Obsidian Eyes by A.W. Exley
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: March 24th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
1836, a world of light and dark, noble and guild. The two spheres intersect when seventeen-year-old Allie Donovan is placed at the aristocratic St Matthews Academy. More at ease with a blade than a needle, she finds herself ostracised by the girls and stalked by a Scottish lord intent on learning why she is among them.
She begins to suspect the underlying reasons when soldiers arrive to see her friend, Zeb, a mechanical genius. On the hunt for answers she breaks into his underground laboratory. There, Allie discovers he is not just constructing sentient mechanical creatures, he is building a devastating new weapon for the military.
The guilds want the weapon and Allie is trapped by ties of blood. She must obey the overlord of the guild and deliver up her friend, unless she can rely on bonds of friendship, to save both their lives.
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About the Author
Books and writing have always been an enormous part of Anita’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.
Connect with Anita: Author's Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
Allie's heart pounded; an echo of her footsteps on the hard slate floor of the hallway. As a guild child she learned to wield a knife like noble girls learned needlepoint. Swords and throwing stars were her pianoforte and deportment classes. Her sparring partners were often boys, so why did this particular one make her pulse run faster than a bolting horse?
He had circled her with the easy grace of a dancer. His hair draped over his forehead, so black it bordered on blue, cut short on the nape but rangy in front, almost obscuring that pale grey gaze. Eyes so mesmerising she thought a wolf watched her. Pure predator looked out, assessing her weaknesses. Her skin burned under her tunic where his arms held her. The memory of his lips at her neck made a shiver pass down her body.
A foolish reaction or worse, a deadly mistake. Her mind whirled as she traced her path to the girls' dormitory. She flung open the door to the room she shared and pressed it shut behind her. With short, quick movements she stripped off her loose cotton pants and kimono top and threw herself on the bed clad in just her chemise and knickers.
Lying back she stared at the ceiling. Her roommate, Eloise, had painted an intricate sky scape during her long internment at the school. A dark blue night-time sky with constellations painted in swirls of gold and silver stared back at her. The walls were a forest of climbing vines fit to conceal Sleeping Beauty. Eloise was a genius with her hands whether painting, sewing, or dissecting wild life.
Allie gathered her thoughts and calmed her mind, before she dressed for class. The colours over her head reminded her of the harem, where the walls were decorated with tiles painted in azure blue, startling orange, deep green, and sunshine yellow. The brilliant mosaics were a hard contrast to the lush silken drapes and velvet floor cushions so large she used to curl up on one, like a kitten in a lap.
"I wish you would stop killing my frogs!" The genius in question had stirred and risen from her bed only to find the lifeless amphibian on her desk.
"Stop reanimating them and I wouldn't have to," Allie countered, rolling over on to her stomach. "And to be fair I don't kill them, I just disconnect them. How can you sleep with their limbs twitching and jerking? It woke me up again this morning."
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