Saturday, September 27, 2014

Excerpt from Clockwork Secrets: Heavy Fire by Dru Pagliassotti - September 27, 2014

Please welcome Dru Pagliassotti to The Qwillery with an excerpt from Clockwork Secrets: Heavy Fire, the final novel in the Clockwork Heart Trilogy.

Excerpt from Clockwork Secrets: Heavy Fire

         The Firebrand’s starboard cannon boomed and the entire ship gave a slight roll, swiftly compensated for by the alert helms.
         We’re too light, Taya thought. The heavy weapons’ recoil was affecting the ship’s aerodynamics.
         The dirigible to port fired again. This time bullets stitched metal and wood. Taya flinched. Why wasn’t Amcathra taking them out of there?
         The Firebrand’s port cannon gave a thunderous roar. She risked another glance through the rails.
         At least some of their shot had struck the Alzanan ship— the Firebrand’s spotlight revealed damage to the enemy’s gondola and envelope. The Alzanans returned fire. A lictor screamed, thrown overboard by the bullets’ impact. Taya instinctively started to stand, then clenched her fists and crouched back down. There was nothing she could do to help him.
         I want my wings, she thought fiercely, listening to the ships exchange fire. She was useless without her wings.
         More bullets hammered into the ornithopter, this time from starboard. The Firebrand’s cannon answered. Taya looked over her unprotected shoulder and saw the second dirigible looming beside them, its gondola splintering under the impact of the Firebrand’s larger missiles. Gun barrels swung back and forth from the gondola’s windows, and an Alzanan soldier fired down on them from the gunnery platform on top of the dirigible’s envelope.
         This is ridiculous, she thought. If I get killed, Cris will never forgive me.
         But gunfire separated her from the nearest hatch and nobody else was fleeing the barrage. The secondary helmswoman was being protected by one of the diplomatic-staff lictors, Bright, who stood beside her firing his rifle back at the Alzanans. Taya didn’t think he could hit anything at that range, but she admired his fearlessness.
         Faint cheers arose, barely audible over the din of battle. Taya craned her neck and saw the ship to port fall away. The Firebrand’s spotlight played over its smoking engines. Its crew was, no doubt, scrambling to put out the fire before any stray sparks ignited the inflammable gas within its envelope.
         The second vessel continued hammering them. Its small gondola must have been rattling with thrown brass casings, but the nonstop onslaught was having an effect. Lictors fell, bleeding, their replacements standing over their fallen bodies. Taya felt the Firebrand shudder as though something had gone awry with its wings. It banked and she grabbed the rail, her heart in her throat, as they began a descending spiral. Lictors plunged down the hatches, shouting. Taya breathed a prayer to the Lady, wishing she had stayed below. If they were about to die, she wanted to be with her husband when it happened.

Clockwork Secrets: Heavy Fire
Clockwork Heart Trilogy 3
EDGE, September 15, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
Cover Illustration by Timothy Lantz

The final book in the Clockwork Heart trilogy. Framed for regicide and trapped on a ship crippled by enemy fire, Taya and Ondinium’s diplomatic contingent seem helpless to prevent the well-engineered war their enemies have put into motion. While Alzanan and Demican armies march across Ondinium’s borders, Taya and her husband fight airborne battles from the tropical islands of the Cabisi Thassalocracy to the war-ravaged mountains of Alzana. When Taya falls into her enemy’s hands, she fears that nobody will be able to save Ondinium from the devastating weapon about to be plunged into its mechanically ticking heart.

Clockwork Lies: Iron Wind
Clockwork Heart Trilogy 2
EDGE, March 15, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
Cover Illustration by Timothy Lantz

Ondinium stands on the brink of war...

Love and duty collide when Taya is appointed attaché to Ondinium's first exalted ambassador and is soon plunged into a sinister world of secrets and lies. After the diplomatic contingent’s hasty withdrawal from Mareaux to avoid an international incident, Taya's faith is shaken by a disastrous crash and a tragic murder, which reveals just how much she has to lose. Now, if she's going to fulfill her duty to her nation, she must risk everything she cares about. As the winds of war whip around Ondinium’s borders, Taya’s metal wings must bear her through storms, gunfire, and explosions as she fights to save them not only from their enemies, but also from their own government — a government that regards them as nothing more than clockwork cogs in a ruthless political machine.

Clockwork Heart
Clockwork Heart Trilogy 1
EDGE, September 15, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
Cover Illustration by Timothy Lantz

Flight is freedom, but death hangs in the skies..

Taya soars over Ondinium on metal wings. She is an icarus, a courier privileged to travel freely across the city’s sectors and mingle indiscriminately amongst its castes. But even she cannot outfly the web of terrorism, loyalty, murder, and intrigue that snares her after a daring mid-air rescue. Taya finds herself entangled with the Forlore brothers, scions of an upperclass family: handsome, brilliant Alister, who sits on Ondinium’s governing council and writes programs for the Great Engine; and awkward, sharptongued Cristof, who has exiled himself from his caste and repairs clocks in the lowest sector of the city. Both hide dangerous secrets, in the city that beats to the ticking of a clockwork heart.

About Dru

As a child I discovered that I was happier alone than with others. Words were my best friends, and the secluded laboratory-fortress in which I exercised my crazed imagination was constructed of typewriter keys, paper, and ink. Within its protective walls I created and destroyed individuals, civilizations, and entire worlds for my personal pleasure — a practice I’ve learned to share with others as a tabletop game master and a published writer. But on the whole, I’m afraid that I’m still more comfortable alone with the written word … and maybe a reptile or two.

I can be found on all those online places you'd expect (Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads) and can be emailed at my name at gmail dot com.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @DruPagliassotti  ~  Goodreads


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