18 more days until The Earl and the Artificer comes out! *screams internally*
Now that I am done editing and formatting my ebook, I am super excited for everyone to read it. Thus far, I’ve posted the blurb and the first chapter, but what is The Earl and the Artificer really about?
Well, it’s the third book in my historical-fantasy series, The Ingenious Mechanical Devices. While none of my books are continuations and can be read as stand-alones, they all share the same characters, world, and atmosphere. The stories take place in the 1890s and follow the lives of characters who often want more than what their station and society allow. Because it’s historical-fantasy, there are often anachronistic devices, creatures or plants that seem otherworldly, and a world that changes when could have been, now is.
The Earl and the Artificer takes place a few months after The Winter Garden, following Eilian and Hadley’s wedding. You may remember them from The Earl of Brass. For their honeymoon, they journey to his family’s ancestral home, Brasshurst Hall, which has been abandoned for nearly thirty years. Eilian expects to find a typical Georgian, Austen-esque manor but soon finds Brasshurst is a strange mix of styles combined to create an asymmetrical monster complete with a steam-powered greenhouse jutting from its side. The strange house isn’t completely vacant. Within its walls lay plants of untold value and Randall Nash, a distant relative whose hobbies include making a nuisance of himself and collecting secrets. Nash’s brusque (and rather disrespectful) manner reminds Eilian and Hadley of their outsider status.
This outsider status is something I wanted to explore in The Earl and the Artificer. You know when your high school or university teacher mentioned themes running through a work? Well, being an outsider and whether we should try to live up to expectations are ideas that run throughout the work.
Eilian is adjusting to his new titles of earl and husband, neither of which come easily. After spending his whole life avoiding being nobility, should he embrace it to make others happy? Can he even balance the archaeologist with the earl? Hadley is going through a similar identity crisis. She’s now a countess. Imagine going from being middle class and doing labor-intensive work meant for men to being treated as a lady and being expected to act as such. For some it sounds like a dream: servants, money, a big house, anything you could ever want. What it really comes with: infinitely more rules and regulations, a learning gap, parties, expectations, people calling you an upstart since you climbed the social ladder.
Several other characters in the story deal with their own versions of being an outsider including a budding young writer spending his holiday in Dorset, his cousin who is dealing with choices that have been forced upon her, and a downtrodden maid forced to do her master’s bidding. I won’t say more, so I don’t give anything away.
Is there anything you would like to know about The Earl and the Artificer?
If you’re interested in pre-ordering The Earl and the Artificer, you can do so here for 99 cents. Book 3 releases January 30th! Paperback information is coming soon.