Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: Mechanized Masterpieces 2: An American Anthology

A day-dreamer at heart, M. Irish Gardner has dabbled in imaginary worlds from Day One and developed an incurable addiction when she finally began recording her ideas. Her bachelor’s degree in recreation management does nothing for her writing, but she sure knows how to play. She lives in Arizona with her husband, two daughters, and all the characters in her head. Gardner’s first published work, “Reformation,” appeared in A Dash of Madness: A Thriller Anthology.

Q/A for M. Irish Gardner

1. Please share how you came up with the concept for your story? 
 This is actually the first time I've started a story without a full concept in mind. I found Emily Dickinson's poem, "A Charm Invests a Face", and decided to create a story around that. Cyborgs are popular in steampunk. And everyone loves a good gypsy character, so I rolled with it.

2. Please name some of your other published works? 
My only other work is "Reformation" in A Dash of Madness, released June 2013.

3. What is your preferred writing genre?
I have found that every story I write must have some element of romance in it! 

4. And preferred reading genre?
I love stories that incorporate romance, adventure, suspense, and fantasy, all in one neat little (or big) bundle!

5. What are your top 3 favorite books?
The Count of Monte Cristo, Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter series

6. Do you have any particular writing habits?
I like to use alliteration, if that's what you mean. I also tend to mix up idioms...

7. Do you have a playlist that you created while writing your story?
Nope. I've learned that my words sound much better than they actually are when music is playing. I have to work in silence so I really "hear" the words.

8. Panster or plotter?
Short stories - pantser. Full-novels - plotter.

9. Advice for writers?
Read, then practice. Read, then practice. And don't give up.

10. What's up next for you?
 I have a non-fiction piece I'm just wrapping up. It's about a woman who became very ill while pregnant with her second child and spent three months in the hospital. When she left, she was a triple amputee and blind. She's been wanting to write her story for six long years, so I was really happy that she asked me to help her. I'm hoping her book will be released in 2015, but we still haven't finalized a publisher.

M. Irish Gardner's Favorite Things:

- Quote
"Falling flat on your face is still moving forward."

- TV show
Oh, too hard to choose! I love The Musketeers, Firefly, Vikings, Alaska: The Last Frontier, Chuck, Dexter, Lost, Sherlock, Downton Abbey, New Girl, and many more. Maybe I should watch less and write more!

- Comic book character
I've always had a thing for Batman.

- Movie
The Last of the Mohicans

- Book
The Count of Monte Cristo

- Candy bar
Three Musketeers

- Junk food
I'm a total sucker for Starbucks hot chocolate and their slow roasted ham and swiss!

- Place you visited
I was blown away by the Washington coast last summer, but I think Havasu Falls, AZ still beats them all!

- Restaurant
I love good comfort food, so I have many Italian, Mexican, and American favorite places to eat. I had fantastic Indian food last spring in California, though!

- Island
No man is a...?

I haven't read a lot of steampunk so decided that a collection of short stories would be a good way to give it a try. The one that sounded the most interesting to me was this one, Invested Charm, by M. Irish Gardner. It's based on an Emily Dickinson poem. 

The main character, Mauve, lives with her Uncle Wally. When she was 14, her mother, father and younger sister were killed when their house caught on fire. She sustained injury as well and now has a half mechanical face which her uncle created for her. She's now 22 and able to manipulate future events. 

We're then shown how her gift (curse?) works and learn she's being investigated by Inpsector Warrick. He seems familiar to her yet she's never met him. We learn more about her life before the fire and the memories she has of her life during that time. As the story progresses, truths are revealed and leaves her with decisions to make.

I enjoyed this story. Mauve feels like she doesn't have anything else to lose in life and that makes her more brave. Uncle Wally is her creator and the only family she has left so they are close. It's a darker romance than I usually read so I was glad that it was short and some of the seedier details were left out.  I loved the ending!!

My Rating=4.5 Stars

If these stories sound intriguing to you, be sure to check out the other stops on the tour and learn more about the authors! Come back tomorrow and I'll share my thoughts on the next story in this book, Payoff for Air Pirate Pete by D. Lee Jortner.

Pre-Order Links:


About Xchyler Publishing

And their books:

Tour Schedule:

February 22: 
Book 1: 
A Princess of Jasoom by J. Aurel Guay

February 23: 
Book 2: 
Winged Hope by Megan Oliphant

February 23: 
Book 3: 
The Van Tassel Legacy by Jay Barnson

February 24: 
Book 4: 
Invested Charm M. Irish Gardner

February 25: 
Book 5: 
Payoff for Air Pirate Pete by D.
Lee Jortner

February 26: 
Book 6: 
Rise of the House of Usher by J.R.

February 26: 
Book 7: 
The Silver Scams by M. K. Wiseman

February 27: 
Book 8: 
Nautilus Redux by Scott E. Tarbet

February 27: 
Book 9: 
Mr. Thornton by Scott William

February 28: 
Book 10: 
West End Neve Talbot


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