QSFer Pelaam has a new MM steampunk/paranormal book out: “The Tailor and the Prince.”
When Bertram Blackwood’s father is attacked and injured, Bertie must take his father’s place and travel to Japan where he hopes to obtain a contract for silk from the prince of the Kaiyo province.
But his rival, Felton Coleman, doesn’t play by the rules.
Despite an attack on Bertie, and his right-hand man Tom, they still make it to the rendezvous in time to be taken to the palace.
When Bertie meets Prince Ichirou, friendship soon becomes something much more, but danger stalks Ichirou.
Bertie must battle with an ancient evil if he’s to save his prince.
The journey was proving uneventful, for which Bertie was very thankful. Tom had settled surprisingly quickly in regard to travelling on the ship, provided he stayed within the body of the craft. Therefore, Bertie had taken to promenading around the deck in the evening prior to retiring for bed.
At a slow stroll Bertie wandered around the deck, nodding at people he passed, and stopping now and then to look at the stars. Back home, he never had time for such pleasures. Standing by the rail, Bertie peered through the netting that prevented anyone toppling, or jumping, over, and tried to see something of the land below.
A frisson ran down Bertie’s back, and he was certain someone was staring at him. Turning quickly, Bertie looked around. The only person around was a tall, slender woman, bundled up in a thick, red, fur coat.
Although she stood in a patch of shadow, Bertie had the distinct impression she was staring at him. For a moment, he wavered on the cusp of going over to her, as if pulled by a silent siren call.
Sudden heat against his collarbone made Bertie yelp softly. He reached into his shirt, but his questing fingers encountered nothing out of place.
The sensation went as quickly as it came, and when Bertie looked up, the woman was gone. He frowned, staring around. Bertie remained where he’d been standing in the middle of the deck and had an unobstructed view both fore and aft.
There was no direction in which the woman could have gone without him still being able to see her. At least, there shouldn’t have been. But she was nowhere in sight. Bertie shivered, suddenly very cold. He took out his pocket watch. There were ten minutes he couldn’t account for.
Putting the watch back in its place, Bertie strode quickly to the nearest door that led back inside the airship. I shan’t be walking out here alone again.
When the airship finally docked, Bertie saw no need for them to immediately rush off and be caught up in the crush to disembark.
The bar still offered refreshments, and Bertie sat with Tom, having a last drink before leaving.
At a signal from one of the crewmen, Bertie stood and finished the last of his drink. “Time to move, Tom. I can hardly believe we’re here. We just need to collect our luggage and make our way to the far side of the port. The train station is there, and the next part of our journey takes us straight to the prince’s province. According to the letter Father received, when the train arrives, there’ll be transport to take us directly to the prince’s palace.”
“I’ll be glad to get there.” Tom pursed his lips. “Although a train journey is better than an airship, I’m looking forward to having a break from travel altogether.”
“Don’t worry.” Bertie patted Tom’s shoulder. “Once we’re in the palace, you can relax and keep your feet securely on terra firma until we have to leave.”
“Well, at least that’s a relief.” Tom grinned at Bertie, then his smile became a frown. “What are those idiots doing with our cases?” He pointed to a couple of porters wheeling their luggage in the wrong direction.
“Hey, that’s the wrong way.” Tom shouted out, but the porters must have been too far away to hear. “Hey, wait a minute.” Tom yelled as the porters scurried away in the wrong direction with their cases.
“When will something be straightforward?” Bertie rolled his eyes, then his blood ran cold. Tom had set off after the porters, but another couple of men attacked him, dragging him into what looked to Bertie like a huge warehouse.
Without hesitation, Bertie gave chase after them. “Hold on, Tom. I’m on my way.” Dashing into the warehouse, Bertie tossed his carpet bag aside to free his hands.
However, it seemed Bertie’s rescue attempt was expected, and as he rushed to help his friend, another couple of men jumped him.
Bertie struggled furiously, but to no avail, unable to break free of the men who held him.
Instead, Bertie tried yelling loudly for help. The last thing Bertie heard were his attackers speaking quickly in their native tongue, before a sharp blow to his skull turned his world black.Living in clean, green New Zealand, Pelaam is a multi-published author of gay romance and erotic books. When not busy writing she can be found indulging in her other passions of cookery and wine appreciation.
Living in clean, green New Zealand, Pelaam is a multi-published author of gay romance and erotic books. When not busy writing she can be found indulging in her other passions of cookery and wine appreciation.
Pelaam’s books: “Smoking Mirror” was a finalist in 2017 Rainbow Awards in Gay futuristic/sci-fi. “Stranded” was the Evernight Publishing Readers’ Choice winner 2016 for Sci-fi. “The Avian Emperor” was runner up and received an Honourable Mention in the 2016 Rainbow Awards Gay futuristic/sci-fi. “Future Imperfect” was a finalist for the 2015 Rainbow Awards in Gay futuristic/sci-fi. “On Dragon’s Wings” was LR Café 2014 winner for Fantasy. “Breath of the Feathered Serpent” was a finalist for the 2014 Rainbow Awards in Gay futuristic/sci-fi.