Shannon here: One of the things I love about Christian Fiction is that there are so many genres with something for every reader. Ever heard of Victorian Steampunk? Morgan Busse shares an excerpt from her title, Tainted. Comment or answer the question at the end of this post to enter the giveaway for a signed copy. Deadline: May 7th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Morgan:
Tainted is a Victorian steampunk novel that follows Kat Bloodmayne, a young woman who—when she loses control of her emotions— is able to tap into the physical laws of science and manipulate the matter around her. However, there is a catch: every time she does this, a part of her soul dies and it is changing her into something dark. So she is trying to find a cure for her soul.
After graduating from the Tower Academy, Kat meets a man that night at the World City gala. Stephen Grey is a cold but intriguing man. Later, she finds out he is a bounty hunter and one of the best at finding people. She heads to his office the next day to employ his service in finding the one doctor she thinks can cure her.
Because of Stephen’s painful past, and the fact that Kat looks like his past fiancé, he’s not sure about taking her case. But he’s finally persuaded and they both embark on a journey that reveals there is a dark agenda deep within World City. Along the way, Stephen is confronted with the question can he love again after being hurt, and could he love this strange woman he is helping?
Excerpt from Tainted when Kat and Stephen first meet:
“I already said I’m not interested in finding a woman.”
Patrick looked at him. “Just one dance.”
Stephen worked his jaw, his gaze roving across the room. Most of the women present were only interested in fashion, titles, and money. He had thought Vanessa was different, but he had been proven wrong.
“There.” Patrick pointed across the dance floor. “Ask her. She looks like a nice, sensible kind of girl.”
Stephen looked in that direction and froze. It was the woman from the balcony. She stood beside another young woman with carrot-colored hair and a long green gown. A tall gentleman walked toward them and a moment later the carrot-topped woman left for the dance floor.
The young woman rubbed her arm and looked around the room.
Stephen narrowed his eyes. “Who is she?”
“I don’t know. But I do know she is one of the ladies from the Tower Academy.”
Smart, then. He liked that. It meant she wouldn’t be giggly or boring. Hopefully. He finished half of his cup of tea, then turned back toward Patrick. “All right. I’ll ask her. But then you need to get off my case.”
Patrick’s smile came back. “I won’t say another word tonight.”
Stephen tugged at the hair beneath his chin. “And you’re sure you don’t know her name? She looks familiar.”
“No. But she is beautiful. Who would have thought a woman like her would have ended up at the academy instead of out in society.”
Stephen dropped his hand and shrugged. “Times are changing.”
Before Patrick could say anything else, Stephen placed his cup down and made his way around the dance floor.
As he approached, she looked up. Her cheeks turned bright pink and she looked away. Oh, that’s right. He had been a bit abrupt on the balcony. He straightened his duster. He would just have to apologize. “Excuse me, miss.”
She glanced back, her eyes dark, her cheeks still flushed.
“I am sorry about earlier this evening. You caught me off guard.” And she was doing it again. She was similar to Vanessa, but younger, with an innocence to her countenance that he now realized Vanessa had never possessed. Stephen worked his dry mouth and gave her a short bow. “Please accept my apology.”
She gave him a small nod. “I accept. I’m afraid I was out of sorts myself.”
Stephen straightened. “And how are you now?”
“Much better, thank you.”
He held out his hand. “Then perhaps you would join me for a dance.”
She hesitated, her gloved hand hovering in the air. Then she took his hand with a firm grasp.
Stephen led her to the floor just as the waltz began. Her fingers were small and curled around his hand. He slid his other hand around her waist.
She stiffened and looked at him. Stephen led her along the floor. “Have you never waltzed before?”
She shook her head. “I’m afraid I spent the last two years studying rather than dancing.”
“It is a fairly easy dance. I will lead and you follow.”
She nodded and bit her lip.
Stephen guided her, moving slowly, placing a small amount of pressure on her waist to turn her.
After a minute, she was moving as if she had always known how to dance.
Stephen found himself relaxing. Patrick was right. It had been a while since he had danced with a woman. It felt … good. “You’re a natural.”
She laughed—a strong, throaty laugh. “And you are a good teacher.”
They made another round before Stephen spoke again. “I feel like I know you from somewhere. What is your name?” Blast it, where were his manners? He should have asked her before they started dancing. Come to think of it, he should have told her his name.
Her smile dropped from her face and she glanced away. “Kathryn. Kathryn Bloodmayne.”
About Morgan: Morgan L. Busse writes fantasy and steampunk for the adult market. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series, including Daughter of Light, Christy and Carol Award finalist. Morgan lives on the West Coast with her husband and four children. Learn more and connect:
About the book – Tainted:
What happens when your soul dies?
Kat Bloodmayne is one of the first women chosen to attend the Tower Academy of Sciences. But she carries a secret: she can twist the natural laws of life. She has no idea where this ability came from, only that every time she loses control and unleashes this power, it kills a part of her soul. If she doesn’t find a cure soon, her soul will die and she will become something else entirely.
After a devastating personal loss, Stephen Grey leaves the World City Police Force to become a bounty hunter. He believes in justice and will stop at nothing to ensure criminals are caught and locked up. However, when Kat Bloodmayne shows up in his office seeking his help, his world is turned upside down.
Together they search World City and beyond for a doctor who can cure Kat. But what they discover on the way goes beyond science and into the dark sphere of magic.
Book one of The Soul Chronicles series.
Question for Readers: Can you dance? If so, what is your favorite dance?
Come back May 2nd for Sarah Varland!