“Invested Charm”–an essential part of the “Mechanized Masterpieces” Anthology

MM2Today I am featuring one story in a brand-new steampunk anthology, “Mechanized Masterpieces 2”, published by Xchyler Press.

First of all, I’d like to present you with a short blurb as to what all of the tales are about. I will then go further into the one I am featuring–or, to be more precise, I will let the author, Ms. Irish Gardner, lead the way.

 Story Synopses and Blurbs

Ride into the Wild West with ten steampunked expansions of classic American tales.

A Princess of Jasoom: An intrepid young researcher reaches for the stars from the Arizona desert, and finds love where she least expects it.

Winged Hope: The widow of a brilliant inventor fights insurmountable odds to see her husband’s dreams realized and save the life of her daughter.

The Van Tassel Legacy: A stranger arrives in Sleepy Hollow to unearth old conspiracies and bring the Van Brunts to justice.

Invested Charm: A mysterious woman doles out justice in Boston society, but who will catch her first: organized crime or the law?

Payoff for Air Pirate Pete: A pair of train-robbing outlaws bite off more than they can chew when they kidnap the son of a railroad bigwig.

Rise of the House of Usher: A mad scientist gains power over life and death at the cost of his family’s sanity, if not their very lives.

The Silver Scams: A fast-talking confidence man ensnares all of Holland in his scheme to eliminate dikes forever . . . for a price.

Nautilus Redux: Captain Nemo’s crew stumble upon an island castaway who claims to be Captain Ahab of the Pequod. Only Moby Dick knows the truth.

Mr. Thornton: Hounded by tragedy and betrayal, a gifted young blacksmith wanders from The Ohio to The Yukon searching for honor, loyalty, and justice.

West End: A heartbroken Theodore Laurence follows the siren song of steam to Jamaica, where love and law collide with explosive results.


I don’t know about you, but I want to read every one of these!

Ms. Gardner wrote the story entitled “Invested Charm”, and so we will go into that with her in a moment. First, a bit about the author herself.

M Irish Gardner

A day-dreamer at heart, M. Irish Gardner has dabbled in imaginary worlds from Day One and developed an incurable addiction when she finally began recording her ideas. Her bachelor’s degree in recreation management does nothing for her writing, but she sure knows how to play. She lives in Arizona with her husband, two daughters, and all the characters in her head. Gardner’s first published work, “Reformation,” appeared in A Dash of Madness: A Thriller Anthology.

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“All the characters in her head”–that sounds familiar… 


Alrighty, it is time to let Ms. Gardner have the floor:

  1. Please share how you came up with the concept for your story. 

This is actually the first time I’ve started a story without a full concept in mind. I found Emily Dickinson’s poem, “A Charm Invests a Face”, and decided to create a story around that. Cyborgs are popular in steampunk. And everyone loves a good gypsy character, so I rolled with it.

  1. Please name some of your other published works. 

My only other work is “Reformation” in A Dash of Madness, released June 2013.

  1. What is your preferred writing genre?

I have found that every story I write must have some element of romance in it!

  1. And preferred reading genre?

I love stories that incorporate romance, adventure, suspense, and fantasy, all in one neat little (or big) bundle!


  1. What are your top 3 favorite books?

The Count of Monte Cristo, Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter series


  1. Do you have any particular writing habits?

I like to use alliteration, if that’s what you mean. I also tend to mix up idioms…


  1. Do you have a playlist that you created while writing your story?

Nope. I’ve learned that my words sound much better than they actually are when music is playing. I have to work in silence so I really “hear” the words.


  1. Panster or plotter?

Short stories – pantser. Full-novels – plotter.


  1. Advice for writers?

Read, then practice. Read, then practice. And don’t give up.


  1. What’s up next for you?

I have a non-fiction piece I’m just wrapping up. It’s about a woman who became very ill while pregnant with her second child and spent three months in the hospital. When she left, she was a triple amputee and blind. She’s been wanting to write her story for six long years, so I was really happy that she asked me to help her. I’m hoping her book will be released in 2015, but we still haven’t finalized a publisher.

Who would you cast for your main characters and why?

I actually don’t have a solid image in my head for my heroine, but my hero is totally Romain Duris. I was searching online for “French actors” to get an idea of what my character would look like, and as soon as I saw him, I said, “YEP! That’s him!” 😀 I’ve attached the picture I used for inspiration while writing. I think it would inspire anyone…

(Note from me: I didn’t see an attached picture, so I picked one out. I hope it’s the one she meant.)


Thank you, Ms. Gardner, and I wish you much success.


And look, everybody! A rafflecopter! I sincerely hope this works for everyone, because I am not savvy with this sort of thing:

<a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/63a91ade13/” rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”63a91ade13″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_th3mc4jz”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

<script src=”//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js“></script>

Now, let’s get down to brass tacks…here is where you can pre-order “Mechanized Masterpieces 2”, and submerge yourself in the darkly magical world that is steampunk:

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00SZ1ORE6


About Xchyler Publishing: www.xchylerpublishing.com

and their books: http://www.xchylerpublishing.com/site.cfm/our-books.cfm






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One Response to “Invested Charm”–an essential part of the “Mechanized Masterpieces” Anthology

  1. Pingback: Pre Release Peek: Mechanized Masterpieces 2 – Spotlighting Author Neve Talbot | Jodi L. Milner, Author

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