When I think of steampunk, that (after the clothes, because...hello? Corsets. Bustles. Dusters. <3) is the first word that comes to mind. Of all genres of literature, steampunk (along with the other punks) has the most craftspeople dedicated to bringing it to life in the real world. THat is an amazing and beautiful thing. And what I love most about it is that it fits so well with the importance of creating within the literature.
Mad scientists trying to take over the world do so through their creations. And sometimes the heroes do battle with creations of their own.
It was one of the aspects I really wanted to focus on in the second book of the Badlands series. Where book 1 mainly displayed the clockworks as minions of an evil mind, in book 2 (Clockwork Mafia), we see the evil that science wrought put up against the beauty that it can create as well. I wanted it to be a reminder that no science is inherently good or inherently evil. It's a message that resonates today as we weigh the pros and cons of things like stem-cell research and genetic engineering.
That is one of the amazing things for me about creating steampunk romance. I not only get to write stories about how boy meets girl, but I get to fill them with messages designed to make people think. And gadgets. Because gadgets are just cool and I wish I could make them in real life. Sadly, I lack the skills, but if someone wants to make me a clockwork dragonfly hair pin, I wouldn't turn it down ;-)
But enough about me and my blathering. I know what you're really here for...the giveaway! Yes, this is the only copy of Clockwork Mafia I've given away so far, but you have a little more reading to do first. Find out what the Ministry Initiative is all about (You'll need this to enter for the book, plus it's more of how awesome steampunk is with regard to creating new ways to enjoy the genre...just don't forget to enter for the book before you leave!)
Galileo Games and Imagine That! Studios have teamed up to bring you an ambitious steampunk project! The Ministry Initiative is a two-part creative endeavor that will not only premiere new fiction from the steampunk world of the Ministry but also present a brand new role playing game from the makers of Bulldogs! and the ENnie Award winning game Shelter in Place. Thrill to the tales in Ministry Protocol anthology, or join in as an Agent in The Ministry Initiative RPG.