First of all, super huge thanks to those who’ve dived into Mission: Improper and got to share an amazing release week with me. It was so much fun, and I’m so glad everyone is enjoying this new spin-off to London Steampunk.
One of my inspirations with this spin-off series was not only to deal with events following the revolution, but also to delve deeper into the world-building, most particularly, the blue blood mythology. After all, what precisely do we know about blue bloods anyway? Heh, heh.
Here’s what people are saying:
‘This book was the craziest of crazies. Baker Street, new characters, old characters, bombs, dhampirs!?, argument, Nighthawks, fleeing the scene, hiding from villains, me crashing from exhaustion after reading this book because I’m floored.’ – Alice on Goodreads
‘Mission: Improper was thrilling and enthralling! The non-stop excitement and intriguing mysteries made it impossible to put the book down. I also found Ingrid and Byrnes irresistible. They were such a saucy pair. I loved the games they played with each other, as well as the verbal sparring. The chemistry between them practically set the pages on fire.’ – Heather, Goodreads
‘The interaction between Byrnes and Ingrid is a-ma-zing with enough sexual tension and sass to keep you turning the pages, but also there is a real relationship that gets explored and unfurls into a serious love. The book is long enough that McMaster has time to work out their differences, but at the same time there is action with the main storyline that thrusts these two characters together into several near death experiences that force, Byrnes especially, to get his head together and realize his feelings. She wrote these two perfectly and I loved the time I got to spend in their world.’ – Rachel, Goodreads
Today I get to share some of the book love over at Whiskey With My Book, in a fun interview
Ever wanted to know where the inspiration for those metal jackets or Cyclops’ came from? Or maybe you want some great sci-fi romance recs? Or even tidbits about my latest series’, the Burned Lands and the Dark Arts? Then check it out here.
DOGS. UGH. WHY?
In other news, I got the joy of taking my dog to the vet yesterday for a check up. She was so excited on the drive, like, yay, we’re going for a run. And then we got there and she gave me these sad betrayed eyes like, WHY???
Today she has barely forgiven me. We had a trade off. I reminded her of how three days ago I had to physically extricate a dirty, slimy teabag from her throat that she had managed to dig out of the compost bin (How? Why??). She still wasn’t very impressed. But at least now I know her vaccinations are up to date and her blood tests came back fine. Trying to wrestle her three times a day to put her eye drops in to clear up a bit of conjunctivitis is not much fun either.
Dogs. Who else would eat a frickin’ used teabag?
Thank you to everyone for making my release day of Mission: Improper such a great day! I’m so glad that everyone is enjoying this new kickstart to the London Steampunk series!
For those potential writers out there–or anyone with an interest–here’s an interview I did with Thisiswriting.com. It’s a great site, with some interesting interviews from some amazing authors, and I truly encourage people to check it out! (I’ve found at least three new authors whose books I intend to read).
Mission: Improper is now out in the wild, and kicks off the second spin-off series to London Steampunk! It’s James Bond meets Dracula…
When Caleb Byrnes receives an invitation to join the Company of Rogues as an undercover agent pledged to protect the crown, he jumps at the chance to find out who, or what, is behind strange disappearances in the East End. The problem? He’s partnered with Ingrid Miller, the fiery and passionate verwulfen woman who won a private bet against him a year ago. Byrnes has a score to settle, but one stolen kiss and suddenly the killer is not the only thing Byrnes is interested in hunting.
Check out the reviews for the book on Goodreads.
Print copies are coming soon!
A couple of readers (and writers) have queried along the way about what my writing process is, so I thought I’d do a post on it.
My aim is to write 3000 words per day (Monday-Friday). I’m not going to lie, sometimes this doesn’t happen. But I always have that goal, and I don’t really beat myself up much if I miss it. I do get to put a dollar in my reward jar if I make it, and if I double that amount, then I get to put $3 in the jar. Current reward I’m aiming at is a massage, so when I get enough reward funds, I can enjoy that. It’s all about tricking the mind, and making little goal-posts along the way. (:
My poor little reward jar is a little empty at the moment
I don’t write one set book at a time. If I had my way, I’d be more likely writing about 4-5. I usually try to sort this out into Project One (the next upcoming release that really needs to be finished), Project Two (most likely the second release forthcoming), Project Three (fiddling around with the plotting and what’s going to happen in this book, maybe writing a scene or two), and Project Four (jotting down the idea, and just the base notes idea).
For example, Mission: Improper (the next release in London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy) started as Project Four in early 2015. I was a little burned out from writing the London Steampunk series, so I deliberately set it aside to go finish some other projects I wanted to publish, and let it dwell. The ‘dwelling’ process is a really important stage in my writing process. Often I’ll daydream through the plot, usually when I’m doing groceries, driving somewhere, or staring at the ceiling at 3am in the morning. It’s all sub-conscious level stuff, and by the time I get around to fleshing out the plot – where it reaches Project Three level – I’ve got most of the plot, characters, storyline figured out.
On a weekly basis:
I usually aim for 2000 words on Project One, in the morning-early afternoon, and as soon as I’ve hit that target, I get to go play with Project Two. It’s not that I love project two more than project one, but when I’m pushing through a book, I often get that ‘Shiny New Idea Syndrome’. I know what I MUST write to finish the project, but I want to go play with other ideas. Most likely because I HAVE to write project one. My brain is sometimes a petulant three year old. This is a way to keep myself accountable, otherwise, I’d never finish a book.
– I’ve just finished Mission: Improper edits, and am waiting on the beta reads back from my trusty beta team, where I can put the final touches on the manuscript, before sending it to proofing. After that, it’s done!
– Which means… Hexbound just got bumped to Project One status. Right now, it’s already clocking in at 70,000 words, so now I get to finish the dirty draft, then polish.
– Project Two: Is now The Last True Hero, featuring McClain, and set in the Burned Lands series. It’s at around 30,000 words, because sometimes I just cannot stop myself from dabbling when it’s in Project Three stage.
– Project Three: Is Ava, and The Mech Who Loved Me. My aim this month is to plot it out roughly (I’m halfway between a plotter and a pantser – where you fly by the seat of your pants – so plotting to me is creating a list of plot points I want to hit in this, and then roughing in a few scenes).
Technically I’m writing about four books at once, regarding on the stage they’re in. (: Every writer has their process, and this works for me.
Another writer recently commented that I seem to be writing a lot faster these days. The truth is, I’m not really. Each book (as it goes through the stages) probably takes about a year to write. But because of my stage process, it just means you’re seeing the releases quickly.
In the case of Nobody’s Hero, most of this book was written in 2009, before London Steampunk even became a glimmer in my eye. The Shadowbound world was conjured about ten years ago, but it just wasn’t working for me at that stage, so I set it aside. So I have a lot of books/series I want to write that have been in the ‘dwelling’ process for a long time.
I think the key thing that works for me is that swinging between projects keeps me fresh and interested in what I’m writing. I also tend to read about 4-5 books at a time (you can find them all over the house), and it depends what mood I’m in when I want to read, as to which one I pick up.
AVAILABLE AUGUST 16TH, 2016
The first in an exciting new series… Mission: Improper kicks off the London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy series. I like to call this my ‘Bond meets Dracula’ book.
Three years ago, London society changed forever, with a revolution placing the widowed Queen firmly on the throne her blue blood husband tried to take from her. Humans, verwulfen and mechs are no longer considered the lesser classes, but not everybody is happy with the new order…
Entire families have gone missing in the East End. When Caleb Byrnes receives an invitation to join the Company of Rogues as an undercover agent pledged to protect the crown, he jumps at the chance to find out who, or what, is behind the disappearances. Hunting criminals is what the darkly driven blue blood does best, and though he prefers to work alone, the opportunity is too good to resist.
The problem? He’s partnered with Ingrid Miller, the fiery and passionate verwulfen woman who won a private bet against him a year ago. Byrnes has a score to settle, but one stolen kiss and suddenly the killer is not the only thing Byrnes is interested in hunting.
Soon they’re chasing whispered rumours of a secret project gone wrong, and a monster that just might be more dangerous than either of them combined. The only way to find out more is to go undercover among the blue blood elite… But when their hunt reveals a mysterious conspiracy, Byrnes and Ingrid must set aside their age-old rivalry if they have any chance at surviving.
First chapter available here…
As some of you who follow me on Facebook might know, I’ve just returned from sunny San Diego… into this dreary, rainy sludge at home that we call the Australian winter.
However, I’m choosing to keep the fond memories of sun and sand right nearby… Ah, palm trees. (I’m also cursing myself for not planning this trip better, and realising that Comic Con was the following week!)
RWA Nationals are a highlight of the year for me, as writing is a solitary life, and it’s so wonderful and inspiring to meet up with other writers and lots of my readers. I would like to thank those readers who travelled for hours just to come to the Literacy Signing on the Wednesday, as it was truly lovely to meet you!
The Literacy Signing was awesome, raised money for a much-needed cause, and I was totally trying to stalk some of my favourite authors. The lines for Nalini Singh were crazy-long, so I missed that opportunity, but managed to snag a signed copy of Shelley Adina’s latest steampunk.
This is me at the signing. So many copies of Of Silk and Steam to give away…
The workshops were amazing, and I’ve learned so many new writerly things, from marketing to craft, to learning how to stay sane in this industry. By the time we got to Saturday night, and the RITA awards, I was planing a massive night but this poor little Aussie fell in a big hole (thanks to some insane flight delays, and lack of sleep all through the week), and crashed and burned not long after it was all over.
Me, feeling glam (because for the other 360 days of the year it’s dressing gown and ugg boots)
MJ Scott and I, waiting for the RITAs to start
No bling required – dress comes with…
However, it was lovely to cheer on fellow Aussie, MJ Scott (also writes contemporary as Mel Scott), who was nominated for a RITA in the paranormal category.
- Love Between the Covers movie premiere
- Beverly Jenkins keynote speech / Beverly Jenkins in Love Between the Covers / basically Beverly Jenkins doing anything during the conference – that woman is hilarious, and yet speaks straight to the heart. I need to read one of her historicals!
- Asa Maria Bradley inviting me along to her little sushi dinner. Thanks for all the laughs ladies!
- The Roxanne St. Clair and Kristen Painter workshop
- The ‘Making of A Cover Shoot’ workshop. See below for evidence of why.
Kim Killion brought her own model for the ‘Making of a Cover Shoot’. You could say all eyes were glued…
It’s been a while since we saw the last London Steampunk. Where is this spin-off going to take us, and what’s in store for this new series arc?
There’s a reason this spin-off series of London Steampunk has a new series title: The Blue Blood Conspiracy. It’s both a part of the first series, and a totally different beast.
That’s also got something to do with the difference in titles. This is a slightly new direction, and MISSION: IMPROPER should give you some idea what this is all about.
After all *POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD* we all know what happened at the end of Of Silk And Steam, don’t we? There were *ahem* changes to the stability of the realm, and our barrage of heroes and heroines from the first story arc succeeded in their plans. And a lot of people asked about what happens next, etc. etc. while this little author sat here rubbing her hands together, going ‘mwahaha.’ You see, I had plans. And they started to surface the second I began writing My Lady Quicksilver. After all, when all the rubble falls, and London gets it’s happy-ever-after, does it really? Really?
So The Blue Blood Conspiracy is all about what happens following the revolution. After all, not everybody’s going to be happy with the new world order. There’s the Echelon to deal with. Quite a few loose ends left over from OSAS, like Leo Barrons’ journal discovery, and a couple of others I won’t name.
Why is this not Charlie Todd’s book? When is Charlie coming?
Sorry guys, but Charlie’s 18 at the end of OSAS. He has a little more growing up to do first. Which unfortunately means he’s coming in at book four – thanks to the schedule of events that need to happen first.
So… describe Mission: Improper in ten words or less.
It’s like ‘James Bond meets Dracula’.
If I had a few more words, it goes a little like this: Fiery verwulfen tempers. A lone wolf hero who has a little debt to repay. Spies. Exhilarating acrobatic endeavours. Some seriously sexy banter. A challenge. Or to be more precise, three challenges. Subject X. Monster hunts. Shirt-ripping. A heroine who is not afraid to go after what she wants. A conspiracy. Stuff like that…
Thing that I’m most excited about?
Byrnes. Wet. Naked… Oops, sorry.
As an author: delving deeper into the world building in a world… and turning it on its head. Just what do we know about blue blood mythology, precisely?
The shirt-ripping scene.
“Maybe it was to prove to myself that I could, hmm?” Ingrid said.
“Or,” his voice lowered to a growl, heat flashing through his pretty blue eyes, “maybe it was because you knew how much it would provoke me.”
“Maybe,” she admitted, sipping her scotch. “Provoking you does get me all hot and bothered.”
Where’s the cover?
Cover reveals and exclusive snippets always go first to my newsletter, so make sure you sign up for all the hot goss!
Print copies for Shadowbound have landed, and look at that cover, isn’t it amazing? Special thanks to Damonza.com for their awesome design work on this series.
Print copies available here.
Nobody’s Hero is out in the wild, and I’m so excited. This kicks off a new series for me: The Burned Lands, which is a planned trilogy. One part Mad Max, one part Walking Dead, one part cursed shifters, and three parts hot, high-intensity romance with a devilish hero and a kick-ass heroine.
So where did it come from?
Well, long before London Steampunk was even a twinkle in my eye, I started playing with this little post-apocalyptic romance (before the Walking Dead even appeared actually), that just wouldn’t leave me alone. I had a hero all mapped out–one Adam McClain–and his heroine, Riley, who’d been looking after herself for years. In order to kickstart the story, Lucius Wade–warg, bad-boy and all-round sexy villain–strolled onscreen to kidnap Riley, and set motions into event for McClain.
One problem: Wade took one look at Riley, and said, ‘She’s mine’, and Riley decided, hey, she was onboard for this too. Poor McClain found himself relegated to side character, and this author decided she could only fight it for so long before she threw her hands up in the air, and went, ‘Fine.’
I wouldn’t say that I’m a plotter, or a pantser (flying by the seat of your pants) author, as I tend to be somewhere in between, but honestly, this story just took hold and wouldn’t take its foot of the pedal.
So… here’s hoping you all enjoy it as much as I did! Buy links are here.
Or if you want to read the first three chapters to get a feel of the story, follow the link.
And don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten Adam McClain! He’s getting his very own story soon (I’m about half completed), followed closely by Johnny Colton.
Here at Casa McMaster we have not one but two new releases for the month of May! We’re kickstarting two new series’, with Shadowbound being the first book in the Dark Arts Series – picture a Victorian paranormal romance, with occult societies, sorcery, demons, and a dangerous deal between two enemies – and Nobody’s Hero is the first book in the Burned Lands trilogy. Both of these worlds and stories have been in my head a long time before Kiss of Steel was even a twinkle in my eye, and I’ve finally had a chance to get them up and running.
Shadowbound is available now at e-retailers. Order via the books page. Print copies should be available in the next couple of weeks. I’m just waiting on the formatting and then the print cover to go through.
Also available is the pre-order for Nobody’s Hero, at e-tailers like iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. Amazon is not available for pre-order, as the time span is too short.
FAQ FOR NOBODY’S HERO
So your last series, London Steampunk, was Victorian-alternate-era steampunky good times. Is Nobody’s Hero anything like that?
Short answer: no.
This is as far as you can get from London Steampunk, although there are a few similarities, like smoking hot sex scenes, crazy intense action, and a bad boy hero who just might be mostly monster himself. Plus the ladies like to kick some serious ass.
Picture a world where a meteor struck, and the skies darkened, and the only people and animals who survived were those who endured life in underground bunkers for five years. Then fast-forward 97 years. Most people are above ground now, but life has changed. It’s every man – or woman – for themselves. No laws beyond what you make yourself, and the only way to survive is to band together against the monsters of the world, be they human, or… otherwise.
In no particular order, it’s all about kidnapped heroines who refuse to stay kidnapped. Reiver gangs. Smexy times. Past betrayals. Some tears. More smexy times. Deadheads. Dynamite. Chases. Escapes. Revenge. Redemption. Stuff like that…
Tell us more about this bad boy hero…
Luc Wade began the story as the villain in my mind. One chapter in, and he was like, “Nope, I’m totally the hero in this one.” We fought it out, but Riley (the heroine) decided she was all on board with his plans. He looks a little like this.
And a kick-ass heroine. That sounds like fun.
Kick-ass. Literally. A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, and in a world where your survival depends upon your shooting skills… well… Let’s just say there is definitely a lot of push-pull between Riley and Wade, when he kidnaps her.
So how do you get a romance between two characters like this?
He had her at ‘Princess.’
Just kidding. That nickname only made her want to kill him even more. No, it might have something to do with that kiss, in the dark…
So, if Wade wasn’t supposed to be the hero, then who was?
That would be Adam McClain, Wade’s onetime best friend and betrayer, wannabe world-saver, and a man hiding his own dark secrets. There might be a little bit of a bromance in here, if they decide not to kill each other first.
Hmm, that looks like a wolf on the cover… So is this a shifter story?
Define shifter. If you’re talking about wolf packs and alphas and betas… then no. If you’re talking about men who are forced to deal with the monster within… then yes.
“Kidnapping you was the worst mistake I ever made.”
Don’t forget that The Many Lives of Hadley Monroe is also available! This short story was included in the Mammoth Book of Southern Gothic Romance two years ago, but is now available as a novella! (Plus the cover is gorgeous).
Happy reading! xx