In honor of release week, I’ve had a new batch of Purple Plumeria mugs with the “Speak Loudly and Carry a Large Parasol” logo made up (since they seem to have been such a hit last time around….) I have five mugs to give away.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it?
Help spread the word about the release of The Passion of the Purple Plumeria by posting about it on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or your other favorite form of social media any time this week– then come back here and post in the Comments section. (There’s no need to include a link; this is an honor system.)
You also get full points for sharing any of the Purple Plumeria e-cards (included below). Just right click and save to share!
AMENDED TO ADD: If you’re having trouble posting here on the site (I’ve been informed that the captcha code is being a little cranky), you can leave your comment on my Facebook author page and I’ll count those as entries, too.
I’ll be posting winners here on the website on Sunday.
Less than a day until Purple Plumeria appears in stores….
With less than a week to go until The Passion of the Purple Plumeria pops up in stores, here are some questions that have popped up in my inbox rather a lot over the past few months:
Q. Where’s the hardcover?
A. Short answer: there isn’t one. The Passion of the Purple Plumeria is being published as a trade paperback original, which means it will be available in trade paperback (the larger, snazzier kind of paperback) and e-book, but not hardcover.
Q. Will The Passion of the Purple Plumeria be available in audio?
A. Yes! I am delighted to say that there is, indeed, an audio book and that Kate Reading will be narrating. The audio book will be available for download on iTunes and Audible. (I’m told that the links will go live on release day, August 6th.)
Q. Can I buy the audio book on CD?
A. No. There will be physical CDs for libraries, but they’re not generally for sale. (Although if you prefer physical CDs, I’ve been told that it is possible to download the book from Audible or iTunes and then burn it onto CD. Not having tried it myself, I can’t vouch for that personally.)
Q. How many more Pink books will there be?
A. As of now, two more: The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, which is scheduled to be released in August 2014, and Pink XII, which doesn’t yet have a release date, but will probably be out at some point in 2015. I also have another stand alone novel (more on that soon!) coming out in summer 2014.
Are there any housekeeping questions I haven’t covered? Just post them in the Comments section below….
When I say the lineage of Miss Gwen, I don’t mean in the direct genealogical sense (although we’ll be learning a bit more about that in The Passion of the Purple Plumeria). No. I refer to her literary antecedents.
Someone asked me recently whether Miss Gwen was based on anyone I know. In the literal sense, she’s not. In the literary sense, she is. Miss Gwen was my homage to all the duennas and chaperones of popular fiction. One of the main inspirations for the character of Miss Gwen? Lucinda Throckmorton-Jones, the iron-spined chaperone of Judith McNaught’s Almost Heaven, which was my absolute favorite book for a chunk of my teen years. There’s really nothing like watching Lucinda Throckmorton-Jones in action, primly manipulating everyone around her. Occasionally with the application of a stout stick.
At least, I’d thought that Lucinda Throckmorton-Jones was the primary inspiration for Miss Gwen.
I knew there was also a fair amount of Elizabeth Peters’s Amelia Peabody in her. Whenever I thought of Miss Gwen, Amelia Peabody’s habit of referring to herself in capital letters as “ME”– as in “How dare he underestimate ME?”– came to mind. The two also share a taste for accessorized weaponry.
Another of Miss Gwen’s direct influences? Beatrice Poole, the Gothic-novel writing heroine of Amanda Quick’s With This Ring. Beatrice Poole’s horrid novels, written under the pseudonym of Amelia York, were a direct inspiration for Miss Gwen’s literary endeavors.
But it wasn’t until last week that I realized I had completely overlooked one of Miss Gwen’s most formative– and formidable– ancestresses: Elizabeth Peters’s Jacqueline Kirby.
I was re-reading the fourth in the series, Naked Once More, when the lightbulb popped up over my head. I think it may have been the moment when Jacqueline mused, “Tact was so tiring. That was why Jacqueline had given it up.” If Miss Gwen has a motto, other than “Speak loudly and carry a large parasol”, it’s probably akin to that.
But it’s not just the specific sentiment. It’s the attitude. Both ladies carry themselves with an air of unflappable self-confidence, secure in the conviction that They Know Best. And, generally, they do. Jacqueline Kirby’s chosen weapon is her oversized purse– but if she could fit a sword parasol in there, I don’t think she’d scorn to use one.
Are there other characters that strike you as kindred spirits to Miss Gwen?
Of course, Miss Gwen couldn’t countenance the thought of hers being the only book left out of the Pink round-up.
Who: Miss Gwendolyn Meadows and Colonel William Reid
When: Spring, 1805
What: Take two missing girls, one parasol-wielding spinster turned spy, one retired colonel, add a dash of adventure and stir. When Lizzy Reid and Agnes Wooliston disappear from their Bath boarding school, Miss Gwendolyn Meadows is on the case– but is she prepared to collaborate with the irritatingly charming Colonel William Reid?
Historical Cameos: Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord (aka Talleyrand), Napoleon’s foreign minister.
As for my favorite scene… you’ll just have to wait until the book is out for that. And I can’t wait to hear yours!