#Blogmas | A Fantasy Christmas celebration feat. authors of fantastical realms | Curio, a Steampunk Fantasy series by Evangeline Denmark

Posted Tuesday, 4 December, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

It is not everyday I find myself drawn into a new world of Steampunk – it is a genre of interest on many different levels for me – from fashion, to soundscapes to motion pictures to the curious gadgets and/or found object art collages artists are assembling to create Steampunk elements which can be used in our own technologic timescape (such as the modifications to keyboards and computers) – however, the literature side of this new niche of exploration which hinges itself between Science Fiction & Fantasy – depending on where an individual author is going to insert their story-line into the fray of what is already released – you have a potboiler of a chance of finding cross-genre influences & a multiverse of aptitude for showcasing a Steampunked world!

Remember reading The Indian in the Cupboard – where small figurines of childhood came to life? I still remember being so lost inside that world, as to firmly believe every character could potentially be ‘met’ as the illusion and the line crossing between the fantastic to the real was so well introduced, it gave the beauty of the story beneficial dimension! I love stories which seek to do the same – to introduce a line of thought where there is a lovely suspension of belief, to where you can embark into a Fantasy lit world as a new explorer of that world but also of the prospect of what you can find whilst your visiting it. There are new perimeters of what can be done and there lies the best joy for myself as a reader. The happenstance discoveries!

This week, I’ve been happily sharing the first #blogmas posts of December – focusing on #newtomeauthors of Fantasy – already sorting out one to ILL (inter-library loan borrow from my local library), one to request as purchase (at the library) and then, there is this one – which has a curious premise – whose more curious about whom? The curios or the human? And, how do they start to interact and respond to each other?

Share in the comments below what you love most about reading Fantasy – especially in YA stories like this one, which seek to thread imaginative plausibility into the heart of the narrative!

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Mark of Blood and Alchemy by Evangeline DenmarkCurio by Evangeline Denmark

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Published by: Blink YA | Blink Young Adult (@BlinkYABooks)

an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Read about their publishing focus on Clean YA! (I was most impressed!)

Converse via: #FantasyForChristmas, #FantasyNerd and #Steampunk

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The Curio series:

Curio (book one) | add to LibraryThing

Published: 10th January, 2017 | ISBN: 978-0310729518

Grey Haward has always detested the Chemists, the magicians-come-scientists who rule her small western town. But she has always followed the rules, taking the potion the Chemists ration out that helps the town’s people survive. A potion that Grey suspects she—like her grandfather and father—may not actually need.

By working at her grandfather’s repair shop, sorting the small gears and dusting the curio cabinet inside, Grey has tried to stay unnoticed—or as unnoticed as a tall, strong girl can in a town of diminutive, underdeveloped citizens. Then her best friend, Whit, is caught by the Chemists’ enforcers after trying to protect Grey one night, and after seeing the extent of his punishment, suddenly taking risks seems the only decision she can make.

But with the risk comes the reality that the Chemists know her family’s secret, and the Chemists soon decide to use her for their own purposes. Panicked, Grey retreats to the only safe place she knows—her grandfather’s shop. There, however, a larger secret confronts her when her touch unlocks the old curio cabinet in the corner and reveals a world where porcelain and clockwork people are real. There, she could find the key that may save Whit’s life and also end the Chemists’ dark rule forever.

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Mark of Blood & Alchemy (prequel)

29th September, 2015 | AISN: B013YZM6PE *sadly this is only a digital release

In this novella prequel to Evangeline Denmark’s YA fantasy novel Curio, Olan Havardsson flees a devastating plague that took his family only to be saved by a mysterious group of “magickers” with healing powers. But as he accompanies his rescuers to their alpine enclave, mysteries arise surrounding their potions and powers of alchemy. Questions mount when Olan observes a deep division forming between those who seek to defend the purity of the healing alchemical work and those who would wield it as a powerful weapon.

Olan is thrust into the midst of this dissention after he discovers he is somehow special–chosen as a guardian like the enclave’s founder. As he spends time with two of his rescuers–Auriana, a clever and captivating inventor, and Alaric, a brooding young man wrestling with his father’s cruel beliefs–Olan realizes he may have the power to direct the course of blood and alchemy.

Introducing readers to the fantastical world of Curio, this novella is wrapped in adventure, romance, and intrigue.

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Whilst i did not have the chance to ask Qs

of my own – I loved where this convo took us!

How did you come up with the idea for your novel, Curio?

Denmark responds: I’m a bit of a logophile and regularly get crushes on words. I was driving home one day when the word curio popped into my head and I was just smitten. I played around with it in my head, thinking about how curio and curiosity have the same root. Then I started thinking about curio cabinets and the kinds of objects found in them—knick-knacks and figurines. For a while I daydreamed about all those curios coming to life. What kind of world would they live in? What would they want, and what would be important to them? Finally I landed on the question: What would be a curiosity to these animated curios? The answer was the key to the story—a human! From there I knew I’d be writing a novel about a girl trapped in an enchanted curio cabinet.

Ooh my this is a brilliant stream of conscience thought for a writer! How a singular word provided the launchpad into a wholly new world and one of intriguing proportions! It is the very last line of this response which hooks me the most “girl trapped in an enchanted curio cabinet” what else would you want in a Steampunk Fantasy novel?

Curio is a Young Adult Steampunk Fantasy. Can you explain steampunk?

Denmark responds: I don’t think anybody can really explain steampunk. You can describe it and give some rough parameters, but part of the fun of steampunk is that it’s changeable and imaginative. But generally speaking, steampunk stories take place in the Victorian era, so mid 19th century up until the turn of the century. Of course there’s wiggle room. Curio takes place in an alternate history Colorado setting in the early 1900s. Steampunk almost always contains anachronistic technology powered by steam and/or clockwork. If you’ve see the recent movie, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, you’ve gotten a taste of the steampunk genre.

I agree with Ms Denmark – Steampunk by definition is set by a standard of evolution per each person who participates in the niche of literature, music, fashion and film; as well as other mediums of interest as Steampunk is all-encompassing. This is what I previously said about it myself (which is featured on my LibraryThing Profile):

Steampunk caught her creative eye for its visual clarity of self and how its uniquely re-envisioned by each person who claims it as their voice of expression. She is purposefully seeking stories from this genre as she’s dearly under-read within its realms; with a penchant for a particular kind of ‘Steampunk’ which will whet her palette of interest to explore.

The film which I felt precedes this latest release and which was delightfully full of Steam elements was the adaption of The Three Musketeers from 2011 – as they even had airships!! I even love where Steampunk worlds move out of the general acceptance of ‘era’ and continue forward as if that kind of technology is the only kind which has survived decades and centuries ‘later’ from their origins.

Do you have a favorite character?

Denmark responds: I’m a sucker for the Troubled Boy archetype, so the male characters in Curio definitely hold my heart. Both Blaise and Whit make some bad choices, but usually with good intentions. I try to make all my characters strong in some ways and vulnerable in some ways so they can take turns helping each other.

I lament I’m the opposite on more than one occasion – as the bad boys rarely win me over; I’d rather have a bloke with adversity and a few character flaws than a bad boy whose trying to find redemption or a path towards the light. Sometimes those characters convince me of their roles and other times, I find their my least favourite characters; just depends. I’ll have to keep a ready eye out for Blaise and Whit to see how they impress me as I’m reading the story.

Do you have any other books available?

Denmark responds: The Curio prequel, Mark of Blood and Alchemy, is available on ebook, and I have a holiday novelette called The Ice Child that’s a perfect read for a snowy winter evening.

Sadly, I double checked – the only story in print at this time is ‘Curio’ – as I was hoping the prequel might have been available in audiobook if it wasn’t released in print or if an omnibus of both shorter stories would be released where you could read ‘Mark of Blood and Alchemy’ and ‘The Ice Child’ together – however this isn’t available either. Perhaps, the prequel might be available in the sequel to ‘Curio’? We can hope, dear hearts, we can hope,.. or hold out for an audio!

Are you working on anything new?

Denmark responds: Yes! I’m currently working on another YA fantasy so watch my website and social media for updates.

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About Evangeline Denmark

Evangline Denmark

Evangeline Denmark’s debut Young Adult novel, CURIO, was an RT Reviews Top Pick, and USA Today’s HEA blog called the world-building “two levels of genius.” She has also co-authored children’s books and published shorter works of fantasy. Fairy tales, folklore, and magical elements form her creative substrate and weave through every project, whether she’s writing about this world or another.

Evangeline is an active member in her local arts community and is passionate about encouraging creativity in young people. From school visits, to speaking at conferences, to paneling at cons, Evangeline builds her platform on the principle that creativity is for everyone and everyone is creative.

She lives in Colorado with her engineer/artist husband, two sons, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering cattle dog.

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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Fantasy for Christmas blog tour via Prism Book ToursClick through via the badge to find out what else awaits you! Especially as this is a special tour featuring Christmas SURPRISES for readers who LOVE a stuffed stocking!

Each day, a new author is showcased – I selected the authors I wanted to feature ahead of time, however, Ms Adams either snuck past my purview and/or she wasn’t yet confirmed – I’m so thankful to have had a second chance of becoming introduced to her series – as I’m already seeking it via interlibrary loan at my local library!

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Similar to blog tours where I feature book reviews, as I choose to highlight an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog. I provide the questions for interviews and topics for the guest posts; wherein I receive the responses back from publicists and authors directly. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them; I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers.

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Curio” and “Mark of Blood and Alchemy”, the author’s photo and biography, blog tour banner and The Prism Book Tours badge were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Stories in the Spotlight banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Tuesday, 4 December, 2018 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Steampunk

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2 responses to “#Blogmas | A Fantasy Christmas celebration feat. authors of fantastical realms | Curio, a Steampunk Fantasy series by Evangeline Denmark

    • Hallo, Hallo Lou,

      Isn’t that the truth? Sometimes I do wonder about some of the Steampunk stories I am finding – this one stood out to me as having the potential of being one of the exceptions. Part of what I’m planning to do in the New Year is write posts discussing genres I want to be reading, what I’ve discovered thus far along and how I want to seek out ‘more’. I have so many plans for #JLASblog – I am really the most excited for a new year just to begin exploring what I want to write and what I want to share. Its the first year I’ve felt like stepping ‘outside’ blog tours & reviews, fleshing out more content and getting into a place as a book blogger where my blog reflects more than the regular content I love to share.

      Steampunk has been a genre I’ve wanted to explore for a long while – I was part of a multi-blogger blog for this genre but health reasons took me out of the commitment of it. Since then, I’ve put it on the back-burner, so your quite right – I need to re-encourage my curiosity and just start finding more Steampunk & Clockpunk authors out there I want to read! I might start by seeing if I can get the libraries to buy the rest of the Timekeeper series by Tara Sim on audiobook! I’ll eventually get them myself but if I can help shine a light on that series (as I loved the first one!) that would be #awesomesauce!

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