Steampunk Chats

The steampunk community is a delight. How many people can be witty in 140 characters? Well, Stephen Fry, obviously :)

This Friday at 9pm New York time, I’ll be hosting the #steampunkchat on Twitter. That means, I get to pick the topic!

I’ve been intrigued for ages by the interaction between nostalgia and steampunk. I’ve read (and drat it, I’ve forgotten the reference) that nostalgia increases in tough times. So this week we’ll be discussing the appeal of nostalgia and its impact on shaping steampunk, particularly the steampunk style that is slipping into mainstream culture — think corsets in fashion, accordians in rock music — what do you mean, you haven’t heard accordians in rock music? There must be some. Heck, even AC/DC used bagpipes :)

You can join the #steampunkchat just by following the hashtag and including it in your tweets. This is really easy to do if you join the chat in the SteampunkChat TweetChat room.

Then the following week, I’m on the Steampunk panel for Coyote Con. This is an hour long session at 8pm on Friday 26 October (again, New York time). Coyote Con is a FREE writing conference that lasts the whole weekend. My fellow panelists will be Cindy S Pape, JL Hilton and Seleste de Laney. I can’t wait to chat about writing Steampunk with fellow enthusiasts — you are all VERY welcome!

 

Release Day! “Courting Trouble”

I love Australian history. I even studied it at university. You can not believe how blessed I feel to have the chance to share stories that take our history and give it a fun, thoughtful twist. I’m having a wonderful time writing The Bustlepunk Chronicles.

Courting Trouble” releases today, and to celebrate, I’m sharing some Australiana. I love my country, its freedom and beauty, and I want to share some of my joy. Believe me, today, on Release Day, I have lots of joy to go around.

To win the cards and giftcard set, plus a digital copy of “Courting Trouble”, please leave a comment. The contest is open internationally.

Courting Trouble - Steampunk

Swan River Colony, Australia, 1895

All suffragette Esme Smith wants is respect. Her beau, American inventor Jed Reeve, may be more enlightened than most men, but lately his need to protect her is at odds with her need for independence. Esme begins to wonder if a modern woman can share her life with a man without losing some of herself.

With his courtship of Esme stalled, the last thing Jed needs is the pressure of saving the Prince of Wales. But when blueprints for a sonic destroyer fall into his hands, he uncovers an anarchist plot that could have deadly consequences.

While investigating the threats, Jed is determined to keep Esme out of harm’s way, despite her protests. But when the terrorists capture Jed and demand a priceless emerald in exchange for his life, it’s Esme who must draw on all her strength to save the day.

Amazon

Reviewers: Review copies are available from Netgalley.

Courting Trouble releases 1 Oct

To celebrate the release of “Courting Trouble“, the second Bustlepunk Chronicle, I’m indulging in a round of festivities. Yes, I’ll be talking about my book, but also about other passions in my life: history, steampunk, Western Australia — hang on! I forgot to do a post on food! How did I forget food? Never mind. As I party my way around the world, there are a number of copies of “Courting Trouble” up for grabs; as well as a special Release Day post here on 1 October. Please join me at the brilliant sites (hosted by some wonderful people) listed below:

27 Sept – Steamed – visit the Antipodes for real Steam ;)
1 Oct – A Clockwork Christmas on Facebook, we have the Steampunk Pet Photo Contest
1 Oct – Riverina Romantics – Springtime is wildflower season and Diwali – the Indian Festival of Lights
1 Oct – Australian Romance Readers Assoc
3 Oct – Monique McDonell – Interview – great questions!
4 Oct – Carina Press – Improving on history – the Indian connection
5 Oct – Here Be Magic – Museums & communal memory
6 Oct – Manic Readers – Australiana
Courting Trouble - Steampunk

Swan River Colony, Australia, 1895

All suffragette Esme Smith wants is respect. Her beau, American inventor Jed Reeve, may be more enlightened than most men, but lately his need to protect her is at odds with her need for independence. Esme begins to wonder if a modern woman can share her life with a man without losing some of herself.

With his courtship of Esme stalled, the last thing Jed needs is the pressure of saving the Prince of Wales. But when blueprints for a sonic destroyer fall into his hands, he uncovers an anarchist plot that could have deadly consequences.

While investigating the threats, Jed is determined to keep Esme out of harm’s way, despite her protests. But when the terrorists capture Jed and demand a priceless emerald in exchange for his life, it’s Esme who must draw on all her strength to save the day.

Amazon

Reviewers: Review copies are available from Netgalley.

Steampunk Pet Contest

If you follow my Tumblr blog (newly re-purposed to keep up with steampunk happenings) then you’ll already know all about the Steampunk Pet Party.

“Who let her loose with Pixlr?”

The party is over at A Clockwork Christmas on Facebook — but is really just an excuse for everyone to share cute photos of their pets. We’d love to see a steampunk twist, but any cute pet photo is very welcome!

The four of us, just call us the Antho Sisters, will be sharing a photo of our pets every day till the release of JK’s “Broken Promises” on September 10. Then we’ll open the floodgates to all your photos.

Up for grabs … a copy of the steampunk anthology, A Clockwork Christmas, a copy of “Broken Promises” by JK Coi and a copy of my bustlepunk tale, “Courting Trouble”.

Courting Trouble” releases October 1, and that’s the day we’ll close the contest.

***

If you’re on Pinterest, you’ll want to follow the new board Stacy Gail’s created, “All Things Steampunk“.

***

And an hour from now (at 9pm New York time) I’ll be hosting this week’s #steampunkchat on Twitter. The theme is “Halloween”. It’s time to share ideas for a steampunk’d Halloween … this way there’s lots of time to get yourself organised once inspiration strikes.

Judging a Book by its Cover

I was reading my TI sheet for Courting Trouble which releases 1 October from Carina Press and I noticed that the graphic designer responsible for its cover is Croco Designs. This is wonderful news because they do some of the best graphics in the romance world. Wanted: One Scoundrel is one of their covers. You can see it in the sidebar. Fantastic work.

But as I wait (more or less patiently) to see the cover for Courting Trouble, it got me thinking about that old phrase, “choosing a book by its cover”, and you know what? I just don’t.

That’s the plain truth. For all my excitement when I see the covers for my own books, when I buy a book to read, the cover is irrelevant. Unless my subconscious is extremely sneaky, covers don’t affect my buying habits at all.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the sheer artistry involved. My favourite cover artist is Paul Kidby for the way he’s brought to life Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. And if you click on Paul Kidby’s link, I am NOT responsible for your new addiction to all things Discworld.

 

Steampunkchat

An hour after this post goes live (so 9pm New York time, Friday 20 July), Cindy S Pape and I will be hosting the hour-long weekly #steampunkchat on Twitter. As always you can have your #steampunkchat hashtag automatically included in your tweets by following the chat in the Steampunk Chat Tweetchat room.

The theme of this week’s chat is Steampunk tropes, stereotypes and cliches. Lots of good stuff in there.

In the world of romance reading, writing and reviewing, we often talk about tropes; the old secretary falls in love with the boss, or the baby surprise, or Cinderella gets her prince. But what are the tropes in steampunk?

I’m thinking there’ll be an unwilling hero. There’ll definitely be grand adventure — thanks to Neither Here Nor There for reminding me of this obvious, and therefore, overlookable, point.

Science saves the day is another trope. Or is it? Is science sometimes the villain?

There’ll be dirigibles and high tea (well, in my steampunk world there is always food!). There’ll be corsets and weird guns. Magic might sneak in — and purists might object to it :)

Steampunk is so free at the moment, it may be and become anything. But has anything become overdone and cliched? *whisper* could it be goggles?

Anyway, come and join the chat!

Christmassy Treats

In the spirit of Christmas in July — which is all about good company and good food — I thought I’d ask what your favourite cold weather treats are — your “Christmas pleasures” as the Victorian Christmas card says.

Hot chocolate is probably my favourite winter warmer, made with full-fat milk, cocoa, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Yum. But apple crumble comes a close second.

I make the world’s laziest crumble. In fact, it doesn’t crumble at all! Rather than rub the butter into the flour, I melt it and pour through the dry mix. No one complains. I use a pie dish for about four good sized apples chopped small and sprinkled with cinnamon. For the crumble I have a small mug each of rolled oats, shredded coconut and flour, a pinch of salt and a quarter mug of sugar. Then I bake at 180 Celsius for thirty to thirty five minutes.

If someone would bring a roasted chestnuts vendor to Perth, then hot chestnuts would go to the absolute top of my winter treats list. I hate (and fear) putting that cross in the top of them and roasting at home.

And of course, chocolate is good any time of year :)

***Don’t forget to visit my Antipodean Steampunk Christmas post and leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of A Clockwork Christmas in which my dauntless suffragette heroine and rascally Steampunk inventor celebrate their own Christmas in July.