Tuesday, February 16, 2021

You should not make assumptions about my innocence – #Steampunk #Victorian #MFRWHooks

The Pornographer's Apprentice Cover

For today’s Book Hooks blog hop, I’m sharing a bit from my recently published steampunk erotica novel The Pornographer’s Apprentice – Book 1 in a new series, The Toymakers Guild. The book is quite explicit, but today’s excerpt is more subtle. Enjoy!

She wants to build sex toys... if they'll let her.

In prudish, patriarchal Victorian England, nineteen year old prodigy Gillian Smith finds a secret society dedicated to the erotic arts. She’ll need both her intellect and her physical charms to earn the permanent position she craves.

Inspired by a salacious catalogue found in her deceased uncle’s library, she applies for an apprenticeship with the Toymakers Guild. The Guild fabricates bespoke sexual artifacts for the private pleasure of select clients – an occupation for which Gillian, with her technical abilities and her lascivious temperament, is eminently suited.

The other apprentices, initially skeptical about a female engineer, become enthusiastic supporters once they’ve tested her erotic aptitude. The voluptuous Governing Director, and the dashing French journeyman likewise help expand her carnal repertoire. The final decision, however, rests with the reclusive Master Toymaker, who has been missing for nearly two years.

When an unscrupulous nobleman sets up a competing enterprise, he threatens not only the livelihood of the Guild’s members but their lives as well. Gillian hatches an audacious plan to entrap the villain, save the Guild, and leave the absent Master no choice but to grant her heart’s desire.

If you like steam punk erotica with a kinky feminist bent, you'll love The Pornographer's Apprentice.


The Hook

In silence, each woman tried to read the other. Self-discipline and impatience warred in Gillian’s heart. The latter finally triumphed.

She held out her hand. “Good afternoon, Mrs. Featherstone. I’m Gillian Smith. As I believe you already know, I’d like to join your organisation.”

The other woman nodded, without smiling. “Straight to the point, aren’t you?” She gestured toward to one of the brocade-upholstered chairs arrayed in front of the desk. “Please be seated, Miss Smith. I’m Amelia Featherstone, Governing Director of the Toymakers Guild.”

Gillian welcomed the chance to sit. The heat of the woman’s gaze had left her feeling a bit weak. “Thank you, ma’am.” It occurred to her to wonder whether there was a Mr. Featherstone, and if so, how he coped.

Mrs. Featherstone had an interesting rather than beautiful face, with sharply defined cheekbones, a rather square jaw and an aristocratic nose. Her gleaming, near-black hair was woven into an elaborate chignon at the back of her neck, threaded with tiny pearls that matched the ones dangling from her earlobes. Though it showed no more skin than was acceptable even beyond the gates of Randerley, the cut of her dress was daring, drawing attention to her ample curves.

Rather than returning to her seat behind the desk, Mrs. Featherstone claimed a chair opposite Gillian’s. “Now then. Tell me your story. How did you find out about the Guild? And why do you want to become one of us?”

Gillian took a deep breath and tried to calm her racing heart. “I was born in Blackpool,” she began, “the only child of two engineers, Barnaby Smith and Alicia Dorn. Between them, they patented over a hundred inventions.”

The names sound familiar. Weren’t they responsible for the virtual book reader?”

Gillian nodded. “Also the piezoelectric pocket watch and the personal gramophone.”

Oh, my! Your family must have been quite wealthy.”

Alas, my parents’ brilliance did not extend to managing money.” Gillian sighed. “The local schools proving to be an insufficient challenge, I was educated at home. Needless to say, I have a strong grounding in science and mathematics, though my parents did not neglect the humanities. I had intended to apply to university but during my sixteenth year, my parents lost their lives testing their solar-powered airship.”

I believe I read about the accident in The Times. On their way to the South Seas, as I recall.” The Governing Director licked her ripe lips and leaned forward. Her green tartan bodice pulled tight over her generous bust. The lace collar exposed her pale, smooth throat.

Gillian swallowed hard, trying to collect her thoughts. She needed to impress this woman with her knowledge and intelligence. Perhaps Mrs. Featherstone was trying to seduce her. Perhaps this notion was but a product of Gillian’s salacious imagination. Either way, she needed to keep her wits about her until her position in the Guild was secured.

By the time my parents’ creditors had all been paid, I found I was close to penniless. My only option was a position in the household of my father’s brother, a medical doctor, and his second wife. As tutor to their children, I received a small salary as well as access to my uncle’s extensive library and his laboratory. A few months after I arrived, however, my uncle passed away. My aunt by marriage was not at all fond of me. As soon as I reached the age of majority, I left.”

This was of course not the complete history, but there was little to be gained by explaining the messy business with Lyle. Aunt Martha’s son by her first husband, Lyle had hounded Gillian from the first day she arrived. On her nineteenth birthday, motivated by curiosity, ill-advised sympathy and her own clamorous desires, she’d accepted his advances, only to find she’d squandered her virginity on an ignorant and insensitive boor. In his fury at being rejected, he’d accused her of theft and unnatural sexual practices. Of course, the latter charge was in some sense true, if you considered anything other than heterosexual activity to be deviant.

Mrs. Featherstone shook her head. “What an unfortunate tale. Still, you haven’t explained how you discovered the Guild, or why you think yourself suited to the work we do.”

Gillian extracted the catalogue from her holdall. “I found this among Uncle George’s books.”

The Director leafed through the provocative pages, a smile playing on her lips. “Hmm… Yes, the winter 1886 edition was rather spectacular… But an innocent young woman like you must have found our merchandise quite shocking.”

Not at all. You should not make assumptions about my innocence, Mrs. Featherstone.”

You may call me Amelia, if you wish.” The woman flashed a smile that struck Gillian as distinctly predatory. “At least when we are in private.”

Gillian sat up straight and boldly met the older woman’s gaze. “I’ve made good use of the volumes in my uncle’s library, both the technical tomes and the more —artistic titles. My theoretical grounding in carnal matters is as strong as my engineering background.”

In carnal matters, theory alone will rarely suffice.”

Buy Links

Kinky Literature https://www.kinkyliterature.com/book/8424-the-pornographers-apprentice-the-toymakers-guild-book-1/

Amazon UShttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MWMZZGP

Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08MWMZZGP


Barnes and Noblehttps://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-pornographers-apprentice-lisabet-sarai/1138144978?ean=2940164724573


Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55857159-the-pornographer-s-apprentice

Be sure to visit the other authors participating in today’s hop!



Anonymous said...

I have a strong sense of the absurd, and the very idea of Victorian lady saying to a prospective employer, "My theoretical grounding in carnal matters is as strong as my engineering background" tickled my fancy. Yes, I know the Victorian's were big on pornography. Even so, this book promises to be a wild ride! I'll have to pick up a copy.

Janet Lane Walters said...

Interesting bit here. How unVictorian but yet the Victorian flavors what I've read

Personalized Marketing Inc said...

What an interestingly twisting concept!

Today's Posts have been shared on #PMInc's Excerpt & Promotions Facebook Page.


Fiona McGier said...

This was the first steampunk book I read--and I thoroughly enjoyed it! It has your trademark--a joyous expression of open sexuality. Yet it also has a good story. Good excerpt from a great book!

Amber Daulton said...

Steampunk books are so much fun. Throw in a bit of erotica (or a ton), and you got an awesome story.
I love the last line: “In carnal matters, theory alone will rarely suffice.”
Gillian's about to have fun!

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