The Steel Inside

Writing involves years of scribbling, more rejections than anyone wants to think about, a lot of heartaches, self-doubt and carrying on regardless.  Many say that writers have to develop a thick skin, I’d say that we all need a little steel inside.  So it’s always good to know that someone you know has managed that mystical goal of actually being published.  It’s even better when the someone you know is you.

That’s how I feel this month with the release on 27th June of “Steel & Bone” from Xchyler Publishing.  This is an anthology of nine steampunk adventures.  For those who don’t know (and shame on you) steampunk is a genre of science fiction and sometimes fantasy that includes technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century steam-powered machinery. Think Eleventh Doctor’s first Tardis and you’re pretty much there. Steampunk stories often have a Victoriana feel or an alternative history setting, though like all the best genres, there’s massive scope for where you go with it.

The stories in “Steel and Bone” are all around the 10,000-word mark.  They’ve been written by nine authors from around the world.  Obviously, being an American anthology, most of the authors are American, but there are a couple of Brits and a Aussie too.  The stories are all very individual and different, each one coming from an open call for submissions under the banner “The Mysterious Island of…”

Here’s what the tagline says about “Steel & Bone”:

Shovel the coal and stoke the boilers as nine Steampunk authors explore islands of mystery and adventure across the seven seas.

Here’s what the tagline says about “The Steel Inside”:

Darkness lurks in Sarah’s forgotten past, kept hidden by those who claim to be her devoted husband and loyal servants.

Mine is the last entry and I have to say they saved the best till last.  Well, I have to say that, otherwise the paranoia might set in.  😉

There have been a few advance reviews on Goodreads, and they’ve all been rather positive.  And I’ve been really lucky to have been picked out by two of those reviews – and not by people I know either.  So here they are:

Jeanette said: My favorites [sic] this time round were Scott E Tarett’s ‘Sindisiwe’ for a Zulu/Zanzibar retelling of a classic fairy tale; John M Olsen’s ‘Revolutionary’ for a fascinating plot and the teaser story Gail B Williams ‘The Steel Inside’ for a rollicking good tale with great sci-fi spin though all the stories keep me interested and reading…there were some great and complex female protagonists such as Sindisiwe and Sarah.

Janae said: The first few pages were a tad frustrating. It was white room, talking heads. . . but not a comfortable read for me. As soon as I realized that this was on purpose, I was able to go back and re-read for clarity. And it was a well written psychological piece. A nice twist on Frankenstein. Creepy. I like creepy.

I’m glad Janae likes creepy, I like creepy too, hence the story.  Here’s a quick rundown of the whole book:

Steel and Bone front cover (newer 2)The Clockwork Seer by Katherine Cowley: On an island of oddities, a young clairvoyant struggles for normalcy, but deadly automatons have other plans.

Sindisiwe by Scott E. Tarbet: A slave girl in Zanzibar escapes a beating when a stranger in the marketplace proves her past is more than just a fairy tale.

Stand and Deliver by TC Phillips: Neither shackles, slave labor, nor the island’s deadliest inhabitants will prevent these brothers from meting out justice to their father’s murderers.

Island Walker by C. R. Simper: Kit digs her treasures out of trash heaps, but the theft of her invention leads to discoveries money can’t buy.

A Mind Prone to Wander by Danielle E. Shipley: Beyond a locked door lies Rowan Charles’ death or his sanity, and the survival or extinction of his people.

Curio Cay by Sarah E. Seeley: The future of humanity rests in the hands of three time-traveling scientists battling biomechanical creatures in the Jurassic past.

The Mysterious Island of Chester Morrison by Kin Law: Dodging her chaperone, a debutante stumbles into adventure and romance at the World’s Fair.

Revolutionary by John M. Olsen: A dirigible captain goes down with his ship, and wakes to find himself a captive of a sky-dwelling civilization.

The Steel Inside by Gail B. Williams: Darkness lurks in Sarah’s forgotten past, kept hidden by those who claim to be her devoted husband and loyal servants

Xchyler are promoting a book bomb on 27th June, and a Rafflecopter giveaway, you can find out more about the giveaway at



Filed under Uncategorized

3 responses to “The Steel Inside

  1. Reblogged this on willmacmillanjones and commented:
    For those followers who are into Steampunk… enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s