Archive for the ‘Ashford Affair’ Category

Pinkorama #2: THE ASHPEEP AFFAIR

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 willig@post.harvard.edu.



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!

Or should I say LA MYSTÉRIEUSE HISTOIRE DE L’OEILLET ROSE and LE MASQUE DE LA TULIPE NOIRE?

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.

Enjoy!



ASHFORD AFFAIR en poche!

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 amazon.fr.

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!



THE ASHFORD AFFAIR on sale!

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!



ASHFORD PARK Winner

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

The winner of the French edition of The Ashford Affair is…

Emily! (Of Comment #11.)

Congrats, Emily! If you email me with your details, I’ll pop your book in the mail to you.

More foreign editions of Ashford Affair coming up in September, when we do our Ashford Around the World give away….



Monday Give Away: ASHFORD en Francais

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Look what popped up in my mailbox last week? The Ashford Affair en Francais!

Ashford en Francais

Snazzy cover, no?

In September, once The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla is safely out in the world, I’ll do an Ashford around the world give away, with copies in German, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, French and Polish up for grabs. But I couldn’t resist spreading the francophone joy right away.

Here’s the official blurb:

Juriste dans une grande entreprise new-yorkaise, Clementine a tout sacrifié à sa carrière. A trente-quatre ans, c’est seule qu’elle se rend à la fête d’anniversaire organisée pour les quatre-vingt-dix-neuf ans de sa grand-mère, Addie. Pendant les festivités, Clementine découvre un secret de famille enfoui depuis des années. Lorsqu’elle arrive à Ashford Park, en 1905, Addie a à peine cinq ans et est orpheline. Bien que son oncle et sa tante lui fassent comprendre qu’elle n’a été recueillie que par charité, elle passe une enfance et une adolescence heureuses auprès de sa cousine, la belle et audacieuse Bea. Quand la guerre éclate, leurs chemins se séparent. Addie s’engage comme infirmière tandis que Bea fait un mariage de convenance. Après un scandaleux divorce, cette dernière quitte Londres pour épouser le petit ami d’Addie, et s’enfuir avec lui au Kenya. Les deux cousines ne se parleront plus pendant quelques années jusqu’au jour où Bea supplie Addie de venir lui rendre visite en Afrique. Leurs retrouvailles sont de courte durée : Bea disparaît tragiquement lors d’un safari, ne laissant derrière elle qu’une écharpe ensanglantée. Que lui est-il arrivé? A-t-elle été assassinée, attaquée par des fauves? S’est-elle enfuie? Si les retrouvailles avec sa cousine ne furent pas celles qu’Addie espérait, elles lui laissent entrevoir un tout autre avenir.

For a copy of The Ashford Affair, aka Ashford Park, in French, here’s your question:

— What’s your favorite French novel?

(I might have to go with Dumas’s Three Musketeers.)

Spread the word to your French speaking friends! This contest is open internationally (as are all contests on this site, always). The winner will be announced on Wednesday.

Ashford Park came out in France on May 14. You can also find it in Canada.