Hey peeps, today I am handing over the blog to Cat and K.Z. Snow to have a chat about the Mongrel series, we also have Cat’s reviews for Mongrel, Merman & Machine for you to enjoy. So come have a peek at this steampunk series that has our Cat desperate for more! K.Z. is also having a Giveaway over on her blog so click the link for her Giveaway for a chance to win 🙂 <3 ~Pixie~
Cat & K.Z. Chat!
Hi Everyone! I am so excited! Our Lovely Mistress Portia and Book Goddess Pixie asked me if I’d want to do an interview with the talented K.Z. Snow about her paranormal steampunk Mongrel series. I jumped at the chance.
Cat: Welcome K.Z to our lovely dungeon oops I meant workroom, don’t pay any attention to the minions chained to desks or the floggers and other implements hanging on the wall.
KZ: Hi, Cat, and thanks for the invite! Don’t worry; I was warned how crazy you ladies can be, so I mentally prepared myself. 🙂
Cat: I just finished book three of your Mongrel series and absolutely loved it. What inspired you to write this series?
KZ: When I discovered the genre known as steampunk, I was fascinated. I liked its combination of history, fantasy, and sci fi. I liked its grittiness. Some steampunk even had a slightly dark edge, and I liked that type the best. But there was virtually no m/m romance set in a steampunk world. I took that as a challenge. How could love, especially love between two men, flourish in a grungy, often oppressive environment that paralleled the late 19th century?
Cat: Did you know it was going to be a series when you started or did it just keep growing?
KZ: I didn’t know! When I finished Mongrel (Book 1), I went on to other projects. But the enthusiasm of certain readers combined with my own love of the characters persuaded me to return to that world and explore it further.
Cat: How many books are there going to be? I sure hope there will be more!
KZ: After I finished Merman (Book 2), I decided to make this a trilogy. So, now that Machine (Book 3) has been published, this “limited series” is finished. I may write some short follow-up stories, but that’s about it.
Cat: I really loved the old world feel you gave the story, from the clothes they wear, the way they speak, the things they do, the foods they eat, and the settings they live in. Did you have to research a lot?
KZ: Steampunk is traditionally set in Victorian England, usually London. And it incorporates steam-powered machinery as well as fantastic gadgetry. Even though my steampunk stories take place in an alternate-world America instead of Britain, they’re still set in what we call the Industrial Age. So yes, I had to do research. And omigod, some of it made my head spin. I am not mechanically inclined!
Cat: I also loved the steampunk vibe. I will have to say when I read Merman (yes I read them out of order but once I read Merman I had to have Mongrel) I hadn’t read many steampunk stories. I found yours very easy to understand and very fun. How did you come up with the steampunk ideas and how on earth did you figure how to create some of the cool but crazy stuff in this series, especially Merman?
KZ: I applied imagination to fact. Merman required some familiarity with bathyspheres and prosthetic devices. Once I had the basics down, I let my mind spin off into the realm of “what if?” At some point in every steampunk world, there’s a leap from reality into fantasy.
Cat: I absolutely love your characters and the fact they are not run-of-the-mill paranormal beings. Even your vampires are different. How did you come up with them?
KZ: The characters are part and parcel of my approach to steampunk. I didn’t want to overlook the social injustices of the time, the enormous gaps between various classes –the privileged and powerful, the working people, the wretchedly poor. And, finally, the total outcasts, shunned by everybody else simply because they’re strange. So I made vampires and mongrels and other not-entirely-human beings the outcasts. But in these stories, the outcasts often exhibit more genuine humanity than “normal” people.
Cat: How long have you been writing?
KZ: I’ve been writing fiction and poetry on and off since elementary school, but I didn’t begin writing long fiction, with the intent of getting published, until I was in my mid-thirties.
Cat: What would you say is your most popular book you have written?
KZ: Gosh, that’s hard to determine. I’ve released a lot of books through a lot of publishers, so I’d have to pore over ten years of sales reports to give you an accurate answer. I think one of the most popular might be the first story in a dragon trilogy I published through Ellora’s Cave, a m/f romance (with one m/m scene) called Wing & Tongue. Frankly, I think readers were intrigued by the cover and title. 🙂
Cat: How many books do you have out and where would we find all of your books?
KZ: More than I can count offhand. You can find the titles at my website, where they’re organized into categories: http://www.kzsnow.com.
Cat: What are you working on at the moment? Is it in the same genre or something different?
KZ: Right now I have two more m/m romance books in production: a contemporary, Resurrection Man (releasing from Dreamspinner Press in August), and a YA contemporary, Ben Raphael’s All-star Virgins (coming from Harmony Ink in the fall). I recently began writing a kind of weird, pervy urban fantasy called Monsters in My Pants (yeah, seriously!) but I might set it aside and go on to something else.
Cat: I know you’re busy and need to get back to creating more awesome books for us to read so one more question…
Cat: Where can we stalk…oops… follow you?
Cat: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us! I look forward to more of your books!!
KZ: Thank you, Cat, Pixie and Portia, for having me as a guest and taking the time to read my quirky stories!
Mongrel, Merman & Machine are up for grabs 1 Winner per book
Just follow the link and leave a comment on K.Z’s post
(Ends 16th May 2014)
Mongrel Trilogy Reviews!!!
Series: Mongrel Book 01
Author: K.Z. Snow
Genre: Paranormal, Steampunk
Length: Novel (202 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (Dec 8 2010)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: Hunzinger’s Mechanical Circus, a rollicking seaside carnival where imagination meets machinery, shines as the only bright spot in the dreary city of Purinton. A shadow is cast there one day when a tall, cloaked figure approaches the stand of Will Marchman, a young patent-medicine salesman. Fanule Perfidor, commonly known as the Dog King, isn’t welcome at the Circus. No resident of Taintwell is; they’re all Branded Mongrels, officially shunned. But Will is beguiled by the stunning, mysterious Perfidor. Their mutual wariness soon gives way to desire, and a bond forms.
Soon the naive but plucky pitchman becomes embroiled in a dangerous quest. Fanule suspects Alphonse Hunzinger and Purinton’s civic leaders are responsible for the disappearance or incarceration of countless Branded Mongrels. But why? As Will’s passion and regard for his tormented lover grow, he’s determined to help Fanule get answers and prevent any further persecution… or worse. They just have to stay together—and stay alive long enough—to see their plan through
Review: I love this series and the covers! I read the second Book- Merman -and had to read this one.
Fanule is a branded mongrel, and the elected official of Taintwell. He is finding more and more mongrels are being arrested or disappearing, also his madness is getting worse.
Will is a hawker at the Mechanical Circus selling elixir, until he finds mongrel blood is used to make it. He meets Fanule by happenstance and they immediately become fond of each other but developing feelings could be dangerous to both of them, since Fan has a bounty on his head.
Simon is a bounty Hunter, but has a conscience. He had been seeing Will only for physical pleasure, then meets Clancy Marrowbone, a vampire, at Will’s one night. He likes Clancy’s company and joins Clancy and Fan to help find out what is going on with the missing mongrels
This is a fabulous story set in an intriguing steampunk setting, with lots of steam, mechanisms, an old fashioned backdrop, with different unique types of part human creatures and vampires. The story is intriguing, fast paced, sensual and mysterious. There are twists and turns around every corner.
I read the second book first and had to read this one. I love all the characters but especially Fanule. He is dark, sexy mysterious, dangerous, but also caring and devoted. My kind of man! My only issue is the relationships are skirted around too much, I’d have liked more detail especially on how Clancy and Simon ended up together and I thought I would have seen more of how each met.
I will say the names and cities are a bit cheesy and when I read the other book I found them a bit weird but now I see how they add to the unique style of this story. I love it!
I highly recommend this if you like steampunk, old-fashioned settings, vampires, mongrels, and sensuous love stories.
Series: Mongrel Book 02
Author: K.Z Snow
Genre: Paranormal, Steampunk
Length: Novel (207pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 13 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: When vampire Clancy Marrowbone returns to Purin province after nearly two years, he intends only to visit with his dear friend, Fanule Perfidor, and find out how his former lover, the unfortunately mortal Simon Bentcross, is faring. But two developments change Marrowbone’s itinerary: the appearance of a drastically altered man from his past, and the reawakening of his passion for Simon.
Both of these unexpected reunions become increasingly complicated. The connection between Simon’s new creation, a bathysphere-like submersible, and a clandestine underwater-research project results in Marrowbone and Bentcross becoming hunted men. But sometimes, it takes danger to make a star-crossed affair seem worth saving.
Review: This is part of a series; though it stands alone fairly well, I think you would have better understanding of the world and characters if you read in order. Mongrel is book one.
Clancy Marrowbone is a vampire, he is being hunted but is drawn to Simon Bentcross an ex hunter that lives near Taintwood where the Mongrels live. Clancy runs across a man captured in a net and finds he is a Merman. He is much more than that. Jordy Hawks had been a human prisoner on the island that Clancy used to feed from and liked a lot. Simon is working on a bubble for a hush, hush expedition. After running into Jordy, Clancy enlists Simon’s help to save Jordy. Then Clancy finds he is very drawn to Jordy, but where does that leave Simon. Which feelings are real?
Ok. I really loved this book. And as usual I read out of sequence but this one is so well written with skillfully dropped tidbits from first that I never felt lost on the characters. The characters are all amazing! I loved the different take on both the vampire and the merman. Clancy definitely isn’t sparkly. Although he does use people for food and does kill he is a good man at heart, and so charming and sexy too!! I loved how this book showed his internal feelings for Simon and made him so real, though kept to the fact he is a blood drinker and that doesn’t make him a bad person. I think this book shows a lot of how we stereotype people when we should look inside them not at them.
Another thing I loved was a little twist on who actually was the bad guy here, though I can’t say anymore without a spoiler, so you will have to buy the book and find out what I’m talking about but wow was I shocked. Very pleasantly I might add.
There were a couple things I didn’t quite like and that was I had a hard time placing the timeframe, sometimes it seems post-apocalyptic and at times it seemed old fashioned. I did like the old-world feel don’t get me wrong I just wasn’t sure when the story was taking place, past present or future.
The character names and the towns and stuff were a bit campy but, it did not affect the story in any way and I got used to it. I’m sure it was meant to add humor and it did. After going back and reading the first book, I actually liked the names. I think they handed humor and fun to the story. I loved this story and am off to read the first one. This book has hit my favorite list!! I hope it does yours too!
Recommendation: I recommend this to you if you are a romance lover, a paranormal lover or a steampunk lover this is a MUST. If you like; other worlds, steampunk, vampires, other creatures, mermen, a sweet love story and some mystery this is definitely for you!
Series: Mongrel 03
Author: K.Z. Snow
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Steampunk, Ghosts, Spirits, Paranormal
Length: Novel (224pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 30th 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: The closing-day flea market at the Marvelous Mechanical Circus always draws a colorful crowd, but salesman Will Marchman doesn’t expect to see a large, elaborate gold wagon on the plaza—especially one called the Spiritorium. The wagon’s exotic looking owner claims he can perform “cleansings and siphonings” via a miracle-working machine housed within. He can supposedly flush the wickedness out of people and places.
The Spiritorium appears in the Mongrel village of Taintwell the next day, setting off a potentially tragic chain of events that begins with a shocking revelation. To make matters worse, Fanule Perfidor, de facto mayor and Will’s lover, has been neglecting to take the tonic that stabilizes his moods. Besieged by his illness, Fan drives Will away. Then Fan’s best friend, vampire Clancy Marrowbone, vanishes, causing a rift between him and his mortal lover. Then Will disappears.
As Fan regains control of his mind, he knows what he must do to save his village and the people most important to him. He must solve the mystery of the Spiritorium and confront a man he’d hoped never to see again.
Good Reads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21857713-machine?ac=1
Review: This is the third book of the Mongrel series. Each book can be read as a standalone but I suggest you read them in order to get the full impact. I hope this isn’t the last, since I would love more and I’d really love Clancy’s and even Elizabeta’s story and more on how the mongrels came to be. (Yes K. Z… this is a hint… Actually, I have nothing against blatantly begging).
Machine is a fitting title as are all of them. I love the titles and covers of these books. The story starts out with the appearance of this strange cart and man. I love the ominous feel of this sort of prologue type page. Then the first chapter fed off the feel and I will say the eerie, ominous feel had my hairs on the back of my neck standing on end.
Fan has taken to actually physically working with his hands again since being the Eminence of Taintwell isn’t enough to keep him busy and he misses the physical labour. Will is finishing up his season at the mechanical circus and missing Fan. A strange cart is there with an even stranger man. The man claims to be able to help cleanse or siphon evil.
I loved how Will’s thoughts and feelings revolve around Fan. It is very erotic yet more sensual. I absolutely love the connection between these two, but it’s not so simple. I absolutely love everything about this story from the character’s, the plot, the setting…Everything.
The beginning sucks you in and holds you until the very fabulous end. The story is complete, no leaving you wondering what’s next or hanging. It’s a gripping, mysterious, suspenseful page-turner with sensuous, hot sex spun cleverly within. I loved the old world feel with the steampunk take.
I highly recommend this if you have ever thought of trying some steampunk but wasn’t sure if you’d like it, this is the one to try. (Of course start with book one Mongrel) If you like steampunk, old-world feel, Machines, Vampires, Witches, healers, other paranormal creatures, twists and turns, suspense, mystery, true love, and some moderately hot, sensual mansex this is definitely for you!