It’s official. Lord Vaughn won by a landslide. His partisans outnumbered those of the Dowager Duchess of Dovedale two to one. One imagines the Duchess will have something to say about that….
In the meantime, our randomly chosen winner, recipient of the UK Black Tulip, is… Natasha! Natasha, if you email me your info, I’ll mail you your book.
Check back shortly for Mini-Contest #6!
Here, below, is the promised excerpt from the upcoming Mischief of the Mistletoe:
Okay, so I goofed slightly– the Vaughn/Turnip passage, after being cut down for revisions, wasn’t very exciting, so rather than the Vaughn/Turnip conversation, I’m giving you Vaughn opining on Turnip. This passage is told from the heroine, Arabella’s, point of view, as the Vaughns form a united anti-Turnip front.
“Mr. Fitzhugh’s sister is a pupil at Miss Climpson’s,” said Mlle de Fayette. “A most apt pupil, too.”
“A Fitzhugh?” Lady Vaughn’s laugh, sickly sweet as syrup and just as devoid of any genuine nourishment, grated on Arabella’s nerves. “Apt?”
“I shouldn’t be too hasty to condemn the entire garden on the basis of one vegetable, my sweet,” returned her husband blandly, as though the vegetable in question weren’t standing right there. “One never knows where one might find the odd flower.”
Lady Vaughn tossed her glossy head, making the crimson plumes on her hat dance. “Why bother with root vegetables when there are roses to be had?”
Lord Vaughn regarded his wife from beneath half-closed lids. “Too humble for you?”
Lady Vaughn’s gaze shifted to Mr. Fitzhugh’s dangling watch-fobs, all decorated with exaggerated enamel carnations. “Too tasteless.”
Arabella remembered the hot bricks and the cold chocolate and the solicitude with which Mr. Fitzhugh had tucked blanket after blanket around them in the carriage, until she had thought they might smother from them. When had Lady Vaughn, for all her vaunted good taste, ever performed a kind deed for anyone?
“Even humble fare has its advantages,” said Arabella defiantly.
“Yes, thirty thousand of them a year,” said Lady Vaughn with a knowing arch of her brows. “And all in gold.”
Arabella looked at Lady Vaughn, at her crimson-dyed feathers and watchful eyes. “Not everyone counts a man’s worth in coins.”
Lord Vaughn lifted his quizzing glass. “Who said anything about a man? I spoke merely of cultivating one’s garden.”