Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Guest Post and Giveaway: Author Bec McMaster on the Appeal of Steampunk

Hey everyone! I'm happy to have on my blog today Bec McMaster, author of the steampunk romance Kiss of Steel that I read and reviewed last year. She's here to talk about the appeal of the steampunk genre and her new book Heart of Iron. In addition, if you stick around 'til the end of the post, you'll have the opportunity to win a copy of Kiss of Steel, the first book in Bec's London Steampunk series! So, without further ado, here's Bec!

Why does steampunk appeal to so many readers?
Steampunk. The very name conjures up thoughts of foggy, gas-lit streets, explorers snapping their goggles into place as they broach a foreign shore and the shadows of a passing dirigible rippling over the ground. So what is it?
It's a reimagining of the 19th century; instead of following the path history chose, steampunk is changing the course of the past and imagining that science chose a different route. All of the inventions that were only ever dreamed of by Victorian scientists (or even earlier), can be explored as if they existed at different points of time. As if someone, somewhere, managed to create what they could only dream of.
Picture Mary Shelley. For her, Frankenstein was a work where she looked to the future, and what could be possible in science. For us, writing or reading steampunk, is looking back and guessing what could have happened.
I love steampunk as a sub-genre because it takes the impossible and makes it possible. As a writer, the appeal for me is that I get to play in several genres that I like; an improbable mash-up of historical romance with paranormal and steampunk tones. My London Steampunk series is like Dracula meets the latest Sherlock Holmes movies.
For a reader? It's new. It's exciting. Amazing worlds can be created that are like nothing a reader has seen before. And it's so diverse that there is usually something for everyone.
I like to think of my own version of steampunk as historical romance with a paranormal twist and a good dollop of sci-fi. As such, it can appeal to readers of either genre, or those who simply like a rip-roaring adventure.
In Heart of Iron, the second book of my London Steampunk series, the world is still the same: comprised of blue bloods - those stricken by the craving virus and who live off blood - the aristocracy considers humans little better than cattle and hides behind gilded walls, protected from the hordes of humans by an army of metaljacket automatons.
But in Heart of Iron, my hero and heroine are challenging the status quo. For Lena Todd, whose only options are to become a blue blood's thrall - a blood-slave - or to become prey, life isn't fair. She wants to change the place of people like her, she just isn't sure how. And when she gets involved with the humanist cause vowing to take down London's elite, she finds she's in over her head.
For the humanists are plotting against the ruling Prince Consort and his blue blood court, and for them, the only way to fight the blue blood's automaton army is with technology of their own.
Enter Will Carver. The burly verwulfen ruffian is just as bound by his place in the world as Lena. When he realizes the woman he's always desired is in danger, he's not going to let anything stop him from saving her. Mechanical kraken, or not.
So, automatons, clockwork devices and a hero and heroine who put the 'steam' in steampunk... If any of that sounds interesting to you, you might just like steampunk romance.
Want to win a copy of Kiss of Steel, the first in my London Steampunk series? Simply tell me what invention you wish existed that could make your life easier? (US and Canada only)

For a sneak peek at the London Steampunk world, I'm offering an e-novella called Tarnished Knight (set after Kiss of Steel and before Heart of Iron) for free download for the month of May. See here for details.


In the mist-shrouded streets of London’s dreaded Whitechapel district, werewolves, vampires and a clockwork army are one step away from battle…


Lena Todd is the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a rebel against London’s vicious elite—not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can’t twist around her little finger.

Will Carver, is more than man, he’s a verwulfen and he wants nothing to do with the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds Lena in possession of a coded letter, he realizes she’s in a world of trouble. To protect her, he’ll have to seduce the truth from her before it’s too late.

“Deftly blends elements of steampunk and vampire romance with brilliantly successful results…darkly atmospheric and delectably sexy.”Booklist, starred review for KISS OF STEEL


Award-winning author Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Australia and grew up with her nose in a book. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and steampunk romance. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds. The third book in the London Steampunk series, My Lady Quicksilver will be in stores in October 2013. Read more about her at www.becmcmaster.com or follow her on Twitter @BecMcMaster.

To purchase Heart of Iron:

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