The third book in the 6-part Gaslamp ghost mystery series has released! Spirit Guide continues the adventures of Elinor and Tristan in these stories with a trace of Sherlock Holmes, Gail Carriger, and Victorian spiritualism in a fantasy city with a European early 1900s feel to it.

The first three books, Ghost Talker 1, Delicious Death 2, and Spirit Guide 3, in this Gaslamp ghost mystery series are now out for readers to enjoy. These three set the stage for what will happen in the following three books: Gray Lady 4, Untimely Grave 5, and Ghastly Mistake 6 where Elinor Chalamet, a medium who talks with ghosts, solves crimes.

Gaslamp is a niche genre within Steampunk, with the plot emphasis more on the romance. This series does include a slow-burn romance between the main characters of Elinor Chalamet and Tristan Fontaine that plays out over the course of the six stories.

I love these characters. It is as if the author mixed Eve Dallas and Roarke (of JD Robb fame) with Virginia Dean (Amanda Quick’s ‘Quicksilver’) and Wulfric Bedwyn (Mary Balogh’s Slightly series) and transplanted them to a Victorian milieu, dropped them in the middle of a royal murder and left them to spin.

Goodreads Review

Night view of Leidsegracht bridge in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Being a Gaslamp fantasy world, is it hard to understand?

I love writing fantasy stories that readers can enjoy without getting bogged down with trivia. While Elinor lives in a harbor city of canals, gas lamps, and horse driven cabs, the worldbuilding is crafted so readers can quickly understand what is happening and enjoy the story without stumbling over a concept.

Loosely based upon the Belle Epoque era, the story mixes French and Dutch aesthetics, along with England’s Victorian period, to create a sea town capitol filled with canals, tall skinny houses, and a society in transition.

This is a time of great changes in society with new inventions and innovations in science, as well as the ending of a monarchy and the beginning of a republic. Under these great forces, the role of women is also changing and Elinor represents that new path.

It seems that Nash has created her own genre with Ghost Talker. Part alternate history, supernatural, gaslight fantasy, and mystery, there are so many unique aspects to Madame Chalamet’s story that make it hard to relegate it to just one category. That makes it trailblazing fiction.

Goodreads Review

Tell us about Elinor, the heroine in this Gaslamp Ghost Mystery series

Feedback from readers has been strongly pro-Elinor, which I love to hear! Like many of my female characters, Elinor speaks of self-empowerment, and what women can achieve through their own brains, skills, and courage. It is Elinor’s perception of human nature and her Sherlockian analysis of what she sees that resolves many of the ghostly problems she encounters.

Instead of waving a wand or a sword, Elinor uses her wits (and her man-stopper when warranted) to make change. Elinor is a strong, independent woman with her own business, living in a period where the law and society sees women as less than men. However, despite this, she always remains true to herself.

Thank you Byrd Nash for writing Madame a little vulnerable, but still a strong woman.

Goodreads Review
“Gibson Girls” (engraving after original drawing, titled Picturesque America,
Anywhere Along the Coast) in beach attire (cropped image), illustration by Charles Dana Gibson

Tell us about Tristan, the hero in this Gaslamp Ghost Mystery series

Tristan Fontaine, the Duke de Archambeau, is Elinor’s love interest and perhaps what I enjoy most about his character is he just lets her get on with it! He is her Watson, so takes second stage to the work she does while he has his own interests in working for the Crown.

Elinor is showing him a different type of woman and he’s fascinated by her boldness, courage, and compassion. He may not understand her all the time, but he wants to.

One of Artist J.C. Leyendecker’s famous ads for Arrow dress shirts

This book is a fun adventure mixing historical vibes, paranormal and mystery with a one of a kind tough heroine and her male counterpart, who needs to have his head bashed from time to time.

Goodreads Review

How romantic is this Gaslamp ghost series?

With a slow-burn romance, when will Elinor and Tristan get together is the question. Elinor and Tristan’s growing attraction for each other results in some satisfying scenes in Spirit Guide which sets the scene for the more romantic Gray Lady book that follows.

I love exploring people and how they connect with others! Sometimes, for my readers, I may take that a little slower then they might like or make it more subtle then they are used to.

I think this series strikes a delicate balance of showing a real relationship along with the newness of falling in love, and with it the struggles of two different people coming together. For the sharp reader, be sure to look between the lines as there are many bread crumbs about how these two feel about each other.

There will be more affection shown than found in my other books (such as the College Fae series or the romantic fairytale retellings) and so there is kissing, embracing, and snuggling (and a bit more). However, the content will not be steamy.

What is at the core of the Madame Chalamet Ghost Mystery series is exploring the cost of love. How can a smart woman who likes her independence have love without compromising the things that matter to her? Elinor risks losing what is important to her if she becomes involved with Tristan. Should she risk it? If she does, can she truly be happy?

Spirit (1885) painted by George Roux (1853–1929)

Since the Gaslamp series deals with ghosts and death, are these scary stories?

No. I didn’t want this Gaslamp series to go the direction of gothic-horror. Elinor works daily with ghosts and is not scared of them. Instead, she is a compassionate and practical woman who wants to help both the living and the dead with their unresolved problems and grief.
However, because the series does deal with ghosts and murder, the state of bodies in the morgue and elsewhere is discussed. Some deaths are unpleasant or are due to suicide. However, in no way does the gross factor equal anything you would find in Noir fiction. Descriptions of violence and postmortems are kept short.

With an engaging combination of genres, Ghost Talker features compelling personalities and a fascinating mystery that readers will love. They will enjoy the romance, the unforgettable characters, and the intriguing dialogue.

Goodreads Review

What is the future publishing dates for the rest of the series?

All of the ebooks should be published well before the end of the year. Gray Lady #4, the next book is actually done and at my editors. It is up for pre-order and releases on April 24th. Right now Untimely Grave #5 is about one-third written and is on track. It should be up for pre-order soon.

The first three books are novellas and are about 42-45,000 words. The last three books will be book-sized at about 55,000 words. I love writing novellas as I enjoy a fast-paced story, packed with adventure. By book five though the series has a lot of characters and plot lines to juggle so naturally gets bigger.

The ebooks will go into print with the first two novella’s being combined into one. I am working on print covers now and interior artwork to make them special. Most likely print books will be released in October, 2023.

Follow me at Bookbub or Goodreads to get an email notification when when each story releases and for the giveaways I’ll be doing!

Top book review comments from NetGalley and Goodreads readers

  •  a flat-out guilty pleasure read for me.
  • fast becoming one of my favorite series.
  • kept me enthralled from beginning to end.
  • I quickly found myself enamored by the whirlwind that is Elinor Chalamet.
  • I picked up the first of this series on a whim and fell in love immediately.
  • [Elinor] is a fun character to follow, letting no one demean her. With quips and a quick mind she disarms her adversaries, yet her heart is sweet to those in need.
  • this book has all the formal aspects of a Sherlock Holmes novel: curiosity, formality in the protagonist, and high wisdom.
  • Original and fresh.
  • Byrd Nash has done it yet again.
  • I’m loving Byrd Nash novels as they’re always solid, funny, and well written.
  • I ended up reading late into the night as I couldn’t put it down. Always the sign of a good story.

Want to know more? Go to the Madame Chalamet page to read excerpts, read the Q&A, and see the book trailer.

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