Saturday, March 23, 2019

Book Tour and Giveaway: The Heart Collector (Auckland Steampunk Book 1) by Barbara Russell

The Heart Collector
Auckland Steampunk Book 1
Barbara Russell

Steampunk, Romantic Suspense
Auckland, 1884

The Supernaturals are frightened. Despite being able to do extraordinary things like teleporting or lighting a fire with a stare, a serial killer, the Heart Collector, is slaughtering them. He rips their chests open and removes their hearts.

While other aristocratic, nineteen-year-old girls spend time dancing, Isabel trains hard to become an MI7 agent—Military Intelligence Seventh Division, a crime squad run by Supernaturals. The Heart Collector murdered her best friend, and enrolling at MI7 is the best way to help catch the killer.

Isabel senses other people’s feelings as if they were her owns. But MI7’s leader is too worried about Isabel’s safety to let her join the team.

Eager to prove that her power is valuable, Isabel volunteers to meet Murk, a dangerous Supernatural man who can turn himself invisible. MI7 desperately tried to recruit him and failed.

She believes that her power is enough to convince Murk to become an MI7’s agent and help apprehend the Heart Collector. If he wants to attack her, his feelings will broadcast his intention, and she’ll be ready.

What Isabel isn’t ready for is to fall in love with the man who will collect her heart.

I’m an entomologist and a soil biologist, which is a fancy way to say that I dig in the dirt, looking for bugs. Nature and books have always been my passion. I was a kid when I read The Lord Of The Rings and fell in love with fantasy novels.

When I discovered cosy mystery and crime novel, I fell in love with Hercules Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. Then I grew up and . . . Nah, I’m joking. I didn’t grow up. Don’t grow up, folks! It’s a trap.

PS I hate gardening. There, I said it. Sorry fellow Kiwis.

- What inspired The Heart Collector?
I’ve always loved steampunk stories. The first I read was a steampunk/futuristic novel set in Italy by Stefano Benni. A rarity since the majority of the steampunk novels are set in Victorian London, and I fell in love with the genre because it’s always a bit funny, has some sci-fi elements, and there’s usually a mystery. I’m a sucker for mysteries. I read everything by Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle. So I thought, why not setting a steampunk novel here in Auckland? This gave me the opportunity to add a bit of Maori culture in the story.

- What is your favourite scene in The Heart Collector?
I think all the scenes with Trigger, the orphan Isabel—my main character—takes care of. He’s fun to write and I don’t have to worry about typos because he uses very bad grammar, lol.

- What do you do when you aren’t writing?
Trekking and climbing! I love hiking with my dogs. Forests are the best places ever to think about plot holes and characters’ developments. Not to mention that a good trekking recharges me. I need to get out of the city and its noises now and then and be surrounded by trees and nature.

- What advice would you give new writers?
Read everything, from memoirs to sci-fi novels. I love fiction, but true stories are the amazing. There’s a lot to learn from non-fiction books as a writer, and you never know what might inspire you.

- What’s your work in progress?
I’m currently writing book 7 of the series. The first three books are in Isabel’s point of view. Then next books are written with others POVs. Isabel will always be present, in the background. She’s the protagonist of the first three books, then I’ll leave room for others characters.

- Which character can you relate to the most and why?
They say that an author is the sum of all of his characters, including the villains, lol. But I feel closer to Trigger, the orphan Isabel—my main character—takes care of. He’s fun to write and I don’t have to worry about typos because he uses very bad grammar, lol.

- If you choke a Smurf, of what colour does he turn?
The same colour he turns when he’s freezing.

- Anything else you’d like to add?
Actually yes, I’d like to tell those people who say they don’t read a book to please don’t say that out loud. Every time a person says they don’t read, somewhere a writer gets writer’s block.
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  1. The cover is pretty, thanks for the chance.

  2. Nice looking cover! Sounds like an exciting read :-)

  3. Sexy book cover, and the book sounds interesting.

  4. The cover for this book is awesome... Great art and design. :)

  5. Great cover -- looks really interesting

  6. Thanks everyone :) I agree about the cover. Anna Spies did an awesome job :)

  7. I love the cover and this sounds great!

  8. Many thanks everyone :) I'm glad the cover is a success!! I just love it :)

  9. A masked seductress to intrigue us...hoping to read.

  10. Question for the author is.... What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

    1. Well, that's kinda embarrassing, lol, but when I start an outline, I use a code for the scenes (to be faster, or at least I tell myself that). But somehow, even if I prepare a spreadsheet with all the codes meaning, I never understand them, haha. Bottom line, I have to reword/rewrite large parts of the outlines... :-/

  11. This looks like a amazing read

  12. The cover is awesome, it really made me interested :)

  13. I like the cover, very eye-catching.

  14. love the cover have always loved the look of Steampunk .