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Teaser: Cressida’s Moon by Mikala Ash

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A Steam and Spells Steampunk Christmas Adventure


Empire of the Sky, Book 1


Steampunk Murder Mystery Romance

Date Published: December 22, 2023

Publisher: Changeling Press



History got it wrong. The first live human made it to the moon just before
Christmas, 1865. Her name was Cressida Troy.

An assignation in a moonlit graveyard begins a perilous and sensual journey
for plucky Cressida as she and her lovers track down an alien plot to
conquer Earth.

Rocket ships to the moon, body snatchers, ghosts, aliens, romance, and
illicit erotic congress — Cressida’s Moon has it all.


Copyright ©2023 Mikala Ash


I was a bluestocking, eight and twenty years of age, and teaching at Mrs.
Nolan’s School for the Poor in a small village in Shropshire when I
met Jacob. I had been orphaned before ever knowing my parents. A typhoid
outbreak in the year of our Queen’s ascension to the throne took them
both away. I was raised by my childless uncle and aunt, he an infirm veteran
of the Peninsular Wars, and she a charwoman. We lived in a small cottage
just five minutes away from Mrs. Nolan. Though poor, I couldn’t have
wished for a better upbringing. Aunt Jenny cleaned for the school, and it
was through this stroke of luck that I had a place to learn, and then
somewhere to work.

My aunt took in lodgers to augment her meagre wages. There was a succession
of spinsters and widows, before Jacob McLeary, a fellow teacher at the
school, came to stay. Jacob was a tall handsome man, sandy-haired, with
bright azure eyes, and a fine blond moustache over his sensuous lips. When
he smiled, which was often, the hint of dimples appeared in his cheeks at
the ends of that moustache, and when he laughed, rarer but more affecting to
the observer, the intimations were confirmed, and magnetically caught and
held the gaze. He was eight years my senior, but his easy manner, quick
sense of the ridiculous, and high intelligence captured my lonely heart the
moment he was introduced. Though I had all but given up on the thought of
love, I was besotted, and my innocent, but strangely feverish dreams were
all of him.

Alas, he was a recent widower, and in deep mourning. His wife had been
consumptive and had lingered in a nursing home on the south coast to where
the majority of Jacob’s money had gone to maintain her in some
comfort. I would occasionally catch him gazing at her image in the gold
locket he kept in his waistcoat pocket, his eyes glistening with incipient
tears. Once a month, if his finances allowed, he would leave us for a
weekend to visit her grave and was always very quiet and reflective upon his
return. My heart broke for him.

When my uncle followed his dear wife to the grave, I inherited the tiny
cottage, and despite the misgivings of Mrs. Nolan, that two of her unmarried
staff shared the same roof with no chaperone, Jacob continued to rent the
upstairs room next to mine. While we shared a bed at night, we maintained
separate bedrooms so as not to arouse the suspicions of the charwoman. Every
morning he’d swap the pillows and disarrange the blankets and sheets
of his narrow cot.

What Mrs. Nolan didn’t know was that by then Jacob and I were secret
lovers. I won’t go over the hesitant and protracted beginnings of our
affair, except to say it was I who initiated and progressed it. Jacob was
the reluctant party. Betraying his wife’s memory did not come

That I had no similar scruples should bother me, I suppose. My moral
judgement was impaired, obviously. I was raw, selfish, and madly in love.
Now I am ashamed, I must admit, of the strategies I employed to lead him
into his sometimes-crippling self-imposed dishonour. Subtle flirting in the
beginning, followed by overt sweet-talking, then the staging of intimate
scenarios that I blush to recall.

Our first kiss was everything I dreamed of. The soft warmth of his lips,
the hesitant pressure, his surge of passion surprising me when his tongue
forced my lips apart to explore my mouth in a most urgent fashion that
hinted at long suppressed desire. His soft caresses set my flesh aflame, and
inside I felt a sultry heat that echoed my feverish dreams, and his first
touch of that sensitive little nub between my secret lips committed me to
the roiling flames of passion. I can still remember in exquisite detail the
explosion of stars in my head, and wave after wave of prickly heat that
flowed through my entire body, leaving me shaking at the knees, and
clutching him so tightly lest I fall.

Jacob taught me some of the crude names given to male and female genitalia,
and I must admit to becoming somewhat flagrant in using those slang terms
instead of the boring old vagina and penis of the medical publications. My
private place, as my aunt had referred to my cunny, had a variety of
bemusing names: tulip, quimmy, quimbo, horse-collar, poke-hole, nursery,
love-trap and cock-trap, pleasure pit, flaps, clam, buttonhole, and
Cupid’s furrow, as well as the more familiar curses: cunt, and twat.
We had many a laugh over these, as well as those for the male member: dick,
doodle, ploughshare, trouser serpent, poker, broomstick, sword, Adam’s
dagger, and the buttonhole worker, among countless others. Jacob had
garnered these from certain salacious publications he’d purchased to
assist him in his loneliness.

Aunt and Uncle were still alive then, and we took to making long walks in
the twilight. Those twisted amblings would eventually take us to the old
cemetery where privacy was assured beneath the yews. We’d kiss, and
he’d lay his coat on the ground between the ancient headstones, and
there we would make love.

Oh, how glorious those times were. I learned so much about the breadth of
sensations my body could experience. He played my body as if it were a
musical instrument, extracting so many types of sighs, building into a
spectrum of moans, groans, and high-pitched cries of release, culminating in
whimpers of breathless dissolution.

Jacob taught me how responsive my nipples were to the gentlest touch, and
how they ached for the next stroke, lick, and suck. How his breath on my
neck and throat made my innermost walls throb and moisten. Soft kisses from
my breasts to my pelvis sent quivers of expectation along every nerve and

He was always considerate of my comfort and pleasure, and ensured I would
experience a breathtaking release before he asserted his own desire with
careful penetration. He never spent his lust inside me, fearing to worsen my
dishonour with a child. Instead, after I had reached the pinnacle of
pleasure and found release, he would withdraw, and his marvellous rod of
steel would pulse and jump, firing pearly drops across my quaking

Habits are difficult to break. While we were free to make love at home, we
also enjoyed our walks in the parkland surrounding the church, and it was on
one such tryst that under a full moon we sat on a crumbling stone burial
vault sacred to the memory of Ebenezer Boyse and his devoted wife Maryanne,
who had both departed this life in 1722:

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Jacob’s head was hidden beneath my skirts, his face between my spread
thighs, his agile tongue alternating between licking the labial flaps,
spearing deep inside my quim, or teasing my clitoris. I was leaning back on
my hands, lost in sensation, staring blankly at the silver orb hanging in
the sky. My rising excitement inevitably led to a hysterical paroxysm, as
the medical books termed it, and I moaned like a madwoman, and shuddered in
convulsions of ecstasy.

About the Author

Aussie Mikala Ash used to be a mild-mannered training & development
consultant by day, and a wild sci-fi and paranormal adventure writer by
night. Now she is a brazen full-time writer and nature photographer who is
concentrating on having among other things, “… bags, and bags
of fun!” Mikala can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.


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