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April 2015

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Jun. 23rd, 2014

Blogging - WIth Computer

[sticky post] LiveJournal Is My Backup Blog

This is my back up blog. It shadows my blogspot which is more frequently updated and better maintained.

Please feel free to friend me here, but be aware that I can not friend you back. I have maxed out my friend allotment from the LJ gods, sorry.

Apr. 24th, 2015

Blogging - WIth Computer

The Kiwi Files: Steampunk HQ in Oamaru, New Zealand


So, Gentle Reader, after a fun convention in Rotorura (more to come on that) the AB and I hopped a plane for the South Island, rented a camper van (yes, I camped) and drove around the South Island. Once we left Christchurch (more to come on that too) one of the first places we visited was Oamaru and their wonderful Steampunk HQ.

Steampunk HQ

I don't know how they managed it, but someone got permission to turn this derelict old building into a massive steampunk installation piece. There are two floors inside, including the fab portal room, and a bunch of large rusted machines outside. It mixes sculptural elements with human interface operations, e.g. a pipe organ that makes steam sounds instead of music). Frankly trying to describe Steampunk HQ is like trying to describe steampunk itself, a mite challenging.

Steampunk HQ plaque

The portal, was my favorite. It's a room made of mirrors so that once you step inside and close the door it feels like you are standing in infinity. There is an LED light show as you stand suspended in space, the whole universe around you. It drove me to near Douglas Adams-like verboseness. Also very vertigo educing, if you are prone to that sort of thing. Not me, whatever the opposite of vertigo is, I have that, I adore being very high up.

Random street.

The rest of Oamaru was charming too. We walked around and ate lunch at a pub, because it seemed like the kind of place where one ought to lunch at a pub. We then visited a charming cafe and did all the tourist rambling one is supposed to. We even managed to see wild penguins.

Hotel & cafe

More on NZ to come, sorry to be delayed in posting I'm finding myself a little overwhelmed with catch up right now. What with the Tucson festival, book tour, and this trip I've been (essentially) away from my desk for six weeks! I've managed to maintain while on the go but I put a lot of stuff aside to "deal with when I get back" and now I'm back M&M proofs are immanent. Things never stop, do they?

{Gail's monthly read along for April is The Eyre Affaire by Jasper Fforde}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
The Daily Victorian tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Pride and Prejudice Ch 54a Tote Bag

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .


PROJECT ROUND UP


  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! Awaiting proofs.

  • Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First. OUT NOW!

  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft, about 1/2 way.




The Books!

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

Book News:
80sidol-tumblr fan art of Tunstell Ivy


Quote of the Day:
Prudence Lord A Quote


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

Apr. 22nd, 2015

Blogging - WIth Computer

Interview Round Up


Gentle Reader, here's a bit of an interview round up for you. In these various interviews I answer some old questions, and some new ones. Please enjoy!


“A writer’s brain is like a magician’s hat. If you’re going to get anything out of it, you have to put something in it first.”
~ L'Amour

{Gail's monthly read along for April is The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1837 La Belle Assemblee Date-  Saturday, July 1, 1837 Item ID-  v. 18, plate 100

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Lilliputian Library: 4500 Miniature Books Form Huge Collection

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
A Nice Cup of Tea (1946)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
25+ Of The Most Majestic Libraries In The World


PROJECT ROUND UP


  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! Awaiting proofs.

  • Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First. OUT NOW!

  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft, about 1/2 way.




The Books!

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

Book News:
Over Younder says of Waistcoats & Weaponry: “Another aspect I admire of this series is Carriger's ability to talk about social issues (race relations, women in society, propriety, technology) in a way that neither offends nor bores.”

Quote of the Day:
“And yet I do miss him. He fits so comfortably into the contours of my own silences and doubts.”
~ Mortal Heart

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

Apr. 20th, 2015

Blogging - WIth Computer

Back from New Zealand


My dearest Gentle Reader, I am back from New Zealand and I have so much to share with you. I had a wonderful time and met many glorious people. I traveled to the North Island and then drove all over the South Island. I took pictures of steampunk and tea and parasols wherever I went. There were crazy new foods to discover as well as a bit of shopping and a great deal of reading.

Land of the long white cloud indeed!

I'm busy with acclimatization and reviewing all my photos and notes. I shall report in to you on my convention shenanigans in Rotorura with Pip and Tee and too much cider. I will tell you about a steampunk cafe and a statue of Queen Victoria in Christchurch and the Steampunk HQ in Oamaru. There may be something on seal pups in waterfalls, glacially carved topography, rainbows, and tea menus, not to mention parasols and pavlovas. I shall endeavor to relay much of it to you over the next few weeks, including some new book recommendations.

Store in Auckland that's basically my motto in life.

The AB and myself did consider that we might have to move to NZ as, so far, it's the only nation in which we traveled together where tea (Gail) and coffee (AB) are up to our respective standards. Also, major props for clearly considering breakfast the most worthwhile meal of the day. I could say much on the food but I simply did some Yelp reviews instead, this isn't a food blog after all. All I shall say here is... yum.

{Gail's monthly read along for April is The Eyre Affaire by Jasper Fforde}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Greymouth parasol spotted on side of building.

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Taken at the Art Museum in Auckland


Your Tisane of Smart . . .
In New Zealand British Marmite is Mighty (and New Zealand Marmite has sugar in it)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
The Word Detective ~ Runcible spoon


PROJECT ROUND UP


  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! Awaiting proofs.

  • Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First. OUT NOW!

  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft, about 1/2 way.




The Books!

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

Book News:
Nalini Haynes of Dark Matter Zine says of Prudence: “Gail Carriger continues her steampunk comedic adventure series spiced with romance and she does it well. Imagine Jane Austen writing a 19th century romp for a 21st century audience, complete with vampires, werewolves, and sexytimes in the near future. Prudence is not to be missed.”

Quote of the Day:
"The matronly old houses seemed to wear the lush foliage of the street's many oaks and maples like fir stoles." (John Shirley, Wet Bones, 1993)
~ Ansible (In Typo Veritas)

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

Mar. 30th, 2015

Blogging - WIth Computer

Off Again & Prudence Book Tour in Retrospect


So my dear Gentle Reader, I have returned from my Prudence book launch tour! (And I am immediately heading off to New Zealand.)

Thank you all for coming out to see me on tour. I loved meeting you and I do apologize if my energy levels were low. I am also sorry I couldn't go visit the tea shops and things you recommended in each city. The tour was 6 cities in 6 days, and it doesn't allow me much residual play time. Also, because they want to fit all the stops in during the first week of sales, I hope that you can see why I didn't have time to go everywhere or to fly very long distances.

An early pause for tea with friends in San Diego

I'm not complaining, because very few authors get the privilege of touring at all anymore, but I won't pretend it was easy, either. I got about 5 hours of sleep each night and it was pretty much: wake early, fly, land, hotel, change, event, return to hotel, sleep (repeat x6) with eating squeezed in between. There were times I forgot to drink tea. ME!

Mysterious Galaxy Crowd

So many of you came out to see me that I am very honored. I had from 75-130 people at the various events which is really fantastic and I can't tell you how grateful I am. People came in rain, awful traffic, on weeknights, with sleeping babies (who stayed sleeping, hooray for the soporific effect of my voice), in costume, with gifts... It really made me feel loved.

At Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego

There were familiar faces (with new acquisitions) and there were new faces who came attached to familiar handles from Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.


There was the requisite amount of fantastically unnaturally colored hair and fabulous vintage dresses, not to mention steampunk attire.

Kathryn Dressler with Gail Carriger and Corrie Metz Moore via FB

I've posted a bunch of pictures to Flikr and there are tons popping up on Twitter and Facebook as well.

Finally meeting the infamous @RuffledParasols from Twitter

San Deigo (Mysterious Galaxy) and Portland (Powell's) were, of course, familiar to me. It was a delight to see so many friends in the audience from previous visits. The questions at both venues came fast and furious and very smart.

Tattered Cover

I was a little nervous about my Denver event as I had never been to the Tattered Cover before. But despite gloomy weather and abysmal traffic the Mile High City was game. It turns out that I have also amassed a large number of author friends in the area, not to mention the fact that my agent is there, so it was also a opportunity to renew acquaintances. Good place to be an author... Denver.

with Lora Reiher via FB

I was also a bit scared about Dallas as, again, I have never done an author event there before. I was in town for FenCon as GOH several years ago, however, and the volunteers and organizers came out in force to support me. So sweet! I love you guys. And despite some technical difficulties, the house was packed and the B&N peeps seemed, if anything, a little startled by this. Heh heh.

The Dallas Crowd

I got there early and hammed it up a bit, which was rather fun. I also went and took a picture with my end cap since I was at a B&N and ridiculously proud of how well this dress matched the cover of Prudence. More on that over on Retro Rack.

Me and my end cap

Then I was on to Houston and familiar stomping grounds. As always, Murder by the Book welcomed me with open arms. I signed a lot of pre-orders for them: they are particularly good at that part of relating to their customers.

From John Alexander Husisian via FB

Finally a good picture of me at Murder. I've been there several times before and never seem to get a good photo. As you can see, my publisher, Orbit, sent out a fantastic selection of swag to give away. There were fans, bookmarks, posters, buttons, and more. A few places even had balloons (although I forgot to take a photo, curses). Orbit, incidentally, is entirely responsible for this tour. Thank you Orbit!

From Jessie Clapp via Twitter @Jessieclapp

I landed back in the Bay Area on Sunday morning and after a brutal drive battling an unexpected marathon, made it home in time to cuddle the squiggly (but excited) cat and the less squiggly (but still excited) AB, change, and hop back into the car for Borderlands.


This was a first for me: signing a bicep! THE AVATAR (@mmusclechan) on Twitter apparently listens to my audiobooks while she works out. Isn't that cool?


Borderlands was actually a little tearful (good tears) as this was to have been their last event ever, but instead it was the dawn of a new era. I brought with me some exclusive ARCs from my collection to hand out to the Borderlands Sponsors that were in the audience. The place was packed with friends and family and cheerful banter. I do love my city and it was great to be home.

On that note, I'm leaving today for New Zealand. I do have a few blog posts have scheduled to drop while I'm away, we shall see how technical I can be. No problem with Twitter, FB, or Tumblr. There should be no interruption in your Gail service there. This main blog, however, is a little more complicated.

I will see a few of you down in New Zealand at Reconnaissance and then I will be (gasp) off grid for almost three weeks. I think I will survive, and I know you will, Gentle Reader.

Happy Spring!

{Gail's monthly read along for April is The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
via yarn-over tumblr
Crochet Parasol charts

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
My agent and my end cap.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Snow Removal From the Streets of New York 1888

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Writers ~ Take a Hike . . . If You Know What’s Good for You


PROJECT ROUND UP


  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! Awaiting proofs.

  • Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First. OUT NOW!

  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft, about 1/2 way.




The Books!

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

Book News:
Champagne, Custard and Comedy: A Conversation with Gail Carriger on Relentless Reading (And Writing About It!)

Quote of the Day:
On cats: "Signor stood up in Bea’s lap, stretched his portly self six ways, and hopped down to the floor with a bump that was the shame of supposedly graceful and elegant cats everywhere. He thudded over to Marshal Reeves and began investigating his boots and hat with a pink, twitching nose. I was left with the strange thought that everybody in that room just then was wearing a mask for the purpose of not upsetting one another."
~ Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

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

Mar. 29th, 2015

Blogging - WIth Computer

Book Reviews ~ Valor's Choice & Courting Magic


So my recent book tour, Gentle Reader, involved a great number of 1-2 hour plane rides. This, in Gail's world, means... READING. I had a number of things on my docket: a few ARCs I'd been slipped on the down low, not to mention March's book pick... Valor's Choice.


I hope you all enjoyed this novel and manged to get hold of it. There is a print version but only as an omnibus of the first two, A Confederation of Valor, and because I mainly read ebooks now, I didn't notice, so I didn't post about this when I picked the book. My bad. I did say something in the Goodreads discussion.

Anyway, if you liked the Paradox series you should enjoy Torin's adventures, although they are a little more violent being as they take place during galactic wartime. The Valor series is military space opera written by a woman who really knows what she's writing about. Marvelous characters and alien races, extremely snappy dialogue, an endearing heroine, and lots of fast action. I am a particular fan of this book (the first in the series) because it opens with a post sex pheromone hangover and ends with a battle based one of the early moments in the Zulu War (late 1870s).

"He laughed at her overly indignant reaction, and she carried the sound away with her, adding it to her armaments."

Torin Kerr is one of my favorite main characters ever written. "She’ll build a ship and kick it off this planet with her own dainty foot before she lets us rot here." She is tough without being mannish, hard to write (particularly from authors who themselves have no experience being a woman in a position of authority). I've found that many authors cop out by having their female bad-ass swear within the first 10 pages. Not that I object to swearing, I just think its weak characterization when a writer resorts to it as way of showing how "cool" and "down" and "tough" a warrior woman is. Yawn. Anyway, Huff never does this. Torin is a professional soldier without being abrasive, at times she is even kind - in a gruff military way.
“What was that, Staff?”
“Just talking to myself, Ressk.”
“The only way you can have an intelligent conversation?”
“Don’t step on my lines, Private,” she advised with mock severity. “It makes me cranky.

Also Huff's universe for the Confederation series is such fun. I love the idea of elder races that have basically forgotten how to fight, so they must recruit younger ones to do their dirty work, as a kind of member mercenary force. Reminds me of the 8th-12th century Caliphates with their Turkish garrisons, one entirely separate culture fighting for and supporting the older's stuck up status quo. And yet Huff writes the younger races as intrinsically vicious and rather cheerful about violence. She says: the elders "convinced humanity to throw its military apparatus into space where they took to interstellar warfare the way the H’san took to cheese." Also I love the other two young races: from the way they are described to the ideas behind their cultures to their interaction with humans.

"Military structure inadvertently encouraged gossip and di’Taykans practically considered it a competitive sport."

Which brings me nicely to my favorite section in this book, possibly one of my very favorite quotes ever written.

“There are those who say you can judge a civilization by how much respect they grant their dead.”
“Really?” He pulled a handful of soft fruit off a vine as big around as his wrist, wiped off a few splatters of mud against his vest, gave them a thorough sniff, and popped them into his mouth.
“If the dead has a large family, an internment on Dornage can take many days.”
Kleers took another three steps and reached for some more fruit.
“Can’t say as I’m surprised.”
“How do the Krai treat their dead?”
“We cook them and we eat them.”
Thinks Deeply walked in silence for a moment or two. “And that is a sign of respect?” she asked at last.
“Well, I’d have to say that depends on who does the cooking.”

Genius!

And then there are supporting characters. Much as I love them I have learned with Huff not to get too attached because she writes war unflinchingly and people will die. Still, it is hard to resist when she writes about them with such affection.
"Wonder why he’s looking so cheerful.”
“He’s a morning person. It’s one of his least endearing traits."
“The clips are interchangeable, Haysole. Or were you paying less attention in basic than I thought?”
He grinned up at her, and it almost masked the gray shadows on his face.
“I don’t think that’s possible, Staff.”
“I don’t think so, Private. We need that latrine dug before the Silsviss attack, and you,” she added wryly, “are a galaxy-class master in the fine art of looking like you’re working when you’re really doing piss all.”
“It’s a skill,” he admitted smugly, looking pleased with himself.


After finishing Valor's Choice I purchased the second one, The Better Part of Valor to take with me to New Zealand and reread there. I may have also read the third one, but my memory is getting worse and worse in my old age. It looks like there are 6 in the series (3. The Heart of Valor, 4. Valor's Trial, and 5. The Truth of Valor) with 6. Peacemaker possibly due out this year (that's Goodreads rumor, so who knows). I've no idea if Peacemaker is the last in the series or not. Because of this lack of information, I'm not sure how devoted I am to Torin to be able to resist fearing the unknown. I will buy the rest of the series, but I may wait to read them until I know what Huff's endgame is. I get very nervous when I don't know if an author is going to stick the landing, delay the finish, or fade away. Fingers crossed.


For a total shift in mode I then read Courting Magic: A Kat, Incorrigible Novella which I LOVED.  I picked Kat, Incorrigible for the book group a little while ago and liked it very much but I think it was just a little too young for me. There was also some discussion on the book group over the shifting tone. However, Kat's character was nothing but a delight regardless, and this novella is the perfect age update, giving Kat her own romance.

“No!” he muttered. “Don’t be stupid. I’d never dishonor you.”
“Well, I thought not.” There was a tiny, inconsequential quiver of disappointment in my belly, but I did my best to ignore it. “So—”
“But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to,” he muttered.

See? See! How could you not want to read that? The tone is spot on, perhaps a little melodramatic but that's what I want from someone Kat's age in an Austen setting as a romantic novella.

There was nothing to be done, so nothing was amiss, and I would simply have to accustom myself to the gaping hole inside me where everything bright and colorful and right had ever been.

I adored the love interest so much, I decided I had to go buy the rest of the Kat, Incorrigible series to read the story of how Kat and Alexander met.

“I remember every moment I spent with you five years ago,” he murmured, so softly I could barely hear him. “How could I forget? I spent the last five years waiting to meet you again.”

Not to mention some feels for a few of the new side characters who had hinted at back story that I now really want to know more about.

“Fortunately for you,” I said brightly, “from the way she’s already been surrounded by suitors, I expect she’ll have a marriage proposal within a week. Then she won’t be your concern at all, will she?”
The Marquess let out a noise that sounded like a muffled roar.


Anyways, I think you could read and enjoy this novella even if you hadn't read the series, it is a blast of fresh air, pure romantic joy.

While I am away, the group is reading Jasper Fforde whose first novel is a work of comedic genius. Trust me, it is.

{Gail's read along for April is The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
via   cupofeternitea tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Ladies at Tea  facesofthevictorianera tumblr

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
This Is What A Cup Of Tea Looks Like In 22 Different Countries

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Red Ink In the Trenches: A Copyeditor’s Perspective


PROJECT ROUND UP


  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! Awaiting proofs.

  • Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First. OUT NOW!

  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft, about 1/2 way.




The Books!

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

Book News:
Wicked Little Pixie says of Prudence: “Gail Carriger is also great at developing characters. None of her characters in Prudence come across as two-dimensional or as filler characters. Each one has a well-rounded personality, with qualities that make them very genuine.”

Quote of the Day:
"And I was engaged in weaving him what Miss Bethel refers to as The Usual Tissue of Pleasing Lies. You can hear the capital letters when she says it."
~ Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

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

Mar. 27th, 2015

Blogging - WIth Computer

Prudence Extras ~ India Research


Prudence is out now, and here, Gentle Reader, is some insight into the research behind her first fateful adventure.

While I was writing this installment in the Custard Protocol series, I did a lot of research and jotted down a number of things about India in 1895 that didn't make it into the book. I also collected some fun inspirational images. I thought you would enjoy a glimpse into what wasn't used...



Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple 1880s
Srirangam, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India.
Photograph of the gopurams of the Ranganatha temple at Srirangam, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s, from an album of 62 views of India and Ceylon. The Ranganatha temple is a Vaishnava complex situated on the artificial island of Srirangam in the Cauvery River near Tiruchirapalli.
(via Blog on vishnu temples)


Alternate Meets History Notes

  • After the mutiny of 1858 the East India Company's rule in India was replaced by the Crown.

  • In my world the SAD treaty is enacted at this time. Rue will come up against this treaty in her journey, so I will not explain further here.

  • The crown set up a Viceroy and a Secretary of State for India with an advisory council of 15 people. 50% of whom lived in India for 10+ years, 8 nominated by the Crown, 7 by the Company.


"Crisis in Baghdad"
featuring the newest technology - a camel mounted gatling gun
supported in the latest in airpower.
(From Harper Weekly 1882)


  • Troop transport in 1902 from Southampton to Bombay took 21 days. Floating was a much easier way to get there, but couldn't be used to transport vast numbers of troops and equipment.

Sikh soldiers of 29th Indian Infantry Brigade 1915 via British Paintings tumblr


  • Bombay is the oldest of the Presidencies. It became part of the UK in a dowry when Catherine of Braganza married Charles II.

  • Bombay had an excellent natural harbor, but was not well placed for trade with China.

  • The hinterland was (and mostly remained) dominated by fierce Marathas. Very warlike. Some Maratha women still wear saris caught up between their legs to reflect the days when they fought alongside the menfolk. Excellent horsewomen: sword and matchlock.

  • Steam liner travel in 1840 opened Bombay up as a port via the Suez and railway made it accessible to the rest of India.

  • 1859 one solder writes: "Bombay is the worse station in India, nothing to do here save die." (There was a major military hospital at Deolali.)

  • By 1880 Bombay is a communication hub.


Raja Wazir Singh of Faridkot 1900


  • I had intended to have Primrose have a flirtation with one of the locals. Much to Rue and Percy's very imperialistic shock and horror. Unfortunately, it didn't work for this plot line. Here is a section I clipped to inspire Prim's adoration (from a letter home by a young Victorian lady abroad regarding the tempting masculinity around her).


"... grand-looking men, generally tall and brawny, with high cheek-bones and gold rings in their ears. They are more of a walnut than a mahogany brown and many of them are not much darker that a dark Englishman; they are the most masculine looking creatures I have ever seen and, oddly enough, their earrings and the straight petticoat they wear reaching their ankles makes them look more masculine still, as they accentuate their bold faces and their stride. For looks they beat any race of men I have ever seen, especially when they are clean shaved. I really must stop this rigmarole now..."
~ rapturous letter from Violet Jacob, a Scotswoman married to an Irish officer in the 20th Hussars, writing from Mhow 1895 impressed with the Punjabi soldiers, as quoted by Holmes.


  • At the end of the 19th century the Indian silver rupee went into a gold exchange standard at a fixed rate of 1 rupee to one shilling and fourpence in British currency, or 15 rupees to 1 pound sterling.

  • Here are some of my spreadsheet notes on cost comparisons then and now. This is the kind of thing I do for fun.  I wanted to see how expensive it might be to live in India in the style of an upper class Victorian family, with all the ridiculous grandeur that entailed.




  • I kind of got obsessed with the money conversion issue and spent too much time trying to calculate it out to better understand what was going on. I never used any of this in the book, but I learned a great deal.


British_Indian_Empire_1909_Imperial_Gazetteer_of_India



  • Skulduggery in Bengal – Assistant Superintendent of Dehra Dun in the North Western Provinces, and his dishonest conduct - recommendation of his dismissal from the Bengal Civil Service, 1876

  • The Old Foodie goes to India from some recipes involving coconut.

  • My favorite is the Calcutta, Receipt for Curry. "A teaspoonful of turmeric, a tablespoonful of coriander-seed, a tablespoonful of poppy-seed, half a teaspoonful of ginger, a quarter of a teaspoonful of red chilli, half a teaspoonful of cumin-seed, all well pounded; mix the powder with three ounces of butter, and fry it with two sliced onions for ten minutes. Cut up a young fowl; put it into the pan, and simmer for a quarter of an hour; add the milk of one cocoa-nut and a salt-spoonful of salt, stir well, and simmer a quarter of an hour longer; stir in the juice of half a lime or a lemon, and serve, with plain boiled rice in a separate dish." ~ Cre-Fydd's family fare (London, 1864)


I think that too much more and I would be giving things away about the book. But I am hoping these bits and bobs were enjoyable.

{Gail's monthly read along for April is The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Romy Schneider as Sissi in Ludwig via fawnvelveteen tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Lilliput My Sunbeam

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Chair that can transform into multiple configurations to maximize comfort

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
The 12 Most Quotable Lines of Pride and Prejudice


PROJECT ROUND UP


  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! Awaiting proofs.

  • Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First. OUT NOW!

  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft, about 1/2 way.




The Books!

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

Book News:
Sarah Bruch of SF Crows Nest says of Waistcoats & Weaponry: “This book is filled with Carriger’s usual mix of whimsy and steampunk. It shouldn’t work but, somehow, it really does.”

Quote of the Day:
"I watched in wonderment as all stone and a half of Signor thumped into the Marshal’s lap and tea-cozied up, purring even louder."
~ Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

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

Mar. 25th, 2015

Blogging - WIth Computer

Event Round Up ~ Tucson Festival of Books


So, Gentle Reader, directly before my Prudence book tour I nipped over to Tucson for their epic huge book festival. It was amazing. If you are at all in the vicinity, I highly recommend paying it a visit next year for it is an epic literary homage.



The weather was beautiful, I had four really fun panels, the volunteers took exceptionally good care of me. All-in-all it was a super pleasant experience.


Also I had some delicious food and good company with author friends who were also in for the festival. Some of us even sallied forth and consumed pie on pie day.

from Heather Lo via FB

Had a lovely time with Skye in particular, who graciously runs my Goodreads group that includes the book discussion. She is wonderful. Speaking of which here is April's pick for those of you who want a jump start on next month...

{Gail's monthly read along for April is The Eyre Affaire by Jasper Fforde}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Ladies' Cabinet Thursday, June 1, 1837 v. 18, plate 80

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Infinity book scarf with a quote from the "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Poe $45

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
A Tragic Catalog of 100 Mostly Miserable 19th-Century Marriages

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Should you be a full-time writer? by Mary Robinette Kowal


PROJECT ROUND UP


  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! Awaiting proofs.

  • Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First. OUT NOW!

  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft, about 1/2 way.




The Books!

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

Book News:
Prudence undergoes the Page 69 Test

Quote of the Day:
"Word of the day: RESISTENTIALISM - the seemingly spiteful behaviour manifested by inanimate objects."
~ The QI Elves (@qikipedia)

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

Mar. 23rd, 2015

Blogging - WIth Computer

Prudence Extras ~ Primrose's Packing List for India


One of my favorite early scenes in Prudence is when Primrose and all her trunks come on board the Spotted Custard. If was fun to write and it was really fun to research. I adore books about how people traveled in the past, possibly because I do so much traveling myself. In fact, that's what I'm doing again soon, heading off to New Zealand.

So I thought you enjoy like a little glimpse at all the things that Primrose put into those trunks of hers...

Undergarments Alone Would Include, at Minimum:


  • 6 Calico Combinations

  • 6 Silk or Wool Combinations

  • 4 Fine Calico Trimmed Combinations for Evening

  • 6 Calico Slip Bodices

  • 6 Trimmed Muslin Slip Bodices

  • 12 Pairs of Tan Stockings

  • 12 Pairs Lisle Thread Stockings

  • 6 Strong White Petticoats

  • 6 Trimmed Petticoats

  • 2 Warm Petticoats

  • 4 Flannel Petticoats

  • 36 Pocket Handkerchiefs

  • 4 Pairs of Stays (AKA corsets)


(adapted mainly from Flora Annie Steel on packing for India in The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook)

Combinations undergarment for under stays; Slip bodice for over the stays, England, 1875 - 1900
1895 Plain White Petticoat and 1890s Trimmed Petticoat both The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Flora doesn't even presume to suggest the number and range of dresses required. But I imagine it would include something along the lines of the following, for the higher ranked of British society going into a larger city. Here is a little glimpse at all the things that Primrose put into those trunks of hers, to my best guess.

Outer Garments:


  • 5 Tea and/or Dressing Gowns (for breakfast, open front, less fitted)

  • 1 Carriage Ensemble (for dusty trains or long distance caravans, several layers, all matched)

  • 4 Travel Ensembles (sporting, shorter hem, durable fabric, plainer trim, matched broad brim hats)

  • 1 Riding Habit (if horse will be available, long skirt, menswear style jacket, tall veiled hat)

  • 5 Afternoon Dresses (for receiving at home, sumptuous exotic fabrics, fuller coverage, long sleeves)

  • 5 Visiting Gown (for paying calls, similar to above with matched hat)

  • 2 Promenade Gowns (for strolling the park, similar to above but with more frills and longer trains, matched parasol)

  • 5 Dinner or Evening Gowns (top part very elaborate, skirt narrower with train, short sleeves - usually elbow length)

  • 2 Ballgowns (whole gown is elaborate, attention paid to hem, skirt fuller for dancing, sleeves usually t-shirt length or shorter, low neckline except for the very old/young)

  • 1 Reception Gown (if anticipating meeting royalty, very elaborate, heavy fabric, long train designed to be seen standing or walking, but nothing else)

  • 4 Parasols (in additions to those matched to promenade dresses)

  • 4 Evening Reticules (aside from evening parties a companion or ladies maid handles money)

  • 19 Matched Hats total (for travel, carriage, riding, visiting, and promenade)

  • 5 Lace caps for indoors

  • 3 Pairs Sturdy Walking Boots

  • 3 Pairs Kid Boots

  • 3 Pairs Satin Dancing Slippers

  • 1 Pair Riding Boots

  • 20 Pairs Gloves


A thrifty female could include transformation options, where different bodices to the same skirt makes it acceptable for different occasions.

For example, here is Visiting, Dinner, and Ball Gown from House of Worth 1893-95 via Metropolitan Museum of Art.


In modern times we think of dresses as all one piece, but in the past they were often made up of several parts. Even the informal tea gown was basically a robe and an under-dress over which it was wrapped.

1890-1895 Tea Gown  Worth  The Royal Ontario Museum

In other news I had a wonderful tour and I loved meeting everyone! I'm collecting pictures and things over the next month or so, and gathering my thoughs so expect a full report in late April when I get home.
{Gail's monthly read along for April is The Eyre Affaire by Jasper Fforde}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
The 20 Pound World Travel Backpack

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Here's A Carry-On Bag That James Bond Could Get Behind

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Preparing for Travel to 1900’s Europe
The Old Foodie talks about supplies for traveling persons 70 years earlier (1826).
Of Turtles, White Gloves, and Kings: Americans Travelling Abroad: 1893


PROJECT ROUND UP


  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! Awaiting proofs.

  • Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First. OUT NOW!

  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft, about 1/2 way.




The Books!

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

Book News:
The Library of the Seen says of Waistcoats & Weaponry:
“Waistcoats and Weaponry has to be my favorite book in the Finishing School Series so far. … There is SO much I could, and want, to say about this book. (Seriously I could go on and on) But if I said everything I wanted to (or even a portion of what I want to) this review would be riddled with spoilers, and the book is way to good for me to go about spoiling it for you!”

Quote of the Day:
“Secondly, tea should be made in small quantities — that is, in a teapot. Tea out of an urn is always tasteless, while army tea, made in a cauldron, tastes of grease and whitewash. The teapot should be made of china or earthenware. Silver or Britanniaware teapots produce inferior tea and enamel pots are worse; though curiously enough a pewter teapot (a rarity nowadays) is not so bad.”
~ A Nice Cup of Tea (1946)

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

Mar. 16th, 2015

Blogging - WIth Computer

Prudence Hits Stores & I'm Off on Tour!


Prudence, the first in the Custard Protocol series, hits stores in the US and UK! I know, Gentle Reader, I'm excited too. It seems to have been a very long time coming.

Here are your buy-my-book links, because, you know it's my livelihood. 



Prudence is the first in my new spin off from the Alexia Tarabotti Parasol Protectorate books. This first Custard Protocol story takes place some 20 odd years in the future. In it Rue and her crazy crew visit steampunk India in 1895.


ON BEHALF OF QUEEN, COUNTRY...AND THE PERFECT POT OF TEA


When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances -- names it the Spotted Custard and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea.

But India has more than just tea on offer. Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier's wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone's secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones?

TOUR DETAILS

Hope to see you at one of my stops!


  • San Diego, CA Mar. 17, 7:30 ~ 9:00 PM Mysterious Galaxy (5943 Balboa Avenue, Suite #100, 92111) 858.268.4747

  • Beaverton, OR Mar. 18, 7:00 ~ 9:00 PM Powell’s Books (3415 Southwest Cedar Hills Boulevard, 97005) 800.878.7323

  • Denver, CO Mar. 19, 7:00 ~ 9:00 PM Tattered Cover (2526 East Colfax Avenue, 80206) 800.833.9327

  • Dallas, TX Mar. 20 7:00 ~ 9:00 PM Barnes & Noble (Lincoln Park 7700 West Northwest Hwy. #300, Lincoln Park, 75225)

  • Houston, TX Mar. 21, 4:30 ~ 6:00 PM Murder By The Book (2342 Bissonnet Street, 77005) 888.424.2842

  • San Francisco, CA Mar. 22, 3:00 ~ 5:00 PM Borderlands (866 Valencia Street, 94110) 888.893.4008

Can't make it? Most of the bookstores Gail visits are happy to take orders for signed books to ship or pick up. It's always worth calling to ask.

{Gail's monthly read along for March is Valor's Choice by Tanya Huff.}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1900 19th century  (metmuseum.org)

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
My new stencil, I love it!

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
What's a traveling chariot?

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
10 Things to Love About Being a Writer


PROJECT ROUND UP


  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! Awaiting proofs.

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

  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft, about 1/2 way.




The Books!

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

Book News:
Stuff and Nonsense says of Prudence: “Be prepared to read Prudence in one sitting!”
(Please note Prudence is ADULT not YA.)

Quote of the Day:
“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.”
~ Oscar Wilde

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

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