Monthly Archives: May 2012

Every time I start a new Roy Grace novel, it is like returning to my old mates, and I wonder what they have been up to since I left them all at the end of the last book. How is Roy coping with fatherhood? Is Norman Potting still lusting away…. Has Glenn Branson made steps in getting his life back together… how is Marlon, the goldfish, and of course, what next from Sandy…..?

I always have a strong personal element in my novels, but Not Dead Yet has even more than usual. It is about, Gaia, a huge rock star turned actress (think Madonna!) who is going to star in a huge Hollywood movie being made in Brighton, about the love affair that put Brighton on the map. It was the relationship between King George 1V and his mistress, Maria Fitzherbert, for whom he built the Royal Pavilion – probably the world’s grandest bachelor pad! Gaia believes this could be an Oscar winning role, a new King’s Speech. But she has a dangerously obsessive fan in Brighton and for her, Roy Grace and the producers, a nightmare is about to begin…

Gaia is very much drawn from my own 25 years experience as a movie producer working with some of biggest A list names, from Peter Sellers and Elizabeth Taylor to Sharon Stone, Charlize Theron, Penelope Cruz, Rober DeNiro and Al Pacino – and it is a world I have written about in this book, warts and all, with much glee! I hope you will have as much fun reading it as I did writing Not Dead Yet.

If you would like to get your book personally signed, Peter James will be in two of our Sussex stores on Thursday, June 7th: Tesco Lewes 9:30-10:30am and at Tesco Shoreham-by-Sea 14:00-15:30pm!

Buy Not Dead Yet online from Tesco Direct for just £8.46!

A confession: I was nerd as a young boy. And not a nerd like you see nowadays – the sort who invents a social networking site or computer chip and is worth billions. I was a nerd when the word meant something. I was pudgy, clumsy, awkward around girls . . . and frightfully unathletic. I don’t know how it works in the UK, but at American schools the captains of competing softball or gridiron teams alternate picking players from the group of students in gym class, and I can vividly recall the heads of each team nervously scanning the remnants of us and trying desperately to figure out an endgame that involved my going to the other side.

But there was a redeeming factor in all this. My lack of prowess at (and interest in) sports drove me to the comfort and enjoyment of other pursuits, most notably reading. And, not surprisingly, my favorites were adventure stories featuring heroes – the kind of men who would champion the somewhat less heroic, e.g., me. I loved the characters who populated the books of Tolkien, Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. Rider Haggard, C.S. Forester, Dashiell Hammett, Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie.

And, most importantly, Ian Fleming’s James Bond.

Jeffery Deaver has taken the time to write us an entertaining and insightful account of the story behind the new Bond novel, although it’s a little too long to publish all in one go on the homepage! To read – we really suggest you do, it’s a cracking read – just click below!

Buy the new James Bond novel, Carte Blanche, by Jeffery Deaver online for just £2.99!

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A couple of weeks ago we gave our readers the chance to ask Gok Wan any question they wanted, along with the chance to win one of ten free copies of his fab new cookery book, Gok Cooks Chinese! We had loads of great submissions and now we’ve sent your question off to Gok and he’s come back with his answers…

What Chinese recipe would you suggest as an introduction for children to Chinese food? 

Dumplings and rolls are always popular with kids. They are fun to eat – if you let your kids use their fingers instead of chop sticks or forks – especially if you’ve got some great dips to accompany them.

How do you prevent noodles from going slimy, a problem I always have? 

Never overcook noodles and be gentle with them!

Who and what was your inspiration to head in a totally new direction and do a cookery show and book?

Chinese food is such an important part of my DNA and I’ve always had a desire to express this part of my Chinese heritage. Doing this TV series and writing this book is a way for me to show gratitude to my parents who I love so dearly and who are the source of my inspiration.

I love Chinese food but find I am hungry almost straight away so what would you suggest is a good fill-you-up Chinese meal? 

Try my Stir – Fried Morning Glory with Silky Tofu and I promise you that you will be asking for more but not because you will still be hungry but because it is SO delicious.

Do you have any suggestions for a quick and easy Chinese dish that would be suitable for a late breakfast/brunch?

I wouldn’t suggest rice and noodles for a brunch, but dishes like steamed egg with prawns which is so easy to do (see recipe), or my Congee which is like a Chinese version of porridge. They’ll make your guests go weak at the knees!

What Chinese dish can you not live without and why? 

I LOVE Choi Sum in Oyster sauce. I instantly feel good when I eat this dish. It has such a clean taste and it is healthy too.

How come there are so many fantastic Chinese dishes but so few Chinese puddings? 

There are some fab Chinese puddings – if you like rice, mango and coconut – but it’s true to say that there is more of a variety in Chinese savoury dishes. I personally like to mix things up a bit and in the Gok family we would often finish off our Sunday Chinese ‘roast’ with a platter of fruits!

What do you like to drink with the Chinese dishes you cook? 

I love green tea – so whenever I eat Chinese food I always have a nice cup of green tea to go with it.

Where does your love of cooking come from, and at what age did you first start cooking?

Two words: Papa Wan. I spent my childhood helping at my Dad’s Chinese takeaway. Although some days were quite tough – restaurant kitchens are a stressful environment – my love and knowledge of Chinese food grew from there. I can’t thank my dad enough for his patience and guidance.

What recipe would you cook for the Queen to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee? 

Oh! I haven’t thought of celebrating the Jubilee with a Chinese meal but what a good idea! Only one recipe from my book would do: Celebration Sea Bass with Ginger and Spring Onion! Chinese people like a good celebration and a sea bass dish is often served as the final course. You’ve given me an idea – I am now thinking I might cook this dish at the Jubilee weekend…

Don’t forget, you can still visit our competition page for the chance to win a meal at the fabulous Hakkasan Hanway Place in London worth £250 and overnight stay at The Sanderson Hotel!

Buy Gok Cooks Chinese online on Tesco Direct for just £8.86!

Everyone’s favourite, slightly bossy little pig, Peppa, is off to the palace to meet the Queen! Find out what happens in this delightful storybook which is ideal for sharing with your little ones in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

To mark the release of Peppa Pig Meets the Queen, we’re giving away ten copies of the book and a Peppa Pig DVD – which was released on 21st May – to our readers!

Just leave us a comment and let us know what you’ve got planned for the Royal Jubilee to enter the draw!

Buy Peppa Pig Meets the Queen online from Tesco Direct for just £2.86!

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Since entering the public spotlight in 2008 with his performance at the summer olympics, where he was Britain’s youngest competitor, Tom Daley has gone on to become one of our foremost sporting personalities and a household name. Now he has released a fantastic memoir, detailing his rise to the top of his sport and his hopes for the future. You can find out more about the book over on Tesco Direct!

Why did you want to write a book?

At first the idea was for the book to be more pictorial, but then when I started to think about it I realised that even though I’m only 17 I’ve experienced quite a lot already and wanted to put something down on paper.

What will people enjoy most in the book?

The amount of photos and the deep insight into my life in the pool and out!

How many times do you reckon you’ve practised each dive you’re doing in the Olympics?

Thousands of times!

What do you think about whilst you’re diving?

The process of each dive, you can’t allow your mind to wander because that is when diving goes wrong!

When you jump off the board, do you keep your eyes open?

Always. It would be really dangerous if I were close my eyes at any point. You need to know exactly where you are throughout the dive and you need to keep your eyes open in order to do that.

Do you get scared when you try a new dive?

It’s always nerve wracking when you try a new dive for the first time. But it’s a gradual process so you can prepare yourself psychologically.

Have you had any You’ve Been Framed style diving injuries and what happened?

I’ve hit my head a couple of times on the diving board and have the scars to prove it. Over the years I’ve probably had a number of bad entries into the water that could have definitely got me on You’ve Been Framed!

How do you decide which dives to do in a competition?

It’s really about having a competitive tariff of difficulty to make sure you can be up there with the best divers in the World. I’ve got one of the hardest lists of dives, which means if I dive well then I can be right up there.

What do you think are your chances of winning Gold at the Olympics?

There are 8 divers in the World that have a real chance of winning Gold. Qui Bo is the current World Champion, but with diving it’s all about how you perform on the day.

Who are your sporting idols?

I think what Steve Redgrave achieved is incredible. To go to 5 Olympic Games and come away with a Gold each time is incredible. But the Canadian diver Alexandre Despatie, has been my idol for years.

What ambitions do you have beyond the 2012 Olympics?

I’m competing at the Junior World Championships in Adelaide in October, so I’ll have a couple of weeks off after the Olympics and then it will be back to training. I want to go to Rio, and who knows beyond that. Diving off a 10m means puts a lot of impact on your body, so quite often with divers it’s about how long you can stay injury free.

We’ve got a fantastic competition to watch Tom in training and have the opportunity to meet him afterwards! For your chance to win, click here to enter.

Buy My Story by Tom Daley, online from Tesco Direct for just £7.46  

Over the years Martina Cole has established herself as a mainstay of contemporary British crime-fiction. With 18 published titles under her belt, many of which have gone on to become best-sellers, she has a huge readership and fanbase in the UK and beyond.

A couple of weeks ago we launched a competition offering all of you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: exclusive tickets to the book launch event for Martina’s new book, ‘The Faithless’, along with the chance to meet Martina herself, in person.

To enter, we asked you to tell us what your favourite Martina Cole novel was and why – and we quickly realised that there are some die-hard Martina Cole fans among you! In the end though, there could only be one winner so a big congratulations to Michelle with her answer…

This is easy for me, although I absolutely love Martina’s prose in all her books, The Ladykiller is by far and away the best for me. It’s not possible to forget George Markham and his horrid little hobby. Martina did an incredible job with his character and that of his wife. Absolutely for me, my husband and our friends (who I recommended Martina Cole too after reading her first novel Dangerous Lady). We couldn’t believe how realistic Martina made George and you truly felt you were in the mind of a deranged individual. An absolutely riveting, cracking, stupendous, fly by the seat of your pants, first class read.

If you didn’t get lucky this time around, don’t worry, there are plenty more fabulous competitions on the blog at the moment, including the chance to win a free trip to Paris or some fab kid’s books!

Buy The Faithless by Martina Cole – our book of the week – online from Tesco Direct for just £2.99!

This week on the blog we’ve rounded up a selection of our favourite new paperbacks, all available for just £2.99 on Tesco Direct. If you want to find out more about any of the books in our paperback chart, you can do so online over on Tesco Direct.

We also have some great new releases in our hardback chart, including Tom Daly’s fantastic memoir, My Story. If you’re a fan Tom’s, be sure to check back tomorrow when we’ll be opening our competition to meet Tom in person – yes, really!

As ever, tomorrow we’ll also be running our weekly #FreeReadsFriday activity, so if you’re on Twitter and would like to be in with a chance of winning some great free books, keep an eye out for that hashtag!

Surely if anyone could make the most horrible scary movie in the world it would be Horrid Henry? Horrid Henry is author Francesca Simon’s most horrid of creations – and in his latest escapade, Horrid Henry makes his own scary movie, The Undead Demon Monster Who Would Not Die.

To celebrate the publication of Horrid Henry’s latest adventure we have a special competition: you can win 1 of 10 limited edition Horrid Henry kids t-shirts (aged 7-8 years), plus a copy of Horrid Henry’s brand new book. Simply answer the below question:

What would your scary movie be called?

Click here to buy Horrid Henry’s Monster Movie online from Tesco Direct for just £2.86!

The Sacred Sword is my seventh Ben Hope novel and in it, I’ve given Ben a twist that I hope no one will see coming. Ben’s going to face a home truth that’s far more explosive than any of the shoot outs or hostage situations he’s been in over the years. And I can’t wait to see what you all think of it.

Ben travels a lot in my novels – heading to cities all over the world at a moment’s notice, sometimes on the hunt for vital information, sometimes running for his life. He certainly wouldn’t be used to first class, but there’s always a first time for everything. A big part of the opening sequence in The Sacred Sword takes place in Southern France, near Millau, and there’s plenty of trouble from the start… but if you’re the winner of this competition I hope you have a trouble-free and enjoyable time in Paris.

If you would like to win a trip to Paris, all you have to do to enter is tell us, what’s your favourite memory of visiting a European city? Five runners up will also be picked to win the set of all 6 best selling Scott Mariani novels!

We look forward to reading your entries!  

Buy ‘The Sacred Sword’ by Scott Mariani on Tesco Direct for just £2.99 

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She first caught our imaginations with her highly-acclaimed TV series Prime Suspect, starring Helen Mirren as the determined DI Jane Tennison. But since adapting her award-winning script into a bestselling novel, Lynda La Plante has become a household name. Now a No. 1 bestselling author and the undisputed Queen of the Police Procedural, it is impossible to think of Crime Fiction without thinking of Lynda La Plante.

In her chilling new novel, Backlash, Lynda La Plante digs deep into the warped mind of a possible killer, drawing us brilliantly into an investigation that spirals into horror and heartbreak. It is late at night on a notorious council estate in east London when the police discover the body of a young woman in the back of a van. The driver confesses and the case seems done and dusted. But when their suspect claims his victim is not his first, but his third, DCI Anna Travis will have to decide. Do they have a serial killer in custody or a compulsive liar?

We’ve been lucky enough to secure some of Lynda’s time and we’re thrilled that she has agreed to answer questions from our readers. So, if you have any questions for Lynda just leave them in the comments. She’ll be picking her top 10 favourite questions and will answer them personally by video on 19th June.