Tag 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

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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.

The Release of Jessie’s War!


Today is April 1! And, I’m not joking when I say that Jessie’s War is out on Amazon. I’m starting a blog tour, and holding a contest–one lucky winner will get a cameo choker! Here’s a picture.Image

In any case, here are my tour stops. Please come join me. I’m actually off for two weeks, so you can count on me to be hanging around the various blogs–just to see what’s happening! (Because I’m nosy like that)

Blurb Blitz:
April 1:  Love Triumphs Past and Present<http://annmontclair.wordpress.com/>
April 2:  Fantasy Powered by Love <http://fantasypoweredbylove.com/>
April 3:  Straight from the
Library<http://straightfromlibrary.blogspot.com/2013/04/straight-reading-from-library-jessies.html>
April 4:  The Muse <http://claireashgrove.blogspot.com/>
April 5:  Racing To Read <http://racingtoread.blogspot.com/>

Virtual Book Tour:
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/>

Blurb Blitz:
April 15:  Welcome to My World of Dreams <http://www.jhthomas.blogspot.com/>
April 16:  Krystal Shannan – Where Love and Destiny
Collide<http://www.krystalshannan.com/blog.html>
April 17:  Andi’s Book Reviews <http://andisbookreviews.blogspot.com/>
April 18:  Books and Other Spells <http://nightskydarkstar.blogspot.com/>
April 19:  Wicked Readings by
Tawania<http://www.wickedreadingsbytawania.blogspot.com/>

Virtual Book Tour:
April 22:  Long and Short Reviews <http://www.longandshortreviews.com/>
April 22:  STOP 2 review Journey of a Bookseller
<http://bkfaerie.blogspot.com/>
April 23:  It’s Raining Books <http://www.its-raining-books.blogspot.com/>
April 24:  Janna Shay’s Fair Play <http://jannashay.wordpress.com/>
April 25:  Rachel Brimble Romance <http://rachelbrimble.blogspot.co.uk/>
April 26:  You Gotta Read Reviews <http://wp.me/p2oqHj-6hd>

My Next Big Thing


My friend, a wonderful story-teller, Tracy Hewett Meyer, has invited me to share details of my next big thing–or, what I’m working on now! I’m actually in first edits of Jessie’s War, and thought, hey, I’ll talk about that!

Where did the idea come from for the book?

This is a good question. I’d been toying with the idea of writing a steampunk for quite some time, and had the thought I’d write something western, since I’ve been enthralled with that particular genre for a while. One day, I was looking at a map of the  mines underneath Virginia City, Nevada. Suddenly, an entire scene popped into my head, and I started writing what I would eventually call my “western steampunk romance.”

Incidentally, that first kernel of an idea? It’s chapter nine. And, to this day, one of my favorite scenes in the entire book.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

The actress to play Jessie would be Julia Jones, from The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (a movie I’ve never seen–gasp!). i like the almost haunted way she looks at the camera in this picture; let’s face it, Jessie is pretty haunted, for a number of reasons.
As for who would play Luke? I needed someone with the gravitas to be able to pull off a secret agent during the Civil War. Someone who can play tough and menacing and brooding. Because, like Jessie, Luke has been through a lot in his years at war. And he’s missed our Jessie like crazy, but she’s having none of it!

So, while it’s  not a perfect fit, I picked Christian Bale.

 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Jessie’s War is due out from Musa Publishing in January of 2013. I have another work I’m thinking of self-publishing, a paranormal YA I’ve tentatively titled The Grey Witch. But I guess we’ll see how everything pans out! I’ve been very happy with my experience with small presses so far (Soul Mate Publishing and Musa Publishing), so while I wouldn’t say no to an agent or a New York Publisher, I’m not unhappy with where I am!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft took about three months, for 120,000 words. I wrote like a crazy person. And then I tweaked that draft for another six months, and completely re-wrote the thing twice, changing from third person to first person and back again. It was an interesting experiment. You guys will have to tell me what you think of the final draft!

What other books would you compare this story to with the genre?

I’d say there are elements in it that are similar to Native Star by M.K. Hobson, other elements are similar to Alchemy of Desire by Christa McHugh, and other elements are similar to The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. I think in terms of writing style and setting, it’s probably most similar to Native Star, though Jessie’s world isn’t magic based. Necessarily. 🙂

Before I tag fellow authors so they can write about their next big thing, I’d like to thank Tracy for tagging me. Her books, Wren’s Fantasy and Trust of the Heart are super fun reads! (Trust me, I’ve read them!)

And so, I’d like to tag Brooke Moss, author of The What If Guy, The Carny, and Bittersweet. I’m really hoping she’ll tell you about her YA project, which, I can tell you, is absolutely stellar!

Also, I’d like to take Roberta J. Gordon, author of Gemini WitchingElements 101.

Both ladies are talented authors!

Meggan Connors is the author of The Marker and Wandering Heart, a western novella due out from Soul Mate Publishing next month. Check them out when you get a chance!