Posts in the Editorial category

Untitled“For those we lost along the way, I tell this story. For all the children who suffered in this terrible place. For all those I consider my brothers and sisters; the ones who died, the ones who lost their minds, I tell this for you.”

Based in Ireland in the 1960s and 70s, Little Drifters is a story of extreme hardship, suffering and abuse. It is the story of 11 siblings, abandoned by their mother and torn from their father, incarcerated in convents and then driven apart in the cruellest ways imaginable; it is the story of their ruined childhoods and their fight for justice. But more than that, it is a story of courage and survival. Here, Kathleen tells Tesco Books Blog about the experience of writing her remarkable story…

Ever since I started keeping a diary at 13 I’ve wanted to write a book about my experiences. I used to write everything in my diary, filling up dozens of notebooks over the years with my thoughts and my scribblings. The things I went through, I didn’t want to forget them. As the years passed I realized I also wanted my children to know what had happened. It needed to come out.

Back then the nuns’ power blinded everyone to the truth and that’s how they all got away with the abuse for so many years. They abused their power and position but everyone in society let them do it because they showed them such respect, just because they were high up in the church.

I’m still angry with The Reverend Mother and Sister Helen because they knew what was happening and they covered up. Their decisions still make life hard for me, my family and all the children they put through so much suffering. We are living with this today and the pain continues down the generations. I don’t think they realise that.

As a child you blame yourself but going through this process as an adult really made me understand how everything unravelled around us. It gave me a greater understanding of what went wrong. I understood why my mother did what she did now. I’m not so angry with her anymore. I can see that she was pushed to the limit. She became hard because she lived a hard life. Writing the book allowed me to forgive her.

I believe if you really want something and you never give up – even if it takes years and years, which it did for me – it will come to you.

Little Drifters: Kathleen’s Story is available in store now!

Baby guru and cuisine queen Annabel Karmel offers her pearls of wisdom to newly crowned parents Kate and William…

Finally, the wait is over for Kate Middleton and Prince William as they say hello to their gorgeous royal bundle! Raising a young baby Windsor will be no mean feat. Yes, they will have helpers on hand, but we know that they’ll be going through the same excitement, fear and overwhelming sense of responsibility that we all go through as first time parents.

I do hope the new parents will be off any royal duty for the first few weeks; having a new born can be absolutely exhausting and sleep deprivation is very much part and parcel of those first few weeks; whilst a new baby will sleep for around 17 hours a day and night, they will often wake every 3 or 4 hours and need to be fed as their tummies are so little, the milk they are given does not sustain them for long. If Kate is breastfeeding, she could express her milk so that William could help feed the baby – it is these special moments that allow dad to bond too.

Expectations will be high for the down-to-earth Duchess, but my advice to Kate is what I’d say to all new mums; she shouldn’t try to be perfect. This is a big time for any parent, and she needs to do things her own way in her own time.  Weaning is a good example of how the royal parents need to trust their own instincts about when baby is ready, but when they do there are lots of great recipes out there to help. Kate was reportedly using smartphone apps to keep track of her pregnancy, so I’m sure she’ll probably opt for more apps and be downloading puree recipe ideas to occupy those sleepless nights! Mums I meet were always tapping my recipes into their phone, so for a tech-savvy mum like Kate my Essential Guide to Feeding Your Baby & Toddler will come in handy. Magic Sleep is a also great app for little ones who are struggling to drift off; it recreates sounds like the ones baby would’ve heard in the womb to help soothe them.

I’ve got more than 24 years of experience under my apron, but there’s always a new trend buzzing among the parents I meet. Quite often it catches on from the latest celeb mums and dads, but Kate, William and the new baby aren’t just any celeb family, so I’m looking forward to seeing what the next big thing will be. I think Kate and William themselves will actually go for the tried-and-trusted, and be very hands on. People joke that Kate’s mum, Carole Middleton, is probably digging out her old copy of my Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner to hand down to Kate. I’ve added lots to it since it first came out, so of course they’d be welcome to a newer version, and if Kate should be in need of a royal feeding aide for Prince George I’d be more than happy to be on call!

Annabel x

Shop Annabel Karmel’s books online now!

We’re sorry

Unfortunately last week a product was accidentally added to the one of our websites and categorised inappropriately.

The Colour Me Good – Horror Films Book should never have been labelled suitable for children aged 5 and over.  It was a genuine mistake made when one of the sellers we work with added new products to our Tesco Direct site.  As soon as we became aware of the error the book was immediately removed from sale.

We have very clear guidelines for third-party sellers who list items on our website, and are sorry that on this occasion they weren’t followed.

The seller has apologised, but we wanted to too – we want Tesco to be a safe community for all book-lovers, regardless of age, and we will continue to work with our publishers, sellers and partners to ensure that all books are labelled correctly in the future.

We were sad to hear the news yesterday that the much loved author Iain Banks passed away at the age of 59.

After Iain announced in April that he had been diagnosed with inoperable cancer he set up a guestbook where family, friends, and fans could leave personal messages, since then the guest book has been inundated with messages of thanks and adoration.


Iain was an inspirational author and will be sorely missed by us and his many fans all around the world.

The last two weeks I have been working my way through the Books We Love List. My social life has taken a dive, my child has gone feral and the house is a mess, but it has been worth it because I have read some of the best fiction I have ever come across.

Uplifting, inspirational and life affirming – these titles will make you laugh, cry and look at life through different eyes. Below are a selection of my favourites. I am sure you will enjoy them as much as I have…

GONE GIRL The book the best dressed sun lounger will be wearing this summer.

The cleverest book I have read for a long time – I was hooked from the first page. A wife goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary and all the evidence is pointing towards the seemingly perfect husband… but everything is not as it seems. Or is it? Always a step ahead of you, with a great twist in the middle and an unexpected conclusion it had me regretting I read it so quickly. It will make you question everything you ever thought you knew about relationships – trust, attraction and the lengths people will go to to get revenge.

THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS The book that will stay with you….

Long after you have turned the final page. This is a story of how love and desperation can lead the most logical people to make the wrong decision for the right reason. Set in the years following the First World War, a remote community in Western Australia are struggling to adjust to life after bereavement and injury. The isolation appeals to a surviving soldier Tom, who takes the position of a lighthouse keeper on a nearby island where he and his wife  Isabel are the only inhabitants. The loving but childless couple one day find a boat with a dead man and a live baby and make a decision that will have tragic consequences. Beautifully written, with characters who come to life on the pages, inspiring thoughts of empathy, sadness and hope, it shows that the tragic legacy of war lingers long after peace.

TIGERS IN RED WEATHERThe book that will take you back in time.

East Coast glamour and Hollywood in post war America. It is 1945 and cousins, glamorous Nick and gentle Helena are on the cusp of new beginnings – Nick with her husband returned from the war, war widow Helena about to be remarried. But nothing is how it seems… Told through five characters the book flits back and forward in time over 3 decades with secrets, lies and sinister happenings spilling from every page. With touches of “Valley of the Dolls” and “The Beautiful and the Damned” this original and evocative debut is the perfect summer read.

THE GIRL THAT FELL FROM THE SKY - The book that will make you believe the true nature of courage!

In the second World War Special Operations parachuted 39 women into occupied France to carry out special missions. This is the story of Marian, a young half French girl who is recruited for a very particular reason – all linking to an old family friend and nuclear research. Love, betrayal and longing is exquisitely portrayed and the bravery of the events is truly inspirational. 

THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY - The book that will take you on a journey…

With Harold, a seemingly unremarkable man whose past haunts both him, and the reader, every step of the way.  On hearing the news that his former colleague Queenie lies dying of cancer in Berwick, Harold sets out on a walk from his home in South Devon to reach her before the worst. Inspired by a girl working at a petrol station, Harold believes that his faith in the walk will sustain Queenie until he can arrive, and assuage his guilty conscience. This unlikely tale explores the crippling flaws of human nature, the raw strength of love… and the durability of yachting shoes.

This is just a handful of the fantastic books that are on Book We Love List, if you like the sounds of any of these then head over to Tesco Direct now and get your copy for just £2.95! Whilst you’re there check out the rest of the great books on our book club list. Happy Reading!

Kind of Cruel by Sophie Hannah is our paperback book of the week! To get us excited Sophie has shared with us an exclusive short story… Enjoy!

The Safety Net

Here he is at last – the man I’ve been waiting for. Physically, he is exactly right: about six feet tall, short dark hair, broad shouldered and heavy without being fat, no facial hair. He is perfect in every detail.

If that sounds romantic, it’s not meant to. There’s nothing romantic about my state of mind at the moment, as I sit here gripping my glass of red wine, crying, staring at the television screen.

I’ve been waiting for this man for four and a half years. This particular man, not just one of any number of men. Of course, there was a time when he was not ‘this particular man’, though he had the potential to become him.  The transformation took place on 22 January 2011.  At half past midnight.

I haven’t known his name for the past four and a half years, and I still don’t. All I knew was that he needed to be of the physical type I have described. His personality didn’t matter, as long as it was the kind that might commit a violent crime. Murder, ideally.

No, sorry, that’s wrong. The man I needed wasn’t someone who was merely capable of killing; I was waiting for an actual murderer, someone who had killed already. His choice of victim mattered too. If, for example, he was a drug-fuelled waster who had killed another drug-fuelled waster in a street fight, that wouldn’t have been any good for my purposes – that killer would not have been the one I was waiting for. No, I needed someone whose victim had been harmless and innocent – female, too, ideally, so that the crime was as abhorrent as a murder could be. I was waiting for an evil man who had killed a helpless woman, or even a child – perhaps someone so evil that he was beyond hope of redemption…

Read more

First there was The Shadow of the Wind.

Then came The Angel’s Game.

Now in The Prisoner of Heaven Carlos Ruiz Zafón takes us back to the to the wintry streets of Barcelona, the Sempere and Sons Bookshop and the Cemetery of Forgotten Books to find out what happens next…

Buy The Prisoner of Heaven online from Tesco Direct now for just £8.86! 

As you’ve probably noticed, the last few weeks have been a little bit busy for us here at Tesco Books HQ. We’ve had a whole host of fantastic competitions and now that they are all drawing to a close, it’s time to announce some of the winners…

First off, our Horrid Henry Monster Movie competition. We asked you to get creative and come up with the most Horrid Monster Movie title you could think of and we had everything from “Marcus the fluffy, mouldy mildew monster from under a teen boy’s bed!” to ‘The curse of the custard cooking clown”. There were ten prizes to give away in all so a big congratulations to Jayne & Billy, Mel, Michaela, Gemma, Bry, Linda, Christine, Rosemarie and Kirsty – hope you like them!

Next up, our Royal Jubilee themed Peppa Pig competition for one of ten copies of Peppa Pig Meets the Queen and the new Peppa Pig DVD. We know how much you all love Peppa Pig and we weren’t surprised when so many of you got involved. Once again we had a whole heap of prizes to give away so well done to Rebecca, Julie, Julia, Rebecca, Alison, Cathy, Kirsty, Donna, Heather and Emma!

To mark the release of The Sacred Sword by Scott Mariani we also gave you the chance to win a free trip to Paris, along with five sets of all six of Scott Mariani’s books for some lucky runners up. All you had to do to win was tell us what your favourite memory of visiting a European city was, and we just loved Hannah Howie’s memories of visiting Barcelona:

Barcelona, Spain is one of my favourite memories – especially a pillow fight with 500-1000 people in Plaça de Catalunya. An amazing, unique and original experience that I will never forget. Just a pity that I was so caught up in the experience I never took photos!

And finally, we gave three lucky Trisha Ashley fans the chance to spend a champagne afternoon with Trisha herself in London, so congratulations to Jenny, Naomi and Lisa – we hope the three of you have a wonderful time!

Keep your eyes peeled for more cracking competitions in the near future and if you didn’t get lucky this time, remember you can always try your luck in our #FreeReadsFriday Twitter giveaways!

About life, love and glory, Gold explores the relationship between three Olympic cyclists all competing for excellence in both their personal and professional lives. As compelling to read as cycling is to watch, this is a fast-paced emotional rollercoaster of a book.

Buy Gold by Chris Cleave online from Tesco Direct for just £9.86! 

We also have copies of Gold and Chris’ fantastic previous title, The Other Hand, to give away on Twitter as part of our #FreeReadsFriday activity this week, so keep an eye out for that #FreeReadsFriday hashtag if you want to be in with a chance of winning!

We’ve got some great titles hitting our shelves this week, including new books from Jeffery Archer, Jo Nesbo, Mark Billingham and a name that regular readers of the blog will be familiar with, Louise Fennell.

Louise has been guest blogging for us for the past couple of months and her new book, Dead Rich, is now available for just £2.99 in store. To mark the release of Louise’s debut, we’re giving our readers the chance to win a beautiful Theo Fennell pendant worth £495. If you haven’t entered yet, be sure to get involved!

We also have the latest instalment in Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series, The Phantom. Nesbo’s latest novel sees Harry Hole return to Norway after three years abroad to track down a killer that is stalking the streets of Oslo. Fans of Stieg Larsson are sure to enjoy Nesbo’s brand of hard-boiled Scandinavian noir.

The second novel in Jeffery Archer’s Clifton Chronicles series, Sins of the Father, also comes out today. A transatlantic epic that explores the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love, those of you that enjoyed Only Time Will Tell, the first in Archer’s Clifton Chronicles series, will not be disappointed.

In our 2 for £7 paperback chart this week we have three great thrillers. From the undisputed king of the legal thriller, John Grisham, comes The Abduction, which sees the return of Theodore Boone, the star of Grisham’s 2010 novel, Kid Lawyer, as he tracks down the man that kidnapped his best friend April. In Mark Billingham’s new novel, Good as Dead, DI Thom Thorne takes on a tense hostage situation and in the process blows open a cover up in the Metropolitan Police Force that goes right the way to the top brass. And finally, The Templar Throne, from Paul Christopher, a historical thriller that is bound to go down a storm with fans of Dan Brown.

And there you have it, our top picks from this week’s new releases. Thanks for reading!