On the fourth Day of Christmas the Book World gave to me....
Four Steampunk Stories
And the notice of a best selling book!
And the notice of a best selling book!
I have a guest today, and if you've been around here any length of time, you know her. Stacy is one of my very favorite people and long time writer friend. We may have met online, but we ended up real life friends several years ago—soul sisters of sorts, intent on causing the world a little more mischief and laughter because... you know... people don't just play enough.
Stacy has had a STELLAR year as a debut author. She's been writing a long time, but was timid on sending things out until she discovered a TRICK... There are publishers who look for something specific now and again and post calls for submission. She has responded to several of these BRILLIANTLY, and because she is willing to stretch and grow, she has also learned to write in some different genres.
This fall (since August) she has had three novellas published, all romance, but the first was Sci-Fi, the second traditional and this one (I've read them all and love them all, but THIS is my favorite) Steampunk.
This one is part of an anthology with three other stories and I will let Stacy tell you a little more about it all! Welcome Stacy!!!
First off, I would like to thank Hart Johnson for allowing me to invade her space so I can gab about my latest project, a Christmas steampunk romance called CRIME WAVE IN A CORSET, published by Harlequin’s digital-first imprint, Carina Press. Just so you know, I think Hart might have a vested interest in this project, since she did a wonderful job in beta-reading it. Thank for everything you do, Your Tartness! *tacklehugs*
How CRIME WAVE was Born:
Well, first you take a daddy, then you take a mommy… (Do you all remember that talk? I’m still traumatized. *shudder*)
As to how this particular project finally got itself written, the answer is pretty straightforward. Last March the executive editor of Carina Press, Angela James, sent out an innocuous Tweet: Open call for submissions for Christmas Steampunk antho—deadline May 15th.
At this point, I had no idea who Angela was, or that Carina Press was Harlequin, a publishing house I had long given up on. All I cared about were those two luscious little words—OPEN CALL.
Did you know I’m somewhat notorious for being an open-call whore? Yeah. I’m not too proud to admit it.
As luck would have it, I’d been having trouble stifling a random character for quite some time. This character had no home or any real story behind her; all I knew was that she was a thief. No, wait. Not just a thief. She was a brilliant, gadget-making, ice-water-in-the-veins kind of thief who made the Mission: Impossible crew look like ham-handed amateurs. But she didn’t have a frame. The chick was totally out of context, so no matter how much of a pain she was trying to get my attention, I kept kicking her to the curb where she belonged.
Then I read the call for steampunk submissions, and in a heartbeat Cornelia Peabody finally had a home. She was a loner, on the prowl for the next big score. But I couldn’t make her a total meanie, so she targeted faceless institutions and their goodies, rather than individuals who had prized possessions they couldn’t live without. But ultimately her life of crime had to bite her in the bum, and that was where the vengeful love interest, Roderick, suddenly appeared. He’s on a mission to make Cornelia steal back what she took from him, and he’s got a few tricks up his own sleeve to make sure she does it.
The Antho Sisters
We don’t sing, or dance, or perform for the troops (well, at least I don’t… though I want to, now that I’m talking about it). The one thing we do is promote. I’m squeaky-new to the publishing business, but JK Coi, PG Forte and Jenny Schwartz have been at this business for years. Almost from the time we found out the name of our Christmas steampunk anthology—A CLOCKWORK CHRISTMAS—Jenny was emailing everyone on how we needed to coordinate. By the end of that first week, PG had set up a private author’s loop on Yahoo, and promos/interviews were lined up with several online review sites, because JK seems to know everyone.
I did my part by being the comic relief. :P
Carina Press knows how to do the splashy promos as well. They introduced A CLOCKWORK CHRISTMAS this past summer at New York ComicCon, and its various holiday anthology authors (all 12 of them) were highlighted at Books On Board with our very own Carina Press/Harlequin web page. (FYI… if you take a quick peek at the FAQs, you’ll see a couple of familiar names under my “Recommended Read” section—I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to mention Hart Johnson/Alyse Carlson and Riley Adams/Elizabeth Spann Craig, because they are all sorts of AWESOME). It’s been great, this whirlwind of activity, and through every step I’ve had JK, PG and Jenny helping me along.
But Enough About Me…
Let talk about CRIME WAVE IN A CORSET!
Roderick Coddington is on a mission to make Cornelia Peabody pay. After identifying her as the thief who stole a priceless Faberge egg from his dying sister, he finds her and shackles a deadly timepiece to her arm. If she doesn’t return the egg by Christmas morning, she will die.
Normally seven days is more than enough time for Cornelia to carry out the perfect crime, but Roderick’s intrusion into her life is beyond distracting. He challenges her mind, and ignites her body with desire she’s never felt before. But worst of all, he threatens the independence she values above all else…
As Roderick spends time with Cornelia, he realizes there’s a lonely soul hidden beneath her beautiful but criminal veneer. Falling for a thief wasn’t part of Roderick’s plan, but plans can change and he has no intention of letting another priceless treasure get away from him.
(Now, don’t you want to read that? Of course you do! :D)
Okay, Let’s Talk About Me Some More…
Come to find out, reviews are scary. Whenever I get a Google Alert that CRIME WAVE IN A CORSET has popped up somewhere on the web, I can’t look. Then I can’t not look (insanity, thy name is WRITER). Thankfully though, the reviews have been pretty darned spiffy. And I can prove it!
Library Journal—“ Gail’s Crime Wave stands out”
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer—“ My favorite tale is Stacy Gail’s Crime Wave in a Corset. I adore the spunky, intelligent wit of Cornelia. The chemistry between her and Roderick is delightful. The plot was exciting and I would love to read a full length version of this story.”
Kiki Howell for SUSPENSE MAGAZINE—“With any anthology—and this one was a great one on the whole because I liked each story for different reasons—you still have one tale that just sweeps you away more than the others. For me, it was the first story, Crime Wave in a Corset by Stacy Gail.”
NYT Best-selling author, Shannon Stacey—“ I got to read an advance copy of this story and it’s one of my favorite reads of 2011. Top three, I’d say off-hand, without looking at everything I read this year… Once I got about ¾ through, my house could have been on fire and the firefighters would have had to carry me out still reading because I never looked up from the Kindle.” Goodreads review ( way happy about this one. I happy-danced until I threw my back out, but it was soooooo worth it.)
So, in Closing…
Um… well, that’s pretty much it. CRIME WAVE IN A CORSET is now out in all its steampunk glory, both as an ebook and as an audiobook at Audible.com. And who knows? If everything goes right (and I can arm-twist Hart Johnson into beta-reading once again), this is just my first step into a Victorian-era world with a gritty, vaguely sci-fi twist. A perfect world for the likes of the ingenious Cornelia Peabody, as well as a few other characters who have nudged their way to the fore. Like I mentioned earlier, some characters are pushy like that. ;)
P.S. Am I the only one who has pushy people in her head? Or are you like that as well?
Buy Links for CRIME WAVE IN A CORSET (because I have to sell this, yo):
Barnes and Noble
Look at those reviews! I'm not even remotely surprised. Have you noticed that Crime Wave and Clock Work have the same letters? (yeah, okay, so that's arbitrary...) Anyway, I wish you and your sisters the best of luck with this and definitely recommend this to all of you!!!