If Etiquette & Espionage Were Illustrated by Silvana Bevilacqua (Finishing School Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Dearest Gentle Reader,

I am truly blessed to have some amazing fan art out there. But it’s rare for a professional artist to get inspired by my work.



You can check it out in this collection on Pinterest or on the Wikia.



When professional artist Silvana contacted me about her drawings of Etiquette & Espionage I had no idea it would be such a treat.


Sopronia & the tea trolley from Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage drawn by Silvana Bevilacqua


I was truly awed, she has a prodigious talent that reminds me of one of my favorite books. And her portrayal of Sophronia and family is such fun.


The mechanical from Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage drawn by Silvana Bevilacqua


For those of you who don’t follower her on Instagram (and why not?) here’s some of what she drew for the fist chapter of my book…


Eliza the main from Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage drawn by Silvana Bevilacqua



Before you ask yes I did ask my publisher if they would consider hiring her for an illustrated edition but they declined.



Monique in disguise from Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage drawn by Silvana Bevilacqua


Her website is here, please go check it out and if you are in the market to hire and illustrator, she is also an incredibly nice person…


Mrs Barnicalegoose wearing the trifle from Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage drawn by Silvana Bevilacqua

Mrs Temmineck from Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage drawn by Silvana Bevilacqua


Silvana’s work reminds me so much of a favorite illustrated chapter book of mine, The Ordinary Princess by MM Kaye (also illustrated by Kaye).


MM Kaye’s fairy


I do hope you enjoyed this little peek into art work with me!

Your’s in artistic failure herself,

Miss Gail

P.S. If you are in the Seattle Area come day hi on Friday!

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The Omega Objection San Andreas Shifters

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  • 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
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Your Infusion of Cute . . .

A ‘male’ octopus surprised its keepers with a cloud of 10,000 babies

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

The 7 Deadly Sins of Editors (According to Novelists)

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

“That job just wasn’t for me. I really need to work with beings who understand object permanence.”

~ Overheard in Borderlands Books, from their awesome occasional blog

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!

Etiquette & Espionage Special Extras (Finishing School)

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.

Reader 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?


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


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 Etiquette of Proper Introductions in Victorian Times (Finishing School Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


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 outranks 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 you can read that I am having fun with the undercurrents that may result. It certainly can effect character.


The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg is possibly the book associated with my Alexia series more than any other. It is on sale today for only $1.99 (USA ebook) so worth a try if you’re pining after already finishing RTW.

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

Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for November is Romancing the Werewolf.

Want more behind the scenes sneak peeks? Join the Chirrup


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1905 Fringed Parasol, ca. 1805 via LACMA

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

The Oxford Comma, Robert Frost, and Comma Suicide

Quote of the Day:

“It was one of those jolly, peaceful mornings that make a fellow wish he’d got a soul or something.”

~ P.G. Wodehouse

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

Sophronia’s Moors in the Finishing School Series (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


While I was in England I trotted down to Devon to visit my family and childhood stomping grounds but also to rove about Dartmoor. As you know, Gentle Reader, the Finishing School books partly take place in Dartmoor. (Or should I say: floating above it?) I thought you would like to see what the moor looks like.

If you aren’t already familiar with the place. I wonder if it’s how you imagined from my descriptions.

Moor (and tor to the right) from the road.
Another tor seen from the road


Marching up to Haytor


Haytor, different view ~  yes it does look like a massive cow pie


Gorse (yellow), heather (purple), ferns, and other vegetation


The beautiful moors, this is what I see in my head
Making friends


Classic moors stretching away

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Your Moment of Parasol . . .

via ornamentedbeing tumblr: Hélène Standish, née de Pérusse des Cars, 1882

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

via Innocent drinks on FB

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Formatting Manuscript for Submission

Quote of the Day:

via Berfrois on FB

Victorians, Werewolves, and Spies, Oh, My! (Finishing School Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


ConDor was great fun, an established convention in San Diego with reliable attendance and a writing/reading SF/F bent. I arrived Friday and hit the ground running with my first panel. I’m going to let you peek at my notes. I’m afraid I didn’t take them on other people’s comments, just my own thoughts. And, of course, they are only notes, starter thoughts on what I actually said, so don’t take them as gospel. I also include links to some of the sources I recommended. Gentle Reader, make of them what you will.



The New Victorians: The Allure of the Antique to the Decidedly Modern

  • Existing silliness, whimsey of playing with technology that wasn’t, interconnection of tech & culture
  • Industrial age as compared to modern world, our economic chaos is attracted to their perceived order
  • Americans apparently love the idea of the class system (see popularity of Downton Abby)
  • Etiquette & manners, introductions & politeness, precedence, safety in knowing the requirements of any social interaction, joy of secure place
  • Progress as an allure: accepted by middle class, threat to some aristocrats
  • QV giving over much of her monarchical power to parliament just as aristocrats are loosing out to middle class
  • (Sherwood Smith was on this panel with me and I must admit to a fan girl squee, I adore her Crown Duel YA and highly recommend it.)


Friday Ice Cream Social (by Jerry Abuan)

Developing & Maintaining Romantic Relationships in Continuing Storylines

  • Differences in writing love/sex for Romance market vs SF/F
  • 6 standard Austen tropes in romance
  • Realistic versus romantic
  • Thrill of suspense in the handkerchief drop
  • Combative love, matched wits
  • Using romance as a spice (not a main theme), using it for humor
  • Twisting tropes in series: Theirs Not to Reason Why series (friends arrange the match), Miles Vorkosigan saga (not your typical hero)
  • My suggestions were: Farscape (soap opera love but I stay engaged), Servant of the Empire series (two love affairs both wonderful), Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness YA series (multiple loves, all romantic and appealing)
  • Authors who write good romantic threads (not major themes but still wonderful) Tarr, Renault, Edwards


Ice Cream Social
There was a cake just for me! Three kinds of ice cream, another cake for the fan GOH, and it was all delicious and fun.

Friday Ice Cream Social (by Jerry Abuan)


Guest of Honor Q&A
No notes. It was the usual if you come to see me in person. You can ask me anything, I’ll answer as best as I can, with the understanding it doesn’t leak onto the net.

Q&A (by Jerry Abuan)

Had a nice little line, managed to get them done in 45 minutes just long enough for an off the cuff interview and signing stock for Patrick and the Mysterious Galaxy folk.

In the dealers room with authors Tod McCaffrey and Brothers K (Dani’s phone)

Inventing Exotic Cultures

  • Be wary of cultural misappropriation
  • Use of word “exotic”
  • Info-dumping
  • Real world ancient vs historical
  • Objects having meaning & symbolism informing character & space
  • Point of entry
  • Using exotic words in context to give enough understanding, trusting the curious reader to look up exact definition if they want (fichu, decolletage)
  • Subversive nature of humor

Werewolves: Sociology & Sociobiology
Some books I suggested: Black Dog, Blood & Chocolate, Mercy Thompson series
Myth debunked: Full moon does not increase incidence of psychological problems

On Panel (by Jerry Abuan)



Historical Research for Fantasy Literature

  • Know the rules of the time period, so you can break them
  • Types of errors that throw people out of the suspension of disbelief, give up on some of the specifics (the 10% rule)
  • Errors of context ~ no jean at the Renascence Faire
  • Primary vs secondary sources: each are biased in their own way
  • TK ~ return to check later, beware the assumptions of your own brain
  • Recommended starter books: children’s DK Eyewitness Books, Timetables of History, maps of the time period
  • Visit the location if possible: familiarity with space, light, smells, mood, may not be exactly the same as the past but it gives a starting access to all five senses
  • Keep in mind basic human needs as provided by environment: drink, sleep, eat, shelter, procreate
  • Worldbuilding in my book ~ including resources
  • 26 Tips for Researching Victorian Set Steampunk


Eytan and I, friends for years, our first panel together (by Jerry Abuan)

Learning to Edit Your Own Work

  • Identify your own ticks & bad habits search/replace
  • Gail’s stages of editing detailed
  • Read manuscript out loud to catch sing-song and flow issues
  • Read backwards, one sentace at a time (short stories)
  • How to keep deadlines from impacting quality
  • Keeping drafts of deleted scenes


Dani edited himself out of the panel (by Jerry Abuan)

Secret Agent Stories in SF/Historical/Fantasy: Adapting Espionage Tropes


Tribute from lovely readers

As you can see it was a fun con with lots of panels discussing topics I’ve never had the opportunity to discuss before. That was so much fun!

Next up? Colorado Springs, CO April 25 ~ 27, 2014 Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference (Colorado Springs Marriott 5580 Tech Center Drive Colorado Springs, CO 80919)


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Bouquet with parasols

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Pile of crochet octopus in the dealer’s room

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Recommended to me, customizable 1950s inspired clothing company eshakti. You can buy off the rack or pay c. $10 extra and submit your measurements. Most of their items are capped or sleeveless (grrrrr, but the customization fee includes changing sleeve style short, elbow, 3/4, long). I’m skeptical, so I might start with a top, as that’s the real challenge with me. However, I’ve been on a new clothing diet this year and I wanna see how long I can go.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book News:

Blast from the past, Mike and I at my first steampunk convention.

Quote of the Day:

Flirtation or… Espionage? Gail Carriger Researches Victorian Spies for the Finishing School (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Been working hard on the final Finishing School book.

Although Sophronia and her network of spy girlfriends have their own code for speaking back and forth, I thought it might be fun to see some of the original real deal techniques.

Flirting with Gloves


Mitts  1840s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Flirting Handkerchief
Chemisette, Undersleeves, and Handkerchief  1860s  The Metropolitan Museum of Ar
Flirting Parasol


1833 Sunday, September 1

(Chapeau des Magasins de Mme. Rousseau Leblanc, Place de la Rourse, 31. Redingote des ateliers de Mme. H. Larcher, Couturiere de L. M. la Reine, (Rue Vivienne, 4.) Le depot du Follet, Boulevart des Italiens, Passage de l’Opera, No. 2. Published by J. Page, 112 Fetter Lane, London.
Lady’s Magazine Sunday, September 1, 1833 v. 14, plate 70.)

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Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Paint British Paintings Burnham Beeches – Hector Caffieri

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Cassette Tape Doormat at Perpetual Kid

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Eastgate Street, from east of the Cross looking towards the Eastgate Louise Rayner

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Writing Through Adversity. Or Not.

Quote of the Day:

“We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet: and, amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog, has made an alliance with us.”

~ Maurice Maeterlinck (1862 – 1949)

In Which Gail Carriger Visits a Shooting Range in the Interest of Finishing School Research (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Occasionally, Gentle Reader, I conduct on the ground research, or in some cases in the air.

One of the things I have been meaning to do for a long time is visit a shooting range. I grew up around riffles (farming community) but never used one, and I have an ex who (after living through the LA riots) owned a shot-gun so large I couldn’t really lift it. But I, personally, have never found the idea of guns very appealing. Which may be the consequence of my part British upbringing, or it could be all those hippies.


However, guns do make the occasional appearance in my books and I have actually never shot one. I’d rather not get into the politics of guns, so I’ll merely say that they are historically present in my time period and my world-building, so I thought it best if I knew at least a little bit about them.

My dear friend J. Daniel Sawyer is an excellent marksman and volunteered to be my guide. He does, after all, have a book on the subject of guns for writers. So a week ago, we trekked to a nearby gun range so shoot some of their oldest guns.

I thought you might like a glance at my notes. Which were mainly things that surprised me . . .

  • 22 manually load, manually eject casing (single action Bearcat revolver)
  • 22 up close to temple could be an assassin’s weapon, but otherwise not all that effective
  • Thumb (not trigger finger) gets tired from pulling back hammer
  • Smaller gun doesn’t get that hot, just warm to the touch
  • Smaller lighter gun of same caliber seem to have more recoil, with a bigger 22 (10 shot double action revolver) the heaviness of the gun seemed to almost shield the shooter
  • Larger caliber gun was much louder but doesn’t effect how hard I had to pull the trigger
  • Recoil hit tender part between finger and thumb
  • Rough grip makes it easier to hold but harder on the skin, understand appeal of wooden handle, rubber later, and shooting gloves

The larger caliber proved too much for me. We had to jump from a .22 to a .45 (compact 1911) since the shooting range only had one .38 and that gun was challenging (they said). This was a little sad since Ethel, Alexia’s gun, is a derringer that would probably have been in the .38 range. But it did afford me the time to chat with some of the local enthusiasts while my friend finished the .45 rounds.



Being a materials scientist by training I was fascinated to learn about the so-called Perchatta gun grip on the 1902 gun they had in a case. It seems some sort of rubber mixed with plastic. I’ve never heard of such a thing and couldn’t find it on the interwebs under that name (given me by a suspect individual) so if you know more on the actually scientific name of the material.*



There it is, my visit to the range. In many ways the range itself was exactly as I suspected, and some of the psychology of, for example, the instructional video was decidedly… off. But I am glad I went because I really feel like I learned something that will effect how I write about using guns in my books. Improving, shall we say, my precision if not accuracy.

* A note the name of the material appears to be Gutta Percha also know as Victorian vulcanite. You can read more about it in the comments bellow. In an unrelated matter, I was looking up Victorian Mourning Jewelry and found Gutta Percha was often used in place of jet.

Antique Victorian vulcanite/Gutta Percha mourning jewelry; earrings and necklace colectorsweekly.com
RARE Victorian Mourning Jewelry Set in Original Box – Made of Gutta-Percha Sap. $1,295.00, via Etsy


Flanders says this of Gutta-percha:

“Gutta-percha was produced from the sap of the Isonandra gutta tree, native to Indonesia. When vulcanized, it acted as a waterproofing, insulating material, much as we sued rubber and now use plastic. It first appeared in Britian in the 1840s, becoming widelt used for, among other items, hot-water bottles, golf balls and the insulating cover for the first transatlantic telegraph cable.”

~ Judith Flanders The Victorian House (pg. 45)

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Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Paint Camille Monet on the beach at Trouville by Monet

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Elizabeth Lefebvre via FB sharing Emily Mills’s photo

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Travel Scenes from Around the World, 1986-1900

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
9 Lessons I’ve Learned So Far About Writing & Publication

Quote of the Day:

“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Finishing School Character Study ~ Agatha (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Agatha is one of Sophronia’s friends. She shares are room with Sidheag and, at first, is a little overcome by Sidheag’s brashness and Sophronia’s boldness. But she is perceptive enough to realize when someone has a good heart. The other three begin look after her as if she were a kind of pet. Secretly, Agatha is quite wealthy, and it is her father who wants her to be trained by that special kind of Finishing School.

Winding Way Socks in Old Maiden Aunt Superwash BFL 4ply in ‘buttermint’

“Agatha Woosmoss, daughter of the noted railroad baron.” The chubby girl looked up quickly from her shoes, nodded, and then returned to her intense scrutiny of her own feet.
~ From Etiquette & Espionage

The first train into Grimsby – a Romantic view of the coming of the railway. (from Perkins)

Agatha Woosmoss was small, round, and redheaded with a freckled face that wore a perpetual expression of distressed confusion, not unlike that of a damp cat.
~ From Curtsies & Conspiracies

General Description:
Red hair, slightly curly (usually falling flat), white skin with freckles, eyes probably green, chubby, smallish, rather dumpy. Blushes a lot.

From the Little Princess Movie, and painting (source unknown)
Lady Edith

(Speaking of which, have you seen Edith with Googly Eyes on Tumblr? We live in a world full of genius.)

I always imagined Agatha might blossom a bit, but she will always remain slightly timid and unsure of herself. She struggles with Finishing School lessons, but she does try hard, for her family’s sake.

George Clausen’s 1880 painting Schoolgirls, Haverstock Hill

I love this picture, it’s many years too late for my books, but it’s so Finishing School. I imagine that Dimity is at the front in the blue, with the parasol, Sophronia is next to her in black, plotting, Sidheag walls behind in the blue with the black hat, and Agatha is the timid one with the red band around her hat, Monique is in the the pink. 

Agatha has pretty terrible taste in clothing but a whole lot of money to spend on it. Thus she tends to buy rich fabrics in awful muted color combinations exactly wrong for her complexion.

The girls, upon occasion, will be shocked to round a corner of an evening and encounter her wearing something like this:

1850 Dressing Gown  The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Here’s the kind of thing she would wear during the day to lessons and such:

1847-1850 Afternoon Dress The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1850 Arch The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For evening, and under Mademoiselle Geraldine’s careful guidance, she might wear something like the following. Yes, it’s an little old fashioned in fabric, and simple, but well made and costly.

1850s Evening Dress  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

And after Dimity got hold of her and made sure she fancied it up a bit.

1850s Evening Dress  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I, of course, have a terrible weakness for red heads. I blame Anne of Green Gables. Agatha, as with everything at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, is probably not what she seems. Or is she?


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Suit  Jacques Doucet, 1895  The Victoria & Albert Museum

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Redheads in Jane Austen.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Disco Ball Pizza Oven

Your Writerly Tinctures . . . 
A Question of Book Trailers

Book News:
Update on the calendar project. (Was a kickstarter.)

Quote of the Day:

Etiquette & Espionage in Review & More (Finishing School Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Etiquette & Espionage will be available in trade paperback form tomorrow!

Etiquette & Espionage has received:

  1. A starred review from Kirkus
  2. A starred review from Publisher’s Weekly
  3. A starred review from Booklist

Here’s some fun bits and bobs to entertain you in the meantime…




Literary Duck Blog says,

“This adorable little book has everything you could want in a YA novel: bustles and trains and steam power and waistcoats and capes and automatons and canes and fog and dirigibles (the schools is, in fact, on a dirigible) and tea.”

A dress for Sophrnia

The Librarian Chick says,

“This novel is chock full of high-adventure, fanciful humor, delightful and delightfully awful characters with just a dash of the absurd for flavor.”

Miscellany & Minutia!

365 Days of Reading says,

“Sophronia is instantly lovable because she does exactly what we want to do as readers: ferret out the secrets that are hidden from view.”

The E&E Tumbler has been proceeding a pace. Lots of fun stuff showing up on the feed over there.

Katie’s Book Blog says,

“Etiquette & Espionage, Gail Carriger’s first book for teens, is a fun-filled ride from the very start. The world of the Parasol Protectorate series tranfers seamlessly for the young adult genre and fans won’t be able to get enough.”

ETWeeklyMagazineAd copy
A full page add for E&E appeared in Entertainment Weekly.

Midnight Bloom Reads says,

“With Carriger’s witty and humorous writing style, the novel is simply irresistible and impossible not to like.”

E&E on display at the famous Tattered Cover in Denver

All Things Urban Fantasy says,

“In classic Carriger fashion, Sophronia is the embodiment of cleverness, bravery, and falls woefully short of the societal definition of a lady. In other words, she’s fantastically entertaining, just like this book.”

The School Library Journal gave E&E a Starred Review saying,

“Carriger’s leading lady is a strong, independent role model for female readers… Ladies and gentlemen of propriety are combined with dirigibles, robots, werewolves, and vampires, making this story a steampunkmystery and an adventure mash-up that is sure to intrigue readers…”

And TOR.com said,

“Carriger’s whimsical sense of humor and lightness of touch is entertaining regardless of age.”

  • Publisher’s Weekly Galley Talk says: “When I opened the novel, I was immediately enchanted and delighted.”
  • A fan of the Parasol Protectorate weighs in: “Firstly, while it is very apparent from the tone and voice that this is the same author’s work, Carriger has done a fantastic job of giving it the feel of a young adult novel, as opposed to simply making the characters young, like many traditionally adult fiction authors can make the mistake of doing.”
  • Elephants on Trapezes says: “Gail Carriger has a distinctive voice I still can’t quite describe other than to say that she has a talent for describing the most ridiculous things with a sly helping of droll humor.”
  • Miss Literati says: “The names in the novel are fun and quirky and Sophronia and her friends have intriguing and goofy personalities.”
  • WTF Are You Reading? is a little more guarded: “While it is true that Sophronia Temminnick is a very likable character and Etiquette and Espionage is a very readable book; both take a while to warm up to.”
  • Shelf Awareness says: “If spunky Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey happened onto a steampunk set, she might look a lot like Sophronia Angelina Temminnick.”
  • Megan Likes Books starts off with: “What a pleasant surprise this book was! I’ve always thought steampunk was cool, but this is my first time reading a steampunk novel. I love it!”
  • Diary of the Bookworm says: “A totally different, but equally fantastic female lead, a whole new set of strange circumstances, the same great humour, and sleek writing prowess, and of course, the same Steampunk world her readers have become so enamoured of and voila! A new series that will captivate readers new to Carriger and her die hard fans alike.”
  • Steampunk Canada says: “I love this new female heroine, I love the many ways Ms. Carriger has connected this series with her first, and I want my very own Bumbersnoot.”
  • Fantasy Faction says: “it was as refreshing as a summer blackberry and ginger trifle and just as enjoyable.”
  • Sci-Fi Fan Letter says: “The book is a fun romp, with quirky characters and a quick plot.”
  • Skye’s Scribbling’s says: “Harry Potter meets Jeeves & Wooster. Or, if Jane Austen wrote Harry Potter after apprenticing under P.G. Wodehouse and H.G. Wells.”
  • I Read to Relax! says: “The tie-ins to Carriger’s adult series had me giggling throughout.”
  • Dark Faerie Tales says: “It doesn’t matter that Sophronia wasn’t considered to be lady-like, nor does it matter that she wasn’t as prim and proper as the others, I loved her for who she was.”
  • Goldilox and the Three Weres says: “I admit to not having read Carriger’s popular adult series, Parasol Protectorate, but after reading – and loving! – this book I will certainly be remedying that!”
  • Dark Matter Fanzine says: “Gail’s acerbic observations on human nature, social mores and manipulations, are hilarious…Highly recommended for fans of adventure/comedy, steampunk and comedies of manners such as The Importance of Being Ernest.”
E&E Final Cover

I’m quite overwhelmed and honored. Thanks to everyone for the nice things you have written about Etiquette & Espionage and for taking the time to review my book.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

bbcentertainment tess

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Brooch  1955  Bonham’s

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Grammar Grumble Mugs

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Reading Lesson by Helen Allingham

Book News:
All Things Urban Fantasy Paranormal Picks: Back to School Edition: Best Boarding School – Finishing School

Quote of the Day:

In Which Gail Interviews Steven Harper

Posted by Gail Carriger


As you know, Gentle Reader, occasionally my bog is hijacked by . . . Other Authors! Today please welcome Steven Harper, author of steampunk The Clockwork Empire series. We shall serve him tea, even though he takes it without milk, and ask him silly questions.

About Steven Harper, the Author!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?
Tea! Strong, with no milk or sugar. And lots of caffeine.

Describe your personal style for author appearances.
I usually try to wear the opposite of what the audience does so I stand out. If the audience dresses up, I’ll usually show up in jeans and a polo shirt. If the audience is casual, I’ll put on a tie. I really, truly need to put together a steampunk persona outfit, but these bloody books came out six months apart, and I just haven’t had time!

If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?
Here we have the steampunk writer in his native environment. Notice the computer with ergonomic keyboard on his desk and the maroushka nesting dolls from Ukraine in the background. Did the latter influence the latest work? We’ll have to find out once we bring a copy in from the wild. Only a few steps away we see a folk harp. Is it coincidence that the author’s pen name is Steven Harper? We’ll have to trank him and bring him in for further study.

If you drive, what do you drive? My beloved Chevy Cavalier was totalled by a drunk driver who smashed into it while it was parked in my driveway, so now I drive a Cobalt. Unless I’m going to Ikea, in which case I take the mini van.

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)
Chocolate, of course, on plain cone, though I’m lactose intolerant, so I’ll pay for it later.
(Verdict: quite sane)

What’s most likely to make you laugh?
The deadline proposals my editor gives me. That, or the videos my youngest son shoots from around the neighborhood.

Since writers inevitably end up in the bar, what’s your poison?
Rum and Coke. Without the rum.


Steven Harper Piziks was born in Saginaw, Michigan, but he moved around a lot and has lived in Wisconsin, Germany, and (briefly) Ukraine. Currently he lives with his three sons in southeastern Michigan. Writing as Steven Harper for Roc Books, he has produced The Silent Empire series and The Clockwork Empire series. The Havoc Machine, the latest volume, comes out May 7.

Mr. Piziks currently teaches high school English in southeast Michigan. His students think he’s hysterical, which isn’t the same as thinking he’s hilarious. When not writing, he plays the folk harp, dabbles in oral storytelling, and spends more time on-line than is probably good for him.

About The Havoc Machine!

What should readers eat while consuming your novel?
Peanuts and vodka. They’ll understand why when they get to the part where Nikolai joins the circus.

What form does evil take within its pages?
That would actually be a major spoiler, so I’ll just saunter away whistling on this one.

Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss and why?
Nikolai. The little sweetie needs two or three on each cheek. He’s so earnest and needs his daddy.

What’s your favorite period in history and does it influence your world building?
The period from 1861 to 1865 is one of the most momentous in the world. So much happened in England, Russia, and China during that tiny span, it’s difficult to comprehend all of it. It’s why I chose that time period for the Clockwork Empire novels, in fact. During this period, when The Havoc Machine takes place, civil unrest among the peasant was reaching a fever pitch, and Tsar Alexander I attempted to emancipate the serfs, which ticked off every single nobleman in Russia. The groundwork for the Russian Revolution was laid during this time as well. The Tsars were simultaneously at their height, and going into a decline.

Which one of your characters would you most like to slap and why?
Besides the antagonist? Tsar Alexander—my history’s version of him, anyway. He doesn’t understand that his lifestyle is draining his country dry, and by diverting just a small percentage of what he spends of lavish living, Russia could have great railroads, public schools, and mass communication. But he’d rather have an extra marble palace with heated walls.

Without spoilers, what’s the funnest (or funniest) part of the book?
When Nikolai tries to swallow swords. No really—it’s very funny.

If your story smelled of something, what would that be?
It’s mostly set in a circus, so peanuts, coal smoke, fried bread, and lions.

Havoc Machine Cover2

THE HAVOC MACHINE, by Steven Harper, is the fourth novel in the Clockwork Empire series.

In a world riddled with the destruction of men and machines alike, Thaddeus Sharpe takes to the streets of St. Petersburg, geared toward the hunt of his life….

Thaddeus Sharpe’s life is dedicated to the hunting and killing of clockworkers. When a mysterious young woman named Sofiya Ekk approaches him with a proposition from a powerful employer, he cannot refuse. A man who calls himself Mr. Griffin seeks Thad’s help with mad clockwork scientist Lord Havoc, who has molded a dangerous machine. Mr. Griffin cares little if the evil Lord lives or dies; all he desires is Havoc’s invention.

Upon Thad’s arrival at Havoc’s laboratory, he is met with a chilling discovery. Havoc is not only concealing his precious machine; he has been using a young child by the name of Nikolai for cruel experiments. Locked into a clockwork web of intrigue, Thad must decipher the dangerous truth surrounding Nikolai and the chaos contraption before havoc reigns….

Thank you Steven!

Meanwhile, I’m crazy busy preparing for France, Gentle Reader, and trying to make my deadline. Thus, I haven’t had a chance to read this book. However, if you do please let me know what you think of it? The first in the series is The Doomsday Vault. But it seems each book as has a different protagonist, so while they are all in the same world each can stand alone? Hopefully Mr. Harper will stop buy and let me know if my supposition is correct.

Now darlings, to the tea! There is a long week ahead.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Parasol Training

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Teacup Chair via Facebook
Teacup Chair via Facebook

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Books You Eat Like Candy & Books You Savor

Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third: Writing rough draft. Pipped by key problem.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ trade paperback available in the US October 13, 2013.
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Release date November 2013. My ARCs have arrived, contest to come.
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.

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

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions available in print.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ OUT NOW, The second Finishing School book ~ Nov. 5, 2013

Book News:
Now THOSE are the nails of a lady of quality. (#nailart inspo- @gailcarriger’s Etiquette & Espionage.) (at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s)
Now THOSE are the nails of a lady of quality.
(nailart inspired by Etiquette & Espionage)

Quote of the Day:
The Etiquette of Smoking.
Light your cigar first, and, after you have taken one or two whiffs, turn around, and inquire, most politely, “If smoking is disagreeable to any one present?”
~ Punch, August 1853

Daisypath - Personal pictureDaisypath Happy Birthday tickers

Finishing School Reviews Versus 1872 Godey’s Reviews (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


My dearest Gentle Reader, I have been moving into and setting up my new office recently and it has gobbled up a great deal of my spare time. But, oh it is such fun! For the first time in my life I have a space I can decorate wholly to my own taste without impingement from dorms, Dads, or partners. It’s a strange kind of thrill and I am going very white and very girly. On top of that, there is the usual spate of travel plans (LoneStarCon AKA San Antonio WorldCon is a Go!), various business calls and meeting and contracts, and the regular writing schedule.

In the interim, Etiquette & Espionage has been garnering a goodly number of reviews.

    • WhatchYAReading? says, “I wish I had qualified for a flying school when I was fourteen.”
    • The Atomics say, “I was strangely addicted to the whole thing and there was never a dull moment in it!”
    • Books and Things says, “I really enjoyed my time here and I recommend it to those that enjoy fun YA, inquisitive girls, or just want to get their feet wet in steampunk.”
    • Bookyurt says, “From the most absurdly British surnames imaginable (alas, dear Cumberbatch, I fear you’ve been dethroned) to the many classes in The PROPER Way to Do Away With Someone, this book is patented Gail Carriger, through and through – that is to say, impeccably dressed tongue-in-cheek ridiculousness, also known as sheer fun.”
    • Candace says, “This book was full of hilarious moments. I read this while my daughter was sick, so I’d burst out laughing while cuddling her and every time she said ‘What mom? Read it to me.’”
    • Lili says, “Carriger’s humor shines through in many ways, but her awesome ability to come up with the most ridiculous names is simply great.”
    • Books YA Love says, “Book the First of the Finishing School series brings together steampunk and high manners with great success, inviting readers along on the astounding journey of clever Sophronia, her new friends, and her new enemies.”
    • Lytherus says, “One of the reasons that Gail has become a favorite of mine is the hilarious wit she gives her characters…Lucky for us, it is there, and the story is both amusing and suspenseful.”
    • Book Brats say, “First things first – if you’re a fan of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, I can tell you right now to just stop reading. You’ll love her Finishing School series as well.”
    • For What It’s Worth says, “Carriger created a world that while it’s important to have good posture and flutter ones eyelashes prettily, it is also important for a girl to be intelligent and think on her feet.”
    • Nocturnal Book Reviews says, “Etiquette and Espionage is charming and lovely, and I think it’s suitable for all ages starting from middle grade, especially if you want to introduce your child to steampunk.”
    • Anima Libri Booksoul says, “I instantly liked Sophronia. She was so relatable and really, really fascinating with her oh so improper behavior and nosy ways.”
    • Stuff and Nonsense says, “Who wouldn’t be interested in classes like Music & Intelligence Gathering and Household Management & Proper Poisonings for Every Occasion?”
    • Stories & Sweeties says, “ You can tell at once that this is what Gail Carriger does, she has taken the skill of creating steampunk worlds and honed it into a perfectly refined artform.”
    • Madame Guillotine says, “It’s witty, funny, a bit thrilling, tremendously silly and immensely good fun. Brilliant.”
    • The Bookstore Intern Chronicles says, “They learn how to curtsy and throw knives, poison people while planning an elegant meal, and fight different paranormal creatures. What isn’t cool about that??”
    • You Book Me All Night Long says, “The concept of a finishing school that teaches young ladies how to be dangerous secret agents is absolutely fascinating, and I was absorbed by the world of the novel.”
    • buzzwordsbooks says, “With great imagination, Carriger unfolds an amusing and exciting first novel in the Etiquette and Espionage series.”
    • Steam Ingenious says, “I found it totally charming, with its combination of polite manners, adventure, and emphasis on practical skills such as how to fake a faint without wrinkling your skirts. I would absolutely enroll in this type of finishing school.”
    • Starting the Next Chapter says, “To say that Etiquette & Espionage is amazing doesn’t even begin to cover how much I enjoyed this book.”
  • Katharine Elmer says, “I actually think I enjoyed this new series even more than her previous one, possibly because I am drawn to characters who are not quite certain how they fit into the world around them. Sophronia and her cronies struggle in different ways to belong, to get along and to learn what “finishing” truly means.”

By way of thanks and appreciation, I thought you might like to see some of Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine book reviews from 1872. (So these would have come out shortly before events in Soulless.)

From the July Issue:

A NOBLE LORD. By Mrs. Emma D.E.N. Southworth. This is a sequel to her last production, “The Lost Heir of Linlithgow.” There is a large class of persons who regard Mrs. Southworth as a model of literary excellence, and for all such the bare announcement of a new work by her pen is sufficient.
(Nora Roberts of the 1870s perhaps?)

GOOD-BY, SWEETHEART! A Novel. By Rhoda Broughton, author of “Cometh up as a Flower,” etc. A novel of the highly-wrought sensuous type, giving false and pernicious ideas of life – a book certain to exert an especially baneful influence upon the young, whose views of propriety and morality are as yet only partially formed. It is a book more to be avoided than many which are more openly immoral.
(Do I sense a nascent Twilight?)

AIMEE. By Agnes Giberne. The scene is laid in the reign of James II., of England. Aimee is driven from France for her Protestant faith, and finds in England the same contest waging between the Papacy and the Reform religion, but with a widely different result. The story ends with the landing of King William at Torbay. It is easily written, and contains many historical facts, while the style is an imitation of that of the seventeenth century.”
(I love the idea of the Victorians writing historical fiction, heh heh.)

From the August Issue:

A WOMAN’S EXPERIENCE IN EUROPE, including England, France, Germany, and Italy. By Mrs. E.D. Wallace, author if “Strife: A Romance of Germany and Italy.” A man may be as good a sight-seer as a woman; but we have always held, and shall continue to do until we have evidence furnished us to the contrary, that women always write the most readable books of travel. Men note the most important things, and skip over all the rest as unworthy of mention. Women record all the trivial incidents of thier journey, all those little events and happenings which make the journeylings of one person differ form those of another over the smart route, and the record of which serve to entertain as much as the more important facts instruct. To the book before us belongs in a high degree this pleasing character, which serves to render it something more than a state repetition of the typography of countries already well know to tourists and to readers of books of travel generally.
(So there you have it, read travel books by ladies.)

From the September Issue:

WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT? A Novel. This is as extravagant and somewhat tiresome story, depicting rather absurd characters and improbable events. With so many better books before us, it seems hardly necessary to recommend this to our readers, even for the purpose of passing away an idle hour.
(Oh, burn! I feel somewhat similar about Grapes of Wrath)

AYTOUN. A Romance. A well-written story, somewhat morbid in tone, and partaking slightly of the sensational. Though it possesses no special characteristics, it is still worthy of reading.
(And this is how I feel about BUST magazine.)

MY HERO. Br Mrs. Forrester, author of “Fair Women.” “My Hero” is from the pen of new English writer; it is autobiographical in from, pleasing in character, possesses vivid interest, and will doubtless prove satisfactory to all who read it.
(Hum, I’m at a loss for a comparable modern text. Thoughts anyone?)

From the October Issue:

FAIR WOMEN. A Story of English Life. By Mrs. Forrester. A story with which pleasantly to pass away an hour or two, and which, while it has no special purpose in it, is unobjectionable in point of morality.
(I love that morality must be considered!)

EBB-TIDE. A novel. By Christian Reid, author of “Merton House,” etc. An entertaining and affecting story, written in a finished style, and displaying considerable ability in the delineation of characters. Is does not, however, possess any remarkable degree of excellence wither in plot or sentiment, though sufficient to be worthy of perusal.
(How about later Mercedes Lackey for this one?)


Your Tisane of Smart . . .
External Battery Charger

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
How to Start Your Novel

Book News:
Cover of Soulless in Brazil
Cover of Soulless in Brazil

Quote of the Day:
“Kiss: A thing of use to no one, but much prized by two.”
~ E.L.C. Ward, The Scrap Book, 1899

Etiquette & Espionage On NYT

Posted by Gail Carriger


I’m delighted to announce that Etiquette & Espionage debuted at #9 on the New York Times Hard Back Young Adult Bestseller List! I know who did this, you Gentle Reader. Thank you so much! And yes, this is my first time cracking top 10! I feel euphoric. I celebrated with tea and truffles.

Celebrator tea and orange chocolate truffles

Tomorrow, Saturday Feb. 16, I’ll be in Sacramento & Davis!

1:30 pm Steampunk Emporium & Swap Meet (1250 Howe Avenue, suite 3A, Sacramento, CA 95825) Signing

4 pm The Avid Reader (617 2nd St. Davis, CA 95616) Signing and Q&A

I hope to see some of you there.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Dress 1923 The Philadelphia Museum of Art
1923 The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
iHome Portable Speaker

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
The Most Important Qualities in Best Selling Authors

Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First:
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Title changed. Release date November 2013. Await ARCs.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 2: (AKA Changeless) Out now!
Etiquette & Espionage ~ Finishing School Book the First: Release date OUT NOW Tour events in progress!

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

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions, both now available in print.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ OUT NOW

Book News:
E&EJapaneses copy
Etiquette & Espionage Japanese

Quote of the Day:
“Whence have we Lead? It abounds most in England: the best mines are in Cornwall, Devonshire, Derbyshire, Northumberland, and Durham. Cumberland has a mine of the best black lead for pencils. This mineral is quite different from lead, and is called Plumbago.”
~ Mangnall’s Questions, 1830

Daisypath Wedding tickers

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