Soulless Tart Talk with Alexia & Jane ~ Tempest in a Teapot (Parasol Protectorate Special Extras)

Nicole and I are doing a coblog today! Or I should say, our characters are. So exciting! The first of the Tart Talks . . .

Today you are party to a conversation between Jane True, star of Nicole Peeler’s Tempest Rising, and Alexia Tarabotti, star of Soulless. Because Jane’s very new to the publishing world, and her author is a bit distracted with finals, the good people at Orbit Books thought it a good idea if Alexia mentored Jane on the finer points of being an urban fantasy heroine. This is their first meeting and Jane is very nervous. She looks up to Alexia terribly, you see. And we all know what happens when Jane gets nervous . . .

Jane: Hi Alexia! Thanks for agreeing to speak with me. I know you’ve been super busy, and all. First off, can you tell me a bit about your world? I loved your book and I want to hear about it straight from you.

Alexia: That’s very direct, my dear. Shouldn’t we introduce ourselves? Then, perhaps, you can offer me tea. Then some social pleasantries, and after a short spate of time and familiarity we can discuss more indelicate matters, like the state of the world.

Jane: Ummmm . . . tea? Sorry . . . we’re more coffee drinks around here. How about coffee?

Alexia: Goodness gracious, are you Italian? You don’t look Italian, and I should know. Thank you kindly but I hear coffee is very bad for the constitution.

Jane: Um, sure. Right. I’ll get tea for next time . . . In the meantime, no soul? Really?

Alexia: And how did you find about that, young lady? I thought the Bureau of Unnatural Registry had classified my preternatural status on a need to know basis. Do you have contacts in the British government? Well, I am under the impression, if you are aware of my soulless state that perhaps you should reveal a big dark secret to me. I’ve heard, although I hardly can believe it is true (true, oh dear, how droll) that you have some kind of mixed seal transformation capacity. I should never have believed such a thing possible. Is it like being a werewolf? What’s the scientific basis for this body dimorphic dual form skill? And why a seal, it’s not very, well, threatening, now is it?

Jane: Dude, you do know we share the same editor, right? So, like, I just asked her for your book and she gave it to me . . . so no need to go through your Bureau of Unnatural Acts with Sheep, or whatever you call it. And, my mom is the shape shifter. I’m just a halfling . . . but seals are totally tough! Have you seen one clap? Well they can crack a walnut between those flippers . . . think what they could do to a human skull! If it’s been weakened in some capacity, first . . .*shifts uncomfortably* Okay, let’s start over. Umm . . . can you tell me what’s up with all the underwear?

Alexia: *sputters* Pardon? WHAT did you just ask? I shall entirely ignore that question, as it quite rightly deserves.

Jane: *shrugs* It’s just that you’re wearing a LOT of underwear. I mean, how do you pee?

Alexia: *silence*

Jane: Ohhh-kay . . . um . . . tea? Only tea? Really?

Alexia: You can think of a superior beverage? I highly doubt it. Have you ever had a really well prepared cup of tea? You’ll forgive me if I suspect your dietary preferences, you are, after all, an American.

Jane: If, by “American,” you mean a preference for something other than jellied eels and fried Mars bars, than yes. I have American tastes. And speaking of tastes: Lord Macon. Hot. What is it about were-puppies that really get our petticoats in a twist?

Alexia: Hot? What is the implication of the term? Are we discussing the same Lord Maccon of my acquaintance? He is a loud, uncouth Scotsman, that is what he is. I fail to see the appeal, and I resent the implication.

Jane: *narrows her eyes, contemplating Alexia. Suddenly she smiles* Ohhhhh, I get it. You “resent” his “implication.” Yeah, you’re totally not into him. Right. Let me guess . . . you just love him for his doggy style? *snickers*

Alexia: Pardon?

Jane: Come on, Allie! Werewolf? Doggy style? You HAVE to make lots of “doggy style” jokes? How could you resist?

Alexia: I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, Miss True. Are you quite certain you are still speaking the English language?

Jane: Okay, I get it, I get it! You’re at that stage where you aren’t comfortable talking about how you’re humping that puppy right back. It’s fine. But can I just ask you . . . how does Lord Maccon feel about “doggy style” jokes?

Alexia: I am beginning to suspect, young lady, that you are a rather impossible person. Have you met my friend, Lord Akeldama? I think you two would get along famously.

Jane: Dude, hook us up! I loved his . . . are those called codpieces? Whatever, they were saucy! In the mean time, I can hook you up with . . . um . . . how you do you feel about Snoop Dogg? *giggles*

Alexia: We are back to this language barrier, I’m afraid. Is it because you are an American, or do you ordinarily slip into a foreign tongue without warning?

Jane: Slipping the foreign tongue! I get it! You’re so crazy! Oh, and that parasol rocks. Where can I get one?

Alexia: You’re a very forthright young woman, aren’t you, Miss True? Yes, well, I believe I will soon be introduced to the source of all things parasol. Perhaps, I could send you a missive on the subject at a more apropos time? Not to be too déclassé but, given your current – how do I put this? – limited mode of dress, you may not have the necessary funds to afford such an Item. I do not mean any insult by this but, really, my dear, you appear to be wearing rather inadequate masculine attire. It’s very odd. I can only suppose it is out of desperation, for which you are, of course, to be pitied.

Jane: *blinks down at herself* Oh, crap! There’s a hole in my jeans! And they’re not even that old. *sighs* Girl, I carry all my weight in my thighs, and seriously, I could start a fire with the chafing. That’s why I never wear corduroy. Talk about kindling! Not like you . . . your skirts would put that shit out before you even started smoking. Seriously, what’s up with all the underwear?

Alexia: Oh for goodness sake, next time we meet, I get to ask the questions.

Jane and Alexia will continue their discussions about tea, proper underclothing, and whether all werewolves need to be greeted with obligatory “doggy style” jokes in further posts on

In the meantime, if you’d like to win a copy of BOTH Soulless and Tempest Rising, please dash over to Nicole’s blog and answer the following question there: Tea? Or coffee?

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Words cannot describe how much I want this ridiculously overpriced chair. It’s supposed to be super comfortable, but even better, jut look at it! This may be true love. This also may be my next advance purchase ~ after all, I spend a lot of time sitting in my office chair. . .

Your Tisane of Smart:
Website with a listing of the Jane Austen adaptations and links to youtubes of them!
Your Writerly Tinctures:
In which a new generation of writers actually talk about royalty statements. I genuinely thing this has something to do with my generation (the Xers) coming to the fore, who have a different take on the etiquette of talking about money and finances.

John is a sucker for a woman wielding a parasol.

“I’ve read a lot of urban fantasy. Soulless is easily, hands down one of the most original books that I’ve read in the genre.”

 PW for November 16, 2009 has a cover shot of Changeless and mentions my series in conjunction with the steampunk trend on pg. 20.

“Steampunk titles are on the rise, especially given the buzz surrounding debut author Gail Carriger’s recent fantasy, Soulless (Orbit, Oct.), billed as a “novel of werewolves, vampires, and parasols,” which has tapped into a happy crossover audience of paranormal romance readers. Adn the publisher’s Parasol Protectorate series continues in April with Changeless.
Blameless: Back from editor with edits still to do.

Quote of the Day:
“Compromise makes a good umbrella, but a poor roof.”
~ James Russell Lowell

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