Vesta's Clockwork Companions (Gears, Cogs, And Puppy Dogs, book one)

A new steampunk romance

That's right. The book is now available as an audiobook. You can get it at Audible, here or Itunes.

Available at Amazon(for Kindle) and in ebook and paperback from Amazon.

(Gears, Cogs, and Puppy Dogs, Book 1)


When Vesta Bartlett, a wealthy alchemist and inventor, arrives in England to finalize an arranged marriage and help overhaul a family friend’s outdated ironworks, she never expects to find the family so secretive, nor to develop feelings for her fiancé's younger brother, Henry.

But the growing attraction between Vesta and Henry is just the beginning of their troubles. Things really heat up when they're drawn into a secret project for Queen Victoria's military, one that requires Vesta's knowledge of clockwork and Henry's iron.

An epidemic has wiped out all the dogs in Britain, and beyond. If the military fail in their effort to restore the species, a clockwork creation may be all that stands in the way of a world without canine companionship.

Are Vesta and Henry up to the challenge?


~Chapter One~

Britain, 1887

Wet clumps of leaves scattered like meandering slugs along the sidewalk. Spring was months away yet Henry already wished for its beginning. As if your hopes have any impact on the weather. The crowd around him took little notice of him, but he wasn't looking for any one person.

Near the corner, he spied a friendly face. Acton Wren, a man he'd known from childhood.

How friendly Acton was with him, these days, depended on what he owed--and to whom.

"Hoy there, Colchester! What brings you away from home this fine afternoon?" Acton grasped Henry by his lapels, angering the healing cuts on his thick knuckles. "Got the money you owe me?"

He smelled like smoky dark rooms--a place in which he spent most of his time.

"As I remember it, Wren, you owe me."

"Do I now?"

"Twenty quid, was it? Truth of the matter is, don't you owe me more?" For so he did.

"I don't recall any such agreement."

"Let me see." Henry made a show of looking around. "We can ask that constable to sort it out."

His vise-like grip loosened. He smoothed down Henry's lapel. "Oh now, don't be unneighborly, Henry. What'd I ever do to you?" Acton's cheeky grin lit up his oblong, scruffy face. "I didn't offer your mama a job with my girls, now did I?"

"I don't want to beat a friend to death, so I'll pretend I didn’t hear that."

Acton nodded down the street and they resumed their course. He was slim, with dark eyes and unruly light brown hair. "So what're you doing out here? Say, didn't your family have a visitor to greet?"

"We do."

"And? The fella might not be a gambler, mightn't he?"

As Henry considered what he knew of Mr. Bartlett, he shook his head. "Not that I know of."

"He's a pauper?"

"Definitely not."

"And so they came to you why?"

Henry shrugged. "They're not here yet, but he thinks his daughter needs a little culture."

"Here?" Acton laughed. "Good luck to her."

"If she has any luck, Mother will marry her off sooner, rather than later."

"Is that so?"

Hoping to avoid the subject of marriage, he resumed his explanation of Vesta and Johnathon Bartlett. "The main reason they've come is about the ironworks. Her father has a smelting technique he's offering to share with us."

"Fine objective. Your mother will be planning one of her famous dinners, then?"

Henry cursed under his breath. "I think so."

"Will I garner an invitation this time?" Acton asked, tipping his hat to a passing young lady and her chaperone.

Henry opened his mouth, closed it.

"Don't answer that," Acton said. "I know what you might say."

"If I could persuade her, I would."

Acton slapped his shoulder. "Aye, and the Lord will return first. So you came out to escape the fuss? I can't say I blame you."

"Had to, else I was bound to thrash Percy."

"You need a drink, I see." Acton nodded to a sign over a door. The Mewling Cat tavern.

"Not at the moment. I think the anger is subsiding. I believe the fresh air is doing me well."

"Are you certain?"

A hand went to his pocket. He'd left in such a rush, did he bring enough for a stop at the tavern?

His friend pressed a little more. "Rosemary is singing tonight."

"Rosemary?" Henry pursed his lips, thinking of the beautiful brunette singer. "It's almost free to listen, and look."

"Ah, I see you can be persuaded to stay with friends." Acton grinned at him and opened the tavern door. "Good. I have a proposition for you."

You can here a sample of the audiobook, narrated by the talented Karen Rose Ricther, here:


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