Pink Carnation Read Along Month 6: THE BETRAYAL OF THE BLOOD LILY

Thanks so much to everyone who joined in to discuss The Temptation of the Night Jasmine last week!

Are you ready to head to India?  It’s July, which means… it’s time to follow the disgraced Penelope Deveraux (now Lady Frederick Staines) across the seas in The Betrayal of the Blood Lily.

This book is my riff on one of my absolute favorite tropes: the marriage of convenience.  But what happens when a marriage of convenience turns out to be not so convenient after all?  What happens when the two parties involved are disastrously, painfully wrong for each other?

This book also comes out of a long fascination with eighteenth and nineteenth century India– and particularly one book, William Dalrymple’s White Mughals, which is the reason this story is set in Hyderabad, and not where I’d originally planned it.

Our super special guest host for this month is none other than my writing sister and fellow W, Beatriz Williams!  Join us at 8pm on Thursday, July 29th, as we discuss marriages of inconvenience, self-hating heroines, India before the Raj, and all things Blood Lily!

You can register here.  The event is free and open to anyone anywhere.

And now on to the important stuff: snacks!

Blood Lily snack: Nan Khatai from our own Christine’s Pink Carnation Cookery series.

Blood Lily drink: the Black Lily cocktail — appropriately enough for Penelope, it contains a liqueur considered “a bitter spirit”.

Blood Lily non-alcoholic drink: a mango lassi.

Now that we’ve gotten the food and drink out of the way, here are some background materials for your amusement:

  • Watch me talking about Blood Lily back in 2009.
  • Locate your favorite characters on these Selwick, Balcourt, and Wooliston family trees.
  • Want to learn more about nineteenth century Hyderabad, the Maratha Wars, and India before the Raj?  Here’s some suggested background reading.
  • Curious about the scenes that didn’t make it into The Betrayal of the Blood Lily?  You can find outtakes here.
  • Need something to listen along to while you read?  Try the Blood Lily playlist!

Check back here later this month for discussions of my issues in pairing Penelope with the perfect partner (there were many mismatches considered), why the book is set in Hyderabad (it almost wasn’t), my favorite quotes (and yours!) as we re-read, and photos of Blood Lily in the wild.  Please do share lots of photos on Instagram and Facebook!  Just tag me and add #pinkcarnationreadalong.

Is there anything else you’d like to see that I’ve forgotten?

Brush off your copies of The Betrayal of the Blood Lily, grab that mango lassi, and let’s get reading!


  1. Weekly Reading Round-Up - Lauren Willig on July 23, 2021 at 9:56 am

    […] now I really to knuckle down and read The Betrayal of the Blood Lily in time for next week’s Read Along […]

  2. […] This is one of the more enjoyable installments in the series, and I like the way the story has become more multifaceted over time. If you’ve (re)read it recently or plan to, definitely sign up for the readalong event on July 29!… […]

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