Lady of Devices coming in German

I was talking to a young man on a bus in Munich once and he told me that often literary translations are so poor that the German folks would rather take English classes and read in the original than deal with the poor translations. (Hm, thought I. No wonder the Devices books sell so well in English there.)

Fast forward to the Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera last fall, which I attended with the intent to stalk—er, to meet with various folks who do translations so that I could begin making my books available to non English speakers. I approached it cautiously, after getting lots of input from other authors who had blazed the way before me, and winnowing down the translation agencies to the one I thought would do the job best.

I’ve just received the first part of the book and can’t wait to share a snippet with you. This is only the first pass, mind—the finished translation may have changes.

Lady of Devices: Ein Steampunk – Abenteuerroman
Shelley Adina

London, Juni 1889

Es wäre wohl übertrieben zu sagen, dass die Explosion das Labor der St. Cäcilia Akademie für junge Damen in seinen Grundfesten erschütterte, trotzdem ließ man sie nie wieder damit in Ruhe.

Claire Trevelyan schloss die Augen, als ein Handvoll rotbraunen Schaums von der Decke herab auf ihren Scheitel platschte. Er rutschte über ihre Ohren auf den Matrosenkragen ihrer Schulbluse und, den Gesetzen der Schwerkraft folgend, weiter über den blauen Seersuckerstoff ihres Uniformrockes auf den Boden.

Die anderen Schülerinnen der Haushaltchemieklasse für Fortgeschrittene hatten sich bereits kreischend aus den Bänken unterhalb des Zeugs an der Decke ans Ende des Klassenraumes geflüchtet. »Meine Damen!“ rief Professor Grünwald und breitete die Arme aus als wolle er das aufgewühlte Meer beruhigen, „kein Grund zur Aufregung. Fassen Sie sich, bitte.“ Seine stechenden Augen hinter den spiegelnden Brillengläsern bannten Claire auf der Stelle fest wie einen aufgespießten Schmetterling. »Miss Trevelyan. Hatte ich Ihnen nicht gerade erst verboten, den Inhalt der Schale in Ihren Kolben zu geben«?

»Ja, Sir« Sie konnte ihre Stimme selbst kaum über das Geschnatter ihrer Klassenkameradinnen hinweg hören.

»Warum haben Sie es trotzdem getan?«

Die Wahrheit würde nur zu einer weiteren ernsten Bestrafung führen, aber es gab keine andere Antwort. »Ich wollte sehen was passiert, Sir.«

Isn’t it delightful? Now I just have to figure out how to put the flock’s Cockney dialogue into German (there are equivalents, but choosing one is the difficulty). Such fun!


A Gentleman of Means: Building a cover

Creating a book cover is one of the most fun parts about being independently published. Of course, I don’t actually get my spoon in the soup, as Snouts might say, but I do usually have a concept in mind. So, when I was looking for images for the cover of book eight, A Gentleman of Means, I knew a couple of things. One, that it would feature Tigg (because who doesn’t love Tigg?) and two, that we would be in the air.

The next problem you have to solve is actually locating images on the stock photo sites. I’m not yet at the point where I can have a custom photo shoot done, so my pool of possibilities is limited. And yet—what are the odds that a young man of color of the correct approximate age, AND wearing steampunk garb would be one of my choices? Naturally I leapt at it.

Steampunk TrioBut sadly, there are no shots of any kind looking like they might have been taken inside the gondola of an airship. Hm. I wonder why no one has rectified this deficit? Never mind, we’ll do as Lady Claire might, and improvise. What can we do with the research shot from Paris—the one taken from behind the clock at the Musee d’Orsay?

IMAG0172Definite possibilities there. Now we need some clouds … and a spot on the schedule of the amazing Claudia at … and oh my. If you’re a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ll see the result next week when I send it out. And if you’re not … well, my goodness. What are you waiting for?


On the horizon in 2015

10533754_10154411524010705_4112135061738451509_nI hope everyone survived the holidays and you’re sufficiently recovered from New Year’s Eve revels … I find that nothing closes out the year better than dinner with friends and a rollicking polka, don’t you agree?

As of this writing, and a mere week after release, A Lady of Integrity is sitting at #2 on the Amazon Steampunk best seller list! Thank you all so much–you truly are what keeps this airship afloat, giving me so much encouragement and support that it’s a joy to keep writing. Shall we lay bets on whether it reaches #1?! In other good news, the Magnificent Devices series was among the top three best series of 2014 on the Fangs for the Fantasy blog. The fanchickens and I applaud their excellent taste and we are honored and grateful for the distinction.

As I stand at the viewing port, shading my eyes and looking to the horizon, I see a number of books and events that I’d like to share with you.

  • First off, I’ll be starting work on A Gentleman of Means, book 8 in the series, any moment now. I was going to write a romance, Caught You Listening, before I went back to the Devices world, but here is poor Gloria in peril and Tigg is giving me scandalized looks that I would even consider abandoning her. So I’m going to plunge in and do as he asks, the rascal. I fear that his promotion to lieutenant may have gone to his head.
  • I have some traveling ahead of me in 2015, including signing books at the Steampunk UnLimited event at the Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania in October. I was fortunate enough to meet several wonderful readers at the 2013 event, and hope to meet more of you this year! You can see all my travel and events scheduled so far on the Calendar.
  • I’ll be re-issuing all six of my Glory Prep series, which is contemporary Christian fiction for young teens, this year. They were previously published by Hachette in 2008-2010 and I’m delighted to have the rights back again.
  • And then … I am torn between two courses! In the first, I want to go back in time to the early years of the 1800s, when Lady Claire’s great-grandmother somehow got mixed up in the invention of the steam engine in Cornwall. I know. We expected nothing less. In the second, I want to explore a series of paranormal romantic suspense novels under a pseudonym. I fear I will have to clone myself in order to get all this work done!

In the meanwhile, I wish you and yours a happy and prosperous new year, with fair winds and a resourceful crew!

Christmas presents for my readers

A Lady of Integrity

A Lady of Integrity by Shelley AdinaBook 7 of the Magnificent Devices series is now available at these fine retailers:

Oh, and print will be available in January, for those who like their paper reads or who are curating a lovely collection :)

This book was such an adventure to write, both in terms of going to Venice for onsite research, and in terms of sheer logistics. With airships and a large cast of characters, to say nothing of monsters, all coming together in the final pages, it took WEEKS of planning on pieces of paper and pushing salt shakers around on the table and drawing maps to figure out how it was all going to work. But if you all like it, then it will have been time well spent.

Brilliant Devices

Brilliant Devices audiobook by Shelley Adina, performed by Fiona HardinghamBook 4 is now available on audiobook! Fiona Hardingham, our favorite actress (who recently appeared on Episode 3 of Nashville), has voiced the Devices characters once again. Find the audiobook at these fine retailers:

I wish you all a very merry Christmas with friends and family, and a joyous New Year!


A Lady of Integrity: Excerpt #2

Continued from my post of December 4 … the second half of Chapter 1 …

“I hope Claude is all right.” Lizzie looked up from the crossword. “He’s still in Venice, you know, so I wrote after we heard from Alice. All I got back was a postcard from that big exhibition they’re all attending. He sounded his usual self … though there’s not much room to say much else than ‘Having a grand rumble’ on those little bits of cardboard. The picture was lovely, though.”

“I’m glad he is out of France for the time being, at any rate, and unlikely to be used any further as a means of blackmail,” Andrew said. “It has been a number of weeks, and yet I am still wondering if it is safe to assume that Gerald Meriwether-Astor perished in the Channel when Maggie scuttled his great undersea dirigible.”

Maggie abandoned the crossword altogether and stood in front of the fire, as though she had suddenly become chilled. “I hope so,” she said fiercely. “I hope he got exactly what he deserved for trying to mount an invasion and make himself a king–killing all those poor bathynauts in the process.”

“Maggie,” Claire said softly. “Do not make yourself distressed. You have just managed to sleep through the night without nightmares, and neither Polgarth nor I wish you to lose the ground you have gained.”

At the mention of her grandfather’s name, some of the tension eased out of Maggie’s lovely young face. “Must I go back to Bavaria?” she pleaded, flinging herself on the rug at Claire’s feet. “Can’t I go down to Gwynn Place and stay with him and Michael and my aunts while you and Lizzie are gone?”

“And not finish your education?” Lewis looked up from his spreads in astonishment. “If I had half your advantages, Mags, you can bet I wouldn’t be throwing them away.”

“You’ve done pretty well for yourself under your own steam, I’d say,” Snouts told him, “but it’s different for girls. Don’t you think about quitting, Mags,” he told her, a hint of their old gang leader’s authority flashing through the façade of the fashionable young businessman. “We see a job through, and always have, isn’t that right?”

Claire fought the temptation to marshal her arguments, and let the boys do the job she hadn’t exactly been prepared for. Was this how Maggie really felt? That she didn’t want to finish her studies and graduate? The prospect horrified Claire–but at the same time, Maggie had always been of a gentler persuasion than her cousin Lizzie, more inclined to value home and hearth than either Lizzie or Claire herself.

Not that Claire didn’t value her home. She did, deeply–both here at Carrick House in Belgravia, and the little cottage in Vauxhall Gardens where they had created their first refuge. But her deep-seated need to secure her own engineering degree had driven her actions since the age of fifteen–and led her into such adventures that she had been changed forever.

She passed an affectionate hand over Maggie’s hair–put up now that she was a young lady, and her hems lowered in equal measure. “I will not say whether you must go or not,” she told her. “But I would be saddened indeed if all your work were left unfinished and you did not get the credit for it.”

“You can’t stay here,” Lizzie said firmly. “What would I do with myself all alone at school?”

“Become better friends with the other girls?” Maggie suggested.

“I’m as friendly with them as I intend to be.”

“Wait about for Tigg to get leave?”

“Oh, yes,” Lizzie nodded. “I shall run to meet the post every single day and weep all night when there’s no letter.” Her mouth pursed up in disdain at such missish behavior. “Tigg would wash his hands of me if I did such things. No, Mags. You’re coming back with me and that’s that. Nothing is going to hurt either of us, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“I never said so.” Maggie traced the rose design in the carpet by her knee with one finger.

“But I know you. You like things peaceful-like. The thing is, trouble found you as easily in Cornwall as it did me in the Cotswolds and the Lady in the Canadas. We can’t hide from adventures–they find us whether we want them to or not.”

“They don’t seem to find me,” Lewis pointed out, clearly somewhat disappointed.

“Give them time,” Andrew advised him.

Since in her mind the matter was closed, Lizzie returned to the crossword. “What’s a nine-letter word for ‘young lady of marriageable age’?”

“Elizabeth,” teased Snouts.

Lizzie swiped the box of toothpicks and threw it at him. Since she very rarely missed, Snouts exclaimed in chagrin and returned it to the mantel where it belonged, rubbing his shoulder.

“Lizzie, really, where are your manners?” Claire wondered aloud.

Debutante, you gumpy,” Maggie told her cousin. “Even Willie might have got that one.”

Happily, Lizzie filled in the last space and closed the paper. “Speaking of Willie, has the invitation come for his birthday party? It’s bound to be a–”

Someone pounded on the street door, sounding as though they meant the lion’s-head knocker to break right through the panel.

“I’ll get it.” Snouts went out of the family parlour and into the hall, moving on the balls of his feet in a way that told the observant eye he believed trouble lurked even behind the laurel hedges and glossy iron railings of Belgravia.

Claire put her notebook aside and stood, Andrew beside her.

“Snouts,” they heard a familiar voice say, “is Claire here?”

“A pleasure to see you, too, Miss—”

“Oh, don’t give me that—your brother doesn’t have time. Is she here? And Mr. Malvern?”

“Aye, but—”

Claire started forward, but before she could even reach the door, a blond, disheveled wreck of a young woman fell through it, the tracks of tears cutting lines through the dirt on her face.

“Claire–Andrew–thank God,” Alice Chalmers said breathlessly, pulling the flight goggles off her unruly hair. “You’ve got to come with me to Venice and get Jake out of that underwater prison before he dies in there.”


 To be continued in A Lady of Integrity, coming at Christmas from your favorite retailer!

Camille Elliot—Interview with a Regency author

Camille ElliotI have prevailed upon one of my friends to be a guest today—Regency author Camille Elliot, who also writes Christian romantic suspense as Camy Tang. She grew up in Hawaii, where she started reading Regency romances when she was thirteen years old. She graduated from Stanford University in psychology with a focus on biology, and for nine years she worked as a biologist researcher. Now she is writing full time, using her original psychology degree as she creates the characters in her novels. In her free time, she’s a staff worker for her church youth group and leads one of her church’s Sunday worship teams. She also loves to knit Victorian and vintage patterns, spin wool into yarn, and is training to (very slowly) run a marathon.

Shelley: Camille, welcome to my blog! We talk about all kinds of things here, from airships to books to lightning rifles, but now and again the subject of costuming comes up. Oh very well, maybe it comes up quite often. You’re a skilled maker and crafter—can you tell us a little more about what you do when you’re not writing books?

Camille: I absolutely love knitting. I actually knit when I’m writing–I’ll knit something easy while I’m thinking about what to write next, and then drop my knitting in my lap when I start typing. When I’m stuck again, I’ll pick the knitting up again. I learned to knit from my mom, but completely forgot when I grew up, so I relearned using online videos. Very useful for someone who needs to hit the repeat button over and over and over again!

Lately I’ve been very into antique (1800s) knitting patterns and also vintage patterns from the 1930s and 1940s. I recently knit my hero’s scarf from my Regency, The Spinster’s Christmas, from a pattern published in 1837 (but probably in use in the Regency era since most patterns were used long before they were printed). It was really fun! I felt a bit like Jane Austen–well, if Jane Austen ever knit. :)

Prelude For A Lord by Camille ElliotShelley: Your latest release is called Prelude for a Lord and has the prettiest cover I’ve seen in some time. Here is the story summary:

Bath, England 1810

At twenty-eight, Alethea Sutherton is past her prime for courtship; but social mores have never been her forté. She might be a lady, but she is first and foremost a musician. In Regency England, however, the violin is considered an inappropriate instrument for a lady to play in public. Ostracized by society for her passion, Alethea practices in secret and waits for her chance to flee to the Continent, where she can play without scandal. But when a thief ’s interest in her violin endangers her and her family, Alethea is determined to discover the enigmatic origins of her instrument … with the help of the dark, brooding Lord Dommick. Scarred by war, Dommick finds solace only in playing his violin. He is persuaded to help Alethea, and discovers an entirely new yearning in his soul. Alethea finds her reluctant heart drawn to Dommick in the sweetest of duets . . . just as the thief’s desperation builds to a tragic crescendo . . .

While I am utterly distracted by these characters and their romance, I must ask … do your characters talk about clothes in the book?

Camille: They don’t talk about clothes, per se, but there is one ball gown that absolutely takes center stage in a major scene in the middle of the book. It’s embroidered and gorgeous and I had so much fun coming up with it for the scene. Here’s an excerpt:

Aunt Ebena turned to Alethea and swept her eyes from the embroidery edging the hem of her green gown, up to the embroidery at her square neckline and edging her puffed sleeves. Aunt Ebena tugged at the embroidered sash just under Alethea’s bodice, smoothing it into place. “Where is your shawl?”

Alethea grabbed the shawl from the chair, a large silk affair in a lighter shade of green but with the same detailed embroidery at each end.

“Your sleeves are too loose,” Aunt Ebena said.

“I had the gown made with more ease in the shoulders so that I could play my violin.” Before now, she had practiced with her old gowns which were already cut loosely at the shoulder. She had never had cause to play while wearing an evening gown, and so had this one specially made.

Hmm … I’ve just realized that there is a special green evening gown in The Spinster’s Christmas. I must be partial to green. :)

Shelley: One of the loveliest things about an author’s public life is the ability to go about in costume without people thinking we’re strange or that we’ve forgotten it’s not Hallowe’en. Don’t you agree?

Camille: Oh, definitely! When I go to conferences and award dinners for my romantic suspense, which has Asian characters, I usually wear a Japanese or Chinese costume. My favorite is a black velvet cheongsam with gold trimming.

Shelley: Let’s pretend we’re going to collaborate on a costume to match your book cover so that you can sign books at a fan convention. My go-to pattern for Regency clothes was created by La Mode Bagatelle. If one wears a modern bra under these dresses, however, the results are disastrous (trust me), so I recommend first making the Corset Petticoat. And this pattern includes the very spencer with the stand-up collar on your book cover! Let’s use the LMB pattern to make it in a pretty plum velvet to set off your complexion.

La Mode Bagatelle pattern back
We could use the LMB pattern for the dress as well, but Jennie Chancey also offers one with multiple versions—some of which could have stepped straight out of the A&E Pride and Prejudice. Choose one here. What fabric would you make it up in?

Camille: This is so fun! I totally am intending to make up a Regency gown and spencer (or pelisse) for myself eventually! Those patterns are so lovely! On the cover of Prelude, the gown is white crepe with gold embroidery. I love embroidered fabrics–they’re so elegant and I guess I also appreciate the work if it was hand-embroidered.

Shelley: The Regency lady would not set foot out of doors without gloves and bonnet. One might order a lovely bonnet or hat here, either already trimmed, or plain to be trimmed using fabric scraps from the dress, along with flowers and ribbon. But, you clever minx, I believe you have a solution for the gloves?

Camille: LOL Yes I fondly remember knitting your lacy full-length opera gloves for you from white cotton thread. Do you wear the gloves often? I forgot to get a picture of them before I gave them to you so we must have a photo day together.

Shelley: While I deplore the current fad for the “selfie,” I compromised my principles for your sake. Because really, these gloves are a work of art.

Opera gloves made by Camille Elliot for Shelley Adina

Camille: Before I knit your pair, I knit a test pair for myself from laceweight light blue alpaca wool. If anyone’s interested, you can see photos and knitting notes on my Ravelry page.

Shelley: This has been such fun–thank you so much for visiting. And look, you’ve brought your famous apricot scones for tea! How lovely–let us adjourn to the sitting room at once!

Camille: I love the tradition of tea! Will you pour for us? Thank you for a lovely interview!