Book Brief: Dawn of Steam – First Light

Dawn of Steam - First LightDawn of Steam: First Light
by Jeffrey Cook (with Sarah Symonds)
Genre of this Book: Steampunk/Alt-History
Word count: 93,000

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 places, are truth or, more likely, wild fiction. First Light is an epistolary novel, told primarily through former aide-de-camp Gregory Conan Watts’s journals and letters to his fiancee from the airship Dame Fortuna. 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 against Napoleon. Then they must track down a Scottish rifleman, a pair of shady carnies, and a guide with a personal investment in the stories. When they set out, the wild places of the world – including the far American West, the Australian interior, and darkest Africa – 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. Additionally, 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 and lay the foundations for an age of enlightenment and technology to come.

This book is available from Amazon. Continue reading “Book Brief: Dawn of Steam – First Light”

Time to Vote!

Vote!It’s time once again to make your choice for the flash fiction challenge. Who will win? You get to decide! No pressure or anything, but the winning entries will all be included in the next edition of the IU Flash Fiction Anthology.

Go ahead and take a look at this week’s entries here. Make your decision, then use those share buttons at the bottom of the post to spread the word.

Voting polls close Thursday at 5 PM Pacific time.

Who wrote the story that was just right for the flash fiction challenge?

  • S.A. Molteni (80%, 33 Votes)
  • Jon Jefferson (15%, 6 Votes)
  • Little White Bear (Cikala Ska Matho) (5%, 2 Votes)
  • Mira Prabhu (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Venkatesh Iyer (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 41

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NOTE: Entrants whose submissions exceed the 250 word limit are eliminated from the poll.

More New Releases for April

Got your tax refund? Why not spend it on some new indie releases?

The Picture of Cool 120x177The Picture of Cool by Laurie Boris

A television producer’s cool façade hides his lonely heart, until he meets a handsome man whose secret could turn their lives upside down.

The Picture of Cool is available through and Amazon UK.

Science Fiction Trivia 120x177Science Fiction Trivia Quiz Book by Rich Meyer

From Arthur C. Clarke to the X-Files, the Science Fiction Trivia Quiz Book covers all things sci-fi with 500 family-friendly questions!

Science Fiction Trivia Quiz Book is available on  and Amazon UK.

Undertow 120x177Undertow by Lynne Cantwell

Navy Lt. Darrell Warren must infiltrate a terrorist plot to blow up the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel — and there’s a hurricane on the way.

Undertow: Land, Sea, Sky Book 2,  is available from, Smashwords, and Amazon UK.

Reboot Your Life 120x177Reboot Your Life by Paul Gibbons

Reboot Your Life is a 12 day process for getting what you want from life – creating a vision and goals, and learning the latest productivity techniques.

Reboot Your Life is available at and Amazon UK.

Saving Gracie 120x177Saving Gracie by Nancy DeMarco

A dead man sends text messages, a missing person is duct taped to a toilet, and a ghost forces Gracie to “follow the beagle” to save a life.

Saving Gracie is available through, Smashwords, and Amazon UK.

Goodreads Spring-fest

This past Monday, Melinda Clayton showed us how to advertise with Goodreads. So how about we stir things up with a Goodreads like-fest?

Today you can share your author page and find new friends. For your profile, grab that URL which should look like this: and paste it in the comments below.  (Not sure where to find your fancy URL? See the image below and look for the aqua arrow.) goodreads like buttonNow everyone can “Like” your author page.  The “Like” button is found about 1/3 of the way down the page on the same side as the author photo. Clicking on that will show that you like that author’s page on your Facebook wall. There’s also a Google+ button there, so if you have a Google+ account and you’re feeling generous, go ahead and click on that, too. Still not sure where the “like” button is? Click on this thumbnail to enlarge it and look for the magenta arrow.

[Don’t forget, if you right-click the links, you can choose to have them open in a separate tab so you don’t have to worry about navigating back and forth to pages.]

PLEASE be sure to reciprocate by liking those who like you. This is give and take. If everyone plays by the golden rule, we all benefit.