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, 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!

16 thoughts on “Pink VI: Ask the Author

  1. Thanks Lauren!! When did you know that Charlotte was not going to be compatible with any of the young bachelors that we have met so far and Robert was the person for her to be with? Also, did you have second thoughts about the whole “cousin” thing? I know they aren’t closely related but it could have been weird.
    On a side note, do you know if your publishers plan on putting together a package with all 12 books and selling it as a boxed set? or I just got a kindle and putting all books on a kindle deal boxed deal? I would love to buy that instead of just buying the last one on kindle and i don’t have any of the others. Just a thought!!

    • Funnily, I hadn’t worried about the cousin thing until my editor brought up the same point! Spending so much time immersed in previous time periods (when I started thinking about “Night Jasmine”, I was still in grad school), I just took for granted that cousins frequently married cousins. When my editor expressed concern that people would be squicked out, I went back and tried to emphasize in the text just how distant the connection was and also, at her request, cut many of the places early in the manuscript where Charlotte refers to Robert as “cousin”.

    • Thanks, Susan! Somehow, Charlotte’s story was always wrapped up with unicorns and medieval iconography for me. The jam tarts, like all of the best things, happened by accident– but I think they were a necessary anchor, a touch of practical domesticity to balance out the fairy tale/unicorn aspect of Charlotte’s personality.

  2. Hi Lauren
    I have a story about why this book is one of my favorites! This was published right before my birthday and you were touring-but not til after my birthday. My BFF wanted a signed copy for me and she emailed you asking how to do that. You so kindly sent her one of your copies at no charge with a sweet birthday message for me. So thank you! I love this one!

    My question is. did you ever think about giving Tommy his own book love? He has always been one of my favorite characters! I love how Penelope’s story turns out in the end, but I was so hopeful for them having a future while reading the Night Jasmine!

    • Amanda, I’m so glad! And, YES, I was absolutely planning to give Tommy his book. It was going to be set in Wales in 1805 and involve a Welsh underground revolutionary group (a real one) whose name I can’t currently recall (and could never spell) as well as an (also real) proto-railroad. His love interest was going to be Alex Reid’s sister, Kat. I’d started work on the book when a few different things happened to derail it. In the end, I wound up writing Miss Gwen’s book instead. (More about that below, in response to Kristy’s question.)

  3. Hi Lauren,
    How did you conceive of the character of Robert?

    He is so different from the others, having left home at 15, purchased a commission, and literally grown up in India. I know that people moved into the adult world so early in that time period, but it is still hard to imagine in this day. He is one of my favorite characters of the series, probably because of his quiet strength and sense of honor.

    I also think he was perfect for Charlotte, and I love the whole fairy tale theme throughout. This book also seemed to lead directly to Blood Lily, which I am looking forward to rereading. Was that your plan?

    Thanks for an amazing book!

    • Thanks, Betty! After writing three very privileged heroes (Richard, Miles, and Geoff), I wanted to write an outsider, someone not part of the gang, someone not born with a silver spoon in his mouth (although he does inherit one). I felt, too, that Charlotte needed someone with street sense to balance out her lady in a tower sensibilities. I liked, too, the idea of the conflicting realities: Charlotte has been raised as an insider, but the home that she has lived in all her life is really Robert’s; Robert is an outsider, but, because of the vagaries of inheritance law, he owns it all.

      I’ve also always been fascinated by just how permeable the British aristocracy was– thanks to primogeniture, you could have titles and estates descending sideways to people who had not been raised to it. (Hello, Downton Abbey several years later!) And there was also a very seedy underbelly to Georgian society that I wanted to bring in via Robert’s past, where being a “gentleman” by birth or connected to a great family (like Robert’s father) didn’t stop a man from being a wastrel and lecher.

      • It was fascinating watching the struggle between fantasy and reality with Charlotte and Robert. You covered this so well through their dialogue and personal thoughts. So many wonderful quotes in the last two chapters of their story.

  4. When you wrote this book did you already see the writing on the wall for Penelope and Staines? Or did you consider making him a legit love interest for her in the following book, despite their marriage of convenience?

    I know you once mentioned writing a Tommy and Lizzy book. With the series wrapping up, is this still a possibility?

    • Ashley, for some reason WordPress’s spam filter snagged your comment, so I don’t think Lauren saw it – she may hop back at some point to answer your question about Staines, and several other people asked about a Tommy book, so you can see her responses to them.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I’ll echo Amanda’s comment. I’m sad that Tommy doesn’t get his own book or at least a resolution of his life somewhere. I believe you mentioned once in a post that Tommy and William Reid’s daughter Kat were supposed to be involved (lead characters?) in Pink #10, but that Miss Gwen took it over. Or did I dream that somewhere?

    • No, you didn’t dream it. I was planning to write Kat and Tommy’s book after “Garden Intrigue”. (You can see more about it above, in response to Amanda’s question.) I’d started work on the first few chapters– but it didn’t really follow logically from “Garden Intrigue”. In terms of overall series arc, it felt like a digression.

      I might have gone with the digression and circled back later, but, around the same time, I’d had the news that the series was being moved to paperback. Until then, the series had been going strong (as far as I knew) and I’d taken for granted that I could go on writing it as long as there were still stories to tell. The move to paperback was a wake up call. I read the writing on the wall and made my plans to wrap up the series in the next two books (which wound up turning into the next three books)– and that’s how Kat and Tommy’s story dropped out of the mix.

      In retrospect, the logical place to have put Kat and Tommy’s book would have been as Book XI, after “Plumeria” and before “Moonflower”, since Kat’s story would have followed nicely after her father’s and would have set the tone for Jack’s– but that would have meant never writing Sally’s story, and I would have been very sad not to know that stoat. (And, to be honest, putting Kat’s and Jack’s story in that spot hadn’t occurred to me until just now. Oh well….)

      • Ooops, that last line should have read “Kat and Tommy” not “Kat and Jack”. Neither Kat nor Jack would thank me for that slip. (Tommy, on the other hand, would be amused.)

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