Short Skirts and Sex Toys: The World of Combustion
I love Steampunk. One of my favorite weekends of the year is Templecon, a Steampunk-themed gaming convention, which I attend every year with friends. I like to sew elaborate costumes and dress up, because half the fun of Steampunk is the aesthetic.
The other half of the fun, I think, is the elaborate inventions of the Steampunk genre. When I sat down to write Combustion, I knew I wanted my main character to be an inventor of sex toys. In reality, vibrators have been used for sexual release since the late 1800s, although mixed up in the misunderstandings of treating female hysteria. It’s only logical that a Steampunk world would have its own vibrators.
Called “felicitation devices,” these toys are as elaborate and varied as the ones in our sex shops today. Astrid, the main character of Combustion, makes a living introducing women to the pleasure of felicitation devices. Creating Astrid meant I had to do quite a bit of inventing of my own: what would Steampunk sex toys look like? How would they differ from our own in materials and construction? And in Astrid’s world, unhindered by our world’s limiting labels of sexuality, how might people enjoy these toys together?
I’ve enjoyed creating the world of Combustion so much that I’m going to write more in this world. The brothel owner Cecily Lahey, probably my favorite character I’ve ever written, has her own book in the works, and I have plans for many more.
I hope you enjoy reading Combustion as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.
For explosive chemistry, all you need is the right catalyst…
A war orphan, Astrid Bailey is content living her adult life alone, working as a contract machinist. Her real passion, though, is inventing felicitation devices that promote women’s sexual empowerment and help them find pleasure independent of a man.
The upcoming World’s Fair, with its substantial cash prize, is an opportunity to open the shop she’s always imagined and hopefully solve her financial woes. Except the committee has denied her entry unless she obtains a “sponsor”. Astrid suspects they mean “male”.
Eli Rutledge, noted watchmaker, knows entering the fair will solidify his reputation as an innovator —but he’s fresh out of ideas. Until Astrid approaches him with her outrageous product line. With no other options, though, he agrees to lend her his good name.
As construction heats up, so does their chemistry—and the complications. Astrid is unaccustomed to asking for help, much less sharing credit. And Eli fights an attraction that could spell professional disaster. As the Fair date approaches, Astrid and Eli must decide how far they’ll go. For the business…and for each other.
Contains period-appropriate graphic language, highly inappropriate amounts of M/F and F/F sex, and copious amounts of *ahem* product testing. May *ahem again* “spark” an online shopping binge for *cough* toys. Of the adult variety.
Elia Winters has always been a New England girl, despite having spent much of her childhood in Florida. She holds a degree in English Literature and teaches at a small rural high school where she runs too many extracurricular activities. She balances her love of the outdoors with a bottomless well of geekiness.
Elia dabbles in many genres, but erotic romance has been one of her favorites since she first began sneaking her mother’s romance novels. In high school, she kept her friends entertained with a steady stream of naughty stories and somehow never got caught passing them around. Elia currently lives in New England with her loving husband and their odd assortment of pets.
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