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New Release: Silverweaver – Cameron Montague Taylor

Silverweaver - Cameron Montague Taylor

QSFer Cameron Montague taylor has a new queer gaslamp fantasy book out, Ilia Archives #1: Silverweaver.

When the hunter…
…becomes the haunted.


Second-rate ghosthunter Anya Iteri is the black sheep of a family of metalweavers—powerful mages who can forge iron, shape steel, and even bend blood. Down on her luck and struggling to pay rent, she bribes her little brother, a city guide, to let her drum up business on one of his tours.

The plan is simple. Summon a hibernating ghost to give the tour a show, return it to its slumber, and collect a hefty tip. But the moment the tour begins, Anya encounters a ghost of a different kind: Eleira Soti, talented hunter and former love of her life, newly returned to the city after years away. El’s familiar face leaves Anya fighting distraction and attraction alike on the city’s most haunted grounds.

The night goes from bad to worse when a malignant spirit emerges from the veil, bent on destroying the tour and everyone on it. Racing against time, Anya must team up with El to trap the ghost, save her brother, and prove, once and for all, that her abilities aren’t as second-rate as others think.

Get It At Amazon | Kobo | Apple | Smashwords | Bookshop.org | Universal Buy Link


Excerpt

I put my mind to business and patted at my coat, triple-checking my tools: a set of daggers, vials of salt, incense, and two books of matches wrapped in wax cloth for waterproofing. Taran looked up when I approached, hair flopping from its fashionable sculpture as it caught the wind. I opened my mouth to heckle him but froze when I noticed the man standing at his shoulder.

The newcomer had a northerner’s pallor, with high cheekbones and wheaten hair. We were of an age, I figured, but that’s where the similarities ended. He had the sort of handsome face and affable aura that made fast friends and inspired trust—or so I thought—until he spoke.

“That’s not even a spiritweaver.” His eyes fell to my boots and climbed up again in a look that mimicked the many university professors who’d assessed my work and found it wanting.

I wasn’t unused to fielding unfavorable judgments—plenty of Ilians prized spiritweavers over their elemental brethren—but it got me heated every time.

My hands disappeared into my sleeves, fingernails carving half-moons into my palms. “I’m also not a cat, a biscuit, or a fishmonger. Now, if we’re done making a list of things that aren’t relevant—”

“When I heard there was a hunter on the tour, I assumed I’d be working with someone competent, not a . . . whatever you are.”

He said it as though I should have slapped my magemark on my coat, like my mother did with her workwear. As if pride made a weaving talent. He had no leg to stand on, for his jacket was the same tatty brown as mine: no fur trim, no quilting, nothing to mark him as a member of a first-rate family. This was my least favorite type of client, one who lorded his scrap of superiority over me at every opportunity.

I opened my mouth to tell him to shut his, only for the full weight of his words to register.

“Working with,” he’d said.

His coat was plain, but it had the telltale signs of professional modification. Double-breasted. Deep pockets. An extra-high collar. He wore it open, and a silver-handled dagger glinted on his hip.

My head snapped around, and I fixed Taran with my best big-sister glare, his stupid pride be damned. “You brought another hunter on your tour?”

“Lower your voice, Anya.” He tugged me away by the elbow, prodding me down the steps until we walked among a row of decrepit churchyard shrubs. “The tour is overbooked. We’ve got two guides and almost thirty clients. If you’re doing a summons—or whatever you call it—I don’t want to take any risks.”

My face was on fire. “Risks?” I hissed. “You think trusting me to do my job is a risk?”

“You’re not a spiritweaver. If you’re going to hunt on this tour, I want backup. Calix is backup.”

That idiot. He’d talked Taran into this—of that, I had no doubt.

“You’ve made tonight a lot more complicated and a lot less profitable.”

“Have I? Anya, I know you.” Taran’s nostrils flared, eyes like chipped marble. “When you don’t like the way things are going, you disappear. Why should I trust you not to vanish on me if this goes bad?”

His words hit like a slap. As he designed them to, no doubt. “Are you seriously still talking about me dropping out and leaving the house—”

“And what else have you stuck with since then?”

My mouth opened. Shut. Hunting, obviously, I wanted to say, but he wouldn’t agree. Taran counted success the university way, and unless I stacked up on his measuring stick, my work meant nothing.

Taran’s grip on my elbow eased. “You’re almost thirty, and what do you have to show for it? No medical degree, no professional contract, no family—”

“Saints, again with the reminders—what are you, our mother?”

Whatever piece-of-work reply Taran had saved up was cut blessedly short by a shuffle behind us, followed by someone calling Taran’s name.

I spun to find the group on the church steps had doubled in size. At their base was another tour guide. She had a shock of white hair, wore a blue university coat, and approached with a gaggle of clients at her heels. A woman in brown walked at her side.

I knew that face.

Heat drained from my cheeks. My stomach somersaulted like an overzealous street performer.

The tour guide’s lips moved, but I didn’t hear a word of it, attention fixed on a different kind of ghost—a living ghost, one I’d seen in dreams for years and would know with my eyes shut and a bag over my head.

Eleira Soti was back in Ilia.


Author Bio

Pirate by day and writer by night, Cameron “Cee” Taylor is a tallship sailor, developmental editor, and author of fantasy novels with thick romantic threads. Cee is most easily summoned with promises of kittens and freshly brewed coffee, but otherwise, you can leave a message @ceemtaylor on all the apps or grab a direct line at cameronmontaguetaylor.com.

Author Websitehttps://www.cameronmontaguetaylor.com
Author Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064262162489

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