Parts of this scene made it into the final novel, but not quite in this form. In this scene, Penelope learns to try things she never thought she would before.
“Whiskey?” Ruth held the bottle up invitingly.
Penelope let out a startled laugh. “Oh, no thank you.”
Confusion furrowed Ruth’s brow. “No whiskey?”
“I couldn’t. I don’t—”
“You don’t what?” Byrdie leaned around Ruth to peer at Penelope. “Don’t drink?”
“Well, of course, I have wine sometimes with dinner,” she demurred.
“Of course,” Vera parroted.
“You ever tried whiskey?” Ruth pushed, seeming honestly confused by the fact that someone wouldn’t want a drink.
“I bet your father drinks it,” Byrdie said.
“Well, yes.” And Cullen, but she wouldn’t say that.
“So why not you?”
“Because I’m a . . .”
Mell grinned, kicking at her foot again under the table. “A what? A librarian? A postal employee? A teetotaler?”
“A woman,” Penelope huffed.
“Ah, now.” Mell held up a finger. “We don’t take that as a reason for not doing anything around here. If you don’t like the taste of whiskey, or you just ain’t thirsty, that’s one thing. But being a woman has nothing to do with having a drink.”
“And,” she continued pointedly, before Penelope could open her mouth. “We don’t hold with the word ‘ladylike’ around here, neither.”
No surprise there. More than half of the women around the table were wearing trousers, and everyone but Penelope had a tumbler of whiskey at her elbow.
It certainly wasn’t ladylike to drink whiskey. Poor women, hard off the failing ranches, drank it down like their menfolk, but women like Penelope never did.
But why not? Class? Sex? They didn’t seem like very good reasons at the moment, surrounded by these perplexing, incredible, dangerous, generous women—they were prostitutes, farm hands, truck drivers, and they weren’t really any different than bankers’ daughters. Not in the grand scheme of things.
“All right. Just a little!” Penelope said over the whoops of approval. Ruth upended the bottle over her glass, sloshing out far more than ‘just a little’ of the amber liquid.
Title: The Persephone Star by Jamie Sullivan
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Steampunk/Gaslamp, Sci-Fi, Gay, Romance
Length: 200 pages/Word Count: 53,000
Love looks different from a thousand feet up.
Postmistress Penelope Moser has recently settled with her father in the Wild West town of Fortuna. Shocked by the violence around her and the depressing lives of the town’s women, she throws herself into her job. She’s determined to make the best of it before she has to marry the odious town sheriff.
But when the Persephone Star is spotted in the territory, danger literally hits close to home. Its captain—the famed outlaw Mirage Currier—is fresh out of prison and gunning for revenge on Penelope’s fiancé for locking her up and sentencing her sister to death. Penelope’s pleas to avoid violence are ignored, and a bloody showdown seems inevitable. That is, until Penelope is kidnapped and held hostage on the Star.
Shockingly, Penelope finds intrigue rather than danger in the air. Mirage’s reputation as a hardened criminal doesn’t fit with the Star’s vibrant young captain whose only goal is to save her sister from the gallows. With her sympathies shifting, Penelope must decide whether to remain loyal to her father and the man she promised to marry, or face an uncertain future with an enthralling outlaw.
(Note: This is a revised second edition, originally published elsewhere.)
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Jamie Sullivan has been writing for what feels like her entire life – her parents’ attic is full of notebooks brimming with early attempts at fiction. She’s found her stride, however, in romance. She’s happy experimenting with genre, and has written supernatural, science fiction, and realist stories.
To celebrate this release, one lucky person will win a $10 gift card to Riptide! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 15, 2020. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. For more chances to enter, follow the tour and don’t forget to leave your contact info!