Title: Lucky Thirteen
Author: Susanne Marie Knight
Published in 2005 by Fictionwise
Genre: Science Fiction Anthology
Other Books by Susan Marie: Alien Heat
Homesick is a science fiction that will make you wonder. Iím sure everyone sometime in their life has been homesick but when it comes to Jayna she exhibits a different sort of being homesick especially when she is stuck on Mars and her husband would rather test rats and work in his lab.
Jaynaís husband is on a scientific mission to Mars. She is not a scientist but would enjoy accompanying her husband on the expedition. Her husband utilizes the majority of his time in his work, yet is concerned that he cannot spend time with her. If only Jayna had something to fulfill her wee hours alone. He considered a baby and could have made time for it but they had to submit to sterilization before leaving earth. So getting her pregnant was out of the question. With her husband so absorbed in his work, she decides to try her hand with painting the landscape. She didnít know that once she stepped outside the dome she would encounter a violent sandstorm. Now outside the security of the dome where her oxygen is sure to run out, fate has played a different game with her. So why does she still have oxygen and surviving when she should be dead? Can the Martians come to her rescue making her feel at home? Sometimes things are not always as they appear until we become friends with those so different.
True Love and Candy Corn is a fantasy romance that involves a witch and a crystal not to mention some delicious candy corn. Itís Halloween and Rebecca Loughlin has something special planned. She has been temporarily staying with her aunt and inside the same building complex; there is a man with whom she holds a crush. Frank Palmer is very special so when Rebecca knocks at his door and is treated with some of his favorite candy corn, her friends are scared of the witch that lives next to Frank. Rebecca shows them there is nothing to fear and steps forward to greet the witch. The witch gives her a crystal and expresses that she will have the forever kind of love. When she passes by Frank she is surprised that the crystal brilliantly glows. At thirteen she may have a crush on him but a forever love with Frank is completely out of the question. Now she wishes she had never gone to see that old witch and had that spell pronounced on her.
But nine years later, Rebecca happens to run into Frank and some children. The good-looking man has married and forgotten all about her. Hadnít the witchís spell meant anything? She finds out that he is not married and the two decide to go treat or treating and become more acquainted. Leaving the apartment a younger woman smiles displaying two gold teeth then calls them by name as she urges them to invite her to their wedding. Rebecca could only stand speechless.
Happy Anniversary is a pure pleasure for a contemporary romance. Ten years ago Claire made a huge error in her life. Now on the anniversary of that one night she returns to the restaurant, alone, where she broke off an engagement to her one true love. Why did she accuse him of flirting with everyone? After a failed marriage and two great children, things are more transparent to her. She hates her stupidity, even more so attending the same restaurant and wearing the same diamond pendant he had bestowed to her. Out of nowhere a man strangely appears that resembles Tom, but he is not alone. Was her mind playing tricks or having fun torturing her? When they sit across the table from her, the woman with Tom notices that Claire cannot take her gaze from their table. In the blink of an eye, Tom has stepped to her side, leaving his date alone.
When Tom explains his date and why he is in town, Claire is surprised and apologizes for her actions all those years prior. Tom is the perfect gentleman and reaches over and kisses her with a happy anniversary kiss for the rest of her life. This story was a most touching read.
Saturation Point is one science fiction tale that will really infiltrate the mind. Captain Jordan Penbrook wishes he had been paired with another man instead of a ditzy blonde. Instead he must share a tiny space shuttle with Lieutenant Margot Le Blanc who happens to have a very sensitive nose. How could one man get so unlucky or has he? They must remove the blasted carbon powder from the area and transform the carbonaceous chondrite slab into a space station. His mission meant only that and no personal involvement. The blonde had agreed.
Trouble arises, five weeks and three days. When Margotís sensitive nose discovers the carbon monoxide built up in the shuttle, they use a fan to circulate the air. Her quick thinking saved the day. Now he has to think of a way to thoroughly express his thanks, apologize and at the same time meet both their needs. Perhaps it was a good idea bringing a beautiful woman along for the tiny space. Sometimes it only takes a simple, thank you, or Iím sorry to touch the womanís heart
Grand-Mereís Sainte Bleu fantasy romance carries Simone to visit her Grand-mereís house. Hanging over the fireplace is a breathtaking portrait of a fair-haired woman in a beautiful gown. The painting makes her feel sadness and happiness.
Simone is caught one day by her Grand-mere when she happens to touch the painting. Only adults are allowed in that room. She feels the painting summons her and her Grand-mere tells her a lovely story that whoever touches the painting and has a pure heart will discover true love. She decides it is time to tell Simone the story and how she found her one true love. But when Simone learns there is kissing involved, she runs from the room laughing. At the tender age of twelve she does not think she will ever be ready for that. Sometimes curiosity is not what we expect.
A Very Special Christmas Present is a Regency where we find Deirdre Livingston visiting her best friend Emma during Christmas. Deidreís only brother had only five months prior been killed in the Napoleonic war. When she hears the Earl of Bainbridge will be attending the Christmas ball she is furious. Because of his nobility he did not fight in the war, yet working class men had to fight and often time die in the war.
Emmaís oldest daughter, Tilly, wanted to give her Aunt Deirdre a special Christmas present so she would no longer be alone and lonely. When she points her aunt out to Jeremy her wish is soon to happen.
Jeremy Stafford, the fifth Earl of Bainbridge does not wish to celebrate any holiday. Deidre finds out that even though Jeremy is of nobility that he served in the same war that took her brother from her. Her heart softens tremendously and as they stand under mistletoe, they speak of a promise of a future together and seal it with a joyous kiss underneath the mistletoe. This is a most refreshing story. Sometimes we judge too quickly before learning the real truth.
Special of the Week a specialty to diet for or die for in this science fiction tale. Imagine going to a diner where the new owner brings in the special of the week already prepared by the manger. One day people change, they become friendly, then friendlier, and those obese become thin, then the next week industrious. Then one of the patrons, Al, died for no reason and suddenly others became indifferent.
Dr. Diana Primus is looking for answers behind the special of the week. She meets with Jackson a man that brings her some punch to see if it contains something that is causing such phenomenal changes to the people. They go to the Pot Luck Tavern to eat where the good doctor expels her theory. She believes someone is using humans like guinea pigs with this special of the week. He notices she is not eating but he is famished so opening the menu he sees this cafť also has a Ďspecial of the week,í and today is stuffed eggplant with meat sauce.í Should he take the chance when he is so hungry or accept her theory and pass? The good doctor purrs with a smile and tells him to enjoy. This one has you wondering and guessing even when it is over, whom to trust.
In this fantasy romance, Teacherís Pet, Bill Nelson had the chance to get back at Mac, the bully who harassed him in school and now at work. No longer able to deal with the frustrations that Mac gives him, Bill sees Jaycee Lane, a hypnotherapist that aids in his problems. After the third day he gets the nerve to stand up to Mac, so when Jayne walks in and Mac jumps up and says his date has arrived, Bill pulls the plug on him. Bill explains that Jaycee is here to see him that the escort service had not sent her, instead the service was outside arguing with the police. Mac looked like the cat that swallowed the canary when his secret finally slipped out and even more shocked to see a dazzling blonde with Bill. Sometimes being a bully is not always what itís cracked up to be, leaving the best man to win.
Shades of Old Glory is a paranormal-ghost tale that carries the reader directly into the story. Rebecca Segwick is happy to win a stay at the Mantree Hill Plantation Bed and Breakfast for a week at the authentic civil war era plantation. What she discovers in a dream one night is a dead man walking straight to her in the mist of shooting. When he reaches her he begs for help. Rebecca is sure the young man is Zack. The owners of the bed and breakfast had told her that Zack had insisted upon having a contest and she was sure he was their son but the dream told her differently.
Somehow Rebecca had been summoned there by Zack and when she met him in that dream underneath the huge limbs of the oak tree, and his body lay underneath the tree waiting for a proper burial, she was the key to healing many wounds. Rebecca finds a friendship with the handyman, Jake, at the bed and breakfast and discovers she is a descendant of Zackís sweetheart. One small contest created a loving romance for Rebecca and the handyman with so many other added additions. A shadow of the Twilight Zone that leaves you with a few chills, as north meets south with Rebecca and Jake. Never forget what our forefathers did to protect Old Glory as our feet make a path over the worn torn soil.
Adolescence is a science fiction tale with a delightful young crab named Shandelle. One day the Velians decide to visit her planet of Altar and she has many questions to ask. She heard they were noted for foretelling the future. Would she win a certain contest if she entered, or would her eye-stalks grow further, or did Trent have the hots for her? She was excited. But when they told her that her world would end soon, she did not understand and yelled until she greeted her parents with the news. She learned that she about to change into adulthood. As she watched her shiny shell fall off and she became squishy, she turned and saw Trent with big pincers and knew what her fortune meant. Scampering off she ran to her future mate. This was a most enchanting read.
Zeus and the Single Teacher is a lovely fantasy romance about a middle school teacher who is hopelessly single. As always Rowena Arthur is the bridesmaid and never the blushing bride. When two of her students eagerly tell her that the new P.E. teacher, Mr. Machus is a stud and hottie, she quickly feels electric sparks for him. She watches him from afar but tries to avoid him until they are paired as chaperones the night of the eight-grad dance. When he gets the nerve to hand her some punch and expel how he has fallen in love with her, he bestows a kiss to her lips and fireworks explode in her mind as the others watch knowing that Rowena has finally found her love. Good things come to those who wait.
Friday Night tells a contemporary romance of Paula who is once again spending a night alone when she hears a knock at her door. Thinking it might be her friends, Ginnie, she is surprised to see her new neighbor, Mr. Winters standing on the other side holding a green bra, hers to be exact. It seems he found in the dryer in the laundry room. When she asked what made him think it was hers, he replied he had watched her do laundry on Friday nights. The aroma of the coffee smells wonderful but she does not wish to invite him in because of the unclean house or her appearance. After he politely begs, she says yes which leads to a passionate kiss that has them both feeling every Friday night will be special between them.
If you dare take a time-travel regency then feel free to embark on Lady Elizabethís Excellent Adventure. It is the year 1814, in the month of February where we find Lady Elizabeth Moore and her friend Kitty standing in line to see the fortuneteller. So why were they standing out in the cold feeling most miserable when they could be back home in a warm house? Her friend Kitty was lovesick and wanted to find a potion to obtain true love. Kitty snatched the love potion then it dropped and Elizabeth was not about to allow the vial to break. But she was unaware that the ice would split causing more cold to wrap her body.
In the present: Samuel Murdock is enjoying being on a tropical paradise as he sits alone in a hot tub. He almost died when a sniper pelted him good with a bullet and there was no one there who even cared if he lived or died. This vacation was expressing how thankful he was to be alive. In Maui, in the Hawaiian Islands, it was truly paradise, like the Garden of Eden but he was missing an Eve. Suddenly a cold blast hits and the whole water is freezing. When his foot strikes against something, he pulls a woman to surface. She is purple from the cold and gasping for some breath. He has no idea where she is from or how she got there but she needed help. As he carries her to his room he pushes the water from her lungs then climbs into bed with her cuddling closer to give her warmth.
When Elizabeth wakes and sees the handcuffs cuffed to the bed, she has no idea what is happening. Samuel finds her sweet and innocent and since he has left her in a compromising position, he offers her marriage and eagerly Elizabeth accepts if he will warm her up once more. Ooh if miracles like this could happen.
Lucky Thirteen is an assortment of thirteen short stories wonderfully created by Susanne Marie Knight. These stories are most enchanting and often reminded me of years gone by when I would watch delightful short episodes of programs on the television. The endings at time have a twist where the reader often thinks hmmm for a moment. Each story shares such unusual themes that the reader almost gets lost in the reading and discovers that at times things are quite different from what they appear.
The title says it all with being lucky. The reader is truly surrounded with thirteen lucky stories in this mirage of charming pleasures. They are simply purely satisfying. Lucky Thirteen varies with a wide selection of heroines and heroes. Plots that will have you turning the pages to find the outcome and stories that truly offer an assortment that satisfies like a huge variety of chocolates. This book is a page-turner guaranteed to suit your fancy. To read more about Susanne Marie Knight, please visit her website, www.susanneknight.com. She has written some charming stories in Lucky Thirteen.
Sincerely good reading,