Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Guest Post: Thomas Riley & The Steampunk Twist

I am honored to present a guest post from my friend Nick. -BF

First off, a huge thank you to B for letting me come here and guest blog today. It’s been an amazing blog tour and I owe it all to wonderful people such as Boudreau. My name is Nick Valentino, and I’m currently on a blog tour in support of my first steampunk novel called Thomas Riley.

Some of you are probably thinking, “What the heck is steampunk?” Don’t worry you’re not alone. Steampunk is a relatively new genre that deals in alternative history. Oh! Hold on, keep reading. I know that seems a bit dry but here’s the twist. Steampunk is usually set in Victorian times but the world is very different. Huge leaps in technology have sparked a new scientific boom centered around, you guessed it, steam. Everything is powered by steam, science, alchemy and black powder. Forget the normal fossil fuels and electricity we’re used to, just about everything is steam. So in turn, there are massive dirigibles flying through the sky. Everyone wants to be a scientist, inventor or airship crewmember. But beware; where you have heavy air traffic you also have sky pirates, greedy privateers and a host of surly yet innovative Victorian characters. Here’s how I like to think of it, Chill 1 part Jules Verne, mix with two parts Indiana Jones, add a mixer of H.G. Wells and for flavor, add a twist of Frankenstein.

Thomas Riley is a steampunk adventure filled with airships, clockwork inventions and swashbuckling action a plenty. Here’s the back cover blurb.

For more than twenty years West Canvia and Lemuria have been at war. From the safety of his laboratory, weapons designer Thomas Riley has cleverly and proudly empowered the West Canvian forces. But when a risky alchemy experiment goes horribly wrong, Thomas and his wily assistant Cynthia Bassett are thrust onto the front lines of battle and forced into shaky alliances with murderous sky pirates in a deadly race to kidnap the only man who can undo the damage: the mad genius behind Lemuria's cunning armaments.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Find out more at:


You can purchase signed copies at:




and Amazon


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Like a Boy

Entry for a contest at Metazen – Image to Text Conversion Experiment.
Picture by Metazen – an online metafiction journal edited by Frank Hinton.

Like a Boy
For as long as she could remember, her father had tried to conceal his disappointment that she was a daughter and not a son. She knew that he had loved her as best he could, but just like his effort to hide his disappointment, he did not convince. So, dressed like a boy, she relieved herself upright like a boy, then stepped away from his grave and turned her back on him for good.

The Hunt

Entry for a contest at Metazen – Image to Text Conversion Experiment.
Picture by Metazen – an online metafiction journal edited by Frank Hinton.

The Hunt
I lost the scent in last night's snowfall, but I still hear him out there, so I know which direction to head when this wretched excuse for a planet is once again (mercifully, I say) hidden in darkness. I am no longer nervous, uncertain, and I am not afraid: I feel calm, almost at peace, if I feel anything at all. If not tonight, then tomorrow night, if not tomorrow night, then the next, it does not matter, the outcome is inevitable: I will find the Wampa, I will kill him, and I will avenge my father's death.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Why I Will Never Submit to Cracked.com

I have a holiday piece that is Cracked-esque, but ran across this gem in their "Submission Agreement":

3. You hereby agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless CRACKED, and its subsidiaries, affiliates, successors and assigns, from and against any and all claims, demands, expenses, losses or liabilities including but not limited to reasonable attorney's fees and punitive damages that may be asserted against or incurred by CRACKED at any time in connection with the Submission, or any use thereof, including, without limitation, those arising from any breach, or alleged breach, of the warranties, representations and promises provided by you to CRACKED.

Uhhhh.... no.

Not that they would have accepted my piece for use, but my point is this: I'll never submit to them, simply because I'm not a big fan of indemnification agreements.

Your humble and obed’t Serv’t,
B. Freret