Tagged shameless promotion

Poison or Protect Is Now An Audiobook!

I’m delighted, Gentle Reader, to announce that Poison or Protect is now available as an audiobook. Find it on Audible & iTunes

This Parasolverse story, the first Delightfully Deadly Novella, is read by the amazing Suzanne Lavington and produced by Bryan Lincoln.

Poison or Protect

Can one gentle Highland soldier woo Victorian London’s most scandalous lady assassin, or will they both be destroyed in the attempt?

Lady Preshea Villentia, the Mourning Star, has four dead husbands and a nasty reputation. Fortunately, she looks fabulous in black. What society doesn’t know is that all her husbands were marked for death by Preshea’s employer. And Preshea has one final assignment.

It was supposed to be easy, a house party with minimal bloodshed. Preshea hadn’t anticipated Captain Gavin Ruthven – massive, Scottish, quietly irresistible, and… working for the enemy. In a battle of wits, Preshea may risk her own heart – a terrifying prospect, as she never knew she had one.

Now Available For Your Listening Pleasure!

I do hope you enjoy my second independently produced audiobook.

Now that we’ve things in order, I’m really trying to bring out audiobooks closer to the book’s release. If not always timed exactly to the print edition, at least as close as possible. This one should have been out 3 weeks ago but ACX QA delayed matters, over which I have no control, sadly.

Also, it all rides on the narrator. I’m obsessed with making sure I find the right narrator. I hope you understand that and don’t mind the occasional wait while I get it right.

Praise for Poison or Protect:

  • Felicia Sue Lynn Reviews says: “I really enjoy Carriger’s world building. Even without reading previous works, the world is really rich. It’s full of steampunk and supernatural elements that made Soulless so endearing in the first place.”
  • For What It’s Worth says: “All in all a rollicking fun time!”
  • Book Sojourner says: “Overall, this standalone novella is a quick read, but packed with great characters, relationship depth, a bit of adventure, and a sweet and sexy romance.”
  • Hedgehog Librarian says: “The sexual tension between the leads was nicely done and the sex scenes had an interesting take to them.”
  • V’s Reads says: “As with previous books, the story is rollicking with a pace that sweeps the reader into falling for unlikely heroes.”
  • AJ Tipton says: “Delightfully Deadly is correct, this book reminded me of why I loved Gail Carriger’s “Soulless” and the Parasol Protectorate books so much. Funny and caring, with characters that are completely competent and yet emotionally vulnerable, Poison or Protect is a wonderful romp.”
  • Rally the Readers says: “ Poison or Protect … makes maximal use of every word. I was extremely impressed with how much story this novella packed into its pages. The plot is perfectly paced, and we get to spend plenty of time becoming acquainted with its characters.”
  • The Lit Bitch says: “This novella is more of an adult romance with a little intrigue mixed in. I thought both of the main characters had chemistry and Carriger wrote tasteful love scenes that were erotic as well as tender.”
  • Traveling Through Books says: “…I loved learning more about a character that was in opposition to the main characters of Finishing School.”
  • Books and Things says: “I highly recommend it to those that have enjoyed this steampunk world and those that enjoy a good paranormal romance.”
  • E A Hennesy says: “As always, Carriger’s characters are charming and funny, as well as sincere and relatable. The romance is a very positive one, with an emphasis on mutual respect and consent.”
  • Reading the Paranormal says: “I’m very excited by this series of books. Steamy romance chock full of both old faces and new.”

Preshea’s character board on Pinterest:

More About Audio?

I love this chat between three great audiobook narrators. At the Dreamspinner Press Workshop with Greg Tremblay, Derrick McClain, and Joel Froomkin

5 Tips for Successful Audiobooks

{Gail’s monthly read along for June is Local Custom by Lee & Miller.}

PROJECT ROUND UP

  • Poison or Protect Audiobook.
    StatusOut now!
    Can one gentle Highland soldier woo Victorian London’s most scandalous lady assassin, or will they both be destroyed in the attempt?

COMING SOON

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger
Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Allen & Ginter (American, Richmond, Virginia)
Right Face, from the Parasol Drills series (N18) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands, 1888

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Dinner with Victor Hugo, 1872

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

“Don’t just write a strong female protagonist. Be one.”

~ A.D. Posey

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.”

~ E. B. White

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

The Gin Book Club says of Imprudence:

“In fact, everything about this novel felt more tangible to me than the first. The focus was in the right places: on the dirigible, the people, their interactions, the landscape and the events described.”

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


Why G. L. Carriger? On Pen Names, Cover Art & Reader Betrayal

So let us talk a little bit about pen names, shall we Gentle Reader?

G. L. Carriger

My next book, The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1, is a big departure for me. OK, perhaps not that big. It’s still me, full of silliness and fun. It’s urban fantasy, but it’s set in contemporary times, in America. It’s not steampunk. It has more sex than my other writing has in the past. It’s certainly got worse language.


Preorder Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo

I dithered for a while about what to do about this. You see, I worry about reader betrayal… a lot.

Reader Betrayal

Reader betrayal can take many forms. At its root, it is that sensation one gets if the book you’re reading does something totally unexpected in a bad way. Like if a book you picked up thinking it was romance suddenly doesn’t have a happy ending.

Now, why does this happen?

Well, it can be a flaw in story: you’re reading one thing when the author suddenly takes a dive and turns it into something else. That is the author’s fault. (This is what I call the “scream and hurl” scenario.) Or it can be a flaw in expectation, you thought it was one kind of book, despite the cover and blurb trying to tell you otherwise, and you read it anyway.

Far more common these days is visual marker caused betrayal. This means that you picked up the book expecting one thing because of the cover and then got something completely different from the words within. Controlling these expectations is a serious business. It’s done many ways: visually through cover art (image & text), but also via author name, and cover copy/blurb and description. (There are also things that can’t really be controlled like algorithms offering “similar books you might like.”)

For example, if I showed you this cover:

You’d expect one thing. Dark gritty urban fantasy. Possibly noir tropes in use. If that’s the kind of thing you like, you might then take a look at the book description and decide to buy it.

But if I gave you this one:

You’d expect something else. Upbeat, cheerful, youthful, pulp-ish.

Both covers are based off photos. Both are single person images, saturated color use. But the kind of image chosen, from dress to facial expression, and the tweaks then made to it, from color choice to the overlay of type and font in use, all tell you, the reader, something about what is inside.

You may not know exactly what you are being told, or how to control your own response, but trust me, you’re reacting. The thing that worries a savvy author the most is NOT “does this cover depict what’s inside my book” but “does this cover accurately portray the spirit of my book?”

If you picked up Fairy Debt and did not get a fun little light hearted read about a fairy in silly times, you would be angry with me as the author. You would feel betrayed.

Print edition proofs arrive in office.

Why talk about covers when I should be discussing pen names?

Because most of the time, covers come first. Covers are the single most important thing when selling a book or establishing a brand as an author. Initially. After that, of course, its up to the author to pull the reader in and make them want more.

Which brings us to author name recognition.

After a certain point, if lucky, an author starts to accrue loyal readers. These are the readers who write to say they love you. Who regularly leave book reviews. Who vow to buy “anything you write.” These readers follow an author’s newsletter (if really lucky) and get excited when a new book comes along.

These readers are you, eyeballs reading this blog post right now. I LOVE YOU.

You know what to expect from me as an author because I have tried to give you something quite consistent over the last few years. Yes, it jumped around from YA to adult to novella, from espionage to romance to adventure, but the spirit of the Parasolverse has been unchanged.

Cover art plays into this too, keeping a theme going is pretty darn important:

Here’s how I played with my own themes for my indie stuff:

Romancing the Inventor

Do you see the similarities, and to which books? Can you understand why I might want to make some of the changes I did between my novels and my novellas? (Perhaps that is a whole other discussion if you’re interested.)

One of the things I’d encourage you to notice is that I made my name bigger than the title for the first time when I produced my own stuff.

Why?

Because when self-pubbing I’m banking on name recognition. Because it’s more common in romance to do this for well known authors, and my novellas touch on romance more heavily. (And, because I have noticed over the years that male F/SF authors get this kind of name glorification treatment while the rest of us, erm, do not. That gets my goat because it smacks pretty darn strongly of sexism.)

So, why go through all this trouble to establish name recognition, only to change my name… slightly?

G. L. Carriger

Because we are back to the first part of this post: reader betrayal.

My new non-parasolverse m/m urban fantasy is just different enough for me to worry. Even knowing that I could give you a very different cover, which I have done, I worried that my name was now strong enough to sucker readers into expecting things: gentleness, steampunk, sweet romance, Victorian food & clothing.

I worried that if it says “by Gail Carriger” readers would expect exactly the kind of thing they had gotten from me before. The Sumage Solution is just different enough for readers to get mad at me. Not because I don’t write urban fantasy or paranormal romance well (This book is oodles of fun. It makes me so happy.) but because it’s not what readers expected from Gail Carriger going in. Which isn’t really my fault.

Except that it is. It is certainly my responsibility.

I have established Gail Carriger expectations with 17 or so books now. So it’s up to me to shift those expectations. So I’m publishing The Sumage Solution under G. L. Carriger. Still me. Just tweaked. This way, going in, readers pick up the book and perhaps go:

“Huh, I wonder if this is still Gail? I wonder why Gail is doing this? Perhaps it’s not quite the same thing as before.”

It wasn’t an easy decision, I’ll tell you that much.

And, I hope you like her.

Still and always yours,

Miss G

Want more?

{Gail’s monthly read along for May is Radiance by Grace Draven.}

PROJECT ROUND UP

  • Poison or Protect Audiobook.
    Status: Battling ACX. (AKA Audible/Amazon)
    Can one gentle Highland soldier woo Victorian London’s most scandalous lady assassin, or will they both be destroyed in the attempt?

UP NEXT

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger
Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Longchamp, France. 1900 via Edwardian Time Machine tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Gail Carriger Sketched by Howard Tayler

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

“The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”

~ Albert Einstein

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“Writing a book is like telling a joke and having to wait 2 years to know whether or not it was funny.”

~ Alain de Botton

Book News:

The Reading Chick says of Prudence:

“The style of the characters meld completely with the storyline, that it all seems completely believable, in a rather fantastic way.”

Quote of the Day:

“People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.”

~ Logan Pearsall Smith

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


Steampunk Worlds Fair

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

I branched out from my normal color profiles at Steampunk World’s Fair this year. (As ever you can find out more about my outfits over on Retro Rack.)

For now, Gentle Reader, sufficient to say I dressed for heat, or tried to with corsets involved, and it ended up being cold. Then I added layers. So the outfits were odd meldings of attire I normally wouldn’t put together. Also I went for lighter colors, because, why not?

The Embassy Suites hotel has the most amazing atrium, a perfect setting for steampunk. Most of the time I hung out there or walked between the two hotels just watching the remarkable costumes go by and saying hello to familiar faces.

Also, one of my book covers turned up… in the flesh!

 

Pretty flipping amazing, no?

Had a truly remarkable panel on women in steampunk and the arts with Leanna Renee Hieber, Ashley Rodgers, and Nikki Woolfolk. One of the highlights of the convention for me.

But my favorite thing? Ashley’s AMAZING one woman show, Pass Fail. It was so so good. I belly laughed and then sobbed in equal measure. It’s kind of stand up, meets spoken word, meets heart-wrenching confessional. If you have the opportunity, you owe it to yourself to experience this phenomenal piece.

All in all a great convention and a joy to return. I do hope I get to go back again in a few years. Such a great con.

Want more?

{Gail’s monthly read along for May is Radiance by Grace Draven.}

PROJECT ROUND UP

  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel by G. L. Carriger
    Status: Formatting
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

UP NEXT

Poison or Protect audiobook coming soon! Can one gentle Highland soldier woo Victorian London’s most scandalous lady assassin, or will they both be destroyed in the attempt?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Twelve Victorian Era Tips on the Etiquette of Ladylike Letter Writing

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Writers’ Most Frequently Asked Questions

Book News:

A reminder Imprudence Goodreads giveaway is still going on.

Quote of the Day:

“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road.”

~ Henry Ward Beecher

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


In Which Gail Answers Some Cubicle-Style Interview Questions

Posted by Gail Carriger

Is has been a long time, Gentle Reader, since I worked a cubicle job.

Yes I did. Once. A long time ago. I worked gaming Q&A for an education and entertainment company. Let me see, over 15 years or so. Then I returned to academia and never looked back. In case you think me a slacker I also worked as a manager in both retail and the food service industry. And yes, my first job was as a library page.

What? You doubted me?

Now where was I? Oh yes, cubicle.

Prudence Stuff in a Cubby

The thing is, once you’ve been out of it for a while, the whole concept of the cubby world seems alien and odd, but nothing is more so than the dreaded interview questions. So I thought I’d play a tortuous kind of game and give some to myself, now, over year into being officially my own boss as an LLC.

Here we go!

1. Miss Gail, What Do You Like Most About Working Here?

Well my boss is pretty relaxed, the place is always tidy, I can stop and eat whenever I want and the tea is endless. It can get a little lonely, but that is what Twitter is for. Ooops. I shouldn’t tell my boss how much time I spend on Twitter. She can get a bit mad about that.

2. How Do Your Customers Define Success?

Number of books per year and quality of said books. I think. They don’t seem to mind too much where or how they get those books so long as they get them with something approaching regularity.

3. What Would You Change Around Here If You Could?

I’d love to duplicate myself, I’d get so much more done.

Honestly? I’d really like to travel less and write more. I enjoy getting out and seeing people but the impact on my creativity is drastic. I’d also like to do 3 writing retreats a year. I’m so much more productive on those than I am at any other time.

4. How Does The Management Team Deal With Mistakes?

Usually she apologies as quickly as possible, confesses all and asks for forgiveness. (If said mistake is visible to the public, of course.) Otherwise she scrabbles like crazy to fix it before anyone notices. If it’s not her mistake, and she can’t fix it, but people keep telling her about it (happens a lot in publishing) she ignores it and the people.

5. What’s The Best Benefit You Offer?

Aside from the aforementioned unlimited tea? Nimbleness. It’s the single best thing about being my own boss and a hybrid author. My traditional publishers have been great, supportive and motivating, but with my indie projects I can turn on a dime and that is pretty great in this day and age. Of course, then if it doesn’t happen I have no one to blame but myself.

Speaking of which, better get back to work.

{Gail’s monthly read along for May is Radiance by Grace Draven.}

PROJECT ROUND UP

  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel by G. L. Carriger
    Status: Formatting
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

UP NEXT

Poison or Protect audiobook. ACX has delayed production for some unknown reason. Fighting with audible right now. Merph.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900 Fashion of My Fair Lady

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Alexia Tote $11.85

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A (Semi) Comprehensive Guide to LGBTQ+ Romance

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Yes, You Can Make a Living Writing Fiction

Book News:

Parasolverse Books In World Chronological Order (oldest setting at bottom)

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


Occasional FAQ: What Would Gail Do?

Posted by Gail Carriger

Busting my tush editing right now, Gentle Reader.

However I did notice that The Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley is on sale today for $1.99. One of my favorite short story collections ever.

So, for the today’s blog post? Here’s a quick fun one for you. Some pithy answers to some frequently asked questions.

What is your guiltiest pleasure that few know about?

Great British Bake Off, closely followed by Trader Joe’s Paneer Tikka Masala and Marie Claire magazine. Sometimes I can be found indulging in all three at once.

What hobbies do you have and how do they influence your work?

I like to sew, dance, cook, read,  and eat. All of these things sneak into my books: I’m always describing the way people move, what they are wearing, and what they consume. In Competence my characters form an on dirigible book group.

What can we find you doing to relax?

Shoe shopping, drinking tea, more shoe shopping, thinking about shoe shopping, drinking more tea – it’s a simple life.

What would happen to your writing if there was a shortage (gasp!) of tea or chocolate?

I could probably survive without the chocolate. I don’t know if I could function as a human being without tea, let alone write.

Has your sense of humor ever gotten you into trouble?

More times than I can possibly count. I always think I’m hilarious and I will open my big mouth at the most inopportune times. Booze, let me just say, does not help with this problem.

Is there a place, activity, or person that is your hiding spot?

Yes, any place where I can have a great cup of tea and be surrounded by a civilized little shade garden.

1925 Esther Borough Johnson (British artist, 1867-1949) Tea Table in the Garden

What’s one random tidbit about yourself?

I find endless comedic enjoyment in the ridiculous: the Westminster Dog Show, rubber animals, string cheese, squid, that kind of thing. Also, I’m a mean lean pinball player.

Can you tell us something about you we can’t see on your wikia?

All my inanimate objects have names (I think it’s rude to yell at them without calling them by name). Oh and I’m famous amongst my friends for a certain breakfast item called the “eggy cup.”

Would you rather be a vampire, a werewolf, or a ghost?

Werewolf, no question. I’ve always wanted to be able to change shape, even if I were forced to do it every month. Most of us ladies are quite accustomed to engaging in the emotional equivalent of a monthly shape change already, I suspect it wouldn’t be too difficult to adapt to werewolfdom.

How would you react if you were you attacked by a vampire without even a proper introduction?

Oh, I have no pride or gumption. I would run to the nearest public area yelling for the constabulary.

If you could spend one day in Victorian–era London, what would you do (and, more importantly, what would you wear)?

I should love to visit the Crystal Palace and the Great Exhibition displays housed there. I’d wear the appropriate day dress, probably something in teal velvet with hundreds of tiny buttons and a very outrageous hat. Ivy has nothing on me with regards to taste in hats. (Find out more on the Crystal Palace on my 1850s History Pinterest board.)

What are some of your favorite films?

In no particular order:

Find out more on my Recommended TV & Movies Pinterest board.

What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

“She would rather have drowned in tea.”

what it will actually say is

“She only wanted to taste it once.”

{Gail’s monthly read along for March is Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith.}

PROJECT ROUND UP

  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel by G. L. Carriger
    Status: With Copy Editor
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor in Audiobook. A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1888 Charles Courtney Curran – Lotus Lilies via history-of-fashion

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

All the colors people purchased this t-shirt in from my store just after it was announced. You ladies & gentlemen are the best!

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

High Street, Exeter, Devon, England, ca. 1895

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Three Award-Winning Romance Novelists Discuss Their Craft

Book News:

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Marketing Podcast: Transitioning from Traditional Publishing to a Hybrid Career with Gail Carriger

Quote of the Day:

“There are lots worse curses to have, but she writes them SO SLOWLY, and I read them SO FAST!”

~ Overheard at Borderlands Books in San Francisco

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


Cover Art & Its Purpose in Life

Posted by Gail Carriger

Hello, Gentle Reader!

I’ve been thinking and talking a lot about cover art recently.

It came up unexpectedly (for me) on a podcast interview over on SF & F Marketing. I’ve also been embroiled in the back-and-forth of creating the cover for Secret Project SAS (which is also the start of a new series and a new identity as G.L. Carriger so it needs to be LOTS OF THINGS) and then re-doing Marine Biology to match.

More on that later.

So Cover Art…

My new saying? The pretty is the enemy of the correct.

Covers are like a visual elevator pitch for a book, they don’t need to say exactly what’s in it so much as what’s it’s about. The point of the cover is not to find AN audience for that book but to find the RIGHT audience. I think a lot of indie authors forget this, and get embroiled in trying to make it look too much like what’s inside and not enough like packaging that represents the book’s theme. That last statement may have made some of you angry, because it smacks of manipulation. But stick with me, okay?

Goodreads put up a ton of books on sale today and three interesting things happened.

  1. I wasn’t interested in a single one of them. (I’d either read it already, or it’s not to my current reading taste.)
  2. The range of art as meets genre was fascinating, and many of the covers did catch my eye.
  3. I really wanted to blog about it.

So let’s run a little test?

Here are 10 covers that stood out for me:

So without knowing anything else but having those small images…

Which one might you click on to read the blurb. Or pick up in the store and flip to the back?
  • Smoke & Bone 19%, 50 votes
    50 votes 19%
    50 votes - 19% of all votes
  • Heirs of Empire 17%, 45 votes
    45 votes 17%
    45 votes - 17% of all votes
  • Dragon Bound 14%, 37 votes
    37 votes 14%
    37 votes - 14% of all votes
  • Under Different Stars 11%, 29 votes
    29 votes 11%
    29 votes - 11% of all votes
  • Imitation 11%, 28 votes
    28 votes 11%
    28 votes - 11% of all votes
  • The Last Girl 8%, 21 vote
    21 vote 8%
    21 vote - 8% of all votes
  • Skewed 7%, 19 votes
    19 votes 7%
    19 votes - 7% of all votes
  • Whisper 7%, 19 votes
    19 votes 7%
    19 votes - 7% of all votes
  • The Curse Keepers 3%, 9 votes
    9 votes 3%
    9 votes - 3% of all votes
  • A Taste of Magic 3%, 7 votes
    7 votes 3%
    7 votes - 3% of all votes
Total Votes: 264
March 20, 2017 - March 27, 2017
Voting is closed

Now, without reading anything about each book, I’m gonna tell you what I thought when I saw its thumbnail, let’s see if you agree with me?

 Whisper
What I like: Clear indication of romance given the swirly font and large female author name. Horses indicate old west or plantation setting. Red and cream is a tasteful color match.
Issues: Can’t read whole title, cover is very generic.
What do I think this book is about? Heterosexual romance in a historical setting. Demure pose and the fact that she is alone in the picture with a horse in the background suggests sweet romance (little sex).
Was I right given the blurb? Yes

 Smoke & Bone
What I like: The color pallet, the starkness of the lighting, the slash nature of the mask and the title.
Issues: Didn’t realize the title was Daughter of Smoke & Bone until I really squinted, can’t read author name at all. Not sure how I feel about three different fonts on the same cover.
What do I think the book is about? I’m going with suspense of some kind, in the Gone Girl oeuvre maybe? Because of the mask, perhaps it’s either historical or set in a theater, makes me think Phantom of the Opera.
Was I right given the blurb? Sort of. Suspense but also urban fantasy?

 The Curse Keepers
What I like:
KILLER title! The shadow box to make the title pop while still over the figures is a neat trick, centered text.
Issues: Author name is not legible, weird tattoo stuff on left not necessary, whole thing is generic.
What do I think this book is about? Without a doubt this is in the Cassandra Clare, Beautiful Creatures, etc. YA angst show knock off. This one will be witches and warlocks and stuff like that, no vampires (because of the sunlight and lack of blood red color).
Was I right given the blurb? Yes.

 A Taste of Magic
What I like: Very easy to read title and author name, bold color choices.
Issues: Not a lot, actually, while this might not be my kind of book, I think it reads as a near perfect cover for the kind of book it is. Let’s see if I’m right.
What do I think this book is about? Romance, chick lit version of Practical Magic. Contemporary set urban fantasy but with a very light touch and gentle upbeat text, probably involves food. Beach read.
Was I right given the blurb? Yes.

 Skewed
What I like: Fantastically striking cover, retro feel, very basic but impactful, color choices. Title and author are clear and easy to read.
Issues: Absolutely no idea what it is about. Could be anything from a quirky adult version of Awkward (that MTV show) or a non-fiction tell all about the music/photo/modeling industry.
What do I think this book is about? Really, no clue. If I HAD to guess I’m going with quirky mock-tell-all of a photojournalist’s crazy hi-jinx. Possibly set in the 1960s.
Was I right given the blurb? Turns out it is about photography, but also celebrity, and crime, modern setting.

 The Last Girl
What I like: As with the romance one above, I think I know exactly what I am in for with this book. Title and author name are clearly visible.
Issues: I really strain to see the figure, I wish it were just big enough for me to make out something about her clothes as that would give me a bit more to go on for setting.
What do I think this book is about? Gone Girl type thing again, maybe post apocalyptic, but could also be country western setting.
Was I right given the blurb? Not really. Turns out to be an epidemic crisis book. Looks like that movie Children of Men.

 Under Different Stars
What I like: Striking image for the main photo, stark and atmospheric feel. This gives a slightly uncomfortable and weird feeling.
Issues: The title and author name are kinda hard to make out.
What do I think this book is about? Lit fic, just because of the contrast between the watery image but “Stars” in the title. I’m very wary because it could be a “Cancer Mom” type story. Read: depressing as hell.
Was I right given the blurb? Not at all. Turns out to be a sci fi YA romance.

 Dragon Bound
What I like: Again this is one of those that tells me exactly what I’m in for. I like a cover that uses blues and pinks for contrast, and I tend to gravitate towards centered lettering.
Issues: No idea what she is holding, hard to make out author name. Quite generic.
What do I think this book is about? Straight up no frills female main character urban fantasy. Probably heterosexual and featuring dragons as the hook. Modern setting.
Was I right given the blurb? Not really. It’s fantasy not UF, and historical-ish. (I did wonder since she’s in a dress and not leather pants, but the white t-shirt underneath threw me off).

 Heirs of Empire
What I like: Strong female central figure, power pose, can read both title and author name. Interesting choice on both serif and sans serif fonts.
Issues: Generic title, cover comes off as old fashioned. Makes me think author and text may be old guard out of touch. Male author with female protagonist is a red flag for me, personally.
What do I think this book is about? At first I thought epic fantasy because of her armor and the title and serif font, but then I noticed the spaceship in the background and the author name is sans serif, so I’m going with space opera.
Was I right given the blurb? You know what, I still don’t know if this is fantasy or space opera. I think maybe something like Dune? But the blurb doesn’t make this clear.

 Imitation
What I like: This cover is everything. I really adore it. I think it is stunning and beautiful and stark and so much more.
Issues: None. I like it a lot.
What do I think this book is about? Future, possibly far future, something to do with genetic manipulation or cloning. It reminds me of Orphan Black. This is the only one on this list I’m tempted to investigate further, read the blurb and possibly pick up. I’ve not been into SciFi recently, but I might buy this just because I like the cover so much.
Was I right given the blurb? Yes. Only thing I missed was that this is YA. Which actually turns me off (I love YA but struggle with YA scifi like Cinder). Blurb reminds me of the movie Never Let Me Go.

Right then, what do you think?

Cover art, yes or no?

Do you agree with my predictions?

{Gail’s monthly read along for March is Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith.}

PROJECT ROUND UP

  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel by G. L. Carriger
    Status: Beta read (fifth draft).
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor in Audiobook. A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1887 Albert Aublet (French artist, 1851-1938) Sur La Plage, Le Treport

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

My office sitting area

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A Historical Look at Why Science Fiction Always Gets Screwed at the Oscars

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Why Writers Should Read

Book News:

Pinterest inspiration board for Gail Carriger’s Custard Protocol series. Characters Spoo & Virgil. Spoo is head deckling, Virgil is a valet and sometime helmsman.

Quote of the Day:

“A bookstore is a good place to go to be brave.”

~ Kate DiCamillo

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


Queer Romantic Comedy Movies That Gail Carriger Loves

Posted by Gail Carriger

I’m thinking, Gentle Reader, we all need a bit of love and laughter in our lives right now. I recently had two very long plane rides (to and from Singapore) and couldn’t find a single rom-com to watch. Quite disappointing. I read a bunch of smut instead.

But, I’ll have you know, that I do, occasionally, watch movies. I’m not a big consumer of the silver screen but it has been known to tempt me on occasion.

Queer Rom-Coms

Reading some pull quotes for reviews of Romancing the Inventor (not the whole review, because that might kill me) made me realize something… What I write, at it’s heart, is romantic comedy.

I know. You’re shocked. I’m shocked. Shush, don’t tell anyone. It’ll be our little secret.

Are There Lesbians? says for example:

“I have needed a lesbian romantic comedy for ages and I finally got one so cute and romantic I’m pretty sure it has given me diabetes…. Romancing the Inventor has set the tone for a whole series with its sometimes light and fluffy, sometimes rather serious, and always tongue-in-cheek, storytelling. It has also really raised my expectations for Queer romantic comedy and having been given a taste I would like plenty more please.”

See? Romantic comedy.

Now now, please don’t get tetchy.

There is nothing wrong with romantic comedy unless its done wrong. By that I mean, painfully bad dialogue and/or plot. If you’re wincing right now, perhaps a little thought as to why those two words turn you off so much? Nothing wrong with romance. Nothing wrong with comedy. Trust me. I know. Is it because romantic comedies are generally marketed to/by/for women? Trust me, the dialogue and plot in your dude-targeted space action flick is just as bad, likely worse.

Now where was I? Right. LISTS!

Here are some LBGTQ romantic comedies (some more gentle on the comedy than others) that I really love and feel are under-appreciated.

Shelter

Shelter ~ Adorble surfur dudes, familial responsibility, honor, duty, painful coming out. Bonus points from one of my favorite romance tropes: finding love with the brother of the best friend.

Gray Matters

Gray Matters ~ Perhaps a bit mainstream, and very light hearted, but I kinda adore this movie. Bonus for ballroom dancing, killer undergarments, and L-Word guest appearance.

Later Days

Latter Days ~ One of my favorite all times movies. Repressed morman, dramatic indy songs, unfair mistreatment by the ignorant, reformed bad boy, bonus Tara from Buffy. The scene when he drops the tray. I mean, come ON. So good.

Imagine Me & You

Imagine Me & You ~ Very lipstick lesbian, but super cute. And I like that it genuinely deals with the torture of breaking up as a bad choice. This rom com starts with her marrying… a man. And goes from there. Bonus DDR, cute boys as well as girls, super cheesy ending.

Boy Meets Girl

Boy Meets Girl ~ THIS MOVIE IS EVERYTHING. Bonus fashion! Why are you not watching it? Everyone should be watching it. It so romantic, and glorious, and wonderful, and good, and flipping important. Go. Watch it. Now. Make everyone else watch it. Go. I’ll wait.

Big Eden

Big Eden ~ This feels the most real of the romances in this list. Yes there are characters, but they’re so much more honest than hollywood usually allows in complexity, appearence, vocabulary, everything. Plus bonus cooking = love!

I Can't Think Streight

I Can’t Think Straight ~ I have no idea why no one seems to know about this movie. I adore it. It’s sweet, it’s got culture conflict, dramatic weddings, amazing cake, and it’s hot. Bonus one of them is a writer and the other a fashion designer. Yes! How do you not want this in your life?

Okay…

So I agree that some of the above have problematic moments, either with awkward acting, or tropes gone awry, fashion flaws, or even modern day LBGTQ rights concerns. You’ll have to give some of them credit for the time they were made. And some of them credit for exisiting at all, in such a vacuum of good rom-coms (let alone LBGTQ rom-coms). However, I’m listing them for one reason, and one reason only:

I smiled all the way through, from start to finish.

Except of course for the times I was bitting my hand or sniffling quietly.

Honorable mention to Maurice. Because it’s a gay romance set in period history with A HAPPY ENDING. Beautiful costumes, beautiful men, amazing settings, all the repressed stiff upper-lipping you could want. It’s not strictly comedy, more drama, but I do LOVE this movie. Bonus all the floppy hair your could want and cricket!

Maurice

I could get all film studies cerebral and analytical if I wanted to call in the big guns, (waves at AB), but frankly I’m recommending these movies because I love them. End of story.

Want more on this subject?

I’ve a LBGTQ History board in my Pinterest account.

And a Recommended TV & Movies board.

{Gail’s monthly read along for December is Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Rough Draft.
    LBGTQ reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.
  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel
    Status: First draft done. Resting before second draft.
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Fashion plate, 1875 shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

Fashion plate, 1875 shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Lioness at Singapore Zoo

Lioness at Singapore Zoo

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

queen-victorian-and-subseviance-copy

queen-victorian-and-subseviance-info-copy

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

5 (More) Ways to Support Your Favorite Author

Book News:

Reality’s A Bore says of Imprudence:

“I love how original the book is, the world Carriger has created, the history and lore to it, the characters and so on. It’s incredibly immersive and once you started reading you fall into the world, everything is so vivid and the author paints a picture with her words.”

Quote of the Day:

“Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.”
~ Oscar Wilde

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy


Did You Know Gail Has A YouTube Channel?

Posted by Gail Carriger

Hello my dear Gentle Reader! I have a YouTube channel.

I have, actually had a YouTube channel for a really long time, I just haven’t gotten into it much.

However, Kelly and I have figured out how to take the Facebook Live videos I’ve been doing and upload them to YouTube. Well, Kelly has. So you can now subscribe to the channel and get them there.

No promises on getting them up in a timely manner. If you want to participate in the Q&A and get the info right away, you’ll still have to tune in live. But at least for those of you who really intensely dislike the whole FB experience (yes, I get it) there is now a low barrier to entry way to see the videos.

Subscribe and like, if you would. And I promise I’ll keep doing them there.

{Gail’s monthly read along for December is Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Rough Draft.
    LBGTQ reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.
  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel
    Status: First draft done. Resting before second draft.
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1875 Fashion plate, 1875 via shewhoworshipscarlin

1875 Fashion plate, 1875 via shewhoworshipscarlin

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Bumbersnoot's Girlfriend

Bumbersnoot’s Girlfriend

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Learned about Sirum on the plane to Singapore. INGENIOUS charity. SIRUM connects unopened unexpired medications to patients in need.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“I think the first duty of all art, including fiction of any kind, is to entertain. That is to say, to hold interest. No matter how worthy the message of something, if it’s dull, you’re just not communicating.”
~ Poul Anderson

Book News:

Linnie says of Imprudence:

“Imprudence is a wonderful second entry in the series, even stronger than the first. I loved it and am sure fans of Prudence will love it as well.”

Quote of the Day:

“You, with sophistical arguments, set yourself up to attack that very sex which, because it is deprived of the opportunity to study, cannot answer your malicious inventions.”
~ Archangela Tarabotti

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


Gifts for People Who Love To Read ~ Including Unique DIY Ideas

Posted by Gail Carriger

The holidays are upon us! I nipped on to FB last weekend for a quick hello and Q&A and happy happy.

Following that, here are some fun ideas for gifts for the reader in your life, Gentle …erm… Reader.

 

Gifts for People Who Love to Read

DIY IDEA

Offer the convention experience. Poke about to see if there are any major or minor conventions in the area that feature the reader’s favorite author. (My 2017 events are here.) Get tickets to attend with the reader, or for the reader and a friend. This can be a spendy gift, but experience gifts are pretty darn fun.

Feather Metal Bookmarks ($2.99).

DIY IDEA:

Purchase eBook-only shorts your reader’s favorite author, especially if said reader doesn’t like eBook, get some fancy paper, print out the short story, roll up like a scroll and wrap with a pretty ribbon. (My shorts are here.)

Knock Knock Personal Library Kit ($10.61).

DIY IDEA:

Email the reader in you life’s favorite author and offer to mail an SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) if they have any book marks, or even business cards with cover art. You can turn these into magnets. If the author doesn’t offer swag, you can print out the cover of a favorite book followed by quotes onto nice paper with a high quality printer and make all manner of things with it, from a specialized bookmark (most print shops will do cheap lamination), to Christmas tree decoration, to framed art, to…

First Lines of Literature Mug ($15).

DIY IDEA:

Pre-order a few up-coming favorite authors for the reader in your life. Print out the pre-order page as a kind of coupon of goodness to come.

DIY IDEA

You can pull together a book themed basket. For example: some of your favorite romance novels with some chocolates and a bottle of wine. Below is a sample steampunk one.

Still hunting for something? Here’s Borderlands list of goodies including signed Manners & Mutiny. In fact, I just signed all their stock of my books, and they have both novellas so you can snap up the new stock now if you give them a ring.

{Gail’s monthly read along for December is Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Rough Draft.
    LBGTQ reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.
  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel
    Status: First draft done. Resting before second draft.
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Fashion plate, 1876, France via shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Sleep in a Bookshelf

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The Psychology Behind a Nice Cup of Tea

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Freelance Writer Fairy Tales: Do You Believe This Three Myths?

Book News:

Christine @xenogsmith @gailcarriger -Lord Akeldama, Alexia, The Potentate, The Dewan and Lyall in the drawing room. (From a how to draw manga vampires book)

Quote of the Day:

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”
~ Oscar Wilde

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


Gail Interviews Author Tess Rider

Posted by Gail Carriger

Today, Gentle Reader, please welcome my dear friend and lovely author, Tess Rider to the blog. Tess and I are new chums, but we see each other once a month for tea and good gossip, and I consider one of the best sorts.

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About you, Author Tess Rider!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?

Tea, Earl Grey with a dash of sugar and a splash of milk (coconut, only because regular milk and me aren’t on speaking terms).

Describe your personal style for author appearances.

Colorful, coordinated, often with signature jewelry or hat/fascinator and fun shoes.

If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?

First, it’s TINY, nothing more than a walk-in closet in an old Victorian, but it has a little window for light and its walls are covered with art, notes, reminders and pictures. Somehow I’ve even managed to squeeze a leather recliner and flat panel monitor, some bookshelves, and, oh yeah, me into this itty bitty space.

If you drive, what do you drive?

Yes. A 1996 Lexus ES300.

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)

Vanilla on a sugar cone.

(You are mostly sane but definitely odd.)

What’s most likely to make you laugh?

Cats doing silly things.

Since writers inevitably end up in the bar, what’s your poison?

I love a good margarita.

author-pic-sq-tess-rider

Tess Rider lives with her wonderfully eccentric husband in an equally eccentric Victorian in the San Francisco Bay Area. An avid cat lover in search of her next cat, Tess is a huge fan of anything by Joss Whedon and gets inspiration for her books from dreams. She’s an accountant by day, a novelist by night and an artist at heart 24/7. Her debut paranormal time travel romance, Bring Me to Ruin (only $2.99 ebook USA), released April 2016. The second novel in the Haunted Hollow series released September 2016. Find her on the web at www.tessrider.com and contact her at tess@tessrider.com.

About your book!

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?

Dark, bittersweet chocolate paired with a delicious red wine.

What form does evil take within its pages?

Evil takes the form of a vicious Fae ghost who can infect characters’ minds with their greatest fears and doubts.

Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss and why?

Sam Severin. He’s a devilishly handsome redhead from the future and he can slow time down temporarily, which has interesting possibilities.

What’s your favorite period in history and does it influence your world building?

If I had to pick one, probably the 1800s. The dynamic change in art and culture in Europe is exciting and the “Old West”, particularly California gold rush era, holds great allure. My fictitious town of Radley’s Hollow was founded in 1847 in Sonoma County and includes a winery and a mine that figure prominently in the series. I had a fantastic time traveling through wine and gold country doing research for the series, visiting gold mines, historic towns and some of the oldest wineries in the area.

Which one of your characters would you most like to slap and why?

Sam Severin. I forgot to mention he’s a hothead and an irreverent smart ass.

Without spoilers, what’s the funnest (or funniest) part of the book?

The scene where Sam Severin arms the story’s hero, Justin Wyatt, with a whole host of weaponry and technology from Sam’s home in the twenty-second century. Justin is nineteen and the story takes place in 1942 in a seemingly “normal” world, so Justin’s understandably excited to get to play with Sam’s toys.

If your story smelled of something, what would that be?

Honeysuckle and wine. The heroine’s perfume smells like honeysuckle and much of the story takes place in a winery.

tessrider_beforemyworldturnedblue_2500

Before My World Turned Blue (USA ebook only $1.99)

A paranormal time travel romance about two star-crossed lovers whose affair could change the future of planet Earth. Atmospheric, sensual and haunting, it’s the second in a series about a small town turned gateway to an apocalyptic ghost war and the men and women on the front lines fighting to save humanity from extinction. Book website.

The first is Bring Me to Ruin.

{Gail’s monthly read along for November is Romancing the Inventor by Gail Carriger. Oh don’t look so shocked.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Outline.
    LBGTQ reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.
  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel
    Status: Rough draft completed. Lay away this month. First pass red through starts in December.
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1924 filmsploitation- Sunshade Styles 1

1924 filmsploitation- Sunshade Styles 1

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

50 Interesting and Unusual Octopus Home Decor Finds

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

“The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.”
~ Tom Clancy

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

To Pen Name or Not to Pen Name

Book News:

Ditch Diggers Podcast #31: The Godparents Episode with Gail Carriger and Howard Tayler

Quote of the Day:

“If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.”
~ Kingsley Amis

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!


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