Excerpt for The Seduction of Phaeton Black by Jillian Stone + Giveaway

The Seduction of Phaeton Black (Paranormal Investigator, 1) – Jillian Stone

Blurb #1

THE YEAR IS 1889 and Queen Victoria, exemplum of decency and sobriety, is in her fifty-second year of reign. Paranormal Investigator, Phaeton Black, on the other hand, couldn’t be less interested in clean-living. He has recently taken up residence in the basement flat of London’s most notorious brothel. A dedicated libertine with an aptitude for absinthe, he wrestles with a variety of demons both real and self-inflicted. Unfairly linked to Scotland Yard’s failure to solve the Whitechapel murders, Phaeton is offered a second chance to redeem himself. A mysterious fiend, or vampire is stalking the Strand. After a glass and a consult with the green fairy, he agrees to take on the case.

On his first surveillance, Phaeton pursues an elusive stranger and encounters several curious, horrifying beings. But the most intriguing creature of all is a Cajun beauty who captures him at knifepoint and threatens to spirit away his heart.

Alternate Blurb #2

Hold onto your knickers ladies, Phaeton Black has arrived!

He’s the man with the magic touch. A master of deduction and other midnight maneuvers, Phaeton Black is Scotland Yard’s secret weapon against things that go bump in the night. His prodigious gifts as a paranormal investigator are as legendary as his skills as a lover, his weakness for wicked women as notorious as his affection for absinthe. But when he’s asked to hunt down a fanged femme fatale who drains her victims of blood, he walks right into the arms of the most dangerous woman he’s ever known.

She’s the devilish Miss Jones. Pressing a knife to his throat and demanding he make love to her––Miss America Jones uses Phaeton as a willing shield against the gang of pirates chasing after her. As dangerous as she is with a derringer tucked in her garter, Miss Jones is not the vampire killer Phaeton is stalking––but she may be just what he needs to crack the case. As the daughter of a Cajun witch, she possess uncanny powers. As a fearless fighter, she can handle anything from Egyptian mummies to Jack the Ripper. But when an ancient evil is unleashed on the world, she could be his only his salvation…or ultimate sacrifice.
She had never met the like of such a man.
After a few deep draughts of spirit, he kicked a chair out from under the table and straddled the seat. “The chair rails guard my bulging privates. Not to be confused with filthy pirates.”
He took another swig from the bottle. “Tell me about these imaginary, cutlass wielding corsairs. Miss––?”
 “My name is America Jones.”
He set an elbow on the chair back and cupped his chin. He had a wary way of studying her, as if she were some kind of curiosity. “Are you incapable of answering questions in a truthful manner? Again, Miss––?”
She set her jaw and glared. “America.”
“Is the name of a continent, or two. I can never remember if there are two continents designated north and south, or one continent designated south and north. Which is it?”
Why did he play the Mad Hatter? Leaning far back off the chair, he had to catch himself. The grog appeared to be having an effect. “And there is a new country, the United States of America.”
Even with arms tied down, she still managed a shrug. “It is my name, sir. America Síne Jones and I have learned to live with it these twenty-ought years.”
 “I believe I may call you by your middle name.” His mouth twitched. “Sin–ay. I do so admire the first syllable.”
Her gaze narrowed to a quizzical squint. “Is your mind always in the gutter, Mr.––?
“Black.” Liquid sable eyes flecked with gold drank in every inch of her. “Only when I am interested, Miss Jones.”
“And are you interested?”
“I once enjoyed a meal at the Langham Hotel, which I thought about repeating for weeks afterward.”
“Is that what I am to you? A supper?”
 He lowered his chin. “A banquet, my tempting dark dove.” Hooded ebony eyes crinkled at the sides. He enjoyed taunting her. 
Captivated for a moment, she mentally slapped herself.  “I would love to stay and chat, really I would, but I must be on my way.” She flashed the faintest of smiles. “Now that we are introduced, certainly you can release me from bondage?”
“One more thing, Miss Jones. If you would kindly explain about the pirates?” He tilted his head. “Your eyes are most extraordinary. Almost feline.”
What an exasperating man! While he swigged from the bottle, she tugged again on her bindings. “Why do you insist on torturing me?”
She pressed her lips together and chewed the inside of her bottom lip. A force of habit when vexed beyond endurance. Well, she supposed two could play this silly, annoying interrogation game. “Are your parents still living, Mr. Black?
He sat up and blinked. “Mother died of a virulent meningitis years ago. My father teaches advanced mathematics at Trinity College.” He ran a hand through thick waves of dark brown hair. “He might as well be dead. We don’t get on.”
“I could not tell you if my mother is alive or dead. I’ve not been home to Louisiana in many years. Buried my father four short months ago. Charles Gardiner Jones.” She leaned forward purposefully. “A decent and honest merchant trader. Acquaintances said he couldn’t face his business failure––that he died of drink. People who knew him well, told a very different story. My father’s heart was broken by his lying, scheming business partner.”
When her eyes threatened to tear, she lifted her chin. “After his funeral I vowed to bring Yanky Willem to justice.”
“And how goes this pursuit?”
She frowned. “Not as well as I’d hoped. Last night Willem caught me rifling through a year’s worth of cargo manifests.”
He arched a brow. “Searching for––?”
“Proof of piracy, Mr. Black.”
He smiled that maddening grin of his. “I knew if I was patient, we might actually get round to the original subject of my query––the filthy pirates.”
“Chased me from the Docklands all the way down the Strand.” She laid her head back against the padded chair and counted the cracks in the ceiling. “When you stepped into the sharp edge of my blade, I was clean out of bullets.”
“Bullets? And where, pray tell is your pistol?
Now it was her turn to grin. “Untie me, and––“
“I think not, Miss Jones.” From behind protective rungs, Mr. Black stepped over the seat of his chair and ventured closer. “Shall we search together?”
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16 thoughts on “Excerpt for The Seduction of Phaeton Black by Jillian Stone + Giveaway

  1. I like steampunk cos it’s different. The technology mixed with different standards just works so well. And every steampunk book brings something else to the mix

    (booksforlife01) (at) gmail dot com

    • The Seduction of Phaeton Black definitely has steampunk elements, but Phaeton Black is also a détective occulte, The novel is set in 1887 London and also has a love story that is très érotique!

    • Thanks Kara-karina!

      I think you’ll find this book very different in tone than Meljean Brook’s version of Steampunk. (I have met Meljean, by the way and she is a lovely person!)

      The Seduction of Phaeton Black is exuberantly erotic, with paranormal elements! Jeez, it’s the best way I can think to put it! 😉

  2. Yay for steampunk books — this sounds so good, Mel! I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of this genre because I just love everything about right down from the way they dress to how different it is from our times. (In which I have to say: In a much better way LOL!) I’ve never heard of Phaeton Black before but I have a feeling I’m going to like him 😉

    Thanks for sharing this excerpt and giveaway, Mel! 🙂 <3

    • Thanks Mimi,

      But I must warn you about Phaeton. As heroes go, you many find him some somewhat difficult to like at first. I wrote Phaeton in the fine tradition of the Byronic hero: “A man proud, moody, cynical, with defiance on his brow, and misery in his heart, a scorner of his kind, implacable in revenge, yet capable of deep and strong affection.”

      He’s also a pretty wonderful lover. Enjoy!

  3. I LOVE STEAMPUNK!! I got really interested in it after reading Gail Carriger’s Soulless series. I love how the women in the book have modern thinking and yet live in the past. I also enjoy steampunk clothes. It’s a great mix of historical wear with some mechanical accessories.

    Thank you for the review and the giveaway!

    • Oh yes, many women of the period were suffragettes. And they pressured their governments for more equitable property rights, divorce legislation, birth control, and of course, the vote.

      I love that it was a very inventive period as well. In fact inventors like Edison and Alexander Graham Bell were the rock stars of their day.

  4. I like steampunck since I discovered Meljean Brook’s books and I’m very curious about this univers. I already own The Seduction of Phaeton Black and I already pre-ordered the sequel but the necklace is so amazing I had to enter this awesome giveaway!!!
    Thanks a lot! I keep my fingers crossed!! Hi hi!!! 🙂

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