Well, I DID get to spend time with family and friends, which is high, very high, on my list of important things to do. Besides that, I wrote, quite a bit. Finished up the spring release from Carina Press and got it through edits. Sent a new proposal to my agent. Revamped my blog. I'm working with promotions people to gear up for the October 22 release of Moonlight & Mechanicals, a full-length Gaslight Chronicles novel. One of the cooler things I did was contract an artist to create an image of one of the Gaslight characters who has really taken on a following of his own. This is George, the clockwork mastiff. He might just have his own fan page on Facebook coming up soon, and there might be promo goodies coming with his picture on it. (The artist is the very talented John R. White.)
I hope all of you had a summer as good as mine, despite the messy garage and basement. And if October comes, and you're looking for a good read to curl up with while you sip you cocoa, may I suggest Moonlight & Mechanicals? Have a wonderful autumn!
Moonlight & Mechanicals
A Gaslight Chronicles novel
Coming Oct. 22, 2012 from Carina Press
Engineer Winifred "Wink" Hadrian has been in love with Inspector Liam McCullough for years, but is beginning to lose hope when he swears to be a lifelong bachelor. Faced with a proposal from a Knight of the Round Table and one of her closest friends, Wink reluctantly agrees to consider him instead.
Because of his dark werewolf past, Liam tries to keep his distance, but can't say no when Wink asks him to help find her friend's missing son. They soon discover that London's poorest are disappearing at an alarming rate, after encounters with mysterious "mechanical" men. Even more alarming is the connection the missing people may have with a conspiracy against the Queen.
Fighting against time—and their escalating feelings for each other—Wink and Liam must work together to find the missing people and save the monarchy before it's too late...
The orchestra began to strike up the opening number. Connor turned, no doubt to ask her to dance, but before he could, Liam smiled. “Miss Hadrian? Would you do me the honor?”
“Of course.” She closed her mouth, which had dropped at his compliment, and smiled apologetically at Connor, ignoring his stricken expression. Wink was going to have to do something about his infatuation—eventually. She cared for him, but more as another brother than as a potential husband.
At the moment, though, she relaxed and gave herself up to the superb music and the enjoyment of being exactly where she wanted to be—waltzing in Liam’s arms.
He was a powerful and gifted dancer, though with his supernatural strength and grace, he could hardly have been otherwise. The pleasure she felt was more than that though—it came from simply being near Liam, feeling his breath on her hair, his hands warm even through gloves and layers of clothing. This wasn’t their first dance—he was a long-time friend of her family, after all. They’d run into one another on numerous social occasions in the six years since her debut. Each time she waltzed with him, though, seemed as magickal as the first. She’d been sixteen then, at her parents’ wedding, on the same day they’d formally adopted her, Nell, Piers and Jamie. Even then, with the stink of Wapping still clinging to her, Liam had treated her like a lady, and Wink had fallen in love with the werewolf constable and his sad, lonely dark eyes.
She forced her mind back to the present as they whirled through the patterns of the dance. They didn’t speak at first, both seeming caught up in their own thoughts or the music.
Finally Liam tapped a whalebone stay at her waist with the tip of his finger. “Why on earth do women wear such ridiculous garments? That thing looks so tight you can hardly breathe, let alone swing a rapier if you needed to.”
Wink didn’t know whether to laugh, be hurt by his dismissal of her most flattering gown or preen that he remembered her weapon of choice. She settled for saying, “I have no idea either. I was wondering the same, not half an hour ago.”
“And yet here you are, trussed up like a Christmas goose.” He looked down into her meager bustline and only snorted, deflating any hope Wink might have had that he saw her as a woman.
“I blame Her Majesty. For someone so adamant about being the ruler in her own right, she’s reluctant to extend similar autonomy to other females.” Wink couldn’t believe she’d actually said that, out loud and in public. A quick glance around showed that no one else was looking at them so she went on. “These idiotic fashions are designed for the sole purpose of keeping us as dependent as possible on the male sex. By emphasizing our so-called feminine attributes, they inherently downplay and actively inhibit our usefulness in any other capacity.”
Liam nodded his agreement. “I’d grumble about the wastefulness of all this wealth on display in the ballroom when so many are starving not far away, but you know about that better than most.”
“I do.” She spun easily through the motions of the dance, following him as if she were an extension of his arm. “And I also know how hard the Lake family works to help others. This ball is part of their efforts—maintaining the social standing and power to see that good is done, by their votes in Parliament, by the money they raise for charities, by the Order itself. That’s the only reason I’m here. I understand the purpose. Other parties…” She wrinkled her nose and Liam chuckled.
“I know. I’m just out of sorts because I’m here under orders. When I return you to your faithful swain MacKay, will you tell him and your brother I need to speak with him in the card room sometime tonight?”
“Of course.” Her heart plummeted. He was only dancing with her to send a message to Connor? Or to make a showing before he disappeared? Catching the attention of Liam McCullough was going to take significantly more work than she’d anticipated.
Perhaps she should have padded her corset.