Just a taste of Between Venus and Mars

Just a taste of Between Venus and Mars

Between Venus and Mars is my latest release. I consider it a science fiction romantic comedy.

Here’s just a taste from the opening of the story:

 

Chapter 1

 

Zana Starchild banked the rickety TRS-90 quinjet, as a photon torpedo detonated off her port thruster. The explosion rocked the tiny starship, and it was all she could do to hang on.

“Okay, maybe I should have used the fuckin’ seatbelt.”

The instrument panel lit up with bright red whatcha-ma-doogers, flashing like the ancient neon sign hanging in front of Paddington’s Pastry Shop.

She grunted. “That’s probably bad.”

It would have been really nice to have someone with her who actually knew how to fly this junk-heap, or could at least tell her what the hell those flashing things meant.

It was kind of hard to check the instruction manual while these shitheads were firing phase cannons and photon torpedoes up her ass.

Not that she actually had an instruction manual.

“Shit.”

Just her luck to find deep-space pirates waiting at this jump point.

Bastards.

And these had to be the dumbest pirates in the entire galaxy. Sure, it was a convenient place to surprise travelers, but this jump point didn’t go anywhere anyone wanted to be.

Well, except her, and that was completely irrelevant to her argument. Even she didn’t really want to go to Old Earth. She just had to.

A command crackled through the speaker of her ship com. “Surrender your ship, rim rat, and we’ll give you a life pod back home.”

Maybe I should be civil for a change? You know, so they don’t get all mad and blast me out of the sky?

Zana jammed the reply button. “Up yours, jack-off.” It just spilled out of her mouth. So much for civility. “You don’t want this piece-of-shit ship anyway. Have you even scanned me?”

Well, not that bad. She’d only sworn once.

Convincing them she was worthless was her best option. If she surrendered, they’d probably drop her ass out an airlock and let her float off into space. Fuckers!

A laugh was followed by a mocking voice. “By the galactic gods, rim rat, how is that ship even flying?”

Ha!

“Told you, dumbass. You going to let me go or what?”

Mmm. Maybe I should have left out the dumbass part. Her father always said her mouth would get her into trouble someday.

Her gaze darted around the control panel. There had to be weapons onboard somewhere, though it was anyone’s guess if they worked. She’d put up a helluva fight, if she could find the stupid controls.

By the galactic gods, who was she kidding? She was completely screwed if they didn’t let her go. She barely knew how to fly this ship, let alone fight in it.

***

THE SOUL MATE TREE, BOOK THREE:

BETWEEN VENUS AND MARS

AUTHOR: S. C. Mitchell

GENRE: Science Fiction Romantic Comedy

HEAT LEVEL: Steamy

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

 

Thanks for tasting,

http://spiceaisleromance.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Steve.jpg

Tis the season for movies.

Tis the season for movies.

One of the best parts of this holiday season are the new release movies. Now I’ve only seen one of these, but the rest are on my short list for the next few weeks.

Moana

Disney and the Rock? This is a no brainer. Sure to be fun. A 95% from Rotten Tomatoes.

La La Land

This one looks so good. And 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sing

From the makers of Despicable Me? Oh yeah, front row please. 77% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Rogue One

rogue-one

This is the one I’ve seen, and can highly recommend to any fan of the original Star Wars series. So good! 84% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Pop me some popcorn!

Steve

 

 

Just a taste of Son of Thunder

Just a taste of Son of Thunder

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“Son of Thunder,” its voice reverberated throughout the room—low, guttural, almost a growl. “We knew you would come.”

Jord raised his sword in readiness.

The giant chuckled.

“You are no longer in the safety of your university, Jord Thorson.”

The giant raised its axe to strike.

“And you are no longer in Jotunheim,” Jord answered as he danced back from the giant’s swing, then countered with a swipe of his sword.

“There is no need to endanger the mortal. Surrender yourself and the belt to me,” the giant grunted, batting aside the sword with its axe.

The mortal?

Now Meghan knew she was dreaming. She’d probably laid her head on her desk for just a moment and fallen asleep. It had been a long, trying day. Any moment now she’d wake up and the real Jord Thorson, the old, gray-haired scholar, would stop by and tell her the strange belt was all just a hoax. It was too bad, she was becoming quite fond of the Fabio-like, sword-wielding college professor she’d dreamed up. Not the Fabio of today, but the Fabio of the past, when he really was Fabio . . . lous.

“I don’t think so,” Fabio-Jord said. He charged at the giant. The big creature swung its axe, but Jord’s sword deflected the blow. Meghan watched in fascination as the man and the giant fought their battle with archaic weapons in the accessioning room of her museum.

Well, if this was all a dream, she might as well enjoy it. The way Jord’s body moved—fluidly dodging and striking at the giant. Watching this man move was a slice of sensual heaven.

 

Son of Thunder is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Son-Thunder-Heavenly-Series-ebook/dp/B00BJ64GPY

 

Steve

Fine Dining in Paris

Fine Dining in Paris

Nope, I’ve never been to Paris, but I’ve visited it many times in my head while reading romances set there, and someday I’d love to visit. Nothing goes together better than food and romance, and Paris is the most romantic city in the world.

So I’ve done a bit of research, because when I do go, I want to sample the best in French Cuisine.

I’m using TripAdvisor.com’s list of top 10 Best Paris Restaurants.

The first stop on our culinary tour of Paris is Epicure.

Can I just say…yum.

But save some room because we’re moving on to number 2 on our list: Cezembre.

Reviewers call it Delicious, Simply Remarkable, An Amazing Discovery. And they rave about the food.

AAA

Still hungry?

Our third stop is at Le Clos Y

One excited reviewer call this the “Best Meal In Paris.

AABAre we having fun yet?

Well, I’m full, but if you’d like the rest of the list go to: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g187147-Paris_Ile_de_France.html

Then, um, go to Paris!!!

Steve

Food Trucks – Yum.

Food Trucks – Yum.

This summer in my town (Sheboygan, Wi) we’ve got a new Monday night attraction.

Food Trucks!

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Each Monday night about a dozen or so food trucks show up at one of the local parks. There’s also a DJ offering music.

People bring chairs or blankets and the place really rocks.

College students sitting in the park

A picnic in the park and you don’t have to pack anything.

And the food? Amazing.

I great variety of ethnic foods, burgers, all-American favorites, and deserts to choose from, and best of all, everyone gets what they want. We arrive, set up our chairs and spread out to look for whatever catches our eye.

Fun!

Do you have food trucks in your town?

Let me know in the comments below.

Steve

Just a taste of Daughter of Darkness

Just a taste of Daughter of Darkness

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Daughter of Darkness is the sequel to Son of Thunder. Set in my Heavenly Wars universe the story deals with Tyr, the Norse God of Courage, and Nott, Goddess of the Night. In the following scene Tyr and Nott meet up after not seeing each other for over a thousand years:

***

The Kentucky Club had been famous in its day, known for inventing the Margarita. Icons like Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, and Bob Dylan had walked through that door. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton toasted their divorce right there. The place was iconic and, back in the day, usually packed with patrons. Now it was too dangerous to visit.

The scents of smoke and stale beer hung in the air. An old, rough looking bartender dragged a dirty rag across the stained counter in the dimly lit barroom, his eyes dark with suspicion. A quiet tension filled the mostly empty barroom.

The single occupied table sat in the center of the room. Three men, one of them passed out on the floor by his chair, another dropping his head toward the table in defeat. The third man, raising a glass to his trembling lips, eyes glazed and bloodshot, would probably not survive the shot of tequila in his hand.

Then there was Nott. Tyr’s heart skipped a beat.

Mysterious. Exotic. Sexy as hell.

Even more stunning than he remembered, her beauty lit the room. In the thousand years since he’d last seen her, she’d only grown lovelier.

Breathe.

Damn, was he ready for this meeting?

The scene kindled a spark of familiarity. He cleared his throat, drawing her attention. “You’ve been watching too many movies, Nott.”

Her startling ebony eyes glinted in the dim light. “Well hello, Indiana Jones.”

The man with the shot glass growled. “Go away, gringo. The lady, she is mine.”

His words slurred. As he drew back his head to take the shot, his body followed, chair tipping back. With a crash, the man joined his companion on the floor, unconscious.

Nott pushed back her chair and stood. Tight black jeans accentuated the sleek lines of her long legs. Her leather jacket hung open revealing a black, half tee and the ivory skin of her bare midriff.

“Tyr.” Breathy, sensual. Amusement played across Nott’s face as she ran her tongue along her lower lip. Teasing, tempting. The woman exuded an aura of sensuality.

Captivated by her sexy eyes and breathtaking beauty, Tyr hardened. Damn. He didn’t have time for this.

He faked a casual stance as best he could. “There are very few gods in Asgaard you can’t drink under the table, Nott. Why pick on mortals?”

“These poor boys?” She raised an eyebrow and cocked a crooked smile his way. “They had a drug shipment heading north tonight. Looks like they won’t make it.”

He wasn’t surprised. He’d known her better than most of the other Norse gods, at least he had a thousand years ago. Her goals were noble. Her tactics, less so. “And what did you promise the winner?”

She raised her hands to the sky and did a slow pirouette. “A night in heaven, of course.”

***

Daughter of Darkness is available now at: https://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Darkness-Heavenly-Wars-Book-ebook/dp/B01FUO50EG

Steve

Eating out . . . side

Eating out . . . side

As we move toward the summer months, my thoughts turn to outdoor dining.

I’ve already fired up my barbecue grill countless times, wafting the scents of burgers, chicken, and those famous Sheboygan bratwurst around the neighborhood.

Fire up the Grill!

 Fire up the Grill!

It’s also the time of year countless restaurants are opening up their outdoor dining facilities.

Table for two please.

Table for two please.

Yes, miss. He is most definitely checking you out.

Yes, miss, he is most definitely checking you out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And for a truly intimate dining experience, how about a romantic picnic. Pack a basket with sandwiches, snacks, and a chilled bottle of wine and get out into nature.

Another glass please.

Another glass please.

So what’s your favorite outdoor dining experience?

Let me know in the comments down below.

Steve

I have a little friend who’s full of hot air.

I have a little friend who’s full of hot air.

Well, helium really.

I’d like to introduce you to Norm.

Norm21

Now Norm was originally purchased as a birthday balloon for my son’s 35th birthday. He floated around the party, joining in the festivities, then stayed on after, living in my home. He wasn’t named Norm back then, he was just that birthday balloon we couldn’t get rid of because it was fun watching it float into the room following the drafts around our house.

 

Eventually, my wife and I had to name him something, as he just became part of the family. Much like Norm on the old sit-com Cheers, he had a tendency to just drift in whenever he felt like it.

So we named him Norm.

Every time he’d float into the room, we’d both yell, “Norm!” then continue on with our conversation.

Then one day, Norm tried to escape.

 

Well, just try telling a headstrong young Mylar balloon it can’t do something.

After that he just kind of took over.

He started up his own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Norm-1717208545175903/

Norm tends to post balloon related things, cuddly animal pictures, and other fun and interesting items he finds on the internet while distracted from his main purpose (plotting world domination).

To keep him busy I’ve made him head of publicity for my books. (He’s not very good at it.)

Norm Says Reading

Well, anyway, recently Norm was dragging around, feeling a bit deflated, so we bought him a little present.

Helium

Now he’s flying high once again, and I’m sure back plotting world domination.

Watch out world. Here comes Norm.

Steve

The Manly Art Of Lefsa Making

The Manly Art Of Lefsa Making

The holiday season is fast approaching, and that means that lefse day is also on the horizon. Each year bold Vikings strive forth into the kitchen, sword in hand, for that manliest of occasions –  lefsa making.

For those of you unfamiliar with lefse let me just say…you are missing out. This Norwegian flat bread is the basis for an extraordinary cuisine that includes a jelly-like white fish treated with lye and stacked like cord-wood behind the cabin in the winter cold, rich, bland cream sauces, and macaroni boiled to within an inch of it’s life. (In Norwegian al dente means ‘not yet done’.) Thank the Lord for Swedish Meatballs or I would not have survived my church’s annual Lutefisk dinners.

But the shining star of the blond, bland traditional Norwegian cuisine…is Lefse!

Lefse

This incredibly versatile and almost tasteless flat bread is made of mashed potatoes, flour, cream, butter and salt. Now come on, can you get any blander than that?

Okay, I hear you asking…what’s the big deal?

My friends…here is the big deal. Behold my vast array of lefse making tools:

Lefse tools

What is that implement in the center you may ask? (go ahead…you may ask.)

Lefse Sword

Yes, that is my Lefse Sword. If ever one food reflected the proud bearing of a cuisine…a people…Nay, A NATION! it is Lefse. For Lefse is made with a sword!

Oh how those hearty Vikings, fresh from the rape and pillage of Europe must have looked forward to wielding their swords in the kitchen upon their return to Norway. Hearty men in horned helms flinging bland flat bread on to table and shield in a quest to find something…anything…that would make that lye soaked fish palatable.

Now women, stand back, for this is a manly art, and not for the faint of heart.

Balls of cold dough…

rolled so thin you can almost see through them.

Then the sword is applied…

to move the thin pastry to the griddle.

It is the truest mark of a man’s skill at arms.

At my side will be my trusty sword-mate (my niece’s husband) Matt. He learned the craft at my knee a bare five years ago. The boy became a man that day, and has since upheld the annual tradition that is Lefse Day.

Lefse will soon be once again available for meals, for snacks (it isn’t just for breakfast anymore). A dinner roll replacement with butter, a wrap for sandwich fixings, a basis for hundreds of different meals, snacks and desserts. This flexible food has limitless options, and only wants for a bit of imagination. Don’t take my word for it. Look here (I ♥ this restaurant. Lefse year round.): http://norskenook.com/menu-lefse-wraps-specialties/

If we are frugal, our batch will last through the holidays, though most years I am forced into making a second batch. Gladly do I draw my sword and march once again into battle. For we must have lefse for  Christmas. But there will come that day, usually late into a cold, snowy January, when the lefse runs out. Then we must wait, and do without lefse, the rest of that cold, dark year, for the grand tradition that is…LEFSE DAY!

Steve

Stepping back in time.

Stepping back in time.

Douglas Adams, in his book The Restaurant at the End of the Universe writes about Milliways, a dining establishment that uses a wormhole to take customers to the future where they dine and watch the universe explode. What fun.

 "The Universe as we know it has now been in existence for over one hundred and seventy thousand million billion years and will be ending in a little over half an hour. So, welcome one and all to Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe!" ”   	 — The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

“The Universe as we know it has now been in existence for over one hundred and seventy thousand million billion years and will be ending in a little over half an hour. So, welcome one and all to Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe!” ”
— The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

But of course we can’t go to the future (well, not yet anyway). But sometimes it is possible to step into the past.

We’ve all seen them, those wonderful throw-back diners, and in my new home town, Sheboygan, Wi, I’ve discovered a great one.

Harrys1       IMG_0111

Welcome to Harry’s Diner. Welcome back to the 1950’s.

You’re greeted at the door by the King himself. Where else do you get this treatment? (Okay, maybe Las Vegas)

Elvis     Harrys2

The wait staff is appropriately attired, the music is all from the era, and the food is excellent. What more can you ask? It’s just plain fun.

Memorabilia lines the walls, making it easy to fall back into a bygone era.

IMG_0118    IMG_0121

My wife and I made a special trip in, early, early, so I could get these pictures. The place is usually hopping and bopping. Breakfast was, as usual, a delicious dining experience.

So, where’s your favorite throw-back restaurant? Let me know in the comments down below.

And if you’re ever in my neck of the north woods, stop in to Harry’s.

Steve