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Sales, Interviews, and Updates

As the title says, we have some updates, an author interview, and a sale. All fun things, I think, for a Friday.

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SALE

So, first off, The Earl of Brass, book one of the Ingenious Mechanical Devices is on sale for 99 cents from May 22nd (today) until May 26th (Tuesday) on Amazon. If you’re looking for a summer read to transport you to the deserts of Palestine or back to Victorian England, look no further. If you’re willing, please spread the word as well, especially if you know anyone who isn’t historical fantasy or steampunk/gaslight fantasy.

**Update** Spur of the moment, I decided to make The Winter Garden 99 cents as well from May 23rd (Saturday) until May 26th (Tuesday). If you want to pick up BOTH Ingenious Mechanical Devices books for less than $2, head over to Amazon.


AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Next item of business: I did an author interview with the lovely Steve Turnbull. Mr. Turnbull is a fellow steampunk author who writes the Maliha Anderson series. To find out more about Steve Turnbull, check out his website. The author interview was featured in his newsletter here. You can get to know a bit about my process, what projects are coming up, and what I’ve learned along the way. I must admit, I love doing author interviews. By being asked questions, I often find I learn more about myself and my writing process.


UPDATES

I am part of a Steampunk media bundle from the Steampunk World’s Fair on We Bundle. It’s filled with music and a couple books including a short story by yours truly. It’s a name your own price thing, so you can spend as much or as little as you’d like on the bundle. It’s quite a bit of music and reading for the price, so if you’re interested, check it out here.

For the past few weeks, I have felt so stuck in my writing. When I’m feeling stressed out or torn between school and my personal projects (aka my writing), the words don’t flow. Oddly, I also get the urge to write when I have a ton of work to do, but I think that’s just an avoidance tactic. It’s been really hard to get anything done and have been stuck on the same chapter for two weeks. FINALLY, I finished it.

At first, I was just happy and relieved that it’s finished, but then I realized that I had finished my schoolwork completely, didn’t have to worry about my reading at the Steampunk World’s Fair, AND I got my grades for the semester, both of which were very good. As soon as the stress is off, it’s like someone unclogged the dam. The words come flowing out, and suddenly, I’m writing again. I don’t quite have the writing bug like I do sometimes, but I feel a lot better. I don’t think I’ll make my goal of 3-4 chapters for the entirety of the month. At this point, I’ll be happy with 2 finished chapters.


If you would like news about new releases, promos, and previews of future projects, please sign-up for my newsletter.

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Rediscovering My Inner Reader

One of the things I remember clearly about my senior year of high school was how many books I read. I devoured book after book. Mysteries, suspense thrillers, classics, it didn’t matter. If I owned it, I read it, and I plowed through my to-be-read pile faster than ever. Then college happened. A double major, papers, assignments, studying anatomy and novels, and taking between six and eight classes a semester took their toll.  When could I squeeze in time for reading? I couldn’t. Even the summers I used to get ahead in my fall literature classes. Reading for fun was but a memory.

In November, the little nagging voice in the back of my head began to call out, “Read something! Read something!” So of course, I started to sort through my books for grad school and realized I had finished my reading list early. With a pang of guilt, I picked up a book I had been meaning to read since I got it for my birthday. It was the first time I had read a book during the school year in ages. It was like a sigh of relief. No having to constantly analyze the text (though I tend to do that passively anyway), no deadlines, no books I didn’t want to read.

When the semester at the university began again, I thought that was the end of my pleasure reading since I surely wouldn’t have time for it. Most people who stop reading for pleasure say it’s due to a lack of time, but I began to find times when I could read the books I wanted. Here are some ideas for reviving your inner reader:

  1. Read during your commute. Thinking back to senior year of high school, I realized a lot of my reading was on the bus to and from school. Nowadays, I drive myself to the university, so sadly, there’s no reading during my commute, but if you take a bus or train to work or school, bring a book.
  2. Before bed. An oldie but a goodie. You know when you’re playing on your computer when you know you’re past the point of doing anything productive and even Candy Crush is beyond your capabilities? Put the computer away and settle into bed maybe half an hour earlier than usual. It’s amazing how thirty minutes can accumulate into a book or two a month.
  3. Get a Kindle or a Kindle app for your phone. It can be hard to tote around a hard cover or even a paperback novel, but with a Kindle or Kindle app for your phone, your library is always on hand. If you have some free time on your lunch break or between tasks, you can open your book and continue where you left off. You’d probably reach for your phone anyway when boredom sets in, so why not read? Some books even let you download the ebook for free if you buy the paperback, which means you can read it even if you accidentally left the paperback at home.
  4. Read a book you actually want to read. Not to be a hipster, but I rarely like the books everyone is clamoring about. Twilight? Hated it. 50 Shades? Pointless. A Discovery of Witches? Not my taste. Instead of reading what everyone else is reading or what your friend suggested, go to the bookstore (or Amazon) and look for a book that actually catches your interest. You can also preview a book on Amazon, so if you start reading it and are hooked, download it. Nothing is worse than trudging through a book you hate, and it’s much easier to get into a book and make time for it when you actually want to read it.
  5. Read in the bathroom. I can already hear the resounding ewww. Do you go on Facebook or Twitter on your phone while you’re doing your morning routine or are taking a bath? If so, then get on that Kindle app. I’m a supporter of bathroom reading. As a caveat, I only read MY books in the bathroom, no books borrowed from friends are allowed. That’s just part of the book borrower’s honor code.

Most of these are really simple and probably very obvious, but as someone who read over a thousand pages over the course of two months by reading at night, in the bathroom, and between tasks, I can say that it all adds up. At the end of the day when you think you’re too mentally exhausted to do anything, you may find that reading will actually reduce stress and help to settle you down for the night.

The TL;DR version is find a book you want to read and you’ll find that there are gaps in your day when you can squeeze in reading, you just have to want to do it.

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Spring Semester, Sales, and Stories

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I have realized that when the semester begins again, I am horrible about updating my blog (I’m going to try to work on that this time).  It has been a crazy week but a good one.

This week was the beginning of the spring semester at my university.  At the beginning of each semester I am a bundle of nerves complete with tension headaches and the urge to vomit.  Last semester began with me coming home my second day there and crying at my kitchen table for feeling like an inadequate fraud after I didn’t know who Kerouac and Carver were.  Continue reading

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Free eBook!

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I just thought I would let everyone know that The Earl of Brass will be free on Thursday, September 18th and Friday, September 19th!  The book has rather good ratings on Goodreads and Amazon.  The blurb is as follows:

When Eilian Sorrell, a promising archaeologist and the eldest son of the Earl of Dorset, loses his arm in a dirigible crash, he fears he will face a bleak future among London’s aristocracy. On a quest for normalcy, Lord Sorrell commissions a prosthetic arm but finds the craftsman is not what he seems.
After the death of her brother, Hadley Fenice takes over his prosthesis business but knows it will be an uphill battle as women are discouraged from doing man’s work. In return for building Lord Sorrell an automaton arm, he offers her a chance at freedom by following him to the Negev Desert under the guise of a man.
But what lies beneath the desert is more precious than potshards or bones. As they venture deeper, they discover a society where the path of life is not governed by gain but by passion. When imperialistic invaders come in search of a new colony to pillage, Eilian and Hadley are forced to defend their fleeting glimpse of paradise.

Please check it out and tell your friends!

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The Winter Garden: Book Two of the Ingenious Mechanical Devices

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The Winter Garden: Book Two of the Ingenious Mechanical Devices is only chapters away from completion (apart from editing), so I decided it was time to post the blurb and hopefully build up some hype.  Here is it:

Emmeline Jardine and Immanuel Winter are only months away from achieving their dreams, she will enter debutant society and he will receive a degree from Oxford, but a day at the Thames transforms their lives forever, intertwining their souls and putting them into the path of a predator.

Ripped from the comfort of the world they know, Emmeline and Immanuel are thrust into a struggle for their survival. Even though they escape, Immanuel is forever altered by his time in captivity. Gradually he begins to settle into a normal life as the coroner’s assistant until he comes face to face with the man who nearly destroyed him.

Unaware of what he is capable of, Emmeline is infatuated with the dashing madman and follows him deeper into a world of corrupt mediums. When a murderer masquerading as a monster begins to hunt beautiful Spiritualists, Immanuel knows the key to stopping him lies within the girl who shares his soul.

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