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.


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.

No Post, Today

I’m deep in Claytons Conf prep. Maybe (definitely!) a better organised person would have pre-prepared posts for today and Saturday (when the conference actually runs). I’m not that person. Soooo till next week when my brain is no longer whirling like a dust storm, no posts.

Believe me, you don’t want to hear my level of incoherence at the moment.

Oops. Almost forgot to tease: I just saw the cover concept for “Courting Trouble”. Stunning. Can’t wait to share the final cover. You will love it.


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.



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.

An Antipodean Steampunk Christmas

Here in Australia we celebrate Christmas in July — an excuse for good company and good food in the middle of winter. In the spirit of cheering up these cold months, I’m offering a giveaway of the anthology, “A Clockwork Christmas“. If you live in Australia or New Zealand, I’ll send you a paper copy. These are rare; only a handful were printed as author copies. If you live in the US, PG Forte, one of my wonderful antho sister’s will send you a paper copy. Everywhere else, I’m sorry. Your copy will be digital. International postage is ridiculously expensive. Leave a comment on this post to go in the draw to win. Contest closes 8 July. Good luck!

We Wish You a Steampunk Christmas

Changed forever after tragedy, a woman must draw strength from her husband’s love. A man learns that love isn’t always what you expect. A thief steals the heart of a vengeful professor. And an American inventor finds love Down Under. Enjoy Victorian Christmas with a clockwork twist in these four steampunk novellas.

Anthology includes:

Crime Wave in a Corset by Stacy Gail

This Winter Heart by PG Forte

Wanted: One Scoundrel by Jenny Schwartz

Far From Broken by JK Coi

Stories also available for purchase separately.

117,000 words