QSFer Anna Butler has a new MM steampunk romance out, Lancaster’s Luck Book three: “The God’s Eye.”
Rafe Lancaster is reluctantly settling into his role as the First Heir of House Stravaigor. Trapped by his father’s illness and his new responsibilities, Rafe can’t go with lover Ned Winter to Aegypt for the 1902/03 archaeological digging season. Rafe’s unease at being left behind intensifies when Ned’s fascination with the strange Antikythera mechanism and its intriguing link to the Aegyptian god Thoth has Ned heading south to the remote, unexplored highlands of Abyssinia and the course of the Blue Nile.
Searching for Thoth’s deadly secrets, Ned is out of contact and far from help. When he doesn’t return at Christmas as he promised, everything points to trouble. Rafe is left with a stark choice – abandon his dying father, or risk never seeing Ned again.
About the Series:
The book is a standalone adventure, but the series is probably best read in sequence to understand the steampunk world inhabited by Rafe Lancaster – ex-aeronaut and pilot in Her Britannic Majesty’s Aero Corps. After being shot down and injured in action during the Boer War in 1899, Rafe’s unable to continue as a fighter pilot.
The Gilded Scarab
Returning to London, hard up and looking for a new career, Rafe buys a coffeehouse close to the Britannic Imperium Museum in Bloomsbury where he meets love of his life, archaeologist and First Heir House Gallowglass, Ned Winter.
The Gilded Scarab was a finalist in the Romantic Times Awards, and nominated for the Independent Publishers Book Awards in 2015.
The Jackal’s House
Ned’s excavation at Abydos, Aegypt, faces disruptive tricks and pranks that develop into a real threat to their lives, all seeming orchestrated by the god Anubis. When the life of Ned’s young son is on the line, Rafe carries out a daring rescue attempt and learns the shocking truth about his own heritage.
Earlier this month, The Jackal’s House won joint first place for Best Gay Historical Romance in the Rainbow Awards, and joint third place for Best Gay Book.
Between 20 January and 07 February, enter this Rafflecoptor for the chance of a first prize $20 (or equivalent) Amazon gift card, or the second prize of an ecopy of The Gilded Scarab Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a6cd544713/
It was late, and most people in Cairo were sleeping. Not all of them. Outside in the street, a voice said something light and amused as its owner walked past, fading into laughter, and a cart rumbled by with the slow plod of hooves echoing against the midnight quiet.
We weren’t sleeping, either. Not yet even in bed.
Ned slid his hands through my hair and along my jaw, the touch light and caressing. Loving.
The curtains blew apart to let in the moonlight, stirred by a breeze bringing the scent of roses from the Ezbekiah Gardens with a faint underlay of the city’s prevailing tang of camel dung.
Ned’s mouth met mine.
And the world outside our hotel window, the warm, fervid Aegyptian night, vanished away. Its sounds muted into a stillness in which my heart beat a wild tattoo in my chest. The whole universe sharpened to the nucleus that was Ned, and Ned’s hands, and Ned’s kisses.
When Ned drew back and the kisses became the gentle brush of lips against lips, he unbuttoned my evening jacket. He was a most efficient valet. He worked swiftly, slipping the coat from my shoulders while I wrenched away my cravat myself, tossing it over a nearby chair before tugging the hem of my shirt free of my trousers. I smiled at him as I raised my arms, letting him pull the shirt up over them. It joined the jacket on the chair. Hugh would tut-tut in the morning over how creased it was. Not that I cared.
Ned stopped to look at me. His eyes were eclipsed, the greeny-golden hazel a mere corona around his dark, widened pupils, and his breathing was harsher than normal. He licked his lips, his tongue flickering out to pass over their fullness. I bit back the moan the wicked, lascivious sight drew from me. The pure wantonness of it.
Ned gave me a sly little smile and ran his tongue over his lips again. I might have whimpered. I am as affected by beauty as much as the next man.
Our last real night together. The next day I would take them to Hermopolis, and the day after I’d be returning to Cairo alone. The following five months’ worth of nights would be Ned-less, blank and empty. That night in Cairo was to treasure and savour, to be my bulwark against loneliness.
He skimmed his fingers over the skin under my trouser waistband, round from the small of my back and over my hip bone, making me jump and laugh, until he reached the button fly and worked it open. It was good to step out of them, and it was the work of a few seconds to shimmy out of the cotton drawers I wore beneath. Ned watched me, raking his wide, lust-blown gaze up and down.
I licked my lips. “Either I’m underdressed for the occasion or you need to hurry to catch up.”
Ned laughed. He splayed his hand over my chest, fingertips over my thumping heart. “You’re beautiful. And I am overdressed.”
For a man who’d had a valet all his life, Ned was handy at getting out of his clothing in a trice. It was sheer pleasure to watch the swift unveiling of those long limbs and the pale skin which glowed in the soft light of the aether lamps on the table beside the bed. The scar from the accident that killed his wife, jagged and frosty-white, arced around his chest. The sight of it always hurt. Ned could have died that day, and I’d have lived without knowing him. The thought always left me feeling my heart was plummeting through the bottom of my chest. As I often did, I leaned forward to gentle the scar with my mouth and hands. The faint ridges of the damaged skin reassured me. Ned was alive. Loved.
Once Anna was a communications specialist with several UK government departments. These days she’s thankfully free of all that, and writing full time. Anna lives in the depths of the Nottinghamshire countryside with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockapoo, who’s supported by Mavis the Assistant Editor, a Yorkie-Bichon cross with a bark several times bigger than she is but with no opinion whatsoever on the placement of semi-colons.
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