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I hadn’t intended to write a series when I began. I really hadn’t. Things just  got out of hand.

When I originally wrote Jareth, First Lord, I had assumed it would be a stand-alone. But I decided I really wanted to continue on with Viviane’s story.

So I began to write the second book, adding Viviane, First Lady. Which seemed like a good idea, until my editor suggested bringing this book to a quicker end and using the rest to start another book..

(sigh)

I could see her point. It did seem as if I’d decided to end the story, got my second wind, and continued.

So then I had three books. Until I had the idea for another book in the series, which was more a “story in a story.” It focused on one character from Book 1–Morgan.

Okay. Back to Book 3, now Book 4, which continues from where Book 2 ended. Right?

Well, yes. Except I have this fabulous idea for another feature story, like Morgan. Which is a wonderful story, if I say so myself. And while I’m piecing together Book 4 , Book 5–The Blacksmith’s Son–is taking shape.

Of course, during all of this, I’ve been trying to figure out how to end the series. How to tie it all together. Which leads us to at Book 6.

No! Wait! What about this guy? Surely he can contribute to the plot of the series. (Rolls eyes) And so we have another vignette–Gregor Thayne.

Book 6 becomes Book 7.

Gregor becomes Book 6.  I think. Maybe.

No, there will be an end to the series. Someday.

Seriously. But in the meantime, enjoy the stories from Esperance.

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Not that you could stop it, actually. But it is snowing in Georgia! Big, fluffy, soppy flakes began earlier in the day. You could almost hear the sploosh as the hit the ground they were so bit and wet. The chickens weren’t sure about coming out of the hen house, and I can’t say I blamed them. Eventually they ventured out far enough to eat and scratch around a little.

Now, with the bamboo bowed over the driveway and the path to the garden, the snow is turning to rain and sleet. I hope this doesn’t mean freezing rain later.  Snow I don’t mind. Rain is fine, but freezing rain is not fun.

So far we still have power, there’s soup simmering on the wood stove, which is guarded by the cats–Miss Kitty and The Monster. With a little luck, they may stay warm enough…

Seems like a nice day to do some writing.

Or perhaps you would prefer to read.

And I have just the thing–two fantasy worlds to choose from.

Esperance–a distant highland world full of mischief, magic and romance.

Speranza–a futuristic world filled with intrigue, romance and shape-shifters.

So grab something warm to drink, curl up in your favorite chair by the fire, and check out a new world.

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Set in an alternate timeline of the American Northwest, Master of the Fleet combines paranormal abilities with romance.

Richard Lemarnier  owns the largest merchant fleet on the coast and is its Master of the Fleet. With the ability to bend wind and water to his will, he keeps his ships safe out on the high seas.

Would that he could protect his heart.

Anne-Marie is a seamstress and has captured Richard’s attentions. Having been deeply hurt in the past, she’s out to take men for whatever she can get, without getting trapped in a marriage.

Until she meets Richard and bites off more than she can chew.

Watch for Master of the Fleet!

In the meantime, check out some of my other books!

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/meleigh53

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My favorite season! How about you?

Cool evenings, crackling fires, and a good book. And don’t forget the spiced cider! What better reading than a good romance?

What are you reading tonight?

ESPERANCE

Jareth, First Lord

Viviane, First Lady

Morgan–The Pixie and the Green Man

 

 

 

 

 

SPERANZA

  Gambler’s Folly

Dante’s Angel

 

 

 

 

 

(and don’t Forget–

    to share the Romance…)

 

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Who doesn’t like an excerpt? Here’s a sample of the first chapter from Dante’s Angel.

To read the first 20% of the book, check out my page at Smashwords.

Dante’s Angel is Book 2 from the Speranza Series.

If you haven’t read Book 1,  Gambler’s Folly, check it out!

DANTE’S ANGEL

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 traveled 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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Well then, step right over and get your copy of  Dante’s Angel!

What is Dante’s Angel?

Dante is one of Damiano Leone’s co-workers on Gambler’s Folly. When Dam and his mate, Karianna, return to Earth for their church wedding, Dante, Marco, and Paulo go with them to be members of the wedding party.

But Dante has never been off of Gambler’s Folly, and is most decidedly single, a fact which is brought home more strongly by his friend’s wedding. He’s been told he could be Damiano’s little brother, but his looks don’t seem to do him much good. Besides, woman make him tongue-tied. He hasn’t even been on a date for a month.

But all this changes when he meets Angela, Damiano’s cousin. With her, his mouth seems to have developed a mind of its own. And while both of them find the other irritating at their first meeting, their first kiss later on in the evening sizzles.

How can they be soul mates when they’ve just met?

DANTE’S ANGELa Paranormal Fantasy Romance, sequel to award-winning Gambler’s Folly!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/738377

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073SJYN67/ref

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dantes-angel-mellie-miller/1126709987

Excerpt:

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 so 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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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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