Guest Post and Giveaway with M.K Hobson

For our fantasy romance theme this month, we would like to give a big warm welcome to M.K Hobson to the site!

Hi there! I’m M.K. Hobson. My debut novel—THE NATIVE STAR—has just been released from Spectra. It’s a historical fantasy romance set in an alternate 1876 with magic, and it follows the adventures of small-town witch from California and a New York City warlock as they race across the United States to keep a powerful magical artifact from falling into the hands of vicious blood-sorcerors.

THE NATIVE STAR has a little bit of everything. Transcontinental railroad travel, zombie miners, giant slimy mutant critters, biomechanical flying machines, secret societies, and more. This wild conglomeration of narrative elements hearkens back to the 19th century dime novels I immersed myself in while writing. I read every pulp novel and adventure tale I could get my hands on, but I was particularly drawn to the novels of Horatio Alger. His tidy little morality tales about the triumph of “luck and pluck” were wildly popular back then, and are still absorbing reading today. There’s something inherently satisfying about a good, hardworking character overcoming obstacles and triumphing over lazy, slovenly opponents. (Less satisfying, of course, is the fact that the character is always a white boy, and his opponents are often anything but.)

But it’s not just his willingness to work hard that sets a Horatio Alger hero above all others; it’s his honesty, his character, and his determination to “play fair.” As Horatio Alger himself put it, “a manly spirit is better than the gifts of fortune. Early trial and struggle, as the history of the majority of our successful men abundantly attests, tends to strengthen and invigorate the character.”

Clearly, there are a lot of problems with the Horatio Alger myth. While it’s attractive to think that a person’s success in life is determined by his work ethic and personal integrity, it assumes an equality of opportunity that is not borne out by historical fact. But even though it’s a myth, it’s a very American myth. And it was part of what made me want to write a steampunk-inspired novel set in the bright and brazen United States. I was dissatisfied with the mephitic fogs and dingy gaslamps of Victorian London. Much as I love that setting, the underlying mythology is vastly different. 19th century London was the center of a declining empire, and the class structures were much more ingrained and inflexible. 19th century America, on the other hand, was an empire at the moment of birth—where a ragged newsboy could grow up, become a captain of industry, and exploit the newsboys who came after him!

That 19th century sense of boundless optimism and potential, darkened by a modern awareness of the consequences that we as a nation would have to suffer as the result of our heedless capitalistic drive to manifest our destiny—that’s what I wanted to explore in THE NATIVE STAR and (even more so) in its sequel, THE HIDDEN GODDESS. Toss in a few explosions, some two-fisted brawls, and some tender romance, and I hoped I’d have a dime novel for the 21st century—something at least as enjoyable as anything Horatio Alger ever wrote. I’ll leave it to readers to decide how I did!

Click HERE for Has’ review of The Native Star.

And with huge thanks to M.K Hobson, she’s giving away a signed copy of The Native Star and a lavender sachet!

All you need to do is comment below, and tell us what’s your favourite Fantasy Romance novel?

Giveaway is for US only, and will be open until next Thursday.

Comments

  1. sylviasybil says

    My favorite fantasy romance is Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold. It’s a liiittle light on the romance, but what there is melts my heart. “There is one thing I can do he can’t. Fall in love with you.” <3

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  2. says

    Don’t enter me. I just wanted to say that Native Star sounds wonderful and with all the praise it got from Has I’m sure I will get my own copy soon.

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  3. says

    Ooooh! I really look forward to reading this!!
    My favorite urban fantasy (w/romance) this year has been Magic Bleeds :D
    spazp at me dot com

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  4. Barbara Elness says

    I consider Gail Carriger’s Soulless to be a fantasy romance, albiet a steampunk one, so I’m going with it.
    I’m looking forward to reading Native Star. The more I hear about it, the more excited I am to get my hands on it.

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  5. cories says

    Hi! So many to chose. The ending of Terry Pratchett’s “Feet of Clay”, in which Angua decides to stay with Carrot after all, always makes me smile.

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  6. JenM says

    I’m not sure if I know exactly what “fantasy romance” is (I think that’s different than urban fantasy?) but assuming you mean something that’s more like straight fantasy, only with a stronger romance element, I’d say The Fire Lord’s Lover by Kathryne Kennedy.

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  7. says

    What an absolutely clever premise! Love the time period, love the western steampunk! This book sounds wonderful! Sign me up! :-)

    My fav fantasy romance is OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon.

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