much, cara,” Damiano told her. “Why don’t we send these guys on their way and see what there is to do?”

Knowing her mate, she had a good idea what he meant.

Their friends took their leave, so she was soon alone with her husband.

“So, cara, I think it’s time to enjoy this most comfortable bed, don’t you think? And from what I’ve heard about your last trip, I doubt you’ve ever been loved on an intergalactic flight.”

“Time for a first then, isn’t it?” she answered as his hands unzipped her dress, before they corrected the oversight.

Karianna showered after their lovemaking and decided on a nap before dinner. Later, when she tried to stretch, she was wrapped in Damiano’s embrace. Snuggling deeper into his arms, she drifted off once again.

“Karianna, cara. Time to dress for dinner,” she heard. The kiss did more to wake her up.

“I suppose we should go to dinner,” she said, as her stomach rumbled. “Unless you want to come back to bed.”

“Now, cara, you know we’re all meeting for dinner this evening. We can go back to bed later.”

“Promises, promises.”

“You want promises, cara?” Damiano asked her. “I promise you, before I finish with you later, you’ll be begging.”

“You’ve got rather a high opinion of yourself,” she teased.

A fierce kiss and swat on her bottom told her the night was going to be exciting.

“Now, come on. Put on some clothes before I change my mind.”

When they finally arrived in the dining room to meet the rest of their party, Karianna was still slightly flustered. Damiano’s friends had made an effort this evening. Even Dante was well dressed for dinner. Why he never seemed to have a girlfriend, Karianna couldn’t figure out. He was good-looking, intelligent, and had plenty of money.

“To the most beautiful woman in my world,” was Damiano’s toast to start off the evening. She’d finally gotten used to his flattery. Her first husband never made her feel pretty, let alone beautiful.

Dinner was tasty and the atmosphere around the table relaxed. These four men had worked together for a long time, through dangerous situations. But they had welcomed her into their circle and made her feel safe, even though “safe” could be a relative term around Damiano and his business.

“Dante, are you settling in all right?” she asked.

“Sì, Signora. The lift-off was sort of tense, but I’m fine now.”

“Are you ready for your first look at Earth?”

“I’m not sure. I don’t know what to expect. Everyone tells me it is special, but how can it be any better than Gambler’s Folly?”

“I think it’s the history of humanity there,” she explained. “I haven’t been back since I left nearly two years ago. I want to find out how I react to coming home again.”

“I’ve never been anywhere but Gambler’s Folly. Everyone else here has ties to Earth but me. I feel like an outsider, in a way. Everyone else is coming home, but I have no home to go to.”

“Dante,” Damiano said. “My home is yours. We’re all brothers here—except for Kari, of course. And once Mama meets you, you’ll have trouble leaving.”

“If you say, Damiano. If you say.”

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With Dante’s Angel sent off to the publisher, I’ve gone back to Gambler’s Folly for a third book. The Russian will be the third book in the series.

In this book, we meet Dmitri Ivanovich Volkov, a wolf-shifter so old he doesn’t remember exactly how old he is. He grew up, at least in part, in what used to be Russia, back on old Earth. He’s on Gambler’s Folly tracking an illegal drug shipment.

Two hundred years ago, his soul mate died and he swore he would never take a mate again. It was much too difficult to lose someone who was that close to you.

But what do you do when you  meet another soul mate? Shouldn’t there only be one to a lifetime?

Excerpt:

“If it hadn’t been for her scent, he would have been fine. The lilacs with honeyed-vanilla and white musk scent wrapped around him softly. Hazel eyes under blonde curls had drawn him in. He’d thought, after all this time, he would have 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.

It was good he wouldn’t see her again. He didn’t need a mate. Life around him was too uncertain. Besides, he’d had a mate long ago and, when she’d died, she’d taken his heart with her.

No. He was here for a job. He had no time for females.”

So, in the meantime, if you haven’t read Gambler’s Folly, now’s’ your chance! It’s available at Amazon in both eBook and paperback.

Dante’s Angel will be out later this year, so watch for it!

Now it’s time for me to get back to work and see what the crazy Russian is up to.

Have a great weekend!

Image from: http://elelur.com/mammals/wolf.html

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Well, it has been sent off to the publisher. Dante’s Angel, that is. Here’s hoping they love it and it will be a huge success.

Gambler’s Folly is a pleasure center in the galaxy. Whatever you want, you can find there, whether it’s gambling, beaches, mountains. Exciting times or relaxing times, you can find it on Gambler’s Folly.

But like anyplace else, there is a darker underside to this pleasure paradise–the syndicate. Many of the syndicate members function on the wrong side of the law, bringing in drugs and other illegal substances and practices.

One of the most dangerous players is Damiano Leone, owner of the Stella d’Oro and other enterprises on Gambler’s Folly. Only he isn’t quite what he seems. Or perhaps he’s even more. His wife and mate he won from her husband on one hand of cards. The man had run up a debt of over a million credits. This was his way out. If he won, he kept his wife, his debts were cleared, and he would leave on the next shuttle out.

But if he lost–which he did–though his debts were still cleared, his wife, Karianna,  became the possession of Damiano Leone.

Have you read Book 1, Gambler’s Folly? If not, head on over to Amazon or to Bookstrand and get your copy. Book 2 will be out later this summer.

http://amzn.com/1627405844

http://www.bookstrand.com/gamblers-folly

I’ll post updates on Dante’s Angel here and on Facebook.

Follow me!

https://www.facebook.com/gamblersfolly

https://www.facebook.com/meleighscreations

Dante’s AngelComing Soon!

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Black and whiteFreedomInk Publishing is once again hosting the Annual Reading is Retro Summer Challenge. What is the challenge? To read ten books during the thirteen weeks of summer.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1109248062434457/

Now, I know summer is half gone, but there is still time to get in on the challenge. There are a lot of books out there, in every genre you can think of.

Perhaps you’d like to peruse what FreedomInk has to offer.

Darkness Before the Dawn, by Dawn  Miller. One woman’s true story of abuse, neglect and rebirth.

Woman on Fire, by Trinette Collier. Life’s challenges can either refine or destroy. Read this woman’s story of rising above the trials with God’s help.

Angel Eyes, by Katandra Shanel Jackson–A collective memoir of child sexual abuse.

Jareth, First Lord, by Mellie Miller– Esperance Book 1. Fantasy romance on a distant highland world.

Viviane, First Lady, by Mellie Miller–Esperance Book 2. The story continues.

For a look at all they have to offer:

http://www.freedomink365.com/the_books

So come on in and join the fun. Reading is Retro. And reading is fun. Who say’s you have to leave the house to go on vacation? Dive into a good book and let the party begin.

What have I been reading? I’ll share that in another post.

Ciao for now!

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Black and whiteGet along little…? Can you fill in the blank correctly?

Call it a pet peeve. Call it overly sensitive. Call it OCD. Call it anything you like, but twice in a week I’ve seen this quoted, or something similar, and both times the above line has been finished with “doggie.”

Incorrect!

Most people quote it as yippee ki yi yay, get along little doggie, which is doubly incorrect.

The original lyrics were:

Whoppee ti yi yo, get along little dogie.

Now, I realize spell check probably doesn’t like this word, and it is from a different era, out on the range. But dogie is cowboy slang for a motherless calf in a herd.

A doggie is a creature of the canine variety.

The lyrics to this cowboy ballad were first published in John Lomax’s  Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads. It has been performed by many different people and groups including: Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter, Charlie Daniel, The Kingston Trio, and Sons of the Pioneers.

So, unless you’re herding dogs, the word to use here is dogie.

I smell lunch cooking, so this little dogie is gonna go eat.

Get along little dogies! Talk to you later.

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Black and whiteMac had gone over to a relative’s home for dinner one afternoon and, as the daylight grew dimmer, the rain began. As he had traveled on horseback, he was loath to start home after dark in a storm.

His host apologized saying they had no spare room he could use, which surprised Mac as he’d seen an extra bedroom down the hallway.

“Oh, we have a room, but it’s haunted,” the man explained. “You wouldn’t want to stay there.”

Now Mac was amused. Haunted? He didn’t believe in such things.

“I think I’d rather stay there than ride home in the rain,” he replied.

The man and his wife talked it over and agreed to let him stay in the room, but only if he understood they would not be responsible for anything that happened.

They showed him a cozy little room, which looked much more inviting than the dark, rainy weather outside, and he got ready for bed. They had told him what they’d witnessed every night they’d lived in the house, but he was sure they were exaggerating. Ghosts indeed!

After saying good-night, he undressed, slid into bed and looked forward to a good night’s sleep. He wasn’t worried about any “haints”.

Sometime later in the night, perhaps around midnight, Mac woke to the sound of someone walking across the bedroom floor, heavy steps as of a large man. His eyes strained in the darkness, but he could see nothing.

The steps continued to the bedroom door, the door opened, and he heard the steps cross the living room toward the front door. The front door then opened and he heard the steps cross to where the water bucket sat under the pump spout on the porch.

The water dipper banged against the side of the bucket, someone drank from the dipper and then let it fall back into the bucket. A moment later, the steps began to retrace their path back into the house.

When the door to the bedroom reopened, Mac didn’t know what to think, but decided that if he just kept still he’d be alright. At least that’s what he thought until the steps came over to the bed.

Suddenly, he felt a great weight on top of him, a weight he felt would crush the life from his body. He struggled and tried to cry out, but he couldn’t get his breath. There was nothing to see, nothing he could grasp, only the weight crushing his chest.

And as suddenly as it began, it stopped. Gasping for breath, Mac staggered to the bedroom door and went out into the living room, clutching a blanket around him. The next morning, his host found him curled up on the hearth-rug in front of the fireplace.

He told them his story and they nodded, knowing smiles on their faces.

“It happens every night,” his host told him. “Rain or shine, winter or summer, the man leaves the bedroom, goes to the porch for a drink of water and comes back to bed. We’ve tried nailing the bedroom door shut, barring it, everything we can think of, and he still opens the door and gets a drink.”

“Why do you stay here?” Mac asked.

“He doesn’t do any harm, as long as nobody tries to sleep in the room. We don’t need the room, except for storing things, so we just let him be.”

Mac went his way after breakfast a changed man. He would never laugh about ghosts and haunted rooms again.

This is a true family story from my father’s side of the family. Did it really happen? I’ve talked to several people who swear it did, and not just to Mac. Nobody knew who the “haint” was, or what his story might have been, but he went and had a drink of water every night.

Do you like the paranormal? Psychic abilities? Check out my books at:

http://www.amazon.com/author/melliemiller

 

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Cancer and War.WayYes, I got the bad news on my 51st birthday, via phone call, while teaching a kids karate class. I hadn’t been prepared for this. From what my doctors had said, the little lump shouldn’t have been malignant. It didn’t feel right.

But it was malignant. The pathologist at the hospital said the whole lump wasn’t malignant. The cancer cells in it were more like someone had sprinkled pepper on it. Just little specks through the lump.

My best friend, Cindy, said if I wanted to go out and drown my sorrows, she’d drive. But this would solve nothing. As a martial artist, it was time to fight. Was I scared? Yes. I was fighting for my life.

My first surgery was for the lumpectomy, another to remove the lymph nodes from under my left arm, and one to put in a port-a-cath to administer the IV chemotherapy.

From diagnosis  through treatment—eight sessions of chemotherapy followed by 33 of radiation—everything was a blur. Part of the blur was due to the treatment. First, the drug Ellence made me sick as a dog and the anti-nausea meds knocked me out. The second half of my chemo was Taxol. It gave me bone pain and tooth aches, temporary memory loss, and made my toes and fingers numb. I wrote notes in the living room so I’d know why I went into the kitchen.

My husband, Steve, was in Iraq for most of this time, which worried him sick. Our daughter, Dawn, was my greatest help. She took me to and from the clinic, helped clean the house, and made sure I’d eaten.

My only lasting challenges are lymph edema in my left arm on occasion, and a little neuropathy in my feet. I’ve found ALA helps.

For those of you still fighting, never give up. Attitude makes all the difference in the world. Learn to meditate. Find something to laugh at, take a walk and enjoy nature, or find something that still tastes good and indulge.

Do not throw a pity party. Instead, prepare for a marathon. This fight won’t be endless. Take it one treatment at a time. I did a mental countdown after each session. After the last of the radiation, we went out for a celebration dinner.

I’m 61 now, and have been cancer free for nine years. I survived.

Now get out there and win!

For more about my fight with breast cancer:

http://amzn.com/B00F3ZW2LW

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