Teaser Tuesday: Parsnip

manzanillaSince I turned in the edits for The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla yesterday, now seemed a good time to share one of my favorite bits: Turnip, the Next Generation.

Or, rather, our introduction to his daughter, Jane, more commonly know as… Parsnip.

Once a Fitzhugh, always a Fitzhugh?

From The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla….

A ululating cry filled the hall, followed by the sound of pounding feet. The door banged against the wall. Lucien whirled, looking for danger.

Instead, he saw a very chubby infant moving at an alarming speed on short and unsteady legs, its face and hands smeared with a viscous red substance.

The child was rapidly followed by a nursemaid, her cap askew, her white apron streaked with gore. The nursemaid came to a stop, breathless, resting her hands against her knees as she panted, “Mistress! Mistress, I tried to stop her, but—”

“I know.” Mrs. Fitzhugh swept the gory infant into her arms, transferring a great deal of the red and sticky substance to the front of her dress.

Miss Fitzhugh prudently moved her muslin skirts out of the way.

It looked like the slaughter of the innocents, but for the fact that the innocent was awake, and clapping her chubby hands with every appearance of delight.

In which case, that probably wasn’t blood. Lucien slowly felt his breathing return to normal.

Holding the infant out at arm’s length, Mrs. Fitzhugh surveyed the carnage with an experienced eye. “Has Parsnip got into the jam tarts again?”

Lucien inferred from the context that Parsnip was not, in fact, a root-vegetable, but the angelic looking infant chuckling and clucking in her mother’s arms .

“It was the raspberry,” said the nursemaid, in tones of doom.

“I don’t know how she does it,” murmured Mrs. Fitzhugh. She looked down at the baby, who appeared to have rubbed jam into her own ears, her hair, and, now, all along the front of her mother’s dress .

The child bared her tiny teeth in a delighted grin. There were raspberry seeds stuck between the two front teeth.

Lucien detected a distinct resemblance to Miss Sally Fitzhugh. Particularly about the eyes, which were dancing with mischief.

A chip off the old family block!


  1. Susan Gorman on January 28, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Thank you!
    How cute. I can picture the seeds between her teeth, the mess and her happy little face. Turnip’s daughter rocks!

  2. Chanpreet on January 28, 2014 at 11:45 am

    I love how the Fitzhugh tradition of silly nicknames has continued with Parsnip. Although I can’t help but envy her because I’d love to get into some jam tarts right now.

    Thanks for the lovely excerpt Lauren!

  3. Pat D on January 28, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I have a feeling Parsnip will have her father running in circles.

  4. Angie Dickinson on January 28, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Perfect! The Fitzhughs are my favorite 🙂 I can’t wait to read the rest!

  5. AngelB on January 28, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    🙂 Only Arabella can handle a Turnip offspring.

  6. Jane B. on January 28, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Love it! I can picture it all so clearly. Oh, Lauren, I wish you an exceedingly long life both for your own sake, and so that you have time to write even half the cool ideas you clearly have.

  7. Lucy on January 28, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    A great and good present for my birthday. Go Parsnip.

    • Lauren on January 28, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Happy birthday, Lucy!

  8. Tricia on January 28, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Lucy, it’s my birthday, too! I cannot wait for this book! Argh!

  9. Heather on January 28, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Just from that snippet, I know Turnip & Arabella’s daughter is just too mischevious and adorable for her own good

  10. Nancy Kvorka on January 28, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    that was great, thank you for posting it.

  11. Lorri on February 18, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I do believe I won’t stop giggling once I get my hands on this book, even if I’m normally not the sort to giggle.

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