historical fiction books | historical romance books

Q & A – Do You Hide Easter Eggs in Your Stories

By C.V. Lee
July 21, 2023

Language is funny. Who would have thought the term Easter egg would ever refer to something other than those hard-boiled, colored things the Easter bunny delivers? And yet, an alternate definition has been in existence for more than 40 years. First used in 1980, it referred to something extra, a secret feature, in a video game or computer software. A player could find it by chance or because they were in-the-know.

I included a few Easter eggs In my books. In Token of Betrayal, two of the fictional characters are named after my two eldest sons. In the second book, Betrayal of Trust, one of the characters is named after my youngest son. Of course, if you know me and my family, you would have spotted that immediately. I have a plan for a special Easter egg in my third book, but that detail is for another time.

So I wondered if my fellow Lanterns at Paper Lantern Writers were in the habit of putting hidden gems in their stories. Come to find out, we are in the minority. But I asked them to ‘spill the tea‘ and let everyone in on the secret.



Jillianne Hamilton

“In Homefront Hearts (my WWII romance trilogy), a stained glass window appears in all three books but doesn’t actually have anything to do with the plot or the characters. I’m curious how many people will notice and bring it up.” Find it in The Hobby Shop on Barnaby Street.


“I have a few inside jokes sprinkled in my books. In one of the contemporary fiction novels I wrote before switching to historical fiction, my main character says “Expardon me?” which is an obscure reference to a Canadian sketch show featuring a comedy troupe out of Nova Scotia (where I’m from) that ran for one season in 2011. I put that in there just for me.”

Edie Cay

“I love hiding “easter eggs” in my books. I often hide quotes from Jane Austen or oblique references to her work. For instance, in A Viscount’s Vengeance, I hid a veiled reference to Lady Katherine, in that Pearl observes that if she had ever learned something, she would be excellent at it. Each book contains it’s own reference, but I’m not going to tell you each one! You have to find it for yourself.

I’m currently writing the last book in this series, which is still untitled, and I’m hiding a few more things in it. A very oblique Star Trek reference, for instance. But I always hope that readers of my series go through and find these hidden giggles. After all, my books are for entertainment, if nothing else.”


Linda Ulleseit

“Part of Under the Almond Trees is set in Santa Cruz, California. My family loves this town and often visits the wharf for dinner. One of the scenes in the book is directly taken from an experience my son had. He saw a pelican drop a fish onto the wharf. Here is how I wrote it:

“’I must save it,’ Henry declares, his brown eyes wide and solemn.

‘Save it?’ I ask weakly.

It takes a couple of attempts before my son is able to capture the slippery fish in his cupped hands. It is about four inches long, and not happy about its exposure to the air. I follow Henry as he runs for the edge of the wharf and tosses the fish toward the sea. It sails through the air and drops below the level of the wharf, directly into the mouth of a very surprised pelican, perched on a piling at the water’s surface.”

When my daughter-in-law read it, she exclaimed, “I didn’t know you put Tim in your book!”

Now you know!

Alina Rubin

“In chapter 1 of A Girl with a Knife, Ella wants her friends to stage a Shakespearean play. The play she suggests is Twelfth Night. In that play, there’s woman who disguises herself as a man. Later in the book, Ella attempts to do the same. The choice of play is foreshadowing of what’s to come. Unfortunately, Twelfth Night is not the most famous of Shakespearean plays, and few notice the significance.

In Book 2, No Job for a Woman, there’s a minor character Luke Landon in the wedding scene in Chapter 3. He seems to be just an “extra.” But if Ella were to speak to him some more during that scene, it might have saved her from trouble later in the series.”

Kindly share Easter eggs you have hidden in your books or discovered in your reading.

C.V. Lee

Written by C.V. Lee

C.V. Lee writes historical biographical fiction featuring forgotten heroes and heroines of the past. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Alli, and a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. You can find her on Facebook @cvlee.histficwriter and on Instagram @cvleewriter.

View CV’s PLW Profile

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1 Comment

  1. Anne M Beggs

    What fun – TY you all for sharing.


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