Hello again! It’s been a little quiet here over the last few weeks because of a few pesky technical issues. But I’m back today with some very exciting news – the very first advance copies of The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth have been winging their way out into the world to journalists, book bloggers and booksellers.
Here’s a quick peep – isn’t it a beauty?
As with The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, the glorious cover and interior illustrations are the work of the amazing illustrator Júlia Sardà (check out more of her beautiful children’s book illustrations here!) The design is by Benjamin Hughes at Egmont, who once again has done an incredible job of making a spectacular package. Just look at that lovely silver foil!
The book went out accompanied with a press release in the style of an invitation to a fancy-dress ball, plus a mysterious costume mask, which is especially appropriate for this new story. Here’s the blurb from the back cover:
The honour of your company is requested at Lord Beaucastle’s fancy dress ball
Wonder at the puzzling disappearance of the JEWELLED MOTH! MARVEL as our heroines, SOPHIE AND LIL, don cunning disguises, mingle in high society and munch many cucumber sandwiches to solve this curious case! APPLAUD THEIR BRAVERY as they follow a trail of TERRIBLE SECRETS that leads straight to London’s most dangerous CRIMINAL MASTERMIND, and could put their own lives at risk…
It will be the most thrilling event of the season!
The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth is published on 25 February – less than a month away (eek!)
You can pre-order now on Waterstones The Hive or Amazon
Season’s greetings! I’m very excited because today I’m revealing the incredibly gorgeous cover for the sequel to The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow.
Take a look at the beautiful The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth, publishing in March 2016!
Once again, illustrator Júlia Sardà and the design team at Egmont have done an absolutely incredible job with this cover. I really love the vibrant red, and of course the shiny silver foil (just look at the tiny silver bubbles from the champagne glasses!)
The cover also gives you a few clues to what happens in the next book… here’s the blurb from the back cover:
The honour of your company is requested at Lord Beaucastle’s fancy dress ball. Wonder at the puzzling disappearance of the Jewelled Moth! Marvel as our heroines, Sophie and Lil, don cunning disguises, mingle in high society and munch many cucumber sandwiches to solve this curious case! Applaud their bravery as they follow a trail of terrible secrets that leads straight to London’s most dangerous criminal mastermind, and could put their own lives at risk… It will be the most thrilling event of the season!
You can now pre-order The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth here.
To celebrate the cover reveal (and the fact it’s nearly Christmas!) I’m running a festive competition here, on Twitter and and on my author Facebook page.
Enter for the chance to win a signed copy of The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, plus a box of lovely goodies worthy of Sinclair’s department store itself.
Here’s a little sneak peek at the prize:
The peacock print box is so pretty, and it’s packed full of treats that could almost have come right out of Sinclair’s Confectionery Department. (Is it bad that I kind of want to keep it for myself?)
To enter all you have to do is leave a comment below, email me, tweet me or leave me a Facebook comment to tell me – if you were doing your Christmas shopping at Sinclair’s, what would you buy? It can be something for yourself or for someone else.
I had some fun thinking of what Christmas presents I might buy at Sinclair’s for Sophie, Lil and the gang:
- BILLY: Billy spends a lot of time in The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow scribbling in old exercise books with the stub of a pencil, so I think I’d treat him to a leather-bound notebook and a fountain pen. Of course, I’d also have to give him a detective story or two from the store’s Book Department.
- SOPHIE: Sophie’s best frock gets well and truly ruined during Clockwork Sparrow, so I’d probably head to Ladies Fashions to find her an elegant new outfit to wear next time she goes to the theatre. But somehow I can’t help thinking that she might find a magnifying glass or a pocket knife a little more useful for her future adventures…
- JOE: After his time living rough on the streets and hiding out in the Sinclair’s basement I feel Joe deserves some TLC, so his Christmas present would be a big cosy jumper from Gentlemen’s Outfitting, and maybe some woolly socks to make sure he’s toasty warm all winter.
- LIL: The gang in general enjoy their food, but if there’s one person whose appetite is as big as her capacity for enthusiasm, it’s Lil! I’d get her a huge Christmas hamper stuffed with all kinds of tasty festive treats for her to share with the others over the holidays.
Enter by 5.00pm on Sunday 13 December for a chance to win – I’ll choose my favourite response to win the prize. The competition is open to the UK only (sorry!)
Updated: The competition is now closed!
In more exciting festive news, The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow has featured in Christmas booklists including the Telegraph’s best Christmas books for children and Red Magazine’s best children’s books to give as gifts. I hope it will be appearing under lots of Christmas trees and in lots of stockings this year!
Updated Jan 2016: The Competition Winners!
It was so difficult to choose a winner for the Clockwork Sparrow festive competition as we had so many fantastic entries. I loved reading about all the different things you would buy – from glamorous gowns to delicious treats from the Confectionery Department, and of course, lots of extravagant hats! Huge thanks to everyone who entered.
In the end the prize was awarded jointly to two young readers aged 7 and 10 who are also sisters, who chose to draw as well as illustrate their ideas – check out their winning entries below. Congratulations and I hope you enjoy your Sinclair’s Christmas goodies!
I couldn’t resist sharing some pictures of a boating excursion that I recently had with my agent Louise and editors Ali and Hannah from Egmont.
Boats – and in particular, a boat race – feature prominently in the sequel to The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth, so for research purposes it seemed only appropriate to do a little rowing ourselves – in this case on the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park.
Hannah and Ali take to the oars
Louise is taking this rowing business seriously
Are you sure you’re up to this, Woodfine?
Hilarity sets in
As it turns out, my characters are much better at rowing than I am. I don’t think I am going to be winning any boat races anytime soon, unless it is a competition to see who is best at rowing in a circle!
But in spite of my less-than-brilliant rowing abilities (and interruptions from some very curious geese) we had a fantastic afternoon – very Swallows and Amazons!
Naturally we followed our boating excursion with a delicious afternoon tea, which I think Sophie and Lil would definitely approve of.
Time for tea!
Exciting news – this morning my publishers Egmont announced that Sophie and Lil will be continuing their adventures in two more books!
I’m so delighted to be writing two more books in the series, which will follow on from The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow and The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth, which comes out in March 2016. The new books will follow the gang as they solve even more crimes in Edwardian London, and will be publishing in spring and autumn 2017.
I couldn’t be happier that the series will continue and that there will be more in store for Sophie, Lil and company! Writing The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow has been such fun, Egmont has been a wonderful publishing ‘home’ and it has been amazing to have such a great response to the book from readers. I was also very excited about this part of the announcement:
Katherine Woodfine’s debut, The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow has been one of the runaway hits of 2015. Selected as the Waterstones Book of the Month for June, and reaching number 13 in the Nielsen BookScan charts, it was the fastest selling debut children’s book across all ages for the first half of 2015.
As if that wasn’t enough, The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow is going interational! It will be published in the US by Kane Miller in June 2016, and publishers Ravensburger have also snapped up the rights to publish it in Germany. Audio rights have also been sold, so an audio version is also in the offing. Hurrah!
[This celebratory photo of ladies performing some sort of 1900s beach gymnastics comes via my ever-expanding Edwardiana Pinterest board!]