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Posts Tagged ‘novels’

                           Black and white

What happened to the last one? It sure went by quickly.

Do you have anything planned for this new year? I’m going to try to get two–maybe three–books out this year. The first should be nearly finished with the editing. The second one is ready for editing.

And the third? I have to go through it again on my own before anyone sees that one…

So, the next one out will be the next book in from Gambler’s Folly, in the Speranza Series. I know I’ve told you a little about it before. The Russian. I just love this guy. He’s been around so long, he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. He is who he is and doesn’t apologize for any of it.

But one thing is for certain. He loves his little soul-mate, Danni. Never have you seen a guy as gentle as he can be with her. A little bundle of energy with blond curls and hazel eyes peering up at him. Nor would she hesitate to speak her mind. They were a match made in heaven, something he’d thought he’d never experience again.

Let me see if I can give you a little excerpt from The Russian.

 

 

Chapter 1

The tall, lanky man strode through the emigration hall on Gambler’s Folly, with an ease and confidence that shouted danger. At first glance, most people assumed ex-military. At second glance they decided he was syndicate.

The shaved head, neatly groomed stubble, and ice cold eyes did nothing to dispel this impression. Neither did the expensive shirt, with the first three buttons open under an expensive and well-worn, dark leather vest. The black denim jeans hugged him snugly over boots whose cost would have fed a family of four for six months.

Dmitri Ivanovich Volkov, otherwise known as The Russian, encouraged this impression. It had served him well for a long, long time. People left him alone. He was a loner and preferred the peace the image brought.

Unlike most of his fellow travelers, he carried only a small duffle bag, since he had a local apartment in the establishment of his old friend, Damiano Leone. Looking at the time, he took a taxi to his place before taking a walk to work off the week of sedentary living on the shuttle.

His fourth floor apartment in the Stella d’Oro had been freshly cleaned and aired in anticipation of his arrival. Quickly stowing his bag in the wardrobe, he washed his face and checked to make sure his clothes were ready for the evening.

Back outside, he sniffed the breeze before turning to his left, toward the less privileged side of town. He strolled confidently down the walk as the crowds parted to give him passage. He liked to gauge the mood of a place when he arrived. Tonight he was picking up threads of anxiety.

A lot of it came from about a block to his left and a little farther down the street in the direction he currently traveled. Twilight had settled in, so he moved into the shadows and picked up his pace.

****

Danielle was scared. While walking the same route she did every night, several gang members surrounded her in this dark part of town. She’d always been concerned coming this way, but she had no choice without walking three time farther to avoid it.

“What have we got here?” the obvious leader of the group sneered. “Aren’t you kind of little to be out on your own?”

She was small, scarcely over five feet tall. But she felt even smaller now, as they slowly closed in on her. She thought she’d seen someone in the shadows, but a second glance showed nothing. Pity.

When strong, warm hands came to rest on her shoulders, she assumed the worst. Her mouth went dry and her knees nearly folded. She knew she was dead.

“Disperse. The woman is none of your concern,” she heard behind her.

“Who the hell are you? And what do you think you can do? There are five of us and only one of you.”

“Go your way. The woman is none of your concern.”

A tense silence followed for a few seconds before the leader of the group laughed and spoke again.

“Sure, man. Sorry.”

The entire group turned and retreated up the street. As she watched them leave, the shakes began. Turning to thank her savior, her nose caught the scent of woodsy loam and spicy autumn leaves, overlaid with hints of dark musk and tobacco. For a moment her head spun as she caught her breath.

“Are you all right?” the deep voice asked. “Did they hurt you?”

“No, I’m fine. Just scared,” she answered as she looked up into eyes as cold and blue as ice on a wintry lake. Eyes which seemed to pierce her soul held her captive.

“Where were you going?” he asked.

“I’m on my way home. Thank you for your help. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t stepped in.”

“It’s part of my job—rescuing maidens in distress. I’ll walk with you and make sure you arrive safely.”

The smile was warm, though it didn’t melt the ice in those eyes.

“What did you do? He was right, you know. There were five of them.”

“Some questions it is better not to ask,” he answered.

They walked quietly toward her small apartment, her arm through his. Honestly, she doubted she could have made it on her own. Her knees still shook and her legs felt like rubber.

At her door he asked, “Will you be all right? Is there someone you can call?”

“No. There is no one. Thank you for your help and your time. I’m sure you had better things to do.”

His eyes held hers and she had the sudden urge to kiss this man. He must have had similar thoughts, as he reached toward her and traced her face with one finger.

By mutual consent, they leaned together for the kiss she had to have. It should have been a quick parting kiss, but between his scent and his taste, she was lost. Apricots in brandy with a hint of cardamom lingered as they parted. The look in his eyes matched what she felt.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’ve taken liberties. I don’t know how that happened. I never do this.”

“Neither do I,” she replied. “I don’t even know your name.“

“I’m called Dmitri,” he said.

Her eyes focused on his mouth, wanting another kiss.

“I’m Danielle. Danni to my friends.”

“Danni. I like it.”

“Are you going to be on Gambler’s Folly very long?” she asked.

“No. I’m here for work.”

“Can I see you again?” she asked this man who had just saved her from rape and possibly death.

“I doubt I will have the time. Let me see you go into your apartment before I leave.”

“Goodbye, Dmitri,”

“And to you, Danni, my little flower,” he answered with a sad smile.

****

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.

Happy New Year everyone!

Soul-bound lovers

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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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Black and white

Yes! You read it correctly! I have all my books on Smashwords on sale for .99 from now through Monday, November 27!

This includes all the books in the Esperance Series, and Dante’s Angel from the Speranza Series.

Master of the Fleet is now available for preorder, and is also included in this weekend sale!

So, if you’ve been thinking about ordering one of my books, but weren’t quite sure, now’s the time.

All of my books are also available in paperback as well, through Amazon, if you’re looking for a gift.

Wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday season.

esperance-series-covers

Speranza the Series

A woman commands his heart

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This time of year is the perfect time to read. Cool evenings, warm fires, something nice to drink. And a good book!

Have you read the books from Esperance? How about a trip to Gambler’s Folly?

Dante’s Angel is the latest book from Gambler’s Folly, in the Speranza Series.

And from Esperance, Morgan–The Pixie and the Green Man is Book 3!

So if you’re looking for something different, a nice Fantasy Romance with a paranormal twist, check out one of the links above.

And don’t forget–

—to Share the Romance…

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Mel and Gambler's FollyI addressed readers a few days ago. But now let’s ask a question I hear quite often. Why do you write? Where do you find your inspiration?

Not everyone writes for the same reason. There are probably as many reasons as there are authors out there. I write because it’s fun, in its own way. Yes, it can be aggravating, frustrating and lead to sleepless nights. But I still write.

I know authors who write to get the characters out of their head, and those characters can demand attention while they’re trying to be born.

Some authors write to inform others. Sometimes it is about a problem they see in society, sometimes about dealing with a disease. Perhaps they want to show us about live in another part of the world. Others want to show us a personal history, an autobiography or genealogy.

And where do we find inspiration? For many it is from life itself, from interactions with friends, neighbors, people we meet in town or at the airport. There is just something about a situation or a chance meeting that provides a spark for a new story.

Sometimes ideas come from dreams. I’ve had several stories begin in my dreams and develop while I sleep. A few times I’ve written myself into a situation I can’t figure a way out of, but a good night’s sleep and a few dreams usually help points the way.

Authors, help me out here. Let’s have your comments on why you write and where you find inspiration. If you’re daring, go to my Facebook page and comment.

Why do we write? Because we must.

What inspires us? Anything and everything in the world.

Talk to you later. And if you haven’t joined my Pre-Sale Event  for Jareth, First Lord yet, jump on over to Facebook.

And whatever you do,

Don’t forget—

     —to Share the Romance…

                                              Mellie E. Miller

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CampNaNoWriMoCamp NaNoWriMo is almost over. Three more days of writing time. I’m proud of one of my cabin mates–PalmerMorel.  He has already finished his goal!

I have only 2680 words left to finish mine for, Defender of the Red Dragon. I hope to reach that finish line tomorrow and validate my count for a win.

To anyone out there who hasn’t tried NaNoWriMo, it is a great motivator to write everyday and to set goals. In April and July, you can set your own word goals and shift them if need be. The standard count is 50,000 words in one month, which is what I’m doing this July.

The biggie is in November. No cabins. Just you, and your manuscript, and 50,000 word goal.

So come along and join us next time. Not ready for November? That’s all right. Join us in the spring and set a smaller goal. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you’re writing. 

Wish me luck! 50,000 words or bust!

Mellie

Excerpt from Defender of the Red Dragon–rough draft.

Enough musing, Ruth thought. Time for bed. After saying good night to the warrior in the painting and stroking the dragon’s nose, she slipped wearily between the sheets and nodded off, her mind still on moons, tides, dragons, and knights.

Thunder boomed and echoed through the darkness, as her house trembled to the sound. Great bolts of lightning seared the night sky. Shaken from slumber by the storm, Ruth quickly grabbed a robe and went to fill up some pitchers with water, in case the power went out. She unplugged the coffeemaker just in case. She’d had several fried during thunderstorms as power surges came in through the power lines.

The air had cooled significantly, so Ruth snapped the front of her robe most of the way down and tied the belt snuggly. With all the noise, there was no way she would sleep for a while. Lighting a candle, she took the book from her nightstand and sat down to read.

The storm continued to escalate. Lightning bolts became sheets of electrical display. Though she’d seen sheet lightning before, it was a rare occurrence. The air had a different feel, and she felt a heightening of her senses.

It was around three in the morning. Restless, Ruth paced the floor. Admiring the painting again, she reached up to touch the dragon just as a tremendous bolt of lighting struck across the street.

Everything went black around her and her ears rang. “That was awfully close,” she thought, as she tried to find the door frame to steady her. “I must be a little dazed by the sound of the lightning.”

As the ringing subsided, she heard faint sounds of people talking, while the air was infused with the scent of roasting meat.

She still couldn’t see anything, but discovered she had her eyes tightly closed. She remedied this and found she was crouched down behind a large barrel in a dark alley. She must have blacked out for a time, because she could see daylight overhead. While there was no rain, she could hear thunder in the offing.

Where in hell was she? She rose to her feet and brushed at the dirt which clung to her robe. At least she was dressed, sort of. But what should she do? She could see no one else in the alley, and she wasn’t sure what she would find in the street. The voices came from inside the building next to her. It must be some sort of café or something.

Shocked and dazed by recent events, she simply stood in the alley and tried to think it through.

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