Deleted Steam & Inspiration
PEOPLE, PLACES, & PLOT: Gail's sketches of characters & fight scenes
A blog post about pronouncing names in the Parasol Protectorate.
- Catch Gail playing at casting director over on My Book, The Movie.
A guest scientific presentation on Espionage in the Aether.
Character Study: Madame Lefoux.
Character Study: Countess Nadasdy.
Floote manga art.
Felicity & Evylin manga art.
More Character Studies to follow.
FASHION: Gail's sketches of outfits & 1870's style
Gail blogs about Alexia's dresses throughout the series and beyond.Gail blogs about the very first notes she ever scribbled regarding Soulless.
Gail blogs about the floating dresses she describes in Changeless.
Gail blogs about her Knight's Templar research for Blameless.
Gail blogs about the songs in Timeless.
DELETED BITS from Soulless
The Hypocras Club Objectives
* Attentiveness — Identify and understand the supernatural threat, assess vulnerabilities, determine potential impacts and disseminate information to our members and security partners.
* Preclusion — Detect, deter and mitigate the supernatural threat to the commonwealth.
* Precaution — Safeguard normal humans and their freedoms, and maintain critical infrastructure and intellectual advancement of the scientific community.
Alexia's Father's Journal
Ivy had always been faintly cheered by the fact that should a marriage bed ever be in her future, she could go to Alexia for an explanation of what might occur there. Sadly for Miss Hisselpenny, such an explanation was likely to contain concepts that would shock the most experienced whore down dockside, let alone a gently bred lady. Mr. Tarabotti had had very exotic interests indeed, and Alexia hadn't the experience to provide any kind of filter.
DELETED BITS from Changeless
Description of Woolsey Castle
The most scandalous thing about Woolsey Castle was not that it housed a pack of werewolves. After all, only the best counties could boast such an eccentricity. Nor was it the fact that it boasted eight flying buttresses – an architecturally immodest choice. No, the most scandalous thing about Woolsey Castle was that there was a bedroom, and sometimes several, on every single storey, even the first. The original owner was a bit of an eccentric, in the "if he had not had money he would have been called insane" kind of way. Woolsey was no castle, not really. It was instead a modern manor house made to look like a castle with stone facings, an excessive number of haphazardly applied turrets, crenellated battlements, extensive dungeons, and the aforementioned buttresses.
Scene with Lyall, Channing, & Biffy (just after breaking and entering)
Channing crossed his arms. "I would have been just as effective."
"Yes, but Biffy was a safer choice."
Biffy looked mildly offended.
"If he was caught it would be thought an inter-vampire plot, if you were caught it would be considered an inter-species plot."
Biffy looked less offended and nodded his agreement with Lyall's assessment.
Channing was militant. "I do not trust him!"
"Biffy?" Lyall wondered mildly.
Biffy looked pleased at the accusation.
Channing was annoyed with Lyall's obtuseness. "No, no, Lord Akeldama."
Lyall puffed air out his nostrils in annoyance. "You do not trust vampires."
"You saying you do trust them?"
Professor Lyall looked out the carriage window.
Channing had never learned the art of silence. "I am Gamma. It is my nature to question."
"You are you. It is your nature to be a prat."
Biffy gave a tiny gasp at such werewolf directness. It was most unsettling to a vampire drone.
Channing smiled. "Admit it, you sense it too. We are missing something." He looked at the drone. "Why does your master like our fiery lady Alpha so much?"
Biffy shrugged. "They are friends."
Channing ignored this reply and turned back to Professor Lyall. "You and I have dabbled in London politics long enough to know: Lord Akeldama doesn't have friends."
Professor Lyall gave his Gamma a level look. "You like her, admit it."
Biffy muttered, "Major Channing seems to like nothing but Major Channing."
Major Channing ignored this. "She's plucky. I like plucky. She's not, however, to Lord Akeldama's taste. What does he really want with her?"
"Give it a rest, would you please Channing?"
"You know something!"
Lyall glared at him. "Yes. I know the right question to ask. You are not asking it."
"What have we learned on this little adventure of ours?"
Channing blinked icy blue eyes at his Beta blankly.
It was Biffy who answered. "That my master is not the only vampire to find Lady Maccon intriguing."
"Exactly." With which Professor Lyall turned once more to stare out the carriage window, apparently fascinated by the way the gas lighting flickered over the cobbled street.
DELETED BITS from Blameless
Blog entry all about the Knights Templar and the notes that built them into the men they are in Blameless.
In Which Alexia Compares Marriage to Kidnapping
Due, she suspected, entirely to the interference of Lord Conall Maccon, Earl of Woolsey, circumstances had arranged for Alexia to experience a series of kidnappings that culminated in a rather more long term version of the uncomfortable experience, if marriage can be referred to as such. Which, she felt, marriage to Lord Maccon, could be. Or was she, perhaps, besmirching the reputation of imprisonments everywhere through such a comparison?
Regardless, it appeared she was currently embroiled in yet another state of abduction. Although, it must be admitted, she wasn't entirely certain that being confined to ones well-appointed room, with a delicious view of Italy's premier artistic city could be, rightly, referred to as being kidnapped. It certainly was, so far, working out better than her marriage, but she did feel ever-so-slightly imprisoned. Since the Templars seemed to have discovered her weakness, and had been plying her with gnocchi and pesto for the entire day, she was, for the moment, disinclined to complain about the situation. She was even allowed regular trips to the library. She was not allowed into the city anymore, but this seemed a small price to pay for unending pesto and library privileges. However, as they appeared to believe they could keep her in such a state for the next seven months or so, she was figuring that at some point her love of the little green covered dumplings might deteriorate enough for her to contemplate escape. As it was, she was happy to chew and stare out into the orange glory of the Italian landscape with a head full of mild speculation and a hope for Floote and Genevieve's safety.
Her peace was only broken by occasional visits from Mr. Lange-Wilsdorf, who insisted on running a series of intrusive and occasionally embarrassing tests, after which he would vanish once more, muttering to himself in his own language. No Templar, including the preceptor, intruded upon her peace and quiet, and if Alexia missed the bumbling clattering noises of Woolsey castle and its hairy inhabitants she did not admit it, even to herself. After the excitement of her European Tour so far, she was happy for the break, at least she was not running from anything, whacking at anyone, or passing out. Life, it might even be said, was looking up.
In Which the Origin's of Ivy's Letter Is Discussed
Floote having – though some miraculous feet of butler-dum – hired a pony and trap to take their luggage back through the town, turned up at Alexia's elbow. "If you are through here, madam?"
His tone, Alexia noticed, was unwarranted in its sharpness. "Something troubling you, Floote?"
"That letter is dangerous, madam."
Alexia looked with shock at the innocent apple-blossom scented communiqué. "Is it really? Who would have thought?" Hurriedly she tucked it up one sleeve and followed her personal secretary towards the hired cart.
Floote explained. "Not in what in contains, madam, but in what it represents. If the honorable Mrs. Tunstell has managed to track us down here, then the vampires certainly cannot be far behind."
Alexia considered the obsession. "Indeed. You raise very good question, Floote, how did Ivy manage such a thing?" She examined the outside of the letter. "It looks as though it came through to Monsieur Trouvé via your university contacts, Madame Lefoux. Your ghostly Aunt must have known where to send it and directed Ivy accordingly. I can't imagine Ivy consulting with a ghost, but there you have it."
"Oh dear," Madame Lefoux looked apprehensive. "I did not mean to put any of my friends or scientific acquaintances in danger."
Alexia nodded her agreement. "Nor I. After all, the vampires are after me. I do hope your associates remain unmolested. What about Monsieur Trouvé?"
Madame Lefoux sidled up to Alexia and nodded downwards. The Frenchwoman opened her tightly closed fist and flashed Alexia a peek of some small object she held clutched in her hand. It was a tiny brass octopus.
"Oh!" Alexia's voice was soft. "Is that what was left sitting atop your hatbox! Is it a sign?"
Madame Lefoux began to explain in hushed tones, "Well, you see back when –"
Floote interrupted, sharply. "I think perhaps we ought to think on our own safety, for the moment, ladies."
On the Danger of a Fly to One's Reputation
Those few cabs that were available were all hansoms. While Alexia admitted a two-seat fly was speedy and agile, she couldn't get over her feeling that it was a rather racy mode of transport for a mature lady. She preferred a proper coach. But she had to cast her scruples aside for Madame Lefoux and Floote swung themselves in with alacrity into the first fly that stopped and Alexia had no choice but to follow.
In Which Floote Talks (too much) About Alessandro Tarabotti
Floote cleared his throat delicately. "Perhaps we should return to our quarters, ladies. We are perilously close to being observed in familial proximity."
Floote drew Alexia aside once they reached their apartments on a lower deck. Madame Lefoux having gone, so she said, to 'handle the mustache.'
"He did come to see you once, madam. He watched you crawl about, from across Hyde Park, using a spyglass. You were still in nappies."
"A spyglass? How reassuring."
Floote gave a funny little half shoulder twitch that Alexia suspected was his version of a shrug. "If you knew Mr. Tarabotti, you would realize, that was practically a declaration of undying affection."
"Not very demonstrative, my dad?"
"About as affectionate as a poisonous jellyfish, and just as easy to keep hold of."
Alexia wrinkled her nose, "Yeach."
"Just so, madam."
Floote turned to leave.
"But Floote, I thought you liked my father."
Floote's perennially stiff back, stiffened ever so slightly more.
"Good evening, madam," he said, in his no nonsense voice.
Alexia knew that tone well enough; she would get no more out of him tonight. "Good evening, Floote."