An intergalactic adventure filled with laughs, love, and adventure.
AUTHOR: S. C. Mitchell
GENRE: Science Fiction Romantic
HEAT LEVEL: Steamy
legend spanning eras, continents, and worlds. To some, it’s nothing more than a
dream. To others, a pretty fairy tale handed down through the generations.
in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.
Upon a Galaxy . . .
Starchild is on a mission to restore her tribe’s livestock and save herself
from one more meal of kelp. Sure, it’s technically illegal to visit Old Earth,
but to a rim rat like Zana, galactic laws are really just guidelines. Her
wrecked starship just means she’ll need to use her backup plan to get off the
abandoned world, an old Earth legend her uncle passed down to her.
from a relaxing shower, across the galaxy to Old Earth, Galactic Marshall Kyle
Kepler finds himself naked and marooned with a quirky rim rat. Zana’s broken
more laws than Kyle can count, and he plans to arrest her, just as soon as he
can find transport off the planet and a pair of pants.
heap of a starship, a magical tree, and a roving gang of mutant kangaroos are
just the beginning of rollicking intergalactic journey filled with laughs,
love, and adventure.
When series collide: Between Venus and
Mars is not only set the multi-dimensional worlds of the Soul Mate Tree legend,
but also ties into my Hearts in Orbit series, a futuristic universe filled with
starships, aliens, and new technologies. And, of course, romance. The Soul Mate
Tree project offered me a great way to play with some new characters and
further develop my universe, while partnering with some of the best authors in
Hearts in Orbit universe is a place where galactic marshals keep the peace in
the cosmopolitan Core Worlds as well as the wild-west type rim world planets.
While this book works as a standalone, and you don’t have to have read any of
the others, I consider it Hearts in Orbit 2.5, fitting nicely between Pirates
of the Dark Nebula and my soon-to-be-released Hearts in Orbit 3 novel Captives
of the Kratzen.
S.C.Mitchell grew up an avid reader of comic books, science fiction
and fantasy literature. He’s been writing stories for over thirty years. In
2010 he left his job as a computer desktop support specialist to pursue his
passion for writing full time. He is a member of the Romance Writers of America
as well as the Wisconsin chapter.
As a writer of paranormal and sci-fi romance, fantasy, and science fiction,
Steve crafts unique and wondrous worlds where his characters explore, romp, and
fall in love. Whether traveling through dark, demon filled dimensions, the edge
of wild space, or ancient mythological heavens, his heroes and heroines, guided
by their adventurous hearts, discover hidden strengths on their pathway to
The Devil is riding his black coach across the moors of Yorkshire and hunts virgins. Or is this so?
Genre: Gothic Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 3
Strange things are happening in the village of Pickering, Yorkshire. Two
girls are found murdered, and there is talk about strange going-ons at night.
Caught in the middle of this turmoil is Maggie Thompson, an orphan, who needs
to fend for herself. Running away from an employer who maltreated her, she
nearly dies during a winter storm. She is rescued by a man who lives in a
nearly abandoned house. Neil Harrington has his own secrets however. Maggie
will have to trust on her feelings to know what is right or wrong. And she
can’t forget there is a killer on the rampage…
It didn't take long before Maggie was fast asleep once again. When Martha
noted her drooping head, she put a cushion behind it, to make the girl more
comfortable and lastly spread a plaid over her, lest she should catch a cold.
She studied the girl for a while. Cleaned up, she already looked a lot
better than the previous day. She had better talk to the master. The girl's
speech was remarkable fine for a working-class child. She felt sure there was
something of a mystery involved here. Perhaps thinking about this would lighten
Neil's mood. He'd been mourning Lady Suzanne long enough to her liking.
Around noon her son walked into the kitchen for his lunch. He looked up when
he saw the sleeping girl.
"Is she fit to come down already?" he wanted to know.
"She's not completely better," Martha told him, "but she ate
all of her breakfast, and as you can see she's sleeping again. No better healer
then rest, I say."
"The master asked me how she was," Amos said. "I'm glad I can
tell him she's doing fine."
"Did he need you to fetch something?" Martha wanted to know. They
both knew to what she was referring.
"I brought in the usual. I don't mind, though," her son
She nodded. "We have a good master in his lordship. No matter what
other people may think, he's a decent human and I'm proud to be serving
"So am I," Amos agreed.
He sat down at the kitchen table and immediately began to eat when his
mother put a full plate before him.
"I thought you'd like some stew," Martha said. "There is
enough meat in it to give you stamina for the next trip."
No need for more words. Mother and son understood each other perfectly.
~ * ~
Later that afternoon, in Pickering village, the men of the region gathered
in the local pub after ending their work on the fields and farms. The talk was
lively and the beer flowed freely.
John Barry put down his pint, wiped his mouth with his sleeve and remarked
to his mate Ben, "Saw that black coach again yesterday, when I went to
check on the sheep."
Ben hardly looked up. "Aye, I'm listening."
"Wonder whose property it is and what its business is. Always appears
when darkness falls."
Ben took another gulp of his pint. Then he acknowledged what John mentioned.
"My brother's son, Tim, saw it too. He said it rode so fast, as if chased
by the devil."
"Yeah, it was speeding for sure. Could not see who or what was in
"Not the first time it's been seen on our road. Something strange going
on, I think."
Joshua Thistlewaite, the landlord, heard the comments but didn't comment on
them. He just poured the drinks like a good landlord. Besides, he couldn't well
afford to spend time talking to his customers. The pub was full, as always
around this time. His sharp eyes surveyed everything to be sure he could
intervene at a timely fashion.
All the men and lads he knew from around, except for the one stranger. He'd
never seen the man before. The man entered about half an hour ago and ordered a
light ale in a polite way. Now he was seated in the farthest corner of the pub,
sipping his pint.
While enjoying a calmer moment behind the tap, Joshua studied the stranger
more closely. He looked to be in his forties, had a stern face and lips which
seldom laughed. A lawyer or a banker in all probability, he thought.
What bothered him a little was that the man appeared to be listening in on
the conversation of Ben and John, although he couldn't fathom why such ordinary
talk would interest a man of his quality.
Disturbing his thoughts, the stranger beckoned him.
"What can I do for you, sir?" he asked, hurrying over to his table
and trying not to show he had been studying him.
"First, fetch me another pint of this excellent lager and then, if you
can spare the time, I'd like to talk to you for a while."
It was said in a cultivated tongue, and Joshua could immediately tell the
stranger didn't originate from this part of the country. London or some
other southern town, he guessed.
He hurried to carry out the order, while asking Ben to step behind the bar
for the time he was occupied elsewhere. He returned to the table.
"I am now at your disposal, sir."
He saw how the stranger glanced shortly at Ben, who was already tapping
another pint for John.
"Do you get a lot of people in here?" he then wanted to know.
"It depends," Joshua replied. "On weekdays it can get busy
when all the men need to water their throats."
"You must know quite well what goes on in the village," the
Joshua shrugged. He carefully weighed his words, not wanting to reveal too
much. His instinct told him something was not right here.
"Not much goes on in Pickering I don't know about."
The gent nodded. "I thought so. Well, I am trying to locate a young
woman by the name of Margaret Thompson. She would be eighteen years of age and
has blonde hair. Do you know if any such girl lives in or passed by your
Joshua was silent for a moment. The request confirmed his ill feelings. He
understood he would have to be very sparse in answering, to make sure he didn't
cause harm to anyone or anything.
"Why do you need to know?" he asked, but in such a way the other
would not be insulted.
The man smiled. To all appearances, he looked innocent and seemed
trustworthy. Joshua knew better. He felt an underlying coldness and sensed some
feeling of threat.
"She's come into an inheritance and the trustees have asked me to find
out her whereabouts," the man answered, while smiling again, and producing
a gold coin out of one of his pockets.
Joshua eyed the coin and reconsidered. It could be true. He knew
there existed men who were employed to search for people who were lost or had
disappeared. After all, the stranger had done nothing wrong yet.
"Farmer Aldleigh has a blonde girl working for him," he offered,
feeling at last he could trust the man enough. "She came asking for work
not so long ago. Perhaps she's the one you are looking for?"
"It might be," the other agreed, while putting the gold coin into
his hand. "Can you be so kind as to give me directions to this farm?"
"It'll be my pleasure, sir," Joshua beamed. "When you follow
the road leading out of the village, you go until the crossroads and then turn
left. Aldleigh's farm is a mile or so from there. If you don't wait too long,
you can be there before darkness falls."
"Thank you. I'll go and have a talk with the farmer."
"Glad to be of service."
"No, it is I who must thank you," the stranger said while putting
a second gold coin on the table. He then got to his feet and grabbed his
Joshua returned to his work. His eyes followed the gentleman as he made his
way through the throngs of farmers and finally left the pub. REVIEW:
The Black Coach
Reviewed by Tamara White
5 Stars of 5
Abuse, Murder, Love, and the Black Coach
Nickie Fleming’s crisp and colorful words thrust the reader back into a time where horse drawn coaches were the mode of transportation and women’s dresses dragged on the ground. The author’s words give you a real sense of being there. I enjoyed the pace of the book. The book moves effortlessly through the well-defined plot. The book creates an immediate interest in the main character. From the first page the author quickly draws you into the tumultuous life of the young blonde hair woman Maggie. Maggie is a woman who possesses a quiet determination that gives her the strength she needs to defy her beginnings. From the moment you meet Maggie you want to see her make it. Neil Pickering, the man whose life becomes unexpectedly intertwined with Maggie’s, is a unique character. He is as intellectually strong and determined as he is handsome. Whenever Pickering is present his personality commands the scene. His need to understand medicine matches her need to survive. I enjoyed the gritty murders that take place in the book. The murders have a dark undertone, which left me eager to finish each page and discover who has such a thirst for death. The Black Coach plot offers its readers mystery, hope, intrigue, and a quiet love story. It is an immediate for anyone passionate about reading.
Nickie Fleming was born and raised in the historical town of Dendermonde,
Belgium, home of the legendary Horse Bayard. Nickie read English and Dutch
Literature and Linguistics at the University of Ghent, where she took her
master's degree in 1978. She began work as a teacher of languages to 16-18
year-olds and has done so during her long career. She has been writing since
she could hold a pen in her hand, but only came to publication when she was
well over 50—mainly because she was not actively seeking it. Besides writing,
Nickie spends her time with the things she loves—and those she doesn't like so
much: housekeeping, reading (favorites are thrillers and good romances),
listening to good music, going to see shows and concerts, travelling, food and
wine... Nickie is single and shares her house with her only sister, who is
equally single. The two ladies get along just fine and do most things together.