It’s time for another giveaway – because I am awesome like that! (Actually, it’s because I’m sick and even surfing the internet makes me woozy, so this is an easy way to do content – but whatever works.)
Karina Cooper is a paranormal and steampunk writer. I met her last year at the Romantic Times convention – I was walking down a hallway and ahead of me was this fabulously dressed lady in full steampunk regalia. Totally stunning and I had to compliment her. Found out she was an author, I started getting info, and I’ve been following her ever since (her twitter stream is highly recommended.)
Tarnished is the first novel in her Steampunk series, The St. Croix Chronicles. The back cover copy reads a little something like this:
My name is Cherry St. Croix. Society would claim that I am a well-heeled miss with an unfortunate familial reputation. They’ve no idea of the truth of it. In my secret world, I hunt down vagrants, thieves . . . and now, a murderer. For a monster stalks London’s streets, leaving a trail of mystery and murder below the fog.
Eager for coin to fuel my infatuations, I must decide where my attentions will turn: to my daylight world, where my scientific mind sets me apart from respectable Society, or to the compelling domain of London below. Each has a man who has claimed my time as his—for good or for ill. Though as the corpses pile, and the treacherous waters of Society gossip churn, I am learning that each also has its dangers. One choice will see me cast from polite company . . . the other might just see me dead.
If you need an introduction to Karina – or to Steampunk in general – Tarnished is a wonderful way to start.
And as it happens, I have a SIGNED copy of Tarnished available for giveaway. Yes, you heard me right, signed! To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment about what you like best about Steampunk (or, if you’ve never read a Steampunk before, what you’ve heard that makes it interesting to you).
Winner will be picked on Monday, April 8 @ 5pm (pacific time).
Small print – No purchase necessary, proclaiming your undying love for me won’t up your chances, you must live in the USA (no international or military addresses) and be at least 18 years of age. If you are picked as the winner you will need to give me your snail mail addy for me to send you the book, and I’m not responsible for books lost or mangled by the Post Office.
Cassi Carver is a sweet, gracious woman who also happens to be a kick-butt Urban Fantasy writer as well as someone who won life’s lottery in the genetics department. To all this I have to say – Couldn’t you have shared just a little, Cassi Carver? Would it have been so difficult to spread the wealth around?
Enough on that though, let’s concentrate on the important stuff, the kick-butt Urban Fantasy writing part. Someone at Samhain Publishing must have been having too much fun with the chocolate bunnies this Easter, because they made the unbelievable decision to put her book up for free! That’s right, from now until April 15, you can get Slayer’s Kiss, Book 1 of The Shadow Slayers series, for free!
Did you grasp the free part?
So you UF peoples, go, rejoice, download giddily, and get a darn good book at an unbeatable price.
…and Jeannie Lin writes historical romance novels set during the Tang Dynasty of China – which no one else does. She has beautiful cover art and has won lots of awards and I’m sure she goes around and introduces herself by saying, “Hi, I’m Jeannie Lin, and I write award-winning historical romance set during the Tang Dynasty of China. Would you like to touch one of my awards?”
Not to encourage her takeover of the world, but her first novel Butterfly Swords is on sale for $1.99 at Amazon for a limited time. Go grab a great novel at a great price, then go back after you’ve read it and grab the rest of her books. You’ll be happy you did.
I’ve made it no secret that I am going to see the new Star Trek movie for one reason and one only – Benedict Cumberbatch as the film’s antagonist. My fangirling of BC has not diminished these last several months since I first caught him in Sherlock and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Otherwise, I wouldn’t bother. I found the first film full of ridiculous (Sure, any Cadet just out of school goes on to Captain a Starship – awesome!) Beyond the plotholes and the fact Vulcan’s are as good as extinct as a race, I also didn’t agree with the reboots of the characters. Neither the new Kirk or Spock embody the complexities that made the characters so fascinating in the original series. While I like a good summer blockbuster as much as the next person, I thought they could have done more. In my mind, they capitalized on the Star Trek brand without respecting what made it so nifty in the first place.
But again, Benedict Cumberbatch, so I’ve probably watched the trailers more than would be considered normal. And the more I watched, the more some things imprinted in my brain – namely the way women are portrayed.
In the first trailer (you can find it in a previous post of mine) you saw two instances of women. One was Uhura kissing Spock (we see her face and only the back of his head – probably wouldn’t know it was Spock if you weren’t familiar with the first movie and knew they were put together romantically in it), and the other was a blonde woman screaming. All the other scenes were men doing manly things like firing guns and jumping off skyscrapers and cliffs and looking very determined.
Now here comes the newest trailer (at the end of this post for your enjoyment) and I was curious. How were the women going to be portrayed now? By this time I’ve seen a few articles, and the actress who plays Uhura has made a statement that she gets to fire guns and be tough and proactive – would I see any of that here?
What I saw – Uhura talking about how they were all going to be killed and in general being a wet blanket to all these manly men who wanted to shoot things and get vengeance…
… and we see the blonde woman in her underwear.
This is how women are portrayed in the second trailer.
The blond woman, BTW, is Dr. Carol Marcus. Carol Marcus was originally introduced in The Wrath of Khan as a former lover of Kirk, yes, but also the scientist behind the creation of the Genesis project – you know, that little project that essentially can BRING A DEAD PLANET BACK TO LIFE. So it’s not like the woman is smart or anything.
Look, I get it. I know showing somebody is smart is tough in a 2 minute trailer. I get that she’s Kirk’s love interest in this movie. I get it that it’s a summer blockbuster.
But this is still wrong. If there had been one quick-cut of a woman which was not either love interest, helpless bystander, or nagging worrier I wouldn’t feel this heavy WTF sensation. This is a universe where women are supposed to be strong, and the fanbase, while I don’t doubt it skews male, is far-and-away from predominantly male. And why do women like Star Trek? Because it has shown itself to have strong female characters.
Though you wouldn’t know it from these trailers – and honestly, that was one of my problems with the first movie too. Uhura was under-developed spectacularly and most came into play as Spock’s girlfriend.
But hey, enjoy Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain. Any other BC fangirls out there?
And yes, in the midst of my merry-making at Sakura-Con, I come to you to share more Fairy Tale goodness with the next book in my Fairy Tales & Ever Afters series, Loving a Prince Charming!
At its heart, Loving a Prince Charming is a friends-to-lovers story. Seth and Kira have grown-up together. As Prince, Seth has been engaged since he was very young to a neighboring kingdom’s princess, so he’s deliberately kept his thoughts of Kira on the best friend level, but you know, sometimes that spark of attraction breaks through at the most innocuous times…
His face was inches from hers, so close the brown ring that shaded the green of her irises was visible. He could count each individual eyelash and eyebrow hair, both of them a darker than the hair on her head, a touch of brown added to the true red.
With her red hair and fair skin, she should have freckles, but she didn’t. What she had instead was a wide mouth that had a perfectly formed top lip and a too-thin bottom lip, but those two combined created the most glorious smile he had ever beheld on anyone.
That was Kira in a nutshell, dazzling in her slight imperfections. Blessed with quick wits and battle skills only men usually possessed, and far more feminine than any lady who dedicated herself to gossip and fashion.
Loving a Prince Charming will be released late April!
Yes, yes, I know, I’m a punk and need to be better about my blogging – la la la.
But enough about that. I am currently in the editing stage for the next book of my Fairy Tales & Ever After series! Rejoice with me, all lovers of slightly fractured fairy tales!
Loving a Prince Charming is my remake of Sleeping Beauty (Loving a Fairy Godmother was Cinderella and Loving an Ugly Beast was Beauty and the Beast). Those wacky fairy godmothers do have a guest appearance – Pshaw! as if I could keep them away! – and you might just see a return appearance of that original gangsta fairy, the Elf King.
This baby is still in serious edit mode (so the following is subject to change) but here is a snippet from early in our story, where Seth (our Prince Charming) is rescued from some overanxious admirers by Kira (the one who puts up with him).
“It’s safe, your Cowardness.”
He poked his head around. “They’re all gone?”
“The scary girls are no more.”
“Are you mocking me?” He looked up, up, and up. Thank heavens he was taller than most himself, or he might have some inadequacy issues being her best friend. “How’d you get so tall? Your dad is short.”
Look for Loving a Prince Charming to be out late April/Early May!
I have a new release coming out! Joy and Wonderment!
Last year was not a big release year for me. I was writing, sure, but I was doing the behind the scenes projects, the ones where I am currently in wait mode over.
While just writing is wonderful, there is nothing quite like releasing a product out there into the wild, letting it free for all the peoples to see and enjoy (or mock me over, your choice).
Loving an Ugly Beast, the second book in my Fairy Tales & Ever Afters series, will be coming out in the next few weeks. We’re doing all that good finalizing stuff right now – for example, it doesn’t have a back cover copy yet… working on it! – but the finish line is in sight.
So in honor of this momentous occasion, today we will celebrate by releasing a snippet in Six Sentence fashion. This little scene is at the beginning of the story, where our heroine Nissa is experiencing all these messy feelings that threaten her friendship with her beastly best friend, Benton. Oh no! Don’t you hate when that happens?
And now the day was ending as it often did, with them against a thick oak a few feet away from the lake’s edge while Nissa read. Today’s selection was love sonnets at Benton’s request, the eloquent, sometimes naughty verses stoking Nissa’s longing for the man whose head now lay in her lap.
One hand held the book while the other stroked through his thick, dark hair. As the last sonnet ended she closed the book but couldn’t quite bring herself to stop this allowable touch. “Benton?”
Benton looked up at her, and for one unguarded moment his eyes shone from within with a fierce, hungry light. A shiver – part warning, part longing – snaked over her skin and left raw, exposed nerves in its wake. “Benton?”