Guest Author: Pauline Baird Jones

Pauline Baird JonesToday, I am excited to welcome Pauline Baird Jones, author of the Tangled in Time, a fabulous new steampunk novella.

Colonel Carey (from The Key and Girl Gone Nova) takes a test “flight” through the Garradian time-space portal, but an unexpected impact lands him somewhere and some when. As he attempts to get to Area 51, he crosses paths with Miss Olivia Carstairs, who could be Mary Poppins’ twin sister. Or maybe her cousin. Olivia’s got a steam powered transmogrification machine and a mouth he’d like to kiss like it was his job—unless she shoots him with her derringer.

Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a Tangled in Time inspired gift set.

Steampunk? Um, what?
by Pauline Baird Jones

Steampunk literature first popped into my horizon because of The Galaxy Express. Owner/operator, Heather Massey is a big Steampunk fan. Just like many readers, I went, “Huh?” when I first heard the term. I did a little digging, became curious, and dipped a cautious toe into the mix by trying out Gail Carriger’s Soulless. Looking back, I’d call it Steampunk-lite, since it has more paranormal elements than anachronistic technology, but I was charmed by the Victorian heroine. Of course, how can you not be charmed by a lady who uses her parasol to protect her complexion and her virtue? One who is at the front lines of female emancipation? Or not long to write one—though mine also has a derringer and the heart and mind of a scientist.

So what gives a story its Steampunk vibe? At its core, Steampunk is both Victorian and has some element of anachronistic, steam-driven technology. Other tropes include airships and automatons, and some even have zombies (The Affinity Bridge). There may also be elements of alternate history (Leviathan), alternate reality (Boneshaker), or time travel (my Tangled in Time). Of course, all of it is alternate reality in some form because it’s all fiction. Victorian history didn’t develop steam driven high tech, but it did spawn a lot of imaginative fiction (Jules Verne and HG Wells, for instance) that some now call the first Steampunk fiction.

What I like in my Steampunk (and in others’) is a sense of humor, a bit of whimsy, and I’m always there for a romantic adventure. If you read Tangled in Time, you will also find some science fiction romance because like to mix up the genres a bit. Or a lot.

Heather, at The Galaxy Express, read an ARC of Tangled in Time and had this to say about my mix of Steampunk and science fiction romance in an interview ():

One advantage of science fiction romance is the freedom to create a variety of cross-genre stories. In your case, you began mixing Steampunk with military SF space opera. At first glance, the mix seems oxymoronic, but I felt that the Steampunk elements in Tangled in Time felt pretty organic to your existing universe.”

I was happy to read this, because I’d tried hard to make all the elements in the story essential — and yes organic — to the story line. I’m not personally fond of any plot element that is only there so the heroine and heroine can meet, though I will confess it took some heavy thinking to make it all “organic.”

Tangled in Time started with a character, that parasol toting, Victorian lady with a scientific bent and then meshed with my need to write a short story for an anthology about Texas Landmarks. I’d already chosen Big Bend National Park—which didn’t exist as a park in the 1890’s when my heroine lived and fought to be who and what she was—so right off I knew it would be a time travel. Big Bend has a very interesting history, including an airfield developed to fight Pancho Via, that also was used to train pilots (who also liked to fish in the Rio Grande) late into the 1940’s. It’s also not far from the mysterious Marfa lights.

Tangled in TimeMy juices began to churn, but I needed a hero for my heroine. It was lucky that I happened to have a guy in need of a girl who been in the supporting case of my two, science fiction romance novels, and I also happened to have an alien artifact that allowed travel through time (though with uncertain results—always good for causing adventures).

With the various pieces spinning inside my head (a place scarier than some Haunted houses), I began writing a story that was supposed to stop at 7,000 words. When I hit 6,000 with a lot of story left to tell, I knew I wasn’t writing a short story anymore. In the end, the story fell short of novel length and will release as a novella this December.

Early reviewer and reader response has been wonderful, thankfully:

“I read this Sci Fi/Steampunk Romance Novella ARC for the author and I couldn’t put it down. It was wonderful with great gentle humor!” Reviews by Martha

“I can’t thank Pauline enough for exposing me to a new genre. I absolutely recommend reading Tangled in Time to science geeks and non-nerds alike. Pauline has the art of subtle romance down, which is something I can now say that I have been missing on my reading list. Tangled in Time is perfectly executed and an absolutely satisfying read!” Http://

If you’re like me, and have been looking for some action and adventure without all the detailed bloodletting, I heartily recommend both SFR and Steampunk. Both genres have been growing and flourishing under a lot of readers’ radar. If you’ve read it, please share your favorites in either genre and if you’re looking for something different, post your wish list. It’s the holidays, so wishes ought to come true, don’t you think?

The novella also inspired my wonderful sister-in-law to brew up some lavender soap and other (his and hers) goodies that one lucky commenter can win by leaving a comment below.

Perilously yours,


Pauline Baird Jones is the award-winning author of nine novels of science fiction romance, action-adventure, suspense, romantic suspense and comedy-mystery. Her latest release and EPIC Book Award finalist, is Girl Gone Nova and she is in the process of re-issuing her back list. Her seventh novel, Out of Time, an action-adventure romance set in World War II, is an EPPIE 2007 winner. Her eighth novel, The Key won an Independent Book Award Bronze Medal (IPPY) for 2008 and is a 2007 Dream Realm Awards Winner. She also has short stories in several anthologies. Originally from Wyoming, she and her family moved from New Orleans to Texas before Katrina.

Contact Info
Social Media: Facebook / Twitter / mySpace

Want to purchase Pauline’s novels?
The Spy Who Kissed Me (aka Pig in a Park) at Amazon or the Book Depository
Do Wah Diddy Die at Amazon or the Book Depository
A Dangerous Dance at Amazon
Out of Time at Amazon or the Book Depository
The Key at Amazon or the Book Depository
Made Up Mayhem at Amazon or the Book Depository
Girl Gone Nova at Amazon or the Book Depository
Tangled in Time at Amazon

PBJones-Prize-LEThank you Pauline for visiting Literary Escapism.

Contest Time! Pauline has graciously offered to give away a Tangled in Time inspired gift set.  All you have to do is answer this one question: Have you read any steampunk?  What are your thoughts? Or simply ask Marcus a question.

As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat (remember, these aren’t mandatory to enter, just extra entries):

  • +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
  • +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
  • +1 If you are a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and/or Twitter
  • +10 Purchase any of Pauline’s novels (listed above) or any novel through LE’s Amazon store or the Book Depository sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: jackie AT literaryescapism DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries.

One thing I do add to my contests…the winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.

The contest will stay open until November 29th, at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer and the List Randomizer.

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. Hey Pauline!!!

    Great to see you here and great to hear more about your new book! So glad it’s out!

    I loved steampunk way before it really had a name – The Time Machine springs to mind. And I’ve always loved that time period – so cutting edge…which I guess is why we look back on it with such awe.

    Best of luck with the new book – can’t wait to read it!

  2. Greetings Pauline: enjoyed reading your comments on Jackies’ site today. Lonnie and I really enjoyed reading “Tangled In Time”; we are looking forward to more. For my reading viewpoint, I enjoyed the way you combined the science of steampunk, with later science. I liked the way you handled the tension between the hero and heroine. And I liked the geographic setting in far west Texas. In some respects it is similar to our south east Arizona landscape. Best wishes with the steampunk genre.

  3. Hi, Pauline,

    First, I love your title Tangled in Time. Second, I wasn’t familiar with Steampunk lit until recently, but it’s certainly interesting and challenging intellectually.

  4. Hi Pauline,
    Great blog, you know you are the first person to explain Steampunk so I can understand it. Tangled In Time sounds like a great read, I’ll go check it out.



  5. I only recently discovered steampunk with The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook and I’m in love with it! ;-) I’ve been happy exploring the genre since then. Tangled in Time sounds good. I’ve added it to my wishlist!

  6. Another element I enjoyed about Tangled is that I truly didn’t know where the story was going. Loved the fresh, unpredictable nature of it.

    And Olivia is *such* a fun heroine. Definitely a keeper.

    (thanks for the linky!)

  7. Hi Pauline!
    Your books have been on my Book Depository wishlist for a while now. I think I shall have to buy myself an early Christmas present!
    I’ve read a bit of steampunk fiction over the last six months or so and I can’t wait to get my hands on Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding. (I’ve had to special order it from my bookshop, it always sells out too quickly and the publisher never has enough to go around.) Apparently, it’s like a steampunk pirate version of the TV series Firefly. Want.
    Good luck with the new release!

  8. Pauline

    I have heard the term Steampunk quite often lately, but I had no idea what it meant. Reading your blog helps, but I think maybe reading Tangled in Time would help even more! It sounds like a fun read!



    Hi :)
    Thank you for introducing me to Pauline’s writing and thank you to Pauline for sharing here.
    I like the name of her site Perils of Pauline.
    All the best,

  10. I’m very happy find an explanation of steampunk, since the concept has intrigued me for quite some time. I’ve never read any unless Charles Dickens’s novels count, but I’ve bought a copy of Tangled in Time and look forward to reading it with keen anticipation. Thank you, Pauline!

    Claudia Hill

  11. I adore the steampunk genre, and that is a great description of it. I can’t wait to read the book!
    (I follow LE on facebook, of course, and on my Google Reader so I don’t miss anything)

  12. Pauline, I really enjoyed this blog and feel much closer to steampunk now. “Tangled in Time” is a good read and your comment is so true that it’s nice to get away from all the bloodletting for awhile.

    Betty Gordon

  13. I’m a growing steampunk fan, and especially like VanderMeer’s anthology on the subject. I’ve even seen a steampunk anime, that I can’t for the life of me remember right now.

    I’ve not read any steampunk romance, but I really want to check out your story now, Pauline. Looks fun!

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