Today at SteamU I am pleased to welcome Sophronia Belle Lyon to discuss The Alexander Legacy Series.
Praise for A Dodge, a Twist, and a Tobacconist (The Alexander Legacy Book One)
"... Intrigued. ... never read much Steampunk … could not stop reading this little jewel. I cannot wait to see what Ms. Belle has in store for her readers next."
"Adored the old books …like a reunion of them all. Authors would be proud to see their characters treated with such tactful respect, in a novel that also deals with the same social evils … "
"Fun story … strong Christian references I didn't expect. I don't usually read Christian fiction, so I was a bit surprised. The Steampunk/Victorian lit. connection is super fun!"
"Not my usual genre, but I really enjoyed … Unique characters and excellent writing kept me turning the pages. I think this may be a classic unto itself …"
Sophronia Belle Lyon has a few obsessions -- for
tea, mechanicals, and for Steampunk.
Why, it’s your
obsession, too -- you just don’t know you have it yet. Sophronia travels
widely, reads 1800s classics voraciously, shoots handguns when she can, and
grew up sketching and exploring in the Catskill Mountains of New York State.
She dressed up and acted out scenes with friends much like Louisa May Alcott's
beloved "Little Women," and got to be a cauldron spirit in Macbeth in
fourth grade. She traveled to Italy by way of Iceland and Luxembourg. She has
taken apart her share of clocks and vented more than one steam valve. Hundreds
of cat friends informed her about Bagheera's attitudes and manners. Oliver
Twist's oblivious, eccentric habits came from the Science-absorbed men in her
life, and her love for weapons translated into the well-armed members of the
Alexander Legacy Company. She collects swords and knives. She enjoys tea, hot
or iced, but cannot get the knack of the cream or sweetening obsession, being,
after all, thoroughly American.
She has written 2 books in the Alexander Legacy
Steampunk Literary Tribute series: A Dodge, A Twist, and a Tobacconistand The Pinocchio Factor. Eventually
each of the eight members of the Legacy Company will host an adventure.
Characters from Alcott, Dickens, Stevenson,
Kipling, Doyle and more combine “What-if?” steam and gear technology with
families, friendship, faith, and fortitude as Oliver Twist and others join
forces to fight human trafficking and prove that no one is beyond redemption.
Why does a Bohemian prince accepts a kiss from a poison maiden? How can a
celebrity singer probe a web of deceit, debauchery, and domination?
Multicultural, multinational heroes bring along families and four-footed allies
from around the world. No one’s too old to preach a challenge or too young to
fix a flying machine. No one’s too innocent to be safe from kidnapping
,slavery, and violence.
It's release day! Today is the big day, folks! Chasing the Green Fairy officially flutters off into the world. The novel has been getting wonderful reviews all around, much to my relief. This book is much more character-centric than Chasing the Star Garden, Book I in The Airship Racing Chronicles, but it seems to be landing good with readers so, well, yay! My sense it that if you love Lily, you will love this book. Please click here to read more about The Airship Racing Chronicles!
You can find the paperback and ebook by clicking here:
Title: Armored Hearts Author: Pauline Creeden Published: May 20th, 2013
Blurb: When a crippled young lord rescues a girl falling from a tree, it reveals a secret about himself and his mother's side of the family that could put him at the center of a war with beings he thought only existed in fairy tales. Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park, left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted wheelchair. Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin sent to kill him.
In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.
Armored Hearts, her joint effort with author Melissa Turner Lee, has been a #1 Bestseller in Christian Fantasy and been awarded the Crowned Heart for Excellence by InDtale Magazine. Her debut novel, Sanctuary is scheduled for release September 30, 2013, and has already been nominated for two awards in YA Science Fiction.One of Pauline's short stories has won the CCW Short Story contest. Other short stories have been published in Fear & Trembling Magazine, Obsidian River and Avenir Eclectia. An urban fantasy short will appear in The Book of Sylvari: An Anthology of Elves from Port Yonder Press, and a vampire short will appear in Monsters! from Diminished Media Group.
I rapped on the
door of Phineas’ home, a well-appointed townhouse situated just off Hyde Park, clacking
the brass bumblebee door clacker loudly. I waited for what felt like an eternity.
On both sides of Phin’s townhouse, the neighboring residences had arched
foyers. The vista gave me vertigo. I was about to bang again when the butler,
but not Phin’s usual man, opened the door.
“Yes?” the man
asked, looking me over from head to toe.
“Yes? I’m here
to see Phineas.”
“Master Shaw is
“Yeah, that’s a
lie. Tell him Lily is here.”
The man frowned
then closed the door. I sighed and waited. The butler returned several minutes
Miss Stargazer. Mr. Shaw had indicated he was not permitting guests, but he
said I may let you in. He is in the conservatory,” the butler said. “You may
see yourself back.”
“Kent. Nice to
meet you. In the future . . . well, Phin always sees me.”
indicated. I do wish he’d said so before,” the man said with an exasperated expression.
“Pleased to meet you, Miss Stargazer.”
“Call me Lily,”
I said with a smile then headed toward the back.
was a hodgepodge of the odd and unusual. You could barely blaze a path through
the ornate sculptures, carved masks, tinkered contraptions, tables crowded with
jars of god-only-knew-what, and a copious amount of plants. Now and then, you
even had to duck a bird flitting past. I stopped to look at a locked box with a
human skull on its lid. Shaking my head, I wound my way back. The glass-roofed
conservatory, situated at the center of Phin’s odd little house, allowed him to
grow his herbals in private. And there, amongst all the wildly growing plants,
I found Phineas, shirtless, pouring a bubbling yellow liquid into a copper pot.
“Have a seat,
Lily. Almost done,” he said.
I looked around.
There were no chairs anywhere, but I spotted a large tribal drum. I sat on it
and watched him work.
I asked as I eyed Phineas over. He looked paler than usual. His face looked
drawn, and though it was rather cool, he was sweating profusely. His auburn-colored
hair, wet with sweat, stuck to his head, and he’d grown a moustache since the
last time I saw him.
“I think I’ve
finally got a good extraction of refined opium,” he said. “A tinker at the
market made me a device to spin the tinctures, to separate them at a higher
velocity than ever before. I’m getting much more refined products now.”
Phineas and I had
once shared a passion for opium. For me, it had been a passion of habit, a way
to dull the pain. For him, it was a passion of science. Phineas had an eye for
detail, understanding a puzzle down to its very roots. While nothing escaped
him, he put much of his mental energy toward herbals. Sometimes he was after
medicine. Sometimes he was after pleasure. As I watched him work, I tried not
to think about smoking opium. But it was impossible. Around me, beds of opium
flowers were in full bloom. Heaps of the dried herbs littered a nearby table. I
was ashamed of the craving it caused.
said, stirring the pot. “We’ll know in an hour. Too bad you aren’t in the habit
anymore. We could try it together.”
“You look like
you could use a break. And a nap. And a meal.”
shrugged. He mopped off his forehead and wiped down his armpits and chest. His
skin was pasty, and he looked like he’d lost weight. His pants were hanging low
on his waist. I tried not to notice the dark hair trailing down from his bellybutton
below his belt. I looked away as he pulled on his shirt. I wondered if I used
to look like him, a bit eaten up, when I’d let my habit get the best of me.
“Tea?” he asked.
for me to follow him to his small kitchen at the back of the house. After
clanging around in the cupboards for several minutes, he retrieved a teapot. It
took him two tries, but he finally filled it with water and set it to heat. “So
. . . what brings you by?” he asked, flopping into a chair across from me.
tampered with the Stargazer.”
“Removed one of
our modified devices. Sabotaged the ship.”
got up and looked in his cupboards again. “I don’t have any sugar.”
hands shook as he prepared the tea. The china clattered.
down,” I said then got up and started preparing the cups.
woman’s hand is sweeter anyway,” Phineas said then sat again. “The Stargazer
. . . that’s awful,” he said, picking a tobacco pipe up off the table. “I’ll come
by tomorrow and have a look, start talking to people. Surely someone saw
something. I’ll get to work.”
forget,” I warned. Phineas was great at sorting out details when he was
himself. Right now, however, he was seeing the stars.
what?” he joked.
grinned and shook my head. I went back into his cupboards for another look
around. Inside, I found a jar of jam. There was a box of biscuits on the
counter. I spread the jam thereon and set the plate down in front of Phineas.
began munching immediately. “Oh! I nearly forget something,” he said, his mouth
full. “I followed up on your inquiry about that man, Temenos, the one the
Venetian tracked down. I found the same information her people did. It appears
this Dorian Temenos died in Portugal.”
the heat of the quest for Aphrodite, I had tried to shake off the news that my
father was dead. Upon return to London, however, the mystery haunted me. I’d
asked Phin to contact Celeste’s order. They were pleased to help me and passed
on all their information to Phineas. “How did he die?” I asked. I set down the
tea, again joining him at the table.
got a record of him arriving in Lisbon then his death record about six months
later. No other details.”
was all I could think to say. I took a sip of tea. The news left me
unsatisfied. “Nothing else about him?”
yet. No family records. No work records. I can travel to Lisbon if you want.”
shook my head. Something told me it was time to leave well enough alone. “No,
be passing through Southwark later this week. I’ll inquire about the grave
you’d asked about—the woman at the debtor’s prison. You still want me to do
nodded then set the cup down. I pressed my fingertips against my forehead. My
head had started to ache.
all right, Lil? You want me to bring you something mild?”
I did. “No, I can’t.” I opened my eyes and looked inside my cup. The tea leaves
had fallen into the shape of the triskelion, the symbol painted on the balloon
of the Stargazer.
let this bit with the Stargazer rattle you. You might love that ship,
but to others, it’s just a beautiful thing they want a piece of. They don’t
care about it the way you do.”
smiled at Phin and set my hand on his.
squeezed my fingers. His hazel eyes twinkled. I knew the look all too well.
More than once, Phineas and I had enjoyed too much herbal and woke up in bed
together. “You still with the Italian?” he asked slyly.
I said, patted his hand, then let him go. “Regardless, you are in serious need
of a bath, and I don’t like that moustache.”
laughed. “I thought it made me look gentlemanly,” he said, stroking the
moustache. “You know, I’ve been wondering. Why, out of all of us, was old
Salvatore the one to win you away from Byron? What made him so special?”
grinned at him. “Get some rest and don’t forget to come by the Stargazer
tomorrow.” I rose to leave.
right, Lily,” he said with a laugh. He followed me to the door.
thunder rumbled. I grabbed my hat, adjusted my lily pin to ensure it was
securely fastened, tossed it on, and headed outside.
shave off that moustache,” I called to Phineas who was leaning against the door
frame smoking his pipe. Grinning, he bowed ever-so-elegantly then went inside.
walked away thinking about Phin’s question. I’d never really seen what had
happened between Sal, Byron, and me like that. In the end, I still cared deeply
for Byron. I just wanted something more, something different . . . with Sal.
Just wanted to share a quick dispatch with everyone about some great things that happened this week. First, my friend and fellow steampunk writer Jacqueline Garlick (check out her awesome book Lumiere) pointed out to me that Chasing the Star Garden placed in the Top 10 Steampunk Books of 2013 in the Preditors and Editors Reader Poll! How did I miss that? Who cares! How cool is that?
And something happened that is pretty awe-some. All writers struggle with self-doubt, and I never thought I would see this day. Check out this goodness. While I know the list "stickness" won't last, pictures are worth a thousand (or 65,000) words.
Amazon was even nice enough to give me the little flag:
I've been writing since I was a kid and, in the past, had more shoe boxes full of rejection notices than a person needs or deserves (I totally trashed them, btw, in a fit of "moving on" energy). I spent years and years failing as a writer until one day I just gave up. More than a decade later, I tried again . . . and would you look at that. Never give up on your dreams.
Today at SteamU, I am pleased to welcome author Karen Kincy. SteamU Professor Kincy is the author the deiselpunk novel Shadows of Asphodel. Professor Kincy is giving us a freshman lecture on deiselpunk. If you are a fan of steampunk, take notes. Deiselpunk is governed by its own rules, and while it shares many commonalities with Steampunk, there are several unique features we should notice. Welcome, once again, to author Karen Kincy . . .
When you think of steampunk, what time period do you
imagine? What country? What city?
Many of us would imagine Victorian England,
particularly London. We might find our corseted heroine sipping tea aboard an
airship, high above the steampowered smog, when a dastardly villain launches
his clockwork flying monkeys from the Thames.
Or you, like me, might find Victorians a bit mundane.
You might be inclined to travel—even travel through time. You say goodbye to
Queen Victoria and hello to King Edward.
I’m fascinated by the time of King Edward’s reign,
from 1901 to 1910, though the Edwardian Era often includes a few years after
his death. Though that is, of course, an Anglocentric term. In France, for
instance, arts and innovation flourished in La Belle Époque. This beautiful era
lasted until the Great War.
As an author, where and when did I decide to go? Well,
I had been researching the differences between steampunk and dieselpunk. Some
said it was a simple matter of steam power vs. diesel power. Others said
steampunk focused on Victorian aesthetics and technology, while dieselpunk
explored the art deco militaristic feel of the World Wars.
Then a question occurred to me. Dieselpunk was named
after Diesel. Rudolf Diesel, to be exact, the German engineer and inventor of
the diesel engine. When was Diesel alive?
I hit the books and discovered Diesel was born in
1858, and died September 29, 1913 under mysterious circumstances. Diesel
boarded the steamer Dresden on his
way to England for a business meeting, but after he ate dinner and retired to
his cabin for the night, he was never seen from again.
This, I thought, would make a damn good plot twist.
Especially if Diesel didn’t die, but went on to build new inventions in an
So I set my story in 1913. A bit early for
dieselpunk, at first glance, but surely a book with Rudolf Diesel himself
Steampunk, dieselpunk, atompunk. Each of these
genres evokes the atmosphere of a particular slice of history. And each author
takes this history and tinkers with it until it becomes slightly or wholly
(Granted, I tend to be strict with my own research
and deviations from reality. Don’t get me started about rigid airships that
ignore real zeppelins, which were immeasurably more awesome than anything
I’m currently working on the sequel to my
dieselpunk, and I’m researching all sorts of fascinating things about
zeppelins, Prussia, and Nikola Tesla. That’s my recipe for dieselpunk… with the
addition of some secret ingredients.
About the Author:
Karen Kincy (Redmond, Washington) can be found lurking in her writing cave, though sunshine will lure her outside. When not writing, she stays busy gardening, tinkering with aquariums, or running just one more mile. Karen has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College.
Karen is currently launching a Kickstarter campaign for the second novel in her series, Storms of Lazarus. A donation to her project earn you anything from an ebook to a character named after you! Truly, a worthy campaign. Stop by Kickstarter and check out her project!