Posts Tagged ‘Alternate history’

Cover release, At the Table of Wolves

So pleased to share the lovely cover of my next book, a paranormal spy novel! The book will be published by Saga Press on July 11, 2017, and is available for pre-order at your favorite e-retailers.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy meets X-Men in a classic British espionage story. A young woman must go undercover and use her superpowers to discover a secret Nazi plot and stop an invasion of England.

In 1936, there are paranormal abilities that have slowly seeped into the world, brought to the surface by the suffering of the Great War. The research to weaponize these abilities in England has lagged behind Germany, but now it’s underway at an ultra-secret site called Monkton Hall.

Kim Tavistock, a woman with the talent of the spill—drawing out truths that people most wish to hide—is among the test subjects at the facility. When she wins the confidence of caseworker Owen Cherwell, she is recruited to a mission to expose the head of Monkton Hall—who is believed to be a German spy.

As she infiltrates the upper-crust circles of some of England’s fascist sympathizers, she encounters dangerous opponents, including the charismatic Nazi officer Erich von Ritter, and discovers a plan to invade England. No one believes an invasion of the island nation is possible, not Whitehall, not even England’s Secret Intelligence Service. Unfortunately, they are wrong, and only one woman, without connections or training, wielding her Talent of the spill and her gift for espionage, can stop it.

My Victorian World

What does a Victorian world look like? Science fiction and fantasy authors have created a rich variety, from Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate to Mark Hodder’s Burton & Swinburne series, just a couple random picks from that great range of steampunk offerings.

Here is a glimpse of my own Victorian world, in A Thousand Perfect Things.

Big ben reversedOn the surface . . . my Victorian world is a recognizable one, with elegance, manor houses, and women seeking good matches. It is a world of carriages and colonialism, matchmaking and manor houses. My alternate England is a land where science reigns supreme, but where a woman, no matter how brilliant, cannot be admitted to the realm of science.

On the other hand . . . not all is so calm. Read More…

Tori Harding: A Victorian Heroine

While writers strive for a dramatic plot, stories are always about people and their relationships to each other. Here’s a character sketch from my notebook on the protagonist of A Thousand Perfect Things. Available in paper and the eBook at $5.99.

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In 1857 Tori Harding is eighteen years old. She lives in world where magic has lately invaded her country, escaping from a mystical continent called Bharata.

shadowsTori is a devoted student of her grandfather, Sir Charles Littlewood/ She has a passionate love of science and especially botany, a discipline learned from Sir Charles. She suffers from a club foot, and this infirmity has oddly made it acceptable for her to train in science, since she has little hope of marriage.

Far too used to expressing her opinions, Tori can be brash in social settings, something she tries (a little) to control for the sake of her sister (Jessa’s) need for a suitable match and in light of her mother’s relentless social agenda to brighten Jessa’s hopes. Read More…

My novel meets the hated elevator pitch

The dread question comes at the oddest moments: You’re going about your business, about to sip your cappuccino, or riding in an elevator, believing you are relatively safe, and then, wham: What’s your novel about?

Authors hate this. You have to give a glimpse of your book in a sentence or two. Agony. Don’t make me do this right this second. Let me warm up a bit.

Pitch #1

A Thousand Perfect Things, just out, is a historical fantasy set in an alternate 19th century England and India. It’s an Iravathaadventure story that takes place in 1857 against a background of a colonial uprising in India. My major character, Tori Harding, is a young woman who, because of her gender, is denied entrance into the rarified circles of science–though she learned her beloved botany at the knee of her famous grandfather, Sir Charles Littlewood. When Sir Charles dies in disgrace, Tori picks up his secret hope to find a legendary magical golden lotus. She pursues this quest on a great journey to an alternate India, where she enters the exotic heart of a mystical continent. There she must fend off a ruthless colonial Raj, palace intrigues, shape changing magics, ancient ghosts . . . and revolution.

But way too long. Let’s boil it down. Read More…

Character sketch: Elizabeth Platt

Platt, E large

Mrs. Lily Langtree, a painting by George Frederic Watts. This is a younger version of Elizabeth Platt, as I imagine her.

The teacher.

41 years old, Elizabeth Platt is a veteran of Anglic public schools and a fierce partisan of universal education. She joins the caravan crossing the Great Bridge to the mystical continent of Bharata, fearlessly protecting her beloved wagon of books and taking the side of Tori Harding as she attempts to break with convention and pursue her magical quest. She swears she will never marry but is happy to take lovers, a shocking concept to Tori as is her habit of using a “tincture” of zinc sulfate. “One rinse and there will be no conception!”

On her sojourn Elizabeth will face off with kraken, monster birds and a bloody insurgency–but nothing can compare to the horror of her own actions in one unalterable moment. Read More…