Pink Carnation Read Along Month 11: THE MARK OF THE MIDNIGHT MANZANILLA

Get out your garlic!  There’s a vampire among the ton— or possibly not.  But Sally Fitzhugh is determined to find out.  Which means…

It’s time for Pink XI: The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, in which Turnip’s younger sister gets her own book (and an attack stoat), Miss Gwen gets a run away bestseller, and the elusive Duke of Belliston gets quite the reputation.

Come join me and special guest co-host Bea Koch at 8pm EST on Thursday, February 24th as we discuss all things Manzanilla!

You can register here.

Does anyone else remember the vampire romance craze of the early 2000s?  The popularity of vampires was a source of endless discussion among my friends.  What WAS it about them?  Why the attraction?  So, of course, I couldn’t resist writing a vampire book of my own– or a sort of vampire book– going back to the very origin of the vampire craze in the early 19th century.  And who better to deal with vampires than Turnip’s indomitable sister, Sally?

This book was partly my vampire book and partly a tribute to a lesser known Georgette Heyer novel– but I can’t tell you which, because if I do, it will give the plot away.

When I went looking for outtakes and extras to post with this book, I was amazed to find… well, not nothing.  There were certainly scrapped scenes.  But they were all versions of scenes that appear in the book, not whole chapters or whole scenes I cut out.  I’m not sure if this means that I had become a more efficient writer or merely that I became worse at saving things.

Three fun facts about Manzanilla:

— I wrote this book in a mad three month, decaf peppermint mocha fueled marathon with a newborn (can you find the Madeline parody?);

— The reason there’s a stoat is because a friend dared me to put one in a book– and so I did;

— The book did NOT end the way I intended it to.

Our super guest co-host Bea Koch is the co-founder of the incredible Ripped Bodice Bookstore, the author of Mad and Bad: Real Heroines of the Regency— and a survivor of the Regency Romance class Andrea Penrose and I taught at Yale!

See you on Thursday, February 24th!  Please do post lots of pictures– and share any recommendations for Manzanilla snacks and drinks!


  1. Laurie Brown on February 24, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    I had to Google it to see what a stoat looked like. At 10# I’m surprised she toted it around!

  2. Elizabeth (AKA Miss Eliza) on February 25, 2022 at 6:07 pm

    Can we now know the secret of which Heyer it was?

    • Lauren Willig on February 25, 2022 at 6:17 pm

      Yes! It’s “The Quiet Gentleman”,

      • Elizabeth (AKA Miss Eliza) on February 25, 2022 at 7:24 pm

        Perhaps THAT might be my weekend read!

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