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M.J. Ortmeier

Welcome to the writing site of M.J. Ortmeier. We’re juggling several 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 was her knight in tarnished armor, an aspiring television executive spouting his own brand of foul-mouthed poetry. Jen was his little buddy, the shy but excitable chatterbox who lightened his world with her own subtle brilliance. With all the little things they love about each other, they’ve built a good marriage. But now they’re empty nesters, and all the big things are threatening their bond.


Better Angels

It’s almost Christmas in Chicago. On the last stop of his American tour, English author Ian Berwick opened a copy of his book to jot down yet another autograph. He found a photo tucked into the title page, of ten people mingling in front of a brewery. Two of them had planned to steal a large sum of money. Two were impostors. Four were dead. When Ian looked up, the owner of the book had disappeared, but the message had been delivered: I know who you are. Now Ian has to figure out if he can extract himself from one last intrigue and, when he finds out who left the photo, if he’ll 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