Title: Armored Hearts
Author: Pauline Creeden & Melissa Turner Lee
Published: April 30, 2013
Word Count: 52,000
Genre: Steampunk Fantasy
Content Warning: G/PG Rating due to mild sexual tension and minor violence.
When a crippled young lord rescues a girl falling from a tree, it reveals a secret about himself and his mother’s side of the family that could put him at the center of a war with beings he thought only existed in fairy tales.
Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park and left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted wheelchair.
Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin sent to kill him.
About the authors:
Pauline Creeden is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
Melissa Turner Lee holds a BA in Communications with a concentration in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. She has studied fiction writing since 2008, attending various writing conferences and workshops, along with guidance from professional writing coaches. She resides in Spartanburg, SC with her husband and 3 sons.
Melissa Turner Lee:
The way I start my writing process is always with a character showing up in my head. I was on a vacation in April 2012 when I was sitting in the hot tub with my kids and I suddenly had a vision of a man in an old style wheelchair with a lap blanket. I had to know who he was and from what time period. I needed to know his story. I started the interview that always follows when that happens and found out he was from Edwardian England and he told me his secret and that he didn’t know the full truth about it. I soon discovered that that there was an American woman involved with her own secret—she was gadgety. This was a steampunk novel.
The whole idea of writing steampunk confused me because I wasn’t very versed in the genre. I’d met the very talented and super smart Pauline Creeden online and I knew she wrote steampunk. I told her my idea and she got on board. It was decided that I would take the lead in writing the story and would then pass it to her. Then we would pass it back and forth until we were happy with what we had. Opening up to new ideas and there were places we needed to go back and add action or a death. The challenge of collaboration is that there is compromise. Often one of us would have an idea the other would talk us down from, so the end result is stronger because we each compliment the other’s weaknesses.
I am so very pleased with how it turned out. The story really could never have become a reality if I’d not met Pauline and she had not been interested. We have some more books planned for this series and another she is taking the lead on. I really look forward to writing with Pauline again on a Contemporary Romantic/Suspense novel we’ve done some brainstorming sessions with and will be working on it later this year as well as AH2.
GRAND PRIZE: Signed print copy of Armored Hearts, a Steampunk Charm Bracelet, and Bookmark Swag Pack (US Only)
SECOND PLACE: $20 Winner’s Choice of Gift Card to Amazon or B&N (or even PayPal Cash) (INT)