As the house party at Girdings goes out into the woods to collect the Yuletide greenery on Christmas Eve, we can find Charlotte, in her red cloak, and Penelope, with her red hair uncovered (so Pen!)…
… while Arabella stands alone in her plain brown cloak, the hood pulled up over her blonde hair.
The servants have prepared a sumptuous repast…
… and some of the gentlemen are certainly enjoying themselves. (Check out the dogs yipping at their heels!)
But other events are afoot. As Robert and Tommy make their plans, Freddy parties, and Sir Francis Medmenham exudes sinister…
… We find the root vegetable we’ve been waiting for! Turnip is busy trying to cut down a tree with the wrong side of his axe, until Geoff intervenes.
Pretty amazing, no? Candace & Cassandra, I doff my (tiny Peep) hat to you!
As we leave Turnip and Arabella to their festivities once more, thank you so much to everyone for coming along with me and Turnip on this holiday adventure! May all your holidays be merry and bright– and your puddings unencumbered by secret messages or freakishly small spies.
To quote the creator of the scene: Robert and Charlotte are happy and engaged… and being secretly blessed by a spying unicorn 😉
A trail of tarts leads Charlotte to Robert…
… as the swan swims on the lake below them…
… and the squirrels and birds enjoy a good snack.
It makes me so happy that Charlotte finally has her unicorn! Thank you, Rachel, for bringing Charlotte and Robert’s happily ever after so beautifully to life. Now if I could just find a way to move into that garden….
I am deeply amused. Little did I realize, five years ago, when I wrote my favorite scene in The Temptation of the Night Jasmine, in which Eloise and her best friend Pammy speculate as to the ice cream flavor of their various male acquaintances, that they were actually ahead of the scientific curve.
According to a recent article in the Daily Mail, there’s been an entire study conducted on the premise that “personality traits can be matched with the type of ice cream you put in your cone”.
Who knew that Eloise and Pammy were on to something there?
For your amusement, here’s the ice cream flavor scene from Night Jasmine, read aloud by yours truly at Lady Jane’s Salon back in 2009.
Who: Charlotte Lansdowne and Robert, Duke of Dovedale
When: Winter, 1803-4
What: Innocent and bookish Charlotte finds herself swept up in a web of intrigue stretching from the Hell Fire Club to the court of George III.
Historical Cameos: George III, Queen Charlotte
Fun facts about The Temptation of the Night Jasmine:
— Charlotte is the heroine based most closely on me. Or, at least, on me as I remembered myself being as an eighteen year old freshman at college, naive, optimistic, and inclined to use books, particularly Fanny Burney’s Evelina, as a guide to the intricacies of human nature. This did not always work well.
— The entire Hellfire Club plot is the fault of Victoria Holt’s Secret for a Nightingale, which was one of my favorite books as a pre-teen. Although for those wanting to know more about the actual Hellfire Clubs, which turned out to be even more complex and interesting than I had imagined, I recommend Geoffrey Ashe’s The Hell-Fire Clubs: A History of Anti-Morality.
My favorite scene from Night Jasmine? As much as I love Robert and Charlotte, I’m going to go with an Eloise one here. The scene I had the most fun writing was Eloise’s conversation with her ridiculous friend, Pammy, as Pammy explains her system for comparing eligible men to ice cream flavors.
More fun with peeps! For Pinkorama #2, we have Christine and Jean’s creation: The Ruination of Penelopeep.
Here’s the description:
Ahh, Penelopeep. She was rocking out to the Harlem Shake at a party with her girls (hey, at least it wasn’t Gangnam Style) and accidentally blurts out that she was snogging with Freddie Staines in his bedroom! He’s no Harry Styles, but he is charming. Now she’s ruined, or so she thinks. In swoops the Dowager Countess – I mean Dowager Duchess – to the rescue. She knows Penelopeep is a good gel so now she has informed Freddie that he, under threat of pain, will be marrying Penelopeep. The outlook doesn’t seem that bad – look at the size of that ring!
Ah, Dame Maggie, you do get around. And I cannot imagine anyone better suited to play the Dowager Duchess of Dovedale– even when covered with bright yellow sugar.
Check out the look of chagrin on Freddie’s face!
Thanks so much, Christine and Jean!! Aside from the fact that I want to move into that room (oh, the books!), I’m still laughing over the Grantham/Dovedale connection….
With only two days to go until 2011, here’s a whisper from the very recent past, The Temptation of the Night Jasmine, which came out in January of 2009. The first book I wrote after I left the practice of the law, Night Jasmine was also the first to hit the New York Times Bestseller list.
Although Charlotte, our historical heroine, is the heroine to whom I feel closest, my favorite bit from this book is an Eloise section. Without further ado, here’s my favorite Night Jasmine excerpt.