Friday, April 29, 2011

Journeyman's Ride

Posted by: Marie Harte
JOURNEYMAN'S RIDE is here at Carina, and as we wrap up Steampunk week, I'd like to remind you that you still have today to get in on the contest. Note the prize pack picture to the right.

So take a look at my erotic contribution to the genre. :)

Blurb: Miranda is duty-bound to journey across the Damned Plains to rescue the Princess of York from ruination. Her selfish cousin doesn't deserve her help, but the mission offers an opportunity to escape the smothering confines of life as an indentured companion to a spoiled princess.

Danner is a journeyman, a traveler with an extraordinary gift: the ability to withstand the deadly lightning bolts sent by moody gods. Drawn by her lush beauty, he agrees to guide Miranda across the Plains if she'll let him explore her body each night.

They face danger—blood ravens, cannibals, mechanical spyders—but Danner never anticipated that the bigger risk would be from Miranda and the things she makes him feel. A journeyman's life doesn't lend itself to commitment, but if they can rescue the princess and make it out of the Plains without getting zapped or eaten, Danner might have to make an exception for one amazing woman. If she'll have him.

EXCERPT: A blood raven cackled above them, swirling overhead with sickening laughter. The thing Tina held could only have come from one place, accessible only by those like him. Danner prayed the damn thing would refuse to work as Tina caressed the tiny buttons.

Instead, it spoke to her, the odd tin of artifice there in the metallic cadence of its voice. “Welcome, User. Accessing network…”

Danner knew the kid didn’t have a prayer of making it back inside without his help. Playing with the forbidden gadgets pissed off the gods even better than he did. And Vi, the least patient of them all, loved nothing better than an excuse to screw with him, which was why the bastard had left this thing in the little girl’s favorite play spot. Danner liked Tina, and the asshole above knew it.

He sighed. “Grab her and go. I’ll hold it back.” So much for his recent pretense as a guide hard on his luck seeking a home.

Another godbolt struck near enough to let Danner feel the spark of energy wash over his skin. So much pain. So much pleasure…

Parker fiddled with a geared apparatus on his belt. “It’s suicide. No. I’ll attract the lightning with my charger. Just save Tina.”

“Go on, I said,” Danner raised his voice and glared at Parker with eyes that had seen what no normal human ever would.

Parker gasped, but he didn’t argue again, too focused on getting his daughter to safety. He picked up the little girl and tossed the small device she’d been holding far into the woods, where it exploded under a searing shock of purple lightning. He ran back into the covered shelter of the pressroom, leaving Danner alone to do what he did best.

He yelled at the nightmare in the sky, “Damn it, Vi, cut that shit out!”

As if in answer, a neon bolt struck him between the eyes and coursed through his blood like an overeager parasite. It feasted on Danner. The power behind Vi’s temper set his blood afire, burning him from the inside out. His bones melted, his blood boiled, and just when he thought this time would be the last, the unendurable agony of the godbolt receded.

Streaks of pleasure soothed the hurt. Shards of ecstasy pierced his brain and fused the whole of him together, making him so much more, a part of everything and everyone. No more loneliness, only the acceptance and utter joy of being. The need to create stirred, and his entire body lit up with emotional and carnal rapture.

The raw static heated his veins and gave him one hell of a high.

“Oh yeah. Go on, give me whatcha got.”

Three more godbolts sizzled through his scalp and jolted every muscle, bone and cell in his body. But at this point, the painful bite of godly displeasure couldn’t touch the bliss crowding his senses. A distant part of him knew he’d be thoroughly screwed once everyone witnessed what happened. Parker would never keep his mouth shut. The others in town would be all over him with prayers, demands, desperation…

Dammit. He’d have to move on.

A hiss of steam split the sudden silence and warned of a new arrival. Terrific. Some dumbass conductor who didn’t know better than to stop the locomotive during a godstorm had condemned his passengers to death.

Yep. There it went. A massive bolt sizzling through the blackened sky veered from its course toward Danner and hit the train instead. The locomotive radiated enough energy to knock Danner down. A white web of storm snaked around the black, snorting beast made of iron and steel. As the web of blazing light faded, the train stopped hissing steam and leaked rust-colored tears.

Danner slowly rose and took a few wobbly steps forward. He tried to lose the stupid ass grin he could feel stretching his face. The damned burn was so good. So thick and greedy that his cock rose thanks to the pleasure leeching his common sense.

From the direction of the locomotive, the stench of smoldering flesh and fried intestines filled the air, which wasn’t that pleasant on a good day, and he started to come down.

With the rush of storm suddenly over, Endville’s residents poured across the town by the dozens, skittering around and past him toward the train like sand fleas. They pulled one or two passengers free, but from all the crying and goings-on, he fully expected the need to organize a burial detail. Trying to figure out who would take charge of it, Parker or the mayor, Danner tried to gather his wits and glanced around. Already folks looked at him different, full of expectation and trust.

Crazy Lettie knelt in front of the statue again, glancing from it to him, praying and smiling. Several folks tossed their meager bits of gold at his feet and then raced away. And then Big Al, a huge bastard with a chip on his shoulder a mountain wide for anyone not born in this hellhole, nodded and tipped his hat in respect.

Shee-it. Time to go.

Danner took a step back and froze as a tall female exited the train, looking as if she’d just stepped out of an airship, untouched, unfazed. Those around her gave her a wide berth and glanced back at the statue in the middle of town. Was she godsent, or just the luckiest passenger on the locomotive?

The woman wore jet-black pants tucked into black preacher boots, a leather town coat and a slouch hat that looked a size too large for her, but which effectively shielded her eyes. She started walking in his direction.

Dopey from the energy he’d already consumed and trying hard to regain sobriety, Danner teetered on his feet and sought to catch his breath.

She stopped a few meters from him and stared, her gaze lingering on the small jagged scar in the shape of a bolt that bisected his left eyebrow. “Might you be Mister Danner?” she asked, her voice low, husky, as if the lightning had aroused her too.


“Then you’re the man I’m looking for.”

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  1. Thanks for the excerpt Marie! Journeyman's Ride sounds great!


  2. Can't wait! Downloaded on my Kindle and ready for weekend reading.

  3. Thanks for the excerpt, sounds wonderful!

  4. Wonderful descriptions! Thanks for sharing. :)

    julieguan AT gmail DOT com

  5. Glad you guys enjoyed it. :) Marie


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