Book Releases || August 16, 2016 || Religious Mysteries & Space Travel

 The Brothers’ Keepers

A Nicholas Branson Novel #1

by Matthew Peters

Most of us are familiar with Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, and Jesus’ purported spouse, Mary Magdalene. But what about Jesus’ siblings? What role did they play in early Christianity?

Contemporary Jesuit and renowned religious historian Nicholas Branson is about to find out…and the answer will shake the foundations of the Judeo-Christian world.

It all starts with the murder of a United States Senator in a confessional, and the discovery of a strange religious document among his possessions. At the urging of his FBI friend, Branson joins the investigation. His effort to uncover the truth behind the murder draws him into the search for an eight-hundred-year-old treasure and into a web of ecclesiastical and political intrigue.

Accompanied by a beautiful, sharp-tongued research librarian, Jessica Jones, Branson follows a trail of clues, from the peaks of the awe inspiring French Pyrenees to the caves of war-torn Afghanistan. Along the way, shadowy powerful forces trail the pair, determined to keep safe a secret buried for centuries.


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Nicholas Branson had just managed to get to sleep when—Christ almighty!—the phone rang. He started, grabbed his cell, and sat up in one quick motion.

“Yeah?” He dabbed his eyes with his palm to blot out sleep.

“Nick? Greg, Greg Hanlovian.”

“Han? Why the hell are you calling at this hour?” Branson clicked on the lamp and groggily got his bearings. The red digital clock on the rickety nightstand showed 4:02 a.m. Across the room, the particle-board desk was covered with open books, facedown, forming little tents under the crucifix on the wall.

“Did you hear?” Han snapped.

“Hear what?”

“What happened last night?”

It’s still last night. “No, I went to an—I had a meeting. Came home, did some work.” Now he was wide awake. “Is Nola all right?”

“She’s fine.”

Branson relaxed a little. “Well, what happened?”

Silence at the other end.


“Thomas Caldwell has been murdered.”

“The senator from California? Head of the Armed Services Committee?”

“Yup. Gunned down in a confessional in St. Peter’s last night, sometime after nine.”

Branson shook his head. “St. Peter’s? I don’t understand. What was he doing in a confessional at that hour? Was Caldwell even Catholic?”

“No, he wasn’t. But there’s something else, and that’s the reason I’m calling. There are some photos.”

“Of what?”

“Can’t talk about it on the phone, Nick. Meet me at Spencer’s in half an hour.”

"FLIPSPACE: Jaded Mars" by John SteinerJaded Mars

FLIPSPACE Missions 13-15

by John Steiner

Surpassing the speed of light remained elusive in the 2170’s. However, the trick was to hold still to swap out spatial locations. For Colonel Sumitra Ramachandra, Major Lamarr Fitch, Captain Malcolm O’Connell and the rest of the ISS Mockingbird’s crew jumping between solar systems is just the start of their wondrous, sometimes zany and often perilous missions. The future of aerospace defense stretches far above the blue yonder.

Murder of Ravens
Flipspace 13

During Earth-duty, the ISS Mockingbird takes part in an airshow, until an unprovoked strategic strike by the Jade Continuum puts Earth defenses on high alert. Colonel Rama and Major Fitch must rally their crew and prepare for a counter-strike raid to Mars to unravel the Continuum’s motive and remind them that they’re not out of reach. Mustering their assets also means that Colonel Rama must convince their former flight surgeon, Malcolm O’Connell to rejoin the crew. However, he brings his own bad news.

Garbage Man
Flipspace 14

A reconnaissance mission to the exo-planet HD 40307G has gone wrong. Two crewmembers are left behind, as the Mockingbird evacuates researchers back to Earth. Captain Diaz is forced to put another of his team into cryptobiosis and hold out until the Mockingbird’s return. Trekking 500 kilometers, and evading Jade Continuum forces, Diaz encounters indigenous intelligent aliens called Leons. Lacking SETI training, Diaz must overcome cultural differences with the Leons, and ensure the return of his team member, whatever the cost.

Flipspace 15

Paired off with the ISS Kulshedra, the Mockingbird is dispatched to a second colony established by the Jade Continuum in violation of international treaties. Securing the skies over the exoplanet named Purple Haze becomes suspiciously easy as the Continuum abandoned their colony in haste. Along with a sole surviving member of the Jade Continuum, the SETI Team finds an unusual form of intelligent life capable of terraforming the bodies of macro-organisms, even those alien to the planet. Tensions rise over what to do with a prisoner of war while the alien threat grows.


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Chapter 1

The Ramachandra

Sparse cirrus clouds streaked a light blue sky dotted with lighter-than-air monitoring probes. Below lay the Berlin ExpoCenter Airport. A temporary stadium that seated over a hundred thousand encircled a set of runways with a healthy few hundred meters of green between. Millions more watch via M-Cast cameras at ground level and in the floating monitors.

The ILA Berlin Airshow had overtaken Paris in being the world premier aerospace event thirty years ago. On May 20th, 2177 the show would include a demonstration of the ISV-71 Ravens of the 1st Raven Light-Ops, FTL. It would end with a simulated aerial knife-fight for the foremost and longest serving ISV-71 Raven, the ISS-454 Mockingbird, piloted by Colonel Sumitra Ramachandra and Major Lamarr Fitch, against a flight of four OSF 168s.

Standing at a podium near one of the runways was the 1st Ravens Wing Commander, Brigadier General Benjamin Chaffee. The seventy-two-year-old dark brown general in his black uniform narrated the events transpiring far above. “The ISV-71 Raven is a lot bigger than a fighter, but don’t be fooled. The Raven has a proven track record in air-to-air knife fights, and has made its name in multi-role deep space operations. NATO’s Aerospace Defense Response now fields sixteen ISV-71s organized into four wings, with another twenty-four Ravens to be added over the next three years.”

Taking a pause, General Chaffee turned his gaze skyward right as four Orbital Supremacy Fighters zipped overhead and pitched into a steep climb toward the ISS Mockingbird. The fighters exhibited a blended body-wing design with canards on their nose cones and variable-height stabilizers. In contrast, the ninety-meter long Mockingbird loitered two kilometers up in a straight-wing flight mode. The ISV’s elongated diamond-shaped hull, triangular tail and variable position wings reinforced to viewers below the raven outline for which the ship design was named.

“Ladies and gentlemen, you’re in for a treat,” General Chaffee promised. “What you’re seeing is a flight of four OSF 168s on their way to start some trouble with the famed ISS Mockingbird, the Raven that found the lost crew of the Astraeus and carried out multiple SETI first contact missions. You’re about to see something we at ADR like to call, ‘doin’ the Ramachandra’.”

Books Release || May 14, 2015 || Naughty Witches and Space Exploration


The Witch and the HairbrushThe Witch and the Hairbrush 

by N. S. Howard

Welcome to Elftown, populated by humans, witches and magical creatures, a town that metes out justice to offenders in an unusual manner—corporal punishment in the town square viewed by paid admission.

Beautiful Mijestic lives with her two sisters under her mother’s roof, who takes a stern view of misbehaviour. Lucinda often uses the infamous hairbrush to correct problems, one that Mijestic receives on a regular basis due to her temper and rebellious nature. She and her best friend, a werewolf, often come under the scrutiny of the town police.

On the occasions when she’s broken the law, she is placed in the town square, naked, bound and punished. The Witches Guild forbids witches to be seen in the company of warlocks and when Warlock Lorhan warlock tries seducing Mijestic, she plays a dangerous game to be with the handsome, intriguing man, who has no qualms about placing her over his knee for infractions—like being late for a date. And quite by accident, Mijestic discovers the secret of the town’s existence. Welcome to Elftown.


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"Flipspace: Confluence" by John SteinerConfluence


by John Steiner

The fate of the Astraeus crew is at last known. Serious questions remain as to why they disappeared. During the study of multiple life-sustaining worlds in peculiar orbits, ground support forces brought by the Mockingbird are attacked. Amid working out the nature and intent of the threat, a diplomatic dispute erupts over access to the discoveries. Colonel Ramachandra and her crew fall back on everything they’ve learned over the past year to understand what has brought together life from across the galaxy.


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Books Release || April 2, 2015 || Alien Planets & Skinwalkers


"Flipspace: Derivation" by John SteinerDerivation


by John Steiner

The Mockingbird is again drawn to the Kuiper Belt, when a mysterious object is triggered by human discovery. Believing it may be related to the disappearance of the Astraeus Fifteen Hundred NATO deploys a Flipspace-capable strike group and calls on Colonel Rama and her crew to aid the International Space Organization’s study. Finding the location of a star system with possible signs of life, the strike group is sent to investigate what phenomenon may threaten the future of exo-solar exploration.


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"The Lone Werewolf II" by Tim ForderThe Lone Werewolf II

 by Tim Forder

What would you do if you were given the skin-walker gift, the ability to change into any animal you can think of? Would you use it for great good or great evil?

A friend’s sister and a complete village is being terrorized by a castle full of vampires, zombies, hell hounds and a thing too feared to name. What can one Lone Werewolf possibly do to end this reign of terror?



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Books Release || February 26, 2015

Two days! That’s how long you have left to enter our amazing giveaway!
Print books, ebooks, gift cards AND a brand new Kindle Fire HDX! Check it out HERE.


"Flipspace: Primalocracy" by John Steiner



by John Steiner

Testing a new Flipspace protocol, the Mockingbird travels to its most distant mission yet. There, Colonel Rama orders Major Fitch to lead a surface team to a planet outside the habitable zone, yet teeming with life based on ammonia. Rama flies a second science team in studying the remaining planets, where an artificial satellite is found. Fitch’s team also finds traces of civilization and discovers a lingering threat that destroys technology. The study of fallen societies turns into defense from a planet-wide force.

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Books Releases || October 16, 2014

So many great new releases this month! There’s something for everyone.

Are you aware that Melange also has a Romance and Young Adult imprint? Be sure to follow those blogs as well. ALSO scroll to the very bottom for a GREAT giveaway!

Follow the Satin Romance blog HERE:
Follow the Fire and Ice blog HERE:


Take Back the Memory

 by Augustine Sam

Paige Lyman, an accomplished psychiatrist, is on the verge of madness but she doesn’t know it yet. The madness begins when she gets it into her head to write her memoirs. As her brilliant mind assembles bits and pieces of her life for the book, ugly skeletons, long forgotten in the closet, begin to rear their heads.

It had all begun with a simple act of love. And love, for her, was a blond-haired Irish boy named Bill, so when Bill abandoned her for priesthood the world around her collapsed. Seized by a different passion—vengeance—she seeks her proverbial pound of flesh in the beds of various priests…

Until she meets Stern W, a medical researcher, who sweeps into her life like a hurricane and marries her. It is not until he dies in a helicopter crash that she discovers the startling truth about who he really was. And now, transformed from psychiatrist to patient, Paige is seared by a damning awareness that she had, in fact, gotten what she had always yearned for without realizing it.

Take Back The Memory is the saga of her compelling backward journey through her own life on a psychotherapist’s couch.





Praise Her, Praise Diana 

 by Anne Rothman-Hicks & Ken Hicks

Call it life imitating art—author Maggie Edwards publishes a chapter of a book detailing seduction, murder and castration by a protagonist named Diana, and suddenly a woman code-named Diana begins to mimic her actions in real time. Women who have been abused find Diana to be an inspirational figure, and begin to fight back in her name. Soon violence erupting throughout New York City threatens to spiral out of control. As the police try desperately to identify Diana, Maggie’s high-powered lawyer, Jane Larson, finds herself at the center of an investigation that threatens to upend the entire world around her.







Raging Pacific


by John Steiner

After years, the once-broken terrorist group, Golden Fist of Pacifica reemerges. Using a new bioweapon, the GFP seize control over a corporate board of directors, and through them possession of the mult-e-nomic platform, Pacific City. This time NATO is required to act, and puts the Mockingbird on alert status. As a biologics expert and gene hacker, Todd Ash is tasked for clandestine insertion onto Pacific City over objections from Pan-American Combine agents. Branch rivalry with the PAC Marines during training belies the fact that Earth security is at stake.



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Fallenwood by Leslie D. SouleFallenwood

 by Leslie D. Soule

Ashley Kensington is a girl overwhelmed — 23 and in college, she works an unforgiving retail job, still grieves over the loss of her stepfather to circumstances beyond her control, and despairs over her mother’s heartlessness.

With self-doubt creeping in, and a sense that a bright future is beyond her reach, she runs away from it all and finds her way to a magical realm known as Fallenwood, a place that for all its charms, is no less plagued by problems of its own.

Nevertheless, she meets up with friends like the mysterious sorcerer Will Everett, the talking cat Greymalkin, and the court jester Terces Solario, who show her the way down a path that can only lead to trouble, but with the promise of a bright future lurking on the horizon.





The Ophir

 by Irene Patino

“I will not die by your hand, Joseph Ben Abin”. The Messenger of Allah, in the year of his death, looked upon the face of his assassin and cursed him and all that would follow.

With only the cloak of night for protection and comfort, Joseph Ben Abin, roamed the earth waiting for the day that he could exact retribution from the hated and feared Kadar Nazim, last prophet of God.

As Ghengis Khan, Joseph Ben Abin devised all manner of torture for his victims. Bloodletting was his favorite. As Vlad Tepes he would enjoy his breakfast as he watched his crucified victims die before him. He would fill a cup with their blood, and quench his thirst.

As Jack the Ripper, he indulged in ritualistic killings that fed his uncontrolled desire to do the same to the powerful prophet, Kadar Nazim.

People feared him, no matter when, where or who he became, but never challenged his choice of entertainment. No one knew that on the day of retribution the world, as we knew it, would change forever.





A Tucson Kid Western #6: Comanche Gold by Richard DawesComanche Gold

A Tucson Kid Western #6

by Richard Dawes

The Tucson Kid is called to the west Texas town of Howling Wolf by the Comanche chief, Soaring Eagle. Gold has been found on the Comanche reservation and the major banker in Howling Wolf, Charles Durant, is trying to steal the gold from the Indians. Four Comanche have already been murdered, but white man’s law doesn’t work for the Indians. Soaring Eagle asks Tucson to intercede for them, and he agrees to see what he can do.

While in Howling Wolf, Tucson finds romance with Catherine Murry, the pretty owner of the boarding house where he is staying.

As Tucson delves deeper into the case, he has to face the killers of the town gambler, Prince; the crew of gunmen of the rancher Ed Thompson; and finally engage in a death duel with Charles Durant himself. The book is fast paced with non-stop action as the Tucson Kid fights to protect the Comanche Gold.





December Road by Brenda Ashworth BarryDecember Road

Book Two

by Brenda Ashworth Barry

Kaylob returns home after two years of imprisonment in a POW camp in Vietnam. Will he ever be back to his whole self again after what he’s endured?

Beth Ann has the daunting task of dealing with his Post-Traumatic Syndrome, while engaged to Kaylob’s arch enemy, Blake Tanner, a rich and powerful man who refuses to let her go.

Having survived such a painful separation, no longer the innocents they were just a few short years ago, Beth Ann and Kaylob must now see if their love can stand the test of time, and how he will handle the news of her engagement, which she plans on breaking now that Kaylob, her only true love, has returned home safely.

Will Beth Ann and Kaylob ever get their happy ever after, or will circumstances take their dreams away?





Ajar by Marianna BoncekAjar

 by Marianna Boncek

Sixteen year old Gus Woodard is about to live the best summer of his life. Then something goes wrong. Something goes terribly wrong.

Ajar is a coming of age story about sixteen year old Gus Woodard and his schizophrenic brother. Set during the 1970s in a small town in upstate New York, Gus must suffer the undeserved consequences when his delusional brother kills the local sweetheart and the high school’s popular football coach. Gus blunders his way through life as the town turns against his family. He is forced to experience betrayal from those closest to him. Gus’s only hope is Lindy a fifteen year old girl suffering from anorexia nervosa. The two become inseparable but the love and acceptance Gus feels with Lindy is soon shattered.







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Books Releases || September 18, 2014

Melange Books

The release announcements are coming late this month, but that doesn’t make them any less great!


Eye of the Storm by Tara Fox HallEye of the Storm 

Promise Me – Book 10

by Tara Fox Hall

As Ulysses lurks in the shadows launching repeated attacks on the vampire Devlin and his allies, Sar and Theo move on from Sar’s affair with Lash, building a new life with their werecougar son Devon. Rebuffed, the newly young weresnake Lash takes steps to regain his old solitary existence, even as the vampire Danial prepares his dhamphir son Theoron for manhood. A chain of tragic events cumulating in the shattering of the magical “dream bond” between Theo and Sar turns the lovers against one another even as Ulysses delivers a last devastating blow to Devlin in his relentless quest for revenge.


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Lone Horseman by Richard DawesLone Horseman

A Tucson Kid Western #5

by Richard Dawes

In Lone Horseman, a young woman, Nora Eddington, narrates the exciting saga of her meeting with the Tucson Kid on a cattle drive she was taking with her father from Nevada to Arizona. A band of outlaws want the herd, and they are willing to kill her father and his crew of drovers to get it. Nora’s world is shattered when she passes through a rite of passage from girlhood to womanhood as the Tucson Kid battles to protect her, her father and their herd.


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Flagitious by JoAnne MyersFlagitious

 by JoAnne Myers

To Solve His Mother’s Murder
After his Air Force career was interrupted by his mother’s untimely murder, Steven Moore returned home. Met with a cold reception of lies, secrets, and threats, he is determined to find his mother’s killer, even at the cost of his own life. Was his mother, Wanda, a victim of the legendary Hatchet Man? Was this loving and devoted mother killed because of her shady past, or for her inheritance? Between finding the truth and falling in love, Steven stops at nothing, to solve his mother’s murder.

3381 Market Street
Katherine Sims, a young widow working for a brokerage firm in a small southeastern town, is tired of the excuses concerning her nephew, Charlie’s absence. She knows something terrible must have happened to her favorite nephew with the sad blue-eyes. After exposing the killer, Katherine’s life is turned upside down and she finds herself fighting for her life. Filled with maniacal suspects, a Satanic Cult, and danger around each corner, this story depicts one woman’s courage to avenge a child’s murder, while finding unexpected love.

The Other Couple’s Child
Charlotte had it all. A loving and devoted husband. Supportive family and friends, and a house full of beautiful children. Everything was perfect for this Super Mom, until a medical procedure turns her life upside down, and spirals into a child abduction case. Time is running out. Will police arrive in time to save Charlotte and the other couple’s child?

The Tarot Card Murders
New Detective, and ex-navel man, twenty-six-year-old Nick Difozzio, returns to his small county determined to abolish crime. Not until death knocked on his door, did he know the face of evil. Will the decorated veteran destroy the Lycanthropes, or will he succumb to their murderess desires and become one of them? He took an oath to protect, honor, and uphold the law, but can he defy the lust, riches, and power offered, or are the ‘dark forces’ stronger than his will?


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Flipspace: Close Encounters For Their Kind by John SteinerClose Encounters For Their Kind


by John Steiner

Recouping from their losses, and breaking in replacements, Colonel Rama is briefed for a mission that potentially violates exo-solar planetary research treaties. Rediscovered among archives of a telescope considered lost in the prior century, the data includes surface changes on the alien world that may suggest intelligent life. Taking off under the cover of a scientific survey mission, the Mockingbird is actually loaded for bear. Conscious of the fact they are alien invaders, the surface team faces an indigenous species with aggressive tendencies beyond belief. The question is why?


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Books Releases || September 4, 2014

Flipspace: Astraeus Event, Missions 4-6 by John SteinerAstraeus Event

FLIPSPACE – Missions 4-6

by John Steiner

Flipspace 4

During a deep space rescue, the Mockingbird receives emergency dispatch orders for the Fortuna asteroid. Colonel Rama is warned of Russian Federate and Remote Space Conglomerated Industries vessels. The Fortuna Foreign Relations Office invites Mockingbird’s senior officers and Federation command officers to an embassy dinner. The two Earth powers are asked to defend Fortuna from RSCI clandestine ops. Lt. Cipactli Arroyo-Diaz, and his team are invited to a “friendly” game of soccer with Russian security. Stanley Goddard runs into an old nemesis in the form of a Federation Logician.

Flipspace 5

The freeze on FTL exploration is over. Mockingbird is dispatched to the exo-planet, XJ-372495E to relieve an outpost team established by the Astraeus. They discover no response from the base, and fear the same fate befell the station as the FTLV. Col. Rama and crew land to investigate the small wind-blown base. Todd Nathanial Ash, Mockingbird’s genetic specialist and Seti team member draws animosity from the science team leader. He and Cpt. O’Connell uncover signs of extinct civilizations, found by the first team, and learn what happened to outpost crew. That’s when things get dicey.

Flipspace 6

Only 42 light-years away, the exo-solar planet, Henry Draper 40307G has yet to be visited by humanity. That changes, when the Mockingbird arrives with an astronomical survey team. Deploying probes and deep space telescopes, the science team stumbles upon intelligent aliens on sixth planet. Colonel Rama orders the crew onto alert. Captain O’Connell and his Seti team, clash with ISO scientists while studying the surface life. The crew is shocked again, when a derelict spacecraft is found in a Lagrangian Point beyond the planet’s moon. How many S.E.T.I. encounters they face is uncertain.

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Books Releases || August 21, 2014


Ta-da! The August book releases from Melange Books.


“Shades of Jade” by John Steiner

FLIPSPACE  Mission #7

Only 42 light-years away, the exo-solar planet, Henry Draper 40307G, has yet to be visited by humanity. That changes, when the Mockingbird arrives with an astronomical survey team. Deploying probes and deep space telescopes, the science team stumbles upon intelligent aliens on sixth planet. Colonel Rama orders the crew onto alert. Captain O’Connell and his Seti team, clash with ISO scientists while studying the surface life. The crew is shocked again, when a derelict spacecraft is found in a Lagrangian Point beyond the planet’s moon. How many S.E.T.I. encounters they face is uncertain.



“Reaper” by Katrina Monroe

The Department of Creative Death and Ironic Punishment. This is where writers go when they die.

Oz, an employee of The Department, is mostly content doling out death from his ancient typewriter, until he wins the office lottery. The prize? A new assignment – to return to the world of the living as a Reaper.

At first, Oz sees this new assignment as a blessing. He is given a body and a second chance at life, but then, during a lesson with a surly, seasoned Reaper named Bard, Oz is forced to watch a childhood friend die. Shaken, Oz questions his willingness to do the job he’s won.

With each new lesson, Oz begins to wonder if being a Reaper is really a prize or a punishment.


“Moth and Rust” by Eddie Drueding

Arraborough Book #3

As Arraborough struggles to prevent Mobane Red Dog’s mind games from destroying them from within, Diana joins forces with the sole survivor of the Blackwood confrontation to unravel the mystery of the Crimson Childen, and the founders race to uncover the identity of the traitor.

Secrets are revealed, lines are drawn, and blood is spilled in the third installment of Eddie Drueding’s Arraborough series.


A Character Interview with Colonel Ramachandra || “Flipspace” by John Steiner

Today we bring you an interview conducted by author S. Hampton, Sr. with the character Colonel Sumitra Ramachandra of John Steiner’s Flipspace series – specifically “Branching Out” which is the second mission in the series.


Colonel Ramachandra, please tell us a little bit of your background and how you came to serve in the Naval Aerospace Treaty Organization. I assume NATO is a descendant of the original 1949 organization, North Atlantic Treaty Organization?

“Yes, yes it is. Following the formation of the Pan-American Combine near the end of the twenty-first century, it was decided that NATO’s role should be redefined. Many of the newer member nations weren’t located near the North Atlantic. Also, the costs of maintaining modern air forces and navies overtook even the wealthiest of nations.

“I joined in January of 2159 and graduated in the Class of ’61. There were… complications in my life, which is why I entered the Aerospace Defense Response [ADR] in my late twenties. At first other cadets had a little fun over the fact I was ten years older than many of them, but near the end they started looking up to me a bit like I was their mother. I suppose that’s why my command style turned out the way it has.”


How long have you been in command of the ISS-454 Mockingbird? Is it a beautiful ship, or was it built strictly for functionality? How old is the Mockingbird? What are her full capabilities—at this time? You know as well as I do that no organization can resist upgrading and changing things.

“There are really two starts for my command. The first was being selected as the ISS-454 Mission Commander a little under a year before becoming CO of the Mockingbird itself. Once the ISV-71 Raven passed the test phase a year-long training phase started for myself and my crew.”


By the way, what is the ISV-71 Raven, and how does she differ from the Mockingbird?

“The Intra-System Vessel, Model 71 denotes the year that the test bed exited development as NATO’s chosen multi-role deep space platform. To reduce the minimum number of in-service designs, the Mockingbird and other Ravens were built to be undergo frequent remodulation for several simultaneous mission-specific functions. The Mockingbird and then the Magpie were the first and second of the line.

“The concept, as I understand it, was to ensure that NATO wasn’t forced to devote so many resources to successive waves of wholly untested spacecraft in order to maintain cutting edge capabilities. The talk is that the ISV-71 Raven could remain in service for sixty years at least.”


How long has Major Lamarr Fitch been your Executive Officer, and Chief Master Sergeant Carl Anders been the Chief of the Bird? Can you tell us a little of their background too?

“The Major’s career trajectory and life history aren’t what you’d call the straightest of lines. He’s big on fast cars, and he has a strong command of what the rules are in most any situation. Some of us on the Mockingbird are a little suspicious of how intimately familiar Fitch is with the law.

“As for the Chief? His early childhood was on the Kuiper Belt Object, Pluto. His parents, aunts and uncles, who were all living as an extended family in one habitat, managed to scrape together enough money to move back to Earth. It’s not easy living for most people under Remote Space Conglomerated Industries. I spoke with him about it during our Kepler 22 mission.

“Major Fitch likes to kid around with the Chief and others, though sometimes walks near the edge of undermining his own authority. I just hope he gets a better handle on that so that there isn’t a breakdown of unit cohesion and discipline.”


Were Major Fitch and Chief Anders simply assigned to the Mockingbird, or do you have a say on who your top people are? Individually, what are their greatest strengths, and how do they mesh with you, your personality and expectations?

“Selection for Ravens is only partly under my control. When the 1st Raven Wing was being organized we mission commanders were asked what qualities were best for XO and Chief of the Bird. That’s part of why our training lasted for a year. Much like the NASA astronauts of old, we grew familiar enough to read each other’s vocal tones and gauge underlying messages with greater concession.


How large is the crew of the Mockingbird, and how would you describe that crew?

“There are two circles for crew. Onboard, the original core was for thirty-five, plus AI, Maggie. There’s room for another fifteen extended personnel for certain missions, like our first rescue op. The groundside command numbers around two-hundred maintenance and support.

“However, as of the inclusion of two Flipspace Devices [FSD] on our Extra-Vehicular Frame, which we’ve come to call the FSD frame, our standard compliment was upgrade to thirty-seven. Our original flight surgeon was replaced by Captain Malcolm O’Connell, who also serves as SETI Team Leader. Under him is our FSD expert, Dr. Stanly Goddard and our genetics expert, Specialist Todd Nathanial Ash.

“O’Connell was a firefighter some hundred and fifty years ago, which includes his famous exploits dealing with Self-Propagating Organized Thermotrophs. He’s a C.A.R.E. patient who went through the Combat Augmentation and Recuperative Engineering program from the late-United States Army Medical Corps program.

“Stanly Goddard is what they call a Logician, which is someone with DNA computers in their neurons and wireless synapses throughout the nervous system. Their expertise and education are diverse and extensive, well beyond what most people could handle even as geniuses. He doesn’t use his PhD title, and instead prefers to go by Stanly, or Mr. Wizard.

“As for Todd Nathanial Ash… ehh, I wonder why NATO included him in my command given his notorious background. He used to be a genetic code writer for Runt Racing, which is where they breed animals to be under fifty centimeters tall yet strong enough to take a rider. He admits to being a Gacker, which is something like a computer hacker but with genes instead of software code. The Pan-American Combine security tribunals convicted him for bio-terrorism, and so they’re a little less than pleased that he was given an alternative to serving his full sentence. Frankly, I’m not thrilled by the decision either, but I’m told we needed his skills for any SETI scenario that might crop up.


For those of us new to the world of the Mockingbird, what is Flipspace?

“It’s become a catch term for spatial rotation. Goddard would describe it as a Tesseract or a folding of space to conjoin two locations. Instead of flying through an opening those locations are swapped or flipped, which is where the term came up. The proof of concept was achieved on June 7th, 2173, when a cube of empty space-time was successfully switched with one that contained a sensor probe. While the 1st Raven Wing was officially reclassified as a Light FTL Ops Wing, modern twenty-second century science still hasn’t beaten the quantum barrier. Einstein’s universe speed limit still holds true outside of Non-Locality or NoLo transmissions and Flipspace events.”


Regarding the SETI Protocols, these are descended from the original SETI that was established in 1984 in California? What are some significant changes between the 1984 SETI and the current Protocols?

“At that time the focus was on detecting radio transmissions from what was then called extraterrestrial intelligences. When permanent human presence was established in the solar system and our reach extended to exo-solar planets the SETI Protocol reviews included changes to account for finding physical evidence of intelligent life or their technology. We’ve since learned that those earliest of radio transmissions from Earth degrade completely within just a few tens of light-years. Also, the prospect of waiting centuries if not millennia for an answer compelled later generations of scientists to reevaluate the practicality of radio communication between stars.

“With the SPOT phenomena that Captain O’Connell encountered and the artificial intelligence breakthrough much later, it was decided that clarification was in order. Now we have the term Natural Environmentally-Selected Intelligences to specify that a form of intelligence arose as a byproduct of physical processes wholly independent of human activity.”


Come to think of it, how has Earth changed since the early 21st century?

“The coastlines are quite different. Many Pacific Islands no longer exist, but in their place are oceanic structures that are called Mult-e-nomic platforms. They are centers for overlapping forms of industrial and business, much of it internet-related, which is why the odd ‘e’ in the name.

“You may have noticed a trend of nations forming leagues, unions and combines. That has increased a great deal and for many reasons. Many national governments realized that economics had become bigger than their countries could get a handle on alone. Also, as I described, aerospace and naval defense required increased international cooperation. Peacetime rivalries often bordered on animosity as high or higher than what they used to call a cold war. Stateless threats also have continued to proliferate.

“However, a lot of good has come with the modern twenty-second century. Brain death can be reversed in most circumstances. The nations of the world are starting to get a handle on reversing climate change, and oddly the oceanic oil drilling firms were instrumental in that regard. I hesitate to suggest that spewing greenhouse gasses was a good thing, but it forced us to learn terraforming techniques we might not have otherwise researched.”


Has mankind learned anything since venturing into interstellar space?

“The big shocker was discovering that more than one astral body in the solar system harbors life. Europa’s ice-covered oceans do shelter complex forms of life. While there are bacteria on Mars, we’re unable to distinguish if they’re indigenous or if the Jade Continuum contaminated the planet after declaring their independence from the former People’s Republic of China.

“I’d like to say we’ve tamped down our propensity for conflict, but in truth we just got better at accepting it. The Earth is further from risks of total annihilation, but that’s just the result of advances in precision warfare. As it turns out, the twentieth and twenty-first centuries’ greater threats were in the form of financial warfare, which has persisted as a common practice between powers not quite willing to call each other enemies. Captain O’Connell could probably tell you more about how the world changed, since he lived through most of those decades.”


Between you and us, what is your personal opinion of Remote Space Conglomerated Industries?

“I really wish that their executive boards could take a more humane approach. Despite Chief Anders’ experience, I refuse to believe that everyone in RSCI is bad. Maybe some kind of reformers’ movement could get started. To avoid undermining diplomatic efforts, I don’t think I should delve too much into their social makeup.”


Between Earth and interstellar space, is there someplace that is particularly close to your heart? If so, why?

“I was an aerospace intercept pilot stationed on the Leda Missile Base. Starting my day with the rise of Jupiter and some of its moons made sunrise on Earth a bit boring by comparison. When Leda’s orbit is just right you can see the thin ring that Jupiter has. While I sometimes miss seeing fields of green, Earth also reminds me of troubles I had before joining ADR.


Bearing in mind that plans always change, particularly when serving in a military bureaucracy, what are your plans for your future?

“Honestly, if the powers that be allow it, I hope to stick with command and Raven flight ops. There’s nothing– and I mean nothing, like directing a craft larger than old era cargo planes yet with an agility approaching that of a fighter! During Surface-to-Orbit there’s a point where the Planck engines of atmospheric flight shut off and before the fusion pulse-detonation engine kicks in. It’s just beyond the altitude where blue sky turns black and the stars no longer twinkle. It only lasts a couple of second, and right after you’re knocked into your acceleration couch at anywhere from three to five g-forces!

“I live for that quiet pause between. In more ways than one, you’re crossing between worlds.”


Thank you for joining us today.


About John Steiner

John Steiner earned his Associate of Biology at Salt Lake Community College, where he is currently working as a tutor in math and chemistry. He exercises an avid interest in history, science, philosophy, mythology, martial arts as well as military tactics and technology.


S. Hampton, Sr. About S. Hampton, Sr.

Stan Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 wonderful grandchildren, and a published photographer and photojournalist. He retired on 1 July 2013 from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Ready Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Nevada Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007) with deployment to northern Kuwait and several convoy security missions into Iraq.

His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others.

In May 2014 he graduated from the College of Southern Nevada with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Photography – Commercial Photography Emphasis. A future goal is to study for a degree in archaeology—hopefully to someday work in and photograph underwater archaeology (and also learning to paint).

After 13 years of brown desert in the Southwest and overseas, he misses the Rocky Mountains, yellow aspens in the fall, running rivers, and a warm fireplace during snowy winters.

As of April 2014, after being in a 2-year Veterans Administration program for Homeless Veterans, Hampton is officially no longer a homeless Iraq War veteran, though he is still struggling to get back on his feet.

Hampton can be found at:

Melange Books Author Page UK Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

Book Releases || June 18, 2014

Melange Books Releases June 19, 2014Today’s book releases will give you a little bit of everything to choose from. We have so many releases I won’t waste your time up with an intro and we’ll get right to it.


Seeking Sir Gwain

by Shari Dare

Keith Fletcher and Ian Brice are both on a mission to find the missing Gwain McGowan. Their quest takes them to the hut of the old hag, Tabitha. Even though many years separate the two of them coming to her to seek Gwain, they are both sent to the same place and time, Minter, WI 2008.

Emily Cranston and her roommate, Julie Langdon, are both older women who have given up on ever having sex again. When they find two interesting postings in a dating column of the paper, they decide it’s time to take a chance and see if they can find love.


Finding The Way Back

by Jill Bisker

Finding the Way Back is the story of Laney, a recently divorced woman who agrees to help her mother fix up her dead grandfather’s house. From the first night when she hears ghostly music to later physical attacks that seem targeted only at her, she soon discovers that a spirit in the house may have plans of its own. For her own well-being, she needs to find answers as the danger escalates and she learns to trust herself and others. With the help of her cousin Connie, an attractive ghosthunter named Emmett, and several other eccentric characters, Laney uncovers the dark secret of the house and a new path for her future.


Murder in Her Dreams

Murder In The Shadows #1

by Nell DuVall

Cassie Blake lives with guilt because she failed to heed her dreams and a young girl died. Now, a year later a handsome man and a vicious feral rabbit haunt her dreams. She has no idea of the man’s identity. At first she dismisses the dream as ridiculous, that is, until she discovers the man is real.



A Tucson Kid Western #4

by Richard Dawes

The Tucson Kid escapes Mexico ahead of a gang of outlaws bent on revenge. He rides west into New Mexico and finds himself in the middle of a range war between a brutal rancher and a beautiful widow. As Tucson takes a stand in favor of the widow, he is caught in the cross-fire between the rancher’s hired killers and the Mexican bandits who have finally caught up with him.


Tales From a Broad

by Jeannine Henvey

If you enjoy new twists on old classics, then Tales From A Broad is a comedic adventure of one woman’s quest to find herself, but the spotlight focuses on her older chaperone, instead.

Forty-two and feeling not-so-fabulous, Lucy Banks allows her older sister to talk her into accompanying her twenty-four-year-old niece on a trip around Europe. In the past year she has lost her fiancé, her job and her fertility. Embracing her role as spinster aunt seems to be Lucy’s only option, until she embarks on a romantic adventure through London, Amsterdam, Munich, Paris and Florence. Will a room with a view and a handsome stranger be enough to open her heart and mind to new experiences? Tales From A Broad promises to draw readers into a light-hearted tale of emotional development, self-discovery and love.


A Father’s Love

by Sherry Derr-Wille

When Jenny found herself pregnant at the age of fifteen she thought her life was over, but with supportive parents, she was able to get her education. With her future secure at the hospital on the reservation where she grew up, love was the last thing she wanted in her life.

Brand knew he was going to be practicing in a rural hospital. What he didn’t realize that Jenny, the beautiful Native American girl who entered his life would become so special to him he would become a doctor at the Lac du Flambeau reservation in Northern Wisconsin to be close to her.


When It Rains


by John Steiner

Only 42 light-years away, the exo-solar planet, Henry Draper 40307G, has yet to be visited by humanity. That changes, when the Mockingbird arrives with an astronomical survey team. Deploying probes and deep space telescopes, the science team stumbles upon intelligent aliens on sixth planet. Colonel Rama orders the crew onto alert. Captain O’Connell and his Seti team, clash with ISO scientists while studying the surface life. The crew is shocked again, when a derelict spacecraft is found in a Lagrangian Point beyond the planet’s moon. How many S.E.T.I. encounters they face is uncertain.

Second Act

by Rhonda Strehlow

When CASSIE BURNS’ husband dies her children think she should move into a condo and act like a grandmother. Instead she plans her first solo trip to a resort in Eagle River, Wisconsin.

In a chance encounter she meets mysterious Kurt Troy whose touch makes her “buzz” with excitement and Will Harley who introduces her to the beauty and wonders of farming.

Cassie begins a dual existence of soul-affirming work with Will’s caring family interspersed with spontaneous, intense romantic encounters with Kurt.

When Will’s ex-wife returns, Cassie reluctantly decides to head back to her safe and predictable future. On the way home, she unexpectedly encounters Kurt who invites her to move in with him and she impulsively agrees.

Their time alone is intensely sexual but the reality of living in booze, sex and drug culture intrudes on their haven. Before a big awards presentation, in an effort to erase the affects of time, Cassie becomes fanatical about vanity surgeries, exercise, pills, and bulimia until she overdoses two days before the big night and ends up in the hospital.

As she recovers, how does Cassie choose to play out her Second Act?

Everman and Uriel

by C. A. Withey

In a land of dreams made real, one man causes two worlds to clash, leading to the inevitable destruction of both. It’s up to Caleb Everman to right the wrongs of the dream’s creators, dodging dream-eating mechanical abominations and guardian aspects of the Dreamscape Nexus, while also stealing his love from the written pages of a different land.