#ConThu is back! Welcome to your introduction to some of the fantastic authors who are already signed up for the Rust City Book Conference. Today I'm showcasing:
CINDY SPENCER PAPE
Can you tell us a little about your work, Cindy?
Sure thing! I've written almost all subgenres of romance, an award-winning steampunk series and a little bit of urban fantasy. My current project is getting a bunch of my backlist titles out again, so I'm honestly not sure what's coming next.
Ok, let's talk about RustCity!
1. Fill in the blank: "I used to be really good at softball , but these days I'm pretty rusty."
I was never a big softball player, but my mom and sisters were! I spent a lot of summer afternoons watching games.
2. Eminem or Aretha? Explain.
As a Detroit girl, I have to choose? Probably Aretha. Everyone needs some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
3. Choose One:
I'm confused. And not from around here.
4. What are you looking forward to most at the RustCity conference? Meeting new readers and connecting with other authors. Well, that works out great, since it's exactly what RustCity is about!
5. What is an off-the-cuff association you have with Michigan, Detroit, or Troy?
I lived in Troy through High School and was born in Detroit. I've spent a few years out of state, but I came back. No place like home, eh?
6. Your latest work of fiction features a wealthy industrialist and an R'nB singer. What's the first sentence? " Five hundred dollar suit in a blues club--talk about slumming," the singer said, his voice as deep and soft as velvet.
What's it about? Her development corporation is trying to take over the block that includes his club, as well as the youth center where he volunteers. Love it!
7. And finally, would you like to participate in the Alpha Heroes Five Words Fiction Game? YES!!
YAY!! Your Mission: Write Part 4 of our STEAMPUNK Five Words Game, using the challenge words:
absinthe, bound, eight, menagerie, wishPart 1, by Lorelei Brown
Part 2, by Marie Piper
Part 3, by Seleste deLaney
“Did you see the menagerie at the Tower of London?”
Alma shook her head. Which of her eight little brothers had asked didn’t matter. Her mind was on other things. “Apprentices don’t get a lot of free time to see the sights.” Especially apprentices who were being blackmailed by foreign agents into stealing one of the Alpha Cross’s most valuable inventions.
Paying attention to her family was difficult, as Alma had only one thing on her mind. She knew why the Frenchman had wanted to meet here, in Fairmeadow. Father, Mother, and eight young boys. Every one of them was a hostage, nothing but a pawn in the game. If she failed to deliver the analytical engine, they would all die—and so would she. Alma hadn’t wanted to ever return to this miserable little town, to witness the poverty her family had suffered after the factory closure, but that didn’t mean she wanted them all dead. So here she was, bound for her own destruction when the Order found out, but at least the others would be safe.
“I think I’ll go for a walk.” Trying to sound casual, she stood and brushed off her skirts. “Perhaps I’ll go see Jenny and her new baby. I brought her a gift.” Most of her school friends were married now, with children of their own. Aside from the dead or imprisoned, only Alma had escaped this place.
The boys clamored to come along and Mother abjured her to be home in time for dinner. Alma dismissed the boys and pinned her jaunty little hat on her upswept hair. How elegant this coiffure and ensemble had seemed in London, a perfect foil for her auburn locks. How out of place the cheerful coral and russet feathers and silk seemed here.
There was no gift in her valise, of course, only the stolen engine. Once Alma had turned the corner toward her old friend’s tiny house on the edge of town, she doubled back on the next block toward the pub.
Once inside, she blinked to allow her eyes to adjust to the miasma of cigar smoke and flickering gaslights. Her valise clutched to her side, she found a place at the very end of the bar and did as she’d been instructed. When the bartender came to take her order, she asked for absinthe—something she normally abhorred, as licorice had never been her favorite flavor. After her drink arrived, the vivid green liquid clouded from the sugar cube through which the liquor had been dripped, she pretended to sip as she studied the others at the bar.
One, at least, was probably a badger. She was certain they’d be after her by now.
*How I wish I’d never snuck out of the dormitory that night.* If she’d followed the rules, if she hadn’t had that illicit rendezvous with Franklin, then the Frenchman would have never targeted her for his blackmail scheme. And her family might be safe.
Never trust a Frenchman named Franklin, that's what I always say. Come back to visit Alpha Heroes for another installment soon! In the meantime, if you'd like more of Cindy's fiction, here are some (Amazon US) links:
New re-release: CURSES, Cindy's first paranormal, which was an EPIC finalist.