Saturday, September 1, 2012

Steampunk Saturdays with Bec McMaster of Kiss of Steel (Guest Post/Giveaway)

We're wrapping up Steampunk Saturdays with paranormal and steampunk romance author, Bec McMaster and her debut book, Kiss of Steel. Please give Bec a warm welcome and raise your glasses for a toast to her upcoming release. Congratulations, Bec! 

What drew me to write steampunk?

Almost the first question anybody asks me when I say I write steampunk romance is, “What is steampunk?” It’s a great question, because, up until five or so years ago, I didn’t know what it was either.

That may sound strange, but the thing is, I’ve been reading books featuring steampunk (or steampunk elements) for years and loved so many steampunk movies  - I just didn’t know what it was. I remember seeing Wild Wild West at the movies with my Dad and thinking, ‘This is the coolest thing ever.’ Or trying to explain The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to a friend. Coaxing my boyfriend to watch Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (dieselpunk rather than steampunk but no less cool) or salivating over Sherlock Holmes, with its slightly-steampunk ending. I didn’t know what steampunk was but I knew what I liked. Kick-ass weapons, crazy inventions, feisty heroines in fantastic costumes and swashbuckling heroes with no small amount of charm. But most importantly, I loved the sense of adventure.

Steampunk started creeping into my sphere, bit by bit, corset by corset. I remember when I first saw a rather long-winded definition of it on the internet and thought, wow, that’s like historical fiction + fantasy + sci-fi. For a self-admitted geek like me, it’s like all my favourite genres came together and had a baby. It fascinates the part of me that studied science at university and pleases me aesthetically. It appeals to the part of me that wishes I’d been born in the late 1800’s, when so much of the world was still unexplored and the curious, how-does-this-work part of me that sends me on wild goose chases through the internet.

Steampunk started to pop up as the next big thing, which, as all writers know, is something to be avoided if you can. The problem was, the more I read and saw, the more I realized this is what I love. It had a name! I wasn’t just some fan of strange movies or books that most of my friends didn’t understand.

Then, two years ago, a little voice started whispering in my ear. I’d catch an image every now and then, of foggy, cobble-strewn streets and blaring omnibuses. Gaslight and decadent gowns. But most importantly of all, I saw a young woman; down-on-her-luck, half-starved, trying desperately to keep her feet in the mean streets of Whitechapel, whilst she kept glancing over her shoulder. Searching for someone, I thought. Or afraid that they’d found her.

And then there was my hero, Blade, that little voice I mentioned earlier. Watching from the shadows with his cheroot and a dangerous glint in his green eyes. Full of rough, cockney charm and arrogance.

One little image that could have gone anywhere. But it was like a thousand little ideas I’d been storing in my sub conscious all came together and then suddenly Kiss of Steel was practically writing itself, keeping me ‘til late and nagging at me in the middle of the night when I was supposed to be sleeping.

The world kept growing and growing and what I thought was going to be a paranormal romance started taking a darker, more sinister turn. The ruling Echelon (kind of like the ton, but stricken by a virus that turns them into blood-drinkers) came into being, ruled by seven deadly dukes. To keep the humans in their place they created an automaton army that rules the streets. And from there… well… lets just say that history took an interesting turn.

Is there adventure? Yes. Science? Yes. Cool guns, sexy corsets and dangerous, flame-throwing metaljacket automatons? Yes to all of the above. Dirigibles? Well, not just yet. Or not in Britain, anyway. After all, there’s still so much of the world to explore.

So tell me – as a reader – what drew you to reading steampunk? Or if you haven’t read it yet, do parts of it sound like they interest you?

A brilliantly creative debut where vampires, werewolves, and clockwork creatures roam the mist–shrouded streets of London...

When Nowhere is Safe…
Most people avoid the dreaded Whitecapel district. For Honoria Todd, it's the last safe haven. But at what price? Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It's been said he faced down the Echelon's army single–handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood–craving he's been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.
 When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She's so...innocent. He doesn't see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he's been seeking.
Purchase at AmazonKindleBarnes & Noble, and The Book Depository


Award-winning author Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Australia and grew up with her nose in a book. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and steampunk romance. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds. For more information, please visit or follow her on Twitter, @BecMcMaster

Sourcebooks is giving away one copy of Kiss of Steel to one US or Candian reader today. To enter, just leave a comment on this post answering Bec's question and then fill out the rafflecopter below. Additional entries are available but not required. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I like the mixture of technology with the historical features.

  2. I enjoy reading about what would have happened if we had just expanded on steam power and it's components.


  3. Congrats on the release of your book!

    My love for steampunk/steampunk romance dates back to a childhood viewing of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG. That got me exposed even before I knew it had a name.

    You're so right about this genre showing up in various films, tv shows, and books. It's been fun watching it expand into the romance genre!

    Thanks for the contest!

  4. I am just like you, a fan of Steampunk without knowing it. I loved Wild Wild West as a kid and am a fan of fantasy, historical romance sci-fi and adventure. It's a perfect blend. Good luck with your book <3

  5. I remember reading steampunk when I was in High School and then lost sight of the genre along with others. But I'm starting back up, but I think it's just the thought of other worlds paralleled with ours that drew my interest. I just loved it, it was something different and exciting to read ;)

  6. I added Kiss of Steel to my wish list the moment I discovered it on the web. I'm always on the lookout for new steampunk stories, and this sounds like a great one. I love reading steampunk because of the action, the great inventions and the wonderful alternate history usually found in them.

  7. I've yet to read a steampunk book, but it definitely catches my eye. I absolutely loved Wild Wild West btw ^_^ I think for me, the fashion is what draws me in. I absolutely love the steampunk style. I didn't know what steampunk was up until a while ago, but reading this definitely shed more light on that. Really looking forward to reading this book :) BTW, beautiful cover!


  8. I havent read it yet but I love reading all different genres and this one sounds very good. Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. I was like you Bec, I know what I liked at the movies, but didn't know that I was watching some elements of steampunk. Wild Wild West, Sherlock Holmes. I haven't actually read any books yet, although I have a couple that I plan to read soon.
    Kiss of Steel has a kick ass cover!
    I love it.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

  10. the excerpt has me hooked! Sounds really interesting. Carin

  11. I like the juxtaposition of an "old" or "period" society with the progress of machinery and the mystery of magic! Loved my first steampunk, The Girl in the Steel Corset!

    Thanks for the intro to a new book!

  12. I love the historical and paranormal genre, but I am a little burned out on both. Steampunk kind of puts a new and interesting spin on them.


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