A Victorian Steampunk/Paranormal adventure with strong elements of romance...
Lady Lily d'Bulier is prim, proper, and prefers to think of herself as pragmatic rather than timid. And avoiding life-threatening situations at all costs is just plain practical. But everything changes when Lord Adair tracks her down in London; searching for answers he seems to think she has.
Greyston Adair is a blackguard and a smuggler, although British Customs will have to catch him red-handed to prove the latter. Fortunately, the dirigibles they float around in have never been able to get near his air dust.
Hell is rising, One Demon at a Time...
With Lady Ostrich hunting them, and the mystery of how their lives tie back to Cragloden Castle and the powerful McAllister clan, Lily has no option but to throw propriety to the wind and run off with Greyston to Scotland, away from the immediate danger and toward possible answers.
Guest Post -
For me, Steampunk is one of the funnest (is that a word?) genres to write. Add a demon or two, and what’s not to love?
We have the heroine:
Lily d'Bulier is prim, proper and likes to consider herself pragmatic rather than timid. Until Lord Adair comes along to challenge her…
He lost the grin, looking at her for an endless moment. When he spoke, his voice was oddly tender on the rumble of his Scottish burr. “I understand. Your mother died at a young age and under tragic circumstances. You have an unnatural fear of death.”
Her spine stiffened as she recalled his previous impertinence on this very topic. It no longer mattered how much had happened inside or outside the bubble of this one peculiar spell. Apparently either was just as real to both of them. “There’s nothing unnatural about fearing death.”
“Except when it becomes about fearing life.”
We have the hero:
Greyston Adair is a blackguard and a smuggler and death has stalked him since the age of fifteen.
Brown hair in dire need of a clipping, square jaw that would likely shatter at the suggestion of a smile, the set of those broad shoulders… She doubted a man like Lord Adair needed to resort to trickery when it came to claiming a lady’s attention. With his unfashionable hair, intense brown gaze and smoky burr, Lord Adair was dark, dangerous and pulse-racingly different.
We have the celludrones, Ana and Neco. These are automatons created by the powerful McAllister clan to protect Lily and Grey, but they’re not indestructible and it doesn’t always go too well for them.
A noxious burning smell turned Greyston around.
Neco was staggering back blindly, white smoke puffing from beneath his coat and the bottom of his trousers. Not good. There was no sign of flames. His clothes weren’t even singed. As if the fire had started from the inside. The left side of his face was melting, his features blended into a mess of waxen flesh. Steel rods and springs and gears protruded from the gaping hole where his arm had been attached to his shoulder.
Lady Ostrich had lost her feathers, part of her burgundy gown and one of her heeled shoes. She growled as Ana, holding her skirts up, came at her in a fast twirl, an elegant dance transformed into a rapid series of high kicks that connected with a dull thud against Lady Ostrich’s head on each rotation. Greyston was impressed. He’d seen Neco in more than one brawl over the years, but his man’s style was brute force rather than skilled tactics. Then again, when your skeletal structure was solid metal, brute force was usually all you needed.
Lady Ostrich regained her senses and managed to get one zap in. That’s all it took. Ana’s spinning dance unwound until she toppled into a heap. A jagged crack straight through metal skull exposed the delicate mechanisms that made up her brain.
“Christ,” Greyston muttered. He was sweating fear. The kind of fear he hadn’t felt since he’d turned fifteen. He’d run then, and he didn’t know what the hell to do now except run.
All that was left of Neco and Ana were spare parts, bits of metal and smoking celluloid skin.
And we have another hero, Kelan, current chief of the McAllister clan, who’s quite dandy with a sword
“What the bloody hell have you involved us in?” Greyston sounded as if he’d pushed the words out through a locked jaw.
“Hell, as you so aptly put it,” Kelan said. “And I didn’t involve you in anything. That would be my uncle.”
Greyston shot to his feet. “You bastard.”
She didn’t see the glass drop from his hand, but she felt it hit her shin through the padding of her skirts.
Greyston charged and somehow Kelan made it to his feet before Greyston reached him. In the split second it took her to check that yes, Neco was lurching into action, Greyston was on his knees with his head forced back by a rapier-thin sword pressed to his exposed throat.
Kelan stood over him, the slender hilt of the sword in one hand and glass of whiskey still in the other, and rattled off a string of foreign words that could have been Latin or even demon tongue for all she knew. “Consito. Coepi. Fracta. Initium. Desino.”
If you’re intrigued yet, please leave a comment as I’ll be giving away an a-copy of A Matter of Circumstance and Celludrones