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#OneInAMillion Competition Launches on Bookshop Day

Books Are My Bag 2017

Books Are My Bag are celebrating selling 1 million tote bags and they are offering book lovers the prize bundle of a lifetime – £250 National Book Tokens, a Golden ticket to the Hay Festival, a picture signed by Quentin Blake, West End tickets… see below for more details. This is the most incredibly gift ever!

Now in its fifth year, the Books Are My Bag campaign highlights and celebrates the vital role of high street and campus bookshops. Over the last four years, a million people have worn a Books Are My Bag canvas bag in support of the campaign.

One lucky book lover is in with the chance of winning a host of extraordinary prizes donated from across the book industry and beyond, including a beautiful, totally one-off Orla Kiely luxury leather bag, in the style of this year’s Books Are My Bag tote bag.

To enter, book lovers just need to Tweet #OneInAMillion saying what their favourite bookshop is and why.

The #OneInAMillion Prize winner will take home:
· An exclusive, one-off Orla Kiely leather bag
· £250 in National Book Tokens
· A golden ticket to Hay Festival
· Afternoon Tea for Two at Claridges (Hachette)
· London Zoo tickets and a copy of Zoo Quest (Hachette)
· A limited-edition copy of Alan Bennett’s ‘Keeping on Keeping On’, RRP £200 (Faber)
· A limited-edition print from Billy and the Minpins, signed by Quentin Blake (Puffin)
· A special edition ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ (Vintage)
· A set of Vintage Classics Dickens (Vintage)
· A signed ‘Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World’ print by Kate Pankhurst (Bloomsbury)
· A signed first-edition copy of ‘Sparsholt Affair’ by Alan Hollinghurst (Pan Macmillan)
· A set of PanMacmillan 70th Anniversary edition books (Pan Macmillan)
· A pair of tickets to ‘The Christmasaurus’ Live on Stage at the London Apollo (Penguin Random House) – any date between 20 – 28th December

Two runners up will also be in with the chance of winning the following fantastic prizes:

Second Prize·
A signed copy of ‘Hurrah for Gin’ by Katie Kirby, together with a bottle of Sipsmith gin (Hachette)
· A copy of Nigella Lawson’s new cookbook, ‘At My Table’ (Vintage)
· A signed copy of ‘The Pearl Thief’ by Elizabeth Wein (Bloomsbury)
· A signed copy of ‘My Name is Victoria’ by Lucy Worsley (Bloomsbury)
· A signed copy of ‘Moonrise’ by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury)
· Subscription to the ‘New Scientist’ magazine (Hachette)
· Haunted House tour and a signed copy of ‘Devil’s Day’ by Andrew Hurley (Hachette)
· A mounted Emily Sutton print (Bloomsbury)

Third Prize
· A copy of ‘Sleeping Beauties’ by Stephen King and a box set of Stephen King DVD’s (Hachette)
· A signed copy of ‘Down to Earth: Gardening Wisdom’ by Monty Don (DK)
· A copy of The Creakers by Tom Fletcher (Puffin)
· A signed print of Oliver Jeffers’ new book ‘Here We Are’ (Penguin Random House)
· A Perfectly Norman print by Tom Percival (Bloomsbury)

The competition marks the 1 millionth Books Are My Bag tote bag to be worn by the public, showing their support for bookshops in the UK & Ireland.

Meryl Halls, Head of Membership Services at the Booksellers Association, said: “Reaching our one millionth supporter is a hugely exciting milestone, and we’re delighted to be able to show our thanks to bookshop lovers across the UK & Ireland with this fabulous prize. It is wonderful to see the book industry coming together to support bookshops with the amazing prizes they have donated. We wish everyone the best of luck, and look forward to hearing all about our supporters’ favourite bookshops!”

Bookshop lovers will have until 7th November to enter the competition, with the lucky winners being revealed on 25th November, when bookshops across the country will offer a Saturday Sanctuary as respite from the business of daily life.

Orla Kiely, said: “I am so happy to have collaborated with the Bookseller’s Association. As a great lover of books and bookshops, nothing gives me more pleasure than discovering a new book, whether it’s a beautiful edition on a new favourite photographer, a great novel or a rare out of print edition. There is nothing more relaxing, inspiring or stimulating than reading and losing oneself in another world. We should all take time to read and importantly, to encourage our children to love books.”

Carole Matthews Reveals New Book – Christmas Cakes And Mistletoe Nights

Christmas Cakes And Mistletoe Nights Queen of Christmas, Carole Matthews is back with a festive book to look forward to curling up and reading called ‘Christmas Cakes And Mistletoe Nights.

What the back cover says:

Fay and Danny are madly in love and it’s all Fay’s ever dreamed of. But she left everything – including the delightful cake shop she used to run – to be with Danny on his cosy canal boat The Dreamcatcher. And as she soon finds out, making delicious cakes on the water isn’t always smooth sailing!

Then Fay gets a call from her friends, a call that sends her back to her friends and the Cake Shop in the Garden. It will be hard being away from Danny but their relationship is strong enough to survive . . . isn’t it?

Fay soon falls happily back in love with her passion for baking – especially now she’s on dry land again! – and starts to wonder if she ever should have left. With Christmas around the corner, Fay is determined that her friends will have a very merry time, but does that mean even more time away from Danny?

Indulge in this wonderful, cake-filled novel of romance and friendship.

You can pre-order Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 19th October 2017.

Milly Johnson Reveals New Book – The Perfectly Imperfect Woman

The Perfectly Imperfect WomanOne of my favourite authors Milly Johnson is back with a new boo, wonderfully called ‘The Perfectly Imperfect Woman’.

What the back cover says:

Marnie Salt has made so many mistakes in her life that she fears she will never get on the right track. But when she ‘meets’ an old lady on a baking chatroom and begins confiding in her, little does she know how her life will change.

Arranging to see each other for lunch, Marnie finds discovers that Lilian is every bit as mad and delightful as she’d hoped – and that she owns a whole village in the Yorkshire Dales, which has been passed down through generations. And when Marnie needs a refuge after a crisis, she ups sticks and heads for Wychwell – a temporary measure, so she thinks.

But soon Marnie finds that Wychwell has claimed her as its own and she is duty bound not to leave. Even if what she has to do makes her as unpopular as a force 12 gale in a confetti factory! But everyone has imperfections, as Marnie comes to realise, and that is not such a bad thing – after all, your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you.

‘The Perfectly Imperfect Woman’ is the heart-warming and hilarious new novel from our queen of feel-good fiction – a novel of family, secrets, love and redemption … and broken hearts mended and made all the stronger for it.

You can pre-order The Perfectly Imperfect Woman from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 22nd February 2018.

Christmas At Log Fire Cabin Book Tour – Extract

Christmas At Log Fire Cabin I’m kicking off the book tour for Catherine Ferguson’s new book ‘Christmas At The Log Fire Cabin’. Sit back and enjoy an extract from this festive story.

When I woke, I knew – even before I drew back the curtains – that it had snowed overnight.

The light was subtly different and there was an eerie, muffled quality to the early-morning sounds out in the village of Angelford, where the shop-owners were gearing up for another chaotic, till-ringing day of pre-Christmas cheer and gift-buying.

I slipped out of bed and crossed to the window. The snow glittered in the weak early-December sunlight, swathed like a smooth layer of white icing over our tiny front garden, making comical bulbous shapes out of the holly bush and the little rickety gate.

Standing there, I thought of that other Christmas long ago, when I was twelve. Our mad snowball fight. How I’d battled to keep the snowballs coming to defend myself, hurling them too soon in my excitement so that they ended up as little more than puffs of snow rising up into the air. I remember squealing with laughter as icy water leaked down the back of my coat, my hands numb and raw with the cold because, despite Mum’s best efforts, I wouldn’t wear my gloves.

The snow always brought the memories of that time flooding back.

Not that I ever forgot.

I’d tried to wipe it from my mind. Pretend it didn’t matter. But meeting my real dad when I was twelve, only for him to turn his back on me, wasn’t exactly the sort of thing you could blot out at will.

I’d spent four days with him that Christmas. Days that were full of kindness and laughter and learning all about exotic Italy, the place where he was born. And how to make the perfect snowball.

Alessandro Bianchi made me feel that I was worth knowing. He’d listened intently to the things I told him about my life and laughed at my jokes, such a stark contrast to the way my bullying stepfather, Martin, made me feel. Although it had happened years ago – I was thirty now, all grown up – I could still recall that breathless sense of wonder when Mum told me Alessandro was my real dad.

I’d had a sense that I was on the brink of something really special; that a whole new life was opening up for me …

How wrong I’d been.

My insides clenched and I turned away from the snowy scene.

It never did me any good to think about the time my real dad came to visit; to linger on those few days I spent with him, as Mum stood by, wary and watching, like a hen protecting her chick.

In my hopeful childhood innocence, I’d assumed it would be the start of something real and life-changing. But in the end, those few days of Christmas turned out to be sparkling but transitory, like the snow itself. All too soon they had melted away into nothing…

If you enjoyed that, then good news as you can pre-order Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 30th November 2017.

The Angel Book Tour – Extract

The Angel Sit back and enjoy an extract from Katerina Diamond’s latest gruesome tale called ‘The Angel’.

Gabriel Webb was a killer. He didn’t know it yet, but before the day was out he would know what it felt like to take someone’s life. He turned the music up in his bedroom to drown out the sound of his parents arguing about him. Apparently, he was ‘out of control’ and ‘needed to be taken in hand’. His mother had suggested sending him to live with an aunt in Cheltenham. His father had suggested forcing him to join the army, which ‘might show him how good he had it at home’. All this because Gabriel had shoulder-length hair and occasionally wore eyeliner.

He pulled on his red tartan punk trousers and leather New Rock boots, feeding the laces through the chrome shin panels on the front. Searching through his tops, he tried to decide which one to wear today, which one would be best for what they had planned. His phone beeped and he looked at the screen. An array of emojis all signifying excitement from his girlfriend Emma, listed in his phone as Proserpina, Roman Goddess and Queen of the underworld. He was in her phone as Pluto, the God of Death. Embracing darkness was part of the fun of being a goth. Tonight, they were going to see Apocalyptica, a nu-metal band, in a local club, a rare occurrence in Exeter now that the artisan hipster gin bars had all but taken over the city.

Gabriel pulled on his black wet-look cycling top; it hugged his lean muscular frame and he loved the way Emma looked at him when he was in it. He would catch her eyes resting on his chest as she swallowed hard, suppressing whatever desire his body aroused in her until they were alone. He grabbed the black buckled leather cincher out of his wardrobe and put it on, despite his parents’ voices echoing in his head. A man in a corset? Ridiculous. It wasn’t like it pulled his waist in or anything, it was just a fashion statement – not a nod to his sexuality. He couldn’t worry about what his parents thought though. His clothes were an expression of himself, for himself. It wasn’t about shocking anyone or even about rebelling. It was about feeling good in his skin, and this outfit made Gabriel feel good. He wrapped black electrical tape around his wrists and hands, then picked up the black eyeliner and drew a star on his left cheek. He was ready.

On entering the kitchen, his mother took a deep breath and turned her attention to the kitchen sink. Avoiding being a part of the conversation that was about to happen.

You can buy The Angel from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.