Sometimes you take on a project with no idea where it’s going to take you. Last fall, we started talking with author Christine Norris about rehoming her novel, A Curse of Ash and Iron, a steampunk retelling of Cinderella, which had fallen out of print. I am delighted to say that we definitely had a place for it, and editing and design proceeded quickly apace, though it took a lot of brainstorming to come up with a cover that both captured the tale and gave it an identity all its own.

Christine is also one of the contributors to Grimm Machinations: More Steampunk Faerie Tales, which is currently funding on Kickstarter as a part of our Full Steam Ahead! campaign, so this book has been offered as a stretch goal reward (which has been unlocked). The print version is also available as an add-on to your pledge, so if you would like to get your hands on a copy before the official release, consider backing today. 

Now, without further delay, I give the cover for A Curse of Ash and Iron, artwork and design by Mike and Danielle McPhail of McP Digital Graphics.


All The World’s A Stage, As They Say

In 1876 Philadelphia, Benjamin Grimm knows real life is much like the theater—people play their parts, hiding behind the illusion of their lives and never revealing their secrets. When he reunites with his childhood friend Eleanor Banneker, his delight turns to dismay. On learning she has been under a spell for the past seven years, forced to live as a servant in her own home, he realizes how sinister some secrets can be.

Ellie has spent the long years since her mother’s death under her stepmother’s watchful and unforgiving eye. Bewitched and hidden in plain sight, it seemed no one could help Ellie escape. Not even her own father, likewise bespelled. When she encounters Ben one evening, he seems immune to the magic that binds her. Her hope rekindles along with their friendship.

But time is running short. If they do not find a way to break the curse before midnight on New Year’s Eve, both Ellie and her father will be bound forever.


Once Upon a Time, Christine Norris thought she wanted to be an archaeologist but hates sand and bugs, so instead, she became a writer. She is the author of several speculative fiction works for children and adults, including The Library of Athena series, A Curse of Ash and Iron, and contributions to Gaslight and Grimm and Grimm Machinations. She is kept busy on a daily basis by her day job as a school librarian in New Jersey. She may or may not have a secret library in her basement, and she absolutely believes in fairies.

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