Teaser Tuesday: Gabrielle Jaouen returns….

Into every stand alone novel, a little Pink must fall.

I didn’t really set out to put a Pink Carnation descendant into every stand alone. But, somehow, because my world is such an interwoven one, it always seems to turn out that way. There was Val Vaughn in The Ashford Affair, Nicholas Dorrington in That Summer, and Cecelia Heatherington-Vaughn in The Other Daughter.

In stand alone #4 (working title: The French Marriage)? There’s Gabrielle Jaouen.

Some of you may remember Gabrielle as the sulky nine year old daughter of André Jaouen and his first wife, Julie Beniet, in Pink XVII, The Orchid Affair. Towards the end of The Orchid Affair, Eloise can’t resist taking a look into the future of Gabrielle and her brother. Here’s what she discovers:

Gabrielle Jaouen had gone on to become a noted diarist, an advocate for the abolition of slavery and, very late in life, a noisy proponent of the rights of women. She had died in her home in New York in 1893 at the age of ninety-five, leaving behind five husbands, twenty-odd great-grandchildren, and a vast pile of tracts and memoirs.

I wondered what Laura had thought of it all and whether she and Jaouen had had any children of their own. There were fairly easy ways to find out– including tracking down the memoirs of Gabrielle Jaouen de Montfort Adams Morris Belmont van Antwerp– but it was well out of the purview of my current research.

I’ve always been a little curious about the life of Gabrielle Jaouen de Montfort Adams Morris Belmont van Antwerp, but I’d never really believed our paths would cross again. Until I sat down to start writing the story of an American heiress who marries a French nobleman and realized that I was writing about Gabrielle’s granddaughter. Helen Jay is the late life baby of Gabrielle’s daughter, Lavinia Belmont, who marries a robber baron of dubious heritage named Oswald Jay. At loggerheads with her own mother, Helen finds herself looking to her grandmother as a model– with results that Gabrielle would never have predicted or desired.

The book I’m working on is the story of three generations of women: Helen, Aurélie, and Meg. Even though, by the time we get to Meg, we’re looking at several generations removed from Gabrielle, Gabrielle’s life is still creating ripples in the lives of her descendants.

There’s another major Pink descendant in the book– but I’ll tell you about him later!


  1. Diane on October 20, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    I love the worlds you create!

  2. Sheila on October 20, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Ooh-la-la !! Sounds wonderful!

  3. Amy on October 20, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I’m waiting for Rutabaga Fitzhugh to make his appearance ?

    • LynnS on October 20, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      Amy wins comment of the day!

  4. Teri M on October 20, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Can’t Wait!! LOVE all your books 🙂 I am especially interested in reading and remembering those character antecedents 🙂

  5. dianeokenica on October 20, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I am wondering about Mary Alsworthy and Lord Vaughn off spring. According to your stand alone novels none of them have seem to have promising futures. Could it be because of Mary’s waspishness qualities and mutual snobbery of Vaughn and Mary?

  6. Paige B. on October 20, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    This made my whole day!

  7. Ashley on October 21, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Lauren, there were SO many comments during the read-along about Gabrielle and what the future may hold for her. You are making a very vocal contingent of your readers very happy with this news 🙂

    • Lauren on October 21, 2015 at 11:27 am

      Ashley, it was the read along that gave me the idea! Felicitously, the end of the “Orchid” segment was right around when I was beginning to cudgel my brains over the new stand alone. I knew it was going to be about a Gilded Age heiress who married a French count– and then all of the comments about more Gabrielle popped up and there was one of those blinding flashes of light as I realized, OF COURSE. Gabrielle had ended up in New York. Of course this was her granddaughter! And suddenly Helen’s backstory and her reasons for entering into this marriage all made sense in a way they hadn’t until then.

      So, you see, you do have an impact. : )

  8. Daniella Bernett on October 21, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Ooh, I can hardly wait to start flipping pages. Your new book sounds intriguing and multilayered. The perfect thing to tempt the imagination.

  9. Jane B. on October 21, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Rutabaga Fitzhugh! Rutabaga Fitzhugh! To be chanted with the emphasis on the first syllable of each name. Please, ma’am, may we have a Rutabaga?

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