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Swansea author beats thousands to scoop book prize

A novelist from Swansea has won a coveted book award with her first work of fiction - seeing off thousands of others in the process.

Tracy's book won after beating thousands of entrants and seven others in a shortlist. Credit: Richard and Judy's Book Club

43 year-old Tracy Rees won the inaugural Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition with her debut novel Amy Snow.

"Although the competition was tough, we fell in love with the heroine Amy and Tracy's incredible story-telling. We are delighted to be supporting Tracy today and cannot recommend the book enough."

– Judy Finnigan
Judy Finnigan said she Credit: Richard and Judy's Book Club

The competition prize includes a publishing deal worth £50,000, which will give her the opportunity for the rights to sell her novel around the world.

The story centres around Amy, a young Victorian woman who follows a chain of coded letters to uncover a secret about a childhood companion.

"It really is a dream come true! The Search for a Bestseller competition has been an incredible journey, thank you to everyone who has made this possible. Now to start book number two...!"

– Tracy Rees
Judy was given a £50,000 publishing deal. Credit: Richard and Judy's Book Club

Previous to her literary career, Tracy had a full-time job with a cancer support charity working with people with cancer and their families.

She says her work as a therapist and the experiences she's had have influenced her writing.

"I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember and over the last year, focusing on writing the novel has been a joy - and proved to me that this is my true vocation."

– Tracy Rees

WW2 crash site of Swansea man found 70 years on

Two sisters from Wales who've been searching for the grandfather they believed was lost during World War II say they've found the spot where his aeroplane crashed - more than 70 years on.

Sgt Barton disappeared with the rest of his bombing crew over northern Germany. Credit: ITV News

"We summise that perhaps it was damaged in the bombing campaign perhaps hit by flack or by a night fighter and then at round about 20:43 it according to eyewitness accounts, it was seen plummeting out of the sky and vertically going into the ground and exploding on impact."

– Debbie Bartlett, Sgt Barton's granddaughter

The remains of Sergeant Ronald Barton from Swansea were missing after his plane disappeared off RAF radar over Germany in 1944. Now it's thought the crash site has been found and his relatives are hoping to lay him to rest.

It's now thought the crash site has been found. Credit: ITV News

"To come and stand on Varrelbusch station where we knew we must be quite close to where that plane came down and to look up at the skies and think this is the last thing they ever saw and just that whole sort of history but also being part of understanding your relative's story, just was very very moving, just to be standing there to be within feet, we hoped we were in feet and it turns out we were within feet of the crash site was an incredibly emotional moment."

– Debbie Bartlett, Sgt Barton's granddaughter
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