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A couple weeks ago, I got to do something cool–I went to the inaugural event of a brand new steampunk group.

In Michigan, there has long been a lot of steampunk activity in the Detroit area, and a number of people who attend the Detroit events do so from around the state and even into Ohio. There’s been some attempt made to get a group going in Grand Rapids, but until recently, the Lansing area was devoid of organized steampunks.

Not any more. Introducing, Capital Steam, which is largely, at this point, a Facebook group. Something I’ve learned about the steampunk community is that there are both formal and informal organizations. Formally, you have the smaller groups, predominantly airships, where informally, you have all the steampunk fans in the region who show up for various events. For instance, in Detroit, the Detroit Steampunk Consortium, Up in the Aether, and the Ann Arbor-based Woodruff’s Grove Steampunk Society all have pretty much overlapping members, as does Steampunk Michigan and Survivors of the Great White North. Now, many of us have also joined up with the fledgling Capital Steam. Since I live about equidistant from Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Lansing, I have no qualms about this.

The first event came off beautifully. In the afternoon, small groups met, in garb, at various local attractions. I was at the R. E. Olds (yes, as in Oldsmobile) Museum, and both fun and education abounded. I met some new friends I can’t wait to see again, and saw some really cool old vehicles as well as other accoutrements of the era.

In the evening, we all met for a lovely dinner in the restored railroad dining car at Clara’s Lansing Station. A few of the Detroiters showed up to lend their support, and a number of totally new recruits arrived as well to start things off right. There was good food, excellent company, wonderful clothing, a fair bit of booze and enormous amounts of laughter. Following dinner, some of the crew retired to a local coffee house/pub to end the evening.

The next event, scheduled for October, is tea at a Lansing mansion, the Turner-Dodge house. I’m looking forward to this eagerly, and already planning my wardrobe.

It was just about a year ago that I discovered southern Michigan had an active steampunk community and went to my first event. It’s been a wonderful, busy, crazy 12 months. A meme I’ve seen on social media says “Happiness is finding other people who are the same kind of crazy as you.” Yeah, that applies to my experience with the steampunk community over the past year.  Can’t wait for year #2.

In other news, I will be appearing at PandoraCon in Cincinnati, Oct. 9-11. If you’re in the area, come look me up! I’ve also been approved for a steampunk panel at the Romantic Times Convention in New Orleans next May, and will be one of the hostesses for the steampunk tea. Finally, my January Gaslight Chronicles novella, Ashes & Alchemy is up for pre-order on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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First up, there’s about a day left on the critique I have up on Operation Auction.  It’s for a Steampunk or YA proposal (or Steampunk YA–Elfpunkers, or any “punkers”, I’ll include you too).  Proposal = Query, Synopisis, + 3 chapters.  Come on, be generous and place your bidThere’s a lot of other good stuff up and it’s for a good cause.

The Romance Writers of American announced their RITA and Golden Heart Finalists. I’d like to give a special shout out to Zoe Archer for her nomination for Rebel and Cassandra Clare for her nomination for Clockwork Angel. Congrats to all the nominees!

So, who’s going to the Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention?

I will be there with bustles on.  You know I mean that literally, right?  Here’s my new bustle.

There’s going to be some great steampunk stuff.  (And I’m on a panel with Gail Carriger!!!!  I hope I don’t say something stupid.)
SPECIALTY: When Worlds Collide: Melding Reality and Fantasy in Historicals
Date: Wednesday April 6, 2011 02:15 pm – 03:15 pm
Event Type: Writer Industry Workshop                                                              Panelists: Zoe Archer, Gail Carriger, Nathalie Gray, Suzanne Lazear, Kathryn Smith

STEAMPUNK: Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?: Gadgets, Gizmos and Automatons
Date: Thursday April 7, 2011 02:45 pm – 03:45 pm
Event Type: Writer Industry Workshop                                                                               Captain: Kathryn Smith Panelists: Eden Bradley, Gail Carriger, Kristen Painter

STEAMPUNK: Writing the Steampunk Romance: Beyond Leather Corsets and Brass Goggles!
Date: Friday April 8, 2011 01:30 pm – 02:30 pm
Event Type: Writer Industry Workshop 

Panelists: Cindy Holby, Suzanne Lazear, Laurie McLean, Kathryn Smith
READER: Steampunk Social
Date: Friday April 8, 2011 02:45 pm – 03:45 pm
Event Type: Reader Social
Location: Beaudry A
There will be a fashion show with clothes from Clockwork Couture, cakepops, prizes, and other fun stuff! 

Other steampunk writers will also be there.  Check out all the authors doing the book signing.
Good stuff, right?  Make sure you say hello to me if you’re there. (No, I’m sorry, but I will have no romance trading cards for Innocent Darkness, since I have no art, unless you want to make me something quick quick.)
Steampunkapalooza 2011 starts soon.  It’s going to be incredible  and I am excited.   Have you seen our lineup and entered our giveaway yet?
Oh, and here are the boots the hubby got me from Clockwork Couture for my birthday.  I hope they come in time for RT.
Cute, right?  Now, if only I could find a black corslet/corset belt, that a) will get here in time b) isn’t a fortune.  I have one, the teen borrowed it and can’t find it (insert Le Sigh here).
So, are there any Steampunk events coming up that you’re looking forward to?

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This month on the STEAMED! blog we’re going to declare it Fantastic February. We’ll be looking at the fantasy element in fiction. However, this post is where real life intrudes. There is no doubt that the wonders of the Victorian age were splendid, but there was one thing that did take time and wasn’t so very progressive – the mail. In this one instance alone (ok, that and perhaps dental hygiene) I am so very grateful for the wonders of the modern age, including the Internet and email.

Let me say, you don’t know what you have until you lose it.

My case in point is today’s blog on behalf of fellow Harlequin author Oliva Gates who is currently living in Egypt without Internet or cell phone access who has a book out starting today, Feb. 1, titled To Tempt a Sheikh (which now that I truly consider it, might indeed be the fantasy of some of you – so it still fits with this month’s blog theme.)

Here’s a tasty bit about Oliva’s story:
He rescued hostage Talia Burke from his royal family’s rival tribe and swept her into his strong embrace. But Prince Harres Aal Shalaan soon discovered there was more to the brave beauty than he knew. Talia held information vital to protecting his beloved kingdom…and she had every reason not to trust him.

Marooned together at a desert oasis, Talia couldn’t resist Harres. Yet even as his sizzling seduction entranced her, his loyalty to his family and country would always make them enemies. Falling for the sheikh would be her heart’s greatest mistake…but she feared it was already too late….

As I mentioned the book is out TODAY and available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Books A Million and bookstores everywhere. Also available at eharlequin both in print and as an ebook.

If you’d like to take a mini-fantasy vacation of your own, you can even read a first chapter and visit Olivia’s webpage, click here.

With best regards to our esteemed STEAMED! readers,

Lolita Theresa

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I have nothing profound to say on this very wet and dreary Monday.  So I’m just going to share some cogs and gears (odds and ends) with you all.

Steampunk Shakespeare Anthology Call for Submissions

Submission guidelines for “The Omnibus of Doctor Bill Shakes and the Magnificent Ionic Pentatetrameter: A Steampunk’s Shakespeare Anthology.”

From Hamlet as half-man half-machine to Henry V at the helm of an army of men in steam-powered mechanical suits, the sky is the proverbial limit for adapting William Shakespeare’s classic plays and sonnets to the Steampunk aesthetic.

This is not intended to be a series of mash-ups, like Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, but rather re-inventions of the classic Shakespearean stories and sonnets. You are free to adapt Shakespeare’s language and themes to a Neo-Victorian setting as you will, but unlike the typical mash-up, you don’t have to include every line of original text from your chosen play or sonnet.

We prefer stories where Steampunk elements and themes are thoughtfully applied to Shakespeare’s works. Do not simply throw automatons into Hamlet or Steampunk technology into Richard III; consider how such technological changes may reinterpret the original stories. Saying it another way: What new insight will your Steampunk version of Shakespeare bring to the Bard’s original works?

General Guidelines:

  • Send all submissions to submissions@doctorfantastiques.com as attachment in either Microsoft Word (DOC or DOCX), Real Text Format (RTF) or OpenOffice (ODT) format, with a short introductory letter.
  • All submissions should have STEAMPUNK SHAKESPEARE: Story Title/Sonnet Numbers in the subject line. Any submissions without this information will not be considered for the anthology.
  • We’d prefer inclusion of Steampunk elements in the title of each story, i.e. “Othello, The Half-Machine Moor of Venice” or something similar.
  • We also welcome interpretations with queer characters, characters of color, non-heteronormative relationships, characters with disabilities, non-Eurocentric settings and other traditionally marginalized narratives in mainstream fiction.
  • All submissions must be received no later than 12 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time on 30 May 2011. There will be no exceptions.

NOTE: This anthology will be released through the Steampunk Imprint of Flying Pen Press (http://FlyingPenPress.com) as both a print book and an ebook.

Frequently Asked Questions

Attention Steampunk Writers

Steampunkl writers, have you joined The Steampunk Writers and Artists Guild yet? 

Also, I have a yahoo group for those who are writing/wanting to write steampunk. If you’re seriously writing or wanting to write Steampunk and want to learn more, share links, and connect with other writers in a email-group-type fashion come on over. Make sure to tell me you’re a reader of Steamed!

Santa, are you reading this? 

Dear Santa,

I would really, really, really, like these boots for Christmas.  Please?

You can get them at Clockwork Couture. 

Love, Me. 

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Happy Monday.

First off, I’m going to be teaching an online class on writing Steampunk, November 1-30, 2010. Details here.

Second off, it’s time to announce the winner of the ARC of Arthur Slade’s The Dark Deeps.

Drumroll please….

~*~*~*MARIA BROWN*~*~*~

Maria, you have won the ARC.  Congrats!  Please email me at suzannelazear (@) hotmail to claim your prize.

Now for today’s big news…

I have been busily planning a new event for you.

From October 24-October 31 Steamed! will be invaded.

That’s right, for eight days, eight fabulous non-steampunk authors will invade this blog to entertain you with Halloween-themed blog posts and plying you with treats. So join us for daily contests, tricks, treats, and spooky mayhem.

The lineup:

YA paranormal author Tera Lynn Childs
YA contemporary author Simone Elkeles
Paranormal Romance author Jacquelyn Frank
Contemporary Romance author Charlene Sands
Debut YA paranormal author Inara Scott
Paranormal romance author Maggie Shayne
Urban Fantasy author Jeanne Stein
Debut YA Fantasy Author Ednah Walters

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Hello my lovelies–I have some exciting news to share!

My steampunk erotic, ‘Steam Heat’ sold to Harlequin for their Spice brief line in a two book deal! They will be releasing back to back in 2011! I am so excited! Seriously, I am still passing virtual rum around to everyone! I will keep you up-dated as I get more info! I will give you the little blurb to keep you entertained for now!

                                                                   Steam Heat – Blurb

   What does a half succubus, a scientist and a feisty female steam engineer have in common? Not a lot. Until, they are thrown together in a race against time to re-power the dying crystal that purifies the earth’s air. Suddenly it is up to Angel, Nick and Jezebel to save the world. The only way to supply the energy needed to power the crystal, is to find out exactly what makes a half succubus tick……

Now on to other exciting news of the day! My steampunk romance novella ‘Love in a Time of Steam’ is available for pre-order! It is just $0.99! To order click here!

Love in a Time of Steam – Blurb

Ashlyn hasn’t seen Gray her former lover in five long years. Not since the day he believed her to be a traitor to the military cause they both served.

   Now as the volatile nature of their planet is reaching a fevered pitch, and the war over water to run their steam-powered technology is threatening all beings, she must face him once more.

   Despite her intense hatred towards Gray, Ashlyn can’t let the father of her child be murdered by General Dagnus, the leader of the opposing army. Risking her life, Ashlyn lays everything on the line to save the man that betrayed her once. As they work together to survive, will they be able to rekindle the passion they once shared?

Have a steamy day! ~Elizabeth

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 So I have some fabulous news! My steampunk short “Love in a Time of Steam” has been accepted by  Tease Publishing  and will be releasing on July 15th in e-book! It will also be releasing in print as a part of the “Love Like Clockwork” steampunk anthology in a few months! I just got my cover and it is so lovely! I want to say thank you to the lovely Kate and James, who run the amazing Parliament and Wake website, for gracing my cover! I will keep you informed of preorder info and all that good stuff! I will blog about the fun I had at the World Steam Expo next week!!

Love in a Time of Steam – Blurb

Ashlyn hasn’t seen Gray her former lover in five long years. Not since the day he believed her to be a traitor to the military cause they both served.

Now as the volatile nature of their planet is reaching a fevered pitch, and the war over water to run their steam-powered technology is threatening all beings, she must face him once more.

Despite her intense hatred towards Gray, Ashlyn can’t let the father of her child be murdered by General Dagnus, the leader of the opposing army. Risking her life, Ashlyn lays everything on the line to save the man that betrayed her once. As they work together to survive, will they be able to rekindle the passion they once shared? 

~Elizabeth

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