Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Interview with Eliza Braun & Wellington Books from The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series

Tour for Dawn's Early Light by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

I had the opportunity to read an early copy of Dawn's Early Light, and what can I say? You can check out my review. ;) Then I thought I would like to talk to the star agents.

I can not express the excitement I felt in preparing this post for you. I got to sit down and talk with the
Ministry Agents Eliza Braun and Wellington Books. They are an amazing duo!

Here is how it went...

M:  I’m honored to have two amazing agents of the Ministry with me today. Please welcome, Miss Eliza Braun and Mr. Wellington Books.

Congratulations is in order! Miss Braun and Mr. Books, you are both in the field.

ELIZA:  Oh yes, we are so thrilled to be returning to the field. Aren’t we Welly?

WELLINGTON:  Yes. Quite.

M:  Eliza, you have to be excited to have earned your field position back. How do you feel? Maybe more guns and explosives for you?

ELIZA:  Well now, I need to take this return gently. I’ve been — ahem — in the Archives for almost six months, avoiding any sort of non-sanctioned investigative work. So I need to find out what innovations have been made in firearms and explosive. I have heard that there is a new line of Winchester-Tesla rifles. They sound exciting.

M:  Wellington, a very nice promotion for you too. You must feel honored. Who have you left to take care your neatly organized Archives?

WELLINGTON:  Apparently, both Doctor Blackwell and Professor Axelrod have volunteered to watch over the Archives, but after a few visits to R&D, I’m a bit apprehensive about the care the Archives need. So I’ve turned to our intern from the Canadian branch, Katherine Sinclair. A very talented girl. I think she can take adequate care of our Archives whist we’re away.

M:  Your recent, and first official field case, takes you to the Americas. You got a crash course tour of different cities. I know you didn’t get to actually take in the sights, but of what you did see, what was your favorite?

ELIZA:  Detroit was a truly breathtaking city. I wish we could have stayed there longer. The Paris of the West they call it, and for good reason. I would have loved to stay there a bit longer, but we did have a train to catch.

WELLINGTON:  I found myself partial to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Quite a lovely place. Very serene. Very calm. I think I would like to return there, enjoy the ocean breeze.

ELIZA:  You would like to return there?

WELLINGTON:  I mean, we should return there. It’s a magical place.

M:  Wellington, the Americas are all new territory for you, had to be a sight!

WELLINGTON:  I did have a brief stay in New York. A bit too bustling for my taste, but this was my first trek across the country. Most impressive. Very diverse.

M:  Eliza, have you added new cities to your list of America stops?

ELIZA:  Oh let me see…I would like to return to Virginia. I understand Richmond is a delightful place. I am a bit envious of Welly here. New York also sounds like a lovely city.

M:  *chuckle* You got a taste of the Americas…strong liquors. What did you think?

ELIZA:  *through clenched teeth* I tried to warn you…

WELLINGTON:  Yes, I believe that American liquors are…an acquired taste.

M:  Eliza, it seems you have traveled the world and met some amazing people in your line of work. Where was your favorite to visit? Aside from your home of New Zealand, of course.

ELIZA:  That is as easy one—Paris. I have yet to travel there with my new partner, but I was there with my previous partner, Harrison Thorne. I was also there on assignment solo and never tire of the sights and sounds of Paris.

M:  Wellington, Seems you have become a very popular man these days. Why do you feel that is?

WELLINGTON:  Oh, they are? I mean, I am. *straightens his lapels* Well, I am most certain that people appreciate a level head, a calm demeanor, and intellect. It’s obvious, is it not?

ELIZA:  *pats Wellington on the arm gently*

M:  Eliza, you have an unusual love in your line of work, for dynamite. Will all the booms you have made what was the one you enjoyed the most? Was it the biggest or the craftiest?

ELIZA:  Oh, another easy one—Antarctica, 1895. Remember, Wellington? That was when we met.

WELLINGTON:  How could I forget? *mutters* How would I forget?

ELIZA:  That was a lovely exercise in taking advantage of the environment. I had a limited amount of explosives, but the munitions the House of Usher had stockpiled in their fortress more than made up for my modest supply. And the end result?

WELLINGTON:  Truly unforgettable.

M:  Wellington, you have a knack for machinery. When did you find you loved this work?

WELLINGTON:  Oh, I think that started with the analytical engine I created for better organization of the Archives. I’ve been expanding on it for some time, adding new functionality to it whenever and wherever I can. I am quite proud of it, and have been trying to find more projects to undertake.

M:  Speaking of machinery, I believe you have a new toy. One you built of your own, a motorcar. Nicely done.

ELIZA:  Yes. *smiles tightly* The motorcar.

WELLINGTON:  Now, just a moment, Eliza—you grew to love my motorcar.

ELIZA:  *grumbles*

WELLINGTON:  Yes, I am very proud of the motorcar. I don’t know how—practical—some of the
options are that I’ve installed, but we will see.

M:  Oh, Wellington. That was a lovely ebony cane. I heard it broke in a little scuffle. Do you have a new one? Created exactly like its predecessor?

WELLINGTON:  I have this cane, a rather lovely cherrywood, and yes, it has its own personality, much like my former walking stick.

M:  Hmm, I have to ask. You can defer the question if you’d like as I wouldn’t want any information leaked from the Ministry. The House of Usher’s reaches are further and wider spread than expected. Do you think you, or the Ministry, will ever get ahead of them?

ELIZA:  The House of Usher has always been a problem , ever since I joined the Ministry years ago. As Wellington can attest, there have been times we’ve scored the upper-hand with them, other times where they have disappeared into the shadows. I don’t know what the future holds with them, but believe it or not I believe the Old Man—

WELLINGTON:  She means, Doctor Sound.

ELIZA:  —has an upper-hand on Usher. Not sure how, but I think he knows something.

M:  They are very focused on one person. *cough* You both know who that is. Is it safe to be in the field with them wanting him?

WELLINGTON:  The last time they tried to lay hands on me, it cost them a base in Antarctica. And considering events in this latest case file, I think they may be a touch more cautious.

M:  One last question.
When you both first met you really didn’t see eye to eye. What have you learned about the other in your adventures that you like now, or respect more so, with getting to know each other?

ELIZA:  These previous adventures have indeed taught me a lot about Wellington Thornhill Books. I think around me, Wellington has a bit of a daring streak, and it is quite adorable how he attempts to quash it. I do love a man with a bit of depth.

WELLINGTON:  I have learned, in most situations, if I listen to Eliza Braun—even if the notion at first sounds utterly preposterous—I live to see another sunrise. For that, I am grateful.

M:  Thank you both for taking time to sit with me. It was great to talk with you both. Do take care!

Dawn's Early Light 
By Tee Morris & Philippa Ballantine
Working for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, one sees innumerable technological wonders. But even veteran agents Braun and Books are unprepared for what the electrifying future holds…

After being ignominiously shipped out of England following their participation in the Janus affair, Braun and Books are ready to prove their worth as agents. But what starts as a simple mission in the States—intended to keep them out of trouble—suddenly turns into a scandalous and convoluted case that has connections reaching as far as Her Majesty the Queen.

Even with the help of two American agents from the Office of the Supernatural and the Metaphysical, Braun and Books have their work cut out for them as their chief suspect in a rash of nautical and aerial disasters is none other than Thomas Edison. Between the fantastic electric machines of Edison, the eccentricities of MoPO consultant Nikola Tesla, and the mysterious machinations of a new threat known only as the Maestro, they may find themselves in far worse danger than they ever have been in before…

Giveaway Time!!
Tee and Pip have offered up amazing packages to win.
(Open to US & Canadian readers)

Three paperback set (signed) of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences
Signed Abney Park Poster
Signed Abney Park CD Ancient World
Signed coverflats of Phoenix Rising and the Janus Affair

Three paperback set (signed) of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences
The Extraordinary Contraptions CD
Signed cover flat of Phoenix Rising

Three paperback set (signed) of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences

Author Bio:
New Zealand born fantasy writer and podcaster Philippa (Pip) Ballantine is the author of the Books of the Order and the Shifted World series. She is also the co-author, with her husband Tee Morris, of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels. Her awards include an Airship, a Parsec, and a Sir Julius Vogel. Morris is the author of Morevi: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana and the co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels. In addition to his work as a fantasist, he is also a social media pioneer and the author of Podcasting for Dummies and All a Twitter.

Author Links:
Pip's website:
Pip's Twitter:  @philippajane

Tee's website:
Tee's Twitter:  @TeeMonster

The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Facebook page:

Purchase the books at any Book Seller:

Barnes & Nobles:
  Phoenix Rising
  The Janus Affair
  Dawn's Early Light

Book Depository:
  Phoenix Rising
  The Janus Affair
  Dawn's Early Light

Check out the rest of the tour:
3/6: Patricia D. Eddy (Review)
3/7: Jennifer Melzer (Excerpt)

3/10: Lori @ A License to Quill (Q+A)
Virginia @ Heart to Heart Books (Review)
3/11: Jan @ My Opinion on Various Books (Excerpt)
3/12: Amanda @ Switzy Thoughts (Guest Post)
Melissa @ My World in Thoughts and Pages (Character interview)
3/13: Melissa @ Books and Things (Excerpt)
3/14: Ria @ Bibliotropic (Excerpt)

3/17: Chris @ asylos (Guest Post)
3/18: Paul K Ellis (Q+A)
3/19: Katharina Bordet (Excerpt)
3/20: Warren @ The Pew Reviews (Review)
3/21: CJ @ Black Satin (Guest Post)


  1. I love this series! Can't wait for Dawn's Early Light to come out :)
    Just found your blog and now following!

    Finley Jayne

    1. Finley Jayne, Hi! Oh yes, HUGE fan of the series myself. :) And glad you found the blog. Thank you! I'll stop by yours shortly. :)

  2. Loved this interview! So love this couple. I'm in the middle of reading this book and I am so upset that real life is getting in my way of reading it.

    Mel this was such a fun post!

    1. Thank you Melissa (B&T) I was thrilled to get a chance to do this interview. :D It was so much fun. Love these characters and the authors. :)

  3. That was a great interview. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Jennifer Bielman. Was so fun to step into the world with the characters. :)

  4. thanks for the great interview. It's always so nice to read steampunk! I love it. I confess I haven'tread the series but heard great things about it and I'm really curious to try it.

    1. Melliane, this world is so much fun. The characters are great. :) Thank you!

  5. Sounds fun & great interview! :)

    1. Victoria S. It was so much fun. And the books too. :) Thank you!

  6. I just adore these two! They are a neverending source of entertainment. And I sure missed them, so getting my hands on a copy of this is a priority!
    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Maja (The Nocturnal Library), oh thank you. I really enjoy this duo. They really are a hoot together. :)


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