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Announcement: Infernal Machine, by Elizabeth A. Schecter

Infernal MachineForbidden Fiction author Elizabeth A. Schechter has a new fantasy book out:

Student-Artificer Elijah Saloman discovers what he thinks could be a lost masterwork of the greatest Artificer ever born. He is determined to make it work, even though he has no idea what it is or what it is supposed to do. But when everything that can go wrong does, Elijah finds himself caught in an interesting predicament—trapped within the machine, and at the mercy of the whimsical plaything of a long-dead Artificer with a taste for the exotic.


Excerpt

Gently, I eased my tool into the opening, easing my way down the tight passage. I made sure to restrain myself, knowing that as eager as I was, I might damage something if I simply rushed in. Instead I moved deliberately, seeking the treasures hidden within….

“Blast!” My probe clattered to the floor as I jammed my bleeding thumb into my mouth and glared at the machine in front of me. Across the room, my lover looked up from his book.

“Elijah?” he asked, clearly wanting an explanation.

“The infernal machine savaged me,” I grumbled around my thumb. I turned so that I could look at Sasha, a much more pleasant view than the obstinate machine that now seemed to be laughing at me. Aleksandr Andreyevich Koslov, affectionately called Sasha, was sprawled indolently on our bed, looking very much the dissolute Russian nobleman. I’d been dizzy in love with Aleksandr since our first day at L’Académie des Sciences Mécaniques in Paris. And, for some reason I never understood, he loved me in return. It couldn’t have been my breeding; compared to his bloodlines, my own pedigree was pure peasantry. My father was a rabbi in a small village just outside Calais, my mother a rabbi’s wife and the daughter of another rabbi. I was the oldest of six children, and until two years ago, the one destined to follow my father’s footsteps. Until the day I took apart the boiler in my mother’s kitchen and redesigned it so that it was twice as efficient and used less than half the fuel. When my father saw what I had done, he decided that my younger brother would be better suited to the life of a rabbi. I, Elijah Moyse Saloman, was to be an Artificer, the first ever from our village. I’d arrived in Paris without even the barest hint of the world I was going to be thrust into. Wild, wicked Montmarte, with its cabarets and music halls, and its whores of either sex. And wild, wicked Sasha, whom I loved like I loved no other.

Sasha swung his legs over the edge of the bed and stood up, crossing over to sit down on the floor next to me. He was incredibly handsome, his long, dark hair hanging loose around his shoulders, his shirt hanging open to better face the heat of the summer afternoon. He frowned slightly at the machine and then poked me in the shoulder. “So what is this thing? You’ve not told me yet.”

“I haven’t?” I frowned, thinking back. Surely I’d mentioned something…?

“No. For four days you’ve barely said a word to me. You haven’t eaten, unless I was feeding you. The only times you’ve come to bed was when I picked you up and put you there myself, usually after you’d passed out on the floor. So what is this thing that you are so enamored of? Other than being the most singularly ugly chair that I have ever seen?”

I grinned at his very apt description; it wasa singularly ugly chair, if that was all it was. Surely, that was all the that ironmonger had thought it, or else he’d never have let me have it for the pittance I paid. I reached out and ran my fingers over the now-bright brass. “It’s a Carstairs machine.”


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Author Bio

Elizabeth A. Schechter is a stay-at-home-mom who lives in Central Florida, where she enjoys seeing the looks on the faces of the other playgroup moms when she answers the question “What do you do?” by describing herself as a pervy fetish writer. Her first novel, Princes of Air, was published in 2011 by Circlet Press, and her second, a steampunk novel entitled House of the Sable Locks, is forthcoming.

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