Archive for the ‘Garden Intrigue’ Category

Pink Books in Forbes Magazine!

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

In the “random but wonderful” category, a quote from one of the Pink Carnation books was featured in last week’s Forbes Magazine!

Pink in Forbes Garden Intrigue Paperback

I am so thrilled to be hanging out there with Agatha Christie and Dom Perignon. (Especially Dom Perignon! Pass the bubbly, please….)

The quote in question is from The Garden Intrigue, Augustus Whittlesby in spy mode, rather than poet mode.

Here’s the full passage:

Augustus had no proof that either Emma Delagardie or her cousin, the one with the strange name, had anything to do with Bonaparte’s mysterious device, but the coincidences were piling up, too many for comfort. It had seemed innocuous enough that Bonaparte intended to test his device during the visit of the American envoy. The presence of the Americans might be intended only as a distraction a smokescreen. One had the impression that they were brash and not terribly bright, thus making them perfect fodder for the role of unwitting decoy.

Likewise, it would ordinarily mean little that the American envoy’s nephew had a diagram of some sort of mechanical whatnot in his waistcoat pocket. It might be nothing more than a sketch for a new patent stove or a design for an improved water closet, Yankee ingenuity once again at work. They were a strange and mercantile people, these Americans. One never knew what they might come up with next.

Fun fact: the phrase “a strange and mercantile people” was a deliberate play on the title of Paul Langford’s classic social history of Georgian England: A Polite and Commercial People. It seemed only right to twist the phrase a bit for England’s ingenious and indefatigable American cousins….

Pinkorama #5: POET PEEP

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

For our fifth Pinkorama, Candace and Cassandra bring us… “Oh no! It’s a highway-peep…oh wait it’s worse it’s a poet-peep!”

Yes, you guessed it: the one, the only Augustus Whittlesby.

And now over to Candace and Cassandra, who write:

In this scene from The Garden Intrigue, we visualize a moment detailed from the correspondence from Emma Delagardie to that grand poet, Augustus Whittlesby, esteemed author of 22 cantos of The Perils of the Pulchritudinous Princess of the Azure Toes.

“E. Delagardie to A. Whittlesby
Yes, it did make me feel better, even though you did look rather silly stalking through Saint-Germain on a sunny day all wrapped about in wool with only the top of your head showing. My footman thought you were there to rob the house and had to be soothed with a stiff brandy, even though we all faithfully assured him that highwaymen stalk highways, not private residences.

Why do I suspect that on the next chilly night you’ll be back to your shirtsleeves?

I’ve had an idea about our masque. What do you think about having Americanus run off with the Pirate Queen instead? Cytherea, while lovely, seems a bit inspid. It would be a twist that no one would ever expect!


p.s. The package contains some of those currant cakes you like so much. Please eat them so I don’t.”

Chaos ensues as Augustus Whittlesby calls on Emma in her grand Paris house.

front shot 2

Those poor footmen– no one expects a romantic poet!

House Chaos 1

Especially one with lusciously flowing locks….

Augustus 1

Emma is dressed as befits a fashionable matron, best friends with Napoleon’s stepdaughter.

Emma 2

Which is, of course, why she’s collaborating with Augustus on a masque for the Emperor’s entertainment.

Augustus & Emma 1

And soothing her distressed footman with brandy.

Footman 1

Those poor footpeeps never quite knew what hit them…. (Iambic pentameter, most likely.)

Don’t you love the appropriately poetic scroll beneath Augustus’s arm?

So many thanks to Candance and Cassandra for another sugary tour de force! (Tour de peep?)

Which brings us to the end of our 2017 Pinkorama entries! I’ll post a round-up of all the entries tomorrow and open it up to voting….

In the meanwhile, huge kudos to all the entrants!

Pink Carnation Cookery: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowls

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

As summer winds down to a close, Christine brings us another Pink Carnation-themed treat… chocolate chip cookie ice cream bowls, in honor of The Garden Intrigue‘s American heroine, Emma Morris Delagardie.

There’s something about August and ice cream that just go together like chocolate chip and cookie….

Now over to Christine!

The hot days of summer are finally (hopefully?) winding down to an end, and why not celebrate with a big bowl of ice cream… a cookie bowl, that is. To honor The Garden Intrigue‘s American heroine, Mme Emma Delgardie, we bring you chocolate chip cookie bowls. Earlier this year, chocolate chip cookie shot glasses became pretty hot, but I’m not one to stand in line for 4 hours for any kind of fad food (I made ramen burgers… good, but not stand in line for any amount of time good). I found a recipe for the shot glasses and decided to adapt it to make ice cream bowls.

If you haven’t seen the epic Pinterest Fail for chocolate chip cookie bowls, this is a great collection of images. Unlike the Pinterest recipes, this one calls for making the bowls inside a pan, not outside.

This recipe comes from Wanna Come With?

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
a little more chocolate to melt for inside of bowls

1. Whisk together flour and salt and set aside.
2. Beat butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy.
3. Add vanilla and egg yolk.
4. On low speed, add in dry mixture until just combined.
5. Separate dough into two balls then roll out until just under 1/4 inch thick. The dough was just a little crumbly so I found it easiest to alternate between rolling and smashing.
6. Refrigerate at least half an hour.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease whatever pan you choose to use.
8. Cut out rough pieces and line the inside of the pan (in my case, large muffin tin). It’s ok if the pieces overlap, just be sure to press them down. Don’t be too concerned with making them “pretty.” When I took the dough out of the fridge, it was crumbly and tough to handle. It took a few minutes to warm them up to a temperature where they were pliable. There was a lot of breaking off chunks and mashing them together involved. As long as you don’t have any holes in the dough, it’ll all melt together in the oven anyway. Try to make it as even as possible all the way around so each cup cooks evenly.
8a. Use any leftover dough to make delicious cookies! This recipe was designed for cookie cutter use. I had the perfect amount to fill a 6-cup large muffin tin.
9. Bake for 13-17 minutes. The edges will start to brown when they’re ready. Be careful not to under-bake.
10. Remove from the oven and let cool. The recipe says about 15 minutes. She also notes that the bottoms puffed up a bit so she pushed them back down before they cooled completely. After they’re cool enough to handle, remove from pan.
11. Melt the remaining chocolate in the microwave or double boiler.
12. Line the inside of the cookie bowls (or glasses, cups, whatever) with a thin layer of chocolate. You don’t want too much chocolate, just enough to coat the inside of the bowls to prevent leaks. The sides aren’t so much a concern – just the bottom.
13. Cool chocolate completely then fill with the treat of your choice!

Well, 50% of my 6 bowls survived. The other 3 fell apart while coming out of the tin. I think they were too thick. Since the bottoms were so thick, I decided to skip the layer of chocolate. I think there’s little risk of anything melting through these.

photo (39)

Next time I would definitely let the dough sit for a couple of minutes after coming out of the fridge. The ones that were made with the more pliable dough were definitely more likely to make it out in one piece. But the ones that fell apart are still delicious cookies – my husband had a literal fork in them within minutes of them hitting the “reject” plate.

Happy end of summer!

Thank you so much, Christine! Chipwiches are one of my favorite summer treats (thank you, Trader Joe’s!), so I know I’m going to love these….

What kind of ice cream would you pair with these?

Pink Carnation Recap: GARDEN INTRIGUE

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Eight down, only one more to go until we’re caught up with the series before the release of Pink X, The Passion of the Purple Plumeria!

We round off our recap marathon with Pink IX, The Garden Intrigue.

Who: Emma Morris Delagardie and Augustus Whittlesby
Where: France
When: Summer, 1804
What: When Augustus Whittlesby hears that Bonaparte’s new top secret device is to be tested over the course of a weekend house party at Malmaison, he needs a way in. But the only way in is via American socialiate, Emma Morris Delagardie—and a masque that masks more than even Augustus suspects.
Historical Cameos: Robert Livingston, Robert Fulton, lots of Bonapartes

With The Garden Intrigue, I got to bring back a number of characters from early in the series: not just assorted Bonapartes, but also a great deal of Jane, Miss Gwen, the wonderfully loathsome Georges Marston, and, of course, our hero himself, that over the top poet, Augustus Whittlesby, who has been undercover as a poet so long that he’s even started to think in rhyme. I also got to introduce my first American character: Emma Morris Delagardie, a born and bred New Yorker.

You can find a full compendium of Garden Intrigue extras– pictures of Malmaison, fun facts, descriptions of the real historical characters, images of clothing and jewelry, and other background info– via this post.

My favorite scene from The Garden Intrigue? I enjoyed watching Emma and Augustus rehearse their masque– especially when Augustus has to step in to show Emma’s cousin how it’s done. Not to mention Miss Gwen’s cameo appearance as Pirate Queen.

What’s your favorite scene from The Garden Intrigue?

And that completes our Pink Carnation recap round-up! Pink X, The Passion of the Purple Plumeria, will be here in just a week and a half. I can’t wait to share Miss Gwen’s story with you all….

Happiness for GARDEN INTRIGUE!

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

The Garden Intrigue was just awarded the 2013 RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction!

Huge congrats also to Juliana Grey, who scooped up the award for Best First Historical Romance with A Lady Never Lies!

Speaking of The Garden Intrigue, you can also find me talking about The Garden Intrigue over on Dear Author, along with the inimitable Susanna Kearsley (The Firebird) and Syrie James (The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen).

(Apologies if I posted about the Dear Author interview already– this is my brain on The Ashford Affair launch week….)

Happy Paperback Birthday, GARDEN INTRIGUE!

Monday, December 31st, 2012

If you’ve been waiting for The Garden Intrigue to make its way into paperback, today is the day!

Paperback Garden Intrigue slips onto shelves today, just before the New Year’s confetti starts flying. You can find The Garden Intrigue paperback in stores, or available online from Amazon, B&N, Books-A-Million, Indiebound, Powell’s, and probably other places I’m forgetting.

If you happen to catch sight of Garden Intrigue paperback out in the wild, send a picture along to me! I’ll post the Garden Intrigue in the Wild photos here on the News page.

Happy almost New Year….

Teaser Tuesday: GARDEN-o-Rama!

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

As many of you know, The Garden Intrigue is being released in paperback at the end of this month. Hidden away in the Teaser Tuesday archives is a wealth of background information on The Garden Intrigue— so now seemed like a good time to take those posts out of the vault and dust them off.

— Want to meet the real, historical cast of The Garden Intrigue? I’ve compiled mini-biographies of the real life players, from Napoleon’s stepdaughter to Robert Livingston.

— Come and take a stroll with me through the grounds of Malmaison, Josephine Bonaparte’s country house, where The Garden Intrigue is set.

— Or take a look at the types of dresses and jewelry my characters would have been wearing!

— While we’re hanging out with the Bonapartes at Malmaison, here is why Napoleon’s stepdaughter, Hortense de Beauharnais, has always been my favorite Bonaparte.

— How about some little known Garden Intrigue fun facts?

— And where would we be/ Without a bit of poetry? Yes, it’s last year’s Garden of Verse Contest, in which Augustus received some help in the poetic department from the talented community on this website. You can read all the entries here and the winners here.

— Last, but not least, we have outtakes! We have two outtakes, one featuring Augustus and Emma, the other Miss Gwen.

It does seem rather appropriate to wind up this Garden Intrigue round-up with a Miss Gwen outtake– since Miss Gwen has hijacked the next book! Look for her story, The Passion of the Purple Plumeria, this coming August.

Thursday Give Away

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Since my author copies of The Garden Intrigue paperback just arrived in the mail this week, this week’s Thursday Give Away will be the brand new, hot off the presses, paperback edition of The Garden Intrigue. (Coming to a bookstore near you on December 31st!)

Here’s the official blurb:

Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation novels have been called “fun [and] fresh” (Kirkus Reviews) and “clever and playful ” (Detroit Free Press). Now she introduces readers to a mismatched pair who find passion in the most astonishing of places…

Secret agent Augustus Whittlesby has spent a decade undercover in France, posing as an insufferably bad poet. The French surveillance officers can’t bear to read his work closely enough to recognize the information drowned in a sea of verbiage.

New York-born Emma Morris Delagardie is a thorn in Augustus’s side. An old school friend of Napoleon’s stepdaughter, she came to France with her uncle, eloped with a Frenchman, and has been rattling around the salons of Paris ever since. Now widowed, she entertains herself by holding a weekly salon, and loudly critiquing Augustus’s poetry.

As Napoleon pursues his plans for the invasion of England, Whittlesby hears of a top-secret device to be demonstrated at a house party. The catch? The only way in is with Emma, who has been asked to write a masque for the weekend’s entertainment. In this complicated masque within a masque, nothing goes quite as scripted— especially Augustus’s unexpected feelings for Emma.

So, for a copy of The Garden Intrigue, here’s your question:

Who is your favorite poet? (Or your favorite poem.)

I tend to dither between John Donne and Yeats, depending on my mood of the moment.

Two winners will be chosen to receive signed copies of paperback Garden Intrigue. Winners to be announced on Saturday.

Book Release Schedule

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

After several years of placidly expecting a book out once a year circa January or February, my book schedule has been shaken up in a big way this year. Since I seem to be having trouble keeping track of what’s coming out when, here’s the schedule for the next year:

— December 31, 2012: The Garden Intrigue, aka Pink IX. (Trade paperback, Pink Series.)

— April 9, 2013: The Ashford Affair. (Hardcover, stand alone.)

— August 6, 2013: The Passion of the Purple Plumeria, aka Pink X. (Trade paperback, Pink Series.)


Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

It’s hard for me to believe we’re in December already (where did autumn go?), but look what showed up on my doorstep last night:

My author copies of the trade paperback edition of The Garden Intrigue!

Garden Intrigue paperback is coming to a bookstore near you on December 31– and stay tuned for a special Garden Intrigue Give Away on Thursday!