Introducing Kraken Ink Tea!

And to celebrate, the first 20 people to order some Kraken Ink from Wyverstone Tea will receive a voucher for a free eBook of Doctor Jack with their order!

It all started at the 2019 Adelaide Steampunk Festival. Wyverstone Tea was doing tastings at the event. And they had purple tea! (Well, blue tea that turned purple with lemon)… but the only one they had was based on licorice (not my favourite thing). I asked if there would be any other purple teas in the future…

In March 2020, Ali from Wyverstone Tea contacted me. I’d spurred her to make another tea based on Peaflowers (which makes it blue). She’d devised one for me to taste – and would I like to name it? Ha! Of course, what else but Kraken Ink! You can find out more about Wyverstone Tea at:

Kraken Ink tea will be available online soon. And when the current isolation is lifted, visit them at Fleurieu Roast, in the Eco-Village at Aldinga, South Australia. You will also be able to find them (post-isolation) at markets at Meadows Country Market on the second Sunday of every month, and often at Hahndorf market on the third Sunday of every month.

Follow their facebook page for up to the minute information.



Introducing Kraken Ink Tea! was originally published on karen j carlisle

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An unforeseen change of plans…

This time last year I was preparing to release my latest steampunk novel, The Department of Curiosities. I was in New Zealand, with my Dearheart, doing Lord of the Rings tours on the North Island, and finishing up at the Oamaru Steampunk Festival, down South. We had a ball. Met Smaug, stayed in a Victorian era house, and met lots of new steampunk friends, and finally met long-term friends face-to-face. We were even convinced to join in the event parade down the main street.

This year, we’d planned to repeat the process, this time in the UK. We had a long list of possible sight-seeing stops: Jack the Ripper tour, 221B Baker Street and other Arthur Conan Doyle highlights, maybe even a few Doctor Who or Harry Potter stop offs. (And lots of research stuff for future books.)

I’d already lamented that Big Ben would still be closed for tours, and we didn’t have time to get to Edinburgh to see Real Mary Kings Close, but we’d managed to eek enough time to visit a friend who is a Professor at Dunham University. The whirlwind tour would end in Lincoln for the famous Lincoln Asylum steampunk festival. (I’d even started making new outfits!)

And then everything changed.

Until now, I thought I wasn’t too unhealthy. Yes, I have anxiety and PTSD, but I take it one step at a time. Yes, I have allergies (some really inconvenient ones, like dust, bees – but not pollen – yay!) that result in chronic bronchitis.

With the Australian bushfires, my lung health has deteriorated over the past three months. I’ve just recently been diagnosed with sever sleep apnea and organised for a trial CPAP machine and referral to a sleep doctor. I’ve also been referred to a heart specialist, following my last major panic attack and due to the chronic low oxygen levels.  (A precaution, I believe.)  It’s scary, and annoying, but I could cope. The appointments were made.

Then Covid-19 happened.

You think it’s scary for the healthy 90-something percent? Just witness the panic buying, the brawls over freaking toilet paper (and now seedlings, seed packets, and even chooks!)  Imagine how it is for those of us in whatever risk percentage we’ve been allotted. I’m over 50, with serious breathing issues and being investigated to rule out heart issues. I just hope I can get to my appointments before total lock down. Otherwise I could have months before I get a diagnosis, let alone help. It’s kicking off all the anxiety triggers. I’ve had two panic attacks in the past week. And I’m freaking scared.

Healthy, able-bodied people vacuum up items from the store shelves. It seems like anything and everything is scarce. Then you have the dicks who are trying to profiteer from their horde-buying. This leaves people in high risk groups, pensioners and disabled, getting more anxious.

In just the few days since I started this post, so much has changed. My Dearheart has started working from home (thank goodness he still has work). The state borders are closed, non-essential businesses have shut down, and I hold my breath each time I have to venture out for a specialist appointment (which is the only reason I leave the house at the moment).

Covid19 has insisted on hanging around, like that party guest who just won’t get the hint to leave. And the Black Dog keeps lying through his snarling teeth, laughing at me. But I will not let it win.
Never let the Black Dog win.

During these difficult times,  I’m writing, creating videos, baking – anything to distract myself – and produce something to ease your anxiety as well. (There’s nothing like books and stories to take us on adventures and meet new friends… safely.)

I’d love to say ‘hug a friend’ at this point. We all need one right now. But that’s not advisable with the current social distancing  – now called ‘spatial’ distancing. Instead, stand a minimum 1.5m apart (or Skype/Zoom whatever version) them, stare deep into their eyes , tell them you love them, and appreciate they are alive.

And stay safe everyone.

My Patreons recieved a sneak peek at this post last week. Want to get sneak peeks, and more rewards? Sign up for my newsletter and support an indie author on Patreon!

An unforeseen change of plans… was originally published on karen j carlisle

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When one event cancels…

Another, online one, appears.
I’ve been asked to be the guest author/speaker at Critical Mass SF discussion group, Adelaide. (online event). They usually meet in Adelaide CBD. From this month, they are meeting via Zoom to practice safe social/spatial distancing.
This is my first official online event; I hope I can wrangle the technology!
The meeting is on Wednesday, 1st of April, and will start at 7pm (Adelaide time, 30 mins later in Melbourne ), run for 40 mins, then take a 10-minute tea/coffee/G&T break and re-convene at 7:50 (Adelaide time) for the final half hour.
To join the meeting, you will need to provide the following information to zoom*: Join Zoom Meeting at 7pm: Meeting ID: 242 593 495
Join meeting at 7:50pm: Meeting ID: 130 077 258
Please note the different meeting ID for part 2 of the meeting
*If you need some guidance in using zoom, here’s a useful video on joining meetings:
More details about the event are HERE

When one event cancels… was originally published on karen j carlisle

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April Adelaide Comic and Toy Fair Cancelled

19th April: Event Cancelled due to Covid-19 event restrictions now in Australia. (rescheduled to 5th Oct) 

It’s official. The Adelaide Comic and Toy Fair has been cancelled. The second Fair is still scheduled for 5th October (long weekend).  I will have my books, tees, mugs and badges for you all then. (and should have a new book for you!)

April Adelaide Comic and Toy Fair Cancelled was originally published on karen j carlisle

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Beat the ‘novel’ virus Panic Book Buying Frenzy!

Don’t get bored if you’re stuck at home for 2 weeks….
[#imagedescription Karen is wearing a black filter mask. The covers of her 5 books are lined across the bottom.
Text at top says: Stuck at home? Panic buy your books now!
Text at bottom says: Available at all good online bookstores.]
#buybooks #bookstagram #violastewartmysteries #departmentofcuriosities #auntenidmysteries #beatquarantineboredom

Beat the ‘novel’ virus Panic Book Buying Frenzy! was originally published on karen j carlisle

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This week Patrons got some sneak peeks!

Just finished transcribing the first draft of scene 12 – the penultimate scene in  my current work-in-progress short story, Blood Ties. Patreon supporters have received sneak peeks this week.
I’ll be transcribing and rewriting Scene 13 of  a vampyre story, on Friday the 13th. Woah. Serendipity is so cool.

At least thirteen is my lucky number.

Want sneak peeks? Sign up for my newsletter and support me on Patreon!

Become a Patron!

#Patreon #Patreonrewards

This week Patrons got some sneak peeks! was originally published on karen j carlisle

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Here Be Monsters: a short story update.

A couple of weeks ago I spent eight hours of burrowing down the research hole to find details of a specific steamship (London to Adelaide, 1888) for a short story I’m writing for a steampunk/gothic anthology submission. I finally found a Trove article with everything I need, including weather on the trip…

Then realised the ship had electricity… And I’d planned for none. Dang!

Now needed to work out how to hobble the electrics. (It’s a long explanation, with spoilers.  So can’t say why.)

This much I’ve already shared on Instagram and social media… I’ve shared spoilers with my Patreons, in the exclusive Behind the Scenes Video Reward: January 2020 ).

Suffice to say… nefarious things are about to happen  on a steamship bound to Australia, from London. I’m writing it to submit for the upcoming Dreadpunk II anthology; my brief was to write a vampire story, so I decided it was time for a past character to meet their match.  mwah ha ha!

The electrics? If you’ve read my short story, Journal de le Lumiere (published as an extra in the Eye of the Beholder paperback), then you’ll have a hint at possible monsters to be found in this gothic steampunk story. In my alternate/steampunk world electricity is rare. The story is prefaced with:

‘Access to electrical technology is rare and dangerous. Research is illegal throughout the Empire and most of Europe… Buy why?’

This brings me to an upcoming series (in the same world as my existing two steampunk series), The Wizard of St Giles, in which Lumiere is set . The new short is also set in this dark underworld, not seen by the general public. It is secret. It is hidden. It is dangerous. Here be monsters.

And electricty is restricted, at least in (most of) the Empire of Great Britain.

So, I now have to weave the historical steamship’s electricity is into my short story’s plot. I’m still not sure if the I’ll remove the electricity altogether, or not.

Here Be Monsters: a short story update. was originally published on karen j carlisle

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