Aug 24, 2015

Assassination is hard work. THE VIPER AND THE URCHIN by @CelineJeanJean #Steampunk

Being Damsport's most elegant assassin is hard work. There's tailoring to consider, devilish poisons to concoct, secret identities to maintain... But most importantly, Longinus has to keep his fear of blood hidden or his reputation will be ruined. So, when a scrawny urchin girl threatens to expose his phobia unless he teaches her swordsmanship, he has no choice but to comply.

It doesn't take long for Rory to realise that her new trainer has more eccentricities than she has fleas. But she'll put up with anything, no matter how frustrating, to become a swordswoman like her childhood hero.

What she's not prepared for is a copycat assassin who seeks to replace Longinus, and who hires Rory's old partner in crime to do away with her, as well. Rory and Longinus must set their differences aside and try to work together if they're to stop the copycat. But darker forces than they realise are at play, and with time running out, the unlikely duo find themselves the last line of defence against a powerful enemy who seeks to bring Damsport to its knees.

The Viper and the Urchin
Genre: Steampunk Adventure
Publication Date: July 27, 2015

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Rory liked to imagine that catching and mounting a wild beast mid-flight would be a little like climbing on board Crazy Willy’s steamcoach. She kept her knees bent, hands at the ready, head turned to the right as she waited for it to arrive. 

The noise grew louder: the mad clatter of wheels, the rattle of the coach, the whine of springs, the grating of metal on metal — and just audible over the commotion, Crazy Willy’s crazy laughter. 

It appeared like something out of a nightmare, screeching around the corner, the metal wheels sending sprays of sparks on either side. Two wheels lifted from the ground, tilting the whole coach sideways, and Crazy Willy laughed louder. He turned the steering wheel slightly and the coach crashed back to the pavement. 

The steamcoach rushed towards Rory, huge and dark, bristling all over with metal rungs that gleamed in the moonlight. The engine’s chimney poured out smoke as thick as tar, and fire roared, glaring out of air holes like the burning eyes of a beast. 

She leapt.

Celine Jeanjean is French, grew up in the UK and now lives in Hong Kong. That makes her a tad confused about where she is from. During her time in Asia she’s watched the sun rise over Angkor Wat, lost her shoes in Vietnam, and fallen off a bamboo raft in China.

Celine writes stories that feature quirky characters and misfits, and her books are a mixture of steampunk, fantasy and humour.

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