House faves:
Sir Dench GranDeletrious
Lady Armitage Granrambunctious
Mademoiselle Grant Oatcapricious

PS: See Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series for truly masterful naming. 

PPS: The vampire names you came up with were unbelievable. Won’t you share your Steampunk name, too?

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LIST OF THE WEEK: TEN YA NOVELLAS
Need a pint-sized dose of YA literature? These novellas will suit you just fine! For more fun lists and all things YA lit, visit our website, follow us here and on Twitter, and subscribe to our weekly newsletter!

Bunny, on my Walter Fawn makeup
  • ~~~Paddleboat Cruise~~~
  • Bunny:-quietly points at me-
  • Meef:wh
  • Bunny:-tries to chew and swallow food-
  • Meef:um
  • Bunny:-swallows- aRE YOU FROM NARNIA?
  • ~~~In the parking lot~~~
  • Person:may I get a picture of you?
  • Meef:sure! -poses-
  • Bunny:... You know you're like, a legend, right? All these people wanting pictures of you!
  • Meef:-snorts- yeah you totally don't know this feeling at all~
  • David+Chelsea:-professionally photobombing in the background of my pic-
Mad Max Meets Apache Steampunk in Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac

Nowadays, I read so many steampunk-labeled books that very few retain the innovation factor for me. It’s fine to see tropes that establishes the aesthetic as a subgenre, but it takes a lot to make a steampunk book read fresh to me.

Then, comes along Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac: a book that’a steampunk by way of Mad Max rather than gaslamp London. Killer of Enemies is not just a gulp of fresh air, but a hyperventilating-inducing adrenaline rush. Oh, and did I mention that this young adult book was initially pitched to me as “post-apoc Apache steampunk?” Yeah, let that catchphrase sink in a bit.

[Shoot first, ask questions later. Read the review here.]

Basic Fainting Technique

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Once the gentleman has been manipulated into position, the lady may proceed with her intended mission. But whether the objective is to steal some secret prototype off his personage, or place a wooden hair stick through his heart, be certain it is done without wrinkling your dress.

These features as a way for the Ministry to highlight artists, musicians, writers, and makers of all variety. With so many talented individuals to choose from, we know it is a challenge to feature every clever creative worthy of note, […]

Nikki’s on the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences blog talking about writing steampunk for teens! 

Sword and Silence

Fiction Week

blackwolfchng submitted to medievalpoc:

I wrote a short story inspired by the Fiore dei Liberi school of Renaissance longsword fighting. It is science fiction with elements of steampunk thrown in. The girl in the story is POC - Asian descent.

Excerpt:

Part One: Silence

 I looked at my reflection in the bronze mirror: short hair, oval face, and eyes the shade of olives. My other self touched the collar, slowly moving down the low kaftan with my hands. Light blue, the color of the Tur’ean sky, before the Two-Heads destroyed it and made it theirs.

 The breast bands kept my chest flat. I look like a boy now. Relief flooded my being, filled me with an odd joy.

 The sword gleamed beside the bronze mirror, shimmers of light along its long graceful edges. It was made for a lady a long time ago. I held it in my hands and it sang my name. Torin. Torin. Torin.

 I sang its name back: Claritas.

 Interweaving our lives together.

 I grabbed the handle firmly with two hands and lifted it up in the traditional en-garde position, my body sliding automatically into the battle-ready stance.

 Salut.

The whole story can be found at http://www.wattpad.com/11377919-sword-and-silence. I am Joyce Chng. I write science fiction, YA and urban fantasy.

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Nails inspired by Etiquette and Espionage.

Hmmm. Well I do like how these turned out. Especially the dagger. I’ve been on a roll recently, painting one set of nails taking photos then leaving them on for a day or two before I change. Hope you guys like this! As usual, freehand design done in acrylic.

Nail polish used:
China Glaze Reggae to Riches

Review on the book blog HERE.

This dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk, fantasy, and romance.
On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena’s father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears.

I enjoyed this book way more than I’d expected to. The description on GoodReads sounds like a good book - but in my opinion it’s not this one. There are steampunk elements and inventions, but it is not the focus and could really be removed without impacting the world building. If you’re looking for the “thrilling adventure” you won’t find it here for the majority of the book. 

Instead, you’ll spend time with Lena, a girl with extraordinary fingers and toes - she has an extra joint in each - as she takes control of her life and destiny. There is definitely a “daring escape” but there’s also quite a bit of taking tea with various other characters; investigations with a charming young man; and a ride on a carousel. Really. I’m making it sound dull, but it somehow is more than the sum of its parts. I think it’s the big ideas behind it: the question of whether Peculiars are just humans with genetic deformations or instead a different kind of being altogether and Lena’s struggles with her personal identity and whether her headstrong ways are due to innate goblin-ness. Yes, we have goblins. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed it - I was so just happy to have a change from zombies and mermaids and vampires and werewolves!

Oh, and one final thing - this cover is attractive and all, but it’s garbage for this story. The wings (and attached character) are not a major part of the text!! I would’ve much rather seen Lena’s spidery fingers featured.

Click here to place your hold on The Peculiars at TBPL.

Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death) by Bethany Griffin

A sexy, post-Apocalyptic reimagining of Poe’s gothic horror story of the same name.

It’s 1870 and a deadly virus has decimated the population of North America. Masked corpse-collectors roam the streets, removing the bodies before the contagion can spread. Though Araby tries to escape it all with drugs and parties, even at her most intoxicated she can’t forget her brother’s death - or her guilt for causing it.

But things begin to change when William, the fascinating proprietor of The Debauchery Club where she searches for oblivion, and Elliott, nephew of the insane dictator, enter her life. One wants her heart, and the other her name. Convinced that he has won over his uncle’s army, Elliott believes that having Araby on his arm will charm the populace into supporting a new government. After all, her father is the inventor of the mask which prevents the spread of the plague and saved civilisation - for those who can afford it…

But Araby’s greatest interest is that his plans will make protective masks available to all citizens and, in particular, to Will’s young siblings, whom she has come to love despite herself. But nothing is what it seems. A new contagion called the Red Death is sweeping the city and a shocking revelation about the origin of the new virus puts Araby’s life in danger.

The mob wants her. The rebels want her. And both boys want her. In this superb two-book series, what and whom Araby chooses may just decide the fate of humanity…

I was SO excited by the blurb of this book, steampunk, biopunk, debauchery, sexy boys…

And I was SO disappointed. Well, maybe not “SO”, but pretty disappointed.

Masque of the Red Death was okay. The writing was okay, the plot was okay, the characters were okay…

It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t good either.

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