Thursday, June 7, 2012

Skirts 'n' Squid

Posted by: Cindy Spencer Pape
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

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
Steampunk Romance
Carina Press

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…


Magnus 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 nose.

“I 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.

Part 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 for years.

“I 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.”

“I 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.”

“Who 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.”

“I 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!”

“It’s 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.”

“I’ve 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?

“Relax.” 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.”

“She’s 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.


  1. Ahhh, I loved this story! And I kinda like the hubby's title!

  2. I also like your hubby's title!! I love he is so involved. Congrats on a great release!!!



  3. It is very cool that your husband is so involved, and I have to say there's something about a man in a kilt. I love your cover. Tres cool!

  4. I've been looking forward to the next installment of the Gaslight Chronicles. Sounds like great fun!!!!

  5. I've read Kilts & Kraken, and I really enjoyed it. Like you, I love all things Scottish. Don't know what it is about the place...I think I lived there in a past life. I got the sense of 'coming home' when I visited.

  6. Kilts & Kraken, what a great combination. I can't wait to read this story, I know it's going to be fantastic.

  7. Congrats to Janni, who won the free download! Thanks so much to all of you for commenting.

  8. I am still so bummed I missed seeing you guys on Sunday! You both look fabulous in the pic :) Next year I'll be at the hotel for the whole shebang. (I just need to get in touch with whoever is in charge so I can do a couple more things officially. Want to buck for a romantic steampunk panel? ;-) )

    Congrats again on the release of Kilts & Kraken <3

  9. Hells yes! I planned on contacting her early and often this year! And ditto on the hotel room.


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