Which metal man do you want to win a date with the cover of Steam and Shadows?

Work has begun on the cover concept for Steam and Shadows, Book 5 of The Steamship Chronicles, and I thought it might be fun to see what my readers thought.

This is the overall print cover art concept not cropped to the final size and only showing one of the possibilities for the metal man. Like Life and Law (Book 4), it needs to have a mechanical on the cover. Also in keeping with the pattern, the construct is significant for more than just cluing the reader into the genre.

In comparison, here is Life and Law‘s print cover art:

Life and Law full cover

There are many approaches to take with the metal man, and the collection below is a sampling of options. Feel free to weigh in on the two polls below and again in the comments or through Contact Me if you have more detailed thoughts. I’m willing to consider any and all feedback if not for this cover then for the ones still to come. You never know when you’ll spark an idea that builds into a story of its own.


  1. You can vote for up to 2 options on each.
  2. Voting is tracked based on your IP address (the signature of your network), so if multiple people want to vote in the same house, please vote together. Sorry about that. It’s a limitation of the plugin.

All dressed up and ready to go. How do you like your metal man?

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If eyes are the windows to the soul, which would you want to gaze into?

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Thank you for your help.

For those who have not yet tried the series, it is an alt-history Victorian Era steampunk adventure broken out into two volumes so far. The first (Books 1-3) focused on a Natural who is compelled to help self-aware machinery achieve their dreams and a cabin boy with a bigger heart than ambition who wants to command his own steamship someday. You can meet Samantha (Sam) and Nathaniel (Nat) in the Focus on Characters series, and Secrets, Book 1, is free in eBook at all online shops. The second volume of The Steamship Chronicles focuses on Henry and Lily, the couple who raised Sam, as they follow a tangled path on their way to seek justice for all the Naturals. Their story begins in the prequel Safe Haven.

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