Orphaned Miriam has always been terrified by the sound of THE NIGHT WATCHMAN EXPRESS as it hurtles by her house. The sound of the train gives her nightmares of an underground factory, and a laboratory where brutal experiments take place.
During the day she has very different problems. Her new guardians, the Marchpanes, have arrived with their son, Simon, to live in Miriam's house. The Marchpanes are plotting to take over her dead father's business.
As they are both strong willed and stubborn, Miriam and Simon develop an instant dislike for each other. They have to work together, however, in order to solve the mystery of what the Marchpanes are doing with Miriam's inheritance.
As they come closer to learning the truth, Miriam is kidnapped and put on THE NIGHT WATCHMAN EXPRESS, and Simon must try to rescue her. In doing so, he will have to confront his own parents and the evil forces behind them.
But as he tries to help Miriam, he is captured. Simon is put in a strange, luxurious prison, where his jailers are as hauntingly beautiful as they are dangerous.
As THE NIGHT WATCHMAN EXPRESS arrives at its destination, Miriam comes to the shocking realization that her nightmares about the subterranean factory and the dark laboratory were not just dreams.
What she always feared more than anything is going to come true.
The Night Watchman Express by Alison DeLuca
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received this book from amazon free read. I enjoyed reading this book, it was filled with adventure and I found myself rooting for Miriam. The world building was nicely done. The story-line is very good. The characters are well developed and written. I am looking forward to reading more from this author.
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First, I would like to thank the author Alison DeLuca for giving me this book for an honest review. The world building is very good. The story-line is good and kept me wanting more. The characters are well developed and written. I am looking forward to reading more of this series and more from this author.
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First, I would like to thank the author Alison DeLuca for giving me this book for an honest review. The world building is nicely done. The story-line is very good. The characters are well developed and written. I really enjoyed reading this book and am looking forward to reading more of this series and more from this author.
View all my reviews
First, I would like to thank the author Alison DeLuca for giving me this book for an honest review. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this series. I am looking forward to reading them to my grandchildren to share the adventures of these characters. The world building is nicely done and the story-line is good. The characters are well developed and written. I am looking forward to reading more from this author.
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Alison DeLuca is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books. She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain.
Currently she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey.
- Who is your favorite author and is your writing style similar to theirs?
- I would have to choose Enid Blyton, a children’s author from the 40’s and 50’s. She was a product of her times, but she could spin a tale of adventure like no one else. Her characters were sometimes wooden and the dialogue a bit cliché, but her books fascinated me as a child.
- I can only hope to approach Enid’s sense of story and development. I do insist on including ethnic characters, however, unlike her. So, I hope that I am a more modern version of Enid.
- What is your favorite part of a book?
- Maps. I love maps. When I’m shopping for a book, if I see maps in the beginning, then I’m a buyer. As a young reader I used to pour over Middle Earth, Narnia, Oz, and the Hundred Acre Wood.
- When I discovered the illustrator who developed the maps for my own books, I was excited beyond belief. (It doesn’t take much.) To have the places that I envisioned become visible was true magic.
- When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?
- Names have a certain aura, no doubt. I love heroines with old-fashioned names, such as Hermione, so I chose a very classic name for mine: Miriam.
- Some of my characters are ethnic, as I said, and they come from an imaginary land called Lampala, which I based on Madeira. Manapalata Postulate is one example; she is my magical governess who comes to teach Miriam. Her first name, Mana, was derived from the Benin language. It is the same with the other characters from my dream country: Chichilia, Wekogono, Kyoge…
- Do you use real-life facts based on true stories?
- My books are Edwardian steampunk fantasy, but of course I must base my technology in the books on real-life engineering. In order to write about quantum physics and time travel, I had to research those subjects within the parameters of Edwardian tech.
- The final book in the series, for example, talks about bathyspheres. I researched them – and their history is fascinating – so my book is based on those stories from the first underwater explorers. However, I changed events a bit by making bathyspheres appear twenty years earlier than they actually did, for the purposes of my story.
- Do you use your OWN experiences?
- I suppose I do. It’s a subconscious thing; I’ll see the way a child opens her mouth to cry, or how my sister captures a spider and disposes of it, the way anger makes me feel as though bubbles are exploding in my nose. Thousands of tiny details like that work their way into my books.
- On a macro level, I used my love of teaching to create Mana. Miriam’s anger and tantrums were based on personal experiences as well, I’m sorry to say!
- How do you conceive your plot ideas?
- I receive a sudden flash at the oddest, most inopportune moments. I can be stopped at a red light and an idea will hit me.
- As I write it and flesh out the story, the plot develops in my mind. It’s like watching a movie; sometimes a character will do something quite unexpected and shock me.
- Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to publish?
- I’m an Indie, so I’m able to publish any books that I want, luckily! However, I do have a few howlers hidden in my file cabinet, never to see the light of day. My very first novel, for example, should be used to line birdcages. However, the thing showed me that I was able to sit down and write an entire book. That is a true moment of revelation for an author.
- Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
- The Crown Phoenix is a series of four books. The Night Watchman Express is the story of an orphan, Miriam, who is undisciplined and very angry (much like Mistress Mary in The Secret Garden.) Mana, her magical governess, teaches Miriam self-control and, eventually, how to love.
- There is also a bit of romance with the most unlikely person, Simon, who is the son of Miriam’s guardians. Simon and Miriam really don’t like each other at all at first, but they have to form a bond against some very nasty villains.
- How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children's books, etc.)?
- Steampunk has always fascinated me. I loved Doyle, Verne, and Wells when I was growing up. The idea of having gears and clockworks perform feats of physics is gorgeous, I think.
- What kind of research did you do for this book?
- I researched antique technology, such as those bathyspheres and typewriters. I also continue to research Edwardian society and history. The final installment is set in an Edwardian hospital, much like Downton Abbey, so I had to research medical history and the development of nursing.
- What is a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
- As soon as I get my daughter onto the school bus, I rush back to the house and write as long as I can. Of course, I have to fight my way past the dishes and the laundry to do that!
- I love it when I can get 2,000 words a day finished, but that doesn’t happen often, alas. Still, each new sentence that I create is a concept that never existed before, and I get to bring it to life. That makes my job the best there is.
- What are you working on now?
- The fourth and final book of The Crown Phoenix series is my WIP. It’s called The South Sea Bubble, and I’m almost finished with the first draft. Of course, that means that the really hard stuff comes next – revisions, edits, beta reads, etc. Writing the book is the easy part!
- What advice would you give aspiring writers?
- Buy yourselves On Writing and The Elements of Style. Butt+chair = written work, so sit down every day and write at least 500 words. Read as much as you can. And, most importantly, develop a good, thick skin. Harsh critique is extremely valuable – a poor review can, if it is thoughtfully done, be a real gift.
- Finally, be careful out there. Social media is a blessing and a curse for writers.
- Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
- I got sucked into Suzanne Collins’ series and couldn’t stop reading. I also love JK Rowling, of course. The Age of Miracles was incredible. I love Murakami – Kafka on the Shore and Hard-Boiled Wonderland – as well as Dwight Okita’s book, The Prospect of My Arrival.
- 11-22-63 is on my bedside table at the moment, as well as a host of others. I’ll read anything from Bizarro (Placenta of Love) to Georgette Heyer. Got a book? Heck, I’ll read it.
- What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
- I suppose I’d like to be asked: “How will you challenge yourself in your next book?”
- I always like to continue my development as a writer. In my last book, The Lamplighter’s Special, the entire book was from one point of view. Furthermore, the main character was very near-sighted (as am I) and was too poor to afford glasses. To describe actions and tell the story, keeping her fuzzy vision in mind throughout, was a lot of fun and a serious challenge.
- In my current book, I use two points of view. I’m considering different ways of presenting those POV’s while keeping the story arcs intact, and I have a few concepts in mind. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!