No Rest for the Wicked – Chapter 6 Teaser

The henchman glowered. “This is her, right boss? I think she was planning to run.”

“Let her go!” Vi shouted and got to her feet. “She was on her way here, you idiot.”

Bonnie wrenched her arm free and walked over to Salty. “Here you are. It’s everything we owe you.” She threw the bank note onto the table.

He reached out a grubby hand and retrieved the paper. After a glance at the scrawl he tossed it back down. “Where’s the gold? And your husband? I made a deal with Mr. Murray to get paid in gold for my investment.”

“This spends even better than gold,” she replied.

“What about the interest?”

“Don’t push it, Salty,” Vi growled.

Bonnie pouted and her gaze met the other woman’s in concern. “What interest?”

“I gave you an extension, remember? This isn’t near enough anymore.”

Vi gave a minute shake of her head. They both knew the gold Bonnie had just deposited was worth twice what she’d owed, but Salty didn’t need to know it, too.

“But, it’s all I’ve got! You’ve got to accept it.”

“I’ll play you for it.” Vi slapped her hand down on the bank note and grinned. There was no way she was going to let this weasel extort more than he was owed, and Bonnie had played her role perfectly. “You and me. One hand of black jack owns the Murray’s debt. You game?”

Get Your Copy of ‘Chasing Magic’ on May 6 and Enter to Win Books, Gift Cards, and More!

You’re invited!

My short story, The Vigil, is being published in an anthology and I’d love to see you at the Facebook launch event this weekend. Join me and 22 other talented fantasy writers during our launch event on Saturday to get a Chasing Magic for just $.99.

Plus, when you buy a copy of Chasing Magic on May 6 and post an image of your purchase confirmation in the Facebook event page, you’ll be entered into a giveaway for three Amazon gift cards, free books, and more fantast goodies.

Join the fun!

 

The 15 AWESOME People You Meet in Steampunk

A wonderful article about the people of Steampunk, and why this is such a great community to join.

Malice in Londerland

img_0064Salutations,

For my first post, I really wanted to do something upbeat, positive and a bit geeky…but on a serious note first, I’ll tell you how it came about. You see, for a while now (mostly since I joined the land of social media), I’ve been seeing a lot of silly in-fighting, bitching and complaints between various alternative communities, and it really does sadden me, after all, we’re all a bit weird, we’re meant to be sicking together.

It’s a small thing, but I’ve seen a lot of “fifteen annoying/stupid people you meet in (insert subculture here)” and I’m not going to name names or point fingers, as I’m sure their intent wasn’t really that malicious, but I saw one about steampunk not long ago which insisted on roasting pretty much everyone who did anything in the community. I’m sure you’re not meant to take it seriously, but I’m really…

View original post 1,890 more words

No Rest for the Wicked – Chapter 4 Teaser

“I thought you should know. It’s possible that the moment I put that gold in Bonnie’s hands that you’re going to pass over.”

 “I…what?”

“Unless we’re wrong about what’s holding you here, when I finish your unfinished business for you, then you’ll probably move on right then and there.”

His voice broke her heart with every syllable. “I won’t get to say goodbye to her?”

“I could be wrong,” she replied, swinging herself onto Smithy’s broad back with a smirk. “Do you owe anyone else money?”

Anthology Review: Steampunk World (2014)

“Steam Speaks All Languages
Steam Knows No Boundaries
Steam Is Universal”

sw-cover

I am usually more of a novel reader, but lately I’ve been both reading and writing a lot of shorter fiction. Figuring out the right amount of words to fully tell a story is both an intellectual and artistic challenge, but I believe editor Sarah Hans did a wonderful job of pulling together this anthology composed of fabulous stories. I’ve noticed a trend in the last year or two of agents and editors looking for non-Western Steampunk, and this collection was already on the shelves so kudos to all 19 authors and the publisher, Alliteration Ink. Each story is even accompanied by a beautiful black and white line drawing.

With 19 completely different tales to tell, I’m not going to even try to review everything in Steampunk World. I had hoped to dedicate a few days to it, but with Christmas right around the corner and this book so perfect for a last minute gift idea I’m just going to say that overall, I felt like this was a very strong book, both as a collection of short stories and a collection of Steampunk. It was originally funded through a Kickstarter campaign, but you can read all about the book and the authors at Alliteration Ink.

Multi-cultural Steampunk sound good to you? Check out their next collection, Steampunk Universe as well!

 

There's Still Time to Sign Up for the Collaborative Writing Challenge! Begins Dec. 30

I learned a lot of things from participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo- Pre-writing is a godsend, I need to stop deluding myself into thinking I can write after 5pm, and I can write over 3000 words a day for a week straight if I have to.

But I also got a real taste of how very lonely being a writer can be.

Which makes me even more excited for the novel I will be coordinating with the Collaborative Writing Challenge! This is a chance to build up a really cool community of writers that I hope will go above and beyond this individual project.

The deadline for possible first chapter submissions is today, and so far we’ve got 7 submissions. I’ll be reading those submissions and talking over the potential for growth with the rest of the CWC over the next few weeks to narrow it down to three, then it will be time for people to vote on their favorite.

Didn’t write a starter chapter? No problem! I think writing the parts in the middle are the most fun, personally, because you wield so much power over the rest of the story. I’ll be starting my try for Project, 6, Esyld’s Awakening, Chapter 16 this week. It’s been 10 chapters since I saw the story last and I am really excited to see where it has gone when I wasn’t looking. Wish me luck!

cwc-announcement

Here’s a quick reminder of how the whole project works.

  • Writers sign up for a chapter try by December 30. (We’ve reached our minimum number of authors to get the project going, but the more the merrier!) Sign up by filling out the form here
  • 3-5 Writers attempt each chapter, one week at a time. You’d have access to the following:
    • The chapter immediately before the one you attempt
    • detailed chapter summaries of any chapter that came before
    • detailed notes about characters, places, and any special objects or magic schema that may be at work
    • prompts and questions from the coordinator to help you decide which direction to take
  • The coordinator (me!) chooses the chapter(s) that moves the story along the best (and/or is my favorite for whatever reason. Sometimes we also combine multiple chapter attempts).
  • At the end, we have a 30-chapter book with at least 30 contributing authors who all get to put another book on their resume
    • 10% of proceeds go to charity!

These pins are available through my Kickstarter campaign!

And don’t forget, if your chapter is chosen at any point during the challenge, you’ll also receive a United we Steampunk, Divided we Fall pin by yours truly.

An Interview with Steampunk Author Daniel Ottalini and his Newest Release

steel-praetorian-800-cover-reveal-and-promotional
My husband is a Roman historian and I’m a Steampunk nut (in case you hadn’t noticed), so you can imagine my joy when I found a mash-up of the two! In a nutshell, his books are about an alternative history where Caesar survived the assassination attempt and changed the face of the world. I’ve started reading his Steam Empire Chronicles books recently, so you can expect a review in the future, but I got a chance to do an interview exchange with him as a fellow NaNoWriMo 2016 writer. When you’re done reading, head on over to his website to read and interview with me!

What project are you working on now?

I’m actually working on two projects at the moment. First, my novel Steel Praetorian is available for presale and I’m working on a blog tour and blog-a-thon this month as part of that release on December 1st. Writing wise, as part of NaNoWriMo2016, I’m working on Laurel Emperor, the fifth and final novel in the Steam Empire Chronicles series. It’s been an amazing journey going from zero to now six published books, and I can’t wait to share this one with everyone!

What book(s) are you reading now?
Right now I’m rereading the Belisarius series by David Drake and Eric Flint – One of my favorite Roman/sci-fi/historical style mash ups (yes, I know, it’s very ‘duh, that’s what you write too.’ but it’s truly a lot of fun to read.)

What is the most important component of steampunk to you? Why?
I think the most important part of steampunk is the conflict between groups – rich vs poor, union vs management, men vs women (gender roles, etc) imperial vs rebel. It’s funny because, normally, I’m a huge fan of the underdog, the scrappy rebels striving for a better…whatever. But in my own novels, the protagonists are the loyalists, who have an uphill climb against the rebels. Sometime in steampunk, its not about improving the technology, but about mastering what you have.

What part of the craft are you working on now (Like what part of writing do you need to spend more time working/learning about?)
I’m still working on breathing life into my characters in less obvious event-focused manner. In other words, building their character traits from the ground up. I’m actually planning on going back to my first novel and doing a serious upgrade in order to make those characters more believable and to improve the writing!

What three things are essential to your writing routine?
Silence.
Internet.
An outline – I’ve been using google docs to create a living outline. Before this I used a journal, and I’m a much faster typer than a writer. Plus I can access the same document everywhere, even share it with beta readers before I type the entire novel. Makes a lot of work much easier.

If you could cosplay any character from classic Sci-fi or Steampunk, what would you choose?
Wow, tough question – Character wise I’d probably want to go as Luke Skywalker from Star Wars, although in honesty I’d rather go as a rebel trooper of some sort – gotta love the dome helmets or the Hoth cold weather gear!

Do you have a favorite Steampunk-related memory?
Actually it was a video game – Rise of Legends for PC – A spin off of the Rise of Nations, itself a great game, truly inspired me as a young teenager. I loved how the background was an intersection of magic, mysticism, and giant smoke belching constructs. One of their units even inspired me in my own writing over 10 years later – the giant spider like trash hauler was definitely based on that idea.

If you could suddenly master any skill, what would you choose?
Oh wow, I think it’d have to be another language – I’d want to be perfectly able to read, write, and speak Spanish at all levels – this would be useful in my day job and in my writing career – multiple translations of my book for free/cheap? Here I come!.

Thanks Daniel!

You can find out more about him and his books (plus an interview with me tomorrow!) at his website, and don’t forget to pre-order your copy of The Steel Praetorian.