In my never-ending bid to not hate those who are doing what I want to do, and actively applaud good indie-writing – I present Linday Buroker’s Fantasy-Steampunk The Flash Chronicles.
There are two titles thus far, the eponymous Flash Gold, and Hunted – both of which follow half-breed tinker and artificer Kali McAlister, as she survives a slightly different American gold-rush frontier.
And Kali has problems. She is sharp-tongued, tomboyish, and all she wants to do is invent things, while other women of the era either marry young or belong in a bordello. She dreams of building an airship of her own, to get away from the frozen wastes of the Yukon. But her long-dead father, a legendary inventor and magician, invented Flashgold, a substance that can be used to power engines and machines, which, of course, makes it very valuable. Though she doesn’t know how to make it, she does have a very large piece of it – and before she knows it, she has a price on her head.
And then enter Cedar, a big man looking for a job – with a shiny new rifle over one shoulder, and a Japanese katana over the other …
It has all the requirements for a bodice-ripping romance, but it’s anything but that. Both stories are exciting, frenetic adventure romps, which manage to keep the reader guessing all the way to the end. Buroker writes confidently, with a good voice and attention to detail. Kali is a believable, likeable and plucky character, who doesn’t fall into the MarySue trap, yet is resourceful and lucky. Cedar is taciturn, good with his weapons, and isn’t the stereotype he could have been in less experienced hands.
The first story features a sled race, the second has a – well, it has a steamdriven bike, a magically powered drill, and an intense little scene in a Welsh sleeping bag!
Her blog has a wealth of information for the aspiring e-author (if that’s actually a word), and the next instalment in the Flashgold series comes out soon. My finger won’t hover over the buy button for very long!