I’m rather fond of Steampunk and hope to write in that genre one of these days. If you’re not familiar with it, this guest post by author A. Star provides a great introduction.
From what I’ve learned in all of my research is that Steampunk has many interpretations. But mostly, it is about visualizing the nineteenth century in a more advanced light. A delightful blend of history and science fiction.
Most Steampunk books take place in the Victorian era, which is a time period where technology first spread its wings and started to really fly. Things once deemed impossible came to fruition and the Steampunk genre takes that to the next level: taking things such as computers and robotics, and making them a normal part of Victorian society.
Steampunk is inspired by the use of steam technology and how it transformed the modern Victorian era. It’s fun to reimagine nineteenth century technology with the capabilities of some of the more modern devices we enjoy. And then there is the fashion! Never have I seen an era so tailored to expressing individuality. It’s amazing really.
To me, Steampunk is a sub-genre of not only Science Fiction, but of Fantasy as well. The use of imagination and implementation of things and characters that don’t actually exist is at the heart of what the fantasy genre is all about. It’s about creating a world that pushes the limits between the possible and impossible. So when I’m asked how is Steampunk different from Fantasy, my answer is, “It’s not.”
The Djinn Order series takes place in modern Boston, but also in a fantasy world that I feel totally embodies the Steampunk genre. Magic plays a major role in the series as we are dealing with Djinn and that just adds a whole other layer of fun and wonder. As is true to all of my other books, I do put my own spin on what is “Steampunk” in this world while still trying to stay true to the genre and period that inspired it. I don’t swear up and down that I always hit the mark, but if I even got close, then that’s an accomplishment in my eyes.
More about author A. Star
A. Star is a fan of dirty passion. She loves to read it, and she damn sure loves to write it. She is the author of the Mythos: Gods & Lovers series, the Djinn Order series, and the Knights of the Joust series. She is a night-owl and a coffee junkie, and the only sneaker she would be caught dead wearing are Converses.
Three wishes. Two lovers. One destiny.
When the snarky Glory St. Pierre discovers the gold mechanical vase in her deceased grandmother’s basement, she has no idea that she has uncovered a priceless treasure: a genie lamp. With a real genie inside. A very sexy genie with a not-so-sexy grudge against the entire human race.
Irving Amir hates being called a genie. He’s a Djinn, and he is none too happy to be in the service of Glory, who is as intolerable, and beautiful, as humans come. Now he owes her his gratitude for freeing him and three wishes. Damn his luck.
But an arrow through the shoulder alerts Irving to the fact that he is being hunted, and after a truce dinner with Glory ends with them both almost being killed, hating each other goes right out the window. As feelings change and love starts to develop, they must dig through the secrets and lies to find the truth…a truth neither of them will ever see coming.
WARNING: Not suitable for ages 18 and under. A significant source of bad language, sexy times, and dirty jokes. If you suffer from a lack of a sense of humor, take with plenty of wine. If the symptom persists, see a doctor.
The Texas Coastal Bend is about to be conquered.
The intrigue began in March 2015 when conspirators first met on a Thursday evening at the Winery on the Bay at 106 S. Austin Street in Rockport. The plot was hatched under the guise of something called Open Mic Poetry and Jazz Night.
Open Mic Poetry and Jazz night is the brainchild of Skoot Larson, a native of San Pedro who recently moved to Texas. A member of the Rockport Writers Group, Skoot is a novelist, poet and musician. A jazz authority whose knowledge of decades of jazz music is encyclopedic he was dubbed His Royal Hipness by American stage performer, recording artist and hip poet/comic Lord Richard Buckley.
Those who have never been to a poetry reading probably imagine a stuffy academic type in a tweed jacket with elbow pads standing at a lectern droning something obscure and incomprehensible while the audience sips black coffee and tries to pay attention.
The Coastal Bend Open Mic nights are nothing like that. An aficionado of bebop, Skoot was inspired to launch Open Mic Night by a form of entertainment called “word jazz” where poets recite their work backed by jazz musicians, creating an especially intense aural experience. While those who want to perform are welcome to read favorites by other authors, most recite their own original work—poetry, short stories, and novel excerpts. Sometimes rhymed, sometimes free verse, the Open Mic night readings run the gamut from humorous to heart-rending, delivered with feeling by the person who wrote the words.
There’s not a tweed jacket in sight. Hawaiian shirts and graphic tee-shirts abound and there’s no coffee but there is wine. Winery on the Bay is no smoke-filled bar or stuffy coffeehouse. Begun in Gruene, Texas, it’s a boutique winery that produces its own wine. Using juice from vineyards around the world, the vintners ferment, filter, bottle and label 30 varietals of red, white, fruit-infused and dessert wine and offer it for sale by the glass or by the bottle. You can sample four tastings for $3.00 or, buy and keep the souvenir glass for $5 and get those four tastings along with it.
As Open Mic night gained fans, the conspirators began to meet every Thursday evening to advance their plan to capture the hearts and souls of Coastal Bend residents with engaging music and riveting spoken word, holding the readings inside the Winery on the Bay or on its patio with views of the bay.
Rockport conquered, they targeted their next city: Port Aransas. The first Open Mic Poetry and Jazz night to be held on Mustang Island will be Sunday, May 3, 2015, beginning at 6 p.m. at La Barataria, 3500 Island Moorings Parkway in Port Aransas. La Barataria is also not a smoke-filled bar or dim coffeehouse but rather a fine restaurant and wine bar with a deck overlooking Island Moorings marina.
Both Open Mic Nights are free for both readers and the audience. No RSVP or registration is necessary; just show up.
Today, the Coastal Bend; tomorrow, the world. Mwahahaha.
For more information visit the Texas Coastal Poetry page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/703601096416927. Be a cool cat. Make the scene. I’ll see you there.
Dear Reader, Writers and Precious Patrons,
All Authors Publishing House would like to bring you a Double Book Release of earth shattering proportions.
Are there any limits out there which are boundless? Two characters, two different stories of paranormal drama, put that to the ultimate test!
“Earth 8-8-2: The Genesis Project”
Could Science Serve as Salvation?
For Dr. Scott, the combined strengths of each life form represent the answer to the onslaught of malice and tyranny plaguing his Earth. When his creation—Genesis—begins developing, the lines between scientist and father become blurred. Soon the time approaches where Genesis is expected to fulfill her purpose. Does she go along willingly, or will her rapid evolution obliterate everyone’s best laid plans?
“Boundless Limits: Transcendent Choice (Book One)”
There’s Love … and then there’s Love Beyond Limits.
Felipe and Therice had a love that knew of no boundaries. When Therice and “Mama” lose their lives in a tragic car accident, Felipe has a gaping hole that just refuses to heal and Therice has a determination to see him again that just refuses to die.
Heaven feels anything but, when Therice discovers that spirits are prohibited from visiting loved ones after they have died. Sensing that her angelic guide Amare possesses empathetic traits, Therice develops a plan of appeal in the hopes she will see Felipe near the anniversary of her death.
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Coming Soon to …
Before I moved to Texas I lived in Phoenix, Arizona. Scottsdale, the next city over, was home to a world famous bookstore. The Poisoned Pen specialized in mysteries and thrillers. The shop was so well known that stopping there was an absolute must for any author on a promotional book tour.
Authors like Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke, Earl Emerson, Harlan Coben and others did more than simply sign and promote sales of their books. They served on panels or were guests at author chats. Fans of their works could sit and listen to their favorite authors talk about the tribulations of trying to get published (James Lee Burke received 114 rejections before finally getting a novel accepted for publication; it took Jonathan Kellerman eight years to get a novel accepted). The authors talked about whether they worked in offices or coffeehouses, whether they wrote full time or tried to squeeze writing in between holding down a job or maintaining a home. They revealed if they got up early to write, or stayed up late, if they created an outline first or just winged it.
I now have a shelf full of books signed by authors I admire, even home addresses and treasured personal correspondence. And I learned a lot from them, not only about how their books came together but about life and work as a novelist.
I’ve missed that resource—until now. The Friends of the Library has started a series called Coffee with the Author held at the Ellis Memorial Library in Port Aransas. The Friends invite a local author to read from his or her work and take questions from the audience. Attendees can ask anything. (OK, maybe not “boxers or briefs?”)
I was thrilled to be the first guest author. Where once I sat in the audience, now I was the one answering questions. I read a scene from my most recent work, The King’s Redress, and managed to talk for about two hours about where I got the idea for my epic fantasy book series, whether I thought print books were dead, what it was like to collaborate with three other writers on Naked Came the Sharks (the coastal thriller that we co-authored), and answered a host of other questions.
Now it’s my turn to sit in the audience again because the next Coffee with the Author will feature Ruth Matlow Asher. A writer of beautiful poetry, engaging fiction and nonfiction, Ruth has penned The Secrets of the Snow Queen, two chapbooks, Inside Yesterday and Elephant of Japan, poetry published by Texas A&M, University of Texas and Rogers State University, and articles in The Prairie Journal, Fieldstone Review and The Nashwaak Review. Ruth’s nonfiction won awards in the Winnipeg Free Press and the Writers Collective. A Winter Texan, Ruth lives in Manitoba when she’s not in Port Aransas.
She refers to The Secrets of the Snow Queen as an “eco-tale,” a story with an underlying environmental message about food, animals and living in harmony with nature and one another. It’s a children’s book that adults can enjoy (or maybe it’s a book for grown-ups that children like.) It’s also a work of visual art: the illustrations are photos of fabric collages by Karen Wardle.
Come Saturday, April 25, beginning at 10 a.m. No RSVP necessary. The Friends of the Library will have coffee and snacks on hand. Ruth will have copies of her book available and you can also get it on amazon.com.
For more information about Coffee with the Authors contact the Ellis Memorial Library at 700 W. Ave. A in Port Aransas, or call 361-749-4116. I’ll see you there.
Guest Post: What Makes it Fantasy? | Alesha L. Escobar. I’m still trying to figure it out.
Have you ever been to one of those progressive dinners? You know, the kind where you move from one location to the next to sample different dishes?
“Meet the Chefs Food & Wine Extravaganza” is a little like that except you don’t have to travel very far. It takes place March 30th and features six of the top area chefs from their respective restaurants all gathered in one place, the Port Aransas Civic Center, 701 Avenue A.
The chefs will serve heavy hors d’oeuvres and appropriate wines they have personally selected to go with their culinary delights, all to help the Kiwanis afford educational and beneficial programs to the children locally and around the Coastal Bend.
- Lisabella’s Bistro, Chef Kris Amundsen
- La Barataria Restaurant, Chef Lezlie Keebler
- The Black Marlin Restaurant, Chef Kaharim Becerra
- The Phoenix Restaurant, Chef Tiana Worsham
- The Venetian Hot Plate, Chef Mark Pulich
- Stingrays Taphouse & Grill, Chef Gordon Johns
It all begins at 6:00 p.m. and goes until 8:30 p.m. The cost is $45.00 per person and all proceeds go to the Port Aransas Kiwanis Club to benefit community youth.
Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 in Detroit, Michigan, and became an international organization with the creation of the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton, Ontario, the following year. At first members focused on business networking but a few years later the organization changed its focus to service. The organization expanded worldwide and there are Kiwanians in 11 European nations.
The Port Aransas club was chartered in 1996.
Meet the Chefs will be limited to 200 guests. Tickets may be purchased at either the American Bank or the Value Bank, both on Alister Street in Port Aransas or by contacting M. R. Yogi Barrett, the Event Director, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 410-971-9804. You may also contact the club President, Heath Lauseng at email@example.com or call 361-749-1858. Checks may be mailed to P.O. Box 968, Port Aransas, TX 78373 for “Will Call” purchases.
For more information about the club, visit the Web site at http://www.portaransaskiwanis.org, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Port Aransas Kiwanis Club, P. O. Box 968, Port Aransas, Texas, 78373. I’ll see you there. — http://devorahfox.com
I have done book cover reveals in the past but none with as much excitement as this.
I present to you the cover of Masters of Time, A Sci-Fi and Fantasy Anthology coming July 2015.
Let expert guides like best-selling authors Samantha Lafantasie, Alesha Escobar and me introduce you into worlds with no clear distinction between past, present and future. Seize your daring and curiosity and take the hand of capable escorts like Timothy C. Ward, H.M. Jones and Alice Marks. Go on journeys that you won’t soon forget.
Think of the picture postcards you can send back
I am so delighted to announce the relaunch of Heart Song.
Relena wants freedom, depending on herself and not having to answer to anyone, but a betrayal takes that away. The last thing she expected was the incredibly handsome Marren to free her.
She has to fall in love with him, fulfill a prophecy involving their heart song, and rejoin the two realms. But Jiren, the last Ancient of his kind, isn’t convinced and will stop at nothing to maintain his throne, even if it means breaking their most sacred law.
Take the Quiz
Join the Party
For today only, there will be fun, games, and special appearances by Marren and Relena. Don’t miss it!
“Spring is definitely in the air.” I giggled to myself as Marren’s arm tightened around my hand.
“It is, indeed.”
He led me down a path that forked to the right and opened into a small field of the most beautiful, tallest, red tulips bordered by trees, as if he had cut out a place for these flowers, and they grew with the magic that had won over my heart. I held my breath for fear that letting it out would make them fade.
“By the Gods, this is beautiful!”
“I thought you would like it. Go on.” He motioned toward the field.
I looked into his eyes, as if to make sure he wasn’t joking, and then stepped tentatively into the field of flowers. Their light scent danced in the air. It was sweet and mild. At about the halfway point, I looked over my shoulder at Marren, still standing on the path. I smiled, facing him and cocked my head to the side. I wondered what was taking him so long to join me. He nodded toward me a smirk pulling at the corner of his lips. I turned back around taking another step, finding a rock that rolled underneath my foot. I fell to the ground and started laughing.
I was pulled up by Marren so fast it took my breath away. “Are you okay?”
Slowly, he placed my hands on his shoulders then slid his down the side of my arms, along my back, and coming to a rest at my waist. He pulled me into him, pressing our bodies together. I took in a deep breath as a rush pulsed through my veins. The woods became silent, and the wind stopped blowing, as if the world stilled for us. We started to sway, slowly, from side to side. It was awkward, like he was nervous, which made a giggle bubble out of me, shaking my frame against his. He chuckled in response and started spinning me as we glided through the flowers, twirling one way and the other in motions that were graceful, magnificent, and magical. My feet barely touched the ground, like we floated in the air.
We dance in circles, through every inch of the flower field as we gazed into each other’s eyes, looking into forever. Eventually, we slowed, returning to the center of the field and shifting back into the sway before stopping completely.
“I want you to promise me something . . .” Marren said. I worried that there was something on his mind, a weight that burdened him.
“What?” I asked.
“Promise you’ll remember this day, no matter what decision you make.” His voice was sad and fearful.
“What decision am I to make?” I asked, twirling a strand of his hair around my finger and losing myself in his eyes.
He pressed his lips to mine. The sweetness in his kiss filled me, but his lips were almost too soft. “You’ll see . . . just promise me you’ll remember today.”
About the Author
A Kansas native, Samantha LaFantasie spends her free time with her spouse and three kids. Writing has always been a passion of hers, forgoing all other desires to devote to this one obsession, even though she often finds herself arguing with her characters through much of the process. She’s primarily a fantasy writer but often feels pulled to genres such as sci-fi, romance, and others.
Samantha became a bestselling author with the Pandora Boxed Set (which includes Made to Forget: Nepherium Novella series–Part One) on both Amazon and USA Today.
Samantha loves to take time to enjoy other activities such as photography and playing her favorite game of all time, Guild Wars 2.
Stalk the Author
Meet Timothy Ward, another Master of Time.
I am so captivated by what sparked his story for Masters of Time, A Sci-fi & Fantasy Time Travel Anthology. Tim talks about staring at one spot for so long that it leads to time travel. I can’t wait to read his story in the anthology, due out July 2015.
Daily Savings Time still has me all out of whack. I keep waking up at 3 a.m. This morning when I awoke I had this image at the forefront of my brain. So I fired up some graphic design software to see if I could bring the vision to life.