Evelina Cooper, the niece of the great Sherlock Holmes, is poised to enjoy her first Season in London Society. But there’s a murderer to deal with—not to mention missing automatons, a sorcerer, and a talking mouse.
In a Victorian era ruled by a council of ruthless steam barons, mechanical power is the real monarch and sorcery the demon enemy of the Empire. Nevertheless, the most coveted weapon is magic that can run machines—something Evelina has secretly mastered. But rather than making her fortune, her special talents could mean death or an eternity as a guest of Her Majesty’s secret laboratories. What’s a polite young lady to do but mind her manners and pray she’s never found out?
But then there’s that murder. As Sherlock Holmes’s niece, Evelina should be able to find the answers, but she has a lot to learn. And the first decision she has to make is whether to trust the handsome, clever rake who makes her breath come faster, or the dashing trick rider who would dare anything for her if she would only just ask.
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a pair of book earrings. They are adorably perfect for book lovers! They’re hand made in Scotland and are tiny bound books with real pages. These are covered in a beautiful pale blue hand-made paper.
The Baskerville Affair
As I write this, I have a stack of page proofs sitting on my table waiting for the courier to take it back to New York. They represent, well and truly, the final finishing touches on the last book of the Baskerville Affair series. I either want to boot them out the door ASAP or clutch them like a nervous parent—my mood changes from moment to moment.
I’m happy to wave bye-bye to the hours of nitpicking typos, but it’s hard to let go of the characters. Every one of them is flawed, but that’s what makes me so fond of them. They try, they fail, but they keep going because they all have heart. Each of the major characters has his or her arc over the course of the three books—and in a world of steampunk, rebellion, and magic, those are some pretty interesting journeys.
To capture the series in a nutshell, the Baskerville Affair begins with Evelina Cooper on the cusp of launching into Victorian High Society. She’s torn between her circus-born father’s world of magic and adventure and her mother’s legacy of wealth, gentility, and—as personified by Evelina’s uncle, Sherlock Holmes—scientific inquiry. Evelina wants the best of both worlds, but most of all she wants the ability to make her own choices. Her struggle to earn that right is the core of her story, whether she’s trying to get a seat in a boys-only chemistry class or duking it out with a dragon.
She has two suitors: Nick, her childhood sweetheart from the circus, and Tobias, her best friend’s brother. Both have huge hearts, but they have their own roads to travel, and Tobias in particular has much to learn. He’s bright, creative, and good looking, but he’s never had to shoulder responsibility. How he finally comes to grips with the consequences of his actions is one of my favorite things in the series.
Which is why I say, if someone asks what the books are about, the Baskerville Affair trilogy is about people. It’s an ensemble cast far more than a solo act because each person’s quest weaves through the others, helping or hindering as they go. Sure, they have to cope with Queen Victoria and giant caterpillars, thieves, monsters, pirates, mechanical squids, steampunk armies and ballroom courtships—but personalities always make the difference. One character’s choices—their friendship or their deceit—can make or break the world.
And now I have to let my imaginary friends go find their way onto bookshelves, real and virtual. I hope you find them as interesting as I have! I’d love to hear from you—who are the most interesting and complex characters you’ve read recently? Were any of them in steampunk stories?
Meet Emma Jane Holloway!
Ever since childhood, Emma Jane Holloway refused to accept that history was nothing but facts prisoned behind the closed door of time. Why waste a perfectly good playground coloring within the timelines? Accordingly, her novels are filled with whimsical impossibilities and the occasional eye-blinking impertinence—but always in the service of grand adventure.
Struggling between the practical and the artistic—a family tradition, along with ghosts and a belief in the curative powers of shortbread—Emma Jane has a degree in literature and job in finance. She lives in the Pacific Northwest in a house crammed with books, musical instruments, and half-finished sewing projects. In the meantime, she’s published articles, essays, short stories, and enough novels to build a fort for her stuffed hedgehog.
Want to purchase Emma Jane’s novels?
- The Adventure of the Wollaston Ritual (FREE prequel story)
- A Study in Silks (Read the first 50 pages here
- A Study in Darkness
- A Study in Ashes
Thank you Emma Jane for taking the time to stop by Literary Escapism!
Emma Jane is giving away these earrings – adorably perfect for book lovers! To enter, all you have to do is answer this question: Who are the most interesting and complex characters you’ve read recently? Were any of them in steampunk stories? Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered.
Even though I’m not giving the additional entries any more, you can still help support the author by sharing their article, and this contest, on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere you can. After all, the more people who are aware of this fabulous author ensures we get more fabulous stories.
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 September 30th at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from this snazzy plug-in that I have.