Leslie hails from the concrete and steel canyons and lush bayous of southeast Texas. She now lives in the rain-drenched Pacific Northwest with a cast of spectacular characters, including cats, harps, and fantastic pieces of art that may or may not be doorways to other timelines.

She is the author of the Faery Chronicles and Soul Forge, two complete urban fantasy series set in the same world and filled with found family and kind badasses.

Clockwork Heart by Leslie Claire Walker

An evil empire thrives in the shadows of Victorian London. A sorcerer of unimaginable power commands a necromancer, drawing the unwary into his service of suffering. One unusual woman finds that only she has the courage to fight him...

Heart - Once a naive innocent, Erynn has failed to win every battle against the master sorcerer Sebastian except one: she still remembers how to love. But with the love of her life at the threshold of death and Sebastian's army raised against her, she'll need more than heart. She'll need the magic in her blood and an army of her own.

The Black Widow's Web - Erynn and the necromancer Lark discover the sorcerer Sebastian's deepest secret—one that enables him to cheat death and grow powerful enough to escape his magical chains. As time runs out, Erynn and Lark must unite to save themselves and all the others whom Sebastian once enslaved. Can they trust one another enough to win the fight?

The Haunted Oracle - When the second soul Erynn carries drives her into the interdimensional tunnels beneath the great house, she's surprised to find Lark waiting for her. The dungeons hold secrets that only a necromancer can love—and only a blood witch with the power of the wish can unravel. Rooms filled with dangerous artifacts and spell boxes containing all possible futures. A haunting that remains under the sorcerer Sebastian's thumb. And a chance, if they have courage enough, to become forever free.


Another brand-new and exclusive book from a wonderful writer. Leslie Claire Walker has finally collected her steampunk stories into one volume. As a fan of her work, I'm happy to have them all in one place. Turns out that these shorts make up one wonderful contained story. – Kristine Kathryn Rusch




Here I was now, taking the stairs into the warrens beneath the house in the middle of the night with nothing but a lantern to light my way, compelled by the soul of the man I hated more than anything in the world. I didn't even know exactly where in the dungeons I was headed, or why.

As I stepped onto the landing, the torch set into a sconce in the wall flared to bright, sorcerous life. The firelight revealed the packed earth floor and gray brick walls, mortared and spelled to keep evil contained. It also revealed something—someone—else.

It took everything I had to swallow the shriek that clawed its way up my throat.

On the other side of the landing, Lark leaned against the brick. Lark the necromancer. The devil. And my unlikely ally.

She'd dressed in a plain, black dress with a corset that appeared to be made entirely of blood-red roses, along with boots of the same red color. Soft, black leather gloves covered her burn-scarred hands. And, although this was her home, she still felt the need to wear the hooded, black wool cloak and black gauze veil that hid most of her burn-scarred face from view. She regarded me through half-lidded, bright green eyes.

Even in her home, she didn't want anyone to see her.

She wore the body I'd been born into. Sebastian had given it to her after removing my soul. Then he'd directed the rage he felt for me toward her. He'd made her his scapegoat. What he'd done to her was his responsibility, but my fault, because I'd refused him. And if I'd had everything to do over again, even knowing the cost, I wouldn't have given in.

That should've been a source of conflict between us. That it wasn't struck me as a wonder.

"Erynn," she said, in the smoky voice that had once upon a time been mine.

"What are you doing down here, Lark?"

"I promised I'd watch, that I'd make sure that hosting Sebastian's soul doesn't turn you into a monster."

She had indeed. Whether she'd done it for me, or only to keep Sebastian's spirit under lock and key, she took her vow seriously. So seriously, she'd somehow managed to discover my whereabouts despite sleeping in a room down the hall with no view into the master suite nor way to hear through the thick walls what might go on inside.

There was another part to the promise she'd made: if Sebastian's soul somehow managed to take control over me, she would kill me.

"How long have you been down here?" I asked.

"Two hours, give or take."

"You must be freezing."

Her lips curved in a half-smile. She plucked a silver flask from the pocket of her robe. The light from the wall sconce glinted on its surface.

Whiskey. She and James had the same taste. He didn't like her much because of what she was, but a little in common went a long way.

"Where are we going?" she asked.

I pointed past her, down the straight and narrow corridor.

She pushed off of the wall and straightened her spine. "To see one of the prisoners?"

There were still a few people held down here, people that James, Lark, and I hadn't yet figured out what to do with. We couldn't keep them prisoner forever even if they possessed damaging or damning knowledge about Sebastian's—now, our—operations. Soon enough, the day for decisions would come. But Sebastian's soul hadn't drawn me here to talk with any of them. He had something else in mind.

"There's a kind of library," I said. "Not like the one upstairs that anyone can access. This one contains books and other items that Sebastian wanted to keep from prying eyes."

She nodded. "One of the archives. I know them. Or I should say I know of them."

"Sebastian never took you there?"

"I had prying eyes and too much power as it was," she said. "Do you know how to get there?"

"I only have a feeling. Turn left here. Turn right there. That sort of thing."

She held out a hand. "Lead the way."

I held her gaze a moment. Her eyes softened, even as the set of her jaw hardened. I set down the lantern. We wouldn't need it further into the dungeons, not with magicked sconces lighting our way every fifty feet.

I slipped past her, my coat sleeve brushing against her corset, releasing the scent of roses from the fabric. She reached out to squeeze my fingers. I squeezed back. And then I made the first right turn, and whatever budding friendship we shared became all business, sconces firing as we continued to move forward.

A left turn brought us to the prisoner gallery, where barred oak doors strengthened with iron bars marked each cell. Behind the first door lay the stash of magically preserved, soulless bodies. Cold leaked out along the seams of the door, a product of the necromancy that kept each body within inhabitable. I wondered, not for the first time, about the souls that had been stripped from them—their hopes and dreams and wishes, snuffed out like candle flames, leaving nothing but so much smoke where the fire of life had burned.

Had the souls all moved on? Or did they wander, some of them, like ghosts?