I haven't read this one yet, but I'm dying to. Jaq's Harp by lovely SF Romance author Ella Drake has one of the most imaginative premises I've come across in a while. I love it when old myths and fables are given the twisty SF treatment. Check this out:
In a world of floating islands and bio-engineered beans, the bad guys are taken down by agents of the Mother organization—agents like Jacqueline "Jaq" Robinson. Instead of accepting her next routine assignment, she sets out on a mission of her own—to destroy Giant Corp, the company responsible for her sister's wasting illness. Jaq must steal her cure from Giant's headquarters high above the city...even though she'll be brought face-to-face with Harper English, the man who left her to go deep undercover at Giant.
For Harp, Jaq had been a distraction the mercenary thought he couldn't afford. But once he sees her again, Harp knows he's made a mistake. Even though she vowed he won't have her again, it's clear they still have a powerful attraction. Harp's determined to get a second chance with Jaq—if they can escape Giant Corp and get back to solid ground in one piece...
A futuristic Jack and the Beanstalk, anyone? With added biotech beans? You just know this one's gonna rock.
AmyC at Night Owl Reviews gave my steampunk novella 4.5/5 and a Top Pick rating! And the best part: she cited my two favourite Victorian authors, Haggard and Wells, in her review. :doffs bowler hat to AmyC:
Here's a snippet:
"Mr. Appleton’s voice reminded me of all the great classic books I loved to read, Haggard, Wells—so I was absolutely thrilled to find a modern day book with the same tone. Mr. Appleton’s Victorian London was very well done and I wouldn’t hesitate to read more of his works or recommend him to Steampunk fans."
Two new releases in one week -- both involving fantasy and historical England! But that's where the similarities end. You see, The Temporal Man runs alone.
Just like its eponymous hero, this imaginative novella is hard to pin down. It's a high fantasy tale involving time travel, romance, out-of-time travel, sea battles, temporal mountain climbing, swashbuckling, and other unpredictable adventures. As a storyteller, you'll find me at my most wistful and escapist in The Temporal Man -- and I dare you to come along for the ride!
Have you ever wondered what it’s like outside of time? For disillusioned young waitress Rebecca Green, those words become startling reality when a mysterious stranger arrives to literally turn her world upside down.
Sam Morrow is on the run. He’s being pursued across time by four dangerous men from his past, including the deadliest swordsman in France. But now that he’s found the girl of his dreams, it might just be time to stand and fight. Rebecca has an idea—to recruit the best swordsman in eighteenth century England—but will aristocratic Percy Torrance dare miss his wedding on Monday for an unprecedented time travel journey?
Pulse-pounding duels, sea battles and a daring mountain rescue punctuate this tale of romance on the edge. From the distant past to the far-flung future, there’s no hiding from fate. Hold on tight to The Temporal Man.
Novella, 26,000 words
The eBook version is available now (priced $3.99) at:
Robert Appleton is an award-winning author of science fiction, steampunk, and historical fiction. Based in Lancashire, England, he writes for various publishers. In his spare time he hikes, kayaks, and reads as many Victorian adventure novels as he can get his hands on. His mind is somewhat mercurial. His inspiration is the night sky.