About MBOGR: A wonderful collection of stories of supernatural love by Sharon Shinn, Dru Pagliasotti, Caridad Pineiro, Jennifer Estep, Gwyn Cready, Carolyn Crane, Jeannie Holmes, Anna Campbell, Julia London, Christie Ridgway, Holly Lisle and Liz Maverick. In happy-ever-after endings, ghosts come to life so that lovers can be united in the flesh.
Here is a brief excerpt from my steampunk-inspired fantasy, Seventeen Coppers, in which Ro Vargas is hired to steal a soul but runs into a ghost from her own past:
Warm breath tickled her ear as a body pressed close to her back. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
Ro pulled back from the voice, reaching for the pepperbox revolver at her side.
A firm hand wrapped around her wrist as she spun to face her accuser. Light hazel eyes sparkled with deadly amusement. “Is that any way to treat an old friend?”
Ro eased her stance. “Mason Beck,” she said, as the man who held her smiled. “I thought you were in prison.”
His smile widened to a grin and he inched closer. “I decided an early release was in my best interest.”
“Hmm, I suppose self-release is a subject with which you are quite intimate.”
Mason chuckled. His hand slid from her wrist to her shoulder, making her shiver despite the day’s repressive heat. “My sweet Rosalind.” His roughened fingertips stroked the flesh exposed by her shirt’s collar. His distinctive southern Asthegan drawl colored his words with visions of verdant forests and balmy nights. “That wit of yours will be the key to your undoing.”
Ro retreated a few steps, anxious to slow her racing heart. “Perhaps, but you, sir, won’t be the one doing the undoing.”
Mason followed her until she bumped into the rough-hewn edge of a market stall. He placed one palm on the wall beside her head. Sun-lightened brown hair pooled on his shoulders in soft waves as he leaned forward. His breath made her already warmed cheek all the hotter when he whispered in her ear. “Are you certain of that?”
Ro swallowed the lump in her throat to reply a little too breathlessly, “Quite certain.”
He examined her face. A languid smile tugged at his full lips. He swept a lock of her golden curls over her shoulder and a wicked gleam sparked in his eyes. “A pity, love.”
“Seventeen Coppers” © 2012 by Jeannie Holmes.
The US paperback edition will be released August 7, 2012.