Tagged vampires

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ Gifts, Endearments & Peas

Posted by Gail Carriger

Please welcome the gentleman vampire back to my blog this week, Gentle Reader!

As always Lord Akeldama may not give you the answer you wish, he always gives the question the answer it deserves. (If you have asked the Good Vampire a question over the past few months and do not see the answer, it is always possible he has answered it before or it’s still in the hopper.)

With Biffy & Lyall’s book on the horizon, I may invite the werewolves over for a round, perhaps you have questions for them?

Rudderbuddy asks:

Where did you get you love for food and floral related nicknames?

You can think of a better source of endearments?

Melissa asks:

When visiting the home of a new acquaintance for the first time, what is the most appropriate gift, or is a gift necessary?

I’m always in favor of something small and edible ~ chocolates, bubbly, svelte young men with sparkling eyes and questionable moral fiber.

Jessica asks:

What is the best possible way to go about mixing patterns in fashion choices?

Keep your colors close and your sizes separate. In other words, mix a large pattern with a small one, but make sure they are both black & white.

Mandy asks:

What fashions would you put a butterfly of a toddler in, considering that she likes to run and climb…

Waistcoat and trousers, naturally, darling. Or perhaps a very small lab coat emblazoned with “evil genius in training,” just to keep everyone around watchful.

Court suit Uncut voided silk velvet, silk faille, silk embroidery floss, gold & silver embroidery purl & frieze, rhinestone & metal sequins c. 1810-14

Sharon asks:

I’m considering becoming a vampire queen. Suggestions? Hints?

Endeavor to be as fabulous as possible.

Tracy asks:

If one has an extensive library, do you recommend shelving them by height, color, or some other system?

Color, setting, and approval rating.

Avery asks:

If one must color one’s hair and belonging to the male gender with pale olive skin would you advise, ginger or blonde or black?

Black, my darling little eliá.

Irene asks:

If one is setting up a network of secret agents, what is the best type of training for them: espionage, assassination, accountancy, or a combination?

Never forget table manners, wardrobe selection, and hat decoration. Oh and the consumption of peas. Peas always give trouble to those who have not been trained properly.

Do you want to ask Lord Akeldama a question? 

Join the Chirrup and drop him a line.

Already a member? Just reply to the next Chirrup with your question.

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for October is Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede.}

COMING NOV 5th!

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella by Gail Carriger will be available in digital form on Nov 5th (print & audio to follow).

Gay reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and some unexpected holiday gifts.

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

  • Meat Cute ~ A Parasolverse Short
    Status: Rough draft complete. Layaway.
    Possible anchor short story for Secret Project A or SS collected/omnibus in 2018 or 2019.
  • TOC ~ San Andreas Shifters #2
    Status: Writing Rough draft.
    There’s a bartender with a mysterious ability and a big scruffy werewolf with a powerful crush. Gail is contemplating shifter food trucks ~ Do it raw! Sometimes we wiggle, sometimes the food does.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1905 (Source- pinterest.com) via fawnvelveteen tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Why octopuses are building small “cities” off the coast of Australia

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

10+ Times Writers Took Book Dedications To Another Level

Book News:

By Rebecca Nandi

Quote of the Day:

“I have only two things to say to you, Lord Tilbury. One is that you have ruined a man’s life. The other is Pip-pip.”

~ P.G. Wodehouse

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


Vampires & Werewolves: Around the World in 8 Absurdities (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 


This post is based on a guest blog I did for varkat on the Sillier Side of Vampires.

Vampires & Werewolves: Around the World in 8 Absurdities

Gentle Reader, since I write comedy and alternate history, I spend a good deal of time investigating historical quirks. One of my favorite things to do is take vampires and werewolves and make them responsible for the most unexplainable facts and ridiculous minutiae of the ancient world.

Why? Because werewolves and vampires are intrinsically absurd.

For example: Have you ever worn fangs? Well I have, and there’s quite the adjustment period resulting in a tender lower lip and a pronounced lisp. Thus, newly minted vampires are obviously going to lisp. Those with longer fangs may even drool a bit. You see? Comedy gold.

And werewolves? My warped little mind always jumps to other types of were-creature. How about a were-sheep, a were-dachshund, or a were-platypus? A were-goat? Bahahaha! Skulks about under the full moon, viciously breaking into a girl’s closet to eat all her shoes. I don’t know about you, but I’m trembling in my… oh wait.

What I ended up doing for my paranormal meets steampunk universe was divide up world history into different camps. For some cultures this is easier than others. The Vikings, with all that hair and Fenrir and everything, were definitely werewolf oriented. The Romans, being decadent, incestuous, and obsessed with luxury goods, certainly trafficked with the vampires. I’m inclined to think the ancient Greeks were altogether anti-supernatural because of their obsession with human perfection and generally xenophobic attitude. The ancient Egyptians had animal headed gods, so I come right back to werewolves. Catholic Inquisition? Now we can all guess what that was really about.

And then I sally forth into the unexplainable: how did tiny Britain manage to conquer an empire? Because they were the first culture to integrate vampires (as political advisers) and werewolves (as military agents) fully into their society. This, coincidentally, also explains King Henry VIII’s break with the Catholic Church (the marriage thing was just a cover up) and the British Regimental system (which makes absolutely no sense until you realize it’s based on werewolf pack dynamics).

But what about that minutiae you mentioned, Ms. Carriger? Well, Gentle Reader, here are some quick thoughts.

1. Russian folk dancing = squarely at the werewolf door.
2. Bet I can guess who started the whole “quenching a sword in blood” rumor.
3. Retsina, metaxa and ouzo = cruel tricks played on the Greeks by the vampires.
4. Absurdly high cravats; well, they hide neck bites, now don’t they?
5. Ever wonder why Italian food has so much garlic in it? Anti-vampire protection. And that led me to basil being anti-werewolf.
6. That phrase “born with a silver spoon in his mouth” takes on a whole new meaning if there are werewolves running around.
7. And what about the term “Dark Ages?”
8. I shall leave you with one final thought: Scottish haggis and blood pudding.

Forget the Free Masons, in my world it’s the Unshackled Silver Smiths and Detached Carpenters that supernaturals have to watch out for.

{Gail’s monthly read along for August is My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

 Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874 – 1939)

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Social Octopus Shatters Beliefs About Ocean Dwellers

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
12 Lost American Slangisms from the 1800’s

PROJECT ROUND UP 

  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! In production.
  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft, about 1/2 way.



The Books! 

 The Custard Protocol Series
1 Prudence, 2 Imprudence
The Parasol Protectorate Series
1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only)
Marine Biology; My Sister’s Song; Fairy Debt;

Book News:
A of JAF Ink says: “In Etiquette & Espionage, Carriger manages to give us a compelling plot set in a steampunk England, engaging and interesting characters, all while introducing us to a new school system that is both unique yet somehow familiar.”

Quote of the Day:
“I advise those who want to become writers to study veterinary medicine, which is easier. You don’t want to be a writer unless you have no choice – and if you have no choice, good luck to you.”
~ Robin McKinley

Gail’s fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

Quote of the Day:
“Can I have your door jam on door toast?”
~ The Iz (re. Gail’s misspelling of doorjamb)


Mostly Dead in Translation (Behind the Magic)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

I had the most fascinating conversation with a translator recently, Gentle Reader. I have blogged a bit before about how much I enjoy chatting with those who translate my words. It forces me to think about language differently, and how I apply it.

Such a discussion started recently with the phrase “mostly dead.”

Woman reading a book. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

A translator emailed to tell me that she was struggling to properly translate my term “mostly dead.”

I use it at various points in my Parasol Protectorate books:

Changeless p. 205
“Werewolves being supernatural and mostly dead, could have no children.”

Blameless p. 13 p. 17
“Your husband is basically dead, or was basically dead and is mostly dead now.”
“So what if he was mostly dead?”

Blameless p. 179
“Your preternatural touch, it does not cancel out the fact that the supernatural person has, already, mostly died.”

At first, the translator thought it meant “almost” or “practically.” However, the proofreader disagreed. Because “mostly” could mean “most of the time,” they began to think it meant “almost dead,” that is, not completely dead. Or, it could also mean “essentially.” (In which case, a supernatural is dead, and the only time he is not dead is when a preternatural touches him.)

I also use the phrase “basically dead” in the text, but that’s Mrs. Loontwill speaking, and we know we cannot trust her…

My Thoughts on Being Mostly Dead

First, of course, I’m using that particular term as an ode to Douglass Adam’s description of Earth as mostly harmless.

That said, some philosophy:

I am using the term mostly to imply a level of confusion on the part of the characters and the scientists of the time. Werewolves/vampires are considered undead, that is, they have died but are still walking around. They aren’t living because they don’t die ~ life being partly defined by mortality (Victorians are morbid) thus these creatures aren’t mortal anymore. It’s a condition of stasis. They can’t procreate, for example. But they are alive in terms of they walk, talk, and interact. Would an android, for example, be considered a living creature?

The physicality:

So far as the in-world scientists are concerned, the best way to think about it is that most of a person’s soul has died. Hence “mostly.” By using the word “mostly” I am contrasting against the world “all” or “entirely” or “completely.”  It is a matter of proportion or percentage. Death in my universe is not an absolute, it is an end point. Glass full, glass mostly full or mostly empty, glass empty. The stage of immortality is that middle stage: mostly dead. Closer towards dead than alive, but still present above ground.

This is not necessarily a measure of time, but of content. Saying “almost dead” implies that one soon will be. Not the case. Saying “practically dead” implies one step removed, so also not right.
“Almost dead” might work, but again the implication is temporal – that death is immanent. Which it istn’t because immortals are in stasis.

“Essentially” might work best as an alternative.

Ah, the precision of English.

I choose “mostly” because it is so often associated with volume or measurement rather than time. Thus the reader is reminded of the remains of soul and the way the transfer of immortality works in my universe ~ that someone can only be immortal with what’s left of the soul. Mostly can then be a measurement of what has gone (measurable or immeasurable as the soul may be).

I know, welcome to my brain. Did you know I have a philosophy minor? Epistemology was my focus. So, yeah.

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

via Retronaut ‏@theretronaut  c. 1910- Woman with a parasol

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Latest addition to my office

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
French Hair Art & The Industry of Mourning

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
All about author errors that make it into publication, J. Kathleen Cheney on Forgiving Anne McCaffrey

PROJECT ROUND UP 
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

Book News:

Spy Museum in Washington, D.C via Terrence

Quote of the Day:
“The size and power of an internal security service is generally in direct ratio to the extent of the suspicion and fear of the ruling clique.”
~ The Craft of Intelligence: America’s Legendary Spy Master on the Fundamentals of Intelligence Gathering for a Free World by Allen W. Dulles

Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

Flashback ~ Some Fun Interview Bits From Just After Soulless

Posted by Gail Carriger

 
Around when Soulless released four years ago, Gentle Reader, I did a bunch of interviews. Here are a few of my favorite Q&As from that time.
 
1. What jobs did you have on your way to being a writer? Did they help you in any way as a writer? (HidingSpot)
I’ve been everything from a bartender to a tour guide, but I think my career as an archaeologist/academic has helped my writing the most. It gave me great research skills, familiarity with a variety of cultures both around the world now and in the past, good self-discipline, and a paranoia over making deadlines. Oh, and the ability to subsist entirely on a diet of Top Ramen and tea.

 

via FB2. Writing is said to be something that people are afflicted with rather than gifted and that it’s something you have to do rather than want. What is your opinion of this statement and how true is it to you? (Gareth Wilson)

I suspect writing is more of a curse for those around me. I get distracted and spacey at the beginning of a project, frustrated in the middle, briefly euphoric at the end, and grumpy when I’m not writing at all. I imagine it’s like living with someone who has a six-month rotation of some bizarre kind of pregnancy – all the time, over and over again.

3. How would you react if you were you attacked by a vampire without even a proper introduction?  (Fantasy Cafe)
Oh, I have no pride or gumption. I would run to the nearest public area yelling for the constabulary.

via FB

4. Give us one embarrassing author moment: (Jacqueline Cook)
I arrived for my very first in-person meeting with my agent with the back of my dress unzipped. Sigh. The moral of this story? Always travel with a lady’s maid. The moral of the moral? Sell enough books to afford a lady’s maid.

5. Do you carry a parasol for defense? (Jeff VanderMeer)
Sadly, no, I’m an unparalleled wimp. There was once an entirely unsuccessful attempt at karate, wherein I kept fretting about actually having to kick people and trying to convince the class to break for tea. Sometimes, however, I’ve been seen carrying a parasol for protection against the sun. I know, I know, crazy talk.

6. Given that your biography states that you are “fond of teeny tiny hats and tropical fruit,” would you please describe your favored method for combining the two, and the conditions under which said combination would occur? (John Glover)
How about a teeny tiny hat decorated with tropical fruit? Or wearing a teeny tiny hat and eating tropical fruit? Or cutting tropical fruit into the shape of teeny tiny hats!

7. Why parasols? (Jonathan Moeller)
You would prefer, perhaps, octopuses?

8. Did you ever find yourself writing a bit of dialog and reading it back to yourself thinking “Wow. That’s just TOO over the top…”? (Nick)
Wait, have you read my book? Uh. No. I did get the reign-in from my editor on a certain bit of dialogue in the second book. I neatly avoided the issue through judicious application of laudanum. (To the character speaking, mind you, not my editor.)

9. CK: Any favorite vampires from lit, film, or TV? (Vampire Film)
I don’t think he really counts, but I love Dorian Gray. I have a real soft spot for Mina Murray in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novel series and I adore the character of Drusilla on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Not to sneak in werewolves, but I was turned to the furry side by Klause’s brilliant YA novel Blood and Chocolate.

10. Have you reached the point at which you realized that you had “made it” as a writer and author? (Travis)
When I walked into a bookstore store and saw Soulless on a shelf for the first time, there was sputtering.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1897  The Victoria & Albert Museum

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

PB Teen Desk Chair $129

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

(Image source I Like Historical Clothing. Music WARNING.)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

via PJ Dominicis FB

PROJECT ROUND UP 
Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third:
Curtsies & Conspiracies
~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Release date Nov. 5, 2013. 
Etiquette & Espionage
~ trade paperback will be available in the US October 13, 2013

Manga
~ Soulless Vol. 3: (AKA Blameless) Available serialized through YenPlus. Print edition Nov. 19 2013. 
Prudence
~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Delayed. Why? Begin rewrite in 2014.

 

The Books!

 

The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series!
Please DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Parasol Protectorate omnibus hardback editions
Volume 1 (Books 1-3), Volume 2 (Books 4-5)
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
The Finishing School Series: Etiquette & Espionage, Curtsies & Conspiracies (Nov. 5, 2013)
 $0.99 ebook only short stories: Marine Biology, My Sister’s Song, and Fairy Debt

 

Crudrat Kickstarter going on October 1 ~ 31, 2013

Book News:
Love the characters of Lyall and Biffy? You might try my contemporary paranormal romance ebook short story Marine Biology.

Quote of the Day:
“Fiction writers, present company included, don’t understand very much about what they do – not why it works when it’s good, not why it doesn’t when it’s bad.”
~ Stephen King

 


The Lost Boys, Cry Baby, and Hackers or Movie Revenge!

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

The AB and I watched The Lost Boys last weekend. He insisted I needed a greater knowledge of vampire cannon (film major, what can I say?).

My thoughts, Gentle Reader? The world needs more vampires with mullets. And greased up Chippendale’s dancers lip sinking 80’s ballads with saxophones. Yet, definitely not one for the fashion blog.

I also decided I needed revenge. A first I called Sixteen Candles down upon him, but he was rather excited by that I idea. So I bought out the big guns, John Waters films! He squirmed most delightfully at the very idea of Cry Baby. (Now there is a movie worthy of a fashion blog! Don’t you want every single one of their outfits?)

Finally, I settled on Hackers. Wha ha ha haha! I love Hackers, but I’m pretty certain it may cause his little Indy-film obsessed heart considerable pain. Revenge is sweet.

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Giving away a cute little plaid purse in the Retro Rack blog.

Your Tisane of Smart:
High speed travel 1801.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Interview with self on the Business of Writing.

Timeless: Finished with last draft, awaiting copyedits.
Etiquette & Espionage: The Finishing School Book One: Over word count but should be finishing the rough draft soon.
Secret Project PPA: Only a twinkle in my little eye.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

New contest giving away the first three Parasol Protectorate Books.

Quote of the Day:
Self: Funny how some books are simply easier and cleaner to write.
Dan: Perhaps it’s just that you are finally comfortable with the Parasol Protectorate series. Right when you are ending it.
Self: Ah, but what is it they say about the best time to leave a party?
~ Rgr, Timeless: Book the Fifth


The Etiquette of Proper Introductions in Victorian Times (Behind the Magic)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

And now, look at this! A proper blog! I know, you thought it would never happen. And on Christmas Eve! I’ll catch you all, my sweetie darlings, on the flip side of the holidays. I’m off on my annual retreat from the madness.

The Etiquette of Proper Introductions in Victorian Times

There are all sorts of rules for introductions in Victorian society, Gentle Reader. Basically, the person whose name you say first is the more important person, to whom the other is being made known. The inferior is introduced to the superior.

“Duke Hematol, may I introduce Dr. Caedes?”

The duke out ranks the doctor.

However, this can get very confusing because aside from rank and social standing (see the Table of Precedence or precedence of attendance) there are also other rules to abide by (see laws/rules of precedence). For example:

A younger person is introduced to an older person.
“Mr. Rabiffano, Mr. Shabumpkin would like to make your acquaintance.”

A man is introduced to a woman.
“Mrs. Tunstell, please allow me to present Mr. Bootbottle-Fipps.”

And so forth.

So what happens if you have an older woman of little or no rank and a young nobleman? Or two women, the younger of which is married to an earl and the older to a squire? Or what happens if you throw long lived immortals into the mix?

Alexia struggles with just such a situation in the fifth book, Timeless. She must introduce a young lady werewolf whose rank she knows, to an older noble vampire who holds rank (but she is not privy to the particulars). Because he is a vampire and it is his house, she gives him precedence. But she could have reversed the order, especially if she wanted to give insult to the vampire or establish her own allegiance with the werewolves.

A world of damage can be done or avoided simply by reordering an introduction.

I never go into any of this in my books, because it is mere minutia to those who are reading for plot and story. But it is one of those things that, if you know how the era works, sometimes I am having fun with the undercurrents that may result. It certainly can effect character.

So now that you know, when Timeless comes out, you may get a little extra from that particular scene. Of course, you have Heartless to get through first . . .

(I should note that precedence is not confined to the upper ranks alone: see precedence in the servant’s hall.) Also, here is a wonderful description of an American diplomat’s opinion of a true British nobleman.

Quick note:
My gratitude to all and sundry for your sympathetic attempts to help with Monday’s Crisis De’jour. I do live near Silicon Valley and I have had the experts on the case. The data really is gone, the combination of a flash drive, my stupidity, and Windows. (Yes, I do regular backups. I was away from my desk for 4 days. I used a thumb drive, that was where the error snuck in. I cannot use an online backup or Dropbox for security reasons.) I have learned my lesson. It’s all OK. I can rewrite it. In fact I mostly have. Thank you for all your suggestions and especially for your sympathy. I learned how to make crepes as a result. So it’s not all bad.

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Beautiful Victorian costume resource site.
Your Writerly Tinctures:Writing Excuses Podcast discusses Steampunk with Scott Westerfeld

All the Books I Can Read says, “This was a really surprising read. I’ve seen plenty of reviews around and actually, I’d always kind of held off reading this because it had seemed a bit too odd for me and a confusing mix of many genres and sub-genres. But the extra touches, the ‘oddness’ was what I came to love about it as I was reading.”
SPOILER ALERT! Eclectic Eccentric says, “I adored Soulless, the steampunk paranormal mystery romance novel was wonderful fun, and in my opinion, Changeless is just as good.”
Even bigger SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first. Books in the Spotlight says, “I love the Parasol Protectorate series. It’s incredibly witty and smart with the right amount of steampunk and paranormal to keep me entertained.”

Heartless: Finished draft 8, turned in! It’s available for preorder on Amazon.
Timeless: Whimper.
Secret Project F: We’re waiting. We’re waiting.

Quote of the Day:
“What is it about Seattle and coffee? It’s not like they actually can grow it or anything.” ~ Me
“Maybe it’s the only way anyone up there survives.” ~ Dan


Parasol Protectorate Quiz

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Gail ParasolSo, Gentle Reader, I’ve been playing about with a Parasol Protectorate Quiz and here it is.

It’s not jiving quite right with Facebook, Livejournal, and co, so I may redo it for internals. But who knows if I’ll get the time. Sorry if it doesn’t quite work for you, it seems to be happy on the second try, but I had fun making it.


In other news I (utterly unsurprisingly) lost the Locus Award to Mr. Bag’o’doughnuts himself. *Shakes tiny fists of furry into the air, throws head back and yells “Paolo-o-o-o-o-o!”* In all honesty, I adore this guy and I have a sinking feeling his book actually is genius, so I don’t mind. But he totally owes me a chocolate martini.

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
I’m obsessed with vanishing edge pools (AKA infinity pools)

To me swimming is already as close as a girl can get to flying, this kind of pool only emphasizes that fact. I’ve never actually been in one, but someday I hope to.
Your Tisane of Smart:
Glyde Vegan Condoms are fair-trade natural latex, they even have organically flavored ones.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
What it takes to be a literary agent.

Clockwork Pen says, “Soulless is a satisfying book that takes a fresh perspective on vampires (they don’t sparkle), werewolves, and other supernatural things that go bump in the night.”
SPOILER ALERT! Changeless blurb gives away ending of Soulless. Kristi syas, “I just adore these books and the more I read them, the more they stand out as very different from the norm, in a good way.”
Out September 1, 2010! Even bigger SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first.
Heartless: Plugging away. Due Nov 1.
Super Secret Project F: Under revision. Due July 1.
CAKE in Space: Trunked.
See table of contents here.
Short story turned in. The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 available for preorder.

Quote of the Day:
“If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you.”
~ Gladstone, 1865


Lord Akeldama’s House Design Board (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Gentle Reader, here’s a little collage of certain images and interiors that made me think of Lord Akeldama’s house. As the Parasol Protectorate series progresses, and entirely without my intent, we spend more and more time in Lord Akeldama’s house. Mostly Alexia visits his famous drawing room but other areas will eventually appear as well. I guess I just can’t help myself, it’s a lifetime of Jewish gilt. OK, that was low, but sometimes Girl’s Just Wanna Have Pun.

Right, I’ll stop now. Here’s pretty pictures to assuage your anger.

From Soulless:

Everything was to the height of style, if one were thinking in terms of style round about a hundred years ago. Lord Akeldama possessed real, substantial wealth, and was not afraid to display it openly. Nothing in his home was substandard, or faux, or imitation, and all of it was well beyond the pale. The carpets were not Persian, but instead vibrant flower-ridden images of shepherds seducing shepherdesses under intense blue skies. Were those puffy white clouds? Yes they were. The arched ceiling of the entrance hall was actually frescoed like the Sistine Chapel, only Lord Akeldama’s ceiling depicted cheeky looking cherubs up to nefarious activities. Alexia blushed. All kinds of nefarious activities. She turned her eyes hurriedly back down. Small Corinthian columns stood proudly all around, supporting marble statues of naked male gods that Miss Tarabotti had no doubt were authentically ancient Greek in origin.

The vampire led her through to his drawing room. It contained none of the style clutter but instead harkened back to a time before the French Revolution. The furniture was all white or gilded gold, upholstered in cream and gold striped brocade, and riddled with fringe and tassels. Heavy layers of gold velvet curtains shielded the windows, and the plush rug on the floor sported yet another proximitious shepherding event. Lord Akeldama’s had only two nods to modern life. The first was evident in the fact that the room was well lit, with multiple gas lamps no less, elaborate candelabras appearing to be only for decorative purposes. The second facet of modernity took the form of a gilded pipe with multiple joints, mounted on the mantle.

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:

Your Tisane of Smart:
Food disguised as other food.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Fighting as foreplay, writing trope.

Celtreads says, “This was a combination of Amelia Peabody and Sookie Stackhouse (Elizabeth Peters and Charlaine Harris) with Amanda Quick thrown in for good measure.”
SPOILER ALERT! Changeless blurb gives away ending of Soulless. A lovely and very steampunk-style review from the Steampunk Aviatrix, “Lady Maccon’s life is placed in peril on several occasions, and the plot takes not a few convincing twists and turns, leading to a satisfying conclusion – or so one might be led to believe.”
Out September 1, 2010! Even bigger SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first.
Heartless: Plugging away. Due Nov 1.
Super Secret Project F: Under revision. Due July 1.
CAKE in Space: Trunked.
See table of contents here.
Short story turned in. The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 available for preorder.

Quote of the Day:
“Everything that doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. And later on you can use it in some story.”
~ Tapani Bagge


More Help With Fashion ~ This Time for Men

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Mysterious - Noir
Agenda Items:

Bloggage:

In line with my recent rant on proper dress I thought I would talk for a moment to the men out there. Yes, you, Gentle Reader. It seems to me that men (who have fewer choices) are most likely to cop out where fashion is concerned. Some men have a particular fear of “looking too gay.” Well, I ran across these images recently and if one entirely ignores the Hugh Jackman element, let us look, for a moment, at the style, and I shall try to break down, for you, why it works.

Both these looks do something I like: they mix the expected with the unexpected. The most commonly seen variant of this juxtaposition is a nice pair of jeans, a rock t-shirt, and a suit jacked or blazer. The above images are different takes on the same general concept: AKA the very casual mixed with the very dressy. First, what doesn’t work. The scuffed shoes and the hole in the t-shirt. Now, what does. Tough military-ish jacket mixed with a casual white T-shirt paired with very formal pants. It’s a simple concept – like reaching into three different wardrobes. Too much military and you look like you’re shipping out, too much casual and you look like a slob, too much formal and you’re walking the red carpet. But a little of each? Perfect! You can take this concept and apply it in many different ways. Here’s another photo shoot with some inovative styles for men.

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Loving this recent Threadbanger on how to make a Pill box hat.
Your Tisane of Smart:
Bunch of information has come up recently on the fascinating Mrs. Mary Delany, particularly interesting segment on BBC’s Woman’s Hour.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Blake’s book tour. Self may be turning up now and again.

Mostly Fiction says, “If you like humor with your vampires, ghosts in your alternate history, spinsters with superpowers in your period fiction, or werewolves in your romantic comedy, Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate) is just what you’re looking for.”
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon and Powell’s have posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives end of Soulless away so don’t read if you haven’t read the first book.
Blameless: Copy edits done. In the immortal words of John Malkovich it is now “beyond my control.”
Super Secret Project H: Treatment submitted to agent. Paused.
Super Secret Project F: Consulted betas, good to go. Hope to write first two chapters next month.
CAKE in Space: Trunked for the moment.
Steampunk Reloaded short article: Done, turned in, and VanderMeer’s have announced the table of contents.
Not so secret fiction short: (can go up to 13,000) Working next week. Yes, this is for the Mammouth Book of Paranormal Romance 2. For once, my British fans will get something first. I’m warning you now, it may not be what you expect.

Quote of the Day:
“A true warrior, like tea, shows his strength in hot water.”
~ Chinese proverb


An Unexpected Review ~ Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Research - Tea and BooksSome of you know, Gentle Reader, that I review professionally. That is, I am paid to read children’s books and write about them in 60 words. So I almost never do it here in my blog. These books are chosen for me but always fall within my supposed area of expertise (YA & MG sci-fi/fantasy/historical or non-fiction for younger ages in historical/archaeology/anthropology/social sciences). And, Gail, you might ask, how does one become an expert on such topics? Search me.

Anyway, what this means is that I have from 6 to 12 books to read a month. What that means is I have precious little time to read anything else. However, Jane True and Alexia have been nattering away recently and I thought it might be a good plan for me to set aside some vacation time to read Nicole Peeler’s Tempest Rising.

The Sub-Genre
I like urban fantasy but I am cautious in which urban fantasy I read, as I mostly do not like a modern setting or anything too dark. I enjoyed Patricia Brigg’s werewolf stuff (although she sure does like raping her characters ~ really, not my thing), and ten years or more ago I loved Mercedes Lackey’s Knight of Ghosts & Shadows (AKA elves in LA) and Children of the Night (AKA super sexy French vampire). (I think, sometimes, we do not give Ms. Lackey enough credit for single handedly holding down the sub-genre of urban fantasy well before it was a glimmer in Meyer’s sparkly little eye.) I’ve danced the paranormal polka with a few other authors and been disappointed. Recently, I have added more hopefully to my ever-growing Amazon wish list and ever expanding pile or too-read books, but I’m terribly wary.

The Confession
But, I do like Nicole. We are twitter buddies. She’s a fellow academic. She drinks (a lot). She is hilarious. She has this awesome skull belt. So I read her book, and here, ladies and gentlemen, is my take. You must consider it biased. What can I say? It’s an opinion and it’s mine ~ of course it’s biased!

The Cover

Boy did this cover cause a lot of controversy. There was hate and vitriol spread about the net, then there was love and adoration flowing forth like balm to the wounded soul of the art department. My thoughts? I’m not geeky enough to be an anime fan. Sorry, but there it is. I like me some Ranma ½ but that’s about as far as I’ll commit. I find the rabid BOOBS! female objectification thing BOOBS! objectionable and the big eyes eating the face kind of creeps me out in a alien-bug-head way. I should also state that I don’t like the tramp stamp leather crop-top headless stripper motif of most other urban fantasy either. In fact, I don’t like normal straight up fantasy covers much ~ yawn fest. So this cover? Not really my thing. However it is: striking, eye catching, mildly hypnotic, and certainly draws you to pick up the book ~ which is the point. So it’s doing its job.

The Review
(Remember what I said above, 60 words or there about, that’s what I’m trained to do. I’ve never done it for an adult book before, so here it goes.)

Jane lives in a small town that hates her, with lesbian best friends, an abandonment complex, and unexpected heritage swimming her direction. Sometimes she acts dumb, and I wondered if this was realistic (how would I treat a dead body?) or plot artifice. The book’s language is light and comfortable with humorous threads throughout making it a genuinely joyful read.

Notes & More Personal Thoughts
WARNING, SOME VERY MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD
I really enjoyed this book but I have some tiny quibbles. A few small town hiccoughs worried me. I grew up in one in California (not Maine), and there is no “police” there’s one or two guys from the next slightly-larger-town-over and they’re called by their names, as in Sheriff Bob. But maybe things are different out on the East Coast. I also found the constant modern-culture references a little distracting. I might not have noticed if I hadn’t read this same objection in someone else’s review. But, see above about my avoiding contemporary settings as a rule.

Here’s what I loved.
1.) Nicole has this awesome casual writing style that just makes the book so darn easy to read (and not it the dumb-down vocabulary kid’s meaning of the term “easy”). There’s no work to reading it and I love love love that. I’m so tired to books that self-consciously remind me I’m reading them. Oh, you know what I mean. This one just moves along, like a movie, no concentration needed, and that is a really good thing. So comfortable was I, in fact, I didn’t even notice until page 94 that it was written in first person, which I normally don’t like.
2.) From knowing Nicole online I wasn’t surprised about this next point, but there’s a metric ton of humor bubbling throughout Tempest Rising. Much chortling resulted.
3.) And she gives us (my personal favorite) some seriously fabulous characters of doom! There’s Grizelda the drag queen trapped in a lesbian’s body (named after a character from Cats?), Anyan the hellhound with a thing for naked half-selkies, Ryu the vampire in tweed and white shoes (hot, but I’m sorry True-honey, so fricking gay), Russ the shape-shifter who’s retired to life as a pet dachshund, Miss Carol who may be some distant progeny of Miss Ivy Hisselpenny’s, and, of course, Jane herself. I found myself getting a little sad when we left the colorful cornucopia behind and had to get on with sex and plot and such. I could read a gossip column from the local paper just about these characters. Blog hint at Nicole. Hint. Hint.

I have only one last thought. And it’s a snarky one. This is what the Meredith Gentry books should have been.

P.S. Screw the vampire, it’s all about them weredoggies.

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Conventions & Writing by Mary Robinette Kowal

CAKE in Space: Back from agent, but now I don’t have time for it.
Karissa says, “This was a fun read; very creative and fast moving.”
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon and Powell’s have posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don’t read if you haven’t read the first book.
Blameless: Edits are back, that’s what I’ll be doing all day today.

Quote of the Day:
That crafty little minx, I thought, as I realized what was happening. She’s one of them . . . she owes me fried cheese for keeping secrets. In my world, fried cheese is the gold standard.”
~ Jane True (Nicole Peeler)


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