Hello everyone! We are thrilled to be promoting for author Emma Jane Holloway again today!
About the Author“Ever since childhood, Emma Jane Holloway refused to accept that history was nothing but facts prisoned behind the closed door of time. Why waste a perfectly good playground coloring within the timelines? Accordingly, her novels are filled with whimsical impossibilities and the occasional eye-blinking impertinence—but always in the service of grand adventure.
Struggling between the practical and the artistic—a family tradition, along with ghosts and a belief in the curative powers of shortbread—Emma Jane has a degree in literature and job in finance. She lives in the Pacific Northwest in a house crammed with books, musical instruments, and half-finished sewing projects. In the meantime, she’s published articles, essays, short stories, and enough novels to build a fort for her stuffed hedgehog.”
You can keep up with Emma online at her Website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on GoodReads.
Emma is the proud creator of the BASKERVILLE AFFAIR series!
For those of you not yet familiar with Emma’s books, here is everything you need to know to get all caught up…
A Study in Silks
BASKERVILLE AFFAIR Book #1
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Evelina Cooper, the niece of the great Sherlock Holmes, is poised to enjoy her first Season in London’s high society. But there’s a murderer to deal with—not to mention missing automatons, a sorcerer, and a talking mouse.
In a Victorian era ruled by a council of ruthless steam barons, mechanical power is the real monarch, and sorcery the demon enemy of the empire. Nevertheless, the most coveted weapon is magic that can run machines—something Evelina has secretly mastered. But rather than making her fortune, her special talents could mean death or an eternity as a guest of Her Majesty’s secret laboratories. What’s a polite young lady to do but mind her manners and pray she’s never found out?
But then there’s that murder. As Sherlock’s niece, Evelina should be able to find the answers, but she has a lot to learn. And the first decision she has to make is whether to trust the handsome, clever rake who makes her breath come faster, or the dashing trick rider who would dare anything for her if she would only just ask.
A Study in Darkness
BASKERVILLE AFFAIR Book #2
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When a bomb goes off at 221B Baker Street, Evelina Cooper is thrown into her Uncle Sherlock’s world of mystery and murder. But just when she thought it was safe to return to the ballroom, old, new, and even dead enemies are clamoring for a place on her dance card.
Before Evelina’s even unpacked her gowns for a country house party, an indiscretion puts her in the power of the ruthless Gold King, who recruits her as his spy. He knows her disreputable past and exiles her to the rank alleyways of Whitechapel with orders to unmask his foe.
As danger mounts, Evelina struggles between hiding her illegal magic and succumbing to the darker aspects of her power. One path keeps her secure; the other keeps her alive. For rebellion is brewing, a sorcerer wants her soul, and no one can protect her in the hunting ground of Jack the Ripper.
A Study in Ashes
BASKERVILLE AFFAIR Book #3
JUST RELEASED 12/31/13!
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As part of her devil’s bargain with the industrial steam barons, Evelina Cooper is finally enrolled in the Ladies’ College of London. However, she’s attending as the Gold King’s pet magician, in handcuffs and forbidden contact with even her closest relation, the detective Sherlock Holmes.
Not even Niccolo, the dashing pirate captain, and his sentient airship can save her. But Evelina’s problems are only part of a larger war. The Baskerville Affair is finally coming to light, and the rebels are making their move to wrest power from the barons and restore it to Queen Victoria. Missing heirs and nightmare hounds are the order of the day—or at least that’s what Dr. Watson is telling the press.
But their plans are doomed unless Evelina escapes to unite her magic with the rebels’ machines—and even then her powers aren’t what they used to be. A sorcerer has awakened a dark hunger in Evelina’s soul, and only he can keep her from endangering them all. The only problem is…he’s dead.
Interests piqued? They should be!! I am thoroughly enjoying this series, and can’t wait to find the time to get lost in it some more. Make sure you add them to your TBR lists, but for the rest of today, I have a special treat for you. I had the opportunity to sit down to chat with Evelina Cooper, heroine extraordinaire of THE BASKERVILLE AFFAIR series. Check it out!!
CHARACTER INTERVIEW WITH EVELINA COOPER (and guests):
**Tiny spoiler alert** There are
some things in here that could give
away the final outcome of some of Emma Jane’s free reads. Nothing earth
shattering, but if you don’t want to know, don’t read this!
Today’s meet and greet is a little
bit different. I mean how many times do you think I’d actually have the chance
to visit London proper in the time of Steam Baron dictatorship and clockwork
craziness? The hardest part for me, sorta, was trying to find something to
wear. I mean I know Carla and I did this once before in London proper above the
drift with Cherry St. Clair, but somehow, this meant a little more to me. I
knew that Evelina Cooper couldn’t give a good goddamn what I was wearing, but I
After finding just the right gown,
not too formal, not too casual, I set out to find 221B Baker Street where
Evelina now lived with her uncle Sherlock. Yes THAT Sherlock (you see why I’m
exactly 5 minutes early, I rang the bell and was greeted by a polite,
middle-aged woman who appeared to be the housekeeper. She introduced herself as
Mrs. Hudson and led me into the townhouse to a living area that spoke volumes
of the man who resided there.
was a table littered with scientific equipment in one corner, a chaotic desk
littered with paper next to the equipment, a fireplace with a large bear skin
rug in front of it, a settee and pipe rack on one side of the fireplace, a
basket chair on the other side, and a table and chairs facing the street that I
entered from. It was all very cozy, in a frenzied sort of way.
took a seat where I could, and waited for my hostess.
Evelina came strolling in, a train
case in one hand and a smile on her face. Her gorgeous dark hair was cascading
down her back in beautiful waves, her blue eyes glittered with amusement, and
the green day gown she was wearing was the perfect color to compliment her
perfect porcelain skin.
Chelle: Hi Evelina, thank you so very much for meeting with me
today. My readers will be thrilled to learn some more about you!
Evelina: About me? Good gracious, you mean you
aren’t here to see my uncle about a case?
Chelle: I suppose I should formally introduce myself huh!? I’m
Michelle from LITERAL ADDICTION, though everyone calls me Chelle.
Evelina: Oh, yes, of course! Pardon me, I’m
afraid my mind was quite occupied with a trifle I’m constructing in the
workshop. I’m delighted to make your acquaintance.
She greeted me warmly and then took
a seat across from where I had perched.
Mrs. Hudson arrived right then with
a gorgeous tea service and the spicy aroma of the tea was making my mouth
water. Evelina and I helped ourselves to a couple of cups and then I settled in
for the interview.
Chelle: You had quite the childhood huh!? Can you tell us a
little bit about being with Ploughman’s Circus? What did you do as a performer?
What was it like?
Evelina: Life with the circus is both harder and
easier than you might expect. These days, travel is done by railroad—what an
improvement!—but performers are expected to do three shows a day and move
around constantly during tenting season, which is from April to November. It’s
a demanding way of living.
My father actually ran away from the
circus to join the army. I think he still had a bit of the showman about him,
because he was promoted in the field to captain for conspicuous bravery. Later,
he convinced my mother to elope with him—he must have been dashing in uniform
and talked a very good line. I’m sorry I never got to know him.
Of course, after he was killed, my poor
mother was in disgrace and couldn’t go home. She’d married beneath her and without
permission, and her parents would not take her back. So, we ended up living
with my father’s family at Ploughman’s. Some years later, my mother died of a
After that, my Gran Cooper raised me. She
was the fortune teller and sold amulets and love spells. It was a good
childhood with a lot of affection, even though Ploughman’s is a small circus
and money was very tight. I began training to rope walk and do routines on the
trapeze, but I had only just started to perform in public when my Grandmamma
Holmes arrived unexpectedly. She plucked me from the circus and sent me to the
Wollaston Academy for Young Ladies. And there you have my life story to date!
Chelle: When did your interest in Clockwork start? [glances at train case] And did you by
any chance bring Mouse and Bird to talk with us a bit? [bounces a bit excitedly]
Evelina: My Grandfather Cooper fixed all the
mechanical devices at the circus—the calliope and the clockwork figurines—and showed
me what he knew. At the same time, my Gran taught me how to use magic. You see,
many circus families, including the Coopers, inherit the ability to work spells
and talk to nature spirits, also known as devas. I got the idea of combining
the two talents and the rest was … well Mouse and Bird can and do speak for
themselves. Relentlessly. [opens train
case and peers inside] Hello?
A mechanical bird about four inches long flutters from the
train case, followed by a small clockwork mouse. Even though they are made of
metal, they move with the grace of living beings.
Evelina: Chelle, may I introduce Mouse and Bird.
creatures preen and bow.]
Mouse: Delighted, fair lady, to meet a member of the
Mouse: Giddy with
Bird: [Hops to the top of the train case and down
again, obviously excited.] Do we get our pictures taken?
Mouse: [Putting paws on hips] Of course not, you
ambulatory omelet. What good will we be on the job if we’ve got our faces all
over the morning paper? We’re spies, remember?
Bird: Then why are we
Mouse: All the best spies
have clandestine interviews. One has to whet the public appetite from time to
time, dropping bons-bons of gossip about the nation’s celebrities. It’s the
Bird: [Fluffs with irritation.] Why? This makes
no sense to me.
Mouse: A spy is only as
good as his information. A crumb to public curiosity is an earnest of what we
might do if truly pushed to wield our power.
Bird: Our power? I think
you’ve been reading too many thrillers. Seriously, what kind of hideous
information do you think we have?
The incident in the gazebo at midnight.
Bird: What, that Mr.
Holmes was using the landlady’s geraniums as an ashtray?
Mouse: No, the other
thing. [whiskers twitching with irritation]
Bird: The one involving
the Society for the Proliferation of Impertinent Events?
Mouse: Not those buffoons.
Bird: The Italian
Mouse: Heavens, no.
Bird: [gasps] You don’t mean . . .
Evelina: [Scoops up the two creatures and stuffing
them unceremoniously back in the train case.] I think we’ve heard enough from those two.
They do run on sometimes.
Chelle: But that was just
getting interesting! What secret was Bird about to tell?
Evelina: [Slams the lid shut and sets the teapot on
top of it. Sounds of frustrated
banging emerge from the case. Evelina smiles sweetly.] Do you have other
questions for me?
Chelle: So now that you’re done with Wollaston and have been
presented to the Queen, what are your thoughts on the Season?
Evelina: I expect the Season will be filled with dancing and parties
for those who can attend. But that’s not for me. There’s a bit of fallout from
a case that I shared with my uncle—it ended in a rather upsetting fashion. I’ve
been warned to leave London for a while.
Chelle: Your heart was a little torn in two directions - the
golden boy Tobias Roth, and the dark and mysterious Nick [no last name]. I know
the heart wants what the heart wants, but is it hard for you to know that you
probably can’t have either?
head sadly] There’s
no easy answer to that! Tobias is brilliant and you have to admit he’s lovely
to look at. Plus, we share a love of mechanics. But he’s Lord Bancroft’s heir.
His father would never allow a marriage so far beneath their family name.
And Nick—I thought there might have been
a future for us once, but our magic isn’t compatible. Every time we get close,
the devas go wild. It’s like a dozen poltergeists tearing everything apart. And
of course, the use of magic is punishable by death or a stint at Her Majesty’s
Laboratories as a test subject. It’s impossible for Nick and I to keep our
talents hidden when furniture is flying across the room. People notice that
sort of thing.
I will always love both of them, but
marrying either one would be a disaster—and I don’t want to be with anyone else.
I think it’s up to me to make a future for myself.
Chelle: O.K, seriously, what’s it like to be Sherlock Holmes’
Evelina: It’s interesting. [laughs ruefully] He doesn’t suffer fools gladly, so it can be a
bit, um, humbling sometimes. But we don’t try to change each other and he’s
always been there when I really need him. It’s a bit like having a willful cat
around, but one who leaves a lot of pipe smoke and newspapers behind.
Chelle: What are you going to do about Dr. Symeon Magnus? He
seems to have his eye on you, and from what I’ve seen and heard, he’s a little
Evelina: Dr. Magnus is a sorcerer versed in
death magic. He keeps telling me he wants to continue my magical education from
where Gran Cooper left off, but my answer is a very firm No thank you!
Chelle: You are learning a lot from your uncle I’m sure, but
you most certainly have your own style of investigating. How do you plan things
out, etc when you have a mystery to solve? You did very well with the zombie
debacle at the Wollaston Academy.
Evelina: [Cautiously lifts the teapot off the train case and refills their
Sherlock is always talking about his methods, and I do try to use some of
those. However, a young lady doesn’t have the freedom of movement that he does,
so I created Mouse and Bird to gather information on my behalf. To borrow a
modern phrase, you could say that I’m still on a learning curve, but I’m
starting to develop some skills.
Chelle: What do you think the future is for London with the
Steam Barons controlling each and every little piece and their streetkeepers
making it virtually impossible to do anything they don’t know about?
back in chair with a sigh] There is a lot of grumbling among the citizens of London,
both the rich and poor. You can’t make the cost of living impossibly high and
take away every alternative people have without protests. If the steam barons
keep it up, they’re going to have a full-scale rebellion on their hands. I’ve
heard the name Baskerville associated with a resistance movement, so I think
it’s already begun. They’re very mysterious, though. No one has any idea who is
Chelle: So, yes, let’s gossip a bit about your best friend. [giggles] How are you feeling about
Imogen and her new beau?
Evelina: I am delighted for Imogen. I don’t know
Bucky Penner as well as she does—obviously!—but he makes her happy in the way
she deserves. The only difficulty is that, while he has money, education, and
manners, he’s a commoner. Imogen’s father would much rather marry her off to
someone who is a lord. I see trouble ahead for those two.
Chelle: What’s next for you? You’ve moved in with Sherlock,
you’re still working on melding your magic and your machines, your dating
prospects are slightly out of reach currently – no offense intended – are you
still focused on going to University?
Evelina: Yes, absolutely. I’ve told you a little
bit about my family—the magical circus side and the rational, scientific side.
I believe getting an education is my best chance to reconcile these two halves
of myself. After all what is magic but science we don’t yet understand?
Who knows what I might accomplish? The
steam barons would love to get their hands on the secret of driving machines
with magic, and I’ve already done that with Mouse and Bird. I wonder how far
they’d go to get that secret?
Chelle: I wish you all the best. [glances at clockwork watch] Wow, look at the time! I certainly
don’t want to take up your whole afternoon. Thank you so very much for sitting
down with me today, and letting me get some information to share with my
readers about the wonderful Miss Evelina Cooper. If the Baskerville Affair ever
comes to pass, I would certainly like to sit down with you again and pick your
Evelina: Thank you so much, Chelle, for calling
on me. Please do come back again!
I said my goodbyes and Evelina led
me back to the door herself, waving off Mrs. Hudson who wished to do it for
her. She gave me a sweet smile and wishes for safe travels home and I left to
find my carriage.
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the Baskerville Affair universe!
Good luck, and as always… HAPPY READING!