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Midnight Peacock Christmas Competition

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December is here – and it’s time for this year’s Sinclair’s Mysteries Christmas competition!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might know that for the last two years I’ve run a festive competition to win a signed copy of my latest book in the Sinclair’s Mysteries series, plus a beautiful box of lovely Christmas treats inspired by Sinclair’s department store. Each box is completely unique and a one-off, containing a signed and dedicated book, plus a selection of goodies that I’ve chosen specially to coincide with the book itself. You can take a peek at my Jewelled Moth inspired box here, and see the original Clockwork Sparrow box here.

This year’s box takes its cue from Midnight Peacock and I really think it’s the loveliest one I’ve ever made! Take a sneak peek inside the lovely peacock-print box at some of the treats you’ll find, including a signed and dedicated copy of The Midnight Peacock, a beautiful peacock Christmas tree decoration from Liberty London, and Christmas spiced biscuits from Fortnum & Mason:

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So how can you be in with the chance to win the Christmas box? Well this year it’s very easy: all you have to do is sign up for my brand new quarterly author newsletter!

Subscribe to receive the latest news, events updates, special book recommendations, competitions and more by email. Newsletters will be arriving approximately once a quarter, so your inbox won’t get clogged up with lots of emails; you’ll be the first to hear all the news about my new books; and the newsletter will also contain exclusive content you won’t find anywhere else. If you sign up by Monday 18 December 2017, you’ll be entered into the Midnight Peacock competition to win this year’s special Christmas box!

Here’s a link to my website where you can sign up

Good luck!

A Christmas Competition

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember that last Christmas I ran a festive competition to win a signed copy of The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, plus a box of lovely goodies worthy of Sinclair’s department store itself!

I asked people to tell me what they’d buy from Sinclair’s, and had some lovely entries including those from the joint winners, who sent beautiful illustrations of their ideas.

Well guess what? The competition was so much fun last year that I’m running it again this year! This time round, you can win a signed and dedicated copy of The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth plus a special box of festive goodies that you might find in the store’s confectionery department.

Here’s a little sneak peek at the box:

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To enter all you have to do is tell me: which of the characters from the Sinclair’s Mysteries would you most like to spend Christmas with, and why?

You can leave me a comment below, tweet me, leave me a comment on my author Facebook page, or even leave a comment on my Instagram – it’s up to you! Or if you’d prefer you can also send me an email to enter.

Just make sure you send over your entry by 5.00pm on Monday 19 December for the chance to win –  I’ll choose my favourite response to win the prize. The competition is open to the UK only. Good luck!

 

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The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth cover reveal – and a festive competition!

Season’s greetings! I’m very excited because today I’m revealing the incredibly gorgeous cover for the sequel to The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow.

Take a look at the beautiful The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth, publishing in March 2016!

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Once again, illustrator Júlia Sardà and the design team at Egmont have done an absolutely incredible job with this cover. I really love the vibrant red, and of course the shiny silver foil (just look at the tiny silver bubbles from the champagne glasses!)

The cover also gives you a few clues to what happens in the next book… here’s the blurb from the back cover:

The honour of your company is requested at Lord Beaucastle’s fancy dress ball. Wonder at the puzzling disappearance of the Jewelled Moth! Marvel as our heroines, Sophie and Lil, don cunning disguises, mingle in high society and munch many cucumber sandwiches to solve this curious case! Applaud their bravery as they follow a trail of terrible secrets that leads straight to London’s most dangerous criminal mastermind, and could put their own lives at risk… It will be the most thrilling event of the season!

You can now pre-order The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth here.

Competition time!

To celebrate the cover reveal (and the fact it’s nearly Christmas!) I’m running a festive competition here, on Twitter and and on my author Facebook page.

Enter for the chance to win a signed copy of The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, plus a box of lovely goodies worthy of Sinclair’s department store itself.

Here’s a little sneak peek at the prize:

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The peacock print box is so pretty, and it’s packed full of treats that could almost have come right out of Sinclair’s Confectionery Department. (Is it bad that I kind of want to keep it for myself?)

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment below, email me, tweet me or leave me a Facebook comment to tell me – if you were doing your Christmas shopping at Sinclair’s, what would you buy? It can be something for yourself or for someone else.

I had some fun thinking of what Christmas presents I might buy at Sinclair’s for Sophie, Lil and the gang:

  • BILLY: Billy spends a lot of time in The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow scribbling in old exercise books with the stub of a pencil, so I think I’d treat him to a leather-bound notebook and a fountain pen. Of course, I’d also have to give him a detective story or two from the store’s Book Department.
  • SOPHIE: Sophie’s best frock gets well and truly ruined during Clockwork Sparrow, so I’d probably head to Ladies Fashions to find her an elegant new outfit to wear next time she goes to the theatre. But somehow I can’t help thinking that she might find a magnifying glass or a pocket knife a little more useful for her future adventures…
  • JOE: After his time living rough on the streets and hiding out in the Sinclair’s basement I feel Joe deserves some TLC, so his Christmas present would be a big cosy jumper from Gentlemen’s Outfitting, and maybe some woolly socks to make sure he’s toasty warm all winter.
  • LIL: The gang in general enjoy their food, but if there’s one person whose appetite is as big as her capacity for enthusiasm, it’s Lil! I’d get her a huge Christmas hamper stuffed with all kinds of tasty festive treats for her to share with the others over the holidays.

Enter by 5.00pm on Sunday 13 December for a chance to win – I’ll choose my favourite response to win the prize. The competition is open to the UK only (sorry!)

Updated: The competition is now closed!

In more exciting festive news, The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow has featured in Christmas booklists including the Telegraph’s best Christmas books for children  and Red Magazine’s best children’s books to give as gifts. I hope it will be appearing under lots of Christmas trees and in lots of stockings this year!

Updated Jan 2016: The Competition Winners!

It was so difficult to choose a winner for the Clockwork Sparrow festive competition as we had so many fantastic entries. I loved reading about all the different things you would buy – from glamorous gowns to delicious treats from the Confectionery Department, and of course, lots of extravagant hats! Huge thanks to everyone who entered.

In the end the prize was awarded jointly to two young readers aged 7 and 10 who are also sisters, who chose to draw as well as illustrate their ideas – check out their winning entries below. Congratulations and I hope you enjoy your Sinclair’s Christmas goodies!

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And the winners are….

 Thanks to everyone who entered the Tate calendar giveaway!

I now know all about some of your cultural highlights for the summer, including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, the Magritte exhibition at Tate Liverpool, the Camberwell Arts Festival, and of course the mighty Manchester International Festival, which this time round features everything from an opera inspired by John Dee to The Day We Sang a ‘love story with singing’ created by Victoria Wood.

I’ve now randomly selected the two winners and they are:

Ben for the Miró calendar
Kate for the Watercolour calendar

I’ve emailed you both so get back to me as soon as you can to receive your calendars.

Miró at Tate Modern – and a giveaway!

I really enjoyed taking a slow wander around Tate Modern’s Joan Miró exhibition this week. Galleries often describe their exhibitions as a ‘must-see’ but for me, this show really was. I’ve always loved the deep, powerful colours of Miró’s paintings  and I’m endlessly intrigued by his spidery, fantastical shapes and symbols, so it’s no wonder that this exhibition has been in my calendar for a while.

This is a very comprehensive retrospective, bringing together more than 150 paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints from moments across the six decades of Miró’s career. Interestingly, it also traces the more politically engaged aspects of his work, tracing the development of his artistic practice in relation to political and social upheaval during the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War and in Franco’s Spain.  In a more straightforward way, however, this work is also a great pleasure simply to explore and experience: for me, the especial highlights were the incredible black and white Barcelona Series, but also the meditative, colour-saturated Bleu triptych.

Miró is at Tate Modern until 11 September 2011.

Giveaway!

To celebrate this exhibition at Tate Modern, I’m excited to have a lovely Tate Miró calendar to give away courtesy of Flame Tree Publishing, as well as a beautiful calendar from Tate’s Watercolour exhibition over at Tate Britain, which I blogged about back here.

If you’d like to enter the giveaway to win one of the calendars, simply leave me a comment at the end of this post to tell me what exhibition, event or other cultural happening coming up in the next few months you’ll be putting in your calendar.

As well as telling me what cultural highlight is your ‘must-see’, don’t forget to include whether you would prefer the Watercolour or the Miró calendar. From all the comments, two whinners will be selected at random – each will receive one of the two calendars.

The closing date for the giveaway is Friday 24 June. I’m looking forward to hearing your suggestions!

[Image: Joan Miró The Escape Ladder 1940. Museum of Modern Art, New York © Joan Miró and Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, via Tate]