Turnip Gets a Book!

Since today is Miss Jane Austen’s 234th birthday (happy birthday, Miss Austen!), it seemed an appropriate time to make my grand announcement about the next book. All this past summer, I’ve been secretly working away on a special project: a book set in Bath in Christmas of 1803, featuring Jane Austen, Turnip Fitzhugh, and a lot of Christmas pudding. The Christmas Book, as I’ve been calling it, has a name now: The Mischief of the Mistletoe.

The book is loosely– very loosely!– based on the plot of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel, The Watsons, which was written around that time. Little did Austen scholars realize that my heroine, Miss Arabella Dempsey, was the inspiration for Austen’s incomplete work! I’ve been having a grand time with Austen’s books and letters, as well as skulking around the Austen exhibit at the Morgan, which couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s one thing to read a transcription of Austen’s extant letters, quite another thing to actually see them.

The Mischief of the Mistletoe will appear on shelves in October of 2010, a few months before Pink VII (nope, no title for that one yet– I may need to appeal to you all for flowery aid sometime soon). I’ll be posting more about the book soon, as well as a special opportunity to read a few advance chapters….


  1. ann-margaret on December 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    YEEEEEEEEEES. I cannot wait!

  2. Cassie on December 16, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    I cannot wait!!! This is going to be incredible! I love Jane Austen, and I LOVE Turnip! October’s so far away, =(

  3. Courtney on December 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Oh, good heavens…I can just imagine the scathing things Jane would have written to Cassandra about someone like Turnip. 😀

    What a Christmas treat this will be for next year! Cannot wait. 🙂

  4. Teje on December 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    I am loathe to wish for life to speed by, but I can hardly wait for the Christmas book ( with it’s really good title) and another Pink as well! Looking forward to reading the advance chapters, for sure.

  5. Kristen on December 16, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    I’ve always Emma Watson as a character (had she been complete, she just may have been my favorite of Austen’s Ladies), and I do love Turnip…Oh I’m so excitied!!!!!

    And the best part is, I won’t have to wait a whole year just to read another one of your wonderful novels for the first time! 🙂

  6. Rachel on December 16, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Wow, what a treat! and on Jane Austen’s birthday, too 🙂 I’m going to have to read the Watsons now…

  7. Jessica S on December 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!!!!!!!!

    Happy, happy, happy!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Sheila on December 16, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    I am so thrilled…I am a great Turnip fan, and hoping he will surprize us all with true trembling heroics….Thank you, thank you…

  9. Julie on December 16, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    it sounds great! i love turnip. I am so excited and can’t wait for it to come out!!

  10. Liz on December 16, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    How fun!!

  11. Rebecca on December 16, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    SO EXCITED!! 😀 I can’t wait.

  12. Alyson on December 16, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    I can’t wait. Turnip is one of my favorite supporting characters in the series. I just hope that this book doesn’t mean the end of him in the Pink series. Turnip and Jane Austen in the same book! I’m too excited and a bit bummed that we have to wait that long, but it’ll be like a birthday present for me.

  13. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on December 16, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Yippee! I know what I’ll be getting everyone for Christmas next year… expect for my friend Matt who refers to Jane Austen as She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

  14. Alexis on December 16, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    I just did a happy dance in my front room, proving to my husband that I am indeed crazy 🙂 Yay!!

  15. Nicole Schauder on December 16, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    So the book you just told me about and the Christmas novella ARE the same! I was wondering about that! Yes, that would really help the year-long wait in 2010. Awesome!

  16. am7 on December 16, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    okay, so I’ve never been sure how I feel about the early works of Jane Austen, particularly about them published treated as part of her big six. I feel like kind of a betrayal given that she didn’t seem to want them published during her life. Its like they dug up all my high school writings (after I become a famous authoress, and have been dead a while) and published them. I am sure I wouldn’t like it…..
    This is being said I am sure this won’t spoil my enjoyment of this book (which I’ve seen coming along time: more research on 1803 even its 1804 in the pinks, Turnip’s name, Bath, Jane Austen) I am nervous about Turnip being the hero. he’s fine as a side character, but I am worried about a whole book centered on him. I like books about smart people, must be why Jane Austen is there. Still, I am willing to anything Lauren writes more than a fair chance.
    I guess the absence of spy keeps from being a pink book, still it seems like it should be.
    Anyway I can’t wait; there are not enough Lauren Willig novels in the world.

  17. Kellie on December 16, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Squeee! Frabjous day! And, yes, I am chortling. I love Turnip and always hoped he’d have his day. I can’t wait!

  18. Stephanie Ball on December 16, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    OOOH So exciting. Cant wait for PINK VII. I loved hearing all the names from before. so very excited!

  19. Debra Callaway on December 17, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Sounds like it will be a fun book. Arabella Dempsey? Could Aunt Arabella be named after her? Hmmm. I loved reading the Jane Austen Mysteries by Stephanie Barron, I love Jane Auston as a character in a book but I never could really get into her books. I don’t know why, maybe her writing style just doesn’t grab me. Not like the Pink books, I guess I keep re-reading them over and over because your writing style just grabbed me and keeps doing so. It helps that the characters are so believable and so real. I feel like I know these people. It is rare that I read something more than once but once in a while something comes along that I can’t get enough of and your books are like best friends.

  20. Jennie on December 17, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Woohooooooo! I cannot wait to read it!

  21. Kiley on December 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Yay! I love Turnip.That it is based of The Watsons makes it even better!

  22. Sheila on December 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    re am7 comment 16: As a Turnipsian from day 1, I believe he will surprise us all in many wonderful ways, including posibly being so smart he comes across as stupid……..ooh the wait is going to be worse than for Night Jasmine….

  23. Carole on December 19, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Firstly, happy b-day Miss Austen (a late one).

    I’m excited! I can’t wait to read it! Very exciting.

  24. Loramir on December 20, 2009 at 2:26 am

    Ooh, I can’t wait. I find Turnip rather fascinating. I really feel sure he has hidden depths of some kind. After all, his behavior isn’t really all that different from a certain Percy Blakeney.

    (Speaking of which, they’ve got the Leslie Howard version of The Scarlet Pimpernel on Netflix Watch Instantly now! I just about died of delight, as it’s my favorite version!)

  25. Katie on December 20, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    XD Supper excited. My younger brother’s in the same room as me and thinks I’m lame now because I can’t stop squealing.

    But this news kills one of my suspitions. I always thought that Turnip was the Black Tulip, or the leader behind the Black Tulip. He just happens to be everywhere and seems so innocent. The perfect spy. But I guess I’m wrong. Oh well, I’m sure your version will be a thousand times more brilliant!

  26. Chelsey on December 22, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    I absolutely love Jane Austen! And I love Lauren Willig! What could be a better combo than a Lauren book with Jane Austen in it? Nothing. 🙂

  27. Robyn on December 29, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Isn’t Arabella Dempsey the young lady who, Robert’s friend Tommmy escorts to the twelfth night dinner in Nigh Jasmine?

  28. Lauren on December 29, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Well spotted, Robyn!! She is the very one. “Mischief of the Mistletoe” begins about a month before the start of “Night Jasmine” and finishes up at that same house party at Girdings. We get to see the house party from Arabella and Turnip’s points of view– basically, the beginning of “Night Jasmine” turned inside out.

  29. Geri on January 18, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I’ve been busy rereading the books and had just finished Crimson Rose when I began to wonder who was left to marry of our group–Turnip F. of course. With a fortune like his, he’s been on the market too long. All he needs is a “good” {and patient), very clever woman with “great plans for alterations”
    Waiting in great anticipation.

  30. […] Austen played a much more direct role in my writing life.  My next book, The Mischief of the Mistletoe, is directly inspired by Austen’s unfinished novel, The Watsons—and Austen herself features as […]

  31. Resli on August 6, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Emma Watson is extremely pretty! I extremely like her.

  32. Cherry on March 29, 2011 at 5:30 am

    Turnip is such a Bingley!!! I thought it the second I read his first line!! Glad Jane thought so too!!

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