BY FIRE ABOVE –
Josette stepped to the rail next to him, resting her hands on it. She stood there so long that he had to ask, “Let me guess: you’re calculating how much luftgas we could purchase for the cost of running those lights?”
She swallowed and shook her head. “No,” she said, just loud enough to be heard over the steamjack and airscrews. “Only looking at them. It is a goddamn waste—you’re right about that—but it’s also quite beautiful.”
He began to laugh, until she silenced him with a glare. “My apologies,” he said. “But this is so unexpected. I’m proud of you.”
“I am capable of appreciating beauty,” she said harshly, “when leisure permits.”
He struck a pose and ran his fingers through his hair. “And yet you can’t seem to appreciate the beauty that’s right in front of you.” He undid a button on his jacket. “Won’t you come to my berth, when leisure permits, so that we may appreciate my beauty together?”
He was only trying to make her blush, of course, but by the light of the quicklime it was clear he hadn’t succeeded. She stood watching the ground for a while, before finally asking, “Are you clipped on quite securely, Bernie?”
He glanced at the clip connecting his harness to the overhead jack line. “Well, yes, why do you—” That was all he managed to say before she gave him a quick shove that sent him tumbling over the rail. He fell a short but harrowing couple of feet before the jack line caught him short and hung him by the shoulders, a hundred feed over the ground.
He looked up to see Josette leaning over the railing. She shot him a rare smile and said, “It would be selfish of me to not share your beauty with the entire city.”
BY FIRE ABOVE by Robyn Bennis
By Fire Above is the rip-roaring new adventure in Robyn Bennis’s Signal Airship military fantasy series that Patricia Briggs hails as “full of sass and terrific characters.”
“All’s fair in love and war”; according to airship captain Josette Dupre, until her hometown of Durum becomes occupied by the enemy and her mother a prisoner of war. Then it becomes “nothing fair except bombing those Vins to high hell”. Before she can rescue her town, however, Josette must maneuver her way through the nest of overstuffed vipers that make up Garnia’s military and royal leaders in order to drum up support. The foppish and mostly tolerated Mistral crew member Lord Bernat steps in to advise her, along with his very attractive older brother.
Between noble scheming, under-trained recruits, and supply shortages, Josette and the crew of the Mistral figure out a way to return to Durum—only to discover that when the homefront turns into the frontlines, things are more dangerous than they seem.
About Robyn Bennis:
Robyn Bennis has done research and development involving human gene expression, neural connectomics, cancer diagnostics, rapid flu testing, gene synthesis, genome sequencing, and systems integration. She wrote most of The Guns Above within sight of Hangar One at Moffett Airfield, which was once the West Coast home to one of America’s largest airships, the USS Macon. She currently resides in Madison, WI, where she has one cat, two careers, and an apartment full of dreams.
You can find her online at according2robyn.blogspot.com or on Twitter at @According2Robyn.
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