Sunday catchup is taking a week off, as I realized that is post #550 on the Monkey Queen Books blog (as counted on its original home on Blogger). I enjoy doing special things for anniversary posts, so I’m using this one to formally announce my next book, a steampunk fantasy.
Coming this fall: Copper Cove!
In Copper Cove, city of marvels powered by magic and steam, being a renegade crafter is no easy task. Working past midnight to make ends meet, difficult clients, tough conditions, guild enforcers…all in all, just another day for the talented, plucky Tabitha Miles.
Her latest commission seems like just another job at first…but then Tabitha meets newspaper reporter Sophie Haverford and falls into a web of conspiracy and murder. Can Tabitha unravel the mystery, prevent a disaster, and win Sophie’s heart in time for tea?
I can’t give an exact publication date, as writing is still in progress, but if all works out, it’ll be out on a familiar date. It’ll be available on all my usual platforms (not just Amazon), and there will be a paperback edition.
After the cut: Two brief excerpts!
A quick note: These are taken from the first draft of Copper Cove. There may be minor changes to these in the final book, so don’t be surprised if that happens.
First: Meet our hero, Tabitha Miles! She has opinions on clothing.
I’m Tabitha Miles, and I’m a crafter. When someone has a machine, big or small, that has to be fixed, and they don’t want to go through the guilds or can’t afford to, I take care of it. The guilds call me a “renegade”, and want me and others like me to join them, but I’m not interested. There are too many regulations and too many fees, and I hate their dress codes.
I wear button-down shirts, grey herringbone tweed trousers with bracers, boots with small heels and a flat cap that matches my trousers. I like how I dress, and I don’t care what anyone else thinks about it, and I’ll be damned if I ever get forced into wearing a skirt like the women in the guilds do. I’d rather wear something with pockets, thank you very much.
And here, Tabitha talks about her pet, Darjeeling.
The porter I had met two years ago said that Darjeeling was a khala, a species native to Ranjina, a country that was many days sail from the Crescent Sea. She had somehow stowed away on his freighter, and had worked her way through half a carton of pineapples before she’d been caught. The porter had stopped the representative of the merchant’s firm from throwing her to the sharks, but he needed to find her a new home with great urgency, and before I knew it, I had a pet. This was quite annoying as I had just fixed his gyroscope, and I had expected to be paid in crowns instead of a moochy rodent who was prone to overreaction.
After a while, I forgave the porter. Darjeeling was intelligent enough to learn and obey commands, so she could do everything from fetching me a stray screw to dragging my dirty socks to the hamper. She was always good to talk to, even if she didn’t quite understand what I was saying and only answered with a chirp or two. She was a marvelous way to break the ice when I met a fair lady or a handsome gentleman. And when those romances came to an end, as they always seemed to, she was there to snuggle with me when I cried.