And there she goes! Wind all clocks back to 1899, hold your breath (London was rather smoggy in those days) and delve into the exciting world of airships, giant burrowing machines, and all manner of steam-powered awesomeness. Today, The Mysterious Lady Lawmakes her debut at Carina Press. Come and find out what all the fuss is about...
In a time of grand airships and steam-powered cars, the death of a penniless young maid will hardly make the front page. But part-time airship waitress and music hall dancer Julia Bairstow is shattered by her sister's murder. When Lady Law, the most notorious private detective in Britain, offers to investigate the case pro bono, Julia jumps at the chance—even against the advice of Constable Al Grant, who takes her protection surprisingly to heart.
Lady Law puts Scotland Yard to shame. She's apprehended Jack the Ripper and solved countless other cold-case crimes. No one knows how she does it, but it's brought her fortune, renown and even a title. But is she really what she claims to be—a genius at deducting? Or is Al right and she is not be trusted?
Julia is determined to find out the truth, even if it means turning sleuth herself—and turning the tables on Lady Law...
I have to say, my new publisher Carina Press has done a tremendous job of marketing The Mysterious Lady Lawin the run-up to its release. Usually for a small press author, letting the public know that your book even exists is a long, laborious process that has you multi-tasking like crazy for weeks, even months on end, often to little reward. So it's a huge relief to know your publisher is working just as hard in that same endeavour. Trust me, that isn't always the case.
Carina (a digital imprint of Harlequin) uses a handy website called Netgalley, through which prospective reviewers can request a free ARC. And through todays's inexhaustible social networking magic, those early reviews can (hopefully) spark that elusive, cyber-alchemic reaction that spreads word of your book in avenues you never knew existed. It's a bit of a gamble--what if the reviewers hate your book--and there's no guarantee of anything, even if they like it, but Netgalley is one of the best ideas I've come across for eBook marketing.
Here are a few of the early reviews I found for my steampunk debut, The Mysterious Lady Law(officially released in 2 days!):
"...succeeds in capturing the spirit of the classic "Whodunit" detective fiction. With the added steampunk element, it's quite the imaginative romp...I hear-tell that this story is Robert Appleton's first go at steampunk. I think he wove a fun little tale, and hope he has plans to write in the genre again." 4/5 -- Alisha, My Need to Read
"...filled with adventure and wonderful steampunk gadgets ...It is interesting to see if a dance hall girl, detective and aging adventurer can outwit the formidable Lady Law. I recommend this book to lovers of steampunk and lovers of mysteries." -- Kathy, Inside of a Dog
"Journey into a steampunk reimagining of Victorian London in The Mysterious Lady Law. Robert Appleton has penned an entertaining mystery that starts off with a bang and ends in a mostly satisfying way. I liked Julia, Al, and Holly, the tale’s protagonists. They’re interesting characters with unique voices and their energy buoyed the story." -- Shayna, Joyfully Reviewed
"Robert Appleton does an excellent job of realizing this world and building the bits and baubles up a piece at a time... Overall, I enjoyed the worldbuilding and the mystery. I was kept guessing on what was coming right up to the end and I was left satisfied with the story we were given." -- Kelly, Reading the Paranormal
Nominations for the Love Romances Cafe Awards were announced yesterday. Claire de Lune received two: Best Sci-Fi/Futuristic Book and Best Cover. My uber-talented co-writer Sloane Taylor also received nods for her brilliant erotic books, French Kiss and French Twist.
Shout-outs also go out to my fabulous blog friends Clare London, Tabitha Shay, Ella Drake, and Melissa Bradley, who all earned nominations!
Robert Appleton is an award-winning author of science fiction, steampunk, and historical fiction. Based in Lancashire, England, he writes for various publishers. In his spare time he hikes, kayaks, and reads as many Victorian adventure novels as he can get his hands on. His mind is somewhat mercurial. His inspiration is the night sky.