10.22.2014

Contest Ends and a Lot of Chirruping


Well Gentle Reader, today my latest contest ends.

Thank you so so much to everyone who participated. And I want to remind you that one of the nicest things you can do for any author is post a review of their book in a public forum. We here on the other end of the keyboard salute you!

I have randomly selected 11 winners (utilizing this random number generator). I have sent out emails to said winners (complete with dumb spelling error, sorry) requesting mailing addresses. Please, everyone who entered, do check your spam filter?

5 winners were selected from the contest entries that ran via this very blog and 5 from those who submitted a code word out of the Monthly Chirrup. (Because the Chirrupers were included in the general draw it actually worked out to 6 of them, but then I felt guilty so still chose 5 from the reviewers.)

For the Winners (unless you request otherwise via email):


In the USA? You will receive a full set of signed trade paperback Parasol Protectorate books plus assorted swag.

Outside the USA? You will get the swag and possibly a few other specials.

Chirrup entry in the USA? You win the full set and swag plus one additional extra special book offering dejour.

Chirrup entry outside the USA? You will get swag and the extra special book offering dejour.

Where possible, books will be shipped media mail so they may take a few weeks to get to you.

* * *


Oh yes. It's worth subscribing to the newsletter. I'm going to keep this exclusive offering thing going. For example, in this month's upcoming Chirrup I will let you know what the dejour item was.

You see, my office is full of books and things and my dear Gentle Reader, I am feeling The Urge To Purge.


But but but why this sudden Chirrup obsession? 

You may well ask. Well I do adore this blog, and I love you for reading it, but I also want something a little more intimate and slightly less, oh I don't know.. exposed? Perhaps that's not quite the right word, but you know what I mean. Also I like the idea that you don't have to remember to come to me. I can just pop into your inbox once a month. (Ooo, kinky.)

Perhaps my obsession with newsletters reminds you of something else book related? Yes, self is speculating on new ventures. But as such ventures are about a year and half out, they really are only speculations. (And I hope we all know how Dickens felt about such things, ref. Nicholas Nickleby).

Speaking of the newsletter, I have added in an Editorial Feature (Gail's Warble) wherein I offer up a few choice tidbits and may even include some sneak peeks of things before they go live on blog/website ~ like deleted scenes.

See? See? Chirrup! You know you want to.


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for October? Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1905  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Pale Blue Willow Ware Melted Teapot

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
"Artists, authors, and all other persons to whom "time is money," and whose income stops whenever their hands and eyes are unemployed, are peculiarly annoyed by the frequency of introductory letters, brought by people with whom they can feel no congeniality, and whom they never would have sought for."
~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (1864)


PROJECT ROUND UP  
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Releases March 17, 2015 now available for pre-order! Proof stage.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Release date November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order. Edits stage.



The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming soon: November 4, 2014)
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels

Book News:
Cora Linn reviews Curious Case, “I loved this short about Alexia's father and Floote. It was fun and paved the way for so much MORE in this already fantastic world. It revealed a little more about the history of the characters and how the world was developing.”

Quote of the Day:
"The woman just ahead of you at the supermarket checkout has all the delectable groceries you didn't even know they carried." 
~ Mignon McLaughlin


Follow 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.

10.20.2014

13 Quirky Lesser Known Movies Gail Loves


Mostly, for obvious reasons, I talk about books on this blog Gentle Reader. Today I decided on movies. I was in the shower speculating recently, as you do, about some of the movies I adore that no one seems to know about but that I feel sort of have the same feel as my own world. Not in specifics, but in, oh I don't know, aura or something. Ugh, I'm waffling. I'll stop now.

Here is a list of 13 movies that I think, if you like my books, you might enjoy watching but that, for some reason, no one ever seems to talk about...

  1. Center Stage ~ Yes it's a cheesy dance movie but I have a horrible weakness for dance movies and this is one of the best and cheesiest. (Oh and there is a young Zoe Saldana in her first movie, chosen because yes - you're not surprised - she's a trained ballerina.)
  2. City Hunter ~ Jackie Chan as a comic book character, because, well he kind of is already. I will never understand why it didn't get wide release in the US.
  3. Cold Comfort Farm ~ Just as charming as the book (how often does that happen?) with a KILLER cast.
  4. D.E.B.S. ~ Not what you thought it was from the trailer, lovely and sweet in the end, trappings of Disney's bright color pallet with better romance than any Disney movie. Yes some of the acting is AWFUL, but I sill love it.
  5. I Can't Think Straight ~ Culture clashing coming-out romance story of the best kind, mostly drama, but utterly delightful.
  6. Imagine Me & You ~ About falling in love with the right person, when already married to another right person. A bit over-dramatic at times bit it worked for me because I really liked all three in the love triangle, and the movie doesn't cop out or make it easy for either the heroine (or the audience) to choose. 
  7. Latter Days ~ Possibly my favorite movie of all time. Why aren't you off watching it? Why aren't I?
  8. Maurice ~ A poignant look at male love as a period drama (after the Wilde case) but also heart-wrenching self discovery and class commentary. Don't worry it has a happy ending. (Foster's original book is widely thought by critics to be semi-autobiographical.)
  9. Practical Magic ~ I guess this is better known than some of the others on this list, but I include it anyway. The book is different, but also quite enjoyable.
  10. Shelter ~ Surfers in love with each other but also learning to love family, duty, friends, and art. It's a little stiff in places, very Indy, but worth the effort for the unmitigated charm.
  11. Shooting Fish ~ Con artists in action before Leverage and Oceans XX came along. Of course, there is also romance. Duh. It's me.
  12. Tipping the Velvet ~ The feminine balance to Maurice, a Victorian set journey of self discovery that takes an oyster girl from the coast to a stage in London, to being a kept woman, to finding acceptance. 
  13. The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec ~ I swear I had heard of neither the book nor the movie before I wrote Soulless. (Finally available in the USA.)

Honorable mention to these not-movie-type-things
  • ShakespeaRe-Told: Season 1, Episode 3 The Taming of the Shrew ~ I LOVE the cross-dressing part (well, of course I do).
  • Regency House Party ~ Ridiculous premise for a dating meets reality show and yet so educational and entertaining regarding the Regency Era. Wish there had been more of them.


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for October? Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
wikicommons-Tom-Roberts-Lady-with-a-Parasol

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
roman-multitool

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
“Persons who have no turn for humour, and little perception of it, are apt to mistake mere coarseness for that amusing gift; and in trying to be diverting, often become vulgar—”
~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (1864)


PROJECT ROUND UP  
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Releases March 17, 2015 now available for pre-order! Proof stage.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Release date November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order. Edits stage.



The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming soon: November 4, 2014)
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels

Book News:
WiLoveBooks by Brinda says of E&E, “I loved the witty humor and the characters. There's even a little mechanimal dog. And the sheer absurdity of girls learning how to flutter eyelashes and curtsy along side classes in poisoning is just entertaining.”

Quote of the Day:
"Even as she hesitated, the distance between them folded like a silk scarf, and she was face-to-face with him."
~ Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

Follow 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.

10.17.2014

Interview with Liva Day (AKA Tansy Rayner Roberts)


Today, Gentle Reader, I am branching out of my comfort zone and have invited a real live Mystery Author over for a spot of virtual tea-time conversation. I thought maybe you'd like something different from my normal run of steampunk piffle. That said there is FOOD involved, so this isn't too far outside my comfort zone.

Please welcome Liva Day to the blog!


About you, the Author!


Tea or coffee and how do you take it?

Tea first thing in the morning, made for me by my partner, hot and strong and plenty of milk – what the Brits call builder’s tea! Throughout the day, tea and coffee if needed, but usually socially. I’ll so rarely think to make a cup for myself if I’m busy. I like the ritual of drinking a latté in a glass in public but I’ll usually order a cappuccino because sometimes I just NEED that little hit of chocolate from the top.

Describe your personal style for author appearances.

Since having my second child and learning to wear jeans, both of which happened in my early 30’s, my personal style for going out in public can be summed up as ‘is this top clean?’ I tend to go a bit dressier when Being an Author in Public but whereas that used to mean a lot of velvet, these days it’s a slightly fancier top than usual, and a pretty necklace and/or bracelet. I’ve actually been trying to collect some “Livia Day” jewellery to distinguish myself (at least in my own head) from being “Tansy Rayner Roberts” now there are two author identities in my head, but it hasn’t entirely come together yet. I also have a growing collection of formal frocks for awards ceremonies, because having to go to multiple awards ceremonies a year is one of those bizarre author things I never thought would happen. For Worldcon this year I bought a space-themed handbag. Livia doesn’t have a murder-themed handbag yet. Where can you even get murder-themed handbags?



Original Fabulous Tommy Gun Purse $24

If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?


This week you’d see me writing one-handed with a wilted five year old attached to my lap. Ah, parenthood. My environment generally looks like a bomb has hit it – a bomb of children’s drawings and glitter and craft supplies and leftover toast. I write at the far end of a long dining table which is also our kitchen table, or at my laptop in a comfy green armchair, and frankly you’re probably surprised that I don’t have RSI by now.

I do pilates to keep it at bay.

If you drive, what do you drive?

I do drive, though that is also a ‘didn’t happen until my 30’s’ thing that I finally achieved in the same year I acquired my second daughter and my jeans-wearing skills. I drive a white Magna family car because I am literally a soccer mum. It is shortly to acquire a bike rack.

No deviating: vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a plain or a sugar cone? (Gail will use this to determine your level of sanity.)

Hahaha this is bizarrely relevant to my new book Drowned Vanilla, because the main character Tabitha runs a café and makes her own ice cream and keeps demanding to know people’s favourite ice cream flavor and being disappointed when it’s vanilla – she thinks it’s boring!

I don’t mind vanilla but I wouldn’t choose it for a cone – I’d definitely pick chocolate (though honestly it would be pineapple, liquorice, coffee or rum and raisin unless I was desperately in the mood for chocolate). Not a plain cone – is a sugar cone what we Australians call a waffle cone? Where it’s a very thin crispy waffle turned into a hard cone? I would have one of those.

Here in Australia we take our icecream seriously and no one ever has to choose between just two flavours. Unless you’re making affogato, in which case it’s vanilla all the way.

(Gail pronounces you entirely sane.)

What's most likely to make you laugh?

Banter. I love witty dialogue, particularly when I know the characters involved. Also, snark. Anything except physical comedy or humiliation/embarrassment.

Since writers inevitably end up in the bar, what's your poison?

Dry white wine, draught cider, and pretty cocktails that are super sweet.  I used to be a hardened Classics student who could down two bottles of champagne and still be on my feet, but my lifestyle of more recent years means I can barely hold one drink and thus the thing I’m mostly likely to order in the bar with other writers is a lemon lime and bitters, which is non-alcoholic. I am a little worried this might just be an Aussie thing, though, because I tried it in London and got a ‘I’m sorry lemon what now?’ and then I sighed and said lemonade please, and they brought me one with all the calories removed. That was a very demoralizing experience.


Liva's Bio

Livia Day is a stylish, murder-obsessed fashionista who lives inside the head of someone else entirely. Tansy Rayner Roberts is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster, a Hugo-award winning critic and a feminist. Together they WRITE CRIME. And sometimes they invent ice cream recipes. Livia is the author of the Café La Femme series of cozy mystery novels, including A Trifle Dead and new release Drowned Vanilla. Warning: reading these books will make you crave dessert.


About your book!


What should readers eat while consuming your novel?

Affogato, which is the beautiful thing that happens when you pour a shot of good espresso over a scoop of good vanilla icecream. Readers may also wish to stock up on custard, their favourite icecream, their favourite coffee, something butterscotch flavoured, and the makings for a fabulous pancake breakfast. I’d apologise, but I’m not sorry at all about this. It’s better than the first book in the series, at least, which will force you to make your own trifle from scratch.

What form does evil take within its pages?

Murder, manipulation, domestic abuse, and people being overly judgy about other people’s love lives.

Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss and why?

Tabitha is constantly caught between wanting to kiss Bishop, her tall dark and handsome policeman she’s been crushing on forever, and Stewart, the slightly grungey best friend type who writes romance novels and has an adorable Scottish accent. Personally I would ditch them both to snog Tabitha’s friend Xanthippe, who is basically a 21st century Mrs Emma Peel. I am declaring it canon that she is better at kissing than either of the blokes.

What's your favorite period in history and does it influence your world building?

Ancient Rome is my favourite and my best! I have a PhD in Classics and spent years researching and writing about the public image of imperial Roman women. It is hugely influential on most of my writing, though more of the fantasy and science fiction work than my crime writing. For this book, the 1940’s detective fiction/film noir period is quite influential,  with particular reference to The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler, and the film made in 1947 featuring Robert Mongomery. Tabitha and Xanthippe are both style-influenced by various decades of the 20th century, especially the 1960’s but with some definite 30’s, 40’s and 50’s action sneaking in. Sometimes they like to pretend they are actually in a screwball comedy featuring Diana Rigg and Audrey Hepburn.

Which one of your characters would you most like to slap and why?

Oh that’s a hard one! Tabitha definitely has her slapworthy moments, especially when she’s sabotaging her own romantic relationships, which happens far too often. There’s actually several characters in this book that I want to slap by the end, but it’s mostly too spoilery to say why! There’s a strong thread of people manipulating other people in the story, though, which gets my blood boiling.

Without spoilers, what's the funnest (or funniest) part of the book?

There is a sequence in which the characters are taking part in a kind of flashmob film noir project in a small town, which means crowds of people in 1940’s costume improvising really terrible clichés from detective movies and filming each other on their smartphones. It’s the sort of bizarre thing that tends to happen to Tabitha and her friends, and it was so much fun to write – especially a scene in which Tabitha and Stewart are in an alleyway trying to outdo each other with quotes from The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep and other classic movies.

If your story smelled of something, what would that be?

VANILLA, oh that’s such an easy one it’s not even funny. Though of course it would be affogato again – the scent of freshly brewed coffee and vanilla icecream.


Drowned Vanilla by Livia Day
Cafe La Femme, Book 2
Sequel to A Trifle Dead
ISBN 978-1-9221010-1-3

It’s the beginning of a hot, hot summer in Hobart. Tabitha Darling is in love with the wrong man, and determined to perfect the art of ice cream. Playing amateur detective again is definitely not on the cards—not even when her friends try to lure her into an arty film noir project in the historical town of Flynn.

But when a young woman goes missing from a house full of live webcams, and is found drowned in the lake outside Flynn, Tabitha is dragged into the whole mess— film crew, murder victim, love life and all.

There were two girls using the internet pseudonym French Vanilla, and only one is dead. So where is the other one? Why is everyone suddenly behaving like they’re in a (quite specific) Raymond Chandler novel? And how the hell did the best kiss of Tabitha’s life end up on YouTube?
Even ice cream isn’t going to get them out of this one.
Reviews of Drowned Vanilla


“Food and crime, together at last. This warm, funny book is murder  á la mode.” - Kim Wilkins (Kimberley Freeman)

"A delicious, frothy confection, full of vintage frocks, murder, heart, and fun. Tabitha Day is my favorite mystery heroine in years…and she is anything but vanilla!" - Stephanie Burgis



{What is Gail's Book Group reading for October? Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Ensemble  Gustave Beer, 1904-1905  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
fashionsfromhistory-tumblr Hair 18th Century Spain MET

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Working from home while Lilliput supervises


PROJECT ROUND UP  
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Releases March 17, 2015 now available for pre-order! Proof stage.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Release date November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order. Edits stage.



The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming soon: November 4, 2014)
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels

Book News:
I am, Indeed says of E&E, “Gail Garriger manages to create a cute and whimsical story that is laden with wordplay and outrageous adventures, JUST for the fun of it.”

Quote of the Day:
“Bicky rocked, like a jelly in a high wind.”
~ P.G. Wodehouse

Follow 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.