Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Clockwork Tangerine by Rhys Ford ~ Release Day Review, Guest Post and Giveaway

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We are very honoured and excited to welcome Rhys Ford to Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews today… Woohoo! …a new visitor, we got the best China out and even cleaned up the place, so we are hoping it will be the first of many! Rhys is with us to chat about the release today of her new book Clockwork Tangerine and her fascination with Steampunk, so less of me, and more of what you are really here for…

 

A Word from Rhys Ford

By the time this blog piece is posted, I’ll have a steampunk novella called Clockwork Tangerine published by Dreamspinner Press.

A scary fucking thing.

Not so much the publishing. This is… however many numbered piece I’ve had published. No, what is daunting about this is the genre: steampunk. A genre only slightly less terrifying to write than a historical.

Why terrifying? Because steampunk—for me—is all about one thing.

The science of magic and the magic of science.

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See, for me, steampunk should have a bit of magic in it. Now not always. Well, not for someone else’s writing or even visual media. Some of the most epic “steampunk” pieces were created before the word came into existence. Shows like Wild Wild West with Robert Conrad (and his glorious ass) were successful way before the word was even whispered in loud mockery of the term cyberpunk. Other authors—better authors than me—not only dabbled in the genre but defined it. Verne, Wells, Lovecraft and others took ideas that were maybe plausible in their day and turned them into fantastical tales.

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But in all of it, there was a thread of unimaginable fantasy mingled in with the hard heat of reality.

Much like owning a cat (or being owned by a cat), the author’s dreams and reality are quite divergent. The cat owner hopes to cuddle with its feline but the reality of it is, one is often left with a gassy feline who takes up a good portion of the bed—much more than a 21 inch long cat can take. For an author writing steampunk there is a fantasy of being able to manipulate these strings of mechanicals and characters to a cohesive thing of beauty.

The reality of it is? How the hell do you balance world building with vivid characters? And in my case, within a novella.

The novella part made it much harder. Its length definitely cuts short any long themes I might have wanted to explore but there was enough room to do some jabs at Robin’s and Marcus’ personality. Robin was to be a beaten crow of a man; intelligent and wing-torn. Marcus would be come the one to rescue the bird and try to rehabilitate it to fly again.

You see, Clockwork Tangerine is really about flying again.

I’ve never had a character I’ve had to destroy and then build up in so little time. But it was a challenge and one I wanted to take on. See, I love historicals. I love steampunk. I wanted a character-driven story with a world as dark and gritty as any Victorian penny dreadful. It had to possess the language of the time and the flavour of peat in the air. A reader of steampunk should find a sooty taste in their mind and catch a whiff of burning coal when they pick up that story.

But there should also be oolong tea and lemon drops but no story should be all dark and storms. Okay, unless you’re Dickens because dude, that man could pen some angst.

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With steampunk, the author actually has a kind of an out for historical inaccuracies. This includes a BUNCH of things like words. I can’t tell you how many times my brain’s used a word then I had to go back to see when it entered use. Some are definitely current but others you’d think were actually date back much further than you imagine. And some I thought were old are quite young.

I thought gobsmacked would be old. Apparently, according to the Oxford dictionary, it only dates back to the 1980s. How very Adam Ant of it. I still call shenanigans.

Marcus and Robin were a lot of fun to write. The key to a novella is trying to pack as much of the flavour of the world into the characters as you can.

So, my suggestion to anyone wanting to write a steampunk novel, do a little research but most of all, just dream. Don’t be held back by the tech available but rather find a way to work around it. Concentrate mostly on your character because really, that’s why we all show up in the genre. Developing the background world is very important, but it is a background. No matter how vivid the picture is painted, if the figures in the foreground are only sticks and circles, it won’t be very interesting.

And for a novella, it’s even harder because really, not a lot of space there. But oh, the possibilities.

I’m Rhys Ford. I am an author and also a reader. You can find me at the following places:

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

And at the Starbucks down the street. No really, they’re 24/7. And a drive-thru. It’s like heaven.

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Clockwork Tangerine by Rhys Ford

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Title ~ Clockwork Tangerine

Author ~ Rhys Ford

Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press

Genre ~ Steampunk M/M Romance

Release Date ~ 19th February 2014

Rating ~ 4.5 Stars

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Synopsis

The British Empire reigns supreme, and its young Queen Victoria has expanded her realm to St. Francisco, a bustling city of English lords and Chinese ghettos. St. Francisco is a jewel in the Empire’s crown and as deeply embroiled in the conflict between the Arcane and Science as its sister city, London—a very dark and dangerous battle.
Marcus Stenhill, Viscount of Westwood, stumbles upon that darkness when he encounters a pack of young bloods beating a man senseless. Westwood’s duty and honor demand he save the man, but he’s taken aback to discover the man is Robin Harris, a handsome young inventor indirectly responsible for the death of Marcus’s father.
Living in the shadows following a failed coup, Robin devotes his life to easing others’ pain, even though his creations are considered mechanical abominations of magicks and science. Branded a deviant and a murderer, Robin expects the viscount to run as far as he can—and is amazed when Marcus reaches for him instead.

 

Macky’s Review

How would you feel and how would you react if you came across a man being beaten senseless by four young bucks only to find after you'd rescued him that you'd actually saved the person who almost brought your Queens Empire to its knees with his mad inventions. The very man also responsible for the death of your father?

That's the dilemma for Marcus Stenhill or given his true title, Viscount Westwood... third son of a Duke but a man more comfortable in the boxing ring than in fine society. When that exact scenario happens to him whilst he's in St Francisco's Little Orient, searching for a particular Jasmine tea for his favourite grandmother, he's suddenly thrust into a position in which he has to make choices that could reflect on his family honour and his esteem amongst his peers.

What makes things worse is the instant attraction he feels for the badly beaten man when he first sees him, because secretly Marcus has feelings for members of his own sex, a practice which in this Steampunk reality is against the law and punishable by first being physically branded a sodomite then imprisonment in New Bedlam, an isolated Island prison. He's shocked to discover that the man whose neck he's just saved is Robin Harris, 'The Toyman,' a notorious scientist who's talents for mingling science and the arcane had created mechanical killing machines for the enemies of the empire... The Society. The inventor of a leftover dangerous, mechanical contraption called a Skitter, that had lay dormant, hidden, until its sudden reactivation killed his father in the House Of Lords.

Things aren't as they seem though and as Marcus nurses Robin back to health with the help of a feisty lady doctor he comes to realise that Robin is far from an evil scientist. He sees how Robin is now using his knowledge of arcane science to create amazing contraptions that help the sick and disabled, he also learns the truth about how he was indoctrinated by The Society as a fourteen year old boy and his genius devices twisted to suit the purpose of the industrialists intent on bringing down the Queens Empire, and he slowly falls in love with this fascinating man who feels nothing but guilt for his part in the revolution and who tries to push him away for fear of tarnishing his reputation.

" ...I refuse to let you go, my mad scientist. I would rather live as a Bedlamite with you than as an aristocrat with an empty soul. I told you, I know what I'm risking. And that is you. If I don't do this—if I don't spend my life listening to you, breathing you in...waking up next to you, then I've lost everything. That is what I am risking—a life without the man who makes me feel alive."

I REALLY enjoyed this Steampunk love story because I have a soft spot for alternate history's, which In this story is an alternative Victorian era, mixed with flashes of science fiction, a dash of arcane magic and fantastical steam powered industrial machines, vehicles and automatons.

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Then for a die hard, m/m fan like myself to also get a deliciously steamy, sensual romance between two captivating men who should be enemies but who's sexually tense attraction overrides any bad histories between them, just makes it all the more delicious.

The only thing that stopped this from being a full five star read, was the length. I'll admit it, I was greedy! I'd love to have seen more of the two of them getting to know each other as Robin healed, and behind the romance, which was obviously the main focus of the novella, there were also some really tantalising, thought provoking images of a world and a history that sometimes were only mentioned in passing, leaving me wanting more, so I'm hoping one day Rhys will expand on it and perhaps flesh it all out in a full length novel.

In the words of William Blake... " In the universe there are things that are known and there are things that are unknown and in between there are doors! "

I'd definitely go through one of Rhys Fords ' between universe doors' again. I Loved it!

  Click the link below to order NOW from Dreamspinner Press

DreamspinnerPress

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE 

(Buy Links will be attached as soon as it goes live)

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About Rhys Ford

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Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats, a black Pomeranian puffball, a bonsai wolfhound, and a ginger cairn terrorist.

Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.

But mostly to the coffee maker.

email at rhysford@vitaenoir.com

Connect with Rhys

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

Other books by Rhys Ford

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Giveaway

Rhys Ford is very generously gifting to one lucky reader a $20 Gift Card for Amazon, all you need to do is enter your details in the Rafflecopter below.

Good Luck

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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58 comments:

  1. I've read some steampunk. I always find it really intriguing and this novella sounds wonderful. Thanks for the great post and the chance to win!

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  2. I have read a little but not much. It sounds really good and I know the author is a great writter

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  3. Well with the mention of Verne & Wild, Wild, West, I know I've been a fan for a while. This is most definitely going on my TBR.

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  4. This will be my first venture into reading steampunk. And as a huge fan of Rhys I know this will be amazing

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  5. I look forward to reading this one...I have never read steam punk before, but have yet to be disappointed by any story by Rhys ;) The woman paints beautifully with her words!

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  6. its not a genre I'm really familiar with...but it sounds interesting!

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  7. I'm not a big steampunk fan but I'm a huge Rhys Ford fan - I'd read anything by her. Love a chance at winning this book. Thanks for the interview and review. lgrant1@san.rr.com

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  8. Good steampunk is difficult, so I'm really looking forward to this book because I know, it being a Rhys Ford book, it's going to be good!

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  9. Love her books so looking forward to reading this. Only read a few steampunk books so far but I have enjoyed them :)

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  10. I've read very little steampunk, but Rhys Ford has become a must have for me.

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  11. I have read her other books, which I have really enjoyed. I cant' wait to read her newest one.

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  12. It's not a genre I have read before, but looks interesting!

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  13. I really enjoy steampunk. Had never really given a thought that Wild Wild West qualified, but now that it's mentioned - wow, it really was! It was always one of my favorite shows. I love everything Rhys writes, and I can't wait to read this one!

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  14. I love steampunk..can't wait for this book!

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  15. Sounds awesome. Good luck
    Vicki Hancock

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  16. I love steampunk! It's such a wonderful mix of subgenres and ideas, that I really can't resist it. Throw in some M/M as well? I'm hooked.

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  17. I am a huge fan of Steampunk. This book has me really excited, it combines two of my favorite genres, m/m and steampunk. I can't wait to pick this book up.

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  18. I have only recently discovered this genre.

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  19. I love steampunk!! I can't wait to read this book!! Sounds very intriguing!!

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  20. I've never read any steampunk yet but thats going to change having read the write up for this one!

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  21. I just discovered steampunk--well kinda. I read lots of different genres.

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  22. I am familiar with the term even though I have not read much of it. but would love to read this one.

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  23. I'm just getting into steampunk, and would love to see Rhys's take on it!

    vitajex(At)Aol(Dot)com

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  24. I'm just venturing into steampunk but so far, I love it! :) This looks like a great read! Oh, and I LOVED the pic from the Wild, Wild, West show! I LOVED that show! :)

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  25. Looks like a fun read.

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  26. I've read quite a few Steampunk books they are really interesting all the history and clock work gadgets etc. Please count me in for the Giveaway...............Thank you

    ShirleyAnn@speakman40.freeserve.co.uk

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  27. I haven't read as many steampunk novels as I would like. The genre does interest me though.

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  28. I have not read any steampunk, but it seems fun! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  29. Can't wait to read; have not read steampunk before but I am quite certain it will be amazing!!

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  30. I am not familiar with the Steampunk genre, but I love the look of it!

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  31. Jennifer Thompson19 February 2014 at 19:50

    I am not familiar with steampunk, but this seems interesting. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  32. I'm not familiar with this subgenre, but this book sounds really good, looking forward to reading it!

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  33. I have read a few steampunk novels and find them facinating!

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  34. "Do you like Steampunk, is it a sub genre you are familiar with?" I have read a few steampunk novels, some I Liked and others I did not..

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  35. I love the steampunk I have read so far and am thrilled to see a new one in the m/m genre.

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  36. I've never read anything steampunk, but I'm willing to give it a try.
    My e-mail: blackasphodel(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  37. I love steampunk, and I love every book Rhys has written! :)

    aelnova@aol.com

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  38. This is the first time I have heard of the Steampunk genre and to be honest I am still trying to understand it! I love new genres to add to the MM so I will have to check this book to fully understand the new genre!

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  39. I haven't read it yet but am now very interested!!!

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  40. havent read any of these books yet but would love to try it

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  41. I have really enjoyed seeing how different authors write steampunk.

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  42. Looking forward to reading this. Loved Wild, Wild West!!! I run hot and cold with steampunk. Some have been really good and some have left me scratching my head.

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  43. I haven't read that many steampunk books yet. Although I love the reference to the old Wild, Wild West show. I never thought of it as steampunk, but I loved that show!

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  44. I have read a couple of steampunk books, and enjoyed them.

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  45. I'm not famaliar with steampunk so don't know if I've read any or not. Please include me. Thank you for the giveaway.
    marsh10@netzero.com

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  46. I have read some steampunk and I am kind of fascinated by the fandom that has grown up around it.

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  47. Rhys Ford is one of my favorites and her new Clockwork Tangerine is bound to be a fun one. I love the geeky sci-fi of Steampunk, it is wacky and weird; an interesting background for a story.

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  48. At the moment steampunk is my favorite genre!

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  49. I've never read any steam punk but this sounds awesome

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  50. I'm a fan of steampunk fiction, along with a lot of other genres. I'm so interested in reading this book.


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  51. I really like steampunk fiction more than SF. Thank you for the chance!!!

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  52. I really like the steampunk genre. There are so many elements that can be drawn in to it. It sort of reminds me of a kid in a candy shop, with inventions and ideas being the candy.

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  53. I enjoy steampunk, but I haven't read it extensively. I always enjoy the creativity of it when I do. Thanks for sharing with us!

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