Monthly Archives: September 2012

One of the most inspiring talents to emerge from British pop culture, Jessie J’s message is loud and clear: be strong, be determined and never shy away from who you are.

An international sensation and a multi-award-winning superstar, she took the music industry by storm, selling 11 million singles and 2.5 million albums worldwide. In this fully illustrated and highly personal book, Jessie J tells her own story in her own words, with all the strength, honesty and passion you would expect.

This is Jessie J’s real story, opening the doors on the individuality and unique voice that have made her an inspiration to young women around the world. She talks openly about her health issues and a heart condition, her thoughts on body images and how she discovered her own identity whilst breaking into one of the world’s most competitive industries.

The bold and intimate tale of this young woman will shock and enthral as she delivers her personal message with an unshakable confidence and modesty that will cement her place in pop culture as a much-loved star.


To celebrate publication of Nice to Meet You, out on September 27th, we’ve teamed up with the lovely people at CLOTHES SHOW LIVE (Birmingham NEC, Dec 7–11) to offer all you budding fashionistas out there a chance to win tickets to the show, plus a copy of Jessie’s fantastic illustrated autobiography, signed by the lady herself!

There are five pairs of tickets up for grabs, to enter simply tell us in the comments section below who your fashion icon is and why.

Buy Nice to Meet You by Jessie J online and in-store now for just £9.00!

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Steven Gerrard is a Liverpool legend: captain at the age of 23, two FA Cups, three League Cups, one UEFA Cup and that Champions League win.

His new book celebrates his fantastic career so far and he shares with us why he decided to tell his ‘Liverpool Story’.

“Every year, I am presented with countless opportunities to do books about my career. I usually turn them down flat. However, the chance to tell ‘My Liverpool Story’ through my words and the photographs which frame my life was too good a chance to overlook.

Sifting through all the pictures stirred great memories and I hope those who read this book gain the same level of enjoyment I have had in writing it. Each day I realise how lucky I am to live the dream. Hopefully, there are a few more chapters still to be written in my time at Anfield, a few more trophies to lift and a few more highs to sample.”

Here are a couple of exclusive shots from Steven Gerrard’s book cover photo shoot!

To win a signed Liverpool shirt and an exclusive limited edition copy of the book, tell us in the comments section below:

What is your favourite moment from Steven Gerrard’s football career?

Buy Steven Gerrard: My Liverpool Story now online and in-store for just £12.00!

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To celebrate the publication of 1356, the new book from No.1 bestseller Bernard Cornwell, we’re offering fans the chance to win a week’s holiday for two in Couhé, the second sunniest spot in France. Couhé is just 30 minutes away from the bustling town of Poitiers, where Bernard’s new historical epic is set.

There’s more information on the competition below, so have a read of Bernard Cornwell’s blog piece and enter this fantastic competition for your chance to win!

I wrote 1356 because people haven’t heard of Poitiers. For some strange reason this battle is simply not celebrated in England in the way that Crécy and Agincourt are. Poitiers deserves a place among England’s most significant military achievements. It was an extraordinary battle. The prince was outnumbered, his army was thirsty, hungry, and travel-worn, yet it fought, by medieval standards, a very long battle and ended it as outright victors and with the King of France as their prisoner. King Jean II was taken back to London where he joined another royal prisoner, King David II of Scotland, who had been captured after the battle of Neville’s Cross ten years before (described in Thomas of Hookton’s adventure Vagabond).

The battle of Poitiers was the culmination of the prince’s second great chevauchée through France. The first, in 1355, had struck south-east from Gascony and laid waste a great swathe of country, stopping just short of Montpellier, but ravaging, among many other towns and cities, the bourg of Carcassonne. A chevauchée was a destructive raid, designed to inflict severe economic damage on the enemy who, to end the losses, would need to fight a battle. If the enemy refused battle, as the French did in 1355, the chevauchée resulted in a shameful loss of face for the French and huge profit for the English. If they accepted battle, as King Jean chose in 1356, they risked defeat. Or perhaps they would achieve revenge and victory.

To win a week’s stay for two at La Maison Gabriel, the beautiful self-catering cottage in Couhé, France, we want you to tell us in the comments section below what your favourite Bernard Cornwell novel or series is and why, using no more than 200 words.

Pre-order 1356 by Bernard Cornwell online now or buy in-store from 27th September!

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Update: The Olly Murs signing is now closed! Congratulations to all of the winners! All 300 winners have now been notified by email and assigned a unique reference number. If you’ve not been lucky this time, then make sure you visit us here on the blog next week for another very exciting Olly Murs competition!

Are you a huge Olly Murs fan? Would you really like to meet him? Then you’re in the right place!

We have 300 tickets to Olly Murs’ first book signing for his new book, Happy Days!

To be in with the chance of meeting Olly Murs on Wednesday 10th October at the Newport Tesco Extra in Newport, Wales, all you have to do is email your name and address to:

If you are lucky enough to get a ticket, please bring a printout of your confirmation email with you on the day in order to be able to purchase your book and to meet Olly.

You have until 28th September to enter and if you have secured a ticket you will be contacted by the 1st October – be sure not to miss out!

Olly’s first book signing will take place Wednesday 10th October at Newport Extra Tesco Store, Spytty Road, Newport, Newport, NP19 4TX at 4.30pm.

It has to be said, our competitions are just getting better and better and this month was no exception!

Superstar opera singer Alfie Boe took some time out of his very busy schedule to talk to tell us about his new autobiography, Alfie: My Story. To celebrate the release, we asked you to tell us who your greatest inspiration is and why. It was no easy task choosing the ten lucky winners of a signed copy of Alfie’s autobiography and one of his bestselling CDs, but we got there in the end.

So a huge congratulations to Chris, Linda, Hayley, Katie, Tina, Sean, Lynn, Gayl, Karen and Sharon. Enjoy!

And next we had the famous and world-renowned novelist Jackie Collins give you the chance to win a signed copy of The Power Trip as well as having tea with Jackie herself at a top London location! All you had to do to win this wonderful prize was tell us which is your favourite character from any of Jackie’s twenty-eight novels. The two lucky winners who will be taking a friend with them to meet the one and only Jackie Collins are Andrea Miles and Diane Yule! Congratulations!

If you’re a winner and you haven’t yet been contacted, don’t worry, you will be soon. And if you didn’t win this time, not to worry, we have plenty more competitions on the blog at the moment. Tell us who you’d take with you on the trip of a lifetime and you could be on your way to New York to meet J.K. Rowling! To win a signed and dedicated Man United shirt tell us you favourite Wayne Rooney goal. And to win an overnight trip to Dublin and £100 to spend at Brown Thomas tell us what your ‘accidental love story’ is!

Magician Impossible is the incredible true story of the boy born Steven Frayne in Bradford in 1982 who grew up to be Dynamo.

From his introduction to magic by his beloved grandpa to becoming the hottest street magician in the UK, this is the true story of one of the world’s best illusionists. This book proves that truly, Nothing is Impossible.


To celebrate the launch of Nothing is Impossible, the mind blowing autobiography from Dynamo, we’ve got a Dynamo sweatshirt and signed playing cards to giveaway!

To be in with a chance of winning this exclusive prize simply answer this question in the comments section below:

Who is you favourite magician of all time? 

Buy Nothing is Impossible by Dynamo for just £9.00 online and in-store now!

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Jeffrey Archer returned to our shelves in late 2011 with Only Time Will Tell, the first book in his new five book series, The Clifton Chronicles. Now the master storyteller continues the Clifton saga with this, the second book in the series and No.1 hardback bestseller, The Sins of the Father, which is out now in paperback!

We’re so excited about the release of The Sins of the Father that we’re giving you the chance to win some incredible prizes; an Ingersoll watch, a signed copy of The Sins of the Father in hardback and copies of The Sins of the Father in paperback for five lucky runners up! Be sure to read on to find out how you can win…

The book opens in New York, 1939. Tom Bradshaw is arrested for first degree murder. He stands accused of killing his brother. When Sefton Jelks, a top Manhattan lawyer, offers his services for nothing, penniless Tom has little choice but to accept his assurance of a lighter sentence. After Tom is tried, found guilty and sentenced, Jelks disappears, and the only way for him to prove his innocence would be to reveal his true identity – something that he has sworn never to do in order to protect the woman he loves.

Meanwhile, the young woman in question travels to New York, leaving their son behind in England, having decided she’ll do whatever it takes to find the man she was to marry – unwilling to believe that he died at sea. The only proof she has is a letter. A letter that has remained unopened on a mantelpiece in Bristol for over a year.

In this epic novel, family loyalties are stretched to their limits as secrets unravel, and the story moves from the backstreet’s of Bristol to the boardrooms of Manhattan.

To celebrate the release of The Sins of the Father in paperback we’re giving you the chance to win an Ingersoll watch and a signed copy of The Sins of the Father in hardback. As well as this we’ll also be giving 5 runners-up a copy of The Sins of the Father in paperback!

The Ingersoll Harry Clifton watch – which you can see to the left – is worth £175 and takes it’s name from one of the protagonists of Jeffrey Archer’s Clifton Chronicles series. If you would love to win this beautiful item., all you have to do is answer this question in the comments section below!

If you could be any character in one of Jeffrey Archer’s books, who would you be and why?

Buy The Sins of the Father online and in-store now for £2.99!

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Irish actress and writer Claudia Carroll is back with her new book, A Very Accidental Love Story! 

To celebrate the arrival of A Very Accidental Love Story we’re giving you the chance to win one of two incredible prizes.

The first-place prize is an amazing overnight trip for two to Dublin, staying at The Morgan Hotel, along with £100 to spend at Brown Thomas! And five lucky runners-up will go for afternoon tea with Claudia Carroll at The Covent Garden hotel in London and receive a signed copy of her new book!

To be in with a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes all you to do is answer this question in the comments section below!

What is your accidental love story?

A Very Accidental Love Story by Claudia Carroll will be in stores from 27th September!

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John Taylor, author of In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran writes exclusively for Tesco about his new book, his literary inspiration and what he has learned in the course of setting down his memoirs on paper.

Almost three years ago, I lost my father. As I was clearing out the house I had grown up in, I found a great deal of memorabilia – photographs and documents from the early days of the band, which my parents had lovingly preserved.

The idea to write the book really started then. I’m a naturally self-reflective person, and I do believe in the benefits of mental ‘stock taking’ anyway, so I felt that writing the book would be part of the grieving process – for my dad, for my mother, who had died several years earlier, but also, in a way, for my own childhood; their passing disconnected me from the place I grew up in, the suburbs of south Birmingham.

I read a lot. I like Jonathan Lethem and Jennifer Egan, who have written beautifully about the music business, and I have read some fantastic music biographies over the years, such as Peter Guralnick’s Last Train to Memphis about Elvis’s early years. I loved Bob Dylan’s autobiography and always loved, and still do, the writers from the NME in the seventies: Nick Kent, Charles Shaar Murray and Ian MacDonald.

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I’m sure you were just as excited as I was about the third series of ITV’s ‘Downton Abbey’. But for those who want even more Downton in their lives ‘The Chronicles of Downton Abbey’ is the official companion book, and in it I take an in-depth look at the central characters. 

Alongside the sumptuous illustrations and photographs from the set, I’ve explored each personality inside and out – talking to the actors that portray them, discussing their backgrounds with the creators and finding out about similar real-life stories and people from that era.

Writer Julian Fellowes has created for each one a complex personality, with both good bits and bad. Just like any of us. Nevertheless, they all have their own distinctive characteristics, ones which are shared by people a hundred years on. So which Downton Abbey character are you?

If you believe that you are always right, that the good old days are all in the past, that the young of today don’t know which side their bread is buttered and that life is better when everyone knows their place, then you are either Violet, the Dowager Countess or Carson, the butler.

If, on the other hand, you believe in the force of change to bring about good, that men and women are all equal and you are unafraid to say so, then you are either a Lady Sybil or a Tom Branson.

Perhaps you have always felt slightly the outsider, a little jealous of your apparently more confident and accomplished contemporaries but need only to find the thing you are good at to bring you out of your shell and make you not only happier but nicer to be around. Then you are either Thomas or Lady Edith.

The hardest working amongst us, toiling for long hours for seemingly little reward, yet always hopeful that things will get better are just like Daisy, the poor kitchen maid.

Parents worrying about their wayward, rebellious children will relate to the concerns and late night conversations of Robert and Cora, Lord and Lady Grantham.

If you feel that you are fundamentally decent yet somehow life just doesn’t work out for you, no matter how good you are, no matter how hard you try, then you will feel deepest sympathy for the (allegedly) wronged John Bates and his wife Anna.

Who will admit to being a Miss O’Brien? But while she has her plotting, avengeful side, she is loyal to those she loves and even has a wicked sense of humour.

Natural do-gooders, possibly erring on the bothersome side, are the Isobels of this world. And everyone has had a Mrs Patmore moment, when slaving over a hot oven for several hours has resulted in a culinary disaster. But the vast majority of us are probably Matthew or Mary: good people, with complexities that anyone human and rounded ought to suffer, and doing their best to make love work.

Enjoy the rest of third series… I know I will.

Buy The Chronicles of Downton Abbey online and in store for just £10.00!