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Victorian, With a Twist

Welcome to guest author Laura Strickland, here to talk about her new book, Cross Checking: A Buffalo Steampunk Adventure. Take it away, Laura!

perf5.000x8.000.inddThe 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 What if the glorious age of steam heralded Laura and Dax 2019by the Industrial Revolution had never been superseded by electricity and the internal combustion engine?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?

EXCERPT:

“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.”

“Oh, yes?”

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.

 

buy links:

 

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Cross-Checking-Buffalo-Steampunk-Adventures-ebook/dp/B0849RR8MM/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Laura+Strickland+Cross+Checking&qid=1580680806&s=digital-text&sr=1-1

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Cross-Checking-Buffalo-Steampunk-Adventures-ebook/dp/B0849RR8MM/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=laura+strickland+cross+checking&qid=1580680963&s=books&sr=1-1

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cross-Checking-Buffalo-Steampunk-Adventures-ebook/dp/B0849RR8MM/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=laura+strickland+cross+checking&qid=1580680881&s=books&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cross-checking-laura-strickland/1136271198?ean=2940162971597

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/cross-checking-4

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/cross-checking/id1497766433

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/cross-checking-by-laura-strickland

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51472051-cross-checking?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=7s4mvR7x3F&rank=2

Author bio:

Laura and Shannon SteampunkMulti 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

Author Twitter:

Laura Strickland Author @LauraSt05038951

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/laurastricklandauthor/

BookBub page: https://www.bookbub.com/search?search=Laura+Strickland

 

 

18 Wheels of Science Fiction Tour

18 Wheels of Science Fiction:
A Long Haul into the Fantastic
Genre: Science Fiction Anthology
with Stories by
Eric Miller, editor, John DeChancie, Del Howison, Bond Elam, Lisa Morton,
Paul Carlson,
Janet Joyce Holden, Michael Bailey, Carla Robinson,
Jeff Seeman, Kate Jonez, Gary Phillips,
Lucio Rodriguez, Terry Bisson,
Eric Miller, Edward M. Erdelac, Michael Paul Gonzalez,
Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, Sean Patrick Traver
“…Definitely fun.” –Analog Science Fiction and Fact
Take a trip through the imaginations of 18 visionary writers as they
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.”
From the back cover:
An alien fuel additive shows just how fast a big rig can go…
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…
The highways of the universe will never be the same!
THE WRECKERS by JOHN DECHANCIE
The Wreckers” is a continuation of DeChancie’s highly popular
“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.
SPEED TRAP by JEFF SEEMAN
In “Speed Trap,” a chicken hauler’s misfit co-driver buys an
exotic alien fuel additive at a truck stop, and the two find out just
how fast their Big Rig will go.
THIN ICE by BOND ELAM
In “Thin Ice,” A trucker running mineral ore on an ice planet gets
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.
Q-BITS by LUCIO RODRIGUEZ
A trucker’s reality fractures in “Q-Bits” due to an experimental
quantum delivery device, and has to make a choice that could re-unite
him with his son, or take him to a unknown future.
I, TRUCK by GARY PHILLIPS
I, Truck” features an unemployed trucker who signs up for an
experimental driving program, but a cyber-attack by hackers turns him
into an revenge-fueled ghost in the machine.
OVER FLAT MOUNTAIN by TERRY BISSON
In the classic SF story “Over Flat Mountain,” which appeared in OMNI
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.
WHEELS OF WRATH by JANET JOYCE HOLDEN
In “Wheels of Wrath,” a breakdown stops the massive train carrying
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.
SHOTGUN SEAT by PAUL CARLSON
In “Shotgun Seat,” a trucker and his new trainee learn to cope with
the robot drivers that threaten to take over human jobs—and who
also yearn for freedom.
JOB NO. 34264 by LISA MORTON
Job #34264” features two truckers who travel back through time to find
water for a droughtriddled future, but encounter a time paradox
threatens to destroy everything they know.
ESSENTIAL OILS by MICHAEL BAILEY
In “Essential Oils,” a trucker hauling tankers full of essential
oils deep into the Arctic tries to find out what the Canadian
government is doing with the odd cargo.
BIG RIG, BIG RIP by ALVARO ZINOS-AMARO
The pilot of a long-haul space cargo carrier in “Big Rig, Big Rip”
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.
A FLICKER OF BRIGHT LIGHT by DEL HOWISON
A Flicker of Bright Light,” is about a young girl living in an
apocalyptic wasteland, who risks her life to stow away on a truck
that could carry her to freedom.
HIT/RUN by EDWARD M. ERDELAC
In “Hit/Run,” a trucker runs from two mysterious men who are chasing
him years after he committed a hit and run accident. But things are
far from what they seem…
EVERYTHING LOOKS SO SMALL by CARLA ROBINSON
An overweight trucker in “Everything Looks so Small” gets a new
lease on life thanks to the fantastic things he sees while looking at
the stars.
SILENT PASSENGER by KATE JONEZ
In “Silent Passenger,” a driver on her last run finds the
experimental technology propelling her truck has somehow brought back
a ghost from her past.
INDICA ASTERION & THE WIZARD OF OZYMANIDAS by SEAN PATRICK TRAVER
In “Indica Asterion & The Wizard of Ozymandias,” a trucker falls
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.
HUMAN, TRAFFICKING by MICHAEL PAUL GONZALES
Human, Trafficking” is about a trucker who signs his life—and body-—away
when he goes to work for a high-tech autonomous trucking company.
DRIVE by ERIC MILLER
Drive” follows the Greatest Driver Alive as he takes a tanker full of
volatile rocket fuel through gang-war torn Los Angeles, and nothing,
not bullets, bombs, or bad luck, will stop him from delivering his
incendiary cargo.
**scroll through the slideshow to find out more about the authors!!**



Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!

 

Paranormal mystery has romance and secrets at heart #MFRWBookHooks

A bad divorce, a broken heart, a need to begin again.LoveMeKissMeKillMe_Final_small2

These three things propel reporter Sara Woods to leave the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and take a job as the new reporter for small-town Ohio’s Ralston Courier. Ralston is a sleepy little town that doesn’t seem to have much to offer this big-city girl, but her very first assignment is to investigate a dead body, a young woman found half-frozen on the side of a country road. As more bodies are discovered, the only common link seems to be that they’re all young women Sara’s age.

Still recovering from a previous auto accident and struggling with chronic pain, she becomes a patient at the Goldstone Clinic, a local mecca of healing.

But all is not as it seems at the Goldstone. Patients at the clinic first seem to get better, then they deteriorate. Sara enlists the help of Dr. Rick Paulsen, a doctor at the city hospital who shares her concern about the deaths of the young women, one of whom was his own patient. He teaches her through Eastern techniques how to access her internal power, skills she never knew she had, revealing secrets from her past.

Police officer Brendon Zale also takes an interest in Sara, but he stalks her, watching her every move, and he won’t leave her alone. He always turns up at the most suspicious times, especially where the dead bodies are found. What’s his interest in Sara?

Sara continues to dig deeper into the story, and tries to choose allies wisely, but not till the last confrontation does she discover the identity of her true enemy.

By then, it’s too late.

Where to buy Love Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me

Publisher http://www.hydrapublications.com/

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GJBD1U0

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-me-kiss-me-kill-me-lyndi-alexander/1112464898

EXCERPT:

Gloria kept me on a full round of assignments, though I still didn’t have a regular beat. I interviewed farmers, called state legislators on budget talks, and wrote obituaries. But I found that whenever I asked for time to do further investigation about Lily and the others, Gloria bent over backward to make it happen for me.

While I was grateful, I thought it was unlike the hard-bitten editor to allow such devotion to a cause that had been shelved by the police and everyone else. She certainly didn’t seem to give others that leeway. After several days, I found myself alone with her by the coffeepot in the hallway between the news and sports departments, a pencil stuck behind one ear, looking very intellectual in the tortoise shell glasses. Her movements were stiff, caused by arthritis, according to newsroom scuttlebutt, but she refused any medication and denied any disability. I asked her about Lily.mfrw-book-hooks400

“Gloria, I get the feeling you should be telling me to get over this case and move on. But you don’t.”

“No.” She poured a tall mug of black coffee.

I waited for more of an explanation, but she didn’t elaborate. I shoved several quarters in the snack machine for some cheesy crackers. “So you think it’s worthwhile.”

“Yes.” Gloria stared out the window, jaw set.

She was as stubborn as I. A little smile inched across my lips. “Because?” I said pointedly.

She looked up and down the hall, and started to speak, but bit her lip instead. “Come to my office,” she said, and marched away. After a moment of stunned silence, I followed her. She waited till I was inside, then shut the door. She turned on her radio, loud. National Public Radio’s Fresh Air and Terry Gross boomed forth, interviewing a movie director about independent film making. Gloria gestured at the chair next to the desk, and I took it, but she sat on the counter under the window, cranked it open so she could smoke.

She took her time, burning up half the cigarette before she finally turned to me. “I want you to get them.”

“Them who?”

“The people who are killing all these women. Because there’s more than four. There’s more than the ones you pulled from O’Neal’s files. By my informal count, there’s at least 17.”

“What?” My voice, tight with surprise, got almost shrill.

She glanced at the radio, then at the door, then at me.

“Sorry,” I said, much more softly. “Where does that number come from?”

“Several people have taken notice of the deaths, the pattern, the statistics. We’ve compared notes and done what we can, but the authorities were less then helpful.”

“Good thing that’s changed,” I said with a heavy helping of sarcasm.

She smiled without warmth. “Cops are cops. They’ll never change.” She tossed the cigarette butt out the window. “When you’re ready, I will give you my contacts. Because I want you to nail the bastards. They killed my baby sister.”

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Minzie by L. Horton

I recently had the pleasure of talking to a group of teens at Arms Around ASD, a local office that supports people on the spectrum and their families, and we explored the basics of writing, including character traits and details. One young man was very excited about his piece, and I offered to share it with the world, in keeping with the season. Enjoy!

 

Image result for free clip art witchThere once lived a wicked witch who did not like the heroes of the pacific side of the world. So she casted a spell on a jack o lantern who she named Minzie and brought it to life. It grew a body of vines and was ready to kill what was on schedule. There was Luke, a Rich Pagan Wizard from Saipan who has triplets. There was Logan, a Buddhist from Guam, who helps people and hunts pigs to make food for the community, with his rich wife Lauren. There was Marky, an Orthodox Jewish detective from Christmas Island and Leia a Buddhist from Japan who knows ninjitsu. Moving on, we are starting with Luke in this story.

 

Part 1. Luke the Wizard

Luke was potty training his triplets when suddenly his wife Helena pops in.

“Luke, you are the hero of Saipan. Can’t you grant me good luck at work today because I’m afraid I’m going to fail at a project going on and get fired.”

“Aw sweetheart  I can grant you that.”

“Thanks so much, Luke!” said Helena.

When potty training was done, he took his triplets outside to play and then three hours later it was time for a bath and then bedtime. When itImage result for free clip art Pumpkinhead was bedtime he went to sit at the bar in his mansion and that’s when Minzie came and killed him by sending wines through his chest and his abdomen and them Minzie ate his head and heart.

The very next day, Helena came in and she screamed loudly and held a funeral with the triplets and his family.

Part 2. Marky the Inspector

Marky was at somebody’s house dealing with a missing puppy, which he found an hour later. After that he went home and watched Benny Hill. During Benny Hill he received a call from his childhood friend Logan on Guam.

“Hey Marky! How does work go for you on Christmas Island>?” said Logan.

“It goes fine. I’m a detective and found a puppy today.”

“Neat!” said Logan.

Then suddenly Minzie appeared outside Marky’s house. Marky said, “Hang on I gotta go.”

So he walked outside and got his head eaten by Minzie.

Part 3. Leia the Ninja

directrix clipart ninja #74261093 clip art library downloadLeia was at her dojo training with her sensei Kyubo and she went home with her stepdad. Her stepdad even told her that she is the hero of Japan, but there is a monster on the loose so she needs to stay inside where it is safe.

Minzie soon appeared and vined out her heart and ate it.

There was later a funeral at a crematorium.

 

Part 4. Logan the pig hunter

Logan and his rich wife Lauren were out hunting pigs for bacon on Guam, to have a meat sale to benefit the community.Image result for free clip art explosion

But when Minzie arrived to get him, the military had tracked the pumpkin, and had it surrounded and blew up Minzie with a missile. The danger was over but everyone who died was always remembered as a hero.

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