Pink VI: Ask the Author

night jasmine

Hello, everyone! Thanks to all of you who contributed quotes and voted for your favorite for Pink VI. I am happy to report that the winning quote is this one:

“Nothing had gone the way it was supposed to. An actor played the King, the King played the fool, and Charlotte – his own, sweet, unworldly Charlotte – abandoned her tower to rout her dragons herself.”

Also, the winner of a Pink VI mug is Allie! Allie, if you will email your address to ashley.pinkforallseasons@gmail.com, I will make sure your prize gets on its way to you soon. If you’d like a Pink VI mug of your own (or a mug for any of the books we’ve read so far!) you can find them on Zazzle.

Lauren has graciously agreed to return today for Ask the Author VI! Do you have burning questions about Charlotte, Robert, Colin and Eloise? Is there something about The Temptation of the Night Jasmine that you’ve always wanted to know? Now is your chance! Comment on this post with your questions, and Lauren will swing by periodically throughout the day to answer them. Thanks for hanging out with us today, Lauren!

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Pink VI Week 4 in Review

This post was written by Betty.  We’re recapping a bit early to prepare for Lauren’s return on Friday for Ask the Author VI.  Thanks to Betty for leading us through our month of The Temptation of the Night Jasmine!

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Colin and Eloise: Colin is the one who surprises Eloise at the old Norman tower. The mysterious mechanical objects inside are old lawn equipment – nothing strange about that. Colin nonchalantly fixes the padlock on the door. On their way back to the house, Colin’s secret is revealed. He is writing a spy novel!! So all ends well, and the relationship seems to be on track.

As for Robert, Charlotte, Henrietta, Miles, and Tommy, they hire a boat to take them to Medmenham Abbey in pursuit of the king and the Frenchman. On the quiet journey Robert does some soul searching. He realizes Charlotte is stronger than he thought and perhaps wasn’t in need of his protection. When Charlotte awakens, and seems wary of him, he explains his association with Medmenham and his reason for seeking revenge. Robert wants everything to be the way it was at Girdings when he first returned. Charlotte is reluctant and feels she has been on a romantic on again, off again cycle with Robert.

Lights are on in the Abbey when they arrive. Robert leads everyone to the caves, but there is no sign of anyone above ground in the mausoleum. Henrietta suggests the king might be hidden in the church, so they split up. Inside the church, the ladies see a man climbing down from a ladder leading to the ceiling. Charlotte runs screeching down the church aisle to distract him while Henrietta pulls out her gun. The shocked man falls to the ground hitting his head. After tying him up, Charlotte climbs the ladder as they suspect the king is hidden in an alcove above. She is then startled by a man with a French accent telling her to come down. After she is down, the Frenchman sends a man up to get the king. Then he hurries everyone out to his carriage.

Meanwhile, the men have not seen evidence of anyone in the caves. Just as they are prepared to enter the boat and travel further back, Robert realizes the boat is on the wrong side of the river. This means the king is probably in the church. They return to the churchyard to see everyone being forced into the carriage. The Frenchman’s plan is foiled, but he escapes.

Later at the palace, Charlotte is welcomed by the king and thanked for rescuing him. Everyone else is there including her grandmother. The king announces Robert has requested Charlotte’s hand in marriage, but Charlotte refuses. Robert leaves and the Dowager chastises her. She admits she had paid Medmenham to show Charlotte attention so Robert would be attracted to her.

Several weeks later, back at Girdings, Charlotte is regretting her decision. Penelope is already married and in India, so Charlotte contemplates visiting her and looking for Robert. As she walks out to the garden she sees a jam tart in the path and follows a trail of tarts to where Robert is waiting at the bridge. Charlotte is surprised to hear he never went to India and now accepts his proposal. They plan to marry, travel to India, and return to live at Girdings. So it is ‘a happily ever after ending’ for Robert and Charlotte, just like a fairy tale.

What are your thoughts on this book as a whole?

Did you always feel Robert and Charlotte were meant to be together? Will their marriage be a realistic one, or will it be like a fairytale?

Which supporting characters did you enjoy the most in Pink VI and why?

I have enjoyed rereading and talking about The Temptation of the Night Jasmine. I will check back from time to time in case anyone is behind in this reread and wants to discuss any of the posts. Congratulations to Lauren on the 10th anniversary of her Pink Carnation books!

Pink VI Quote Contest: Vote for Your Favorite!

Vote for your favorite Pink VI quote today!  Thanks to Betty, Susan, and Abby for your submissions.  We’ll share the winner with Lauren when she comes back for Ask the Author VI on Friday.

Once you vote, leave a comment below (consider it your “I voted!” sticker) to put yourself in the running for a gift from the Pink Fairy!

Pink VI: Dream Casting

Today’s post was written by Miss Eliza of Strange and Random Happenstance.

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While it’s hard to choose a favorite book in this series, though my heart does lean towards last month’s re-read, there is without a doubt one heroine I most identify with, and that is Lady Charlotte Lansdowne. Her bookish ways, her fairy tale dreams, I am Charlotte! So, of course, being as this would be my avatar I’m casting I would only settle for the best. To me there is only one actress who exudes the sweetness coupled with a dreamy air, and of course, the dimples to properly pull off that shepherdess costume. I am of course talking about that darling Carey Mulligan, seen above with Amy Balcourt appropriately. From the bubbly Kitty Bennet to the lovesick Ada Clare I can’t think of anyone else to play Charlotte. I mean seriously, just do a Google image search on her and you have tons of pictures of her smiling face, you might even be under the impression that she is holding in her laughter waiting to bait certain mythical beasts with tarts!

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As for Robert, the Duke of Dovedale, I give you Stephen Campbell Moore to consider. Now Stephen never struck me as a leading man, though his performance in He Knew He Was Right is fabulous. He is usually second fiddle, and usually to the likes of heartthrobs like Matthew Goode and Jonny Lee Miller. Stephen is a solid actor who can really do conflicted well; a trait that I think we all agree has to be at the core of Robert. Plus he has a chameleonic ability to just inhabit his roles, making you think not of the man behind the character but of just the character. Though there is one role in which I sat up and went “damn!” This was during the first season of Lark Rise to Candleford where he played the new male (I know, so shocking) teacher at the local school. As James Delafield he exuded intelligence and wit and sex appeal, and damn he looks good in a beard. When reading about Robert first reigning in his horse in the courtyard he looked exactly like Stephen Campbell Moore on Lark Rise to Candleford… it’s amazing how sometimes it’s just there, click.

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Of course I cannot let this dream casting come to a close without mentioning a certain villainous man… with a love for hellfire, naughty.  I am talking about Medmenham. Now, I don’t know if any of you will openly admit to having watched a little, or perhaps a lot, of Gossip Girl, but I want to bring the actor behind Chuck Bass to your attention today. Medmenham is basically the Regency Chuck Bass, laugh all you want, but you know, deep down, I’m right. So who better to play our 19th century Chuck then the actor who brought him to life, Ed Westwick. Also, interesting fact, he’s actually British, so quite literally perfect. So let’s get him off to some nice dank caves and get this party started!

Extra posts:
Lady Charlotte Lansdowne played by Carey Mulligan
Robert, Duke of Dovedale played by Stephen Campbell Moore

Pink VI Week 3 in Review

Happy Friday!  The winner of the copy of The Scarlet Pimpernels is missrelena, AKA the Coral Chrysanthemum!  If you will email your mailing address to ashley.pinkforallseasons@gmail.com, I’ll pop your book in the mail for you.

Today’s post is written by Betty.

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Chapters 17 – 25

Eloise goes to Colin’s study to use the computer to find out which country the mysterious phone call came from – United Arab Emirates. Beside the computer were a number of article clipped together – all about Dubai. In the bookcase behind Colin’s desk were numerous guides to Middle Eastern countries. Of course Eloise wonders if Colin might be a spy. She searches his desk drawers and finds a folder with receipts from a recent trip to Dubai. The bottom drawer is locked, but she discovers part of a mysterious note on the floor. The next day, Eloise awakens alone and finds a note from Colin wishing her happy hunting. She notices the door to his study is closed on her way to the kitchen. Eloise takes coffee to the library to work, but is distracted. After a not so helpful call to Pammy, Eloise decides to take a walk to the old Norman tower on the property. Colin had previously warned her away from it for safety reasons. She notices the padlock is not completely closed, so decides to enter. She is surprised to see a large metal object in the center of the dim room. The shadow of a man behind her blocks the light.

Back in the 19th century, Charlotte questions the real Dr. Simmons at the insane hospital, finding out that the treatments proposed for the king are ones being used at that time. Returning to Loring House with Henrietta, they are surprised to find Robert lurking there, claiming he left his snuffbox that morning. Suspecting he has come for reconciliation, Henrietta leaves them alone in the foyer while the butler looks for the snuffbox. Charlotte thinks it is a ploy, and is convinced of such when she sees a note partially stuffed up Robert’s sleeve after he had been surreptitiously thumbing through the correspondence tray. She recognizes Medmenham’s handwriting and demands he give it back just as the butler appears with Robert’s snuffbox. While apologizing and saying he does care about Charlotte’s future, but won’t return to see her unless she wants him to, Robert leaves, and Charlotte realizes he has taken the note.

Robert and Tommy head for a meeting at a Gentlemen’s Club where they are ushered to an upstairs room to meet with a representative from the War Office, who is none other than Miles. They explain about Wrothan and his possible connection to a French spy. Since the Hellfire Club plans to assemble at the theater the next evening and leave afterward for a secret meeting, Miles takes Henrietta and Charlotte to the theater. There they spy a group of gentlemen in Medmenham’s box, including Robert. During a break, everyone ends up in Miles’s box. Robert asks to call on Charlotte the next day. Medmenham flirts with Charlotte to anger Robert. Medmenham’s group leaves for another engagement and Miles excuses himself to attend a card game. Charlotte spies the fake Dr. Simmons in the pit, and she and Henrietta decide to follow him.

Traveling through narrow twisted streets in an unsavory part of town, Henrietta assures Charlotte of their safety by pulling two pistols out of her reticule. One of the funniest lines occurs when Henrietta explains how easy it is to use a pistol – “You point. They run. Don’t worry! Yours isn’t loaded.” True Henrietta style – that would really reassure me – not! At this point Charlotte realizes their adventure is only too real, not something out of a book. ‘Dr. Simmons’ stops outside a rundown ale house and emerging from his sedan chair dressed in a hooded monk’s robe, enters a shabby church beside it. Henrietta and Charlotte agree to enter from different points. While Charlotte is exploring the nave, she hears voices, and a bell tolls as dark-robed men enter from the opposite end. Unbeknownst to Charlotte, these are the Hellfire Club members. While robing in the back, Robert spied Wrothan and heard him talking to a man with a French accent. Robert lines up in front of them as they file in. He overhears a conversation and disagreement regarding a ransom. The ceremony begins with the lighting of a torch that sets off fireworks exposing Charlotte. Robert rushes to grab her and carry her out while Wrothan and the Frenchman escape.

Safely outside, Robert tries to figure out what Charlotte is doing there when Henrietta appears. Following her through the graveyard she stumbles over the body of ‘Dr. Simmons’ who is really Wrothan. Miles and Tommy arrive while Robert is questioning the ladies. Charlotte notices the smell of incense on Robert’s clothes and identifies it as the same scent she smelled on the king. Robert say it is opium. Putting all the clues together, Charlotte explains she thinks Simmons/Wrothan had a plan to kidnap the king. They all hurry to the palace, go in through the library entrance, and find the king restrained and moaning in his bed. While talking to the king, Charlotte realizes the man is an actor – the real king has been abducted!

These chapters were packed with so much action and suspense. Henrietta’s and Charlotte’s escapades reminded me so much of Henrietta’s actions in The Masque of the Black Tulip. She is one gutsy woman! Were you surprised at Charlotte’s willingness to go along with Henrietta and her ability to take charge? This seemed so out of character for shy, quiet Charlotte. I felt like her true self was finally emerging. She began to step out of her fantasy world and operate in the real world. I think Charlotte actually surprised herself. What do you think?

Lauren also treated us to more of a glimpse into the minds of both Robert and Charlotte as we were privy to their most personal thoughts. Charlotte kept going back and forth over her feelings for Robert, one minute wondering if she had been too hard on him, then thinking that he really didn’t care for her as she did for him. She really had a hard time trying to separate the real Robert from the Robert in her fantasy world of knights and unicorns. Robert struggled with whether he was worthy of Charlotte and whether he should tell her the truth. Some of the princess in the tower references made me think he felt Charlotte was above him. This is the kind of insight that makes me get involved in a character. What are your thoughts about Robert and Charlotte and the way they related to each other?

One last thought – as for Colin and Eloise, how many think Colin has continued in the family business and is a spy? Was Eloise justified in searching through his computer and desk drawers?

I’m really hoping to hear your thoughts!

Chapters 17 – 25

Eloise goes to Colin’s study to use the computer to find out which country the mysterious phone call came from – United Arab Emirates. Beside the computer were a number of article clipped together – all about Dubai. In the bookcase behind Colin’s desk were numerous guides to Middle Eastern countries. Of course Eloise wonders if Colin might be a spy. She searches his desk drawers and finds a folder with receipts from a recent trip to Dubai. The bottom drawer is locked, but she discovers part of a mysterious note on the floor. The next day, Eloise awakens alone and finds a note from Colin wishing her happy hunting. She notices the door to his study is closed on her way to the kitchen. Eloise takes coffee to the library to work, but is distracted. After a not so helpful call to Pammy, Eloise decides to take a walk to the old Norman tower on the property. Colin had previously warned her away from it for safety reasons. She notices the padlock is not completely closed, so decides to enter. She is surprised to see a large metal object in the center of the dim room. The shadow of a man behind her blocks the light.

Back in the 19th century, Charlotte questions the real Dr. Simmons at the insane hospital, finding out that the treatments proposed for the king are ones being used at that time. Returning to Loring House with Henrietta, they are surprised to find Robert lurking there, claiming he left his snuffbox that morning. Suspecting he has come for reconciliation, Henrietta leaves them alone in the foyer while the butler looks for the snuffbox. Charlotte thinks it is a ploy, and is convinced of such when she sees a note partially stuffed up Robert’s sleeve after he had been surreptitiously thumbing through the correspondence tray. She recognizes Medmenham’s handwriting and demands he give it back just as the butler appears with Robert’s snuffbox. While apologizing and saying he does care about Charlotte’s future, but won’t return to see her unless she wants him to, Robert leaves, and Charlotte realizes he has taken the note.

Robert and Tommy head for a meeting at a Gentlemen’s Club where they are ushered to an upstairs room to meet with a representative from the War Office, who is none other than Miles. They explain about Wrothan and his possible connection to a French spy. Since the Hellfire Club plans to assemble at the theater the next evening and leave afterward for a secret meeting, Miles takes Henrietta and Charlotte to the theater. There they spy a group of gentlemen in Medmenham’s box, including Robert. During a break, everyone ends up in Miles’s box. Robert asks to call on Charlotte the next day. Medmenham flirts with Charlotte to anger Robert. Medmenham’s group leaves for another engagement and Miles excuses himself to attend a card game. Charlotte spies the fake Dr. Simmons in the pit, and she and Henrietta decide to follow him.

Traveling through narrow twisted streets in an unsavory part of town, Henrietta assures Charlotte of their safety by pulling two pistols out of her reticule. One of the funniest lines occurs when Henrietta explains how easy it is to use a pistol – “You point. They run. Don’t worry! Yours isn’t loaded.” True Henrietta style – that would really reassure me – not! At this point Charlotte realizes their adventure is only too real, not something out of a book. ‘Dr. Simmons’ stops outside a rundown ale house and emerging from his sedan chair dressed in a hooded monk’s robe, enters a shabby church beside it. Henrietta and Charlotte agree to enter from different points. While Charlotte is exploring the nave, she hears voices, and a bell tolls as dark-robed men enter from the opposite end. Unbeknownst to Charlotte, these are the Hellfire Club members. While robing in the back, Robert spied Wrothan and heard him talking to a man with a French accent. Robert lines up in front of them as they file in. He overhears a conversation and disagreement regarding a ransom. The ceremony begins with the lighting of a torch that sets off fireworks exposing Charlotte. Robert rushes to grab her and carry her out while Wrothan and the Frenchman escape.

Safely outside, Robert tries to figure out what Charlotte is doing there when Henrietta appears. Following her through the graveyard she stumbles over the body of ‘Dr. Simmons’ who is really Wrothan. Miles and Tommy arrive while Robert is questioning the ladies. Charlotte notices the smell of incense on Robert’s clothes and identifies it as the same scent she smelled on the king. Robert say it is opium. Putting all the clues together, Charlotte explains she thinks Simmons/Wrothan had a plan to kidnap the king. They all hurry to the palace, go in through the library entrance, and find the king restrained and moaning in his bed. While talking to the king, Charlotte realizes the man is an actor – the real king has been abducted!

These chapters were packed with so much action and suspense. Henrietta’s and Charlotte’s escapades reminded me so much of Henrietta’s actions in The Masque of the Black Tulip. She is one gutsy woman! Were you surprised at Charlotte’s willingness to go along with Henrietta and her ability to take charge? This seemed so out of character for shy, quiet Charlotte. I felt like her true self was finally emerging. She began to step out of her fantasy world and operate in the real world. I think Charlotte actually surprised herself. What do you think?

Lauren also treated us to more of a glimpse into the minds of both Robert and Charlotte as we were privy to their most personal thoughts. Charlotte kept going back and forth over her feelings for Robert, one minute wondering if she had been too hard on him, then thinking that he really didn’t care for her as she did for him. She really had a hard time trying to separate the real Robert from the Robert in her fantasy world of knights and unicorns. Robert struggled with whether he was worthy of Charlotte and whether he should tell her the truth. Some of the princess in the tower references made me think he felt Charlotte was above him. This is the kind of insight that makes me get involved in a character. What are your thoughts about Robert and Charlotte and the way they related to each other?

One last thought – as for Colin and Eloise, how many think Colin has continued in the family business and is a spy? Was Eloise justified in searching through his computer and desk drawers?

I’m really hoping to hear your thoughts!

Eloise and Pammy – Best Friends Forever

This post was written by guest blogger Susan Gorman.

ice cream

I just loved reading Betty’s post  about Friendships in Pink last week!  I enjoy how Lauren parallels Henrietta, Charlotte and Penelope’s relationships with the modern day friendship of Eloise and Pammy in The Temptation of the Night Jasmine.  Some of my favorite chapters in the novel occur in the modern story of Eloise and Colin.

Eloise recognizes the significance of Henrietta and Charlotte’s friendship as she reads their letters. She becomes immersed in the world of the Pink Carnation and all of its  intrigue.  Colin pulls Eloise out of the nineteenth century and takes her out to a local pub for dinner. The couple meets Colin’s ex Joan, her sister Sally and the Vicar at the pub. One of my favorite scenes is when Eloise overhears Joan and Sally chatting in the bathroom. Eloise hides in her stall and listens to Joan talking about Colin and his job. She thinks she heard Joan says the word “spies” – or was it “sty” (like pig sty)? Eloise’s imagination runs wild. She wonders if Colin is a spy, a modern day version of James Bond. Later that night, in true Nancy Drew fashion, Eloise sneaks into Colin’s office and looks through his papers and desk. Eloise finds hotel receipts from Dubai, scribbled notes, and foreign  language books. I laughed out loud when Eloise held up a torn piece of paper  in Colin’s handwriting  up to a light to see if it could help her figure out the missing words or provide a clue to Colin’s recent activity.

Eloise decides to call her best friend Pammy the next morning.  Eloise is convinced that Pammy would know what Colin did for a living. Instead of having a conversation about Colin, his job or the weather, the conversation morphs into a hysterical girlfriend discussion about men, ice cream and comparing men to ice cream flavors.  It’s the type of conversation that only two best friends can have and understand.

Click here if you would like to hear Lauren read the ice cream scene.  Isn’t the type of conversation that you can only have with your best friend?

Is your best friend like Pammy?  Eloise? Henrietta or Charlotte?

 

Pink VI Quote Contest: Submissions, please!

A contest idea from Betty…

In recognition of Lauren’s amazing writing style, here’s your chance to submit some of your favorite lines from Pink VI. It was so much fun to see what people selected from The Deception of the Emerald Ring. To start things off, I have selected a few of my own favorites. Please add your own, and Ashley will conduct a poll on February 24. A winner will be selected to receive a mug from Pink VI.

Charlotte: “I like books. They’re so much grander than real life.”

Robert: “You look like a lady in a medieval tapestry. All you need is a unicorn at your feet.”

Penelope’s comment on the ‘eligibles’: “They have no charm, no conversation, and most of them have no chins. Other than that it’s been scrumptious.”

Charlotte and Robert: “It was a fairytale kingdom, offered up for the taking.”

Henrietta: “You point. They run. Don’t worry! Yours isn’t loaded.”