New Release: The Inconstant Doppelganger by Mikala Ash #Steampunk #RomanticSuspense @ash_mikala

In a time of rapid technological change which challenges the roots of the empire, Elizabeth witnesses the impossible. The arrival of her late husband’s doppelganger takes Elizabeth Hunter-Payne to the brink of insanity.

Captain Nathanial Royston, late of the disgraced East India Company, claims he is innocent of the murder on the Great Northern Express.

With the coolly professional Miss Clayton at her side, our feisty heroine investigates three nasty suspects to get to the bottom of the mystery. While doing so, Elizabeth is faced with a cruel reality and comes to a decision that threatens her future happiness.

Another thrilling steampunk adventure with steam trains, miniature automatons, as well as guns, knives, and a handy half-brick in the reticule.

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Mikala Ash

What should one do when confronted by a ghost?

Deny its existence? Scoff at one’s own senses? Doubt one’s sanity? Or should one investigate, interrogate, and hopefully understand? Or as a last resort, threaten stupidly to shoot it dead?

A ghost stood in my library. Not just any ghost. But the ghost of my beloved Jonathan. I could not deny its existence. My senses told me the impossible with undeniable certitude, and I could not discount what I saw. It could not be — yet there he stood. Investigating the phenomenon hopefully leading to an understanding would seem the tried and true method. There, unfortunately, I was at a worrisome disadvantage.

A scant few moments before, I had been in the drawing room confiding my fears for my very sanity to my good friend the general after concluding, for the time being at least, the conspiracy of fear had been perpetrated by a Russian mesmerist known only as Vladimir. My exposure to the fiend had me questioning everything I thought, felt, and experienced. I feared being confined in Bedlam, the destiny of hapless wretches like myself, who believed their ability to tell reality from fantasy had been compromised. Was this ghost the proof that Vladimir had indeed sent me mad?

Before she fainted away, my trusted servant, Marianne, had interrupted us in a state of distress saying there was a visitor in the library. To affect her stolid character in such a fashion the visitor must have been most singular. I sensed then that something evil had invaded my home. I had rushed to my late husband’s library, and what I saw as I entered that formerly safe and comfortable room stopped me in my tracks. The sight unhinged me, stole the breath from my lungs, and chilled the blood in my heart so quickly that it seemed time itself had stopped.

A ghost. How else to explain what I saw? The alternative was to accept that I was indeed mad.

Unfortunately the cold fear had not frozen the multitude of panicked, confused thoughts which, like a crazed mob, ran free through the streets and alleyways of my mind, breaking and looting everything that was once solid and dependable. An image came to me… the creeping terror invading my mind was like the first winter ice on a country pond, which spread inexorably over my body and threatened to engulf my very soul. I knew with dread certainty that if the brittle ice cracked, I would slip into the murky depths of insanity.

There, illuminated by the firelight, I recognised in his impossible countenance all the familiar features: his strong well-defined jaw, his generous lips, the piercing gaze, and the close-cut hair. The room revolved around me. My head swam, the floor tilted beneath my feet. In my shock I had staggered backward against the doorjamb.

The impossible man spoke. “Elizabeth?”

I heard myself mutter a single word. My first step onto that ice-covered pond. “Jonathan?”

Was I to crash through that thinly spread ice and drown in a madness of my own making? One last rebellious kernel of logical thought remained at the centre of my brain. It boiled and bubbled in a frantic struggle to fight the impossible and keep me sane. That hot thought spilled over and inflamed every cell it touched until, like a volcano, it exploded. I became incandescent with rage and jumped back from the edge of that insane pond, determined the ice would not claim me.

Not today!

In the moment before the impossible man said another word I pulled out my Adams revolver, and pointed it at his heart. “You may have Jonathan’s face,” I challenged, “But you are not he! Identify yourself, sir, or God help me, I will shoot you dead!”

ABOUT MIKALA ASH

Aussie Mikala Ash used to be a mild-mannered training & development consultant by day, and a wild sci-fi and paranormal adventure writer by night. Now she is a brazen full-time writer and nature photographer who is concentrating on having among other things, “… bags, and bags of fun!” Mikala can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

New Release: Conspiracy of Fear by Mikala Ash #steampunk #scifiromance @ash_mikala

Conspiracy of Fear (Elizabeth Hunter-Payne Steampunk Adventures 3)

There’s a bloody serial killer on the loose in foggy London, and music hall singer, The Songbird of Surrey, fears her best friend has fallen victim to the fiend. When her own fiancé, who she sent out to find her friend, goes missing as well, she seeks the professional help of the EHP Investigation Bureau to solve the mystery.

Intrepid crime fighter Elizabeth Hunter-Payne ventures into the dangerous streets of London’s East End and explores the seamy side of adult entertainment to confront the Collector, the terror of Whitechapel. His elusive puppet master, Vladimir the Mesmerist, is pulling the strings of conspiracy, and threatens the very foundations of the empire.

Elizabeth meets the ultimate automaton, Hercules, but what service can a metal man of cogs and gears perform? Guns, knives, and half-bricks come into play as Elizabeth fights for survival, and her sanity, in another thrilling steampunk adventure.

Author’s Note: Cliffhanger ending. Elizabeth’s story continues in Elizabeth Hunter-Payne Steampunk Adventures 4!

Get it at Changeling Press

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Mikala Ash

After my adventure on the airship Imperative, I decided to chronicle my now numerous adventures on behalf of her Majesty’s government. Due to the sensitivity of my activities I have instructed my solicitors to withhold them from publication until a century after my death. I suspect it is a form of vanity, an act of self-aggrandisement, another of my personal failings. I do intend to give an honest account, and because memory is at best an untrustworthy source and at worst an outright liar, I take copious notes at every opportunity to ensure my recollections of events are as accurate as possible. This tedious habit became particularly important to me given the strange case on which I was about to embark.

Following the deadly conclusion of the Torbernite Imperative my small household had undergone a substantial upheaval. I’d taken a monstrous risk to my reputation by installing the unmarried Felix Rider in the bedroom next to mine. On the surface my act is clearly one of charity, for Felix is an operative of my investigation bureau, and he had been wounded in the line of duty aboard the airship Imperative. During a life-and-death struggle he sustained a gunshot wound, a concussion, two broken ribs, a twisted knee, as well as cut and swollen knuckles.

It was a risk I was honour bound to take, for he had saved my life.

However there was another co-placating factor at play. In addition to his investigative duties Felix had agreed to be my tutor in matters pertaining to erotic satisfaction, a step I’d taken to reawaken my sensuality following many years of celibacy after the death of my dear husband, Jonathan. Felix was an able and inventive teacher. The palpable risk I took was that my physical attraction to Felix coupled with his proximity, would be my undoing, and that I would do something indiscreet, and be exposed as the laughable wanton widow so popular on the music hall stage. Embarrassed and ashamed, I would inevitably become an outcast of society, a fate, if I am to be honest, that was losing its power over me every day.

I placed him under the round the clock charge of two nurses, a cheerful buxom young blonde named Bramble, and the senior of the two, the authoritative and statuesque Hazleton. They were supervised by my family physician, the reputable Dr. Horace Wamburton.

As I have related elsewhere, Archie, my late husband’s batman, also shared my house. I considered him the son Jonathan and I were destined never to have. I’d unofficially adopted him after he had been seriously wounded in the Crimean battle that had killed Jonathan. Since the Torbernite affair he had been laid up in bed with a serious chill he’d earned while carrying out surveillance work in torrential rain. That left the responsibility of running the EHP Investigation Bureau to me. Every day after breakfast spent with Felix, chatting about anything and everything, and resisting the powerful urge to climb into bed with him, I’d go to the office feeling highly aroused and frustrated.

My body’s propensity to lust, or libido as my old Latin dictionary calls it, had never been higher in my life, and inevitably I succumbed to it. It was the eighth morning after returning from Edinburgh that I went to Felix’s room to wish him a good morning that my resistance fell. I entered as Nurse Bramble, the pretty young blonde was leaving the sick room, and we bumped into each other. As we performed a little dance to get out of each other’s way without disarranging my crinolines too badly I noted her creamy complexion was flushed, and though she wore her habitual smile, she uncharacteristically avoided my gaze.

Nurse Hazleton, the older and more sensible of the two, bade me good morning.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, indicating with my gaze the departing back of Nurse Bramble.

“It’s nothing, Mrs. Hunter-Payne. We nurses have seen it all. We don’t embarrass easy.”

“What do you mean?”

In turn I followed her gaze to Felix’s bed. He was still asleep. His handsome face, despite the bandages that covered the minor cuts on the left side of his head, appeared relaxed and untroubled. Then, with a sharp intake of breath, I noted that lower down the sheet was tented with a morning erection. I couldn’t help but put my hand to my mouth.

About Mikala Ash

Aussie Mikala Ash used to be a mild-mannered training & development consultant by day, and a wild sci-fi and paranormal adventure writer by night. Now she is a brazen full-time writer and nature photographer who is concentrating on having among other things, “… bags, and bags of fun!” Mikala can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

New Today at Changeling Press #RomanceBooks #Steampunk #PNR #LGBT

The Turquoise Spider (Elizabeth Hunter-Payne Steampunk Adventures 1)

Elizabeth Hunter-Payne is an adventurous widow with time on her hands — a dangerous combination in Victorian London of 1859. Seeking excitement in a time of radical change, Elizabeth starts her own Investigation Bureau.

Armed with an inquisitive eye for detail, the capacity and boldness to ask obvious, if blunt, questions, and most importantly of all, her ability to keep her mouth shut, Elizabeth is quickly immersed in a case of kidnapping, smuggling, murder, and general mayhe

m. With guns blazing, steam-cars steaming, and clockwork automatons of a salacious nature going clickety-clack, can she save the son of a violent industrialist? Can she recover the priceless Turquoise Spider from the vicious clutches of underworld thugs behind one of Victorian London’s infamous Houses of Introductions?

The survival of the Empire may well depend on the fortitude, brazenness and deductive powers of the irrepressible Elizabeth Hunter-Payne.

Cover Art by Bryan Keller

Get it HERE

 

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A Midsummer Night's Demon (Fairview Chronicles 3)The son of the Lord of Hell, Lark, is engaged to a demon whom he does not love. He escapes hell, his father, and his fiancé. His flight takes him to the human plane, where he finds himself summoned by Chris, former lawyer and current accountant of St. John Investigations.

Chris really just wanted to learn about demonic math when he decided to summon one of the denizens of hell, but confronted with Lark, he decides getting the beautiful demon into his bed is far more appealing than accounting.

But Lark’s escape from hell does not go unnoticed, and soon the Lord of Hell himself arrives in Fairview to take his son back to the altar. Three wicked witches also come to the city looking for a love that was dragged to hell. It might just be one magical desk that holds the key to everyone’s happiness and happily-ever-after.

Cover Art by Bryan Keller

Get it HERE

 

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It Takes Practice (Doctor, Doctor 1)Dr Nathan Rey, general practitioner, has endured a case of broken heart syndrome for a handful of years and counting after his wild, bad-boy lover disappeared just before he received his license. Though it’s gotten easier — one or two flights of erotic fancy a year instead of every night — Nathan couldn’t say it’s gotten better. He still can’t forget the charismatic Fitz, and no one he’s met since then could begin to compare.

Still, Nathan’s certain he would someday stop daydreaming and move on. He would have found someone else. Filled the empty spots in his life, his heart and his home. His bed. That is, if his part-time nurse hadn’t eloped overnight. If, unable to find someone local right away, he hadn’t called upon the services of a temp agency. And if the nurse the agency sent to him, certified and licensed, had been anyone but Fitz himself, with far more than work on his mind.

Fitz means to convince Nathan seven years isn’t too long to wait for a second chance at the love of a lifetime. Love isn’t easy and it’s rarely simple. More often than not it takes practice. Lots of practice.

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously available at a different house. It is being republished as book 1 in a new series for Changeling Press.

Cover Art by Bryan Keller

Get it HERE

 

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Heat Strokes (Multi Author Box Set) (Heat Strokes Multi-Author 9)Eight sexy summer sizzlers to set the night on fire!

Lena Austin — Paws to Heal: Two were-dogs welcome the return of their former lover back into their arms after being enemy packs…

Alice Gaines — Banished: A sexy shapeshifter has one chance to seduce the woman he needs before he disappears forever.

Kira Stone — A Warrior’s Blade: The mysterious Phoenix is the embodiment of Kyros’ hopes and dreams… but who is he?

Isabella Jordan — Surrender Party: Better read between the lines of an invitation to a leopard male’s Surrender Party, hadn’t you?

Kate Hill — Mirage: Irresistible redhead Emilie is ready for action, but is this sexy stranger real, or a mirage?

Hunter Raines — Sanctuary by Fire: Can a scarred vampire find sanctuary in the arms of a human?

Lacey Savage — Silver Stray: This may be Lysali’s only chance to make her wildest erotic wishes come true.

Leila Brown — Fire and Isis: Kenneth Strong, aka Fire, is the one man who can match Isis Jones stroke for stroke.

Publisher’s Note: The short stories in Heat Strokes Multi Author Box Set have been previously published.

Cover Art by Renee George

Get it HERE