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5 Elements of Steampunk & Why You Should Add it to Your TBR List1. Beautiful World-Building – Gif – http://gph.is/2cWUDl8
By Pauline Creeden
By Pauline Creeden
Steampunk is science fiction which takes place in the past. An alternate history where inventions, gadgets, and personal conveniences do not belong, and yet, are there. Often these inventions are powered by steam, hydraulics, clockwork, gyroscopic action, or pretty much anything but gasoline. The author has to create a beautiful Victorian setting where mechanical items exist that shouldn’t in Victorian history.
2. Strong Female Characters – Gif – https://media.giphy.com/media/l0HlzsBr1ItdlhWYE/giphy.gif
It was in the Victorian era that feminism grew by leaps and bounds and the suffrage movement gained major traction. Because of the strong influences of women in the time period in which steampunk has its roots, they tend to take centerstage in the interpretation of this genre. Who doesn’t like a woman who steals the show or takes charge?
3. Action and Adventure – Gif – http://gph.is/1yx3IFz
What would inventive fiction be without an inventive plotline? In Steampunk you will find a bit of drama, a bit of fantasy, a tad of mystery, but generally, you’ll find adventure that expands the horizons of your imagination… often viewed from an airship or mechanical animal.
4. Fun Fashion and Costumes – Gif – http://gph.is/1Q2OnRm
Not many genres can boast an entire theme of Cosplay. People love to dress in steampunk fashions for Comic Cons, book conventions, Halloween, and parties. Even the high fashion world has runway shows dedicated to this style of dressing. Go to Etsy and search “steampunk” you’ll find all sorts of fun things to wear while you read.
5. It’s More Familiar Than You Think
The gifs in this post are all from movies or shows you may have watched: Wild Wild West with Will Smith, Stardust with Claire Danes, the animated film, Howl’s Moving Castle, and episodes of Dr. Who. If you’ve loved any of these shows, you’ve already gotten a taste of Steampunk. Don’t pass up the chance to read a book or watch a movie just because of the clever combination of past and present themes. Give it a try and you may find yourself a new fan of the genre!
Find Pauline Online:
More Than Skin Deep
by New York Times bestselling author Margo Bond Collins
The door of the Fort Worth, Texas, Shifter Shield office slammed open, hitting the wall behind it so hard I was afraid it would leave a dent. A couple dashed in and shut the door behind them. The man threw the bolt locks and scanned the rest of our limited additional security. While he did this, the woman strode up to the desk and purposefully placed both hands flat on the surface. She leaned forward, almost into my personal space, and said, “We need to see the lamia.”
I assumed she meant me—as I was the only adult snake-shifter in the area, and perhaps in existence, she almost had to. However, the enormous ax sticking up over her head from between her shoulder blades suggested that perhaps I didn’t need to see them—not without getting a sense of who they were and why they were invading my workspace.
I work with frantic people for a living, though. I pulled on my counselor face—smooth, bland, and only mildly interested in whatever it was that had gotten my clients (or in this case, the ax-wielding blonde and her boyfriend) stirred up.
I leaned back in the office chair and tented my fingers in front of me. “Why?”
“She is the only one we can speak to,” the woman ground out from between clenched teeth.
I raised one eyebrow and waited. It was a technique I found I used as much as a Shield as I did in my other job as a children’s counselor. People want to fill silences. In the meantime, I used the few seconds of quiet as an opportunity to study the pair.
In terms of appearance, they were exact opposites. She was leggy, but small, with incredibly pale skin and long hair so blond it was almost white.
He was taller, a light-skinned black man with luminous brown eyes. Pulling in a breath across the half-shifted Jacobson’s organ in the top of my mouth, I parsed out what I could of their scents. They were obviously lovers, their individual scents interwoven so completely that it was difficult to differentiate them.
Difficult, but not impossible.
He was some kind of shifter—something I’d never smelled before—and she was… Well, she was baseline human. There was something else there that I had never encountered before, though. To my weresnake senses, it smelled wild, but didn’t taste like anything shifter or animal. But it carried that fizz along the edge, like a lightly carbonated drink, that suggested it belonged to the paranormal.
Yeah—whatever she was, she was definitely supernatural.
“Maybe I can help you?” I asked, working to keep my voice low and my tone mild.
They exchanged a look full of information that I couldn’t interpret, and then the man stepped up. “We must speak to the lamia. She is, we believe, the only one who might believe us—might trust us.” His voice was musical, the word spoken in the accent of some African country.
I chewed on the inside of my bottom lip as I considered the couple in front of me. I inhaled another breath, trying to taste intentions in the air molecules. All of my own senses were telling me that they were nervous, but not actively hiding anything. They weren’t lying. They definitely thought I would be able to help them.
After a long moment, I nodded and sat up straight. “I’m Lindi Parker. I’m the one you’re looking for.”
Shifting’s only skin deep. Terror goes to the bone.
Having eliminated the shifter community’s stalker and agreed to care for a pile of new baby lamias, child counselor and weresnake Lindi Parker believes she’ll be able to settle into her newly domestic life with her mongoose-shifter boyfriend, Kade Nevala.
But she didn’t count on being on duty at her new job as a Shifter Shield when a hyena-shifter shows up requesting asylum—along with his girlfriend. She’s a Hunter from a hereditary clan of monster trackers, and a semi-mythical figure of dread among shifters. Worse, they have an entire werewolf pack after them, howling for their blood.
And now they’re coming for Lindi, too.