Pink Carnation Read Along Month 7: THE MISCHIEF OF THE MISTLETOE!

Thanks so much to everyone who joined in to discuss The Betrayal of the Blood Lily last week!

Who’s ready for Christmas in August?   It’s time for the one we’ve all been waiting for, the escapades of that beloved root vegetable, Turnip Fitzhugh, in the Austen-inspired madcap holiday romp, The Mischief of the Mistletoe.

Take one unexpected hero, one unfinished Jane Austen novel, a lot of Christmas pudding, some French spies, and a nativity play gone very wrong… and you get The Mischief of the Mistletoe!  This book was my riff on so many things: on the Sir Percy Blakeney trope of the clever spy as buffoon (but what if he’s really just a good hearted buffoon?), on penniless young ladies and their prospects, on all girls’ schools and their theatrical productions.  Mostly, it was just fun.

Our super special guest host for this month is my very good friend and partner in countless book tours, Deanna Raybourn!  Because very few people write the absurd as gleefully– and wittily– as Deanna.  Join us at 8pm on Wednesday, August 25th, as we discuss bumbling heroes, the attraction of root vegetables, Jane Austen, Christmas puddings, and all things Mistletoe!

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

And now on to the important stuff: snacks!

Mistletoe snack:  While Christmas puddings would be the obvious snack, they’re rather time consuming and heavy.  So let’s skip straight to the easy option: gingerbread.  I generally use the classic recipe from the Grandma’s Molasses bottle.  Although when I don’t want to take the time to roll out and cut cookies, I take a shortcut and use the Wilton shaped pan recipe, which you just mix and squish in.  It has a flavor very reminiscent of more traditional European gingerbread.

Mistletoe drink: Mulled wine!  Just find yourself some mulling spices– or some cloves and orange peel– heat and simmer.

Mistletoe non-alcoholic drink: Spiced cider.  Same as above but with cider, not wine.

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

  • Read the Lost Introduction to The Mischief of the Mistletoe.
  • Check out some Mistletoe fun facts.
  • Locate your favorite characters on these Selwick, Balcourt, and Wooliston family trees.
  • Want to learn more about Jane Austen and 19th century Bath?  Here’s some suggested background reading.
  • Curious about the scenes that didn’t make it into The Mischief of the Mistletoe?  You can find outtakes here.
  • Need something to listen along to while you read?  Try the Mistletoe playlist!
  • And once you’re done, you can catch up with Turnip and Arabella in this Mistletoe bonus chapter, Away in a Manger, the result of a dare from Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches Trashy Books.

Check back here later this month for discussions of the challenge of turning a comic side character into a romantic hero, the Jane Austen connection, why I almost swapped out my heroine eight chapters in (but didn’t!), my favorite quotes (and yours!) as we re-read, and photos of Mistletoe 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 Mischief of the Mistletoe, grab that gingerbread, and let’s get reading!


  1. […] Zoom at 8pm on Wednesday, August 25th for Turnipalooza!  You can find outtakes, recipes, and more here.  Registration link to come later […]

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