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Smoke and Fears, a Gaslight Fantasy (Smoke and.... Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Laura VanArendonk Baugh
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99
 
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Book Description

"I found myself entranced"
"...engaging characters moving about in a world that is surprisingly vivid for a short story"


Marsden cannot remember his real name, nor how he came to be a valet for the schoolboy son of a powerful magician. Phantom wisps of incense and narrow glimpses of memory are all he has, until he chances upon a family secret which only compounds intrigue. What might his young master Abel know of his amnesia? What binds him to the Wensleys? And why does he, a simple valet, know fragments of magic?



A short story of gaslamp fantasy and historical mystery in the Victorian age. Click the Look Inside feature on the top left hand of the page to see what adventure awaits!



Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Lovers of historical mysteries and gaslamp fantasy or gaslight mysteries will appreciate this tale of an amnesiac serving as valet at an English boarding school. His need to know his identity drives him to research the family he serves, but the answers he finds lead only to more questions. And then a discovery in his young master's room forces a decision, and they cannot turn back from a plot which threatens the whole of Great Britain herself.
  
A dash of historical fantasy, a pinch of steampunk, mixed up with mystery.

From the Back Cover

Victorian fantasy young adult

Product Details

  • File Size: 899 KB
  • Print Length: 29 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Æclipse Press (August 23, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EU9AWMI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #823,237 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes me want more! :) September 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an extremely short book that pulled me in surprisingly quickly, and when it ended I found myself wanting more of the story, to learn what next happens to these characters. That to me is one of the signs of a good book -- that you're involved enough with the characters that you don't want it to end.

A mystery is present from the first page: The main character doesn't know who he is or why he's where he is. Baugh writes well, gradually revealing aspects of this book's world so that you find yourself knowing more and more about it without any of the information ever having been handed to you on a platter, so to speak.

If a follow-up book featuring these characters were to become available [hint, hint!], I'd buy it. :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Want more of this world December 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
The main character is named James Marsden, though he is known as Marsden throughout the story, so I imagined the actor in the role.

Well-written but too short! I'd like to see more of this world and the characters!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent short story! September 29, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a fun read! I was drawn in instantly and loved the feel of this story and the characters. My only complaint is that it ended far too soon....which is not a fair complaint as this had to be a Short story to be in compliance with the rules of the contest the author entered. So read and enjoy....I look forward to more from this author!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Quick Read September 13, 2013
By Sarah
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this story. I enjoyed the mystery of what was happening in the book as well as the characters. A very well written story that left me wanting more! I will definitely check out more books by this author!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lot of fun packed into a little story. September 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Marsden and Abel are engaging characters moving about in a world that is surprisingly vivid for a short story. I'm left feeling satisfied with ending yet curious about how they got into this predicament as well as what they will be up to next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fantasy August 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great little short story. I do not normally read fantasy but this one was very good and I will be looking forward to reading more books by this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric and tightly-plotted gaslight fantasy August 29, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
From the moment we meet Marsden, reeling from a lungful of smoke and unable to remember his own name, I found myself entranced. While this was written, edited, and published in 8 hours for the 8-Hour Ebook Challenge, I wouldn't have guessed it from the writing.

What really makes this ebook is the atmosphere. Allowing for the length, there is still a rich amount of description and world-building here. The characters are realistic and believable within their strict class structure. And the ending was something I didn't see coming.

Fans of the Mairelon the Magician books by Patricia C. Wrede will enjoy this story.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Need to clear away the smoke April 11, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
All through this story I kept trying to understand why it felt like train starting and stopping or sitting at a stop sign with a passenger saying, “Go! Stop. Go! Stop.” The questions was answered in the end. This book was written in eight hours and it reads like it.

Look, I’ll give credit where credit is due, but the competition is over, so, my suggestion is, go back and rewrite this mess.

It holds an interesting premise of magic and family secrets, but until it’s thoroughly fleshed out, it’s a good draft.

Two Stars.
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More About the Author

Laura was born at a very early age and never looked back. She overcame childhood deficiencies of having been born without teeth or developed motor skills, and by the time she matured into a recognizable adult she had become a behavior analyst, an internationally-recognized and award-winning animal trainer, a popular costumer/cosplayer, a chocolate addict, and of course a writer. Find her at www.LauraVanArendonkBaugh.com


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