Friday, November 22, 2013

Author Spotlight: Lara Nance

As you know I’m quite fond of steampunk literature and so I’m pleased to welcome Lara Nance to the blog today, author of the steampunk adventure novel, Revenge of the Mad Scientist. And to further pique your interest check out an excerpt from the book, then don’t forget to add it to your to-read list.

Happy reading!

Revenge of the Mad Scientist (Airship Adventure Chronicles #1)
Lara Nance

Release Date: August 13, 2012

Lara Nance

Book Description:
When Lady Arabella Trunkett’s father, the High Lord Minister of Urbannia is kidnapped, all clues point to the mysterious country of Gandiss and the world is thrown into political upheaval.

Arabella is convinced the more sinister nation of Carabarras is to blame., urged on by a mad scientist seeking revenge. So, she sets out on a perilous airship journey across a variety of exotic locales to save him, and halt the potential world war.

But airship pirates, secret assassins and slave traders aren’t her only trials. The fickle hand of fate has made the captain of the only airship available for charter, the man that left her at the altar. For eight years she's wished him dead. Now he's her only hope.

Amazon US | Goodreads

Belle couldn’t believe her eyes. As they rounded the peak, they entered a sort of air valley among a circle of towering mountains. In its midst, two airships fired at each other through puffs of clouds with their deck cannons, and both flew pirate flags. It was the cannon shots they heard, not thunder.

The two ships circled each other creating a swirl of white mist and clouds in their wake. Gambit arrived on the scene above them, unnoticed for the moment. Belle pulled out her distance viewer and held it to her eyes. She adjusted a couple wheels and flipped down a pair of lenses.

“One is from Catika,” she said, noticing the small flag that flew beneath the black pirate pennant and the dark brown skins of the crew. She trained her viewer on the pilot station. To her surprise, the captain was a woman, her black skin shining and long black braids flipping around her as she shouted orders to her crew. She held a bronze shooter in one hand and gripped the wheel with the other.

“Damn,” Rett said, his face grim. “Where’s the other from?”

Belle turned her gaze to the other ship. The hull was painted black with white eye shapes around it. The crew was a motley bunch in tattered clothes and scraggly hair, their skin a yellowish brown tint.

“Carabarras,” she said as she sighted the flag on the rear of the ship.

“We’ll never get out of this. Once they spot us they’ll both turn on us. We don’t stand a chance.” Rett called to Sam, “I need you in the engine room, mate.”

“Then we need to take out one now. Maybe the other will appreciate our help,” Belle said.

“Pirates don’t really think that way,” Rett said as he spun the wheel to retreat.

“Well, maybe women pirates do,” She hurried down to the deck. “Benji, is that cannon ready to fire?”

“Belle, wait, that’s not going to work,” Rett called to her.

“No. But the other c, c, cannons are.” The boy looked up from his work.

“Can you shoot them?”

A grin spread over his face. “Of course.”

“Then aim one for the inflatable of that ship on the right.” She pointed to the Carabarras pirate vessel.

“Belle!” Rett yelled. “Do. Not. Fire. The cannon!”

Benji jumped up and ran to the rail and whistled when he saw the duel taking place. “Air Pirates!”

“Don’t look so happy. They may kill us,” Belle warned.

“But I’ve never seen air pirates b, b, before,” Benji’s eyes were alight with interest as he ran to the cannon at the front of their ship.

“Belle,” Rett roared.

“Rett d, d, doesn’t want us to shoot it.” Benji glanced back at Rett uncertainly as he loaded it.

“Ignore him. I chartered this ship and I say we need to shoot the pirates.” She pointed to the gun. “Carry on.”

“Ok, k, kay.” He adjusted the sights and then cranked the wheels to aim the gun. “Here we g, g, go.”

Belle held her hands over her ears, but the blast deafened her anyway. She and Benji clung to the rail. The projectile soared through the air and ripped a hole perfectly through the middle of the Carabarras pirate ship’s inflatable.

They let loose a cheer and she looked back at Rett who pounded his steering wheel in rage, and yelled for Sam. Well, he didn’t have another plan, so they would just have to make do with hers. Sam rushed up from the engine room and stared at them in disbelief.

She put her viewer up to her eyes. The Catika ship slowly rose to their level and the captain viewed them with a puzzled expression. Then the ship inched closer and drew along side. Belle breathed a sigh of relief, they were coming close to thank them.

“Prepare to board,” the captain yelled and her crew gave a cheer and brought out crossbows that shot grappling hooks across the air to their deck.

“Any more bright ideas?” Rett called down to her.

It was too late to retaliate and furthermore, the pirates completely outnumbered them. Belle’s heart sank. She’d counted on the Catika captain letting them go out of gratitude. Seems Rett was right. Pirates don’t think that way.

Rett rushed down from the pilot station, but shooters were immediately pointed in his direction and he skidded to a stop. Belle knew he was furious at her, but she didn’t see where they had much choice. It was a gamble, but she had lost.

When the two ships were tied together at the rails, the captain swung her legs over the side and stepped onto the deck of the Gambit with ten of her crew behind her brandishing swords and shooters. She was an imposing figure, nearly as tall as Belle wearing tight black leather, a flight jacket and thigh high boots. Her attire bristled with weapons: a brown leather belt hung low on her hips and the bronze shooter was slung in its holster on one side and a sword on the other, a dagger was strapped to one thigh and some sort of contraption on her wrist looked like it would shoot projectiles. The woman's sharp gaze scanned the deck and settled on Rett.

She sauntered up to him, smooth as a black cat, and looked him up and down as she slowly circled, flipping a long white silk scarf over one shoulder. “You must be the captain of this lovely vessel.”

“That’s right,” Rett said in a terse tone, his jaw twitching.

“My, my, I have a mind to keep you for myself, sweetling,” she purred. “You’re absolutely luscious.” She ran fingers over his broad chest and then turned her attention to Belle.

“Well, now. What have we here?” Her deep musical voice carried the sing song accent of the Catika people. “A pretty, young, rich woman. I see a large ransom in our future.” Her crew rumbled and hooted in approval.

Belle winced as Benji’s grip on her arm tightened and she hoped he wouldn’t do anything rash. She took a step forward and saw the other woman appraise her with her dark brown eyes.

“Captain, perhaps you missed the action where we just saved you from that other pirate?” Belle asked.

The captain laughed, throwing back her head. Her crew howled with her. Then she walked forward until she was only a few feet in front of Arabella. “You’re a cheeky one, I’ll give you that. So you thought I’d be so happy to be saved I’d let a rich prize slip through my fingers?”

“Something like that,” Belle said. She glanced over at Rett. One of the pirate crew had a shooter pointed directly at him. His eyes blazed in anger.

“Sorry, love. But times are hard. It’s kill or be killed in this part of the world. But I will do you a favor since you helped me. I’ll just take this ship’s cargo and ransom you off instead of killing you.” She grinned, her white teeth a bright contrast to her dark skin. “I’ll keep the cute captain for my bed until he bores me.”

About the Author:
Lara Nance grew up and lived in many cites through the South. She started out with a career in business/marketing for twenty years and then went back to school for a masters in nursing and is currently a nurse practitioner in Virginia Beach, VA.

Having been on the fencing team in college and now living on a sailboat convinces her that she was a pirate in another life, or possibly kin to Errol Flynn… However, due to the unfortunate demise of the romantic pirates of the past, she lives out her fantasies, thrills and adventures in her stories.

From ghosts, witches, and energy vampires to thrilling mysteries and steampunk tales, she is willing to explore a variety of compelling adventures full of danger and suspense, along with a touch of romance. Lara loves to weave interesting true historical tidbits into her fiction which invite the reader to explore further after the novel is finished.

Currently docked in Norfolk, Virginia (until the wind changes) Lara enjoys living on her sailboat and spends time reading, of course writing, indulging a variety of artistic endeavors, cooking and sailing with her husband, Joe and their Yorkie, Rio.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. Thanks for the spotlight! :)

  2. Yes, thanks for posting the excerpt I hope your readers will enjoy this series. Lara XOXOX

    1. I think I certainly will - it sounds really fun! :)

  3. Nice spotlight :)
    Yay for steampunk


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