ANNOUNCING: Winners of the Revelry!
- Lesa won a free copy of Clockwork Blue and I threw in a 70% off coupon for The Copper Tuners.
- BN100 won the flower pin
- Trix won the 10 dollar gift card for the CTR store.
March 2, 2013: Welcome to our Steampunk Revelry! Dance with us. Have a glass of sherry. Today we celebrate Gloria Harchar’s new release, Lies & Crinoline!
Read The Penny Dreadful Snippet of Lies & Crinoline, play the game, and enter the Rafflecopter for the following prizes: a free eBook copy of Clockwork Blue, a magnificent flower pin, and/or a $10 Gift Card from the Coffee Time Romance Store. Here are images of the prizes:
Prize 1: Free copy of eBook
Prize 2: Polymer Clay Flower Pin
Prize 3: $10 Gift Card from the CoffeeTimeRomance Store
Join in on the revelry by following these steps:
- Read: A “Penny Dreadful” Snippet of Lies & Crinoline;
- Game: Play the Crossword;
- Drawing: Enter the Rafflecopter: like, tweet–whatever tickles your fancy;
- FYI: Peruse the Q & A.
Penny Dreadful Snippet:
The smile Tom Rader, Crystal’s father, bestowed upon the viscountess did not reach his obsidian eyes. “Ah, Lady Eliot. I must applaud you in particular for your assistance toward a long-time goal of mine.”
Lady Eliot stiffened in a regal manner that Crystal could only admire. “Excuse me? What do my actions have to do with your evil machinations against Reginald?”
“Why, you set the scene for Anson of Dyrne’s downfall. You have conveniently forced—is it Reginald now?—to wed in ninety days.”
Reginald? How did he know the Viscount Foxley? And who was Anson?
“A will to force Reginald’s hand,” her father exclaimed with a rare smile. “Congratulations. I could not have connived a better scheme. Your foolish desire to see Reginald in love will be his downfall. And he must wed not just anybody, but my very own daughter. For I have it on good authority that the pair is destined to fall deeply in love. Once my daughter woos the Keeper and he falls for her, the strongbox will open. Voilà! Crystal will bring the Carthage to me, and I will have powers beyond your comprehension.”
The Carthage? Powers? Had her father gone mad?
Concentrate on reality, she told herself. He knew about the will. How could he? Crystal hadn’t even known until a few minutes ago. She glanced around the room, then studied the area where Lady Eliot had been sitting. That was when she saw the familiar, small mechanical ear attached underneath the end table next to the chair. Her listening gadget. Cogs! Her father had discovered the device she had invented using David Hughes scientific publication, and adding her own assumptions about voice waves. She knew the small copper pipe that crawled up the wall between the windows and over the sill to disappear behind the curtain was attached to a telegraph that translated the pitch and cadence of words into Morse code. It had been her way of spying on her father so she could hide at the hint of violence. That he would use her invention against her struck a spine-jangling nerve down her spine.
Then the implications hit her. Suddenly she knew he would not want Lady Eliot to change her will. And there was only one way to keep her from doing so. Crystal had to do something to save her friend. She glared at her father. “I will never help you.”
Although a block of ice had formed in her stomach, she was glad her voice sounded firm.
The edges of his lips curved into a cruel smile. “You will, girlie. You will use the new identity that the very helpful Lady Eliot has provided for you. You will woo the Viscount Foxley, use those womanly wiles to make him fall hopelessly in love with you—enough to release the lock to the strongbox which will free the Carthage. You will bring the stone to me. Only then will I release Yellow Ella.” He snapped his fingers.
It was a nickname Ella despised, and he would only use it if she was nearby to hear it. Fear froze Crystal’s heart. The curtain parted and out walked Ella. A hairy man with over-long arms followed on her heels. One of her father’s strange followers.
“Ella?” Gingerly, she made her way toward her sister. Her sister stood unusually still, her eyes wide and filled with terror. A trace of unnatural green colored her aura. “What’s wrong? What did you do to her?”
“Oh, she can’t talk. She is wearing one of my mechanical chokers.”
She looked at the neck device with a network of small gears and cogs all around it. Slender. Deadly. Anger pulsed through Crystal, so hot she could feel a burning in her cheeks. “Take. It. Off.”
“I will. Once you give me the Carthage. But heed me.” Her father grabbed her upper arms, unmindful of the wounds from the barbs. “I have spies everywhere. They will be watching to see that you do everything you can to woo the Keeper.”
Swallowing down the pain from his fingers as they dug into her wounds, she forced herself to keep eye contact. It was as essential that she stand her ground as she would with a rabid wolf.
His cold, black eyes bore into her. “I had better receive good reports from them. If I don’t, I will tighten the cogs. The device is set to choke Yellow Ella in sixty days.” He dropped his hands from his punishing hold, and stepped back. “So you had better get the Carthage before then, or say goodbye to your sister, just like you must say goodbye to Lady Eliot now.”
The familiar hum from the elecktropistol was a warning of what was about to happen before he raised the weapon and pulled the trigger. The spark spewed from the muzzle straight toward Lady Eliot’s chest, the charge charring the royal blue brocade. She stiffened. Strands of white hair spiked away from her coiffure.
“Nooo!” Crystal cried, and flew to Eunice’s side, catching her before she went down. Lady Eliot’s taller frame dragged her to the floor. Crystal’s skirts cushioned her elderly friend’s fall, keeping her head from cracking against the hard wood treading.
Eunice’s complexion was ashen, her breathing shallow. “Trust Reginald, for he is your answer. I love you, Crystal.”
Her breath ceased. Her body slumped. A misty image of Eunice rose above the lifeless form and disappeared in the atmosphere.
“No.” Hot anger such as she’d never before experienced, seared across her chest. The heat sucked away all breath, as if she knelt in a boiler room with no ventilation. “You will pay for this,” she vowed, her tone raspy. “I swear you will. Somehow, someway.”
But when she looked up, Tom and his followers were gone, stealing away Ella and all of Crystal’s hopes of ever being free of their father.
End of Excerpt
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Visit Gloria at GloriaHarchar.com to discover more about her books.
Below is a Q & A section about Gloria.
What does Steampunk mean to you?
Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy. It’s the Enlightenment Period. It’s Industrial Revolution. It’s an attitude of brainstorming inventions in societies, and any idea deserves deep thought and consideration. Per Gail Carriger, there are two types of steampunk:
The first, traditional steampunk, envisions a future as the Victorians imagined it. The writings of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne are good examples.
The second, industrial steampunk, sees a far future world that harkens back to Victorian culture, for example a bustle dress made of kevlar. There are also other temporal options like clockpunk (c. 1500s) and dieselpunk (WWII).
Both of my series fall into the traditional steampunk with minor tweaks. The Lumière Romances have fantasy creatures in them–pixies, faeries, elves, werewolves, vampires, immortals, etc. Miss Marquet’s School of Inquiry is straight traditional steampunk in that there are no fantasy creatures. Both are written for YA and YA Crossovers.
What is your favorite thing about steampunk or writing about steampunk?
I’ve always adored creating alternative histories. I love world-building. I imagine myself in a steampunk world where you can see steampunk technology nearly everywhere you look, mixed in with Victorian clothing fashions–slightly altered–and historical architecture. I love carriages–phaetons, (in fact, my pixies in Lies & Crinoline made a photon phaeton), Town coaches, brougham, barouches, landaus–and “steampunking” them up.
What is your favorite steampunk accessory?
My steampunk clock. I love it!
What turned you on to steampunk?
My father was an aerospace engineer. I always wondered how different our world would be if we would have chosen to develop different types of hydrogen-propelled airships instead of the jet-fueled airplanes of today. What if we had stuck to steam-powered appliances instead of electricity? Or used electricity instead of gunpowder for guns? Or had walking legs in addition to wheels on cars? Before actually writing steampunk, I’ve had my characters’ inventions in my stories, even in my straight historical romances.
Do you have any upcoming Steampunk stories you can tell us about?
Truths & Crinoline (available March 28) is the exciting sequel to Lies & Crinoline. I have had so much fun writing this. And it turned out really well to my surprise–ha! At unforeseen intervals I don’t know the results of my labors, and that has happened to me several times with Lies & Crinoline. But I am thrilled at how plot points ended up fitting well together and the story has come to fruition.
Mudlark Girl is book 1 in my new series, Miss Marquet’s School of Inquiry. Lulu Jardine is a girl who lives by the River Thames. A washed out poet, down on his luck, found her clinging onto a piece of a steamboat.The poet raises her, and together they dredge the river in search of her identity. One gift the poet has given her is a thirst for knowledge. She likes solving problems, making life easier, and has made a metal radar to aid her search. A girl from Polite Society asks her to participate in a study of environment versus bloodlines–she wants to see if she can make a lady out of Lulu. Lulu refuses. But when Lulu witnesses a famous scientist commit murder, and overhears part of a plan to attack Queen Victoria, it’s a mudlark girl’s word against a lady of the haute ton. Lulu becomes a fugitive on the run. The only way to escape is to hide in plain site by becoming a test specimen.
Who is your favorite character of all from one of your Steampunk stories?
Cogs, that is a difficult question to answer because the character I love the most is the one about whom I’m telling the story. So, as of the present, I am enjoying tremendously the spunkiness that is Lulu Jardine. She is creative, intelligent and frightfully spunky–she just doesn’t know it. Oh, and I adore Crystal Rader in Lies & Crinoline. She is having a really difficult time, but she perseveres! I especially like her when she takes on the false identity of a famous Lady Pirate.
What’s the hardest thing about creating a Steampunk universe?
Research because I love science and I can spend hours thinking about crazy inventions. In writing courses I’ve been taught not to show my research. However, lovers of steampunk want to learn/understand a little bit of how things work in my world since this is what steampunk is all about. I have to rely on my beta readers to tell me what to cut and by how much.
What’s the easiest thing about creating a Steampunk universe?
Allowing my imagination to take over. I particularly enjoy action scenes and using bizarre devices or vehicles in the chase scenes.
What does steampunk allow you to do as a writer that no other genres can?
I can create an atmosphere that is totally my own. Although I’ve studied British history and know it quite well, I can tweak that history; I don’t have to be historically correct. I love having smart characters who know how to put together a bilocycle, an airship, or a photon phaeton.The otherworldly atmosphere of seeing something strangely brilliant–like a blimp with wings and a boat hull, or a barouche with mechanical legs and feet. Thinking up new ways to do mundane chores such as washing clothes. I can’t do all this in any other genre!
What are the challenges and advantages to writing a steampunk story?
One of the challenges I have is making up names for gadgets. But I have a lot of fun with the task. And I have to remember the name of the object. I’ve started a spreadsheet to keep track. I would love to have drawings of them someday and post them on my site. But for now I need to have a list of devices that are in my stories and upload that.
How much research does it take and how much imagination.
As I stated above, it sometimes take a lot of research. Sometimes I research as I write; sometimes I make a note to research and keep going with my story. Imagination? I have an abundance of it. Hey, you’re looking at a woman who, as a girl of seven years old, coerced her little sister of four to ride in the mechanical dumb waiter so that she could describe all the worlds and denizens that existed between the walls, (to my extreme disappointment, all she could tell me is, “It was dark and scary!”). Needless to say, to write steampunk, an author has to have a lot of imagination. Mix imagination with scientific findings and principals, tweak those, add plot plus characterization as major elements and you’ve got yourself a steampunk story!
Excerpt: Read the excerpt and then find the answers to the crossword puzzle! Click on the button of the lamb at the end of the excerpt to play the game.
Play the game to qualify for my contest, and then comment to be entered into the drawing! There will be two random winners. One will receive a free eBook of Clockwork Blue. The other will receive a beautiful Steampunk styled pendant.