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Deadly Destinations continues today with Kate Locke. God Save the Queen, available now, is the first book in Kate’s Immortal Empire series. Kate explains the steampunk/supernatural-riddled world that is current day London. One lucky winner will receive a copy of God Save the Queen, a big thanks to Orbit Books for the giveaway.
The world of Xandra Vardan, heroine of GOD SAVE THE QUEEN (Book #1 in the Immortal Empire series) is not the London – or even the world — we know today. First of all, vampires, werewolves and goblins make up the small percentage of the population commonly known as the aristocracy, or nobility. A mutation caused by centuries of exposure to the Black Death brought about this incredible change. Half-bloods serve the aristos and protect them from the human majority.
Since Queen Victoria is a vampire, she still rules the country of England, and the British Empire. Her only daughter (aristos have low birth rates) married Frederick III of Germany, ensuring a good relationship with that country. Frederick, also a vampire is still emperor, which means is that, despite a few human rebellions, there have not been much in the way of wars since the early 1800s. Archduke Ferdinand was never killed. Hitler never amounted to anything more than a failed painter, eaten by vampires for actively supporting human superiority movements. There was no Blitz, and London was never bombed. America still pulled away, however, and is no longer part of the empire, though there are aristos and/or their by-blows living in the US. Movies and music have made them celebrities, and tourists flock to London to catch a glimpse of a ‘real’ vampire or werewolf.
Aristos are slow to change. Many of them prefer the horse-drawn variety to more modern motor carriages. Many women still wear corsets and bustles, though the younger generation has ‘funked’ the style up a bit. The fashion of the world is very old school Victorian with some gothic lolita and punk thrown in. Hairstyles can be quite elaborate, and gentlemen still wear black to dinner, where fattened leeches may be served as a delicacy.
The goblins living under the city are considered monsters — creatures to scare children into behaving. Even aristos are frightened of them. They have a society that is as courtly as it is savage, and are very technologically advanced. The goblins always know what’s going on cobbleside, which is why Xandra braves going underside to their den in the first chapter of the book.
Air travel is done via zeppelin, which are now streamlined, and look much like this world’s version of space ships. Cell/mobile phones are called rotaries and have dials rather than key pads. People listen to music and watch movies on advanced versions of the cylinders used in the 19th century. The VBC controls most of the content viewed on ‘the box’ and listened to on the radio. London’s nightlife — indeed the entire city — is divided into aristo, human and halvie, though there are ‘neutral’ zones scattered around between the east and west ends. This divide came about after the Great Insurrection of 1932, during which humans rose up to take control of the country and were defeated.
While many aristos and halvies believe themselves superior and immortal, there are others that know another uprising is coming, and this time it’s not so simple as humans vs aristos. Lines are being drawn, sides are being taken, and Xandra Vardan needs to decide which one she’s on.
Kate Locke has always enjoyed making things up — a trait that often got her into trouble as a child, but by which she enjoys making a living. Before writing fiction full time she worked as cook, a journalist and in a photo finishing lab where she saw enough pictures of naked people to rival Hugh Hefner. A guy once asked her out after giving her a role of film that he expressly requested she develop and print. The entire role was images of him stark naked in the woods. And no, that’s the kind of thing you just don’t make up.
In her late 20s Kate sold her first book and enjoyed a 10 year career writing under a different name. Her love of fantasy and the paranormal refused to leave her alone, and one day, while sitting on the couch thinking of making a very scary career move, she started jotting down notes for a book she wanted to write just for the pure enjoyment of it; a book just for herself. That book became God Save the Queen. Her agent thought they could sell it — Kate wasn’t certain. Then, the day after having her gall bladder removed (again, can’t make this stuff up), Kate got the call that Orbit books — her dream publisher for God Save the Queen — had made an offer. And it’s been more exciting than she ever imagined.
Like Xandra Vardan, the heroine in God Save the Queen, Kate values those she loves above all else, and has hair a color not typically found in nature. Unfortunately, Kate’s comes from a bottle. She’s married to a fabulous man who doesn’t seem to care what she does to her hair, puts up with her occasional* craziness, helps her plot, and treats her like she’s the best thing since lipgloss.
Want to read more from Kate Locke?
This giveaway is provided by Orbit Books
One lucky winner will receive a copy of God Save the Queen by Kate Locke
Available July 3, 2012 from Orbit/Hachette Book Group
About this Book:
Queen Victoria rules with an immortal fist.
The undead matriarch of a Britain where the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires, where goblins live underground and mothers know better than to let their children out after dark. A world where being nobility means being infected with the Plague (side-effects include undeath), Hysteria is the popular affliction of the day, and leeches are considered a delicacy. And a world where technology lives side by side with magic. The year is 2012 and Pax Britannia still reigns.
Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it is her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But when her sister goes missing, Xandra will set out on a path that undermines everything she believed in and uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire. And she is the key-the prize in a very dangerous struggle.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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