As many of you know, I have several shiny Mischief of the Mistletoe ornaments to give away… and a rather cunning contest idea.

I was terribly amused last week to find a whole cache of imaginary email inboxes for fictional characters, ranging from Lizzie Bennet to Darth Vader.

Here is your challenge:

— Design an email inbox for a Pink Carnation character.

It can be any character from any of the books, and the inbox can be as full or as empty as inspiration moves you. Just post your “inbox” in the Comments section below, and I’ll choose five people at random to receive Mistletoe ornaments. The contest closes on Sunday night and winners will be announced on Monday morning.


  1. Christine on October 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Amy’s Inbox: (I think the formatting is going to be all messed up)
    Henrietta Dorrington Re: Why is my brother so stupid
    Richard Selwick Have you seen my purple cape?
    Jane Wooliston Flower shortage!
    Miss Gwen We need to have a serious talk about your students and the need for proper decorum!
    Edouard Balcourt Can you lend me some money?

  2. Liz on October 18, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Letty’s Inbox

    Hertforshire Grocers Your order of lemon juice is ready for pick up
    Percy Posonby So about the other night…
    Henrietta Dorrington You’re getting married?? To GEOFF??
    Eire Tours Re: your travel reservations for ship to Dublin
    Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe Fwd: 20 ways to unhand a more powerful opponent
    Facebook Jasper Pinchingdale has added you as a friend
    Facebook Jasper Pinchingdale has poked you

  3. Jessica S. on October 18, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Richard’s inbox:

    From: Honoria Selwick You know, Charles and Marianne have had a baby every year…I’m just saying
    From: Henrietta Dorrington You’re being stupid
    From: Miles Dorrington (unread) Please talk to me!
    From: Amy Selwick Where’s my fishwife disguise?
    From: Honoria Selwick Is Amy pregnant yet?
    From: Amy Selwick Where’s my supply of soot?
    From: Percy Blakeny Former flowery spies reunion Saturday
    From: Miles Dorrington (unread) I’m sorry you’re mad but I do love your sister
    From: Jane Wooliston I have Amy’s book, don’t tell her
    From: Amy Selwick Where’s my copy of _Modern French Dialects for the Aspiring Spy_?
    From: Honoria Selwick I need more grandchildren
    From: Jane Wooliston Venetian Breakfast Sunday?
    From: Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe What rhymes with “peerless”?
    From: Miles Dorrington (unread) Can’t we talk about this?
    From: Henrietta Dorrington Fwd: Why older brothers are a pain
    From Amy Selwick Where is my collection of wigs?
    From: Gwendolyn Meadows Fwd: Proper behavior when sharing a marine transport with a young lady or ladies
    From: Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe What rhymes with elbow?
    From: Miles Dorrington (unread) Hey what’s up?
    From: Charles Selwick You may be the famous spy but I’m still your big brother
    From: Napoleon Bonaparte So are you not going on the Egypt trip now?

  4. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on October 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Lord Vaughn’s Inbox:


    Lord Vaughn’s Trash:


  5. Sarah MacLean on October 18, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Just here to officially LOLOL at my boyfriend Vaughn’s email box…well done, Elizabeth!

  6. Linda Robertson on October 18, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Mary Vaughn’s inbox:

    Reallly, do I have to lower myself to make public my inner thoughts? All for an ornament? It’s not that my darling Sebastian could not afford to purchase me any number of glittery baubles. So why am I doing this?

    I guess to express my gratitude to my husband for his willingness to subsidize another season for me, should the need have arisen. Thank God it didn’t !

    Now I have thoroughly humiliated myself. I hope nobody has read this.

    –Her Ladyship Mary Vaughn

  7. Alyson on October 18, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Penelope’s inbox (well whole email)
    To: Henrietta – Can’t believe you married the big oaf.
    To: Charlotte – Don’t believe everything you read in a book.
    To: Charlotte – Ten things to not do to attract a cad for a husband.
    Draft: Henrietta; Charlotte – Have I lost both of my best friends to their husbands.
    From: Lord Frederick Staines – Bought you a wedding present: Kama Sutra.
    From: Dowager Duchess of Dovedale – Five tips to keep him on his toes (and running).
    From: Henrietta – FWD: PC’s Official Guide to Amateur Spying
    From: Alex – Please no more life threatening experiences.

  8. Jessica C on October 19, 2010 at 5:31 am

    Miss Gwen’s Inbox

    From: Radcliffe Publishers – RE your novel manuscript
    From: Amy Selwick – RE Feedback on Spy School Curriculum
    From: Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe – Where did you learn to fence with a parasol?
    From: J. Wooliston – You are cordially invited to a Venetian breakfast
    From: Spy Supplies – RE Your order of wigs has shipped
    From: Facebook – new posts on the Flowery Friends fanpage
    From: Amy Selwick – Spy School Curriculum
    From: Amy Selwick – Soot removal hints
    From: J Wooliston – Another new plan…
    From: Spy Supplies – new catalogue out now + deals on secret compartment reticules & women’s wigs!!!
    From: Gothic Novel Writers Group – how to make your castle REALLY creepy!
    From: J Wooliston – New plan
    From: Madame Cherie’s Accessories – RE parasol order… ready to be collected
    From: Facebook – Invite to join the Flower Friends fanpage
    From: Amy Balcourt – Time to put the plan into action…

  9. Bekah on October 19, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Lady Henrietta Dorrington
    From: Miles Dorrington – Magnificent!
    From: Amy Selwick – Please tell me I’m not the only one your mother is pestering about grandchildren
    From: Honoria Selwick – You and Miles will have such adorable children 🙂
    From: Amy Selwick – I’m sure Richard will come around eventually…
    From: Charlotte Landsdowne – YOU GOT MARRIED?!?!?

    To: Richard Selwick – I don’t care if you ever talk to me again!
    To: Richard Selwick – You are being sooo immature!
    To: Richard Selwick – Are you really not going to acknowledge me at all?
    To: Richard Selwick – Do you think you can just give ME the silent treatment??
    To: Richard Selwick – Don’t you think we should talk about this?

  10. Becky on October 19, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Miles Dorrington’s Inbox:

    From: Cook RE: Ginger biscuits
    From: Cook RE: Ginger biscuits
    From: Cook RE: Ginger biscuits

  11. Carole on October 19, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Turnips Inbox:
    From The Store- You’re order for Pink Carnation designed pants are in.

    To The Store- Yayy!

  12. Lauren on October 19, 2010 at 11:26 am

    These are great! Laughing SO hard….

  13. Amanda on October 19, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Theresa Ballinger’s Inbox:

    From: Lord Vaughn- My wife
    From: Stilletos Inc- Your order has been shipped
    From: The Black Tulip- Your next assignment
    From: Henrietta Selwick- Stay away from Miles
    From: Lord Vaughn- Your escape

  14. JT on October 20, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Charlotte’s Inbox

    From: Amazon- Your copy of Evelina has shipped
    From: Lady Henrietta Dorrington- How’s your Duke?
    From: Penelope- I’ll write when I reach India
    From: Robert- Thank you for forgiving me, I love you.
    From: Robert- Unicorn hunting trip planned, make sure cook has enough tarts ready.
    From: The Queen- Thank you for saving my husband! You were a lovely lady-in-waiting.

    To: Cook- 3 batches of raspberry tarts please!
    To: Robert- Tarts under control, when are we hunting?
    To: Lady Henrietta Dorington- To use your words, magnificent!
    To: Miles Dorington: Please stop looming!
    To: Duchess of Dovedale: Grandmama, have your started planning 12th night?

  15. Dayana on October 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Mary Vaughn’s Inbox

    From: Lucy Ponsonby- You married Lord Vaughn?!
    From: Letty Penchingdale-Snipe- Well, so long as you’re happy
    From: Geoffrey Penchingdale-Snipe- You married Lord Vaughn?!
    From: Mother- Darling! Congrats on your conquest! Imagine, you, a
    From: Mme. Lacroft Gowns- Your expensive silk gown with gold trimmings is ready to be picked up
    From: Letty Penchingdale-Snipe- Are you at least eating enough?
    From: Lord Vaughn- Ready for our honeymoon?

    To: Lord Vaughn- Absolutely darling
    To: Geoffrey Penchingdale-Snipe- Could you do me a favor?

  16. Kristen S. on October 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    To: Eton Mates: Who else was on a Balcony last night?
    RE: Ponsonby: Lucky!
    RE: Frobisher: So. . .can you tell me what happened last night?
    RE: Ponsonby: How much explanation does “balcony” need?!?!
    RE: Frobisher: No! What happend after that?! I find my memory slightly . . . inhibited…

    To: Cook: Can I have a raw steak?
    RE: Cook: Why do you want to waste one of my perfectly good steaks?!
    RE: Frobisher: is that a “No”?

    From: Dorrington: Don’t forget last night….
    RE: Frobisher: AH! Can *you* tell me what happened?

    From Doctor: You bill has been sent. Best wishes for a rapid recovery. Do not reply.

    From: Prinny: Gaming and Wenching this Weekend? And Peacocks!
    RE: Frobisher: Staves and Cutlass?!
    RE: Prinny: Of course! Costumes?
    RE: Frobisher: What, no feathers?
    RE: Prinny: NO! *Just* feathers!

    To: Ponsonby: What’s with Prinny’s love of peacocks?
    RE: Ponsonby: ???
    RE: Frobisher: . . . never mind.

    From: The Dandy’s Draper: You peacock feathers have been shipped. Bill to follow.

    From: Staves and Cutlass: Yer not welcome at the Staves and Cutlass. Ye
    scared the maids and lasses las’ night. Also, yer bill is included. Thank ye fer yer business; it’s not needed anymore.

    To: Prinny: Did you get that message from the Cutlass too?

    From: Mother: GET MARRIED! How about the Selwick girl?
    RE: Frobisher: NO!
    RE: Frobisher: Er, I mean, I don’t like her . . . . . . Besides, I heard something about an understanding with Dorrington….

    From: The French Consulate: Monsieur Frobisher, thank you for your interest in visiting France. This will be impossible in the present climate. Please inquire again when our countries are no longer at war.

  17. Kristen S. on October 21, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    oh wow! Sorry that’s so long! it was just such fun!

  18. Amanda R on October 22, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Tony’s Inbox

    From: How to Woo the Woman of your dreams, 10 Steps to make her yours.
    To: Robert, I can’t believe I left India for this!
    To: Robert, You owe me one.
    To: Penelope, Please let me help you
    From: Penelope, I can’t bring you down with me
    To: Penelope, You can’t really marry that scoundrel
    From: Penelope, Please leave it be
    From: Self Help, How to get over a woman

  19. Lauren Willig - News on October 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    […] of The Mischief of the Mistletoe (coming out on Thursday!), there’s still time to enter the contest for a Mistletoe […]

  20. J on October 22, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    The Black Tulips’s inbox:

    From Citizen Chauvelin  Re: Scarlet Pimpernel unmasked!
    From Delaroche  Re: Purple Gentian unmasked!
    From Delaroche Re: Pink Carnation? Who thought of that one?
    From Petal1. Re: Miles Dorrington- link to Pink Carnation?
    From Petal1. Re: Re: Contact former spouse Vaughn
    From Petal1. Escape, will contact soon.
    From Delaroche Re: Unfortunate demise of Petal1. 
    From Petal2. Re: Find Pink Carnation.
    From Petal2. Re: Proceed to Ireland, meet with contact.
    From PetalChaperone. Petal2 shows unhealthy interest in a Mrs. Alsdale.  Immediate attention needed.
    From PetalChaperone. Re: Eliminate Petal2
    From Petal3. Re: Find Pink Carnation.

  21. Stephanie Ball on October 22, 2010 at 10:51 pm


    From Scarlet Pimpernel: Ok you got me..
    From Purple Gentian: Escape of…
    From Purple Gentian: Escape of…
    From Purple Gentian: Torture Chamber Really?
    From The Pink Carnation: Seek me when and where you will…
    Bobby1: Followed Dorrington
    Bobby2: Followed Pinchingdale- Snipe- compromised and getting married
    bobby3: following everyone.. can you narrow it down.

  22. Nikki on October 23, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Loved Vaughn’s email! LOL!! 🙂

  23. Anne K on October 24, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Letty Pinchingdale Snipe

    From: Geoff: This Weekend’s House Guests: the list
    Re: Letty: Thanks. I’ll post the invitations this afternoon.

    From: Henrietta: This weekend. Did you invite Amy and Richard, too?
    Re: Letty: Yes. Perhaps with a weekend of rustic activities, they will come around…
    Re: Henrietta: Perhaps… I suggest that you hide all sharp objects before we arrive…

    From: Amy: This weekend. Did you invite Henrietta and Miles, too?
    Re: Letty: Yes. Perhaps with a weekend of rustic activities, they will come around…
    Re: Amy: Hmm. In lieu of shooting practice, Geoff out to take the gentlemen on an obstacle course… and invite the ladies…

    From: Jane: You invited both Miles and Richard? Perfect.
    Re: Letty: I’m so glad you think so! You are the only one…
    Re: Jane: I may be able to help you create a collusion…

    From:Geoff : This Weekend’s House Guests
    Re: Letty: You added Lord Vaugh to the the list?
    Re: Geoff: I owe a favor. Don’t worry; he’ll be bored shorty.
    Re: Letty: He doesn’t even like any of our guests…

  24. Katie on October 24, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Miles Inbox:
    From Richard: Ten Reasons Why I Should KILL You!

    Charlotte’s Inbox:
    From Henrietta: Message: What do unicorns have to do with it? Kiss him, already!
    From Robert: Unicorn Hunting Tips
    From Penelope: RE: Pending Trip to India, Message: “Under no circumstances should you and your “duke” come to India!”

    Turnip’s Inbox:
    From London’s Finest Fashion Wear: Message: The Season’s Most Dashing Accessory- FEATHERS!!!

    Amy’s Inbox:
    From Jane: RE: Overthrow of Bonaparte and/or restoration of the monarchy, Message: “Amy, I can’t simply walk up to Napolean in his wife’s salon and stab with with a bladed parasol. It is simply not the done thing among covert spies!”

  25. Kayse on October 24, 2010 at 9:33 pm


    Jane Wooliston: Fwd: Invitation to a “magnificent” “Venetian Breakfast”

    Xanga: Your poem “Pulchritudinous Princess of the Azure Toes” has been posted!

    Xanga: gastondelaroche89 has commented on your poem “Hail To Thee, Thou Sylvan Stones.” “It doesn’t scan.”

  26. Adam on October 24, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Tommy Fluellen’s Inbox
    OkCupid: Your OkCupid account has been created!
    Penelope Deveraux: Re: Re: Re: Re: Proposal: LEAVE ME ALONE.
    Barnes & Noble: Your order has been shipped! You will receive “She’s Just Not That Into You” within 3-5 days.
    Penelope Deveraux: Re: Re: Re: Proposal: NO.
    Penelope Deveraux: Re: Re: Proposal: Still no.
    Penelope Deveraux: Re: Proposal: No.

  27. Kristie on October 24, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Okay, I don’t know if there is enough room for all of mine. But I only used the first five books of the series–I have obviously run out of Time to Continue. I have taken things out of context to make this work, and completely invented a little of my own. But here is my entry:

    Eloise Kelly

    To Colin Selwick (cc: Arabella Selwick-Alderly): Dissertation about British Spies, Hear your Family Papers may Help…
    From Colin Selwick: Family Papers Remain Private…
    From Arabella Selwick-Alderly: Happy to Help! Give me a Call at…
    To Customer Service Centre, London Underground: Complaint About Size of Cars on the Tube (Too Small!!)
    To Mom: Much Help from Mrs. Selwick-Alderly—Invited to Stay to Research Continuously
    From Pammy: Covent Garden PARTY TONIGHT!!! Hope You Didn’t Forget—You’re Coming With, NO EXCUSES!!!
    To Arabella Selwick-Alderly: Thank You so Much Again for Letting Me Borrow the Papers!
    To Mom: Going to Selwick Hall in Sussex with Colin Selwick, Arabella’s Nephew for More Papers
    To Pammy: Spending Weekend in Sussex with Colin (to Go Through More Family Papers!)
    From Pammy: Do You Have a Bustier?
    To Pammy: NOOO!!! I’m Here to Research
    To Pammy: Besides, Colin Has an Ex (Joan Plowden-Plugge) Who Obviously Still Likes Him…
    From Pammy: Has He Made a Move Yet?!?!?!
    To Pammy: Great Timing!! You Almost Ruined Everything :o(
    To Sally Plowden-Plugge: So, What’s With Your Crazy Sister and Colin??
    To Mom: Back in London and the Worst Apartment Ever :o(
    To Colin Selwick (Saved as Draft—Not Sent): So, Ummm, Just in Case You Ever Need it Or if You Need to Tell Me Something About the Papers, My Phone Number Is…
    From Grandma: My Dear Friend, Muffin, Has a Son, Jay, Who’s About Your Age…
    From Jay Watkins: Hi, Eloise. Your Grandma Gave Me Your Number and E-Mail Address…
    To Mom: Hit Jackpot in British Library!
    To Pammy (cc: Alex): My Grandma Set Me Up…
    From Pammy: Serena Just Had a Bad Breakup—In Case Colin Brings it Up, at Least You’ll Know About It
    From Alex: Remember, Try Not to Find Fault in Everyone on First Impressions
    To Pammy: On Date With Jay, Colin Just Walked In…
    From Pammy: Thanksgiving Party for Ex-Pats Thursday At…
    To Colin Selwick: Where Exactly Were We to Have Dinner at 8 O’Clock on Saturday?
    To Mom: I Heard the Vaughn Collection Might Have Some Great Stuff For Me—and It’s in London…
    From Nigel Dempster: Ms. Kelly, I’m the Archivist for the Vaughn Collection…
    To Pammy: Accidentally Met Colin in Street, Now Going Out to Dinner Before I’m Properly Cleaned and Dressed…What Do I Do?!?!
    To Pammy: I Don’t Think Colin Likes Nigel, the Archivist at the Vaughn Collection
    From Colin Selwick: Nigel Used to Date Serena, But Dumped Her When She Wouldn’t Give Him Access to Our Family Papers
    To Colin Selwick: Is That Why You Weren’t Very Fond of Your Aunt Allowing Me to Look Through Your Papers?
    From Colin Selwick: Perhaps a Little…
    To Pammy: Almost Got A Kiss, But He Pulled Away—What’s Wrong with Me?
    To Nigel Dempster: So, We Might Have a Common Friend, Serena Selwick…
    To Pammy: Another Date With Colin!
    From Colin: Spending Christmas with Aunt Arabella and Serena in London, New Year’s in Italy with my Mother. I’ll Ring You When I Get Back…
    To Grandma: Dating Colin Selwick. Hope You Can Break the News to Muffin…
    To Mom: Spending Time with Colin in Sussex
    To Pammy: Am Beginning to Wonder What Colin Actually Does for a Living. He Never Really Answers Me When I Ask…
    From Pammy: Is it Really Necessary to Know? You Don’t Want to Seem Too Nosy so Early…
    To Pammy (Saved as Draft—Not Sent): Any Idea Why Colin Might Get a Call from Someone in the UAE at 3am??
    To Pammy: What Does Colin Do as a Job?
    To (Saved as Draft—Not Sent): Damn…If I Think Colin’s a Spy, I Can’t E-Mail People to Ask if it’s True…
    From Pammy: I Don’t Know. Try Man-Trackers. They Do Background Checks for New Boyfriends…
    From Colin: I Know I Should Have Mentioned it When You Asked, But I’m Working on a Spy Novel—That’s My Job Right Now
    To Pammy: He’s Working on a Novel! What a Relief!

  28. Lauren Willig - News on October 25, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    […] Pink Carnation inboxes were so much fun that I wish I could give away an ornament to everyone who […]

  29. […] want to spoil anything for those who might be interested in reading the series. But if you click here, you will be able to see the page about the contest, and my entry (#27, Kristie) ) And I even got […]

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