Monday 11 November 2013


First, it's my birthday.

Second, I'm going to the dentist for nasty things.

And third, I'm announcing a new ebook, to be published three weeks today!

Actually, TWO novels in ONE ebook. The Passionflower Massacre and Sleepwalking will be available in a single ebook three weeks today, December 2nd. I'm very excited about this and have wanted to do it for ages but struggled to find the time.

Both novels were originally published by Hodder and got great reviews and reader response. Both were read often in school book groups and between them they were shortlisted or nominated for various awards, with Sleepwalking winning the Scottish Arts Council Children's Book of the Year. I still receive lovely emails and letters - particularly about The Passionflower Massacre - and I'm delighted that they will be available again.

Why both novels in one book? To make it better value for you and because they appeal to similar readers. Both books are emotional, thrilling, and explore big ideas. They appeal to older teenagers (the target readership) as well as adults and deep-thinking younger teenagers.

I LOVE the new cover! Designed, of course, by Andrew Brown of Design for Writers. I don't think he'll mind me saying that this one was not an easy task... He had to come up with something that would express both books, and some interesting conversations were had while he tried to understand the complexities of my thinking!

And the giveaway/competition? Starting now and finishing at midday on Mon 25th November, a "pick me" competition with a Very Exciting Prize to a UK address.

The Very Exciting Prize? A package containing all of these:
  • An original print version of Sleepwalking - now very rare. I only have a small number of copies but I'm releasing one of them.
  • An original print version of The Passionflower Massacre. Equally rare.
  • An original print version of Mondays are Red. EVEN rarer! I've thought long and hard about giving away my precious print copies up but I think it's right that I should for this. I hope they go to a good home!
  • A hessian Blame My Brain bag.
  • One other book of mine - you choose.
Three runners-up will win a Blame My Brain bag.

What is Sleepwalking about? Language, life, passion and pain, choice, ambition, risk.
150 years in the future, and the Citizens drift contentedly in a world without wonder, where every emotion is regulated. There is no pain, no suffering, no evil. And no freedom. Just safety and drug-induced happiness. But a small group, the Outsiders, crave real emotion, real freedom, even suffering. To them, the power of ideas and language cannot die – or there is no point in being human. And they have a plan. For years, a group of young people have been raised to have the strength and knowledge to overthrow the system. Now, when a deadly virus strikes, four of these teenagers, Livia, Cassandra, Marcus and Tavius, must act quickly to infiltrate the sinister headquarters of the Governators and corrupt the system. But their plan carries enormous risk. If they can’t discover the chilling secret behind this saccharine dystopia, and overcome it, they will surely die.

What is The Passionflower Massacre about? Learning who to trust; retribution; forgiveness - or not. And an evil religious cult.
Matilda longs for freedom, to escape a painful childhood. Working on a Devon fruit farm after leaving school seems to offer the perfect opportunity. Heaven, in fact. Heat, strawberries, and the gorgeous Matt – what more could she want?

The super-friendly people who run the farm draw Matilda into their group, feeding her delicious cake and tea, seducing her with loving concern. These people seem to understand her and she lets herself be wrapped in their warmth. So when they want her to join them in the big house on the hill and meet their charismatic leader, Peter, she is ready and willing. She doesn't want to question, think or worry. But Peter and the Beautiful People have a shocking plan. By the time Matilda wakes up, and before she realises that Matt’s disappearance is suspicious and that she’s mixed up in a sinister cult, the passionflowers have bled their intoxicating juice and the plan is under way.

Entwined through the story, we see glimpses of Peter about to be released from prison twenty-five years later. An old woman has been visiting him. She has her own ideas of God's will, faith and justice. Who is stronger? Who is right? Who will win?

I'll serialise free chapters over the next few days, here on my blog. And I'll give you insights into the ideas behind the books or aspects of writing them.

So, for the chance to win those RARE prizes, please comment below. I'm running the same comp on Twitter and on my FB Author page, AND on my Heartsong blog - all entries will go in one random generator together. One comment per person on each of the four places - in other words, you can each have up to four entries altogether.

More details about both The Passionflower Massacre and Sleepwalking here.

Prepare to be drawn into the dark crevices of my mind...


Wendy's Writing said...

Wishing you a very happy birthday and good luck with the book.

Marisa Birns said...

A visit to the dentist is NOT a very good birthday present but I'm sure there'll be nicer ways today. Happy birthday!

Congrats on your newest book. Stories sound intriguing.

JO said...

Happy Birthday, Nicola - I hope the dentist is kind, and your mouth recovered in good time for birthday cake and wine.

And the books - look fab±±

Unknown said...

Happy birthday Nicola! Good luck with the dentist, hopefully it won't ruin this exciting day for you!

Unknown said...

also... please pick me for the competition!

Joy said...

Happy Birthday!! Not many people would grace the dentist on their special day, he/she should be honoured ;o)

I have marked Dec 2nd on my calendar! Love the sound of both novels, can't wait to read them. And that cover is Amazing!

Can I bring a torch as we traverse the dark crevices of your mind?

Debbie Coope said...

Hope you got to eat some cake in the end.

Btw, 'pick me.'