Pink Carnation Recap: BLOOD LILY

We’re up to the sixth book in the Pink series, The Betrayal of the Blood Lily.

Who: Penelope Deveraux Staines and Alex Reid
Where: India
When: Autumn, 1804
What: Exiled to India to allow the scandal of her hasty marriage time to die down, Penelope finds herself battling cobras, spies, and her own treacherous emotions.
Historical Cameos: Begum Johnson, the Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Alam, et cetera

Fun facts about The Betrayal of the Blood Lily:

Blood Lily was by far my favorite book to research. I spent three months before getting started doing nothing but read everything I could get my hands on about early nineteenth century India, and was amazed and fascinated by how different things were in those early days from the picture of the Raj one sees fifty years later on– and what a large role the Napoleonic Wars played in the creation of that Raj.

— In my original plans, Blood Lily had an entirely different setting, historical context and cast of real characters. I was going to set it much farther north, during the later stages of the Second Anglo-Maratha War, in the camp of Lord Lake as he battled Yashwantrao Holkar. After reading William Dalrymple’s White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India, about the idiosyncratic Resident of Hyderabad, my entire plan for the story shifted.

— Back when I started the Pink books, it never occurred to me that we’d get as far as six. Three was a pipe dream. Six was pure fantasy. Whenever I was asked how many books I thought there would be in the series, I’d say that I hoped there would be six. Not because the plan was to end with six, but simply because I never imagined the series would make it that far. Which meant that when the sixth book came out, I found myself getting a lot of emails asking whether it was the end of the series and why I wasn’t ending with Jane’s book. Right now, the plan is to end the series with Book Twelve… but we’ll see what happens.

My favorite scene from The Betrayal of the Blood Lily? Although it’s rather dark, probably the bit where Penelope discovers Freddy with his courtesan– and realizes that this marriage is never going to be saved.

What’s your favorite bit from The Betrayal of the Blood Lily?


  1. Karen H on July 23, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I love the raft scene when Pen jumps into the water and. Alex’s reaction to it.

  2. Sue G on July 23, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Am reading Blood Lily now. Enjoyed the raft scene as well. Am liking Penelope and Alex. Wondering what happens to Freddy — he’s not my idea of a hero — and how Penelope and Alex’s romance/ adventure unfolds!

  3. jeffrey on July 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Likewise, the scene of Penelope diving into the water to rescue a hapless soul while everyone else just stands around is what sticks in my memory. How could Capt Reid not begin to admire a woman who could out-ride, out-shoot, out-swim most men, and get down and dirty while not losing her feminine charm?

  4. Dara on July 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Am re-reading this one now. There are just so many good scenes in this one, I hardly know which one to pick. I love the river scene, and when Penelope steals Alex’s horse. Penelope presenting a flower to Mir Alam. I think my favorite may be the cobra scene though.

  5. Céline on July 23, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    The cobra scene is one of my favorites too, with the diving scene.
    Blood lily has always been of the my favorite Pink books too… who would have thought that Pen would be such a woman! I loved what you did with her (and Alex…. sighs….)!

  6. Alice on July 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Definitely the cobra scene as well!

  7. Verity on July 24, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I’ve just ordered this after finishing Night Jasmine last night… And I’m getting an actual copy (direct from the states) as the Kindle copy in the UK breaks my rule about how much I’ll pay for a book that doesn’t actually feature a physical book. Am looking forward to it already – and the wait for it to ship all the way over here will hopefully allow me to reduce the to-read pile slightly…

  8. Betty S. on July 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    My favorite scene would have to be when Alex and Pen finally got together. I really like the fact that I “liked” Pen. Loved the info about India too.

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