A Curse of Ash and Iron by Christine Norris

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A Curse of Ash and Iron by Christine Norris
Genre – Steampunk
Page Count – 250
Cover Designer – Mike McPhail
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All The World’s A Stage, As They Say

In 1876 Philadelphia, Benjamin Grimm knows real life is much like the theater—people play their parts, hiding behind the illusion of their lives and never revealing their secrets. When he reunites with his childhood friend Eleanor Banneker, his delight turns to dismay. On learning she has been under a spell for the past seven years, forced to live as a servant in her own home, he realizes how sinister some secrets can be.

Ellie has spent the long years since her mother’s death under her stepmother’s watchful and unforgiving eye. Bewitched and hidden in plain sight, it seemed no one could help Ellie escape. Not even her own father, likewise bespelled. When she encounters Ben one evening, he seems immune to the magic that binds her. Her hope rekindles along with their friendship.

But time is running short. If they do not find a way to break the curse before midnight on New Year’s Eve, both Ellie and her father will be bound forever.


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Once Upon a Time, Christine Norris thought she wanted to be an archaeologist but hates sand and bugs, so instead, she became a writer. She is the author of several speculative fiction works for children and adults, including The Library of Athena series, A Curse of Ash and Iron, and contributions to Gaslight and Grimm and Grimm Machinations. She is kept busy on a daily basis by her day job as a school librarian in New Jersey. She may or may not have a secret library in her basement, and she absolutely believes in fairies.

Author Interview with Christine Norris


Esprit de Corpse by Ef Deal

Esprit de Corpse by Ef Deal

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Genre – Steampunk, Paranormal
Page Count – 220
Cover Designer – Mike McPhail

What secrets lay beneath Parisian Streets? And who will kill to keep them?

When a malfunctioning automaton runs full force into their locomotive on the new Paris-Orléans railway, Jacqueline Duval and her bohemian twin sister Angélique Laforge become embroiled in a mystery deeply rooted in their tragic past.

A polytech and famed engineering prodigy, Jacqueline is fascinated by the metal man, even more so when she discovers it is powered not by steam, but by the supernatural. Her investigation puts the sisters on a path both dangerous and mysterious as they must foil a plot to employ the dead to power a mechanical army aimed at international conquest.

Aid comes from unexpected sources as the twins rush to avert this engineered war, but will they be in time?


Click here to view the Book Trailer for Esprit de Corpse by Ef Deal

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Ef Deal is a new voice in the genre of speculative steampunk with her debut novel, Esprit de Corpse, but she is not new to publishing. Her short fiction has appeared in various magazines and ezines over the years. Her short story “Czesko,” published in the March 2006 F&SF, was given honorable mention in Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, which gave both her and Gardner great delight. They laughed and laughed and sipped Scotch (not cognac, alas) over the last line.

Despite her preoccupation with old-school drum and bugle corps ~ playing, composing, arranging, and teaching ~ Ef Deal can usually be found at the keyboard of her computer rather than her piano. She is Assistant Fiction Editor at Abyss & Apex magazine and edits videos for the YouTube channel Strong Women ~ Strange Worlds Quick Reads.

Esprit de Corpse from eSpec Books is the first of a series featuring the brilliant 19th-century sisters, the Twins of Bellesfées Jacqueline and Angélique. Hard science blends with the paranormal as they challenge the supernatural invasion of France in 1843.

When she’s not lost in her imagination, Ef Deal can be found in historic Haddonfield, NJ, in a once-haunted Victorian with her husband and two chows. She is an associate member of SFWA and an affiliate member of HWA.

Author Interview with Ef Deal