Q-and-A Viola Carr and The Dastardly Miss Lizzie (#Giveaway!)

Today, join me in welcoming author Viola Carr! Viola is here to celebrate the release of THE DASTARDLY MISS LIZZIE, which releases on Wednesday, and to subject herself to the Preternatura Q&A. I’ve had the chance to meet Viola at a couple of conferences and she’s awesome! You can also win a copy of the first two books in her Electric Empire series or a Book Depository credit if you’re outside the U.S.

About the Author: Viola Carr was born in Australia, but wandered into darkest London one foggy October evening and never found her way out. She now devours countless history books and dictates fantastical novels by gaslight, accompanied by classical music and the snoring of her slumbering cat. She likes steampunk, and thought it would be cool to investigate wacky crimes with crazy gadgets…just so long as her heroine was the creator of said wacky gadgets: a tinkerer, edgy, with a dash of mad scientist. Links: website: Twitter; Tumblr; Facebook.



ABOUT The Dastardly Miss Lizzie: An Electric Empire Novel Crime scene physician Eliza Jekyll is trying to share a life with her rebellious second self, Lizzie Hyde. But being two people in one body isn’t easy, not when Eliza has a professional reputation to protect and Lizzie is veering headfirst into a life of debauchery and crime with an increasingly demented Mr. Hyde. Not to mention the difficulty of making a respectable marriage with Remy Lafayette—Royal Society investigator and occasional lycanthrope–while Lizzie enjoys her own dubious romantic entanglements. And with England on the brink of war, Remy’s secretive mission in sorcery-riddled Paris grows ever more sinister. Has he been an enemy agent all along? Or is Eliza finally going mad?…Now, she’s confronted by her most baffling case yet: an evil genius with a penchant for theatrics is murdering eminent scientists in the most inexplicable ways. Her investigation uncovers a murky world of forbidden books, secret laboratories and bleeding-edge science punishable by death–and a shocking connection to her father’s infamous experiments. Desperate to learn the truth about her past, she must infiltrate a cabal of fanatical inventors bent on a discovery that will change the world–or destroy it….With London under attack by sorcery-wielding terrorists, and the Royal Society’s enforcers determined to bury her evidence for good, Eliza needs all the friends she can get if she’s to thwart the killer and keep her head. But when Lizzie’s criminal shenanigans get Eliza fired from the Metropolitan Police, and Remy is implicated in an act of bloody vengeance he didn’t commit (or did he?), she’s on her own….Except for wily, resourceful, mercurial Lizzie. But Lizzie’s got her own life now. And she’ll do anything to keep it. Even if it means attempting the unspeakable and finding her own body. Even if it means throwing Eliza to the wolves, and letting the world burn…

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Now, let’s hear from Viola!

Give us the “elevator pitch” for your latest work?

THE DASTARDLY MISS LIZZIE, in which Dr. Jekyll hunts serial killers in a steampunk Victorian London, while fighting misogyny, evil French spies and her own predatory dark half. It’s a female steampunk Jekyll & Hyde, with murders.

What is your favorite scene in the book?

I always enjoy writing scenes where Eliza Jekyll and her dark half, Lizzie Hyde, are fighting or trying to embarrass each other. They have the best arguments. Sometimes they get into a fistfight, or worse.

What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile?

I’m reading ANGELS OF MUSIC by Kim Newman. I am in awe of Kim. Sometimes I suspect he gets his ideas from other authors’ ‘too-hard’ baskets – oh, you don’t want that? Can’t hack it? That’s a shame. Do you mind if I…? – and then he just casually nails them and walks off whistling.

Favorite book when you were a child:

THE STRANGE DISAPPERANCE OF ARTHUR CLUCK featured a lost baby chicken trying to get back to his parents. It had me gripped. I borrowed it from the library so many times that my Dad ordered me a copy from the local bookstore, who had to get it in from overseas (this was the seventies, people, it was a big deal). I still have this book, which my Mum covered in plastic for me.

Book you’ve faked reading:

I don’t think I’ve never actually claimed to have read a book I hadn’t. But I’ve nodded and smiled as if I knew what I was talking about when people discussed 50 SHADES OF GREY, which I couldn’t finish. “Uh huh. Red room of pain. Yeah. I know, right? The feels.”

Book that made you say, “I wish I’d thought of that!”

See above on Kim Newman. Honourable mention to THE HEROES by Joe Abercrombie. I’ve always wanted to write a book about people who do the right thing for the wrong reasons, or vice versa. Now I don’t have to.

Book you’ve bought for the cover:

THE REPUBLIC OF THIEVES by Scott Lynch. Granted, I’d read the series and wanted the book anyway, but the cover would have sold me in any case.

Book that changed your life:

Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Back in the day this was a big deal: monsters can be people too.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

I would like to read A Song of Ice and Fire without knowing anything about it. It’s kind of a cliché now, but back in the day, when Eddard Stark got killed my head exploded. Twenty years of reading epic fantasy had made me believe this does not happen. Kind of like when Tom Skerritt gets killed in the movie Alien – what? The woman is the hero? (Like I said: the seventies! This was a shock.)

Most horrifying moment while reading a book:

This is a hard one. I love horror, but these days books are slow-build, like THE STRAIN. That’s a creep-fest. Or OUTPOST and JUGGERNAUT by Adam Baker. The late Richard Laymon is an author who can make me jump in my seat. Pulpy horror, sure, but he can actually scare you the way a slasher movie does, with axe murderers leaping out from behind doors and stuff like that. Hell of a technique.

Favorite book about books or writing:

My most-used writing craft books are THE BREAKOUT NOVEL series by Donald Maass, SAVE THE CAT! by Blake Snyder and WRITING SCRENPLAYS THAT SELL by Michael Hauge. My favourite novel about books is THE NAME OF THE ROSE – it’s a rollicking murder mystery, yes, but it’s also about what happens when we fight to preserve outdated and harmful ideas that should rightly be consigned to the scrap heap.

What’s next?

Messing about with some new stuff. I don’t quite know what yet. Stay tuned…










Set of the Previous 2 Electric Empire books (US only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Second giveaway, open worldwide: Leave a comment here and get in the running for the first book in the series or your choice of book from Book Depository. Which do you prefer—have you read the original STRANGE CASE OF DR. JECKYLL AND MR. HYDE by Robert Louis Stevenson? I must admit I have not!

Q-and-A with K.M. Fawcett and Captive Giveaway

Please join me in welcoming author K.M. Fawcett to Preternatura today. K.M.’s latest release is titled Fearless and was published on January 7 by Forever Yours.  Fearless is the second book in K.M.’s The Survival Race series.

K.M. Fawcett writes sci-fi/ paranormal romances, and enjoys stories filled with adventure and strong, kick-butt heroes and heroines. She holds the rank of Sandan (3rd degree black belt) in both Isshinryu Karate and in Ryukonkai (Okinawan weapons). She and her husband own Tenchi Isshinryu Karate Dojo in NJ. When not writing or working out at the dojo, K.M. is driving her two children to drum practice and ballet classes.  You can learn more about K.M. by visiting her website, on facebook, by visiting her blog or by following her on twitter.

fearless_coverABOUT FEARLESS:  TWO SOULS  Myia, a shaman-in-training, wants desperately to protect her peaceful village from the barbaric Highland invaders. To hone her powers of prophetic visions and healing, the village elders send Myia on a quest: to heal the Highland warlord’s heart and stop a brewing war. Myia’s mended many souls before, so this should be an effortless duty . . . until she meets the gorgeous, stubborn Highland warlord.  ONE DESIRE  Kedric, a gladiator who escaped enslavement, only wants to liberate the villagers from their common foe—a race that breeds humans for blood sport and genetic experiments. Fueled by his rage, Kedric is determined to take down the brutal enemy. So when a raven-haired beauty with a body made for sin tries to sabotage his mission, Kedric wants her gone. Yet no woman’s touch has ever left Kedric more annoyed . . . and aroused. Kedric knows he should shun her soothing embrace-but he can’t seem to stay away. As their passion grows, Kedric must decide between fighting his war or surrendering his rage—and his heart—for Myia’s love.

And now, let’s hear from K.M….

Thank you Suzanne for having me on the Preternatura blog today!

Give us the “elevator pitch” for Fearless, book 2 in the Survival Race series.

A sexy shaman-in-training must heal the Highland Lord’s vengeful heart K.M. fawcettbefore he wages war against their common enemy–an advanced race that breeds humans for blood sport and genetic experiments.

Describe your favorite scene in Fearless? Why is it your favorite?

In order for her spirit to enter and heal Kedric, Myia must physically touch him. But no matter how much he desires her, Kedric keeps his distance. One of my favorite scenes is when she tries to dance seductively for him, but isn’t quite successful. It’s a fun scene that shows her determination and vulnerability (as well as his) plus a whole lot of sexual tension.

Hardest scene you’ve ever written:

The sex scenes are always the most challenging part for me to write. Every couple is different and I feel I really need to know these people in order to express their vulnerability with each other and to grow their emotional journey.  Not to mention that while I’m writing the steamy parts this recurring thought pops into my head: “Oh geez, my mom, brothers, and 90-year-old great aunt are going to read this.”

What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile?

I’m reading Training Travis right now by my good friend and critique partner Cathy Tully. It’s about two professionals with a past who try to keep things strictly business when the passion reignites.  After that, I have a bunch of books to read and judge for a writers contest.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. What could be better than food falling from the sky?

Your five favorite authors:

You want me to narrow it down to only five?!? Yikes. 🙂  Besides my abovementioned critique partner, I love Jennifer Crusie, Diana Gabaldon, Jude Deveraux, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Caridad Pineiro.

Book you’ve faked reading (Moby Dick is the most frequently given answer!)

I can’t think of any books I faked reading at the moment, but I’m sure I’ve skimmed my fair share in high school English classes. Some of those classics were extremely dull. On the flip side, in senior year I took a fun modern novel class and was introduced to great stories like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Of course, I never understood how they classified a 1932 novel as “modern.”

Book that changed your life:

Jude Deveraux’s Knight In Shining Armor, which I received on my 18th birthday. It was the first romance novel I read and I immediately fell in love with the genre. That led to reading many more books and eventually to writing my own.   

Most horrifying moment while reading a book:

I can’t remember anything horrifying happen to me while reading a book, but I do remember hiding in my bedroom closet to read so that I could get 15 minutes of peace from my kids. Alas, they found me in 6.

What’s next?

I’m working on book #3 in the Survival Race series, and am very excited about this particular hero and very kick-butt heroine! Familiar faces from the first two books play a role in this story as well. Plus we’ll get to learn more about the Hyborean rulers.

Thanks again for having me on the blog!

Thanks for stopping by!

For one lucky commenter, K.M. is giving away a signed copy of either CAPTIVE (book #1 in the Survival Race series) or FEARLESS (book #2)–winner’s choice. So tell us…who is your favorite kick-butt heroine? I love quite a few, but I’m going to say…Rachel Morgan, with Mercy Thompson coming in an EXTREMELY close second. I like both of these heroines because they aren’t obvious kick-butt types–both have weaknesses. Rachel overcomes hers by sheer stubborn determination, and Mercy by her smarts. Love them both. How about you? Leave a comment to be entered to win.