One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to settle into a cozy chair with a good book. Increasingly, that good book is on my Kindle. From what I’ve seen that’s also true of many of my readers. Because of that, it’s with great pleasure that I announce that my wild west steampunk adventure novel Owl Dance is now available for Kindle at: Amazon.com
Owl Dance is set in 1876. Sheriff Ramon Morales of Socorro, New Mexico, meets a beguiling woman named Fatemeh Karimi, who is looking to make a new start after escaping the oppression of her homeland. When an ancient life form called Legion comes to Earth, they are pulled into a series of events that will change the history of the world as we know it. In their journeys, Ramon and Fatemeh encounter mad inventors, dangerous outlaws and pirates. Their resources are Ramon’s fast draw and Fatemeh’s uncanny ability to communicate with owls. The question is, will that be enough to save them when airships from Czarist Russia invade the United States?
In honor of the holidays and the novel’s Kindle release, I thought it would be fun to share a Christmas excerpt from Owl Dance. This scene finds Ramon and Fatemeh in San Francisco.
Ramon returned to the room he shared with Fatemeh late on Christmas Eve. Fatemeh noticed that he was wearing a new pair of glasses. Like his old pair, they were round and gave his face an owlish appearance. He held his hands behind his back. Fatemeh stood and wrapped her arms around Ramon, but was surprised when he didn’t return the embrace. “What’s the matter?”
“Nothing.” Ramon’s voice held a sly edge.
“It looks like you were successful in finding new glasses.”
Ramon smiled. “Yes, these are even better than the old ones.” He shrugged. “The optometrist thinks my eyes have been getting a little worse.”
“That’s too bad.” Fatemeh returned to her chair.
“However, I did have enough money left over to get you something.” He brought his arms out from behind his back. In his hand was a narrow box, about eight inches long. “Merry Christmas!” Just then he pulled the box back. “Do Bahá’ís celebrate Christmas?”
“Not normally,” said Fatemeh, “but as I’ve said, we respect the teachings of Jesus. I’m happy to celebrate his birth with you, Ramon.” She held out her hand and Ramon handed her the box. She opened it and saw a necklace. Adorning it was a hand-carved wooden bead in the shape of an owl.
“I bought the necklace. I carved the owl myself, though.”
“It’s very sweet.” Fatemeh smiled and put the necklace on. She stood and kissed Ramon, but held his hands as they parted. “How is our money doing?”
“I think I can find a job, but it’s not going to pay much,” admitted Ramon. “We could stay here about six more days and I could keep looking, or we could move on.”
“I like the idea of moving on.” Fatemeh returned to her chair. “I really didn’t like the reception we had on our first day and it’s loud here, even late at night.” She looked out the window at a saloon across the street.
“Where would you like to go?”
She pulled out a map and set it on the small table between the room’s two chairs. “What do you know about Los Angeles?”
“It’s a small town. There’s some farms and some industrial work.” Ramon shrugged.
“What does Los Angeles mean?”
“It means ‘belonging to the angels,’ The name’s short for something like town of the queen of angels.”
“Sounds lovely. Can we leave tomorrow?”
Ramon laughed. “Tomorrow’s Christmas. I doubt the trains are even running. What about the next day?”
“That sounds perfect.” Fatemeh put her hand to the new necklace. “I’m afraid I didn’t get you a present. What else do people do on Christmas?”
“We sing songs.” Ramon sat in the empty chair next to Fatemeh.
“Teach me a Christmas song worthy of the angels, Ramon.”
I have a special present for all of my readers this week. Follow me on Twitter (@davidleesummers) and keep an eye out for the Five Days of Owl Dance starting on Christmas Day.
In the meantime, I wish you Happy Holidays and a Terrific New Year!