Book Blast & Giveaway! Beauty and Beastly by Melanie Karsak

Beauty and Beastly: Steampunk Beauty and the Beast
by Melanie Karsak
Series: Steampunk Fairy Tales
Publication: December 6th 2017
Category: Adult
Genre: Steampunk, Fairy Tales

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In this tale as old as time, Isabelle Hawking must tinker a solution to a heartbreaking mystery.

When Isabelle Hawking and her papa set out from London on a sea voyage, Isabelle is thrilled. Visiting foreign courts, learning from master tinkers, and studying mechanicals is her dream. And it doesn’t hurt that the trip also offers Isabelle an escape from her overbearing and unwanted suitor, Gerard LeBoeuf.

But Isabelle never arrives. Swept up in a tempest, her ship is lost.

Isabelle survives the storm only to be shipwrecked on a seemingly-deserted island. The magical place, dotted with standing stones, faerie mounds, and a crumbling castle, hints of an ancient past. Isabelle may be an unwilling guest, but her arrival marks a new beginning for the beastly residents of this forgotten land.

See how NY Times bestselling author Melanie Karsak puts a steampunk spin on the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.

~Excerpt~

Gerard LeBoeuf

“Hello, Miss Hawking,” a sultry voice whispered in my ear. A red rose suddenly appeared over my shoulder. “For you.”
I exhaled heavily. “Hello, Gerard,” I said, stepping away. The smell of cologne nearly overwhelmed me. I tried to plaster on a fake smile, but failed. I turned to find Gerard LeBoeuf standing far too close to me.
He pressed the rose toward me again. “Please, ma cherie. For the most beautiful girl in London.”
I bit the inside of my cheek and debated. It was far easier to accept the gift rather than put up with the display he’d put on if I didn’t. Besides, it was just a rose. What harm could a single rose cause? And while I had no interest in Gerard LeBoeuf, I wouldn’t be cruel. He was an enthusiastic suitor. And, given he was also the most gifted cartographer in the realm, he was a man of some quality. Unfortunately, his merits weren’t what I was looking for in a man. I wanted someone reserved: quiet, considerate, even a bit shy. I wanted someone the complete opposite of Gerard LeBoeuf. “Thank you, Gerard,” I said politely. “That’s very kind of you.”
He smiled happily, a glimmer of hope in his eyes. He turned to look at the velocipede. “Fascinating, isn’t it?” he said, nodding with his chin toward the device. He set his hand on my shoulder and moved close to me once more. “See there,” he added, pointing. “The friction from the velocipede moves through the conductor and—”
“Yes, Gerard. I understood. It is very fascinating. Now, if you will excuse me, I should find Papa,” I said then turned away, heading back into the hall.
To my horror, he followed me. “So, I understand you and Master Hawking are going on a trip. Scotland, is it? Or was it Ireland? How could you leave without telling me? What will I do without seeing your beautiful face every Wednesday?”
I rolled my eyes. “I’m sure you will find something else to keep you distracted.” Namely, the next pretty woman who walked through the hall.
“But Isabelle, there is no better distraction than you. I tell all my friends, ‘Wednesday is my favorite day of the week.’ And they ask me ‘Why?’ I tell them ‘Because Isabelle Hawking comes to Tinker’s Hall. She is the most beautiful girl in London. She has a cute little walk, hair brown as a chestnut, and big curious eyes. She is the perfect woman.’ They call me a man in love. Maybe I am. I don’t know. But I do know that sometimes Isabelle Hawking comes to Tinker’s Hall, and sometimes she even smiles at me,” he said, setting his hand on the small of my back. Well, not quite the small of my back somewhere a bit lower.
Stopping, I frowned at him.
“Alas. Not today.”
“Kindly remove your hand,” I said, helping him move his paw from my backside. “No, not today. Not next week. Not next year. Now, if you please,” I said then turned and walked away.
To my surprise, however, Gerard reached out for my hand. “Miss Hawking, please. I would die for you, don’t you see?”
Gasping, surprised by the strength of his grasp and the firmness of grip, I twitched my fingers, activating a lever that caused a spring inside my ring, which was shaped like a hedgehog, to pop up. Needle-sharp spines pierced Gerard’s hand, fending off his unwanted touch.
“Ouch!” Gerard said, pulling his hand back.
I gave him a hard look.
He laughed. “Oh, Miss Hawking, you are so clever,” he said as he sucked the blood from the wound between his thumb and forefinger. “You will put up a fight, eh? Not so easily won? Good! I need a woman with a spine of steel and skin like silk. You are perfect in every way, Isabelle Hawking. You must marry me, Isabelle. Say yes.”
Gasping, I stared at him. “You must be joking.”
Gerard laughed again. “Please, Isabelle. I love you!”
At this point, I realized that several of the shoppers and vendors had stopped to watch the exchange. I exhaled deeply, feeling a flash of angry red burn in my cheeks then turned away from him. An elderly woman who was watching the exchange chuckled then winked at me. Glaring at Gerard, I handed the rose to her then stalked off.
“Isabelle,” Gerard called.
I didn’t look back.
“Isabelle, marry me. Please?”
I rolled my eyes and kept walking.
“Give up, LeBoeuf,” one of the tinkers called with a laugh.
“Not today, LeBeouf,” another added.
“Never,” a third called.
“Marry me! I’ll marry you,” the old woman called then cackled loudly.
I glanced over my shoulder.
The old woman was waving the rose toward Gerard.
Annoyed, Gerard turned on his heel and headed back to his own stall.
Sometimes it didn’t pay to be nice. Gerard was perfect on the outside, but inside he was a slimy rat. I was growing tired of his romantic jokes and pawing hands. It was one thing if he wanted to court me properly, but such outlandish exchanges were just vulgar. I felt embarrassed.
Shaking my head, I moved toward the back of the hall where my father usually lingered. Of all the men in London, why did Gerard LeBoeuf have to set his cap toward me? I mean, it would be nice to have a suitor, but not him. I’d thought I’d found a match with the brooding, but kind Doctor Murray. The doctor had frequented my home and was a friend of my father’s. He was the perfect man: intelligent, handsome, and reserved. But I should have known Doctor Murray was in love with his childhood friend, Elyse McKenna. My affection for Doctor Murray had been entirely one-sided. My hopes had come to nothing. I couldn’t begrudge Doctor Murray and Miss McKenna—well, she was Missus Murray now. I had never seen a happier couple. I only hoped that I could find a love like that one day.

~About the Author~

melanie

Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, and The Celtic Blood Series. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

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Wife, homeschooling mom, YA author of paranormal, dark fantasy, and horror, huge fan of the Oxford comma, book blogger, crafter, baker of sweet things, lover of the culinary arts, self-appointed zombie slayer.