Cover Reveal Day

Cover reveal day is an awesome event for any author. I’m glad that I get to be a part of the reveal of this goregous cover for Shannon Wendtland’s new novel, Heliodor.






Malfric sees through the eyes of the dead – literally reliving their last moments as if they were his own. This ability is highly sought and highly priced, which is why the unscrupulous Captain Finch hires him to find the murderer of a nobleman and the whereabouts of a valuable artifact.

Quantex, the able-bodied first mate of Captain Finch, quickly becomes Malfric’s foil as he demonstrates uncommon intelligence during the investigation. Together the two uncover several clues that lead them to the killer, the artifact, and the frayed end of a mysterious plot that begins to unravel the moment Malfric takes it in hand and gives it a good yank.

Available March 22, 2016


Congrats, Shannon! It looks like  an awesome read!





Guest Post: Jeffrey Cook on Building a Story

Welcome another Pirate, Mateys! I love hearing how other writers get their ideas, don’t you? You can catch him at his website, or his Facebook Page  or on twitter at @jeffreycook74.

When approaching new projects, in whatever genre, I tend to start with the characters, and then build the world around them. When writing the Dawn of Steam series, my first venture into Steampunk, I hadn’t specifically intended to write a Steampunk series. Instead, I woke up one morning from a waking dream with two of the characters almost fully fleshed out. I wrote down the ideas before I lost them, and then started to research a world where both of them would fit. 

    A few friends introduced me to the Steampunk genre. The Victorian Age wasn’t quite right for my characters, but had a lot of the right elements. I researched further back in time as my story took shape, its timeline mostly following history, but including a few points where specific events happened that allowed for an Earth that was moving towards a Steampunk reality. Because of the two characters who showed up first, the story became “Emergent Steampunk” — at least one potential story explaining where reality may have shifted to make a lot of common Steampunk tropes “true.” From that focus came the title of the overall series.

   Katherine Perkins and I followed a similar process for some short stories. When we were presented with an anthology looking for stories, looking to reach a wider Steampunk audience in general, we worked together on two characters, Luca and Emily. They fit into a more standard Victorian Steampunk reality. Most of their stories involve a real world event and occasionally real historical figures of the 1880’s and 1890’s. Our Avast submission, “Maiden Voyage,” ended up a little different for lack of real-world airships — but it’s still first and foremost about the characters and how they ended up shaped by and shaping the technology and social mores of their time.

Avast! Ye Airships!

Coming February 26, 2015  the anthology that I love love love! Avast, Ye Airships!, Edited by Rie Sheridan Rose.


I love even more that I actually did make it in!

Why the vote of no confidence in myself?

Steampunk is a genre that I came to a few years ago. Rie, actually, is the one who suggested Gail Carringer to me, and it was love at first read. But it’s not especially in my wheelhouse, writing wise. I’ve never attempted anything other than traditional fantasy or paranormal/urban fantasy. And on the last, I just finished the first complete manuscript.

So. We have a sub-genre that I love, but am wholly intimidated by. How does a poor writer deal with that?


One of the things I have been really wanting to do was a tribute to The Secret Garden by Frances Hogson Burnett. Not a straight retelling, but more of a nod to a story that meant so much to me growing up. Since receiving my first copy (coughcough) years ago, I have never been without it. It speaks to me.

I know you’re going to love it!

And that cover! Swoon!

I will try to get my fellow pirates to come over and play with us, too!

Say it with me now… “Ahoy, ye mateys!”

Argh! I couldn’t resist *big grin*

Talk to you soon, my lovelies!


Book Review: Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl by David Barnett

Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl

I’ve seen this book a lot– the Nook app was forever recommending it, but I resisted. I had tried steam punk written by men before, and it just didn’t have the same soul that I loved in the female version of the genre. This one didn’t have the same soul, either… But that’s ok. Cuz I liked it.

Yes. You heard me right. I tried something new and I liked it.

At first I was like… What the Heck? Because by today’s standards, Gideon Smith is naive. So, so naive. But that what makes it great. It’s immersing yourself in what I imagine penny dreadfulls were. Just a great, rip roaring adventure. Gideon’s naivete is the perfect foil for his more damaged comrades. It’s a tight balance that has to be maintained by the author, and he does it well. I’m not sure how the followup novel will work, because some of that naivete will be lost, but I’m looking forward to finding out how it’s handled. 

I’ll be back later in the week with some thoughts on Mercedes Lackey.

Ta for now, lovelies!