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Posts Tagged ‘Lolita Suzanne’

So, what’s in my mailbox for the month of may?

In this month’s vlog:

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest  (Tor, prize for upcoming contest)
Those Who West Remain There Still by Cherrie Priest (Subterranean, prize for upcoming contest)
Sirenz by Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman (Flux, sent to me by the amazing Natalie)
The Clockwork Three by Matthew Kirby (Scholastic)
Steampunk Softies by Sarah Skeate & Nicola Tedman (Andrews McMell)
Steampunk Emporium by Jema “Emily Ladybird” Hewitt (Northlight)

Thanks to Cherie Priest, Natalie Zaman, Scholastic, and FW Media

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren

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Armchair BEA is continuing (for those of us not at BEA in New York.) 

Today all of us participating in Armchair BEA were asked what we think the “Best of 2011” is.

I can’t even begin to fathom such a list, there’s a ton of great books that have come out this year and a ton more on the way. 

However, I will share the best new book 2011 I’ve read so far and the book I’m most looking forward to. 

 The Girl in the Steel Corset, by Kady Cross is the best new book of 2011 I’ve read so far.  It’s a Steampunk YA (but of course) and a debut.  I loved it because there are kick-butt heroines, action, adventure, very solid steampunk worldbuilidng, great gadgets, and pulls in themes from classics (Jekyll and Hyde anyone?)  My review of it is here.  I’ve got a different review and a giveaway of this book over here on another site I blog at. 

 Darker Still, by Leanna Renne Hieber is the book of 2011 I’m looking forward to the most.  It releases in November 2011.  It’s  her YA debut (she also writes the Percy Parker books, which are amazing.)    Darker Still isn’t Steampunk, but Gaslamp (think Victorian fantasy), but nevertheless sounds awesome.  What I love most about Leanna’s books is that they all feature unconventional heroines.  In this book Natalie suffers from Selective Mutism.  Yeah, totally looking forward to this book.

What are you looking forward to?  What’s been the best new book of 2011 you’ve read so far?

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Hi, I’m Lolita Suzanne (aka Suzanne Lazear) and first off, thanks to the folks at Armchair BEA for organizing this great event for all of us who can’t make it to Book Expo America

I’m one of the Lolitas here at Steamed, which is a blog about writing Steampunk fiction (and Steampunk in general), run by a group of Steampunk authors.  I write about Steampunk faeries.  Innocent Darkness:  A Steampunk Fairytale comes out from Flux in 2012.   

I fell in love with Steampunk long ago, but I didn’t know it had a name until a few years ago.   I discovered the clothes, the music, and of course, the books!  If you still have no idea what Steampunk is, I have an explanation here.

I never set out to be a blogger, per say, but when I group of writers formed Steamed I jumped on board.  Somehow I’ve managed to become the defacto blog mistress for Steamed, which just celebrated its second birthday.  I book all of our Thursday special guests, coordinate our blog events like Steampunkapalooza,  a giant Steampunk blog party that happens every April, and I’m also the Monday blogger.  (Today I’m blogging about putting together Steampunk outfits).   I also run an occasional feature called “Book Monday” where I review (mostly) Steampunk books that I absolutly love and think you might love, too.  Because Steamed is run by authors we’re book heavy and we have a ton of posts on writing Steampunk, interviews with authors, and we tend to blab about our favorite books, but we also feature artists, musicians, and jewelry makers, and talk a lot about cute Steampunk clothes (I write Steampunk for the hats and tiaras.)

Thanks again to the Armchair BEA team for organizing this great event.  I look forward to getting to know everyone and I hope you come back and visit soon.

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It’s Book Monday. For those of you new to the blog, Book Monday is an occasional feature where I talk about books I really love that I think you’d enjoy as well.

The Girl in The Steel Corset
by Kady Cross
Releases May 24th 2011 from Harlequin Teen  (ARC provided by Harlequin Teen)

The Girl in the Steel Corset is steampunk YA by debut YA author Kady Cross (who’s written historical romance for adults under the name Kate Smith)

I love this book.  I love this book so much it’s hard to come up with something beyond hot damn, this book kicks ass.

Which it does. 

Why do I love this book so much?

Let’s start with the cover.  Can I tell you how much I love this new cover trend with the girls in amazing dresses.  I want that dress.

One of my favorite things about this book is how there’s a collage of cogs and gears on every chapter page.  It’s such a neat detail that adds to the ambiance
of the book.

The gadgets and tech are seamlessly woven into the worldbuilding (as it should be).  The story is fun, fast-paced, and original, yet pulls from classics.  I love that we have the “Jekyll and Hyde” mythos with a female protag.  Findlay Jane is a badass, and I do love me a strong, unusual heroine.

But this is far, far more than a classic retelling.  That’s just one thread that makes up the rich tapestry that is this story. 

Findlay Jane is only one of the teen characters in this story and most of them have unusual abilities, like X-Men, only set in an alternate version of Victorian London with automatons and my personal favorite, the aethernet.  There’s Griffin, the handsome leader, and patron of the bunch.  Sam, his best friend, and Emily, the inventor of the bunch who makes much of the gadgets–including Findlay’s steel corset. Together the four of them must work to catch the Machinist, who’s seeks to use automatons to further his dastardly scheme–with a little help from an American Cowboy named Jasper, and Jack Dandy, lord of the underground.

Aside from the mystery and adventure, there’s a bit of romance as Findlay is torn between Griff and Jack.   You want to root for Griff, because he is this kind and loyal lord who tries to control his own abilities, protect his friends, and do due diligence to his father’s legacy.  But at the same time Jack is so tempting, because who doesn’t love a rogue with a sensitive side?

All and all, this was a great read full of twists and turns.  Kady Cross has her Steampunk worldbuilding spot on.  Though this is YA, I think adults will enjoy this just as much and it will appeal both to Steampunk fans and those new to the genre.

So, when do I get to read the next one?

I have an ARC of The Girl in the Steel Corset to give to one lucky reader.  Just comment in the box below.  Contest ends Sunday, May 8th at 11:59 PM PST.  Open internationally. 

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So, what did I get in my mailbox during April?

I still feel so awkward when I do this–I also seem to make the most amazing silly faces when I vlog.

Books I talk about in this edition:

The Alchemy of Desire by Crista McHugh (Carina Press, e-book)
Journeyman’s Ride by Marie Harte (Carina Press, e-book)
The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale (Carina Press, e-book)
Photographs & Phantoms by Cindy Spencer Pape (Carina Press, e-book)
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross (Harlequin Teen)
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers (win from Cici’s Theories)
Bookmarks for Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Thanks to Carina Press, Harlequin Teen, Gretchen McNeil, and Cici’s Theories

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren

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I will have a steampunk report on the 2011 Romantic Times Booklovers Convention later.  I had a ton of fun and got a ton of free books.  Here’s a few of the books I got that I’m really excited about.

Blood Rights by Kristen Painter (10/11)
The Vampire Dimitri by Colleen Gleason
Cold Magic by Kate Elliott
Nocturne by Syrie James
Graveminder by Melissa Marr (6/11)
Hourglass by Myra McEntyre (5/11)

Want to win “The Vampire Dimitri”?  Tell me which of these you want to read most.

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What was in my mailbox for the month of march?

Books I talk about in this edition:

Enclave by Ann Aguirre (gift)
The Iron Thorn by Catlin Kittredge
Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce
The Hunt of the Unicorn by C.C. Humphreys
The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

Also…can you spot the tot?

Thanks to Harmony, of Harmony’s Radiant Reads, Random House, and Harcourt.

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren

 

 

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I totally forgot to put up the Feb edition of “In My Mailbox.”   I’m still very new to the whole Vlog thing.  I get so nervous and I just know I said something wrong.  And, oh, the faces I make!  I don’t think I’m doing this right.

The books I talk about in the Feb edition are

Invasion by Jon S. Lewis (YA, a C.H.A.O.S novel)

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge (YA)

Heartless by Gail Carriger (Adult, book 4 Parasol Protectorate, released July 2011)

Thanks to Orbit, Thomas Nelson, and Delacorte Press for sending me these books.

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren

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The Iron King

by Julie Kagawa

Book 1, The Iron Fey Series

I will warn you, this isn’t really a review, but more of an analysis of whether or not I feel this book is Steampunk, Elfpunk, or just a really good story.  This is also just my opinion. 

I’ve been hearing a lot about this book.  Mostly, it’s because I keep being asked the same question — “Is The Iron King Steampunk or Elfpunk?”  To which I always shrug and reply, “I don’t know, I haven’t read it.”  I went as far as tweeting Julie Kagawa, the author, and asking her (she probably though I was loopy).  She patiently replied that she didn’t think it was either. 

Finally, I got the time to read it to decide for myself. 

So…is it Steampunk or Elfpunk?

Honestly, I don’t think it’s either. 

Yes, there are definitely elements of both Steampunk and Elfpunk in the book, yet, in my personal opinion, they’re not strong enough to really define the book. 

This is not to say, it’s no a fabulous book — because it is a fabulous book–it’s just that according to me I wouldn’t define it by either label. 

There are some neat steampunky-elements among the iron fey.  Ironhorse just sounds plain old awesome.  However, if you’d remove these elements and just made them bad fey, the story would still stand.  I’m going out on a limb here and staying I wouldn’t even define it as having “steampunk elements” because there just isn’t enough steampunkyness, in my humble opinion.   

So, then, why isn’t it Elfpunk?  After all, there are fey roaming around the human realm, and there are rebellion themes?

This was much harder for me–and feel free to disagree.  If this story took place almost entirely in the human realm, I would say yes, but it seemed to lack that integration Elfpunk stories have, even when the characters go back and forth between the human and faerie realms.  That is not a bad thing, this story didn’t need more integration, everything she does for this story works well, it’s just that to me, this puts it out of the Elfpunk realm. 

There is a ton to love about this book.  It took me about a hundred pages to get into it, but I think it was because this was the first time I ever read an e-book (and I read it on my computer) than having to do with the actual story.  What floored me was the world building.  As you know, I am a big fat faerie lore nerd.   I love how she incorporated classic faerie lore and characters like Oberon, Puck, and Queen Mab into her story while giving everything her own twist.  There is action, romance, and a faerie world filled with creatures, which true-to-form, aren’t always nice.

Also, I’m a sucker for stories about bad bargains.  Oh yes I am. 

So, it you’re looking for a specifically Steampunk or Elfpunk story, this may not be the book for you.

But if you’re looking for a really good read, with lots of faeries and good folklore roots, then read away.

It’s number one in a series with three books out so far.  She’s even giving away a novella free until April.

Happy Reading.

~Lolita Suzanne

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So, has everyone recovered from holiday madness?  I hope whatever you desired was under the Christmas tree.  The new year is approaching and there’s a lot of great things to look forward to. 

The end of 2010 calls for a review of my favorite Steampunk books of 2010.  However, this list only draws from the books I’ve personally read that came out in 2010.  Books I read in 2010 that were released earlier were not included in this list as were books not specifically “Steampunk.”    There’s some great Steampunk books released this year that I haven’t read yet.   Also, this is just my own personal opinion. 

 

Lolita Suzanne’s Best Steampunk Books of 2010

 

Best YA Steampunk of 2010

The Dark Deeps: 
The Hunchback Assignments 2

by Arthur Slade

Summary:   Modo is a fourteen-year-old shape-shifting British secret agent.  Once again Modo and the unflappable Octavia Milkweed embark on a mission for Mr. Socrates in this tale of sea monsters, gadgets, French spies, and secrets.    

Why I loved it:  This year I discovered this series and I’m really enjoying it.   Modo and Octavia are terrific characters.  These books are very fun and adventurous and I love how Slade draws from all the classics.  I hope to see more titles in 2011. 

Best Steampunk Anthology of 2010

Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded

Edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

Summary:  A followup of their 2008 anthology, the VanderMeers bring together an anthology of Steampunk fiction short stories and non-fiction articles suitable for both those new to the genre and avid Steampunkers. 

Why I loved it: I love the eclectic nature of the collection and how the VanderMeers blended original stories, reprints, and non fiction. Everything is artful–even the cover.   Gail Carriger’s essay is my personal favorite. 

Best Steampunk Book of 2010

Blameless

by Gail Carriger

Summary: Alexia is back and part of a scandal, having left her husband’s house and being in the family way.   She’s dismissed from the Shadow Council, Lord Akeldama leaves town before he can help her make sense of everything, and attacked by mechanical ladybugs.   In order to sold the mystery, Alexia embarks to Italy to consult the Templars.

Why I loved it:  I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but the cover model is simply extraordinary.  ~grin~  I adore these books and am a major Gail Carriger fan-girl.  Like the other books in the series, these books are fast-paced, cleaver, and make me laugh.  What’s not to love about homicidal lady bugs, Ivy running a hat shop,  and Alexia saving the world one cup of tea at a time? 

So, these are my personal picks for 2010.  What are  yours?

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In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

In case you’re wondering what this is all about, “In My Mailbox” something some book bloggers do to show off their ARCs. I’ve never done one, since I don’t get many ARCs. This is my first stab at Vloging, uploading to youtube, or any of that. Me participating in this is all the fault of Julie and Harmony. None of these books are actually Steampunk, though “Book Monday” usually features Steampunk books.

For Review (for a special non-steampunk feature I’ll be doing after the first of the year):
Pale Demon by Kim Harrison
Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce

Bought:
Dick and Jane and Vampires (I had to share this because it was funny)

Thanks to:
Harper Eos
Random House

So, there you go. I feel like I really should be in full Steampunk dress, sitting at a table in a richly appointed room with a cup of tea, what do you think?

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