Thursday, February 12, 2015

Noir: A Steampunk Fantasy (Illumination Paradox series Book 2) by Jacqueline E. Garlick

 Release date: January 26, 2015
Subgenre: Steampunk, fantasy

About Noir:

With Urlick (Babbit) imprisoned, awaiting execution for the alleged murder of Professor Smrt, Eyelet (Elsworth) must find her way back through the criminal infested woods, among the blood-thirsty Infirmed, to the forbidden city of Brethren, in time to free him from his fate.

With the help of Crazy Legs, Eyelet overthrows a travelling freak show train on its way into Brethren, planning to use the train to distract the city long enough to free Urlick. Just as they think their luck is about to hold, Eyelet is lured astray by an image from her past. Entering an abandoned factory at the city’s edge, she unearths a series of ungodly secrets, and soon finds herself imprisoned.

With Urlick locked away in the Stone Jug and Eyelet on her way to MadHouse Brink, will C.L. be able to spring both loose in time to save the day? Or will he too, fall prey to the torturous mind of Brethren’s newest Ruler—who is, in fact, a self-appointed heir to the throne.

It appears there is an heir that’s been overlooked. An heir the new ruler is determined to keep secret.

Noir is book 2 of the Illumination Paradox series and sequel to Lumiere.



The wagon pulls to a jagged stop, knocking me off balance.
I brush the tears from my eyes and peer our through the bars, at the door to my future—and shudder. A massive black beast of a thing, it must be twelve to fourteen feet high, towering over the gates and the carriage both. The structure appears to be made of wood one moment and cast iron the next. I blink, not understanding how that that’s possible. The surface of the door changes again, from dull to glistening…shiny, like an oil slick on a pond one moment…then solidifying to black ebony the next. Steel arches round its top and reinforce the bottom, which appears to sink below the building’s foundation line.
My eyes fix on the strange iron door handle bolted to the middle of the door. It lifts up from its post as if it’s sensed our presence, then divides into slithering tentacles. One by one the octopus-like arms stretch out from the face of the door, splayed and groping, as if in search of something. Fear zigzags through me.
Below the handle is carved a message, incised deep into the face of the shifting oily wood. The letters are indiscernible, another language, from another world—or another time, perhaps? I rub my arms trying to calm my prickling skin, struggling to keep myself together.
What on earth, am I to do?
 I straighten my spine and clear my eyes of tears. My mind flounders between Urlick’s fate and my own. What will become of us? Of me? Of him?
I need a plan and I need one quick, if I’m to get us out of this. My eyes scan the premises.
The guard moves in working open the bars, his face a white flash of moon against the dark steaming sky. The prisoners behind me shudder and scream, pasting themselves to the back wall of the wagon in a feeble attempt to escape him. 
There’s a shunt of an engine. Grey mist purges up from the building’s footings. Beyond it, faces emerge from the door. Silhouettes, in human form. Cheeks and noses, chins and foreheads—press in and out of the door’s oily surface, as if humans were trapped within. Dark shadowy faces howl and shriek. Desperate hands claw heads.
I gasp and fall back. My heart drums wild against my ribcage.
In all my life I’ve never felt so hopeless.
“It only gets better from here,” the Brigsman laughs. He drifts forward, unlocking the door of our cage. “Ain’t no use strugglin’ now,” he warns, in a low growl.
He swings open the bars. The other prisoners scream. I bolt, leaping out and over his head, my legs stretched as far as they can go, but it’s no use—he catches me mid-air. He reels me in.
“Let go of me!” I struggle, falling into his arms, pinching and kicking him hard.
“Guess this means you’ve volunteered to be first.”
He smacks the cage door shut and drives down the pin, locking the rest in, and drags me toward the ominous black door.
 “No!” I shout, striking him hard in the shins. The guard whirls me around.
“Ain’t gonna do yuh no good to struggle,” his bitter voice thwangs in my ear. “Only gonna make yur journey worse.”
“You have no right to put me here!” I beat at his chest. “I’ve done nothing!”  
“That’s what they all say,” he laughs and flips me up over his shoulder, hanging me upside down by the feet.




About Jacqueline E. Garlick:


I'm Jacqueline Garlick, author of young adult and new adult fiction. I love strong heroines, despise whiny sidekicks, and adore a good story about a triumphant underdog. (Don't you?)
I love to read, write, paint (walls and paper). I have a love/hate relationship with chocolate, grammar, and technology and would rather hang out with a dog, than a cat. I prefer creating things to cleaning things, and believe laughter is a one-stop-shop solution to all that ails you. You will always find a purple wall (or two) in my house (currently in my writing room), and there may or may not be a hidden passageway that leads to a mystery room. (Okay, so you won't find a hidden passageway, but a girl can dream, can't she?) Oh, and tea. There will always be tea.

My writing style has been described as edgy and rule-breaking, and by some--a touch Tim Burton-esque. Because of this, I am often referred to as the Quentin Tarantino of YA among writing friends.

In my former life, I was a teacher (both grade school and college-don't ask), but more recently I've been a graduate of Ellen Hopkin's Nevada Mentor Program and a student of James Scott Bell, Christopher Vogler and Don Maass. An excerpt from Lumière earned me the 2012 Don Maass Break Out Novel Intensive Scholarship. 

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