Welcome to my stop on the Artifact Hunters tour that features Nefertiti's Heart and Hatshepsut's Collar by A.W. Exley. This series is new adult / Mystery / Steampunk, recommended for ages 16+ (there's some mature content). The tour runs March 3-14th. Check out the tour page for the full list of tour stops.
Nefertiti's Heart (Artifact Hunters #1) by A.W. Exley
Page Count: 284 pages
Published: February 4th, 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press
Recommended Age: 16 and up
Cara Devon has always suffered curiosity and impetuousness, but tangling with a serial killer might cure that. Permanently.
London, 1861. Impoverished noble Cara has a simple mission after the strange death of her father – sell off his damned collection of priceless artifacts. Her plan goes awry when aristocratic beauties start dying of broken hearts, an eight inch long brass key hammered through their chests. A killer hunts amongst the nobility, searching for a regal beauty and an ancient Egyptian relic rumored to hold the key to immortality.
Her Majesty’s Enforcers are in pursuit of the murderer and they see a connection between the gruesome deaths and Cara. So does she, somewhere in London her father hid Nefertiti’s Heart, a fist sized diamond with strange mechanical workings. Adding further complication to her life, notorious crime lord, Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is relentless in his desire to lay his hands on Cara and the priceless artifact. If only she could figure out his motive.
Self-preservation fuels Cara’s search for the gem. In a society where everyone wears a mask to hide their true intent, she needs to figure out who to trust, before she makes a fatal mistake.
Hatshepsut's Collar (Artifact Hunters #2) by A.W. Exley
Page Count: 274
Published: November 13th, 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press
An ancient Egyptian artifact is driving Queen Victoria insane, and that’s not top of Cara Devon’s growing list of problems.
Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is a man of numerous secrets, but there is one in particular that threatens his fledgling relationship with Cara. Stunned by Nate’s revelation, and before she can absorb the ramifications of his actions, he is arrested, charged with treason and imprisoned in the grim Tower of London. He stole something the mad queen wants, and only has days to deliver, before his date with the executioner.
Although sorely tempted, Cara can’t let him die on Tower Green, not when their connection means she would share his fate.
Only together can Cara and Nate figure out how to wrestle Hatshepsut’s Collar from around the queen’s neck, before she plunges Britain into a world war. The search for answers sends Cara to the opulent Winter Palace of St Petersburg and the frozen depths of Siberia, with every step shadowed by an enemy with his own dark plans.
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HATSHEPSUT'S COLLAR, from Chapter 2:
HATSHEPSUT'S COLLAR, from Chapter 2:
She tried to penetrate the dark where beyond the reach of the light, shadows moved in the deep recesses of the club. From the darkness, groans and moans of ecstasy and pain washed over the patrons, heightening the atmosphere. Nate guided her in the direction of the bar, the beacon of light amongst the dark. The wood was so highly polished, the waxed surface reflected all around it. The barman wore tight black pants, a black waistcoat, and nothing else. His oiled torso shone silver in the light as though he had been sprinkled with fairy dust.
He gave Cara a lascivious grin as he leaned close so she could name her drink. One hand pulled a bottle from the top shelf behind the bar while the other unhooked a small glass from the rows hanging in front of a mirrored wall. Then he poured a rich green liquid into the petite crystal tumbler. Reaching under the counter, he produced an ornate silver spoon and balanced it over the top of the rim. The spoon portrayed a filigree angel, her wings outstretched to hold the sugar cube placed on her back. Taking up a chilled carafe the bartender dripped iced water onto the sugar cube. The cold liquid gradually melted the sugar and it dripped through the fairy into the absinthe below her body.
Cara watched, fascinated, as a drop plunged into the alcohol and the deep green started to bloom. As the sugar dissolved under the ice water onslaught, the drink turned a milky white with a slight mint tinge.
"Saluté." The bar tender pushed the drink toward her.
Cara inhaled tendrils of aniseed before laying aside the fairy spoon and tossing back the drink. She slammed the glass down on the counter and gestured for him to set it up again.
"Are you sure?" A smile played on his face as he dared her.
"Go hard or go home." She grinned as she watched him top up her glass and place a fresh cube on the spoon. Cara tossed back drink number two and waited for the mischievous green fairy to spread her wings and take her flying. Warmth radiated through her body, but her mind remained clear. I wonder if I’ll start hallucinating?
The bartender went to pour a third, but Nate put his hand over the top of the glass. "I don’t think so." He leaned in close so his breath tickled the back of her neck. "Absinthe creeps up on you, and I want you sober when I get you home tonight. You can’t wrap those delicious, stocking clad legs around my hips if you’re passed out drunk."
Anita Exley's Biography:
Books and writing have always been an enormous part of A.W. Exley’s life.
She survived school by hiding out in the library, with several thousand fictional characters for company. At university, she overcame the boredom of studying accountancy by squeezing in Egyptology papers and learning to read hieroglyphics.
Today, Anita writes steampunk novels with a sexy edge and an Egyptian twist. She lives in rural New Zealand surrounded by an assortment of weird and wonderful equines, felines, canine and homicidal chickens.
Facebook | Goodreads
Facebook | Goodreads
- 1 Steampunk Dragon Jewelry Box, Butterfly Hairclip, Full set of paperback books in the Artifact Hunters series & A pair of custom Nefertiti's Heart / Hatshepsut's Collar bookmarks with drawn character art (US/CA)
- 1 Google Chromecast, Full set of paperback books in the Curiosity Quills anthologies (Primetime & After Dark '13) (US/CA)
- 12 ebook prize - READ AN EBOOK A MONTH Any 12 ebooks from the CQ catalog in the format of your choice (INT)
This tour was organized by CBB Book Promotions.