Winner of Mini-Contest #5 & Excerpt

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.”


  1. AngelB on January 10, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Sounds like Mary is back to her old self. 🙂

    I can’t wait to read it. To be honest, I haven’t read “The Watsons” yet. Should I before I read the new book?

  2. Lauren on January 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    You can definitely read “Mischief of the Mistletoe” without reading “The Watsons”. There’s a note at the end of the book where I explain how the two relate.

  3. Rachel on January 10, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    As always, I am even more excited for the entire book! I can’t wait – but unfortunately, I have to :(. At least Blood Lily is almost here 🙂

  4. Cassie on January 10, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    That was great! I cannot wait! And it was also cool to see Mary and Vaughn together, and that they are still perfect for each other! Oh, October seem so far away!!! At least it’s still this year. =)

  5. Anne K on January 10, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    I love the root vegetables and roses line! hahaha. Thank you so much!

  6. Kristen on January 10, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Mary & Vaughn! I love it! 🙂

    I’m way over excitied for the Blood Lilly next week, and then the thought of a second book next year…it’s almost too much!

  7. am7 on January 10, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    My poor Mary!! You made her seems so cold, even though I would probably feel the same way if I had to deal with
    Turnip. I love Mary, and I think her practicality is underrated and definitely judged as a now on the then. That being said Turnip being sweet is a further development and I already like Arabella. Speaking of which given Colin’s Aunt, does one of theri offspring eventually marry into the selwicks or maybe hmmm…
    I would love the full Selwick family tree I have tried myself…(from Richard’s parents onward)

  8. Tracy Grant on January 10, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Loved this and loved seeing Mary & Vaughn together and not in the least softened by marriage. So excited for this book next holiday season! And very happy we have Blood Lily sooner…

  9. Suzanne on January 10, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    What a great way to end the weekend! An appearance by my favorite two Pink characters (Mary & Vaughn), a sweet new heroine (Arabella) & the promise of a Turnip holiday book 🙂

  10. Robyn on January 10, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Only one question, can we have more please?

  11. Carole on January 11, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Loved it. Thank you for sharing it with us! I can NOT wait until it comes out. November? Why not tomorrow? =)

  12. Georgie on January 11, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    simply splendid! i can’t wait for more.

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