Mini-Contest #4 & BLOOD LILY Out-Take

Happy Friday! THE BETRAYAL OF THE BLOOD LILY comes out next week!!!!!!

Okay, now that I’ve got that out of my system…. Below, I’ve posted what is probably my favorite out-take from The Betrayal of the Blood Lily. It hurt to cut this scene. Without giving too much away, I can tell you that Robert and Charlotte– of Temptation of the Night Jasmine fame– did, indeed, decide to take their honeymoon trip to India, largely to put a continent between them and the Dowager Duchess of Dovedale. What you may not have known is that Alex, the hero of Blood Lily, knows Robert from his India days, back when Robert was plain old “Rob” and not (at least not publicly) his grace, the Duke of Dovedale. In this deleted scene, the two old acquaintances settle down for a manly catch-up.

So here’s our mini-contest for the day: Which two characters can you LEAST imagine settling down for an amicable chat?

For example, what would happen if we locked the Dowager Duchess of Dovedale and Miss Gwen in the same room? You needn’t confine yourself to just my characters; it’s okay to bring in other fictional folks or the odd historical figure.

One commenter, chosen at random, will receive an audio version of The Temptation of the Night Jasmine.

Enjoy the excerpt!

From the deleted files of The Betrayal of the Blood Lily….


“Reid?” Robert Lansdowne jumped to his feet with a smile of pleasure. “Good God, I forgot you were stationed here.

The last time Alex had seen Rob Lansdowne, he had been on the verge of heading home to England. He had also imparted the mind-boggling information that he was, in fact, a duke and always had been. Alex was still getting his mind around that one. Not that he knew many dukes, but they didn’t generally abandon their estates and up and join the army as a mere mister.

Rob was looking rather ducal these days. His clothes were simple, but they bore the unmistakable stamp of London tailoring and there was a large, gold stickpin with a worn signet nestled in the folds of his cravat. Next to him, Alex felt travel-stained and scruffy.

He apparently looked travel-stained and scruffy, as well.

“You look like hell,” the duke said, dropping comfortably back into his chair.

“Good to see you, too,” said Alex dryly. “What brings you back to India? I thought you had sold out.”

“I did. I’m on honeymoon. I wanted to show my bride where I used to live. It also,” he added with a mock grimace, “seemed expedient to put several thousand miles between myself and my bride’s grandmother.”

“What did you do?” asked Alex, mildly intrigued despite the five thousand other concerns pressing on his attention. “Elope with the girl against the old lady’s wishes?”

“Hardly. It’s more to keep her from personally monitoring the production of an heir. She would, too,” he added darkly. “It seemed best to flee the country.”

“Wouldn’t it have been less bother to install a strong lock on the bedroom door?”

“You’ve clearly never met the Dowager Duchess of Dovedale,” said Rob drily. “She makes the four horsemen of the Apocalypse seem like friendly, easy-going sorts of chaps. Besides,” he added, propping one booted knee against the opposite leg, “Charlotte has a friend here she wanted to visit.”

“Rather a long way for a social call, isn’t it?” said Alex idly, leaning a hand against the back of a chair. He really did have to be getting on to James.

“This was a special case. The lady had been rather precipitously married and Charlotte was worried about her.”

One precipitous marriage came very readily to mind. “You’re talking about Lady Frederick, aren’t you?”

Rob raised an eyebrow. “She’s made her mark here, too, I take it?”

“You don’t like her,” guessed Alex.

Rob never had liked laying his cards on the table. “It’s not that I don’t like her,” he hedged. “My wife is exceedingly attached to her.”


Robert frowned, struggling against a natural distaste for what he considered gossip. After a long moment, he shrugged, saying, “It was nothing terribly damning. Tommy Fluellen—you remember Tommy? He formed an unfortunate attachment to her. It became very uncomfortable for everyone concerned.”

“How uncomfortable?” What Alex really wanted to know was how far it had gone.

“If you’d ever been on hand for one of Tommy’s epic infatuations, you wouldn’t have to ask,” said the duke drily.

“Did they—?”

“No.” Alex relaxed at the assured negative. “Staines was already on the scene. Tommy proposed a few dozen times, offering to step into the breach and all that sort of thing, but she wasn’t having it. According to Tommy, she said she wouldn’t drag him down with her.”

“That’s my girl,” said Alex softly.

The duke’s foot hit the floor with a thump. “Good God, not you, too?”


  1. Julie on January 8, 2010 at 11:23 am

    That was so good, i love this out-take. I am so excited to read the whole book. The characters that i can least see have a nice chat would probably be Turnip and Lord Vaughn. Turnip would annoy Vaughn so much, and Vaughn would just make snide remarks the whole conversation. It would be quite funny to see those two chatting.

  2. Maddie on January 8, 2010 at 11:23 am

    AHHHH! im sooo excited!!! i asked my mom if i could skip school to get the book, but she said no… i have to settle for her picking it up on the way home…! 🙂

  3. J on January 8, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I can’t wait for the books. My two characters least likely to sit down and chat are the Dowager Duchess of Dovedale and Turnip. I see him fleeing almost immediatly and all hope of conversation goes out the window from there!

  4. Kathleen on January 8, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Love it. 🙂

    The two I believe are the least likely to settle in for a comfortable chat are Gil Blythe and Lord Vaughn.

  5. Georgia on January 8, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I can’t wait for the book. This is a lovely excerpt! The fact that Alex is calling Penelope “my girl” at this point, is rather intriguing.
    Regardng the amicable exchanges, I think that a tete-a-tete between Mary Alsworthy and Miss Gwenn would probably not be of a very amicable nature.

  6. Chelsey on January 8, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Ooooo, I love it!!!! You should make one big book of all your deleted files. I guess only really addicted people, like myself, would be interested though, haha. My husband thinks I’m such a nerd because I check your website so often :-> I just love everything PINK!

  7. Chelsey on January 8, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    How about Amy’s uncle and Lord Vaughn?….I highly doubt Vaughn would be the least bit intrigued by means of sheep….

  8. Hillary Raymer on January 8, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Let’s see, I don’t believe I could ever see Lord Vaughn and Geoffrey Pichingdale-Snipe meeting for a chat. There seems to be too much at stake in regards to Mary Alsworthy who at one point was going to run off and marry Geoffrey then ended up with Lord Vaughn.

  9. Katelin on January 8, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I have to agree with Lord Vaughn and Turnip. That was the first thing that popped into my head when I read the question. I think Vaughn would go insane or try to strangle Turnip.

  10. Jess on January 8, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Mary & Turnip – a deep, heartfelt conversation.

  11. Brittany on January 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    My first thought was a meeting with the Dowager Duchess and Lord Vaughn, but I think there aren’t many matches between these two that would go well.

  12. Michelle Kind on January 8, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Too bad this was cut out! Makes me eager to read the book Lauren. Just a few more days!

  13. Amy on January 8, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Turnip and…there are so many possibilities! The Dowager Duthcess, Lord Vaughn, the Marquise de Montval, Miss Gwen, Letty’s father…I can’t wait for the Turnip novella!

  14. Heather on January 8, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Great out-take. I am looking forward to getting the latest installment of my favorite series on Tuesday! Have read (and reread) the first chapter here on your site and already feel totally invested with the characters. Maybe my new favorites. We’ll see!

  15. Anne on January 8, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    My two characters least likely to sit down and chat: Charlotte and Mary

  16. Carolyn on January 8, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Love the outtake! I think Delaroche and Lady Uppington might have a lot to say to each other, even though it would not be very amicable. I’m sure she has a few things to tell him after the way he treated her son.

  17. Nancy on January 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    If that’s an out take, I can’t wait to read the stuff that actually made the book. And as for unimaginable conversations, I agree with Turnip and Vaughn, and as for the rest of the literary world I’d have to say Jane Eyre and Amber St. Claire. That would be interesting.

  18. Katie on January 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Ha Ha! Jane Eyre and Amber St. Claire! I could imagine that conversation:
    “Ahhh Bruce,”
    “You don’t se ME sleeping around while pinning after Edward.”
    “Hey, who Actually got the guy here? mumble mumble stupid actress”

  19. Veronika on January 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    hmmm….. I’d say either Turnip and Miss Gwen (although this conversation could be quite enjoyable from a reader’s standpoint), or Mary and Geoff. Or perhaps Charlotte and Lord Vaughn…I can’t see either having much of interest to say to the other. But then, half the fun of this activity is imagining what *would* happen if any of the unlikely pairings were to settle down for a cozy chat.

  20. Robyn on January 8, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Loved the outtake!!!! Can not wait for tuesday!!!!

    My two picks would be Francis Medmenham and Robert, after all the events of the most recent book, Night Jasmine.

    Does anyone hava a time machine? I need to jump straight to Tuesday of next week, after work. LOL!!!!

  21. Stacy Zulueta on January 8, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    I loved the out take. Unthinkable conversations: Flashman and the reverend Thwackum from Tom Jones.

  22. Amanda on January 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Turnip and Lord Vaughn would be hilarious!

  23. Cassie on January 8, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    That was so good!! I can’t wait for the book!! I’m going to get up and go to Borders first thing Tuesday!! (if my plan doesn’t get thwarted, as it did last Tuesday.) And I love how, for the question, everyone is saying Turnip. I would say Turnip and … Augustus Whittlesby. Wait! Maybe that wouldn’t be so horrible… If only Turnip can put up with his bad poetry, lol.

  24. Alyson on January 8, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I was thinking Delarouche and Lord Vaughn. They probably had talked while Vaughn lived in France but now that Vaughn is in the league of the Pink Carnation, much to his annoyance, no more would they be able to play ‘nice.’ Well as nice as Vaughn could ever play.

  25. Sennin on January 8, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I’d say Martin Forbisher and Lord Vaughn, that definatly wouldn’t go very well.

  26. Brenda on January 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I simply adoured the out take! Actually though, this has got me thinking about fun conversations, and i’d say Scarlett O’Hara ans Mary Alsworthy would get along smashingly!

  27. Kimmie on January 8, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    I would probably have to say Delarouche and Jane. Jane, being known as The Pink Carnation, it would simply be too dangerous to put the two of them together in the same room together, what with the risk of having her being possibly found out by Delarouche , who was working for the French in the original The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. I can’t exactly seeing Amy and her French cousin, Edouard sitting down together for tea either. They didn’t exactly “get along”.

  28. Rebecca on January 8, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I loved that scene! Too bad you had to cut it out. 🙁

    And I’d have to go with Amy and Mary. Amy’s all bubbly and such and Mary’s just…not. Nor does she care to be!

  29. PM on January 8, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Hmm….how about Mr. Darcy and Emma? If Mr. Darcy did respond, I doubt it would go well :c)

  30. Kristen on January 8, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Since you said that we could use historical people- I just have this image of Richard being forced to converse with Al Capone…

    and is it bad that I already have a plan to go out and see if the bookstores put it on the shelf early this weekend or Monday?

  31. Liz on January 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Geoff and Lord Vaughn- I don’t remember Geoff being too fond of him in the Seduction of the Crimson Rose!

  32. Sherry on January 8, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I would have to say Lady Kathryn from Pride and Prejudice and George Washington.

  33. amanda b on January 8, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    any combination of the dowager duchess with lord vaughn or the dowager duchess with the marquise de montval.

    i am counting down the days!!

  34. hadley on January 8, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    i’d be interested to hear what vaughn and medmenham would have to say to each other…

  35. Elizabeth on January 8, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I going to have to vote Amy’s brother, Edouard de Balcourt and the Dowager Duchess.

  36. Susan on January 8, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Besides Lord Vaughn, and …just about everybody, I think I might go with Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy. Or Lucious Malfoy and Arthur Weasley. Chauvelin and Sir Percy Blakeney would be right up there too.
    (I’ll just stop now.)
    PS I’m not sure how my library got Blood Lily early, but I am very happy that I got to read it already. LOVED IT!

  37. Christy on January 8, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    It’s a shame you had to cut that scene, but I’m looking forward to the book more now that Robert and Charlotte make an appearance. I would have to agree with Turnip and Vaughn. I can imagine Turnip not comprehending that Vaughn would be insulting him over tea.


  38. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on January 8, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    I’m going to go outside the box… Let’s go for the Dowager Duchess with Lady Catherine De Bourgh! Oh yes, I want to see that!

  39. Brenda P. on January 8, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    If this great piece had to be left out, wow for the rest of the book. The two to sit down would be the Dowager Duchess and Amelia Peabody. Oh that would be grand.

  40. Rachel on January 8, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I was going to say Lord Vaughn and Charles Bingley, but Lord Vaughn seems like a popular choice, so how about Pammy and the Marquise de Montval? two strong characters whose personalities might just not mesh that well… 🙂

  41. Carole on January 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Wow, too bad you had to cut it. I really thought it was cute! =) Oh well, I shall respect that it was for the best.

    Ummm, I would say it would be…odd…if Turnip and Lord Vaughn. Or prehaps Miles and Miss Gwen. I can just imagine the bruises.

  42. Mayghan on January 8, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    I have to agree with Miss Gwen and the Dowager Duchess of Dovedale. I would love to be a fly on the wall in that room.

  43. Kevin Verdon on January 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Close one Brenda P! I’d say my least likely pair would be Lord Vaughn and Amelia Peabody. (hmmm maybe Turnip and Emerson Peabody for a close second…)

    I’d sell tickets to Amealia and Vaughn though 🙂


  44. Lauren on January 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I would pop popcorn for that one!

  45. Kevin Verdon on January 8, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Hmmm following on a similiar theme would be what pair i’d LIKE to see together would be Lord Vaughn and Sethos from the Amelia Peabody series. Those two would pit their wit against each other like foil on foil!

    en guard!

  46. kellie on January 8, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Can’t wait for Blood Lily!!!

    Stepping outside the box, I think Bertie Wooster and Miss Gwen would be a riot. (However much I love Bertie Wooster, I would really feel for Miss Gwen.)

  47. Magdalena on January 8, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    OMG, too bad that didn’t make it in… I love how he calls her his girl already lol. Definitely a lovely chat b/t Vaughn and Miss Gwen would never happen, a fight w/his sword vs. her parasol would ensue directly!!

  48. aniko on January 8, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    I’m going to say perhaps Miss Gwen and Sally Bowles from Cabaret…perhaps anyone from Cabaret. I think poor Miss Gwen might have a bird. She might, however, learn she doesn’t have it all that bad with her charges. 😉

  49. Meg on January 8, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    TOMMY. I miss you! Call me!

    I’m personally pretty satisfied with Miles and Vaughn, but I’d have to ultimately settle for the fabulous pairing of Letty and Jasper. 🙂 Not terrifically original on my part, but OH DAMN are they hilarious!

  50. Lauren on January 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    The Dowager Duchess of Dovedale and Lady Catherine de Bourgh from Pride and Prejudice. I feel as though heads would roll . . .

  51. AngelB on January 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Hey Lauren, would you mind sharing with us exactly where that was cut out of. I want to paste it in. 🙂

    As for two characters just sitting around to bs….Amy and Lord Vaughn. She’s goes as million miles an hour and Vaughn is…not. 🙂 I wonder how long he’d last.

  52. Katie on January 8, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    I was thinking Miss Gwen and Casanova would be quite a crazy conversation. (I think she might end up beating him to death). I also think Mary and Becky Sharpe (Vanity Fair) would be quite a conversation.

  53. Brooke on January 8, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    The Dowager Duchess of Dovedale and Miss Gwen…they could poke people together.

  54. Nikki M on January 8, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Haha, fantastic.

    Emmm, I would love to hear a convorsation between Lady Uppington and Bonnie Prince Charlie. I couldn’t even imagine but it would undoubtedly be hilarious. 🙂

  55. Liz on January 8, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    I think present-day characters might be equally intriguing….How would Colin feel if the villainous Grant showed up on his side of the pond? I also think a conversation between Charlotte and Pammy would be endlessly amusing, if Pammy gives Eloise a hard time about her love life (among other things) I can’t imaging what she would have to say to Charlotte. Though Man-Trackers might have saved Charlotte a lot of grief.

  56. Brianna on January 8, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    the Dowager Duchess of Dovesdale and Lord Valdimort from Harry potter would be two people i wouldnt want to be in the same room with at the same time! that would be something exciting to read about ha

  57. Julie C. on January 8, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    I would have to say Mary’s father and Lord Vaughn. I think it would have been an interesting conversation to have read between those two if Lord Vaughn had actually asked her father’s permission to marry her!

  58. Maddie on January 9, 2010 at 12:35 am

    twelve hours later, i realized that i didnt even answer the question… i was too caught up on my excitement!!! im sad to say that i am a very narrow minded person that usually only reads the series that i know, so i am sticking to this series. i would have to say the Dowager Duchess of Dovedale’s dog (whose name escapes me) and miles, who if i remember correctly arent fond of eachother… i really hope im right about that…

  59. Jessica C on January 9, 2010 at 8:02 am

    The Dowager Duchess of Dovedale and Napoleon Bonaparte. Though it would be awfully funny to read!

    I also thought of an opposite answer – the two characters who would be most likely to get along… Turnip and Mr Wooliston (Jane’s dad/Amy’s uncle). I can just picture it – Mr W going on about sheep, Turnip pretending to be knowledgeable about sheep… comic gold

  60. Anne K on January 9, 2010 at 9:55 am

    hahaha. Nice pairing Jessica C! Turnip and Mr Wolliston made me laught out loud in my cereal.
    My pairing would be Mrs. Betsy Patterson Bonaparte and N Bonaparte. He annulled her marriage to his brother Jerome, and prevented her from coming to France. She did her best in London and Baltimore to be a thorn in Napoleon’s side and to raise her son (Jerome’s son) with no help from either Jerome or N. I would love to hear what she would have said if she were locked in a room with him for an hour.

  61. Amanda B. on January 9, 2010 at 11:32 am

    The two characters I see as least likely to sit down for a chat are Napoleon Bonaparte and Miss Gwen. Most likely out of fear for his toes!

  62. Pam on January 9, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I think, actually, that Miss Gwen and the Dowager Duchess of Dovedale would get along famously. Think of all the people they could harangue and criticize!

    As for less than civil encounters, I’ll wager that Amy and Mary Alsworthy–neither of whom are shy about speaking their minds–would not be the best of pals. Amy would think that Mary was a haughty, bossy ice queen and Mary would think that Amy was a frivolous, rather vapid/silly child.

    And Lord Vaughn with just about anyone. Love him.

  63. Gina on January 9, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you so much for that excerpt!!! And now I have to wait 3 more days for the rest?? That makes me sad. I can’t wait to read it!! 😀

  64. Natasha on January 9, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I. Am. SO. EXCITED!!!!!!! 😀

  65. erin on January 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    I would love to see Collin and Grant in a room together.

    The excerpt was so good, can’t wait to get the book.

  66. Kelsay on January 10, 2010 at 11:39 am

    I’m so excited to read the book. I preordered ages ago and since then, I’ve reread the entire series several times. I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment.

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