Friday, December 15, 2023

Cressida's Moon


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 easily.

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 cell.

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 belly.

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.


Contact Links

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Publisher on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok: @changelingpress


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