Yeah. That's my husband's title for Kilts & Kraken, the newest release in my Gaslight Chronicles from Carina Press. Now before anyone thinks he's anti-kilt, that's him with me below in the Pride of Scotland tartan. He doesn't own just one kilt, either, but several. This photo is from World Steam Expo in Detroit about a week ago, so he's not dissing steampunk either. He just likes to be irreverent. After 20-some years, I've learned to laugh.
I've been asked, since I started the Gaslight Chronicles, how I come up with the ideas of smashing together romance, adventure, steampunk, and fantasy. I think that photo might give you a little hint about that too. Yeah, those are copper spray-painted Nerf guns we're holding, and it's a spoof of the classic Steed & Peel pose from the Avengers. (The old British spy show, not the comic book. But that's in our house somewhere too.)
The truth of it is, Geeks will be Geeks. And I'm a proud, card-carrying geek, happily married to another. Since I obviously dig men in kilts, I couldn't resist the opportunity to get some tartan into my series. And as a former aquatic biologist, I've been waiting for a chance to release the kraken. (Yeah, I went there.) Add in a little Viking lore and the Knights of the Round Table and the love of a lifetime and you get my newest book. Well, and murderers and airships and other cool stuff just for fun. Here's a little excerpt for your enjoyment! FYI, K&K is also available as part of Carina's Editor's Choice, Vol. I anthology, which can be found in e-book and audible.com.
I'll give away a free download of Kilts & Kraken to one random commenter on Friday noonish, so drop a note below. Tell me what you get into--as a reader or writer, and how real life and fiction come together.
Kilts & Kraken
By Cindy Spencer Pape
Magnus, Baron Findlay, longs to bring the wonders of
the steam age to his remote island home, but his hands are full fighting the
vicious kraken ravaging the coast. When he’s swept to sea during battle and
washes up on the shore of an isle in the Hebrides,
he is near death.
Struggling to establish herself as one of the first
female physicians in Edinburgh,
Dr. Geneva MacKay is annoyed when The Order of the Round Table sends her north
to care for an injured highlander. To heal him, Geneva escorts the handsome warrior home,
just in time to defend the villagers from another onslaught.
As the attacks escalate and they work together to
fight off the threat, neither Geneva
nor Magnus can resist the overwhelming attraction between them. But as their
relationship deepens, a new threat arises – from within the village itself…
gaped as Rannulf introduced Dr. Geneva MacKay. What the hell was a tall,
striking young woman doing holding a stethoscope to Magnus’s bare chest? Her
hair brushed his chin and the scents of violets and carbolic acid tickled his
see you’ve improved greatly in just the last hour.” She straightened and smiled
down at Magnus, her white teeth straight and even between plump, rosy lips. Her
dark copper curls were pulled back into an unappealing knot at the back of her
head, and her eyes, a warm hazel blend of greens and brown glinted with
intelligence and humor.
of Magnus that had no business stirring at all stood to attention. He sat up
against the pillows, draping his forearms over his lap to hide his reaction.
“You’re the quack?” This had to be a poor joke—perhaps Rodney or Catherine had
put Rannulf up to it. His cousins had been trying to convince Magnus to marry
am, in fact. The card-carrying quack. There’s a photographic copy of my license
in my bag, in case you’d care to check.” She spoke quickly, with the refined
accents of the upper class as she peeled a bandage from his shoulder. “You
wouldn’t be the first patient to require proof. Now let me see your hip. I had
to reset the bone after they carried you in here.”
most certainly will not.” He clutched the covers more tightly, not about to let
a woman, younger than he from the looks of her, see his naked backside under
these circumstances. “Rannulf can check it.”
do you think reset the bone six hours ago?” She glanced toward Rannulf and the
nurse, who was perhaps in her forties, and trying a bit too obviously not to look
at Magnus’s uncle. “I think our chaperones there will be sufficient to protect
your virtue. Now move.”
think they’re the ones who need
chaperones.” He looked away as she peeled back the blanket. Her fingers were
cool when she prodded the area above his hipbone. “Ow!”
knitting remarkably quickly, but it hasn’t finished yet. At the rate you’re
healing, I’d say you can probably get out of bed sometime tomorrow, and be back
on your feet fully the day after.”
always been a fast healer,” he muttered into his pillow, trying not to panic.
How much had she noticed? How much would her silence cost him?
She laid one hand, not as smooth and soft as her voice, against his bare
shoulder. “I’ll keep your secret, Lord Findlay. You’ve nothing to worry about
from me or Alice.”
got magick of her own,” Rannulf rumbled. “Can’t you feel it, son?”
Like called to like.
Magnus’s magick was simply what he was, not something he practiced but he did
have a kind of knack for sensing other powers around him. Now that he
concentrated, he could sense some in the doctor.