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Posts Tagged ‘shape shifters’

If you can’t take the time off right, now, how about a literary vacation? Visit a place that exists only in the mind of a half-crazed author…

I have two series going right now. One is Esperance–a highland world full of magic, mischief, and romance. Book one introduces Jareth and Viviane and follows their courtship. Book two follows Viviane’s attempts to gain control over her blossoming psychic talents. And Book 3 tells of Morgan’s and James’ romance.

The second is Speranza–a futuristic world with shape-shifters of all sorts. Book one takes place on the pleasure world, Gambler’s Folly. The second follows Damiano and Karianna to Earth, where Dante meets his soulmate, throwing the whole family and wedding plans into chaos.

So if you can’t take a vacation right now, take a little time and visit one of these worlds. You’ll always be welcome.

ESPERANCE SERIES

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Mellie+Miller?_requestid=231514https://

http://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/29658

SPERANZA

http://amzn.com/1627405844

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

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

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Yes, I’ve finally reached the end of The Russian. And now begins the work. Taking that 99,000 word draft and shaping it into a story, and cutting it down to size in the process.

Many people think coming up with an idea and writing the first draft is the difficult bit. And maybe it is for some people. What most don’t realize is that the first draft is only the beginning. Yes, it gets your idea down on paper–so to speak. You now know where you’re beginning and how it all works out in the end.

Does the guy get the girl? Is it a “happily ever after” romance? Is it something much darker? Mainstream or erotica? Mystery or intrigue?

But the first draft isn’t a story yet. It hasn’t been shaped or molded. It is the raw material, the bare bones, from which your story can grow into something wonderful–with work.

Some authors have trouble getting up to a novel length word count. Some of us overwrite–sometimes a lot–and have to pare the story down to size. This is my particular problem.

But it’s okay! It’s the first draft. It’s a place to start, the clay to shape into your masterpiece. A potter doesn’t take a huge lump of clay, slap it down onto the wheel and say, “There it is! Isn’t it marvelous?”

It’s just clay at this point, nothing recognizable. But with a little work, the potter can make it into something beautiful or useful. Or both!

If you’re beginning to write, that’s fantastic! But don’t get stuck in your first draft.

And don’t stop writing because your first draft isn’t perfect. No first draft is.

But you must have a first draft before you can have a finished product. As one of my friends says, you can edit a first draft. You can’t edit a blank page.

Here’s to first drafts –the  misspelled, grammatically challenged, run-on sentence laden,  unedited  trash from which our stories grow.

Cheers!

 

Looking for something to read–that isn’t a first draft?

Check out my Esperance Series:

Or get a copy of Gambler’s Folly or Dante’s Angel from the Speranza Series.

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

 

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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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I know it has been a while since I wrote anything here. I have been writing, but not on the blog… I’ve been working on Book 3 for Gambler’s Folly.

Yes, I said Book 3.  Book 2, Dante’s Angel, should be out by the end of the month. Since I was already sort of in Gambler’s Folly mode, I decided to go ahead and begin Book 3–The Russian.

While the main characters in Gambler’s Folly and Dante’s Angel are big cat-shifters, our Russian, Dmitri,  is a wolf-shifter. Descended from a dire-wolf line, when shifts he is one big wolf.

The young woman who is meant to be his mate, Danni, is a very small person, but her attitude makes up for her size.

Meet Dmitri and Danni!

Dmitri:

“The tall, lanky man strode through the emigration hall on Gambler’s Folly with an ease and confidence that spoke of 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 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, which suited him fine. He was a loner and preferred the peace that came with the image.”

Danni:

“If it hadn’t been for her scent, he would have been fine. The lilacs with honeyed-vanilla and white musk 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.”

This story is about halfway to completion. We’re waiting for cover art to publish Dante’s Angel. Ready for another excerpt?

Dante’s Angel:

“What is the occasion, Dante?” Paulo asked him. “You look exceptionally well tonight.”

“I thought I’d take Karianna’s advice and watch my posture.”

“Well, it seems to have done you some good. I hadn’t realized you were as tall as I am.”

Neither had Dante. He was used to looking up when he talked to Paulo, but tonight he was close to looking the man in the eye.

“I don’t think I’m quite that tall,” he answered.

“Perhaps not, but very nearly. You should stand up more often.”

“Maybe I will. Have you heard anything about Angela?”

“A little. She is a cousin of Damiano’s, on his mother’s side. She is twenty-four and has trained as a healer for our kind.”

“Her family are shifters?” Dante asked.

“Yes, cats like us. And she’s training with Damiano’s mother, so she must be very good. The Signora only works with the most promising.”

“I guess I should stop hoping then,” Dante said, sadly.

“Why?”

“Nobody with her background would be interested in me, would they?”

“You should begin to believe in yourself,” Paulo told him. “Why would anyone else believe in you if you don’t? If you’re interested, let her know. You should see her fairly often. I think she’s helping with the wedding.”

“Maybe. I’ll think about it.”

“Now that you’ve learned to stand up straight, maybe you will stop putting yourself down at every turn. You work for the agency, in a specialized division. You don’t sweep floors in a warehouse.”

So watch for Dante’s Angel later this month. As soon as we have a cover we’ll do a cover reveal! In the meantime, I’ll be working on The Russian.

Where can you find my books? Follow me on Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/Mellie-Miller/e/B00954K2C8

For Esperance Series books:

 

 

For Gambler’s Folly:

http://amzn.com/1627405844

Until later.

Don’t forget…

to Share the Romance…

 

 

 

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Gambler’s Folly is still #9 on the Bookstrand Mainstream Top Sellers List for the past six months.

A futuristic, paranormal fantasy romance set on the pleasure paradise of Gambler’s Folly, the book is an “Awesome read! This book is smoking hot in an unexpected, underworld kinda way. I didn’t have to read several chapters in before I became totally engrossed. The Author’s engaging style captivated me before the 1st paragraph was done. Gambler’s Folly is a page turner, a bestseller, a literary Hidden Gem at its finest! I can’t wait to read the next book by Mellie Miller.”  At least according to Katandra Jackson, CEO of FreedomInk 365.

It also helped me win the Most Artistic award this year on the BBFB Awards for Let Me Tell Your Story.

Haven’t read it yet? It’s available at Bookstrand, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

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

http://www.amazon.com/Gamblers-Folly-BookStrand-Publishing-Romance-ebook/dp/B00EKWRB3S

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gamblers-folly-mellie-e-miller/1116472748?ean=9781627405843

Go ahead. Try it! What are you waiting for?

Ciao for now…

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Black and whiteSound like something you might like? Well look no further. The paranormal fantasy, Gambler’s Folly, contains all these elements.

Set in the future Gambler’s Folly is a pleasure world. Think Monte Carlo and Vegas mixed with the Swiss Alps and the French Riviera. Anything you want is yours, be it peace and quiet in the mountains, sunning on the beach, or trying to beat the house odds at a game of cards.

Meet Karianna, who’s husband lost her on a bet to the most powerful syndicate boss on the planet.

Meet Damiano, owner of a chain of hotels and gaming houses tied to the syndicate on Gambler’s Folly.

Once married, follow their story into a world of glamour and danger, as Damiano faces the biggest gamble of his life. Can he and his shape-shifting  friends outwit his enemies and save his wife?

Read Gambler’s Folly today!

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

mem-gamblersfolly1

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mem-gamblersfollyHere’s a little peek at my novel, Gambler’s Folly. Enjoy!

Trae wasn’t back yet
and it was past time for dinner. Where was he? She slammed the
brush down on the dressing table and dried her eyes, as anger
overcame disappointment.
Wondering what to do, she heard the sound of his key card in the
lock. “Where in the hell…” she began as Trae entered the room,
followed by two well-built men in expensively tailored suits. “Trae,
what’s going on? Who are these guys?”
“Hi, sweetheart. These men are associates of Mr. Leone. They’ve
come to take you to him.”
“Take me to—Mr. Leone? The biggest mob boss on the planet?”
“Um, yeah. I kind of lost a bet. Sorry.”
“You lost a bet? What kind of bet? What have you done, Trae
O’Brien?”
“Well, you won’t have to worry about the house anymore, or the
car, or really anything. I lost all of it. Then, in order to get out from
under that and a M1,000,000 debt, he insisted I put you on the table,
as it were. Win or lose, one hand, and all my debts were gone. Just if I
lost, he got you. And I lost. Sorry.”
“Sorry? Sorry?! You’re more than sorry, Trae. What the hell?”
she shouted, as one of the impeccably dressed men took her arm.
“Come along, Mrs. O’Brien. Mr. Leone is waiting.”
“I’m not going anywhere with you. Get your hands off me!”
As she struggled with one man, the other one found her purse, and
checked for her passport and papers. Speaking into what must have
been a wrist transceiver, man number two said, “We have the lady.
Mr. O’Brien will be right down to sign the papers.”
“Papers? What papers, Trae?”
The older of the two men smiled and said, “The ones signing
away his rights to you, love. Come along.”
“Trae? Trae!”
Downstairs, watching her husband sign away his debts, Karianna
was numb. How could this even be legal? Did it matter when you
were dealing with the mob?
Pushing the signed papers across the table, Trae said, “Well, that’s
that I guess. You’re sure we’re good?”
“Mr. Leone was very clear about it. One hand, win or lose, all
debts forgiven.”
“What about me?” Kari asked, in shock. “What am I supposed to
do?”
The man in the shadows was quiet for a moment, and then said,
“Go ahead and take her downstairs, to one of the special guest rooms.
Mr. Leone will see her there and decide what to do with her.”
Entering the elevator, one of her escorts used a pass card to select
a private underground floor. From what she’d heard about the place,
the lower-level suites were exclusive and outrageously expensive.
The suite they opened for her certainly bore that out. Stepping
onto the lush carpet was like stepping onto a cloud. Hidden mood
lighting around the perimeter of the ceiling lit the area evenly, while
the trickling water in a small fountain created a gentle background
sound. Live plants grew under specialized lights and the scent in the
air was soothing.
“Just relax, have a drink if you wish. Mr. Leone will be here
shortly,” one of the men told her. And then they were gone.
Turning back toward the door, Karianna tried the latch, just for the
sake of trying. Locked. For all the creature comforts and beauty in the
room, it was really just a cushy cell. But she didn’t intend to stay here
any longer than she had to. Chances were good that, if she could reach
the elevator, she could get back to the lobby. Usually pass cards were
needed only to enter a floor, not to leave it. Now, what could she use
as a weapon?
As the door opened, she tensed, ready to make her escape.
Unfortunately, Mr. Leone had come prepared. The first bodyguard
easily caught the floor lamp she swung at him and set it on the floor
beside the door.
“Restraints,” she heard someone say. After a struggle with both
bodyguards, Karianna found she was snugly restrained between two
poles, clothes torn and disheveled. While she’d been looking over the
room, she’d thought they were for in-room entertainment. She now
saw they were equipped for hand and ankle restraints. Soft and
cushioned, the restraints were nevertheless effective. Adjustable stops
kept her from sliding the restraints up and down, holding her firmly in
place, exactly as she was.
“Thank you, gentlemen,” she heard the voice say. It was a deep,
dark, sensual voice which made her spine tingle. “We’ll be fine now.”
“Yes, Mr. Leone. Have a pleasant evening,” she heard one of the
bodyguards answer. The door opened, closed, and she was alone with
a man many had reason to fear.

 

Want to see more?

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

 

Get your copy tonight!

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