Tag Archives: novel

Project Announcement: The Book Three Journey

The title of book three of the Ingenious Mechanical Devices will be:

the earl and the artificer titleThe Earl and the Artificer will soon have its own Goodreads page in a few weeks, once I solidify the plot a bit more and can come up with a working blurb.  In the meantime, I can give you a little background into what will happen in book three.

Eilian and Hadley Sorrell are back.  Newly married and at the urging of his mother, they journey to Dorset to visit his ancestral home, Brasshurst Hall, and meet his tenants. What they didn’t expect to find is a manor built on Ancient Roman ruins complete with a greenhouse that hides a secret, a plant long thought extinct that once drove the empire’s prosperity, and an estate manager who seemingly appears out of nowhere.  As Hadley comes to terms with her new role as the Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Writing

The Winter Garden has Launched!

wg proof 1kindle wgThe Winter Garden, book two in the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series, has officially launched in ebook or paperback, which can be purchased here.  The ebook is still 99 cents for a limited time.

Okay, now that the shameless self-promotion is out of the way, I want to thank everyone who pre-ordered a copy or will buy one in the future. Writers are nothing without readers, and I have been made to feel loved by my readers and appreciate everyone and anyone who has ever asked when the next book was coming out or how they could help me promote my work or left a review. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Writing

7 Days Until The Winter Garden Comes Out!

wg preorder banner 1The joy and fear that comes with a book release doesn’t decrease from book one to book two, and I am so glad it doesn’t.  Since there is only a week until The Winter Garden comes out, I wanted to post a small excerpt to give you another taste and teaser.  Here it is:

Miss Waters lingered in the stillness, listening to the wind lash against the windowpane. When she was certain she was the last one awake, she tiptoed to the dresser at the far end of the room and soundless slid open the bottom-most drawer. Shaking the lid off the box, she drew out its precious cargo of lace and silk. Her wedding dress had only arrived a few days before, but every time she was in the room, she found herself staring at it and lovingly stroking the fine fabric. Her mother would think her foolish for being so infatuated with something she wouldn’t wear for months, but she did love Alexander Rose. He would make her life better.

A steamer horn blared behind her, and she dropped the bridal gown as she flinched. Behind the bed curtains, the drapes danced in front of the open window. Katherine frowned as she tucked the dress back into its casket and crossed the vacant room. Staring out into the night, she saw nothing but the iron filigree of the decorative balcony rail just beyond her reach. She smiled to herself. Did she really expect to find a face glaring back at her? As she shut the window against the winter dampness, the murky tang of tobacco ash blew across her nose in a long puff. Her body froze before her eyes ever fell upon the massive figure obscured between the bed curtains and the window’s drapes. Katherine Waters hesitantly raised her gaze to meet the creature’s saffron eyes, which glowed in the shadows behind his molded leather mask.

Her throat tightened, refusing to form a sound, as she stepped back. The monster’s unnaturally long legs terminated in a metal, hoof-like pad, but as it stalked her, it moved with the controlled, rolling gait of a panther. The humanoid beast was nearly seven feet tall with elongated metal nails at the ends of its fingers, which caught the dying light of the fire as they flexed and reached as if to snatch her. His body was clothed in black but peeking from beneath his cloak were jutting brass ribs that covered empty yet opaline lungs. As her back collided with the oaken poster of her bed, Katherine stared into his face. While the mouth and chin were of a man, the top was that of a sharp-featured demon with curled horns. Had the devil finally come to collect her sullied soul?

“God, help me.”

“God has no business here, Kitty.”

If you have a Kindle, you can pre-order a copy for 99 cents here.  It will automatically be delivered to your Kindle on March 15th. If you prefer paperback, it will be out on the 15th for purchase.  I hope to make it available a day or two early, so it will ship closer to the release date.  Createspace really needs to make a pre-order feature for paperbacks.

If you are looking forward to The Winter Garden, I hope you will spread the word, and when you read it, please leave a review. Reviews are incredibly important to authors, not just for feedback but to show others that the book is worth reading, especially for an unknown like me.

1 Comment

Filed under Writing

Why I Write LGBT Characters

lgbt flag

Because we still refer to them as LGBT characters.

They’re still a novelty.  We get all excited (or angered, depending on your political/religious stance) when a character in a TV show turns out to be gay or bisexual.  Let’s say, being attracted to the same gender is a recessive trait (yes, I do believe it is genetic), then statistically, gay or bisexual people should make up about a quarter of the population, yet in the media, they make up only between 1-5% of the characters in shows and movies.  On top of that, in certain aspects of the media, they are wholly absent.  Do you see the disparity between population and representation? Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Writing

The Low-Down on The Winter Garden (IMD#2)

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen that the release date for The Winter Garden has moved from March 31st to March 15th.  When I arranged the pre-order for the story, I had left plenty of room in case I got busy with class and was unable to finish and edit it as quickly as I planned.  As it turns out, I have everything ready to go about a month ahead of schedule.  Part of me would love to release it today, but due to the way Amazon has the pre-order set up, I can’t move it up that far.  I decided to release it two weeks early, which will allow me to do one more proofing of the opening chapters, but both the ebook and paperback will be out by March 15th.  Let me tell you a little more about The Winter Garden in hopes that it will pique your interest. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Writing

The Winter Garden Proof Came!

Please forgive the narrow camera angle. I forgot that I should have turned my iphone sideways.  Lesson learned.

Anyway, my proof copy of The Winter Garden came Saturday! It looks fantastic, and all that’s left is for me to proof-read it.  It feels fantastic to be nearly done, especially now that I seem to be getting more work at my other job and in my classes.  I will be posting more later in the week about The Winter Garden and about some of the characters within it.

If you’re interested in a copy, you can pre-order it from Amazon UK or Amazon US (check out the “Buy Links” page) for 99 cents.  The ebook and paperback will be out March 31st.

wg proof 1wg proof 2wg proof 5wg proof 4

11 Comments

Filed under Writing

The Winter Garden Preview

WG preorder 99c

Leading up to The Winter Garden‘s release on March 31st, I will be posting a few excerpts from the story.  You can read an excerpt from chapter one here.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter Two: Alchemists and Pinnipeds:

Immanuel smiled to himself as he made his way across the lawns and between the medieval buildings, feeling the money from his professor jingle in his pocket. It was bittersweet to finish Otto’s skeleton since he enjoyed spending his afternoons with his mentor, but it would be nice to use the bit of money he earned to have a meal out or buy some new supplies. He wove between the throngs of students and strangers until he reached the massive entrance of the Bodleian Library with its gothic portal and school coats of arms. The warm smell of must and parchment engulfed him as he slipped inside. The cozy, cave-like atmosphere of the Bodleian calmed him on his worst day and had been his refuge since he arrived. The librarian barely looked up from his desk as the lanky, young German signed in and strolled toward a desk among the stacks. He wandered through the shelves searching for those who may be able to help him in his search. It had been weeks since the day at the Thames when the girl fell in and his heart stopped, but he couldn’t help but wonder what his alchemist ancestors created. Every spare moment was spent in the library researching what could have revived her. On a shelf of philosophers stood Magnus, Bacon, and Pseudo-Geber; all were men who sought to wholly understand life but, unlike him, took their studies toward the otherworldly. Immanuel hoped within their spines he would find the curious secret to what had been brewed and bottled in the necklace by his ancestors.

For hours he sat at the desk in solitude and silence with his hands covering his ears and cupping the sides of his face like blinders. Most of what he read made little sense, but as he reached the section on Albertus Magnus, his eyes lit up. Another German had made an elixir of life. He reread the words, but they refused to sink in. The lapis philosophorum had the power to grant life. Immanuel’s eyes passed over the page until they reached the part about how it looked. The immature stone was white but would transform to its most potent form, which was red, with the addition of a reagent. The vial had been a murky milk until it morphed into a sanguine solution upon the addition of his blood. Could his mother’s forbears have left the lapis philosophorum for him as his inheritance?

When Immanuel finally surfaced from the massive volume, his neck was stiff and his hand was cramped beyond cracking. He sat back, clenching his eyes shut, but upon opening them, he suddenly noticed how dark the library had become even with the electric sconces. As he gathered up his belongings, a door opened in the distance, and the lights were extinguished. Immanuel quickly threw on his satchel and grabbed the book by Albertus Magnus to return it to the shelf when their voices rang out in the darkness. He peered around the edge of the bookcase, ready to yell to the librarian that he was still inside when his eyes fell upon three men in the shadows.

“Are you certain he is in here, Higgins?” asked the man in the middle, his voice deep and urbane.

“Very, he is the only one who has not left.” The second intruder’s voice vacillated nervously. “I should know, I have been outside for four bloody hours.”

“Keep it down, or he will hear you. I do not want to have to chase him. Higgins, go toward the back. Thomas, go check the shelves.”

Immanuel carefully padded backwards, keeping an eye on the shrouded men at the other end of the library as he darted toward the Seldon End. His chest tightened as he spun around, hoping to find a place to hide, but all he found was a dead end. He could hide under the tables, but even with the scant amount of light coming in through the windows, he would cast a shadow. Two pairs of feet were rapidly approaching. One of the men called out that the stacks were empty. Immanuel’s heart pounded as his eyes fell on the catwalk above his head. Holding his breath, he inched toward the hall where the men were regrouping and noiselessly climbed the steps on the tips of his toes.

He flattened against the bookcase as the men came in and checked under the desks and near the shelves for any sign of him. What they could want from him, he couldn’t imagine, but he didn’t want to find out. From his hiding place, he watched the figures below move in the waning light. He didn’t recognize them as students or lecturers, and while they weren’t carrying cudgels or guns, it was clear they were hunting for someone. The two who were sent ahead stepped into the lantern light, revealing that they were both at least a dozen years older than he was and better dressed. The man who eagerly sought him under the long desks had a gaunt and haggard countenance with bulging eyes that darted nervously over every surface. The other was a stout man with spectacles, who appeared more fit for servitude or banking than crime.

As their leader emerged from the shadows of the hall, it became clear why they didn’t need to carry weapons. The robust man strode in like a Roman commander. He held his head high and marched past his inferiors. Immanuel swallowed hard as the man put his hands on his hips, causing his ribs to flare and push dangerously against the tailored fabric of his suit and waistcoat. As much as he wanted to monitor the men, he feared that if he looked at them directly, they would feel his gaze and discover him in his darkened corner.

“He isn’t here, sir.”

As the pudgy intruder spoke, Immanuel looked out over the railing toward the arched portal. If he could leap from the second floor and run toward the exit, he might just be able to outrun them, especially since he knew the terrain.

“The German couldn’t have gone far. Thomas, go up there and tell me if you can see him.”

His eyes widened in panic as the fatter man climbed the steps. Immanuel stared up at the inlaid ceiling, taking long, slow breaths to keep from hyperventilating. The fidgety man peered out the window for their prey while their leader lingered under the walkway on the opposite side of the room. The paunchy criminal looked out across the library, gripping the railing until his meaty knuckles turned white. With a final steadying breath, Immanuel knew what he had to do. He clutched The Theatrum Chemicum and began his silent shuffle toward the intruder. In the shadows, the man never noticed as he slunk behind him. Raising the tome high above his head, Immanuel brought it down so hard on the back of the heavy man’s skull that he crumpled against the rail. Immanuel dashed the book to the floor and jumped over the edge. His leg gave out under him as he stumbled forward, ignoring the pain radiating up from his ankle.

For a few fleeting seconds, he thought he would be able to escape until he heard the sound of a bench crashing to the floor and boots thundering behind him on the ancient planks. His satchel slapped against his thigh as the shelves blew past him on either side. Immanuel slammed his wobbly ankle down step after step despite the pain. The door was only feet beyond the deserted librarian’s desk, but as he rounded the corner, the footsteps finally caught up with him. They collided in a pile of wool and leather and fell to the ground with the brawny man easily pinning him. Immanuel flailed and thrashed wildly until he was able to work his arms free from under the man’s body. The bug-eyed Higgins soon joined the pile, but as he reached for Immanuel’s arms, the younger man sent his elbow into the criminal’s nose. When his attacker fell back onto their commander, Immanuel rolled onto his stomach and scrambled to his feet. A claw wrapped around his sore ankle and yanked him back down. Immanuel lay on the floor panting, the wind knocked out of him by the fall, as the man knelt on his back and tightly bound his hands with the strap from his satchel.

“I knew you were in there. Even if I could not see you, I could sense you,” their leader explained in a harsh whisper. His mouth was so close to Immanuel’s ear he could taste the puffs of hot tobacco-ridden breath with each syllable. “I did not expect such a fight from you.”

“The money is in my pocket. I swear, I have nothing else of value,” Immanuel cried with his face pressed into the floor from the man’s weight, but his hands worked frantically against their binds.

“Oh, you have something much more valuable than money that I want. Stop struggling, boy. We are just going to have a little talk.”

Before Immanuel could reply, a sharp pain followed by a flood of cold ran through his arm. Then, the world went black.


44 days until The Winter Garden comes out!  If you haven’t read the first book, I hope you will check out The Earl of Brass, and if you like what you read, you can pre-order The Winter Garden (IMD #2) here for 99 cents.  I cannot believe there are only 44 days left. As a bonus, here is a little Valentines Day fun from Adam and Immanuel.  You’ll meet them soon.

valentine__immanuel_and_adam_by_fi_di-d767gqs

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

Advertisement and the Awkward Authoress

Marketing has never been my strong suit.  I always worry about where the line is between good marketing and being absolutely obnoxious. Typically I air on the side of caution and not get on my box with a megaphone and shout about my book like a sideshow barker, but on Sunday and Monday, my book was on sale for 99 cents and I went to town advertising.  I convinced my boyfriend/in-house artist to create an ad banner for me along with a new banner for my Facebook and Twitter pages.  I also paid $15 to have the Ereader News Today advertise it in their email newsletter and website.  From Sunday morning to mid-day Monday, I was hustling.  On both of my pages, I posted the advertisement banner along with a little message saying to please share the picture and spread the word, and guess what, people did! Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

Excitement, Pre-orders, and the Awkward Authoress

Live preorder

There isn’t much in life that gets me super excited, but the prospect of the second book in my historical fantasy/steampunk series being released in only a few months makes me squeal with anticipation.  Last night, after being asked by one of my followers on Goodreads when book two was being released, I decided to set it up on Amazon for Kindle pre-order.  The official release date for The Winter Garden (The Ingenious Mechanical Devices #2) is March 31st, 2015.  If you pre-order a copy of the ebook, it will automatically download onto your Kindle device on March 31st. You can order it here. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

The Winter Garden: Blurb and Excerpt

Here is the blurb and excerpt for The Winter Garden, book 2 of the Ingenious Mechanical Devices.

Real-Winter-Garden-Cover-Final-front

Blurb:

Can death be conquered?
When Immanuel Winter set off to the banks of the Thames, he never thought his life would be changed forever. Emmeline Jardine, a young Spiritualist medium, drowns, but the potion given to Immanuel by his mother brings her back from the dead and irrevocably intertwines their souls.

But Emmeline and Immanuel aren’t the only ones aware of his ancestors’ legacy. Understanding the potential of such an elixir, the ruthlessly ambitious Alastair Rose knows securing the mysteries of death will get him everything he desires: power, a title, but more importantly, dominion over the dead and the living.

Unaware of what the dashing madman is capable of, Emmeline follows him deeper into a world of corrupt mediums, unscrupulous scientists, and murder. All that stands between Lord Rose and his prize is the boy who refuses to die, but both men know the key to stopping him lies within the girl who shares Immanuel’s soul.


Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Writing