Today is Teaser Tuesday in the book world and I thought it might be fun to share what I’m working on right now while The Light Within is in the hands of my talented editor.
Lady Fontaine & The Rum Pirates is my first steampunk novel and I’m hoping it will be available in the spring of 2016. Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter.
Claire Fontaine stormed out of the booksellers, her notebook clasped firmly to her chest with one hand while the other gripped her hat. Men jumped out of her way as she hurried down the steps to St. James Street where her carriage was waiting. Pennybaker jumped down from the hopper to open the door for her.
“My lady,” he said with a bow as she passed by.
“Pennybaker, please take me straight home.”
“Yes, my lady.”
She climbed into the carriage with a huff. “I never!” she said, whipping her gloves off to twist them in her lap. She huffed a few times, fighting to gain control over her temper. Opening her reticule, she took out a pencil and began scribbling furiously in her notebook. When the carriage pulled to a stop, she didn’t even bother to look up. Pennybaker opened the door and she stepped out, still writing as fast as her fingers would allow. She skipped up the stairs and past the footman into the hall of their townhouse.
“My lady Fontaine, your father is in the study and he wishes to see you,” said the butler as she passed.
“Yes, thank you,” said Claire, not bothering to look up. She turned left, pushing a hip against the study door.
“Father, you won’t believe what I…” she glanced up to find herself staring into a pair of soft brown eyes.
“Oh! I’m sorry, I…”
“Claire, I presume,” said the handsome stranger. He smiled and reached out a hand.
Claire placed her hand in his, ashamed at its bareness. She blushed as he held it to his lips. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know we had company,” she said.
“I didn’t realize that Mr. Fontaine’s daughter was so lovely.”
Claire blushed again, this time backing away from the young man who released her hand and watched as she crossed the room to the window. “Speaking of my father, where is he, sir?”
“He has just stepped out to fetch something. Were you needing him?”
“Oh no, I was just going to show him-“ She thought better of confessing her thoughts to this stranger and thrust her notebook behind her back.
“A sketch? May I see? My sisters can attest I am quite the judge of artwork. They are forever thrusting their masterpieces into my hands for assessment.”
Claire raised an eyebrow. “Really? Well, I do not think my work will compare to theirs overmuch. You would certainly find fault.”
“You judge yourself too harshly,” he protested. “Please, allow me to reassure you.” He held out a hand for the book.
Claire regarded him through narrowed eyes then, with an unladylike shrug, thrust the book into his hands and turned her back on him.
The young man took a seat on the sofa and opened the notebook. He turned page after page in silence. Claire promised herself she wouldn’t watch him as she inspected the volumes along the bookcase.
Claire turned to find him frowning over her book. She moved to stand behind the sofa, looking over his shoulder at the sketch of a corkscrew propeller.
“This is fascinating,” he said, tapping the page.
“Not quite the artwork your sisters produce, I’m sure.”
He laughed. “No, I much prefer it to the willows and the posies I am usually shown.”
“But where ever did you get this notion? A corkscrew propeller?”
An old man in an impeccable suit came into the room and stopped in front of them. He leaned in to glance at the sketch. “Oh bother, Weston. I am sorry. I should have known she would have that blasted notebook with her.”
“Daddy, please,” said Claire, reaching for the book. “He insisted on seeing it. I was only teasing him.”
“I was just saying, sir, how refreshing it is to see a young woman focused on something other than flora and fauna.”
“Ha! Well, you’ll be the only man in London to say so.”
The young man looked up at Claire and smiled. “Well, that shouldn’t surprise me, but it should still be said.”
Claire allowed half a smile to cross her lips. “Thank you, Mr…”
“Ah, Claire, this is Lieutenant Weston. He will be joining our expedition to the Americas. Weston, this is my daughter, Claire.”
Claire nodded her head demurely as he stood to bow.
“The pleasure is all mine, Miss Fontaine,” said the lieutenant.
Claire allowed her half smile to return before turning back to her place by the window.
“And what, may I ask, is the Lieutenant doing in our drawing room?”
“What an impertinent question,” Father responded. “He’s staying for supper. I hope that meets with your approval,” he added with a touch of sarcasm.
She raised an eyebrow and then nodded. “I suppose we can allow it. Shall I inform cook?”
Her father waved a dismissive hand. “I’ve already seen to all of that.”
“Well, then if you don’t mind, I’ll take my leave gentlemen. I’m sure you have business to discuss and I have work to do as well.”
Her father nodded and she headed for the door. A hand caught her wrist, pulling her up short. She stared down at the lieutenant’s hand and then up into his face, her chilly expression intended to freeze him on the spot.
“Please forgive my forward behavior, lady Fontaine. Your sketchbook,” he said, offering her the leather bound book.
She blushed and then took it from him with a short nod. “Thank you.”
He smiled. “The pleasure is all mine, Miss Fontaine.”
She studied him for a moment and his smile widened. Then, she turned on her heel and marched out of the room. She didn’t stop until she was in her own bedroom. Closing the door tight behind her, she fell against the door, her eyes scrunched tight as she inhaled and exhaled slowly, forcing her heart rate to calm itself.
“Such excitement is not conducive to creative focus,” she chided herself.
Taking her sketchbook to the desk, she laid it atop a stack of schematics and pulled a book from the shelf above. Mechanics for the Modern Man, a title that made her cringe, but she flipped through to the last chapter until she found her place. With a smile, she went to the window seat. Reaching up, she tugged on a rope hanging from the ceiling and the curtain flew open, swishing past her to reveal a small couch set into a balcony. Sunlight poured in from the large round window overlooking the city of London. In the distance she could see the masts of ships setting in the harbor. Her eyes sought out the tallest ship, its sails a bright indigo blue with a white crescent moon in the center of its mainsail. The HMS Maximus was the flagship of her father’s fleet and easily the most magnificent ship in the harbor. It held a secret, and she knew that was the true reason for the lieutenant’s presence tonight. No doubt her father had chosen him as the steward of his most prized possession. If Lt. Weston could carry it safely across the Atlantic to the Americas, then the world would be forever changed.
And she was determined to be a part of it. If she could just convince father…
Want to see more of what I’m picturing as I write? It is going to be an adventure to remember, and you can follow along through my Steampunk Fantasies board on Pinterest.
The third book in The Light Series, The Light Within, is in the magical hands of my editor. I can hardly wait to share it with you! Merri’s journey takes her farther from Nomar in this book and deeper into the war that is brewing between Loian and Keardun. Today’s teaser reminds us where it all started in A Light in the Darkness.
The Light Within
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Last year I spoke at a conference on the importance of keeping your website updated…
Wow! Have you noticed lately how many ebooks there are to choose from? It’s insane! The hard part is knowing if the book you choose is going to be one you actually love or one you wish was a paperback so that you could burn it or, at the very least, throw it across the room in disgust.
This week I discovered a new favorite site: The Fussy Librarian. You are going to LOVE this! Here’s the blurb from their site:
With millions of books out there, it can be time consuming to find the good stuff. We can help! Only The Fussy Librarian remembers what genres you like and your preferences about language, violence and sexual content. Like only cozy mysteries? We’ll only send you an email when there’s a mystery that doesn’t have sex, violence or profanity. Read everything? We’ll send you lots of suggestions each day. It’s that easy!
Isn’t that awesome? OH! I forgot the best part – It’s FREE!!!! All you have to do to sign up is go to the website and enter your email address. Choose your content preferences and hit submit. Each week you’ll see a new list of ebooks chosen just for you. It’s a reader’s best friend.
You don’t want to miss any of their hot summer reads. So, hurry over to Fussy Librarian now and get signed up now! And don’t forget to share this great tip with all of your book-loving friends because sharing is caring.
Happy Anniversary to the coolest book blog on the block! Clean Indie Reads is a happy corner of the worldwide web where readers can find a delicious mix of genres without all the gore and gratuitous sex. The site has been growing like wildfire since it opened last year and to celebrate, we’re having a sale! Come find a few new favorites and tell your friends. This is a one day only sale, so hurry over there now before it’s gone.
Psstt! Tell your friends about this fabulous sale by clicking on one of the share buttons below. Thank you for supporting authors like me 🙂
Ugh. Today has been so weird. I finally decided what my problem is: new book hangover. Yep. That’s what it is. I spent all weekend working like mad to get through the revision process for my new book (coming this summer!) and at 8:42 last night I finally hit send on that sucker. It is now in the very capable hands of my top secret beta readers and I can rest easy.
Except that I can’t. *sigh*
I hardly slept at all last night and then I spent most of the day wandering from project to project, from FB to Twitter and back again. What a terrible waste of a beautiful day! I’m just sick over it. But for some reason I can’t seem to focus. And that’s when it hit me: Book Hangover.
There’s only one way to cure a book hangover. You have to pour yourself into another book. I think I’ll read a regency era novel and soak up some of that deliciously intricate language so that I can pour it into my main character’s dialogue in the final rewrite. Then, maybe I’ll invest a few hours into my favorite online game, racing around beautiful fantasy forests and searching through old villages for useful artifacts. Then, I’ll take all of that inspiration and pour it into my next book project: Light series book 3, The Light Within.
Have you ever had a book hangover? How did you get your groove back?
I can hardly believe it is already May. This year has been constant action and now I find myself just weeks away from a very busy summer. So I find myself doing what countless women before me have done in these glorious cool days of spring: Spring Cleaning.
Oh, I’m not just talking about cleaning out closets and vaccuuming under the couch (remind me to do that, though!) As a writer, I’m doing a different sort of cleaning. I came out of winter’s fog with a mess of unfinished drafts, broken site links, and a To Do list a mile long. So, last week I sat down, dusted off my laptop, and got to work. So far this is what I’ve accomplished:
- Read through the Light series and made copious notes in preparation for writing book 3 this summer 🙂
- Sent The Light series to the very talented Carin Gilfry at ACX who voiced and produced Seen and Wandering for audiobook.
(She’s amazing! So if you’re an audiobook fan, watch for the Light series to hit Audible and iTunes later this summer!)
- Relisted all of my books on Kindle
- Updated my author central page on Amazon
- Updated links for My Books on this site
- Submitted my books to the fabulous new site, Clean Indie Reads
- Started the next draft of my brand new book (yay!)
Whew! I’m exhausted just looking at this list! But the fabulous thing about spring cleaning is that once you are finished, everything looks so bright and shiny. I am thrilled to share all of my work with each of you. Thank you for supporting me along the way. By the time fall comes around there should be a few more shiny new bits of news to share. Until then, please have a fabulous summer.
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I can’t get enough of Heather Sutherlin’s books!
Check them out: http://amzn.com/e/B008RRP19I #fantasy #ya