The Novel Approach is thrilled to be hosting Therese Woodson today in the Clockwork Horizon Blog Tour. Read on to see how you can enter for a chance to win a copy of the book.
Official Blurb: As a major airship port, Aerial City welcomes visitors from all over the world. Despite being surrounded by new inventions and colorful people, Malachi Covington partakes of little outside his books and studies. He aches for adventure and excitement but labors under the rules and expectations of his wealthy uncle.
Five airships arrive in port, keeping his uncle busy and, as Malachi’s best friend Millie reminds him, they’re carrying parties full of crew members. Excitement finds him in the form of Ian, a charming airship pilot who invites him to tour his ship, the Mockingbird. With Ian at his side, Malachi discovers a world beyond his books and takes daring steps to become his own man.
Clockwork Horizon is my first foray into the steampunk genre, and I’m extremely excited to share it with everyone. When writing and thinking about steampunk, everyone always imagines cool inventions like airships or clockwork trinkets or steam powered vehicles. I do too, and some of the steam mechanics are prevalent in the story. However, as part of the world building in Clockwork Horizon, I focused a lot of time and energy in building the lore surrounding airship crews and families.
My main character, Malachi, is introduced to airship crew culture throughout the story and the reader learns along with him what it means to ‘gain his sky legs,’ and the superstitions around ‘having the sky in your eyes.’ As Malachi works aboard the Mockingbird with Ian, the charming airship pilot who shows Malachi the ropes, he becomes more aware and accepting of the strange phenomenon that is the airship culture. Ian, who is from a large family of airship crew members himself, eases the transition and explains about family talismans, superstitions, and good luck charms and he introduces Malachi to the microcosm that is an airship crew.
To create the airship culture, I drew from old sailing stories and from other media sources, like Moby Dick and Pirates of the Caribbean, then I molded them to fit into the vision I had of the steampunk world of Aerial City. I had a ton of fun doing the research and loved being able to create my very own steampunk world. I hope you all enjoy reading Clockwork Horizon as much as I enjoyed writing it!
An electric tension rose in the air, a heady sense of attraction building in the scant inches between them. Malachi wanted to reach out and touch, trail his fingers over the soft-looking skin at Ian’s collar, trace the shell of his ear, interlock their fingers. Malachi’s body hummed with it, his skin tingling in the slight breeze, his face flushing with warmth.
“You….” Ian licked his lips. “You really are a sight for a man who has had nothing to look at but his crewmates and the sky for the past three months.”
Malachi straightened from his slouch against the pub. It put him in Ian’s space, something he hadn’t planned but wasn’t sorry for.
“I knew you worked on an airship!”
Ian raised an eyebrow. “I thought it was obvious.”
Malachi winced. “Well, I don’t… I’ve never… I’m not allowed….” He stuttered, curled his hands into fists, and blew out a breath. “I don’t get a chance to meet many people.”
“Really? What do you do, then?”
Malachi nervously licked his lips, and Ian’s steady gaze dropped to his mouth. “I study,” Malachi said. “I read.”
“Books like on the merchant cart? The adventure ones?”
Malachi blushed. “I don’t have much adventure in my life.”
Ian reached out and brushed his fingertips along Malachi’s wrist, and Malachi’s fingers instantly slackened from their defensive curl. He took Malachi’s hand in his, and Malachi snapped his mouth shut. He stared at the sight of Ian’s fingers wrapped around his own, the contrast of tan and calloused against pale and soft. Malachi met Ian’s gaze, and Ian stared at him, amused but fond.
“You don’t have to explain anything to me, Mac,” he said. “But I get the feeling you might like to come see the ship.”
Malachi nodded, giddy with excitement, heart in his throat. “I’d love to.”
Ian twined their fingers. “Good.”
Giveaway: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
Author Bio: Therese Woodson is a wife, mother of two, and writer of stories, who lives in the Blue Ridge mountains. She is an avid reader of all literature. She holds two degrees—one in Psychology and one in English Literature and hopes to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing in the near future. She is a fan of watching bad television shows, superhero movies, and anything sci-fi. She loves creating interesting characters, universes, and plots with happy endings.
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