This is a sweet metaphysical steampunk story set in Paris. There is no sex or violence, and the characters are charming, interesting and well-drawn. It’s confidently written and edited, and has an unpredictable plot—apart from the HEA, but then, it is a romance. It’s also a mystery and a thriller and just a jolly good story in a steampunk/alternate history setting. I read the whole series and loved every bit of it. It’s a truly unique mix of popular elements. This part of the description gives you an idea of what it’s about: “Amid clockwork spy devices, threats from a mysterious society who’ll stop at nothing to conceal their secrets, and plots from a guild bent on stealing them, Edward and Iris’s attraction sparks and gains momentum. But betrayal awaits them on the road from Paris to Rome—and the revolutionary discovery they seek could grind their hearts to pieces. Warning: Contains a brilliant professor with a white-knuckle case of anxiety, a woman with an ahead-of-her-time … [Read more...]
Sci fi/steampunk Review: Outrageous Fortune by Kathleen McClure and Kelley McKinnon
Click the cover to purchase. Outrageous Fortune is set in the same world as Soldier of Fortune, a future steampunk world set on the planet Fortune. This story takes secondary characters from the first book and tells the story of what they were doing when their lives intersected with Gideon Quinn in Soldier of Fortune. You could read the books in either order. So here we find out more about Rory and Jinni and John Pitte and his crew. If you read the first book and wondered how Jinni and Rory got on once she was aboard the Errant, or how Etiane lost his hand this book will tell you. The banter is even more amusing than in Soldier of Fortune. The plot is as unpredictable; the writing is as good and thankfully the proofreading is better, so that I found much less errors than in book one. Once again the book has snippets of backstory throughout and again this is done exceptionally well. The book’s point of view weaves back and forth between the characters, but it’s done so smoothly … [Read more...]
Can you help me name an airship?
The Locksmith's Secret has a steampunk thread in it. It's the story that Prunella Smith, the central character, is writing. The story ends with Nell, the character in the steampunk story, hanging from a rope trailing from an airship. It's the beginning of a story called 'The Rise of the Aether Mages' and I'm writing the next installment now. Part one, from The Locksmith's Secret, will be available separately for free, but not until part 2 is ready to roll. So in part 2 of the story, Nell takes her family's airship, and along with Richard, Beth, her brother John and a couple of others, chases after Lord Burnett. And this is where I'd love some help. Can anyone think of a name for the steampunk airship they'll be flying in? Double word names are good for steampunk. If I pick your suggestion, I will, of course, mention you in the acknowledgments. Solet the ideas flow. I look forward to your comments. … [Read more...]
You can order my new steampunk murder mystery/ contemporary romantic mystery NOW!
Having a book published is a very exciting time for an author. It's great to see all those hours of work finally come together into something others can read. So I'm very excited to be able to say that at last The Locksmith's Secret (the second in the Prunella Smith Series) has a publication date (8th of April). AND you can pre-order it NOW and get USD$1 off. Though it's the second in a series, it can also be read first. If you're a Prunella Smith fan, you'll want to snap this up while it's cheap and if you haven't met Prunella yet, then this is a good place to start. It has the same elements that impressed all those reviewers of Worlds Within Worlds. This book is more than just a steampunk murder mystery or a contemporary romantic mystery, it's also a transrealist and metaphysical work of literary fiction. I sum it all up by calling it magical realism, and that's what it is really because it blends fantasy and reality, and uses extended metaphors that become a world of their … [Read more...]
A light read: Steampunk book review of ‘Killing at the Carnival’ by L.A Nisula
I picked up this book because I felt like reading some steampunk, however, apart from the mention of steam carriages and other machines, this murder mystery could have taken place in any carnival in any time, so I was disappointed on that score. Though the central character is the usual kind of endearing and plucky heroine we expect in steampunk, and the story has a solid plot, the book doesn’t have anything to set it apart from a million other murder mysteries. It’s not a long book, which is to its benefit—I read it in one evening—and I would probably put it in the cosy mystery category because of its light style. My main issue with the book is its lack of descriptive elements. A carnival gives plenty of opportunity to set the mood with sensitive description, but there is very little to spike our imagination. I don’t even have any idea what the Inspector looks like. Other than that though, the book is well enough written, and if you’re looking for a short, pleasant and … [Read more...]
Steampunk Murder Mystery: Cafe Scene
Every week in Friday Free Web Fiction I post a first draft scene from my work in progress (WIP), or a short story, or an excerpt from one of my books. Today’s offering is from my Prunella Smith WIP, The Lock Smith's Secret. This is from the steampunk thread, the story within the story, which is turning into a murder mystery. Nell opened the door and stepped into the cafe. Beth followed her into the dim interior, and they stood scanning the room for Richard. They spotted him at one of the tables at the far end. Gregory, a friend he’d known since school sat beside him. They chuckled together over some shared tit bit. ‘He’s very handsome, you know,’ Beth said as they walked across the café. ‘Richard, that is.’ ‘And you look gorgeous; the perfect lady,’ Nell replied, glancing at Beth’s pink waist corset over a sweet cream dress with tiny roses embroidered on it. It looked like several months’ worth of wages. Her friend had exchanged her work books for elegant little brown … [Read more...]
Friday Free Fiction: Steampunk Workshop.
Every week in Friday Free Web Fiction I post a first draft scene from my work in progress (WIP), or a short story, or an excerpt from one of my books. Today’s offering is from my Prunella Smith WIP, Past Worlds, The Lock Smith's Secret. This follows on from previous posts on Steampunk Nell. The Workshop Nell parked her steam powered car at the back of Beth’s house, walked through the kitchen garden, down the well-worn steps to the cellar and knocked on the door. ‘Just a minute,’ came a muffled voice from inside. Nell turned from the door with its peeling green paint and scanned the Lawton’s garden while she waited in the sunshine. Hollyhocks, marigolds and daisies grew among lettuces, silver beet and beans, and a neatly pruned box hedge separated the kitchen garden from the driveway and lawn beyond. The two-story house’s sandstone walls held the heat of the day and felt warm at her back, and Nell couldn’t help wondering at the stupidity of whoever had been … [Read more...]
Come look at my new website and its new lean clean theme
I have a new look. Please come and see what you think. I've gone for a zen-like simplicity and a nice way to display my books. There's also a big link on the front page that will open up my mask site as well - and you can buy my ebooks directly from me. I'll get back to the normal blog schedule on Wednesday, and I'm thinking to write some posts on steampunk as well as I do my research. I love the look and might do some posts on practical steampunk. I'd love to share some of the awesome steampunk images that are around, but I'm reticent to do it here because I may unknowingly offend some copyright. You can, however, take a look at my Pinterest board. https://www.pinterest.com/tahlianewland/steampunk-gypsy-and-goth/ and here's a screen shot to show you the kind of things you'll find there. … [Read more...]
Free web fiction: A Building Without Doors.
Every week in Friday Free Web Fiction I post a first draft scene from my work in progress (WIP), or a short story, or an excerpt from one of my books. Today’s offering is from my Prunella Smith WIP, Past Worlds, The Lock Smith's Secret. Once again I’m in the ephemeral city that floats in outer space. Through the luminous outlines of the buildings, I see planets floating, suns sparkling and constellations swirling in the darkness. I walk down a corridor in a transparent building with no doors, looking upwards at my goal—a room high above me. Someone is up there, working at a desk in a pool of light—a beacon in this otherwise empty city. I’m pretty sure they’re making keys and think they might know where the doors are. I stop and look around me at the doorless walls. How did I even get inside? With a shrug, I walk on. The corridor seems to go on for ever. Shouldn’t I have reached the outer wall of the building by now? Strangely, with that thought, the end of the corridor comes … [Read more...]
Friday Free Web Fiction: More from Steampunk Nell
Every week in Friday Free Web Fiction I post a first draft scene from my work in progress (WIP), or a short story, or an excerpt from one of my books. Today’s offering is from my Prunella Smith WIP, Past Worlds, The Lock Smith's Secret. Last week I introduced you to Nell, this week I have the second edition in her story. Enjoy this free steampunk story Nell twisted the knob, rolled the paper into her typewriter and stared at the blank white sheet. A string of expletives that would’ve made her mother blush rolled through her mind. She blamed the stable hand—if not for him she’d never have known such words existed. But that wasn’t what Bert wanted her to write, was it? Anyone could swear—except her mother. She’d have to take a more sophisticated approach if she were to show Lord Burnett he was wrong about her. She lifted her hands above the keyboard, poised to type, then dropped them. What was the point of messing up that lovely piece of white paper with ill-formed words; she’d only … [Read more...]