Review of Waking Up Dead by Margo Bond Collins

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ghosts. Mystery. A little romance. What's not to love? Waking up Dead is a thoroughly enjoyable and well-written novel.
The protagonist (and ghost), Callie, is sarcastic, quick witted, and bored. When Callie wakes up dead in Alabama, she finds out being a ghost isn't much fun. In fact, it's pretty boring. When Callie unwittingly sees a murder, she (and the reader) are pulled into an old southern mystery that Faulkner himself would appreciate.
The voice of Callie, however, is delightfully modern. Bond Collins' writing is crisp and fun to read. Her characters are well-developed, making them either very loveable or very hate-worthy. As well, her setting is very well described; you can feel you are in small-town Alabama. The novel is a page-turner. I finished reading the book in one sitting. The book is a really unique turn on the typical ghost story.
The novel is fun and intriguing but also socially aware. The book, while an easy and delightful read, also raises questions about important societal issues. Highly recommended. Can't wait to read more from this fantastic author!

Buy it now at!

Margo Bond Collins
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Chasing Lily Stargazer; A Steampunk Romance Story

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We are just one week away from the release of Chasing the Star Garden. I can't believe it! I have to admit I am a bit of a nervous wreck. I do hope everyone enjoys the novel. I wanted to take just a moment to introduce everyone to Lily Stargazer, the loveable airship racer and protagonist of Chasing the Star Garden. I thought it might be fun for you to learn a little about Lily before diving into the series!

Airship by Ariel


Chasing Lily Stargazer

The protagonist of my novel, Lily Stargazer, is a very loveable but shattered young woman. Over the course of the novel, her backstory is revealed in flashbacks. Lily has had a pretty rough upbringing. In Industrial Revolution England, it was commonplace for children to be indentured into a trade. To both her misfortune and her luck, Lily finds herself raised in the social class of air jockeys. It is not, by far, an ideal life, but Lily discovers her true talent as a airship pilot. While she loves the trade and learns how to fly, her early life is filled with dark moments and even darker characters.

Opium Den

As an adult, one way Lily deals with her problems is by medicating herself with opiates and alcohol. Lily doesn't really recognize she is running from anything.  She's just having fun, right? Over the course of Chasing the Star Garden, the reader will go along with Lily as she begins facing her demons.

George Gordon, Lord Byron

Lily is surrounded by men. Angus and Jessup, who are like brothers to her, make up her airship crewmates. Then Lily has her lovers. She is currently bouncing between the infamous George Gordon, Lord Byron with whom who she has been in a relationship for years. She and Byron have an unusual connection-it is a deep, spiritual relationship, but it is also no strings attached. Complicated. Lily is also enamored with Salvatore Colonna, an ex-pat Italian living in London. Sal is a genius Tinker who Lily simply adores. Through the course of the story, Lily is pushed to explore the nature of the relationship she has with both of these men.

I can't give away the mystery of the story, but it is an epic adventure akin to Dan Brown. The story is a steampunk romance with elements of fantasy and adventure. If you have never read steampunk before, but you like Indiana Jones type adventures with a heap of romance, you will enjoy the aesthetic of this novel. It's fun, a little gritty, but full of excitement.

One week to go!

Click here for: Chapter 1 Sneak Peek
Read the First 3 Chapters on Goodreads:


Chasing the Star Garden Book Trailer
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SteamU: JP Medved Discusses 5 Forgotten 'Steampunk' Stories from the 1800s (that are free online!)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dear Students,

Today I am excited to host JP Medved who will help us find a little outside reading direct from the 1800sbut currently free online! For my day job, I am an Instructor of English at a college in Florida. I study the Gothic writers, but I have to admit that while I know these authors, I am not familiar with these stories. What great finds! Thank you so much for stopping by, JP! Now, get reading!

5 Forgotten 'Steampunk' Stories From the 1800s That Are Free to Read Online

“Steampunk” as we know it now, the airships, fantastical clockwork inventions, and the daring adventurers going up against seemingly insurmountable odds in the name of science and Victorian sensibilities, is really just a continuation of a genre began late in the 1800s, known as “Victorian Science Fiction.”

You're probably aware of many “VSF” masterpieces that, if written today would be counted as seminal Steampunk works; H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine, Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and From the Earth to the Moon and, of course, Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars.  What you may not be aware of is that there are many, lesser known, but no less awesome, stories and books of Victorian Science Fiction that are almost all, due to copyright, free to read now online.

Below are five of them:

You want airships?  Forbidden love?  Worldwide revolution?  This novel's got 'em in spades.  When penniless inventor Richard Arnold succeeds in creating the world's first flying machine, he's desperate that it not fall into the hands of power-hungry governments who will use it only for war and subjugation.

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Bewitching Book Tours Hot Holiday Giveaway

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I am so excited to participate with so many other wonderful writers as part of Roxanne Rhoads Bewitching Book Tours Hot Holiday Giveaway. You will spot a giveaway for an ebook copy of Chasing the Star Garden up for grabs! In addition to books and swag, we have an AWESOME Grand Prize for one lucky winner. Check our this adorable video featuring all the wonderful prizes you can win!

Here is a full list of the prizes:


1 Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch or equivalent value Amazon Gift Card

3 Bewitching Prize Packs full of books and book swag goodies- open to US Shipping- prize packs may contain print copies of The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle, Would Be Witch by Kimberly Frost and Earth Angel by E Van Lowe, Paranormal Pleasures by Roxanne Rhoads, Tasty Christmas Treats by Roxanne Rhoads- books will be distributed among the 3 prize packs

1  e-book set of the first three books in the Seven Seals Series by Traci Douglass

1 Release, book 3 of The Angler series by Annie Nicholas

1 ebook copy Murder on Mars A New Orleans Mystery by MM Shelley

1 Ebook giveaway Hollow’s End by Marianne Morea

1 Ebook copy of Tigress by JE Taylor

1 ebook copy of In Flames by Jessica Jayne

1 copy of River Road by Suzanne Johnson

1 ebook copy of Visionary- Unleashed by N Dunham

1 copy of each Bleeding Hearts and Blood Rush by Ash Krafton

1 ebook copy of Soul Meaning (Seventeen Book 1) by AD Starrling

1 ebook copy of Blaze Ignites by JL Madore

1  e-book copy of Operation Earth by Maria Hammarblad

1 Earth’s Requiem. Print if in the U.S., an e-copy otherwise.

1 ebook copy Silent Oath (Book 2 of the Locked Within Trilogy) by Paul Anthony Shortt

1 Ebook: Five Golden Rings by Jeffe Kennedy from the Season of Seduction Carina Press erotic holiday anthology

1 eBook: An Unexpected Bride (The Bride Series, Book 1) by Shadonna Richards

1 eCopy of Divine Destiny by Joanna Grace

1 Ministry Protocol: Thrilling Tales of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences

1 Ebook giveaway. "Beautiful Stranger" by Katalina Leon

1 ebook copy of Chasing the Star Garden by Melanie Karsak

1 ebook copy of Cleaning Up by Jophrael L Avario

1 One e-book copy of Haven by Celia Breslin

1 one e-book copy of Dragon Fire by Dina Von Lowenkraft

1 ebook copy of Hex and the Single Witch by Roxanne Rhoads

1 one kindle copy of Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amsden

1 One ecopy of Cursed Ever After by AC James

1 copy of The Miss Education of Dr. Exeter by Jillian Stone

1 ecopy of Catwalk:Messiah by Nick Kelly

1 ecopy of Wucaii by Pembroke Sinclair

1 ecopy of The Bottom Line by Shelley Munro

1 Ebook copy of Dangerous Pursuit by Margaret Daly

It's almost like Santa came a little early this year!

Enter to win!

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Gratitude Giveaway Blog Hop

This has been a wonderful year. In September of 2012, my dream of becoming a published author became a reality. My first novel, The Harvesting, was released and was met with positive reviews. Many wonderful people have helped me along the way. I am so grateful for the guidance of my friends, family, and the writing community. I wanted to take part in this wonderful giveaway hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer to show my gratitude. To show my thanks, I have two signed paperbacks up for grabs.

What can you win:

1 Autographed Paperback Copy
Novel releases December 4th!

How to enter:

This prize is available INT.

The purpose of this Blog Hop is to show gratitude. I am very grateful to all the people who have helped me on my journey as a writer this year.

As such, let's make this giveaway as painless as possible. Please follow me your favorite way:
You can follow my blog.

That's it! May the odds be ever in your favor!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep Hopping!

Many wonderful authors and bloggers are participating in this event. Be sure to hop along for a chance at a number of wonderful prizes!

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New Facebook Group; A Quaint Compendium of Steampunk Authors, Books, and Readers

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dear Readers and Steampunk Fans,

I wanted to invite everyone to join a new Facebook community for Steampunk Authors and Fans. This open community will be a wonderful place to promote new releases, sales, and all other steampunk book related goodies. Please join us:
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SteamU; Margaret Foxe, author of The Elders and Welders Chronicles, brings us An Interview With a Vampire

Friday, November 1, 2013

Dear Students,

I am delighted to bring you another fabulous steampunk author today as part of the Steampunk University Lecture Series. Margaret Fox, author of Prince of Hearts will release her second novel in the series, A Dark Heart, on Amazon on November 26th. Please enjoy an interview with her protagonist in A Dark Heart, Inspector Elijah Drexler.

SteamU; The Steampunk University Series

Today’s Lecture by SteamU Professor: Margaret Foxe

Author of: Prince of Hearts (The Elders and Welders Chronicles, Bk. 1)

Further Discourses Available: Amazon

Office Hours: On Amazon, On Goodreads, On Wordpress, and Twitter me @FoxeSteampunk 

An Interview With a Vampire

by Margaret Foxe

(AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is a newspaper interview I “unearthed”, featuring the hero of my upcoming book, A Dark Heart (The Elders and Welders Chronicles, Bk. 2), which is out on Amazon Nov. 26th. Many of my readers have already met Inspector Elijah Drexler in Prince of Hearts, where he was one of the supporting characters. He had his own story to tell, but getting him to tell it has proved difficult, however, as you will plainly see by the futile efforts of the 19th century interviewer below, who had no idea he was badgering a very cranky, very dangerous vampire, by the by. But don’t worry. This vampire eventually learns to open up and find love in A Dark Heart – eventually being the key word.)

London, April, 1897:

Last week, this author was fortunate enough to gain an interview with the infamously elusive detective, Inspector Elijah Drexler of Scotland Yard. The Inspector had made a name for himself early in his career for his dedicated crusade against the Black Market that has held London’s East End in its thrall for the past few decades. However, after single-handedly apprehending the vicious criminal known as Jack the Ripper nearly a decade ago, Inspector Drexler retreated from his rising celebrity under mysterious circumstances. He is rarely seen in public these days.
His mission to clean up the London stews has continued unabated, however, as was evidenced by the state in which I discovered him for this interview in his small basement office: unshaven, with blood staining a suit that had long since seen better days. He informed me it was from a murder suspect he’d had to “subdue” before hauling him into the Yard.
This author must admit to a bit of trepidation upon discovering him in such dishabille, for despite his apparent infirmities, one senses that this is not a man to cross in a dark alley. Owing to a childhood accident, one of Inspector Drexler’s legs was crippled, and an eye was lost forever. Thus he wields a cane to accommodate a noticeable limp, and stares out at the world from behind a Welder’s brass-fitted eyepiece. However, this author cannot decide which is more unnerving: the goggle-like Weldling automata covering the right side of his face, or his one remaining human eye, so brilliantly blue and shrewd that it seems just as unnatural.
Or perhaps it is the scar streaking down his cheek underneath his Weldling eye that creates the general air of menace surrounding this man. That or the Inspector’s scowling reticence to all of my inquiries. But one thing has become unerringly clear to this author: if I ever doubted the rumors he brought the Ripper’s severed head to the Chief Inspector on a platter nine years ago, just like the biblical Salome, I do not any longer. This man seems capable of anything.
Anything except accommodating a newspaperman, it seems. Here is the brief interview I managed to squeeze out of him, such as it is:
Me: It is well known you were an orphan mentored by the late Earl of Llewellyn. Would you care to comment on your relationship with him?
Inspector: There is nothing much to say that has not been said before on that subject. He took an interest in me when I was a lad and funded my education. He was a philanthropist. That was what he did. I was nothing special.
Me: That isn’t exactly true, now, is it? You were more than a charity case for him. And you have remained close with his heir, the current Earl of Llewellyn, and his sister, the socialite Lady Christiana Harker. Care to comment on that?
Inspector: I’m not close with anyone, certainly not nobs like the Earl or her Ladyship. I’m from Whitechapel, not Mayfair.
Me: But the Earl would call you a friend. You would not do the same?
Inspector: I don’t have friends. [sighs] I thought this was about police business. If you’re looking for gossip for the society page, you’ve come to the wrong bleeding place. [He gets up from behind his desk as if to leave].
Me: Your reaction makes me think you have something to hide. Perhaps you carry a tendre for Lady Christiana and don’t wish to betray yourself?
Inspector: [Sits back down, and glares at me with such venom I admit that I break out in a sweat. After a painfully long silence in which I begin to fear he’d put my head on a platter, however, Drexler speaks.] What man in London doesn’t? Your own rag called her The Most Beautiful Woman in London. She is beautiful to look at, I’ll admit. But other than that, I can’t say. I don’t know her that well.
Me: I’ll take your word for it. What I’m really interested in are the reports some of my sources have been bringing me from the East End about strange creatures haunting the streets at night.
Inspector: What’s new about that?
Me: Well, perhaps the fact that these strange creatures seem to be leaving behind bloodless corpses?
Inspector: I have no comment.
Me: Do you have nothing to say about Nick O’Connor’s alleged connection to these nighttime activities? Your nemesis has been busy in recent years, consolidating the Black Market’s power in East London, despite your best efforts. Should we be worried about these latest rumors?
Inspector: [still glaring] I don’t know anything about bloodless corpses. But I know this. Anything bad that happens in London can be laid at that b-—‘s feet.
Me: So your quest to bring down Nick O’Connor continues, even after all of these years?
Inspector: I may be destined for a place in hell, but I’m taking that son of a b—- with me when I go.
Me: Brave words, Inspector.
Inspector: True words. And you can print every one of them. I want him to know I’m coming for him. [With that, Inspector Drexler ends the interview abruptly.]
Of course, my editors have forced me to leave blank some of the Inspector’s more colorful language in regards to Nick O’Connor’s person, but I heeded the Inspector’s request to publish his latest declaration of war against the Black Market leader.
Despite his deflections, this author believes the Inspector knows far more about the disturbing reports currently circulating throughout the city concerning the new terrors stalking the streets at night. Not since the early days of the Ripper’s reign of terror have Scotland Yard and other official sources been so reluctant to talk to members of the press. Should the general citizenry be worried? Absolutely. Bloodsucking creatures or no, with men like Newgate Nick O’Connor out there, one should always worry.
But with men like Inspector Drexler to stand up to the villains – men nearly as fearsome as the villains themselves – this author feels perversely reassured. My instincts tell me that if I had to choose between facing Nick O’Connor or the Inspector in the boxing ring, I’d choose the former if I had any desire to leave the ring alive.

- From The London Post-Dispatch, 1897.

About the Author

Margaret Foxe is a professional musician from Tennessee. She has lived in several countries and travelled from Costa Rica to Cairo. Her crowning transcontinental glory was ascending Jebel Toubkal in the High Atlas Mountains with her best friend, a mule, a Berber guide named Omar, a bota bag, and lots and lots of orange Fanta. She is currently working on her master's degree in piano performance in between writing steampunk mash-ups. Her debut novel, Prince of Hearts, combines all of her favorite things: historical romance, steampunk gadgets, a touch of fantasy, and a canine sub-plot.

Margaret has graciously gifted a giveaway for my December 4th release party for Chasing the Star Garden. Please join us for our Steampunk Fete and Chasing the Star Garden release party on Facebook! With more than 30 prizes and more than a dozen steampunk writers donating to the event, it's sure to be a blast!

Click the graphic to join our Steampunk Fete!

Facebook Release Party and Steampunk Fete

~ Class Dismissed


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