‘All I Want for Christmas’ is a great read for a great cause!

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Christmas may seem like a million miles away but local novelist and Derry Journal reporter Claire Allan is already in the festive mood after contributing to a new short story collection, which hopes to raise vital funds for Barnardos.

Claire, whose current novel ‘What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?’ has been receiving rave reviews is one of a number of Ireland’s best loved authors who have contributed a story free of charge to ‘All I Want for Christmas’ - published by Poolbeg Press.

Claire’s story ‘Last Christmas’ sits alongside contributions from Emma Hannigan, Claudia Carroll, Marisa Mackle and Martina Devlin among others.

Claire said: “I was delighted to contribute to the collection for Poolbeg, especially when I heard that a portion of the proceeds are going to such a worthwhile cause.

“The finished book looks lovely and there are some great treats inside. It is the perfect book to dip in and out of over the Christmas holidays - with a wide variety of stories of different genres to choose from.

“My story is set over two consecutive Christmas Eves - and of course and I hope I have captured a little bit of festive magic!”

Poolbeg Publisher Paula Campbell said: “Obviously reading is very close to our heart and helping Barnardos with their children’s literacy programme is a great honour for us.

“Many of our authors including Claire Allan, Linda Kavanagh and Rosemary McLoughlin amongst others have contributed a short story to make this the perfect read leading up to Christmas and we are proud to work with them and them and Barnardos to help change the lives of children all over Ireland.

Director of Barnardo’s NI Lynda Wilson said: “We are delighted that Poolbeg Publishers and so many of its well-known authors have contributed to this collection of Christmas short stories in aid of Barnardo’s NI.

“The tales will raise a smile, as well as much needed funds to help us continue providing services to those children who need us most, particularly at Christmas.

“I know everyone who buys it will enjoy it and also because they will be helping change a little life for the better.”

All I Want for Christmas is available from Eason and all good book stories priced at £12.99.

It is also available as an ebook.