Welcome back to Steampunkapalooza. We now have a facebook page to replace our group that sort of went away. Like it for the latest news.
Now, to welcome back author Cindy Spencer Pape. She’s going to give away a download of Steam & Sorcery to one lucky commenter! Contest ends April 15, 2012.
Award-winning author Cindy Spencer Pape firmly believes in happily-ever-after. Married for more than twenty-five years to her own, sometimes-kilted hero, she lives in southern Michigan with him and two grown sons, along with an ever-changing menagerie of pets. Author of more than 40 books, Cindy has been, among other things, a banker, a teacher, and an elected politician, but mostly an environmental educator, though now she is lucky enough to write full-time. Her degrees in zoology and animal behavior almost help her comprehend the male humans who share her household.
A World of Gaslight
by Cindy Spencer Pape
In March of 2011 Carina Press launched a book that was very near and dear to my heart. Steam & Sorcery, first book in the brand new Gaslight Chronicles hit the shelf, and it’s been a roller coaster ride of fun ever since. Earning a 4.5 Star Review from Romantic Times and the EPIC award for Science Fiction Romance, it’s been, by far, my most successful book to date. In April of that year, we released a Gaslight Chronicles novella, Photographs and Phantoms, which is a FREE download from all major e-tailers.
Up this year? A longer novella, Kilts & Kraken, takes the Chronicles to Scotland in June. It will be available in print as part of Carina Press’s second anniversary celebration, in the Editor’s Choice anthology. In October, look for a second full-length novel, Moonlight & Mechanicals, and for anyone following the series, that will be Wink and Liam’s story. Also, the German edition of Steam & Sorcery will make its debut. This month, I’ll be at the Romantic Times convention in steampunk gear, talking about the genre, and having the time of my life. The blend of history, paranormal and technology is just the perfect fit for my wild imagination.
When I set out to build a world for the Gaslight Chronicles, I knew a few things. I wanted to start early in the steampunk era, and build the technology over the successive books. So in the first, we’re only a decade or so after the introduction of Babbage engines changed the world, and event a lot of traditional SF alternate history also hinges on. Computers, or engines, are still big and bulky and limited. By book 4, you’ll start seeing terminals connected to a larger machine—sort of where we were in the 1980s. Transportation and communications—airships, steam cars and telephones, are also changing, and as the series progresses, the difference from reality and my steampunk world becomes greater. Other aspects of the Victorian world haven’t changed. Dickens’ London is still a dark, bleak place to be poor. The gap between wealthy and poor is still enormous. Women are still forced into wearing corsets and hoops, and being chaperoned wherever they go. By book 3, though, we’re starting to see some changes as the first few classes of women graduate from Lovelace College, a school my fictionalized version of Lady Lovelace established at Oxford for ladies in the sciences.
I knew my first hero, Sir Merrick Hadrian, had to be part of a secret government organization hunting vampyres and other supernatural threats to the Crown and its people. The exact structure of that organization was one of the biggest hang-ups to writing the book. It was my husband who said, “Well if it’s in England, the logical group for paranormal enforcement is the Order of the Round Table.” Then it clicked and the entire series came together. I’d already used several names in the book that traced back to the original Knights. The MacKay family is obviously derived from Sir Kay. The Lakes? From Lancelot, of course. Devere from Bedivere. The Round Table mythos snapped into place and a series was born.
As the series has continued, I’ve become more and more lost in the world of alternate history romance. I have a couple of projects underway for other publishers, set in different worlds, but I think my first love in steampunk will always be a book I originally called “Mary Poppins meets Van Helsing—with robots.”
The Gaslight Chronicles are available in e-book format from Carina Press and all the major e-tailers, and in audio book from audible.com. And just for fun, I’m offering one free download of Steam & Sorcery to one random commenter below. If you’d like a risk-free taste of my Gaslight world, don’t forget Phantoms & Photographs is available for free.
~Cindy Spencer Pape
Newsletter group: http://yhoo.it/ni7PHo
Steam & Sorcery
A Gaslight Chronicles Novel
By Cindy Spencer Pape
Available from Carina Press
Sir Merrick Hadrian hunts monsters, both human and supernatural. A Knight of the Order of the Round Table, his use of magick and the technologies of steam power have made him both respected and feared. But his considerable skills are useless in the face of his greatest challenge, guardianship of five unusual children. At a loss,Merrick enlists the aid of a governess.
Miss Caroline Bristol is reluctant to work for a bachelor but she needs a position, and these former street children touch her heart. While she tends to break any mechanical device she touches, it never occurs to her that she might be something more than human. All she knows is that Merrick is the most dangerously attractive man she’s ever met—and out of reach for a mere governess.
When conspiracy threatens to blur the distinction between humans and monsters, Caroline and Merrick must join forces, and the fate of humanity hinges upon their combined skills of steam and sorcery…
Photographs & Phantoms
A Gaslight Chronicles Novella
Available as a Free Download from Carina Press
As a member of the Order of the Round Table,Kendall Lake is overqualified to be investigating strange phenomena at a seaside photography studio. But since the photographer is related to the Order’s most powerful sorcerer, Kendall reluctantly boards a dirigible to Brighton.
Amy Deland is haunted by a shadow that appears in some of her recent portraits. In each case, the subject died within days of the sitting. Does she have her grandmother’s gift of foresight, or has she somehow caused the deaths?
As Kendall and Amy search for answers, their investigation draws them together in a most improper way. But it seems the evil presence in the studio is determined to keep them apart…
Kilts & Kraken
A Gaslight Chronicles Novella
From Carina Press
Magnus, Baron Findlay, longs to bring the wonders of the steam age to his remote island home, but his hands are full fighting the vicious kraken ravaging the coast. When he’s swept to sea during battle and washes up on the shore of an isle in the Hebrides, he is near death.
Struggling to establish herself as one of the first female physicians in Edinburgh, Dr. Geneva MacKay is annoyed when The Order of the Round Table sends her north to care for an injured Highlander. To heal him,Geneva escorts the handsome warrior home, just in time to defend the villagers from another onslaught.
As the attacks escalate and they work together to fight off the threat, neither Geneva nor Magnus can resist the overwhelming attraction between them. But as their relationship deepens, a new threat arises – from within the village itself…