Book Title: Peacemaker (Sharps & Springfield #1)
Author: Morgan Brice
Publisher: Darkwind Press
Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor Design
Release Date: March 25, 2023
Genre: Steampunk MM romance
Tropes: Secret agents, co-workers to lovers, forced proximity, hurt/comfort, mistaken identity
Themes: Learning to love again, taking a chance on love
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 249 pages
It is a standalone book and the first in a new series. It does not end on a cliffhanger.
Secret agents, forbidden love, danger, and magic!
Supernatural Secret Service agents Owen Sharps and Calvin Springfield meet on the train to their new assignment in St. Louis, and sparks fly between them. But it’s 1897, and they need to be very careful—falling in love can be dangerous for men like them.
It’s their first case together, investigating mysterious disappearances—including the two agents who preceded them. Grim evidence leads them to look for a darker purpose. Old ghosts haunt the railroad line, zombie rise, signs point to ritual sacrifice, and they suspect someone is trying to open the gates of hell.
Can Calvin and Owen stop the mayhem, thwart the vampires, and find true love, or will everything go up in smoke?
Peacemaker is a high-stakes steampunk MM romance thrill ride filled with found family, paranormal Pinkertons, intrepid reporters, mysterious disappearances, nefarious land brokers, hellhounds, zombies, vengeful spirits, dark spells, absinthe magic, a ruthless vampire railroad baron and a love that won’t be denied.
Before Colt and Winchester, there was Sharps & Springfield!
Five random facts about the book/series.
- The book is set in 1897, the same year that Dracula is published, and Owen is enjoying reading the new bestseller.
- Fancy private passenger railroad cars, called Pullman Cars after the company that made them, were the private jets of their day. They could be very elaborate and extremely comfortable.
- The TV show Wild Wild West was a favorite of mine and a definite influence, except that my MCs are *together*.
- ‘Sharps’ and ‘Springfield’ are brands of rifles.
- Several side characters also show up in a big way in the Iron & Blood/Storm & Fury series written under our Gail Z. Martin & Larry N. Martin name. Sharps and Springfield is set in the same fictional world and there will continue to be overlap.
What is your advice for new writers?
- Don’t give up. It always takes longer than you expect.
- Make friends with other writers. Be allies, not competitors.
- Always keep learning—new software, new promotional techniques, new ways to write better, etc. There’s always something you can benefit from learning.
- Do good research. Your readers will know if you get details wrong.
- Invest in a good editor. Everyone needs to be edited.
Owen Sharps chuckled as he read his book on the train to St. Louis. He had been waiting to get a copy of Dracula, the sensational new book from England, and had found one in a New Pittsburgh bookstore before heading to the station.
It’s got flair, and I like how splashy Van Helsing is, but it’s obvious Stoker never fought a real vampire.
Owen had heard about the book and its growing reputation for being frightening and violent. So far nothing he’s written compares to being covered in blood in an ice-cold cemetery at midnight, hammering a stake through a vampire’s heart, and trying not to get bitten. Then again, maybe I have a skewed perspective.
“Pardon me, is this seat taken?” A drop-dead gorgeous man waited for an answer. He had raven black hair, bright blue eyes, and plush lips that filled Owen with impure thoughts. The stranger carried a suitcase and an overcoat, with a newspaper folded under his arm. Owen took one look and would have booted his granny to the cargo car to free up the seat for the man.
“It’s all yours.” Owen gave a dismissive wave, tearing his gaze away so he’d quit staring. It wouldn’t do to drool.
“I think this might be the last open seat on the train.” The man stowed his suitcase and coat, settling in across from Owen with his newspaper.
Owen couldn’t help giving him the once-over. He figured the man to be slightly shorter than his own six-foot-two inches, and from the cut of his suit jacket, he had a trim, muscular build. Owen made a mental note to be sure to get a glimpse of what was likely a prime ass when they left the train.
“Where are you headed?” Owen thought that a little conversation couldn’t hurt. He wanted to remember the man’s voice to go with his image on nights when he sought relief alone with his hand. This fellow would never know he’d been promoted to the lead in Owen’s secret fantasies. Owen particularly liked the contrast between the man’s dark hair and athletic body to his own rangy build, blond hair, fair skin, and green eyes.
“St. Louis.” The man returned Owen’s scrutiny with an assessing gaze.
Owen sat up a bit straighter, oddly wanting to make a good impression on this person he was unlikely to see again. He felt the weight of the man’s inspection, which made him wonder. Is he a cop? Private investigator? Or maybe…like me?
They were both dressed equally well in suits that were department store quality but not bespoke. The stranger’s hair was fairly short but more fashionable than military, and he was clean-shaven. Owen wondered what a hint of dark stubble might do to heighten those high cheekbones and accentuate the impossibly blue eyes, and he felt himself chub in his pants.
None of that, he admonished silently. It wouldn’t do to raise suspicion. He probably just wants to make sure I’m not the sort to steal his suitcase when he’s not looking.
“I’m headed there myself,” Owen said. “Business or pleasure?”
The man looked amused at the question but not annoyed, which boded well. “Business. You?”
Owen nodded, surprised that he wanted to continue the conversa- tion instead of returning to his book. “The same. I’ve heard the food there is good, but I doubt I’ll have time to do any exploring.” He found himself at ease with the stranger. “Will you be staying in the city, or going on from there?”
“I’ll meet with my boss, but I spend most of my time traveling,” the fellow replied. “I don’t get to stay long in any one place.”
So we have that in common too. Makes it unlikely that we might meet up again the next time I come back to St. Louis. “Me, too. I’m a bit of a rolling stone.”
About the Author
Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.
On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.
Series include Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!
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