Today we are excited to be the tour stop for Megan Curd’s brand new book: Steel Lily. Steel Lily is the first young adult dystopian/steampunk book in the Periodic series. The book was released August 12, 2013.
About the Book
By Megan Curd
AVERY PIKE is a commodity. No, more than a commodity. Her existence is guarded at all costs.
She’s a water Elementalist, the strongest of her dwindling kind. She creates steam to provide energy to fuel Dome Three: the only thing standing between humanity and an earth ravaged by World War III. No steam, no Dome. No Dome, no life.
Or so she thinks.
That is, until a mysterious man offers her a way out of having to donate steam. A way to escape the corrupt government of Dome Three. While the offer seems too good to be true, Avery is intrigued.
But when she arrives to her new home, she realizes the grass isn’t any less dead on this side of the fence. Instead, the lies are just hidden better.
Which means digging deeper.
When Avery enlists the help of her friends to uncover the truth, it may make her wonder if she was better off being a government tool than searching for freedom.
Some secrets are better left concealed, but humankind was never meant to live in a cage. And when you can control the most sought after resource, you can learn to control anything…including the fate of your world.
I’d never seen anyone like him in Dome Four. His jawbone was strong, his cheekbones set high. His nose was regal and straight and when my gaze reached his eyes, my breath caught. Stormy blue-grey eyes that reminded me of shale returned my gaze with seemingly genuine curiosity, if not a bit of humor. Strips of colored fabric were woven into his dreadlocked hair, giving it a wildly unique appearance that suited him. His smug expression made me realize he was enjoying this.
“Are you finished checking me out? If you’re not, that’s okay; I allow every new woman I meet a free five-minute gawking period. After that, it’ll cost you.”
Blood rushed to my face. I tore my eyes from his magnetic gaze and watched as he took a worn leather strap off his wrist. He pulled back his dreadlocks–deep brown streaked with blonde–into the strap. His devilish grin pulled his eyes tight at the corners. He was trouble incarnate. Trouble I may very well want to get into, given the right circumstances.
“You’re at five minutes and thirty seconds now,” he said in a purr as he leaned in toward me. I felt his breath against my cheek, and my heart raced. “I’m going to start taking payment, and I choose how that payment is issued.”
Before I could respond, Alice stirred groggily beside me. She rubbed her eyes as she sat up. “Where are we?”
“Good question,” piped Jaxon. “One that your friend here failed to ask, but it could have been because I rendered her speechless with my good looks.”
Alice moved to get a better look at him, but he emphatically covered his face, as though he were a vampire trying to block the sun. “Don’t look at me!” he cried, then grinned as he winked at me. “I don’t want to make two ladies swoon in such a short period of time. How would I entertain myself tonight?”
“You’re not that handsome,” I argued mulishly.
“There’s drool on your chin. Either you’re physically unable to keep your mouth shut, or I caused you to forget how. Since when I found you, you were drool free, I’m going with the assumption that it was me.” He fished in his pocket and offered me a piece of white silk. “Here, a handkerchief for your trouble.”
I have to say this was one of the most unique book ideas I’ve come across in a long while. Sure the US is devastated by war and radiation, and people live inside domes. Yes, this is the major plot line of most dystopian and/or post-apocalyptic books. But the fact that our protagonist is her dome’s (aka entire city full of people) main source of energy… Well, THAT my friends is a new one.
The kids Avery comes into contact with all have special skills, but of course Avery’s seems to be the most powerful of them all. She still doesn’t really understand everything she does.
I learned two things from this book: I do enjoy a really good dystopian book. And I do not like steampunk. I don’t get it per say. The mechanics of it kind of fly over my head and I spent times confused about what was going on. This has NOTHING to do with the book, the author, or the writing. It just has to do with my brain.
But, the book was so cleverly written and interesting that I was able to overlook the parts that confused me and barrel into the story. Avery is an interesting person, although I felt like I needed more of her back story. And Jaxon, well Jaxon was basically Jace Wayland with dreds. But, I really like Jace, so that worked out well for me.
I’m still confused about a lot of things… like who the Polatzi are, why the domes are so scattered, why Legs was in the military, and how is there a war going on right outside the domes and no one knows. I’m sure many of these questions will be answered in book two. Which I definitely will be reading.
So, to wrap up: IF you like dystopian, you want a fresh new spin on kids with powers (think Shatter Me), and you are looking for something well written and fun to read, this book is definitely right up your alley!
About the Author
Megan Curd is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While having always enjoyed reading any books she could get her hands on, Megan didn’t begin writing until a friend encouraged her to do so while in college.
When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves to snowboard and travel to new places, and doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself.
Megan currently resides in Stanton, Kentucky with her husband, son, and Great Dane named Dozer.
Connect with Megan
Inside the Author’s Head
Welcome to the blog! Can you first tell readers what drew you to write this story?
Hi there, and thanks for having me! Honestly, Steel Lily was a vague concept at first – something that came from me reading a LOT of Cassandra Clare over the holidays 2 years ago. I loved Clare’s clear world building and the steampunk ideas she worked into her Infernal Devices series. It made me wonder what it would be like to mash up the dystopian and steampunk themes instead of going with the generally used Victorian era, and Steel Lily is what came of it.
I saw on your website that you graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Intercultural Studies. Can you talk about how that influenced your life after college?
I have always wanted to work cross-culturally, specifically in Latin America. I spent the better part of 6 months down there in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Argentina during college, and I love the culture and people. I miss it. After college, I got married and had my son, so obviously my plans to become a missionary changed, but I still love working with people of all places. Anytime I can interact cross-culturally, I do it. I love speaking Spanish, and while I don’t have a ton of opportunities in Kentucky to do so, I try to take advantage of any opportunity that arises. I think more than anything, I learned to embrace people who were different than myself, and I hope that I can convey that in my books as well.
How did your studies and experiences help shape who you are as a writer and your books?
I think my studies really showed me that while we’re all different, we still have the same basic needs, the same desire to be loved and understood. I think so many times today we are taught to fear what’s different, and I hope that in some small way, my books can prove that it’s okay to trust those who aren’t exactly like ourselves. That everyone has a story to tell, so long as we’re willing to listen.
Okay, so I always like to see what authors read. What are your top five favorite books and why?
Oh man, that’s hard. Can it be series? That makes it a little less painful, lol. I’d say for sure Harry Potter is my #1 series of all time. J.K. Rowling is truly a mastermind at world building and making readers love her characters. She is just phenomenal. After that I’d say (in no particular order!) Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Divergent & Insurgent by Veronica Roth, Angels & Demons by Dan Brown, and The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare.
Night owl or early bird? How does it help with your writing process?
Night owl! I’m actually doing this interview at 2 am, lol. I don’t function before 10-11 am willingly, and I always need coffee. I actually head out to write when my husband gets home from work, so I usually don’t start writing until 5 or 6, and I stay at my café until it closes at midnight. Then I drive the 45 minutes home, and usually write or answer emails until 2 or so in the morning. During the days I am focused on my son, so he takes my attention during the day.
Did you always know you wanted to be an author?
Not really, haha! I wasn’t opposed to it, it just wasn’t something I’d planned on happening. My friend suggested I try writing a book, and I did…and I absolutely loved it. I owe a lot to her!
So according to Goodreads you love traveling, snowboarding, and Xbox. Can you talk about some of your favorite place to travel and/or snowboard? And what is your favorite game on Xbox?
I have been blessed and had the opportunity to travel to Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, the Bahamas, Italy, and Switzerland. I served as a missionary intern in the South American countries, went on a biology trip to the Bahamas, and then went to Europe for spring break…which is where I also had the BEST snowboarding experiences ever. There’s nothing on the east side of the US that can compare to the Alps. Maybe the west coast has more to offer but I haven’t been out there yet, so Italy and Switzerland definitely take the cake on snowboarding experiences. I think my favorite place I’ve been is Ecuador because of the experiences as a missionary intern, as well as my mentors being located there. I’ve actually been there three times, and every time has been so monumental and special to me. I want to take my son there when he’s old enough. However, my husband proposed in the Bahamas to me (yeah, he’s awesome. Let’s all do the collective awwwww!), so obviously I’m a fan of that, too. As for favorite xBox game, man, that’s hard! I LOVE the Call of Duty franchise, and when I need a mental break I hop on there to play with my friends and brother. Otherwise I love the Bioshock games, Borderlands, and any LEGO games. Those LEGO games are just too awesome.
If you could live in one ‘book world’ which one would it be and why?
Harry Potter’s, hands down. One of these days my letter to Hogwarts will come. It just got lost in the mail.
Where do you think your characters are headed in the future?
I’m not sure! Right now, Avery and Jaxon are having a rough go of it in Steel Lily’s sequel, Iron Pendulum, so I’m hoping they go upward from where they are right now, haha. This book is a tougher one to write, but I think readers will see a lot of growth in the characters and hopefully that’s a good thing. The third book is hopefully going to really play on what they’ve learned in these two first books, and you’ll see them progress in their lives. And after that, who knows? Maybe there’s a fourth book. Maybe there will be something new. But either way, I promise you that my characters will surprise me just as much as they surprise you.
There is a tour-wide giveaway going on! You can win: sign copy of the book and swag, Steel Lily t-shirt, and e-books. To enter, visit the link below.