Tuesday, February 28, 2012

“When I’m not writing” with Gail Carriger + giveaway!

Gail Carriger

The fangirl in me is *dying* today because Gail Carriger is visiting the blog. She’s the author of one of my favourite series, The Parasol Protectorate, a series of books that are this fantastic blend of steampunk, supernatural, and comedy of manners. There’s nothing out there quite like it, which is why I’m so sad that the final book in the series, Timeless, is being released in two short days. (I’m also edge-of-my-seat excited because I need to know what will happen to Alexia and company.) Thankfully, Gail is working on a steampunk adventure Finishing School series for young adults, Etiquette & Espionage, and a new Parasol Protectorate Abroad series set to launch in 2013.

Keep reading to find out what Gail does when she’s not creating these beautiful books and enter the giveaway to win the first four books in The Parasol Protectorate series. They’re a must for anyone who loves the supernatural, steampunk, and hats.

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I think many writers suffer from a plague. That plague is the great lengths we will often go to not to write. I fill up my day with hobbies, particularly at this stage of a book ~ about half way through, in an attempt to find something, anything, to do instead of write. Oh, I will get around to writing in the end but until then I . . .

Cook

Gail Carriger

I enjoy cooking not just for regular meals, but cooking events and historical recreations. A few years ago in my archaeology days, I translated some recipes from Latin and cooked a 7 course Roman meal. Since I'm on a deadline right now, I invited my best-girl cook buddy over and we prepared a 4 course Victorian supper for 10 out of a 1876 cookbook, just to see what the flavors were like. This is good research for my novels too, all of my protagonists are ladies fond of food. I spend an inordinate amount of time in my novels describing food, likening people to food, or hurling food about in an indiscriminate manner. I figure I better cook it once in a while to find out what it's really like.

Read

Gail Carriger

Like most writers I started out a reader. Unfortunately, these days, I only allow myself to read books related to my current project. As you can see, my current stack includes a Steampunk graphic novel, the Tricksters series by Tamora Pierce, and the nonfiction book Spy Cather by Peter Wright. This is because I'm working on the Finishing School series right now, which is four young adult books about a steampunk spy-training lady's seminary.

Mill hats

Gail Carriger

I love nothing more than getting out the hot glue gun and working on hat projects. I think it's the 3 dimensional creative art aspect of hats that I love so much. And when one is working on steampunk or Victorian hats, one can be quite outrageous with feathers and flowers and ribbons galore, a la Ivy Hisselpenny.

Tend houseplants

Gail Carriger

When I'm puzzling over a plot point or a fight sequence, I'll often wander about the house watering plants. I have an affection for orchids (they respond well to neglect) and a collection of fresh herbs which I use for cooking. They require watering and wedding and other attention, so provide a welcome distraction in my writing day.

Exercise

Gail Carriger

I have a standing desk but my profession is still a stationary one. I try to fit in some form of stretching and physical activity every day. Sometimes that is climbing on the bike with my laptop and heading off to the local cafe to write, sometimes it's bouncing about in front of the xbox to a dance game. I'm not good with gyms or standard activities like running, so I'm always hunting for a way to make sweating fun and goal oriented.

Undertake an art project

Gail Carriger

I like to use packing styrofoam to mount fabric and then paint on the fabric for large, lightweight art pieces to put up around the apartment. Earthquake country makes me uncomfortable with the idea of a heavy oil painting hanging over my bed! Plus, this way the painting matches my style and decor perfectly.

Sew

 Gail CarrigerGail Carriger

I wear tons of vintage and I like to modify thrifted clothing, which means I have to be able to repair and sew often. I almost always have a stack of clothing hanging behind my office door waiting on alterations or mending.

Plan outfits

Gail Carriger

Tied into this fashion obsession is the hours I spend fussing with creating and planning outfits for events and everyday activities. I'm obsessed. I haunt the fashion blogs and vintage photos for inspiration and the pick form my own closet to create a similar look.

Throw pots

Gail Carriger

I trained as an archaeologist and my expertise was in ceramic technology, but I also grew up a potter. As a result, I've done some experimental archaeology work with building and firing recreated kilns. The pots pictured above are the result of one of those firings. It was the firing where we proved an updraught kiln could get over 1100 degrees, a mile marker for the project. They remind me of where I came from and the life of an archeologist and teacher that I still miss, sometimes.

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Thank you for visiting the blog today, Gail! I don’t know how you find the time for all these cool hobbies and write as much as you do.

For more Gail, visit her website, blog, or Facebook page. You can also follow her on Twitter or check out her fashion blog. And if that’s not enough, you can also chat about The Parasol Protectorate on the Facebook group page.

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Learn more about The Parasol Protectorate (but only if you don’t mind spoilers since they’re sort of inevitable in the cover copy):

Gail Carriger Soulless Parasol Protectorate Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Gail Carriger Changeless Alexia Tarabotti, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears - leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can.

She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Gail Carriger Blameless Parasol Protectorate Quitting her husband's house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.

Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London's vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.

While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires -- and they're armed with pesto.

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Gail Carriger Heartless Parasol Protectorate Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband's past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux's latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.

Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf's clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama's second best closet?

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt (on Facebook)

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Gail Carriger Timeless Parasol Protectorate

Coming March 1, 2012…

Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire's second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell's acting troupe's latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia's enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.

Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?

Pre-order: Amazon | Book Depository

You can also pre-order the Manga version of Soulless:

Gail Carriger Soulless Manga Parasol Protectorate Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Or will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Read an excerpt (on Facebook)

Pre-order: Amazon | Book Depository

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Want to get your hands on the first four books in The Parasol Protectorate? Gail is offering one (1) set of Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, and Heartless to a lucky reader.

To enter, obey the Rafflecopter!

Giveaway closes Monday, March 12, 2012.

Open internationally.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!

Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!

Jenn

Born and raised in the Toronto area, Jenn moved to St. John's, Newfoundland, eight years ago for school. She's still in school (thankfully on another degree!), now trapped in her dissertation. When she's not dissertating, which happens more often than it should, Jenn spends her time reading, watching movies, playing volleyball, travelling, and enjoying the local music scene. Her latest addictions: yoga and Almond Crunch cereal.

71 People left their mark' :

  1. What an awesome amount of hobby's Gail! And you are also so busy on Twitter with those great pics of the dresses for your characters and other stuff, love those.
    What I like most about the series, is the heroine. She is totally honest and direct, and does not apologize for it. She won't be walked over, not even by her terrifying husband.

    I am looking forward to reading the fifth book, and yes, a bit sad it will be the last.

    Aurian

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  2. What I love about the series is Alexia herself! Her attitude is so fresh and spunky! I totally forget what era I'm really in!

    So sad that the series is ending! I hadn't even really known til recently that this was the finale!

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  3. Thanks Gail for stopping by. Can't wait for Timeless!

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  4. The Steampunk-ness is what appeals to me.

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  5. I haven't read this serie yet but i love the way history and paranormal mixes together ^^

    thanks you for this international opportunity to discover this serie

    all the best

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  6. I love the unique blend of steampunk genre with vampires & the likes!

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  7. That's so awesome that you trained as an archaeologist! I love that sort of thing!

    I've been wanting to read this series forever. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

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  8. I confess, I don't normally read this feature, but Gail is one of my favourite authors, so I had to see what she had to say!

    Something I love about the Parasol Protectorate is the setting, (steampunk & London, yay!) but also Alexia's sense of humour. It's very similar to my own, and I love how practical she can be.

    ~Ailsa

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  9. I really want to read this series, Alexia just sound like fun!

    So thanks for the international chance :D

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  10. This looks like a great Steampunk series. I'm interested to read it as I haven't read an adult Steampunk book yet, only YA and I'm interested to see what else they have to offer that YA doesn't.

    Thank-you so much truly for the chance!

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  11. I love a strong female lead character. Plus it's SteamPunk!

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  12. Victorian London, vampires and werewolf

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  13. I think that what appeals to me the most about this series is the mix of the paranormal with the steampunk elements. Well done and quite entertaining.

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  14. I absolutely ADORE this series. Between the Steampunk/ Victorian feel, the action, the parasols and Lord Maccon....wow. I'm just addicted!!!

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  15. Oh I just ADORE Ms. Carriger. I'm currently devouring Timeless. I will be sad to see the series go!

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  16. I ahven't read the series yet but I like steampunk.

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  17. If some novels is set in Victorian London time I'll read it, plus werewolfes and vampires, perfect reading! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

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  18. I've read very good reviews about it and I'm interested in because I like Victorian London time and the supernatural things ;)

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  19. I would say the mix of so many elements in the books is what interests me. There's steampunk and some paranormal creatures.

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  20. I love these books, they're funny and intelligent. Alexia is a character that I can relate to and the combination of steampunk technology and Victorian times is seamless.

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  21. I love that it's steampunk, and then there's Lord Akeldama. I adore your series!

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  22. I like the blend of paranormal, steampunk and historical elements.

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  23. thank for the giveaway. I think what I love the most is the peiod and the nature of the characters. Everything is always so interesting!

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  24. Thanks much for this. I have some of them in Ebook but would love actual paper versions.

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  25. I love the sharp wit - Gail does excellent dialog!

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  26. Oh dear - that's a lot of hobbies! I'm proud of myself if I can even manage to blog + video game. Many kudos to recreating authentic meals, that sounds like a blast!

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    1. Oh! And I completely derailed - the combo of humor & romance while providing an excellent plot is what makes me love Gail. I adore that she can tell a good mystery while not boring me!

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  27. I like that there seems to be many different types of paranormals in the series.

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  28. I want to read these because they look really original and different. Plus I've seen so much good buzz about this series!

    b(dot)cardone(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  29. I want to read this book because I love steampunk and they seam really cool .

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  30. They appeal to me because I love the paranormal steampunk aspect. Ive read a few steampunk before and really liked them.

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  31. I really really like this serie! In France, we only have the two first books, the third is coming on april 2012. But, now I read in english, I can't wait for the following installments.
    Steampunk is becoming one of my favorite genre. I love Meljean Brook's books too.

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  32. A huge thank you for this post because I honestly didn't know much about Gail Carriger though I've been really interested in reading The Parasol Protectorate series !! I would love to read this series first because it is set in Victorian London (how awesome is that??) and then because it's a paranormal book series which is my favourite genre !! A book series that combines XIXth century London and werewolves and vampires is one that I'm sure I'll love !!
    Thanks for the GREAT giveaway .. It's really sweet to make it international !!

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  33. I have not read any yet, but firstly love the name. I have decided I need to read more Steampunk.

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  34. It's probably the supernatural elements first then the humor.

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  35. Thanks for this post it was so interesting :D ! Gail seems like a really busy and passionate person :).
    I bought the first book in the series last year but I still haven't read it I really need to !
    Thanks for this awesome giveaway too!

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  36. Thanks so much for the giveaway. The series sounds pretty interesting and the covers are catchy so I'd like to read it.

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  37. I haven't read this series yet, but I love how unique it sounds. Steampunk meets vampires? I'm sold. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  38. I love the fact that this is set in Victorian London, the premise sounds like it would be a wonderful read. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  39. I've only read a couple steampunk books and have liked what I've read so would love to read more. Also the series sounds so fun.

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  40. Like Gail, I too am cursed with the plague:) The 7 course Roman meal sounds awesome!

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  41. I LOVE Gail! From her writing, humor and fashion sense, she's one of the authors in most recent months that I have grown to love and adore. Her Parasol Protectorate series was instantly on my favorite reads list after I read Soulless and then my love just kept on growing with each novel. I'm so excited for the release of Timeless tomorrow but then sad at the same time because I don't think I'm ready to put down Alexia and Conall Maccon. I adore that couple so much and they are just perfect for each other. I'm just glad she has 2 new series coming out next year becuase I would love to read more of her work.

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  42. I can't believe how many different things you do in your spare time, Gail!! You are my new hero!
    I think what appeals to me the most about this series of books is that the heroine is such a strong, independent woman back in a time when women were supposed to be weak and fiercely dependent on men to get by! Add to that the supernatural aspect of the books, and you definitely have a book worth reading in my opinion! I haven't read these books yet but judging by all of the awesome reviews I've read regarding them, I'm going to love them!! Thanks so much for the very awesome interview and the amazing giveaway:)

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  43. I haven't read a steampuck book before. That I know of anyway. They do sound like a fascinating read. I would love a chance to read them. I really like the covers. I wish I could cook like you, but I'm the worst cook in the world! I can't even cook a single thing let alone a 7 course meal. I'll burn a hamburger to a crisp that is harder than an actual brick. *sigh* That just happened last week. So my menu often consist's of Campbell's or take-out anyone?? LOL Thank you for the chance to win!
    DeAnna Schultz

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  44. I've read the first book and it was great. I would love to read the rest of them. I really love Alexia and how she kicks butt, but always try to remain a lady of etiquette as she does.

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  45. I loved the fact that i had no idea what to expect when picking up the book!! Huge fan now! Gail is an amazing author and Alexia is my favorite heroine!

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  46. I've never read steampunk before so I'd love to give this series a try. Plus, I've heard a lot of people saying how much they loved these books.

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  47. I'm really getting in to the steampunk genre and love reading paranormal. I've heard so many great things about this series and can't wait to read the. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  48. I'm most attracted to the steampunk element. I just discovered steampunk this year and I'm already a steampunk junky!!

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  49. What an awesome range of hobbies Miss Gail! I am a bit jealous of your artistic talent, but I do love the fact you share on your blogs and Twitter. So excited about the release of Timeless and the manga! I'll be popping into a book store tomorrow to track them down :D

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  50. I have read the first two and they were wonderful! I love the quirky characters and their marvelous wardrobes. :) I was supremely lucky in being able to attend a book signing of Miss Carriger's not two hours ago. She is as lovely in person as she is online and through her books. :)

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  51. I have not read any of these yet but I love both paranormal and historical fiction and the main character really appeals to me. She sounds strong and funny and quirky. Would love to get my hands on this series!

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  52. I haven't read them yet but two words: steampunk and paranormal.

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  53. I haven't read these books before..But I love steampunk and definitely love the cover..:)

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  54. I read the first, it was awesome btw. I like the Steampunk and the English culture plus paranormal. The writing was so excellent I was only slightly disappointed there were no zombies

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  55. the steampunk elements and the wry humour and of curse outrageous hats! :))) I love this series!

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  56. I love this series because of the main heroine. She is so funny:)) It is actually was my first Steampunk series I've read.

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  57. I like the steampunk/paranormal elements to this series. Also, Gail is a delight to see in person. Makes the series more entertaining for me. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  58. I love the detail in the costumes and inventions. The stories are fun and the characters endearing.

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  59. These covers are without a doubt beautiful and sometimes - unfortunately - I do judge a book by its cover XD
    Also, I am a huge history buff and who wouldn't love history with werewolves, vampires, and parasols. :)

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  60. I love the witty humor and I love how crazy Conall is over Alexia.

    ~Krista

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  61. Thanks for the great post and giveaway! I've heard so many great things about the series, and I'm wanting to read more steampunk.

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  62. Great post! I wish I could have one hobby, lol! Maybe once the little one gets bigger. I have not read this series, but they sound interesting. I am just starting to get into steampunk. So the idea of steampunk and paranormal in the same book is right up my alley. Thanks for the chance.

    sariahwalters at gmail dot com

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  63. I absolutely love anything set in Victorian London, so that right up is the major appeal for me.But no, Gail didn't just stop there. She added Werewolves and Vampires and she's got my heart racing with how good it all sounds.

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  64. I like the paranormal aspects and the covers.

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  65. I have not read this series yet but what appeals to me is that it's a historical set in London with vampires and werewolves. What more could I possibly ask for since historical and paranormal stories are my favorites? :)

    Thank you for this opportunity!

    Pam

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  66. I love the books so thank you for the fun insight into a writer's life and thank you for the giveaway!

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  67. What appeals to me the most about the Parasol Protectorate are the characters and the humour, I had no idea how entertaining the series would be when I picked up Soulless.

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  68. What an amazing set of hobbies, and I love how they all tie in together, too.

    I'm also glad she says orchids like neglect. I'm thinking of getting a couple and am not real good with houseplants.

    carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

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    1. And what appeals to me is that is a good mix of humour, Victorian etiquette and paranormal folks.

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  69. THANK YOU!! I just received the email. I have replied to it.

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