Tagged Holiday

Gail Carriger’s Favorite Holiday Reads ~ Books for Kids & Adults (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger


I’m not a particularly jolly person, Gentle Reader, but I do have a weird love of holiday romances and stories. So if you are like me, I thought I might recommend a few that I recently found, or not so recently as the case may be…

I’ve chosen for a range of ages and taste, because, frankly I’m an eclectic kinda girl.

Winter Story (Age 3 & Up)

Don’t know the Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem books? OMG they are delightful! (Yes, my dear UK readers, these charming books were never a thing in the USA. We are sad.)

These lovely beautifully illustrated little stories are very, very British. Start your young ones on the path that will inevitably lead to Great British Bake OffYou want the hardcover print editions of these books, trust me. Frankly, I prefer Barklem to Beatrix Potter.

Winter Story is wonderful – the ice ball alone! So cute, such adorable little field mice running about and being so proper and cozy.

The household schematics will knock your socks off, and any kid lucky enough to receive this book as a gift. Warning, they will want all of them. They are all wonderful. And if you can’t get just Winter Story I can highly recommend the Year in Brambly Hedge box set, I grew up with this.

The Dark Is Rising (Age 10 & Up)

This is the second book in the Dark is Rising series, but it was the first one written. Like Narnia, I’m not convinced you must read these in world chronological order, but you can if you wish.

This one is both my favorite and the most winter-centered. I ADORE this book, it’s magical and wonderful and serious and thrilling. Merely thinking about the central poem gives me chills.

Come on say it with me, you know you want to.

When the Dark, comes rising, six shall turn it back;
Three from the circle, three from the track,
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone;
Five will return, and one go alone.

Argh, it’s SOOOO good. I highly recommend the audio, as that way you know how all the welsh words are pronounced. Before there was JK Rowling we old fools had Susan Cooper. I wasn’t wowed by the movie, don’t bother.

Gay Holiday Romances

Yes, I Found a Jewish One!

For all those who lament the lack of non-Christmas romance this time of year, Eight Nights in December is rather sweet.

Orphaned Lucas figures spending the holidays with his obnoxious roommate’s family in New York City is better than staying alone on campus upstate. He ends up sharing a room again, this time with his roommate’s brother, Nate.

It’s very new-adult, exploring sex for the first time and that kind of thing. The setting is New York, the family is Jewish, the sex is explicit. It’s a bit of a love letter to New York.

And, of course, a Christmas one…

If you want your gay boys with Christmas and a hot friend-of-the-older-brother trope than try Yours For The Holiday by DJ Jamison instead.

Christmas Romance for the Hets

Daniel and the Angel Novella

One of my favorites is a true classic, Daniel and the Angel, I read this story in a paperback collection a million years ago, well before I ever even contemplated writing romance myself. Fortunately, for all of us, it exists as an ebook now!

When wealthy financier D. L. Stewart’s finds an injured woman in the snow in front of his New York City mansion, he has no idea she is the fair Lillian, a big-hearted and somewhat inept fallen angel, sent back to teach him what Christmas is really about.

A delightful tear-jerker that’s almost painfully sweet, I nevertheless still love this one.

BONUS: A Princess for Christmas Movie

I am weak in the face of sappy Christmas movies recommended to me by romances authors on Twitter. (This one then conformed by Drunk Austen. Trust me, just do everything Drunk Austen does. You can thank me later.) So this year I watched A Princess for Christmas (featuring Sam Heughan).

It is plagued with all the flaws of the genre: cliches, bad dialogue, and the child actors are cringe-worthy. BUT I still enjoyed it and there may even have been a little tear. So, spike that nog, or tot that totty with an extra jigger of brandy, sit back, and wallow.

There it is, I hope I have managed to make your holidays a little more fun and romantic or at the very least given you a gift idea or two.

Hugs and happiest of happies!

Yours in cosy tea-riddle and slightly grumpy comfort,

Miss Gail

Do you want more curated on sale book picks? New stuff goes to Chirrup members first, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.

Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for December is The Lightning-Struck Heart by TJ Klune.


Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks | Direct

I Can Read for Miles says of Romancing the Werewolf:

“Guys, it is worth the wait. This novella is delightful. It gave me so many vibes that I got from Soulless.”


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1905-06, France. via shewhoworshpscarlin tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Umbrellas: The More You Know

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Lilliput Supervises the rough draft of the next San Andreas Shifter book

Book News:

I Smell Sheep says of The Sumage Solution:

“Carriger does a great job of writing horny supernatural males. This is kind of a subjective generalization, but if you’ve read lots of paranormal romance then you know what I’m talking about. Yeah, it’s a genre stereotype, but that is why it tastes soooo good.”

Quote of the Day:

“The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived.”

~ Oscar Wilde

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

Gift Ideas from Gail Carriger (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

OK OK, so the holidays are upon us and I aim to take some of the shopping misery away, Gentle Reader. So here are some fun gift ideas for you, Gentle Reader, or for you to give others.

Amazon Stuff

For those of you who like Amazon, I made it easy on you with lists!

Top Picks of things I basically just love: household, pretty, cozy & silly


Gifts for the Reader or Writer in your life

All things Tea Related


Ceramic Cup with Tea Infuser and Lid

Traveler Necessities & Loves (tried and tested)


Books for a young reader?

Want her to grow up strong? Want him to have good female role models? This list is for you!

For example…

Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Books for those who love the Parasolverse?

For example…

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip (Author),‎ Gail Carriger (Preface)

Hate Amazon?

Well you can support me, and a fantastic female owned & run small business, and please any Finishing School fan with a Bumbersnoot or bladed fan necklace.

There are also some fun mugs & shirts and things in my Zazzle shop:

In the UK?

The Cheese Society has a subscription service!

The Lego Shop has Women of NASA

Tired of spending all that money? Want free goodies? Chirrup members often get to enter for beautiful books & goodie boxes, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.

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


Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks | Direct

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

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

The Lit Bitch says of Romancing the Werewolf:

“Carriger always does such a classy job at writing gay or lesbian romances. They are never tacky or written for ‘shock’ value. They are always well constructed, thought out, tender, and believable. There is clear feeling behind the romance and I love how the genuine-ness of the romance shines through the social stigma.”


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

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

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book News:

Borderlands has all my books SIGNED right now, call or email to have one mailed worldwide.

Quote of the Day:

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


A Very Alexia Christmas (Parasol Protectorate Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Lady Maccon, as some of you may well know, is rather fond of comestibles. Thusly, the holiday season is one of great joy to her ~ from a food standpoint if nothing else. (The shopping, it must be admitted, she could do without. Lord Akeldama, however, is overly enthusiastic on the subject.) However, she has some tips for coping with the holidays Victorian-style.

1. Mincemeat pie.

Sounds awful, looks revolting, tastes spectacular. The Americans have sadly neglected this part of their British heritage but there is much to be said for meat soaked in alcohol and then encased in pastry. If unwilling to venture in the mincemeat direction, how about exploring the fine art of Christmas Pudding? (AKA Plum Pudding ~ and no, there are no plums involved, don’t ask.) A dense fruity cake that is covered in alcohol and then set on fire. Fantastic.


2. Cloth wrapped presents.

Instead of paper, why not invest in some fabric remnants from a craft shop or colorful little scarves from a thrift store, and then tie with a ribbon? All the fun of unwrapping, none of the waste, and perhaps it will encourage others to reuse as well. As an added bonus cloth wrappers can be used as emergency clean-up towels for the inevitable alcohol-related spill (see: inebriation caused by over-consumption of Christmas Pudding, above.)

3. Roast goose.

Benefits? Well, a goose is bigger than a turkey and more mean-spirited. Have you ever met a goose? The only bird nastier is a swan. Unfortunately, swans are protected by the queen, so we can’t eat them. Thus goose consumption gives one a sense of self-righteousness and satisfaction all rolled into one.

Roast Goose with Giblet Stuffing

4. Frills and lace.

Perhaps not a particular favorite amongst gentlemen for themselves (unless one is of a Lord Akeldama inclination) but for the ladies… Donning a pretty frock and perhaps a corset is bound to make one feel better ~ a little constricted but definitely better. On the other hand nothing (I am convinced) is funnier than a werewolf with a doily on his head.

5. Which brings us back around to drinkies.

Lord Akeldama suggests a Pink Slurp (champagne & blood) but he’s a vampire and they have questionable palates. Alexia recommends substituting blackberry cordial for the blood, resulting in a truly delicious and festive drink. Alternatively, for those particularly cold nights, one might opt for mulled wine, which can be a most excellent way to disguise the quality of one’s vino. And one can never go wrong with hot apple cider.

Bottoms up!

Lord A at Christmas nennesis via tumblr

“A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.  Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something Brussels sprouts never do.”
~ P.J. O’Rourke


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 . . .

Fashion plate, 1875, France shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

Fashion plate, 1875, France shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

The Camelback Library

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

9 Rules for Female Travelers from the Victorian Era

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

The Hybrid Author: Everything You Need to Know

Book News:

Full Length Radio Interview with Gail Carriger on Sex, Please! iTunes

Quote of the Day:

“If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.”
~ Japanese Proverb

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

12 Days Until Christmas, Finishing School Style, Plus Gift Ideas for the Gail Carriger Fan In Your Life (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

12 days until Christmas, Gentle Reader, if that’s your thing. Here is a bit of fun from the Finishing School Tumblr.

Here are 12 Gift Ideas For Gail Carriger Fans:

1. Octopus Cookie Cutter ($6).

2. Octopus necklace ($7) for any member of the OBO who doesn’t want to get a tattoo.

3. Octopus Bottle Stopper ($12) for those who prefer wine over tea.

4. 1800s Balloon Art Airship Stainless Steel ID or Cigarettes Case ($14). This is the airship design that the Flywaymen air dinghies are based off of in the Finishing School series.

Or if you’re buying for a big OBO Madame Lefoux fan, the same company makes versions of this case with octopus on the cover.

5. Lace overlay parasol (not good for rain) $13, comes in range of colors.

6. Wonderful Ocean Octopus Nightlight ($18) that I might have to buy for my office. So cute! Perhaps Quesnel had one of these while a child.

7. Stone Octopus Coaster

8. Tentacles Wall Decal Sticker ($30).

9. Lucky Ladybug Shaped Teapot ($18). For Primrose to serve tea aboard the Spotted Custard.

10. My favorite tea, Twinings 1706 Strong ($12).

11. Gail’s favorite Necklace pen  ($20). I own both and wear them constantly. Standard gel refills.

Bumbersnoot necklace
Also there is also my Zazzle shop full of Gail Carriger branded merchandise. Everything from t-shirts to mugs to buttons.
{Gail’s monthly read along for December is Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.}


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 . . .

1921A young, brunette Carole Lombard. 1921 via fuckyeahmodernflapper tumblr

1921 A young, brunette Carole Lombard. 1921 via fuckyeahmodernflapper tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

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

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”
~ Oscar Wilde

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

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

Book News:

Backwards Compatible says of Imprudence:

“With a great mix of humour and characters, Gail Carriger has created wonderfully rich world for Rue to explore. The best part is as yet she does not know what manner of adventures await though I’m hoping Carriger does. If you are new to Steampunk then this is a great series to look into and though I always say start at the beginning, you can jump into to Imprudence and still enjoy the ride.”

Quote of the Day:

“My new supervisor was a gruff old dude who liked the fact that I was a gruff young dude.”
~ Strong Signal by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell

(Highly recommended for fans of contemporary m/m romance.)

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

Finishing School 12 Days of Christmas & 5 Things Gail Loves (Finishing School Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Bit of fun from the Finishing School Tumblr for you today, Gentle Reader.











Here are 5 other things I love right now:

1. Romance Novels for Feminists blog: Fun, insightful, engaging reviews and romance recommendations from a feminist stance. Not an attack, more an analysis, as the blog focuses on books she likes rather than all the ones that are getting things wrong. I’m not often interested in buying the books recommended, but I always enjoy reading the review.

2. Broaden the mind and be entertained, an oldie but a goodie, youtube music video of Bad Romance parody: Women’s Suffrage. Every time I watch it the end note makes me cry, in a good way.  Want more? International Woman Suffrage Timeline. I also enjoyed both Iron Jawed Angels and Suffragette.

3. Trader Joe’s Soup Dumplings. From the frozen food section. Yes they’ve got like half the day’s allotment of salt and they aren’t as good as the fresh ones from a restaurant, but they are pretty darn tasty, relatively low caloric, and ready in 3 minutes. In my world these are the PERFECT midwinter lunch with a little side salad or some greens. Best of all the AB doesn’t like them at all, so they are all mine! Eating the whole package feels decadent but really isn’t so bad. Win win.

4. & 5. These Two Cakes:

Both are naturally GF, which is to say the original recipe never called for flour. I’m not GF myself, but that doesn’t mean a good cake can’t be eggy and delicious.

{Gail’s monthly read along for December is Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix, skinflint alternative is Ridiculous by D.L. Carter.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Renoir  Gentleman’s Essentials  tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

via steampunk-beauties tumblr

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Octopus Makes Own Quicksand to Build Burrow on Seabed

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Writing Dialogue: 4 Ways to Avoid Floating Head Syndrome

Book News:
Live the Dork Forest at Docs Lab in SF with Gail Carriger ~ $2

Quote of the Day:
“There is no surer foundation for a beautiful friendship than a mutual taste in literature.”
~ P.G. Wodehouse

Fun & Practical Gifts for the Writer in Your Life (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger


The holidays are upon us. So here are some fun ideas for gifts for the writer in your life, Gentle Reader.

Gifts for Writers

Profession association membership: Coupon to purchase membership for your budding author in something like SFWA (if they qualify) or RWA. (You can always give a coupon for drop-in attendance at the local RWA chapter, which allows your author to sample this experience.)

Tiny Apple Macbook Air Make-Up Compact Mirror ($9)

Professional Magazine subscription: A subscription to Locus Magazine, or RT or something similar (depending on genre) is a nice jumping off point.

Octopus pen ($7).

Scrivener ($40-$45) & Scrivener for Dummies ($13 – $19): I’ll be moving to this processing program soon. Designed by and for writers. Every author I know who uses it, loves it. It’s not for everyone, but it’s worth a try.

Spendy: The experience gift. Check about to see if the there is a local writers conference, for example Pike’s Peak Writers runs a wonderful annual event in Colorado Springs. Sometimes these are run through a local university and often local libraries know about such things.

My favorite t-shirt! 

Spendy: Professional courses. Professional crafting course, evening class, or private lessons in something useful to a writer or a small business. All things from Scrivener to Office, to the basics of bookkeeping to Photoshop 101 can be helpful for beginning writers.

Mini lumio is pretty darn cute too.

Still not happy with any of these suggestions? Chuck has more.

{Gail’s monthly read along for December 2015 is Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix, skinflint alternative is Ridiculous by D.L. Carter.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Le Moniteur de la Mode Date-  Friday, August 1, 1845

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Millinery prints (1891 – 1896) by G. Gonin
(France, active late 19th century)
Image and text courtesy LACMA. Costume and Textiles
http-_collections.lacma.org_node_240646 2

Ivy hat alert.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Surprising New Finds from Ancient Egyptian Star Charts Slide-Show

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Peaks and Valleys: The Financial Realities of the Writer’s Life

Book News:
Skye of Skye’s Scribbles says of Waistcoats & Weaponry:

“Miss Gail’s stories are a pure joy to read, her writing witty and fun and delightfully British (especially since I read the British edition the first time). She is a mistress of description but also especially of dialogue and had me in stitches on many occasions.”

Quote of the Day:

“What do you think? Will I win her in the end?”

Kel looked at him. “She will make your life a misery,” she told the man.

Saefas grinned. “That’s what I hope for.”

~ Tamora Pierce, Lady Knight: Book 4 of the Protector of the Small Quartet

Gifts for People Who Love To Read ~ Including Unique DIY Ideas (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger


The holidays are upon us and so here are some fun ideas for gifts for the reader in your life, Gentle …erm… Reader.

Gifts for People Who Love to Read

Feather Metal Bookmarks ($7).


Purchase eBook-only shorts from your reader’s favorite author, especially if the reader doesn’t like eBooks. Get some fancy paper, print out the short story, roll up like a scroll and wrap with a pretty ribbon. (My shorts are here.)

Knock Knock Personal Library Kit ($15).


Email your reader’s favorite author and offer to mail an SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) if they have any book marks, or even business cards with cover art on them that they’d be willing to sign. You can turn these into magnets.

If the author doesn’t offer swag, you can print out the cover of a favorite book followed by quotes onto nice paper with a high quality printer and make all manner of things with it, from a specialized bookmark (most print shops will do cheap lamination), to Christmas tree decoration, to framed art.

Fight Evil Read Books mug $18 (or others)

Pre-order a few up coming favorite authors for the reader in your life.

Print out the pre-order page as a kind of coupon of goodness to come.

Read Harder (A Reading Log Journal): Track Books, Chart Progress $15

Offer the convention experience.

Poke about to see if there are any major or minor conventions in your area that feature the reader’s favorite author. Get tickets to attend with the reader, or for the reader and a friend. This can be a spendy gift, but experience gifts are pretty darn awesome.

Harry Potter Themed Book of Spells Kindle Paperwhite Cover (comes in all house colors, black, and purple) $25.


Pull together a book themed basket. For example, collect some of your favorite romance novels with some chocolates, a bath bomb, and a bottle of wine (or two). Here is one example I did for Blameless several years ago.

Still hunting for something?

Want even more?

I have a while Amazon list full of ongoing recommendations.

{Gail’s monthly read along for December is Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix, skinflint alternative is Ridiculous by D.L. Carter.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

history-of-fashion- ab. 1835 Unknown artist – Portrait of a Young Lady

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

mistralienne- A hidden-message ring, from the 1830s. (via hackneyedhobgoblin)

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
10 Reasons That the Octopus is Incredible

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
10 Self-Published Authors Who Made It Big

Book News:
A B Keuser says of Manners & Mutiny:

“As with all of Gail’s books there is a spectacular whimsy to the way this book is written. It borders on the ridiculous, but when you’re four books into Gail’s work, you should be expecting that already.”

Quote of the Day:

“Constable Plimmer went on not replying.”

~ P. G. Wodehouse, The Man with Two Left Feet And Other Stories

Steampunk (and Parasol Protectorate) Holiday Gift Ideas (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Hello my dear gentle reader. The time of giving people stuff is nearly upon us. Here are a few things I enjoy and think would make nice gifties in the stuff arena…

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for December? Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1907 ]Mourning Ensemble  1907  The Museum at FIT

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Charlotte Olympia Fantastic tasseled metal clutch

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
The Diagrammatic Writings of an Asylum Patient (1870)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
How to motivate yourself as a writer

Book News:

Kathy Rodas created a murder scene #costumesforbooks via @WOPSmslibs

Quote of the Day:
“Chowder breathes reassurance. It steams consolation.”
~ Clementine Paddleford

Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list

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
  • 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 warm loving unifying force for the steampunk movement.

3 Author Crushes

  •  Janice Hardy ~ her blog always has something interesting to say about being a writer and how to get on with it.
  • Myke Cole ~ one of my chronic convention drinking buddies, also a bang up decent human whose 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 it for many years now, found second hand, it needed a zipper repair and I just added a second one for a quirky look.
  • 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 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 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 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

  • Repost ~ for Instagram. How did I gram without it?
  • 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 all my bills come in at the same time, beginning of the month, this make little OCD me soo happy.
  • The Digital Reader ~ one of the ways I stay in touch with what’s going on in the publishing industry.
  • Google Calender ~ basically it runs my life, planning and scheduling since I can’t find a Gantt chart app works for me and integrates with a calendar. It’s going well, I anticipate betrayal.

3 Beauty Crushes

  • Spa Girl Bath Bomb Fizzies (I like the fruity ones) ~ I bring these when I travel for use in hotel tubs, the smell lovely (so will my hotel room), travel easy through TSA, and I love a bath.
  • 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, once a month. It exfoliates a bit and leaves my skin feeling really smooth, no adverse reactions or anything
  • CloSYS Alcohol Free Mouthwash ~ I HATE mouthwash, it 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?

You’re in material affection,

Miss Gail


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 . . .  

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

The 12 Days of Finishing School AKA Assassins for Christmas (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Ta da! From the good folks at Little Brown for you, Gentle Reader.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Janet Borkowski via FB The Parasol Protectorate Books Group

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

 Gama-Go Turntable Kitchen Timer

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Types of Writers

Book News:
Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly, Steampunk Issue out 02/2014
The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 225): 2013 in Review – Our Highs and Lows in SF and F (self included)

Quote of the Day:

“A boy can learn a lot from a dog: obedience, loyalty, and the importance of turning around three times before lying down.”

~Robert Benchley

Octopus for the Holidays with Gail Carriger (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger


If I had time to get contemplative and nostalgic I might. Perhaps next week. Holidays are busy in the world of Gail, full of hugely trying bouts of vast food consumption, epic rivers of tea, presents, and a great deal of driving. Woe is me.

Look at me, all about the sarcasm this season. I can’t help it, good cheer and sparkly lights make me come over all snarky.

Mine appears to have been a very octopus steampunk set of festivities. This does not warrant sarcasm but is, in fact, a serious business. Look at my pretties!

Octopus Decoration Octopus Steampunk Decoration
From my Popster. Octopus globe available here, source of steampunk one is unknown.
Pink Octopus
From Ellen (found similar here)
Octopus Wrapping Paper
What Mum wrapped my pressies in, found here.
Steampunk Sleep Mask
From the In Laws (Archie McPhee’s)


Teapot in an Octopus Cameo Steampunk Tote Bag

Prudence is off my radar at the moment out getting critiqued. Wish me luck? This means I am attempting to complete all those tasks I put off in order to finish my draft. You know, tiny little things like overhauling my entire website, and e-formatting another short story, and last quarter’s accounts. Small insignificant little bits and bobs.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1913Mantle Paul Poiret, 1913 The Victoria & Albert Museum
1913Mantle Paul Poiret, 1913 The Victoria & Albert Museum

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Steamboat Menu
1913 Cruise Ship Menu

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
7 Setting Basics That Can Bring a Story to Life 

Book News:
Book Orniment
My book as an ornament.

Quote of the Day:
“It is, in my view, the duty of an apple to be crisp and crunchable, but a pear should have such a texture as leads to silent consumption.”
~ Edward Bunyard

Borderlands for the Holidays

Posted by Gail Carriger


Recently Borderlands saved me by stepping in to host my last signing of 2012. Since this event happened unexpectedly, during the holidays, I was honored that a dozen or so people made the effort to come say hi. There was even press coverage! At least half of attendees drove over from the Cow Palace after Dickens and then parked in the Mission, on a Saturday night, to see me! Now THAT makes me feel special.

Jared & Gail
Jared and I at Borderlands

I hopped BART, an uncomfortable experience at the best of times. Whenever I travel on public transit I can’t help but fantasize about Victorian trains ~ first class of course! How wonderful would it be to someday take the Orient Express? (There’s a wonderful BBC documentary on the train with David Suchet of Piorot fame.) unlike BART, Borderlands was a lovely and welcoming as always!

Gail at Borderlands
If you’re interested in my outfit I did a Retro Rack post on the subject.

Books were signed, photos were taken, swag was given out. (I never have much swag so I just took a few odds and ends from my publicists as an apology for having to cancel the Dickens event.) And I received tribute!

Citron, book, pocket watch

After scenting my office beautifully for a day, the citron went off to a new life in marmalade. The pocket watch will make an appearance at an upcoming steampunk event (hopefully meaning I won’t be chronically late for all my panels). And the book is sitting patiently on my bedside table.

Thanks everyone so much and have a happy holiday! May your break be filled with Indy Bookstores coming to your rescue, tenticular citrus fruit, and steampunk goodness!


Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Zepplin Dress 1930s
Zepplin Dress 1930s

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Want to know what’s keeping me so busy right now? Pretty much this: Unleashing the Internal Editor: A Self-Editing Checklist

Quote of the Day:
“Nothing is more nourishing than a well-made mutton broth with plenty of ride or barley in it, and the meat stewed down into the soup. This, with an honest milky pudding eaten with stewed fruit, is as wholesome a dinner as it is possible to give.”
~ Steel & Gardiner, 1888

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