Teaser Tuesday: What's in a Flower?

(Note: this was originally programmed to run on July 8. But I hit “save draft” instead of “publish”. So you’re belatedly getting this post now, with apologies from your technology-phobic author.)

I have a floral confession to make. There are not one but two plants called the manzanilla. One is deadly. You may also know it as manchineel or manzanilla de la muerte.

The other is… chamomile.

Guess which one plays the larger role in The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla?

Both flowers make an appearance in the book. When the “vampire” artistically strews his victim with flowers, those are manzanilla/chamomile. Later, when bits of the manzanilla plant are left as a threat for Sally and Lucien, that’s manzanilla de la muerte, which is toxic enough that to touch it can leave welts.

Unfortunately for the NAL art department, the manzanilla flower isn’t particularly photogenic. The flowers are little greenish things that don’t show to good advantage on a book cover. So the flower on the cover of Midnight Manzanilla? Is the other manzanilla, the chamomile flower.


I might have been tempted to mention that when I saw the cover, but for one thing: chamomile flowers look a lot like daisies. And daisies are the flower that, for some reason or other, I associate with Sally. If Sally were a spy, she would undoubtedly be the Daisy.


  1. jeffrey on August 12, 2014 at 8:45 am

    I learn something every day snooping around here. I had no idea that a certain manzanilla strain was toxic! I also associated Sally with daisies, marigolds, or forget-me-nots. I have a new favorite heroine who has now eclipsed my former one, Letty. What young man would not love to hang around the beautiful and charismatic Sally who is optimistic, caring and helpful? Contrasted to the Manzanilla flower, the various strains of the moon flower are ALL very beautiful……a good omen for 2015?

  2. Jane on August 12, 2014 at 11:12 am

    I appreciate this clarification. I had looked up manzanilla and only found chamomile. I was still trying to find the one that was toxic just out of curiosity. Am loving the new book and will be sad when the series ends. So glad you are also writing stand alone novels. It is like meeting up with an old friend to read your books.

  3. Am7 on August 12, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Both are toxic to many people! I know several people with severe chamomile allergies. IF you are prone to fall and August colds (and allergic to a plant called ragweed), then be careful before you drink chamomile tea!

    • mel burns on August 13, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Chamomile is also to be avoided when you’re pregnant. I’ve always disliked it as a tea, but it is amazing in skin cream and and shampoo.

  4. Paige on August 13, 2014 at 5:37 am

    I have so much love for this cover!

  5. mel burns on August 13, 2014 at 11:21 am

    I agree with Paige….the cover is beautiful!

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