This month’s post is all about the shameless self-promotion, prompted by the recent release of Cogwheels: Ten Tales of Steampunk, and the upcoming release of my contemporary novella Between the Sheets.
My story The Clockwork Monk is one of the twelve tales in Cogwheels, and if you’re wondering why a book called Ten Tales has twelve stories, I can only say it has to do with editor Rayne Hall and her cat Sulu and it’s complicated. But why complain? Bonus stories, right?
I’d never tried to write steampunk before, but I’ve read enough that I have a pretty good handle on the genre. In fact, you can jump here for my Spellbound Scribes post listing my top ten favorite steampunk books. And you can check out this blog post, put together by Rayne Hall and Day Al-Mohamed, that summarizes all twelve contributors’ ideas about what steampunk means.
My story The Clockwork Monk is a PG-13-rated m/m adventure tale that’s set right before the start of The Great War, WW1. In it, I play with gender roles and bash organized religion and generally have a good time. Cogwheels is a fabulous collection of stories, and if you like steampunk, it’s a screamin’ deal for $0.99.
The Clockwork Monk
Thomas Beck is a spy. Actually, Thomas isn’t his real name, but you wouldn’t expect a spy to use his real name, would you? He reports directly to Madam Helen Taft, President of the United States, and his goal is to prevent the war that threatens to drag every country in the world into chaos. Madam President invites him in for tea, and tells him his comrade Gesualdo has sent a cryptic message about an anarchist, an Archbishop, and a Clockwork Monk.
And now his comrade is missing.
Thomas and Gesualdo have a past, and Thomas presumed they would also have a future. He sets off to investigate under the pretext of accompanying his sister Emma on an excursion. She’s a renowned lyric soprano (who has a secret or two of her own) and she’s been invited to sing a recital for the Archbishop of Chicago, which happens to be his comrade’s last known location. Steeped in steam, aided by clockworks, and distracted by a handsome young priest, Thomas must rely on his wits, his bravado, and his bone-deep toughness to solve the secret of The Clockwork Monk.
Cogwheels: Ten Tales of Steampunk is available from the following fine retailers…
Universal Amazon URL: myBook.to/Cogs
My novella Between the Sheets is also a bit of a departure. It’s my first attempt at contemporary romance, which is a lot harder to write than it looks. I mean, if you’re writing paranormal and your hero is human and your heroine is a vampire, there are all kinds of life-and-death conflicts to work through before they get to their happily-ever-after. With contemporary romance, it’s a lot harder to find meaningful reasons to keep two normal, healthy, single people apart.
But you gotta make them work for their HEA, or it’s no fun at all.
I can’t post the cover art yet – though I’ve seen the draft and it’s lovely – but here, for the first time anywhere, is the blurb for Between the Sheets…
Maggie’s going to choir camp, the annual music teacher’s retreat. Her best friend will be there too, and tries to convince her it’s the perfect opportunity for adventure. Caught up in the spirit of things – and maybe a little tipsy – Maggie vows to end her extended celibacy during the retreat.
At the first dinner of the event, Maggie catches the attention of the group’s token single straight guy, but she’d rather be a born-again virgin than give it up to him. She tries to blow him off, but he’s not going to bow out gracefully. She doesn’t want to spend time with him and she doesn’t want to make a scene, so Maggie chooses her third option: Run.
For Randy, the retreat doesn’t get interesting until he sees a pretty blond woman getting hit on by the kind of guy whose picture is in Webster’s under pompous dork. She’s clearly not into him, but the dork’s not giving up, so Randy improvises by pretending to be the woman’s boyfriend. Sneaking up behind her, he wraps her in a hug. She turns and kisses him, which is as shocking as it is hot.
After they actually introduce themselves, they decide to continue pretending to be a couple until the dork leaves Maggie alone. And possibly also because the chemistry they share is fierce. Soon neither of them can tell where the acting ends and the real feelings begin. Maggie’s got history and Randy’s got baggage, and making good on her vow to get laid could end up being an empty victory. Can Maggie and Randy fight through their internal discord fast enough to turn their solo lives into a duet?
Between the Sheets is my homage to music teachers and band geeks everywhere. Who knew you all were so naughty?
The title might sound risqué, but it refers to the sheet music that’s part of the cover art. I mean, music teachers, right? I’ll post the cover when I can, and you’ll see what I mean. In any event, Between the Sheets will be available on August 25th from Crimson Romance. A 22,000-word novella, it will be priced at $0.99. And I also gotta say that the writing of BtS was greatly facilitated by the members of #teamawesome, most of whom are also Spellbound Scribes. You guys sprinted me to the finish line on this one!
Phew! I’m much better at writing the stuff than promoting it after it’s written. Thanks for checking out my post, and if you have any snappy ideas for promotion success, please leave them in the comments!
OOH! Late-breaking news!!! Here’s the official cover for Between the Sheets!