Hello. I’m Seleste deLaney and I’d like to thank Katie for inviting me to be part of her month of danger and secrets. Both of those things play huge roles in most of my published works. Since I write a lot of paranormal, it kind of comes with the territory. Even though it’s my first foray into the world of steampunk/alternate-history, my Carina Press novella, Badlands, is still rife with danger and secrets.
Danger. Secrets. Just the words send shivers down my spine. For me, fiction without both of them doesn’t stand a chance of exciting me. But if an author manages to weave the two around each other in a story, I’m hooked. Intrigue of any sort gets me excited to read, and I hope it’s something I manage to deliver in my own stories.
The world of the Badlands is one filled with danger and secrets. The danger starts within the first two pages with an attack on a royal fortress. The main line of defense is the group of warrior women who protect the queen and the countries borders. Ever, my heroine, is the type to rush head-first into a dangerous situation. It isn’t foolhardiness, just a surety that she can handle anything she comes up against.
It’s a cockiness that comes with her job. Ever is commander of the Badlands’ Border Guards. Her job is to apprehend the criminals sent across the Mississippi River by the United States. Most of them are men, and most of them have no desire to spend their lives to be captured again. Ever’s body is covered with scars from her battles with them, as well as tattoos—several of which keep count of the prisoners she’s killed in fights. She’s well accustomed to physical danger, so she confronts most of what she finds on the Dark Hawk without flinching.
Romance is the one danger she came ill-prepared to face though. And to complicate matters, there are hidden agendas a plenty aboard the airship. For starters, Ever keeps the details of her mission quiet for fear of spies, even aboard the tiny dirigible. And she isn’t alone in playing things close to the vest. Not everyone has secrets, but those that are in play alter the fate of more than just Ever and her mission. Because when you’re in the Badlands, secrets and danger tend to go hand-in-hand.
Badlands is available for pre-order and releases tomorrow, February 28.
After a brutal Civil War, America is a land divided. As commander of her nation's border guards, Ever is a warrior sworn to protect her country and her queen. When an airship attacks and kills the monarch, Ever must infiltrate enemy territory to bring home the heir to the throne, and the dirigible Dark Hawk is her fastest way to the Union.
Captain Spencer Pierce just wants to pay off the debt he owes on the Dark Hawk and make a life for himself trading across the border. When the queen's assassination puts the shipping routes at risk, he finds himself Ever's reluctant ally.
As they fly into danger, Ever and Spencer must battle not only the enemy but also their growing attraction. She refuses to place her heart before duty, and he has always put the needs of his ship and crew above his own desires. Once the princess is rescued, perhaps they can find love in the Badlands—if death doesn't find them first...
In celebration of strong female characters, Seleste is giving away a copy of Badlands to a random commenter (here or on her blog) who gives an example of a strong woman from their real life. She’ll draw a winner Wednesday (3/2) night at 11:59 pm est.