Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
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?
Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
Happy, happy news! I am absolutely thrilled to announce that our beloved reader of the Pink books, Kate Reading, will be back in your CD case for the audio version of The Betrayal of the Blood Lily.
Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
Yes, folks, it’s finally here in physical form. I have a lovely pile of Advance Review Copies of The Betrayal of the Blood Lily sitting next to my desk. (Except for one, which is propped up on my desk, so I can gaze upon it and make oohing and aahing noises at five minute intervals).
Would the winners of Title Idol— Brie, Jennifer, and Pamela– please email me your snail mail info so I can send you your ARCs?
Although that’s three ARCs down, I still have a few more to give away. Check back here in September for a proper contest on the Contest page and some mini-contests on the News page. I’ll post ’em as soon as I think them up.
In the meantime, happy August!
Sunday, August 16th, 2009
While all has been quiet and summery, there have been some small additions to the website.
— The first chapter of The Betrayal of the Blood Lily is now available on the Blood Lily page;
— over on the Outtakes page, you can find lost passages from The Temptation of the Night Jasmine;
— and, while we’re talking about Night Jasmine, Night Jasmine the Paperback finally has an official release date! It hits the shelves on January 5, 2010. You can find links to pre-order from Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, or Borders on the Books page.
More coming soon!
Thursday, July 2nd, 2009
Mark your calendars. It’s official. The release date for The Betrayal of the Blood Lily is January 12th, 2010.
After all, if Amazon says it, it must be true.
Tuesday, May 26th, 2009
Despite the large piles of paper that accumulate around my desk, the books never seem quite real to me until they have attained a title and a cover. Until then, they’re just those large piles of paper.
It gives me great pleasure to unveil the upcoming installment of the Pink Carnation Chronicles. Voila The Betrayal of the Blood Lily!
Tuesday, May 5th, 2009
And the title of the sixth Pink book will be….
… The Betrayal of the Blood Lily!
Henceforth, Pink VI shall no longer be merely a number among Pinks, but a titled book among books.
As you know, choosing this particular title was a long, hard haul. I would like to thank everyone who participated. Your innovative and insightful flower suggestions enlivened many a dull afternoon and sparked more than one debate during the title choice process.
It was a close-run thing– for a while, the orchids almost had it– but in the end, everyone agreed that Blood Lily suited Penelope down to a tee with its combination of violence and vulnerability. Blood red and lily white seemed like a good combo for our fiery-haired, fair-skinned heroine.
Kudos (and advance copies) go to Brie Porter and Jennifer Klouse for coming up with the Blood Lily and to Pamela for providing the noun “betrayal”, which goes so very nicely with Blood Lily. We don’t have ARCs quite yet (the manuscript is still in the copy-editing stage) but once we do, they’re yours!
Next up, the cover!
Thursday, April 2nd, 2009
Once again, my publisher and I find ourselves on the thorns of a floral dilemma. As some of you may know, my working title for Pink VI was “Something Something Something Marigold”, since the spy in the novel is named the Marigold.
But let’s face it, Penelope isn’t the sort of heroine to stand aside and let another character determine the title of her book. (Plus, my publisher didn’t like marigold in the title). We need another flower, but not just any flower. We need a flower that screams “Penelope!” to you.
To help you get acquainted with Penelope, I’ve posted the entire first chapter of Pink VI below. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read the excerpt and come up with a flower for Penelope.
The winner will receive a credit in the Acknowledgments and a free advance copy of Pink VI.
Let the gardening begin!
Wednesday, December 10th, 2008
The time has come. The final ARC is ready to leave home. But to whom will it go?
And the very last of the Night Jasmine ARCs goes to….
… Jody (of Comment #55)!
Thanks so much to everyone for swinging by these past five Tuesdays. Even though the ARCs are gone, this was such fun that I may have to think of something equivalent to take its place. Not every Tuesday, since I’m not sure I can come up with that many trivia questions over an extended period of time, but once a month, perhaps?
Meanwhile, for all of you Penelope partisans out there, I am happy to announce that the next book, cleverly titled Pink VI, does indeed feature Charlotte’s restless friend. I’ll have more on that once Night Jasmine is safely launched into the world.
Thanks for sharing my Tuesdays– and ARCs– with me!
Wednesday, June 11th, 2008
Sorry to have disappeared for a few days. I’ve been off in Cloud-Cuckooland with Book VI. For whatever reason, the first fews chapters of a new book are always the hardest for me, probably because I’m still getting to know the characters, their modes of speech, their motivations. At least, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
Over the past few books, I’ve noticed a pattern emerging. When I get stressed out, small animals start to appear. Or sometimes not so small animals.
In the deleted versions of the early chapters of nearly all the Pink books so far lurks a secret menagerie. Book V, The Temptation of the Night Jasmine, originally had a large section about an opinionated parrot (bet you didn’t know Charlotte had a parrot as a childhood pet!). Book IV, The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, contained a deleted tussle between Lord Vaughn and a small, yippy dog. Lord Vaughn was very happy when that scene was deleted. Book III, The Deception of the Emerald Ring, involved a cow. There was also a monkey, but we don’t need to go into that. It’s all rather akin to that old joke about sitcom producers bringing on a monkey to keep a dying show alive. Fortunately, the parrot went the way of the dodo, the cow went back to the barn, and the small yippy dog retreated into my lost files folder.
I knew it was business as usual the other day when I found myself inventing a completely unnecessary comic dog in the first chapter of Pink VI. So, for your amusement, here’s the very first outtake from Pink VI:
“Think nothing of it,” said Mrs. Palmer brusquely. “I only host these little soirees because Sophie does enjoy them so.”
“Sophie?” inquired Freddy, with an experienced eye out for an attractive young daughter.
One would have thought he would have learned his lesson. On the other hand, thought Penelope philosophically, one couldn’t very well force him into marriage twice.
“Yes, Sophie,” said Mrs. Palmer, looking lovingly at the dog wedged into the crook of her arm. “Isn’t Sophronia mummy’s little darling?” she crooned to the appalling ball of fur.
Mummy’s little darling bared her teeth in response.
“Lord Frederick positively dotes on dogs,” said Penelope innocently. “Especially lapdogs.”
Freddy’s face adopted an expression remarkably similar to Sophie’s.
Mrs. Palmer hastily clamped a gloved hand over little Sophie’s ears. The glove showed signs of gnawing around the ends. “Oh, we don’t like to think of Sophie as a dog. She is part of the family.”
“Its most attractive member,” commented a cheerful voice behind them.
“Did you hear that, Sophie, darling?” crooned Mrs. Palmer. “Begum Johnson thinks you’re lovely.”
And that, I can promise you, is the very last you’re going to hear of Mrs. Palmer and her amusing little dog.
It could have been worse, I suppose. It could have been a monkey.