The Thirteenth Hour


An adult gaslamp fantasy with steampunk vibes and a dash of gothic horror mixed with portal fantasy.

Cruel gods rule the steam-powered city of Chime and demand worship from their mortal subjects, but when soul-sucking creatures prey on Chime’s citizens, it’ll take godless heathens to save them—before the gods take matters into their own hands.


When the saints fail,

the sinners step up.

Cruel gods rule the steam-powered city of Chime, demanding worship and tribute from their mortal subjects. Kayl lost her faith in them long ago, and now seeks to protect vulnerable and downtrodden mortals from their gods’ whims. But when Kayl discovers powers that she didn’t know she had—and destroys a mortal’s soul by accident—she becomes Chime’s most wanted.

Quen’s job was to pursue sinners, until the visions started. Haunted by foreboding images of his beloved city’s destruction, Quen hunts soul-sucking creatures made of aether who prey on its citizens—and Kayl is his number one target.

To ensure Chime’s future, Kayl and Quen must discover the truth of Kayl’s divine abilities before the gods take matters into their own hands.

For a city that bows to cruel gods, it’ll take godless heathens to save it.

Releasing In:

Out Now!
3D Books

Additional Information

Series: Book 1 of The Cruel Gods Series

Genre: Gaslamp Fantasy

Age Range: Adult 16+
Contains Swearing and Adult Scenes Not Suitable for Children – See Content Warning

Book Type: Paperback, Ebook

Pages: 535

Publishing: October 13, 2021

Edited By: Nia Quinn

Cover Artist: Bookfly Design

ISBN: 978-1-3999-0068-3 (Paperback)

An Excerpt

The clock struck ten.

I glanced to where I’d hurried from only moments before.

The clock tower dominated the skyline of Chime, connecting Central with the Golden City plate above and the Undercity below like one gigantic hourglass. Above us, the Golden City cast a shadow across Central, but at least the plate didn’t cover everything unlike the Undercity, allowing the sun’s light and warmth to reach us, albeit at an angle best enjoyed at dawn and dusk.

I’d always admired the clock tower. Not just for its sheer scale and impossible height, but there was something magical about it that drew my gaze. Like all things on Chime, the giant clockface always rang on time, and the vibrations of its bell could be felt even underground.

Two elevator shafts ran up and down the clock tower on either side. To the right, the metal elevator that led to the Undercity below, and to the left, the glass elevator that rose above the heights of Chime’s Central Square into the skies, disappearing beyond the upper plate to the Golden City itself.

But that wasn’t why Chime’s citizens gathered around the clock tower.

Where Central Station’s concourse had been built, the bottom half of the clock tower opened up into a wide arch hundreds of feet tall; large enough for an entire fleet of trams to pass through.

Through it, one could see another world. Twelve worlds, to be precise. At the turn of the hour, the Gate would shimmer and change to the next world, and then the next.

To cross through the Gate was to enter the realm of the gods. But to cross from those worlds into Chime was to escape their cruelties and their whims, for the gods couldn’t leave their own domain, and Chime was ours.

Too many mortals sought freedom on Chime. Not all would find it.

On schedule, the Gate shimmered once more, changing from the red volcanic skies of the Ember domain to the permanent twilight of Eventide.

The domain of my god, Valeria. The home I’d never visit.

It was only through the Gate that I saw what other Vesper had described: rolling hills of bioluminescent mushrooms and a never-ending dusk.

About the Author

Trudie Skies is a British author who was born in Nottingham, the home of legends. There, she earned a certificate that names her as one of Robin Hood’s outlaws. Though thankfully, it can’t be held up in a court of law. Now living in North East England by the sea, she spends most of her free time daydreaming about clouds, pretending to be a knight, pirate, or wizard–depending on the weather–and chasing after her troublesome dogs who would like to reassure you they are very good boys.

She spends her less-than-free time behind a computer keyboard as an IT administrator, and she promises not to bore you with the details. Previously, she worked as a mobile game designer and tester, as well as a professional writer for video game websites. Many of her stories take inspiration from fantastical game worlds and a childhood spent devouring fantasy books.

Read more about Trudie.