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
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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
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A Proper Family Adventure

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Could you spend two weeks at sea with your family?Thanks to an unexpected windfall, the Bensons are treating themselves to a luxury cruise. With stop-offs in Barcelona, Rome and Marseilles, plus constant entertainment onboard, it's a dream come true . . . Or is it? Last time Chelsea Benson went on holiday with this lot she nearly went crazy.Her mum and sister are convinced Chelsea's boyfriend Adam will propose on the ship. Chelsea's sure he won't, but she can't help feeling butterflies as they set sail. Is Adam going to pop the question, or will the only thing to pop be Chelsea's ego?Onboard dramas, family upheavals, memories and sunshine . . . Fall in love with the Benson family, and treat yourself to a five-star family cruise, all without leaving your sofa.Praise for Chris Manby'Manby's novels are made for holidays' - Glamour'A gloriously delicious read!...Packed with warm characters and hilarious situations' - www.handwrittengirl.com

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A Proper Family Holiday

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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

'Laugh-out-loud funny . . . Unputdownable' - HeatA tongue-in-cheek comedy, perfect if you're missing the buzz of the 2018 royal wedding!Thirty-nine-year-old Kate had almost given up on love when she met her fiance. Now she's planning for the wedding she never dreamed she'd have. But things seem to be slipping out of her control. Diana, born on the day of the 1981 Royal Wedding, never doubted that one day she would find her prince. Newly engaged, and with Daddy's credit card in her grasp, she's in full Bridezilla mode. Against the backdrop of the other couple getting married in April 2011, both women prepare for the most important day of their lives. But will each bride get her perfect day? Or will it all become a right royal fiasco?'I've always liked Manby's books and this is my favourite so far . . . deeply cringe-making, sometimes poignant and often hilarious . . . I loved it. Six stars, hurrah!' - Daily Mail

Hodder & Stoughton

Seven Sunny Days

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder & Stoughton

Crazy in Love

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder & Stoughton

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
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The Matchbreaker

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

When Lindsey Parker's widowed 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 fiancée, Karen. Fortunately, the murder attempt fails but Lindsey still succeeds in driving Karen off. It doesn't take long, however, before Lindsey realises that her father's heart really is broken and the only way to mend it is by getting Karen back.But Karen is already seeing someone else - a mysterious entrepreneur. Lindsey 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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Flatmates

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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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

Dashing, dishy and utterly uninterested. No one else can compete.Lara Fenton is obsessed with finding a man, especially since her best friend Julie got engaged. Salvation soon arrives in the divine form of Hugh Armstrong-Hamilton.Yes, Hugh has his faults, but who doesn't? So what if he never picks up the bill? Big deal if he cancels dates at the last moment. And who cares about a few insults from his snooty friends? Hugh is a god - her god, and any other man would seem like second prize in comparison. Or would they . . .?Praise for Chrissie Manby'A laugh-every page, romping read. Excellent!' - B Magazine'Clear-sighted emotional honesty' - Good Book Guide

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Getting Personal

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

'Her witty take on life and love hits the mark once again' - Buzz'Manby will have you in fits once again' - OK!Why is it that your best friend always seems to end up with men who treat her badly? Why is that your best male friend seems intent on dating the kind of girl who thinks that Nietzche is an STD? Why is it that your own little black book looks more and more like the non-celeb client list of the Priory? Why can't any of you find someone quite right?Ruby, Martin and Lou are three old friends who have spent too much time talking about the ones that got away. Facing another summer without love, they decide to approach the dating dilemma in the way they approached finding flatmates. They're going to place personal ads. For one another.

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Running Away From Richard

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder Paperbacks

Lizzie Jordan's Secret Life

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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Ready or Not?

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby