With Jim’s blessing, I’m auctioning off an autographed Advance Readers Copy of Jim Butcher’s CINDER SPIRES #1: THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS to raise money to help adorable doggies!  The auction also includes prints of my three maps for the series, which didn’t make it into the ARC!  Bid here.  Auction ends August 14th!


Great stuff for a good cause!

Review of Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster

Kiss of Steel is a mix of fantasy, romance and steampunk. It has vampires and werewolves, albeit in altered forms, as well as mystery, danger, intrigue and, of course, romance.

The writing is excellent, the world is interesting, and the characters are layered. The story is gripping, the romance remains a part of the overall story rather than being the story, and the action is non-stop.

Definitely a book worth reading.  Not your cookie-cutter vampire story!

I give it 4 stars.

(See rating system at )


As an aside, this book was recommended to me as an example of good steampunk. The steampunk parts seemed more background color than an integral part of the story. If steampunk if the main thing you are looking for, I would say keep looking.

Review of Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, illustrated by Keith Thompson

Leviathan was recommended to me as a good example of the Steampunk genre. Before I read a word, I was drawn in by Keith Thompson’s wonderful artwork. (Sorry for the pun, it was unintentional!)

The phrases made up to replace swearing were a bit jarring at first. They didn’t flow with the narrative smoothly and Deryn’s patios tended to distract me from the story. I had a bit of trouble getting into the book due to this, but after the first 100 pages I was hooked by the story itself. The plot is more broad strokes than fine lines, but it is a YA book so I’m okay with the lack of subtlety as long as the story is good.

The idea of Darwinists versus Clankers is interesting and the main characters are plucky young people trying to do the right things when their respective individual worlds have been thrown into upheaval.

A good Steampunk story accompanied by excellent artwork is a hard combination to beat.

The afterword detailing the differences between actual history and the alternate history was appreciated.

I give it 4 stars.

(See rating system at )