The Delta Pearl 74: Stare — & DoW Cover Reveal

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Welcome, my chuckaboos. I hope everyone is safe and well.  The Delta Pearl is back.  Today we have the penultimate episode.  Or at least I think we do… you never really know around here.

The steampunk riverboat awaits. 

All aboard!

The Delta Pearl

Chapter 74 — Stare

Steampunk eye clock broken shattered Kellepics Pixabay
Kellepics at Pixabay

Hand firmly clasped over my mouth, I stared in shock at the woman as Malachite’s words came back to me.

“She is exquisite, no?” Malachite remarked in a Cajun accent.  “Cécile Pere, mambo extraordinaire.  A Voodoo queen of unsurpassed skill and beauty.”

My scream escaped in a yip when the leopard slowly came up beside her.  Blue John Boulton hung across the back of the largest clockwork I had ever seen.  The dragging sound was from his feet.

Blue let go of the leopard and sank to the floor.  Cécile Perle immediately turned her attention to the Mate.  Her back was to me as she fussed worriedly over the injured man.

I had only glimpsed her face.  I told myself that I was overwrought, that it was my imagination.  The face I thought I had seen couldn’t possibly have been real.

“Émeraude, don’t let Cécile use her powers on me.  It’s better that I die here and now.  I don’t want that kind of unnatural life,” Blue gasped out the plea.

Cécile let out a horrified sob at his words.

“Now, now, cher.  It’s not so bad as all that.  Just a little gris-gris to keep you going?  The Delta Pearl, she needs you,” Cécile told him in a soothing voice. 

“Gee-Peh, mon chaton,” the woman began.  “Help me get Blue John back into hiding.”

Tipu's Tiger, Automaton, 1795 Wikipedia
Tipu’s Tiger, Automaton, 1795 Wikipedia

If I had not been so overwhelmed by all the extraordinary things that I had seen in such a short time, I would have been amused.  Cécile used a pet name for the leopard that meant “my kitten.”

Also, she had named the huge clockwork Gee-Peh, for the sound he made, rather than for the gems that decorated him, as was customary for the mechanical creatures.  Then I realized the name would have been taken.  The clockwork jungle cat had inlay of leopard jasper.  The Dealer’s name was Jaspe, which meant jasper.

Suddenly I shivered with a suspicion that would haunt me, unanswered for the rest of my days.  However, in that moment I knew that everything I had seen up in the Geostrophic Pearl airship was more deeply, intricately connected to the Delta Pearl than I wanted to admit.

Bracing myself for what I would behold, I waited for a clear, rational look at the woman’s face.  I wouldn’t let fear cloud my vision again.

However, my resolve was interrupted by soft mechanical sounds — the rustling of wings, the soft clicks of tiny metal feet, the quiet turning of hundreds of gears.  Small shadows darted about the room.

“No,” Blue John insisted as he pulled himself to his feet, leaning heavily on the leopard for support.  “I’m done with hiding.  I’ll face Malachite here and now.  I said I would take him to hell with me, and I meant it.”

The Voodoo queen’s back was to me as she stood.  She shook her head sadly at Blue.  Her shoulders sagged and she muttered Cajun words that I didn’t understand.  Then with palms facing upward, she held out both hands.

“Come to me my pets,” Cécile murmured as Peridot fluttered from her hand up to her breast where a brooch would be pinned.

From out of the shadows, clockwork creatures of every shape imaginable moved toward her.  A ruby encrusted scorpion, a gold grasshopper, and a jade gecko, hurried forward and crawled into her hands.

“Onyx!” I gasped as the Captain’s owl flew to land on the woman’s shoulder.

His little top hat was askew when his brass head turned backwards to look at me.  The black onyx eyes blinked at me once.  Then the owl tilted his head and winked at me.

Clockwork creatures continued to emerge from corners and hidden crannies.  A silver swan, a citrine bumble bee, and a sapphire bluebird flew to perch on Cécile’s outstretched arms.  A moonstone monkey, a rainbow fluorite rabbit, a small rose quartz kangaroo, and a gold grasshopper hopped to stand beside the mambo.  Soft clicks and whirs from dozens of other clockworks filled the room.

The Voodoo queen turned toward the empty hallway.  Light flashed off the cheval mirror.  A tall thin man in a green pinstripe tuxedo was in the reflection.  Malachite.  He was coming closer.

“I fear it is too late for hiding,” Cécile murmured.  “He comes.”

Then she turned to face me.  That time I really did scream.

***

End Chapter 74

***

If you want to know more about Tipu’s Tiger, click here

Sorry if that ends on a bit of déjà vu.  All I can say is…

Cover Reveal

Dead of Winter: Journey 6, The Fluting Fell

The Delta Pearl is not the only place where I leave characters dangling.  Dead of Winter: Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls ended with a whopper of a cliffhanger.  Those of you who are part of the Journeys will be glad to know that I’m hard at work, finalizing the June issue.  Here’s the cover.

Dead of Winter: Journey 6, The Fluting Fell b cover and book y Teagan Riordain Geneviene
Dead of Winter: Journey 6, The Fluting Fell

Dead of Winter — The Journeys

If you said you didn’t want to read Dead of Winter until there were several installments available, well…  Emlyn, the Deae Matres, and company would love to make your acquaintance.  Also, Journey 5 ends on a true cliffhanger.

The First Five Journeys of Dead of Winter
The First Five Journeys

Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls has a new review from author D. L. Finn,  You can learn more D. L. (Denise) here.

Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09431TD6G

Paperback:  relinks.me/B0942KC471

Journey 4, The Old Road

Kindle:  relinks.me/B092G5LB7R

Paperback:  relinks.me/B092M51Y88

Journey 3, the Fever Field

Kindle: elinks.me/B08XTNZ9M8 

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08XXY3JXF

Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 3, the Fever Field eBook by Teagan Riordain Geneviene – 1230004609599 | Rakuten Kobo United States

Journey 2, Penllyn

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08VMNSF97

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08VLMR2KD

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dead-of-winter-journey-2-penllyn

Journey 1, Forlorn Peak

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08RBBVRGX

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08R7RH4F5

Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak eBook by Teagan Geneviene – 1230004446033 | Rakuten Kobo United States

.

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This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2016 and 2021 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved. 

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 


88 thoughts on “The Delta Pearl 74: Stare — & DoW Cover Reveal

  1. Even though you did it again, I loved this episode. I loved the image you gave me of the voodoo queen with all the creatures coming to her, while we have the suspense of Malachite’s arrival and still not knowing what made Emeraude scream!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! What a scene this was! I love all the clockwork creatures and was immediately enamored with the Voodoo Queen. I do hope Blue John will survive for I fear the Delta Queen needs him too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kirt. Onyx has always been the Captain’s owl and his little spy… Although Malachite made all the clockworks (except crazy horse Cal), so is he winking because he’s a sassy little brat? Or because he’s been up there spying? We’ll know more next time. Have a wonderful week, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome aboard The Delta Pearl, Kamal! I’m happy you enjoyed this chapter. Thanks so much about the Dead of Winter cover. I’m enjoying the challenge presented by needing to make a cover for each monthly “Journey”.
      I love Abba. Even though I’m terribly uncoordinated, when they sang Dancing Queen, I felt like I actually could dance. 😀 LOL. Hugs on the wing.

      Like

  3. I can see by the comments that your readers are as impressed as I am by your story and exciting progress into stories and words. Keep up this original writing–I also like the design of your book six! ! !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Ms. Frances. This particular serial is a rewrite of a novel that didn’t satisfy me. I have used “random things” from readers anywhere I could. Engaging the reader that way adds a lot to the story and the writing experience. It also draws in the reader, makes them feel a degree of ownership.
      After the Delta Pearl, my next serial will go the way of my very first one. I’ll let “reader things” inspire, prompt and drive every aspect of the story, from the genre to the characters to the plot. “Pantsering” (flying by the seat of my pants) to the hilt. 😀
      Thank you for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Like

  4. Wow! This is one heck of an exciting episode, Teagan!
    I feel we are getting near the end.
    Your newest book cover for the DOW series is lovely. The entire collection is looking marvellous!
    {{{hugs}}}

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Robbie. I was fun to imagine all the clockworks. Just one or two (still not sure) episodes to go. I appreciate your feedback on the cover. There was a bit of serendipity in me finding elements for the cover that are part of Journey 6. LOL, pulling those elements together was not easy though. I’m glad to know it works for you. I tried hard to not obsess with it, and keep going, because there are so many other things required to keep the monthly issues on schedule. I appreciate you reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love your covers, Teagan. I am using my new one as inspiration and am half way through the first novel now. I think I have a title but I am testing it with my Beta partner first. I loved Journey 4 and my review is up. I will share to my blog this week.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks so much, Robbie. Working with images has been a great help to me emotionally, so I’m absolutely thrilled when they can give a little inspiration. Some titles come at the inception of the story — others need the ending before they make themselves known. You’ll know the right title when it comes.
          It means a lot to me that you are part of the Journeys of Dead of Winter. I can’t wait to see your review of the fourth issue. Have a wonderful new week, my chuckaboo!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you love Journey 5, Diana. It’s different from the others, with the way it starts. Journey 6 is different too… in a different way. LOL, and I’m working on the finale for this story… I think my head might explode. I’m happy you liked the clockwork scene. It was fun to write. Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Nothing wrong with that at all, Diana. I think most everyone would agree that is ideal.
          But in my “real world” job, I never got to do that. In one job (the most hectic) that I held for 5 years before moving to DC, I was lead writer/editor for software manuals (and the newsletter, and presentations for the CIO, and… the kitchen sink), but I also had to manage the manuals and so track the life cycle of the software itself. There were nearly 100 software packages, with *potentially* 66 active at one time, and about 35 that had documentation in progress. There were always multiple projects going in DC too, but fortunately not to such a degree. Anyhow, after training myself to work and think that way, I don’t think I’m *able* to work on one project at at time. No wonder I can’t focus. LOL. Hugs on the wing.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, this is dang exciting, Teagan, and I’m eager to read the conclusion of what happens to Emeraude, the Delta Pearl and the rest of the humans and creatures. Hanging on for another week…
    Sending hugs and purrs and happy Saturday wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A great new cover, Teagan! This sequel of the Delta Pearl happenings is fantastic. Like a vulcano, as someone had commentent. Thank you for sharing, and have a beautiful weekend in “the high desert” (like i had read somewhere). Is Crystal now a “High desert cat”? 😉 Hugsx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michael, it’s great to see you. I’m happy you enjoyed this chapter. And many thanks about the cover for the June issue of Dead of Winter.
      Yes — most (maybe all) of New Mexico is considered high desert because of the altitude and dryness. Before I moved to DC, Crystal was actually born to a “teenage mom” (cat) in a colony of feral cats in a very bad part of town, south of Albuquerque. She and her mom were rescued when Crystal was only a few days old. (The rescue group was keeping an eye on them.) So Crystal has actually always been a high desert cat. 🐱 Now we are much farther south than where she was born, but I think she likes it here.
      Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. O. M. G. !! This is like a volcano ready to erupt. I’m convinced Emeraude sees herself when she looks at the Voodoo queen. I believe it’s her mother. I also believe all the clockwork critters are going to save the day and banish Malachite and his ilk forever.

    Of course, my friend, you are just crazy enough that this whole thing is a dream that
    Emeraude hasn’t woken up from yet!
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Teagan, I felt so many emotions as I read this episode. I don’t know what or who to worry about most. Stuck in an airborne prison with clockwork creatures, a voodoo queen and Malachite. How can things be worse? More important, how can things get better? Does Onyx know? They do get better…right?

    As for Dead of Winter, I am one of those who did not wait. I jumped on Journey #1, because I knew it would be good. I am thrilled at the prospect of the 6th Journey being released soon. I love the cover!

    It seems as if you’ve been working hard. I hope you get a chance to rest this weekend.

    PS, I reread this for typos and my iPad had turned “6th Journey” into “goth journey”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! Now I want to write a Goth story, Dan! Although not for Dead of Winter. Thank you for everything in this comment. You always inspire me to write more of the story.
      I’m not sure about the rest happening, but thanks for the good wish.
      I believe you have something special happening at the “No Facilities” bar today? Be sure to come back with a link.
      Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Teagan goes goth! Ha, I look forward to that. You’ve got so much going on, it makes my head spin.

        Gwen is visiting at the bar today. Skippy is pumping her full of scotch as we speak.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. haha, while reading, the song, “Hail, Hail, The Gang’s All Here” started going through my head. Clockwork and ‘human’ alike are coming together for a grand finale!! Great work, Teagan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. I’ve known what the climactic scene is for some time, GP. However, the ending has been uncertain. Suddenly, as I read your comment, what I needed to do popped into my head. I just made over 1,000 words of very rough notes. I’m not sure whether that will make just one more episode or two. I hope the finale really is grand. 🙂 Thanks for being an important part of The Delta Pearl, my chuckaboo!

      Like

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