Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Guest Post: Seleste deLaney

Today on the blog I have Seleste deLaney, a fabulous author and fantastic friend. I absolutely loved Badlands and was thrilled when I heard CLockwork Mafia was coming out soon. Next Tuesday, to be exact. If you haven't read Badands, now is the time!

Why Men Don’t Rule

All authors get questions about the worlds they create, and we often try to answer those either directly or in future installments in a series. One of the biggest questions I get about the Badlands is how the prison system works and how that feeds into the political situation. It was a question I answered in Clockwork Mafia (at least a little), but the scene slowed down the pacing too much and was cut from a page and a half to two paragraphs. (Please bear in mind that since this was cut, it has not been edited.)

However, since people want to know…I want to share. (WARNING: the snippet has a teeny-tiny spoiler in it, but nothing that will hamper your enjoyment of Clockwork Mafia when you read it later. Because you will, right? I’d really like it if you did…)


…Of course, when the guard unlocked his door in the morning, instead of rushing forward to get out, he stepped back, his mouth open.

The guard peered into his cell. “Are you coming out or not? The queen said I should take you to the room where Dr. Mason was storing her things.”

“B-b-but…” Tobias tugged on his shirt in an effort to compose himself. “But you’re a man.”

Chuckling, the guard smoothed his beard. “Last I checked. Don’t let that fool you though, women still rule here. Quite frankly, I don’t want it to be any different.” He waved a hand toward the corridor.

Tobias picked up his jacket and dusted it off before stepping from the cell. “Why? It would seem once prisoners are released they’d band together to take power.”

“That’s Union thinking.” He waved at another guard—a woman this time—who unlocked the door leading to an open area surrounded by guardrooms. Once they entered, she moved to the other door and unlocked it, releasing them into the fortress proper. “You see. The Union says a man needs to be locked up for five years, ten years—however long—then they let ‘em out. Time served.

“Ain’t like that here. Just getting to the prison means we want to reform. Those warriors that man the borders don’t force anyone to come here. You run; you die. You put up more than minimal fight after finding out the rules; you die.” They twisted and turned down more corridors than Tobias could track, but perhaps that was the plan. “The men in those cells are the ones who want to change. In the Union, we’d be treated the same as the ones who go right back to doing wrong. No jobs, no homes, no lives. Here? Once we get out of the cells here, we’re human.

“Since Queen Laurette took the throne, there’s more opportunities than ever. She believes in what’s right, not just what’s right for women.” The guard opened another door at last and waved him in. “Why the hell would we try to destroy a world that treats us better than the one we came from?”

Dust from the floor stirred as Tobias entered and he covered his mouth to keep from coughing. “But what about power? Surely you strive for more than being a guard.”

Scoffing, the man reached in and swept a hand gently over the dimly glowing lichen on the walls, making them flare to life. He pointed to the far corner. “Broom’s over there if the dust really bothers you. As for me? I had power as a criminal and look what it got me—one cell to another until they shipped me across the river to a cell here. Too many people can’t handle power, men or women. It’s the reason they treat everyone, including criminals, the way they do here. You aren’t born to position; you earn it. Some men come out to be stable hands because that’s what they decided to earn. There ain’t much I want more right now than to make sure the men inside understand what they can do.”


If you have any questions about the men and the prison system, now’s the time to ask! I’ll answer as many as I can between now and the Romantic Times Booklovers’ Convention next week (look me up if you’ll be there!)

Clockwork Mafia:

Inventor Henrietta Mason is retiring from airships and adventuring to return home to Philadelphia. Determined to erase all trails leading to her late father's duplicity, she dismantles his lab and removes all records of the Badlands gold. While in the city, she can't resist the lure of a charity gala but winds up regretting the whole experience. Well, everything except a heart-racing dance with a certain U.S. Marshal.His career and vengeance on the line, Carson Alexander must prove a connection between Senator Mason and the mafia. He lucked out happening across Mason's strikingly beautiful daughter, only to have her slip through his fingers. On a desperate hunt to track her down, he never expects his search to take him into the brutal Badlands.

With a mechanically enhanced enforcer after them, only Carson knows the extent of the danger they face. He'll have to win over Henrietta's trust, and her heart, before it's too late...

Buy at:
Carina Press
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Barnes and Noble
All Romance Ebooks

If you aren’t going to be able to see her next week at the Romantic Times Booklovers’ Convention—or even if you are—you can also find Seleste around the internet:
Facebook Page
Facebook Profile


Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Oh, I remember that part. I liked reading this. So glad you kept it to share. It does give some insight. :) Thank you!

Seleste deLaney/Julie Particka said...

You are totally welcome. I was sad to have to cut it since so many people ask basically what Tobias did. But it would have slowed down the story, so I took the wise advice of my editor. :)

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