New Release: Beauty and Beastly: Steampunk Beauty and the Beast

I am so excited to announce the release of my latest Steampunk Fairy Tale, Beauty and Beastly! Beauty and the Beast is one of my all-time favorite fairy tales. I loved spinning the story into a steampunk tale. I hope you enjoy this latest addition to the fairy tale family.

Novel Description

In this tale as old as time, Isabelle Hawking must tinker a solution to a heartbreaking mystery.

When Isabelle Hawking and her papa set out from London on a sea voyage, Isabelle is thrilled. Visiting foreign courts, learning from master tinkerers, and studying mechanicals is her dream. And it doesn't hurt that the trip also offers Isabelle an escape from her overbearing and unwanted suitor, Gerard LeBoeuf.

But Isabelle never arrives. Swept up in a tempest, her ship is lost.

Isabelle survives the storm only to be shipwrecked on a seemingly-deserted island. The magical place, dotted with standing stones, faerie mounds, and a crumbling castle, hints of an ancient past. Isabelle may be an unwilling guest, but her arrival marks a new beginning for the beastly residents of this forgotten land.

See how New York Times bestselling author Melanie Karsak puts a steampunk spin on the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.

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Chapter 1 Sneak Peek

Chapter 1: Bonjour

“Isabelle, are you coming?”
My heels clicking on the cobblestone, I hurried behind Papa as I made the last few notes in my journal. The London streets were packed. A group of young airship jockeys, each jostling the other around, bumped into me as they passed. My fountain pen went skidding across the page, blotting ink on my sketch.
“Blast,” I cursed, glaring.
“So sorry, miss,” a young airship captain said. “Are you headed to the market? May I buy you a new journal?”
I frowned at him, suddenly wondering if it had been an accident.
“No. No, thank you,” I said. I slipped my pen into its holder hidden amongst the flowers and feathers on my tiny lady’s top hat and tucked my book into my basket. Grabbing the skirt of my blue gown, I hurried to catch up to Papa as he made his way through the massive arch at the entrance of the Hungerford Market.
I found my father reading over his shopping list and dodging oncoming shoppers as we entered the busy market.
“Know what you’re after?” he asked distractedly as he ran his finger down his list.
“Yes, Papa. The trick is not finding too many things.”
He chuckled. “Indeed. Indeed. At Hungerford Market, that is always a problem. I’m headed to Tinker’s Hall. You?”
“Mister Denick first. I need some new reading materials for the trip. I’ll join you in the hall afterward. Keep an eye out for a glass cylinder for me? Two centimeters or so in length, smallest in circumference that you see?”
“Of course,” Papa said, pinching my cheek.
The market was bustling. Everywhere I looked I saw mechanics, tinkers, chemists, and airship crews. Aside from them were common folk hunting consumables and textiles. I gazed down the aisles. On this end of the market were the fishmongers, fruit and flower vendors, and butchers. On the far end of the market was Tinker’s Hall. While the hall sold all manner of wares for someone in our trade, it was also part social club for the London Tinkers Society of which Papa was a leading member. No doubt he would be lost for an hour or more hobnobbing with his peers. Waving to Papa, I turned and headed in the other direction to Antiquarians’ Hall where Mister Denick kept his bookshop.
But first…
“Good morning, Isabelle,” the baker called when he saw me. He was holding out a freshly-baked egg custard tart wrapped in parchment.
I had to smile. Had I become so predictable? I suppose every Wednesday morning was the same as the Wednesday morning the week before. Papa and I left our workshop along the Thames at precisely eight thirty. We arrived at the Hungerford Market at 9:15. Papa always went to Tinker’s Hall. I always went to Mister Denick’s bookstore, stopping at the baker’s stall first for an egg custard tart. I’d peruse his wares, but like always, he had the same old things, and I bought the same tart. Every Wednesday it was the same routine. It was 9:17, and I was there for my egg custard.
“Thank you, sir,” I said, pressing a coin into his hand in exchange. “Good day.”
“And to you.”
As I walked, I munched the tiny confection. The sweet taste of the buttery crust. The egg custard baked with a firm surface but soft, smooth, filling. The tart still warm from the baker’s oven. Perfection. This was why I never tried anything new. Why change what worked?
“Hello, Isabelle,” Miss Ting called from her stall.
I waved to her. “Good morning, Miss Ting.”
“Need silk string today?” she asked.
I shook my head. “All stocked up!”
She waved happily.
“Isabelle the beauty,” Mister White called then waved. The tobacco vendor, a massive pipe hanging from his mouth, was all smiles.
I nodded politely then waved. Mister White was still under the impression that I should let his son woo me. I had decided it wasn’t my place to inform him that his son had eyes for Master Johnson’s apprentice, Tom. I turned the corner to Antiquarian’s Hall.
Here, the place was less crowded. Well-dressed ladies and gentlemen perused fine artwork from early masters, estate furniture in need of a home, and other beautiful goods from years past.
As I passed two well-dressed women, one of them whispered to her companion. They both looked at me then started giggling.
I looked down at my dress only to see that my bodice was utterly covered in crumbles. When I went to wipe the custard crust mess off, I discovered my fingertips were stained black with ink. I really was quite the sight. I carefully brushed off the crumbs, working gingerly, so I didn’t get ink on my gown, then hurried to Mister Denick’s stall.
A sign reading “The Great Library of Alexandria” hung above the door to his stall. Grinning happily, I went inside.
“Ah, Isabelle,” Mister Denick said. “Come, come. Have a look,” he said, lifting a crate of books and setting it on the counter.
I gasped. “All new? Wherever did you get them?” I asked as I unpacked the two books I had borrowed from Mister Denick last week.
“A gentleman was auctioning off some books from the estate of Horace Walpole, the gentleman who owned Strawberry Hill out in Twickenham.”
“The same gentleman who wrote The Castle of Otranto?”
“The very same!” Mister Denick said, clapping his hands together excitedly. “I got this lot for a bargain. They went quickly, but there are some gems in here. Have a look.”
I picked up each book carefully. Many of the books were written in Greek or Latin. There were a few obscure reads, one on Sumerian religions, another on Russian folklore, but then I spotted two that piqued my curiosity. “These,” I said, setting aside a book about goblins and another on mythical artifacts. “May I borrow them?”
Mister Denick nodded. “Of course, of course. And, I found this for you at an auction on Monday,” he said, setting down a book with a blue leather spine. “It’s in Latin, but it chronicles the inventions of Hero of Alexandria.”
Gasping, I picked up the book and flipped open the pages, my eyes resting on the description of a device called an aeolipile. “Oh, isn’t this amazing?” I gushed. Hero of Alexandria described a device unlike anything I had ever seen before. I hugged the book to my chest. “Thank you so much.”
Master Denick laughed. “Of course, of course.”
“I must keep this volume,” I said, gazing down at the book once more. “What are you asking for this gem?”
“Nothing, my dear. But, if you have a few moments, my clock isn’t keeping the correct time again. And my lamp started flickering.”
Grinning happily, I set my basket on the counter and pulled out the small toolkit from inside. “Lead the way.”


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