Mel Sterling

Stories

Category: Trueheart

4 Stars from Romantic Times Book Reviews for TRUEHEART

So excited to share with you this wonderful review of Trueheart from Romantic Times Book Reviews! Four stars!

Jill M. Smith has this to say about Trueheart:

Fantasy romance is making a welcome resurgence and adds a talented new voice with Sterling’s launch of her Portland After Dark series. … Sterling brings a fresh and edgy style to this story that introduces both the heroine and readers into a violent and dangerous world. An extremely compelling start to a series with a ton of promise!

Click to follow this link to the whole review on Romantic Times.

~ Find Trueheart at these retailers: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |iTunes iBooks | ~

Excerpt: Chapter One of TRUEHEART

Happy New Year! And to start things off with a bang, here’s the first chapter of Trueheart for your entertainment! Pre-order links are at the bottom of the chapter, just in case you find this little taste to your liking and want to read more. Trueheart is available starting January 12, 2016.

Trueheart Copyright © 2015 Mel Sterling

CHAPTER ONE

Murder, mayhem. Torture and titillation.

Thomas would do, and had done, anything she asked.

He bowed his head enough to be respectful, though he kept his eyes on the Queen’s. The band circling his left arm below his biceps grew warmer, as it always did in her presence. When she was displeased with him, it burned and throbbed like the stings of a hundred wasps. When she wished him before her, it tightened until he came to her side. As a motivator, it was effective. After two centuries, it was appreciably thinner than it had been when she first wound the filaments of gold-laced bone around his arm. Each strand represented a task, the Queen’s bidding to be done. Only when every strand had snapped and curled away like a broken harp string would Thomas be free again.

He had never dared to ask what kind of bone it was. He wasn’t sure, even now, that he wanted to know. Knowledge wouldn’t change a thing as far as Thomas’s bondage was concerned.

“Those are my possessions. I will not have them taken from me.”

Thomas knew he could not ask the question the Queen’s statements begged. Why was she keeping precious things at the goblin market? Why not somewhere here at court, safe from thieves? The Queen had her reasons, and it was not his place to question them.

But it was appropriate to ask what had been stolen.

“What do they look like, these possessions, my Lady, so I may guard them properly?” Continue reading

TRUEHEART available for pre-order!

I am delighted to announce that Trueheart is available for pre-order! The official release date is January 12, 2016. Meanwhile, here’s a little taste from the back cover to give you a feel for what the book’s about.

If you’re here visiting from Grace Draven‘s Master of Crows ornament contest, just drop a comment stating whether you’re in the US or outside the US. From the comments here, Grace will choose one winner from each of the two categories! You do not have to pre-order Trueheart to win (though of course we’d be thrilled if you decide to do that!). Pre-order links are at the bottom of the page.

Trueheart-frontdraft8

Loyalty. Desperation. Grief.

Eight months ago a mysterious drug killed Tess Gordon’s brother, and now it’s spreading through her rehab counseling clients. They all claim they’re not addicted, the drug leaves no trace except its drained victims, and the cops aren’t interested. Aching with loss, Tess vows to find the source. What she finds instead is Thomas.

Slavery. Duty. Enchantment.

Thomas, the half-fae guardian of the goblin market, has plenty of problems—and just got another one. Pressed into the service of the Unseelie Queen, all he wants is his freedom. But Tess won’t go away, and the human girl is in way over her head.

One perilous late-autumn night, the fae and human worlds collide. Tess’s and Thomas’s separate tasks are inextricably tangled. Now, a half-fae and a human rehab counselor must walk the knife-edge of obligation, love, death and transformation–with the entire Unseelie Court, including the malevolent Wild Hunt, out for their blood.

Welcome to Portland, After Dark…

Check back in a couple of days! I’ll post the first chapter of Trueheart for you to sample.

~ | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |iTunes iBook | ~

UPDATE 12/20/2015 6:55PM Pacific Standard Time – Contest has closed. Winners will be randomly chosen via numbers generated on random.org. Grace or I will be contacting the winners via the email address you supplied when you commented. Thanks for visiting, everyone! It was lovely meeting you all. –Mel

TRUEHEART COVER REVEAL!

It’s here, it’s here! I can’t tell you how excited I am to show you the nearly final draft of the ebook cover for Trueheart, which will be available in mid-January 2016. Trueheart is the first book in a new dark fantasy romance series, Portland After Dark.

Trueheart ebook cover

TRUEHEART: Book 1 of Portland After Dark

Cover design by Skyla Dawn Cameron of Indigo Chick Designs.

Here’s the back-cover copy for the print version (coming spring, 2016).

Loyalty. Desperation. Grief.

Eight months ago a mysterious drug killed Tess Gordon’s brother, and now it’s spreading through her rehab counseling clients. They all claim they’re not addicted, the drug leaves no trace except its drained victims, and the cops aren’t interested. Aching with loss, Tess vows to find the source. What she finds instead is Thomas.

Slavery. Duty. Enchantment.

Thomas, the half-fae guardian of the goblin market, has plenty of problems—and just got another one. Pressed into the service of the Unseelie Queen, all he wants is his freedom. But Tess won’t go away, and the human girl is in way over her head.

One perilous late-autumn night, the fae and human worlds collide. Tess’s and Thomas’s separate tasks are inextricably tangled. Now, a half-fae and a human rehab counselor must walk the knife-edge of obligation, love, death and transformation–with the entire Unseelie Court, including the malevolent Wild Hunt, out for their blood.

Welcome to Portland, After Dark…

You’ll be able to read the first chapter of Trueheart in a sneak peek in fellow-author Grace Draven’s newsletter later this week. Sign up for Grace’s newsletter here: Sign me up!

Adventures in snippets and soundtracks

This week, friend and fellow author Grace Draven has been posting a snippet a day from my upcoming fantasy romance, Trueheart, on her Facebook page. Many thanks to Grace for the warm welcome, and to her readership for their kind and fun and supportive comments. I’ll link you here to all those posts, if you’re curious and would like to sample some of my writing.

Snippets:
Day #1 (Link to Facebook snippet day 1)
Day #2 (Link to Facebook snippet day 2)
Day #3 (Link to Facebook snippet day 3)
Day #4 (Link to Facebook snippet day 4)
Day #5 (Link to Facebook snippet day 5)

And now, on to the meat of this post! Most of my books “grow” a soundtrack. True to form, Trueheart grew one. Below I’ve listed the songs and their artists, and a link to a video or sound file where I was able to find one. The soundtracks come from my personal music collection, which is pretty eclectic. Each song is on the soundtrack for a reason, whether that’s only to help me create a mood in myself as I sit down to write that book, or to help me recapture an emotion in the book and cue me to the book visuals in my mind-movie. It’s pretty typical for me to create a CD or playlist that goes with me on walks or drives, so that I can continue to think — whether consciously or subconsciously — about that book. Words come that way!

Here’s that playlist. Enjoy!

The Glory of Love – Peter Cetera. Because every book needs a 1980s power ballad to…uh, power it. (Link to YouTube video)

Ashes and Wine – A Fine Frenzy. A moody song to set a particular tone.
(Link to YouTube video)

The Skin I’m In – Gavin Rossdale A Thomas song, since he’s not always wearing his own skin.
(Link to YouTube video)

I Can’t Make You Love Me – George Michael cover. A Tess song. She wants to be someone special, she simply doesn’t know how.
(Link to YouTube video)

The Shade of Poison Trees – Dashboard Confessional. Because every book needs a choked-up emo boy song about how awful it is to live in fairyland in the enchanted shade of poison trees.
(Link to YouTube video)

The Devil Never Sleeps – Iron and Wine. The frenzy of a goblin market.
(Link to YouTube video)

Only for Love: Theme from “The Banquet” – Tan Dun. So stunningly, swooningly, sweepingly romantic. Melancholy, weeping for lost love, and regret sound the same the world over. If you click no other link in this post, click this one, and listen to this amazing music. The movie is worth watching, too. So gorgeously filmed.
(Link to YouTube video)

Slow Dancing in a Burning Room – John Mayer. A Tess and Thomas song, about the futility of their relationship.
(Link to YouTube video)

Guardian Angel – Juno Reactor. The exciting downtown chase scene after dark.
(Link to YouTube video)

We Might As Well Be Strangers – Keane. Relationship song. Yeah, I don’t even know.
(Link to YouTube video)

Everything – Lifehouse. This song is on the soundtrack for one line of lyric and how the vocalist delivers it: How can I stand here with you, and not be moved by you? So sweetly sad.
(Link to YouTube video)

Heart of Glass – Old School Freight Train. These folks turn Blondie’s disco staple into something bittersweet and dark, simply by slowing it down and introducing a minor key. It’s bluegrass, but not as we know it, Jim. (Link to YouTube video)

Dreaming with a Broken Heart – John Mayer. So sue me, I’m a Mayer fan. Occasionally his catchy hooks really sink deep. (Link to YouTube video)

Only for Love reprise – From “The Banquet” – Tan Dun. Instrumental only. Lush flute and piano. For me, this track is a perfect example of how music communicates a true emotion, even without a human voice and lyrics. (Not that I’ve overthought this or anything!)

Gold Dust – Tori Amos. Because every book needs an orchestra to back its piano solo. And also because this song is about grabbing for something extraordinary with both hands, and finding nothing but dust by morning.
(Link to YouTube video)

Love Pirates – Paula Sinclair & Uncle Tumbleweed. The upswing at the end of the book, with just that edge of darkness that makes the brightness light. And for the Joseph Millar line, “…having stolen a truckload of roses and thrown them into the sea.” Paula’s strictly a local phenomenon and hasn’t got any tracks up on YouTube. The only link I could find requires a sign-up, and I won’t bother myself or you with that.

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