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I am delighted to have another contributing author visit, and bring their story for the Soul Mate Tree Collection of stories. Today I have the pleasure of hosting Steven Mitchell. His book is a delightful and fun Science Fiction Romantic Comedy, called “Between Venus and Mars”.

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An ancient 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.

For those in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.

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HEAT LEVEL: Steamy **  An intergalactic adventure filled with laughs, love, and adventure.

Once Upon a Galaxy . . .

Zana 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.

Pulled 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.

A junk 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.

Book Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV0BQCcwhfk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdtFXXlGvbk

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Between-Venus-Mars-Soul-Mate-ebook/dp/B01N7OXSND/

Author S.C. Mitchell has this to say: 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 the business.

The 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.

Series Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016DF63JM/

 

                              Hidden strengths, adventurous hearts.

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 enduring love.

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You’ll find him at:

http://scmitchellauthor.com/

Blog: http://scmitchellauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSCMitchell

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorSMitchell

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007D0Z1MW

Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV0BQCcwhfk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdtFXXlGvbk

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Source: Coffeecake Chaos and Ryan Jo Summers on Wednesday Writers

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Lately I’ve been thinking about perspective, and how I often need adjustments to mine. I get caught up in dwelling all about me, and my wishes and needs, and sometimes forget about others. Then something happens and I get a eye-opener. So, I’ve listed a few situations that have another side that offers a whole new perspective.

 

When one is having a bad day– running late, and nothing going right, and you see a car while doing your morning errands…then seeing that same car again later in the day on the back of a tow truck, this time with crumpled damage.

When one has to take a detour— how much of an inconvenience will this be?… and then hearing about someone who had to have their keys taken away and can’t drive any more.

When the drive-thru messes up one’s order… and then they pass a homeless, hungry person or the line at a soup kitchen or a church with a reminder of a food drive.

When one has a bad hair day– it’s frizzy, unruly, or won’t cooperate… and then crosses paths with a cancer fighter who is bald from chemotherapy.

When one doesn’t like anything — can’t find any decent clothes in the closet or the dishes are mismatched or furniture is old and ratty….and then the neighbor’s house burns and they lose everything they have.

When one has a fight with their spouse, parent or child and is justifiably angry… and then pass by a funeral.

When the newspaper is wet, damaged or not delivered at all…. and then encounters one who doesn’t know how to read.

When it hurts– one twists their knee/ankle or somehow hurts themselves….and then encounters someone missing a limb (or some other obvious limitation)

When the friend/ relative/ date stands one up…then learns of a lonely or bullied person who commits suicide ( or tries to) because they felt they were alone or un-loveable.

These scenarios are not meant to be depressing or upsetting. They were intending to remind myself, and anyone else who needs a gentle reminder, that no matter how bad things may seem right now…there is always someone else who is experiencing it worse. It’s all in our perspective.

It seems on the days when I am feeling sorry for myself over some grievance is when I am graciously handed such a reminder that it’s not all about me. The car occurrence really did happen this weekend. While out running errands, I spotted a car that for some reason stuck out to me. A couple of hours later, I spotted it again while I was going to meet a friend, this time loaded on the back of a tow truck.  Suddenly my rushed schedule paled in comparison and I scribbled most of these situations on my way to my appointment.

 

 

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I am happy to showcase a series by Soul Mate author Rebecca E. Neely. I have read two of the books in her Crossing Realms trilogy, and reviewed her first book, The Keeper, on this blog last year. The Betrayer is the 3rd book in the series and is currently being written now.

THE KEEPER  (Book 1)  

Nick Geary, jaded clan leader of human guardians, the Keepers, is doomed to love a human woman who’s forgotten him, time after time, for thirteen years: Libby Klink, a skittish accountant who’s as terrified of her recent and strange intuitions as she is of her mundane existence.

When Nick is ordered by the clan’s guiding force to seek Libby’s help in defending the clan against enemy Betrayers, romance sizzles as the pair forms an unlikely alliance in their desperate search to discover the key to the clan’s salvation—which Libby alone holds.

But a haunting secret could cost Nick everything, and in a race against time, both will be forced to choose between their hearts and duty. Can their love, and the clan survive, or will the very forces that drew them together ultimately destroy them?

 

THE WATCHER  (Book 2)

Hell bent on avenging his own death, former Keeper Dev Geary eagerly accepts when the Watchers task him with returning to the human realm to discover the secret for rendering Similitude—the very thing that killed him.

But to succeed in the seven days he’s been granted, he’ll need to work with the one human who wants nothing to do with him, and who he can’t help falling for—Meda Gabriel, a cagey, street smart bar owner with a unique skill set, and maybe, the key to his mission.

With the clock ticking and the Betrayers barely a step behind, can Dev overcome his demons and find the answers the clan so desperately needs, with Meda at his side? Can love find a way, or will he be forced to abandon her and the clan, leaving them all to face imminent destruction?

Can a former Keeper hell bent on avenging his own death conquer his demons in time to save his clan, and his heart?

Buy links:

REBECCA E. NEELY, AUTHOR  ~  Romance. Paranormal. Suspense.

A sucker for a happy ending, Rebecca strives to write the kind of stories she loves to read—gritty, suspenseful and featuring authentic, edgy and vulnerable characters, smack dab in the middle of action that explodes from page one.

Careers, past and present, include freelance writing, accounting, mother, problem solver, doer and head bottle washer.

Rebecca is a member of Three Rivers Romance Writers (TRRW), a PAN member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), and is proud to serve as a judge for several writing contests each year.

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CONNECT WITH REBECCA:

Website: www.rebeccaneely.com

Blog: https://rebeccaneelysite.wordpress.com/

Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/bqiDi5

Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/rebecca.mullnerneely

Twitter   https://twitter.com/Rebeccaneely1

Amazon   https://www.amazon.com/author/rebeccaeneely

Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9857158.Rebecca_E_Neely

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rebneely/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rebneely/

BONUS! REVIEW OF “THE WATCHER”!

“The Watcher” picks up where Book 1 “The Keeper” ended. To fully understand the characters, the setting, premise, etc…, I would highly recommend starting with book 1 first. Otherwise, parts of book 2 will not make sense. That said, “The Watcher” is the suspenseful story of Dev Greary, and introducing Meda Gabriel. It is fast paced, spicy, and full of loads of romance.

Dev, a returning character from book 1, and a hero in his own right, is fresh from his recent death and hell bent on revenge. Except he is charged only to helping his fellow Keepers clan to avoid catastrophic trouble. A lone wolf, Dev’s death hasn’t chilled him out much. He still lives “between the inches” in every situation.

So now he is back on earth, albeit temporarily, thanks to The Watchers. He has seven short days to right some wrongs and save human kind from the damage of the Betrayers. And, well, if he can manage to avenge his death, so much the better. Right?

To succeed at the revenge, he needs to get very lucky. To succeed in helping the Keepers and all human kind, he needs the help of Miss Meda Gabriel. She is the daughter of a late scientist and researcher whose work aligned very much to the non-human Keepers. Meda is the perfect match to Dav’s devil-may-care personality. She’s independent, wicked smart, and takes no crap from him. Ever. She sees right through him.

In fact, the lovely Meda can see a lot of things, with just a simple touch. Unfortunately, she can’t see into Dev’s heart and soul. And his Watcher ability to see into human’s vistas doesn’t work with Meda either.

Be prepared to read about a fair bit of scientific stuff–some factual and some probably a bit of literary fantasy. For example, I learned that everything contains energy. To paraphrase Ms. Neely, “Good energy, bad energy, it is everywhere and in everyone. Vitality is the whole of those energies”.

Ms. Neely has once more created a cast of characters, both good and bad. who are committed to their passions. Whether it is saving man-kind or destroying it, she blends suspense with science, with adventure, and with spicy romance in an artful style that will keep the reader turning the pages.

Time is short. Only seven days allowed. The clock–and the passions–are ticking.

 

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This story began with a rough and rocky start. A woman was getting beat–again–by her alleged boyfriend. It left a sour taste in my mouth and I almost stopped reading right there. But I reasoned there was hopefully nowhere else for the plot to go but up, so I turned another page.

To be honest, it was hard to swallow and I wondered why this woman–the story’s heroine–was staying for yet around round of abuse. After a flip of the page, she has left the sod, apparently for good. I let out a ragged breath and turned the page again.

Lauren McCray left Michigan in a haste, fleeing the vile and completely hate-able Clint Jackson. She eventually crosses enough state lines to run into Chase Montgomery, a slow drawling rancher you can’t help but instantly stumble into. Or fall for

Grammatical errors abound, which distracted from the read. It is a good story but I felt it could have benefited from another round of edits. The suspense was tight, the characters–especially the secondary ones–well-developed, and the story line moved along at a nice pace.Yes, there are rustlers involved, and I won’t spoil it except to say it was not exactly who I thought it might be. And there is very fast romance between Lauren and Chase. Personally, considering her terrible track record, I thought she ought to wait a bit before dashing off to love-land with Chase, but sometimes it just happens that fast. And Chase is just the protective rancher that you want to cuddle with and start your day with, and definitely end you day with.

Overall, “Rustlers and Romance” was not a bad book to read, fairly short at 129 pages, and worth spending an afternoon or evening curled up with.

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Incredible. That was the single word that came to mind months ago when I first learned of Soul Mate Publishing’s latest endeavor.  As it was described to me, this is a flagship group of Soul Mate authors who are busy creating a series of thirteen novellas for The Soul Mate Tree Collective, which combines legend and fantasy to bring soul mates together over time, over continents . . . over worlds.

 

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The legend of the soul mate tree:
I am old, I am ancient, my purpose is clear
To give those who are needy a treasure so dear.
They who come to my roots, touch my bark, stroke my leaves
Find the soul of their lives if they but believe.
When I call and you listen, your prize will be great
If your heart remains open and you don’t hesitate.
Do you yearn? Be you lonely? Is your time yet at hand?
Reach for me and I’ll give to you. I’m yours to command.
For your trust, for your faith, keep my secrets untold
And I’ll gift you forever, to have and to hold.
An ancient 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.
For those in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.  The second story to launch in this series is by C.D. Hersh, entitled “Can’t Stop the Music”. As a treat, there is a short except at the bottom of this post.

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Here is the story’s Blurb:

For college senior and hippie wannabe Rosemary—Rose for short—a teaching job is within her grasp, but she wants more. She wants love, the kind of love that has bound her parents for so many years. When she’s dumped by her current boyfriend because her morals can’t bring her to give in to free love, she finds herself at Woodstock in the middle of the biggest free-love music festival of the Sixties. Alone, again. Until a magical tree grants her wish and she finds the man of her dreams—and loses him before she really knows who he is.

Dakota meets the girl of his dreams at Woodstock, but a jealous wannabe girlfriend drives them apart before he can discover Rose’s last name and where she comes from. After he sees a disappearing tree that promises him true love, a frantic search to find Rose comes up empty-handed.

Magic and music brings them together at Woodstock in 1969. Misunderstandings tear them apart. Will two flower children find one another again, or live with missed opportunities?

Book Trailer for The Soul Mate Tree: https://youtu.be/VjxyyD3TVoA

Trailer for CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC: https://youtu.be/18EuE-SOvH4

About C.D. Hersh:  

Two hearts creating everlasting love stories. Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

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The books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. They also have a short Christmas story, Kissing Santa, in a Christmas anthology titled Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection, with seven other authors. (including yours truly)

They are looking forward to many years of co-authoring and book sales, and a lifetime of happily-ever-after endings on the page and in real life.

Connect with C.D. Hersh:

Website: https://cdhersh.wordpress.com/
Soul Mate Publishing Author Blogsite: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cdhershauthor
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/cdhersh
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCDHersh
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/CDHersh

As Promised, a Short Excerpt:  “Can’t Stop the Music”

As they made their way to the festival site, Rose and her friends grooved to the music coming from the stage.

When they reached the makeshift bridge over the road, someone yelled, “Hey beautiful! You with the red hair.”

She looked around to see if there was anyone else with red hair. Then she glanced up and spotted two guys, one blond and the other dark-haired, leaning over the side of the bridge.

“Yeah, you,” the blond called out as he caught her gaze.

Willow halted beside her. “He’s cute. How about him?”

Rose looked away, her gaze landing on the other guy.

He jabbed his companion in the ribs. “Quit trying to pick up every girl you see.” Then he leaned farther over the rail. “Don’t pay any attention to him. He’s high.”

“So she’s not beautiful?” Willow yelled to the hippie.

She poked her friend. “Stop it, Willow, you’re making a scene.” In spite of her protest, her gaze remained on the dark-haired guy.

He rested his elbows on the rail and stared back at her. The intensity of his expression shot heat into her belly.

“I didn’t say that, just that she shouldn’t pay attention to him.” He flapped a hand at his blond buddy, then tapped his own chest with his thumb several times as if to say, ‘Choose me!’

Does he want me to pay attention to him? Her heart thumped in rhythm to his jabbing thumb.

“Take that one,” Willow whispered. “He’s the real cutie.”

Before she could respond, the crowd pushed them forward. When they reached the other side of the bridge, she looked back, searching for the dark-haired hippie, but the spot where he’d stood was empty.

Just my luck. I see someone who’s intriguing and he disappears.

With a sigh, she continued the trek to the festival grounds.

_________________________________________________________

I’ve had the pleasure to read this story before its release and would like to offer my opinion here.

Fans of Woodstock will enjoy the trip down memory lane. At the back of the book the authors thoughtfully included the song list of 60’s, 70’s, and other nostalgic titles that will surely wake up those groovy feelings of yesteryear. Music fans will be pleased with the many references to the classics and assorted instruments. All grown up, Rose (the heroine) and Dakota (the hero) leave Woodstock behind them and engage in teaching careers within the music field.

“Can’t Stop the Music” is a short read that delivers a lot of feel good emotions and enough questions to keep one turning the pages. The ultimate question of whether a bit of magic from a special tree can transcend time to bring two free love kids from the 60’s together ten years later will be answered only after much tension and twists & turns. Without spoiling the plot, let’s just say it is expected for people to move on and have a life over a ten year span. What happens when that life collides with the return of a past life? What happens when you can’t stop the music in your heart and soul?

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I was prepared to like this story. The cover is great. The story-line is promising. I settled in for a memorable read. In the end, “Shattered Lies” did not live up to its promise. While I hate to bad talk any author’s work, I was disappointed with this book.

The main character, Kate Thayer, came across as immature. A divorced, thirty-year-old veterinarian, I had high hopes for her. Yet I never saw her working as at vet. She was only around the esteemed family horses one time, for a couple of pages. She allegedly was supposed to be running the family farm, yet I never read where she actually did anything. So in the end, I am not sure what exactly Kate does. At 30, most women are fairly mature, yet her family continued to treat her as a child. One even continually called her ‘Child’ instead of by her given name. The length of the book should have easily allowed room for building up Kate’s daily work routines.

Kate’s grandmother, Katherine, clearly doted on Kate, which is normal. However, the constant repeat of “darling’ multiple times in each sentence wore thin quickly.

The premise, that horrible things happened the day of Kate’s birth, and were kept from her, allures to the fact she is still considered a child. The lies that were told could have been gently, and truthfully, shared long before Kate stumbled across them. One relative leaks a nugget, and she finds a hidden gem, and Kate is literally off and running. Finally, once the whole, sordid truths come out, the guilty parties cannot stop beating themselves over the head with it all. Endless pages were dedicated to repeating their crimes, and repeating their crimes, and repeating…. I ended up skipping pages just to reach the end.

The racial issues also bothered me with the repetitiveness. It did nothing to endure most the characters to me and the use of Capital Letters B and W was confusing.

My apologies to S.J. Francis, however, I am required to post an honest review. “Shattered Lies” just wasn’t for me

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