Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Get Lost in a Story by Land, Sea and...Velocipede?

Love on the Run with Detective Lewis 
A road trip romance. 

As most of you know by now, I write historical romantic suspense set in the late Victorian period (1887-1891). At this time, steam travel was in full bloom and electricity was just beginning to light up the streets and stages of London's theater district. Giant steam engines powered trains and ships, people powered bicycles––experimental submarines, and great landships were being designed, built and displayed in at Industrial Expositions. These futuristic machine demonstrations were wildly popular in London, making inventors the rock stars of the day!

In the second book of The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series, (released just yesterday) a number of odd and eccentric inventions have a role to play in this road trip adventure, along with a plot that keeps the hero and heroine on the run...

And just in case you haven't read the blurb for A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis:

When Fanny Greyville-Nugent's father suffers a gruesome death in the clutches of his own machine, mourning his loss is not the beautiful heiress's only heartbreak. Scotland Yard is convinced he was targeted in a plot to halt the rise of industry, and Fanny's former fiancé, dashing and dubious detective Raphael "Rafe" Lewis, has been assigned to the case.

For the estranged ex-lovers, bringing the notorious assassins to justice proves as tumultuous as quelling pent-up desires. Fighting peril and passion at every turn of a dangerous journey from Edinburgh to London, they are pursued by an anarchist group hell-bent on destroying her father's mysterious entry into the London Industrial Exposition.

When an astonishing discovery about the couple's failed engagement surfaces, the sleuthing duo realize they can trust no one. Rafe confesses new details about his infidelity and Fanny risks all to avenge her father's murder. But will Rafe and Fanny triumph over the pain of their past?

Here's a link for: FREE CHAPTER READ

Part of the fun of this story is that Fanny and Rafe travel in an assortment of steampunk machines as they are pursued by her would-be abductors from Edinburgh to London, these conveyances include trains, velocipedes, a landship and a submersible. Without being a spoiler, I’d love to share a few factoids about these turn of these late Victorian vehicles:

By 1887, the network of trains and train tracks crisscrossing Britain was comprehensive, but disjointed. Because the railroads were built and owned by private investment syndicates, there wasn’t much standardization. The train track gauges were different, requiring locomotives and cars to be custom built for each section of privately owned railway. And since one railroad company couldn’t use another’s tracks, this also might require passengers to change trains along the route to their destination. Railroad investment syndicates often went bankrupt, sometimes before the new route was even finished. On the upside? Rail speed. In A DANGEROUS LIAISON WITH DETECTIVE LEWIS, Rafe boards the early train in London and arrives in Edinburgh in time for a funeral in the afternoon.


According to Wikipedia, velocipede is an umbrella term for any human-powered land vehicle with one or more wheels. The most common type of velocipede is the bicycle. At one point in their escape, Fanny and Rafe use bicycles to put a bit of distance between themselves and their pursuers.


This highly experimental, prototype of a pedrail landship plays an interesting part in the novel, helping to get Fanny and Rafe from Edinburgh to Glasgow. Sorry I can’t be any more specific about this giant war engine’s role in the novel, but I can tell you that these landships were the precursors to the tank and were first put to use in World War I.


One of the more colorful supporting characters in A DANGEROUS LIAISON WITH DETECTIVE LEWIS, in an inventor who joins Fanny and Rafe in their increasingly perilous journey to London. One of his inventions is a three man submersible that he plans on entering in the London Industrial Exposition. The sub plays a key role in the story, but alas, that is all I can say. My lips are sealed.

I wrote A DANGEROUS LIAISION WITH DETECTIVE LEWIS to be a suspenseful page turner with a hero who has a lot to prove and make up for––and a heroine who is up for both the romance and the road trip. As a film student, I studied all of Alfred Hitchcock’s work and I particularly admire the suspense films: Rear Window, North by Northwest, and To Catch a Thief. Thrills, chills, adventure––perhaps there’s a mystery to uncover, or a villain to capture, but at the story’s core, there is always a romance.

Question for commenters: What is your favorite Steampunk vehicle––land, sea or air? I have a signed  copy of A DANGEROUS LIAISON WITH DETECTIVE LEWIS for one lucky commenter today, chosen at random.

Twitter: @gJillianStone

Purchase links:
The Book Depository  

***Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America  addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.


  1. They all look pretty cool but especially the submersible. Thankfully it fits three people so I won't feel too alone :)


    1. Hello Na,

      I had to do quite a bit of research on the history of submersibles to write the scenes in the novel. I will say there are some harrowing moments on the sub but I don't want to be a spoiler!

  2. Thanks for the pics of the vehicles. I'll visualize them as I read ADLwDL - it's already been downloaded to my Kindle app. I really loved AAwMK. Bring on Inspector Bruce and Agent Gunn!

    winnie968 at yahoo dot com

    1. Hi Winnie P,

      It does help to have a picture in your head, especially with the pedrail landship, which was the precursor first tank. Some of these early vehicles are straight-out of Jules Verne novel/steampunk novel!

      Thanks, Winnie and I do hope you enjoy ADLwDL. ;)

  3. i have not read steampunk yet, but i'm prefer air, the faster transportation :)

    1. Hi Eli Yanti,

      For air travel you have to wait for A PRIVATE DUEL WITH AGENT GUNN (coming this November) but I do believe you will enjoy the road trip with Rafe and Fanny.

  4. I like the Steampunk air vehicle although they all look fun

    and yes, I really want to win this book.

    1. Tammy,

      Thanks for stopping by. I think airship travel would be so cool, even today!

  5. I like the Velocipede, that looks neat.

    1. Hi Ingeborg,

      During the late Victorian era, bicycles of all types were a huge rage. I'd love to try pedaling some of those odd contraptions!

  6. I would pick landship. It just would be so cool.

    1. Hi Melody May,

      Me too. I'd love to sit up in the gun turret and spin around. Especially if I was sitting on Rafe's lap. Lol!

  7. I think I'd be stuck in an open carriage. Closing me inside one of those things, well, it wouldn't be pretty. And what's the fun riding next to someone if you aren't really NEXT to them (by Velocipede).

    I knew this would be a great post, Jillian !!

    1. Hi Angi,

      Actually, there is some carriage travel in the novel. The horse and buggy was still the most popular way to travel around town well into the twentieth century.

  8. Some type of plane


  9. bn 100,

    Planes don't really get off the ground (!) until after the turn of the century, but I think you might like a ride in an airship.

  10. All I can say is that landship looks dangerous. I think I'd like to take a ride on a Velocipede. That looks like fun. Or maybe a balloon ride. I know they had some sort of hot air balloons back then. Don't know if they were tethered or free to fly!

    1. DUH...Forgot my email....

      kareninnc at gmail dot com

  11. I've been wanting to try some steampunk, and these look like fun books. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Everyone needs a Q do they not? Q will always in my mind be the epitome of crazy inventor or awesome spy gadgets.
    How about a blimp? Does that count? A Zephyr? I think that would be my mode of choice, of course then I am up in the a sitting duck. hmmm...

  13. I think that the landship would be fund to drive around in. It would also be entertaining to watch peoples' reactions.

    I'm really loving the Steampunk novels.

    dpd333 (at) aol dot com

  14. I'm liking the train. Something about riding the rails, LOL....

    seytype at hotmail dot com

  15. Congratulations to Melody May, You've won a signed copy of A DANGEROUS LIAISON WITH DETECTIVE LEWIS! You will be hearing from me soon!