Now that I’ve completed the Santa Cruz Witch Academy series, I can move on to the last two books in the Divine Warriors series. I’m really eager to get back to my steampunk magical girls (and boys and enbies). And I know that you’ve been waiting a long time to hear more about them. So I’m trying a new experiment.
I want to share the entire novel as I’m writing it. That’s actually something that I did once before because I shared one of the Fae of Calaveras novels on Wattpad during Nanowrimo. It was a lot of fun. But putting it out there on Wattpad means that people could accidentally see spoilers that they weren’t ready for, especially if they hadn’t read the earlier books. I didn’t have a lot of room to explain things outside the story or get feedback from readers. It didn’t really help me build a community because Wattpad is so big and sprawling.
So my new experiment is to try Patreon. That lets me connect with readers directly and I’ve seen other authors have a lot of fun with the platform. It costs money, but not a lot, and I’ll post occasional things for free. You can read the first part of this scene here and then read the rest for free on Patreon!Become a Patron!
Here we are: the beginning of Riwenne & the Ethereal Apparatus. Once again, there are major spoilers ahead because these books are meant to be read in order. Don’t read on (or look at my Patreon page) if you haven’t read up through Riwenne & the Electrical Prophecy (DW #4). It starts right after the end of that book.
The Sky is Falling
The street lurched underneath my feet, throwing me to my knees. Something sharp bit through my stockings and scraped my skin.
I ignored the injury and pushed myself back up. The world tilted to one side, but I fought to hold my balance this time.
Where was I? Tall buildings rose on either side of the street, leaning together so they almost blocked out the sky above. When I inhaled, there was no smog. The high-rises and the clean air reminded me of my home city, but when I looked up, the architecture looked different. Even the clay bricks were dark red instead of gray.
Machinery rumbled deep underground and the street leveled out again. I must be in another floating city—and something was horribly wrong.
I leaped for the nearest building, using my magic to propel me upwards to the roof. I landed on my feet and gasped when I saw what was going on.
Smoke poured out of an enormous building in the city’s center. Although it had a large number of smokestacks like a factory, the smoke came from a hole ripped through the front wall. An airship had crashed through a large window, scattering glass and bricks all over the square outside. Fire consumed the airship’s gas-filled envelope and spread to the surrounding structure.
I ran to the edge of the roof and jumped for the next one. People were panicking in the streets below me, so traveling across the rooftops was the fastest way across the city. I had to go help whoever was inside the burning building.
A glass-domed roof loomed ahead of me: the city’s temple. I swerved in my path to go around it. The priestesses should be out helping with the crash site, but just in case, I wanted to avoid the center of power for the sun goddess. There was enough going on without facing Chysa’s wrath.
I landed in the square between the temple and the crash site. Looking around, I saw no signs of firefighters or anyone else trying to help the victims, but shouting came from inside. I dodged a fallen sign that said, “The Ministry of Technological Research & Development,” as I made my way through the debris to the open front doors.
Smoke filled the air inside. Burning wreckage fell from the airship. I stumbled and almost fell into a larger hole in the ground. The entire floor had collapsed, a great maw opening into a cavern below. Angry voices rose from the deep, followed by flashes of magic.
Whatever was going on, I had to go down there to find out. But first, I had to make sure that the ministry of R&D wouldn’t land on our heads. I reached for the nearest wall and called on my magic, weaving a shield of moonlight to hold up what was left of the building.
Then I went to the edge of the collapsed floor and dropped.