steampunk

All posts tagged steampunk

Extracted by Tyler H. Jolley & Sherry D. Ficklin

Published August 22, 2016 by admin

Extracted Banner

It’s tour time! Today’s title delves into the world of science fiction and steampunk, so let’s take a look!

Extracted

Title:   Extracted

Series:   The Lost Imperials, Book 1

Author:  Tyler H. Jolley and Sherry D. Ficklin

Published:  August 15th, 2016

Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing

Genres:  Science Fiction / Action & Adventure, Science Fiction / Steampunk, Science Fiction / Time Travel

Synopsis:

Two opposing factions of time travelers vie for control of the future in this thrilling steampunk series opener dubbed “Interesting” and “Unexpected” by Kirkus Reviews.

Lex and Ember—two time travelers with no memories of their lives before being recruited into the time war—are torn between the factions. When Lex accepts a mission that lands him deep within the heart of the Telsa Institute, he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them comes flooding back. Now armed with the truth of who they were, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them once again.

*This special edition contains expanded content and bonus material not found in the first release.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Books-a-Million | Smashwords

My breath comes in short, shallow bursts. I can feel the warmth of Ethan’s body radiating like a tuning fork against my back. In front of me, there is only darkness. I strain, listening, waiting for the next wave of attack. The leather straps holding up my suede harness dig into the skin of my shoulders, but the ache only sharpens my focus. The urge to turn around is strong, though I know better. Months of training have taught me exactly what happens when I turn my back to the darkness. So I listen, honing my senses until I catch the sound of Ethan taking a small step forward, away from me. My eyes are useless, so I close them. Knowing my attackers are well paid for their ability to move in silence, there is little hope that they will give themselves away. We need another strategy. As if reading my mind, Ethan picks up the conversation we were having earlier.

“All I’m saying is, maybe you need the extra practice,” Ethan says, his tone mocking. Even without being able to see him, I can sense him moving, beginning to circle counterclockwise. I know he’s trying to draw them out, to bring the fight to him. It seems like a sound strategy, so I jump on board.

“Oh, yes, because it isn’t like she turned around and kicked the crap out of you, too.” I’m mimicking his movements now. My voice is flat, free from emotion, and my words are empty. I can’t see him moving, but I can feel him, as if we’re connected by a million invisible threads.

“How am I supposed to just punch a girl?” Ethan asks. “And I was tired from taking the guy out like five seconds earlier.”

“She isn’t a girl. She’s more like a pissed-off kangaroo in a top hat. She has a nasty right hook, I’ll give you that.”

I hear the sharp whip of air as a bamboo pole cuts through the darkness, headed toward my face. Even with our phony argument going on, I’m able to hear it coming before it lands. I bring up my hands and block the blow with my forearms. The impact stings, bruising the bones there, but better my arms than my face. With a movement perfected after one too many blows to the head, I grab the pole and pull it aside, dragging my attacker with it. As he closes in, I drop the pole and lock arms with Ethan. I flip over his back and kick out, knocking my attacker to the mat. As he struggles back to his feet, Ethan spins into my place, delivering a secondary kick that sends the man flying into the wall with a dull thud. “Yeah, but she’s scrappy,” he says.

“Scrappy? Is that boy code for you couldn’t stop staring at her rack?”

Behind me, I feel Ethan duck a blow, and then land one of his own before pressing his back against mine. “I… that’s not… I didn’t even… I mean…” he sputters.

I smirk. Busted.

Footsteps approach, but we keep sparring. I bend over, using my attacker’s own momentum against him as I put my shoulder into his gut and stand, propelling him over my head and onto his back on the mat. I don’t need to see my victory to realize what the maneuver has cost me. A muscle in my lower back seizes, and it’s all I can do not to drop to my knees in agony. I clench my fists until I feel my fingernails cut bloody crescents in my palms. There is no way I’m going to be the weak link—no way I’m going to let Ethan fight alone. Back to back, that’s how Rifters are trained to fight. And Ethan always has my back.

“Don’t feel too bad. She was pretty scrappy after all.”

Ethan mumbles, “It’s a girl thing.”

“Hold up, what’s that supposed to mean?” I ask, stiffly regaining my footing as my back screams in protest.

As usual, Ethan turns to check on me. “Nothing personal, Ember.”

Not wanting him to get slammed for it again, I grab him by the shoulder and pull, revolving us to our starting positions just as the first attacker flips back onto his feet and lunges. He would have taken me in the stomach, but I bring up my knee just in time to block his advance before kicking him in the face. There is a loud crunch that sounds like breaking bone. I hear him hit the mat with a groan. The lights flick back on, and Mistress Catherine blows her whistle.

Normally we spar with off-duty guards, since most of them have military training of some kind. They know how to take a hit and how to deliver one without doing too much damage. We might be lowly recruits, but Rifters are rare, and our lives are precious.

But as the man whose nose I have just broken pulls off his black ski mask, my heart falls into my shoes. Flynn is staring up at me, and his face is covered in blood.

“Nice hit, Ember,” he says as blood drips from his nose and onto his white shirt. Mistress Catherine hands him his horn-rimmed glasses and shoots me an amused smirk. Behind me, Ethan snickers.

Great. And here I was thinking this day couldn’t get any worse.

Reaching down, I offer Flynn a hand up, which he accepts with a smile.

“I’m so sorry,” I mutter, but he waves it off.

“Catherine told me you were really coming along. I wanted to see for myself.”

The others are shuffling out, so I turn to grab a towel and follow them, but Mistress Catherine closes the door behind a worried-looking Ethan, presses her back against it, and narrows her eyes at me. I used to think it was hard to look menacing in a knee-length pencil skirt and beige brocade top, but she radiates power. It might be the stern pucker of her thin lips, or the way her graying hair is knotted tightly at the nape of her neck. She resembles a librarian except for the long, jagged scar that runs from her left temple to the cleft in her chin. Well, that and the spider-shaped, iron shoulder harness permanently affixed to her upper arm.

Not sure what’s going on, I freeze, yellow towel in hand. Before I can say anything, I feel something moving behind me. I manage to move to the side just as a wooden staff comes slamming down against the spot where I’d stood a heartbeat earlier. I turn and see Flynn grinning, blood still dripping off his chin. He spits before whirling the staff like a windmill in front of him. “What I don’t understand,” he says, circling to my left, “is how that Hollow got the best of you. According to Ethan’s report, Kara had no problem with her. And Catherine here tells me that you mat Kara at almost every practice now.”

I have no idea what to say. Does he think I let her beat up on me? Just then, my legs are swept out from under me. I fall to the mat, but, rolling swiftly backward, I bounce up onto my feet. Catherine has a staff, too, and comes toward me from the right. I hold up my hands and back up slowly. In the corner of the room, a vent erupts in a cloud of steam, and Tesla’s image appears but says nothing.

“Look, I didn’t let her get away,” I say. “If that’s what you’re implying. She was strong. And fast.”

Catherine shakes her head. “You are strong. And fast. And clever.”

“I’m sorry!” I blurt out when my back hits the corner and they are still coming at me.

I don’t think Flynn would ever hurt me, not really, but Catherine, well…

Without another word, they both attack. I manage to duck one blow but take another in the ribs before I decide to make a break for it. Jumping as high as possible, I’m able to get a hand on the chain attaching one of the punching bags to the ceiling and hoist myself up. I leap over Flynn and roll as I hit the ground behind him. They’re quick, though, and have me surrounded again in seconds.

It’s easy to forget that they are trained Rifters, too. Catherine doesn’t rift anymore, but Flynn is still active and in really good shape. They aren’t holding anything back either. Flynn lands a blow to my lower back, but when Catherine moves in, I’m able to grab her staff and force it from her bad arm. Suddenly, time is moving in a blur. I’m not thinking about my next move anymore. My body is reacting of its own accord. I’m not sure how it happens, but I blink and Catherine is on her knees. Flynn is standing in front of me, and I have the two staffs crossed at his neck. He’s holding up his hands and saying my name.

I drop the sticks and step back. The muscles in my arms and legs are twitching like I’ve just run ten miles.

“That’s what we mean,” Catherine says, climbing stiffly to her feet. “You could have taken the Hollow girl. So, why did you hesitate?”

I close my eyes, calling the fight to the front of my memory. There was something about the girl. She was beautiful, for sure, but that wasn’t it. There was something else, too. Something I can’t put into words. I look up to find they’re staring at me, waiting for some kind of answer. I can feel Tesla glaring holes into my back, watching me like one of his little science experiments. “I don’t know what you want me to say.”

Flynn sighs and holds his hands out to me. I take them without hesitation. “Ember, I know it’s hard. I know you don’t like hurting people. It’s against your very nature to harm someone or let someone suffer. But you are too important to risk losing. Understand? Sometimes, you have to put someone down, let someone get hurt or even die, to save yourself and your team. You can’t hold anything back.”

I take a deep breath. “And what if someone dies because of me? Because, for some reason, my life is worth more than theirs?”

Flynn lowers his head, looking me in the eye. “That is a burden you will have to learn to carry.”

Sherry Ficklin and Tyler Jolley

Tyler H. Jolley was born in the era of the Star Wars and the Indiana Jones sagas. He has been enamored with science fiction and adventure stories ever since. In order to support his hobby of writing he decided to pursue dentistry. He graduated from Nova Southeastern University School of Dental Medicine in 2002. He then completed a four year orthodontic and periodontic residency at the University of Pennsylvania. In June 2006, he opened a private practice, Jolley Smiles, in Grand Junction, Colorado.Snowboarding, mountain biking, road biking, fly fishing, bird hunting, camping, hiking, and backpacking are the things he enjoys doing with his family. He also enjoys lecturing internationally on temporary orthodontic implants. Some of his journal articles have also been published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics. However, his true passion has always been fiction writing.When life gets stressful he escapes to unseen worlds to find relaxation. His career has been the vehicle to let him write without worry. He finds inspiration from most of his adolescent patients. He continues to dream up fun and thrilling books to this day.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Blog

Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs. She is the author of several YA novels ranging from contemporary romance to science fiction. In her spare time she co-hosts the Pop Lit Divas radio show and is constantly trying to take over the world.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Juniper Grove Presents: Prodigal and Riven by Tyler H. Jolley and Sherry D. Ficklin

Published May 5, 2015 by admin

It’s blitz time for all you YA fans and readers out there!

Prodigal-Riven-Blitz-Banner

Prodigal-and-Riven

Title:  Prodigal and Riven

Series:  The Lost Imperials Series, books 2 and 3

Author:  Tyler H. Jolley and Sherry D. Ficklin

Published:  May 5th, 2015

Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing

Genre: YAm Steampunk, Time Travel

Content Warning:  Violence, adult language, and mild romance

Synopsis:  Welcome to the TIME WAR

STEIN has been with the Hollows for as long as she can remember. Taken as a child, she has no memories of her past—and that’s always been fine by her. Until the day she stumbles across a hidden journal containing the devastating truth about her paternity. Now everything she thought she knew—and everyone she thought she could trust—has changed. The truth about who she is and where she came from is a secret so deep, it will rock the Hollows and the Tesla Institute alike.

ETHAN is left with a serious problem after what should have been a routine mission. He’s fractured—a break between mind and body that leaves him at the mercy of his Rifter abilities, which are quickly tearing him apart. He will have to trust the only person who might know how to fix him, a mysterious Rifter named Stewart Stills, who seems to have a special connection with the time stream.

Prodigal | Riven | Prodigal and Riven Flip Book Edition | GoodReads

And there’s an excerpt, as well!

STEIN

One

Though I’ve never been here before, the darkness is familiar, comforting. Above me, the moon reaches its apex, the soft, full glow illuminating the sky so the stars are barely visible. I nestle against the bark of a large pine tree. There’s no snow on the ground yet, but the air is heavy with the promise of a coming storm. The smell is crisp and clean and not at all like home.

Home.

The Hollow Tower.

Subconsciously, my hand goes to my arm, gently stroking the device wound around my wrist. The Tether is a Tesla invention, something the Hollows aren’t supposed to use. But there was no way was I going to try to get permission for this little trip, so I made an exception. Ember brought a few Tethers with her when she defected from The Institute. I doubt she’ll even be upset when she figures out that I pinched one from Nobel’s lab. He’s working on re-creating them for us, a welcome alternative to the stomach churning Contra we normally use. In the past few weeks, things have changed rapidly in The Hollow Tower, and one of those things is my newfound friendship with Ember—a girl I’d been all too willing to kill just a few short weeks ago.

The enemy of my enemy and all that.

No, this was better. Getting permission would mean going to Gloves for Contra, and he would want to know why I needed it. I’m not ready to face him—or the others—just yet. Not until I’m absolutely sure.

During my last mission, I’d found one of Tesla’s old journals. I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, if not for the emblem sketched on the first page, the symbol so like the mark I carried below my naval.

As a rule, Rifters don’t remember our pasts; it’s all part of the process, the washing away of our memories. Lex and Ember are the only ones I know who recovered those lost years, who know who they are and where they come from. For them, it is a mixed blessing. It brought them back together as brother and sister, but also brought back the truth about everything they lost.

And they lost so much.

I was never curious about my past before that. The Hollow Tower had been my home since I was only a few years old— much younger than most of the others when they were brought in. I always assumed there was something tragic, some dark reason I was taken so young. And unlike Lex, I was perfectly content not remembering.

Until now.

I creep through the woods to the dirty window of the cabin, stepping carefully in my tall, black leather boots. The slightest noise will alert the paranoid man inside to my presence. Luckily, I have plenty of practice sneaking up on people. Inside, Tesla fiddles with a rat’s nest of antenna wiring that drops through a duct in the roof. Crouching down, I blow on my hands and rub them together. Being at fourteen thousand feet elevation smack in the middle of the Rocky Mountains isn’t exactly my idea of a good time. I have a major headache, my toes are numb, and my nose is running like a leaky faucet. I sniffle hard and my ears pop from the pressure building in my sinuses. It’s going to take a week’s worth of hot showers just to get warm again.

I watch through the glass as Tesla gets frustrated with the wiring, throws a handful of tools against the wall, and begins pacing back and forth, running his hands through his jet-black hair and down his face, yelling at the wad of copper filament on the wood floor. Finally, he slumps into a chair facing a chalkboard on the wall. Pouring himself a drink from a half-empty bottle of amber-colored liquid on the table beside him, he rests the glass against his forehead.

This is one of the few times I’ve been able to catch him alone. For a recluse, he somehow manages to keep a constant orbit of assistants and hangers-on nearby. Tonight, however, he’s working alone, having long since sent the others away in a fit of frustration.

The window has warped with age, forming ripples in the glass. Between that and the frost beginning to form, it’s getting harder to see. Trying to ignore the cold biting at my fingers and the tips of my nose and ears, I lean forward, forcing my eyes to focus through the distortion. This is actually the closest I’ve ever been to him. He sits there, red faced and sweaty, swigging another mouthful of alcohol. His suit coat has a hole in the elbow and half of the collar is folded inside the jacket. His shoes and pants are muddy to the knees. I’ve never seen him so disheveled, or so drunk. I check the date on my Tether. It’s my third trip to get what I need from him. I’ve tried twice before, in other times and other places, only to wind up empty-handed. If I don’t get what I came for tonight, I don’t know when I’ll be able to try again. The others are already growing suspicious of my random disappearances—especially Lex. He’s entirely too tuned into me. It’s hard to keep things from him. Unlike the others, he has an uncanny ability to see through me, and he never hesitates to call me on my crap.

I kind of love that about him.

But as with Gloves and the others, I am stuck keeping secrets from him. Right now, all I have is a pile of questions with no answers. What I found written in the tattered journal pages read like fiction—the insane ramblings of a lunatic scientist. But there was something else too, bits and pieces that when put together…

Tyler_and_Sherry

Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs. She is the author of several YA novels ranging from contemporary romance to science fiction. In her spare time she co-hosts the Pop Lit Divas radio show and is constantly trying to take over the world.

Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Tyler Jolley was born in the era of the Star Wars and the Indiana Jones sagas. He has been enamored with science fiction and adventure stories ever since. In order to support his hobby of writing he decided to pursue dentistry. He graduated from Nova Southeastern University School of Dental Medicine in 2002. He then completed a four year orthodontic and periodontic residency at the University of Pennsylvania. In June 2006, he opened a private practice, Jolley Smiles, in Grand Junction, Colorado.Snowboarding, mountain biking, road biking, fly fishing, bird hunting, camping, hiking, and backpacking are the things he enjoys doing with his family. He also enjoys lecturing internationally on temporary orthodontic implants. Some of his journal articles have also been published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics. However, his true passion has always been fiction writing.When life gets stressful he escapes to unseen worlds to find relaxation. His career has been the vehicle to let him write without worry. He finds inspiration from most of his adolescent patients. He continues to dream up fun and thrilling books to this day.

Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Blog

Clean Teen Publishing Links:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

There’s also a giveaway going on, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter to win

A bookmark swag pack and winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook.

Giveaway is International.

 

SSP Presents: Crossings by JL Mulvihill

Published December 10, 2014 by admin

The other new Seventh Star Press title is perfect for all the steampunk fans and YA readers out there!

crossings

Kindle       Nook    Kobo      iBooks

Bishop Steel is still missing, so AB’Gale must follow the map continuing the search for her papa. Her quest leads Abby down dangerous paths that threaten to get her captured by the System. Danger lurks at every turn of the road, on every doorstep and every train.

Finding it difficult to know who to trust when she discovers she is now wanted for crimes against the System, Abby travels under the guise of a young boy. Conflicted with the desire to rid her world of the unjust or find her papa, Abby finds few friends amid hobos, air pirates, and entrepreneurs.

Abby finds that real friends will never abandon you, nor will they allow you to give up on your convictions. A true awakening to internal conflict and the desire to put right what is wrong, this is the great American adventure ringing with the sound of freedom along the steel routes.

Crossings is Book Two of the Steel Roots Series.

TCM Presents: The Storm Sullivan Saga Box Set

Published March 7, 2014 by admin

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We’re back with another great tour brought to you by Tomorrow Comes Media! This time it’s for The Storm Sullivan Saga boxed set!

 

It began with tragedy.
Continued with rebirth.
Faithful friends…with secrets of their own.
Intensified with an uncovered past.
How will it all END?
Storm Sullivan’s life is a mystical mine field following the death of her Aunt Trin and it only gets worse. Thrown into the battle of the ages, Storm finds herself surrounded by Immortals, Seraphs, Fairies, Vampires, Witches and a Phoenix! Can she unravel the mysteries of her family’s past in time to save them all?

For the first time ever, the Kindle Bestselling Emerald Seer Series is brought to you in one massive box set. Magic and mystery, adventure and romance converge in this series touted as “unique and imaginative.” Mystical beings from Deities to Seraphs, a Phoenix, Immortals and more, the Emerald Seer Series is a fantastical ride with several converging story lines that will keep you guessing.

 

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Ryder on the Story Print      Kindle Boxed Set

Storm Sullivan is a Seer from an ancient line forced to return home after the brutal murder of her aunt. But Storm finds she’s inherited more than just the family estate.

Ryder Cohen is an Immortal, a former enforcer commissioned to eradicate the Sullivan line and prevent the rise of the Emerald. But Ryder has come to question his mission and the reasons behind it.

Ryder On the Storm is the first in the Emerald Seer series. An urban fantasy with a supporting cast of Immortals, Seraphs, and Deities this is just the beginning of Storm’s journey.

The Emerald Seer saga continues with rebirth in LIGHT MY FIRE and intensifies with an uncovered past in LOVE HER MADLY. Still craving more Emerald Seer action? Check out WHISKEY, MYSTICS, and MEN to discover Angeline’s secrets.

***

And because I haven’t done one in nine hundred years, today is an interview day! 🙂

***

SJ:  Every writer has some sort of process. Give us a glimpse into yours. Do you meticulously outline? Do you write depending on what calls are out there?

*Bonus question – Do you put on a cape and do a chant before hunkering down to work? Sacrifice anything? Along with your process, what’s your quirkiest writing habit?

VP: I think I usually make people crazy when I answer this question because I do not outline.  I just let my characters weave their ways through my mind and write what I see.  It’s a lot like watching a movie in my head and describing it in intricate detail.  I write what I feel like writing which explains why I always have a few projects I am working on at any given time. 

While I don’t don a cape, I do occasionally slip into one of my costumes to get into the mood.  I rather enjoy wearing a full Steampunk ensemble to a coffee shop for an afternoon of writing.  People are very receptive and it creates a little extra inspiration if I am struggling with writer’s block. 

Sacrifice for writing? Does sleep count?  I have stayed up until 3 or 4am to write only to turn around and get up for work at 6am.  It happens less frequently these days because I have so much going on but if I go too long without writing I get more than a little cranky. 

 

SJ: Are you a meticulous planner or do you believe in the muse? Where do your ideas come from? Do they filter in through your dreams? Do they show up at inopportune times and whap you upside the head? Do they result in a shady deal with a dark power?

* bonus question – If your muse had a physical manifestation, what would he or she look like and how would she or he act? Is it a sexy superhero version of Callisto? A sharp-tongued rogue? A reptilian alien? Do they have a catch phrase?

VP: Planning is something I’ve had to learn since becoming a Mom because it is just something I do not enjoy.   I preferred living life as a “fly by the seat of my pants” gal and that is just not possible anymore so when it comes to my writing I play it as loose as I can without losing my story completely.  It is one aspect of my life that allows me to be as relaxed and creative as possible.  My kids are very used to me “shushing” them for a moment while I jot something down or record it in my phone or even tell it to them to help me remember it while I’m driving.  I am so grateful for their support and patience!  I get random ideas at any time so I keep something with me nearly all the time be it my phone, my tablet, my netbook or one of my journals.  It’s an obsession.  I even have a few napkins from pubs in Ireland because I was on vacation and was struck with some awesome ideas that I couldn’t let go. 

I think if my muse were personified she would look and act a whole lot like Storm, complete with the slightly foul mouth and snarky remarks.  Though, I do so like the idea of a Phoenix as my muse.  Perhaps I will amend my mental image.

SJ: What’s the book/story that’s closest to your heart? Is there a piece that you clearly feel is a piece of you? Do you play favorites?

VP: There are two stories very close to my heart but they are not complete yet.  One may never be released but the other is a film noir style that is dark and wretched but also could be quite brilliant if I can pull it off.  I am not sure that they are necessarily pieces of me as much as they are things I need to express and expel.  As for playing favorites, it is not really a habit of mine though I suppose my character would argue that I favor whomever is most vocal at a given time. 

SJ: If you could only write one genre ever again upon pain of being sacrificed to Cthulhu, what would it be and why?

VP: Fantasy.  No doubt about it.  I can turn anything into a fantasy novel and I love the idea of being able to write all of my own rules.  I can make it work.

SJ: What’s your biggest frustration as a writer? What do you consider the downside, or is there one? Is there any cliché that makes you want to wring people’s necks?

VP: My biggest frustration is finding time to write followed very closely by the difficulty in getting my books in front of the right people.  I know there are downsides, there have to be but I can’t bring myself to come across as whiny or sad because I am not.  I wish I could write full time but I accept that that is a difficult road to land on.  Perhaps I will luck out someday but if not I can keep working so long as I am able to write on the side.   As for clichés that make me nuts, I really take exception to people who think you write a book and put it out there and should automatically become a bestseller with no effort at all.  I see it every day and it is just sad to me.

SJ:  If you had to be stuck in one of your own books/stories for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? If you had to stick a loved one in one of your own books, what would it be and why? An enemy?

VP: I would want to live with Dorian in Immortal Machinations.  The clothes alone beckon to me but adding in all the awesome devices makes it perfect for me!  Depending on the loved one I would lean toward Light My Fire.  It’s my favorite Emerald Seer Book and it is where things really start to heat up.  An enemy?  That’s tougher.  I would have to go with End of the Night because that’s when all Hell breaks loose and I could hope they get their just deserves.

 SJ: Do you think it’s possible to develop a sure-fire recipe/formula for success as a writer? Would you want to, or does that compromise the art or the fun of it?

VP: No, I think this is one of those industries that changes so dramatically and so frequently that it is impossible to draft and carry out a winning plan of any kind.  In the two years since I first published I’ve changed my strategy so many times I’ve lost count.  It’s all about evolving and adapting to the changes.  I write what I write and then seek out people to read my finished products.  I have a lot to learn and I know that I will continue to evolve as a writer and marketing agent.  I’m lucky that I’ve found some amazing, supportive people over the last two years and I hope that luck continues because this is one tough industry and the more trustworthy friends you can find the better off you are.

SJ: Everyone has words of wisdom for young writers, so I’m not going to ask you about that. With a few unknown writers becoming success stories, a lot of people seem to think it’s an easy career choice. What would your words of wisdom be to these people?

VP: It’s not easy.  There is nothing easy about it.  If you want the longevity you’d better be prepared to put in the effort long term.  I don’t know many writers who can survive on their book royalties alone.  Most authors I know use their royalties to fund marketing efforts, book covers, editors, etc.  On top of all of that, you have to have thick skin.  People are going to shred you and they are going to shred your work.  If you cannot handle a critical review – no matter how off base it is – you should not be doing this.  I’ve said this a lot lately and I tend to see a lot of backlash but it is true nonetheless. Not everybody is going to like what you write no matter how amazing it is.  If you need proof of this, look at reviews for the chronic bestsellers and look at the classics.  I sound harsh but that’s only because there is no glamour in this industry.  Maybe if you “make it” there is some glamour but I would guess not as much as one would think.  How do you make millions of readers happy 100% of the time?  I doubt it is possible.  I would take the millions of readers though.

SJ: It seems like everyone likes to gang up on certain genres as being inferior, less meaningful, or cheap entertainment (especially if it’s speculative in nature). Make a case for the genre you write.

VP: This is a tough one for me because I’ve had a tough time categorizing my books.  I’ve gone with Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy but have received comments that I don’t really fit either one.  I guess I don’t think as much about genre as I should.  The only constant is that I have heavy fantasy/magical/mystical elements in almost everything I write.  I have a wild and vivid imagination so having the fantastical components in my stories gives me a freedom I would not otherwise have.  It allows me to bend natural rules and create creatures (including villains) that otherwise may never exist.  I can mold and shape the world as I would like it to be to create entirely new strengths and weaknesses and challenges for my characters to encounter.  Though my stories may have serious undertones and touch on issues that are near and dear to me, I can approach them from different angles and still convey my message.  I also like to make up words and non-fiction or dramatic stories are not accustomed to such nonsense! 

 SJ: What do you want people to instantly think of when they hear your name or your work mentioned?

VP: Fun.  I want people to enjoy what I do as much as I do.  When I am at an event I like to put on a show – if you’ve seen me as Willy Wonka you will know what I mean.  But I also want my books to entertain.  So far I have not written anything that is overwhelming or serious simply because I wrote them for people I hoped to entertain.  Are there serious messages camouflaged in the pages of my books?  Of course.  But in the end, I am an entertainer and I simply want people to think of me that way.

SJ: Please tell us about your latest/favorite work or a little bit about what you’re working on right now. It’s plug time, so go for it!

VP: Well, I just released my Emerald Seer Box Set – in ebook and paperback as The Storm Sullivan Saga – and I’ve been slowly adding to my WattPad stories but primarily I am working on Immortal Machinations which I may have mentioned a few times already.  I’ve plucked Dorian the Vampire, his brother and a few others from the Emerald Seer Series for a Steampunk Fantasy adventure.  The first book is very light on the Steampunk aspect (it begins with Dorian’s life as a mortal during the time of Henry VIII) but you will see my take on the evolution of the awe-inspiring gadgetry of Steampunk.  The second and third books will be much heavier in the Steampunk world including the attire.  It has been a challenge to work this one out and I’ve done at least two re-writes on it but I am pleased with the direction it is going in.

 You can find out more about Violet at the following places, and be sure to check out the boxed set and the newest title in her series!

Blog: http://emeraldseer.blogspot.com

Twitter: @booksbyviolet

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Violet-Patterson/292923177397400

 

Steampunk Hop and The Boxcar Baby Contest!

Published November 29, 2013 by admin

The excellent blogger Jess Resides Here is taking part in a Steampunk Hop and doing a giveaway of Seventh Star Press author J.L. Mulvihill’s book The Boxcar Baby. Until Dec 1, you can enter to win the first book of the Steel Roots series.

To learn more about the contest and to access the rafflecopter entry, CLICK HERE

 

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Born in a boxcar on a train bound for Georgia. At least that is what Papa Steel always told AB’Gale. But now, fifteen years later, the man who adopted and raised her as his own is missing and it’s up to AB’Gale to find him. Aided only by a motley gang of friends, AB’Gale train hops her way across the United States in a desperate attempt to find her papa and put her life and family back the way it was. Her only guide is a map given to her by a mysterious hobo, with hand written clues she found hidden in her papa’s spyglass. Here is the Great American Adventure in an alternate steampunk dystopian world, where fifteen-year-old AB’Gale Steel learns that nothing is as it seems, but instead is shrouded in secrets and mysteries … and that monsters come in all shapes and forms. The Boxcar Baby is the first book of the Steel Roots series.

Contest Winners: The Boxcar Baby Giveaway!

Published October 21, 2013 by admin

As a follow-up to JL Mulvilhill’s The Boxcar Baby tour, I wanted to announce that we’ve got some contest winners!

 

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1 softcover  1 eBook and any three eBooks:

Robin B

3 winners   any 3 eBooks plus Boxcar Baby eBook
Sheila

Wendy W

 Holly

5 winners  – 1 book from eBook Catalog
Michelle W

Wendy

Holly B

Peter W

Sheila D.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who participated and spread the word!

TCM Presents: The Boxcar Baby by J.L. Mulvihill Tour and Contest Giveaway!

Published September 23, 2013 by admin

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I’m incredibly stoked to be able to kick off the Boxcar Baby tour, and even more excited to do it with a contest! I’m always thrilled to be talking about my pal and Seventh Star Press sis J.L. Mulvihill, champion of corsets, costumes, and steampunk squirrels everywhere! Before we get to the giveaway, though, let’s take a look at the book, because this is a very special title.

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Kindle      Print    Nook     Kobo    iBookstore

Born in a boxcar on a train bound for Georgia. At least that is what Papa Steel always told AB’Gale. But now, fifteen years later, the man who adopted and raised her as his own is missing and it’s up to AB’Gale to find him. Aided only by a motley gang of friends, AB’Gale train hops her way across the United States in a desperate attempt to find her papa and put her life and family back the way it was. Her only guide is a map given to her by a mysterious hobo, with hand written clues she found hidden in her papa’s spyglass. Here is the Great American Adventure in an alternate steampunk dystopian world, where fifteen-year-old AB’Gale Steel learns that nothing is as it seems, but instead is shrouded in secrets and mysteries … and that monsters come in all shapes and forms.

The Boxcar Baby is the first book of the Steel Roots series.

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Born in Hollywood and raised in San Diego, CA, J.L. Mulvihill has made Mississippi her home for the past fifteen years. Her debut novel was the young adult title The Lost Daughter of Easa, an engaing fantasy novel bordering on science-fiction with a dash of steampunk, published through Kerlak Publishing.  The Boxcar Baby, the first novel of her Steel Roots Series, was released by Seventh Star Press in the summer of 2013.

J.L. also has several short fiction pieces in publication, among them “Chilled Meat”, a steampunk thriller found in the Dreams of Steam II-Of Bolts and Brass, anthology (Kerlak Publishing) and “The Leprechaun’s Story”, a steampunk urban Fantasy found in the anthology, Clockwork, Spells, & Magical Bells (Kerlak Publishing)

J.L. is very active with the writing community, and is the events coordinator for the Mississippi Chapter of Imagicopter known as the Magnolia-Tower.  She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Gulf Coast Writers Association (GCWA), The Mississippi Writers Guild (MWG), as well as the Arts Council of Clinton, and the Clinton Ink-Slingers Writing Group

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Check out more about J.L. Mulvihill at:

http://www.elsielind.com

http://jlsbooks.blogspot.com/

http://home.comcast.net/~mulvijen/site/

https://www.facebook.com/JLMulvihill

https://www.facebook.com/mulvijen?ref=hl

https://www.facebook.com/SteelRootsSeries?ref=hl

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Southern-Haunts/417536915003428?ref=hl

https://www.facebook.com/ClockworkSpellsMagicalBells?ref=hl

https://www.facebook.com/Imagicopter?ref=hl

To follow along on The Boxcar Baby Tour, check out the tour page!

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And now, as promised, the contest! If you go to the Rafflecopter Link and submit your entries, you could win the following:

1 Winner will receive a softcover copy of The Boxcar Baby, an e-book copy of The Boxcar Baby (mobi or Epub), and their choice of 3 ebooks from the SSP catalogue in mobi or ePub format!

2 winners will receive their choice of any 3 ebooks from the SSP catalogue in mobi or ePub formats, PLUS a copy of The Boxcar Baby ebook in mobi or ePub format.

5 winners will get to pick one ebook from the SSP catalogue (mobi or ePub format).

To get your entries in, go to the Rafflecopter link here!

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