In honour of Weed Wednesday today, we decided to give you a sneak peek of the second book, ‘Nightshade’ as we are only two weeks away from the release date in the UK! Remember, at the end of the first book Weed had to leave Jessamine to save her, so when we join the tragic hero in ‘Nightshade’ he finds himself alone. Here is a small snippet from the book to whet your appetite….
This is what they call me in the forest. The flesh-body. The Human Who Hears. Even here I am made to feel like a freak.
“After all, you too, have killed,” the dropwort adds. “And there was no nourishment involved. Was there?”
I do not answer. For yes, I have killed. Shamefully I have taken innocent life. And I would kill again, right now, if I had the means.
My victims would be two in number: Thomas Luxton, father of my beloved Jessamine. And Oleander, the Prince of Poisons.
It is for Jessamine’s sake alone that I stay away. Of it’s own will, my hand strays to the book of evil I carry with me day and night. Thomas Luxton’s book of poisons. It is wrapped safe and dry in a square of oilcoth I stole form a farm wife’s washing line.
Every day I swear I will burn it. It is like that wicked garden of his: something unnatural that should never have been created. But I cannot bring myself to do it. It is the one link I have to the past – to all that was stolen from me. To happiness. To Jessamine.
Therapeutic Thursdays is dedicated to Datura this week!
In The Poison Diaries, Thomas Luxton uses his poisonous plants to help cure the people in his village, using their powers to cure instead of to kill. This begs the question: Should we stay away from poisonous plants completely or might they be able to help us?
Traditionally used in love potions, Datura is used as a calming potion in order to induce relaxation and sleep for those who are distressed. Today it is even used in some parts of South America to send babies to sleep.
However, although Datura seems calming at first, respect must always be shown to it. After all, it is still very much a poisonous plant. Doses must be measured carefully: one dose can send you to sleep, and another could be fatal…
So it seems although some poisonous plants do have therapeutic qualities, they remain cunning and can still cause you a great deal of harm, and must always be treated with the upmost respect and caution. You have been warned…
The Poison Diaries Experience - 'Nightshade' launch at Alnwick Castle 27th July
The Poison Diaries team are back at base camp after a magical event at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland.
We took a party of the UK’s finest young adult book bloggers on a Poison Diaries adventure to one of the most magnificent castles in England. Our guests had travelled from all over the UK to converge at the picturesque country station in Alnmouth, a few minutes away from the castle.
In a convoy of minibuses, we travelled to the castle, taking in some breathtaking views of the local countryside before we stopped to take in a spectacular vista of the castle itself. After many gasps and OMGs we carried on our way to the main entrance at Castle Square.
Guests were shown to their rooms in the castle and then we were off again to visit the haunting ruins of Hulne Abbey, where Poison Diaries’ heroine Jessamine grew up with her father Thomas Luxton. Joined by Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland we were treated to a journey through the private grounds of the estate to reach the Abbey. Her Grace spoke about the history of the Abbey and shared with us her inspiration for the Poison Diaries trilogy.
With excitement already running high our guests were overwhelmed when on our return to the castle we were led into the magnificent state dining room accompanied by a traditional Northumbrian piper! High tea was served as we sat around the huge dining table, surrounded by works of art with a roaring fire adding to the ambience – all breathtaking stuff!
Once all the miniature fancies were gone we were shown into the library, which, for all our bookie friends, was a heavenly experience. Candle lit with another roaring fire to further enhance the atmosphere we listened as The Duchess read the first chapter of ‘Nightshade’. You could hear a pin drop as our guests sat, jaws dropped and totally enthralled by a moving recital from Her Grace.
By this time our lovely guests were getting used to their luxurious surroundings and had a bit of time to explore the castle grounds and prepare themselves for the Poison Diaries dinner.
Dinner was an ‘out of this world’ experience! The Treehouse Restaurant (yes a tree house!) was like a fantasy film set. Guests were greeted by attentive staff with a choice of a ’kill’ or ‘cure’ cocktail to set the mood and then seated for a delicious three-course meal. The menu was titled ‘Love, Poison and Death’ so we knew we were in for a treat. We were not disappointed!
As we were finishing our dark chocolate chilli tart there were three loud raps on the door. Startled guests were stunned into silence as ‘Thomas Luxton’ burst into the Treehouse, looking and acting exactly as you would imagine Jessamine’s tyrannical Father would. In rather forceful, scary tones he instructed us to follow him to the Poison Gardens. Leading the way along candle lit paths we were taken on a tour of the gardens where Jessamine tended her healing plants and Weed succumbed to the dark side!
After an awe-inspiring day, our gorgeous guests were more than ready to hit the hay, although our moles tell us that there was some intrepid midnight explorers who just couldn’t resist the temptation for a bit of nocturnal poking around… . you know who you are!