Monday, January 26, 2015

A Heart for Copper Blog Tour and Giveaway

SilkWords is the go-to source for interactive romance and erotic fiction.

With gorgeous custom covers and a clean, sophisticated design, the SilkWords site offers a secure, upscale reading environment. In addition to content on their web site, they offer stories for purchase in the standard e-book formats.

SilkWords is owned and operated by a full-time mom with a background in genetics and an RWA RITA-nominated, multi-published sci-fi romance author.

Their technology guy and site designer was the founder of Microsoft Xbox Live.

SilkWords features two formats that allow readers to choose how the stories will proceed.

Pick Your Path:

Will she or won't she? With which man (or woman) in which location? With Pick Your Path romance, you decide. Romance and branched fiction are made for each other, like picking your favorite flavor of ice cream...positions, partners, and paraphernalia, oh my!

Reader Vote:

Readers vote at choice points and decide how the story will continue. These stories are a great way for readers and authors to connect. It’s exciting to be part of a developing story!

A Heart for Copper
Sharon Lynn Fisher

Genre: Steampunk romance

Publisher: SilkWords

Date of Publication: May 9, 2014


Number of pages: 67 pages
Word Count: 14K

Cover Artist: Indie Designz

Book Description: 

An automaton created by an inventor's son, Copper has finally been given a heart by her young master. Her choice of whether to keep the key or give it to him will determine what happens next in this "pick your path" steampunk fairy tale.

Will she join his family in their English country manor, where she'll be forced to consider the question of whether she's really human? Or will she search out the quirky alchemist responsible for giving her life?

Will her master hold onto her heart, or will she be tempted by the charms of an automaton man?

January 19 Guest Blog
Jill Archer

January 20 review
karen writes stuff

January 21 Interview
The Reading Pile 

January 21 Review
Ogitchida Kwe's Book Blog

January 22 Spotlight
Counter Culture Critic

January 23 Guest Blog
Fang-tastic Books

January 23 Spotlight
Share My Destiny

January 26 review

January 26 Guest blog and review
Book Girl Knitting


I have a heart-shaped hole. Like an empty bird's nest, it rests among marigold-hued ruffles above the topmost hook of my corset.

The hole was not left by something removed, but for something anticipated.

I am an automaton. I have never moved of my own volition — never lifted so much as a finger, save by the power of the windup mechanism at my back. Never felt a chill-bump, or the orange yarn rising on the back of my chicken-wire neck. My amethyst eyes follow my young master without motion. The dead, glass eyes of a doll. My face no more than a bone-colored mask with faint pink smudges where my cheekbones would be.

If I were alive.

My brain is sacking stuffed with cotton, my torso salvaged from a discarded mannequin. My limbs are dark, spindly things, like they belong on crows. But my master has wrapped them in ivory silk, and in the dim light of his workshop, I can pretend they are arms like his.

I am not a living thing, but the work of man's hands. Man does not give life. Not since The Regression. The Digital Age machines are all dead. My master was born into the Neoclassical Age, named not for cultural or artistic reasons, but for the laws of science to which all citizens are required to conform. Post-classical physics are banned. Reserved for the gods, the only ones fit to wield them.

How does a stuffed-head, cobbled-together, life-sized doll know all this? Know anything at all? Because my master talks to me. Reads to me. From the time he was a schoolboy, he has shared every lesson with me, from The Odyssey to odious French (his descriptor, not mine). I was his schoolmate. Watched him grow to manhood while I remained the same, unless he himself wrought change — replacing dingy fabric with fresh, tinkering with moving parts, shifting my head so I could watch him work.

I spend many lonely hours in my master's workshop, when he is away at school or in the city with his family. In those hours I feel empty and soulless, and I have often prayed that when he loses interest in me — which he inevitably shall —he will also unmake me, rather than leave me collecting dust in my chair.

For my master is the only light in my life, though I am no more to him than the toy ships he played with as a boy. Less than the pup who licked his heels, followed his footsteps, and finally sank into a straw-stuffed bed near the fire, from which, occasionally, I still hear the thump, thump, thump of tail against floorboards.


"Hullo, Dutch. Hullo, Copper."

Thump, thump, thump.

If I could have wagged, I would have. Master William entered the workshop, light beaming from his every feature. I knew the expression well. He'd been out in The World. He'd encountered something — or someone — interesting. Something he wished to share with me. You'd think he'd tire of my colossal implacability.

"I have something for you," he said, sinking onto the stool in front of me.

At moments like these I almost imagined that the hole in my chest had been filled. I could feel an ache there — an ache that should not have been. His eyes were green as the ribbons of my corset. His hair black as the coal in the bin. His lips were soft and expressive, like the women of the house — his mother, his elder sister, the chambermaids. Master William was everything lovely, everything beloved, in my dust, dark world.

He slipped a bronze chain from his pocket. A necklace, with a heart-shaped pendant — the shape of the symbol, not the visceral, beating thing itself.

The shape of the hole in my chest.

Tiny metal gears and copper springs were encased behind a small glass window embedded in the crimson resin. It was beautiful, a work of art. As I watched, he slid open a small compartment in the back of the pendant and produced a key. He held out the pendant in the palm of his hand.

"Happy birthday, Copper," he whispered.

The echo of my nonexistent heartbeat sounded in my cottony brain, behind my porcelain mask.

If my lips had breath, his proximity would have stopped it as he moved to slip the chain around my neck, letting the heart fall into its readymade grave. Pinching the key between his fingers, he inserted it into a tiny keyhole in the tapered bottom of the heart.

Bolts sprang from the sides of the pendant, penetrating the stuffing in my chest, locking the heart in place. I felt it as if I were flesh and bone.

A loud, dry, sucking sound came from my throat as I took my first breath.

Master William's eyes widened — with shock? with horror? — as the change took me over. The pain was excruciating.

"The old woman was right," he murmured, aghast.

I could barely hear him from behind the wall of pain — or over the very real pounding in my chest. His face blurred, and I was sure I felt moisture seeping from the holes in my mask. What was happening to me?

"You must choose, Copper," he continued. "Hephaesta said if you want to be like me, you must give me the key. If you want to be like you, you must keep it."

I glanced down at the tiny thing of brass still lodged in the base of my heart. 

What did it mean? A riddle, perhaps? What was I to do?

"Quickly," he said, worry dimming his brightness. "The heart will stop beating without the choice."

Pain spiked up my arm as I raised it from my side. My wooden, wire-jointed fingers wiggled to life. I grasped the key and removed it. 

1. I've waited all my non-life for this. I give him the key.
2. I want to find out who I am. I keep the key.

Will she? Won't she? Yes!

My gracious blog host has asked me to talk about what’s different about writing Pick Your Path stories. The difference in the writing is the same thing that makes Pick Your Path fun for readers, and it’s something I think every author can relate to.

In SilkWords stories, the introduction sets up a choice. In mine, A HEART FOR COPPER (sweet romance), the heroine is an automaton who has been given a clockwork heart by her inventor, William. As a writer, at this point in the story I naturally start to think about what is the most interesting outcome of this? Does the heart make her fully human, so she can be with William? Or does the heart make her realize she needs to come into her own as a person before she can find love? There is the potential for fascinating fallout from both choices.

Probably by this point you’ve figured out where I’m going with this: Both choices are believable, and both have potential for tension, conflict, and plot twists. So how does the author choose?

With Pick Your Path, the author leaves that choice to readers. They have the option to make one choice at each choice point, following one path just like a linear story, or they can return to the beginning and read about all possible outcomes. For the author, it’s a wonderful creative exercise — something we don’t get to do in our regular world of linear fiction with its deadline-driven reality.

Following two (or more) potential choices is challenging from an author perspective. It’s sort of like writing in parallel universes, and it makes our brains work in new ways. Connecting up the dots of different stories about the same characters and situation can be tricky. But there’s also something very satisfying about it. If you go off in different directions with your character —oftentimes even end up at different finishing points — and the characters still feels whole and compelling (and all versions of the story satisfying) you’ve really accomplished something!

For me, considerations in writing A HEART FOR COPPER were:
·         How do I make all choices/paths feel realistic? In other words, the reader believes it’s a choice the character might really make. There shouldn’t be a choice that feels so out of character the reader is left scratching her head over it.
·         How do I make all choices compelling? It doesn’t work to have choices like: A. She kisses William. B. She goes home and soaks in the tub. Who’s going to choose B (unless William is a jerk, and then I’ve failed in other ways)? In a successful Pick Your Path, all choices are tempting.

SilkWords publishes both romance and erotica. In romance, choices can be about which man the heroine chooses, where they go on their first date, and how many conflicts they have to overcome before they can be together. The best choices are very true to life. Say a heroine meets someone who has the baggage of a dead spouse, for example. She’s worried about his emotional state, and maybe there’s another man vying for her attention who seems easier and safer.

In erotic stories, Pick Your Path is typically about sexual exploration. These can be light-hearted and fun, or angst-ridden and bittersweet. The choices have to do with the number and sex (M/F) of partners, flavor of sexual activities (spanking, bondage, etc.), and types of sex toys.

And just to keep things exciting, SilkWords doesn’t require all endings to be HEA. All romances will have at least one HEA, and for erotica there must be at least one hopeful or positive ending. Whether you find it depends on how you choose! This can be cathartic for romance authors, who get an opportunity to rebel a little. And it also brings something fresh and unique to the reading experience.

Do you like Pick Your Path stories? What’s your favorite aspect?


This story hooked me from the get go. As I read, the song Shatter Me began to play and I had to laugh-this is the perfect song for this particular book. Wind up girl meets her future in an unsure world. The imagery is very inspiring and I had to keep turning the pages to see what the author was going to do next-what choices she would allow me to have to weave my own version of this tale. Such a lovely romance! I can't wait to read more by this author.


About the Author:

An RWA RITA Award finalist and a three-time RWA Golden Heart Award finalist, Sharon Lynn Fisher writes stories for the geeky at heart — meaty mash-ups of sci-fi, suspense, and romance, with no apology for the latter. She lives where it rains nine months of the year. And she has a strange obsession with gingers (down to her freaky orange cat).

Sharon has written three science fiction romance novels for Tor Books — Ghost Planet (2012), The Ophelia Prophecy (2014), and Echo 8(2015) — and she's indie publishing her erotica series Fantasies in Color.

She’s also the editorial director for (and a partner in) SilkWords!

Tour giveaway

ebox set of The Harem Club, Storm at SEA, and Fetish Fair

5 ecopies A Heart for Copper

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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