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Best Selling Author Gail Carriger's
Latest News:

Pre-order Imprudence, the second Custard Protocol book, out July 19. Your questions about which platform, territory, and sundry are answered in this blog post.

Gail's monthly read along for May is Powers That Be by Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough.

Gail has upcoming events in Seattle, Kansas City, San Diego.

Gail Carriger's Series

Gail Carriger currently has several book series set in her steampunk meets urbane fantasy vision of the Victorian past.

The Finishing School Series (1850s Young Adult)

1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3 Waistcoats & Weaponry, 4 Manners & Mutiny


Sophronia is secretly recruited to a finishing school for spies located in a dirigible floating over Dartmoor. In this whimsical YA series, young ladies of quality are taught to . . . finish . . . everything . . . and everyone . . . as needed. Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, only 22 years earlier, full of steampunk etiquette, well-dressed espionage, and flying food.

The Finishing School books were all New York Times Bestsellers. Individually, they have been Locus bestsellers; Goodreads Choice, Teen Choice, Locus Award, and Sakura Medal nominees; recieved starred reviews in Publisher's Weekly and Booklist; been honored as YALSA Amazing Audiobooks; and recieved the Steampunk Chronicle’s Reader’s Choice and Elbakin Awards.

“...cleverly Victorian methods of espionage, witty banter, lighthearted silliness, and a ship full of intriguingly quirky people.”
~ Booklist, starred review (Etiquette & Espionage)

“This genre-bender will introduce fans of Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls and Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ The Squad to a world of mechanical maids and flying machines while bringing a spy-school romp to readers of the weightier worlds of Cassandra Clare and Scott Westerfield.” -
~ Kirkus, starred review (Etiquette & Espionage)

“Carriger deploys laugh-out-loud bon mots on nearly every page… Amid all the fun, the author works in commentary on race and class in a sparkling start to the Finishing School series.” ~ Publishers Weekly, starred review (Etiquette & Espionage)

“If spunky Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey happened onto a steampunk set, she might look a lot like Sophronia Angelina Temminnick...Carriger delivers a grand mix of etiquette and espionage with a dash of humor and enough subterfuge to spring some surprises.” -
~ Shelf Awareness, starred review (Etiquette & Espionage)

The Parasol Protectorate Series (1870s)

1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless

Soulless Changeless Blameles Heartless Timeless

Five books chronicling the exploits of Alexia Tarabotti, a lady of considerable assets including a large Scottish werewolf, a battle-parasol, and treacle tart tendancies. Oh yes, and she has no soul. This popular series imagines Jane Austen dabbling in science mixed with P.G. Wodehouse dropping vampires into his Drones Club.

The Parasol Protectorate books have been translated into over a dozen different languages, won several awards, turned into graphic novels, and been optioned for TV. They have made appearences on the Mass Market, Manga, Combined Print & eBook, and eBook New York Times Bestseller lists.

“This intoxicatingly witty parody will appeal to a wide cross-section of romance, fantasy and steampunk fans.”
~ Publishers Weekly, starred review (Soulless)

“A tapestry that is simultaneously witty, charming, exhilarating and downright fun."
~ (Soulless)

“Alexia is my new favorite character in fiction right now. . .smart, sassy, has no "filter", and is a refreshing new voice in literature. There is nothing like it out right now. . . and I dare you not to giggle like a schoolgirl (and guffaw like a loon) when you read it.”
~ Book Buyers Anonymous (Soulless)

“A character-driven romp with great world-building and delicious rapier wit that recalls Austen and P.G. Wodehouse.”
~ (Soulless)

“The Parasol Protectorate presents what is perhaps the most original twist on vampire and werewolf mythology to ever appear in the genre.”
~ RobWillReview (Soulless)

The Custard Protocol Series (1890s Ongoing)

1 Prudence, 2 Imprudence (July 19, 2016)

Prudence Imprudence

Rue and her marauding crew of outrageous miscreants charge about in their high-tech dirigible, the Spotted Custard, trying to fix the British Empire, loudly and mainly with tea. This series explores the wider ramifications of Gail's steampunk universe, both its technology and how vampires and werewolves evolved differently all over the world.

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller.

“Blending steampunk and urban fantasy in a colorful alternate Victorian England, Carriger presents a grand cast of characters on a harrowing adventure that stretches from England to India.“
~ Booklist, April 2015 (Prudence)

“Behind the delightful whimsy and snarky observations, there is a great deal of heart and soul…”
~ RT Book Reviews (Prudence)

“Carriger maintains a droll, tongue-in-cheek tone, and her protagonists are as concerned with witty banter and fashionable hats as they are with fighting for their lives.”
~ Publishers Weekly (Prudence)

Obligatory Bio

Gail Carriger writes steampunk comedies of manners mixed with urban fantasy. Her books include the Parasol Protectorate and Custard Protocol series for adults, and the Finishing School series for young adults. She is published in 18 different languages and has 13 NYT bestsellers via 7 different lists (including #1 in Manga). She was once an archaeologist and is overly fond of shoes, octopuses, and tea.


Gail Carriger

Book Review To Play the Lady by Naomi Lane

Last month's book pick was To Play the Lady (Sevalian Chronicles Book 1) by Naomi Lane. This was my second time reading this book. Below I've collected some rather stream of consciousness thoughts. For which I beg your forgiveness, Gentle Reader.

There is something about this book that I really love and it's incredibly hard to articulate. It has an innocence about it, not only in the story but in the prose style. Perhaps nostalgia is a better word? It pulls at exactly the same strings in my psyche as Pierce's Alanna books. It has similar flaws, too. (At this point in my writing career, I can recognize that a series I'm incredibly passionate about - like Song of the Lioness - has flaws from an author perspective.) For example, Lane uses a lot of modifiers, both in language tags and in description. (Honestly, I'm not sure if I find modifier use annoying because I have been taught to do so, or if they are actually annoying.) I know, I use them myself, but never doubt me, Gentle Reader, I always know that I'm doing it. And wonder at myself. And now here I am, entirely hypocritically, wondering at someone else.

This is why I believe most authors make pretty abysmal book critics.


I had a harder time reading this book a second time and forgiving it for small sins. However, I still really enjoyed the story. I like all of the tropes that are being used, from a tomboy trying to become a lady, to a young girl disguising herself as a boy, to high court and magic, to themes of young love, friendship, and isolation that always go hand-in-hand with boarding schools (whether that be a castle, or a Herald Collegium or a school for bards...).

I like Lane's magical system, although when I first read the book I thought it was going to be more on the warrior end of the Sword and Sorceress spectrum. I do wish the main character were a little less sparkly special. That said, I believe that she is prevented from becoming a Mary Sue, because she is intrinsically quite flawed. She can't keep her mouth shut, plus she is too bold and too aggressive for the nobility and for politics. This makes the romantic connections she forms with the princes in the book ultimately untenable by nature of her own personality. I do wonder where the writer is going with her romantic arcs as a result.

I also picked up and read the second one, To Serve the King, which didn't answer any of the above questions, but did take the story in a new and interesting direction.

This review might sound a little hesitant, and I assure you that it's not. I'm enthusiastic about this series and despite minor flaws the editor eye identified, I was still up late addicted to finishing them (the AB was most annoyed "didn't you just do a readathon?"). Lane clearly gets me as a reader in some intrinsic way. I eagerly await the next one, with a full understanding that I might have to wait another four years. In which case, I will happily reread these first two again. And frankly I have dropped many a series for less. I'm hoping Lane will wrap up the Sevalian Chronicles in three books, although the way these are headed it does have the feel of Pierce (in terms of being at least four long). Since we go into the desert next I'm expected The Woman Who Rides Like a Man. Which means there is still Lioness Rampant to go. If you see what I mean?

Next up, I have chosen another reread for me.  Although this is one that I haven't read in well over a decade: Powers That Be by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. This is a complete switch from Lane: adult sci-fi meets fantasy (yes, it is really both) co-authored by two very experienced genre writers. I look forward to the reread and I hope you will join me. Also you can go in knowing, safely, that the rest of the series is complete. So it you like it, read on! Althouhg if memory serves, the first stands alone quite well.

In other news, The Harper Hall series is finally available in e-book form. If you like To Play the Lady you will probably like these books. The first book, Dragonsong, is one of my favorite books of all time. Or at least it was when I was 14 years old. (I understand from the reviews that the formatting isn't great, but I'm still delighted to see any of my favorite blacklist make it onto my ereader.)

Read on my dears!

{Gail's monthly read along for May is Powers That Be by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Fashion plate, 1877, France. shwwhosorshipscarlin tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Lesbian Historic Motif Project: Lesbians and the Fantastic in History

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  


  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. In production. Releases July 19, 2016 in print & eBook to US.
  • Poison or Protect ~ A Delightfully Deadly Novella.
    Status: Working copy edits, proof pass, formatting. Release date to come.
    Romance featuring a several-times widowed Preshea and the gentle Scottish captain who could change everything. (Gail's first foray into hybrid land.)
  • Romancing the Inventor ~ A Supernatural Society Novella.
    Status: First pass edit. Chasing cover art photo.
    LBGT romance featuring a parlormaid bent on seducing a certain cross-dressing inventor whose too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

Gail Carriger's Scribbles! 

The Finishing School 4 Book Series (YA 1850s)

The Parasol Protectorate 5 Book Series (1870s)

 The Custard Protocol Series (1890s ~ ongoing)
 1 Prudence, 2 Imprudence (July 19, 2016)
Soulless Manga 3 Book Series (complete at 3)

 $0.99 short stories (ebook only)
Marine Biology; My Sister's Song; Fairy Debt;
The Curious Case (featuring Alessandro Tarabotti)

Book News:
My not-so-secret-love for Gail Carriger’s Books

Quote of the Day:
“To the old saying that man built the house but woman made of it a "home" might be added the modern supplement that woman accepted cooking as a chore but man has made of it a recreation.”
~ Emily Post

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Gail's fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
Questions about Gail's steampunk world? There's a wiki for that!