An Alternate History Victorian Steampunk Adventure for readers of all ages.
Samantha Crill reads the hearts of mechanical devices and transforms them into what they long to be. In a steam-powered Victorian England where only the wealthy can afford such sophisticated contraptions, the law does not look kindly on Naturals who destroy these purchases. Barely able to resist the demand of the devices, Sam becomes a danger to everyone around her, not in the least because the mechanicals show little restraint once changed.
Nathaniel Bowden, cabin boy on the oldest of the East India Trading Company's steamships, intends to learn everything he can in the hope of becoming a captain in this age of productivity. He's eager and willing, but his despised noble background and the engineer's unprovoked loathing threaten his position with the crew.
If Sam can't learn to control her nature, the engine's whispers combined with Nat's curiosity will put his future - and both their lives - at risk.
About the Author
Margaret McGaffey Fisk is a storyteller whose tales often cross genres and worlds to bring the events and characters to life. She currently writes romance, science fiction, and fantasy but will go wherever the story takes her.
A daughter of diplomats, her early years were filled with many cultures, both very much alive and long turned to dust, and people who both pondered the great thoughts and were grand pranksters. Whether from wild adventures into the desert to climb sand mountains, poking around little known archeological sites, or visiting bazaars and inner cities, she came out of that time with a love of culture and an all too sharp awareness of culture clash.
She currently lives in a Nevada desertscape with her husband, and a rotating collection of cats and sons. When not exercising her creative muscles, she has been known to tame the relatives of beasts in the wild-feral cats.
In a different time, you'd find her before a bonfire or with a mug of ale and a lute spinning tales for all who are in earshot. Now, though, you can read her explorations of loyalty, love, and cultural conflict wherever you might be.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Attention Steampunk fans! Want to be able to talk books with the kids? Thanks to the magic of Margaret McGaffey Fisk’s delightful Secrets, here is a book that can be read and enjoyed by ALL ages. Imagine being able to read the “hearts” of mechanical devices, and to be able to change them into what they really want to be! Has it ever occurred to you that a simple toy might want to be more? What about a vehicle? The possibilities are endless! Too bad “naturals,” as they are called are considered a threat to Victorian England’s sensibilities, those poor rich people who can afford devices may find their purchases have a mind of their own, especially when young Sam gets her hands on them. Sent away for her own safety, from the start, her journey across the ocean is doomed from the very start and she bravely determines she WILL find a way to travel aboard a less than spectacular ship, she will stowaway, but the call of the steam engines is threatening to get her captured. Young Nathaniel comes from money, has book smarts, but no real life experiences, so he is taken on as a novice worker aboard an old and poorly running ship. Nat dreams of one day having his own ship to captain, but resentment of his status makes him an unlikely success. He discovers Sam and thus begins their adventure upon the waters! Margaret McGaffey Fisk has caught the flavor of “steampunk” and Victorian England perfectly, while maintaining a fast pace filled with the energy of youth! Easy to read, each scene in her world ran like a movie in my head. The chaos of the docks, the smells, the sounds, I swear I could have gotten a splinter from the wooden planks. Both main characters have the insecurity of youth, yet the determination to go the distance, wherever that may take them. Add in some quirky or nasty supporting characters and the trip into the past, across the veil of an alternate history is complete. Secrets is definitely one of those shiny gems in the world of books with its sense of adventure, fear of the unknown and, hey, it’s steampunk, need I say more?