Tagged Coop de Book

The Great Parasolverse Read Along ~ Waistcoats & Weaponry DVD Extras (Finishing School Special)

Posted by Gail Carriger

The Great Parasolverse read along continues with Waistcoats & Weaponry the third Finishing School book…

2/4-2/17

Waistcoats & Weaponry 

released in November of 2014

Here are some fun blog posts and resources that tie to this book. I’m including research I did, plus chattering on the subject of designing the dress and bladed fan on the cover.

Blurb:

Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey hijack a suspiciously empty train to return their chum Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland.

Waistcoats & Weaponry was a New York Times bestseller, long list nominee for the Teen Choice Book award (2014), nominated for a Locus award (2015), was one of Amazon’s “most anticipated” Fall Release in Science Fiction & Fantasy (2015), received a top honor on the YALSA Amazing Audiobooks List (2016), and won the Steampunk Chronicle’s Reader’s Choice Award (2015).

Writing Waistcoats & Weaponry

W&W was originally titled Deportment & Deceit, but my publisher decided they didn’t like that title. I’m not sure why. Possibly too long a first word? Wouldn’t type set nicely? Too hard for American audiences?

So we changed it. I very rarely fuss about such things.

Speaking of Titles

Every title in this series is made up of alliterative two words the first of which should call to mind something Victorian and mannerly (Etiquette, Curtsies, Deportment –> Waistcoats, Manners).

You can see how with that restriction, Waistcoats doesn’t quite fit (it’s an article of clothing but nothing really to do with polite society). However, it is apt to this book, as this is the one mostly centered on the boys. Or caused by boy issues.

The second word in the titles should be something spy or secretive (Espionage, Conspiracies, Deceit –> Weaponry, Mutiny).

Another fun cover tidbit, did you notice the model changed?

Yeah the second two books in the series have a different cover model.

I helped pick them both, actually. But the second one looks a bit more like I imagined Sophronia, although I genuinely like them both.

Few people seemed to notice or complain. In fact, I got more complaints about Donna changing during the course of the Parasol series, when, in fact that really is EXACTLY the same model on all five books.

Back to Waistcoats & Weaponry

I happen to be a particularly huge fan of this cover. Probably because I had the most influence over it. That’s MY FAN she’s holding, I asked for her hair to be up, for her dress be exactly as described in the book, and they listened!

Also I love love love the color. I’m a huge fan of greens and teals. So good.

You seem to agree with me as this is the most popular cover, by fan vote, in the FS series. Although I haven’t run this poll since the illustrated edition of Soulless, the most recent Custard Protocol books, or the novellas.

Perhaps we will do another cover vote sometime.

Things Pertaining to This Book

Here’s the sketch I did for Sophronia Masquerade dress that ends upon the cover of the book. I was very into Ombre at the time. You can take a Peek at Sophronia’s Dress Design Process over on Retro Rack.

Waistcoats & Weaponry partly came by its name because it is the book that deals with the boys and their histories, quandaries, and mistakes.

Or some boys.

Or the boy thread is key to the plot.

Because I get asked quite a bit, and they all never really appear in any of the books here the the list of Sophronia’s and her siblings:

Just a reminder there is merch for this series! Including this Team Soap shirt (which works on so many levels)… All the t-shirts in my merch shop can be changed in size, color, and shirt shape. So yes, you can get this of a man, or in blue, or as a hoodie, or…

Some more fashion for this book…

In Other News!

Recently I met a Picklewoman with a Bumbersnoot in Seattle…

I got very excited by the Bumbersnoot!

I do hope you enjoy Waistcoats & Weaponry! 

Yours in ombre,

Miss Gail

  • Want more sneak peeks, free goodies, gossip, behind the scenes info? This stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

OUT NOW!

The Omega Objection San Andreas Shifters

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Direct from Gail

Can a gentle giant with a trampled heart
show a man who’s been running all his life that
sometimes there are monsters worth running towards?

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • The 5th Gender (a Tinkered Stars sci-fi as G. L. Carriger).
  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Secret Project Ommm, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Preshea & Monique in an 1850s fashion plate

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Knowing Right and Wrong — Fun with Copyright

Book News:

Right now my store is having a 40% off t-shirts sale with Promo Code: ZFEBLOVEZAZZ You can customize the color, size, and style of any shirt in my shop. (Of course you can, whatcha take me for?)

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Curtsies & Conspiracies DVD Extras (Finishing School Special)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Curtsies & Conspiracies released in

November of 2013

Here are some fun blog posts and resources that tie to this book. Research I did, chattering and amusement on the subject of brain farts and other issues.

A conspiracy is afoot – one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans.

Curtsies & Conspiracies was a New York Times Bestseller and received a top honor on the YALSA Amazing Audiobooks List (2015). 

This book got the highest I have ever been in one of the main NYT lists (only the manga has gone higher) and that was in hard cover children’s at #5. It released the same year as Etiquette & Espionage.

“Carriger’s second steampunk adventures exceeds the first…the fun, again, is in watching ever-practical Sophronia sneak and scheme her way into sometimes dangerous, sometimes riotously funny, situations…. We repeat: This witty, light-hearted series is not to be missed.”

~ Booklist, starred review

Writing Curtsies & Conspiracies

I ended up having to do a brain map of all the conspiracies in this book.

This is not normally how I work.

Until I had Scrivener in my life I tended to work with 3×5 cards (see Waistcoats & Weaponry entry coming up).

As an aside the original order of the books was also going to be alphabetical by title, which meant this one would have been the first book.

  1. Curtsies & Conspiracies
  2. Deportment & Deceit
  3. Etiquette & Espionage
  4. Manners & Mutiny 

I wanted to do this so I could keep them straight in my head because I was having problems with The Parasol Protectorate. (Now I picture the cover of each PP book and so know the setting, and thus remember which book is which.)

However, when I pitched the series they decided right away they wanted Etiquette & Espionage to be the first book. Not sure why.

They also embossed the cover of E&E and C&C but not the other two in this series. $ concerns, I’m pretty sure.

Things Pertaining to This Book

Research and Other Fun Behind the Scenes Tidbits

It was this book that spawned the music video! I blog all about it including how it came into existence, my suspicions as to its effectiveness, behind the scenes photos of the models and actors, and THE LYRICS.

Chapter by Chapter says,

Curtsies & Conspiracies was everything I expected it to be: Just like the novel that came before it but better. Way better.” 

I hope you enjoy this second installment in the Finishing School series. It was bear to write, that’s for certain, but it all came out good in the end.

Or did it?

Yours in infamy,

Miss Gail

  • Did you want more behind the scenes info? This stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

OUT NOW!

The Omega Objection San Andreas Shifters

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Love Bytes says:

“The pages just flew by as I go deeper and deeper into the plot, and stopping was very much out of the question once things started to get going. These werewolves could have been very boring (I mean, what is this, the 800th werewolf book I’ve read?) but I loved Carriger’s various takes on the shifters and their culture. It was not exactly all new, but it was just different enough to make me always want to know just that little bit more about them. I think that readers who enjoyed this series so far and going to end up really liking this one, and if they are anything like me, they are going to be clamoring for the next book.”

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • The 5th Gender (a Tinkered Stars sci-fi as G. L. Carriger). No links as yet…
  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Secret Project Ommm, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Getting Dressed for a Dickensian Christmas (1853)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

People Who Constantly Point Out Grammar Mistakes Are Pretty Much Jerks, Scientists Find

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.”

~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Etiquette & Espionage DVD Extras (Finishing School Special)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Etiquette & Espionage released in

February of 2013

Here are some fun blog posts and resources that tie to this book, Gentle Reader. Research I conducted plus chattering and amusement on the subject of this series and moving into the world of YA.

This story features Sophronia who is recruited to a finishing school for spies located in a dirigible. There, young ladies of quality are taught to finish everything – and everyone – as needed.

The Japanese Translation (NOT a manga).

Etiquette & Espionage came out in 2013 and was a New York Times and Locus bestseller, was nominated for the Sakura Medal (Japan – 2015) and a Goodreads Choice Award (2013), made YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list (2014), the ALA’s Notable Books for Children List (2014), top 10 YALSA’s Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults List (2014), and won the Prix Elbakin Award (France- 2014).

Original advert

Writing Etiquette & Espionage

This is the first book I wrote intentionally for a Young Adult market. It is not, however, my first YA book. I have a number of others in my proverbial trunk, unpublished.

Here I talk about why I made the switch to YA, how I changed my writing style and approach, and other thoughts from the writer perspective.

Things Pertaining to This Book

Research & Other Fun Behind the Scenes Tidbits

Other Extras

Here’s a guide on what to do when you’re highjacked by flywaymen.

Read Along Questions!

  1. Who is your favorite character from these books?

  2. Who’s story arc do you enjoy the most?

  3. Who surprised you?

  4. What was the most shocking reveal from this first book?

  5. Any cross over characters surprises? Who were you shocked to see show up and who did you want to see but didn’t?

You can find a full series summation and discussion, plus Gail plays Would You Rather Finishing School style on the Fiction Hangover podcast. Prefer iTunes?

I hope you enjoyed this starter pack and if you are new to the Finishing School Series… WELCOME!

Yours in not-so-secret,

Miss Gail

Did you want more behind the scenes info? This stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.

Here’s the read along schedule made pretty for the UK folks (reverse dates).

Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

OUT NOW!

The Omega Objection San Andreas Shifters

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Direct from Gail

Twirling Book Princess says:

“Eeeeeeeee! This was just too perfect, too sweet, to wonderful. Featuring Tank, a werewolf we have seen before in the earlier books, and a new guy, Isaac, also a werewolf (but not out of the werewolf closet as I would call it). These two will get together and melt your heart away with cute moments, sweet scenes. But that isn’t the only thing that you will see in this book.”

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • The 5th Gender (a Tinkered Stars sci-fi as G. L. Carriger). No links as yet…
  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Secret Project Ommm, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Tea Dueling at SWFL SteamCon

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The Best Queer Books of 2018

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

The Susan: The Story of an Archetype, and Why We Need Her

Book News:

Gaslight Expo Gail Carriger GOH Announcement

Also…

Merch from this book!

My editor, Kate, got her nails done to match my book during release

Quote of the Day:

“It’s reminiscent of seaweed, old ashtrays, used bandaids, and a head-butt. . . . Y’know, subtle.”

~ Overheard in Borderlands Books, from their awesome occasional blog

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


The Curious Case DVD Extras & Alessandro Tarabotti (Parasol Protectorate Special)

Posted by Gail Carriger

The Curious Case short story released in…

March of 2012, online

I don’t have many blog posts on this one. It’s just a short story featuring Alexia’s crafty father, Alessandro Tarabotti, in his assassin for the Templars days. It also showcases mummies, werewolves, and well-preserved felines and is the first hint I gave my readers that there were OTHER kinds of shape shifters.

(TO SAY NOTHING OF THE  MUMMY THAT WAS AND THE CAT IN THE JAR)

Alessandro Tarabotti and his valet, Floote, are on a mission in Egypt when they encounter visiting tourists and the situation turns to mummies. What is Alessandro’s real mission and will his Aunt Archangelica approve of his treatment of her cat?

If you have ever wondered about Alexia’s father, this will give you a glimpse into his adventures, character, and romantic interests.

This is the only installment of its kind, I had always planned to write more snippets of Alessandro’s life. Perhaps I still will.

Tumblr eatingfireflies fan art for Alessandro Tarabotti

Things Pertaining to This Story

This was not the story’s original cover. You can read all about my cover art experience the first time around in this blog post.

I switched away from drawn art because none of my other covers are like that and I wanted to stay on brand. Also I discovered Evan Butterfield‘s shoot of his model Vincent and fell in love. I actually own the rights to Vincent’s whole gallery, just in case I want to write more Alessandro I have the same cover model ready to go.

Spotted this shot in Paris

Sneaky Gail Is Sneaky

  • Is there a hint about Alessandro meeting Lyall in this story?
  • Who did Floote fight it Scotland, and might it account for his latter tendencies towards shooting a certain someone?
  • Remember the name Phinkerlington… it’s going to show up again, a long ways down the line.

Super special giveaway in this weekend’s Chirrup…

Only 10 of these miss-printed UK editions of Waistcoats & Weaponry exist in the world, and you will have the opportunity to win one of them.

Yours in spinal misspellings,

Miss Gail

  • Did you want more behind the scenes info? This stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

OUT NOW!

The Omega Objection San Andreas Shifters

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Direct from Gail

Joyfully Jay says:

“Carriger manages to give these guys a lot of layers and depth, while still giving the story some lightness and fun.”

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • The 5th Gender (a Tinkered Stars sci-fi as G. L. Carriger). No links as yet…
  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Secret Project Ommm, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

My current favorite teacup.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Rare Footage of Octopus vs. Pufferfish Battle

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Barnes & Noble On Its Way Out

Book News:

Wicked Wallflowers Club interviews Gail Carriger

Quote of the Day:

“Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


The Great 2019 Parasolverse Read Along Schedule & Guide! (Coop de Book Picks)

Posted by Gail Carriger

So the Parasol Protectorate Facebook Group voted, and the Coop de Book (along with them) are doing a massive Parasolverse read along for 2019, Gentle Reader.

I’ll keep pace here in the blog, in the Facebook Fan Group, on Twitter, and with the Chirrup. Skye will try to stay on top of the Goodreads Group. I’m going back through and finding fun behind the scenes and research blog posts, so when we start each book’s reread, I’ll post an update with yummy stuff to go alongside.

It’s going to be intense but FUN!

HERE IS THE 2019 READ-ALONG SCHEDULE

January 1/1-1/6 The Curious Case short story

January & February The Finishing School series

1/7-1/20 Etiquette & Espionage

1/20-2/3 Curtsies & Conspiracies

2/4-2/17 Waistcoats & Weaponry 

2/18-3/3 Manners & Mutiny 

March 3/4-3/10 Poison or Protect novella

March & April & May The Parasol Protectorate series

3/11-3/24 Soulless

3/25-4/7 Changeless

4/8-4/21 Blameless

4/22-5/5 Heartless

5/6-5/19 Timeless

May 5/20-5/26 Romancing the Inventor novella

May & June First 2 Custard Protocol Books, Rue’s POV

May & June 5/27-6/9 Prudence

June 6/10-6/23 Imprudence

June 6/24-6/30 Romancing the Werewolf  novella

July 7/1-7/14 Competence

July 7/15-7/21 How to Marry a Werewolf novella

Reticence!

The plan is to chat about the books as we read them and in general, both on the Goodreads group and the Parasol Protectorate group. I’ll try to stay on top of posting about which book we are on and hopefully those who are keeping pace will help me with this.

HELPFUL LINKS

The Goodreads Group

The Parasol Protectorate Group 

All Carriger Books List

There will be no regular Coop de Book pick until September 2019.

Until then, you can find my reviews of my favorite books ongoing on Goodreads or BookBub, or follow me on Twitter or Facebook for shout outs to my favorites when I spot them on sale.

Books recommendations and favorite things that make me happy will continue to show up each month in the Chirrup.

  • Do you want to stay on top of the read along? Chirrup members will be kept informed, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

OUT NOW!

The Omega Objection San Andreas Shifters

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks
Direct from Gail

Tiny Navajo Reads says:

“They both help each see each other for what they truly are and what it means to be family. I love it when books are able to do this and especially love it G.L. Carriger does it, because they do it in such a way as to open your eyes to all forms of love and acceptance. The way our world is becoming we need more books and characters that not only look different than us but love and act differently than us.”

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • The 5th Gender (a Tinkered Stars sci-fi as G. L. Carriger). No links as yet…
  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Secret Project Ommm, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Paul César Helleu, Young woman in white with parasol, 1900

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Airship Ambassador Gail Carriger Lord Bobbins Taslacon 2018 by Joseph Hernandez

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

PODCAST: Out of the Closet: The LGBTQ Community in American History

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Chuck Wendig, Chelsea Cain, and Marvel’s Latest Missteps

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!

Gail’s quotes

 

“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)”— Gail Carriger


Coop De Book Pick & Review ~ TJ Klune’s The Lightning-Struck Heart (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Alright, my darling Gentle Reader, I decided to end our reading year on an upswing. For my final book of 2017 I chose The Lightning-Struck Heart by TJ Klune.

Why did you choose this book, Gail?

For those who know my taste you will know this has many things I like. Adorable snarky gay boy main character. Lots of awesome magic. Really fun fantasy setting. But honestly…

It’s hilarious.

No seriously, I was reading it last night and actually crying with laughter.

Well that might have been because is was two in the morning and I was trying not to wake up the AB.

I haven’t laughed this hard since Ridiculous!. Possibly not even then.

The Lightning-Struck Heart is really that funny.

I think we all need to read something this wonderfully irreverent right now.

Need more persuading?

So I resisted reading any more of Klune (despite a killer reputation) because I read Wolfsong.

Let me very clear. Wolfsong is a strangely haunting, brilliant, and poignant gay shifter not-quite romance. But also full of weird character inconsistencies (particularly the motivations behind the love interest) and (to my mind) desperately needed a heavier hand on the developmental edit pass. (For which I get to blame a trad publisher in this instance. Honestly, sometimes I wonder about Dreamspinner.)

Wolfsong was also too long… for me.

(Incidentally, The Sumage Solution narrator Kirt Graves also narrates Wolfsong. Check him out this month’s episode of the Top 2 Botm Podcast. They chat about Kirt narrating The Sumage Solution, audio narration, and he geeks out about drag queens.)

Back to Klune…

Reading The Lightning-Struck Heart, I realize that Klune may simply write epic length stuff. This one is kicking it on the order of 400 pages, which explains the $18 price tag for trade paperback. 

There is nothing objectively wrong with long, it’s just not to my taste. Instead of gobbling the book up in one weekend (my normal habit – we all have vices) a Klune book will take me several days.

So treat yourself, it’s so worth it. Try the sample, see if you don’t snort with laughter at least once.

Betcha can’t stop…

Yours,

Miss Gail

Do you want more book recs and sale deals? Extra picks go to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.

P.S. Chirrup members are getting a chance to win one of three very limited Soulless hard covers from Subterranean Press this month. If you join before the next one goes out on Sunday, you too can enter.

Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for December is The Lightning-Struck Heart (Tales From Verania Book 1) by TJ Klune.

OUT NOW!

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Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella by Gail Carriger is now available (audio will follow).

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

Love Bytes Reviews says of Romancing the Werewolf:

“It was funny and sweet, with just a dash of the odd that makes Carriger’s books so worth reading.”

 

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

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

This reminds me of Irene’s carriage dress in Forsyte Saga.

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

20 Minute Delay latest episode is all about packing!

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Five Ways to Touch Your Favorite Author’s Heart

Book News:

Beyond the Trope Interview’s Yours Truly:
Direct Link
iTunes
Stitcher

Quote of the Day:

“I need to send you squash in kimono!”

~ Secilia on Twitter (Don’t get it, read Romancing the Werewolf)

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


Coop de Book ~ Forgotten Beasts of Eld, Gail’s Desert Island Read (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

A little while I go I was immeasurably honored to be asked to write the foreword for the recent re-release of Patricia McKillip’s remarkable Forgotten Beasts of Eld.

This is one of my favorite books of all time. The re-release is now available, and because it is also finally in ebook form (also in audio), I’ve chosen it for our book group read along.

The edition I had as a child.

I thought instead of the usual “I chose this why” post for this book pick, I’d present the forward for you.

I can’t say it better than I already said it.

As it were.

Foreword

Gail Carriger

When I was much younger, my friends and I would challenge ourselves with the hardest question ever asked of any avid reader:

Which book would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

There were a lot of books I loved back then, and a lot of new books have been added to that list-of-adored over the years. But after the first time I read The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, it became the answer to this question, always and forever. Thirty years later, it’s still the answer.
So now I am left with a very difficult task. How do I explain my love for this perfect desert-island book?

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is like no fantasy novel you have ever read before, and yet it is a touchstone for all of them. It’s not just that the story is magic — it’s that the prose itself is magical and heart-wrenching. Not only will you become immersed in plot and character but also sentence structure. McKillip forms a stunning union of what is told and what is portrayed, and how a writer can transcribe both. It’s like fractal mathematics: beautiful, impossible for an ordinary human to quite understand, and yet hypnotic. Just the opening paragraph is chilling, and thrilling, and all sort of other trilling llls in a row. I can’t describe this book, because it is better than that. It’s better than my capacity for description. It’s not funny, or cute, or silly — it is a work of pure lyrical genius.

This book is the Arthurian legend for an alternate human timeline. It is a riddle teasing you to understand power—in sorcery, in arms, in passion, in knowledge. It is a philosophical treatise on the petty wars of man and how they spin and weave their own magic over intellect and desire. It is about the price of forgiveness, the cost of revenge, and gentle, tentative, nurturing love in all its varied forms.

McKillip explores what it means to be a woman with power beyond the world of men, and then within it. In doing so, she illuminates how we turn ourselves into weapons — not so much how the act of being a weapon is flawed but how in choosing to become one, we risk losing our true selves.

And she does all this while still entertaining.

If you are about to read The Forgotten Beasts of Eld for the first time, I envy you. If this is a reread for you, as it is for me, I know without a shadow of a doubt you will find something new in its pages. I always do.

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is not just a book about magic — it is magic.

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for September is The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip.}

NOW IN DIGITAL, PRINT & AUDIO!

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger, now in all editions.
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 . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs That Will Peel, Damn It

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

How to Add Google Analytics to WordPress in 5 Minutes or Less

Book News:

BJ’s Reviews says of Poison or Protect audiobook:

“Suzanne Lavington narrated Poison or Protect. This was my first experience with Ms. Lavington and I generally enjoyed her pleasing voice. She also did a good job with varying her pitch to provide differentiation among the characters, including by producing deep enough sounding voices to convincingly sound male, a trait which can be a difficult feat for some female narrators. Ms. Lavington also did a good job with creating accents as both British and Scottish sounding accents are necessary for this story.”

Quote of the Day:

Bingo uttered a stricken woofle like a bull-dog that has been refused cake.”

~ P.G. Wodehouse

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


Coop de Book Review ~ The Blue Sword (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

When people talk about The Blue Sword, Gentle Reader, they often feel compelled to mention The Hero and the Crown. These two books are intimately connected, although each stands alone (the one is a legend in the other).

There are many out there who think The Hero and the Crown the better book. I genuinely like them both, but I read The Blue Sword first and Hari is my one true love.

Alanna was my first girl with a sword and magic, Hari was the first one I felt was like me.

That’s part of it.

I also always liked the romance line better in The Blue Sword. There’s something remarkable in that, because for most of this book the two leads are separated. Yet I believe in their love unquestionably.

Also I find the story is closer, more character driven, and more intimate in Blue. Hero always felt a bit more like a legend being told around a fireplace ~ a little distanced, as if I were watching the characters from far above.

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for September is The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip.}

NOW IN DIGITAL, PRINT & AUDIO!

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger, now also in audio.
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 . . .

(c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Behind the Scenes at The Costume Institute Conservation Laboratory: House of Worth Ball Gown

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Freelance Achievement Stickers

Book News:

Cover art pose similarity, the hip cock elbow

Stephanie of Cover2Cover Blog says of Curtsies & Conspiracies:

“I really love how the girls always get into a mess and have to work their way out of it – strong females are wonderful. I also loved the humor, there is always the comic relief of a mechanical wiener dog if nothing else. Bumbersnoot makes me giggle and I love it.”

Quote of the Day:

“Editing to do list today includes “organize & pain” as opposed to “organize & plan.” Same difference, I suppose.”

~ Self

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


9 Books That You’ll Love If You Enjoy Gail’s San Andreas Shifter series (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Hello hello. I’m hoping by now you’ve had a chance to read my latest book, The Sumage Solution. If you have, as always, I’d adore a review. The second book, The Omega Objection is out now, with more to follow.

In the interim, I’ve put together this list of authors I absolutely love who write m/m fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance.

Ready?

Love The San Andreas Shifters? Try…

R. Cooper’s Being(s) in Love series.

Please please please just ignore the horrible cover art. (Someone has got to do better over at Dreamspinner Press. They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.)

These books are so sweet and poignant, with prevailing themes of loneliness and cultural (usually human-to-fae) misunderstandings. Beautifully written with gentle HEAs, understated but lovely sex scenes.

You do not have to read this series in order at all, just pick and choose whichever blurb interests you. You’ll probably end up reading them all anyway. That’s what happened to me. I started with (and loved) Treasure for Treasure, and I am so NOT a dragon shifter person. If it’s the mage/werewolf dynamic you’re after, then try A Beginner’s Guide to Wooing Your Mate.

Charlie Cochet’s Thirds series.

On a completely different vein, the Thirds series features genetically altered shifter humans (mostly cats) and their various romances and partners in an elite military task force in a quasi post-plague world. If you like Max, you’ll love Dex, who brings ridiculous snark to a whole new level. You should read these in order, so start with Hell & High Water.

These books can get pretty rough and violent, and also very erotic, so trigger warnings all ’round.

The Lodestar of Ys by Amy Rae Durreson.

If your preference runs into the epic fantasy range rather than shifters, then this book is for you. It is particularly stunning and beautiful with its world building. The sex scenes are well done but can get explicit. The beginning is absorbing, featuring a country under siege from a Roman Empire-like menace. But it is the second half, when the main characters fly to the airborne islands of Ys that Durreson’s imagination soars.

I hope someday we get another book of Ys, if only to read more about this beautiful world. You can read my Goodreads review as well, if you like.

[IMAGE REDACTED TO SAVE YOUR EYEBALLS]

The Sacrifice and Other Stories by Kim Fielding.

(Another one with a craptastic cover, sigh. Why must this be? It’s so bad I refuse to even show it in this blog.) This is a collection of Fielding’s fantasy m/m shorts, which I like and think are her strongest works.

Fielding writes classic stunning visionary fantasy extremely well. I could see her on the honor roll of the greats of the field, except she also includes gay sex. (And for this she must be ignored and punished, because the world is dumb.)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, these can also get pretty rough. Her characters are almost always resilient but broken. That’s why I advise starting with this collection, get an idea of her writing style and themes and see if you want more. She’s got a good range. Also, some of her solo ebook offerings are already included here, so if you start with this collection, you won’t double up.

Jex Lane’s Beautiful Monsters series, starting with Captive.

Like your vampire with a dose of incubus? This one is for you. That said, I hesitated to recommend this series because it’s not yet finished. It really is a series and I don’t know if Lane can stick the landing. So far as I can tell, Lane is a new author. I don’t mind shouting out something like Rhys Ford’s Kai Gracen stuff, because Rhys has a track record of great HEAs. But Lane, I’m not sure what we are in for in the end.

That said, I sure did find the Beautiful Monsters books riveting. Everything is pretty darn graphic though, from the violence to the sex, so all kinds of trigger warnings on these puppies.

Like Kai, the main characters (and most of the side characters) are pansexual so… yeah… ALL THE THINGS in all the places.

Love The Sumage Solution & The Parasolverse?

So you want something gay that’s more historical and has some Parasolverse feel to it too? Well, hopefully you’ve read Romancing the Werewolf, which is my reunion romance featuring two gay werewolves in Victorian London (Biffy & Lyall).

But I do have a few to suggest while you wait.

I really admire KJ Charles. Both the Society of Gentlemen series and her other regency romance stuff. All m/m, filled with manners and clothing, hiding and danger, and the risk inherent in all four. Some of the sex scenes are quite erotic, but not as many triggers, if my memory serves.

A Gentleman’s Position is my favorite for the class conflict and pinning (I love a good pine) but A Seditious Affair is killer if BDSM is your jam… so to speak. I don’t think you have to read these in order, although it might be slightly more enjoyable if you do. Each one stands alone from the romance perspective.

Rowan Speedwell writes historically set m/m like Kindred Hearts but also fantasy like Bitterwood (read my review on Goodreads). I’d recommend most of her stuff, pick and choose to your taste.

Jordan L. Hawk’s Hexworld series, starting with Hexbreaker (or the short The 13th Hex).

These are wonderful stories in a well conceived and unique magical system involving magicians and their shifter familiars, a victorian setting, fabulous characters with a range of personalities. Lots of cross character pollination, but (so far) no strong carry-over storyline. No cliff hangers.

Want to sample many of these recommendations in short story first?

The Charmed and Dangerous anthology, is actually where I first found a large number of these authors. Not every single story was to my taste, but it’s a well edited anthology of ten stories, and some of them are truly wonderful.

More interested in gay contemporary romance?

Here’s BookRiot on 8 of the Best M/M Romances For Your TBR

Have fun, and happy reading!

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for July is The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley.}

NOW IN DIGITAL, PRINT & AUDIO!

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger, now also in audio.
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 . . .

1900 vi antique-royals tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Me and some of my friends & Alpha readers at the SAS launch party

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

How Do Airlines Come Up With These Ridiculous Fares?

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

4 Reasons to Love Coffee Shops

Book News:

The Key Book Publishing Paths: 2017

Quote of the Day:

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


This Month’s Coop de Book ~ Local Custom by Lee & Miller (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

So for June’s Coop de Book I have chosen one of my favorite space operas, Local Custom by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller.

This a sweet star crossed lovers (literally) romance full of fraught cultural conflict and deep emotional trauma. Of course, I adore it.

If you are the type of reader who likes tucking into a vast world, you are in for a treat. The Liaden Universe is massive with well over 20 books, some stand alone, some series. Most of the paperbacks are OP but the authors are putting them all out in ebook (forgive the cover art… or lack thereof). Don’t worry there are forums and wikis to help you along. And you don’t need to have read anything else in this universe to enjoy this book. Be warned though, this is by far the sweetest of any Liaden books, so don’t look for any of the others to be quite this romantic.

A quick word on Radiance by Grace Draven. I do hope you all enjoyed it. I don’t have time for a full review at the moment but I did love this book. I heard from a reliable source that the second book, Eidolon is also very good AND nicely ties up the series, in other words it exists as a duology. So I picked it up to try while I am traveling next week.

{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) Eyes Right, from the Parasol Drills series (N18) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands, 1888
American, Commercial color lithograph

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Steampunk Clock Art

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Put the Science in your Science Fiction

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

10 Writing Career Mistakes I Made So You Don’t Have To

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”

~ Oscar Wilde

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


Coop de Book Review ~ Brother’s Ruin (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

I know this is a book review, Gentle Reader, but I hope you will forgive me if I do it with my author hat on.

Which is a very floofy hat, mind you.

One of the things I like most about Brother’s Ruin is the way Em layers in her tension points. As we open the book we see two characters standing still in a sea of humanity. Then we learn the first tension point: our heroine,Charlotte, is an artist trying to make it in a man’s world. Then we get the second: the magi stealing children. Then we learn her beloved brother is ill. And then after we return to the comparative safety of home, the punch of a father’s mounting debt.

Now we know Charlotte is weighed down by many burdens: disenfranchisement, secrecy, fear, grief, and financial hardship. These are all identifiable things to most readers, we have all suffered fear and sickness, financial insecurity and societal dismissal as a result of age, sex, gender, personal preferences, or race. (Well, most SF/F readers have.) This makes Charlotte very sympathetic as a character and us, as readers, very invested in seeing her climb her way out of this depressive cess-pit in which she finds herself.

All that in the first 20% of the novella!

As the final straw we see Charlotte’s attempt at her own salvation, an inappropriate but fiscally logical marriage. The modern eye sees this as a flawed choice from the get go, because we (as readers) are trained to prefer our heroine to solve her own problems through strength of ability, not marriage. So we hope this match fails.

At this juncture when the magi appear, Charlotte is then driven into her adventure (heeds the call, if you would).

I’m not going to review further because to do so would give things away, and this is, not really much of a review. Ah well, more me admiring a most excellent set up and highly skilled author. It happens, sometimes I’m more author than reader. I do hope that you, as readers, also enjoyed this book.

Want more?

Well, Em promises more in this series, which I do hope materializes in the meantime…

If you enjoyed this book and are interested in something similar in style, if not exactly the same, I suggest giving Jordan Hawk’s Hex series a try. You can begin with her $0.99 short story to see if you like the world, The 13th Hex. There are two books and another short that follow.

This Month’s Book Pick

Radiance by Grace Draven

~THE PRINCE OF NO VALUE~

Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.

~THE NOBLEWOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE~

Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.

Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.

{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.

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor in Audiobook. 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 . . .

1900 via shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr Walking dress, 1900, Europe

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Octopus Shelf In Office

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Why the Octopus Lost Its Shell

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

10 Things You Don’t Know About Authors on Book Tour

Book News:

Running now!

Quote of the Day:

“Writers have no real area of expertise. They are merely generalists with a highly inflamed sense of punctuation.”

~ Lorrie Moore

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


What Does Gail Carriger Read? In which I prove that as a reader I’m an unreliable narrator (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Over on Goodreads, Gentle Reader, Theron asked me the following question, and I had such a long answer I decided I should turn it into a blog post.

He asked:

Other than your own works, what are some of your favorite steampunk novels?

Here is my answer, plus bonus burbling.

Well, they are both gaslight fantasy rather than steampunk but I love Sorcery & Cecelia and Brother’s Ruin.

I actually don’t read as much within steampunk as I could, because I’m frightened of having my voice colored by someone else’s prose, or of being accused of becoming derivative.

Want more stuff like mine, here’s my post on While You Are Waiting ~ Books To Read While Gail Types.

What other genres do you prefer reading?

I’m a voracious reader and tend to read a wide range of commercial genres (mostly sci-fi, fantasy, & romance). I have a propensity to binge for months on one sub-genre and then move on to something else. I am also one of those readers who finds an author she likes and then will read anything by that author, even if it’s not something I’d normally go for.

I have a book group via my fan group on Goodreads where I pick one book a month and we all read and talk about it together. Also I tend to recommend books that I’ve loved when they go on sale via my newsletter, The Chirrup.


Some of my broad quirks…

I prefer light-hearted and comedic over dark. Partly because humor is harder to write, and I think resorting to angst is all too often the author being lazy or immature. Of course, I stumble upon exceptions, but usually my weird set of codified no-goes (see below) leaves me with a healthy stack of to reads and not enough time to read them. So I’m inclined to narrow my taste, not broaden it.

I’m a non-completest. Which is to say, if the book doesn’t grab me within the first couple of chapters then I’ll drop it without further thought. This is one of the reasons I rarely judge contests. I don’t feel capable of committing to reading something from start to finish. If I don’t like it, I stop. Life’s too short to read a book that doesn’t entertain me.

Specifically?

Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of m/m urban fantasy (UF), paranormal romance (PNR), or fantasy (not just gay but LBTQ too, although that’s harder to find). I love gay romantic sci-fi, but it’s practically non-existent. (I may have to write my own some day.) I love a good culture conflict misunderstanding.

I also adore space opera, alt-history non-european based fantasy, military sci-fi, even some atmospheric fantasy. But only if it has a female, gay, or non-binary main character. I prefer character-driven over concept-driven, shorter over longer, and I’m not wild about multiple POVs or first person present tense. Which rules out a lot of hard sci-fi, epic fantasy, and post-apocalyptic.

I read a lot of YA. I like the pacing, although I’m not really into YA urban fantasy/PNR or dystopian. I’ll read darn near anything if it’s a woman disguising herself as a man to subvert the patriarchy, but if it’s too much hero’s journey or too predictable (often the same thing) I scream and throw the book across the room. I demand a happy ending, or at least that the author sticks the landing.

Now, let me stress that this is my taste. It’s like my mad love of marmite, or my disgust with brussels sprouts. It doesn’t reflect on your own taste as a reader, and shouldn’t affect what you write as an author.

Please note that many of the most commercially successful books of the past decade would go straight into Gail’s DO NOT READ bin.

I guess that in reading I’m an utterly unreliable narrator. I’m full of illogical will and unsubstantiated opinion.

{Gail’s monthly read along for April 2017 is Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman.}

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor in Audiobook. 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 . . .

1900 Beautiful Late Victorian_Edwardian dress, hat and umbrella (Source- bnspyrd.deviantart.com)

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Historical Recipes

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

What Fiction Trends Say About Us

Book News:

Between Dreams and Reality says of Prudence:

“We are easily taken by the story and I let myself be carried by the chapters. It was a nice discovery full of originality and how not to be happy to see the heroes I loved! Yes, I had a great time and I’m curious about the result and to find Rue and her friends again!”

Quote of the Day:

“The tea, once it arrived, had its customary effect—engendering comfort and loosening the tongue… no wonder tea was considered a vital weapon of espionage.”

~ Waistcoats & Weaponry

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


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