Category Archives: steampunk

Jessie’s War


Take a peek at JESSIE’S WAR, my western steampunk. Still on the fence? Why? It’s only $2.99!
***
 Wake up, that voice whispered.
She ignored it.The fear and the anger and the hurt were washed away as her ancestors greeted her and accepted her as one of theirs. For the first time in a long time, Jessie belonged.

Calm and at peace, she was stone and sand, the pinion pine and the fast-moving waters of the river in spring. She was sagebrush and scrub and the sky, filled with bright stars.

Wake up, Jessie.

For a moment, she was pulled away from her people, but she reached into the abyss for them again.

She was tufa and hot springs, the scorching sun and the thunderous clouds of summer storms. She was snow-capped mountains and dry, desert valleys. She was the rabbit and the coyote. She was the sleek fish of the great lake, and she was the fisher. She was the mighty hunter and the prey.

She was one and she was nothing. She was so very small and she was infinite.

A sharp sting pierced through the dream vision. She ignored it. Another one broke through. Beneath the chant, she heard something discordant and angry, breaking the melody. The dark pulsed, and the magic began to crack.

“Jessie!” Luke roared. The spell shattered as she grasped for it with desperate hands.

He slapped her face twice more and then picked her up by the collar and set her on her feet. His fingers dug into the flesh of her shoulders, and he shook her so hard her head fell back.

“Wake up! Don’t do this to me! Jessie, wake up!”
***
Interested? Here’s the link.

http://www.amazon.com/Jessies-War-Civil-Steam-ebook/dp/B00BWACFE6/ref=la_B00AVGKU4O_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1364249478&sr=1-3

News and Notes


So this week has been about taking the kids to the park, or swimming, or teaching the kids how to ride bikes. Next week, I’m going on vacation, so that should be exciting. Twelve days of camping. That’s a lot of togetherness. A LOT OF TOGETHERNESS.

No, I’m not totally petrified. Why do you ask?

I should have some good pictures of Edinor the Tyrannosaur as she camps her way through the wilds of the West. (We are going to some places I’ve never been in my life, so I’m excited about that)

I recently finished up Highland Deception, and have sent it off to beta readers to go over before I send it off to the publisher. It’s the story of a rogue and a thief who, upon the death of his brother, assumes the position of laird of the Clan Mackay… and the wife his brother didn’t want. I’m excited to share it with you when the time comes.

But, in the mean time, I got blind-sided by a story. It’s been cooking for a couple of years, now, and I’ve been intending to write it, but I thought I’d go with another steampunk, or my crazy “Scottish vampire duke who invents things goes to the old west and has a lot of sex” book. It was my mash-up of every genre I could think of, just to see if I could do it. Steampunk meets highlanders in the Old West meets a Regency-style hero meets vampires and sex. But then this story, which is a complete departure from anything else I have published, sprang back to life.

We’ll see how it goes, but for right now, I’m excited about it. It’s been a while since a story has grabbed me by the lapels and demanded, “Write me!” I love it when a story gets bossy, when the characters fill your head until you can’t sleep at night. Jessie’s War did that for me almost two years ago now. Succubus is doing it for me now.

Yeah, not a steampunk, not a western. Not even an historical. No, this story is an urban fantasy.

But it’s funny, because in my original conception of the story, I totally saw it from Zeke’s point of view. The story, as it’s coming to me now, is from Adara’s. It’s pretty great.

In any case, today I had an interview for Jessie’s War here, so if you want to catch up with me, pop on over. Come see why these are some of my favorite characters that I’ve ever written.

–M

What’s Better Than #Free?


Hi Everyone,

So, a couple of weeks ago, my publisher decided to try a little experiment with my debut novel, The Marker, and put it up for free on Amazon. And this week, Jessie’s War, my western steampunk has gone free!

This is a story near and dear to my heart, and is set close to my hometown. I’ve included the blurb and an excerpt below! Click here for the link to Amazon!

JessiesWar_MegganConnors_Final

She’s about to become a pawn in a brutal game between nations…

The American Civil War has raged for more than ten years. The outcast daughter of a famous inventor, Jessica White has struggled to salvage what little remains of her life. Then, one cold winter night, the lover she’d given up for dead returns, claiming the Union Army bought the plans for her father’s last invention. But he’s not the only one who lays claim to the device, for the Confederacy wants the invention as well. Both sides will kill to have it.

…And only he can save her.

As an agent for the Union Army, Luke Bradshaw is a man who will use whomever and whatever is at his disposal in order to complete his mission. An attack by Confederate soldiers ensures that Jessie will turn to him for help, but Luke can’t help but wonder about the secrets she keeps–and if those secrets will ultimately prove fatal.

Excerpt: 

Someone knocked, and Muha’s tentative barking turned hysterical.

Taking her revolving shotgun back down, she crept to the lever that would pull down the shutters and arm the Gatling gun mounted to the rooftop.

“Go home, sheriff. Not talking to you today.”

“It’s not the sheriff.”

Her hand froze and the shotgun clattered to the floor. Gooseflesh dotted her arms and her pulse quickened, a frantic rat-a-tat-tat like a hail of bullets, as her body recognized what her logical mind denied.

The room went quiet. Muha sat with her ears pricked up, her tail thumping cautiously against the worn pine floor. The wolf recognized the gravelly voice, too.

The knock became more insistent, sharper. “Please open the door, Jessie.”

It was a dead man’s voice.

She struggled to fill her lungs with air as the pine door shook beneath her visitor’s heavy fists. Those hands would be big and strong and ridged with calluses. Her heart twisted painfully in her chest, and she tried not to think about them. Or their owner.

She’d gotten over his loss just like she’d gotten over all the others.

With trembling hands, Jessie picked up her shotgun and rested it against the wall. Her legs leaden, she walked to the door and put her hand on the knob, but hesitated.

She’d dreamed of this moment for years, of this man walking back into her life.

Now she couldn’t bring herself to let him in.

“Please. It’s freezing out here.”

She turned the knob, and Luke Bradshaw stood in her doorway, the brim of his hat heavy with snow, and small flakes clung to the dark lashes fringing his silver eyes.

He was as tall as she remembered, towering over her as he stood on her sagging front porch, bringing with him the scent of smoke and sulfur and snow. A black slouch hat covered his head and rested low over his eyes, and a black duster swirled around his bright-spurred boots. The silver six-shooter on his left hip glittered in the low light, and a large, black satchel was strapped to his broad back.

Muha pushed her head past the door.

Luke gave her a lopsided smile and took off his hat. “Hi, Jess.” A scar she didn’t remember ran through his right eyebrow, and another creased his chin. He held his hand out to Muha and scratched behind her grizzled ears, the way he always used to greet her. He handed her a piece of jerky, and despite the long years, a friendship was immediately rekindled. “There’s a girl.”

“Luke.” Jessie reached out to touch his cheek. The stubble of his unshaven jaw was rough beneath her palm, and his skin was cold. Her fingers trembled as she traced his lips, his breath warm against them.

He kissed her fingertips.

Dead men didn’t breathe or kiss a girl’s fingers. Dead men didn’t leave as boys and come back as men. Dead men didn’t come home with new scars or shiver with cold.

“You’re alive,” she whispered.

“Yep.”

His sweet, boyish smile melted her heart, and something inside her, denied for far too long, splintered and howled in despair.

She slapped him.

The crack echoed in the empty, snow-lit darkness behind him. Jessie stepped back to slam the door on this would-be ghost who had the gall to walk back into her life and act as if he’d never left.

Random Writing Post


It’s late on Sunday night, and I’ve been contemplating writing.

I write–mostly–historicals. Sure, I’ve got an urban fantasy in there, but my published body of work–and, indeed, most of my work–is historicals. My work of late hasn’t been pure historical: Wandering Heart had the occult in it, and light paranormal elements, and Jessie’s War is a steampunk. Still they share a common thread with The Marker: They’re set in the Victorian era in the West.

Right now, I’m branching out a little bit. It’s still an historical, and it’s got some light paranormal elements to it. Not full on magic, but, like Wandering Heart, there is the suggestion of magic. Of things not always being what they seem. I’m branching out a little bit more than usual, because, unlike the others, it’s not set in the West. No, the latest WIP is set in Scotland.

In any case, it’s almost done now. Almost. I’ve got maybe three or four more chapters to go, and then it’s done. I’m super excited to share it with you.

But I’m thinking of changing gears. Maybe write something different. Or maybe write something that wraps up every genre into one book.

A Scottish vampire duke goes to the American West, becomes a cowboy and solves mysteries in an airship. With lots of hot sex!

Kidding.

Maybe.

So, what are your favorite genres to read? What do you look for in a good story?

M

In case you missed it, here are this week’s sites for the blog tour. You can win a pocket watch pendant, a choker, and a copy of my book, The Marker… All for showing up and leaving a comment. Cool, huh? And don’t forget to check out Jessie’s WarI promise, you won’t be disappointed.

April 8:  Bookgirl Knitting <http://bookgirlknitting.blogspot.com/>
April 9:  Review Must Read Faster <http://mustreadfaster.blogspot.com/>
April 10:  Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and
Interviews<http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/>
April 10:  STOP 2 Review  My Devotional
Thoughts<http://mydevotionalthoughts.com/>
April 11:  Words of Wisdom from The Scarf
Princess<http://wowfromthescarfprincess.blogspot.com/>
April 12:  Simply Ali <http://www.simplyali.com/>