Archive for the ‘Lure of the Moonflower’ Category

Congratulations, Pinkorama Winners!

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Because every Pinkorama this year was, without doubt, a winner, the dominant theme in the voting being, “But how? How can you make me choose?”

The Convent of Peepsino edged out slightly ahead (Miss Gwen preens and blows a speck of dust off the tip of her parasol), but it was such a close-run thing all around that I’m just declaring it a group win.

Take a bow, Kayse, Colleen, Candace, Cassandra, and Rachel!

For anyone who missed them and would like to admire sugary artistry in action you can find (in the order in which they were submitted:

The Convent of Peepsino by Kayse
Kayse 1

Amy and Richard’s Spy School Meets the Phantom Peep (plus video!) by Rachel

Rachel 3

Happily Peep After by Candace & Cassandra

C&C 6 couple 1

The Unpeepable Truth by Colleen

Colleen 1

by clicking on either the title or the picture.

So many thanks for these amazing productions! Kayse, Colleen, Candace, Cassandra, and Rachel, if you email me at and let me know whether you’d prefer The Forgotten Room or Fall of Poppies (or one of the other books), I’ll send your prize your way!

The winning judge is… Maria! (Of Comment #20.) Congrats, Maria! Email me and I’ll send your book your way.

And now a word about Pinkorama to come: although the Pink series has officially wrapped up (although there may be some offshoots), I would be thrilled to keep the annual Pinkorama the, well, the annual Pinkorama as long as you’re still willing to Pinkorama with me.

What do you think? Shall we make a date for Pinkorama 2017?

Pinkorama #3: Eloise & Colin, Happily Peep After…

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

It’s time for some Happily Peep After (Hapeeply Ever After?) in our third Pinkorama, by Candace and Cassandra!


If you haven’t read the later Pink books yet, stop here, or forever hold your Peeps. Or peace.

If you have read Pink XII, or don’t mind spoilers, or just like Peep dioramas, scroll on down!

Okay. We’re good now? Good. Let’s get going to the very last chapter of The Lure of the Moonflower and Eloise and Colin’s wedding at Selwick Hall, beautifully rendered in peep form by Candace and Cassandra.

Candace and Cassandra write:

It is Eloise and Colin’s wedding. The happy couple is surrounded by family and friends for the big day in Selwick Hall’s drawing room. Eloise has her floral bridemaids (Jillian, Serena, Pammy with cellphone, and Alex). Colin has his groomsmen in their grey morning coats. Then there is the groom’s family and the bride’s family.

The wedding party is gathered in the drawing room of Selwick Hall…. Check out that parquet floor and the portraits on the wall!

C&C 1 Overhead

Bridesmaids. I think Eloise was reasonably kind in picking their dresses, don’t you? Because this is an English wedding, there are, of course, snazzy hats. With flowers. (Also, is it just me or does Serena look a wee bit wobbly? I’d say she’s low on sugar, but she’s a Peep.)

C&C 2 Bridesmaids

Colin: supported by his groomsmen. (Figuratively.) Aren’t those flowers in their buttonholes adorable?

C&C 3 Groom Side

The family of the groom. Enough said.

C&C 4 Family of the Groom

The family of the bride, plus adorable flower girl. Mr. Kelly’s suit and tie look very Brooks Brothers– which is pretty impressive with candy.

C&C 5 Family of the Bride & Flowergirl

Last but not least… the bride and groom! Happy, happy, Eloise and Colin…. Just watch out for Pammy’s multiple cell phones.

C&C 6 couple 1

As always, Candace and Cassandra, I am in awe. I have no idea how you do what you do, other than that it’s high confectionary artistry. Thank you for making Eloise’s and Colin’s special day so sugary sweet!

Pinkorama #4 coming up tomorrow…. Or, possibly on Saturday, depending on author flakiness.

Reidiad Winners

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

The winners of the The Betrayal of the Blood Lily, The Passion of the Purple Plumeria, and The Lure of the Moonflower are….

— Jennifer (of Comment #16).

— Steph (of Comment #34).

— Georgia (of Comment #48).

— Kathleen (of Comment #4).

Congrats, all! If you email me at, I’ll pop your Reids– I mean, books– in the mail to you.

More give aways coming up next Monday!

Monday Give Away: the Reidiad

Monday, October 12th, 2015

When I introduced Alex Reid, way back in Pink VI, The Betrayal of the Blood Lily, I initially had no idea that the Reid family would take over the Pink series.

Then Alex’s father popped up, around about Chapter Two of Blood Lily, and I knew, instantly, that there was the man for Miss Gwen.

And then, way at the end of the book, Jack Reid walked into the scene… and Jane’s future was sealed. (Although it was rather maddening not to be able to tell anyone, since Jane’s book was still many years in the future.)

So, for this Monday’s give away, I present the Reidiad, the three books in which the Reid family take over the stage: The Betrayal of the Blood Lily, The Passion of the Purple Plumeria, and the final Pink book, The Lure of the Moonflower.

Blood Lily Paperback Plumeria Lure of the Moonflower_deeper sky2

Some day, perhaps, the Reidiad will stretch to five books, with one for Alex’s twin sister, Kat, and another for the irrepressible Lizzy. But, for now, it’s a collection of three.

The three Reids are very different sorts of heroes. Alex is hardworking and serious; Colonel Reid is a charming, carefree rogue (at least on the surface); and Jack is a cynical soldier of fortune. For a chance to win, here’s your question:

— Which of the three sounds most like your cup of tea?

I’ll be giving away four sets of the Reidiad this week. The winners will be announced on Thursday!

RT Book Reviews’ Seal of Excellence for MOONFLOWER

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

While I was off-line last week, this happened!


The Lure of the Moonflower won RT Book Reviews’ Seal of Excellence!

As they put it over there: “Each month the RT editors select one book that is not only compelling, but pushes the boundaries of genre fiction. This book stands out from all the others reviewed that month, in the magazine issue and on the website. August 2015’s RT Seal of Excellence — the editors’ pick for best book of the month — is awarded to Lauren Willig’s historical romance, The Lure of the Moonflower.”

In the midst of all the mess and muddle of moving, that absolutely made my week. The runners-up included two of my favorite authors, Lisa Kleypas and Jen Lancaster. It’s such an honor to be in their company. (And a little surreal.)

It’s been a wrench ending the Pink series– but if it’s ending, at least it’s ending with a bang! Thank you, RT Book Reviews!

Pink on NPR!

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

So many thanks to the folks at NPR (but especially reviewer extraordinaire, Bobbi Dumas) for this lovely farewell to the Pink Carnation series.

LW20 (4)

If you had told me, ten years ago, that the Pink books would be getting this kind of send-off on National Public Radio, I would have snorted coffee up my nose. Of course, if you’d told me then that there would be twelve Pink books, I would have snorted coffee, so, there you go….

Thank you!!


Monday, August 17th, 2015

So many apologies! What with one thing and another, I completely forgot to announce the Colin & Eloise Wedding Week contest winners this weekend.

First off, thank you to everyone for the wonderful gifts for Colin and Eloise! They are currently munching on the contents of their picnic hamper, tucked in among those woolly blankets, reading to start work at their new, matching desks.

The winners of the copies of The Lure of the Moonflower are…

— Ana F. of Comment #22

— Calli Fox of Comment #4

Congrats, Ana and Calli! Just email me at and let me know if you’d rather have a print copy or audio CDs.

Happy reading!

Colin & Eloise Wedding Week: the Honeymoon

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Now that we’ve made it through the Colin & Eloise wedding extravaganza, it’s time for… the honeymoon!

Where should our intrepid pair go?

Options included:

— Wales, for castles:


(Please ignore the author in the photo!)

— Scotland, for more castles– and sheep:


(Those are quite definitely sheep– and not the author.)

But those were both too close to home now that Eloise is on that side of the Pond.

Moving to sunnier climes, they could go to Greece:

DSC00135 DSC00231

They could explore old castles in Oman:

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Or visit the races and see all the construction in Dubai:


They could go back to Eloise’s side of the world and look at Pre-Columbian ruins in Mexico:

Mexico 004 Mexico 011

Of course, there are always islands, like Mustique:


Or Grand Cayman:

Grand Cayman 046

Where do you think Colin and Eloise should go on their honeymoon? And will more drama overtake them wherever they go?

Psssst…. If you want to know where they do go, the answer is in The Lure of the Moonflower.

Colin & Eloise Wedding Week: the Bouquet

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

It seems strange to admit this after twelve books about flower-themed spies, but… I know very little about flowers.

So when it came time to design a bouquet for Eloise, I sought expert help from Clara Bauer of Clara’s Flowers. (Have I mentioned recently how endlessly impressed I am by all the talent within the Pink community?)

Clara very generously sent an entire garden of bouquets for Eloise, along with descriptions. Eloise, of course, is in an agony of indecision. Here are the options:

1. “A simple classic mix of cream Vendela roses, with mini callas, white cymbidium orchids, white ranunculus and some touches of peonies with their buds…”

Clara bouquet 1

2. “Lily of the valley, white peonies, cream roses and white freesia. The touches of green are the lily of the valley leaves, fresh from Selwick garden!”

Clara bouquet 2

3. “This one is all orchids. Notice in the background that the maids’ bouquets were lilies…stargazers.”
(Eloise’s sister Jillian heard “bridesmaids’ bouquets” and “stargazers” and started making pointing motions at this one.)

Clara bouquet 3

4. “One of my favorites with white tulips, freesia, cream roses, white peonies, ranunculus, hydrangea and white lilacs. Fragrant, fluffy and so bridal!”

Clara bouquet 4

5. “Gardenias and open garden roses (David Austen from England) with touches of bling.”
(At the word “bling”, Pammy’s ears just perked up.)

Clara bouquet 5

6. Last but not least, this lovely pink and cream bouquet:

Clara bouquet 6

Which would you choose for Eloise?

(If you need context, this is her dress. Her bridesmaids are in lime green chiffon.)

Eloise & Colin Wedding Week: the Cake

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

It makes such a brief appearance at the reception, and yet it looms so large, in more ways than one.

No, not the maid of honor’s speech. That’s another story. (And Eloise is afraid. She is very afraid.) I’m talking about that cake.

So, for Eloise’s wedding cake, I turned to my favorite cake expert, Francine Crawford, who provided Eloise and Colin with this carnation-themed extravaganza:

Eloise and Colin Cake

It does the Pink Carnation proud, no?

Just in case something should happen to the first cake (this IS Eloise, after all), Sharlene suggested two others:

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Sadly, neither of those made it to the reception. Turnip appropriated the first for a waistcoat. As for the second– after a couple of glasses of champagne, Pammy mistook it for a hat.

Eloise’s mother was a bit worried about what Eloise might wind up with left to herself, so she consulted with Clara of Clara’s flowers, who came up with these options, two in classic white:

Clara Cake 3 Clara Cake 2

One with a beautiful cascade of flowers designed by Clara:

Clara Cake 1

And one which Clara describes as “a proper English cake stuffed full of hydrangeas, peonies, stephanotis, roses and sweet peas!”

Clara Cake 4

Naturally, Eloise is now wondering whether there were spies named “the Sweet Pea”, “the Peony”, or, possibly, “the Stealthy Stephanotis”.

But here’s the real question, folks…. Flavors.

What do you think is inside that gorgeous, carnation-decked cake? Vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, carrot cake? Gingerbread? (Colin is a Miles descendant, after all.) Or has Eloise gone traditional and opted for an old school fruit cake?

One thing is for sure. There’s raspberry jam in there somewhere. Because Turnip says so.

Do you have other cakes to recommend for Colin and Eloise?

(For more cake fun, I was trying to find a 2012 post I wrote for the Ballroom Blog about historical wedding cakes, including an 1806 wedding cake recipe. But, sadly, it seems to have disappeared into the electronic ether.)