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Reading Guide for Etiquette & Espionage now available to teachers, students, librarians, parents, and other interested parties.

Participate in Gail's monthly book group read along? August's book is Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti.

Gail's YA SF audiobook Crudrat is up for sale to the general public on

Gail will be in England most of August. Her next events are Nine Worlds Aug. 8 ~ 10, 2014 (London, Heathrow area), Nottingham Waterstones Aug. 12 at 6:30 PM, & LonCon 3 Aug. 15 ~ 17, 2014 (London, Docklands area). She has now posted some 2015 events.

The Italian and Spanish editions of the Parasol Protectorate books are in litigation. Both publishing houses are in trouble. Even if we manage a reversion it's rare that another house picks up a series mid-publication. Conclusion? Unlikely to continue in these languages.


Gail Carriger currently has three book series, all set in her whimsical steampunk meets urbane fantasy vision of the Victorian past.

The Parasol Protectorate Series

Beginning with Soulless, these five books chronicle the exploits of Alexia Tarabotti, a lady of considerable assets including large Scottish werewolf, battle-parasol, gossip, and treacle tart tenancies. Oh yes, and she has no soul. These book are all completed and released in the USA.

The Finishing School Series

Sophronia is secretly recruited to a finishing academy located in a giant caterpillar-like dirigible floating over Dartmoor in which young ladies are taught to . . . finish . . . everything . . . and everyone . . . as needed. Book the First, Etiquette & Espionage, released early 2013 with three more to follow.

The Custard Protocol Series

The British Empire is deflating, only Rue and her marauding team of outrageous miscreants in their high-tech dirigible, the Spotted Custard, are still charging about trying to fix things, loudly and mainly with tea. The first book, Prudence, is due to release on March 17, 2015!

Gail´s Short Stories

Audio Books

Obligatory Bio

New York Times Bestselling author Gail Carriger writes to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in Higher Learning. Ms. Carriger then traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She resides in the Colonies, surrounded by fantastic shoes, where she insists on tea imported from London. Gail's books are published in over a dozen different languages and she received the Prix Julia Verlanger from French readers.


The Parasol Protectorate books are: Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, and Timeless. Soulless won the ALA's Alex Award and has been turned into a graphic novel. Her young adult Finishing School series begins with Etiquette & Espionage and follows the exploits of Sophronia, a young lady who discovers her dreaded lady's seminary is a great deal more than anyone realizes. In the Custard Protocol series, beginning with Prudence, Rue and her crack (or possibly cracked) dirigible crew get into trouble around the Empire on behalf of queen, country, and tea. Gail also has kickstarted a full cast audio production of her YA sci-fi Crudrat.

Gail Carriger

Book Review: Blood and Chocolate

So this month's book, Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause was a reread for me, but it was different looking at it with my critic's hat on.

My Original Goodreads Review

This brilliant, sexy YA, did urban fantasy before we knew that's what it was called. Please don't judge it by the abysmal movie version, the book is nothing like that dross. It's romantic, fast paced, a true insight into what it might be to be a teen girl and a werewolf. The main character is strong, powerful, and has a genuine path to self actualization and independence. We should be so lucky as to have young girls read and want to be Vivian. I adore this book.

And Now?

When I first read it, I mostly just loved Vivian. I liked how she is such a strong and powerful creature, physically and otherwise. Klause writes her as wolf-like in attitude and self-confidence. That's so different from most YA novels which (in an effort to create an outsider character) dwell overmuch on weakness and shame (often as obstacles to be overcome but still defining character traits).

Yet Vivian is still a YA character. She is trying to find out her place in the world, the difference being that her world has been upset. Her place, once so surely with her pack, is shaken. Most YA protags are weak and find their place through strength and personal growth. Vivian starts out strong but won't except her place.

Dammit, there's no reason I should let pack traditions rule me, she decided.

Vivian's struggle is to acknowledge duty. Loosing her father left her with a profound sense of survivor guilt, both wolf-like loss of alpha leadership, but also a sense of responsibility in that as she becomes an adult it is part of her genetics to pull her pack together, shoulder the burden of their survival, because that would be following in her father's paw-steps. That would also be the adult thing for a wolf to accept.

At the same time, Klause gives us a girl with whom young readers can identify. Vivian is experiencing the classic pangs of first love. There is both the standard agony and euphoria, but these sensations are exacerbated by Vivian's cultural confusion.

Have a talk with him about what? she wondered. What had she done wrong? Why did Mr.s Teague not want a mate for her son?

Vivian is, by our standards, animalistic in her wants. A werewolf main character allows Klause to write a sexual teenage girl, powerful in her choices, in a way that a human main character would have been frowned upon my most critics.

He looked sleek and suntanned. Vivian wanted to bite the buttons off of his shirt.

Vivian is also fighting with her mother in exactly the way most teenage girls do.

Vivian bristled. "You can't tell me who to date."
Esmé put her hands on her hips. "'Don't date is you can't mate.' the saying does." Human and wolf-kind were biologically incapable of breeding.
"I'm going to a concert, not having his baby," Vivian snapped. "And don't tell me wolf-kind only start relationships when they want children. I know better."
"You've got a smart mouth girl," Esmé called as she walked off.
Now Vivian was sure she was going.

And yet that relationship is complex, later when her mother is crying over the photos and they go into the bar together, you see some of their mutual love. There is also a sense of Vivian being aware of her mother's brittle fragility, and that some of Vivian's dislike of her mother stems from a very wolfish hatred of percieved weakness.

She and Esmé exchanged knowing looks, their limps plump, curved, and smug.

Klause's writing style is neat and her sentences short. Not so skillfully fragmentary as Tarr, but punchy and sparse. She breaks out into occasional moments of lyricality but mostly she keeps it tight. Partly this is her writing style, but I think, also a way of showing the wolf mentality in prose. Direct, confrontational, sharp.

He nodded, unable to talk. His world had changed. Now shadows would always take on threatening shapes. What had she done? Oh, poor, poor boy. She was indeed a monster. She had made him unsafe forever.

Follow Up Reading?

Klause has only a few books out, and though I tried most of her other stuff, none of them drew me in like Blood and Chocolate. There are those who love The Silver Kiss, which is her vampires meets Tuck Everlasting approach. If you enjoyed this month's pick and what you like is Vivian's strength and confidence, I would suggest you try Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small series (YA fantasy, knight in training), or her Beka Cooper series (YA fantasy noir, police investigation), or her Trickster series (older YA fantasy, politics, espionage, rebellion).

{What is Gail's Book Group reading for next month? Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti ~ YA a non-alt history steampunk with strong romantic thread.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1870 aleyma-  Mourning ensemble, made in the United States, c.1870 tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Teacup Hedgehog. ([今日の一枚]ティーカップハリネズミ by @hedgehogdays)

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
“Rejoice when a little girl shows a fondness for reading, and by all means encourage it. Keep her well supplied with good and entertaining books, and you will have little trouble with her.”
~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (1864)

Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.

The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014)
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
Soulless Vol. 1, Soulless Vol. 2, Soulless Vol. 3
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song, & Fairy Debt; The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't, the Mummy That Was, and the Cat in the Jar

Book News:
In Between dreams and reality Melliane says of E&E, “The world is as always very interesting and it was nice to find this idea of ​​steampunk mixed with creatures of all kinds.”

Quote of the Day:
“The day was Sunday, the date February 16th 1874; the time . . . about eleven A.M., when the Painter, enjoying his seventh day holiday after his own fashion, went strolling about the rocks. The others waited lunch for him, and had eventually sat down without him, when two of the sailors arrived with a message from him: ‘I have found the entrance to a tomb. Please send sandwiches.’”
~ Amelia B. Edwards in A Thousand Miles Up the Nile

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She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
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