Man’s Best Friend
by Cindy Spencer Pape, author of the Gaslight Chronicles series (Carina Press)
If you ask most of my friends for a few quick descriptors of Cindy Pape (I really only use the Spencer when writing) one of the more common comments you’ll here is something along the lines of “animal lover.” In my previous career, I worked in wildlife education, often working with rehabilitated wild animals and a variety of exotic species. My degrees are in zoology, and there have always been pets in my house—everything from hermit crabs to goldfish to hedgehogs to the St. Bernard mix currently snoozing by my feet. The lab mix is upstairs with one of the offspring, and the iguana is lounging under his sunlamp in his cage. That’s life in my house. Therefore, it’s no surprise to anyone that I have a tendency to put animals into my books. Since I think pets make life richer, it stands to reason I think they make fiction richer too.
Cards & Caravans, the newest book in my Gaslight Chronicles series of steampunk romance, is full of four-legged companions. First off, we meet the heroine’s two pets:
“Your cat is Lucifer and your mule is Old Nick and the villagers aren’t supposed to think you’re a witch?”
She winced. “That’s a coincidence. I got Lucifer as a kitten and originally named him Lucinda, and my late husband had Nick long before I married him.”
“Right.” Connor eyed the geriatric mule and looked back at the divided sections in the caravan. “I suppose I can’t say anything, since my favorite stallion is named Mephistopheles.”
Then later, we encounter a couple of the MacKay family’s prized Scottish deerhounds. The young female, Willow, attaches herself to Belinda and refuses to give her up. This works well as she’s also attached to Connor’s favorite dog, Rowan.
Once the characters reach the circus, there are of course animals of all sorts running around. The most unexpected to Belinda, however, is George. George is an old friend for most Gaslight Chronicles readers. The mechanical mastiff created by Wink Hadrian McCullough makes an appearance in every book to this point. Even Wink admits she can’t explain everything George can do. Some things are just about the magic of love. And that, more than anything, is what pets bring to a story—a little extra love.
Artist’s rendition of George created by John R. White.
Contest: In conjunction with the release of Cards & Caravans, Cindy is running a contest. Visit her website for details!
Connor McKay can tell at a glance that Belinda’s magickal powers are minimal at best. She can’t be guilty of murdering village children. There’s something suspicious about her arrest and lightning-quick sentence. Unfortunately, telling anyone how he knows would mean revealing his own powers. He’s been sent by the Order of the Round Table to help and he can’t just let her die.
Escaping from jail and running from vindictive villagers in her grandfather’s steam-powered caravan is more excitement than Belinda’s had in years. And despite the danger–or maybe because of it–she loves the time spent with her sexy rescuer. But there’s more to his magick than he’s letting on…
There’s something going on that’s bigger than the two of them. It’s time for good to make a stand.
Review: 4 Stars from Romantic Times: “All the trappings of a good steampunk novel are here..but most enchanting of all is the love that develops between the hero and heroine.”
About the Author: Cindy Spencer Pape firmly believes in happily-ever-after and brings that to her writing. Award-winning author of 16 novels and more than 30 shorter works, Cindy lives in southeast Michigan with her husband, two sons and a houseful of pets. When not hard at work writing she can be found dressing up for steampunk parties and Renaissance fairs, or with her nose buried in a book. Catch her online at:
Newsletter group: https://yhoo.it/ni7PHo