steampunk detective


Team Machine t-shirt

Team Machine t-shirt via RedBubble

I will begin with the tea portion of our day. It says much about my love of tea that the booth I’m most looking forward to patronizing at the Connecticon Convention in July is tea booth so I can buy 8 oz. of their Vincent Van Gogh blend. It might be called Starry Night. I’ve wanted to order it for ages but lost the name of the company. ARGH. Hence, my anticipation.

I’ve also been researching tea for my trip to San Diego later in July. Thanks to the lovely PR person at the San Diego Board of Tourism, I’ve discovered that the San Diego Comic Art Gallery and Point Loma Tea shop are located just around the corner from each other. Thank you, universe.

In addition to Point Loma Tea, I’m told there is also Shakespeare’s Corner and the San Diego House in Old Town San Diego. Hmm…I may not need to bring as much loose tea as I thought.

Shakespeare's Tea Room in San Diego. Who wants to come for afternoon tea with me?

Shakespeare’s Corner tea in San Diego. Who wants to come for afternoon tea with me?

Meantime, as the t-shirt above can attest, I’ve gotten more obsessed with Person of Interest, even thought it’s been over a week now since the finale. I have rarely encountered a show that’s such a perfect blend of characters I adore and a concept that blows me away. Team Machine’s final confrontation with Team Samaritan had me at the edge of my seat and I’m not ashamed to say I cried it spots–both out of sorrow and joy. I’ve even conned my oldest son (20) into watching it. Fusco is his favorite. Of course he is!

Me, I’m a Shaw girl. And I didn’t even like her when she first showed up. Now she’s my favorite. Except for the Machine. I adore the bodiless sentient AI, who may be the most human of Team Machine. But, mostly, I loved them all.

I salute you, writers, actors, and those behind the scenes doing stuff like writing all those screen captions for the Machine and Samaritan. A job well done. But I want more. (Aside: Shoot–Root/Shaw– may be the best shipping name ever. )

As for my own writing, you can find what I’ve been blogging about here, under my personal tag Cory (my nickname), and the joint DC Reviews under Ray Goldfield’s name. My favorite? The interview with the author of geeky erotica. Geek girl gamers, unite!

Oh, did I mention I wrote over 10,000 words in a short erotic novella last week? The leads are Philip Drake and Del Sefton from Phoenix Legacy and it’s a m/m/f menage. (Obviously, there’s another lead but to tell you who it is would be spoilery.) Because I wasn’t quite done with Philip Drake nor was he quite done with me.

Talk about burying the lead: I finished the draft of what has become The Hidden Mage of Lotus Hall, book 2 in the steampunk detectives series starring Gregor Sherringford and Joan Krieger. It is the sequel to The Curse of the Brimstone Contract, which went all the way to #11 on Amazon’s steampunk bestseller list.

When will it be out? Well, that’s a tale in itself. Likely not before the fall but I’m working on a way for people to read it for free. We’ll see.

 

 

Wonder Woman, geeky mug

You know people know you’re a geek when they start giving you mugs like this. 🙂
photo: Corrina Lawson

Happy Tuesday all! Today’s tea? Assam Loose Leaf because I seriously needed the caffeine boost to wake up.

The work on the steampunk, tentatively called The Dark Mage of Lotus Hall, continues at a good clip. Last night, I hit 35,000 words. I had to backtrack a bit, however, as I encountered what writers call “the saggy middle.”

In other words, things were going far too well for my intrepid heroine and it was time to pull the rug out under her feet by asking “what’s a horrible thing that can happen that will upend the entire cast?” and then doing that. I also wrote a scene between the antagonist and my heroine that it contained many-layered dialogue, my favorite thing ever. Hopefully, all those layers will be fully seen once the villain’s scheme is clear.

What those poor dears must endure for the sake of story. Mwwhahahahah! 🙂 (I’ve not put a foot in George R.R. Martin territory yet but I begin to see how his landscape develops.)

We’ve had several snow days here in New England, leading to a four-day weekend for the teens and less writing time for me. But, still, I managed to bang out a few fun articles.

Out my office window this week. photo by Corrina Lawson.

Out my office window this week. photo by Corrina Lawson.

My first post on Heroes & Heartbreakers which concerns, naturally, Wonder Woman, was published this week. Or, rather, it’s about her longtime love interest, Steve Trevor. Fate has not always been kind to Steve but now he’s Chris Pine, so it should work out all right in the end.

I’m still loving, loving Agent CarterThis week, it even did flashbacks well!

I enjoyed several of this week’s DC Comics, so check out the full reviews of DC’s entire slate and ended up riffing about my most hated trope: the all reaching conspiracy.

“Yeah, we’re supposed to believe Mother is this all-powerful person who can predict what children will be suitable and what won’t be suitable but, c’mon. I’d believe in superspeed more than seeing into the future to predict that this child will turn out to be exactly what someone wants. I’ll give Mother the ability to send women out as trophy wives for the rich. But to know which kid will be a superhero? Just no.”

Suspension of disbelief broken. 🙂

Goodreads Book Giveaway

phoenix inheritance by Corrina Lawson

phoenix inheritance

by Corrina Lawson

Giveaway ends July 03, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

Still wondering whether to enter? Here are some reviews to help you decide: Romantic Times gives Phoenix Inheritance 4 stars: Lawson’s newest addition to the Phoenix Institute series is sentimental, exciting and also spotlights Charlie, an autistic boy who steals the show at times. Fans of the paranormal will be wowed right out of their seats, and those who love romance won’t feel left out either, thanks to the passionate sex scenes, which are tastefully done. The several twists and turns keep readers engaged in the suspenseful plot. An all-around great book! –   From Just Talking Books: I really enjoyed reading Phoenix Inheritance and even though I hadn’t read the previous books in this series, I found it very easy to follow which is a true test of the author’s story telling abilities. This is a paranormal story so expect telepathy and telekinesis to feature heavily as gifted humans appear, but it’s also a story of two people finding the courage to take a chance because it’s not always easy putting your heart on the line. This was a sensual romance that didn’t feel rushed or forced and the background information to the couple’s first encounters really helped pull me in. What really surprised me was the concept of making their son Charlie autistic.   I found it quite poignant that both parents had a very different approach to their son’s behaviour. Renee is a woman fighting for support for her son, whilst for a lot of the story Dax is a man in denial and that felt very realistic. I’m sure it’s terribly difficult for parents to accept any difference in their child and ignorance and prejudice is an awful thing. Luckily, as the story progressed, Dax grew in my estimation (trust me he had a lot to make up for!) and realised autism is not something to run from but just a part of his son’s makeup. Charlie’s autism is, quite simply, just a part of who he is and all differences should be embraced!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

 

The Curse of the Brimstone Contract by Corrina Lawson

 

The Curse of the Brimstone Contract

 

by Corrina Lawson

 

Giveaway ends July 01, 2015. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

 

Enter to Win

 

Reviews:
From CriminalElement.com: What at first seems like a fun, magic infused mystery, turned out to be quite a bit more. Joan is seemingly bound by not only her social status, but also her family obligations, and not only does magic mean a way out, it helps to gives her the courage to assert herself and take control of her destiny. There is a bit of light romance, but this is Joan’s journey, and the steampunk-tinged setting of Victorian London (and the clothes, oh, the clothes!) is icing on the cake.

Night Owl Reviews Top Pick!: This is a fun introduction to what promises to be a very entertaining steampunk series featuring atypical main characters. I greatly enjoyed the focus on different cultures as it contrasts with the challenge of dealing with a society that is stratified by magic. This gives a very different view of historical England as it deals with both the complications and progress made as industrialization progresses plus the struggle to gain equality for women.

4 and 4 1/2 Star Reviews on Amazon.com For The Curse of the Brimstone Contract:

“illustrates the author’s wondrous facility at creating a compelling and imaginative story.”

“Joan is a strong heroine and Sherringford is a man of mystery. The plot sucks you in deeply and quickly. Be prepared to read the book in one sitting!”

“Lawson has managed to incorporate both genres into a multi-layered world uniquely her own. After the midpoint I couldn’t put it down.”

First, look at one of my Mother’s Day presents:

agent carter, SHIELD

Yep, time to get cracking on the Agent Carter cosplay.

That was from the eldest daughter who, UNBELIEVABLY….

Graduates college this weekend.

The mind boggles.

I also received three wonderful reviews of my books.

A 4-Star review from the Romantic Times magazine (the biggest romance magazine going) for Phoenix Inheritance, calling it an “all around great book.”

The longer quote:

“Lawson’s newest addition to the Phoenix Institute series is sentimental, exciting and also spotlights Charlie, an autistic boy who steals the show at times. Fans of the paranormal will be wowed right out of their seats, and those who love romance won’t feel left out either, thanks to the passionate sex scenes, which are tastefully done. The several twists and turns keep readers engaged in the suspenseful plot. An all-around great book! – 

2. Another review of Phoenix Inheritance that used explanations points for “recommended” at Just Talking BooksI love it when reviews use exclamation points.

What really surprised me was the concept of making their son Charlie autistic. I found it quite poignant that both parents had a very different approach to their son’s behaviour. Renee is a woman fighting for support for her son, whilst for a lot of the story Dax is a man in denial and that felt very realistic. I’m sure it’s terribly difficult for parents to accept any difference in their child and ignorance and prejudice is an awful thing. Luckily, as the story progressed, Dax grew in my estimation (trust me he had a lot to make up for!) and realised autism is not something to run from but just a part of his son’s makeup. Charlie’s autism is, quite simply, just a part of who he is and all differences should be embraced!”

3. An unexpected and welcome review of my Holmes-inspired steampunk, The Curse of the Brimstone Contract at Ramblings From This Chick. 

“There is so much more than a mystery to be solved in this book. Romance. Of course there is romance. Gregor’s and Joan’s ability to merge their minds to solve a mystery presages the sweet uniting of their hearts. In addition to mystery and romance, there are class issues, an arranged marriage (unwanted), old magic, curses, new magical ability, and secrets. So many secrets. There is not a boring page in The Curse of the Brimstone Contract. I hope to be reading another book in the series soon!”

Now I have to go. The mother-in-law is coming in a couple of days, which means..cleaning. Lots of cleaning. 🙂

 

steampunk, steampunk detective, steampunk romance, Sherlock Holmes, female WatsonI have Google alerts set for my books as every author does.

But I have them set to a gmail account I never use. I didn’t know this until I went to set new alerts for my new books and noticed all alerts were set to go to my gmail.

I then checked the alerts.

Sure enough!

Some new reviews.

Well, not so new! July. ARGH.

But here’s someone who enjoyed The Curse of the Brimstone Contract and wrote a lovely review for Goodreads (at the link.)

A belated thank you, Jenna!

Now to see what else I’ve missed…..

Humans have always looked to the stars for inspiration. Once flight became possible, men and women risked their lives to push “higher, further, faster, more,” in the words of Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers, and her current writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick.

The first arc of  DeConnick’s Captain Marvel series was all about the women who were the inspirations for her desire to fly and touch the stars: the female pilots of World War II.

So it seemed appropriate for my post for the “Starry Nights” theme of the annual Science Fiction Romance Brigade Midsummer Blog Hop to focus on those women, real and fictional, who looked at the sky and dreamed big, impossible dreams. Note: if you’re dreaming of some swag, please check out the rafflecopter entry form below. Some seriously good stuff there, including Amazon/B&N gift cards of up to $100.

There were, of course, the early female pioneers of aviation, like Jackie Cochran, Amelia Earhart and Bessie Coleman, the first African-American women to gain a pilot’s license, even if she had to go to France to do it. In a terrific book, Amelia Earhart’s Daughters, the history of the second generation of female flyers is detailed, including many who tried out for the Mercury astronaut program, even though they never really had a chance to be accepted.

And there are my favorite fictional women who dream big, like my Joan Krieger, the heroine of my Curse of the Brimstone Contract, who never liked going in the side door and is so determined to rule her own fate that she’ll end up changing society, rather than let society change her.

Cordelia Naismith of Lois McMaster Bujold’s interstellar Vorkosigan series is one of my favorite characters ever, a force of nature with compassion that knows no bounds.  Cordelia frequently expects those around her to search for solutions that seem impossible.

“You trust beyond reason!”
“Yes. It’s how I get results beyond hope.”

To me, the stars and the sky above represent our dreams, the ones where we hope beyond reason. They represent the heroines of science fiction romance who take a leap of faith in themselves and the person they love and are rewarded with happy endings that are all the more joyful because of that.

And now, the goodies!

As part of the Starry Night Blog Hop, we’re giving away STUFF. MUCH STUFF.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For my entry, please like my Facebook page and I’ll pick a random winner to receive my first steampunk romantic detective novel, The Curse of the Brimstone Contract (ecopy only) plus Captain Marvel: Volume One: In Pursuit of Flight. (U.S. Shipping only but I can send out a digital edition.)

7/7 NOTE; Winner has been notified.

And click on the Starry Nights button above to go to the other blog hop posts that each have their OWN prizes. 🙂

Note: I’m having trouble with wordpress accepting comments. 🙁 If you’ve tried to log on and enter previously, I apologize. I’ve kept track of two entries sent via the newsletter and we’re switching over to Facebook likes. If that’s a problem, just hit the newsletter button to enter the contest. And thanks for your patience.

All quite positive! Thank you all for reading and buying!

From CriminalElement.com:

What at first seems like a fun, magic infused mystery, turned out to be quite a bit more.  Joan is seemingly bound by not only her social status, but also her family obligations, and not only does magic mean a way out, it helps to gives her the courage to assert herself and take control of her destiny. There is a bit of light romance, but this is Joan’s journey, and the steampunk-tinged setting of Victorian London (and the clothes, oh, the clothes!) is icing on the cake.

Night Owl Reviews Top Pick!:

This is a fun introduction to what promises to be a very entertaining steampunk series featuring atypical main characters. I greatly enjoyed the focus on different cultures as it contrasts with the challenge of dealing with a society that is stratified by magic. This gives a very different view of historical England as it deals with both the complications and progress made as industrialization progresses plus the struggle to gain equality for women.

4 and 4 1/2 Star Reviews on Amazon.com:

“illustrates the author’s wondrous facility at creating a compelling and imaginative story.”

“Joan is a strong heroine and Sherringford is a man of mystery. The plot sucks you in deeply and quickly. Be prepared to read the book in one sitting!”

“Lawson has managed to incorporate both genres into a multi-layered world uniquely her own. After the midpoint I couldn’t put it down.”

And some blogs with exclusive excerpts from the last two weeks:

Revelry: Curse of the Brimstone Contract at Coffee Time Romance

World Building: Setting is Character at the Science Fiction Romance Brigade

Reader’s Day: Superhero Celebration at Samhain Publishing

Release Day Excerpts at Samhain Publishin

Happy Reading!

steampunk, steampunk detective, steampunk romance, Sherlock Holmes, female WatsonRelease Day is here! ::Takes a moment to Snoopy Dance::

The Curse of the Brimstone Contract, a romantic steampunk history, is the culmination of a dream I had as a teenager when first read Hound of the Baskervilles and hoped I could write characters as fascinating as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

You can buy it at Samhain Publishing, Amazon, B&N, and any of your electronic bookstores.

Not being Arthur Conan Doyle, my idea for a Victorian mystery ended up quite differently, with a dash of magic, technology and an strong element of romance.

Here’s one of my favorite scenes form the book, a classic “detective meets client” scene with a little dash of sexual tension.

Bookshelves covered the walls, their dark color matched by the huge throw rug on the floor that was decorated with swirling Oriental-style designs against a black background. In the center sat a comfortable sitting couch with matching chairs on either side.

Gregor Sherringford was not as indifferent to his surroundings as he had first appeared. She could certainly picture him here, curled up with a book, his dark hair falling in front of his eyes. A pleasing image.

She heard the door close behind her. She turned, her face full of color. She had no reason to be embarrassed, but she was.

“Why did you not tell me to wait here at the beginning, sir?” she asked.

“It is interesting to see how people react to the workroom. If they are appalled or otherwise react badly, then they’re not people worthy of my time.” He hung his leather apron on a coatrack and rolled down his sleeves. “And I was in the middle of an experiment.”

“I do not much like trusting my future to someone who tests me like that.”

“And I don’t like being interrupted by someone ill-mannered enough to snap at me. If you wish to leave, you know where the door is located.”

She reluctantly shook her head and kept a firm grip on her tongue. If she could keep her temper with her father, she could keep it now. “What I wish is to have had no need to come to you, sir, but that is sadly not the case.”

“I’m clearly your choice of last resort. That would not be unusual among my clients.” He smiled thinly, as he had a moment ago in his workroom. “Please, stop glaring at me, Miss Krieger, and have a seat. We will both be more comfortable. Also, no more calling me sir. Mr. Sherringford will do.”

“I was not…” She cleared her throat. She had not been glaring. She had been studying him. In this setting, he belonged. The softer light burnished his hair and skin, as some silks glowed in certain candlelight. Now, she could well imagine him a gallant romantic hero as well as a champion. “I suppose I was glaring. My apologies. I have never done anything like this before. It has me off-balance.” She clutched her pendant tight as she sat down. “How much do you charge, sir?”

“That depends,” he said. “On how much I can afford to pay?” she asked. He drew his eyebrows together. She had angered him somehow. Again. “It depends on your problem. I have valuable work, as you saw. I dislike interrupting

it.” was like trying to get a proper measurement off a squirming customer.

“So it must be a problem that can be solved quickly?” Trying to sort out what he meant was like trying to get a proper measurement off a squirming customer.

“On the contrary, only a complicated problem would be worth setting aside my other matters. As to the fee, if it presents a proper challenge, I will waive it.”

“Excuse me? Usually, more work means a higher fee, not a lower one.”

“So I have been told. But those are my terms.” He looked at her and opened his palm, clearly signaling the next move was hers. “You definitely seem like a person who might have a worthy case. Thus my interest in hearing you out.”

She had an unsettling feeling that he was as interested in her and why she had come to him for help as he was in the problem itself. To him, she might be like one of his experiments, something to be examined and studied. Did he have feelings underneath his cool demeanor?

“I am not certain if my problem is complicated. My mother believes I could be imagining it. Or even losing my mind. Yet there is still a woman dead, and I want to know how she died.”

Official blurb:

Magic—and love—balanced on the tip of a needle…

The Steampunk Detectives, Book 1

Magic existed at the fringes until Prince Albert discovered he was a mage. Now he and others like him are leading a revolution in steam technology that’s held tight in the grip of the upper classes.

A man of half-Indian heritage, rejected by his upper-crust, mage-gifted family, Gregor Sherringford lives in working-class London, investigating cases involving magic among the lower classes. But he’s never met a client quite like spirited, stubborn Joan Krieger.

Joan’s dream was to lead a fashion revolution designing women’s clothing suited to the new technology. But when her richest client mysteriously dies outside her shop, it deals a mortal blow to her dreams.

She hopes the handsome, enigmatic detective can prove the death a magical murder. She never expected a dark plot would be woven right into the fabric of her family. Or that cracking the case will mean merging gifts, minds—and hearts—with the one man who could be her partner in every way. If they survive the release of a soul-binding curse.

 

 

steampunk, steampunk detective, steampunk romance, Sherlock Holmes, female Watson

The Curse of the Brimstone Contract, available at Samhain Publishing, Amazon, B&N and other ebook stores!

Magic—and love—balanced on the tip of a needle…

The Steampunk Detectives, Book 1

Magic existed at the fringes until Prince Albert discovered he was a mage. Now he and others like him are leading a revolution in steam technology that’s held tight in the grip of the upper classes.

A man of half-Indian heritage, rejected by his upper-crust, mage-gifted family, Gregor Sherringford lives in working-class London, investigating cases involving magic among the lower classes. But he’s never met a client quite like spirited, stubborn Joan Krieger.

Joan’s dream was to lead a fashion revolution designing women’s clothing suited to the new technology. But when her richest client mysteriously dies outside her shop, it deals a mortal blow to her dreams.

She hopes the handsome, enigmatic detective can prove the death a magical murder. She never expected a dark plot would be woven right into the fabric of her family. Or that cracking the case will mean merging gifts, minds—and hearts—with the one man who could be her partner in every way. If they survive the release of a soul-binding curse.

—Almost here!

Yes, I’ve been absent. My youngest son has had a recurrence of a serious chronic illness and we’ve been dealing with multiple doctors and hospitals for the last two months. He’s stable now and hopefully will remain so.

Which brings me to my first item.

That same son has a four-page story in this anti-bullying comic: You Are Not Alone.

This can be purchased at Grayhaven’s website and I believe if you’re a school or non-profit, Grayhaven will be able to supply some free copies. So proud of this kid! 🙂 🙂

And, well, if you’re at the Grayhaven site, you might also want to look at this Steampunk comic.

There’s a story in there featuring the hero of the upcoming The Curse of the Brimstone Contract, plus 38 more pages of great steampunk stories.

Be back tomorrow with more news of upcoming books! 🙂

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