Five Things a Steampunk Heroine Must Consider by Emma Jane Holloway

Steampunk woman canstockphoto17114582Evelina Cooper, the heroine of The Baskerville Affair series, is the niece of Sherlock Holmes. Naturally, she has to do some detective work in the course of the trilogy, but she also has to fight battles that require more than her brain. Willpower, physical agility, and a dash of magical powers come into play as well—not to mention the feminine wiles required to cope with dashing rakes and steampunk pirates.

Evelina is not alone in this quandary. Steamy heroines are faced with the problem of how to conduct themselves. On one hand there are villain and dangers a-plenty and on the other the requirements of polite society dictate what a well-bred lady can and cannot do. How is a properly-raised young woman expected to cope?

There are five things I believe must be kept foremost in her mind.

  1. Dress and deportment: Whether battling evil sorcerers, burning up zombies, or taking a turn on the dance floor, a young lady must choose her gown accordingly. Too many ruffles at a graveyard scene are vulgar, and an aether weapon is never welcome at an afternoon musicale, however bad the singers.
  2. Self-defense: A lady should never carry a weapon that cannot conveniently be carried as an accessory. Parasols are tried and true. Pistols should fit inside one’s reticule—anything larger is cumbersome and likely to clash with one’s accessories. Cleverly, Evelina uses magic which, though illegal, goes with whatever she is wearing.
  3. Mechanical aptitude: While engaging in a steampunk adventure, an understanding of machinery seems natural. And, of course, even if one actually knows what a thingamajig does, it’s not necessary to admit to the fact. Mechanical emergencies are a fine excuse to engage the attention of another person—preferably one inclined to muck about with noisy, greasy objects hazardous to one’s gown (see “suitors” below).
  4. Companions: Although rules of propriety require a chaperone, this if often hard to maintain when involved in a bout of vigorous espionage. Here is where where trusty companions are useful. Evelina has her best friend, Imogen, and also her pets, the living automatons Mouse and Bird.
  5. Suitors: While not strictly necessary, these are delightful accompaniments to any adventure scenario, whether singly or in multiples. They can be of a dark and dangerous variety or the noble and dashing type. The wise heroine will not settle on the first young blade that comes along. Victorians were avid explorers, after all. Permit the lady to consider her options.

That’s my list – can you think of anything else she should have or consider?

GIVEAWAY TIME

Comment on this post and you’ll be entered into a draw for a copy of one book from The Baskerville Affair trilogy – your choice of title and format. Giveaway is international.

Visit my web page: http://www.emmajaneholloway.com/Look here for free short stories and excerpts from the Baskerville Affair universe!

Like me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmmaJaneHollowayAuthor

All three books in The Baskerville Affair trilogy are now available!

Study Silks small versionA Study in Silks – Book One

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 Holmes’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 – Book Two

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, ASiD final cvr litenew, 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.

ASIA cover liteA Study in Ashes – Book Three

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.
Emma Jane Holloway

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 emma-1timelines? 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.

  1. Jana Leah January 3, 2014

    Enjoyed the post. Thanks for the giveaway.

    0 Likes

  2. Melissa January 3, 2014

    Loved the books – thanks so much for the giveaway!

    0 Likes

  3. amanda ann January 3, 2014

    Way excited about The Baskerville Affair trilogy, great blubs…thanks for the contest!

    0 Likes

  4. Karin in MA January 3, 2014

    I love the Suitors listing, LOL! About the parasol – would it be a weapon on its own (blunt object) or would it conceal a blade? Would a proper young lady know how to use a blade?

    0 Likes

  5. Vickie B January 3, 2014

    I love this post! I could not have lived in regular Victorian times, but I think I would have enjoyed it as you write it. A little challenging, but enjoyable.
    Thank you for this fab *grin* on a windy three days into my New Year morning….

    0 Likes

  6. anne January 3, 2014

    I was captivated with this fascinating and informative post which was enjoyable. Thanks for this great feature.

    0 Likes

  7. e.faxton January 3, 2014

    Steampunk has become my latest obsession and I’ve always loved Sherlock Holmes. I look forward to adding you to my list of fav authors!

    0 Likes

  8. Kimberley Coover January 3, 2014

    I enjoyed this blog. I have now put this series on my TBR list. I look forward to visiting the world that you have created and become addicted to your work!
    Thanks for the giveaway! Happy New Year

    0 Likes

  9. ELF January 3, 2014

    I love Mouse and Bird and I am so behind on the series I didn’t realize that books 2 and 3 were out! Thanks for the giveaway and Happy New Year!

    0 Likes

  10. Cianna January 3, 2014

    Great article! 🙂

    0 Likes

  11. Liz January 3, 2014

    I really enjoy reading about her. Thanks for the contest

    0 Likes

  12. Bertena Varney January 3, 2014

    I am so glad that I found your series. I have visited your website and liked your page. I have put you on my Wish List.

    0 Likes

  13. Vicki Webster January 3, 2014

    Excellent points! I am looking forward to this series.

    0 Likes

  14. Barbara Shook January 3, 2014

    Excited about this giveaway!

    0 Likes

  15. Toni Whitmire January 3, 2014

    I thought the excerpt was very interesting and can’t wait to read the series.

    0 Likes

  16. Linda Levine January 3, 2014

    The series sounds really fun.

    0 Likes

  17. Mary Preston January 3, 2014

    Such a fun list. I have no mechanical aptitude so I’d be in trouble right there.

    0 Likes

  18. David Andrews January 3, 2014

    Assuming the “magic” is real and not illusion, a consideration of cause and effect would be useful to understand the implications of changing the “natural” order of things by external forces.
    Not that “Steam Punk” has any regard for such things as a genre. Every example I’ve read is riddled with engineering inconsistencies, regardless of how good the storytelling.

    0 Likes

  19. Debbie January 3, 2014

    This series ranks as one of my best of 2013! I highly recommend all three books if you haven’t read them yet.

    0 Likes

  20. juliana sutanto January 3, 2014

    I am so excited to find new books that are as good as the other authors. I am very interested to read the series. it’s going to be in my tbr list.
    I absolutely agree that heroines must have that 5 things. they have to know how to defrnse themselves in
    this violence world. what the best is having a protected suitor.

    0 Likes

  21. Mary January 3, 2014

    I am new to this series of books ,but so far I am liking what I am reading. Looking forward to more.

    0 Likes

  22. Shelley Munro January 3, 2014

    What a fun post. Maybe she should have some sort of snazzy transport at the ready?

    0 Likes

  23. Jo @Mixed Book Bag January 3, 2014

    I loved A Study in Silk. Would love to. Win A Study in Darkness. Great list.

    0 Likes

  24. Carol January 3, 2014

    Fun post. I can’t think of anything to add.

    0 Likes

  25. Monique January 3, 2014

    Since I already have the first book, I’m dying to see what follows, therefore I would like A Study in Darkness – Book Two, of course, gentle bloggers. (And oh those covers !) Such a great concept and I love Steampunk !

    0 Likes

  26. Diane Mason January 3, 2014

    Just found these books. Really enjoyed A Study in Silks and am currently reading A Study in Darkness. Would love to win a copy of a Study in Ashes. Loved this post!

    0 Likes

  27. Riley January 3, 2014

    I’d like to add to the ‘Dress and Deportment’ category. Shoes should be mentioned. They should look good with your gown and still be comfortable enough to run in. And a shoe might also make the self-defense category. As a weapon itself, or as a place to conceal a weapon. But I cannot stress the comfort factor enough. Uncomfortable shoes can ruin any occasion! I have A Study in Silks, but have not read it yet. Your post has moved it up on my to-be read queue! Thanks!

    0 Likes

  28. Wanda January 3, 2014

    I have only just discovered the genre of Steampunk and can’t believe what I have been missing. Also love Sherlock Holmes. Great looking series.

    0 Likes

  29. b v hernandez January 3, 2014

    I enjoyed the article

    0 Likes

  30. ki pha January 3, 2014

    That’s a great List Emma!!! The first thing that popped into my mind was: she have to have a great back up plan, great excuses, and a comrade to back her up on those points to avoid any gossips and scandals about her escapades. LOL

    0 Likes

  31. Maria January 3, 2014

    This is just the new type of series that i need to get stuck into. sounds awesome. would be unreal to win this >.< xo

    0 Likes

  32. Tina January 3, 2014

    These books sound like a fun and delightful way to start my new year!!!

    0 Likes

  33. Joanne Altieri January 3, 2014

    I always loved Sherlock Holmes so I am sure I would love the Baskerville Affair Trilogy with his niece, Evelina Copper. These books sound exciting. There would be a lot of action and mystery, plus some fun. I love everything about this character.

    0 Likes

  34. Dorothy Matheson January 3, 2014

    These books do look good. I will have to see about getting the first one on my Kindle

    0 Likes

  35. bn100 January 3, 2014

    Intriguing books

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    0 Likes

  36. Donna January 3, 2014

    I enjoyed the blog…5 things…definitely need to ensure any and all weapons match the outfit…though magic is an excellent choice.

    0 Likes

  37. Kai W. January 3, 2014

    I read the first two books. The conflict is really building. I need to find out what will happen with the love triangle and will Evelina be free of the Gold King.

    I can’t think of anything beyond your list. I would need to re-read the books again.

    Thanks for the giveaway and Happy New Year.

    0 Likes

  38. Stephanie F. January 3, 2014

    Thanks for the spotlight on such an interesting sounding series. I am a huge fan of steampunk and I love that this one features a relative of Sherlock Holmes. Definitely added to my TBR.

    0 Likes

  39. Jane Thompson January 3, 2014

    I am always looking for new books and this one looks really good.

    0 Likes

  40. Candy Bezner January 3, 2014

    What a great novel combination: Sherlock’s niece and steampunk. It should be a winner!

    0 Likes

  41. Katina January 3, 2014

    Thanks for posting this great advice!

    0 Likes

  42. Sherry January 3, 2014

    Yay thanks for the giveaway!~ I was looking for some new steampunk books and this one looks really great!!!!!

    0 Likes

  43. Patricia January 3, 2014

    A female Sherlock Holmes. I just started reading Steampunk and have added your series to my tbr wishlist. Thanks for the chance to win the first book.

    0 Likes

  44. Cecile Fleetwood January 4, 2014

    Thank you for blogging about this series! I can’t wait to start reading them. Your heroine’s name is very close to my daughter’s name. Probably pronounced the same I spelled it ‘Evalina’. I love the name & am excited to read about Evelina’s adventures!!!

    0 Likes

  45. DawnM January 4, 2014

    I’ve been really intrigued about these books since I heard about them last year, but they’re not available from AmazonUK unfortunately.

    0 Likes

  46. Babel January 4, 2014

    Living automatons, magic and parasols, those must be the best friends of a girl indeed 😉 Very nice post.
    Have a great steampunk year!

    0 Likes

  47. Mina Gerhart January 4, 2014

    Awesome books and contest Emma Jane 🙂
    I’m looking forward to reading them!
    thanks for the cool contest ,
    Mindy 🙂
    Birdsooong@comcast.net

    0 Likes

  48. Michelle Willms January 4, 2014

    I really cannot think of anything else to add to your list, unless you want to expand upon your deportment description to include/describe proper language. You could possibly add information about education. During the Victorian era, women weren’t encouraged to be educated in the same areas as men. They were more likely to be educated in proper etiquette, household management and budgeting, etc. Few were educated past the 8th grade.

    0 Likes

  49. Chris Nicholson January 4, 2014

    Would love to read them but can’t find them in e book format here in the UK.

    0 Likes

  50. Mary McCoy January 4, 2014

    What an enjoyable blog post! I agree with Michelle re the education. My daughter loves steampunk and read the list, commenting that she tries to meet these criteria, minus the ruffles, everyday.

    0 Likes

  51. Susan January 4, 2014

    I’m glad to see this “outshoot” of Sherlock Holmes. I hope you will write more than the 3 books that are out.

    0 Likes

  52. Karen Dailey January 6, 2014

    I would love to read A Study in Silks – Book One. I have never read any of this series…new author for me.

    0 Likes

  53. EmmaJaneHolloway January 12, 2014

    Congratulations to the winner of my contest, Kimberley C!


  1. EmmaJaneHolloway January 12, 2014

    Congratulations to the winner of my contest, Kimberley C!

  2. Mary January 3, 2014

    I am new to this series of books ,but so far I am liking what I am reading. Looking forward to more.

    0 Likes

  3. juliana sutanto January 3, 2014

    I am so excited to find new books that are as good as the other authors. I am very interested to read the series. it’s going to be in my tbr list.
    I absolutely agree that heroines must have that 5 things. they have to know how to defrnse themselves in
    this violence world. what the best is having a protected suitor.

    0 Likes

  4. Debbie January 3, 2014

    This series ranks as one of my best of 2013! I highly recommend all three books if you haven’t read them yet.

    0 Likes

  5. David Andrews January 3, 2014

    Assuming the “magic” is real and not illusion, a consideration of cause and effect would be useful to understand the implications of changing the “natural” order of things by external forces.
    Not that “Steam Punk” has any regard for such things as a genre. Every example I’ve read is riddled with engineering inconsistencies, regardless of how good the storytelling.

    0 Likes

  6. Mary Preston January 3, 2014

    Such a fun list. I have no mechanical aptitude so I’d be in trouble right there.

    0 Likes

  7. Linda Levine January 3, 2014

    The series sounds really fun.

    0 Likes

  8. Toni Whitmire January 3, 2014

    I thought the excerpt was very interesting and can’t wait to read the series.

    0 Likes

  9. Barbara Shook January 3, 2014

    Excited about this giveaway!

    0 Likes

  10. Vicki Webster January 3, 2014

    Excellent points! I am looking forward to this series.

    0 Likes

  11. Bertena Varney January 3, 2014

    I am so glad that I found your series. I have visited your website and liked your page. I have put you on my Wish List.

    0 Likes

  12. Liz January 3, 2014

    I really enjoy reading about her. Thanks for the contest

    0 Likes

  13. ELF January 3, 2014

    I love Mouse and Bird and I am so behind on the series I didn’t realize that books 2 and 3 were out! Thanks for the giveaway and Happy New Year!

    0 Likes

  14. Cianna January 3, 2014

    Great article! 🙂

    0 Likes

  15. Kimberley Coover January 3, 2014

    I enjoyed this blog. I have now put this series on my TBR list. I look forward to visiting the world that you have created and become addicted to your work!
    Thanks for the giveaway! Happy New Year

    0 Likes

  16. e.faxton January 3, 2014

    Steampunk has become my latest obsession and I’ve always loved Sherlock Holmes. I look forward to adding you to my list of fav authors!

    0 Likes

  17. Jana Leah January 3, 2014

    Enjoyed the post. Thanks for the giveaway.

    0 Likes

  18. Melissa January 3, 2014

    Loved the books – thanks so much for the giveaway!

    0 Likes

  19. amanda ann January 3, 2014

    Way excited about The Baskerville Affair trilogy, great blubs…thanks for the contest!

    0 Likes

  20. Karin in MA January 3, 2014

    I love the Suitors listing, LOL! About the parasol – would it be a weapon on its own (blunt object) or would it conceal a blade? Would a proper young lady know how to use a blade?

    0 Likes

  21. Vickie B January 3, 2014

    I love this post! I could not have lived in regular Victorian times, but I think I would have enjoyed it as you write it. A little challenging, but enjoyable.
    Thank you for this fab *grin* on a windy three days into my New Year morning….

    0 Likes

  22. anne January 3, 2014

    I was captivated with this fascinating and informative post which was enjoyable. Thanks for this great feature.

    0 Likes

  23. Kai W. January 3, 2014

    I read the first two books. The conflict is really building. I need to find out what will happen with the love triangle and will Evelina be free of the Gold King.

    I can’t think of anything beyond your list. I would need to re-read the books again.

    Thanks for the giveaway and Happy New Year.

    0 Likes

  24. Stephanie F. January 3, 2014

    Thanks for the spotlight on such an interesting sounding series. I am a huge fan of steampunk and I love that this one features a relative of Sherlock Holmes. Definitely added to my TBR.

    0 Likes

  25. Jane Thompson January 3, 2014

    I am always looking for new books and this one looks really good.

    0 Likes

  26. Candy Bezner January 3, 2014

    What a great novel combination: Sherlock’s niece and steampunk. It should be a winner!

    0 Likes

  27. Katina January 3, 2014

    Thanks for posting this great advice!

    0 Likes

  28. Sherry January 3, 2014

    Yay thanks for the giveaway!~ I was looking for some new steampunk books and this one looks really great!!!!!

    0 Likes

  29. Patricia January 3, 2014

    A female Sherlock Holmes. I just started reading Steampunk and have added your series to my tbr wishlist. Thanks for the chance to win the first book.

    0 Likes

  30. Cecile Fleetwood January 4, 2014

    Thank you for blogging about this series! I can’t wait to start reading them. Your heroine’s name is very close to my daughter’s name. Probably pronounced the same I spelled it ‘Evalina’. I love the name & am excited to read about Evelina’s adventures!!!

    0 Likes

  31. DawnM January 4, 2014

    I’ve been really intrigued about these books since I heard about them last year, but they’re not available from AmazonUK unfortunately.

    0 Likes

  32. Babel January 4, 2014

    Living automatons, magic and parasols, those must be the best friends of a girl indeed 😉 Very nice post.
    Have a great steampunk year!

    0 Likes

  33. Shelley Munro January 3, 2014

    What a fun post. Maybe she should have some sort of snazzy transport at the ready?

    0 Likes

  34. Jo @Mixed Book Bag January 3, 2014

    I loved A Study in Silk. Would love to. Win A Study in Darkness. Great list.

    0 Likes

  35. Carol January 3, 2014

    Fun post. I can’t think of anything to add.

    0 Likes

  36. Monique January 3, 2014

    Since I already have the first book, I’m dying to see what follows, therefore I would like A Study in Darkness – Book Two, of course, gentle bloggers. (And oh those covers !) Such a great concept and I love Steampunk !

    0 Likes

  37. Diane Mason January 3, 2014

    Just found these books. Really enjoyed A Study in Silks and am currently reading A Study in Darkness. Would love to win a copy of a Study in Ashes. Loved this post!

    0 Likes

  38. Riley January 3, 2014

    I’d like to add to the ‘Dress and Deportment’ category. Shoes should be mentioned. They should look good with your gown and still be comfortable enough to run in. And a shoe might also make the self-defense category. As a weapon itself, or as a place to conceal a weapon. But I cannot stress the comfort factor enough. Uncomfortable shoes can ruin any occasion! I have A Study in Silks, but have not read it yet. Your post has moved it up on my to-be read queue! Thanks!

    0 Likes

  39. Wanda January 3, 2014

    I have only just discovered the genre of Steampunk and can’t believe what I have been missing. Also love Sherlock Holmes. Great looking series.

    0 Likes

  40. b v hernandez January 3, 2014

    I enjoyed the article

    0 Likes

  41. ki pha January 3, 2014

    That’s a great List Emma!!! The first thing that popped into my mind was: she have to have a great back up plan, great excuses, and a comrade to back her up on those points to avoid any gossips and scandals about her escapades. LOL

    0 Likes

  42. Maria January 3, 2014

    This is just the new type of series that i need to get stuck into. sounds awesome. would be unreal to win this >.< xo

    0 Likes

  43. Tina January 3, 2014

    These books sound like a fun and delightful way to start my new year!!!

    0 Likes

  44. Joanne Altieri January 3, 2014

    I always loved Sherlock Holmes so I am sure I would love the Baskerville Affair Trilogy with his niece, Evelina Copper. These books sound exciting. There would be a lot of action and mystery, plus some fun. I love everything about this character.

    0 Likes

  45. Dorothy Matheson January 3, 2014

    These books do look good. I will have to see about getting the first one on my Kindle

    0 Likes

  46. bn100 January 3, 2014

    Intriguing books

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    0 Likes

  47. Donna January 3, 2014

    I enjoyed the blog…5 things…definitely need to ensure any and all weapons match the outfit…though magic is an excellent choice.

    0 Likes

  48. Susan January 4, 2014

    I’m glad to see this “outshoot” of Sherlock Holmes. I hope you will write more than the 3 books that are out.

    0 Likes

  49. Karen Dailey January 6, 2014

    I would love to read A Study in Silks – Book One. I have never read any of this series…new author for me.

    0 Likes

  50. Michelle Willms January 4, 2014

    I really cannot think of anything else to add to your list, unless you want to expand upon your deportment description to include/describe proper language. You could possibly add information about education. During the Victorian era, women weren’t encouraged to be educated in the same areas as men. They were more likely to be educated in proper etiquette, household management and budgeting, etc. Few were educated past the 8th grade.

    0 Likes

  51. Chris Nicholson January 4, 2014

    Would love to read them but can’t find them in e book format here in the UK.

    0 Likes

  52. Mary McCoy January 4, 2014

    What an enjoyable blog post! I agree with Michelle re the education. My daughter loves steampunk and read the list, commenting that she tries to meet these criteria, minus the ruffles, everyday.

    0 Likes

  53. Mina Gerhart January 4, 2014

    Awesome books and contest Emma Jane 🙂
    I’m looking forward to reading them!
    thanks for the cool contest ,
    Mindy 🙂
    Birdsooong@comcast.net

    0 Likes

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