Teaser Tuesday: Miss Gwen's Novel

Ever since the days of Pink I, when Miss Gwen caught her charge with a gothic novel and decided she could do better, Miss Gwen has been working on her very own masterpiece of purple prose: The Convent of Orsino, by a Lady.

Many of you have asked me about Miss Gwen’s gothic novel.

So, for your amusement, here’s a scene from The Passion of the Purple Plumeria in which Gwen settles down to get some work done– only to find that Colonel Reid has been reading over her shoulder….

From Chapter Five of The Passion of the Purple Plumeria:

The coach rocked, none too steadily, into motion. Ignoring her companions, Gwen pointedly opened her reticule and took out her notebook and a small black lead pencil. She had got lamentably behind on her writing recently.

Plumeria had just joined forces with Sir Magnifico to find the missing Amarantha—who, in Gwen’s opinion, could just as well stay lost. She had penned her as a parody of the common Gothic heroine, always cringing and whinging. When it came down to Amarantha and the villain, Gwen’s sympathies, such as they were, were with the villain. He had no idea what he had kidnapped, but the poor man was rapidly finding out.

Plumeria, on the other hand . . . Now, there was a heroine.

Forced by dire circumstance into the role of companion and chaperone to the insipid Amarantha, Plumeria was a lady of good family (Gwen had toyed with making her a dethroned princess but decided it was trite; besides, she disapproved of excessive alliteration) with an extensive classical education, as well as knowledge of indigenous plants and swordplay. So far, she had already thwarted a poisoning attempt, bested the villain in a fencing contest, and cracked a riddle couched in the thorniest sort of classical Greek. The only reason the villain had managed to get away with Amarantha—aside from it being a necessary part of the plot—was because the Mother Superior of the cursed convent of Orsino was secretly Amarantha’s mother’s sister’s former bosom friend turned sworn enemy, who had vowed revenge on Lilibelle and all of her seed. Or her sister’s seed, as the case might be. “Seed” was a very broad term.

Amarantha should satisfy the critics who wanted to see their heroines young and nubile—Gwen had plans to marry her off eventually to an especially insipid young princeling—but the chaperone was the real heroine of the piece.

Currently, Plumeria and Sir Magnifico were being set upon by a band of gypsies unleashed upon them by the Mother Superior. The gypsies were attacking Plumeria tooth, nail, and with flying monkeys. Fortunately, Plumeria had practiced on flying squirrels, so the monkeys proved little challenge. Back to back, she and Sir Magnifico, wielding his mammoth broadsword, were beating back the gypsies, when, suddenly, from the caravan leapt—

“No, no,” said Colonel Reid over her shoulder. “If you deploy them like that, the gypsies will cut off their left flank.”

“Colonel Reid!” Gwen slammed her notebook shut.

“So you’re writing a novel, are you?”

On her other side, the clerk had descended into slack-lipped snoring. The tutor and his charge were scrabbling on the ground, attempting to find the presumably escaped crickets. Gwen pulled her feet in closer. She’d forgotten how much she hated the stage. “Has anyone ever told you that it’s rude to read over other people’s shoulders?”

“I can’t help it,” said Colonel Reid. “I’m taller than you are.”

“That,” said Gwen severely, “is a poor excuse of an excuse.”

“You know,” he said, ignoring her censure entirely, “that scene wouldn’t be half bad if you’d drop that bit where the wizened old gypsy crone curses them for all eternity and skip straight to the flying monkeys instead. I liked the flying monkeys.”

Everyone was a critic. “I’ll have you know that gypsy curses are very popular this season,” said Gwen loftily.

“‘May you be doomed to roam the night like a creature of the night’?” The Colonel’s mobile face wrinkled. “It just lacks a certain something. As curses go.”

Gwen tucked her notebook firmly back into her bag. Insufficient malediction indeed!

The Passion of the Purple Plumeria— with select snippets from The Convent of Orsino— is coming your way on August 6th!


  1. Stef on June 18, 2013 at 10:00 am

    LOVE IT! Can’t wait for the rest of it 🙂 Do you think you wouldK3 make a novella out of The Convent of Orsino along the lines of Bunny and Biscuits?

  2. Lauren on June 18, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Probably not, Stef– it’s too silly even for me (which is saying a lot!). But every chapter in “Purple Plumeria” starts with a little snippet of “The Convent of Orsino”.

  3. Tessa on June 18, 2013 at 10:49 am

    That just made my morning. And I did not think anything was going to top Romance Novel Barbie.

  4. Valerie on June 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Loved it!!! I can’t wait!

  5. Chanpreet on June 18, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    How typical of both Miss Gwen and Colonel Reid. I love this scene and can’t wait to read more about them!

  6. Sheila on June 18, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Fun, fun, fun !!

  7. Vanessa on June 18, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Oooh that was nice to read, I can’t wait to read the book!

  8. Cate on June 19, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Oh … I LIKE Col.Reid – Miss Gwen – prepare to have your parasol perforated ! ( Unlike Miss Gwen – I have no objection to excessive alliteration !)

  9. Lynne on June 20, 2013 at 12:29 am

    I’m pretty sure Gwen would be my new best friend if she were only real. So looking forward to “Purple Plumeria”!

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