Happy Pink Anniversary!

The very first of the Pink Carnation books, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, arrived on shelves in February of 2005– which makes this the tenth anniversary of the Pink series!

Pink Anniversary 4
I can’t remember the exact date of that first book release (it’s all rather a pink blur), so I am officially declaring the whole month Pink Anniversary. We’ll have guest posts, give aways, If You Likes, recipes (did anyone say ginger biscuits?), reminiscences, and behind the scenes whatnot.

If you’d like to contribute a guest post or have ideas as to what you’d like to see here, just let me know!

In the meantime, we’ll be kicking off the Pink Anniversary month with a give away. Here’s your question:

— How did you first discover the Pink series? Did you start with the first book, or one of the others?

One person will be chosen at random to receive a Pink Carnation Anniversary mug. The winner will be announced on Wednesday. (And I’m also doing a give away on my Facebook author page, so you have a second chance to win there.)

Happy Pink month!


  1. Kristin C on February 1, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Hi Lauren,
    I know I started with the very first book but I can’t remember how I learned about it. I was definitely intrigued, though, because one of my all-time favorite romances is The Scarlet Pimpernel. Thanks!

  2. bn100 on February 1, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    can’t remember; read them out of order

  3. Liz on February 1, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    I was working at a library at the time, and the beautiful cover caught my eye as I was shelving the new books. I started with the first, and have looked forward to each new release ever since!

  4. Miss Eliza on February 1, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    I remember always seeing the book on the recommendation table at my local Borders and kept thinking of picking it up and then not, until finally one day I realized I was being silly, bought it, went home, read it, went back to the store got the second book, read it, went back to the store, they had sold out of the third book (it had just come out), went home, ordered it on Amazon, and the rest is history.

  5. Céline on February 1, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Happy anniversary Lauren!!

    Here is my story!!

    I stumbled upon Crimson rose while browsing the books in my favourite bookstore,. On the cover, it said “Pride and prejudice lives on”. So I bought it, only to discover that it was part of a series. A few months later, I found the new paperback edition of the Secret History of the Pink Carnation. And that’s how I got hooked!

  6. Pat Dupuy on February 1, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    I’ve read them in order. I had seen the Pink cover and thought it was neat. But our local indie book store, Murder by the Book, had recommended it so I bought it from them.

  7. Carolyn on February 1, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    I found the first book at the library when I was looking for a new book for an upcoming vacation in the summer of 2005. The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of my favorite books, so I decided to give Pink Carnation a try.

  8. Sue Gorman on February 1, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Happy Anniversary!
    I read a post on facebook from Katharine Ashe about the Ballroom Blog. I found your blog and read about the Pink characters. Bought Pink #1 and have loved them all.

  9. Jessica C on February 1, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    I was spending a semester abroad at Purdue University (coming from Australia) and I was pottering around a bookstore on campus when the cover art on Pink Carnation caught my eye. Read the book, loved it, hunted down books 2 and 3 in Australia (since they were also published at that stage) and since then have got each new book off Amazon.

    As a side note – in 6 months at Purdue I managed to acquire a whole shelf worth of books. I couldn’t take them all home with me, and it was a real wrench having to pick which ones to leave behind. Bibliphile problems!

  10. Abby on February 1, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    I remember standing in the Owl and Turtle bookstore in Camden, Maine with my best friend from high school in the summer of 2005 and she pulled a book off the shelf and informed me that since I was working on a PhD in History, I clearly needed to read this book too. And she was right (she also introduced me to the early Diana Gabaldon books and Sharon Kay Penman) and I am still reading all the Pink books as they come out.

  11. Laura on February 1, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    I saw it in a bookstore (probably Borders) and thought “hey, I wonder if that is an homage to the Scarlet Pimpernel?” so I picked it up. I didn’t read it then because I was in graduate school and had no free time, but summer 2005 when I graduated and had more time I read it and loved it!

  12. Rachel on February 1, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    I just happened upon the first book at our local library, and then I just read them all in order

  13. Jane on February 2, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Read the Masque of the Black Tulip first – loved it and went back to read the History of the Pink Carnation and have been a fan ever since. Love the series and will miss having the story continue. Thoroughly enjoying reading the series again in prep for last one. Amazed by details you included to weave the story line together throughout all the books. So clever.

  14. Bekah on February 2, 2015 at 11:31 am

    The cover that drew me in was Crimson Rose when I saw it on the new release shelf at B&N. I checked out the back cover and realized it was a series and being the type of person who can’t read book series out of order I went looking for the first one. I bought Pink I that day and have loved every book since!

  15. jocelyn wang on February 2, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    It was around the end of 2010 when I was browsing over some discarded books at my local library when I stumbled upon the Pink Carnation. Its looked promising( from the gorgeous cover to the synopsis), so I bought it. After reading it( and ADORED IT), I found that there was a sequel and eventually bought the rest of the series on Amazon:)Thank god I was at the library that day!

  16. Jessica S. on February 2, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    You have my long answer to this question but I have to enter the contest! I picked up Pink I first, in summer 2006, and read them in order.

  17. Caitlin Whitley on February 2, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    I came across Pink after reading another series and Amazon kept recommending the pink series. I quickly devoured all Pink books and they are always a must read when they come out.

  18. Camilla Moss on February 2, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Hey Lauren! My wonderful mother in law gave me Pink after she read it. I was immediately captivated. I found your website and have read everything you have written since. I keep coming back for your book recommendations, though. So excited for the new books.

  19. Cassandra on February 2, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    I started and read them order, but did not start in 2005. I was at a midnight release for a Harry Potter book and while in line the cover of pink caught my eye. I may have been late to join, but ever since I eagerly anticipate everything.

  20. Betty S. on February 2, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Happy anniversary! I found the Pink Carnation while perusing the book shelves in Barnes and Noble in 2009. The cover caught my eye, and when I read the synopsis I had to buy it since I am a big Scarlett Pimpernel fan. After reading and loving it, I went back to buy the others that had been published by then, so I read them in order also.

  21. Leila Posch on February 2, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    My Mother actually had picked up the first three books at a Half Price Book Store. I was intrigued by the cover and the blurb on the back and completely sold once I realized that it was in the vein of The Scarlet Pimpernel which I read and fell in love with back in seventh grade. I liked the first book quite a bit, enjoyed the second book even more, and fell in love with Lettie and Geoff (a hero who loves books more than people, yes please) and the rest is history.

  22. DJ La Haie on February 2, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    I loved the cover of Crimson Rose, but passed it by for a while (no time). Finally i could resist the lure no longer, picked it up, and the rest is indeed history–a splendid, pink history!

  23. SuzanneH on February 3, 2015 at 1:47 am

    I first heard about them from Amazon’s recommendations when I started reading Tracy Grant’s books. The “people who read this also read these” ads. I thought they sounded good so I read The Pink Carnation. That was about the time the Orchid Affair came out. I loved it so much I ordered all the others available at the time before I even finished it (they take about 3 weeks to arrive in Australia from the US and weren’t available here at the time). And I have pounced on the new ones as soon as they are released every year since then. Congratulations on your 10th anniversary!

  24. Jeffrey on February 3, 2015 at 7:54 am

    It was entirely the Mischief of the Mistletoes’s fault. I could not get over the abundance of humor, the subtle eroticism going on between Turnip and Arabella, and the menacing mystery of the Christmas pudding. It was non-stop from there as I roared through every Pink Carnation adventure. What a ten years it has been for you, Lauren. All of your lovable characters are firmly imbedded in my head and that’s a good thing.

  25. Liz D. on February 3, 2015 at 10:01 am

    I don’t remember how I heard about it, but I do have very clear memories of reading the first Pink Carnation book in my bunk in a crowded church gym while doing an alternative Spring Break trip to a remote bayou area of Louisiana in 2006. It was a great traveling companion (and helped me not to think about my aching feet.)

  26. Lindsay on February 3, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I very vividly remember being at the mall while I was in high school (probably 2005/2006) standing in a Waldenbook store and being up at the check out counter and catching a glimpse of Pink 1. I grabbed it, flipped it over and had an inner shriek of joy since I was still fresh off of being obsessed with the Scarlett Pimpernel for a school project. Bought it on the spot and never looked back!

  27. Alex on February 4, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    I found the third one at a bookstore when I was probably 15 and was about to start reading it when I find out there was two others. Ended up obsessed!

  28. Brittany on February 4, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    I first encountered the books when my mom recommended them to me. I love a good story and English history so it was a great fit. They traveled all over England with when I studied abroad!

  29. Bridget erin on February 4, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    I was a little late to the Pink game when I was fortunate enough to discover them. I happened upon the Pink Carnation at my local bookstore, liked the cover and story idea and gave it a go. I was lucky enough that the first three books were already out because I read all three in a week and had to wait a painstakingly long amount of time for the next book.

  30. Nicole on February 4, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    About five years ago, my sister recommended I read The Pink Carnation, so I went and picked it up at the store. I flew through it in just a couple of days! I was HOOKED and I went and got the next three books and was through them in a few weeks. I have read every single one since and am SOOOOOO excited for the last one, but sad at the same time!

  31. Bev on February 4, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    I can’t remember exactly how I heard about the series! But, I’m so glad I did! I’ve read through the entire series several times–always in order. Happy 10th Anniversary!

  32. Tricia on February 4, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    I book club I joined had just read Pink I. Then I saw it at Costco shortly thereafter. Was winter of 2005/6. And I reread them all when a new one comes out!

  33. Joey B. on February 4, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I saw it on a co-worker’s desk and thought that the cover looked interesting, so I asked if I could borrow it when she was done. Then I became officially “hooked”!

  34. Lauren on February 4, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I needed a book for spring and Pink Carnation caught my eye! The jacket synopsis sealed the purchase and then I was hooked when I finished it! I was even more hooked on you as a writer as each book was woven together perfectly – never too much overlap but recurring characters that I love! I’ll be so sad to see the series end but also love your latest stand alone books too!

  35. Krista on February 4, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

    I was introduced to the series through a friend of mine. She recommended the first book, & I was hooked. Love this series and watching the Colin/Eloise chemistry heat up and grow.

  36. Wendy on February 4, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    my friend loaned me the first pink book, I read them in order. My favorite so far is The Deception in the Emerald Ring 🙂 Happy 10 Year Anniversary Ms. Willig!

  37. Brandy Droptiny on February 4, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    I first read The Mask of the Black Tulip. I found it at a book store that was going out of business. After I read it, I was in love with it. Ended up ordering The first in the series and each one to follow.

  38. Hannah DeLozier on February 4, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    My mom actually began reading the series and lent me the first one. I didn’t think I’d like it but u absolutely loved it!

  39. Angie Baugh on February 4, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    I’ve read the series out of order, but Turnip caught my attention and I had to read Mischief in the Mistletoe! But your covers drew me to your books!

  40. Emma on February 4, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    My best friend recommended the series to me! I actually read the 11th book first though before her recommendation. 🙂

  41. Jan Siler on February 4, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Found it on a table at Borders during lunch one day. Picked it up because I thought it was one that both my 15-year-old daughter and I would enjoy – and I have now read it probably a dozen times….along with all of the others! Each year before a new book comes out, I go back and read the previous ones in order…..We have shared the books with a number of others who have enjoyed them as well. Thanks, Lauren for 10 years of laughter, love and history!

  42. Diana P on February 4, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Happy Pink Anniversary! My husband bought me the first book for Christmas 2006 at the recommendation of an employee at Borders. I loved it! I quickly bought and read Masque of the Black Tulip and The Deception of the Emerald Ring (my favorite) and then had to wait an entire year for Crimson Rose to be released. I read them in order of release.

  43. Carolone E on February 4, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Found it in the choice reads section at the library and I’ve loved. and your stand alone novels it ever since. Just finishing the Manzanilla book now.

  44. Jill Gonzalez on February 4, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    I found the first Pink book while browsing at B&N. I took a chance buying it because I’m not terribly interested in romance or history, but I am so so glad I did! As soon as I finished the first novel I went back to get the second and third.

  45. Julie O'Jewel on February 4, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    I learned of the first book from a work colleague shortly after the publication of the second. I read the first two quickly and anxiously awaited each future publication. I was just as intrigues by your personal journey to becoming an author as I was by those life-changing decisions experienced by your characters. I also appreciate your introduction to White and Williams! Congrats on the anniversary!!

  46. Susan Shaw on February 4, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    I think I first saw the second book at the Camden Public Library, and loved it…! Then I had to buy the first one, and go from there, waiting impatiently for the next book! Thanks so much Lauren!

  47. H. Harra on February 4, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    You know how you’re hungry for something, but don’t know what? That happens to me with books. I wanted to read something, but didn’t know what. I did a keyword search, “lady spy”, and found your books in the library. The cover of the first book and the flyleaf description hooked me. Thank you !

  48. LynnS on February 4, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I saw Pink in my local library and thought it looked interesting, but I was trying very hard not to increase my astronomical TBR list. I think I held out until The Emerald Ring. Then I gave a friend Pink when she was in the hospital and got her hooked too.

  49. Jessye on February 4, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    it was on a shelf at Borders Books, and it was so pink! Surrounding by several very drab colored books. My mom couldn’t believe I was dropping $25 on an author is never heard of. I still have that copy. Poor thing is a wreck.

  50. Betsey on February 4, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    My husband bought the book for me on a whim! Thought I might like it. I did and have now read the entire series to date.

  51. Ana on February 4, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    I started on the second book, then went to the first, and blew through the rest of the published books. Before the new ones come out, I always find myself re-reading them. Book 2, I think, remains my favorite, though. How could you not love Miles?! Still can’t believe the series is ending. Does it have to??

  52. Amber Stevens on February 4, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Hi Lauren! I read “The Secret History of the Pink Carnation” first. I was working for B. Dalton at the time. The cover caught my eye as I was putting other books away. After meeting you this past fall, i decided to re-read the series again.

  53. Laura Sass on February 4, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    i found it at Barnes and Noble and was hooked. I now have most in both paper and eBook form!!

  54. Kristen on February 4, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    I found the book on a table at Borders right after I had finished re-reading The Scarlet Pimpernel. I read Pink in maybe a day or two, and I couldn’t wait to share it with my friends.

  55. Sharlene Martin Moore on February 4, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    A friend recommended it.

  56. Michèle Cooke on February 4, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    I am a book-a-holic…I would walk the aisles of my local Borders (miss them), and happen upon the books on the shelves. I found at least 2, and was in heaven…I have always loved the Scarlet Pimpernel and what he did. So, when I realized this was almost a continuation of that story, I snatched them off the shelf. I have shared the stories with other friends/readers and they agree, it is so much fun going to that time and watching how things could have been. I also like the modern story that weaves throughout the series…I love reading about modern London and my own loved Hahvahd Yahd (Harvard Yard)…Spent many a Saturday in high school in the Square and Cambridge. And now I go to my local B&N and continue getting the updates on all the lovely ladies & gents of years gone by….Will miss the series, but, know that you will find a new adventure out there….

  57. Janet Picano on February 4, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I definitely started with the first, and listened to it on audiobook. Was recommended to me by a coworker at the library where we work. Have loved them all ever since!

  58. Victoria Plank on February 4, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    I saw one of the books on my library’s website not too long ago & thought it looked interesting. Found the first book in the series, read it, then flew through the remaining books in the series. I loved every single one of them!

  59. Debbie on February 4, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    i just randomly picked the book off the shelf at the library…

  60. Kate Gomperts on February 4, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    a colleague at work introduced me to the pink series and I have been hooked ever since!

  61. Jackie on February 4, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Was browsing the fiction shelves at Borders then BAM! Saw the beautiful, romantic cover of the first Pink. Then I picked it up and thought, “My god, it’s a Scarlet Pimpernel sequel!” Sold. It was so much more than that, so thanks for writing some of the most enjoyable stories I’ve ever read.

  62. Kate on February 4, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Hi! I started with The Emerlad Ring!! I found the book at books-a-million and I fell in love with the series! My friend and I have created a book club! 🙂

  63. Jennifer johnson on February 4, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    picked up the first book at a Barnes and noble because I loved the cover. Read the synopsis and thought it sounded like a good book. Bad part was I bought it right before going out of town to visit family and they couldn’t understand why I couldn’t put it down! I was hooked from the beginning.

  64. Katie Cortina on February 4, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    I discovered The Secret History of the Pink Carnation while it was featured on a shelf at Barnes and Noble not long after it was released when I was in high school. I was immediately drawn in by its cover and its title, being that both implied it was historical mystery. That copy ended up being very well borrowed out to my friends since I loved it so much!

  65. Emily on February 5, 2015 at 12:26 am

    Smart Bitches posted the Turnip Christmas barn scene and I fell in love with all of it. I think I started the summer before my senior year of college and had just got Amazon prime and went on a binge. It was amazing.

  66. Tarah Petersen on February 5, 2015 at 11:58 am

    I purchased The Temptation of the Night Jasmine at Barnes and Noble on clearance and loved it so much I needed to start at the beginning!

  67. Miriam Kahn on February 9, 2015 at 11:13 am

    I remember listening and reviewing Pink Carnation so many years ago, along with some of your later pinks. It’s a great tale. My favorite part is the grad student exploring her dissertation topic. I was just at that stage myself. The work inspired me to find a subject I loved. Thanks for the wonderful books and the inspiration.

  68. Debra Callaway on February 9, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    I have read them all in order, over & over again. I was rambling around in a bookstore in 2005 and saw the first book and intrigued by the synopsis, purchased it that day and was done with it but the next. I bought them all in hardback (disappointed the later ones were not issued in hardcover)when they came out, then I would pick up a softcover to re-read and to loan out and in 2009 I had knee surgery an picked up the first few on CD so I could quilt and “read” at the same time while I was laid-up. I have turned quite a number of folks onto the books and a couple of them are currently out on loan to co-workers to read. I love them and they are one of the few books and/or series that I have re-read multiple times. I have impatiently awaited the release of each book in the series and am sad to see it end, it has been a great run (I guess I was kind of hoping it would continue maybe with subsequent generations or something). I think I have re-read the 1st book about 9 times now (the rest of the series, not quite so many). I do not re-read the entire series every time a new book comes out as some folks do as I am usually reading 2 or 3 books at a time normally. I generally read in cycles by genre, I will read mysteries or sci-fi for a bit and then a book gets slow to finish but near the end I will see a book at the library or book store that jumps out at me and off I go on a new direction. When I read biographies and histories though, I tend to get bogged down mentally, so I follow them with a round of light reading, books a friend calls “Mental Popcorn,” otherwise known as historical romance (aka bodice rippers), not Harlequin romances though (too short/no heat). I also am one of those folks that feel they have to finish a book even if it is awful (something I have never experienced in Lauren’s worlds).

  69. Rebecca E. on February 10, 2015 at 12:06 am

    I started with the second book! I was drawn by the lovely cover! If a book doesn’t have a good cover or name I don’t usually stay long enough to find out if it is good!!

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