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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Spotlight/Excerpt: Romancing the Inventor (Supernatural Society Novellas) by Gail Carriger

Romancing the Inventor
Series: Supernatural Society Novellas
by Gail Carriger
November 1 2016
ISBN: 9781944751074
ebook 9781944751067
Genre: LBGT romance
A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

Imogene Hale is a lowly parlourmaid with a soul-crushing secret. Seeking solace, she takes work at a local hive, only to fall desperately in love with the amazing lady inventor the vampires are keeping in the potting shed. Genevieve Lefoux is heartsick, lonely, and French. With culture, class, and the lady herself set against the match, can Imogene and her duster overcome all odds and win Genevieve’s heart, or will the vampires suck both of them dry?

Look for surprise appearances from popular Parasolverse characters and the occasional strategic application of cognac.

Imogene knocked, several times, getting progressively louder. There was a considerable racket coming from the other side of the door, and whoever was inside couldn’t possibly have heard her. So, she pushed it open herself, balancing the tray on one hip.

Inside, the shed seemed bigger than Imogene initially thought. And louder, full of hisses and bangs and the scent of hot oil and smoke. It was lined with shelves that were stuffed to bursting. There were stacks of engines and engine parts, some of which seemed to be moving. The air was thick with steam and smoke. There were coils and tubes, bottles of odd-colored liquids and any number of tools, some quite rude-looking. That one looks like a… never mind. Every available surface was littered with curiosities; larger implements were propped up against walls or hanging from the ceiling. A coil of glass tubing snaked around the crown molding, filled with a bubbling orange gas that lit the interior with an eerie artificial glow. Perched in one corner, like some sort of ship’s figurehead, was an oddly sinister wicker chicken. It frowned down upon her with an air of chubby disdain.

Imogene wasn’t sure she liked being judged by a chicken.

The only focal point in the chaos was a desk in the far corner, strewn with stacks of papers which turned out (to Imogene’s delight) to be sketches and annotated schematics (rather than lines of incomprehensible script). Concepts for more machines! She would have loved to page through them, but her hands were full, and that would certainly be considered prying.

Next to the desk was a massive piece of flat river slate, mounted on the wall; someone was using it to make calculations with chalk. Imogene might not have her letters, but she could read numbers and do complex sums. Or she’d thought they were complex, multiplication and division and all sorts that left her ma in awe and the littles confused. But the sums written on that slate also included letters, making them more mysterious and more intriguing than anything she’d ever seen before.

Imogene was studying it with her head cocked, holding the tea, and wondering where to put the tray, when a figure emerged out of the chaos.

A slender man straightened up from where he’d been crouched under one of the larger contraptions. He wore protective goggles, some kind of helmet, and large leather gloves. Good thing too, for sparks were flying from a heating tube he held in one hand. An arc of blue shot up from beneath his ministrations, casting purple sparks everywhere.

Imogene nearly dropped the tea tray.

The man swore loudly, either because of the sparks or because one cuff was on fire. He slapped at his sleeve absently, so it wasn’t that.

Finally, the man put down the tube, muttering in a slippery sort of foreign language.

Imogene took the momentary lull as an opportunity to say, “Sir? I’ve brought your tea.”

The man jumped and dropped the tube, which began hissing. He cursed roundly, then jerked back as an arc of purple flew up to the ceiling.

He whirled, charging at Imogene in a sudden sprint. He grabbed her by the waist and pulled her (still balancing the tray) behind a large metal something that, if pressed, Imogene would have called a fish tank.

Behind them came a loud bang and an even louder crash.

The man yanked off his goggles and helmet in a smooth movement and cast them carelessly to one side. This revealed a sweet pixie face framed by short, dark, wavy hair.

“What on earth do you think you’re doing?”

Imogene could only stare.

He, as it turned out, was a she.

About the Author:
Gail Carriger writes steampunk comedies of manners mixed with paranormal romance. Her books include the Parasol Protectorate, Custard Protocol, Supernatural Society, and Delightfully Deadly series for adults, and the Finishing School series for young adults. She is published in many languages and has over a dozen NYT bestsellers via seven different lists (#1 in Manga). She was once an archaeologist and is overly fond of shoes, octopuses, and tea.

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