Today I am so pleased to welcome Nikki Woolfolk to Joyfully Jay. Nikki has come to talk to us about her latest release, The Men of Summerly, the second book in her Sweet & Steamy series. She has also brought along a copy to give away. Please join me in giving Nikki a big welcome!
Creating Magic in a Steampunk World
Some people grow up reading Fairy Tales. I grew up with tall tales and Aesop’s fables so connecting to stories about finding a life partner are a bit new for me. Granted, I knew about Disney’s Cinderella and loved when everyone gathers around to help the cinder girl make her costume for the grand entrance at the Ball. Though what stayed with me is seeing how this mistreated protagonist was loved by so many. To me that was the first “true love” I imagined to be worth seeking. Finding a dreamboat that brought you back your best shoe was considered a bonus in my book.
When I began brainstorming the idea for THE MEN OF SUMMERLY I decided to retell a fairy tale that we all know but with a twist. Cinderella cannot be told without some sort of magic and Steampunk gadgetry is the magic of science.
My “prince”, Simon Leatherby, and Ashland “Ash” Gottschalk, my glassmaking cinderfella, were true fairy tale heroes. I admit that I was taken aback by their sincerity. Both the gentleman’s charm and love for the town of Stubborn was too strong and I had to explore this little fictional West Virginia town in which the story takes place. What better place to show the world of brass, cogs and gears than at the Midsummer Night’s Dream themed Ball in which the two lovers meet?
The evening sky above and lit candles sitting on miniature steam powered boats glittering on the dark waters of a pond nearby can only enchant. It is the little things that move us and cause us to sigh like when a couple shares a heated gaze. Or our own hearts beat a little faster when we read of two lovers interlacing their fingers together for the first time. And the first kiss. A couple’s last first kiss in a romance always makes me a bit heady and I’m certain I’m not alone.
When I wrote SUMMERLY I gave myself permission to write from that hidden romantic side of myself. Shhh, don’t tell, but I’m a closet romantic. Though with fairy tales I always wanted to know more about the prince and found myself wondering just what kind of personality did he posses. I mean, is he kind? Is he funny? Or most important, with grace, can he handle a whole town trying to play matchmaker? These are important things to know, people!
THE MEN OF SUMMERLY does answer the questions and share similarities to the fairy tale, but for you, good readers, I wanted to give you something more than a set of abs with a dazzling smile. Or a cinderfella beaten down by the management he works for at the glass factory. In this story I hope you fall in love with two heroes, the quirky cast of characters of the town of Stubborn and stay for the food.
THE MEN OF SUMMELRY
Tradition is as quaint tradition does.
So thinks British trade envoy Simon Leatherby as he settles into his temporary home in the mountains of Stubborn, West Virginia, to negotiate an equitable export trade agreement. As the guest of honor at the annual Midsummer Night’s Dream Costume Ball, Simon is charmed by the beauty of this rugged country and matchmaking townsfolk, but only business is on his mind.
Ashland “Ash” Gottschalk, a sweet tempered glassblower, is caught up in a horrible set of circumstances, no thanks to an evil manager and his two wicked assistants heaping abuse on all the downtrodden workers of the Pantoufle Glass Factory. With a clever plan, borrowed items, and a touch of magic, Ash’s friends transform the kind cinderfella into a proper gentleman for one stolen evening at the ball.
A chance meeting at the celebration turns into a magical evening to remember as Ash and Simon meet their match. When the clock strikes midnight and the mysterious Ash disappears as suddenly as he appeared, Simon moves heaven and earth to seek out the keeper of the glass trinket left behind on that starry night.
Will Simon find his ‘prince’ before time runs out or will the evil management’s last cruel trick destroy his happy ending with Ash?
Nikki Woolfolk grew up with her southern father’s good cooking and tall-tales and her mother’s science fiction loving influence early Silicon Valley. In 2013, a friend challenged her to mix her two loves, science and writing, to create a romance novella. Considering herself more nerd than a romantic, Nikki wrote her version of a romance in which she gets to “have a parkour chase scene, blow sh*t up, and make sure the good guy and gal get the girl” with food on the side when the adventures work up an appetite.
Nikki lives in New England with her son and her partner and is working on a Stemapunk Spy full-length novel WICKED NIGHT CARNIVALE. For more details go to her blog: thedrunkenmousse.wordpress.com or find her on Twitter!
Nikki has brought a copy of The Men of Summerly to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Sunday, August 17th at 11:59 pm EST.
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