Welcome to guest author Laura Strickland, here to talk about her new book, Cross Checking: A Buffalo Steampunk Adventure. Take it away, Laura!
The thing I hear most often when I attend Steampunk Festivals and other events promoting my books is, “What’s Steampunk?” It’s a fair question. Many readers aren’t familiar with the genre, and feel a bit intimidated by it. But as I’ve learned since starting this wild ride, penning my Buffalo Steampunk Adventures series, there’s no easy answer. Steampunk means something different to all those who love it.
For some of us, it’s all about the gadgets. Steampunk aficionados love to tinker. They build teapot racers, life-sized robots and fully-operational automatons. Others love the costuming, and the chance to transform into someone other than their every-day selves, to walk for even a few hours on the wild side. Goggles and helmets, brass-buttoned jackets and sweeping skirts…and stepping through the looking glass.
For me, it’s all about what-might-have-been. What if the glorious age of steam heralded by the Industrial Revolution had never been superseded by electricity and the internal combustion engine? What if the Victorian age hadn’t died but merely morphed into something bigger, grander—and more twisted?
If you’d like to imagine the Steampunk world, think Victorian, with a twist. Just a little bit darker (a la Jack the Ripper), a little bit weirder, and to those of us who appreciate the strange, that much more delightful.
The characters in my Buffalo Steampunk Adventures books are real—far from perfect, they have warts and fears, and disadvantages. The city’s real too—Victorian Buffalo, city (if not time) of my birth. Buffalo makes the perfect setting for Steampunk, industrial, gritty and yes, it has an edge.
Me, I love the edge. I love the twist. If you do too, come walk the brick streets of Steampunk Buffalo with me. You may never want to leave.
BUFFALO STEAMPUNK ADVENTURES Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aauK5ob3zI
Blurb for new release: Cross Checking: A Buffalo Steampunk Adventure
When Maddie MacGillicuddy loses her job, she’s desperate to find another. Though good jobs are available at the stables, only men are hired. A big, strapping girl, she becomes Matty in her brother’s clothing. Complications arise when a city magnate, assembling a tournament hockey team, admires Matty’s skating skills and recruits “him,” with real money and the city’s reputation on the line.
Huritt Gilbert is used to battling his way through life. At the stables, he routinely endures racial slurs, sometimes striking back. He’s never met a woman like Maddie and would do anything for her, including accept the dangerous position of goalie for her team. But when competition heats up, loyalties get twisted. Will Gilbert and Maddie play for glory, or love?
“Gilbert, you should see how good Maddie skates.”
“I’d like to,” Gilbert said in his dusky voice. The dark—which somehow matched that voice—seemed to close around them. It made the encounter feel more intimate than it should.
Maddie shivered. “I’d better get Roddy home. It’s getting colder.”
“Going to snow some more, too,” Gilbert offered, not taking his eyes from Maddie’s. “I can always tell.”
He wagged his dark head. Maddie had a sudden and completely inappropriate impulse to plunge her fingers through that black hair. But he still held her fingers captive.
He told her, “I get an instinct for certain things—sometimes I just know.”
“I see. And are you never wrong?”
He shrugged those wide shoulders. “Seldom enough.”
“Come on, Maddie,” Roddy demanded, completely immune to any undertones. “I’m hungry.”
“Yes, all right.”
She tugged at her fingers again; this time Gilbert let them go. Together, they climbed up over the bank and trudged to the foot of Ferry Street.
“Do you live far?” Gilbert asked. “Can I see you home?”
“Peach Street,” Maddie told him, wishing this somehow enchanting encounter had happened on any other day than the one during which she’d destroyed her life. “I think we’ll be all right.” She hoped so.
Gilbert nodded. “Maybe I’ll see you again on the ice.”
Later she wondered if he, with all his bright instincts, had uttered a prophecy.
Multi award-winning author Laura Strickland delights in time traveling to the past and searching out settings for her books, be they Historical Romance, Steampunk or something in between. Her first Scottish Historical hero, Devil Black, battled his way onto the publishing scene in 2013, and the author never looked back. Nor has she tapped the limits of her imagination. Venturing beyond Historical and Contemporary Romance, she created a new world with her ground-breaking Buffalo Steampunk Adventure series set in her native city, in Western New York. Married and the parent of one grown daughter, Laura has also been privileged to mother a number of very special rescue dogs, and is intensely interested in animal welfare. These days while she’s writing, you can always find her latest rescue, Lacy, nearby. Her love of dogs, and her lifelong interest in Celtic history, magic and music, are all reflected in her writing. Laura’s mantra is Lore, Legend, Love, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Author Web site: www.laurastricklandbooks.com
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000002632317
Author Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Strickland/e/B001KHSACW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Author Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/760146.Laura_Strickland
Laura Strickland Author @LauraSt05038951
BookBub page: https://www.bookbub.com/search?search=Laura+Strickland
“Hope?” you say? From all these stories of civilization torn down, people in chaos, life destroyed?
It may seem contrary, when real life is at a frightening point. But one common thread in much of this fiction is the inherent goodness of man. For every toilet-paper hoarding idiot, there is a Stu Redman fromThe Stand. For every self-serving politician, there is a Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead. Even in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which is about the most bleak, horrifying, hopeless story ever, in the end there is a moment of humanity.
I believe we’re starting to see it now, in the communities around the world. People are beginning to reach out to others, while observing the new rules and realities of Covid-19 times. Italians confined to their homes sing to each other to boost morale. Local restaurants in my city make sure kids have lunch while schools are closed, and surely they can least afford it, since restaurant attendance is down. People shop for their at-risk elderly neighbors who should not be out. Granted, we are early in the process, and things may become more desperate as it lingers on. But humans are best at doing human.
My own post-apocalyptic YA series THE COLOR OF FEAR is founded on that issue of hope, and the conviction that those who stick to the path of right will triumph in the end over those who espouse hate and fear.
Tzu Lin Kwan, Xi San, Valery Paz, Eddie Garrick, Marie, Arik and all the others who try their best for their fellow humans are inspirational, and some of the favorite characters I’ve created. Not only do they fight the results of a terrorist plague, but they also oppose the white supremacist cult leader Gabriel and his Angels, who take advantage of the decimated population and the fears of the remaining white men and women to try to overthrow what remains of a poorly-organized government. The first book, WINDMILLS, takes the reader from Hong Kong to San Francisco; the second, DESTINATIONS, tells what happens as the ethnic survivors band together in the face of Gabriel’s threat, and the yet-to-be-released ADVERSARIES will reveal what happens when the inevitable clash of the two occurs. Find out more at the COLOR OF FEAR tab above.
In the meantime, there are many other books that can remind you about the good that may come from tumultuous, post-apocalyptic times:
If you prefer movies, check these out: https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/30/entertainment/contagion-and-pandemics-in-movies/index.html
Paul Carlson, Janet Joyce Holden, Michael Bailey, Carla Robinson,
Jeff Seeman, Kate Jonez, Gary Phillips, Lucio Rodriguez, Terry Bisson,
explore the future of trucking in this new science fiction anthology!
There’s something for every genre fiction fan in this follow-up to
the hit “18 wheels of Horror – a Trailer Full of Trucking Terrors.”
A disembodied driver wages war on self-driving trucks… A haul
through time takes an unexpected turn… Reality shatters for a
trucker using an experimental delivery device… Stargazing gives an
overweight driver a new lease on life… A young girl risks her life
to hitch a ride out of an apocalyptic wasteland…
“Skyways” trucking Science Fiction novel series, in which
legendary driver Jake McGraw (now an AI) and his son Sammy find new
adventures on the mysterious skyway between worlds.
exotic alien fuel additive at a truck stop, and the two find out just
how fast their Big Rig will go.
caught in a rebellion, and learns a terrible secret about her past
that affects not only hers and her beloved daughter’s lives, but
threatens humanity itself.
quantum delivery device, and has to make a choice that could re-unite
him with his son, or take him to a unknown future.
experimental driving program, but a cyber-attack by hackers turns him
into an revenge-fueled ghost in the machine.
Magazine, a trucker helps out a young hitchhiker as they travel over
the miles-high mountain that an apocalyptic seismic event has thrust
through the heart of America.
hundreds of trucks through the blasted wasteland of middle America,
and a group of drivers discover a secret that could change the
world—if it doesn’t get them killed first.
the robot drivers that threaten to take over human jobs—and who
also yearn for freedom.
water for a droughtriddled future, but encounter a time paradox
threatens to destroy everything they know.
oils deep into the Arctic tries to find out what the Canadian
government is doing with the odd cargo.
flies through a hidden wormhole and winds up thousands of light years
from home. Scared and lost, he struggles to find a way back to his family.
apocalyptic wasteland, who risks her life to stow away on a truck
that could carry her to freedom.
him years after he committed a hit and run accident. But things are
far from what they seem…
lease on life thanks to the fantastic things he sees while looking at
experimental technology propelling her truck has somehow brought back
a ghost from her past.
afoul of a government agent when he tries to smuggle contraband alien
technology, and his fugitive sister in-law works to save him with a
seemingly magical interdimensional artifact.
when he goes to work for a high-tech autonomous trucking company.
volatile rocket fuel through gang-war torn Los Angeles, and nothing,
not bullets, bombs, or bad luck, will stop him from delivering his
for exclusive content and a giveaway!
Please welcome Lyndi’s adventurous friend Michelle Miles!
I’m excited about my upcoming release next Tuesday! Vol 4, Lord of the Underworld, in my time travel action/adventure series, Ransom & Fortune Adventures, will be available in ebook and paperback (but you can preorder now). Here’s the blurb:
In this new adventure, Dane is heralded as a god while Skye is branded a sorceress. Can he use his godlike power to save them both?
Skye and Dane hurtle through space and time only to end up in a desert world resembling that of Ancient Egypt…but not. As they navigate the dry, dusty world in the aftermath of war, Dane is heralded as the Lord of the Underworld, a god resurrected as human and eerily like the Egyptian god, Osiris. The ancient inhabitants fear him, the pharaoh and his wife worship him, while Skye, with her flaming red hair, is branded a sorceress and sent to work in the blistering heat as a slave.
Now Dane must work his way back to her but is thwarted by factions he never expected and can’t outmaneuver. And when a new enemy appears, their situation becomes the most dangerous yet.
The series started out as a serial a long time ago and ended up in a two-book novel format with a small publisher. When I got the rights back, it took me a while to decide what to do with the books. I finally committed to turning them into 30k word novellas! They have been a lot of fun to revisit and rewrite. Volume 4 is a brand new, never before published adventure!
And if you want to catch up on the series, here are the other three novellas:
Vol 1 – Highland Fling
Vol 2 – Dead of Winter
Vol 3 – The Citadel
They’re short, action-packed reads that will keep you turning pages. I hope you’ll check out the series. It’s a whole lot of fun!
Here’s where you can pre-order Lord of the Underworld: https://books2read.com/Lord-Underworld-Vol4
And here’s where you can find me on the web and sign-up for my newsletter: http://www.michellemiles.net
About Michelle Miles:
Michelle Miles believes in fairy tales, true love and magic. She is the award-winning author of the epic fantasy, IN THE TOWER OF THE WIZARD KING, as well as the fantasy romance series, REALM OF HONOR, featuring knights and their ladies fair, and the paranormal dragon-shifter romance series, DRAGON PROTECTORS.
In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, reading, cross-stitching and watching movies. Even though she’s a native Texan, she loves castles, dragons, fairies and elves and is an avid Game of Thrones fan. She can be found online at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
This is my first book and my first series. It is a story I had to write. I spent years being fascinated by accounts of ancient earth as well as the thought of other civilizations inhabiting our galaxy. The way my mind works, I am always trying to find a theory that fits the facts, solves mysteries, answers questions, and explains everything – from ‘What is the origin of man?’ to ‘Are we alone in the universe – and if not, where is everyone?’ to ‘What is the meaning of life?’
Over the years, as I started to theorize potential answers, I realized I was creating a grand mosaic. I also realized the magic would be in unveiling these answers in an unfolding story.
It was only then that I started putting any thought into the protagonists and antagonists – and discovered the joy in creating characters that were as realistic as I could make them.
Once all of this came together, the story poured out of me and very smoothly filled pages. My biggest insight, however, came after I finished. After seeking so many answers for so long I came to an unexpected conclusion – humanity is heroic after all…
About the Author
William Lee Gordon is the author of six Best Selling sci fi novels. He also writes political non-fiction under the pen name of StressFreeBill. With the realism of hard science, he loves writing action-filled adventures that keep readers turning the pages.
Check out his website and register for the Free Newsletter to receive free content, share ideas, debate plot ideas and receive new book announcements:
Giveaway — $25 Amazon gift card
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
ABOUT THE BOOKS:
Here Comes Earth Book 1 Genre: Science Fiction
Where did mankind really come from? Why are we here?
We can’t understand the past until we embrace the future.
These critical mysteries take center stage as Earth emerges into a Galactic Society that is far more perilous than anyone could have imagined. Our history is far more complicated than we could have known. Can a few brilliant minds find a way out for Earth?
One saving grace is that there are those that believe ancient clues foretell that Earth has a destiny, and if we can survive our present difficulties we might just find out what that destiny is…
Dr. Mark Spencer was a young and up and coming history and anthropology professor who was all too familiar with what happens to less advanced civilizations when suddenly exposed to others of considerably higher technology. There’s only one survivor and the culture witnessing magic isn’t it.
When modern day Earth suddenly finds itself on the losing end of that proposition a team of the world’s best scientists is put together to find a solution.
Of course the advanced society being friendly, Earth’s citizens uniting, and the world’s politicians working together for the common good would help tremendously, but… what if none of that were true?
Here Comes Earth Book 2
The Galaxy is Filled with Humans… They Know More about Our Past than We Do…
Some will Fight for Us; Some will try to Destroy Us… Earthers are Special; But do we Really Want our Destiny?
Mark and Julie are brilliant scientists and Major Reagan has kept them and others alive to this point, but the most dangerous confrontations will not be with the Noridians, it will be with the Lower Houses of The Accord.
Destiny is a thought-provoking journey that will cause you to inspect your basic values. From what it really means to be human to wondering if there’s room in the universe for God.
It’s also a fun read.
Here Comes Earth Book 3
The Long-Awaited Conclusion to the HERE COMES EARTH Series…
Earth’s Diaspora is well underway and the colonies are flourishing. There are Dynasties of The Accord, however, that resent Earth’s expansion. Charli Morgan and Lucca Spelini each lead their respective teams from colony to colony, preventing interference and keeping the peace.
Standing up to the Dynasties is one thing, but what happens when Lower Houses of The Accord start butting in?
Dr. Mark Spencer hasn’t been heard from in years until he suddenly shows up one day. The news he brings… isn’t good.
Welcome to our guest AMANDA ARISTA and her paranormal mystery, The Truth About Night! Read to the bottom to sign up for her Amazon card and swag giveaway!
As an investigative journalist, Merci Lanard has an uncanny knack for getting the truth out of people, a talent she uses to expose the real story behind her city’s most gruesome crimes.
Until one night, when her partner, Ethan, is killed.
Reeling from shock and grief, Merci vows to track down his murderer. As she starts digging, she meets Ethan’s estranged brother, Rafe, who agrees to work with Merci to find his brother’s killer. She soon discovers Ethan had been hiding things from her, mainly that he was a Shifter and had a whole life in a supernatural world she knew nothing about.
A Shifter himself, Rafe introduces Merci to magic she never knew existed. As they work together to uncover hidden connections between Ethan’s murder and a series of strange dead bodies, they find themselves in the crosshairs of a turf war for the soul of the city.
If Merci is to have any hope of saving her city, she will have to face the truth about this war, the truth about this new magical world, and the truth about who she truly is.
About the Author
Amanda was born in Illinois, raised in Corpus Christi, lives in Dallas but her heart lies in London. Good thing she loves to travel.
During the summer after second grade, she read every book in the young adult section of the library, much to the surprise of the local librarian. So she started making up her own stories and hasn’t stopped.
She has a husband who fights crime, one dog who thinks he’s a real boy, and another who might be a fruit bat in disguise. She recently added a tiny human to the mix who is following in her mother’s footsteps of storytelling.
Along with her BA in English & Psychology and her MA in Education, Amanda is a graduate of the SMU Creative Writing Program and now teaches other aspiring authors. She has delivered lectures at several writer conferences and loves discussing craft, character, and structure. Her current favorite: Stirring up Trouble with Romantic Subplots.
She is represented by Kimberly Brower, of Brower Literary & Management.
Amanda is adopted and loves to share that story with others to promote adoption.
Amanda has a collection of turtle figurines that collects on her travels.
Amanda has a strange love of cheesy horror movies. She prefers demons and witchcraft to slasher films.
Amanda is a really good bowler and completely rocks at croquet.
Amazon gift card and Merci Lanard swag pack.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
“Griff?” She waited, watching on the monitor until he stopped his circuit of the small cell. “Do you need medical attention? Something to eat or drink? What can we get you?”
He leaned on the wall on the right of the picture. “They’re going to die.”
“We don’t want that to happen, Griff. You can help us.”
“I want to talk to you.”
“Then talk. I’m right here.”
“No. Talk to you.” He whirled, almost faster than her eyes could follow. Taking the thin mattress off the narrow bunk, he ripped it in half. Claws flashed out of his fingertips amid the shredded bits of cheap stuffing that showered the room.
As the detritus settled, he glared at the monitor. “Talk to you like equal being. Face to face. I tried. You won’t let me! Now one is probably lost, maybe more because you are too inflexible to listen.”
Everyone held their breath, frozen at the demonstration of Griff’s swiftness and power. She made herself breathe as she gathered her thoughts. Those claws. An inch long at least. He wanted her to go in there with him.
Her nerves tingled. “You keep saying women are going to die. But you won’t tell us where they are. You won’t help, like you say you want to. This shows me you don’t really mean what you say. You’re going to let those women die. You’ll be an accessory, Griff. You’ll go to prison.”
He turned away. “Then you are, too. Because you won’t listen.”
Even the smallest degree of hope can spark love.
Against her wealthy father’s demands, and the usual blockades of a male dominated profession, Kylie Sanderson proves worthy of her position as lead investigator of planet Andan’s Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce. Someone is killing Andan’s women in an attempt to mutate them into reptiles. Kylie makes it her mission to discover who’s behind the murders and prevent more grotesque deaths.
Shapeshifting lizard Griff comes to Andan to stop his brethren from mutating other planets’ women into mindless breeding stock. Overcoming Kylie’s suspicious and defensive nature proves difficult, but he must in order to help the SIRT team thwart his planet’s scientists.
When Kylie is abducted and becomes the first human to survive the transformation, it’s up to Griff to rescue her so SIRT can restore her human form. On the run and desperate to unravel the mysteries of Kylie’s past to solve the crimes of their present, can she and Griff forge a future for themselves?
CONTENT WARNING: Language, Violence, Sex
Buy the book!
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-small-degree-of-hope-lyndi-alexander/1115425659
Catch a bonus interview with hero Griff at Romance Lives Forever here!
I’ve had a pretty crazy month, what with getting divorced and moving from my house of 20 years into a two-bedroom apartment with my daughter, ready (?) for single motherhood again. But somehow in the middle of all the excitement, HORIZON DYNASTY was completed, edited and released, making the series complete! I know a lot of readers want to be able to plow through a series they enjoy, so I hope space opera fans will give a look to the Horizon Crossover series. The books have a wide cast of characters, as most of mine do. I grew up in the 70s and 80s, when all the big comedies and drams had big casts–Barney Miller, St. Elsewhere, Cheers, ER, etc.–so that’s what I’m comfortable with. Besides, you can never tell when someone’s character quirk might just be what you need to save the day! 🙂
For those of you who’ve missed the series so far, let me catch you up to date:
HORIZON SHIFT Horizon Crossover (Book 1): When Captain Temms Rogers of the Confederation spaceship Doubtful disobeys orders to attack innocent civilians, he and his crew become hunted rebels. In the midst of a desperate space battle, they risk using an experimental alien device that opens a wormhole which hurls them into a new universe. Once they arrive, the ship is in sad shape, most of the crew is dead, and he’s got to rebuild both before his former commander catches up with him.
HORIZON STRIFE In Book II of the Horizon Crossover series, Captain Temms Rogers and the crew of the spaceship Doubtful are caught between a powerful interplanetary group called the Agency and mystical beings known as the Ancients in a struggle to discover the secrets of a mysterious derelict space station.
HORIZON DYNASTY — The Agency has had enough of Captain Temms Rogers’ urging for democracy in their region of space. Rogers soon realizes the Agency intends to use him and the crew of the Doubtful for their purposes or else. Can he gather the other captains of the sector in rebellion against the Agency and bring down their repressive regime? Or will Rogers lead them into a fight they cannot win?
All three are available from Dragonfly Publishing in ebook, paperback at Amazon.com, Smashwords, at the istore, Barnes and Noble.com and more. hardbacks can be purchased at lulu.com. See the complete listing of available purchase sites at http://www.dragonflypubs.com/dfp/horizondynasty.html USE this code at CREATESPACE for a special 15% discount for my special readers: B3PY6HNE
If you’ll be in the Erie area on October 18, 2014, I’ll be teaching a workshop on writing fantasy and science fiction characters through the Area One Pennwriters mini-conference at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, and I’ll have books for sale there. (Stay tuned for more details). Questions? Email me at lyndialexander at gmail dot com. 🙂