June 21, 2015

Steampunk Sundays: Hand of Miriam by Eva Gordon

Hand of Miriam, a Bayla and the Golem Novel

Eva Gordon
Steampunk Fantasy
December 6, 2013

On an archaeological expedition, Bayla Gideon, is widowed by a supernatural force and branded with the Hand of Miriam or Knowing Eye. Threatened by evil, she awakens the golem; a mythical man of clay, who protected the Jewish community over three centuries ago.

The golem, Gesher, is surprised. Freedom –by a beautiful, enchanting woman. His desire is to return to the celestial spheres and regain his status as an avenging angel. Yet, Bayla challenges his mind, body and soul. Would he risk his return to the heavens for her?

Besides, dealing with the otherkind, mad inventors and an unrelenting matchmaking aunt, Bayla is equally determined to resist her steamy attraction to the striking fallen angel. Thrust into a malevolent war, which includes facing Jack the Ripper, they must resist the magnetic pull toward each other, while protecting the world from encroaching evil.

Bayla unlocked the Gemmatridon and held it as instructed. The talismans on the cover shifted into gears that twisted in rapid circles, and buzzed like irate bees while emitting light. Startled, she fumbled with it. The box opened. Inside was a small parchment. The instructions dictated that it be placed in the golem’s mouth. She carefully removed the ancient scroll and with trembling hands set it in the slit that had to be its mouth. Immediately, the parchment sunk in as if swallowed by quicksand and vanished. The chamber shook as if an earthquake had struck. She fell back still holding the box. Sitting sprawled on the floor, she froze in terror. Thankfully, the tremor stopped.
A blinding bright light erupted from the crate and the golem roared a deep menacing bellow from within.
 Bayla dropped the box. What have I done? She closed her eyes from the blazing brightness and wrapped her arms and head over her knees. Like a candle snuffed out, the light vanished. The golem’s holler subsided into a grumbling moan, as if awakened from its slumber.
 She dared look. The golem sat in the crate. She suppressed a scream on seeing his rigid red-stone face. He looked like a misshapen man made of hard red rock. An aleph was added in front of met. The Hebrew word for truth, emet, now inscribed on his forehead, permitting it life. It slowly rose and stepped out. Tall, its square head almost touched the ceiling. It wasn’t too monstrous in stature, perhaps six-foot-seven, and within the range of human height. It blinked open gray eyes and stared at her. His eyes were the only part that looked remotely human and revealed his soul, by holding her gaze as if he knew her.
Bayla scooted back on her bottom but kept her eyes on him. There was a connection, a warm bond that eased her fear. She couldn’t read its thoughts. Was it because it had none?

The golem turned his head to the side and spoke in a deep baritone voice, “You are a woman.” 

I'm giving away an ebook of Hand of Miriam as part of my

Book 101: Hand of Miriam

The Myth
My universe takes place in a steampunk (Victorian era science fiction/alternative history genre) universe.

Since I’m a seasoned paranormal romance author, my steampunk world included werewolves, vampires, demons, angels and a secret society known as the Grigori (the sons of Fallen Angels). My story takes a different fork from the average paranormal romance, not because it takes place in an alternative late Victorian era England but because I also include Jewish elements. My main character, Bayla Gideon is a British Jew who discovers she has an ability to detect evil. Faced with dangers, I team her up with the ultimate automaton protector, the Golem of Prague.

Bayla Gideon
The protagonist is Bayla Gideon. She is a bluestocking (an intellectual or literary woman) with a wry sense of humor. She is obsessed with archeology and natural history. While on an archeological expedition, Bayla finds an ancient Hand of Miriam or a hamsa, a small amulet shaped like a hand and embedded with an eye on the palm. It is common amulet used to ward off evil or the evil eye.

While on an expedition, a sandstorm kills everyone, and when it’s over, Bayla can now detect evil. On her return to England, she must deal with reading peoples negative thoughts and the ire of other kind creatures.

Faced with constant grave danger, Bayla awakens the golem, a clay man, to protect her.

The golem’s real identity as a fallen angel complicates their master and golem relationship. They set their sexual tension aside to stop a demon lord from unleashing his minions.

The Villain
At the center of the novel is most infamous villain of them all Jack the Ripper, but unlike the real historical character, this Jack the Ripper is in actuality a demon released by several key but evil members of the Grigori, including a demon lord released by a mad inventor.

The Series
Hand of Miriam is book 1 of a duology in Bayla and the Golem novels, which will continue with Book 2, Her Majesty’s Witch. In her Majesty’s Witch, Bayla must help the golem get some psychological help from Sigmund Freud while stopping an ancient mummy from creating an army of revenant (zombies). Although I am open to more stories with Bayla and the Golem. Currently a NY editor is reading Hand of Miriam for publication, so I must wait to hear back before I publish book 2. My universe will continue with the steampunk adventures of other corseted, but brainy members of the exclusive Bluestocking Adventuress Club. Stay tuned.

Bayla & the Golem is like...
Hard to say because it is rather different than anything I have read, however one Amazon reviewer compared Hand of Miriam to Gail Carriger books.

The Challenge
Bedroom (sex) scenes from the perspective of the Victorian periods and the complications of corsets were a wee bit challenging.

Favorite Line
Dreading the truth, but curious she dared ask, “And what was your crime?”“I was once an avenging angel who protected mankind.”“Avenging angel?” That explained his large muscled chest and hard muscles that rippled down his arms, his flat stomach and strapping legs. A warrior’s body.

Eva Gordon writes genre bending paranormal/fantasy/steampunk and historical novels with a strong romantic element. She loves to create stories that combine her passion for mythology, steamy romance, and action/suspense. Her imagination takes her from one universe to the next. Thus far, she has several series lined up as well as single titles waiting in line for production.

Eva has a BS in Zoology and graduate studies in Biology. She once taught high school Biology, Environmental Science and Anatomy/Physiology. When not in her den writing, she can be found at steampunk conventions, at work at the raptor rehabilitation center, wolf sanctuaries, or to satisfy her inner Hemingway on some global eco adventure.

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  1. The golem is an angel..hmm nice

  2. I didn't know about this one but I always love victorian books!

  3. I really like the cover. The story sounds really good as well. I like that this one has a victorian feel to it.

    Grace @ Books of Love

  4. This is really interesting! I'd love to check it out this one, although I am quite wishing the romance is not too blatant as I'm more interesting in the history, archeaology and mythology. An articulate, intelligent women who has these things as her interests intrigue me a lot!

    Faye at The Social Potato

  5. All steampunk sounds good. Like coffee with lots of sugar and cream ;) Great cover & intriguing premise.

  6. I'm liking the sound of this one! Bayla sounds like an interesting character :)

  7. I like the sound of the mix of Steampunk, Jack the Ripper and a fallen angel! Thanks for the great excerpt and the giveaway, too! :)

  8. New to me but the contrast of the villian and protag sounds interesting

  9. I am always a sucker for Jack the Ripper, plus add in some steampunk. I can't resist!

  10. Steampunk! Oh and I love the mix here. Curious about the Jack the Ripper angle.

    1. My steampunk universe did make the Jack the Ripper angle an interesting twist.

  11. I haven't read a lot of steampunk, but have loved the few that I have read. Thank you for the intro and excerpt.
    Jack the Ripper, huh? That sounds promising.

  12. It looks good ! And corsets in the bedroom ? Definitely a challenge, lol !

  13. Hey book blogger friends, thanks for you interest! I hope you like Hand of Miriam.

    Eva - thanks for helping me moderate the comments. Your personal touch is very much appreciated :)

  14. Hmmm. Interesting. I'll have to look into it. Thanks!


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