Love on the Run with Detective Lewis. A Steampunk Road Trip.
I write historical romantic suspense, set in the late Victorian period (1887-1889), when steam travel was in full bloom. Giant steam engines powered trains and ships, people powered bicycles––experimental submarines, and great landships were being designed, built and displayed at Industrial Expositions. These futuristic machine demonstrations were wildly popular in London, making inventors the rock stars of the day!
In the second book of The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series, A DANGEROUS LIASION WITH DETECTIVE BRUCE (releases September 28) a number of odd and eccentric inventions have a role to play in this road trip adventure, along with a plot that keeps the hero and heroine on the run...
Here’s the blurb:
Link for: FREE CHAPTER READ
Part of the fun of this story is that Fanny and Rafe travel in an assortment of Steampunk vehicles as they are pursued by her would-be abductors from Edinburgh to London, these include trains, velocipedes, a landship and a submersible. Without being a spoiler, I’d love to share a few factoids about these turn of the century conveyances:
By 1887, the network of trains and train tracks crisscrossing Britain was comprehensive, but disjointed. Because the railroads were built and owned by private investment syndicates, there wasn’t much standardization. The train track gauges were different, requiring locomotives and cars to be custom built for each section of privately owned railway. And since one railroad company couldn’t use another’s tracks, this also might require passengers to change trains along the route to their destination. Railroad investment syndicates often went bankrupt, sometimes before the new route was even finished. On the upside? Rail speed. In A DANGEROUS LIAISON WITH DETECTIVE LEWIS, Rafe boards the early train in London and arrives in Edinburgh in time for a funeral in the afternoon.
According to Wikipedia, velocipede is an umbrella term for any human-powered land vehicle with one or more wheels. The most common type of velocipede is the bicycle. At one point in their escape, Fanny and Rafe use bicycles to put a bit of distance between themselves and their pursuers.
This highly experimental, prototype of a pedrail landship plays an interesting part in the novel, helping to get Fanny and Rafe from Edinburgh to Glasgow. Sorry I can’t be any more specific about this giant war engine’s role in the novel, but I can tell you that these landships were the precursors to the tank and were first put to use in World War I.
One of the more colorful supporting characters in A DANGEROUS LIAISON WITH DETECTIVE LEWIS, in an inventor who joins Fanny and Rafe in their increasingly perilous journey to London. One of his inventions is a three man submersible that he plans on entering in the London Industrial Exposition. The sub plays a key role in the story, but alas, that is all I can say. My lips are sealed.
I wrote A DANGEROUS LIAISION WITH DETECTIVE LEWIS to be a suspenseful page turner with a hero who has a lot to prove as well as make up for and a heroine who is up for both the romance and adventure. As a film student, I studied all of Alfred Hitchcock’s work and I particularly admire the romantic suspense films: Rear Window, North by Northwest, and To Catch a Thief. Thrills, chills, adventure––perhaps there’s a mystery to uncover, or a villain to capture, but at the story’s core, there is always a love story.
About Jillian Stone
In 2010, An Affair with Mr. Kennedy won the RWA Golden Heart and Jillian went from no agent or publisher to signing with Richard Curtis and being offered a three book contract by Pocket Books. That same summer another manuscript, The Seduction of Phaeton Black, won the erotica category of the 2010 Romance Through the Ages contest and was offered a three book contract by Kensington Brava. Needless to say, she has been busy writing books this past year and a half! Jillian lives in Southern California and is currently working on synopses for three more adventures in The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series.
Question for commenters: What is your favorite Steampunk vehicle––land, sea or air? Jillian has a signed advance copy of A DANGEROUS LIAISON WITH DETECTIVE LEWIS for one lucky commenter chosen at random.
To enter to win a copy of A Dangerous Liaison With Detective Lewis just leave a comment on this post answering Jillian's question and then fill out the rafflecopter below. Additional entries are available but not required. Good luck!
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