Release Party and a Letter to Mom

Join us for the Official Release Party for Jeffrey Cook’s DAWN OF STEAM: FIRST LIGHT on Saturday, May 17th 4-8:30pm at AFK Elixirs and Eatery in Renton, WA. Dress in your Steampunk finery or just come along for the ride. Jeff will be on hand to sign copies and talk to his fans. I’m one! Check out his book and you’ll find out why. – Sheri J Kennedy

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Jeffrey Cook, Featured Author shares an excerpt from DAWN OF STEAM: FIRST LIGHT – A Letter Home:


Letter from Heathsville, Northumberland County, Virginia Colony Archives,
Wright Collection.

September 28, 1815

Mother! (and Daddy too!)

I hope all is well down on the farm. Did you get hit by the Great Gale last week? I do hope the orchards are doing well.

We were hit by the Gale while in the air. Don’t you go panicking, although I will admit I did so while it was all going on. Jillian and I entangled ourselves in the railing and clung on. Cousin James and darling Eddy were braver then brave, and I’m sure that Captain Fisher (who *tied *himself tothe *wheel*) saved us all. Samantha Bowe (Dr. Bowe’s daughter, you remember) showed her family’s true grit when she leapt from the ship to fetch back our ship’s boy, the captain’s ward. She arrived in New York looking like a drowned swamp rat, but with a whole Matthew and herself in a
state.

We’re in New York for a bit more, doing repairs and insulating. We had
frozen pipes while looking at waterways up north, and we’ll not be able to
rely on constant water supplies inland. The crew is fully capable of
wrapping pipes, so I’ve been replacing ropes with cables where they connect
the envelope to the carriage. Those ropes were snapping right and left
during the storm. (No panicking, Mother.) That’s how we lost our first
mate. (You either, Daddy.)

Jillian is fully in her in town mode, here in New York. Her fashion dolls
for autumn and winter came here to the main post office and were waiting
for us. Of course, not content to be the most fashionable person in New
York, she’s gone bigger. She’s hosting a fundraiser tea for the soldiers
injured in New Orleans (you’ve had that news, right?). She’ll share her
fashion dolls with all the best Ladies of New York in return for the
sentiments on behalf of those brave men. The Ladies are glad to pay to be
around Jillian and be seen supporting the cause, and James is thrilled that
she’s keeping New Orleans and the cause in people’s minds. I am fixing the
ship rather then attending, as the ship is the priority, and we leave as
soon as it’s finished. I am still trying to fully reconcile myself to that.

It’s odd, I suppose, to be back in the Americas and not have stopped by to
say hello. I swear (using only the most lady-like language to do so,
Mother) that we flew almost straight over the plantation on the way down to
New Orleans, or was it the way back up? Anyway, if you saw a dirigible, it
could have been us, but we didn’t stop, as we are so behind, and running
before the frost. (Speaking of Frosts, Daddy should ask one of the College
Professors about Tambora. Scary stuff. Harvest early.)

In response to Mother’s letter, yes, I was in the same location as the
Queen of France, but no, I do not believe that she remembers me. That was
quite the night, before the men hustled us back to the ship. The men went
back out again, but Mrs. Fisher was so in shock about the whole thing that
she added Port to our tea, not even just brandy. Imagine that!

We go west next. We’ll likely beat the post to St. Louis. I have no
forwarding address to give you, for you cannot send mail to be held at the
Pacific Coast. Perhaps New Orleans, or New York?

Give my love to everyone, and ask the dear Reverend to light a candle in
the name of my crew every Sunday.

Your Loving Daughter,

Harriet Wright

Thanks, Norwescon!

It was great to meet and talk to so many of you at Norwescon. I’m looking forward to hearing from those of you who are considering finishing your manuscripts and publishing your novels. Keep us posted on your progress. It’s so inspiring to hear how many writers have stories ready to get out to readers in the near future. We’ll be glad to offer support and share our experience with you. Feel free to contact us with questions or to announce your releases.

I also enjoyed learning from other writers at panels and by talking at our table. And we’re excited so many of you exchanged cards with us and took an interest in looking up our books to read soon. It was a fun, friendly, art-filled time. Thanks! Here are some fun pictures from Sunday at Con…       -Kennedy J. Quinn

Dawn of Steam: First Light – Character Profile of Sam Bowe

This Author, Jeffrey Cook will be with us at NORWESCON on APRIL 17-20th!

DAWN OF STEAM: FIRST LIGHT

Gregory Conan Watts has been hired to prove the impossible. To do so, he’s expected to assemble a crew that includes war heroes, carnies, respectable women, and one wilderness scout who may or may not be entirely insane.They’ll have the best of 1815 technology: a state-of-the-art airship and the steam-powered battle suit that almost single-handedly brought down Napoleon’s alliance. Finding vast uncharted wonders Gregory’s not even sure are there sounded complicated enough; he wasn’t expecting naturaldisasters, outright sabotage … or another war.

 

Character Profile: Sam Bowe

Birthplace: Louisiana Territory
Age: ??
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Height: 1.77m (5’9″)
Weight: 79.1 kg (174 lbs.)
AgedStupidAd2The only child of the legendary Dr. Bowe avoids mentioning what Sam is
short for unless it’s completely necessary. When she does find it necessary
to reveal that information, dealing with civilized people of the era,
especially several on the ship, becomes occasionally much harder. Sam would
not know ladylike behavior if it bit her.
Sam acts as the group’s guide for much of the journey once she’s recruited.
Having traveled with her father before some unspecified event, perhaps
simply his retirement, she claims to know a lot of the territory they will
be traveling through. Along the way, Sam demonstrates remarkable manual
dexterity, quickness, stamina, and strength – relying on these gifts
instead of the technology or learning more familiar to most of the others.
This changes only when she adopts (or perhaps is adopted by) an oddly
intelligent ornithopter which answers to whistles, basic commands, and the
name Bubsy. While Sam knows guns reasonably well, she still prefers to use
knives – and makes up for this apparent disadvantage by using them very,
very well.
Author’s Notes: Sam Bowe and Jillian Coltrane acted in concert to really
start the idea of the book rolling. The two of them, with their associated
skills and secrets, arrived mostly formed, if nameless, in one of those
brief moments of geek inspiration. Nothing else came so easily, but the two
in contrast and occasional opposition (but more often, slightly reluctant
alliance) became the foundation everything else was built on.
Sam is a throwback. If Jillian’s mind and style would be more at home in
the Steampunk 1880s than the 1810s, Sam has her roots firmly in the ages of
expansive wilderness and dark corners of the world. Despite not being “with
the times,” she has her own gifts that make her perfectly suited to that
world, which is starting to disappear with the arrival of the supposedly
more enlightened age.

With thanks to the wonderful Frankie
Sunflower

DAWN OF STEAM: FIRST LIGHT is now available in paperback and Kindle

Follow the book on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads

Find out more about Featured Author, Jeffrey Cook

BOOK RELEASE PARTY!!!  May 17th at AFK Elixirs and Eatery in Renton, WA      Stay tuned for more information closer to the event date.

 

Norwescon! – FVP Authors will Be There

Be sure to look for some of our Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Steampunk authors at Norwescon on April 17-20. Authors Jeffrey Cook, Rachel Barnard, Kennedy J. Quinn and Thomas Alexander will be there in person, and you can find out more about books from David S. Moore and Victoria Bastedo. Stop in at our author table and say Hello.

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New Release: Dawn of Steam: First Light, by Jeffrey Cook and Sarah Symonds

Jeffrey Cook’s
early-era Steampunk novel, Dawn of Steam: First Light, is Now Available in paperback and Kindle.

New Release: Dawn of Steam: First Light, by Jeffrey Cook and Sarah Symonds

In 1815, in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, two of England’s
wealthiest lords place a high-stakes wager on whether a popular set of
books, which claim that the author has traveled to many unknown corners of
the globe, are truth or, more likely, wild fiction. First Light is an
epistolary novel, told primarily through the eyes of former aide-de-camp
Gregory Conan Watts, describing the journeys of the airship Dame Fortuna
and its crew through journals and letters to his beloved fiancee. The first
recruit is, necessarily, the airship’s owner: war hero, famed genius, and
literal knight in steam-powered armor Sir James Coltrane. Persuading him to
lend his talents and refitted airship to the venture requires bringing
along his sister, his cousin, and the crew that flew with him during the
Napoleonic Wars. Only with their aid can they track down a Scottish
rifleman, a pair of shady carnies, and a guide with a strong personal
investment in the stories. When they set out, the wild places of the world,
including the far American West, the Australian interior, darkest Africa,
and other destinations are thought to be hostile enough. No one expects the
trip to involve a legendary storm – or the Year Without a Summer of
1815-1816. The voyage is further complicated by the human element. Some
parties are not at all happy with the post-war political map. Most
problematic of all, the crew hired by the other side of the wager seem
willing to win by any means necessary. Dawn of Steam: First Light follows
these adventurers, as they open up the world. In the process, their journey
helps lay the foundations for an age of enlightenment and technology to
come.

 

March 22nd, 1815

The skies of Western England

50�47’N 03�21’W

My Dearest Cordelia,

You cannot begin to imagine the views afforded by travel aboard these
military dirigibles. While the first day was quite difficult in many ways,
that time has passed, and now I am finding myself quite at home aboard this
wondrous vehicle. I spend what time I can spare holding tight to the rails
outside and admiring the grounds below, though we are now quite near the coast
and can see the choppy waters in the distance. Until one has had this
amazing perspective, it is hard to imagine the true meaning of “as far as
the eye can see,” for there are times the ground below seems to stretch on
forever. Entire villages and even towns seem tiny by comparison to the
sheer scope of vision offered by being so high above our beloved home.

We were not able to travel particularly close to London, to my regret, in
part because we have only so much in the way of supplies, but I can only
imagine it would be particularly breathtaking seen from above and out of
the crowded paths and shops. Even writing of the experience seems
insufficient, for words cannot accurately capture the splendor of the
greatest nation on Earth seen from Heaven’s own view of it. Still, I
am striving
to do it some justice if only to attempt to share this sense of wonder I
feel with you, for I can never be certain that this is an experience I
shall ever have when this adventure is done.

Find out more and purchase this new novel

Dawn of Steam Trilogy on Facebook

Interview with Author, Jeffrey Cook

Assassins in the Banquet Hall

DawnofSteamOneCover[Excerpted from the letters of Gregory Conan Watts to his fiancee]

While they were at that, Miss Bowe had found herself having drawn a great deal of attention from our assailants, having ruined the first shot. Somehow she had found a second blade from the table, and thus was fighting at least three men, perhaps more, though I could not be sure, armed with a bodice knife and a steak knife. Despite this poor armament, she was holding her own, though her breath was labored, and she could barely move — and certainly not lunge into her efforts — due to her own dresses and bindings.

The table she had knocked over guarded her back, with Julietta Penn remaining behind her and the table for cover. Our gypsy woman meanwhile had leaned herself across the table and was desperately sawing through the threads of Samantha’s bodice with another steak knife, that Sam might fight and breathe. It came free at last, and Samantha lunged forward in her far-less-restrictive undershirts, surprising the men who thought they had her pinned down.

I do not know if she dispatched them or simply fought past them, for even as the others were fighting for our representatives here, she headed for the new royals of France, the original targets of the assassination attempt, and there found their guardsmen fighting a desperate battle. I imagine they were quite surprised to find a woman armed with a pair of mismatched knives, in a torn dress and her undershirts, fighting on their behalf. She has even said since that they at first attacked her themselves, but she convinced them of her good will when she felled a gunman coming at them by throwing her steak knife. She then re-armed herself by groping about on the nearest table for further silverware while fighting off another assassin using the bodice knife she’d borrowed from Miss Penn.

Somewhere in the chaos I lost track of Giov anni Franzini and assumed he’d crawled under a table or under some rock to hide. He quite surprised me later, when we learned he’d run down two of the assassins who had attempted to flee in the chaos and felled both, albeit from behind as they were running.

I could not see all of it, but by the end as we regathered, I would swear Samantha had gone through at least two table settings, but had held onto Miss Penn’s knife. She was bleeding from half a dozen cuts, at least, and looked a wreck, her hat hanging from one side of her head, still held to one now-loosed braid by a single hatpin. She was decent only by the simplest definition, but for all of it, she looked quite pleased with herself, unlike anyone else in the room.

Our small group was once more gathering, soon to be helping in a call for order. We would assist in patrolling the grounds all night, trying to make sure that we had all of the assassins and that no one attempted to flee before they might be questioned. First, however, Miss Bowe asked, somewhat too loudly, of Sir James, “That was fun; do all your parties end like this?”

This is what drew the final scandal, which has hit the rumor mills, I understand. Overhearing our American misfit, the Queen of France fainted.
With love, always,

Gregory Conan Watts

from First Light, Volume I of the Dawn of Steam trilogy.

by Jeffrey Cook, with Sarah Symonds    Published with Permission

Cover image by Michal Marek