Dex in Blue, will be free on ARE. If you haven't picked it up, you should, it's fantastic. And it's free so that's crazy awesome.
Another very huge deal is that Amy Lane's new Steampunk novel, Under the Rushes, will be out tomorrow. You know I have to say that one of the most amazing perks about having friends who are writers is the whole beta reading gig. To have your opinion be trusted is a wonderful thing. The drawback is that you read in serial form. So you get a chapter and then you wait and it's like being on pins and needles. "Will I get another chapter today?" For me, that experience is magnified even more when you're not reading a contemporary. Beta reading a paranormal is amazing because you're transported to another world. You're not familiar with things, even in a shifter story, because the set-up is different, things could go in any direction. What you expect, is never how it goes. I love that! The next step up from that is a fantasy or, as I came to learn, Steampunk.
May I say that I have read one other in my life? The Inventor's Companion by Ariel Tachna. That's it. That is the beginning and end of my "steampunk" knowledge. So when Amy first said she was writing one I was like...yeah...yeah...
Amy: Don't sound so excited.
Mary: No. (I texted her) Yeah! (And I added all the squeeing smileys)
Amy: It's going to be awesome, a guy fighting for what's right, a guy like Batman except steampunk.
Mary: (What is she talking about?) Super!
Amy: You'll see.
But really, Steampunk? *whimper*
And then, as usual, I started reading it...
By the end of the first chapter I was completely sucked in and by the end of the second I was sending her daily reminder messages:
Mary: Hey. Hi. How are you?
Amy: Well the kids...
Mary: Yeah, yeah, that's great. You got anything for me?
I was a book junkie looking for a word fix. And then it got to be, "I know I got 3k, can I get like a thousand more before you go to bed? How about just 500 words. Certainly you can write 500 more words. Don't be a weenie."
So I can say this about Under the Rushes, if you like to be transported to a different world, if the idea of the underdog...wait, Amy said it best herself here:
Rushes is set in a steampunk world-- think Victorian era with fantastical
machinery and a little bit of unexplained magic thrown in. There are cravats
and coat tails and giant jumping conveyances shaped like crickets and trains
that are shaped like millipedes. There is a friend who is insane and terrifying
and brutally masochistic (and sadistic about making our hero join in) and
streetwalkers with hearts of gold (and sweet little flower mouths, for the fun
stuff!) and in the midst of it all is our hero. Dorjan. Who had everything he
loved--his achievement, his father, the steadiness of a lifelong
friend--stripped away from him in an instant, and, ten years later, is still
fighting for justice on the streets of a corrupt city. I love Dorjan. He is
tortured, determined, and still, after all of that, kind. His best friend and
tormenter, Areau is twisted and cruel, but also brilliant and charismatic and
necessary. His lover, Taern, is young, persistent, and cocky to the point of
madness. The three of them dance around each other, they tumble, they wound,
they scathe, and then they minister balm and kindness.
Yep, that's it in a nutshell and because I want to read the whole thing together, and of course have the paperback to keep, my copy was pre-ordered. Really, don't miss it. You won't be disappointed.