Sunday, August 18, 2013

Steel Lily blog tour: excerpt, Top Tens list, review and giveaway

Steel Lily (The Periodic series, Book One) by Megan Curd
Dystopian, steampunk*eBook, 293 pages
Self-published, August 12, 2013
Purchase: Amazon

AVERY PIKE is a commodity. No, more than a commodity. Her existence is guarded at all costs.

She’s a water Elementalist, the strongest of her dwindling kind. She creates steam to provide energy to fuel Dome Three: the only thing standing between humanity and an earth ravaged by World War III. No steam, no Dome. No Dome, no life.

Or so she thinks.

That is, until a mysterious man offers her a way out of having to donate steam. A way to escape the corrupt government of Dome Three. While the offer seems too good to be true, Avery is intrigued.

But when she arrives to her new home, she realizes the grass isn’t any less dead on this side of the fence. Instead, the lies are just hidden better.

…Which means digging deeper.

When Avery enlists the help of her friends to uncover the truth, it may make her wonder if she was better off being a government tool than searching for freedom.

Some secrets are better left concealed, but humankind was never meant to live in a cage. And when you can control the most sought after resource, you can learn to control anything…including the fate of your world.

I’d never seen anyone like him in Dome Four. His jawbone was strong, his cheekbones set high. His nose was regal and straight and when my gaze reached his eyes, my breath caught. Stormy blue-grey eyes that reminded me of shale returned my gaze with seemingly genuine curiosity, if not a bit of humor. Strips of colored fabric were woven into his dreadlocked hair, giving it a wildly unique appearance that suited him. His smug expression made me realize he was enjoying this.

“Are you finished checking me out? If you’re not, that’s okay; I allow every new woman I meet a free five-minute gawking period. After that, it’ll cost you.”

Blood rushed to my face. I tore my eyes from his magnetic gaze and watched as he took a worn leather strap off his wrist. He pulled back his dreadlocks–deep brown streaked with blonde–into the strap. His devilish grin pulled his eyes tight at the corners. He was trouble incarnate. Trouble I may very well want to get into, given the right circumstances.

“You’re at five minutes and thirty seconds now,” he said in a purr as he leaned in toward me. I felt his breath against my cheek, and my heart raced. “I’m going to start taking payment, and I choose how that payment is issued.”

Before I could respond, Alice stirred groggily beside me. She rubbed her eyes as she sat up. “Where are we?”

“Good question,” piped Jaxon. “One that your friend here failed to ask, but it could have been because I rendered her speechless with my good looks.”

Alice moved to get a better look at him, but he emphatically covered his face, as though he were a vampire trying to block the sun. “Don’t look at me!” he cried, then grinned as he winked at me. “I don’t want to make two ladies swoon in such a short period of time. How would I entertain myself tonight?”

“You’re not that handsome,” I argued mulishly.

“There’s drool on your chin. Either you’re physically unable to keep your mouth shut, or I caused you to forget how. Since when I found you, you were drool free, I’m going with the assumption that it was me.” He fished in his pocket and offered me a piece of white silk. “Here, a handkerchief for your trouble.”

From Avery’s Perspective

1.) It’s HOT. No, really, it’s like the devil came and sat his butt on earth. It’s crazy. All those people stuck in one place with a sub-par filtration system? Yeah, that’s a lot of heat.

2.) It smells. In the same vein, think about all the trash. All the stinky people who can’t air out? Yeah, it gets nasty on the really hot days.

3.) Money is worthless, so you better have something to trade. It doesn’t matter if you offer me a $100 dollar bill. What am I going to do with it? Trading is what matters now. You have some cogs I could use? A package of red vines? That’s going to get me more interested than money that can’t really do much for me.

4.) You have to find someone you can trust. I wouldn’t be able to deal with everything if I didn’t have Alice and Legs by my side. They’re my family, and we take care of each other. You’ve got to find people you can trust to always be there for you.

5.) If you get caught by the Polatzi, you better be good at lying. The Polatzi just want to make life miserable, I’m convinced of it. So, if they stop you and ask you where you’ve been, you better be ready to make up a legitimate excuse if you were off doing something remotely questionable. That includes getting near the restricted housing, or going to LaFayette Market if you’re an Elite. Always have your excuse ready prior to needing it.

6.) Never talk about the war. At least, don’t talk about it where anyone you don’t trust with your life can hear you. It won’t end well, trust me.

7.) Save up rations when you can. Receive a ration and you’re not hungry? Save it for later. Those suckers are hardly food anyway, so they won’t go bad. Either that, or use them to barter. That goes back to the trading idea. Food goes a long way in the market.

8.) Lay low. Yeah, I know, I’m not the person that should be saying that, considering my track record. ::laughs:: But I’m telling you, life goes easier when you keep your head down and aren’t a target.

9.) Appreciate the little things. If you don’t appreciate the little things in the dome, you’ll go crazy. It’s already so different and you lose so much living in Dome Four, that if you can’t be content with the small victories, you won’t last long.

10.) If you’re going to break the rules, be good enough to not get caught. That ration house break in? I have no idea what you’re talking about. ::smiles::

About the author: 

Megan Curd is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While having always enjoyed reading any books she could get her hands on, Megan didn’t begin writing until a friend encouraged her to do so while in college. 

When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves to snowboard and travel to new places, and doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself.

Megan currently resides in Stanton, Kentucky with her husband, son, and Great Dane named Dozer.

Dystopian is dead. Dystopian isn't selling. Dystopian is no longer a trend. Author Megan Curd gives the naysayers the middle finger and creates a unique, engrossing and unforgettable novel about life in a future society. Oh, and it's definitely dystopian with a whole lot of steampunk.

Avery Pike is my favorite kind of main female character. Tough. Independent. Lively. Life in 2077, after World War III made the earth uninhabitable, domes are the only places to live and survive under. Her own parents are gone and she belongs to the government. Avery has the ability to manipulate steam and as an Elementalist her skill is widely desired. This doesn't make her a celebrity or someone special, far from it. She'd rather not be taken advantage of by those around her but has no choice. Until one day. A man tells her she can be in a better dome and not made to work or be used. She can learn more about her skill, be taught how to increase the power that's inside her. Intrigued, Avery doesn't bite, she seeks the advice of her friend, Alice. They in turn need to find out more about this so-called wonder dome. Polatzi show up, a chase ensues, and a mysterious guy helps them out. Jaxon is different, hot, and snarky-mouthed. He befriends them and the real story comes out.

Here I stop my review because I can't spoil the magic and heart of this novel. I can only recommend Steel Lily, an exciting, nail-biting adventurous tale to readers who enjoy dystopian and steampunk. I need to recommend this fierce heroine, her loyal friends, the secret missions, the romance and more. I have to recommend a talented author who crafts a futuristic society, gives it a fascinating premise, while twisting and turning the action and plot to keep readers riveted. I'm already a fan of Megan Curd from her engrossing Bridger series, now my fanhood is cemented. This woman can write, entertain and keep readers invested in her realistic characters while they're sucked into the various vivid worlds she builds and creates. Now go, grab a copy of Steel Lily-the first book in The Periodic series-and get lost in Avery's captivating world. The Iron Pendulum is the second book and will available in December. Happy holidays to readers!

Rating: 4.5

Cover comment:
I do like seeing people on covers but every once in a while a graphic will grab my eye and I will support the use of it. I wholly support the cover for Steel Lily. It implies steampunk but the golden richness of the warm reds and browns hint at something more. I'm also a fan of the font.

Book source:
I received a promotional copy of the book in return for my honest review during a book tour.

Follow the tour:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. What an exciting book! Love the cover. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  3. What an exciting book! Love the cover. Thanks for the giveaway.