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Beloved Enemy joined Starquest and Children of the Mist to continue the Destiny Trilogy and I'm thrilled to announce was shortlisted for the R.N.A. RoNA Awards 2017, awarded 2nd Runner up in the RONE Awards 2017 and was the winner in the SF/Fantasy category of the 'Best Banter Contest'.

Wednesday 18 October 2023

Pistol Rose and the Wedding that Sparked a War by Michael Ryan Hahn- Guest Review and Excerpt


Apologies for this post being later than originally advertised - due to circumstances entirely beyond my control - honest! (ever had one of those weeks...?)

 Pistol Rose and the Wedding that Sparked a War by Michael Ryan Hahn: On Tour Publisher:  Swashbuckle Holdings (August, 2023) Category: Fantasy, Adult Epic Fantasy, Adventure, Romance, Steampunk Tour Dates October 16-November 22, 2023 ISBN: 978-1962089005 Available in Print and ebook, 194 pages Pistol Rose and the Wedding that Sparked a War

Pistol Rose and the Wedding that Sparked a War by Michael Ryan Hahn

Description Pistol Rose and the Wedding that Sparked a War by Michael Ryan Hahn

As a young wilderness girl, Pistol Rose knows nothing of the advanced Strelkie City or the mad king Ward Harrol who sits behind its walls. She doesn't understand why the Strelkie forbid marriage. When the king forces the surrounding countryside to change their traditional culture to match his vision, the Punimin resist, and Rose learns everything about how to kill Strelkie and get away with it. 

But throwing her own secret wedding without being caught... is another matter entirely. Rose refuses to give up her lover, Clock Dancin, for the tyrants who threaten her way of life. And most Punimin stand with her–only one is a betrayer. In this futuristic medieval steampunk country filled with liars, killers, and wilderuckers, the strongest weapon is love. But using it comes with a heavy cost. 

About Michael Ryan Hahn

 ‘Pistol Rose and the Wedding That Sparked a War’ is Michael’s debut novel and the first in a planned 7- part series, The Anthem of Ash & Pistols. He previously wrote a standalone horror novella called ‘Children of the Storm’. He recently released an adventure podcast in the style of old radio plays called

Fire Pockets. His stories aim to weave exciting action with humor and heart, with complicated villains—probably because of his upbringing. He comes from a big ol' raucous family, and he survived a shockingly bruising (but not altogether unfun) cadre of violently delinquent Boy Scouts to become an Eagle Scout. He loves fight scenes. 

Michael won a ScreenCraft competition that led to development with Bad Robot. He's a 3x ScreenCraft Finalist, and has 18 other accolades from major screenwriting competitions, including AFF and Final Big Break. As a director, he won Best Feature at GenCon and Best Director at BAFF for his micro-budget, wild sci-fi comedy action feature, ALIEN THEORY He lives in Los Angeles with his wife. In his spare time, he designs custom habitats for cats.* The habitats are highly popular with the cats. Website: Fire Pockets Podcast: Twitter:


Excerpt from Pistol Rose

In a deep forest grove, Rose trots into a private, leafy pocket wearing leather armor and carrying a staff. This is a routine. “Face me, Mister! No dirty tricks, you cud.”

Dancin pops out from behind a tree wearing a “fancy” suit with many family clocks on it. There’s a blanket and picnic lunch nearby.

This isn’t the training session she was expecting. She laughs. “Are you going to charm me to death?”

“Thought I’d try something new.” He checks his pocket—oh no. It’s empty. She giggles as he rifles through more pockets. The pockets seem to be endless, and all of them empty.

“Lose something, Mister?”

He looks up—she’s holding an engagement ring. She leaps to him and kneels, thrusts the ring into his hands. Their names are beautifully inscribed on it. His craftsmanship has improved tremendously since those first clumsy scribblings of her face on his fighting stick, especially his lettering.


“Put your ring on my finger, boy.”

“So you want to be my wife, Miss Pistol?”

“Yes, Mr. Clock, I do.” She jumps onto him and kisses him like a hungry woodpecker until he laughs. Then she swats him— “You made that ring five months ago!”

He’s aghast. “You knew?”

“Of course I knew! You think I’d spend all my waking hours with a man I didn’t know inside and out?”

“Well. You don’t know everything.” He kisses her slowly and she falls out of time with him.

Behind a nearby thicket, a weaselly Strelkie soldier named Net Nesting pulls up his army trousers, careful not to make a sound. A half-naked, sultry Punimin girl called Teeth Molly dresses and follows him. (The Teeth clan boasts of a dozen generations of dentistry wisdom, but it isn’t true: until fifty-six years ago they were simply known for biting, throwing fits, and generally acting like the forest’s lesser-intelligent animals. None of this horrid behavior made it onto clocks, for obvious reasons, so their history isn’t officially settled. But in truth, it wasn’t until one of the boys managed to marry an educated girl named Candle Sally from Almyter that the Teeth began to resemble something respectable. Molly, however, seems born to tug her family line backwards.) She has several polished bronze teeth that she claims are gold, unlike the rest of her family who all show off flawless pearly whites. Whereas Punimin generally find wood to carve, Molly has taken to her own skin with dyes and inks to tell stories—lies, really—of flying with crows. Her largest canvass is her shelfy bosom, which seems to have intentional difficulty fitting into every garment she selects. The ink she uses is allegedly “snake powder,” a new substance of multiple uses being whispered about on the underground markets. Some people say it makes you crazy, if it’s even real at all. Whatever Molly bought, snake powder or some imitation, it obviously made permanent marks on her skin, but if it made her crazier than she comes naturally, that would be hard to tell. They spy on Rose and Dancin.

Rose says, “Let’s get married in secret.”

“We could ask the district emissary,” he offers gently. A sharp glare from her makes him rethink the suggestion. “I’m sorry—I know how your family feels about that, but if we go the secret way and the Strelkie find out, they’ll come after everyone we love. That’s war.”

Net motions for Molly to hang back while he approaches like a cautious viper.

Rose says, “I’m not afraid of Strelkie. I’m just afraid of not living my life. I loved Ann, but I hate her for what she did. I won’t do it. I won’t bow to them. Do you know what sprawhammid is?”

Dancin squints searching for a school-time memory. “Is it what the ancients called brave adventurers?”

“I think so,” she says. “But people nowadays say different things. Pig-headed fool, reckless pirate, stubborn noble. The more I hear about sprawhammid, the more it suits me. All together I think it really means to chase what you believe in, especially in the face of tyranny.”

“And what do you believe in, Rose?”

“Love. It’s what Punimin have and what Strelkie want to stamp out. It’s freedom. It’s choice. All those words we don’t want to get overheard saying by the wrong people. If we say, ‘sprawhammid’ instead, we can be free to design our secrets openly, among our people. The Strelkie will never know. None are taught the word.”

Dancin whispers, “Then our wedding will be sprawhammid.”

Net Nesting blows a bone horn and startles them. He jumps out with a shiny shotgun. Teeth Molly leaps out with a rusty corkscrew knife. Psychos.

Net Nesting muses, “What do we have here?”

Teeth Molly shouts, “Lawbreakers! Them’s treasonists!”

Net flexes his power. “Plotting to get married without consent of the district emissary?”

Molly looks stunned. “Wait. You’re not the district em?” Did Molly just sleep with a low rank? She is perturbed.

Net shrugs her off. “No, but I work for him. I’ll have his chair soon.” He turns to Dancin. “I am Net Nesting. I reflect the district emissary. What you’ve spoken here is conspiracy of the sickest flavor.”

Dancin attempts respect. “We were just planning to come and visit you—”

“Liars!” Molly shrieks. “We’s heard your plots! What’s heard can’t be silent, not when it’s rot. We’ll make sure the authorities hear about this, what’d you call it, ‘sprawhammid.’ Your secrets is undone, they is.”

Rose bites back. “Teeth Molly, I know your cousin; she’s our dentist. Does she know you’re carrying on with a Strelkie soldier?”

Molly’s jaw drops. “Oh, ha ho! Blackmail? This cud just tried to blackmail me! Punish them! Stick them!”

Net looks unsure. Molly presses. “Punish them big, Net. I’ll meet you up with my girlfriend if you do. She swings, love-dove. You just tell the story, and she’ll play it for you.” She points at a string of tattoos on her leg like a menu. They are … enlightening to Net.

Net gulps and nods. “Okay. Okay, here’s what we’ll do. You come to my office later today and pay me to forget this.”

Molly won’t have that weakness. “You soft sludger, no! Punish them proper! Do it, Strelkie, or I’ll tell the district em you’re carrying on with a Punimin girl.”

“He’d kill you too, stupid,” Net snaps.

Molly rubs her neck sensually. “Not if he likes me. My bet’s he will.” Net turns shocked.

“Maybe we should all just go our separate ways,” Dancin says.

Molly is on a roll now. “Nah, nah, nah. Make these cuds fight to the death. Barbellics style.”

Net is in over his head with this girl.

Rose snarls, “Molly, what did I ever do to you?”

To Molly, everyone has wronged her. “Fight to the death. Tell them, Net! Tell!”

Net finds a courage he didn’t know he had. “Whoever wins, their family lives. The loser’s family dies with pain for conspiracy to host a wedding without permission. The emissary will want a strong example made.”

Rose looks grave. “You can’t be serious.”

Molly jumps. “My man’s serious, Pistol. And I gets the loser’s head! I get to carry it on a post! The whole village will see I’m the top Punimin. Watch them buttoned-up doves look at me like a whore then. I’ll see them gobble their words.”

Net points his shotgun at Rose. “Fight now, or both families die. All of them.”

©Michael Ryan Hahn


Guest Review by Gracie

If there is anything I learned from this book, it is that you do not mess with a girl with Pistol as a first name!

Pistol Rose was raised to respect two things, family and gun crafting. She was raised as a fighter and instilled at a young age with a deep and abiding hatred for the Strelkie, an over class of people that live in a shining, technologically advanced city that rules over Rose's people, the Punimin.

Though the Punimin are raised to honor fidelity, the Strelkie are non-monogamous, even in their families. It is for this reason, as well as many others, that Rose hesitates to ask for permission from her local Strelkie emissary when she and her beau, Clock Dancin' decide to get married.

Rose knows that the emissary will deny them. She has seen it happen before, when her cousin Ann asked to marry her own beau and was not only denied, but lost her man to be conscripted into the city for breeding purposes.

Rose does not wish to lose Dancin' in this way, and she realizes that she and her fiancé must flee their village and find refuge in a place called Afar if they are ever to be free together. Of course, this is easier said than done, and by the time everything shakes out, Rose has a lot more blood on her hands than she started out with.

Author Michael Ryan Hahn secures his place as one of the best modern steampunk authors of our time with this electric novel of love, strength and family.I simply couldn't put this down and I'm sure that other readers will agree.

'Pistol Rose and the Wedding that Sparked a War' is a once in a lifetime reading experience that will leave you wanting more!



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Giveaway Pistol Rose and the Wedding that Sparked a War by Michael Ryan Hahn

This giveaway is for 2 copies. The winners will have the choice of print or ebook. This giveaway is open worldwide and on November 23, 2023 midnight, pacific time. Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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