We’re up to the sixth book in the Pink series, The Betrayal of the Blood Lily.
Who: Penelope Deveraux Staines and Alex Reid
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?