Out Soon – The Perils of Prague by @doccoleman

Lauren Harris shares with us the upcoming release by Doc Coleman, The Perils of Prague (The Adventures of Crackle and Bang Book 1), a Steampunk Adventure/Comedy up for pre-order. Check out that bangin’ cover. Hey, is that a quote from Jody Lynn Nye?! Cool! Snag the book while it’s still on preorder! (Releases the 25th)

 

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BLURB

Victoria, the Eternal Empress, has sat the throne of the British Empire for over 150 years. Her policies have brought peace to the world by suppressing the development of “dangerous technologies”, and where that has failed, her Imperial Troops, with their lightning rifles, have swiftly brought order. But there are still those who chafe at the yoke of peace.

When an evening’s entertainment in the British Protectorate of Bohemia unexpectedly leads to the destruction of the State Opera House of Prague, the eccentricity brilliant Professor Harmonious Crackle and his beautiful colleague Miss Titania Bang must team up with the Duke of Prague’s nephew and hunt down the evil genius responsible. Can they find him and stop him before he unleashes his new technology to terrorize the city and threaten the stability of the British Empire, and the Eternal Empress herself?

In a race against an unknown menace, this intrepid trio must search high and low and discover The Perils of Prague!

An excerpt from the book

“You’re serious!” Miss Bang’s brow was creased in ire. The hint of fire blazed behind her eyes.

He blinked at her. “Of course, I’m serious. Such a joke would be in very bad taste!”

“I don’t believe anyone ever accused my great-grandfather of having good taste,” I commented ruefully.

The professor turned to me. “Your great-grandfather was actually quite a thoughtful fellow in his youth. He did throw the most excellent parties. I never did find out what made him such a misanthrope as he got older. I’d often wondered… Wait! Wait, I was going to tell you something. Something I’d just discovered.” He looked down at the wing in his hand. “Yes! That was it! You remember the birds, the clockwork birds?”

I nodded. “Yes, Professor. It was just earlier this morning.” I wondered if it was still morning.

Professor Crackle nodded vigorously. “Yes, they’re a perfect recreation of the living creature. Or at least as best as I can tell, given the damage the sample sustained. If only I could examine an intact specimen.”

Miss Bang spoke up. “You’re drifting again, Harmonious.”

“No, no, no, no! This is important. Did you get a good look at the singers? The male and female leads?”

“At the opera?” I asked. I wasn’t quite sure where he was leading.

“Yes! Did you get a good look at them?” He seemed very agitated as he leaned toward me for my answer.

“Well, Professor, I am afraid I wasn’t really concentrating on them for most of the performance. And when things livened up at the end, my attention was, well… on other things.”

“And you, Titania?” He whirled to face Miss Bang.

“Other than the final song, they seemed quite capable, although somewhat uninspired performers.” She paused in thought for a moment, touching one finger to her lips. “I’m not sure how to describe the final performance.”

“Drat. I hoped one of you got a better look. Now we shall have to find what is left of them.” The professor moved back to his workbench and put down the wing and his loupe.

“You want to go find their bodies, Professor? Isn’t that a task better left to the police?” I did not fancy the idea of sifting through the rubble for pieces of the dead performers.

He turned to me. “Their remains, yes. But their bodies, I think not.” He lifted the wing again and shook it to illustrate his point. “I think they were clockwork.”

“A clockwork man? How is that possible?” I looked to Miss Bang, but she seemed fascinated by the idea.

“But such intricate detail, Harmonious… and such a complex series of actions to perform upon the stage. They were actually singing. It wasn’t a phonograph recording. Even with the latest equipment, one can tell the difference. I’ve never heard of an automaton that could truly sing.”

“Yes!” The professor looked like a child who had been promised a new pony. “Exactly! Such perfect duplication of the living form! When I went down on the stage and examined the woman, she looked otherwise normal except for the side of her face. The flesh sagged under a weight. I think a piece detached from the underlying support structure and dragged it out of shape. I believe the same person who made these birds constructed the opera singers as well. But I need more evidence. We need to find what is left of those performers.”

“So, we’re going back to the opera house?” Miss Bang asked.

“Yes! Well, no! We’re already there. I’m sorry about the little detour, my boy, but I’m certain your uncle is going to want to see whatever evidence we can find.”

“Surely he will be worried about my disappearance? Perhaps it would be best to just drop me off first and I can explain your theory to Uncle Randolph?” Much as I would like to avoid his wrath, putting off seeing my uncle could only make things worse.

“After losing a major landmark?” Professor Crackle asked. “Don’t be ridiculous! He may be worried, but he will have hardly a moment to think on it. No, trust me, even if you went back now you wouldn’t be able to get in to see him. But if we can find something to prove it wasn’t an accident, we’ll be able to get right in to see the duke.”

“And the police, Professor?” I asked, wondering what Inspector Janecek would think about the professor’s clockwork people theory.

“Yes, we must get there before they do! The last thing we need is for them to tromp all over everything and destroy the evidence we need.” He grabbed a pair of goggles off of a bench and strode through the door. “Come along!”

“But, but that’s not what I meant!” I sputtered and hurried to catch up to Miss Bang as she swept out of the room in the professor’s wake.

ABOUT DOC

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Doc Coleman  began his writing career in 2010 with the Nifty Tech Blog, a tech review blog that demystifies technology by highlighting some of the best consumer products available. Doc soon moved on to writing fiction, with the short story “The Gift”, and stories for the online magazine Flagship and for The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences’ podcast Tales from the Archives. His latest work is the first book of his steampunk series The Adventures of Crackle and Bang, The Perils of Prague.

Doc is a computer geek, a motorcyclist, a homebrewer, a podcaster, a writer, and voice actor. Sometimes, he even finds some time to relax, too.


View Gates of Rizellen for more:
Cover Reveal – The Perils of Prague

Review: Little Green Men–Attack! by @BryanThomasS @BaileyRobinW

Michelle reviews Little Green Men–Attack! edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Robin Wayne Bailey, a collection of 18 new stories and 1 classic reprint from Baen.

Michelle writes:

From psychic cats to french-kissing aliens, Baen’s Little Green Men–Attack! offers up a variety of laughs from seasoned story tellers and editors. Get it now!

Read more of her in-depth review on her blog at Review: Little Green Men–Attack! by @BryanThomasS @BaileyRobinW

SALE: Award-winning TALES OF ARILLAND by @aletheakontis

Tales of Arilland is special to me because “Blood and Water” is the first story I read by Alethea Kontis, and I’ve been fan squee-ing after her ever since.

-Michelle “Mica” Ristuccia

Alethea Kontis’ 2015 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award Winner, TALES OF ARILLAND IS JUST $.99 FOR A LIMITED TIME!

 

In the fairy tale realm of Arilland, stories are told at children’s bedsides–and not the stories you think you know. Tales of Arilland is a collection of fairy tales, presented in the magical topsy-turvy way that only Alethea Kontis can do. Discover the story of Bluebeard’s first wife (“Blood From Stone”), what really happened to Snow White in those dark woods (“The Unicorn Hunter”), how dangerous the Little Mermaid might have been (“Blood and Water”), and just how far Little Red Riding Hood was willing to go (“Hero Worship”). Included in this collection is “Sunday,” the original novelette that inspired the award-winning novel Enchanted, as well as “The Cursed Prince,” the previously untold history of Prince Rumbold of Arilland…and more.

Purchase your copy from any of these platforms!

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Google Books

 

New Release: Immortal Progeny by PJ Ballentine

What an exciting month. We have several book releases to share with you.

PJ Ballentine’s Immortal Progeny just released and is now available in paperback!

You can listen the first chapter here on her blog.

For generations the world of Rahvas has been awash in holy war between its many temples.

Priests and priestesses have built towering monsters to destroy one another and prove their deity the One True God.

But those temples also made two mistakes. When three little girls came out of the void where Gods are born, they mistake them for humans and let them live.

Separated, Rowan, Vervain and Amaranth have lived out very different lives. One lived as a temple acolyte, another as meat for the creation of progeny, while the third learns the magic of the atheists.

As the sisters’ power unfolds and they learn the truth of who they are, the temples and all those that fight for them will find a new war on their doorstep. Rahvas will become the battleground between gods and monsters.

 


View PJBallantine.com for more:
First Chapter of Immortal Progeny

HOLE IN THE MIDDLE now available to preorder

Kendra Fortmeyer’s HOLE IN THE MIDDLE is now available for pre-order for its July 6th release date (2017)!

HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE A PART OF YOU IS MISSING?

Morgan’s sick of living with her secret. She was born with a hole in her middle: a perfectly smooth, sealed fist-sized chunk of nothing where a stomach ought to be. After seventeen years of hiding behind lumpy sweaters and a smart mouth, she’s fed up. But when she bares all, the fallout is more than she bargained for.

A few photos snowball into a media frenzy, and suddenly Morgan’s desperate to get back to her own strange version of normal. But between the hospital visits, the internet celebrity, and a disintegrating relationship with her best (and only) friend, normal is slipping farther and farther away. Then a new doctor appears with a boy who may be both Morgan’s cure and her destiny. What happens when you meet the person who is – literally – your perfect match? Is being ‘whole’ really all it’s cracked up to be?

HOLE IN THE MIDDLE explores the hard truths of being a young adult in a world obsessed with body image, instant fame and unlikely love stories.

 

View Kendra Fortmeyer for more:
HOLE IN THE MIDDLE now available to preorder

Re: Writing Degrees and Writing Retreats @KTBryski

KT Bryski addresses a contentious question in the writing community:

Do writers need writing degrees?

Or, if you want to be more generous, do writing degrees help make a writer?

The short answer to the first question is “No.” We don’t need writing degrees to became great writers. So then, what DO writers need to improve their craft, and how do college classes factor into this?

KT Bryski has a MFA in Creative writing. Read her thoughts on her blog, here: Degrees and Kinds: On Writers and English Majors

I have a BA in Psychology with a Spanish minor, so I have my own opinions about colleges and degrees. Overall, I enjoyed college and can’t quite bring myself to say that I wouldn’t go if I had to do it all over again. What I never liked, though, was the number of classes required that didn’t relate to my degree–I consider that bloat.

I think the point here is that you have to learn by doing and by interacting with and learning from other people. College classes can be both, because I sure remember writing short stories and critiquing in Creative Writing class. Writing retreats can be both. (KT Byski also posted about how much she got out of the Smoky Writers Retreat). Then there’s writers and critique groups.

The question, then, is not what a hypothetical writer needs to improve their craft, but what YOU need to grow as a writer.

There’s so much out there!

-Michelle Ristuccia

Update: HOLE IN THE MIDDLE cover and release date!

Kendra Fortmeyer’s Hole in the Middle now has a cover and release date, so go add it on Goodreads!

She also has new original fiction in Lightspeed and Apex, and a reprint of “Asymmetry” in PodCastle coming this spring.

View KendraFortmeyer.com for more:
Update: HOLE IN THE MIDDLE cover and release date!