Steampunk fiction, reviews and interviews

frost fair

Frost Fair : With Karen.J.Carlisle

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Roll up, roll up to the Great Frost Fair,

Mind your step, come see my wares.

Don’t be shy, browse my books.

Go on, pick one up. Take a look.

 

Welcome to the annual Lancastrian Frost Fair on the frozen river Lune! What a relief. It’s hot back home in South Oz.

My name is Karen J Carlisle. I write steampunk, Victorian mysteries and fantasy. What’s your poison… I mean, preference? (Don’t worry I’ve got an antidote.)

 

Do you like something with a darker edge? Murder, mummies and mysteries, perhaps? Why not try The Adventures of Viola Stewart – steampunk Victorian mysteries, with a Gaslamp flavour?

 

The Adventures of Viola Stewart

Introducing Viola Stewart, a widowed optician with a penchant for detectiving, who stumbles upon a secret Society of Men in Grey. Viola finds herself entangled in murders and mysteries, helped by her friend, Doctor Henry Collins.

Each adventure features different Victorian gothic themes – Jack the Ripper, the threat of Bedlam, a mummy’s curse, illusions and conspiracies.

 

This series chronicles Viola Stewart’s adventures in the classic forms of short stories and novellas, made popular with the Victorian era Penny Dreadfuls, and is sold separately as ebooks, or in compilation form as three separate journals.

  • Doctor Jack & Other Tales – Someone’s stalking the women of London… Again. What if Jack the Ripper was being controlled by a secret society, as part of their nefarious plans to take over The Empire?
  • Eye of the Beholder & Other Tales – Murder… Mummies… Mystery. With the threat of Bedlam looming over her, Viola must solve the mystery before it is too late.
  • The Illusioneer & Other TalesViola needs a holiday. But, even at the beach or while on The Grand Tour of Europe, there are things afoot.

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Want to know more? Watch the book trailers at: https://karenjcarlisle.com/books/book-trailers-viola-stewart-adventures/

Read reviews here: https://karenjcarlisle.com/books/book-reviews/

 

The Aunt Enid Mysteries

If you prefer paranormal and fantasy with your cosy mystery, then try The Aunt Enid Mysteries. The first book, Aunt Enid: Protector Extraordinaire is set in present-day Adelaide.

 

Daemons, fairies, magic: it’s all real!

The Otherworld is bleeding through cracks into our world. And Adelaide is ground zero.

Something is coming. Something dark – trading souls for passage. And only one person now stands between the Dark and the fate of the world.

 

Aunt Enid is just your average seventy-something year old. She loves to cook, is a regular at bingo and spends hours in her garden, talking to her army of garden gnomes and fussing over the colour of her hydrangeas…

When people start disappearing, her great niece, Sally, is drawn into a secret world and soon discovers her great aunt is a Protector Extraordinaire.

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You may have met Aunt Enid when she hosted Elevenses (link: https://blakeandwight.com/2018/07/10/elevenses-with-aunt-enid-protector-extraordinaire/) for Max and Collin.

Watch the book trailers and meet Aunt Enid’s gnome army at: https://karenjcarlisle.com/books/aunt-enid-mysteries/book-trailers-aunt-enid/ and read Reviews here: https://karenjcarlisle.com/books/aunt-enid-mysteries/reviews-the-aunt-enid-mysteries/

 

Don’t mind those strangers lurking in the back. They’re waiting their turn for a chat. Come here, you two. Meet Miss Mathilda Meriwether and Sir Avery Allington.

What’s that glinting around your neck, Tillie?

Oh, sorry. Ahem…

 

Not keen on mysteries? You prefer a rollicking adventure, with a dollop of intrigue? (It is steampunk, after all.) Then my new series is for you!

 

The Department of Curiosities

The Department of Curiosities series is set in the same alternate steampunk world as The Adventures of Viola Stewart, with events starting five years before Doctor Jack (1883). And all new characters. It’s a steampunk tale of adventure, a heroine, mad scientists, traitors and secrets. All for the good of the Empire.

 

Book one, The Department of Curiosities: For the Good of the Empire, is currently scheduled for release in May.

 

Miss Mathilda Meriwether has a secret. Actually, she has several. One of them has shaped her adult life. Another now controls it.

Her Majesty Queen Victoria has control of the Empire. She is the Empire – and creator of secrets.

Sir Avery works for The Department of Curiosities – the keepers of secrets, especially if they are useful to the Empire.

When Tillie finds herself in the employment of The Department of Curiosities, she realises this is the perfect opportunity to uncover the truth she’s been searching for.

But the Queen has other plans for her.

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Want to know more? You can watch the book trailer here: https://karenjcarlisle.com/books/the-department-of-curiosities/book-trailers-the-department-of-curiosities/

 

Pre-order Information and Freebie!

Sign up here: (link: https://karenjcarlisle.com/sign-up-email-list/ ) for to my monthly newsletter, Tea & Tidings, for information on how to pre-order your copy of The Department of Curiosities, final release dates and more.

And when you sign up, you get your free ebook copy of ‘With a Twist of the Nib’, filled with steampunk, fantasy and science fiction short stories.

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Where to buy my books:

You can find information on where to buy my books (paperbacks and ebooks) either from online bookshops or buy direct from me, on my webpage shop: https://karenjcarlisle.com/shop/

 

Other links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/KarenJCarlisle

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/karenjcarlisle

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/kjcarl

 

But, wait. There’s more!

 

Come closer… don’t let the others know. I have something special for you – another stall, out there in the aether…

 

While you’re waiting for The Department of Curiosities, why not acquaint yourself with my alternate steampunk world and Viola’s first set of adventures. Visit my Smashwords stall, hit the BUY button and use the voucher codes and get your copy of:

Vouchers valid until 1st March, 2019.

 

What to chat more? You can follow me on:

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed your time on the ice today. (Please, ignore those strange lights under the ice…)

And thank you for stopping by.

 

 

  • Karen J

 

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Frost Fair: With Phoebe Darqueling

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

My name is Phoebe Darqueling and I write Steampunk and Gaslamp fantasy, plus I love fractured fairy tales. I’ve got a few books for your perusal, including a freebie for all you fabulous fair-goers.

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The Steampunk Handbook is a collection of articles from my last six years of blogging. It covers topics such as the history of steam power, the philosophical roots of punk and punk literature as a whole, and the history and evolution of the Steampunk fandom. In addition, you will find information about the historical and cultural underpinnings behind twelve of the most popular tropes in Steampunk, and tons of book and movie recommendations.

 

Get your FREE COPY now!

riftmaker front_ebook cover (small)Riftmaker

Save his boy, uncover a conspiracy, and master opposable thumbs—a dog’s work is never done.

Buddy’s favorite thing is curling up for a nap at the foot of Ethan’s bed. Then he stumbles through a portal to a clockwork city plagued by chimeras, and everything changes… Well, not everything. Sure, his new human body comes with magic powers, but he’d still rather nap than face the people of Excelsior, who harbor both desire and fear when it comes to “the other side.”

He discovers Ethan followed him through the portal and underwent his own transformation, and it becomes Buddy’s doggone duty to save him. Buddy finds unlikely allies in an aristocrat with everything on the line, a mechanic with something to hide, and a musician willing to do anything to protect her. Using a ramshackle flying machine, the group follows the chimeras deep into the forest and uncovers a plot that could reshape the worlds on both sides of the rift.

Get it for the special pre-order price of $1.99 until release day, Feb 14!

No Rest for the Wicked front cover.jpgNo Rest for the Wicked

Other people just think they’re “haunted by the past.” In Vi’s case, it’s true.

 

Clairvoyant Viola Thorne wants to forget about her days of grifting and running errands for ghosts. The problem? Playing it safe is dull. So when a dead stranger begs for her help, Vi jumps at the chance to dust off her hustling skills. The unlikely companions are soon tangling with bandits, cheating at cards, and loving every minute.

 

Then she finds out who referred him, and Vi has to face both a past and ex-partner that refuse to stay buried. Though she betrayed Peter, his spirit warns her of the plot that cost him his life. Vi’s guilty conscience won’t let her rest until she solves his murder. Though she’s spent her whole life fighting the pull of the paranormal, it holds the key to atoning for the only deception she’s ever regretted—breaking Peter’s heart.

 

Coming Mar 28, but you can place your pre-order for a print copy through Black Rose Writing and use the promo code PREORDER2019 to get 15% off.

The Queen of Clocks and Other queen of clocksSteampunk Tales

You can find my horror re-telling of Pinocchio in this fractured fairy tale collection.

“Once upon a time” is a phrase that immediately conjures images of enchantment. Royal balls, magical creatures, love at first sight… We are taken to a fantasy world where anything is possible. The Queen of Clocks and Other Steampunk Tales brings together the magic of fairytale and the allure of cogs and gears. Within these pages, find dancing automatons, industrial age fairies, a mermaid with wind-up legs, heroes of the steam age, and more. Drawing from classic tales of the Brothers Grimm, Carlo Collodi, Charles Perrault, Hans Christian Andersen, and Homer, these original interpretations are sure to delight fans of steampunk and fairytales alike.

army of brassArmy of Brass

In 2017, I coordinated and contributed to this collaborative Steampunk novel. Check out a review or read and excerpt.

When the mad conqueror haunting Elaina’s dreams invades her adopted homeland, the real nightmare becomes what she’s willing to do to stop him.

The dreaded Hunter Baron has landed on the shores of Mailderet, but Master Tinkerer Elaina Gable believes she has the solution. Giant automatons sit rusting in the valley, waiting for someone with the drive and ingenuity to bring them to life. But the king, swayed by the destruction his ancestors wrought centuries before, harbors a deep-seated fear of the machines. Though he will not allow the alliance of Tinkerers and Smiths to complete the work, Elaina resolves to bring the machines back to life in secret—with the help of a famous airship pilot. (Meet the character when he had a sit down with Max and Collin)

From the safety of the swamps, a woman with silver skin jealously guards the secrets of the automatons. Though the Silver Woman also wishes the past to remain buried, she must weigh the value of secrecy against the thousands of innocents her hesitation might send to the grave.

As they discover the link between the toxic valley and the inner workings of the automatons, Elaina and her allies are drawn into a web of deceit threatening the balance of power across two continents—and proving the truth behind the deadly legends surrounding the Army of Brass.

Check it out!

I hope you enjoy your time on the ice today, and thank you so much for stopping by. If you want to follow my antics, here’s where to find me around the aetherweb:

On Facebook: My author page, fan page, or join my Steampunk group, United we Steampunk, Divided we Fall

On Twitter: @Gearturns

On Book Platforms: BookBub, Goodreads and Amazon


Frost Fair: With Mathew McCall

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

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My name is Mathew McCall and I write Dark Steampunked Science Fiction, which is gritty Science Fiction set the Steampunk genre. Probably because my first proper introduction to SciFi was Cyberpunk, I wanted to take Steampunk down the Cyberpunk route. I am also a big fan of Dick, Bradbury and Lovecraft so you won’t be surprised that my Steampunk is darker than most. Yes, it still has all the things you associate with Steampunk; corsets, nutty professors, top hats, airships, mad adventures, crazy machines and wonderful contraptions, but there’s something darker under the surface.

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My first book is The Dandelion Farmer, set on Mars, twenty-five years after revolution threw off the yoke of the rule of the old Earthbound Empires. I aimed to write a Steampunked Science Fiction novel that was more Science Fiction than Steampunk whimsy. I knew I wanted it to be set on Mars and I wanted it to draw on elements of Verne and Wells, but also Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles, Burroughs’ John Carter adventures, and a little touch of Lovecraft. This would give me the opportunity to build, not only an alternative history, but an entire new Steampunked world.

I felt that modern most Steampunk literature, with only a few notable exceptions, has always been “fluffy,” playing to the audience with all the subtlety of a Carry On movie, nudge-nudge, wink-wink… and making virtually no contribution to Science Fiction as a genre. Nonetheless it is to the Godfathers (and Godmothers) of Science Fiction, the authors of the late 18th and 19th century that Steampunk owes its existence. I wanted to write something that I would be proud to see on a shelf next to those giants.

Edwin and Adam simply came fully formed out of my imagination, I am sometimes left feeling that I am merely exploring their world beside them.

The first book starts off almost Western Frontier adventure in flavour, but quickly evolves into something more akin to a Verne-like quest, especially as other darker forces come into play. 

The Dandelion Farmer is an adventure over three books, “The Dandelion Farmer” being the first, with “The Hourglass Sea,” almost completed, being the second in the series.

I self-published through Amazon UK and Kindle and I have had great reviews, see also Goodreads, but not much success in getting out to the wider SF and Adventure reading audience.

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

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My website, where you can read the first couple of chapters and reviews for free; https://doktormatas.weebly.com/the-dandelion-farmer.html

My book is available from Amazon.uk  and worldwide from Amazon.com in both paperback and kindle. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1549539140

Or come and have a chat with me on my FB pages Mathew McCall Author or Doktor Matas.

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


Frost Fair: With E A Hennessy

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

My name is E. A. Hennessy, and I write Russian and Slavic-themed steampunk adventures. You can see my wares displayed here for your perusal, please feel free to browse at your leisure…

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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AXD0UI0

I hope you enjoy your time on the ice today, thank you for stopping by. If you’d like to follow what happens next in the Gaslight Frontier, you can find me at eahennessy.com or on social media at www.facebook.com/eahennessy, www.twitter.com/ea_hennessy, and www.instagram.com/ea_hennessy.


Frost Fair: My Fair Temperance

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“Oh my Goodness, please be careful Miss Plumtartt! The ice on this here frozen Lancastrian river is as hard as marble and slicker than silk sheets. It’ll drop you on your bustle quicker than a steam whistle.”

“Quite so, Mr. Temperance, though if the river were not frozen over, we would not be  present at this delightful Frost Fair. I had no idea Lancaster produced such a wide variety of wonderful crafts and delicious treats. One notices that you have no inhibitions toward satiating your indulgences concerning sickly sweets, eh hem?”

“But I was assured that these treacle tooth-breakers are the last ones mined from these hills in thirty years!”

“I see. And did these treacle miners deplete your own allowance reserves?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“It is just as well, sir, for I now have our own kiosk, cum stall, a’la merchant’s stand in place.”

“But I wanted to walk around with the books displayed on a board resting on my tummy and hanging from a strap around my neck!”

“No, we are going to cooperate with Miss Blake and sell our wares from behind this small table surrounded by colourful bunting. Did you really all eat the treats that I had prepared to entice prospective customers?”

“Uhb.”

“Never mind, I want you to remain here in the hopes that someone may wish to inspect one of your written adventures. The novels might require some explanation.”

“These books are of high adventure Miss Plumtartt! I can’t help it if they sometimes come across as whimsical!”

“Of course not, Mr. Temperance, and I’m sure your sprinkling of mild innuendo through these tales is completely accidental.”

“I reckon it would have to be, ’cause I don’t even know what that is.”

“Perhaps you could inform any potential readers that you have saved this, our blessed planet, from a number of global, paranormal threats in these themed adventures?”

“Oh, yes, Ma’am, Miss Plumtartt, Ma’am! There was the time that C’thuller tried to eat us all up, and then there was the time we had to beat back a Martian invasion. We’ve had run-ins with broods of Nosferaters, VooDoo zombies, and the mighty Zodgila. I’ve gotten to be pals with Sherlock Holmes, King Arthur, and even some gigantic dragons.”

“One must admit that these are an intriguing, and colourful collection of novels. Here is the link to your international Amazon page:

https://www.amazon.com/Ichabod-Temperance/e/B00J71862M/

“My word, the treacle appears to have solidified to solid mass within Mr. Temperance’s mouth, locking his jaws. Might One say, on Ichabod’s behalf, what a delight it has been to visit lovely Lancaster on the frozen river Lune. Our very best to Penny, Max, Colin, and everyone else in this charming shire. Toodle-loo!”


Welcome To The Frost Fair!

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Hello and welcome to our annual Lancastrian Frost Fair on the frozen River Lune! Throughout January and February a fabulous array of Steampunk, Sci Fi and LGBTQ+ authors will be taking to the ice with stalls and sideshows to display their fabulous books for your perusal and enjoyment!

Frost Fairs were once a traditional (if rare) feature of Londonian winter time and you can read more about their history here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Thames_frost_fairs

But before we begin the festivities, I’d like to let you know about a few changes that will be taking place here on Blake and Wight during 2019.

I’ve been struggling the past year to find a balance between work, family life and supporting the creators whose work I really love and 2019 is going to be a very demanding year.

Also, behind the scenes of Steampunk’d Lancaster, big changes are taking place for our characters  – Max and Collin  are moving onwards and upwards to bigger and better things (they hope!) and you can follow their latest adventures in our new #rainbowsnippets posts on Saturdays. 

This storyline will also have a big impact on the futures of Mrs Baker, our lovely kitchen witch, Peril, our grumpy ghost, and the loathsome landlord Montmorency so I really want this blog space to reflect those changes too.

Lastly, while I’ve really enjoyed writing and reviewing as an octopus for the past few years, Collin’s scope for accurately reviewing and expressing my own personal views of the books I’m sent to read is sometimes limited.

So, taking all these things into account, the plan for 2019 is as follows –

I will take over the review posts from Collin and there will be approximately one review post per month to make things more manageable. I’m hoping this will enable me to write more useful, detailed and personal reviews and also post them on a wider range of sites.

Interviews will also change to approximately one per month but creators will be able to choose to be interviewed either by Mrs Baker, or (if they’re feeling brave) by Max and Collin.

The seasonal author promos seemed to work out really well for everyone last year and so I will continue to run those again this year, starting with the Frost Fair, then Aether Eggs, Summer Postcards and ending with Lovely Library in the autumn.

So that’s the way 2019 will look here on Blake and Wight. Of course I’ve a whole stack of high hopes and pipe dreams that may flesh things out but we’ll see what time and resources allow for.

I wish you all an amazing 2019 where all your hard work pays off and life and work find a rewarding balance 🙂