Friday, June 15, 2012

Lovestruck Giveaway & Guest Post With Author Philippa Ballantine

Thank you Under the Covers and Bona Fide Reflections for hosting this hop! 

For this giveaway we are featuring a delightfully entertaining steampunk series by two authors who are 'lovestruck'. Pip Ballantine discusses collaborating with her husband, Tee Morris, in life and in writing. 

Collaborating in Life and Writing by Philippa Ballantine
They say never work with animals and children—but some would also say that you should not work with loved ones either…at least loved ones that you want to keep in your life.
Setting out on an adventure with my good friend, who become so much more—eventually my husband—was not something I ever planned on doing as a writer. It was innocent enough; I wanted to do a podcast for pay, and Tee Morris had been a friend in podcasting since 2005. So he was the ideal candidate to collaborate with. I rather naively thought it would be just about sharing the workload and whatever profits there might be.
Before I knew it, we were on the way to creating a steampunk world full of secret agents, societies and darkness in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. Along the way, I learned so much about Tee as a person and a writer. I also learned how to collaborate.
As it turns out, collaboration in writing is much like collaboration in love; you must have excellent communication skills, know how to compromise, and know how to argue without staying mad at each other.
The collaboration started off simply.
Tee and I wrote separate characters in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. He wrote Wellington Books and I wrote Eliza D Braun. Well, that is how it began at least. Once we started writing in other point of view characters, things started to blend together, and then we started editing each other’s scenes. Now even when I am reading our novels, I can’t quite remember who wrote what. I love that magic…I find it beautiful in fact. The story is a blending of both of our ideas, and our styles. The Ministry novels have a particular style all their own, which know neither of us would be exactly able to replicate by ourselves. Not that we would want to though; writing the novels together has become part of the fabric of our relationship.
But it doesn’t mean that collaboration was an easy thing to get to. Many times Tee and I had what I might term ‘creative discussions’ about a character’s motivation, or the way the plot might go. However, I can say we never raised our voices over it. Whatever happened in the story, had to be justified. If he or I couldn’t find good enough reasons for things to happen, then we learnt to give way. Just like in love, you learn that you have to pick your battles; decide which ones are important to you, and which ones you can let slide.
For every one of those ‘discussions’ there were at least ten more fantastic moments, when we were bouncing ideas off each other like creative ping-pong. I like to think the story was created in that space between two people—two people who happened to fall ridiculously in love with each other.
Perhaps some of that had spilled over into Eliza and Wellington’s interactions. If you read Phoenix Rising and the Janus Affair, I think you will find certain places where it did. Of course, neither Tee nor I work for a secret government organisation, or swing from burning airships, but the texture of our relationship helps make up the shape of our main characters burgeoning feelings. Like us they started off as friends, and like us, they are starting to develop feelings for each other.
That is why to me the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series has a special place in my heart. Yes, writers can be hopeless romantics…but then they say write what you know!

Thank you, Pip, for taking the time to share your story with us! You and Tee have created a wonderful series with a dynamic duo that I can't seem to get enough of! 

* * * Contest Rules * * * 

Win your choice of Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #1) or The Janus Affair (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #2). 

To enter, leave a comment below. Please include your e-mail address.

Contest is international. Must be a follower via GFC or e-mail.


Beth DeRenzis said...

Oooh, count me in!

miki said...

i'm new to steampunk but i have to read some for a challenge so it's perfect. I would love to discover this series by winning the first book.

email suscriber ( and gfc follower: miki)


thanks you a lot for this giveaway
all the best

Stephanie Verhaegen said...

Thanks for the giveaway! :)

GFC - Stephanie Verhaegen

Jet said...

I haven't read anything steampunk, but I sure am interested in seeing what it is all about :)
GFC- Jet

Silverlight said...

Wow, the video was intense! I never really read anything steampunk, but this one looks like a good start! Thanks for the post and giveaway.

Pnrurbfantasyreview @

Rebe said...

I love steampunk - I have their first book in my TBR folder on my kindle, but haven't been able to read it yet. Thanks for the giveaway!


Wendy Lohr said...

I haven't read a lot of steampunk yet but definitely want to read more. And I think it's awesome that it's a husband/wife team that wrote this series. I know how that is as I'm currently writing a sci-fi/adventure series with my husband and it's a lot of fun! Although we do sometimes aggravate each other as we try to figure out what direction to

Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

leyla413 AT gmail DOT com

Jennifer L. Bielman said...

WooHoo. I wanna win.

Yvette said...

Thanks for the chance to win.

uraniborg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
uraniborg said...

thank you for the international giveaway! I follow by GFC and email as well :)
Kristia Miltiadou

sienny said...

steampunk!! i'm in!

GFC : sienny

Under the Covers said...

Hi!! Thanks for participating in the hop!


Julie Holmes said...

Count me in. Thanks for the opportunity!

erin said...

thanks for a fabulous post and giveaway! I've read such awesome reviews for this series and it's steampunk!


Book Savvy Babe said...

I've been wanting to read this series for awhile, thanks so much for the contest! I am an old follower, Book Savvy Babe
booksavvybabe at gmail dot com

Ning said...

This looks great! I haven't read many steampunks but I always look forward to new things. I'd like to win the first book since I haven't read this before.

yohinachan2000 @

Eli Yanti said...

i have not read any steampunk but love to win and read

thank you for the giveaway

nurmawati djuhawan said...

i'd love to read those 2 books...count me in in this giveaway please...
thx u ^^

GFC : nurmawati djuhawan

chikojubilee at gmail dot com

Braine @ Talk Supe said...

Cool giveaway Cat!

Talksupe at rocketmail dot com

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

This series has been on my wishlist for a long time, and I'm just so happy with this giveaway! :) Thank you, Cat!
impy80 at hotmail dot com

pj schnyder said...

I'm here to give love and hugs to Tee and Pip. Please don't enter me in the contest as I already own both books. (And I might happen to be IN the trailer. :P )

A wonderful post and I'm very happy to be part of this blog hop with them. Thanks for sponsoring it.

divavixenqueen said...

Nice post. The books look really great and the trail was great as well.

Natasha said...

Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

Melliane said...

thank you so much for this post, I haven't read this series yet but I'm very intrigued.


Barbara E. said...

I have Phoenix Rising but haven't had a chance to read it yet. The Janus Affair is on my wish list so it would be awesome to win it. I love Steampunk and I'm always excited to read new stories. I've read other books by Tee Morris and Philippa Ballentine individually, and enjoyed them, so I'm looking forward to reading this series.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

LisaC said...

I just bought Phoenix Rising but haven't peeked yet. I'm looking forward to reading both books.

Lisacordes at yahoo d0t c0m

Helen said...

I would love to read either of these
helldog3 at

PuttPutt1198Eve said...

I love steampunk because it's so inventive and quirky! The unusual gets me every time.

Bethany C. said...

I love the covers for these!
I'm a gfc follower.


Sinfully Delicious Book Reviews said...

I have the first book but haven't started it yet. I need to! Thanks for the giveaway!

sinfullydeliciousbookreviews @

throuthehaze said...

Thanks for the giveaway!
I follow you via GFC (Throuthehaze)
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Rachel said...

Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
GFC Rachel Robertson
malibu311 at gmail dot com
have a great weekend!

Na said...

Pretty cool video! I am a GFC follower.


marybelle said...

Both books look amazing. A great giveaway thank you.

GFC: Mary Preston


Dinda_SI said...

Thanks for the giveaway !!!
GFC : Dinda_SI

SdyLion said...

The books look amazing and I am so glad to have a chance to win. Thanks a million. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

Trina said...

Oh hell yes!

LOVE Pip & Tee

Reading said...

thanks for the giveaway! New follower here!
gfc readingromances

Diana said...

Thank you for the great giveaway!
GFC follower as Diana

artgiote at gmail dot com

Escapism Fanatic said...

This series looks really exciting. I have seen it so much on GR lately too.

Little Star said...


scarlettkitty at hotmail dot com

burbanette said...

I have never read Steampunk...this looks really interesting! Awesome site! Added you to my favorites bar and am now following you by email!

April Alvey said...

I Love Blog Hops. Thanks So Much.

donnas said...

Sounds really good. Thanks for the chance!

bacchus76 at myself dot com

lavendersbluegreen said...

Oooh! These look good! I am excited. I am a follower via email.

twistingthelens said...

I always enjoy finding new steampunk reads. Thanks for the chance!
I follow via e-mail:

Mary @SweepingMe said...

I have not read a steampunk novel. I would so love to do so. This sounds like a great series!

mary_reiss @

Jennifer Haile said...

These sound really good! Thank you for the giveaway!

volta2173 at sbcglobal dot net

Miss Vain's Paranormal Fantasy said...

Thanks for the giveaway girlies!! Enjoyed your guest post. :)

Astri Nasthasia Videlia said...

Wohooo... The book sounds amazing... I love the Cover by the way...
Thank's for the Giveaway... ^^


JessS said...

Thanks for the giveaway! This series sounds really good.

GFC - JessS

BookAttict said...

Enjoyed your guest post!

Thanks for the giveaway!
elizabeth @ bookattict . com
GFC: BookAttict

dusty katt said...

I've read other husband and wife writing teams before and they were great work. This looks equally as good. Thanks for the interview.
Following by email
GFC dusty katt
linky dustykatt

Grace Lavender said...

Both books like interesting cannot choose!,

GFC: Grace Lavender
liquiddemize (at) gmail (dot) com

brbalways said...

Hmm, steampunk...I haven't tried any yet. Does look interesting!


Darlene said...

I'd love to win Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #1). Following on GFC (Darlene)

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

mimirose41209 said...

Following on GFC as mimirose41209

thanks for participating in the hop. It is a great way to find new authors and series to add to my ever growing TBR list.

mimirose41209 at hotmail dot com

Ren said...

Following by GFC (Ren)

Thanks for the giveaway. Looking forward to read the series =)

sawamura_foxman AT yahoo DOT com

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

Thanks for partcipating in this hop!

GFC- Lisa Richards

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Anne said...

This is a new to me series, sounds great!
GFC Anne38

andieleah said...

Haven't read any steampunk before but these sounds good.
Gfc Andrea Wardlow
Email follower

Spav said...

I'd love to win Phoenix Rising, I've been dying to read it!

GFC: Spav


Reading mind said...

woooot! lovely book!!!

GFC reading mind

aliasgirl at libero dot it

Kylie said...

Thank you for a great giveaway! GFC- kylie C.

Joy said...

I subscribe by email.
magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

Mel said...

I love steampunk! Thanks for the giveaway!

GFC: Mel S

Froggy said...

Thanks for the chance to win!

GFC follower - Froggy

bluesun1218 said...

I have read a few Steampunk books and would love to read these! The covers rock, thanks for the chance!
GFC After Dark
bluesun1218 at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

I love steam punk costumes but have only read one steampunk book , Wicked As They Come. I would live to try another :)

Post a Comment

Due to an increase in spam, all comments are moderated. Even if you do not see an "awaiting approval" message, please only submit your comment once. Sorry for the inconvenience.