Friday, December 14, 2012

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway - My Lady Gambler by Victoria Pond

Welcome to my stop on Victoria Pond's My Lady Gambler Virtual Book Tour.  Please make sure to leave a comment or question below for Victoria to let her know you stopped by.  It will also be your entry into a giveaway for a digital copy of My Lady Gambler.  


Steampunk-lite Holiday Activity: Christmas Pantomime

With the holiday season already upon us, we need some time to relax! So I’m going to tell you about my favorite silly-but-Christmas-related activity. Thanks for inviting me, Maria.

Since I’ve just published a book set in steampunk-England, My Lady Gambler: Stories of Erotic Romance, Corsets, and an England that Never Was, I’m going to talk about a bizarre English Christmas tradition that started in the Age of Steam.

British Pantomime
(Note: If you’re a Brit, this post will be like duh, but the rest of the world does not have this tradition!)

In this case, “pantomime” has nothing to do with playing charades or watching Frenchmen in berets with white gloves. No, it’s a form of theatre that’s reminiscent of children’s plays. For instance, the actors break scene to talk with the audience. The theatregoers are encouraged—nay, expected!—to boo the villains and cheer the good fairy. The stories are inevitably classic fairytales. In short, as with a children’s play, you must participate and expect to laugh at jokes that might make an adult a smidgen uncomfortable.

But here’s where things differ: (1) cross-dressing and (2) adult situations. Let’s start with “adult situations,” because I can explain this one easily. Panto is like seeing Shrek in theatres. There are kids, sure, but are they really getting all of Antonio Banderas’s jokes? No. No they aren’t. But you are.

Now for the cross-dressing because it’s an unexpected tradition. Since panto started (take your pick of a year between 1717 and 1870 when you want to quibble about that), there have been a few necessary items:

  • The “dame” is an ugly, man-hungry woman who thinks she’s gorgeous and inevitably ends up marrying an unlucky gentleman. She’s also played by a man for very campy laughs. 
  • The “hero” is the standard Prince Charming: strong, chivalrous, killer smile. He’s played by a good-looking woman in fishnet stockings.
  • The “villain” is played ala Snidely Whiplash. Excessively evil. It’s hard to remember to boo and hiss at the villain because you want to applaud his over-the-top evilness. He’s usually played by another fishnet-wearing lady, but I’ve seen this one go both ways.

So, what you have is a gender bending musical with ridiculous jokes, audience participation, and romance. What’s not to love?

Of course, now’s the time to ask: “And what does this have to do with Christmas, Great Britain?” The answer appears to be, “We always do them at Christmas.” Ah, tradition. It’s not a good reason, but it’s a reason.

This leads to the question, what does panto have to do with my steampunk erotic romance collection? Well, let’s see.

Reasons panto is related to My Lady Gambler:

  • It comes from steam-era England
  • There’s cross-dressing
  • The plot includes romance
Reasons panto is NOT related to My Lady Gambler:

  • It takes its cue from fairy tales, and MLG doesn’t
  • It’s a musical, not a book
  • Cross-dressing characters are meant to be funny in panto, but MLG doesn’t play it for laughs (except for one amazing pun, but that’s more “oooh! Burn!” than “lol.”)
  • Panto is all about the bad jokes and puns, but MLG is all about the strong ladies getting what they want
If you’ve never been to a panto, this is the season, and I highly recommend it. If you have, stop laughing at me. And if you live in the Seattle area, the best one is at Knutzen Theater in Federal Way; trust me on this.

My Lady Gambler
Stories of Erotic Romance, Corsets, and an England That Never Was
Victoria Pond

Genre: erotica, erotic romance, steampunk romance, steampunk erotica, steampunk Regency

978-9886468-0-3 (ePub)
978-9886468-1-0 (MOBI)

Number of pages: 200
Word Count: 50,000

Cover Artist: Anne Cain

Amazon Kindle BN Nook Goodreads

Book Description: 

A collection of erotic romance in the Age of Steam, featuring a Regency novella...

Cara St. Cross is determined to play at the highest-stakes poker club in all of Great Britain... even if getting in requires her to dress like a man. Stanley, Lord Greenhope, doesn’t truly believe that “Mister” St. Cross has had relations with his wife, but that doesn’t stop him from challenging the (wo)man to a duel.

In the early Age of Steam, duels are still legal, young ladies get kidnapped to Gretna Green, and only the villains seem to care whether Cara wins at the tables.

As well as the Regency novella, My Lady Gambler, this collection includes three short stories of Victorian-style steampunk erotica:

Miss Carlotta Stembridge crafts her own troupe of dancing automatons in “The Clockwork Dancers”. When she meets a flesh-and-blood dancer who steals her heart, she must fight society and her own creations if she wants to keep him in her life.

In “On the Curious Condition of the Anachronism in Modern Aviation Structures,” First Mate Jess Priory of the merchant airship Aer Nova offers passage to a handsome doctor. Lucky thing she did, since his skills come in handy when the ship is attacked!

The possibility of a time machine causes more problems than it solves in “Dorothea Franklin’s Marvelous Machine,” Thankfully, the inventor can console herself with the darkly sexy, powerful Sir George, Grand Master of the London Masons.


About the Author :

Victoria Pond is a professional writer on projects ranging from video games to novels. She lives in Seattle with a husband and a cat, where she sings with a Celtic band and is working on the next novella in her steampunk erotica universe.

Goodreads –

Amazon Author Central –

Remaining Tour Stops

December 17 Guest blog
Fang-tastic Books

December 18 Guest blog
Books & Other Spells

December 19 Interview
Roxanne’s Realm

December 20 Review
Readaholic's Reviews

December 21 Review
Deal Sharing Aunt 


Please make sure to leave a comment or question below for Victoria to let her know you stopped by.  It will also be your entry into a giveaway for a digital copy of My Lady Gambler.  


  1. This sounds good and cover looks great, although I'm not big on gambling myself.

  2. I'm fairly new to Steampunk but have enjoyed the few that I have read. This sounds like a great read.
    I love pantomimes. I remember the first one I saw when I was about 8, it was Cinderella and I thought the evil stepsisters were the funniest thing I had ever seen, it was my first introduction to drag!

    1. Panto is brilliant! I saw a Cinderella this year with both evil stepsisters played a dame. TWO DAMES. Who knew there could be more than one dame in a production?

      Steampunk is all over the map in terms of technology and time-period. I hope you enjoy your forays into the genre!

  3. Sounds fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing :)

  4. the book looks realy good you know what the cover reminds me of victor/victoria i dont know why but i thought julie andrews when i saw it
    kaholgate at ymail dot com