Genres: Steampunk, Young Adult
Time Weaver: Heart of Cogs
(Time Collector #1)
Publication date: February 21st 2017
Genres: Steampunk, Supernatural, Young Adult
I have a clock for a heart…and the man who put it there tried to take it out.
Time Collectors are modern day genies capable of exchanging wishes for time. Elizabeth Wicker lives within a steampunk world riddled with the supernatural. Among the stories of witches, Bacts, and other monsters, Time Collectors remain as the greatest hushed secret among the noble families. They are temptation’s greatest tools. A contract with a Time Collector is a guaranteed death sentence, and for some the price isn’t worth the prize. But when Elizabeth is struck down by a fatal heart attack, she finds herself trapped beneath a Time Collector’s blade. With no time left to offer, she makes a desperate sacrifice for a second chance at life. If there’s only one truth, it is a Time Collector will always come back to collect.
Elizabeth wandered back to her room, her fingers teasing the paper in her pocket. Her mind raced. The fabric of her reality pulled at the seams, opening new possibilities she hadn’t considered before. Was it possible? The question grew fat on her tongue. She darted down the west wing hallway and opened the door into her bedroom. A voice stopped her from taking another step.
“It’s rude to touch other people’s things.” She jumped and clenched her hands to her chest.
A lone figure stood by her bedroom window, hands clasped behind his back while he stared out toward the garden. He cocked his head over his shoulder, bearing into her a set of deep, golden-brown eyes.
She whispered, “It’s you.”
As still as stone, the man merely stood there, eyes bearing into her face as Elizabeth slowly stepped up to him. He was taller than her by at least two feet, enough that his head tilted toward his chest to keep eye contact. His fierce eyes sparked in his concentration, looking beyond her into her most private thoughts.
“We haven’t been introduced yet. My name is Elizabeth Blackmore.” She extended her hand, which he didn’t take.
“Klaus,” he answered shortly. “But I am not here to talk. You have taken something of mine.” He indicated toward Elizabeth’s pockets. There was definitely some sort of presence in the room, stirring the air with static. Even without moving a muscle, Elizabeth felt herself being pulled into him.
“Klaus,” She repeated his name. “If you’re not busy this afternoon, I would love to sit down and chat with you over tea? I don’t want us to get off on the wrong foot. Doctor Wicker has been keeping your presence here a secret…it makes a girl wonder.”
The muscles in his jaw tightened as he clenched to keep his mouth shut. Every moment sitting under his gaze felt exhausting; his mere presence sucked all the life out of the room. When he didn’t speak, Elizabeth pulled the paper out from her pocket.
She unfolded it to have one last look, reassuring herself it was the same blade from her memory. “You have so many books about this thing. What is it?”
“A tool,” he answered.
Elizabeth twisted her lips. “What type of tool? It doesn’t look much like the kitchen blades I’ve seen. Is it a decorative piece?”
“Nein,” he answered again, just as blankly.
Elizabeth turned the paper in her hands, running a finger along the outline of the blade. “What are those books? Are they children’s stories? It spoke about a creature they refer to as a Time Collector—”
“They are just stories.” His voice carried a thick foreign accent that slurred his speech.
Elizabeth dared to take another step forward, closing the gap between them. A thousand things tore through her at once. The loudest thought left a sense of unease, replaying William’s words of warning. There was something unnatural about Klaus, but she couldn’t pinpoint what. It was in the way he slanted his chin and how his eyes tightened before he spoke. He watched with a chilling stillness. Carefully calculating.
She licked her lips. “Why are you so interested in something out of a story book?”
Klaus’ eyes sharpened; perhaps she was walking into territory he didn’t want to explore. “Because I hunt them.”
Her heart squeezed in both excitement and dread. The biggest question still burned on her tongue, what are Time Collectors? But she was unable to form the words. “So, they are real? Time Collectors exist?”
His chin dropped as a small smile pressed dimples into his cheeks. “Absolutely.” Overhead, the lights flickered, causing Elizabeth to jerk her head up. When she glanced back down, Klaus now held the piece of paper. She glanced at her hands, noticing they were empty.
“How did you-?”
“It was nice speaking to you, Miss Wicker.” He moved toward the door before glancing briefly back at her. “But I must warn you; the next time you feel the urge to touch my things I won’t be so kind.” He stepped back into the hall and disappeared.
Born in Melbourne Australia, Jacinta Maree considers herself a chocoholic with an obsession with dragons and Japan. Published in 2012 to USA publisher Staccato Publishing, Jacinta writes a variety of genres from YA paranormal, steampunk, horror and fantasy. Winner of 2014 Horror of the year and best selling author, Jacinta writes to answer all of her absurd questions and to explore themes and characters not often seen in main media.
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