Excerpt & Giveaway: Her Sky Cowboy by Beth Ciotta

The Victorian Age Meets the Age of Aquarius
Imagine the 1960s. Race riots. Viet Nam. The Cuban Missile Crisis.
Imagine a group of fanatical peace activists happening upon a means of time travel and jumping back to the source of departure, the mid-1800s, in hopes of altering the future and avoiding specific global atrocities.
Imagine their good intentions going horribly wrong and, instead, the two centuries meld setting the world on an unknown course.
I imagined and ended up with a spectacular and endearing alternate world.
The Victorian Age meets the Age of Aquarius.
Then, inspired by a steampunk angle, I imagined a daring, former air marshal—Tucker Gentry, aka The Sky Cowboy—and a young woman—Amelia Darcy—with a passion for aviation and a burning desire to experience all the world has to offer whilst saving her family from ruin. And an adventurous tale took flight.
I’ve written quite a few books and yet HER SKY COWBOY is like nothing I’ve tackled before. The idea burrowed in my brain and wouldn’t let go. I’m thrilled. Although rooted in Steampunk and Romance, this story is a bit of a mash-up. I’ve recently seen it described as a Genre-Bender, which makes perfect since it also incorporate time-travel and paranormal, just to name two more elements. I’m thinking the best way to hook readers is to offer a glimpse of my alternate world, a world ever transformed by… The Glorious Victorious Darcys.

SET-UP: Our hero and heroine, Tuck and Amelia board a Skytown —a collection of four to five airships, floating pleasure meccas operating “above the law”. I adore Amelia’s sense of curiosity as well as Tuck’s cynical attitude. Enter the costumed “greeter”. 
My name is Doobie. Welcome to Skytown, miss,” he said with a nod toward Amelia. “We have but one law: Make love, not war.”
A credo of the Peace Rebels. Amelia vibrated with excitement. She tried not to stare as the colorfully garbed man explained the layout of the “town” and its most popular venues. Difficult, that. Doobie was a curiosity indeed. Medieval tunic embroidered with flowers and accentuated with studs. Long, unkempt hair. An Indian–type band around his forehead and a sprig of daisies behind his right ear.
He looked to Tucker. “What’s your pleasure?”
Got a transformation center on this mecca?”
The Fantasy Factory on Prankster Street. Next dig over, one deck down.” He squinted through his rose- colored spectacles. “You look familiar.”
No, I don’t.”
Doobie nodded. “My mistake.” He glanced to Amelia and smiled. “Have fun, chickadoodle.” He bade her good-bye as Tucker pulled her away, but not with a wave.
Did you see that?” she whispered, stunned. “Doobie gave me the two- finger! Was he a Mod? He looked too young, but—”
Not a Mod.”
A Freak? Except I saw his eyes over the rims of his spectacles when he bowed his head. Plain brown, but—”
A Vic dressed up like a Mod, honey. An actor. Part of the appeal and atmosphere. Just like the rest of these hawkers,” he said without making eye contact with any one of the colorful people they passed.
Amelia, however, tripped twice, distracted by sights she’d seen only in the Book of Mods. Men and women dressed to the nines in threads of the Love Generation. One played a guitar, singing about “blowing in the wind.” One smoked an odd- smelling cigarette, offering a “toke” to Amelia as they passed. Another was passing out free necklaces—“love beads.” She accepted two colorful strands with a smile. “Thank you.”
A doe-eyed woman with a diamond stud in her nose gestured to a doorway. “Hemp headbands and bracelets, incense, leather cuffs . . .”
The woman’s words faded as Tucker steered Amelia
away. “Come on, Flygirl, before she sells you a bong.”
What’s a bong?”
Never mind.”
They crossed another swinging gangway. Dig number two— Prankster
Street. “I’m surprised by how deserted this skytown is. More hawkers than patrons,” Amelia noted as they descended a deck.
That’s because it’s early. Skytowns come alive after sundown.”
Must be something to see.”
Paris is something to see. Unless you’ve changed your mind.”
Oh, no.” She tugged him to a stop, wide- eyed,adrenaline racing. What if she didn’t win the jubilee prize? What if her brothers failed? What if she was doomed to live out her days with Mother at Ashford, or someplace even more remote? Or to marry some wealthy conservative, someone like Lord Bingham? What if this was her one shot at freedom?
She gripped the Sky Cowboy by the lapel of his greatcoat.
I want to experience it all, Mr. Gentry.”
He wrapped his hand around hers and squeezed. “Then you will, Miss Darcy.”

Intrigued? In order to be eligible to win a copy of HER SKY COWBOY, name your favorite 1960s lino/slang term. Cool beans and good luck!

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SAHM to four rowdy kids. Avid reader and blogger.


  1. Be there or be square... LOL I remember this from Archie comics.


  2. Groovy, I remember that because there was a song with that word in it. It was something about feelin' groovy. Of course I barely remember the 1960's but sadly I was there, lol great looking book and I bet the inside is even better.

  3. "Peace Out" and "Groovy, Baby" are the one's circling around in my head. Can't wait to read HER SKY COWBOY, Beth! Your excerpt has me hooked! Hope your sales sky-rocket :)

  4. Mine would be "Groovy". I like the sound of this word :P

  5. Groovy is a hit with me, too, ladies. Beverly, even though I was a kid, I remember the song "Feeling Groovy" very well. Although sometimes I mix it up with "Happy Together". :)

  6. Peace out! Also a great one, Leigh. ;) Glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

  7. LOL! Hmm... 60s slang? Let's boogie, Beth! ;) I love the sounds and looks of Her Sky Cowboy, and can't wait to add it to my TBR!

  8. I'd say Her Sky Cowboy is far out man. :D

  9. Freiya, you are the winner! Please contact us at bookliaison(AT)yahoo(DOT)com within 48 hours with your name and address :)


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