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If you liked Gambler’s Folly, you’ll certainly love The Russian. Book 3 in the series of books from Gambler’s Folly, this is the story of wolf-shifter, Dmitri Ivanovich Volkov, and his soul mate, Danni.

No one knows for sure how old Dmitri–known to his friends as Dima–actually is, but he’s been around over 500 years at least. His earlier years were spent in what had been known as Russia, but since then he has travelled all over the know universe, mainly as a mercenary.

A little over 200 years ago, he met his soulmate Ilyana and they were together for fifty years. When she died, she took his heart with her to the grave. Since then he has hunted alone, neither wanting nor needing any type of romantic relationship.

He currently works with the Special Unit of Interpol, alongside Damiano, Dante, and the bear shifter who is the chief. On a trip to Gambler’s Folly, he finds a young woman threatened by gang members and goes to her rescue.

Maybe Mother Nature is giving him a second chance at happiness.

The Russian is now available for pre-order at Smashwords for $0.99. Once it is released, the price will go up, so go on over and check it out.

How about an excerpt before we go?

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.

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It’s about that time this evening, but a good night meme I saw reminded me of a passage from Jareth, First Lord.

How about a little snippet from the first book in the Esperance Series?

Looking up into the sky through the branches, Viviane realized tonight wasn’t just another night. She called it to Jareth’s attention. As they watched, the two moons above were aligning. In a few moments, one would completely eclipse the other, and for a little while this evening, only one moon would grace the sky.


“‘In the heart of winter, the two become one, the past put to rest, the
future begun,’” Jareth said, quoting the ancient legend. “Perhaps there is a
reason we came here tonight,” he told her, his eyes staring intently into hers as if he could read her soul.

Good night everyone.

Sweet dreams….



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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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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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Hope your holiday was wonderful!

Who doesn’t love a book sale? I know I sure do. And for all of you out there who have been thinking about looking at some of my novels, now’s your chance

All my books at Smashwords are FREE through Jan. 1!

http://bit.ly/MellieMiller_SW

Do you prefer to shop Amazon?

Viviane, First Lady

Morgan–The Pixie and the Green Man

Dante’s Angel

Master of the Fleet

All are on sale right now for $0.99!

http://bit.ly/Mellie_Am

#fantasy #romance #magic #FreeBooks

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

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Have you read Gambler’s Folly and Dante’s Angel?

Then you’re in luck! The next book in the series, The Russian, should be coming out in the spring! He’s a wolf-shifter and over 500 years old. After losing his soul mate 200 years ago, he refused to get involved with anyone, preferring to remain a lone wolf than suffer the heartbreak again.

But all that changes when he meets Danni on a dark street and rescues her from several gang members. There was something about her scent as it wrapped around him. And when he kissed her good night…

Watch for The Russian! and if you haven’t read Gambler’s Folly or Dante’s Angel, go over to Amazon or to Smashwords and check them out!

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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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Dmitri Ivanovich Volkov.

He is known as The Russian.

He is a werewolf.

During his lifetime of over 500 years, he has served in the military of many countries, and  worked as a mercenary. He currently works for Interpol’s special division, alongside Damiano, Dante, and the rest of the gang.

But after losing his soul-mate two hundred years ago, he has avoided any serious relationships. Until now.

How could this tiny blond with hazel eyes turn his world upside down?

Watch for The Russian, coming soon from Speranza and Gambler’s Folly!

The next morning he met Dam, Marco, Paulo, and several of the others at the Interpol offices.

Damiano had been “picked up for questioning” earlier in the morning, to keep his cover intact.

As they waited in the break room for the chief to call them back, Dmitri told the others about

meeting his mystery woman the night before.

“I swear to you, I can’t get her scent out of my mind,” he stated as the others laughed in

amusement.

“I had to send my clothes to the cleaners last night.”

“Ah, well,” Marco said. “At least it will be a trip to remember.”

“Definitely,” Dmitri agreed. Sniffing the air, his eyes narrowed as he caught an all too familiar

scent.

“Lilacs and vanilla. She is here. My Danni is here.”

Spinning around, he charged out of the break room toward the accounting department.

Coming through the door, with an armload of files, was Danielle Peters, one of their accountants.

“Danni!” they all heard.

With a quick snap, her head turned toward the crazy Russian, and file folders cascaded to the

floor as she rushed to meet him.

“Dmitri! Why are you here?” she asked, with her arms tightly around him.

“Why are you here? I work for the agency.”

“So do I–in accounts.”

The next thing he knew, he was drawn into a kiss more passionate than the one the night before.

“Dima,” he heard. Intoxicated by the scent and taste of this sweet little female, he turned to stare

into Damiano’s eyes. “I see you’ve met our Danni.”

With a growl, Dmitri answered, “She is not your Danni. She is mine.”

“I am not a threat, my friend. I’m already mated. What I mean is, she is the Danni who works here

in the office with us.”

“I had no idea,” Dmitri answered.

Danni clung to him as if her life depended on it. Looking down into hazel-green eyes, he once again traced her face with his finger before his thumb

caressed her bottom lip. Once more, he leaned down to kiss those pouting lips

and taste the sweetness that was Danni.

“Dmitri Ivanovich! Leave the staff alone and get your shaggy wolf ass in here!”

The chief was irritated.

The growl caught everyone by surprise and shocked the entire office into silence. It was the

sound of an irritated dire-wolf.

“I have arrangements to make. I’ll be there when I’ve finished.”

“Dima! What the hell has gotten into you?” the chief asked.

The growl was louder this time and more menacing. Turning back toward Danni, Dmitri said,

“We need to talk later. But right now, I have an old bear to deal with. I’ll come for you after work.”

Holding her closely, he kissed her again, reveling in the passion she returned. Retreating gently,

he looked into her haunted eyes.

“Mishka,” she said, about a second before she fainted.

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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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