Today I am so pleased to welcome J.L. Merrow to Joyfully Jay. J.L. has come to talk to us about her latest release, Counter Culture. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

But What Do Steampunks Do?

So you’ve got your top hat and your goggles, and you’ve managed to put together an outfit that looks vaguely Victorian from charity shop finds and/or steampunk traders. What’s the next step?

The short answer is, of course, go forth and Be Splendid.

However, as that’s not terribly informative, here’s a (tongue-in-cheek) list of a few activities steampunks tend to enjoy, or at least participate in:

  1. Being photographed

This is best done at a suitably vintage location, such as a Victorian pumping station or railway museum, where your outfit can be set off by heavy machinery and/or gothic architecture. Remember to wear something high-contrast to avoid fading into the brickwork when the result is inevitably made monochrome and/or sepia-tinted.

  1. Avoiding being photographed

While most ’togs are generally good eggs, there is a regrettable minority who are simply Not Splendid, taking photographs without permission and/or while the steampunk in question would prefer not to be snapped, such as while taking a lunch break, or mid outfit alteration. Hiding behind a fan or parasol, or simply turning one’s back, can help get the message across to overly intrusive ’togs that their attentions are not currently welcome.

  1. Changing in car parks

Have you ever tried to drive in a corset? Or take a train with a rocket pack affixed to your back? Not recommended. Also, after a long, hard day of Being Splendid, it can be quite a relief to divest oneself of the 97 useful items of equipment hanging from one’s person.

  1. Asking, Does My Bum Look Big in This (Bustle)?

The only acceptable answer, of course, is an enthusiastic “Yes!”

  1. Chanting “boots before corset”

Ladies’ maids being in regrettably short supply these days, it’s helpful to remember to don one’s footwear before fastening one’s stays, i.e. while bending in the middle is still possible.

  1. Drinking Gin

Look, not all of us like tea, okay? That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. 😉

  1. Playing Victorian parlour games

But that’s a whole ’nother blog post. 😉


Question: Do any of these activities sound appealing to you? If so, you may want to get yourself some goggles and/or a corset! 😉


Customer service has never been this personal.

Robin Christopher, beleaguered retail worker, isn’t having an easy November. His boss is raising stress levels planning a Black Friday to end all Black Fridays, his family doesn’t understand him, and his best friend thinks his new crush is a hallucination brought on by watching too many episodes of Doctor Who.

Archie Levine dresses in Victorian style and divides his time between caring for his young son and creating weird and wacky steampunk gadgets from bits of old junk—when he’s not looking after his mum and trying to keep on good terms with his ex. The last thing he’s got time for is a relationship, but the flustered young man he met while disembowelling a fridge is proving very tempting.

When his mum’s social conscience is roused by a local store with a cavalier attitude to the homeless, former rough sleeper Archie shares her anger. Little does he know that Robin works for that same store. When Archie finds out he’s sleeping with the enemy, things could cut up very rough indeed.

Available now from Riptide Publishing!


JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea.  She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again.

She writes (mostly) contemporary gay romance and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour.  Two of her novels have won Rainbow Awards for Romantic Comedy (Slam!, 2013 and Spun!, 2017) and several of her books have been EPIC Awards finalists, including Muscling Through, Relief Valve (the Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) and To Love a Traitor.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Crime Writers Association, Verulam Writers and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at:, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook at


To celebrate this release, one lucky person will win a $10 gift card to Riptide. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 9, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
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FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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