Title: Winter of the Passion Flower (Steampunk Rebels, Book 1)
Author: Annie Seaton
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Length: 25,000 words
Genre(s): Historical Sci-Fi/Fantasy Steampunk Romance
Sexy heroine seeks captain for time-traveling submarine.
Indigo de Vargas is determined to exhibit her products at the Great Exhibition in Crystal Palace. The evil Duke Lorca and his shape-shifting servants, however, have thwarted her preparation at every turn. Indigo's only hope is the brooding captain who appears on her doorstep in the midst of a fierce snowstorm offering to navigate her submarine to the Amazon so she can collect passionflowers for her potions and hallucinogenics.
Steam powers more than the submarine on this voyage. Sparks flying between Indigo and her captain may ignite a passion neither can avoid. Ably assisted by quirky servants, brass goggles and inappropriate accoutrements, they must fight those out to foil her mission.
|Excerpt 1 |
Indigo turned to leave, but a warm hand descended on her bare shoulder. “Not so fast, my beauty,” said the captain. He pushed her gently back against the velvet-lined wall and strands of her hair caught on the soft nap. Eyes narrowing, she stiffened as firm thighs pressed her legs back against the wall. Strong calloused fingers slid down her bare arms and the captain trapped her hands, raising them above her head. His moist lips trailed up her neck until his soft breath warmed her lips. “I sense there is much that has been left unsaid tonight. We will explore that in due course. But first tell me the significance of our tattoo.” He spoke against her mouth. The vibration of his words on her lips sent delicious shivers shooting downward. She leaned away from him, tossing her head, and black curls surrounded him. Indigo freed her arms, fingers linked behind his head, and snared him in the velvet folds of her skirt. His grip loosened as she moved her mouth back toward his. Their eyes locked, and she moistened her lips in a slow and sensuous movement. Indigo moved in closer and the captain’s eyes darkened.
|Excerpt 2 |
A strong wind buffeted the scarab on the short journey to the biomes. Drifts of snow covered the fields beneath, the wind pushing the vehicle off course. The snow-removing blade flicked across the glass as the snow iced up around the glass. Zane leaned forward to touch the other levers on the panel in front of him and Indigo pushed his hand away.
“You will have us upside down,” she snapped, her heart racing from his proximity
Indigo parked the scarab in a huge tunnel behind the complex, leading Zane to a door at the back of the beach biome. They entered the huge dome through a series of doors, circled by cogs with levers on each side. The happy squealing of children muffled by the soft whoosh of waves greeted them as the final door closed noiselessly behind them, camouflaged behind a large sign. Stepping onto a wide esplanade, Indigo stood back with a satisfied smile, watching as Zane’s eyes widened. Children built sandcastles with buckets and spades on a beach bathed in sunshine. A panorama of seaside activities stretched along the esplanade. Donkeys, roundabouts and a Punch and Judy show added to the noise of gulls screeching overhead. Parents strolled with their children, eating fish and chips, fairy floss, and ice cream.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that something like this could exist.” Zane turned to Indigo, eyes still wide as he took in the vista in front of them.
“How is it daytime?” He pointed at the brilliant blue sky. “Where does the sunshine come from? It is midnight and snowing outside.”
“You have many questions.” His interest pleased her. “It is satisfying to see the wind taken out of Captain Dogooder’s sails.” Indigo smiled at the unintended pun. “I will quickly show you the other biomes. We must embark on our voyage. You have many more surprises in store this evening, Captain. Are you up to the challenge?”
As the scarab stopped behind the next biome, she paused. “There is one question you may have that I am unable to answer at this time.”
Entering the biome through a similar sequence of sliding doors, the last metal door was overlaid in the familiar pattern of their tattoo. Indigo pushed the door open slowly, inhaling with pleasure as the sweet smell of exotic blooms hung in the air around them. She passed the captain a pair of dark glasses and donned a similar pair to protect their eyes from the intense blue of the sky. The humid warmth of the biome engulfed them and the deafening screech of multi-colored birds darting through the treetops surrounded them. Indigo led the way past rows of high benches, containing hundreds of blooms at various stages of growth. “They are all the same?” asked Zane
Indigo spread her arms wide. “Captain, this is the reason for our next voyage. The blue passionflower.”
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4.5 Star Review from Long and Short Reviews:
“Steampunk novels are often set in London, but this one is located in Cornwall and provides a welcome change to the genre.
Indigo de Vargas is an unusual woman in the Victorian era. She not only rules her own household but also runs her own business, inherited from her father. When Captain Doogooder, also known as Zane Thoreau, arrives on her doorstep she is at first suspicious, but enlists him in her efforts to collect the necessary ingredients for her exhibit at the Great Exhibition being held by Prince Albert.
They are drawn to one another, but both have secrets that must be revealed before they can give in to their feelings.
I love the way the author wove Cornwall into her story. The biospheres reminded me of the Eden Project in Cornwall, while the introduction of a few words of the Cornish language showed the author knew her location, or had researched it well. Both characters were strong and Indigo in particular was very much an individual who bowed to no one. She places herself against the government and her nearest neighbor, and those who are close to her follow her lead because they love her. Her servants, her submarine crew and eventually Zane Thoreau - all fall under her spell. Zane, who is in the mode of the open shirt, tanned chest adventurer, originally comes to spy on Indigo, but I believe he changed his mind before he arrived on her doorstep. Once he saw her all was lost as his emotions took over.
Although short, this is a wonderful book full of richness of scenery, characters and romance. At the end of the book it mentions this is the first of a series of several books. I suggest you read this one quick before the next one comes out.”
Annie Seaton lives on the beautiful east coast of Australia, where she loves sitting in her writing chair, gazing at the ocean and writing stories. She has always been fascinated by all things historical and has found her niche writing contemporary romance and steampunk, where strong heroines and brooding heroes fight together to make their alternative world a better place.
Her debut novel, Holiday Affair, a contemporary romance set in the South Pacific was released as part of Entangled Publishing’s Indulgence line in March. The sequel Italian Affair is currently underway Watch out for the story of Tom and Brianna the sex therapist who spices up his life!
Winter of the Passion Flower was released through Lyrical Press at the same time. Currently immersed in the creation of Book Two, a full length novel, the adventures of Sofia and her Scottish laird, Annie is already looking forward to the rest of the series, particularly the adventures of Indigo’s four boys: Jago and Jory, Ruan and Kit. Strong sassy heroines and
rebellious heroes have a rollicking good time as they work to make the world a better place--
albeit their own steampunk world.
Blind Lust, a paranormal novella will be released by Musa Publishing on 15th June.
Annie lives with her husband, and ‘Bob’ the dog and two white cats, in a house next to the beach in a small coastal town of New South Wales. Their two children are grown and married and she loves spending time gardening, walking on the beach and spoiling her two grandchildren.
Twitter: @annieseaton26Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/annieseaton26