Hello, everyone :)!
I have wonderful news - my latest short story, The Tea Demon, is out today at Dreamspinner Press. It was an experiment for me, in which I got to explore my favourite writing genres - steampunk and humour. I've always loved light-hearted, wildly creative, vaguely ridiculous stories, like the ones my father and I used to make up together when I was a kid, driving around in his aqua green Panda. Needless to say, I had lots of fun writing this!
Thief Eric Devon wishes one thing: for people to leave him bloody well alone. And maybe for more whiskey. Until a mysterious stranger offers him a job so dangerous that no one has ever attempted it and survived to tell the tale: recover a priceless object from the Turtle Merchants’ impregnable palace. Intrigued by the man and the challenge, Eric accepts—but the stranger is none other than the legendary airship captain known as the Tea Demon, terror of the Sea of Clouds. Eric must come up with the best plan in history if he wants to complete his job... and survive it too.
You can grab a copy on Dreamspinner's website!
Here's an excerpt from the story, involving a handsome stranger, a hot bet, and some... intense action ;)!
ERIC DEVON sat at the inn’s counter and wished people would just leave him bloody well alone.
A middle-aged man dressed in purple clung to his arm, drooling and cajoling. “Please, Eric. You’re my last hope,” he slurred. “You know what my wife will… do to me if I don’t recover that doily? You have got to help me….”
The tall pendulum clock in the corner struck eleven. Eric groaned and pressed the heel of his hands to his eyes, then drew his fingers back, messing up his already tangled black hair. It was nearly lunchtime and he was nowhere near drunk enough. He gestured for the innkeeper. That needed to be fixed, and fast.
“Eric,” the purple-robed man whined. Eric kept his eyes steadily on the glass being filled in front of him. “You know I’m no good at stealing. We’ve known each other for... for at least two days. Help a man out....”
“Piss off, Olaf.” Eric snatched his whiskey up. “I told you I’m not looking for a job.” He shoved his way past the wobbling man and through the crowd to a tiny empty table crammed in a corner. He plopped down on the chair, shoulders hunched, feeling his mood sink even lower.
“Well, isn’t that a shame.”
Eric lifted his gaze, malevolent. A stranger was straddling the chair across from him, leaning forward on the backrest, arms folded. He was smiling, lips curled up in a too-smug grin on his impish face.
“What’s a shame?” Eric grunted.
Clever green eyes twinkled beneath a mess of chestnut bangs. The stranger was wrapped in a red cloak, and a thick braid rested over his shoulder. He lifted his hand to carelessly push his bangs back, without much success. A thick leather strap was tied around his wrist. “You. Not taking jobs.”
Eric rubbed at the stubble on his chin. “How come?” he couldn’t help but ask. The stranger shrugged, and there it was again—that crooked smirk. Annoying, Eric thought. But also....
(Read the rest of the excerpt!)
Also, the story already got its first review, which is incredibly exciting - I couldn't have wished for anything better than this lovely 4 stars review by Ami on Goodreads:
Wow, this book feels like an adventure of Aladdin, straight from 1001 nights. There thrilling adventure and romance as thief Eric Devon helps a stranger -- who turns out to be an infamous airship captain, Jonathan Tea or is well-known as "Tea Demon" -- to retrieve a priceless object. Their first meeting is sensual (love the bet, and the outcome of the bet) follows by action (bar fight!). Then there is hot love-making on the airship. And well, the promise of long and budding relationship. It's a satisfying read most definitely. And it comes in 52 pages!! Impressive.