I'm participating in the collaborative steampunk novel, Army of Brass, currently available on pre-order and scheduled to be released at the end of the month. C'mon, it's just a buck, what more do you want?!?
Join the worldwide Facebook release party on April 28-29 to meet the writers, learn more about the book and win prizes, including copies of "EPiCAD 2025," my reboot of Kurt Vonnegut's classic SF story, "EPICAC."
Okay, if you need more persuading, here's an except from my contribution, a section of a chapter focusing on the villain of the novel, the Hunter Baron.
excerpt from chapter three of Army of Brass
“Bah, you will find out nothing from that machine, Colonel,” the Baron scoffed, waving the man away. The officers were all captivated by the newest military technology—the telegraph, the dirigible, the programmable machine gun—as if they were weapons that would win the war. While he would not have earned the moniker of “The Hunter Baron” if he didn’t know the value of a good weapon, he also realized that a weapon without a warrior to wield it remained useless, which was why he had personally supervised the training of the Marksmen, turning them into the most awesome fighting force the continent had ever seen.
“I will return to Fairport myself.” He picked up his cloak, and all the officers stood at attention.
His personal retinue whipped into action, a half-dozen guards and aides gathering papers and weapons while they struggled hastily into their own cloaks. The equipment and people would all be loaded into his personal train car, but he didn’t need to wait, as they would simply meet him in Fairport.
The prodigal valet appeared to open the tent flap. “My lord,” he said, eyes cast downward.
His master grabbed him by the collar and lifted him off his feet. The man’s face turned red as he gasped for breath. “My tea, Jeffrey,” the Baron whispered. All noise around him ceased, his every word clear to each man in the room. “It was cold.”
The officers scattered when the valet soared through the air and landed on the map table. The Baron then addressed the entire room. “Do not forget that I am a patient man. I have waited many years to launch this campaign. But now that we have begun, I will tolerate no delays and suffer no errors. Is that clear?”
“Yes, sir!” the officers answered in unison.
“Good. I will now return to Fairport and expect notification when you hear from the spies.” He turned to the man still sprawled on the table. “Jeffrey?”
“Yes, sir?” the man responded meekly.
“We are ready.” The Baron gestured toward the closed flap of the tent. The valet sprang up with a muffled groan and held open the fabric so his lord could pass.
When he left the tent this time, the scene around him had changed. At the base of the rail line, men and machines were hard at work bending steel and laying wood to push farther north. He glanced briefly at the workers, bathed in sweat and covered in dust and grime, and smiled. Fear truly was the most powerful motivator of them all.
“Horses,” he called out, but his valet was already at his side with the reins extended. The Baron refused to take the rail line himself, no matter how fast or efficient they could make it. The Baron of Auster smiled at the man and the tiny rivulet of blood trickling down his scalp. The warlord took the bridle with one hand and placed the other on Jeffrey’s uninjured shoulder. “Excellent.”
The valet stared at the ground, but the corners of his mouth crept up in a smile, and his master let the sycophantic pleasure linger. All told, Jeffrey was a good man, a reliable man, but the Baron had little time to waste upon such thoughts.
He had a country to conquer.
Want to read more? Check out Chapter 1 by Jason Pere.
You can preorder the ebook of Army of Brass and receive it April 27!
Plus, join us for the Facebook launch party April 28-29 to meet the writers, sign up for giveaways, and more!
Speaking of giveaways, we’ve got one going on for the entire blog tour, so between April 13-May 13, enter to win ebooks from our writers.