My first purchase of a contemporary steampunk novel was The Girl in the Steel Corset. I absolutely loved this book and relished the traditional steampunk elements such as gas lit streets (the book is set in Victorian England), a character called The Machinist and a feisty heroine who is clearly contemporary and strong as all hell.
I then discovered Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series. Though I loved Clockwork Angel, my geriatric next door neighbor mentioned Clare's Mortal Instruments series and I fell in love. We talk all day about the books and the upcoming movie based on the first one, The City of Bones.
There are, frankly dozens of stories that can be categorized as steampunk but there are purists who will argue. At the risk of inciting a war right here I'll leave it at that.
When my lovely friend, author Christiane France posted the suggestion of a steampunk anthology to the Amber Allure PAX authors, I jumped at the chance to pen my own tale.
I wanted to honor a rich tradition of stories that involve historical times, steam engines and of course, a megadose of paranormal activity.
Balthazar Starblitz tells the story of Flip McCabe, a young LA guy who answers an ad to work in a tea shop at Union Station. When he gets there, he finds the tea shop doesn't exist…except that it does. It is trapped in time appearing and disappearing on an old steam train line at the fabled train station.
I had so much fun writing this story and wove in certain well known criminals from the past who were all somehow involved with train travel. Remember Winnie Ruth Judd, who arrived at Union Station with her steamer trunks containing the hacked-up bodies of her best friends?
No? Well, here's your opportunity to get to know her since she was in the past an obsession of mine. And then there is Balthazar Starblitz, a werewolf whom Flip falls for before he learns the secret of the were's lonely existence.
Here is the link for Balthazar Starblitz: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/BalthazarStarblitz.html
And the blurb:
When Flip McCabe spots an unusual ad in a magazine requesting a young man or woman to train in the fine art of tea service, he's pleasantly surprised to learn that it's still available. He needs this job—any job—desperately, but his new boss, Mr. Chen, will mysteriously tell him only to report for duty at Platform Thirteen at LA's Union Station at nine o'clock the following morning.
Arriving in plenty of time, Flip becomes panic-stricken when he can't find any such platform, nor is there a tea shop listed at the bustling railway station. Frantic to get to work, he stumbles across an old line on an outdoor platform and is catapulted in another era of the station somewhere else in time.
The elegant, old-worldly Mr. Chen dispenses tea and serious help for those who need it, but his frail body is no longer up to the dangerous escapades involved with murder, mayhem and steam trains. Flip is sent back to the past to help various famous, often wrongfully convicted criminals, and then plunged back to the present to find a man who needs not only his help, but his love.
But will Flip be able to aid the dynamic, exhilarating Balthazar Starblitz, a werewolf on the run from charges related to a series of grisly murders he did not commit?
Genres: Gay/Steampunk/Dark Fantasy/Werewolf/Action/Adventure/Time Travel
Heat Level: 3
Length: Novella (23k words)
If you'd like the chance to win the entire pax collection, just leave a comment on today's post. On Saturday, a winner will be picked at random from all the comments made this week on the blog. Comment on all five, and that's five chances to win!