For the Snowbound: A Bit of Pink IX

I wasn’t going to do this, but it’s such a vile, nasty day… and I’m still cross over missing my reading in DC. So, to make up for all the slush and the snow, here’s an extra bonus teaser, even though it’s not a Tuesday.

Someone in the comments section on the last Teaser Tuesday asked about the heroine of Pink IX. I can confirm that yes, indeed, she is an American. Those of you who have read Orchid will have met her already, in the salon scene.

I’ll have lot more to tell you about her next week, but, for the moment, here’s our first glimpse of her (through Augustus’ eyes) as she makes her appearance in Pink IX:

Chapter One

“Alas!” she cried, “I spy a sail
Hard-by on the wine dark sea.
I know not what it is or bides,
But I fear it comes for me!”

—Augustus Whittlesby
The Perils of the Pulchritudinous Princess of the Azure Toes, Canto XII, 14-17.

“For, lo!” proclaimed Augustus Whittlesby, from his perch on top of a bench supported by two scowling sphinxes, “In Cytherea’s perfumed sleep/ Did she dream of the denizens of the dithery deep….

“Dithery? How can the deep be dithery?” A female voice, lightly accented, cut into Augustus’ stirring rendition of Canto XII of The Perils of the Pulchritudinous Princess of the Azure Toes.

Among the smattering of people who had left the dancing in the ballroom to admire, mock, gossip, or, in the case of an elderly dowager snoring in a chair by the far wall, nap, stood two young women.

One was tall and graceful, garbed simply but elegantly in a white dress that fell in the required classical lines from a pair of admirably shaped shoulders. Her pale brown hair was gathered in a simple twist, her only jewelry a golden locket strung on a ribbon of sky blue silk.

Jane Wooliston was, thought Augustus, all that was finest in womanly charm. He had said so quite frequently in verse, but it held true in prose as well. Not even his execrable effusions could mask her inestimable worth.

She wasn’t the one who had spoken.

It had been the other one. Next to her. Half a head down.

What Emma Delagardie lacked in height, she made up for by the exuberantly curled plumes that rose from her silver spangled headdress. The tall plumes jutted a good foot into the air, bouncing up and down—like great, annoying bouncing things. In Augustus’ annoyance, metaphor failed him. Her dress was white, but it wasn’t the white of innocent maidens and virtuous dreams. It was of silk, sinuous and shiny, overlain with some sort of shimmery stuff that sparkled when she moved, creating the sensation of a constant disturbance in the air around her.

Emma Delagardie was slight, fine-boned, and small-featured, the top of her head barely level with Miss Wooliston’s elegantly curved shoulder, but she took up far more room than her small stature would warrant.

“You might have the dire deep,” Mme Delagardie suggested, her American accent very much in evidence, “or the dreadful deep, but not dithery. It’s not even a proper word.”

“Your deep may be dire, but my deep is dithery. There is such a thing as poetic license, Mme Delagardie,” said Augustus grandly.

“License or laziness? Surely another word might serve your purpose better. The deep is a rather stationary thing.”

Who had appointed Emma Delagardie the Grand Inquisitor for Poetical Excellence, Greater Paris Branch? It had been a sad, sad day for France when her uncle had been appointed American Envoy to Paris and an even sadder one when she had decided to outlast his tenure and stay.

Perhaps America would like to take her back?

More about Emma coming up soon!


  1. Laura on January 26, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Can’t wait! Have to say the orchard affair is now one of my absolute favorites out of the series…it was brilliant and I can’t wait to find out more in the next book…I just wish we did not have to wait a year:-) thank you for this extra bonus!

  2. Lauren on January 26, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks so much, Laura!

  3. Kat on January 26, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    I can’t wait for a whole book of Augustus’ inspired poesie!

  4. Nicola Burke on January 26, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    can’t wait for this one …hopefully won’t have to wait very long

  5. Lauren on January 26, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Oh, it gets even better once he starts collaborating with Emma. And by “better”, I mean… um.

  6. Rebecca W. on January 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Thanks for this! I’m really looking forward to reading about Augustus.

    I guess there are upsides to the snow, after all. 🙂

  7. Chanpreet on January 26, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    What a wonderful excerpt! Emma sounds like a lively person. My appetite is whetted for more and I am eager for more teasers, so please keep them coming Lauren!

  8. bess on January 27, 2011 at 1:42 am

    seriously? we have to wait a year?! that. stinks. let me know if you need me to proofread your manuscript or something…. 🙂

  9. Sheila on January 27, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Darned ol’ work, keeping me from finishing Orchid. Yet part of me wants to stretch it out.

  10. Georgia on January 27, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I just finished Orchid and was thinking about whether you would give us a glimpse of the next book. Thank you for the lovely gesture in this snowy day. Have fun writing the next installment.

  11. Chartreuse on January 27, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Lauren, is writing AW’s “poetry” more fun or less fun than writing the rest of the story?

  12. Chelsea on January 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    A YEAR!?! How can we possibly wait that long?! And with these teasing posts! Oh my… this is going to be a long and cranky year. By the way, Orchid is the new favorite. Simply smashing. More please!

  13. Am7 on January 28, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Does Pink IX have a title?
    (Or will there be another contest!)
    I love that our heroine is American! I feel like you read my mind or maybe a post! Personally I don’t mind all the Brits and French, but it is nice to see an american.
    As for Augustus, wasn’t he suppose to end up with Jane?

  14. Emily on January 28, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Thank you so much for this teaser. It was a bummer getting stuck on the bus in the snow instead of being at the book signing, but at least I had orchid to listen to on audiobook. Hope you get to come back to DC/VA soon.

  15. Dayana on January 28, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I love it when cultures clash. Emma’s like another Amy, only American. And everyone knows what they say about Americans: they’re crazy!

  16. jamie on January 28, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    just finished orchid last night and was wondering if you were going to go in this direction 🙂 i loved the book, especially the marzipan pigs! i too, consumed quite a few of those while in paris-they are a must! now am excited/sad that i have to wait a year!

  17. Chelsey on January 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Oh this sounds simply wonderful!! Will you be putting out another like Mistletoe, so we don’t have to wait quite a year??? Oh please say yes! Haha, I’m just going to try as much as possible to drag Orchid out for as long as possible 🙂 Thanks Lauren!

  18. Lauren Willig - News on February 1, 2011 at 8:48 am

    […] Affair (yep, that’s her name, Emma Morris Delagardie) and there’s also a bit from Pink IX that I posted last week, but who is she? The full scoop on my American heroine coming up next […]

  19. Muse on February 7, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    If Pink VII is the Orchid Affair and this next one is Pink IX, what happened to Pink VIII?

  20. Lauren on February 7, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    There was a slight numerical kerfuffle. Basically, “Orchid” was meant to be Pink VII– but there was “Mistletoe”, the seventh book, if not VII. People, including my editor, kept getting confused by the numbering, so I finally just gave up and called “Mistletoe” VII and “Orchid” VIII, which brings us up to IX.

  21. Muse on February 8, 2011 at 4:32 am

    Thanks Lauren for the clarification. I adore the books and look forward to many more.

Leave a Comment