Blending Steampunk and Paranormal Romance
By Theresa Meyers
There’s something inherently fascinating about bringing two distinctive things together to create something new. Take Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Chocolate, perfect in its own right and deserving of a food group all its own. Peanut butter, the staple of probably more than half of the school kid lunches in America on every given day. Both all on their own fantastic, but when put together, well, the angels sing.
That’s what blending steampunk and paranormal romance is for me as a writer, and it’s why I wove them both into THE HUNTER. I love both as their own thing, but when merged into one story, it’s simply irresistible. It also makes my steampunk world a little different bend than most. Yes, of course there are the wonders of science, the mad genius, the spirit of adventure, but there’s also a darkly mystical side to my world. My heroes in the Legend Chronicles, three brothers named after their father’s favorite guns, are supernatural hunters in the Wild Weird West.
Winchester, Remington and Colt have been trained to hunt down and destroy the Darkin that threaten humanity. So while regular people go about their daily lives, these guys don’t bat an eye-lash when it comes to fighting down demons, slay shape-shifters, battling hell-hounds or going up against ghosts. They just do it with some fantastical steampunk help, such as Colt’s clockwork horse, Tempus, Sting Shooters (that are steampunk, Tesla-coil-powered tasers) and the specially designed Darkin-killing bullets perfected by their inventor friend Marley Turlock. They know that while ordinary people might not see the ending of the world coming, they are the first, last and only defense in making sure humanity survives.
Part of what I love about steampunk is the essence that anything was possible if you were just curious, adventurous or determined enough to make it happen. It’s accepting that we can be more, do more, than we ever thought possible by reimagining the past as it could have happened. I love the clothing, the elegance and intricacy that was part of the Gilded Age. I’ve a bit of a Victoriana nut with a strong love of tea, and I’m a maker in my own right. I sew, design, paint, and can my own home-grown fruits, veggies, sauces and soups, when I’m not out tackling my herb garden. For me steampunk is like the peanut butter. It’s gritty, it’s brown, it’s got a specific flavor you won’t find anywhere else and you know it when you taste it.
With paranormal romance, I’m just as fascinated by the things we can’t see that still influence us. Most of my writing tends to take a paranormal path, likely because when I was little my mother did things like pretend we had elves in the tree stump in the back yard. They even talked under my window one night—which I later found out in my 20s was due to a tape-recorder. She made my brother and I believe in the magic all around us and I still have that rose-colored tint to how I look at the world today. But if there’s one thing about the paranormal I’ve learned, it’s that there’s balance. Dark must have light to survive and vice versa. And with paranormal romance, the ending is always sweetly satisfying. You know the good guys win and that love can conquer all. Paranormal romance is like chocolate. It’s dark, it’s varied, the subtle changes and flavors are nearly endless and when done right it can be an experience you can’t get enough of.
So when it comes to blending steampunk and paranormal romance, it’s not just about the fantastic inventions or goggles, nor is it about the balancing act between the dark and light forces of the paranormal world and the power of love. It’s a bit of both, blended together to create a flavor of fiction that’s something familiar but also completely different. That’s what I’ve tried to accomplish in my Legend Chronicles series, but you may have to taste it yourself to find out.
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Steampunk
Publisher: Kensington, Zebra
Date of Publication: March 4, 2013
Number of pages: 352 pages (also includes the ebook about Marley, The Inventor, for the first time in print in the back of this book)
The Chosen: a prophecy older than dirt and more dangerous than death. Even as they perfected steam-powered gadgetry and rounded up varmints from Hell, the Jackson brothers didn’t believe in it. But when the chips are down, three brothers named for weapons aren’t going out without a fight…
A Walk On The Wild Side
Attorney by day, demon-hunter by night, Remington Jackson is used to being on the sunny side of the law, even in the Wild West. But it’s showdown time, and Remy and his brothers are getting desperate. They don’t have the relic they need to slam the door shut on evil—so Remy is going to have to find and steal part of it.
Enter China McGee, shapeshifter, thief, beauty, and current prisoner. When Remy offers her freedom in exchange for a little light-fingered help, she’s pretty sure she’s going to end the association with a good old-fashioned seductive double cross. But there’s something about fighting through a jungle full of Mayan ruins that makes you want to settle down together. China could change. Remy might be special. But none of that matters if the devil takes them all…
Book Two of the Legend Chronicles
By Theresa Meyers
Zebra – Steampunk Romance
April 3, 2012
Brothers Winchester, Remington and Colt know the legends—they were trained from childhood to destroy demon predators, wielding the latest steam-powered gadgetry. It’s a devil of a job. But sometimes your fate chooses you…
Winn Jackson isn’t interested in hunting nightmares across the Wild West—even if it’s the family business. Unlike his rakehell brothers, Winn believes in rules. As sheriff of Bodie, California, he only shoots actual law breakers. That’s what he’s doing when he rescues the Contessa Drossenburg, Alexandra Porter, a lady with all the elegance of the Old World—grace, beauty and class. And then he sees her fangs.
Alexandra isn’t just some bloodsucking damsel in distress, though. She’s on a mission to save her people—and she’s dead certain that Winn’s family legacy is the only way. Luckily, aside from grace and class, she also has a stubborn streak a mile wide. So like it or not, Winn is going to come back with her to the mountains of Transylvania, and while he’s at it, change his opinions about vampires, demon-hunting, and who exactly deserves shooting. And if she has her way, he’s going to do his darnedest to save the world
Book Two of the Legend Chronicles
by Theresa Meyers
They’re the Chosen—Winchester, Remington and Colt—brothers trained to hunt down supernatural beings using the latest steam-powered gadgetry. It’s a hard legacy to shoulder, and it’s about to get a lot more dangerous…
A DEVIL OF A JOB
Colt Jackson has gotten his name on many a wanted poster with success in the family business: hunting supernaturals across the frontier.
Lately, though, there’s a sulfur stink in the wind and the Darkin population is exploding. A rift in the worlds is appearing. To close it, Colt will have to do the unthinkable and work with a demon to pass arcane boundaries no human alone can cross.
Except when he summons his demon, he doesn’t get some horned monstrosity: he gets a curvy redheaded succubus named Lilly, who’s willing to make a bargain to become human again. He also gets Lilly’s secret expertise on the machinations on the dark side of the rift. And her charm and cleverness help to get them out of what his silver-loaded pistol and mechanical horse can’t. Of course, when all hell breaks loose, he might have to sacrifice his soul. But what’s adventure without a little risk?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The progeny of a slightly mad (NASA) scientist and a tea-drinking bibliophile who turned the family dining room into a library, Theresa Meyers learned early the value of a questioning mind, books and a good china teapot.
A former journalist and public relations officer, she found far more enjoyment using her writing skills to pen paranormal novels in the turret office of her Victorian home.
She’s spent nearly a quarter of a century with the boy who took her to the Prom, drinks tea with milk and sugar, is an adamant fan of the television show Supernatural, and has an indecent love of hats.
“So how are you planning on getting me out of here? They’ve got a price on my head. And you ain’t a judge and now you’re stuck here in the pokey same as me.”
Remington Jackson’s eyes sparkled with a mix of mischief and determination. “You didn’t think I’d walk in here without an alternative exit plan, did you?” he pulled the right side of his jacket back to reveal not just a holstered revolver and gun belt filled with silvery bullets, but also a couple of glass vials of clear liquid topped with cork stoppers.
China snorted. “It’s gonna take a lot more than that little bit of water if you want to get through those adobe walls.”
He gave her an arch look. “It would, if it were water.” He picked up one vial, and glanced at her. “But considering it’s nitro glycerin, I’m assuming it’ll be much more effective. Toss that mattress up on its side and hunker down behind it for cover.” She didn’t question, just did as he said.
Remington crouched down behind the mattress with her in the corner of the cell, their backs to the bars as he threw the glass vial as hard as he could at the outer adobe wall, then ducked.
The explosion rocked the jail, sending down a shower of dust and chunks of brick. Miss McGee coughed, then frowned. “Blowing up the jail? That’s your solution?”
He shrugged. He really didn’t care what she thought of his methods. “It works.” His life wasn’t a black or white proposition. It was more like a smorgasbord. He took what he needed, when he needed it, to get the job done. Being a Hunter, even part time, meant he didn’t always have the luxury of doing things by the book.
Judging by the narrow-eyed look and pinched mouth on Miss McGee’s pretty face, he’d been right to bring the iron bracelet along as a precaution. Colt said she could change into many things, including a mountain lion, and he had no plans of getting shredded to pieces on the way back to Tombstone.
Remington didn’t waste any time. He hustled Miss McGee out of the jail as quickly as possible, helping her cross the rubble, aware that the sheriff and half the town would likely be on their heels at any moment.
They dashed around the outer edge of the jail, and waited for everyone to disappear inside. He grabbed hold of her hand. “Let’s go.”
He rushed to his horse, who was spooked by the explosion, and pulled the reigns from the hitching post.
China’s mouth dropped open. “How are we gonna get out of here quick on that? Don’t you have a mechanical horse like Colt?”
“No. Hate the damn thing. Now are you coming or not?”
China snapped her mouth closed and nodded. Remington mounted in one smooth swift motion, then hauled the Darkin up to sit in front of him. Well, really, given the confines of the saddle she sat more in his lap than in front of him. She was far softer than he’d anticipated. Somehow Miss McGee’s prickly exterior didn’t change how very feminine she felt. “Hold on to the pommel.” She gripped it hard and he grasped the reins in each hand.
“Is this really necessary?” she growled as he kicked the horse into motion.
“Until I have clear access to Diego Mendoza’s information, absolutely.” That was a half truth. He could have just taken whatever she’d gotten from the safety deposit box and left her there, but his gut had told him that wasn’t the safest path. And if there was one thing Remington did, it was always listen to his gut. Besides everything Colt had him meticulously research indicated a Darkin was needed to access the hiding place of the missing pieces of the Book. No, he didn’t intend on letting Miss McGee out of his sights any time soon.
He wheeled the horse around and sped up the hill, making quick tracks out of Bisbee before anyone figured out what had happened and where they’d gone. He didn’t stop or slow until Bisbee was out of sight over the rim of the hills.
“I can just give you the page. That’s all there was. No map. Not a decent one anyway. Just a bunch of squiggly lines. No place names. No directions.” With her right hand she reached beneath the edge of her leather jacket and pulled a folded page of yellowed paper from the breast pocket of her faded pale blue chambray shirt. “Here. Take it. Then you can just drop me off at the next town. Deal?”
Remington smiled. She was just as anxious to get away from him as she was to get back at Colt. He could tell by the nervous way she fidgeted. “No deal. How do I know that paper will lead me anywhere?”
She shrugged, the movement causing her back and the curve of her shoulders to rub up against his chest. Remington grit his teeth. He was a Hunter, not a monk, after all. And despite the taint of being Darkin, she was a beautiful creature.
“You don’t. But I don’t have anything else, so it doesn’t matter.”
“Oh, I think you have a bit more than that. You were working with Colt to help find the lost piece of the Book Diego knew about, weren’t you?”
She heaved a sigh. “I don’t know anything.”
“That’s not what Colt said.”
A fine tremor worked its way through her body. Remington wasn’t sure if it was anger or desire. There was an exceedingly fine dividing line between hate and love and it didn’t take a whole hell of a lot to push some folks from one to the other.
“Colt knows everything I do.”
“Yes, but he’s bent on finding Cadel’s piece of the Book my father hid. That means I’m collecting you so you can help him find the piece Diego is rumored to have uncovered.”
She twisted in his lap. The leather stretched across her finely curved ass was not nearly enough of a barrier between them. Remington grunted. China gazed up at him. “You’re trying to put the Book of Legend back together, aren’t you?”
They started down the rugged hills surrounding Bisbee and Remington weighed the option of telling her the truth vs. telling her only what he wanted her to know. His gut told him to trust her when every bit of Hunter training told him he was a fool to do so.
Something changed in her eyes. A flash of silver, like lightning streaking across a stormy, cloud-covered sky. It was a breath-taking sight. “I’ll help you on one condition.”
Remington was tempted to tell her she wasn’t exactly in a position to bargain, but his curiosity got the better of him. In the courts sometimes what people told you when trying bargain, revealed far more about their intentions than they realized. “And what’s that?”
“If you do find all the pieces, I want to be there when you put it together.”
Remington frowned. “Why?”
“’Cause if what the Darkin legends say is true, it’s gonna be one hell of a show.”
In Remington’s opinion deals were made to be remade. He didn’t see the harm in agreeing to it if it could get the information Colt needed out of her. “Sounds like you have a personal stake in the matter. Is that true, Miss McGee?”
She shifted uneasily. “You’ve got your secrets, Hunter. I’ve got mine. Do we have a deal, or don’t we?”