Tagged Gail Carriger Recommends

If You Like My Books, Try These Black Authors (Gail Carriger Recommends)

It’s weird, Gentle Reader, to try to figure out what people like about one’s own books. But after ten years I have some idea, so I hope you’ll humor my list attempts.

I believe that people read my stuff for comfort, because I’m gentle to my characters, and light and fluffy and funny. People come back to my books because I have queer representation, and because they know there will be romance, found family, and an HEA – basically lots of Heroine’s Journeys.

I tend to think of my stuff in terms of what it is not: gritty, dark, tragic.

So with that in mind, I have some book recs for you that I tried to organize loosely by what you might be looking for next. I chose two per category to focus on, but there’s also longer lists at the bottom.

Something steampunk?

For lovers of the Parasolverse…

P. Djèlí Clark‘s The Black God’s Drums 

In an alternate New Orleans caught in the tangle of the American Civil War, the wall-scaling girl named Creeper yearns to escape the streets for the air–in particular, by earning a spot on-board the airship Midnight Robber. Scott Westerfeld called this book:

“A sinewy mosaic of Haitian sky pirates, wily street urchins, and orisha magic. Beguiling and bombastic!”

Nikki Woolfolk‘s series of steampunk novellas

Based in an amazing alternate historical USA world. Worth checking out for the world building alone, her characters are also immensely tough, charming, and queer AF. She also has a cozy mystery series (start with Mise en Death) featuring, you guessed it, FOOD! I mean come on, what is not to love? She knows what she’s talking about too, she is ALSO the genius behind Belle Monde Chocolates. Which are, without question, my favorite chocolates in the world.

Something with strong tricky female main characters?

For lovers of the Delightfully Deadly series…

LL McKinney‘s A Blade So Black (The Nightmare-Verse series)

Is a thrilling YA urban fantasy retelling of Alice in Wonderland, if you or your teen reads Marissa Meyer, then this series is for you.

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Alyssa Cole‘s historical spies series, The Loyal League

Cole writes romantic historical, scifi, and contemporary with lots of queer rep. Honestly she has something for everyone. Her historical series is period-drama-delightful full of machinations and spies, so if the Finishing School was your jam, try this series.

Something whimsically alt history?

For lovers of the floof…

C. L. Polk‘s acclaimed Witchmark

Witchmark (followed by Stormsong) with more to come, was described as “a stunning, addictive fantasy that combines intrigue, magic, betrayal, and romance.” Polk’s novella The Midnight Bargain is described as a “fantasy of manners.” Yes please!

Rebel Carter’s Gold Sky series

This is the first in a Western shared town series all of which feature different interracial couples and groupings, fluffly alt-history of the best kind. This first one is two men who love each other and their mail order bride, the second features is a mail order groom, and the third a best friends to lovers romance.

Fun & Sexy?

If what you really love of my books is when I get all over with the sexy, then here are some authors who bring on the heat with a side of humor and romance.

A. E. Via‘s Promises series

Via’s gay romances featuring tough military-types with soft squishy centers are some of my favorites, I chronically reread. The sex scenes are numerous and extremely hot, and written with such skill. I would take a master class from her on how to do sexy and emotional at the same time. If you’re a chronic romance reader Via will have hit up at least one of your favorite tropes. I happen to be a big May December fan, so the first Promises book is one of my favorites. Tough bounty hunter with self-worth issues is pursued by a much younger lawyer who came back into town expressly to reconnect with the man of his dreams. Gah, so good.

Jasmine Guillory’s Wedding Date series

Guillory’s rom coms are (so far) het central, but her supporting cast of characters is always super representative and queer friendly. Lots of found family themes and a ton of humor. Start with The Wedding Date:

“A swoony rom-com brimming with humor and charm.” ~ Entertainment Weekly

“What a charming, warm, sexy gem of a novel….One of the best books I’ve read in a while.” ~ Roxane Gay

YA with serious girl power?

For lovers of the Finishing School series…

Dhonielle Clayton‘s The Belles series

Okay if you like Hunger Games or The Selection then you need to read these books RIGHT NOW. No, seriously, start with the first one and just keep going. If you have a teen who liked either of these, hell I’ll chuck Maas into “also like” mix, they should be reading these books. They are THAT GOOD.

Brittney Morris‘s debut SLAY

“Ready Player One meets The Hate U Give in this dynamite debut novel that follows a fierce teen game developer as she battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther – inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for Black gamers.”

Queer rep?

For lovers of the San Andreas and Supernatural Society series…

Alyssa Cole‘s Reluctant Royals series

Already on this list once, here Cole is again, this time for her reluctant royals series. More light-hearted than her historical stuff and mostly with het central characters, I would start with the adorable lesbian novella, Once Ghosted, Twice Shy.

Holley Trent/H.E. Trent pick your joy, she’s got it all

Seriously, what does this woman not write? She’s amazing. Whatever your preference, she’s probably written you the romantic joy you crave: scifi, paranormal, contemp with poly, menage, gay, het). I like scifi romance a lot, so I would start with Wager.

More Black Authors Writing Queer Joy here:

Black Authors Writing Queer Comfort

Authors from above will also appear on this list, for ease of copy/paste and printing.

More Black Authors Writing Genre Fiction

Mostly SciFi & Speculative Fiction

Mostly Fantasy & Horror

Romance

There tends to be more romance on my lists than other books because I gravitate so strongly towards the heroine’s journey, and romance is a guaranteed HEA. These days I read more romance than ever before, so I have a better understanding on what’s happening in this field.

YA

More Lists!

More we can do?

If you are a member of the Parasol Protectorate Facebook Group there is a long ongoing list available:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/the-parasol-protectorate-group/poc-authors-to-read/556926225245343/

(Hot link not permitted, you’ll need to copy and paste into your browser, and you need to be a member of the group. Sorry, it was the best way to organize the fans, I do pull from there to update my lists here.)

Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),

Miss Gail

  • Want more book recs? Get ’em monthly in the Chirrup, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

Note, this is an ever growing list, as I find more I’ll add more, I promise!

The links?

Where possible I linked directly to the author’s main website. For the book links, some of these authors write indie, and some of those are Amazon exclusive, in which case the link I shared goes straight to Amazon. Otherwise I’ve included links to as many platforms as possible, including audio when I find it. At no extra cost to you these links have affiliate codes. Anything I earn from them I will double and donate to NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund


Gail Carriger Meets Mercedes Lackey ~ A Fangirl Story (Video)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Dear Gentle Reader,

Mercedes Lackey is one of my favorite authors. She is important to me as an inspiration. When I got to meet her in person I learn she’d my books and enjoyed them, I might have lost my tiny mind.

Gail Carriger Mercedes Lackey Fangirl

I still get giddy thinking about it.

Here is a short video in which I tell the story of the first time I met Mercedes Lackey. I am not the hero of this story. It is embarrassing because I was a professional author and went total fangirl. Please, enjoy my embarrassment…

So, yeah, what a fan girl I was! How much I do I owe to author/narrator Lauren Harris?

“Are we… HUGGING friends?”

I want to reiterate that what Lauren and I wanted to impress upon her was the fact that her books were so very important because they gave us a model of fantasy that included alternate sexuality. As she went to pains to point out, there were other genre authors doing this before her. But those authors were generally less accessible to young women.

Her books were/are important because in them queer wasn’t a big deal. It just was. And so when Lauren and I began to write it just was for us, too.

Normalization.

That, my darlings, is a powerful instrument of change.

Lackey Books!

Here is a short list of some of Lackey’s books that I recommend all the time:

The Last Herald Mage series

The first fantasy book I ever read with a queer main character. Warning, it’s hella sad.

The Arrows series

I think of these books as YA and I still love them so much. There’s some triggers for violence and bullying, but certainly no worse than hunger games. And since these are about be special but also about finding friends and family and making your way in the world… so good.

By the Sword 

This stand alone is probably my favorite Lackey book and if you are going to start anywhere, start with this one. It’s so good. A lady knight type character kicking ass and taking names, finding her place and her family, upsetting monarchies… you know, as you do.

Knight of Ghosts and Shadows (with Ellen Guon)

This was one of the very first books I ever read that had a poly-amorous triad at its heart. Lackey wrote urban fantasy before it was cool, and did it with her usual charm and aplomb (not to mention a few subtle jabs at various dominant cultural paradigms).  Want your elves in LA and bumming about the Renaissance Faire? Then this book if for you. The romance is very light, but still present, and this book may have the most romantic ending ever. (Read my full review on Goodreads.) (no ebook edition)

Lackey Queer by Ursula Vernon @ursulav on twitter

By the amazing Ursula Vernon @ursulav on twitter

More about my relationship with Mercedes Lackey and her work?

Queer Characters? Blame Mercedes Lackey, Behind The Supernatural Society (Special Extras)

This Is Why I Write: 10 Books That Inspired & Formed Gail’s Identity As An Author (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),

Miss Gail

  • Want monthly books recs in your inbox? This stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

BOOK DE JOUR!

Defy or Defend, a new Delightfully Deadly book featuring Dimity!

Defy Gail Model Green Vintage Dress Boots Brown Square

PICK YOUR VENDOR!

Direct from me?

Dimity, London’s cheerfullest spy, must fix a broken vampire hive while a gentle soldier tries to keep her safe. A charming makeover story set in the popular Parasolverse.

It’s a battle for survival… and wallpaper!

Tsana’s Reads says:

“I recommend the book to fans of Gail Carriger’s other supernatural Victoriana books. I also suggest it’s a pretty good place for a new reader to dip their toes in, since the book stands alone well and introduces the particular flavour of Carriger vampires (and werewolves, but less so).”

Upcoming Scribbles?

Gail’s Daily Tea Party

Tisane of Nifty 

Green Teacup Orchid Stensil square

Writerly Tincture 

On the origin of the word “blurb.”

Book Nibble 

A fun podcast interview I did with a bunch of librarians on the PLP Fiction podcast talking books.

Quote to Sip 

Quote Changeless Scottish Kilts Knees Ivy


Black Authors Writing Queer Comfort

One of my reading wheelhouses, Gentle Reader, is queer comfort. These are books, mostly romances, featuring queer characters where trials might happen but things all turn out okay in the end. One of the reasons I like these books is because I see them as writing into existence the future we all want.

I struggle to come up with what I can do to help the world right now, and mostly my practice is to try to put good out into it. I’m a reader and a writer, that’s what I know best, and that is where my voice carries the most strength and weight.

So here, without further ado, for Pride and in support of Black authors and artists, are some amazing Black voices – writers – creatives who bring joy and comfort with their talent.

Alyssa Cole

Her reluctant royals is more light-hearted but her historical stuff is way more period-drama-delightful so it’s a case of pick your edition with Cole. Most of her stuff is het, so I would start with her charming queer novella, Once Ghosted, Twice Shy.

A. E. Via

Via’s gay romances featuring tough military-types with soft squishy centers are some of my favorites, I chronically reread. The sex scenes are numerous and extremely hot, and written with such skill. I would take a master class from her on how to do hot and emotional at the same time. If you’re a chronic romance reader Via will have hit up at least one of your favorite tropes. I happen to be a big May December fan, so the first Promises book is one of my favorites. Tough bounty hunter with self worth issues is pursued by a much younger lawyer who came back into town expressly to reconnect with the man of his dreams. Gah, so good.

Kilby Blades

Describes herself as an author of romantic fiction (rather than romance) but her queer offering, Adam Bomb, is definitely romantic. However, if you don’t consider yourself a romance reader, do yourself a favor and check out some of her other offerings. Not only is her website a thing of beauty and a joy forever, what’s amazing about Kilby is how sharp she writes, I think the blades thing runs true in all her work. Also, if you’re an author yourself, check out her non-fiction, particularly the Book Marketing Audit.

Christa Tomlinson

Writes both gay sci fi and gay superheroes, yeah! I’m into her sci-fi ones, you know me, it’s a niche I totally adore. She also writes heterosexual romance. Almost all her stuff is in KU, so if that is your jam, check her out!

C. L. Polk 

Like my Parasolverse? Try C. L. Polk whose acclaimed Witchmark (followed by Stormsong) was described as “a stunning, addictive fantasy that combines intrigue, magic, betrayal, and romance.” Polk has a new book this fall, The Midnight Bargain, described as a “fantasy of manners.” Yes please!

Nikki Woolfolk 

Nikki is probably the one who, if you like my stuff, you’ll like her stuff the most. She has a series of queer steampunk novellas based in this amazing alternate historical USA world. Worth checking out for the world building alone.

Nikki also has a queer cozy mystery series (start with Mise en Death) featuring, you guessed it, FOOD! I mean come on, what is not to love? She knows what she’s talking about too, she is ALSO the genius behind Belle Monde Chocolates. These are, without question, my favorite chocolates in the world. No seriously. They are amazing. If you don’t want to read, at least EAT. NOM.

Belle Monde Chocolates Nikki

More Suggestions?

More Lists!

* That’s my spy name: Bonus Bisexual. Can’t you just hear it over the coms, “Time to send in… da da da dum… the Bonus Bisexual.)

More we can do?

  • Order Books from Black-Owned Bookstores
  • Not feeling like reading right now? How about tea? Or chocolate? Or more tea?
  • Buy books with POC on the cover! Read amazing romance author Naima Simone‘s article about this. I’ve noticed it in my own sales and it is a horrible, rarely discussed prejudice in buying behavior (and publisher reactive behavior).
  • Write to and urge major book bloggers and taste makers (I’m looking at you BookBub) to consider books by Black authors.

Another fun article to read?

Why We Need Queer Escapist Lit from The Lesbrary

A fun watch?

Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),

Miss Gail

  • Want more book recs? Get ’em monthly in the Chirrup, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

The links?

Where possible I linked directly to the author’s main website. For the book links, some of these authors write indie, and some of those are Amazon exclusive, in which case the link I shared goes straight there. Otherwise I’ve included links to as many platforms as possible, including audio when I find it. At no extra cost to you these links are sponsor codes. Anything I get from them will be donated to NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund


30 Days of Queer Reads for #ReadingPride

Posted by Gail Carriger

I like to participate in lots of book sharing memes on Instagram, Gentle Reader.

Since June is Pride Month, I decided to make my own to celebrate #ReadingPride.

06 June Queer Books Month #ReadingPride

Please feel free to gank this image and share as widely as you like, also to photograph or just Tweet/Post each day any queer reads you feel fit this criteria. The hashtag to follow is #ReadingPride.

I’m going to try to remember to do this each day, but in case I forget here’s my list.

What Would Gail Read MM Gay Romance Books

Gail Carriger’s #ReadingPride

  1. First queer book I remember reading ~ Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey (read about my relationship with this book and author here)
  2. A queer book that reminds me of home ~ Beyond the Sea by Keira Andrews (because of the isolated beaches)
  3. A queer book that has been on my TBR for too long ~ Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (I don’t know why I haven’t read this yet) alternatively Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole is also supposed to be great
  4. A queer book with a name or number in the title ~ Loving Jay by Renae Kaye (a great Sydney-based author) or Atom Bomb by the amazing Kilby Blades
  5. A queer book where the main character has a fun or interesting job ~ Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts by Lyn Gala (alien linguist)
  6. My favorite queer graphic novel (for kids or adults) ~ Brother by Yuzuha Ougi (brings new meaning to the word graphic) 
  7. A queer book that I find myself rereading all the time ~ Earth Fathers are Weird by Lyn Gala (such a comforting book). Another queer book I reread constantly is AE Via’s Promises it’s just so sexy and sweet and bone achingly romantic, full of pining and sacrifices, and very hot sex
  8. A queer book with a happy ending ~ Taji From Beyond the Rings by R Cooper (it’s hard fought but happy)
  9. A queer book over 100 pages ~ Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey (long book, long series)
  10. My favorite queer genre novel (sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery) ~ Lodestar of Ys by Amy Rae Durreson (I have lots of these, but this one represents both genres so well both fantasy and gay romance), how about my favorite queer steampunk novel? Invitation by Nikki Wolfolk, the world building is insanely good
  11. A queer book I love from a genre I normally don’t read/like ~ The Truth in the Dark by Amy Lane (I generally don’t like fairy tale re-tellings)
  12. A queer book with a strong sense of place ~ Bitterwood by Rowan Speedwell (cold wooded winter atmosphere)
  13. A queer book that really made me think ~ Pansies by Alexis Hall (such a complicated take on childhood bullies, coping, revenge, reprisal, and forgiveness)
  14. A queer book that made me cry ~ Family Man by Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton (the scene with his mom in the cafe)
  15. A queer book that made me laugh out loud ~ The Lightning-Struck Heart by TJ Klune (bone achingly funny)
  16. A queer book that is really personal to me ~ Bonfires by Amy Lane (it’s partly responsible for my becoming friends with Amy)
  17. My favorite queer book that is a sequel or spin off ~ A Fool and His Manny by Amy Lane (she has a whole Manny series but this is my favorite)
  18. My favorite queer book by a favorite author ~ For Real by Alexis Hall (Alexis Hall is a truly amazing writer who has written all kinds of queer in all kinds of genre, this is the only BDSM one, and it is truly remarkable and amazing)
  19. A queer book that changed my life ~ Knight of Ghosts and Shadows by Mercedes Lackey (for obvious reasons)
  20. My favorite queer book series ~ R Cooper’s Being(s) in Love series (I will read anything R Cooper writes)
  21. A queer book I recommend a lot ~ The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (it could have landed in many of these categories, it’s that good)
  22. A queer book that made me take action ~ Granddad’s Cup of Tea by Amy Rae Durreson (I have never waited so long and so hopefully to be able to recommend a story)
  23. A queer book by an author who is dead ~ The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault (such a painfully sad book from the queen of gay historical fiction)
  24. A queer book I wish I’d read when I was younger ~ Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (my life would be different if this book came out when I was a teen)
  25. Queer historical book with a strong sense of time ~ The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (the scion of Mary Renault’s first book, which is a work of genius)
  26. A queer superhero book or comic ~ Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
  27. My favorite queer children’s picture book ~ Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack and Stevie Lewis (every kid should get to read this)
  28. A queer book that made me feel uncomfortable ~ Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford (very violent)
  29. A queer book that made me fall in love ~ Frog by Mary Calmes (I fell in love with Mary Calmes)
  30. The queer book with my favorite ending ~ Cinderella Boy by Kristina Meister

I hope you enjoyed this list and really hope you’ll consider participating and suggesting your own favorite books!

Meanwhile this is happening this month.

Gail Author Event Baton Rouge Library

Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),

Miss Gail

  • Did you want a special book recommendation once a month in your inbox? I send thsoe to my Chirrup members. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

BOOK DE JOUR

The 5th Gender (A Tinkered Stars Mystery as G. L. Carriger).

Your Vendor of Choice | Direct from Gail

Sci-fi queer romance meets cozy mystery in which a hot space station cop meets the most adorable purple alien ever (lavender, pulease!) from a race with 5 genders.

Boy Meets Boy says:

“This was smart and complex, contemplating human and alien nature as Carriger creates a fascinating species with their own complicated problems and foibles. Such contrasting dynamics always bring an interesting perspective in seeing ourselves from another point of view and to be more accepting and opening minded about others’ choices and beliefs.”

Here’s something lovely & meta for you: Dirty Mad Libs at Balticon 53 as part of the Nobilis Erotica podcast includes my cover art designer, Starla, doing said mad libs with 5th Gender.

Upcoming Scribbles?

Gail’s Daily Tea Party

Tisane of Nifty 

Lilliput Lick Window Look Suit Tie Bow Filter

Lilliput cosplays Madame Lefoux

Writerly Tincture 

These 2020 LGBTQ+ Romance Books Need To Be In Your TBR

Book Nibble 

Mike and I reading the first 30 minutes of The Curious Case of the Werwolf that Wasn’t

Quote to Sip 

Hilarious series of article titles on Sydney’s gay penguins, read from the bottom up.

Hilarious series articles titles on gay penguins


Lady Knight Books (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Dear Gentle Reader,

Can I talk to you about books featuring lady knights?

Lady Knight Books Header

Reading Glasses Podcast has this thing the call “Your Reading Wheelhouse.” One of mine is lady knights. I absolutely LOVE a book about a lady knight.

A little while ago I did this tweet…

My Favorite Lady Knight Books

Taming the Forest King by Claudia J Edwards (sadly out of print)

By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey

The Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce

Protector of the Small series by Tamora Pierce

The Hero & the Crown by Robin McKinley

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

Books Shelf YA McKinley Pierce Pope

Books I Have Not Read but Fans Suggested

  • A Knight to Remember by Bridget Essex
  • Starless by Jacqueline Carey
  • The Afterward by EK Johnston
  • The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner
  • One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey
  • The Rose Crown by Catherine Glenn

Other People’s Lists

And here’s an associated blog post:

5 Books That Will Shock Your Pants On: Reading About Women Who Dress As Men, or Girls Disguised as Boys (Miss Carriger Recommends)

If you want to know whenever I post a review, follow me on BookBub or Goodreads.

Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),

Miss Gail

  • Did you want a book rec from me once a month? This stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.

BOOK DE JOUR!

Defy or Defend, a new Delightfully Deadly book featuring Dimity!

Defy suggestion by Annie Earley

PICK YOUR VENDOR!

Direct from me?

Dimity, London’s cheerfullest spy, must fix a broken vampire hive while a gentle soldier tries to keep her safe. A charming makeover story set in the popular Parasolverse.

It’s a battle for survival… and wallpaper!

Tiny Navajo Reads says:

“I love Dimity, I love Crispin and his morality, and I love how much a change of scenery can change not only a person, but their outlook on life as well. If you’re looking for more of Gail Carriger’s writing, or just want to know what happened to the girls after Finishing School, then you need to read this book next!”

Upcoming Scribbles?

Gail’s Daily Tea Party

Tisane of Nifty 

Fashion plate, 1909. vis she who worships carlin tumblr parasol

Fashion plate, 1909. vis she wo worships carlin tumblr

Writerly Tincture 

Four Problematic Tropes to Drop

Book Nibble 

Soulless has over 1000 reviews on Amazon. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Quote to Sip 


Silly stories of Gail the Fangirl, Bonnets and Glue Guns, Defy or Defend (Behind the Magic Video)

Hello my darling Gentle Reader,

Quick first update: My boxed set is on SUPER sale right now! (No idea how long this will last, I wasn’t told ahead of time and it might be a mistake.)

PP Boxed Set Sale

It is up at $6.99 for ALL 5 BOOKS (ebook USA & Canada ONLY). This is insane. I’ve never seen my publisher do this before! So take advantage while it lasts and please spread the word!

The Finishing School series is also on sale for $9.99 (ebook USA & Canada ONLY).

And now, your regularly scheduled blog post!

New video for you! More things making me happy.

Gail Carriger Blue Bonnet FB Live Pub Still

In which I confess that my only true skill in life is wielding a hot glue gun (with bonnet as proof). I tell the story of fangirling over Mercedes Lackey. “Are we… hugging friends?”

I mention my upcoming book, Defy or Defend, and give a few non-spoiler sneak peeks.

Go to Borderlands Books for a signed edition.

I talk about wisteria, playing neighborhood frogger, and my mom hilariously learning (or not) how to use video chat, and show and tell the books and tea making me happy right now.

Gail Carriger Facebook Live Lipstick Airy

Citations & Reference Links!

Rishi Masala Chai Gail Carriger

Gail Carriger Defy Or Defend FB Live Pritn Edition

Book Suggestions

 

Books That Make Me Happy (Miss Carriger Recommends Comfort Reads)

What My Set Up Looks Like

Here’s a bit from behind the scenes, the set up in my office before I start the Live video.

Office Behind the Scenes FB Live Blue Bonnet Hat Couch

Before you ask, pictured:

Yours (at least I’m trapped in style),

Miss Gail

  • Did you miss my latest release announcement? This stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

BOOK DE JOUR?

Defy or Defend, a new Delightfully Deadly book featuring Dimity!

PICK YOUR VENDOR!

Dimity, London’s cheerfullest spy, must fix a broken vampire hive while a gentle soldier tries to keep her safe. A charming makeover story set in the popular Parasolverse.

It’s a battle for survival… and wallpaper!

Upcoming Scribbles?

Gail’s Daily Tea Party

Tisane of Nifty 

1910 Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) The Garden Parasol

1910 Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) The Garden Parasol

Writerly Tincture 

Why We Love Untranslatable Words

Book Nibble 

An ode to… Gail Carriger

Quote to Sip 

Quote Gail Talking Romance


My Biggest Gripes with Austen Movies (Miss Gail Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Generally speaking, Gentle Reader, when times are tough I watch Austen movies. I know, I know, but we all have our visual comfort food.

Austen Movie Sins Promo Blog Post

I don’t like to be negative here on the blog, but I figure taking sublime umbrage in a Jane Austen movie adaptation ranks pretty low on the totem poll of putting negativity out into the world. Still, if you come here for all things positive, best to skip this post.

Still with me?

For the purposes of this discussion I’m going to talk about only those movies and miniseries produced in the last 20 years.

I have plenty of gripes with the 1970s BBC series of adaptations, but those party stem from being made the 1970s, just as it would for some of the 1950s and earlier black & white productions.

All of these, then, I tend to think of as period pieces, both in and of themselves, and representing the aesthetic and directorial style of he time in which they were made. As such, I hold them to different standards.

So without further adoo…

Gail’s Biggest Pet Peeves in Austen Movies

Okay then, let’s talk things about Austen adaptations that bother me.

Hair Sins Austen Wear it Up

A Lady’s Hair Is WORN UP

For goodness sake. There is absolutely no excuse of any grown female character in an Austen movie to have her hair down and loose. Under no circumstances, outside of the bedroom, would this have been acceptable. Even young girls would have had it plaited or tied with ribbon, or treated in some way.

We are talking Austen characters here, basically tradeswomen and higher ranked. THE HAIR WOULD BE UP.  It is absolutely unacceptable in a period piece to break this society regulation. It’s upsetting to watch, breaks the suspension of disbelief, and instantly modernizes a character.

It’s like being at the Renaissance Faire and seeings someone in full proper garb… wearing sun glasses.

Sanditon hair ARGH

Sanditon is doubly egregious in this manner, her hair cut and styling are entirely modern, plus she is at a very windy beach half the time, where any normal human with long hair would tie it back, doesn’t even matter if it’s period or not. The director’s choice in this matter is unforgivable.

Billie Mansfield Park Austen Half Back Hair

Billie Piper’s half-back atrocity in Mansfield Park, and Jemima Rooper’s ultra modern bob in Lost in Austen, I’m assuming have something to do with the actress weighing in on brand image. (And yes, I get that Lost in Austen is portal fantasy, but if she’s putting on the period dresses she should put up her mother-fing-hair!)

Lost Austen Modern Bob

Incidentally, Gwyneth’s Emma is a bit too severely scraped back into a bun, she looks like a ballet dancer half the time. And I can’t stand even thinking about Kiera’s neck bangs in Pride & Prejudice.

Regency Hairstyles Jane Austen

What I expected?

At the very least: parted in the middle, curls at the side of the face, bun directly at the back or slightly higher up. Yes they got more elaborate than this, but this is the basic. Here’s a historical article on the subject. The 1995 Pride & Prejudice mini series does a decent job with the hair.

Glove SIns Austen

Ladies Wore Gloves In Public!

This is a harder one to spot in movies, but generally speaking, ladies and gentlemen of a certain class (or aspiring to that class) wore gloves in public for everything BUT eating. So sitting down at a meal, or eating from the buffet at a ball = no gloves. Otherwise, dancing, walking, socializing, visiting = GLOVES!

Pride and Prejudice Kiera Darcy No Gloves Ball Austen

In the Keira Pride & Prejudice movie she and Darcy are not wearing gloves at their dance, neither are Anne and her men in Becoming Jane.

Becoming Jane Austen Dancing No Gloves

The most recent Emma (2020) committed this offense in both directions. First Anya is dancing without gloves in “that scene.” Second she eats a strawberry with her gloves on. Sigh.

Gloves Eating Austen Emma

You need only watch Under the Greenwood Tree (Victorian later period, but still about the gloves) for the sexiest no gloves scene ever filmed. They are washing their hands and it’s practically a sex scene.

Not wearing gloves is a serious business. And I get that’s what the director is alluding to in 2020 Emma, but still, there is no excuse for her not to be wearing gloves at a ball! I mean they made special gloves exactly for balls!

Jane Austen Society Gloves

What I expected?

Gloves. I expected to see gloves. On ladies and gentlemen!

“I was very lucky in my gloves–got them at the first shop I went to…and gave only four shillings for them; upon hearing which everybody at Chawton will be hoping and predicting that they cannot be good for anything, and their worth certainly remains to be proved; but I think they look very well.”

~ Jane Austen, 1813

So those are my big ones, what are some of yours? Anything you peeve about in Austen movies?

Yours (destined to die on the tiniest of hills),

Miss Gail

  • Want a fun blog in this vein? Try Recycled Movie Costumes tumblr. It’s GREAT. 
  • Want more Gail grumbling about behind the scenes stuff? This goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

BOOK DE JOUR?

Defy or Defend, a new Delightfully Deadly book featuring Dimity!

Defy or Defend by Gail Carriger Free Download

PICK YOUR VENDOR!

Dimity, London’s cheerfullest spy, must fix a broken vampire hive while a gentle soldier tries to keep her safe. A charming makeover story set in the popular Parasolverse.

It’s a battle for survival… and wallpaper!

Upcoming Scribbles?

Gail’s Daily Tea Party

Tisane of Nifty 

Shoes Before Corset

Writerly Tincture 

5 Bookish Ways To Stay Connected Amidst Quarantine

NaNoWriMo is doing StayHomeWriMo

Book Nibble 

The first lines of 10 classic novels, rewritten for social distancing.

The Austen character that I, Gail, most identify with…

Gail Carriger Austen Characters Catherine du Burg Lady Susan Fanny Price

Quote to Sip 


The Great Emma-Off Austen Award Show! (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

So, once upon a time I got very sick and watched 4 different adaptations of Pride & Prejudice. With a new adaptation of Emma, I though I would do this again (without the sick part, I promise).

Great Emma Watch Along Austen

Emma & Me

For me, one of the most significant things about Emma is Austen’s portrayal of female friendship in a dispirit power dynamic. (Austen’s other books mostly show familial sisterhoods and/or negative female interactions.)

Not only is Emma in a superior social position to Harriet, she has the dominant personality, and she thinks she knows best. How gently (and with what sophistication) this is handled by a movie is, for me, key to this book and our feelings towards Emma. It is Emma’s behavior towards Harriet (not Miss Bates, because in that scene Emma will always look bad) which defines Emma as a decent human. If this dynamic isn’t handled well, Emma looks not just like a spoiled waspish brat, but also manipulative and somewhat cruel.

To a certain extent, the Mr Knightly romance takes second fiddle to this female friendship. He is a fixture, part of the furniture. Not particularly exciting. By modern romance standards, it is Harriet and Emma I look to for the true emotional weight of this story.

Emma is not my favorite of Austen’s books, although it contains many of my favorite tropes (May/December, Friends to Lovers, Pining Males). Nevertheless, I still have QUITE DECIDED OPINIONS on the various adaptations and so I am going to give out awards to my favorites. As is custom, I chose 4 adaptations to watch…

3 Emma Movies Austen

The Movies In Brief

1996 Gwyneth’s Emma

Emma staring Gwyneth Paltrow opposite Jeremy Northam is like the two popular but still nice kids from your high school getting together. You’re like, yeah, that’s fine, of course they’re homecoming king and queen, but do I care that much?

Emma Gwyneth Jeramy

What I like?

OK I actually don’t mind Gwynnie in this role. I don’t love her, but I don’t mind her. I mind her accent tho, ugh. That said, she kinda is Hollywood Emma, if you think about it. I enjoy seeing her friendly relationships with family and Mrs Weston. Of course I love Mr and Mrs Elton. Miss Bates is great, but a bit cartoonish for me. All around this adaptation wins point for side characters.

Collette is my favorite Harriet (although she is far too old for the role) outshining Emma with a proper British accent. Their friendship is almost sweet. While not equal, it’s better balanced than some of the others. Harriet has a bit of manipulative avarice to her, which I like a lot, while Emma is more gentle and kind.

What I didn’t like?

There is little to no chemistry between the leads. Mr Wodehouse is dull as doornails. I cannot stand Ewan McGregor as Frank Churchill. I just can’t. The family dynamic isn’t as clearly portrayed as in some of the other adaptations. Emma’s hair is way too tight and pulled back and weirdly strict for her character.

It’s rather dark in filming and setting, I didn’t get England in the way that I got it from the 1997 adaptation. Some of the costumes look a bit cheap in fabric and construction, less authentically historical and more stage costume-esque.

All round this had my favorite secondary characters, best general casting, script is fine if a bit too modern.

1997 Kate’s Emma

Emma staring Kate Beckinsale opposite Mark Strong in a made for UK TV movie. Is Emma blonde in the books? I can’t remember if she’s described at all. Does it matter? I see her as blonde, so does everyone else, but I also LOVE Kate. Mark Strong is frankly, un-memorable, but at least there’s a decent age difference.

Emma Kate Mark Movie

What I like?

Emma is very cheeky, and there is chemistry between her and Mr Knightly. Miss Bates is ON point, exactly as described in the book. Emma and Harriet’s relationship is fine. Emma is shown to be romantic in her dreams for Harriet, and in having Harriet’s best interests at heart. The family scenes are fun and Mrs Weston actually has a personality, which I enjoy. Also, I like the actress who plays Jane Fairfax very much as well (she’d go on to portray Jane Austen herself, eventually).

I like the sense of place and got a real feel for the seasons changing in this one.

What I didn’t like?

Harriet is quite insipid, portrayed by the wonderful Samantha Morton (who would go on to become my favorite Jane Eyre). But in this I don’t think her approach suits the character. I see Harriet as more robust. Mr Elton is too repulsive. Frank Churchill is my ideal Lord Akeldama, and as a result I can’t see this actor as anything but very gay.

Many of the characters are rather fussy. I think this is honest to Austen in that she’s showing how small town moneyed life can lead intelligence towards eccentricity and minutia. But it makes some of the group scenes tiresome to watch.

All round this is a good basic adaptation with one of my preferred more relaxed scripts but falls short on casting.

2009 Romola’s Emma

Emma miniseries staring Romola Garai opposite Jonny Lee Miller. I adore both these actors and I like seeing a longer adaptation with Austen as a rule, although I’m not sure Emma needs it in the way Pride & Prejudice does. And, up front, there just isn’t enough of an age gap in the leads.

Emma Romola Jonny

What I like?

I maintain that is the most accurate to the book, the characters (as written therein) and setting. I like the gloomy lighting, very England during the 1820s. Emma comes off as very young. Her flaws stem from her youth and lack of worldly experience, rather than being truly a spoiled bitch. She’s sweet to her friends and family and comes off as a little lonely, looking for a true friend in Harriet. I like the comparison between Emma, Frank, and Jane. The Mr Knightly relationship is the most sibling-ish and true to the original story, and I like seeing the Knightly brothers relationship in depth.

What I didn’t like?

The hair is a bit too soft and pretty. Emma is a bit petulant and there isn’t much chemistry between the leads, sibling affection but nothing sexy. Mr Wodehouse is Dumbledore, which now seems odd to hear (if not see). Harriet isn’t my favorite although Emma is awfully sweet with her. The voice-over should have been female but either way is hugely unnecessary. The whole thing is slow in places.

All round this has my favorite leads, least favorite side characters, and the script has pacing issues.

2020 Anya’s Emma

Emma movie starring Anya Taylor-Joy opposite Johnny Flynn (who is far TOO YOUNG for the role). The filming and costumes and hair are really wonderful ~ super saturated sherbet colors, like Pushing Daisies. This is a very romantic adaptation. It is to Emma what the Kiera Knightly version of Pride & Prejudice is to that oeuvre.

Emma Anya Johnny Movie

What I like?

I really didn’t see Johnny as Mr Knightly but the chemistry between him and Anya is there by the end. Definitely the best kiss. There is an epic amount of side eye and shade being thrown and the chemistry between Frank and Jane is palpable. I loved how earnest the film was about showing staff. Mr Wodehouse’s constant footmen ballet was truly glorious. The conversation at dinner was very much weary country gentry, and I got a great small town vibe. Mr Martin is the most pineingest white boy to ever pine. Nice to see Harriet get a  kiss too, although Lilliput didn’t approve.

Emma Watch Along Tea Popcorn Lilliput Harriet Kiss Teacup

What I didn’t like? 

This is going to make me unpopular but I don’t love Anya’s acting. The crying scene was like watching an alien who’d never cried before try to do what she thought human crying looked like. Mr Elton got overly angry. Occasionally (like him yelling and her loud sobs) the whole movie broke period drama tone way too much. Was the nose bleed necessary? You know what, no. It wasn’t.

Emma Juliet Stevenson Mrs Elton Shocking Lack Of Satin

Also, and “I do not profess to be an expert in the field of fashion (though my friends say I have quite the eye) but I can tell you,” there was a shocking lack of gloves!

All round this had some of my favorite minor characters, least favorite leads, and I thought the script a bit overworked with the director relying on silence to carry the film.

THE AWARDS!

Character Portrayal

  • Best Mr Martin: 2020 Connor Swindells, PINE, WHITE BOY, PINE!
  • Best Miss Bates: 1997 Prunella Scales
  • Best Frank Churchill: 2020 Callum Turner
  • Best Jane Fairfax: 1997 Olivia Williams
  • Best Mr Wodehouse: 2020 Bill Nighy OF COURSE
  • Best Mr Weston: 2020 Rupert Graves, no contest. Freddy my love! So happy to see him, and so jovial.
  • Best Mrs Weston: 2009 Jodhi May, one of my favorite actresses from Tipping the Velvet
  • Best Mrs Elton: 1996 Juliet Stevenson (also my ideal Sidheag)
  • Best Mr Elton: 1996 Alan Cumming, THERE CAN BE NO OTHER
  • Best Harriet: 1996 Toni Collette, nash
  • Best Mr Knightly: 2009 Jonny Lee Miller, I was tempted by the other Johnny and his edginess, but in the end I went traditional
  • Best Emma: 2009 Romola Garai, I just like her best

Honorable mention to Bartholomew and Charles, the ballet-like footmen and their many fire screens in the 2020 version.

All Round

  • Most Romantic: 2020
  • Most Comforting: 1996 for Alan Cumming, Toni Collette, & Juliet Stevenson
  • Closest to the Book, Best Adaptation: 2009

So, you are welcome to disagree with me and I would love to debate such a serious matter, but I insist on you having seen them all and read the book! Well informed debate only. Wha ha ha!

Other Adaptations of Note

1972 Emma BBC

1972 Doran’s Emma

This a six-part BBC miniseries, starring Doran Godwin as Emma, was available to rent on VHS from the library when I was in high school and I saw it then. I had no inclination to rewatch now, as I remember very much NOT liking it. That could have been my general dislike of Emma, though.

Like all the BBC 1970s adaptations, it’s very much a stage play on screen. It’s likely quite honest to the book. However, the leads were both far too old and there’s a good deal too much chewing the scenery from the side characters.

Here’s a more thoughtful review than mine. 

Clueless

1995 Clueless

Clueless is a modernization of Emma set in a Beverly Hills high school. The film was directed by Amy Heckerling and stars Alicia Silverstone and (noted vampire immortal) Paul Rudd.

Honestly this is my favorite Emma.

Bite me.

Only if you’re Paul Rudd, though. For obvs reasons.

What’s weird is how few other Emma adaptations there are (especially when compared to Pride & Prejudice). Honestly, she comes across, to me, as the most modern character Austen ever wrote.

Must ponder further,

Miss Gail

Other blog posts in this series?

The Great Pride & Prejudice Award Show! (Miss Carriger Recommends)

 

  • Did you miss the first in this series? Want to know why I was sick? That kind of gossip goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

BOOK DE JOUR?

Defy or Defend, a new Delightfully Deadly book featuring Dimity!

Defy or Defend by Gail Carriger Free Download

PREORDER!

Dimity, London’s cheerfullest spy, must fix a broken vampire hive while a gentle soldier tries to keep her safe. A charming makeover story set in the popular Parasolverse.

It’s a battle for survival… and wallpaper!

Gail’s Daily Tea Party

Tisane of Nifty 

Gail Carriger Teacup Tea Tray Blue Purple Flower Dress White Cardy Turban

Writerly Tincture 

Gail Carriger Tweet Kids Do Reviews

Book Nibble 

The Need for A Bechdel Test for Books and Why I think that Gail Carriger’s PARASOL PROTECTORATE Series Would Still Pass: A Women’s+ Canon Month Article by Cori Domschot

Quote to Sip 

Quote Changeless Fish Tunstell


Books That Make Me Happy (Miss Carriger Recommends Comfort Reads)

Posted by Gail Carriger

By special request, Gentle Reader, here’s a curated list of my favorite feel-good books!

What Would Gail Carriger Read For Comfort

These are books I go to for comfort and they always leave me feeling happy. I sorted them using my own books as ciphers. So you can scan through for your favorite of mine and pick accordingly.

I also added a few things to watch in there, in case you really just need to veg TF out.

Books That Make Me Feel Better

If you love the Parasol Protectorate series:

Ridiculous! by D.L. Carter
Hilarious cross-dressing regency romance. Fall in love with Mr North, I did. (Amazon only)

Sorcery & Cecelia by Wrede & Stevermer
If you are a fan of my books and haven’t read this wonderful gaslight double shot regency romance, honestly I have no idea what you’re doing with your life.

Goodreads has a list of other people’s suggestions of “Book like the Parasol Protectorate series” which you can add too, if you like. (I’m rather honored that I rank a list all my own, thank you Goodreads!)

Watch? The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc Sec or anything from this list: 13 Quirky Lesser Known Movies Gail Carriger Loves 

If you love the Finishing School series:

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede
The princess and the dragon become BFFs. Suitable for a wide range of ages.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Possibly the tightest best stand alone novel ever written. And one of the few where the movie is as good as the book, it’s very different but still excellent.

Watch? The movie version of Howl’s, Spirited Away, The Worst Witch, DEBS, Bend it Like Beckham.

Howl's Moving Castle Jones

If you love the Custard Protocol series:

Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix
In regency times, Newt must track down a missing emerald. As it is much easier to get around alone as a mustache-wearing man, so Newt dons the mustache with gusto.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
If what you really want is a seriously heavy dose or found family? This is your book.

The House in the Cerulean Sea

Watch? Leverage, Killjoys, Firefly.

If you love How to Marry a Werewolf or Poison or Protect:

Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan
Culture conflict between an invading nomadic army and a settled alt medieval land. A woman who knows how to heal. You think it’s going to be every romance trope in the book, it defies every single one of them.

Courting Magic by Stephanie Burgis
Magic and romance in regency London, plus dress pins… lots of dress pins.

Courting Magic by Stephanie Burgis

Watch? Cold Comfort Farm, Gosford Park

If you love Romancing the Inventor:

Ambereye by Gill McKnight
Moody werewolf boss meets her match in the form of bossy human PA. The two go home to meet the pack for the holidays. Everyone assumes they are mates.

Watch? Tipping the Velvet

If you love Romancing the Werewolf:

A Minor Inconvenience by Sarah Granger
A solid upright soldier returns home from war, falls in love with a male spy.

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
One of the world funniest books, it isn’t strictly gay… although it really also is.

Watch? Maurice, Jeeves & Wooster

If you love the San Andreas Shifters series:

The Lightning-Struck Heart by T.J. Klune
The funniest piece of gay fantasy ever written, and likely the funniest that ever will be written.

Loving Jay by Renae Kaye
If you love Max, Lord Akeldama, and Marvin you with absolutely adore Jay, as does big bumbling Liam, who thought he was straight. (Amazon and Audible only)

A Villain for Christmas by Alice Winters
Would you like your gay romance with a does of snarky super villain? Of course you would. (Amazon only)

Here are more from me if you love the San Andreas Boys…

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

Watch? Love, Simon, Latter Days, anything from this list: 8 Queer Romantic Comedy Movies That Gail Carriger Loves 

If you love 5th Gender:

Paradox series (3 books) by Rachel Bach
High action and lots of fun in epic space battles, fast paced and tight with a nice little het romance.

Earth Fathers Are Weird by Lyn Gala
Human military dude accidentally becomes surrogate for tentacle alien children. All the feels. Found family, adorable squidies. Gah. So cute. Her Claimings series is also brilliant.

Here are more from me if you love the 5th Gender

Similar to The 5th Gender, Gail Suggests More Queer SciFi (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Watch? Men in Black, erm?

Other Delightful Reads

I just love these books SO MUCH. I reread them regularly just because they make me so happy.

One Night at Finn’s by RG Alexander
Hilarious advice columnist meets marine. (Amazon only.)

Granddad’s Cup of Tea by Amy Rae Durreson
Bisexual grandpa finds love with the neighbor at the top of the hill, over daily cups of tea.

A Fool and His Manny by Amy Lane
Eldest son is all grown up, meets up again with ex-nanny. It manages to not be incestuous at all, mostly because the poor manny has no idea what is going on. Gah, so achingly sweet.

9 Favorite Queer Fantasy Books (Miss Carriger Recommends)

For the Littles…

King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood
Picture book I grew up with. It’s charming and amazingly well drawn.

Walking Your Octopus: A Guidebook to the Domesticated Cephalopod by Brian Kesinger
It is what it says, amazing images and a few words about a forthright young steampunk lady and her precocious pet octopus. There is also an adorable coloring book of these characters. So very me-ish in every way.

6 of Gail Carriger’s Favorite Children’s Books (Miss Carriger Recommends)

As always, you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s more rec lists:

What do you read or watch that makes you happy? Any suggestions?

Why We Need Queer Escapist Lit from The Lesbrary

Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),

Miss Gail

  • Did you miss the Chirrup in which this first appeared? These kinds of things go to them first, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

BOOKS DE JOUR?

Defy or Defend, a new Delightfully Deadly book featuring Dimity!

Defy or Defend by Gail Carriger Free Download

Your Vendor of Choice!

Dimity, London’s cheerfullest spy, must fix a broken vampire hive while a gentle soldier tries to keep her safe. A charming makeover story set in the popular Parasolverse.

It’s a battle for survival… and wallpaper!

Gail’s Daily Tea Party

Tisane of Nifty 

Lilliput Cate Cute Seat Sunbeam Paws

Writerly Tincture 

Why I Always Read the Acknowledgement

Book Nibble 

How to Marry a Werewolf Gail Carriger HTMAW cake strawberry huge

MI Book Reviews says:

“The book still has a wonderful and warm and calm ending, which these characters absolutely deserved. How to Marry a Werewolf is an emotional journey that I found incredibly rewarding and is probably one of my favourite books by this author.”

Quote to Sip 

Quote Author Kill Characters Gail Carriger


10 Random Things Making Me Happy Right Now (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

I’ve concocted a list of 10 things that make me happy and might help you. Many of them are free (or I offer free alternatives).

Stuff to Cheer You Up Gail Carriger

Over on the Parasol Protectorate Group, Gentle Reader, I put a Chirrup Special to the vote.

Next Chirrup Poll

As you can see: stuff making me happy narrowly lost out to books making me happy. So I thought I’d do a blog post of the stuff, while sending the Chirrup the books. (That sentence makes sense in someone’s universe.)

Simply put, here’s shizz to cheer you up!

Disclaimer: It works on me. Might not work on you, but I’m not in your head, so how can I judge?

Ayako & Family Jam

Food

Ayako & Family Jam
A darling friend gifted me with a box. The hanabi plum blew my tiny mind. The AB actually declared it “almost as good as my mother’s jam.” Which, let me tell you, is VERY high praise. They are a Seattle operation who survive at farmer’s markets, so your support right now would be most welcome. (I intend to try every single one of their plum flavors.) They have a sampler gift set, too.

FREE options?

I tried this chicken marsala recipe recently
It was tasty and easy. It’s one of the few that doesn’t require cream and is better spiced than my experience with this dish. I added onions along with the mushrooms and used Chianti instead of Marsala and it was delish. Also we don’t eat salt, so I added a little mustard and reduced balsamic glaze to finish. This recipe would work with firm tofu (I’d not dredge it but sear in soy sauce first). Next time I’m going to try it with dark meat chicken and half the butter.

Take Free Cooking Classes With Michelin Star Chef Massimo Bottura

I also recommend this excellent blog: Nom Nom Paleo. (I’m not paleo but some of these are so good I just add lots of veg). Her Indian lamb curry recipe is probably one of our favorite dishes. More…

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

Entertainment

Sex Education on Netflix.
This show is a work of true genius, it’s charming and funny and warm and honest while also managing to be this strange fantasy alternate high school experience. Don’t be put off by the title, it’s not super sexy, and it’s not super camp high school drama, either. It’s something truly special.

FREE options?

Check out my YouTube Channel for not just my own Live Q&A sessions, but lots of lists with fun videos that I love, so you might too. 

For example, here’s Alan Cumming singing Taylor the Latte Boy 

Beauty

Coconut Milk Body Scrub with Exfoliating Gloves.
My favorite Fiji scrub seems to be no more, so I tried a new coconut scrub. It’s salt based (I prefer sugar, doesn’t sting after shaving). I was skeptical of the weird “scrub gloves” that came with. Well I loved it. Particularly the weird gloves. Who knew? (If you don’t like coconut I also love Giovanni Hot Chocolate Sugar Body Scrub.) 

Poshmark.
Certain persons have been trying to get me to try Poshmark for AGES. In desperate need of replacement flats I went on to see if maybe someone was selling my old favorites there, the Mia Nomad. And lo there they were. So exciting. I got two pairs, and some Miz Mooz flats and a cute teal cashmere cardigan. The sweater has arrived and I LOVE it. On the other hand, one of the the flats got cancelled on me. I might have liked a ton more but I am trying to be good.

I recommend using Poshmark to buy replacement items for items/brands you already know you love/fit. Since there is basically no return. 

FREE options?

In line with above, I’ve been playing dress up in my own wardrobe. Using this as an opportunity to go through and clean out, but also just to look pretty and swish about the house in a cape. Why not?

Also, you can always SELL on Poshmark, if you have the time and goods to list.

 

Octopus Hanger Clothes Dryer

Practical Joy

Octopus Hanging Dryer
I hang dry my clothing. I don’t believe in dryers except for sheets and towels. I have two of these Octopus hangers for, as grandma would call them “my smalls.” They work great and are awesome space savers.  

The perfect phone tripod
UBeesize 51″ Extendable Tripod Stand, heavy duty aluminum, lightweight, and so much more stable and easy to use than my old one. I’ve been using this for Lives, Zoom, and Hangouts.

FREE options?

If you’re home schooling may I remind you that you can get the educator’s guide for the Finishing School from me for free. A lot of other education/workbook authors offer PDFs via their websites. PDFs you can print out at home.

Virtual Interactions

The Popster on Facetime
I taught my 80+ year old popster how to Facetime. Well, to be fair, I was freaking out because I couldn’t get hold of him. Tried calling him the regular way, no answer. Desperate, I tried Facetime. He picked it up because it was something new and confusing. I have never seen someone so joyful about something so simple in a long long time. “You’re right there, in the palm of my hand!” It was charming.

The Mum on Hangouts
Guided her via a landline. Finally connected her to Hangouts, but could only see the top of her head.

Gail: Mum, tilt the phone.
Nothing.
Gail: MUM TILT THE PHONE.
Mum’s hand comes into view holding the land line above her head.
Gail: The CELL phone, Mum.

Skype with Friends
I’ve been doing Skype or Zoom “write ins” with some of my author friends and others trapped at home. It’s almost as good as the real thing.

Bonus – Quick Picks from Previous Posts

Here’s a few things that I have mentioned before that might help you survive self isolation or quarantine.

Upbeat, Funny, Escapist Podcasts (all FREE)

  • All Fantasy Everything
  • Ask Me Another
  • Doughboys
  • Go Fact Yourself
  • Judge John Hodgman
  • No Such Thing As A Fish
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour
  • Rule of Three
  • Troubled Waters
  • Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me

Some of these might not have new episodes right now, but the back eps are great!

Sunflower Accent Pillow 

Pretty-up your environment

Check out more on my Writer Wants & Education Pinterest Board

Gail Carriger Pink Deco Waist cinch Tea

Treat yourself

Take care of your body

I hope some of these things help!

Incidentally, from LifeHacker:

Take care of yourselves,

Miss Gail

  • Want updates of things making me happy? Chirrup members get them monthly, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

BOOK DE JOUR?

Defy or Defend, a new Delightfully Deadly book featuring Dimity!

Defy or Defend by Gail Carriger Free Download

PREORDER!

Dimity, London’s cheerfullest spy, must fix a broken vampire hive while a gentle soldier tries to keep her safe. A charming makeover story set in the popular Parasolverse.

It’s a battle for survival… and wallpaper!

Upcoming Scribbles?

Gail’s Daily Tea Party

Tisane of Nifty Office sitting area and teacup collection

My office, in isolation…

Writerly Tincture 

5 Memorable Library Heists

Book Nibble 

Five SFF Books With Dogs (and Dog-Adjacent Individuals) as Key Characters – Bumbersnoot made this list

Quote to Sip 

Quote Changless Ivy Exclamation Marks Gail Carriger


10 Graphic Novels You’ll Enjoy if You Loved Soulless (the Manga)

Posted by Gail Carriger

So you’re a graphic novel or a manga reader and you want more like Soulless the Manga? I got you covered!

Soulless Manga Other Graphic Novels Suggested

Graphic Novels & Manga for YOU!

Black Butler

Black Butler by Yana Toboso

The manga that, for me, started it all. The art and the costumes are truly amazing and I feel, in this regard, that you can really see REM’s heritage. (REM is my manga artist.

Just a stone’s throw from London lies the manor house of the illustrious Phantomhive earldom, its master one Ciel Phantomhive. Earl Phantomhive is a giant in the world of commerce, Queen Victoria’s faithful servant . . . and a slip of a twelve-year old boy.

His butler is a demon. Or is he?

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore

Probably the square root of steampunk. Don’t blame the crappy movie on this book. The representation is poor and it’s pretty dark, but it was the beginning for many of us.

In this amazingly imaginative tale, literary figures from throughout time and various bodies of work are brought together to face any and all threats to Britain.

Invader ZIM by Jhonen Vasquez 

Invader ZIM by Jhonen Vasquez

My favorite cartoon of all time. What can you say about this level of stupid genius?

From the far reaches of weird space to the incomprehensible world of underground art, ZIM is back! And his thirst for world domination has only grown!

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adéle Blanc-Sec by Tardi 

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adéle Blanc-Sec by Tardi

Probably the thing on this list that is most similar to my own stuff in core spirit.

Both a rip-roaring adventure series set in pre-World War I Paris and a parody of the same, Adéle has been enchanting, thrilling, and puzzling readers worldwide through four decades.

Originally in French, there is a fantastic movie by the same name.

Bloodlust Bonnets

Bloodlust & Bonnets by Emily McGovern

Light weight and cute, and very very bloody.

Set in early nineteenth-century Britain, Bloodlust & Bonnets follows Lucy, an unworldly debutante who desires a life of passion and intrigue—qualities which earn her the attention of Lady Violet Travesty, the leader of a local vampire cult.

I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up by Kodama Naoko 

I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up by Kodama Naoko

The title says it all friends-to-lovers meets sham marriage tropes galore in this sweet lesbian friends to lovers manga. It’s rather weightless, but charming.

Morimoto, a young professional woman in Japan, wishes her parents would stop trying to get her to marry a man and settle down. Her friend from high school offers to be her wife in a sham marriage, to make Morimoto’s parents back off. But this fake marriage could unearth something very real.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Erica Henderson

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Erica Henderson

Suitable for most ages this is just fun and breezy and charming. If you always wanted a powerful, body-positive, brassy, female role model, here she is, starting college and kicking butt.

The Bride Was a Boy by Chii 

The Bride Was a Boy by Chii

What I love most about this is that is tackles serious issues but with a profoundly gentle touch. It’s an almost memoir that manages to be entertaining, happy, and sweet but ALSO extremely informative. Highly recommended for those who might be questioning their own gender identity, but also family and friends of anyone transitioning who need a window towards understanding.

A diary comic with an upbeat, adorable flair that tells the charming tale of Chii, a woman assigned male at birth.

Rat Queens

Rat Queens by Kurtis J Wiebe

This comic is very bloody and violent but raucous good fun. What I enjoyed most was that this is LitPRG parody at it’s very very best. If you grew up reading Dragon Quest and the like (or playing it, for that matter) this is a hoot.

Who are the Rat Queens? A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they’re in the business of killing all god’s creatures for profit.

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu

Nova works in a bookstore but one night this young witch ventures into the woods and finds her childhood friend and crush, Tam, fighting against a demon.

Prince Dressmaker Jen Wang

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

A heartwarming historical option, set in Paris has beautiful, vivid, and colorful artwork and a charming yet important story-line for children or adults. So sweet and cute.

If you like the San Andreas Shifters…

Before I read m/m or gay romance, before I even thought about writing it, when everyone else was reading and writing slash and fanfic, I read yaoi. I cut my teeth, so to speak on Yuzuha Ougi.

Brother

Still some of the sexiest stuff out there, I dare you to try Brother. Brings new meaning to the word graphic.

And on that pun, I end this list!

As always you don’t have to take my word for it…

If you have more you’d like to suggest, particularly written by/featuring women, POC, and queer characters, please leave a comment! Please keep if fluffy and fun.

This blog post came about via a discussion in the Parasol Protectorate fan group, honestly, it is one of the best places to get book suggestions tailored to your specifications, especially if you love my stuff.

Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),

Miss Gail

  • I will likely give away a select few of these books to Chirrup members in the future, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

BOOK DE JOUR?

Meat Cute: The Hedgehog Incident featuring Alexia & Conall’s first encounter!

Meat Cute The Hedgehog Incident Gail Carriger Free Download

OUT NOW!

In this short story Alexia Tarabotti attends what seems to be a dull London party, until the new werewolf Alpha turns up, is unconscionably rude to her, and sits on a hedgehog.

Upcoming Scribbles?

Gail’s Daily Tea Party

Tisane of Nifty 

Omg, look at the cuteness of this octopus page holder!

Octopus bookmark page holder blue turquoise

Writerly Tincture 

How I feel about the different social media platforms as an author:

Social Media Photo Meme

Book Nibble 

This is a Wardian Fern Case, the stile I uses as a basis for my Lefoux Preservation tanks, which feature heavily in the Custard Protocol series.

Wardian Fern Case Basis for Lefoux Preservation Tanks Gail Carriger

Quote to Sip 

Giddy Biscuit Wooster Wodehouse


12 Joyful Book Picks: Fictional Hangover Book Challenge

Posted by Gail Carriger

As some of you may know, Gentle Reader, I often pick a monthly book challenge to follow for the year.

I did Book Riot’s last year, this year I chose Fictional Hangover’s!

Here’s the challenge:

Fictional Hangover 2020 Reading Challenge

(You can join their Goodreads Group to participate, or listen to their podcast.)

What I like to do with book challenges, is suggest books for each month that I think will ALSO satisfy my readers. So fun, silly, happy ending, light hearted, found family, queer friendly, etc…

Sp here are my 2020 suggestions.

January – Times They Are A Changing

Read the final book in a series. (My recommendation is also my favorite of the trilogy.)

1. Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts

Now, will I personally be reading anything new that satisfies this criteria? I don’t think so. I tend to go for stand-alones. I have a few series I loosely follow. But in this new age of ebooks, said series don’t seem to have any endings in sight (narrows eyes at Macy Blake and Rhys Ford). But it’s possible I will read a book that ends a series without realizing it.

My book that best satisfies this criteria?

Reticence

February – The Geometry of Love

Read a story with a love triangle or more. Book I recommend for this theme? The one that, for me, started it all…

2. A Knight of Ghost and Shadows by Mercedes Lackey

It’s not in ebook though, so you might also try Nora Phoenix’s Irresistible Omegas series (which I recommended on the Fictional Hangover podcast) which is a gay four-some. Another author who does great fun characters and quality romance writing in various configurations is R. G. Alexander. You want the Finn series, which features almost every kind of mash up (except those with an f/f base dynamic… so far.)

Will I be reading anything that satisfies this criteria? Probably. A lot of menage makes its way into my romance reading pile since it’s a trope I enjoy and gets queer fast (although it isn’t a huge favorite of mine, as authors can get a bit muddled on character voice distinctions and pronouns).

My book that best satisfies this criteria?

I haven’t written one… yet.

March – Murder She Wrote

Read a murder mystery by a female author. I don’t read much mystery but I have a weakness for PNR featuring a tough queer cop paired with a psychic/wizard/shifter of some kind. So under that umbrella I’m gonna suggest:

The Finder by J.E. Lorin

3. The Finder by J.E. Lorin (Zon only)

This is a classic example of the cop/psychic pairing, and both characters are adorable. (Other examples include PsyCop, Jon’s Mysteries, and Badlands.) Does the grumpy badass one love the snarky magic sunshine one? Yes? Gimme!

Will I be reading more? Most likely. I don’t care much about the mystery or the gruesome nature of the descriptions but (like I said) I’m a sucker for a paranormal cop pairing and it’s popular right now, so more will get into my TBR.

My book that best satisfies this criteria?

The 5th Gender

April – Hilarity Ensues

Read a book that makes you laugh. I read for this a lot. I have a number that could go on this list, but I’m going to go for the one that kept me up and made me cry with laughter.

4. The Lightning Struck Heart by T.J. Klune 

My book that best satisfies this criteria?

GL Carriger Sumage Solution SAS Model Quinn Max

The Sumage Solution

Most of what I write is funny, but I’m going for The Sumage Solution because my sexy books are also REALLY funny and I think you should give them a chance.

May – Shaken Not Stirred

Read a new take on an old story. So I’m thinking twisted fairy tale or unique take on a tired trope? Here’s my picks (both of them are retellings of Beauty and the Beast):

Beauty Robin McKinley

5a. Truth in the Dark by Amy Lane 

5b. Beauty by Robin McKinley

My book that best satisfies this criteria?

Defy or Defend is my take on Cold Comfort Farm, or the classic home makeover story. It also releases this month, May 2020. So that’s my pick.

Gail Mint Green Lace 1960s Pattern Turban Defy

Defy or Defend

June – Frontier Times

Read a book set in the Wild West or space. Well, I love me some queer romance sci fi so I have a few suggestions for this one:

Earth Fathers are Weird by Lyn Gala

6a. Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts by Lyn Gala 

6b. Earth Fathers are Weird by Lyn Gala 

6c. Taji from Beyond the Rings by R Cooper

My book that best satisfies this criteria?

5th Gender 5G teacup purple promo Gail Carriger

The 5th Gender (AGAIN)

July – Dark Scottish Vampire Werewolf of the Highland Night

Read an urban fantasy or paranormal romance. I both write and read these genres, so I have a ton of favorites (anything from R Cooper’s Beings in Love series would make this list). It was really hard to pick so I just chose a Mary Calmes because I basically comfort read her stuff constantly. (Her novella Landslide as part of Creature Feature is my favorite, the world building concept is so unique yet reminds me of Alexia, but it’s hard to get hold of so I gave you a vampire alternate.)

7a. Landslide by Mary Calmes (demons) 

7b. His Consort by Mary Calmes (vampires) 

My book that best satisfies this criteria?

Many of them, but written with PNR specifically in mind? The most classic of this style is How to Marry a Werewolf:

How to Marry a Werewolf Gail Carriger HtMAW tea drink office

How to Marry a Werewolf

August – The Rise of Augustus

Read a book with Roman influence. Turns out, I read a lot of Greek tangential stuff but not so much Roman. My suggestion is therefore Court of Fives, a pastiche of Roman occupied Egypt meets YA meets Little Women that I LOVE hard:

Court of FIves Kate Elliott

8. Court of Fives by Kate Elliot

My book that best satisfies this criteria?

Blameless Gail Carriger Octopus Pin Merch

Blameless

Uh, well in Blameless they go to Italy, does that count?

September – It’s Like Being Back in School

Read a classic.

9. No. 

My book that best satisfies this criteria?

Soulless Gail Carriger Hardcover Illustrated

Soulless

It’s old, so close to being a classic, right?

October – Terror in the Haunted House

Read a book featuring a haunted house. This isn’t really my thing, I don’t love horror. But I hear nothing but good things about:

10. The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings by Lily Morton

I’ve read Lily’s other books and they are wonderful, so if you want creepy this one might work for you.

My book that best satisfies this criteria?

Hum, haunted house? Does house party rife with conspiracy and one very polite ghost count?

Poison or Protect

November – Remember, Remember the Fifth of November

Read a book with a government overthrow conspiracy or monarch assassination. A large number of fantasy books feature this kind of thing, many of which I love. The afore mentioned Mistress of the Empire series, newly discovered His Fair Assassin series, and also my old favorite Alanna by Tamora Pierce. However I’m going to officially pick another favorite YA…

11. Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith 

My book that best satisfies this criteria?

Etiquette Finishing School Gail Carriger Shirt Team Soap

Etiquette & Espionage

December – Holliday Escape

Read something seasonal. I actually love holiday reads so much that I have a whole blog post about my favorites.

12….

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

My book that best satisfies this criteria?

RTW Feather Wreath Octopus Decoration Christmas Romancing the Werwolf Gail Carriger

Romancing the Werewolf 

So there is your plan for the year. I hope you are into it!

Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),

Miss Gail

  • Want book recs from what I just finished, in your inbox, once a month? This goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

BOOK DE JOUR?

Meat Cute: The Hedgehog Incident featuring Alexia & Conall’s first encounter!

Meat Cute The Hedgehog Incident Gail Carriger Free Download

PREORDER NOW!

In this short story Alexia Tarabotti attends what seems to be a dull London party, until the new werewolf Alpha turns up, is unconscionably rude to her, and sits on a hedgehog.

Upcoming Scribbles?

Gail’s Daily Tea Party

Tisane of Nifty 

Writerly Tincture 

Speaking of Goodreads, here’s an article:

The Current State and Future of Goodreads

Book Nibble 

Year in Review: Steampunk in the News

Quote to Sip 

Sophil Reads says of Reticence:

“I did not realize how much I wanted a Percy love story until I read this book. It was everything that I did not know I needed, and I am so glad that it exists.”


© 2020 Gail Carriger | Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Site built by Todd Jackson