HANG FIRE is a steampunk short story set in late 1800’s America. It takes place between the Age of Steam book #1, DEAD IRON and book #2 TIN SWIFT. The story is broken into 20 “chapters” and posted, one chapter at a time, on 20 awesome blogs. To read the whole story, start at chapter 1 at www.candacesbookblog.com (that’s here!) and follow the “read the next chapter” links at the end of the post.
Sounds awesome right? Well here goes!
HANG FIRE – Chapter 1
They were being followed. Cedar Hunt thumbed the gear at the edge of his goggles, flipping a darker lens into place. He scanned the high, rocky hills, looking for a glint of sun off a gun barrel, listening for the shift of horse and leather against the scrub here on the eastern curve of the Oregon territory.
His curse would do him no good today. The beast the Pawnee had planted in his bones only came out at the full moon, and was no more than an unsettled anger now.
Still, it might be a fair bit easier to hear if an ambush were imminent if the Madder brother’s wagon wasn’t making enough noise for an entire troupe of tinkers. At least the brothers weren’t drunk and singing. Yet.
“Trouble, Mr. Hunt?” Alun, the eldest Madder called out over the clatter of oddments stashed inside the big wagon pulled by their two draft horses.
“Not that I see,” he answered.
All three of the brothers were miners. Short, bearded, bull-shouldered and tougher than the mountains they blasted their way through. They were rich too, from all the silver they dug out of Hallelujah, though a man wouldn’t know it from the state of their clothing or belongings.
But only a fool would mistake them for anything other than clever. They had an eye for the Strange, a knack for measuring a man’s soul, and a way with the wild sciences that had gotten Cedar out of–and into–too many tight spots.
He’d made them a promise to find a very dangerous weapon. Of course, he’d made a lot of promises lately.
“Mr. Hunt?” a softer voice called out.
Mae Lindson, the beautiful, sad-eyed widow urged the mule she was riding up ahead of the Madder’s wagon so she could better talk to him. He’d promised to take her to the coven of her witch sisters, off Kansas way. He hoped to do so before she lost her mind to the madness the sisters had set upon her.
At the sight of her, his heart hammered hard and reckless. She was a need he’d found no fix for, a thirst he couldn’t quench. And his desire had only grown stronger all their days on the trail.
“Mrs. Lindson,” he said as she stopped just short of a comfortable distance. “Where’s Rose?”
Rose Small, the young woman who rode with them looking for adventure in the big cities beyond the small town of Hallelujah was often at Mae’s side. Even horseback, Rose tended to occupy herself with a bit of metal, cog and spring, making whimsical curiosities of metal. She had a deviser’s quick fingers and quicker mind.
“I don’t know,” Mae said, her eyes gone cloudy with concern. “Rose disappeared.”
…read chapter 2 at: Fiction Vixen www.fictionvixen.com
Dead Iron (The Age of Steam #1) by Devon Monk
Welcome to a new America that is built on blood, sweat, and gears…
In steam age America, men, monsters, machines, and magic battle for the same scrap of earth and sky. In this chaos, bounty hunter Cedar Hunt rides, cursed by lycanthropy and carrying the guilt of his brother’s death. Then he’s offered hope that his brother may yet survive. All he has to do is find the Holder: a powerful device created by mad devisers-and now in the hands of an ancient Strange who was banished to walk this Earth.
In a land shaped by magic, steam, and iron, where the only things a man can count on are his guns, gears, and grit, Cedar will have to depend on all three if he’s going to save his brother and reclaim his soul once and for all…
Tin Swift (The Age of Steam #2) by Devon Monk
In steam age America, men, monsters, machines and magic battle to claim the same scrap of earth and sky. In this chaos, one man fights to hold on to his humanity–and his honor. . .
Life on the frontier is full of deceit and danger, but bounty hunter Cedar Hunt is a man whose word is his bond. Cursed with becoming a beast every full moon, Cedar once believed his destiny was to be alone. But now, Cedar finds himself saddled with a group of refugees, including the brother he once thought lost.
Keeping his companions alive is proving to be no easy task, in part because of the promise he made to the unpredictable Madder brothers—three miners who know the secret mechanisms of the Strange. To fulfill his pledge, Cedar must hunt a powerful weapon known as the Holder—a search that takes him deep into the savage underbelly of the young country and high into the killing glim-field skies defended by desperate men and deadly ships.
But the battles he faces are just a glimmer of a growing war stirring the country. To keep his word Cedar must navigate betrayal, lies, and treacherous alliances, risking everything to save the lives of those he has come to hold dear…
2. A hand-made by Devon Monk (and her husband) one-of a kind, signed bookmark.
3. A copy of TIN SWIFT