I’m excited to showcase a new release by Coleen Kwan. ASHER’S DILEMMA is a follow-up to her steampunk novel, ASHER’s INVENTION. Isn’t that cover stunning? Read further to see what else this engaging author has to tempt us with!
Ever since he awoke one day on the floor of his workshop with a brain-splitting headache, Asher Quigley has been haunted by fleeting visions of a beautiful woman everywhere he looks—a woman he’s sure he knows, but can’t recall. In spite of this he has finished his most wondrous invention yet, one that will literally make history: a time machine. But before he can complete his exacting calculations a bizarre accident causes the device to be activated, with him inside! He awakes to find himself in his lab, eight months in the past, and suddenly he remembers her…
Asher knows that something in the near future causes Minerva Lambkin, the woman who turned down his marriage proposal, to be erased from existence. And he’s sure it has something to do with his device. Alone in a familiar world where he doesn’t belong, he’ll have to find a way to destroy the time machine to save the woman he loves from extinction. Even if that means erasing his own future.
Asher peeled open his eyes to find himself lying face down. The uneven brick floor beneath him struck cold through his sketchy clothing. Frosty air licked at his cheek, frilling his skin with goose bumps. He dragged himself up to a sitting position, and almost vomited as his brain spun like a top.
He was still in his workshop, but instead of sultry August it was now the depths of winter. His breath hung in the air in vaporous clouds, and he had begun to shiver uncontrollably. Frisking his arms, he forced himself to ignore his violent nausea and take in his surroundings.
His invention was still there. Yet, it wasn’t quite the same masterpiece he’d built. This contraption was still a prototype, incomplete, the tarry black promethium magnets incorrectly placed on the copper shell. He remembered how long it had taken him to work out the correct position of each magnet. This machine exactly resembled one of his earlier attempts.
Which meant…his calculations were correct, and his invention had worked! He’d done it.
He, Asher Quigley, had travelled back in time.
Cold sweat trickled down his spine as his success sank in. He’d made the impossible possible. He’d broken the time barrier. He’d discovered a way of traversing the once-immutable dimension.
But where in time had he landed?
Lifting his hand to massage his forehead, he saw he was still clutching the stalking compass, though he had no memory of picking it up. He tucked the object into the pocket of his trousers and rubbed his eyes as he concentrated all his fractured thoughts on the buttons his stalking compass had bounced over. What parameters had been set before the lever had been pulled? Think, man, think.
Out of his brain haze memory came teetering back like a gin-soaked drunk. Eight months. He’d been flung back in time eight months, which explained the teeth-chattering cold.
And then from the mist more memories began to pour out. Only, these came screaming out at him like banshees, and the howling cut him to ribbons. He squeezed his eyes shut against the pain.
Eventually the shrieking disappeared, but the anguish inside him coalesced into a suffocating lump.
Finally he knew who the woman was who teased him day and night. She was no figment of his imagination. Not here, not now, eight months earlier. Here she was real. She was living flesh and blood.
She was Minerva Lambkin. She had captured and fragmented his heart twice over. Yet in the future she did not exist at all. The realization made him break out into a cold, gut-clenching sweat, and the torment only intensified as instinct told him he was responsible. The details eluded him, but he knew he was right. He had somehow caused Minerva’s extinction.
Coleen Kwan has been a bookworm all her life. At school English was her favorite subject, but for some reason she decided on a career in IT. After many years of programming, she wondered what else there was in life — and discovered writing. She loves writing contemporary romance and steampunk romance.
Coleen lives in Sydney, Australia with her partner and two children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate, and watching The Office.