Pink II: Ask the Author

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Happy Halloween to all!  To wrap up our lovely month of reading The Masque of the Black Tulip, Lauren Willig has agreed to return for Ask the Author!  What questions do you have about Miles and Henrietta?  Is there something you’ve always wondered about Lord Vaughn or the Marquise de Montval?  Now is your chance to ask!

Leave your questions below in the comments section.  Lauren will be stopping by periodically throughout the day to answer.  As an added incentive, I have some Pink Swag to give away to two of today’s commenters.  Are you intrigued?  Consider it your Halloween treat.

Thanks for agreeing to hang out with us today, Lauren!  I’ll get the ball rolling – did you have any particular inspiration for Lord Vaughn?

Pink II Week 4 in Review

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Today’s post was written by Erin, and the graphic was created by Sharlene.

Well Pink Fans, this is the last recap for The Masque of the Black Tulip, and we had quite a bit happen in the last 8 chapters. When we left Hen and Miles, he was just about to carry his bride over the threshold. Well suffice it to say that they get let in the house and Miles goes directly upstairs to find a bedroom and commence the wedding night. So the next morning Miles goes to the war office and finds out Henrietta is in grave danger because her contact at the ribbon shop has turned up in the Thames, and that is never a good thing. In the meantime, Henrietta is putting together some random thoughts and figures out who the Black Tulip really is. Of course she decides to investigate without letting Miles know where she is going, but he gets there eventually.

So we find out that the Black Tulip is really Theresa Ballinger, The Marquise de Montval, who in turn thinks that The Pink Carnation is Turnip Fitzhugh. Poor Reggie –must have been all those waistcoats. So an epic fight commences and Miles shows up after stopping by Vaughn’s to accuse him of taking Hen and takes on four guys at once (not bad!). Henrietta takes out the Black Tulip with her bucket of ashes, and Theresa is captured. Enter Lord Vaughn to save the day, or not. Turns out his suspicious behavior is actually caused by the fact that his wife is still alive, and he was attempting to court Henrietta. Miles ends up telling Hen he loves her in a roundabout way and she tells him that she loves him. Best place for declarations of love: the parlor of a French Spy where there has just been a beat down. It fits for them though. Lord Vaughn offers to take the Black Tulip to the war office so the “Lovebirds” can get home. Miles and Hen arrive at Loring House to see that Hen’s parents have arrived and are not happy about the circumstances of their marriage – not the marriage itself, as they are thrilled to have Miles officially in the family. Everything is worked out, of course, and just when the two believe they are alone, Geoff arrives just in time to interrupt. We learn that he has a special mission ahead and there is the next book.   Geoff leaves and downstairs, in the servants’ hall, the word passed around that the master had been seen carrying his wife up the stairs… again.

The book ends as it began with Eloise. She is in Colin’s Library at Selwick Hall and has just discovered that the Black Tulip escaped and was last seen heading to Ireland. Unfortunately, Colin has some sort of emergency and Eloise has to depart in 15 minutes. Colin drives her to the train and offers to pay her fare, which she does not appreciate and there is no mention of the almost-kiss from him. He does offer to call her and go for drinks when he arrives back in London and Eloise is immediately dreaming of romantic dinners for two when she realizes that she neither gave nor received any number or email address. He could track her down via his aunt or Selena via Pammy, but we shall see. “Leaning one cheek against the windowpane, I wondered who would resurface first. Colin? Or the Black Tulip?”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is The End. I just wanted to say thank you for reading along with me this month. It has been a pleasure to guest blog The Masque of the Black Tulip.

I’d like to say a big THANK YOU to Erin for being the moderator for the month of October.  Remember, Lauren Willig will be stopping by tomorrow for Ask the Author II.  If you have questions about Pink II, she’ll be happy to answer them.  See you tomorrow!

Ginger Biscuits

Today’s post is written by Erin and pays tribute to Miles Dorrington’s legendary affection for Cook’s ginger biscuits!

So I am not a huge baking person, and when I make cookies they are usually out of a pre-made mix, but I thought I would take a crack at the recipe on Lauren’s site for the ginger biscuits.

Ingredients:
1. 4 tablespoons of butter
2. 1 egg
3. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4. 1 cup sugar
5. 1 teaspoon baking powder
6. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
7. Optional for topping: 3/4 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

 Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Melt the butter.
3. Add in the 1 cup of sugar then allow the mixture to cool.
4. Mix together the flour, baking powder and ground ginger.
5. Add in the butter/sugar mixture.
6. Add the egg.
7. Form into balls and line on baking tray.
8. Optional topping: mix 3/4 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp ground ginger and sprinkle on top.
9. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

I couldn’t find the golden syrup, but I googled substitutes and used 2 parts corn syrup and 1 part molasses.

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I followed the instructions and added the golden syrup substitute when I added the egg and then beat it all together. It looked really crumbly, like it wouldn’t hold together, but the dough is pretty sticky and was easily rolled into balls.

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I sprinkled the tops with the ginger/sugar mixture and then popped them into the oven. It took a little bit longer in my oven, more like 20 minutes, but I think I made the balls too big (ha, ha). Once they came out they were really, really good. Even my husband liked them and he is not a cookie or anything sweet fan. I can see why Miles loves them so much. I have already had 3 of them and had to put them away before I continued eating them. Here is the link to the rest of the recipe on Lauren’s site. I hope you all will try the recipe as well so you too can enjoy the ginger biscuits!

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Giveaways Galore

Hi everyone – I’m just popping in quickly to say that you should check out Lauren’s website today to see her latest announcements. She’s currently running two giveaways – one for a copy of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla and one for a Pink Carnation mug. Both contests have different rules and closing dates, so head over there and get the details.

Erin will be back tomorrow to discuss Pink II. I won’t say too much, but there will be cookies involved. On Thursday, we’ll have our last Pink II recap, and then Lauren has graciously agreed to return on Friday for Ask the Author Part II! Start thinking about any questions you may have for Lauren about Hen, Miles, and all things Masque of the Black Tulip.

Have a wonderful day!

Dream Casting: The Masque of the Black Tulip

Today’s post is contributed by Miss Eliza of Strange and Random Happenstance.

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The Masque of the Black Tulip is truly when “The Pink Carnation Series” becomes a series. So while the background and supporting characters of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation were important, this is where they start to get more precedence. Any person in the background might end up the star of a future book, like that unassuming Miss Grey requesting tea and accompanying Henrietta’s singing… could that be a future heroine in say six books? The Masque of the Black Tulip sees the expansion of Lauren’s universe to include Ponsonbys and Turnips and a full ton. Therefore this becomes the time when the casting gets even more in depth. Though this is also the time when errors can occur, the wrong actor can lodge in your brain and that’s that. And yes, this has happened to me many a time.

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Re-reading the second book I was struck by how humorous Henrietta is. I have always really liked her, but she has a biting sense of humor that I’m not quite sure my original casting can capture.  I originally instantly saw Henrietta as being played by Perdita Weeks, younger sister to Honeysuckle, who any Anglophile would recognize as Sam from Foyle’s War. While Perdita has been in the spotlight less, she has the right je ne sais quoi that Henrietta has. The animated facial expressions that I think are necessary. But there’s someone else I could see as Hen, and that’s the 11th Doctor Who companion Karen Gillan. If we could get her to temporarily eschew her red locks and her Scottish brogue, I think she has the comedic timing that is right on.

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Ah Miles. Or as I might say, Miles, oh darn it Miles. I have for years been in love with the work of the comedic character actor Richard Cant. And for some reason while reading The Secret History of the Pink Carnation there he was, forever in my brain as Miles. I know he doesn’t work. He’s a fop; he’s just not THE thing. So I have reluctantly decided to recast him. For a long time now I have had inner debates with myself as to who would work. Perhaps Tom Hopper from Merlin and Black Sails… he’s worked with my casting for Richard, so why not… but then I found James Norton. And well… look at that lock of hair! It’s so floppy. He IS Miles.

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As for the supporting characters… so many end up as stars of their own books it feels silly to talk about casting them at this stage with another ten months to go! But there is someone I think should be mentioned, and that’s a certain Tulip, the Marquise de Montval, “little Theresa Ballinger.”  Originally she was Frances Barber in my mind, but as time has gone on, well, Frances Barber has gotten older, so while she was the femme fatale in everything from Manchild to The IT Crowd, her role has been taken over by a certain “woman” Lara Pulver, just watch season two of Sherlock and tell me she isn’t perfect. Though I also think Maimie McCoy, who recently played Milady on The Musketeers reboot would be a stellar choice as well.  As we ready ourselves to plunge into the third installment, who would be in your dream cast?

Henrietta Selwick played by Perdita Weeks
Miles Dorrington played by Richard Cant
Miles Dorrington played by James Norton

Giveaway Winner and Pink II Week 3 Recap

Happy Friday! Before I hand this post over to Erin, I’d like to announce the winner of the Night of a Thousand Stars giveaway from Deanna Raybourn – it’s Betty Strohecker! Betty, if you will email your address to ashley.pinkforallseasons@gmail.com, I will make sure Deanna knows where to send your prize. Big thanks again to Deanna for such a fun interview, and thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway (there were over 40 of you!). Again, I wish I had a prize to give everyone, but keep coming back! More giveaways are in our future. And now, I will pass the mic to Erin for our Friday Pink recap.

All right everybody, it’s that time again, time for the Pink II week 3 recap! When we left our dynamic duo, Miles was well and truly kissing Hen. Then he proceeded to ignore her for a week. Probably the best way to piss Henrietta off. So Hen decides to fly off to the country and consult with Amy, that and attend their Spy School disguised as a weekend at the country. Of course Miles is there since he is Richard’s best friend, and Hen storms off into the garden and wrecks the place by knocking over the statues. Since she is in the garden anyway what does she see but the Monk of Donwell Abbey slinking into the house. But ghosts don’t have feet so it can be none other than the French spy, The Black Tulip. It all comes to naught because the Tulip gets away. The party continues with some heightened security and Hen is convinced to sing. And sing she does – straight to Miles. He is already having a hard time keeping Henrietta in the “Best Friend’s Sister Box” and the aria busts the box wide open.

Commence the walk in the park and Hen following Miles out to confront him about why he has been acting like a dunce. It quickly deteriorates and the pair are soon in a passionate embrace where Henrietta’s bodice somehow comes undone. Of course enter Richard and soon after the parson (actually it’s the Bishop of London but semantics really – the end is the same). Henrietta and Miles are MARRIED!!! Maybe not in the dream wedding that Hen had pictured, and she’s not really sure what her parents are going to say, but married just the same and to her person. Since Miles is not allowed at Selwick Hall anymore they leave straight after the wedding and head back to London. They stop for a bite and who do they run into but Turnip, and he will not leave them alone. The entire ride Hen is thinking that she can sacrifice her possible happiness and get an annulment with Miles if he doesn’t really want to be married to her. At their pit stop Henrietta also finds out that their friend Lord Vaughn is also partaking of the coach stop. Fast forward to the chase scene….Miles and Hen galloping down the road being shot at by a mysterious coach who is a very good shot. Miles does some excellent driving and manages to evade the coach and it goes careening into cabbage, yes I said cabbage. Loved it. We come to the end of the chapter with Miles and Hen pulling up to Loring House. Well he couldn’t take her to his bachelor lodgings, that would be havey cavey, or to Uppington House, so he takes her to their new home. They decide that they are not getting an annulment, but Miles’ declaration of lukewarm affections leaves something to be desired. “Give me more love or more disdain, the torrid or the frozen zone,” Henrietta thinks as Miles is imparting his words of wisdom, something she had never quite understood till now and I have to agree. It does end well though with Miles sweeping Hen into his arms and over the threshold.

And I bet you thought I had forgot Eloise – I didn’t. We left her getting ready for the drinks at Donwell Abbey with Joan. We join them in the drawing room and Eloise stuck with the vicar like Joan had threatened, but he is a young hip vicar who drinks gin. Not the worst thing to be stuck with. We also meet Sally, Joan’s sister, who is very un-Joan like. She and Collin decide to show Eloise more of Donwell Abbey. Colin and Eloise are left in the cloisters by themselves and “every nerve in my body was on man-alert screaming ‘Incoming!’” And her phone rings and ruins the moment and then Sally returns. Colin departs and Eloise is left with her tour guide and “Just here for the archives?” So are Eloise and Collin really going to happen? Will Miles and Hen be happy and make it work? Is Lord Vaughn the Black Tulip? So many questions, I guess we will have to keep reading to find out. But fear not, we are almost to the end of our journey and the questions will be answered. Till next time…

If You Like Pink II…

Welcome to all the new faces who found their way to The Bubblebath Reader thanks to the interview with Deanna Raybourn. I hope you’ll keep coming back after the giveaway winner is announced – I’m hoping to do an author interview for each month of Pink for All Seasons, and many of these authors will be those whose books I found thanks to Lauren Willig.

Speaking of Lauren, did you see her exciting Teaser Tuesday announcement yesterday? Joy of joys, a Pink novella will be preceding the release of The Lure of the Moonflower next August. The novella, titled The Pink Carnation in Love, will be released in June. According to Lauren’s post, it will take place in Venice and feature Jane and the Chevalier de la Tour d’Argent. I noticed in the comments section of her announcement that she says the novella will probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 pages – just enough to tide us over until August.

In the meantime, if you’re ahead of the game and finished with The Masque of the Black Tulip, you may be looking for similar books to read. Lauren has a list of “If You Like” books that may appeal to you if you loved Miles and Hen – check it out.

On Friday, Erin will return with the penultimate recap post for Pink II. Happy reading!

An Interview and a Giveaway with Deanna Raybourn

Happy Monday, everyone!  It gives me great pleasure to announce that we have a very special guest with us today – the fabulous Deanna Raybourn, author of the Lady Julia mystery series and four stand alone novels.

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I discovered Deanna’s work when I drove to Charlottesville, VA in 2012 to hear Lauren Willig speak in a panel discussion called “Pistols, Petticoats and Poisons: Researching History to Writing Historical Fiction.”  The other authors on the panel were Joanna Bourne, Cathy Maxwell and Deanna Raybourn.  I was freaking out about having a chance to meet Lauren, and Jo and Cathy were a treat, but when Deanna started quoting Madeline Kahn’s best monologue from Clue, I knew I would be in her tribe.  Since my first reading of Silent in the Grave, I’ve been pushing Deanna’s books into the hands of anyone who asked me for recommendations.  Her stand alone novel A Spear of Summer Grass was one of the best books I read in 2013.  And just so you know, if you’re not following Deanna on Twitter, then you are using Twitter incorrectly.  Today, Deanna has taken a break from working on the first book in her upcoming Veronica Speedwell series to answer some questions about herself and her writing.

Deanna, do you have any unique talents or hobbies? 

None whatsoever, but I have been bitten by both a tiger cub and a ferret, so apparently I’m tasty…

What are five of your favorite things?

Five favorite meals: Tex-Mex combination plate, full English breakfast, proper Southern fried chicken dinner with all the trimmings, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes, and tapas with a nice Tempranillo. And I just realized that is a LOT of food.

If you stopped writing books (please don’t), what would you do for a living?

I haven’t the faintest idea; I taught high school English and history for three years, but I wasn’t terribly good at it, and I was written up for being insubordinate at every other job I’ve ever had. I would actually be quite good at running a stately home, I think. I find the challenges of maintaining a historic property and balancing its needs against the demands of modern life to be deeply fascinating. I guess that means I’d look into professional duchessing. (And not writing simply isn’t an option for me. I’d wither.)

If I took a sneak peek into your writing space, what would I find?

It is small and pink with a chandelier and a pale blue ceiling. The shelves are stuffed with books—favorites and reference, and I always have a collage relating to my current manuscript hanging opposite my desk. There are also always a few tactile bits on my desk for inspiration—a replica lion’s tooth when I was writing A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS, a boxing nun called Sister Mary Pugnacious when I’m feeling testy. Right now I have a Funko POP Maleficent that my daughter gave me for my birthday. She appreciates my dark side.

If you were having a dinner party, and you could invite 6 characters (other than yours) to attend, who would you pick?

I would only invite Sir Percy Blakeney, the Scarlet Pimpernel, and it would be an intimate dinner for two. I’d get Lucy Eyelesbarrow to cook, Bunter to serve, and Julian Kestrel to drop by and sing for our entertainment. That leaves me two characters to invite to dinner another night—probably Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes. I’d love to see him tearing his hair out when she starts dithering about the gill of shrimps.

You always create a really fascinating cast of supporting characters in your novels – I’m thinking particularly of Aunt Dove here!  Do you have a favorite of these characters to write?  If you could give any of these characters their own novel, which one would it be?

Aunt Dove, hands down. Her story is so intriguing to me—and because I didn’t have to tell it completely in CITY OF JASMINE, I was able just to throw in these ridiculously dramatic tidbits about what she’s been up to her whole life. She is just a swirling cauldron of trouble in all the best ways, and she did actually help inspire the heroine of my current project. I had initially planned a much more staid sort of person, but as soon as I thought about writing an Aunt Dove type of character, that’s the minute I knew I finally “got” her. Writing about an adventuresome, intrepid woman who was doing the unexpected is just so much more fun than writing someone who was doing as she was told. Luckily for me, there are loads of real-life inspirations in history for just that sort of woman—Lady Hester Stanhope, Jane Digby, Mary Kingsley, Freya Stark, Gertrude Bell, Isabella Bishop, etc.

How important are the names of the characters in your books? Do you choose names based on their sound or meaning, or something else entirely?

The names are very important to me and almost always have some sort of coded meaning. For instance, in every book I’ve ever written there has been a name used in homage to Agatha Christie. (The heroine of THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST was called Theodora Lestrange as a tribute to her.) I called my hero in A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS Ryder White because he’s a game hunter—and it’s a deliberate joke because he’s actually a terrible “great white hunter.” He wants to leave hunting and focus on conservation, so he’s really the antithesis of what the phrase means.

What is an interesting fact or subject you’ve come across in your research that you haven’t yet included in your books?

That there was actually a lesbian collective in mid-Victorian London that was so organized it actually had its own newspaper.

What books do you recommend to readers who enjoy your work?

Anything by Elizabeth Peters, Victoria Holt, Tasha Alexander, Lauren Willig, Tracy Grant, Susanna Kearsley.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m hard at work on the first book in my brand new Victorian mystery series for NAL/Penguin! It features a very intrepid butterfly-hunting heroine and a sidekick who is a little rough around the edges…I’m having a wonderful time writing it, and I think it’s going to be just as much fun for readers. We will be able to announce a title and release date soon, but fingers are crossed for the autumn of 2015.

If readers would like to learn more about you and your work, how would they do that?

My website: www.deannaraybourn.com (twice-weekly blog; newsletter sign-up on the right-hand sidebar of the blog)

Twitter: @deannaraybourn

FB: https://www.facebook.com/deannaraybournauthor

Don’t you wish you could have a glass of wine with Deanna and ask her for more details about being bitten by a tiger?  Deanna has graciously offered to give away a signed copy of Night of a Thousand Stars to a lucky reader of today’s interview. To enter yourself for this giveaway, just leave a comment below. You have until midnight EST on October 23 to enter. I will announce the winner on Friday.

Want to earn extra entries for this giveaway? You can enter up to three times. Here’s how:

  1. Leave a comment below.
  2. Follow the blog! If you are already a follower, just mention that in your comment. There are links in the top right corner of this page to become a follower.
  3. Post a link to this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter. Again, you can just let me know in your comment that you’ve done this. I trust you.

On Friday, I will use the Random Number Generator to pick a winner. Good luck! And thank you again, Deanna, for sharing your time with us today.

Pink II Week 2 in Review

This post was written by Erin, Moderator Extraordinaire for the month of October.

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Hello Everyone and Happy Friday! I don’t know about all of you but I am really glad it is Friday and not just for the Pink II Week 2 recap.

As we left our intrepid duo, Henrietta was just realizing that the person for her was Miles. And Miles, well… he wasn’t quite there yet. But he still pounds poor Martin Frobisher into the bush because he propositioned Henrietta and gives us a glimpse of an “oops” where he saw Hen in a bloody indecent nightdress. So the idea is brewing in Miles that Henrietta is more to him than just his best friend’s little sister. We do get to see Miles try his hand at breaking and entering. Not bad, but his dismount does leave something to be desired.

Back in the modern age, Colin has somewhat thawed to human being level, even if he is being warm and friendly. Of course Eloise sums it up with, “I’m being a Dimwit.” It is a horrible idea to get involved with someone whose archives she is using. So not only is Henrietta imagining Miles, but Eloise is imaging Colin. What is going on? Maybe we will see more of what is to come in the following chapters or at the drinks at Joan’s, where Eloise is to be used as a human shield.

Getting back to Hen and Miles, Henrietta is determined to make sure Miles is not interested in the Marquise.   So she decides to spy on them in the park. If she had played it cool by pretending to nonchalantly walking through the park, I think it might have gone a little bit better. Instead, Miles spots her as “a shape that could not possibly belong to shrubbery. In fact it looked remarkably like a well-rounded derriere.” But something good does come out of this. Miles has to be squished against Hen on the ride home and can feel her pressed against him. Good news for Hen. We see bit more action at Mile’s lodging – unfortunately it isn’t that kind of Action, but it has been ransacked and Downey has been stabbed. Poor Downey. He tries so hard to keep Miles presentable.

And finally… the Kiss. “It took Henrietta a moment to realize she was being well and truly kissed by Miles.” YEAH!!! I cheered for them, since it is about damn time!

We do see a brief cameo of Jane in chapter 20. When the chapter first started, it actually took me a moment to realize it was Jane. She is so good at being the Pink Carnation. So who are we thinking is the Black Tulip? Is it really Lord Vaughn? We do see some fairly damning evidence against him and haven’t really seen much for anybody else. If you have read ahead or read before, you know who the Black Tulip is. Are you picking up more clues this time around?

What’s in a Name? Bunny and Biscuits

Today’s post is contributed by Miss Eliza of Strange and Random Happenstance.

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For someone who reads and writes a lot I have actually never aspired to be an author. But growing up in the book world I did have other aspirations that were book related. My main aspiration was to appear either in the dedication of a book or in the thanks. One does love to see one’s name in print and this, I figured, was the closest way to achieving that goal without actually writing a book. Sadly this goal has yet to happen, though I have achieved the goal of being mentioned in an author’s bio… of course that author was my Dad and I wasn’t referred to by name, but still, it is heading in the right direction. And then I met Lauren. If you’ve been following her books and blog as long as I have you will remember back in the days of yore when she would occasionally be stymied on the next book’s title. The person or persons who helped with the title would be mentioned in the thanks.

Ah ha I thought! This shall be how I shall achieve said odd literary goal! The first naming competition was actually for the novella that became Ivy and Intrigue: A Very Selwick Christmas. I remember pouring over the printouts I did of the Christmas story and writing copious notes in the margins, just hoping that mine would be picked. While I wasn’t the winner I did get an honorable mention and a signed book plate and a lovely letter from Lauren for “Bother the Snow.” Being so close yet so far created a new goal of wanting to name a piece of writing, which would happen sooner than I thought. The next naming competition was for Pink VI, later to be known as The Betrayal of the Blood Lily. Again I poured over the first chapter of the book, I even went so far as to contact my friend Matt who knows all about plants and grilled him on plants that would be in India, but alas, it wasn’t to be. But my time was coming.

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In 2012, the most favorite of Lauren’s couples, voted on by the readers, was to get a Valentine’s Day novella. The much loved Miles and Henrietta Dorrington, stars of The Masque of the Black Tulip and this month’s book, trounced the competition. One day I was trolling Lauren’s site, as I do, and I noticed that the time had come to name the story. Everyone was throwing out flower names, but I literally had an instant of pure clarity, and Bunny and Biscuits just came into my head. The title roles off the tongue in an alliteration that I hope Miss Gwen would approve of, and if not it can be Miles and Hen’s crime fighting aliases for when they get a 60s style Avengers TV show. Much like Henrietta I had a cute yet redundantly named duo of stuffed animals when I was little. Hen had Bunny the Bunny, I had Big Bear Bear and Little Bear Bear, the little one was obviously smaller, and the Big was added to Bear Bear so that they would both have unique names, once the little one appeared.  Therefore, despite perhaps being an easily forgettable fact of Hen’s childhood to most readers, to me it made us simpatico.  And that’s where the “Bunny” came from. As for “Biscuits” well, all Dorrington men past and present have a love of ginger cookies… so the title made itself really, as all good titles do, it was there in the work waiting to be said. Though in an ironic twist, “Biscuits” is one of my most misspelt words of all time, after “Sincerely” and “Business.”

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So I submitted my entry and the long and short of it is I won! I was overjoyed! There was Numfar’s Dance of Joy (seriously if you don’t know this Whedonverse allusion, get on it) much whopping and hollering, it was a riotous time, Big Bear Bear, Little Bear Bear and I had some wild adventures in exaltation of this honor, that’s to be sure. And by wild adventures I mean sitting in a comfy chair and reading. Yet my greatest joy to come was reading the story, because Ginger Biscuits played a part. So it felt like the story was written for me, yeah, I know it wasn’t. I have always had a deep connection to Lauren’s characters, but here… here I felt like every word was for me. For a reader, there is no greater joy and it happens every time I pick up one of Lauren’s books. And I’m sure for a writer there is no greater joy than having a ravenous fan base which demands more work and has year-long re-reads in anticipation of their next book. So, in the end, it might not have gotten me my goal, but this was far better! And you know what? Goals change… and I have a new goal… to get a pull quote of a review I’ve written on the dust jacket of a book… or in those first few pages you always skip over praising the author’s previous works, I’d settle for that.

Thanks Miss Eliza!  If you haven’t read Bunny and Biscuits, it’s available on Lauren’s website to read for free!  But if you haven’t read the whole, series, watch out!  It does contain spoilers for Temptation of the Night Jasmine and Betrayal of the Blood Lily.