The Cyborg Tinkerer

A circus competition. A tinkerer tasked with removing the losing cyborgs’ implants. Who is she to protect when she falls for both the handsome ringleader and a beautiful acrobat?

Book Blurb

In a deadly circus competition, even hearts are on the line.

Gwendolyn Grimm intended to seduce men and women across the galaxy while working as a ship tinkerer on the finest vessels in the Crescent Star System. Alas, terminal illness is a buzzkill. When a life-saving opportunity struts into her life dressed in a pinstripe suit, she is made an offer she can’t refuse: become a cyborg and work as a tinkerer for Cirque du Borge, the once renowned cyborg circus.

The problem is, a new law has banned the creation of new cyborgs and becoming one means execution if caught. Thus, no one cares to see the wonders of man and machine anymore.

Ticket sales continue to fall as the circus announces a competition to determine which acts will perform for the emperor on his home planet—an opportunity with the potential to save the circus from bankruptcy. But the competition has deadly consequences. Losing acts have their cyborg implants forcibly removed, and those who survive the extraction are banished from the circus.

As the tinkerer, Gwendolyn is forced to perform the revolting task of removing the cyborg implants from the losing performers. When she falls for both the man running the competition and a woman competing in it, she must decide who to protect. But can she risk having to harvest the people she loves the most?

Readers of Sarah J. Maas will enjoy this LGBTQ+ steampunk romance set in a deadly Treasure Planet-esque galaxy.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: This novel contains graphic violence, sexual content, profanity, and references to eating disorders. Reader discretion is advised.

Quick Glance

  • BOOK TITLE: The Cyborg Tinkerer
  • SERIES TITLE: The Curious Case of the Cyborg Circus (Book 1)
  • GENRE: Steampunk/space opera romance
  • PUBLICATION DATE: November 17, 2020
  • PUBLISHER: iWriterly LLC
  • FORMATS: Hardcover, paperback, ebook, and audiobook
    • Heavy romantic subplot
    • Steam Level (on a 1-10 scale; 1=kisses, 10=erotica): 7-8
    • LGBTQ+ romances
    • Polyamorous romance/love triangle
    • Not recommended for readers under the age of 18. (Please be aware this is not a YA novel.)
  • Click here to read the official press release.
  • Click here to view the press kit.

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Praise for The Cyborg Tinkerer

The Cyborg Tinkerer Hits Bestselling Lists!

Even before it’s publication date, The Cyborg Tinkerer has hit a few bestselling lists on Amazon (as of October 2020). Those lists are:

The highest that TCT reached was #3 on Canada’s list. I also saw TCT as high as #5 on the U.S. list. (I’ll do my best to update this section as things happen!)


What Readers Are Saying

Meet the Characters

Gwendolyn Grimm

  • Tinkerer for Cirque du Borge with an affinity for the word “fuck.”
  • Her friends—and lovers—call her Gwen. But the performers she’s forced to harvest for their cyborg parts call her the Grimm Reaper.
  • Reluctant cyborg.
  • When she falls for both the man running the competition and a woman competing in it, she must decide who to protect. But can she risk having to harvest the people she loves the most?
  • Based loosely on Belle from Beauty and the Beast

Bastian Kabir

  • Ringleader of Cirque du Borge.
  • Formal in his speech and still somehow rough around the edges.
  • Although he loves power nearly as much as his job at the circus, he’s prone to occasional bouts of unexpected kindness.
  • When he finds Gwendolyn Grimm on Anchorage, who is to say whether it’s sympathy or another reason entirely for why he offers her a second chance at life—as a cyborg? And who’s to say whether he can resist Gwen’s blunt charms?
  • Based loosely on the beast from Beauty and the Beast.

Rora Lockwood

  • Slackliner for Cirque du Borge.
  • One of the most beloved performers at the cyborg circus. In every show, she manages to capture more than hearts.
  • But she is also incredibly ambitious. Will performing for the circus be enough for her? Or will she manipulate hearts, including her own, to get what she wants?
  • Based loosely on Aurora from Sleeping Beauty.

The Cyborg Tinkerer Merchandise


Since the cover reveal of The Cyborg Tinkerer, I’ve received many similar questions. Please find a few responses to those below.

When will The Cyborg Tinkerer be published?

November 17, 2020.

What formats did you publish The Cyborg Tinkerer in?

Hardcover, paperback, ebook, and audiobook.

Will your book be available internationally?

Yes. Or, it should be! I published through IngramSpark, Draft2Digital, SmashWords, KDP, and GooglePlay. The print-on-demand companies and aggregators claim to distribute books to many platforms and worldwide.

Will The Cyborg Tinkerer be available as an audiobook?

Yes! I hired the amazing Kylie Stewart to narrate and produce the audiobook.

Did you work with editors?

Yes. I worked with three editors through four different types and rounds of editing. Specifically, The Cyborg Tinkerer was edited by Kaitlyn Johnson (developmental editing and line editing), Jenny Sims (copyediting), and Judy Zweifel (proofreading).

Will you be offering signed copies of The Cyborg Tinkerer?

Not at this time.

Why did you choose to self-publish The Cyborg Tinkerer?

I did a whole video on this topic on YouTube. Definitely check it out if you’re interested!

Is The Cyborg Tinkerer a romance?

I wouldn’t call it a straight-up romance. It’s an action-packed adventure story taking place in a steampunk/scifi setting with a hearty smattering of romance. (If you like the amount of romance in Sarah J. Maas’s stories or in books like Nevernight, you’ll probably like The Cyborg Tinkerer.)

What publishing platforms did you choose to publish your book?

IngramSpark (hardcover and paperback), KDP (ebook), Draft2Digital (ebook), SmashWords (ebook), and GooglePlay (ebook).

For me, time was more valuable than the extra income I could have earned by uploading directly to all the platforms. The biggest ones (that many indies recommend you upload directly to) are KDP, Apple iBooks, GooglePlay, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.

How can I enter your preorder giveaway?

Use this form!

Once you preorder and fill out the preorder giveaway form, you will be entered to win one of more than 30 prizes.

  • Signed copies of TCT (U.S. only)
  • TCT bookmarks and character art (U.S. only)
  • TCT merchandise (U.S. only)
  • Ebooks (international), paperbacks (U.S. only), and hardcover books (U.S. only) by authors many of you know and love
  • First page and query critiques from literary agents (international – pages must be in English)
  • Character Trait digital boxed set by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi (international)
  • A free one-month subscription to One Stop for Writers (international)

***Please be aware that prizes requiring a physical mailing will be limited to individuals living in the United States.***

Why did you choose to have a longer preorder?

The preorder for The Cyborg Tinkerer, once everything is said and done, will be five months.

I’d originally intended for the preorder length to be about three months. But then when COVID-19 hit, everything changed. A lot of the marketing I had planned (particularly in-person events) was no longer an option. In addition, I thought it would give me more time to do marketing tasks and in the order I wanted.

Plus, the longer the preorder (if done right), the better the chance of reaching a bestseller list. (I’m happy to report TCT has been on two Amazon bestselling lists in the U.S. and Canada since July 2020. As I’m writing this, it’s September 2020.)

If you want to create an audiobook, the only way to get the ball rolling on a platform like ACX is to either have your book on preorder or if your book is already published. Otherwise, your book won’t appear on ACX, and you can’t accept auditions. Knowing the audiobook was something I wanted to create for The Cyborg Tinkerer (and not knowing how long the process typically takes), I wanted to give myself as much time as possible⁠—with the hope of publishing the audiobook around the same time as the other formats (hardcover, paperback, and ebook) on November 17, 2020.

There are more factors than this that played into it, but these are a few reasons why.

Who did The Cyborg Tinkerer character art?

The talented Tara Spruit did The Cyborg Tinkerer character art. She was amazing to work with, and I highly recommend checking out her work!

How much did it cost to self-publish The Cyborg Tinkerer?

As someone who worked in corporate for a number of years before starting my company, talking openly about finances still feels a little strange to me. I haven’t decided how comfortable I am sharing this information. But I will most likely create a Patreon-only video sharing this information after TCT comes out (November 17, 2020). If that’s something you are interested in seeing, support me on Patreon!

Is Gwen a self-insert?


*Rubs the bridge of the nose.*

First of all, in case you didn’t know this, asking this question is insulting. (To many authors, though perhaps not all.)

As authors, all of the characters we create are born from our experience and views of the world. They might be inspired by things we see, or we might pull parts of ourselves to weave into aspects of a character.

But to insinuate that a character who happens to have brown hair (an extremely common hair color) and fair skin is a self-insert (because I also have those features) is narrow-minded.

To state it plainly, Gwendolyn Grimm is not a self-insert.

Yes, we are both bisexual women. But this woman is way more blunt and fearless than I will ever have the courage to be. She also has different values and ways of approaching conflict. If anything, Bastian Kabir bears more similarities to me than Gwen or Rora. (And those similarities are just small aspects of his personality. He, too, is a unique character and NOT a self-insert.)

All that to say, please stop asking this question. Would you ask this question to a male author? I think not.

How does it feel to have a novel with your name on it?

Amazing! It doesn’t feel real. Some days, I wonder if I’m waltzing in some strange and wonderful dream.