Romancing the Inventor Cover Reveal! (Supernatural Society)

Posted by Gail Carriger


I’m delighted to show you the cover art and blurb for Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella!

Romancing the Inventor

This cover was designed by the indomitable Starla Huchton, the photo was taken by Pixie Vision Photography, and is used with permission from Donna Ricci. Recognize that name? Yeah, that’s because Donna was the cover model for the Parasol Protectorate series! I love working with Donna and hope to do so for future covers. She is now the proprietress of Geeky Teas. (No that isn’t her in the photo, she rarely models anymore.)

About the Book

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

Imogene Hale is a lowly parlourmaid with a soul-crushing secret. Seeking solace, she takes work at a local hive, only to fall desperately in love with the amazing lady inventor the vampires are keeping in the potting shed. Genevieve Lefoux is heartsick, lonely, and French. With culture, class, and the lady herself set against the match, can Imogene and her duster overcome all odds and win Genevieve’s heart, or will the vampires suck both of them dry?

Delicate Sensibilities? This story contains women pleasing women and ladies who know what they want and pursue it, sometimes in exquisite detail.

This is a stand-alone LBGTQ sweet romance set in Gail Carriger’s Parasolverse, full of class prejudice, elusive equations, and paranormal creatures taking tea. Supernatural Society novellas can be read in any order.

Releases November 1, 2016.

Presskit for Romancing the Inventor here.

Currently it is available for ebook pre-order on…


Apple iBooks



Or directly from me as .mobi, .epub, and .pdf.

(Nook’s description will update in, oh, like three weeks or something ridiculous like that.)


It should also be in print around the same time as the ebook (although I make no promises) from Amazon and Ingram (AKA your local bookstore, just ask the bookstore)!

Providing print for pre-order on Amazon’s Createspace is outstandingly complicated (read the comments too, it’s INSANE). From my perspective? There is too much that can go wrong. So I’m going to have to simply post RTI for sale around the same time as the actual publication date. It may take a while to distribute through the system and to Amazon UK (for example). Also physically printing and shipping delays matters. Look I’m sorry, but they don’t make it easy for us self-publishing authors to time things perfectly. In this instance digital is so much more of a pleasure to work with that digital readers may reap the benefit of a prompt release. I swear I’m not trying to punish anyone from their reading preferences, it’s a matter of backend propinquity. (And if Backend Propinquity isn’t the name of a band, it should be.)

What exactly does this mean if I want a print copy of Romancing the Inventor?

  1. You will not be able to pre-order print from Amazon.
  2. The print will appear for sale on Amazon as close to Nov. 1 as I can manage. Could be 48 hours after, could be 2 weeks.
  3. The two versions of the book may not be immediately appear together on the Amazon book page.
  4. Oddly, you may be able to preorder print from Barnes & Noble and your local Indie bookstore.
  5. Shipping may add an additional 2 weeks regardless of venue.
  6. If at all possible I will offer signed editions, likely via Borderlands. You’ll need to call to place your order, don’t do it now. I’ll make the announcment when it becomes possible.


It’s so expensive and time consuming. I’m still trying to do audio of Poison or Protect. The decision to do Romancing the Inventor one will ride entirely on the success and bother of that one. Audio is not something I am willing or able to do myself and so I have to find someone who can produce to my very exacting standards both in sound quality, voice acting, and working relationship. I’m not gonna line, it’s proving darn near impossible.

Extra tid bit?

Look for a surprise appearance from some very popular characters and the strategic application of cognac.

I loved writing this story. It was a delight to give Genevieve her happy ending at long last. My poor Madame Lefoux, I put her through so much heartbreak. Imogene is strong and courageous a willing to do anything for her beloved inventor, which is exactly what Genevieve always needed. I hope you enjoy reading their adorable love story as much as I enjoyed writing it.


{Gail’s monthly read along for September is Finders Keepers 2016 by Linnea Sinclair.}


Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

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


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Ascot, 1926 via thecostumeblog.blogspot.com

Ascot, 1926 via thecostumeblog.blogspot.com

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The Mystery of the Phantom Page Turner

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

It’s Official – Ebooks Really are Books

Book News:

Fan Art of Madame Lefoux

Fan Art of Madame Lefoux

Quote of the Day:

“In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”
~ Oscar Wilde

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

Pride Month: The Incomparable Vesta Tilly ~ Victorian Actress & Crossdresser inspiration for Madame Lefoux (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Vesta Tilley was an actress famous for her cross dressing stage performances during the Victorian and Edwardian eras.  She retired in 1920.

She performed before Queen Mary by Royal Command in 1912. The queen is reputed to have averted her eyes the entire time because she thought a woman in trousers was the height of indecency. I guess no one warned her that the 1920s were immanent.

I can’t claim Vesta Tilly as inspiration for Madame Lefoux (that can be laid squarely at the door of George Sand). But I just discovered Vesta Tilley. I think she may be the inspiration for one of the characters in the movie Tipping the Velvet, which I recommend if you are interested at all in the subject of Toms in Victorian England. Highly fantasized, of course, but still fun.

 Publicity still from IMDB

Vesta was not alone in her daring stage exploits. A number of actresses pushed the bounds of propriety in a myriad of different ways. Although Vesta seems to have been one of the most famous for cross dressing in particular.

It’s a great sadness to me that I never had the page time or plot direction to elaborate on the character of Mabel Dair in my books. She’s based, loosely, on the Jersey Lilly.

Lillie Langtree was, so far as I can guess, an absolute battleaxe of a female who blew through a cornucopia of rich and powerful male lovers, was friends with Oscar Wilde, and lived well into her seventies. There’s an indifferent but absorbing mini-series from the late 1970s on her life,. If the actresses of the Victorian and Edwardian era interest you, it’s worth a peek. The costumes are marvelous.

If it’s the cross dressing you’re after (and really, who isn’t?) there’s the hilarious You Rang M’lord featuring one of the most iconic female cross dressing characters of the small screen, in the form of Sissy. And if you can tolerate Julie Andrews, there is always Victor Vitoria.

Want more behind the scenes sneak peeks? Join the Chirrup

Book related to this post?

Romancing the Inventor Free PDF Gail Carriger

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1862 Promenade Ensemble   The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Minoan, I think. Form the BM.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Forget steam: Some Victorian era machines were powered by dogs.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
A fun look at book cover art featuring THE SHAMBLING GUIDE TO NYC by Mur Lafferty  

Madame Genevieve Lefoux Original Notes & Character Study (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Genevieve Lefoux enters the Parasolverse in the second book of the series, Changeless. She is, in essence, Alexia’s Q.
As I wrote her she turned into much much more than that. Her hidden contrivance chamber beneath the hat shop is possibly the most steampunk element in any book I’ve ever written.
1911-1914 Longchamp, France via antique-royals tumblr Madame Lefoux Parasol Photo

1911-1914 Longchamp, France via antique-royals tumblr

All About Madame Genevieve Lefoux (AKA Vieve)

Later on, she becomes Sophronia’s Q as well, in the Finishing School series. Even though she is only 10.
Eventually, of course she get’s her own book, Romancing the Inventor.
Because, apparently I can not leave this poor character alone!
Here is how she is originally introduced to my readership…

“Alexia thought, without envy, that this was quite probably the most beautiful female she had ever seen. She had a lovely small mouth, large green eyes, prominent cheekbones, and dimples when she smiled, which she was doing now. Normally Alexia objected to dimples, but they seemed to suit this woman. Perhaps because they were offset by her thin angular frame and the fact that she had her brown hair cut unfashionably short, like a man’s.
Ivy gasped upon seeing her.
This was not because of the hair. Or, not entirely because of it. This was because the woman was also dressed head to shiny boots in perfect and impeccable style . . . for a man. Jacket, pants, and waistcoat were all to the height of fashion. A top hat perched upon that scandalously short hair, and her burgundy cravat was tied into a silken waterfall. Still, there was no pretense at hiding her femininity. Her voice, when she spoke, was low and melodic, but definitely that of a woman.”

~ From Changeless

Original Notes

  • Human
  • Tall and boney
  • Dimples
  • High Cheek bones
  • Short black slightly curly hair
  • Green eyes

Additional Reminders:

  • Madame Lefoux once had access to a partial copy of the Templar’s sacred scriptures
  • Her father fraternized with Alexia’s (who didn’t?)
  • Smells of vanilla and mechanics oil
  • Member of the OBO (Order of the Brass Octopus)
  • Travels with a tool kit in a hatbox

In the Parasol Protectorate series, Madame Lefoux is an enigma and her relationship with Alexia is quite turbulent. She clearly has much love to give and is a creature of emotions as well as science, a marker of her excess soul. But her motives are often unclear and her loyalty seems to be to family, friends, and lovers over society or government.

She is, in many ways the polar opposite of Alexia and thus Alexia finds her very difficult to understand. That doesn’t stop the two women from liking one another, something Alexia finds equally difficult to understand.

It was fun to write her earlier in time for the Finishing School books because as a child she is more open and less guarded. Also I could explore her relationship with her aunt.

Later on, of course I spend a great deal of time with her as the romantic love interest in Romancing the Inventor.

Artemis Ganartist Final ask for @glitterthegaywitch, who was sitting across from me reading Romancing the Inventor on my kindle while I was drawing the previous asks a few nights ago. She wanted Madame Lefoux and Imogene

And finally she makes a brief appearance in the Custard Protocol series by virtue of her relationship with Quesnel.

That’s a lot of bandwidth for a character who essentially started out as a means to the invention of one very cool parasol.

Inside information into the authors head. . . I had originally intended Madame Lefoux to be a alternate love interest. And she is definitely interested in Alexia. But any escalation of romance between them felt forced, and I realized that it was too out of character for Alexia. Unfortunately, poor Madame Lefoux is left rather lovelorn as a result. Despite (or perhaps because of?) the many difficulties and challenges Madame Lefoux has giving me as a character, she is one of my very favorites.

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

“It is wise never to travel unprovided with a small flask of brandy and water, a tiny case of court-plaster, with scissors, and either strong smelling salts or salt-volatile.” “In the summer a fold up fan and a flask of eu-de-Cologne or toilet vinegar will be found a great refreshment, and an unlimited stock of clean pocket-handkerchiefs is almost indispensable.”

~ Lillias Campbell Davidson, Hints to Lady Travellers, 1889

Quote of the Day:

“Port, sherry, and Madeira are decanted. Hocks and champagnes appear in their native bottles. Claret and burgundy are handed around in a claret-jug.”

~ Etiquette for Gentlemen, 1850

Book to read if you enjoyed this post?

RTI parasol teacup romancing the inventor SS1

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