Have a copy of this book already? Then you have a collector’s item. Only forty copies were printed with the temporary cover, created to allow us to hold a book launch at the author’s home convention. It took a little longer than we would have liked to complete the final one, but it was important to get the details just right on characters with at least a four-book arc. Future covers should proceed much more apace.
For now, I give you Esprit de Corpse by Ef Deal, stunning cover art by Mike McPhail, McP Digital Graphics.
What secrets lay beneath Parisian Streets?
And who will kill to keep them?
When a malfunctioning automaton runs full force into their locomotive on the new Paris-Orléans railway, Jacqueline Duval and her bohemian twin sister Angélique Laforge become embroiled in a mystery deeply rooted in their tragic past.
A polytech and famed engineering prodigy, Jacqueline is fascinated by the metal man, even more so when she discovers it is powered not by steam, but by the supernatural. Her investigation puts the sisters on a path both dangerous and mysterious as they must foil a plot to employ the dead to power a mechanical army aimed at international conquest.
Aid comes from unexpected sources as the twins rush to avert this engineered war, but will they be in time?
Ef Deal is a new voice in the genre of speculative steampunk with her debut novel, Esprit de Corpse, but she is not new to publishing. Her short fiction has appeared in various magazines and ezines over the years. Her short story “Czesko,” published in the March 2006 F&SF, was given an honorable mention in Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, which gave both her and Gardner great delight. They laughed and laughed and sipped Scotch (not cognac, alas) over the last line.
Despite her preoccupation with old-school drum and bugle corps ~ playing, composing, arranging, and teaching ~ Ef Deal can usually be found at the keyboard of her computer rather than her piano. She is Assistant Fiction Editor at Abyss & Apex magazine and edits videos for the YouTube channel Strong Women ~ Strange Worlds Quick Reads.
Esprit de Corpse from eSpec Books is the first of a series featuring the brilliant 19th-century sisters, the Twins of Bellesfées Jacqueline and Angélique. Hard science blends with the paranormal as they challenge the supernatural invasion of France in 1843.
When she’s not lost in her imagination, Ef Deal can be found in historic Haddonfield, NJ, in a once-haunted Victorian with her husband and two chows. She is an associate member of SFWA and an affiliate member of HWA.
“Steampunk, werewolves, spirits, and romance. All the ingredients a reader needs for a fast-paced, action-packed adventure.” —Maria V. Snyder, New York Times bestselling author of Navigating the Stars
“A wild, steampunky adventure with laugh-out-loud moments and a perfect set of heroines. Hold on and enjoy the ride!”
—Gregory Frost, author of Rhymer and Shadowbridge
“A rollicking steampunky romp through post-Revolution France.
—Tiffany Trent, author of The Unnaturalists
“A meticulously-built world awaits readers in this
delightful steampunk mystery.”
—A.C. Wise, author of Wendy, Darling and Hooked
“A truly delicious story. Deal confidently establishes her world and characters with small historical details and revealing turns of phrase, and leads you through the story’s twists to a satisfying end. *Chef’s kiss!*”
—Miriam Seidel, author of The Speed of Clouds.
“A delightful romp suffused in period details […] Great for readers who love steampunk, are Francophiles, strong women with amazing talents, or just who love a ripping yarn of a tale.”
—Randee Dawn, author of Tune in Tomorrow
“A fun steampunk adventure that fans of Indiana Jones are sure to love.”
—John L. French, author of Chessie at Bay