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M.J. Ortmeier

Welcome to the writing site of M.J. Ortmeier. We’re juggling lots of projects.

First, please enjoy a sampling of our story-telling by following the adventures of Mabel de Bellême (pronounced duh BEE-lehm), the original French Mean Girl. As we’re terrible at website creation, the chapters, thus far, in order are:

1. Mabel, 2. Alençon, this chapter has multiple pages, you have to scroll down 3. Travel and Shelter, 4. Chaos of 1047, 5. Knight Takes Bishop, 6. Ragnor’s Tale, 7. The Hunted, 8. Faith, 9. The Orchard of Eden, 10. Honored Guests.

Of our full-length novels, Higher Minds is in the querying stage, and Better Natures is a nearly completed first draft, The Shops on Cottonwood Street is a series that is just beginning development. These stories are all set in the universe of Mark and Jen Oberg.

Talvas the Ogre and Mabel de Bellême are stories about people extracted from the larger story of the Normans. They were written as a way of understanding who they are and their place in the larger picture, but also to get them out of the main narrative. Their stories are just too interesting to edit out entirely.

Higher Minds

Falling in love wasn’t a choice, but staying in love is. Mark and Jen lived a romantic comedy in college, and have spent twenty years tip-toeing around their problems while pretending they’re openly honest. But their communication isn’t a street that goes only two ways, it’s a cloverleaf on a multi-level highway. While their Higher Minds are navigating the interchanges, their Lizard Brains are trying to steer from the back seat. Now the couple has to take extreme measures to save their marriage, when the simplest—and hardest—solution has always been full disclosure.

Better Natures

It’s almost Christmas in Chicago, and Ian is looking forward to ending his book tour and visiting his family in London. Then he receives a message from someone who’s been dead for years, miring him in intrigues from his secret past. Can he extract himself, or–once he understands all that’s at stake and who needs his help–will he want to?

The Shops on Cottonwood Street

A series of stories about–you guessed it–the love lives of the proprietors of the shops on Cottonwood Street. Some have appeared in Higher Minds and Better Natures, and there are cameos by characters from those novels.

The Normans

This is a working title of a huge project about William the Conqueror. It’s the story we originally started writing, and we have 128,000 words. But, my goodness…

Talvas the Ogre

Chevalier Gaspard de Millet lives in a turbulent and changing world, but he never lost his ability to imagine. Before his sons leave home, he will instruct them in chivalry with a cautionary tale about a man, William de Bellême, who becomes a monster. When it seems an ogre has appeared in their midst, Gaspard must teach them a different lesson about villains and heroes.

A published short story on Amazon.

Mabel de Bellême