Author Override: Lynn Viehl

Author Override is the place where authors take the reins and take you on a journey into their world. Some may allow you into their private writing dens. Others may take you along with them on research trips or interviews. Whatever the case may be, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride because here you’ll get an in-depth look into an author’s musings.

English Both Ways

Launching a new series is always fun, but this time I’m writing novels in a new genre (steampunk urban fantasy) that take place during a historical period (Victorian-era America) in a parallel universe (very much like our own, only with some timeline changes.)  The biggest difference between this reality and my fictional world is that in my story America didn’t win the War of Independence.  Over there our country is known as the Provincial Union of Victoriana — Toriana for short — and remains part of the British Empire.  Think Victorian England meets the Wild West, or Masterpiece Theatre, on crack.

Building the world of Toriana meant rethinking the nineteenth century and imagining how life would be under British rule.  Instead of a President they have a Prime Minister and a Parliament instead of a Congress.  Their country is divided into six provinces, not fifty states, plus a disputed territory (Florida, of course).  If you put England in a taffy-pulling machine for a hundred years, you’d probably end up with something like Toriana.

While Torians share many traits with Victorian-era Britons, the pond (aka the Atlantic Ocean) between them and the motherland (England) has been a bit of a buffer and allowed the development of a distinct culture.  This includes their own version of English, which I had to make just as distinctive.  Fortunately I have some friends in the UK who over the years have taught me enough Brit slang to give me insight into how differently we talk on either side of the pond.

I’ve also had some personal family experience with the two sides of the English language, dating back to the seventies when my cousin married a Brit and brought him over for a visit.  He seemed like a great guy, although my mom’s jaw dropped on the floor when he asked permission to have a fag in the house (that’s not an ugly slur over there; it’s a cigarette.)  She returned the favor when she told him that her fashionable new hairdo was called a shag (and that’s not what shag means in the UK.)

It can still get confusing for a Yank trying to speak British.  Take food, for example: in the UK cookies are called biscuits, biscuits are called crackers, and crackers are called biscuits — except soda crackers, those are called cream crackers.  Eggplant is known as aubergine, molassess is black treacle, and a slice of bacon is a rasher of bacon.  French fries are chips and potato chips are crisps.  If you want candy, you must ask for sweets, sultanas if you’re craving raisins, or pudding if you want dessert (but not all puddings are dessert.  Yorkshire pudding is what we call popovers doused with drippings from a roast beef — which is called a joint, btw, not a roast.)

It works both ways, too.  While in America you Brits who want to clip back your hair will need barrettes, not hair slides, or bobby pins, not kirby grips.  If you’re cold you’ll need a comforter for your bed, not an eiderdown, or you’ll want to put on a windbreaker, not a windcheater. Over here suspenders are garters and braces are suspenders and scaffolding are braces.  Your wellies are known as boots, which you put in the closet, not the wardrobe.  Don’t ask for the public convenience, as it’s called a restroom out in public, but at home your w.c. or loo is a bathroom.  Shops are stores, trolleys are shopping carts, pushchairs are strollers, and the chemist’s shop is a drug store.  For help during an emergency, you must call 911, not 999.  In the morning you don’t knock up, you wake up (and please note, to knock up is what sometimes happens after unprotected shagging.)

I didn’t invent an entirely new version of English for my new series, but borrowed bits of slang from both cultures to give the world of Toriana its own flavor.  I’ve had readers on both sides of the pond say they really enjoyed the results, and I hope you’ll do the same by checking out Disenchanted & Co. Part I:  Her Ladyship’s Curse when it comes out on August 12th, and Part II: His Lordship Possessed when it’s released on October 14th.


In a steampunk version of America that lost the Revolutionary War, Charmian (Kit) Kittredge makes her living investigating magic crimes and exposing the frauds behind them. While Kit tries to avoid the nobs of high society, as the proprietor of Disenchanted & Co. she follows mysteries wherever they lead.

Lady Diana Walsh calls on Kit to investigate and dispel the curse she believes responsible for carving hateful words into her own flesh as she sleeps. While Kit doesn’t believe in magic herself, she can’t refuse to help a woman subjected nightly to such vicious assaults. As Kit investigates the Walsh family, she becomes convinced that the attacks on Diana are part of a larger, more ominous plot—one that may involve the lady’s obnoxious husband.

Sleuthing in the city of Rumsen is difficult enough, but soon Kit must also skirt the unwanted attentions of nefarious deathmage Lucien Dredmore and the unwelcome scrutiny of police Chief Inspector Thomas Doyle. Unwilling to surrender to either man’s passion for her, Kit struggles to remain independent as she draws closer to the heart of the mystery. Yet as she learns the truth behind her ladyship’s curse, Kit also uncovers a massive conspiracy that promises to ruin her life—and turn Rumsen into a supernatural battleground from which no one will escape alive.

Ms. Viehl has an awesome prize pack!
As detailed below and shown in the picture.
Open internationally.

  • A handmade quilted and beaded vintage tote made by Yours Truly

  • Signed bound galley print copies of Her Ladyship’s Curse and His Lordship Possessed

  • A black and crystal pendant from Victorian Trading Co.

  • A steampunk journal handmade by Studio Rose Boutique on Etsy

  • A pretty pen and note card set


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Lynn Viehl I discovered recently and I love it. There is not much to my library, so I’ll buy. Thank you for this giveaway.

Lynn Viehl

Thanks, Mirlou, and if you’d like to try out the universe first before you buy the books, you can read My Lord Mayhem, the free Toriana e-book I’ve just posted online for everyone.

Elizabeth P

ooooo love the cover….this book sounds really good…thanks

Lynn Viehl

I was so pleased with the cover art Pocket Star created for the novel, Elizabeth — it’s exactly what I wanted, and you know how infrequently that happens for authors. 🙂


I am SO excited for this series!

Lynn Viehl

I wish I could invite everyone over to my house next week on release day, Hanna — but I’m doing the next best thing by having a virtual party at my writing and my series blog. Since this is my 50th published novel I have some fun things planned, too.


What a captivating and delightful giveaway. The series looks extraordinary.

Lynn Viehl

Francesca and her friends are always such gracious hosts, Anne — that’s why I try to bring an extra-special giveaway whenever they invite me to visit. 🙂


This sounds really fun – can’t wait to read it!

Lynn Viehl

I’m hoping everyone will enjoy the new universe; I had a blast building it, Lindsy.


I am a long time fan, and am very excited about tour new series.


Sheesh, your series… And my name is sandal! I am having a Monday!

Lynn Viehl

All typos don’t count on Monday, Sandal — it’s writer law. 🙂

Nicola W

Looking forward to reading these.

Lynn Viehl

Thanks, Nicola — only one week to go until the first one releases (and if I act a little giddy today, it’s because I’ve been waiting four years for that to happen!)

Dawn Montgomery

I love the different meanings! I can’t wait to pick up this series. It’s preordered 😀

Lynn Viehl

Thank you for the support, Dawn — you’re a doll. 🙂


I love your books, and I’m looking forward to this new series!

Lynn Viehl

I appreciate the kind words, MK — I hope the new series doesn’t disappoint.

Denise Smith

thanks for the giveaway the book looks good

Lynn Viehl

My pleasure, Denise. 🙂

Betty Hamilton

What a gorgeous tote! (I collect totes!) I would LOVE to win these books. They sound like such good reads! …and I love the f/c’s.

Lynn Viehl

I love quilting and beading, Betty, and the Victorian era is one of my favorite periods in history, so I decided for this new series I’d hand-make all the totes myself. I figure, if you’re going to promote something, why not do what you love at the same time? 🙂


I’ve followed Lynn happily through several series and thanks to a sneak peek I can promise this one is a winner!

Lynn Viehl

Thank you, ma’am (Darlene volunteered to read the books before the launch, mainly to soothe my new-series anxieties — which is why she’s one of the best writer pals in the world.)


i love to read series books.

Lynn Viehl

I’m the same, Laura — series are so much fun to follow, and whenever I find a great one it’s a real adventure in reading.


Thats a beautiful tote! I love her books so I definitely cant wait to read this one!

Lynn Viehl

Thanks, Amber. I think the lace on this one is my favorite of all the totes I’ve made, and the fabric colors are tea, coffee and winter-sky blue, so they have a great vintage look, too.


Love your books. I can hardly wait to read this series!! Thanks so much for your wonderful giveaways!

Lynn Viehl

The giveaways are always fun for me, Jennifer — they give me the chance to travel around the reader community and chat, something I wish I could do more of (but then I’d never get any book writing done, lol.)


Congrats on the upcoming release, Lynn. My cousin’s neighbors are from Australia and they says crisps, too. When they offered me crisps, I didn’t know that they were chips.

Lynn Viehl

Thank you, Jane — and how neat that you met up with some folks from Oz. I have two friends in New Zealand, and they’re always teaching me new words in our mutual language. My latest discovery is jab — here in the U.S., that’s a kind of boxer’s punch. Over there, it’s the term for an injection of medicine. 🙂

Nancy DeVault

Wow, love the book cover! Can’t wait to read it!

Lynn Viehl

Pocket Star has a great art department, Nancy, so I have to give them all the credit. Me, I just write the stories. 🙂


Love the and blurb. Congrats on what sounds like another great series.

Lynn Viehl

Thank you, Pam. I think this one will especially appeal to all my loyal StarDoc readers; it has that same feeling of high-stakes adventure.

Aly P

The blurb is great. Thank you for the giveaway!

Lynn Viehl

I’m glad you liked it, Aly. Good luck with winning the giveaway!

Becki Wyer

I’ve only read a couple of steampunk novels, but this one sounds really interesting. I’ll add it to my TBR.
rmwyer at shaw dot ca

Lynn Viehl

It’s definitely not the usual thing, Becki, but I think you’ll find the world worth the read.


Absolutely love this author. Her Darkyn and Kyndred series are my top fav books! Can’t wait what else she has up her sleeve!

Lynn Viehl

Lol, Gi. At the moment my sleeve is full of pins and a dangling piece of embroidery floss (I’m working on my 50th novel anniversary giveaway tote, which has a peacock theme.)


interesting post

Lynn Viehl

Thank you, bn. 🙂

Fran K

Hi Lynn, loved the article. As a Brit AND a lucky winner in a previous competition, I can attest to the accuracy of the Brit-isms in this series so far. It’s always a bugbear when people get them wrong, but you’ve really nailed them. Love your tote bag, but as I said I’ve already won the manuscript copies, so don’t put me in the draw.

Lynn Viehl

Lovely to see you here, Fran — thanks for stopping in and the very kind endorsement, too.


What cool gifts 🙂 Thanks 😉

Lynn Viehl

You’re welcome, Bobbye. 🙂


Ha, I love the mixups with your family with shag / fag – that is too funny 🙂

Lynn Viehl

To this day my mother cannot utter the word shag without turning pink, Erica. 🙂


I love steampunk romance. I’m a fan from way back of the TV show The Wild Wild West. I’ve been following Meljean Brooks, Mary Wine and Devon Monk’s steampunk and have Bec McMasters but haven’t started them yet. You’ve been writing a while and I’ve wanted to read you too. This one WILL get me started 🙂 Best success with this series. I adore “paranormal” that allows the author’s imagination to fly “outside the box” into the “what if……” Thanks for the giveaway!

Lynn Viehl

You should also give Gail Carriger a try, Glittergirl — she’s a witty writer and an amazing world-builder, and her characters are so much fun.

Janet Watts

Looks interesting. Will be checking it out!

Lynn Viehl

I appreciate it, Janet — and if you want a free read, be sure and check out the free e-book on the Disenchanted & Co. blog.

I also want to mention that a huge storm is rolling in here, so I have to shut down the computer for a bit. I’ll return later tonight to chat with you all a little more (or as soon as the lightning stops).

Karen H

Wow this series sounds really good. thanks for the giveaway. Gonna have to try your free story

Lynn Viehl

There’s an excerpt from Her Ladyship’s Curse in the back of the free e-book, too, Karen, so it will give you a preview of the new release. 🙂


Love this, =) can´t wait for my chance to read! Gorgeous tote, as well *grabby hands*
Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Monday!

Lynn Viehl

I haven’t enjoyed a Monday this much in a long time, Linda, thanks. 🙂

Sarabeth Tolbert

I’m looking forward to the new book, Evermore is one of my favorite books ever!

Lynn Viehl

Evermore is one of my favorites from the Darkyn series, too, Sarabeth. Hopefully Her Ladyship will be just as much fun.

Filia Oktarina

Love the cover books!! And i like to read steampunk genre. This series maka me curious because storyline and cover book. Looking forward to read this series 🙂
Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Monday!

Lynn Viehl

I’m hoping the series will offer something a little different for steampunk and urban fantasy fans, Filia. Thanks for the kind words. 🙂


Great try for Lynn Viehl!!! I’ve read her books and always went back for more!

Lynn Viehl

Your support is much appreciated, Diane. You also make my job the best gig in the world. 🙂


Love all things Victorian. Am looking forward to reading this book.

Lynn Viehl

Thanks, Heather — and there is definitely plenty of Victoriana in the series to enjoy. 🙂

Lori Meehan

Lynn Viehl is a new author to me thank you for the intro. The giveaway is beautiful.

Lynn Viehl

Be sure to check out the free e-book, Lori, so you can get a good preview of my work and the universe.


I must say I’m intrigued by the new series and I’m definitely looking forward to reading it!

Lynn Viehl

Can I clone you a few thousand times before next Monday, Timitra? Lol.

Hahaha Masterpiece Theatre on crack! I’ve heard much about this new series, and I’d LOVE to read it! Great post! Thanks for the giveaway!

I couldn’t resist the crack about Masterpiece Theatre, ha. I’m really fortunate that so many readers are taking the time to talk about the new series, too. Word of mouth is the best advertising in the world.


Hi Lynn! Love your books!! I’m so excited about this series..it looks fabulous!!!

Lynn Viehl

Aw, thanks, Nikki. 🙂 I’ve waited so long to see this series launch that sometimes it still seems surreal, and then suddenly now it’s here, and everyone has been so great about spreading the word. I really do have the best job in the world, thanks to readers like you.

Lisa Mann

I’ve always loved the British slang and trying to figure out what it means! “I was sitting on my bum in my lorry in the carpark eating biscuits”. LOL

Thanks for the article; I loved it.

Lynn Viehl

Creating the hybrid Yank-Brit slang for the series was a delight, Lisa — plus finally finding a way to merge both branches of my family in one universe. Now hopefully they like it on both sides of the pond, lol.

Veronica Vasquez

Sounds like a great book! Incredible giveaway, thanks for the chance! 🙂

Lynn Viehl

My pleasure, Veronica, and good luck with the giveaway!

Kirsten Lenius

Always interesting trying to use proper ‘lingo’ for the times. I read a lot of historical fiction and am a bit fussy about it!

Lynn Viehl

I did take some liberties with the slang I used for this universe, Kirsten, but I think it works well with the story. There’s a glossary in the back of each book, too, which will help with anything that might seem a bit wonky. 🙂

Ann S.

I love the idea of an alternate universe that is a bit familiar. Her Ladyship’s Curse sounds like a spectacular start to a new series.

Lynn Viehl

I appreciate the generous words, Ann, and hope Her Ladyship doesn’t disappoint. 🙂

Barbara Elness

I love steampunk and this sounds like such a wonderful steampunk world that I’m dying to read Her Ladyship’s Curse. I’ve had it on my wish list since I first saw the covers a while back. 😀

Lynn Viehl

Thank you, Barbara, and if you get a chance do check out the free e-book — I think it will give you a good look at the new universe and all the fun I’m having with the story lines in it.

Lynn Viehl

It’s time for me to walk my dogs and call it a night here, but before I let the pups drag me out of the house I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to stop in and leave such lovely comments. I also appreciate Francesca and her friends having me here at Under the Covers as a guest; I always have a wonderful time visiting. Everyone take care, have a good night, and best of luck with the giveaway!

Chelsea B.

I have absolutely fallen in love with the blurb! Ha! I am so excited to read this novel!

Linda Thum

Congrats on your new series! Can’t wait to read it.
I had a similar experience of confusion of different terms used by people from different countries all purported speaking English (LOL). I thought tea was a light snack in the afternoon but when I was in NZ, their tea is dinner. I was confused!

Samantha Kurtz

Love the cover. Thanks for the giveaway!

Anne V.

I am so excited to see attention paid to the linguistics! It was one of the most fascinating courses I’ve even taken in college and I’ve loved listening to things like vowel shifts as I’ve moved across the country. I can’t wait to experience how you’ve worked language into this new world!

Another great looking giveaway here too!

June M.

I always love learning what words mean in other countries, what something is called in them. I knew a lot of these but did not know that molassess was was black treacle is. I have read it in different historicals and never thought to google it, LOL. (That is usually what I do when I come across a word I am unfamiliar with).
Love the tote bag and this series sounds great!


I love the Darkyn series and I can’t wait to read this.


Hi Lynn , I feel affection for the book cover and and I can’t stay to read this