Straightlaced Saturday — Cornelis Drebbel 22.1

Saturday, December 15 , 2018 

Cover Copper Alchemist Woman n Trousers

It’s Straightlaced Saturday!  Welcome aboard the #SteamPunk train.  Our destination is the northern Pacific coast of the USA, during the Victorian Era.  We’re headed for another episode of Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers.

Back in 2015, the random “three things” for this chapter were provided by John W. Howell at Fiction Favorites.  As some of you might remember, this serial was originally a culinary mystery.  John sent some delicious things to drive the episode.  Consider yourselves warned that reading may give you the munchies. 

Since I know you have a lot of other things to do on the weekend, I’ve divided this rather long chapter.  The third thing will play out on Hidebound Hump Day.

Previously with Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

Chapter 21The alchemist had been using his harmonic tuner on a map, trying to divine the destination of that message-carrying raven (Chapter 18).

When Copper unexpectedly put the second harmonic tuner on the map, there was an accident of alchemy that reached all the way to the hot spring and the washing machine…

Cornelis held out his harmonic tuner.  A faint current of green streamed from the tuner to the washing machine.  It wobbled, gurgled, and creaked.  The wringer started to turn again, the magic pulling the tablecloth on through as we watched.

Alchemically inscribed phosphorescent lettering appeared on the tablecloth.  The Dutchman shined the light on the cloth as it finished rolling from the mangle.  In large glowing green script I read the word aloud, 

“Daddy.”

All aboard!

Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

22.1 — Pistachio, Porcini

Copper curious w-green

Copper

My first thought wasn’t exactly a thought.  All cogitation was clogged in a bottleneck of befuddled ideas.  The first thought that got through the blockage was relief that Copper was up at the pavilion.  It would be awful if the supernaturally printed word, Daddy, got her hopes up for no good reason.

At that point, I wasn’t feeling too optimistic myself, and to be honest, I was losing my sense of trust.  So, that single, magically written word brought out all my suppressed concerns. 

As if it wasn’t bad enough that I experienced occasional twinges of distrust for Ignatius Belle (who turned out to be Copper’s half-brother), it also bothered me that I had begun having doubts about Copper’s father, Calvin Hixon. (Revealed in Chapter 20.)

Granted, if Hixon was abducted, he probably had no chance to leave a warning or a reason.  What if he left of his own accord?  The notion was so awful.  Had he willingly left his daughter with no explanation, and worse left the child on her own?

Other than his unfortunate money situation, Calvin Hixon appeared to be utterly brilliant.  Could the circumstances be more complicated than an abduction?  Did Hixon stand to somehow see a financial gain from the situation?  Could he be involved in his own disappearance?  

Steampunk woman Noel Nichols Unsplash.png

Unsplash

Oh surely not, I told myself.  I’m over-analyzing things.

Most often the simplest answers are the correct ones.  But was running away as simple as being abducted…?  Had Calvin Hixon suddenly run away from his adversaries, perhaps thinking he would lead them away from his daughter, thereby keeping her safe? 

I’m still over-analyzing, I admonished myself.

“Felicity,” I heard my name and realized that Cornelis had called it more than once while I pondered the unpleasant thoughts about Calvin Hixon.

“Do step back,” the alchemist told me.  “Something unexpected might happen,” he said as he reached into that supernatural void through which he sometimes fetched things.

“Unexpected?” I commented sardonically, knowing how often Cornelis’ tricks tended to go awry.

To my surprise he produced the long map we had been looking at on the terrace.  The area on which he had used the harmonic tuner still gave off a greenish glow.  However, the phosphorescent script “Daddy” on the table cloth had begun to dim.  Cornelis noticed the diminished glow with a frown.  Hurriedly he placed the map atop the cloth.

daddy

The Dutchman held up the harmonic tuner and gave it one sharp clear ring. 

The tiny ping of a sound reverberated and grew.  I felt the vibration at the base of my spine.  I could feel the sound spreading outward all around us.  In the distance the big gong in front of the pavilion gave a mighty boom, the volume of which was magically transported into our midst.  I put my hands over my ears, involuntarily squeezing my eyes shut.

Cautiously, I opened one eye.  The map was copied onto the tablecloth.  At first the drawings of topography overlaid the word “Daddy,” but then the script blazed through the map.  The word shone with eye-searing chartreuse light, before stabilizing and dimming to a flat pistachio green. 

Did it mark the location of Copper’s father?

***

Kinkaku-ji Temple Sunset

Kinkaku-ji Temple Sunset

I don’t know if it was a meteorological effect or if it was residual magic from the previous night, but when I got up the next morning, the sky above Alastair Wong’s home blazed with yellow clouds at sunrise.  

No wonder they called it the Golden Pavilion, I thought.

Cornelis said he wanted to get an early start, but judging by the activity of the household staff, I suspected they were always up at that hour.  As I admired the sunrise, the alchemist drove up in the road locomotive.

It didn’t seem like there could be enough room, but Cornelis, Copper, Alastair, and I all managed to get on the road locomotive. 

To my surprise, Victoria, who was so taken with Copper, insisted on coming along.  I wouldn’t have thought one more person, not even a tiny woman like Victoria, could fit on the little steam engine… and she carried a large picnic basket too.  Yet somehow the tiny woman and the big basket managed to fit. 

When I saw the hint of a green aura surrounding the Dutchman, I understood how so many of us managed to get onboard.  One of his tricks of alchemy had made room for everyone.

We would part company with Alastair and Victoria when we reached the Pacific Ocean.  Wong would take the road locomotive back to his pavilion estate for safekeeping, while Copper, the alchemist, and I continued our journey.

I looked a question at the basket Victoria carried.  The night before, all the noise and vibrations from the harmonic tuners had given me a headache — and I still had it.  So I was probably frowning fiercely.  Victoria looked a bit uneasy.Mushroom ad Victorian

“It will be past time for a meal before we reach the ocean.  Copper is a growing girl and must eat,” the tiny woman said with a sharp nod that would have settled any row. 

I tried to reign in my smile at her feistiness, because I truly did take her seriously.

“Besides,” she turned and spoke to Cornelis in a flirtatious tone that took me completely by surprise.  “You will love what I’ve done with the porcini mushrooms you mentioned earlier,” she added, and the Dutchman’s eyebrows shot up to his hairline.

“Ah yes,” the Dutchman sighed.  “Porcini are God’s great gift to humanity, a mushroom delicate enough to flavor a sauce, yet vigorous enough to stand up to a grilled steak.”

Really…, I thought.  Should he encourage the tiny woman by flirting?  And Could Victoria actually be attracted to Cornelis?  The idea seemed not merely imaginative and impractical, but just plain impossible.  I scratched my earlobe as the idea took root.  Then I had the wicked thought that I’d like to see an argument between Victoria and Cornelis.  The Dutchman would surely get his comeuppance.

“What are you smirking about?” Cornelis asked me quietly.

“Oh?  Did I seem to smirk?  It was just a bit of indigestion,” I said with no attempt to hide my expression.

Victoria held tightly to Copper’s hand as the steam engine barreled toward the ocean.  The tiny woman’s eyes were huge with astonishment for the unnatural speed at which we traveled.  However, it was clear that she possessed a fierce determination.  She would not have gone back if the chance was offered.

***

Burrell Road Locomotive

***

Victorian Vernacular

Half-rats:  Partially intoxicated.

Hanging:  Excellent, outstanding.  “Hanging new tie there, old man!”

Hawkshaw:  A detective.

Holy Water:  Said when one intensely hates someone or something.  “He loves him as the Devil likes holy water.”

Hoosegow:  Prison.

***

We’ll finish up the three random things supplied by John W. Howell on Wednesday for Hidebound Hump Day.  Come back to learn where Penne Pasta takes our trio.

I’ll be looking for you at the station on Wednesday.  

Mega hugs! 

***

Now some shameless self-promotion.

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

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USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

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USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

USA:  The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

Amazon UK

 

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 © 2015 and 2018 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.

 

It’s here! DEADLY QUOTES. Escaping Psychiatry 3 by Olga Núñez Miret

Friday, December 14, 2018

DEADLY-QUOTES-OlgaNM

Here’s the latest book in the exciting “Escaping Psychiatry” series by Olga Núñez Miret!

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this next volume in a terrific series. This isn’t just another “psychological thriller” — it’s written by a real-world forensic psychiatrist, and her expertise is clear in the entire series. I pre-ordered it for my Kindle, but got so busy that I forgot the day had finally arrived.

Wishing Olga huge success. Click over and check it out!  Here’s the link to Olga’s launch for Escaping Psychiatry 3 – Deadly Quotes.

Comments are not enabled here, because I encourage you to visit Olga’s site.  Here’s Olga to tell you more:

Deadly Quotes. Escaping Psychiatry 3.

Death by natural causes. That was the official explanation. Until they found the quote.

Killing isn’t as difficult as people think. In fact it can be quite easy.

Was it a novel the dead man had been writing? Was it an eerie suicide note?

Was it murder?

Mary Miller and Leah Deakin, friends and doctors, are not sure there is a case worth investigating, but they are intrigued. Could a serial killer behind bars have orchestrated another killing spree? Can the clues be found in his own autobiography?

The fourth book in the Escaping Psychiatry series sees Mary, psychiatrist, survivor of attempted rape and murder, and amateur crime investigator by default, team up with Leah Deakin, an FBI pathologist, in a case that pitches them against a man who loves to play mortal games. Will they be able to stop him? And at what price?

If you enjoy reading gripping psychological thrillers, prefer strong female protagonists, feel oddly attracted to ultraintelligent and twisted baddies, and can’t get enough of challenging mysteries, you shouldn’t miss this novel.

Discover Mary Miller’s new adventure, and if you’re new to the Escaping Psychiatry series, you can go back and read the prequel Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings, in e-book format without any extra cost.

Links:

https://rxe.me/L5Q26N

https://www.books2read.com/u/b5rGwk

To celebrate Christmas, and in case you fancy a non-Xmasy reading, my new book will be available at $0.99  throughout the holidays. Go on, give yourself present. Or ask Santa.

Thanks for your patience, for reading, and have lots of fun! 

Olga Núñez Miret is a multi talented author.  She also did the Spanish translation of the first book in my “Atonement” series.  I wouldn’t trust anyone else with that task.  For that language I changed the title to Expiación y Magia

Cover Expiación y Magia ― Una Fantasía Urbana

Now, click on over to Olga’s.    Happy reading.  Mega hugs!

Hidebound Hump Day — Cornelis Drebbel 21

Wednesday, December 12 , 2018 

Welcome one and all to another Hidebound Hump Day!  Find your seat on the #SteamPunk train.  We’re headed for another episode of Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers.

Did I mangle the mangle?

Victorian schoolroom

A Victorian Era school room

English is an amazing language.  It’s amazing because with words that have the same spelling as another word but have a different sound and a different meaning and then words that have the same sound as another word but are spelled differently and have a different meaning… Well, it’s a wonder we can communicate with one another at all.

Then we added to the chaos when words came to mean different things depending on the country in which you live…  but of course, that confusion can sometimes be entertaining!

Hugh RobertsBack in 2015, the “three things” for this episode were provided by Hugh Roberts at Hugh’s Views & News.  One of his “random things” (Mangle) sent me to do my research — but that’s the fun part.  Yes, I know.  I’m strange that way about enjoying research.

Hugh writes incredibly imaginative short stories.  He also blogs and tells stories about “everyday life,” which of course are often more interesting than any fiction.  I hope you’ll click over to visit and get to know Hugh. 

Apparently I did mangle the mangle.

Serials really do make for a great “beta read.” I ended up revising this chapter and re-posting because a few people weren’t able to keep up with the magical shenanigans at the end.  Or maybe I should have left it alone…  Maybe when I changed it I belabored the points too much, when some people really just weren’t paying attention.  This will be a chapter for me to carefully consider when I book-ize this story.  I’ll show you my revisions in bold and you can decide for yourself.

Previously with Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

Chapter 20.  Then I suddenly saw what had been there all along.  A resemblance.  Copper’s face was full with youth, while Ignatius had masculine angles, but their features were very much alike.

“They’re related,” I said amazed.  “And closely I’ll wager…?”

“I went to Belle’s office at the Inn, and to his bedroom.  Based on letters Ignatius kept, he is the illegitimate son of Calvin Hixon,” Corenlis revealed.

“So Ignatius is Copper’s half-brother?  Why would she distrust him so?” I thought aloud.

All aboard!

Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

21 — Moustache Cup, Apricot Charlotte, Mangle

 

Asian girl kimono red Pixabay free

Pixabay

The tiny woman, who had shown me to my room when we arrived at the beautiful family estate of Alastair Wong, appeared with a coffee and tea tray.  She had told me she was named Victoria, after the Queen.  She motioned more than asked if I would like more coffee.  Victoria seemed rather excited when she turned to the Dutchman.  At first I thought it was simply because of Mr. Wong’s admiration for the alchemist.  However, it turned out there was a little more to her enthusiasm than that.

“Sir, mayhap you like this cup?” Victoria suggested to Cornelis as she lowered the tray to our table.

Smiling brightly she picked up a teacup with the same pattern as the rest of the dishes, but it was of a slightly different shape.  It must have been specially made to match the rest of the china, and she was obviously both proud of the cup and delighted to have the chance to offer it to a guest.  Inside the cup was a semicircular ledge.  The ledge had a half moon-shaped opening to allow the passage of liquids and to serve as a guard to keep a mustache dry. 

“Look Cornelis!  Why it’s a mustache cup,” I exclaimed.

Cornelis Drebbel had a mustache and a short pointed beard, and bushy blonde eyebrows.  When he was in a playful mood, or a sarcastic mood, he wriggled those eyebrows.

Mustache Cup

Where Sheriff Bullard, back in Copper’s home town, had a very thick mustache — as was the fashion, Cornelis wore his neatly trimmed.  While Bullard would have desperately needed the special cup, it was not as much of an issue for the Dutchman.  However, I gave him a little nudge with my elbow when it looked like he might decline the cup.  With another look at the tiny woman, he seemed to realize that it was important to her.

So Cornelis, bushy brows wriggling flirtatiously, made over the cup and smiled when Victoria filled it with coffee.  The woman was obviously overjoyed to have someone use the cup.  I thought she must have put a lot of effort into having it made.Mustache protectors

A soft chuckle caused me to turn.  Our host, Alastair Wong had come back downstairs.  He carried a large roll of paper.

“I thought you were going to turn in early, my friend,” Cornelis told him.

The tiny woman turned at the sound of Alastair’s voice.  She was still all smiles. 

“I feared that tonight no one would eat dessert — and it turned out so well.  It would have been a shame that you did not get to enjoy it,” Victoria said as she hurried away, presumably to get the dessert.

I gasped when I saw what she brought.  Sticky sweet glazed apricots peeped out from a golden brown cinnamon sugar crust, dusted with white powdered sugar.  When I asked what it was called, she told me proudly that it was an apricot Charlotte.  It was irresistible, so everyone had at least a bite before going back to the reason why Alastair had come back downstairs. 

“So did you find a second wind, as they call it?” Cornelis asked.

Map Columbia River Basin Lg Dams

“It was my intention to retire early,” Wong admitted ruefully.  “However, sleep eluded me.  I couldn’t stop thinking about the raven you told me about — the one that tried to carry a message about your whereabouts.  I kept wondering where it might have been going.  When I realized you were still up, I thought it might be helpful to look at a good, detailed map,” he added and motioned for us to move to a long table where he unrolled the map.

“This is a beautiful work of cartography,” I admired the map, which covered part of California, Oregon, Washington, and southern British Columbia.

“We are here,” Alastair said pointing to a golden dot on the map.  “And I expect you were approximately… here when you were spotted?” he asked, pointing to another location and Cornelis nodded.  “So we know the bird was headed north of that area,” Alastair said motioning in a large circle.

“That covers a lot of ground,” I said in a dejected tone.

“Ah!  Perhaps we can be at least a little more precise,” Cornelis offered.Tiffany Arabesque bell

The alchemist reached into his coat and produced the device that looked like an intricately worked silver bell.  Wong’s eyes widened in obvious recognition.

“The harmonic tuner!” Alastair exclaimed interestedly.  “My grandfather told tales of its magic!  But wait.  It is not going to cause the large gong to sound again is it?  The hour is late, and I wouldn’t want to disturb the household.”

“Neither would I, my friend.  This time the tuner will have a different purpose,” Cornelis said, but I knew how often his tricks didn’t go as planned.

A subtle green aura emanated from the alchemist, alerting me that he was doing one of his tricks.  He turned the harmonic tuner onto its side and rolled it around on the map in the area Wong indicated.

“Where were you going, raven?” the alchemist murmured the question, making it part of the magic he worked.

At his words, the topography on that part of the map blurred and became three dimensional.  Then a part of that area took on a phosphorescent glow.

Dressing gownAlthough mesmerized by the magical transformation of the map, I was vaguely aware of faintly padding footsteps.  I turned to see Copper, wearing a dressing gown and slippers.  She clutched something wrapped in a scarf to her chest.

“Miss Copper,” Alastair Wong addressed her in a playful tone that was likely meant to distract her from what we were doing.  “You needn’t have come down here,” he told the girl and then turned to Cornelis and me somewhat awkwardly.

“I suggested Copper go back to bed when she saw me in the hallway.  I apologize that I made a bit of noise, and she got up to see what the bother was.  Copper I hope I didn’t frighten you, in a strange place, trying to sleep,” Wong told her.  “I said that I was bringing boring grownup things to show you,” he said to us.

The girl must have begun to worry that she was about to get into trouble for leaving her room at so late an hour.  She hadn’t even noticed the phosphorescent glow that meant Cornelis worked his alchemy on the map, but then again, Alastair may have blocked her view.

“Yes, but I had a favorite thing to show you too!” Copper told him, clearly wanting to participate.  “Because you’ve been so nice.  This is my favorite thing that Daddy gave me.”Wise Monkeys statues

Suddenly I realized that Copper held her cherished “mystic monkeys” bell, which her father had given her.  It was an ornate bell with detailed carvings of the fabled three mystic apes — see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil. 

It was also a harmonic tuner.  Yes, a magical implement with powers similar to the tuner Cornelis was using at that very moment.  The night we ran from the Hixon estate, the two harmonic tuners being in close proximity had a profound effect.  The magic the alchemist worked that night went out of control when the other harmonic tuner’s influence became involved.

I glanced at Cornelis for his reaction.  The alchemist was so focused on his trick with the map that I wasn’t sure he had even noticed Copper’s entrance.  He was completely absorbed in his work. 

“What will we find here?” he muttered over the map as he rolled his harmonic tuner across the glowing area, asking the alchemy to show him what or who was in the area of the map that his harmonic tuner touched.

Sessue Hayakawa cigar 1917

Sessue Hayakawa, 1917

“Here it is,” Copper said proudly, and before I could shout a warning, she unceremoniously plopped the second tuner right onto the map on which the alchemist worked his trick.

Once again, the inadvertent influence of the second harmonic tuner had an unpredictable effect on the magic Cornelis was working.  The existing harmonic sound from the Dutchman’s tuner quadrupled.  A varicolored aura made a rainbow around the bells and the map.  The sound seemed to vibrate through the entire world.  Then I felt it inside my throat, and just as before, I couldn’t help wondering if my voice would take on that dual harmonic sound when I spoke.

Alastair must have felt the bizarre sensation as well.  He put his hand to his throat.  The tiny woman dropped her tray to the paved terrace.  Fine china shattered, the sharp noise blending with the harmonic sound.

As I said, the sound seemed to vibrate throughout the entire world.  The magic reached far and wide.  In the distance I heard noises that I couldn’t quite define.  It reminded me of the sound of men scuffling, but it sounded heavier than that.  Then I heard a crash from that area, and I knew it had to be the work of the alchemy gone awry.  The din was followed by clacking and clanging sounds.  The louder noises were enough for me to know the commotion came from the hot spring.  The magic had traveled all the way down there.

Everyone turned at once, ready to race toward the sounds and the runaway magic.  Thankfully I had the presence of mind to tell Copper to stay there.  Even better, with a wise wink the tiny woman took the girl’s hand and led her to the kitchen with the promise of a serving of the apricot Charlotte.  I heaved a sigh of relief and followed Cornelis and Alastair toward the disturbance.

When we reached the hot spring I saw that the door to one of the small gold-painted buildings was off its hinges.  Under the influence of the magic, the wayward alchemically affected the washing machine washing machine had somehow bumped and thumped its way out of the storage building.  It looked as though it had clambered around until it was caught between two maple trees.  Every few seconds it gave a futile bump to the trees.

Kinkaku-ji Temple Sunset

“There’s something in the mangle,” Cornelis muttered, and I was sure that was also the magic at work.

“What’s that you say?  Oh yes, the mangle.  Here they call that part the wringer,” Alastair said absently as he looked in astonishment at the rogue washing machine and the damage it had done.

When the washing machine made its magical escape from the storage building, the washtub had been dragged along by the machine, halfway to the spring.  I remembered the young man putting a tablecloth in the tub to soak.  I suspected that was what hung from the mangle, or wringer — the magic having pulled the cloth into the wringer.  When I cautiously walked over to the still grumbling machine, I found that I was right.

Cornelis held out his harmonic tuner.  A faint magical current of green streamed from the tuner to the washing machine.  That had another effect on the washing machine.  It wobbled, gurgled, and creaked.  The mangle started to supernaturally turn again, pulling the tablecloth on through as we watched.

“All that hubbub and the cloth is not clean,” Alastair said, surprising me with his acerbic wit.

Of course, he had no concern about whether the table cloth was clean.  Rather, he jokingly referred to something he saw, something the enchantment had put onto the cloth.

Laundry washing machine

He was correct, there was something on the tablecloth, but it wasn’t simply dirty.  It looked like writing — phosphorescent writing. 

Cornelis flicked the tuner with his fingernail, causing a faint ting sound and then the tuner cast a bright light like a torch.  The Dutchman shined the light on the cloth as it finished rolling from the mangle. 

A word had been written by the rogue magic that resulted when Copper accidentally added a second harmonic tuner to the magic worked by the alchemist.  It wasn’t something anyone would want to wash away, because it was never part of the laundry.  As I said, that was only Alastair’s wit, a joke.  It was a magically provided clue, resulting from the alchemist’s spell.

In large glowing green script I read the word aloud. 

Daddy.” 

***

Real World Notes

Moustache Cups.  Harvey Adams invented mustache cups in the 1800s.  Adams devised a mustache guard to prevent embarrassing accidents.  Now, I mean things more humiliating than a damp ‘stache.  In the Victorian Era, many men put a lot of effort into their impressive moustaches.  They men waxed or even dyed their moustaches to keep them groomed and curled and looking fashionable.  Also, they drank tea.  That tended to cause the wax to melt, and dye would run.  It was quite embarrassing to the gentlemen.

***

Another “accident of alchemy,” yet we can’t really blame Cornelis.  How could he have expected Copper to interrupt — and with the other harmonic tuner?  Maybe this time it’s a happy accident.  Could the word “Daddy” magically written on the table cloth provide a clue to the whereabouts of Copper’s missing father?

Please come back to the station this weekend.  I’m bringing back Straightlaced Saturdays for the next chapter.  That set of three random things were from John W. Howell.  Guess what “Pistachio, Penne Pasta, and Porcini” will cause.

I’ll be looking for you at the station this weekend.  

Hugs! 

***

Now some shameless self-promotion.

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

Pigs collection cover banner

USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

USA:  The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

Amazon UK

 

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 © 2015 and 2018 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.

 

via Tales from Fraggle Towers

Monday, December 10, 2018

I’m having a Wayne and Garth moment for not realizing the fabulous Fraggle had done a rockin’ review of not just one, but all the Atonement books — at Fraggle’s Other Place.

So, I’m doing an extra post to share it.  I hope you’ll click over and visit both of her exciting blogs. Fraggle Rokin’ a Camera Across the Universe.  Be sure to click over and “toon in” at her place.  Have a great new week!

I can’t resist including a link to a post from Denise too.  She included a review of Atonement, Tennessee with her “Recent Books Read.”  Head over to Author D. L. Finn, because I’m in great company with Vashti Quiroz-Vega, Aaron D. Brinker and Marcia Meara

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone.

A Bloomin’ Barn

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Atonement TN aetna-diner-vintage-postcard-Dan Antion

Image courtesy Dan Antion

When I was ready to publish Atonement in Bloom, blogger extraordinaire Dan Antion did the first ever (as far as we know) fictional Thursday Doors post.  He used doors and buildings from his part of the country that made him think of my quirky fantasy town in Tennessee. 

Recently, with the photos Dan posted for Thursday Doors, he shared more of the images he considered for that Atonement promo post. Among those photos was an old barn that reminded me of a scene from Atonement in Bloom.  Dan gave me permission to use it here.  So, I decided to share another snippet from my latest novel.

Pig Valentine 2

Based on my blog posts, anyone might think my Atonement novels are all about animals.  However, the core of the story is an everyday person whose plate is full with a real world that suddenly seemed full of supernaturals.  The critters are just a side-dish of whimsy.  Their parts are also easier to share in blog posts.  That said, here’s a new excerpt featuring Lilith, the calico cat.  She’s an ordinary cat… but all cats are extraordinary.

Setup.  Lilith got a little too adventurous, sniffing out a magical beast.  Frightened, as any sensible feline would be, she jumped to the nearest hiding spot.  Unfortunately, that spot was the open back of the Fae’s Flowers van.  Soon Gwydion got behind the wheel and the van cruised down the road.  Lilith was so rattled from the magic she had witnessed, that she was afraid to make her presence known.  Besides, Gwydion sounded really angry. Finally the van stopped. 

A Bloomin’ Barn

Central Pennsylvania barn_Dan Antion

Photo by Dan Antion

There were a few cows nearby.  Lilith couldn’t see them but her ears and nose told her about them.  The barn had faded red paint, but it was built on a stone foundation and it had a bright tin roof, so it looked dry and safe.

The calico wondered if she should get out of the van since it had finally stopped.  Maybe she should go to the safe looking barn.  Lilith didn’t like being in the van, but she knew nothing about where she was, except that it would be a very long trot to get home.  Esmeralda would be most upset with her by the time she finally got there… probably sometime the next evening.

She heard Gwydion arguing with men inside the barn. 

“Where is it?” he demanded.  “Where is the mirror?”

Lilith heard Gwydion’s voice clearly.  It seemed unlike him to be harsh, especially not so often.  She missed his lilting flirty voice and wondered what had become of that side of him.  If Gwydion had become so hateful, perhaps she didn’t want to be in the van with him again.

She swished her tail in indecision.  Just as she was about to jump, Lilith became aware that she wasn’t alone.  The old woman stepped up beside her.

blue-hair-Bun Beira Pixabay free

Pixabay

“Hello little heart.  This is a surprise!  You truly are the inquisitive one, aren’t you, to come all the way out here?” Beira the Crone said, and her long lapis-blue braid swung as she leaned down to scratch the cat’s cheek.

In the sunlight her complexion didn’t look quite so blue, just very pale. 

“Never you mind that hotheaded fae.  I’ll see you home.  I have to visit your Sunhold anyway,” she said.

That was when Lilith saw the awful mirror.  She had thought never to see it again.  Lilith hissed and arched her back, hackles rising.

“Now, now.  There’s no need to be that way.  It’s not an evil thing, you know.  It just shows the truth… in one way or another,” Beira said reasonably.  “Well… I have to admit that it can be cryptic and even mischievous, but it’s not altogether malevolent,” the old woman said of the Mirror of Truth and Justice Most Poetic.

The calico wondered why anyone would want the nasty mirror.  She meowed her disapproval at Beira.  Cailleach Bheur seemed to understand.

Lilith and mirror

Dreamstime

The old woman’s eyes narrowed as she paused for thought.  Beira made a tsk sound.

“Taking the mirror from Gwydion will be a small beginning toward settling his debt,” she said.

The comment sounded vengeful to Lilith’s ears.  She tilted her head as she regarded Beira.  The old woman relaxed visibly, seeming to put aside her unkind thoughts.

“Calm yourself and come with me,” she said stroking the calico’s soft fur.  “If it makes you feel better, I’ll get you home so quickly that Esmeralda will never realize you’ve been gone.”

“What do you mean it’s gone?” Gwydon’s irate voice was easily audible.

Beira’s promise, combined with a crash from within the barn and another furious yell from Gwydion was all the persuasion she needed.  Lilith leapt into Beira’s arms.

***

Ah yes, that naughty mirror from “Atonement, Tennessee” came back for a cameo in “Atonement in Bloom,” although its part wasn’t as large.  I expect it will show up again in book three.   

I hope you enjoyed this little detour.  Join me at the station on Wednesday for the next Hidebound Hump Day.  We’ll catch the #SteamPunk train for Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers with Chapter 21. The random “things” driving that episode are Moustache Cup, Apricot Charlotte, Mangle.

I’ll be looking for you at the station.  Mega hugs!

Update:  I love your comments. Forgive me if my replies are short.  This morning I cut two fingers. I’m fine, but the bandages make typing ridiculously difficult.  

***

Now some shameless self-promotion.

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

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USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

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USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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USA:  The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

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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 © 2018 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.

Hidebound Hump Day — Cornelis Drebbel 20

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Steampunk Fish Eugene_Ivanov_2439

Eugene Ivanov, public domain image

Welcome back to Hidebound Hump Day.  Find your seat on the #SteamPunk train.  We’re headed for another episode of Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers. 

Many have been enjoying the imaginative art from Eugene Ivanov.  I found several available as public domain images.  However, this is the last one I have.  It’s been a pleasure to shine a spotlight on his wonderful artwork.  This one is especially appropriate to the story.  That’s because in the 1600s, the real-life Cornelis Drebbel invented the first navigable submarine!

For weeks I’ve been dropping subtle hints about the character Ignatius Belle.  This episode will reveal something about the handsome innkeeper.  But will it add transparency to the tale or will it thicken the plot?  Will it be a reason to trust him?  You’ll have to decide for yourself, because the steam locomotive has reached the platform. 

(This episode is somewhat longer than usual.  You might want to look for a spot to mark your place if you’re pressed for time.  I wouldn’t want you to miss the important revelation.  Wink! )

Previously with Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

Chapter 19.  Previously the Alchemist intercepted a raven carrying a spy’s message about our trio.  Then new/old character Alastair Wong found his way into the story.  Finally we learned the surname of “the Woman in Trousers.”  What will the “things” bring us next?  Let’s find out.

All aboard!

Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

20 — High Button Boots, WashtubCoffee

Kinkaku-ji Sunset

Kinkaku-ji Temple Sunset

I stood on the banks of the crystalline lake and looked at the building in the golden light of evening, its beauty nearly took my breath away.

I explored the grounds of the replica of the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, which Alastair Wong called home.  At first it seemed strange that anyone would build a copy of a Buddhist temple in an out of the way corner of the Pacific coast.  However, for that moment in time, it felt like everything about the place was perfect.

Copper ran down a manicured path that wound through Japanese maples.  Their crimson leaves were a darker shade than the new penny color of her hair.  She wore a yellow frock and high button boots.  I wondered at her change of dress, because I didn’t think those clothes had been in the big flowered carpet bag she packed before we left the Hixon estate on that frightful night.

“Felicity, Felicity!” Copper cried.

Having learned my real name, Felicity Deringer, it was as if Copper couldn’t say it often enough.

“You look fetching in that yellow,” I commented as she skidded to a stop beside me.  “I don’t remember that dress.”

Copper twirled, making the full skirt swing out to a circle.  Apparently she thought that was answer enough.

A tiny woman dressed in a beautiful kimono had showed Copper and me to the rooms that would be ours during our visit.  Copper was fascinated with the woman and she in turn seemed quite taken with the girl.  Perhaps the woman gave her the frock.

Women in the Garden_Monet

Women in the Garden, Monet

“Cornelis asked me to find you,” Copper told me.  “He says it’s time to get dressed for dinner.” 

I still wore the travel stained duster and trousers in which I’d arrived.  In my room I found a brush and used it to clean my clothes as much as I could.  However, I didn’t feel presentable enough for a dinner table… certainly not for the elegant affair I expected Alastair Wong would want to have in honor of Cornelis Drebbel.  Wong seemed to almost idolize the alchemist.  I sighed and followed Copper on the uphill path toward the house.

Copper led me on a circuitous route.  It certainly didn’t lead directly back to the house, but I had no objection to wandering a bit.  Our path crossed another paved walkway and the breeze brought me a burst of humidity and an unexpected scent.  For a moment I thought it was lavender, though I had not seen any growing on the grounds.  Then I recognized it for detergent scented with lavender.1880 Woman laundry

“Do you smell that?” I commented, thinking out loud as I followed my nose down the new path. (If you want to know more about Victorian laundry)

Ahead I saw a row of small but well-kept outbuildings.  They were designed in a similar way to the main house, and were painted a golden yellow.  Moving a few steps closer I saw a hot spring and the steaming pool of water it fed.

An older woman and a young man rolled a washing machine away from the hot spring and into one of the little buildings, apparently finished with their laundry chore.  They had been making good use of the natural water feature.

The young man ran back outside and hurriedly picked up a washtub.  I heard the woman tell him to put the tablecloth in it to soak.  He managed the task in a couple of quick motions.  Then he closed the door to the storage building and ran up the path to catch up with the woman.  I noted she was remarkably spry for her years.

I was tempted to stop and soak my feet in the steaming pool of water.  Actually, a bath in it would have been even better.  Just as I had the thought, I realized that the other two outbuildings might be changing rooms for precisely that purpose.  I expected they were filled with towels and bathing accessories.

Flying man w umbrellaCornelis appeared with a pop sound.

“I might have known you’d find this place,” he commented drolly.  “You’d best come back and change.  We don’t want to offend our host by being late for dinner.  There’s certainly no time for a leisurely bath in a hot spring,” he chided me as if he knew I had been thinking of doing exactly that.

The Dutchman’s tone was mildly annoying to me.  The fact of the matter was he probably meant to irritate me.

“Cornelis, don’t you think I should make an excuse and skip dinner.  I could claim to have the vapors,” I suggested reasonably.

“Don’t be absurd!” the alchemist said indignantly.

“But look at me!” I insisted, spreading my arms to show my rumpled dirty clothes.

Cornelis Drebbel made a little tut-tut noise and shook his head, looking put upon. 

“Well you don’t think I meant you to wear that do you?” he asked drolly, with a wave of his hand toward my grubby attire.  “That’s why you need to hurry back and change.  Honestly… How you underestimate me,” he added with a pout.  Then with a sharp pop he disappeared.

***Navy embroidered Victorian gown

An involuntary gasp escaped my lips. 

“It’s absolutely exquisite!” I said in awe as I picked up the gown.

It was navy blue velvet.  The skirt was heavily embroidered in paisley designs of gold, lavender, and rose, as were the three tiers of the bustle.  A smaller scale of the same pattern was displayed around broad cuffs and a deep neckline.

“Cornelis, where did you…  How did you…”

I sputtered to the alchemist’s delight.  He loved it when he managed to render me speechless.

“Don’t worry,” he said.  “I found it in one of the forgotten crates back at the abandoned church compound.  I popped back to get the crate that was addressed to Alastair,” he explained and I knew he meant his trick of popping or disappearing.

“You moved the entire crate!” I exclaimed.  “It was rather large,” I spoke in concern.

The Dutchman waved away my comment. 

“It’s not as though I carried it on my back.  Besides, all the heavenly bodies were aligned in a most helpful way,” he informed me.

Lady writing letters“Oh,” I said, not understanding a whit.

Suddenly I remembered the love letters we saw in Wong’s open crate.  They mentioned a woman named Phanny.  However, I had not seen a woman at the estate who was likely to be her.  I wondered what had happened to that romance.  I supposed it was not a particularly happy ending if he was there and she was not.

At dinner I learned enough to gather my own conclusions.  Mind you I didn’t come right out and ask.  I do have a few social graces despite my rebellious nature.  Civility and manners are important.  I just can’t abide corsets and bustles.  Even if I did wear a bustle with the lovely embroidered velvet gown…  Didn’t I did mention that I have a weakness for pretty things?  Even so, nothing was going to make me wear a corset.

Union Station Savannah, GA

Union Station, Savannah, GA

However, I digress.  Alastair Wong was a fascinating man.  It was amusing to me that he had a British accent as he sat at the table in a traditional kimono.  It bore what I assumed was his family crest — a white lion.  As it turned out, Wong was born in England.  However, he entertained us with lively stories of his visit to Hong Kong, from whence his family originally came.

“I was surprised to find you back on this coast.  I thought you were in Savannah, on the Atlantic coast,” Cornelis commented casually, and a frown flitted across Alastair’s face.  “Oh my.  Don’t tell me heartache drove you away,” the Dutchman said.

I blushed, feeling Cornelis shouldn’t have brought up such a thing.  I pretended to give my full attention to the beautiful plate in front of me.  We were served an amazing five course meal.

Alastair sighed exaggeratedly, making fun of himself.  He waved it away as if it was nothing, but a deep sadness was reflected in his dark eyes.

“I did come here for a much needed change of scene,” he said, but Cornelis raised a skeptical eyebrow.  “And yes, for a bit of healing.  You’ll remember that I have family here and in San Francisco.  My branch of the family tree adventured to the Atlantic coast.  I suppose I might return there eventually,” he murmured and Cornelis nodded.1903 Girl 2 Horses postcard

“Yes, I fell in love.  It is well accepted for a man to be many years older than his bride, and not criticized.  She was young, this I knew.  However, she had been orphaned.  I did not know at first that a few years before I met her, she had lied about her age to avoid being institutionalized,” Alastair told Cornelis.

Copper gasped.  Our host had just brought up her greatest fear — the orphanage.

“Do you mean they would have put her in an orphanage?” she confirmed, as our host nodded.

“Of course, she was of legal age by the time we fell in love.  Albeit that is still a very young age,” Alastair continued.  “Even at that, she was several years younger than I thought.  But as it turned out, I wasn’t the one who had a problem with it.  I would move heaven and earth for Phanny. Regardless of the wealth and comfort I could offer her, Miss Phanny is a woman with her own mind.  She doesn’t tend to be one who is burdened by the conventions of society, much as I expect you feel,” he said turning to me.

I couldn’t help smiling.  I thought I would like to meet the young Miss Phanny.Victorian courting“So I was surprised and confused that our age difference bothered her so much,” he continued.  “I do have a large extended family in Savannah.  Perhaps that contributed to her discomfort.  Matriarchs can be rather intimidating, particularly to a young woman who is not used to a large family.”

“No doubt,” Cornelis said in a sardonic tone.

I stuck out my foot to kick him under the table.  And he said I  was the one who spoke before I thought.  Really.  He was a fine one to judge.  As usual, he knew what was about to happen, and made his form momentarily lose its solidity.  My foot passed right through him and bumped against his chair.  That also caused me to shift in an awkward movement.

“Are you well, Miss Felicity?” Alastair Wong asked in a concerned voice.

“Just a cramp in my foot,” I replied with a quick glare at Cornelis.

In the chair next to me Copper was nodding off even as she finished her dinner, though she denied it emphatically.  She reminded me that she hadn’t even had dessert.  I felt a little guilty, knowing we adults had talked animatedly throughout dinner.  Dessert would typically have already been served. Copper pensive

I promised Copper she would get her dessert the next day.  Then the same woman who showed us to our rooms when we arrived at the pavilion took Copper up to her room.  The girl smiled brightly at the tiny woman.  I knew the two had connected the moment they met.

“Worry not Copper.  I will make sure they save you some Daofu fa.  It is sweet.  You will like it,” the woman told her as they walked down the hallway.

“My day began at an unusually early hour,” Alastair began and stifled a yawn.  “Also you have had a most trying journey.  I apologize if I have kept you late.  I shall retire now so that you may either go to your evening’s rest, or stroll around the grounds to further relax tight muscles.  Or perhaps you would like dessert served outside, whatever pleases you,” Wong said with a bow and a friendly smile as he left.Mauve teacup Wileman Co 1893

Cornelis poured coffee for the two of us from a silver pot. 

“Shall we take dessert out on the terrace?” he asked.

We moved outside.  The Dutchman held the decorative wrought iron chair as I arranged the dratted skirt and bustle so that I could sit at the little table.  After he took his seat, he looked at me with a very odd expression on his face.

“Cornelis, are you certain you’re well?” I asked in concern.

“Well?  As in healthy?  My dear, it’s not as though I’m alive in the normal sense of the word,” the alchemist replied.

The man was so exasperating. 

“You’ve been acting strangely ever since you popped off to the Hixon estate and did all that poking around,” I reminded him.

The Dutchman produced a leather portfolio.  He opened it and withdrew two sketches.  They were beautifully drawn.

Basil Gill 2“Cornelis, I didn’t realize you were such an artist.  You have true talent,” I said admiringly because I could tell it was true even before I had a good look at the drawings.

“Not so much talent as more than a hundred years to practice.  I drew designs of my inventions, but my hand wasn’t very deft until about a hundred years after…” his voice trailed away and I gathered he didn’t want to be diverted from whatever his subject was.

The sketches were both portraits.  It came as no surprise that one was of Copper.  He had captured her personality perfectly.  However, I was puzzled to see that the other sketch was of Ignatius Belle.  I praised his artistry again, because I couldn’t imagine why he would choose Ignatius, whom he completely distrusted, as his subject.

The alchemist heaved a great long-suffering sigh. 

“Honestly woman, you can be absolutely maddening,” he told me in a droll tone with a sad shake of his head.  “I have given you hint after hint,” he grumbled.Woman tea close

“What?  Do you mean that you’ve been acting so damnably strange because you’ve been trying to manipulate me into seeing something rather than simply telling me?” I asked, and the only thing that kept me from being angry with him was how utterly his manipulation had failed.

It did make me feel foolish too, but I refused to take that bait.  He motioned for me to look at the sketches again.  I looked.  I shrugged.

“Perhaps if I color them,” he muttered and waved his hand.

Magically Copper’s cheeks became rosy in the drawing.  Her eyes became blue.  In the other sketch, Belle’s eyes turned brown.  Then the girl’s hair glowed with coppery red color.  In the other drawing copper highlights came to the hair of Ignatius Belle, then a moment later the brown color followed.

“You’re pointing out the fact that Ignatius has copper highlights in his hair?” I asked feeling befuddled.

Then I suddenly saw what had been there all along.  A resemblance.  Copper’s face was full with youth, while Ignatius had masculine angles, but their features were very much alike.

“They’re related!” I proclaimed amazed.  “And closely I’ll wager.  How did you deduce this, Cornelis?”

grayscale photo of a woman drawing a flowers

Unsplash

“It was the portrait of Calvin Hixon,” he told me, and I realized that I had paid very little attention to the painting, as it was so standard and uninteresting.  “The coloring of the hair was the same as your innkeeper’s.  When I went back, I saw the family resemblances.”

I sipped my coffee as I thought.  “Hixon was youngish in the portrait…  I remember you asking Copper about it.  She indicated that he was much older when she was born,” I commented as assorted bits fell into place.  “But he had no previous marriage…” I started but did not finish my sentence.  “Oh!”

“Yet that’s not to say that Hixon had no other children.  I didn’t just prowl around, as you put it, at Hixon’s estate.  I went to Belle’s office at the Inn, and to his bedroom.  Based on letters Ignatius kept, he is the illegitimate son of Calvin Hixon,” Corenlis revealed.

“He is Copper’s half-brother?  Why would she distrust him so?” I thought aloud.  “Sibling rivalry?”

“It’s highly unlikely that she knows about the relationship,” Cornelis told me.  “In one of the letters Hixon offers to announce it to the community ― that his long-lost son has come home.  Actually, Belle was the one who wanted to keep it a secret.  He was the typically prudish Victorian in that respect.”

“However, Belle practically begged to work with Hixon on his inventions.  I gather that they spent a lot of time tinkering and inventing, at least for a while.  I’m not certain, but something must have soured in the relationship.  I just don’t know what, or how important it was,” Cornelis admitted.

“Ignatius Belle is Copper’s brother… or rather half-brother.  Why didn’t I see it?” I murmured.

Then I cast a withering look at Cornelis to stop him from making any disparaging remarks about me “not thinking efficiently.”

***

Real World Notes

The First Washing Machines.  Early washing machines were operated manually.  They imitated the motion of one’s hand on the washboard, but the machines used a lever to move one curved surface over another, as it rubbed the clothes between two ribbed surfaces. This type of washing machine was patented in the United States in 1846. They continued to be used into the late 1920s.

1900s washing machine, Wikipedia

Victorian Vernacular

Gal-Senaker:  An 1870s term for a man devoted to seduction.

Gas-Pipes:  A term for particularly tight pants.

Gigglemug:  If someone is always smiling, they have a gigglemug.

Got the morbs:  In the 1880s, this phrase meant temporary melancholy.

***

At last!   Yes, that’s what I’ve been hinting at — our dashing innkeeper is Copper’s half-brother!  Although our bricky little moppet doesn’t seem to know it.  Why would Copper dislike him so intensely? 

Jump aboard the steam locomotive again next time with when the “things” were from Hugh’s Views and News.  Guess which of “Moustache Cup, Apricot Charlotte, and Mangle” will create a connection to the blood that links those two characters.

Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers will continue next Wednesday on Hidebound Hump Day.  

I’ll be looking for you at the station.  

Hugs! 

***

Now some shameless self-promotion.

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

Pigs collection cover banner

USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

USA:  The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

Amazon UK

 

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 © 2015 and 2018 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.

 

Straightlaced Saturday — Character Recap — Cornelis Drebbel

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Steampunk eye unsplasy CAWT

Welcome, my chuckaboos!  With promoting the release of Atonement in Bloom, I haven’t done a Straightlaced Saturday in awhile.  Let’s take a little #SteamPunk jaunt today. 

As most of you know, I’ve been rerunning the serial, Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers.  We haven’t reached the halfway point of the story yet.  Damfino why it takes me so long to tell these stories.  Anyhow, I want to keep your enthuzimuzzy going, so I thought we could do a character recap post!

Character Recap

Jamie Murray as Felicity 3

Felicity Deringer

First we met the narrator of this serial, Felicity Deringer aka The Woman in Trousers.  Some readers said they imagine her as a young Katharine Hepburn, but when I started writing this serial I heard the voice and saw the face of Jamie Murray, as she was in her part as H.G. Wells on the Warehouse 13 television show.  Yet no matter what face your imagination gives her, she’s still Felicity.Basil Gill 2

The Woman in Trousers met dashing innkeeper, Ignatius Belle when she arrived in the out-of-the-way little town and took a suite at his hotel, the Belle Inn.

Felicity also met shopkeeper, Mrs. Billie Best, who along with her customer were downright mean to an interesting young girl.

Copper curious w-green

That girl was Copper Hixon.  At Best’s General store Felicity first saw Copper, and intuitively realized the girl was the reason she’d been drawn to the far-flung town.

Cornelis Drebbel

Terrence Mann as Cornelis Drebbel

Then we were introduced to the third titular character, Cornelis Drebbel, the alchemist.  I took him right out of the history books… but altered him with an accident of alchemy.  When I thought of the Cornelis character I could hear the voice of American actor, Terrence Mann, and the wonderfully droll tone he could use to such great effect.

1900 Maid with trayWorking at the Belle Inn was Bitsy the maid.  Felicity was pleased to meet anyone who paid no attention to her unusual attire, like Bitsy. You’d have almost thought the maid already knew about Felicity’s odd way of dressing, that’s how little attention she paid to it.   Cookie_Belle Inn

At the inn there was also Cookie, who of course was the cook.  The Woman in Trousers and Cornelis both were delighted with Cookie’s culinary creations.

Big Mustache Unsplash

When Felicity found Copper at home alone, with an unknown dead man and her father missing, some of the townsfolk were uncannily quick to know that Calvin Hixon was in parts unknown. Those people included Ignatius Belle and Sheriff Alvin Bullard.  I saw the sheriff with a bushy mustache.

With the sheriff were a trio of officials from the place Copper feared most — Merciful Haven Orphanage.  There was the county truant officer, Claude Dinkley, and orphanage owner and all round obnoxious Ethel Farthing, and her long necked sycophant  Gertrude Hobbs.  They all gave of us an unsavory impression, but particularly Ether Farthing.

Victorian Man Collar Gertrude HobbsEthel Farthing

 

Though she tried, Felicity couldn’t prevent the people from the orphanage (and the sheriff) from finding the unknown dead man in (Copper’s father) Calvin Hixon’s study. 

The sheriff arranged for the undertaker to pickup the corpse later — and the wagon driver turned out to be Ignatius Belle who inherited the wagon and that small portion of the undertaker’s duties.  However, when Sheriff Bullard and Ignatius arrived that evening, they found Felicity injured, and the corpse vanished.  Although Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers saw who took it away.

Ignatius Bell wasn’t the only resident of the town to have a dual occupation.  Sheriff Bullard was also part owner in the local mill.

Ignatius Belle is overtly interested in Felicity, but Copper can’t stand him.  Ignatius gave full credit to Cookie and Bitsy for insisting on packing a basket full of wonderful food for him to take to Felicity and Copper.

Naughty Chimps The culprits who took the body were of course the Naughty Chimps.  Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape is responsible for their spontaneous addition to this serial.

Forlanini hydrofoil

Alexander Graham Bell on a hydrofoil, public domain

Our trio also found a letter from Alexander Graham Bell who was interested in Calvin Hixon’s design for a hydrofoil.  Then they found priceless documents written by Leonardo da Vinci secreted inside an owl-shaped lamp.

When three separate groups of villains converged on the Hixon estate (including one with an army of lethal, trained chimpanzees (and a group that seemed to be coming from the direction of the sheriff’s mill), Cornelis was able to fix one of  Hixon’s inventions and they escaped on that road locomotive.  

Burrell Road Locomotive

The road locomotive was such a hit it was practically a character in its own right.  As the trio made their escape one of the chimps kept repeating the same sequence of gestures.  Copper thought the chimp was using sign language to say “Daddy.”

Our heroes hid out at an abandoned church complex with a big building converted to storage and at sometime abandoned.  Within that building they found many interesting and long forgotten items, including a stack of letters that reminded Cornelis of a friend who might be in the general area.

Sessue_Hayakawa

As they eluded the bad guys, they met up with that friend of the alchemist.  He was the grandson of a man who once possessed the skull of Cornelis Drebbel.  That was none other than Alastair Wong — An older version of Alastair the elder had a part in Three Ingredients-2, a Ghost in the Kitchen.  I could see both the elder Alastair and his grandson who had the same name as Japanese actor, Sessue Hayakawa.

Skull Green SIlks

The skull of the alchemist is usually kept in Felicity’s hatbox

While Felicity and Cornelis recovered from head colds at the abandoned place, Ignatius Belle showed up in his paddle steamer, and his interest seemed to have switched from Felicity to Copper.  The Woman in Trousers wondered if he had been using her to get closer to the girl, but she dismissed the thought.  However, as the day progressed Ignatius was just too interested in Copper for comfort. Why was Ignatius so interested in Copper, and how was it that he found them?

Sm Steamboat

Then one group of villains caught up with them. Ignatius insisted on using his paddle steamer to lead the bag guys (and their fierce trained chimpanzee) away.  Meanwhile, Cornelis used one of this “tricks” to hide the trio, but Felicity heard a familiar voice from the leader of that group, and it was a woman. Felicity mentally reviewed all the women she met from Copper’s home town, but wasn’t sure to whom the voice belonged.

Now a little bit of a preview.  The trio made their way to the home of Alastair Wong.  Last time we stopped just before you could meet the tiny woman, Victoria, one of Alastair’s relatives.  The pictured Chinese American movie star, Anna May Wong could be Victoria Wong.  If you’ve kept track of the short stories in the “Pip-verse” you saw a much older version of Victoria Wong meet Pip.  That happened in the short story, Pip Sees a Camel.  

Thanks to everyone for being on the steampunk train!  Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers will continue on Hidebound Hump Day.  I’ll be looking for you at the station.  Hugs!

 

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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.

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