Tag Archives: steampunk

Book Review Sanctuary

Title: Sanctuary

Author: Makayla Love

Genre: Steampunk / Post-Apocalyptic

Shiloh isn’t adjusting well to her new life in Ironbridge. Life isn’t how she always imagined it would be, and every day is harder than the last. Things only get worse when a small family on their way to a settlement called “Sanctuary” shows up on Shiloh’s doorstep looking for an escort the rest of the way. But Sanctuary isn’t all its supposed to be.

When they find themselves trapped, every second becomes a fight for survival. Can they find a way out before one of them falls to a mad tyrant? Or will their little group be broken up forever?

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Review: “Sanctuary” is the second book in the Titanomachy Series. I didn’t read book one before reading this book, but I didn’t really have any trouble following the story. I do prefer to read books in order, but here it wasn’t necessary to enjoy the story.

Shiloh’s life is far from easy, and she has trouble adjusting. When a family shows up on her doorstep, asking her to escort them to a settlement named Sanctuary, Shiloh is reluctant at first. When their quest becomes a struggle for survival, Shiloh will have to learn how to rely on others in order to survive.

I don’t want to give too much away from the plot, but I do have to say that the world building stood out the most for me. It was amazing. This world is vast, rich, complex, sometimes very ugly and sometimes very beautiful. The writing was strong too, flowing from one scene into the next at just the right pace.

 

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Release Blitz Halaya

About the Book

Title: Halayda

Author: Sarah Delena White

Genre: Mythology / Steampunk

A mortal alchemist. A faerie king. A bond that transcends death.

Betrayed by a trusted mentor, Sylvie Imanthiya hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. She lives for the one night each season when she can see her dearest friend—a man whose destiny is far above hers.

King Taylan Ashkalabek knows better than to exchange halayda vows with a mortal. Even their friendship is a risk; love is an impossible dream. Then a brutal alchemical attack poisons his realm, unearthing a dark power within him—and leaving Sylvie with the ancient mark of Faerie’s savior.

Manifesting unpredictable abilities and aided by allies with their own secrets, Sylvie and Taylan journey into the wilds of Faerie to heal the damage and confront Casimir, an invincible star-fae determined to claim the realm as his own. But only their enemy knows Sylvie’s true capabilities—and Taylan’s weaknesses—and how to use them in his vicious schemes.

Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed.

Author Bio

Sarah Delena White writes eclectic speculative fiction that reworks mythology with a fine balance of poetry and snark. She’s an experienced world traveler who loves to weave world folklore and ancient concepts into vibrant, original story worlds. She is the Benevolent Firebird (acquisitions editor) for Uncommon Universes Press. When she’s not writing or editing, she can be found making jewelry, singing Irish ballads, drinking tea, and working a variety of odd jobs. She can be bribed with dark chocolate.

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Website: http://sarahdelenawhite.com

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Book Review Song of the Oceanides

kindle-oceanides-coverTitle: Song of the Oceanides

Author: JG Zymbalist

Genre: YA/NA fantasy/steampunk

Song of the Oceanides is a quirky but poignant coming-of-age tale about children, Martians, freaky Martian hummingbird moths, and alluring sea nymphs.

The first thread relates the suspenseful tale of a Martian girl, Emmylou, stranded in Maine where she is relentlessly pursued by the Pinkerton Detective Agency’s Extraterrestrial-Enigma Service.  The second thread concerns her favorite Earthling comic-book artist, Giacomo Venable, and all his misadventures and failed romances.  The final thread deals with a tragic young lad, Rory Slocum, who, like Emmylou, loves Giacomo’s comic books and sees them as a refuge from the sea nymphs or Oceanides incessantly taunting and tormenting him.

As much as anything, the triple narrative serves to show how art may bring together disparate pariahs and misfits—and give them a fulcrum for friendship and sense of communal belonging in a cruel world

Art is central in Song of the Oceanides, a mix of fantasy and steampunk, but mostly a coming-of-age story connecting very different people through art. It’s a powerful book, one that instantly hooks the reader and makes them wonder about the characters, about their journey, and about the fictional worlds the author has created. Once I started reading, I had trouble putting the book down – considering it’s a rather large book, I had to take a few breaks, but I kept wondering what would happen next while I did.

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Guest Post Song of the Oceanides

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Guest Post: My Humble Editing Process

J.G. Źymbalist

 

Because I keep lots of journals and idea books, it’s never any trouble for me to find plenty of notes and concepts upon which to base a story arc. After completing said framework, that’s when the hard part begins.

     So what do I do?

     First I hire a developmental editor who examines the story arc and points out all the weaknesses. As arduous as this stage is, I always do it. This is because I know that the more vigorously I prepare, the easier the rough draft will flow. Sharpen the axe, and the tree cutting won’t be so trying. (I do apologize to all tree lovers for that previous metaphor.)

     After writing the rough draft, I’m right back to editing—that is to say, content editing. And for me, content editing is just a highfalutin term for hiring a published writer to read my rough draft and to mark up all the margins noting whatever problems he or she detects. I never skip this crucial stage because every craft element must be right: character, plot, setting, dialogue, movement of time, and tone.

     When I get the rough draft back from the content editor, I begin the task of redrafting. This is the stage in which the book really gets written, and because of that, redrafting is always very difficult. I suppose if it were not so, I wouldn’t be doing it right. But I think I redraft properly because for me the process is always exhausting and not a little bit maddening.

     At some point, the exhaustion and madness get to be too much. That’s when I give up and send everything off to the line editor. But I never use a mere line editor. For me, it is important to hire a published novelist or fiction writer to do the line editing. This is because he or she can also serve as a kind of second reader who will note any lingering content problems.

     Finally we turn to proofreading. This is a luxury for indie authors and can feel really expensive after all the content and line editing. I suppose this is why most indie authors (myself included) opt for repeated obsessive compulsive spell-check examinations of the text in lieu of actually hiring a proofreader. Still any author must be aware of any spell-check software’s limitations. The software will invariably miss certain things. For example, if you’ve inadvertently typed “bold eagle” when you wanted to say “bald eagle,” the spell checker won’t necessarily grasp the problem. It is up to you to read the final draft and to find the little glitches like that.

     Sadly it’s impossible to find them all, but so what? I put the thing out anyway. It would be tragic to let editing and proofreading bog me down to the point of paralysis. At a certain point, I must let go. Leonardo said it best: ‘A work of art is never finished. It is abandoned.’

About the Book

kindle-oceanides-coverTitle: Song of the Oceanides

Author: JG Zymbalist

Genre: YA/NA fantasy/steampunk

Song of the Oceanides is a quirky but poignant coming-of-age tale about children, Martians, freaky Martian hummingbird moths, and alluring sea nymphs.

The first thread relates the suspenseful tale of a Martian girl, Emmylou, stranded in Maine where she is relentlessly pursued by the Pinkerton Detective Agency’s Extraterrestrial-Enigma Service.  The second thread concerns her favorite Earthling comic-book artist, Giacomo Venable, and all his misadventures and failed romances.  The final thread deals with a tragic young lad, Rory Slocum, who, like Emmylou, loves Giacomo’s comic books and sees them as a refuge from the sea nymphs or Oceanides incessantly taunting and tormenting him.

As much as anything, the triple narrative serves to show how art may bring together disparate pariahs and misfits—and give them a fulcrum for friendship and sense of communal belonging in a cruel world

Author Bio

J.G. Źymbalist is the pseudonym of a very reclusive author who grew up in Ohio and West Germany.  He began writing Song of the Oceanides as a child when his family summered in Castine, Maine where they rented out Robert Lowell’s house.  There, inspired by his own experiences with school bullying and childhood depression, the budding author began to conceive the tale.

For several years, J.G. Źymbalist lived in the Old City of Jerusalem where he night clerked at a series of Palestinian youth hostels.  There he wrote the early draft of an as yet unpublished Middle-Eastern NA fantasy.  Returning from the Middle East, he completed an M.F.A. in poetry at Sarah Lawrence College.

The author returned to Song of the Oceanides while working for the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society, May-September, 2005.  He completed the full draft in Ellsworth, Maine later that year.

He has only recently decided to self-publish a few of his previous works.  Foreword Reviews has called his writing “innovative fiction with depth,” and Kirkus Indie has called his style “a lovely, highly descriptive prose that luxuriates in the details and curios of his setting.”

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