Monday, 4 February 2013

Guest post by Heather Massey + Giveaway



It doesn't matter whether you are a steampunk afficionado or an enthusiastic and curious newbie (like me), today's guest, steampunk romance author Heather Massey will tell you all why she thinks steampunk is such a great idea and will also give you a handful recommendations of fantastic books. So take out your notepads and pens and scribble your steampunk wishlist. And before I forget, don't leave without entering the AMAZING giveaway at the end for many great prizes, among others a $100 USD gift card! Woohoo! So take it away Heather! :-)

5 Reasons to Read Steampunk Romance
by Heather Massey


Steampunk romance is a relatively new subgenre, and so readers willing to take a risk on it should be provided with as much information as possible in order to make an informed choice.

What exactly is steampunk romance? In a nutshell, steampunk romance = Victorian-era science fiction + steam powered technology + romance. There’s much more to it than that, of course, so I decided to present five reasons steampunk romance would be a fun way to spend one’s time.

1) Larger than life characters

Steampunk romance offers readers many intriguing characters from all walks of life—and they’re also larger than life! Like any romance couple, they flirt, argue, and fall in love. You’ll encounter more than just the typical inventor among their numbers, however. These characters have all kinds of occupations including couriers, privateers, bounty hunters, soldiers, journalists, and spies.

Not only that, but gender roles are often subverted in this subgenre. In fact, it’s almost the norm. The alternate history nature of steampunk romance creates a wider playing field for heroines. Want to follow the adventures of a female mercenary airship captain? Step right up to Meljean Brook’s Heart of Steel. Or how about a secret government agent? You’ll find a delightful one in The Janus Affair by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris.

What makes steampunk romance couplings really interesting is how authors pair them up. The occupational skill sets of heroes and heroines impact their romances in all sorts of unusual ways.


2) Funky Punky Gadgets

Steampunk romance is a great playground for readers who want to indulge in their love of romance and technology. Characters in these stories use a variety of gadgets during their adventures. Examples include transportation devices like steam-powered carriages, time travel machines, weapons, and difference engines (i.e., a steampunk computer), and sex toys.

The gadgets are frequently ahead of their time and possess a unique aesthetic. Think lots of brass, oversized gears, and iron. Not all of them are pretty, however. Gadgets can be clunky, dangerous, and downright primitive, but their dark nature is also part of the appeal. Sometimes it’s fun to be creeped out by them!

Many gadgets are steam-powered while others rely on clockwork parts. Some combine both. Other power sources include aether and electricity. Whatever makes them tick, they’re pretty amazing inventions.

Readers looking for steampunk romances with lots of gadget action should check out Nico Rosso’s Nights of Steel, Pauline Baird Jones’ Tangled in Time, and K.T. Grant’s Brass Balls and Hysteria.


3) Unusual settings

Oh, the places you can go in a steampunk romance!

Steampunk romance generally follows the steampunk tradition of setting stories in Victorian-era England—except when it doesn’t! A number of authors have ventured beyond Great Britain in their fantastical tales of love, adventure, and wondrous devices. As a result, readers can discover new places and cultures.

Here is a sample of books with unusual or non-traditional steampunk romance settings:

Outer space



Alternate dimension/universe





American Old West



Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts – Heather Massey (in the interest of full disclosure, that’s me!)


Galapagos Islands


4) Quests, Chases, and derring-do

If you’re a fan of action-adventure romance then steampunk romance has much to offer. Couples in this subgenre often forge a bond of love amid situations fraught with peril.  For example, they might pair up to locate missing objects or people, hunt villains, or solve mysteries. Their journeys take them to the skies in sophisticated airships or across dangerous terrain.

Steampunk romance couples are adept with weapons and combat if the situation requires it. You’ll discover them engaged in epic sky battles aboard their flying machines or defeating the villain with potent steam-powered weapons. But not to worry—they also find time for adventures of the intimate kind!


5) Themes

At the same time steampunk romance dazzles readers with fun action-adventure scenes, the subgenre also has a cerebral side. Some of the themes explored by steampunk romance stories include gender roles, the impact of changing technology, the environment, and sociological issues.

In my experience reading steampunk romance, authors deftly fold serious topics into the narrative. One of my favorite themes is the concept of what it means to be human. Characters with prosthetic limbs prompt readers to question our assumptions about identity as well as our relationship with technology.

Here are some books featuring characters with prosthetics and/or steampunk cyborgs:

Skies of Steel – Zoe Archer

The Iron Duke – Meljean Brook

Far From Broken – J.K. Coi

The Iron Heart – Leslie Dicken

Far Too Human – Anitra Lynn McLeod


Now that we’ve covered why steampunk romance is fun to read, it’s time for a giveaway!


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Leave a comment for this post and you’ll be entered for a chance to win an ebook copy of Evie's Gift by PJ Schnyder!



Grand Prize Giveaway

And there’s more! Everyone who leaves a comment at any of the stops on The Great Steampunk Romance Airship Tour will be entered for a chance to win the Grand Prize:

$100 e-gift card (winner’s choice Amazon or B&N)

75$ e-gift certificate to Clockwork Couture



1 digital copy of IRON GUNS, BLAZING HEARTS (winner’s choice PDF, ePub, or .mobi)

Please include your email address. The deadline to enter all of the giveaways will be midnight PST on February 14. On Friday, February 15, check back here to see if you’ve won the ebook prize.

The grand prize winner will be announced on February 15 at The Galaxy Express.


About the author

Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for sci-fi romance adventures aboard her blog, The Galaxy Express. She’s also an author in the subgenre. To learn more about her published work, visit heathermassey.com

Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts by Heather Massey

The West just got a whole lot wilder.

A woman on a mission… Scientific achievement isn’t enough for Violet Whitcomb. Life working alongside her renowned scientist father is filled with intellectual challenges, but what she truly craves is love and adventure. She’s resigned to a fate of academic pursuits–until a fateful trip across the American frontier changes everything. A rogue inventor known as the Iron Scorpion kidnaps Violet’s father and she alone is left to plan his rescue.

A man with a secret… Logan McCoy knows firsthand going up against the Iron Scorpion is suicide, but he can’t let Violet waltz into the villain’s lair alone. She may be a stranger, but she’s also the most compelling woman he’s ever known.

A perilous quest… Their attraction is undeniable, but their alliance turns contentious when Violet insists on including a third partner on their mission: her father’s latest invention and the world’s most advanced automaton, Arthur. The reason for Logan’s resistance isn’t clear until Violet comes face-to-face with the Iron Scorpion’s diabolical devices, and by then, it’s far too late.


Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 14 February 2013!

Good luck!

For more chances to win, follow the blog tour HERE.

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