Spotlight & Excerpt: Ship to Nowhere + Giveaway

ship to nowhere banner

Ship to Nowhere

A Sinbad and the Seven Seas Retelling

The Clockwork FaerieTale Novellas Book 4

by Jes Drew

Genre: Steampunk Romantic Fairytale Retelling

 

The inauguration year of Queen Victoria sees a world where the seven seas are yet un-mapped and filled with mystery . . .

Sindbad had room in his heart for one love: the sea. Unlike women, the sea would never betray him, and it was never hard to determine the ocean’s mood. The sea kept things simple; just him and his men traveling the globe and discovering new territory for Her Majesty the Queen. But his newest cabin boy is hiding a secret that could derail Sindbad’s carefully charted course . . .

Dunyazad is running out of time to rescue her sister from the murderous tyrant she has fallen into the clutches of. With the well of stories keeping Scheherazade alive going dry, Dunyazad decides to have an adventure of her own to be spun into a tale long enough to last until she find a powerful ally that will rescue her sister once and for all. But her tenuous plan depends on her keeping her true identity— and gender— a secret from the misogynistic captain or else risk being stranded on a deserted island. If only the man weren’t so infuriating, or handsome . . .

Falling in love may be the most dangerous adventure of all to be found on the Seven Seas.

The Clockwork Faerie Tale Novella series can be read as standalones or together, for whenever you want your steampunk happily ever after.

**Only .99 cents!!**

Goodreads * Amazon


ship no nowhere excerpt

Clearing his throat, Sindbad straightens and clears his throat. So, this is to be the woman he must face the rest of his life with. And he doesn’t even get to see her face before exchanging vows.
The entourage reaches him, and all the maids disperse to the right or the left, save the woman in white. She comes to stand before him.
“Stretch out your right hands,” the priest demands.
After trying to catch some view of her through the veil, Sindbad gives up and holds out his hand just as she stretches out her much daintier, gloved appendage.
The priest ties a red sash around Sindbad’s wrist, twists it around his hand, and then twists it around the maid’s gloved hand before securing it on her wrist.
“Speak the first vow,” the priest orders.
Sindbad startles. Does the priest just assume he knows their wedding vows?
“The first of seven,” he adds.
This startles Sindbad still more. Would these Seven Vows be the same vows germane of the wedding ceremonies of India? Are these people the descendants of Indians, come here long ago and still clinging to their most sacred of traditions, passed down from a previous age?
“I will offer you food and be helpful in every way,” breathes the woman in white in a soft voice.
That part sounds familiar. Racking his mind, Sindbad remembers the counter vow. “I will cherish you and provide welfare and happiness to you and our children.”
This appears to be acceptable to the priest. “Second vow.”
Sindbad clears his throat, which has gone strangely tight. “Together we will protect our house and children.”
A voice far sweeter and more reverent than his responds. “I will be by your side as your courage and strength. I will rejoice in your happiness. In return, you will love me solely.”
Sindbad’s knees start to buckle. This is becoming far too real. He was anticipating a pagan ceremony that held no meaning to him. Not vows that, though pagan in origin, were sanctioned by the Queen of England herself as legally binding to all who swore by them.
“Third vow.”
Clutching the red tie in his hands, Sindbad continues. “May we grow wealthy and prosperous and strive for the future of our children.”
“I will love you solely for the rest of my life, as you are my husband. Every other man in my life will be secondary. I vow to remain chaste.”
“Fourth vow.”
Sindbad closes his eyes to hide from the panic and try to stop himself from imagining that it is Dahro he is speaking to. “May we be blessed with noble and obedient children.”
The sweet, innocent voice finds him even in the darkness. “I will shower you with joy, from head to toe. I will strive to please you in every way I can.”
“Fifth vow.”
His very tongue is heavy now, but he knows what is required of him. “You are my best friend, and my staunchest well-wisher. You have come into my life, enriching it. God bless you.”
Her voice is faltering as well, Sindbad notices. “I promise to love you and cherish you for as long as I live. Your happiness is my happiness, and your sorrow is my sorrow. I will trust and honor you and will strive to fulfill all your wishes.”
“Sixth vow.” The priest’s voice is like a battering ram on Sindbad’s aching head. Is this what Rani felt when he wed her to Aladdin? This great fear and dread and commitment beyond what she could have ever anticipated?
Sindbad licks his dry lips. “Now that you have taken six steps with me, you have filled my heart with immense happiness. Will you do the kindness of filling my heart with happiness like this for all times?”
This time, the bride’s words come out clear and strong, steady and sure. “I will always be by your side.”
“Seventh vow.”
Sindbad forces his eyes open to be a man and face his fate, this woman and white, while he seals their future. “We are now husband and wife and are one. You are mine and I am yours for eternity.”
“As God is witness, I am now your wife. We will love, honor, and cherish each other forever.”
“You are now bound.


Jes Drew is the author of the Ninja and Hunter trilogy, the Howling Twenty trilogy, the Kristian Clark saga, the Castaways trilogy, The Dystopian Takeover trilogy, The Clockwork Faerie Tale Novellas, The Summers of Yesteryear series, Legends of the Master Spy, The New ESE Files, Tales from Parallel Worlds, Genie and Serena, PIs, Accidentally on the Run, and This Side of Heaven. Her true love is Captain Steve Rogers, and there is a possibility that she may or may not be a superhuman, but she hasn’t discovered her powers. Yet. Also, she might be a spy, but that’s classified.

Website * Instagram * Newsletter * Youtube * Amazon * Goodreads


Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Signed Copy of Ship To Nowhere with exclusive pins of the previous three books (US Only),

$20 Amazon giftcard (WW),

– 1 winner each!

Spotlight & Excerpt: Daring Duplicity + Giveaway

BANNER2 - Daring Duplicity

Daring Duplicity
Edale Lane has a new FF historical steampunk book out: Daring Duplicity. And there’s a giveaway!

Solving mysteries is her business. Finding love is her dream. Will combining the two get her killed?

Victorian Era England. Stetson revels in being unconventional. So when society shies away from her independent nature, the bold woman creates an imaginary boss and opens her own detective agency. And her keen observational skills, convincing disguises, and Holmesian methods quickly bring in a string of tough-to-crack cases.

Struggling to squeeze a personal life in around a series of hazardous investigations, Stetson worries she’ll never find a woman of like-passions. But with her heart set on true love despite the risk, she carries on hunting for the perfect relationship.

Will her clever escapades lead to death… or delight?

Daring Duplicity: The Wellington Mysteries, Vol. 1, Adventures of a Lesbian Victorian Detective is a collection of five sequential novellas, each encompassing its own exciting mystery while furthering the story of Stetson’s life in London. If you enjoy crime dramas, Victorian era fiction, or a sweet lesbian romance, then you’ll love award-winning author Edale Lane’s Daring Duplicity. Order yours today!

Amazon | Goodreads


Giveaway

Edale is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link


Excerpt

Jewel gripped her own gloved hands and scanned the room anxiously. “It is a matter of the utmost discretion,” she began in a tone much more demanding than she had intended. “It is of a personal nature, you see,” she continued more gently and forced a polite smile. “May I speak with Mr. Wellington in private?”

Miss Goody responded with a pleasant smile of her own. “I’m afraid that will not be possible. Mr. X is extremely successful in foiling criminals because of his anonymity. In fact, no one has ever seen him but me. All correspondence between the investigator and the clients goes through his assistant—me. So how this works is, you tell me the specifics, I talk to him, and he gives me a list of questions to ask, and so forth. I assure you, anything you say to me will be kept in the strictest of confidence, just as if you were conversing with the detective himself.”

“I see.” The assistant paused for a moment before continuing and her attention fell on Miss Goody for the first time, being specifically drawn to ample breasts squeezed into her buttoned waist coat. It required conscious effort for Jewel to raise her gaze, but doing so she became captivated by two warm, caring cognac eyes. “Very well, then. I am being blackmailed, and the nature of the information being held over me makes it impossible to go to Scotland Yard, or a constable, or even my father, for the money. I receive an allowance, not enough to meet the foul villain’s demands, but sufficient to cover your agency’s fees and expenses I’m sure.”

“I see,” she replied with a soft expression of compassion. “Was the man you were seen with married, or simply from the wrong side of the tracks?”

“Well,” Jewel stammered, cleared her throat, and fixed her gaze on a painting on the wall. “Not exactly. And he has a photograph.”

Miss Goody sighed and leaned forward, her palms on the desk top. “Now, Lady Jewel Ashton, if we are to find this blackmailer and save your reputation, you cannot hold anything back. How can Mr. Wellington help you if you won’t tell us the whole story?”

“It is not my reputation I am concerned with,” she admitted, a hint of real fear trembling in her voice. “My whole family could be ruined, utterly ruined, and destroy my father’s political career. We would be forced to retreat to our estate in the countryside. I cannot allow shame to come upon my family for one moment’s indiscretion.”

Miss Goody met her eyes. “I assure you if you provide Mr. X all the information he needs, he can find this scoundrel, take back the photo and the plates, and give him every reason to keep his deceitful mouth closed on the matter.”

Jewel held her gaze for a long moment, and believing her sincerity, made a decision—the only one she could really make. She opened her reticule and withdrew a tan envelope. “Someone left this in my carriage while I was shopping. My driver said he didn’t see or hear a thing.” She placed the parcel on the desk within Miss Goody’s reach and held her breath.

#
Stetson opened the envelope and spilled its contents out onto the desk. Inside was a note and a photograph, not of Jewel kissing a married man, but another young woman! For an instant, time stood still. A flush rose in Jewel’s cheeks while Stetson’s mouth absently fell agape as she stared dumbfounded at the image. Stetson’s mind raced almost as fast as her heart. Could it be that this beautiful gem who walked in this morning has the same inclination as myself? Could there actually be other women who love women, that I am not a singular oddity? She not only had these thoughts, but acted on them! She had never met another like-minded woman—not to mention one whose looks could stop a locomotive in its tracks like Jewel Ashton.

She was roused from her musings when she heard a desperate voice from across the desk. “So now you see the urgency and delicacy of the matter.”

She quickly shoved the note and the photograph back into the envelope and replied with sincerity. “Do not be distressed, Lady Jewel Ashton. We will take care of this with great expediency. I shall show these to the detective and he will know just what to do. Wait here. I’ll return anon.”

Stetson stepped into the room behind her, leaned against the closed door, and let out a deep sigh. With eyes shut and hugging herself, she took a moment to process the warm thrill that rose from her loins. Reveling in the euphoric rush, she wanted to believe the impossible–that maybe her dreams could come true. Mayhap there was a chance, ever so slight, that she, too, could act on her passions. Her breathing became ragged as she imagined kissing Jewel, and being kissed in return. Her heart pounded in excitement. Until reality stuck its ugly head into her dream reminding her there was a case to solve. Stetson moaned softly in aggravation and opened her eyes to glance around her inner sanctum.

Within the confines of Mr. Wellington’s lair were all the implements one would need to be a successful private investigator. On the wall to the left was an array of weapons, including both an umbrella and walking cane hiding swords in their handles, an umbrella with a singleshot rifle barrel and a trigger in the handle, several knives, guns, and gadgets. A glass-doored cabinet contained other curiosities such as a wristwatch that concealed a tiny explosive, a unique copper and brass miniature camera with flash attachment, a mirror attached to a long folding pole for seeing around corners or over walls, telescopic opera glasses, and a voice recording device. There was a table holding an array of wigs in vast colors and styles for both men and women, false beards and moustaches, along with an exhaustive selection of hats. Hanging from hooks on another wall were various costumes for the well-to-do business people, and the poor, male and female alike. There was a large vanity with a mirror and cases of cosmetics and face powder as one might see backstage of a theatre. Yes, the windowless room had all the trappings to outfit a man of mystery save one—there was no Xavier Wellington… only Stetson.


Author Bio

Edale Lane
Edale Lane is an award-winning author (Rainbow Awards, Imaginarium Awards, Lesfic Bard Awards) who is realizing her dream of being a full-time writer. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Tribute in Blood, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication regarding research. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature. After driving an 18-wheeler cross-country for eight years, she now lives with her partner in beautiful Chilliwack, B.C. Canada.

Author Website
Author Facebook (Personal)
Author Facebook (Author Page):
Author Twitter
Author Instagram
Author Goodreads
Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com)
Author QueeRomance Ink
Author Amazon

Other Worlds Ink logo

Spotlight & Excerpt: Flotsam + Giveaway

BANNER - Flotsam

Flotsam - R J Theodore
R J Theodore has a new Science Fantasy Steampunk book out: Flotsam. And there’s a giveaway!

Captain Talis just wants to keep her airship crew from starving, and maybe scrape up enough cash for some badly needed repairs. When an anonymous client offers a small fortune to root through a pile of atmospheric wreckage, it seems like an easy payday. The job yields an ancient ring, a forbidden secret, and a host of deadly enemies.

Now on the run from cultists with powerful allies, Talis needs to unload the ring as quickly as possible. Her desperate search for a buyer and the fallout from her discovery leads to a planetary battle between a secret society, alien forces, and even the gods themselves.

Talis and her crew have just one desperate chance to make things right before their potential big score destroys them all.

Warnings: genocide plots, bigotry, racism, classism, obsessive ex-lover, violence, gore, grief and loss, religious dogma, law breaking, manipulation, hostage situations, claustrophobia, anxiety, frustration, guilt, lies and deception, betrayal

Publisher | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks| Author Site | Goodreads

About the Series:

On a planet cracked open by ancient magic, outlaws and pirates are the only ones with what it takes to save Peridot from its next apocalyptic threat.


Giveaway

R J is giving away a $20 gift card to Bookshop.org with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link


Excerpt

Flotsam Banner
Talis descended toward the sparkling layer of trash below her feet. Generations of detritus, coated in frost, shifted slowly and caught the light. She hung in open skies, a tiny dark figure on an impossibly thin thread. Her airship, Wind Sabre, lurked in the shadow of a small island above her like the hoarbeasts that lurked in the garbage below. Around her, the shrapnel of Peridot’s tectonic crust peppered the skies, tiny islands not big enough to park a chair on.

She might have said the chance to do something reckless like this was half the reason she was in her line of work. But there was no one to bluff except her crew on the other end of the comm—Dug, Tisker, and Sophie—and she owed them more than words. She owed them a job that didn’t end up costing more than it paid. She owed them a ship that wasn’t in constant want of repairs. She owed them a ship worthy of being called a home.

A soft click sounded in the comm of her helmet, and Dug’s voice cut through the quiet sounds of her rapid heartbeat and quick breaths. The voice tube transmission made him sound small and far away. “Progressing well, captain. How much farther do you need?”

Talis unclenched her jaw to answer. “I’d guess I’m just about halfway down. Can’t make out any details yet.”

“Understood. There is plenty of length on the winch.” Her first mate’s voice was low and even, though his syllables were tight as a guitar string. Dug was worried.

The bulky descent suit didn’t make it any easier to see the view below her. It was a one-size-fits-all antique, big enough to wear over her clothes. Big enough that Dug, who towered above her and was thick with muscle—could have worn it, if he was so worried. It was designed to keep her body heat in, and it was most definitely doing that. The musty wool lining felt moist after the short time she’d had it on. Her breath fogged the glass dome that protected her from the thin air, even though she wore a scarf over her mouth. Yet her fingers were still getting stiff with the cold. She could have worn thicker gloves if she was just going down to strap up a large object to tow out. But this time her quarry was smaller than that, and thinner gloves provided better dexterity.

From this distance, the garbage below her looked deceptively beautiful. A lazy flow of icy shapes caught the green light from Nexus, and their reflected light sparkled through the fogging on her helmet. It wasn’t hard to imagine why there were so many stories about treasure down below.

And there was treasure down there. Or, reckless or not, she wouldn’t be dropping into it. The flotsam layer was where the dead went to be forgotten. Dead people. Dead ships. Dead technologies. Gravity trapped it all there. Kept it from dropping out of Peridot’s atmosphere on the bottom side and drifting off into the stars. Silus Cutter created the hoarbeasts centuries ago to prowl the frozen wreckage and clean things up a bit with their vicious, crunching jaws and fang-lined throats. Did her god intend for those beasts to prefer the frozen flesh of bodies to the wrecks? She wouldn’t ask if she got the chance; she was here for the latter and glad to have the chance.

If things went wrong, Talis would be on the menu, too. But the contract for this salvage made it worth the risk. She could make a lot of overdue repairs on Wind Sabre with the payoff. Her crew had been enthusiastic about the operation when she proposed it, knowing what kind of money a salvage might bring in. Better than the transport jobs she’d scrounged up of late. Not one of the trio had volunteered to make the descent, though.

“You’re the reckless one, Cap,” Tisker told her at the time. The cheeky helmsman got away with the comment. He always did. His crooked, infectious grin and sparkling, deceptively innocent eyes transformed every gibe into a morale boost.

Details emerged, just a couple lengths below Talis. Large shapes at first. Broken hulls of ships tangled in their own lift canvasses. A roof, a wagon. An old tree trunk. Anything organic or burnable should have been composted or used for fuel, not pitched over island edge. But those hadn’t always been the rules. Seventy-something generations back to the Cataclysm that fractured Peridot and the Re-Creation that made it what it was now. Seventy-something generations of garbage and waste swirled in the gravity trap. And down here, nothing ever decayed.

Soon she got close enough to see movement: the hoarbeasts pulling themselves across the wrecks, their undersides a chaos of tentacles. Their bodies flashing gray and silver in an imitation of the flotsam. They moved above and below the gravity line, scanning the field of garbage with cavernous eyes and probing the jetsam with sensitive, bobbing whiskers. Always in search of fresh additions to the flotsam layer. In search of food. In search of the dead.

And they would find them.

Mostly Cutter folk. Some Vein. Even a Rakkar or two. The Bone fed their dead to the ravens and kept the bones, but still ended up in flotsam. Usually lost with their ships. No Breakers, of course. Their population was finite and, as far as the ages since Re-Creation had proven out, didn’t die of natural causes.

If they couldn’t find dead flesh, they’d be perfectly happy to accept the living.

Continuing to descend, Talis was far too aware of such things. Her brother had tormented her with stories of the hoarbeasts when she was a child, and she grew up convinced they clung to the bottom of her bed the way they latched onto the hulls of airships that flew too low, too close to flotsam. Convinced that their tentacles and their long, sharp teeth would find her in the dark.

In her forties now, and captain of a smuggling ship that had taken on many a perilous contract, she still didn’t sleep with her feet hanging off her mattress.


Author Bio

R J Theodore
R J Theodore is an author, graphic designer, podcaster, and all-around collector of creative endeavors and hobbies. She enjoys writing about magic-infused technologies, first contact events, and bioluminescing landscapes.

Her love of SFF storytelling developed through grabbing for anything-and-everything “unicorn” as a child, but she was subverted by tales of distant solar systems when her brother introduced her to Star Trek: The Next Generation at age seven. A few years later, Sailor Moon taught her stories can have both.

She lives in New England, haunted by her childhood cat. Find more information at rjtheodore.com.

Author Website
Author Facebook (Author Page)
Author Twitter
Author Instagram
Author Goodreads
Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com)
Author Amazon

Other Worlds Ink logo

Scroll Up