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It’s the first day of May today. I believe spring may be here to stay this time, even though it did get down into the high 40’s last night. I think they’re predicting a high today of around 85.

So what’s happening in your world today? I’m thinking about taking my walk early to avoid the heat this afternoon. I’ve never gotten along well with heat, so I try to do all my outside work early in the morning before the sun gets too high in the sky.

I’ve nearly wrapped up Lady Calloway. Yes, I know, but life has a way of getting complicated. And after this one is wrapped, I really need to get finished with a half-finished book in the Esperance series. This one will come after Ben of Blackstone’s Forge, which will be Book 5 in the series and is in a second round of edits.

Gregor is the heir of Clan Rowan. In his younger days, angry with his father, he left the family home and went to the other side of the clan to join the guard. To further distance himself, he took his mother’s maiden name. When he and his father finally reconciled, he agreed to come back and take up his place once again, but chose to keep his mother’s family name. Gregor Thayne–Heir of Rowan brings in a new cast of characters to join those already in the series.

And Ben of Blackstone’s Forge? This is another story inset into the story, a vignette of Ben Blackstone, son of the local blacksmith. Now a journeyman smith, working on becoming a master, Ben inherited his father’s Talent with iron. Though his father keeps hinting it’s time for him to marry, the one girl he’d always thought would be his seems out of reach. Tired of waiting for him to come around, his father arranges a marriage for him. Can he and his new wife find a happily ever after?

Watch for Too Many Talents later this year. And wish me luck on wrapping Lady Calloway and finishing Gregor Thayne.

Have a wonderful month of May.

And as always…

Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance…

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Here it is Friday again, and here I am back at my desk, getting ready to do some writing.

But what do I have on the table once Lady Calloway is out of the way?

Several things come to mind… The first one is the first book I ever wrote, which I call Mistaken Identity, which will be from Sultonna Nadine. It is no where near to being ready to publish, and my editor is going to have a job. As it was the first, there is a lot to weed out, but once it’s ready, it will be a great story.

This is another book which came to me in a dream and wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote it down. And as I wrote each bit down, another bit would show up. Putting the pieces together was the trick, since the bits weren’t necessarily in order.

Where does this piece belong?

How did we get here in the first place.

And where do we go from here?

In this story we have a young woman, who is a martial artist as well as a piano instructor who is mistaken for someone she’s not. Taken to a world hostile to her own, she finds she will be forced to stay and put to work as a servant wherever the state chooses.

But what they decide will risk her life, as well as the lives of others, in a bid to save both their worlds.

The next one that comes to mind is Whiskey Jug Genie, a book from Sultonna Nadine. It will be ready much faster and is more about magic than romance, though there is a bit of romance mixed in. Set in London, this features a young apothecary owner who finds an old whiskey jug while touring the American Southeast. Imagine his surprise when he opens it up and a red-neck genie appears.

That’s when the trouble begins. It seems anyone with sufficient magical ability can sense his presence, and someone is determined to steal the jug and the genie.

From Esperance, after Too Many Talents, we will have Ben of Blackstone’s Forge. The girl Ben has always thought would be his suddenly turns an icily cold shoulder to him when he comes back from completely his training for Journeyman and nobody can tell him why. But his father wants to see him married, and her father needs for her to marry so her sisters can make plans for their futures. So the two men arrange a marriage for the two of them, turning their world upside down.

And from Gambler’s Folly, we’ll be meeting the characters in Old Flame. They first met thirty years ago at university and haven’t spoken since graduation. Her world is in the East, near the Cherokee National Forest. He’s from Texas, but has based his business out of Northern California. Meeting just before they both catch the shuttle for Gambler’s Folly, a spark which had been missing between them at uni begins to blossom. And it turns out they share a common enemy.

So, that’s what’s happening in this writer’s life. If you have any questions about what I’m working on or something I’ve written, drop me a line in the comments.

In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend.

And as always

Don’tForget

…to Share the Romance…

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After dragging her feet for the longest time, summer arrived in a rush. Last week the temperatures around here were in the 60’s, but today the prediction is for up around 90.

I’m not sure I was quite ready for such a jump, though the tomatoes and herbs will be basking in the heat.

With the first draft of Whiskey Jug Genie tucked away for a bit, I’ve pulled out the next book in the Esperance Series. It is completely written, but needs editing. And it has sat there in its folder long enough to give me the distance I need to view it more objectively.

Where does Talents fit into the story?

Right after Viviane, First Lady finished. While Morgan is Book 3, it is more of an inset into the timeline, a vignette of one particular character and her life. Talents continues the original story of Viviane and Jareth, and pickes up the trials and tribulations of Connell, the new heir of Clan Belfort.

As a little boy of almost eleven, he is overwhelmed by the changes in his life. Moving to live with his grandfather and grandmother–First Lord and Lady of the clan, he leaves behind his lifelong home, his friends, and even his family for now.

He’s not overly fond of working on his Talents either, but finds a friend in his Aunt Viviane, even if her husband scares him silly.

Not sure when this will be ready to be published, but I’ll keep you posted.

Talents–Gaining Control. Esperance Book 4.

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Not mine, particularly, but our daughter’s. The last of the grandsons has gone to Ft. Benning today to join his brother in the army. So now all of her kids are out of the house.

She’s not completely alone. Her husband’s two kids are still at home, but it’s not quite the same.

Working on my promotions today and thought I’d give you a heads up. I decided to give Author Uproar a shot. A couple of my friends recommended it, so I thought I’d give it a go.

So if you online and want to give me a boost, go over to my author page, give it a like, and maybe share some of my books to your social media.

Here’s the link:

https://authoruproar.com/author-Mellie-Miller/

All are available through Amazon and Smashwords.

Hope your week turns out fabulously!

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Yes, NaNoWriMo is almost over. Tomorrow is the last day. Those who have reached the 50,000 word goal will be declared winners. And there will be quite a few who will not have attained the required word count, who will be disappointed, frustrated, and wondering if they’re really cut out to be writers.

But no matter your word count, the fact that you started a book and worked on it for a month says you’ve won something. Maybe you didn’t finish as much as you’d hoped to.

But you wrote. For a month.

This could be the beginning of a habit that will see your first book published.

Everyone has different ways of staying motivated, or of making time to sit and write. I go for a walk in the afternoon, come back and stretch out, and with a glass of water in hand, I set the timer for 30 minutes.

During those thirty minutes, I write on my WIP. It may not be award winning prose, but I will have taken my project a little further down the road. If it’s a first draft, I can polish it up later. Or delete the passages I don’t like and rewrite.

But I will have made progress.

And you can, too.

If you want to give it a try, just get a cheap little timer from Amazon or Walmart–or any place you shop–put it next to where you are going to write, and choose your time.

Once that time is near, get your mind focused on your project, turn on that laptop, set your timer, and start writing. You may want to read over the last page or two of what you wrote the day before to get into the flow. But write for that half hour.

If you started NaNoWriMo with us, you are a winner. You may not get the certificate or the T-shirt, but you’ve earned my respect for having signed up and given it a go.

Besides, there’s always Camp NaNoWriMo coming up in April…

But for now, it’s time to get back to Whiskey Jug Genie!

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Winter is definitely in the air today. It was down around 30 degrees this morning when I got up. Miss Kitty decided she simply had to go out on the deck, however, and nearly froze her pitter-paws off. Now she’s miffed.

I’ve gotten into the swing with NaNoWriMo, with 3617 words written yesterday. And Bubba is turning out to be quite the character. I do hope Martin finds a way to free him from the jug…

Anyway, I’ll be sitting down to write for today once I have a bite to eat. I’ll keep you posted on my progress as the month continues. With any luck at all I’ll reach my 50,000 words by November 30.

Wish me luck!

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Well, sort of.

I got a late start on the NaNoWriMo due to an out of town wedding. But you have to go to your grandson’s wedding.

Right?

The rehearsal was Friday afternoon, and then the rehearsal dinner. After that, his mother and I were up until the wee hours getting the food ready–lasagne, potato salad, and corn dip.

I appreciate that our daughter is a fantastic cook. And I understand why her son wanted her to cater the main dishes for the wedding. But it was a bit rushed and stressful on the day before the wedding.

The wedding was beautiful on Saturday, but due to all the wedding prep, I hadn’t had a chance to write on November 1.

Grabbing the laptop out of my bag, I went to open my project and discovered I’d neglected to put it on my laptop. Thinking perhaps I’d emailed it to our daughter, I managed to get my phone to connect to my email, but no luck.

And the computer would not connect to the net. It had somehow turned off the wifi and it was late Saturday before I had a chance to get someone at our daughter’s house to look at it and figure out what was wrong.

Too late to do any writing yesterday.

So today one of our other grandson’s drove me home, we went to lunch, and I finally got sat down in front of the computer. To a three day backlog of emails.

However, I have made a start. Not a great start, but a start. This year’s project is Whiskey Jug Genie. I’ll need to catch up in the next few days, but I am confident I will make it.

Anyone out there joining in the fun? Drop me a line and let me know how you’re doing.

Or look me up at NaNoWriMo–Meleigh53.

Until next week, wish me luck!

Brown jug with a cork in it

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It has been beautiful here for the past few days. Milder temperatures, sunshine, and lovely warm breezes sweeping through the trees and the bamboo around the house.

The type of weather that is a taste of heaven on earth.

It looks like we might be heading back for rainy weather in a day or two, though, which is fine. The tomatoes will enjoy the drink and the bath.

In the meantime, I’ve been writing a few words on Lady Calloway, to be published under Sultonna Nadine, and editing on The Trouble with Talents, the next book from Esperance.

So while I’ve doing some fiddling with these two books, I’ve been trying to figure out book covers. Always a chore. It seems no matter what I’m looking for, I can find anything else. (sigh)

Anyhow, here’s hoping you’ve had a wonderful weekend so far, and will continue the trend.

How about a brief excerpt?

Lady Calloway–

A man expects a few niceties when he gets home, and a proper kiss from his wife is one of them.”

“Why are you going on so much about a kiss? You know I love you.”

“Do I?” Kerrick asked, exasperated. “And how am I supposed to know that? Your kisses are sisterly at best, unless I press the issue. And in our bed, half the time I feel I’m committing rape. You agree to sleep with me, but show no passion for me. Can you even feel passion?”

Suddenly wanting to know if she could show anything at all, he pulled her to him roughly, one arm firmly around her waist, the other twined in her hair turning her face to his. He kissed her savagely at first, his mouth hard on hers, demanding, before his kiss became more sensual. At first she tried to struggle free, and then, for a brief moment, he felt the beginnings of awakening arousal, before she stiffened into her usual stance—endurance.

“Don’t, Kerrick,” she pleaded with him as he released her. “Please, never do that again. I can’t bear it.”

Looking for more information?

https://www.facebook.com/meleighscreations

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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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Black and whiteGet along little…? Can you fill in the blank correctly?

Call it a pet peeve. Call it overly sensitive. Call it OCD. Call it anything you like, but twice in a week I’ve seen this quoted, or something similar, and both times the above line has been finished with “doggie.”

Incorrect!

Most people quote it as yippee ki yi yay, get along little doggie, which is doubly incorrect.

The original lyrics were:

Whoppee ti yi yo, get along little dogie.

Now, I realize spell check probably doesn’t like this word, and it is from a different era, out on the range. But dogie is cowboy slang for a motherless calf in a herd.

A doggie is a creature of the canine variety.

The lyrics to this cowboy ballad were first published in John Lomax’s  Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads. It has been performed by many different people and groups including: Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter, Charlie Daniel, The Kingston Trio, and Sons of the Pioneers.

So, unless you’re herding dogs, the word to use here is dogie.

I smell lunch cooking, so this little dogie is gonna go eat.

Get along little dogies! Talk to you later.

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