2 August 2021

[Blog Tour] 'Steampunk Cleopatra' By Thaddeus Thomas #HistoricalFantasy

'Steampunk Cleopatra' - Tour Banner

The Book:

Steampunk Cleopatra
By Thaddeus Thomas
  • Publication Date: 21st May 2021
  • Publisher: Independently Published
  • Page Length: 419 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fantasy

The Blurb:

Amani, a companion of Cleopatra, seeks to rediscover Egypt's suppressed science and history. She is the beloved of her princess become queen, but that may not be enough to overcome the system they've inherited. If she fails, her country and Cleopatra, both, could fall. History meets fantasy, and together, they create something new. Experience an intelligent thriller about star-crossed lovers and an ancient science that might have been.

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'Steampunk Cleopatra' - Front Cover

'Steampunk Cleopatra' - Excerpt:

Amani had sailed for Rome in early spring, north to the straight of Messana, where the snotgreen sea wedged itself between Sicily and the tip of the Italian peninsula. There, Dio and Theodotus had stood with her, admiring the coasts on either side.

“Have you read of the Roman siege of Syracuse, when it was still a Greek colony?” she asked.

Both men said they had not. Amani assumed they were lying, but if they offered lies in kindness, she would accept them.

“Archimedes held off their ships with a weapon that could set a ship ablaze from 300 cubits,” she said.

“Why don’t we have such machines now?” Dio asked.

“When the Romans finally took Syracuse, they killed Archimedes,” she said. “Many tried to guess how the weapon operated, but none of their designs ever worked.”

“How do you think it operated?” Theodotus asked.

Amani looked at him, and now, it was her turn to lie. “I don’t know.”

There was some truth in that. She felt certain they had added water to a heated metal cannon and the resulting steam fired a large ceramic projectile. On impact, the projectile released the mysterious Greek Fire, which consumed entire ships and even burned underwater. What Greek Fire was, no one knew.

In Messana, the breakwaters curled north, like a mother's arm, and they sought permission to harbor a few days. The city sent out supplies and an uneasy welcome. They would be better off to hurry along the last days of the journey and reach Ostia before the weather turned.

The skies showed no signs of ill-fortune. The leaders conferred with the captain and agreed to press on. They followed the coast and reached Ostia, a giant port at the mouth of the Tiber River. Tugboats guided them to the quay.

The city's ordered buildings shone clean and white. Amani almost felt safe as they awaited inspection. Two weeks had passed since they left Alexandria. Another day's journey by land would take them to Rome.

They spent that night in proper beds, free of the movement of the water and the sound of tortured wood.

Amani rose early, and she and Dio sat outside the city, staring off at the green hills and the roads. One would soon take them away to Rome.

“I need to ask something that may offend you,” she said.

Dio took a sip of wine and set down his chunk of bread. “At my age, I'm not easily offended.”

“I owe you. Don't think I've forgotten.”

“I won't.”

“You've eaten with Ptolemy,” she said.

“I have.”

“You've laughed with him and paid him homage, and now you travel to Rome as his accuser. I don't understand.”

“I haven't come to accuse him but to defend our people and our Pharaoh against his accusations. We are all here for one reason, to save our lives. Each of us has transitioned into the power structure under Berenice. Whether it’s her or her father who wears the crown, someone must care for Alexandria and run Egypt. The work continues without him, but he will see our care as treason.”

She wanted to argue against his reasoning, but could not. Instead, she nodded and ate her grapes, and they sat in silence as weightless clouds soared above the endless green. It was a wholly different beauty, and she wondered if she would ever see Egypt again.

Author Bio:

Thaddeus Thomas lives on the Mississippi River with his wife and three cats. Steampunk Cleopatra is his first novel, but he has a short story collection available at his website, ThaddeusThomas.com. There he also runs a book club where readers can receive indie book reviews and recommendation. His second book—Detective, 26 AD—releases July 9th and follows Doubting Thomas as he is conscripted to be an investigator for Pontius Pilate.

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[Blog Tour] 'Steampunk Cleopatra' By Thaddeus Thomas #HistoricalFantasy
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