Overview

Being Simon Thorne, friend and collaborator to Lady Abigail Moran, isn't easy. Yes, being a daring thief does have its charms. But I still haven't convinced Abigail that she loves me, and thievery, for all the romantical writers say of it, is not the way to wealth. Especially if Abigail insists we continuously repair the airship with our ill-gotten gains.

So when an old friend summons us to his estate and offers us a daring job with a hefty paycheck, we're happy to accept. The ...

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Brass and Bone

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Overview

Being Simon Thorne, friend and collaborator to Lady Abigail Moran, isn't easy. Yes, being a daring thief does have its charms. But I still haven't convinced Abigail that she loves me, and thievery, for all the romantical writers say of it, is not the way to wealth. Especially if Abigail insists we continuously repair the airship with our ill-gotten gains.

So when an old friend summons us to his estate and offers us a daring job with a hefty paycheck, we're happy to accept. The mission: use our airship to transport secret cargo halfway across the globe. Oh, and we mustn't forget to take along the witch and her sinister keeper. A witch more beguiling than expected and her keeper—or is that companion?—with secrets darker than one could imagine.

Alas. Perhaps I have finally bitten off more than I can chew...

36,000 words

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426896743
  • Publisher: Carina Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2013
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • File size: 549 KB

Meet the Author

Cynthia Gael is enamored of Victorian England, high tea and wide feathered hats. She has been known to wear cinched leather corsets and high-topped boots, and rap cheeky gentlemen smartly on their knuckles with her fan. She can hold her own in any discussion about English history, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Bram Stoker, airships, steam men and the penny dreadful. Sadly, she does not truly exist.

Actually, Cynthia Gael is the pen name of two writers. Cynthia D. Witherspoon writes Southern Gothic and paranormal romance; she has won various awards and her work has appeared in numerous anthologies. K.G. McAbee writes fantasy, pulp, science fiction, YA and mystery; she also has won awards and has had more than a dozen novels and nearly a hundred short stories published. As Cynthia Gael, they have written short stories in several genres; the Balefire series, paranormal urban fantasy; and the Brass Chronicles, their steampunk series for Carina Press. Visit cynthiagael.com for more information.

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Read an Excerpt


It was a cruelly cold night, and a cluttered alleyway was not the best place to spend it. I longed for a warm fire and a glass of wine, a comfortable armchair and rather less soot about my person. Instead, I stood amongst dismantled packing cases, empty beer barrels and other bits of rubbish. At least the cold managed to keep the stink from the nearby Thames to a reasonable level. I am particularly sensitive to smells, no doubt a holdover from my misspent youth, and the effluvia from the mighty river could have strangled a curate, even weaned as they are on the scents of incense, wet wool and good works. I huddled deep into my heavy woolen overcoat, caped and double caped, drew my thick silk scarf up over my mouth, pulled my bowler even lower and blessed the rabbit that had given up its life for the fur lining of my leather gloves. My attire was not, sadly, à la mode, but one must make allowances.

The trollop across the way, unfortunately, had none of my protective accoutrements. I watched her from my sheltered position, deep in the shadows of my alleyway where I could whiff the horses in a nearby mews. She had bundled up as much as she could in her threadbare skirt and overlarge jacket. Her feet must be cold; I could see the holes in her ragged boots every time she passed the few sputtering gaslights the street boasted. The flickers of light elongated her already lean shadow to that of a ragged scarecrow.

I waited.

I was good at waiting. It is one of my numerous talents. Certainly one of the more mentionable ones.

Soon I knew my waiting would pay off.

A door opened just up the street to my right, and golden light poured out onto the cobblestones. A heavy-set man stumbled down the steps, the silver head of his cane striking sparks in the dimness. The door closed behind him, and I could hear the lock click home even from my distant spot.

No one left a door unlocked in Whitechapel, or Limestone, or any of the other lower-class warrens in the City of London, in this year of our Lord 1887. Our gracious majesty Victoria would have bolted and barred the doors of Buckingham Palace with her own tiny hands if it sat in any of those spots. But we were in a middle-class neighborhood not far from the river, a narrow thoroughfare lined with street lamps. It was no Regents Park, no Kensington, but it was no Seven Dials either. And it had gas laid on. Several of the houses sparkled like jewels, but not all. Gas was expensive, and this parvenu neighborhood did not contain the well-off in every house, certainly.

Still, I had definitely heard the lock click behind him as the man left the well-lit house. He walked away from the dwelling, a four-story affair of brick, with its smug expression of conscious superiority to its less well-endowed neighbors. He had a bit of a stumble and sway in his walk, as if he'd dined well and drunk better. He paused under a gaslight and fumbled with a lucifer for a moment as he lit a long black cigar. I gave a silent tut-tut at the sad cut of his coat. It was more than apparent the man was not of the British upper classes, though no doubt one of our doughty, if less than honest, tailors had assured him he was dressed in the latest fashion. I, however, would never have been caught dead in either his coat or hat.

I felt more than heard a low, almost inaudible hum, and glanced up. Above, the night airship to Calais—HMS Prince Alfred, as I knew quite well, having flown in her before—passed over on her way toward the Channel, the vast bulk of her dozen airbags blotting out a fat oval of stars.

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