Book Blitz & Excerpt: All Hallows Airship + Giveaway

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All Hallows Airship
by Liz Delton
Publication date: October 25th 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk

A catastrophic blast. A haunting memory. And she only has one chance to prove her family’s innocence.

All Caz Coppersdown has ever wanted is to be a journalist for the Soldark Times. But the chances of her parents letting her pursue a breaking story are slim. Secluded after a childhood illness, Caz finally gets to leave Soldark for a trip to the country to her great aunt’s estate, but she quickly finds out there isn’t anything newsworthy there—unless you count her aunt’s upcoming All Hallows Eve soiree.

Until the local airshow clashes with her aunt’s party plans—causing more than just pumpkins to be destroyed. When Caz meets one of the airship pilots and discovers something about her family’s past, Caz might have just found her big story.

But she’ll need to dig for the facts quickly, because the constables are looking for a culprit, and old ghosts are making themselves known on this All Hallows Eve.

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SNEAK PEEK:

As they pulled up to the front door of Daguerre, Caz didn’t know what to expect. She certainly didn’t expect to see her great aunt, dressed in a modest burgundy gown with black lace edging, stacking pumpkins on the doorstep with the help of a maid. There was dirt under her fingernails. Caz grinned and removed her satin gloves, stuffing them into her pocket before opening the door to the auto. Grimlee wordlessly brought her carpetbag around as Caz stepped forward. She took a deep breath of the country air, inhaling the unfamiliar yet alluring scents of nature.

Dowager Daguerre straightened, a calculating look in her eye as she smiled at her great-niece. “Go get the last four, will you, Marla, and then we can see if we need to buy extra from Shore. Caroline! Welcome to Daguerre.”

“It’s Caz,” she blurted, and heat immediately rushed to her cheeks as she reached up to cover her mouth. Had she really just corrected her? “I’m sorry, Dowager.”

Her great aunt raised a single eyebrow–a feat Caz envied–and said, “What for? I would never wish to call you by a name you dislike. And as far as names go, you may call me Elmira. We are flesh and blood, by-golly.”

“I–all right,” Caz said breathlessly, her cheeks still burning, though she was secretly pleased. Her aunt was nothing like the stuffy nobles in Soldark. Her opinion on the upcoming month shifted immediately to excitement.

“Grimlee, take her bag to her room, it’s already prepared. That’s all you brought?” she asked Caz.

“No, my trunk should be here this afternoon. At least, that’s what my father said.”

“Perfect,” Elmira said crisply. “Now, I need your opinion on these pumpkins.”

Caz grinned as her great aunt picked up some wicked-looking shears and sliced off a few inches of the long stem on one of the bright orange gourds littering the mansion’s doorstep.

Though she wasn’t sure she’d find much action worthy of a gripping story she could write for the Soldark Times, perhaps the season in the country wouldn’t be so boring after all.

 

Author Bio:

Liz Delton writes and lives in New England, with her husband and amazing son. She studied Theater Management at the University of the Arts in Philly, always having enjoyed the backstage life of storytelling.

She reads and writes fantasy, especially the kind with alternate worlds. Liz is the author of the dystopian Arcera Trilogy, the fantasy Realm of Camellia series, and the steampunk novel THE ALCHEMYST’S MIRROR. World-building is her favorite part of writing, and she is always dreaming up new fantastic places.

She loves drinking tea and traveling. When she’s not writing you can find her hands full with one of her many craft projects.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Divinity’s Twilight: Remnant + Giveaway

Divinity's Twilight Remnant blog announcement

Cover - Divinity's Twilight Remnant
Divinity’s Twilight: Remnant
by Christopher Russell
Published: September 14, 2022
Series: Divinity’s Twilight #2
Genre: Epic/Steampunk/Military Fantasy
Intended Age Group: Adult
Pages: 650
Publisher: Illyrium Publishing

Divinity’s Twilight: Remnant is the much-anticipated sequel to the multi-award-winning epic fantasy novel, Divinity’s Twilight: Rebirth.

Power is a curse.

As Vallen and his fellow cadets flee fallen Darmatia, he is forced to confront the ghosts of his past. The friend who perished that he might live. The girl whose smile haunts his nightmares. Now, a third voice joins them—something dark, something ancient. And the more Vallen uses his magic, the stronger it becomes.

Tools exist to be used.

The flames of Sylette’s vengeance are all but quenched. With each passing day, the dominion of the Sarconian Empire grows, and her treacherous father’s throat drifts further from her reach. Sylette’s last hope is a coded message, one that promises a growing resistance against the Empire. But even if she gains the means to avenge her mother’s murder, one question remains: how many ‘tools’ is she willing to sacrifice to see her vengeance through?

What color is love?

Renar has learned to hide a great many things: his emotions, his art, and one truly devastating family secret. But when he must face the man who’s controlled his life from the shadows, will he choose the family he’s always known, or the dysfunctional crew he’s been shackled with?

For every ending, a beginning.

Embers of conspiracy flare in Nemare and Sarconia. A resurrected Sarcon plots to reclaim his imprisoned flesh. As the winds of war swirl and forgotten myths rise, the choices these cadets make could save their country . . .
. . . or unleash something far, far worse.

The Empire Strikes Back • Portal, Portal on the Wall, Don’t Show Me My Past, Lest I Fall • Ice Queen of Hearts

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Content/Trigger Warnings:

Shown on Page (things clearly told to the reader):

Fantasy violence and death
Mild gore
Racism
Bullying
Vomiting
Gaslighting
Child abuse
Fade to black sex
Drug/alcohol abuse
Magic-induced suicide
Sexism

Alluded to (things only mentioned in passing or hinted at):

Slavery
Genocide
Starvation
Prostitution
Eugenics
Animal cruelty (mythical creatures)


Excerpt:

Chapter 9:  “What’s Best”

 

Charkur 3, 686 ABH

Nemare, Royal Capital of the Kingdom of Darmatia

 

“Whoa there!”
With a screech of iron on cobbles, the carriage lurched forward, then settled to a stop in front of the broad steps of the Heronah mansion. Renar Iolus hurriedly hid his silver pocket knife inside the sleeve of his fine coat. He’d altered the hem just enough to conceal it against his forearm, though the resultant wad of scratchy fabric chafed miserably against his skin.
He shifted to the left on the velvet padded seat, leaning against the window and feigning that he’d been staring at the passing city sights during the ride. When the cab door opened, he favored Ral the coachman with an innocent smile.
“Here already?”
The dusky-toned, bare-scalped courtier bowed at the waist, his twinkling black eyes a match for his impeccable servant’s garb. “Yes, Young Master. Didn’t you see us pass the estate gates?”
Renar scampered down the hanging carriage steps. At the bottom, he strained skyward, standing on his tiptoes to reach the second gold button above Ral’s waistband. Ha! he thought. I’ll be taller than him in no time!
“Obviously, Ral,” Renar replied, waving the arm that didn’t hide the knife. “The jalliper berry bushes lining the drive are in full bloom, their mauve buds contrasting beautifully with the thin sheathes of ice encasing their branches.”
Ral’s dark gaze flashed concern. He ducked into the carriage, and when he reemerged a moment later, he held a lace embroidered pillow. The same pillow Renar had used to cover up the carving he’d been etching into the interior paneling of the carriage.
“What is this?” Ral asked, tone accusing.
“A pillow?”
“Indeed. A pillow which you used to cover up vandalism of the Colonel’s prized carriage.”
Renar bristled. “Vandalism? My art is an improvement on the drab ornamentation my father thinks passes for culture in military circles.” He jerked his arm toward the coursing waterfall scene he’d etched into the wood.
The wrong arm—a horrible mistake. Before he could snatch back the limb, Ral grabbed his elbow, pinched it hard enough to make Renar’s eyes water, and rolled up the sleeve to expose the outline of his knife. Two tugs at the hidden pouch sent the blade tumbling toward the ground. Graceful as a sweeping brush stroke, Ral caught it between two fingers, raising it above his head which Renar couldn’t reach even if he jumped.
“Colonel Iolus gave this to you as a gift.” Disappointment etched Ral’s hard features, but Renar heard something odd in his voice: an almost wistful sadness.
“Am I not free to do with father’s gifts as I please?”
Ral inhaled sharply. ” . . . No. This is a combat knife.” He traced the tapered blade and tapped the channel meant to drain blood away from the cutting edge. Revulsion twisted Renar’s stomach. Fighting disgusted him to the point of sickness. “You should not be using it to draw—”
Carve,” Renar insisted.
“—on the Colonel’s carriage. You know how he views your . . . hobbies.” Ral chose his final word carefully, kindly. Far kindlier than Renar’s father, Colonel Hardwick Iolus, would have.
The boy’s throat constricted, going dry as the desert wastes beyond Nemare’s walls. “Will you tell him?” he whispered. Somehow, speaking the words aloud made Renar believe they’d come true.
“No.”
Flicking his wrist, Ral tossed the knife into the air, catching it by the blade in his other hand on the way down. He passed it back to Renar—hilt first—but the wide-eyed lad was lost in thoughts of how to sketch the skilled attendant.
Charcoal for the skin, rubbing it in after application for a smooth finish. Long lines for the blade toss. Have to give the impression of motion, as Gabonni’s Ten Techniques suggests. Highlight the gleam in his gaze by making the area around the eyes darker, and . . .

Renar blinked. The mansion’s thick double doors were open before him, letting blocky shadows and the early spring chill into the grand, marble-floored foyer. Ral was at his side, and two similar servants flanked the opulent elegoras-crafted doors.
The courtier chuckled. “The Veneer took your senses again, Young Master.”
There was no reason to argue. Whenever the compulsion to draw, carve, paint—any type of creation—hit him, Renar lost all awareness of where and what he was doing. This time he’d merely pocketed his knife and climbed the estate steps in a daze, but at other times he’d disappeared from the Iolus estate or fallen down the manor stairs.
Unfortunately, his clumsiness was the least of his father’s reasons for despising the pursuits that brought him joy.
“What was it?” Renar asked. Their host, the daughter of the Heronah family, had yet to appear. “I’m curious what gave me away. Father took my last sketchbook, and you had no reason to suspect I had anything else to work with.”
Ral chuckled. “Your description of the julliper berries. Spring comes early in Nemare. There’s no ice left on the bushes.”
The colorful curse building in Renar’s throat was stilled by the sunflower bouncing down the steps. Dainty slippers on pale legs carried a beaming girl in a yellow smock down the sweeping staircase before them. Golden light, slanting from the stained glass window on the landing behind her, bathed her in a radiant glow that perfectly complemented her bouncing flaxen curls and choice of dress. Renar had scarcely a second to appreciate her radiance before she hurled herself into his arms.
“Rennie!” she cooed. “I’m so glad you could come. I have so, so much to tell you. More than is written in a library worth of books . . . probably.”
“You’re choking me, Angelie,” he managed through her tight embrace. Angelie, a name derived from the angelic Veneer themselves. Like the lilac scent of her hair, it suited her well.
“Oh! We wouldn’t want that.” She danced back with agile steps, then clutched Renar’s hands and began dragging him from the room. “Come, come! There’s something in the ballroom for you, but you must promise not to peek. Oh!” She exclaimed again, pointing a finger at Ral. “You can stay here, Ral. I know he doesn’t like to fight, so I’ll protect Renar if any bad guys attack. Have scones with Maja, or something.”
“I can’t refuse a command from my future mistress,” Ral soothed with an exaggerated bow.
“Good. We’ll call for you when we’re done.”


Author Bio & Information:

Author Photo - Christopher RussellChristopher Russell (native of Williamsburg, VA) is a 29-year-old mechanical and aerospace engineer (graduate of the University of Virginia) who has loved reading since the day he picked up a book and writing since he could scrawl his first letters. After voraciously consuming titles from every genre—ranging from Star Wars to Lord of the Rings—he decided to combine the expertise from his professional education, passions, and Christian faith into a fantasy epic bridging the gap between magic and science. He currently resides in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his loyal dog, Vallen, named after the protagonist of his first work. For behind-the-scenes information on all of Christopher Russell’s works, visit christopherrussellauthor.com.

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Starts: September 22, 2022 at 12:00am EST
Ends: September 28, 2022 at 11:59pm EST


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Book Blitz & Excerpt: The Courtesan and Mr. Hyde, by Catherine Stein

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The Courtesan and Mr. Hyde

Mad Scientists Society, Book 1

by Catherine Stein

Historical Romance, Steampunk Romance

Date Published: August 16, 2022

Publisher: Steam Cat Press

 

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Sometimes the path to true love is a walk on the wicked side.

Dr. Henry Jekyll has—almost—always lived by the rules. Hoping to improve society by separating a person’s good and evil halves, Hal tests an experimental potion on himself. When the drug lowers his usual inhibitions, Hal crashes a high-class party, downs a strong drink, and propositions a sophisticated courtesan. All in the name of science, of course.

Calliope Finch needs only six more months as a glamorous mistress to earn enough to open the library of her dreams. So when Callie meets the awkward, bookish party crasher calling himself Mr. Hyde, she knows nothing can come of it. Not when his curious charm and unfailing honesty come at the expense of his bank account. All she can spare him is a kiss and maybe one night.

Spurred on by their unwavering attraction, Hal and Callie soon become friends and scientific collaborators. But Callie’s list of potential protectors is dwindling, Hal’s potion might not be the solution he hopes, and a mysterious enemy is making mischief at every turn. With their goals slipping ever further from reach, Hal and Callie must put their minds and hearts to the test. Even if it means freeing sides of themselves they’ve long kept hidden.

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Excerpt

She needed to get back to work. Nothing could come of wasting her time flirting with this mysterious party-crasher. No matter how intriguing he was.

“It is quite the extravagant affair,” the man said. His gaze fixed on Callie, sweeping up and down her body. “I’m glad I came. Mr. Ackner’s stoves may be second-rate, but his guests certainly are not.” Again, his face twitched a bit. Callie had the impression he wasn’t accustomed to speaking so boldly. Perhaps the alcohol had loosened his tongue.

She tried to quash her curiosity. It was time to move on. She glanced around, seeking potential wealthy lovers. That bastard Hinsberg caught her eye and gave her a wink. Callie quickly turned her gaze away. She could overlook the fact that he was twice her age, but he was cold and cruel, and that was entirely unacceptable.

She took hold of the party-crasher’s arm and steered him toward the exit, telling Hinsberg without words she was otherwise occupied. The young man flinched at her touch but didn’t try to pull away, allowing her to lead him out into the hall.

“Are we headed to a private chamber for amorous purposes?” he asked, a hopeful note in his voice. He thrust a hand into a pocket. “I brought coins. How much do your services cost?”

Callie shook her head, trying not to laugh at his bizarre naivety.
“More than you have.”

“Oh.” His shoulders slumped.

Callie tossed back the remainder of her champagne and set the empty glass on a decorative table in the middle of the corridor. Ackner could pay for new furniture if it left rings. Her companion looked down at his own half-finished drink, then shrugged and discarded it.

“Perhaps a small subset of your services?” he offered. “I have…” He made a quick check. “Two dollars and forty-seven cents.”


 About the Author

Award-winning author Catherine Stein believes that everyone deserves love and that Happily Ever After has the power to help, to heal, and to comfort.

She writes sassy, sexy romance set during the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

Her books are full of action, adventure, magic, and fantastic technologies.

Catherine lives in Michigan with her husband and three rambunctious kids. She loves steampunk and Oxford commas, and can often be found dressed in Renaissance Festival clothing, drinking copious amounts of tea.

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