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Good afternoon and a happy Friday to everyone out there today! Hope you’re out of the path of the storms coming through.

One of the questions people ask is where an author gets an idea. And it is difficult to answer sometimes.

But let me see if I can tell you about Master of the Fleet.

For several years, I was a member of the SCA–Society for Creative Anachronism. It was fun recreating life from the middle ages, learning new skills, learning about how people lived during those times.

And music! As a musician, I loved learning songs and compositions from this time period. As part of a recorder consort, we got plenty of practice on music from different countries, some of which have come down into more modern times.

I remember playing the song Flow Gently Sweet Afton for my father, only to hear him say his mother had sung the song to him when he was young.

So what has this to do with Master of the Fleet?

One song most people know from around the Middle Ages–though it may be a little later–is Greensleeves. If you’re not familiar with the lyrics, you can find them online. The theme of the song is about a man who has gifted his love with everything imaginable, from jewels to fine linens, only to be cast aside.

Now, my writer’s mind began to wonder what would have happened if things had gone a bit differently.

And then my SCA mind began to create a scene, albeit the scene would have been part of a play put on for the delight of the guests at a feast.

So, putting the two together, I created the sketch for the feast–an argument breaking out between a man and woman, which gets out of hand, and ending with drawn blades.

In the sketch, this would have ended with him binding her to him as a sworn servant.

In the story, which is set in an alternate timeline where magic is real, Master of the Fleet, it goes far beyond that.

How far?

Now that would be telling, wouldn’t it?

To read Master of the Fleet, go over to Smashwords this weekend. The ebook is on sale for only $0.99. The ebook is available in several different formats to fit your reader.

Prefer Amazon!

It’s available in Kindle, paperback, and hardcover!

So, that’s it for this week. Have a wonderful, magical weekend.

And Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance…

How about an excerpt?


“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
traveled 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?”

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I swear, Mother Nature needs to get back on her meds or something. Maybe see a shrink. She seems stuck in bitch mode. Yesterday was a little chilly and rainy, but not really cold. I think it was in the mid-50’s And during the night the temperatures slowly climbed until it was around 60 degrees this morning.

Of course, since then, the temperatures have been dropping, with an expected low in the 20’s tonight. From spring to winter in one overnight jump. Our animals can’t figure out what to do. Should we grow fur and feathers or begin shedding again?

What am I saying? I can’t figure out what to do either. I have winter clothes out, summer clothes out, clothes everywhere. And I’m still not comfortable. I’m either too hot or too cold, but never quite comfortable.

In the meantime, I’m working on the next book in the Esperance Series. No, not the next one for you, but the next one in the series I’m writing. The next one for you, Too Many Talents, is in its final edit. And after that will be Ben of Blackstone’s Forge. Finally we’ll get to the one I’m working on now, Gregor Thayne.

Yes, I do have new books planned, but they take a little while for me to get them out to you.

But if you haven’t read the first books in the series, this would be a good weekend to give them a try.

Why?

All the Esperance books are on sale this weekend over at Smashwords. Take your pick, or pick all three. They’re only $0.99 each through Sunday evening.

Come on. You can’t even buy a cup of coffee for that any more. And at Smashwords, you can choose which format ebook you need for your reader.

So keep warm. Or cool. Or whatever it is you need today. Maybe Mother Nature will get her act together soon.

But before I go, how about a small excerpt from Too Many Talents?

Too Many Talents

Excerpt from Chapter 2–Connell

“But Mom, why do I have to go live with Grandpa? I want to stay here with you,” Connell complained for the hundredth time.

“You know why, young man,” his mother scolded. “And as soon as your father and I can take care of everything here, we’ll join you.”

“But how long will that be?” he asked, rolling his blue eyes at her. “I don’t know why we have to go anyway. I don’t want to be First Lord.”

“Now that is enough. We don’t have time for this. You’re ten years old and you know better.”

“I’m almost eleven,” he countered.

“Then start acting like it,” his mother snapped, exasperation beginning to show.

“But what about all my friends? I won’t have any friends there,” he continued.

“I’m sure you’ll make new friends.”

“But I like my old ones.”

“Connell, find something to do besides complain, or I’ll find something for you to do.”

“Fine!”

The little boy of almost eleven spun on his heel and ran out the door. Arriving at his favorite spot by the stream, he dropped down onto a large gray boulder and fought back the tears. No, he would not cry. Selecting a flat stone from the bank, he skipped it expertly across the water.

He wasn’t sure how long he’d been there before he heard someone behind him.

“Connell? Can I sit with you?”

Great! The voice could only be little Nell. She was all right for a girl, but, well, she was a girl. And she was always trying to help him with whatever he was doing. Two years younger than he was, they’d grown up together in the village, and he’d always liked her, even though she could be annoying.

“I guess. Sure,” he answered with a sigh.

He turned to give the little blonde, blue-eyed girl a hand so she wouldn’t slip on the bank. Once seated on the rock bench, she smoothed her flowered frock down over her knees.

“What are you doing down here? I thought you guys were moving.”

“Mom’s mad and told me to find something to do. So I came down to skip stones.”

“I could never do that. Can you show me?”

Even if she was a girl, Nell took his mind away from his problems. They skipped stones until the light began to fade.

“We should probably go back, Nell,” he told the little girl. “Mom was mad before I came down here. If I’m too late getting back, it won’t help anything.”

“Will I see you before you go, Connell?” she asked.

“I guess. We’ll be here a few days yet, and anyway, I’ll come back sometimes.”

“Can I still be your friend when you’re First Lord?”

“Of course. Why couldn’t you?”

“I don’t know. I just wondered. Thanks, Connell.”

About a week later, over the weekend, his father got the cart ready for the trip to Belfort Manor. Connell had determined ahead of time not to cry, no matter what, at least until they were out of town.

Though his mother said she was fine, he saw a few tears threatening to fall before he looked away. He so wished his parents could come with him right now. The idea of living with his grandfather, the First Lord, was intimidating

Of course, Nell had been there, tearful, and sure she’d never see him again. The pretty little bouquet of wildflowers was a sweet gesture, and after a quick hug, she buried her face in her mother’s skirt with a big sob.

“He’s not going away forever, Nell,” his mother had said. “He’s going to train his skills so he’ll be a good First Lord.”

So Ciao for now, and as always…

Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance…

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Yes, all the books from my Esperance Series are on sale this weekend! If you’re like me, you love a book sale. I have several series I’ve started I need to finish. Since they’re all several books long, I wait for a sale to stock up.

And you can do the same!

Just go to Smashwords and check it out. All three books in the current series are on sale for only $0.99 each! Full length novels you can sit back and get into.

So if you’re looking for a place to get away, Esperance may be what you’re looking for–a place from an earlier time, ruled by psychic lords, and normal, everyday people with maybe a touch of Talent to make life a little easier for them.

Book1–Jareth First Lord

Book 2–Viviane, First Lady

Book 3–Morgan–The Pixie and the Green Man

Get one or get all at this special weekend price.

And watch for the next one in the series later this year:

Too Many Talents, Book 4.

I’ll let you know when it is available!

And as always,

Don’t Forget…

...to Share the Romance…

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Yes,January 1 is the last day of the year end book sale over at Smashwords. So if you haven’t checked it out, now is definitely the time.

Is everyone ready for the New Year? What do you have planned for the weekend? We’re just going to hang out with the cats and enjoy the quiet of the countryside.

But if you’re looking for something to read, head on over to the sale. And for tonight and tomorrow only, you’ll find a special discount on all my books for the last hurrah of the season.

Hope your Christmas holiday was great and wishing you a wonderful, magical new year.

From all the folks on Gambler’s Folly, Esperance, and the Cote d’Or

Happy New Year!

And as always…

Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance…

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All right, I know it is the electronic age. Technology is everywhere, whether we like it or not. Everywhere you look, there is something else being done electronically.

But I wonder, how many readers prefer ebooks to print? Do people buy paperbacks and hardcover books anymore? Or are actual physical books a thing of the past?

I have recently been reading ebooks mostly because of the trouble I’m having with my eyes. I can’t seem to get enough light on the printed page to read the words. But I would much prefer an actual print book. There’s something about the feel of it in your hands, the turning of pages, and the smell of the ink.

It isn’t just the reading. It’s the whole experience. New books have the fresh from the press smell of the new paper and ink. Old books from a bookstore, especially the really old ones, have a musty, dusty smell. Sometimes, on the fly leaf you will find a brief note from a previous owner. Maybe it’s the date of purchase. Perhaps the book was given as a gift and there is a birthday or holiday message to the recipient of the gift.

On rare occasions, you might come across an autographed book and wonder who originally bought it. How did this book come to be in a used book store?

And how much are you willing to pay for a book? Do you buy ebooks from new authors, to try them out before committing to anything more expensive? I do this quite often with someone I’ve not read before. And then, if I like the book–and can actually see–I buy the next book in a print format.

Maybe you wait until they have a sale on, so you can save money. I like to do this if I’m completing a series, because I know I’ll probably binge read the whole thing.

If you’re looking for books this season, you can find all of mine in all formats at Amazon.

If you like ebooks, keep your eyes open for December 17, the start of the Smashwords seasonal book sale. All my books, and others, will be on sale for the holidays.

So drop me a line below, and share your thoughts with me. If I don’t see you again, have a wonderful and happy holiday!

Winter Wonderland

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But then, shouldn’t we always be thankful?

Before I get started on a rant, let me tell you the news.

For my thank you to all my readers, and those who follow me, I’m having a book sale.

Starting today and running through November 26, all my books on Smashwords will be available for 0.99 each. So if you’ve been waiting to try one, or aren’t sure, now is the time to take the plunge.

I mean, you can’t go wrong for less than a buck. Right?

So, do you prefer shifters or psychic abilities?

For shifters, look at the Gambler’s Folly Series.

For psychic abilities, try Esperance.

Maybe you like magic. If so, give Master of the Fleet a read.

Want an excerpt? Click on the Excerpt button at the top!

Not interested in e-books? If you prefer paperbacks or hardcover, go on over to Amazon! All my books are now available in both those formats as well!

Anyway, I think winter is making a comeback, so it is time to sit by the fire, with the cats, and have a nice read. Maybe a nice cuppa to go along with it. Just lean back, get comfy, and go to another place or time–or both!

If I don’t talk to you again before the holiday, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

And as always…

Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance…

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This question always comes up when someone hears I’m an author. And the answer isn’t necessarily a simple one. It depends on the book.

I’ve been told by some that I channel my stories. I don’t know exactly how that would be different from how anyone else writes, but once I get an idea, I just sit down, put my mind in neutral and go for it. And usually what I think is going to happen goes in some other weird direction I never would have thought of.

Jareth, First Lord began as a recurring dream. Not the beginning scene of the story, but somewhere down in chapter 1. When it wouldn’t leave me alone, I sat down and wrote it out. But how did we get to this point in the story? And where do we go from here?

Viviane was simply the second part of this story, so there was no problem there. But Morgan was a secondary character in Jareth. I liked Morgan and wanted to know more about her, so I sat down and began to write. I knew she’d come from Clan Belfort, but why had she come? And where would she end up?

Gambler’s Folly started from a song–South Coast. It’s an old song, but it tells about a man who won his wife in a card game. Now how could that happen today? As my mind turned this question over during the day, it began to spin me this tale of a pleasure world away from Earth, where anything could be won or lost in the games. And Gambler’s Folly was born. How the rest of it came about is nearly as much a mystery to me as it is to anyone else.

Dante’s Angel, the second book in the Gambler’s series came about much like Morgan did. He was a minor character I really liked and wanted to know about. And so I let my mind go and began to write. He turned out to be quite a character, as did his soul mate.

But The Russian was born from someone I saw in a video. A Russian rapper by the name of Geegun just looked like a werewolf to me. Probably with dire wolf blood. Now, how could I write him?

What about Master of the Fleet?

At various times in various places, I’ve been a member of the Society for Creative Anachromism–SCA. My persona was named Anne-Marie de Villehardouin, from 13th century France. One night, for some unknown reason, I dreamed a scene at one of the feasts. We had planned a sketch as part of the entertainment, run it by those in charge and had it approved. It involved a couple who started arguing at the table and escalated into her trying to stab him with a dagger. When that doesn’t work, and she loses the dagger, she grabs a sword and the two of them fight in front of the high table.

Now, this was not possible for real, at the time. But I thought it would be fun to do. As I turned it over in my mind, the thought came that it would make a good scene for a story as well. Only instead of it ending as part of the entertainment, it should end with a forced marriage.

Maybe he was a wizard of some sort as well as a swordsman…

I know. My mind is a very strange place. I can assure you, you wouldn’t like to visit.

But feel free to visit my worlds–Gambler’s Folly, Esperance, and the Cote d’Or.

If you shop on Smashwords, go check out my sale this weekend.

In the meantime…

Don’t Forget…

...to Share the Romance…

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My favorite time of year. The summer heat is beginning to ease off and the winter chill hasn’t set in yet. Of course, that’s not so much a problem here in the Southeast. While it gets chilly here, and sometimes down in the teens in the deepest part of winter, there’s nothing sub-zero.

Growing up in farm country up North, autumn was harvest time. All the late fruits and vegetables were coming in and the walnuts were falling off the tree. And I dearly love black walnuts…

Yes, they are a pain to get out of the shells, and the husks are just as bad. So what we did was rake the fallen nuts into the driveway. As the heavy equipment ran them over, it tore the husks off the walnuts for us. Of course, we still had to get the shells off, but that’s why there are hammers and small anvils…

Dried apples were always one of my favorites, with thoughts of pies made later in the winter full of cinnamon. Of course, I love to eat apples any time and our family could go through a bushel of apples in a couple weeks.

And the scenery was beautiful, with the leaves turning bright fiery red and orange, with splashes of gold amongst the others. Of course, as kids, raking up a huge pile of leaves to dive into was always fun. I’m not sure our parents appreciated it, but we had a blast.

It was also time to unpack the sweaters for the cooler temperatures, and I love sweaters and knits of all kinds. So when the temperatures began to drop, I was ready to dig back into the closet for my winter clothes and find my favorite knits to wear.

We always went to the county fair, which came around in September where we lived. Dad always went through the cattle and stock barns. Mom wanted to look at the cooking and canning items on display. And of course my sister and I went for the snacks and rides. It was a once a year family thing we all enjoyed.

Some of this love of autumn comes out in my writing. In Esperance, you’ll find fall festival gathers, with all the excitement I loved at the fairs. I also write about spring gathers. Couples form during the gathers, old friendships are renewed, new friendships are born. Gathers are a special time of year to celebrate the abundance of the harvest.

Haven’t read the books from Esperance? They’re all available at Amazon and Smashwords, as well as most other major book sellers. Watch for the next book to be released later this year–Too Many Talents.

Too Many Talents continues the story of Viviane and Jareth, while bringing in the story of the new heir of Belfort–a little boy of ten and a half years old named Connell. He’s having some of the same troubles as his Aunt Viviane as he tries to develop the Talents he’ll need to become First Lord.And he’s not happy about the whole affair, especially when his old friends come to see him at the gather.

Anyway, check out the Esperance Series and watch for Too Many Talents.

Have a wonderful autumn.

And as always,

Don’t Forget…

...to Share the Romance…

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And I do apologize. Summer has kind of gotten away from me this year, what with my husband in and out of town quite a bit, trying to garden in a thunderstorm, and find a way to walk without drowning.

But other than that, things are moving pretty smoothly here in the Southeast

So what has been happening in my writing?

Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale is still on through July 31 and all of my books are included. Most of them are a name-your-own-price book, a few are a very low price. All the books in the two series and the one published as Sultonna Nadine are there for you to snap up.

I love their Summer Winter sales for trying out new authors, adding more books to a series I’ve started, or just picking something at random. And with the sale prices, I can afford it.

Now, works in progress…

Gregor Thayne has been growing, and I believe I see a path toward the ending. One of the Esperance series stories, it will come after Ben of Blacstone’s Forge, which will come after Too Many Talents, so I have time to finish it and tinker. But I think you’ll like Gregor and his wife Caela. We were introduced to the family Rowan in Viviane, First Lady, at Viviane’s brother’ s trial. First Lord Kinsey was one of the judges on the bench during the proceedings.

Gregor is quite different from his father. More of a rogue than one would expect from the heir to the house, at one time in his life, he ran away from home, fled to the other side of the clan, took his mother’s maiden name, and joined the city guard. Eventually reconciled with his father, he agreed to take up his duties once again, but retained the name change.

On Gambler’s Folly, we have Unwilling Soulmates. Trevor is a leopard shifter from a wealthy family in Scotland, recently transfereed to Speranza from Crystal Mountain. Theresa is from Chicago and has an extreme prejudice against rich kids “playing cop.” Mother Nature is trying to push them toward a mating challenge, but she can’t stand the mention of his name, and her attitude has put him quite off. Every time they meet, she hurls more barbs and insults to the point of the chief threatening her with a three day suspension.

In the meantime, they have a drug issue going on, which this department of shifters is trying to track down. But the suppliers are an elusive bunch. Working with Dmitri, Nagi, and Shoda, Trevor would love to settle in to this new post. But that woman is making things particularly difficult.

Where will this end up? I’m working on that bit. But it will come in after Old Flame and Scotch and Soulmates in the Gambler’s Folly lineup.

Do you follow me on Twitter or Facebook? I’m thinking of starting a weekly snippet on Friday. What do you think? It would be little peeks at my WIP’s as things progress. Leave a comment if you have an opinion.

But do go check out the Book Sale at Smashwords. And check out my profiles on social media. For now, it’s time to sign off and get some writing done. Esperance? Or Gambler’s Folly? Where shall I visit today?

Ciao for now!

And Don’t Forget…

...to Share the Romance…

Coming soon…

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Yes, it’s that time again. Memorial Day. In the United States, it is a federal holiday set aside to honor military personnel who died in the performance of their military duties.

I know it isn’t, but it always seems like Memorial Day signals the beginning of summer. Maybe it’s because we always got out of school about then and our summer began.

Those of us in the marching band played in the town parade, whether school was finished for the year or not. We started at the school, marched through the town square, and then turned right to go to the cemetary. The eerie sound of the echo performance of Taps always brought tears to my eyes.

But let me tell you, those forest green wool uniforms were hot in the Ohio sun, whether marching or standing at parade rest. Complete with hats and gloves, we always hoped for a cloudy day.

Are you doing anything for Memorial Day this year? For many, it is a time for family get-togethers, barbecues, fireworks… Of course, around here, it seems any type of holiday is a time for fireworks.

I don’t have any family plans for the holiday, but I am planning something special for my readers.

A Book Sale over at Smashwords!

That’s right! Just click the link above to go to my author profile. All of my books, listed by series, will be there for you to peruse.

Beginning tonight, all my books will be available for $0.99 each. And the sale will go through Monday night. So if there any you need to complete a series, now’s the time to stock up!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and holiday. Stay safe out there!

And as always,

Don’t Forget…

…To Share the Romance…

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