Author Guest Post! Katy O’Dowd

Today I am happy to bring you a new author, Katy O’Dowd! Her new book,  a Steampunk novel called THE LADY ASTRONOMER was inspired by the life of Caroline Herschel (1750-1848), who suffered from both Smallpox and Typhus, was a milliner, soprano, her brother William’s assistant . He, in turn discovered the planet Uranus, then known as George’s Star for the King who funded the build of the ‘Great Forty-Foot’ telescope. More importantly, Caroline became the first woman in recorded history to discover a comet. Not to mention the first woman in the UK to receive a working wage, from the King if you don’t mind.

The floor is all your, Katy!


Thanks Darke for having me over to your blog!

There’s Something Really Appealing About Writing Steampunk.

There’s something really appealing about writing Steampunk – never mind that wars have been started over lesser things than how to define exactly what it is.

I was recently asked to write an article on ‘What is Steampunk?’ for the writing resource writing, ie which was a very interesting experience, as I was going on the premise that people didn’t know what Steampunk is. At all.

So I hummed and hawed, and reckoned that the easiest thing to do (not that I’m lazy, you understand) was to turn something from current popular culture into something Steampunk.

An excerpt from that article goes a little something like this:

“Let’s say the Dowager Countess is having tea with the Countess at the Abbey. They are bemoaning the fate of Lady Mary who has not yet agreed to marry her cousin Matthew. In races Carson to say that Beryl Patmore’s eyesight has deteriorated again and the whole house is about to burn down as she has mistaken bullets for peppercorns.

Instead of being simpering little ladies, although the Dowager Countess could hardly be described as such, they race into action, tucking their long skirts into their bloomers – I know, I know, slight time lapse, forgive me – and run to help. The DC outside to her awaiting dirigible, which she pilots to the nearest lake. Luckily Carson has come with her and between them they devise an ingenious device which sucks the water from the lake, whereupon they fly back and hose it all over the house. While risking life and limb, obviously.

Meanwhile, the Countess meets Lady Mary in the hall. She is wearing breeches, off to Egypt for a bit of exploration, don’t you know, while deciding what to do about Matthew. Her mother hurriedly explains the situation to her and they head to the lab, don goggles, and invent an eyepiece for the Cook so that such a thing need not happen again. And everybody knows quite how hard it is to find a decent Cook.”

Now that might be quite simplistic, and if you are a fan of Steampunk you know all that already. The best part for me though, was that writing the article brought into very clear focus what I love about writing within the genre – it is so much fun. Glorious imagination abounds, with a dash of not taking oneself in any way seriously, tea, adventure, derring-do, experiments, tea, inventions, tea, kick-ass heroines, amazing fashion, tea. And more tea. There really is something appealing about writing Steampunk.

Lucretia’s life as an astronomer is quickly turned on its head by her eldest brother when he is commanded by the king to build the grandest telescope in the land. Her nights spent on rooftops gazing at the stars are replaced by adventure as the family move to be nearer the king. In a race to build the Forty-foot telescope on time, misfortunes take their toll. The lady astronomer finds court life to be more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Can she find the strength inside to overcome the obstacles threatening her destiny? Only the stars will tell.


The Lady Astronomer was published by Untold Press on 26th September 2012. It is currently available as an eBook, and will be out as a paperback later on in the year.



Where to buy:

You can purchase The Lady Astronomer on Amazon USA and Amazon UK.


Author bio:

Katy is an arts and entertainment journalist and has worked for Time Out, Associated Newspapers and Comic Relief and her articles have appeared in The Times (London), Metro (London) and many other arts and entertainment publications, paper and online.

She reviews for the Historical Novels Review and the British Fantasy Society, is a commissioning editor at Pendragon Press and is co-editor of the Nasty Snips II Project for that press.

Alongside writing with her Dad under the pen-name Derry O’Dowd, whose first book ‘The Scarlet Ribbon’ was chosen to launch the History Press Ireland’s fiction line, she writes under her own name.

‘The Lady Astronomer’, a YA Steampunk novel, is out with Untold Press now. She is currently writing a Steampunk adult series because writing for tweens and teens is damnably hard work.

Wonderful Book Bloggers!

I bet you thought you wouldn’t be seeing a post today. WRONG! I’m a guest over at Nyx Book Reviews! Go check it out and leave a comment if the mood strikes you!

Guest Post – Pete Morin, Author of Diary of a Little Fish

I’ve had such a crazy week, that’s why I’m so glad that a good friend of mine Pete Morin asked if he could do a blog post promoting his new ebook – A Diary of a Small Fish.


Today, Diary of a Small Fish has finally made it to market. A project that began as an amusement, a hobby, in February of 2008, enters a new phase. It’s all fine and dandy that friends and acquaintances have read your novel and been complimentary about it. The true measuring stick is whether people will buy it. How interesting it will be to see!

The Acknowledgments don’t even scrape the surface of my gratitude for all of the encouragement and support I’ve received during the past three years. You all know who you are.

Now I’ve got to put my Chief Marketing Officer hat on and go to work.

If you read it, please don’t be bashful about leaving a review.

If you don’t read it, fake it!

When Paul Forte is indicted by a federal grand jury, everyone suspects prosecutor Bernard (don’t call him “Bernie”) Kilroy has more on his mind than justice. Then the FBI agent in charge of Paul’s case gives him a clue to the mystery: Kilroy is bent on settling an old family score, and he’s not above breaking the law to do it.

Paul is already dealing with the death of his parents and divorce from a woman he still loves. Now, with the support of an alluring grand juror, Paul must expose the vindictive prosecutor’s own corruption before the jury renders a verdict on his Osso Buco.
Pete Morin has been a trial attorney, a politician, a bureaucrat, a lobbyist, and a witness (voluntary and subpoenaed) to countless outrages. He combines them all in this debut novel.

Pete’s short fiction has appeared in NEEDLE, A Magazine of Noir, Words With Jam, 100 Stories for Haiti, and Words to Music. He published many of them in a collection titled Uneasy Living, available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When he is not writing crime fiction or legal mumbo jumbo, Pete plays blues guitar in Boston bars, enjoys the beach, food and wine with his wife, Elizabeth, and their two adult children, and on rare occasion, punches a fade wedge to a tight pin surrounded by sand or water. He lives in a money pit on the seacoast south of Boston, in an area once known as the Irish Riviera.

Pete is represented by Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary Agency.

Where to find Pete’s book:

Small Fish for Smashwords and Apple users:

Time Travel and Gardens: Recipe for Danger, Guest Poster Marlene Dotterer

In my bid to help out authors with promoting their books, I want to introduce to you a good writing friend of mine, Marlene Dotterer. She and I met on the Online Writers Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror (OWW). She was one of the few who helped me with THE SAINTS OF BELVEDERE ROAD, and her input was most valued. Now, she’s promoting her book SHIPBUILDER, a novel about…well, why don’t I let her tell you about it!

A big “Thank You” to Darke, for hosting me! I’m glad to meet all of her readers and chat about my new book.

I’m a sucker for time travel stories. Always have been. I saw the movie Brigadoon when I was about four, and the magical, “out-of-time” aspect of it thrilled me to the core. This is what fascinates me about time travel. What would it be like to live in a different time? Future or past, it doesn’t much matter. It would all be so strange.

So it’s not really unexpected, that my first novel would be a time travel story. I wanted to write about Thomas Andrews, and I wanted to give him a chance to save the Titanic, so time travelers seemed like the perfect answer. But I didn’t want it to be the usual, “let’s go back in time and warn the captain about the iceberg” kind of thing. That’s been done.

And done again.

In fact, when I started the book, I knew it could be a series, and the series would be about the time travel, sort of like Quantum Leap, but without the “set things right” mentality. Time travelers may not always know how to fix things, and sometimes, their “fixes” make things worse. No, my idea is to explore the weirdness of living in another time. What’s different? What mistakes will a time traveler make? What happens if people find out about them? Will they be killed? Imprisoned? Used by powerful people for gain?

In TTJ: Shipbuilder, I spend a few chapters showing how hard it is for Casey and Sam to adjust to life in 1906. Even though they’ve read about the time period in history books, the day-to-day aspects of survival are huge obstacles. They have no money and no supplies. Their clothes are all wrong. They don’t know anyone, and there are horses and carriages running all over a town that is both completely strange and eerily familiar.

In that situation, survival is not a given.  But even later, after a couple of years of living in the past, they still get tripped up by unexpected rules or social mores. I think it’s fairly obvious that Casey would have a hard time adjusting to, and even remembering, all the restrictions on women, for example.

But how can planting gardens get her into trouble?

When the gardens in question stir the bubbling pot of animosity between Catholics and Protestants, that’s how.

Big trouble. And she never saw it coming.


Book Blurb:
Imagine being there before the Titanic set sail.
Now imagine being there before she’s even built.

Sam Altair is a physicist living in Belfast, Ireland. He has spent his career researching time travel and now, in early 2006, he’s finally reached the point where he can send objects backwards through time. The only problem is, he doesn’t know where the objects go. They don’t show up in the past, and no one notices any changes to the present. Are they creating alternate time lines?
To collect more data, Sam tries a clandestine experiment in a public park, late at night. But the experiment goes horribly wrong when Casey Wilson, a student at the university, stumbles into his isolation field. Sam tries to rescue her, but instead, he and Casey are transported back to the year 1906. Stuck in the past, cut off from everyone and everything they know, Sam and Casey work together to help each other survive. Then Casey meets Thomas Andrews, the man who will shortly begin to build the most famous ship since Noah’s Ark. Should they warn him, changing the past and creating unknown consequences for the future?

Or should they let him die?
Amazon estore for the paperback version:
Must Have Give-Aways!
Ships are launched with a bottle of champagne. My book is about a ship, so…
Actually, perhaps it’s best if I don’t try to mail anyone a bottle of champagne. But how about a free book? (Free Book? SWEET!! ~Darke~)
Throughout the blog tour, I’ll keep track of everyone who leaves a comment on any of the blogs and enter them into a drawing. At the end of the tour, I’ll pick three winners, each to receive an autographed copy of The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder.

So, read on! Comment!

Marlene Dotterer grew up as a desert rat in Tucson, Arizona. In 1990, she loaded her five children into the family station wagon, and drove north-west to the foggy San Francisco Bay Area. To stay warm, she tackled many enterprises, earning a degree in geology, working for a national laboratory, and running her own business as a personal chef. She’s a frustrated gardener, loves to cook, and teaches natural childbirth classes. She says she writes, “to silence the voices,” obsessed with the possibilities of other worlds and other times.

She is married to The Best Husband in the World, and lives in Pleasant Hill, California.

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