Saturday, November 15, 2008

Steamy Nights 1: Machinations by Marie Treanor

Coming 13th November from Changeling Press

Scotland, 1868: In Edinburgh's menacing, old-town district, prostitutes are mysteriously disappearing. Fighting for her life in the dark of the night, Miri stabs the wrong man -- an eccentric University student named Caratacus -- and ends up in his arms. Although he's determined to find a way to get back to his own dimension, Caratacus lets Miri distract him long enough to try to put an end to the killings. But she knows that's all she is -- a distraction. How can a penniless whore hope to make him forget his lost love? And will his amazing steam-powered machines save Edinburgh -- or destroy it?
Tonight, "Auld Reekie" lived up to its name.
Miri shivered in the dank mist that clung to her hair and clothes and almost entirely obliterated the dismal street ahead. She wondered if she should risk approaching the one faint glow in the dark -- which had to be the World's End pub -- and find some warmth.
The trouble was, you got better trade through discretion. Men were warier of paying for their pleasures in front of friends. And God knew she needed customers tonight. Billie would be furious if she didn't bring in some money. She really didn't want to give him an excuse to rage, or to sell her on, not now with all this going on…
And as her unquiet stomach reminded her, another day without food would leave her weak and open to illness.
Miri drew her thin, shabby shawl more closely around her, and shifted from one foot to another in a vain attempt to prevent the damp seeping through the holes in her ancient boots.
She thought she heard something -- a shuffling sound muffled by the thick, smoke-laden fog. It came from behind her, at the steep steps leading down to the least savory part of the city. The hairs on the back of her neck prickled, forcing her into motion.
She took a few hurried steps forward, nearer the pub's welcoming glow, careful to keep hold of the small, sharp scissors in her pocket.
How are customers meant to see me in this pea-soup? she wondered miserably. Why are none of them on the street yet?
Because they're all safe and cozy in the pubs, gossiping with delicious shivers, no doubt, about the disappearing girls. Like Jeanie.
Her empty stomach twisted. The loss of her friend and mentor was huge. She missed her companionship, her laughter, her sheer practical good-sense. She hated to imagine what had happened to Jeanie and to the others… This was Edinburgh's old town -- rank, filthy, smoky, riddled with dark passages and grim corners where murder could be done without interruption…
Three men loomed out of the mist, almost on top of her. Startled, she fell back with a silent gasp of terror...

Machinations by Marie Treanor will be released on November 13th at Changeling Press.
:) Marie

Marie Treanor
Haunting Romance
Steaming up Victorian Scotland:
Steamy Nights 1:Machinations, Coming 13th November from Changeling Press.

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