Tagged food

Gail Talks About Food: Her Perfect Meal (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

A little while ago, Gentle Reader, I threw the door open to the Parasol Protectorate Fan Group for questions and Amber asked me a doozy.

If you could assemble an ideal x course meal, what would you want it to be? And if you had to prepare it, would it change significantly?

So, first of all I answered part of this for Lawrence over on his:

Eating Authors series


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

My Best Meal Ever

The best meal I ever ate was in Monterosso al Mare, (one of the five tiny towns that make up Cinque Terre on the Italian Riveria). I was there on the four day break we got in the middle of excavation season (July 1995) with three other archaeology undergraduates.

We wandered into this little restaurant, I don’t recall the name. All I remember is we walked down, so the windows were at street level and we got a view of everyone’s shoes as we ate. We started with prosciutto e melone (which was more amazing than any before or since) and then we ate this risotto seafood dish ~ fruite de mar. It was as if they had taken a net and scraped it across the sea floor ~ crayfish, clams, mussels, oysters, white fish, salmon, and fresh veggies scattered over this amazing rice. The seafood was cooked perfectly, fresh and glistening. The onion and tomato rice was gooey in the center and backed crisp and crunchy on the top. We had a bottle of cheap Chianti to go with… magic.

My Comfort Meal

My all time favorite comfort meal is the peppered alpaca stake at Cafe Manu in Cuzco, Peru. Alpaca is like the Kobe beef of the pork world. It is amazing when cooked correctly. This is a non-traditional preparation, served wrapped in bacon with a French peppered cream sauce and a simple baked potato. I ate it with a pint of maracuja juice (passion fruit) and life was good. Anytime I excavated near Cuzco I always tried to visit to eat this dish.

This would be what I asked for as my last meal.

My Desert

Layered Raspberry Pavlova at the Lord Nelson in Topsham, Devon. Meringue cooked the British way, crisp on the outside and gooey in the middle, with fresh raspberries and clotted cream sandwiched in between the meringue layers and a raspberry sauce reduction drizzled about. With a nice pot of tea? Heaven. Pure heaven.

My 4 Courses

  1. The prosciutto e melone from Tuscany with a glass of prosecco.
  2. Appetizer portions of the rice and seafood from Monterosso with cold fresh water.
  3. Alpaca pepper steak, wilted chard, and papa rellena with passion fruit juice.
  4. Raspberry pavlova to finish with a perfect pot of tea.

As I told Lawrence, there are some who speculate I chose a career as an archaeologist so I could eat my way around exotic locations. Now I often decide whether I should visit a city for a book event based on the local food scene.

Would this meal change if I had to cook it myself?

Absolutely. I can’t get many of the ingredients and I accept no substitutes. Generally speaking I already cook for myself the things I want to eat and have the time to make (excepting deserts) so yeah…

I’d rather eat out, tho.

I love eating out.

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


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


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?

Boy Meets Boy says:

“If you like a good shifter story, this is the book for you. If you like witty banter and shenanigans, this is the book for you. If you like a story with depth and angst and romance, this is the book for you. Hell, if you like to read, this is the book for you. Cause, really, you can’t go wrong with this story.”


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

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

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Steampunk Curse Generator

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Back Up Your Work

Book News:

10 Top Summer Reads for Middle-School GirlsEtiquette & Espionage made the list!

Quote of the Day:

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

Gail Carriger’s Pie Day Video & Links (Q&A with Gail Carriger)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Good morning Gentle Reader, below is a video of a FB Live Q&A that I did on Pie Day. Accordingly, I talk about my favorite pie, drop some accidental teasers, get cagey about the evolution of the Parasolverse, and much more.

Links pertinent to the video in chronological order

Find this Video on:

Gail’s Youtube

Gail’s Amazon Page

Meanwhile if you want to hear me blather on about marketing, I was also on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Marketing Podcast.

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


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


Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

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


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

My Office Reading Nook

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

How to Speak New World Victorian

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Amazon’s New Pre-Order Policies Give Authors More Flexibility

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

“I don’t at all like knowing what people say of me behind my back. It makes me far too conceited.”

~ Oscar Wilde

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

Singapore The Food

Posted by Gail Carriger

Meanwhile – in the USA we just gorged ourselves on turquay, Gentle Reader. So here’s my post all about food in Singapore! Yes yes yes (and one great big NO).

Singapore Food: The Bad

I’m an incredibly experimental eater. You can take a look at some of the wide ranging Things I Have Stuck in My Mouth on my Ate It Weird Pinterest board. If I can, I’ve likely tried it: ostrich, alligator, crocodile, frog, snail (both types), Morton Bay bug, guinea pigs, alpaca, haggis, horse, head cheese, sweetbreads and other offal, homemade chicha beer (yes, THAT), any fruit I can get my hands on (generally I know the Spanish word for it), and so much more.

My general philosophy is I will try anything 3 times (on the theory that the first two times it might have been ill prepared). Until Singapore I had only 2 exceptions to this rule:

  1. Raw sea urchin (or uni) and yes I am willing to try it cooked.
  2. Andouillette sausage, the traditional pig colon kind. Yes it tastes EXACTLY how you would expect.

And now:

3. Durian

Durian Ice Kacang = Disgusting

I am terribly sad to say I have added durian to the list of NEVER AGAIN. Look, yes it tastes a bit like custard apple (cherimoya) meets passion fruit (maracuya) and I LOVE both those fruits, but frankly, mostly, it tastes like baby poop mixed with gasoline. And I can’t imagine any circumstances where that will change.

No, not even Durian Baked Alaska

The worst part?

It repeats on you. Or it did me. It’s been weeks and I am still terrified to burp. A durian burp is like that scene from Thelma & Louise where they explode the gas station. With added vomit.

Singapore Food: The Good

Now that I have totally grossed you out, I’m going to wax poetical about all the actually amazingly yummy  food in Singapore.

First of all, there are fresh fruit juice stands everywhere and I learned real quick not to ever pass one up. Sometimes they frap it with ice, sometimes they whip it so there’s a fruit foam at the top, and sometimes it’s more like a single-fruit smoothie. Not matter what, yum!

Hotdog Juices

Okay, maybe not hotdog juice.

Secondly, lets talk kaya (coconut jam of deliciousness). I liked the green kind with pandan best. Why is this not a thing EVERYWHERE? Why? Watch Gail wail into the deep. I want to buy kaya at my local supermarket. And while we are at it, can we add Apple Banana Butter (as in from the Apple Banana, not a mix of apples and bananas) and Passion Fruit Curd to this list? Look, I’m telling you there is a wide world away from stupid old strawberry out there. (Not that I dislike strawberry jam but COME ON.)

Kaya Pau

Kaya Pau – the steamed sweet bun form of kaya

Finally, can we talk desert?

Oh, were we already? Okay but look, look at all the gelatinous deserts! I love them so.


Singapore Food: The Ugly

I was a wiggly delighted Gail the first morning in Singapore because after breakfast I got to proudly bop along and claim I’d stuck 6 things in my mouth and I’d no idea what they were. Still don’t. Came from an unlabeled pickled-things bar. I adore pickled things.

Anyway, the first place we stayed at offered this amazing breakfast buffet with All The Things.

Around the World Breakfast

Around the World in One Breakfast: Top, L-R: Italian marinated tomatoes, Indian upma, Korean pickled items, Scandinavian smoked salmon on American hash brown patty in the Jewish fashion, Chinese red bean paste pau, French cheese and bread, egg white omelet with Thai spices & chili sauce.

What a food looks like doesn’t bother me much. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the opportunity to try Singapore’s fish head curry. At first I avoided it because it thought it’d be just like a normal Thai red or yellow curry. Turns out it traditionally comes with more tamarind in it than other curries and it has more Indian spices. After learning that, I tried hard to get hold of it, but I’d left it too late. So I have a good reason to return to Singapore.

Singapore Hawker Center Food stand

Singapore Hawker Center Food stand

I also never got to try the chili crab. I tried the local crab at a raw seafood bar, which tasted a bit like a mix of Snow and Dungeness. I’m a crab fan, but the chili crab I found to buy was always too expensive, I suspect I was there off season.

In Singapore Corn & Beans are a desert. So there.

In Singapore Corn & Beans are a desert. So there.

So what was the first hing I ate when I landed to remind me I was home? The first thing I always eat, Pinky, fish tacos nor cal style.

“It is hot — so hot! — but not stifling, and all the rich-flavored, colored fruits of the tropics are here — fruits whose generous juices are drawn from the moist and heated earth, and whose flavors are the imprisoned rays of the fierce sun of the tropics.”

~ The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither by Isabella Brid, 1883

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


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


Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

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


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Les Modes Parisiennes Saturday, July 1, 1865 v. 45, plate 5

Les Modes Parisiennes Saturday, July 1, 1865 v. 45, plate 5

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Ruffles Chicken & Seawed

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A Fashionable Coiffure: Rolls, Plaits, and Other Popular Hairstyles of 1863

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.”
~ Gustave Flaubert

Book News:

The Parasol Protectorate made this list of 16 Complete Urban Fantasy Series to Binge-read all the way through.

Quote of the Day:

“Cheese – milk’s leap toward immortality.”
~ Clifton Fadiman

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

Gail’s Favorite Recipes to Cook & Bake (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger


I consider myself an experimental eater and I love all food, so long as it is well prepared. So Gentle Reader, when this question came, I knew it had to have a whole blog post to answer.

Do you think a cook book might be in order down the trail?

I would love to write a cookbook, or help out with one. The food blog, Tentacle & Treacle was a hope to lean in that direction.

Unfortunately, the force behind the blog kind of disappeared onto other things, the blog is no more, and I don’t have the time to do it alone. (I won’t partner like that again, I’m now quite gun shy.) So it’s unlikely.

Some of the food in your books sounds quite yummy. Others, not so much.

That’s pretty much the story of Victorian cuisine, if you ask me.

Where did you find the interesting Victorian food examples in your books?

Mostly in my 1870s copy of Things a Lady Would Like to Know Concerning Domestic Management and Expenditure, Arranged for Daily Reference With Hints Regarding the Intellectual As Well As the Physical Life by Henry Southgate.

You can buy actually buy a physical copy. But it has been digitally cataloged and is in the public domain.


I’d love some of your favorite recipes or food/restaurant recommendations or reviews.

Restaurant recommendations:

I post restaurant reviews to my Yelp (you can find me as Gail C. “Retro Rack” since I review lots of clothing stores too). Since eating out is location specific, you are probably better off going there, to see if I’ve loved something in your area.

I try to update it after I’ve visited a city.

“Great restaurants are, of course, nothing but mouth-brothels. There is no point in going to them if one intends to keep one’s belt buckled.”

~ Frederic Raphael


Book related:



Some Perennial Favorites

The only thing you really need to know, my go to desert.

Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake (the original UK recipe)

I love this cake. LOVE IT!

The AB, who is the chocoholic in the family, is a tad sniffy about this cake, finding it almost too orangey, and preferring a more honest chocolate and nut with flour combination, like a brownie.

I, and my gluten intolerant friends, adore it.

Gail’s Favorite Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake

  • 2 small thin-skinned oranges, c. 3/4lb total weight (or 1 large)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup heaped almond meal
  • 1 cup fine sugar, or slightly less
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • orange peel, for decoration


  1.  Put the whole oranges in pan + cold water, bring to the boil, cover, cook for 20 minutes until squishy to touch
  2. Drain, and when cool, cut the oranges in half and remove big pips + green ends.
  3. Pulp everything gently – pith, peel and all – in food processor.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350. Line bottom with wax paper then butter a 9 inch spring-form tin.
  5. Add eggs, baking powder, baking soda, almond, sugar, and cocoa to the orange in the food processor. Run until you have a cohesive cake mixture, but slightly knobbly with the flecks of puréed orange.
  6. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 45 min, by which time a cake tester should come out pretty clean.
  7. Leave the cake to cool in tin, on cooling rack. When cake is cold, remove from tin. Decorate with strips of orange peel or coarsely grated zest if want, but is darkly beautiful in its plain, unadorned state.

This recipe is magic. It works for everything.

  • You can leave out the chocolate for an orange & almond cake.
  • You can substitute for the boiled oranges with any number of wet ingredients of a similar weight: we have made an apple spice version using applesauce & cinnamon, a lemon curd version, and a strawberries and cream version. Adjust sugar to compensate for sweetness of the wet ingredient (do not use fresh citrus juice or boiled lemons/limes).
  • It will also work for cupcakes, even mini ones. Use liners and lower cooking time. 18 for regular cupcakes, 15 for minis.
  • I have one friend who will make half the batter with chocolate the other half without and then swirl the two into beautiful patterns.

This is, as far as I am concerned, the only cake you need in life.

“My soul is dark with stormy riot,
Directly traceable to diet.”

~ Samuel Hoffenstein

{Gail’s monthly read along for April 2016 is To Play the Lady by Naomi Lane.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Le Bon Ton Friday, June 1, 1860 Item ID-  v. 41, plate 29

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Those Tiny 1890s Waists & What Adorned Them

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
One Woman’s Stunning Collection: Lesbians of the past 150 years

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Adding Humor to Your Writing is as Easy as 1-2-3: The Rule of Three to Be Exact

Book News:
Tea & Manners: A Short Interview with Author Gail Carriger

Quote of the Day:

“Soup and fish explain half the emotions of human life.”

~ Sydney Smith

Want Gail in you inbox once a month? Get the Chirrup!

The Kiwi Files ~ Tea in Kaikora & Flat Whites in New Zealand

Posted by Gail Carriger


On one of our various stop-overs on our driving tour of the South Island, we made our way to Kaikoura. We had intended to swim with dolphins but weather did not permit. However we saw some truly adorable seal pups playing in a waterfall which made it well worth the trip. Perhaps almost as good as the seal pups was this tea experience I had soon after.

Throughout New Zealand, the AB and I were charmed by the beverages: coffee and tea alike.

A brief aside… You see the AB is a coffee drinker.

Now let us be clear here, coffee is as serious a business to the AB as tea is to me. There is a complex mixology procedure involving three different types of beans: a dark roast (for depth), an Italian (for flavor), and a peaberry (for earthy notes). Then there is a special burr grinder and a special Frisbee French press or whatnot. It takes forever and is very complicated. One of the reasons I opt for tea is that, even with a pot and loose leaf, it is the lazy woman’s beverage.

So the AB is a drip drinker by trade, with a splash of milk, but an espresso drinker by necessity. (For it is a truth universally acknowledged that a cafe with good espresso will ever be in want of good drip coffee… and visa-versa. And I always choose to build alliances with local cafes that have good espresso. So at home in cafes we will both drink espresso.)

Yes, me, I do drink coffee. Frankly, in the good old USofA espresso is safer than tea. Rarely is the tea at all good here. I’m just as snobby about espresso (having lived in Italy for two years way back at the dawn of time). I prefer lattes and the AB likes cappuccinos. Both of us are obnoxiously strict about our standards and opinions. I will throw away an entire latte if the bean is gritty, burnt, or too French, not to mention if the milk has been scalded! (Here’s the thing: if you must put sugar in your tea/coffee, you aren’t drinking the right tea/coffee. There should be a bean or a roast or a blend out there for which milk will add just enough sweetness to cut the bitter for anyone’s taste. I really believe this. Or you have a mad crazy sweet tooth. Or you’re from the South.)


Now where was I? Oh yes. So the Kiwis know their bean. They lean heavily towards the Italian (as one should!) and they do something with it called a flat white. Now, there is endless contention over the exact definition of a “flat white” but essentially it is a midway milk allotment between latte and cappuccino. Because the bean choice is so good, this means there is enough milk for me, but it’s also strong enough for the AB.

We drank a lot of flat whites.

However, because they have their roots in the UK and still feel them, the Kiwis ALSO offer up some truly serviceable Assam-heavy English Breakfast teas. At this cafe in Kaikoura, I actually encountered a full on tea menu! It was thrilling.

I didn’t even bother to dither. You know my feelings, Gentle Reader: give me that strong smooth Assam.

I’m pleased to say that despite the description, it wasn’t brisk. It was soft (sigh, why do people get that wrong?) but was malty, mellow, and delicious. And look at the beauty of the leaf?

I know you might not think that a thing of beauty, but trust me it’s stunning. STUNNING. Big as my thumb, some of those leaves. I was charmed. I waxed poetical. The AB was most embarrassed.

We were left with the feeling that we might have to move of New Zealand. So far it’s the only nation where tea and espresso are accorded equal respect in the eyes of the picky. Then again we would have to have a major discussion on the subject of condiments into which sugar is added in a most whole irresponsible manner. (There was excess sugar not only in the ketchup but in the Marmite.)

I believe the tea/coffee experience is helped along by the fact that the dairy is so amazing in New Zealand. It always helps if the milk is full fat and delicious. Mmmmm.

{Gail’s monthly read along for May is The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

via centuriespast tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

To get Marmite without sugar you must go Mighty

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
A Bachelor’s Bill of Fare (1857)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
25 Ways To Be A Bad-Ass Maker Who Makes Bad-Ass Stuff


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

The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence, 2 Imprudence
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels

Book News:
The Novel Strumpet says of Prudence “This novel was chocked full of all the wit and Victorian decorum we have come to expect from a Carriger novel. And the wonderfully described fashion – particularly hats.” ( Includes a video review as well.)

Quote of the Day:
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”
~ Plato

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

This Month’s Book Pick ~ Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

Posted by Gail Carriger


So this month’s book group pick is Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear. No sneaky reading ahead for me this time, it is totally new to me as well. I haven’t read a lot of Elizabeth’s stuff either. So why did I pick it? Frankly, I love the cover.


Also I hear nothing but good things about her work, she’s an awesome person, and the blurb looks right up my alley. Also I wanted to jump to something more adult and steampunk after last month’s read.

“You ain’t gonna like what I have to tell you, but I’m gonna tell you anyway. See, my name is Karen Memery, like memory only spelt with an e, and I’m one of the girls what works in the Hôtel Mon Cherie on Amity Street. Hôtel has a little hat over the o like that. It’s French, so Beatrice tells me.”

Set in the late 19th century—when the city we now call Seattle Underground was the whole town (and still on the surface), when airships plied the trade routes, would-be gold miners were heading to the gold fields of Alaska, and steam-powered mechanicals stalked the waterfront, Karen is a young woman on her own, is making the best of her orphaned state by working in Madame Damnable’s high-quality bordello. Through Karen’s eyes we get to know the other girls in the house—a resourceful group—and the poor and the powerful of the town. Trouble erupts one night when a badly injured girl arrives at their door, beggin sanctuary, followed by the man who holds her indenture, and who has a machine that can take over anyone’s mind and control their actions.  And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the next night brings a body dumped in their rubbish heap—a streetwalker who has been brutally murdered.

Bear brings alive this Jack-the-Ripper yarn of the old west with a light touch in Karen’s own memorable voice, and a mesmerizing evocation of classic steam-powered science.

The book actually doesn’t drop until tomorrow (Feb 3., 2015), but you pre-order now and it will wing its way to you shortly.

Here’s a fun interview with Elizabeth about the book if you want to know more.

Details details!
Title: Karen Memory
Author: Elizabeth Bear
Series: Unknown
Publisher: Macmillian (Tor)
Release Date: 02/03/2015
Format Gail’s Reading: ebook
How Gail got it: Preordered

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for February? Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1832  The McCord Museum

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Women Working: 1900-1930

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
My local bookshop, Borderlands, is closing (Locus article). I will let you know how this effects my March 22 event. Likely it will be cancelled or moved. Right now, remaining Gail Carriger stock is signed, get it before it’s gone. Until I build a new relationship with a different local indy, there will be no way to order my books signed (except with at risk online special offers and from stores on my tour stops). I will try to fill this void as quickly as possible, but right now, I’m grieving. I ADORED Borderlands. They hosted my first author event. I met my first fan in those hallowed halls. They have been unfailingly sweet to every genre author I know. They were early, loyal, and HUGE supporters of my books. They will be profoundly missed. It’s unlikely I, at least, will ever have cause to visit that part of San Francisco again. Shame.


Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last Releases November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order. Edits stage.

Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First Release date March 17, 2015 available for pre-order!

The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels

Book News:
The Tentacle & Treacle site has been revamped.  
To celebrate the lovely new appearance, we are giving away a signed advanced copy of Prudence, and a signed copy of my cookbook, A Feast of Ice and Fire.
To enter the competition, you must complete the following steps:
1) Visit the shiny new website, and sign up for the monthly newsletter (scroll down for sign up box). New recipes, household hints, and how to seat a vampire and a werewolf at the same dinner party.
2) Comment on the giveaway Facebook post with your favourite food item from the Parasol Protectorate.

The winner will be announced on Tentacle & Treacle on February 8th. Regretfully, this competition is only open to those in the continental United States.

Quote of the Day:

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

Occasional FAQ ~ Gail’s 7 Geeky Confessions

Posted by Gail Carriger


The Nerdy Girlie posted some Geeky Confessions to her blog a while ago. I love the idea, Gentle Reader.

Girls in fandom can get a lot of flack for not being true fans of all things geeky, whatever that means. As a result of having to defend myself when I was a young cosplaying teen, I’m always a little scared to admit that I don’t participate in certain areas of fandom. But, it’s time I owned the gaps in my geeky knowledge, because I’m still a proud geek, just not about all the things.

1959 Blouses via vintage-vs-retro tumblr


Confession #1: I Don’t Play Video Games

I had a brief affair with Super Mario way back in the day. I played Pong when it was on those cassettes and I’ve been known to Bejewel a bit of an evening, but that’s it. I loathe FPS, am totally uninterested in games with story arcs or quests (I’d sooner write my own, thank you very much), and don’t give two figs for any sort of alternative life world building scenario (I like the one I’m currently living in well enough).

Confession #2: Nor Do I Play Table Top, RPG, Magic the Gathering, or LARP

I understand it and I have hung out with gamers since I was a wee little baby-Gail. But I have never liked or been interested in this side of gaming either. I perfer to be goddess of my universe and I don’t like playing by anyone else’s rules, not even those governing DM. I’d rather be writing.

backstoryradio~ tumblr, Lantern slides showing movie theater etiquette and announcements,
circa 1912. via Library of Congress.


Confession #3: I Don’t Enjoy Animated Movies

OK so there are a few exceptions, but most of the time I’m just not a big fan of the voice acting. I find it too extreme. Particularly if the movie is intended for children, I find the vocal cadences grating. Yes that includes Toy Story, and the Lego Movie, and Frozen, and… I know, the lips out in fandom are wobbling, “But but but Gail,” you say, “Have you tried …” It’s not that I won’t watch them, it’s just that they never really make it into the favorites column. However, adult cartoon series (like Invader Zim or Bob’s Burgers) are a different thing entirely.

Confession #4: I Don’t Like Horror

I don’t like the boo horror, or the gruesome horror, or the thriller horror, or the Jack Nicholson smiles-a-lot horror, or the shaky cam heavy breathing horror. I don’t like being scared. I’ll take a dark comedy with horrific leanings on occasion (like Black Sheep or Fido) but not the real thing.

Confession #5: I Was A Dancer Not A Theater Geek

I know. But I get horrible stage fright if I have to act. I’ve done it, and I’ve done it OK, but in the end I always freeze on stage and forget my lines. I never forget steps, dancing is a whole different thing for me. Give me music and I’m a happy girl, give me silence and I’m terrified. Unless, of course I’m lecturing about something upon which I am an expert. Then I’m fine. This is one of the reasons I prefer not to read from my books, I’m just not good at it. I’d rather just chatter about them.

backstoryradio ~ tumblr Lantern slides showing movie theater etiquette and announcements, circa 1912.
via Library of Congress.


Confession #6: I Don’t Drink Soda

Not really a strictly geek thing, but it is pretty geeky. My gamer friends were always debating the relative merits of Pepsi versus Mountain Dew versus Popsididdly (or whatever). I don’t like any of it. No, really. None of it. Particularly not cola flavoring, yech. I never have. I wasn’t raised with pop and I don’t really like how sweet it is. If I want something fizzy I’m pretty happy with plain old sparkling water and a bit of lemon.

Confession #7: I Don’t Read Heinlein

I have tried a few times, but I simply dislike like his style of writing. I find his plots boring, I’m never even slightly interested in his characters, and I think his treatment of women is puerile at best. No I’m not going to try anymore of his stuff. I have neither the time nor inclination.

So have you lost all respect for me?

{Gail’s Book Group reading for January 2015 was Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis}

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Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1915 Mourning Parasol c.1915 _ British Paintings tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Pacific Scarf

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Victorian Medicine

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Finding Tips on Self-Editing at The Blood-Red Pencil

Quote of the Day:
“Strawberries are the angels of the earth, innocent and sweet with green leafy wings reaching heavenward.”
~ Jasmine Heiler

Occasional FAQ ~ 10 Random Questions Answered By Gail Carriger

Posted by Gail Carriger


This is a rather random blost post, Gentle Reader. I hope you enjoy!

1. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An archaeologist. Although I dabbled, for a while, with the idea of litigation and there was also a brief fascination with the genetic sciences.

2. What is your favorite food-related memory?
I have so so many but there was an incident in Cinque Terre involving an espresso machine, tea, oatmeal, and sardines that remains infamous. I can’t relay the details because I don’t think the statute of limitations ever will run out.

3. Summer or winter?

Winter. For while I am always cold and I dislike the sensation, I hate heat more. I come from a long line of genetically defective females who sweat very little, and compensate (so smart, this) by fainting. Plus, I love the rain.

4. Proudest five-minutes-of-fame moment?
See the story about spotting my book in a store for the first time.

5. What is your most irrational fear?
Hospitals, fast food, screaming children, and crocs.

Bad Crocs

6. Favorite holiday destination?
Anywhere with a beach and good swimming.

7. What singer / band did you see at your first concert?

Indigo Girls. Yes, I know.

8. What’s the worst lie you ever told?
“I’m not hungry.”

9. Which teacher had the biggest impact on you?
Mostly, my history teachers. It’s hard to pick one, I’ve been lucky enough to be blessed with great teachers and awesome librarians.

10. If you won a million bucks, what would you spend it on?
A house, a party, and my parents. In that order.

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Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1885 Dolman  1885  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
The Forgotten Great Theatres Of London

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
10 Things Never to Say to a Writer

Quote of the Day:
“The bridegroom is what the world chooses to call and idle man; that is to say, he has scholarship, delicate health, and leisure.”
~ Amelia B. Edwards in A Thousand Miles Up the Nile

Gail’s 11 Most Memorable Meals of All Time (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger


As you may or may not have sussed, Gentle Reader, I travel a lot. I travel to conventions and signings, to festivals and book fairs, to lands far away and right next door. I have blogged about packing and surviving constant travel, and I have utilized skills learned as an itinerant archaeologist far more than I thought I might when I gave it up for authordom.


Why do I do it? Mostly because I want to meet you, Gentle Reader. Sometimes to see my author friends and meet with my agent and editors. Sometimes because I’ve never been to that part of the world before. But I can’t deny the fact that what temps me more than anything else, is food.


I like to eat strange foods. I will pick up a menu and focus in on the thing I have never tasted before. Although, I’m not one of those adventurous eaters who will pop a bug in her mouth just because. Instead, I would say that I am an adventurous gourmand. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, it just has to be prepared in the best way possible. I want that bug exquisitely cooked, fresh, and served in its native country. I guess what I really want is to find the next tasty thing. Can I tell you about alpaca? Oh my goodness is it delicious. Like the Kobe beef of the pork world. Tender, flavorful, amazing. Or cuy roasted and crispy with potatoes stuffed with ground beef chilli and raisins on the side? Next time you are in the Peruvian highlands…

So, without further ado:

Right now, these are the 10 meals I remember most.

  1. Fresh grilled prawns on a bed of arugula with papaya, avocado, coconut, and macadamia nuts with a lemon and sour cream dressing followed by a small cinnamon roll and flat white in Canes, Australia
  2. Seared duck with sides of squash mash, light chutney compote, and micro-greens accompanied by copious wine and finished with floating islands in Paris, France
  3. Prosciutto and cantaloupe followed by pesto lasagne with fried squash flowers and white bean side in Vicchio, Italy
  4. Marinated alligator followed by morton bay bug and then chocolate cake in Sydney, Australia
  5. Carpaccio followed by fruite de mar pizza and then summer berry tiramisu in Florence, Italy
  6. Latte followed by poached eggs in stewed tomatoes with toast tips in Denver, Colorado
  7. Alpaca steak wrapped in bacon smothered in creamy pepper sauce with baked potato side and a pint of passion fruit juice in Cuzco, Peru
  8. Light salad, followed by homemade carbonara pasta finished with fresh peaches marinated in white wine with vanilla gelato in the hills above Borgo San Lorenzo, Italy
  9. Celeriac soup with pear compote and Stilton crunchy toast wedge at the Tate Modern Cafe shortly after it opened, London, England
  10. Endless tapas of all kinds in that one magic moment in Barcelona, Spain
  11. That amazing risotto that looked like they scrapped all the fish off the sea floor in Moterosso, Italy


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Parasol tea party Colmal Museum painting

Your Infusion of Cute . . .


Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Quirky Victorian Term explained
Pounce “Gum Sandaric reduced to a fine powder, and used to prevent the stinking of paper after the erasure of writing. It is procured, likewise, from pulverised bone of the cuttle-fish.”
~ Mangnall’s Questions, 1830

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Author Visits that Impress and Inspire


Curtsies & Conspiracies
~ The Finishing School Book the Second. Out now!  
Soulless Vol. 3 (AKA Blameless the manga) ~ Out now! 

Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third. I honestly do not yet know the exact release date. Probably early November 2014.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Working rough draft, going over, sigh.
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Delayed. Why? Rewrite begins soon.


The Books! 

The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies


The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister’s Song, & Fairy Debt
Audiobook of Crudrat releasing end of April 2014. Find out more at crudrat.com

Book News:

Boeklogboek says of Curtsies & Conspiracies, “I love following Sophronia in her adventures, and hope there will be many more books.”

Quote of the Day:

Ig® Nobel Prize in Archaeology: for parboiling a dead shrew, and then swallowing the shrew without chewing, and then carefully examining everything excreted during subsequent days — all so they could see which bones would dissolve inside the human digestive system, and which bones would not.
~ “Human Digestive Effects on a Micromammalian Skeleton,” Peter W. Stahl and Brian D. Crandall, Journal of Archaeological Science, vol. 22, November 1995, pp. 789–97.


Gail Has 24 Valentines Crushes? (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger


I love the idea, Gentle Reader, of blogging a bit about my other valentines. Of course, there is the AB and Lilliput, but you know how much I love them. (And they do too, I suspect.)

No, instead I want to tell you my other loves ~ 24 of them, to be precise. The ones that brighten my day in less intimate ways, as it were. These are loves I can share with you, Gentle Reader, in hopes that you find one or two loving, yourself. So here we go!

3 Blogger Crushes

  • Grace Bonney ~ the brains behind Design Sponge (also the After the Jump Podcast, which gave me the idea for this blog).
  • The boys of the Lifehacker Travel Tag feed ~ yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s mostly boys, but I love their tips even if they aren’t always exactly travel related.
  • The Airship Ambassador ~ a truly wonderful beautiful warm loving unifying force for the steampunk movement.

3 Author Crushes

  • Jody Hedlund ~ her blog always has something interesting to say about being a writer and how to get on with it. As does Janice Hardy‘s.
  • Myke Cole ~ one of my chronic convention drinking buddies, he did this amazing interview with Mur recently on I Should Be Writing, which reminded me what a bang up decent human he is. Also his tweets are hilarious.
  • Kristine Kathryn Rusch ~ a long running voice for authors in the field, hugely respected as both a writer, journalist, and promoter of writing as a business.


3 Fashion Crushes

  • My swingy black coat from H&M ~ I’ve had her for 4 years now, found second hand, it needed a zipper repaired recently but I wear this coat constantly.
  • OMG That Dress tumblr ~ still my favorite source for vintage clothing images.
  • Couture Carrie blog ~ currently my top pock of fashion blogs that focuses on modern clothing.

3 Food Crushes 

  • Trader Joe’s Frozen Hash Brown Patties ~ I love them with an entirely unhealthy passion.
  • Honey crisp apples ~ only the best little eating apples on the planet, ’tis the season right now, eat them, eat them all!
  • Treader Joe’s Multigrain Pita Chips with Sesame Seeds ~ what can I say, we do most of our grocery shopping at TJs, these are my newest crispy addiction.

3 Household Crushes

  •  Lilliput’s bar stool (similar) ~ scored this puppy at Ross for $40, a raising and lowering stool which, at the highest setting, is higher than our little dining table which means the cat would rather sit on it than on the table, success! She loves this thing, and, in a pinch we can lower it for extra seating when we have company. In an apartment our size everything has to serve double duty. I do feel like a fool buying a stool for my cat, though. Spoiled little bean.
  • Our new toaster ~ this was a big decision and quite the investment but it may be the greatest toaster ever, it’s so fast and so good and so pretty and so small and so tidy.
  • Dipping bowls ~ on a whim I bought 3 of these from Ikea and we used them so much the AB trotted into China Town and bought 4 more. One of the primary uses is to dip French toast into the maple syrup rather than poor it over, saves on cleaning the plate and the amount of syrup used.

3 App Crushes

  • Bejewelled ~ currently addicted, I get that way occasionally. I’ll get suddenly over it in a few weeks and the app will live unused on my phone next to Temple Run.
  • Tumblr ~ it has it’s flaws as a medium but I am happy flipping through pretty pictures over tea and reposting them on a whim. I like it much better than pinterest, instagram, or flikr, I know they aren’t comparable but if I have to pick one, it’s tumblr.
  • Stylebook ~ still the best and only worthy handler for my vast closet, outfit planning, and packing.


3 Business Crushes

  • Syncing statement dates ~ this is a weird one, but I found out recently (probably from Lifehacker) that you can change the dates upon which your credit card and bank statements are issued so that they all sink up and, basically, mirror the month. I took a morning to call them all up and sync them all and now they come in at the same time, beginning of the month, this make little OCD me soo happy.
  • The Amazon self-pub statistics debate ~ Hugh Howey started it, but there’s a good summation of the conversation (mainly troll-free, thank goodness) by Harry J Connolly. I have been riveted by the whole discussion, I have a weird soft spot for stats left over form my social sciences days.
  • Google Calender ~ my new buddy to help with planning and scheduling, so for it’s going well, I anticipate betrayal.

3 Beauty Crushes

  • Eos lip balm ~ specifically I like the sweet mint flavor but I haven’t tried them all. I have a thing about spherically shaped objects, so I may love them for the packaging more than anything.
  • Baking soda facials ~ I make a little paste of baking soda and cold water in the palm of my hand then rub over my face and wash off, twice a week. It exfoliates and bit and leaves my skin feeling really smooth, I just started but so far no adverse reactions or anything
  • CloSYS Alcohol Free Mouthwash ~ I HATE mouthwash, it just makes me gag, this stuff has very little resemblance to what one would ordinarily expect, and I won’t say I love it, but at least I use it.

Special mention goes to…

Any gif showing inter-species affection or a cat beating up a dog/baby. Don’t ask me why, I just find it hilarious. Secretly, I am both more corny and more cruel than you would expect. Or not?


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Mcgovern Downton screen still

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Suspended Wooden Pod Cabin Built Around Tree Trunk

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Moss shower mat via FB

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  


Curtsies & Conspiracies
~ The Finishing School Book the Second. Out now!  
Soulless Vol. 3 (AKA Blameless the manga) ~ Out now! 

Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third. I honestly do not yet know the exact release date. Probably early November 2014.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Working rough draft.
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Delayed. Why? Rewrite begins soon.


The Books! 

The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies


The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister’s Song, & Fairy Debt
Audiobook of Crudrat releasing end of April 2014. Find out more at crudrat.com

Book News:
So Many Books, So Little Time says of Curtsies & Conspiracies, “I adore the madcap world that Gail Carriger has created. A dirigible finishing school, highway men in top hats, vampire professors and mechanimals – I want to be a part of it.”

Quote of the Day:

“It is through art, and through art only, that we can realise our perfection.”

~ Oscar Wilde

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