Rebecca Diem writes smart, hopeful speculative fiction and poetry. Her work includes contributions to and Kobo Writing Life, as well as the indie steampunk series Tales of the Captain Duke. Somewhere between reading Virginia Woolf and Neil Gaiman she began to write her own stories, and has no plans to stop. Rebecca is a small-town Ontario girl who now calls Toronto home where she promotes great stories at Canada's largest literary festival, and is on a never-ending quest to find the perfect café and writing spot. You can find her online @kthnxbex.

Tales of the Captain Duke - Vol. 1-4 by Rebecca Diem

The Stowaway Debutante


When Clara dreamed of running away to seek her own adventures, she never imagined that a chance encounter with the legendary Captain Duke might set her life on an entirely different course. Armed with her wit and charm, Clara can usually talk her way out of any troubles. But first, she has to get back to solid ground…

Book 1 in the Tales of the Captain Duke quartet.

From Haven to Hell


The adventure continues as the Captain Duke and his band of airship pirates return to their hideout to uncover the traitor in their midst. Now that Clara has joined his crew, she must decide whether to trust her new friends before the secrets of her past are used to tear the pilots apart.

Book 2 in the Tales of the Captain Duke quartet.

A Gentleman and a Scholar


After tragedy strikes, Clara and the Captain Duke must find a way to adapt and move on. With their trust shaken, they need to rely on new allies to save their friends… and discover who is behind the nefarious plot threatening their crew.

Book 3 in the Tales of the Captain Duke quartet.

Of Tempests and Teacups


When the Captain Duke goes missing, Clara takes the helm to face enemies old and new. Torn between desire and duty, she must use her skills as both pirate and debutante to unite her allies and save the day. Even if it means facing her greatest fears—and returning to where it all began.

Book 4 in the Tales of the Captain Duke quartet.


Rebecca Diem's Tales of the Captain Duke also swims in science fantasy, with a steampunk flavor and a feisty heroine, Clara, who becomes a member of an airship pirate crew. Told in a series of four novellas, Diem's book sails through high adventure, propelled by characters who hope to change their world. – Cat Rambo



  • "I can say without reservation that it's some of the best indie steampunk I've ever read, and I would recommend her to readers looking for high adventure in small packages."

    – Doc Perschon, The Steampunk Scholar
  • "Reading this, I couldn't help but be reminded of the classic adventure serials from the 90's. It's a fun and exciting first book, in what promises to be an excellent series!"

    – Marcus (via
  • "So many wonderful characters come to life in these books. The world the author created is vivid and well put together. I truly enjoyed reading this series."

    Michelle (via




The Stowaway Debutante

Chapter 1

It had been quite easy to sneak onto the airship. Easier still to carve out a hiding place between the stacks of crates and the wall. Clara had a rather comfortable berth under the circumstances. The sacks of grain piled here and there in the cargo hold were more than adequate for her journey to London, though she very much hoped it would be a short one. She spent her time considering various plans for her arrival and snacking on the food she had hurriedly packed: a few early apples, a chunk of yellow cheese, two soft buns, and a small cake with summer berries. The apple made a pleasant crunch as she bit into it, staring through a porthole at the passing landscape below. The airborne vessel drifted over the English countryside as she considered her options.

Clara estimated the trip to be no longer than a half day's journey, or so she judged by the speed with which they crossed to the mainland from the airship docks on the Isle of Wight. She hoped she could eventually make a run for it and get lost in the midday bustle of the London docks, but first she needed to return to solid ground. Her brother Archie's glider might have been useful to this purpose, but once he saw her safely below deck he'd had to be off or risk discovery himself. The glider was far too cumbersome to be hidden, and it would likely be of little use to her once she made it to London. She would have to find some other method of escape. Her best bet to avoid discovery was to conceal herself in one of these crates.

Clara sighed and stood, brushing the dust from her dress. Resolving to find more appropriate attire upon her arrival, she went to examine the nearest crate.

The cover was firmly in place. She looked around the hold for something useful and discovered a crowbar resting by the steps. She was quite pleased with her progress. It would be a simple matter of replacing one of the grain sacks with herself when the time came to unload the ship. She crossed the room to retrieve the tool, gathering the excess material of her skirts at her hip as she climbed out from her hiding place. Crates were stacked three deep around a large open area in the center of the hold. She retrieved the iron bar and placed the slimmer end into the edge of a large crate marked "GRAINS AND ASST. GOODS." Clara pulled with all her strength, bracing her low-heeled boot against a neighbouring case. The crack that followed was louder than she anticipated, but she was certain that the noise of the propellers and engine would mask it. What she had not expected were the contents of the crate.


Clara had just begun to ponder this new problem as she recovered from the shock, when footsteps coming down the stairs sent her scrambling to hide as silently as she could. She clutched the crowbar tightly as her veins filled with ice.