Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Corsair Uprising #2: Nightstalkers is out now on Amazon!

That's right, now you can own the second installment of The Corsair Uprising Steampunk Space Opera Series! Nightstalkers has hit the Kindle shelves and now you can get the first in the series, The Azure Key, for just 99 cents for a limited time.

Also, to promote the release of my newest novel, get my science fiction thriller Symbiote for Free on Kindle through 3/18/2015! Symbiote has been related by critics to works by John Grisham and has garnered rave reviews from readers. Don't miss this chance to add it to your collection for free. Read it. Tell a friend. Review it on your social media site of choice. If you like my writing, please check out The Corsair Uprising series!

Nightstalkers Synopsis:
"Two months has passed since the battle for Garuda Colony, and Captain Liam Kidd is tired. His crew has worked diligently to retrieve a stolen artifact, but all of their efforts have failed. Finally, during a brutal boxing match, a lead has surfaced. The clue comes with entangled rumors of a nefarious Ansaran research facility on the Planet Narra, and a new danger from the Kraven Throng that threatens to destroy them all. Even stranger is what they find when they land on the wayward planet. Will Captain Kidd and his crew discover the truth before it’s too late? Or will they fall prey to the NIGHTSTALKERS?"

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Symbiote, a Sci-Fi Thriller, is FREE on Kindle Through This Wednesday!

My Science Fiction Thriller Symbiote is free on Amazon from now through Wednesday, March 18th. Grab a free copy and tell your friends to do the same. It's Spring Break and what better way to spend that extra free time on a good book. Don't have time to read now? Add it to your library for a rainy day.

Here's what the critics are saying:
"Schmidt’s writing reads much like a John Grisham novel, but he asserts his own particular writing style skillfully to the betterment of the novel."

"The autopsy scene is one that will stay with me for awhile. A most poignant ending." (Amazon Top 500 Reviewer)

Here's a synopsis:
"When a normally meek Bay Area insurance agent suddenly turns into a voracious, homicidal maniac with an uncontrollable appetite, doctors quickly determine that the cause must be a brain parasite that can only be extra-terrestrial. Now, San Francisco Police Detectives Karen Hall and Yuri Markov are on a mission to end this wave of violence before more citizens become infected. But at every turn their investigation seems to be hindered by shadowy federal agents with a hidden agenda. Can they stop this reign of terror before one of them becomes the next Symbiote?"

Additionally, don't forget my new novel, The Corsair Uprising #2: Nightstalkers, comes out Sunday (3/15/2015)! Here's an advance look at the cover.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Azure Key is FREE on Kindle for a limited time. Get it while it's hot!

Grab your copy of The Corsair Uprising #1: The Azure Key for free on Amazon Kindle or the Kindle App Sunday March 8th through Thursday March 12th. The Azure Key is the first novel in a new Steampunk Space Opera series readers have likened to a love child between Star Wars and Firefly.

Here's a brief synopsis to whet your appetite:

"Liam Kidd was a freelancer for Vesta Corporation, Earth’s largest and most corrupt asteroid mining company. Through a series of events he finds himself working the mines, a fate worse than death. When an opportunity presents itself, he and two other miners escape through a nearby wormhole. They find themselves across the galaxy in the middle of a conflict between three alien species. Liam’s only chance of getting home lies in finding a device rumored to be capable of opening a singularity. Now, he and his crew must face the horrors of war to return to their own system, a challenge that might prove deadly."

The second installment in the series, entitled Nightstalkers, arrives next week! Take this chance to read the first book for free before the next one is released.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Is It Steampunk? Week 7: Steampunk Dust

It's week 7 of the soon-to-be-classic game Is It Steampunk!  Today's product is none other than a bag of Steampunk Dust. No, this is not a joke. This actually exists and is being sold on Etsy for $6.95 by User FireflyStudiosAtFDJ.

From the Seller: "Each package contains .75 ounces of a assorted tiny watch screws, gears and other fun treasures. No two packages are alike."

The question is, Is It Steampunk? Use the voting buttons at the bottom of the post to vote. Click "Stone-Cold Steam" if you believe this product is "Steampunk," and "Sahara Desert" if you're wondering why you're reading this post. Have fun! Since you've been good and made it this far, have a cool video in which a guy stylizes a photo in Photoshop to make it more Steampunk:

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Is It Steampunk? Week 6: Steampunk Owl Sculpture

Welcome back for the newest edition of Is It Steampunk (About 9 hours late, my bad). On the docket today, this Steampunk Owl Sculture from Etsy Creator CedarMoon. Priced at $125, this sculpture stands at over 13 inches tall and is about 7 inches wide. The seller has a lot of other sculptures of different animals all with the same sort of stylings.

From the seller:
"SteamPunk Owl is a dapper handmade Victorian bird limited edition sculpture for book shelves and home decor. He is created with a large up-cycled plastic easter egg or papier mache egg, old and new gears (and wooden gears), screws nails, wire, copper paints and old earring for a monocle, a wind-up key from a junk drawer and assorted parts and pieces and junk drawer finds. He is not completely water resistant for outdoor life in a garden because that tends to dull some details with the extra clear coating. He comes with a top hat, monocle, vest and pocket watch to complete his outfit...all hand made."

And so it has come down to this. You've seen the product. You've read the introduction. But, Is Is Steampunk?

To vote, use the buttons at the bottom of the post. If you believe the item is indeed Steampunk, click "Stone Cold Steam." If, however, you think it is an imitator, click "Sahara Desert." Happy voting!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Is It Steampunk? Week 5: BDSM Bondage Steampunk Red Sonja Collar

In light of Fifty Shades of Grey coming out recently I decided to use this "BDSM Bondage Red Sonja Collar Goth Steampunk Slave Fetish Cosplay" product for week 5 of my favorite new game, IS IT STEAMPUNK???  (Yes, I'm going there).

For those that are new to the game here's the lowdown on the rules: Every week I choose a product that is listed for sale under the heading of "Steampunk" and post it here. Then, it is up to you, my loyal readers, to decide if it is, in fact, Steampunk. I'll provide key details like price, product description and anything else provided to help you make your decision. Once you've drawn your own conclusion, head to the voting buttons at the bottom of the post and if you believe it is Steampunk, click "Stone Cold Steam." If you think it's anything but Steampunk, click "Sahara Desert." You can also choose to sound off in the comments section below!

Let's get started.

From the seller: "The Red Sonja is an elegant posture collar that is as beautiful as it is sturdy. Made to provide strict support in order to keep the head up and front facing always.
Available in a number of color choices. Made of buffalo; super strong but no break in is necessary. It's ready to go when you are. Locking hasp buckle. Solid welded hardware."

The Red Sonja collar retails for a dodgy $69.00 (Really?) and ships straight from Detroit from Etsy Seller Temptatia.

What do you think, gang? IS IT STEAMPUNK???

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Oliver Twist: Steampunk Edition?

Photo Courtesy of Theater Latte Da
In a report by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Broadway classic 'Oliver!' is getting a Steampunk rendition in the Twin Cities. Being the book nerd that I am, I think this is fantastic. While not my first thought when I think of Steampunk, Dickens was a Victorian writer whose work may lend itself quite well to the genre.

When I think of Charles Dickens, I don't think of Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, or any of his more famous works. Instead, I remember slogging through Bleak House, the 800+ page tome that was initially released as 20 monthly installments.  I remember it because it was a snapshot of London during Dickens' time that wasn't as apparent in his other works because it had less to do with the story.  Oliver Twist is about Oliver Twist, whereas Bleak House isn't really about the long list of main characters, it's about the times and the place creating the circumstances by which the characters suffer. Did I finish it? Sadly, no. Now it seems if I was going to finish it I would have done so already.  But I digress, London in the mid-nineteenth century is the quintessential time for Steampunk renditions of classic works.  I only hope this is the first of many plays I see as the Steampunk genre continues to proliferate to the masses.

The play is being held at Theater Latté Da in Minneapolis, MN from February 4th, 2015 through March 1st, 2015 and costs between $36 and $56 per ticket.  The theater is located at 345 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413.  The Phone number to contact the theater is 612-339-3003.  Any of my readers from Minneapolis should certainly check it out! If you saw the show, contact me at Trevor.Scott.Schmidt [at] and share your story. I'll be sure to feature it in my next blog.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Is It Steampunk? Week 4: Steampunk Rat Ornament

It's time for this week's edition of Is It Steampunk?  Today's contestant: a product from Etsy user GreatHeronDesigns entitled "Steampunk Rat Ornament." GreatHeronDesigns hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan and has, as of this writing, 48 other Steampunk items for sale.  The item in question costs $20 and currently has 2 customer reviews.

First, a seller's description:
"..." Well, there really is no description on this item, and does there actually need to be? It is, however, made from polymer, clay, and "Metal doo dads."

That's the buildup, but now it's time for the big question. You've seen the picture, you've seen the "description," so how about it? Is It Steampunk?

Sound off in the comments below and don't forget to click those voting buttons! If you believe the Steampunk Rat Ornament is Steampunk, click "Stone Cold Steam." If you think it's anything but steam, click "Sahara Desert."

Don't forget to come back next Friday for an all-new edition of Is It Steampunk?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Steampunk 2 Prong Clutch Purse Review

Etsy user ArmouredWolf posted this Steampunk Clutch a couple of months ago and its already garnered some notice from users. As of this writing there are 64 customer reviews and it sells for $80+ depending on style and color.

The craftsmanship looks quite good and I like the industrial nature of the chain. This is the kind of item that would look good regardless of whether you are wearing traditional Steampunk attire or a jeans and a T-Shirt. It's made from Leather, Steel, and Nickel is large enough to hold a phone. Hey, these days that's not the easiest feat in the world.  On a side note, does it feel like we're going back to the Saved by the Bell days of large cell phones?  Thank you Zach Morris.

From the Seller: "The Clutch style is light in hand, small & secure. Perfect for a stylish accoutrement to any night on the town outfit.
Belt Pouch is graciously designed for cosplay, Steampunk, or renaissance garb. Able to attach its self to a belt or chains can be added to clip to the D rings on the side for a one of a kind thigh bag.
Purse Style! Our Personal Favorite..... This version is perfect for any outfit! the hand woven stainless steel chain is light, small, and strong. Personally tested everyday for over a month. This style can hold up to any wear and tear."

I'd say this one is a go.

Trevor's Rating of the Steampunk Clutch: 1989% (Also the year Saved by the Bell first aired. Coincidence?)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention 4: March 6-8, 2015

I've been looking for a good Steampunk convention and came across the Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention in Old Tucson, AZ.  Unfortunately I won't be able to attend this year due to scheduling conflicts, but I thought I'd feature the convention in case any of my readers are able to make it out. As of this writing the highest level of tickets (Aristocrat) are sold out by there are still Maverick and Explorer tickets available for $64 and $41 respectively.

This year's convention features Steampunk bands Abney Park, The Cog is Dead, and more.  Here's some links to get you started.

Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention
Special Events

If anyone does make it out, I'd be happy to feature your story on my blog!  Please email Trevor.Scott.Schmidt [at] if you would like to recount your experience or send me pictures from the Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Is It Steampunk? Week 3: PVC Bustle Skirt

It's time to play Is It Steampunk?  It's the game where I post a picture of a real product for sale and you tell me if it's actually Steampunk or just another imitator.  Use the voting buttons at the bottom of the post to tell me if it is Stone-Cold Steam (Steampunk) or the Sahara Desert (Not Steampunk). Let's get started.

This week's product is by Etsy user GothicBurlesque and is called a "Slick Pvc Bustle Skirt STEAMPUNK Goth BURLESQUE."  It sells for $60.00 on Etsy 176 customer reviews with an almost 5-star average rating.

How about it Steampunkers?  Is It Steampunk?  Click those voting buttons or sound off in the comments below.  If not Steampunk, how would you describe it?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sewor Steampunk Watch Review

I came across another unfamiliar watch brand on Etsy so I decided to do some snooping around. This particular watch was posted by user SchimmelsShop out of Gilbert, Arizona, USA. The watch has 1,036 reviews as of this posting and almost all of them are 5-Star.  I found this a little suspicious so I looked through the reviews and found that the reviews appear to be legit. A couple of the users complained that the leather band felt "Cheap" but for $35 they were okay with it and still gave it at least 4 stars.

The brand Sewor is a Chinese company (Which makes sense given that their brand name reads like Sewer).  Something must have been lost in translation.  Apart from Etsy in the United States, very few websites carry the brand. However, they are quite popular on Alibaba and Aliexpress, and you'll pay less than half the cost per unit.  Of course, you might have to buy at least 10. Etsy has become littered with resellers of Chinese products lately, which can be a good or bad thing. You're likely to pay less for a decent product (Even if you could get it cheaper elsewhere), but the point of Etsy is to be a marketplace for handmade or at least somewhat unique products that are not manufactured in bulk.

Doesn't this go against that very principle? I find it ironic when Steampunk items in particular are sold in mass quantities, eschewing the point of the genre: idolizing a simpler time with unique products that were singularly made for you. Is this unrealistic for the average consumer? Sure. But that doesn't mean we have to buy the same thing every Tom, Dick, and Jane are buying. At the very least, if someone's going to sell a product like this on Etsy, I would hope they would change the band for something they hand made. If you're going to go the commercial route, you might as well buy it for $15 on Aliexpress.

Trevor's Rating of the Sewor Watch: 80% (For a standard Chinese-made Steampunk-influenced watch that can be bought for $15 somewhere else. Please exercise those fingers and do a quick google search. An informed consumer will drive down prices on all products).

Friday, January 30, 2015

Is It Steampunk? Week 2: Steampunk Spats by J Souza

It's that time again!  Time for my new favorite game: Is It Steampunk?  For the newcomers, here are the rules.  I'm going to post a picture of an item I've found online.  This item must really be for sale and really be listed as a "Steampunk" product.  Then, I leave it up to you, my readers, to decide whether this product really is "Stone Cold Steam," or if it's dried up like the "Sahara Desert."  So, without further ado, I give you week two of Is It Steampunk?

These boots are billed as "Steampunk Spats - Unique - Sexy, Rustic-Feminine by J Souza." These were created by Etsy User JoelmaSouza.

At first glance they appear to be a set of heels with clock parts sewn or glued to them.  If those were your first thoughts, you'd be right!  For $198, this might be a project you want to take on yourself rather than shelling out the dough.  But one question remains: Is It Steampunk???

Please use the check-boxes below to vote.  Click "Stone Cold Steam" if you believe it's Steampunk, or "Sahara Desert" if you think it's a Steampunk imitator.  Next Friday I'll edit the post and put my take into it.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Steampunk Feather Fascinator - OZION design Review

This great Steampunk accessory is brought to you by Etsy Shop CastleMemories, hailing out of San Francisco, CA.  It is available as a headband, comb, or hairclip, and costs $36.00.

The peacock feathers are a really nice touch that blends nicely with the Steampunk styling of the piece.  It's one of those items that if I saw someone walking around wearing it, I would have to comment my appreciation.

From the seller: "I put Steampunk on my favorite mainstay, the feather pad applique. I put cogs, Victorian style jewelry findings, feather pads and added a touch of "Oriental splash." The result is a firm, ladylike, bold statement of a hairpiece I am excited about. I think that experience and my take on Steampunk is typical of the way I approach "traditional" designs: with one foot rooted in tradition and the other foot kicking it forward. This design is just a partial example of some of the dozens of things we've dabbed into mixing modern trends and feathers."

As of this writing there are 553 reviews of this item with a 4.5 star rating out of 5.  CastleMemories also has a lot of other great products for the Steampunk trending lady.  Many are actually not Steampunk, but rather focused on bridal and other niche markets.  There are, however, a few dozen other Steampunk designs that I think my readers will really enjoy.  Simply click on the Steampunk Fashion link on the left bar of their shop.

Trevor's Rating of the Feather Fascinator - OZION design: 93% (For a design that's sure to turn heads and reviews that parlay its quality).

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Steampunk Coat Review

This great jacket is billed as a brown black cropped jacket with brass details.  The seller is TalismanaDesigns, hailing from my rainy homeland, Oregon.  

From the seller: "I am using an enzyme technique with the fabric and it's taking on a fabulous antiqued leather effect that emphasizes the seams and detail stitching. Has that Pre-Post-Apocalypse appeal. Will be enhanced by dustings of playa, or general hard living. Raw edges for outlaws, space cowboys, and airship pirates. 

Looooong sleeves, slightly flared and scalloped, they'll likely come down to your knuckles. When I'm working I cuff them back. The back comes down into a subtle flattering curve. The zipper stops at your cleavage with a slight keyhole effect. To get warm and cozy you use the stylee cross-over collar. Really nice high neck. 

One of my inspirations for this design was to have something for the dancefloor. It's warm enough, especially in crucial sleeves and neck, to take care of you on festival nights - but streamlined enough to carry or tie at your waist once the bass drops and you start sweating. I've named it the Libra Coat. As a Libra, I like all my choices available. This is the perfectly balanced coat. It does as much of the work as possible of a big coat, in the sleekest ninja package."

Personally, it reminds me of something I might find one of the characters in my books wearing. Almost post-apocalyptic but decidedly Steampunk.

Trevor's Rating of the Steampunk Coat: 92% (For a great looking coat that looks durable and functional, all at the low price of $58.00)

Be sure to tune in this Friday for another edition of "Is It Steampunk?"

Friday, January 23, 2015

New Segment! Is It Steampunk?

It's Friday and it's the first day of my new segment: Is It Steampunk?  While perusing Etsy, I've found that a lot of the products listed as "Steampunk" are really anything but.  In the spirit of giving everything a fair shake, I've decided to start this weekly series where I'll post a picture and voting buttons and you, the reader, tells me if it's really Steampunk.  Sometimes they will be great representations of the Steampunk genre, and others...not so much.  So without wasting any more time, let's get into it!

Our first contender comes from enduredesigns and is labeled as "Upcycled Steampunk Clothing, King Louie Costume, Jungle Book, Monkey Costume, Headpiece, and Raffia Cape"...What a mouthful...

So, you tell me, is it Steampunk?  Use the voting buttons below.