I’m happy to be part of the book tour for Armored Hearts by Pauline Creeden & Melissa Turner Lee, put together by Jaidis Shaw of Juniper Grove Book Solutions. This book is Steampunk Fantasy, and the ladies share their thoughts on the genre, as well as their writing process. I also have an excerpt for you and a very cool giveaway! Enjoy.
Connect with Melissa in the following places:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/MelissaTLee1975 or @MelissaTLee1975
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/Melissa-Turner-Lee/e/B005KBK6EE
Connect with Pauline in the following places:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/P_Creeden or @P_Creeden
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/Pauline-Creeden/e/B006QEZXL0
Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park and left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted wheelchair.
Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin sent to kill him.
Armored Hearts may not fit the tastes of those who are already into steampunk, but I think it will answer the question, ‘”What is steampunk?” for those who read more mainstream. So much of steampunk is all about the mechanizations and political atmosphere. The goal we had for this book is to introduce the ultra cool world to the romance and fantasy crowd in a way that is much more palatable than we’ve ever seen it done.
While writing, we had a lot of brainstorming sessions, and then Melissa wrote the first draft. Then we brainstormed some more, and then Pauline took it and added a bit. Then we discussed what needed fixing, and Melissa did the third draft. We went back and forth on this project. We also made a board on Pinterest so we had the same faces, places and such in mind as we wrote. But Melissa did the most work, as it was her idea. Pauline has a Contemporary Romantic/Suspense novel she’ll be taking the reins on that we’ve done some brainstorming sessions with and will be working on it later this year as well as AH2.
Opening up to new ideas and there were places we needed to go back and add action or a death. The challenge of collaboration is that there is compromise. Often one of us would have an idea the other would shoot down, but the end result was better than either of us would have had happen on our own and with only our own ideas involved. The end result is stronger, and not too frilly nor too dark.
The best part was the research. We both took to watching all of Downton Abbey while were editing for the fun of immersing ourselves in the culture of the time period. Overall, it’s been a great experience, and we hope for big things to come from our team.
Twelve-year-old Tristan Gareth Smyth gripped the armrests of his wheelchair and said, “This will do. I can make it the rest of the way on my own from here.”
His eyes trained up the landmark tree and he had that feeling again. The vapor of a memory, maybe a dream. He always had that feeling when he looked up at the broad branches of this particular oak. Then he remembered who he was talking to and his face hardened.
The maid, Sarah, with her strong Scottish burr, patted him on the shoulder. Gareth refused to look at her. He stared down at his knee pants instead. “Are ye sure ye will be alright? I do na mind walking with ye the rest of the way to Mr. Strong’s house.”
Gareth clenched his hands into fists. “I’ll be fine.”
“Too bad he didn’t like coming out to the manor. Remember how green Mr. Strong got when he choked on my spice cake that day and ran off.” She laughed but tried to cover it with a cough. “I thought that would be the end of ’im but he worked it out with yer grandfather to instruct ye in town. Funny, my spice didn’t bother the rest of ye.”
She bent down in front of Gareth, attempting to make eye contact. “There are lots of children in this section of town. Ye might try making friends with ’em.”
Gareth turned away and clenched his jaw. Children never wanted to make friends with him. The chair made them uncomfortable. And what did he care anyway? He attempted to give her as stern a look as his grandfather would. “I know the way from here, and I won’t be late. You can go on to market, now.”
The breeze picked up and blew wisps of red hair into the woman’s round face. She smiled. Was she making fun of him? “Oh, it’s such a pretty day. This fresh air will do ye good, for certain.”
She patted her hands on her knees and stood straight again. “Well then, I’ll leave ye to it. I’ve got to run off to the baker’s. Be sure to get to Mr. Strong’s in a timely manner. Though I think yer old governess was doing a fine job. Not sure why ye need Mr. Strong. But I guess it’s none of my concern.”
She was a servant, in uniform, and he was a future lord. Following his instruction was her duty. She and her husband, Thompton had been employed by his grandfather only six months. They might find themselves out of work and heading back to Scotland, if she kept voicing that sort of opinion.
No, Gareth could never really get them fired. But he’d make her think he would. He shook his head in the same disapproving manner he’d seen his grandfather use.
The sunlight played in the golden highlights of the woman’s ruby hair. Although her green eyes twinkled, she continued to voice her cutting opinion. She placed one hand on his shoulder. “It’s not being stuck in this chair that keeps ye lonely. It’s yer surly attitude.”
Gareth couldn’t help but let his face scrunch a little. He crossed his arms and turned his face from her.
Her accent was thick and melodic, familiar in a way. His mother had been Scottish though he hardly remembered her. Still, Gareth kept his pout in place. The truth was, he didn’t know how to relate to others. Even people who could feel at ease talking to perfect strangers stammered or spoke quickly to him and walked away. The wheelchair did more than keep him from playing.
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
GRAND PRIZE: Signed print copy of Armored Hearts, a Steampunk Charm Bracelet, and Bookmark Swag Pack (US Only)
SECOND PLACE: $20 Winner’s Choice of Gift Card to Amazon or B&N (or even PayPal Cash) (INT)
Armored Hearts by Pauline Creeden and Melissa Turner Lee:
- May 20th – Val @ Musings of a Writer (Book Review)
- May 21st – Kimberly @ Turning the Pages (Book Review)
- May 21st – Flora @ From the Bootheel Cotton Patch (Spotlight)
- May 22nd – Athena @ Total Book Geek (Interview)
- May 22nd – Jaidis @ Juniper Grove (Spotlight)
- May 23rd – Candy @ Just Me, Myself, and I (Book Review)
- May 24th – Amber G. @ Lady Amber’s Reviews (Book Review)
- May 24th – Daniel @ Parenting 2.0 The Child’s Perspective (Spotlight)
- May 27th – Darcia @ A Word Please (Guest Post)
- May 28th – E.M. @ The Reader’s Hollow (Book Review)
- May 28th – Sabrina @ Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace (Book Review)
- May 29th – Selah @ Come Selahway with Me (Interview)
- May 30th – Laurie @ Laurie’s Non-Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews (Tens List)
- May 31st – Lasaki @ The Girl With Red Cape (Book Review)
- May 31st – Bianca @ Bianca2b (Guest Post)
Thanks for reading.
Tags: Armored Hearts, Author Swag, Blog Giveaways, Blog Tours, book giveaways, Book Tours, ebook giveaways, Jaidis Shaw, Juniper Grove Book Solutions, Melissa Turner Lee, Pauline Creeden, Rafflecopter Giveaways, Steampunk, Steampunk Fantasy