Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blog Tour: Moonlight and Mechanicals by Cindy Spencer Pape

This virtual book tour is presented by Bewitching Book Tours.
Click HERE to see the tour schedule.
Welcome to The Wormhole and my day on the tour.
It is with great pleasure that I feature:
Cindy Spencer Pape and Moonlight and Mechanicals.
Cindy has stopped by for an interview!
? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? It was a slow realization for me, but had always been dancing around somewhere in the back of my mind. I decided to give it a serious effort somewhere in my late 30s.

? How many jobs did you have before you became a writer? Let’s see: restaurant hostess, camp counselor, carpenter’s assistant, bank teller, receptionist, teaching assistant, college instructor, zoo educator, museum curator, elected politician, substitute teacher, math tutor, naturalist. There are probably more, but those are the ones that come to mind.

? How long does it take you to write a book? It can vary from years, if I pick it up and put it down repeatedly, to a couple months if the words are flowing.

? What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? I type faster to faster music.

? Do you have a routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write? Other than caffeine? No.

? Where do you write and how do you write ~ on paper, typewriter or computer? I have a desk in our family room with a docking station for my laptop, but I can take it anywhere and still get work done. In a pinch, I’ll write longhand in a spiral notebook, and transcribe it later. All in all, I’m pretty flexible.

? Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters? Everywhere. Like most writers I know, I go through life storing up tidbits of things and then rearrange them into characters and plots.

? How do you decide what you want to write about? Sometimes I’ve already set it up, if it’s a series book, then I have to work with that. Other times, it’s a matter of taking one idea, adding another and another, taking out the ones that don’t work and weaving in more until you’ve got a story that works.

? Where does a book start for you ~ characters, plot, ending? Almost always characters.

? What books have most influenced your life? Sherlock Holmes taught me to be analytical. Roberta Gellis’s Roselynde Chronicles taught me to love history. I devoured the old Harlequins as a kid, which gave me an eternal fondness for love stories. Gordon R. Dickson’s The Dragon and the George introduced me to fantasy while Roger Zelazny introduced me to science fiction.

? What is the first book you remember reading by yourself? Thumbelina

? What are you reading right now? I’m in between. It’s really rare for me not to finish a book the same night I start it.

? What do you like to do when you are not writing? Read. Play board and role-playing games. I love costuming events, like renaissance fairs and steampunk socials.

? What is your favorite comfort food? popcorn

? What do you think makes a good story? Characters you identify with and a world you can lose yourself in, plus a plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way to the end. And of course, a happy ending.

? Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser”? Some of each.

Fun random questions: 
  • dogs or cats? Dogs, the bigger the better.
  • Coffee or tea? Diet Coke
  • Dark or milk chocolate? Milk
  • Rocks or flowers? yes
  • Night or day? night
  • Favorite color? pink
  • Crayons or markers? crayons
  • Pens or pencils? pens

More About the Author:
Award-winning author of over forty popular books and novellas in paranormal, historical, and erotic romance, Cindy Spencer Pape is an avid reader. According to The Romance Studio, her plots are “full of twist and turns that keep the reader poised at the edge of their seat.” Joyfully Reviewed said, her “colorful characters and plot building surprises kept me spellbound,” and Romantic Times Magazine says her “characters are appealing, and passionate sex leads to a satisfying romance.”

Cindy firmly believes in happily-ever-after. Married for more than twenty-five years to her own, sometimes-kilted hero, she lives in southern Michigan with him and two college-age sons, along with an ever-changing menagerie of pets.  Cindy has been, among other things, a banker, a teacher, and an elected politician, but mostly an environmental educator, though now she is lucky enough to write full-time. Her degrees in zoology and animal behavior almost help her comprehend the three male humans who share her household.

Find Her: author site - BlogNewsletter group: TwitterFacebook:

Moonlight & Mechanicals: Book 4 in the Gaslight Chronicles by Cindy Spencer Pape

Genre: Steampunk Romance

Book Description:

London, 1859

Engineer Winifred "Wink" Hadrian has been in love with Inspector Liam McCullough for years, but is beginning to lose hope when he swears to be a lifelong bachelor. Faced with a proposal from a Knight of the Round Table and one of her closest friends, Wink reluctantly agrees to consider him instead.

Because of his dark werewolf past, Liam tries to keep his distance, but can't say no when Wink asks him to help find her friend's missing son. They soon discover that London's poorest are disappearing at an alarming rate, after encounters with mysterious "mechanical" men. Even more alarming is the connection the missing people may have with a conspiracy against the Queen.

Fighting against time—and their escalating feelings for each other—Wink and Liam must work together to find the missing people and save the monarchy before it's too late...


Chapter One

London, June 1859

“Any questions?” Winifred Carter Hadrian looked around the room full of the august gentlemen—and very few ladies—of the Royal Society, and straightened her spine. She’d just finished presenting her paper on the beneficial properties of wind and electric power over coal. The members of the Royal Society remained unimpressed. Whether mustachioed, mutton-chopped or rice-powdered, nearly every face regarded her with a unified disapproving frown.
“What does a young lady like you know about steam engines?” She couldn’t identify the voice—it came from a shadowy corner of the room. Snickers and rude noises erupted in its wake from throughout the so-called genteel membership. The acoustics in the room were impressive. Not only could the audience hear her, but she could hear them more clearly than she’d have liked. The front row, made up of Wink’s family and friends, swiveled and glared at the crowd. Most of the hecklers shut up.
Wink remained polite. “Are there any further questions?” Not a single hand was raised.
“The problem, missy, is that our economy is built on coal. Reducing its use costs jobs.” She couldn’t see the owner of that particularly patronizing tone either, but it obviously met the approval of the audience, because another round of boos and jeers broke out. At least they weren’t throwing anything. Yet. That wasn’t unheard of.
“I’m aware of the monetary value of coal to the empire,” she said. “If you’d read my paper, you’d see I propose to train displaced miners—”
“Go back to your needlework, girl. It’s where you belong.”
Wink’s adoptive father, Sir Merrick Hadrian, Baron Northland, rose and whirled on that voice, fists raised. So did his wife, Caroline, though she lifted her parasol. Merrick’s aunt, Dorothy, simply gave the man a death glare.
“Better yet, on her back. She wouldn’t be too hideous in the dark.” The speaker didn’t shout that remark, but a coincidental lull in the other noise made it stand out like the smell of dead fish. In the back row, Lord Eustace Irons, son of a marquess and a coal heiress, laughed at his own so-called joke. Wink wasn’t surprised. He also had a tendency to grope during waltzes. When he saw that he’d been heard, his pasty skin paled even further and he mumbled an apology as he looked wide-eyed at an angry Lord Northland.
Meanwhile Sir Thomas Devere, Wink’s foster brother, and his closest friend, Sir Connor MacKay, began to bolt from their seats toward Lord Eustace. Another man, one whose presence had caused Wink’s heart to flutter, caught the two younger men by their coat collars and hauled them back into their seats. “Remember, I’d have to arrest you both for assault. Let’s just get the hell out of here.” Inspector Liam McCullough shot Wink an imperious glance as if commanding her to leave the stage.
She seethed at being told what to do, but he was right. Retreat was in order. She gave him a nearly imperceptible nod and then smiled at the audience with exquisite politeness. “Thank you, my lords, ladies and gentlemen, for your time. My thesis is, of course, on file at Lovelace College, Oxford, if you care to refer to it at a future date.” With that, she gave a hint of a curtsey and stepped away from the podium, her spine straight and her starched crinoline petticoat rustling.
As she left the stage, she looked back at Lord Eustace and felt his oily grin skimming over her curves—or lack thereof. Next to him stood another man, one Wink had never seen before. His leer wasn’t as overtly slimy, but somehow, his intense and calculating stare made the back of her neck itch. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Tom mutter a quick spell under his breath. Eustace seemed to hit a slick patch on the floor and went flying, landing on his arse on the marble. His friend tripped over him and fell as well.