Tag Archives: steampunk

Book Spotlight: Halayda by Sarah Delena

Genre: Dark Fantasy / Steampunk

A mortal alchemist. A faerie king. A bond that transcends death.

Betrayed by a trusted mentor, Sylvie Imanthiya hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. She lives for the one night each season when she can see her dearest friend—a man whose destiny is far above hers.

King Taylan Ashkalabek knows better than to exchange halayda vows with a mortal. Even their friendship is a risk; love is an impossible dream. Then a brutal alchemical attack poisons his realm, unearthing a dark power within him—and leaving Sylvie with the ancient mark of Faerie’s savior.

Manifesting unpredictable abilities and aided by allies with their own secrets, Sylvie and Taylan journey into the wilds of Faerie to heal the damage and confront Casimir, an invincible star-fae determined to claim the realm as his own. But only their enemy knows Sylvie’s true capabilities—and Taylan’s weaknesses—and how to use them in his vicious schemes.

Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed.

Book Excerpt

Halayda Book CoverSylvie couldn’t hear her own scream over the roar of the explosion. Taylan’s fingers slipped from her grasp as the ground flew out from under her. For a horrible moment, she hung suspended in time and space. Then the pain of a thousand needles pierced her limbs as she crashed to the earth.

Taylan! Where was he? She struggled to rise as acrid mist filled her lungs and stung her eyes.

The mist…

Sylvie hastily unclasped her pouch and felt her way through the collection of small vials. The mist was alchemists’ work, smelling of a cocktail of ingredients that should never have been combined. But she had a potion that might neutralize it, if only she could find it.

Another blast knocked her to her knees, and the vials shattered in her hands. Sylvie gave a choked cry as their contents doused her face and bare arms, searing into her skin like acid. She crumpled to the ground as the pain overwhelmed her.

Help… someone had to help…

But there was only lightning and ash. And then, nothing.

Author Bio

Sarah Delena White was raised by wolves in an alternate dimension. She writes eclectic speculative fiction that reworks mythology with a fine balance of poetry and snark. She’s an experienced world traveler who loves to weave world folklore and ancient concepts into vibrant, original story worlds. She is also the Benevolent Firebird (acquisitions editor) for Uncommon Universes Press. When she’s not writing or editing, she can be found making jewelry, singing Irish ballads, drinking tea, and working a variety of odd jobs. She can be bribed with dark chocolate.

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New Release: Halayda by Sarah Delena White

About the Book

Title: Halayda

Author: Sarah Delena White

Genre: Mythology / Steampunk

A mortal alchemist. A faerie king. A bond that transcends death.

Betrayed by a trusted mentor, Sylvie Imanthiya hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. She lives for the one night each season when she can see her dearest friend—a man whose destiny is far above hers.

King Taylan Ashkalabek knows better than to exchange halayda vows with a mortal. Even their friendship is a risk; love is an impossible dream. Then a brutal alchemical attack poisons his realm, unearthing a dark power within him—and leaving Sylvie with the ancient mark of Faerie’s savior.

Manifesting unpredictable abilities and aided by allies with their own secrets, Sylvie and Taylan journey into the wilds of Faerie to heal the damage and confront Casimir, an invincible star-fae determined to claim the realm as his own. But only their enemy knows Sylvie’s true capabilities—and Taylan’s weaknesses—and how to use them in his vicious schemes.

Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed.

Author Bio

Sarah Delena White writes eclectic speculative fiction that reworks mythology with a fine balance of poetry and snark. She’s an experienced world traveler who loves to weave world folklore and ancient concepts into vibrant, original story worlds. She is the Benevolent Firebird (acquisitions editor) for Uncommon Universes Press. When she’s not writing or editing, she can be found making jewelry, singing Irish ballads, drinking tea, and working a variety of odd jobs. She can be bribed with dark chocolate.

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Social Media Links

Website: http://sarahdelenawhite.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SarahDelenaWhite/

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Etsy Jewelry Store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/RoyalVagabond

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Book Spotlight: Toru: Wayfarer Returns by Stephanie R. Sorensen

 

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GENRE: Historical Steampunk Fiction
BLURB

A nation encircled by enemies

A noblewoman with everything to lose

A fisherman with everything to prove and a nation to save.

In Japan of 1852, the peace imposed by the Tokugawa Shoguns has lasted 250 years. Peace has turned to stagnation, however, as commoners grow impoverished and their lords restless. Swords rust. Martial values decay. Foreign barbarians circle the island nation’s closed borders like vultures.

Toru, a shipwrecked young fisherman rescued by traders and taken to America, defies the Shogun’s ban on returning to Japan, determined to save his homeland from foreign invasion. Can he rouse his countrymen in time? Or will the cruel Shogun carry out his vow to execute all who set foot in Japan after traveling abroad? Armed only with his will, a few books, dirigible plans and dangerous ideas, Toru must transform the Emperor’s realm before the Black Ships come.

Guest Post
“The Making of an Alternate History Steampunk Technofantasy Writer” by Stephanie R. Sorensen

So…I have failed as a writer on the most basic piece of advice budding writers are given, which is to pick a genre and make sure you deliver against genre expectations.

Oops.

I didn’t mean to screw up so badly.

I will freely admit I meant to write a steampunk novel (Action! Adventure! Romance! Cool outfits! Dirigibles!), but it kind of meandered out of the lines and scooped up heavy doses of historical fiction (Real people from history doing cool stuff! Culture! History!) and a bit of fantasy of the technofantasy variety (flying dirigibles! Submarines in 1850! an industrial revolution in about 18 months, or about twenty times faster than is really possible!!! Wheee!). Then I altered the history, which gets you into alternate history (the world as it might have been! But wasn’t!).

Call it four genres, and discover you have made trouble with a capital “T” for yourself as a writer. Advice to fellow writers—don’t do this kind of genre-blending, as it annoys readers when they wander into your story thinking it will be one thing and then you serve them something else.

And yet….

I’d do it the same way all over again and write the same story, even knowing there would be grumpy readers out there. Why? Because the story I told is a story with characters I love and is a story I could only tell by borrowing elements from all those genres and putting them together in a new way.

I love steampunk novels, and the way they let us visit a time when elegance and manners held sway, versus the coarseness and informality of our daily life today. Steampunk also remakes the past into a better past, “better” by today’s moral and ethical standards, like more equality and less slavery. Let’s be real—if you were a woman of any race or class or a person of a non-white race in the 19th century, like African slaves in the American South, or Asians and Middle-Easterners and Africans being “colonized” and “civilized” by the imperialist powers, your life basically sucked.

Steampunk novels have women and non-white people doing all the fun adventurous things that white males have always gotten to do, and steampunk characters get to right wrongs and do it while enjoying elegance and courtesy and cool outfits. I also enjoy how steampunk novels explore our human response to technology. The nineteenth century was the last time an ordinary person could look at and touch technology and understand how it might work without having a masters degree in some obscure kind of engineering. All these ingredients found their way into my story, even if it was not purely steampunk by the time I ended.

I also love history and historical fiction. When I set out to write a steampunk novel set in Japan, I knew Japanese history and culture might be alien and unfamiliar for many of my American readers. That meant I spent a lot of time building up a Japanese world that was truly Japanese, not whitewashed America in samurai drag. I knew I had to help the reader unfamiliar with Japan understand why Tōru’s mission was so life or death for the Japanese of that time.

The period I chose was as big a deal for Japan as our American Revolutionary War or the Civil War was for Americans, or the French Revolution for the French, when their entire nation changed from being one way to being entirely different. I couldn’t just have Tōru and his friends rushing around having random adventures in their dirigible against a Japanese backdrop—those adventures needed to mean something and have historical resonance.

Once I had put all the history and culture into the world-building, I found myself in alternate history territory, where I had to create a new history based on the changes the steampunk technology triggered. That’s why it is a series, for this first book only kicks off this revolutionary period in Japanese history and triggers a world where steampunk technologies make a difference to history. There is so much more to explore in the upcoming books, which I am working on now.  I also wanted to show the incredible resilience and uniqueness of Japanese culture, how it absorbs changes and outside forces but renews those forces into a form uniquely and identifiably Japanese.

In the end, I was forced to blend steampunk with historical fiction with alternate history and a bit of fantastical technological handwaving to tell this story, of Japanese who must remake their nation overnight to save it from foreign invasion. Without the fantasy elements, on a larger time frame, it remains a true story, for that is the challenge the Japanese faced and rose to meet in real history, and it is an incredibly moving story. And even though my characters are fictional, they are, to the best of my humble ability, very Japanese and courageous and resilient in their devotion to their cause of saving their nation.

“Tōru: Wayfarer Returns” is not a classic steampunk adventure story, although it does have a bit of action and adventure, and romance and dirigibles. It’s also not historical fiction in the usual sense, although it is full of authentic culture and history. Finally, it’s more of a prequel to an alternate history, describing the moment where historical timelines divide and a new and alternate history can arise. For some readers, these are problems. To others, they are exactly what makes it much more than a mere steampunk adventure novel or a straightforward history.

To me as a writer, these were necessary ingredients to tell a story about a young man with a nation to save and everything to prove to an unobtainable woman he loves and an unreachable father he respects. This is Tōru’s story, and Japan’s story, no matter what genre it is. I hope you will enjoy it.

Excerpt

“Rather than argue with them, you should invite them to make the first flight with you,” said Takamori. “At first they will agree, since it is their place as the leaders. Everyone is very excited about the dirigibles. Set the time and place for the first flight. Jiro should explain that is not a good time because of the wind or something technical that needs testing first. You argue with Jiro and perhaps even scold him for impertinence in front of the daimyōs.”

“Yes, I am often scolded for impertinence,” said Jiro. “I have a talent for it, you know.”

“Indeed you do,” said Tōru. He saw where Takamori was going. “Then they notice the risks and uncertainties…and they ask me if it is safe. I tell them honestly that we have no idea if it is safe or if it will work, and that we might all crash to a fiery death and therefore perhaps I should test it first myself before we endanger them.”

“And I will be impertinent again and tell you in front of them that you don’t have a clue how to fly one of these dirijibi!” Jiro finished the plan for them. “Which is also true, by the way. I know how to fly one of these, and you don’t.”

“You’ve never flown one either,” protested Tōru.

“I have built one. Almost. Soon. How many have you built?” asked Jiro, with his broad grin.

Tōru opened his mouth and closed it again.

“See? Problem solved,” said Takamori, as he pounded Tōru on the back. “We have a fine dirijibi pilot, the finest dirijibi pilot in all of Japan, our good man Jiro here.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links

Stephanie is a writer based in the Victorian mining town of Leadville, Colorado, where she lives at 10,251 feet with her husband, five chickens, two bantam English game hens and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. After a former life in big cities-New York City, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Boston, Mexico City, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Santa Fe-she now enjoys the birdsong and quiet writing time she finds in Leadville. Her first novel draws on her experience living and working in Japan; her next historical novel is set in Mexico where she also lived for several years. As a Leadville local, she likes her Victorian attire spiced with a little neo-Victorian futurism and the biggest bustle possible.

Recognition for “Toru: Wayfarer Returns”

— Finalist, Fantasy category, 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

— Bronze Medal Award, Multicultural Fiction category, 2016 eLit Book Awards

LINKS

Author website                        http://stephaniersorensen.com/

Author Facebook        https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011148014463

Publisher website        http://palantirpress.com/

Publisher Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/people/Sassa-Margot/100010457895534

Publisher Twitter         https://twitter.com/SassaMargot

Sell sheet PDF                 http://palantirpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Toru-Sell-Sheet.pdf

Kirkus review              https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/stephanie-r-sorensen/toru/

Historical Novel Society review https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/toru-wayfarer-returns-sakura-steam-series-book-1/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/toru-stephanie-r-sorensen/1123110310?ean=9780996932318

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Book Spotlight: Charmed by Jacey Holbrand

Charmed_TourBannerCharmed by Jacey Holbrand
Genres: Sci-Fi, Futuristic, Menage (MFM), Erotic, Steampunk
Heat Level: 4
Word Count: 35,400
ISBN: 978-1-77233-153-0
Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs

BookBlurb

 

400x600_Charmed by Jacey HolbrandCharm knows how to get what she wants, but when faced with opposition, she tends to make bad choices. After a plan to subdue a Rullix goes wrong, Charm forces her way into two Auraths’ lives. They have a ship after all and can help her escape Earth and the Rullix.

Step-brothers, Thorne and Wade, are discussing Earth and mates when Charm dives into their presence. Each man believes her to be the partner he’s been waiting for. The men allow her passage in their spaceship, but are shot down by the Rullix and crash in a canyon.

Charm finds them sanctuary, yet even in the middle of nowhere, she still gets into trouble. Thorne and Wade have to figure out how to travel to Aurath before Charm’s bad choices lead to their demise.

Be warned: menage sex (MFM), anal sex

 

BuyLinksAll popular e-book formats available at Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/charmed-by-jacey-holbrand/
All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-charmed-1732046-146.html
BookStrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/charmed-mfm
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Charmed-Glorious-Guild-Lady-Windsurfer-ebook/dp/B00SK9716Y
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jacey-holbrand
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jaceyholbrand

 

BookTeaser

Charmed_Teaser1

Charmed_Teaser2
BookExcerpt

“‘Zasta!’” Wade snapped, catching Thorne’s gaze.

Wade was right. He had to stop. Now wasn’t the place or time to start their connubial ritual. Thorne sat back and willed his libido to take a rest. There’d be a chance at lovemaking once they hied away from the crowds and restaurant.

Sexual urges repressed and mind clear, he comprehended the gravity of her situation and ground his teeth together. His heartbeat quickened and pounded through his temples. Thorne wanted to throttle each and every Rullix. How dare they think they were entitled to any Earth females for their sadistic pleasures?

“Tell us, Charm,” Thorne began, keeping his voice as steady as possible through his rising anger. “How did it come about that you have a Rullix chasing after you?”

She stood, licked her fingers, then picked up a napkin and wiped her mouth. “It’s a bit of a story. I’d rather not start it here on the off chance our friend comes back. Perhaps if we go somewhere el—”

“Thorne, it is time,” Wade cut her off and didn’t appear the least bit apologetic for it. “Our ship should be ready.”

“Ship? You guys have transportation? That’s great. You can take me anywhere I want to go. Oh, thank God. The authorities instituted a lockdown on the city. The tent people can no longer leave. I’ve been used to traveling around the States. I hate being stuck in this—”

“Madam! Cease with your jabbering.” Wade jumped to his feet and towered over Charm by a good foot, and she happened to be taller than most Earth women. He glared at her then set his gaze on Thorne. “Thorne, please tell me I am imagining my feelings for her. Tell me she is not the one for me,” he pleaded in Aurath.

 

Books-in-the-series

thegathering1mBook 1 in the series is ‘The Gathering’.

Blurb

The year is 2112, and the world has changed…

Jake Landry is interested in having some fun. He’s in Las Vegas, newly single and just off his most recent tour of duty. In Vegas he has met up with his old friend Nicola Goodheart, a scientist and inventor who studies portals, other worlds, and strange beings. Jake has also met and become enamored with Alexander, a gorgeous man with violet eyes. Jake goes with Nic on a portal finding mission, and they all end up in Alexander’s alien world.

Recruiter Alexander Bloodworth is interested in Jake for himself and in Nicola for placement in a pleasure house on his home planet of Aurath. When he hears word one of his people’s enemies are after Nicola and Jake, he goes to save them both, even at the peril of losing his job.

Will they risk their hopes and dreams—Alexander and Jake for a chance at love and Nicola for her career—or will they falter and lose everything anyway?

Be warned: m/m sex

Buy The Gathering

Evernight Publishinghttp://www.evernightpublishing.com/the-gathering-by-jacey-holbrand/
Kindlehttp://www.amazon.com/Gathering-Glorious-Guild-Lady-Windsurfer-ebook/dp/B00O85L9HQ
& popular e-book formats at:
BookStrandhttp://www.bookstrand.com/the-gathering-mm
ARehttps://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thegathering-1644412-145.html

 

AuthorBioJacey Holbrand believes love comes in all forms and should be celebrated. She’s committed to her muse and writing so she can share those kinds of stories with readers.
“Hot days. Sexy nights. Come play in her world.”
Jacey loves to hear from readers! eMail her: JaceyHolbrand@gmail.com

ConnectonSocialMediaWebsitehttp://jaceyholbrand.wordpress.com
Bloghttp://jaceyholbrand.wordpress.com/blog/
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