I’d completed over two years of exhaustive research and writing for the second book of my Random House contract (which began with Summer of Love) and turned in The Golden Nineties, now an ebook retitled The Gilded Age, A Time Travel. Gerald Jonas, the science fiction and fantasy reviewer for The New York Times Book Review, gave the book a cover-worthy quote—“A winning mixture of intelligence and passion”—and plucked the book (out of a field of 1,200 science fiction and fantasy books traditionally published that year) as one of twelve on his New York Times Notable Books list.

During the previous two years, Summer of Love, had been chosen as a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book, so this was more good news!

When I say exhaustive research, I mean it! Please take a look at Lisa Mason Talks Time Travel With Laura Vosika (Part 5). I’d found an entire library of books about the world during the 1890s, the United States, and San Francisco in particular. Several eminent journalists in the 1930s and 1940s published detailed and lively accounts of the City before the 1906 Great Earthquake and Fire all but demolished San Francisco. I found an actual guidebook published in 1890, a bound volume of The Argonaut for the years of 1896 and 1897, an illustrated book about traveling from New York to San Francisco on the Overland train, recipe books, the Montgomery Ward and Sears & Roebuck catalogs, and novels written during the period.

By the time The Gilded Age was done, I’d developed a Fin de Siècle Voice, in contrast to my more minimalist, slightly profane, hip, science fictional voice. When asked to contribute work to two hardcover anthologies to be published by HarperPrism, I wrote shorter titles in the Voice, Daughter of the Tao for Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn and Every Mystery Unexplained for David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible. (Both novellas are available on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.)

But I wasn’t done with the Voice. I wanted to recast all that terrific research as a murder mystery like The Alienist and I wanted a historical romance like a Diana Gabaldon book (minus the time travel). Another book was waiting to be born!

Next: #Writing Celestial Girl, Part 2: A Fin de Siècle Murder Mystery

Celestial Girl (A Lily Modjeska Mystery)

Lily is not quite a typical woman in Toledo, Ohio, 1896. She may be repressed and dependent on her husband, but she supports the vote for women and has a mind of her own. But when Johnny Pentland is found dead at a notorious brothel, Lily discovers her husband is not the man she thought he was.

Pursued by Pentland’s enemies, Lily embarks on a journey that will take her across the country to San Francisco and across the ocean to Imperial China as she unravels a web of murder and corruption reaching from the opium dens of Chinatown to the mansions of Nob Hill.

Her journey becomes one of the heart when she crosses paths with Jackson Tremaine, a debonair, worldly-wise physician. Lily and Jackson begin a conflicted, passionate relationship as they encounter the mysterious Celestial Girl and her dangerous entourage.

Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation and a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide, is on Nook, Kindle. and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!