What is your favorite line or paragraph? (GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY)

What is your favorite line or paragraph? Why?

Heart of Brass by KJ Kabza
"He led her down the Long Hall, turning ever inward like the path of a nautilus shell, each subsequent leg shorter than the last. One right turn, and past the door to The Locomotive; another right turn, and past The Ouroboros; one final turn, to face a hallway that held no doors at all--save for one, on the right, at the end."
I was trying to evoke a sense of mystery and possibility here, with an undercurrent of ominousness. Why have a hallway that spirals inward? What's behind all those other doors? What's behind that final door? Why hide it inside such an architectural peculiarity? I was the one who wrote this passage, but I still wish I could go to this physical space and experience the eeriness firsthand.

The Facts in the Case of Miss Casimir by M.E. Litman
I have a hard time picking out a favorite part of my writing because I’m always such a harsh critic of my own work. But I always enjoy writing somewhat repressed characters who are just discovering their own sexuality, so Mr. Dalman’s guilty dream about Ms. Casimir is a part I particularly liked.

Lady Sally and the Automaton Horse by Slave Nano
“She noticed Lord Melchiot ogling her magnificent bust as she leaned over him with the sugar tongs. “One lump, or two?” she asked.”
I like this because it neatly captures the spirit of the character. There’s a comic element to Lady Sally; she’s aware of her assets, and knows how to use them! She is flamboyant and over the top; balancing the humour you can draw from this with the dominatrix side of her persona, which has her always coming out on top, is what defines her and, from the author’s point of view, makes her such a fun character to write.

Heat, Steam, and the Vital Machine by Alex Douglas
I love the last paragraph because I could sit on a beach and watch sunrise after sunrise and never get bored of seeing it, so there’s always something magical about a new day. Imagine what it would be like if you’d never seen it before.

The Most Perfect Sin by Slave Nano
“And doth it not follow, therefore, that God is in my cock and that God is in your cunt? And when my tail is stiff, is that not godly? For whatsoever is done with the spirit of God inside us, is that not good and godly? And when a prick doth penetrate a quim, are we not rejoicing in God’s love? For doth God not love his children unreservedly, sinning as well as praying. Indeed, art those most perfect which doth commit the greatest sin with least remorse!”
This paragraph is my favourite because it puts the Ranter argument so directly. It also sets up the premise for the rest of the story, which is whether Tobias Coppe, my Ranter preacher, can successfully use this argument to seduce the chaste Puritan maiden, Chastity Clarkson. Of course, the title of the story is drawn from the last line of this paragraph and is actually a direct quote from a Ranter pamphlet.

Infernal Machine by Elizabeth Schechter
“Gently, I eased my tool into the opening, easing my way down the tight passage. I made sure to restrain myself, knowing that as eager as I was, I might damage something if I simply rushed in. Instead I moved deliberately, seeking the treasures hidden within....”
That's the opening paragraph, and it is hands-down my favorite, just because it's not what you think.

Clockwork Dolls by R.W. Whitefield
I'm very pleased with the first two lines, where the reader is introduced to the idea of Mundus and the motif of Londinium Novum--a shining brass gear (suggested a planned, technocratic society) set onto a jeweler's case of green velvet (suggesting the ostentation and perfectionism of the society). Even before I started this particular story, it was very much a part of my steampunk world.


About the Book

Of Passion and Steam: Affairs of a Curious and Sordid Nature

Herein you will discover, presented for your amusement and edification, a varied and unique assortment of tales to awaken the senses and tantalize the imagination. In your very hands, or perhaps within your pocket analytical engine, you hold twelve tales of desire and adventure, the contents of which include but are not limited to desire outside matrimonial bounds, the miracles of modern medicine, theatrical pursuits both on and off the stage, and forbidden love across lines of class and propriety!

Within the pages of this volume are heroes and villains, lovers both requited and not, all seeking their satisfaction amid the smoke and mysteries and miraculous automata of the age of Passion and Steam!


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