Today I am so pleased to welcome Katey Hawthorne to Joyfully Jay. Katey has come to talk to us about her latest release, Alchemiya. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Thanks so much for having me at Joyfully Jay again! Today I’ve got an excerpt from my new book, Alchemiya. It’s a sort of historical fantasy, a Regency aesthetic tempered with alchemy and intrigue–and cute girls kissing, obviously. One of the girls, Olivia Plumtree, has been masquerading as a boy to keep the family estate and alchemical secrets out of the hands of grasping relatives, and to make sure her sisters get her due. Luckily, she meets Eugenia Ratna, our hero, who Liv thinks she can finally tell her secrets… And Eugenia is pleased to find out “Lord Oliver”s truth, needless to say.
Olivia chuffed out a laugh and leaned back in her chair. “I haven’t the luxury of affairs, I fear. I feel it disingenuous of me to start such a thing with a person who doesn’t know my truth. And so few can, for the sake of those I love. Indeed, for my own sake.”
Eugenia frowned. “What business is it of anyone’s what’s between your legs?”
“Were I a man misgendered at birth, I might agree. I have several friends who struggle with society thus, who’ve been kind enough to open my eyes by sharing their stories with me,” Olivia said. “I, on the other hand, am masquerading as a man, which is quite another thing.”
She had a point, and even if she hadn’t, it wasn’t for Eugenia to comment. So she only said, “A handsome, rich man, at that.”
Olivia smirked. “Just so.”
Eugenia laughed and took a drink from her tiny port glass. Something was shifting between them now. The truth of Olivia’s gender hadn’t created an attraction in itself, so much as Olivia’s resourcefulness, wit, and adaptability in taking care of her family made her an even more fascinating personality than Eugenia had thought Oliver.
And that was attractive. So Eugenia asked, “But you do truly like women?”
Olivia’s smirk remained, and she arched an eyebrow. “I do.”
“Do you find me attractive?” Eugenia asked.
Eugenia took Olivia’s hand again and pulled her nearer. “Then why not kiss me anyhow?”
Olivia flushed. It enhanced her prettiness greatly. “I wanted to tell you—”
“And now you’ve told me.”
Olivia’s eyes went wide. “You mean…?” Remarkable how she went from the most capable, charming young buck about town to this unguarded show of innocence.
Eugenia simply had to have her. “I do.”
Olivia blinked quickly for a moment, then hesitated…and leaned forward.
Eugenia met her halfway. Their lips pressed together, warm and soft and tasting of port. Olivia stilled for a heartbeat, as if surprised. Eugenia turned her head slightly, which seemed to snap Olivia out of it. She melted into the kiss, her lips parting under Eugenia’s, then sliding against them. Eugenia lifted one hand to trace the contours of Olivia’s high cheekbones, the structure that gave her such sharp prettiness, all the way back to her ear. Then she ruffled Olivia’s pale hair before sliding her fingers into it and getting a good grip.
Olivia made a soft sound of pleasure at that, and her tongue curled upward, the tip tracing the edge of Eugenia’s front teeth. Still a touch uncertain, but eager now and very willing.
Eugenia felt a rush that was more than lust—or even newfound affection. There was something delicious about introducing a novice to the fine art of lovemaking, something both powerful and sweet that delighted her above all other things. Never before, however, had she had the opportunity to educate and care for a woman with Olivia Plumtree’s depth and intellect.
She was going to enjoy this as much as Olivia would allow. She broke off their kiss and whispered, “Oh, Olivia. I want you.”
“Liv, please.” She sighed. “Call me Liv.”
“A much simpler name to moan,” Eugenia said with a laugh. She shoved Olivia’s coat off, then placed one hand at Liv’s side, and sure enough, a thin corset was evident beneath Liv’s manly waistcoat and shirt. It would be too complicated for their current situation—corsets and public pleasure didn’t mix, as she’d learned to her own (and Lydia Cremona’s) great disadvantage. She focused instead on the trousers, undoing them easily enough.
“I’ve—” Liv was cut off by a sudden gasp as Eugenia bit at her earlobe playfully. After a breathless chuckle, Liv went on, “I’ve never done—done anything.”
“Not even to yourself?” Eugenia whispered directly into her ear.
“Well…” Another laugh from Olivia. “Some.”
“Good,” Eugenia said, yanking the last of the buttons on Liv’s trousers open. “You can tell me what you like and don’t.”
“Right here?” Olivia didn’t sound at all opposed, merely surprised again.
“Right.” Eugenia took her hand from Liv’s hair to pull out her elaborately careless cravat. “Here.”
Liv apparently didn’t feel the need to argue. She merely sighed heavily and leaned back against the buffet.
Eugenia reached around to clear some space, knocking over a half-full glass of claret in the process. “Oh, damn! Leave it. We’ll worry later.” She shoved Liv’s trousers down around her thighs, revealing equally manly smallclothes. Eugenia slipped her thigh—skirts and all—between Liv’s. They were hard and muscled from riding and sport, as her trousers had revealed well enough, and they squeezed around Eugenia’s. Liv’s hips rocked forward too, struggling for more friction between her legs, and Eugenia aligned herself with the movement. Liv’s sudden breathlessness seemed contagious; her puffs of hot air on Eugenia’s neck sent pleasure bumps down her side and caused a melting sensation in her underthings.
She tugged at Liv’s drawers “Can I…?”
Liv nodded. “What… What will you do?”
“What would you like?” Eugenia pulled back enough to look Liv in the eye. Her pale skin was flushed pink, her cropped hair awry, her pupils blown. She looked good enough to eat.
Which was why it was particularly nice that she replied, “What you like. Show me.”
“Dessert, then.” Eugenia dropped Liv’s smallclothes, then put both hands at Liv’s waist and lifted.
Liv helped, kicking aside her discarded clothing and hopping up onto the buffet. Her long, hard thighs were creamy pale against the dark wood, the cleft between her legs hidden by her shirttails. Eugenia leaned in, trailing the fingers of each hand up a hard thigh toward their intersection. She leaned in and caught Liv’s delicious mouth with hers again, a deep kiss from the start.
Liv wrapped her legs around Eugenia’s middle, pulling her in close, and twined her arms about Eugenia’s neck. “Eugenia…” she mumbled when they came up for air. “It’s a long name.”
“Genie, if you like,” Eugenia admitted. No one called her that but her family, and in truth it annoyed her…but she might like to hear it from Olivia’s lips. At least as a trial.
“Genie. How apt.” And before she could explain that, Liv renewed their kiss.
Eugenia was born to privilege in the Ratna clan, nobility famed for their alchemical jewel production. Eugenia’s a talented alchemist herself—but the patriarchy insists her less able brother is the heir to the family secrets and property. As if that weren’t insult enough, an accidentally public tryst with another woman means Genie is shunned by polite society altogether.
Enter the gorgeous Lord Oliver Plumtree, scion of one of the oldest alchemical families in Chrysopoeia and master of the foreboding Waldgrave Abbey. But Lord Oliver is actually Olivia, and on the lookout for a wife—one who requires an escape from the same crushing social mores that have forced Olivia to masquerade as her own long-dead brother to keep her family’s estate intact.
Genie and Liv seem a perfect match from the get-go, and things heat up quickly between them. But before they can carry off their marriage of convenience, Waldgrave Abbey reveals more secrets. Jealous Plumtree relatives and Liv’s association with the Secret Society of Alchemiya, rumored to be a dark and sinister arm of the patriarchy, might just ruin Genie and Liv’s chance at their unlikely happily ever after.
Katey Hawthorne is an avid reader and writer of superpowered and paranormal romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.) Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with her family, two cats, and one very large puppy. In her spare time she enjoys travel, comic books, B-movies, loud music, video games, Epiphones, and Bushmills. Her favorite causes include animal rescue and bisexual representation in media. She is an unashamed fangirl and collects nerdy tattoos like she’s trying to prove it.
Katey has brought a $5 gift card to Loose Id, Amazon, or All Romance eBooks to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Thursday, September 15th at 11:59 pm EST.
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