Monday, July 23, 2018

Vesta's Clockwork Companions by Juli D. Revezzo

Release date: July 20, 2018
Subgenre: Steampunk romance

About Vesta's Clockwork Companions


When Vesta Bartlett, a wealthy alchemist and inventor, arrives in England to finalize an arranged marriage and help overhaul a family friend's outdated ironworks, she never expects to find the family so secretive, nor to develop feelings for her fiancé’s younger brother, Henry.

But the growing attraction between Vesta and Henry is just the beginning of their troubles. Things really heat up when they're drawn into a secret project for Queen Victoria's military, one that requires Vesta's knowledge of clockwork and Henry’s iron.

An epidemic has wiped out all the dogs in Britain, and beyond. If the military fail in their effort to restore the species, a clockwork creation may be all that stands in the way of a world without canine companionship.

Are Vesta and Henry up to the challenge?



Ahead, Acton led him up a staircase that wound around the premises. They ended by traversing a hall. At the terminus of the hall, Henry found another door, unassuming, like any in his home. Except another set of armed guards again barred their way.

Acton reached into his coat as he approached and produced a circular device. A small button on its face caused it to glow with a faint yellowish light. He presented this device to the guards. “We’re here on the major general’s orders.”

The guard turned his attention from the device to stare at Henry. “And him?”

Acton laid a hand to his arm. “He’s a new recruit.”

The guard on the left—a tall man with cropped blond hair—nodded and pulled the door open. “Five minutes.”

“I’m what now?” Henry asked as Acton escorted him inside.

“Don’t worry about it. You’ll be all right.”

“How so? It sounds to me like you’re trying to induct me into the corps.” He frowned and turned back to the doors. “Forget it. I have no military ambitions.”

“You have no ambitions I’m aware of. Except, maybe, to help your family.”

The new voice drew his attention. Deep, yet there was an odd tone about it, enough to stop Henry and intrigue him. His first glimpse of the speaker satisfied the curiosity even as it raised new questions.

Major General Charles Gordon rolled up to a desk in an old-fashioned wheelchair. His eyes, his air, all the same as portraits he’d seen of the man in the newspapers. And yet, he was different from the other men around him, even aside from the fact that he was rumored dead.

The gold emblems of rank dotting his coat, the epaulets, these alone would tell anyone the major general’s identity. None of these held as much interest for Henry as the man’s face.

Or lack thereof. His head, from the outline of a hairline, to his lips and chin, all these, some clever surgeon had replicated in brass. The brass continued down the man’s neck, to meet up under the dark jacket. The hands settled on the desk and folded together, likewise, all brass.

Henry met the major general’s gaze. “By the gods!”

“You might sssssay that.”

The voice issuing from the lips and slurring all his s’s made him sound like a lethargic teapot. Henry didn’t know how else to describe it. All other explanation sounded childish even as he thought about it. Wondering what caused the difference, Henry found himself trying to investigate the speaker further. “Sir, I mean … forgive me, I didn’t mean to stare.”

“You wished to see us, Major General,” Acton said, breaking into Henry’s verbal astonishment. “Here we are.”

“Yes, Mr. Wren, I’m pleassssed with what I’m hearing of your work with our men.”

Henry saw no visible reason for why the major general dragged out his “s” that way. He’d never heard of the man having a lisp. Metal tubes and thin wires ran down his cheeks and neck to disappear into the chair behind him. He didn’t want to offend him by trying to take a closer look at the tech. A general guess that his speech was helped along by some sort of steam-powered mechanism involving those attachments was the best Henry’s imagination could supply. But he saw no hint of steam exhaust in the man’s vicinity.

Curious. I wonder if Vesta has ever seen such a contraption.


About Juli D. Revezzo:

Juli D. Revezzo writes fantasy and romantic stories filled in with elements garnered from a lifetime love affair with magic, myth, witches, wizards, and fated lovers and legend. She is the author of The Antique Magic series and the Paranormal Romance Celtic Stewards Chronicles series, steampunk historical romances VESTA'S CLOCKWORK COMPANIONS, WATCHMAKER'S HEART, and short stories published in ETERNAL HAUNTED SUMMER, LUNA STATION QUARTERLY, among others. She is also a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.

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