Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Steamduck Learns To Fly

Steamduck Learns To Fly is the second steampunk children's book by writer extraordinaire Emilie P. Bush and illustrator William Kevin Petty and it's OUT RIGHT NOW! How brilliant is this?! Not only is it a super original and awesome idea but it's so well done! Seriously, I want each one of these for my kids. Hm, the holidays are coming up...

Emilie P. Bush is also the writer of Chenda and The Airship Brofman, The Gospel According to Verdu and children's book Her Magesty's Explorer (A steampunk bedtime story). She's an excellent writer and a wonderful person. I was fortunate enough to see her read at Anachrocon in Atlanta, GA and I was on a panel with her at Dragon Con a few years ago and I have to say her panels are not to be missed.

Check out Steamduck Learns To Fly:

Steamduck is back with another adventure! Author Emilie P. Bush and illustrator William Kevin Petty bring this follow up to their bestselling children’s book Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story. In Steamduck Learns to FLY! the plucky mechanical duck discovers that REAL birds do more than swim. He turns to his old friend and maker – the Otter – to learn a few things about flying. They try and fail with propeller contraptions, hot air balloons and more. Despite all the mishaps, the pair eventually defy gravity and take to the sky.

Steamduck Learns To Fly on Amazon.com

Steamduck Learns To Fly Book Trailer

Like Steamduck on Facebook

Monday, October 8, 2012

Spook House by Michael West

Horror writer extraordinaire Michael West's new book, Spook House, is out today!! Published by Seventh Star Press, Mr. West's new book looks to be an amazing ride of thrills and scares and is a must have for anyone remotely interested in the horror genre.

Here's the blurb:
The latest Harmony, Indiana novel following 2011’s Cinema of Shadows arrives just in time for Halloween, exploring the places in this world that go far beyond any normal definition of “haunted.” These places are so evil, so diabolical, that they become gateways to Hell itself. The Fuller Farm is one such place.

It is said that old man Fuller conducted unspeakable acts, blood rituals and human sacrifices, all in an attempt to gain the ultimate knowledge, the ultimate power. And then, he was killed–horribly murdered on his own lands, leaving the house to stand as a vacant monument to his wickedness. But once a door is opened, it can never really be closed.

Now, the stars are right. The gateway is ready to once more unleash unspeakable horror upon the town of Harmony, Indiana. And this will be one Halloween that they will never forget!

Michael West  has been on the scene for quite some time, building an amazing reputation as a top notch horror writer. You can probably catch him at all the best horror and fantasy conventions so if you get the chance to meet him, don't pass it up! He's a very cool guy!

He's also doing a 33 date blog tour (Sounds like me) so be sure to check out his posts all over the Internet. Also, if you're in the area, the book release launch party will be at "That Book Place" in Madison Indiana on October 27th.

See Michael's press release here: http://www.bymichaelwest.com/spook-house-for-sale

Pre-order one of only 75 hardcover copies of Spook House here: http://www.seventhstarpress.com/pre-orders/

Visit Seventh Star Press' website here: http://www.seventhstarpress.com/pre-orders/

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Out ov the Coffin

Out ov the Coffin is a goth/dark radio show hosted by dear friend of mine, DJ Ichabod. He's been on  the radio for years (14 years to be exact in this form. He also did the Ichabod and Ebeneezer show before that and I believe he did a stint as the host of the late night all metal show "The Haunted Mansion") playing the newest and most interesting dark music on the airwaves. Originally he was on Vanderbilt's own 91.1 WRVU but they sold the frequency or switched it or whatever to play strictly classical music after being Nashville's only true alternative to corporate music. Bastards.

Anyway, this didn't slow down DJ Ichabod one bit. He made a blog, a facebook, and took his radio show to the interwebs where he still cranks out the best and newest music of the genre to this day. Personally, I'm a big fan of Ichabod's and love to check out his show. While I hate that the radio station was taken off the traditional airwaves, I'm also stoked that I can listen to his show wherever I am. (you know, being in Washington and all...) Here's the blurb from his blog:

"Out ov the Coffin" is a specialty dark-music radio program, hosted by DJ Ichabod, designed to celebrate dark and interesting styles of music, from the goth perspective. Brand new entries are featured each episode, alongside older favorites and cult classics. Oft-featured sub-genres include: Goth, Gothic rock, deathrock, post-punk, darkwave, ebm, industrial, damnbient / dark ambient, dark metal, neoclassical, ethereal works, film scores, and theatrical experimentation.
Ichabod cares about the bands he plays and he cares about his listener's experiences. He gives playlists for every show complete with all the details that can point you in the exact direction to the band, the song, the label and the album. Very cool if you ask me. Also, check out Ichabod's band, Loss, who are making crazy waves these days. I'm really excited to see them when they're on tour here in the Northwest! I'll be sure to blog about that as well!

Check out, Out ov the Coffin and get your fix for all things dark. I promise you'll fall in love with bands and music you never knew existed.

Out of the Coffin Blog/Podcast/streaming site (You can stream it directly here) http://outovthecoffin.blogspot.com/

Out ov the Coffin Facebook

Cool little known fact, Ichabod was a beta reader for Thomas Riley. If you only knew how much better he made it. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Random Updates

Today I'm going to do a general update. It's a little more on the personal side but you can get a glimpse into life which is always fun. 

Travel and life
We'll be heading back to Nashville at the end of the month for my mom's wedding! We're super excited to get back and see everyone. It really will be kind of shocking for me. After living there my whole life, the place almost seems like a dream. I feel like I've lived in Washington for years now and it'll have only been 7 months by the time we get in the plane. On the other hand, it also feels like we moved here last month... strange how that happens huh? So, we'll be in Cashville for 4 days at the end of the month. Hope to see everyone!

Books and Work
As book stuff goes, there's not a lot more to report since my last update a few days ago. I'm chipping away at new projects while editing Thomas Riley 2. I can give you a fun hint and tell you that I did find a Day of The Dead book I'm excited to read as research for Tribes. ;) Also, as I may have mentioned before, Liz and I have been approached to write for a really awesome steampunk RPG game. Stoked!

Skye and Ghoulia are doing awesome. Skye is crazy as ever but slowly learning the rules around here. The key word in that last sentence is "slowly". She's a sweetie but also note that she's earned the nicknames: Snacks, Crack Head, Corneus, Torpedo, Woo Woo and Tornado since her sort of short time with us. I've never had a big dog and never anything close to a seventy pound one year old Siberian Husky before.

As you know we like our shows. So far, we're knee deep in Project Runway (Go Chris! well, and Dimitri!), The new season of Castle is one of the best so far. We're really hoping to have another Halloween episode as they are our favorites. Face Off is another Tuesday night staple. We're routing for the dude in the cowboy hat. And of course we love our House marathons! There's some really good stuff to come too! American Horror Story is starting up like next week along with The Walking Dead and new Top Chef in November which is in Seattle! Awesome!

So that's sort of a quick personal cross section of fun going on in the Valentino house right now.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sixcess Core RPG Game

My friend Ben Rogers has been working on his RPG game, Sixcess Core, for the last five years with gaming company, Harsh Realities! After much testing and development it's ready to be unleashed upon the world! With steampunk elements, and magical elements, this fantasy RPG looks amazing! Make sure to check out the description video.

This is the beginning for many new games coming up in 2012/13. Spoiler alert: Liz and I may be a part of one of these upcoming projects. ;) Ehem! Cough cough, maybe Extraordinary Voyages. So gamers, friends, fans, scenesters, con-goers, and people just interested in seeing something new and awesome come into the gaming world, give this kickstarter a look and make sure to check out the video and consider becoming a backer on any level. Not only are you helping to produce an awesome game, but you're going to get some major cool swag for being a part of it!

Check out Sixcess Core Here. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

September Blog Stats

It's stat geek time again! Last month was a weird one. I thought I'd have like 20 posts but life got crazy. I was still able to quite a few in though. So the big winners were My Writing Process (Thanks again to Zova Books' Matt Pizzo for that suggestion) and Elizabeth Darvill's new book Steamed Up! The last place was kind of shocking Teresa Burrell's new book post. Where are the mystery readers???

Little Updates
Waiting on the next round of TR3 edits. I think this will be the last round but I may have a big huge round as well.

Also waiting to hear about the re-issue of Thomas Riley on Zova Books. This should be really cool!

I'll be working on Tribes a bit today as well as Thomas Riley 3.

I'll be doing an interview with "The Library at The End of The Universe" next month for my story in the steampunk anthology Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Book In The Bag Review Blog

Book In The Bag is a brand spanking new book review and author interview blog by my good buddy Mandi Lynch and her co-conspirators Catherine Gracey, Misheal Crocker and Rachel Hobbs have started. Mandi has been a friend of mine for a few years, officially I think we met at The Southern Festival of Books in Nashville (which is an awesome book festival by the way).

I'm new to the whole Book in the Bag blog as well and from what I've seen they review all types of books and are booking author interviews now for the next year! So, if your a bibliophile head over there and get the scoop on the newest books out and if you're an author or aspiring author, head over there and see what these industrious ladies are getting into. They're even taking reader suggestions for reviews!

Check out their welcome note:
Over the coming weeks we are preparing to launch our new website. We hope to bring you a range of great reviews of the books that we have been reading in cafes, on trains, and generally any place that we can slip out the books that travel in our bags.
In the interim, feel free to post some book suggestions in the comments. Something that you always meant to read, but never got around to? An obscure little book you loved and suspect we might too? A not so obscure book that you want our opinion on?
Just please, if you care about us, don’t ask us to read a certain book for bored housewives that has been doing the rounds lately. We might not always stick to decency, but that one taught us all that we still have some taste.

Check em out here. http://bookinthebag.wordpress.com/

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I love October updates

October is here tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited. Not only is my love's birthday this month but October has all my favorite things. My favorite holiday, Halloween, my favorite beer, Octoberfest/Pumpkin Ale, and my favorite weather.


Thomas Riley and the Maelstrom
I just sent a "special edit" to my editor at Zova Books where we were making a bid turning point of Thomas Riley 2 smoother. I'm happy to get it to her as I've been held up the last few weeks with a massive amount of work. I'm so excited this is finally coming to fruition!

As you know, I'm slowly writing a horror novel. (The only big hint I can give you now is to take a look at my Pinterest.) But I can tell you that the amazing musician Ben Steed is already working with me step by step in composing a soundtrack to the book. This is such an honor for me as Ben is a total bad ass and can capture the feeling of the written word in his music. I heard the first rough piece he composed last night (called As Quick As Possible) and I couldn't be happier. It's chilling in every way and fits the first chapter perfectly. By the middle of the piece, I keep getting chills. Perhaps when I get the word from Ben, I'll share a bit of it here. My mind is going wild with the fun things we can do with a book and a soundtrack.

The 33 Days of Halloween Mostly Horror Movie Marathon
Lizzie and I are dedicating our movie watching starting yesterday to a full on barage of horror movies! We've started off with a bang already watching The Last Exorcism, The Hitcher, Cherry Falls, Lake Placid The last Chapter, and The Tall Man. We have tons of movies planned. I'm super stoked to re watch the classics. All 7 Hellraisers, Nightmare on Elmstreets, Friday the 13ths and Halloween movies! I'll do a full on blog in November about what we watch.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Teresa Burrell's The Advocate's Dilemma out now!

For readers of my blog, you probably know I've been friends with San Diego based mystery/legal suspense author Teresa Burrell for quite some time now. Really, she was one of my first author friends ever and I have a lot to thank her for. She's ever inspiring, she taught me how to sell books and she's helped me in countless ways.

This little blog comes just in time for Teresa's new book, The Advocate's Dilemma which is the fourth book in her The Advocate mystery series. Not only is it amazing that Teresa has written four books since I met her (she's kicking my butt as usual) but she's also doing remarkably well in sales, hitting some impressive numbers on Amazon and Amazon Kindle.

Another cool thing about Teresa's advocate book series is that you don't have to read book one to read book four. While they are connected, they do not rely on past books for the reader to understand what is going on. So... this means you can pick up Teresa's latest book without the feeling that you may be lost without the others.

Check out the Goodreads blurb:
Attorney Sabre Brown's day is going well until she walks into her office and finds a dead man sprawled across her desk. When Bob, her best friend and colleague, is suspected of the murder and Sabre's minor client has information that might clear him, Sabre has a dilemma.

How does she help her best friend without betraying the confidence of the child she is sworn to protect?

Awesome, right? If your a fan of John Grisham, this is the book for you. Check out the links below and jump into a great book this weekend!

The Advocate's Delimma Goodreads Page

Buy The Advocate's Dilemma for your Kindle here!

Find Teresa on Facebook here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Literary Underworld


The Literary Underworld is a group on authors and just plain awesome people that travel to cons selling books for awesome "underground" authors. Now, I may not be "awesome" but I am honored to be in with this wonderful group of people and this week, they're doing a massive blitz/blog tour. There were a few authors scheduled to be on my blog but life sent me a few waves this week and I fell behind. So to try to make up for my slack, I'm posting my own blog here for them in addition to my other posts.

It doesn't matter what you're interested in, The Literary Underworld has a book for you! I picked up Elizabeth Donald's "The Cold Ones" at MidSouthCon in Memphis TN and I have one word for you... AWESOME! It's a great horror/action story that's a wonderful quick read and leaves you wanting more and more. This is just a tiny sampling of what The Literary Underworld has to offer. Check out their store and fall in love with a new piece of literature today!

Check out their website here: http://www.literaryunderworld.com/

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Return of The Stencils

Once upon a time I used to make stencils. I was inspired by Banksy. In Nashville, I had many of them in art shows and I actually sold about a dozen of them. I like doing art and crafty stuff. It keeps me calm and grounded and lets my mind go off to that happy blank place where I can totally focus on what I'm doing instead of letting life's million complexities get to me.

At one point I had a website dedicated my stencils (Valentino Empire) but I let that lapse when I started writing. As I traveled, I found less and less time to actually make the stencils and after a while the books and writing totally took over, well, everything.

Recently, I was inspired to make more when my ever so cute 4 year old step-daughter drew some pictures that I thought would make rad stencils. So I took her pictures and converted them so they could be spray painted. The kids love to do the art projects as well so it works for everyone to get involved.

While these are primitive in design, it's a beginning, well, a restarting let's say. I have to get my chops, and my colors and canvas and spray adhesive etc back. So I start again and I'm really enjoying it. I figure it'll be a rewarding decompression from life and writing from time to time. Don't get me wrong, my life is awesome, just crazy. Don't believe me? Here's my Step Son shooting me with a toy hair dryer as I type this:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

August Blog Stats and Updates

Last month the sexy Elizabeth Valentino took first place on my blog followed by the very talented Ben Steed and his amazing music! Last place was my post on Pinterest. (Finally, the blog stat post wasn't last place.... by only one point.) So it looks like this is  going to be a good and big blog month as I seem to be getting on the ball with all my writing. So stay tuned for lots of fun.

Here's the stats for you geeks like me.
TR3 is coming along nicely! I'm waiting on round three of the TR2 edits but I should have them soon. I think Zova Books is hard at work re-editing Thomas Riley (1). So that is crazy exciting! I'm pretty darned stoked to see the next printing.

Tribes is going pretty well too! I've got my character sheets up and I'm really excited to write it when I have some off time or need a little break from steampunk. I almost have the first two chapters written. So one day, you'll get a totally different book from me.

That's it for now. More soon! Like tomorrow. :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Writing Process

My current office character sheets.

Yesterday Matt from ZOVA Books asked about my writing process. You know, how the books come together, where the ideas come from, how I'm "organized". I thought this was an awesome question, especially since I've never really written about it before.

Inspiration and the first steps of writing
The first thing is inspiration. It comes from an idea usually out of nowhere. I can be talking to someone and, poof, I'll think, "Hey that sounds like a fun idea for a book." From there I start thinking about basic world settings, is it real world, fantasy, real world steampunk... it could be anything depending on the story idea. At  this point I'll also start writing down notes in composition notebooks. This is a fun part because my mind is pretty energized and I'm excited to be getting into something new. I usually take my time here, I like to think about the story and what will happen in the first few chapters. At this point I like to figure out if the story will be linier (told from one perspective or bi fractal told from a good guy one chapter/bad guy next chapter sort of thing.) I'm a big fan of villains so I kind of like the two way story better.
Some original notes for Thomas Riley
Some original notes for Tribes.

How I begin a book
Next I'll start the first chapter. I like to start with a bang. (Thanks Southern California Writers Conference!! You changed my writing in a good way forever.) So I like to start with action or something nice and grim from the villain) Spoiler alert: That's how Thomas Riley and the Maelstrom starts. ;) The first chapter of Thomas Riley 3 will also start by answering a stunning question. And in my new horror story I'm toying with (Tribes) you get a gnarly beginning as well.

Character sheets
From there, I'll make character sheets. I'll usually pick an actor that I think looks like the character or someone who I well. I absolutely write like a movie. I see it all in my head and I see it like a film. I tape the actor's picture next to a sometimes short bio on the character. These are a paragraph or two of background info and personality traits for everyone. I add way more information than I'll ever use. I find that having a bunch of information on someone will come out in cool ways in the books. Many of the character sheets will have middle names, schooling, fears, shortcomings, life accomplishments, personality traits, even favorite foods. the information in the book but often little things come up that give the characters extra life and dimension. I have my lovely wife, Elizabeth Valentino and Science Fiction author Linnea Sinclair for their inspiration with this. I cut out the sheets and put them on the wall in front of my computer. This is a big step because it gives me constant inspiration as well as handy information reminders on each character. (I even do them for characters that appear in only one scene.)

Close up of Cynthia's character sheet.

The character sheets will grow. I'll add more information as new books are written. For instance, the characters sheets in Thomas Riley 2 doubled if they made it through the first book and Holy cow, there are a bunch of new characters for the second book, so my wall is totally covered. This enables me to keep up with everyone and need info on them, it's right in front of me. I can;t tell you how many hours I've wasted looking up something silly about a character. Like what was the name of the island they were from...

The Body of the book
First, I find some music that I can blast while writing that fits the mood. My current faves are Ben Steed, Cradle of Filth and Hans Zimmer. I like to write in bursts of three to four chapters. I don't really like to have a full map of the story until I am getting close to the middle/end of the story. I do this because if I made a map, it would change drastically. The characters literally change the story as I write. In TR2 Cynthia did something quite rash that I wasn't expecting until it happened. Thomas does something quite rash at the end as well... They would have never done these story twisting actions if I was abiding by a hard and fast map. In my opinion, it gives them life and lets them make heroic and bad decisions like any real person would.

Toward the end, I make a map, which is a page or five with arrows and boxes and stars that makes a sort of timeline or treasure map of the book. Think of it as a sloppily drawn index with a few words that I can follow the story with.

That's kind of the nuts and bolts of how I write and what my process is like. If you have any questions or comments, I'd be happy to answer them.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Imagicopter is an awesome organization of authors and artists that is totally free to join. They book group book signing events, they organize anthologies, make magazines, send out opportunities of all kinds and they have an amazing group of authors that are some of the hardest working and nicest people in the business!

Here is their "What is Imagicopter" description:
In 2009, a group of writers got together and decided to work toward promoting their own publications while lending a hand to other writers and artists. From that came Imagicopter. "Imagicopter" is the umbrella name for the tour currently supported by authors whose works have appeared in Kerlak Publishing, Literary Underground, Meadowhawk Press, Seventh Star Press, Twilight Times Books, Third Axe Media and Sam's Dot Publishing and by Word Catchers of Memphis. With the cooperation of several small press publishers, local authors, artists, and booksellers, the project soon took off.
This is a voluntary organization. Participation on the site, at the events, and at the conventions we attend is also voluntary.

Elizabeth and I are also part of Imagicopter and honestly I can't say enough nice things about them. Sadly, we can't participate in a lot of their activities because we live in Washington but Im a big fan of what they do and the sheer kindness of group. They're top notch all the way and you'll get a chance to be a part of a group that will promote you while you promote them. Authors helping authors.

If you're an author or know of a talented writer that would like to be a part of a free and voluntary group, check out Imagicopter's website!


Also, check out their facebook page here!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Steamed Up by Elizabeth Darvill

Today is the day that Elizabeth Darvill's steampunk erotica book, Steamed Up, comes out from Harlequin Spice Briefs! It's part two of a the Lust in a Time of Steam series featuring her first book, Steam Heat which came out a year ago. What a great day all around. One year ago today I also asked her to marry me on the steps of The Parthenon in Nashville, TN. I'm a happy boy.

You can get Elizabeth's book on Amazon for your Kindle and guess what? You can get it in audio form as well!! How cool is that? Personally, I'm dying to hear it. I'm super curious about who is reading it an what it sounds like... Pretty naughty stuff to hear. :)

So go forth, buy the digital version for a mere $2.99 and the audio version is only $2.58!

Here's the blurb:
In a world of steam runners, demons and soul stealers, seduction is her greatest weapon….

Half-succubus Angel has found her perfect match with Ian, the man with the other half of her soul. He gives her love and the erotic pleasure she needs to survive, though they also enjoy ménages with her frequent paramour, Jezebel.

But when her friend betrays them, Angel may lose everything she holds dear. She'll do anything—and anyone—to save Ian, including join forces with a dangerous former lover….

Buy Steamed Up for your Kindle here.

Buy the Steamed Up audio version here.

Buy Steamed Up for your Nook here.

Also, be sure to keep an eye on Elizabeth's Facebook page as she will be doing some really cool contests for reviews and such. Like her page here.  

Friday, August 31, 2012

Office 3.0

I put a pic of the new office on facebook a week or so ago but I thought I'd give you a little tour here on the blog. I've worked on a lot of offices in my residences in the past and sadly, most of them were short lived as I moved and moved and moved again. Hopefully that moving thing is done with.

So finally at the Washington house here in beautiful Gig Harbor, I began working on an office in our massive basement. It was going to be quite the scary place. No windows, concrete red walls with black trim and black door... A nifty place to make scary books right? Well, yeah but an upstairs room seemed a little more productive, and social. So after painting the dungeon I moved upstairs where I currently am writing this.
Here's the downstairs office before I abandoned it.
 Next, I got a lovely room upstairs where I could be with everyone and have some natural light. While I dig the idea of having a dungeon, I yield to the idea that I can perform better with the people I love around me.
Here's the new office! Complete with character bios (I'm putting more up today!), Asian Miyazaki posters, the original Voltron (Lionbot), Espresso-Gone Crazy calendar and of course Hellraiser's Lament Configuration. (I have to call on the Cinebites from time to time ya know...)

Here's another view desk with more Miyazaki posters and my North American map detailing all my travels.

And the back view. (Sorry about the blurry lights.) Yes, my office is covered in Miyazaki posters...

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I was skeptical to join yet another social media/whatever you want to call it site as there's a million of them but Pinterest seemed nifty for some reason even though I had no idea what it was. I understood that you could "pin" photos and whatnot from the web and organize them into categories but couldn't you just do that on facebook?

Well, yeah you can but this is a little different. I asked around I've me insight on Pinterest and I got from some authors that the site was good for organizing inspirational pics for your books... That's good enough for me. I jumped into it, searching the web for anything that I could use as inspiration and low and behold, I started to like it! ow my Pinterest page has pics from my life, pics that inspire me for Thomas Riley 3, Jet Black and Tribes... So, if you look, you can get a secret glimpse into what might be coming next book wise. (The picture above serves as inspiration for the opening scene of Thomas Riley 3... This is the new Cynthia Basset) With any site like this, it's always a work in progress and I'll be adding things all the time.

So if you have a Pinterest account or just want to check out my pics and inspiration, check out my page here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ben Steed Music

You all know I like to blog about music I dig from time to time and today I have to crow about Ben Steed! He writes and produces amazing ambient soundscapes akin to Harold Budd and Bian Eno. I know those are huge names to throw around in the ambient world but Ben is equally talented in my opinion.

Think a little sad yet hopeful with quality and well balanced ethereal edge. Personally I've been plotting and editing to his music for the last several days and I have to say that it's proving to be more inspiring than other gold selling artists. This is amazing stuff! One of ,my favorite tracks right now is "The Saddest Factory". This is deep Hearts of Space quality music that undoubtedly will be in the mainstream community in no time. This is your chance to get in on it while it's still in the underground.

I can't say enough great things about Ben Steed. He's a great guy and a top notch musician and ambient songwriter. He totally captures raw emotion with his music. I love Ben's music so much, there's even talk of a book/music collaboration. *Wink

Check him out on Sound Cloud for free. I swear you won't regret it.

Ben Steed Sound Cloud

Ben Steed on Last FM

Also, check out his facebook profile here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Thomas Riley 2 Edits Round 2 Done

I'm happy to announce a few cool things. One that the Thomas Riley 2 (Round 2) edits are done and sent off. My editor, Amanda Shults from ZOVA Books has been insanley wonderful through this whole process and has been such a huge help. She's helped me hone and shape this into a wonderfully detailed story. I'm absolutely excited for everyone to read this! The book has several big turn of events.

Thomas Riley 1 Reissue
So ZOVA Books will be rereleasing the first Thomas Riley novel. (All three will be under the same house now) I'm excited to report that the reissue will have the first chapter of book 2 at the end of the novel. This will not only answer a very important question, but it sets up book 2 quite nicely. I'm excited to see it!

In random news...
I'm working on the plotting of Thomas Riley 3 and it's looking to be even more detailed and in depth than #2. Somehow, this crazy steampunk story is going to get even crazier. In my in between time, I'm also fooling with a new book which all I will tell you right now is a horror novel called Tribes.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Elizabeth Valentino

I thought I'd take today to crow about my amazing, beautiful and extraordinarily talented wife Elizabeth. Besides being the most amazing girl in the world, she has a lot going on right now book wise and it's about to ramp even more. She has a ton of books in the works and I know her fans are going to be insanely excited.

Steamed Up
Next month Liz's second book with Harlequin, Steamed Up, hits the market under her other name, Elizabeth Darvill. It's a naughty steampunk erotica book that follows the first one, Steam Heat, which will satisfy all your desires.  Think of it this way, it makes Fifty Shades of Grey look like a first teenage kiss.
Get your copy of Steam Heat here.
Pre-order your copy of Steamed Up here.

New Website
Liz's new website is live and it looks great! Links to all her books, news and happenings are there. She's already amassed quite an impressive collection of books and stories ranging from paranormal, to erotica to YA for every reader.
Check out her brand new site here.

New Facebook Author Page
Liz's new name also prompted a new author page on Facebook where she'll keep you up to date on her latest authorly endeavours as well as a "Naughty Pic of the Day" which is always a big hit.
Check out and like her new author page here.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The State and July Blog Stats

The Steampunk world is in quite the uproar right now. I thought I'd take a break from the drama to give you...The July Blog stats! I know it's still one of your least favorite posts I make every month but I love to see it and record it for posterity. Close race last month! This month the most hits went to the ultra cute Siberian Husky, Skye, while the completion of the first round of TR2 edits got second and the last place was stage combat class. People just love their cute puppies.

In other news I have some fun info about some shorts coming up and I'm going to be knee deep in some second round edits for Thomas Riley 2 very soon. Also, I should get some info on the cover art that I'll be sure to let you in on as soon as I'm allowed to. All I can tell you now is that it's awesome. I can't say a bunch right now but I'll be sure to post everything as soon as possible. The ole' blog is always the first to know.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Moveable Feast

This weekend was wonderfully kooky. We went to "Whaling Days" in Silverdale WA which is like thirty minutes from us. It's basically a fair with rides, food, bands etc... On Sunday we went to The Movable Feast in Tacoma.

I love food trucks and The Movable Feast featured 40 of them from all around the region in Washington. It was a free event, you just had to pay for the food you wanted and luckily there was tons of low priced samples. They literally had anything you could want, Cajun, German, Jamaican, ice cream, cupcakes, Mexican, Argentinian, Native American... to name a few.
We tried Gumbo from, "Where ya at Matt", Tacos, Native American Fry Bread from "Off The Rez", Cherry Fritters, Curried Chicken Pockets, and even a donut called the Homer which was a homemade pink frosted donut with rainbow sprinkles straight outta Springfield from "Original Sin Doughnuts".

This was the first annual movable feast so I'm already looking forward to next year! In the meantime, we'll keep looking for more awesome food trucks.
Enjoy the pics!

Lizzie getting a Mexican Coke with her taco.

  German Cherry Turnovers!

The Ultra Awesome Pig Truck!

                                                       Great Gumbo fom Where Ya At!
Bad ass logo and doughnuts!
The Homer!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Thomas Riley Edits Round 1

The edits for Thomas Riley 2 are complete and sent to my wonderful editor at Zova Books. While this sounds awesome, don't get me wrong, it totally is, there is quite a lot more to do. The round one is the first set of edits for the first seven chapters. (There are 23 in all) So, we have two more sets of first round chapters, then a final edit as well.

The great part is that I now have Open Office and I'm on a bullet train (for me) pace. I feel good and I want to get this out asap and kick some booty with Thomas Riley 3. I'm extra inspired because I saw The Dark Knight Rises yesterday and what a bad ass trilogy that was! I loved it and it put me in the mindset to possibly close out the Thomas Riley series with a great ending.

I'm still chipping away at Thomas Riley 3 plot points, character bios and even getting some ideas for the rewrite of Chapter one. If you don't know, I started it and didn't like the scene at all so I'm redoing it. Okay, here's a hint. Right now I'm thinking about starting book three off with a funeral...

Look out for a blog tomorrow on my awesomely kooky weekend.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stage Combat Class

This is for my readers in the South East... or anyone that may get the chance to participate in this class around the country.

Allan Gilbreath, noted author and companion on the Dreams of Steam anthologies, Hollywood professional and completely awesome dude, is putting on a stage combat class in Bartlett Tennessee (Which is right next to Memphis) THIS Tuesday July 24th! It's an awesome opportunity for actors, con goers or people just interested in having a good time doing something different.

Have fun everyone and tell me how awesome this is!

Check out the write up on the Facbook event page:

Smack!... Bam!... Pow!!!

Allan Gilbreath is a Hollywood professional offering a ONE DAY course in the art of deception "STAGE COMBAT"... Learning to battle on stage is an important skill set for aspiring actors. Allan’s Courses usually fill up very fast... not just because they're informative, Allan makes learning this craft so much fun!

(((Stage combat training))) - it's something that actors need on their resume! - Making fights look real, without giving away your tricks. Because all acting is based ...on a certain sense of risk-taking. Storytelling through staged violence such as:

►Pushing and Pulling,
►Punching and Kicking,
►Falling and Rolling,
►Silly and Dirty Fighting,
►Weapons and Armed Techniques,
►Building the Fight,
►Writing the Fight,
►Rehearsing the Fight

These are some of the things Allan Gilbreath will be teaching in this ONE DAY CLASS ON
►►► TUESDAY - JULY 24th - Pre paid classes are only $25 - $35 at the door

If you want to be as convincing like say Angelina Jolie as Laura Croft or Chris Evans in Captain America..this workshop is for you -- DON'T MISS!!!

►►►Class space is limited to12...so PLEASE reserve your space now by calling 901-267-1000
►Pre paid classes are only $25 - $35 at the door (cash only)

► TUESDAY - JULY 24th - 7 - 9:30
► 7715 US Highway 70, Suite 112
► Bartlett, TN
► 901-267-1000

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My first time at the drive in

There's only one drive-in in Nashville and it's like an hour out in Watertown TN. So throughout my childhood I never went. No reason really, it was just easier to go to a normal theater to see a movie. When I moved to Washington everyone seemed shocked that I'd never been before. It was apparently some rite of passage that I never experienced.

Well, last night I was privileged enough to go to my first drive in double feature no less at a real deal honest to goodness old school run down drive in. It was a blast. Lizzie and I pulled the car up backwards, popped the hatchback and got to see the last day The Avengers was showing in theaters along with the drive your girl crazy movie Magic Mike. Darn right I watched it. I wanted to know what all of the hype was about. We came prepared with beers and snacks and settled in for four hours of nothing but movies, which was really nice since we are busy nearly 24/7.

As the movies went, The Avengers was great just like everyone said. Super fun, funny and nerdy enough to satisfy any con-goer's needs. Magic Mike was... different... Not what I expected really. I was looking for a super over the top goofy movie with humor but honestly it was just kind of weird. If totally ripped dudes with no shirts on is your thing, then it may be pretty cool for you but that's all there was. A stripper movie with no other nudity was just kind of weird. It really didn't live up to the hype. You know what it was like? Think a watered down version of Boogie Nights with awkward dialog. I'm glad I went and it was totally fun but that's just my take.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jen Wylie's Ring Around The Rosie

Free e-book alert! Seriously, you can't get enough of these can you? Jen Wylie's short story, Ring Around The Rosie, about a young boy who loves to play the flute and discovers mystery is now available on itunes, smashwords and according to Ms. Wylie's blog, Amazon.com pretty soon for FREE!

You heard me, totally free for a limited time. I love supporting my peers and I love supporting good writers even more! Ms. Wylie is both so you have no excuse to not give this a whirl. When you do, I'm betting that you'll find a new author to love as well. This story is good for all ages and perfect for a short fun summer read that will leave you and the kids wanting more.

Free on Smashwords
Free on itunes
Soon to be free on Amazon
Jen Wylie's Blog

Check out the blurb and get hooked:

Ring Around the Rosie, a centuries old children's song known by all. We all remember the song and dance, people telling us it was about the Great Plague...but what if the song was really a warning for something else?

Aaron is a normal boy fascinated with music. He loves playing his flute so much he doesn't even mind lessons over summer break. When he meets a strange boy at the park who seems to be just as obsessed they spend summer days entertaining children in the parks woods. But friends often have secrets, music can be magical, and even the most innocent of children's games can be more than they appear.
This story contains NO violence, foul language or sex.free

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


In the quest to continue the crazy life, Lizzie and I got a wonderful and sweet puppy! She may not look like a puppy exactly as she has to be about fifty pounds but we're so happy to share our lives with a ten month old Siberian Husky named Skye. We like the name Skye but we were going to rename her in honor of a Arya's Dire Wolf, Nymeria from Game of Thrones but we figured she was happy with her name and a little old to be confusing her more. So we stuck with her given name.

She's an absolute sweetheart and she seems to be adjusting very well even though she's only been here for about twenty hours. While she'll need a little leash training and socialization, she has an amazing disposition. She's a snack hound and LOVES to run. You should see her, she can fly! We really love her and are so excited to have her in the family. I'm sure you'll get the occasional update on Miss Skye as I like to share tidbits of my personal life with my blog readers from time to time.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Teresa Burrell's The Advocate's Delimma

What do I say about the absolutely amazing Teresa Burrell? I don't think I can fit enough praising adjectives in this blog to describe her. I'd have to make some up on top of th ones in Websters to encompass her awesomeness. I first met Teresa at The Southern California Writers Conference in San Diego, CA. It was the same weekend that Thomas Riley was contracted by Echelon Press. Teresa's first book, The Advocate" was not out quite yet but we hit it off immediately.

From there Teresa and I did several book festivals together where we had a friendly competition on who could sell more books. I was close but I lost every time. (I will get you one day T!) ;)

Teresa has a wonderful series of legal suspense books out under the titles, The Advocate, The Advocate's Betrayal, The Advocate's Conviction and out this summer, The Advocate's Dilemma. She uses her real life experience as a child advocate lawyer in her books. It's fascinating to read about Sabre Brown, her very author like main character as she unwravles the twisted schemes of evil doers in and out of court. I'm telling you, Matlock has nothing on this girl.

If you're a fan of John Grisham, you're going to love The Advocate series. Where can you get one of these gems? Easy, check out Ms. Burrell's Amazon page here.

Also, Facebook


If you get the chance to meet Teresa at an event, don't pass it up.  Not only is she one of the most wonderful people you will ever meet but also one of the most talented writers.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July! (June Blog Stats)

First off, happy fourth of July! Hopefully you all are having a wonderful day full of family, friends, fireworks and adult beverages. The weather in Gig Harbor today is amazing and Lizzie and I are looking forward to some grilling and fireworks ourselves.

In steampunk/Thomas Riley 2 news, I got 1/3 of my first edits from Zova Books yesterday! I'm beyond excited! Amanda gave me awesome suggestions and I can;t wait to start on them tomorrow. We also have a new name for the new airship in the book, the Maelstrom, which will probably be incorporated in the title as well. More on that as I get some done.

Today I checked the blog stats for last month. Its funny because my blog stat posts are the least viewed, probably because it is a bit boring. But when you have thirty days to fill up, I feel the need to quench my inner stat geek with a the winners and losers of the blog views.

Last month the insane George The Animal Steele took first place with Elizabeth Darvill (Valentino) taking second. As I said, the "May Blog Stat" post was the big loser. So, here they are again in crab grass green bar graph for your enjoyment.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gary Starta's Demon Inhibitions

Need a new book for your Kindle? Of course, we all do. You can never have enough, right? Sci-Fi writer, Gary Starta grabbed my attention with his aggressive promotion for his new book "Demon Inhibitions" published by Chanpagne Books.

Reading the inside blurb, this seems like a really fun and different book that's in need of some ocular exploration. This book has a ton of angles including sci-fi, paranormal, and an interdimensional cat! There's a ton more to this so that's why it's on my short list of things to read.

Check out the blurb:

"Chasing a soul stealer in her reality, psychic investigator Caitlin Diggs inadvertently travels through a portal to another reality and witnesses her fugitive kill her alternate self in DEMON INHIBITIONS. Assuming her alternate's life as an agent of the FBI's Preternatural Crime Division, Diggs believes... her position might help her capture the soul stealer until she finds he may be part of a sinister terrorist plot to keep humans and demons living in segregation. A girl, whose singing inhibits the evil urges of demons, is on the terrorist's hit list and Diggs will ultimately learn her fugitive is neither supernatural nor demon, but a genetically engineered hit man incapable of being enthralled."

Get Demon Inhibitions at Amazon here.

Friend Demon Inhibitions on Facebook

Check out Gary's page on Cold Coffee

Friday, June 29, 2012

May Blog Stats

I hate math but I love stats. Last month, May 2012, was the biggest month in the Nick Valentino Blog history since I started writing in it in 2008. Sure I went through a lag where I was pretty bad about updating it but I'm on the upswing and the data is encouraging.

So I took the blog traffic, put it in a fancy graph maker and came up with a bar graph of which posts were most successful to least successful. It's so interesting what people read. Every one of these blogs was promoted the exact same way so I have to wonder where some of the stats come from. This month's stats are just as interesting and perplexing.

Of course the death of Beastie Boys hip hop mastermind MCA got the most traffic and my post on getting married and finishing Thomas Riley 2 were 2nd and 3rd I thought it was really interesting where the bands came into play.

Here's the nifty graph: enjoy!

Tomorrow, I'm doing a post on writer Gary Starta!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Catherinette Rings

Today we're talking about bad ass steampunk jewelry. For those that don't know yet, Catherinette Rings has been putting out some of the most creative and amazing jewelry for years now. You can hardly Google the word steampunk without having them pop up in the first results.

Personally, I find their work absolutely beautiful, dark and elegant while completely enbodying the aesthetic of steampunk. From what I'm gathering, it looks like they use guitar or bass strings in a lot of their stuff which is also brilliant.

Here are some really cool examples of their work. Check the links at the bottom for their facebook, blog and etsy shop!