Welcome to Two Crazy Ladies Love Romance
Her Clockwork Heart
by Dena Garson
Nathaniel Dennison is an investigator with the Royal Intelligence Office. Because of his knack for solving puzzles, he’s assigned a case involving a string of missing scientists. During his investigation he crosses paths with Trixie, the only woman to ever tempt him into considering marriage. Despite the bruising his heart took when she left, he can’t leave her to search for her missing brother on her own.
Beatrix “Trixie” Wadeworth is desperate to find her brother. So desperate that she breaks into the Royal Intelligence Office in London. Getting caught is inconvenient. But getting caught by the one man she never stopped loving may actually be fortuitous. It feels like a lifetime since she last saw Nathaniel but it only takes seconds for those feelings to come rushing back.
Danger follows Nathaniel and Trixie from London to Edinburgh and back as they search for clues. In the end they find there is more than one mystery to solve. How they ever lived without each other may be the greatest of them all.
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Tell us about Her Clockwork Heart.
Her Clockwork Heart is a story about a young woman’s desperate attempt to find her missing brother. During her search for clues, she crosses paths with the man she thought she would marry before her life fell apart. Their romance is rekindled as he helps her track her brother’s footsteps.
It is a steampunk romance, set in Victorian England.
What initially inspired you to write Her Clockwork Heart?
I’ve always wanted to write a steampunk story. I love the culture and the tie to Victorian history. So when After Glows Publishing put out a call for stories for an anthology, I jumped at the chance.
Tell us little about the characters in Her Clockwork Heart.
Beatrix “Trixie” Wadeworth is the daughter of a prominent inventor/businessman. She’s smart, a hard worker, and not afraid to break the ton’s rules. After her parents’ deaths, the running of the family business, Panhurst Air Company, fell solely upon her and her brother. A challenge she relishes.
Nathan Dennison is the third son of a Viscount. His high IQ and ability to solve puzzles landed him a position with Her Majesty’s Royal Intelligence Office. After a disappointing parting of ways with Trixie some years earlier, he advanced quickly in the RIO’s ranks to become one of their best investigators.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Keeping a balance between historical accuracy and fantasy. I wanted enough history to lend a sense of realism, but without being boring or killing the steampunk elements.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
The first chapter where hero/heroine meet again after several years. It’s likely my favorite because that was what set the characters firmly in my mind. And no, it was not the first chapter of the manuscript when I originally drafted it.
What are your future project(s)?
I’m currently working on two manuscripts. One is a contemporary rocker romance. The other is a follow up to my Emerald Isle Enchantment book, Ghostly Persuasion.
With a sigh, Nathaniel straightened his mess and tucked his notebook away in the breast pocket of his coat. He reached for the lamp to douse the light but paused when something banged against the wall of the records room.
Most of the RIO staff had left for the evening. By now he should have the offices to himself, with the exception of the security officer who patrolled through the night. But he would have sworn he recently heard the officer’s footsteps echoing down the hallway.
As silently as possible he exited the file room. At the door to the records room, he paused and listened. There were shuffling sounds, like boxes being moved about, as well as odd clicks and whirls. Almost like a clock with a gear out of alignment.
“No, not that one,” someone whispered on the other side of the door.
Was that a woman’s voice?
“Hurry. We don’t have much time.”
Again, no response to the whisper, but the clicking sounds multiplied.
Nathaniel checked the lock on the door. It had been opened. The intruder either had a key or a considerable talent with locks. The locks used at the RIO were unusual and gave even the most experienced lock picks trouble.
He pulled his derringer from his pocket then as quietly as possible turned the door handle. The last click of the latch set off a flurry of activity inside the room.
So much for a stealthy entry.
He positioned himself against the wall, yanked the door open, and leveled his gun on whatever he found inside the room.
Some kind of insect jumped off one of the file cabinets onto Nathaniel’s outstretched hand and pinched him.
“Ouch!” He shook his hand and tried to dislodge the bug, but it moved too fast. “What the bloody hell?” He bellowed when the bug ran across his arm then down his chest and leg to the floor.
“Don’t hurt her. She won’t hurt you,” a woman called out from the other side of the cabinet. “Nid, get over here.” Papers were shuffled and more clicks came from that side of the room.
Her voice was familiar. Nathaniel lowered his gun but kept it at the ready as he made his way to the other side. As he crept forward he looked left and right for more bugs. “Who is that and what are you doing in here?”
More shuffling of papers. A drawer slammed shut. The woman whispered, “Squeaks. Hopper. Get in.”
Nathaniel stepped around the end of the cabinets and leveled his gun at the person crouched next to the cabinet. He blinked in surprise at the woman who looked up at him. “Trixie?”
Beatrix Wadeworth froze with her hand extended to two small creatures that resembled a toy mouse and small rabbit. “Nathaniel?” She started to stand, then paused and scooped up the toys and slipped them into her pocket. “I uh…” She glanced behind him toward the door.
He took two steps forward and grabbed her by the arm. “Don’t even think about it.”
“Wh… what are you doing here?” she asked breathlessly.
“I work for the Royal Intelligence Office so I’m allowed to be here but you’re not.” He tightened his grip on her arm. “What are you doing here?”
Two of the bugs ran up his arm. He tried to brush them off, but only managed hit one of them.
“Nid, it’s okay.” She nabbed the one shaped like a spider. “Come here.”
“What are those?” They looked like bugs, but the whirling noise and clicks gave away the fact that they weren’t.
“They’re my, well…” She shrugged and dropped the one she’d taken off his arm into the pouch at her waist. “They’re my friends.”
“Friends?” One of her other toys scratched at his pant leg as it tried to climb it.
“Oh, sorry.” She reached for the creature but stopped when her face drew too close to an area of his anatomy that no proper young woman should be near.
“I’ll get it.” He released her arm, slid his pistol back into its holster, then plucked the tiny mechanical insect from his thigh. He examined it for a moment then dropped it into her open palm. The strange assortment of metal gears and parts were shaped to resemble a scorpion.
“Thank you,” she murmured.
“How many more of those do you have?”
“I only brought five of them with me.”
He opened his mouth to say something then shook his head. “You can’t be here.”
“What the deuce is going on in here?”
Trixie’s eyes widened with alarm. Nathaniel groaned. Great, the security officer had found them.
Dena Garson is an award winning author of contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi romance. She holds a BBA and a MBA in Business and works in the wacky world of quality and process improvement. Making up her own reality on paper is what keeps her sane.
She is the mother of two rowdy boys, two rambunctious cats (AKA the fuzzy jerks), and a loving Labrador. When she isn't writing you can find her at her at the sewing machine or stringing beads. She is also a devoted Whovian and Dallas Cowboys fan.
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