Gail Carriger's Blog

July 23, 2014

I will not be at San Diego Comic Con this year. Much as I enjoyed my experience in 2012, I feel it was a once in a lifetime thing. I'm not one of those who can go regularly.

However, my publisher is planning on attending. If you are excited about Prudence I highly suggest you swing by the Orbit booth at SDCC and make yourself known to the cool people their as a particular fan. I would do this as soon as you can, as close to the beginning of the event as possible. Because it's a while supplies last kind of thing.

No, you do not get the book. (How would that be possible while I'm still in revisions?)

Otherwise, oh yes, I am being purposefully obtuse.

What can I say? Doooo eeeetttt.


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .


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1897 Day Dress  1897  The Victoria & Albert Museum


Your Infusion of Cute . . .


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peashooter85-      Rare and unusual “Femme Fatale” ring pistol, originates from France, third quarter of the 19th century.      Sold at Auction- $11,350


Your Tisane of Smart . . .


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Strawberry ShortcakeKabaob


Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Five Communication Mistakes Almost Every Couple Makes
[Very useful drivers for romantic drama, conflict, and subplot.]


PROJECT ROUND UP
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Revising. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. [image error] Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.



The Books! [image error] The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3 Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014) [image error] 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 Soulless Vol. 1, Soulless Vol. 2, Soulless Vol. 3 [image error] $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song , & Fairy Debt
Book News:


Quote of the Day:


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card via FB



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.
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Published on July 23, 2014 08:58 • 73 views

July 21, 2014

Gentle Reader, I am always fascinated by those interviews they have at the back of glossy magazines. The ones that are kind of Inside the Actors Studio style. I'm a terrible judgy person (I know, like you're surprised) and I always judge the person being interviewed by his or her answers.

So I thought I would give myself one of those interviews and you could judge me.


20 Questions from Marie Claire Magazine

What food is on your kitchen counter?
The partial carcass of a papaya. The AB hates them and they are one of my favorite fruits. I buy one every week that they are in season and eat the whole thing myself.
What is the best gift you've ever received?
My first car: a 1982 Ford Courier (with a Mazda engine) and 200,000 miles on her. My mom's old work truck, Bluebell, became mine on my 16th birthday (so I could commute to high-school myself). She represented so much joy and liberty. Old Bluebell went 300,000 on the original clutch. I loved that truck.
What is your fantasy vacation itinerary?
Somewhere with good food, tropical fruit, and lots of swimming.
What can you not miss on TV?
Bob's Burgers. It's the only thing we actually try to watch regularly. Still, we usually forget and have to catch it in reruns.
What is the best advice you've ever been given?
Success is largely a matter of holding on when everyone else has given up.
What movie do you think has the greatest ending?
Later Days. I can watch him drop that tray over and over again. It's not exactly the last scene but it's the ending. SO GOOD.
What is on your perennial to-do list?
Vacuum. There is never a time when our apartment doesn't need it.
What is on your bookshelf?
Science fiction and fantasy baby, all the way.
What is on your feet right now?
Nothing.
What is you go-to karaoke song?
I don't sing, but I make a killer back-up dancer. If you want to catch me embarrassing myself by singing out loud? Firewater by Chome Johnson gets me every single time.
What is your beauty secret?
Soaking my feet in hot water and baking soda every night I wear high heels. Nothing is right with the world if ones feet are sore.
What should every woman try at least once in her lifetime?
Asking for exactly what she wants in bed. And vibrating sex toys. Yeah, I said it, someone has to. Sheesh, ladies.
Do you have a secret talent? I can cut a perfectly straight even slice of bread, even those super fresh crusty round loafs ~ so long as I have a good knife.
What makes you laugh?
My friends when drunk and also: wit, absurdity, folly, mimicry, and the occasional bad pun.
What makes you mad?
Inefficiency, passive aggression, and slovenliness.
What charities do you support?
My local Animal Shelter, Kiva, Worldbuilders, and a selection that advocate literacy, health, and education for girls and women.
What splurge is well worth it?
Anything to do with health, safety, or natural fibers. More consumerist? Shoes, fresh fruit and vegetables, and good books.
Do you have an pet peeves?
So many. People who can't sit still (jiggly leg ARGHHHH). Ill-disciplined children in public. Weak tea and weak handshakes. Skim milk. Anything smelly.
How did you make your first dollar?
Aside from the tooth fairy? I was a page at my local library.
What's the one thing you wish you'd known when you were younger?
Self defense.


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for June? Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach ~ Book One in the Paradox series}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .


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1860s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Your Infusion of Cute . . .


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Red Yellow Cluster Art Bouquet to Art 2014


Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Meet The Three Female Medical Students Who Destroyed Gender Norms A Century Ago

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
“Recollect that to a woman who gets her living by her pen, "time is money," as it is to an artist. Therefore, encroaching on her time is lessening her income.”
~ 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: Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. [image error] Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.



The Books! [image error] The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3 Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014) [image error] 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 Soulless Vol. 1, Soulless Vol. 2, Soulless Vol. 3 [image error] $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song , & Fairy Debt
Book News:


Quote of the Day:
“A horse who invariably preferred his own opinion to that of his rider.”
~ Amelia B. Edwards

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.
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Published on July 21, 2014 10:15 • 85 views

July 18, 2014

In addition to the Paradox series I read another book last month, To Play the Lady by Naomi Lane. (I also finished More Usefully Employed by Brenda Moon, the Amelia B. Edwards biography. But that is not germain to this post.)

Finishing To Play the Lady was both a euphoric experienced and utterly soul crushing. Particularly after the Paradox series, which was such beautifully tidy three book deliciousness.

Here's why.

You may think, I hated it. Or I loved it but it was so badly edited that my enjoyment was thwarted. That's not it at all.

Did I like it?
Yes! It was YA with a strong magical warrior heroine. Many of my favorite tropes were hit. It felt a bit like Tamora Pierce meets Sherwood Smith, how could I not love it? There were some flaws, mostly in length and editing, some repetition, some errors in overuse of cliche phrases, but 90% of the time my immersion in the story was unaffected. Trust me, that's really good.

Do I recommend you pick it up?
Yes but...

The book was released in 2011, it is a completed work but unmistakably the start of a series. It's self published. (I have nothing against self-published books but it does mean the author has only a self-imposed deadline. There are exceptions, but authors are notoriously ill-disciplined.) The most recent update from the author indicates a certain lack of optimism over a release timeline for Book 2.

Health, life, money, tragedy: there are many reasons an author stops writing. Being an author myself, I completely understand ~ projects derail. You saw it happen to me with Prudence. However, as a reader, I would rather have not read this book, then be left without knowing what happens next. Now I fear I never shall. It's too good and yet too sad. I reached out to Naoimi and she immediately emailed me back to say she was trying but couldn't make any promises. I'm hoping that she keeps her head high and fights the good fight and I wish her the best of luck. Selfishly, for my own sake.

This has happened to me before
My first experience was with Claudia J. Edwards. She began her Bastard Princess series with Eldrie the Healer in 1988 and I loved it. And then, nothing. She never wrote another book. I've no idea what happened to her or why she stopped writing. She died in 2010, having published nothing at all (under that name) for over 20 years.

I kind of want to sing a song: Whatever happened to Claudia J. Edwards?

My second experience was with Sharon Green. A prolific writer known, perhaps best, for her incredibly complicated world-building and fantastic nookie scenes. Her best magical system, if you ask me, was in The Far Side of Forever series. It was working up to feature a pretty fab romance too, and then... oh, and then... She left a romantic cliff hanger at the end of the second book in 1989. She went on to write hundreds of books but never finished that series. I must assume it did not sell well enough.

I was crushed and never read her again. Although, now, I see she has some stand-alones and I might try a few of those. Cautiously. Carefully. A burned child near open flame.

Confession time
As I write this, I am struck with the horror of realizing I have done this myself. To you, Gentle Reader. I think Crudrat stands alone but it certainly isn't a finished series. I too am a sinner. I am mortified. I can only apologize profoundly and make amends. And so, you read it here first. I will finish the second Tinkered Stars book, and I will make it as complete a story as possible, within the next five years. This I vow. I will carve out the time from my other series for those few who loved my little sci fi audio offering. I will NOT be that author. I will not give up because of life, like Claudia. I will not sacrifice a lesser loved series for a more popular run, like Sharon.

And I will write more stand alones. I promise. Because I love them, and their aren't enough out there.

Now, you tell me: Any lost or abandoned series that trouble you at night, Gentle Reader? 


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .


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1860  The Philadelphia Museum of Art


Your Infusion of Cute . . .


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Purse Gold Coin Lilli


Your Tisane of Smart . . .
The Ten Algorithms That Dominate Our World
Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Agenty Advice to a Hopeful Writer, From a Non-Agent

PROJECT ROUND UP
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. [image error] Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.



The Books! [image error] The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3 Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014) [image error] 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 Soulless Vol. 1, Soulless Vol. 2, Soulless Vol. 3 [image error] [image error] $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song , & Fairy Debt ; The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't, the Mummy That Was, and the Cat in the Jar
Book News:
Reading in Winter says (after reading Soulless), “Gail Carriger, where have you been all my life?...This is a fast-paced book that will have you laughing and swooning — and maybe wanting to talk in a proper British accent for a while after finishing. There’s romance and vampires and werewolves and just so many things to keep readers interested.”

Quote of the Day:
“From thence we sallied forth to see the clean, quaint village of Stratford. It was built just to have Shakspeare born in.”~ Around the Tea Table by T. De Witt Talmage (1875)

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.
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Published on July 18, 2014 09:54 • 274 views

July 16, 2014

A little while ago, Gentle Reader, I had an inquiry from a librarian about a study/reading guide for Etiquette & Espionage. I am ashamed to say I didn't even know such things existed. When I was a girl we read a book and, sometimes, did a book report. That was pretty much it. These days, teachers, librarians, and parents expect books for young readers to come with guides.

Apparently, this is kind of like a press kit meets discussion syllabus, including:

cover art
author photo/bio
about the book/pre and/or post reading activities
vocabulary words
timelines (real and/or fictional)
questions for discussion/essays
links to other websites of interest
suggested additional reading
common core standards tie in
character lists

"Isn't that basically Gail's website?" you say. I know, that's what I thought too. Finishing School Section of my website.

Nevertheless, I know that most teachers and librarians out there work brutally hard at their jobs. And there is a certain appeal in a guide for schools featuring a book about a school. Circularity! So I did the only thing I could, given my current deadlines and time constraints: I crowd sourced. I threw out the question to my readers (knowing many of them are librarians) to see if any has written a guide.

Reads 4 Tweens: "Not exactly a study guide, but my review points out things adults might want to talk with kids about."

So then I asked if anyone was interested in doing one for me. Ray & Elizabeth stepped to the plate. (Thanks guys!) And then I, because I am a perfectionist, reviewed and tinkered a bit.

So now, on my website in several places you will find the following:

Etiquette & Espionage Reading Guide and Vocabulary ListHere are two free printable pdfs for teachers, librarians, parents, and other interested parties.

* Reading Guide ~ includes fun activities, discussion questions, Common Core details
* Extensive Vocabulary List


Please feel free to spread the word to your local education establishments. We did our best to make it clear, easy to print, and entertaining.


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .


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1857  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Your Infusion of Cute . . .


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Willow Ware Poodle Don Moyer


Your Tisane of Smart . . .


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Tea blood via Fb


Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Boys Will Be Boys, and Girls Will Be Accommodating


PROJECT ROUND UP
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. [image error] Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.



The Books! [image error] The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3 Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014) [image error] 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 Soulless Vol. 1, Soulless Vol. 2, Soulless Vol. 3 [image error] [image error] $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song , & Fairy Debt ; The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't, the Mummy That Was, and the Cat in the Jar
Book News:
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Quote of the Day:
“The history of England is the history of progressive refinement.”
~ Amelia B. Edwards

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.
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Published on July 16, 2014 09:00 • 158 views

July 14, 2014

I get one particular question a lot, Gentle Reader. And I have sort of answered it in the past in different forms. What's my daily work schedule like? How do I write? What's the professional side of being a writer like? But I realized recently what I never really addressed was:

Why is writing a novel so darn time consuming?
So here it is, for me, what the manuscript process is like from soup to nuts. (Or as the Victorian's have it: from sherry to brandy.) I tend not to call it a book until it is printed. FYI in publishing it's occasionally referred to as a property.

OutlineBasically I sit down with my story bible full of midnight (and mid shower) notes, clippings, research thoughts on characters, courses of inspiration and I imagine a backbone. This includes plot points, romances elements, revelations, passage of time, conversations, gatherings, action sequences, and a balance of single person, dual person, and multi-person scenes.

This only takes me a week or less.

Rough Draft StageFor me this is by far the hardest part of the writing process, squeezing the words out. I write 2000 new words every work day. First I re-read whatever I wrote the ay before (and only that, no more) and do a quick proof, amend various repetitions, edit a little, rediscover my voice. Then I lay down new words. I am allowed to write far future scenes and work on the outline as needed but otherwise I must keep flow. I use TK in the text for points requiring research.

This stage takes 2-3 months.

After this I like to let it sit for at least a week, ideally two. (In the good old days it was a month, but now, deadlines make that impossible.

First Draft StageThis stage I go through and fix all the TKs. I usually have research, consistency checks, as well as pickup editing from sections that didn't get caught on the stage-by-stage read through. I try to catch repeated information, plot holes, and so forth. Rarely do I have major rewrites but I usually have at least one page of notes to check through from the beginning to the end. These include consistency checks, new foreshadows, and other changes that were dependent on later revelations I didn't know about in the outline. This stage I am either attempting to cut 10-20 thousand words, or add in about that many.

This takes 2-3 weeks at best.

Second Draft StageI do a full spell check and proof for any errors I can spot. I fix any remaining TKs and double check notes made during the previous passes. This is mainly a read through pass. It's can be bundled in with the previous pass and takes 2-3 weeks.

Third - Fifth DraftsThis is when I involve my beta readers. If I have my ducks in order,  I have time to print out the manuscript and pass it to each reader at a time. They read for content (that is, not interested in typos and so forth) and consistency. They tell me if my characters are working, illuminate plots holes, indicate what's funny and what isn't working. If I am lucky it makes it to all three but it can be just one or two of them as they have busy lives. During this time I take a break from the project, unless one of the betas wants to have a discussion. Sometimes I am on a tight deadline and this is the draft that has also gone to my editor.

This takes 1 - 2 months, during which time I am usually traveling or editing or writing something else. I prefer not to be writing a new project in the middle or editing an old one, but often I don't have a choice.

Sixth DraftI go over the edits from my betas, change things I feel are necessary and make any alterations I thought up while I was on break from the project. That's why I like breaks so much, the back of my brain gets a chance to percolate. My beta readers often catch my writer's ticks and my historical flaws in word choice etc, so there is a lot of find/replace at this stage wards (change to ward), figured (changed to determined), just (changed to simply), and rather (delete too many) to name but a few.

Ideally I turn it in to my editor by my deadline. This is what I mean when I say "on deadline." There are many other deadlines during this process but this is the big one.

This draft takes about a week and should tell you that at least three sets of eyes and five drafts have passed before my editor even gets the manuscript.

Seventh DraftMy editor can take from two weeks to a month to turn the manuscript around and send it back to me. If timing is good, I'm on book tour for the previous book (or two) while this is happening. She sends it back to me with an edit letter noting all the things that need fixing, comments in the margins, and typos fixed. Usually, I'm supposed to turn it back around in 2 weeks.

Eighth DraftIf the edits are too much I ask for an extension. Often I have a long phone conversation with my editor about possible solutions to the problems she has identified. The editor spots the problem but the author has to find a solution. I can often see several approaches and I like to run the options by my editor, so she understands resulting implications or each possible change. For example: I could remove this character but he is used for comedy in this scene, foreshadow in this scene, and love interest for x character. So how about I just combine him with this character instead? Or I can change the plot here?

Together we decide on the approach. Then I do the fixes and turn it back in. Takes from 2 weeks to 2 months. For two of my books it took longer (Blameless & Prudence.)

Ninth - Tenth DraftThis is usually when I get line edits. Unless the editor didn't like some of my fixing in which case there's one more rewrite pass. Line edits means typos, sentence structure, word choice and so forth. These take a week or two.

After that the draft process is done and the book goes into production.

Copy Edit PassUsed to be that this was a paper manuscript but now it's done electronically. The manuscript has been handed off to a professional copy editor who looks for line-by-line errors but also consistency (internally and compared to previous books), whether I obey house rules for language and grammar (set by the publisher), and other issues. There are usually questions in the margins for me to answer. Often copy editors will change the text to be grammatically accurate without consideration of the author's voice, or whether the sentence is dialogue. (In case you didn't know, we don't speak the grammar same as we writes it.) When authors are complaining about copy editors (and we often are) this is usually why. I try to keep an open mind. After all, they are copy editors, it's their job to try to catch everything. I just write STET in the margin. Often, however, it's at this stage I realize if I am having grave errors of communication with a reader who doesn't ordinarily read SF/F. This kind of error has to be fixed. Usually, an author has the same copy editor (and also translator) for a whole series.

I like to read my manuscript out loud to an empty room at this stage, it helps me with tone and word repetition and it activates a different part of my brain. This is my last chance to catch any major errors. It also can be rather hilarious. Copy edits are usually a 2 week turn around.

ProofSometimes also called the type set pass, or galley stage, this is the final stage of the manuscript process. These are still mailed in. Often there is a tight turn around of a week or less and the document is overnighted. This is one of the hardest stages. The book now looks the way it will when printed and I have to comb through to see if any of my STETs from the copy edits have been ignored. Or any lines that have been dropped. This is hard to catch buried in 75-120,000 words. Also I often see errors, in the new lay out, that I didn't in previous passes. But I can only change 10% of the manuscript. Sometimes I push the limit because I am a perfectionist, but it's a bother (and expense) for the publishing house so I try hard not to.


So there you have it. This is just dealing with the words inside the book (as opposed to cover copy, blurb, online promo, and so forth which I often also proof and review).

Part of what makes this time consuming is each stage is interrupted by other business, events, illness, life. When that happens it can take me a day or two to get back into the groove, rediscover my voice, and that effects consistency. I have a whole blog post about what's going on when I'm not writing. When I worked retail we used to have a saying: everything would go so much more smoothly without the customer. In writing it's more like: writing would go so much faster if I weren't an author.


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .


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via 1901-a-space-odyssey tumblr


Your Infusion of Cute . . .


[image error]


Red Swirl Flowers Bouquet to Art 2014


Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Jellyfish Air Plants

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Special Needs in Strange Worlds: Mur Lafferty on Limitations for the Supernatural


PROJECT ROUND UP



Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. [image error] Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.



The Books! [image error] The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3 Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014) [image error] 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 Soulless Vol. 1, Soulless Vol. 2, Soulless Vol. 3 [image error] $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song , & Fairy Debt
Book News:
Over on the Pop Culture Case Study Podcast, Episode 11 Dave and I talk about the movie Mean Girls bullies, victims, and cyber bullying. I did a bunch of research on this for the characters of Monique and Preshea in the Finishing School books.

Quote of the Day:
“The two school bullies that used to flourish their silk pocket-handkerchiefs in my face, and with their ivory-handled, four-bladed knives punch holes through my kite – one of them is in the penitentiary, and the other ought to be.”
~ Around the Tea Table by T. De Witt Talmage (1875)

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.
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Published on July 14, 2014 09:12 • 191 views

July 11, 2014

I had the most fascinating conversation with a translator recently, Gentle Reader. I have blogged a bit before about how much I enjoy chatting with those who translate my words. It forces me to think about language differently, and how I apply it.

Such a discussion started recently with the phrase "mostly dead."



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Woman reading a book. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.


A translator emailed to tell me that she was struggling to properly translate my term “mostly dead.”

I use it at various points in my Parasol Protectorate books:

Changeless p. 205
“Werewolves being supernatural and mostly dead, could have no children.”

Blameless p. 13 p. 17
“Your husband is basically dead, or was basically dead and is mostly dead now.”
“So what if he was mostly dead?”

Blameless p. 179
“Your preternatural touch, it does not cancel out the fact that the supernatural person has, already, mostly died.”

At first, the translator thought it meant “almost” or “practically.” However, the proofreader disagreed. Because “mostly” could mean “most of the time,” they began to think it meant “almost dead,” that is, not completely dead. Or, it could also mean “essentially.” (In which case, a supernatural is dead, and the only time he is not dead is when a preternatural touches him.)

I also use the phrase “basically dead” in the text, but that's Mrs. Loontwill speaking, and we know we cannot trust her...

My Thoughts on Being Mostly Dead
First, of course, I'm using that particular term as an ode to Douglass Adam's description of Earth as mostly harmless.

That said, some philosophy:
I am using the term mostly to imply a level of confusion on the part of the characters and the scientists of the time. Werewolves/vampires are considered undead, that is, they have died but are still walking around. They aren't living because they don't die ~ life being partly defined by mortality (Victorians are morbid) thus these creatures aren't mortal anymore. It's a condition of stasis. They can't procreate, for example. But they are alive in terms of they walk, talk, and interact. Would an android, for example, be considered a living creature?

The physicality:
So far as the in-world scientists are concerned, the best way to think about it is that most of a person's soul has died. Hence "mostly." By using the word "mostly" I am contrasting against the world "all" or "entirely" or "completely."  It is a matter of proportion or percentage. Death in my universe is not an absolute, it is an end point. Glass full, glass mostly full or mostly empty, glass empty. The stage of immortality is that middle stage: mostly dead. Closer towards dead than alive, but still present above ground.

This is not necessarily a measure of time, but of content. Saying "almost dead" implies that one soon will be. Not the case. Saying "practically dead" implies one step removed, so also not right.
 “Almost dead” might work, but again the implication is temporal - that death is immanent. Which it istn't because immortals are in stasis.

“Essentially” might work best as an alternative.

Ah, the precision of English.

I choose "mostly" because it is so often associated with volume or measurement rather than time. Thus the reader is reminded of the remains of soul and the way the transfer of immortality works in my universe ~ that someone can only be immortal with what's left of the soul. Mostly can then be a measurement of what has gone (measurable or immeasurable as the soul may be).

I know, welcome to my brain. Did you know I have a philosophy minor? Epistemology was my focus. So, yeah.


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .


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via Retronaut ‏@theretronaut  c. 1910- Woman with a parasol


Your Infusion of Cute . . .


[image error]


Latest addition to my office


Your Tisane of Smart . . .
French Hair Art & The Industry of Mourning

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
All about author errors that make it into publication, J. Kathleen Cheney on Forgiving Anne McCaffrey


PROJECT ROUND UP
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. [image error] Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.



The Books! [image error] The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3 Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014) [image error] 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 Soulless Vol. 1, Soulless Vol. 2, Soulless Vol. 3 [image error] [image error] $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song , & Fairy Debt ; The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't, the Mummy That Was, and the Cat in the Jar
Book News:


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Spy Museum in Washington, D.C via Terrence



Quote of the Day:
“The size and power of an internal security service is generally in direct ratio to the extent of the suspicion and fear of the ruling clique.”
~ The Craft of Intelligence: America's Legendary Spy Master on the Fundamentals of Intelligence Gathering for a Free World by Allen W. Dulles

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.
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Published on July 11, 2014 07:46 • 173 views

July 9, 2014

This month's book group pick, Gentle Reader, is Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause. As Wikipedia says it is a "1997 romantic supernatural werewolf novel for young adult readers."


I read this novel shortly after it came out, which should tell you lots of things. But primarily, that this was before Twilight and the height of the paranormal YA literary craze. Rather like Lackey's Elves in LA series was for urban fantasy, this book was ahead of its time for YA paranormal.


So as you read it, please keep in mind that the tropes of your bog standard YA paranormal had not yet been established. What's interesting to me, now, is how many of them are still present, but how different a form they take. I urge you to try not to be exhausted by them, or to perceive them as cliche. After all, Klause was one of the first to do it, and the fact they we now read too much of the same is not her fault.


Also, I'd like you to watch out for YA tropes. What this book does, for my money, is one of the best portrayals of a classic YA story of self discovery, approval, acceptance, and self actualization. Perhaps the metaphors for that are a bit brutally employed, but so they were in Star Wars, and we forgive it the yawn-educing hero's journey. OK, some of us do.


Vivian is a powerful main character, some readers find this off putting. I happen to relish the rare portrayal of a young woman who knows herself and is unashamed. But that is so contrary to what we teach high school girls these day in our literature, I'm afraid some may find her difficult to like. Give her a chance, OK?

Blood & Chocolate won the 1998 YALSA Award for Best Books for Young Adults.

One final note, whatever you do avoid the movie. Not only is it a genuinely bad movie, it shares none of the strength, purpose, point, or drive of the novel. In fact, it has nothing more than shared names.


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .


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2013 IN CELEBRATION OF SISTERHOOD starring Danielle and Jodie Snyder


Your Infusion of Cute . . .





Smeg-50’s-Retro-Style-small-home-appliances


Your Tisane of Smart . . .


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via historywars-tumblr

"Captain Flora Sandes, the only British woman officially to serve as a soldier in the First World War. Initially a St. John Ambulance volunteer, she travelled to Serbia, where, in the confusion of war, she was formally enrolled in the Serbian army. She was subsequently promoted to the rank of Sergeant major, and, after the war, to Captain."

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
VIDEO: Conversations with Booksellers

PROJECT ROUND UP



Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. [image error] Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.



The Books! [image error] The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3 Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014) [image error] 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 Soulless Vol. 1, Soulless Vol. 2, Soulless Vol. 3 [image error] $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song , & Fairy Debt
Book News:


Quote of the Day:
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
~ Oscar Wilde

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.
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Published on July 09, 2014 08:44 • 200 views

July 7, 2014

For my new short story featuring Alessandro Tarabotti, Gentle Reader, I decided one of the things I really wanted to do was commission a professional artist. This was the end result...






The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't, the Mummy That Was, and the Cat in the Jar
By Gail Carriger


Cover art by Pete Venters

How did it happen?
I started by pinging a number of author friends of mine for professional artist recommendations. I wanted someone who did good work in a timely manner and had ebook experience. I also asked for ball park cost figures, so I had some idea of budget. (I do not expect a short story to recoup paying professional artist rates, this was about the experience.)

However, before reaching out to any of the recommendations provided, I remembered Pete.

Pete Venters had shown me the most amazing sketch of Cherie Priest's main character, Briar from Boneshaker, partnered with Alexia when we were all at a steampunk event together. I knew his reputation as an amazing artist, particularly for Magic the Gathering. This influenced me, since I've had a tough time dealing with amateur artists in the past. I wanted a professional who could make deadlines and would not be insulted by criticism if I wanted alterations to the sketch. I pinged him to see if he might be interested, and he was!

Then, while on book tour, I met up with Pete for dinner and we chatted briefly about the project. After a number of email exchanges we hammered out a contract, payment, and expectations on both sides.

The Process
First, Pete read the story.

Then, over email exchanged, I described what I envisioned: the figure, Alessandro's looks, and various different background options. We talked back and forth about what would work best. It's important with ebooks to have something relatively clear and easy to read in thumbnail size for mobile devices and grey-scale for eReaders.

We addressed Alessandro himself. Pete did research into the clothing for men at the time period. I sent him various images. We discussed actors/personalities who I imagined looked like Alessandro.






copyright Pete Venters


Pete sent me the above faces sketch and we hashed out which expression I liked and how this effect his seeming age and mood. I wanted Alessandro annoyed, but not angry, and looking relatively young.



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copyright Pete Venters


Then Pete sent me a sketch of him in his outfit and background. We decided on inside the tomb as a good way to show he was in Egypt, but not be too busy, and not give plot away. We discussed how the sand would look and the Ka statue in the background. I think Pete learned more about Middle Kingdom Egyptian rock cut tombs than he strictly wanted. We started to talk about the appearance of the steampunk device in Alessandro's hand.






copyright Pete Venters


Next Pete sent me the beginnings of color. I had earlier suggested the Ka statue could be less pristine but I reacted negatively to the decay on the statue, I felt it looked like a zombie. We agreed that the shadow on Alessandro's face made him look old. Also, there was some question of the hat. Did I make the grave mistake of having him leave it behind in the text? Oh no! Alessandro would never abandon his hat. So I had to fix a bit of the story itself.

Pete was like, "You can do that?"
 I was like, "The glory of self publishing, if she wants to, the author can accommodate the cover art."

Besides I often do that anyway, if I can. The mention in Changeless where Ivy straightens Alexia's hair on board the dirigible to Scotland? That's because Donna's hair is straight on the cover, but Alexia has curly hair in the text so I wrote a new scene to compensate.






copyright Pete Venters


In the next version of the cover, Pete zoomed in on the figure. As you can see the background statue is fixed to be less a zombie, and Alessandro's face is brighter lit and appears younger. Also texture has been added to his waistcoat. The title is put in, which gave us some concern, as it's so long. In the end, we put half the title at the top and the rest as the tag line.


Although it was not part of our contract, Pete kindly did the titles for me. This was awfully nice of him. However, you should know that if you intent to higher a professional artist for the cover art (and not for the finished cover itself) that artist is only responsible for the image, not the title text.

Because this is a Parasol Protectorate in world short story, Pete kept the title as similar as possible in style and font to those used by Orbit on the Parasol Protectorate and Custard Protocol books. He zoomed in a little more for clarity and also to mirror the aspect proportions on my book covers (AKA how much space on the cover the figure takes up with respect to background).

There you have it, mostly the basics. There were a lot more tiny details (like pixel proportions of a retina-screen iPad) but I don't think you would find them all that interesting.

I enjoyed the experience of working directly with a professional immensely. And I highly recommend Pete's work and attitude.
Pete is talking about this too: The Curious Case CoveredExciting News: Pete is planning to offer special edition prints of this cover for sale!
If you'd be interested, please leave a comment below. I'll do another blog post with all the details of how to get hold of one as soon as possible, as well as links and such.


The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't, the Mummy That Was, and the Cat in the Jar by Gail Carriger is available as an ebook only, although it is in print as part of Jurassic London's Book of the Dead anthology. You can buy it in most every format you might require for $0.99 from Smashwords.


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .


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1814 via fashionsfromhistory-tumblr Fashion Plate from ‘Les Incroyables et Merveilleuses’V&A


Your Infusion of Cute . . .


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donotchoosesidesyet-tumblr Sir Reginald Wiggly


Your Tisane of Smart . . .


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via Maria Diana BroughtonThe Parasol Protectorate Books Group


Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
The Hectic Life of a Multi-Published Author

PROJECT ROUND UP



Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. [image error] Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.



The Books! [image error] The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3 Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014) [image error] 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 Soulless Vol. 1, Soulless Vol. 2, Soulless Vol. 3 [image error] $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song , & Fairy Debt
Book News:





dimity_and_pillover___finishing_school_1_by_poisonmilow



Quote of the Day:


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via the Other 98% on FB



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.
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Published on July 07, 2014 08:58 • 239 views

July 3, 2014

Well, Gentle Reader, it has finally happened! I have a new short story available. Hooray!
The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't, the Mummy That Was, and the Cat in the Jar
By Gail Carriger




Cover art by Pete Venters


It is available as an ebook only, although it is in print as part of Jurassic London's Book of the Dead anthology.

You can buy it in most every format you might require for $0.99 from Smashwords. If you are international and can't get it there please let me know in the comments where you are located so I can work out the kinks. This is self published and I have tried to do my best but I'm not particularly technologically savvy. Please accept my apologies if you have any issues.

It will be up on Barns & Noble soon, they take a while to process ebooks.

I'm still not really talking to Amazon. Not that they notice, but it makes me feel better.

So, what's it about?
A short tale of mummies, werewolves, and well preserved felines set in the world of the Parasol Protectorate.

Alessandro Tarabotti and his valet, Floote, are on a mission in Egypt when they encounter visiting tourists and things go all pie shaped. What is his real mission and will his Aunt Archangelica approve of his treatment of her cat?

In this short story, New York Times Bestselling Author Gail Carriger uses her comedic voice to delve into the history of one of her most beloved characters. If you have ever wondered about Alexia's father, this will give you a glimpse into his adventures and character. 8,300 words.


So there you have it. I did promise I would make soemthing available during the hiatus. Hopefully this little nibble will suffice while you are on summer holidays, or even just over the long weekend with a cup of tea.

Creating cover art with a professional was a fun process and I will be blogging about inception to completion in another post to come soon. Hopefully, you will look forward to it.


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .


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1848 Mantle ca. 1848-1853 via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art


Your Infusion of Cute . . .


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Strawberry chocolate shots


Your Tisane of Smart . . .


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via Armina Familar-Ragsdale on FB via Anglotopia


Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Miseries of Life: Writing


PROJECT ROUND UP



Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. [image error] Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.



The Books! [image error] The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3 Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014) [image error] 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 Soulless Vol. 1, Soulless Vol. 2, Soulless Vol. 3 [image error] $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song , & Fairy Debt
Book News:


Quote of the Day:


[image error]


Hangover via FB



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.
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Published on July 03, 2014 10:05 • 414 views

July 1, 2014

Today trade paperbacks release of the final two Parasol Protectorate books, Heartless and Timeless.

New trade covers.
These books are larger in size than the mass market editions, also the print is larger and easier to read. The backgrounds are a more pail color. Content is unchanged, apart from the sample chapters at the back which may be different.


1811 Slang for Alexia

Sauce box ~ A bold of forward person.
Ottomised ~ To be dissected.
Trigrymate ~ An idle female companion.
I am not a plump currant ~ I am out of sorts.
Gudgeon ~ One easily imposed on.
Hobbleygee ~ A pace between a walk or a run, a dog-trot.
Piddling ~ Trifling, to do a thing in a small degree.
She's a prime article ~ she's a devilish good piece, a hell of a goer.
Bushel bubby ~ A full breasted woman.
Comfortable importance ~ A wife
~ 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

“...there is no wit, but there is shocking ungentility, in a lady to speak of taking a "snooze" instead of a nap,—in calling pantaloons "pants," or gentlemen "gents,"—in saying of a man whose dress is getting old that he looks "seedy,"—and in alluding to an amusing anecdote, or a diverting incident, to say that it is "rich." All slang words are detestable from the lips of ladies.”~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

Want more behind the scenes tricks and Easter eggs for these books? I am interviewed all about Timeless over on Sci-Fi Encounters


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}

GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .





1870  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .





rufflesnotdiets tumblr


Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
"It is well to have always there a small writing-case of your own, with paper, pens, ink, wafers, sealing-wax, envelopes, post-office stamps, &c."~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)


PROJECT ROUND UP
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. [image error] Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.



The Books! The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3 Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming 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 Soulless Vol. 1, Soulless Vol. 2, Soulless Vol. 3 $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song , & Fairy Debt
Book News:
Girl Lost in a Book says of Heartless, “I love the characters and they feel like family...A fabulous read and I simply couldn't put it down.”

Quote of the Day:
“It's not just children who need heroes.”~ Tamora Pierce
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Published on July 01, 2014 09:38 • 127 views