Tagged Gail Carriger Recommends

Gail Carriger’s Reading Wheelhouse: What I Love, What Turns Me On, What I Yearn For in BOOKS!

Posted by Gail Carriger

A bit of a listical for you today, Gentle Reader!

I enjoy the podcast Reading Glasses and I love their idea of readers having reading wheelhouses.

These are sort of amorphous tropes, archetypes, and plots that me the reader really desires.

I have a pretty strict wheelhouse in terms of what I like to read (as opposed to what I like to write).

So no, it’s not the same thing, Gentle Reader.

So, especially if you are a member of Coop de Book (as I only pick stuff that’s in my wheelhouse) I thought this might interest you.

Plus I’d love to know, what’s in your reading wheelhouse?

5 Plots I’m Always Looking For

  1. Unique Triumphs:
    Female fighter excels against adversity (e.g. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley)
  2. Culture Conflict:
    Displaced heroine outside of her own culture must survive confusion (e.g. Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan)
  3. Political Machinations:
    Against all odds, heroine must manipulate politics in order to save her world (e.g. Local Custom by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller)
  4. Burden of Exile:
    Exile must keep her integrity in adversity (e.g. Lord of Two Lands by Judith Tarr)
  5. Crossdressing for Subversion:
    Girl disguises herself as a boy in order to infiltrate a patriarchal environment (e.g. Alanna by Tamora Pierce)

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

I Strongly Prefer That It Have

  • Representation
  • Queer Characters
  • Comedy/wit/humor
  • A certain lightness of touch and style

9 Things I Actively Hunt For

  1. Unique non-western world building with a strong HEA romance thread (e.g. Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts)
  2. Warm, lighthearted, own voice authors (e.g. Nikki Woolfolk )
  3. Funny female and/or queer-centric genre fiction (e.g. TJ Klune’s Lightening Struck Heart)
  4. Bisexual main characters (e.g. Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee)
  5. Happy poly relationships with good communication (e.g. Knight of Ghosts and Shadows by Mercedes Lackey)
  6. Found family and/or queer comfort books (e.g. R Cooper)
  7. Queer or gender fluid sci-fi with alien love interests and heavy emphasis on cultural world building (e.g. Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts by Lyn Gala)
  8. Honest treatment and good examples of healthy BDSM relationships that are NOT male-Dom/female-sub (e.g. For Real by Alexis Hall)
  9. The Heroine’s Journey (learn about what that means to me from my non-fiction book/seminar or upcoming book on the subject… but basically I’ll take Captain Marvel over Wonder Woman for 100 please, Alex)

8 Writer’s Tricks I Dig

  1. Lots of snappy dialogue (e.g. Tanya Huff’s Valor series)
  2. Stand alones in a shared world (e.g. By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey)
  3. Novella length (e.g. Courting Magic by Stephanie Burgis)
  4. Jane Austen or Shakespere retellings with unique twists (e.g. Clueless)
  5. Gender flipped and queer’ed up fairy stories (e.g. Truth in the Dark by Amy Lane)
  6. Funny commercial genre fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, romance, YA COMEDY~ e.g. Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adamas, Jasper Fforde)
  7. Lesser known but established work horse authors who never get enough attention (e.g. Sherwood Smith)
  8. Snappy, tight, fast-paced space opera with HEA (e.g. the Paradox series by Rachel Bach)

Weekly Book Recs?

If you want weekly book recommendations from me (or to suggest books to me) I participate in #bookrecfriday on Twitter & Facebook (& Instagram & Tumblr when I remember).

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

Want more?

Gail Carriger’s Reading Wheelhouse: What I Hate, What Turns Me Off, What I Won’t Read in BOOKS!

5 Tropes Gail Loves & The Books That Use Them (Miss Carriger Recommends) Authors Read (Coop de Book)

8 Book That Will Comfort Your Soul (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Check my 5 star Goodreads ratings or Bookbub reviews for things I love.

And yes, I’ll be posting about the stuff I hate soon!

Yours, forever reading,

Miss Gail

  • Want more book suggestions and things that made me happy? I include a list of books, movies, TV, and food that delighted me each month in the Chirrup. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

OUT MAY 18, 2019!

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

Preorder on Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Print is now available.
You can get it signed (and personalized) from Gail via Borderlands Books in San Francisco.
You can use the SIGNED button bellow the cover on Gail’s website

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.


  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Fan Service Omnibus, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Why Writers Should Read Nonfiction

Book News:

The Lesbian Review says of Romancing the Inventor:

“This is a fantastic and quick read. Fans of Carriger’s will be well-served in picking up this novel, and those who aren’t familiar with her work will find it a great way of introducing themselves to her steampunk universe. I was sold at the name Genevieve Lefoux, and I suspect many others will be also. It’s a wonderful story with two characters who are more than a match for each other. The combination is electric and sure to please.”

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!

I Don’t Like Sherlock Holmes & Other Reading Reveals (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Witness the follow convo in my apartment recently, Gentle Reader…

Gail: Saturday is a Readathon

AB: Oh Yeah, wassat mean?

Gail: I’m gonna be reading all day.

AB: Oh Yeah, Pinky, and how is that different from any other Saturday?

Gail: Well Brain, I won’t be doing ANYTHING else.

AB: How is this your life?

So Saturday April 6, 2019 was Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon.

I’ve participated on and off for a few years now.

They do one in April and another in October. Usually the April one is more towards the end of the month, which is great because it’s around my birthday and I can better justify taking the whole day off. This year it was early, and so I really couldn’t do as much as I have in the past.

Even had I had the full 24 hours, I can’t really do that anymore. I just don’t stay awake that long. If (by some miracle) I do, it wreaks me for days. Oh, to be 20 again. So I tend to do it as a sort of half-Readathon of about 12 hours.

Let The Readathon Commence!

I was up at about 8 and commenced the readathon at 8:30am. I actually started with the book from the night before which was the third in a not very good PNR series that I just wanted to finish so I could move on to something else with impunity. It’s not really good enough to report on. Also it turned out not the be the last one, and the next isn’t out yet. Grrrrr.

Book One

Right so, this first review is intentionally vague to protect author, although I am about to abuse Sherlock Holmes. Which might make you mad at me, so read at your own risk.


AKA Sherlock Holmes Anger

I love many (but decidedly NOT all) of this particular author’s books, so I was really game to give their new endeavor a try.

It took me several chapters of info dumps and an unsympathetic POV character to realize what was going on with this offering. This was a Sherlock Holmes retelling! Which explained a disconnect I was feeling between narrative style (Victorian) and setting (non-Western fantasy world). The POV character was lackluster, partly because they were not the MAIN character, partly because Watson is a wimp (yeah yeah, read on).

So here’s the thing, and the reason I’m not naming names. I don’t give bad reviews. Period. This author had an excellent turn of phrase, a ready wit, and a good grasp of Doyle’s style. But I’ve never been a fan of Sherlock Holmes the character. Holmes comes off as an emotionally abusive arse to his friends, and I don’t understand why they remain his friends. Never did. Watson putting up with Homes makes me cringe.

Anyway, if Sherlock Holmes in a fantasy world with gender flipping, queer characters, and magic sounds like something you really WANT to read, or you just HAVE to know more about why I didn’t like this book, you can reply to the last Chirrup, or the next one, asking me for the full review and title and I will email it to you privately.

Book Two

After a quick break for lunch while the sainted AB went off to do the grocery shopping without me. I moved on to the next book.

I blush to admit this book has been on my TBR for probably six months. I just haven’t been in the mood for fantasy.


Caroline Stevermer

Stevermer opens the story with a dramatic theater magician scene and a confident cultural system one might expect from one of the great mistresses of fantasy. The writing is confident, easy to jump into, and a joy to read.


This book is set in alt-history turn of the century so so I’m tempted to call it “post-gaslamp” fantasy. There is an appealing atmospheric nature to this story (it oozes Toulouse-Lautrec) which made it feel pleasantly nostalgic. Stevermer’s twist on shape shifting (trader versus solitaire) is unique to my reading life ~ if subtly reminiscent of Wrede’s early Lyra works.

The Story:

This young adult adventure isn’t funny but it’s not a weepy angsty read either. It’s a classic, in the best way ~ a nested tale of self-discovery, replete with YA archetypes and tropes, of the kind that still resonate with me. It’s basically a shifter coming of age story and while the protag is stated as 21, she could (and should) be more like 16 or 17. Everything else about this book (from story arc, to interactions, to heat level, to behavior, to conversational patterns) reads as YA.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the book hasn’t hit market yet because they are changing their marketing and targeting. I certainly hope so.


There were some repeated conversations and flawed timing (main character knowing something when the information hadn’t been imparted yet), and some overly obvious writer’s ticks in terms of character description but I’m thinking I got my review copy prior to a revision pass.

I also have a few concerns over the main characters agency, particularly in the middle third of the book.

Finally, there is a cool aloofness to this book, it’s not a warm story. It has a kind of aristocratic reserved affection but nothing more.

In the end, what it reminded me of most was high fantasy meets Moulin Rouge. And I did enjoy it very much.

I have no idea when this book releases. Perhaps they are holding it because of marketing issues, or staffing changes. It’s from Tor and they can move slowly, but I really worry that it wasn’t billed to me as YA. Given that this title is shared with a few other very popular books, I would hope they consider changing the title too. But for now you can at least…  Add this book on Goodreads.

Book Three

Crikie I moved slowly this readathon. Maybe I’m just not into it this year? Usually I manage more than three books in a day!

Anyhoo, the last thing I read was Klune’s forthcoming fantasy book.

I adore TJ Klune’s hilarious Lightning Struck Heart but I’m not into his super angsty Wolfsong stuff. Also I find he tends to write books that are much longer than I prefer. So I was taking a chance on this, his first foray into traditional publishing, and it made me nervous. I’d no idea what I was in for… could go either way.

I shouldn’t have doubted.


TJ Klune

This book was touching, tender, and truly delightful. An utterly absorbing story of tolerance, found family, and defeating bureaucracy. Hooray!

The kind of charming tale we all need right now, if you ask me.

The atmosphere and setting had the feel of 1984 meets Umbrella Academy with a pinch of Douglas Adams thrown in. The protagonist, sweet bumbling Linus, is a middle-aged bureaucrat with a devotion to order and duty that successfully hides his earnest loving heart. I liked him so very much. His age, his chubbiness, his fussiness. So unexpected in a main character. I enjoyed his droll sense of humor and descriptions of his surroundings, colored by a decided eau de Arthur Dent. (No bad thing there, if you ask me.)

Allegorically speaking, some of the story is a scotch on the nose, but it did make me tear up more than once.  What can I say, I’m a bit of a sap.

There is a slight romance for our dear Linus and his lovely Arthur, and it has an HEA, but I would definitely NOT call this a romance novel. This is a story more of tenderness and connection and finding home than it is anything else.

It’s a delightfully comforting read and I honestly can’t recommend it highly enough.

I’m so lucky to have gotten to read it first. Honestly this is what I wanted Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children to be. I defy you not to fall in love with this book and these kids. I’m tearing up with joy just thinking about it. (And to be frank, I’m not a kid person.)

It’s not up for preorder yet although it seems to be on Goodreads. I’m hoping they consider changing the title, which is very awkward, hard to remember, and hard to spell.

Still, an excellent end to the Readathon, if you ask me. So on that note…

Yours in reading wonder,

Miss Gail

  • Want to know about that book Gail didn’t like, stuff like that 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!

P.S. Dropped a fun podcast recently: The Functional Nerds Podcast: 400-With Gail Carriger and Tom Merritt. All about podcast and publishing changes over the past decade. Here are my additional show notes and things talked about…

OUT MAY 18, 2019!

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

Preorder on Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Print and audio are coming, but will not be available for preorder. 

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.


  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Fan Service Omnibus, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Fashion & Flight: Pioneering Aviatrixes (from Dressed: The History of Fashion podcast)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Do You Use The Correct Order Of Adjectives In Your Writing?

Book News:

Red Hot Books says:

Soulless should definitely be on the shelves of anyone that loves Steampunk, but is also a great pick for readers who love the Paranormal and Historical subgenres of Romance. (Especially if you enjoy the opposites attract trope.) Gail Carriger builds a dark and whimsical world where all manner of supernaturals coexist with their mundane counterparts all while not missing a single element of British culture in the Victorian era.”

Quote of the Day:

Your Moment of Gail


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

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

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!

Here Is How To Make Sure The Chirrup Doesn’t Go To Spam ~ Whitelist An Email

Posted by Gail Carriger


Thank you so much for signing up for my newsletter, The Chirrup. Did your email handler send it to spam? Bad emailer! No tea for you!

Here’s how to whitelist me.

Find your email handler from the list, then follow the instructions.

The Chirrup comes from [email protected]

Set up AOL mail. AOL Mail
1. Click Contacts in the right toolbar.
2. Click Add Contact.
3. Enter Chirrup [[email protected]] + any additional info.
4. Click Add Contact button in the popup.
How to set up Comcast mail. Comcast
1. Click Preferences from the menu.
2. Click Restrict Incoming Email.
3. Click Yes to Enable Email Controls.
4. Click Allow email from addresses listed below.
5. Enter Chirrup [[email protected]] .
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7. Click Update.
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1. Click Address Book.
2. Click Add Contact.
4. Save Chirrup as a contact.
5. Click save.
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1. Open an email from the sender that you want to whitelist.
2. Click on the little down-pointing-triangle-arrow next to “reply.”
3. Click Add Chirrup [[email protected]] to contacts list.
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1. Click [[email protected]] in header of Chirrup message.
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1. Click the Address Book tab on the top menu bar.
2. Click Contacts.
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4. Enter Chirrup [[email protected]] + additional info.
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Set up Yahoo. Yahoo! Mail
1. Open the email message from the sender you want to add to your address book.
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1. Click Address Book.
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3. Click New Card. This will launch a New Card window that has 3 tabs: Contact, Address & Other.
4. Under Contact, enter Chirrup [[email protected]] + additional info.
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1. Click Address Book.
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4. Under Contact, enter Chirrup [[email protected]] + additional info.
5. Click OK

Sending you much gratitude for becoming a Chirrup member. I do hope you enjoy the silliness. Until next time…

More useful info?

How to Send Email Newsletters to Instapaper

But I’d Like to WATCH Austen: What Are Gail’s Favorite Austen Films? (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

It’s winter so I’ve been rereading and rewatching Austen lately, Gentle Reader.

It’s just a thing I like to do.

I hope you are in no doubt that I am a fan?

And no, I really don’t have a favorite. It genuinely depends on my mood. But since you were wondering…

The Best & Worst Jane Austen Movies!

First a brief foray into how Jane Austen started some of the most popular romance tropes. (And yes, Jane Austen wrote romance novels. FIGHT ME.)

Austen Does Romance Tropes:

  1. Emma ~ boy has loved girl forever, girl is ignorant AKA friends to lovers trope (bonus some sibling-ish taboo, plus May/December relationship)
  2. Mansfield Park ~ girl has loved boy forever, boy is ignorant AKA friends-to-lovers trope (bonus some sibling-ish taboo)
  3. Pride & Prejudice ~ boy and girl meet and instantly dislike each other, sparks ensue AKA enemies-to-lovers trope
  4. Sense & Sensibility ~ boy and girl meet, are perfect for one another, circumstances tear them apart AKA willful misunderstanding trope
  5. Northanger Abby ~ girl willfully misunderstands boy and boy’s intentions
  6. Persuasion ~ girl and boy have a past, mistakes were made that must be rectified, AKA reunion trope

Gail’s Favorites!

Now, I KNOW there are other adaptations but my restriction is that it has to be readily and easily available (streaming or DVD purchase) in the USA.

So here we go…

  1. Sense & Sensibility ~ I just really like the 1995 Emma Thompson version, OK? I know it has lots of issues but I love it. I have warm feels about this particular movie. And the casting, the casting! Plus Thompson’s award show speech is KILLER.
  2. Mansfield Park ~ of all the movies in this list, it’s this Frances O’Connor movie adaptation I rewatch the most. I know many really dislike it, but I adore it, so there.
  3. Pride & Prejudice ~ I really dithered on this one. I have a whole award show blog post where I dole out my favorites in each role. But the fact remains when I reach for this movie, I usually reach for the mini series with Jennifer Ehle & Colin Firth.
  4. Emma ~ I go back and forth between the Romola Garai and the Kate Beckensile as Emma. I like them both. But I’m going with Kate’s version from 1996 because it has a better supporting cast.
  5. Persuasion ~ Anne Elliot is my least favorite Austen main character (yeah yeah) but I will watch Ciaran Hinds read the phone book and Amanda Root’s beautifully subdued performance make the 1995 version a clear winner.
  6. Northanger Abby ~ if Anne is my least favorite heroine, Northanger is my least favorite Austen. Sorry, I’m just not into it. I’m not wild about any of the adaptations but I like Felicity jones, so I guess that one?

Probably the Most Accurate Adaptations

Since no one does (or should do) a page by page adaptation I’m using accurate in its mathematic way. In this case as close to the spirit, or heart, of the book, according to my personal opinion. What, you want science when movies are involved?

  1. Sense & Sensibility ~ BBC’s 1981 version it’s weirdly awkward but so is the novel
  2. Pride & Prejudice ~ David Rintoul is Jane Austen’s Darcy, he might not be YOUR Darcy, but if you read the book, yeah, this is him.
  3. Emma ~ I really hate to say it but whiney impossible Emma was probably as unlikeable as Gwenny made her. Sigh.
  4. Persuasion ~ Since I don’t love this book, I’m open to negotiations but I think the Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root version is the most accurate as well as the best.
  5. Northanger Abby ~ Yeah, I’ve no idea. I only read the book twice.
  6. Mansfield Park ~ There hasn’t been one yet.

The Sin Bin

  1. Sense & Sensibility ~ the 1971 one is just appalling.
  2. Pride & Prejudice ~ This sublimely uncomfortable mormon version. It’s god awful. (Pun intended.)
  3. Emma ~ We shant talk about the Gwenny version. NO WE SHANT. (Allen Cumming forever, though. But still. In fact, this one has a KILLER supporting cast, but the lead… the lead…)
  4. Persuasion ~ the 1971 version, shudder.
  5. Northanger Abby ~ this one is the worst, sigh, but honestly none of them are very good.
  6. Mansfield Park ~ the 2008 Masterpiece version. OH MY GOD HER HAIR. WHY? Billy Piper’s hair is a sin against all period dramas ever, so I refuse to acknowledge this adaptation.

Also Really Fun

  1. Bride & Prejudice, I like Bollywood and I cannot lie. Def the best Wickham ever, and I love the songs. There is no chemistry between the two main characters but I don’t really care.
  2. Love & Friendship ~ I really enjoy the kind of Dangerous Liaisons vibe and absurdest humor.

Other People’s Opinions

Hey, you with the suggestions, read this bit!

Yes, I know about the other Bollywood adaptations, Kandukondain Kandukondain, etc.

Yes, I know about the Lizzy Bennet Diaries, Austenland, Bridget Jones, Becoming Jane, Miss Austen Regrets, Jane Austen Book Club, Scents & Sensibility

I even know about short lived TV series featuring a modern mash-up of all the different characters.

Whatcha take me for, AN AMATEUR?

So which Austen character are you, Gail?

Well, I like to think I’m Elizabeth and I’m a writer like Fanny, but honestly? Most likely Emma. I’m bossy, spoiled, and I like to meddle.

So there it is,

Miss Gail

In other news

In the latest episode of 20 Minute Delay Piper and I talk about travel vouchers and how NOT to lose your luggage.


The Omega Objection San Andreas Shifters

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

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


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


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Fashion plate, 1909. vis she wo worships carlin tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Flowers at Teslacon

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The vamp stamp, basically does your cat eye makeup for you. It’s my new favorite thing.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Why Writing is Like Drinking Tea

Book News:

Loot from Teslacon

Quote of the Day:

“I remember reading in one of those historical novels once about a chap – a buck he would have been, no doubt, or a macaroni or some such bird as that – who, when people said the wrong thing, merely laughed down from lazy eyelids and flicked a speck of dust from the irreproachable Mechlin lace at his wrists. This was practically what I did now. At least, I straightened my tie and smiled one of those inscrutable smiles of mine. I then withdrew and went out for a saunter in the garden.”

~ Right Ho, Jeeves, P. G. Wodehouse

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!

If You Like Gail Carriger + This Famous Book Than You Should Try… (Recommended Reads)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Some book recommendations for you today, Gentle Reader!

Hard Science Fiction

If you like Gail’s books and Ancillary Justice

than you might want to try…

Dangerous Times by Isobelle Winters

Why it’s like Ancillary? This book is playing with concepts of gender and neutrality, agency, revolution, and loyalty. Why it’s like my stuff? This a breezy readability and lightness (despite gender neutral terms), plus some romance and a happy ending.

Space Opera

If you like Gail’s books and The Expanse

than you might want to try…

Paradox series by Rachel Bach

How it’s like The Expanse? Sweeping galaxy-wide hunt, high level political conflict, unsurmountable odds. How it’s like my stuff? This is a bit less sweeping epic and a bit more woman versus nature. This is the best example of my style combined with the Corey boys. It’s lighter hearted but still amazing with a fantastic strong female main character.

Bonus queer option:

Lyn Gala’s Affiliations, Aliens, and other Profitable Pursuits. (Not quite space opera, more alien culture contact but still GREAT.)

High Fantasy

If you like Gail’s books and Game of Thrones

than you might want to try…

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

How it’s like GoT? All the drama of complex politics and warring families in a perfectly constructed high fantasy (Asian based) setting. How it’s like me? Closer POV from a strong female main character and strong historical component. Plus it’s a three book series that ends and ends happily.

Bonus the queer option:

Most anything by Jacqueline Carey, but you can start with Kushiel’s Dart.

Urban Fantasy

If you like Gail’s books and True Blood

than you might want to try…

Kitty and The Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

The most awesome thing about accidental werewolf Kitty Norville is that she started life as a talk show host, and never lost the skill of talking herself into and out of trouble. I adore the idea of a main character whose solution is always NOT to fight. How it’s like True Blood? Classic urban fantasy with all the tropes in place. How it’s like my stuff? Werewolf centric. Favorite theme of found family appears more-and-more as the series progresses.

Bonus the queer option:

The Beings in Love Series by R. Cooper (please ignore the egregious covers.)

Comedic Fantasy

If you like Gail’s books and Terry Pratchett

than you might want to try…

The Lightning-Struck Heart by T.J. Klune

How it’s like Pratchett? So flipping funny. How it’s like my stuff? Silly and queer and fabulous, great best friends and ridiculous enemies. I just want everyone to read it. There is a lot of talk of sex but nothing particularly graphic. Not by my standards, anyway.

Getting Kinky With It?

If you like Gail’s books and Fifty Shades of Grey

than you might want to try…

For Real by Alexis Hall

Possibly one of the best written portrayals of BDSM, tender with a twist: Jaded older sub and young eager dom. How it’s like 50? It’s fully BDSM, one party is innocent the other is jaded and rich. It’s just not the dynamic you think it is… How it’s like my stuff? Lots of found family and self discovery and charm.

YA Post Apocalyptic

If you like Gail’s books and Hunger Games

than you might want to try…

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

How it’s like Hunger Games? All the drama of young people fighting for their lives in games of chance. How it’s like my stuff? Strong elements of family loyalty, sisterhood, and a historical setting rather than post apocalyptic (sorry, not my thing, try this please).

YA Fantasy

If you like Gail’s books and Harry Potter

than you might want to try…

Protector of the Small series by Tamora Pierce

If the Finishing School wasn’t enough for you, than Tamora Pierce is here for all your needs. How it’s like Harry Potter? All the struggles of a school for special people. How it’s like my stuff? Powerful female main character, witty banter, self discovery. Several of Pierce’s series (Song of the Lioness and Circle of Magic) are set in a more magical school arena.

YA Urban Fantasy

If you like Gail’s books and Twilight

than you might want to try…

Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

How it’s like Twilight? Lone female new to school deals with the supernatural and themes of alienation and loneliness, only she’s the supernatural one. How it’s like my stuff? The main character has some serious agency and power and she knows how to use it.

I really hope you like these suggestions and please, feel free to recommend some of you own. Specifically queer YA suggestions, my reading is weak in that area.

Yours in discovery,

Miss Gail

Meanwhile, there’s a new episode of 20 Minute Delay!

Episode 21:  Traveling Alone

We discuss how to make sure you have back up documentation, keeping money safe, staying physically secure, and situational awareness. My gadget pick is a poncho for reasons you need to listen to the episode to find out. Piper’s is a kobutan (tactical flashlight).

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All books in the first print run of 10,000 are SIGNED.
If you want it dedicated or are paranoid about ensuring it’s signed,
you can order it via Borderlands Books using the SIGNED button on my website.


Borderlands Books will ship to you.
Order from them using the SIGNED button on my website.

This special edition of Soulless includes 10 stunning full page illustrations in Edward Gorey style by the talented Jensine Eckwall.



Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

How To Support A Book or Favorite Author: 6 Easy Tips (Including Many Free Ones!)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

PDF takedown and entitlement

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Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!

10 Authors Who Helped My Career Early On (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Good day Gentle Reader,

I decided to join in a bit of fun and spread the love by sharing ten authors who have helped me in my career.

Whether it was blurbing my very first book or for on-going counsel and friendship, read on to find out who!

Since I have had (and accumulated) so many over my decade as a pro, I decided to go with only those specifically from very early on in my career who maybe didn’t realize how important they were to me.

10 Authors Who Helped Miss Gail Early On

  1. Mike Shepherd
    Mike invited me to sit with him during lunch at a con when I was a wide-eyed wannabe impressionable young writer. He gave me good advice and, most importantly, was kind and generous with his time. He modeled for me how an author ought to behave with new unknown writers. I’ve tried to do him justice by paying it forward, now that I’m a grizzled old warrior myself.
  2. Mur Lafferty
    Mur’s I Should Be Writing podcast gave me hope in dark times and was a voice of reason for years before I ever met her in person. Being interviewed for this podcast was a personal goal of mine and possibly a greater honor than being nominated for the Campbell (sorry SFWA). I’m delighted to call her a friend and peer, and couldn’t be more thrilled by her continued success.

    Howard Tayler, Mur Lafferty, Gail Carriger at WorldCon in Melbourne

  3. Howard Tayler
    I met Howard because I recognized his voice at a con party from his podcast Writing Excuses. (I trotted across the room at him waving an accusatory finger and saying, “You’re 15 minutes long!” To which he replied, deadpan, “And not that smart.” We’ve been great friends ever since. I’ve always enjoyed his very different perspective on being a creative, having come out of the world of online comics.
  4. Angie Fox
    Angie gave me my very first cover blurb. And very very kind she was too.
  5. Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    Kris holds the starring roll as the first time I encountered an established author who had read and enjoyed my books. She was almost giddy when she met me at a con party. From such an icon of the field, I was utterly overwhelmed by her enthusiasm and approval. I’ve watched her career evolve to being entirely indie, and I read her business blog with great interest. I don’t always agree with her, but I utterly respect her.
  6. Mercedes Lackey
    So important as an inspiration, and then to get to meet her in person and learn she read my books and enjoyed them. I’m still get giddy thinking about it. I have a whole blog about her importance to my queer characters (and identity).
  7. Peter V Brett
    Initially we met at World Fantasy 2009, Soulless’s launch weekend. But it was a few months later, when Peat came trundling up to a small East Coast con to say hi and hang out, that we became thick as thieves. We’ve been devoted author chums ever since. Right up to and including the part where he (and the lovely Wesley Chu) consoled my sobbing drunk arse at World Fantasy in 2012 after B&N lost 500 signed books. It was Peat who came up with the solution, and it’s Peat who I still go to at those times when the author and business sides of my life conflict in painful ways.
  8. Ken Scholes
    From the very beginning Ken and I were clearly kindred spirits. He was at a World Con new author meet & greet, I sat down next to him, and neither of us ever looked back.
  9. Mike Perschon
    In the arena of steampunk Mike (and Kevin, of course) have always been my foundation. Mike brought with him an entirely new perspective and academic way of looking at genre which I love and always find valuable. He also has the most wonderful voice. Someday I will write a Canadian werewolf character in honor of Mike.
  10. J Daniel Sawyer
    Dan is my rock, there’s no other way of putting it. We’ve written together, argued, driven around the country, consoled each other, and bolstered each other up. Our lives have taken us in different directions but we still try to Skype regularly and I know he’s always at the end of a phone line if I need him. He’s written me into his books, and I’ve written him into mine. We still work on projects together, as he is the audio genius behind Crudrat and now 20 Minute Delay.

So there you have it. Bet you didn’t know a lot of these Gail intimates, because as important as we are to each other, we don’t really talk about it publicly that much.

Anyway, show them a little joy if you can, try a book or two, tell them Gail sent you along with her love.

And in the immortal words of Dan, “be good to yourself” (and to the people who support you).


Miss Gail

(Inspired by a Facebook Post from Piper J Drake.)


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 Competence by Gail Carriger is the third in the Custard Protocol series featuring Primrose, Rue, and all their crazy friends..

Accidentally abandoned!

All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail.



Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Guy Rose – The Green Parasol 1911 (Source- my-museum-of-art.blogspot.com)

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“You know you’re a writer when…

You meet someone who’s a jerk and the first thing you think is, “Dammit, now that perfectly good name is ruined for future characters.”

~ Gail Carriger

Book News:

Outfits for Tash from Ace Artemis

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? Wiki that sheez!

This or That Book Tag, How Gail Reads Series (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Hello, Gentle Reader, I’ve been tagged.

What can I say?

Blame Tumblr

Reading on the Bed or the Couch?

Couch during daylight, bed after dark.

Male Main Character or Female Main Character?


Sweet Snacks or Salty Snacks while reading?

Sweet. Sugar is my drug of choice and it tends to go better with tea. So yeah, lots of sweets, too many really. Although, chocolate is reserved for after dark, and I tend not to eat it with tea.

Trilogies or Quartets?

Quartets, I blame Tamora Pierce.

Reading First Person or Third Person POV?

Third, always and forever. I will read First, but it’s a lot more work for me to get into, and I need to be convinced by the author that “I personal” is genuine. I mean really convinced.

Reading at Night, or in the Morning?


Libraries or Bookstores?

Both but mostly libraries for non-fiction and bookstores for fiction. However, I don’t actually like to read read in public spaces at all.

If you see me reading in public it’s usually at the airport or on a plane. Otherwise reading is something scared and private and best done in the safety of my own home, office, or hotel room.

Books that make you laugh or cry?

Laugh. Always. Laugh.

Black book covers or white covers?

White. I love the simplicity and starkness of a white book cover. This one is my current favorite:

Character driven or Plot driven?

Character driven, duh.


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Direct from Gail (Optional Signed Edition) 

How to Marry a Werewolf (In 10 Easy Steps) ~ A Claw & Courtship Novella by Gail Carriger features a certain white wolf we all love to hate (except those of us weirdos who love to love him).

Guilty of an indiscretion? Time to marry a werewolf.

Rejected by her family, Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge. But things are done differently in London. Werewolves are civilized. At least they pretend to be.



Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) The Hour of Tea

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Office Tour Video!

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A Roundup of Fierce Fictional Librarians

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book Tag – Secret Life of a Book Blogger

Book News:

The Best Romance Authors (And Their Must-Read Book)

Quote of the Day:

“Truth maybe stranger than fiction, but fiction is truer.”

~ Frederic Raphael

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!

Queer YA Reading List: What the Author Abandons the Reader Keeps Pursuing (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

As an Author I’ve been out of the YA world for a while (Manners came out in 2015).

However, I rarely leave YA for long as a reader.

That’s one if the best things about being both, I can’t write fast enough to write all the things I want to write. But I’m a pretty darn fast reader.

Anyway, I hauled myself into Books Inc on Friday for an intimate gathering all about queer YA sci-fi & fantasy,

All my fellow authors were more and better versed than I on the subject. So here’s some awesome suggestions to get you started, and, of course, I’m always delighted to hear your recommendations.

Timekeeper by Tara Sim

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely. 

Danny is a prodigy who can repair both clockwork and fabric of time, however an obsession with rescuing his father causes him to be given the worst possible assignment and a secretive, aluring assistant.

Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee

Welcome to Andover, where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated.

Despite her heroic lineage, Jessica Tran is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship—only it turns out to be for the town’s most heinous supervillain. On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby, whom Jess thinks may have a secret of her own.

Willful Machines by Tim Floreen

In the near future, an artificial human transfers her consciousness to the Internet and begins terrorizing the American public.

The closeted son of an ultra-conservative president must keep a budding romance secret from his father while protecting himself from a sentient computer program that’s terrorizing the United States—and has zeroed in on him as its next target—in this “socially conscious sci-fi thriller to shelve between The Terminator and Romeo & Juliet” (Kirkus, starred review).

Lunav by Jenn Polish

Without faerie Dreams, the dragons won’t survive. And neither will anyone else.

Brash, boyish sixteen-year-old Sadie uses her half-human status to spy on the human monarchy, who’ve made it illegal to Dream. But spying is a risky business. Still, Sadie thought she was a pro until they sent a new human magistrate to the Grove. Evelyn.

I think this is a good range of options, some superhero, some steampunk, some sci fi, and some fantasy. All YA. Go forth and enjoy!


24 Queer YA Books Coming Out Summer 2018

38 Best LGBTQ YA Novels

This is your warning that many of these are going to be darker than my stuff. Because, let’s be frank here, almost EVERYTHING is darker than my stuff.

Yours as ever,

Miss Gail


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Direct from Gail (Optional Signed Edition) 

How to Marry a Werewolf (In 10 Easy Steps) ~ A Claw & Courtship Novella by Gail Carriger features a certain white wolf we all love to hate (except those of us weirdos who love to love him).

Guilty of an indiscretion? Time to marry a werewolf.

Rejected by her family, Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge. But things are done differently in London. Werewolves are civilized. At least they pretend to be.



Your Moment of Parasol . . .

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

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

What the Heck is GDPR? (and How to Make Sure Your Blog Is Compliant)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Frequently Used Words In Fantasy Titles

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Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!

This is Why Gail Didn’t Love Love, Simon & Some Alternative Options (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

My dearest Gentle Reader, I finally went to see Love, Simon and I have a few thoughts.

I don’t wanna get into a debate or impinge on anyone’s feelings about this movie (you are utterly entitled to your own opinion and should not be influenced by mine).

Please note that in my (home) blog post I will not approve comments that are spoilers or crack open said debate, use your own platform for that, please.

So, if you haven’t seen it or you really adored it, then you might want to skip to the bottom of this blog post, Other Options, for more movie recs.

Love, Simon

I don’t go to movies often, it’s hard to make time, but I really wanted to support this one so I managed to make it to a matinee showing on the very last day available in my area. Apparently I’m not alone in wanting to show support. I was, however, alone in the theater.

Couldn’t have asked for a better viewing.

I had really high expectations.

I agree with general concerns over the sanitized nature of this movie. However, the very clean prettiness of the presentation made it feel retro to me, like something vaguely John Hughes.

For me that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Because the flip size of objecting to the sanitization and retro feel, is the need for queer normalization (no, don’t get bristly with me, you’re still a unique special sequined love-ball, they just need help to get them there, OK?)

My point is, something bright and shiny and sweet (and yes, sanitized) slides in under the radar. It will be shown in theaters across the country and not just in arthouses in major cities. In that, I give  Love, Simon props. It’s fighting, just not with knives.

See Gail talk about the power and subversive nature of comedy in this blog post. 


Gail Gets Embarrassed for Characters

I found it super cringe-worthy at points. I wanted desperately to fast forward several parts, instead I ended up just covering my face with my hands.

I don’t like to be embarrassed for the characters on the screen, I still flinch when I even think about the film Mermaids. So this kind of thing makes me particularly uncomfortable.


The dialogue was not as snappy or witty as I’d hoped. I wanted something a little more like Mean Girls, 10 Things I Hate About You, Bend it Like Beckham, Clueless, or even She’s the Man (only, you know, GAY). In terms of writing, I’d even have settled for something more classic old school poignant-meets-cheese like Breakfast Club.

The dialogue in Love, Simon was, well, fine. Dull.

Not quotable, but, you know, there, I guess?

The Crux

My biggest issue is kind of a spoiler but I think I can be euphemistic enough to articulate in a way that only those who’ve seen in the movie will understand.

It has to do with the ferris wheel at the end.

I was a pretty upset to see Simon do unto Blue basically what Martin just did to Simon. He took away Blue’s agency in a pivotal life choice. It was social pressure, meant nicely, but still social pressure. While the nature of intent is open to debate, Simion essentially forces choice onto another. Blue should have had the option to make his choice in his own time without the empathy-pressure of Simon’s immanent humiliation hanging over Blue’s personal decision.

Sweet and romantic as I found Simon’s grand sappy gesture, that part really messed with my head. I don’t know if I’ll be able to forgive the movie for it.

Final Thoughts

In the end, I did enjoy it. I found it sweet and the characters were likable, and the romance was satisfying but that last plot point was a doozy.

I understand Love, Simon’s importance to the zeitgeist. I do. Tumblr alone has opened my eyes quite a bit.

But in the end?

I’m conflicted.

How unsatisfying, Miss Gail!

Update: 8.14.18 ~ I Read The Book!

I finally picked up and read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Which I very much enjoyed. All of my concerns and reservations and issues with the movie do not exist in the book, so HOORAY!

I will still die on the alter of The Geography Club or Boy Meets Boy, as I like both of those slightly better, but it’s a good book. Very enjoyable.

If you like the movie I think you will probably LIKE THE BOOK MRE. So go read it, m’kay?

Goodreads Review here.

Other Options!

If you liked Love, Simon you might also enjoy these. Or if you had some of the concerns I did with that movie, you might prefer these.

High School Setting

Were the World Mine ~ Streaming right now on Prime, this is the only movie I know (off the top of my head) that’s also a gay romance set in high school. However, I wouldn’t call it a comedy. It’s a slightly surreal romantic drama musical.Some consent issues – Shakespeare’s fault. To me, it feels like it owes more to a more cerebral movie like Flirting, than anything else. Bonus glitter… lots of glitter.

Alex Strangelove ~ A charmingly awkward geeky boy who thinks he’s found the love of his life in his lovely high-school girlfriend, begins to questions everything when he meets an adorable boy. This is more about the internal struggle of coming out and hurting the ones you love, than the external exhibition of admitting to queerness, like Love, Simon. Bonus indie music… the good kind. (It’s on netflix.)

The Geography Club ~ Slightly more honest to its book than Love, Simon, this one is more about self discovery and friendship than romance. Inf act it’s isn’t a romance at all. It has a jock focus and since I happen to love American football, I like that part. If you’re warm squishes are about found family rather than first kisses, than this is for you.

After High School

One of the reasons that Love, Simon is so important is that it’s a high school set romantic comedy with gay characters. And I get that, I do. It’s a favorite setting of mine, obviously. But here are some movies that tackle some similar themes in a slightly more adult setting.


Shelter ~ Just post high school this features adorable surfer dudes, familial responsibility, honor, duty, and painful coming out. Bonus points from one of my favorite romance tropes: finding love with the brother of the best friend.

Later Days

Latter Days ~ One of my favorite all times movies. I features: a repressed Mormon, dramatic indie songs, unfair mistreatment by the ignorant, reformed bad boy, with bonus Tara from Buffy.

The scene when he drops the tray. I mean, come ON. So good.

Big Eden

Big Eden ~ This feels like a real romance. Yes there are quirky characters, but they’re so much more honest than Hollywood usually allows in terms of complexity, appearance, vocabulary, everything. Bonus cooking = love!

I have a blog post all about Queer Romantic Comedy Movies that includes these movies plus lesbian and trans romantic comedies. Check it you if you want some ladies in your gay.

Conall Feels Pretty Fan Art

Queer in Your Ears

From ace-artemis-fanartist

Book Recommendations

Like the book, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda?


(Last two not available as ebooks because someone around their production is an idiot.)

My Super Queer Stuff:

More to come!

OUT MAY 13, 2018!

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How to Marry a Werewolf (In 10 Easy Steps) ~ A Claw & Courtship Novella by Gail Carriger is now awabile (print, audio & other editions will follow). Featuring a certain white wolf we all love to hate (except those of us weirdos who love to love him). Add this book on Goodreads.

Guilty of an indiscretion? Time to marry a werewolf.

Rejected by her family, Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge. But things are done differently in London. Werewolves are civilized. At least they pretend to be.



Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Image that influenced lesbian side characters Lady Flo and Jane in Poison or Protect 1862 Title- Ladies’ Companion Date- Thursday, May 1, 1862 Item ID- v. 42, plate 86

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book News:

Darque Dreamer Reads says :

Curtsies & Conspiracies offered everything Etiquette & Espionage did. It had humor, whit, ridiculously fun antics, and vivaciously dynamic characters. It also offered plenty of gadgets and gizmos, important lessons on espionage and character assassination, and vivid descriptions of dirigibles and the wonderful world of The Finishing School.”

FS C&C Foreign Editions

Quote of the Day:

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

The First Book That Made Me… (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger


This meme came up on Tumblr recently, Gentle Reader. I thought it was fun, so I decided to play along.

First book that made me cry:

Watership Down. I still haven’t forgiven it.

First book that was spoiled for me:

Most everything.

I like spoilers and actively seek them out, always have. I am the girl that picks up the book and flips to the end to ensure it ends happily. Blame Watership Down.

First book I fell in love with:

Molly Moves Out. To this day my mother is troubled by my love for this book.

First time I couldn’t stop smiling because of a book or character:

Probably a Brambly Hedge book.

First person who really impacted my reading:

Aside from various librarians? The BFF Phrannish.

Since then I have developed rather complex taste curator relationships with various internet bloggers, more complex on my end than theirs. As they likely have no idea I exist.

First book hangover:

The Song of the Lioness series. After the last book came out, I did nothing but reread the series for about six months and refused to read anything else in an attempt to deal with the loss. I have had this happen before, but never as badly as this first time.

Do you want more books recommended and spotted on sale? New stuff goes to my Chirrup members first, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.

Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for Feb is Princess Academy by Shannon Hale.


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

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


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1909 Max Pechstein. (German artist, 1881-1955) Girl in Red with a Parasol

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

1895 Very Silly flower hat for Ivy

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Harpers Bazaar New York Sat June 13 1891

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Who will save our bookstores, and the communities they tie together?

Book News:

Tumblr eatingfireflies fan ar Alessandro Tarabotti

Quote of the Day:

“I was quiet, but I was not blind.”

~ Jane Austen

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

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

Posted by Gail Carriger

So, Gentle Reader, because I am a lover of reading, I often talk about books here on my blog.

10 Books That Inspired & Formed Gail Carriger's Identity As An Author

Today is no different, except that I thought I would discuss a few of the books that I feel formed me as a writer not just my taste a reader.

These are the books that drastically impacted not only my psyche as a reader, but how I knew I wanted to entertain readers going forward.

1. Tamora Pierce ~ The Song of the Lioness series

I make no bones about my adoration for Pierce and this series in particular. Look, I am an old fart and this was the first fantasy book (so far I as know) written for a young female audience with a kick ass girl main character. After a childhood of Tolkien and Alexander and Montgomery (much as I love them) Pierce was a revelation. She changed my life by presenting me with my first strong female main character. Period.

2. Gerald Durrell ~ My Family and Other Animals

Durrell is a master of comedy ~ his descriptions, his situations, the absurdity of the British abroad, the ridiculousness of family life. I listened to all these books on tape, over and over and over. If it’s my details on Ivy’s outfits that make you laugh, then that’s the Durrell in me.

3. James Herriot ~ All Creatures Great and Small

I suspect Herriot & Pierce & Durrell combine to influence me into including animals in all of my books. Pets (particularly cats) have always been prevalent in my life. But it was reading these books that taught me they were a source of joy, amusement, and characterization.

4. Mercedes Lackey ~ By the Sword

If Pierce was my introduction for chicks with swords, this books is the pinnacle achievement in that regard. Specifically interesting from the writer’s perspective is that this is a heroine’s journey (not a hero’s) and thus Kero succeeds by building a network and helping her friends (and being helped by them). She learns to be a leader as well as a fighter. (Yes, Pierce eventually wrote Protector of the Small which also does this, but I read By the Sword first).

This book informed my whole approach to empowerment and strength in all my characters. Also Lackey has had (and always will have) queer characters. At the time, this blew my ever-loving little mind. (I have a whole blog post about it.)

5. Diana Wynne Jones ~ Howl’s Moving Castle

Now we are getting to a place where fantasy begins to meld with humor. Jones messes with character tropes in this book so brilliantly, and celebrates peculiarity with such joy. Yes, Terry Pratchett (see Mort ) helped, but this book really opened my eyes to the possibilities. Also the tidiness of the ending, the tightness of the hints and how it all comes back together. She is so brilliant at threading, mistress of the tapestry.

6. Douglas Adams ~ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Those places where my humor gets slapstick, absurd, or surreal all owe themselves to Douglas Adams. I can quote the opening chapter of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by rote. I listened to the audiobook and a radio play over and over and over again so much, I have huge chunks memorised. If you think there is an oblique reference to this series in one of my books, you are probably right. And it’s probably not that oblique.

7. P.G. Wodehouse ~ Laughing Gas

On the other hand, those places where the humor is entirely character based, where much is made of very minor details, where everything stops for tea and silliness, that owes itself to Wodehouse. Also, all the parody, baby. Again I listened to every single one of the Jeeves books on audiotape as I drove across country during my college years. This stand alone, however, is the funniest. Yes I am aware of the many social issues surrounding Wodehouse, but the man made me cry laughing, I have to give him some kind of credit for that.

8. Jasper Fforde ~ The Eyre Affair

Speaking of… this book. I guess it mainly changed the way I thought about the world, and thought about writing alternate history. The idea that alt-hist didn’t have to be some dark battle goes awry, instead it could be a skewed world more ridiculous than our own. It informed how I conceptualised and thought about the Parasolverse.

9. Elizabeth Vaughan ~ Warprize

I’d given up reading romance for years until I picked this book up. Vaughan based her romantic misunderstanding on culture conflict and two capable characters who just don’t get each other through no fault of their own. I love that. I hate conflict based on two people unwilling to just talk to each other. This book showed me how to do romantic tension right, and I’ve always tried to be good about it ever since. It’s also the first book I read that was 50/50 fantasy and romance. Until I read it, I thought you had to err heavily into one or the other. Turns out, nope.

10. Wrede & Stevermer ~ Sorcery & Cecelia

Possibly the one on this list most like the Parasolverse, this book showed me that comedy of manners could be combined with fantasy. Through reading this story I realized that pace and action can be quiet and refined. Heros can be grumpy and brooding but still bashful and sweet. If the others on this list informed the style of my writing, this one is the heartbeat of my universe.

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Latest 20 Minute Delay episode is all about how to negotiate hotel food. I know, yech, and yet…

Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for January is Angels Blood (Guild Hunter Book 1) by Nalini Singh.


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

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


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

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

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

“A home without books is like a room without windows.”

~ Henry Ward Beecher

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

27 Great Websites for Writers

Book News:

Speculative Chic says of The Parasol Protectorate:

“I didn’t know steampunk paranormal romance was a thing until I read these. I’ve been trying to decide if it falls into one category more than the other, but it really sits squarely in the middle of the two. A smart and sexy romance with a werewolf in the middle of a steam-driven Victorian London sounds a little cluttered when you first hear it, but Gail Carriger makes it work.”

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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.

And a REALLY Funny Basically Agnostic One

Gail: Mad giggling.
AB: *eyebrow up*
G: Snicker snicker snicker.
G: This book is so much funnier than I thought it would be. I’m so happy.
Book: “summoning a toilet paper demon”
G: Loses her tiny mind for 10 minutes.

So what book was I reading?

A Villain for Christmas by Alice Winters

A Villain for Christmas by Alice Winters. And what an unexpected gem of a book this is! Gay superheros for Christmas. I picked it up in a string of holiday reads and this one was the star (at the top of the tree, nash). (Honestly I want a cover overhaul on this one, one of those cute cartoon ones I keep seeing like Red, White & Royal Blue.)

Look it’s not really a holiday read, it’s a HILARIOUS take on superheroes where a super-villain (who really doesn’t want to be) falls in love with a superhero and has to keep his identity secret until his bumbling evil family, a hairless cat dressed in pajamas, bags of cheese, and various other things conspire against him.

I did not expect to laugh as much as a I did but honestly, it utterly ridiculous and extremely funny.

If you like my character Max in The Sumage Solution or took my rec and enjoyed The Lightning Struck by TJ Klune, then this one is for you. Honestly, give it a try, you won’t be sorry.

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.

And if you’re looking for Hallmark movies only really very gay? Track down this one:

Hugs and happiest of happies!

Yours in cosy tea-riddle and slightly grumpy comfort,

Miss Gail

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

Like this post? Read my holiday offering

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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.”

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