Related to: 'A Proper Family Christmas'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

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The Worst Case Scenario Cookery Club: the perfect laugh-out-loud romantic comedy

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

'Funny, warm and engaging; this year's must-read! 5****' By the Letter Book ReviewsIn the quaint seaside town of Newbay, a beginner's cookery course is starting. And three very different students have signed up...Liz's husband has left her for a twenty-something clean-eating blogger, and she's determined to show the world - and her daughter - she's just as capable in the kitchen. John, newly widowed after fifty years of marriage, can't live on sympathy lasagnes forever. To thirty-year-old workaholic Bella, the course is a welcome escape from her high-pressure job. Their only common ground: between them, they can barely boil an egg! Enter talented chef Alex, who is determined to introduce his pupils to the comforts of cuisine. As Liz, John and Bella encounter various disasters in the kitchen, the unlikely trio soon form a fast friendship. Their culinary skills might be catastrophic - but could the cookery club have given them a recipe for happiness?The wonderful new novel from bestselling author Chrissie Manby is perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Trisha Ashley, Cathy Bramley, and The Great British Bake Off.Praise for The Worst Case Scenario Cookery Club:'A lovely book which brought a tear to my eye in places' - Broadbeansbooks'Heartwarming' - The Book Bag'Funny and emotional...a MUST READ this autumn' - On My Bookshelf'A very warm tale full of different kinds of love; just delicious!' - Netgalley Reviewer'If you want a funny, emotional read that will leave you wanting more then you need this book in your life!' - Goodreads'I loved this book... the perfect place to find a recipe for happiness!' - Goodreads'What an absolute joy to read...such a lovely story' - Goodreads'A winning recipe of a story... I devoured it from cover to cover!' - Goodreads 'Just the breath of fresh air that I needed... I could have kept reading for many more pages!' - Netgalley'I adored this hilarious book!' I Read Novels'Chrissie Manby has cooked up a fine tale' Cultural Wednesday'What a wonderfully lighthearted and uplifting novel, one I couldn't put down' - Bloglovin'An absolute joy to read - highly recommended for when you need a little pick-me-up!' - Brew and Book Reviews

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A Fairy Tale for Christmas: a funny, feel-good, glorious Christmas romp

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

'Fabulously funny and festive. An absolute treat full of warmth and romance' - Alex Brown, author of The Secret of Orchard CottageA wonderful, heart-warming Christmas novel from Chrissie Manby, perfect for curling up with in front of the fire.What could be more magical at Christmas than a fairy tale come true?It's the festive season and the members of the Newbay Theatre Society, more commonly known as the NEWTS, are preparing to put on a show. Being cast as Cinderella is the realization of a dream for newcomer Kirsty, not least because she hopes starring in a panto under the direction of her boyfriend Jon will bring them closer together. But Kirsty soon learns that it's not all glitter and good cheer behind the scenes at the amateur theatre as bitter rivalries nurtured through decades, wardrobe mishaps and suspicious near-fatal accidents threaten to derail the production. And then there's Prince Charming himself. Will working together with Jon bring Kirsty her happy ever after... or reveal their love to be nothing but a 'showmance'?With Christmas just around the corner, it's going to take more than a Fairy Godmother to get Kirsty and her cast-mates to the ball.What readers are saying about A Fairy Tale for Christmas:'Filled with Christmas cheer...a captivating story!''A lovely, warm read...highly, highly recommended!''A beautiful sparkly warm festive book that will have you feeling ready for the Christmas season!''A warm, funny, festive read... an unmissable festive treat''A gorgeous, funny, touching story... I was hooked from the first page!'

Hodder & Stoughton

Falling Leaves and Fireworks: a funny, feel-good autumnal enovella

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

A warm, wonderful and funny novella from bestselling author Chrissie Manby, the perfect treat for crisp, woodsmoke-scented autumn days.Sparklers, bonfires, trick-or-treating... autumn has arrived! The thirty-first of October usually marks the start of the party season in the Benson Edwards household but, having recently lost his beloved cat Fishy, little Jack, aged eight, isn't ready to celebrate. When the rest of the Bensons and their neighbours decide to throw a Halloween fancy-dress bash in an attempt to cheer Jack up, however, not everything goes to plan as Mark and Ronnie play a ghostly prank which inadvertently sparks a local scandal. By the time Bonfire Night rolls around, will their neighbourhood relations be up in in smoke? And will Jack have rediscovered his sparkle?

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A Wedding at Christmas

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

~*~You are invited to the Wedding of Chelsea Benson and Adam Baxter~*~Preparations for Chelsea and Adam's nuptials are only just beginning when Chelsea's grandad is taken seriously ill. Determined to have him at the big day, a new wedding date is set at once - for just twelve weeks' time!Now, with the help of her family (including her soon-to-be in-laws), Chelsea must organise her perfect winter wedding. Fast.But as she contends with a frosty mother-in-law, family feuds, and a firework fiasco it seems that Chelsea may need more than Christmas magic to turn her dream of a proper family wedding into a reality . . .This warm-hearted, festive and funny novel from bestselling author Chrissie Manby is equal parts family drama and Christmas cheer. The perfect pick-me-up this holiday season.~*~To confirm your attendance, click purchase~*~Praise for Chrissie Manby:'Deliciously funny' - Heat'Funny and inventive' - Company'Brilliant' - Marie Claire'Manby's novels are made for holidays' - Glamour ONCE IN A LIFETIME, the latest novel from Chrissie Manby, is available now!

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A Proper Family Adventure

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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A Proper Family Holiday

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Could you survive a week-long holiday with your entire family? Newly single magazine journalist Chelsea Benson can't think of anything worse.Your grubby small nephew torpedoing any chance of romance with the dishy guy you met on the plane . . .Your eighty-five-year-old granddad chatting up ladies at the hotel bar . . .Getting nothing but sarcastic comments from your older sister, who's always been the family favourite . . .And all this is before your parents drop their bombshell.Is a week enough time for the Bensons to put their differences aside and have some fun? Or is this their last ever proper family holiday?Heartwarming and funny, this is the perfect summer read for fans of SOPHIE KINSELLA and LINDSEY KELK. And provides a great excuse for ignoring your annoying family members . . .Praise for Chris Manby'A gloriously delicious read!...Packed with warm characters and hilarious situations' - handwrittengirl.com'Smart and entertaining' - Closer

Hodder & Stoughton

Writing for Love

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Practical, inspiring, and filled with her trademark wit and charm, Chrissie Manby describes the writing process - from where she gets her ideas to a practical guide to planning the structure of a novel. A must-read for chick-lit fans and aspiring authors. EXCLUSIVE: contains chapters 1-4 of Chrissie's novel WHAT I DID ON MY HOLIDAYS.

Hodder & Stoughton

Kate's Wedding

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder & Stoughton

Seven Sunny Days

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Sun, sea and serious drama.When Rachel Buckley announces that she is going to tie the knot, her best friends Yaslyn and Carrie Ann organise a luxury 'hen week' in sun-soaked Turkey.It should be the perfect send off to single life. But her friends have packed more than just sun creams and bikinis - they've also brought with them a serious amount of emotional baggage.Add unlimited free cocktails, rampant reps and a nasty dose of sunstroke and suddenly seven sunny days puts even the firmest friendships to the test.Praise for Chrissie Manby'...a good giggle by the pool this summer... the perfect sunbathing companion.' - OK!'A fun summer read' - Daily Express

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The Matchbreaker

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

When Lindsey Parker's father announces that he is to remarry, Lindsey does what any good daughter would do: wishes him congratulations, then sets about trying to kill his fiancee.Fortunately, the murder attempt fails but Lindsey still succeeds in driving Karen off. Jubilation turns to guilt when Lindsey realises her father is genuinely heart-broken. The only way to mend it is to get Karen back.But Karen is already seeing someone else - a mysterious entrepreneur. Lindsay decides to enlist the help of an old schoolmate-turned-private detective to break this new couple up. But as her plan gets underway, Lindsey senses she is falling for the very person she needs to drive away...

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Crazy in Love

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Heiress and celebrity Birdie Sederburg has been used to getting everything she wants. That is, until hot young actor Dean Stevenson (quite literally) crashes into her life.Birdie's convinced she's found The One. But Dean is only in it for his career, and is resisting her charm offensive. Still, Birdie is not prepared to admit defeat. As her obsession with Dean grows, she realises she may have to do something drastic to make him fall in love with her.But is getting herself kidnapped in order to win his heart going over the top? How far would you go for love?

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Deep Heat

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

The romantic getaway to Antigua. But it's with her ex-fiancé. And she's the third-wheel.Recovering in hospital from an appendix operation, Ali Harris whiles away her time by entering magazine competitions. A few weeks later, she's delighted to discover that she's won first prize in Complete Woman magazine's Most Romantic Couple of the Year competition. There's just one problem. Ali has been dumped by her fiancé, and there's no way she can claim her prize - a romantic holiday for two in Antigua - on her own. But, with a holiday in the offing, Ali's fiance is keen to kiss and make up. The catch: he's not prepared to give up his new girlfriend. So Ali takes matters into her own hands ...Praise for Chrissie Manby'In the best tradition of Kathy Lette, this is girl power at its most painfully funny' - Helen Lederer 'Manby's hilarious novels still shine out' - OK!

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Spa Wars

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

When Emily Brown's life and business is turned around by a surprise visit from Carina Lees, an immaculately-groomed reality TV star, she can't believe her luck. With just one other member of staff to help her out at her Essex salon The Beauty Spot, Emily is pushed for time as well as money. So Carina's patronage and the subsequent financial success of the salon is more welcome than a sunbed session in December.But even with the assistance of skilled-yet-shabby new girl Natalie, things start to go mysteriously wrong, and it soon becomes clear that someone's got it in for the salon. And with tactics dirtier than a gardener's fingernails, the battle of the beauticians commences. For, under all the make-up and manicures, Carina is not who she seems and, although confronting the past can be painful, Emily eventually has to stare the truth in the face and realise it's what's inside that really counts . . .Praise for Chris Manby'Nothing short of brilliant' - Marie Claire'Delicious read' - Daily Mail

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Flatmates

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Have you ever shared a flat with your so-called friends? Do you remember with a shudder the squabbles over the itemised phone bill, the cleaning rota and whose turn it is to do the washing up? If so, you'll sympathise with the three troubled occupants of No. 67 Artesia Road.Fiona - who's been offered a glorious job in New York, but can't bear to leave Tim, her brilliant - but none-too-devoted - fiancé.Kerry - who's fed up with spending Saturday night alone in front of the TV, fantasising about her devastatingly handsome - but unavailable - boss.Linzi - who won't be tied down by anybody or anything.They think they've got problems. But nothing can prepare them for the chaos which ensues when Linzi's latest boyfriend arrives on the scene. Gorgeous but feckless, Gaetano spells trouble with a capital 'T'. And soon events are spiralling out of everyone's control . . .Praise for Chrissie Manby'If you've ever shared a flat, been to a bad party or fallen in love with the wrong man, you'll find this book spot on' - Company'Manby's hilarious novels still shine out' - OK!

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Girl Meets Ape

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

He's the King of the Swingers. But she's the Ice Queen.When Dr Jennifer Niederhauser becomes head of the chimpanzee project at Prowdes Animal Sanctuary, the uptight young zoologist looks forward to making her mark in the conservation world. But the regime is ramshackle, the chimpanzees uncontrollable and her first meeting with head keeper Guy Gibson finds him naked and covered in baby oil.She decides never to work with animals or the childish again. But she may not have a job for much longer anyway - Prowdes is in big financial trouble.Hope comes in the form of a TV documentary. Prowdes needs the money and exposure but there's a problem. The show's presenter, chimpanzee expert Dr Timothy Lauder, is Jennifer's ex-boyfriend. Things could get hairy. . .Praise for Chrissie Manby'A fast-track, fun romance full of monkey business' - Daily Mail'A deliciously comical novel' - Heat

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Second Prize

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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Getting Personal

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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Running Away From Richard

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Recently graduated from drama school, Lizzie Jordan is looking forward to a glittering career at the RSC. She's also looking forward to the next step in her relationship: becoming Mrs Richard Adams (Lizzie just knows that her artist boyfriend is about to propose any day now). So how does Lizzie, just one month later, find herself sharing a cockroach-infested house in Venice Beach, California, working as a waitress in a transvestite bar, and pretending to be the fiancee of one of the biggest directors in Hollywood? Why does life never seem to work out the way Lizzie Jordan planned?Praise for Chrissie Manby'A great novel for anyone who's ever been dumped' - Company'A fun romp' - Woman's Way

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Lizzie Jordan's Secret Life

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

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Ready or Not?

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Every bride is entitled to some pre-wedding jitters. And who wouldn't think twice about marriage when their fiancé gets their eyebrows shaved off just in time to look horrendous for the photographs?But what if it's not the ceremony that freaks you out but the happy ever after? Heidi Savage wonders whether she can really forsake all others for macho, beer-swilling Ed. The what-if's are too pressing to ignore...Will the answer come in the form of her ex-boyfriend Steven? Grown-up, gorgeous and good-with-children. Is Heidi's dilemma simply a case of the 'grass is greener on the other side'?Praise for Chris Manby'Dry wit that sits just beneath the surface...A delicious read' - Daily Mail'Nothing short of brilliant' - Marie Claire