Clara Allen needs a husband in order to keep a roof over the heads of her assorted dependents, a roof her nasty grandfather will re-appropriate unless she is married by her 21st birthday, only a few days away. Strong-minded, unwilling to take orders from any man, she decides to solve her problem by raising a murdered prisoner from the dead and marrying him. She expects an empty-headed puppet; she certainly never dreams he’ll be so devastatingly handsome.
Liam McMahon doesn’t recall much about his life before his hanging in the prison yard, other than being Irish. He does remember the kiss Clara bestowed as she brought him back to life. Every time he looks at her, his desire gets out of hand. But his former life is chasing him down like a steam engine, and when a couple of mad geniuses decide he’d make a fine experiment, he wonders if he’ll live long enough to claim Clara’s heart or if he’ll die all over again.
EXCERPTS (Exlusive Excerpt):
Clara wished Dax didn’t make quite so much noise when he moved. The lads had done a fine job with his overhaul, but he definitely revealed his age as he trundled along and emitted regular puffs of steam. At least she didn’t have to worry about him running out of coal. Woodrow and Fred had stoked him well and filled his reservoir before they left the house.
Like a ragged, ungainly band of gypsies, they’d followed Ruella through darkening streets under an overcast sky, west along Georgia Street almost to 4th, a most unsavory part of town. Fred had appropriated the pistol, and stayed close to Clara’s side.
Now, at the mouth of a noisome alley, Ruella paused and said over her shoulder, “I think it’s down here.”
Clara stiffened with distaste. From the little she could see, the alley lay cluttered with garbage. But she’d venture into far worse, for the sake of Liam.
Liam. The very thought of him called to her and raised a longing she had to tamp down in order to think clearly.
“Dax, you go first,” she bade the steamie. She didn’t want to sacrifice him, but heaven only knew what lay down that dark chute.
The steamie rolled forward willingly. The rest of them pressed in behind.
“Ugh, what a stink,” Ruella fairly gagged.
Ahead lay a rooming house, only one window lit against the gloom. No sign of movement or human habitation, though Clara would be willing to bet rats abounded.
“Nothing here,” Dax said. Was that relief or disappointment Clara heard in his voice? Was he capable of either emotion?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Born in Buffalo and raised on the Niagara Frontier, Laura Strickland has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. To her the spunky, tenacious, undefeatable ethnic mix that is Buffalo spells the perfect setting for a little Steampunk, so she created her own Victorian world there. She knows the people of Buffalo are stronger, tougher and smarter than those who haven’t survived the muggy summers and blizzard blasts found on the shores of the mighty Niagara. Tough enough to survive a squad of automatons? Well, just maybe.
Author web site: http://www.laurastricklandbooks.com