ARC Review: The Brass Queen

Book Reviews

Let me start off by saying that The Brass Queen by Elizabeth Chatworth is not something I usually read. Steampunk is a relatively unexplored subgenre for me, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect …

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The writing itself is elegant, thorough. Every detail paints an elaborate picture of what is being viewed and the reader can easily see what they are being shown. At times the detail was a little too much and distracting, dragging down the action, but I mostly appreciated the overall picturesque scenes as I got to experience the world through the hero and heroine’s POV.

Tying into the language, and as mentioned a little above, the overall flow of the story dragged for me even with the bouts of action. While reading, I often was waiting for something that I just didn’t quite get. The mix of historical characters and events, the devices, the side characters, usage of humor, all were fabulous, and I was greedy for more details on the artifacts that the Haltwhistle’s housed. It was the main characters, specifically Constance herself, that just didn’t mesh with me.

Constance was supposed to be “The Brass Queen” and yet I didn’t really see that. There is mentionings of her creations, her dealings, and nods to her “second” persona but she didn’t seem to know how to handle a situation and “luck” was mostly on her side so she could prevail. I wanted more from her. Expected more.

Overall I adored the historical aspects, the creations that were birthed, the humor, and the side characters that added to the whimsy feel. I enjoyed the realistic ending and the open-endedness of what the characters themselves will do next.

Rating: 3/5

Looking for a witty and humorous read with a splash of romance, steampunk creations, and historical oddities? Give The Brass Queen a try—releasing this month!

Book Review: Raven’s Cry

Book Reviews
*** Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own. May contain spoilers.

 

“They’re at the greatest risk… it takes but a nudge to push them over the edge.”

– Dana Fraedrich, Raven’s Cry

raven's cry cover 

Raven’s Cry Review

By: Rae

 

The Raven’s Cry is an ode to a woman cursed by magic and a victim of a greater power told in her narrative that spans centuries. Right from the beginning readers are introduced to Calandra Allen, a noble’s daughter, with the freedom to be an oddity against society standards. The Allen family is charming and quirky, what we see of them through Calandra’s eyes that is. It is her uncle Ducky, not a blood relation but a close family friend, that evidently sends Calandra to her downfall.  At a party she meets traveling mage Nicodemus. He is eccentric himself and not used to the customs of her area. The two strike a friendship that leads to a marriage proposal. Newly married and content with her life, Calandra happens upon a ritual being performed by Nicodemus that changes her life forever. Trapped as Raven during the day and tortured at night, she watches her husband steal bodies and souls to achieve immortality, stuck as an immortal herself. Will she escape? What has become of her world? Only time… will tell.

Let’s start with the set of characters we meet in Raven’s Cry. Aside from Calandra, who I will discuss later, I want to highlight the minor characters that travel through this story. From Ducky to Basira to Thomas and finally Kieran, each had a distinctness to them that separated them as individuals. I adored Ducky. Had a mixed feeling of love and hate with Thomas. As for Kieran, I didn’t get much of him to be totally swayed to his side. His story was too inconclusive. My overall satisfaction of character development can be said for all the support characters throughout. Nicodemous is an entity unto himself, not to be said likely, considered his forte in stealing souls and bodies to inhabit. I found it interesting how he digressed as a character and ultimately unraveled. His story ending was deeply dissatisfying though and I felt a little cheated at how everything went down. Then there was Calandra, for her experience is harrowing from being a quirky bookworm to a rebel spy. I found her narrative confusing at times with how it was worded, the skips in time, and some missing details… but still was able to relate to her. In the end, I just felt sorry for how everything turned out and unsatisfied by her conclusion, open-ended as it was. She never fully grew into the character she seemed aspired to be and that worried me.

The world itself is intriguing but could have been further developed besides the glimpses we see. Now since this was a novella, I understand it’s shortness, yet believe more world building could’ve strengthened the piece. I also didn’t get much of the steampunk vibe, just minor glimpses. The world itself did reflect Calandra, and since she was the narrator and a prisoner for a larger portion of the book, the plot flows with her and left room for reader interpretation and speculation. Thus, the main strength of Raven’s Cry were the characters. They were unique and refreshing and helped ease any lapses in what was going on throughout.

My interest is snared and I will need to read the other Broken Gears novels to see how the world at the end of Raven’s Cry fairs in the new century. Please note though that Raven’s Cry is a standalone.

If you want a faster paced read with quirky, intriguing characters, I recommend Raven’s Cry. The added plus is it’s loose relation to the Swan Lake. I do love a good, dark retelling.

 

My rating: 3.5

 

Visit Dana Fraedrich’s website to learn more about her Broken Gears series.

Short Story Excerpt: Beyond the Familiar by Jeff Young – Afterpunk Anthology

Short Story, Writer's Feature, Writing

JY Steam.jpgMeet Jeff Young.

Jeff Young is a bookseller first and a writer second – although he wouldn’t mind a reversal of fortune.

He is an award winning author who has contributed to the anthologies: Writers of the Future V.26, In an Iron Cage: The Magic of Steampunk, Clockwork Chaos, Gaslight and Grimm, By Any Means, Best Laid Plans, Dogs of War, Man and Machine, If We Had Known, Fantastic Futures 13, The Society for the Preservation of C.J. Henderson, TV Gods & TV Gods: Summer Programming. Jeff’s own fiction is collected in TOI Special Edition 2 – Diversiforms and the forthcoming Spirit Seeker. He also edited the Drunken Comic Book Monkey line, TV Gods and TV Gods –Summer Programming. He has led the Watch the Skies SF&F Discussion Group of Camp Hill and Harrisburg for seventeen years. Jeff is also the proprietor of Helm Haven, the online Etsy and Ebay shops, costuming resources for Renaissance and Steampunk.

 

Beyond the Familiar Excerpt

“The departed have better things to do than talk to you.”

Kassandra met that statement from Madam Foss with a canted eyebrow.

“Look at me like that all you will lassie, but it’s still the truth.” She tipped her teacup back and drank down the last bit as Kassandra waited for her to continue. “It may sound absurd but the dead don’t always have an interest in what the price of butter is. They’ve moved on. They’ve joined the grand choir. They’ve earned their reward. They’ve other concerns.”

Kassandra couldn’t help but notice that as Madam Foss delivered her last comment her eyes drifted off to the right and she lifted the empty cup for another sip only to find she’d already emptied it. Kassandra enjoyed her time with her new mentor. However, she often found that not only was it important what Madam Foss relayed but also what she avoided. Since it was expected of her, she asked, “Well how does one engage with the departed then? My former teacher was grave robbing and then forcing the spirits to speak.”

Madam Foss’s dark wrinkled visage puckered up even farther as if she’d been offered something scraped off of the road outside. “You and I will be avoiding any such wrongdoing. What we do is like a tool. You can build a house with it or you can lay about with it doing all sorts of damage that not only hurts those around you but also you.” With that one of her fingers shot out and dug into Kassandra’s chest. “You will be better than that wretch.”

Leaning back in the chair, so she could reach for her teacup and put herself out of the range of that finger, Kassandra considered her mentor.

Madam Foss kept her hand outstretched for a moment longer and then leaned back into her own chair. “We speak to the dead mostly through intermediaries. There are those that are just as restless as they were in life. They can find the spirits we need to speak to and if those are unwilling to speak, the intermediaries can carry messages.”

“They are familiars,” Kassandra said suddenly pleased with herself at the realization.

The chair creaked as Madam Foss lunged towards her once again, finger pointed and then thought better of the action. She clutched her hands together, staring at Kassandra. “I keep forgetting that you are so much older than most who are brought to me.” She shook her head, the gray curls swaying under her bonnet, “I forget that you like to think for yourself instead of just listen and listen good like a younger one would. So lassie if you say familiar to anyone else, they’ll be calling witchcraft in no time at all. What we do has nothing to do with the dark parts we were discussing before. Perhaps those spirits do become familiar and perhaps that’s why they take such a name, but the common man only knows that as evil. We speak to intermediaries, to intermediaries only, clear? We are mediums. We speak for the dead and the dead speak to us. That’s all that matters. When someone decides they know better than we do, that’s when words like ‘evil’ and ‘witch’ gets tossed about. That’s when they start gathering tinder.”

She considered Kassandra for a moment longer her dark eyes squinting as if she could see inside her. Then the passage of a dirigible overhead caused the windows of Madam Fosse’s small home to shudder and broke her attention. She stood up suddenly and gestured for Kassandra to follow her. Setting aside her teacup, Kassandra brushed the front of her dress down and then stepped after her mentor as she crossed the sitting room and walked through the foyer. The house was split by a large staircase that rose into the dimness of the upper level. On the other side were a pair of large wooden doors. Kassandra had spent most of her time in the sitting room and the kitchen beyond during her visits. They hadn’t ventured to the other side of the house until now. Madam Foss pulled out a large brass key and unlocked the doors and then threw them open.

Dark curtains covered the windows in what was a converted dining room. Bookcases were set up so that the square corners of the room were rounded off. Wooden chairs with caned bottoms were spread around about the perimeter and a rich rug covered the floor. But what drew Kassandra’s attention was the table at the center.

It was circular and draped in deep red velvet. A wooden disk lay on top only slightly smaller in diameter. At its center was a hole and braided copper wires rose from inside the table to latch on to the Jacobs Ladder that climbed halfway to the ceiling. Copper threads chased across the wooden circle in strange patterns and two brass handgrips were mounted close enough for easy use. A leather-backed chair was pushed up to the table in front of the grips.

Madam Foss pulled back the chair and said to Kassandra, “Sit.”

Before they’d merely been conversing. The tone that the medium took with her now was one that had Kassandra dropping into the chair before she considered rebelling. Instinctively she reached out for the grips. They were so cold to her touch that she almost pulled away but the sharp glance from Madam Foss made her keep her hands in place. The older woman reached down and began turning a large crank that was just visible under the tablecloth. As she did so, a crackly snapped through the air and a flicker of static flew up the Jacob’s Ladder, then another and another until visible arcs ascended towards the top and dissipated into the surrounding air. The copper wiring on the tabletop danced with fat blue sparks and then the current hit Kassandra shooting her hair out in all directions. Her red curls furled like a corona about her.

“Now you know why I wear a hat,” came Madam Foss’s dry comment.

But Kassandra wasn’t paying attention any longer. She was trying to understand where the water had come from. Then it struck her, it wasn’t water and it was coming from her. Her skin, her pores, her mouth, her eyes, her ears – every exit from her was weeping something that wasn’t water but rather ectoplasm. Madam Foss had called it the insulation between worlds at one point. There it was real, right before her. Gradually, the silver substance began to collect in a sphere over the table. When Kassandra looked down at the design in copper with its circles about the handgrips, she realized that it was designed to help keep the ectoplasm contained. The Jacobs Ladder overhead was bleeding off just the right amount of static to keep the circuit she was part of safe. More and more ectoplasm kept pouring from her until the sphere swelled to twice the size of her head. She looked at it closely and discovered that it was spinning ever so slightly. Then she lunged forward out of the chair and plunged her head into the silver mass.

At first she didn’t notice anything. It was almost as if her eyes were adjusted to a dark room. There was a faint sound that might be footsteps and a light breeze blew across her face. Gradually, she began to realize that she was looking down what she could only describe as a path. It was so straight and long that perspective vanished into the distance. She could see a little of what looked like woods to either side but couldn’t actually move her point of view. It was as if her head weren’t with her any longer but only her eyes. There were shapes and shadows ahead of her, however they were so far down the path they were more like suggestions or imperfections in the overall pattern. Then one of the shadows grew darker and became more defined. It stepped out of the side onto the path and crossed it quickly. But before it faded into the other side, it hesitated. For the tiniest part of an instant, Kassandra thought that she’d seen a dark cloaked form turn to stare at her.

The last time that she’d seen the shade of her mother Anastasia, she’d worn a dark cloak. If there was any spirit she wished to speak to it was most certainly her mother. If her mother were to become her familiar spirit, it would be almost perfect. But the figure was gone. The path was fading and Madam Foss’s iron grip was pulling her forcibly back into the chair.

As she sat there gasping, her hands torn from the brass grips, Madam Foss considered Kassandra, hands akimbo. “Should’ve known you were going to do that. From now on girl you listen to me if you plan on staying on. The other side doesn’t take kindly to intruders. There are things that keep us out. That’s not how we talk to the other side. That’s the important part. We talk to the other side. You don’t get to visit unless you’re planning on staying. Now you just sit back and I’ll get you another cup of tea. Your heart’s gonna race and be out of rhythm for a little and it’s likely you’ll have trouble catching your breath. You’re young so you’ll do fine but it’ll hurt.”

With that she reached under the table, pulled the handle she’d cranked into place against the underside of the able. She patted Kassandra on the shoulder as the table crackled with a few stray sparks and wondered off after the tea.

While Kassandra sat there blinking, black spots chasing across her vision and her heart thumping away like a swallow trapped in a chimney, her mind was racing. She’d seen heaven. Well, she’d seen the other side. It wasn’t anything like she’d expected.

***

 

The Details on the upcoming Afterpunk Anthology

tales of paranormal steampunk.jpg

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/e-specbooks/tales-of-paranormal-steampunk
eSpec Books brings you three great new steampunk books of witches and magic and the great beyond.
eSpec Books is back with three delightfully punky tomes for your reading enjoyment. Won’t you help us make these fantastical books a reality? We bring you familiar favorites and shiny new names, but as always wonderful fiction. This campaign will allow us to cover production costs, pay the authors, and possibly include artwork in these books, which you can read about below…

THE CLOCKWORK WITCH

by Michelle D. Sonnier

The seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, Arabella is destined to disappoint, when she was expected to shine. Though she descends from a long line of gifted witches she has earned the moniker of a “brown bud” showing no sign of magical talent.

When it truly seems her lot can grow no worse, she discovers an unnatural affinity for…of all things…technology. Not only are the mysteries of the mechanical world open to her, but her new-found ability allows her to manipulate them, making her the first ever clockwork witch and anathema to the nature of the witching world.

How will she come to grips with her new power when she must question if she will survive the judgement of her family and her peers?

spiritseeker.jpgSPIRIT SEEKER  

by Jeff Young

The Kassandra Leyden Adventures

The Leydens were people of extraordinary means. The father a well-known adventurer. The mother a spiritualist oft consulted by the government of New Britain. The daughter, Kassandra, inherited both the skill and sense of adventure that made her parents great.

But when her mother vanishes without a trace, and her father turns toward spirits of a fluid nature as he loses himself in memory, Kassandra is left to find her own way and purpose. She quickly learns a sense of caution as she discovers there is as much intrigue as adventure about the world she lives in. And not all those she’s had faith in are to be trusted.

With the whispers of spirits in her ear and unlikely allies at her back, Kassandra strives to defend both the living and the departed…after all…

It’s the Spirit of the matter…

 

AFTER PUNK: STEAMPOWERED TALES OF THE AFTERLIFE

edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Greg Schauer

While mankind can scarce hope to pierce the Veil without crossing it, a few intrepid souls will ever bend their will against the aether, combining artifice and the arcane to uncover its secrets.

From voodoo death cults to the Day of the Dead, mummy parties, the wheel of reincarnation, the practice of death portraits, and so much more, these tales leave no gravestone unturned.

Be it heaven or hell or the limbo in between, the hereafter is about to get ‘Punked.

With stories by Jody Lynn Nye, David Sherman, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, James Chambers, Michelle D. Sonnier, Jeffrey Lyman, Bernie Mojzes, Travis I. Sivart, Jeff Young, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail.

Amber Sky Blog Tour

Blog Tour

Amber sky v3.jpgAmber Sky (C.O.I.L.S of Copper and Brass #1)
by Claire Warner
Genre: Dystopian Steampunk
Release Date: June 2nd 2017

Summary:

“You thought I did this out of the goodness of my heart?” He gave a short mirthless laugh. “Not a bit of it, this is going to be dangerous for me. What are you offering for my help?”

Beneath the Amber Sky, the nobility control the food, education, and the mysterious C.O.I.L.S of Copper and Brass. To Tay, struggling to keep her siblings alive, the ideas of rebellion and freedom are distant and unreachable.

But when her father is arrested, she begs Darius James, the son of the Overseer, to save his life. Darius agrees, but his help costs her a favour, one he can call in at any time.

Darius’ favour will bring her to the Palace, and the perfect position to help the growing rebellion. But the court has games beyond anything she has seen before, and Darius’ secrets will add to the danger.

Tay is now able to make a difference, to join the rebellion, find the C.O.I.L.S and discover the secrets of the Amber Sky. All she has to do is survive. 

Add to Goodreads

FREE on Amazon this week!

 

Excerpt:

Within the coils of copper and brass, there is a chance of freedom:
Anonymous writer (date unknown)

Chapter 1:

It was November, and soot-laden fog obscured her progress as Tay strode along the busy street. A chill wind kept the smog moving and nipped at her exposed skin. She was grateful for the shifting whiteness: it kept away curious eyes, and gave her a sense of freedom. The Factory was ahead, belching clouds of smoke and steam into the air, choking the lines of workers that queued outside. She averted her eyes and kept going. Thoughts of the Factory led to thoughts of the Mine, and she could not allow that. The work site fell behind her as she began to move uphill, away from the choking smog of the Factory District, and towards the Mercantile District. The traffic thinned out as her feet carried her through the cold, whispering quiet. The crowds were lighter here and better dressed. In contrast to their well-heeled fashions, Tay looked like an old sack. Several threadbare garments covered her body, and a moth-eaten, woollen hat was jammed down on her chestnut-coloured hair. Her boots were held together with twine, and stuffed with rags to keep the cold at bay. Despite her efforts to layer her ragged clothing, the wind still found its way to her skin, making her shiver. As she headed into the district, the fog shielded her from prying eyes and made her progress easier. Moving along the well-paved roads of the Merchant District with the elusiveness of a wild thing, she avoided the few traders that braved the cold, speeding up as she approached her destination.
The house was built from white stone, now discoloured from the ubiquitous soot. On the faded, cherry-coloured door, a brass knocker in the shape of a lion warned her off with what she fancied was a contemptuous gaze. For a long moment, she stared at the wood, wondering at the wisdom of what she was attempting. Lars and Cody could have been wrong, and this trip could easily land her in the cells. As the ever-present wind chapped her lips, she mustered her resolve. All other options had been exhausted, and this was all she had left. Taking a deep breath, she grasped the knocker with one shaking hand before letting it fall. For several moments, she waited on the doorstep, shifting uneasily from one foot to the other, nervous beyond thought.
The door creaked open, and a maid stared down at her with unconcealed distaste. Tay nervously wet her lips and opened her mouth to speak.
“No beggars.” The maid spoke first, her voice shrill with strident condemnation, as she took in Tay’s attire. Confident in her dismissal, she moved to close the door.
“No, wait.” Tay placed her foot in the hall, and leant forward. The maid stopped moving, distaste morphing into shock. “I need to speak to Darius…” Despite her best efforts, Tay’s voice still shook. “Please.” The woman stared down at her with disbelief, incredulous at her audacity to ask to see the Master’s son.
“I don’t think so.” The woman began pushing the door shut, shoving Tay’s fragile frame off the doorstep with its weight. Tay held her ground, trying to keep the door open.
“Please…” She pleaded once more, her voice echoing loudly in the hallway. Panic thrummed through her as she became aware of the spectacle she was creating. One complaint from any of the people on the street behind her and the guards would come. “I need to see him.” It was a desperate, yearning plea, yet the maid was having none of it. The door jammed against her toes, and she winced. The maid was winning the battle, her far stronger, well-fed, bulky frame inching Tay closer to the street.
“What’s going on?” A male voice echoed across the hall, and the maid stopped.
“It’s this beggar, Sir.” The woman held the door steady as she turned to face the speaker. “She wishes to talk to you.” Her voice was sneering, only slightly mollified by deference to her master.
“Let me see.” The man walked forward, and the maid reluctantly released her hold on the door. Tay’s eyes roved across the man before her as he came into view, starting at his well-shod feet, and travelling upward. A well-tailored, dark blue suit framed a lean body, and a cane of some dark wood lay carelessly in his hands. Casting her gaze upwards, she stared directly into a pair of deep-blue eyes, which were alight with interest.
“I need to see you, Darius,” She appealed directly to him, holding his gaze with silent entreaty. She ignored the scandalised tut of the maid as she took a step forward. “It’s important.”
Darius thought for a moment before he nodded. “Let her in,” He said to the maid, stepping back along the hall. With a look of shock on her features, the woman stepped away from the door and let Tay into the house.
Heat enveloped her as she stepped off the street, and followed Darius’ beckoning finger. The maid closed the door behind her as she slowly crossed the hall towards a door on the left. Her eyes drifted across the panelled space, awed by the luxury she saw. Dominated by a sweeping staircase, the hallway was decorated in shades of gold and blue. A heavy chandelier, festooned with lights, swung from the ceiling, and it was blissfully, wonderfully warm.
“Come on girl,” Tay’s head snapped back to the doorway, and she almost tripped over her own feet, as she hastened towards the sitting room. A fire blazed in a large hearth, filling the room with a cosy light. Above the mantel, a gilt-framed mirror reflected her scared and lost face. Several comfortable-looking couches lay about the room, and a variety of expensive knick-knacks were arranged on a wooden cabinet against the left wall. Intimidated, she looked around at the luxuriant surroundings and swallowed nervously.
“Warm yourself up.” Darius indicated the roaring fire, and she stepped before it gratefully, feeling the heat radiate across her cold skin. “Emma.” He turned to the maid. “Can you find me some old clothes?” With a sour look on her face, Emma nodded. As soon as she had left, Darius turned back to the room. “Now that she’s gone,” He said as he walked forward. “Why don’t you tell me what you want?”
Taya bit her lip and fidgeted. What had seemed like a good idea in the safety of her home, now felt like insanity. She glanced at him, noticing the arrogant cast to his features and the surety of his gaze. He was handsome, she realised with a jolt. Beneath a shock of black hair, deep blue eyes stared out at her with disconcerting directness.
“My name’s Taya, and…” She stopped, wondering how she could continue with her request.
“And?” He encouraged, noticing her hesitation. “I can’t help you if you don’t ask.”
“My father has just been sent to the mines,” She said quickly, watching the realisation cross his face.
“I see,” He noted softly, staring at her with interest. “And?”
“He already has a weak heart,” She found herself saying. “The mines will kill him.”
“I fancy that’s the idea,” He uttered, reaching for a glass of amber liquid that lay on the mantel, and took a sip. “What do you expect me to do about it?”

 

claire warner.jpgAbout the Author

When I was a child, I made up games and characters when my sister and I played with dolls. As I grew older, I would make up scenarios and scenes, fully intending to write them down but never finding the time. In my late teens, I discovered the world of role playing and settled into an avid ‘geeky’ life of D&D, comics, sci-fi and fantasy fiction. Years passed and I finally gave voice to the stories in my head. I write romance, fantasy, action and adventure. I love tales of steampunk and history, tales of magical powers and dark curses lurking in the shadows. Though The Black Lotus is not my first attempt at a novel, it is the first I have finished.

And some fun facts about me:

I sew.

My favourite Disney film is Atlantis.

I’ve been a film extra and stood 5 feet away from Sam Rockwell.

Babylon 5 is my fave sci-fi show.

I cried at the end of Toy Story 3.

Author Links:

Website . Goodreads . Twitter . Facebook

Giveaway is… here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Tour Schedule Here.

Tour Organized By:

YA Bound Book Tours

04cd2-yabounktourbutton

Rotten Magic Promo + Guest Post

Spotlight Tour
TITLE: Rotten Magic

AUTHOR: Jeffrey Bardwell
       Jeffrey Bardwell is an ecologist with a Ph.D. who loves fantasy, amphibians, and reptiles. The author devours fantasy and science fiction novels, is most comfortable basking near a warm wood stove, and has eaten a bug or two. The author populates his own novels with realistic, fire breathing lizards. These dragons are affected by the self-inflicted charred remains of their environment, must contend with the paradox of allometric scaling, and can actually get eaten themselves.
The author lives on a farm, is perhaps overfond of puns and alliterations, and is a gigantic ham. When not in use, he keeps his degrees skinned and mounted on the back wall of his office. Email at: jhbardwell@gmail.com
GENRE: fantasy/steampunk
SERIES: The Artifice Mage Saga, Book 0.5
Devin will do anything to win. Even resort to magic.
Devin competes to become the best artificer in the mage phobic Iron Empire. Who needs magic when you can master the art of machinery? The other apprentices envy his genius and skills . . . especially Benson. Every apprentice hones their craft building and fighting in crude prototypes of powered armor. Some add frills, others barbs or horns. When Devin transforms himself into a mechanical dragon to slaughter the competition, Benson steps into the role of dragon slayer.
But Devin harbors a secret as he claws his way to the top of the Artificer’s Guild: he’s a mage. These new abilities are thrilling and frightening, and the voices more so. How long can Devin be content wearing a steel dragon mask when the seductive promise of true arcane power whispers in his ear?
Experience the prequel to the Artifice Mage Saga: a fantasy steampunk brawl of metal vs. magic where sorcery is bloody, science is greasy, and nobody’s hands are clean.
To Buy Rotten Magic, click here.
GUEST POST:
 
THE FALLEN KNIGHTHOOD
Nobody mourns the collapse of chivalry as they should. The regression of knights from their historical roles as mounted heroes, nobles, and stewards of the king’s justice to common gutter trash riding in wrinkled, red uniforms is a symptom of a greater disease. When we lost our knights in shining armor, we lost that which shines within ourselves.
It was not always thus, although few now are old enough to remember. But I can still close my eyes and feel the warm breeze on my back, hear the pennons snapping in the wind, smell the scent of oiled leather, and see the sun shining off that brilliant, burnished armor as the knights paraded down the street, waving to the crowd. I must have been a lad of five or six, but the memory lingers. The sun set that day and never rose again. The knights rode to battle one last time, perchance to kill an upstart duke for the glory of their monarch. But now that duke sits upon the throne, a cold chair washed in the blood of our king while the blood of our knights polishes the flagstones at his feet.
We have replaced a kingdom with an empire, glory with greed, and chivalry with cavalry. When the imperial soldiers ride through the streets, it is no gay parade, but a grim patrol. The neighboring kingdoms fear us now, and well they should, for we have conquered two of them and soon we shall conquer the rest. Only Corel, by the grace of her dragons and her mountains, remains secure. But the others? Farse, the land of Graceful Mountains? Kindar, the quiet Kingdom by the Sea? They are shackled to the empire, reduced to mere provinces.
Remember the knights. Remember the brilliant knights in shining armor. A darkness is spreading across the land and we will never shine again.
The empire is harsh to those who refuse to conform. The Artifice Mage is coming. Will he bring new light to the empire or his own brand of darkness?
Giveaway Time!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Amber Sky Blitz

Blog Blitz

 

Amber Sky (C.O.I.L.S of Copper and Brass #1)

by Claire Warner

Genre: Dystopian Steampunk

Release Date: June 2nd 2017


Summary:


“You thought I did this out of the goodness of my heart?” He gave a short mirthless laugh. “Not a bit of it, this is going to be dangerous for me. What are you offering for my help?”


Beneath the Amber Sky, the nobility control the food, education, and the mysterious C.O.I.L.S of Copper and Brass. To Tay, struggling to keep her siblings alive, the ideas of rebellion and freedom are distant and unreachable. 


But when her father is arrested, she begs Darius James, the son of the Overseer, to save his life. Darius agrees, but his help costs her a favour, one he can call in at any time. 


Darius’ favour will bring her to the Palace, and the perfect position to help the growing rebellion. But the court has games beyond anything she has seen before, and Darius’ secrets will add to the danger.


Tay is now able to make a difference, to join the rebellion, find the C.O.I.L.S and discover the secrets of the Amber Sky. All she has to do is survive. 


Buy on Amazon!  


Excerpt :
There.” Beth stepped back and pointed at the mirror.Take a look.”
Set into the side of one of the wardrobes, and
etched in gilt, the full-length mirror gleamed slightly in the light. With a
sigh, Tay stepped forward. Her image swam into focus, and she took a step back,
startled at the reflection she saw before her. The slightly timid house maid
had vanished, replaced by some richly dressed stranger. The deep crimson dress
fitted in all the right places, and the rustling taffeta held a glossy sheen
which glowed beneath the lights. Small clusters of jet and crystal were
stitched across the bodice and full skirt, and they glittered as the light
struck them.
Tay slid her fingers across the fabric before
turning her attention to her hair. The dark locks had been twisted into a mass
of corkscrew curls and pinned to the crown of her head beneath of jet and
silver fascinator. Her makeup had been lightly applied, and her face almost
vanished beneath the magnificence of the dress.
Oh.” Barely able to speak, she turned back to face Beth.I look…”
Beautiful,Beth answered, a slight hint of regret in her
voice.
And not at all like yourself.” She walked
forward and brushed an imaginary bit of dust from the back of the dress.
Now you’d
better get going
.” She stepped back and jumped slightly as Tay flung
her arms about her.


Thank you.” Now that the costume of nobility had been
donned, she felt somewhat
better about the whole situation. Despite the
slightly underfed cast to her appearance, the dress altered her entire
façade. Visions of
immediately being denounced as an imposter began to fade as she stepped back,
and headed for the living room. She pushed open the door and stopped at the
sight of Darius
sitting in one of the chairs. As the door swung
open, he jumped to his feet. Tay was gratified to note that his mouth opened
slightly in shock as he took in her appearance. A moment of stunned silence
fell over the pair of them as each regarded the other. Darius had also dressed
for dinner, and Tay ran her eyes across his elegant garb in
stupefied appraisal. He
had been handsome before, but now, she closed her mouth as she realised that
she was staring.
About the Author

 

When I was a child, I made up games and characters when my sister and I played with dolls. As I grew older, I would make up scenarios and scenes, fully intending to write them down but never finding the time. In my late teens, I discovered the world of role playing and settled into an avid ‘geeky’ life of D&D, comics, sci-fi and fantasy fiction. Years passed and I finally gave voice to the stories in my head. I write romance, fantasy, action and adventure. I love tales of steampunk and history, tales of magical powers and dark curses lurking in the shadows. Though The Black Lotus is not my first attempt at a novel, it is the first I have finished.
 
And some fun facts about me:
 
I sew.
My favourite Disney film is Atlantis.
I’ve been a film extra and stood 5 feet away from Sam Rockwell.
Babylon 5 is my fave sci-fi show.


I cried at the end of Toy Story 3.

 

Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png 


Amber Sky by Claire  Warner


Amber Sky


by Claire Warner

Giveaway ends July 04, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 



Goodreads Book Giveaway