Thursday, July 10th, 2014
In which we meet Lucien….
In which Miss Gwen still thinks this book is about her….
And in which, for Sally, a kiss is never just a kiss….
Only a little over three weeks until The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla appears in stores!
Monday, July 7th, 2014
With less than a month to go until Pink XI, The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, appears in stores… it’s time to put my final advance copy up for grabs!
Here’s the official blurb:
In the latest Pink Carnation novel from national bestselling author Lauren Willig, rumors spreading among the ton turn deadly as a young couple unites to solve a mystery….
In October of 1806, the Little Season is in full swing, and Sally Fitzhugh has had enough of the endless parties and balls. With a rampant vampire craze sparked by the novel The Convent of Orsino, it seems no one can speak of anything else. But when Sally hears a rumor that the reclusive Duke of Belliston is an actual vampire, she cannot resist the challenge of proving such nonsense false. At a ball in Belliston Square, she ventures across the gardens and encounters the mysterious Duke.
Lucien, Duke of Belliston, is well versed in the trouble gossip can bring. He’s returned home to dispel the rumors of scandal surrounding his parents’ deaths, which hint at everything from treason to dark sorcery. While he searches for the truth, he welcomes his fearsome reputation—until a woman is found dead in Richmond. Her blood drained from her throat.
Lucien and Sally join forces to stop the so-called vampire from killing again. Someone managed to get away with killing the last Duke of Belliston. But they won’t kill this duke—not if Sally has anything to say about it.
There have been several waves of vampire craze that I can recall: Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire and all its imitations during my teen years, J.R. Ward’s urban vampires, and, of course, the most spoofed of them all, Twilight, which came out the same year as the first of the Pink Carnation novels. I’ve been wanting to write a vampire spoof for years, and Miss Gwen’s novel provided me with the perfect opportunity.
As much fun as it is to spoof, I will confess, I’ve always been a little bit fascinated with vampire lore, from Bram Stoker’s iconic Dracula (one of my favorite books as a pre-teen) to the many, many more modern permutations. I remember, years ago, being terribly excited upon finding a Regency about a vampire viscount, and happily devouring Teresa Medeiros’s After Midnight and The Vampire Who Loved Me. (The former of which provided a great deal of inspiration for Midnight Manzanilla.)
So, for a copy of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, here’s your question:
Vampires: intriguing or irritating? (Or just plain icky?) And which is your favorite vampire novel or movie?
The winner will be announced on Friday.
The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla appears in stores on Tuesday, August 5th!
Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
For those of you who aren’t on Facebook, here are some of my favorite snippets from The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, which the talented Sharlene made into e-cards for me:
In which Sally encounters Lucien, Duke of Belliston at a ball:
In which Sally receives the gift of a stoat:
Just for the record, in that last line, Sally is speaking to the stoat, not to Lucien.
More Midnight Manzanilla, aka Pink XI, coming up soon!
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
Since I’ve switched from one book a year to two books a year, what’s coming out when has grown a little more confusing.
Here’s the publication schedule for both Pinks and stand alones for the near future:
— The Ashford Affair (hardcover): available now!
(UK edition available now, Spanish edition appearing May 28, Polish edition June 11, Italian edition in July, German edition September 20, and French edition TBA);
— The Passion of the Purple Plumeria, aka Pink X (trade paperback): August 6, 2013;
— The Victorian Book, aka Stand Alone Novel #2, untitled (hardcover): spring 2014;
— The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, aka Pink XI (trade paperback): August 2014.
The two new Pinks, The Passion of the Purple Plumeria and The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, are coming out as trade paperback originals– which means that it’s just coming out in trade paperback, no hardcover. On the plus side, it means everyone gets to read the book at the same time, no waiting for the paperback to come out a year later!
I don’t have an exact publication date for The Ashford Affair paperback yet, but I’ve been told it will be early 2014 (before Stand Alone Novel #2 comes out).
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
For today’s Teaser Tuesday… Pink XI has a title! Sally’s story will henceforth be known as:
The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla.
Huge thanks to everyone who contributed ideas for a flower for Sally! Kudos go to Alexandra and Eirene, who suggested, respectively, “The Mystery of the Midnight Manzanilla” and “The Mark of the Moonlit Manzanita”, which, when put together, became “The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla”.
My editor informs me that the manzanilla flower in fact looks rather daisy-like (despite its deadly properties)– so for all those who suggested daisy titles for Sally, this one is for you, too!
Pink XI, aka The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, is currently slated for publication in August of 2014, exactly a year after The Passion of the Purple Plumeria.
More about Pink XI coming soon, including a teaser chapter from Pink XI in the back of The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (coming to a bookshelf near you in less than three months!)
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
It’s that time again: time to pick a flower for the title of the next Pink book.
Sometimes, a flower presents itself naturally from the narrative. (For example, The Masque of the Black Tulip). Other times, the endeavor becomes somewhat more symbolic.
Pink XI definitely falls on the symbolic side. There is a plant involved called, variously, the manzanilla, the manchineel, or the death apple, but everyone over at my publisher agreed that The Dance of the Death Apple sounded a little too macabre, even for a book set in late October. And there was some concern that calling it Miss Sally Fitzhugh’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Stoats might cause it to wind up in the “Pets” section of the bookstore.
Help! Do you have any suggestions for a flower/title for Sally Fitzhugh’s book?
Here’s a brief, thumbnail sketch of the plot:
It’s October of 1806: the Little Season is in full swing, “The Convent of Orsino” (by a Lady) is the smash hit of the season, and Sally Fitzhugh is fed up. It’s not easy being the younger sister of a man known popularly as “Turnip”. Sally has had it with the men on offer and the rampant vampire craze sparked by “The Convent of Orsino”. Can’t anyone talk about anything but vampires?
People are beginning to speculate that the vampire in “The Convent of Orsino” was based on the mysterious Duke of Belliston, a noted recluse who has recently returned to his abandoned mansion at the heart of Belliston Square. What red-blooded Fitzhugh could resist a challenge like that? At a ball at Lord Vaughn’s house in Belliston Square, Sally ventures across the gardens and encounters the mysterious duke. He’s certainly playing his role… but is he really what everyone claims? Sally doesn’t believe in vampires. Not even when a woman is found dead in Belliston Square the next morning, with suspicious marks on her neck….
Any and all suggestions much appreciated….
Also, stay tuned for a teaser chapter from Pink XI in the back of the upcoming Pink book, Pink X, The Passion of the Purple Plumeria!
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
As some of you may know, I’m starting work on Pink XI, Sally Fitzhugh’s book, right around now. Last month, it came to my attention that Sally is in possession of a rather unusual pet. Because, yes, Sally would have to be original.
The pet? Is a stoat.
So far, I have resisted entreaties to name Sally’s pet stoat Pulchritudinous Oblong (long story), but the poor little stoat still needs a name.