A Flower for Sally

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!


  1. Jessica M on April 23, 2013 at 11:12 am

    How about something with White Oleander or some other deadly, but less hostile sounding flower?

  2. Heather on April 23, 2013 at 11:14 am

    I’m not so good with coming up with titles, but I found a listing of all the flowers that tend to bloom in October in the UK. Here’s the link: http://www.flowers.org.uk/flowers/flowers-by-month/october/

    For some reason, the Amaranthus was sticking out to me, maybe because of the variety they list as “Love lies bleeding.”

  3. Molly J on April 23, 2013 at 11:20 am

    There’s also the Belladonna, a.k.a. the Deadly Nightshade. The flower is incredibly toxic, and there’s the “bell” similarity.

  4. Kerrie on April 23, 2013 at 11:25 am

    How about a flower that only blooms at night? My favorite is the moonflower (a white trumpet flower that only blooms at night and closes as the sun rises reminds me a vampire! While romantic they also have poisonous seeds- beautiful and deadly, how perfect!

    Perhaps you could do:

    The Dance of the Pale Moonflower

  5. Rose on April 23, 2013 at 11:26 am

    I think something like an English daisy or a foxglove is perfect for Sally.

  6. Allison on April 23, 2013 at 11:29 am

    What about Chamomile? It’s apparently associated with the Manzanilla. Something like, “The Charm of the Chamomile.” Or Manzanilla also goes by “Mancinella,” which sounds much prettier than the other versions. I do love that suggestion above for the “love lies bleeding” flower!

  7. Krishna on April 23, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Some words for thought: apple blossoms, manzanita (little apple flower), chrysanthemum (part of the scientific name), red poppy (random), grove (as in apple grove), grove blossom.

    Also, here are some award-winning (Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit) varieties of the crab apple tree that are particularly fun:
    ‘Golden Hornet’
    ‘Red Sentinel’
    ‘Royal Beauty’

    Hope this helps!

  8. MelissaW on April 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

    The death apple bit sounds like Snow White.

    How about something to do with apple blossoms (it’s tangential at best)?

  9. PS on April 23, 2013 at 11:50 am

    what about the wild rose or the hawthorn, both of which are supposed to guard against vampires?

  10. Alexandra Mitchell on April 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    “The Shadow of the Moonflower”

    “The Bite of the Belladonna”

    “The Twilight of the Belladonna”

    I like something to do with night, since the emphasis on vampires. But obviously Twilight is already popularly used with another franchise.

  11. Alana on April 23, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I love the suggestions about deadly flowers, such as belladonna or oleander, though the latter has had its literary day in the sun. Also a fan of apple blossoms for the tangential relation. Ranunculus (aka buttercups) are actually poisonous, even “buttercup” makes it sound lighthearted.
    Is there at all the possibility of picking up from the Green Emerald strain and using stones or crystals?

  12. Mary D. on April 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    How about The Madness of the Manzanilla? The plant’s scientific name Hippomane means “horse madness.” It could also go along with the mania about vampires.

  13. Vivian on April 23, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Jimsonweed is in the same nightshade family as Belladonna, and is known as Datura, Devil’s Trumpet, Devil’s Weed, and even locoweed. My suggestion is Dancing to the Devil’s Trumpet

  14. Jessica S. on April 23, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I associated daisies with Sally, before reading this, so I suggest: The Dilemma of the Determined Daisy. Sally is definitely determined! Dahlias also sprang to mind, but I like daisies; they seem like they might have been a popular flower for a young lady’s handkerchief/personal stationary/clothing and Sally is nothing if not Up to the Minute.

  15. jamie on April 23, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    ooo! I like both the chamomile idea and the chrysanthemum one-especially as a red chrysanthemum is meant to mean I Love in the language of flowers. I could get behind the madness of manzanilla too! Although, Orsino makes me think of Twelfth Night, which makes think of Illyria which could be modern day Croatia and their national flower is an Iris. but that might be a bit convoluted. Also-aren’t you saving the moonflower for when Jack comes back? *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

    • Lauren on April 24, 2013 at 12:44 am

      Jamie, yes to the Jack bit!

      • Dara on April 26, 2013 at 4:03 pm

        oh goody! we get to go back to India!!!! 🙂

  16. Alexandra on April 23, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    To continue with the alliteration patterns of some other Pink titles and bring in the darker/vampiric aspect, what about something like:
    The Mystery (or Murder or Magic) of the Midnight Manzanilla?

  17. Eirene Ritznore on April 23, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Do you want to do an alliteration, like ” The Mark of the Moonlit Manzanilla?” I was just trying to think how to incorporate vampiric qualities, so, you can play with marks, midnight and moonlight. Then, there are the variations on manzanilla.m” The Mark of the Moonlit Manzanita” sounds fun to me, too. Good luck.

  18. Robyn on April 23, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Sally seems to me to be adventurous and popular. And someone who wants to upstage her brother So I’m going with:

    The Intrepid phlox
    The Audacious Phlox

    phlox is a very popolar English country garden flower. And Sally is very popular.

  19. Eirene Ritznore on April 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Do you want to do an alliteration? I was playing around with vampiric themes, and thought about something like, “The Mark of the Moonlit Manzanilla.” I was trying to figure out how to incorporate the idea of bites and whatnot, without becoming overly morbid. And, then there is room to change it up, ” The Mark of the Midnight Manzanita.” Good luck. 🙂

  20. Kaitlyn on April 23, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Oooh I like Iris… The Allure of the Blue Iris? The Mesmerism? The Enchantment? The Enticement?

  21. leslie on April 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Blue Poppies for Sally.

  22. leslie on April 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    I just remembered marigolds/calendula is the October birth flower. Chrysanthemums are November’s flower, but what a mouthful!

  23. Pat on April 23, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Okay, so we have a reclusive duke, wounded in mind and body, who spends time in his garden rather than with people. He needs fragrance in his garden at night. You won’t want to repeat lily or jasmine. So there is evening stock, evening primrose, four o’clocks, and angel’s trumpet.They haven’t been mentioned yet, except maybe the last one. There’s also a nightblooming water lily, in case he has a pond. Also flowering tobacco plant. Sally does seem like a daisy girl to me, but maybe she could be an evening primrose.
    Lauren, I finished reading The Ashford Affair and really enjoyed it. I didn’t see the ending of the Kenya portion of the story coming. Good job!

    • Lauren on April 24, 2013 at 12:45 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed “Ashford”! Thanks, Pat.

  24. Pat on April 23, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Uh oh. I was just reading a blurb of a book with a hero wounded in mind and body. I’m afraid I transferred that to your Duke. Sorry about that.

    • Lauren on April 24, 2013 at 12:46 am

      No worries! I promise, he’s not wounded in body– and, really, more just generally cranky than wounded in mind.

  25. Julie H on April 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    I don’t have any flower ideas right off, but can I just say that that blurb is awesome? Perfect idea for Sally’s story!

    • Lauren on April 24, 2013 at 12:47 am

      Thanks, Julie! I have been SO wanting to spoof the vampire craze….

  26. Renee on April 23, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    It has to be Dahlias. They’re deep and dark and vampire-y.

  27. Jill on April 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Oh man, everyone already has so many good ideas. I definitely associated Sally with daisies, but daisy doesn’t quite seem to fit with vampires.

    I liked Iris as a suggestion.

    Maybe the Iris Enigma?

    I also liked the Cabal of the Camellia, just b/c Camellias are usually white, dramatic and kind of glamorous. They also have a strong beautiful scent. I could really see vampires liking them 😉

  28. Kristi Burch on April 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I’m for White Oleander. I think it’s strong and deadly. Titles aren’t my thing.

  29. jenn on April 23, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    There is a flower called the Blood Flower.
    Marigolds are the flower for October.
    Or Crocuses are deadly but pretty.

    And I think Oleander has been done.

  30. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on April 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Michaelmas Daisy (Michaelmas being in October… just go for Pumpkins though they are an anachorisim. Pomona’s fruit… godess of Orchards…

    Though I’d go for The Dance of the Death Apple personally… seems to capture the feel of the book. Espcially because of the tradition of Halloween Apples…

  31. NOHEMI LOPEZ on April 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    The name for the Moonflower in spanish is ” Queen of the Night” ( Reyna de la NOche) It seem appropiate for a vampire temed novel

    • Lauren on April 24, 2013 at 12:49 am

      That’s lovely, Nohemi! I’m actually using Moonflower for the next book (Pink XII)– I hadn’t known about the “Queen of the Night”, but it will be extremely appropriate for the characters I have in mind for that one. Now that you’ve told me, I’m going to have to find a way to work a line about that in there! (When I get around to writing Pink XII.)

  32. NOHEMI LOPEZ on April 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    When the next chapter from “dare Me” will be published. I loved it

    I like the Moonflower ( called also The night queen)

    • Lauren on April 24, 2013 at 12:50 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed “Dare Me”! I’m afraid it will probably be a few months until I’m able to get back to it.

  33. HJ on April 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    There are some wonderful ideas already! Reference to angel’s trumpets and moonflowers made me think of the horticultural name for them, datura, which has its own rhythm and might work well with Duke and dancing (alliteration).

    I was also thinking about the vampire connection, and checked what had actually been published about vampires by 1806 (of course its way too early for Bram Stoker etc.). I found the German ballad Lenore, which was translated into English by William Taylor and is considered to have been very influential on vampire literature.

    Lenore is similar to the Scottish ballad of Sweet William’s Ghost collected in Percy’s Reliques, and that made me think of a lovely English flower which was definitely cultivated in the nineteenth century and was also known then by this name: Sweet William.


    The Deductions of the Datura

    The Determination of the Datura

    The Devotion of the Datura

    The Dedication of the Datura

    The Deciphering of the Datura

    The Delight of the Datura

    The Demystification by/of the Datura

    The Digressions of the Datura

    The Divinations of the Datura

    The Scheming of the Sweet William

    The Slander of the Sweet William

    The Steadiness of the Sweet William

    The Staunchness of the Sweet William

    The Stubbornness of the Sweet William

  34. Moriah on April 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    vervain is suppose to help fight vampires

  35. Am7 on April 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    I’m still sort of ambivilent about this book. Sally is still a baby to me. I kinda wish she was older and it took place a little later than 1806.

    I like The Dance of Deadly Apple too.
    Other Apple titles I like:

    The Apple Saga
    The Enchanted Apple
    The Apple of Orsino
    An Apple for Sally
    The Ghostly Apple
    The Apple Enchantment
    The Apple Bewitchment

    Of course Dukes sell big
    The Duke and the Enchanted Apple
    The Duke in Apple Season
    Cask of the Duke and his Apples
    The Duke, The Count and I

    I also the Chrysanthemum idea
    Dance of the Golden Mums
    The Fan of Red Mums
    Legend of the Mum
    The Debut of Golden Mum

    Maybe Pumpkins and Squash
    The Perilous Pumpkin
    The Sibling Rivalry of Squash
    The Seduction of Sexy Squash
    The Pulchritudinous Pumpkin
    The Debut of Sassy Squash
    (I like Sally being Squash with Turnip as her brother)
    The Squash Enchantment
    The Squash Bewitchment

    also leaves
    A dance of orange leaves
    The Orange Leaf Ball

    The Becoming of Red Leaves
    (becoming being a vampire word)
    The Becoming of Queen Anne’s Lace
    (Queen Anne’s Lace is a flower)

    The Apple Transformation
    The Yellow Leaf Transformation
    The Red Leaf Transformation
    The Squash Transformation
    The Enchanted Squash Transformation

  36. Sherri on April 23, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    I love “The Dance of the Death Apple” so how about a play on the dance theme? My suggestion is “The Waltz of the Nightshade.” My first thought was “The Waltz of the Weeping Willow” but that probably isn’t appropriate.

  37. Car on April 23, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    How about using manchineel instead of death apple
    Dance of the manchineel

    I just finished ashford affair and loved it 🙂

    • Lauren on April 24, 2013 at 12:51 am

      Thanks, Car! I’m so happy that you loved “Ashford”!

  38. Car on April 23, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    How about dance of the manchineel

    Just finished ashfor affair, loved it!

  39. Sara on April 24, 2013 at 2:37 am

    This sounds amazing! On another note, will Tommy Fluellen and Kat Reid ever get their story told?

  40. AngelB on April 24, 2013 at 2:56 am

    Well,I was thinking you could go ‘generic’ like you did in the Garden Intrique and use the word Orchard in the title to present the apple. The Danger in the Orchard or if you want to stick with flower type, The Poisonjng of the Apple Blossom.

    • AngelB on April 24, 2013 at 2:58 am

      Poisoning. I hate typing on my phone. 🙂

  41. Vanessa on April 24, 2013 at 3:52 am

    Sally has her wits about her, so how about Snapdragons? It has a mythological feeling there with references to dragons, which I know has nothing to do with vampires but it’s along the lines of creatures 🙂

    The Song of the Snapdragon
    The Fire of the Snapdragon
    The Bite of the Snapdragon
    The Lure of the Snapdragon
    When Snapdragons Bite

    p.s. Lauren, I recently started reading the Ashford Affair and I’m LOVING it!

  42. Céline on April 24, 2013 at 6:53 am

    I haven’t got imagination enough to propose you a title (not only because, well…. I don’t know the name of the flowers in English), but I’m loving all the suggestions above.
    One thing caught my eye, though… Jack? The Moonflower, in the next book? Is he Jane’s undoing? Ooooooh, that’s gonna be such a book! Such a nice finale!!! If I didn’t like Sally that much, I’d offer you to skip everything altogether and start directly with Pink XII!!! 😀

    (I read Ashford. I loved Ashford. I was totally impressed, didn’t see the end coming, loved everything and most of all, felt deeply for Clemmie. You were amazing with this book!)

  43. Joanne M. on April 24, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Everyone seems to have exhausted the flower names, and they’re all good. (It’s a shame the publisher doesn’t like The Dance of the Death Apple as I rather like it.)

    How about a completely different direction for the title? There’s the Duke of Belliston and Belliston Square, so how about:

    The Incident at Belliston Square
    The Dance at Belliston Square
    The Belliston Square Ball

    And since I think of Sally as young and fresh and the belle of the ball, how about:

    The Belle of Belliston Square

    Or a flower name, like bluebell:

    The Bluebell of Belliston Square

  44. Diane on April 24, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Roses are still in the garden in October. So how about:

    Thorn of the rose.
    Sally’s single rose.
    The Scent of a rose.

  45. NikkiB on April 24, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Here are some ideas (and I apologize to the flowers in advance, as I am not going to be able to spell most of them), all of which include poisonous plants. The vampire got me thinking about death, and so…

    The Dance of the Deadly Nightshade.
    The Dance of the Delphinium.
    The Dance of the Daffadil.

    Going off something someone suggested earlier…
    The Bite of the Brooding Belladonna

    The Case of a Curious Chrysanthemum.

    The Farce of the Foxglove.

  46. Nessa on April 24, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    What about frightful Venus Fly Trap?
    My nine-year-old vivid gardner Ian is obssesed about that plant and even wrote poem about it :). Unfortunately, he never managed to have it for long – the plants seemed to die quickly under his care…

  47. Bridget Erin on April 24, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Sally is so spunky I feel like she needs a spunky flower, maybe something like a snapdragon.

  48. Bess on April 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    How about – The Dance of the Poppy. Enticing and dangerous.

  49. Imani on April 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    vampire craze in 1806? xD just like the vampire craze that was recent now? LOVE that. lol

    why not a black lily?
    u’ve done a lily before and a BLACK tulip title. unless u don’t want to use a same color/flower. but in case u don’t mind~

    The Dance of the Black Lily?
    sounds espionage-y. haha ^__^

  50. Miriam on April 25, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Without reading any of the other comments (these were my ideas, darnit!), here’s my thoughts:

    Flowers that remind me of Sally:
    Morning Glory

    (Because Sally is beautiful and bountiful, but can also be stubborn and annoying. And persnickety.)

    Flowers that remind me of gothics:
    Poppies (that’s probably a Wizard of Oz influence, though)
    Chrysanthemum (which I’ve seen associated with death, though I can’t think where at the moment)

  51. Miriam on April 25, 2013 at 12:33 am

    And now, having looked at the comments, I also like Amaranthus, partially for the “love-lies-bleeding” aspect, and partially because I used to play Vampire: the Masquerade, and “amaranth” was the term for draining another vampire dry and eating their soul. So if you use amaranthus as your flower, you may get some interest from a whole new sector of readers! 😉

  52. Jeffrey on April 25, 2013 at 7:53 am

    According to legend, garlic has always been associated with repelling vampires. However, garlic sounds oh-so-not-romantic. How about the many varieties of ornamental garlic flowers using the scientific genus name of “allium?” That’s about it for me because after reading through this blizzard of entries it is obvious I’m in way over my head!

  53. Jenny on April 26, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Amaranthus. Seems like the best combination of deeper meaning and how the word sounds and looks. Not sure what to do with it from there. Maybe:
    The Tragic Amaranthus
    The Tantalising Amaranthus
    An Assignation with Amaranthus

    Or Snapdragon:
    The Snapdragon’s Fire
    The Fire of the Snapdragon
    The Sting of the Snapdragon

    And I also liked the “Dancing with the Death Apple “. But what do I know? Nothing really.

  54. Sarah G. on April 27, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    I’m partial to irises but apple blossoms seem to fit Sally better, and sort of relate to the death apple. ^^

  55. Lauren on April 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Have I mentioned recently that you all are the best? The title discussions are currently in progress over at my publisher…. (With some front-runners from this list.) Stay tuned for an announcement soon!

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