Archive for the ‘Ashford Affair’ Category

New On the Website: Lost Chapters

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Now up on in a permanent place on the Diversions Page, from now unto the next time my website crashes, you can find two chapters that were excised by my editor: the “lost” Chapter 29 of The Ashford Affair, in which All Was Explained, and the discarded Epilogue of That Summer (in which some things were explained, but not all).

Ashford Paperback That Summer discount edition

Warning! Both of these extras contain major spoilers, so don’t click unless you’ve already read the books. Or are one of those people who likes reading books backwards.

Happy reading!

Is there anything else I should be adding to the website? Let me know….

Monday Give Away: En Français!

Monday, July 10th, 2017

In honor of France’s upcoming national holiday, I’m giving away copies of my books in French!

Would you like to read the first two Pink books or The Ashford Affair en français? Then now’s your chance! I’ll be giving away one set of all three here today and another on Facebook later this week.

Pink France La_mysterieuse_histoire_de_l_oeillet_rose Black Tulip France Ashford France paperback

So, for a chance to win The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, The Masque of the Black Tulip, and The Ashford Affair in French, here’s your question: what’s your favorite book or movie set in France?

The winner will be announced on Wednesday.


Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

It’s 1926 and a train is chugging its way into the station in Nairobi.

For our second Pinkorama, Carla brings us… The Ashpeep Affair.

In this scene, Addie has just traveled from England to Kenya to visit her cousin Bea, and, after coming all that way, she’s not quite sure she actually wants to be there.

Carla Ashpeep Affair

Just look at poor Addie, dragging her luggage from the train, hot and sweaty and uncomfortably aware that her sugar– er, hair– is frizzing.

Here’s a bit of the text of the scene:

Ashford PaperbackBeneath her cloche hat, her hair was matted to her head with sweat. Addie yanked it off, dropping it on the narrow bed. The movement of the train ought to have created a bit of breeze, but the screens were tightly fitted, their mesh clogged with the red dust that seemed to me to be almost worse than mosquitoes. With the screens down, the car was dark and airless, more like a cattle car than a first class cabin, the clatter of wheels against track broken far too frequently by the high pitched wail of the whistle.

Kneeling on the bed, she wrestled the screen open. The train chugged steadily along on its slim, single track—the Iron Snake they had told her the natives called it, in Mombassa, as she had struggled to see her belongings from ship to train, jostled this way and that on the bustling, busy, harbor. In the distance, she could see a flock of beasts, rather like deer, but with thin, high horns, startled into flight by the noise of the train. It was nearly midday, and the equatorial sun made the scene shimmer in a kind of haze, like a glaze over glass, so that the fleeing beasts rippled as they ran, like an impressionist painting.

She had never imagined Africa being so very green, nor the sky so very blue.

Her imaginings, such as they were, had been in shades of siena and burnt umber, browns and oranges, with, perhaps, a bit of jungle thrown in, as a courtesy to H. Rider Haggard. Perhaps she ought to have paid more attention to the books and maps David had brought, instead of watching him, his thin face animated in the lamplight, feeling a familiar mix of obligation and guilt, affection and dread. She hadn’t bothered to think much about Africa at all. There were books she could have read, people she could have quizzed, but she hadn’t bothered, not with any of it. When she had thought of coming to Africa, it hadn’t been of Africa she had thought.

You can only wonder where that Addie Peep is going to go next…. A swinging 1920s Peep party in the Happy Valley? Or right back onto that adorable train?

Thank you, Carla, for transporting us– and that Peep!– to Africa!

Calling all Catalan speakers!

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Among the many, many author copies that I discovered in my move were several copies of The Ashford Affair in Catalan.

Ashford Catalan

Do you speak Catalan or know someone who does? If you’d like a Catalan copy of The Ashford Affair, just post in the Comments below or email me at

En français!

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation and The Masque of the Black Tulip are now available en français!


Pink I French Black Tulip French

Does anyone recognize those covers from somewhere else?

If you’re looking for more en français, you can find The Ashford Affair, aka Ashford Park, in both trade paperback and en poche.

Ashford France Ashford France paperback

Last day of ASHFORD sale!

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Today is the last day to buy The Ashford Affair e-book for $2.99!

LW4 (5)

On July 14th, the price reverts back to the usual $9.99. But there are still a few hours left to buy The Ashford Affair for $2.99 on Kindle and Nook.



Thursday, June 25th, 2015

The Ashford Affair, aka Ashford Park en français, comes out today in France as a livre de poche!

What do you think of the new paperback cover?

Ashford France paperback

There’s something rather nicely summery about it, isn’t there?

Here it is next to the French hardcover:

Ashford France Ashford France paperback

The hardcover is available from Presses de la Cité; the paperback from Pocket. You can also find both (as well as the French Kindle edition) via

Amusez-vous bien!

More ASHFORD Sale!

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

I felt awful yesterday that Nook readers were being left out of the Ashford Affair e-book sale. But, lo….

The Nook price is now $2.99, too!

LW4 (6)

My publishers inform me that the sale will be on until July 13 or thereabouts, at which point the Kindle and Nook prices will revert to the usual $9.99. So get ’em while they’re cheap!


Monday, June 1st, 2015

The Ashford Affair was a New York Times bestseller, an Indie Next pick, an AAR Desert Island Keeper, and a RT Readers’ Choice Awards nominee– and now it’s only $2.99 on Kindle!

Ashford Paperback

The Ashford Affair will be $2.99 on Kindle from now until July 13th, after which it will go back to its usual price of $9.99. Buy your copy now and tell a friend!

To read an excerpt or learn more about The Ashford Affair, click here.

To buy your reduced price copy now, click here.

Teaser Tuesday: Those Ubiquitous Vaughns

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

The Other DaughterIt has been noted that there is a Cecelia Heatherington-Vaughn in The Other Daughter. Not illogically, the question has been asked: is she one of those Vaughns?

Yes. Yes, she is.

As always, the Vaughns just won’t keep out of the way. They pop up everywhere. In my Kenya book; in my 1927 book; in your Christmas stocking. (Okay, maybe not there. Yet.)

As is usually the case with the Vaughns and their descendants, I flung a character into the mix in the 1927 book, meaning her to be a minor side character, with a cameo role for a chapter or so. Insert hollow laughter here. It wasn’t quite a Lord Vaughn level plot-hijacking (no-one hijacks a plot quite like Lord Vaughn), but my frivolous side character, Cece Heatherington-Vaughn, decided, without consulting me, that it was really only right that she play an integral role in the story, and, while she was at it, become a much more rounded character. And could I please pass that gin fizz?

Just to give you a quick idea of how Cece is related, here’s a bit of Vaughn family history….

crimson-rose-lauren-willig-paperback-cover-artMary and Vaughn’s granddaughter (born early in the reign of Queen Victoria, in 1841), the middle daughter of their son, the Victorian Lord Vaughn, marries a wealthy industrialist, Mr. Heatherington. A granddaughter of Mary couldn’t help but be (a) a bit snobby, but with (b) rather a liking for cold, hard cash, so she squares the circle by adding the Vaughn on to Heatherington, building an opulent mansion in Park Lane, and lording it over all of her acquaintances. Her son (Vaughn and Mary’s great-grandson) marries Lady Frances Standish, daughter of the Earl of Ardmore. Together, they beget Cece.

Long story short, Cece Heatherington-Vaughn is Mary and Vaughn’s great-great granddaughter, but no longer in the direct line.

Ashford PaperbackFor those of you who remember Val Vaughn, from The Ashford Affair, he’s Cece’s second cousin. (His grandfather and Cece’s grandmother are brother and sister.) Unlike Cece, Val is in the direct line, although, being a younger son, he gets all the fun and none of the responsibility, leaving him free to gad off to Kenya and fly aeroplanes.

None of this comes up in the book (for the sake of the plot, it’s Cece’s maternal connections that are more important here, not the Vaughn side), but I thought you might like to know the Vaughns are still going strong– especially since it’s The Seduction of the Crimson Rose month on The Bubblebath Reader!