Steampunk fiction, reviews and interviews

frost fair

Frost Fair: Collin’s Memoirs Part ‘The Last’

Thankyou, friends, for joining me this morning on board the Harlequin Ladybird, for what I fear must be the last of these little readings from my marvellous journal of extremely exciting adventures… the ice here on the river Lune has indeed begun to melt again, the barges will soon be free to move on and our beautiful rainbow sailed sky-ship must be thinking about doing the same… still, I’m sure have the time for one last tea together and for me to recount how that terrible frost fair ended a few years ago…

 

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, we hope you are feeling extremely eleven o clockish because the time is indeed eleven o clock and you find us desperately clinging to a printing press, screaming for help (and cake) in increasingly agitated tones. Here is what happened –
We decided that before the frost fair ended we ought to do one more round of the fuddling tents and then get our names printed on one of those souvenir flyers by one of the many presses which have sprung up across the frozen river.
I think we may have become a little too fuddled however, as by the time we reached the printers Max was no longer content on having our merely our names on the thing but had begun composing a lengthy treatise against tea rationing, sugar tax, dairy alternatives, the monarchy and poets in general… the poor printer was struggling to arrange her wooden blocks as this tirade of caffeine fuelled wrath drew curious punters from all over the river.
The crowd listened in awe for around five minutes until the part about the cats and then, as one, they turned and fled, screaming in terror. It took a few seconds for myself, Max, and the printer to realise that it was not the cats but the breaking ice which had sent them scurrying and, too late, we found ourselves adrift on one of many small ice islands which were rapidly breaking free and speeding off on the mischievous currents of the thawing river.
One, bearing a cargo of serving maids, ploughed into the side of a barge and shattered, sending the girls flailing into the icy water. Sadly I could do nothing to help as my tentacles are still out of action but Max did valiant things with a histrionic napkin – wafting it at them in a most heroic and undoubtedly helpful way – until they all managed to clamber up onto our island and choke themselves puce (don’t worry, we perched on the printing press to avoid any embarrassment involving vomit and shoes) .
And so we were stuck – we tried to punt our way to the other side using a parasol but once we got there, some thugs tried charging us to set foot on the bank. None of us had a bean and our offers of throwing them a sopping serving maid did not go down well at all.
Not with anyone.
The maids turned savage and pitched the printing press – with us upon it – into the water (who’d have credited them with such strength of character?) and so here we are, desperately in need of elevenses, and assistance. If you happen to have either, please do not hesitate to hurl them in our direction.
In the meantime we will wish all a very uneventful morning and attempt to endear ourselves to passersby by busking along to this…

 

 

Good old Smith and Burrows, they have seen us through many a tough scrape over the years. Well you will over the moon entirely to learn that our good friends Jack and Marjory happened to be passing that day and did manage to see off the ruffians and haul us out – although they had the nerve to charge us for their dry cleaning bill afterwards! – Kitty’s Hex Slingers are all a bunch of bloody toffs.

Oh well, time to weight anchor here and set sail for our next adventure, we wish you all the best with yours and until we meet again please remain always

Utterly Yourself.


Frost Fair: Collin’s Memoirs part 5…

Thankyou, friends, for joining me this morning on board the Harlequin Ladybird, do pull up a cat.. er, sorry, I mean a cushion… and make yourselves comfortable as I, Collin The Octopus, read to you all from my marvellous journal of extremely exciting adventures… a-hem…

February 1824…

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Max and Collin’s delicately dazzling and glamorously glitzy parlour located within the fantabulously frost spangled city of Lancaster!
True there are those who will say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we consider that such people are merely embittered that they have not yet received an invitation.
You find us this morning enjoying what may well be the last week of the frost fair as our Oracular Pet has assured us that the ice will begin to melt over the weekend and the Barge Folk will be able to get their craft dislodged soon afterward.
People are beginning to carve things into the ice now – at first it was just the odd name or profane comment – “Victoria was ‘ere” and the like –  but now the whole river resembles the Cameo Libris in the Burlington Arcade and it seems every drunk and lunatic is determined to leave his mark…

“Whereas you J .  FROST have by force and violence
Taken possession of the RIVER
I hereby give you notice to quit Immediately
A . THAW”

“Behold the Power of WIZ! Which locks,
In close Confinement, under pond’rous Rocks
Of dreadful Ice and Snow, our famous RIVER;
Whose matchless Glory doth the world make shiver!”

Even the stall vendors have taken to the sport, ‘pitting their limited wits against the noble tongue’ as Max put it …. here are some of the worst we have read….

To the Print-house go,
Where men the art of Printing soon do know,
Where for a Teaster, you may have your name
Printed, hereafter for to show the same:
And sure, in former Ages, ne’er ‘was found
A Press to print where men so oft were droun’d!

Behold the liquid RIVER now frozen o’er
That lately SHIPS of mighty burden bore.
Here you PRINT your name tho’ cannot write
‘Cause numbe’d with cold: ‘Tis done with great delight.
And lay it by: That AGES yet to come
May see what THINGS upon the ICE were done.

Kind master, drink you beer, or ale or brandy?
Walk in, kind sir, this booth is the chief,
We’ll entertain you with a slice of beef,
And what you please to eat or drink, ‘tis here,
No booth, like mine, affords such dainty cheer;
Another crys, Here master, they but scoff ye,
Here is a dish of famous new made coffee.
And some do say a giddy senseless ass
May on the LUNE be furnished with a lass.

I was sincerely hoping that Max would join me in setting our sights a little higher and agree to stop and watch the Parlour Poets in their ‘Sparring Salon’ but he suddenly became uncharacteristically Quiet, mumbled something about dogs, and has now skulked back to the parlour claiming a sudden urge for a cup of tea.

As I am still wheelchair-bound I had absolutely no say in the matter and so here we are, feeling a little perplexed and out of breath (it is no fun being rattled along the cobbled streets at speed in a bone shaker like that I can tell you), but with an excellent tea on the brew.

 

Yes indeed those amateur ice graffiti ‘artists’ left a lot to be desired – and along with the roasted Ox and the rampaging elephant I feel they were at least partly responsible for what happened next… but I will leave that until the next time you visit and instead leave you with this marvellous video of someone doing something FAR more worthy and impressive with the medium of ice…


Frost Fair: Collin’s Memoirs part 4…

Thankyou, friends, for joining me this morning on board the Harlequin Ladybird, do pull up a cat.. er, sorry, I mean a cushion… and make yourselves comfortable as I, Collin The Octopus, read to you all from my marvellous journal of extremely exciting adventures… a-hem…
February 1824…
Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome once again to Max and Collin’s splendidly Siberian – themed parlour located within the spectacularly frosted-over city of Lancaster.
True, some have called it a frigid flophouse belonging to chilling individuals whom you would not wish to meet down a dark alley, but we consider that such people are merely embittered that they have not yet received an invitation.
You find me this afternoon feeling a little foolish, a little sorry for myself and a little disappointed that ice skating isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Certainly ice skating with tentacles is not a thing I shall ever be attempting again. I’m afraid I got a little over excited at the Street Pageant … the Masala Chai punch…you know…
So here I lie, my tentacles in splints, attempting to suck chips of frozen tea through a straw while Max reads to me and the cats do their best to irritate me to distraction. Mrs B has kindly made up some foul smelling brown goo to rub into my wounds but it does nothing for my pride, I’m afraid; I am a fallen creature indeed….oh do shut up Max I am in no fit state to suffer your dubious wit.
Fortunately our soothing tea this morning is a beautiful and gentle blend of Sencha with sea buckthorn, spearmint and lemon verbena which reminds me of my ocean home and a lesson learned that not all forms of water provide an octopus with his element!
Still we did manage to take something of a stroll around the fair this morning.
I say stroll, which implies a leisurely pace, but my Very Quiet Gentleman Friend was doing an embarrassing amount of huffing and puffing and gasping for breath which was quite off putting I can tell you and leads me, once again, to question exactly what constitutes ‘Very Quiet’ in the realm above the waves.
I say stroll, but perhaps that is a misnomer for the exercise as in fact my tentacles were, as I said, all in splints from the ice skating affair and so Mrs B kindly rustled up an old wheelchair from somewhere and we strapped a couple of floor board planks to the wheels so that Max could push me through the snowy cobbled streets and over the icy river with ease.
Oh the joy! I cannot tell you how immeasurably more enjoyable it is to experience a winter’s walk from the cozy comfort of an armchair…there were fire eaters and jugglers, oh my goodness they even had an elephant! I’m amazed the ice does not crack! Mind you, they were roasting spit an ox with impunity over near the centre and I am certain it is going to lead to disaster.
There were so many things for sale, most of which are double the price one would expect to pay for them because they have the word ‘souvenir’ and a date scratched onto them. Luckily Max is a bit of a Finger Smith and we managed to procure some excellent spiced buns and treacle toffee before slipping away into one of the ‘fuddling tents’. These are made of the barge sails propped up haphazardly with poles and inside you will find some of the most lethal chai-cocktails to be mixed this side of a Tiffin Den.
We sampled ‘Purl’ (a steaming black brew made with lapsang and wormwood) which the vendor told us would have a man gibbering for days, and ‘The Spiky Mother’ (A pungent Assam with chilli and dark chocolate) which had apparently already hospitalised a crowd of eight, but we must be candid and say that, even after four or five cups of each, Max still had the wherewithal to hot foot it out of the tent and away before the angry vendor could catch up with us an extract his payment.  (no mean feat pushing an octopus in a make-shift sled)
He almost cornered us but luckily Max employed a pocket full of escapological marbles (if you are naive to the uses of escapological marbles to thwart a pursuer just ask the nearest five year old) and we left him cursing in the gutter.
So here we are again, back in the parlour, and eager to tuck in to our sticky treats – once Max has got his breath back.

Ah yes, I still suffer a little with rheumatism in my tentacles after that terrible episode – nevermore! Is now my mantra when it comes to the ice skating, but I do so love watching you humans go about the business, all the same. So I’ll leave you with this lovely lady doing a far better job of it than I did and until we meet again, tread with care and remain always,
Utterly Yourself


Frost Fair: With Nimue Brown

thoughtbubble us

 

Goblin market, come buy, come buy!

Good Morning! Welcome to the Annual Lancastrian Frost Fair on the frozen River Lune! I’m Nimue Brown and I have shivered my way through many a real world stall and event, usually for the purposes of promoting Hopeless, Maine. For this Fair I find myself wearing all of my bloomers and knickerbockers under all of the woolly things I could tie round myself, so you may be forgiven for mistaking me for some kind of sofa.

The Goblin Market goes out to events around Stroud (where I live) and tempts people with illicit and dangerous fruit – namely art and poetry, and other books. Sometimes you’ll find me at Steampunk events, huddled under a Hopeless Maine banner with other reprobates – Tom Brown who is responsible for the art side of things, sometimes Keith Healing who wrote the Hopeless Maine Role Play Game and on occasion, Keith Errington who wrote Hopeless Maine novella, The Oddatsea.

As Hopeless Maine is a cold, foggy and imaginary island off the coast of Maine, dressing for a wintery apocalypse is always authentic. Sometimes, in chilly desperation, I have gone so far as to wear an octopus on my head. A woolly one, I hasten to add. I would not expose a live octopus in so dreadful a way!

If you’d like to buy our lovely things, develop an addiction and never quite get over it (we are a Goblin market after all) you can do so without getting frostbite in your fingers, either via Etsy – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MothFestival

Or by starting over here – https://hopelessvendetta.wordpress.com/buy-the-books-and-things/

sis3


Frost Fair: With Stephen Palmer

S Palmer Factory Girl Penny

Good morrow, and well met! Welcome to the Annual Lancastrian Frost Fair on the frozen River Lune.

My name is Stephen Palmer and I write alternate history novels with a heady steampunk flavour. Sit down if you will… You can see my novels displayed here for your perusal, please feel free to browse at your leisure.

My work ranges from Tommy Catkins in the Great War, back through the Edwardian era in the clockwork, steampunk Factory Girl trilogy and The Conscientious Objector, to the surreal Dodgson-esque Hairy London, which ranges from Victorian times to WW1…

Enjoy! Be mystified! Then enjoy once more! 

S Palmer, Tommy Catkins

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tommy-Catkins-Stephen-Palmer/dp/0995752265/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=tommy+catkins&qid=1572459244&s=books&sr=1-1

S Palmer Factory Girl Penny

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girl-Two-Souls-Factory-Trilogy/dp/1539980529/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girl-One-Friend-Factory-Trilogy/dp/1539980553/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girl-No-Soul-Factory-Trilogy/dp/1539980588/ref=bseries_lb_1539980588

S Palmer, TCO

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Conscientious-Objector-Stephen-Palmer-ebook/dp/B082T1QZNY/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+conscientious+objector&qid=1580203719&s=books&sr=1-1

S Palmer, Hairy London

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hairy-London-Stephen-Palmer/dp/1495995224/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

But wait just one heartbeat before you skate away. In these days of social media there are links to be had – fine links! And here they are for you…

 

https://stephenpalmersf.wordpress.com/

 

https://www.sffchronicles.com/forum/stephen-palmer/

 

https://vimeo.com/stephenpalmer

 


Frost Fair: Collin’s Memoirs part 3…

Thankyou, friends, for joining me this morning on board the Harlequin Ladybird, do pull up a cat.. er, sorry, I mean a cushion… and make yourselves comfortable as I, Collin The Octopus, read to you all from my marvellous journal of extremely exciting adventures… a-hem…

February 1824

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen! You find us some what in haste this tea time as we are getting ourselves all dressed to impress and not just for larks or some nefarious landord’s scheme to make money, no, this time we actually do have somewhere swish to go!
Courtly Masques have been a traditional part of New Year celebrations here in The New World for centuries and the public version The Street Pageant is something that accompanies the Frost Fair here in Lancaster every year.

Some of the most outstanding lunatics, parlour-poets, tea fiends and self proclaimed ‘artists’, in the full intensity of their creative insanity, have devoted themselves to producing these Pageants (despite the earnest efforts of various New World Puritans to abolish them) and the infamous Garish Theatre producer Joyce Jameson recently proclaimed it to be “the highest art form in The Scattered Isles.”

To give the balance however we should  also quote journalist Pomona Squash of the Tiffindependent Newspaper whose scathing review of last years’ revels read:

“The entertainment went forward, and most of the presenters went backward, or fell down, wine did so occupy their upper chambers. The actress playing the Queen tripped over the steps of the throne, sending her gifts flying; Hope and Faith were too drunk to speak a word, while Peace, annoyed at finding her way to the throne blocked, made good use of her symbolic olive branches to slap anyone who was in her way” (click here to tut at our rampant quote theft)

So that is where we abscond to this evening, to paint the town of Lancaster (revolutionary) red and utterly get away with it because we shall be masked up and totally unrecognisable… we hope…
We wish you all an equally jubilant evening and we will let you know how we got on on Monday so, until then, please throw on a mask be whoever the Hull you wish (for one night at least!)

 

Hm, yes I remember those pageant nights getting somewhat out of hand… in fact (voices hushed please) perhaps this extract wasn’t such a good one to have been reading out loud at all – Max once spent some time in Lancaster Castle prison, rather beaten up and waiting to be hanged (whether or not they managed to hang him in the end I really couldn’t say, he has an annoying knack of defeating death which really makes me wonder if he isn’t some sort of demon afterall…)

Ah but I digress; the point is he had some sort of delirious vision while he was there about a Cheese Ball… or a Cheese Masque… or some such nonsense, (I believe some nefarious conspirator from the island of Hopeless, Mainementioning no names – slipped him a hairy coffee at visiting hour) and it would be well not to set him off on a blasted recital of the Mostly Awful Poem he wrote about the…

Sunken Hull Max! Are you trying to frighten the life out of us sneaking around like that? …. no nobody mentioned cheese, or Masques, or indeed anything of the kind and we certainly have not got time for… will you get down off the table… oh dear, it seems there is no dissuading the wretch, cover your ears or run good people – preserve your sanity!

 

HISTORY IS MADE AS MAX SPEAKS TO THE ROOM AT LARGE RATHER THAN JUST COLLIN FOR THE SECOND TIME IN PARLOUR HISTORY…

 

Friends, Tea Fiends, Revolutionaries, Poets, Painters, Hex Slingers, Technomancers, Goddess Worshippers, and Octopussies, I humbly (sort of  I mean, one can’t be too humble with a face like this -wink- ) present to you all …

“En Route To The Fromagian Ball”
(A Political Poem Of The Mor Irate Revolution By Eightcups Max)

As I waited for the Tyburn Tree
To spread its limbs and welcome me
To its embrace eternally
I dreamed I journeyed long, to thee
(To dance The Masque at Caerphilly)

I met Morbier on the way
He wore a masque of silver grey
Very smooth he looked, yet grim
And seven rats did follow him

Fat they were, and no surprise
For, despite his mournful sighs,
And as I feasted with my eyes
Yet they with sharp teeth took their prize.

Next came Roqufort and he had on,
All speckled with viridian,
A gown so tattered, holed and frayed
I wondered not he looked dismayed

“Can you sir, really, thus arrayed,
Be going to the masquerade
To dance at Caerphilly?”

And the little cats, who round his feet
Did lip and lap and even eat
The scroobius crumbs which from him fell
And each grew fat and fine and well

Clothed with Her Majesty’s revenues bright
Glittering gold through the grim twilight
Mild Camembert, smiling, sauntered by
And by her side, strode Manouri

And my heart sank to see the sly
Reflections in each gleaming eye
Of all the host that by me strayed
Towards the marvellous masquerade
To dance at Caerphilly.

A mighty troupe of cheeses round
And as they rolled they shook the ground
Waving each a blunt hooked knife
And in their wake came grief and strife

And yet with glorious triumph they
Rode through The Scattered Isles so gay
Drunk as with intoxication
Upon the wine of unfair taxation

Through Crumbia, past The Once Was Sea
Caroused the pageant, fat and free
Pounding flat and crushing down
Each village, hamlett, temple, town
Until they came to Caerphilly

And each guest of that monstrous ball
Did gasp and gape and stand in thrall
As tearing down their revelry
The fromagian host advanced with glee

And, to my horror, out there came
To meet the host and so to claim
Their glory, friends and family
All singing odes to Sbrinz and Brie

“Oh we have waited, hungering
For the mighty curd-coming”
And on their knees each one bent down
And for each cheese, proffered a crown

Then each took fork and knife and spoon
And there below the blood red moon
They rat-like, cat-like all did feast
And, eating so, became the beast

And wild, rapacious was the eye
Of every one who passed me by
Behind each masque that greeted me
As I came to Caerphilly
But as I felt myself besieged
By comrades now themselves in league
With lovers lost and rampant cheese
As gazing, lost, at all my foes
A vapour from my teacup rose

Faint and fragile as the dew
All silver grey the image grew
This Maiden, mailed, before me stood
With spork blade bright and shimmering hood

My Lady, Silverneedle, stands
Her teapot held in mighty hands
And above the roar of cheese
Her voice rings o’re the land and seas:

“Sions of Ire, scions of glory
Heroes of unwritten story
Suplings of one mighty pot
Rise and slice the Gordion knot”

“Rise like Silver Needle’s steam
Swift and to fulfil the dream
In the heart of every slave
The late of birth, the late in grave.
The dream of every treacle miner
No notion simpler or sublimer”

“Rise as one to take with might
The final bag of flour, white,
For you are many, they are few
And all they gorged was meant for you!”

With step as soft as wind she passed
O’re my head so swift and fast
And though I sought to find her there
Still all I saw was empty air.

But lingering in the morning grey
Some muse stirred in my memory
The scent of bergamots’ faint leaves
Which soothed my soul to thoughts of thee

As I waited for the Tyburn Tree
To spread its limbs and welcome me
To its embrace eternally
Still in my dream I danced with thee
(We danced The Masque at Caerphilly)


Frost Fair: With Zakarrie Clarke

Good Morning! Welcome to the Annual Lancastrian Frost Fair on the frozen River Lune!

 My name is Zakarrie and my stories are a rollercoaster ride of lust, laughter and all-consuming love. Even at their most contemporary, i should p’raps tag them #quirky #mmromance and (more often than not) #ownvoices. 

You can see my wares displayed here for your perusal, please feel free to browse at your leisure…

Amazon Author Page: 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zakarrie-Clarke/e/B07D7JQ32N/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Novels:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07RKPLGJ6/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i0

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07BBNJHZB/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i6

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07HW2Q2LD/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07NJCXX8Q/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i1

I hope you enjoy your time on the ice today, thank you so much for stopping by. 

*

If you’d like to read a free, full length shapeshifter novel, I’ve been serialising my latest story on my blog:

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

Two years ago, Jake McCain met an irresistible stranger at the Glastonbury festival. A few days later his life, as he knew it, was over.  Enter Jack. The ‘two’ of them have…cohabited ever since. Much to Jack’s dismay, Jake is relentless in his bid to be the most bloody minded human a jackal ever had the misfortune to manage.

Phin Finley has set off on a magical mystery campervan tour of south-west England. Having flown the family nest for the first time, he is determined to prove to his parents that he can manage just fine, despite being a bit too…Phinnish for most folk’s comfort, his mum’s peace of mind and dad’s constitution.

This is the story of his misadventures. Of finding your (happy) place in the world, making (foxy) friends and the fabled Beast of Bodmin Moor. 

Full storyhttps://zakarrie.com/tag/beast/  

Ch 1: https://zakarrie.com/2019/10/29/happy-halloween-week/

 


Frost Fair: Collin’s memoirs part 2…

Thankyou, friends, for joining me this morning on board the Harlequin Ladybird, do pull up a cat.. er, sorry, I mean a cushion… and make yourselves comfortable as I, Collin The Octopus, read to you all from my marvellous journal of extremely exciting adventures… a-hem…

February, 1823…

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Max and Collin’s splendiferously sparkling and frostabulously frozen parlour located in the splendidly scenic city of Lancaster!

True, some have called it a frigid place of cold hearts and frosty welcomes but we consider that uch people are merely embittered that they have not yet received an invitation.

You find us this morning, warming our tentacles beside an imaginary fire after an enterprising and entertaining morning at the fabulous frost fair which is being held on our beloved river Lune.

Our psychotic scarecrow landlord, Montmorency, woke us before dawn with the business end of his walking cane and demanded that we head out into the frozen darkness and not return until we had enough money to pay for this month’s rent. The fact that we only just paid for the last month seems to have escaped the rogue and so I perched upon Max’s shoulder and we set off towards the river.

There were already traders setting up stalls on the ice but none of them took favourably to our offers  of  assistance (it seems that Queen Vic’s recent  amendments to equality in employment law do not extend to an Octopus and a Tea Fiend) So we settled ourselves on the bank instead and watched the sun rise over the frosted spires of the sail barges which had collapsed crazily into the ice sheets and lay mired liked the skeletons of stranded beasts from some fantastical caffeine-fuelled nightmare.

Things picked up once the punters arrived. After some initial competition from a woman hawking root beer (For a Very Quite Gentleman, Max can be terribly clumsy when glass bottles are around) we managed to sell twenty bottles of lemonade (and drink many more) without being lynched by the barge folk for selling without paying the trading fees.

We decided that that was quite enough hard shirking for one morning and spent the rest of the time mooching around the stalls, watching the jugglers and fire eaters and, most impressively to me, the ice skaters. Having lived under the sea all my life, I never imagined this curious form entertainment and I am determined, soon, to beg, borrow or steal enough pairs of ice skates to attempt the thing myself.

Now here we are back in the parlour, our landlord briefly appeased, our cats greedily devouring the last of the skimmed milk ration, and all desperately in need of a reviving spot of elevenses and some soothing music to tap our tentacles to. Unfortunately our absconding butler has not seen fit to deliver the goods this morning (perhaps she thinks it’s a holiday? ‘Though what a werewolf would find to do at a frost fair we have no idea…) but not to worry because we managed to run into our lovely Mrs Baker on the way back and she has set us up with a packet of genuine Frost Fair Souvenir Gingerbread which, knowing Mrs B, will be crammed full of illegal sugar…mmm…

And, by happy chance, Max’s constant pocket companion ‘The Whole Duty Of A Woman (or an infalliable guide to the fair sex) – 1737’ (A birthday gift from a devoted family member I think) has an excellent recipe for … OWCH! …Well, really! You know, for a Very Quiet Gentleman, Max, you  can be excessively violent devoid of a sense of humour… do learn to take a joke, please!

I was going to say, before I was so rudely interrupted by a flying teapot, that this is a recipe for ginger bread biscuits, rather than the cake which we are enjoying now but it is nonetheless share-worthy, I think…

“To Make Gingerbread…

Take a pound and a half of London Treacle, two eggs beaten, half a pound of sugar, one ounce of ginger, beaten and sifted, of cloves, mace and nutmeg, all together, half an ounce beaten very fine, coriander seeds and caraway seeds of each half an ounce, Two punds of butter melted; mix all these together, with as much flour a will knead it into a pretty stiff paste, then roll it out and cut it into what Form you please; bake it in a Quick Oven on Tin-plates; A little time will bake it.”

 

 

Oh I do miss our dear Mrs Baker very much indeed! And yes, I’m sorry to say that Max is no less violent and humourless when it comes to ‘taking a joke’ these days as he was then… fortunately he has decided not to join us for these little readings, although I can’t think why he would deny himself such a pleasure, hedonism notoriously being his chief virtue…

If you are out on the ice today, do tread with care won’t you? Unless you have ice skates in which case throw yourself gracelessly with wild abandon! And until we meet again please, remain always

Utterly Yourself


Frost Fair: With Boston Metaphysical Society

Good Morning Everyone! Welcome to the Annual Lancastrian Frost Fair on the frozen River Lune!

My name is Madeleine Holly-Rosing and I write the steampunk supernatural series, Boston Metaphysical Society.  It started off as a six issue graphic novel series then moved into short stories, novellas, a novel, and we are now producing standalone short graphic novels that are a continuation of the original series AND a coloring book.  

The original graphic novel is about an ex-Pinkerton detective, a spirit photographer, and a genius scientist who battle supernatural forces in late 1800s Boston.

We are currently running a Kickstarter Campaign to print our third standalone sequel,  Boston Metaphysical Society: Ghosts and Demons and the first ever Boston Metaphysical coloring book.  The campaign ends on Feb. 21.

Kickstarter Link: http://kck.st/38pVBxU

The other books in the Boston Metaphysical Society universe are:

Boston Metaphysical Society: The Complete Original Series (Graphic Novel) It hits Diamond Distribution in March 2020, so please order it from your local comic book store or from Source Point Press.

Boston Metaphysical Society:  The Scourge of the Mechanical Men (Graphic Novel) –https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0996429247/

Boston Metaphysical Society: The Spirit of Rebellion: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0996429271/

Boston Metaphysical Society: Prelude (Anthology)- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XB5U82Q/

Boston Metaphysical Society: A Storm of Secrets (Novel) – https://www.amazon.com/Boston-Metaphysical-Society-Storm-Secrets-ebook/dp/B07HCP9SW5/

All of these books are available in various reward tiers as part of the Kickstarter.

Thank you so much for stopping by and enjoy your day!

Please visit our website at http://www.bostonmetaphysicalsociety.com and like/follow us on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BostonMetaphysicalSocietyComic

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Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mcholly1


Frost Fair: With Characters from ‘Wind Me Up, One More Time’ by K.S. Trenten

 

A golden shimmer hangs in the air over the billowing tent folds of the stall where Theodora Bear sits on display. She cannot move, not with all the crowds of strangers moving around, watching her still, stuffed form. None of these people are her child, after all. She can speak, however, in the silent, non-voice of stuffed animals which other toys and her child can hear. 

 

*It’s a good thing Iama put a spell on this tent. I think we’re warmer here than a lot of the vendors are in their booths.*

 

A little girl wearing a red hood pulled over her head nods.

 

*It’s also a good thing we came and not the other Grace and Theodora. They have Maia, who’s a good seamstress, but we have Iama, who’s an actual enchantress. We’re more prepared for the cold than any of the characters in Verity, for all the perpetual fog in that town.*

 

*You think this is cold?* The scornful not-voice of a little man with a long, gray beard, a cap pulled down over his eyes, and dangling legs covered with red and white striped stockings was inaudible to Grace, but not to Theodora. *It’s far colder in the land my brother nisse and I come from.*

 

*Where are your brothers?* Theodora let her furry head list a little to the side in a movement too small to be noticed. *I’d think they’d love this frost fair.*

 

*They don’t want to go out until their new caps are ready.* Leif tugs his own cap in a self-conscious fashion, or tries to, but his own child isn’t even present. He can do a lot less than Theodora. *Can’t say I blame them.*

 

*Well, look sharp, Grace, it appears we have visitors.* Theodora regards the approaching readers with shiny button eyes. 

 

“Hello!” Grace smiles, speaking out loud for the first time. “Welcome to the Wind Me Up, One More Time booth! We’re all characters from that story, or from Grace and Theodora: Magic and Mishaps, the story within that story. It’s all fairy tales, toys, girls falling in love, learning to grow up without growing away, not allowing ourselves to be turned into gold by misguided enchantresses, or ground up by the gears of industry.” She stops a moment, looking unsure of herself, only to turn the crank in the back of the stuffed bear. 

 

“Growwr,” Theodora says, opening the seams in her chest to reveal what should be stuffing within. 

 

Grace lets out a frightened gasp, but there’s something glowing with Theodora’s chest. A golden apple, with the following information inscribed upon it…

 

Good Morning! Welcome to the Annual Lancastrian Frost Fair on the frozen River Lune!

 My name is K.S. Trenten and I write ambient fantasy. The characters you are meeting are from Wind Me Up, One More Time, my first published novel. Here are some links to that particular holiday fairy tale…

Mischief Corner Books/Shenanigans Press: https://www.mischiefcornerbooks.com/wind-me-up-one-more-time.html#/

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081LPX2WH

 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wind-me-up-one-more-time

 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wind-me-up-one-more-time-ks-trenten/1134959345

 

https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1488235515?fbclid=IwAR1_ox2T5jIHibPFBHUqTck0SNaP3pcZIgNM4DS3VAjU47mn3o5iu260bMA

 

If you’d like to discover more about me, you can find at…

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rhodrymavelyne/?ref=bookmarks#

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rhodrymavelyne

 

tumblr: https://rhodrymavelyne.tumblr.com/

 

Archive of Our Own: http://archiveofourown.org/users/rhodrymavelyne

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14876500.K_S_Trenten?from_search=true

 

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/kstrenten

 

Nine Star Press Author Page: https://ninestarpress.com/authors/k-s-trenten/

 

I’ve got other published stories available; such as Seven Tricks, A Symposium in Space, Fairest (Once Upon a Rainbow), At Her Service (Once Upon a Rainbow 2), and The Closet (Impact). I write a monthly column, Sources of Inspiration for Queer Sci Fi and also update monthly at cauldronkeeper.livejournal.com and rhodrymavelyne.dreamwidth.org

Free samples of my work are available weekly at the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration (inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com) and the Formerly Forbidden Cauldron (inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com), so feel free to stop by! I hope you enjoy your time on the ice today, thank you for stopping by!