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Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday Spotlight: Maeve Alpin

Steampunk Romance
by Maeve Alpin

The latest cross genre of romance that’s all the rage is Steampunk. It’s a yummy genre and once you get a taste of it, you’ll be hooked. For those romance readers who are unfamiliar with it, I’ve noted some particulars.
You don't have to know what steampunk is at all to enjoy As Timeless As Stone; you can call it a time travel romance and that would work just as well. For those who would like to know more about Steampunk, it’s a fantasy/sci-fi genre that is a type of alternate history based on the idea that the industrial age and the technological age happen together. It's written in the spirit of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne. If you ever watched the Wild Wild West TV show or the movie - that's steampunk. For the most part it's set during the Victorian Age, sometimes in the American west.

You can have magic and paranormal elements and most of the Steampunk Romances coming out do, but you don't have to. I find it an incredibly fun genre to write. Steampunk has also expIoded into our culture with fashion both clothes, jewelry, and with gadgetry as many people love to build steampunk machines including cars. There is also steampunk music and movies. Simply Google the word steampunk to glimpse the variety of items included in what has become for some people, a way of life.
But back to my favorite subject, books. One thing that stands out in Steampunk Romances are  fresh, settings and alternate history. 

Steampunk Romances are usually set in Victorian England, especially London; some are in the Old West in the same time period; and As Timeless As Stone takes place in 1830 Paris, France. As Timeless As Stone is also an example of Egyptian Steampunk.
Steampunk Romances usually have some type of scientist, often a good old- fashioned mad scientist. In As Timeless As Stone my hero is an unusual scientist for the genre: he’s an Egyptologist. He’s also the assistant of Jean François Champollion, the man best known for deciphering the Rosetta Stone. Working for Jean Francois Champollion, the conservator of the Egyptian collection of the Louvre, Ricard uncovers a room full of artifacts Napoleon Bonaparte brought back from his Egyptian campaign and expedition. They have been hidden away from the English all this time.

This is the part of my story where magic and science combine as it does in most Steampunk Romances. As Ricard examines these artifacts, he uncovers an ancient Egyptian statue with the head broken off. When he sets the head back in place and uses his linguistic skills to read the incantation she holds in her stone fingers, the statue comes to life. A gorgeous flesh and blood woman appears where a stone image stood just moments before. This is my heroine Seshat, who in peril for her life turned herself to stone thousands of years before. 
There is often an environment of political chaos and discourse in Steampunk Romance and As Timeless As Stone is no exception, set in 1830 Paris under the reign of Charles the tenth with pending mayhem and unrest around the corner as the king is overthrown that same year in the July revolution.
 Another big part of Steampunk Romances are the wonderful Victorian fashions. But in As Timeless As Stone, Seshat is not impressed with layers of confining clothing. As an Egyptian priestess it is a taboo for her to wear anything made from animals, such as wool, and this comes into play when the couturier is garbing her in the latest Paris fashions. 
In Steampunk Romances there is usually a steam driven machine. For example in As Timeless As Stone there is a sprinkling of brass robots. The ultimate mechanical wonder in As Timeless As Stone is the brass time-machine watch pictured on the cover.
Now that you are familiar with some of the elements of the genre, I hope you’ll give it a try and let a Steampunk Romance sweep you away to another place and time for a fun adventure. 

Enjoy this trailer of As Timeless As Stone and please visit my website at

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